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Small Accomplishments So far ... :)

February 15th, 2016 at 09:21 pm

Wow!

I don't quite know what's gotten under my skin, but maybe taking Saturday "off" really helped give me a second wind.

I made out my invitations and even attempted to print them out ... No can do. My printer just would NOT accept the invitation paper no matter what.

So ... I wrote them all out by hand. 15 of them. (Some are going to people who I know won't come, but will feel hurt not getting one.) I have pretty decent handwriting (actually get complimented on it fairly often when not in a hurry) so they look fairly decent.

While I was doing that, I had the quinoa and veggies cooking on the stove.

Then after they had time to cool off, I got out the freezer dinner trays I'd bought from Amazon months and months ago ... 20 of them to be exact.

Funnily enough, I didn't plan it this way, but I had just enough food for the 20 trays! My freezer is stuffed (13 trays) and the 7 remaining ones are in my fridge. More than enough for lunch and dinner the next two weeks + (because there'll be a few nights I'll want soup or maybe cereal ...)

Here's some pictures:

Quinoa, baked tofu, steamed veggies, spaghetti squash


Steamed veggies, Veggie egg roll, quinoa, butternut squash



Frozen veggies, Veggie egg roll, quinoa, sweet potato

Stack of dinner trays.


My freezer with 13 trays, plus other things rearranged.

Hopefully having all these meals ready to go will make me a whole lot less likely to give in to fast food or other temptations the next few weeks. Smile

Do Unto Others, And Possibly a Narrow Escape (2 of 2)

January 9th, 2016 at 11:27 pm

So today just so happened to be communion day at church. I usually enjoy communion - the whole process and service.

In my faith (SDA) we do it 4 times a year, or once a quarter. It involves foot washing, eating of unleavened crackers, and drinking grape juice.

The foot washing part is always the little bit dicey one for me. I've actually kind of avoided going to church here on communion service days ... because I wasn't sure I'd have anyone to partner with (to wash each others feet.) I really didn't want to end up standing around looking hopefully at the other women ...

So ... I didn't check the bulletin last night and got surprised.

Thankfully one of the married, yet goes to church by herself, ladies who has somewhat befriended me, was there and we sat next to each other. When it came time for foot washing, we agreed to be partners.

As I went to get the basin and towel, I noticed another young single mom who attends our Sabbath School class kind of just standing there near the end of the line looking lost. She told me she was waiting to find a partner.

When I got back to where my partner was, I asked her if she'd mind us inviting the young mom to be a part of our group. She was happy to agree, and the young mom was relieved to be included.

It made me happy too - being able to do something for someone else that I would hope someone might do for me.

---
After church got out I had a narrow escape. As I was backing out of my parking space, I thought I heard a crunch! I looked out my driver's side window and saw I was parallel to another car! (I'd been looking out the back window/rear window) I pulled forward and stopped. Then got out and went to look to see if there was any damage. There was no damage to my car and none to the other car. As far as I could figure, I must have pulled perfectly alongside the other car ... I guess the crunch I heard was ice?? Or maybe I imagined it?? There were other people in the parking lot and it didn't seem like any of them had heard anything - nobody looking my way or anything. Just weird.

That other car was parked really weirdly - I think it was actually in a non-parking parking space (with the diagonal lines.) I'd seen it and was aware of it, but hadn't realized it was SO close.

Anyway .. whew!

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It is SO cold here! The forecast says it will get to 1 degree tonight. I feel bad for NE out delivering pizzas in the cold. If you order food in on bad weather/cold/rainy nights, be nice to your delivery person (tip!) Smile They're out there when you don't want to be.

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I had been planning on doing my grocery shopping tonight, but probably won't. Due to the cold and possibly icy roads.

Question - This morning when I went out to my car, my outside windows had some snow on them, but my driver's side window and the rear driver's side window both had frost on the INSIDE! It was so weird scraping frost on the inside!

Then after church the same thing happened ... I had to scrape frost off - even after sitting and warming up / defrosting for 5 minutes.

What would cause that? I checked to make sure the windows were rolled up all the way. All my other windows were clear.

Mini-Goals for Year 40 (Not a Mini-Post :D )

December 17th, 2015 at 01:35 am

Thank you everyone for your birthday wishes. Smile

It was a pretty low-key birthday ovearall. Tomorrow night NE and I will be going out to a fancy restaurant here (still working on the gift certificate problem ..)

NE stopped by between deliveries to tell me happy birthday in person. Smile

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So ... what are my mini-goals for year 40?

I've been thinking about a lot of the different goals I've had, and how I've managed to do some .. for awhile, and others not really at all. I think maybe part of it was that some of the goals were too big / too much all at once.

So .. I decided that I'm going to try doing mini-goals. I'm going to choose one or two things to focus on for 30 days (or so) and not worry about the rest. Then if those goals are doing well, I'll add something new.

I'm hoping that by doing it this way, the mini-goals will become deeply ingrained habits.

So ... here are some of the mini-goals I'm thinking about:

MG1: Do something for 15 minutes (or more) every day that helps improve my environment. (Cleaning, decluttering, putting up pictures, etc.)

MG2: Say "Oh Well." When someone does something that gets you flustered or upset, or you're thinking that you'd really like something (junkfood) but know you aren't going to have it ... say "Oh Well." That's their problem / I'd rather be healthy / I'd rather have the money for ....

MG3: Do something active for at least 15 minutes everyday intentionally.

MG4: Do something for your spiritual health at least 15 minutes a day (read the Bible, pray, memorize verses, etc.)

MG5: Do something for your personal growth at least 15 minutes a day (play the piano, use Duolingo to practice Spanish, etc.)

MG6: Do something for others at least 2x a week (work on church library, volunteer, etc.)

MG7: Connect with others at least 2x a week (email/letter/phone call) Have at least 1x a week be someone different than the week before.

MG8: Turn off computer/phone by 10 p.m.

MG9 - Floss every day before going to bed.

MG10 - Give yourself a manicure or pedicure once a week.

Others may be added as I think of them. Smile

---
Financial Goals:

Main Financial Goal - Make spending decisions based on category balances only.

I have 3 main savings goals for this coming year -

High Priority - House Downpayment. This is where my regular savings, 90% of Windfalls (bonuses, tax refunds, SBs paypal earnings, survey earnings, etc.) will go. I'm hoping to hit $4k by September, and then probably sell up to ten shares of stock to add to the amount. (Goal of house purchase in September. Starting the process in August.)

Medium Priority Car Replacement - This will be getting a set amount of $50/month til #1 isn't needed.

Low Priority Remote Car starter - Leftover amounts in groceries, gas and utilities will be funneled here. (Would like to have $350 by September/October.)

Other Goals/Decisions:

I am no longer going to be purchasing ready made treats/sweets for consumption at home or at work. I can purchase the *ingredients* to MAKE treats for myself (such as chocolate chips to go into cookies) but not store-bought cookies.

Eating out / Fast Food is only going to be something that happens WITH another person.

Soda is an OH WELL item.

----
Today I started with MG1 and 2. (My focus for the next 30 days.) When I got home from work, as soon as I changed into something warm, I spent about 45 minutes picking up, putting away, throwing away. The place already looks much better. (It will need several more days of 15 minute sessions to be looking "good.")

I'm hoping I can develop the attitude (in my mind at least) of Oh Well at work in dealing with some of the people that whine and complain. That way maybe I can deal with it for 15 more years.

The Oh Well is also going to be replacing my habit of Coke and Chocolate on stressful days. Oh Well - the day stunk like donkey balls - I'll live another day. (Thankfully there are quite a few short weeks in this coming 30 day period which hopefully will help make this habit easier to form! Big Grin )

Last Day of Year 39

December 15th, 2015 at 01:09 am

So ... I had lots of ideas and plans for year 39. Those plans and ideas worked about as well as most New Year's resolutions. Smile

Nevertheless, a new decade of life means maybe plans and ideas and goals can be a bit better off than just another set of resolutions. We'll see I guess.

Financially I did okay. As of now I have quite a few LTP (long term planning) funds fully funded and have started on the Car and House funds.

Health/weight wise ... um ... If I remember what I started at last December ... Well ... I pretty much maintained I guess. I pretty much haven't been to the gym in at least 3 months (although I have been exercising - just not at the gym.)

Friendship wise ... While I still don't have anyone here I "hang out" with outside of church activities, I am a little more involved. Maybe eventually that will lead to something. Someday.

Relationship wise .... Mostly good, with some frustrations that rear themselves at times overly much. But that generally tends to happen when I'm way overtired.

Job wise - Most days/most of the time it's ok. I have a great boss, and a couple co-workers I also like. The co-workers who were causing drama before have pretty much completely laid off. So ... it's tolerable.

It's definitely helping being able to take time off now and then to get away. Like today - I took off to have a long weekend as my birthday present to myself. Although I might have taken today off anyway because Sunday I did something to my back, plus feeling miserable cold/allergies. (My back is feeling better tonight, as are my cold/allergies.)

--
Yesterday NE and I went to the local urgent care place because NE had a finger infection. (Most likely from him biting off a hang nail ... When I asked him if he was going to stop doing that - Why? 1st problem in 49 years? - Ohhhhkaaayyy.)

