Monday, January 30, 2012

Ladies Event a No Go for Pokerchick

I was so looking forward to the LIPS (Ladies International Poker Series) Tour event going on at Golden Nugget this past weekend. I opted out of the Borgata Ladies event last weekend so I would be able to watch the Giants game. I love the ladies events. So since another one was the next weekend, I figured I'd play one and play the Nugget one. It seemed to be hit or miss, they weren't really advertising it much, but LIPS usually gets a lot of players. I booked a room and my best friend closed his shop so he can come watch. The night before, I wanted to double check the time. Two things said 11am, two other things said noon. I was already frazzled b/c I had a ton to do after work Friday, and ended up at my mom's and the vets b/c my dog (parent's dog) is up there in age and his health has been declining. My mom said he hurt his paw and wouldn't walk on it and to come over since my dad wasn't home. My poor pup was gimping around, but he was determined! He paw was going backwards, it was the oddest thing. He kept trying to walk to no avail. When my dad came home, we made an emergency vet visit. So the whole family loaded up the car to the vet. We all though the worst. He is old and all that, so we all thought he was going to be put down. The vet is awesome and explained a ton of things. He is okay for now, could have been a stroke or a soft tissue issue, but for now, he is okay and on meds and is walking a bit better on that paw, but just limping on it, like you would a sprain. So Friday night was very emotional for me.

So, I figured we'd get there for like 11am, that way I'm prepared. We got there around 1030ish, walked around, then headed to the poker room. Oh, the signs all over the casino said 11am as well. There were about 4 other women there, playing cash waiting for noon, as that's the time they decided to start. They told me to register, so I did, then hung around. They had osme bagels and pastries out, so I helped myself. I played some slots, etc. Around 1130, there was only 7 people registered for this two day ladies event. Around 1145 I made the decision not to play and started the trek to get my money back. I figured since I already bought in, I'd have to fight for it, but all I did was go to the cage, told the woman and I got my money back, it was pretty simple. I guess they knew people might back out. I did get some slack from the ladies that I backed out. Yes, it will be fun, yes I want to support the ladies events, but for $350 with 7 others registered? I don't think so. My bankroll won't support a $350 sit and go. I'd rather go play at Borgata for that money, and play for a decent prize pool. All in all, I think they got 11 players.

We went to Borgata, got some food then was texting Ac_pokerchick and she said to come play the 2pm at Showboat. We teetered, then figured, why not. We have all day to kill. So we went there. We thought it was $100 bu in, so I was shocked when I gave the woman $100, and she gave me $35 back! Sweet! The tournament was fun. I had a good table, no cards though. Had I gotten something other then 6 3 off, 7 2 off, 5 2 off, I would have played more. I'm not kidding either...for one whole round, not one face card. I did manage to win three hands during the tourmanemt, which is 2 more then the last tourney I played!

In late position, I looked down at queen 7 off (this is earlier in the tourney). I limp in, and I'm seeing a flop with the SB and BB. Flop is Q Q rag. Check Check Check. Turn is a jack giving a straight draw and a flush draw. Check Check, I bet, fold fold. Oh well. Next hand that I won I was again in late position and someone raised to $1200. ($150/$300 were the blinds). I look down at ace king and call. Flop is King rag rag with two diamonds. raiser bets out 2500, I bump it to 7500. He tanks, then folds. Then, later in the tournament, i'm getting short stacked and people are coming to our table from other tables with massive amounts of gray $5k chips. Great. I'm just looking for a big card or an ace, or pocket pair so I can shove. I get the button and I look down at pocket kings. I shove, everyone folds. Figures.

