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Week 1 Dietbet, etc

January 22nd, 2017 at 02:14 pm

Tonight mark one week since my official first weigh in. I don't want to jinx myself, but it feels different this time. I was able to go into grocery stores this week and most totally ignore the chocolate aisles.

I returned the non-working food processor to Aldi, and then stopped at Walgreen's and bought a Mini-bullet using my $5 rewards towards it and did not buy candy. (I would before use the $5 as an excuse to buy candy for "free")

It looks like I am down about 4lbs so far - though some of that is probably water weight.

I did have pizza Thursday night, but wrapped up one of the slices to freeze for Thursday lunch, and told DH he could have the other one.

Maybe I've finally flipped the switch like with soda.

Our grocery spending definitely shows the difference. We are at $182 for the month, and other than produce, I don't see any more til Friday.

_-
Using the mini-Magi Bullet today, I made hummus. DH was awake and taste tested it - thumbs up. I did use canned chick peas, but will get some dry ones to use once I'm out of canned.

In the Instapot I made a pot of Great Northern Beans, and then my sweet potatoes and farro for lunches.

In a bit, I'll be using it to make "pulled pork" with soy curls, and then brussel sprouts - for dinner.

I got YNAB up to date today, and got all my receipts into Receipt Hog and ReceiptPal. I'm 8 receipts away from a $100 gift card in ReceiptPal.

I cashed out for $25 PayPal from Swagbucks, and also for $10 from Achievemint.

I also got notice that $200 cash back reward has been credited on the recent credit card deal.

I ordered a meal delivery from HomeChef through Swagbucks. It cost $20, but I should receive $20 worth of Swagbucks in return. Making it free (obv.) That may be my lunches for a week in February (or Sunday dinner with DH, plus a few lunches.)

I need to get something to lay my sweaters out to dry - something away from the cats (and cat hair.) Wen I bought all those sweaters, I didn't realize most of them were hand wash. Oops.

Jan 18

January 18th, 2017 at 08:22 pm

So far so good on my Dietbet gameplan. Essentially it consists of:
No white flour foods (except Thursdays)
No foods that are solely junk (except one small treat on Thursdays - unless this becomes a slippery slope)
When buying something with added sugar (like spaghetti sauce) look for the one with the least.
Track actual food eaten on Myfitnesspal - goal - between 1600 - 1800.
Increase veggies consumption.
No soda.
No dairy or eggs - exception Thursdays.
Strength train 2x a week.
Get at least 7k steps 4x and 9k steps 2 days.

Thursdays I'm allowing exceptions (and major holidays like July 4) within reason. Mainly so I can eat what DH fixes for dinner, but also to leave room for one thing I'm craving each week.

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Thank you everyone for your comments on the post I deleted. I felt it wasn't a post I wanted left up for too long.

On that note though - I took the advice a number of you gave, and came up with this plan:

When I get home this is my routine:
*Feed cats
*Put away items from day
*Put together gym bag
*Prepare lunch and breakfast for next day (unless Fri.)
*Clear out sink / empty dishwasher
*Clean litterboxes
*Set timer for 15 minutes and do something
*Get something to eat
*relax Smile

I think this is something I can actually stick to doing. (Of course, this doesn't include laundry, etc.)

I'm thinking of proposing something similar to DH - only he'd be exempt from the 15 minutes if he did something major that week like mowing the lawn or snowblowing.

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Ugh Pact. This is an app that I use to track veggies/food tracking/workouts. I usually make at least $10/month up to as much as $16.

A few weeks ago I missed my veggie pact by 1 item (I'd eaten the right amount, but didn't get the photo uploaded in time.)

So now I'm back and forth emailing them because they aren't going to pay me for last weeks Pact because my Paypal agreement expired. I wasn't told of a problem. My first inkling was when I couldn't edit my pacts for this week.

I'm thinking I'm going to get back to the $10 cashout, and then be done with it. I hate to lose the extra money, but it sure would b one less thing to worry about.





My Lunch, Won Two Drawings

January 3rd, 2017 at 06:18 pm

So yesterday I tried doing two things at the same time in my InstantPot - a method referred to as pot in pot. I put 4 sweet potatoes on the little rack that comes with it, and then a pyrex dish with a cup of brown rice,some seasonings, and water. I cooked it for 25 minutes, and then about two hours later, took it out.

Perfect. Smile

I had made beans on Sunday in the IP.

So, this week's lunches will look like this: sweet potato, beans/rice, frozen veggies, apple.

The smaller container holds Triscuits and hummus. I had been buying the little $1.19 box of hummus/crackers at Aldi's. But then last weekend I found container at Walmart.

So, less waste and less money! (I did buy hummus, though I plan on making my own - once I can figure out what's wrong with my food processor.)

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The gym was stereo-typically full of people today. Thankfully I was still able to get a treadmill. Smile
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My Fitbit wasn't syncing today. thankfully, resetting it worked. I'm almost to 10k steps - that would stink to lose that!

(I try to do my stretch days for Stepbet on Monday/Tuesday so I have them out of the way.)

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I won 1k points from PointsClub this weekend from liking a FB post and entering a sweepstakes code. I'm halfway to a $25 gift card.

I also won 20 coins from ReceiptHog for one of the receipts I added in December. I'm close to a $20 PayPal on it.

Not a whole lot, but I rarely win anything, so it felt kind of cool to win two drawings within a few days of each other.

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I managed to go to Dollar Tree 2 days in a row without buying a candy bar or slice of pie, etc. I wouldn't have gone the second time, but DH really wanted some of the spicy beef burritos. (Got frozen fruit the first trip.)

No more grocery shopping til Sunday!

Interview, Soy Curls, Concert!

November 16th, 2016 at 07:22 pm

I had my interview on Tuesday afternoon. I ended up NOT changing clothes because by the time I found a parking spot, I only had time to put on makeup and skeedaddle.

There were two interviewers - my potential boss and a potential co-worker.

The job sounds so way up my alley! I *think* they liked me ... hopefully my many "you knows" and "ums" didn't turn them off. Frown

I'd have to learn a lot of new computer programs - one of the aspects of the job is being a Jill of All Trades - so I could take over any responsibility in the office if someone's sick or on vacation.

I sent both of them a thank you note today (handwritten) through Interoffice mail. Smile (Hoping that wasn't a faux paux - using IO mail to send a note ...)

--
About two months ago I bought an 8 oz package of a product called soy curls. It sat in my cupboard till about three weeks ago when I finally decided to make something with it! I did a recipe called "Barbeque'd soy curls"

I made the mistake of telling my DH that they tasted nasty just plain and rehydrated. He wasn't willing to try them, even after I told him that the recipe was decent, when you added some mustard and cheese ... Smile

I ate 3 meals out of it, and then froze the rest. This past weekend I reheated it and ate a 4th meal of it. There was still a good bit left (plus some broccoli.) I'd planned on eating it tonight for dinner.

So tonight I came home, fed the cats, cleaned the litter boxes, put my lunch together for tomorrow, got the dry ingredients ready for my smoothie, emptied the trash in the bathroom and office, started a load of laundry ... and then opened the fridge to get my dinner.

Only it was missing!

My DH apparently saw it in the fridge and wondered what it was, and then ate a few bites ... and the rest was history. Smile So, I guess I will be getting some more Soy Curls. Smile (I had planned on not getting them again.)

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Tomorrow night is the Trans Siberian Orchestra Concert!!!!!! I'm just a *wee* bit excited. Big Grin

We're going to be in a hurry, so will be doing a quick stop at a Hardee's for dinner. It will still be a treat, because L town has no Hardee's. (I love their Mushroom Swiss burger w/o the burger. DH teases me he's going to contact them to find out what the sauce is made with - I told him NOT ON HIS LIFE to ruin it for me like he did with cornbread stuffing (uses chicken broth ...) For some things, I'd just rather not know. Smile

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I forgot to mention - I won $9.67 in my Stepbet, and just started a new one on Monday. It's amazing how motivating losing $40 of my limited spending money motivates me to get my steps in! Big Grin

A Few Days Left of Stepbet - Learned Something

November 4th, 2016 at 07:40 pm

Just 3 days left of my Stepbet. It's looking like the earnings will be around $10. I'm planning on doing another one, but not until after DH and I get back from Chicago.

Yes, we are officially going to Chicago next Wednesday and Thursday. Driving. Partially to buy DH a car, and partially for a quick get away. I'm thankful Friday will be a holiday for me. Sleep!

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Something sad at work today. One of the new employees who I really liked was let go. She was within her 6 month probation period. Frown Not sure why.

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At work I learned something else today - about copiers.
When you put paper into the drawer, you should do it "seam side" up. (the seam referring to the paper covering the ream of paper.) You also should do something called "fluffing" the paper (i.e. adding air pockets.)

All to avoid something like this:


(Kind of beautiful in its own way I think ...)
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Still going strong on the no soda ... though I had a real test a few days ago - the first day the bus routes changed. STRESSED OUT! But I persevered and bought some carbonated water from family dollar instead. (and ... chocolate.)

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Only 13 days till Trans Siberian Orchestra!!

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The other day we had a backpack come in to Lost and Found, and inside it was a Nevada Barr book - one I hadn't read!

I picked it up from the library today. Big Grin (on CD so I can load it on my phone to listen to while walking or in the car.)

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I bought some parsnips today. I plan on making them for dinner on Sunday. Smile I've never had them, so it should be interesting.