While we were waiting for his prescription to get filled, we went over to SuperTarget. I had $2 coupons for cat litter (Scoop Away 25lb) plus the Savings Catcher had 25% off it. I unfortunately forgot my Red Card though - asked at the front desk and was told to bring my receipt the next time and they'd make an adjustment.

Of course ... I wasn't used to having NE along on a shopping trip, so I also spaced using the coupons (but not the savings catcher!)

I went back to Target today and was able to get both the 5% adjustment and the $4 in coupons! (I also bought a 3rd box with a coupon. Kari is SET for litter for a long time!)

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While I was out today I also stopped at Walmart - mainly to pick up a few iBotta items - definitely things I'll use, but didn't need right now. I also was really wanting to find a Terry's Chocolate Orange .... no luck. Stopped at a few other places too. All sold out. Frown

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I cashed out for $20 from iBotta today, and also for $25 PayPal from Swagbucks.

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I got a postcard from my doctor letting me know that I need to schedule a baseline mammogram .... Oh the joys of my new decade. Smile I was going to do it today, but then realized that I don't know what my bosses schedule is like ... so need to get that info first.

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My aunt (who Thrifty Ray has met) has really gotten into knitting since retiring. While I was in CA over Thanksgiving she made me slippers, and had me pick out the yarn for an afghan. She texted me today to let me know that it was finished! I might have it here by Friday. So cool! (Or should I say, so warm!)

Now that we can post pics again, I'll post a picture of it when I get it. Smile

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If I'm on the upward mend of this cold on top of allergies thing, then hopefully within the next few days I'll have the energy to get my apartment back into shape. I'd really hate for the property manager to come in right now ... (not dirty, just really, really cluttered/messy)

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Oh! I almost forgot. I logged in to restaurant . com today to buy the gift certificate for the fancy place NE and I will be going to on Thursday night. Only to find out that my $200 credit seemed to have completely disappeared!! I checked on Living Social to make sure they hadn't reversed the offer I'd purchased or something ...

I wrote customer service and got a form reply telling me how to redeem an offer. Ugh! I replied ... nothing back yet.

SO VEry Aggravating. (I bought a $200 r.com gift certificate for $35 from Living Social. I hadn't used any of it yet!)

Doings

December 13th, 2015 at 12:50 am

Well it seems like I have developed a cold on top of my allergies. Ugh. So having Allegra D (24 hr) and Flonase in my system daily, and STILL sneezing, sniffling and coughing ... not much else to do but tough it out.

I've been incredibly tired and having a hard time getting myself to do anything I don't absolutely have to do. So ... the robe that I was asked to mend near the end of November ... which was needed by today ... guess when I actually started on it? This morning about 5 a.m. I finished it about 8:30 a.m. (Reattaching braiding on edges in places the cloth had pulled away, and sewing armholes together to a less huge gap.)

I took it with me to church today and gave it to the lady in charge of costumes (it's for a drive through Nativity tonight.)

Church was awesome - it was the spoken/musical Christmas story week. Smile I think this year's story was based on a TransSiberian Orchestra musical? (One of the songs was Music Box Blues, the rest were normal Christmas sonts - i.e. Silent Night, etc.) I wish I'd been a little more with it/not so sleepy - but still very much enjoyed it.

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I did not go to the Friday night concert. I realized by Wednesday that I just would NOT be up to it -plus I had that darn robe to do! Part of it also was that I didn't have any money set aside in a concert category - my fun money had pretty much been spent between the Groupon pizza deal and the Living Social Restaurant.com deal. I need to make a separate category for concerts which is NOT to be whacked from for other things. Even if I just put a few dollars in it each month ... Smile

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I was looking on Amazon for a purse (mine is getting really shabby.) While on there I looked at my gift card balance. Ouch! I've been buying ebooks $.99 and $1.99 here and there ... and it's really cut into my balance! So ... back to my old rule of only "buying" the freebies!

I did find a purse that I think will work, but I'm going to wait until I have something else to order with it - free shipping. (The purse is $14)

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Year 40 is quickly approaching. (Like ... Tuesday quickly. Yikes.) I'm thinking about some changes I'd like to make. Some health wise, some financial, one other possible major change ...

I found a house which would be so perfect ... $55k! Has a one-car garage, enclosed front porch, backyard, fence, basement (990 sq ft, 2 br, 1.5 bath)... If there's one out there now, then maybe in August when I can seriously start looking, there's bound to be another one - maybe even more perfect. Smile

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I got my $25 Walmart card from SBs on Friday. So ... I printed it out and went shopping. Smile I had been thinking of getting an Ampore Pedicure device (had a $5 coupon plus a $5 rebate) but just couldn't do $20+ after coupon/rebate. Especially when I found something similar for $10. Smile

After coupons I spent $44.xx total. Minus the giftcard, it was about $19.xx. I got $4.75 in rebates from iBotta, $.60 rebate from MobiSave, $.20 from Snap, $.25 from Checkout 51, and $1 from SavingStar. (None of which I've actually cashed out on yet though.)

I'm $.30 away from cashout on iBotta. I would have been over the cashout limit, but didn't realize one of the items required 2 purchases. Ugh.

---
I cashed out for another $25 AGC from Perk today. Will get that on Monday.

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I did some more messing with my YNAB budget this weekend. I realized that my health insurance OOP is $2000, but through my FSA I have about $800. So ... I reduced that category to $1200 and spread the $800 into other categories.

I also eliminated another LTP category, which added $65 into the budget.

What this all means is that I'll now focus my LTP savings on 3 goals - House Downpayment, Car Replacement, and the Remote Starter.

Speaking of the Remote Starter - On Groupon there was a deal to get it done for $170 in O town. Less than half of the price I was quoted here. Unfortunately, there was only $23 in that category. Smile Maybe that deal will come around again when I have the money ready for it.

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Oh! If you remember me talking about the vegge hot pockets I made last Sunday? Well I had a good amount of veggie filling leftover.

Finally on Thursday night I managed to do something with the leftovers! I added a couple eggs, some more flavorings, and a box of Jiffy cornbread mix. Then I formed "patties" and baked them for 12 minutes at 350 degrees.

They are YUMMY! Even NE liked them (he wasn't too sure about my adding the Jiffy mix to the batter - but turns out it worked out just right!)

I really need to get the remaining hot pockets and patties frozen though ...

---
I almost forgot a funny from my grocery shopping ... two of the rebates were for loose carrots. It didn't specify a quantity. So ... I bought ONE loose bulk carrot. It cost $.10. 1 rebate was for $.50, and the other was for $.20. So ... I made $.60 profit. Smile

This & That

December 9th, 2015 at 02:13 am

NE and I went out for pizza Sunday night. I found a Groupon deal for $9 for $20 worth of food. The waitress was a little bit ... not with it. She wasn't very attentive to us, but when I got the check and was looking it over, I noticed a handwritten $1.75 on the bottom. Not even loudly, I said, "What's this $1.75?"

From across the room, waitress shouts out that it was the drink (NE's.) I figured that out almost as soon as I said it - but it being handwritten had thrown me.
(She'd forgotten to include it on our ticket at first because she thought we were getting the special which included a drink.)

--
I also bought a deal from Living Social which I think will be really good. It was $35 for a $200 Restaurant.com gift card. I already used $10 of it to buy a $25 gift certificate for a local fancy restaurant we're going to for my birthday. (It will be pretty easy to spend $50 there.)

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There's a Steven Curtis Chapman concert here this week. I was really, really tempted to buy a ticket. $25. But ... I really didn't want to go by myself. Plus I just haven't seemed to pick up any energy - in fact I went home early from work yesterday. Frown

I've decided to not go.

---
I did some shopping on Sunday - made back around $7 between ibotta and MobiSave. Spent about $35 grocery money and $20 cat money.

I also did some cooking. I've been buying single carrots and red peppers, etc., because there've been iBotta rebates on them - so wanted to use them. Smile

I chopped up the zucchini, carrots, onion, broccoli, (actually put in the food processor ... Big Grin )and then took two cans of Pilsbury's Grands and a can of Pillsubry Croissants (coupon/rebate deal) and made veggie hot pockets! Yummy!

Of course ... I still haven't gotten started on fixing the robe for the Nativity drive through that is happening on the 12th. It really shouldn't take too long to do, just have to DO it! Smile

Other than Sunday, I haven't spent any money this week.

--
Hard to believe there is only one week left of my 30's. If what happened at work yesterday is any indication - my 40's won't find me being any less klutzy. (Dropped one of those big calculators and broke it completely. Offered to pay for a replacement - my boss told me not to worry about it.)

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How many of you actually wear robes? I keep being given robes as gifts ... and well, I've never seen the point of them really. So ... they end up hanging around somewhere in my house for years, and then get given away. My mom is sending a robe for NE ... he isn't a robe person either.

Maybe if I was someone more into fixing up my face, etc. before getting dressed or something? Or if I had other people (other than partner) living with me?

