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Final Day of Countdown ... Thank Goodness

August 22nd, 2016 at 06:12 pm

Tonight is the last night I can't take anything for my allergies other than nasal spray or icy hot. Thank goodness for that, because after four days of not too bad, today it got miserable. Just have to get through the morning tomorrow, and then can take my allergy meds again!

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I worked Sunday from 5 to 9 p.m. at the local university's welcome celebration event. A dispatcher and I passed out tons of route maps and hand sanitizer, and answered a few questions.

It was fun about the first 2 1/2 hours ... then I was just tired and hungry and wanted to go home and see DH. Thankfully Jimmmy Johns came by with free 1/4 sandwiches - turkey, ham, and veggie! So that gave me a little boost of energy.

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I completely overslept on Sunday, (took a nap before going to event) and did not get any veggies cut up. Tonight was exhausted and stressed from work, and so did not feel like cutting veggies.

So ... went to Russ's and bought a couple packages of pre-cut veggies. Made a sauce of olive oil, paprika, tumeric, salt and garlic, and roasted them for 30 minutes.

(mushrooms, asparagus, rainbow bell peppers, onions, red potatoes, zucchini, etc)

Here's what it looked like in the pan:

Tomorrow I WILL cut up some of the stuff I bought on Saturday night.

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Hubby is doing really well with his eating I think. Not perfectly, but baby steps, right? I'm really quite proud of him. I think he has taken it to heart where I've said before that he needs to figure out changes he can actually live with long term - not just things that work short term. (I've REALLY been trying to keep my mouth shut and let him work it out on his own ... other than just making sure the fridge/counters are stocked with fruits and veggies .. Smile )

Now I just need to do as well with staying away from soda and chocolate ...

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The groceries I bought today (pre-cut veggies and a couple packages of firm tofu) cost about as much as our two entrees from the local Chinese place last night. (Which gave us enough for two meals each ... DH commented that the rice (white) just didn't stick with him as well as the meal of roasted veggies/tofu/cauli rice ... don't think I;ll ever get him to eat brown rice, but this is an amazing admittance!)

Oy Vey!

August 20th, 2016 at 07:09 pm

Well, I guess it's a good thing we bought the extra warranty for DH's Garmin.

He called me tonight to see if I had registered the Chromebook and Garmin yet ... I hadn't. Oops.

He apparently had a bottle of Windex on his car seat??? that wasn't tightly closed. It spilled onto the Garmin, and has rendered it useless.

The Garmin that is not even a month old.

So, they are both now registered and a file has been claimed. It is now up to DH to get it mailed in.

I personally will be shocked if they will replace it. Guess it's a good thing DH hasn't spent is fun money yet this month.

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In other news ...

I realized as I was doing my budgeting tonight, that I hadn't scheduled the next mortgage payment. I went to the website to schedule it, but I couldn't do it! I could however schedule an autodraft for 9/1/16.

I decided to do that (so I don't have to worry about spacing the payment.) Then I realized that I had money budgeted in August for the mortgage and the extra payment which actually won't be needed now til september (I paid the first payment in June that was due July 1.)

So that gave me some money to play with a little bit. Smile I put most of it in the car maintenance category, because that one took a hit this month and there's more to come. I also added to our fun money and a few other categories.

Attack Cat ... Sigh, etc

August 20th, 2016 at 09:39 am

My little girl (cat) seems to be on the mend from her bladder issues.. Unfortunately, it hasn't helped her behavior with the other cats. At all. On more than one occasion I have seen her go from one side of a room to across the room and into the hallway to pounce and growl at another cat.

I've also witnessed her swatting at the other cats while they are using a litterbox.

I'm not really sure what to do.

I'm worried that the other cats patience with her is going to run out and they'll gang up on her. Or .. that they'll stop feeling safe using the litterboxes because they are worried she's going to walk by and attack them.

I think a lot of it is her being territorial about me. But I've heard her go on the attack when she's on the other side of the house from me.

I wonder how much it would cost to get a cat behaviorist to come and help us get this figured out? The vet tech said something about giving her her own litterbox and water bowl ... but how would that work?

I have one litterbox per cat plus one, plus water dishes throughout the house. I have no idea how I could make an area accessible to her, but off limits to the others.

Sigh.

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This morning I did something I haven't done in YEARS. I walked / jogged 3.2 miles! It took me about 52 minutes ... Considering that for the past six months or so, about the furthest I've *walked* at one time is 1.75 miles, I'd say not bad. Smile

Maybe I'll try training for the Turkey Trot. Smile Haven't done an actual race in quite a few years.

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Tomorrow I'm working the BR Welcome (local university welcoming their students back.) It'll be at least 3 hours of overtime. I'm hoping it won't be too hot or humid.

I'm also going to be picking up a piano bench for $20 from someone on a local FB group. I'm hoping that having a bench will make me more likely to actually use my electronic keyboard. Smile

I'm also planning on picking up some more veggies from a local FT store (place that sells lots of veggies/fruits/natural foods.) Possibly get them chopped up and roasted before heading out for the BRW event.

I wonder if frozen pre-chopped veggies would roast very well???

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I dropped off DHs scrip for a glucose meter last night at 5:15 and told them I'd wait for it. My name finally got called at 6:10. Ugh. Double ugh.

*DH helpfully told me this morning that I should have just dropped it off to pick up today. Um, sure. But then I would have had to go BACK a second time - though I guess I could go through the drive through and not be tempted to buy stuff inside....

I was also picking up refills of my scrips. My overall total was $79, but then after coupons, ECBs (CVS), etc. it was down to $45. (Of which, ~$38 was scrips.) Besides other things, I picked up knee highs, Gold Bond foot powder, Glade plug in scent warmer/refills, and a thing of hand soap.

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While at CVS, I picked up a pamphlet talking about a Weight Loss Program offered by the Minute Clinic. You have someone talk with you about your goals/lifestyle etc. and help you develop a plan. You also get enrolled in a DASH website (based on that diet.) You check in with someone there on a regular basis to collect vitals, etc.

It would make it so you are accountable to someone else, but on your schedule.

I'm wondering if this might not be something worthwhile - especially if insurance would cover most of it. I'm wondering if insurance would cover any of it ... Maybe DH would be willing to do the program with me?

Anyone hear of this program?

Cauliflower, Clippers and Sadness

August 17th, 2016 at 08:18 pm

This past Sunday I made a roasted veggie dish with an avacado based dressing and a side of cauliflower rice. Suprisingly, it was a hit with DH!

So much so, he actually requested that I repeat it with the veggies I hadn't previously cut up and the leftover avocado. I did - didn't turn out quite as good, but still got a thumbs up from DH.

The only thing is ... cauliflower is EXPENSIVE! I paid $3 for one head, and that made barely enough "rice" for two servings. It was *really* good though!

I hope I can find it for much less than that. Could become a staple dinner item! (Maybe experiment with making pizza with it.)

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I bought a pair of hair clippers from Aldi's a few weeks ago with the intention of cutting DH's hair. I've watched a few Youtube videos .... Why is cutting my hair so much simpler, yet in the salon, because of my length, I'd pay more??

If anyone has links to good videos of the most simple way to do a clipper hair cut, I'd love to see them. Or if you could tell me how you do it? I probably only have one chance to convince DH to let me do this ... so want to make sure I do it well! Big Grin

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Yesterday morning I woke up after just a few hours sleep, but was quite awake. Browsing FB I noticed some strange posts being put on the wall of a woman I'd met while getting my librarian degree in Texas.

I clicked on her page, and to my horror and dismay, I saw that she had been murdered (in front of their 5 year old daughter) by her husband, who then killed himself!

According to the article they were deeply in debt - student loans, mortgages, credit cards, etc., and were about to file bankruptcy.

She worked as a librarian at a university - not sure what her husband did.

You hear about this kind of thing on the news, and it's horrendous enough. But to actually KNOW someone this happened to? Wow.

The woman's name was Kate. I didn't know her all that well, just a few friendly chats when we were both on campus at the same time and some interactions in a few classes we took at the same time. till, from that little bit of knowing, she seemed like a truly quality person who deeply loved her little girl.

Lillian. Frown Her world has pretty much exploded at 5 years old.

It shows you really don't know what is going on in peoples lives. I just wish they would have reached out to someone for help ...

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Almost forgot. Tomorrow begins my 5 day countdown to my allergist appointment. Wish me luck (and low allergen counts for the next few days!)

Updates ..

August 16th, 2016 at 07:46 pm

So DH did go to the doctor, and we got the bloodwork results on Tuesday (last week.) High blood pressure, diabetes and another issue.

Sigh. He had been worried for awhile that he might have developed diabetes. His mom died of diabetes complications in the late 80s. One of his sisters died of complications from it (juvenile onset) a few years before their mom.

Right now he is refusing to meet with the diabetes lifestyle counselor. He says that he knows enough about it, and any questions he has can be Googled. He has agreed that if after 30 days of doing it his way, if he doesn't see improvements, that he will see the counselor.

He does seem to be a little more willing to eat veggies ... and is cutting back on soda a good bit.

