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Archive for March, 2015

March Spending & Savings Rate

April 1st, 2015 at 12:06 am

I really thought that I had spent a lot more than February in March, but it really wasn't that much more. I only spent about $30 more! There was a whole lot less extra income at the same time though, so the extra to send to savings of course wasn't as nice of a big number as last month.

Overall,I think I did okay. I'll definitely be glad to not have the round trips to the hospital to deal with in April (gas, time, exhaustion ...)

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Must Haves:
Tithing - 10%
Giving - 60
Rent - 430
Car Insurance - 36 (sinking fund)
Gym - 20.21 (prorated first month - new category)

Everyday Expenses (Variable)
Groceries - 129.18
Internet - 64.90
Natural Gas - 51.55
Electricity - 26.43
Auto Fuel - 60.31
Restaurants - 31.00
Medical (non-FSA)- 38.02
Clothing - 33.16 (shoes I wish I hadn't bought ...)
Household Goods - 4.92
Kari - 62.39 (food, litter - doesn't include AGC $ I spent on her)
Toiletries - 5
Treats - 19.68 (mostly from the hospital, and one other slip up)
Electronics - 70 (my Fitbit One)
Beauty - 3.27

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Savings
EF - 430.79 (10% + leftover budget money)
ROTH - 200
403a - 9% of gross

Savings of 630.79 +9%

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Extras
$25 SBs PP
$14 Pact
$15 Pinecone
$100 Achievemint
$50 Disc. Chking bonus
$80 Disc. CC bonus + Cash back
-- $284 in Extra Income

So, a savings rate of only about 40% this month. Yikes. Hopefully the ER bills won't be the big bite I'm expecting, and I'll be able to have a much better savings rate next month.

April will be a 3 paycheck month. I had planned on putting it straight to EF, but will probably put it in the slush fund until I know what bills the ER visit is going to create.

Accident by Library Causes Traffic Jam and other $tuff

March 31st, 2015 at 10:15 am

I had my followup appointment today with my regular doctor. Of course I forgot to ask her some questions and forgot to mention things. Having NE at the Urgent Care place Friday night was good because he was my backup brain. Smile Anyway, she said that it doesn't look like there is anything to worry about - just rest and get better (I accidentally typed read Big Grin Freudian Slip?)

On my way home I wanted to stop at the library because my copy of Laura: Pioneer Girl had finally arrived! When I got to that intersection traffic was backed up because of an accident just past the intersection on the side going away from the library.

I ended up going and paying my rent first, and then came back that way. I finally got to pull in and get my book. Now here was the fateful decision I made ... I drove out the backside of the library and debated on whether to go straight or right. Habit made me choose right. For about 30 seconds I thought it was going to be just fine.

Then as soon as traffic cleared coming my direction, there was traffic from the other direction. This went on for 3 or 4 minutes. It only got worse though the closer to 5 it got. Now 90% of the traffic on both sides were those huge honking SUVs.

I had people on my side stop for me several times, but when I'd look to my right, I could not see a thing of what cross traffic looked like.

This went on for ten minutes. There was a line of traffic behind me probably cursing me out. (If no one had been behind me, I would have tried backing up and going the other way ... it's generally a very quiet street.)

Finally someone stopped coming my way and realized that I could not see if the other side was clear AND SO signaled me that it was clear!

This was a good reminder of why I prefer to go to that location on Saturday afternoons instead of a weekday!

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Work was ok today. Very busy and left me feeling pretty drained. I didn't have a sit down with my boss, but she seemed to be in a better mood or something. The vibe was just better I guess.

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I did something I kicked myself for last night. I decided to spend some of my perk tokens on drawings (that's all they're good for.) I saw a drawing for $100k cash. 500 entries for 5000 ... tokens I thought. I had around 30k tokens, so started entering. My token value didn't go down. Weird. I entered again, My token value didn't go down. Stupidly I entered again. Only this time a horrible thought occurred to me ... and I checked my points balance. The balance you can exchange for giftcards ... and it was 15k points less!!! I wanted to throw my phone across the room. Those 15k points represent about 3 weeks worth of running those Perk videos.

So ... no $25 AGC from Perk for me for March. Sigh.

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In good money news, I received my $50 bonus from Discover Checking. I haven't been able to find anything that says how long you have to keep the account open, but I think I'll be safe to withdraw all but $500.

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It is now Friday morning. Smile I sure didn't get much sleep last night. Oh well.

