Tag Archives: money

And on the 3,037th day….

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There was heat.

Yes, that’s really how long we’ve been working on the big barn. Saying we don’t like to rush things is a bit of an understatement.

But last week, this happened:

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The son of our soon to be ex friends came over to install a heat pump. It’s his business, and while I’m still cursing our rat bastard friends for giving us the free pool table that’s cost us thousands… their son is a great guy.

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Of course he might have been cursing them as well because drilling a hole through a building my husband built isn’t as easy as it should be.

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What should have taken mere minutes turned into a bit of an ordeal. And when that happens…

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You grab a hammer.

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After the hole was finally cut, it was just a matter of mounting the unit.

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With my husband… the man who has never lined up anything perfectly straight in his life…. standing back and saying, nope. It needs to go up a little on the left.

I believe my jaw dropped open at that point.

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Outside, the electrician connected power to the box… next to all the scrap wood that had to be hauled from under the barn to run the cable.

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And the rest of the crew installed the compressor thingamagig.

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Which is ugly as all get out but thankfully is on the one barn wall we can’t see from our house.

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I was glad to see they used great stuff. Because I’m sure awful stuff is more readily available, not to mention cheaper.

So…

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The big barn now has a heat pump. And future bar patrons can be assured of proper ambient drinking temperature.

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Cost of that free pool table so far?

$7,764. And no, he’s not done yet. The open stairwell still needs to be sealed off to prevent heat loss.

Free.

It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

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Grill shopping.

 

The unthinkable happened last week.

Our beloved… and only 3 years old damn it… Weber grill died. Not wanting to spend a summer without one, we immediately went hunting for it’s replacement.

I wanted a small one without a side burner, so naturally all the husband looked at were large ones with side burners.

Ah, marriage.

 

 

Have you been grill shopping lately?

Holy crap!

I’ve paid less for cars.

 

 

Here’s the husband taking one for a test drive.

Literally driving it…. he spun it around a corner and had it up on 2 wheels.

Because Christ, at over a thousand dollars? That bastard better taxi us to the pub on its day off.

I found one I wanted.

Really wanted.

 

 

It came with wine!

But no. The husband dragged me to 5 other stores and ended up choosing one from Tractor Supply.

 

 

Large?

 

 

Oh yeah.

 

 

Much larger than we need, but it has stainless steel grates and radiant embers.

What the hell are radiant embers?

I have no idea….

But I bought some lovely filets and we’re going to find out tonight.

 

Day 8…. A goose traffic jam, southern food, an overpriced theme park, and the family you choose for yourself.

 

Before I regale you with yet another day of our vacation adventures….. a little personal history.

In case you hadn’t guessed? The husband and I don’t have any children. It was a lifestyle choice we made many years ago and haven’t had cause to regret it. But back in the early 90’s we took a neighbor’s child under our wing when her single mother was having a hard time.

 

Des & Fred, ironing

 

She was the child we never had….

 

Des & a few lobsters

 

We helped raise her…..

 

Fred & Des..Forestry

 

 

And since she had no contact with her real father, my husband took over the role.

 

Attitude adjustment!!

 

Attitude adjustments et al.

 

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She wasn’t ours biologically…..

 

Me, Fred & Des, Lakewood

 

But she will always be the child of our hearts.

 

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We’ve watched her grow into a beautiful young woman…

 

Me, Fred & Des

 

And now she’s happily married…..

 

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With a child of her own….

 

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And we feel like we have a grandchild as well. They still live in North Carolina so whenever we’re near…. we get together. She loves that we have a timeshare and enjoys staying with us at the various resorts. On Day 8 of this trip? She and her daughter joined us for the weekend before Christmas.

When they arrived? A goose traffic jam…

 

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I love me some goosers… so pardon the ridiculous tone of voice I use in the video.

As well as me cursing out the idiot who was honking their horn at those sweet little waddlers.

 

 

After their 4 1/2 hour trip, Destiny and Gracie were hungry so we took them to that great seafood place we’d found… Fat Tuna.

 

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We stuffed ourselves silly with hushpuppies, cornbread and shrimp and grits….

 

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While the husband opted for a seafood pasta.

 

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This was in anticipation of where we would be spending the afternoon and evening… because when you have a 7 year old? Sitting around chatting with a cocktail isn’t going to cut it.

So the husband and I did what we never… ever!… do.

We went to a theme park.

And it was just as awful as I knew it would be.

 

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We stood in a long line to board the shuttle.

 

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We crammed onto the shuttle like sardines.

 

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We waited on long lines to buy overpriced tickets…. and not even a funny spare tire cover could make up for what we were about to experience.

 

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(I hope he was talking about the jeep and not his wife.

I really do.)

But yes…. the husband and I shelled out $240 frickin’ dollars to visit Christmas Town at Busch Gardens.

 

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No senior discount, no military discount, no under 12 discount.

Suck it Santa!

