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2nd entry

September 2nd, 2018 at 12:49 pm

I have a bit of time today (ok, so I'm procrastinating on doing other stuff I should be doing ….)

So in addition to the yardwork drama of this past week, we had some additional drama. I'm not sure exactly how this is going to play out.

It may turn out to be nothing more than increased premiums, or it could be really, really bad.

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My DH got into an accident while out on a delivery this week.

He was making a right hand turn, and at the same time a bicyclist started crossing.

The bicyclist got taken away in an ambulance - but only had apparent injuries to her knee.

DH doesn't want to attempt to report this to the owner's insurance because he's afraid the owner will get angry and fire him for being a pain. Apparently no other driver has attempted to report accidents on the job for a similar reason.


When DH got in the fender bender last year, I didn't try to push it since it was minor and no injuries. This time though there are injuries.


He only keeps $50k liability limit on his cars.


I'm having nightmares of all our assets vanishing.


I called my agent about umbrella insurance, but was told they couldn't do it with an open claim (not surprising) and we'd both have to up our liability limits.


So .. all I can do now is pray that this lady is not litigious, and that $50k will cover her injuries.


I'm also hoping that DH doesn't have another claim anytime soon - because then he might lose his insurance!

Registered! $$Yardwork Drama/Pictures; Pictures; Less Than a Week!

September 2nd, 2018 at 11:24 am

So ... I registered at our local community college this past week. It does appear that it will take me about 4 years to do an AAS degree one course at a time. That is unless of course I decide to amp it up a bit and spend some of my own money (beyond the reimbursable amounts) to get it done a bit faster. Smile

My first class will be ... drumroll please ... Advanced Keyboarding! To get an A in this class you need to type 45 WPM. Um ... I tested out of Intermediate, but couldn't test out of Advanced. So .. an easy A to start my adventure back into school.

The other option to start with was Principles of Accounting. Yeah .. I'll hold off on that til next quarter, thanks.

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There's been some major drama rama this past week or so regarding yardwork - getting someone to do it and do it for the quoted price.

First off I had a guy who was supposed to start on Wednesday of the previous week. It rained that day. Then Thursday I get home expecting to see a good bit done - Nada. I text him and find out eventually that he'd stopped by another job to finish something up that morning, and had twisted his ankle in a hole. So .. I told him, we'll see you Monday then. Ok, he said.

That same day I had some people stop by to pick up some curtains I didn't need that they wanted for their daughter. They happened to be people who did yardwork. The one man was adamant that we needed to do something about the branch of our caltulpa (sp?) tree hanging over our roof. He showed me that it had already dented our gutter.

He quoted me a price to do everything - about $75 more than the other guy, but including cutting the branch.

I told him I already had arrangements with someone else, but if it didn't work out I'd contact him.

So ... Monday comes and goes and the first guy is a no show. I text him around 5 p.m. and no answer by 7 p.m. DH agrees that that's that.

So .. I contact the other guy to find out when he can come by and start. --- The next morning!

About 8:30 I finally get a text back from first guy. He's all defensive about how he'd promised he'd get the job done and he would get it done. That he'd bought $200 of used tools just for the job, etc... After a million back and forth texts I finally told him I was sorry for our misunderstanding, but I'd made other arrangements. Then stopped responding. I felt bad, but with our experience with the fence guy, etc., and wanting to get the dang job DONE ...

Tuesday I come home from work to find that the man and his partner (curtains) HAD come and put in a good days work. So, as agreed, I paid them 1/2 of the quoted price. There still was a lot to do.

Wedendsday I come home and they'd put in another good days work. There were still some things they hadn't done which he and DH had spoken about - so I texted him a list. Part of that was saying that we were "Possibly" interested in him treating the volunteer trees (close to 100 ...) but wanted to know if that included a followup next spring.

Thursday I get home and find out that he had interperted that to mean I gave him a go ahead. I'd also given him a go ahead on getting river rock/dirt for the back/side of our house that desperately needed it.

He tried telling us that he'd put 2 tons of riverrock out, and we'd need at least another 2 tons to finish. DH wasn't convinced of the amounts, and curtains man had no written documentation.

He wanted a check right then. 3 days in a row he and his partner had worked very hard and gotten 95% of the job done. So I wrote him a check.

Friday - he doesn't show up. (And DH royally ticked me off blaming me for this. Since we didn't owe them any money now .. I SO badly wanted to remind him who found fence guy .. especially when he self-righteously exclaimed that he'd be the KING in charge of getting the fence done. -- Fine by me - won't be done in the next century if I'm not spearheading it.)

Saturday he doesn't show up. I texted Friday night asking when he would be here - he said Saturday. I texted Saturday afternoon - where are you? No response.

Today, Sunday, hasn't shown up and no response.

The 3rd check hasn't been cashed yet. If he doesn't show up by Tuesday morning I will be attempting to do a stop payment on that 3rd check.

I'm wondering if I should text this guy and inform him that is what I will be doing if he doesn't show up, or just do it?

Total paid to this guy is nearly $2k. Gulp. I told DH that he better keep up the **** yard now that it is cleaned up again, or he'll be paying for the next clean up out of his pocket.


Some before pics …





You may notice the yard is mowed. Guess who does the mowing? Yeah.

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I've been taking pictures of some of the Lost and Found items that come in where I work. I thought it may amuse you. Smile I know it does me at times.






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I booked a snorkel and island tour excursion for our cruise today. We'll get to hold a sloth, and pet monkeys and tour a shipwreck. Smile Yes - lots of pictures of course. Smile

Less than a week to go!

Not excited at all. Nope, not at all. Big Grin

School Again?

August 25th, 2018 at 06:46 pm

So I've posted a few more applications unsuccessfully - not even an interview. It got me to thinking - what could I do to increase my chances?

Well .. I think since it seems as though my career track is in the business world, it might be good to have some business related courses!

At first I was looking at the business administration program, but it looked too mathy to me.

Then I saw the Office Professional program - perfect!

I'm meeting with the department head on Tuesday to see what classes I would have to take. I know I'll have to take accounting, but most of the general courses will hopefully be waived.

The whole program can be done online.

The city will pay up to $1243/yr for graded classes - I figure that will equal 1 class per quarter which is a slow pace, but good enough for me. Smile

The next quarter starts in October.

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I have also started back with piano. I paid for a year's access to the app SimplyPiano, and am using it plus some piano lesson books I already had. I'm playing at least 30 minutes most days quite happily.

If only I'd done that when I was young taking lessons …

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I am also working on French. Im using Duolingo and Tinycards apps, as well as Pimsuler French audio lessons.

I may sign up for Conversational French at the community college too - starts in October.

All this is in prep for my possible trip to France. Smile

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We have hired someone to clean up our yard - remove some structures, remove the dozens and dozens of volunteer trees, clear up the weeds, etc.

When he's done, hopefully it will be something we WILL keep up with ourselves.

He is supposed to start Monday. I really want this done before I leave for my cruise.
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I've made a goal of increasing my side income to $300/month (to help with saving for France trip.)