NE brought some bleach over last night and I poured some down my bathroom sink and tub. (opened windows and used the blower too) Worked like a charm. Btw - anyone know where I can get a hair stopper for the tub? I've tried one before, but it was too big for the drain.

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End of 40 day personal challenge!

Although I had a few slip ups, overall I feel pretty satisfied with how it went. I really didn't miss buying junkfood all that much. Going forward I don't think I'll put any restrictions on myself, however, I would like to limit myself most of the time to purchasing only one serving on a trip, and that trip should be one where I have to walk to get it. So if I *really* want something, I have to put forth extra effort to get it. Smile

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I'm going to be adding some projects to my sidebar. Let's see how long it takes me to check them off. Smile

Updates ..

March 28th, 2015 at 05:22 pm

So .... I ended up going into work on Friday. Managed to make it the full 8 hours too. Only by spending all of lunch with my head on the break room table, and my 15 minute pm break too.

Even so, I was hacking out my lungs and made use of the mute button quite often so as to not make my callers listen in.

I really don't know what's up with my boss. Part of the reason I made myself go in on Friday was because she sounded so put out when I called in sick on Thursday. But then on Friday several times during the day she said if I needed to go home, to go home.

I really need to sit down with her and have a chat to see if there is something going on. I am wondering if she thinks I got sick *because* of helping out NE during his shoulder surgery. (I'm pretty sure it's allergy related - this is what happens almost every time I have a really bad allergy season. Which has been this year for sure.)

Ugh. Is it 2031 yet (so I can retire?)

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Then after work I came home and slept for a while, NE called and we talked for a bit, then I slept some more. Finally got up about 30 minutes before he came over.

He brought me a thermometer and and an icepack (for headache). When I took my temp, it was 102.7! So off we went to Urgent Care. It was so nice to have him with me.

Their thermometer read 103! They ruled out flu and pneumonia and said it was bronchitis. Great. Doctor gave me a scrip for antibiotics and sent me on my way.

We stopped at Walgreen's and NE went in and got my prescription - and a little extra, a Cadbury egg Smile

Took the first antibiotic around 9 pm Friday night and am already feeling much better - in fact, dare I say it, but my headache may be gone too!

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Gotta say it's frustrating to eat a pretty healthy diet (lots of fruit/veggies/whole wheat, little processed, etc. and recently very very little junkfood) and be getting this sick again. Plus pretty much all I drink is water. Once in awhile Rice Dream, and in a rare instance (like this week) juice. (Soda I go back and forth on - months and months where all I'll do is have a sip or two of NEs and maybe one or two bottles, and then times where I slip back into drinking it much more often. Currently on the rarely drink curve and hope to continue!)

Oh well, if I improve even more by tomorrow, I might even have the energy AND the desire to clean my place. It's in bad, bad, bad shape. 4 days of having the desire but having absolutely no energy .... doesn't make for a pretty sight.

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Bing must be in trouble, or may be in the process of fading out their rewards. When I joined and then up until 3 or 4 months ago, I was able to earn at least 40 points a day. Now only 25 points a day - which made reaching the 475 points needed for the SBs feel interminable. Today I found out that they've increased the price to 575!

I've changed my reward goal to the IHOP giftcard. I need to check if they're stackable, but a few months of those will get me a free meal at IHOP. Smile(not that healthy I know, I know ... Smile )

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On YouGov I'm up to 62k points - I have some good options of rewards, but I still think I want to wait for the $100 AGC (100k) because it's the only one that is penny to point value.

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I have been perfectly abysmal at entering my spending for at least two weeks in YNAB. I'll be able to enter stores and amounts, but will have to guess at what it was for.

For some reason I've gotten into the bad habit of throwing away a receipt as soon as I snap it for Receipt Hog (finally reached 1100 points, but am going on for a higher amount.) Anyway .. I really need to save those receipts until I've entered them in YNAB (mostly grocery type receipts, I don't buy much else.)

All of that to say, my categories are probably going to be a little off for March.

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Ok, so off to catch up with y'all!

Oops, I went back to try to edit the lengthiness and ended up adding length!

Rethinking My Exercise Plan

March 26th, 2015 at 07:14 pm

I'm thinking that part of the reason I got so sick this week is because I went a little too gung ho on my exercise. I went from one 2 mile walk a week and sometimes a second one to exercising 5 days in a row - one of those days a killer group workout.

