Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Seek the road that makes Death a fullfillment

I was driving across my home state tonight and enjoying beautiful scenery and some of the most amazing sunsets (In Wyoming you get multiple sunsets if you are driving because the weather patterns can change so fast!) and the book I was listening to had a quote in it that really made me mentally stop and think.

"Do not seek death, for it will seek you out. Seek the road that makes death a fullfillment."

Wow. That quote really touched home with me. Not that I seek death or anything, but it is true. We will all eventually find our lives coming to a close in one manner or another. But we can choose how we live.

Sometimes I feel like I coast through life waiting for the next thing to happen. Waiting for Spring, for Summer, for Fall, for Winter. Waiting for the next school semester, waiting for the semester to end. Waiting for graduation, waiting for a career. Waiting for Nora's potty training.

Or time is wasted looking back and saying "I wish I had done this, that or the other."

But this year I have been looking for those little opportunities that really make life a joy. Nora is amazing and she give me so much joy day to day. This year even though it is hard for our family, I fulfilled my dream of owning my horse.

I guess it is another way of saying Carpe Diem. Sieze the Day. Live life to the fullest so when that inevitable day comes the promise of your life has been fullfilled. We can't get lost moments back, but we can fill up future moments and savor the experiences.

Just thought I would share! Anyone else squeezing life for all it's worth? :D

Sky Dog likes Organic Apples

My apple tree did pretty well this year. It was the first year for us to be here with this particular tree and I expected the apples to be ready about another month down the road so unfortunatly we lost quite a few because I was to busy to go to the back yard and about 80% of them fell in a wind storm. The hornets have also been having their way with the apples. I have picked some off the tree that have had hornets eatting them, not to mention the ones they have eatten on the ground.

Today I am goig to work really hard to pick up the wind fallen apples and sort out ones that I can still do something with and the ones that can go to the horse stable and ones that just need to go to the compost pile.

So back to my subject of the post. Yesterday we went out to the back yard to play. Nora found an apple she wanted to eat. And she ate about half of it before throwing it for the dog. Sky was playful and chased it, but when she picked it up, because it was already a bit juicy, she got a taste for apples. She ate the remainder of Nora's apple and then started hunting up ones others for herself.

She doesn't eat a whole lot from each apple, but it is so funny to see a dog eating an apple!! This coming year I am going to take better care of my apple tree. I am going to put up hornet catchers after spring pollination and hopefully I can get rid of some of the nests in our yard. I am hoping to be a better farmgirl and utilize this resource better next year!

Monday, September 14, 2009

I am such a ditz!

So I just happen to have four days off that coincide with two of my out-of-state Aunts and a cousin coming down to my grandparent's home for a little bit of a reunion. Great, I think! Awesome! I can go see everyone! So I as Doug to check the Suburban and make sure the battery is charged and maybe we should go ahead and get gas in it on Friday? But he thinks he will have time Saturday morning before work. No problem.

Saturday morning dawns and the plan was get Doug off to work, pack quickly- get in the car and go. Doug comes in and tells me the truck is dead and I have to take him to work. Can't we jump start it and you still use the truck? Nope. No time.

Darn. That means I have to wait until after 2:30pm to leave. Okay. Roll with the punches. It's okay. I still get to go. So we stop and say Hi to Tala on the way back from dropping off Doug. That was fun. Then we jumpstart the car and let it run to re-charge the battery. Note to self: Make sure the radio is ALL THE WAY OFF in the old truck so dead batteries can be a think of the past! Whoops!

So then I let the truck idle to re-charge the battery and of course forget that it is running and almost run it out of gas. So I drive around the block to the gas station and put some $$ into the tank. Ouch.

We get Doug, gas up the car, drop him off.

"So Alyssa, where are the truck keys?" Doug asks. Warning! Warning!