I'm really, really trying to not butt in and tell him what to do. To let him set the pace. It's really hard though - especially when he started out by doing 90% protein calories ...

I spoke to a CVS pharmacist about a blood pressure cuff and an glucose meter. They told me that I should contact our insurance to see what was covered.

I did that today - found out that both the meter and strips - of any brand - are 100% covered, but the bp cuff would count towards OOP and deductible. I need to contact one of the local medical supply places here to find a cuff with a large enough extension piece.

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Work ... Sigh. The last week and a half has been extremely busy, hectic, stressful. Last Friday there was an incident where I had two people in a row come to the window asking for route info, logged off the phone, and still had 5 different people call and be placed on hold (then hang up) while helping the people at the window. Then had someone call moaning and groaning about being on hold for 25 minutes.

I kind of vented unwisely to my supervisor ... Usually there is at least one other person there who can help handle an over load of phone calls, but my supervisor was in a meeting and those present in the office weren't ones who generally answer the phone ..

We both left quite frustrated Friday afternoon.

I nearly got sideswiped on the way home which definitely did not help my perspective. Thankfully DH was home and was able to give me some much needed respite so I eventually felt calmer about everything.

Then yesterday my supervisor asked me to come back with her to the conference room.... One of the things she talked about to me about was Friday. We agreed that I should try forwarding more calls to the information line when I get swamped like that.

The other thing she talked to me about though really threw me for a loop. Apparently people have complaining about my area smelling bad. Sometimes about ME smelling bad.

I practice good hygeine - teeth brushed, hair washed, clothes washed, etc. The only things I could think of would be my shoes (which I leave at my desk overnight so I don't have to walk too much in them outside.) Or ... my clothes.

Yes, I always wear clean clothes (or at least clothes that still pass the sniff/smudge test after a wearing or two) But ... I think the issue could possibly be the cats. The smell from the cats.

When you have many multiple litter boxes throughout a home, it seems impossible to NOT have it smell. The chickens in the basement sure don't help either.

I asked my supervisor to alert me when she smells something off, so that way I can possibly pin point the cause better. (Such as - that top was hanging in the laundry room for the past week which is next to the workshop with the chickens and also in a room with a litter box. Or, that was the third time I wore those pants - maybe I was wrong about them passing the sniff test.)

I wasn't upset that she told me about this - in fact I appreciated it. However, at the same time, I'm now feeling mighty awkward around my coworkers wondering who had been talking about me behind my back.

Ugh.

I'm thinking it might be worth it to try to find a few hundered dollars in the budget to have someone come in here and help me figure out what to do to eliminate / alleviate the smell factor. (Supervisor's suggestion was get rid of most of the cats and all the chickens ... Yeah, that's not going to happen. Though maybe I can spur DH to get the chickens outside with the idea that their smell may be affecting me at work!)

(Shoes - I am planning on putting baking soda in them, and also maybe dryer sheets, and a few other ideas I found. Maybe also get some footies to wear with them. Probably also try to take them home with me each night.)

(Litter boxes - I use the scoopable kind with baking soda for multi-cat households. I completely scoop them ALL out daily. I have air fresheners in every room of the house, plus a couple of those things that are supposedly supposed to "refresh" the air ... I also use carpet freshener when I vacuum. The only other thing I can think of to do would be to completely clean out the litter boxes .. but I have done that a few times, and it is nearly an all afternoon ordeal and completely zaps any energy I have for the coming week. And that's only with doing half of them. *and no way would DH help with THAT - he's just barely agreed to take over scooping the basement boxes this last week.)

Speaking of energy ... I thought I was on an upswing and maybe the iron supplements were helping. Maybe I just way overdid it Sunday, but I am beyond wiped Monday and Tuesday. probably the busyness / stress at work isn't helping either though.

*I did see the counselor Monday. She basicaly told me that I'm doing a pretty good job of setting boundaries, but need to work on making DH take care of more of his responsibilities (like how he is eat) hour was barely enough time to scratch the surface. But it definitely was helpful.

Picked Up Kari from Vet :(

August 9th, 2016 at 06:30 pm

The last few days I'd been noticing that my cat Kari had been in a litter box every time I turned around - and not just in and out quickly, but squatting and squatting and ...

I mentioned it to DH, and he also observed the same thing.

I'd noticed also that for about a week or so she had seemed to regress quite a bit in her acceptance of the other cats. Screaming at them and attacking them if they dared look at her ..

So I called the vet before work on Monday and got an appointment for her after work.

I walked her in her kennel (the vet is about a block from us) and took her in. The vet tech reassured me that it wasn't an urinary blockage, but said that they needed a urine sample to test for a bladder infection. They could keep her overnight (at no charge!) and take the sample in the morning, or I could try to collect it myself ...

With multiple cats and multiple litter boxes ... I chose to let her have an overnight away.

I got a call this afternoon letting me know that she indeed did have a bladder infection. Frown Frown My poor little girl.

The vet suggested strongly that I put her back on her old more expensive food (Purina One Beyond) and see if that helped, as well as the pills they gave me.

One 3 lb bag of this food costs almost what 3/4 of the 16 lb bag of Purina Complete which we've been feeding the cats since moving in here. DH probably isn't going to like this too much. Oh well. I have to give her her pills twice a day - only way to do that is crush them up and put them in some canned food. They cost 2x what the Friskie's costs for 1/2 the amount. Oh well. I'll be able to make one can last for 3 meals, so it wont be SO horribly extra expensive.

The vet visit and meds cost $102. A 3 lb bag of food and 4 cans after coupons, $16.xx My Kari hopefully feeling better in a few days? Priceless.

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I spoke too soon about my allergies being better/no more sinus headaches ... had a doozy of one yesterday. Of course starting the day with an argument with DH probably didn't help matters ... We probably won't see each other again til tomorrow night thanks to our schedules. Probably not a bad thing...

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My aunt texted me today telling me that grandma had gotten some form in the mail telling her that my dad had $100 coming to him from something. She's going to mail it on to me. I'm guessing it will be something like a defunct bank account or deposit refund on something or the other.

If it really is something, I plan on offering my brother half of it - although I doubt he'll take me up on it, because he's now making 5x? what I'm making per month ... and doesn't know what to do with all the money.

Those of you who've met him won't be surprised to know that he had been given the goal of making $250k in sales by the end of this year ... and he surpassed $300k in sales a month ago ... He truly could sell ice to an Eskimo.

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The next two nights I'll be working overtime at open houses - selling passes, answering questions about the school booster buses, and probably also fielding questions about the new routes coming in to effect in October. I've already got a little snack stash ready to go so I am not tempted to stop at the local grocery store near the school ... I just hope my energy can hold out and that I don't have a sinus headache either of the nights ... Will just have to power through come what may.

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I've reached out to the counseling services provided by my employer and made an appointment for Monday. DH and I have had some issues I haven't mentioned here, as well as some of the ones I have ... I'm at a point where I feel I need a 3rd party (disinterested) to bounce the issues/thoughts off of.

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Is it reprehensible that I haven't written the thank you notes for the wedding gifts yet?? I keep putting it on my to do list, and it keeps not getting done ... almost to the point where I'm embarrassed to send them ...

Name Change Frustrations ... etc.

August 6th, 2016 at 07:46 am

So I have a Credit Card that gives me 5% back on gas purchases. It was nice to have before when was only purchasing one or two fill ups a month. But now with DH filling up every few days, it is worth almost 3/4 of a tank of gas!

A few weeks ago I tried to start the process of changing my name on the card and getting DH added on to the account (so we each could have a card - right now he has it most of the time, and then gives it to me when I need to fill up.)

First, it was nearly impossible to figure out HOW to start the process. So I wrote to customer service.

A few days later I got an email with a link to a form I needed to print out and send back, along with a scan of my marriage certificate and another form of id.

So I managed to get my scanner function to work again, and scanned in the documents requested.

A few days later I get another email telling me that what I had sent wasn't enough. That I needed to send in a "certified copy of your driver's license." Say what?!

Another couple emails, and it was clarified that yes, they require this, and yes, they know that it is more than most places require - but they are a conservative organization and very careful.

Ugh.

So... yesterday after work I stop my credit union (where I get the 2.5% on checking) and asked about getting my driver's license notarized. Of the two notaries there, neither one had EVER heard of such a thing, and couldn't find any kind of form on the notary's website for NE.

So now I'm waiting for another email back from customer service to tell me if there is a particular form the notary can use, or what else they'd suggest I do!

Have any of you ever heard of such a thing??

If it wasn't for the 5% on gas, I would just forget this card! I guess I could just keep using it with my maiden name ... I still have my old driver's license to prove that was my name at one time.

Ugh.

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Dh's birthday was on Wednesday - the ol' 50. He worked that night, so we celebrated on Thursday. We went out to eat at this nice local Mexican restaurant -Tico's. It's been here in L town since shortly after I was born. Smile Really good food (lots of veg choices) although a bit pricey. Their dessert - Ponzaneita (sp?) is utterly scrumptious, and their chips are addictive. (I don't normally eat the chips at a restaurant, but these looked so different, I had to try them ... ate half a basket!)

