I haven't post too much lately, been pretty busy with work and had a couple days where I felt like I almost had what was a migraine ...
I haven't been spending very much recently .. which is good since I'd spent way too much earlier this month...
This past week I had 5 no spend days. Friday was a spend day ... I had to go get fingerprinted and drop off paperwork for teaching summer school. Fingerprinting/background check cost $44.00. But it'll be worth it in the end ... 3 weeks of Summer School pays ~$3k. (More than twice what I'd make in 3 weeks during the regular school year ...) The background check is good as long as I don't take a summer off ... and it counts for me transferring my TX license to NM (which I need to do soon!)
I also finally managed to stop at Walgreens and pick up my prescription - only was out of it for 2 1/2 weeks!! (last weekend I tried twice, and they were closed by the time I got there.)
I sent home overdue notices last week for students/teachers - letting them know the last day to return books was May 18. In short order I had about 40 overdue items returned ... still need 50 or so. 2 weeks left of regular library classes, then the 3rd week will be making sure all books are in/no check out. Then the final week where I'll start inventory (though maybe I'll actually start it the previous week ...) This school does it much differently than anywhere else I've worked. Our final day of school/classes is May 25, and our final on contract work day is May 25. Everywhere else I've been, there's been 4 contract work days past the final school day. Interesting way to do it - would hate to be a classroom teacher with that schedule though.
We only have 25 yearbooks left (started with 84.) I hadn't realized we sold quite so many til Thursday when I counted them to double check the money. I have the feeling most of the remaining ones will vanish this coming week. I've gotten lots and lots of compliments on the yearbook - although I made 3 big mistakes. 1. left out picture of school nurse (she'd asked me to use last year's pic, and in my attempt to do so, I unchecked the box "use this photo" ...) 2. added an extra kid to first grade class (sibling of student not in school yet who got picture taken at same time ...) and 3. misspelled art teachers name on specials page. Arghh! Next year my goal is to have no mistakes!!
Talked to my mom today since I hadn't heard back from her since she'd returned from cruise with friend JH. Surprise surprise - she's back with M with whom she's had a total of 7?? breakups and get backs in a year's time. Oy vey.
I'm wondering if I can make hummus in a Ninja blender?? I was thinking that'd make a good addition to my lunch salad instead of relying on trail mix constantly. But I figure it'd be cheaper for me to make it myself than to buy it pre-made. (plus I can control how spicy it is ... in other words very little spicy!)
I figured out today that I still have full access to my Rocket Spanish account - something I purchased back in 2007. At that time it was only good for a year, so I thought it'd expired. But the upgrade/update has made it lifetime access, and I guess that was retroactive. They've made some cool improvements - including this feature where you can record yourself speaking and match it against the instructors voice. I'd gone through about half of the lessons previously, but am starting back from scratch.
I was looking at the AASL site to see where the next conference is going to be - it's going to be in SC in October. I'm trying to decide if I want to petition to go to it or not ... it would be great to be around a bunch of practicing school librarians, but I was kind of hoping for a site in CA or TX or maybe TN ... someplace where I could meet up with people I knew. I missed that opportunity this year (ALA was in Dallas in January!) I've got a few months to think about it.
There's 3 movies out (or out soon) that I want to see: The Raven (I love Poe, though this sounds like it might be on the gruesome side even for Poe ...); Men in Black 3, and The Avengers. Luckily I have plenty left in my entertainment fund to do all 3 movies. (Will Smith/Robert Downey Jr ... mmmm mmmm!)
Archive for April, 2012
I haven't post too much lately, been pretty busy with work and had a couple days where I felt like I almost had what was a migraine ...
I've been a member of ING since around 2003. The *only* thing about it that wasn't wonderful was that the only way to put money into your account was via transfer from another bank or mailing your check.
Today, that all changed!! They now have the service available to upload images of your check via scanner/camera to deposit, or to use your ING app on a smartphone to deposit checks!! It'll take 5 days to process the check.
I am so excited! I had been depositing checks via PayPal and then transferring to ING. This now cuts the time in half (more really, because I'd often forget to check PP to see if the deposit cleared ...)
