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Archive for October, 2013

Dog is Gone, etc.

October 31st, 2013 at 07:03 pm

I was extremely happy yesterday morning to get a FB message from the owner of the dog I was dogsitting telling me that they'd cut their trip short and had arrived home Tuesday evening. When would be a good time to come pick up their dog?

They arrived Wednesday afternoon shortly after 4 - the dog seemed to be completely overjoyed at having her family back. Almost as happy as me to have my house back to normal. Smile They gave me a $50 Wal-mart gift card as a thank you, which I gladly accepted.

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I also had a babysitting job on Sunday evening with the two girls I watch every so often. That was another $35.

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I saw an offer discussed on My Money Blog which I was really interested in, but unfortunately would not meet the requirements. It is for a bank offering $20/month if you open a checking account and a savings account - then have two direct deposits a month totaling $1500 AND make two bill payments a month. If it wasn't for the amount of the direct deposits, I would totally go for it. (I'd come up short by $75.) I guess this is an example of how people who make good incomes are able to take advantage of things to earn more money. Oh well, I'm happy with my banking setup right now anyway.

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I got an email from Pinecone telling me how to setup my account for PayPal payments. I'd looked all over the site to do it previously, but somehow had missed it. So now I'm set up for Paypal payments. Which is very good since I have about $18 in Pinecone checks that are sitting in my "to do" box ....

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I stayed home tonight rather than going to the annual teacher/staff gathering to hand out candy to the neighborhood /surrounding area kids. I just didn't feel like being in a group/socializing, nor did I feel like being out in the cold. So staying home and getting to bed at a decent hour .. that sounded wonderful.

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I am having a health issue right now that is concerning me. From what I've gleaned from the Internet, it could be caused by three or four possibilities. One would be a happy possibility, one would be an okay possibility, and the other two I don't want to even entertain the thought. I have a doctor appointment a week from tomorrow to do a recheck of my TSH (thyroid) level, so I plan on bringing up my concerns then. This, on top of not having gotten back to my normal self since March when I had bronchitis, is extremely frustrating.

Book Fair is Over!

October 26th, 2013 at 01:10 pm

Despite my despair over having at least 30% less product than the previous two years, we still managed to make a similar amount to last year's profits! Of course, Schl is I guess trying to cut corners - which I found out when filling out the financial forms. The past two years I received Schl dollars for Principal Involvement, having a Middle School Crew, attending a Webinar, and having a Parent Event. This totaled around $150. This year I didn't read through the promotional materials because I thought I knew what I was doing (and was kind of distracted ...) so assumed I'd be able to earn for those things again. Nope. I only got $25 for attending a Webinar.

Since I used $35 Schl$ to pay my student crew (7 kids who helped me out on Tuesday - P/T Conference day), as well as spending $200 Schl$ on books from the fair ... this meant that I had to take some of our profits as Schl$. Thankfully it only reduced our cash profit by about $100. One of our teachers has said that he plans on using the Online link to purchase some items as well, so if that really happens, then we'll see a little bit more from that too.

It was an exhausting and stressful week (and Friday morning was the busiest four hours of the whole week for the third year in a row,) but in the end it was a successful run. One of my 8th graders who helped me with the clean up commented, "I miss the book fair already." Smile

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A few weeks ago NE told me about this website he stumbled across called go*fund*me * org. I didn't really have a chance to look into it until today. I had been thinking about maybe setting up a page to get donations to fund 20 new computers for our lab, but thought that might be overly ambitious. So what I did do today was set up a donation page to fund the purchase of 5 new digital cameras/cards. I found out yesterday that instead of my usual 5 or 6 Journalism kids, I'm going to have 8. We have 5 digital cameras right now (actually 4 ... one seems to have gone missing, but I just purchased one mostly using funds earned through Swagbucks, to replace it,) however, it can get kind of tricky when I need the cameras for my students to use AND teachers are asking to borrow a camera for taking pictures of various activities. If we had ten cameras, then there'd be enough for all 8 students, as well as two extra for teacher/staff use.

(I'd post a link to my page here, but it required me to use my real name/location and link to my FB account. It also seems to post the full name/location of donors - although I don't know if there is an anonymous option.) Tonight I might post a link to it on my FB page.

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I don't know why, but I seem to really enjoy time travel stories set in medevil(sp?) times. I remember this one book I read maybe 12 years ago that was like that, then a few years later when my car was broken into and I needed a distraction - lo and behold there was a movie based on that book in the dollar theater! (wish I could remember the name of it!!)

