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Archive for April, 2015

Good and Bad

April 30th, 2015 at 03:07 am

Let me start off with the good stuff ..

I've mentioned that I had lost the large non-keytag grocery store rewards card and had spoken with the people in the customer service area about getting it replaced. The first time I talked to them was a good while ago. Since then I went back a number of times and each time got told that "they were really behind on the cards"

So Sunday I went again. This time though I think I must have gotten a manager back there. She checked for my card replacement, and then checked for my order. NOTHING! They had lost my order form - never even sent it out!

So she confirmed my contact details and then told me that she personally would take care of it.

I got a phone call on Monday letting me know that she'd be at the store on Wednesday after 2:30 with my card.

So after work today I stopped by. Not only did she have my card, but she had had the person who made it (coded it?) add 41 cents worth of gas savings. That is .. 41 cents PER GaLLON.

I'm going to wait til Thursday to use it - but boy howdy, is that ever going to be some cheap gas!

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The bad.

I had finally made enough PerkPoints to redeem for a $25 AGC. I got an email this morning telling me my reward was on its way.

Then this afternoon I got an email telling me my reward had been canceled. That there cheating detector or whatever had detected I was doing something violating TOS!!!!

I sent an email to them stating I HAD NOT done anything to violate TOS!

Kind of doubtful they'll backtrack, because there is no way to prove a negative (that I didn't do something against TOS.)

So very frustrating. I guess my devices won't be getting quite such a workout anymore.

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No news from NE about Riddles. He was taking him to the vet again today at 5.

Tomorrow is payday - so that will mean May is totally funded. (My 3rd paycheck or really the second one for April funded my medical expenses category plus some ...)

NEs Kitty Troubles

April 29th, 2015 at 12:49 am

I feel really bad for NE right now. His oldest cat, Riddles, is 18ish and he picked him out as a kitten. The last two years or so Ridds had gotten pretty thin (total opposite of all NEs other cats) and the past six months or so NEs had to do more to tempt Ridds into eating.

A couple days ago Riddles had a seizure. Then he had another one yesterday. NE took him into the vet and they did bloodwork. His kidney's are functioning at 15%. Frown NE is preparing himself for possibly having to make a hard decision.

The stress of everything got to him last night at work, and he lost his temper. I really hope he doesn't get fired ... (my assistant teacher was fired for less one year, of course, he's not working around kids.)

Riddles is a pretty special cat. I'll be pretty sad too if the hard decision has to be made. Frown

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My brother placed 76th out of 507 people in a 75 mile bike race this past Sunday. He was pretty stoked.

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I finally got enough points on Perk to cash in for a $25 AGC. It was really slow going this time around.

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I got the medical bill for my Urgent Care visit - $51.xx.

I also got my American Express card - I've never seen a credit card like it - kind of a clear plastic? I won't be running it - just using it to pay the medical stuff and maybe one months tithe/offering to make the $1k spending, so I guess it doesn't really matter too much what it looks like.

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I texted my IT friend from NM tonight (the one with lung cancer.) She texted me back (thankfully!) and told me that her health has been touch and go, but she's still kicking. She also told me that some local yahoos burned down the Family Dollar store this morning!

What serious morons! That town has two places to buy general merchandise/food at - the local mom and pop store (small!) and Family Dollar. Otherwise you have to drive at least 30 miles to get to either big G town.

I have to wonder if they got the idea from the intelligent rioters (sarcasm) ruining Baltimore right now ... Ugh.

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A position opened up at the local bus company. They had interviews last week and again today. Of the 7 people who were slotted for interviews ... only 4 actually showed up! None of the 3 no shows called or emailed or anything to let us know they weren't coming. All I can say is .. Wow. Must be a pretty hot job market out there to blow off an interview.

Finally!

April 26th, 2015 at 05:19 am

Today I was voted in officially as a member of the local church I've been attending. I had my membership transferred from the church in Texas (never transferred it to NM.)I had to stand up front with a few other people and receive my membership "packet" (a membership certificate and a packet of info on spiritual gifts.)