That was it for my winning hands. I finally get king queen in late position, and shove as the short stacked, got called with ace jack. ace Ace 3 is the flop. Nothing on turn and river, and I'm out. Hubby Mike is still playing. He ended up cashing. They chopped 9 ways. what a debacle that was. Some wanted to chop, but the chipleader (a girl) didn't....she had all the chips. Then said if they chop, she should get most of it since she's chip leader. Hubby Mike is telling her that with 9 left, chip leader at this point means nothing as she can lose that in two hands. She didn't want to chop. Then she donkeys off some chips putting another player all in then of course she's like '9 way chop works for me'. Idiot. Hubby Mike was then chip leader. Ac_pokerchick said no chop, so I said no chop to him, but he wanted to. He was the only one really didn't want to, and figured karma would come bite him if he said no chop. I think the people running the tournament need to step up at the Boat for situations like this. It held up the whole game. People kept talking about it while hands are being played. I'd be pretty peeved if I'm trying to play a hand and that idiot is going on and on about how she's chipleader and should get more money, etc. Player busts out, you ask around if you want to chop, if one person says no, continue on. another player busts, go around and ask again, if one person says no continue. There should be no discussion...a simple yes/no should suffice. Hubby Mike cashed anyways, so it's all good. Then we hit B again for more food, then to the hotel where we crashed for the night.

With my bad luck and Hubby Mike's good luck, I'm thinking of buying him in to Feb 11th tourney at B. I will sit out. Yes, I said it...I will sit out..let the hurricanes and blizzards begin!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Borgata Winter Open Event #33 $100+20+$100 Bounty

DH and I decided to play this event on the advice from Kim (Ac_pokerchick) that it would be a fun event. So we went to eat first, came back and registered. And we got on the same table. I mean yeah I don't like that, but at least I get to be with my hubby (sappy moment, yes I know). All in all, I won one hand at lucky table 13. And it was against DH. And it was the first hand. I hate playing the first hand. But it was heads up and I flopped nut flush draw, so I bet, DH folded. I was so card dead, it was unbelievable. I hardly got to play a hand! Once the antes came into play and the blinds went up, I was getting short stacked big time. Any ace or two big cards or any pair, I'm shoving all in. I get pocket sixes and I'm thinking "I'm going all in" Comes to me, and I hands just picked them up and threw them into the muck pile! WHAT just happened???? Oh well. Nothing I could do at that point.

A few hands later, I get jack queen. I say "all in" and put 3 $1000 chips over the line, then grab the rest of my small chips (about $500) and put them next to the other ones. Guy next to me is like 'that's a string bet' 'What, I said all in!' Dealer didn't hear it, he didn't hear it, then DH is like 'I heard her say it, and another guy on the far end of the table heard me say it too. So I was all in. I got 3 callers. Pretty much not what you're looking for in a tournement when you're all in. You want it heads up, but 3 callers isn't good b/c in a tournament, the goal is to take people out, so you're closer to the money so people are very likely to check it down so it's 3 versus 1 rather then 1 on 1. Flop comes 9d 3s 10d. I flopped an open ended, and I felt pretty good. Guy next to me bets out, next guy shoves all in, other guy folds. Gulp. Still not a good scenario for me. We all show our cards, guy next to me has a set of 10s (3 tens) and the other guy had a flush draw. Turn is the 9h, giving the guy next to me a full house. River comes Kc giving me a straight, but the other guy had a full house. Really dealer??? Really? Salt in the wound much?

So I found Kim and we chatted a bit, then she played a sit and go and I watched. DH played for awhile and I would get the update texts about his quadrupling up with pocket 2s, taking someone out with pocket aces. At one point, he was chipleader in the tourney. I finally went over to watch him when the sit and go was done. Since I wasn't watching earlier and he was doing good, I didn't want to hex him. But he was already in the money so I went over there. He busted out in 10th place and I couldn't have been more proud, especially since he never plays tournaments!

New Name?

I've been toying with the idea of changing the blog's name and maybe taking it up a notch and getting out there more. I don't have many followers, but I'd like to get more. I was thinking along the lines of Couponing My Way to the WSOP Main Event. That is every poker players dream, to play in the Big One. It's a $10k buy in, so that's a HUGE hurdle to overcome. And it's in Vegas...another hurdle to overcome...getting on a plane. But maybe it's a better name to incorporate the two loves in my life, couponing and poker? Maybe I can start to really track my coupon savings again and tally it all up and see how long it takes to save $10k? Or add airfare, hotels, food, expenses etc to it and see how long that takes me? I think that may be fun, try to add it all up to maybe $12k or $15k and have the little goal meter on the side of the page? What do you all think?

