___________ August 07, 2016 __________

Little Yellow Pills, Big Blue Lakes

G’morning!  Well, I don’t know about you, but it’s been one CR-azy week for me.  Just a bunch of stuff going down that I need to talk through.

Money Matters.  As you know, I had concerns about taking a second loan for the camper.  I don’t like having ONE loan, let alone two!  And I was worried that we wouldn’t be able to swing it.  So last Sunday we did a little running around, and ended up at the AT&T store.  We wanted to know if bundling our [3] phones in with wifi would reduce our electronics bill.  We also had to find out of AT&T wireless reaches our house out in the country/woods.  And we had to find out when our 2-year contract with Verizon was up.  Our plan at that point was 10G for $80 thru Verizon, and every month I go over that, so it was actually about $100/mo for wireless.  That’s not working for us.  Our cellphones ($30/ea) were with AT&T, so we thought if we could end Verizon and move…

The GOOD news!  Come to find out, 1) our cellphones dropped in price by $5/ea, 2) AT&T does reach our house, and they could bundle cellular and wifi for $140/mo +tax, and 3) when Verizon went to the *new* plans last month, they ended all contracts.  We could leave anytime we wanted!!!  So going from $190 to $140 was a HUGE savings.  And we’re rid of Verizon.  They were horrible, anyhow.

La-La-Landline.  I also had been whittling away at my DH about having a redundant landline, and Brian finally agreed that we should call and at least see if they could reduce our bill… if not just cancel.  That’s $40/mo just for a ‘just in case’ line!  Turns out AT&T is working on phasing out landlines, entirely, anyhow.  They offered us a ‘home hot-spot’ wifi line, but it was the physical landline we’d wanted… Brian liked that our old rotary phone would still work, even without power.  Who he’d call on it, I don’t know – nobody has that capability, anyhow.  But we ended up just dumping the landline, entirely.  Freeing up another $40/mo!

MORE paying Peter via Paul.  When we got the new trailer loan, we wanted to borrow from our 401K.  Unfortunately, the money wouldn’t be released until our next pay period, which was ten days out, and we’d needed the money in three days time.  So we went to our credit union, and walked away with the money the next day!  Apparently Brian and I have credit ratings above 95% of the population?  That’s amazing.  We’re both in the 800s, if that means anything to anyone.  I was pretty happy to hear it.  But the CU loan was at 8%, and the 401K loan would be at 4%… that’s a huge difference.  So Friday was PAYDAY… and we got the 401k loan, paid off the CU loan in full, and now have the 401K rate of 4%.  It sounds like a rigamaroll, I know, but it’s a matter of playing the game.  Not only that, but the payment on the CU loan was $160/mo.   The payment on the 401K loan is $115/mo.  Which, btw, if you look at our monthly savings in electronics?  Is just about perfect!

Crown Financial.  A million ba-zillion years ago, I printed out a ‘Monthly Income & Expenses‘ sheet from Crown Financial.  See, before Dave Ramsey,  Chuck Bentley was a christian financier who helped people reduce their debt.  Only he offered his stuff free, unlike the pig who’s making a killing at it, now.  It’s still on-line, and free.  Anyhow, I’ve just re-done ours, and we’re still in the black.  Yay!  I’m very happy about that.  I was worried, what with the two loans.  And I still want to pay them off.  So badly, I’m almost considering getting a small part-time night or weekend job, to do it.  I hate debt THAT much.  We’ll see what happens.

39G of USE?!?!?  I cancelled our home phone.  I cancelled Verizon.  And then Verizon said I’m paid up thru September 3rd, so I can use the 10G of Verizon wifi for August.  In addition to the 15G of AT&T wifi.  I was shocked.  That’s a lot of gig!  But then last night Brian was looking at the AT&T hotspot device, and it reset – added another 15G of wifi to what we had!  We’ve only had it a week – it shouldn’t have rolled over, already!  So in essence, it says we have 39G of wifi.  Whoa!!!  I’m… nervous.  Will be calling on that, first thing.