So anyway, a few weeks ago I came across a free ebook with the same idea - time travel/medevil(sp?) time period. It's called "Daughter of Time." I really, really enjoyed. So much so, that I spent $7 to buy the next two books in the series. (ebooks) That's the first time I've spent money on books for myself in I don't know how long.

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The dog I'm watching seems to have finally settled down. I've been letting her roam free both at night and during the day, and for the most part that has been without problems. (although yesterday I found out she'd had a #2 accident in my living room - yuck!) Her owners should be picking her up either Thursday or Friday. This has shown me that maybe it would be possible to have a dog - even with my schedule. I'd just have to get it in the summertime when I could make sure it was well trained before my school schedule started. Something to ponder for two summers from now (this coming summer will be too crazy with moving and job hunting to even think about adding dog training!)

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On Thursday I had a visit from a representative of a book donation organization I found out about a few years ago. I was able to show him where many of the books they've donated to us have been put, and let him know how much use they've gotten. (lots!) He told me that there should be another shipment coming for us in a few weeks. Cool! Hopefully there'll be lots of non-fiction titles!! Big Grin

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I have gone almost three weeks now without soda or fast food visits! Yesterday I was in big G doing my grocery shopping and almost stopped at TB, but resisted. As NE says - I could live for several months off of what I have in my cupboards ... Smile

Last night NE actually brought up how much he could save if he cooked more at home. He spends a lot at fast food places, and a considerable amount at restaurants. I've never said anything to him about it, but it certainly was something I'd thought. So I'm glad he's thinking about it at least. -- I mentioned that cooking at home could also be more healthy - that kind of got NE off on a tangent though about healthy food not being less expensive .. which wasn't really what I was talking about. If he and I end up getting married eventually, it'll be really interesting figuring out how to merge our two eating lifestyles. I'm a hoarder when it comes to food (grew up with a dad who believed that having a full pantry/fridge/freezer was of upmost importance) and NE is someone who only buys enough for one days meals (if he's going to eat at home..) For him though, it isn't because he doesn't believe in having food supplies, its more that he has a bit of a food addiction - if it's there, he'll eat it. I have that problem with chocolate, but not really anything else. His is more encompassing.

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Question -- About five weeks ago I impulse purchased a toaster oven from Walmart. I have since misplaced the receipt. Is there any chance they'd take it back and refund my money? I've not even taken it in from the car ...

Book Fair Preview and the Dog

October 19th, 2013 at 09:46 am

So yesterday was our preview day. Overall it went pretty well, especially considering how tired and yucky I was feeling - and the first part of the morning, very hungry as well. (explain later)

The kids all seemed to be pretty excited about what we had - although they kept asking me about books they'd seen in the flyer or in the video ... which we did not have. Frown

About mid-morning I had 20 minutes between groups, so I called my representative and expressed to her my frustration and disapointment. She listened, and figured out that I had been sent a "Standard" book fair instead of a "Premium" book fair. This is based on sales - I told her that I didn't understand, since for the past two years we'd made close to $3k and that was way more than the previous librarian. She wasn't totally sure of the reason, but told me to call the restock number right away for any of the books that I knew the kids would want. She also told me that she'd let the branch director know of the missing items (sales bags/signage).

Next I called the restock number with a large list of books the kids had been asking about (or exclaiming about.) They should all (except for one book which I guess is totally out of stock) be here by Tuesday.

In talking with various teachers/staff and a parent, I heavily promoted the online bookfair. Most of them acted like it was news to them - one even said "Why didn't you tell us about this?" Ugh. But .. it does sound like some of them might actually use that option. So, if that happens, then we might just have a chance of making the $2k mark.

I did make my first sale yesterday - one of our students is going to be out all next week. So he got his dad to come by and buy a book for him before leaving. Luckily I'd gotten my change money earlier that day from our principal.

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This dog I'm dogsitting for is ... interesting. She certainly has added an element to my life. Such as yesterday morning ... I hadn't had a good nights sleep at all, so when my alarm went off I snoozed it a couple times. Until ... I remembered I had to take the dog for a morning "walk" before heading to school. So I rushed around throwing clothes on and took her out. When I got back in I put my breakfast together and sat down at the table - then looked at the time. 7:43!! Yikes! So, I threw my cereal back in the fridge, ate a piece of string cheese and drank my orange juice - brushed my teeth and threw my hair in a ponytail and rushed to school. 8 minutes late and hungry.