One thing I'm doing is getting back to eBay.

I listed 3 items this week, and one sold soon after being listed. ($15.95)

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Two weeks from now I'll be in Houston!

Cruise 3 weeks Away

August 13th, 2018 at 06:07 pm

Mom found a really good rate for us going from Houston to Galveston and back - $100 cheaper than what she'd previously found.

I bought a new swimsuit and dress for the cruise.

I'm really looking forward to 8 days away from it all.

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I've applied to 4 jobs in the last month. Today I heard back from one - thanks, but no thanks.

Low unemployment my foot.
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We're getting estimates for having some yard work done. 3 summers of mostly being neglected other than mowing and some weeding have taken their toll. If we can get it back to a manageable state, then hopefully DH will keep it up.

One guy who gave us an estimate backed out once we said we'd go with him. A second try tomorrow … Sigh.

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My brother and his wife might be coming in October. I'll believe it when I see them … but that's part of why I am insisting on getting the yard in shape.

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We're having the sneezes run through our cats. DH found a country vet about a 40 minute one-way drive that is very inexpensive. It's helping our pet funds stretch further - even if it's very inconvenient.


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I'm at a bit over 4 weeks of being back on track with my whole foods plant based, no added sugar, low oil/salt eating plan.


Not much movement downward on the scale, but at least the upward movement is quelled.


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I dropped the cats bowls on my left foot tonight - I was trying to mix Pepe's meds into a bit of wet food and had the bowls balanced on top of the fridge door. I ended up cutting one of my toes …


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I sold the majority of my T3sla stock when it was in the 370s. Am in discussions with DH about the remainder - would mean ~$4k in cap gains taxes if we do.


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Ok, going to try to catch up with ya'll.

Grocery Shopping Services

July 13th, 2018 at 06:39 pm

This week InstaCart came to our town. In the newspaper they had a code for $20 off a $35 order.

I of course wasn't going to pass up
1. Free groceries; or
2. The novelty of it

So, I put together an order and then tried applying the code.

It wouldn't work.

I emailed customer service.

10 emails later out of frustration I decided to try the code again. This time it worked!

However, there was a delivery charge and a service fee? I had thought the code gave free delivery, and there was no explanation for the service fee.

So it ended up being more like $10 in free groceries.

A nice lady delivered what I'd ordered - even brought them inside the door.

If they add Costco, I might be willing to use them once in a while.


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Walmart Pickup


I used a code to get $50 of groceries for $40.


Pickup between 5 and 6.


I got to Walmart about 5:30 and kept checking my email for the notice saying my order was ready.


Luckily I'd picked up a book at the library …


By 5:53 I still hadn't gotten an email, so just drove to the pickup area.


A nice man came over and I told him what was going on - he checked his computer and found my order. Five minutes later I was on my way.


The email finally came around 6:30 ….


There were no extra charges for this, so truly $10 in free groceries.


I might be willing to do this once a month (have a code for two more $10 off.) Can't beat free groceries.


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By the end of this month we are also getting Shipt here. No codes for free groceries, but the are offering a 50% discount on a yearly membership. Won't be doing that.


Man .. if one of these places picked up from Trader Joe's … (about a 25 minute one way drive - a little bit further than Costco.)




Updates

July 4th, 2018 at 10:58 am

It's been awhile...


Passport update - It turned out that the birth certificate I had worked just fine. I had found a bunch of other paperwork to supplement just in case, but it wasn't needed. I should be getting my passport by the end of July.


Brother - Brother is NOT going on cruise. Sigh. He is getting married to French girl tomorrow (July 5) at the courthouse. French Girl cannot go on the cruise due to her applying for green card (or something like that.) Brother doesn't want to leave his newly wedded wife to go on a cruise …


Mom and I are still going.


I have no idea what I should be doing for French Girl who in 24 hours will be my SIL. I feel like I should send them some kind of a congratulations card or something …


I have started a budget line for a trip to France -- a year from now they plan to have a big party/quasi wedding ceremony there. Not even sure how much to save - it would just be me going - DH has no interest, plus I'm not sure we could save enough for both of us to go.


DH sold the Honda without a working transmission! He listed it on Craigslist, and 36 hours later it was sold for $500. So we are now down to 4 vehicles.


*I don't remember if I mentioned this or not, but DH found a new home for the chickens.


*We have fleas... Sigh. DH took in one of his "friends" cats which needed medical attention while said "friend" was away on vacation for 3 weeks. Cat had fleas, but couldn't be treated due to several open wounds (both of which healed while staying with us.) Cat was kept isolated in the workshop (where the chickens were previously) but .. DH found out that Cat definitely had had fleas yesterday after walking around in the workshop. Ugh.


*New job possibility - I think it'd be a super stretch, but there is a possibility of a telecommute federal job which a church friend thinks I'd qualify for. There's supposed to be 26 positions opening up soon. IF I got it … salary STARTS at more than what DH and I currently make together.


That would put us in an entirely new tax bracket.


I told DH that if I got it, I'd want us to continue living with our current budget, but put the extra away in tax advantaged accounts and taxable investments. It would put a big boon to our retirement goals, and give me peace of mind for when/if DH can no longer work.


Plus .. telecommuting! No more traffic or having to deal with office politics. Maybe get a dog … Maybe sell this place and move to the country in a few years ...


This could come at a really good time because I found out recently that my supervisor is going to be leaving for a different position at the end of August. That leaves only one person at work I'd feel semi bad about leaving.


I'd honestly be SHOCKED if I got this job … if was a veteran and/or disabled I'd have a much better chance ….But I'm going to try.


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My weight has been holding somewhat steady … I'm up 20lbs from January, but it's been there for over a month now, so am really trying to NOT let it go up further. Sigh.


I'm up over $23 from my Stepbets - just started a new one this week. I decided to not do another Runbet though while the weather is so hot. Maybe in September after the cruise I could do one before it gets too cold.


I found two more bank bonuses that I'm working on. One is an in branch one for Union Bank - $200. The other one is a $100 bonus for another bank (can't remember right now.)


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I'm enjoying having today off. I'm also taking tomorrow morning off - personal choice holiday time.


Can't think of anything else terribly interesting … will try to come by more often.

Passport Question

June 15th, 2018 at 08:49 pm

So I found my birth certificate in preparation for getting a passport. It is the one made for me after I was adopted - so it is stamped 3+ years after I was born.

The passport paperwork says that if your birth certificate is stamped over 1 year past your birthdate, that you need additional documentation, such as hospital records or an affidavit by someone who was there.


I don't remember seeing any adoption paperwork in my dads files (which is weird, because he kept *everything*)


I'm wondering if anyone else has ran into this issue in getting a passport?


How critical is it for me to have one on a cruise?? Of course, since my current name and birth certificate name don't match - a passport would be much simpler …)

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I'm almost done with my runbet - just 1 more run. I' not going to rejoin another one - at least not until after the cruise. That way I can be sure the $ is available for cruise expenses.

