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Don't Count Your Chickens ... Le Sigh

May 13th, 2016 at 06:44 pm

Well ... on the bright side. We got back from our honeymoon in Branson Wednesday night. Our time in Branson was wonderful. The condo we stayed in was beautiful - had a balcony we sat on looking out on the lake while eating a couple meals. We took in two shows - The Haygoods and Acrobats of Shanghai. Both were fantastic!

We also went to Silver Dollar City. That was okay .. We hadn't realized it would be quite so hilly, and DH was having trouble with that. He really tried to be a trooper. kind of felt like a waste of money for what we actually did there though.

Another waste of money was Inspiration Point tower. At least that was only $17 for the two of us. (Instead of $130 for Silver Dollar City.)

So ... Wednesday we are on our way to Springfield where we planned to stop at Fantastic Caverns on our way home. I send a text to Realtor asking about setting up our final walk through.

He calls me back. Bad news. During the freak tornado/huge rainstorm that hit the L town area on Monday, our house got water in the basement. The sellers weren't sure where it came from.

So ... we cancel our planned stops and race back to L town and to our house.

We talk to the sellers and see what they are doing to clean up the water (mostly just soaked carpet.) We decide that we don't know enough to make a decision, and ask to have a professional come out to give their opinion.

Thursday afternoon I get the phone call from Realtor telling me that the professional came out and looked (charged us $250) and discovered that the wall where they had cracks before (revealed during inspection, but not told to worry about too much, just to keep an eye on) was bowing. In fact, the person estimated 6 to 8 years before it collapsed.

Prior to the professionals opinion the sellers had agreed to give us a $2k cash credit towards cleaning up/fixing the issue. Realtor (after professional's visit) estimated $10k to fix wall issue, and around $15k to fix wall and regrade yard/remove part of deck above problem area.

DH and I looked at all our money and what priorities we have, and thought we would set $8k aside now, and then save the rest and have it fixed in March.

Realtor calls me this morning about 10:30 with the written report/estimates. Just to fix the wall - $14k+. To regrade yard/remove deck/remove tree stump - $9100.

Realtor goes to sellers with numbers and they want two more estimates before discussing how much they'd be willing to do.

So, the end result is closing is put of til June 13.

DH and I are back on Zillow looking to see if there's anything else. To say that the pickings are slim, very slim, is an understatement.

I'd already given my 30 day notice .. my apartment is mostly packed at this point. I contacted my property manager and she told me she needs to start showing June 1. I'll need to have the boxes stacked as much as possible and have the place kept clean for showings. Ugh!

Moving in with DH is NOT something I want to contemplate. To say that he is living in an unacceptable place is to put it mildly. Partly why I'm so anxious to get us into a place of our own. (it's a long story as to why he's put up with it)

I called and canceled movers, and the new account orders for gas and electric and Internet. What a royal mess.

Just talked to loan processor. He told me moving the closing to June 13 is just a pre-caution and that we could close sooner depending on when we get estimates and come up with a plan of action. (And of course based on what sellers are willing to do.)

This is SO frustrating.

Keyless Doorknobs? Leaving on Sunday :)

May 7th, 2016 at 04:57 am

The last few days I've been working on getting utilities set to switch over to the house. Today I called the water department and found out that the title insurance place had already put in an order for that to happen?

We are getting the basic Kinetic Internet/cable package. I'd prefer to go without the cable part, but DH really wants it, and since he's willing to go with the basic ... It'll only be maybe ten to fifteen dollars more a month than what I'm paying for just Internet right now.

I also got movers lined up for the 15th (which means I need to get my stuff packed PDQ!)

DH and I are in discussion mode about possibly replacing the locks on the doors with keyless entry locks. I think since we need to rekey the doors anyway, why not spend just a little bit more and have their convenience? (i.e. you can set a temporary code for someone you need to let in, but might not want to have continual access, like a guest or a housekeeper.)

DH wants us to have a deadbolt on the front door for added security. I need to look into a solution for that ..

Anyone use keyless door locks? What are your experiences?

We'll be heading to Branson on Sunday! We're planning on doing Silver Dollar City, one of the acrobat shows and then either the Haygood's or the Frankie Vallie show. We also may rent a boat - although the one we were thinking about is much bigger than DH had in mind (the one at the marinia by our hotel.) We may also take in a movie - possibly Captain America.

On our way home, we may be making a stop for DH's first chicken (as an adult at least - his family had lots of chickens as he grew up.) It's a bantam hen - he plans to keep it in the basement in an open cage til we get the chicken coop and privacy fence figured out. As long as I can't smell it ...

Did you know that most auto insurance companies won't insure pizza delivery drivers? If they get into an accident while on the clock, the insurance will just not pay out anything, and then will drop the previously insured!

I found this out while working with S to find a home insurance quote. DH wasn't too happy with me insisting that he check to see if his employer carried the right kind of insurance to at least cover liability. But he did it anyway - even check with his insurance company ... (I waited with bated breath, hoping not to hear that he'd been dropped as soon as they heard "pizza delivery driver.")

The good news was ... his particular company does not have an exclusion. The bad news is ... most other companies do. He had them do a home insurance quote, and it came in higher than Geico's. So ... no can do with having all of our stuff on one policy. His insurance guy wants to see the home insurance quote I got - he couldn't figure out how we got it so low. ($713/yr.)

I'm just relieved to know that he's covered (only has liability.) I am thinking about looking into an umbrella policy, or see how it'd work to put stuff into a living trust - if that would protect our assets in case he got into an accident where someone got hurt (and he was at fault.)

Pizza delivery is one of the top dangerous jobs - right up there with construction workers, etc. DH is a very careful and defensive driver. But he also is on the road TONS of time ...

Finally Figured it Out :) Wedding Expenses Recount

April 28th, 2016 at 02:51 am

I'd successfully shared an album from iCloud before, but I tried that tonight, and it kept my full name! Ugh! So I made an album in Amazon drive, and was even able to upload videos!

You'll never guess what the pictures and videos are all about will you? Big Grin

Some of the photos are repeats, most aren't. One video is of my brother singing, and the other video is of us playing the Shoe Game (part of it at least.)

Here's the link:

*The first picture is my favorite one I think. Smile

I'm still in recovery mode. Had two days of being at work as a married woman. Smile Been trying to get used to writing my new initials in the receipt book. My email address got an alias now, and that confused a few people. So, I had to share the good news. Smile

Mr FT and I opened a joint account on Monday evening. A funny story - we drove there in two cars because he was going to have to leave for work right away. When we got there, we did a quick smooch before heading in. Coming out of the credit union was an old man.

He shouted at us to keep the PDA's out of the public view. Mr FT told him that we'd just gotten married on Sunday and couldn't help it.

The old man shouted back, "Happy New Year!" ???? Smile LOL

I got my engagement ring and wedding ring resized and soldered ? together. They also shined them up really nice. Smile It was so strange to have the engagement ring off my finger, even if only for less than 24 hours. It's funny how fast you get used to something.
_---It cost $128 to resize and solder. (almost as much as the wedding band itself cost ...)

I haven't added up ALL the costs, but I think we came close to breaking even. We had $2500 gifted to us before the wedding, and received slightly more than $1k in cash/checks + some more in gift cards.

Dress+Alterations - ~$700
Tux rental - $220
Venue rental + use of two rooms - $524
Food for reception - $220
Drink for reception - $35
Food for rehearsal dinner - $50
Drink for rehearsal dinner - $20
Decorations, plates, etc - $56
Hair (trial, +mom and I wedding day) -140
Makeup (trial, mom and I wedding day) - 170
Invitations/Thank You Cards/Postage - $35
Bouquet / boutonniere - $68
Marriage License - $30
Pre-Marital Counseling - $35
Photographer - $250 (so far - owe another $250 when we receive photos)
Printing Photos - $31 so far (Groupon deals, plus two photos from Walgreen's to include in group thank you card to bus company)

If you include a full $500 for the photographer, it comes out to about $2800. I expect to spend probably another $100 - $150 for printing photos. Probably add in another $100 or so for expenses I forgot to include (haven't kept the best track ...) and we're still under what we were gifted.

That leaves some for the honeymoon. Big Grin

Ok, now this may end my wedding talk. For awhile. Big Grin

Married :) Some first pictures

April 25th, 2016 at 04:14 pm

What a busy weekend this was!

As usual in weddings, we had a bit of the drama ..

After one night at the b&b, the CA group, minus my brother, decided to stay somewhere else. Their excuse was that the stairs were too much for my grandma. That may have been a valid reason, but I tend to think there was more to it than that.

I learned of this just as I was walking into church. Then while in church, as I was loading up the Bible on my phone, I got a text from my mom. It was telling me that she'd been told that she might not like it there and might want to go somewhere else.

Needless to say, once I was alone that afternoon, Mr FT had to talk me carefully away from the edge.

Mom ended up deciding to stay at the b&b.

Something that didn't affect me directly - Mr FT's sister's boyfriend's youngest son who was dying of cancer - they decided to take him off life support Saturday night. So, the boyfriend obviously didn't come to the rehearsal or wedding.

Then there were the things that slipped through the cracks in my planning and / or in remembering what to bring. Such as ... knowing where the college cafeteria was located before taking a group there for lunch ... Or ... remembering to tell my uncle about the Shoe Game *before* the reception AND bringing a suggested list of questions ... Then of course the Unity ceremony ... I kind of over complicated it. By the ceremony, it worked out fine, but I think it got people confused.

Saturday night - the dinner started 30 minutes late because people showed up late. We only had 11 people, and there were 5 on time...

Because of the small number, we used several big long tables instead of separate round tables. I think that worked out very well to help facilitate conversation.

