Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sunday plans

We all slept in this morning in hopes of recovering from the past few days and to improve our moods. It worked. The house chores are done. We all had various things for lunch as I told everyone to have what they could find.

My son finished off the last of the honey nut cheerios. My daughter finished off the last of the pasta that was left over from last night. I had a tomato sandwich on an onion roll. My husband opted to have ramen noodles. My daughter opted to have a bowl of chicken noodle soup.

My kids helped and did all their chores. I do not give my kids allowances because I feel that they are to do chores because we have to work together as a family. My middle daughter and my son cleaned the cat box. All three kids sorted through the recycling and put everything in the garage. My son took out the trash and put it in the trash container in the garage.

My middle daughter washed the kitchen floor with a bit of water and a very small amount of spic and span, I told her to use less than a cap full of spic and span as funds are tight and we are trying to make things last. I washed two of the kids blankets from their beds and hung them over the dining room chairs to dry.

My husband cleaned our bathroom. The kids are in charge of cleaning their own bathroom.

We are going to our cousin's house for dinner tonight. We are bringing the protein and using some of the grocery package from my mother in law. We are bringing the four small steaks and two containers of frozen "red smashed potatoes" that came in the grocery package. Our cousin and her family are supplying burgers and hot dogs for the kids. There are five kids and four adults. They are supplying canned corn and beans. It should be a great evening.

I took our a package of ground beef to make hamburgers tomorrow for the five of us. I have one fresh tomato left, a couple of hamburger buns from the bread store, and a package of onion rolls for the burgers. I am also going to make some potato salad tomorrow morning to have with our burgers. I don't have a grill or anything like that so we use the oven a lot.

I am hoping that everyone has a good day.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

What's been happening?

Wednesday, my mother in law had two boxes of groceries delivered to us from Ohama Steaks. I was so surprised. Immediately we put the food in the freezer. There was two packages of pork ribs, one package of four filet, two packages of frozen smashed potatoes, two packages of frozen seasoned green beans, four packages of mini meat loaves, and some various other gifts. It was amazing and everything looks great in the freezer. Wednesday we just stayed at home and ended up having a bit of a disagreement about the budget.

Thursday, my husband and his cousins took us all out to historic mount dora. There are a lot of shops, paved areas for walking, and a lot of time to sit and enjoy each other's company. His cousins took us out for lunch. I attempted to pay with the cash we had in our budget and I was told to keep the money. I ended up having a chicken salad on wheat bread and it was pretty good. My kids had hot dogs. My husband had some potato salad and a grilled cheese with tomato sandwich. Overall it was a pleasant day and we ended up enjoying everyone's company.

Thursday night was a bit difficult. I ended up watching a movie with my husband in our room and I didn't get to bed until almost 1 AM which is very late for me. I am usually in bed before 8:30 which really hasn't happened since I got to our new home in Florida two weeks ago.

Friday morning, I got up and was ready to take my daughter to her job interview. She wanted to wait until 11:30 to leave and I tried to explain to her that we may get lost, traffic, etc etc, but in her world these things are not an issue. Go Figure.

The realtor called me on Friday morning to tell me that I had to finish paying the water/sewer and electric bill on our house before closing on August 21st. She said that it should have already should have bene paid. Well I tried to explain that I used all my savings to move and had not recieved my PTO yet from work. Needless to say, I was able to get the two bills paid. I have 68 dollars in my checking account left and have to pay my mother in law back for the electric bill expense. I called the realtor and gave her the confirmation numbers and sent an online statement to her email address also.

The title company and the realtor called me again before we left the house to take my daughter to her interview. They stated that I had to sign one last document before closing on Monday, August 21st. I explained to them that I was not in Virginia anymore and that the document would have to be signed digitally or electronically. Apparently that is a problem because both of these ladies stated that I would have to come to Virginia to sign the paperwork. I explained to them that I did not have the money to come to Virginia and that this would have to be worked out because I am not in a better financial spot than I was prior to finishing up paying the sewer/water/electric bill on the house. They gave me a difficult time about not being able to fly to Virginia. I told them that this was their concern because I had been in contact with them since June (while I was still living in Virginia) and told them repeatedly that I was leaving to go to Florida to be with my family on August 5th (after my last day of work). My realtor knew this and I called her twice the last week I was in Virginia to make sure that she was aware that I would be leaving the state since she told me that if there was anything left to sign it could be done electronically.