Sigh. I kind of wish I'd never suggested this.

Cruise Update

June 9th, 2018 at 09:00 pm

So on Monday I get a text from my brother telling me that he's met someone who is "it" and he wants to bring her on the cruise with us in Sept.

I tell him that while I would love to meet his new girl, I felt that adding her to our cruise would change the whole tenor of it. (IOW - he'd be totally into her and we'd get very little time just us.)

He then tells me mom suggested it.
Ugh.

Tuesday I stayed home from work sick. Had a long conversation with my brother. Found out he'd been dating this girl for less than a month, but feels SURE she is the real deal.

She's 28, a French citizen, and possibly Catholic. (The only reason this last bit matters is that the faith my brother and I were raised in is quite different than Catholicism. Plus he'd probably have to have his first marriage annulled.) Her family owns some wine vineyards in France I think.


He's traveling to London in a few weeks to meet her family at her brother's graduation from Oxford. Then she's going to be getting some 90 day Visa to be in the States, while working on securing a job so she can stay.


The cruise falls within the first month of this 90 days.


So … I spent another 40 minutes on the phone with Expedia finding out how / if we could make these changes.


I didn't have her full name or birthdate, so it mostly was a waste of time.


Then my mom called, and that was another hour+ on the phone.



My brother got her info to me on Thursday morning. My boss kindly let me take an extended morning break (after I gave her a brief rundown)


An hour on the phone with the CS rep yielded the following -


Because we were going from triple occupancy to double occupancy, my mom and I's room costs $240 extra.


My brother and J's cabin will be an extra $700 above what he'd already paid.


Plus of course transportation costs are going to go up.


Oh yeah, I'm pretty sure I'm going to lose my Swagbucks on this deal now.


I was just barely figuring out how to cover all the expenses in time - so now to have to add an extra $120 to it …. UGH! Especially since if she actually does come (a lot can happen in 3 months …), then I'll have very little time with just my brother. Which was sort of the purpose of the whole trip!


So … I'm scrambling to see if I can find any new bank bonuses. I think I'm probably done with CC bonuses for at least a year. I'd thought about selling my iPad, but I've started using it a good bit again lately.


I could have just said NO, but then there'd be a good possibility that he'd decide to just not come.

Holy Cannoli! Gas $$

May 27th, 2018 at 11:31 am

I just finished updating YNAB (oops .. hadn't done it since the 13th ...)

We are at $380 for gas - and DH has 3 more work nights - so at least one more tank.

I'd upped the budget to $350 …

But the two trips to the low cost vet - 45 minute trip one way - probably didn't help …

We also have already overspent on groceries by $30. Ugh. I really need to keep up with this more often. It won't help with gas, but at least with groceries, I can make more informed choices and limit the overspending.

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We have to wait til sometime next week for the results of the new test for Baby. Plus take him up back to the vet at the end of the month to see if the new food is helping any. (another blood test + gas$$)

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I finally got credited with the cashback on my US Bank card. It was $177.83 statement credit. But because I cashed out for over $100, I'm getting a $25 gift card in addition (in 6 weeks or so?)

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I mowed the yard again this morning (hadn't set the setting very low last time) and of course didn't wear my gloves … Guess who has popped blisters on her hands? Ouch.

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Tomorrow I plan on cleaning the carpets. Fun fun, but needs to be done.

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I started watching Madam Secretary on Netflix yesterday. I like it so far.

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I bought a soda stream from someone on FB market for $30. I haven't tried it yet, but it was too good of a deal to pass up. (not using to make soda - just carb water)

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DH found a new home for the chickens!!!! Hopefully that is going to help the smell in the house (once he cleans the workshop thoroughly …)



Now off to enter receipts ...

Baby :(

May 25th, 2018 at 08:15 pm

Baby is one of the two cats my DH had the first time we dated in 2004. The other one - Riddles, died a few months before our wedding.

Baby had severe issues with UTIs when he was younger, and had two surgeries to help. One of which essentially castrated him I think, and rearranged the uretha? tube.

We had complete blood work done on him 1 1/2 years ago due to lots of upchucking. We were told he was in excellent shape for his age.

The last few weeks we'd caught him peeing next to a wall - nowhere near any of the numerous clean litterboxes - multiple times. This wasn't exactly new, but we hadn't seen it in a long time.

DH also noticed he'd been throwing up a lot more again. And he'd lost several pounds.

So on Thursday he took him to the vet - they ran the blood tests again.

This time it looks like there may be a kidney issue. As in possible renal failure. Frown

I'm taking him to the vet tomorrow for her to do some other tests, and get prescription food.

He's such a good cat. We're so not ready to say goodbye to another cat - we just lost Sunny in November.

Frown

Hoping our pet fund will handle this - Sunny's care pretty well depleted it. If not, we can dip into the EF.

Home Warranty and Face Plant

May 13th, 2018 at 09:07 am

So if you recall, we were waiting to be reimbursed for the cost of replacing our water heater. At first the HW company said that the email receipt I forwarded wouldn't work since it didn't give detail. They said they'd been in contact with the place that replaced our water heater.

On Tuesday I remembered to take our paper copy of the receipt to work with me. I scanned it at the darkest resolution. It still was just barely readable. So I made a second copy that I went over in pen, and scanned it. Then emailed both copies to the HW place.

We had our reimbursement check in the mail on Thursday!

So on Friday I called to renew our policy. I wanted to pay up front for a year. I asked about the two free months advertised if you renewed before the expiration date.

That was ONLY for those paying month by month with automatic withdrawals from checking. I expressed how unfair and ridiculous I thought this was - why should I be punished just because I wanted to pay in full??

At first I just paid in full because I prefer to avoid monthly payments. But then I got to thinking about it. By doing this, I'd be paying an extra $100 just to avoid paying monthly. If I were to pay monthly, I'd have the $600 I'd set aside to use elsewhere ...

Was it really worth it?

So .. I called back and canceled my payment. On Monday I'm going to call back with my checking info.

I'm still annoyed, but inexplicably in this case, making monthly payments will work out better financially.

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So I've had five weeks of physical therapy for my shoulder. On Friday I finally felt like real progress was finally being made.

Then yesterday I went for my 4th run of the week (Runbet) and ended up tripping over my own two feet. I landed mostly on my right side / knee, but I definitely jarred my left shoulder some too.

I'm really hoping I haven't set back my progress too much. Ugh.

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I have one week left on my current runbet and stepbet. I plan on resigning up for both again as soon as my winnings are paid up. I've been doing pretty well with exercise ... wish I could say the same for food ...

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Recommendation! The Lizzie Bennett Diaries on youtube! Based on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

Updates

April 29th, 2018 at 10:27 am

*We haven't been reimbursed for the water heater yet ... I'm going to wait til Tuesday, then contact them if it still hasn't come. Grrr...

*Tuesday was our two year anniversary. We did a mini-road trip on Wednesday.

