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I got home Sunday night about 9 p.m. I'm thankful I took today off as well, because the lawn was in dire need of being mowed, plus I needed to do all my usual prep for the week things.
Overall I had a good time.
Saturday night before the cruise a good friend I hadn't seen in years stayed with us at our hotel. We stayed up WAY late talking.
She has two elementary aged children and her husband has a debilitating illness which pretty much puts the whole load on her. Thankfully before the illness manifested itself, he was a border patrol agent and had all kinds of insurance on himself. Including long term disability.
I had to deal with an eBay buyer claiming I hadn't sent their item. Finally they admitted that their son's roommate had taken it. No apology of course.
The absolute best part of the trip was our excursion on Roatan, Honduras. It started out a little iffy - we were following our guide through the neighborhood streets of the city to our van. (We got there late.)
Once we were in the van with the others, we drove for about 45 minutes through the island. We really got a good look at their reality I think, versus how often tourists are given only the pretty version of a place.
Our first stop was an animal sanctuary. Outside where we waited, there were a number of cats hanging around which made me feel right at home.
Inside, I got to hold a sloth!! I also held a mccaw bird and went into a monkey cage. The monkeys were hilarious. I took some videos but am not sure how to share them here.
This one guy in our group got peed on by a monkey, and then later stung by a jellyfish. His wife wanted to go horseback riding - he adamantly said no.
After the animal sanctuary, we went snorkeling near a shipwreck. I've been snorkeling before and feel pretty confident about my swimming abilities. But I am SO glad I decided to use a life jacket.
The shipwreck was in a coral reef which was very near the surface. A former Corneal freaked out and so did my mom - before getting very far. I freaked out too - but mostly because I had been holding back waiting for my mom and was separated from the group. I was worried I wouldn't find a path back to the boat through the coral.
I did see some fish, but I'm glad I didn't bother with buying a camera to take pictures - I never was relaxed enough to do that.
It really was a great time overall though.
Our other two ports were Cozumel and Costa Maya Mexico. We only went ashore for a few hours at each of those places - it was SO hot and humid.
After being to a few stores you pretty much saw everything available. I bought DH a t-shirt, and a nice top for myself. Mom bought a bunch of various things.
Most of the entertainment was top notch. One of the two comedians was quite funny. One night they had a musical version of Saturday Night Fever which was amazing. Another night they had a Cirque de so lei(sp?) style performance which was phenomenal.
The first night mom had a raging fit and we ended up getting move to a room with a port hole …. Loved the room, but could have lived without the embarrassment. (One of her bags had the tag ripped off, so she was sent all over looking for it, everyone assuming there must be alcohol or an iron in it. Neither of us drink.)
The first three days we had some rough seas and lots of rain. It was a very weird sensation to run on a treadmill on rough seas …
I was able to find PLENTY to eat. I had salad for lunch and dinner, plus cooked veggies and fresh fruit. I did veer away from my diet a little … um … chocolate molten cake ….
I don't think I gained anything - but I did make a point to take the stairs as much as possible. Plus made use of the treadmill a few times.
Okay - I made a shared album if you want to see the videos and more pictures. I'm going to see if I can help mom figure out how to add hers to the shared album too.
Waiting to board ship:
Cats outside animal sanctuary
Selfie with monkey
Outside a shop in Roatan
Well, I don't know that there is really that much financial to write about. Let's see ...
I finished my 6th week of physical therapy for my shoulder today. It finally seems to be making some progress. The PT guy came in and suggested doing a laser treatment - usually costs $249 for 6 treatments if done by itself (insurance doesn't cover) but would be $20/visit on top of my copay.
He gave me one free treatment today.... I gotta say, I think it did help.
He mentioned that he thinks I may have the beginnings of frozen shoulder ... The pain is getting better, but there's still only so far I can lift my arm in various directions without my shoulder protesting. PT guy said it was stiffness from not being used.
He told me to stretch, stretch, stretch - even if it was causing discomfort. That's the only way I'll prevent frozen shoulder.
So ... I'm bullying through the discomfort and stretching!
DH and I were discussing the need to check our gutters again. He has two bad shoulders (and a fear of heights) and with my shoulder situation, I don't think climbing a ladder is a good idea.
It would be far less expensive for us to hire someone to come out and do it, then for me to get up there and fall again!
I mowed our yard on Sunday - between picking up sticks/trash and mowing it took 3 hours. Ugh. Then the next day up pops TONS of dandelions. Double ugh. It almost looked like I hadn't done anything to the yard.
I have one run left to do to complete my Runbet, and one day to complete my Stepbet. 3 days to complete my Spryfit bet.
I paid our home insurance and my car insurance today. $1347 out the door. Oh well, it was all budgeted for.
My grandma's been having lots of health issues recently. Her pacemaker hasn't been doing it's job as well as it should - she had to have it recalibrated? once, and almost went in a second time. She's now on a low potassium, liquid diet. Hopefully Frosty's are low potassium, because she LOVES her Frosty's.