Last night after my Skype date with NE, I took her out for a walk. She seemed to be pretty full of energy, so we ended up being out there for a good 20 minutes - there were a few times where she was going fast enough I had to jog a bit to keep up. Thursday night she slept in her kennel all night with no problem. Last night though about 1:30 a.m. she started whining and whimpering and sounding like she was having a panic attack. Ugh.
This morning I took her on a walk, and she was slower than molasses the whole time.

I need to find out what/if any commands she actually knows.

Kari isn't hissing at her anymore, so that is some progress.

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Thursday night I woke up around 1:30 a.m. with one side of my nose/sinus totally plugged up which caused one of my teeth to throb in pain. So I eventually got up and took an Oregano capsule AND a mucus relief pill. Yikes was that bad thinking ... not 5 minutes later my stomach felt like it was on fire. Once that calmed down, then I spent the next 40 minutes feeling like I was going to lose my supper. Finally by about 3 a.m. I was able to go back to sleep. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

So, at any rate I'm pretty much taking this weekend off to get as much rest as I can before the crazy week that will be coming.

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Oh, I got a call last night from the head elder of my church. Apparently the nominating committee wants me to be a deaconess and the asst. communication director. I told him I couldn't be a deaconess (thankfully!!) due to my membership still being in TX! I did however accept the assistant position with the caveat that I'll be moving by June! All I can say is they must be feeling pretty hard up for deaconesses to ask me ... considering how sporadic my church attendance has been. Or maybe they were doing it to get me to come more often?

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I took a survey for a bank - part of it was where you download a study on your iPhone and complete tasks. It was super easy and I'll be getting a $20 Amazon gift card for it in about a month. Sweet. Smile

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I did grocery shopping yesterday afternoon. I spent $63 on groceries/clothing/household items, and another $23 on snack food for my helpers on Tuesday. I'm going to see if I can get the $23 reimbursed from the library fund though.

Dissapointment/Frustration and Found My Halloween Costume :)

October 17th, 2013 at 07:09 pm

So today was the day to set up the bookfair. I did as much as I could beforehand that wouldn't interfere with the few classes I had, and then the 8th graders came about 2:30. They all worked pretty hard for the most part (a few I had to encourage.) That's not the frustration/dissapointment -- it is the amount of merchandise which was sent to our school. We have NO merchandise bags, there were not merchandise signs for all the different sections, there were at least two less bookcases, and that means also about ten boxes less of books as well. Everything is set up and put out ... and it looks bare. The past two years I begged and borrowed tables from everywhere, and they were all full to overflowing. Walking room around the library was negilble. This year ... I actually have two tables that are not being used at all ... and the table that ARE being used have stuff spread out to make them look fuller.

This is partly my fault because I didn't confirm the dates for our book fair early enough (although I had said the general idea of when we'd want our next bookfair LAST year - I just didn't know for sure when our PT conferences would be.) But even with limited books (due to many schools having their fair at the same time) there is NO excuse for not sending the bags or all the signs - and to have at least two (maybe three) less bookcases???

The main problem I forsee this causing is that we won't make the $2k mark - which is what you have to do in order to take your earnings in cash rather than Schl Dollars. I do NOT want to have to take ANY of my profits in Sch$.

I guess I'm just going to have to try to promote the online fair option harder this year ... though there aren't a lot of families with computers/internet access. Sigh.

I'm not really sure why, but this has really upset me. Intellectually I know there really is nothing to be done about it at this point in time, but emotionally/librariny it is a deep dissapointing feeling. I really liked how full we were the last two years and how people exclaimed over how much stuff we had available. I really liked there being so many options for the kids to choose from. I also really liked being *very* close to the $3k mark two years in a row.

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This morning my church friend dropped off her dog. Her name is Joplin (as in Janice J) and is 16 years old. Kari doesn't quite know what to make of her yet, and Joplin is still quite confused I think as to what is going on. Hopefully she'll settle down soon.

