Thursday, July 3, 2014

June Recap

I am briefly breaking the blogging break to post this for posterity sake and then it will be back down the rabbit hole from whence I came.
  • Savings

    Previous Balance 506.00
    Week 23 (06/2)
    Week 24 (06/9)
    Week 25 (06/16)
    Week 26 (06/23)
    Week 27 (06/30)

  • Book Finishes
    • #11: Good Call by Jase Robertson.

      At the time of this writing, this book has 4.12 stars at Goodreads and 4.9 stars at Amazon. It is still fairly new; so, I am sure the ratings will change over time. Unlike the other two Duck Commander books, I gave it four(instead of five) stars. It is still a good read; but, I felt like the author was filling in the gaps with lots of words and whatnot. The other two books were written by seniors (Phil and Uncle Si) - they had a lot of living and memories. Jase is the son of Phil Robertson and, if God is willing, has a lot more living to do to get a decent memoir. That is just my humble opinion for what it is worth. FYI: If you're anti-Christian, then this is not the book for you.

    • #12: A Promise in Pieces by Emily T. Wierenga.

      This is a book I won recently in a giveaway. It is a Christian fiction written in a first person narative. This book has 4.72 stars at Goodreads and 4.8 stars at Amazon. I gave it four stars on Goodreads. The only reason I did not give it five stars is that I felt it was not a book I would keep and reread. Other than that, it was an excellent read and I enjoyed reading the book.

    • #13: The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom.

      I have heard of this book for years and finally decided to read it when I found it for dirt cheap. Why did I wait all these years to read this book?

      I have never been a fan of memoirs dealing with wars and atrocities. The Diary of Anne Frank, which I read eons ago because it was a required reading, was really a good book; but, I hated it at the same time. I think this is why I avoided reading The Hiding Place. Once I picked it up, I could barely put it down. I read this in a total of two days. Yes, two days! I most likely would have read it in one day if I had not forced myself to put it down about half way through the book.

      This book has 4.40 stars at Goodreads and Goodreads and 4.9 stars at Amazon. I gave it five stars at Goodreads. It is about a war (holocaust/World War II) through a Christian perspective experienced by a Christian woman (and family). I would read this one again and am planning on keeping the book.

    • #14: Hatchet by Gary Paulsen.

      This book appeared on many "must read" lists that I added it to my list of books to read. It is written for the young adults. It has 3.63 stars on Good reads and 4.4 stars on Amazon. I gave it four stars on Goodreads. It is a survival story of a young boy stranded in a wilderness with only a hatchet his mother gave him along with the will to live. It is very repetitive; but otherwise a good read.

    • #15: Cat Daddy: What the World's Most Incorrigible Cat Taught Me About Life, Love, and Coming Clean by Jackson Galaxy.

      This book has 3.92 stars on Goodreads and 4.5 stars on Amazon. I gave it four stars on Goodreads. I first heard of Jackson Galaxy from watching a TV show called My Cat from Hell on Animal Planet. Jackson Galaxy has a lot of wisdom and common sense about cats. It still amazes me that so many people out there have cats and have no absolutely no understanding of their nature and personalities. Those people want to give up on them rather than take the time to figure out what makes them tick and why they are behaving the way they do. Jackson Galaxy (via the show) just cinched my philosophy on cats and made me realize that I am not the only one who feels the way I do. When I saw this book on discount, I had to pick up the book to read.

      The book was completely different from what I expected. This man went through hell on earth via a variety of addictions. Also, the book was not all about Benny (the cat that helped Jackson Galaxy). It was more about Jackson Galaxy and how he came to be the man he is today with the help of Benny, luck, and a few good people. And, this book made me cry like all books with animals dying do.

      I do have three warnings concerning this book. 1) Language (f-word used quite a bit in the beginning), 2) in my humble opinion, it is not a book for children due to adult topics such as addictions to drugs and food along with sexual matters, and 3) if your sensitive (empathetic) like me, it will be a tough read. I am having to stop reading books for a few days to simply recoop and regroup my psyche.

  • Projects
    • Worked on the Den. I went through all our DVDs, tossed approximately twelve of them into the Half-Price box, and organized the rest. When we first moved, we just tossed all the DVDs and video games into the specially built cabinets that Dan made. Now it is much better than it was before!

      I removed the TV trays. We no longer use them to eat in front of the TV. Why hang onto them and just create more chaos and clutter? So, I talked with Dan about getting rid of them. We decided to put them into the garage sale stuff because they just do not serve their purpose and become hot spots when we do use them temporarily.

      It has been sort of frustrating to work in the den (living room) because some of the items are my childhood chairs and tables and my Mother's childhood chairs. I have always dreamed of giving them to my own children; but, now I do not know what to do with them because we do not have kids. Some of these items are designated to go into the future guest/gaming room. In the meantime, they are temporarily ensconced in the den.

      Also, the garage sale stuff is piled up along one wall. There is not much we can do until we have the sale (which is planned for September). We also decided to get rid of Dad's lazyboy. The thought of that makes me very sad. Abby absolutely loves that lazyboy; but, it no longer has a purpose or designation in this house. It needs a lot of love (reupholstery) and I do not have the time or inclination to fix it up. I am certain someone would be more than happy to take it and fix it up themselves. There seems to be a lot of DIYers around this area. As much as I hate the thought, the best thing to do is to let it go as we really do not have the space.

  • Other

    • Dan managed to get a Friday off and we went to Garner State Park to meet up with some family for the day. I had a wonderful time visiting with family, holding my adorable grand nephew for the first time, and swimming / tubing on the Frio River.
    • We have been making slow progress with my room (the garage conversion). We would paint this or that and would have to wait for it to dry. Same with gluing. We have lots of projects going.
    • We discovered that the main A/C unit was leaking water. I do not know how long it was leaking; but, the underlayment underneath the flooring in the hallway was completely soaked. Squish, squish, squish went the flooring with every step. This means that the flooring itself is ruined. In fact, the flooring in the extended pantry already shows signs of warping. Anyway, we got a A/C guy to come out and fix the problem for us. This is the second time we have used this company and they are absolutely wonderful. I am glad we have at least one reliable company to call upon around here. We are a little poorer but very relieved to discover it was not major. In other words, we did not need to replace the A/C unit itself which would have cost an arm and a leg.

      We did start the process of filing a claim with the house insurance. We are waiting for them to come out and do an estimate on the damage and determine how much they will cover/fix. We are not sure if the whole hallway and den needs to be replaced. If they will only do the hallway, then it most likely will not be worth the cost of actually filing the claim, We will instead pay for and do the work of replacing the flooring ourselves.

    • In looking at our finances and whatnot, I realized a certain company has NOT sent us bills since April. Needless to say, I was not a happy camper and we will not be doing business with this particular company again. It was a subtle unethical if not illegal thing they did. I decided to pay them off in entirety to avoid crap in the future. This meant that we had to dip into the funds once again. It was related to the house and this means the house fund is now totally depleted.

      I am feeling tons poorer with the fact we bought a new vehicle with cash (depleting that particular fund) recently along with having to dip into the emergency and house funds. We now need to focus on rebuilding the emergency and other funds. This means tightening up our belts once again. We have been needing to do this for awhile now anyway but were lazy and lax in this area. I am glad we are doing the savings challenge now because it is getting me back into the Gazelle Intensity frame of mind to rebuild the funds we established. I have also rebuilt our budget. We are not on a no-spend period; but, we are going into an extreme frugal mode.