Once DH gets to Walmart, he's getting a new electric razor for his birthday. Smile

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I think I've been spending too much money at CVS .. I got a postcard in the mail this last week telling me I was in the "top 4%" ... Then I proceeded to stop there Friday afternoon and spend $23 - after about $30 in a variety of coupon savings and a blanket 15% off. I also got back $8 in ECB. I just need to spend another $7 on P&G products to get another $10 ECB. I'm debating about it ... Smile

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I opened up a new AmEx Charge card last week. Received the card on Tuesday? and went ahead and used it to pay $1k on DHs medical debt. 5 or 6 weeks from now I'll get 25,000 rewards points. They can't be used for cash back, and can't be used for statement credits (unless I use the card charge $250 worth of other budgeted stuff ... that actually work out ..) My other option is gift cards - Amazon might be one of the issuers. My card isn't listed on my account yet, so I haven't been able to explore the options yet (other than what the CSR told me.)

I also opened a new checking account. (DH rolled his eyes when I told him.) All I have to do is have one direct deposit of $500 within 90 days, and have some kind of transaction each month, and I'll get $150.

That's $400 to throw at debt! (eventually ...)

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I've been looking for large container to put change in for DH's boat fund. I'd thought about a used/beat up 5 gallon water jug (like what is used on water dispensers) but couldn't find anything like it for cheap. So yesterday I was at Dollar Tree and I found a 3 gallon container similar in shape to an old water bottle I had. That is now here at home and labeled with "DH's Boat Fund" and I already put in a couple dollars worth of change that's been scattered through out the house.

(As a delivery driver, DH has lots of change floating everywhere. I plan on offering to clean out his cars so I can get all the change out from them .. and hopefully he'll put his change in the jar at night instead of tossing his jeans on the floor and letting the change all go wherever ... Smile

I don't really use cash, so I'll probably just add to it whatever money I find on the ground, etc.

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I don't know if it is just coincidental or if there is something there ... but a few days after I started taking the iron supplements, I also switched from Allegra D to just Allegra. I also stopped taking the cold medicine at night to sleep.

Ever since then, it seems like my allergies have gotten better! I haven't had a sinus headache in weeks! I've been getting slightly better sleep (my average has gone up to 5 1/2 hours! vs. an average of 4 1/2 - 5 hrs.)

So ... is it the iron supplements? The switching from Allegra D to Allegra? Whatever I'm most allergic to, getting less? I wish I knew the answer, but at any rate, I'll take it!

First Real Budget Meeting and a Funny

August 1st, 2016 at 07:10 pm

DH finally got up Sunday around 7:30 - I was just about ready to go and rouse the dead ... was getting so bored waiting. Smile

It took about 25 minutes total, and I think he was surprised to see just how fast the money went. He told me that he's going to cream me as far as what he brings in for September. Smile I told him I'd love to see it. Smile (A little friendly competition never hurts, right? Big Grin )

After our meeting was over, DH went to go get our pizza (date night in!)

Then as we were finishing up dinner, I told him that we still needed to spend some time working on the basement. Even if only 30 minutes. We needed to get a path through the living room to the basement kitchen/bathroom. Plus .. the dehumidifier buried in the back of the family room.

(Let's just say that the movers who moved DHs stuff in left a lot to be desired. Or maybe the difference was that I was out and sort of supervising the people moving my stuff most of the time, while DH was cocooning himself in the A/C as much as possible ...)

Anyway ... he finally agreed to at least make a path. So we went down there and got a path made. We came to the area where the dehumidifier was and found out that a subwoofer had been placed on top of it.

I said to DH, "Well, we've got the path. Maybe we can deal with this later."

Dh responded, "No, lets go ahead and do it now. Who knows how bad the humidity level is down here. So not good for all the electronics!"

I just quietly smiled to myself and helped him get the dehumidifier free.

Then we realized that the only available plug was a two prong plug, and the dehumidifier needed a three prong plug. I told DH that I thought I had one more adapter in my tool box. He says to me - "Get it PDQ (pretty darn quick) so we can get rid of this excess humidity!"

Oh DH. I've only been mentioning the humidity level in the basement, etc., for the last month... and offering to help clear a path for at least that long ... Now, it's all PDQ! Big Grin Big Grin

First Month Fully Integrated Finances

July 31st, 2016 at 04:03 pm

Although we've now been married just over 3! months, July was the first month where we followed a joint budget and I completely took over the bill paying. It also was the first full month where we only had one household - although we were paying the final bills from our former apartments.

Whenever DH wakes up, we're going to have a quick budget meeting for August. One thing we've kind of had to hash out this month is the when/how of him giving me the cash tips to deposit. He was used to to just going by the bank once or twice a month to make a deposit. I want to make a deposit every Friday (when the lobby is open til 6.)

He didn't see why I wanted to do that since our account balances have more than enough for our daily expenses. I explained to him that all my money is directly deposited and that helps me be able to guage what the next month's budget will be like. When I showed him how much was available to budget for August from my contributions versus what he'd given me so far ... he started giving me the tips as he got them. Smile (He's a delivery driver - makes a small hourly wage, but averages 2x that in tips/delivery charges.)

So ... since we were putting everything together this month, it is difficult to say what our "income" really was - our budget was based off of all moneys from various checking/savings being put together. Expenses include final bills and deposit charges for new accounts. In other words, this isn't a typical month for us by any means. Smile

So .. expenses:
Mortgage (loan only) $526
Extra Principal: $25
Natural Gas: 69.20
Electricity: 382.44 (includes June bill that got misplaced!!)
Phone: 239.04 (last month of DH needing to use phone as a hotspot for Internet - our bill for August is less than $60.)
Water: 51.43 (2 month bill)
Internet/Cable: 150 (deposit, extra house visit)
Groceries - Fast food: 29.81
Groceries - 265.08
Auto Fuel - 241.87 (delivery driver ....)
Tithe: 130 (DH isn't on board with tithing, but is ok with me continuing my same level as before)
Giving: 30
Car Maintenance: 14.97
Car tax/licenses: 421.69 (Tags for 3 cars, 2 new licenses)
Clothing: 20.40
Computer Replacement: (DH) 249
Garmin Replacement: (DH) 142
Household (blanket, toiletries, paper goods, fan, etc.) 148.36
Medical - Non-deductible (allergy, etc) 64.53
Medical FSA Reimbursed- 80.48 (copays, meds, heating pad)
Pets - Cats - food/litter -$80.97 (a LOT of litter/food)
Pets - Cats - Medicine(flea meds) $77
Pes - Non Cats - Food - 13.50
Pets - Non Cats - Medicine - 16.61
Fitness - 41.83 (my gym membership, hopefully can cancel soon)
Date Night: 14.77 (although will be getting pizza tonight)
DH fun money - 16
Laura fun money - 79.22
Student loan (DH) 55
Medical debt (DH) 372

Whooh! I think that covers it! Besides the money put into the above categories, there was also money put into a variety of other holding categories.

August will be spendy for car maintenance, and I just got approved for a new AE card which I'll be using to make a $1k payment on the medical (get back 250!)

I'm looking forward to what our first month of spending will be like without deposits and final bill fees. Smile (also without needing to replace electronics!)

I have around 6 hours of overtime in August, and I think September will be a 3 paycheck month. DH is working on putting together some speaker sales. (To help fund his boat and tv wishes.)

Mortgage Principal Balance:
Start 7/1/16 - $112,000
As of 7/31/16 (2 payments) - 111,619
Medical Debt:
As of 7/1/16 - 3,668
As of 7/31/16 - 3,296
Student Loan - TBD

Doctor Visit Results ..

July 22nd, 2016 at 05:45 pm

So I finally heard back from my doctor about the bloodwork results. My lymphocytes had gone back into the normal range, but my platelets had not. She also said that my ferritan levels were on the low side. So she suggested two options - try taking iron supplements for two months and retest; or, go see a hematologist.

I decided to try the iron pills first. Reading about the symptoms of low iron, it sounds a lot like me. Extreme fatigue, brittle nails, etc.

The problem is though, I eat a lot of foods that are iron rich! My smoothie five days a week has strawberries, etc. in it. Spinach, raisins, pumpkin seeds, and on and on are most of my diet.(outside of my chocolate addiction ...)

So I don't get how I could have low iron.

Right now I'll try just about anything to get my energy back. So .. iron supplements it is. (taken with OJ for now - vitamin C helps the iron absorb better.)

The supplements are pretty cheap - got a 30 day supply for just a few dollars. So .. worth it.

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DH and I had our first date night (just us) Thursday night for July. Ordered out from Ming's and ate in the bedroom with the door shut - to keep the cats out. Smile

I had been supposed to cook, but just had no energy to do so. So DH suggested Ming's. Smile I'm going to do the CC roast on Sunday instead (when it's likely I'll have the most energy, after two days of not working.)

We still have most of our date night budget left - since DH's friend paid for our meal at the Chineese buffet on Sunday.

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DHs friend who we dogsat for and who had indicated he'd reimburse us for the meds we bought for his dog ... well, it looks like he isn't going to follow through on that. Ugh.

