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I have check printing software and blank check paper for my business..

never thought about doing that for my personal checks. But then most of the checks I write are for spur of the moment instances when I don’t have enough cash on me to cover things. For instance, I learned that I was on my last book of checks last Saturday when I was in a women’s conference last Saturday and didn’t have enough cash on me for a book so I wrote a check. In those instances I wouldn’t have time to come home and print out a check and they were only accepting cash/checks at the conference. I’ve stopped carrying a checkbook in my purse, had to go to the trunk of the car to write the check last weekend.

We switched banks a few years ago when Chase bought out Washington Mutual

We had to order new checks then. I bought two boxes for really cheap though an online company (printing place, not through a bank or credit union). I think I paid $8 for both boxes. I have only used about 40 checks in about 4 years. I rarely write checks (obviously). I used my credit unions online bill pay or the company’s websites to pay all my bills. The checks I usually do write are for the kids’ school stuff….pictures, supply fees, book fairs, etc…

I don’t know how many checks you write, Sharon, but you can print them at home. About 10 years or more ago I did that. We have a credit union account that isn’t close to us and rarely use. But once in a while we need to write a check off that account. I found a check printing software and 1000 papers to print the checks on for $5 at Office Depot and picked it up. It’s been great to use, I just print one off as need be.

I am down to my last book of checks…

and I hate to order any more. Or maybe I hate to order the quantity required. Am I the only one who feels this way?

How often do you write checks?

I don’t even write business checks any more, those I produce on my computer anyway.

Have any of you gone completely without checks?

I take it your daughter is at NAU

So is my daughter!! She is in graduate school there. We went out at Thanksgiving to visit, then I had to go back in January as she had to have minor surgery. We stayed at the Drury on campus- a little more expensive for the room, but full breakfast spread every morning, and “snacks” that made a full dinner every night!

I agree this is a day that will only happen once, so well worth it to go!

You may recall that 2nd oldest DD graduates from college in Arizona in about 2 weeks

I paid off debt in January rather than buy train tix since I thought I had time to purchase. Then when DH lost job, I couldn’t see my way to spending $1k on travelling to her graduation so we purchased a single ticket for DH only.

We are housesitting a friend’s animals (same person who we house-sat for back when our place was getting termited.) She’s going to be gone for a month in Europe…animals (not cat, just dogs) are at our place til she gets back.

I planned on doing it “just cuz.” She, knowing our situation, gave us $500 for taking care of them.

I struggled with what to do with that $500 for days. (It’s probably the only drawback to doing CC and being unemployed.) Do I save it for June when I’ll likely really need it to pay bills, or do I use it to send the rest of the family to DD22’s college graduation and AirForce commissioning?

I decided to spend it on DD22 graduation. We’re only going “for the day” (versus DH who is going for the whole weekend), and I managed to get tix down to $345 for the 4 of us (versus $138 just for DH), so I feel better about it $ wise.

We travel overnight (both ways) on the train, and the “little kids” (the 3 at home) have never done that before, so that should be an adventure. Luckily I know the area in Flagstaff, and the train station isn’t too far from where we need to rendevous, so we will likely just walk there and not need to spend money on transportation.

I’m still going through a fair number of checks

Mostly I use them for professionals who are not set up to take credit cards: the yard guys, my daughter’s therapists and counselors, our meat CSA farm. I also pay my hair salon with checks since they asked. I like paying small businesses with checks because I know the fees really hurt (but I’ll go with cash or debit first) I probably should use checks more often.

My regular bills are all on electronic payment of one sort or another and I pay my town taxes online but other irregular bills I haven’t bothered with (like the once-a-year life insurance check).

