Monthly Archives: October 2008

The Government does have a heart!

Last night,  I got a bill in the mail from Fairfax County saying that my property taxes were late and I was in danger of going into collections.  WTF???!?!?!!?  I know I paid that bill because I got two bills for different amounts for the Toyota Paseo and I called to find out which was the correct bill.  So I go online to hunt down the cashed cheque and print it off when I realize that I have an uncashed cheque from around Sept 10th.   Indeed, it appears that I didn’t pay the bill because it is floating around somewhere in the mail system.  Oh crap!

So this morning,  I called Fairfax Country to see if they had cashed the cheque in the last couple of days because it takes up to 4 days for a cashed cheque to clear my account.  Nope.  So I asked them what I do about the cheque I am going to put a stop payment on.  I have no desire to then get nailed a 35$ charge because they subsequently got my cheque and then cashed it.  A stop payment cheque returns back NSF.  They said they would put a note on my account to ensure that nobody tries to cash it.  And this might be all I do because a quick phone call to Chevy Chase just informed me that a stop payment is freaking 32$. 

Because if you don’t ask, you don’t receive… I decided to ask if there is any chance that I might have the late payment fines waived.  They check my history and discover that I hadn’t missed a single payment.  Sure… if I show them my cheque registry.  Umm… I don’t have one.  Will they take an online bank statement showing that a cheque hasn’t been cashed?  She will check.   They will.  The only problem is that the bill they sent me was ALSO delayed and if I don’t pay my account TODAY I will have more fines levied against me.  So I will be heading out of work early to go to the government center to pay my bill and submit my bank statement.  What a complete and total hassle.   At least  I am able to get out of the situation without paying more money than I have to.  I was actually really surprised that the government would make any allowances whatsoever for a missing cheque that I can’t prove that I wrote to them.


Bulk Food Stores in Fairfax County, VA

Are any of my readers from Fairfax County?  If so… do any of you know of a bulk food store in this area.  The only ones I know about are Whole Foods(haven’t checked out our local store for its specifics) and HealthWay.  I checked out Healthway and it looks great for spices but not so much anything else.  Back home,  I can remember seeing all kinds of bulk food stores that you could purchase just about anything at.  Do they exist here? 

#1 reason for not eating much meat – Grocery Bill

A while ago,  I saw a blog that stated that Americans ate x number of pounds of meat a week.  I think it was 4 or 5 a week.  I thought it was absolutely incredible because Eduardo and I probably don’t go through even half that amount of meat – on average – between the two of us with him eating more meat than I do.  I looked it up again today and according to the United Nations Population fund,  the average American eats 260lbs of meat in a year.  That averages to 5 lbs per person per week.  Apparently, this must be the rich part of our population because Eduardo and I would go broke if we ate that much meat. 

I purchased about 8 lbs of beef or chicken this week.  I am talking about the cheapest meat that I could find.  I bought one chuck blade steak for 4.39$/lb and a family sized package of pre-cut stewing beef for 4.59$/lb.  It sent our grocery bill well over 100$.  I hadn’t bought much meat(a bit of chicken) in about 3 weeks and we were averaging well under 100$ a week during that time.  And before you think we are getting close to that 5lbs a week per person…. that meat will last us 2 weeks or more.  The steak got cut into two pieces and thrown in the crock pot which is why I could get away with such a cheap cut.  It will last me for at least two weeks even with Eduardo/kids having the occasional meal from it.  The last time I bought that big package of stewing beef,  it lasted for three weeks of meals – more than two weeks worth of beef stew and 1 weeks worth of meals for Eduardo. And the little whole chicken that we purchased fed 4 of us for 2 meals as well as being put to use for 2 additional lunches.  The carcass went into the freezer for future chicken soup.

I can’t even fathom eathing 5lbs a week of meat.  I can’t imagine it price wise and I can’t imagine it stomach wise.


Winner Annoucement

Winner Announcement:  Baycon74 has won the EcoBags.  Please send me your snail mail address!

And other announcements:
Mike got through the surgery successfully and is now recuperating at home.    I wish him all the best on lifestyle changes.  I can totally relate to the fact that they are hard!

Update on Mike

I got a call with an update last night.  They are thinking NOT a heart attack but a blocked artery.  Today he is going into surgery so they can stick a scope into him and check out his arteries.  Perhaps they might even fix whatever is wrong?  I am a little fuzzy on the details.

Still a little early in life to be thinking about blocked arteries but it sounds like that is better than a heart attack.  Doesn’t it?

I am with Fat Chick and hope that it motivates me to do better in life.  Of course… the first thing I do is bail on working out at the gym because I am so stressed out and tired from everything that had gone on yesterday. *sigh*  I need to work on getting less stress in my life. 

I am going back to bed

I called my ex because I was super stressed about something and wanted to talk about what was going on in my life.  His roommate answered his phone which led to some questions and the discovery on my part that he is in the hospital.  He is in the hospital because they think he had a mild heart attack yesterday after work.  My ex is 39 years old.  Doesn’t that seem to be a little young to be having a heart attack?  Shocking and upsetting at the very least.  After I hung up,  my first thought was that put my own problems into perspective.   But a hour later?  I guess I am being selfish.  I STILL want to talk to him about what is going on in my life even if it pales in comparison to what is going on in his life. 

And Mike, when you get to reading this???  Can you consider this a nag to take better care of yourself?    I want you to be alive for a lot longer… at least until Cody dies a natural death.  You aren’t saddling me with that woman-hating beast!!! LOL

If I go back home and crawl back into bed and start over… do you think the day will go better?

The innocence of children

!!!Warning!!! This could be TMI….

Several weeks ago,  Kylie walked into the bathroom while I was drying off.  She was staring at me and asked me, "Why do your breasts move?"  Lets see… how do we answer that one.  I kept it simple… "Because they are big honey" 

Sunday morning,  Piero and I have a small discussion about breasts.  He asks why Kylie’s breasts are so small.  I had to laugh because immediately Kylie gets all indignant and says her breasts aren’t small.  As always,  I try to keep my explanations simple and I respond back, "Because she is little.  When she gets bigger, they will grow."  I see this horrified expression cross his face and puts his hands on his chest,  "Are mine going to grow?"  "No honey,  little boys breasts don’t grow only little girls."

Later on Sunday,  Kylie and I are getting ready to take a shower. We are already undressed when I realize I need to brush her hair.  Naturally, the brush is not in the bathroom so  I am in the hallway to the bathroom standing in front of her brushing her air.  She puts her hands on my breasts and says, "They are big.  Look Papa"  I am laughing a bit at this and respond, "Oh yes… look Papa".  He was basically ignoring us which was totally fine by me.  And then Kylie says, "Look Piero… look."  Luckily he too was ignoring us even more and I hustled her into the shower before she could continue to point out any more of my attributes to the other people in the house.

The innocence of children….  unfortunately, it is usually as embarrassing as it is cute.