Friday, March 21, 2008

What a Crock!

First off.... Enough with calling the hubby & kiddo "DH" and "DD". It's too confusing to keep up. I use their names elsewhere, I've even slipped & used their names here. From here on out, I may refer to them as "the hubby" or "the kiddo", but by & large I'm just going to use their names: Scott and Tay(lor). I'm tired of trying to keep straight what names I use for them, and where.


So, I believe I'd mentioned in the past that the hubby wasn't thrilled about me opening a savings account in my name alone. I've been doing pretty good about staying on top of putting money in, and not spending so much on crafting supplies & books.

In fact, what little money I've been taking out of our combined checking account (into which our paychecks are direct deposited) for pocket cash, has been almost consistently handed over to DD for allowance or to pay for an open-swim session. I think I MAY have 5 dollars on me right now, and this is the most I've had for several weeks.

On the other hand, Scott recently signed Tay up for Spring League Hockey AND Soccer for the summer. That was $150 for Spring League, and about the same (give or take $25) for Soccer. That may or may not include her soccer jersey. He also tells her frequently that she can go swimming, and when she doesn't have the money of her own to go, he hands the cash over as if it's nothing. AND, he's been bringing home a new Wii game, or a new movie, or a new cd, or a new DS game for her every couple of weeks.

Then, today, rather than deposit some $$ in my savings, I spent the $$ at the craft store on some yarn for a girly-afghan in case I need to give one to my sister-in-law for her newborn. (Sister-in-law is Scott's sister.) So, I didn't spend much more money than I would have had I made my savings deposit. I told Scott this when he got home.

He promptly turned to me and said "Since you keep taking money out for your savings, I want you to pay for your own cell-phone from now on!"

WTF?!?! Don't my pay-checks go into the family till???? And I'm taking $60 a month out for myself, and he expects me to give up some of that to pay my cell-phone bill?!?!?! Mind you, I spend $20 every THREE MONTHS for my pre-paid. He pays almost $30 PER MONTH for his cell-phone. AND his cell phone payments come out of the family till. *shaking head* Not to mention the kiddo's pre-paid minutes. (And, unfortunately, the phone company just upped the minimum allowed purchase for minutes from $10 to $20. So even though Tay and I do not NEED this many minutes, we don't have a choice if we want to stay pre-paid. And, pre-paid is STILL cheaper than a monthly contract.)

I just don't know where he thinks he gets off, telling me that the $60 per month I take out for myself (my SAVINGS!) must also pay for my cell phone, but he's allowed to buy himself $30 almost every week during the winter for Ice Dogs games, and lunches out a couple of times a week, and his cell phone, and the fact that his truck guzzles twice as much fuel as my car..... And soccer, and almost year-round hockey for the kiddo, and her cell-phone, and whatever video games or such as she wants. BUT, my stuff must come out of a very strict budget. *shaking head*

I reminded him of all the $$ he spends regularly and said that if he wants to cut corners, maybe he ought to cut down on the amount of activities we pay for Tay to do. Besides his truck and groceries, this is our most expensive non-loan-type expenditure on a monthly basis. Basically told him he could shove it as far as me paying for my own cell-phone minutes out of my $60 per month unless he's willing to make similar reductions.

*sigh* He just doesn't get it. And still he keeps giving me glares & nasty remarks when I discuss my garden ideas for the summer. He grumbles over the grocer bills, and yet doesn't account for the fact that he's the one asking for a lot of highly processed food to eat. (Soda, eggo waffles, canned soups and expensive lunch meats & cheese....) Though, the kiddo's school-lunch diet is by no means cheap either. (Capri Suns, snack bars, sandwich supplies, fruit-cups, and some sort of dessert, though that is frequently home-made.) Grocery-wise, I have 2 to 3 frozen dinners per week for lunch, and left-overs (or nothing) the rest of the time. And yet Scott still gripes over how much I spend at the store. Never mind that the costs rise faster than you can keep track of, and some of the extra I'm buying is stock to have on hand to use when the costs get higher. Food for HIM (and Tay and I) to eat as the going gets tough.