My son and I are one step away from being debt-free

He’s been so upset that we never get to go “anywhere fun” on vacation. So we decided that if we “found” money by squeezing down the monthly budget further we could go to Hawaii next year over spring break and still reach our goals for Baby Step 3. I’ve got enough airline miles for our plane tickets, so we just have to save for hotel, food and fun stuff.
This weekend we’ve been searching the house for things to sell through ebay and Craigslist. I talked to the neighbors and we are going to have a big garage sale Memorial Day weekend. All of the proceeds will go to the Hawaii fund.
I listed a few things on Craigslist yesterday just to get a bit of a start. One of the things being a decorative wall mirror that a friend was going to take to Goodwill a few years ago.
Within a couple of hours someone local responded to the ad and wanted to buy it. When I went to meet the person who responded to my ad it turned to the be the friend who gave it to me in the first place! What are the chances?
The good news is that she’s giving me a box of stuff to sell at the garage sale rather than taking it to Goodwill. My aunt just sold her house and she’s giving me a bunch of stuff to sell as well. Some other family members are chipping in too.

Same, I pay a lot of the school fees, lessons and sports fees, PTSA type stuff, cleaners..

But no bills. Oh, I often pay local merchants that way to save them transaction fees and have paid large items that way at the jeweler or to have work done at the house.

Recently paid a car bill and the guy wasn’t partial to either CC or check. I told him I’d pay check so he didn’t have to pay the fees and that I tried to do that for local businesses. He told me to wait a minute and knocked about $60 off the bill. Nice surprise!

You need to watch how the interact with other “married ins” as well, because it can be very telling

Dh and I have been married 39 years, and last fall I was told by my sils, again, that I had no say in family matters because I was NOT family, because I was not blood. This was not a news bulletin to me because I had realized a long time ago that they considered anyone that was not direct bloodline had no value to the family by my mil and sil’s. It was the first time, however, they had the guts to say it in front of dh. I’ve never seen him so angry, both women craw-fished backwards as he unloaded on them. Especially the Bible thumping one. He told her she better get her Bible out and re-read what it says about marriage and family. He ranted for a long time at them about how much more of a daughter I’d been to their parents then they had been. A truth neither of them wanted to face.
When we were first married I was unaware of this belief on their part, I should have talked to my dbil’s three ex-wives because later I did and each of them said they were forced out by the mil and sils not considering them family. If I had I would have taken my stand much earlier in life. For the first several years my inlaws tried to make ALL our major decisions for us, telling dh what he MUST do and consulting me not at all. The first time we purchased a car without getting dfil’s blessing he came unglued literally. Called us stupid for not getting his blessing and having talked to Uncle Kelly on the reliability of the car, which turned out to be a wonderful car.
My mil considered me worthless for waiting for over a year to have their first “natural” grandchild. I literally walked out of a family reunion when my child by my first marriage was told she couldn’t be in the family photo.
Luckily my husband was the alpha of the 4 kids and he stood up for me and my child time and time again. The family resentment is still high about it 39 years later. Yet it is us they turn to for money or other needs every single time. When dfil was dying he begged me to protect my dmil from my sil. When mil decided she was going to need a financial and physical care giver it was me she asked to do it. Life is funny.

I still write checks

— biggest for me is the mortgage; it a hefty chunk of our budget so I like the flexibility of balancing my paychecks against when the payment is due.

We are with Bank of America and I don’t know if this is based on our account type but we were able to order a series of duplicate checks for free the last time I needed a new set of checks. These will last me five years, at least, lol.

I still write checks for the quarterly trash and water fees but other than that I can’t really think of what I write a check for but I have to say I still like the option.

You don’t really get a clue of that until you’re first marriage too

I had a lovely mother in law and still adore my sisters and brothers in law, but they all live far away. When I was remarrying, I told me husband a major concern for me was his closeness with his family. They are all still very involved in each others life, and talk almost daily on the phone. They visit all the time. My in-laws have a cabin next to our home they have as a second home. I wasn’t sure if I was ready for such involvement. Fortunately, I came to realize they do respect boundaries, but you’re definitely correct that it’s a whole package, and you better like it or you’re up the creek.