I also bought a bag of fresh cranberries last week. I put about 1/4 cup of them in my smoothie on Wednesday. Blegh! Yesterday and today I only put 3 or 4 ... much better. Smile

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DH emptied out the transmission fluid from his Honda (which he drove through high water last May?) in an attempt to get it working again. It didn't work.

So now he's on the hunt for a used transmission. He thinks he may have found one two hours away for $150. He just needs to find out if it's vtech or not?

If he can get the car going again for $500 or less, then it should be worth it. Otherwise, he may be ready to sell it. (It's a 2001 Honda with around 149k miles.)

Still Kicking

October 17th, 2016 at 06:17 pm

So, it's been about 9 days since my last entry. It's been busy and tiring and stressful ...

But ... I'm still doing well with no soda, and fairly well with the DD. Almost finished with week 3 of Stepbet.

Last week I had several pizza indulgences which I think my system did not like at all. Hence being sicker than I have been in a long time this weekend. I'm only now really recovering.

I've told DH I want to lay off on any pizza for a good while. And cheese. Not sure if it was the cheese, the grease, the white flour, or bad pineapple topping ...

I hadn't really wanted pizza the last time, but DH *really* wanted it, so I gave in. Ugh.

--
We were going to go to Denver on Sunday for a car, but DH didn't get enough sleep, so we scrapped the idea. I was so glad because I really didn't feel like driving there and back in one day. At all.

I just wish a car would magically appear within an hours or less drive that was PERFECT for what he wants.. So this car search would be over.

This coming Sunday DHs work is having a 2015 Christmas party ... catered by Outback Steakhouse. Yuck. DH actually wants to go (to the first part at least - second part is a party bus - double yuck.) So ... I'll eat something before we go and see if they have some kind of non-alcoholic non-soda drink ... dreaming, right? Smile (water of course ...)

The following Sunday I have 3 - 4 hours of overtime at work putting new schedules on the buses, and then I'm volunteering at a local church event celebrating world food cultures. That's going to be a long day.

Last week I went out to IHOP by myself, and then I went and saw Sully. I really needed an evening out.
(I liked Sully, although there were parts of it I was going ... come on already! Part of it may be that it was pretty late and I was tired though ...)

DH and I had a pretty frank health discussion. He told me that he pretty much has decided to not really make any changes in his habits yet ... because he has time. My insisting/nagging/conjoling him to at least try something different obviously would not work ...

He also told me he'd rather take a pill than do a diet change.

So ... I guess that's it then. I can't force him to do anything. Sigh.

--
So ... today I found a job possibility with the city ... pays $2.50/hour more. Same hours. Working at the public library - doing some of what I do now, but adding in a lot more MS Office type work. Not a librarian position (those all require weekends, which I can't do.)

So ... I'm applying.

I don't know how I'd get off for an interview if it came to that. The next two months both of the people who cover my responsibilities when I'm gone will one or the other be gone more than they're here.

I guess if it's meant to be, it'll work itself out. the money sure would come in handy.

DD 32/33 - This and That

October 7th, 2016 at 07:22 pm

I think I'm getting into a pretty good routine now. Most days 70-80% of my food consumption is whole grain/fruit/veggie/nuts/low-processed. Now at over a month without soda.

I saw something on the YNAB forum today called a My Soda Pop (or something like that.) For $75 you could get this reusable kit to make your own carbonated water/juice/soda. Same idea as the soda stream machine, but more environmentally sound. I was interested in it til I saw the price ...

Step Bet - Week 1 (ends Tuesday)
1/2 stretch days, 2/4 active days

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I went and looked at my American Express card offers after seeing what CCF posted. I had the Boxed offer a cable/internet offer. These will help me get to the $25 cash out (currently sitting at $16.)

At boxed I bought toilet paper and Madras lentils.

---
Our poor kitty Baby, the oldest of the brood, doesn't seem to be feeling too well. Thursday night he lost his lunch, and then wasn't interested in the wet food dinner. This never happens. He's a true chow hound.

I made a vet appointment for Saturday morning. I hope it doesn't take too long, because I'm supposed to be doing an announcement for my Sabbath School group at the beginning of service. (Not looking forward to ... but am not going to have to say a word - just be moral support to my teammate.)

I'm wondering if we are saving enough towards the vet category ...

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DH and I both had dentist appointments this week. DH didn't think he'd have any issues since he's not had a cavity in 50 years ..... So, when it came time to renew dental insurance this year, I dropped it for both of us.

Wishing I hadn't now.

I had a clean bill of teeth health. My DH on the other hand has a receding gum line. He'd mentioned this to me, but I hadn't realized that was the same as gingivitis.

So ... at his appointment they wanted to do what is called a "deep cleaning." Something which would take at least 2 2 hour appointments and cost $150 after insurance. And this is only AFTER he gets clearance from his family doctor (blood pressure) and his orthopedic doctor (shoulder replacement.)

He feels it would be way too stressful to accomplish this before October 31 (end of plan year.) So ... we are going to hold off on it til next plan year. Hopefully he'll have his blood pressure better under control by then too. Sigh.

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DH and I had a long discussion Thursday night. It ended with me saying that IF he found a vehicle that just absolutely SINGS to him, then I would be willing to move a certain amount of money out of the fence fund. (Also, IF he'd commit to keeping the vehicle meticulous so good resale value later.) I did also make sure he realized that it *could* mean that the fence wouldn't happen right away next spring - unless he sells some of his electronics.

This coming week we are going to be going on a short excursion for car hunting / short get-away. Either to Chicago or Denver depending on which area has the most possible cars to look at.

It'll be nice to get away even if just for a short bit. (2 days) Hopefully we'll come back with two cars so the car search will be over for a few years... (This is why I prefer to buy newer models, so that I can buy once and not have to deal with the search again for a LONG time.)

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On Sunday we are going to be signing our wills! Also, our DNR statements. It will be good to have that all done. And for free too. Smile (My church's larger organization, called a Conference, has a trust and wills department that does this for church members - all they ask is that the church is remembered in some small way in the will.)

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I've borrowed a bunch of books on DIY foods, "easy" vegan cooking, etc from the library. So far 3 books into it, and I'm not terribly impressed ... I am thinking of getting a nut milk bag to make my own milk and butter. DH may roll his eyes a bit ... we'll see though. Smile

I went shopping at HyVee tonight - picked up bananas, apples, brussel sprouts (at Dh's request!), chia seeds, and a couple other things I don't remember. $22.xx

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Oh! DH gave me a nice surprise Thursday. When I got home, I found out that after his dentist appointment he had stopped at the local ABC (Adventist Book Center) to see if they had my fave Wham. Big Grin They didn't, but he brought home some other TVP product for us to try.

I was really surprised because I wasn't sure he'd really heard me when I'd asked him if he'd stop by there sometime if he was awake and out during their hours .. because I was really craving me some Wham. He heard and he remembered. Big Grin

DD 25/26/27 - September Spending, October Budget

October 1st, 2016 at 04:05 pm

Still doing pretty well getting my daily dozen in most days. (At least about 70 - 85% level.) Still holding strong on no soda.

I'm working on my meal plan for this week, and plan to get some Kale to try out Ceejay's kale chips, and try out Kashi's idea too.

I found a recipe for making baked apple slices in the oven (rather than the dehydrator) so might try that too.

My grocery budget for the first week at least is going to be helped somewhat by a generous gift from my church's ladies group - a belated housewarming/wedding gift. My walking buddy brought it over last night - two kinds of ravioli from Trader Joe's, organic marinara sauce, veggie meatballs, salad mix, can of black olives, two baguettes, a set of measuring spoons and cups, and a silicon spatula. All in a container which can be used as a serving dish.

Pretty neat. Smile

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Okay, September wrap up:
Mortgage - 526
Extra Principal - 25
Natural gas - 26
Electricity - 139
Phone - 52.27
Water/Sewer - 86.82 (bi-monthly)
Internet/Cable - 54.95
Netflix - 10.71
Groceries - 296.91
Car gas - 274.49 ($50 or so for MN trip)
Tithe - 130
Giving - 30
Car Maintenance - 129.48
Clothing - 23.45
Phone/Garmin replacement - 25.93 (new Garmin warranty, back-up phone DH)
Household - general - 46.95
Pets - cats - food/litter - 70.95
Pets -cats - medical - 24.39 (felliway dispenser)
Pets - non-cats - food - 13.49
Fitness - 41.85
Laura birthday/entertainment (trans siberian) 108
Date night / eating out - 63.85
Catifying - 15.87 (materials to attach cat tree to wall in living room)
Laura fun money - 19.39
Student loan - 51.38
Medical debt - 178

Money was set aside for multiple categories not shown above .. because nothing was spent in them for now. Smile

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We had our October budget meeting on Thursday night. It was kind of fun due to my 3rd paycheck and overtime hours. Smile We put $200 into each of our spending money categories (been getting about $40 each), an extra $300 into repaying medical debt (actually have enough to pay half of it in full right now - just need to find a card DH would qualify for with a $1k spend and good sign up bonus, or even a $500 spend with good sign up bonus ...) We also allocated extra to some other categories.

DH agreed to do a $100 extra principal payment to the mortgage after I explained to him how making the little boost payments would save us huge amounts of interest / time in the long run.

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DH made the commitment to only one 20 oz soda per work night, and I have made the commitment to not taking more than one servings worth of chocolate/junkfood into the office at a time. This will be helpful to both of us.