Money Saving Challenge - Weekend of 1/21/2012

Since DH was on vacation last week, I decided to take a day off on Friday and make it a 3 day AC weekend with him. I had all intentions of playing some poker tournaments at Borgata for the Borgata Winter Poker Open, but only played a cheap one Friday night. DH played too, just to spend some more time with me, and figured it'd be fun. It was a cheap buy in, and it was at night so it wasn't a big tournament or anything....but guess who cashed? Yes, DH did...and he doesn't even play tournaments!!!!! hahahaha. I was so proud of him! Other then that, I didn't play any other tournaments, so it was great to be able to kick back and spend ALL weekend with DH.

Eating can get pricey in AC and since I wasn't down there too much late in 2011, my comps weren't there for free food. But, I did manage to gather up some gift cards, so we ate for free all weekend using gift cards that were collecting dust in my drawer. We even did a nice dinner on Saturday at a pricey restaurant for our anniversary. We each got a drink (I had wine, he had a sangria), we split an appetizer, and we each got an entree. The bill was just about $100, not including tip, but we had tons of gift cards to use so we used them. So that was one less thing to worry about, paying for pricey meals.

We normally buy stuff down there at the Borgata store, but this time decided not to, so again, that saved us some money as well. We DID have to use some comps that we did have on toothpaste though. DH packed both our stuff since he was home, and he forgot the toothpaste...AGAIN. The last time we went away he forgot it. It was hard to pay $3 for toothpaste, when I have mountains of it at home, but it was free with comps anyway. And next time, I will pack :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

BAD Customer Service!!!!!

Yup, that was me about 20 minutes ago at the Stop and Shop by my work in Elizabeth. I've been there twice, this being my second time and up until the end, everyone there was pretty nice to me and assisted with a smile. Well, the tables have surely turned for me!

So I got 6 6packs of Pepsi (3 for $10 deal) and 2 fritos (2 for 6). I used 3 $2/2 coupons for the soda. I also got 2 Pupperonis, they were 3.29 and also BOGO and I had a $1.50/2 coupon. I also had a $2 CAT to use. So I got to the self checkout and the CAT machine was green, good to go. So I ring all my stuff up and it comes to $20 and change. I'm due a $7 CAT for buying $20 of Pepsi products and a $1 CAT for buying 2 Pupperonis. Sure lights on the CAT machine start to blink as they are supposed to come out...said paper out. Figures. So I bag my stuff and go to customer service. Two people ahead of me, oh well. So I get to the front and tell the lady my story. She goes to load the machine, and at this time a few customers had rung up after me, so I'm thinking even if she gets it work NOW, my CATs won't come out. She's there for about 5 minutes, and it won't work. So she goes back to the customer service area, and the door is locked, she can't get back in. The other guy is busy with a customer so she waits for him to let her in. So she pages a manager. Manager calls back, she starts to tell him the issue, and he cuts her off. She's like 'No, Sylvia's on lunch' Then she hangs up, speaks Spanish to the guy, then comes to me and says 'I'm sorry, but I can't help you. The manager I spoke to is too busy in the back and the other manager is out to lunch.' So I ask, "well, now what do I do? you owe me $8.' She's like 'you can wait here for another half hour or so until the other manager comes back or you can come back later.' I'm like , 'WHAT? I'm not coming back here later. It's your issue, not mine, by time I get out of work and get it, it's prime time rush hour, so that's not gonna fly' So she keeps saying there's nothing she can do, blah blah blah. So I'm like 'Can you just refund me my money on this order and I'll ring it at another register?" She's like 'Oh yes, we can do that, that's a good idea' Ugh. So we do. One by one, she's entering the items in....then gets to the bottom and she's like 'Oh' I'm like 'What?" She's like, you used coupons on this order.' 'yea, so?' "well, if I refund you your money, and you re ring it, you cannot use the coupons again?" Ugh "What? They are right there (as I point 5 feet to the register I used), they are right on top, it's not like it's the next day. So now, you tell me either I'm out 8 bucks or around 10 in coupons that I used.' She's like 'I don't know what to tell you' So I said 'Well, you paged the other manager and he called you back. Can you call him again and tell him that I would like to speak with him?" She's like 'Okay'. She she pages him, he calls b/c she said that I want to speak with him, NOW he wants to know what the issue she starts again, then he cuts her off. Then she said he's on his way up. Oh man am I ready to rip him a new one!!!!!! All this time, about half hour AFTER i checked out I'm sitting there all ticked off. So he comes up, sees me, then walks AROUND me and avoids all eye contact with me. The lady tells him the issue w/ the machine, and he's like 'Just give her the money out of your register' and walks away. REALLY? REALLY? Maybe if that guy knew the issue the FIRST time, he could have said that half hour prior!!!!! REALLY guy...really!!!?? I even said that to the girl....but he was 'too busy' but when a customer wants to speak with him, he comes? Oh you better believe I'm drafting up a nasty gram!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

