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The sun was shining today.

January 26th, 2010 at 03:42 pm

I had just typed up a brilliant post...and then clicked on something and it vanished. Sigh.

We met with our attorney today. The bankruptcy proceedings have begun. March 1 is when we're officially turning a new leaf and can start over with a clean slate.

I saw a few local part-time positions in the paper and on Craig's List today. I will go apply to those places and more on Saturday when I have some free time. Work gets in the way of me finding more work. LOL I already checked into putting more hours in where I currently am, and there's nothing available.

DH seems optimistic after we've left the lawyer. I'm glad. He's been stressing for over a year and I hope he is able to find a job that is less stressful for him. One that doesn't require any paperwork to come home would be nice too!

The next thing to work on is me.

January 16th, 2010 at 12:43 pm

I gotta get my weight under control. I have no desire to exercise, no desire to change my eating habits, but can't stand how I look and feel. I know I must do something.

I'm an emotional eater, and with the recent stress from DH closing the business, work issues, and life in general, I know that's the reason why I've been overeating. I like to feel full. Feeling full makes me content. It is also making me fat.

I read an article that explained you need to train yourself to desire other ways to make yourself feel content. I know exactly what I need to do - get back to sewing. I always love sewing and needlework, but just haven't had the time. It's like yoga to me - I feel serene and at peace. But whenever I think about going to sew...then the other things come up (stuff to do around the house, bills to pay, other places to go rather than be home). The same with exercise. I know I should get up early to exercise, but I can't get up early. Why? I end up staying up late and sleep is at a premium for me. So, I get up as late as I possibly can before I have to go to work. What a vicious cycle I've entered!

I think what I will do is schedule in my calandar exercise time and sewing time, like they're a regular appointment I need to keep. I will start this tomorrow. I will be going out to eat with my dad and step-mother tomorrow (their treat - for my birthday) so I will be sure to exercise in the morning.

I always function best with structure and sticking to a schedule. I've been off schedule for a while now, so this is long overdue!

Thank you!

January 14th, 2010 at 06:51 pm

Thanks for your prayers. My friend's daughter was found and is returning home. The entire community is overjoyed with this news! She is injured, and will recover.


January 13th, 2010 at 04:18 pm

Please send prayers for my friends who have a daughter in Haiti. She was with a group that arrived on the island hours before the earthquake struck, and although some members of her group have been found and are safe, we have had no word yet of her survival.

Also please send prayers to the people of Haiti, so that they may once again have hope after having faced such disparity in their lives.

Nearly there!

January 12th, 2010 at 04:50 pm

DH brought the rest of the paperwork to the lawyer today. We hope that's the last pieces of information we need to put together. Now to wait to hear when our court date is to file bankruptcy and start over.

For the past week DH has been the head dishwasher and cook...though I can tell it's not as easy to do as he thought it was. "What should we have for dinner tomorrow?" is a question I get asked nightly. He's also used up a few items in the pantry and hasn't written them on the grocery list (I still shop, because the store is on the way home from work). I already got the "hey, how come you didn't buy X?" Gotta write it on the list! He's learning slowly. Keeping house isn't necessary an easy job, he's finding out. He's learning that quickly and I think he's getting a new appreciation for those who can smoothly run a household.

Mid-week check-in

January 6th, 2010 at 05:00 pm

Boy, I've been suffering from a cold, and all I want to do is sleep! It certainly seems like that alarm goes off earlier and earlier every day. I'm planning on heading to bed earlier than normal tonight to see if I can catch up on some much needed sleep.

DH has been working steadily on getting the paperwork done for the bankruptcy. His goal is to have it all done by this Friday.

He's trying to do his best with being the head cook and dishwasher. I did have to teach him how to make mashed potatoes tonight. I was taken aback when he asked me how to do it. I always thought that was something "everyone" knew how to do...it's been fun anyway. Now it's like we're cooking together (we didn't do that too much in recent history - it was usually just me cooking). I tell him how to do it and he does it. It is kinda weird not doing it, but I'll adjust.

I have to work on Saturday, and we have plans to go to a friend's home on Saturday night to play cards. Sunday my sister wants to take me to lunch for my birthday. Nice that all of it will only cost the gas to get there.