When I was in college I dated this boy who was raised by his grandparents

We went to the University of Texas and the big OU vs. UT game is held in Dallas every year. The boy asked me to go to the game with him and we stopped enroute to his hometown so the boy could introduce me to his grandparents. Here I am, Little Miss Ft. Lauderdale. Long blonde hair, mini skirt, suntan. Not the typical Texas girl in her Mexican wedding dress with the perfect makeup and hairspray in my hair. The grandparents were not impressed. They asked my last name. I told them. They asked me what type of name was it? I told them it was German. They then asked me what my religion was. I told them I was Catholic. There was nothing but silence. One of the grandparents then looked at me and said, “Well, we’ve met some Negroes and some Jews and I guess now we’ve met a Catholic too.”

Um.. the boy and I broke up when we got back to school from the game.

I’m a little late responding, but got paid for the extra shift I worked last month

Worked a little extra at the 40 hr job. Working another extra shift in Aug. They are hard to come by since everyone is looking for more work.
I was able to add another $100 to the snowball.

Car: 1750
(May pay off at the end of the month, working on selling stuff.)
Student Loan 1: 5300
Student Loan 2: 17300 (Consolidated for lower rate.)

Yay for a little progress.

Cindy in Utah

p.s. Just burnt dinner, but eating it anyway.

He’s gorgeous

Sorry about your mom, but I know she’ll be a huge asset to you. Good news on school wrapping up for your husband. I’m sure you’ve already figured this out, but don’t you dare worry about what your house looks like or whether or not you’ve gotten dressed for the day. Enjoy this time and just grab some sleep whenever you can. Life is pretty good for you right now, so don’t worry about anything but this wonderful, new addition to your (and our!) family, and take care of yourself too. Sending you a big, congratulatory hug!

So is the irobot supposed to be better?

Don’t know that I love the Roomba, but I like the fact that I’m not around vacuuming 🙂 I need a new one though, they don’t seem to last long enough for me. I set mine up to go 3 times a week and while I have the bumpers/barrier beams (forget the exact name of them) I just shut the door to the bathroom and to the back porch to keep it from meandering in there. It has bumpers so as not to damage anything it runs into like table legs. It will navigate under things – the sofa for instance and come out and go back 4 or 5 times (it has a random pattern) but it hits every inch. My dog just grew accustomed to it-she learned that it was a necessary evil and it hasn’t grabbed her up yet. The upright vacuum cleaner does a number on her though… she hides for hours from it.

The roomba is about 12 inches, it easily goes through chair legs, there might be a chair whose legs are extremely narrowly spaced apart, but for the most part it will go under the chair legs, and it will bump around until it finds its way out from between the legs.

Watching it clean, you will think it is missing great spaces, but let it go, it will go back and get areas it didn’t get.

It bumps around until it gets to the spot

you can also set up perimeters so it stays in certain areas and doesn’t fall off steps. i have both the roomba and scooba but never use them. they’re noisy and they scare the heck out of my dog. a lot of people love them (i pretty sure sharon is one of them), but for me, it doesn’t work. maybe if i was away from home a lot, i’d just set the timer to go when we weren’t here i would have a different opinion, but they’re just sitting there gathering dust.

Okay

I have looked at these. Here is what I don’t get. I have a dinette table and a dining table, both with chairs pushed up under them. How does an irobot or other brand get up under there to “sweep”? This also applies to a desk with chair under it, etc.

ETFs won’t have better returns than mutual funds if you buy the exact same thing

An S&P mutual fund will be almost the same as an S&P ETF. Look at your funds and make sure you aren’t overlapping holdings. If you have an S&P 500 and a Large cap fund, you are basically holding the same stocks. your person should be able to look at your asset allocations and let you know if you are overlapping. There will be some, but you don’t want too much.

Thanks for the information

I’ll share it with dh. We have all our mutual funds in one “house”. However they are spread among about 12 different mutual funds. I was just sharing w/dh that some of our funds are not earning what I’d like them to earn. Whether we switch to ETFs or not, we still need to sit down and look over our accounts so we can earn the most off what we have invested. We are fortunate the broker we use is DR friendly … believes in getting and staying debt free, FFEF, etc.