I bought the meds knowing full well that we might not be reimbursed, but of course I was hoping! $150 out the door.

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Our electric bill ... OMW! Somehow I missed the June bill (amoungst the many final bills, etc) - that was $99. Then the July bill - $149! Ouch!!!

We had our a/c set at 72 - DH agreed to let me put it up to 78. I couldn't sleep at all at 78. So put it down to 76. That seems ok so far.

Hopefully our next bill won't be so huge!

DH helpfully told me that big electricity bills should be expected in a house in the summer. Really hubby? I had no idea. Smile Doesn't mean I have to like it- or live with it! Big Grin

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Our checks for our joint account finally came today. We bought them from Walmart - enough to probably last us the rest of our lives. Smile (250 I think.)

It came in some weird packaging from someplace in New Braunfel's TX. At first I thought it was some kind of tourist brochure and almost tossed it without opening ... Glad I didn't do that!

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At work we now have 8 women and two men in administration. Smile One of our men who retired at 53 was replaced by a woman.

I really like her so far. In fact, she helped me out big time with a project I was working on.

We are changing our bus routes and our time schedules completely in October. My boss gave me a spreadsheet with all the time schedules on it for all the routes that one of the dispatchers had created.

The problem with it was 1. All the routes and times were on one sheet; and 2. All the times were written without a colon. i.e. 843P instead of 8:43P

So, the first problem was easily fixed. It was the second problem which caused me a great deal of frustration. How to insert a colon into umpteen cells without having to click on each one individually?

I tried every thing I knew how to do, plus what I could find on Google. Nada. Then TN saved the day by suggesting a V Lookup - and made one for me too!

From there, it was just a matter of around 4 hours of copying and pasting. Smile (There were a lot! of times needing colons ...)

Updates

July 16th, 2016 at 06:46 pm

Life is going pretty well overall.

I made an appointment with an allergy doctor for August 23 - the only caveat is that I have to stop all allergy meds for 5 days prior. Yikes. Hope I can survive that.

I got my refund of my security deposit from my apartment. They charged me for cleaning the carpet. Huh? It wasn't stained or worn more than normal? DH says that it's expected that you clean the carpets when leaving an apartment. Maybe just in NE? I never did that at any other place I lived, and always got my deposit back.

Oh well, I was prepared to not get any of my deposit back since these property managers have proven to be exceedingly picky ... so, getting back $117 of $415 is better than I hoped for.

--
This afternoon I was walking in the park near our local zoo and got a bit lost. Smile So I got out my GPS to get me back to my car. I stopped near a statue and was staring at my phone - when this young teen stopped near me and said, "Pokemon?"

I smiled at him and told him, "Sorry, no."

There were lots of people in the park with their nose to their phone ... assuming most were Pokemon hunting.

I'm glad the game is getting people out and about.

---
DH seems to be adjusting to living with a budget so far. The real test will be next month - I've already done some projections, and unless he gets some really good tip money the next couple weeks, we're going to have to lessen the fun money categories. He probably won't like that too much.

I'm hoping I can get him to sit down with me as I allocate the money out, so he can see all the places the money has to go.

--
We're having a quasi-date night tomorrow. Going to eat at a local Chinese buffet with the owner of the dog we dogsat for. Hoping he'll reimburse us for the medications ... but not holding my breath. ($150)

--
Thursday night we went to Dollar Tree and picked up a bunch of frozen items - vegetarian stuff for me, and chicken for DH. Smile Also, the fixing's for spaghetti. Which is what DH made for dinner. Smile (We've agreed that we will take turns making dinner for each other on Sundays/Thursdays. His two nights he doesn't work at all.)

I'm going to probably make a cottage cheese loaf on Thursday night. Then next week will try out a new recipe.

---
I still haven't used my Instapot. I'm not sure why really. Tomorrow though I plan on doing the water test, and then using it to cook a butternut squash and some sweet potatoes.

I am going to be volunteering at our VBS program M - W nights, so want to have something easy to fix for my dinners. (probably am going to make butternut black bean burgers and sweet potato burgers)

I also got some firm tofu, and am planning on frying some of it and baking some of it. Then cooking a cup or so of quinoa and brown rice for lunches. (along with a zucchini and yellow squash and onion - all on good sales.)

Will see what actually gets done tomorrow. Smile

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Almost forgot - I had DHs and I's 3 car registrations/wheel taxes combined into the same month for renewal (August) For all 3, it was $392. That was a good bit less than I had estimated, so that was a bit of money back in the budget. Smile Although DH wants to get a 4 Runner by November, so I need to have money set aside for that registration/wheel tax too. (Guessing $100 - 120.)

(The 4 Runner is for getting around delivering in winter, and also pulling the eventual boat ... He's funding both purchases by 1/3 of the inheritance check, plus 1/4 of whatever sales he makes via Craigslist, etc. We've agreed that 50% of sales go back into a "business operating fund" for purchasing more inventory, making repairs, shipping, etc. 25% goes to his car/boat/tv funds, and 25% goes to the general budget - i.e. debt payments for now.)

Doctor Visit and a Close Call

July 11th, 2016 at 07:37 pm

So today I took off of work early to go to my doctor's appointment. My boss came out to help someone at the window who'd come just as I was getting ready to go.

Before heading out, I stopped at the restroom. Then I had to pass near the window on my way out. Guess who was at the window being helped by my boss? Let's see if you can guess, "My problem is that I don't agree with the policy about lost passes ..."

As soon as I saw/heard this, I scooted out of there ASAP. Seriously, that lady is back already? Did she lose her pass already? I am SO glad I didn't have to deal with her before leaving, or my blood pressure would have been sky high!

---
As it was, I left with plenty of time to get there. You never know how long it'll take ... I got to the turn off about 30 minutes early, but then missed the turn off.... So, got there about 20 minutes early. Smile

They still had me in their system by my maiden name, so got that all updated. Then gave them the bill from the lab with my maiden name (got a call later from their coding department telling me I'll have to get back in contact with the original place. This may be fun ...)

Anyway, when my doctor finally came in to the room she told me that my platelets have always ran kind of high ... really? But that they don't usually get concerned til its in the 600's (mine was 580.) But still combined with the lymphocytes, it was worth looking into. So she's scheduled me for a repeat CBC and a blood smear (where a person looks at the individual cells?) That'll happen on Wednesday morning.

She also is referring me to an allergist. She said that I could possibly take allergy shots for a couple of years, and then be DONE with allergies! Oh joy! If that is truly possible... I'll deal with getting shot up every month for a few years!

She thinks that my tiredness, moodiness, nauseousness, lack of energy etc etc etc can all be attributed to my allergies (and insomnia due to allergies/taking Allegra D.)

All I know is I'd really like to stop putting all these chemicals into my body (especially when they don't seem to be helping all that much) and get my energy back!

We'll see I guess.

---
On Sunday I made a recipe from the Stuffed at the Gills blog for Chow Mein noodles. It reminded me sort of of my favorite Amy's meal - Chinese Noodles with Cashew sauce. It was a bit of work ... but oh so good! Even DH approved. (We had a bit of a tiff because he was tired of my "trying" out recipes that weren't turning out that great ... we compromised that I'd limit my "trying out recipes" to 2 x a month. Otherwise we'll stick with ones we know we like already. Whatever. )

--
I've started putting FSA eligible expenses on my credit card. I also downloaded the app for the FSA place - already have submitted two claims and been reimbursed for one. Pretty nifty! (Now if I can just find the receipt for the copay DH had back in May ... getting his 1 1/2 year checkup on his shoulder, that'd be another $25 back in the budget ... gotta be around here somewhere.)

--
Our associate pastor preached this week. While I'm not too sure what I think of him overall, I did really like the story he focused on and how he related it to today.

He talked about the story of Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well. His focus was on how Jesus gave a great example of breaking down walls and barriers. Jews and Samaritans were very close cousins, but hated each other. The Jews thought they were better than the Samaritans. Sound familiar?

What I wonder is how can I / we go about breaking down the walls / barriers today? How can we make everyone feel equally worthy of love, equally worthy of a good place in the world, equally worthy of respect, equally worthy of dignity? All of us bleed the same color ... no matter race, religion or sexual orientation. All of us are equal in God's eyes.

How can we get the blinders off of peoples eyes so they can really see this? If we could do this, the world would be so much better off.

Sigh.

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On an unrelated note - I got the iPad working again without having to take it in anywhere. Smile It is now mine. Ha ha ha. Big Grin (DH is quite happy with his Chromebook.)

Personal Responsibility - Does anyone have it anymore??

July 5th, 2016 at 06:35 pm

What a wonderful first day back at work after a long weekend. Not.

Starts off with a mentally challenged man making rude gestures at me while telling me he's not stupid and that he could do any of our jobs better than we can ... No idea what prompted this - I hadn't even had a chance to say good morning to him before he started off ..

Then multiple calls of complainers ...

Then I realize that I put a $5 bill in the $1 bill section, but got distracted before I could move it to the right place. Guess how much the cash box was off? $5. first time I've been off in months. Ugh.