I ran some errands for DH on the way home from work so he didn't need to make the trip and waste gas (as he put it). He's really been careful watching where the money goes since he's been home. He did call unemployment today; it won't be much, but it'll be enough for now. I may pick up a part-time job, but it seem like he'll only need to get something for around $11.50 an hour/$24,000 a year. If he gets more than that, then I won't need to work part-time. Though I still might do that...just to get some money in the bank and/or pay off the lower amount we owe to family.

We've been keeping a positive attitude, and I think that's helping tremendously.


January 3rd, 2010 at 05:40 am

Boy oh boy. I don't think it will ever stop snowing. I live in the northeast, and it's been snowing since last year! But seriously, it began with one storm on New Years Eve, and there's been storm after storm coming through...and it's still snowing now. At least I've had the last few days off from work, so I didn't have to be concerned about road conditions, but I'll need to get back to work tomorrow. That means setting the alarm again! I get fond of sleeping in.

The home office is shaping up and getting back into a room that we can use for us. A friend has a desk to give us; they have a new one (still in the box) and once they get their desk assembled we can come get a "new" desk for us. It's in great shape, and has many more storage options that ours. I should go to their house and help them get their new desk together. It would speed up my office situation!

I'm looking at some Restaurant.com gift certificates I have hanging on the bulletin board...a year or so ago I got the dinner of the month club for some insane price of like $24! I think that one of them would be a great idea for birthday dinner for me. I've got 2 $25 off of $40 for one restaurant (they sell out quick so I had purchased 2) and 2 others for $25 off, but you need to get 2/$35 entrees. I'll talk to DH about going to one of these. Or maybe not go out at all. That would be the cheapest, right?

2010 couldn't have come sooner!

January 2nd, 2010 at 06:54 am

I've let DH sit on the couch and play video games for the last 2 days. To let him destress, enjoy himself and relax. I know it's been difficult for him the past year, so I'm fine that he's doing that.

Come Monday...he's the house husband. He knows this already! He has already asked how to do laundry. I think I'll keep that chore for myself, because I'm rather particular with laundry. But I hate doing dishes...so that's all his!

I was "gifted" a turkey carcass, and made a huge pot of turkey rice soup and canned up 7 quarts of it. That's DH's favorite, so he can have that as a lunch option while he's home. He got me a pressure canner/cooker a few years ago (probably more like 10-15 years ago!) for my birthday, and we both say it was the best $100 ever spent. We both enjoy making and eating soup, but if you want a variety you need to either make small batches or have a freezer full of soup. Canning it has been a blessing. I also use it for canning homemade chili, veggies from the garden, stocks, etc. There are always canning jars to be found somewhere, so this isn't an expensive venture.

Off to make the week's dinner menu. We will be having leftovers today (waste not, want not) and I'll review what we have on hand to figure out what we're having the rest of the week. It'll help the house husband get be more organized. LOL

Today we...

December 30th, 2009 at 05:34 pm

...spoke to the family members we owe money to. I spoke with one, DH spoke with the other. Both are very sad and supportive, and told us that we "didn't have to worry about paying them back right away." I told them I appreciated their kind gestures, but I (and DH) both intend to keep making some sort of payment back to them, and will increase it once DH is back to work.

Everyone's been so kind. I would have thought they'd be angry, but they're not.

The truth of the matter is...

December 29th, 2009 at 03:41 pm

...that we have to file for bankruptcy.

Not what DH and I initially wanted, but unfortunately we need to close the business and move on. Because of the nature of ownership, we have to declare personal bankruptcy. We will be able to keep our home, but all credit card debt will be eliminated. That doesn't even equal half the amount of what we poured into the business the last few years to keep afloat and keep people employed.

Since October we haven't made any credit card payments, and finally we are at the point where we are actually saving money each month. The calls have been never-ending. I recall the lawyer saying to stop making payments...I questioned that, because it was my intent to pay those bills!

What bills do we have now? We still have the income tax due to Uncle Sam that we're paying monthly on. That was due to taking $$ out of our retirement to fund the business earlier in 2008. Because we've been paying on it, it's down to about $9,000.00. We'll be paying that for 5 years total, unless we can come up with some extra money to apply to it.

We'll also be owing to the state - currently to the tune of $30,000.00. DH is working on selling the business. If that happens, the $$ received from the sale will eliminate some of that debt. But we will still have to pay it.

We'll also be paying on our mortgage and home equity line ($115K and $68K respectively). The home equity line was more money used to fund the business, and we had refinanced the house at one point to pay a business loan too.