An exchange-traded fund (ETFs)

combine the broad diversification of conventional index mutual funds with the continual pricing and trading flexibility of individual stocks and bonds generally at a lower cost than conventional funds.

It is a mutual fund you can buy during the day in a brokerage account. Since most ETFs are index funds, they are not actively managed, which means they are cheaper to hold. A typical mutual fund has a cost of 1%-2% whereas an ETF can be as low at .05%-.40%. That 1% can be a good chunk of money over the long run.

You have to have a brokerage account and many ETFs trade for free now. Now, most can’t have a brokerage account in their 401Ks, but setting one up at Vanguard/TRowe Price/Fidelity etc, is pretty easy.

About 5 years ago, there was a fee to buy an ETF so many would buy large chucks at $5,000 a trade or more so the $10 fee would be spread over a larger trade. Now, with free ETF trades, you can almost dollar cost average ETFs.

You can go to Vanguard.com and learn more about ETFs and which trade for free. Some trade for free with X dollars in the account.

It is a great time to consolidate accounts if you have stuff in a few different fund companies.

That is a wonderful surprise and a great incentive..

But it seems like businesses aren’t too keen on accepting checks in these parts. I’m the same way though, I would rather not take a check from people, they bounce too much for my tastes. Cash is king, and debit is queen 🙂

Ha Ha!

Not only do we think a like, but we have like minded husbands. My husband isn’t part of carrying some debt (although he certainly used to be), but he lets me do most of the money crunching, investment allocation, worrying, on my own. Sometimes I think it’s easier this way to not have to argue (or compromise, to be honest), but I am making him sit down and look at his weekly business budget. He doesn’t like it; he’d rather I just took total control of that too.

I have to tell you, I’m going through a major house purging right now, and we’re starting to attack house chores like Keisha is. I keep staring at that iRobot of ours. You may just find it on your doorstep one of these days. I’ve already decided that once it goes, it’s going to you. :0)

Kathy, I ended up doing something similar

Most folks on the list will recall that my relationship with my folks is strained at times, and that pains us all greatly. We have been, and still would like to be, a very close family. My brother took steps late last year to start closing that gap, which was a wonderful first step. And my parents have been working really hard on not telling us kids how to live our lives, which has been vastly appreciated. My parents have also both had some health issues the last year or two which have legitimately made travel harder for them. When I was called out of town for the sudden funeral a month ago, it reminded me that we all do reach a point where we don’t get any tomorrows or any second chances. I had already been thinking that I wanted to find a way to go visit Mom for Mother’s Day, as a surprise. And that funeral cemented for me that I really wanted a chance to go for a visit. And stay for more than 18 hours, without a funeral in the schedule.
mymon
Well, with our unexpected escrow refund, and my DH newly practiced at tending the farm, we decided to go for it. I bought tix just this morning for me to fly down and see my folks over the Mother’s Day weekend. DH has agreed to stay here and watch things, which makes the trip possible. Everyone is so excited, including me. I shopped and searched for good airfare, and we were able to buy round trip tix for just shy of $400, which gives us over $800 left of that refund (prev $1K from LendMe1000.com). Not sure where it’ll go. But we’re pretty pleased with how we’ve spent it so far. Sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do for family, and this feels pretty darn good.

Kathy, I hope you’re able to really enjoy your trip to help your DD celebrate her graduation. Don’t you DARE feel guilty either. I won’t.

Your rising net worth is the fruit of your labor, um, investments!

Way to go. Now, can you explain in layman’s terms what EFTs are and how they are different from mutual funds. I know what mutual funds are and we are heavily invested in them … retirement accounts and non-retirement accounts. That is the only place we have invested. Our FFEF is split between a savings account and a checking account, each in a different bank. The checking is separate from our household checking account. Thanks in advance.