Really, what is the purpose of a robe? Just curious really if I'm the oddball out on this one or not. Smile

Snow! Errands ... Last day of Vacation :(

December 1st, 2015 at 12:47 am

We had our first real snow last night/today! It was so beautiful this morning when I finally made myself get out of bed and going. Smile

I wasn't sure I wanted to go out driving in it however .. so settled in for a relaxing morning. One thing I ended up doing was signing up for a 3 month Spotify trial for $.99 on Swagbucks - 300 SBs. I gotta say .. I like it so far. Not enough to justify $10/month after the trial, but I do like it. Smile

Early this afternoon the snow started melting ... so I made myself get out and do some errands. Smile

First thing I did was deposit the money my aunt gave me for my airplane ticket. (cash) Then I went to a credit union I'd opened an account at when I first moved here and closed out my accounts - $37.

That $37 wasn't accounted for in my budget (in fact, I thought I only had $35.) So I decided I'd let myself play with the money a bit.

That sent me to Walmart. The first thing I did was take a sample video cassette of each type to the photo counter. I found out it would cost $25 for each 2 hour length DVD -- plus I wouldn't be able to do any editing before hand.

I got the name of two other places in town where I might be able to both watch/edit beforehand AND transfer to DVD. If memory serves me correctly, the videos are going to need a LOT of editing ...

My first priority really are the slides though. The cost at Walmart for 40 slides/DVD was about $25. Ouch. I'd be roughly guessing here, but I think I have at least 3 or 4000 slides. And I only took the ones starting in 1977 - the year my parents got married (I was 2 yrs old.) I don't plan on using ALL the slides, but even if I culled 10% ... this may be a multi-year project. Multi-year Christmas gifts ... Smile

I bought about $20 worth of groceries, etc. at Walmart (3 of which work for iBotta rebates.) It won't come out of my grocery budget though, since it was unbudgeted money. Smile

I had about $13 left. Then I stopped at the library to return some overdue books. I walked out with about $2. Frown Darn you library fines!

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Question ... how would you react?

Every week I do NE's and I's laundry. He only has a few pieces of clothing he wears all week. So I add in my own stuff to make a full load. He provides the quarters. I provide the detergent and labor.

Last night after he collected his clothes from where I'd left them, he made a remark about our socks being mixed together. I was a bit miffed, and told him all it took was 2 seconds for him to pick out his own socks. He replied something about "should do laundry right." I told him he was more than welcome to do his own laundry if he thought I wasn't doing it right.

He thinks I was making too big of a deal of it. Notice - no where in there was any thanks for doing my laundry, etc.

To me, I don't mind doing the laundry. What irks me to high heaven is being told I'm not "doing it right" - especially when coupled with no expression of appreciation for my doing it in the first place. (He thinks he shouldn't have to tell me thanks since he's providing the quarters and I'm doing my laundry at the same time. Notice - he didn't do his laundry while I was gone - even though he had a key to the laundry room here and could've used my soap ...)

Anyway .. just curious about how other's might react in this situation.

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So not excited about going back to work tomorrow. At least I have several holidays to look forward to this month.

Two weeks left of Year 39. Yikes!

Interesting Afternoon

November 22nd, 2015 at 02:05 am

I had a really bad night of sleep - finally woke up around 4 a.m. and then went back to sleep around 5 ... next thing I knew it was 9 a.m. Oops! I ended up being 25 minutes late for Sabbath School. With the way I was feeling (miserable x 2) I *almost* just didn't go.

Church service was really really good. We had a guest speaker who was born in Russia as an atheist. At the age of 24? he was given one-year to live. Someone gave him a Bible - he read it and started following some of the health principles. Started getting better. A while later he was given a book by Ellen G White about health principles. Now it's 26 years later ...

He was there to talk about his work with the Muslim population and to raise funds for an outreach project which is set to go except for the funds.

Church usually gets out about 12:15 or so ... today was 12:52. He was really good and interesting, so other than worrying about my afternoon plans, I didn't mind. Smile

--
So after church (still feeling miserable) I ate lunch with the others who were going to a place here which serves the homeless/refugee/low-income people in our city.

I came very close to deciding not to go.

When we got to the center I was put at a table with one of the staff. We had clipoards with surveys in three languages (English, Spanish, Arabic) which people were required to fill out.

This wasn't *quite* what I'd been expecting to do ... but I went with it.

I'd been there for a couple hours when another staff member came to our table and we started talking.

He came from Iraq in 2013 where he was a university professor (taught Iraq Civil Code or something like that.) We talked about a lot of things - such as how nobody *wants* to leave their home country - to leave behind friends, family, tradition, good jobs. I asked him about what he thought about ISIS/Daesh and about the US involvement in Iraq. He pretty much praised Bush, Jr. for his strong arm/stance and vilified Obama as weak - even saying that he strongly thinks that Obama is pretty much responsible for the rise of ISIS. Something about the US being able to tell people in Turkey? to stop funding the ISIS - but they haven't - and that's what's made ISIS so strong.

When we were talking about refugees - he was telling me about how beautiful Syria is - how the people are very clever/intelligent/beautiful/handsome. He also mentioned that Steve Jobs actually had a Syrian background.

About this time is when we were interrupted to go bag apples. Smile

All in all, I am SO glad that I decided to tough it out and go despite how I felt.

On the way home though I was feeling *really* hungry (only had a sandwich at lunch because wasn't that hungry) and thirsty ... so stopped at Walgreen's for a drink and snack. $5.18. Ouch.

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Oh, at church today I was given a robe to fix the braiding on (for our Christmas drive through pageant) - hope I can do a decent job on it. I can hardly remember the last time I did any sewing. (I have til Dec 12 to get what I can done on it.)

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Now I'm just trying to keep warm without turning my heat on ... Smile

Ten Days off! :D

November 21st, 2015 at 04:00 am

When 4:30 hit today I was SO SO happy. My boss isn't too excited about me being gone (she's going to have to do some of the things I usually do.)

From 4:30 today til 8:00 a.m. December 1 I will not have to answer the question of, "Where's the bus?"

Yahoo!!

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I got my $15 Pinecone payment today, and yesterday cashed out for $10 from Pact. I'm still waiting for my $25 from Swagbucks (PayPal.)

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I think I figured out why my sinus/allergy issues flared up badly again this week. My flonase was just about out! IOW I hadn't been getting any really good sprays.

Yesterday I opened a new one, and it worked wonders! (not that I got much more sleep ... but at least no horrible head splitting sinus headache at 3:30 a.m.!)

I am looking at that MyPurMist thing CB mentioned. Have to decide how to fund purchasing it if I decide to. I have more than enough in AGC, but really don't want to use those for that. But ... there is the AmEx deal of getting $15 back if you spend $60 on Amazon .. or the Chase thing of 10% back of what you spend. (Although AmEx is the better deal by far.) The AmEx deal is good through the end of December I think, so I have time to decide what to do.
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NE and I have decided to do homemade pizza for our early Thanksgiving Sunday night. Since I already have the cheese, mushrooms, and cream cheese, he's going to buy the pizza kit and his hamburger (for his side of the pizza.)

My plane leaves at 7 a.m. Monday morning, and from what I'm hearing it's being suggested to be at the airport 2 hours early. So ... that means leaving here by 4 a.m. Yuck and double yuck. I can at least try to sleep on the plane though.

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I haven't spent any money since Monday I think - except for gas on Thursday. $2.17/gallon ... not bad. Smile (Although I've heard in some places it's under $2/gallon!)

I only bought $15 worth since there's really only a few days left in November where I'll be driving my car. I sent the remainder of my gas category to my Remote Starter fund. Smile A whole $4.66. Yep, I'll get that sometime this century. ($350 needed.)

I am planning on buying some sweet potatoes this week. They are $.36/lb at Aldi's and one of the apps has a $.20 rebate on them. Smile

Ibotta has quite a few real food rebates for November. When I get back from CA I plan on a grocery trip to make use of them. Smile (Probably go to Walmart - have around $20 in gift card money between Savings Catcher, Bounts, etc.)

Cooking, etc

November 17th, 2015 at 03:27 am

Sunday I actually managed to motivate myself to do some housework. In about 30 minutes I got my place looking/smelling almost as good as it did after the housecleaner lady was here. Smile

I also spent some time at the church working in the library. I got the rest of the books recorded in LibraryThing and did some reorganizing/labeling. I realized though that the labels that were left for me aren't going to work. Am thinking about how to do it better ... (Also trying to figure out how to check books out via LibraryThing's app.)

I earned a $10 ECB from CVS for setting up the prescription reminder service. I tried finding things that also had rebates or ECB to make it stretch further. But except for one item with a $1 rebate from MobiSave, CVS didn't have what I was looking for. So I did end up spending just $.40 more than the $10 ECB plus got $1 rebate (MobiSave.)

This month I've gotten $8 from MobiSave - they nearly immediately send the money to your paypal - no waiting to reach a payout amount. Pretty cool. Smile

I also went to the local grocery store and got bananas ($.39/lb) and some other stuff (can't remember right now.) That was under $10.

Sunday night NE and I went to a Mexican restaurant in Seward, NE - we both got fajitas. His were beef, mine were veggie. Smile I had leftovers for lunch today. Yum! (NE's treat this month.)

We're planning on doing something next Sunday as "our" Thanksgiving meal since I'll be in CA next week. Might just make a pizza or something.

--
Tonight I was debating about going to see a local high school's production of Fiddler on the Roof. It would have been $8 at the door. I was really tempted, but ended up deciding to stay home instead.