We also owe our parents - one just under (and not much under) $30K, and the other about $1K. This was all to help fund the business.

DH also needs to find a job. Quickly. He's full aware of that. I will also be looking for something part-time to help lessen the debt load. Now that I won't be busy trying to rob Peter to pay Paul, I will have more time and energy to do so.

We've already decided that there is no need for a credit card (or any loan for that matter) in our future. If we need to get a new car, we will buy it with what we've saved.

Ugh. This all sucks. You know, people say the economy is improving. It certainly isn't. Our lawyer told us of countless people who have to close their businesses and are declaring bankruptcy. Although it's always good to know you're not alone, it's not necessarily a category I wanted to be included in.

Please don't tell me I'm that I am taking the easy way out and I should be responsible for my bills and pay them like an honest person. I really wanted to. But all in all, including business debt, we are nearly a half million dollars in debt. I make $40,000 a year, and my husband's income will be cut off once we close our doors, and it's highly doubtful he's going to find a "good" job right away. Right now we can almost afford to live on my income. Almost.

When we opened our business 7 years ago, we wanted to make an honest living, and give people the means to put food on their table and a roof over their heads. We did provide to the employees, but at the cost of nearly losing all we had. Nice guys really do finish last.

Wishing all Happy Holidays!

December 19th, 2009 at 11:07 am

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanaukkah, Kwanzza, or nothing at all, may peace be with you.

I didn't do it

October 26th, 2009 at 05:08 pm

I was contemplating going out to get myself a lobster for dinner yesterday...but I didn't even leave the house (except to take out the trash). I instead had some salmon that I had in the freezer, along with some squash and garlic mashed potatoes. That was a delicious meal, if I say so myself! It also was the smarter way to go, seeing I had all the ingredients in the house already. Didn't cost an extra dime.

I did go to the grocery store after work today, and I'll tell you what I didn't buy: lobster, chocolate, chips, and other junk food. I've been eating much healthier the last few days and I feel better already. The bloating and just plain loogy feeling has already disappeared. I know I feel better when I eat right, but sometimes my tastebuds get the better of me and overpower my iron will...and make me inhale a bag of chips.

Tonight, instead of filling up on junk (which I would have seeing I only had to cook for myself - DH is coming home late tomorrow), I made myself a shrimp scampi with whole wheat pasta. Delicious.

Some good sales today

October 24th, 2009 at 08:28 pm

I was a participant in a vendor fair today. I had no idea how it would go, but I sold $150 worth of product and have about 6 potential new customers. That's exciting! I also spent $10 on some gift items for 3 friends.

DH has been out of town, and I've been missing him. It is a rainy night...and sometimes the rain just makes me sad, especially when I'm alone. He'll be home in a few days. I've talked to him on the phone, but it's just not the same. Missing his hugs. Frown

When he comes home we're both going to be working on weight loss. I've been so wrapped up in trying to fix finances, run a business, run the house...that I've been ignoring myself. I think tomorrow is a good day as any to start with eating better. I think I'll need to get to the grocery store to pick up some milk and lettuce. DH told me I should get myself a lobster, because I like them. I'll check out the price and if it's less than $6.99 a pound, I may get myself a pounder. Odds are, I won't, but I'll look anyway. Maybe there'll be some other seafood that is priced right. He doesn't care for seafood as much as I do, so I usually take advantage of having it when he's not around.

The 9-5 job has been busy and hectic this past week. One person isn't pulling his weight, and he thinks it's okay to do that. He acts as if he's doing us a huge favor by showing up. From the sounds of things, the higher-ups aren't at all impressed - and he may soon be out the door. Like my dad would say, don't let it hit you in the butt on your way out. LOL

This and that...

October 18th, 2009 at 10:02 am

October has been like no other October that I can remember...the weather's been cold (in fact, it's snowing right now and it's the second time this week it's snowed). We've actually had to turn on the heat a few times. Normally we don't turn it on until November.

DH's business has been doing terrible. No business coming in. We've pretty much stopped spending except for necessities (medicine, to be exact). Luckily I have a well stocked freezer and we won't starve.

I've been doing quite well with the line drying efforts, even drying my sheets and towels indoors. Normally I will run those through the dryer. I've been shutting lights off left and right as well! The electric bill this past month was quite low, so I was pleased with my efforts.