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I talked to my grandma this afternoon. She was busy packing and getting ready for a flight tomorrow - flying to Florida where she's meeting my aunt and uncle and then getting on a cruise ship! She'll be gone for two weeks. (She turns 94 in September - but still cruising along. Heh heh.)

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Guess who FINALLY called tonight?! Yep, that stinkaroo of a brother, that's who. Big Grin We managed to connect with our mom, and it looks like the third weekend of June will be our rendezvous time - they'll both be coming here.

Mom was wanting to do a dude ranch or a 4 day cruise ... I'd love to do a dude ranch if they offered a vegetarian menu, but somehow I don't think that is a possibility ... a 4 day cruise would be fun, but I doubt my brother could take that much time off (and I really don't want to spend that much.) So, they'll be coming here - I'll show them where I work, take them to my church, maybe go to the vegan restaurant in O (they're both meaties, but are used to vegetarian fare.) Maybe take in the zoo, etc. Should be fun. (My mom is into pickleball - I checked and found a place here that has pickleball!)

We decided that they'd each take care of their own plane tickets and then we'd split 3 ways any of the costs here. Mom is going to see if she can amass enough hotel points for a hotel here.

Now it'll be interesting to see if bro actually purchases a plane ticket before June ...

My brother is participating in a 100 mile bike race next Sunday (May 3) supporting Diabetes research. He estimates it'll take him about 6 hours and burn around 15,000 calories. He's going on a 75 mile ride tomorrow ... More power to you bro. More power.

He's pretty stoked about some major companies that have been seeking him out to do their social media advertising.

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I stopped at Walgreen's tonight and picked up some Allegra D. My cough which had almost gone away seems to be coming back. Frown In talking with the pharmacist it sounds like I should be able to get a 30 day supply of Allegra D OTC with a prescription so that I wouldn't have to come back every ten days AND I can use my FSA money. Next time I see my doctor I'm going to ask for a prescription and try it again! (tried it years ago and was told I couldn't do it)

$18 for a ten day supply ... Will have to look for coupons, etc, but it's better to spend the money on it than get bronchitis or worse ... (Checked the price for the generic version ... was actually more expensive! and not available in the 24 hour version.)

This and That, not really financial

April 25th, 2015 at 12:42 am

Still no call from brother. Although he did text me today and let me know that he knows he's being derelict. Will see if it results in actual plans being finalized this weekend or not. Sigh.

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Field trips on Wednesday with the homeschool groups went well. Got to ride a bus through a bus wash twice Big Grin If you've never taken a tour of your local bus station, you really should. Smile

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Wednesday also apparently was Admin Asst day. My boss gave me a large glass vase full of chocolate. Does she ever know me!

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Thursday night had some excitement in the parking lots around my apartment. A mob of people were shouting and cussing at each other on the lawn near where I park my car. They were at it at least fifteen minutes before moving to the side of the building, and then finally ending up in the parking lot behind my bedroom window. About when the police showed up.

I saw through my peeking out the curtains a guy get patted down by the cop. That's about when I left the window (didn't want to get seen looking out.)

Some of the people stayed out there loudly talking for at least another 15 or 20 minutes. Cursing, talking about tire slashing, knives, guns, kids harrassed at school, gangs ....

Yeah. Not exactly conversation conducive to a restful evening.

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My Fitbit stopped working this week (Monday I think.) I sent an email to Fitbit support and never heard back. I decided to try it out again tonight, and lo and behold, it was working again! (This is the new one I only got less than two months ago.)

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NE had his six week shoulder evaluation on Thursday. His doctor had xrays taken and said everything looks good. NE has added up all the bills for the surgery - $61,000! Thank goodness for insurance!

He will be starting a new work schedule this coming week - nearly 45 hours a week, 5 nights a week. I don't know how long he'll be able to do 5 nights a week. (He used to do 4 ten or 11 hour shifts per week and that was exhausting enough for him.)

He really needs the money for the medical bills, because his eBay sales have been pretty dismal.

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I haven't bought any junkfood this week at all, but I've sure had plenty on a daily basis at work! I've seriously got to stop eating the junk left out "for sharing." I have a bag of Pepitos to snack on, but I think maybe I need something else to keep me away from the "for sharing" temptation.

