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Archive for February, 2012

Amazon Prime, Worried about Phone, Thanks IRS!

February 28th, 2012 at 07:21 pm

Someone (I think Retire#50) was asking about Amazon Prime streaming videos. I mentioned I hadn't used that feature before, although I have a student prime account. So tonight while looking for things to do, I mosied over there just to see what movies they might have. They had "The Bodyguard!" I'd wanted to watch that when Whitney Houston died, but Netflix didn't have it and of course I was pretty much out of Entertainment budget so I couldn't rent it from iTunes. Sweet!

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While I was watching the movie I decided to check Facebook on my phone and my email. When I opened up FB, it totally froze on me. I attempted to get back to the home screen and nothing happened. Finally the black screen with the apple appeared. It took several tries to restart the whole thing. Finally, it appears to be working again.

I'm not sure what is going on with it, but I'm worried I may need to end up replacing it sooner rather than later. I was *really* wanting to hold out for the 5 in September, but if it does this again, I may have no choice. I have to have a working phone.

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I checked my ING account today and saw that the $771 from the IRS (federal return) had been deposited into my savings account. Yay! Now I'm just waiting on NM to send me my money.

Snow Day - Again!, Credit Cards/Score

February 28th, 2012 at 11:49 am

If only the snow day would've happened yesterday .. then I could have participated in the SBs birthday bash .. oh well. Smile

I got an email from Credit Karma today and decided to go ahead and update it and see what my score was. The last time I did it was maybe 7 months ago?? My score then was 726, and today when I checked it, it was 776! Even if that isn't reflective of my real credit score, still that is pretty darn cool I think. Big Grin

One of the cash back cards they suggested was a Chase premium card where I could get $500 cash back if I spent $3000 in 3 months. I looked really hard to see if it was possible to spend that much in 3 months (only on my credit card) and realized that even if I paid for my summer trip AND for my Christmas trip, that I wouldn't come close.

So I looked at the $200 cash back card - for that I'd only have to spend $500 in 3 months. Easily doable (with moving some automatic payments to it..) However, I think I already have the card (thanks to Chase buying out the previous owner of the card) so wasn't sure if they'd let me get a second one.

So ... I decided to look at SBs and see what offers they had. I found a 3600 SBs offer on TrialPay for Discover. That equals to $40 in AGC (spread over 2 months.) They also are offering 5% on gas for March. I went ahead and applied for it, and after calling to confirm my physical address, was approved. (Now have to wait for the SBs to credit.) With this additional card, I now have almost an equal amount of credit to annual income. Scary isn't?

I'll have to look at the way they do rewards and see if it would be worth closing my Chase card and then a few months from now opening a new one for a cash back reward. If I opened an account requiring $3k in 3 months in say ... June?? I might be able to manage that - summer travel, Christmas travel, buying new iPhone, renewing car insurance ... might come close. Big Grin

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I shocked myself by qualifying for a survey on SBs - 65 SBs which credited immediately. With that, I'm up over 100SBs from where I started this morning.

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Maybe this snow day isn't too bad of a thing ... I'm kind of debating on whether I should give the $50 I was thinking about to the grandmother of the girl who got her hair cut by another student. It really isn't in the budget ... but then again, I spent $12 at the mom and pop store Monday night getting stuff for the bake sale (to donate) that was supposed to happen today, and that sure wasn't in the budget!

I'll keep thinking on it tonight. I do think that if I do give it to her, I'm going to do it anonymously - just drop an envelope in her mail box. Might make it less weird/uncomfortable?

The Things You Learn ...

February 27th, 2012 at 09:30 pm

I can't remember now if I mentioned an incident that happened on Friday in the library or not (brain dead right now a bit ...) but it has caused me to learn something about the Navajo culture - or at least the traditional Navajo culture.

On Friday I usually have the 6th graders from 11:15 - 12:15 and then from 12:40 - 1:40. However, due to the Science Fair, I was not going to have them in the afternoon. So I had each group for 30 minutes - just to check out books.

Towards the end of the second groups checkout time the majority of students were seated at the table reading or looking at yearbooks (one of their favorite things to do - look at old yearbooks.) A few were still up and browsing. One 6th grade boy spied a pair of safety scissors on top of the bookshelf and for whatever reason decided it would be a great idea to snip off a small piece of a girls hair.

When he realized that he'd done something *really* stupid by the reactions of those around him (and the girl), he decided to compound his poor decision making skills by cutting a bit of his own hair. Rolleyes I checked the girls hair, as did the TA and neither of us could tell that any hair was cut (nor did I see any hair on the floor.) The girl involved did not appear to be visibly upset, especially after the TA and I both told her that we couldn't see anything actually cut. I had the boy sit down at the table (he was acting quite contrite.)

