Tuesday, August 23, 2016

In the Garden & Other Stuff Around Chez Sluggy

* Hubs checked the garden on Saturday before he mowed the lawn and found this lurking beneath the massive Zucchini plant leaves.......

This weighed in at 2.5+ pounds and makes the 4th zuke we've harvested from the garden.  The poor zuke plants must be exhausted since we've forced them to produce these behemoths.
Bad garden keepers......

We also started to see this occurring in the garden late last week.........

First one and then a second tomato started turning red, finally!!!

We are up to 13 tomatoes turning as of yesterday morning.

As I haven't picked any tomatoes yet I haven't counted them in our Harvest Totals, but that monster zuke's weight brings us up to almost 10.5 lbs. of produce from the garden for the season.
Not bad for a haphazard effort on our part. 8-)

* Remember that medical refund check from Louisiana that no one bothered to sign so we couldn't cash it?

If you will recall they said to send it back(and it was endorsed already)so they could sign it.
It arrived back to us, signed this time, on Friday.

After taking Daughter to her medical procedure I "tried" to deposit it into our credit union account after she signed it over to me.
The clerk at the CU refused to take it!
She said they would only let me deposit it if Daughter's name was on our account....which it is not.
Really?  Are you kidding me???

I may be crazy but when the kids were little and their relatives, on the few occasions they did this, would sent them birthday or Xmas checks I'd have to cash/deposit those checks at my bank/cu because they didn't have bank accounts.
Who didn't do that, right?

So I went literally across the street to a bank where I have a small account and asked to deposit the check and they took it.
Yeah this may be this particular cu's policy but WTF?!?

Guess who is closing out a credit union account soon and moving all that money to the bank across the street? ;-)))

* When Daughter and I went to Virginia for a visit I signed up online to the Rewards Club for a bbq place we like.  My brother said I was suppose to get a $15 off YNO Q for doing so.  Well, after signing up we went into the restaurant, as it said online we could pick up our rewards card and $ off Q then.
Nope.  The card and Q come in the mail later.

Fast forward a month to mid August and my Q arrives in the mail last week......

And it expires Sept. 15th.
That was a waste of time, huh?
So I mailed it to my brother so at least he can take advantage of the offer.

* I've been grocery shopping hot and heavy lately and am about out of food money for August.
I've spent $101+ so far this week but I've gotten some good deals.  Maine Source had a $5 off a $50 order so we took advantage of that and picked up sale items like fresh local produce(eggplant, cauliflower, cuke, tomato and watermelon), bulk ground chuck, 5 lb. bag of mozzarella shreds, and a case of paper plates(now I don't have to buy those for about 1.5-2 years)plus milk which is never on sale in PA.  I hit the bread store for more bread too.

Plus we ran into Price Chopper for BF's Powerade and cold cuts and I found these marinated flank steaks marked down with $2 off Instant stickers.

The markdown stickers got these down to just under a $3 lb. price point and I'll pay that all day long for steak.  8-)

* Then the house property tax reassessment arrived from Louisiana.

Since Daughter no longer owns or lives in the property and she got a homestead exemption for living there, the parish(local taxing entity)has taken off the exemption since Hubs and I don't live in it as our primary residence.  We knew that was coming.

You can get an exemption on the first $75K worth of value on your property if it's your primary residence,  which meant Daughter was paying only $150 or so on property taxes each year.

Surprisingly the parish reassessed the value of the property about $20K lower than what it had been when Daughter owned it so our property taxes will only go up to about $400 a year on the house/land.

This was good news even though I knew LA has some of the lowest state property taxes in the country.
By comparison we pay over $4 THOUSAND a year on this house in PA.  And we still don't get much in the way of goods and services for that(including no municipal garbage or sewage).
We do have higher than average government corruption up in NEPA compared to SWLA so that's part of why we pay so much more. ;-)  I really don't mind paying the school tax component of our property taxes in PA since our school district is rated this year as the highest/best in our area of PA.....but the rest of it, well it's a crime and a ripoff.