You Win Some, You Lose Some (Money Saving Challenge)

Oh I was doing SOOOOOO good!!!!! WAS!!! All last week, I made dinner so we didn't spend money on take out or going out to eat...and it gets costly doing so. We normally spend about $40 for the two of us, including tip when we go out, and we always use a coupon like a BOGO and all...and we don't eat much, normally no appetizer or dessert. So I wanted to cut back. We would normally go out to eat with a friend every Friday and Saturday, and sometimes take out once a week. And it gets to be expensive, so I said no more! Not to mention UNHEALTHY! So all last week I cooked....yes it was time consuming, but I'd rather spend the time to cook then spend my money.

So we did good. Friday we made pizza bagels. Freshetta was on sale for $4 and change, and DH loves them. But they are unhealthy. So I got wheat bagels, and I have plenty of sauce and cheese at home so in the oven went our pizza bagels....and they were quite yummy!!!!! Saturday, we normally go out for breakfast to the diner or Dunkin Donuts, again, expensive and unhealthy. We had our home appraiser guy come out for our refinance, then after, we made a healthy breakfast together. We saw on Biggest Loser one of the contestants make ground turkey and threw in some peppers and onions and black beans. DH won't eat black beans, so we put eggs in instead for the protein. We made wraps out of them and it was sooooo yummy!!!! Saturday night we went to a friends for a bday party and we got him some gift certificates.

Sunday we stayed in to watch the Giants game. We did go out and run a few errands. We got the curtains we needed for our room and DH exchanged a shirt and got a new one. We paid $5. We used a coupon and gift certificates, but to use the coupon we had to use the kohl's charge so we put $5 on there. We also got some adult beverages and snacks for the Giants game.

Then yesterday came and all that went down the tube!! My tooth had been bothering me for a week, so I called the dentist and they had me come in...lovely. Supposed to be a lazy day at home, and here we are off to the dentist. Dr. couldn't find anything wrong but gave me some meds, just in case, as he is going to Africa for two weeks for a missioniary trip. He is very worried. Oh well. Then we went to Best Buy for the 2 and a Half Men DVDs...there was one on sale for $14.99, normally over $40. There was 3 seasons on sale for that price, so we got 3 of them, then 2 cheap blue ray movies that we have been wanting to see. Then we went to get some food as we hadn't eaten breakfast. I had a Fit Slam at Denny's, it was so yummy! It was egg whites with spinach and grape tomatoes, 2 slices of turkey bacon, an English muffin and a cup of was so good, I finished it all!!!! Then while we were at Denny's, DH's dad called and they were going out to dinner later and his uncle was coming up, so of course we accepted the invite. We ended up paying $76 for dinner. When we go out, we normally don't drink so ours was a ton cheaper then the parents since they drank, but they do so much for us and cook for us every week that I wasn't about to say that ours was about $40 tops including's just not worth it. If it were friends, I wouldn't mind...but so many times his parents come over, we order out and they pay, so I wasn't about to nickel and dime them...ya know? but still...that was a lot of money to shell out for dinner. So back on the wagon this week...until Thursday, when we go to AC for the weekend. But I have a ton of gift cards that I plan on using, plus our comps, so we'll see how that goes!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Money Saving Challenge 1/11/12

I didn't do too much as far as money saving, but I did take a ride on my lunch to Stop and Shop. I picked up 4 Stayfree Feminine products (1.64 each, then used a BOGO Coupon), 4 Chex Mix (2.00 and used 2 $1/2 Qs) and 4 Pom Juice (2.50 and used $1/1 Qs). All in all, it was $15 and change, and I got a $2 Cat back.

