Thursday, May 26, 2011

I Like to Read

I'm currently reading two books on my Kindle. One of them is by acclaimed author Cormac McCarthy callled Blood Meridian. The other is by Lemony Snicket and is part of the fictional author's A Series of Unfortunate Events series. Blood Meridian is considered by some to be one of the best American novels ever written. Lemony Snicket is technically a series written for children and young teenagers. Blood Meridian is, thus far (like all of the Cormac McCarthy books I've read) AWFUL. Lemony Snicket's books are AWESOME (I've read them once before).
Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events" in all its glory.
So what makes a good book? Some people will tell you it's the writing. Yeah, I suppose writing matters. If I spent my entire walk through your book tripping over commas and bumping my head on typos, it will distract from my enjoyment. I get that. That said, I just finished a great book called One Day by David Nicholls. There were an alarming amount of typos, but I cared so much about the two central characters of the book, I couldn't leave their world even when the book wasn't in my hands.

"If you're going to read only one book about grocery carts, make sure it's The Road." --Oprah
Other people will tell you it's the idea. Another one of Cormac McCarthy's overrated books is called The Road. It won a lot of awards. Oprah liked it. It's about the end of the world. It also sucks. I love post-apocalyptic stories as much as anyone, but this one is about a man and his boy walking through a dead world with a shopping cart. Every now and then they have a tense moment. Yippee. Sometimes when I walk through Hy-Vee with my shopping cart I bump into someone I don't know but who knows me, and it's tense for a bit until I remember who they are. That doesn't mean that I should spread that story out over 250 pages.

The situational plot doesn't really matter. Whatever neat concept the book is going for doesn't matter. A plot can involve dinosaurs, furniture, or British people, but the only way a book will be good is if it features characters I like. That's the problem with Cormac's books. No one is likable. They all kill each other. Also, he doesn't use quotation marks. I don't know why he doesn't do that. Being a literary author, I'm sure he has an overly pretentious reason. I probably wouldn't understand his overly pretentious reason because he probably stated said reason with too many big words.
This book is violent, sexist, racist, and filled with a bunch of drunks, but somehow it still manages to be boring.

On a happier note, do you know what has a compelling story? Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. If you would have told me a rather dark story about an evil Count Olaf making the lives of three orphans miserable could be funny, sweet, and meaningful, I would have said, "Olaf is a good name for a Count." Then I would have taken your suggestion and read the first book. Then I would have enjoyed the first book and read the next twelve of them. The three orphans laugh together and support each other at every turn. The books make me literally angry at the naive, stupid adult characters in the book not named Olaf. The author also has some of the best random asides of any author ever. For instance, he started chapter three in the fifth book of the series "The Austere Academy" with the following:

"The expression “Making a mountain out of a molehill” simply means making a big deal out of something that is actually a small deal, and it is easy to see how this expression came about. Molehills are simply mounds of earth serving as condominiums for moles, and they have never caused anyone any harm except for maybe a stubbed toe if you were walking through the wilderness without any shoes on. Mountains, however, are very large mounds of earth and are constantly causing problems. They are very tall, and when people try to climb them they often fall off, or get lost and die of starvation. Sometimes two countries fight over who really owns a mountain, and thousands of people have to go to war and come home grumpy or wounded. And, of course, mountains serve as homes to mountain goats and mountain lions, who enjoy attacking helpless picnickers and eating sandwiches or children. So when someone is making a mountain out of a molehill, they are pretending that something is as horrible as a war or a ruined picnic when it is really only as horrible as a stubbed toe."

Source: Snicket, Lemony (2009). A Series of Unfortunate Events #5: The Austere Academy (pp. 31-32). HarperCollins e-books. Kindle Edition.

Compare that to Cormac McCarthy, who would write something like this:

I am a character. I don't have a name. The book will keep calling me the Kid or the Man or something. I'm talking right now but you don't know I'm talking because there are no quotation marks. This will get very annoying as time goes on because I'm not doing this for any reason. I'm so sad.