Then of course ... the sinus headache....

Topped off by the lady who had called last month about losing her bus pass and wanting us to replace it for her for free. When she was told that our policy is that we are not responsible for lost passes, she ranted about how illogical and stupid that ws to me on the phone for ten minutes, and then when I transfered her to the bus driver supervisor, she ranted to him for ten+ minutes - finally ending that she was going to contact the mayor about our stupid policy.

So ... she shows up today just after I finished counting the cash and realizing that I was short $5. My head was pounding. There was 8 minutes left to go.

She asks me if I remembered her calling about her lost pass. I told her that I talk to a lot of people in a month, so sorry, I didn't . Then she says she'd found her pass, so had "let it go." Then proceeds to rant and rave for ten+ minutes about how stupid and illogical our policy is. Acting like she expected me to agree with her.

One particular gem ... someone losing their pass isn't the fault of the bus company, nor is it the fault of the person who bought the pass - it's an act of God. So of course the bus company should refund or replace the pass. I wanted to say - Are you out of your mind? Seriously? On what planet is you losing your pass an act of God?

Finally at 4:33 she says that she has to get out of there. My boss wasn't much help .. just came by as she was leaving to tell me it was time to log out and go. Gee, really? How about telling this lady her ranting time was way past up.

I plan on asking her if I can tell this lady if she dares show her face again, that she needs to buy her pass elsewhere. I do NOT want to deal with her again.

(I'd reiterated multiple times that this is our policy. Did no good. She just wanted to rant.)

Then after work I call back our insurance agent about the plumber claim. She told me that they won't cover it (the broken faucet) because the inspection report said that it needed to be replaced because it was about to fall off. Huh?? We were told it was leaking and might need to be replaced, but nothing about it about to fall off ... oh well.) While on the phone with her I stuck my foot in my mouth and told her that we hadn't liked our realtor C very much - one reason being that we had felt like we'd kind of been pushed along in the house deal - for instance, being told to not ask for any thing to be fixed that wasn't major in the inspection report otherwise the deal might fall through. Not to mention that we'd both felt like we did nearly all the legwork of finding places, and he did nothing until we actually had a house to make an offer on .. Too late, I remembered that she had been suggested by our realtor C.

Oops. I plan on sending her an email tomorrow apologizing - not for what I said, because it truly was how DH and I feel - but that she wasn't really the right person to say it to. We hadn't planned on saying it to anyone really - just not recommending C as a realtor if anyone ever asked us.

Then I get home and in the mail is a bill for some labwork I had done back in February I think. I'd gotten a bill for it previously, and called to explain about the name change on my insurance. Apparently I need to call again - because they are still trying to charge me for the full $270.

Ugh. I hate talking on the phone!

I have a doctor's appointment on Monday. Presumably to discuss the labwork with the high platelet/lymphocyte count. But I also plan on bringing up my sinus headaches/allergies and pushing the doctor to help me get something figured out other than what I'm already doing (which only seems to work some of the time.) These sinus headaches are making my life miserable.

Dead iPad :( Updates

July 4th, 2016 at 06:36 pm

DH has been using miad for the past 6 nonths or so since his 6th used laptop from eBay in 2 years died... So today he comes into the office and tells me iPad is dead - won't charge, or turn on. I test this out too. reaching the same conclusion.

I call the Apple store in O town and find out the next appointment isn't till Friday at least. The person did tell me about some local places - but didn't know their schedules.

Just on Sunday I worked through a joint budget. I'd put $200 in computer replacement category. Knowing how both DH and I like to be on the computer, I didn't relish the thought of however long it would take for an appointment to even find out if this is fixable or not.

So ... I told DH - let's get you a Chromebook. We'd looked into them before, but had put off getting one. We bought him a 15" Chromebook at Walmart for $179 plus a $40 2 year warranty. Normally I wouldn't go for that ... but DH is tough on computers.

---
I added an offer to my Aexpress card to spend $75 at chewy.com and get back $25. Then I went to chewy and ordered 160 lbs of cat litter and 48 lbs of cat food. The total came to $102.

I then added "autoship" for 16 weeks from now to get $15 off. Which brought me to $87. Once I have the $25 credit, my order will cost a measly $62. This will also add rewards dollars to my account - I ave 14 sitting in Limbo until I reach 25 and can cash out.

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DH took me to see Finding Dory on Thursday. Loved the movie, but loved even more that DH took me to a movie he didn't really want to see in the theater.

We were hit with sticker shock though ... unwittingly we chose seats when asked what we wanted. I thought I heard the guy say that'd be $25.50 but was sure I was hearing things. I wasn't. Apparently we chose premium seats. Shows how long its been since we've been to a movie ... yikes!

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I spent some time today cleaning the hardwood flooring and living room carpet. Most of what needed cleaning was dried cat upchuck. I'd been dreading it and putting it off ... but when it came to it, the swiffer type mop and floor cleaning spray left by the former homeowner, made it pretty easy (relatively). Hopefully DH will notice when he gets home tomorrow ... Smile I need to get some more of that spray stuff!

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I'm in charge of the food drive at work this year. I set up three fundraisers, as well as putting out the barrels. A guessing jar, a team challenge to "feed the pig" and selling casual day tickets. To say its not going well would be an understatement.

Oh well. I tried.

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Did I mention that the dog is gone? Big Grin For almost a week now. His owner paid us the $300 he'd said he would, and said he'd reimburse us for the $150 in meds. Waiting.

That first day I walked in and was only greeted by cats ... heaven.

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Ok, I'm going to get a walk in before heading to bed. Hopefully I won't run into any fireworks.

Messed Up Royally

June 26th, 2016 at 07:37 am

So... last weekend I reformatted my computer. A few weeks prior to that I had transferred ALL the photos off of DHs SD Memory card. 4 years worth of photos.

Can you see where this is going?

I meticulously went through everything on my computer and uploaded into Amazon Drive and Dropbox. I signed up for the Firefox thing that remembers your favoritesy67/logins/etc. I thought that ALL my photo files had been uploaded.

Then I hit "restore" and went through the process of resetting up everything.

All week a niggling thought has been in the back of my head that I should have double checked that ALL photo files got uploaded *before* doing the restore. But with helping DH get moved in, etc., I didn't have a chance to look to see if they actually had.

This morning I had a chance. Frown Frown I feel absolutely sick. I can't believe I was so careless to not be sure of it beforehand.

I think there is a very slim possibility that someone with computer geek as their middle name may be able to recover them ...$$$$

I'm not sure if I should tell him when he wakes up later today (he works nights), or wait til I have a possible solution in hand.

We've had a lot of really good discussions this weekend, and things have been going pretty well. The dog's owner will hopefully be coming to get him SOON today.

Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. An I'm sorry is a little weak for something like this. Doesn't get the pictures back. Frown

More Dog meds, Restore Computer, test results, etc

June 18th, 2016 at 03:47 pm

Koky finished his medications two days ago. His itching seemed to be pretty much completely gone. By last night though, he seemed to be back to itching almost as miserably as before. Sigh.

So I called the vet this morning and got a refil of Aquapel - an itch inhibitor. $51. From what the vet tech said, it sounds like the only way he's going to not itch, is to take this - for the rest of his life.

I feel for his owner's - $100/month for meds to make their dog not itch. But it's a part of pet parenthood. You do what you have to do.

--
I completely wiped my computer today and then reinstalled most things. After 5+ years, there was a lot of miscellaneous stuff on it. I'm hoping that this will help make it keep going for a few more years.

--
Got the plumber bill finally (from the broken faucet/pipe) = $239 for two hours + parts. Not as bad as we were fearing.

--
I had bloodwork done last week - as part of our employee benefits. Part of it was a CBC panel. There were only 4 items out of range - two of which did not surprise me as they have been out of range before (Cholesterol.) The two other items though did surprise me - my platelet count was 508 (high range 400) and my lymphocyte count was also about 60 over high range. (can't remember what it was)

The least that it means is that I'm fighting some kind of infection - either bacterial or viral. Dr. Google also suggests other possible things ...

I'm going to try to get in touch with my doctor on Monday to see if she can look at the results and figure out if there is anything needing to be looked into.

Maybe this explains my complete lack of energy and moodiness ... Probably not the moodiness... Smile

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I bought groceries for 3 cook smart meals on Friday. Yikes! It took me nearly 90 minutes to find everything. Just ingredients for three meals!

It also cost quite a bit more than I'm used to spending...

I need to figure out how to do healthy, home cooked meals, while also not killing the food budget. (Plus there's some produce from last week that didn't get used up - like half a head of lettuce, etc. Feels kind of wasteful.)

Maybe I'll just pick two meals and make 6-8 servings worth - so it'll use up the full veggie/fruit other ingredients, and also be less work. Smile

I'll get it figured out.

--
This afternoon I used some of the farro I cooked to make fried farro & veggies. It actually was pretty good. Smile

It's one way to use up the leftover veggies. Smile

Mexican Hash ... Cats ..

June 15th, 2016 at 06:06 pm

Tonight I made the Mexican Hash. Again, the stove here is frustrating me. I ended up burning the sweet potatoes instead of "lightly browning". Ugh.

