Friday, February 14, 2014

The 17 Year Traditional Anniversary Gift: Furniture, Fever and Flu or Fugazi?

The short answer in my house is that neither I nor my husband went traditional.  He went to the local CD resale store and purchased 3 Fugazi CDs and a DVD for me for our anniversary.  One CD is called "Furniture," so he gets partial credit, right?  I gave him a gift card to said resale store and Resident Evil 6.

On to fevers and flu.  K woke up and told me that she hadn't slept well and was feeling like garbage.  I took her temperature later.  Yup.  102.4 F.  The weekend plans were canceled.  :(  She cried.

The traditional colors of the 17 year anniversary?  Yellow and turquoise.  Well, yellow is on my CD covers and turquoise is on his game cover.  That counts.  Right?

Fugazi and killing zombies.  Wouldn't work for most people, but it works for us.  Until then, we have a strep culture test awaiting us at the pediatrician's office.  Good times!

Happy Valentine's Day!

ETA:  K had a stomach virus that had an up and down fever (no Motrin involved) with a spike to 102.9 F.  She was kind of food sensitive for a few days, but is now back to nearly full speed.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The $10,000 challenge.

It made your eyes perk up and it brought you here to read a story.  No, it isn't some get-rich-quick thing.  It is a story of my husband asking my father for my hand in marriage.

Hubs went to ask my father for permission to marry me.  They talked about a great many things, including the fact that I believe that my father thought I was high maintenance.  (I'm not no maintenance, but definitely not high maintenance.)  In the end, my father told my husband that before he could marry me, he had to have $10,000 in the bank.  That's a lot to ask of a young man who just graduated from college and who was doing an internship.  Hubs was doing his internship through the Student Conservation Association at the local National Park.  He was making 50 cents an hour and working full time at the internship, if memory serves.  He was also working a job at a plastics company through a temp service so that he would have money to pay bills.  Despite all of this, he accepted the challenge.  He had one year.  We had already decided that we would marry the following Valentine's Day.

This started Hubs and I on the way to talking about finances and how to manage to save $10,000.00, have money to live on while paying for a wedding and I was still in school.

Hubs worked for The Davey Tree Company during the summer as a tech.  We agreed that whatever money he made, he would put away as much of it as possible.  I would pay for the wedding.

Then my wisdom teeth went south.  They needed to come out and while my parents had insurance for me, the balance left was $350.  I made payment arrangements with the oral surgeon's office.

We found a hall and loved it.  I made payment arrangements with them for the hall and food.

I paid an installment plan for my tuition.  All through college, I would pay as much as I could and take out as little as I needed in loans.

We agreed that we would get rid of all credit card debt before we got married.  Hubs had his credit card maxed out at all of $500 limit.  I had a card from Kaufmann's and a Visa card.  Neither one carried an overlyesque balance, but an agreement was an agreement.

October came and despite all of the different financial stuff we had going on, Hubs was able to present my dad with the savings passbook from the bank to prove to him that he was able to save $10,000.  My dad couldn't deny Hubs marrying me that coming February.

It was a crazy thought in the beginning, but 2 months after we were married, the wheel (yes, wheel) came off of my car, whirled through the air and landed on the front lawn of a local country club.  Damage to my car was $1400.  4 months later, Ohio eCheck blew my motor.  I still owed $3700 on my car.  We had to pay it off and get a new car.  We could only afford to lease a compact car, but we eventually bought that car after lease and  kept it for 16 years.

This is where I tell you that the money that my dad made Hubs save came in handy.  We had a savings from wedding gifts, too.  Still, it was nice to have it.

2 1/2 years after we were married, we bought a house.  We put a down payment on that house and though it wasn't a huge down payment, it came from that initial savings of money we had.

Many things have come up through the years, but we've continued to have savings.  We've had money stowed away in an account that we ignore.  My dad insisted that it all start that way and while it seemed like it was a tall order to ask of a new college graduate and a college student, but we managed it and we were glad to have it.

So my engagement was tagged with a $10,000 challenge.  We won! :)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Hooray for new brakes!

My brakes were making a weird grinding noise.  I couldn't tell if some large clot of snow or ice had gotten caught up in the wheel or if it was a bad brake thing.  I brought it up to my brother, my brake repair guy, a couple of weeks ago.  It was then that the weather went straight back down to -10.8 F.  Two weeks passed and I felt something grinding.  I gave him a text.  He texted back.  He got to business yesterday.

After several hours later in an unheated garage with the door wide open, having given us a lot of time to talk, he replaced the front brake pads, the back rotors and pads.  He said if it would have gone much longer, I would have had to use those front rotors we bought just in case.

Parts were $150.  I asked what I owed.  He said $40.   I paid $75.  (Hazard pay.)  He didn't want to take it, but I made him.  It was slave labor wage given what he did.  He even changed my windshield wiper blades and ribbed me for what the driver's side blade looked like.

I ripped it.  A lot.  I ended up pulling hunks of ice off of the blade and shredded it.

It's all fixed now!  Hooray for stopping!