Later at lunch I noticed the girl crying in the bathroom with several other girls surrounding her, and SrD talking with the boy involved. I explained to SrD what I'd seen happen and that I really didn't think the girl had lost any hair, but the boy did cut a small piece of his own.

I didn't hear anything more about it due to the Science Fair (I was a judge.) Then tonight I learned on FB through a post of one of the mid-school teachers that in strongly traditional Navajo culture (which this girls family is), having your hair cut is akin to losing power and being in danger (no matter how little is cut - a cut is a cut). The only way to restore this power/safety is through an expensive ceremony (at least $150+). The boy (also Navajo) does not come from a strongly traditional home and so did not realize the seriousness of what he'd done til after the fact.

The grandmother/guardian of the girl is one of our TA's. I'm thinking of giving her $50 towards the cost of the ceremony. Partly because I feel bad that this happened on my watch, but also partly because I know she can hardly begin to afford the ceremony. (She's taking care of at least 3, maybe 4 grandchildren as their sole support and guardian. She makes quite a bit less than I do.)

I've been reassured that this is not reflecting badly on me, although that was not a major concern (somewhat of a concern, but not major.) I am however putting away the scissors when I get in tomorrow!

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All the teachers rode busses again today. The bus I rode on today ... well... it put me in mind of an extended version of a wooden roller coaster ride minus the hills and valleys. The housing conditions were amongst the worst I've seen since coming here. The driver told me of one place we didn't go today due to the student being absent - the student doesn't have running water at her home, so she showers at the thrift store (near the school) every day before school. The area around her home is also akin to a junkyard. They do have electricity, but apparently the ground is too rocky to dig water lines or a well.

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I cashed in my Beezag points this weekend and should have the $8 cash by Friday or so. I also received 2 $5 AGC's from Swagbucks, and redeemed points for 2 more (making 5 total for February.) I also redeemed points on Irazoo for a $5 AGC. I didn't get in on any of the birthday codes today ... oh well.

I'm within a few 100 points of redeeming MyPoints for a $50 Walgreens gift card.

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I watched all of FlashForward this weekend on Netflix. I'd watched the first couple episodes when it was on network tv, but then got too busy with schoolwork and tutoring to keep up with it. It was good - too bad it didn't get a second season.

This weekend I also got all of my color laundry done and my towels. I still need to do my whites/sheets. I was going to do them tonight ... oh well.

The next couple of days will be long ones. Tomorrow and probably Thursday I'll be staying til 5:30 to keep the computer lab open for kids wanting to finish their media projects (due Monday and Tuesday of next week.) Wednesday is our last home basketball game of the season, so I'll probably volunteer at the concession stand. Whatever is happening on Friday, I'm going to be home by 4.

This weekend I missed church due to oversleeping. Kari woke me around 8 a.m. demanding I feed her. So after feeding her I went back to bed. My alarm should've gone off at 8:30, but for whatever reason it didn't. The next thing I knew it was 2:00 p.m. Ooops. I don't want that to happen again this coming Saturday, so I need to make sure I get to bed early on Friday night.

Ok, I'm rambling now, so this is a good time to sign off!

I think I Didn't Handle this very well ...

February 23rd, 2012 at 03:52 pm

Like I mentioned in my post yesterday, I've been spending *a lot* of time helping the mid-school science teacher both in and out of school lately. Well today it looked like she was pretty well on track, so I told her that I needed to take care of some things (like make phone calls and try to make a small dent in the unshelved books) so I'd not be available in the a.m., but would help her after lunch. She was fine with that - just happy for any help I could give her.

So ... my last morning class left at 10:55. I went into the lab and was talking to AL for a few minutes when SrN came in and asked me to help upload some pictures she'd taken for the yearbook. While I was doing that, an 8th grader came in needing to print a color picture. No problem. After Sr N left, the 8th grader asked me to help her a bit, so I did.

While I was in the midst of helping the student, several 7th grade students trooped in (ones I knew were finished with their science fair stuff.) I assumed that their Teacher Assistant or Teacher would be right along. The teacher did come a few minutes later with a couple more kids. She asked if it was ok for them to be there ... again, I assumed she was sending her TA shortly and was distracted by helping the one student .. so I said fine.

More students arrived for a total of at least 8. Only 3 of them were actually working on Science Fair stuff, the others were working on their media project (for me.) When I realized that she'd just left them with me, I felt really used. But it wasn't the kids fault, and I was glad they could have more time to work on their projects ... but still!

I should have told the kids to go back to their room, or maybe have called her and told her that I couldn't supervise them. I didn't - mainly I think because I don't like confrontaion, but also due to thinking that maybe she felt like if I was so willing to give so much of my time to help the science teacher, I must of course be more than happy to take kids off her hands too and that she'd be offended or something if I said no I didn't want them right then.