I think the directions missed a step in explaining when to season the pinto beans ...

Otherwise, a kind of meh meal. One upside is that I actually ate a little bit of avocado, and didn't die or have an "incident." I have a thing with certain textures I guess ..

Here's the meal:



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Kari won't take the calming gel from my finger, so I had to kind of trick her by getting it on her fur/paw. It maybe? is helping?? She actually came out into the kitchen last night where DH and I were sitting/talking and where the dog and a good number of the cats were. First time she'd really ventured out of the office in a week (other than at night to sleep with me.)

I got some more gel on her tonight. We'll see I guess.

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Feeling frustrated about several things right now.

Zuchinni Cakes and the Cat Situation

June 13th, 2016 at 05:26 pm

Yesterday I spent about 90 minutes or so doing prep work for the 4 meals for the week from Cook Smarts. I'm really hoping that the more often I do this, the faster I'll get - plus it would help if I could get my printer to work ... I had to write directions down, then go back and forth from the office to the kitchen to remind myself of what my shorthand was talking about ...

So tonight I made the first meal - Zucchini cakes and salad with a greek yogurt/mayo based sauce and balsamic based salad dressing.

It took me about 20 minutes to put together (having already made the cakes except for frying on Sunday.)

One thing I'm going to have to figure out is my stove - the burners are smaller than I'm used to, and there is only "low" and "high" options.

Overall, I liked the meal. I have leftovers for tomorrows dinner. One biggie .. I actually used the tomatoes called for in the salad AND ATE some!

Let's just say that when I was young, there was an incident at a Chi Chi's in Des Moines, IA with me and a tomato my dad insisted I eat. Yeah, that didn't end well.

So .. here's a picture of the meal -

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The cat situation is somewhat better. Today though ... I came the closest to wanting to kick an animal that I ever have - not that I *ever* would do that! I got home and was waiting for Koky the dog to calm down enough so I could put his leash on and take him out. He apparently felt I was ignoring him too long, and decided that barking at and charging at the smallest and sweetest cat of the bunch (who incidentally still has her claws) was a good idea - especially cornering her. I was livid.

He wasn't doing it to hurt her, but still! He just doesn't get that you don't do that.. She doesn't seem to be overly affected by it thankfully (nor scared of him - I think she gets that he wasn't attacking her - but she still didn't like it!)

Kari ... she seemed to be starting to relax a little bit. Then tonight I sat down at my computer after washing the dinner dishes ... She got on my lap and looked up to see Sunshine (the smallest one) coming into the room. She went nuts (Kari) hissing and yowling. Then Koky came over ... and the paws went flying.

DH isn't 100% sure if Sunshine is spayed or not. She is one of the strays he picked up - he was told the only way to know for sure would be to shave her. He says he's never noticed her being in "heat." But ... I kind of wonder based on how Kari reacts to her and that all the other cats don't seem to like her much.

We're going to have to get a multiple cat license soon (once Koky's gone) and one of the requirements is proving that everyone is spayed/neutered - so we'll be finding out for sure on that.

Ugh!!!! (Sunshine is now curled up in my lap. Koky at my feet. Kari .. who knows where she is.)

The calming gel is supposed to arrive tomorrow. I really hope it works. If it doesn't, I'll try the feliway spray - but I've got a large area to cover, so am not sure how economical that'll be.

More Wedding Pictures - Courtesy of the Photographer! - Cat Stress

June 10th, 2016 at 08:38 pm

Last night I got the link to our wedding photos from our photographer. I'd really tried to be patient and not send too many emails asking for updates. Smile

Some are ones that are similar to ones my family took, but there are a good number of the ceremony and reception that I hadn't had any photos of.

Here's the link if you'd like to see: http://ronhagen.smugmug.com/Scott-Laura/n-6nkHfw

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We've been having some animal issues here. Right now I'm still the only one actually *living* here. With all the cats and the dog we're dogsitting.

DH's cats are adjusting pretty well to the new house / new environment. They also have adjusted well to being fed out of individual bowls (rather than food scattered on the floor with a mad scramble ...)

Kari though ... she adjusted well when it was just her and I. She was okay when the first few cats were added. Still okay, though getting stressed when more were added. Then, the dog was added. And finally, the last cat.

The first few days with the dog went okay. She wasn't eating much because she kept looking out for the dog every time there was a noise. But eventually I figured out that if I fed her away from the group up high, that that would work somewhat better.

That was good - because I had enough to deal with due to the dogs skin allergy. (which while not totally healed, is a whole lot better now - thanks to being consistent with his meds!)

The last 3 or 4 days though, things have gone from just okay, to not okay. She is very stressed. Not just hissing once in awhile at the other cats, but hissing a LOT, growling, and doing this horrible scream that sounds like she's being murdered or something. (while no cat is even touching her - nor is the dog - just a cat getting too close to her space or something) Also, is basically keeping herself sequestered in a corner of my office.

DH thinks it will get better once the dog is gone. (Two more long weeks.) I really hope he is right.

I am afraid though, that Kari won't be happy in a multi-animal family. She was very skittish and aloof with other people even when it was just her and I. Now she's even more jumpy.

I'm afraid that I may have to consider doing something that makes my stomach turn inside out. Something I have always said I would *never* do. But .. if it is either find a new home for her or have her continue being stressed out and not enjoying life ... and stressing me out, which in turn stresses DH out (since I'm a *wee* bit over emotional due to the stress ...) It's also not helping the other cats much to be constantly hissed at/ swatted at by Kari.

Ugh.

I won't make any decision until I've tried just about anything and everything I can think of.

Tonight I bought some calming chews from Petco. Kari wouldn't eat them. Frown Koky (the dog) liked them though. (He also prefers cat food - and his owner just feeds him cat food.)

I also ordered some kind of calming gel paste from Amazon today.

The dog - he is a sweet, good dog for the most part. But ... he has this tendency to charge the cats once in a while when he gets overexcited. He also has the most annoying bark in the world. If you ignore him, it just gets worse.

I'm SO ready for this dog to go. 2 more weeks.

--
DH asked me tonight to schedule movers for the 21st. Finally. (He's been working on getting his place packed - lots of electronics/speakers which take a lot of time to pack properly, etc.)

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Sunday I have someone scheduled to come put the coaxial cable through the walls (for cable/Internet). I can also have them make connections in other places in the house, or do outlets. All for the same price. ($40) I'm going to ask them to do the bedrooms, the office, the workshop and the laundry room. Smile May as well, right?

I was just so happy to be able to have someone come out on a Sunday!

When that's done, then I'll be working on my Cook Smart's meal plan. I bit the bullet and paid for a year - at 20% off. $56.

I went shopping for ingredients tonight. I still need to find farro and soyrizo.

Meal 1: Zucchini Cake Sandwiches
Meal 2: Farro Bowls (may sub Quinoa if I can't find farro)
Meal 3: Mexican Hash
Meal 4: Soyrizo and Corn Saute

--
Ok, gotta clean the cat boxes, take Koky out, and then feed the gang so I can get to bed. Night all!

TWC, Sinuses ... , Cats on Counters ..

June 7th, 2016 at 07:00 pm

So Time warner Cable still had my name spelled incorrectly - after 4 different times supposedly correcting the spelling. Seriously. This time I had the person read back the spelling to me.

Part of the reason I was calling them was to find out if they would send someone out to string the 50 ft cable through our house and get it off my floor!

They're sending someone on Sunday! morning to do that, and anything else I can think of at the same time. Maybe have them string cords to all the rooms in the house?? She said something about outlets too? It'll cost $40, but I think it's worth it to have someone who knows what they are doing to do it. Who knows when we'd have the time to figure out how to do it ourselves .. the cord is unsightly.

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I had a horrible sinus headache yesterday after work. Pretty debilitating, actually. I ended up sleeping most of the evening, then getting up to take Koky out and feed the gang. Then back to bed.

DH came over after work (around 4 a.m.) and I woke up when he came in. My headache was thankfully gone by then.

The only thing I can think of is that the last two times this happened, it was after DH mowed the yard. He came in the middle of it to take a break and laid down on the bed in his clothes. So .. I'm thinking that whatever I'm allergic to in grass cuttings stuck to his clothes and transferred to the bedding.

Hence the sinus headache - no matter how much Allegra D, Nasacort, etc.

I told DH that next time he cuts the grass and wants to take a break in the middle, he'll have to disrobe before laying on the bed. Big Grin

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We have a couple of very persistent kitites for getting on the kitchen counters. I've covered them nearly completely in aluminum foil and double sided tape. All it really has accomplished is to make it noisily apparent when a cat is on the counter ...

I don't want to use the electronic mats or loud noises (two of the cats are quite skittish already) - I saw the idea of an upside down chair mat. They're pretty expensive though - also saw something called an x-Mat which is a similar idea (and cheaper.)

Any other ideas on how to keep cats off counters? Once we can successfully to do that, then I plan on working on the dining room table ...

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I put up 3 sun window seats for the cats in the living room. Only one cat so far has braved them ... Our own little Pepe le Peau!

