Yes, we did it again.

For thirty days, we used approximately $1.18 per day of electricity. I was a bit bummed that it was not $30 that I was expecting, but $35.42 for electricity is not bad at all for two people! Now that gas prices are creeping up, M & I are just now realizing how much we are saving just moving closer to my place of work and at the risk of being repetitive, how much we are saving by virtue of being away from the fast food hub. Yes, we (i.e. M) could exercise some self discipline, but sometimes, I like instant gratification. Now, I’m trying to streamline our financial habits by tracking how much goes into certain things like grocery shopping. I’ve crunched the numbers and we can get away with ~ $300 per month on food. That sounds like a lot, but I think food prices have increased a whole lot too. This amount doesn’t include the money spent eating out.

I finally decided to test my mountain biking chops at Fort Yargo and boy, did I have fun? 😀 I rode at least 15 miles and didn’t feel too tired. I think I was probably riding on adrenalin. I rode with Matt’s dad while M ran nonstop (with us) for at least 2 hours! He’s in incredible conditioning although he is not a muscle-head. After the ride, I was so ravenous that I downed a quart (yes, you read right) of vegetable soup. I would feel bad if it was a quart of lasagna or something. It was vegetable soup that was chockful of vegetables. M gave me grief, but in keeping with the spirit of instant gratification, I didn’t deny myself that wholesome quart of vegetable soup. Besides, we got the same quart of vegetable soup a couple of days later and I measured it out. It was not an obscene amount. 🙂 M’s only got video and pictures of me during the first 3 days that I was a bumbling rider. Not saying I’m expert or anything, but I’ve got a hell of a lot more balance than I did when I first rode a bike on our anniversary. Now I can keep tabs on M on his “rides”. lol, I kid. 🙂 The ride helped me realize that:

  1. Having a bike odometer will be super cool. 🙂 Those little suckers tell you your average speed, highest speed, lowest speed and how many miles you’ve ridden. Definitely neat.
  2. I definitely need biking gloves. Thus far, I’ve been using with handlebars sans any sort of gloves. Thankfully, I don’t sweat on the palms like M does so I am not in any immediate danger of having my hands accidentally slip off the bike. However, I think it will slow the callus-formation process, I hope. 🙂 My hands need some TLC because I have this death-kungfu grip on the handle bars such that when I get off the bike, it’s sheer agony trying to straighten my fingers out.
  3. I definitely need padded shorts. Need I say more? My butt’s not as sore as it used to be because I learned to stand up when crossing a really gnarly bike path. Score! Still, it would be nice.
  4. In short, I need biking gear. Specifically, a kneecap protector. I have hit my left knee more times that I care to count and I’m getting tired of it. Right now, I think I’ve messed it up because walking down the stairs causes the knee to rebel against the horrible person making it go down the stairs. M just thinks it’s inflamation (it looks swollen) so I’m hoping that time will work its magic.

And the coolest thing happened on the day we went to Yargo. There was a thunderstorm was moving in so we decided to call it a day and head home. What happened next is the unadulterated, unembellished truth: Matt and I saw lightning strike thisclose to our car while he was driving on the highway. Actually, I was actually dozing when I heard the bolt strike some trees on the opposing side of track and the next thing I saw when I opened my eyes was a flash of fire which was presumably quickly doused by the pouring rain. With our hearts pounding, we proceeded cautiously and wondered if what we had just seen was real or a figment of our imagination. I’m sure I would have said M was fibbing if I hadn’t witnessed it. Now, I just regret not having my camcorder or my camera with me because that would have been an instant hit online at YouTube. 😀

In the spirit of taking care of business (the business of maintaining the entity that is Jane), I’ve had a couple of visits that are adding up (insurance-wise). Now, I’ve got the thankless task of making sure that healthcare providers are not charging me 3X the rate they have negotiated with my insurance provider. I’ve also got to make sure that said healthcare providers are in-network because you will get slammed with a higher rate (90% of network coverage for in-network providers versus 50% or 60% for out-of-network providers). In short, don’t go there. As such, things like paying down the credit card aggressively had to mellow out. Actually, I made more payments to the card, but they were mostly to mitigate the damage of having to make a few big payments so that my credit score wouldn’t nosedive. Hell, I just got an offer in the mail for a credit card with 5.9% APR so that’s a big improvement from getting the 18% APRs in the days of yore. 🙂 Of course, I didn’t apply because I don’t want to be indebted forever. I’m content with my sole credit card and they are not averse to credit limit increases so I’ve “got money” if I need it. However, I’m definitely getting back on track once the month of May, thanks in part to Uncle Sam’s tax rebate. We didn’t get the full amount allotted to couples filing jointly but I ain’t complaining. We put the money to good use: M’s new toy a.k.a. his mountain bike. lol. We’d been planning this so it wasn’t an impulse buy. The original plan was to pay for this with the money from the sale of his old bike. The buyer has been dragging his foot for weeks and finally managed to make a downpayment of $200. This situation caused us frustration to no end and I initially was going to be the mean old Lady and tell M that if he didn’t have the money, he wasn’t touching our rebate. However, the new bike happens to be badass and had started drawing the attention of other buyers who had the ready cash. The bike’s officially his now so we can stop sweating the buyer. He can take his sweet time for all I care right now. I’m so mad, but that’s flaky humans for you. M’s got his old bike so until the buyer pays up, he’s not touching it.