First off, OMG OH NOES!!!1!!oneone DA SN0\/\/\!!!!11!!
Man, everyone over-reacted as usual. We got about 5 inches, which is melting down as I speak. But this made it tough for us "normals" who usually do shopping for the weekend on Friday. People around here panic like crazy, creating what my former boss Mike McGee used to call, "French toast emergencies." Why? because everyone buys out all the eggs, milk, and bread. What else could they make with that?
My mother said when she first moved here (1974), she had to fight someone woman who was cleaning out the shelves of canned goods with a scooping arm like they would never see civization again. Crazyness.
The rest I am cutting back so it won't fill friend's journals.
ironkite will be happy to hear I started work on demolishing the bathroom again. Luckily, the previous water damage (which pre-dates our family) added to the constant dryness of the winter turned a lot of the wet-then-dry drywall into a substance not unlike philo dough. It was flaky and crumbled easily. That meant not only could I rip down two more walls at the head and foot of the tub, but it mostly came down in large pieces. It was apparent how bad the water damage once was by the ancient mildew stains. As I suspected, the whole bath faucet assembly wasn't connected to anything, it just ran from the floor, and was held upright by one loose bracket on the showerhead. That's going to be fixed, I assure you. I now have more wrecked material I have to get rid of, bag by bag. I already got several bags, but our trash people have a limit on how much they'll pick up at one time before they bill you like $40 extra per pickup (according to a warning letter I received when I once had like 25 bags of trash). This is okay, I'll work slow enough for that to be completely under their limit.
So, I tackled the finances again. This time around, the Christmas bills start to arrive, heating bills skyrocket, and a ton of friends start to have birthdays. I think more than half my friends have birthdays in February and March. Honestly, people, your parents...
Some good news. While my housing went up $100/month, the insurance hike before taxes ends up to be only $66 more a month, and then due to some weird tax change, Christine's paycheck now is $12 exta month. So that's slightly less extra cost than I expected. Plus, since we now keep the house at an uncomfortable 65 degrees cold, our gas bills have been $30 less/month, which is about a 20% drop on average. Of course, it's also been unseasonably warm. But gas prices on gasoline have also reduced, so that helps.
We don't have many credit cards. We have one card for all day-to-day purchases, the Amex, and two extra credit cards to be used to be for "emergencies," which went by another name last recently, "2004." They have about $3200 balance on them, which is $1000 less than it was back in August, but I am so ashamed I have had to make minimum payments some months. All my credit card debt is almost a whopping $8000, which is not a good place to be behind. My rates aren't so hot, either at about 18% on average, so I am paying about $100-150/month in interest alone. Bleah. I need the money for other things, man, I got to get that paid off! But I was sure glad when I had that "fudge factor" last year. Barring any horrible crisises, and some financial windfalls coming my way, I may have all this paid off by late Spring. God, please?
Tax refunds are on the horizon. Last year, we got a few grand back, but this year, I owe a relative $900 I told her not to loan me in the first place. If there's one thing I hate more than being patronized, it's owing money to someone! Ugh. I hate that. She loaned it to us so we could afford to take care of Fran, and she wouldn't take no for an answer because she had this illusion I refused to take money from a woman because of male pride. Fuck that, I refuse to take money from her because I didn't see a way to pay her back! She hasn't made a big stink, but she's unhappy we only paid her $100 so far. I want to pay her back because it's the right thing to do and owing money to someone weighs heavily on my soul. I haven't gotten my W2s from work yet, but Christine has, so once we get those, we're going to H&R Block ASAP.