Ok, I need to get my walking clothes on and get out there before it's dark. Smile May go ahead and do some grocery shopping tonight too. (Since I did some cleaning last night before my walking buddy came over ...)

DD 23/24 - Thinking About a Dehydrator

September 28th, 2016 at 07:54 pm

Still going strong on no soda. Smile

The light duty person has been diagnosed with per-diabetes and high cholesterol, so we have been doing a lot of talking about diet, etc. She's a big meat eater, so I suggested she may want to try cutting back on meat by using it as a condiment to her meals, as well as cutting out/back on dairy and eggs.

I've been doing fairly well with the DD. The one item I'm having trouble with is getting my greens.

That's partly why I'm thinking about getting a dehydrator - so I can make Kale Chips (maybe spinach ones too?) Then I can use them to dip in my homemade hummus. Taking care of greens and beans! Smile

I'd also like to do dried apples like my dad's friend Pete does. Every time I go out to CA, I come home with bags of died apples. So addictive. Smile

I found one on Amazon for $50 I like, but plan on checking Craig and FB first. DH thinks that's a good idea in case I end up not really using it. Smile

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I got an email from the Achievmint app today telling me how many points I'd earned. I've been ignoring them because I thought that I'd earned the max number of rewards. But today I decided to see why they kept sending me emails.

Well, I guess they restructured their program so that even people like me (who earned $200 from them) could continue to earn rewards in $10 increments. I'm halfway to the next $10! Guess I'll start tracking my water again. Smile

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Also last night I decided to look at the Bounts store ... and was able to snag a $10 CVS card! I tried to get a second one, but it wouldn't let me add it to my cart.

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I stopped at a Dollar Tree yesterday (Tuesday) and was disappointed to find that most of their frozen vegetarian selections weren't available anymore. Frown At least they had a good selection of frozen fruit.

I also bought 4 plastic canisters to put rice/beans/quinoa, etc. in. I need to buy some more, and also find my sharpie so I can label them. Smile

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I got a reply back from N e l n e t. They didn't answer whether they accept 3rd party checks or not, but they told me here to send a payment ... So, I guess we can try and see?

DH needs to recertify for the IBR plan. If it's based on 2015 taxed income, he should be okay still. By next year when it'd be based on both of our incomes together, we'll already be in student loan repayment focus so it won't matter. Right now we are focusing on the medical debt.

(Citi gives the option of sending rewards money to either a student loan or a mortgage. Otherwise, I'd send it to the medical debt. The medical debt has no interest, but the interest on the student loans is negligible, and the mortgage isn't bad either. I just want the medical debt gone first. Even if it doesn't totally make financial sense. Smile )

DD 21.22 - Vegas Out, etc

September 26th, 2016 at 05:27 pm

Now I am at 3 weeks of no soda!

I got home from grocery shopping on Sunday, and then went out for a walk. Just as I was getting to the house, DH calls me to find out where I was.

We ended up going to check out some more cars around town, and in Home Depot to check out week whackers, etc.

By the time we got back home, the majority of the time I'd planned for cleaning/cooking was gone.

So ... DH cleaned out the kitty boxes (bleach) while I got dinner on and did a few of the cleaning tasks I'd planned.

Dinner was eaten about 9 p.m. That's not late for DH, but is way late for me.

After dinner/cleanup/conversation, DH asked me to help him figure out the blood glucose meter. Yes, the thing I had gotten him nearly six weeks ago.

What a bizarre and un user friendly contraption that thing is! Finally about midnight DH had had enough and decided to try to find some youtube videos to figure it out. I was beyond exhausted.

Today I managed to get my lunch put together, and breakfast made, so that they were both within the DD guidelines.

--
Why is the Vegas contest idea out?

Well, on Sunday before I went grocery shopping, I stopped by the gym to do my initial weigh in and to ask some questions I had from the packet.

The guy who I talked to had no idea what was in the packet. For example, the packet stated that you could another facility, but would just need to have proof of that. He told me you could ONLY work out there.

So today I emailed the main contact person to clear up the confusion. He said the same thing! Even though the packet contradicts that.

This, plus a few other things, led the light duty person and I to agree to forget this whole thing.

I am thinking about joining Planet Fitness, which would only be a short distance out of my way on the way home from work. And only $10/month. DH thinks this would be a good idea as well.

DH also suggested that maybe I could go use the gym membership I already have (and have to pay til March) on the weekends when traffic wouldn't be such an issue. He's got a good point. Now, just to do it.

--
I'm probably going to go to bed not too long from now. I've a massive sinus? headache, probably partially triggered by the short night's sleep.

DD 17 - 19; Short Road Trip, Vegas Contest

September 23rd, 2016 at 07:32 pm

I'm still managing to stay away from soda. I'm finding out again, like other times I've managed to go more than two weeks avoiding it, that it gets to where I'm not sure why I wanted it in the first place. I'm at that point now - where a sip of DHs Cherry Coke doesn't even tempt me.

As far as the Daily Dozen - I'm still doing fairly well with it. I think I may modify it a bit ... such as making beans a 1/2 cup per day UP to 3 servings. Eventually I may work up to 3 servings daily, but most nights all I want is something simple like a bowl of cereal and maybe some fruit. When it gets colder, it'll be easier too ... soup or a sweet potato w/beans, etc.

DH didn't like the spaghetti squash too much. We have 3 mo I'm going to try making a spaghetti squash "pizza" and see if he'd go for that. I had lots of leftovers to eat this week because DH wasn't too keen on any of what I made on Sunday. I'm going to have to toss some of it, because I couldn't even eat it all.

One thing going to work on this weekend is coming up with a meal plan mainly using what we already have on hand, but using it in a different way (to make it more palatable to DH.) He was mentioning to me that he thought we shouldn't be buying more perishable items until we used up what we have. (I didn't say that if BOTH of us were eating them ....)

*Exercise - Fallen a bit short on this this week, due to 2 days of evening meetings and a road trip. Got in a 30 minute walk today though!

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DH may have found his winter vehicle - just an hour away! Thursday when I got off work DH called me and asked me if I wanted to take a road trip to O city to see the car. Although I was pretty tired and really wanted to get a walk in, etc., I said yes.

It's a 98 Subuaru - not sure how many miles - $1400. Needs new tires and a driver's side mirror and the windshield replaced. DH was supposed to call the dealer today to talk to them - I forgot to ask him if he did or not.

I really hope this car is workable. A 1 hour road trip is much preferable to a 12 hour roundtrip!

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One of our local gyms is running a contest starting on Monday for a trip to Vegas. You enter as a team of 4, and earn points based on exercise, tracking food, weight loss, participation in nutrition events, etc. You get free access to their gym for the duration of the contest.

The winning team of 4 gets a 3 day/2 night trip to Vegas. Airfare and hotel only.

So ... I got the light duty lady to agree to partner up with me - we'll be assigned two more people.

Doubt we'll win, but it'll be fun anyway. Smile

(This contest is mainly a marketing gimmick to get people to join their gym - it's a new company taking over the locations a defunct gym.)

It's free. Smile (Although you can earn more points by buying stuff at some place, or also by scheduling a chiropractic consultation / visit (sponsors).) I may go ahead and do the chiropractic thing - check to see if a visit would be covered under insurance. Smile

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I ended up getting 6 hours of overtime this week! Two meetings from 5 - 7, and then a 3rd meeting I wasn't supposed to be at initially, from 3 - 5. Due to my union contract, that 30 minutes of OT HAS to be 2 hours. Big Grin

2 of the meetings had about 125 people each, and one had 49 .... lots of twiddle the thumb time at that one.

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I received my signup bonus for the AE Charge card - 25000 points plus another 1000 for my "purchase." (paid medical debt) Let's just say I'm underwhelmed at the choices.

Most likely we're going to go with using it as Amazon credit. 26,000 points translates into $182 at Amazon.

Or we may keep it around in case we do some traveling, and then we could use it on a more dollar for point basis at hotels com.

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I'm going to try contacting N e l n e t again tonight to see if they accept a 3rd party check. I've already sent them two emails through my husband's account (that I set up for him online ...) with no response. (student loans)

DH and I agreed that if we don't get a response within two weeks this time, that we'll send the $600 in rewards from Citi to the mortgage instead. That'd be more than a one-month payment. (The mortgage company responded to my inquiry within about 6 hours!)

Once that finally clears out the rewards points, then I'm going to check into having that card changed into the Double Cash back card (that doesn't have an annual fee.)

DD 16 - Houston, there's been a delay

September 20th, 2016 at 07:22 pm

No Soda. About an 80% on the daily dozen. Chocolate bought and consumed.

--
The day didn't start well. I tossed and turned more than slept. Then when DH got home he tells me he's decided his car is "safe" for a 6 hour shift, so wouldn't be using mine. After a 2 hour "discussion" he promised to come straight home and change cars if he had the slightest hesitation about the wheel bearing. (DH got home about 3:20 a.m.)

As soon as I turned the lights on at work, I had a customer - one of the agencies. I later found out that I gave them the low income version instead of the full fare. I was blurry eyed and a bit foggy AND had two calls on hold before I'd even logged in. uGH.

After lunch I found out that the route changes are being postponed til November 1. Citing that the city budget has not been passed.

This is a mixed blessing. On one hand having more time to finalize prep will be very helpful. On the other hand, we have spent a massive amount of time advertising an Oct 3 start date. Now we get to explain that there's a new start date...

BTW - if anyone has an interest in bus driving, we are looking for drivers. ASAP.