While on our mini-trip we stopped at two fish stores. DH saw some corals he was very interested in, and I saw a Clown Trigger fish which I think I might like to get after the cruise (when I have spending money again ...)

We ate at a Mexican restaurant in Glenwood, Iowa which we'd been to before and really liked. The food was very good again, but our server left a lot to be desired.

Still, it was a nice way to mark 2 years.

*I got my $200 checking bonus from one of the Christian credit unions.

*I also got my $100 bonus from My Money Bank

*I see my $150 bonus pending on my US Bank card, but it's been pending for several weeks ...

*I cashed out for $25 Paypal from Earnhoney and Swagbucks, as well as $25 AGC from Perk

*We way overspent on groceries this month .. mostly due to my reverting back to some bad eating habits. I'm really trying to reign those in again. Both for $$ reasons and for health.

*I'm halfway through a Runbet and a Stepbet. I also am participating in a Spryfit bet that will end at the same time. About $120 tied up between the three.

* I need to get my passport sorted soon. Only 4 months to go!

*I have been tracking flight prices with Google Flights, so far the cheapest flight has been $216. But that doesn't include baggage. I'll probably pull the trigger in the next week or two.

*I have completed 3 weeks of physical therapy for my shoulder now. I don't think there's been much improvement yet. They tell me it can take 4 - 6 weeks ... then if still not good, do an MRI. Ugh.

*I slogged through Lost in Space and also Let it Go on Netflix. LiS has little bad language and no sexy scenes. LiG is the complete opposite ... is about the realities of motherhood.



Home Warranty Paid Off!

April 20th, 2018 at 05:45 pm

Our water heater had been leaking. My DH called our HW company about sending someone to look at it. They didn't have anyone in our area, so told us to choose someone and they'd reimburse us (after that company called them first.)

So that's what we did - called the company that replaced our tub faucet. We needed a new water heater (shockers! it was at least 20 years old ...)

So we had to pay $923.xx up front, and will be reimbursed all but $151 (service call fee, disposal fee and permit fee) One year of the HW is $600. So we got back a little over a year's premium back in value in one shot.

Now our hvac system (also 18++ years old) just needs to conk out, and then we may be safe going without the HW. Smile

Waffle Iron Help?, etc

April 13th, 2018 at 07:55 pm

I was so excited last week when I was able to order the Dash mini waffle iron (with my Perk Amazon card.) Then I got it and put a sweet potato puree mixture in it - trying something I'd seen somewhere.

Royal mess.

I have managed to get most of it off, but there still is a decent amount left.

I can't remove the plates or run them under water. I used a damp paper towel, a damp dish towel, a pair of silicone mini-tongs .... all helped, but not enough.

Any ideas? I really want to use this thing!

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I had my 3rd PT appointment on Thursday. The PT assistant told me she thinks it is my upper trap, not my rotator cuff, due to the pain radiating throughout my arm AND the huge knot in my trap area.

So she's concentrating on working out the knot ... as am I.

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My arm was really throbbing Wed pm, and I REALLY did not feel like going out for a run. Did it anyway, and my arm actually felt better? PT said I probably relaxed the right muscles while running.

I did my 3rd run today. Good thing since winter seems to be coming back for a visit the next two days. Yuck.

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DH and I had a good discussion last night, although it was almost totally derailed before even getting started with me getting ticked at him when he snapped at me. Schwan's guy came at just the right time to give me a few minutes to cool down (got him to take me off his route list)

DH will be going to see his stepdad on Sunday evening(something he is NOT looking forward to) so I pretty much have the weekend to myself.

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I am hoping I met the final requirement for a $200 checking bonus in time. Yesterday I was double checking what was needed for each bonus, and realized I hadn't set up estatements. Oops. Have them set up now.

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I finished a Jan Karon book (Father Tim) "Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good" and started another one "Come Rain or Come Shine." It had been awhile since I'd read the series, so I'm not totally sure where I'd left off at.

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My eating isn't going well to put it mildly. Sugar sugar sugar ...junk. At least breakfast and lunch are still healthy ....

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On Monday I'm going to a customer service training thing. I'm just happy for a day out of the office - paid. Smile

Hopefully all the SBs coupon prints will credit on Monday so I won't have to fiddle too much to reach the daily goal. Smile

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Still loving my standing desk. Smile Getting lots of questions about it too.

Free $60 in 6 months, etc

April 10th, 2018 at 04:33 pm

I know just a post ago I was bemoaning having too many accounts. But ... this is a really easy $60. Just put $20/month in an account (probably simplest to be a savings account without a lot of activity) and get paid $10/month for up to 6 months!

Here's the Money Blog post that explains more about it - http://www.mymoneyblog.com/saverlife-review.html

Pretty cool if I do say so. Smile

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I won $7.49 in my recently finished Stepbet. That's a 18.7% increase. Just for walking.

I did my first run for my Runbet today - actually managed a 14:37 mile (for one mile ...) Big Grin Next two runs have to be 20 minutes long.

I also joined another Stepbet today.

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I cashed out for a $25 Paypal from Earnably today.

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Am loving today's weather! Will enjoy while it lasts!

Updates

April 9th, 2018 at 03:20 pm

On Sunday I had a lady come to my house and spend about 4 hours cleaning. She mostly was in the kitchen and the bathroom.

While she was working I got the office picked up /shredding done, decluttered my nightstands, emptied the last of my moving boxes, cleaned out 5 litter boxes, swept upstairs and down and vacuumed. Oh, also did towels/bedding.

So by the time she left, the upstairs at least was looking pretty good. Smile

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I had my first physical therapy appointment today. The PT thinks I strained my rotator cuff. I'll be going 3x a week for the next month, plus two exercises he gave me for at home.

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DH and I had a rough time of it last week. The closest we've ever gotten to shouting at each other. We agreed to disagree on the issue, but also agreed that we need to take some steps to do better.

One thing we're trying is this online program called Our Relationship.

I've also made an appointment with the EAP for just me to start with, but DH will go too at some point.

We're nearly at 2 years, but if we keep having weeks like last week, we won't make 3. Something has to change because neither of us want that.

---
In consequence of having so many accounts in the attempt to generate spending money ... I made a goof.

I saw my 3rd paycheck go into account A. I went into main account and said to transfer paycheck money from (what I thought) was account A to main account.

It wasn't account A. It was the now defunct not paying 5% anymore account with a balance of $.80.

Cue $30 NSF fee. Cue $15 returned item fee. ARGHH!!
Stupid tax.

I wrote main accounts customer service to suggest having nicknames for accounts instead of just account numbers.

--
I finished my Stepbet on Sunday. I should know by tomorrow how much I won.

I also joined another similar walking bet - 8500steps per day challenge for 2 weeks.

I also joined a Runbet - 18min/mile min which I can totally manage. (Not today with a horrible sinus headache, but by tomorrow I should be able to do it I hope.)

PT, Cleaner Progress, etc

April 2nd, 2018 at 07:09 pm

I called my doctor's office today to find out if I'd have to come in again to get a PT referral. I don't, since in her notes she said to do PT if not better.