"Uh...I think in the key basket?" Kiss kiss bye bye. Yup. Nora and I left for an 8 hour car drive without verifying where the critical ONLY set of truck keys were. WARNING!! DANGER!! DITZ ZONE QUICKLY APPROACHING.

So I get an hour and a half down the road and have to stop for a call of nature and as I am paying for a candy bar so I am not a complete and total rude person for only usng the facilities I find...you guessed it...The truck keys. Dang.

So I am an hour and a half down the road. It's already late. Do I turn around and go home? Delay my visit? Don't go at all? Do I go on to Laramie and see family that I haven't seen in about 3 years? Darn darn darn.

So I decided to go to Laramie. I got to spend about 18hours there hanging out with family (and sleeping). They got to see me, Nora, and pictures of Tala. And then we packed up and came back! Talk about speed trips! 16 hours of driving in a day and a half. All because I didn't check to see if I had the keys or not.

I am such a ditz! But Nora had fun! And I had fun so it could have been worse!

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Nora is sleeping later these days which is a huge blessing to me. Don't get me wrong- for the right reasons I like seeing the early side of 6am. But it starts to get old after a while when your brain is screaming at you "SLEEP! GIVE ME SLEEP!" Unfortunatly, Brain, my daughter comes first.

So lucky for me- she is now sleeping in until 7:30am-8am ish. Hurrah for shorter daylight hours. I always mourned the ending of the long days when summer was coming to a close before. Now I am starting to see the beauty of longer periods of dark!

We've all be sick lately which means we have all been spending WAY to much time in front of the TV. I have seen all of our child-friendly DVD's at least once (we only have a handful) and I swear if Dora yells "Say Backpack! Say Backpack" one more time...

If I were feeling better I would feel guilty about all the TV time. But I don't so I don't. Nora has been so good. Today was the reading day. We read five books in a row and then she sad and read to herself for another 15 minutes. She has also been really into her blocks. We have been working on color recognition a lot this week and she is getting better. She is doing great at Yellow, Blue, and even green and red. Sometimes she gets them mixed up still, but it is getting tones better.

Nora wanted to wash dishes today. Usually this consists of soapy water in the sink, her with the scrubber/spounge thing and lots of water ending up on the floor (Look mommy- I am bailing out the sink!). Today I though- Sure! The floor needs mopped anyway!

Sure enough water goes on the floor (and counter tops and the clean dishes) but after a while I hear her get down from the chair and I peak around the wall furnace that blocks full kitchen vision from the living room and she is on her hands an knees scrubbing the floor with the dishes scrubber. Uhm. Okay so we have another cleanig spounge, need to get out a clean one for dishes, but hey! The floor is clean! Go Cinder-Nora, Go!

My little naked baby is also learning the joys of clothing. Normally I give her about 15 minutes from the moment I get her dressed to the moment she is running around shirtless, pantless and diaperless. However recently she has been asking to wear clothes! Awesome! Maybe she will learn the lesson before it frosts!

Speaking of winter coming- our garden is done for the year. I know some plant fall gardens but with only about 10 days left before the first predicted frost- I don't think I would even get radishes planted, sprouted, and grown before the frost killed everything. That means I need to either spend a lot of time digging in the garden and working in some manure from the stable or I need to rent a rototiller. Note to self- go talk to the rental guys!

Our apple tree is shedding apples like crazy. I am not sure if I will be able to keep up with them all! I hope so because they are fantastic! The wasps and ants have been getting a good fall treat! I hope the squirrels have been taking some as well.

Well I am going to go lay down and hopefully go to bed early tonight. I have had the flu for about 5 days now and have work tomorrow. We are joking that it is swine flu. I hope not. But I feel pretty recovered so I don't think I will be a Typhoid Mary at work tomorrow!



Monday, August 31, 2009


So I have been feeling lately like I haven't been doing enough for Nora as far as helping her learn basic information... like colors and counting. I know I know- she is only two and a half so counting is still ambitious. But she did count to five until her dad started play a game with her where he said one, she said two, he said three as he tickled/tossed/or twirled her.

