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Archive for April, 2013

What a day!

April 30th, 2013 at 04:29 am

This morning I was walking out my door to head to work and found three wild horses roaming around my front yard and my neighbors yard. I took pictures, but will have to share them tomorrow (need to get to bed!)

Then I talked to my principal this afternoon to let her know about some of the drama (no names) and find out the real story. That went well. At the staff meeting today we were told that contracts should be coming out next week - yay!

Then after the meeting two of my coworkers, myself, and three dogs (two of them one of my coworkers, and one is a loose neighborhood dog who's attached itself to us) were out walking our short route when a dog which is usually penned up tight (sounding quite vicious) came out of nowhere and started attacking my coworkers Newfie! Thankfully the owners were in the yard and were able to call it off ... but holy cow!

At lunch today I ate at home, and just before leaving I finally got the courage up to send an email to old bf asking him if he'd be available to talk. Gulp. He responded saying anytime ...

So tonight after about an hour and a half of finding every reason in the world to delay the call, I finally called him. 2 1/2 hours later we hung up.

Big Eyes -- we're going to be getting together in a week and a half in CO at a half-way point!!!! I'm scared to death (but I think he is too ...) but also way excited. He's going to do some research about where might be the best spot to land, and we'll talk again Wednesday night.

I wish I'd had the courage to do this years ago. Don't cry over spilled milk though, right? I don't know what the outcome of it will be, but at least I won't have to wonder anymore.

When I first said maybe we should see each other in person, he immediately said, "When and where?" Then when I suggested May 24, he was like, I'm not getting any younger, that's an eternity. So I'm going to use one of my personal days (which I'll need to put in for tomorrow - so it's at least a week in advance.) Then I'll have to see if one of my coworkers will look in on Kari.

OMW!!!!!

I've gotta figure out how to get a haircut, manicure and pedicure before going!! Maybe this Sunday before I am supposed to be volunteering at our church event (taking professional photos of community members - not me taking the photos, I'm going to be a walking greeter person) I will have to ask my coworker where she had her hair done. (my hair badly needs a cut, it hasn't been cut since last summer before my dad's memorial service.)

Babysitting and Swagbucks ... etc

April 29th, 2013 at 03:22 am

(lost entry Frown )

Babysitting today went fairly well. They were a bit harder to keep entertained than the last few times, even with the addition of my iPad. Got paid $35, so a little better than a Saturday night job.
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SBS - with today's earnings have enough for May's 5 $5 cards. Am now working on the extra cards for May.
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Drama, drama, school drama. More of it. (Yes, even on the weekend.) Related to our contracts. Supposedly one teacher has already had her contract given to her, and the rest of us have to wait til May 10's In-service mtg. Rolleyes Am planning on casually asking principal tomorrow about contracts w/o letting on about one teacher who supposedly already has hers. Oy vey.
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Thinking about the ten item grocery list CCF posted about. I couldn't do a static list, but a flexible one could work I think. It may help with my escalating grocery budget too.

Things like oatmeal, brown sugar, raisins, peanut butter, and jelly are only purchased a few times a year. Bread, Rice Dream, Cottage cheese 1 - 2 x a month. So that leaves a lot of open spaces for fresh fruits and veggies (and frozen berries for smoothies.)

Post will self destruct in 24 hours

April 28th, 2013 at 12:37 am

Thanks everyone for you comments and insights. They have given me much food for thought.

re post

April 27th, 2013 at 03:30 am

Wow, lost my post and it wasn't even a long one (which is why I didn't do the ctrl-a/save .. doh!)

Anyway .. lots of drama at school. Mostly due I think to end of year tiredness. Found out that the person at school that irks me is retiring, and the person that irks the IT person the most is leaving also.

Car has Maintenance needed light on - only broached 50k miles and just had oil changed. Not sure why the light is on - running fine.

Cashed out for a $15 AGC on SBs today. Need about 300 more for my May 5 $5 AGCs.

Phone is working well again ... think it heard me contemplating replacing it. Smile

Have decided to not go to TX this summer, just CA. Esp. considering I'll go to TX 2014 summer for TCs son's 8th grade graduation. Mom will just have to live with it.

Tiring weekend - children's story at church tomorrow (telling story of Hannah); then babysitting on Sunday.