So ... my plan, starting on Tuesday (give myself plenty of recoup time)

30 minutes of cardio Tue/Th/Sat for 6 weeks.
Add 20 minutes of ST on Tue/Th for 6 weeks.
Add a 4th day of cardio for 6 weeks.
Add a 3rd day of 20 minutes ST for 6 weeks.
Add a 5th day of cardio for 6 weeks.
Add a 6th day of cardio for 6 weeks.
Then reevaluate - maybe increase ST time or increase cardio time, etc.

This way I'll work up slowly to my ultimate goal of 6 days of cardio and 3 days of ST.

Home again

March 26th, 2015 at 06:47 pm

So I woke up this morning totally planning on going to work. I wasn't sure how I'd handle sitting upright for 8 hours or constantly being on the phone, but I figured I'd try.

Then ....................I made my morning bathroom visit. Instead of the usual 2 or 3 minutes and blast off, it turned into 25 minutes of quality time - the kind where you lose 3 lbs. Loved seeing the number on the scale Smile

I still was going to try though. So I made a slice pb applesauce toast and got a banana. It too me ten minutes to force down the banana and another ten unsuccessful minutes of staring at the toast. At that point I was like forget it, I'm taking the day off.

Later I did manage to eat the toast.

I walked over to the local grocery store to get some apple juice and stronger pain relief. Took those about half an hour ago, .... waiting.

I think my boss thinks NE and I live together because she asked me if he was there when I fainted.

NE was very nice last night - he only stayed for a few hours - I really wasn't up for much more than that.

I'm a bit anxious about what my ER bills are going to be - At least $150 copay (EKG, CT, etc.) Guess I'll just have to wait.

Fainted!

March 25th, 2015 at 01:10 pm

So Monday I started feeling really sore - thought it had to do with the exercise class I did on Sunday. By Monday night I was so sore I could barely move.

Spent Monday night under an electric blanket - made it so I could move by Tuesday morning.

Tuesday though I wasn't sore, my skin hurt. Thinking flu.

Went home after work and slept for 3 hours straight, got up for two, then went back to bed.

This morning I called in sick. I was feeling pretty light headed / nauseous and decided to make a fruit smoothie to get some nutrition/calories in. I was just working on pouring the smoothie out when I blacked out. I think I must have been out for at least ten minutes.

My head landed in Kari's water bowl. It took me a while to figure out that yes, I had fainted. The blender was on it's side with some contents spilled out, and the lid on the floor. Thankfully I didn't hit the edge of the counter or something.

Kari was definitely spooked - as was I. I've never had this happen before. I'm keeping myself awake in case there was a concussion or something. My doctor's office doesn't open for an hour.

I think I was dehydrated - yesterday I barely drank 32 oz of water, plus all the sleep and taking cold/flu medicine.

This was pretty freaky.

Le Weekend

March 22nd, 2015 at 08:50 pm

So Friday night when NE came over we went out to pick up his prescriptions and also got Chinese food. (I'd eaten earlier, but he was hungry ... I went ahead and got veggie fried rice - which I ate on all weekend.)



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Anyway ... I went to church Saturday (had missed the last two weeks due to sick and overtiredness.) Saturday afternoon I joined a church group doing a bike ride in a local park. I went there to walk ... one of the ladies walked with me instead of riding. We had a nice time talking and walking for 4.4 miles!

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Saturday night I spent some time updating YNAB. Ugh. I will not be making my $300 goal this month. If it weren't for some of the extras coming in, I probably wouldn't even have $100 to put in extra to the EF. Gas is one of the major budget busters this month - 4 roundtrips to O does not make for a happy gas tank.

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I got my $75 Discover CC bonus on Friday - have already requested a check (total of $80.xx)

I also cashed out for a $25 PP from SBS today.

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This morning I went to the church exercise class - cardio/pilates combo. It was a tough workout! I think it will be good for me though - both the exercise and possibly making some connections.

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Went grocery shopping this afternoon (walked to the store) - bananas, apple (free w/coupon from health fair), broccoli salad, cat food, 3 cartons of Rice Dream on clearance, etc. $30.29 (after coupons)

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Brother called this weekend - supposedly mom has big bad news that she has to tell us in person. I called her yesterday (not letting on that I'd talked to brother) and she didn't mention anything about BBN. So .... manipulation anyone?? Ugh. If so, she's shooting herself in the foot because he and I were already in the process of planning a weekend here for her and him and I. This whole thing kind of puts a sour taste on it (esp. for brother - who only started talking to her again maybe 18 months ago or so.)