Source: McCarthy, Cormac (2013). Cormac's Next Crappy Book (pp. all of them). HarperCollins e-books. Kindle Edition.
A good book for you to read this summer.
I will leave you all with this: summer is coming. You need to find something to read. Cougar Town won't be on TV until the fall, so you need to keep your brain occupied. You can only handle so much exercise before your heart explodes so start reading. I'd suggest you read Lemony Snicket because it's great. I'd also suggest Harry Potter. Or, if you're an adult that refuses to acknowledge most of the best stories are kids stories, read The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon or Catch 22 by Joseph Heller or, better yet, anything the great Kurt Vonnegut ever produced. You can even read Cormac McCarthy. I know a lot of people like him. Either way, just read. It's good for you.
The master: Read Breakfast of Champions or Slaughterhouse-Five.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Iowa Girl Eats

Hey all you blog lovin' peeps!  I found a new foodie blog that I'm enjoying these days.  We tried two recipes off the blog this week, and both were delish. 

The blog is called Iowa Girl Eats and you should definitely check it out.   What I especially like about the site is that each step of the recipe includes a picture, which helps us recipe reading impaired cooks. 

Recipe #1 was Mozarella Stuffed Bruschetta Turkey Burgers. 

Speaking of recipe reading impaired, I totally botched these the first attempt when I didn't quite read the recipe fully, but after a quick trip to Fareway, round 2 was a success.  The burgers turned out great and it was a nice escape from the traditional tasting burger. 
An image from Iowa Girl's site, but ours turned out looking this good.  Hard to believe. 
Our only modifications were that we skipped the balsamic vinegar glaze, the bruschetta was plenty flavorful on our own.  We also learned that these burgers are not such great 'leftover' food, so next time we'll make only enough for that night.

Recipe #2 Cheesy Chicken and Brocoli Casserole

Ever since we've got gluten free (yes, we're still at it) casserole dishes have been sort of non-existent.  Most casseroles call for "cream of ___" soup, and most of those soups contain gluten. Darn.  There ARE some gf "cream of" soups, but my experience with them and baking is that they are, for lack of a better term, nasty.  So needless to say I was pumped to find Iowa Girl's casserole didn't need any of those things. 
 Okay, that's not the finished product, that's just the chicken. But Jay and I agreed that this seasoned chicken would make a yummy main dish for a meal on it's own.  Breadless nuggets? Barbeque sauce? Skewers?

Our meal was major yummo.  We substituted the flour with cornstarch and used a gf chicken broth from Trader Joes.  Jay especially loved this recipe, and I think it will be on the "you should make that again, Kels" list. 

Thanks again to Iowa Girl Eats for all of your delicious recipes, we'll definitely be trying some more! 

Friday, May 20, 2011


I love quotes! :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Things I Learn About Grilling

Two weeks ago, Kelsey blogged about how every spring we have the same "initial" grilling experience. We always get ourselves amped up for some freshly grilled burgers only to learn the gas seeped out of the propane tank (SAFETY!) over the ridiculous winter we choose to live through in Iowa.

Usually the new tank of propane solves the problem. It sort of did this year, at least at first. We grilled the first burgers without a problem. The second burgers worked all right too, though they grilled a whole lot slower. We tried brats next and...nothing. The grill seemed sort of hot, but it wouldn't light. This got me worried. But to understand my worry, we must cue some mystical flashback music and journey back in time.

BACK IN TIME: Last fall, when the winds started to pick up (just kidding the winds in Cedar Falls are always picked up, always), my grill made the executive decision to move away from my half-deck and position itself on the edge of the patio. This always happened while I was at work, but here's how I think the scene played out:

The Grill: "Life is so hard. I just...I just...I just want to jump off this stupid patio and end it all."

The Drain Spout: "Um. Please don't. You'll land on me. You'll crush me real good. Also, I don't think you tipping over will do anything but get you dirty and annoy Jay."

The Grill: "Jay? You think I care about what Jay thinks?"

The Drain Spout: "I don't think you think anything. You're a grill. I just don't want to be crushed. For if I am crushed, I may never spout rain again."

The Grill, ignoring the Drain Spout, tips over, off of the patio, and crushes the Drain Spout forever (for I refuse to replace it).

This scene (or something similar) happened three times last fall. I'd arrive home from work, expecting to find my belongings in perfect working order, only to find the grill tipped over in the backyard on top of the drain sprout. I'll spare you the gory details, but in case you've never had a grill tip over, the insides of the grill: the grates, the grease deflectors, the old, crusty pieces of cheese that never seem to melt away, go everywhere. Also, grills are heavy, and they really aren't very fun to pick up and put back into position.

How did I fix this problem? I tried various bungee ropes. Those didn't work because I don't know how to use bungee ropes. Then it occurred to me: the grill has wheels. Wheels that lock! If I locked the wheels the wind would stop coercing my grill into suicide. Problem solved!