I have the sad feeling that she probably isn't going to make it to 98. (She turns 97 in September.) We are prepared for the phone call with our Emergency Travel funds. A fund you hope you don't have to use for a long, long time, but are very glad to have when you do need it.
I still am not getting my eating back under control. Breakfast and lunch most days are very healthy and on plan ... it's just what I eat at night isn't very good.
I'm hoping this weekend I will actually follow through with my meal prepping plans and have everything ready to go for the week. When I manage to do that, the week seems to go so much better with my managing to eat healthfully. Less wasted food too. (DH is very frustrated with the food waste ... I am too, but I have all these great plans about what I'm going to do with it ... then it becomes a science experiment before I get to it ...)
At least I'm doing good at getting my exercise in ...
Sigh. (Diet is 80-90% of the health battle. Exercise is important, but it can't replace healthy eating.)
So I finally got my W2 today, plus a form from the second bank we use.
We'd gotten the form from the railroad retirement place too, but it's confusing. On the top form it says RRB-1099 and has info for both 2016 and 17. The next 3 slips are RRB-1099-R - the amount listed is different, and nothing is said about 2016.
Of course, I entered the new info (plus seeing what would happen if I put 1400 in my traditional to max it out.)
The only form that matched the available forms for the railroad was the RRB-1099-R. So that's all I entered.
Somehow we just barely squeezed past the saver's credit.
Even so, once my retirement contributions from work were entered correctly, it shows us a refund of $825 federal and $166 NE! (with maxing my IRA - otherwise 625 and 66.)
I still need the form from Vanguard before I can file, but I think we may be getting a nice little boost after all.
Thanks all for your comments on my last post. We had another discussion last night that didn't go well. Either he thinks I'm being controlling (You make all the decisions anyway!) or he's upset because I didn't roll over backwards trying to figure out how to do what he wanted. (Which is what happens mostly ...)
I tried to start off the whole thing by showing him how much our networth had grown since August - from 237k to 262k. He of course has to nitpick what I'm including in networth (not house or other non actual dollar figure assets - the house, because I don't think we would be able to sell it for what we paid for it, and the rest are depreciating, so what's the point?!)
In other news ...
I got my bullet journal Sunday. I had a little time to work on it that night, and then spent a lot on it today at work.
So, here are some pics.
The Index / Collections
Habits / Tasks
Master Grocery List (part)
Here's the cover of my morning pages journal - I wish I could have found a similar cover for my bjournal, but it's better than most.
So on Thursday Sunny went in to the vet to have two teeth removed and be tested for the circevirus. (sp?)
The end result - 8 teeth were removed / fell out, she was tested for the virus and biopsied for cancer.
The vet said it was either cancer or gum disease.
I was hoping for gum disease. No such luck.
Our sweet baby girl is going to be heading to the Rainbow bridge sooner than later. I'm going to miss her so much. She is my favorite by far. Not very much of a cat's cat, but loves her humans.
With all of the vet visits in October and November, put pet fund is down to $400. A few months ago we had nearly $3k. I would spend it all again if we could've had a different outcome.
Someone on Facebook local is selling a clicker (used at the university) for $10! If you want me to, I could go pick it up for you.
I got credited for the Proactiv deal - spent $25 got 3000 SBs. So I cashed out for another $25 paypal. I made monthly master, and should ge getting 525 SBs for SB local plus the remainder of the dollar shave deal soon. So I'll be able to cash out again fairly quickly.
I will be selling the DS kits and proactive on eBay too.
I paid $14 for two DS kits on my AmEx - getting a $10 credit for it. Already had 700 SBs given to me - and should be getting the remainder of 2000 if I remember right.
I pulled the trigger on my new phone tonight. I ordered it directly from Ting so I don't have to mess with the SIM card or pay for it extra. Saves $10. It should be here in ten business days (slowest shipping)
I can hardly wait!
I also canceled our cable - but kept the Internet. Our "promotion" had ended and our rate jumped by $34. By canceling the cable portion, it took off $15.
I was going to switch to Internet Nebraska, but their contract with Time Warner expired and Spectrum isn't honoring it. So I want to wait to see what happens there.
We got back from our trip Thursday night. Overall, it was a good trip. It was the most time DH and I have ever spent together continuously .... 7 days of 24/7 togetherness.
Our first hotel was in Silverthorne, Colorado. Up til about 8 pm travel was good ... then after stopping for dinner at Beaux Jo's pizza, the snow + darkness + winding mountain roads started. I'm thankful DH was driving.
We discovered that my headlights are foggy and probably need to be replaced. Not a good discovery to be made on a road trip.
Our next stop was in Utah, near Zion Forrest. We ate at a Chinese buffet that had egg foo young!!
The next morning we spent a few hours at Zion - free admission due to Earth Day!
Then on to Las Vegas where we ate at a buffet that had eggplant parm AND tons of sweets ....
