February 1, 2018
Hello February! A month that is for celebrating the loves in our lives. And the fact that we survived January. We're just a bit closer to Spring (49 days) and the days are getting longer. I can't wait to see blooming buds again.
January was a bit off for our house. It started lovely with a New Years Day Evening Dinner with our neighbors and their sweet kids. We had a great time, lots of laughter, great food and good company on a cold and frosty night. Our holidays lasted well into the first week and we truly enjoyed being home and cherishing our country home in the big woods. No schedule, no deadlines, no worries.
Then the second week, we all went back to school and work .... well almost all of us. I ended up coming down with a pancreatic attack and missed a whole week of work. Very painful and totally took my energy away. I'm thankful for a loving staff and caring people around me who made sure I could just rest and recuperate. And very thankful I didn't have to go to the hospital for IV fluids. I hate IV's! It takes about 3 weeks to get the energy back in to my body after an attack, so I'm thankful that I'm now starting to get through the day again without a nap and I'm all caught up on most of my tasks again. A few more lines to tick off my to do list but it will get done. I'm also thankful that this only happens about every 5 or 6 years. It's been longer than that since the last one so I'm very lucky it's not chronic. And we know how to manage it so I don't end up hospitalized. So very lucky.
During the time I was down, we ended up experiencing a big storm that included freezing rain and wind, bitterly cold temperatures and nasty roads. We had to cancel preschool twice. Then once I was back to work, it warmed up beautifully for about a week. This week, the temperatures dropped again and we're in a big of a deep freeze but this time, the snow feel too. We had 28 cm's accumulate out here in the forest. Another day of preschool was missed. We always leave room at the end for snow days that we make up for in June. More important for us that our kids and our staff are safe.
Financially, we're doing just fine. Dh had to take his lease back to the dealership (no fees!) and pick out another car. We did all the negotiations on December 30th and picked up the new one a few days into January. Really happy with the vehicle and happy that we got to negotiate to the invoice price and a better lease rate. Ended up with a bigger vehicle, with more options, at a lower rate and way less than what others will pay. Good to have a relationship that is respectful ~ makes it so much easier at the negotiation stage. We've had great success with our deals.
A nice surprise for January was the offer of a raise from my hospice job. I truly wasn't expecting that and am grateful for the extra dollars this year. I think I'll tuck the extra away to start a fund for a new car for me down the road. Mine will be 7 years old this year and it's running just fine and looking great but a few years down the road, it will be time. Starting the saving now so it will be there when it is time. Kind of excited too.
We have 12 more "interest free/no admin fees payments" left on our cabinets for the Art Studio. We pay each Thursday and the final payment will be taken out on April 12th. Our wood chipper is on a different plan and that will be paid off in 2 months as well. As a former banker, I don't alway advocate the "buy now, pay later" formats but for us, it has worked well over the years. For the cabinets we had the amount saved in our house account but the promotion came up just as we were finalizing our order so we took it. It was to give us 18 months to pay off the cabinets. But we will be done in less than 8 months. They require a small monthly payment and I'm sure some may choose that and then owe a big amount at the end, or forget and have to pay the interest that has accumulated for 18 months. We set ours up to come out weekly and break it down to a payment we like, which always works out so that we pay it off way before the due date. Never once have we ever paid interest. A great resource if you plan it right. What I'm really excited about is once these two items are paid off, we'll have an extra $975 a month to tuck back away in to our savings, maybe towards my car account. And the beautiful thing is that both those amounts are still sitting in our house account because though we saved for the cabinets and the wood chipper, we ended up not using those savings to pay for them! Win win all around. The only other projects we have planned for this year are our deck (saved for), the garage (paint the walls and epoxy the floor) and the interior trim work we'd like to conquer with wainscotting and crown mouldings. It's going to be a lovely year to really enjoy the house as the major things are now done. Looking forward to having a deck out our back. We have our little back porch but once the loveseat, 2 chairs and table are on it, along with the barbeque, it's too tight. We really need a lower level off the porch where we could have a nice long dining table and some other seating for gatherings.
That's all for now. My recap for January as we move in to this new, short month. Hoping its a bit less crazy than January and that everyone's health continues to be well. Hoping it is also a month of warm temperatures and tons of sun. So far, next week we'll be back into above zero's (in Celcius) and lots of sun, with no snow in the forecast.
What was the month of January like for you?
Are you excited to say "Hello" to February?