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I'm going to be making the oatmeal cookies again fairly soon. I think I'll add applesauce to the batter though. I have two fairly ripe bananas, so will be making more. They'll make great after work / before workout snacks I think.

Loving the Gym!

March 20th, 2015 at 02:10 am

Today was my second day going to the gym. Smile I used the stationary bike on Wednesday, and today I used the rowing machine. I'd never used a rowing machine before and didn't do my due diligence to find out anything about it ... just sat and started rowing. For 30 minutes.

Apparently I should have adjusted the damper (flywheel) thingy from ten to 3 or 4 ... also there WAS a way to adjust the foot straps. Smile Oh well, I now know what to do better next time. And there will be a next time - I really liked it. Just have to figure out what to do with my phone - it was really awkward holding it AND the pull bar thingy. I don't want to use one of those armband holders, but I also don't want to use my .. er... assets holder ... either.

Tomorrow I plan on using the walking track.

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Today I took a couple hours off from work to take NE to a follow up appointment. It went pretty well.

Work also has been much better yesterday and today. I really think I was just overtired. I slept the best I have in a long time last night. Hoping tonight will be a really good sleep too (definitely tired from the rowing!)

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I'm thinking of joining in the church exercise group on Sunday mornings. It's $2/week. It would fulfill an exercise day (6 days a week of exercise) and it would also possibly help with the "connections" aspect.

I don't know how much longer they're going to be running the group though .. if it's not going to be much longer, I might not do it. Not worth getting started.

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Just ten more days of my 40 day challenge! It's hard for me to believe but it really hasn't been all that difficult for me. I think once it is over I will truly be broken of the habit of buying junk food all the time. Especially if I really get myself to continue on the exercise - just last night my SO offered me a bite of his cake and I was not tempted at all - wasn't worth the calories!

Although I did have a donut at work today ... Smile That was worth it. Smile (treats day)

This weekend I plan on measuring myself so I have a good baseline (even though I've already lost 6 lbs or so since starting the 40 day challenge and will have had 3 good workouts in) I'm not going to use weight as a huge measure though because it is the most frustrating one.

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We stopped at Hardee's on the way back to L today. The sandwich I had definitely wasn't worth the calories. Frown Especially after I saw a posting on FB tonight by the restaurant Ceejay mentioned in O ... oh my word! Their sandwich looked SO good.

I really hope CCF, Ceejay and I can get together there to check it out before CCF moves too far away. I don't really want to go there with NE because I'm afraid that he will be all food critic on the place .. and that can ruin a place I like otherwise. (It's also why I don't like to make food for him too much ...) I'd much rather go there with people who will enjoy the food and the experience without needing to analyze and dissect every aspect .... Big Grin

Anyway .. if I'm going to catch up with everyone else, I better get going. Smile

Inspiring Book, Joined a Gym, and Work Stuff

March 18th, 2015 at 01:51 am

The last few days I have been reading the book "Younger Next Year for Women" which I found recommended in the YNAB forums a month or so ago.

It is written for somewhat older women, but even so, I think it is a good read for younger women too.

It is written by two men - one is a practicing renowned in his field doctor, and the other (at the time) was a retired 69 year old lawyer.

The essence of the book was saying that our bodies were not created for the modern world of sedentarinism (made up word Smile ) and overabundance of food. That when most of our life is spent not doing anything much more strenuous than pushing the chair away from our desk, that it sends the message to our bodies that we are in "conserve" mode. This is especially compounded when we eat large amounts of food.

The "conserve" mode actually starts breaking down our body ... or aging us.

How do we fix this? By exercising HARD for 45 minutes 6 days a week, at least 2x heavy weights. What this does is send our body the signals it needs to send out the stuff that repairs our body ... or reverses the aging process.

He also talks about stopping eating crap (processed foods, saturated fats, etc); being careful with money, and ..

The importance of human connections. "social connections are a more powerful factor in health and mortality than smoking, alcohol, exercise, nutrition or age." (pg 313)

And the importance of giving back/being part of a community.

All in all a compelling and fascinating book. Which caused me to make the final leap to ....

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I joined the $39/month gym!

I went and took a tour of it this afternoon, and already signed the contract.

It has WiFi, up to date cardio equipment, sweet up to date weight machines, two pools, three exercise class studios, tennis courts, basketball courts, racquetball courts, saunas, hot tub, walking track, etc.

