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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.)

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.

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.

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.

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!



Paycheck Stub $ Changes

February 27th, 2018 at 04:57 pm

Today I was able to see my paycheck for Thursday - my raise is reflected on it! It looks like about $50/paycheck (*26) Not too shabby.

That plus the extra $10 from the tax cut thing ...

So first thing I did was change my withholding on my W-4 from 1 to 2. I figure it to be safe enough since we got back over $800 this year.

Then I changed my 457 contribution up $50.

The net result will still be a little extra in the paycheck, and an extra $1300 in my 457. Smile

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I'm about halfway finished with book 9! Back on track.

I'm mostly finished with setting up my bujo for March. I left out a few things which I ended up not using, and added a few things.

One thing I added is a 31 day drop it challenge. Basically going extra strict with my eating / exercise - hoping it will jumpstart the weight loss again. I'm up about 8 lbs from January ... Frown

No Drama Here :)

February 2nd, 2018 at 06:38 pm

Just want to say thanks for all your support, advice, etc the last few posts.

Surprising what a calm, sit down, adult discussion can do to defuse difficult situations.

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Can I just say how much I'm loving my stand up desk? It makes the day go by faster, and I don't know if I'm imagining it or not, but I feel more energetic.

My fitbit is telling me I'm definitely more consistently active -today I scored an 8 out of 10 on moving at least 250 steps in an hour! My goal this month is at least a 5. So yeah ... Smile

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I really hope it's not just the newness of it, but so far the bujo seems to be helping me actually get things done!

Tonight I cleaned the litter boxes, added litter, washed half the dishes in the sink (before the water started getting warm), cleaned the bathroom counters/sink/mirror and prepped my breakfast for tomorrow.

All on a work night. At the end of a long stressful week.

I also finally got a couple donation things I'd done for SBs canceled before another donation could be pulled out. One was a simple phone call, the other I had to go through multiple phone trees. Ugh.

Forgot - I also stopped at the library and did a couple returns/pick ups.

I might start on book 4 for 2018 tonight, but I am wanting to get to bed at a decent hour - so that may be dangerous ...

Standing Desk! Car spending/saving, Etc

January 31st, 2018 at 07:47 pm

Back in August? a co-worker and I approached the main boss about getting standing desks. He approved the idea. We had two vendors come out in September and make quotes. A vendor was approved in November. The purchase order was made.

Finally, yesterday the installers came! They were late - it took them 3 hours to install mine and co-workers. Coworkers is a simple attach to the desk model. Mine is not a simple one. Smile I got the one where they attach legs to the bottom of the desk that rise and fall via motor.

I was willing to go with the cheaper model, but asked if the one I got would be possible. Smile I love it!!

I'll be getting an anti-fatigue mat (employer) and I am going to look for a small step stool to help with position changes.

Already my fitbit is showing increased active activity. I made 7 of 10 250 steps in an hour. Usually my average is 3 ...

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So last night we dropped my car off at Brakes Plus because it had been having increasing squealing issues.

Today they called my DH and told him it needed a new belt and a new battery. DH emailed me the info - I told him that I thought that was strange, since I was pretty sure I had some kind of belt put on just a few years ago there.

So during lunch I called them to find out what belt they were talking about. Yep, it was the serpentine belt, and it was the one replaced by them 2 years 2 mos ago.

So in the end, what would have cost $114 for parts and labor, cost $38.95 after a $25 coupon.

Guess what is being added to my bujo (bullet journal)?

You guessed it - A page for recording auto maintenance!

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So now he's wanting his log in info for his ROTH.

You can probably guess why.

I can't exactly say no. (I'd actually given it to him previously.)

I'm thinking a compromise I am willing to live with is that as long as there is an increase of 6500 each year, I don't care what you do with the rest. Or say I'm ok if you put half of it in index funds or bonds - safe steady investments, and then the other half in more speculative stuff.

It's not like you can really do day trading within a ROTH, at least not quick trading. Though I did lose most of the $1k I bet on Fitbit ....(bought second day at $42 .... now is at $5 something. Yech. So yes I know it is basically gambling. (He throws the electric car stock at me - you have all those shares of the car stock - isn't that gambling? Well, yes, and I've been trying to convert them into less gambling type stuff. But the stuff in the taxable account has to be done carefully and slowly...)