* We have decided to ditch the third/College Boy's car.  It started acting up again last week and Hubs and I really can't justify dumping more cash into it, plus the car insurance bill payment is due by the end of August.
If we ditch the car, we ditch that bill and all those repairs.
And CB will be away at school mostly until next May and if/when he works here during school breaks in 2016/2017 and the rest of his Summer break now(he's got 1 day left of Summer work)he doesn't need a car and can borrow mine.

He is required to do an internship Spring of his senior year(he's an incoming junior this Fall)so he WILL need a vehicle in about 1.5 years for that but this current shit car is not something I feel comfortable sending him off to parts unknown in for this internship as we have no clue how far from home this will require him to be.
So this current car's expenses are unnecessary at this point and we can make do with him borrowing my car when needed for the next 1 to 1.5 years.
This extra $400+ in a 6 month car insurance payment will really help out my August spending totals too.  August spending has kicked my ass and HARD! 8-(
But this means we'll need to purchase another beater car in the future, so I'll start putting money aside earmarked for that purchase.  When CB finishes college this will give him a car to get to work in and not have to worry about buying a car for a few years and let him save up for a down payment.
But it's always something with kids, huh?

Ok I am off to rub a butt(Hey! minds out of the gutter!)and get it into the smoker and then go pay the last bills for August so I can begin closing out the books on the month.



  1. Love that you are able to grow such good vegetables! they look really good. Our car also needs an expensive repair....have not done it yet...still saving for it. I just have my fingers crossed that the car does not die before we can fix it. I am off work today - took my husband to his cancer oncologist, my husband is going to get a "port" in his chest for chemo. He is also having another neck and chest scan on Friday - they want to see the size of his neck tumor (lymph node) since he had surgery to remove the cancerous tonsils on the 9th. We go back and see both oncologists on sept 2nd - other oncologist is the radiation oncologist. I am hoping to really stretch what we have for groceries till the end of the month...except for milk, bread.

  2. I so understand about your son's car. We sold Son3's car when hew as a Sophomore. We couldn't see carrying the insurance on an under 25 year old mail who only was home a few weeks out of the year to drive it and we sure as hell were not sending it to NYC

  3. You are definitely reaping more garden benefits this year. Yes, kids will do it to you everytime. Our kid #3 who barely graduated highschool by the skin of his teeth is now 20 and thinks he wants to go to college next year. Fine but upgrading is required and now, instead of getting decent marks when he was in school and it was free we have to pay $600 per course and he needs two before he can apply. In all likelihood they will accept him but we cannot access college funds (locked in government education account) until he is actually enrolled in college. The long and the short of it is he doesn't have the funds so we agreed to pay then if he goes to school he can pay us back out of his education fund. If for any reason he fails/doesn't go to school he is paying us back out of his own pocket. I bet he would have tried a little harder back then if he knew that!

  4. Cheap chick-so can relate to the "wish he had known better" when younger. I've lost track of the added school cots DS has cost us in comparison to his sister, with three degrees mind you. Sluggy-excellent veggie growing. I just bought some massive zucchini's, and hope they are flavorful.

  5. Those are pretty tomatoes peeking though. It's always a thrill to see red.

  6. What's the plan for the big zuke?

  7. Yay for butt rubbing!!!
    I was so grateful to get rid of the crap amanti. It was such a weight lifted.
    Our tax bill was over $5k. We never received one deduction for the entire time we lived here. Sigh. We lost thousands. So it works out to about $700 a year. Our mortgage company was supposed to pay the village and then the village reimburse us. But no, its all screwed up and I don't have the money.

  8. About that banking issue. I had a local bank (think they are only in New England) do this all of a sudden regarding a ten dollar dividend check that I get every quarter that has mine and my mothers name. I have gotten this check since I was 5. I had been depositing this check for 40 years in my account at this bank. I had a savings, a joint personal checking and two business accounts. They would no longer deposit it because my moms name wasn't on account. They didn't care thstI would be pulling all those accounts. I did.


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