So lately we have been doing a lot of naming games. I point to things, name them and ask her to repeat the name. I have also been telling her the names of colors and having her repeat them back to me. Again Doug "broke" her she was saying "Yellow" properly and he said (in her hearing) that she was saying "Lellow". SO guess what she is saying now. LOL Oh well. She'll get it eventually!

One of her favorite things to do right now is to look at the stars and the moon. Doug and I are thinking of getting those constellation stars that you can put on a child's ceiling.

How is everyone out there doing?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Trying something new- Pay Per Post

Okay so I am trying something new and I have no idea how good it is or if it even works. It's called Pay Per post. To prove that I own this blog, I have to post a random sentance that they gave me:
On the first day of xmas your true love gave you a schadenfreude

Okay so before I post some weird word on my blog (see shadenfreude) I had to look it up. LOL Neurotic I know...

Philosopher and sociologist Theodor Adorno defined schadenfreude as “largely unanticipated delight in the suffering of another which is cognized as trivial and/or appropriate.”[2]

Cheers! We'll see if this thing actually works!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I love this Picture

I just had to share this picture of Nora enjoying playing in the back yard!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Such a busy summer!

Wow! I am such a bad blogger! I have really dropped the ball here!

Lets see here. When last I posted, Nora and I had just been in a car wreck. Boy was THAT a mess to get everything straightened out. We ended up finally getting some injury money, our car fixed, but had to pay for a couple of days worth of rental car rent. But in the end the wreck helped us be able to move out of our OLD house in the very scary neighborhood into a sweet house in Laurel. We are in a better neighborhood and their are safe parks close by! The house has some weird things about it- like the floor slopes pretty bad in places, but over all it is a good house with a huge lawn and an apple tree! Previous owners even left a swingset behind.

The end of the semester went well. I passed all my courses with great grades except for one- my math course. The class average on the last two tests was below a D so I am not too upset- except that I will have to pay to take the course again. GRR. I was going to take a summer course but it was going to cost me over $1200 for just one course AND I would have had to pay that off before fall semester. So instead I am a year behind my graduation again. Oh well. By taking an easy year this year, I will lighten the load on myself during my hardest classes.

Then, Nora and I went up to Idaho to help some friends. Rockin' Heart Ranch took HS Infinite and two of his fillies to the Egyptian Event this year in Kentucky. They did really great, but that meant they needed someone to stay behind and watch the ranch. So Nora and I had a blast out there. Nora really bonded with this sweet goat and I seriously thought about calling our landlords and asking if we could keep her.

Nora and the goat would play together so well. I actually looked outside and they were sleeping together. Honest! But both woke up as I snuck up to get a picture, so Nora was holding her down a little so I could get a picture of kindof what they had looked like! LOL

Then when I got home, I had to hurry and get ready for my stall at farm fair. A few of the things- like my packaging- didn't happen the way I wanted them to. But we had a fun time anyway.

We had lots of fun at Farm Fair- Nora was excited to see Stella again-

And then on the way home we got to bring my sweet sweet horse home with us, which is of course where I have been spending as much time as I can!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Officially Done!

I am officially done with one of my debts! Hurray! Now I have set up reoccurring payments with two more debtors. For a total of $425 being paid each month out of my account. I am really hoping to get these taken care of ASAP! It will be fabulous to see positive changes on my credit score.

Looking at my credit report during Christmas break was heart breaking. It's hard to keep in mind that $13,000 of that debt gave me the best joy in my life- Nora! But I also look at a lot of it and see massive mismanagement. I am worried that a poor credit score will hurt my employment chances if I don't fix this now. Who wants to hire an accountant that can't handle her own personal finances.

If I can manage a few extra payments here and there, get an extra job over the summer and keep a strong hand on the family finances, then I think this will turn around really quickly. YAY! More debt paid!

