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Good News and Bad News

December 13th, 2018 at 04:46 pm

First, the good news.

I checked on our insurer's site today to see if there was any update to the $42k hospital charge for my DH's 3 day stay. It showed that it has been paid, and we have $0 obligation! (We more than met his deductible for 2018 and out of pocket.)

So … that is a huge relief to not have to fight that.

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The not so great news …

We dropped off our CRV last night at a local auto shop. This morning they called DH and told him that it had some major alignment issues, and possibly bad ball bearings. To the tune of $1400. Plus the vehicle needs new tires.

This may or may not be all that's wrong with it. (The check engine light has been flashing on and off for a month or more.)

We have about $500 in the car repairs fund.

DH has about $1300 in his car replacement fund.

We are discussing whether or not it would be prudent to try to sell the CRV (might get 3 or 400 for it in current condition) or to borrow from the EF and fix it. Hoping that the fix will do the trick.

We might be able to get another $500 or so from the Prizm (which DH planned to sell already.)

A $2000 vehicle won't be great … but spending $1400 + tires when we're not sure it's going to fix the problem …

Ugh.

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We are going out to a pizza place tonight called Mellow Mushroom. I found it highly recommended on the Happy Cow app (for vegetarian and vegan places.) DH can have his meat, and I can get tofu or tempeh plus tons of vegetable options for toppings!

It's a bit on the expensive side, but it is my choice to celebrate the waning days of my 42nd year. Tomorrow will be my last day, then Saturday I'll be a new number. Smile

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My mom asked me what I wanted for my birthday / Christmas. I told her, "Of course, you know you don't have to get me anything?" She responded, "But you know I will anyway." So, I gave her a list of 6 or 7 different ideas.

So far, I have already received: a pedal for my keyboard (sustain sound) and a new piano bench! Now I won't have to worry about the bench breaking in the middle of me playing a song. Smile

She said she's going to send the kitchen items for Christmas - an immersion blender and a food processor (are the two ideas I gave.)

(Our little food processor I bought at Aldi's a couple years ago had the plastic container thing crack. I still can use it, sort of. I asked for a 10 cup one, because more than a few times I could definitely have used a larger one.)

Fell On Ice, New CC, Insurance

December 9th, 2018 at 12:02 pm

So Friday morning the garage door remote wasn't working. I had to get out of my car to close the door. I wasn't thinking about where I was stepping, or how.

Both feet slipped right out from under me and I landed flat on my back. I don't think I hit my head. (I was wearing a banana clip, so unless I hit the side of my head …)

I was able to get right up with no issues and continued to work. A few hours later I started really feeling it.

My supervisor let me leave 30 minutes early so I could go to my chiropractor. So frustrating because I'd just gotten my back to feeling good.

DH got a strongly worded email suggesting that something needed to be done about the driveway. He did put some salt down when he got home from work.

I bought a couple gel packs from Walgreens that can be frozen or heated, and a thing of Tiger balm. DH says I smell like I'm in a horse barn. Oh well, it's helping.

I've spent most of the weekend icing/resting my back.
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I applied for the Citi Savor card. A $500 bonus after a $3k spend. That will be easy - just pay all the medical bills on it, and will be mostly there.

Lemonade out of lemons and all that.

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Speaking of insurance. I think I mentioned the check we received for $932 from the insurance company. I had no idea what it was for.

We also had received a bill from the ambulance company for $1004.

Come to find out that since the ambulance wasn't under contract with our insurance, they couldn't pay them directly. So .. they sent us the money to pay them.

Works for me - that's nearly 1/3 of the CC spend needed. It just seems really bizarre.

Insurance/Medical, Lawyer, Rewards Checking, Jury Duty

December 4th, 2018 at 06:55 pm

We are still waiting to find out what the insurance is going to do about the $42k bill. I sent an email tonight asking about the status.

I received a check from the insurance company for $936. I have NO CLUE what it is for. I emailed them to see if they can tell me before I cash it.


DH is now down 45 lbs! since October.


My back has been giving me fits the last month or so. Last week it started to seize … So, I went to a chiropractor for the first time in my life. 2 x last week, and 1x so far this week. My back is feeling SO much better!


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DH met with a lawyer last week - to the tune of $300. OUCH!


Once he heard the backstory, he was flabbergasted because it seemed DH's insurance dropped the ball. He knew the lady's attorney (bicyclist DH hit) and contacted him. Sounds like other attorney was pretty ticked at the ball that was dropped.


So... hoping this is the end of it for us.