It isn't like I can tell him what to do with the money in his retirement accounts ... because then he could do the same with mine. Oy vey. The one money issue we never really discussed before marriage. (Other than him being totally floored when he found out what my networth was after we were engaged.)

I might bring up the idea of consulting with a 3rd party financial advisor again. Because I'm not really sure what to do.

I mentioned to him that the ROTH money has been growing pretty well - he says back, well, yeah, the stock market overall has been growing a lot, so of course the ROTH would. UGH@

I really thought we had all the money stuff ironed out beforehand.

Raise! Used Apple Pay for First Time, Bullet Journal brain dump

January 26th, 2018 at 06:55 pm

I met with my supervisor today for my 3 1/2 year check-in. My score was higher than last year (whether that means anything really or not ...) but the end result is I got my next step raise of 2.5% That puts me at ~$16.28/hr if I'm figuring it correctly. It should go into effect by my 2nd February paycheck.

Once I see the first check with it, then I'll figure out how much I'll up my 457 contributions. I currently do $100 per check (26 checks)

I'm now making about what I did my 4th year of teaching ... My 8th year I was in the 40k range. Sigh...
I miss the paycheck, but not the hours or dealing with parents of perfect kids.

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I forgot my purse at home this morning, so I had to stop by home to get it in order to make my weekly deposit of DH's tip money. That meant I went to the 84th st location, which made stopping at Aldi's a no brainer.

Right now Chase is doing a promotion where they pay 5% if you use one of 4 mobile payments systems with the Freedom card. I usually use our Citi card once we've maxed out the debit card transactions (for our accounts that pay checking interest) but for the next few months where Apple Pay is accepted, I'll be using that.

After Aldi's I stopped at Walgreen's to pickup a fedex package I'd had held there. (love it!) It was my blackstrap molasses, iodine supplement and Amla powder from Amazon.

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My bullet journal stuff should arrive tomorrow.

I plan on having
An index
1. Monthly calendar spread
2. Daily habit tracker spread
3. Bi-Weekly Chores tracker
4. Monthly chores tracker.

2, 3, and 4 are kind of the SHE system all in one place.

5. Anything Goes page - a place to record phone #'s of places I need to call w/acct info, etc. Essentially one place for all the scraps of paper this stuff normally goes on ...

6. Dailies Pages - Record anything that needs to happen / remember on a specific day

7. Memories - Things I want to remember that happened that month

8. Gratitude's - Things I'm thankful for

Info Pages -

9. Swagbuck offers Info / how to cancel / when / crediting info

10. Items I want to sell - where listed, how much, when did they sell, etc

11. Library books - title, when due, etc

Collections

12. Books I want to read

13. Movies I want to see

14. Recipes I want to try (use post it notes - include info about book, web, page etc.)

15. Memory Verses Learned

16. Books read with short reviews

17. Movies watched with short reviews

18. Recipes tried and liked (post it notes so easily moved to new journal or to daily page for planning)

19. Master Grocery List - A cumulative list of common items purchased each week. Use a pencil to mark the items you need the current week - mark in pencil unit price to track when its on a stock up price

20. Spice Index - list of spices owned - mark in pencil when running low

21. Wants List - Write in pencil things you think you might want - research, wait at least a few weeks ...

22. Home repairs list - big list of things that need to be done

23. Medical appointments (all in one place)

24. Vet appointments /vac records, etc

25. Car Maintenance

Other things I haven't thought of yet. Smile

The index makes it easy to find what you're looking for so you don't have to worry about pages being in an organized order.

The journal I bought has a pocket where you can keep photos or other items.

There will be little artwork in my book - drawing isn't my forte. Smile

This journal will go with me everywhere. It'll become my second brain.
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Morning Pages - I have a tendency to be wordy sometimes, especially when upset ... The idea of the morning pages is that you write out by hand 3 pages (1 1/2 sheets) of unedited, unfiltered thoughts every day. It's a way to process thoughts which may not be good to share with others, or just get the creative juices flowing.