Finally we arrived in Loma Linda. Grandma and my uncle were happy to see us. We got to our hotel, and at first were happy ... but then realized the wifi didn't work. Which ... one night would be doable, 4 night not so much. But even worse ... it had a double bed and a sofa sleeper. No way DH and I could both sleep on a double bed. So I ended up on the sofa (DH's feet hung way over the edge.) It was a *miserable* night.
I hated to complain ... but no way was I going to make it on little sleep for 4 nights ...
We were moved to a Best Western. Best hotel ever (other than Branson.) Great room, great wifi ... but the best was the breakfast! Make your own Belgian waffles --- with chocolate chips to add .. and little Nutella packets!! DH liked the eggs/potatoes/meats they had too.
My brother didn't make it down ... said he was sick.
On Sunday my Uncle gave us a driving tour of the San Bernadino valley. DH got to pick oranges and grapefruit from a coup;e of groves. He got a kick out of that.
On Monday we went to Santa Monica pier. DH fished off the pier for a little while - he didn't catch anything, but did spot a sea lion! We ate at PF Chang's - I was the only one who seemed to like it. We spent a good five hours in traffic ....
On Tuesday we went to Lake Arrowhead and ate at a Mexican restaurant on the edge of a cliff.
We left about 6:30 Wednesday morning, and drove all the way to Grand Junction, CO. We made sure to get there during daylight.
Thursday we left about 6:50, and by 7:30 encountered rain, then sleet and then snow. We were out of it by around 11 .... Definitely slowed us down a bit. We got home around 8 pm.
Friday I got one of my tires fixed that had gotten a nail on our trip. It was nice to be back in my own bed with the cats ...
I've got the budget all updated. We spent approximately $540 between gas, hotels, food, etc. Not bad for a 7 day trip.
I have an interview on May 11 for one of the two jobs I applied for!!
Why are you wanting to leave your job? I hate the money aspect - handling cash. I'm also really tired of dealing with people on the phone ... --- Not a good answer, but the truth.
Have you had any conflict with coworkers - how did you handle it? Yes - one lady I helped with projects was a major perfectionist who couldn't tell you what she wanted in a simple, straight forward manner ... I got majorly stressed out dealing with her, and my supervisor and I had a meeting with her. Nobody liked her. She's gone now.
Again, not a good answer, but the truth.
What are your goals in five years? Umm, have a job? - What I usually say ... I hope to continually improve myself as a person and as an employee.
Why do you want this job? It's a good pay raise, and looks like a lot more fun than my current job - lots of computer related work and NO cash handling ... (I actually have to come up with two - three paragraphs for this question...)
What has been your greatest professional disappointment? (was totally stumped on this one .. finally came back with ... Not being able to foster a good collaborative community at the school I was a librarian at. I was able to get one or two teachers on board, but there was such a turnaround each year that I wasn't able to grow it.)
DH was looking into tiling costs for the cat room - remove carpet and add tile - he's figured bare min of $5k for the area. Gulp. We need to come up with some other option (less $$) - easy to clean, and won't soak up cat messes... The carpet isn't doing so well.
We plan on removing the carpet in the office and bedroom - hardwood floors under carpet, and tiling the bathroom (currently carpeted.) Hoping these moves will help the smell. (Getting rid of cats is NOT an option.)
If I get this other job, I plan on putting some of it towards a once a month housecleaner ..
Or .. if I *don't* get this job, I'm looking at a teaching Chinese children English online job .. do 8 - 10 hours a week for $18 - 22 +bonuses an hour. And use some of that to pay for a housecleaner.
I did gain about 4 lbs on this trip. I have until May 17 to lose those 4 lbs, plus 2 more to win round 4. I think I can do it. If not, then I'll be on my way to round 5.
I just need to go back to my stricter diet plan (ate LOTS of junkfood this trip .. plus not much movement.)
Um .. I can open older entries, and other people's blog entries, but not my most recent entry. Is it just me?
*Won round 3 of Dietbet - will find out payout Wednesday
* DH *finally* has a truck. We drove to Topeka, KS on Sunday and bought a 1996 Nisssan truck with 179k miles for $1150. It runs well, and the body is in semi decent shape.
*While on our way back, I came this ** close to hitting a 5 year old little boy who ran out in front of my car from two parked cars at a gas station. I was very wide awake and shaking the next 90 minutes of the drive home.
*We may be taking the truck to CA - and while there we may be bringing back the family piano. It's always been slated as mine, but I haven't had anywhere to put it or anyway to get it. Now I have both - possibly.
*I'm LOVING my new computer. (well, mostly ... when I first set up the Internet on it I set it up on WiFi - that was excruciatingly slow. Now I have it hardwired in to my router, but haven't been able to figure out how to change the configuration.)
* I put in TWO applications for other jobs that have nothing to do with cash = and are with the city. And would be nice pay raises.