Ok, that was the jist of my post ...

5 Weeks!

April 23rd, 2013 at 03:29 am

Less than 5 weeks actually til the school year is over. May 24 is our last day, but the last 3 days are half days, and we have an in-service day coming up soon. This year has just gone by so quickly!

I am so thankful for my friend and co-worker who does the IT at our school. The servers were playing hide and seek with me Thursday and Friday, and so many lesson plans got scrapped. Today I was very anxious because the 8th graders needed to finish their graduation announcements, and I won't have class with them next week due to a field trip. So she manually updated the 3rd, 4th and 8th grade folders for me and then copied them to a flash drive after the class was over. Smile She also helped me out with the 4th grade boys this afternoon when I had 12 of them trying to figure out how to do a screen shot and at least half of them were desperate for help ... (they had explicitly written instructions, plus I'd shown them how to do it before sending them to the computers.)

After school today we had a meeting with the summer school teachers. I basically have about 25 hours of academic instruction time within the two weeks, and then roughly 18 hours of art/music/creative time. I'll have 3 fantastic teacher assistants, and as of now have 19 kids (3rd, 4th, 5th). The theme is the environment. I plan on having the kids read The Lorax, Wartville Wizzard, Just a Dream, Miss. Rumphius, Wump World, The Great Kapok Tree, several books on Reduce/Reuse/Recycle, etc. Then have them do some kind of writing/art projects based on the books. For math we'll be focusing entirely on problem solving and basic facts (add/sub/multi/div). Science shouldn't be too difficult to tie in and find some fun hands-on projects.

I'm planning on heading out to San Jose after summer school is over (my part at least.) I was looking at taking the train again, but the cost differential between a train ticket and a Southwest flight doesn't make any sense. If I don't get a room on the train either direction, flying will still cost $100 less. If I got a room, then flying would cost $600!! less. Not to mention that flying would take about six hours (adding in travel time to ABQ), whereas the train trip would take 23hrs.

I think I'll probably just stay a week. Both my Aunt and my brother work, so I really hate to go out there and have them feel like they have to take time off work to entertain me. It was different when I'd go visit my dad, since his main job was taking care of grandma.

I might go to TX too, although that visit I'll keep to less than a week ... and be over a weekend so one of my days at least can be taken with church/visiting friends .. I think I need the revitalization of my TX church family. I need to check and see when TC will be in town, so I can see her and "my" kids. TCs son who I held when he was barely a week old will be graduating from 8th grade next school year! I need to be planning for that trip! I haven't missed one of his graduations yet (nor his younger sisters.) Smile

Thanks to the wind last week, my hot water heater went out. I found that out on Wednesday night when I took a shower and the warmish water ran out in less than ten minutes. I called the maintenance guy on Friday (couldn't find a working number for him til then) but it was too late in the day. Thankfully they came and got it relit this morning! I did a load of dishes tonight, and am about to hit the shower. Smile

One good thing about the delay is that it motivated me this weekend to do some deeper cleaning than I have been doing. Kari wasn't quite sure what to make of it, me sweeping and scrubbing .. I think she was worried I was about to take off on a trip. Smile

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I got an email today asking if I'd babysit for the same girls I've babysat for a number of times on Sunday. It's for 5 hours, so I hope they're planning on more than $30 .. but I'm not sure how to say that without sounding greedy. We'd never said a set hourly rate, just set $30 as the rate for a Saturday evening job.

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My phone seems to be losing its charge much faster - especially the last few days. Its life may be coming to an end. (Or maybe I'm looking for a good reason to upgrade so that the GymPact home workout feature can work? It doesn't work on a 3gs phone....) If I got the 4s, it'd be around $100, or I could see if my brother was ready to upgrade and get his phone for free (a 4.) I hate though to get locked into another contract because who knows when Ting will get the iPhone - once that happens, I'll be a Ting customer faster than you can say Howdy Doodie!

If my phone keeps this up, I'll need to charge it during the school day so that it has enough charge for when I do my walks. That usually uses around 35% or so charge (GPS tracking.)

I've been talking about replacing my phone for a couple years, maybe it's finally time to actually do it.