The rehearsal itself was a bit chaotic, and due to Mr FT being very tired by the time we'd ran through it a 3rd time ... we didn't go over the reception at all. Which is partly why the Shoe Game was a surprise to my uncle. And luckily, when it came time for the cake cutting, Mr FT just followed my lead.

After the rehearsal, Mr FT and all but those staying at the b&b left. My mom, my brother, and my Ohio aunt and uncle stayed up teaching the Ohio aunt how to play Rook. After awhile, they went to bed. My mom, brother and I stayed up talking. Then later went to a grocery store for water and snacks.

I got to my room around 12:30 a.m. Managed to get maybe two hours of sleep.

Sunday morning it was raining and thundering til nearly 7 a.m. I was really worried the Model A car wouldn't come.

We ate a lovely breakfast provided by the b&b for guests. Then my brother went on some errands for me, and I got ready for the hair and makeup ladies.

I think my mom enjoyed having her hair and makeup done. (Her first time being airbrushed!) The ladies commented that it was nice how relaxed the morning was - prompted probably by my telling my mom that whatever made her happy, made me happy as far as hair/jewelry, etc. Plus my brother came up several times with different things for me.

I got a little panicky once the hair and makeup were done .. because it was now 5 minutes into the time we were supposed to be doing our first look, and I wasn't even dressed!

My mom helped me get dressed (made me take off my fitbit!) My brother had to help do the top hook though ... it was a *wee* bit tighter than I had remembered.

Around this time I was told that the Model A had arrived and it was really cool! Smile

Mr FT and I had our first look - he was amazing! Smile

We took lots of pictures with the Model A car. So many, that we started to *really* get behind in our schedule.

Finally we went inside and started taking the family photos. About 12:10 non-family guests started arriving ... Also, Mr FTs back was really hurting. So I had him sit down and then we took pictures of just me with various family members. I cut out probably 1/4 of the photos I'd been thinking about ... Then Mr FT took photos with his family (only his sister and nephew were there.)

It was 12:20 now! My brother and I headed upstairs. Then my brother told me to wait there, and he'd be right back. When he came back he had something in his hand. He'd taken some of dad's ashes and some dirt from the b&b garden and mixed it together - so dad was with us in a way. I nearly lost it right there. So very sweet of him.

Right at 12:30 Edelweiss started and we headed down the stairs to meet my groom. Smile

Overall, the ceremony went very well. The only small glitch was that T, Mr FTs nephew started the We've Only Just Begun song too late .. I signaled him to x-nay it.

We had lots of comments about my brother's singing - he did a knock out fantastic job of God Bless This Broken Road.

Did you know that there isn't anywhere for the bride and groom to sign on the marriage certificates on the actual day? I guess I hadn't looked at them closely enough ..

After the signing was done, Mr FT and I were left alone for a little bit to breathe. While we were waiting to be called for the reception, I heard my phone beep. It was a text from the lady who was going to video the ceremony - she'd been in a car wreck and totaled her car! I hadn't even realized she hadn't come! I had to reassure multiple times that I wasn't upset - just glad she was ok!

Finally we were called down for the reception. We made our grand re-entrance, had some toasts (Mr FTs sister and nephew both spoke - which I was really glad for!) and then a little more drama.

My aunt came by our table and asked if we'd like her to get plates for us. We both told her thanks, but we'd like to get it ourselves. Not ten seconds after saying that, my mom shows up with two plates of food. Oops.

We both ate a few bites, but then I realized that time was getting away from us, and we needed to "mingle." Mr FT was a trooper (at least at the time) as we made the rounds.

About the time we were on the next to last person, my brother asked me if we were ready to cut the cake. So we moved over to the food room and did the cake cutting.

This was about the time I realized that I hadn't told my uncle about the Shoe Game - which we were to play while my Aunt cut the cake... Luckily he was able to catch on pretty quickly, and even got audience participation (no inappropriate questions thankfully!) Everyone seemed pretty impressed that we both were pretty in sync with our answers. Smile

Next everyone got their cake / dessert and moved into the foyer for the slideshow. (this was another piece of drama - the projector guy realized that the picture would NOT show up on the wall, so he ran back to the church and got a screen) The slideshow/video last just under 12 minutes. I *think* people enjoyed it.

After that we headed to the carport for a group photo. Just as we were finishing, the first few drops of rain could be felt.

Mr FT and I at this point were supposed to go upstairs and change. Never happened - too many people wanted to talk to us! Smile

At one point we were ushered out of the carport (where we were talking with his nephew) and then ushered back ... where we found my car decorated and filled with balloons! All the doing of my brother Smile he'd had it completely cleaned out and detailed too. (badly needed!)

I had planned on doing the cleanup myself with Mr FTs help, but my family pretty much took care of everything while we were doing more mingling.

By about 4:15 we scooted upstairs and changed. I came back downstairs to see if there was anything left to do. Not much at all.

Mr FT came down about 15 minutes later (he'd laid down to rest his back.) We started working on hauling stuff out to the cars. I got waylaid a few more times into conversations - Mr FT was starting to get really frustrated (he'd had NO sleep)

Finally we said our final goodbyes and made it to my place about 5 p.m. Where after putting away the perishables (Oh my, the leftovers ....) we fell onto my bed utterly and completely exhausted for the next 5 hours.

During this time I did get the first opportunity to use the phrase "check with my husband first" Smile (in regards to an appointment with the will & trust guy for the conference - a free thing!)

Today I need to take back the tux, and will be having lunch with my mom here soon. We might also open up our joint checking this afternoon (if Mr FT gets up early enough.)

So now after having survived all that, here is your reward ... Smile (These were taken by family)

My mom and her brother in law - just thought this was a really cool picture.

G - the car owner, and N - our fabulous innkeeper!

Where we stood in front of for the ceremony.

My lovely 94 yo grandma.

My uncle and officiant who is leaving for Egypt in one day!

My family

Mr FTs family

Surprises and Fun :)

April 23rd, 2016 at 01:28 pm

On this, my last full day of being a single lady, I wish all my fellow SA'ers a beautiful day! Big Grin

The last few days have been crazy busy and full.

Thursday when I got out to my car after work, I had a voicemail from the owner of the Bed and Breakfast. In a slightly stressed voice I was told that the Ohioians had made their arrival TWO DAYS EARLY without reservations. Their phone wasn't working here, so they'd asked her to contact me to let me know.

As I heard this, I was on my way to the other side of town for my pedicure appointment. After which I needed to do some more shopping at Walmart, and then had plans with Mr FT after he got off work.

I called back and talked to my Aunt D. Both her and Uncle D were happy to just chill for the evening. I invited them both to come with us the next day to see the house and go out to eat.

At the pedicure, I found out why the manicure was so abysmal. Apparently at the beauty school they are not allowed to do anything such as clipping nails or cuticles. Anything that could *possibly* draw blood.

So ... the pedicure also was not great. Although it sure took a dandy long time. (And it started peeling last night ...)

Friday morning I met C, at the church where she gave me the decorations and the teacup mugs. She also sweetly offered a prayer for me. Smile

Then I did some more shopping. At one point while I was on the phone with Mr FT, a huge chip came off one of my fingernails. That was it for me - I had to get a real manicure!

So, that's what I did once I got done with the shopping. SO much difference!

Although I was pretty darn tired at this point, I needed to put together everything in a somewhat organized fashion to take to the B&B.

Took me the better part of two hours (including a mis-guided adventure into attempting to make a $3 Unity Candle - resulting in cutting my thumb ...)

Finally, with all non-food items loaded into my car, I headed over to the B&B. Just before I got there, I got a call from my brother telling me that they'd JUST gotten their rental car and were leaving O.

What? I'd expected them to have been in L by this point. Breathe, Laura, breathe.

I go into the B&B and talk to my aunt and uncle from OH. My aunt helps me carry in the tux and dress and hang them in their room. Then she shows me the rag quilt she made for us! (In less than a month!)

I carry in the rest of the stuff and put it in N's office. Then ... I look at the tables the rental company had brought and have a moment of panic.

The tables which stated they could seat 4 - 6 people, looked barely big enough to seat 4 people.

N calmly suggests that I call the rental company and ask if they could switch them for bigger tables. Which is what I did, and what they did. (for a half-delivery fee, plus extra costs of tables - about $30 total.)

Around this time, the CA group came in. Big Grin Big Grin I really hope I didn't hurt my Ohio Aunt/Uncle's feelings by the way I greeted my brother.

We got everyone situated in their rooms, and then I realized what time it was, and had to somewhat gently/urgently get everybody to move on it!

We had an appointment at the house with the seller at 4:30. We left the B&B at 4:18 ... Thankfully Mr FT arrived on time and could explain that we were running late.

We arrived at the house at 4:40. Everybody fell in love with the house. Smile

Then we all went out to eat at Village Inn. It was SO funny - so much chatter before the food came. Then when the food came, there was nary a sound for a good 15 minutes. Everybody was ravenous I think. Smile

(My grandma generously treated for everyone!)

After dinner we went back to the B&B. Although, on the way back, I saw my brother turn off the wrong way. I wondered what in the world?

Later I found out that grandma had noticed the Dairy Queen. And when grandma wants her ice cream, she GETS her ice cream. Big Grin LOL! So did everybody else (me included - they brought back a blizzard for me .. I didn't have the heart to tell them that I couldn't really eat it since I'd be around people the next day ...) Mr FT ate most of it for me when I got back to my apartment (where he'd gone while I waited for the CA group to come back.)

Now I'm just doing a bit of relaxing before heading to pick up my OH Aunt/Uncle and my brother to go to Sabbath School. My grandma/Aunt/Uncle from CA will join us later.

