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Deficit under $2K! Plus new meals, possible life changes, etc.

November 9th, 2017 at 12:32 pm

Hi friends! It feels like it's been a long time, but I guess I posted at the beginning of the month. I have lots of things to catch you up on.

First off, AS got two payments today and our shared spending deficit (at least temporarily) is under $2K -- it's at about $1958! I say temporarily because we have a date night tomorrow, and I was going to use the gift cards from my work's step challenge, but they haven't arrived yet. Plus we need a few winter gear items now that the weather's cold. I did an inventory and we're in good shape except I need a new pair of snow boots and SL needs a second pair of snowpants, and both kids need several pairs of spare mittens since they tend to leave them at school and daycare a lot (or lose them on the bus or playground).

But when the gift cards do come in, I can use those for groceries and take some money from the grocery budget to reduce the deficit again. Also, AS is raking in the money, or at least booking lots of lucrative work, but hasn't received a lot of the money for the work she's done. So a couple of those bigger paychecks could all but wipe out the deficit!

I tried some new meals and finally used the last of the squash from our CSA! This is our first year using it all up, not giving it away or letting it go bad, so I'm really proud of myself for that.

We tried a sausage-stuffed butternut squash: basically roasting and scooping out the squash, mashing it with diced browned vegan sausage, herbs/spices, garlic & onions, and stuffing it back in the shell. Then topped with cheese and baked it. I served it with pasta aglio olio on the side (pasta with olive oil and garlic). Overall it was a very garlicky meal, but I liked how the sausage flavors counteracted the sweetness of the squash.

Then I did a creamy pumpkin-acorn squash soup with the last acorn squash and a small pumpkin the CSA had sent us. The "cream" was cashews, soaked overnight and then blended with water. We topped it with toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitos) and dollops of vegan sour cream. On the side, we had veggie buffalo wings and buttered multigrain toast points. It was really good! I had the last of it today for lunch. I'm glad to see the last of the winter squash but I do feel like I found some good uses for it that I'll refer back to next year when I'm in the same situation. Smile

Anyway, life changes: Really it's just one big possible adjustment. AS's mom is now talking very seriously (it seems) about moving to Minneapolis sooner vs. later. Her reasons are nebulous but it seems like the big thing is she's getting older, she doesn't have a good safety net in Va. (in terms of money OR family) and it's scary for her. She thinks her apartment was broken into recently, and last year she was mugged, and this year she had open heart surgery. She also may be having memory/comprehension issues, although it's hard to tell if they're being caused by the medicines she's on or if it's a sign of the onset of a more serious issue.

I'm trying not to freak out. I like my orderly (though already too busy) life, and AS's mom is like the opposite of organized and punctual. I like slowly building a more secure financial future for us, and AS's mom has caused several hiccups in our financial progress over the years.

But AS is, for all intents and purposes, an only child, and her mom is divorced. AS's aunt is the only close living relative, and she's got her own problems (and friction with the mom, if you remember from the heart-surgery drama days). So it's inevitable that AS will take a larger and larger caretaker role, and better for us all if she doesn't have to travel out of state frequently to do so, or try to manage healthcare and other concerns via phone, as she's been doing for the past few days.

We're hoping that it won't cost us too much financially (at least in the early days). AS's mom has military benefits via the ex. Retirement communities in our neighborhood are actually renting for cheaper than the mom's current apartment. So hopefully she'd actually have a little less tight of a budget with less of her money going to rent. Of course we'll probably have to pay her moving expenses.

This being AS's mom, none of this is written in stone. She's coming to stay in our basement for two weeks around Xmas, so that may move her a little closer to a decision one way or the other.

So I'm nervous, reluctant to face this new chapter, but realizing that AS needs to take care of her mom and I need to support that in whatever form it takes. Stay tuned for more news one way or the other, I guess.

8 Responses to “Deficit under $2K! Plus new meals, possible life changes, etc.”

  1. Carol Says:

    Caretaking, hard as it is, is definitely easier when it's local and not long distance. ( My experience...)
    Congratulations on the squash!

  2. Dido Says:

    Good luck with the upcoming decisions and outcome re AS's mom!

  3. snafu Says:

    I wish I knew how to say this diplomatically but isn't it a huge burden to you all to put a difficult person with a lot of problems in your apartment? I'm trying to imagine a house update/remodel, 3 heads of household with various projects and responsibilities and two youngsters having to facilitate a new, unexpected, unplanned addition.

    Does AS's mom agree to fit in with your lifestyle or do you make your lifestyle fit in with her modus operandi? Does she follow your vegan regime? How flexible is she with young children? All the medical carry-on adds an extra headache. Does her medical transfer to VA? It's quite complicated from private physician to private physician, specialists involved and tests that seem unending!

    How well will a senior adjust to winter in MN? Is it worth it from the cost, effort and intrinsic value? Would you rent a U Haul and drive 20 hrs? Would you sell/auction furnishings and buy items needed via Estate sale or local auction except soft furnishings like mattress. I wonder freight rates for household kitchenware, linens and apparel.

    sorry, nothing but questions

  4. ceejay74 Says:

    Yeah, she wouldn't stay in our basement long-term, just for her visit. AS is researching retirement communities for if/when she moves here. She is a meat-heavy/fast food lover, so actual living together long-term would be quite difficult. Plus there are lots of stairs between the basement and our second-floor home.

    We would probably hire someone to drive her stuff out here, unless she agrees to just bring clothes and sentimentals and get "new" thrift store furniture here.

    I have tried to warn her about the cold and isolation of winter, the passive-aggressive nature of Minnesotans, the racial segregation here.

    She was a social worker in the past and AS is extremely competent, so I'm not worried about them figuring out the medical stuff.

    Believe me, this isn't what I would prefer, but she is truly alone and vulnerable out there. AS will be better able to care for her if she's nearby. And it's not up to me.

  5. My English Castle Says:

    Oh man--that would be a culture shock for her. You're having a cold snap now, aren't you?

  6. ceejay74 Says:

    Yes, and I'm hoping we have hellish weather around Xmas! If she's going to move here she needs to know how bad it can be.

  7. rob62521 Says:

    As organized as you are, I'm sure that you will find a way to work with the care taking if it should come to that.

  8. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    {{hugs}} I dread the day when my mom is alone and needs to be taken care of. We are such complete opposites.

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