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Well better go get my shower and attempt to get some shut eye. I wish I was going with the mid-school tomorrow - they're getting to see a Triple A baseball team game in ABQ. For a lot of them it'll be their first time seeing an organized sport team game.

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Got my newest car loan balance - $3,687.xx. I paid $6.29 in interest since my last payment. $300 payment, $293 went to the balance, and 6.29 went to interest.

Checking in

April 18th, 2013 at 02:56 am

This week is National Library Week .. nothing happened during it last year, and I wasn't expecting anything this year either. But I think the first grade teacher came up with the idea to do something for it .. the Kinder and First classes made a poster where they chose their favorite book and drew a picture from it. So cute! Then yesterday (National Librarian's Day) the K and 1 classes all came to the library and said thank you to me and gave me a "hip, hip, hooray." Then we had cookies that the first grade teacher had made. (This is the same teacher who'd complained to the principal about how many classes her kids had missed.)

It was really sweet. Smile

I've been watching Heroes on Netflix the last couple weeks, plus been busy with other stuff .. so kind of been neglecting to blog here.

I'm really liking the balance in my savings account after the tax refunds ... so I've decided that I'm just going to keep paying $300/mo on my car. Then when November hits, I'll pay off whatever the balance is. Doing that might cost me an extra $20 in finance charges (rather than getting it paid off by July), but having a healthy balance in my accounts gives me peace of mind worth a lot more than $20.

I don't remember if I mentioned this or not, but I have had it confirmed that I am teaching summer school - I'll have grades 2nd - 4th. It'll go for two weeks, and I'll make approximately $1300. Practically what I make in a regular month..... I'm going to be very careful about what I spend of my own money for this (especially considering how much I spent last year and then ended up not teaching, so no money ...) Our theme is the environment, and I've found some good resources that are free and cheap. Art materials can pretty much be free too - just have kids bring in recyclables. Smile I had planned on doing an Earth Day unit/activities in the library, but won't be now (the K teacher who's doing Kinder/First for summer school told me she's doing the same thing! Big Grin )

We've had snow in the middle of the week now two weeks a row with temps in the high 60s surrounding snow days... The wind the past few days has been really bad - so bad on Monday and Tuesday that there was NO way we were going to walk in it - the dust made it impossible (unless we had face masks and goggles ...)

Fan girl .... looking forward to Ironman 3. Big Grin Just sayin' Big Grin

I was going to take the afternoon off today to do some household chores since I didn't have any classes this afternoon (special surprise assembly for 4th+ nixed my afternoon class.) But then the lady from the Americ@rps division we're associated with decided to hold our meeting during church music. So I decided it wasn't worth it to take a 1/2 personal day for 2 hours!! So I cataloged books and worked on finding resources for summer school instead.

In April I had a total of $160 in AGCs! $60 from signing up for the Amazon cc, $50 from the Nielsen thing I have on my phone, and the other $50 from Swagubucks. All but about $5 of it is spent - got the last package of books today. I think I'll have some very happy 4th and 5th graders on Friday, and a happy 8th grader on Monday. Big Grin I have enough SBs now for May's $25, so am going to work towards maybe a $15 one by the end of this month.

Today's preschool storytime on Earth Day reminded me that I needed to beef up our selection of appropriate books for 3 and 4 year olds! I really wonder what the previous librarians did for the storytimes because we have so few books that really are good for that age level (at least on the topics their teachers are working on.)

I can't remember if I mentioned this either or not. During Spring Break I went to the doctor and had my TSH levels (thyroid) checked, along with a few other things. My levels were out of whack, so the doctor upped my medication level. She told me she thought that my thyroid might be why I was getting the leg tingles. I've been taking the new dosage for nearly two weeks now, and the tingles are happening MORE than they were before! (Well, at least that was true for the first week or so, this week they have seemed to die down finally.) I also have been having a good bit of trouble both getting to sleep and staying asleep, which has been very frustrating. I don't know if the new dosage is to blame or not though, because around the same time I started taking it, I also started taking the generic of Allegra D 24 hr.