I didn't get my nails done yesterday since my girl was not working, so I did my shopping list for Shop Rite. There are some awesome deals I'm going for tonight, and I hope they are stocked and ready for me!!!!! I'm taking advantage of the Purina deal again (did last week on my card). This week I will be stocking up on the Alpo to donate to the pet shelter. last week I got the Friskies to donate.

I made dinner, chicken with a soy and honey mustard marinade. Didn't come out as good as I thought, but DH liked it, and I bought a chicken thigh and veggies for lunch today.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Money Saving Challenge 1-10-12

I haven't really been doing too much lately other then going to work and coming home so I haven't had too much interesting stuff to write about. We did make the decision to refinance our house using HARP (Home Affordability Refinance Program) which helps those that are underwater in their mortgage to take advantage of the low interest rates. We are currently at 6.25, and are going to 3.75 or 4.00. If we choose the 3k closing costs, our rate will be 3.75 and if we chose to do 1k closing, our rate will be 4%, so we are toying with that. Our home appraiser guy is coming this weekend to appraise the home, so we cleaned up all our Christmas stuff and started really cleaning to make it nice for him to see.

Last night, I went with my friend to Staples since he needed to get trading card inserts (I got him to be a semi extreme couponer!) and while we were there, I recycled 10 ink cartridges, good for $2 a piece ($20). I also brought in my receipt from Saturday when I bought Turbo Tax at $59.99. Now of course it's $49.99 so I asked for the adjustment. So I got $10.07 credited back to my card...and I got $20 coming in the mail for recycling ink cartridges!! CHA CHING!

We also walked over to Kohls b/c I needed to return curtains. We were planning on getting smaller curtains for our bedroom but the ones we ordered were not pretty at all, so we returned them and got long ones. But the sheer curtains that would be on the window side were the short ones, so I needed to return them and get the long ones. So I did that, and got $15.98 credited back to my account. I spaced and forgot my Kohls coupon, so I just went to browse the curtains for the sheer long one I needed. It was on BOGO sale, but they were 19.99 each! Last time I got the long ones they were $9.99! So I'm going to wait for them to go on a better sale (and bring my coupon!) then buy them. DH is in no rush to put the new curtains up, so I have time.

I have been cooking dinner at home the past few days, and I love it b/c I get leftovers for lunch the next day! Monday I found a Buffalo Chicken recipe (been CRAVING that for days now, and I keep eating them!) so I made a batch of that. A big batch. So me, DH and my BFF had that for dinner Monday, then I bought some for lunch yesterday,AND we had more leftovers for dinner last night! I also heated up some food we had from Saturday night when we ordered out so that did not go to waste at all. Tonight I'm thinking of either pasta or cereal night. I love cereal night. DH and I get to spend more time together rather then me running around cooking and cleaning. So it's a nice night to have together.

Other then that, I'm still slacking on 2012 goals, but I hope in the coming weeks to go over it with DH. We are doing a mini vacation next weekend (free weekend room at a casino thanks to my nastygram to them, as well as free Starbucks coffee!) so maybe I will bring some stuff with us to sit, away from home and go over our budget and expenses.

Cutting Back?

No, those are not my nails, this is similar to what I have (minus the pretty flower things). I have been getting my nails done for years now and I do the same thing each time I go. I did have a guy that I was friendly with do them, but two times I had an appointment after work and he was always 45 minutes late to start me, so I searched elsewhere. A new nail place opened by my house, so I went there to try it out, and I've been going ever since. I also got my mom to start going there, so now we are regulars there. I only took them off about 3 years ago or so (I can't remember) when BlackBerrys started coming out. Of course, my husband HAD to get a BlackBerry, and the deal he got was when he bought one, he got one for free. So I started going to Verizon and playing with them, and had a hard time typing with my I decided I'd 'take one for the team' and chop them off. I hated doing it. But after a few months and speaking to a girlfriend of mine that got used to it, I put them back on.

