"In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take."

Month In Review: January 2018

Monday, 1/1/2018 – Around here, New Year’s Day is spent cooking and eating pork and sauerkraut for good luck in the new year. Last year, the grocery stores were sold out of sauerkraut by New Year’s Day, so a little bit of planning ahead kept us in sauerkraut this year. I wonder what trying to find sauerkraut for New Year’s Day will be like in a few years…

Wednesday, 1/3/2018 – “Wednesday morning’s temperature broke the record low that was set 100 years ago…At 5AM the temperature just dropped again in Harrisburg to another new record low of 1°… old record was 4° in 1918.” So, that’s something.

Thursday, 1/4/2018 – Another job interview for Alexis! This one went really, really well and is very close to the same job that I’m already doing, just for a different agency, a little closer to home, in a much nicer building! I don’t expect to hear anything back about this one until probably mid-February. Gotta love ridiculously bureaucratic systems!

Saturday, 1/6/2018 – We headed to our stand at the Co-Op since they were closed on Thursday because their heat went out. We picked up our check for the second half of December ($92.50 in sales!) and took up a bunch more stuff to sell. The stand was decimated after Christmas so we’re guessing people had some Christmas cash to spend. It worked well because we ended up selling a bunch of stuff that had been sitting unsold for a few months.

Sunday, 1/7/2018 – A cold winter day is a perfect time to do some coursework toward obtaining our PADI Open Water Diver certifications! Josh spent some time working on the guest room and I packed another three boxes to send to Give Back Box, too.

Another really exciting note for Sunday, on an impulse a few days back, I submitted a picture that I took for a call for landscape photography to be painted by an incredibly talented artist named Christie Snelson. I found out on Sunday that Christie had selected my photo as one that she would paint and she had completed the painting already! I am so proud, humbled and impressed by her amazing rendering of the photograph I took. Check this out! And, please, check out Christie Snelson’s amazing work on her website! (Thank you for allowing me to share these photos, Christie!)

My original photo.
Christie’s rendering in canvas and paint!

Thursday, 1/11/2018 – Sometimes technology makes me super happy…like when I can order Girl Scout cookies from my couch and have them delivered to my doorstep a few days later.

Friday, 1/12/2018 – This is the shit that drives me crazy about living in Central Pennsylvania…

Monday, 1/15/2018 – Alexis was off work for Martin Luther King, Jr. day. One of the few perks I get from my employer. I spent the day taking care of some random running around errands, collecting and pricing stuff to take to the stand and working on WikiTree. It was a pretty productive day off work!

Friday, 1/19/2018 – Techy things had piled up again so I stayed home for the day with intentions of crossing off a bunch of things on my to-do list. Started the day at 6am by setting up a local development environment in order to build a new WordPress site for the nonprofit organization I’m a member of. Moved on to completing my eLearning for our PADI Open Water Diver certifications and was pretty proud of myself for earning a 96% on the final exam!

Saturday, 1/20/2018 – I pried myself away from the massive website development project I took on to get some fresh air on a relatively warm January day and check out some pretty cool views.

Sunday, 1/21/2018 – More nerding out for Alexis while Josh headed out for a 3D archery shoot with the boys.

Monday, 1/22/2018 – We finished and submitted our 2017 taxes using Free Tax USA.  (Hurray for being a NERD!)  Now to wait for the refund to be able to put some more money toward our outstanding debts.

Friday, 1/26/2018 – We had schemed to be in a position to pay off the tractor (our 5th out of 6 debts we had to pay off) when we got paid on Friday, 1/26/2018.  After work, we shuffled the money and paid it off, 2 months ahead of our most recent plan!  We did a bit of number crunching and figured out that we’ve paid a total of $56,363.08 in the past 16 months toward our outstanding debt.  We’ve got $17,313.91 left to go until we’re DEBT FREE!

Saturday, 1/27/2018 – Hallway renovations in full swing, with watchdog on duty.

Watchdog on Duty.

Sunday, 1/28/2018 – We’ve been doing all of this decluttering, selling and donating and it occurred to me that the spoiled rotten dog has been unscathed by this entire process so far.  He lives a pretty good life full of biscuits, ham bones and basking in the sunshine all day.  He also enjoys receiving a Bark Box, delivered by the mailman, every month.  At the cost of $33 per month.  When I walked by his toy bins today, I realized that they were absolutely overflowing and I should probably get another bin for all the toys that don’t fit in the two already overly full ones.  And my next thought was, why in the WORLD would I buy a THIRD toy bin for one dog?!  He’s got plenty of toys and doesn’t need three new stuffed toys every month.  So, I canceled his Bark Box subscription and saved us $33 each month.  We’ll be putting that monthly savings toward our debt-free payments, which I’m thinking is a much better use of the money.  Sorry spoiled dog, you’ll just have to pick from one of the 1,000 toys you already have!

Another savings of $33 per month!

Tuesday, 1/30/2018 – An all around pretty great day!  Started at 6am, with a text from our bank, telling us that our federal income tax return had been directly deposited into our account.  Considering the IRS just started processing returns yesterday, I’m feeling pretty good about that one!  Josh had his yearly review at work today and earned stellar marks – woot woot!  We also put out an obscene amount of trash bags for the trashmen this morning, after having missed trash day since like…before Christmas?  We came home to find that they had taken every last trash bag and we can now walk in our garage!  Small victories all over the place today and a pretty good way to wind down January 2018.

Wednesday, 1/31/2018 – Since we got our tax refund back, it was time to go shopping for some scuba gear!  We headed to West Shore Scuba and Rich helped us pick out all our scuba starter necessities – fins, booties, masks and snorkels.  There were more options to pick from than I expected but the process of getting things that fit well and were within our budget was much less complicated than I anticipated.  We ended up spending $572 to get us both everything we needed, which we were pretty happy with, too.  We’ll put together a post of the gear we picked, the prices and how we liked the gear once we’re done with our confined water dives to help anyone else who might be interested in getting started.  Next on our scuba certification checklist is to get our confined water dives scheduled for February.  More on that soon, too!

 

Extra Income Amount Earned
Co-Op Stand $118.39
PSECU Special Rewards $54.00
Visa Rewards $38.30
MONTHLY TOTAL $210.69

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