Did I mention it was also $20 to leave our car in the north 40,  somewhere south of bumblef*ck Egypt   parking lot?

 

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$260 just to walk in.

Kill me now.

 

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But we were there with people we loved…

 

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And my husband… who never wants to pose for photographs?

 

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Was posing all over the place…. and smiling.

Now that’s a true Christmas miracle!

Scrambling…

 

 

 

No, not eggs.

Vacations.

You see, for the entire year my husband has been saying he’s going to retire in December. He also forbade me to book any vacations because he works for the Federal Government and can sell back his leave when he goes.

(He gets 5 weeks off every year, so the payout can be substantial.)

 

 

Except now that the day is rapidly approaching, he decided he’s going to work a little longer.

Yes, his reasoning is sound.

 

  1. The old boss he hated has left and been replaced with a laid back, drama free manager.
  2. Starting next year, they’re going to push teleworking from home 2-3 days a week…. and since he already works four 10 hour days, it will probably be a 1 day a week commute.
  3. Good benefits.
  4. Good pay.
  5. The ability to dump more in our TSP (Thrift Savings Plan, the government’s answer to a company matching IRA).

 

I get it.

I do…

But our retirement plan was to travel, and I’d like him to be semi-mobile and breathing without a respirator when we do. (Hauling a corpse in and out of resort elevators is such a drag.)

 

Zombie-nuts

 

But back to the scrambling….

It’s almost the end of the year and I don’t have much time to plan and book 5 weeks worth of vacations before time runs out. It’s not easy with the holidays right around the corner. We have a timeshare on a points system and can go anywhere, but since he’s waited so long to request time off, he can’t get more than a week at a time…. which leaves out long distance trips. I hate spending 2 days flying back and forth for only 4 days on site. With the price of tickets these days, it’s not worth it.

So thanks to WordPress’s magic scheduling ability, as you read this… we are currently returning from a week at a ski resort in the western mountains of Maine.

 

 

That’s right Lionel, I haven’t been here for a week and you didn’t even miss me.

God bless technology.

Did we ski? Hell no, it’s too early for that… even in Maine. But it’s a beautiful area and I’m sure we explored. And drank. And took pictures.

The deluge of photos will begin shortly….

 

not again

 

You’ve been warned.

 

It has clearly been a loooong time.

 

Waiting for the husband the other day….. (I swear, that man will talk to a rock)  I sat aimlessly,  playing with my phone.

 

 

Scoped Apple news, saw an article on concerts in Las Vegas and thought, we have timeshare resorts there…. I’ll take a look.

Lady Gaga in October?

That could be fun.

Or not…

 

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I believe my jaw literally dropped open.

Okay, I get it.

I’m old.

 

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My concert going days ended with the Grateful Dead and CSN. Back when a record was an actual vinyl record… (look it up kids, V- I- N- Y- L)

But mother of god!

$8,097 for 2 tickets?

For that price I’ll want Gaga to rip some of that meat off her dress, cook me dinner and do the dishes when she finishes singing.

 

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Who the hell can afford that?

Again… I know, I’m old.  55,  that’s practically dead.

And the last ticket price I paid was probably $75.

But damn.

You shouldn’t have to mortgage your house to see a show.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Important update..

 

Because I know you hate to be left hanging.

The old old, my ass! nothing should die in 6 years except reality tv shows. Why are they still alive? fridge.

 

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The new black stainless steel OMG don’t walk near it with anything sharp finish fridge –

 

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The old  no damn it, it wasn’t!   fridge –

 

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The new polish with the grain, who the hell knew stainless steel had a grain? fridge.

 

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Delivery was a logistical nightmare. It wouldn’t fit through our kitchen door, even though it was the exact same size as our old one. The kids who brought it (yes, they were younger than me… that makes them kids) couldn’t figure it out for the life of them and were dismantling it piece by piece in our front yard when (wise old me) suggested they bring it through the (larger) front door.

 

 

With age comes wisdom.

And wrinkles, and bunions, and hot flashes…

 

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But I digress…

Once they wrangled it inside, the kids couldn’t get the water dispenser to work and were frantically searching manuals and calling for assistance when I suggested they turn the water line back on.

 

 

So after 2 1/2 hours dealing with morons we had a brand new fridge.

 

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With fancy graduated lighting for my husband Goldilocks who wasn’t satisfied with anything else….

 

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As well as quick ice and turbo cool.

So worth the extra $700.

 

 

Instructions on how to spend a very depressing day.

 

Step 1.   Hire an appliance repairman to diagnose why your ice maker died and the fridge isn’t cooling properly.

Step 2.   Pay said repairman $95 to walk through the door.

 

 

Step 3.  Cry a little when repairman tells you your  expensive AF   six year old refrigerator will be requiring burial rites in the very near future.

 

 

6 years old!

Too young to die… or so I thought.

According to the repairman, 6-8 years is now the average lifespan of new appliances.

 

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This makes me regret getting rid of the 1970’s almond Montgomery Ward fridge that came with our house when we moved in.