My goal is to go there at least 3x a week to feel like I am getting my money's worth. It is about a 20 minute drive from work - so I'll just have to make sure to have my gym bag ready to go. (and have an after work snack ready too so I have some fuel for the workout)

All this working out is going to mean less time on the computer (especially while NE is still in recovery mode and coming over here most nights ...) which all in all is probably not a bad thing.

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I've been having a really hard time at work this last week or so. I don't know if my boss is annoyed with me for taking so much time off (even though she KNOWS why I've been taking the time off.)

I've not been getting the sleep I need - I go to bed at ten and wake up at 4 a.m. NOT ENOUGH SLEEP

So ... I've made some mistakes at work. I hadn't made any mistakes for weeks. Then Friday I made one. KE (my boss) came down hard on me about it. Then yesterday I made another mistake. KE was pretty snippy about it. Today she came out and looked through the receipt book a couple times without saying anything .. I asked her if she was looking for anything. She said she wasn't.

I know I'm probably just feeling overtired which is making me blow things out of proportion, but still ... the last few days have made so badly want to say I QUIT! I'm done dealing with people cursing on the phone, yelling at me because buses are late, telling me I don't know what I'm talking about (when I do know what I'm talking about, they just don't like what I'm saying), etc.

Just so blasted tired and tired of work.

I think the above is partly why I joined the gym too ... hopefully if I can get some more consistent/good exercise, I'll sleep better and feel better about work.

We'll see ...

Easy and Healthy Oatmeal Cookies

March 15th, 2015 at 10:06 pm

I've been on a bit of a roll here today (and last Sunday too I guess.)

So far today I made the pancakes this morning, finally opened up my crockpot and started a sweet potato in it for dinner, finally opened up my rice steamer pot and put in some fresh asparagus to steam later, cut up a zucchini into thin slices and baked for ten minutes (didn't burn it!)

Then just a little bit ago I made these pretty good cookies!

You only need three ingredients:
1 cup rolled oats
1 ripe banana (the riper the better)
1/2 cup raisins or other dried fruit

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mash the banana with your hands. This will take a few minutes to get everything mushed together.

Heat your oven to 350 and place round dollops of the "dough" on a cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.

Makes 4 cookies.

You can make these without the raisins, but I think they wouldn't be quite as good. And they are good!

You can also make these in the microwave - heat for 30 to 60 seconds.

So easy peasy!

3 + Ingredient Pancakes - Yum!

March 15th, 2015 at 04:09 pm

This morning I felt like making pancakes. I remembered seeing a recipe for eggless pancakes which didn't use many ingredients. I have decided to try to cut down on my use of eggs and cheese (not eliminate, but cut down)
So this was my first experiment.

I put 1/3 cup of rolled oats, 1/2 TBSP of cinnamon and nutmeg, 1/2 banana, 1/2 cup of Rice Milk and 1 TBSP of PB2 powder into my food processor. (I ground the oats/cinnamon/nutmeg first then added the other stuff)

In a skillet I cooked the pancakes. This recipe made 4 pancakes. I think next time I might add a little more liquid, but otherwise they were really good!

I added banana, applesauce, honey and grape jam for toppings. Yummy!

(The 3 main ingredients: banana, oatmeal, milk)

Long Week - NEs Surgery

March 14th, 2015 at 05:38 pm

On Monday we were told that NE had to be at the hospital to check in at 9 a.m. On Tuesday afternoon we were told that the 7 a.m. patient "probably won't make it because they are sick" so to come by 7 a.m.

So ... on Wednesday I picked NE up at 5:30 a.m. and we made it to the hospital about 6:40. Guess what? The 7 a.m. patient previously scheduled HAD come.

So we waited in the intake lobby for about 40 minutes. NE hadn't slept in 24 hours (too anxious.) I went to the lady at the desk and asked if there was anyway he could go into his room early while we waited. Nope. However she did tell me about a lobby with some comfy chairs (and couches!) We sat on a couple of chairs for about 20 minutes before I could convince NE that nobody would care if he laid down on one of the couches. (the lobby was pretty empty)

A bit after 9 the guy in charge of taking NE to the preop area found us and took us there. We were there for over two hours.

About 11:20 NE was taken to the operating area and I was told how to find the surgery waiting area.

About 12:15 I was told by the volunteer that the surgery had started.

About 2:30 they were closing up and going to recovery.
The doctor came in and talked to me then - let me know everything went well.

About 4:15 I got a call telling me his room number and that he'd be up "soon."

At 6:30, nearly 12 hours after arriving, he was FINALLY brought up to his room.