A lady in my Sabbath School group suggested someone she used - so I just have to call my doctor's office with that info tomorrow.

Hopefully it won't require taking too much time off work.

---
I posted in Nextdoor tonight for the housecleaning. I asked for two recent references and for them to describe their experience with a multi-pet household. Now I just have to wait and wade through. Hopefully a gem will shine through (that fits my budget!)

---
I am on week six of my Stepbet. 5 days to go. Most days I'm meeting the steps just at work - thanks to my standing desk. Smile

---
Tomorrow I'm starting a Drop It challenge again. I did well for 3 weeks and then ... ugh.

---
My brother finally sent me his part of the cruise money, so I have enough to pay the balance (not due til June.)

Am working on covering airfare now.

---
I got an offer from Capital One for $100 bonus if I spend $3k in 3 months. If I put my car insurance and home insurance on there, I'll be halfway. Paying the remainder of the cruise would almost finish it off. I need them to send a replacement card though because I think I shredded the other card. Oops.

I'll easily meet the $500 spend on the Union Bank card, and the $2k spend on the AmEx. So .. that's $350 in credit card bonuses for normal spending. Not bad. Smile

Cheap Gas, Budgeting 3rd paycheck

March 30th, 2018 at 06:52 pm

A few weeks ago I used a coupon at a local grocery store where the first time you transfer a prescription you get $2/gallon off (up to 20 gallons)

2nd month you get a $25 gift card, 3rd month you get $30 worth of meat.

Wednesday night I was on empty, and DH had 1/4 of a tank ... so before he went to work we filled up with the 20 gallons of gas - $.59/gallon.

We had $22 in the gas budget, so cheap gas was a good thing!

Thursday night when I showed DH I had upped our gas budget to $350 he groaned and exclaimed -why that much?! (I had talked to him about this at least 2x previously ... but I guess it didn't sink in til the number was in black and white ...)

So I reminded him that the last few months we'd been spending roughly $330 - 350 each month, and having to WAM from other places. It hit him that his gas was averaging to $10/day.

*he's a delivery driver and does get some cost for a delivery fee for gas

I'm curious if this will cause him to drive the much more fuel efficient vehicle a bit more ...

(It's hard on his back and shoulders - the CRV is so much easier on him.)

---
I had a 3rd paycheck this month.

Usually I'd do 1/3 each to EF, Student Loan and then whatever project we're working on funding.

But this time I put $100 to EF, Pet fund, Vacation fund and then after discussing with DH ... $100 to housecleaner fund and to yard work fund.

I'm planning on posting an ad on nextdoor for someone to come in for 4 hours.

*Must have experience with multi-cat households
*Must be good at organizing
*Must be able to work on Sundays

I think I had some other things I was thinking too, but forget.

I plan on having the person work with me the first hour or so on helping me get the kitchen organized better. Then deep cleaning kitchen, then bathroom, then laundry room, then floors/carpets.

After that, we have agreed to $50/mo for return visits (2 hours)

My hope is that if some of the deep cleaning stuff gets done that I never get to, that I'll be better motivated to keep up with the surface cleaning.

DH also said he'd pick up some of the mowing.

Yardwork - we are going to hire someone to come help get the yard cleaned up - pulling volunteer trees, cleaning up berry bushes, etc. Then hopefully it'll be easier to keep up with ...

--
We have checked listings, and there is very little in our price range that appeals. C has also dropped off the face of the earth, so I'm guessing he drove by our place ... Oh well. Neither of us really relish the idea of everything involved in selling/buying/moving. So for now, the subject is dropped.

--

my left arm isn't doing any better. In fact, it may be worse. I probably will give it one more week with the elbow brace, and then call my doc for a PT referral. Frown

Tennis Elbow

March 20th, 2018 at 03:14 pm

Well somehow I have ended up with tendonitis in my elbow - or tennis elbow. I was sent to a sports medicine place and fitted with a band placed right below my elbow. It's supposed to give my tendons a different pressure point so they can rest and re-strengthen I think. If it doesn't improve in a few weeks, then we'll do physical therapy.

My blood pressure was 110/80 Smile

The arm band cost $24. I put it on the US Bank card and will submit the receipt to my FSA for reimbursement.

She also told me to take ibuprofen 3x a day for inflammation.

I pretty much have loads of aspirin ... but I remembered in DHs cabinet there was a bottle of ibuprofen - and there was! So no money out there.
--
I got home in time to call our electric provider and get my account unlocked and change the cc to US Bank.


I need to have DH do the same for Netflix, and then also Internet. Then I think I'll have switched everything I can. Come on 5%! Smile

---
The funeral for the coworker will be on Thursday. We're probably going to take a bus to the church. It sounds like a lot of people are going. Our new accountant (less than six months) is going to cover the phones for me so I can go. I thought that was pretty sweet.

---
I thought about going to see I Can Only Imagine tonight (5$ Tuesdays) since I was home early ... but decided not to. Maybe if it's still out here next week.

And it Shatters

March 19th, 2018 at 07:27 pm

At least six years ago I bought 4 blue glass bowls from Walmart. They're the larger size bowls. I've used them and used them. They've been microwaved countless times and InstantPotted lots too.

Tonight I put a heaping serving of frozen veggies into one of the bowls and put it in my IP and set the timer.

About 20 minutes later I came back to get it out.

As I attempted to lift the bowl, it fell into pieces. Most of which landed in the IP.

Frown

Guess I won't be using those in the IP anymore. I should get bowls that are made for that function I guess. (Though I'd think glass bowls should be fine in high temps??)

---
DH came home as I was cleaning up the mess. He wanted to give me a hug because of an email I'd sent him earlier.

A coworker (a dispatcher) with whom I hadn't liked too much, had gotten cancer about 9 months ago. He and his wife had adopted a set of 5 kids about 3? years ago. The youngest is 7 now??

I spearheaded a once a week meal thing for them, which only lasted about two months because I couldn't get anyone else to join in. (He was a pretty gruff person and hard to get along with ...)

So ... I found out today that he passed away on Saturday. I feel so bad for his wife and the 5 adopted kids (and their natural kids too - all grown up, but that doesn't matter when you lose your dad.)

We're probably going to take up a collection for them soon. Glad I have some money in my giving fund to contribute.

I hate cancer.

---
We had an Amy's cheese-less pizza last night with a side of roasted mushrooms and broccoli. DH said it was an okay meal that he'd eat again. Definitely not on the cheap side though. (Probably about $7 per person in total.)

--
I got our trash service switched over to the US Bank card today. I need to call our electric service tomorrow to get my account unlocked - my password wasn't working and it locked me out. So I'll have them change the card at the same time.

I'll have to pay the gas company each month manually to do it via credit card. Kind of a pain ... but maybe worth it.

The phone is already switched over.

I wonder if Internet and Netflix would count as utilities??