Decision

April 19th, 2015 at 11:12 pm

As I look back at the 40 days I challenged myself to not buy any junkfood, and then the 18 or so days since the challenge ended, I have come to a realization.

For me, there is no middle ground. It has been utterly ridiculous the last 18 days.

The 40 days of the challenge I was able to complete it with very little problems. In fact, I got to the point where I didn't really miss the junkfood. I wasn't exactly any healthier during that time (ER visit and bronchitis anyone??) but that probably would've happened one way or the other.

So I have decided that from this point forward I am not going to purchase any junkfood. I am also not going to participate anymore in the office Treat day (this is partly where I think I got myself in trouble ... all that leftover Easter candy people brought to share ... made me want more, more, more!)

I am going to allow myself three exceptions: 1) If someone offers me something/offers to treat me; 2) If I'm out at a restaurant and I *really* want something (such as the vegan place in O - they have some delectable looking deserts) and 3) If it is my birthday, or some other *very* special occasion

None of these exceptions happen very often.

I also cannot go into Family Dollar or Walgreen's or CVS for anything food related. Period.

I have some pretty big financial goals I'm trying to achieve, and spending $50+ a month on junkfood is not going to help me achieve them.

Junkfood = soda, chocolate, ice cream, pastries, candybars, cookies (sugary kind), pies, cakes, etc.

Whenever I start thinking about buying chocolate, etc., I need to think ... is this worth an extra hour answering the phone? Is it worth putting off the house a little bit longer?

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I updated my net worth in YNAB today. My one stock has been quite volatile the past few months and I haven't wanted to see just how bad it was ... but today I decided to bite the bullet. When including the stock, my networth decreased $15k from January. Not including the stock, my networth increased about $2500 since January. (I'm not going to sell the stock. Even with the volatility, it still is worth WAY more than the original purchase price of around $22 - 28.)

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I went to a free concert Saturday night at my church. It was pretty enjoyable. I even bought a $15 CD from the artist - he is just starting out. (is a member of our church) I was needing a good CD to listen to in the car while the local radio station is doing its pledge drive (didn't they just do that at Christmas? Yikes!)

I think this is the first CD I've bought in at least 4 or 5 years.

A little of this, a little of that

April 18th, 2015 at 01:15 am

I got an offer in the mail today for Blue Cash - spend $1k in 3 months get $250 back. I think that's the one I'm going to go with for my medical bills. That way I don't have to fiddle with trying to make sure I get to $3k in spending, even though it probably *could* happen. $250 is enough reward to not bother with the hassle.

Anyone know if they count Walmart in the grocery category?

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So shockers ... my brother never did call this week. Rolleyes

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I've not been doing well with the whole thing of staying away from buying junkfood this week ... My treats category is through the roof, and it's only the 17th. Frown Ugh.

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I got a notice of a package from UPS sent from Best Buy. I didn't order anything from Best Buy, so have no idea what it is or who sent it. I tried making it where they hold it at the office, but they were wanting to charge me $5.00 to change shipping locations!!! Uh, yeah, no. Whatever it is, it can get sent back (because you know the likelihood of them actually dropping a package off at a time people are *actually* home is, right?)

In reality I'll probably try calling again on Monday and speak to a real person to 1. make sure it is actually for me and not for someone else in the apartments, and 2. make sure there isn't a way to have it held there (I'm sure I've done it before!)

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I'm so glad the work week is over. So very tiring. (read .. boring ..)

In other news ... I read a book this week - Zoo - by James Patterson. Very interesting and page turning. A little bit gory. Something's going on with the animals of the world ... and noone's listening to the main character. This is bad news.

I love James Patterson, and this is one of his stand-a-lone books. (He wrote Alex Cross series and Women's Murder Mystery Club series and and and and and ...)

Next week on Earth Day my boss and I will be doing TWO bus station tours for homeschool groups. They'll be my very first tours. I'll probably have to do them by myself after these two groups. Gulp.

On Wednesday I had a trio of skater kids (long hair, pierced lips ... etc) come in and ask about their "wheelies" they'd left on the bus ... Two MONTHS ago... I told the main one that I remembered them (because I was so flabbergasted when they came in) but that we only keep things for two weeks. So they were long gone. The kid looked so dissapointed. Frown

I like it so much better when I can tell someone - Yep! I've got it right here for you!