Everybody, please think good thoughts about the weather tomorrow? It's calling for possible thunderstorms ... If it waits til after one, that would be just fine with me. Otherwise, we may not be able to do any outside pictures! Or pictures with the Model A!! Frown

You Get What You Pay For ..

April 20th, 2016 at 01:54 am

So a few weeks ago I bought a Groupon for 3 mani/pedi's from the local beauty school. 3 of them for about 35% of the price at a regular place.

Today I had my first 1/2 of the mani/pedi - the manicure. The girl was very nice and friendly and really tried hard. But ... part of the reason I was going for someone else to do my nails, was to have my cuticles taken care of .. and other than pushing them back, she did nothing with them.

It was a very basic manicure, one that I could have pretty easily replicated on my own. (I don't do my cuticles, have had one too many oops doing them myself.) Still, it did turn out looking nice, just not quite what I was expecting.

After I was done, I headed to Walmart. I bought 6 bottles of Welch's Sparkling Grape Juice for toasting, a variety of teas for the reception, a combination photo album/signature book *$9!* for the guest book, some fake flowers to put in the teapot we were given for our sweetheart table centerpiece, and some other miscellaneous items. Spent nearly $100!

I didn't realize that cutting fake flower stems was so difficult ... I'd bought one of those styrofoam disc things to put them into, and to put into the teapot. The flat round ball was too big ... so I had to cut it down.

Then I tried cutting the stem of the longest flower with a pair of scissors. Nope. Wasn't happening. Finally got it "cut" with a knife.

I'd planned on cutting ALL of them down so they'd be more even with the top of the teapot. But after my first attempt, decided to try without cutting. They look okay, but I'm hoping to figure out what I need to use to cut them!

Wire cutters?

I don't think I'm going to manage to get my apartment very clean before Friday. I had been thinking of having the CA contingent eat lunch here on Saturday ...but, yeah, no. Maybe I'll let them come in long enough to meet Kari. Otherwise, we can eat the the cafeteria on the local SDA college campus. My grandma would really like that. Smile (That's what we do when I visit her in CA.)

Only two more days of work! (Well, the paying kind of work at least.)

I paid off the cake today, and the table/linen delivery people also.

*Note to self - have a $5 bill to give to cake people on Sunday (the lady charged me $5 less than she was supposed to, so I told her I'd give them $5 on Sunday.)

Most of what expenses are left now will be paying the bed and breakfast fees (she's not charging anything until all is said and done - will probably be the $245 fee, plus two room rentals since one couple isn't coming that we'd planned on.) The makeup fee. (Hair is already paid in full.) The other half of the photography fee (but he doesn't want that until he gives us the photos.) Then probably 3 meals out with varying groups of people - two times with the CA contingency, and once with the TX/OH group.

I do still need to get the salad fixings for Saturday night, pay for the pizza, buy the ice cream and rootbeer ... and ?? That may be it.

I think I've decided to not do programs. Is that bad? I'd kind of put together one, but every time I'm out somewhere I might get paper for it, I keep forgetting it. Maybe Thursday when I get the salad stuff, if I see some for a good deal that I like ..

I haven't been keeping perfect track of all wedding related expenses, but I think we are on track to come in under $3500, even with the eating out group expenses (which I hadn't put in my budget plan at first.) That isn't including the honeymoon. Smile Although that I don't think should come in much more than $1k, if that.

Annoyed at Geico, Looking for Home Ins., and Branson!

April 19th, 2016 at 01:10 am

This weekend I called Geico, with whom I've had my car insurance for 15+ years to get a home insurance quote and also find out what it would cost to add Mr FTs car to my policy.

The auto insurance person I spoke with was great. Very helpful. I have no complaints about him.

The home insurance person I spoke with was great at first. But then when she figured out that I was only looking for a quote (after I repeatedly said that numerous times...) she got all pushy.

When I told her that I'd been told to not go for any quotes over $950/yr, she told me "but we're offering $10k sewer backup - nobody else will give you that."

I firmly told her thank you, but that I wanted to do some more checking around. She wasn't a happy camper.

(My quote was $1160/yr. for $179k replacement. I think the wood stove in the basement and fireplace probably didn't help the cost estimate.)

Today I got an email telling me that I have a $2.11 bill for my car insurance. So I'm guessing that they've already put Mr FT on my policy? Or changed my zipcode? I'm not sure it's worth a phone call right now or not- my minutes are being eaten up this month majorly.

I've emailed a couple other places about home insurance and am waiting to hear back from them.

Last night Mr FT and I booked our hotel for our honeymoon! We both agreed that normally we'd go for the cheapest room, but decided this was worthy of a splurge. Smile So we went with the 1 bedroom condo w/kitchenette on the lakeside. Smile 3 nights will be just a bit less than $300 with taxes and fees. (Plus getting 8 SBs per dollar back.)

We also explored what shows are going on that week, and found a few we could agree on. We haven't bought any tickets yet though.

I worked on the seating plans today ... and realized that didn't have enough spots for all the people! The rental place called, and while I was on the phone with them I asked how much it would cost to upsize one of the tables - $2. Go for it!

One other thing Mr FT and I worked on last night (with a bit of grumbling from him at first) was writing out the place cards. I wrote messages inside of each place card for my family members, and then wrote what Mr FT dictated to me for his. I hope everyone likes it! (This was possible since we only have 20 people coming. More than that, and it may have been a bit overwhelming.)

The money from stocks and ROTH have hit my checking account. Now it'll sit there until time to do a huge cashier's check ... At least it will be earning a little bit of interest until May 12. Big Grin (2.5%)

My allergies seem to have lightened up some here this week. Knock on wood that the trend continues. At least through Monday of next week. Smile

Getting Stuff Accomplished!

April 14th, 2016 at 01:04 am

Today I called the bakery and ordered a cupcake to go with the cake - to give to the owner of the vintage car as a thank you. Smile

I also made two! appointments to have a mani/pedi - one for the mani, and one for the pedi. Not ideal by any means, but the only way I could do it without taking off of work.

I found out that J had been waiting to hear back from me about the inspection before going forward with the appraisal. Oops! I didn't have my debit card with me for the correct account, so will do that tomorrow.

After work I picked up a card from the Dollar Store for S who is retiring tomorrow. He's not even 55 years old! My hero!!

When I got home, I called my brokerage firm and got the ball moving on the ROTH transfer. By Friday I should be able to move all the money to my bank account.

THEN I finally wrote out and addressed all the thank you cards from the Bridal shower. 9 days later isn't too late, is it? Better late than never? .... I'll take them to the post office tomorrow.

Am now taking a slight breather before working on some cleaning that needs to be done.

I'm glad to check a bunch off my list!

Sold Stocks, Surprise gift

April 13th, 2016 at 11:42 am

I finally pulled the trigger on selling the stock on Monday. They sold at 251, and this morning they open at 249 .. so maybe good timing?? I think it will still be another day or two before I can move the money though.

I tried moving my money from my ROTH, but there is a $45 debit from when I transferred the ROTH from Trowe - so can't do it without making a phone call. How annoying! Why they can't just take the $45 out automatically ... Ugh. At least I'm not in a time crunch.

Last night I checked my Amazon registry and saw that someone had bought the InstaPot for us! When I looked to see who it was, I was very conflicted. It was my mom's most recent ex-guyfriend. They're breakup wasn't pretty. I called her and asked her what she wanted me to do - she told me to just accept it graciously. So ... I guess I'll do that.

I had a dentist appointment yesterday. No cavities! yay!

Afterwards I stopped at Shopko to see if they had any tennies in my size at a reasonable price. I thought I had found a pair, but when I got to the checkout counter, found out they weren't wide width. Boo!

I did however find a new pair of dress pants that fit well and were reasonably priced (only due to a sale price!) and two tops (also on "sale") One of the tops I know I'll keep - the other one I need to try with the skirt I'm always trying to figure out what to wear with. Maybe I'll try it on and post a photo here and see what you all think ... I love the skirt, it's just so hard to find a color/top that works with it.

The wedding is just 11 days away ... yikes yikes yikes! I'm looking forward to seeing my family, but am also nervous about whether I'll have everything put together in time or not. I'm also hoping that my allergies aren't going to be making me miserable that weekend ... like they currently have been ...

I think Mr FT and I have decided to leave the majority of the flooring in our new house alone. We will take out the carpet in the bathrooms and replace with some kind of wet resistant flooring, but otherwise wait and see if the other flooring will truly be a problem. It was, as I found out, only installed a few months ago. That would be such a waste to pull it up without giving it a chance first.

I helped Mr FT with his taxes the other night. He's getting a nice bit back. Between that, and his inheritance check, we're going to be able to take a big chunk out of his medical and student loan debt, even with taking some of it to fund "present" and "future."

I also was reading the instructions for the 1095 form, and it mentioned something about if you need to make different allocations due to a marriage in the year. So it sounds like the IRS planned for circumstances similar to ours. That gives me hope for our taxes next year - that they're not going to be a mess or a lot owed.

Along with my allergies being bonkers, I've been having a really sour stomach the last few days. The only thing I can think of is that I've eaten some fried foods that I don't normally eat, plus been drinking more soda. So .. no more soda and no more fried foods! Hopefully the sour will go away soon ...

The Inspection! And a Flooring ?

April 9th, 2016 at 02:11 am

We had our house inspection this afternoon! R, our inspector was pretty awesome I think. He had spent a couple hours going through the house before we got there checking everything out. Then with us there, he took us through everything and pointed out a huge variety of things.

He told us that overall, the house is in very good shape. The main concern is the 23 yo water heater .. Smile There was SO much information ... but he's going to be writing a 17 page report with the same info so we can refer back to it when we need to.