So ... the kids go to lunch and I go to lunch. I'm feeling like carp warmed over plus very tired and frustrated from what just happened. The science teacher is there and what happened came out in the conversation. She offered to talk to the head mid-school teacher, and after some hesitation, I agreed.

Then ... this afternoon my last class left at 2:30 and I went over to the gym to help with setting up. The 5th graders were in there with their teacher and teacher assistant - it was so cute watching how eager they were to help. Smile

About 3:10 we were all finished and lining everyone up to go home. Suddenly there was an influx of 7th graders. The science teacher had no idea why they were there - she'd not asked for them to come help. No teacher or teacher assistant with them.

The fifth grade teacher called them all to line up while the science teacher went back to her classroom to dismiss her group (her TA was teaching a Navajo class while she was in the gym.) One of the 7th grade boys was *extremely* disrespectful to the 5th grade teacher.

So ... after the busses left, the science teacher and I both talked to the head mid-school teacher about the two incidents. I felt very .... unsure? about handling it that way - without first going to the 7th grade teacher ... like we were almost being first graders who whine to their teacher about a class mate.

The 7th grade teacher is a long timer (i.e. someone who's been here more than the usual 2 years) and so probably is going to be around a few+ more years. I really hate to ruin whatever relationship we may have by creating bad blood. But I also don't want to get taken advantage of ...

The biggest problem here probably is that of assumption I think ... I assumed that she wasn't just dumping the kids on me, and she assumed that it was perfectly ok since I'd been helping out the other teacher all week ..

No good deed goes unpunished??

* Oh, and I think I may have lost my phone .. in all my distractedness today I put it in my coat pocket, but it wasn't there when I got home... Sigh.

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Update: I found my phone in the library! Yay! I also talked with the head mid-school teacher and the science teacher. We realized that it was the TA who sent the 7th graders into the gym and not the teacher (she was on a bus.) So I told TG (head mid teacher) that I would talk to the 7th grade teacher myself. I think that would come across much better than having TG talk to her. If it continued to happen, then I think that would be a different story. I feel somewhat better about it now.

I just got back from the parent viewing of the projects. A fair number of families showed up. I'm going to be one of 17 judges tomorrow. It should be interesting! (I will be one of 5 people who will be SO glad when 3:30 comes tomorrow!!)

Bait and Switch

February 22nd, 2012 at 06:56 pm

So today I went to the doctor. It was only supposed to be for a blood draw to check my thyroid level. Well when I got there, I found out that they'd set it up as a new doctor/patient visit! That would've been fine if I hadn't gone there expecting to be in and out in 20 minutes!! It took nearly an hour (between the wait and the "visit w/new doctor.") Not to mention the fact that they added an $85 dollar charge for the doctor seeing me. Ugh. In a way it was a good thing though, because I got some antibiotics for what I think is a sinus infection. But still!!

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The past few days have been really, really long. Our science fair is on Friday and the parents are invited to view tomorrow night. With all our snow days and printer/ink problems, the kids didn't get as much done as needed. So ... the Mid-school science teacher and her assistant have been spending long evenings and most of their long weekend trying to get everyone's boards finished. I spent most of Sunday afternoon and evening helping, and then stayed late yesterday and today to help. As well as pretty much every minute I haven't had class. *Two other teachers have also been giving of their time to help get everything done. Oh, and the assistant isn't getting paid for all the overtime he's doing (they're paid on an hourly basis. He's the one I'd love to steal for next year.)

I am SO tired right now!

I also found out that we again are not going to have electives tomorrow. We didn't have any last week, and we didn't have them today due to having Mass (Ash Wednesday). So ... I have 4 class periods left before the yearbook deadline... We still have a lot to do. Ugh.

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Kari managed to get into the upper cupboard where I'd put her new bag of food - and of course she tore into it. Luckily she didn't make too big of a hole. I've loosely tied a plastic bag through the cabinet handles to try to keep her out - we'll see how well that works. Rolleyes If you saw her around food, you'd think that I starve her or something!

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I cashed out tonight for a $5 AGC from Irazoo, and almost have enough for another one from SB (need 25 more!) although I'll probably wait til after the birthday bash to see if any good cards go on sale (although I doubt the $25 would go on sale again so soon, though it doesn't really matter since I have nowhere near enough for one.)

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I think I might go to bed early tonight - really not feeling all that great.

Filed Taxes - Finally!

February 18th, 2012 at 08:53 pm

Tonight I filed my taxes thanks to finally receiving the W-2's from my summer job. I'm getting a refund of $423 Federal and $293 State. (New Mexico lets you deduct medical expenses that you can't deduct on Federal!! If I'd known that!!! I will be keeping really good track of them this year for sure!)