I am SO looking forward to the day when there will be NO BAD DEBT on our record! I swear I am going to throw the biggest party!

At least I know that my debt collectors have a secure job. At least on guy does! He secured a payment agreement from me today so that should make his bosses happy!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Lost a bit more weight!

In the last nine days, without any modifications other than watching what and how much I am eating, I have lost a pound!

Today I restarted my yoga routine (okay so I was supposed to do that earlier, but it just didn't end up happening). I did one routine already today and I am hoping to get another in before Doug gets home. I am so happy! I still have almost almost 50 pounds to lose, but I am losing it and getting healthier! I can't wait until I can see my cheekbones again! They have been MIA for a LONG time.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Watching the Biggest Loser-

Really makes me want to get into shape!

I am going to start by going to the Rec center tomorrow! Edit- I didn't realize that Doug's Work Schedule had changed so I am revising my plan to doing 2 yoga workouts and one cleaning workout *aka I need to shampoo the carpet before I can do yoga!! I am going to work out on the treadmill and the weight machines that I can. Then when I get home I am going to do at least one session of yoga!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Made Another Debt Payment!

Well, our second debt payment went off without a hitch! Another $230 paid to one company. In another 2 weeks they will get the same again and they will be gone- out of my life forever! Hurray! After that, as much as I would love to be giving an equal amount to everyone, I have two companies that are being particularly ugly about being paid. So each will be getting roughly $200 a month which will be great because it will be getting things paid.

One of the debts is to the University of Idaho. They are being particularly ugly and holding my transcript hostage. So they will get their money until the end of April at $200 a month and then at the Beginning of May when I take my summer job- I will use my first few paychecks to write them off the register completely. That will be nice. I want to have them send in my transcript before Fall so I can get more financial aid and have a better idea of what it will take to graduate.

It is looking like my graduation date will be December of 2011 and will incur an additional $40,000 in debt unless I can get some more free money. This summer I am going to be writing applications for all sorts of scholarships so hopefully that will help out.

But really, in the long run it won't be a full $40,000 of additional debt. Some of the money is going to be used to "pay" bad debt. I know that sounds weird, but in the long run I will take something that could be costing me as much as 20% interest and switching it to something that does not charge interest and when it does kick into interest it will be to the tune of around 6%. It will save a lot of money.

And if we continue to pay on our debt, there will be a lot paid off before I graduate. Once I do graduate, Doug and I have agreed to use my salary to pay off debt fast!

Really we are just holding on and doing the best we can until the end of 2011. 2011 is going to be a fantastic year! That will also give me a full year of paying on debt before Doug's stock in Winco matures. I am really looking forward to that. We have lots of plans. We will possibly be buying a house and land with that money (securing our home base so to speak). We should be able to pay the house completely off and maybe just make payments on the land (I want AT LEAST 5 Acres). Or perhaps Doug will be starting his own business. It really depends on how the economy is looking, and how happy Doug is where he is working.

I think he should continue to work at Wells Fargo and work up the ladder there. I think it is a great job with lots of potential.

Anyway- as much as I hate feeling broke all the time- I am so happy to have debt being paid off! Yay!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I called my academic adviser today to get a pulse on my academic life. It looks like I am on target for a December 2011 graduation! I am really excited about this. I do need to take one class over the summer so that I can take the accounting classes I need in the fall. Otherwise it will set me back a whole year! Yikes. No Thanks! I am so glad I called her!

Also by my calculations- if I can up my weight loss and start losing 2 lbs a week, then I will be at my target weight in time for the BBB Fourth of July Weekend in Idaho! How cool would that be? So I am super motivated to
1) Stay strong in my determination through the semester and

I want to be healthy, fit, strong, vital! I want to be a success in my own life! I am going to graduate and get a great fabulous job that will help enable me to do the things in life that I have dreamed about!

So I guess that means I better stop procrastinating and get to work on reading my business law chapter, eh?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Made my first Debt Payment today

Hi Everyone!