The head nurse mentioned that if I wanted to spend the night, they could get me an extra pillow. Neither of us had known that was a possibility. I had thought I'd be heading home by 7 at the latest ...

I stayed the night. And I'm so glad I did! They were short staffed - let's just say that.

About midnight they took the blood pressure cuff off of him (which inflated every 30 minutes ...) and said they'd leave him be til 4am. During that 4 hour period I managed to get maybe two hours uninterrupted sleep, plus a few snoozes.

I got up and got ready to go home at 5 a.m. Drove by his place to check on the cats quickly, then got home. Pulled into my spot around 6:50. Ate breakfast and went to work.

I was SO out of it... my boss asked me why didn't I call in (after I told her about spending the night at the hospital) I told her I didn't because I knew it was staff meeting ... which of course was canceled.

Instead I went home at noon and managed to sleep about 30 minutes before my phone rang. Sort of dozed off and on for another hour.

About 3 I headed back to the hospital. Ended up being there til about 8. NE had his first meal, which I helped him with (which is why I didn't leave earlier.)

I had a few brief moments of ultimate panic that my car had been stolen. Thankfully decided to look down one more level before calling the police ... Smile

Thursday night managed to sleep about five hours. Went to work in a slightly grumpy mood which was not helped by an emailed question from my boss (a misunderstanding, but just rubbed me the wrong way.)

Left work at 3:30, arrived at the hospital at 4:45. NE had ordered me a piece of cheesecake from the room service menu. Smile

Waited and waited for the charge nurse to do the needed paperwork for discharge. Picked NE up in front of the hospital shortly before 7:00.

Got to HyVee to pick up meds shortly after 8.

Dropped him off at his place a bit after 9 - of course could not find his keys which he'd put in my purse on Wednesday. Luckily I had a spare key in my change compartment so he could get in.

I stopped at Burger King on the way home (hadn't eaten anything other than the cheesecake since 3 pm.)

Compounding all this is that my allergies / sinuses were beating me up badly. Especially yesterday afternoon.

Slept about six hours Friday night and decided that I would stay home from church - just too exhausted.

This morning I cleaned out my car (something I've needed to do for a long time) in an effort to find the keys. I had cleaned out almost the entire car when the thought hit me - we'd put something in the center console. There they were. Whew!

I had two slip ups this week on my no buying junkfood for 40 days quest. Thursday and Friday. I'm not going to beat myself up about it, but just continue on back on track.

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Now I'm going to try to catch up with everyone!

Cooking Day Adventures

March 8th, 2015 at 11:09 pm

I'm not totally sure what got into me today. I still wasn't feeling very good, but I also wasn't feeling like sitting around being lazy.

I contemplated walking to the library - especially with the beautiful weather we're having, but ended up not doing it. Why? Because I spent most of the day cooking! Smile

The first two things I made today were black bean/oatmeal burgers and quinoa/spinach/mushroom burgers.

The black bean burgers recipe I doubled (1 recipe made 4 burgers.) They could be baked in the oven. So while those were baking, I fried up the quinoa burgers. The recipe supposedly makes 14 patties, but even with adding a can of mushrooms, I was only able to make 10.

While I was frying them up I had to keep contending with my smoke alarm. Thankfully it is a beautiful day, so I opened my windows. Smile

I forgot to take pictures of them before I put them in the freezer - they don't look all that pretty, but they are good. Smile

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Now I was off to the grocery store within walking distance of home.

I picked up eggs, a bag of broccoli slaw, a bag of frozen diced onions/g & r peppers, zucchini, cornbread mix, swiss cheese slices, shredded cheese and cat food. Total of $23.xx after a $2 cat food coupon.

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When I got home I put 8 eggs, a bag of shredded cheese, 1/2 a bag of the frozen onion mix, and after shredding the slaw in my handy dandy food processor (Ninja blender sidekick) put that in too. I call it my Veggie Galore Egg Bake. Here's a picture of it (hopefully)


Then I put together my cornbread casserole (cream corn, regular corn, green onions, shredded cheese, 2 eggs, cornbread mix) Here it is:


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Finally I decided to make the zucchini recipe I found on FB yesterday. It's directions were to cut up a zucchini into thin slices, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle paprika. Bake for 25 minutes at 450.

So ... I thinly sliced my zucchini. I attempted to drizzle the olive oil (ha!) and miraculously found out that I actually have paprika!

Into the oven for 25 minutes at 450.