I thought I was getting more back, but I guess I calculated wrong before. Oh well. I qualified for the saver's credit - I contributed $200 to my ROTH in 2011, so got a credit of $100. If I'd put another $700 in my ROTH I would have gotten a $476 credit instead. I thought about it, but decided against it since my EF is so shallow right now.

I'm considering putting the whole refund in my ROTH for 2012, because that plus my $100/mo contribution would put me close to $1800 which I think would be a $900 credit next year?? Although I probably should see how much I earn for summer school, just in case I won't qualify for the credit. (I can't remember now what the upper limit was for a single person.)

I'll probably just put it in my Emergency Fund, and then in December see how my various goals are going and see how much I can siphon to the IRA.

Most of what I got back I think is due to moving expenses and the teacher expenses. For 2012 I'm going to keep my deductions at 0 and see how I come out. If I'm still getting a refund of $100 or more, then I'll consider changing it to 1. Of course as my savings grow, my interest income will also grow ... so will have to take that into consideration.

One thing that really hurt me is that my scholarship money that I received in 2011 was counted as income. I'd paid all my tuition expenses in 2010 and 2011. So the scholarship money was hardly in excess of expenses, but because it came *after* I already paid the tuition expenses it counted against me. Ugh! If I'd realized that, I wouldn't have been so quick to pay!!

2012 is going to be such a nice easy tax year. One, maybe two W-2's and interest income - nothing else.

--- I also tonight calculated what my bi-weekly paycheck is going to be for next school year when it's divided into 26 payments instead of 22. It'll be $70 less per pay period. Ergh. Starts in June.

Thanks AT&T for Ticking Me Off - Saved $60!!

February 18th, 2012 at 03:36 pm

So I went to church this morning and after church needed to go to the library to return my books (two weeks overdue!) I had a very vague idea of how to get to the library after having been there once.

I opened up AT&T Navigator and did the search for library, picked the one I wanted, and then hit Drive To. As soon as I did that, instead of giving me the directions, a message popped up saying "Your account has expired. Call xxx0xxxx0xxx." I was very annoyed at this point. I'd used the app about two weeks ago and had not been given ANY indication that my subscription was about to expire, nor had I received any notification of any kind on my AT&T bill. (The subscription I had was charged to my phone bill annually - I assumed on auto renewal because the last time it renewed automatically.)

So I called the phone number. The first time I got disconnected. I called back again. I could barely hear the CS rep even with my volume on high. I explained to her that I had a yearly subscription and that I'd received a message that it was expired and wanted to know what was going on. She preceded to check my most recent bill and didn't see a charge for it. I explained to her at least three times that I had the annual subscription before she finally *got it*. Rolleyes

After putting me on hold for a good 10 - 15 minutes, she comes back on and tells me that the feature had been removed from my phone. When I asked her why, she could not explain it to me, but just kept repeating that it had been removed from my phone. Then she told me that I had to install the app and choose my subscription plan. I told her several times that the app was *already* on my phone and had worked just fine two weeks ago. She just kept repeating that I had to install the app!!! Rolleyes

I was getting *seriously* ticked at this point and realized that I wasn't being very nice, so apologized to her for shouting. Then I told her that I thought it was totally ridiculous for me to have to delete my current app (thus losing all my stored data) and reinstall it again just to resubscribe. I was also worried that I'd need WiFi to do it (that took several times and several rewordings for her to get what I was concerned about.)

Finally I pretty much hung up on her (not really ... I told her that it was apparent she couldn't help me and that I'd figure it out on my own. -- I just could not deal with talking to her a second longer.)

So I delete the AT&T Navigator app from my phone, and then go to the app store. The app has a two star rating! Hah! I left kind of a nasty review (no bad words, just let it be known that I was ticked and why.) Then I reinstalled it. When I opened it up it asked me for my phone number, and then asked for a six digit verification code which would be texted to me. I waited at least 20 minutes for the stupid code to be sent (it finally arrived about 20 minutes ago, nearly two hours after I requested it.)

I got tired of waiting so I went back to the app store and read some of the reviews. One reviewer mentioned that TeleNav which is what AT&T Navigator runs on, was available in the app store and cost 1/3rd of AT&T Navigator! So I checked it out. Happily I found out that not only was it less than AT&T Navigator, but that it was on sale! Instead of paying $70 a year for the voice turn by turn directions, I am now getting the *same exact service* for $10 a year!!!

I think what upset me the most about all this is that as a seriously directionally challenged person I have come to rely on the GPS app extensively. I *could* have easily found my way directly home from where I was, but what if it had happened at night in an unfamiliar area?? To unceremoniously lose access to an app I rely heavily upon without any kind of notice, is just inexcusable to me.