I was not in the best mood since I spent the night before watching a movie with my husband on Netflix (he pays for that), didn't sleep well, spent all day Thursday walking around a historic village, had gotten up early to get my kid to her interview, and had the previous phone call about the utilities.

I told the realtor and the title company that this was their concern and that they would have to figure out how to get the document to me since apparently it would not be emailed or faxed. I spoke to them at 11 olcock and they did not get back to me until Friday afternoon at 4:45 when they told me that they were going to send a currier to my home that was a notary to assist with signing of the document. FINE.

My daughter had a job interview in Orlando yesterday at Universal studios. This is a 51 minute drive with numerous tolls one way. We left the house at 1130 yesterday and her interview was at 12:45. We did not leave Universal Studios until 5 pm and did not get home last night until after 6 oclock due to the traffic.

She earned herself a seasonal part time job from now until the first week of November. Universal is hosting a Halloween Adventure House or something like that. Even though there is a commute and tolls involved I was proud of her for presenting herself and standing out from the hundreds of job hunters at the job fair.

Friday night my husband and my middle DD baked the pork spare ribs and heated up some frozen veggies. They also had made a cake for dessert (boxed mix with frosting). I ate dinner, cleaned up part of the house, and ended up having a disagreement with my husband about our house, the closing date, and why I didn't finish paying the utility and focused on the rent for September instead. I explained to him that I was afraid closing would have been pushed back and I wanted to make sure that the rent for September was paid in full to prevent any issues. Needless to say, he said that I was very anxious and should have known that closing would go as scheduled.

I ended up going to my room, taking a shower, and watching another movie before I fell asleep.
Yesterday was a very long day.

Saturday!! Finally a day that I could stay home. I ended up taking the meat off the whole bird I cooked earlier this week and made chicken salad with it using half an older onion, three stalks of celery, spices, mayo, and a small amount of mustard. I had two chicken breast in the fridge thawed. I put them in a baking pan with the rest of the onion, two cloves of garlic, and the last bit of spaghetti sauce in the jar I found in the fridge. I baked this for a little over an hour in a covered casserole dish and shredded the chicken when it was finished. I will add some more sauce and top it with some cheese in a little bit. I am going to boil some pasta and make a small salad to go with it for dinner.
The bones form the whole bird, the veggie scraps, and everything else was put into the crock pot and simmered all day. In about another hour I will take it all out and strain it. I will have a nice bowl of chicken stock for the freezer.

I stayed home all day. I pulled bedsheets off everyone's beds and put them in the wash. They will be dried eventually and put back on beds. I turned the air from 78 degrees to 77 because it is so humid in the house. I asked my husband to find a dehumidifier that we may need to purchase.

I am meeting with a realtor on Wednesday to see what kind of information I can get about buying our "retirement forever home". This will be the home that we will grow old in and will maintain us in our senior years. I am not buying a home on Wednesday but just getting some much needed beginning information.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Air conditioning

The house we are renting is 1800 sq feet with four bedrooms, two bathrooms, dining room, kitchen, living room, and utility room. It is an open floor plan. It also has a garage. The garage is kept closed and locked. It is very warm in there and does not have air conditioning. We keep the door locked in the utility room to prevent air conditioning from going through to the garage. The stove is electric and we use the dish washer once a day.

We have kept the air at 78 degrees. We have five ceiling fans running to help circulate air movement.

Our first electric bill came and it is 188 dollars. We moved from a town house of 1333 sq feet, three bedrooms, two baths, no garage, and open floor plan for the living room, dining room, and kitchen.

This bill does not include the dryer that the property manager bought and had installed on Sunday.

Our town house had electric costs of about 150 a month because my husband would keep the air conditioning at about 70 to 75 and we used to use the dryer frequently.

The lease states that clothes lines are not allowed. I used to have a drying rack but it did not come with the move because of the shape that it is was in. It was breaking and falling apart.

Does anyone have experience with a home that is 1800 square feet and know if this is an accurate electric bill for a family of five? Our water is heated by electricity. My son takes a shower every night. I take a shower or bath every OTHER night, my oldest daughter takes a shower every morning, and my middle daughter takes a shower every OTHER night. My husband will take a shower every day or every other day depending on how he feels when he wakes up.