Cooked up my sweet potatoes and a cups worth of quinoa which I'm dividing up for dinners.

Tomorrow night I'm planning on cooking up some veggies and soup, and also grilling/frying those Quorn patties. Then add that to my dinner rotations.

---
I think it was yesterday that I cashed out mypoints for a $25 AGC. I'm thinking it will be a long time before the next cash out there.

---
NE applied for a Paypal credit card and was approved instantly. (I think that made him feel pretty good.) All the better for improving the credit score. Smile (I wonder if the paypal card has the Fico feature?

---
Walgreen's had a really tempting offer today - buy a Fitbit Charge ($129) and get 30k points. That's roughly $40. Maybe they'll have the same deal again next year ... When I get my next Achievemint app money ($100 - 71% of the way there!), I'll set it aside in the Health category so I can get the charge if I really want it next year. Smile

---
It makes me so sad what some people are posting on FB about the recent events. And how infantile some governors are acting. Mine included. Ugh.

Made an Appointment for Car Service, etc

November 10th, 2015 at 01:06 am

So today I finished lunch with ten minutes to spare (helps to bring a PBJ sandwich ...) so gave Brakes Plus a call. I set up an appointment for Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. to get my transmission flushed, tires rotated and belts checked/possibly replaced (they've been squealing.)

In all, it will come in at around $200 after a $25 coupon I have. All accounted for in my car care category. Smile

The weather forecast is saying that Wednesday isn't going to be pretty - bad thunderstorms / possibly hail. Hopefully I'll not be out when that's going on.

--
Wednesday afternoon I'll be going to the church to work on the library some more. (I've been asked to be the official "Church Librarian."

We've bought some new shelves, some book containers, and weeded out the oldest/grungiest books. Not many books were left ... (maybe 100.)

The pastor apparently has several boxes of books for me to go through and possibly add.

I'm going to set up a LibraryThing account for the church library. I'm also going to be looking for volunteers to staff the library after church to assist with check-in / check- out. (Using either a laptop or a small tablet.)

... I'm not sure I'm going to get much cleaning/cooking done on my day off. Big Grin

---
I've seen several people mention seeing The Intern and saying it was funny. I may end up going to see that Tuesday night. Although that's also when the storms are supposed to start ... so I'll see. I haven't been to a movie in the theater for a good while.

---
Free entertainment for my cat = the little lid you pull off from an orange juice container. Kari loves to play "fetch" with it (with me throwing it) or play with it all by herself. Smile

---
So far - 7 NSDs in November! My budget's loving me right now. Smile

Dentist Visit. Looking into the Future .. , A funny

October 28th, 2015 at 02:01 am

At my dentist visit today I did end up having a filling done. It was going to cost $84 after insurance. Zoinks!

I handed over my FSA card thinking there was maybe $5 or $6 left on it at most. Nope! There was over $50 left! Yay!

So since I was in a celebratory mood ... (ya ya sure ... I was using any excuse) I headed to Target and got my fave Amy meal x 3. Plus a few other things.

Spent about $24.

---
BUT .. today I saw my last October paycheck. Which is the second one going to November.

After entering it in, and filling in the numbers in my various categories ... and knowing that I'll be getting reimbursed for the plane tickets to CA for Thanksgiving ... and knowing that December should also be a 3 paycheck month ...

I came to the following conclusion --

I will be able to meet my $10k in my EF goal by the end of this year!

This goal originally was $12k, but I realized that I wasn't funding some categories properly (i.e. car tags, etc.) and so reduced it to $10k. With some of the larger medical expenses I had this year, I wasn't sure I'd even make that one.

But it (knocks on wood) looks like I just might!

Then in January I can start aggressively saving towards the house downpayment! YES!

--
I have decided (once again ...) that I am going cold turkey on purchasing soda or any junky food for November and December. (Not saying I won't EAT any junk food - just I won't purchase it myself.)

I've let myself get way too lax with the junk, and I'm hoping by putting forth this moratorium, I will both save money (since many trips to the store are merely disguised trips for junk ...) and help me get back to LOSING weight. Maybe help with my lack of energy too.

---
Okay, so now for the funny ...

Our bus system has a number of routes which are interconnected. This means that when Bus A is South of O street it is for example #46, but when it is North of O Street, it is #45. A rider could get on Bus A when it is the #46 and ride it from the North to the South and get off of it as the #45.

So ... today I get this call from a woman who was at first and O St. She wanted to know when the #45 bus would be coming by.

After checking to make sure if she was wanting to go downtown or outbound, I told her that the #46 bus would be going by her in about ten minutes.

(The #46 bus goes out from our transfer center west along O St from 11th to 1st, and then the numbers start going back up (Nw 1st, Sw 1st) When it gets to NW 48th and O it heads North. This happens from 6:10 a.m. to 6:10 p.m. Monday thru Friday.)

She then started arguing with me that the #45 bus came by first and O in the morning, but not the #46 bus.

As she was hanging up I heard her say to someone nearby ... "The lady doesn't know her buses very well." LOL

---
Almost forgot!

I filled out a comment card at the restaurant the other night. Today I got an email letting me know that I'd won a $15 gift certificate!

I wonder how long that will be good for ... cuz' I'm guessing it'll be a long time before I'll be getting back that way. Smile

Updated YNAB, Planned Outing on Sunday

October 24th, 2015 at 03:09 am

I have been neglecting YNAB lately, and so tonight I bit the bullet and spent the necessary time to get it up to date.

Overall, it's not looking too bad. My available to balance is in the red due to waiting on the check from Swagbucks for the double payment refund. I also have spent more in groceries than I wanted to, but still WAY less than half of last months spend fest.

I also updated my investment balances... Over the last 3 months I've lost nearly 28k. Mostly due to the electric car stock. Of course, the loss is all on paper right now - it would only be real if I were to be foolish enough to sell. (and even then it wouldn't *really* be a loss, considering the cost basis of most of the stock is around $25 - 30...)

I'm hoping to hold out until the 1st for any more grocery shopping. Other than budgeted spending (i.e. bills) I don't see anything I'll need to spend on for the rest of the month.

--
One exception to the above ... NE and I are going to be making a road trip on Sunday to a place about 2 hours from here. We'll be going to a really neat restaurant/museum/place with a working jukebox. He only knows we're going to be going to a restaurant ~2 hours away. Smile

I still have pretty much a full tank of gas, so all it will really cost is whatever food we get. There isn't much on the menu for me other than sweet potato fries .. Smile

---
I closed out my Nationwide checking as of today (after double checking I won't get dinged the $200 bonus.)

Yesterday (or maybe Wednesday??) I cashed out SBs for a $25 Paypal. I got a 200SB swagup.

I don't think I'll be getting too much in Swagbucks in November with being gone most of a week. But it'll be worth it. Smile

--
My FF browser is being a real pain. I can't watch any kind of videos on youtube or FB anymore without it freezing completely. I've done some of the tricks which worked before, but they haven't helped. So if I want to watch a youtube type video, I have to do it in a different browser.

I've started seriously looking at new computers ... I have around $150 in Amazon credit right now (after having bought some freezable food containers for lunches/frozen fruit) I think I paid around $400 for my current computer in 2011. (Used Swagbucks credit and graduation gift money mostly for it back then.) I hope I can keep the computer limping along for awhile longer.

---
I'm curious / excited about the new YNAB version that is in beta right now. A totally web based version. I need to probably start putting money away in a category for that ... Smile Someone posted a link to the user manual for the beta version on FB today ... some neat new features it sounds like. Big Grin

**Note - If you already have YNAB 3 or 4 etc. you can keep using them for as long as you want, even after the web version comes out. If you just recently purchased 4 (like CCF and someone else I can't think of right now) Jesse most likely will make a VERY sweet deal to upgrade if so desired.

Snowflakes, Gym Membership, Credit Score

October 20th, 2015 at 01:12 am

Today I received a couple snowflakes -

$50 PayPal from Swagbucks
$25 AGC from PerkTV
$5 AGC from Bing

----
I'm seriously considering dropping my gym membership. I don't know how much it'd cost me to break my contract, but I'm just not using it. And I really don't see myself using it ... the traffic to get there is just miserable.

There is another gym where I wouldn't have to deal with such miserable traffic - no contracts. I drove there today after work in 7 minutes flat, even with kind of guessing how to get there. (I didn't go in because I was in the wrong lane to get into it ...)

I need to find out how much both the new place would cost and how much it will take to get out of my old place.

---
NE and I were talking a bit more about houses last night. There really aren't too many in the price range I could qualify for by myself. I told him that if he really wants something in a higher price range, then the only way we'd be able to do it is by combining our income qualifications. Which means he really needs to work on his credit score.

He told me that he'd paid all his bills on time since the last time we'd started talking more seriously about this.

I was saying something about maybe looking into getting a small installment loan of some type to help build the score as well - he was wondering if the medical bill might not qualify as that. Hmm... He'd been thinking of paying it off in one lump sum once he gets his inheritance money, but maybe it'd be better to stretch it a bit longer.

It seems a bit of a catch 22 though ... the medical debt would count as debt (obviously) but could also be a way of showing on-time monthly installment payments. By the time we'd be doing the house looking, my one installment payment loan (car) would be nearly 2 years old, so wouldn't count too much I think.