It's suggested that you don't reread them at all for a few months - in order to build your confidence/desire to keep up with it with no judgement

First Day Back to Work, $

January 3rd, 2018 at 07:26 pm

Today was my first day back to work. I still wasn't feeling great, but not enough to stay home another day.

Went ok, though I definitely was TIRED by the end of the day.

---
I weighed myself this morning so I can have a starting weight for a 5% loss. I think it is doable ... if I keep eating well and get consistent with exercise...and don't just maintain for the next 12 months like the last six ... Even if I *just* maintained, that'd still be a win!

---
Spending: $0

Daily Dozen - 90% (no exercise)
3 tasks: Cleaned cat boxes, washed dishes, made pumpkin nut muffins (for easy to grab snack)

Book 2 of 52: about 1/2 way done

---
We received the $1,038 reimbursement check from the railroad for SIL's funeral expenses. Since it comes from an annuity it's taxable ... bizarre considering it's supposed to be a refund of sorts ...

We'd already been reimbursed from the estate (which we told them) so ... we did the 1/3 to the future (Emergency Fund) 1/3 to the present (fence fund) and 1/3 to past/debt (DHs student loan.) I paid the student loan today - it had $128 at 6.8% interest. It was the smallest of them, but I just didn't like having that interest rate. Smile He has about $3k left. His IBR payment is $51.81 - the other interest rates are 3%.

I'm not too worried about knocking this one out fast .. we have so many other places for our money to go, and the interest rate is less than our mortgage.

I wish I had dallied a bit on getting the paperwork in though ... the check was dated in 2017. I had been hoping for it to be dated 2018 for tax purposes.

Oh well. Who knew this was going to happen when I sold some of my stock earlier this year? We may still be able to *squeak* under the tax savers credit limit, but I have my doubts.

Positive and Negative

November 17th, 2017 at 07:26 pm

So ... the positive. DH has FINALLY found his all weather vehicle. After over 1 1/2 years of looking.

A 2000 Honda CRV for $4k. We now have FIVE vehicles. We WILL be selling one ... I just am not pushing it right now with Sunny and more fun with SIL's estate.

I might even be willing to drive this thing. It is in nice shape - nice enough that DH plans to put in some of his numerous speaker systems to try out.

I'm just glad to not have DH say - lets drive to Des Moines to look at such and such car - not call till we're nearly there - and find the car is sold. Or look at it and find its rubbish. Done with that!

----
I am seriously hating my job right now. One of my responsibilities is dealing with lost and found. A few weeks ago my supervisor and someone else cleaned out the lunchroom and threw out the umbrella box w/ a month's worth of umbrellas. No mention of this to me. No asking if I wanted to do something else with them. I found out only because I noticed the box was missing. When I brought it up to my supervisor, she just basically shrugged and said the lunchroom was overrun with stuff and the umbrellas were old ( time wise) anyway.

This on top of how almost *every time* I go away for a few days, I come back to find my space rearranged or the work flow rearranged to a way that suits my supervisor. This irritates me to no end, although I try to tell myself that she probably thinks she's doing something nice for me.

Then there's dealing with the people in dispatch and lost items. They've trained multiple new people, and some work with me, and some want to do as little as possible.

I get that we are not responsible for lost items ... but when someones lost something, they *don't* want to hear that.

I don't call down for everything I get calls about. I try to deflect as much as possible. Especially since I never know who is actually going to answer in dispatch.

So today I have this mom call about her daughter leaving a $1300 violin on the bus. I call down asking for dispatch to contact the driver. I basically get blown off. I try to tell mom that we are getting in contact with the driver and she can check back on Monday after 8. (because its 3:40 and I have no idea if or when I'm going to get a call back from dispatch)

Mom wants to leave her info so I can call her - I have to tell her that I can't do that (Supervisor's policy)
I do find out when the bus will be back - so tell her she can wait for it at Dispatch in case the violin is on the bus. (not our normal policy, but was ok'd by another supervisor due to a fiasco we had a few months ago with a family heirloom violin stolen on a bus)

Mom calls principal unhappy with my not helping her.