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Okay, now for my Halloween costume. Smile For some background info -- two years ago my costume was static cling (black pants/shirt, safety pinned on bits of cloth); one year ago my costume was black eyed pea (printed out a large picture of an eye which I safety pinned on, and then cut out a large P out of black construction paper, which I also safety pinned on.) So I think the kids are expecting me to have something a bit weird/eccentric. Smile I found the perfect costume idea tonight in this link:
http://familycrafts.about.com/od/costumeideas/Costume_Ideas.htm

I will be going as ..... Smarty Pants! (Safety pin or sew on packages of Smarties.) I'll be safety pinning them of course Smile and then be able to reuse them later that night for the Halloween party. Big Grin

Just saying Hi

October 16th, 2013 at 02:12 pm

I stayed home today from work - just haven't been feeling all that well and today was the best day of any to stay home (least classes.)

I had a great time in NE, although I did end up staying at a hotel Thursday night due to the weather here. It was really wet and cold here in T, and I was worried about it being icy at 4 a.m. Turns out it was a good thing I did that - because it was very icy here even at 7a.m.

So other than my airfare, I spent $67 on the hotel, $33 on a mani/pedi (in ABQ), $16 on snack foods at Walmart, and $7 at the airport. On the way back home I stopped at Walmart again and spent $49 on groceries ($6 of it was candy for the Halloween party.)

Our book fair starts on Friday, and the first day of sales will be on Tuesday. I'll need to pick up some snack foods for my helpers (6th and 7th graders)

I have arranged my first ever author visit! It'll happen on November 20. We had at first set it for the 13th, but the group of teachers putting together the family literacy evening had to change to the 20th. That made me a bit annoyed because my church is having a cooking class with a semi-famous tv chef on the 20th that I was thinking about going to. Oh well.

I finally received my SBs for my credit card today. I promptly cashed out for $40 in AGCs - leaving me with enough for my November 5 $5 AGCs plus some. I also received the email from AASL (school librarian org.) with my code for $100 in books from Capstone. I need to figure out what I'm going to use that money for - last year I bought a set of super hero comics which have gotten pretty good use.

Tomorrow one of my church members is bringing over their family dog. I'm going to be dogsitting it through the end of October. She mentioned something about paying me for it, but I'm okay with not getting anything for it. I have people look in on Kari all the time when I'm gone, and they never ask for/accept any kind of payment. The dog is pretty old and apparently isn't one for walks and sleeps most of the time. Will be interesting to see how he and Kari get along.

Six days :) A Bet and other spending

October 5th, 2013 at 03:18 pm

Only six days til I leave on a jet plane for a quick NE trip. Smile Here's hoping it won't snow this coming weekend!

I have decided to not get a hotel room Thursday night. It's the time of the balloon festival, and hotel rooms are NOT cheap (when available!)

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So I've been trying to figure out how to get myself remotivated to exercise and eat better (and cut out the fast food / cut back on junk food.) On Monday I came across this website called diet bet. Essentially you make a bet (anywhere from $10++) that you will lose 4% of your starting weight in 28 days. I decided to join one of the groups - the start date was Friday, and the end date is Nov 2. My bet was $20. I figured that whether or not I lose the 4% and get my money back (and possibly more - the pot is almost at $20k now!) I'll still save at least that much by not buying so much junk food and not eating at fast food places. So, either way, it's a win-win. Smile

So far I've been doing pretty well! I'm making money also through GymPact and am only 5k points away from my first $25 check from Achievement.

The big test will be this weekend - leaving early Friday morning for the airport, then spending the day with NE - he wants to eat at this mom and pop diner on the way to his house. Then Saturday night I'll be riding with him all night on his delivery shifts - so, that will probably mean stops at fast food places ..

I'm thinking of bringing along some bags of baby carrots and almonds to snack on - any other ideas of things that are non-meat and not too processed that would travel well?

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Other spending this last week:

Toll charges from summer NE trip: $17.40
Renewed professional memberships: $150
Groceries - $6.61 local shop; $40 - Walmart
Health - Bet - $20; Pilates equipment - $20
Gas ($3.07!!!) - $32
Misc. - $5 (bought a cupcake from a little girl peddling them - threw it away after she was gone. I only had a $5 ...)

Upcoming spending:
$65 - doctor (Must get by there this week!!)
??? - NE weekend
$10 - cupcakes for cakewalk
$5 - candy for Halloween party (debating about going this year...)

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I cashed in SBs for my 5 $5 AGC's. I almost have enough for November's 5 5's (definitely will once the monthly bonuses credit and my SBs from the credit card.)

I have a Pinecone survey to complete today, so that will be another $3 fairly soon.

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I have been updating YNAB *every* time I make a transaction. Hopefully I'll keep this up!