I am considering turning the air conditioning up to 79 degrees and continue to use ceiling fans. I am looking for input from folks to see if this is a reasonable bill or not. We lived in our town house for 15 years in Virginia and are used to the utility payments. This is our first electric bill for the rental home.

Wednesday happenings

Well, I heard back from our realtor and she stated that our old house is still scheduled for closing on August 21st. This is a very hard time and is stressful because I didn't really understand everything that went into selling a house and moving across country from Virginia to Florida. I haven't heard back from my new job yet to see if I can start early. I am assuming that it is not going to happen since I have contacted them twice last week. I am scheduled for a employee health physical on August 24th and start hospital orientation September 18th.

We received a refund check from our old cable company in the amount of 148 dollars. I asked my husband to put it in his account and I would be able to transfer 100 of the money to my account to put towards September's rent. I have paid 875 so far towards September's rent and will get my last two day pay check tomorrow by direct deposit into my account. That money will go straight towards September's rent and hopefully will have closing next week to help offset the budget.

I still have some Virginia bills to finish paying. I have all ready budgeted and paid for the first month's round of utility bills since my family has been here since July 12th and moved in on the 15th of July.

The dishwasher has been started. The counters wiped off. I found a "running toilet" in my kids bathroom and have emailed the property management company and send in a maintenance request to get this fixed. The last thing I want is a high water bill for something that is easily fixed. I looked in the tank I am not sure if it is the gasket or seal that is making the water run. It is stated in my lease that they respond to maintenance and tenant requests pretty quickly.

The kids are own their own for breakfast. Lunch is going to be sandwiches (lunch meat with cheese/PBJ/ or hotdogs).

Dinner tonight is french toast using bread ends, milk, and the last few eggs we have in the fridge. We are also going to have pork sausage patties. (I may attempt to make sausage gravy if I am able to. I have never made it before, but it would help keep the pantry filled).

Other than that we are staying home today. I would like to finish the cup of decaf tea I made. My son called me a "big fat meanie" because I reminded him that he needs to put his shorts (his only beloved pair) in the laundry to be washed tonight.  If my only concern was being a "big fat meanie" because I wanted to wash my autistic son's (he's 19) clothes I would be OK!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tuesday dinner

We bought a whole chicken from Publix for a total of 6 dollars. I am going to have to look at the price per pound when I open it. I am going to put this in the crock pot with carrots, celery, and some spices. I don't want to put potato in it since we have eaten so many potatoes this weekend.

I am going to offer a small salad to go with dinner tonight. We have some green leaf lettuce, tomato, and cucumber that I bought on Sunday that we can use. The dressing is either generic buttermilk ranch or generic thousand island for those who would want some.

Monday & Tuesday happenings

I was determined not to go anywhere yesterday. I eventually did go to the park with my husband and my one daughter. My other daughter and son did not want to go so they stayed home. Our property manager delivered the dryer on Sunday and we did use it for three loads of laundry yesterday. I didn't do much yesterday as I wanted to get some rest.

I folded two loads of laundry from the other day (my husband had taken it to the laundry mat before the dryer arrived) and folded the three from yesterday.

Breakfast yesterday: cereal (cheerios and milk)
Lunch yesterday: Left overs (choices of grilled chicken, pork with mushroom sauce, salad, potato salad, corn casserole, and/or baked potatoes)
Dinner yesterday: Left overs continued as lunch offerings.

As you know food is expensive and we are not thrilled to throw food away. This is what we have left from our weekend meals:

three baked potatoes
some mushroom sauce
two grilled chicken tenderloin
a small amount of pork

We will finish this off today for lunches.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunday Happenings

The property manager of the rental house had a new electric dryer delivered for us. It came this morning from Lowe's. It did not have the clamps and we bought them ourselves. The cost was 1.98 for a pack of two. My husband was able to get them on the dryer connector to the ventilation hose.

Well, managing two household budgets is difficult. I had about 580 dollars in my checking until Thursday when I get my last two day pay from my old job. I am still waiting on my PTO to be paid out. I emailed the realtor to make sure we are still scheduled for closing on August 21st. She stated that it was still scheduled and planned for that day. I paid the old water bill from Virginia (we still have a balance and this will be paid off when we get the house closed), I paid the new water bill from Florida, and I paid the new electric bill from Florida. I paid an old doctor bill from Virginia.