**I realize that I probably way overreacted to this. I'm not really sure why ... I usually can handle things like this much more calmly. I don't remember ever having gotten this upset on the phone talking to a CS rep.
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Unfortunately my upsetedness caused me to want soda and chocolate, and I ended up going to Walgreens where I got stuff. I bought some Allegra too, but ended up spending $16 on pure junk over and above my grocery budget. I wish I wouldn't do stuff like that and could figure out something else to do when I'm that upset. Ugh.

Last W-2 Finally! Good Day

February 17th, 2012 at 08:03 pm

Today was our teacher in-service. I got up and talked a bit about the upcoming book fair, as well as the yearbook. One of the things I mentioned is that I'd like to make a goal to sell $200 more than we did last year, but wasn't sure what wild or crazy thing I could offer to do (or teachers would be willing to do) if the kids made the goal. Someone spoke up that they had a clown costume, and then our principal offered to wear it for a day!! Way cool! Too bad it will happen after the yearbook is put to bed - but the newspaper can still cover it. Big Grin

In the afternoon I had a couple hours to just work in the media center. I got all my grades caught up and did my written Feb lesson plans (and March) that I have to turn in on Tuesday. I decided to keep the other stuff I need to do for Sunday (mainly reshelving books.)

Then I went to the PO where to my *very ecstatic* joy, I found that my voice mail had not gone unheard from a week ago. My final W-2 from my summer job had arrived!! Woo Hoo! I was thinking of going straight home and doing my taxes Big Grin , but then I saw one of my coworkers pull in. She told me she was WAY stressed (she's the science teacher, science fair is next week) and needed desperately to go into G to relax and rewind.

So she and I went into G and ate at Sizzler (I used my giftcard) and then I helped her have her first experience of depositing a check at an ATM, and then we went to Walmart. I got my groceries for the rest of February, as well as cat food (wet, dry and treats). I haven't calculated it all out yet, but I think I may have gone over my grocery budget a little bit.

(I spent a total of $41.xx, but about $9 of it was cat stuff - so that comes out of Kari's budget and not the grocery budget.)

My friend and I are going to go into to ABQ on Monday. She wants to do some computer shopping and do some other stores as well. I'm more than happy to salivate over computers Smile plus we'll stop at a party store to see if they have leis cheaper than Oriental Trading (they have 100 leis for $11.99.) Going there on Monday just means I'll have to get everything done for Tuesday on Sunday. I think I'll either offer to fill her car up, or just give her $10 for gas money. It'll be nice to be out and about in a big town. Smile

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I have enough SBs to buy another AGC now, and am getting closer and closer to cashing out on the other places.

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One thing my coworker told me that seriously shocked me -- the PE teacher/coach has decided to stay another year. He's been moaning and groaning *a lot* the *WHOLE* year on FB about how much he hates it here and wishes he was somewhere with real clubs, etc. He apparently has really high child support payments and doesn't have another job to go to .. so he's staying here. Real good reason to stay somewhere you hate. Rolleyes

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I'll probably do my taxes tomorrow night, and then finish my audible book. It will feel so good to have them done and know for sure how much I'm getting back! Big Grin

Good, Long Day

February 16th, 2012 at 08:23 pm

Today we actually had school even though there still was quite a bit of snow still on the ground. Smile I only had my 4 year olds and first graders in the library. Mass was canceled so that teachers could use the time to get caught up on two days worth of missed classes (and I think the priest was sick.)

At breakfast the 6th grade teacher/science teacher asked me if I could I could help her out by finding print resources for about 20 kids' science fair projects. She'd gotten an email from the head person of the organization telling her that their resources (amongst other things) needed to be corrected by the end of today.) I said I'd be happy to help. I was able to find sources for most of the projects, but there were a few that I could not find anything at all on. I worked on it right up to 4:45 when I had to stop to get ready for the webinar.

The webinar was for Scho lastic in regards to the upcoming book fair. I earned $25 in Scho $ for participating. It lasted 95+ minutes. Ergh. I just kept reminding myself of the two or three books I'll be able to get ...

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I ended up signing up for audible yesterday. I looked at all the various deals, and ended up going through SBs and doing the $7.49/mo for 3 months deal. I bought the newest Nevada Barr book (Anna Pigeon series) for my first month, and will buy #17 and #18 of Stephanie Plum with the next two months. Then the cost goes up to $14.95 and I won't be willing to spend that much of my entertainment money on an audio book, so will probably cancel. I'm about 3/4 through with the Nevada Barr book - loving it. Big Grin

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My mom called me yesterday shortly after I wrote about being so bored. That kind of helped to break the boredom (sort of - that + listening to my new book.) I told my mom about my idea of visiting dad this summer and her over Christmas - she *really* liked that idea ... I haven't brought it up to my dad yet because every time I talk to him he either has Grandma with him or his good friend Sweetie Petey.