*The last few weeks I have been binge watching "Reign" on Netflix .... Finally finished the last episode Sunday morning.
*We leave for our California trip Thursday morning. Our first stop will be Denver, CO area where we'll be eating at a pizza place DH fondly remembers - BeauxJo's (sp?). Then our next stop will be near Zion Forrest in Utah, where we'll spend some time exploring. Then a buffet DH found near Las Vegas, and finally our final destination - Loma Linda.
DH wants to do some pier fishing on the ocean, and perhaps a boat fishing trip. Also wants to visit some aquarium he found there. My main reason for the trip is to visit family ... so I don't really care WHAT we do.
*It turns out this wasn't a really good time for me to leave for a week and a half at work ... It's actually starting to get busy. Oh well ... I desperately need 7 days away from it all.
*I had two $15 off $15 Lane Bryant coupons sent in the mail. I used one to buy a t-shirt, and one to buy 3 pairs of socks. The t-shirt cost $5 after coupon, and the socks cost $8 after coupon. Hopefully the socks will be better quality than a 9 pack from Walmart for about the same price.
While at the mall, I got a few deals from JC Penny's - 2 sweaters and a turtleneck for $13. For next winter.
What I really was hoping to find was jeans or dress pants. Sigh.
Okay, that's about it I think. When I get back from the trip I'm really going to try to be better about posting (and reading)
About a week ago I was contacted by a school in the southern part of Nebraska who was looking for a school librarian. They told I was recommended by a lady in my church here.
It would be more than double my current income, plus paid for health/dental/vision insurance. Our moving expenses would also reimbursed 100%.
The position is working with pre-k - 3rd grade students. The media center has a brand new computer lab and an iPad program. The library section has funding to be completely redone - I'd get to design the ideal library essentially (within budget.)
I've had three Skype conversations with various people there this week ... and basically ll that's left is for us to go out there and decide if we want to do this!
DH and I have been looking at properties in the area, and found several just out of town with 4 - 5 acres for less than what we paid for our current home.
DH is excited about doing his chickens and turtles and eBay stuff full time. For me, this job couldn't be more perfect!
I did my weigh in this am and came under by 1.5 lbs. I'll know how much I won by Monday. This next round is where it is going to get hard - the weight loss has SLOWED. But I'm going to keep trying.
I wish I had a job where I didn't handle cash. Again today I was short. I really try to be careful. UGH! I'm just glad the camera is there to prove I did nothing shady if they decide to look.
I wish I ha a different job.
Oh yeah, good example of government waste today. Thanks to a persistently annoying "concerned citizen." Squeaky wheel gets their way, even if it's ridiculous.
It was funny today seeing so many people wearing.
How much longer til we can elect someone different??? Way too long .
Any suggestions on where to have a custom built computer made? I tried a few but they all got out of my price range PDQ ($500 or less - no monitor.)
It looks like I'm down about 13 pounds. Official weigh in for round 1 is on the 17th. I'm way over where I need to be for it.
I'd ordered two meals Home Chef through Swagbucks which came Friday. I made one on Sunday - Mushroom Risotto. DH had never heard of risotto, but he liked it ok. (better than the quinoa I made last week.) I liked t too, but there was way too much dairy in it. I'll make it again, just veganized.
*I added the brussel sprouts
*Also, I made it in the InstantPot
DH will make the angel hair dish on Thursday. 2 meals for free.
I don't know if it was the dairy overload,or it just was coming anyway, but I felt miserable at work yesterday. So I stayed home today.
I got the $650 to go to the student loans from Citi yesterday. Now just have to put account numbers on them and mail.
Like CCF, I also got a check for $7.97 yesterday.
I also got another question from IQ. Up to $.50 for Feb now.
I might try out Credit Karma today for taxes. I'm still waiting on some forms from Vanguard to really be able to finish them.
DD day 31 = about an 80% with moderate chocolate consumption.
I decided yesterday to do something called Stepbet. It's put on by the same people who do Dietbet. The thing I like better about Stepbet is that the outcome is much more controllable.
What do I mean by that? Well, on Dietbet you had to le a certain percentage of your starting weight in order to win. So many factors could workgainst you to make it not work out. Whether or not you were doing the work or not.
With Stepbet however, it's completely up to you whether or not you make your step goals. You don't have to rely on your fickle body, or worry about female hormones, water weight, etc. , etc. You either do it, or you don't.
So, I put up $40 of my spending money saying that I will meet my step goals for the next five weeks.
Tomorrow is the first day that the steps count. They connect to whatever you use to track steps, and come up with an Active Day goal and a Stretch Day goal. You have to meet the Active Day goal 4 x and the Stretch Goal 2x each week.
My Active Goal is 6,675 steps.
My Stretch Goal is 8,775 steps.
Today I'm at over 7k steps, so if the bet had already started, I'd at least have an Active Day in.
I don't want to lose my $40 In fact, I don't want to lose my $40 + whatever else I might get from the pot.