---
I helped out the first open house about the new routes tonight. 120 people showed up! Less than 7% sounded disgruntled, and of those, most of them we were able satisfy them.

It was actually kind of fun. Tomorrow I get to do it all over again. 4 hours overtime, thanks much. Smile

DD 14 - Cooking disaster and other fun

September 18th, 2016 at 04:57 pm

I had my first real test today regarding soda... DH got a Mountain Dew from Runza while we were out looking at car lots. I was thirsty, but I had water with me. Not even a sip. Smile

So today is going to be difficult to assess.

This morning when I got back from my walk, I didn't want to just make a smoothie. I wanted something a little different. So I decided to make "ice cream" using my usual smoothie ingredients, except less liquid and more cacao powder.

Unfortunately. I way overdid the cacao powder and no matter what I added, I couldn't get rid of the bitter taste. I managed to eat maybe half of it, one painful spoonful at a time.

Like my husband likes to say - Laura, taste and add, taste and add. Ugh.

--
My great northern beans turned out pretty good I think. 25 minutes in te Instant Pot. Smile My hummus is ok, but I really need to find my food processor so I can make it smoother/creamier.

Another disaster - I put a spaghetti squash in the IP to cook for 6 minutes. When I cut it open, I realized it needed more time. But .... the outlet isn't working anymore! I tried resetting it, but did no good.

Hopefully when DH wakes, he can figure it out.

I have tofu "steaks" marinading right now, and probably should get the veggies in the oven for roasting.

I would have gotten more done today, but DH woke around 11 and wanted to go around the car lots. A ride with DH is much more appealing than cleaning. Smile

We found one vehicle he liked, but it didn't have a price tag. I'm betting it'll be way out of our price range. We'll see I guess.

Post 2 - DD 12 and 13- Legumes & Healthy $$$ Mortgage!

September 17th, 2016 at 06:43 pm

Today makes 13 days sans soda. I don't really miss it that much.

I did buy and eat some chocolate on Friday, but much less than normal. I actually ate an apple instead of eating the chocolate right away .... Smile

I'd say Day 12 was about a 85% and Day 13 about a 65%. I had leftover pizza for lunch today (from Thursday Little Ceasar's) and it wasn't all that appetizing.

I was going to go on the Saturday afternoon hike with some fellow church members today, but after I finished my earlier post and started to get ready, I realized I just wasn't up to it.

Instead, I took a 90 minute nap.

Even after getting up from my nap (to see DH off to work) I still wasn't feeling very good. So, no walk today. Frown

I'm really hoping I'm feeling better by the morning because I'm way behind on cleaning, and I need to get food ready for the week. Tuesday and Wednesday will be late evenings for me (helping explain the new bus routes to people) and I don't want to derail my healthier eating.

I'd really like to hire someone to come in and assist/push me to get the cleaning done. Maybe some organizing too. Also have someone help me figure out how to make the house smell better ... Sigh.

----
I did some grocery shopping the last few days. DH agreed that if I made a big pot of Great Northern Beans, that he would eat them throughout the week. (This was after I read to him the section on how people were able to eat 1/2 cup of legumes daily on top of their regular intake, without it causing weight gain. In fact, it caused the opposite. Plus helped to regulate the blood sugar, etc.)

The beans and chickpeas have been soaking since Friday night. I am going to take them out of the water in a few minutes. Maybe use the Instant Pot for the GN beans so hubby can start eating them. Smile

I bought from our local "Farmer's Market" store - almond milk, spaghetti squash, eggplant, red onions, apples, oranges, 2 lbs of Great Northern beans, 1 lb of chickpeas (going to make hummus and roast some too), 1/2 lb of Brazil Nuts (eat 2 a day to help with thyroid, plus heart health), two Medjool Dates ($$$$$$) and some other things I can't remember. $26.xx

From HyVee, 3 candybars (3 for $1), red seedless grapes, ?? $13.xx

From Dollar Tree - multiple bags of frozen broccoli florets, frozen asparagus, a couple spices, etc.

$9.89

From another local grocery store (Russ) -
bananas, ten different spices/herbs (ground mustard, bay leaves, chopped basil, ground ginger (to keep at work), sesame seeds, ....

$14.40

I also looked at buying Chlorella and liquid B 12 ... but couldn't stomach the cost. I was thinking about buying some fresh kale too, because the fresh/non-bagged stuff was on a good sale, but I didn't know for sure what was the kale I wanted (3 varieties) - I wanted to try making Kale chips. So I didn't get any.

----
I'm about halfway through How Not to Die taking notes. Some of the recommended stuff is SO expensive. I'm thinking I'll stick to the recommendations that are a reasonable cost, and then IF something happens to me, then I can go for the more expensive stuff (like Chlorella ...)

A part of me is really frustrated that I'm feeling so poorly even with having been eating much higher amounts of fruits and veggies for nearly two weeks, and little junky food.

I'm not giving up though. Something has to work to get me feeling energetic again. Maybe if DH sees it working for me, he'll be more willing to expand his choices as well...

---
Redeemed a $25 Walmart gift card today from SBs.

Also used a $30 Petco gift card I earned last month by setting up "repeat delivery) to order some grain free cat food and more litter. Cost after rewards and gift card - $6.86

---
Almost forgot! The mortgage FINALLY posted to my credit reports! I got a call from the fraud alert place my company uses that there were two alerts - one that the mortgage had been added, and one about the inquiry from Chase.

DD 11 / DHs Appt / Work etc

September 15th, 2016 at 05:01 pm

Day 11 of no soda consumed.

Chocolate was consumed, but only one piece. (a Hershey Nugget - so very small piece - leftover from yesterday)

Was hungry waiting for DH to wake up (still waiting ...) and had an apple and some triscuits w/hummus.

Had Little Ceasar's for lunch ..($10). DH wanted it, and I felt like going for it since he hadn't eaten in more than 24 hours ... I have two slices left for either dinner or lunch tomorrow. Mushrooms and pineapple (my usual toppings)

Depending on what we end up doing for dinner, I'm at about 60% today. I'm okay with that since it wasn't a normal day. Smile

-----
DHs appointment - His colonoscopy went well. It was pretty quick overall once they took him back. The nurses were great - one of them was someone he went to high-school with! DH was a little embarrassed to have her see him in the procedure.

My appointment - For some reason the lady who usually sticks me in one shot, had to really dig around today. Ouch.

---
So between the two appointments, I went to work for about 2 1/2 hours.Busy busy busy. Wow.

Our new route maps came in, and I got to help move out the old boxes and move in the new ones ... in my dress work pants with my hair down.

So, even though I didn't go on an actual "walk" today, I think I probably burned as many calories. Sure sweated enough!

I really like the lady who is doing light duty. She's really trying. She used my computer a little bit today (I'd shown her the basics yesterday.) She told me that I need an assistant.. Big Grin

The phones are pretty busy due to the new routes. Complaints, people wanting to know when they can get the printed schedules, people wanting help figuring out their kids new routes, etc. etc. But lots of complaints. Plus the normal calls of course.

DD 10 / MN trip

September 14th, 2016 at 06:38 pm

Today I scored 91% on the daily dozen.

Mainly lost points due to only walking 30 minutes.

I also ate chocolate. Mainly because I had some left from yesterday's purchase.

Must only buy single serving sizes. Must not keep extras in house...

I finished listening to the book this morning on the way to work. After work I stopped at the library and picked up the hard copy. I plan on taking notes on it tomorrow while I wait for DH's procedure to finish.

I tried a cup of water with ginger and a bit of honey tonight. Not too bad. I might buy some ginger to keep at work in case I feel one of my bad headaches coming on.

Someone told me that possibly they *could* be migraines, even though they don't last more than 6 or 7 hours (the worst part at least) and are helped by sleep, dark and a cold cloth.

---
I'm kind of looking forward tomorrow - most of the day I have off from work. In the morning accompanying DH to his appointment, then go to work for two hours, then go to my own doctor appointment (getting my iron retested.)

I'm really curious to see what the retest is going to show. I still am not a ball of engergy, but I do feel like I have a little more energy than I did before.

---
DH found a car he thought he wanted (winter delivery car) in Minneapolis. He decided since he was going to take Wednesday night off from work anyway (knowing he was going to need to be near a toilet ...) he decided to drive out there to check the car out.

So, this morning around 4 a.m. he headed out. He hadn't asked me to get cash out for it, and was bemoaning how frustrated he felt not having cash on hand to just go buy a car if he found one.

I told him I'd be okay with taking out a certain amount of cash that was already budgeted for car replacement to keep in the house. It wouldn't affect our interest earnings *that* much.

He seemed happy with that.

However, we still had to figure out how he was going to pay for the car.

I didn't want him to put it on our daily use card, because that would put us close to 60% utilization. So I tried to set up the new Chase card which actually has a higher limit than our Citi card. ???

The phone activation system didn't recognize the card number. The website activation didn't recognize the card number. Finally, I called the customer service number and got the car activated.

DH got on the road. He got back home about 6 p.m. and told me that he ended up NOT getting the car.

Sigh. (of relief partially ... wasn't looking forward to driving to Minneapolis and back on Sunday ...)

So, he's back on the hunt.

Friday I'll probably go ahead and take out the balance of the car fund to help alleviate DH's frustration.