Principal calls the supervisor/school liaison to find out the deal. Asks me what's going on. I admittedly did not react very well. Was so frustrated with not being able to get answers and then getting the blame!

Got the bus driver supervisor to call dispatch - of course he didn't get blown off. The violin was secured.

Mom calls again and I seriously didn't want to speak to her. I was just ready to have the day over!

This is just ONE example. There's another dispatch that gives me a one word answer and hangs up on me.

Then thanks to the latest iOS and Android updates killing all 32 bit apps, the past month I have had SO many phone calls from people complaining about "our" apps not working. They're 3rd party apps people! We have NOTHING to do with them! I'm sorry if you paid $4 to upgrade it - but you didn't pay us that money. Most of them just whine and moan for 5 - 7 minutes, but there have been at least 5 who have gotten totally irate.

Today I had one call me back asking if we could help her get her money back or figure out how to stop the payment. I asked her when she bought it - she said sometime last year and she couldn't remember if it was a yearly fee or a monthly. I was incredulous ... but told her that while we can't do anything about it, I would suggest she keeps an eye out on her account and if she sees a charge, dispute it!

I tracked the calls for a few weeks and got my supervisor to bug the main honcho enough that the links to the apps were removed from our main website. (There was a disclaimer, but who reads disclaimers?)

DH has suggested I sit down with my supervisor and come up with a written out list of needs/expectations wrt lost and found / dispatch. Something we give to anyone working dispatch.

Hopefully by Monday I won't be so ticked off and can approach the matter calmly.

Sorry for the vent.

Tomorrow after church I'm supposed to be going to the Center for People in Need to volunteer at their Thanksgiving give away thing. I know I'll have fun, but right now I really don't want to go. I just want to sleep and be away from people. I'm peopled out.

RetroPay, Grocery budget, Napa fires, etc

October 14th, 2017 at 01:06 pm

Hi all.

So on Thursday I got my Retropay - minus the OT hours (next check) and it was $768.xx. After taxes and retirement, it was about $576 extra. Not too shabby.

1/2 of it will go to our general budget and 1/2 will go to my fun money.

---
I bought two clothing items from Grayson for $27. I'm disappointed in them, but it'd cost nearly $10 just to ship them back. So ... I'm thinking of just keeping them and making them work. One reason I don't like buying clothes online!

---
I hadn't updated our budget for awhile, but finally got around to it yesterday. I was surprised to see we'd only gone through 1/3rd of our budget.

Of course I need to go grocery shopping tonight .. so we'll see what happens.

I decided to sign up for the clean food dirty girl meal plans - $20/month. I've kind of been backsliding on my eating and think part of it is due to boredom. So I'm hoping that having meal plans set out for me will alleviate some of that. We'll see.

----
As some of you may remember, my brother lives in Napa. So far he has luckily not had to evacuate, but he's assured me he has his car packed and ready.

So sad about all those places destroyed and lives lost. Redwood Adventist Academy (one of my church's highschools) was completely destroyed.

---
I'm planning on going to see The Princess Bride on Sunday at our downtown theater. 30 year anniversary showing. It's also showing on Wednesday at certain theaters across the USA.

After that we'll probably be going out to eat at Golden Corral again - Groupon deal 2 meals for $19. (all you can eat Prime Rib ... yuck.) I'll be loading up on fruit and veggies. Smile

---
We're making slow progress removing the brush pile that our errant fence guy created. Probably two more truck loads to go.

I have the feeling the fence will not be put up til next spring ... Hopefully all the wood we have will make it through the winter (for the fence.)

What a fiasco.

----
DH fixed the warm air blower machine. I thought it was dead and we'd have to get another one. But Thursday night he took off the shield and futzed with it for 5 or 6 minutes, and Voila! it was working again. Smile $30 not spent!

I've put on the electric blankets and our wedding quilt. It was very welcome Thursday night, but last night it was too much.

Haven't turned the heat on yet though. Smile

---
I'm going to Aldi tonight to see if they have the $50 HP wireless printer. Our printer stopped printing 6 or 7 months ago, and there have been multiple times we wished it was working.

Updates

September 30th, 2017 at 05:29 pm

So it was brought to my attention that I haven't posted here for a while. Smile Oops.