Here are some pictures:




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I got my first letter from our mortgage company with our account number, etc. So now I can set up our online account. Big Grin I'll probably do that when I finish here.

Still don't have a bill from the plumber.

DH got in touch with a fencing guy today. He'll be coming by tomorrow to do an estimate. The fire was fueled by finding a big pile of dog excrement which could only be from the next door neighbors German Shepherd in our yard. Yuck!

Hello ... :)

June 4th, 2016 at 09:53 am

It's been a bit.

Sunday will make two weeks since I did the major move in to our home. All but one cat and one DH are also moved in. DH and last cat eta move in tomorrow.DH has been waiting for some eggs to hatch first. So .. two possibly three chicks will also be arriving tomorrow (oh, some turtles will be coming too)

We've (or I should say, (I've) been dog sitting for the past week. That's been fun - getting two sets of cats acclimated to each other and to their new home. while also taking care of a dog. Sweet dog. Sweet dog who unfortunately has some kind of a skin infection which causes him to itch constantly. Which the owner failed to mention to us.


I got the name of his vet only by calling him the night after he dropped the poor dog off and seeing how miserable he was. of course this was on a Saturday of a holiday weekend.

Sunday I spent $40 at Petco on itch relief spray and oatmeal shampoo, as well as a couple chew bones. DH and I gave Koky a bath - which helped some. The itch spray also seemed to help some.

Tuesday after work I called the vet anf found out this was an ongoing issue - mostly due to inconsistency on the owner's part of giving meds.

Wednesday after work I picked up the new order of meds - to the tune of $97. Ouch. But they seem to be doing the trick! He's still itching, but not nearly as much.

We've got him for three more weeks. It will be much easier once DH is here full time so I don't have to rush home from work to take the dog out. I enjoy taking him on walks - it's just stressful when I know he must be desperate to go out and traffic is inching along.

The first week traffic was a dream - 15 minutes give or take. This past week though, construction season started ... 25 - 30+ minutes! Ugh!

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We're in serious talks about privacy fence again. This week we've seen adult neighbors crossing through our back yard multiple times ... but more annoying .. their German Shepherd has been allowed free reign to come into our yard! I *really* don't like this - especially since I am going out in my yard with Koky multiple times a day. Koky would not intimidate a GS.

DH is chomping at the teeth to give neighbors a piece of his mind, but realizes it might not be a good idea.

--
I saw some cube shelving at Big Lots which I thought might work for the bedroom and the office - a buy one get 50% off the second sale. DH and I went to look at them in store on Thursday and well ... I was disappointed with their in real life look.

Budget ... ??? What's that?

I broke the tub faucet last week ... didn't think a pipe was broken. Til the next morning when I heard a dripping sound in the basement. I thought it was new leakage due to some fierce rains. Nope - DH discovered it was a broken pipe. Oops.

We haven't gotten the bill yet from the plumber.

Our home warranty person is going to submit it for us (not insurance, but the warranty plan) to see if they'll cover the broken pipe ( faucet isn't covered)

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The Internet/cable got installed on Saturday. What a fiasco. The guy was here at least two hours. Then there are only two cable hookups in the house - the living room and the basement. I'd bought a wi fi extender which i put in the office. After nearly four frustrating hours I finally got it working on my computer - sort of. The connection kept dropping!

So on Sunday I bought a 50 ft coaxial cable and ran it from the living room to my computer in the office. Internet was back! But now we have a cable cord running through the house ... A some point we're going to have someone come out and run it through the floor or ceiling.

--
Lots more .. but at any rate, I'm glad it's the weekend and I can take some time to breathe a little. (and catch up on the net!)

Neighbor Question

May 20th, 2016 at 05:35 am

So ... last night DH and I were at our house checking out various things, measuring, etc.

I was in the kitchen finding the neat little built in's in the cupboards (pull out pot and pan rack!!, pull out dish towel rack!!) DH comes in from the yard and tells me that this blonde kid had just cut through our yard to his house from the neighbor's yard.

Our neighbors have a huge trampoline in their backyard. Last night they probably had at least 7 or 8 kids from middle school to early high school age using it.

Not even five minutes after DH tells me this, we are standing in the doorway from the kitchen area to the backyard, when blonde kid cuts through our yard again. He even had the wherewithal to apologize sheepishly.

Later, DH and I were standing on our driveway (getting pictures of Mama Robin and babies) and not once, but at least three times, various kids walked on our driveway to the front of the neighbors house. One even had the audacity to spit on our driveway.

From a liability issue alone, I think this is a huge problem. I'd really rather not have to use my homeowner's insurance this early on.

More so though is it is plain rude of them to be traipsing along our property. Especially when it's obvious we are home!

It's also an issue of privacy - we shouldn't have to wonder if someone is lurking in our backyard.

But ... the question is, how best to deal with it?

We plan on getting our privacy fence put up sooner than later (especially with realizing how free the neighbor kids seem to be with using our backyard as a pathway.) But until that can happen? And also the issue with the driveway - that won't go away with a fence.

We realize these people will probably be our neighbors for a long long time. We don' want to make enemies, but we also don't want to have our space invaded without our permission.

What would you all suggest?

Inside the House :)

May 17th, 2016 at 06:29 pm

Okay, so I went over to our house today after work. Not having a major sinus headache sure helped a lot!

I needed to take a picture of the water meter for our Realtor, and I also just wanted to spend some time absorbing the house and take some pictures!

One thing I figured out, was that the one closet which I had thought I'd use as a pantry (but would need some renovation to do so) wasn't my only option! The closet that is near the entry of the kitchen would work way better! I'll need to get some pull out shelving, etc., but it's going to make a fantastic pantry! The broom closet/small pantry will still be good for some of the larger items/cleaning supplies.

I also made my decision about which room would be my office and which one will be the bedroom. (The one with the hanging lamp is to be the bedroom. The other room is slightly larger, and will become my office/workout room/guest room.)

The room with the fireplace will be our living room, as well as the cat's playroom. We'll be putting their cat trees, along with lots of cat safe shelving on the walls and under the windows. I'll probably also put my electric keyboard in there.

The basement (which has its own kitchen and bathroom) will be mostly DHs "mancave." The workshop (where you can see the iBeams and sump pump) will be where fish and other animals abide, as well as where DH can work on his electronics. There is tons of storage space in the basement. Which DH will most likely fill with his home/car stereo collections easily.

(Upstairs is mostly "mine" to do with as I please.)

The previous homeowners who built the place definitely made some creative designs and "finishes" in the closets, etc. (As in, the closets aren't really truly finished. Still, they work.)

Some of the pictures may look a little weird due to my experimenting with the panoramic feature.

DH says he feels like the place is dated and needs some modernization. I'm not totally sure what he means - maybe the partition thing in the entryway? Could that somehow be updated to look more "modern"?

Officially, the house has two bedrooms and one bathroom. 1362 sq ft. Realistically it has three bedrooms, a family room, a living room, two kitchens, two bathrooms, a huge laundry room/area, and a workshop.

So ... here's a link to lots of pictures!
https://www.amazon.com/clouddrive/share/nWK8NAX8sLwXKyVhCgyBjzAvN4YQITQyPBmzDUgT2El?v=grid&ref_=cd_ph_share_link_copy

Homeowners!

May 16th, 2016 at 06:52 pm

The deed is accomplished. The papers are signed. DH and I are now $112k in debt. Gulp.

In a way it was kind of anti-climatic. I was super tired from work and had a sinus headache brewing. Then I missed the entrance to the building and had to drive around the entire mall to get back to it. I made it to the office with a minute to spare - but offended DH because I didn't call him when I got there so we could go up together. Sigh.

We got our keys and went over to our house to drink some sparkling juice and see the repair work. Both of us were kind of upset with the other, so no teasingly carry over threshhold stuff. {we got over it}

Our realtor came by with an oversized key and took our picture. How to let him know we kind of think he was a real let down of a realtor?

Is it normal to feel more scared than joyful after signing the papers? That's how I felt sitting in our garage and thinking about what it meant - that it wasn't just a dream anymore. That we now are 100% responsible for a house and a garage and a yard ...

Maybe it's just my sinus headache...

Closing Monday! Murphy bed?

May 13th, 2016 at 05:28 pm

We will be closing on our house on Monday - after having gotten a second estimate and working things out with the sellers. Whew!

--
Question - DH made the suggestion that I could use the closet in my office/workout room/guest room to put a Murphy bed in it. That way I wouldn't have to use space for a bed full time when we only will have guests once in a while.

I'm wondering if a dIY Murphy bed is possible? Then I could put the mirror on the backside of it? (I want a mirror to look at when I am working out.)

Anyone know?

Don't Count Your Chickens ... Le Sigh

May 13th, 2016 at 11:44 am

Well ... on the bright side. We got back from our honeymoon in Branson Wednesday night. Our time in Branson was wonderful. The condo we stayed in was beautiful - had a balcony we sat on looking out on the lake while eating a couple meals. We took in two shows - The Haygoods and Acrobats of Shanghai. Both were fantastic!