My husband's cousins are coming over for dinner and bringing their two adult boys. They told me that they are bringing grilled chicken tenders, baked potatoes, and corn casserole. I told then that I will have buttered green beans (frozen), potato salad that I made today, and vanilla cupcakes for those who want some kind of dessert. I will also make a plain simple salad (green leaf lettuce, fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and celery.
I stopped at the grocery store Publix. I still have to find out what stores are in the area. I have been here a week yesterday and my husband stated that there is a Winn Dixie in town, an Aldi in another town about 15 minutes away, a dollar store (I love dollar stores), plus I believe that there is a Save a Lot.

Here's what I bought this morning:
Gallon of generic milk 3.79
2 liter soda 0.99 (BOGO)
lb carrots 0.99
one whole chicken publix generic brand 6.00 a bird
cupcake holders 0.99
one cucumber 0.75
turkey breast/ham slices lunch meat 5.99
two packages of ground beef 4.95, 4.95 (each pound was 3.99 YIKES!!!!!)
one bag of frozen califlower/brocolli mix 1.95
one frozen soup mix (frozen veggies )1.95
3 lb hot dogs 4.39 (YIKES!)
2 liter soda (BOGO)
fresh tomatoes 1.29 lb bought almost two pounds worth 2.30
generic fabric softner sheets 1.59 (we will use each one twice)
Cheerios (BOGO) 3.83
Cheerios (BOGO)
Green leaf lettuce (1.69)
10 lg leg quarters 7.90
two gallons of spring water .86  .86
2 liter soda (BOGO)   0.99
two liter soda (BOBO)
5 chocolate bars

We spent a total of 69.15 with taxes included. We have spices, many baking items, fresh potatoes, three packages of frozen veggies, three small packages of chicken breast, numerous loaves of bread, half a box of generic rice krispies, some box mixes of rice, granola bars, four eggs, condiments, two boxes of pasta, and three jars of spaghetti sauce. My husband bought this prior to my arrival and I have been using what he has in the cabinets and adding to it to make meals. I am hoping that we can get through the next two or three weeks with what we have. I would like to get our finances in order and finish paying off Virginia household budget stuff, while beginning the budget for our new home in Florida. I paid a portion of our rent at the beginning of the month for September. My pay this week will go straight to the September rent.

Some times I wonder if we made the right decision to move but we are here now and that is where we are going to stay. Things will improve when the house closes and I can get the bills paid off. I requested to start early at my job on Thursday and hoping to hear back from HR this week. That would make life much easier instead of waiting until September 18th.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Dinner tonight

Well, it's official. I have been in Florida a week now and my family has been in Florida a month. I have to say that it is very difficult to be apart from each other. I had to stay behind to finish school and put in my clinical hours for the last course I was taking. I also had to finish the last three weeks at my old job. I ended up staying at my friend's house for three weeks while my family was in Florida since our house was on the market and it sold in 48 hours.

Dinner tonight will be easy. I already have the crock pot on and put in the only package of pork chops I found in the freezer. There's 6 in the package which will be just the right amount for the five of us and leaves one left over for who ever wants it. I sliced up one whole onion, put the pork in the crock pot with some garlic powder, and one can of mushroom soup that I added some water to.

This is going to cook all day. I have some unopened long grain rice that we can put in the steamer later and will simmer some green beans from the freezer. We still have some mixed fruit left that needs to be finished today.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Today's frugal activities

Breakfast: scrambled eggs (we each had two)

Dinner: one thin sliced chicken breast marinated and breaded (dollar store bread crumbs), left over steamed broccoli from the other night, a "flavored chicken" rice kit, fresh fruit from the fridge that needs to go, and left over carrot cake (a very small portion) for those who want it.

I cut the grass in the front and back yard, and sides of the house. It was a big job and took about 45 minutes. The house was vacuumed. Cat box cleaned, four loads of laundry washed, and recycling sorted. I broke down some of the boxes that we unpacked and they are stacked in the garage for next Thursday (which is our recycling day). The kitchen floor was mopped. All I have left to do is vacuum the dining room after dinner. The kids loaded and unloaded the dishwasher this morning.