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NE hadn't done his taxes. He asked me to print off the forms for him - but my printer was out of ink and the cartridge I'd bought wasn't being recognized. So he was going to print the papers off at the library on Tuesday. Didn't go.

Wednesday he decides he'll just file for an extension. We go to the library and he signs up for a computer. As we're walking around waiting we see a display of papers. One of them is an extension form!

Unfortunately it wasn't until we got to my place and I was filling it out for him (his patience level wasn't very high right then and his eyesight isn't good in dim light) that I realized he'd gotten a state extension form instead of a federal.

Instead of rushing back to the library before it closed, he decided to file the extension online. He thought it would be free. It wasn't - it cost 19.95!! Towards the middle of filling the extension out, he had to run home to get his W-2 form (didn't help his mood at all.) But .. got the extension filed.

This is definitely one area he and I are SOOOOOOO different on. Even if I knew I owed taxes, there's no way I could wait so long to file. I also would not want to do them on paper - I SO love TaxAct, etc. for ease of filing. It would stress me out way too much to wait til April 15!!

I tried to casually suggest setting aside 30% of the money he makes from his eBay sales to cover taxes so he wouldn't have to stress out ... yeah, didn't go over too well. If we ever get to the point of seriously talking marriage .. that is something I'm going to insist on. No way am I going to let something so stupid as taxes get me uber stressed out.

(He might have had the money to pay his taxes this year if it weren't for the shoulder surgery and all the costs from that.)

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Redeemed Bing points for a $5 AGC (just couldn't justify the IHOP card for more points.)

My New Loveseat! :)

April 14th, 2015 at 11:00 pm

So I've been stalking the FB garage sale page for months and months. One time I came really close to getting a futon/couch for $25, but NE couldn't come help me that night, so I lost it.

Sunday night though I saw a post from someone selling multiple things - no prices listed and no location. One of the items was a loveseat. The post was three days old with a "bump" comment saying everything was still available.

I PMd the person and found out she lived fairly close to me and wanted $90 for the loveseat. That was a little more than I was really wanting to spend, but I LOVED the look of it and it looked small enough to fit into my space well.

So I asked her if it would be okay to come over after 7 Monday night. She was okay with it.

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NE calls me Monday about 6:48 to let me know he'd be there in ten minutes. I let him know about the loveseat. Smile He wasn't exactly thrilled to have it sprung on him like that ... (oops - I really meant to email him that morning, but forgot ...)

I didn't have any rope (to tie it to his roof) so we stopped at Walgreen's and then Family Dollar to get rope.

He needed gas ... I texted the person to let her know that we really were coming. (It was nearly 7:30)

Finally we get to her apartment building and I give her a call .. she comes down the stairs. Thankfully she was only on the second floor.

After we got to her apartment and I saw it in person, I knew I'd made a good decision.

NE and I wrestled it out to his car, and managed to get it up on the roof. Then we tied it on and drove the few miles to my place with me holding on to one end of the rope (in the car.)

We wrestled it into my place, and I got it to where I wanted it while NE parked.

Kari right away was super interested in this new thing. She actually slept part of the night on it last night.

So anyway ... here is a picture of it:

It's super comfy, well worn, but otherwise in good shape. I'm glad I stayed patient and didn't breakdown and order a futon from Walmart or something ...

Spendy Weekend

April 12th, 2015 at 10:23 pm

I've been way too loose with the pocketbook so far this month, especially considering I have some large bills coming up (medical expenses.) Fast food, junkfood, Trader Joe's, Goodwill, WalMart, Family Dollar .... Over the course of the past few days I've spent at least $150. Ugh.

Trader Joe's, GoodWill and Walmart are at least shopping trips which were mostly necessary. I think part of what spurred the fast food visits was being really tired of what I had in my house (and my pantry was starting to get pretty empty ..) So I bought some ready made dishes at Trader Joe's, and a few at Walmart. Hopefully that'll curb my inclination to get something out instead of from home.