There was this one house on FB yesterday that was just *perfect* Walk-out basement (so he could come home from work and go through the basement without waking me up at 3 or 4 a.m.) finished basement area, two bedrooms upstairs (my space!) and a finished attic space - 1 1/2 bathrooms. And a 2 car garage, porch, and good sized yard with mature trees.

Only problem was it was listed at $123k. I really need to stop looking at the home listings on FB ... at least for another 6 months or so. Smile

---
When I was getting ready to walk to the library today I realized I'd misplaced my library card/work badge! Thankfully the library took my driver's license to check out the book that was on hold (Homebuying for Dummies) ... but I still need to find the card/id..

Only three places I usually keep it - my car console, my purse, or in the bag I take to the library to carry books. Hopefully it'll turn up soon.

---
It looks like my 401(b) is FINALLY migrating to Vanguard. I got an email notice today that they'd gotten a check - but it hasn't shown up in my accounts yet. It'll be so nice to have that all finished for once and all.

Speaking of retirement accounts ... I emailed the city's person who deals with that stuff to ask about whether people in my particular union have any other retirement savings options other than the one the city contributes to. He said there are two other options which he'll send me info on.

He also told me that I could contribute more than 7% (9% match) BUT it would not be pre-tax and it wouldn't be through payroll deduction (and no extra match). Hmm ... kind of takes away the desire to do it when it isn't pre-tax. (Not that I'm anywhere near being able to do that yet anyway ... need to get my ROTH to compacity first before thinking about upping other contributions.)

I'm curious to see what the other options are. The lady I met at my MMM meetup said she contributed $20 a pay period to a 457? and got a 100% match (up to $20.) She works for the city too, just in a different union.

Overslept

October 11th, 2015 at 01:57 am

I got an okay night's sleep on Friday night, but ended up getting up and going an hour or so before my alarm because .. well, I was awake.

Then I went to Sabbath School and church. After I got home and ate lunch I goofed around on the net for a bit, but was really sleepy. So I laid down to take a 30 minute nap. Even set my timer on my phone. I wanted to make sure to get up in time to get ready to go walking with my church group.

We usually do around 4.5 miles or so. Lots of steps!

Next thing I knew it was 5:05 p.m. Oops. I was over an hour late.

So instead I decided to walk to the library to return a couple things and pick up some holds. Got 2.5 miles in, and got my steps for the day to a bit over 8k. So have 42,000 steps to go by Friday .... I WILL do it!

Smile

---
Talked to my grandma and to my mom this afternoon. Also texted with my brother a little bit. Grandma's pretty excited about me coming out for Thanksgiving (although hopefully she won't be looking for a plane coming from Colorado where she thinks I live. Big Grin She's 94, so I humor her.)

My brother is going through some really tough life lessons right now. Our choices do have consequences. I hope that the consequences are as light as possible, because I think just what is going on right now has been a good wake up call for him. Some of the choices he'd been making was making me wonder if I was going to get a phone call with about the worst possible news ever. A phone call I hope to never get.

---
NE and I are going to the Sprint store tomorrow to see if him getting a WiFi card thing would be a good idea. He has been using my old Android phone as a hotspot with Ting, but used over 12 GBs of data .... He had the same Internet service that I do, but the modem(s) / Internet stopped working and multiple service calls didn't get anywhere with the stupid company. So ... he's trying the alternatives.

After that we're going to eat at IHOP. It's my treat this month (so also my choice of place to eat. Big Grin)

I think the Sprint store we're going to is near the mall with the photo booth - if so, I'm going to get him to get in there with me. Smile

---
My last order of clothes from Schoola came today. I absolutely ADORE two of the items. The third one unfortunately doesn't fit. So that'll be going in the goodwill bag.

So overall of the 6 items I bought from there, 4 of the 6 turned out to be WONDERFUL. And I paid a total of $11.26 for the 6 items shipped. A fifth shirt I really like, but unfortunately its design emphasizes my tummy too much.

---
I'd planned on watching a couple of my DVDs tonight, but I don't know if I will really do that or not. There's two that NE watched and told me were really good (he borrowed the DVDs from me which I had borrowed from the library ... weeks and weeks ago.) The Ultimate Gift and Rudderless. I've already renewed these several times... I just don't watch movies or even videos on the Internet that much anymore.

---
Oh, I also want to share this youtube video:

https://youtu.be/RgKAFK5djSk

It is a style of music I usually won't touch with a ten foot pole - rap music. But for some reason I decided to give it a chance and listen to it today (while doing my Bing searches) and ... it is simply beautiful. When I See You Again by Wiz Khalifa. If you haven't heard it yet, give it a chance - I think you'll like it.

I Cut My Hair!

October 4th, 2015 at 08:05 pm

I bought the scissors to do this with sometime back in August I think, but for whatever reason kept hesitating.

Today though I decided, gosh darn it! I was going to do it!

I tried to take pictures of each of the steps, but it was kind of hard to make sure the angle was the same each time. But I think you still can get a pretty good idea.

I cut some off, and then checked the length, but it didn't seem like it had made any noticeable difference. So, I cut some more off. Smile

I still have quite a bit of length left, but don't plan on cutting any more any time soon.

Haircuts around here are between $20 - 25 for my length of hair. The scissors cost about $14 if I remember correctly. So they have already paid for themselves. Smile

If you click on the link to see my album, make sure to scroll down to the first one and click on the first picture. I have subtitles on all of them, and it's easier to see. (I was having trouble remembering how to do a shared public album on icloud, hence the two sets of identical pictures!)

This was actually kind of fun. Big Grin

https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B07532ODWnndeF

--
I did do some grocery shopping today. Spent $13.xx for onions, sweet potatoes, Greek yogurt, bananas, apples, bagels and a treat. I shouldn't need to buy any more groceries until next week.

I got in the mail the renewal for Kari's tags - $21 - so I'll pay that tomorrow probably. (Due the 31st)

Accomplished Something

October 4th, 2015 at 04:13 am

Most of today was trying to catch up on sleep, then surfed the net for a bit, and general laziness.

I did see I had some items at the library which had to be picked up today, so I stopped by the library. On my way home I dropped off my rent check.

When I got home I guess I had a second wind or something, because I did an inventory of my pantry, my freezer, my fridge, and the cupboard above my sink!

Then I mapped out a meal plan for the whole month of October, along with listing the items I'd need to buy each week.

I also checked all my grocery apps to see what had rebates right now, and included the ones I would actually use in my meal planning/shopping.

Even after making all the food for my meal plan for the month, I'll still have a fairly good food stock.

I'm hoping that this is going to help me keep my food spending to a minimum this month.

I did include one meal out with NE (my turn this month) and one meal that we'll make together at my place.

Generally ...
M - F - Breakfast - Fruit smoothie, 1/2 English muffin w/ peanut butter

Lunch - Sandwich of some sort / veggies / apple

Dinner - varies

---- spaghetti w/spinach, Morningstar crumbles
----- spaghetti squash w/crumbles (if still good)
---- Cottage Cheese loaf , veggies
---- Corn pudding, veggies
---- Sweet potato w/ baked beans or greek yogurt
---- Quiona w/veggies and tofu
---- Couscous w/ veggies and crumbles
----- Fried "rice" quinoa w/veggies/tofu
---- leftovers
---- last Friday night --- Amy's frozen meal

Snacks (Weekday) - fruit, snack bar

Weekends - Sundays -
-----------Brunch: Greek Yogurt/banana pancakes, egg
-----------Dinner: One of the dinners or eating out, making pizza with NE

Saturdays - Breakfast - Bagel w/cream cheese, egg, banana
----------- Lunch - leftovers
------------Dinner - cereal, egg
------------Dessert - ICE CREAM!

Free *Or Nearly Free* Clothes! Free Shipping!

September 25th, 2015 at 08:19 pm

Okay, so I was reading on the MMM boards and came across a post explaining how to get $50 worth of clothes for free. It was from August, so the coupon code had expired when I tried it today. HOWEVER you still can get $25 worth of free clothes AND free shipping!

Do the following:
Go to this link:
https://www.schoola.com/stitch?ref=cp-3X5whmZPF

*Note - this is a referral link. I get $15, you get $15.

Near the top of the page click on the word COLLECTIONS

Click on NEW Collection

Name your collection, select what type of clothes, size, color, etc.

Start adding clothes to your cart.

When you've $25 worth of clothes (or near as possible) go to your cart.

Enter your email address and the code #schoolasummer

The code is expired, but it will then show you your final cost.

Delete the code and enter your payment info.

I was able to get within $.25 of the $25 - I bought 3 nice used tops (Lane Bryant, Faded Glory, and another one can't recall right now.) All for $.25 shipped.

If you do use my referral code, it might be nice to put your referral code in the comments. Then the next person to use it can use it. Then we can all get another $15 worth of free clothes! Big Grin

ETA - These clothes are USED clothes being resold. Make sure to look them over closely. Some of the money is also being donated to help out some schools in various areas.

ETA 2 - I just got an email with an updated code! For 25% off! This means you can get $50 worth of clothes for free!!