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I was so tired and hungry tonight that I gave in and stopped at the sandwich shop/gas station tonight. I bought a foot long sub and two cookies (will be supper tomorrow night too.) $8.10 I need to record what I've spent on food between today and Tuesday so I have an accurate amount for this weekend when I do my final February grocery trip. I'll probably use my Sizzler gift card to eat before or after the movie (which I'll be using the Valentine's money from my mom for - partly anyway.)

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I'm *very* close to cashout on Beezag, Irazoo, MyPoints and Swagbucks.

Another Snow Day - Am Bored!!

February 15th, 2012 at 11:32 am

Can't believe I'm saying this, but I am really and truly bored. I went to bed around 8 last night not feeling very well. I came *this* close to buying the audiobook of Evanovich's 17 because I didn't want to read with my eyes open, but thought I could stand to listen to a book - the $23.95 price tag stopped me in my tracks though. I ended up going to sleep pretty quickly anyway.

I've read a book already today, and earned around 100 Swagbucks via the dailys and SBtv (while reading.) The snow seems to be melting and it seems like cars are going out and about. I'm really tempted to go into G and play a bit. I have a gift card for a restaurant there, and the $20 my mom sent me ... so I could do dinner and a movie ... I'd rather wait til Monday though in a way (when I'd kind of planned on doing something like that anyways ..)

Man, if I'm this bored right now, I wonder how I'm going to do over Spring Break ... especially since I've already decided to not do the trip I'd thought about doing until next year. There's lots of things I *could* be doing, and probably *should* be doing, just no motivation to do them. lol!

What a strange week this is turning out to be. We're going to end up having only two days of school this week because Friday is a teacher inservice day. Tomorrow won't be much of a real school day either between Mass and President's Day assembly. I'll only have two of my four Thursday classes. That'll be good in a way so I can prepare for my presentation on Friday - will be talking about the seminar I went to in January and also talking about the Book fair coming up. As the 6th grade teacher noted astutely on last Friday after I got in front of mid-school to make a couple of announcements - I don't like talking in front of people very much.(Which is partly why she and I laughed really hard a few weeks ago when I was in her classroom and she asked me to make some comments about the 6th graders presentations, and I just said - you said it well enough. She responded - there's a shy one (or something like that) and one of the 6th graders was like, "Miss N? Shy?!" Later we laughed so hard about how incredulous they were about the possibility of me being shy. If they only knew.)

I probably should shovel off my porch. There's probably a good 6 inches of snow on it right now. Though most of it probably will be melted before night fall (hopefully.) I had fun getting my door opened yesterday around 4:15 - already a good couple of inches at that time. I could also use this time to do some cleaning, or to do some cooking, or, or, or, or .... Yech.

When I stopped at the PO yesterday (for 5 minutes and had to scrape my windows when I came out) I got a couple Valentines cards from family (including the $20 from my mom) and the latest book I ordered from Amazon (with SB gift cards!) It was one of the books that I learned about at the seminar, and that I think will be perfect for one of my 8th grade boys - Hidden. It's a novel told in two styles of free verse. I'm thinking maybe I could read that this afternoon ... hmm...

Ok, enough rambling (can you tell how bored I am yet???) I wish I could do my taxes today, but I'm STILL waiting on the w-2 from my summer job processing insurance forms. I've emailed and called trying to get across that my address changed, and I received a phone call back on Friday (which I returned promptly to voicemail.) I guess I could call that person again and see if anything is happening. Next year's taxes will be so much easier - no tutoring income, no two states to worry about, and much easier places to get W-2's from (one, possibly two places if I get to do summer school here - the county pays for that instead of the mission.)

Ok, for spring break I really need to make some concrete plans of what I'm going to do otherwise all the money I'm supposedly saving from not taking the trip I wanted to do isn't going to happen.

STOP!!! Enough rambling!~! Big Grin

Snow Day, Spend Day

February 13th, 2012 at 06:21 pm

We had a snow day today! Even though the forecast said there'd be no snow accumulation and that the snow'd stop by 8 a.m., they were wrong! Big Grin The snow didn't stop til nearly 11 a.m. and there was maybe 2+ inches. It of course was mostly melted by 3 p.m. I had a nice day so far - read two books, did some Swagbucks (got one $5 AGC, bought another one, and have nearly 200 SBs towards my next one) and am going to watch a movie in a bit - maybe two. Big Grin

Yesterday I made the decision to purchase a couple of all in one technology programs to finish out the year. TechnoKids programs are something I've looked at since last summer, but hadn't bought any. I'm planning on having my 7th/8th graders do website creation once we're finished with our current project - so one of the programs I bought has a unit all laid out about creating a website with HTML. I could have designed it myself, but that would have been a good 20 hours or more of work, which I really don't have. (although if I'd known we were going to have a snow day today, I might have gotten quite a bit done on a unit of my own ...) At any rate, I do feel it is worth it. I may ask SrN if there are any funds in the technology fund to reimburse me, but I'm not holding my breath. ($100 for 3 programs, 3rd/4th, 5th/6th, 7th/8th)