My meeting today at Planet Fitness plays into the Stepbet. I met with one of their trainers to design a plan. I told him my goals were to walk/run a 5k in 45 minutes or less, do one real pushup, and one unassisted pull up by Thanksgiving. (I want to do a 5k in the Turkey Trot.)
He put ogether a plan for me mixing cardio/weights. If I follow that (plus make sure I'm more conscious at work about getting up out of my chair and moving around) I think I'll do this with no problem.
DH must actually be listening to all my talk about Dr Greger, etc. Sunday night I was saying how I still feel so tired all the time, etc. He said, "You know what to do. That plant based, whole foods diet." If I hadn't already been laying down, I probably would've fallen over in shock.
He pointed out that the ravioli and bread the church ladies brought us Friday night weren't whole wheat, and had cheese.
Good point DH.
Staying strong on the soda. Doing decently on the DD - still at about 70-80%.
Avoided free pizza today at planet fitness.
Planet Fitness .... I was going to sign up just for the $10 plan. But my co-worker told me about the wonders of the hydromassage....
Long story short ... I signed up for the $20 plan. The massage options are worth that alone.
I also made an appointment to meet with a trainer to put together a plan tomorrow (part of membership)
On Sunday I went to the other gym ... even with Sunday traffic it took 30 minutes one way to get there. Not going to work.
I spent a bit of money on Sunday and today. Petco, Aldi's and Dollar Tree.
At Petco, besides restocking the canned food, I bought a "black light" ... yes, we have two residents that don't always use the appropriate place. I had $10 in rewards and a 10% off coupon. $43.xx
At Aldi's - almond milk, beans, lemon juice, etc. Also a mat that is supposed to be used to keep rugs from sliding - but I'm using on our dining table - to keep the tablecloth in place when cats run across it. I also bought a fall wreath. $37.xx
Dollar Tree today - frozen veggies/fruit/chicken nuggets/veg empanadas, etc. Found a coupon for the chicken. $12.89
Tonight is the last night I can't take anything for my allergies other than nasal spray or icy hot. Thank goodness for that, because after four days of not too bad, today it got miserable. Just have to get through the morning tomorrow, and then can take my allergy meds again!
I worked Sunday from 5 to 9 p.m. at the local university's welcome celebration event. A dispatcher and I passed out tons of route maps and hand sanitizer, and answered a few questions.
It was fun about the first 2 1/2 hours ... then I was just tired and hungry and wanted to go home and see DH. Thankfully Jimmmy Johns came by with free 1/4 sandwiches - turkey, ham, and veggie! So that gave me a little boost of energy.
I completely overslept on Sunday, (took a nap before going to event) and did not get any veggies cut up. Tonight was exhausted and stressed from work, and so did not feel like cutting veggies.
So ... went to Russ's and bought a couple packages of pre-cut veggies. Made a sauce of olive oil, paprika, tumeric, salt and garlic, and roasted them for 30 minutes.
(mushrooms, asparagus, rainbow bell peppers, onions, red potatoes, zucchini, etc)
Here's what it looked like in the pan:
Tomorrow I WILL cut up some of the stuff I bought on Saturday night.
Hubby is doing really well with his eating I think. Not perfectly, but baby steps, right? I'm really quite proud of him. I think he has taken it to heart where I've said before that he needs to figure out changes he can actually live with long term - not just things that work short term. (I've REALLY been trying to keep my mouth shut and let him work it out on his own ... other than just making sure the fridge/counters are stocked with fruits and veggies .. )
Now I just need to do as well with staying away from soda and chocolate ...
The groceries I bought today (pre-cut veggies and a couple packages of firm tofu) cost about as much as our two entrees from the local Chinese place last night. (Which gave us enough for two meals each ... DH commented that the rice (white) just didn't stick with him as well as the meal of roasted veggies/tofu/cauli rice ... don't think I;ll ever get him to eat brown rice, but this is an amazing admittance!)
Tonight I made the Mexican Hash. Again, the stove here is frustrating me. I ended up burning the sweet potatoes instead of "lightly browning". Ugh.
I think the directions missed a step in explaining when to season the pinto beans ...
Otherwise, a kind of meh meal. One upside is that I actually ate a little bit of avocado, and didn't die or have an "incident." I have a thing with certain textures I guess ..
Here's the meal:
Kari won't take the calming gel from my finger, so I had to kind of trick her by getting it on her fur/paw. It maybe? is helping?? She actually came out into the kitchen last night where DH and I were sitting/talking and where the dog and a good number of the cats were. First time she'd really ventured out of the office in a week (other than at night to sleep with me.)
I got some more gel on her tonight. We'll see I guess.
Feeling frustrated about several things right now.
Mr FT and I discussed the plan offered by S, the person our Realtor suggested. It has a $2k deductible, and a $713/yr premium. My car insurance (with Mr FT as a second driver) will be about what I pay right now - but by having it bundled with the home insurance, we get a good sized discount on the home insurance.