I need to call my Aunt for her birthday, so I better be going. (Wasn't planning to be so verbose!) I will try to check in a bit more frequently so my posts aren't so long. Smile

This and That

April 5th, 2013 at 12:52 am

So today I received my $25 AGC from SBs and put it into my gift card balance on Amazon. While I was there, I noticed that the sign up bonus for the Amazon credit card was $60! That is the most I've ever seen it at. So ... I succumbed and applied. I was approved (although I had to give my physical address - need to figure out how to let them know my mailing address - don't get mail at my house.)

Guess how long it took me to spend the $60 credit? Big Grin I'll have some cool new books for the kids on Monday. Smile

I had a dentist appointment on Tuesday and told them about my tooth pain from Baltimore (February trip.) The DA and dentist looked at it, and took an xray. It looks like I will be needing a root canal. Frown The only place to have that done is in ABQ, so I will be trying to get an appointment for the last week of May (after school is out.) Good thing I didn't spend my tax refund yet I guess (might mean my car doesn't get paid off by June, but it still will be paid off no later than December!!)

I also had a doctors appointment this week. I had her do the thyroid bloodwork, but also asked her to check my Vitamin D levels. She also added in checking magnesium levels (I think because of the leg tingles?) I got a call today asking me to come in for a follow up appointment - so she must have seen something in my bloodwork. I *think* the follow up appointment is included in the office visit fee from Monday - at least I hope it is!

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I received my payment from Second Spin for Person of Interest - $11.00. (They didn't reimburse shipping - I thought they did that??) Of course I promptly turned around and gave in to the temptation to purchase the first ten episodes of Warehouse 13 S4 on Amazon... (have 3 episodes left to watch now)

I have not gotten much accomplished at all over Spring Break. Not really all that surprised ... am good at making plans and having ideas of what all I want to accomplish, and then end up not getting ten percent of it done. I still have 3 days though, right? Smile

My cough is much, much better. Not gone completely, but so much better. I'm still using generic Vicks at night, and taking generic Allegra D. Between the two, it seems to be helping.

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I called Vangaurd today to check on the status of my rolling over the IRA from the bank CD. They processed the paperwork today, and it should be taken care of within a week to ten days. Yay! Now maybe that money will actually earn its keep. Smile

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I have done very poorly in March (and now April) at keeping track of my spending. I am thinking of doing a fresh start in YNAB (budgeting program.) I will have to say though, that this has been one of the longer consistent stints of tracking my finances - nearly 8 months. So, I guess I should pat myself on the back for that. Smile Maybe this next stint will last longer. One can always hope.

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After my doctors appt tomorrow, I plan on going into the school for a few hours. I *have* to do this because I *have* to finish putting together my information for certification in NM!!! Sometimes I am such a bad procrastinator ... I'm pretty sure I have everything I need to send in for it, and have had it for a couple of weeks!! Mailing anything though nowadays is just not something that sticks out in my mind as a to do ...

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A friend of mine was talking/emailing me about some of their experiences on a dating site. It made me wonder how long it had been since I'd put my profile on hold on that site ... checked into it, and it was 2007!! Um... a few years. I decided to unhold it and put together an updated profile. Not surprisingly, no interest yet. (I was honest about my weight - a question they ask for the profile - so ...) It probably doesn't help either that my life isn't all that terribly interesting (unless you get into family drama stuff, then maybe it's a little *too* interesting, as in run off screaming fast as possible interesting....)

So anyway ... instead of cleaning like I should be doing, I'm going to go finish watching the last 3 episodes of Warehouse 13. Maybe I'll get to cleaning after that.... Rolleyes

Stocks can be fun :)

April 1st, 2013 at 05:04 pm

I was telling my brother this morning that I wished our dad had been here to see today -- the stock that most of our family has invested in which opened at around $17 (and which is what my dad invested in it at - I started in it at around $23) shot up to over $47 this morning! So practically tripled from when it first was put out on the market. (Don't you love how I use such precise terminology?)

Who knew it would really shoot up like this? Although I put a little bit of my own money in it, I didn't put too much, and was admittedly worried about how gung ho most of my dad's side of the family was in investing in this stock. But it looks like it may have actually really paid off. (The stock shot up nearly $9 in one day due to the company announcing it is profitable. So .. I don't think this is a one-off deal. The price will probably not stay so high, but still I think it is a pretty darn cool thing.) Big Grin

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Anyone see the daily goal for Swagbucks today? Big Grin