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I found out that my credit union has raised its checking to 4% and up to $40k! Sweet! Pretty soon, I'll have to pull the money back in from the 4% CD's if rates keep going up.


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I'm being called for jury duty the first two weeks of January. I talked to my supervisor today, and she told me that I'd just have to keep track of any hours spent on jury duty. But I would be paid my normal salary, plus keep any jury duty pay.


Sweet!

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I decided to NOT bite the bullet on an Instacart subscription. But … if there's any money left in the grocery category, I'll put it towards it.


I'm determined this month to not overspend the grocery category!

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A fascinating article: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-sh/the_godfather_of_fake_news

Aldi's and Instacart! Etc

November 24th, 2018 at 12:39 pm

Last week when I was shopping at Aldi's, I saw that they had launched their partnership with Instacart. That made me quite happy. Aldi's is about a 10 minute drive past my house. That isn't too bad if I'm starting from home, but if I'm going there after work, it then becomes a 30 minute one way drive.

I signed up for the two week free trial of Express where you don't pay any extra fees (other than a tip for the delivery person of course.) I've already used it twice. I had been on the fence about it when they didn't have Aldi's included, because all the other stores are on my way home. But now I'm really considering it.

It's $99 for one year of Express service. That works out to an extra $1.94/week if I use the service every week. Which, I probably would.

I'm still debating on it though.

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We ended up going to Golden Corral for Thanksgiving. I had planned on making a lentil roast and sweet potato rolls, but DH thought that making turkey for just one person/one meal would be too much effort.


So instead of putting in hours in the kitchen, I put in nearly 6 hours doing yard work. Blowing leaves out of the edges/bushes and bagging them up. I bagged 9 1/2 bags worth of leaves.

After we ate, DH put together the contraption that goes on the leaf blower to clean the gutters. He had to end up duct taping it on - so, no more leaf blower. It did the job of cleaning the gutters though.

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I've been watching Christmas movies on Netflix, also, the show Sisters. I also watched "Precious" on Amazon Prime - powerful movie.

It's been nice to have time to do that.


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It's supposed to snow here starting around 2 a.m. We may get 3+ inches. Of course, DH took our snow blower in to be fixed on Monday …


It's hard to think about snow when we've had highs in the 50's+ the last few days.


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We got the bill for DH's ambulance ride - the one we were told, "Don't worry about it - it's all included." Yeah … all except for $1k … I'm waiting to see what the real bill will be.


We're also still waiting on the revised EOB for the $42k hospital stay. I have received EOB's showing they are covering the Cardiac Care, so I know they've received the necessary info.


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DH got a call from his insurance agent this week. They had been sent a form asking for our financial information. We thought that was weird - how would they know what our assets were?


At any rate this has spurred DH to find an attorney to figure out how best to deal with all this. He had been working on it before the heart attack, but then it kind of fell to the side in priority.

(This is in reference to the accident he got into in August - he hit a cyclist while turning right - while on a delivery.)

From what we can tell, his employer should pick up the tab for this - but we're looking into a lawyer to see what, if anything, we need to do to protect ourselves.

Once this is over, we will be getting umbrella insurance!

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Is it just me, or are others having someone make rude comments on very old blog posts? I responded to one, but have been deleting the others.

This is when it would be nice if we could turn off commenting on posts after a certain time period.

Not Much New

November 12th, 2018 at 09:23 am

I have today off, so thought I'd check in with my SA family.

We are still waiting on the hospital to send DH's records to the insurance company. I'll be bugging them about it again tomorrow.

We turned our heat on a few days ago when the temp went down to 8 degrees outside. Figured it was time. Smile

Last Sunday DH and I had raked and bagged 9 bags of leaves in our front yard. I put them out for Thursday trash day - thinking we were in the free pickup zone. Found out that's not til December. But our awesome garbage company picked them up this morning free of charge.

Our front yard is covered again in at least as many leaves … Hopefully we don't get a big snow before December so we can bag those too.

I cashed out for a $100 cash from YouGov a few days ago. (surveys) I also cashed out for a $25 Walmart card from ReceiptPal this last week. I'm getting close to the $40 mark in ReceiptHog. I should be able to cash out for $20 from iBotta soon too. In Swagbucks, I've cashed out for over $125 this past month. If my cruise credit ever credits, that will be another $100 or so.

I bought an OXO salad chopper so I can do my own chopped salads. I have been buying the 24oz pkg which includes salad dressing and toppings. I toss the dressing, and the salad barely makes 5 decent servings. So … am hoping to if not save money by going DIY, at least have less waste and bigger salads!