Ugly? Yes.

Fancy features? No.

But the damn thing still worked….. and now I miss it.

6 years.

 

 

For the love of God… she’s still shiny!

 

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She still looks new!

But apparently she’s rotten at the core.

 

 

Step 4.  Grab a girlfriend for consolation and proceed to the appliance stores to search for a suitable replacement.

Have you been to the appliance stores lately?

Even the clearance prices will make you faint.

 

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Mind you, that particular one had been returned, refurbished and was riddled with dents.

There’s lots to choose from, if you want to pay.

And pay. And pay…

 

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There are fancy French Door models.

Models with ridiculous features…

 

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And for the prices they’re charging?

I hope that one cooks, serves and cleans up the kitchen after marinating my meat.

 

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Herb storage?

 

 

One model even had a built in one of these –

 

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Yes.

An infuser pitcher, fitted right into the door. I paid $3.99 for mine… what do you want to bet this baby adds an extra $200 to the purchase price?

Step 5.  Go from store to store, avoiding salesmen and their high pressure “Oh, that sale ends today, better buy now!”  B.S….. never quite finding that perfect fridge that will fit in your crazy kitchen. ( We had to remove half a wall to fit my current one in. )

Step 6.  Have long booze filled lunch with girlfriend and curse refrigerator manufacturers.

 

 

Step 7.  Return home to melting ice and lukewarm milk.

Step 8.  Repeat steps 4 through 7 until replacement is found.

 

 

 

 

 

In case you didn’t know….

 

Don’t worry..

I do.

 

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Did you know…. after the battle of Waterloo in 1815, dentures were made from the teeth of dead soldiers? They were given to wealthy people who experienced tooth decay due to consuming too much sugar.

I’m not sure how bad my teeth would have to be before I wore a dead man’s… but I’m guessing pretty bad.

 

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Did you know….. mosquitoes are attracted to people who have recently eaten bananas?

This explains why I’m swarmed every time I start my morning with a smoothie.

 

 

Did you know…. castoreum, the vanilla flavored food additive used in baked goods can be listed as “natural flavoring” because it comes from the anal glands of beavers?

Thankfully it’s hard to procure and prohibitively expensive, so I doubt we’ll be finding it in our Twinkies anytime soon.

I’m sure the beavers aren’t thrilled either…

 

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Did you know…. preparing an Egyptian mummy took upwards of 70 days, and dead noblewomen were allowed to ripen for few days prior to the procedure so the embalmers wouldn’t find them too attractive.

Makes you wonder just how desperate for a date those fellows were….

 

 

Did you know.… Kemosabe means “soggy shrub”  in the Navajo language?

Good ole Tonto, not quite the faithful sidekick you thought he was.

 

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Did you know….  woodpecker scalps, porpoise teeth and giraffe tails have all been used as currency at one time or another?

This is good news for me as I am currently awash in woodchuck poo and am hoping it will be the next monetary trend.

Momma gonna make it rain up in here!

 

 

 

 

Apparently, he likes me.

 

Sometimes WordPress makes me laugh because I follow a lot of funny people.

 

 

Sometimes it makes me laugh because a lot of funny people follow me.

 

 

And sometimes it makes me laugh for totally unexpected reasons.

Like the other day when I clicked my notifications and saw this:

 

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Clearly I must make TANBHIR laugh because he liked the hell out of every comment I made on one of my old posts.

Every single comment.

That’s a lot of laughing.

 

 

Not enough for him to actually comment back or add anything to the thread, but clearly TANBHIR likes the like button.

Unfortunately since TANBHIR  (Who must be a serious fellow since his name is all CAPS) only wants to help me make money online so I did not return the favor and like him back. I also removed him from my followers list.

Sorry TANBHIR, but I’m not here to make money.

Better luck next time.

 

 

You just can’t win.

 

Debt…

 

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Almost everyone is in it…

And almost everyone dreams of winning the lottery to get out of it.

 

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(There’s no logical reason for this photo. I just Googled debt meme and came up with it.

A squirrel… in  full armor.

You’re welcome.)

 

So we worked hard, and became debt free.

 

 

We cut up all the credit cards, and paid them off. We paid off the cars, motorcycles and other assorted big boy toys.

Three months ago? We paid off our mortgage.

We’re now totally debt free.

Yay us!

 

 

Except no. Life doesn’t work that way.

For years we had nearly perfect credit scores.

(Perfect is 840, ours was 837.)

Until we started paying off debt, at which point they dropped like a stone.

Cut up and pay off your credit cards? Lose 34 points.

Which is wrong. So very, very wrong.

In every conceivable way.

The last time I checked?

 

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It went down 44 points because we no longer have a mortgage.

What the f*ckity  f*ck  f*ck?

Everything we own is paid for, we have more liquid cash than we’ve ever had before, our pension and retirement plans are set and we can live comfortably without fear.

For this we’re penalized?

 

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It is.

It really, really is.