Investing through the bad times

Our net worth is up 471K from last year and up 265K just from the start of this year. We saved about 250K in a year and about 54K this year to date. Many of my purchases from 2008 and 2009 are over a 100% return. It doesn’t matter if you invested $10 or $1,000, if you are out of debt, keep investing in the market. You never know when the market will take off and if you are on the sidelines, you will never know when to get back in. I have done this with low cost index funds and low cost EFTs. I don’t agree with DRs stand on ETFs. They are cheaper to own than mutual funds and you can abuse anything. I buy and hold just like DR says, except I don’t do it with mutual funds, but ETFs. I am able to buy in the middle of the day on big drops in the market. It is a relatively simple allocation of funds.

Welcome back, and congrats on the progress you’ve made

Congrats on the wedding, too! 🙂

I see that most of your non-mortgage debt(86%?!) is student loans, so that’s just a steady process to get those done. You have a decent size shovel, so you know it’s possible. What does your husband do for a living? Just curious..

I was able to tread water with my firm for over a year

Ended up moving into a vacant house my parents had for a while, to help make ends meet, made a lot of other sacrifices, but I did it.

I took a job a year ago for the “stability” — guess what? I started spending too much AND… will probably get laid off again in the next year, unless this firm turns around. It is almost funny! It also made me think of this group, so I am back!!

I got married in Dec 2012, and combined we still have A LOT of debt. We decided when we got engaged to really attack it aggressively– reduced our 75-100 person wedding to 10 people at a free venue. We all went out to dinner, had beautiful clothes, flowers and a professional photographer… under $2k, which we had in savings. LOL, I am selling my dress, etc. back on Etsy for what I paid for it, so that will recover some of the wedding costs, too.

I sold my car this weekend, we are now a one-car family. And $10,662 less in debt, with $425/mo less in car and insurance payments. Everyone thinks we are crazy, must have been a good choice.

Also cut back the cable (still in mourning), slashed the food bill. We are making progress, although I recently had surgery so we have some medical bills that we have to add to the list now. It should take us about 7 years to pay everything off except the house.

Rebuild emergency fund to $5k after surgery $3.5k — Sept 2014
DH’s Credit cards $18000 @ 7-9% — Sept 2013
Save for new car in case I get laid off $5k — Jan 2015
My Combined medical $6100 @ 0% — April 2014
DH’s Car $15000 (upside down about $5k @ 5%) — December 2016
My 7.0% Student Loan $117000
DH’s 5% Student Loan $55000
My 1.75% Student Loan $75000– student loans gone by May 2018
Mortgage (Home) $175000 (worth the same, 3.25% 30-year loan)
Mortgage (Rental House) $100000 (under contract to sell in Sept, will net $18k which will all go to DH’s credit cards)

Yes– that is $286,100k in non-mortgage debt, including $247k in non-dishchargeable student loans, lol. Feel free to inhale sharply and shake your head, we do all the time.

Basically, this is the order of attack. We net about $1500/mo for debt, plus I get quarterly bonuses that are still coming in. No way to know how much, or for how long, but usually $2500-4000 after taxes.

Let me know if you have any suggestions! Great to be back!

I spoke with a friend of mine in New Jersey

She is their stake emergency preparedness specialist and also her ward’s Relief Society presidency. She confirmed that they had attended training on this issue, and for her area, they would no longer be doing dry pack canning on site, but would be able to order bulk items, check out a sealer, obtain cans and materials etc. I spoke with a person in the Houston Texas area, whose cannery provides all of the Church storehouses with peanut butter. Their facility already went “FDA/USDA” compliant, so their facility is not affected.

Since the LDS Church did not comment on the FDA/USDA aspect of the blogpost, I’m not going to either. But I can’t help but be reminded of the biblical parable of the talents. Three servants receiving 10, 5 and 1 talent respectively. Two of them multiplied their talents. One of them did nothing, and had it taken away from him when the Lord came to check.

I wonder if the Almighty is “checking” on our Preparedness Talents? I know in our ward and stake for whatever reasons, we do not utilize the cannery as much as we could, either through the bulk buying program, or on our own. Do we, like the servant with 1 talent, stand in jeopardy of our “one” being taken away from us due to our unwillingness to expand the blessings the Lord has given us?