Well, I made a tiny baby step in the right direction today! I paid $100 to a debtor. More is going out later this month and first thing next month! I am SO exited!

Sure, it's not going to be much fun to never have any money. We could use all this debt paying money to eat all organic food and do fun vacations- but how can we truly enjoy ourselves when we know we owe so much to so many other people?

So it's kind of funny. I paid $100 and I updated my debt ticker. That only puts me at 0.3% paid! LOL That sure puts that into perspective about how much we owe! When we get into the full swing of things- when we are paying roughly $600 a month off on debt- that will only be 1.5%!

But then again- each month the perchentage will go down. For example, February's debt number will be $39,670. So $600 off $39,670 is 1.51%....okay so not that big of an improvement but the March's debt will be 39070 and $600 paid off that will be 1.53%.

So even if the percentage each month isn't all that huge- from January to the end of March, if all goes according to plan, we will have paid off 3.34% of our total debt!

So it will be a long road but really worth it. And each time I can pay off a debt in full and say forever goodbye to that debtor- It will be cause for a celebration! In fact I might throw myself a party on the blog and perhaps I will do something fun around the house- like baking cookies! :D

Saturday, January 10, 2009

So Excited!

I am sooo excited. My financial aid check has already been mailed to me! So hopefully it will arrive today! As soon as we get that sucker, we are going shopping at Costco! WOOO HOO! We still have plenty of food in the house, but we had to use all our money to get caught up on bills and we are going to pay more to finish getting caught up. It is soooo nice to have a huge amount of worry lifted off my shoulders!

I am going to sit down after I write this blog and write out how much money it is and how we plan on using it.

Life is good and I am so thrilled to feel like we are moving forward for the first time in a very long time!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Managing the CheckBook and Paying the bills.

I have a love/hate relationship with paying bills. I love the feeling of having it DONE! No need to worry about it any more. But I also hate when
(a) There is not enough money to go around and
(b) the money is gone!

Doug's paycheck hit his account last night and *POOF* It's gone this morning. Because I had to pay bills. Ugh. Normally paying the bills isn't this painful, but we were behind and so we had to pay extra on all of our bills. We even still owe money to our electric company. But our cable bill and our gas heat bill is paid. We even have a few more days to pay on the electric bill so we will be fine.

Here I sit. We are deeply in debt, budgeting like maniacs, and finally, FINALLY some financial wisdom is starting to seep in.

Doug still has $70 something dollars left in his savings account. His paycheck automatically diverts 10% to the savings account each pay period. So, while I could pull that money out and use it to pay more on our overdue electric bill, is it not wiser to listen to the old advice that says "PAY YOURSELF FIRST"!!

There have been several times especially this past year where we could have really used a "rainy days" bank account. It could have saved our bacon several times if we had just never touched the savings and probably would have saved us banking fees and such too. In other words- our attempt to be economical and use every drop of money that came our way backfired and cost us more money in the long run.

So the money stays in savings. The savings is linked to the checking account so if Doug does manage to bounce a check, he has a back up cushion. But we both have agreed to ignore our respective savings accounts. We are going to be both saving up some money each month and hopefully that will help us get into a cheaper and better rental come Spring or Fall!

I guess until recently I always thought "If I owe people money- how can I justify keeping some in savings?" But this past year has shown me that having some money in savings saves you from having to owe people in the first place!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Uh Oh!

Have you ever had that thing- you know that thing that is really important.... like a birth certificate...that you never use but you see all the time so you "tuck it away" in a safe place? Then the time comes that you really need it and... you can't remember where that safe place is?

Yup. I can't find my birth Certificate!!! I need it so I can switch my driver's license from Idaho to Montana so I can get cheaper tuition!!! So guess what I am doing tonight? Ripping and cleaning the house from top to bottom until I find it!