Try this code: WS66W007-QD (Good til Oct 5)

Mom's Visit, Walk Through, Restaraunt, Spending Reduction

September 22nd, 2015 at 02:09 am

I'm back home now from taking my mom to the airport today.

We had a good visit together. We did some shopping, we rode the bus and took a tour of the bus station where I work, made eggplant parmesean at my house, ate out twice with NE, etc.

One of the places we ate at is the vegan restaurant which Ceejay recommended a long time ago. Overall I'd say it was a good place, and that some of the food was pretty good. The atmosphere was WAY noisy though (especially this one lady who did not understand how to keep her noise level to inside levels ...)

Friday afternoon my mom and I had a really interesting experience. She and I were sitting in a booth at a downtown Casey's store (gas station.) An older lady came in and was trying to get someone to come be a witness to her wedding - she was willing to pay $10.

I was kind of wondering if she was trying some sort of scam, but when she got to us I decided to go with it and see what happened. My mom agreed.

So we followed the lady outside to where her fiancee' and another person who'd agreed to be a witness were standing. Apparently both of their witnesses had flaked out (decided to go get drunk instead of coming to their wedding ... a daughter and son.)

We headed over to city hall where we stood waiting for about ten minutes while the lady chain smoked and gabbed about many way too personal details to tell strangers.

Finally we headed inside where we had to go through a metal detector and went into a courtroom. The judge met us there and explained what was going to happen. He seemed like a really nice guy, very easy going with a good sense of humor.

After putting on his robe, he conducted the ceremony. It really was quite beautiful for a courtroom ceremony.

At the end I had to sign my name and write my address on two documents (as a witness.) Both I and the other lady refused the $10 when offered. Then before leaving gave the bride a hug and good wishes.

(She and the new husband had been together for 19 years - had been homeless, drug addicts, etc., but now she is on disability and he is a truck driver. She recently bought a house on her credit, and insisted on "making it official.")

All in all ... an interesting experience.

---
The Walk Through ... got a voice mail Thursday night from property manager. Said "Your place looks like a million bucks. I am so impressed. Thank you."

Ugh. At least it's over now.
----
Now that my mom is gone I am going to be putting myself on a Spending Reduction.

This means that I can only spend $20 per week on anything outside of gas for my car, regular bills/contributions, October trip with NE, October restaurant w/NE, and the mani/pedi which I still haven't done! I also may add in there the registration fee(s) for a Sabbath School workshop and a fundraiser 5k I might participate in during October.

Yikes .. lots of exceptions. But even with them, I think it will help me get my spending muscles back into check after the spendalooza that has been August and September so far.

This spending reduction is in effect until November 19 (before I go out to CA for Thanksgiving.)

I'm going to be entering all my receipts, etc. into YNAB tomorrow night and see how much damage has been done ...

----
Extras:
$200 account bonus from Nationwide
$200 from mom for her part of the hotel, other stuff we did together
Have enough SBs to cash out for a $25 PayPal, but am waiting for the next Swagup to come available.

Met with a Cleaner

September 12th, 2015 at 01:18 am

This afternoon I met with a lady who is going to do the cleaning I need done. She suggested I get something called Draincare to help get rid of the future possible clogs.

She's probably going to come on Monday. I agreed to pay her $100 (the bathroom with the litter mess was a bit worse than I'd realized.)

I need to figure out a better solution for keeping the litter off the floor. I have tried the hooded boxes before, but really didn't like them (neither did my cat(s).) I've also tried a variety of litter mats ...

This is something I'll deal with once my mom is gone though.

I bought the draincare stuff, some lightbulbs, replacement liner things for the stove burners, and ... some chocolate.

This weekend I'm going to focus on doing more decluttering and getting my car cleaned out.

I made it 3 days with no spending so far this month ...

This month's totals are going to be so disastrous. At least I have a good slush fund to handle it without missing a beat. I just don't like actually *using* the slush fund.

In the Mail Saturday

September 6th, 2015 at 10:43 pm

I forgot to mention this in my last post.

Saturday was a bonanza for things in the mail.

I received my $100 AGC from YouGov (a survey site - link in the sidebar.)

I also received my order from Amazon - my pea protein powder, two plate hooks and .... my hair cutting scissors!

The scissors arrived in a plush little zip up bag. I'm kind of looking forward to trying to cut my own hair. Kind of. I will try to take before and after pictures to let you all know how it goes.

Hopefully I won't botch it too badly and still have to go pay for a haircut. Big Grin

If this works, then I may never need to pay for a haircut again. Then I'd just need to figure out how to do my own highlights at home ...

Funnies

August 27th, 2015 at 01:16 am

Some things that have amused me recently:

1. Got a call from the call center/medical survey place I worked at for about six weeks when I first moved here. They were wondering if I'd be interested in working for them again ... LOL! Only if I was uber desperate.

2. I was able to log in to my new credit union account tonight - and found out that my $50 bonus has already posted! (I'd been told it would be 45 days after opening.)

----
I made it to the gym again today. Did 30 minutes of stronglifts, and 25 minutes of walk/jogging. I was trying to get to 7k steps.

I can't remember the name of it, but I heard about a website/app based in the UK that pays for steps activity in the US (gift cards - Walmart is one of them.) You have to get over 7k steps to earn 5 points. A $5 gift card is 700 points. So ... it'll be awhile. LOL But, every little bit counts, right? Smile

---
I haven't heard back anything from Microsoft regarding my hotmail troubles yet. I really hope they can figure it out so I can get into my account!! I want my $5 AGC from Bing! (Plus I can't Bing anymore ... Frown Frown Frown - every day I can't Bing, I lose 25+ points.) Pooh!

---
I decided to go ahead and book the hotel rooms for my mom's stay. I'm counting it as a spend for September though. I was just worried that if I waited much longer, we might not be able to get what we wanted.

Gulp. 4 nights at the hotel we compromised on .... $420.xx (3 nights x $86, 1 night at $103 + taxes and fees - last night we are staying in O city.)

But .... I booked it through Expedia via the Swagbucks site. That means I'll get about 3200 Swagbucks back as a shop and earn, plus around 650 more for using my Swagbucks credit card. So, nearly $40 back.

My mom and I decided that we'd split the hotel cost, and then after all is said and done, add up all the other expenses and divide it.

Otherwise though, no spending has been done by me!

---
I did confirm that my salary should be getting a 2.25% bump this coming paycheck. It's the annual cost of living bump via the union contract. I sure won't refuse it! Smile

I'm going to let myself play with the bump for a few months, but in January, I'll probably have to lower my deductions, and so the bump will go away. (I'll decide for sure after I do my taxes.)

September is going to be expensive ...

End of Vacay :( Some KonMari pics

August 18th, 2015 at 02:41 am

4 days went by way way way too fast. I could use another 4 ... Smile

My phone is in a city an hour away as of the last update from Fed Ex at 8 p.m. Sunday. I really hoped it would be here today. Sigh.

This probably means that it'll be Wednesday at least before I can get it (they'll try to deliver it tomorrow while I'm at work of course ...)

---
I ended up only watching one movie this weekend - Inside Out. Enjoyed it. Smile

I was going to watch Mission Impossible today, but I didn't want to be out of the apartment more than absolutely necessary.

I did go to Dollar Tree and did open up the checking account for the $50 bonus - plus got the info I needed to change over to it for the 2.5% interest rate!

While watching one of my library DVDs I put all my frozen fruit into one cup portion baggies. There's enough for about 9 weeks of smoothies. Smile

---
The KonMari bug kind of faded out by Sunday. I did take all the stuff I wanted to donate to the Goodwill today.

I also took some pictures of my drawers and my closet (although I took more hangers out after the picture) and figured out how to do a shared icloud album so you can actually see the pictures Big Grin

https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B075oqs3q4tKfE

My folding is quite as neat as some other peoples I've seen, but it's a good shot neater than what my drawers used to look like! Big Grin

---
I watched a really powerful movie tonight on Netflix (NE is signed into it on my computer because we watch movies on it sometimes here ....) Ragamuffin: The Rich Mullins story. Full disclosure - he was a Christian artist - Amy Grant used many of his songs, but he also produced his own albums later.

What I love so much about his story is how REAL he is about God, about life, about Christianity, about how none of us are what we *should* be - but God loves us just as we are.

Anyway, the first time I heard of him was in connection to his work with the Navajo kids in Window Rock, AZ. Powerful story.

---
So ... here's hoping for a good attitude from myself by 8 a.m. tomorrow ...

More Phone Updates, Cr. Union Deal!, etc

August 13th, 2015 at 12:09 am

So I got the SIM card from Ting today. I remembered from last time how to change it out. So I did that. Then I restarted my phone.

It's still locked to ATT!

NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

I sent an unlock request to ATT ... says it'll take up to two business days.

Sigh.

BTW - I have had absolutely NO RESPONSE from Ting to the email I sent on Saturday about losing my phone. None. I hate to say it, but I'm getting less and less enthralled with Ting's Customer Service.

----
My boss today handed me this card she got at an event she went to last week. It was a deal for opening a checking account at a local credit union.

$50 within 45 days of opening with a $50 deposit. That's the only requirement. Big Grin

It gets better though. If you have a direct deposit sent to that account, do one bill pay per month (free), and 12 debit transactions ... you get ... (drumroll please) 2.5 % interest on up to $25k !!!!