We also went to Silver Dollar City. That was okay .. We hadn't realized it would be quite so hilly, and DH was having trouble with that. He really tried to be a trooper. kind of felt like a waste of money for what we actually did there though.

Another waste of money was Inspiration Point tower. At least that was only $17 for the two of us. (Instead of $130 for Silver Dollar City.)

So ... Wednesday we are on our way to Springfield where we planned to stop at Fantastic Caverns on our way home. I send a text to Realtor asking about setting up our final walk through.

He calls me back. Bad news. During the freak tornado/huge rainstorm that hit the L town area on Monday, our house got water in the basement. The sellers weren't sure where it came from.

So ... we cancel our planned stops and race back to L town and to our house.

We talk to the sellers and see what they are doing to clean up the water (mostly just soaked carpet.) We decide that we don't know enough to make a decision, and ask to have a professional come out to give their opinion.

Thursday afternoon I get the phone call from Realtor telling me that the professional came out and looked (charged us $250) and discovered that the wall where they had cracks before (revealed during inspection, but not told to worry about too much, just to keep an eye on) was bowing. In fact, the person estimated 6 to 8 years before it collapsed.

--
Prior to the professionals opinion the sellers had agreed to give us a $2k cash credit towards cleaning up/fixing the issue. Realtor (after professional's visit) estimated $10k to fix wall issue, and around $15k to fix wall and regrade yard/remove part of deck above problem area.

DH and I looked at all our money and what priorities we have, and thought we would set $8k aside now, and then save the rest and have it fixed in March.

Realtor calls me this morning about 10:30 with the written report/estimates. Just to fix the wall - $14k+. To regrade yard/remove deck/remove tree stump - $9100.

Realtor goes to sellers with numbers and they want two more estimates before discussing how much they'd be willing to do.

So, the end result is closing is put of til June 13.

DH and I are back on Zillow looking to see if there's anything else. To say that the pickings are slim, very slim, is an understatement.

I'd already given my 30 day notice .. my apartment is mostly packed at this point. I contacted my property manager and she told me she needs to start showing June 1. I'll need to have the boxes stacked as much as possible and have the place kept clean for showings. Ugh!

Moving in with DH is NOT something I want to contemplate. To say that he is living in an unacceptable place is to put it mildly. Partly why I'm so anxious to get us into a place of our own. (it's a long story as to why he's put up with it)

I called and canceled movers, and the new account orders for gas and electric and Internet. What a royal mess.

--
Just talked to loan processor. He told me moving the closing to June 13 is just a pre-caution and that we could close sooner depending on when we get estimates and come up with a plan of action. (And of course based on what sellers are willing to do.)

This is SO frustrating.

Swagbucks CC, Roadtrip suggestions?

May 7th, 2016 at 08:40 am

I got a letter in the mail this week which made me very sad. As of June 8, the rewards card for Swagbucks will stop.

I'll probably go for the Citi cashback 2% card as a replacement - which in reality is a better deal. Although I'll look for good cash back cards first - as I have the feeling we'll have plenty of expenses the first few months in our home. Smile

----
So ... this will be the first really long roadtrip DH and I will have taken together in the same vehicle. When I moved from NM, DH drove the truck and I drove my car.

The longest roadtrip we've been on was about 3 hours. This one is going to be around 6 or 7 hours one way.

Normally on a roadtrip I'd read or snooze or ... whatever (when not driving). That seems kind of rude when it's just two people though.

I found a few joke books on Amazon (free) and a book of good questions for couples to discuss together.

Beyond that .. the A to z game? Slug bug sighting? ????

Any suggestions of good books to read out loud? DH gets bored really easily

Keyless Doorknobs? Leaving on Sunday :)

May 6th, 2016 at 09:57 pm

The last few days I've been working on getting utilities set to switch over to the house. Today I called the water department and found out that the title insurance place had already put in an order for that to happen?

We are getting the basic Kinetic Internet/cable package. I'd prefer to go without the cable part, but DH really wants it, and since he's willing to go with the basic ... It'll only be maybe ten to fifteen dollars more a month than what I'm paying for just Internet right now.

I also got movers lined up for the 15th (which means I need to get my stuff packed PDQ!)

--
DH and I are in discussion mode about possibly replacing the locks on the doors with keyless entry locks. I think since we need to rekey the doors anyway, why not spend just a little bit more and have their convenience? (i.e. you can set a temporary code for someone you need to let in, but might not want to have continual access, like a guest or a housekeeper.)

DH wants us to have a deadbolt on the front door for added security. I need to look into a solution for that ..

Anyone use keyless door locks? What are your experiences?

---
We'll be heading to Branson on Sunday! We're planning on doing Silver Dollar City, one of the acrobat shows and then either the Haygood's or the Frankie Vallie show. We also may rent a boat - although the one we were thinking about is much bigger than DH had in mind (the one at the marinia by our hotel.) We may also take in a movie - possibly Captain America.

On our way home, we may be making a stop for DH's first chicken (as an adult at least - his family had lots of chickens as he grew up.) It's a bantam hen - he plans to keep it in the basement in an open cage til we get the chicken coop and privacy fence figured out. As long as I can't smell it ...

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Did you know that most auto insurance companies won't insure pizza delivery drivers? If they get into an accident while on the clock, the insurance will just not pay out anything, and then will drop the previously insured!

I found this out while working with S to find a home insurance quote. DH wasn't too happy with me insisting that he check to see if his employer carried the right kind of insurance to at least cover liability. But he did it anyway - even check with his insurance company ... (I waited with bated breath, hoping not to hear that he'd been dropped as soon as they heard "pizza delivery driver.")

The good news was ... his particular company does not have an exclusion. The bad news is ... most other companies do. He had them do a home insurance quote, and it came in higher than Geico's. So ... no can do with having all of our stuff on one policy. His insurance guy wants to see the home insurance quote I got - he couldn't figure out how we got it so low. ($713/yr.)

I'm just relieved to know that he's covered (only has liability.) I am thinking about looking into an umbrella policy, or see how it'd work to put stuff into a living trust - if that would protect our assets in case he got into an accident where someone got hurt (and he was at fault.)

Pizza delivery is one of the top dangerous jobs - right up there with construction workers, etc. DH is a very careful and defensive driver. But he also is on the road TONS of time ...

DMV, SS and the Bank! Oh My!

May 3rd, 2016 at 04:42 pm

Today I took off work at 3:00 and headed over to the Social Security office. That was over in about 35 minutes ... (The actual process took about 5.) I should have my new card in a few weeks. Big Grin

Then I rushed to the DMV. Got there about 4:05. Was out of there with my new license about 4:40. I'll change title/registration after we move. Smile

About 4:42 I got into the credit union. (Next door to each other almost!) Where I then changed my name on all my accounts there. DH needs to sign the new signature card for our joint account, and then that will be finished.

---
I'm planning on calling various moving companies here to check on rates and availability for the 15th. Smile I am SO ready to be out of here! Even if that means I'll be paying rent for an empty apartment, I don't really care at this point.

I meant to pick up a tape gun and a sharpie today, but forgot. I'll do that tomorrow on my way home from Women's Ministry (we are meeting to finish making the flower pens for Mother's Day.) Then, I'm going to start packing.

I'm not going to be too worried about making sure I have *everything* packed by the 15th - just the vast majority. I also think I'll leave Internet service connected through the end of the pay cycle - that way if I'm here cleaning/packing later, I'll have access.

--
How soon should I start calling utilities to tell them the date to change them into my name? Should I wait til we've been sent the closing cost document that tells us how much of a cashier's check we need? Or, can I do it sooner?

---
I could barely sleep last night - mostly thanks to my allergies. That's with having taken a full load of meds. Melatonin, Allegra D 24hr, generic Nyquil, generic Flonase ... That's what I get I guess for two nights in a row of getting a bit more than 6 hours of good sleep! (Yes, I consider getting 6 hours a *good* night's rest. Mostly average 5 hrs ...) Had a massive sinus headache today too (again, with all the allergy meds in me ...)

Something's gotta give here soon. I don't want to be feeding my body all these chemicals daily forever ... especially seeing as though they seem to be not as effective.

Lawn Equipment?

April 30th, 2016 at 07:43 pm

So DH was talking to me about a lawnmower tonight and a weed whacker. We also will need a snowblower eventually.

DH has a bad shoulder, and so needs an electric start mower, and also wants a self propelled one. He's been looking at Honda mowers - one that starts at $420. I have no clue about mowers ... Any ideas? Suggestions? He thinks the Honda one would have very good resale value if we ever were to let go of it. (I asked him about used ones - he said the used ones were almost as much as the new ones.)

Also looking at a weed whacker. What would you recommend for that?

What other tools are essential for lawn care?

What could be done without?

I seriously have no clue when it come to yard/lawn equipment .. other than rakes.

What about gardening tools? What is essential? Best?

---
Update on DSIL - Surgery went well. She was sleeping when we stopped by (with flowers and a card) but we spoke with her nurse. It most likely is a blood infection stemming from her dog biting her. (She was walking around in the dark and stepped on him.) They'll know more about the infection by tomorrow evening.


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