I'm progressing on my piano practice - most days at least 40 - 60 minutes of practice. I want to get a pedal for my keyboard so some of the songs in the easy hymn book sound right. I also need to get a midi connector so the piano app recognizes my notes. Just haven't pushed buy on any of this yet - comes out of my spending money. How badly do I want it, right? Smile

I am not progressing on my French. Somehow I lost my practice mojo. Hopefully it will come back …

DH continues to go to Cardiac Rehab and is losing weight and gaining in how much cardio he can do. We're looking into buying a treadmill for home. (used of course)

I have a couple credit card offers I'm looking at - though I'm hoping to wait to trigger them until more of DH's hospital bills come in. Only a few hundred dollars worth have been billed to us so far. With lots more to come...

Still nothing on the car accident. We're starting to wonder if no news is good news … that would be a major blessing in all of this.

What a Month!

October 29th, 2018 at 04:59 pm

The latest stressors …

On Friday I got home to find a letter from our insurance company stating that they were "pre denying" our claim for Cardiac Rehab due to DH not having a condition that warranted it.

Needless to say, panic ensued. He'd been to six sessions already at $250 a pop. They're getting him to actually EXERCISE. The education part of it is pretty worthless, but the GETTING HIM TO EXERCISE is priceless.

I posted on a FB group with people who've gone through heart attacks (or their SO has.) And they talked me down. I got a plan of action put together - call the hospital on Monday and figure out what the heck is going on.

Then I checked the insurance website. The first hospital's charges of around $16k was mostly covered, except for our out of pocket and deductible.

The second hospital, where he had the stent put in, had $42k+ in charges. And in big red letters - NEED MORE INFORMATION. If we do not receive more information within 45 days, we will base our decision off of what we do have.

My panic level greatly reduced at this point. This explained why they were pre-denying Cardiac Care. If they didn't have the proof to go with the charges from the stent hospital, then they'd have no reason to believe Cardiac Care was needed.

So … it at least was enough to get me through the weekend.

I called today and left a message with someone. I hate voicemail.

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DH's good vehicle (not great on gas mileage, but the best for his shoulders) may have an engine in the last stages of life. He has less than $1k in his car replacement fund due to having cleaned it out to buy this particular vehicle.

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Haven't heard anything new about the car accident / insurance. I hate to push DH to check into it.

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DH's stepdad with whom he was estranged … (he actually wrote him a long letter a few months ago trying to mend fences - no response) … died a couple weeks ago. DH found out because of an email from the guy who wrote a book about a local cave here DH and his stepdad's family were a big part of.

So yeah .. DH is getting a nice stress free time of it while recovering.

And yes, if you were wondering, my stress levels are quite low as well. If you consider Saturn pretty low.

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DH is doing so well changing his eating patterns. Not perfectly, but so much better than I would have believed to be possible.

Getting him to eat vegetables without me sitting beside him having a big bowl of them, is still a work in progress … but he's reduced his level of SAD diet by at least 95%.

I spent a lot of money on groceries this month trying to figure out dishes that would at least somewhat tempt him, as well as things he can take with him to work easily.

I'm hoping this next month will be more reasonable.

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We are not contributing to our ROTH's this month from new income. He was off work for almost two weeks. We agreed that this was the simplest way to do it.


I'm selling $1k of stock (electric car) and then moving that to our ROTH's. So they'll still get their contributions, it just won't be new money. (And that stock seems to be going up again after having fallen hugely thanks to its erratic man at the helm.)


We also had to lower what we normally put in various categories. He even willingly acknowledged that putting money in the date night fund when we weren't putting money in (new) into the ROTH's wasn't a good idea.


So anyway … that was our budget meeting on Sunday.


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I'm about halfway through my keyboarding class. The first week of it unfortunately fell the week DH was in the hospital. Trying to figure out an online keyboarding class while also spending the vast majority of my waking hours at a hospital … yeah, that wasn't good.


I've got it figured out now though, and am pretty sure I'll be making an A. Smile


I registered for my next class today - Microsoft Applications 1.


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We haven't turned our heat on yet. There haven't really been very many cold nights yet, so it isn't THAT much of a major thing. Smile Although, we did have our first snow a couple weeks ago.


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My newish supervisor let me know she's going to be retiring a year from this Thanksgiving. So, I guess a year from now I'll see what happens.


I've taken over managing our FB page, as well as the info email. We're debuting a couple new technologies that I'll be doing a lot with - keeping alerts up to date and answering texts, etc.


So, even if I don't stay here, I'm growing my resume.


