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Archive for December, 2016

Stomach Flu ... Happy end of 2016 to Me

December 31st, 2016 at 12:01 pm

I had just pretty much gotten over the cold this week, and was looking forward to a long weekend where I was feeling good and would be able to get some things done.

Then ... last night around 7 p.m. the stomach flu hit. I was up and down pretty much all night long. I finally managed to get to sleep around 5 a.m. I just got up about noon, and am still having ... issues.

DH brought me a Sprite when he got home from work, which I sipped at, and seemed to help a little bit. (I'm not considering this a break in my no soda rule - the soda I *enjoy* is Coke/Pepsi - the Sprite is for medicinal purposes.)

I illogically was wondering if it was food poisoning (ate at Texas Roadhouse Thursday night) or as a result of eating too much of a new chocolate brand that I'd gotten at CVS on sale Thursday ( Hershey's chocolate layers 2 for $4). But I'm pretty sure it is stomach flu.

At any rate, I think (even though I know it probably wasn't the culprit) I think I'm ready to give up chocolate. I can't just eat a single serving - I go overboard. Sometimes even when I don't even really like the taste of it ...

Not quite how I -was hoping to end 2016.

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I'm very frustrated with Pinecone. I got locked out of my account due to the robot verification thing. It got reset, and I tried again - only to get locked out AGAIN! I can't do surveys and I can't cash out. UGH!

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I need to update our budget today, but I already know we overspent in groceries.

I need to see if I can take back the food processor I bought at Aldi's without a receipt. I made homemade cinnamon rolls last week, and when I went to use it to make powdered sugar, neither DH nor I could get it to work. So I ended up making them into pecan rolls instead (brown sugar sauce)

I'm within 40 receipts of being able to cash out for a $100 gift card from receiptPal. Probably by the end of January.

I had to call CVS on Friday yet again because the thing with switching my info to a new card STILL was messed up. The lady I spoke with said she'd give me $13 extrabucks as kind of a sorry, and it should be fixed by Monday. I'll believe it when I see it.

I've started watching Land Girl's on Netflix - almost done with the second season. It's a great diversion while on the treadmill. Smile

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DH works tonight, but tomorrow we're planning on going to IHOP. Hopefully I'll be up for it by then.

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Kari has been letting DH actually pet her without immediately growling or running away! This is huge progress. She's still not getting along with the other cats ...

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One thing I hope to accomplish this weekend is to figure out a gameplan for food. I've kind of contemplated signing up for the Clean Foods Dirty Girls mealplan for one month at $29, but am not sure just yet. If I could get DH on board for it, it would make more sense. But that isn't likely to happen .. so ...

We really need to get the grocery spending under control. I think maybe I'll just assume that 2/3rd of it can be spent by me, and so when DH decides to go shopping, it isn't an issue.

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I don't know how I'm going to get my steps in today. I may have to forfeit the $35 for the Stepbet. Frown Frown You have to have a doctor's note to not forfeit - and I doubt that stomach flu would work. Sigh. I guess I'll do some walking in place or something.

DH and I Sick ... Financial doings

December 22nd, 2016 at 04:58 pm

DH has been pretty sick the past few days - bad coughing, etc. Tuesday night we went to the CVS minute clinic near us to see if he had strep throat. Thankfully he didn't! (I catch strep EASILY.)

I haven't been feeling too great myself. Took today off, since the next six work days pretty much everyone will be gone, and I CAN'T take off no matter how sick ..

Spent some on cough syrup, oj, etc.

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I came across this link on Facebook yesterday - most of the things were ones I'd heard of before, but there were a few new ones.

http://www.frugalforless.com/35-work-from-home-gigs-that-pay-you-once-a-week-or-daily/

One I signed up for is PointsClub. So far, so good. The surveys pay even if you don't qualify. The main thing is to visit the site every day without fail, so that when you DO get a qualifying survey, it pays out more.

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I got an advert for Barclay Mastercard - spend $500 in 90 days, get $200. I had to wait for them to go through my credit monitoring service (provided through Blue Cross Blue Shield for free), but got my approval email on Tuesday. Once I get the card, I'll pay $500 towards DH medical debt. Boom! There's our $200. Smile (Which will be put towards student loans.)

Now I just need to wait a little while and find another deal like this for a spend $500 get $100 (or hopefully $200!) to finish off the medical debt.

I called to find out what percentage deal the hospital offered for paying if off all at once - a measly 10%. Yeah. No. 20%, and we'd be talking. Just with this one credit card deal I shaved off more than 10%! (There's a balance as of now of $1632)

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I bought 3 pairs of leggings from Amazon, and also a Bissell hardfloor steam mop. They should be here by Saturday or Monday. (Used gift card money/rewards points.)

