Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Plenty to Say

I have not been posting, it's true.  I have a lot to say; but most of it is too risky to write about for another week or two.  I will be back.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Budget Babe

To all Budget Babe's fans out there:  get lost!  I am the anti-babe this month! I'm so sad.  I suck.  I thought I was going along just fine.  But then I glanced down at the dashboard for a split second, and my progress skidded to a halt. 

I guess I should just be grateful that neither my metaphorical nor my actual airbags deployed.

The good news was that I came in under or spot-on my budget for utilities, food and gasoline.  A miracle, since I spent most of the month driving any other car but my own:  my friend Cliff's Toyota Sienna mini-van (I learned when I went to gas it, that it has a 250 gallon tank); Chuck's Franken Audi; and a rental car (which I rather enjoyed not least of all because the Enterprise rental car guy was cute and flirted outrageously with me.)

I budgeted $600 for the trip to Mexico, and ended up spending $540.  And NO!  I don't have to feel guilty about Mexico, because I paid for it from the special savings account named "Fun!".  I have another named "Oh, Shit". It has money in it for me to live off in case of disaster.  Mom said I should have enough in there to get me through 6 months without an income.  Now that I have been crunching the numbers for almost a year, I realize that this account holds enough to support me for...more like... three months.  I need to sock some more away there!  But not this month.  Then I have an account called "Serious".  This is where I put the money Si gives me every month as he gradually buys me out of my share of the house.  With it, I will buy my own house one of these days.

He has managed to refinance the mortgage, and I am no longer on it.  While I was, I was unable to get credit, because it appeared on paper that my expenditures far outstripped my earnings.  I tried to explain to my bank that I was on the mortgage, but not paying it; they clucked sympathetically, and told me to come back for a credit card after Si's refi.  I'm fortunate  that I have a credit card from my married days.

I digress.  This month, it is all about the smooshed up Fiat.  $718.74.  Oh, I am grateful to that little gecko with the pratty Essex accent.  (Sorry, friends from Essex...)  Geico has been perfect:  the total cost of repair was $6,900, and I paid $500.  Yes, I know that when it is time to renew in July, I will be singing a different tune.  But for now, I will pay my $500 and sing the praises of that little lizard.  $500 deductible on my insurance; then $218.74 for 9 days of rental car. 

There really weren't any other unbudgeted expenses, except renewal of my little blog widget that shows me who has visited me. 

I spent more than I earned by $400.  Sad.  If I hadn't crashed the Fiat, I would have had about $300 to put in my "Fun!" account.  Instead, I will be tightening my belt.  Two notches, because I already know that next month's edition of Budget Babe will be called, "Uncle Sam gets so much of my ass that my tax preparer is afraid to call me".  I hope you tune in for that one.  Same bat-time; same bat-station.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

April Begins in Pictures

April begins in pictures this time, because I messed up yesterday and didn't remember to take photos consistently, all day.  And these, I find uninspiring.  I'm sorry to say that I am still suffering a little absence of effort when it comes to my blog.  

 Gloomy and miserable today.  Thank goodness that the overhang on my little porch is glass, so some light gets into the apartment.

Kitchen made more cheerful by flowers.


 The kids wanted allowance, but all I had were fives.
 "In the Garden of Beasts", by Erik Larson
 We're so close to the movies that we can walk. Something tells me the kids would have preferred to drive...

 The Hunger Games!  Oh, long-awaited day in Sara's life!

 Hmmm... How does this look for supper?
 Calling a few last students to start in the new quarter of the Monday / Wednesday ESL program.


 We went up to Aloha Road to watch the women's semi-final of the NCAA Championships:  Notre Dame vs. University of Connecticut.  Chuck asked us to come over because the star of the Notre Dame team is named Skylar Diggins.  Any relation?  Possibly, but it would have to be the African American side of the family.  I forgot to take pictures of us during the game - I always forget when I'm around Chuck.  Suffice to say we had fun.

 We played with toy swords after the game.  Toni really wanted to be in on it, so Cliff (Chuck's friend and the owner of the Aloha house) handed her a sword and found that she can spar pretty well.

 It was delicious, but it NEVER looks like the fucking magazine, does it?

 Some chores just have to be done, even by us glamorous, jet-setting types.

And if cleaning the fridge weren't glamorous enough...