Otherwise this whole weekend I pretty much took it easy. Friday at school I was starting to feel like I might be coming down with the flu, so decided to take it real easy just in case. I'm feeling much better than I did on Friday, so I guess the extra sleep worked. Smile

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I have also been trying this whole weekend to get Kari relaxed enough to clip her nails. I set the nail clippers (cat nail clippers) on the computer desk. I don't know how, but she seemed to have a sense of what they were, because she did not like the look of them at all! Every time she's on my lap, even when totally relaxed, she makes sure that her front paws are out of my reach. The few times they aren't, the moment I go for them, she hides them away. Ugh. I really, really need to clip her claws. My hands and arms look like battlefields.

RIP Whitney :(

February 11th, 2012 at 06:30 pm

I grew up with Whitney's music in my ears. Her songs were the ones I'd belt out when no one else was around. I remember walking through the park one day singing "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" in the 7th grade with one particular boy in mind ... "I Will Always Love You" is bar none one of my favorite all time songs ...

Sigh ...

Whitney, you will be missed. Frown

Woke at 4 am

February 8th, 2012 at 06:20 pm

This morning I woke up at 4 with my brain twirlling. I could NOT get back to sleep. What was going through my brain? Thoughts of the upcoming book fair and the upcoming yearbook deadline. The yearbook deadline is March 13, and the book fair materials come March 16.

When I got to work and had a break between classes, I posted a note pleading for help (tips) on how to keep the book fair simple, yet successful, to the main librarian list serve I'm part of. Within less than an hour I had at least 50 replies, two of them from former librarians of my school!!

After reading through the replies, I felt 110% more relaxed about the whole thing. It also helped that I talked to SrN and she reassured me that I wasn't expected to have the library decked out in a big theme - that just the boxes and displays would be more than enough clutter. Smile

In my anxiety this morning I totally forgot to call the place I worked at this summer about my W-2. I must do that tomorrow because I'd really like to get my taxes done so I can get my refund!! My EF needs boosting. Big Grin

Money Flow :) Paypal Update

February 6th, 2012 at 04:46 pm

Today I received a reimbursement of $497.27 for the seminar expenses from the county. I thought that was pretty darn fast! It has been added to my Emergency Fund. I also received money from my dad (I've told him to stop sending it to me, that I have a job and am not in school anymore ... this money is going to a new fund ... take care of the parents someday fund ...)


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I checked my Paypal account today to see if the check I took a picture of a few weeks ago had been deposited yet. It was in my account on Feb. 3, and I have now made a transfer to my ING account. Oh, and now that I know how to take good pictures of checks, it only took me one try to "deposit" my reimbursement check. Big Grin

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I looked online about how to fix a corrupt itunes file (the movie I attempted to download yesterday) and it looks like this is a common thing. I tried all the suggested fixes, but nothing has worked so far. So I'm going to see if I can get a refund. Very annoying because I actually really wanted to see the movie!

Oh well.

The Lost$ is Found!

February 5th, 2012 at 03:03 pm

When I got home today from working at the school (fixing the grading program that was messed up Friday) I looked under the driver's seat for whatever reason. Guess what was there! My $20 bill that I thought was gone forever. Yahoo! I will be so happy to be rid of the cash in my purse so I have no more chances of losing it.

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It took me about 2 hours today to recreate the spreadsheet that was totally messed up on Friday afternoon. All I can say is .. nobody but me from now on is messing with those spreadsheets!

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Saturday I made the mistake of venturing to Walmart - not only the night before Superbowl, but the first weekend of the month when everyone's gotten paid. Yikes!

I spent a bit under $50, but feel pretty stocked up for the next two weeks. I will have absolutely NO more visits to Family Dollar or the mom and pop grocer here - one exception - may need another can of wet cat food (though maybe I can have Kari go without the wet stuff for a few days, or just give her smaller portions ...)

I also filled up with gas - $3.09 - a bit over $28 in all.

Then I went to Walgreens to pick up the photos a friend dropped off for me yesterday. The photos were from 4 of the 6 cameras that I'd given the journalism kids. $60!!! later I had the photos. I'd say of the 4 sets, maybe 15 photos are usable. Next year I am going to insist on getting a couple inexpensive digital cameras for the journalism class. It would be a whole lot less expensive!!!

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I finally watched the two DVDs I've rented twice - they were due back today. Post Grad and 500 Days of Summer - I liked both of them. I stopped by the video store to return them, but it was locked up tight. I'll have to be sure to get by there tomorrow.