BACK TO THE ALMOST PRESENT: It nagged at me all winter, but I thought for sure the grill would be broken. I've seen better items break after three hard falls (RIP N64 Controller... I really hate the Rainbow Course in Mario Kart 64). I wasn't surprised when the brats would not cook. Being the technical wizard I am, I started to investigate.

It appeared that the spark that is supposed to ignite the gas wasn't sparking, so I bought a new igniter at the hardware store. When I opened the igniter (which I wasn't at all excited about paying for or replacing), I noticed it came with a battery. Interesting. I didn't recall my igniter having a battery when I initially assembled the grill. Of course the day I initially assembled the grill has many dark spots in my memory because of how the engineers thought everyone who would assemble this grill had eighteen joints in their arms, no bones, and x-ray vision.

So this past Saturday, I thought to myself, "Before swapping out this here part, I should just check to see if this Double A battery just needs replaced." Problem solved!

Here are three valuable lessons you should learn about propane grills:

1) They need propane in the propane tank in order to light.

2) The wheels lock. If the wheels are locked the wind won't continue to blow the grill onto the ground, and you will have fully functional drain spouts in your backyard.

3) Electric igniters have batteries. I don't know how often you need to change the battery, but I'd recommend whenever your igniter appears to not be igniting.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Secret Shame

Spring cleaning fever has hit our house, and we had to come face to face with a big project that has been looming on our horizon for quite some time now.  We've tried to avoid it, but it was sort of a circus full of elephants in the room and it had gotten way beyond awkward.  Guests would come to our house and ask,

"What's behind that door?"  Nervous glances exchanged. 

"Door? What door? Oh, there's nothing back there." 

Nothing but the secret shame. Here she is in all her glory. 
Not much exercise happening on that treadmill. 
See that freezer in the background? With a tv in front of it? And a rug on top of it? We used that a lot, too.
Shoes were stored on that shelf, and then it broke. And then it stayed that way. 
At this point, you get the idea.  We kept it secret for a reason.  After 9 hours of a tag-team, kick-ass pattern of sort, purge, organize, restock....we ended with this.  Sanity restored.  Hallelujah.

That's right, the shoes are not only organized, they're categorized. 
All of my bins still awaits labeling (I'm trying to convince my man friend that I've earned a labelmaker), but I now have a bin for each  and every thing possible.  There is one for each season/holiday, one with purses, one with bags, one with hats/mittens/scarves, nostalgia bins, camping bins, etc.  We cleared out plenty of room to exercise, and a special stool to watch someone workout.  Haha, just kidding. 
Wait, there's a FLOOR in this room? 
We can now use the freezer without a scarecrow, a boob tube, and a down comforter getting in the way.  What a weird sentence that was. 
That's my small pile to go to school. 
Shockingly enough, the find of the day was NOT the floor.  See those big gray tubs in the background of the picture above? We found a Christmas tree in one of them.  A Christmas tree. A full-sized put-it- together-piece-by-piece Christmas tree.  Umm, it doesn't belong to us.  And we don't know where it came from. And we don't know what to do with it.

On that note, if you are missing your tree, or you'd like to take a seemingly nice one off of our hands next winter, please let us know.  We'd be happy to oblige. 

Happy spring cleaning! 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Grocery Getter

Jay has been elected the Official Temporary Team Schmeebs Grocery Getter.  Hoooray!!  He was knighted into his position this afternoon.
I hate going to the grocery store, he doesn't mind it, so the chore defaults to him.  Even though this is a temporary position, because I'll take back over the duty when summer begins, it seems to be a good solution for now.  Grocery shopping is not so bad when you can go during the day, but there is nothing worse than going to the grocery store after a day of work. Okay, so there is plenty worse, but I just don't like it.  Geesh.
I am Jay. King of Groceries.
He was pumped that the 90 degree weather allowed him to ride his bike instead of taking the car.  Gas is just too darn expensive these days.  The Fareway employees were less than thrilled, however, when he showed up and was drenched in sweat. 

Jealous much?
The added bonus of this incredibly green (yet shockingly red) bike is that transforms into the cart once you get to the store.  Who doesn't love transformers? And, no bags necessary folks.  The clerk just scanned the items and placed them back into the tub when he was finished checking out.  Cha-ching!
Say "cheese!"
Sadly, Jay's bike of awesomeness is not our first attempt at being a little greener and having some fun with getting groceries. 
 Okay guys, that was just a joke. You obviously know that's not us, because we'd be driving a John Deere tractor! 