So now that we are trying to cut back, I'm thinking of taking them off again. NOW, they are MY nails b/c I've had the acrylic or whatever on for so long. When I go for a fill, all she does is put the gunky stuff on it or whatever, but my real nail is underneath. The other day,I cracked a nail (haven't done that in years) so I pulled the fake stuff off then cut my nail down b/c it was too long for me and too weak. And it just looked weird to have it that long and none of the fancy stuff off. We are trying to save save save, so I'm torn. I like the black nail polish the girls are rocking lately, but every time I put on nail polish (myself or by a pro) the polish always chips after a day. When I do my fills, it can cost 25 or 60 dollars depending on what she does. A normal fill is 25, but when she does the pink and white (usually every other visit) it's 60. I take the money that I have saved up from our misc money (extra money that we don't use that we had in our envelopes each week). And if I pay in cash, every 5th or 6th visit is free. SO, I'm torn and don't know what to do...maybe I should cut them off, and put that money that I would have spent on them into the bank? But I LOVE my does DH when I rub my nails through his head when he has a headache or a bad day.....

Decisions, decisions!!!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Save, Save, Save!!!!!!

So, I got some goodish news on Friday from my mom. For a few years now, my husband and I have been contemplating buying my dad's aunt's house. It's diagonal across the street from my parent's house and it's in pretty poor shape. My aunt and uncle lived there forever, I believe they actually built it many many many moons ago. When I was a kid, I was always there in the summers swimming in my uncle's pool. It was a very old cement/concrete inground pool, and it was always cold. As soon as you got in, your lips turned purple, but it was a sweet treat for us in the hot summers. My friends and I were there everyday. My mom says in the summer I lived in my bathing suits, I even slept in them! My uncle was older (it was my dad's uncle) and he loved having us kids around. He loved his was his bread and butter. The kicker? He never learned how to swim. But he took such great care of that pool and loved having the neighborhood kids over. Around noon time, the mailman Bernie would come in the pool during his lunch break and do laps. Everyone in the neighborhood had an open invite to the pool. My uncle would make us all lunch and bring us snacks and drinks for when we were done swimming...then of course after we ate, back in the pool we went! He had a dog, Trixie. She was a tiny dog, but boy did she bark. She was our babysitter for when my uncle would go into the house to get us our snacks and food. all the home movies we have of us at the pool all you hear is Trixie barking. I don't remember my aunt coming out much, but to my uncle, that pool was his life.

As I got older and didn't have time in the summers to go there everyday (school, work, boys, etc) my uncle kind of let the pool go to the wayside a bit. He was too old to really take care of it, so he rarely opened that pool in the summers. When the whole west nile thing started, some neighbors across the way on the other street complained to the township b/c he had stagnant water on the top of the pool cover, so after a battle, my uncle lost and had to pretty much fill in the pool or open it back up.
Since he was too old to open it, he decided it was best to fill it with sand and close it forever. He was so depressed...that pool was his life. That summer, my uncle passed away. I believe it was my dad that found him on the steps leading to where the pool used to be. I guess he died of a heart attack, but we all know he knew it was his time, and he wanted to be near his lifeline, his pool.

My aunt was still alive so she was in the house by herself. It was a hard time for the whole family. She had an aid come in for awhile, but she herself was getting up there in years and she passed a few years after my uncle. So the house was empty for awhile. My dad would keep up with the yard work and make sure everything inside was functional. Then my grandmother in Florida passed away. That was a tough my dad's cousins (his aunt and uncle's daughter) said that my grandfather can stay in the house, since nobody was in it anyways. My grandfather stayed there for a few years until it was his time to go into a nursing home for constant care. That was over 2 and a half years ago, and the house has been empty since.

Now that it's been empty for so long, I really want to buy the house. It's a family house, so any ghosts inside of it are my family and they are friendly ghosts...yes I believe in ghosts. My parents have them at their house, but it's all family. My great grandfather built that house and it's been in my family since. Every since my grandfather went into the nursing home, my husband and I would casually discuss the house, and even bring it up to my parents, since they talk to their cousins more then me. The house is in bad shape, it's very outdated and anyone that would want to rent it or buy would need to do some major renovation. On 4th of July, my BFF (our mechanic, handyman, my second husband, etc) and I were chatting about the house. My dad came into the conversation and my BFF Jerry said he'd like to see the house since if we did buy it, he'd do all the work. So my dad got us the key and we walked over. It has some great potential and my husband and Jerry can do a lot of work on the first level, like blowing out walls, redoing the living room, etc. My friend is a godsend and blessing to my husband and I. With so many issues in our condo, we would have paid a TON of money OOP to do repairs. But he does it for free, and all he asks is to be fed. So it works out, I get to get my stuff fixed and can keep up with my cooking skills :)