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I made a couple eBay sales this past week. A set of Dr Suess books and a pair of Keds. Now I need to get some more stuff up …

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OK this was long. I'll try not to be such a stranger!


One more thing - Have you seen Bodyguard on Netflix yet? The one from BBC not Whitney's. Smile I binge watched it this weekend …


I almost forgot! Someone used my Ting referral!! I have a $25 credit from that. (Will have to tell about my phone trials in another post.)

Update on DH

October 4th, 2018 at 07:37 pm

Well, my week has pretty much been spent at a hospital. DH was moved to a heart specialty hospital on Wednesday. They attempted to do a heart catheter twice - once through each wrist. But due to his anatomy, they weren't able to get a clear picture of the issue before the unsafe level of dye had been reached.

So today they did a 3rd attempt - through his groin. They found 90% blockage in one of his arteries and placed a stent.


The 3 procedures themselves were not too bad according to DH - but the aftermath of today's was the worst pain. After he came back, he had to lay absolutely still so as to not dislodge the sutures in the groin artery incision.


The nurses had to apply a LOT of pressure for 15 minutes - then the found a hematoma - which had to be broken up - and another 10 minutes of extreme pressure.


The laying still thing … he was having a REALLY hard time with that. I kept having to tell him not to do things and he was getting really frustrated.


Right now at least I think he may be willing to make a change. He said several times he never wants to go through this again.


Financially we are looking at a minimum of 3 weeks lost wages. Plus of course increased medicine costs, and whatever we have to pay after insurance kicks in.


3 nights and 4 days in two hospitals, an ambulance ride, at least 3 procedures … Then there's the cardiac rehab program and follow up visits.


It'll all be worth it though if we can celebrate our 10th anniversary together maybe taking a hike or going on a long biking trail somewhere.

Used Up FSA $ and Probably Maxed Deductible

October 2nd, 2018 at 08:06 pm

A few days ago I was wondering if I'd have to get creative to not lose the FSA money other than the $500 that rolls over to the next plan year (starting in November for us.)

Around 8:30 this morning I got a call which told me it wouldn't be an issue.

My DH drove himself to the ER with a racing heart and chest pains. By the time I got there it was confirmed that it was AFIB symptoms.

His heart rate was 180+, his bp was high, and he was having constant chest pains.

After over two hours of meds, his heart rate was averaging 160+ and he still was having chest pains.

So they did something called a cardio inversion - basically reset the heart.

In two tests of his enzymes, it showed the number went from 17.4 to a higher # - which according to my retired nurse aunt indicates that it was a heart attack.

Tomorrow he's having a stress test and a heart catheter. At which point we'll find out if he needs a stent or a bypass …

I am so thankful for our fully funded medical deductible fund, so I'm not stressing about the money at all. (Yet …)


News

September 24th, 2018 at 06:23 pm

After 3 weeks of being off routine in eating and chores, etc., I'm back on plan today. Yesterday I went to a plant based seminar - no new information, but it did help renew my desire to work towards that lifestyle.

I'm wondering if I'm going to have to do the same thing I did with soda - i.e. say not even a tiny sip, in order to kick the junkfood completely. (I'm at 2 years in 1 week soda free.)

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I also attended a program where my Sabbath School class has been collecting donations for for over a year - Sole Hope. It's a charity which provides shoes for children in Urugway? so that they avoid Jiggers infestations. (Google it - but not while eating.)

We cut out the parts for 100 pairs of shoes to be made from donated jeans. I cut out two pairs. Smile

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So … we got a letter in the mail confirming that the lady DH hit was injured and had had surgery. So far the costs are at $38k. (DH has a $50k policy.)

I finally contacted the lawyer hotline via our EAP program today. Unfortunately, they won't touch anything involving a business.

And since the main thing we want a lawyer for is to make sure DHs boss/owner does what he's supposed to …

So I'm now working on finding a lawyer without the handy dandy EAP referral program.

Sigh.

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I binge watched season 7 of Call the Midwife this weekend. DH assured me a Season 8 will be coming. Squee! (I thought for sure with how the last episode ended it was it - and was so sad. So DH did a little research. Smile )

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My first class starts on the 3rd! I should have my textbook tomorrow (ordered from Amazon for $50 less than school bookstore price ..) It's one of those you have to have an online code for in order to use some of the material, otherwise I could have gotten it for even less.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!)

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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

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

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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.

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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.)

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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 ...

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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.

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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.
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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

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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.

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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??)

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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.

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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.)

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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??

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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 ...)

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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 ...

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

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!




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