---
My doctor's appt is tomorrow for my arm/shoulder. I really hope she has an idea of what to do for it. It really is limiting me in what I can do (like I can't do the barre videos - well, I guess I could do it on one side with arms, and one side without ... but ...)

---
DH sold an amp! Something he bought for $50, and thought was worth maybe $125 - he sold for $200!! He decided to overprice it because this other guy who's been getting lots of stereo stuff from one particular site and reselling it, has been marking stuff up ridiculously and it's been selling. So ...

Hopefully this will light a fire under him to sell the rest of it! And get the basement cleared up and organized! Smile

This and That

March 18th, 2018 at 11:18 am

3 weeks of six complete on my Stepbet. It definitely is getting me moving more ... like yesterdat afte church I only had 1400 steps but needed 9400 (for a stretch day.) If it weren't for the stepbet, I *might* have gotten in a 30 minute walk and called it a day. But instead I did a 90 minute walk, plus some shopping. So ended the day with over 12k steps.

I looked into the Runbet (new app) but the current game expects a min pace of 15 min/mile 5x in a week. Yeah ... I do good to do a 17 min/mile if I'm trying to do a walk/jog ...

--
On 3rd week of Drop it challenge. That's going pretty well. The scale is continuing to move in the proper direction. Smile

---
It looks like we are going to have to up our gas budget. Currently it's at $300/month. The last two months I had to WAM from groceries because we were over budget. As of last night there is $90 left with at least 5 more fill ups for DH and possibly one for me.

I think it is a combination of DH driving the CRV almost exclusively (much easier on his knees/shoulders) and the higher gas prices.

One of the fill ups will be fairly cheap though - I transferred a prescription to HyVee and got a coupon for $2.05/gallon. I just have to make sure DH uses my Perks card to get the discount.

The next refill (prescription) I'll get a $25 gift card, and the 3rd one I get a $50 meat pkg (for DH).

A bit of a hassle, but worth it for the freebies.

----
I ordered 3 pairs of shoes from JC Penny's via SBs. A total of $106. I may have to send one pair back though - I had triple checked that all were wide width, but the order email I got shows the sneakers as a medium!

I'm not sure how that happened, but I'll try them on just in case.

(I ordered dress shoes for work, sneakers and sandals.)

---
I got my extra paycheck on Thursday. My tax changes and 457 contribution changes both were in effect already. So it made the check a bit over $100 more than normal! Of course health/dental and vision weren't deducted - so that won't be normal.

----
I cashed out $30 from my Citi card. There's nearly $40 on my Chase card I can cash out, but I'm going to wait til the next statement ends so I can cash out the max. (April only pays 5% on categories I don't use, or get higher payout elsewhere.)

I got a new Discover card (they changed my previous one to the It) - for April they only have groceries at 5% - so my AmEx card at 6% is better. So that card will continue to not be used at least for the next quarter.

I'm about 1/2 way to the $500 spend on the US Bank card. It's taking a bit of time to get my utilities all switched over to it.

I cashed out $25 from Earnhoney, and am close to another $25 SB cash out too.

---
I signed up for CBS All Access 7 day trial. 150 SBs deal. I wanted to like it, I really did. But for $5.99/mo it has extremely limited selection and a horrible navigation/UI. I did find the show Limitless with all episodes - so binged on those this past week.

I canceled it last night after watching the last episode. If they'd had full episodes of Person of Interest, or the last two seasons of CSI then I might have kept it for another month or two. But seriously limited selection of full episodes.

---
Update on my standing desk - still loving it! I use it in the standing position about 60% of the day most days. I have an anti-fatigue mat and monitor risers.

---
I have a doctor's apt this Tuesday for my shoulder. The past two weeks or so I have been having some strange pains from my left shoulder/bicep. I'm not really sure what caused it. I've been putting off going to the doctor because I kept hoping it'd go away. But it hasn't.

I'm guessing I'm going to have to do physical therapy for it.

---
I had a dentist checkup this last week. Previously I'd been told that I needed to up my dental hygiene routine. So I picked up a water pik and an electric toothbrush. Apparently what I've been doing worked! I was told I had good improvements and to keep it up.

My visit didn't cost me anything because I had a credit from a previous visit where I was overcharged.

---
At church this quarter the Sabbath School lessons are on stewardship. This week focused on debt. The person leading our class seemed to kind of assume we all were in debt ... He said something about - think about how good it will feel when you're not in debt - how much good you can do ...

Well ... I didn't feel comfortable piping up that other than the mortgage and less than $3k is student loans, I already know what that feels like!

Yes, it IS a good feeling ... but just because you don't have debt hanging over your head, that doesn't mean that you then have tons of money to do whatever you want to. No ... you then have all the things you know are coming up that you need to set money aside for - short term, mid-term and long term. It never feels as though it's enough ..

Then DH and I got into a discussion again about why it's necessary to have money sitting in our account for things like our medical deductible. I told him it's so if something happens where we need to use our whole deductible, then we can pay the bill in one lump sum and save 10% or more. It gives us options. He was like - why can't we just make payments and use that money elsewhere?

I'm not sure if he was pulling my chain or not (he likes to do that) but UGH!



Still Chugging Along

March 9th, 2018 at 07:33 pm

I've been doing the Drop It challenge for a bit over a week now. So far, so good. I've actually been eating a salad everyday for lunch! (Unheard of! Esp with grape tomatoes ...)

I haven't found it too difficult yet. And it appears to be working - have lost about two lbs. 5lbs to go to get back to my Jan 1 weight. Sigh.

Today was day 5 of my Stepbet. I just need one more active day for this week.

I have decided to do barre videos at home instead of messing with going to a class. At least for now.

---
AMEX sent me an upgrade offer to the card that pays 6% back on groceries. Annual fee waived the first year and $150 bonus when you spend $3k in the first 3 months.

Sweet. My property taxes will take care of $1400 of it, then there's a chewy.com (cat food) offer spend $75 get $25 back, plus use it for groceries ... no problem.

I'll just have to set a reminder to downgrade in eleven months.

--
I opened two more accounts.

One with the MoneyBank - make 3 $200+ ACH deposits and get a $100 bonus.

The second with another Christian based credit union (which does include Catholics unlike the other one) for a 12 month 4% CD for $4000.

I haven't closed Northpointe yet because I'm waiting for my dd to get switched.

I was talking to DH about it and he of course was like, "Why don't you give me the money - I'll make a lot more than 4 %." Oh yeah ... like the 2.6% you barely eked out after 6 weeks (stock he bought and sold) Rolling my eyes.

So back when we figured out how to squeeze $1k/month for our ROTH's from our budget. one of the things we did was to say that we were not going to budget any spending money. Spending money would come from non-main job hours/activities. (Swagbucks, etc for me)

After a few months I saw that DH wasn't getting any spending money and was worried that he'd get frustrated and want to stop the ROTH funding. So ... I said -why don't you keep anything you make over $120 on Friday and Saturdays? (cash) He'd been fairly consistently bringing $10 - 20 over that on those nights.