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Tribute to Mom

Today was supposed to be Part 3 of my very epic tale on budgeting. That said, because I left you all hanging right as I was getting to the good stuff last week, I'd intended to actually write Part 3 of the blog yesterday. That way I wouldn't run out of steam prior to my deadline. That did not happen. Instead, after returning from a brief trip to the Quad Cities, I decided to mow my yard. As you all know, one can't mow the lawn and write a blog in the same night. That's impossible. So rather than rush through Mundane Monday, I'll write it later this week.

Instead, I thought in honor of Mother's Day, I'd write a Top Ten List dedicated to Vick Schmitz, a rather cool mom. Without further adieu, here are ten of my favorite things about my mom:

10) Irrational fear of the police: If you looked back on our childhood, you'd think my mother was a wanted felon. Every time we drove by a cop, she'd suspiciously look in the rear-view. One Christmas there was a story about a mother of three kidnapping her children and driving them across the country in a mini-van. That same Christmas, my mother of three happened to be driving a mini-van. She spent the entire drive to Grandma's convincing us that each cop was staring at us. I think this fear of hers might be why I have never trusted authority.

9) She makes a snack bar that consists of pretzels, peanut butter, butter, M+Ms, and peanuts (or something similar). They are so good, but they are terrible for you. When anyone would want to stop eating them, she would tell them, "Keep eating them. They're good for you. They have pretzels in them." That's a solid argument if I ever heard one. To this day, she refuses to acknowledge these bars are probably 400 calories each. Instead, she's named them, "Health Bars."

8) This is her favorite joke: If Jose had a brother, what would his name be? Answer: Hose B. Once, when she'd had too much wine, Mom and I had the following exchange:

Mom: Tell that joke.
Me: What joke?
Mom: The funny Jose joke.
Me: If Jose had a brother, what would his name be?
Mom: Hose B! (laughs hysterically)
Me: But Mom, what would the name of their triplet brother be?
Mom: (confused) I don't know?
Me: Hose C.
Mom: (cries from laughing)

It might literally be the worst joke of all time, but she loves it.

7) She lives Hakuna Matata: Shortly after the Lion King came out in theaters, our family bought the soundtrack. Once, while driving down University Avenue blaring Hakuna Matata as loud as possible, Mom ran two red lights and went about twenty miles over the speed limit (note: my memory might be exaggerating this). Either way, the song Hakuna Matata means a problem free philosophy to most, but it means near death to my siblings and me.

6) She does not like Matthew McConaughey: We don't know why. She just doesn't. She claims to have a reason, but really, who can passionately dislike Matthew McConaughey? I can see not really caring about him, but adamant hatred?

5) I'm pretty sure she has secret magic powers: As a child, back in the days before DVRs and fancy digital recording devices, we had one VCR. On that one VCR, we needed to tape two shows that were on at the same time. One of them was a very special episode of Saved by the Bell (the last episode where the gang worked at the summer resort) and one of them was something else (my memory is good but not perfect). I to this day have no idea how she pulled this off, but she managed to tape both shows on the same tape. It was amazing. So was Saved by the Bell.

4) The most loyal person in the world: Seriously, don't do anything to any of her children. She won't like you ever again. Even after the children have forgiven you, she will remember. She even has our back when we screw up. Good Mom, that one.

This picture was taken the same day as the one at the end of this blog. It's impossible to find pictures of mom though because of her insistence on photographing every detail of every event. Due to that, she's hardly in any pictures. You'll notice, if you read the top ten list carefully, her penchant for taking photos is not one of my favorite things about her.
3) She's convinced Justin, my friend from high school, stole spoons from our house. How? Quote: "He always left with our spoons as he ate our ice cream." There are a couple things wrong here: Justin never, ever to my knowledge ate ice cream at our house. If he did, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't steal a spoon. Second, I don't think he took one spoon let alone enough spoons to necessitate Mom formulating the thought Justin stole all of our spoons. I'll admit, the spoon shortage at Casa de Schmitz was a little troubling, but I'll do what I'll always do, blame Anne and Dallas.