So fast forward to recently. I lost my job, so I put this to the back burner since we were just down to one income, and taking on a second mortgage was not feasible. So I stopped begging my dad and mom to talk to them. Then I got a job a few weeks ago and it's pretty stable. We all went out to eat with my parents and my in laws and brought it up. My dad had to call his cousins the next day to discuss the house. I think my dad pays the bills for the house then gets a check once a month from his cousin. So my dad said he called her, but she wanted nothing to do with the house. She is getting up there in age and has failing health, and her husband's health has been failing for years now. so my dad didn't say anything. Then my mom ran into the cousin at the store and they got to talking, and my mom, who doesn't beat around the bush came out and asked about the house. The cousin said she didn't want to deal with it or have anything to do with it. It's been empty for so long and they still pay taxes and all on it. My mom said she knows someone that wants to buy it (me) and my cousin was shocked. My mom explained that I loved that house, and the pool and I would love to buy it. The cousin said there's a lot of work and my mom said that our friend and husband is willing to do a lot of it and wants to build a full second story and of course, put the pool back in. She also said the second lot in the back comes with it and suggested we put a garage there, to which my mom said, oh she already knows she is putting a garage there. So it showed my aunt or whatever she is to me that I have really been thinking hard over the years about the pool...but the one thing I AM definately doing is putting that pool back in....almost like a middle finger to the neighbors that complained. For some reason, they never liked my uncle. I guess because all the kids came there and we all played and had a great time in the pool, he didn't like it. He hated kids that man. He never even answered his door on Halloween, but we all saw him in his living room ignoring the doorbell.

So now, this may become a reality for us. I'm crossing my fingers. My aunt wants to sell, her husband wants to rent....but in order to rent a ton of work would need to get done and the person to do that would be my dad. My dad doesn't have the time to do that, nor does he want to. Since his heart attack over the summer, he's really been watching himself and doesn't want to take on a project like this. So I told my dad to get on the horn with the uncle and persuade him to let us buy it.

Then comes the pricing. Jerry says if they will sell it to us for 100k or less, it's a good deal...but if they want more, then to walk away b/c it's not a good deal to buy it for more then that, then have to put so much more to fix it up. I'm hoping that we can get it for that price, or less and we can start on the repairs on the first floor. That will take awhile, which I'm cool with. I need the market to go back up so we can offload our condo. Worst comes to worst, we can fix up the house, then rent out the condo and move into the house while the contractors build the second level. And that way, I'm not paying a full 2 mortgages. Oh, and we're in the midst of refinancing our condo now, so all that extra money we are saving each month is going into savings for the house.

I have been worrying all weekend...can we afford another mortgage, plus taxes, plus repair costs? My friend won't charge us labor, but whatever itmes we need (sheetrock, etc) will need to come OOP. We started saving for a downpayment last year or so, so we have about 20k, so we would wipe that out if we got the house for 100k, that leaves us with nothing to fix the house...which wouldn't be so bad until we can save and a do a little at a time...and meanwhile putting equity into the condo. I did look up renovation loans, so we can take out a line of credit against the new house once we are ready to build up, and that's based on what the value would be AFTER the remodel. It's a lot of work, and I imagine if we take it slow and do it right, it will take years to fix....but it would be our dream house. And it's right by my parents which is good and it's the neighborhood I grew up in....and who knows...maybe one day I will be like my uncle and have all the neighborhood kids over to swim in my pool......

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Welcome New Followers!!!!!!!!

I saw today that my guest post at 4 Hats and Frugal was published today and I know I will get a few people over here and just wanted to say HELLO to all my new followers!

This year, I expect GREAT things to happen, so be sure to stay tuned to see how I'm saving money with the Money Saving Challenge and also how my poker is going. I really want to hunker down and hold myself accountable since I was successful in doing so in the past, and I will admit, I got a little lazy and went off track. But now, it's time to hunker down and start saving for a little one, a house and a vacation (on a PLANE!) Yes, big things are happening for me in 2012...stay tuned and see how I can help you save money, and maybe enhance your poker career!

Please feel free to drop me a line on here anytime if you have questions or comments...I love feedback!