We're going to have to do a bit more sluething on Mr FTs auto insurance. S did some digging, and wasn't sure how Mr FT has his car insured as a pizza delivery driver. (As in, many insurance companies won't insure pizza delivery drivers.) Mr FT is going to do some looking into it tonight at work to see what's up. (He is insured, and assumed that the same policy he had when he owned/operated the pet store worked for him as a delivery driver.)
Work was okay today up to the last 30 minutes. Then just UGH! Callers who won't accept an answer as THE answer and keep pushing and pushing. Reconciling the cash and being over $8 (1 pass worth) and staying ten minutes late to figure out what happened (figured it out.)
Then the tux place doesn't have Mr FTs tux yet - we were going to try it on tonight to make sure there weren't any needed changes. But now he's going to have to go by himself tomorrow. I can't go with him because I have my pedicure appointment on the other side of town. Let's hope it fits well.
Mr FT found some pliers which he thinks will work to cut the flower stems, and will bring them over tomorrow night.
I am SO tired. I am SO happy/excited about the weekend and family and getting married, but at the same time, I'm SO ready for it to be over.
I am really hoping I'm going to fit into my dress... been doing some stress eating ... not good ...
If this manicure lasts through Sunday looking presentable, I'll be surprised. Already had a chip on one of my pinkies.
Here's the flower arrangement in the teapot I was given by C, the lady who threw the bridal shower for me. (With bent stems)
I signed the final offer paperwork today after work. C, our agent, was taking it to J, the mortgage person tonight.
In talking with J, I mentioned that I do NOT want to have my insurance/taxes held and paid by another company, but want to do it on my own. He told me that it was doable, but it would cost around $300 one time fee.
Um ... $300 one time fee to be in charge of my money over the life of the loan? What exactly is the problem here? (Well, one thing would be that they are charging me to NOT let them be in control of my money ...)
Does anyone else do their own escrow?
Am I foolish being willing to pay a one-time fee of ~$300 so that I can make sure I not only have my money sitting in the best interest bearing account, but also can know for sure that stuff will be paid on time!?
Our inspections are scheduled for April 8 - don't know what time just yet. Yikes! I'm going to be on pins and needles til then! I guess I should let my boss know I may need to take some time off during that day. Hopefully it will be in the afternoon so Mr FT can come and still get a good bit of sleep before work.
I'm thinking about how I can make the broom closet (which they call a pantry ...) into an actual pantry.
Will have to look into shelving and stuff from various places. I'm thinking some kind of wire shelving and pull out wire drawers, etc. Leaving room for the broom too.
I found out that there ARE some pictures online on different sites other than zillow. But I can't save any of them from the websites.
So ... here are a few pictures we took of the outside Sunday afternoon.
There's this one humongous old tree which may be dead - one huge branch towers *just* over the roof, and a few other branches touch the electricity lines. We're talking about whether it would be better to just get those branches trimmed (and if the electric company would do the ones on the lines) or how'd we go about getting the entire HUGE tree removed.
Would love any ideas regarding trees!
Huge tree in back of house
Part of side back yard
Mr FT adjusting his camera behind the compost bin fence
Dedicated garden area
View from behind garden tool shed
More pictures to come
If you wear Lane Bryant bras, this is THE BEST sale I've ever seen!
They are doing $10 off each bra. If you sort the selections from low to high, it's possible to get a bra for $5.
Use this code for an additional 20% off: DEAL20LB
If you purchase $75 worth, use this code for $25 off - OCTGIFTLB
If you have a store near you, choose pick up at store for free shipping.
I just bought 4 for $32!!! (A purchase I'd been putting off til December when they have their buy 1 get 1 50% off sale.)
This morning I got a phone call from my mom. She told me that she had bought a couple of the mega millions tickets (not too big of a surprise there). She had just checked her numbers against the winning numbers this morning ... and found out that she had won!! Whoa!!
April Fools (don't I wish it was true ... )
I think I'm going to take a blogging break. Just til I feel more myself. I briefly considered deleting my blog, but considering how I can't seem to do anything right lately - probably the less irreversible decisions made the better.
An feeling overwhelmed and alone and that seems to come out where I offend or bore people.
So ... Taking a break.
Today when I came home at lunch, the gas man was just putting the finishing touches on the gas stuff. (I'm SO technical) I went inside and tested the water .... HOT!! Yahoo! He told me they put in a 40 gallon water heater tank - which basically means there's no way for me to run out of water.
Today we had our first meeting. It was fairly short and sweet. Then most of us went over to the gym and sorted out the school supplies. The school pretty much supplies everything the kids will need for school. So not only is it tuition free, there also is not a school supply list sent home.