If you don't have an ING account yet and are interested, I'd be more than happy to help you out with a referral link. You get $50, and I get $10. I just need an email address (be sure to post it in a goobly gok way so the spiders don't steal it!)
example: My email ***** 1234 *** kareem **** @ **** yahoo (not my email address )
So I was checking my Mypoints CC statement on Friday and I noticed something strange. There was a charge for $36.xx at a gas station, and then for that same day/time/station there was a credit for that same amount. I know I got the gas, and I don't remember anything weird about the transaction. I'm not sure who I'd ask about why I got the money credited back - someone at the gas station I guess ... though unless the manager is there I don't know who else would have a clue by 4. The gas station is about 20 miles from here, so not exactly a place I can just "stop by" til I find a person who knows what happened.
I'm considering going 95% vegan. I'm not interested in being 100% vegan because that would be really difficult here, plus I don't want to have to think about every bite I put in my mouth that much or every article of clothing I purchase ...
So anyway ... one thing I'm trying to figure out is how to make a cottage cheese substitute without using tofu. With my hypothyroidism I need to limit my soy/tofu intake as much as possible (which is hard but not impossible as a vegetarian.) I found one recipe that used soy milk instead of tofu, and am wondering if I could use Rice Milk instead for the same effect?? Vegan Soy Milk CC Mostly I want to use this for making casserole dishes (such as my favorite Special K roast.)
I was invited out to the home of one of our church members yesterday. It was a lot of fun. She'd made Asparagus soup - yum! As well as vegetarian tamales (again - yum!) As we were talking, I found out that she'd met her husband at Weimar while attending an 18-day Diabetes reversal seminar. Weimar is run by the Seventh-day Adventist church and has at it's foundation the idea of NEWSTART. (She was pretty impressed that I remembered most of what that stood for - from 7th grade science.) Nutrition, Exercise, Water, Sunshine, Temperance (moderation), Air, Rest, Trust (in a higher power.) What you eat while there is essentially a vegan diet, and you learn how to cook numerous vegan dishes. You also get daily massages and hydrotherapy (hot/cold water treatments.)
I've thought about going and participating in a session before, but never had done any real research into it. After talking with her and hearing first hand about it, I was even more interested. I did some research last night on it (i.e. cost) and realized it is probably not something I'd ever be able to afford unless I develop health problems where my insurance would be willing to help with the cost to allay the health problems.
So ... I already know that eating ice cream doesn't agree with me very well anymore and I rarely if ever drink real milk ... so cheese, eggs and cottage cheese would be the main things I would need to figure out how to do without. Even with eggs though I generally use the egg substitute ...
My plan is to finish eating what I already have in my cupboards/fridge/freezer but then from now on, whatever I purchase will be non-dairy.
Two things I won't give up will be honey and chocolate. (Which is part of why I'm not going 100% vegan -- really, technically, I'll just essentially be a bit stricter of a vegetarian. Currently I'm considered a lacto-ovo vegetarian (dairy products.)
I was told we have a health food store in big G - so I may try looking that up and see what they have to offer.
I think by doing this, my grocery bill will actually eventually go down. I'm hoping that my cravings for sugar/junk food will be reduced the more healthily I eat, and I'll feel better overall so will have more energy (mental and physical) to actually *make* food rather than be a mainly microwave cook. (I still would do a lot of microwaving - just of food that I prepared ahead of time myself and froze.)
---Anyway, I probably won't get too serious about this til school is out and I have time to really figure everything out. All I know is that I need to do something to stop the direction of my scale and something to give myself the energy to not be a computer potato.
This week we have a male candidate coming! I imagine he's interviewing for a mid-school position. I bet our PE teacher would LOVE to have another male teacher at the school so he wouldn't be so outnumbered.
My hot water went out sometime in the last two days. I discovered it Saturday morning as I was about to take a shower before going to church. No one knows the number for the new maintenance person of course. One of my coworkers has already offered me the use of her guest shower, but it still leaves me with a sinkful of dirty dishes (which I'd planned on washing last night.)
I tried relighting it myself (like the person showed me how to do last time) but I couldn't get it to work. Arghh!