We told C, our agent ... Go ahead! None of the issues raised by R are anything we can't easily do ourselves (well, with a little help from youtube ...)

One thing we found out was that the couple selling the house have just had their 70th!! wedding anniversary! The husband is turning 95 soon. We were SO off - we thought they were maybe mid to late 70s at most.

They also are the original owners - they designed the home themselves - back in 1952. The husband custom made the cabinets (he's way into woodworking.)

I didn't get any photos today - just way too much to take in to also take photos. But I will take some soon!

One thing R told us was about the flooring used in the kitchen/formal dining room/hallways - it's a wood vaneer? He basically said that you don't want to let it get wet, as it can ruin it quickly.

So ... um ... with all our cats, and possibly dogs in the future .. some with possible "issues" of the liquid variety .. We won't always be home to catch "issues" right away. So .. there's gotta be something we can put on it to protect it? Right?

So, our next hurdle is the appraisal. Then of course getting the stocks sold for the downpayment. (The T stock has been so UP and DOWN - wish I'd sold it on Wednesday!)

Just two weeks from now, and my brother/grandma/aunt will be here from California!

I still have SO much to do. I stopped at Dollar Tree and SuperSaver to get some napkins/plates/cups/plasticware for the rehearsal dinner/reception. I couldn't find the plates I wanted, so I might have to go to Party City for them.

I was going to stop at this new store FreshT for some great produce deals, but I hadn't eaten since lunch and was getting a sinus headache. Maybe I'll go there on Sunday after meeting with the photographer.

I finally made it to 100k points in the Achievemint app again. Sadly though, after I redeemed my points for my $100 gift card, I was told that I'd reached the max reward limit. So, I guess they only let you get 2 $100 awards. Frown Frown

This was a slow way to accumulate extra funds, but it was relatively simple and painless. So I'm sad to not have it as a tiny bit of extra motivation.

I probably should try to do my thank you notes tonight so I can hand most of them out at church tomorrow. Smile Save on postage you know. Smile That probably won't happen though, plus it might be kind of rude ... I don't know.

Question about homeowner's insurance and liability -- let's say we had a boat and it was within our fenced in yard. Some yahoos decide to climb our fence and get in the boat and goof off and end up getting hurt. Would we be liable? If so, would it be homeowner's insurance or liability for boat insurance that would cover it?

Mr FT and I were having a discussion about this today (as we were discussing where to check at for homeowner's insurance.) BTW - Anyone use Farm Bureau Insurance? R told us about it, and that they have only one deductible for whatever you have insured with them. (house, car, boat ..)

Bridal Shower, etc.

April 6th, 2016 at 02:40 am

On Sunday I had my bridal shower. There was a nice sized group of ladies there. It felt really weird to be in the center of things ... Some of them thought it was funny that I looked for the card first before opening the gift - I told them that I'd been taught to always try to find the card first and thank the giver before you even know what the gift is. (We also usually give big hugs after opening ... but I didn't do that on Sunday.) Smile

I got quite a few nice items - which made me glad I had spent the time on making the registries. I'd kind of wondered if that had been a whole lot of wasted time ..

Still helping Mr FT with his big project. Although tonight I had to tell him I needed a break. Hopefully it'll be mostly done by this Friday - otherwise I'm going to have to tell him he's on his own. I have to get some stuff done for the wedding!!

I checked in with the cake baker, the videographer, and the caterer on Monday and Tuesday to make sure everything was still good to go.

I need to write out thank you notes for all the gifts on Sunday (maybe take them to work with me tomorrow ...)

I am SO tired of having people argue with me about route information. SO TIRED!

My sinuses are really acting up = probably somewhat related to the big project I've been helping with.

The radon testing is getting set up at our house Smile tomorrow so we'll have the results by Friday. C really made me roll my eyes today when he texted me to make sure we'd asked for radon testing. Uh yeah. It was in the offer thing, and I specifically specified it when talking to you ...

I'm really liking the plant based cooking class - I haven't had time to do TOO much with it yet, but mostly it's just reading background info / watching videos right now.

Mr FTs inheritance check looks like it may actually be coming in the next few weeks. We've been discussing what to do with it. My suggestion was 30% each to medical debt, present needs (landscaping), and future (retirement) and 10% to fun (his boat fund / 4 wheel vehicle fund probably). He's agreeable to the idea, but we haven't made any final decisions.

Busy, busy

April 2nd, 2016 at 12:58 pm

I wrote a long entry, and then forgot to copy it ..

Oh well.

Jist of it -

*Been very busy helping Mr FT with a huge project this week. Still lots to do, and not lots of time to do it in ..

*Signed the mortgage paperwork with J on Thursday. Inspections are scheduled for the 8th, and the appraisal will be after that.

*Debating on the timing of selling electric car stock (begins with T) and withdrawing from ROTH. The market has been SO topsy turvy. Especially the T stock.

*Aunt and Uncle (who paid for wedding dress) got their first T car - a the X one. Uber excited. My brother will get to drive it - lucky duck. (I could too, just would mean a California trip.)

(The above Uncle is the one who got my dads whole side of the family to invest in the T stock when it was still under $30.)

* Bridal shower is tomorrow! I'm not sure what to expect, since there is another bridal shower at the same time at the church! I wasn't expecting to even have one, so whatever happens, will be great! Smile

*I've been coming up with many ideas/ways to spend money regarding the new house. Smile Almost as bad as Mr FT with his landscaping/animals ideas. Good thing I have a strong penchant for keeping a strong EF! But will give ourselves a little bit of money to play with in setting up house. Smile

*Finally had a Groupon deal come out for a mani/pedi. There seemed to be a dearth of them for awhile. Maybe because of it being winter? Anyway, I got a deal for 3 gel mani/pedis at a local beauty school for $43. Not too shabby I think. Smile (One will be for wedding.)

*Got my interest for the Brink's account! 3 months worth at 5% - $57.68! I'm glad I decided to wait patiently and see if it would actually pay out 5%!

- Will now probably fund the Netspend card I opened a while ago, but got discouraged about actually using due to not having interest the first month show up. Will only put $40 on it to get the $20 bonus though. Later may put more on there.

* I started the Culinary PX program. I haven't gotten very far with it due to Mr FTs big project, but what I have seen so far, I like a lot. I think it's going to be well worth the $50.

Look What I Made :)

March 30th, 2016 at 01:45 am

I signed up for one week of Hello Fresh through a Swagbucks offer ($19 after a coupon, plus another 1000SBs) This weekend I made the flatbread pizza (didn't take a picture though) and tonight I made this:

Southwest Zucchini Bake

It used basmati rice which I'd never had before. I wasn't too thrilled by the rice, but the dish overall was really good! (I have enough for dinner tomorrow!)

If I had several recipes I could do the prep work for at one time, then it would make this meal take about 30 minutes. As it was, it took me about 50 minutes with chopping the different ingredients/figuring out how to scoop out the zucchini.

I did bite the bullet and sign up for Culinary DX plant based cooking lessons for $50. It's a 60 day course, and it starts tomorrow. Prepping the stuff tonight made me hope for better knife skills ...

I do have a good set of Cusinart knives now though. Bought them from Amazon a few months ago when a deal site advertised them - I think they were $19 for six knives? Normally a $100+ set.

I was so busy at work today, that I had oodles of time to look at different arrangements of cat wall shelving environments. Smile Our cats will more than likely be our kids, so I may spend a little bit of an insane amount to make the house fun for them. Smile (Hopefully eliminate or lessen territorial issues, and also give Kari a way to get away if she needs to.)

I also was looking at various contraptions to let cats be "outside", but not really have freedom. Our deck I think will be perfect for some of the ideas I saw. Eventually, we may build a sunroom off of the back door/deck of the living room. That's a ways off though.

I also spent time looking at DIY home decorating ideas. I really liked one for decorating the front stoop - Mr FT and I will have to discuss it of course, but I bet I can get him to go for it. Smile

Can you tell just how busy I was? Smile
I woke up around 4:30 this morning and couldn't get back to sleep. Finally I got up and put some music on, and "danced" for about 30 minutes. I am now SO tired. I'm going to try to get to bed here in the next hour or so.

I updated in the comments, but for anyone else .. Smile

I talked to J today and my interest rate for the loan is locked in at 3.875% (30 years), and no escrow/no fee! Big Grin I'm meeting him at his office on Thursday with the initial round of paperwork he's needing.

I asked him about taxes. He told me we'd not have to pay taxes at closing - but we'd get a tax bill in December which would be due in March. You know what I'm going to do right? Smile

Ahhhhh!!!!!!! :D :D :D :D :D

March 27th, 2016 at 09:00 pm

They didn't accept our offer BUT they did a counter offer!

Mr FT had told me that if we had to add up to 3k to it, he was fine with it.

They asked for 1.5k more - with the allowance of letting us keep whatever furniture/appliances in the garage/tool shed/house that we wanted.

I of course said YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT - We'll TAKE IT!!!!!!!

Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin

C, our Realtor said the couple loved our bio, and that may have been partly what sealed the deal for us. Big Grin

He's going to come by my work tomorrow with some more paperwork to fill out. Then we're going to get started inspections.

Closing date is scheduled for Friday, May 13 (the day after we get back from our honeymoon.)


Mr FT and I are going to go out to eat somewhere tonight to celebrate crossing this first major hurdle towards the finish line of being homeowners!


We need to get my boss something as a thank you gift - she's the one who sent this address on to me to look at. If she hadn't nudged me that way, I may not have even seen it, because I was only looking at places with photos!

OH .. the final offer price is $141,500. The sellers are paying the 3.5% Realtor fee.


March 27th, 2016 at 02:28 am

So ... we are putting in an offer on a house tonight!