I got quite a few compliments on my dress/sweaters from my shopping spree at work. Big Grin In fact, the lady who is on light duty had been looking for clothes for her youngest daughter who is a BBW like me Smile and hadn't thought of Lane Bryant or JC Penny's. She went there and found several items her daughter LOVES. Her daughter said (through her mom) "tell the lady you work with that I LOVE her!" LOL

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I'm so glad this is an off week for my stepbet. I would have forced myself to get my steps in, but definitely wouldn't have enjoyed it.

From my last stepbet I earned $11.90. My current stepbet (which starts for real on Monday) I only paid $35 to join (emailed a coupon!) So, I'm essentially starting off with a $5 bonus. Smile Hopefully I'll be feeling better by Monday.

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Bing had some issues this past weekend with points crediting. I guess enough people complained (me included!) so today they put out a 1,000 point clicker as an apology. When you click on it, you're taken to a page full of images with a variety of Sorry's on it. I thought that was pretty cute. Smile

Birthday, Day Off

December 16th, 2016 at 07:23 pm

Thursday after work I stopped at CVS to pick up the photos I'd ordered. (Although I figured out tonight that I'd ordered them from Walgreen's instead. Oops.)

When I got there, the cashier told me they hadn't had any orders come in. I was flabbergasted - the app had told me they'd be ready by 10:18 p.m. the night before.

She called a couple other stores to see if they'd been sent somewhere else instead. (Meanwhile, I had to keep telling people that I wasn't in line.)

Finally we decided that they must have just not gotten sent. So I decided to reorder them. Hassles.

Finally got them ordered. The lady told me she wasn't sure how long it took for the order to process. I waited about ten minutes, and then decided I'd have to get them later.

About three minutes later, I got a phone call telling me they'd just printed! So, I turned around and picked them up. The cashier gave them to me at no charge!

(Which I now feel bad about, because as I checked my hotmail account tonight for Mypoints emails, I found an email from Walgreen's telling me my order was ready. Apparently I ordered from the Walgreen's app instead of the CVS app. I was sure I'd ordered fm CVS because I had prescriptions to pick up there ...) Oy Vey.

DH was happy with the photos, and we got the card mailed out after the restaurant.

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Billy's was good again - good food, good service - but not quite as special as last year. I'm not sure why really - maybe because we had high expectations set from last time?

We remembered to ask the waiter to take some photos this time. I also took photos of our dishes.

DH had a rack of lamb:

I had "Vegetarian Surprise" brussel sprouts, squash, carrots, pasta with some kind of cream. Lots of it. Smile

This is us in front of the Christmas tree.

When we got home, DH sort of started our first fire in our fireplace. (BTW - the chimney cleaner charged $150.)

He's planning on youtubing himself on how to get a better fire for next time. Smile

Still, it was nice to have our first fire in our fireplace. Big Grin Even if it didn't last long, or put out much heat.

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I had planned on doing Hacksaw Ridge and then some shopping, and then Brake's Plus today. In the end, I decided to skip the movie - due to forecasted bad weather coming. The shopping was a bit more important.

I ended up purchasing 8 sweaters, a pair of dress pants, a hoodie (with a zip pocket for keys/card!, a dress and a couple pairs of tights for about $170.

I've gotten really tired of being cold when the wind blows up the stairs and through the bottom of the window into my office. I had planned on seeing if I could find one cardigan to just put over my normal tops ... but just couldn't find anything neutral enough.

I'm VERY happy with what I bought. Especially the dress (Lane Bryant) and the sweater/pants/hoodie from TJ Max. The other 6 sweaters came from JC Penny's.

I also bought some clearance thermal curtains from
Sears, which came out to $2 after my shop your way points.

Then I made a stop at Aldi to get some Almond Milk and a few cans of beef ravioli for DH.

Next up was Best Buy. I talked to someone in the computer department about my catblocking frustratio. I left with a 10 foot power cord and a vga extension cord. After setting it up tonight, I believe it's going to be beautiful. (I put my monitor on top of an empty box.)

Finally was Brake's Plus. Due to the road conditions, he couldn't test out my brakes fully, but he thinks my issue might be the ABS brakes. He told me to come back next week after the roads clear up. My front and rear brakes are in good condition.

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Now I'm home and don't plan on going anywhere til Sunday. Poor DH though - he has to be out in it tonight and Saturday night. I hope people tip well - delivery drivers are out there when most people prefer to be bundled up safe and warm at home.

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I got birthday/Christmas money from my aunt.I'm giving half of it to DH for his fun money, and the rest to mine. Good thing to he, since I pretty much decimated my spending money today. Big Grin

I also *finally* cashed out of Inbox Dollars. A check for $27.20 will come eventually.... That took painfully long to accumulate.