My husband went down to part time work last Aug

and takes care of our son, who started kindergarten at the same time. But he is a lobbyist, and is looking to get back into the workforce full time. That will increase our income anywhere from $15-40K/year more, depending on if he goes nonprofit, governmental or private.

For the summer, my parents will babysit because they will be in town, but the leave the first week in Aug. At that time, I’ll have to adjust my hours. He has mild special needs (and is only 6) and can’t be in school/aftercare from 7:45 to 6:00 pm. It shouldn’t affect my base salary but will probably mean I won’t bonus as much. As he matures, we can look into more after school care options but in the short term… The reduction in bonus won’t be anywhere near what my husband’s income increase will be.

We had a scary thing like that happen to us last week too

Didn’t even think of it in terms of homework, but I’ve already got a few of my “gonna try first” plans in place, and still mulling the rest.
Our rental land is 10 miles away. It’s 14 acres of flat grassland, down a steep ramp from the road, and it’s about 50′ below the grade of the road. So if you’re on that property but near the road, traffic is going right by you without ever knowing you’re there. We have a locking gate on the one access ramp with the all-season road, but the other gate is uncontrolled. Since that ramp is the poorer of the two, and can only be driven on in summertime, we usually don’t have a problem. But we’ve had nice weather the last week, and that side of the field has really dried out a lot. I was there last Wednesday doing some work and noticed that ramp and access road were nearly ready to drive on. When I went out Friday, I noticed someone had already beaten me to it. Without permission.
Someone had driven their 4×4 down off the road, into the tall (3′ tall in places) grass, parked well off the ramp, walked even further back in the grass, and matted down another 10’x10′ area for what must have been a very nice spot to either get drunk, get stoned or get laid. Sorry to be so graphic, but that’s almost certainly what was happening. We’ve found prior evidence of all three activities on that property in the past, but nothing so far this year. Problem is, it had happened in the last 48 hours, and it could very easily happen again even with me there working. I was not pleased. The fact that it was right by the animal pens, and we move the animals tomorrow, also had me on high alert. If someone was just being romantic, well, they probably wouldn’t have done anything obnoxious with the livestock had they been there. But alcohol and/or drug usage each dramatically increases a person’s stupid index. We now finally have insurance coverage (thank goodness THAT is finally squared away), but I really don’t want a pair of 17-year-olds testing it by playing dare with our animals. Or worse, simply cutting the fence and laughing as the animals scatter. One 300# goat up on the road, getting hit by a car, and there goes a heckuva lot of our time and money. Not to mention any human fatalities along the way.
So today, one of my tasks will be to get a heavy cable to stretch across that ramp so that folks can’t casually drive down the ramp. Having the vehicle parked up on the road is a whole lot easier to see, and more prominent for neighbors to check out. The next layer of defense, which will take some money, is to install some stout posts and hang a real gate across that ramp so that it will block not only vehicles, but casual visitors of both the two-legged and four-legged varieties. But the question of what I need to do to protect my own person down there, while working long hours, by myself, out of earshot and out of cellphone range, is a whole ‘nuther topic. It’s one my DH and I have discussed before, and one in which none of the options are particularly comfortable to consider. But I guess we need to have that discussion again.