At Walmart they were having a big clearance sale on all sorts of stuff - an asst manager was there and if there was something you wanted, you made an offer and if he ok'd it, you got it. I bought an ice scraper (more heavy duty than my other one) for .50, a long handled snow brush for $1 (something I'd really wished I had this winter a number of times), and a mandolin for $13 (had a $50 one on my Amazon wishlist for at least 6 months ...) They didn't have a potato masher (something I've been looking for, but not wanting to pay $8 for!)

I also bought a few things for something that the bus company I work for does in partnership with the local women's shelter - called "Stuff the Bus" - about $8 worth of items (paper towels, hairbrushes, etc)

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Wonder of wonders, my brother actually called me today! (We'd set up a time for him to call Saturday night ... which of course didn't happen.) He's talked to mom and told her about our plans, and also told her that he'd try to get the 3 of us on the phone either Monday or Wednesday night. He's also said he has another weekend free - one in June - so I told him I'd really prefer the June weekend over the May one.

So ... we'll see ... Is this really going to happen? At least there's some movement forward - and now mom knows ... (Of course she called me after talking to him and never let on that he'd told her - she was going on and on about wanting the 3 of us to get together sometime, and I was being all non-committal. The turkette!)

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So much for my weight loss ... along with the spendiness the last week or so, there's also been a lot of junkfood consumption. Frown 3 lbs found their way back. Sigh.

So my goal is for the remainder of April - no more fast food purchases and only 1 serving size worth of candy/junk on a regularly scheduled grocery trip.

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I did get in 3 exercise sessions this week. 2 x walking on the track at the gym (today I actually did a bit of walk/jogging) and a 4 mile walk with some ladies from church yesterday.

The indoor lap app I'd found was worthless. (tried it today) So hopefully I can find another app I used to use on my other phone - it won't count laps, but it does the timing thing (run 30 seconds, walk 90 seconds, etc.) and estimates distance. (I think it was called iTreadmill)

On that walk one of the ladies who runs Women's Ministries and knows I've been a librarian, asked me if I'd be interested in being the Women's Ministries librarian. I told her that sounded like something I'd be interested in doing. Smile

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Oh, at Goodwill I bought 4 t-shirts. With exercising at the gym, I realized I needed some oversized short-sleeved t-shirts to work out in. Spent $7.47 on the 4 shirts ($3.99 for one, then $1 each for the others.)

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Got $25 PP from Swagbucks today.

Hmm ... Think I Could Go for a Spend 3K in 3 Months ...

April 10th, 2015 at 12:24 am

So ... I got a wild hair and decided to see if my EOB's were online yet for my ER visit.

Yep, they were. At least some of them.

So far my part is at least $840. There's a few other EOB's pending.

So, I'm thinking this might be a good time to go for one of those cards I usually could never do with my normal spending .. i.e. $3k in three months.

I'm thinking maybe one of those travel rewards cards - something I could fund my next flight to CA with.

Any ideas? I usually ignore posts about these kinds of cards since I usually would never come anywhere near it.

Thankful for my 3 paycheck month ... my ER visit will take pretty much that whole 3rd paycheck, and maybe more. Sigh...

Got a Bill from ER Visit

April 9th, 2015 at 02:37 am

I got a bill from my ER visit a few weeks ago - just the ER stuff, not the doctors. $3,572. Gulp. This is thankfully *before* insurance kicks in. I'm not sure why they're sending me the bill before they file it with my insurance ... Get this - the two Tylenol they gave me? $72! Ridiculous.

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The event my boss and I worked today was pretty much a bust. The weather was wet, cold and windy. There were only five other booths there. We had maybe a dozen or so people come by ... in 4 hours (we left early.)

I did get to go into the Student Union which I'd never been in. Wow, SO different than the Student Unions at the colleges I went to.

My boss and a co-worker got coffee at a Starbucks clone - I got hot chocolate. (It was really cold, otherwise I would've stuck with water.)

All of us had packed lunches. I'm glad I did, because there was a Subway in the Union. I would've maybe been tempted ...