It's a small thing to compromise on. Smile

DD 8 and 9 - Getting Ready for DH's Appt

September 13th, 2016 at 07:08 pm

Going on 9 days of no soda! I almost gave in to temptation today, but told myself that no, I didn't need it. It was just habit - in CVS, get a couple of sodas ...

Day 8 I had about 79% of the Daily Dozen, and today I had about 98%.

I tried adding a 1/2 cup of oatmeal and 1/2 cup of black beans to my smoothie ... Hmm... interesting. I will have to experiment with how much liquid (was too thick.)

In listening to the book when I went on a 40 minute walk in the rain this afternoon, he was talking about the health benefits of ground ginger.

Headaches/Migraines, Menstrual cramps, PMS symptoms, etc., etc. I'm wondering if it would help me with my sinus headaches ... Doesn't hurt to try, right? Smile

---
I hadn't spent any money this week since Saturday (ok, did buy some stuff from Amazon yesterday - silicon baking mats, a cookbook for the InstantPot and Miso)

This afternoon though I had to stop at CVS to pick up my DH's prescription for preparing for his colonoscopy. $50. Ouch.

I'm really trying to keep myself out of there unless there is a *really* specefic reason to be in there (like picking up a prescription)

I managed to get out with just buying a *little* bit of chocolate (which, yes, I ate ...)

I'm almost finished with listening to How Not to Die and now am waiting for the hard copy from the library. There's so many things I want to take special note of, but he goes so fast sometimes, or my "person" who tells me how long I've walked, etc. cuts in for 20 seconds+ ...May end up buying a copy ... (if I can find it used)

Day 7 Daily Dozen / Actiivity

September 11th, 2016 at 01:03 pm

Although it is only 2:40, I already know what I'm eating the rest of the day, so I figured I'd go ahead and record it here. Smile


++No soda consumption
++No chocolate consumption (ate it all last night ...)

Beans (3 servings) ...........3/3
Berries (1 serving)...........1/1
Other fruit (3 servings).......2/3
Cruceferious Veg (1 serving)...1/1
Greens (2 servings)............2/1
Other Veg (2 servings).........2/2
Ground flax (1 serving)--------1/1
Nuts (1 serving)---------------1/1
Spices (1/2 tsp Turmeric)------1/1
Whole Grains (3 servings)------2/3
Water (5 servings)-------------5++/5
Exercise ......................65/45

I went for an approximately 65 minute walk/jog this morning - about 3.6 miles. When I got back I had my fruit smoothie -frozen mango/berries and a banana with flaxseed, chia, protein powder and my new additions of turmeric and cinnamon ... and an incident with the black pepper. OOOO Lesson ... do not remove the spice container lid, especially not black pepper.

Let's just say that even though I attempted to remove most of what went in, judging from the taste, I was not altogether successful. (Seeing as how I'm not a big fan of black pepper in the first place ... but am trying to like it more ... Yech.)

I'm going to snack on some broccoli and hummus here in a little bit to tide me over til we get back from the Wills and Trust meeting.

I marinated and then baked a bunch of tofu "steaks" for dinner, and am roasting a pan full of bell peppers/onions/broccoli/eggplant/butternut squash/spinach right now. I'm also baking some sweet potatoes for my lunches this week.

In a bit I'm going to cook some brown rice to also add to lunches this week.

I'm also soaking some cashews which I'm going to blend with some nutritional yeast flakes to make a "cheese" sauce for the roasted veggies/tofu steaks.

Hoping DH will like this .. trying to change it up a little. Smile

---
I finally figured out a good solution for my dust mop /bucket issue. A dishpan! I put a good dose of murphy's oil in the dishpan and some water and stirred. Then got mopping (and scrubbing ... of course by tonight there will be new cat chuck spots to take the place of the ones I scrubbed up ...) Worked perfectly. Smile

--
Got our bi-monthly water/sewage bill. It was nearly $24 more than the last one. Yelp. I had to massage a number of categories to fund it, but I found the money. I will probably just set aside $50/month for it from now on, rather than just $30. Then once I have the actual bill, I can reassign the money to other places. Smile

Day 6 - Daily 12 / Received Chase card / Katrina

September 10th, 2016 at 08:41 pm

+++
No soda consumed
2? servings of fruit

Checked on Google to find out what Dr Greger's Daily 12 consists of - had heard him mention it in the book, etc., but I'm not there yet. Smile Only on Chapter 12.

Apparently there's an app to help you track it too ...
The Daily 12 is a list of things he feels important to get in ... daily. Smile (Dr Gregers Daily Dozen)

Beans (3 servings) ...........0/3
Berries (1 serving)...........0/1
Other fruit (3 servings).......2/3
Cruceferious Veg (1 serving)...0/1
Greens (2 servings)............0/1
Other Veg (2 servings).........0/2
Ground flax (1 serving)--------0/1
Nuts (1 serving)---------------1/1
Spices (1/2 tsp Turmeric)------0/1
Whole Grains (3 servings)------1/3
Water (5 servings)-------------3/5
Exercise ......................10/45

Saturday Score: 17/67 ~39%

Not my best day to start scoring ... wasn't feeling very good and didn't eat terribly good for me stuff, other than at my first meal (cereal w/banana, watermellon, whole wheat toast w/pb)

We won't talk about my "dinner" .. except to say that chocolate and pizza ...

---
I went to a local grocery store tonight (partly to get a Totino's ...) but also picked up some more hummus, snap peas, oranges and ground ginger. Spent about $15

--
Sunday we are *finally* meeting with my church's wills and trusts guy. This is our third appointment - both of the previous ones were missed because of me ... (spaced the first one, was during house buying process ... had to cancel the second one due to coming home from work early sick)

I'm realy curious to see how this works. DH and I spent some time discussing who we'd want our executor to be, and who'd be an alternative, etc. We both alreaady know what we want done if we die (cremated and ashes spread to the wind) but probably need those wishes written down somewhere in case we both go at the same time.

I'd like to set up a trust of some sort for animals, maybe have it go to the local no-kill cat shelter or something. DH probably would like that too (this is if we both go at the same time.)

----
I got my Chase Rewards Unlimited card in the mail today. Just need to activate it now, and send a $500 payment to DHs medical debt. Then probably by next statement will have the $150 cash back. Smile Which will then be put towards the medical debt as well.

Anyone know how long it should take for a mortgage to show up on your credit report? My credit scores all still say "No recent installment info" ...

I've had the mortgage since June...

I'm also looking for a good sign up bonus for a card DH could qualify for. He has some dings on his report in the last few years (before we got back together)

I probably need to wait awhile before opening another card (looking at the Citi Double Cash back card ... though I wonder if they'd switch my current Citi card (with an annual fee) to the Double Cash card (with no annual fee) ... Hmmm.... with no credit pull.

----
I was reading something on the MMM forum on Friday that got me intrigued about some of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. I checked a few books out from the library, and have put a few more on hold. None of them though seemed to deal with what happened in the stadium those few days - the rumors I heard about that seemed the most horrific ... so was kind of curious to see if anyone had written about the reality of it. Will have to see though.

Day 4 and 5; Job ? Update

September 9th, 2016 at 08:58 pm

+++
Day 4
No soda bought or consumed
Got in 4 servings of veggies/fruits

Day 5
No soda bought or consumed
Got in about 8 servings of fruits/veggies
Tumeric/Cinnamon/black pepper in smoothie

- - -
Day 4 and 5
Too much chocolate bought and consumed. Frown

Am thinking that I am going to keep the focus just on eating lots of fruits and veggies and no soda. Not worry about the chocolate intake for now.

--------------------
Thursday when I got to work boss pulled me aside and basically told me what I'd planned on saying to her .. Wink That it made the most sense to put the extra person at the extra desk/table rather than me.

The phone didn't start working properly til today - after a bit of magic by the phone/IT guy.

Extra person I think hadn't caught that the plan had NOT been for us to be sharing desk/phone space. At first she was wondering if I'd had an issue with her invading my space, or if my boss had a problem with her.

I told her that no, it had been the plan from the beginning to have her at a separate phone/space, but that we hadn't figured on "retired" person being here doing training and using that extra desk/space.

She seemed to accept that ...

So, essentially I guess this isn't that big of a deal. Maybe more of a miscommunication between my boss and I.

I can deal with the situation as it is now for the next 4 or 5 weeks. Hopefully with less chocolate intake then the last few days ...

Thank you everyone for your thoughts/comments/suggestions. They all are greatly appreciated.

Day 3, Work Question (What Would You Do?)

September 7th, 2016 at 05:17 pm

++++
30+ minute walk
Smoothie with cinnamon/tumeric
Got in about 7 servings of fruits/veggies
Didn't buy or drink soda

--
Ate chocolate (bought yesterday)

----------------

So ... I like most things about my supervisor. There is just one thing that has slightly irritated me over the past two years. Almost every time I come back from taking a vacation of more than I few days, I find my office space / work supplies rearranged.

I get told that this is done because the way I have things arranged don't make sense to my supervisor and she can't find anything.

(When I am gone, she basically does my job as well as her own. Just she isn't logged on to the information line, so there are somewhat less calls to answer.)

So ... I sort of get this. I get used to the changes, put some things back where I prefer, and move on.

Only to have it happen again the next time.

Oh well. Not a big enough issue to bring up.

But ... a month ago or so I'm told that one of the bus drivers is going to come in and do "light duty" by answering the phone. She would wear my earpiece and I would still sell passes, etc. I was also told that I would "get" to sit at the extra desk.

