Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Monthly Goals: March, 2019

First, the usual Frugal recap post is just going to get delayed until Friday so I can just try and get back onto an even keel and get back to a more normal blogging schedule.  I hope.

The last couple of weeks have been a mix with a lot of bad mixed into it.  The good was getting the tax return in and it was in the bank for nearly a day.  We got a couple of bills paid off that we'd accumulated in the earthquake (paid off the husband's credit card and the Sears card) and I was hoping to either cash out the husband's teeth with the other part, or at least make a good payment onto the amount and the back up plan was to keep the money in savings in case we needed it for car repairs or something. 

And then the bad stuff hit.

My dad would say it comes in threes, but it seems the last bit we break that record. 

First, I called our electric company to try and figure out a new budget billing amount because running the electric heat had thrown our normal electric budget into a tizzy.  They did the calculations on their end and recommended that I turn off budget billing for a year and redo it after getting the chimney fixed as our budget billing amount per month right NOW is over 600.00 a month if they recalculated it.  If I turn off budget billing my bill is averaging at least 600.00 a month as well.  They had no ideas on how to do payments to make the billing more reasonable, so I ended up using a good chunk of our tax return to pay off the now deferred amount on the account which at least buys me time till the end of the this month to try and figure out what to do.  It's a miracle I have a stomach lining left.

I was hoping that maybe the disaster assistance would come through and we could quickly get a new chimney put in, but I found out this week that FEMA finally got their collective tails in gear and came up here at the beginning of last month and are now in the Valley having people sign up for FEMA assistance for the earthquake.  By FEMA coming up here it screws everything up on my end because FEMA trumps state assistance, so I have to now go and apply with FEMA, wait for FEMA assistance to come through (which can take a LONG time from what I understand) and anything they don't cover the state will pick up as a kind of disaster safety net.  So, basically we're going to have to go down and do everything again to apply with FEMA and start the disaster assistance process all over again. 

Basically, I can't wait for FEMA to come through, or whatever assistance there will be, to get the chimney fixed or I'll go bankrupt trying to pay the electric bill and keep the trains running on time.  I have enough in savings to last us hopefully till Spring (IF we get an early Spring and it's a mild weathered one *fingers crossed*), but still...something needs to happen here.  So, we're going to have to try and get the chimney replaced quickly and as cheaply as we can.  The husband and the entire family caught my awful cold virus and so my husband has been down nearly a week and a half feeling awful with this thing, the son was home sick from school all last week and was home again sick today and now the daughter is coming down with it, and so far, as a result, nothing has gotten done toward that goal.    Somehow I have to get to the FEMA sign up place with the husband before filing ends on April 1st, not to mention I need him to help me figure out how to get a new chimney put in, so I KIND of need us all to remain in healthy and fit condition for a little while.  So I'm praying that we'll all recover miraculously here very soon. 

All the while I'm also in a battle with our local hospital over my urgent care visit back in October as after insurance paid them they owe me 100.00 back and I've been on the phone constantly since January trying to get SOMEONE to issue me the check I'm owed.  They screwed up booking the insurance payment into the system when it came in back at the beginning of January and posted me as paying in full in January (when I paid the full amount back in October) and they just have my 100.00 credit just sitting in the account with no note on getting the money back to me.  The last gal I actually talked to before today actually treated me like I was trying to rip the hospital off and acted like I wasn't entitled to anything back at all, which I ended up talking in very angry tones by the end of the conversation.  Since then I have talked to voice mails and no one calls me back, so today I called and asked to talk to the head supervisor.  I ended up talking to the supervisor of billing for the entire hospital, which doesn't actually handle the urgent care billing (I know, it's screwy), but she e-mailed the two supervisors in charge of the urgent care billing, told them what was going on with me and requested they issue me a refund or an inquiry could be filed.  I was very thankful she'd done that for me as I'm just so frustrated and just want the money I'm owed.  We could certainly use the money.

I've had other side stuff going on around here with getting paperwork filled out for different things and stuff as well, which I'll go into more on other posts I'm sure, but yeah...it's been busy. 

