Happy Friday – Never Scooping Litter Again!

20150122-195059-71459297.jpgWith 3 Happy Friday posts in a row, it seems we’ve got a lot to be happy about these days. This week, I’m beyond happy – thrilled might be a better word – that I’m never scooping a litter box again.

How Have I Arranged This Amazing Feat?

Kitty PoP isn’t being given away. He provides far too much cheap entertainment for us to consider that.

We also have not managed to toilet train him (as Mama PoP once attempted* with their cat, Z). This seems like it would be a great idea in theory. But our reality is different. At every opportunity, Kitty PoP will dunk his toys in an open toilet bowl and bring them to me in the middle of the night. The weirdo cat does this with his water dish, too, on occasion. But at 2am you REALLY hope it’s not a toilet monkey that’s dripping on your chest. So leaving the toilet seat intentionally up (we have firm house rules on closing the toilet because of Kitty PoP’s affinity for this) seems to be asking for trouble.

Instead, I used birthday and Christmas money from assorted family members** to buy Kitty PoP the Rolls Royce of litter boxes, the Litter Robot II Bubble Unit (complete with the additional $20 expansion window!).

Yes, that’s right.  I spent $389 on a litter box.

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Happy Friday – A Happy Complication

Let's love some trees!

Let’s love some trees!

As if we didn’t have enough on our plate this year with the planned kitchen renovation, we had to go and add another complication. And one that is going to cause our 2015 spending to be significantly higher* and we couldn’t be more excited!

No, I’m not pregnant, silly. Jeez!

We’re getting solar panels!! We just got word that we’re approved for funds through our utility company, FPL, to use for an install of a photo-voltaic system that will cover the electricity needs for our little house.

Getting these funds was like playing the lottery (something we never do), but since it involved just a $0 upfront cost and some time and research, we went for it. And boy did we get lucky since not only might 2015 be the last year for FPL solar funds, but all the solar funds were awarded in record time this year.

The Numbers

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Happy Friday – Happy Retirement!

No, not us. We’re not there yet as we aren’t quite ready to pack it all in and move to Mexico City. But as of today Mama PoP is officially retired from her job. Congratulations to Mama PoP!

Now we’re off to celebrate her this weekend with family and friends.

 

Please join us by wishing Mama PoP the best as she joins Papa PoP in retirement.  

The 80/20 Rule At Work In Our Kitchen

The Pareto Principle, more commonly known as the 80/20 Rule, is a common aphorism that basically states:

In many endeavors, 80% of the results come from 20% of the effort.

Or, put another way,

The final 20% of results, requires 80% of the effort.

And we’re seeing an application of the Pareto principle as we start to attack the major structural changes in our kitchen.

Like we talked about in our post on dreaming and designing our dream kitchen, we’re taking our 1980’s cave of a kitchen, with small windows, dropped 7 foot ceilings, and an inefficient use of floor space and opening it up.

View into kitchen/dining area with thick blue lines indicating change to ceiling line and where wall will move opening up the space.

View into kitchen/dining area with thick blue lines indicating change to ceiling line and where wall will move opening up the space.

The two major structural changes that we’re making are vaulting the ceiling to match the vaulted ceiling in the adjacent living room, and moving a wall to take space from a laundry closet in the garage and make it interior space in the kitchen/dining room.

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PoP 2014 Spending Summary

Best purchase of the year?  Or worst?

Best purchase of the year? Or worst?

While December’s income statement post officially closed the books on 2014, it’s also really useful for us to look at the year in totality and see where we had success and failures to help us plan our spending for the following year.  Here we go!

2014 Spending Goal: $50,000

This covers every expense for 2 relatively healthy adults and one cat.  Some consider that budget hugely extravagant, others consider it a number requiring a monastic existence.  For us, we feel it’s a number that requires us to be conscious of our spending, but that doesn’t feel too limiting in the grand scheme of things.

2014 Actual Spending: $50,495

As I mentioned in our December income statement, we went over by 1%.  Well, 0.99%, but who’s counting.  =)

But there’s actually kindof an asterisk on that overage.  Included in that total is $2,912 in 2014 spending on our kitchen renovation, which we weren’t planning on starting until (and have a separate budget for) 2015.  So in a way, we were kindof 5% under our spending goal.

Where Did The Money Go?

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