I feel fortunate to have a bit of extra to spend every week, at this point. It's coming to the point where that won't be an option, and try as I might to get us to eat lighter here at home, he's adamant that we shouldn't be cutting back. He's really gonna be hating life when I start making a vegetarian dinner per week, then a couple of times a week. (Though, vegetarian eatting isn't terribly cheap in Alaska, either. It's actually more expensive, a lot of the time, than eatting meat is. Esp. when you've got the option of hunted meat.) But, I'm going to try. Even if this is just meat-free chili or some-such (barley-lentil soup, for example) once a week.... We need to try & see if it helps at all.

(To that end, if anybody has any suggestions that are rather close to what a meat-eatting family has eatten up to this point, I'd be grateful. Any "lentil salad" type things just won't go over well.... It needs to be something similar to the type of food we eat now, but without meat. And, no tofu because that's actually MORE expensive than beef, up here. And the hubby wouldn't eat tofu anyway. Something like a tasty & well-tried Red Beans & Rice recipe, for example.)


Let's see.... I had occasion to be proud of Tay last night (and today). Her school just completed their "pennies for patients" fund raiser, and Tay's class won the competition for most money raised. Well, the class was given the info that they'd be rewarded with a pizza party (funded by the school or school district, I'm not sure exactly which) for being the class to raise the most money for the sick.

Evidently the teacher (student teacher, actually) posed the question to the kids as to whether or not the kids would be supportive of taking the money meant for the pizza party, and donating THAT money in addition to the money raised through the fundraiser. (What the kids WEREN'T told was that the teacher & student teacher were going to treat them, out of pocket, if they DID elect to send this pizza-party money from the school, to the sick.)

Well, little over half of the class elected to use the school's donated pizza-party money for the pizza party, and NOT to donate that much more to the "pennies for patients" charity. Tay was one of the lesser "half" that raised her hand that she'd rather see that money go to support the sick, than for a pizza party. *grin* I'm so proud of her!!! I'm doing SOMETHING right, evidently. And Scott and I told her how proud of her we are for making such an ethical choice. She still doesn't know that her teacher was planning on buying the class pizza either way.


The weather's been kinda funny the past couple of days. Sunny & clear skies, but windy as hell, and cold!!! Oh, you can feel some warmth from the sun and the sunlight is causing some of the snow to melt around the edges, but it's still rather cold. The wind is odd, though. It's only been in the past 7 or 8 years that March has been this windy.

When I was growing up I always felt it was odd that the "March winds bring April showers, April showers bring May flowers" rhyme didn't apply to us. Instead, we got our rain in July and early August, and all the windy weather in August as well, right as we were gearing up for school to start.

Now, however, it's windy as hell in March, we still see a bit of snow (and rain, now!) through April and into the beginning of May, and by the end of May the weather turns HOT! We've actually started having DOOZY thunder & lightning storms in June & July, and hot temps well into August & even into September during the days. Our climate seems to have become much more temperate around here. (Which, would hold true with the whole climate shift issue.)

(The lightning is another "new" phenomena for us. If you recall, I actually posted about a fantastic & long-lasted lightning storm on the LAST DAY of August, this past summer. Growing up, we had few lightning storms, and when we DID have lightning, the bolts didn't arc to the ground. They were also over very quickly. About an hour was the normal time limit. Now, we're getting fantastic lightning storms up to 4 and 5 times a week that last a LONG time. A couple of hours. With loads & loads of lightning strikes that arc to the earth from the clouds. The few Thunderstorms (because that's what they were, more than anything) we had when I was growing up would happen almost solely in June. Now we're seeing them well into August, obviously. Another trippy example of climate shift in the interior of Alaska.)

I wait for the day when we hear semi-substantiated reports of tornados in the interior. Supposedly it "can't happen" around here because the proper cloud formations cannot take place due to the large mountain ranges on all sides of us. But, I'm figuring we'll be seeing reports of tornados (though, probably never a F4 or F5) in the next couple of years.