Um .... somehow I think 2.5% interest would be worth the hassles of doing 12 debit transactions a month. I could put all my money into that account. Have savings and checking all in one nice big account. I'd actually earn some real money for interest!

That'll have to wait til I get my Nationwide bonus though. Smile

The Credit Union is Liberty First CU - I'm not sure what the residency requirements are for it though.

---
At work today I did the FINAL touches on the 200+ page document which has been causing so much stress for the last six+ weeks. It is done and over with!

My boss let me log off the phone, and took all the window customers so I could 100% concentrate on it. Good thing too, otherwise there's no way I would have finished it on time.

The calls have been insane this week - with school starting today.
---
Oh ... speaking of insane ... I have to tell you what came in today to lost and found. Inside of a bus pass folder was a baggie of what looked like .... weed! At least 4 other people agreed that it was very much similar to weed.

I called the police and they sent someone over. He said he thought it was either an organic herb or K2, but not weed. Then told me to just throw it away. ??? So ... I did. Seemed pretty bizarre to me.
---
Tuesday after I was done with my school event (went well, kept pretty busy) I stopped at Supersaver again and picked up $20 worth of stuff that was on pretty good sales.

I rarely get to a Supersaver since I have another grocery store just less than a block from me .... so that was fun. Smile

---
I got a text from my brother (texting on iPad still works at least ...) I have the feeling that he is wimping out on the September trip. ARGHH! So, it'll just be mom and I.

Hopefully I'll have phone service soon so we can talk and I can find out what is going on.

---
Tomorrow is my Friday for this week. Big Grin I'm SO ready for my 4 days off. SOOOOO ready.

---
I cashed out for another $25 PP from SBs today. That makes $50 for August (plus the $25 from July I cashed out in August.) I did the Visa thing for 500 SBs, (connected to a card I don't use, but monitor easily), so am back to nearly 800 SBs towards my next one. Maybe I'll make another $25 in August? Smile

Pride Goeth Before a ....

August 5th, 2015 at 02:38 am

Today after work I stopped at Walgreen's to pick up a couple of things (had a raging headache, even with Allegra D ....)

On my way to my car I noticed this really really CUTE guy sitting in a jeep parked in front of my car. He must have seen me look at him or something, because he nods his head at me.

At this point I have my door open ... and I proceed to nod my head back at him ... just being friendly. Smile

Instead of smoothly flowing into my seat and driving away .... I end up bumping my chin on the top of my door! Then land in my seat doubled over from laughing at myself.

The guy calls out asking if I'm okay, so I manage to contain myself enough to let him know that I was fine. Just my pride was damaged.

They say that pride goeth before a fall (of which I've done plenty ...) but today it's more accurate for me to say ... pride goeth before a chin bump!

----
Work was okay today. Had a good bit to catch up on from yesterday (mail in orders, end of the month bus repair reports -- so funny some of them, etc.) I had a couple of delightful callers - one is a repeat lady who makes me smile big as soon as I hear her voice; and the other was a little old lady trying to figure out the system and just SO appreciative of my help.

Kind of helped to cancel out the guy who was ticked off because the fare box ate his card and kept asking how that could happen. Um ... fare boxes eat cards sometimes?? If you saw the bus repair reports ... it's amazing more bus passes don't get eaten. (He hung up on me before I could figure out exact bus/route/time .. if I had that info then I could have had the driver contacted to check the story and get the guy a new pass.)

---
The other day I took a survey abut a local e........y company. One of the questions asked about whether I'd experienced any power outages. Well, in the year or so I've been here (to that point) I hadn't!

Today that changed! A few minutes after I sat down for lunch (finished microwaving) we had a 20-25 minute power outage at the bus station. It was so weird and so quiet.

Today was my 1 yearaversary at work. Talking with my boss made me really wonder if I want to try for something else. It's not always a sure thing that you're going to find good bosses.

Plus I'm thinking about the gym ... if I go to this CC, I'd have a 20+ minute commute home and then a 15-20 minute drive to the gym. Maybe a 30 minute commute straight to the gym (not stopping by home first). I'm worried it'll be even easier to excuse myself from going.

I'm still going to do the application package though ... nothing says I will get a job offer and nothing says I have to take said job offer if it happens. Won't hurt to try.

---
Spending:
Amazon - Kitty flea/tick collar, ink for printer - $23.xx after $30 in gift card and $1.50 cash back discover

Walgreen's - $2.75 (major headache cure attempt ... not health food.)

NEs Birthday, Feeling Ugh

August 3rd, 2015 at 07:04 pm

So today is NEs actual birthday, but we did the celebration yesterday.

We drove out to Nebraska City to a Chinese buffet. There wasn't much selection of veggies not mixed with meat ... in fact I accidentally took some mushrooms which had meat mixed with them. Frown NE found plenty to eat though ...

Afterwards his GPS unit took us on a merry chase finding this state recreation area he wanted to check out. We finally did find it - it has a really nice access point for boats to the Missouri river.

When we got back we ate some of the cake I had made earlier (who knew the Jiffy mix was for layer cakes, and not full sized ones? Oh well.) He also drank some of the koolaide he'd asked for ... (said it wasn't quite like he'd remembered - I had him make it himself actually so he'd know how much sugar, etc. was in it.)

I guess I was kind of not in a great spirit because earlier that day I'd had to buy a pitcher in order to make the dang koolaide and was kind of annoyed to be adding all these extras on top of dinner out.

Then of course he's not in the mood to do anything when we get back because he ate way too much. UGH.

---
Earlier in the day after my grocery trip and making the cake, I spent a few hours working on the application for the library job. On the background check form they want address history for the last TWENTY years! Um.... I can give you city and state for that time frame, but I barely remember the name of the roads I lived on five years ago (3 different places while going to grad school) let alone 8 or 9 + years.

I tried finding a way to search public records to get that info, but couldn't find a way to do it without paying for it. Ugh.

I have until August 12 to submit all my documents/application. Need to put together a cover letter and update my resume, scan my transcripts (find them first .. they're somewhere around here), scan my certifications (after I locate them ..)

---
I cashed out for a $25 paypal from SBs today - got the 50SB swagup. Apparentally there's been some kind of mix up- the special offer swagup should've been up first for 150 SBs. Hopefully that'll get sorted soon - I have enough to get a second $25 PP once that is fixed.

I also cashed out for a $25 AGC from PerkTV - that should come sometime today.

Tomorrow I'll have enough Bing for a $5 AGC.

Once I have the $30 AGC, I'm planning on ordering a flea/tick collar for Kari from Amazon. She's picked up fleas somehow - I've tried a variety of other things which haven't helped much. So I'm hoping this collar will. (Bayer Seresto Flea and Tick Collar) It supposedly is supposed to work for 8 months. It better for how much it costs! ($43.xx)

----
So I'm posting in the middle of the day here. Called in sick from work - I think something I ate at the buffet didn't agree with me. In a major way.

---
I'm going to see about making an appointment at Brakes Plus on Wednesday to get my oil changed and see if they can do an alignment too. If I get that appointment I'll be near the mall where I can return my shoes.

Then Thursday I have my first school event from 4 - 6:30. Can you say 90 minutes of overtime?!

---
I checked my FSA balance. I have just enough for 3 more Synthroid prescriptions. Then the FSA year starts over. I'm planning on upping my contribution by $10/month. I didn't use my dental insurance at all this year, and my Syntrhoid ended up being more than I had thought it would be. I still need to find out if I can do a prescription for Allegra D to have it covered by the FSA - if so, I'll need to up the amount by $30-40/month. (Our FSA year runs November to October.)

---
August Spending:
1st - Fazoli's - $13
2nd - Grocery store - $57.xx (groceries, cat, NE birthday stuff)
Chinese buffet - $25 for two
3rd - hopefully none!

"New" Car, OverTime, Budget Busted, etc.

August 1st, 2015 at 02:41 am

So Thursday after work was spent riding/driving to O city and back. Why? NE had found a 2000 Chevy Prizm for $1200 which he decided to buy.

There is some work that will need to be done to it - brakes, driver side window, etc., but mechanically it is in good shape.

I am SO glad to have my car back now (he filled up my gas tank and treated me to dinner at Hardee's as a thank you for letting him use my car this week.)

----
I convinced my boss to let me have a 3rd school event in August. That'll make 4 different events I'll be doing.

I figure I can do more than my fair share now since I won't be able to help with any of the football games (they all are on Saturdays or Friday nights. Except for the one after Thanksgiving, which I'll be in CA!) (We run a shuttle service from multiple locations in the city to the local public uni's football stadium.)

----
The last two weeks have been a bust financially and health wise. The numbers aren't going to be very pretty .. not as bad as May's, but definitely not as nice as June's. You can probably guess where a lot of the budget busting came from.

Ugh.

---
I bought two $9 Net 10 phones from Family Dollar today (sale ended today.) I'm going to be using them for the sole purpose of playing paid videos. I think they'll pay off soon enough to be worthwhile.

I also read this article posted on FB:

http://www.thepennyhoarder.com/ways-to-make-money-at-home/

Many of the things I knew about already, but I did see one thing which interested me. Send Dollars - almost exactly like Inbox Dollars. I signed up for it and already have about $6.80 (out of $30 to cash out.)