I have a vendor show I'll be working at later this month. I hope to sell some stock on hand and gain a few more customers. I'll be promoting holiday gifts...hoping that people will be looking to start their holiday shopping early. I know I always do! Christmas comes every 12/25, so you might as well be prepared and not wait til the last minute.

We normally get a lot of trick-or-treaters, and have prepared. We spent @20 on candy at the warehouse club we belong to, and I'll divvy up 3 pieces per bag per kid. I always try to do little bags at Halloween...I remember getting the bags when I was little, and I always thought it was fun to get a variety of those little candy bars and goodies.

We were discussing what to do for Thanksgiving...we'd like to go out to eat (just the two of us - he suggested we get sushi!) and let it be a lazy day. But we're also torn. I know that at least 2 members of my family will invite us for dinner at their homes, and I worry about DH's sibling being alone for the day (not that we ever hear from his sibling, but that's a whole other story). I also like to cook a turkey, and we love the leftovers too. So Thanksgiving is a bit of a quandry right now. Time will tell what we decide to do. In the meantime, I'll watch the ads for specials going on at the restaurants.

New Year's is an easy one. We'll get Chinese food, stay home and I'll fall alseep well before midnight hits.

Updated sidebar

September 30th, 2009 at 05:13 pm

Well, I updated my sidebar...unfortunately we are currently $2,930.35 more in debt than we were one month ago. That is because we had an income tax bill come due and I paid it with a "courtesy check" with 1.9% financing. The total of that was $3,581.33. Had we not had to pay that we would have had $650.98 less debt. That was the only time we used the credit for the month.

I did let my husband know what we had for debt. He wasn't mad, but he was sad to know that we were going to be working for a long time to pay this debt off. I offered to get a job on weekends (seasonal) to help, and although he was appreciative, he said to hold off and we will sit down and find the root of the problem. (To me, that's easy. We don't bring in enough income to meet our expenses. He's not as black and white as that when it comes to money.) I'm more of a "jump right in and do what needs to be done" kind of person. He's concerned that I'm going to burn myself out too quickly, which is a valid concern, but if I need to work 60+ hours a week to help get rid of the debt, why not? Especially if it's only for a few months? I think I should take advantage of the opportunity while the stores will be hiring extra people.

I've been trying to be very cautious of our energy usage. I was talking with a friend about ways to cut back on electricity, and it helped remind me to unplug things like my computer modem at night (the plug heats up, so I know it's drawing electricity while I'm sleeping!). I've also begun hanging my laundry in the basement. It was humid for a month and the laundry wasn't drying very well and started to smell musty, so I had been using the dryer. I noticed a $30 increase in my electricity bill! Neither of us mind the stiff clothes, although I do end up ironing some things that I wouldn't normally need to do if I had used the dryer. Then again, if I didn't take the clothes out of the dryer in time, they would be wrinkled and I would be ironing them anyway. I actually don't mind ironing. I find it soothing in a strange sort of way.

I was able to stock up the freezer with some on-sale meats. I got a nice ham, some bottom round (for pot roasts) and chickens. Even though there is only 2 of us, we still do like to have a Sunday dinner together. We also do like to have leftovers during the week, and I can my own stocks, so none of it goes to waste. I wonder if that's part of the reason he doesn't want me to work weekends? He'll miss out on the feasts during the winter. I would miss them too. Maybe he's right. But I'm not going to tell him that.

Work and business ramblings.

September 14th, 2009 at 06:04 pm

DH has been concerned about his business. He's been stressing a lot for nearly the last year because of the lagging economy. Sometimes he wants to just throw in the towel and give up, othertimes he's very optimistic that things are going to go great. He never wanted to be a millionnaire, he just wanted to provide a comfortable living for us and for his employees. We've had more than our share of bumps down the road for this business, and hopefully things will turn profitable in the near future.

It's interesting how employees think that a business has a bottomless pit of money. That they should get raises when they've done nothing to improve themselves at work, or improve the state of the business: "it's time" for a raise, they say. But when you tell them "do x, y and z, and you'll be eligible for a raise" they don't want to do it. "Gimme the free money" is their attitude! Don't even get me started about the ones who think they are supposed to be getting a holiday bonus!