This afternoon I was introduced to the "super secret" supply closet. I found some cardboard inserts from writing tablets (I think?) I used those to make my Help Triangles. The HTs will sit on top of the computers and when a kid needs help, they turn the triangle facing up. The part facing them says "Keep Working". Then when I (or the assistant teacher) come help them, we'll put it back down. I saw something like this in a teacher magazine - they wanted $10+ for each individual one. I spent about two hours and maybe $3 worth of supplies making 12 of them. They're not fancy - but they'll do the job!
Tonight I went out to dinner with five of the teachers. It was at Applebee's - I had to order my own "meal" - a baked potato with a side of mushrooms. I ended up paying $7 for it. At first everyone was just putting cash into a pot to cover what they thought their portion was. I put in $4 - figuring that was plenty. Then the waitress came back and made separate tickets - people started taking "their" money back out. There was two dollars left. The only other thing I had was a $5. Ugh.
Overall though, I had a nice time.
Here are pictures of what I let go of today (taken with my iPhone camera.)
I haven't gone through my kitchen items yet. Today though the main thing was to get the furniture/big items out while their driver was someone capable of handling furniture.
Box of various items - makeup bags, box of notecards, etc.
Tivo (Dual Tuner, 80 Hr)
Entertainment Center, TV, Bean bag
Recliner, Corner shelf
2 laundry bags of clothes, a box of clothes, a box of various items (2.4 ghz answering phone + extra phone, stuffed bears, photo frames, alarm/radio clock, plug in night light, iron, etc.)
Table & chairs (ironing board not in picture)
Video and CD shelves, Bed recliner
Oohh! I just noticed the search button added to the sidebar. I wonder how long thats been there?
Anywho... I posted an update on my frugalton blog about unemployment update and earth day.
I have two new blogs set up on blogger and am working on making them pretty and getting some content up, then I'll start promoting them.
E (gym manager) is trying to work out a deal with a company in the office building the gym is in to let us (namely me) be able to use their internet signal. I *really* hope this works out, cuz 40 hours a week with little human interaction and a tv set to Fox news AND no internet? Yech! and double Yech!
So, today is my day off from the gym, which is why I actually am having time to get anything done (catching up on blogs, etc.)
I checked my mail tonight and no debit card. So I guess they have till tomorrow (the 23rd) before I have room to start complaining. ;D I do hope it comes tomorrow so after work on Friday I can transfer it.
My mom is heading off tomorrow for her 40th High School reunion. Class of 69. She is really nervous, but is also excited because her sister lives near the high school, and she hasn't seen her sister in probably 9 years or more.
My brother called me yesterday afternoon to finalize what my plans are for my week-long vacation. It had been talked about that maybe I'd use my grandma's station wagon - but as we discussed that idea, we realized that it would mean driving two hours to get to where the car is, then driving another six+ hours to get to where she lives, then before I'm ready to leave, I'd have to drive it back to where it belongs. That's a whole lot of driving - a whole lot of gas - and a whole lot of chances for me to get lost or have something happen to the car.
So . . we came up with a better plan.
I'll get into San Francisco on Friday night (May 23rd). I'll stay at the hotel through Monday morning. (Free tickets to San Francisco and back, plus 3 nights free hotel stay due to a trip my dad won.)
Then, on Monday, my brother and perhaps my sister in law (if she can get off work) will take the ferry over to San Fran and we'll spend the day there doing sights. (One place in particular - Ghiradelli's Chocolate store for a Hot Chocolate!) Then we'll take the ferry back to their car, and I'll spend the night at their house. (Get to meet their furbaby's and play their Wii!)
Then, on Tuesday my brother will drive me over to San Jose where my Aunt lives. I'll spend the night there.
Then on Wednesday I'll fly from San Jose to the Ontario airport where I'll catch a shuttle to my Grandma's house in Loma Linda. On Friday, I'll catch a shuttle to the airport, and fly from Ontario to the Oakland airport.
My brother will pick me up at the Oakland airport, and I'll again spend the night with them. Then Saturday afternoon he'll take me back to the San Francisco airport and I'll catch my plane back home.
I've budgeted $400 for my trip. So far, between the two extra flights + 2 shuttle trips, I've already spent $207. But -- I was able to book my flights through mypoints.com which netted me 2 points per dollar + of course I used my rewards card, so that is an extra point per dollar.
My dad was supposed to go on this trip, but it is looking like he won't be able to go. So, he is going to take me to the airport on Friday, and probably pick me up again on the next Saturday. If that doesn't work out, then I found a shuttle that will pick me up from work, and take me home for $64 roundtrip. (Cheaper than parking at the airport for 8 days + gas.)
So at any rate - I'm going to have Saturday (24th) and Sunday (25th) in San Francisco all by myself. I'm hoping the hotel will have a nice fitness center and pool, but that won't take all my time.
Any ideas of things I can do that won't cost much? (I'm not sure what hotel I'll be staying at yet - should know by the end of this week - I hope.) Also - any ideas on how I can keep my food costs down? What grocery stores would be easy to get to via bus or streetcar, etc?