It's a FSBO but we are having our agent do the legwork. It's in L town - towards the NE part. I'd be able to catch a bus two blocks away to get to work.

It's an awesome house! Our offer is at the topmost max of our comfort level, but we are competing with at least one other offer ...

There weren't ANY photos posted online, so we went in only knowing what was listed on zillow about the house.

The sellers are an older couple, probably in their late 70s. Sweet people who love their house, but just can't keep up with the upkeep anymore.

Our agent had me write up a bio on Mr FT and I to kind of personalize the offer. I made sure to touch on how much we love the house, and how we can see ourselves making new memories with our new family unit there - that we'd love and care for the house.

We'll know one way or the other by tomorrow morning.


30 Days! And Updates

March 26th, 2016 at 02:39 am

Just 30 days to go til I change my last name and add Mrs to it. Smile

Mr FT and I had a heart to heart a few nights ago about the househunting. I suggested maybe taking a break from it - he realized that part of my frustration was from feeling like he was dismissing all of my suggestions. It's going much better now (not taking a break.) Who knew, communication, right? Smile

We may have found another really good candidate. It'd be about a 30 minute commute. 3+ acres. We plan on driving out to give it a closer look tomorrow - plus find out the policy on chickens.

Chickens ... the main reason we totally gave up on the house we love. The house we love(d) is now off market.

There is a second home we are going to drive by tomorrow that is actually in L town.

Mr FT has agreed that if we don't find THE house by the end of April, he will be willing to look for a house that is "good enough" for 4 or 5 years. Just so we can get ourselves into ONE household!

Hopefully one of these two homes we're looking at tomorrow will be THE one. Smile

My aunt from Ohio is going to be making us a quilt! She made me a handmade Cabbage Patch doll when I was 5 or 6 - Rosie - which I still have. Smile I'm really looking forward to seeing it! (Speaking of, maybe I should remove the quilt from my registry ... not that anyone is even USING the darn thing. Ufta! What a waste of hours that seems to have been ...)

My bridal shower is in less than a week!! I really have no idea what to expect. I've been to lots of them over the years, but none since I've lived here. Will be interesting. Smile

We have all but one of the six rooms at the bed and breakfast reserved now. Mr FT's relative may or may not be coming ... We're not sure if she has her panties in a wad because we didn't send out invites to his other relatives (whom he has never met ...) or if it really is just that she's not doing well. No response to my message asking if she'd gotten the invite, and a two word response to Mr FTs message ...

Oh well, I built into the wedding budget this possibility (that we'd be on for two rooms.) If they do come, it will be a nice surprise.

This Sunday I MUST do some major cleaning of my apartment and my car. Will be having way too many relatives probably wanting to come over and see the place /see Kari to wait to the last minute.

I've been doing more cooking lately, but not been doing so well at cleaning as I go. So .. hence the need for major cleaning. Smile

Tonight I made fried quinoa and asparagus with leftover cooked quinoa (from last Sunday) and asparagus I bought for $.88/lb at a new local fresh grocer last week. Yummy!

I'm in the midst of working on several projects related to the wedding - slideshow' typing up / putting together final product of ceremony schedule; typing up final unity candle version; typing up / emailing photographer list of must shots; typing up wedding weekend schedule; working with Mr FT to finish up music playlist for rehearsal dinner ...

Just a few things left. Smile Oh yeah, I still need to get the baby's breath for my hair. Forgot to ask the lady who made my bouquet/boutonniere for some.

With all that's been going on, I've gotten REALLY behind on my budget / recording spending. It's not going to be pretty once I do get it caught up. Especially since some things could go into multiple categories ... Really do need to get it done though soon. Maybe tomorrow night.

Speaking of spending ... my phone bill is going to be the highest it's been since starting to use Ting this month. It's already at $39, and I think my text bucket is going to go into the next level (if it didn't already tonight.) Sigh. Still better than $76+/month no matter how much I actually used. Once this wedding stuff is finished and we're in a house together, the bill will drop significantly.

I ordered a Hello Fresh delivery through Swagbucks - 1000 SBs, plus a $40 off coupon. That should come tomorrow. It'll be enough for 6 meals for me. $19 is still a lot for that much food - put it on pause for the next week (and will continue to do that for a few weeks, til it's safe to cancel.)

Work has been up and down this week. Had a few days of major irritability ... but my talk with Mr FT on Wednesday night helped a lot, plus better sleep, so Thursday and Friday were decent.

Next week need to make the downpayment for the photographer, also for the cake, and probably should check in with the caterer as well. Plus decide how many pizzas / what kind for the rehearsal dinner and figure out how to do rootbeer floats (two cartons of ice cream - one dairy, one non-dairy? Scoop your own?)

Then two weeks from Sunday will be meeting with photographer at the bed and breakfast.

With all of this, I have been sorely lax in much of any kind of physical activity. Thankfully it hasn't been affecting the scale too much (even though I've eaten my share of junk ...) Am looking forward to getting to a place where I can put a more normal schedule together again.

Mr FT talks about getting back to "normalcy" too ... Smile It will be fun to discover what "normalcy" will mean when it's the two of us +cats in our new home. Smile

House Hunting is Frustrating - Especially when Two People have to Agree ...

March 20th, 2016 at 04:38 am

Warning - a bit of a vent ahead.

I'm getting a wee bit frustrated in the house hunt. If it were up to just me, I would have already found a house. Probably the one we looked at a few weeks ago - the one that would have made a bike-able commute still possible. But no ... that basement just wouldn't work for Mr FT.


So we looked at the auction house today. A definite no way in h E double hockey sticks. The basement would have been amazing - super amazing. It just was that the humongous cracks throughout the basement, huge bulges, etc., kind of detracted from it. Not to mention that ALL of the outbuildings were in major states of disrepair and full of junk. Plus it would be at least a 40-45 minute commute in good weather. Partially on gravel roads.

I did really like the second floor. I could see making it into my own little sanctuary. Oh well.

After looking at the auction house, we decided to drive over to the $129k house. The outside / yard looked as good as the pictures on the internet depicted. However, the neighborhood left a bit to be desired. Lots of run down mobile homes, but also lots of nice modular / real wood homes. Mr FT was excited to see that someone had a flock of 5 chickens. On a place that was really run down ...

We timed the drive from $129k place to my place. 30 minutes -on a Saturday afternoon. Going through an intersection I've had the misfortune of having to go through on a weekday before (14th and Warlick if you know it CCF.) So ... doubtful that the commute would be much better than from the house we love.

Mr FT and I had a conversation comparing and contrasting the $129k house to the house we love. His two main things are that the $129k house doesn't have a basement and has a somewhat smaller yard/less secluded feel. He also thinks that if we can get the house we love for $80 - 90k, then the price differential would make up for all the improvements we would need to make.

Both houses would require us installing a privacy fence. (planning on DIY, although may ask for help with doing the gate part.)

$129k house, at least from the outside, doesn't appear to need much, if any work. We'll see about the inside tomorrow.

House we love will need at the very least - basement repair, major overhaul of land (clearing brush, clearing dead trees, removal of weird stone fountain thing Mr FT hates ...), renting of a huge trash thing to put all the junk left behind in the garages, the greenhouse, the storage shed, the house ...

Future issues - roof replacement, kitchen appliances, adding walls to main floor room(s) to make them actual complete bedrooms.

If we put in an offer, I plan on insisting on having a plumber, an electrician, a roofer, and a foundation inspection specialist come take a look at the place. Besides the regular inspector and radon inspection.

I have the feeling we are going to end up putting in an offer on the house we love. I'm okay with that (as long as we get all the professionals I listed to take a look at it before finalizing said offer.)

I mentioned to Mr FT that my aunt had texted me a few days ago asking if we needed any help with the downpayment. And that I had told her thanks, but we've got it covered (basically.) He told me that if she made the same offer to him, that he'd take her up on it. He didn't understand why I did NOT want to do that. Money = obligations. $1500 for the wedding expenses ... I'm okay with that. However much they'd offer for the downpayment? I'm thinking it would be an amount I would not be okay with.

Mr FT was again complaining about how stressed out the wedding and house hunting was making him. Well ... the wedding stuff - I've asked for minimal input from him - getting a tux, choosing the music for the rehearsal dinner, figuring out the honeymoon stuff, going to pre-marital counseling once a week. And oh yeah, I asked him to meet the photographer Thursday night so he'd feel more comfortable with him - Mr FT thought that was kind of pointless. We'll see I guess.

As for the house hunting ... he's putting the stress on himself. Spending hours upon hours searching houses on the internet. Then spending hours upon hours driving around the outlying towns looking for sale signs (they're not all listed on mainstream sites apparently.) I think he's looking for the "perfect house" - and I just don't think we're going to find it. So I think we should be willing to compromise on what we MUST have.

For example, the $129k house w/no basement. It does have a 4 car heated garage. That would be plenty of room for my car, his eventual boat, and then the leftover space could be used for his man cave space + 1 of the 3 bedrooms in the house.

This has a big plus in the fact that he would not have to deal with stairs. His answer is "if I lose ___lbs, then stairs wont be an issue." Ohhhh kayyyy.... what happens if you never actually lose __lbs? Your knees get worse, and you can't manage the stairs at all ... the basement goes to waste? (I didn't ask him this. I try really hard to not comment on his weight loss efforts one way or the other, unless he brings it up himself.)

I wonder how he'd handle putting together all the details of the wedding that I have already handled, or am in the process of finishing? Not well, I'd imagine. Probably would throw up his hands and say, let's elope at the courthouse! (That's actually what he would prefer to do. If I would have realized how unimportant my having an actual wedding was to my mom, I think I almost would have been okay with that idea myself. But I do like that Mr FT is going to actually get to meet some of my family in person which he otherwise probably would never meet. So .. it's a wash I guess.)

