UPDATE TO Mrs. Flinger October 16, 2015
Because the Universe has a wicked sense of humor, after this delcaration, my blog threw up all over my last upgrade.
So I'm starting over using Craft. Turning 40 and kid entering Jr High next year, sometimes it's just time for a change. These archives will still exist in the way the last child goes off to college and their room is the same for 20 years, but it's just time to move forward.
We’re a little bit country and a little bit rock-and-roll Aug 09, 2006
I’ve talked about moving before and about how many times I’ve moved in my life. I think the number now sits at 17. In as many years. I spoke of how much I hated selling our house. And how much I hated all our crap. And how insane it made me to wait on the inspection and how much I hated our real estate lady.
And now? Guess what! I’m going to talk more about moving. Don’t roll your eyes. I might talk about my hayhay. Read on.
My In-Laws all live in one location. Both sides of the family. All four thousand cousins and six hundred aunts/uncles/grandmas/frenchies. And if they’re not 15 minutes away, they’re within two hours. And if they’re not within two hours, the family never speaks of them. Like. Ever.
My family, on the other hand, is everywhere. I have no central location to call “home” anymore. I have an Aunt and Uncle here in Portland. My parents are back in Houston. My other Uncle lives somewhere up there and another one somewhere over there. And a great aunt and uncle in San Antonio. My sister, just last weekend, moved to Arizona. I realized, with a sudden thud in my heart, as she drove away, I’m almost all alone. On Christmas when we have forty places to go to the InLaws and all that family, I have my Uncle and my Aunt. My One. Uncle. And. Aunt. Here.
When people ask why we’d move to Seattle, I feel like a total fool sputtering, “uh. it’s pretty?” They ask, “Do you have family there?” and I always answer yes. YES. Well, of COURSE I’d have family. What kind of an idiot moves to where mortgages are more than half your income and you drive ten miles an hour, at best, between 7 and 10 and 3 and 6? Obviously, family would be the only reason to make such a sacrifice.
And I do have family there. I have my adopted sisters, LB’s “Aunties” and the girls I went through that awkward phase known as “college”.
I don’t think this is strange, in these days, to have a family you adopt from your peers. Look at ”Friends.” They had their own thanksgiving. They were THERE FOR EACH OTHER (according to the theme song) and since we all know everything we see on TV is fact, I think I believe I’m not odd in adopting a family of my friends. I always say you are born into your family but you adopt your family.
So, I guess I’m a little curious. Are you close to your family? Not emotionally, but as in “my inlaws live down the road and my mom and dad are five miles away.” I know some of you have that setup. Sometimes I’m jealous and sometimes I feel totally sorry for you. I haven’t decided how I feel about the 2,000 miles separating me from Oma and the 200 from the InLaws. There are some advantages. There are some disadvantages. But over all, I don’t think I’m lying when I say I have family in Seattle. I do. I just wasn’t born with them.
The Short Buss Aug 07, 2006
I told you people not to let me out in public. Didn’t I say that? Therefore, don’t be surprised when I tell you the following is in fact, real, and not made up or embellished for blog’s sake. I have witnesses.
Hi. I’m a spaz.
No room to breath: Tales from a one-income family Aug 02, 2006
I’ve been doing the bills today because Look at that! It’s the first of the f’in month! AGAIN! and I decided to write down our income verses expence. You know, like educated, good financial planners do? I think it’s called a b-u-d-g-e-t but I can’t be too certain.
Anyway, having written down our bills, our average monthly expense, the rent and our miscellaneous items (like shelling out 300 bucks a month for GAS thanks to an hour commute for the mister) I came up with…
TADA! We can officially no longer afford shit tissue. (I hear aloe leaves are better anyway.)
The thing about finances is that (much like PPD) nobody talks numbers. I don’t want to pry. I don’t want to brag. I don’t want to wine and bitch that we’re poor (regardless of what it looks like here, we do ok, really. I just.. yaknow.. freak out a bit.) I just want to be HONEST. LIke “yea, we’re damn tight here, too, but we make it work! This is how…” I’m kicking myself over a few bad choices and laziness. Paying the bills late last month cost us almost two hundred dollars. I kid you not. People, PAY YOUR BILLS ON TIME. I do the online bill pay thing for the most part but the two crucial ones can’t be paid online. Yaknow, the big spenders AKA: the big yowzer of a late fee and weeping into your Wheaties the next morning. Those.
I’ve started looking at my roll as a wife differently. If I stay home with LB I either have to 1) work from home which is something I’m doing my damndest to make work and 2) see all the financial planning for our family as a job. I decided to look at bill due dates as deadlines and applying for refunds/coupons/reimbursement as a job. It’s income, isn’t it? It should be as important as a job. I never let myself get lax at work with my responsibility, why would I do it at home? It’s time to pull out professional Leslie and place her at the table with the checkbook.
With our prospective move to “nobody-in-their-right-mind-can-afford-a-house-are-you-kidding-me-ville” we’ve talked more and more about how to save and what areas to cut back on. I hear you screaming Starbucks, Internet. Yes, obviously that has to go. And what’s that? Eating out? Yes, I know. Cooking is now part of that “professional Leslie” that is the caretaker of her house. It’s not for our health now, it’s financial. (but god help us. Cyan instead of Cajun pepper. Seriously? THEY ARE BOTH RED.)
I think the biggest reason I’m in freakout mode is said move. Well, that and the thought of cutting the coffee umbilical chord. So, I thought I’d offer a few solutions we came up with and I hope you’ll pitch in what works for you.
First, behold! I hath made a spreadsheet! With colors! And formulas! And how many exclamation points to I need to use to get you to say “OOH! AAHHH!”
Yes, I’m impressed myself. Even the mister, the geeky engineer mister, is proud of my spreadsheet and is happy to use it to track our money. Screw Quickin’. We’re going Excel!
Second, I found out that you can take your change to a change machine and get a starbucks gift card (or music, or borders, or…) and not get penalized for using the machine!
Luckily I’ve started a change collection and am resigned to staying within the cash budget for “external” goods and saving up my change for my $2.30 white mocha americano. Which, if I may be so bold here, would be tip #3. Switch to an Americano, get white chocolate syrup and put a dash of milk from the creamer table. You save over a buck each drink and you won’t miss the milk. I promise. *And* just because I love you this much, that drink is only 100 calories (grande) instead of 340 for a grande white mocha. Yup! Get in line. Go ahead.
Next one’s on me.