2) Creative and talented: The woman is a master with fabric. She makes the best greeting cards of any human I know. In fact, I can't shop for a Hallmark card because 1) none of them are at all funny and 2) I think Mom's cards are so much cooler. She also cuts various pieces of fabric and makes large prints. In eighth grade, when her very fat eighth grade son lamented over the fact he had to retire his favorite YAGA shirt, Mom recreated the image with pieces of fabric and framed it for him. It was so cool. Mom is so cool.

Mom recreated this shirt for this idiot. Such a cool shirt.
1) She's just awesome: I know I've joked around throughout most of this list, but the fact is we Schmitz children have a really cool mom. She'll listen if you need to vent. She'll joke around with you if you feel like it. She has ample amounts of beer and candy at her house. But most of all, she's made it abundantly clear she will do anything for any of us. All of us Schmitz kids grew up with a mom we considered a friend, and I think that's a big reason all of us kids have become such good friends with each other. While obviously I was very easy to raise and caused hardly any problems at all, it couldn't have been easy raising me alongside Dallas (ugh) and Anne (yuck). But somehow she did it, and for that, I wish her a Happy Mother's Day.

Two of the best Moms ever, the future best Mom ever, and one lucky guy.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Let's be chickens.

Seeing as it's Cinco de Mayo, I feel there really would be nothing more appropriate than blogging about my undying love for margaritas.  Do you?  Well, I thought so too, but there really is not a whole blog post available on that subject at this time. And pish posh, too obvious. 
I always do, margarita, I always do. 
So instead of talking about the happiest beverage on earth, I'm going to blog about.... the mail! Hold on to your seats, folks. The mail's here. Let's be chickens. 

(You'll be thinking about those 15 seconds of footage all day, promise.)

In my opinion,  there are 4 types of mail.
Type 1: Junk Mail - Useless to all, looks friendly and promising, yet fulfilling only to our garbage.
Type 2: Bills & Statements - Forwarded on to the billing department.
Type 3: Mail for Jay - Could it be? Something other than a bill or junk? Yes!! Ahhh man... it's for Jaaaay.
Type 4: Mail for Me!  A card? An invitation? A magazine??! Yippee! 
Got this baby in the mail today from Barb - seriously heel clicked in the driveway as I opened it.

That's how I feel when I get Type 4 mail.  Super excited, smile on my face, clucking all around and flappin' my wings.  My friend Barb, she's rockin' at sending Type 4 mail.  Pretty sure I'd get a card from her on President's Day if they made them.  I dunno, maybe card sending is her love language. But getting a random card from my friend makes my week.  
Here we are celebrating College Roommate Appreciation Week.
Card received in mail one week prior. Love you!
Many a New Years Resolution have been dedicated to get better at sending Type 4 mail.  Because Steve and I can't be the only ones out there who gets ridiculously excited to get something like a card or a magazine - can we?  
I wonder what animal Steve pretends to be when he gets a magazine?
And yet every year I fail miserably.  Probably because of my irrational fear of the post office and my utter inability to plan ahead, but whatevs.  It's the thought that counts right?  Okay, not so much on this one, slacker.  My "brainwaves happy thoughts invisible card" doesn't quite have the same effect.  Darn.  

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Grilling Season!

Every springtime, a day comes where the first grilled meal of the season is necessary. Since the weather has been unusually cold and rainy, it's amazing that day has just now come.  Last night, we finally decided to bust out the grill for the inaugural summer style meal.
'Tis the season for ketchup, mustard, and pickles!
So Jay opened up the grill, and click, click, click....silence.  Click, click, click, silence.

Jay: "Dang it. I think the grill's broken."

Kelsey: "I doubt it's broken, hun, it's just probably out of gas."

Jay: "I really think it might be broken. Remember how it fell over 3 times this winter?"

Okay, not our grill, but would only be shocked to find this due to the fact that I can't grow a plant. 
We have this conversation every year.  It was out of gas.  You'd think we'd learn our lesson by now.
We have learned a little, just not when it comes to proper grill care.

Ahh, spring! :)   Sidenote: Clean sliding glass door.
Year 1: "Broken" grill. Kelsey pouts, Jay pouts.  Groceries go bad at home,  and grill doesn't get "fixed" for weeks. We go out to dinner.

Year 2: "Broken" grill.  Kelsey accuses Jay of not remembering this from last year, Jay runs to Walgreens to exchange gas tank, they eat grilled food at 9PM pouty moods.

