And the fire is so delightful

The guys are home as you know, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!—enough singing. After nail biting so hard on Friday I am thankful enough Okies stayed off the roads Friday that ds was able to creep in and pick up dh then they made it home again. I can’t believe we got through that ordeal without a major Murphy hit.
I’ve not done a homework report in a couple of weeks so I thought I’d do one a little early (Sunday rather than Monday). We are getting a slight freezing drizzle in our area again so the guys will probably telecommute to work again tomorrow. Luckily they work for a company that will allow this.
The temps are suppose to possibly get above freezing on Tuesday and go up from there. Which is a good thing because ds is suppose to go to Calumet in southern OK on Tuesday night to do more pipeline walk downs (he is NOT amused).
With all the travel time involved due to airport delays dh got 10 hours of OT in while at AU in Las Vegas. He said he had no urge what so ever to gamble while in Vegas. He kept thinking about how close we were to being debt free and how much better the money would be spent toward that goal. Never even put a penny in a slot. My how the taste of being nearly debt free has changed us. LOL!
Speaking of our race toward freedom. Two weeks ago I made a very important appointment to move us toward that goal. Dh turns 66 in Feb and I turn 64 in January so I made an appointment with the Social Security office for us to go in and once again get the ss checks started on the 18th. If that appointment goes well our ss checks will start in January and the plan is to put them entirely on our debt.
Continuing on Monday. The guys did stay home, so far ds doesn’t have any work he can do right now, so dh is the only one working, but ds has PTO that he can take if they don’t come up with work for him to do here at home. It’s still up in the air if he goes to southern Oklahoma tomorrow evening or not. I’m hoping that due to roads and the extreme cold they don’t send the crew until later in the week.
Back to the SS stuff. When we paid all that money back to ss they said it could possibly start the age over on dh, meaning a much higher rate than the age 62, but when I talked to them two weeks ago they said no he was just on suspension, thus him needing to go in and talk to them. Which means he’ll have to take time off work and lose some OT, but it will be so worth it. I do wish the Federal Government could get their ducks in a row. Either way because he won’t make (by a long shot) over $16,000 in January and February he can go ahead and start the checks in January instead of waiting to March like we had originally thought. When his checks start so can mine. By waiting until the 18th of Dec to sign up I’ll get the checks at age 64 rather than 63 because I turn 64 on January 6th, so that will add a little more to the pot.
How much we aren’t certain because even if they keep dh locked in at his age 62 rate (even though he paid it back) that rate should go up for four reasons 1) He’s been paying in for the last three years 2) there have been small cost of living raises since he drew before 3) How much you get back is figured on your average income for x amount of time. The last time they figured it 18 months of that time he was strictly on unemployment that brought the amount WAY down. We’ve been guaranteed all the way around no matter what his income for the last three years will nullify that unemployment amount and bring in a higher rate. 4) My checks will be based on a percentage of his checks. So we are very anxious to see how much it will all work out to be.
Once the checks start coming in then I’ll be completely re-doing the budget to pay off as much as we can as fast as we can before something else (like Obamacare) comes up to wreck our budget. That is a budget rebuild I am MOST anxious to build!
I cannot tell you how excited I am to start getting those ss checks knowing that if all goes right we will be paying off a bill every 30-45 days, with hopefully the first one dropping off by Christmas, or the very latest the end of the year before the ss checks even start.
Our payments to BB have it now below $1,000 we owe and that is very exciting to me. I really do hate that bill, more than any other we’ve ever had.
This last few days I’ve been very thankful for food storage because we’ve been eating well without having to get out into the stores and on slick roads. We are running a little low on dog food—poor planning on my part, but the girls are thrilled with that because they are getting a lot of Thanksgiving Turkey from the freezer cooked in rice with veggies instead of their canned foods. Not only is it warm, but it’s PEOPLE food. LOL!
As Kathryn and some of the others can tell you watering the stock is interesting. For a while we were having to haul it out 1 gallon at a time from the house because the outdoor faucet, despite our efforts to prevent it, had frozen. Then dh remembered we had in the past used my embossing heat gun to thaw a stubborn faucet so now they can fill the 5 gallon jugs and haul those just a few feet to the goose pen/garden rather in the kitchen, across the dining room, across the living room up to steps, out the front door, down five steps, around the house and to the pen.
Needless to say the birds are remaining in the garden until the weather improves because outside of it they would be sitting “ducks” so to speak for the predators. The guys have reported to me there are cougar, bobcat, possum, coon and coyote tracks all around the fenced enclosure and the geese are generally in the smack dab middle of the big garden area where the “bad guys” can’t reach them. The guineas are barely coming down out of the trees to eat and drink while lookouts watch for predators and then they all fly back up deep into the pines to be away from crafty owls in these temps and snow.
Me I stay entirely indoors, I don’t bounce near as well as I use to.
Things, hopefully, are suppose to start thawing out tomorrow. We’ll see.
Oh and I had my annual check up last week. Basically I am still in pretty good shape, needed a few pill adjustments, but it looks like you guys are stuck with me for a while longer.