I go to my computer to rest my aching feet. 25 minutes later I head out to the oven to check on my creation .... This is what I found:


S'pose I should have checked on it a time or two ....

All this food is going to provide lunches for me for the remainder of March, and some might be dinners too. Smile

I'm thinking that the black bean burger will be a staple product for me though - so very easy.

Here's the link for it: http://happyherbivore.com/2011/08/easy-black-bean-burger/ Although I did add diced mushrooms to it. Smile I love mushrooms.

No Making Dinner for Me Friday Night :)

March 7th, 2015 at 09:26 pm

Friday when I got home from work I had a text from NE saying "I'm making dinner tonight!" It was a good thing he told me early on, because I usually put a sweet potato in the oven almost as soon as I get home from work.

After his text I went ahead and ate a piece of PBH toast because I was HUNGRY and knew it would be pretty late before we'd actually eat.

Then I was so invigorated by how beautiful the weather was outside, that I went for a quick paced 20 minute walk outside in just my short sleeve shirt! First time I've been able to do that in MONTHS. How sweet it was!

NE got here a little after 6 and we went shopping together for the ingredients. He made hamburger helper potato stroganoff? with Worthington Vegge Crumbles. I added some frozen veggies for myself. Smile (he's not much into veggies)

He told me that he wanted to treat me to dinner to show me how much he appreciated me and all I do for him. (and will be doing for him for the next few months ...) I thought that was pretty darn sweet. Big Grin

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That walk yesterday though, as glorious as it may have been, may not have been such a good idea. I've been coughing pretty deeply since last night. Even stayed home from church today because of it (plus didn't get much sleep again.) I'm really hoping this isn't going to turn into bronchitis. It was about three years ago that I was down and out for 4 days completely with bronchitis. It took me over a year to even come close to really recovering from it. (probably triggered a relapse of mono according to my doctor in NM) Hopefully the local honey and oregano oil will help nip it in the bud.

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NEs shoulder surgery is on Wednesday. His recovery time will be anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months - mostly depending on which type of surgery actually happens. That is still up in the air a bit - it will either be a reverse shoulder replacement or a shoulder reconstruction.

I got my Fitbit One in the mail on Thursday (I didn't realize it until I logged into Paypal to do something and looked at the tracking ...) So I'll be able to track my steps and such at the hospital while waiting for his surgery to be over.

I'm going to bring a couple PBJ sandwiches for myself, but might buy veggies/sides from the cafeteria. (doubtful they'll have much vegetarian options) Waiting for 4 hours or so in the hospital I think is going to REALLY test my resolve to not buy junkfood.

It was funny while NE and I were walking around SuperSaver last night looking for the Hamburger Helper (my first time ever in my life having it) and the Vegge Burger we kept walking by these huge displays of junkfood. The mint oreoes display ... the other Easter chocolate ... etc., etc., etc. I was really glad that I had my challenge going, plus I was glad to be there with NE - both circumstances to cause me to NOT buy the junkfood. Smile

Oh Smile part of treating me to dinner last night was buying me a chocolate turnover from Arby's. I think it was even better since I haven't had much in the way of sweets for the last 16/17 days. (Of course while we were in the drive through I got to stare at the picture of the Andes Chocolate Mint Shake ...)

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I've been using Google Hangouts to make calls this month, and so far I'm really liking it. I don't know if I'll be able to keep the minutes under a 100 or not because I had a 32 minute call with my grandma before I installed it, and then a few calls with NE where it went longer than I thought it was going to (otherwise I would've called him back.)

NE might be switching to Ting! He already has a Sprint phone/plan. It would just be a matter of porting his number. He'll probably end up paying less than I am because he has a flip phone (no data.) He's going to use my referral link (actually, it's probably going to end up that I'll be calling Ting and getting everything set up while he's here one night. He HATES that kind of thing, while it doesn't bother me.)

Local Honey

March 6th, 2015 at 01:16 am

Today I was absolutely miserable at work - sneezing, coughing, blowing my nose. At least I got more sleep last night than I did on Tuesday night - mostly thanks to taking some Dayquil (the Nyquil works, but I don't like taking it on work nights - too groggy.)

I ordered a bottle of oregano oil capsules - something I've used before which seemed to really help. Then after work today I stopped by OH, a local whole foods/trader Joe's type place and bought 8oz of local honey. I already had a piece of PBH toast. Yum. Smile (I'm not counting the honey as a junkfood purchase - I'm counting it as a medicinal purchase. Believe me I was tempted by some yummy looking fudge ... but I persisted and resisted!)