There are not many people out there with a good work ethic anymore. I see the same thing at my full time job. Everyone wants what the other person worked hard to get...and some people were adamant that they were "owed" whatever it was they were wanting because of the stress the job caused them. The only thing work "owes" you is a paycheck for the work you've done. Not to mention that in this economy, I would think that anyone who still has a job would be trying to go above and beyond to make sure they're the ones that keep their job if and when the time comes. But some people just take for granted that they'll have their job forever. Shame on them!

I know a guy who had an inkling that he was going to be let go from his high paying job. Instead of trying to be the best at his job, he decided that he was going to slack off, since he figured he was going to be let go anyway so why put in the effort? As it turns out, he was let go, but it was because of his poor performance, not for any other reason like he suspected. Now he's been out of work for nearly six months, and he hasn't been able to find a job. He's close to losing his house at this point, and his unemployment is going to run out soon.

I imagine it could go the other way, too. Knowing that an employee can't easily find a job, I'm sure there are employers who are taking unfair advantage of their workers. I'm happily not in that position. I do my best at my job, and I have respect from my peers and my bosses, but I am one of the few at my place of employment who is willing to put in a little extra work. It doesn't go unnoticed, and that's exactly the way I want it.

A fun evening out.

September 12th, 2009 at 06:07 pm

I went out to eat with friends and then we went shopping. I spent exactly $20 on dinner, and tried on a lot of shoes and outfits, but bought nothing. I couldn't buy anything - I smartly left all my credit cards and my debit card at home. I had another $10 on my after dinner (paid that in cash), but I didn't want to friviously throw that way. So it's nicely snuggled in my wallet. Smile

Thanks for all the support and motivation from everyone thus far in my journey. I really appreciate it!

As of 9/1/09....

September 10th, 2009 at 05:10 pm

Heres' where we stand. Although horrible to look at, I know getting out of this debt is do-able, although it won't be quick. I equate it to losing weight. If you only have to lose 10 pounds, it'll happen quickly. If you have to lose 100, well, that will take longer.

Savings: $184.35

JC Penney: $913.60
Chase: $4,764.91
Discover: $11,871.42
AT&T: $13,705.87
Capital One: $11,027.24
Citibank: $24,547.54

Payments this month have been applied, and more money has been added to savings already this month. Following the baby steps, I need to build my baby EF first. I would prefer it to be over $1,000, but once I hit $1,000 in savings I will reassess.

Where did all this debt come from? We certainly don't live lavishly. Much of it was to bail out our business last fall due to the lagging economy (small family owned businesses weren't included in the gov't bailout, so we had to do it ourselves to stay afloat and meet our payroll obligations). DH had to cut some of his salary early in 2008, and I was paying credit cards with credit cards for a while...amazingly I am current on all my bills, but I'm afraid that could quickly come to a screeching halt if I don't really buckle down.

Add to that $10,000 owed to the IRS in monthly installments, and 3 more payments on a car loan. It's been rough, to say the least. But I will remain optimistic and move forward.

Here we go!

September 8th, 2009 at 06:14 pm

Well, I'm finally biting the bullet and doing what I really should have been doing all along and working to get out of debt. Feeble attempts have been made, but any savings were quickly spent. I am aware that we currently have expenses higher than our income...which is part of the problem! I need to sort through this all and make it work.

I've been an active reader of the blogs for some time now, and now I will be an active participant and want everyone to hold me accountable!

There are things in our budget that we just can't touch...which doesn't help matters. If it were only me in the house, cable would be gone, internet would be either gone or be dial up, and we wouldn't eat out ever. But, to maintain a relationship with DH, I am willing to bend and cut back in other areas to make it work.

I don't know if DH has any idea of the amount of debt we're in...he knows there is debt, but I think not knowing the actual number is better for his sanity and stress level. He owns his own business which has had its ups and downs, and struggles enough with making ends meet, especially with the economy. Although I would like to sit down with him and work on a budget and fully disclose all numbers, I also know that would be detrimental to his well being. He also wants me to handle this, and has requested to stay out of it. So, until I can show something to him in a more positive light, I will keep my lips zipped.

A long-winded intro, but I will fully diclose (anonymously, of course) the amount of debt and income we have over the course of time.

You know...this feels liberating. Its like I'm in a confessional! LOL Money has always been that taboo thing that we can't talk about to anyone, but yet it feels so much more freeing already. I see positive things coming out of this blog!

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