Phone Frustrations, etc

December 14th, 2016 at 08:35 pm

DH told me on Monday that he wanted to send his stepdad a card with a few photos from the wedding. He had supposedly hurt himself that morning and didn't come.

I was surprised, but happy to do it.

So on the way home tonight I stopped at Walgreen's to use their photo kisok.

When I opened the app, my phone which was at 24%, went dead. The photo lady told me I could plug into the kisok and charge my phone while using the kisok.

So .. I tried that. My phone wouldn't charge. Finally, the lady let me use a charger plugged into the wall. My phone came back on at 24%! Then went dead as soon as I opened the app.

Again, I got my phone ack on. But this time just tried using the kisok. But I couldn't get my phone to connect to it.

At that point I gave up and came home. Where I placed an order at CVS which I'll pock up tomorrow. I got 12 pictures (2 sets of 6) for $2 after a coupon.

I hope DH likes the photos, because so far they've been a royal pain.

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I'm looking forward to our dinner out tomorrow night. We'll be eating at one of the oldest restaurants in Lincoln - Billy's. We went there last year for my birthday, and both loved it. So now for a repeat. Smile
(We have a restaurant's.com coupon for $25 off - good thing, because it's not cheap.)

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On Tusday there was a fire in Omaha at one of Sprint's substation's? It knocked out cell and data service in Omaha, Lincoln and surrounding areas for most of the day.

It also affected us at the bus station - the gps system to track the buses is based off of Sprint's towers. It basically made it so what is already a finicky program, nearly unusable.

Here's hoping it'll be working tomorrow!

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I'm taking off Friday. I plan on seeing Hacksaw Ridge in the morning (matinee), go to the ABC and see if they have Wham yet, shop at shopkpo for some sweaters, and take my car to have its brakes checked. Mostly fun stuff, with something necessary thrown in. Smile

Got Our First Property Tax Bill, etc

December 11th, 2016 at 11:48 am

I hadn't been sure just how much it would be, so I'd been setting aside $150/month for it. Looks like that was underestimating a bit. Our first payment is due in March for $1106 and the remaining $1106 is due in August.

I currently have $900 set aside for it, so by March we'll be fine. However, we won't be ready for the August payment at our current savings.

We need to save $1300 more by August. So instead of $150/month, I think we should be putting aside 163/month. Maybe I'll make it 170/mo to have a round number. Smile

Starting in September, we'll need to save $185/mo (rounding up)

I can pay online - so will have to find out if there is a CC fee and if I can find a good sign up bonus to negate it. Smile

*We don't have an escrow account.
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I got a "refund" check from my former Internet company which had charged me for a month of service I hadn't asked for. Of course the check is in my maiden name - misspelled. I don't know if I can cash it, and am not sure it's worth the hassle for $15.xx *They over credited me somehow.

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Speaking of banking hassles ...

On Friday I stopped at our credit union to deposit DH's paycheck and tip money into our joint account. I've done this nearly weekly for almost 8 months!

As soon as the teller looked at DHs check, she said "we don't have a signature on file for him, nor an id!" What are you talking about lady?! He signed a whole bunch of documents and had his id scanned when we opened our account! Besides, I'm DEPOSITING the check into our JOINT account - not cashing it! Plus, look at our balance - do you really want to tick me off?

Ok. I didn't say all of that to her ... Smile

She left and got someone from the back who showed her how to find his signature from the opening documents. Then tells me he needs to come in so they can get his id.

I scoffed out loud and told her - good luck with that. Besides you should have his id on file already. It's not our fault if you don't have it in the right places!

The only think I can think of is that she was a newbie teller. Or maybe it's just that branch that has annoying tellers. I've had two annoying interactions with the credit union - and both have happened at that branch. I only go there because its close to Planet Fitness!

If it weren't for the 2.5% interest rate .. I'd seriously be looking elsewhere.

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One week left for my current Stepbet. I'm not sure if I'm going to take a little break or not yet.

I'm still holding strong on the no soda. However, my junkfood/chocolate consumption is really, really bad. So bad, I've gained back at least five pounds.

I wish I could find the same willpower with chocolate that I'm having with soda. If I could, it'd make my exercise more beneficial.

Sigh. Maybe turning 41 on Thursday will be a turning point. Probably not.

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Big non-surprise - got an email letting me know I wasn't hired for the job I interviewed for. Sigh. It'd be a bad time to leave my boss now anyway. We're still getting everything worked out with the new routes and tweaks to the schedules.

Had a new light duty person start on Friday. Just as I was enjoying having my space back. She's nice and all ... but will be there at least a few months...

