Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Level 1 Snow Emergency

We have been under a snow emergency for the vast majority of the past two weeks.  Last week, we were under snow emergency on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday…then off for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday…and now we’re back on.  In that time, I have scarcely left the house.  I am starting to go a little crazy.  Last night, Andy and I played a game of Scrabble, and he tried to create a new word—weefy.  We spent the next thirty minutes conjugating weefy and coming up with different ways to use it—my personal favorite was, “What up, my weefy.”

Then, after that, I started just making random noises and laughing at myself.

It’s all very entertaining.

The problem we are having, aside from massive amounts of snow, is that the heat in Andy’s car just stopped working on Saturday, so until we get it fixed, it’s difficult to drive in the frigid temperatures….it’s painful, and hard to see because the windows won’t defog.  So while I’m stuck home with the snow, he’s driving my car.  Leaving me here.  With very few groceries.  And a lot of boredom.

So here’s what things look like here right now:



The top of that light sits about 10-12 inches off the ground.

And here’s what’s going on inside:

Baby shower decorations (more on that later)



Grading research papers and the coffee needed to grade research papers (I’m in love with the blur my new lens has created in the background)



Some television (yup….I totally took a picture of the television.  Awesome)


Some working out (to combat the massive Jolly Rancher/coffee consumption)


And some laundry (clearly, I haven’t exactly started that one yet)


Monday, February 15, 2010

Of Budgets and (not) spreadsheets

I have been the primary keeper of the family budget since we got married.  If you know us, this doesn’t come as a huge surprise.  Andy tends to be more of a “free spirit” ready to buy whatever with a quick glance at the bottom line.  Usually whatever he finds out someone else needs :)  I tend to process and overprocess most decisions before making them and spin in circles for a while before acting or spending.  And I’m better at looking at a calendar and remembering important dates (like when the bills are due).  So I’ve been the one in charge of our finances.  It’s never been a problem, but I think we’ve come up with a solution to our non-problem that fits both of us better than our current system.

First, we have tried the spreadsheet budget where you track every expense and make sure you don’t overspend.  It works, but it’s exhausting and I always forget to do it from about the 8th-18th of the month and rush to add up all my receipts and figure things out in the end.  It’s time consuming and aggravating.  I get irritated and can’t find receipts and it’s often a mess.  I try to stay on top of it, but I’m not anal-retentive enough to track everything well.  We’ve done a modified envelope system…but we forget the envelopes…or have really awkward restaurant situations when we try to pay with cash (I do like using cash for groceries—if I only take 60 dollars to the store, I can only spend 60 dollars…or whatever I take).  So we’ve adopted a new approach, based on this system:


The 60 percent solution—basically, 60 percent of your income goes to dedicated expenses: mortgage, car payment, bills, tithe, charitable contributions, grocery/household, etc.  All of the things you have to buy in a given month.  Given our current salaries, those expenses fit comfortably within that 60 percent.  That money is in our local checking account at the bank.  I pay the bills and go on my way.

The remaining 40 percent go into four separate categories.

10 percent goes into short-term savings for everyday savings needs, the things you expect will pop up and dip into savings: doctors bills, car repairs, home repairs, appliances, vacations, etc.  It’s in our local bank savings account.

10 percent goes into long-term savings.  We opened an online account with a bank that has a higher savings rate to make a bit more bang for our buck.  It’s still easily accessible in case of an emergency, but it will take a few days to access.

10 percent is our “fun” money.  We can use it for clothes, movies, show tickets, eating out, whatever.  I like having a separate amount dedicated to this because  I always feel guilty about spending money for “fun” things.  To help alleviate that a bit, we opened an online checking account with the same online bank that also has a higher interest yield.  We have a separate account, and a separate debit card, for “fun” purchases—so as long as we watch our expenses there, we can spend that money on whatever and not have to worry about it affecting our bills and such.  We may not spend all of it every month, but that just means we can have a LOT of fun every so often (ha!).

The last 10 percent is retirement savings.  I have a small portion of my paycheck in a dedicated 403B, but we (will be very soon—hopefully before the end of the month) will have 10 percent of our monthly income directed into a Roth IRA for retirement. 