Then ... he had nights where he was bringing in $50 - 80 above that! There were also a few Fridays where he came in significantly under $120. Or weeknights where he was bringing in less than usual.

It was making our budget very squeaky.

I kept waiting for him to say something like - I shouldn't be taking all of this extra on weeks my other nights are low. Let me even it out.

Didn't happen.

So at our last budget meeting I brought it up. He wasn't too happy, but wasn't surprised either. Mostly he was annoyed because I was tinkering with our budget plan again. (Which I think is funny because there's been at least two times where the major changes came as a result of something he wanted ...)

So we agreed to a base amount he would contribute to the family budget. Over that, he gets to keep it. This will help keep the budget more even.

But ... the other night he tells me that he's now more motivated to work harder at work because he knows it means more money for him. I asked him why didn't it motivate you to contribute to the family budget? He said ... The family budget has plenty of money. This is MY money.

Anyone see something off here? Or is it just me?
I really wish I'd never brought the idea up in the first place.

*Note - I'm not posting this to be negative towards DH. I honestly just am wondering if my thoughts on this are off base or not. Maybe it's a case of where we both are still struggling with the his/hers/ours thing. We both were so old getting married .. both pretty set in our $ ways ...

Today's Mail!

March 3rd, 2018 at 01:44 pm

So remember how I was perplexed on how I got rejections from both Chase AND US Bank for new cards?

Well, I guess I assumed wrong when I got the message "you'll hear about our decision in 7 - 10 days via mail"

Because guess what I got in the mail today? My new US Bank card! With a ridiculous (good) credit limit.

I've got my rewards categories all set up. Now I just have to get my electric, gas, trash and cell bills all transferred over. Smile5% here we come! (Not to mention the sign on bonus Smile ) I wonder if the one I signed my DH up for went through too (with his go ahead). That'd be sweet.

---
I got my first interest from my new 4% CD (at the Christian Community CU). That'll be nice having $2500 earning 4% for the next 18 months. I need to get direct deposit set up soon though for the checking bonus.

--
I did a Pinecone survey, and nudged Karen about the shopping Amazon thing. Hey, it's an easy $3, and I need to find the $'s wherever I can. Smile

---
I can't remember if I mentioned this here or not - but I signed up for a Stepbet starting tomorrow. My previous six week returns were all between $9 - $20. I should be able to complete two, or possibly three between now and the cruise.

---
I bought some sticky socks to use in the barre class. I may try it on Monday or Wednesday. (They were $2 after my Amazon gift card from Bing.)

---
I was supposed to go to a small group potluck this afternoon. I even made a big pot of veggie/bean soup to take. But then I realized that it was being held at an assisted living home, so was worried about how many people might be there ... and chickened out. Sigh.

Sometimes I can get myself out to events, but more often than not, I decide to stay home instead. I wish that wasn't so. Sigh.

Booked Cruise!!

February 26th, 2018 at 05:50 pm

Got the go ahead from my brother today - and booked our cruise! It works out to about $500 each for a 7 day Caribbean cruise!! All that's left is the flight there, and tips of course.

Mom's dh has offered to cover the hotel.

We'll be going Sept 9 - 16.

I did the first step to get a passport - stopped at Walgreen's for a photoshoot. Smile

I booked on Expedia via Swagbucks - 10SBs per dollar - sweet!

I'm going to wait til June or July to book my flight (is it 12 weeks out or 16 that's better?)

Just a wee bit excited!

I'll need to contact them to make sure I have lots of whole food options on board. Smile

Too Many CCs

February 25th, 2018 at 01:22 pm

Oy Vey. Apparently I have applied for too many credit cards the past two years. Not only did Chase deny me, but US Bank. Seriously. I'm not even a serious cc churner!

I have a score in the excellent range.

Ugh!

I really wanted to take advantage of the 5% utilities - esp since both our gas and electric budget billing have gone up, up, up!

I probably should close some of the cards and then just wait til January to try again. So annoying.

(dh's score won't qualify for either of the cards I want - though it's getting close.)

I'll just have to focus on bank bonuses for the next year or so.

----
We're having our budget meeting tonight. One thing we'll need to discuss is whether or not we'll get a Costco or Sam's membership. Sam's is half of Costco's, and we have 4 Sam's vs 1 Costco. But I like Costco so much more.

In reality it may be better to do neither.

I see myself getting cat litter, oatmeal, bulk beans and spices ...at Costco. DH gas, meat products???

I pay $10/30lbs of cat litter at Petco and we go through around 60 - 70lbs/month

I get old fashioned oatmeal $2.29 for 32 oz at Aldi's or steal cut for $2.79 16oz. I go through a canister about every 6 - 8 weeks.

spices - I just paid $3.49 for 8 oz of turmeric at Walmart. That might last six weeks?

I'd only get there at most 1 x per month due to distance (20+ minute drive)

As for Sam's, there's one on my way home from work (sort of) so I could get gas there too more than 1 x a month.

You can get a refund on your membership if you find it's not working for you right? (Costco)

Refunds Are Here! Fender Bender :(

February 23rd, 2018 at 05:06 pm

Both our federal and state refunds have been deposited. That'll make budgeting March a little more fun. Smile

---
I found out today that my friend will Not be coming on Monday. She apparently got hired in a town in Western Nebraska. Frown Yay for the job, but boo for not coming.

At least I got some needed stuff done around here.

---
This morning on my way to work I rear ended someone in a brand new SUV. Frown

Neither of us was hurt - really mostly a slight bump. Her bumper has a few scratches, my bumper has a hole in it ...

We exchanged insurance info and took pictures.

My insurance person told me the worst that'll happen is I'll lose my accident free discount - ~$34/year.

They're going to send an appraiser next week to look at my car, but I doubt it'll be more than our $1k deductible.

We may or may not fix it - DH says its just cosmetic.

So annoying on many levels - one being that it had been 7 years since my last fender bender, 5+ years of nothing more than door dings on this car (so it looked pretty darn nice when washed), and just the hassle of dealing with whatever aftermath. Plus its going to make me even more cautious on icy days than I already am - which may really annoy some people. Oh well.

--
I found Victoria on Amazon Prime - watched the first episode with painful buffering and freezing ...

Stopped at the library to see if they could locate it better than me - or do an ILL. They found both seasons! Yay!

New Checking / CD, Beet Juice

February 21st, 2018 at 07:19 pm

So I scoured Doctor of Credits site today looking to see what I could do now that Northpointe is defunct.

I thought about doing the Chase checking/savings offer, but was sadly informed I couldn't since there are no Chase branches in my area. Frown

So, the other one which looked promising - Christian Community CU - $200 bonus w/direct deposits, signing up for estatements, etc. Must keep open 6 months. Avoid fees with balance of $1500.

Plus, a 18 month 4% CD for up to $2500.

Big caveat - must be a non-Catholic Christian.

So, I've applied. I need to scan my Driver's license and send it, and then I guess someone will contact me?

Anyway, this plus 5k on my insight card at 5% will at least keep the money working hard for me. And will be slightly less hassle.