And then last night my oven stopped working even close to right.  All I did was change the temp on the oven to a higher degree to finish off some steaks in the oven and the oven just stopped calling for heat.  So, I have steaks that are nearly raw in the middle (I should have tried to finish them off on the stove top, but was so upset at the oven my mind quit working I was so upset) in the fridge where they'll be turned into thin sliced beef and cooked in some au jus on the stove top so we can have French dip sandwiches tonight.  Today, after giving the oven plenty of time to (hopefully) reset, I set the oven to preheat to 350 degrees and put an oven thermometer in to monitor how well it did.  And the oven quit at about 225 degrees...on preheat.  Not a good sign.  The husband is going to look up the manual on the oven and try to figure out what could be wrong with it, but goodness knows how much this is going to cost to repair or even replace.  At least I got the dishwasher paid off *deep sigh*.  One step forward and a marathon run backwards, it seems, is the story of my life.  Ugh.  Sorry.  That sounds way too self pitying.  How about "Trials through adversity seems to be the story of my life."  It sounds a bit better I suppose, so let's go with that.

Anyway, that's been my life the last two weeks on the "argh" end of things and it also helped to explain a lot of my goals for this month (not a subtle transition, but I have a headache today, so please bear with me here), so let's get to all of that, shall we?

Goals for March, 2019

1.  Sign up for FEMA disaster assistance. 
2.  Call husband's general contractor friends and get quotes on what replacing the chimney would cost (never hurts to get numbers from a bunch of people). 
3.  Fix cat scratching posts (they are looking bad and coming unwound, so I'm going to see what I can do to repair them). 
4.  Clean den. 
5.  Gut sewing cabinet and weed out what can be put into storage for the time being.  Put shelves into top of sewing cabinet and redo entirely to hold office materials (we desperately need a place to put everything that can be closed up). 
6.  Clean out the bottom cabinets on the china cabinet.  Get rid of broken items and broken glass from earthquake (one of the last things I need to really deep clean).  Put in new metal shelf brackets for glass shelves in china cabinet so they are more secure and reorganize the china cabinet so it looks nicer. 
7.  Fix or replace oven. 
8.  Hopefully get chimney replaced and if not have a good plan to get it done ASAP, if not sooner. 
9.  Start getting some Spring cleaning done. 
10.  Get well and stay well!!!! 
11.  Get refund check issued from hospital one way or the other.

And there you go folks.  My goals for this month.  There's a lot to do, not a lot of energy to get it done with and limited time to get it done in.

How about you?  Got anything you have to get done this month?


  1. I find speaking with a supervisor the only way to get stuff done. At some point your life needs to calm down and then you can relax.😂😂

  2. Bummer girl. Check out You Tube on fixing the oven - may get some cheaper ideas. If it helps I wound jute rope around our cat posts - and it has lasted a year and a half so far. Really worked well.
    Hope you get your refund soon.
    Stay healthy and good luck

  3. You deserve a vacation! Can't imagine having all, that going on at one time.Hopefully warm weather gets here soon and you wont need the heat. I was going to suggest as Cheryl did, you tube on calibrating the oven if that is the issue. Hopefully the hospital gets their act together and gets your check to you. May your days soon be long and sunny. Gramma D

  4. Please be careful about fixing things before FEMA sees the damage. My Grandma's house in Puerto Rico suffered lots of damage in the recent hurricane. They fixed and cleaned up before FEMA could get an inspector out. As a result, they got little aid as the inspector saw no damage.
    Sorry for adding my 2 cents, but do check what kind of records you need to show FEMA so the same thing doesn't happen to your family. I know you are very thorough and savy so you will anyway.
    Praying for your family and a swift FEMA response.

  5. I'm sorry things are going so crummy for you guys. I really wish there were a magic wand I could wave that could put things on a better path for you. Sending you love and wishing for brighter days from the chilly Midwest. <3

  6. I feel bad that you have this frustration because of a natural disaster. I hope things go well with Fema.

  7. Crumbs! and I thought I had a lot going on. We moan about our NHS but we don't have all this with insurance problems and worries of paying for treatments. I hope all gets sorted soon and you all get and stay well.

  8. Sending prayers that things smooth out for you and soon.

  9. Is there any way you can block off your fireplace area so so much cold air isn't coming through? Then maybe your electric heat bill won't be as high? Maybe one of your husband's contractor friends can help since your husband's been sick? I'm sure you've thought of this already but wanted to say just in case you haven't. Sending best wishes to you and your family.