This seems like a lot as I type it out, and we’ve only just begun down this road, but I do think it’s going to simplify things a little.  Instead of tracking and hiding and whatnot, we’ll just have a few separate accounts to keep track of—but each of them serves a purpose, and I like having everything separated out into categories.  I’ll let you know how this new plan works out.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A few of my favorites from today….

Spending the whole day with this cutie (this photo is a few months old…add about 6 inches of snow for today and no trash ‘stache…but he did wear that outfit) (even if he did admit tonight that continuing in his role of the worst gift giving husband in the world, we are going to have to go to WalM*rt tomorrow so I can pick  out a gift for myself for Valentine’s Day.  Even though going to WalM*rt is totally punishment)(and this is after he asked me three weeks ago what I wanted for my birthday and/or Valentines Day and I gave him a very lovely, very simple list)(can someone please remind him three weeks before our anniversary that he actually likes me? thanks :))

The Year 2009 1408

A yummy breakfast of vanilla yogurt and frozen mixed berries (just as good as McDonalds fruit and yogurt—and much cheaper


Shrimp Pad Thai

Watching an old favorite

4 phone calls with these people

The Year 2009 499

And…..continuing in the tradition of watching bad movies from Netflix on Demand and making fun of them as we watch

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Too Funny

Andy has been reading Dracula since late November.

If you know my husband, you realize that this is a big deal.  He’s not really a reader.  Or any anything that requires sitting still-er.

  He started in book form (somehow we have two copies, but neither of us had read it).  Now he uses my Kindle when I’m not using it.  He’s 47 percent of the way through it.

I know this because he said it no less than 19 times last night.

As we attempted to watch watched the movie, “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” using the nifty Netflix on Demand feature on the PS3.

He was instantly disgusted.  “This is not in the book.  This isn’t like the book at all.  This is ruining everything.  I hate this.  The book is so much better.”

I was somewhat confused….and I asked him, “Haven’t you ever heard that the book is ALWAYS better than the movie?”

He looked at me, puzzled and frustrated.

“Ashley, I’ve never read a book that’s been made into a movie before.”

It was my turn to look puzzled and frustrated.  He had never read a book that had been made into a movie?  How was that possible.

That’s when he admitted it.

“Ashley, I’ve never really read a WHOLE book before.”

(except for the Tom Clancy books he borrowed from my dad earlier in the fall)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Three Snowdays in a Row

I haven’t been to work since Monday.

And it’s been quite lovely.

I may not be saying that come June 3, but today, it’s okay.

We have had a lot of snow.  Like 8ish inches, I would guess.  Which is a lot in Southern Indiana.  Since we shut the town down after 3.

I’ve enjoyed my snow days.  I spent yesterday working on decorations for a baby shower the weekend after next, but then I ran out of supplies.  So until I get my hot glue gun, a new glue stick, and a few hundred Dum-Dums, I’m at a standstill.  I have a feeling I’m going to be working up to the last minute on those.

Today, I did this workout for the first time.  And I thought I was going to die.  Quite literally.  I attempted to show Andy one of the moves later, and my feet cramped up and my back got spasm-y.  I think I may have gone a little hard. 

On the bright side…if the feeling (or lack thereof) in my arms, abs, and glutes is any indication, if I keep this up with my treadmill rotation, I should be feeling pretty good come shorts season.  That’s a big if.  Mercy, I need some discipline.

My favorite Jillian line: “Your arms are the only part of you that most people see naked, so they need to look hot.”

(in the 30 day shred, it’s “At the end of this circuit, I want you to feel like you’re going to die”)

After that, I just sort of hung out….I made some Curried Lentil Soup for dinner and watched a few episodes of NCIS

and Modern Family

And then I sort of plotted what our second house will look like.  I have a lot of requirements for our next house—now that we’ve been through one and realize what works better for us.  I know it’s bizarre.  What can I say?  I like to think about the future…and plan for things that are yet to come.  It’s nothing too extreme….I would like a larger garage (one for both cars), at least two bathrooms (we’ve had way too many bathroom problems that have required extreme measures—like having no floor for a week, and being forced to drive to Arby’s to use a toilet…or having a broken toilet, and being forced to drive to Arby’s to use a toilet…..I’ve only eaten at that Arby’s maybe twice?…but I’ve been there a whole lot), and a dishwasher.  Maybe some more windows, and more of an open floorplan.  And closets.  Sometimes I research homes for sale in different areas to see what I like. 