Yesterday my vacuum was not working well so I checked the bag and sure enough- it was full. Really full. But I was out of bags, Doug doesn't get paid till Friday and the carpet really really needed attention. So I cut the bottom out, cleaned out the bag and taped it back together again. The vacuum is working great again and the carpet looks so much better. And today when I was opening a box looking for my birth certificate- I found an extra bag!!! Hurray! But I think my duct tape job on the first bag will last a while longer so I am going to save the bag until I am done with this current cleaning spree. Then I am going to figure out how to wash the cloth outer bag to the vacuum (I have an old Kirby) and then it will be all spruced up for the next 6 months or so! :D

I ran errands today. I dropped Nora off at daycare for about an hour and half. Not long- just long enough for THEM to feed her not me! (Hurray for me!) and long enough for her to get to play with some kids about her own age.

It was nice to be able to run errands and not have to worry about watching a toddler. I think it went much faster.

Well I guess I had better get back to cleaning and looking for my birth certificate. I have until Friday to get my driver's license changed. Wish me luck!!

So What's the Plan?

I told you all a few days ago how in debt our little family is. Scary, huh?

So what's the plan?

This week is a pay week and bill have got to get paid! It is also the week that the college is going to release funds to me! Oh happy, happy day! I am very very excited!

I am going to put my check in the bank and pretend it isn't there, then I am going to wait for the second check to come later this month and once those two are in the bank together getting chummy- I am going to start calling everyone on my credit report. I am going to pay one of entirely since I know it is only $36. So that company might get more than their share this month, but it will reduce the accounts I have to divide the money between next month.

So the progress will be slow- but I am hoping to see progress on my credit report within 6 months. I can't wait until my credit starts climbing instead of falling!

Then, after buying books and buying staple foods for the next 5 months, I am going to see if I have anything left over from my school money. If I do I am going to use it to "cannonball" some of my debts. I know that isn't going to actually lessen my overall debt amount, but it will reduce the overall interest I will be paying.

I know I have 5 months before I can go get a full time job for the summer. I am really looking forward to that now. It will be wonderful t0 be able to toss money at debt and watch it shrink rapidly! And next semester should bring an improvement in my financial aid status! Hurray!

More tips on how to clean like a housekeeper

-Tie a medium sized garbage sack to your belt loop. Don't put goopy or gross garbage in this one- that's just asking to up the ick factor, but it's great to toss junk mail into and other such benign garbage.

-When vacuuming take a second afterwards to attach the hose. Use the one with a brush on it (not the rotating brush if you have that attachment) and use it to dust your base boards and around door frames. You vacuum can also get those pesky cobwebs from the corners and walls!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Cleaning Tips from A Housekeeper

I used to clean people's houses for a living. I learned to streamline my cleaning routines to stay within time constraints, but I have a hard time doing this in my own house as I don't have a time limit.

So I thought it might encourage me to get back to my good habits by sharing some tips with you all!

Tip 1-
Gather dirty things into their washing places.
- So run around the house and collect all dishes into the kitchen sink area. If you have more than one load that is fine.
- Get all dirty laundry into laundry room.

Okay so now the house is looking a bit tidier already because you have gotten two things that seem to drift all over the house into piles.

Tip 2-
If things need to soak- get them started next. Soaking will reduce the amount of elbow grease needed to get things done.
-The tile in the bathroom is looking pretty grody? Spray it with cleaner, and in places if you can, soak rags with cleaner and pile around deposits.
-reduce water out of toilet bowl and line inside of toilet with rags soaked in vinegar. This will loosen up mineral deposits and disinfect at the same time.
-take off shower nozzle and soak it in vinegar to eat away hard water deposits.
-get those greasy pots and pans soaking in hot water.
-stained clothes? Get them soaking in washer as well.

Tip 3-
If you have machines- use them. Get all dishwashers, clothes washers etc going at the same time. Let the machine clean things while you work on non automated tasks.

Tip 4-
Don't take clean things into a dirty room. Clean the staging areas of the automated tasks while the machines run.