Ya know.... Regarding peak oil.... I just cannot figure out why our rather pro-active Electic Co-op is not jumping into hydro-electric or wind-farms. We obviously get a good deal of wind around here, even if it is somewhat seasonal. And here in North Pole I live right between 2 rivers (the Chena, and the Tanana). There's even a small dam on the Chena river and a flood-control plain project that was built after a major flood in the 60's. It would seem to me that it'd make sense to get a hydro-electric plant built in correspondence with that dam. And, seeing as we live in a very vast river valley, a wind-farm would make sense as well. But neither option is being acted on (though, they may be in the research stages, for all I know) by our electric co-op. I wonder if I'd have to go to a member's meeting to bring these options up, or if I could do that via phone call or email. It's something I've been meaning to look into.

(We actually have a hot-springs a bit North of us that IS being tapped by the guy who owns the resort based around the hot spring. He also owns the one recycling business in town. He's a jerk, on a personal level, but a very forward thinking person on a business & ecological level. He's actually got the Chena Hot Springs Resort completely energy-self-sufficient and pipes the small amount of left-over electricity into the common grid used by the Electric Co-op. He also uses the radiant heat and property for a somewhat extensive hydroponics farm that produces most of the veggies & fruit used at the resort.)


Ok. I suppose that pretty well covers things for now. I hope all my friends & fam. have a GREAT Solstice and Easter weekend!!!!!

And, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Mom!!!! (Her birthday falls on Easter this year. And she's spending her birthday in AZ with my middle sis.)

Have a Blessed Day!


Robin said...

First of all, you are raising a great kid there. You should be proud of yourself, as well as her.

Now....since the beginning of time, women have known that when you sock money away for yourself you don't tell your significant other. I'd come up with a way to do it without him knowing. I used to think that not telling was being underhanded, but the older I get the more I understand why it's important.

As for his complaining about the cost of groceries, make him shop with you for awhile and he'll understand. Jay may be a chef, but he doesn't grocery shop and I'd talk about rising prices and he'd all but roll his eyes. He's had to go with me when we've been out a few times lately, and it's changed his mind..... "I need a lemon for that recipe. I'll just go over here and get....A DOLLAR? THEY WANT A DOLLAR FOR ONE LEMON?!?" It's made a world of difference.

I want to see your lightening storms.

Oh, and Happy Birthday, Mom!

Connie Peterson said...

Back when we were just about the poorest we've ever been (I pray we don't go there again!), Norm and I had bitter fights about money and how much *I* was spending on groceries. I handed him the checkbook and the grocery list and said "Fine, see if you can do better!" After about 2 months, he gave them back to me and never fussed again!

Don't know if that will help for you but it might be worth thinking about!! Sometimes they just don't realize how much all the food costs - especially nowadays. I think Norm was expecting food to cost what it did when he was a boy!


Sian said...

Hello :) I found you via Greg in S Carolina and I am de-lurking to suggest mushrooms as a meat substitute. They can be grown really easily in a grow bag in the cellar or under the kitchen sink (but I don't know about growing conditions in the Arctic!) and make a great curry.

Men are funny about money. I like the idea of sending him out to do the shopping. Or try keeping a housekeeping ledger for a month, just for him to actually see where the cash goes.
Good luck :)

Tori_z said...

Sounds like you're doing a great job with the kiddo :)

I don't have trouble with my hubby telling me how much I should or shouldn't spend on things. Actually, I have more trouble stopping him buying stuff for not just himself, but for me too. I wonder if the fact he's the one who does the shopping most of the time has anything to do with it? *shrugs*

whimsical brainpan said...

Good for you for standing up to your hubby. I don't think you should pay for your phone either.

Tay's heart is certianly in the right place. You should be proud.

Slip said...

I had the opposite problem. Back in the 70's when they contrived the gas shortage, remember? My wife was heavy with our second child and shopping became difficult for her. Her weight was 130 pounds and she natural birthed a 10 pound 15 ounce baby boy. Inflation was raging then and she did not shop for over a year. When she took over again we never had enough groceries for the two week cycle. The prices stopped her. It was several years before she adjusted to it.

Congrats to your girl! My granddaughter held her sweet sixteen birthday bash as a cancer fund raiser at the local rollercade. I am rather proud of her, she lined up 8 bands for a battle of the bands, got local businesses to donate food and drinks, Chinese raffle, door prizes, guest appearances by local celebs and her bottom line was over 2,500 for kids with cancer. She had hoped for more, everyone else thought she did great!

Kids, husbands, not much difference! They are both sniveling high spenders.