--
I stopped at HyVee tonight to pick up a 5lb bag of potatoes for $.49. (Mostly for DH.) While there I decided to look to see if they had beet juice (supposed to be excellent for lowering blood pressure.) They did! $7 for 32 oz.!! Gulp.

DH tried it before heading to work - no danger of him guzzling it ... but he did say it was tolerable!

Now to find a reasonable juicer to make our own.

--
Both our electric and gas budgeted amounts are up for March. Which is great since DH is having a string of nights where he's not making his normal amount. Plus, a short month.

Our rainy day funds will be getting short shrift in March I'm afraid. Luckily August will be flush - 3 March paychecks plus tax refund.

Rug Doctor, etc

February 19th, 2018 at 01:29 pm

Seeing as though it's a long weekend for me, and my friend is coming a week from Monday - I had a long list of things to do.

What I have accomplished so far:

Spent a total of 3 1/2 hours vacuuming ... vacuum wasn't cooperating at first, and then I had to keep stopping and cleaning it completely out. The joy of cats.

Spot treated the carpet.

Scrubbed the tub.

Hung the mirror in the dining room (second mirror doesn't have hanging wire, so am forgoing that project for now.)

Steam cleaned the carpets.

Reminded DH to bring me the dishes from the abyss of the basement (similar to socks in a dryer ...)

And ... then woke up this morning not feeling it at all. Stuffy and sore and just ugh. Glad I got the steam cleaning done yesterday ...

There really isn't that much left to do ... so it will be what it is.

---
In prep for the cruise I started looking up airfare. Southwest was by far the cheapest.

So ... I decided to apply for a SW rewards card - 50k point bonus would more than pay for my flight. Maybe for a shuttle to/from the airport too - then probably Amazon cards ..

I got the message saying I'd be contacted via snail mail ... I'm going to be really annoyed if they don't qualify me - it's a Chase card, so I think the rule is 4/24 (4 cards in 24 months.) I have 4 Chase cards - but at least one of them is over 3 years old+.

Now I'm going to have to wait to make sure before going for a US Bank card with the $150 bonus - which would cover most of the airfare. (5% utilities bonus category too)

--
I'm on book 7 for 2018. That's been going a bit slower than I hoped. I have to remember to keep a book on my desk - because as soon as I sit down, I have at least 1 - 2 cats on my lap. Smile

---
DH and I had an interesting conversation last night. I'd asked him to write down what he felt we each contributed to the household, and also what we each appreciated about the other. I did the same.

Our lists were really pretty close! I had more things listed, but it included pretty much everything he had on his lists.

Afterwards he attempted (without complaint) to help me get the cat tree put up. In the end we both declared it a piece of junk only fit for the garbage. (I'd bought it 5 or 6 years ago in New Mexico for Kari - some of the connectors had cracked - he tried drilling holes and adding screws, but then it cracked even more.)

---
I almost forgot! As I was picking up my office, I came across an unopened letter from Northpointe bank. It was from January 26. It was sad news ... they are ending the 15 transactions for 5% deal - and going to $1k/mo transactions for 1%!

Um...yeah. I can get a better rate at nearly any online bank without having to go through loopholes.

So, that means at the end of February I'll start the process of migrating the money back to our joint account (that pays 3% on up to $30k.) I may also finally fund my Insight card with $5k for 5%. (Procrastinate much ...)

Maybe a Cruise?

February 16th, 2018 at 06:51 pm

A few months ago when I was talking to my mom she mentioned wanting to get together with my brother and I again. This last week I was talking to my brother, and he mentioned it too.

So I got thinking ... what about a cruise! We went on one when dad was alive - the 4 of us - a friend was getting married on Cozumel and 3 of us were in her wedding party. We had a blast!

I looked it up - and a 7 day cruise out of Galveston is still about $500! Not cheap, but not bad for 7 days lodging, food and entertainment.

The next thing would be figuring out airfare. Maybe get one of those travel rewards cards?

We're looking after Thanksgiving - time to save up and to plan.

I'd need to take 6 vacation days, but I have at least 5 right now (which I'll need for whatever vacation DH and I do.) I think I should have enough built up by then.

The next thing is figuring out how to save enough for the cruise, airfare, etc. I'm making around $75 - 100/month with swagbucks, and then more off and on from other places. But half of that goes to my giving/tithing category. The other half I divide between spending and big goal. So .. it builds slowly.

Maybe this will be the motivation I need to get stuff put up on ebay, etc. Smile

I hope this really happens!

*I was trying to find something that left from San Francisco so I could see my grandma as part of the deal - but as far as I could tell nothing starts/ends in San Francisco. (I'd go with a shorter cruise)


---
We went to a Mexican restaurant for our belated Vday dinner. It was a unique place - flour tortilla chips, veggie tacos made with green beans, broccoli and something else, etc. The food was decent, but overpriced. Our waitress was awesome though - DH said she was in the top 10%. Left her a $10 tip. (our bill was $32)

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I've got a whole list of stuff I plan on getting done this weekend as part of prepping for my friend's visit. Hope I actually get to it all ...

One thing I'm not doing is cooking this weekend - other than spaghetti on Sunday. I have enough stuff in the freezer for lunches. So hopefully that'll save time / energy for cleaning!

One of the things I want to get done this weekend is hang the mirrors! We have plaster walls so I'm really nervous about hanging heavy stuff on them. I'm going to be looking for youtube videos on it.

I'll also be renting a rug doctor ... see how much that'll help. Sigh.

If DH will do something about the basement ... litter boxes and chickens ... that might help too. Doubt he'll do anything though.

Visited R Cave!

February 12th, 2018 at 06:53 pm

Last night DH and I went on a private tour of the cave his family used to own. There is a brewing company on top of it now.

J, who has written a book about the cave was our tour guide. A few weeks ago DH had spent a few hours with J in the cave. J told me he'd added a section in the book about the visit. Smile The book should be out in March or early April.

I was really impressed by the cave. It was more than I thought it would be. A couple places J took us into areas that are off limits to the general public. Generally, where the bats are.

In one place if I had stood up, my head would have bumped into a hibernating bat! It was so tiny that I could have easily cupped it in my hand.

I would have taken a picture, but DH had my purse (he'd stayed on the flat surface) plus I don't know if it would have bothered the bat.

DH's stepdad had given J a sand art bottle filled with sand from the cave. J offered it to DH - and he happily took it.

*Please ignore the mess in the background

I can hardly wait for the book to come out!

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I got the last tax form I needed today. Will be getting $833 Federal, and $135 State.

We'll do our usual 1/3'rds - 1/3 - Future (EF); 1/3 - Present - (budget items - probably car repair and pet fund), and 1/3 Past (DH's student loans)

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Tomorrow my new paystub should post so I can see if my raise has gone through yet and if the tax cut has gone into effect on it yet.

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I cashed out Inbox Dollars for $27 last night, and tonight I cashed out Koinme for a $50 Walmart card


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