When I was at Walmart Friday I saw a summer dress with beautiful beading on it's front. I tried it on and it fit perfectly. It'll be a great dress for SrN's special retirement assembly (has a very native american feel to it.) As I was heading to the fitting rooms, I came across a display of flat sandals (the kind with enclosed heels and criss cross open straps.) They had a pair in my size!! Normally it takes me months and months to find a shoe that I like and that is in my size - but here I found *exactly* what I'd been looking for last summer, before I'd even started to formally begin my latest search. (the sandals I wore last summer/early fall are pretty much shot - even with the $50 price tag!) The dress and shoes cost $26 together. I'm thinking of maybe going back and getting a second pair of the sandals - just because I know how hard it is to find them (and because I'm thinking of using one pair for church/dressy occasions, and one pair for every day wear.)
I called the medical clinic on Monday about my prescription not being refilled. No apologies were offered, but they said they'd take care of it. I finally got a message from Walgreens on Thursday that my prescription was ready for me! I was going to stop by on Friday, but forgot until it was too late. Then it became too late yesterday as well. I'm going to call them today to make sure it isn't the generic, then I'll go in a 3rd time to town - maybe take in "Lucky One" while I'm in town so it's not a trip *just* for a prescription!!
On a whim tonight I decided to log in to all my credit card accounts. I made an interesting discovery (ha ha) when looking at my Discover account. Apparantally they pull surprise categories for the 5% cash back thing. Groceries had not been included previously for April - June, but has been added as a category for May - up to $300. So ... I guess I'll be buying $300 of Walmart gift cards in May - Or I'll see how much I spend in grocery categories in May, then get the remainder of the $300 in grocery gift cards. Seeing as though I was already thinking of doing it this way to try to help curb my grocery bill....
The other night I dropped my wireless keyboard and the batteries fell out. They needed replacing anyway, so I replaced them. As I was working on replacing them I apparently was depressing the enter key -- and was on a SB search page. When I looked up from working on the batteries I found a Searching Too Fast warning. So I wrote to SB support immediately to explain what happened.
Tonight I get an email back from them all but accusing me of cheating - i.e. using a bot or auto refresher. To my knowledge I've never missed one of those stupid captchas, and I definitely know I don't have a bot or auto refresher. I would do nothing to jeopardize my best source of free books for the library!!
My inclination was to write back a bit of a nasty note ... but I resisted. I'm not sure that any kind of a response would be a good idea. Just roll my eyes at their idiocy and make sure that the enter key doesn't get depressed like that again on a search page. Argh!
I'm just about through with S4 of Pretender - at least the episodes that Hulu + has available. That's part of why I haven't been too active here lately.
We've interviewed three people here in the last few weeks. One of them has definitely been given a contract, one definitely not, and the last one I'm not sure of yet. Next year sure is going to be interesting ... To put it one way .. the teachers who are leaving are in their mid-20's/30's. All 3 who've interviewed so far are in their mid 50's to early 60's. The one that was hired - I didn't get a chance to really get a feel for her comfort level with technology - though she did state that she thought FB was a big waste of time and she doesn't have an account. While I agree that it can be a waste of time, here it has been a great way for those teachers who are connected on it to communicate outside of school hours.
Anyway ... I better head off to the haystacks ... tomorrow I have no classes (because my normal classes are all off to a Bishop's Mass in little G for the majority of the day) however, I have a lot to do in the library and computer lab.
I received my AGC from Mypoints today. $50 in books will be ordered soon.
Arghh!! So last weekend I realized I was down to my last 4 Synthroid - so I called Walgreen's for a refil. Oops, I was out of refills so they had to get approval from my doctor. I didn't hear anything AT ALL from either Walgreen's or my doctor.
So today after potluck I stopped at Walgreen's hoping that it was just an oversight that I hadn't gotten a text saying my prescription was ready. Nope. Apparentally when they called my doctor's office, whoever answered told them that my refill request was denied. That the NP who'd prescribed the previous prescription had left (retired) and I needed to see the new person.