Um... ok. I didn't like this idea very much (other than not having to answer the phone constantly) but I decided that if it was only for a few days, then I would just deal with it.

It turns out, that it didn't happen.

Until yesterday.

I had a lot of mail in orders that came in over the holiday weekend, needed to enter the work order reports for August, and a few other things - which I needed my computer for. Also, with just a few hours of listening to the light duty person answer the phone, I realized I needed to be there..

Plus, the extra desk is presently occupied by our "retired" accountant who is training our new accountant.

My boss was gone yesterday. So, I stayed put at my desk in my office space. There were multiple times where both lines lit up, and I tried to explain to her how to hear that, and how to deal with that ... but she for some reason couldn't hear the beeps ...

So today my boss comes back and is wondering why I'm sitting at my desk with her. I explain why and she's fine with it.

Then a little while later she comes in and tells me that the others in the back were complaining about the phone not being answered. Um ... not much I can do about that!

So the IT guy attempts to install a second phone line towards the back of my office space, by the lost and found cabinets. I'm told that this phone will be for me. That they'll set up a table or something for me there to work on. Um .. okay.

So .. the person who has no computer skills and is doing what comprises 50% of my work most days, will be sitting by MY computer and using my earpiece. While I will be sitting in the back of my office space with just a phone and a table.

No. Sorry, that just isn't going to work. Not only would I be bored to tears, but there are multiple things I do as part of my job where I NEED my computer.

The phone isn't working yet, so I'm still at my computer. But ... this person is talking like she's going to be here for at least the month of September.

If it was just for a few days .. I could deal with it. But for an entire month? NO WAY JOSE!

I already feel like I get the short end of the stick with absolutely no privacy in my office space. People are constantly walking back and forth in the back of my office space (to the conference room area, lunchroom, bathrooms, etc.) I don't mind this, really. But because just by virtue of being at my desk, anyone walking into the lobby assumes I'm available to help them, I can't make personal phone calls at my desk, eat lunch at my desk, etc. I HAVE to do that in the lunchroom.

I feel kind of ... maybe, disrespected? Like they think I shouldn't care about giving up my space for someone else. Like they can make changes to my space without asking me if I'm okay with it - it's more important for the space to make sense to them - people who spend less than five hours a week in my space.

I'm seriously, seriously irritated right now. I want t approach my boss tomorrow about this, but I'm not sure how best to do it.

We have a pretty good relationship overall, but still, I want to be careful.

I thought about asking her how she'd feel if she was told that she was going to be given an assistant, who was going to do half of her work, and be given her desk space, while she would be relocated somewhere else without all the tools to do her other 50% of the work. Or, how would she feel if she came back from vacation to find that someone had decided to redesign her office for her - to make that space work better for the person redesigning the office.

I'd really like to ask her if they're trying to get me to quit. But I don't really think that's the case. I think she's just not getting how this is sounding/feeling to me. (There's very little that makes this job tolerable. Putting me at a table with just a phone and no computer will drive me beyond bonkers with boredom.)

Please SA, your words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

Day 2, Cable Companies ...

September 6th, 2016 at 07:26 pm

So .. Day 2.
++
Did'nt buy soda.
Put tumeric and cinnamon in my smoothie..
Had a total of around 8 servings of fruits/veggies.
Got in a 30+ minute walk

--
Bought and ate chocolate..
Had queasy stomach all day.
Had headache all day - maybe allergy related.

Keep forgetting to tell you all about the allergy appointment - was told that I'm ONLY allergic to a couple types of grasses. Makes no sense at all to me.
Sigh.

--
Got a surprise bill from former Internet provider. I'd looked into keeping their service at out house, but was told the fancier service with TV wouldn't reach our house, and we'd have to get Dish TV. Said no thanks!
Apparently something triggered in their system and I got sent a bill for service in September - $120 AFTER $40+ in "credits."

Uh .. no.

Spent about 40 minutes on the phone. Wrote down name of rep and confirmation number. Hopefully is taken care of.

Then called current Internet/Cable company. TWC. My 4th call regarding the "deposit" they charged me.. Supposedly I have been given a $50 credit. We will see. Name and rep# written down.

After the phone calls I went to Walgreen's and used my $10 credit (from connecting my fitbit to their walking program) - bought chocolate and an Amy's meal.

Then to HyVee where I got some bananas, tofu, and veggies.

Then to Aldi's where I returned an impulse purchase, and bought a couple cartons of Almond Milk (DH likes it.) and some peanuts for DH.

--
I don't know if the pherenome / felliway thing is helping at all. It says it can take 30 days ... My miss Kari seems to be getting worse ... Frown

How Not to Die AKA How to Not Have Lots of Medical Bills + Fender Bender!

September 5th, 2016 at 07:43 pm

So last weekend I saw the book How Not to Die (by Dr Greger of nutritionfacts.org) mentioned in a couple different places. I put the audiobook on my library reserve list, and picked it up on Saturday.

Wow. I have to say I'm super impressed so far. And I'm only about 6 chapters into it.

One thing I already plan to do is add 4 brazil nuts each month to my diet. I also am adding a teaspoon of tumeric to my smoothies - I'd already been using tumeric on the roasted veggies, etc., but after hearing all the things it can do ... Yeah, a teaspoon in my smoothies! Probably will add cinnamon too.

My mom and my brother have both agreed to read/listen to it and then we can discuss it together. DH is a little bit more reluctant ... Smile though he did somewhat patiently somewhat listen to me talking about it this afternoon. Smile

So.. I am officially giving up soda. 100%. Not even a little sip of DH's at a restaurant. I also am limiting myself to no more than $2/week on any kind of junk food. Been spending way too much fun money on it/ eating WAY too much of it.

This is Day 1. Maybe I'll try to update a little like CB - though probably not daily. Smile

I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in preventing the top 15 diseases that kill you ... Smile And saving money on medical stuff.

---
So DH called me tonight and let me know that he got into a fender bender. His fault. Low speed. He's fine - but the person he hit (beater of a truck) appears to be claiming injury. Sigh.

This will be interesting to see what happens.

Now to figure out where the $150 ticket/court costs will come from.

----
Almost forgot! I actually got ALL of my thank you notes written tonight!! Some of them are even addressed!

Now they are on the counter waiting for DH to add his signature, and a short note of his own on some of them. Then I'll get them addressed and stop at a post office.

Woo hoo! Finally will have that albatross off my neck! Smile

Attack Cat ... Sigh, etc

August 20th, 2016 at 09:39 am

My little girl (cat) seems to be on the mend from her bladder issues.. Unfortunately, it hasn't helped her behavior with the other cats. At all. On more than one occasion I have seen her go from one side of a room to across the room and into the hallway to pounce and growl at another cat.

I've also witnessed her swatting at the other cats while they are using a litterbox.

I'm not really sure what to do.

I'm worried that the other cats patience with her is going to run out and they'll gang up on her. Or .. that they'll stop feeling safe using the litterboxes because they are worried she's going to walk by and attack them.

I think a lot of it is her being territorial about me. But I've heard her go on the attack when she's on the other side of the house from me.

I wonder how much it would cost to get a cat behaviorist to come and help us get this figured out? The vet tech said something about giving her her own litterbox and water bowl ... but how would that work?

I have one litterbox per cat plus one, plus water dishes throughout the house. I have no idea how I could make an area accessible to her, but off limits to the others.

Sigh.

--
This morning I did something I haven't done in YEARS. I walked / jogged 3.2 miles! It took me about 52 minutes ... Considering that for the past six months or so, about the furthest I've *walked* at one time is 1.75 miles, I'd say not bad. Smile

Maybe I'll try training for the Turkey Trot. Smile Haven't done an actual race in quite a few years.

--
Tomorrow I'm working the BR Welcome (local university welcoming their students back.) It'll be at least 3 hours of overtime. I'm hoping it won't be too hot or humid.

I'm also going to be picking up a piano bench for $20 from someone on a local FB group. I'm hoping that having a bench will make me more likely to actually use my electronic keyboard. Smile

I'm also planning on picking up some more veggies from a local FT store (place that sells lots of veggies/fruits/natural foods.) Possibly get them chopped up and roasted before heading out for the BRW event.

I wonder if frozen pre-chopped veggies would roast very well???

----
I dropped off DHs scrip for a glucose meter last night at 5:15 and told them I'd wait for it. My name finally got called at 6:10. Ugh. Double ugh.

*DH helpfully told me this morning that I should have just dropped it off to pick up today. Um, sure. But then I would have had to go BACK a second time - though I guess I could go through the drive through and not be tempted to buy stuff inside....

I was also picking up refills of my scrips. My overall total was $79, but then after coupons, ECBs (CVS), etc. it was down to $45. (Of which, ~$38 was scrips.) Besides other things, I picked up knee highs, Gold Bond foot powder, Glade plug in scent warmer/refills, and a thing of hand soap.

---
While at CVS, I picked up a pamphlet talking about a Weight Loss Program offered by the Minute Clinic. You have someone talk with you about your goals/lifestyle etc. and help you develop a plan. You also get enrolled in a DASH website (based on that diet.) You check in with someone there on a regular basis to collect vitals, etc.

It would make it so you are accountable to someone else, but on your schedule.

I'm wondering if this might not be something worthwhile - especially if insurance would cover most of it. I'm wondering if insurance would cover any of it ... Maybe DH would be willing to do the program with me?

Anyone hear of this program?