Year 3:  "Broken" grill. Kelsey and Jay take mutual stupidity points for doing this 3 years in a row, and laugh hysterically while shaking heads at each other. Jay runs to Walgreens, Kelsey whips up potatoes on stove, and mushrooms in oven. 

We're still stupid, but eventually, we got 'er done!
Maybe next year we'll learn our lesson! Thank you, oh spring, for finally arriving.  You make grocery shopping and meal prep so much easier! 

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Budgeting Tale (Part Two)

This will be a text heavy blog. Unfortunately there just aren't that many pictures that symbolize, "a couple coming to their senses and making a sound financial plan that works for them." Unless you want me to post a bunch of emoticons of various smiley faces, which I don't want to do.

Last week I talked about a scare I had with an alternator and an empty bank account. I mentioned putting myself on a strict budget up through Kelsey's and my wedding...

Sidenote: In case you were wondering, which you probably weren't, I did chip in for my portion of the bills at Kelsey's house...since it wouldn't have been fair to not pay for cable at my apartment and just mooch off of her cable. I just wanted to be clear.

...Then Kelsey and I got married. I assumed she'd just naturally want to follow my great budget. After all, who wouldn't want to live in squalor whilst watching an arbitrary number on an online banking website grow? Evidently the answer to that question is Kelsey.

We started to argue about finances. We'd immediately combined incomes upon getting married, but we didn't talk about how we were going to approach shared finances. I tried to stick to my $100 allowance every fifteen days while trying to get Kelsey on board with the idea. Here's some bullet points as to what we disagreed about:
  • Kelsey and I overly critiqued how the other spent our "allowances." I saved it and spent it all at once. Kelsey would spend $10 here and $10 there. We didn't understand why the other spent their money the way they did. We questioned everything. Bottom line: I'd put us in a situation where we had to constantly worry about any dime the other spent.
  • The allowance system didn't account for evenings out on the town together. For the first time in our eight years together, picking up the tab actually became kind of awkward. If it was Kelsey's idea to go out, why should I pay (and vice versa)? Bottom line: We were a married couple now. We should probably spend some time together outside of the house every now and then. We should be able to enjoy those times together without worrying who is picking up the check.
  • Clothes. Car troubles. Stuff for the house. Who covered these expenses? At the time, I didn't think we needed to decorate the house much. At the time, I thought those should be Kelsey's expenses. To Kelsey, those should be shared...or they should come from a different account. Bottom line: Stuff started to come up. We needed to know how to pay for stuff. We didn't know how to pay for stuff.
  • Life had changed. We now had double incomes and half the bills. Yet I created an environment where we'd feel bad spending money on something we actually needed--like gas or bread. Bottom line: Saving money is good. It helps alleviate stress. Creating an unrealistic budget for no reason other than to try and prove something isn't good. It helps build stress. We needed to find a way to save responsibly without feeling guilty for every dime we spent.
I should mention throughout all the arguing, we never considered separate bank accounts. Instead we created fourteen different accounts within our shared bank account. We created four checking accounts and ten saving accounts. I'll go into the saving accounts next week, but here is a quick rundown of the checking accounts:

Deposits and Bills: This is our "primary" checking account. Every paycheck either one of us receives deposits into this account. In addition, our bills are paid from this account. On the first of every month, I transfer money from this account to the as-of-right-now-mysterious savings account. The excess amount each month (which was an amount agreed upon by Kelsey and me) goes towards "Mutual" nights, gas, etc.

Grocery: To help us budget our food purchases, we created a separate account to buy food with.

Jay's Fun Money and Kelsey's Fun Money: These accounts were what alleviated a lot of the financial tension we faced. Each month we would each receive the same amount of "Fun Money." The "Fun Money" came with an agreement: Neither one of us could ever, under any circumstance, question how the other person spent his/her fun money. If I wanted to save mine for two years and buy a pony, so be it. If Kelsey wanted to plant hers in the backyard to see if a money tree will grow, good for her.

(It wouldn't grow. I would dig up the money and take it. Do you honestly think I'd let my wife just bury money in the backyard? Besides, I'd probably need the money to buy food and shelter for my pony. Salt licks and stables aren't cheap. What a horrible idea fictional Kelsey!)

Truthfully, I'd love to list all ten of the savings accounts right now, but I'm tired. Also, the TV show Castle is really good and keeps distracting me. For now I'll leave you with the brief descriptions of the checking accounts listed above. I'll go into a bit more detail about them next week, alongside the saving accounts.