Um ... can we say incompetent? Perhaps disorganized? Perhaps some other words that aren't very nice??? I had blood work done in January - because I'd been low on them and rationing, my numbers were really off. So I had to come back and get more done. Which I did, on Ash Wednesday (I remember that because I ended up missing most of the Ash Wednesday Mass at school.) The appt. was only supposed to be for bloodwork, but I was surprised with .. are you ready for it?? .... the new doctor!
So of course they are closed until Monday. I'll be calling them on Monday and raising a fuss, but even if they immediately call in a new prescription for me I will either have to make an extra trip to G ((35 miles one way) or wait til Friday when I'm going to G anyway. I should ask them if they'll take $10 off my bill I just got from them for gas money to make the extra trip! Hah!
I've been out since Thursday (and that was with skipping a dose on Monday) so if I wait til Friday, it would be ten days off of it - which is really not good for keeping the levels stable.
I thought about asking a co-worker who also takes the same dosage if I could have 4 of hers and then when I get my next scrip replace them, but then I remembered that she takes the generic kind. I won't touch the generic kind with a ten foot pole.
I also thought about asking the clinic if they had any samples at that dosage ... but the likelihood of that is slim to none ...
Seriously though, if the clinic got a call alerting them to the fact that I was trying to get a refill and they denied it -WHY didn't they call me and tell me??? If I had any other place to go here for medical stuff, I would go there in a heartbeat. But they are my only option unless I go 30+ miles away.
It actually is probably good they were closed today - I might have bit somebody's head off.
In other news ... we had a snowstorm today! About an inch stuck for a few hours - mostly gone already although it is still lightly snowing. Thursday we had a high of 68, and Monday the high is supposed to be in the high 60's/low 70's. Crazy weather.
My stand fan quit working and our swamp coolers are still covered to prevent them freezing. So Friday when I went grocery shopping I bought a new stand fan. I also bought another $60 worth of groceries. I'm not sure why I bought so much at one time - mostly it was canned soups, veggie baked beans, canned sweet peas (had them at the school cafe last week and got a real hankering for more ...), etc.
No more grocery shopping for me this month, that's for sure!!
I had 4 new tires put on my car Friday. It came out to $269.xx. Gulp. I can definitely tell a difference in the smoothness of the ride and even the noise level (much quieter.) I was going to only get 3 new tires since one of them was only maybe 2 years old, but my dad talked me into getting them all replaced (and sweetened the pot by insisting on paying for the 4th one even though I told him it wasn't necessary.) I suppose when it finally comes time to let go of my car it will be good to have newer tires on it.
On another frugal forum where I read I saw someone post about the idea of "future me." The gist of it is that when you are out and about spending money or trying to find "extra" money, that you put it in the context of your future self. For example, in ten years your future self may need an extra $50 for a tank of gas to go to the grocery store. Or, in 20 years your future self may need an extra $200 to fill a badly needed prescription, etc.
So, just like if a good friend needed $20 to fill their gas tank so they could get to work (and you knew they weren't being frivolous with their spending...) you would find a way to come up with the $20 to help them out. Or if your parent needed $50 to fill a very necessary prescription ... you'd find a way to make that happen.
In the same vein, another person suggested looking at your health in the same way. Yes, eating this donut right now might sound really good to Now Self, but is it helping future self be more healthy? Sitting in front of the tv for several hours when you get home from work may sound good to Now Self, but what could you do for your future self - to make your future self more healthy?
Anyway, I thought it was a really neat way to look at both financial and other everyday decisions - to not consider the consequences/benefits of only NOW, but to factor in Future consequences/benefits. Somehow I think if I did this more, I would make some better decisions - both financially and healthwise.
What do y'all think? Does this make sense to you?
Today I went to ABQ with three of my coworkers - 5th, 6th and IT. The impetus for the trip was to go spend the available Sch $$ before they expired, but of course when you make a 90 minute one-way trip you want to include as much else as possible.
Our first stop was the book warehouse. I ended up spending $134, $91 of which was covered by Sch $$. The remainder I plan on being reimbursed from our book fair cash proceeds. The others with me also bought some books. We all had way too much fun.