First Month Fully Integrated Finances

July 31st, 2016 at 04:03 pm

Although we've now been married just over 3! months, July was the first month where we followed a joint budget and I completely took over the bill paying. It also was the first full month where we only had one household - although we were paying the final bills from our former apartments.

Whenever DH wakes up, we're going to have a quick budget meeting for August. One thing we've kind of had to hash out this month is the when/how of him giving me the cash tips to deposit. He was used to to just going by the bank once or twice a month to make a deposit. I want to make a deposit every Friday (when the lobby is open til 6.)

He didn't see why I wanted to do that since our account balances have more than enough for our daily expenses. I explained to him that all my money is directly deposited and that helps me be able to guage what the next month's budget will be like. When I showed him how much was available to budget for August from my contributions versus what he'd given me so far ... he started giving me the tips as he got them. Smile (He's a delivery driver - makes a small hourly wage, but averages 2x that in tips/delivery charges.)

So ... since we were putting everything together this month, it is difficult to say what our "income" really was - our budget was based off of all moneys from various checking/savings being put together. Expenses include final bills and deposit charges for new accounts. In other words, this isn't a typical month for us by any means. Smile

So .. expenses:
Mortgage (loan only) $526
Extra Principal: $25
Natural Gas: 69.20
Electricity: 382.44 (includes June bill that got misplaced!!)
Phone: 239.04 (last month of DH needing to use phone as a hotspot for Internet - our bill for August is less than $60.)
Water: 51.43 (2 month bill)
Internet/Cable: 150 (deposit, extra house visit)
Groceries - Fast food: 29.81
Groceries - 265.08
Auto Fuel - 241.87 (delivery driver ....)
Tithe: 130 (DH isn't on board with tithing, but is ok with me continuing my same level as before)
Giving: 30
Car Maintenance: 14.97
Car tax/licenses: 421.69 (Tags for 3 cars, 2 new licenses)
Clothing: 20.40
Computer Replacement: (DH) 249
Garmin Replacement: (DH) 142
Household (blanket, toiletries, paper goods, fan, etc.) 148.36
Medical - Non-deductible (allergy, etc) 64.53
Medical FSA Reimbursed- 80.48 (copays, meds, heating pad)
Pets - Cats - food/litter -$80.97 (a LOT of litter/food)
Pets - Cats - Medicine(flea meds) $77
Pes - Non Cats - Food - 13.50
Pets - Non Cats - Medicine - 16.61
Fitness - 41.83 (my gym membership, hopefully can cancel soon)
Date Night: 14.77 (although will be getting pizza tonight)
DH fun money - 16
Laura fun money - 79.22
Student loan (DH) 55
Medical debt (DH) 372

Whooh! I think that covers it! Besides the money put into the above categories, there was also money put into a variety of other holding categories.

August will be spendy for car maintenance, and I just got approved for a new AE card which I'll be using to make a $1k payment on the medical (get back 250!)

I'm looking forward to what our first month of spending will be like without deposits and final bill fees. Smile (also without needing to replace electronics!)

I have around 6 hours of overtime in August, and I think September will be a 3 paycheck month. DH is working on putting together some speaker sales. (To help fund his boat and tv wishes.)

Mortgage Principal Balance:
Start 7/1/16 - $112,000
As of 7/31/16 (2 payments) - 111,619
Medical Debt:
As of 7/1/16 - 3,668
As of 7/31/16 - 3,296
Student Loan - TBD

Hello ... :)

June 4th, 2016 at 09:53 am

It's been a bit.

Sunday will make two weeks since I did the major move in to our home. All but one cat and one DH are also moved in. DH and last cat eta move in tomorrow.DH has been waiting for some eggs to hatch first. So .. two possibly three chicks will also be arriving tomorrow (oh, some turtles will be coming too)

We've (or I should say, (I've) been dog sitting for the past week. That's been fun - getting two sets of cats acclimated to each other and to their new home. while also taking care of a dog. Sweet dog. Sweet dog who unfortunately has some kind of a skin infection which causes him to itch constantly. Which the owner failed to mention to us.


I got the name of his vet only by calling him the night after he dropped the poor dog off and seeing how miserable he was. of course this was on a Saturday of a holiday weekend.

Sunday I spent $40 at Petco on itch relief spray and oatmeal shampoo, as well as a couple chew bones. DH and I gave Koky a bath - which helped some. The itch spray also seemed to help some.

Tuesday after work I called the vet anf found out this was an ongoing issue - mostly due to inconsistency on the owner's part of giving meds.

Wednesday after work I picked up the new order of meds - to the tune of $97. Ouch. But they seem to be doing the trick! He's still itching, but not nearly as much.

We've got him for three more weeks. It will be much easier once DH is here full time so I don't have to rush home from work to take the dog out. I enjoy taking him on walks - it's just stressful when I know he must be desperate to go out and traffic is inching along.

The first week traffic was a dream - 15 minutes give or take. This past week though, construction season started ... 25 - 30+ minutes! Ugh!

--
We're in serious talks about privacy fence again. This week we've seen adult neighbors crossing through our back yard multiple times ... but more annoying .. their German Shepherd has been allowed free reign to come into our yard! I *really* don't like this - especially since I am going out in my yard with Koky multiple times a day. Koky would not intimidate a GS.

DH is chomping at the teeth to give neighbors a piece of his mind, but realizes it might not be a good idea.

--
I saw some cube shelving at Big Lots which I thought might work for the bedroom and the office - a buy one get 50% off the second sale. DH and I went to look at them in store on Thursday and well ... I was disappointed with their in real life look.

Budget ... ??? What's that?

I broke the tub faucet last week ... didn't think a pipe was broken. Til the next morning when I heard a dripping sound in the basement. I thought it was new leakage due to some fierce rains. Nope - DH discovered it was a broken pipe. Oops.

We haven't gotten the bill yet from the plumber.

Our home warranty person is going to submit it for us (not insurance, but the warranty plan) to see if they'll cover the broken pipe ( faucet isn't covered)

--
The Internet/cable got installed on Saturday. What a fiasco. The guy was here at least two hours. Then there are only two cable hookups in the house - the living room and the basement. I'd bought a wi fi extender which i put in the office. After nearly four frustrating hours I finally got it working on my computer - sort of. The connection kept dropping!

So on Sunday I bought a 50 ft coaxial cable and ran it from the living room to my computer in the office. Internet was back! But now we have a cable cord running through the house ... A some point we're going to have someone come out and run it through the floor or ceiling.

--
Lots more .. but at any rate, I'm glad it's the weekend and I can take some time to breathe a little. (and catch up on the net!)

30 Days! And Updates

March 25th, 2016 at 07:39 pm

Just 30 days to go til I change my last name and add Mrs to it. Smile

Mr FT and I had a heart to heart a few nights ago about the househunting. I suggested maybe taking a break from it - he realized that part of my frustration was from feeling like he was dismissing all of my suggestions. It's going much better now (not taking a break.) Who knew, communication, right? Smile

We may have found another really good candidate. It'd be about a 30 minute commute. 3+ acres. We plan on driving out to give it a closer look tomorrow - plus find out the policy on chickens.

Chickens ... the main reason we totally gave up on the house we love. The house we love(d) is now off market.

There is a second home we are going to drive by tomorrow that is actually in L town.

Mr FT has agreed that if we don't find THE house by the end of April, he will be willing to look for a house that is "good enough" for 4 or 5 years. Just so we can get ourselves into ONE household!

Hopefully one of these two homes we're looking at tomorrow will be THE one. Smile

----
My aunt from Ohio is going to be making us a quilt! She made me a handmade Cabbage Patch doll when I was 5 or 6 - Rosie - which I still have. Smile I'm really looking forward to seeing it! (Speaking of, maybe I should remove the quilt from my registry ... not that anyone is even USING the darn thing. Ufta! What a waste of hours that seems to have been ...)

My bridal shower is in less than a week!! I really have no idea what to expect. I've been to lots of them over the years, but none since I've lived here. Will be interesting. Smile

We have all but one of the six rooms at the bed and breakfast reserved now. Mr FT's relative may or may not be coming ... We're not sure if she has her panties in a wad because we didn't send out invites to his other relatives (whom he has never met ...) or if it really is just that she's not doing well. No response to my message asking if she'd gotten the invite, and a two word response to Mr FTs message ...

Oh well, I built into the wedding budget this possibility (that we'd be on for two rooms.) If they do come, it will be a nice surprise.

---
This Sunday I MUST do some major cleaning of my apartment and my car. Will be having way too many relatives probably wanting to come over and see the place /see Kari to wait to the last minute.

I've been doing more cooking lately, but not been doing so well at cleaning as I go. So .. hence the need for major cleaning. Smile

Tonight I made fried quinoa and asparagus with leftover cooked quinoa (from last Sunday) and asparagus I bought for $.88/lb at a new local fresh grocer last week. Yummy!

---
I'm in the midst of working on several projects related to the wedding - slideshow' typing up / putting together final product of ceremony schedule; typing up final unity candle version; typing up / emailing photographer list of must shots; typing up wedding weekend schedule; working with Mr FT to finish up music playlist for rehearsal dinner ...

Just a few things left. Smile Oh yeah, I still need to get the baby's breath for my hair. Forgot to ask the lady who made my bouquet/boutonniere for some.

---
With all that's been going on, I've gotten REALLY behind on my budget / recording spending. It's not going to be pretty once I do get it caught up. Especially since some things could go into multiple categories ... Really do need to get it done though soon. Maybe tomorrow night.