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Not much else I can think of, so I'll go off to read up on ya'll. Smile

This and That

April 8th, 2015 at 02:01 am

On Sunday I decided to not do a Sam's/Walmart run and instead just filled in with what I needed from the grocery store I could walk to. This was partly because I didn't feel like driving all the way out there, and partly because I thought they'd have my large rewards card ready.* (they didn't)

*I got two rewards cards from this grocery store - a keytag and a large card. I've misplaced the large card - which you have to have in order to use for gas savings. I went to customer service a week ago to ask for a large card (with my points) - they told me it'd be ready by Sunday. So I waited to fill up my car, and of course it wasn't ready. The lady I spoke with said something about them being months behind ... ugh!

I have 11cents/gallon savings currently on my card which I can't use. Frown

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Monday I had a recheck on my Vitamin D levels. Got the call Monday afternoon letting me know my levels were in the normal range.

I don't know if it is because of this or not, but somehow I'm all of a sudden being able to actually lose weight! Even with eating fairly normally. And low activity level.

I'm down 14lbs from my high in January, and almost 2lbs down from my low when I was so sick a few weeks ago. Whatever the reason, I'm NOT complaining! Smile

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I filled up at the gas station for $2.31/gallon (would've been $2.20/gallon if I could've used my card!) I don't forsee any major driving this month, so hopefully that will be it for April's gas.

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After work today I went to the gym for the first time in over 2 weeks. I walked on the track for 30 minutes. I need to figure out a way to keep track of laps or distance - 1 lap is 1/16th of a mile. I didn't push myself too hard, but still felt like I got a good workout in.

Afterwards I stopped at Walgreen's and picked up my Vitamin D and some Easter candy (on sale.)

I have just over 1000 points to get my $50 cashback at Walgreen's. That's just two prescriptions, or a prescription plus a month's worth of walking/logging weight. So I'm starting to ponder what I'll get with my $50 ... Smile

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Tomorrow I get to be away from the office most of the day. Smile My boss and I will be manning a booth at an event at the local university. It would be better if it wasn't going to be rainy and cold ... but still, it's a day away. Smile Plus I get to wear jeans. Smile

I wonder how much free junk ..er...stuff I'll walk away with from the event .. all the vendors give free stuff out - pens, notepads, cups, food, etc.

Thankful for the Weekend

April 4th, 2015 at 02:26 pm

I put in my first full week at work this past week in a few weeks.

This morning as I woke up and rolled over I was thinking, "What day is it today? Oh yeah, Saturday! I don't have to get up anytime soon." Big Grin

Health wise I'm feeling much, much better than a week ago. I still have the deep hacking cough which makes people look at me like "why is she out and about spreading germs?" But I've finished my antibiotics so shouldn't be germy. Smile

I somehow have managed to maintain the weight I lost last week, even with a return to almost normal eating habits. I haven't done any real exercise in nearly two weeks now.

Friday after work NE and I went to "The Mother of All Garage Sales" held at the local events center. It cost $3 each to get in. Mostly, it was 30 minutes worth of slow walking.

Most of what was being sold in there was overpriced junk and stuff to clutter your home. Neither NE nor I bought anything - he was hoping to find home/car audio deals. There were a couple vendors in there that made me think of Brooklyn Girl? with all her CVS finds that she resells. Tons of shampoo, etc products.

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I'll be heading off to church here soon. Hopefully I don't annoy people too much with my coughing.

Am debating about whether I'll join the biking/walking group this afternoon. I want to go, but I'm just not sure if I should go - really don't want to exacerbate my cough.

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I'm really frustrated with my brother right now. Back in early February HE raised the idea of having him and mom come out here to NE in May. Since then it's been a game of tag for us to actually connect to finalize plans and let mom in on the plans (you know, so we can make sure she doesn't have plans for that weekend.) Over the last six weeks he's set appointments to talk with me at least 5 times ... which when I text him an hour or so beforehand to make sure we're still on, he cancels for one reason or another.

The last time this happened was this past Sunday. I haven't texted or tried calling him since .. mainly to see if he's going to do anything. Nada.

Times running short if we're going to get reasonable plane tickets - and possibly the hotel accommodations too. He only has ONE weekend available between May and August (otherwise has friend's weddings or work shindigs.)

I feel like saying forget it! But I would really like to have them come out here to visit, etc. Ugh.