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Spent more money at the Vet. I managed to get a urine sample for Kari - the vet said it looked better, but the UTI wasn't cleared up. When I told him what a difficult time I'd had gyving her her pills, he suggested an injection. So .. that's what we did. Not sure if i's helping any yet or not.

One of our cats has taken to bullying her. Multiple times I'm startled awake to the sound of her mountain lioness scream as she's chased through the house or cornered.

I really wish I knew what to do to make it better.

Phone cozy?

December 5th, 2016 at 08:00 pm

Does anyone know if there is such a thing? My phone keeps dying on me when I'm outside for more than 30 or 40 minutes, and it's not even that cold yet!

I've improvised by putting two knit gloves over it, but that's a pain when you need to use it.

I can't be the only one who's ran into this?

What I'd *really* like to find is something that is all weather proof with an easy open sleeve to access the touchscreen. Good for cold and for rain. Something that works WITH my phone case on.

If knew how to knit, I might try to come up with something myself. Sigh. My grandma really tried to teach me.

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I took the bus to Walmart tonight - DH is using my car until his brake lights get fixed. I needed to get a new litter box and popcorn - will be trying to contain Kari in the office tomorrow to get a urine sample.

I'm not sure she's that much improved .. multiple antibiotic doses didn't get taken properly due to her stubbornness...(most of the meds did finally get in her, due to MY stubbornness, but not exactly as prescribed ...)

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DH has told me to get whatever vacuum, rug cleaner and hardwood floor cleaner I want.

I'm looking at these three:


For hardwood laminate floors:
https://www.amazon.com/Hoover-FloorMate-Deluxe-Cleaner-FH40160PC/dp/B00CM220CK

For vacuuming:
https://www.amazon.com/Rotator-Powered-Lift-Away-TruePet-NV752/dp/B00X7R1FZ2/ref=sr_1_8?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1480896891&sr=1-8&keywords=shark+vacuum

For carpet cleaning:
https://www.amazon.com/Hoover-FH50150-Carpet-Basics-Cleaner/dp/B01M99J1ME/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1480898057&sr=1-1&keywords=hoover%2Bcarpet%2Bcleaner&th=1

DH thinks that they all look disposable and won't last long. (but also that all current machines look like that - plastic)

The vacuum I had before (and only let go because finding bags for it was nearly impossible) I'd bought in 1997, my dad replaced some belts on it in 2006? and it was still going strong up til 2016 when I used my last bag.

I doubt I can find something with that kind of longevity . especially not for the $100 I paid for it nor the much more frequent usage needed now. (1x a week versus maybe 1x a month? I hate vacuuming. Always have. Do it only as a necessary evil.)

I'm wanting to get something for my hardwood laminate floors first - the dust mop? the previous owners left works ... but is a pain to clean.

So ... any thought on the ones I'm considering? Do you have something else that you swear by? I need something that just does its job without a lot of fuss. Cleaning isn't something I do because I want to ... so the easier it is, the more likely I'm actually going to do it...

Our Christmas Gift 2016 and 2017, etc

December 2nd, 2016 at 07:32 pm

DH and I had our December budget meeting Thursday night. I d smhing pretty cool to discuss with him.

The rewards points for the Chase Freedom account had finally hit - and I redeemed for $182!

As we'd discussed before, all credit card cash rewards would be pt towards debt. So I added the 182 to the 300 already allocated for December.

The exciting news was that due to DH making a bit extra in November, we had a little extra play money to decide on. The balance left on the medical (no interest) debt and the balance in our repayment category was just over $200!

So ... DH and I agreed to use the bit of extra to completely fill up the debt repayment category - as our Christmas gift to each other.

Then, in January we;re going to focus on our 2017 gift - paying off the student loans!

I plan on using CC bonuses to help with that (which is why the money is just sitting for now. Ready for action.)

We really could pay them off more quickly if we cut back on some things .. but I'm okay with a year from now. Smile

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I had to call CVS again today - my new card hadn;t arrived yet, and my app missing all my coupons ...
Turns out that whomever I talked to last tine messed up. The person I spoke with today was able to fix it, and help me change the card in my app.

I think they sent me $3 as a sorry ... Smile

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Crazy busy week at work this week. Free bus fare ended on Thursday. So EVERYONE came to buy their December pass this week, Around $2500 in sales just at our office. (Normal in a week - maybe $800-1k)

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Kari was a pain the first two days of pills, the expensive grain free wet food which she used to chow on - she turned her nose up at. So ,,, Friskies Pate it is.

I bought a pill grinder .. since I'll be giving her the lysine for the forseeable future. Much easier than the back of a spoon.

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I have 3 spaghetti squash ... I'd never had it before - and neither DH nor I were too impressed with it (just roasting and eating the strands) I don't want them to go to waste ... but haven;t found a interesting recipes for them yet,

Any ideas?