Speaking of spending ... my phone bill is going to be the highest it's been since starting to use Ting this month. It's already at $39, and I think my text bucket is going to go into the next level (if it didn't already tonight.) Sigh. Still better than $76+/month no matter how much I actually used. Once this wedding stuff is finished and we're in a house together, the bill will drop significantly.

---
I ordered a Hello Fresh delivery through Swagbucks - 1000 SBs, plus a $40 off coupon. That should come tomorrow. It'll be enough for 6 meals for me. $19 is still a lot for that much food - put it on pause for the next week (and will continue to do that for a few weeks, til it's safe to cancel.)

---
Work has been up and down this week. Had a few days of major irritability ... but my talk with Mr FT on Wednesday night helped a lot, plus better sleep, so Thursday and Friday were decent.

---
Next week need to make the downpayment for the photographer, also for the cake, and probably should check in with the caterer as well. Plus decide how many pizzas / what kind for the rehearsal dinner and figure out how to do rootbeer floats (two cartons of ice cream - one dairy, one non-dairy? Scoop your own?)

Then two weeks from Sunday will be meeting with photographer at the bed and breakfast.

---
With all of this, I have been sorely lax in much of any kind of physical activity. Thankfully it hasn't been affecting the scale too much (even though I've eaten my share of junk ...) Am looking forward to getting to a place where I can put a more normal schedule together again.

Mr FT talks about getting back to "normalcy" too ... Smile It will be fun to discover what "normalcy" will mean when it's the two of us +cats in our new home. Smile

Makeup Trial, Unity Wording, Cooking Skills - Cook Smarts discount?

March 15th, 2016 at 07:04 pm

Today I had my make up trial. It was a lady who does airbrushing. Have you ever had airbrushing done? It seriously tickles!

I really liked the lady. She was so friendly and talkative. I had to have her redo my lipstick though because it was just way too dark for my tastes - thought it made me look pasty in contrast.

I've got fake eyelashes on. Weird. Really weird. Though I do have to say I like how they look. Not enough to wear them regularly. Smile

With tip, it cost me $37 for the trial.

---
So I was working on the wording for the unity ceremony today. I'm planning on doing it in two parts. The first part where my mom and Mr FTs sister light our candles, and then we light one candle. Then the second part where my uncle will issue a challenge to the guests to support us, and then we light all the candles of everyone.

I'm not sure if I like the wording 100% yet. So .. if you all could offer your take on it, I'd appreciate it. Smile

"The two outside candles have been lit as a symbol of your lives at this moment. They are two distinct lights, each capable of going their own way. To bring bliss and happiness into your home, there must be a merging of the two lights.

From now on, your thoughts will be for each other, rather than just for your individual selves. Your plans mutual, your joys and sorrows shared.

As you take your candle and together light the center one, you merge two lights into one.

***help needed here mostly**
Although you are now one, you are also still your own distinct person, as shown by your candles still burning.

***Music interlude - Brother singing "God Bless This Broken Road"

"Family and friends of FT and Mr FT, the vows which they have made today are sacred and holy and should not be broken. However, as FT and Mr FT face their new life together, their relationship is sure to be tested at one point or another by conflict, temptation, strife or change.

Will you, family and friends, promise to help them keep their vows, by reminding them of their love for each other and helping them cross through stressful times with the wisdom of your counsel? At times of joy, will you celebrate with them, nourishing their love for one another? (Guests say yes, or I will.)

As a symbol of your commitment to this couple, and the uniting of two families and ***friendships ???**, please accept the light from the person next to you."

Background instrumental music plays while people light candles - We've Only Just Begun.

Closing prayer, ask people to blow out candles, Intro of couple, Recessional.

This is kind of a mishmash of wording examples I've found, as well as some revising on my own. I'm just not sure how well it flows or how much sense it makes.

---
I discovered a website that offers cooking skills lessons (plant based!) for $49 for 60 days. It looks like it really breaks it down into manageable bites. (ha ha!) I'm really tempted by it.

Cook Smarts - the meal planning website that offers vegetarian options for all meal plans, and is whole food/non-processesed mainly - has a 15% discount now through the 22nd. Am also tempted with this.

Although at the moment I have about 3 weeks worth of lunches in my freezer after a cooking palooza on Sunday. (My second use of the freezer dinner trays! Getting my money's worth out of them.)

Just a Cold ..

March 11th, 2016 at 05:39 pm

So yesterday (Thursday) I went home from work early due to feeling majorly "crummy." I ended up sleeping for at least 5 hours before Mr FT came over. I wasn't the greatest company for him, but he was understanding.

This morning I still wasn't feeling all that great ... so decided to stay home again. I had a doctor's appointment already to get some bloodwork done (recheck TSH) so called and had an appointment added to see the doctor.

I slept most of the morning after getting the appointment made, and would have slept more, but got calls from the Realtor and from Mr FT.

---- We may have found a house that works for us. Two possible ones actually. One is $52k and the other is $120k. The 52k one doesn't have a basement, but it does have a HUGE garage/storage shed. Mr FT thinks we could partition off part of it, insulate it, and make it part of his "man cave" instead of using a basement. Hey, if it works, and we get into a house for $52k ... I'm all for it!

The $52k house was built in 1880! About the same time the town was started. Yep, you're reading that right. Both of the houses we are looking at are NOT in L town. Both houses would mean a commute of about 35-40 minutes.

Yuck I know. Especially in winter.

But ... both houses come with LOTS of land. 1 acre for one, and 1/2 an acre for the other.

We're going to go actually look at both of them on Sunday.

---
I got a weird text from my boss today. She was asking me if I was unhappy at work. I texted back that I wasn't, with a couple of question marks, but no response.

My first thought was that maybe the CC I applied to back in January? didn't respect my request to NOT contact current employer. But it seems like its been a long time for that to happen...

The other thought was that she was thinking I wasn't really sick this week, and just taking time off because I don't want to be at work. In case that's the case, I got a note from the doctor. (felt kind of like a little kid doing it ... but, whatever.)

The third thought I had was that little miss busy body had taken my little off hand joke on Thursday morning as literal, and gone to my boss about it. One of our copiers has a bad part. The technician was in another town, and so talked me through resetting the code over the phone. One of my co-workers (who is invited to the wedding) jokingly told me that now I can add copier repair to my resume. I found that funny ... and without thinking, when talking to busy body co-worker, repeated that.

If it's the first issue - then that's going to be a headache to clear up. And is going to make me quite upset at the CC.

If it's either of the other two issues, then I think those will be easy enough to clear up.

Oy vey!

---
Mr FT has asked me to go with him on Wednesday to get his suit / tux picked out. Whew!

April 24 is getting closer and closer ....

Tuesday I have my makeup trial. Hopefully she can work miracles with undereye bags ... and make my eyes actually look open when I smile (I squint when I smile big - when I concentrate on NOT squinting, my smile looks all weird.)

---
I cashed out for $9 from Pinecone, and $5 from Bing.

RSVPs! Fired Realtor! health coaching!

February 26th, 2016 at 07:52 pm

I'd made a new email account for dealing with all the wedding related stuff /websites so that once it's all done and over with, I won't have residual "email subscriptions" to deal with. Smile

Of course, I forgot my password for the account. So, I had to reset it.

When I finally got in, I found out that 4 people have used the website to RSVP! Sweet! My first responses. Smile

---
So ... on Monday? I called C and told him that we were interested in looking at other houses. Told him we had two or three we were thinking of.

C tells me = great! Find another 2 or 3 and email me the list so I can get it set up for Sunday.

Huh?

Ok ... so Mr FT and I scour some more, and find another 5 or 6 possibilities. Mr FT drives by them and ... we're down to 2 possibilities.

I email C Tuesday night to let him know that Mr FT would be emailing him the list soon. Crickets.

Mr FT emailed C the list (of two) on Thursday morning. Crickets.

I emailed C today to find out where to meet him on Sunday. Crickets.

Mr FT and I have decided to take this Sunday off from wedding and house hunting. C will be replaced by a Realtor recommended by my boss next week.

---
I had one of *those* calls today. Multiple calls where same person is cursing. Multiple calls where said person gets hung up on. Send caller to boss at one point - boss hangs up on person. Person calls back yet again - much calmer at first. Gets a 2 ride ticket freebie. Starts cursing again. Gets hung up on.

I didn't deal with it well (at the time I did, but later ...) Made a Wal-mart run. Junk food ensued.

---
On Wednesday we had our annual county/city employee health fair. Lots of freebies. One of the booths was our health insurance provider. They're starting a new program this year where they are providing a health coach for free.

I signed up for it.

Got an email from the coach today because she couldn't find me in the system. I explained that the health insurance place had changed my name prematurely.

I also told her kind of what I was hoping she could help me with - namely figuring out how to make healthy and tasty meals which work for both Mr FT and I - especially ones where I can make something good without needing to taste test it (i.e. meat dishes.)

She told me she could help me with that.

I'm supposed to call her sometime next week to chat for 30 minutes - to kind of lay out the beginning framework. Not sure when to do it, since the only 30 minute time frame I have during her hours is my lunch break. Maybe I can take something to eat that I can eat in small bites at my desk between phone calls ...

Once Mr FT is on my plan (for real) he could also use her services if he wants to.

--
ETA - Well, nevermind then. Mr FT just called me to tell me that he got an email from C asking him to call him tonight. So, we may be going ahead with Sunday househunting plans after all. I'm leaving it up to Mr FT to decide.


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