Sorry, like I said, just a wee bit frustrated.

May delete this post at some point ...

Tux, More Housing, CAR!

March 19th, 2016 at 03:06 am

Wednesday night Mr FT came over and we got his tux all sorted. At first he was saying he didn't care ... but then when I made sure he knew I was okay with any of them - no matter the $$ (difference between the cheapest and most expensive was about $60 - big whoop in the balance of everything else) - he started having some opinions. Big Grin

After all was said and done, the tux rental will cost $209. Or, about 1/3rd of the cost of my dress+alterations. I think Mr FT is going to look fabuloso!

It's looking more and more like we might be going with doing a conventional loan where we put 20% down, and do it in my name only. The loan officer thinks we could still put Mr FTs name on the title, even if he isn't on the loan.

We're still debating about the house we love. Our Realtor suggested putting in an offer of 80k (asking 120k)to just see if they were even willing to entertain a under 100k offer. Then if they are willing to play ball, we'll go out there and do a fine tooth comb look over to make sure we really want it.

Or ... we have two more places we're going to look at this weekend. One is a house that is up for auction - Starting bid of $1k. It's on 5 acres of land. It has a barn, a couple of silos, etc. I think Lucky Robin might really love this place. I'm not so sure about the whole auction thing, but am willing to at least go to the open house.

The second place is $129k and about a 20 minute drive. It covers 3 lots. 1500 sq ft + sunroom. No basement, but does have a heated 4-car detached garage....Built in 1992. Simply gorgeous inside pictures - nice outside look too.

If this second place is as good as it looks in the pictures ... I may be pushing for us to put an offer in on it.

So ... I've been trying to find a classic or vintage car to use as part of the photos for my wedding. I'd had little luck coming up with anything. Until on Wednesday ... I came across a classic car sales lot in NE and emailed them asking for help. They replied to me yesterday with the name of a group in Omaha that does Model A cars.

I wrote to that group ... and received a response today! A lady in the group is going to be here already for a classic car show, and is MORE THAN happy to bring OLE HANK on by for a shoot. Would love to give us a ride around too ... OLE HANK is a 1934 Model A - green.

My dad would have SO loved this! (And ... get this ... she's doing it free of charge! Just a slice of cake.)

It's pretty cool what can happen sometimes just by virtue of asking ...

Makeup Trial, Unity Wording, Cooking Skills - Cook Smarts discount?

March 16th, 2016 at 02:04 am

Today I had my make up trial. It was a lady who does airbrushing. Have you ever had airbrushing done? It seriously tickles!

I really liked the lady. She was so friendly and talkative. I had to have her redo my lipstick though because it was just way too dark for my tastes - thought it made me look pasty in contrast.

I've got fake eyelashes on. Weird. Really weird. Though I do have to say I like how they look. Not enough to wear them regularly. Smile

With tip, it cost me $37 for the trial.

So I was working on the wording for the unity ceremony today. I'm planning on doing it in two parts. The first part where my mom and Mr FTs sister light our candles, and then we light one candle. Then the second part where my uncle will issue a challenge to the guests to support us, and then we light all the candles of everyone.

I'm not sure if I like the wording 100% yet. So .. if you all could offer your take on it, I'd appreciate it. Smile

"The two outside candles have been lit as a symbol of your lives at this moment. They are two distinct lights, each capable of going their own way. To bring bliss and happiness into your home, there must be a merging of the two lights.

From now on, your thoughts will be for each other, rather than just for your individual selves. Your plans mutual, your joys and sorrows shared.

As you take your candle and together light the center one, you merge two lights into one.

***help needed here mostly**
Although you are now one, you are also still your own distinct person, as shown by your candles still burning.

***Music interlude - Brother singing "God Bless This Broken Road"

"Family and friends of FT and Mr FT, the vows which they have made today are sacred and holy and should not be broken. However, as FT and Mr FT face their new life together, their relationship is sure to be tested at one point or another by conflict, temptation, strife or change.

Will you, family and friends, promise to help them keep their vows, by reminding them of their love for each other and helping them cross through stressful times with the wisdom of your counsel? At times of joy, will you celebrate with them, nourishing their love for one another? (Guests say yes, or I will.)

As a symbol of your commitment to this couple, and the uniting of two families and ***friendships ???**, please accept the light from the person next to you."

Background instrumental music plays while people light candles - We've Only Just Begun.

Closing prayer, ask people to blow out candles, Intro of couple, Recessional.

This is kind of a mishmash of wording examples I've found, as well as some revising on my own. I'm just not sure how well it flows or how much sense it makes.

I discovered a website that offers cooking skills lessons (plant based!) for $49 for 60 days. It looks like it really breaks it down into manageable bites. (ha ha!) I'm really tempted by it.

Cook Smarts - the meal planning website that offers vegetarian options for all meal plans, and is whole food/non-processesed mainly - has a 15% discount now through the 22nd. Am also tempted with this.

Although at the moment I have about 3 weeks worth of lunches in my freezer after a cooking palooza on Sunday. (My second use of the freezer dinner trays! Getting my money's worth out of them.)

More About the House

March 15th, 2016 at 01:51 am

So the mortgage person got back with me. He does think the basement/roof might be issues for both the FHA and Rural loans. I asked him if he thinks we should move on, or it it would be worth an inspection, etc. He said he'd have to talk to C.


But I figured out how I can share photos. They have 99 photos for the house. Smile I am using only 26 of them. Big Grin

It's 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a sunroom, 17xx sq ft, 1/2 an acre. Has a 2 stall detached garage, a 1 car detached garage, a firepit, a greenhouse, a storage shed, birdhouses galore .. The kitchen has a built in microwave and a built in electric oven.

Some of my favorite parts are the greenhouse, the sunroom, the room with the mirrored doors, the wood stoves ...

Hopefully the link will work.

Irritable and the House and Obamacare/tax Question

March 15th, 2016 at 12:01 am

So .. I went to work today. Within about 20 minutes of getting there I was really wishing I was back home.

People on the phone being obtuse. My computer got switched out on Friday (which is a good thing, mostly) which meant that I had to re do all my settings ... and my locator application was hidden, and a my address book program didn't get put back on .... etc., etc.

Then I talk to my supervisor to find out what the text on Friday was all about. She told me that people taking Friday and Mondays off is a pattern of someone unhappy at work.

So I told her I had a doctor's note because I was genuinely not feeling well! At first she tells me she doesn't need it. Then ten minutes later she comes out and wants to see it. I thought that was pretty bizarre.

Can I take 20 more years of this?????

So ... the houses. First, the $52k (1880) one. The reason it is $52k is because it needs extensive renovation. Plumbing, electric, etc., etc. Neither FHA nor Rural loans would work for it unless a lot of improvements were made first (by current owners.)
We didn't get to look inside of it because C (our Realtor) hadn't gotten in touch with the seller's Realtor. (Granted, the house was only listed on one site, which made it difficult to find.)

The $120k house. Mr FT and I got there more than an hour before scheduled time and just drove around the town/area, and walked around the property. Sigh. Love. Love. Love. That feeling you get when a place is just *right.*

A super sappy wide smile lighting my face as we walk around inside the house.

Until ... heart falls into stomach ... the basement wall has bulges....

C at first declared "you guys don't want this house" but then after looking it over more, he told us that it wasn't as bad as some he's seen, and maybe it could be fixed.

He's suggesting offering 85k (last tax assessment of $95k) -- 15 y.o. roof, basement wall issues, the amount of work the yard will take to get it back to a manicured level, etc. (Where we would ask for a credit for the roof, them to get the basement taken care of, and closing costs.)

Mr FT and I feel like we're capable of tackling the yard stuff (although probably hire out the dead tree removal.)

We're taking time to sleep on it a few times and think some more about it.

I also have a call in to the mortgage broker person to find out what would disqualify a house from an FHA or Rural loan. (i.e. the basement or roof)

Love, love, love the house/land/town. Love. Will feel so sad if we can't make it work. Worth the 30+ minute commute.

I'd love to share a link to the property, but we might end up actually living there ... so Smile

I came across an article today that mentioned something about Obamacare which got me wondering.

Mr FT has healthcare through the NE health exchange. He's getting subsidies.

I have health insurance through my employer.

When we get married, Mr FT is going on my insurance and dropping his insurance.

Now what I can't figure out, is this - I know tax wise we'll be considered married for the whole 2016 tax year. So, I had already figured we may have to pay back part of his subsidy. But ... now I'm wondering if we'll have to pay ALL of it back - because once he marries me, he'll be disqualified from having Obamacare coverage.

I haven't been able to find anything definitive on this. That could be a lot of money. Gulp. It also really doesn't seem fair ... but what is fair in life, right? Especially when it comes to government and taxes. Sigh.

Surprise RSVP!

March 13th, 2016 at 02:12 am

Today when I got home from church I had an email from my aunt who lives in Ohio. She and her husband NEVER go anywhere. They don't enjoy traveling at all. She refuses to fly. They didn't go to my brother's wedding, nor my mom's last three weddings (I *think* they attended her second wedding where she married my adoptive dad.)

Guess what? They're coming to my wedding!! That makes 3 relatives (4 if you count them separately) who are coming that we didn't expect to actually come!

Now I'll be really shocked if my aunt and uncle in TN decide to come ...

It's okay guest size wise - we may have to add a couple chairs to one table, but we can make it work. Smile

I haven't seen my Ohio aunt and uncle since I was about 15? years old. That's when we moved to New Jersey and kind of stopped doing the Ohio trips.