The property manager is going to have a dryer delivered over the weekend. I have four loads of laundry drying over chairs and I may have my husband go to the laundry mat to use two of their dryers. Our old drying rack was broken so we didn't take it for the move to Florida. I was looking over our lease this morning and clothes lines are not permitted in the backyard. I wish they were.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Simple things

OK, so my family has been here (husband and kids since July 12th) and I have been here since Saturday, August 5th.

We had the following meals this week so far:
Sunday Lunch: Tacos with trimmings (cheese, tomato, salsa)
Sunday Dinner: Oven baked chicken wings, mashed potatoes, fruit bowl, and birthday cake.
Monday Lunch: Hot dogs, fruit bowl
Monday Dinner: More oven baked chicken wings, left over taco stuff, left over mashed potatoes
Tuesday Breakfast: Generic Rice Krispies with fat free milk
Tuesday Dinner: Broccoli, thin sliced potatoes, and two chicken breast sliced thin, marinated and breaded.
Wednesday Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, canned hash
Wednesday Dinner: Lunch meat sandwiches, fruit
Thursday Breakfast: Generic Rice Krispies, fat free milk
Thursday Lunch: Grilled cheese and the last two sliced tomato sandwiches (no tomato for the kids)
Thursday Dinner: We went out for Chick Fil A since we were going to walk around the park.

We have been to the park several times to walk around. It is a very nice place to enjoy outside. We have been riding around the area looking at options for housing in the community (we will buy I believe once the old house closes).

I emailed my new employer to see if I could move up my start date from September 18th. I am waiting to hear back from them to see if this is possible.

We do not have a clothes dryer. The property company is supposed to have one delivered on Sunday. I emailed the company today for the second time to see when it would be delivered. In the meantime, we are washing clothes in cold water and hanging clothes over the dining room chairs until they are dry.

Trash pick up is twice a week (Monday and Thursday mornings). We have always taken our household trash to the community landfill when we were living in Virginia. Town trash pick up is new for us and I can not say enough about it. We also have recycling pick up on Monday mornings. They weigh your recycling and you earn points to use on city goods when you accumulate enough. I would like to see free admission to events in the area as a perk. I understand that recycling is mandated, and not opposed to it. We recycled in Virginia and did all of the hauling ourselves. I am really liking the recycling and trash pick up. We put two huge cardboard boxes out with all the boxes we used for unpacking inside and those were picked up also.

The house is 1800 square feet, one level, 4 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, and has a two car garage. My husband has his car in the garage. I am nervous about putting mine in the garage because I may have trouble backing it out. I am not the most skilled driver.

We have central air. The blinds are closed in the house from about 10 am until about 6 pm. WE also have five ceiling fans that we use to help circulate air. The central air is on 78. The house is all electric too.

It's been a long time.

Well, it's been a long time. I finally finished the MSN degree this week. All of my kids are graduated high school and we have moved from Virginia to Florida. We are waiting for August 21 to arrive because we sold our house in Virginia!! August 21st is the closing date. I have a new job waiting at the hospital in this area and I am patiently for the board of nursing to accept my background screening and fingerprinting that I completed.

My last day at my old job was August 5th. I am going to receive all of my vacation time back (about 270 hours) at my base rate of pay (32.78) minus taxes, retirement, and health insurance. I have another two day pay coming next week to be direct deposited.

The fees with moving were astronomical. We paid a moving company, paid for new paint and carpeting in our old house, paid the rent and security deposit for the new rental home, background checks (for five), pet deposit, and a four night stay in a hotel while we were getting the painting and carpet down in the old house.

There's been so much money from my savings account that we used to finance the move. We did not put anything on a credit card (I don't have any, but my husband has one).

Once the house closes we will be considering whether to buy again or to continue renting long term. We are waiting for the first round of bills to come for the new house (utilities). We have to change the two vehicle registrations, we got updated insurance information from our old company, they are just going to transfer it to Florida, and we have to finish paying a few bills from Virginia.

The goal is to close on the old house, put some money back in savings (we have none at the moment due to the move), establish residency, and get our finances in order. I have health insurance until the end of August. I will get employer sponsored health insurance 60 days after my start date of September 18th, 2017. We have all of our prescriptions filled, been to the dentist, got all of our needed appointments done before leaving Virginia.