6th had a haircut appt, so we headed towards the mall. But first we stopped at Pet Smart where 6th bought dog supplies and I bought cat supplies (including a felliway type collar that is supposed to help calm anxiety in cats ... we'll see ...) At the mall we all got something called Bubble tea - so called because they put these little chewable bubbles inside your drink which you get with most all of your sips. It's good, but different.
While waiting for 6th to finish her hair appointment, the rest of us went to various stores. One was Old Navy where I got a native style top for 60% off.
We were all ready for lunch by this point, so we stopped at Sweet Tomatoes - kind of similar to Souper Salad. It was very good.
IT had never been inside of a Krispy Kreme store, so of course we had to stop there and let her see it in action. We all left with donuts.
I was really wanting some more veggie corn dogs, and 6th grade wanted to go to Sunflower?? Market - so that's where we went next. I didn't find my corndogs, but I did find my very favorite Amy's dish - Brown Rice and Veggies! I got 3 of them at the sale price of $3.99 (Her meals can be up to $5.50 at some places.)
Next, we headed to Costco where I filled up with gas ($3.61/gall ~8 gallons) and also bought 8 veggie/rice burritos for $10.
Our final stop was Papa Murphy's. 5th grade's family has a Good Friday tradition of eating pizza for supper and she was really missing her family. IT and I also both got pizzas (additionally, I bought a $3 S'Mores dessert pizza - couldn't resist for the price/size!) Total for me there was $14 (I added two extra toppings to my pizza - spinach and pineapple.)
Overall I would say that it was a very good day! And I still have 3 days left of my weekend. **Best of all, everything I spent today fits into my budget.
We have the next four days off of school! As one of the teachers put it - one perk of working at a Catholic school.
Today I participated in a Passover Seder meal with the mid-school students. It was really nicely done, and the kids did a pretty good job behavior wise. I was telling AL (our IT person) about how the 3 mid-school teachers washed the feet (1 foot really) of 3 mid-schoolers -- and that in my church we have a foot washing service every 13 weeks where all the women wash each other's feet, and all the men wash each other's feet, and then follow that with a communion service. She'd never heard of the practice of foot-washing. (She's not Catholic, but a fairly traditional Apache.)
So tomorrow myself and several teachers are headed into ABQ to go to the Sch Book Warehouse and spend some money. I *should* have $175 to spend there, but since we didn't get our final book fair check in yet, I only have $91. I hope that the remainder of the dollars can be set to NOT expire before I have another chance to get down there. (All the dollars are bonus dollars for doing different things during and before the book fair.) Otherwise I'll lose half of them in shipping and handling.
Because of our trip coming up tomorrow (and that I'm taking my car) I took my car to the local auto shop to get the oil changed and a general checkup. The oil + balance/rotation was $49. Unfortunately the mechanic found that 3 of my tires have one or more bulges and need to replaced soon. They are all pretty old, so I'm not shocked at the prognosis.
I'll be having all 4 replaced on Monday for about $269 (the 4th one is okay, but is fairly old too - and I decided that it would be better to have all 4 tires the same age/make, etc.) These will hopefully be the last tires I personally put on this car (only reason I'd be putting on another tire would be if one got an un-fixable hole.)
When I got home today I also cleaned out my car -- well... at least the inside of it. The trunk still is about half-full ... but I at least have room for passengers now.
A few days ago I signed up for Hulu Plus. What I think I'll probably do is do HP 1 month and then Netflix one month - just go back and forth. Part of what made me do this is that I really wanted to watch The Pretender again and only HP had that. Of course the first couple episodes of S1 aren't working right now (on my computer at least) so instead I started watching the program "Awake." Interesting (2 eps in.)
I checked my BOFA account yesterday, and saw that they'd taken out a monthly fee again! So I contacted the online CS person. They reversed the fee, and assured me it wouldn't reoccur. If it does, I will be closing that account faster than Superman can fly around the world.
Tonight I spoke with my Aunt in CA to make sure that the night I plan on arriving to her city was ok. She was more than happy, and told me that my cousin J will be there too. I haven't seen J since my brother's college graduation - 2001?? So that will be nice to see her again. (She's 12 I think.)