If I haven't heard from one of Mr FT's relatives by Wednesday, I'm going to give her a FB nudge. I really hope they're coming - both to help balance out the guest list between Mr FT and I, and also I just really like her and her husband. Smile

Someone ordered 3 items from our registry! Woo hoo! Do I wait til I get the items to send the thank you note? Probably, right. Big Grin

I think I'm being a wee bit over sensitive lately. Last week apparently when I did my Sabbath School (SS) money collecting duties (while feeling ill, but going to fulfill the duty) I somehow neglected to pick up two offering envelopes. So today as I got there and was working on collecting envelopes, I was accosted by the SS leader about the not picked up envelopes. Then I went into a couple rooms just to be told their envelope had already been picked up. Argh!

I SO felt like saying that I don't need the extra stress in my life and find someone else to do it. I didn't of course. I'm really not sure how the envelopes didn't get picked up - because this isn't the first time I've done this, and I'm pretty sure I went into all the kid's rooms. Oh well.

I talked to the audio visual person at church today about projectors (for my slideshow at the reception.) He offered to bring the church's extra projector to the b&b, set it up, and then take it back. Sweet!

I ordered a cable from amazon to connect either my iPad or my iPhone 4S to the projector (along with some other items to get free shipping - nutritional yeast, cacao powder, unity candle, set of 24 taper candles (unity ceremony), and the knife/serving set for the cake.) Used gift card money, so nothing out of pocket.

I'm feeling better than I have this past week. Still not great, but definitely better.

I'm really looking forward to going to look at the houses tomorrow. We're going to leave a little early so we can drive around the "town" and get a good feel for it. (Population of about 173 people.)

Just a Cold ..

March 12th, 2016 at 01:39 am

So yesterday (Thursday) I went home from work early due to feeling majorly "crummy." I ended up sleeping for at least 5 hours before Mr FT came over. I wasn't the greatest company for him, but he was understanding.

This morning I still wasn't feeling all that great ... so decided to stay home again. I had a doctor's appointment already to get some bloodwork done (recheck TSH) so called and had an appointment added to see the doctor.

I slept most of the morning after getting the appointment made, and would have slept more, but got calls from the Realtor and from Mr FT.

---- We may have found a house that works for us. Two possible ones actually. One is $52k and the other is $120k. The 52k one doesn't have a basement, but it does have a HUGE garage/storage shed. Mr FT thinks we could partition off part of it, insulate it, and make it part of his "man cave" instead of using a basement. Hey, if it works, and we get into a house for $52k ... I'm all for it!

The $52k house was built in 1880! About the same time the town was started. Yep, you're reading that right. Both of the houses we are looking at are NOT in L town. Both houses would mean a commute of about 35-40 minutes.

Yuck I know. Especially in winter.

But ... both houses come with LOTS of land. 1 acre for one, and 1/2 an acre for the other.

We're going to go actually look at both of them on Sunday.

I got a weird text from my boss today. She was asking me if I was unhappy at work. I texted back that I wasn't, with a couple of question marks, but no response.

My first thought was that maybe the CC I applied to back in January? didn't respect my request to NOT contact current employer. But it seems like its been a long time for that to happen...

The other thought was that she was thinking I wasn't really sick this week, and just taking time off because I don't want to be at work. In case that's the case, I got a note from the doctor. (felt kind of like a little kid doing it ... but, whatever.)

The third thought I had was that little miss busy body had taken my little off hand joke on Thursday morning as literal, and gone to my boss about it. One of our copiers has a bad part. The technician was in another town, and so talked me through resetting the code over the phone. One of my co-workers (who is invited to the wedding) jokingly told me that now I can add copier repair to my resume. I found that funny ... and without thinking, when talking to busy body co-worker, repeated that.

If it's the first issue - then that's going to be a headache to clear up. And is going to make me quite upset at the CC.

If it's either of the other two issues, then I think those will be easy enough to clear up.

Oy vey!

Mr FT has asked me to go with him on Wednesday to get his suit / tux picked out. Whew!

April 24 is getting closer and closer ....

Tuesday I have my makeup trial. Hopefully she can work miracles with undereye bags ... and make my eyes actually look open when I smile (I squint when I smile big - when I concentrate on NOT squinting, my smile looks all weird.)

I cashed out for $9 from Pinecone, and $5 from Bing.

Taxes done, etc.

March 9th, 2016 at 02:21 am

Yesterday (Monday) I still wasn't feeling well, and so decided to take the day off from work.

I spent a few hours in the morning working in Turbo Tax after calling Nationwide to find out why I hadn't gotten a 1099 for the $200 bonus. It turns out that they counted it similarly to a credit card bonus! Wish all the other banks had done that!

In the end, I ended up owing $357 Fed, and getting a $33 refund from the state. I paid $23 to TurboTax for efiling and keeping an archive.

I made sure I got the email confirmations telling me that not only had my returns been received, but they had also been accepted!

I think maybe the step we missed with NE was inputting the confirmation number for the payment.

After that, I did the online defensive driving class. It was supposed to only take four hours, but I kept falling asleep .... so about five hours later I finally finished it.

I ended up going to bed about 9 p.m.

We're about 2/3rds of the way through our spending on the Citi card. Thanks to taxes and the driving course .... that's about $500 right there.

I received the $9 from Pinecone and the $25 PayPal from Swagbucks today.

I have my dress at home (hidden behind the bedroom door - couldn't hang it in my closet because the rod was too close to the ground.) The alterator told me to try it on again two weeks before the wedding to make sure it still fits - if it needs anything, just let her know.

Mr FT hasn't even gone to look for his suit/tux yet. I'm trying to not nag him about it. But ... 47 days .... and he's not a small guy in any shape or form.

The ladies making my bouquet had taken it all apart when I got there - it's a mom/grandma team. They told me they're excited to do mine because it's different from what they've done before (using snapdragons as the main focus.) I love the colors they found, and think it's going to be gorgeous. Smile

Mr FT asked me if using fake flowers is normal ... well, if it isn't, I don't really care. Smile It's what I'm doing (plus, I can keep my bouquet forever without having to have it "preserved" or whatever if I want to - or resell it!)

Is it weird that no one has bought anything off the registries yet? The bridal shower is about three weeks from now ... And only one person has paid for their room at the b&b. I've had four RSVP's, and two of those are from a co-worker and her husband.

Um .... April 24 is coming up real quick. (I asked for RSVPs by the 15th. I *know* most of the people I invited ARE coming with or without the RSVP, but still ...)

Last week at our pre-marital counseling session we were talking about some of our favorite dates. Mr FT mentioned the restaurant we'd gone to for my birthday this past year. The pastor had never heard of it, but was really intrigued. He emailed me this weekend to ask me the name of it (he'd mentioned it to his wife, but couldn't remember its name.) So I emailed him the name, as well as a code to get a $25 gift certificate for $4.25 from Smile

I'd actually been thinking of getting a certificate for the pastor and his wife as a thank you for our PMC sessions - although it looks like they may be going before I can do that. Smile

Updates March 6

March 6th, 2016 at 04:02 pm

I wasn't feeling very well yesterday, so after going to the church to do my duty of collecting the Sabbath School money (this is my month to do it) I came back home.

Somehow I came across a mention of the site It is a meal planning site (as low as $6/month) but it also is a site with TONS of resources for learning how to cook.

I think I must have spent four or five hours on that site. I ended up adding some things to my registry too. Smile

I think I may sign up for it, but I'm going to wait until either we move into a house, or they offer a discount price. As I went through their FB feed, I saw they've offered discounts multiple times in the past at various times.

What I like most about it is that I can customize the meal plan for both Mr FT and I's food preferences, and have one handy grocery shopping list. (They have original, gluten free, paleo and vegetarian options for each of the 4 days of meal plans.)

I may end up getting Plan to Eat later on too, though that will have to wait til their Black Friday sale in November.

House hunting ... sigh. There just isn't anything in our price range that Mr FT and I can agree on .. except the FSBO house we looked at a few weeks ago. We both want to keep looking, but we also are worried that if we wait too long, that house will be gone.

If I was willing to go up another $20k in my price point, there've been several good possibilities. To do that though would mean needing to sell stock to get the loan value low enough so our monthly expenses wouldn't make it so we had nothing left to do anything else. I don't want to do that - especially since that stock has been going up the last week or so (back above where I sold some a while ago.) Plus, both of those houses in the $20k extra range seem way too big just for two people and a lot of cats.

Both my mom and my grandma think it's weird that we won't be living together right away after getting married. Well .. neither of our places is big enough to handle both of us AND the cats. Which is why we need a house. Maybe unconventional, but we get to write the rules for ourselves, right? Smile

I have a possibly final dress fitting today at 1, then am going to go look at my bouquet to see if I like their design, and then go to a Women's Ministry meeting.

Then of course Mr FT will be coming over later.

I'd kind of like to cancel on all of it except Mr FT because all I really want to do right now is keep a heating pad on my back and do nothing. But, you do what you have to do, right?

I had two Pinecone surveys this weekend. So once they credit, I'll be able to cash out $9.

I also cashed out 2200SBs for a $25 AGC, and will be cashing out for a $25 PayPal today.

I helped Mr FT with his taxes last year. He had filed an extension, and then in September we used TaxAct to file them. We went through all the steps and even paid what he owed to the Feds. He was due a refund from NE. He got confirmation of the Fed payment.

He still hadn't received his refund or a tax bill from the Feds (fees and penalities for extension) so last week he logged in to TaxAct and was informed that his taxes had never been filed!

He went to his bank and got a printout of his bank statements from last year. It shows that he paid the Federal taxes AND that he paid TaxAct. So I do NOT get how his taxes were not filed!

In all my years of doing my taxes online, I've never had any issues. Of course the first time I convince him to do his online, this happens. Ugh!