-Why fold laundry in a dirty laundry room? If you drop that sock on the floor it will just need to be washed again. Or if you fold in the living room- same goes there. Why set clean shirts on a dusty surface?

Tip 5-
Wear either an apron with utility sized pockets or jeans with pockets. Always have a dusting cloth handy. If you are going up and down stairs, why not dust the hand rail as you go instead of making a special trip for it?

Well- let me know what you think so far. I will post more as I think about them. I am going to follow my own advice today and apply to our house! It needs it!

Sick Baby Sick Husband

Yesterday at 3:30 Nora woke me up crying. She had thrown up all over herself, the bed, and the wall. Of course I had just jumped out of bed so I wasn't quite thinking clearly. At first I thought she just needed put back into bed. And then when I smelled it, I though- "Oh Diaper!" But when I picked her up I yelled for Doug. Why? For the past 4 days our hot water has been broken. We have been having to go up and down these really dangerous stairs to the root cellar/basement to shut off the water main. If the main was left on- water was pouring out of the hot water tap non stop.

So anyway- I had to yell for Doug to come help. He went and turned the water on for me and we got Nora taking a bath while I stripped down her bed and made a nest for her on the couch. Poor baby was so sick and she couldn't hold anything down at all. She had never thrown up before so she was feeling understandably scared and confused.

Finally mid morning she was able to eat some Jell-o, hold down liquids and then she even ate some Carrot Cake!

To top it off- I finally tried to fix the shower by myself and it worked! So no more having to run to the scary basement 100 times a day! Plus hot water to cook and clean with! Even better!

Then Doug comes home at 3:30 after working only half a day. He started throwing up at work. Ick. So then Doug was home and getting sick here and Nora was on the mend.

Lets just hope that the fever and diarrhea I had Saturday and Sunday was me fighting off this flu bug.

On a plus note- everything in the house is getting cleaned and sanitized which it needed anyway!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Harsh Realities

Well, I have decided it is time to face up to some harsh realities. Doug and I both need to get healthy in both body and finances. We are seriously over our head in debt and things need to change drastically for our family to become successful.

Without doing an exact accounting our family is somewhere between $30,000 and $40,000 in debt. Yup. Ouch. I think that deserves a double ouch.

So why are we so far in debt? Doug went to school for roughly 3.5 years on student loans and then as things didn't quite work out for many reasons- the loans didn't get put into a deferred state and have since defaulted. And since they are currently in default- we can't do much except pay with astronomical interest rates until after 6-9 months they are eligible to be re-written into a consolidation loan.

In addition to that, we ran up some consumer bad debt living in Moscow due to bad economy and bad decisions. Oddly enough it is relatively easy to ignore bills when you just don't have the money to pay them. The bad side of that is that eventually you have to pay them or people start getting ugly to you. People are being ugly.

We want to take care of our debts. Right now some of the student loan places are going to garnish Doug's pay and seize any income tax return that comes our way. Plus if we live really tight- and I mean the budget screaming in protest each month- we could very possibly put around $600 towards debt each month. That will put us at about a 5.5 year pay period until we are out of debt free and clear- a bit less if we actually stick to the budget as close as we can because of the Income Tax returns being nabbed. Also we are planning on Nora going to some sort of preschool/daycare during May/June/July/August so I can get a full time job and work. If I can make an additional $1000 a month that would really help a lot too!

So by my calculations if we can pay $600 a month plus a $2000 return and $4000 earned over the summer... then that would drop our total pay off to only 3.5 years.

Over the years the stress has really taken it's toll on our bodies. We have gained weight and lost energy. Starting Monday morning I will be returning to the gym. I am going to work out a plan and go every day to the gym from 5 to 7 or 8 (until my workout is done and give myself some cool down time).

Our house needs to get clean and stay organized and I need to have another great semester at school.

My Beautiful Nora Girl

Nora's Musings