Birthday Babe.  Today is Lydia’s *SWEET SIXTEEN*.  She’s… not impressed.  The girl thinks time is flying too fast.  I told her not to worry about it.  She has all the time in the world, at this point.  Anyhow, I think she’s mostly nervous about stuff, because her friend (My BFF’s daughter… can I just start calling her MBFD?)  did summer school and moved up a grade, so Lydia hears about ‘senior year’ a lot, and – being the same age – she feels like she got bumped up, along with MBFD, kinda.  In addition, her BFF got a job (cleaning toilets at a campground).  LBFF’s pressuring Lydia to get a job and work, like her.  A lot.  LBFF is a year younger, but they ‘unschool’, and from what I see/hear, she’s pretty much not even doing that.  Then MBFD got a job, too… and now both of the girls are talking driver’s ed on her, and Lydia just doesn’t feel ready…

Young Once.  I keep telling her, ‘don’t worry what other people are doing.  Enjoy your youth.  After all, you’re only young once!’  I figure she has the rest of her life to work.  She has loads of time before she’s 18 and gets her license.  And I don’t believe in the public school ‘twelve grades and out’ policy.  As far as I’m concerned?  As long as she wants to stay and learn, let’s do it.  I feel like society shoves kids around, and I don’t like it.  Let the kids progress at their own pace, y’know?  At their comfort level.  I don’t want her to feel pressured.  There are tons of opportunities, and she’s not going to miss out by choosing to wait and take them up later, when she feels ready.  I know that’s not what most of society thinks/feels… but I don’t care.

Gone Outdoors.   We also spent a lot of time outside, this week.  Got the garden weeded – there were actually vegetable plants in there!  We also went to the Big Lake and floated on the massive waves, there.  It was fun, but we went on the hottest (90+ degree) day, and the sand was scalding.  (Note to self: next time?  We wear water shoes.)  We hiked up in Ottawa, and found some other wonderful places to hike, as well.  A TON of them.  And of course last weekend we slept in the yard in the camper for three days.  NO allergic reaction.  That’s great!  So now I just have to get electricity out to the old camper, and get to work cleaning it up to sell.  (<< Put the $$ on the loan and pay it down, quicker!)

Paint Class.  Lydia and I did a paint class together.  She wasn’t entirely on-board, to begin with.  I think she was worried that she’d suck and the painting would turn out horribly.  But we got there, got our drinks, teased around and loosened her up, and she had a wonderful time.  I was amazed at how she opened up, over the course of the night.  We had a good evening, together.  (I need to take Isaac canoeing, next…!  And then Ethan sailing, and Owen rafting, and Aaron… hrm.  Still thinking on that one!)

Water & Weight.  Last week THU-FRI-SAT you may recall I did the ‘Military Diet’.  I lost six pounds on it.  So then I took four days off, and did it again, W-TH-F of this week.  I’m down to 203lbs.  Yay!!  I figure along with my usual active-ish lifestyle, I’ll keep taking off a little here and there, and paring it down.  When I started last July, I was 217lbs, the most I’d ever weighed.  When the pool closed down in February, I was toeing 199lbs.  But then after stopping the intermittent fasting and swimming, I gained again.  Still lower than last July, but not good.  So now I’m back to swimming again, too!  Two weeks, now.  This week?  They played Disney music in the pool!  Ever swim to ‘Under da Sea’ before?  LoL!!!

Swim Stuff.  Lydia comes with me.  She doesn’t want to swim, but she loves the smell of chlorine, the echo of the cavernous room, the lap of the water, the blue of the pool.  She does sudokus on the benches, wrings out my suit while I’m drying my hair.  Stuff like that.  I think she just likes doing the mom-daughter thing.  But anyhow, the first week, I did 25 minutes.  This week, 30 minutes.  And amazingly, since I went from two little yellow pills to one?  I’m not dying in the pool, anymore.  I had NO idea those pills were messing me up so badly until May, when the Derma told me they were actually blood pressure pills!  We were hiking in Indiana, and I was absolutely breathless, and I knew I wasn’t out of shape.  I’d done the same 7 miles the year before in the U.P., and that was before taking up swimming/tap, and I hadn’t struggled so badly then!  And it hit me: it was the little yellow pills (for my hormonal break-outs).  So I went down to one… and it’s MUCH better, now!

Time to Close.  There’s a LOT more that I could talk about, but… this is getting long, isn’t it?  I’m sorry.  I babble.  But it’s only once a week, right?  ((wink!))

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