And who knows what tomorrow will bring.  But I know I will be sleeping in.  And probably staying in my pajamas.  Because I like them.  And I’m feeling lazy.  And in the words of the fabulous Jo Keller, “You can only clean your house so many times.”

That woman’s a freaking genius :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

25 was kind of a letdown.

So yesterday was my birthday.  And I’m going to choose to forget about it.

Because it was really kind of horrible.

The snow that dropped across the state ruined our weekend plans….and I was unable to get out of the funk that put me in.  I was supposed to spend the weekend with one of my MOST FAVORITE PEOPLE EVER.  Who, by the way, I officially haven’t seen in 8 months…since her freaking wedding day.

So the whole being stuck in a town that I hate thing instead?  Wasn’t working for me. 

Andy pulled up this picture and told me it was me:

I didn’t find it so humorous.  So I did.  Cry, that is.  A few times.

And ate a whole box of Kraft macaroni and cheese by myself.  Hello, stomach pain.  When you’ve been fairly gluten free for about 6 weeks….I don’t recommend tossing back a whole box of mac and cheese to reintroduce it to your system.

Sunday (my actual birthday) my husband wanted to strangle me (he didn’t say it….I’m inferring).  He suggested we leave the house.  And began asking repeatedly whether I was sure I didn’t want to go see the Super Bowl at his parents house.

Eventually, I figured it out.  So we went to his parents house to watch the Super Bowl. 

We were going to go for a nice lunch, but I couldn’t taste anything (my nose is still clogged) so we stopped by Chipotle instead.  It was still nice, but in a price range that wasn’t ridiculous for one who could scarcely taste.  At least I know the chicken in my tacos is free range.  I learned that on Oprah. 

And the Super Bowl.  Was a super letdown.  Apparently the other 49 states of the Union were all for the Saints, so good for them.  But Indianapolis was not pleased.  So not pleased, in fact, that someone ran a red light and nearly slammed into our car on the way home.  I only vaguely remember it because I took some Nyquil before we hit the road.  (Nyquil that my husband was NOT carded when purchasing—why the double standard, kitty cat?)

But I am happy for Drew Brees.  My all-time favorite Purdue quarterback.  I told Andy all week long that I wouldn’t be too disappointed if the Colts lost because my loyalty to Drew goes pretty deep. I mean, sharing a fight song is kind of a big deal.  And he was THE ROSE BOWL quarterback…even if they did lose.  And, well, my mama always said my daddy taught Lauren and I to bleed black and gold (Purdue black and gold…not New Orleans black and gold).  I am a Colts fan…but I don’t bleed blue and white.  My Purdue loyalties, they are the real deal.  Plus, Drew did some pretty awesome PEFCU (Purdue Employees Federal Credit Union) commercials that played the whole time I was in college.  And this sort of melts your heart.

So there’s my commentary on Drew Brees. 

And it’s past 11 on a school night and I’m still awake.

I’m banking on the 4-8 inches of snow that’s supposed to start in an hour.  And assuming I’ll be home tomorrow.  I’m sort of hosed if it doesn’t happen.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Stopping drug abuse…one cold medication at a time

I got carded today.

While buying a Day-Quil/Ny-Quil multipack.

Apparently you have to be 18 or older to purchase them now.  I had no idea.  The little slip that printed out with my CVS receipt said that it was to help curb teenage drug use.

People.  I had no idea.

I work in a high school.

And I had no idea.

It’s a good thing I had my id.  I would have laid down on the floor and cried if the woman hadn’t sold them to me.  I have a NAS-TAY cold right now.  I stayed home yesterday, and would have today if I didn’t have a serious ISSHAH about being away from my classroom (it makes me itchy and twitchy to not be there).  We’re talking 32 tissue pile-up, purple-y chapped lips, cough that could scare a grown man kind of cold.  It started with a tightness in my chest after Monster Jam and has gotten worse since.

So excuse me while I go pop two legally purchased Ny-Quil and feel just a bit thankful that the saleslady still thought I looked young enough to be 18 just days before my 25th birthday.