Most of last week was pretty much the same old, same old

Check the budget daily to make sure we are working on it properly. We came in under budget on several line items the last pay period, but are already over budget on groceries for this one. We needed basics like meat this time, despite my fixing more and more meatless meals. I don’t feel too bad about going over budget this two week period on groceries because in the last 3 pay periods we’ve been under budget over $100 each pay period, so the $50 we are over this time (so far, will need milk next week) is not all that bad.
I got two unplanned on checks that will be going toward our debt one was only $10 for a book sale, but the other was $556 on a royalty check. That one was a MAJOR surprise, those checks usually are around the $100 mark at max and they are very sporadic at that. It had been over 2 months since we’d had one and so this one surprised us royally. Part of it went to get some minor repair on the truck done, part on the debt snowball, and the remainder into savings for Joseph—he’s sneaky and it seems anytime we have such a Millie Moment he shows up right after I apply the money to the snowball or something similar. So the bulk of it this time is going into Joseph repellant!
Then of course there was the news of the $2 an hour pay raise and promotion for dh that finally came through on Monday. If the guys understood their supervisor right the new rate started this last Saturday and will be on the next check. That’s a good thing.
This last week they also did open enrollment on the benefit package at work and of course they changed a lot of stuff around, which resulted in eating part of that pay raise if you didn’t mind your p’s and q’s while signing up for them. A prime example was the term life insurance, which I will post about on another post—it’s something everyone needs to be aware of if they are nearing age 65. Dh caught it at the last minute so they took the much higher rate out of this pay check, but will be reimbursing him for it next pay period, which of course did a small hit on the budget as well. Like I said another post.
Sunday started with a bit of a start around here and it made us aware of some things we needed to change security wise.
We were all just getting up and about when I noticed Sir Oliver Inkwell, our youngest cat, running back and forth on the windowsill like he was watching something. As I asked him what he saw I realized the girls were barking their “intruder” alert outside near the garden, and before I could say another word there were what sounded like to loud rifle shots almost simultaneously right at the garden!.. The girls went silent.
As I struggled to finish getting dressed quickly dh bolted for the door and was met on the porch by ds. How does that kid get down those stairs so fast? Each was prepared for trouble. Dh told our son to check the sunroom for the girls then join him. I was told to “stay here”.
Ds ran to the sunroom and hollered back the girls were in the sunroom—Praise the Lord—but both wouldn’t let him near them. I quickly pulled on shoes and rushed out to my babies while the guys went toward where the “shots” had came from. As soon as the 45 pound Jolie saw me she rushed toward me wanting “Mama”. Before I could even sit down on the step she was trying to crawl into the safety of my lap. She knocked me into the storm door and well I now have a mending job to do on one of my best pair of sweat pants.
As soon as I disentangled myself from the storm door and set down the dog crawled in my lap, shaking in terror, her heart racing. As I stroked her fur and talked to her I also tried to coax Georgia out of the corner where she was hiding. After a while the 50 pound Georgie was also leaning against my leg seeking comfort.
I talked to them softly as I felt them all over for wounds. That God there were none. Both were definitely terrified though. They wouldn’t even take their jerky treats. All they wanted was to be in my lap. I was safety to them because I’m the one that fixes all boo-boo paws around here. Slowly the girls calmed down as my mind raced wondering what was going on outside. Finally ds came to the sunroom to get a report on the girls’ condition and to fill me in. He said dh was still walking around to make certain of what they were pretty sure had happened.
They found no signs of an intruder, no foot prints in the soft soil, no rifle casings, nothing. What they did find, was a HUGE limb that had fallen out of the top of one of the trees and taken a second large limb with it as it fell. What they figure happened was the girls were chasing a squirrel, possum, raccoon, something of that sort and the fat thing ran up the wrong branch which snapped and fell taking a second branch with it. Thus the two popping sounds. Dh thinks that one or both of the branches may have nearly landed on one or both the girls and that is what scared them.
We were lucky this time, but what if it had been someone armed, with trouble on their mind? I had been left unprotected in the house with two dogs that were totally terrified. I no longer have Drifter Moon who would have died before anyone did me any harm. I had no weapon, all I had was the escape plan I formulated a long time ago and even that would have been hindered by the nearly 100 pounds of dogs on my lap and around my legs.
We fixed the protection problem immediately, I will not be unprotected if such a situation should arise in the future. As for the girls being so frightened, we have plans to work on training them to not be afraid of loud noises. We may also be looking more into a large guard dog, but then if it had been a shooter…
Ds has already been working on taking all the dead trees down but plans on working faster at it now, because what if that branch had hit one of the girls?