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I rented a cute movie (All About Steve) from iTunes (I saw previews of it on one of the movies - Sandra Bullock). I've tried downloading it several times now, but it keeps saying the file is corrupted so won't download. I'm not sure if I should try from my phone, or see if I can get a refund. (Netflix doesn't have it except on DVD.)

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I redeemed points for a $5 AGC on SBs yesterday. The last 30 points were earned via SBTV while reading a book. Big Grin

Now have 400 or so to go to another one.

On irazoo (similar to SB) I'm about 600 points away from a card (need 3000 for them) I mainly just go there when they have treasure codes and then check for videos, etc.

Calls for Chocolate!

February 3rd, 2012 at 04:49 pm

Today was a teacher inservice day. The morning wasn't too bad, the general teacher meeting stuff and we watched a movie about a transgendered Navajo youth who was murdered (called Two Spirits). It was kind of interesting because just last week I was talking to AL (tech coordinator) about how the Navajo/natives view gay people due to one particular 4th grade boy who ... um.. shows some signs. (Funny enough today at lunch one of the teacher assistants brought up this same exact student - she'd worked with him in 2nd grade ..)

Lunch was good - pizza - the cafeteria people made a whole plain cheese one for me and TY (also vegetarian) which I thought was really sweet and thoughtful. Smile

After lunch we were all to go to our classrooms/work spaces and work until 2 pm. then would be free to go. I was thinking that maybe I'd go in to G and do my grocery shopping since we'd be getting out so early. It wasn't meant to be however.

First, the pre-k director SrM came by asking me to help her set up labels to print for her binders. That wasn't too time consuming, and she was so appreciative of my help.

Then the 3rd grade teacher came over and wanted me to delete a couple of her students from the grading program who'd left in the first quarter. I hadn't done it before because, well, I knew it would be really time consuming and I had multiple other things to do. So anyway, I said sure, let's do it. UGH!! I wish now I'd told her I would do it, and not to worry about it.

Long story short, the spreadsheet (and the grading program) is completely messed up now. She had to leave for a doctor's appointment at 3:15, and I continued to work on trying to fix it until 4:30.

On Sunday I'm just going to completely redo the spreadsheet, because the more she (and later I by myself) tried to fix the errors, the more messed up it got. So starting from fresh, while annoying, will probably end up being much quicker.

And like my title states ... chocolate (and soda and a cheese sub from Blimpie!)

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I got an email from SB letting me know I got another $5 AGC. I'm about 200 away from redeeming my next one. Lots of videos out right now thanks to the Superbowl, and soon I'm sure the V-day ones will be out too.

I'm about 2000 away from cashout on Beezag, and about the same on MyPoints.

My Poor Nose :(

February 1st, 2012 at 05:51 pm

I sure ended up with a character for a cat. Last night I was eating one of those individual pizzas - I'd eaten 3/4's of it and was about to go for the last slice. Kari grabs it off the plate and runs off. I run after her and grab it - but not before she takes a good size chunk!!

Then after I was in bed almost asleep, Kari decides to climb the curtain next to my bed. She loses her grip and falls off - onto me. One of her claws swipes my nose, instantly making me wide awake. It bled for awhile, so I put a bandaid on it. I took the bandaid off this morning and it had stopped bleeding.

This is my nose:


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Yesterday I stayed after school and helped out at the concession stand - we had a home game basketball session. I actually kind of had fun. One of the refs recognized me from church ???? (I didn't recognize him...)

Today I stayed late so some of the mid-schoolers could use the computer lab after school to work on projects which are coming due soon. I had a pretty healthy response - though I think most of them just wanted to listen to music. Smile I let them, as long as they are working productively.

I was supposed to return my two DVDs yesterday ... but it didn't happen. Since I hadn't watched them yet, I decided to re rent them today. I also ended up buying a pretzel Blush. $9! About the same price as a Netflix sub. It'll come out of my entertainment budget, so I'll have to choose between doing Netflix this month or watching "One for the Money" in the theater (I'd been thinking of going to see it over the long weekend.)

I also was really jonesing for some chocolate, so stopped at Family Dollar and picked up some chocolate and some sparkling water (better for me than soda, sorta.) Another $5 ... though this was also partly to break a $20 bill so I'd have change for the game tomorrow (not a home game, but played at the public elementary next door to us.) Excuses, excuses...

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Normally I never use cash, but I had $70 in my purse since Christmas. On Saturday I found a Bofa ATM, but my ATM card was a temporary, so it had expired. Thus I couldn't deposit my cash. So I decided to spend the cash just to get rid of it.

And the reason I hate using cash .... somehow $20 is gone.

I spent just under $30 on Saturday for meds, etc., so that should have left me with $40. All I had in my purse as of Tuesday was a $20. I've searched everywhere I can think of. This stinks donkey balls!