--
I got my first paycheck with my raise / retirement deduction / new w-4 deduction. It was about $7 less than normal. So it seems that changing from 2 to 3 on the W-4 was the right thing to do. Smile

I'm curious ... I know that you can start withdrawing from a 401k when you turn 55 penalty free - but what I have at the bus company is a 401b. On my paystub it lists the deduction as "pension." I know I have 15 1/2 years before really needing to worry too much about this .. but it's something I haven't been able to find too much about online.

Also I'm wondering if I'll still be able to claim the tax savers credit since I now have a workplace retirement plan?

15 days down of 40! Surprisingly it really hasn't been all that hard. Really the better word would be MIND BLOWINGLY.

Extra $ and Spending Some

March 3rd, 2015 at 08:11 pm

Monday I got my $25 PP from Swagbucks. I also got an email that my $100 gift card had come from Achievemint.
When I clicked on the link to get it, it gave me three choices of how to redeem it - I chose PayPal. That $100 arrived today. Smile

So on Sunday I'd emailed Fitbit's CS about my fitbit battery/back issues. They replied to me yesterday basicaly telling me they don't have any extra battery doohickeys or backs to the Zip (I can't get mine opened anymore after opening it 4 times with a quarter ... plus assorted other objects in an attempt to find something that worked ...) They also told me that according to their info, my battery was just fine and wasn't dying every 4 - 6 weeks.

Tell that to my dead as a doorknob Fitbit.

......
So ... I decided I was going to upgrade to the One so that I don't have to mess with batteries anymore.

I first checked on Amazon - $97 or $93 - the price difference was due to COLOR! Before I clicked buy though (would've been covered mostly by AGC) I decided to take a look on eBay.

I'm glad I did! I found a brand new one (had sat out on a store shelf as a display unit) for $60 + $5 shipping! It should be here by March 11 at the latest (I really hope it's sooner for a myraid of reasons - one being that I want to walk around the hospital while NEs in surgery and have those steps count!)

I think it's kind of funny/fitting (ha ha) that my reward for tracking steps, logging food, etc, etc, is now paying for a new tracker. Smile

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I stayed home from work today. Just not feeling that great. While I am totally on track with my 40 day challenge of not *buying* junkfood, I'm not doing so well with eating offered junkfood. As in I ate two very yummy homemade sweetrolls at work yesterday. I think I would've been okay with just one. Then on Saturday I made brownies (from a box mix I already had) for a Sabbath School class potluck - there was about 1/4 of them left ....

I am really starting to think that some of my sinus/allergy issues are somewhat related to overdosing on sugar. Until the brownie incident I had been without a sinus headache for nearly 7 or 8 days.

I'm going to have to do some major evaluating of what this might mean going forward.

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NE is in O city having his pre-surgery appointments today.

He is thinking he'll be in the hospital at least two full days, and possibly a third one. He really wants me to come visit him everyday. This means a two-hour drive for me after work at least one or two days, as well as the drive to take him to the hospital.

So ... I'm thinking my gas spending is going to be high, and possibly my restaurant spending as well. Although I could just make myself a PBJ to take with me to eat in the car on the way there or something. I will definitely be doing Hardee's at least once though. Smile (mushroom swiss burger and onion rings - so yummy! w/o the burger of course)

His surgery is on Wednesday. So if he is correct, it'll mean he goes home on either Friday or Saturday. I'll be taking Wednesday off completely from work, and was thinking about taking off an hour early on Thursday and Friday so I can spend an hour or so with him and still get home without having to drive in the dark.

However, I saw someone post that the time change is this coming Sunday? If so, then maybe I can get away without taking off early those days.

Guess I really should wait to see what info he has after his doctor visits today before thinking too much about it all.

--- It's been years since I've been in a regular hospital - do they generally have WiFi available? Do they allow cell phone usage in the waiting areas? Have plugs available for charging?

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If I get some energy here soon I want to make corn pudding and black bean burgers. I have all the ingredients for both. Maybe also a cottage cheese roast. Plan on freezing portions for later meals - although I've never frozen corn pudding before after it was baked (prior to baking, yes, but not after) -- Hmmm. Doubtful I'll get that energy anyway, but we'll see I guess.

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Oh, something really cute/funny. This morning I fed Kari, and then went back and laid down for awhile. Later I got up to make something to eat. She had barely eaten anything. As soon as I started making my food though, she started chowing down. Smile