I spent about five or six hours last week getting this figured out - contacting customer service; ordering the "archived" copy of his forms from last year, printing two copies out (one for him to mail in, and one for the mortgage process), etc.

Hopefully this isn't going to cause any issues for him. (Other than extra penalties and fees, although I don't think it should be too much for $495 in taxes.)

TaxAct's customer service is a joke. They make it nearly impossible to figure out how to actually send a question in, and then you get back essentially a form letter.

Oh well. I have no idea how to prove that we did complete the necessary steps to file. So mailing them in and hoping for the best is all we've got I guess. I just wish I'd been more cognizant of the fact that he'd ONLY received confirmation of his federal income payment.


Rotten Morning -$tupid tax

March 2nd, 2016 at 11:46 pm

Ugh. This morning on the way to work I got pulled over and got a speeding ticket. 10 over in a school zone. Ugh, ugh, ugh, I'm usually SO careful in school zones, but I was just kind of zoned out. Too tired I guess.

So now I get to choose between paying $100 for court costs/ ticket or $100 and 4 hours to take a safe driving class.

The first option would be simplest. However, it may raise my insurance rates. The second option would be a pain, but would keep the points off my license and keep my insurance rates the same. However, it can only be done once every 3 years.

It's been at least six years since I was last pulled over for anything, so option two seems pretty safe.

I'm just SO annoyed with myself.

Househunting isn't going that great. Neither of the places we looked at on Sunday are viable options. There's little other options. We've even looked into what it would cost to build our own house (beyond our budget even for a simple house.)

I guess it just means that we have to be patient til the right place comes along. No matter how long that takes.

RSVPs! Fired Realtor! health coaching!

February 27th, 2016 at 03:52 am

I'd made a new email account for dealing with all the wedding related stuff /websites so that once it's all done and over with, I won't have residual "email subscriptions" to deal with. Smile

Of course, I forgot my password for the account. So, I had to reset it.

When I finally got in, I found out that 4 people have used the website to RSVP! Sweet! My first responses. Smile

So ... on Monday? I called C and told him that we were interested in looking at other houses. Told him we had two or three we were thinking of.

C tells me = great! Find another 2 or 3 and email me the list so I can get it set up for Sunday.


Ok ... so Mr FT and I scour some more, and find another 5 or 6 possibilities. Mr FT drives by them and ... we're down to 2 possibilities.

I email C Tuesday night to let him know that Mr FT would be emailing him the list soon. Crickets.

Mr FT emailed C the list (of two) on Thursday morning. Crickets.

I emailed C today to find out where to meet him on Sunday. Crickets.

Mr FT and I have decided to take this Sunday off from wedding and house hunting. C will be replaced by a Realtor recommended by my boss next week.

I had one of *those* calls today. Multiple calls where same person is cursing. Multiple calls where said person gets hung up on. Send caller to boss at one point - boss hangs up on person. Person calls back yet again - much calmer at first. Gets a 2 ride ticket freebie. Starts cursing again. Gets hung up on.

I didn't deal with it well (at the time I did, but later ...) Made a Wal-mart run. Junk food ensued.

On Wednesday we had our annual county/city employee health fair. Lots of freebies. One of the booths was our health insurance provider. They're starting a new program this year where they are providing a health coach for free.

I signed up for it.

Got an email from the coach today because she couldn't find me in the system. I explained that the health insurance place had changed my name prematurely.

I also told her kind of what I was hoping she could help me with - namely figuring out how to make healthy and tasty meals which work for both Mr FT and I - especially ones where I can make something good without needing to taste test it (i.e. meat dishes.)

She told me she could help me with that.

I'm supposed to call her sometime next week to chat for 30 minutes - to kind of lay out the beginning framework. Not sure when to do it, since the only 30 minute time frame I have during her hours is my lunch break. Maybe I can take something to eat that I can eat in small bites at my desk between phone calls ...

Once Mr FT is on my plan (for real) he could also use her services if he wants to.

ETA - Well, nevermind then. Mr FT just called me to tell me that he got an email from C asking him to call him tonight. So, we may be going ahead with Sunday househunting plans after all. I'm leaving it up to Mr FT to decide.

So ... Joining Finances? A Budgeter and a Non-Budgeter?

February 25th, 2016 at 01:36 am

Tomorrow our pre-marital counseling session will be on finances. Smile Mr FT and I have spent a lot of time talking about finances.

I'm not sure we have yet reached a real consensus yet on what we're going to do.

For me, a budget/plan for ALL my money helps me to feel secure. For him, he pays his bills, then whatever is left is for whatever else comes up.

He's willing to concede that my way *could* work, but is something he'll have to wrap his mind around.

I'm trying to figure out what might be a happy medium - a meeting point, so to speak, where we both give a little, but come out better for it.

So ... I was hoping you all might share what works (ed) for you? Also, what kind of financial savvy (or lack of) did you and your partner (s) come into marriage / sharing finances with?

Mostly I'm still trying to wrap my brain around a possible mortgage payment of $850. When I was hoping for $700 to be the ultimate max. (The $850 is for the $130k house. There is an $89k house in the running as well.)

Gym membership?

February 24th, 2016 at 02:55 am

So ... for the first time in who knows how long I made it over the gym today. Not to workout, but to ask about the early termination fee. $399. Ouch.

I have 12 months left to go on my contract, or about $500.

So, canceling now (tomorrow) would save $100. Usually I would say it's a no brainer, but ... right now with all the wedding expenses and house hunting ... I'm wondering if it'd be better to just let it pay out in drips of $46/month and pay the extra $100 than to let go of $400 in one shot.

I hate to waste the $100. There's very little chance of me starting to go again - I was reminded today of why I didn't like going very much (traffic and way too full parking lot.) And if we move further out than the middle of the city, traffic / time on the road would be even worse.

What do y'all think?

I took my wedding ring and engagement ring to a jeweler today (before going to the gym)to check on the sizing. The jeweler said I'd need to have it upsized 1 size (both) and suggested having them bonded together so they wouldn't rub against each other. Quoted $90 for all of it (resizing, bonding)

She said it'd take about 3 business days. So, probably drop off there after taking my mom to the airport the Monday after.

I have to share with you a link to a house Mr FT sent me. I'm not sure if he was really serious about it or not ... but can you imagine? Two people in a place this size? It's a dream inducing place as far as style, etc., but nightmare inducing when thinking of real costs.

Mr FT is going to be sending the realtor a list of 4 or 5 places we want to look at on Sunday (hopefully tonight.) He also volunteered to email the FSBO house owner to let him know what we are doing - we haven't totally discounted that house yet.

(However, if we look at the $89k house and find we love it, I will not be unhappy. At all.)

I got my copy of the Tightwad gazette from the library today. Haven't looked in it yet for the chore division. Smile

2 months and 1 day. Faint.

I sent Vanguard an email about a week ago asking about the process of taking $10k from my ROTH for a first time home purchase. No response.

I'm thinking I'll try calling tomorrow after work. Kind of frustrating that now that they've got my money, this is the kind of response I get.

The House Tour, etc.

February 23rd, 2016 at 04:07 am

So ... Sunday afternoon we did the house tour. I didn't do the turn on faucets/flush toilets etc etc thing because with the homeowner right there with us all the time, it just didn't feel ... right.

I did however ask a lot of questions. Smile At one point asked me if I had any more, and I pulled out my list of questions. His eyes got kind of big. Big Grin

There were some really good things about the house, but then some things that were questionable. One thing was the 1989 water heater! Another was that all three bedrooms were SO small. And the living room was minuscule! The garage had no direct access to the house - if we wanted to, the homeowner (a construction company owner) would put in a door - but that door would go from the garage to the living room ....

We decided to keep looking. In fact, we have an appointment with a Realtor on this coming Sunday.

There aren't a great many houses available right now, even with upping our price range a tiny bit. So, we'll see.


Sunday night we also delivered the invitations to everyone who lives here in town.

One of them is someone who was a serious boyfriend of Mr FTs late sister many, many years ago. They've stayed in touch on a monthly, sometimes semi-monthly basis since then. When we told him the news, he said, "It's about time!" Smile

Another person we stopped to see was Mr FTs stepdad. Mr FT hadn't seen nor spoken to him in 7 years. They didn't have the greatest relationship to put it mildly. However he is now 85 years old and has forgotten some of the ways he treated the stepkids. Around Christmas time he reached out to Mr FT via a card w/pictures.

So last night I got to meet him for the first time. We stayed there about 1 1/2 hours. He's an interesting character to say the least. One of his idols is Hitler. Yeah. He used a term I hadn't heard before for people of a certain race ... had to ask Mr FT if the term stood for what I thought it might. It did.

Despite not liking some of the viewpoints he has, I actually found myself liking him. Not enough to where I'd want to spend a lot of time with him - but once in a while would be okay - as long as Mr FT was with me. (He asked if he could kiss the bride ...)

He may actually come to the wedding!

Mr FTs sister was next. She already knew about the wedding, but we just wanted to give her an official invite.

Today I had my second fitting for my dress. The hem works beautifully, and so does the bustle. Now she's going to be working on making sure the bodice doesn't do a Janet Jackson on me. Smile Pins kept popping out every time I breathed ... Wink

2 months and 1 day. It hardly feels real. After 40 years of being single, and most of that time was being truly single (not in a relationship.)

I'm thinking about seeing if I can find someone with a classic car to park at the B&B for pictures. On their site they have some pictures like that, which look really cool. (The groom had an uncle who brought the car...)

I'm not sure how to go about finding someone who'd be willing to bring their car out for a photo opportunity. Any ideas? I looked on Craigslist, but couldn't find anything.

By the time we were done with the house tour and the visits, it was about 9:30!!

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