---
I did this horrible survey yesterday morning which turned out to be mainly about coffee. I somehow managed to complete it - mainly because they didn't ask the one question which would have saved both them and me a lot of time .... Do you drink coffee? Nope - they just assumed that everyone drinks coffee. Yuck.

---
I managed to complete the Survey Soiree for SBs this week - 150 SB rebate. I only was able to do this due to waking up around 4 a.m. 3 out 5 mornings ... not on purpose. At all.

I don't know if my tiredness affected my viewpoint today at work or not, but MAN were people ever crabby and argumentative. There were a couple of times I wanted to ask - why are you even asking me this question if you won't take my answer?

---
The local community college is looking for a Learning Resource Director. Gulp. They aren't requiring a specialized higher education librarian degree (like most universities would ...) It pays $4/hour more than what I'm making now. I'm not sure what the benefits are.

I'm thinking seriously about applying.

My two big qualms .... 1. It would put me WAY out of my comfort zone dealing with CC students; and 2. It doesn't state what the expected hours/days are.

2 is probably the bigger issue. I checked on the website for the LRC and it shows it is open on Saturdays. Frown

I have the feeling that my stating that I can only work M-F probably would get my application thrown in the proverbial trash without further reading. But, still, it probably wouldn't hurt to try. Who knows how many other ALA certified (well, expired certified?) librarians are here AND know about the job offer. I might have a slim chance.

I do want to see what the benefits are though first - because if I got the job, my commute would change from 6 or 7 minutes to more like 20minutes + - and definitely not walkable. (but would be bussable.)

(And yes, the not working on Saturdays is completely, unequivocally, non-negotiable for me. This is partly why I've hesitated to apply for any of the various public librarian jobs - all of which require weekend hours. As a newbie, I probably wouldn't be able to say - I want Sundays only!)

---
Ok, I'm now off to catch up on your blogs. (This is actually a second rendition of my post... thanks to accidentally hitting the backspace button instead of the arrow to move over tabs ...)

Small Updates

July 29th, 2015 at 12:51 am

NE got the news today - his transmission got water in it. The mechanic is suggesting rebuilding it = to the tune of $3100. That's more than the car is worth.

NE is considering selling the car and getting a cheap $1200 car he found in O city to get by until he has enough to get a more decent car.

---
I'm almost to 5k SBs - mainly due to doing surveys and actually qualifying for a few this week. (Working on the Survey Soiree thing.) Can hardly wait til August 3 so I can cash them in (and get the discount.)

---
Walked to work Monday and Tuesday so far this week. NE's picked me up both days - kind of fun getting picked up. Smile He's gotten to see some of the coworkers I talk to him about from afar.

---
The project at work that never ends may be actually getting close...r to ending. I worked on the table of contents today, and fixing some formatting issues. Of course all I did may be for naught if decision makers decide to change some of the content. Oh well, it was something to keep me busy.

Why do people argue with you when they call in for information? I just don't get it.

---
NE and I ended up not going to see Antman on Sunday. All the theaters are owned by the same company, so all the Matinee priced showings were before noon. Way too early for NE (he works nights.) We watched a movie on Netflix instead - something that took place in WW2 on a submarine - a bunch of US soldiers were captured by a German Uboat submarine. Very interesting (can't remember the name of it though.)

---
My latest Ting bill closed yesterday. I managed to keep the non-tax part of it to $15! I think now that NE is also on Ting, he's gotten the idea of being very conservative with phone minutes. Smile (Before, he just didn't get why I would get frustrated when he'd talk for 30 minutes before coming over for 3 hours ...)

Compared to my old cell bill of $75/76/month ... Smile I love Ting!

---
Tomorrow, and probably on Thursday too, I'm going to have NE pick me up later so I can use the gym at work. This also helps him so he can get up later. (His Wed. shift starts later, and he doesn't work Thursday nights.)

Vanguard and More NE car troubles

July 26th, 2015 at 01:15 am

Yesterday when I got home from work I called Vanguard yet again. I'd been waiting for a return call from the person I was told I was being assigned to since Tuesday and was tired of waiting. Smile

So I worked with someone different. Roughly 90 minutes later we had all my accounts from TROWE and Scottrade switched over, and had started the process with Empower Retirement. (I have some paperwork I have to print and mail for that.)

Once all the account transfers are finalized, I'll have retirement accounts at two places - Vanguard and the one my current employer uses. That'll definitely be much nicer for tracking, and the expense ratios will be much nicer as well.

I decided to go with an 80/20 Lifestyle? investment strategy for my 403(b) rollover. I can always change it later to something less aggressive. I'm also putting my Trowe Roth into that same kind of thing.

Hopefully the funds will show some better movement with less ER being taken out.

---
I got an email from NE this morning. His second car - a Honda - broke down around 2 a.m. He had to wait an hour for someone to come get him. (He was out in the northernmost part of town - the pizza place he works at is kind of in the middle of town.)

So he is now down to 0 working cars. He's working tonight, so I've let him borrow my car again. He's going to come by around 5 a.m. to pick me up and we'll try towing his car 2 miles to a place that can possibly fix his car.

Hopefully we won't have to do the car thing too long ... I can probably walk to work okay in the mornings, but there's no way I want to do it in the afternoons (too hot!) So he'll have to pick me up each day. It also means no gym those days. At least I'll be getting exercise walking to work. Maybe do bodyweight exercises at home.

---
I have more than enough SBs to cash out for a $25 PP - but I'm going to hold off til August 3rd. That way I can use the 150 SB rebate I earned (doing 20 special offers - all freebies.)

---
I need to figure out the latest matinee showing of Antman tomorrow. NE and I'll be going to that.

---
Hopefully tomorrow I'll have some energy and can get myself to do some cleaning (desperately needed) and possibly some decluttering too.

Next Sunday is NEs birthday celebration (actual birthday is the 3rd, but he's working) so I won't have much time to do things that day. (We're going to Nebraska City - eat at a Chinese buffet place and then possibly go to the Arbor Day place??) He's going to be 49 - so for about 4 1/2 months we'll be ten years apart in age. Smile

---
It's weird ... I had bought several loaves of the Orrowheat Everything bread - the one that is smaller in size - because it was cheaper than the regular sized Oatnut bread. I loved it because it perfectly fit my black bean burgers with no leftover edges.

But the last time I bought bread, Oatnut was on a good sale = so I bought 3 loaves of it. The Everything bread was $4.29 (nearly $1 more than when I bought it.)

So this week when I ate my burgers for lunch, it felt like SO MUCH bread. In fact, I only used two slices on Monday. The rest of the week I only used one slice and broke my burger in half. Ate part of it mixed in with my veggies. The other part wrapped like a hot dog.

I've never thought it was too much bread before - not until I experienced the difference between a bread slice that perfectly fit and one that doesn't.

Anyway ... just some rambling miscellaneous thoughts from this week.

Parking Garage, Work, Vanguard

July 23rd, 2015 at 04:09 am

Tuesday night I had my 3rd shift at the parking garage. This time there was a WWE event going on. I got there about 7:40 - 20 minutes early. We didn't end up getting sent to our spots til nearly 9:20 (I clocked in at 7:55.) It seems kind of wasteful to have 8 or so people standing around for an hour+ on the clock waiting for an event to actually end. But oh well, it's more money in my pocket. Smile (I clocked out a bit before 11. So about $33 before taxes.)

Once the cars started coming out, time went by pretty fast. Before I went, I had no energy nor desire to go. By the time I got home though, I was pepped up and couldn't go to sleep for a long time. (Still woke up about 4:45 a.m. ....)

----
Before I left for the shift though, I tried calling Vanguard again. I was being transferred to someone when the call ended suddenly. So I called back and got the name and number of the person I was being transferred to. I called and left a voice mail - more than 24 hours later, and I have not gotten a call back.

I'm going to try again tomorrow night (when I don't have to run off to Vacation Bible School like tonight, or have a shift to work.)

Hopefully, third time will be the charm.

---
Work. Ugh. Still ongoing saga of 268 page document and the perfectionist who believes there is only one way to do things (she tells me to make a change, I make the change, she insists I should do it her way instead ...) My boss is also frustrated with this person (they had to do a presentation to the other co-workers yesterday - some book the staff is reading.) My boss has told me that if I want off this project, all I have to do is say so. Part of me wants to say OFF, but a larger part of me does not want to do that - kind of feel like being a quitter.

Lady sat up front with me today going over some cross-referencing in the document. I was logged off the phone. Still had at least 6 calls and 7 people come by to buy passes. She got so frustrated with all the interruptions that she told me we'd keep working tomorrow if my boss could cover the not logged in phone calls. She asked me if it always was this busy.

Ummm... the phone wasn't even logged in. Yes, it can sometimes be that busy x50. Other times, not so much. One never knows.

---
Tuesday -
DMV - $175 - Car registration
Taco Bell ... $4.19

Wednesday:
Walgreen's - $20.xx (junk, locker lock for gym, deodorant, real food)

Extra Income:
$16 from Pact cashed in

---
Okay, it is now 11:08. I am going to try to go to bed and see if I can get more than 4 1/2 hours sleep ...


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