About six weeks ago I got a bee under my bonnet to finally *do* something with my retirement funds from when I taught in the public school system.
A few years ago I received a notice that my money had stopped earning interest. For some reason, they stop giving interest on your money after 5 years. I really was going to do something with it, but just never got around to it.
So, anyway, about six weeks ago I sent in the form to say I wanted my money. They then sent me another form to fill out showing where that money was going to go to (my company's 401k plan.) I got that filled out - had our representative sign it, and mailed it.
Today I got the check in the mail! So, on Monday I'll get all the paperwork together and mail it off with the check. Then fairly soon afterwards, my 401k will jump by about $1300 -- effectively doubling it.
Now I can only hope that in April 2009, when my Traditional cd IRA at BOFA comes due, that I'll have this same bee under my bonnet to move it somewhere to actually MAKE money for me!
In other news . . this week I took two sick days. One of my own volition, and the other after being told to go home (after the president heard me coughing.)
I have the strongest feeling that I am going to have to skip the 5k on May 3rd. Unless the cough/upper resp congestion goes away REALLY fast . . .
Never thought that I'd be one saying that I miss going to the gym.
Oh well - I still have another 5k I'm signed up for in July. I wonder if I can get a refund of my registration fee for the May 3rd one??
I saw this interesting story today on msn.com about a man who'd been trapped in an elevator for 41 hours!
The video itself is pretty interesting, but what is even more interesting (to me at least) is the New Yorker article. The article talks about the psychology of elevators and about the history of them, along with giving a lot more details on the man who'd been trapped for 41 hours.
I found it just fascinating and thought y'all might too.
It seems as though I'm sick again. I was really hoping to not have to have another doctor copay or meds copay this month . . but it looks likely that I'll have both. A few weeks ago I was dxd with an ear infection and a sinus infection and given antibiotics. I thought I was on the mend, so started back on my exercise program once I finished the antibiotics.
Sunday I started coughing. Monday after work when my PT Eric heard me cough, he bluntly told me that he didn't want me to do cardio for at least a couple days. Today, even with dosing myself with Dayquill, I sounded like a wounded Seal (according to one of my coworkers.)
So, I'm off to the doctor tomorrow morning.
I just hope that I'll be over whatever this is in time for the 5k on May 3rd. I may have to walk most of it even if I am, seeing as though most of April has been a loss as far as training goes.
Oh yeah - the budget? It's in sad, sad shape right now. Groceries is out of the roof -- and after tomorrow, medical will be out there as well.
And theres still 9 days of April to go.
I am a library donor. Not of my free will, unfortunately, but due to the copious amounts of books that I tend to keep checked out ( at least 10 -15+ at any given time), when I forget to renew my books, it is a costly mistake.
So after the last time where I had to part with $15, I set upon a fool proof way of never paying late fees again. Yep - foolproof.
I set up a reminder with yahoo calendar to perpetually remind me to renew my library books every Friday. I have it also set at work in my Outlook. So every Thursday night I get my first reminder email. Then several times on Friday I get a reminder popup at work.
This past Friday, despite all the reminders to check my library books return time, I didn't do it. Yesterday I went into my account to look for a book, and realized quickly that I was going to need to make a trip to the library.
So, today after work (and my workout) I stopped by to find out what the damage was. $30.50 UGH! Thankfully they take credit cards, so I was able to earn some points (plus I only had maybe $2 cash on me.)
An expensive lesson reminding me to NOT ignore my reminders!
Last weekend I made a crockpot of pinto beans. Unfortunately, I never got around to putting it into serving size portions to freeze. So, today I had to throw out 2lbs (less one serving I ate during the week) of pinto beans. That was enough beans for 33 work lunches -- gone.
Fortunately, I do have several cans of refried beans in my pantry. So, instead of running to the grocery store (which I'm trying to stay out of until Friday) I will use one of those.
I just returned from my first outside trial run. Wow! Running outside is WAY different from running on a treadmill. I'm not sure exactly what distance I accomplished in my 40 minutes - thanks to the nifty little sportwatch/pedometer NOT working, but I have a feeling it wasn't much to speak of. I reverted back to what I did when I first started training on the treadmill - run for a minute, feel like I'm dying, then walk for a minute. Repeat and rinse.
Hopefully next Sunday's run will go better. I am planning on returning the sportwatch and taking my personal trainer up on his offer of a free pedometer.
Last night babysitting went really well. I had SO much fun with the kidlets. We made mud brownies and mud pumpkin pie. We also raked up huge piles of leaves around the backyard (but didn't jump in them because their dad had told them not to.) We also tossed a football around for a bit and played chase. Then we went inside and I was shown all the new toys and dress up outfits. Finally we had evening worship, then watched "Alvin and the Chipmunks." Both kidlets were in bed with teeth brushed by 9 p.m. Then I had the next three hours to read and relax.
I told my friend when they got home that I almost felt like I should be paying them for the privledge of getting to play with their little ones!
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