I will be arriving in N CA on Tuesday night July 11. Then flying to S CA on Sunday. Then going home by train again. Can you believe I saved $12 by going on a Tuesday instead of a Monday or Wednesday??
Total trip (minus flight since dad/grandma are paying for that) will be $188.00. I priced out flights for the entire itinerary, and it was close to $200 more. I may buy a second extra battery though for my phone because after reading the documentation more carefully, it doesn't look like the trains I'll be on will have very many electrical outlets. Of course I'll probably be sleeping most of the first leg of the trip ...
I am really looking forward to this! I hope that I get to meet with my fellow SA'rs on the 14th.
I bought a lazer pointer this afternoon, and then preceded to tease Kari with it for nearly 30 minutes. She was quite enthusiastic about it. Well worth the $1.
The DFW area got some really major storms today. Tornadoes touching down and everything. My good friend TC who is a K teacher at a school I used to work at told me they were in the halls for two-hours! So far everyone I've heard from was fine. I did hear though that the hometown of an ex-bf was hit *really* hard. I texted my mom, but haven't heard back yet. She is probably still in the middle of tutoring right now (tutors 4 - 9 M - TH) so I'm not worried.
I redeemed the last of my 5 $5 AGCs from SBs today for April. I have almost enough left for the first 3 in May - if I get credit for an offer I took a few days ago, I'll have enough for all 5. Then I can start working on June's.
*I think most of the March charges have come in and have been accounted for (other than the hotel charge.*
Income: 2 paychecks, dad's gift, state income tax refund, SB AGC giftcards
Eating Out: 49.08
Life Insurance (1 yr premium): 194.50
Kari (cat): 40.07
ROTH : 100.00 (300/1500 goal)
EF: 130.94 (1853.75/5000 goal)
Car Fund: 250 (500/5000 goal)
iPhone: 15 (75/210 goal)
Summer Travel: 190 (190/500 goal)
ROTH + EF savings is more than 10% of income this month, but definitely not where I'd like it to be. Part of the reason it's less this month is because I spent more than I'd planned on my two-day trip, and partly because I spent more than I'd planned on books at the book fair. (Otherwise I'd have an additional $258 from tax refund put into savings.)
I also am now starting to divert some of my funds into travel savings/spending categories, so my total % saved (actual savings with no spending goal in mind) is going to go down.
Groceries/Eating Out - Ugh. Double ugh. I *must* get a handle on this. A big part of the expenses is that I didn't really budget for my two-day trip. When I decided that I was going to postpone the trip I *really* wanted to do for Spring Break, I kind of stuck my head in the sand about planning money for what I'd do instead.
*Must Not Stick Head in Sand!!*
Life Insurance: This is a $50k 20 year term policy. It will expire when I'm 56. I got it partially so that if anything happens to me my funeral expenses are covered. Now of course with Kari, it will also help cover the expenses of whoever takes her in. I figure by the time I'm 56 I'll have enough other assets to definitively cover both instances (funeral expenses and pet care.)
*I had forgotten about this coming up ... so it also came out of what would have been savings this month. I now have set up a category for it so I'll be ready next March and not have to dip into that months savings!
Miscellaneous: A humidifier, a PIF, and an app. *I realized as I was doing this that a $64 hotel charge has not been accounted for. I thought that the first $40 had already been charged, but I can't find
where I accounted for it. (The last $20 is for the pet fee. My coworker paid me for her part + the pet fee in cash.)
Kari: food, toys
Library - hawaiian leis for book fair, food for the book fair, books from book fair, etc.
Entertainment - "Hunger Games", audible.com, app
Gas - two fill ups
Overall, I'm doing okay. It still looks like I'll be able to make my savings goals for this year. I need to be careful though, and watch my spending more closely. **NO more overspending in the library category!!**
This morning I got a phone call from my mom. She told me that she had bought a couple of the mega millions tickets (not too big of a surprise there). She had just checked her numbers against the winning numbers this morning ... and found out that she had won!! Whoa!!
April Fools (don't I wish it was true ... )