I had a much longer post typed up, then firefox crashed on me ... so ....

*Still losing weight (*slowly*)

*Still doing the whole foods plant based / limited oil, salt, refined sugar lifestyle
(not 100%, but close to it.)

*Had to have a ring guard put in my wedding / engagement ring last week so I wouldn't lose it -
lost two ring sizes!

*Will be getting my retroactive pay on Oct 12 for the year our contract was in limbo. I'm estimating it
to be around $800 - 1000 depending on how the overtime works out.

*Been dealing a lot with sick kitties the past month. Antibiotic shots, steroid shots, antihisimine pills ... Fun $$$
It does look as though we might be on the other end of it now though.

* Fence guy has completely abandoned us and his tools. DH sent him a text over 3 weeks ago telling him that when he comes
by to pick up his tools, to please bring us cash for the difference between what we paid him already, and
what has actually been purchased/man hours worked. Zip. Silence. Guess we have some extra tools now.

I signed up for MoviePass and used it twice this month. I would have used it more, but there weren't any movies I wanted to
see last week, and this week the ones I want to see are only at the downtown theater. So .. maybe on Monday after work.

(I saw Wind River and Home Again - liked both of them.)

Ok, I can't really think of anything else right now. I'll try to not let so much time go between posts. Smile

Updates, Video for Patient Saver

August 21st, 2017 at 06:12 pm

So ... DH got some discouraging news last week. His shoulder that he'd been having physical therapy on - which wasn't helping - has two shriveled up rotator cuff tendons. The only option offered was cortizone shots 2x a year. Otherwise, just live with it.

So he won't be off work for 2 -6 weeks, but he now has to live with two messed up shoulders.

Ugh.

----
Two months after writing the check to the fence guy, we have progressed to having the fence posts delivered. No holes dug, no posts put up, etc.

What a lesson this is for us.

----
I am now down 38lbs from January. 20lbs more and I'll be at my lowest weight in 15 years.

I am thinking of looking for a plant based doctor to see if they can help me figure out why I still have little energy and am still having sleep issues.

---
I watched the eclipse today. I knew I wanted to do it, but I had no idea how amazing it really would be. I had almost decided against doing it after reading articles expounding the dangers. Then I took a two second glance at a 1/4 covered sun, and was hooked!

I found myself almost compelled to look up, even when I didn't have my glasses on. It was a strange pull.

---
I'm going to be getting a standing desk at work! I just have to go over to purchasing and choose what I want.

I'm hoping this will make me move more.

----
Patient Saver - I watched this video today which I think you may like. It's interviews with a number of plant based doctors (Greger isn't included though)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcT0w_v8E6s

I found it fairly interesting.

---
I had 3 hours of overtime yesterday welcoming uni students to school. Lots of fun Smile

Sick Kitty

August 12th, 2017 at 01:49 pm

Thursday night after giving our furkids their 2x weekly wet food meal, our Sunny girl lost her meal .. w/blood too.

Today at noon was the first appointment I could get. She didn't throw up any more (that I could see) so the vet didn't think it was something to worry about. However, he did notice an upper respiratory infection - and gave me some meds for that.

Sunny has been curled up on my lap sleeping since then.


The vet visit cost $67

----
I got 4 hours of overtime this week. I won't know until Tuesday if the new payrate is in effect yet or not.

Next Sunday I'm working the Big R Welcome for local uni students. That'll sure be fun. Smile

---
Thursday night we ordered takeout for the first time in a long time. A local Chinese place that had 4 options with no salt/sugar/oil/msg!! I was amazed. I got steamed veggies with tofu, then made brown rice for myself.

They accidentally made my order "homestyle" with an unknown sauce. DH noticed this, and got them to remake my dish - we got to keep both. DH ate the homestyle - yay! he ate veggies! - and said he'd get it again (liked the sauce on the broccoli)

---
I finished the last episode of Downton Abbey yesterday. Frown Somehow I hadn't seen season 5 or 6 till this month.

---
Our fence guy is STILL stalling. He's put in maybe 10 hours worth of work so far. Supposedly our supplies will be coming Monday. We're not holding our breath.

New Budget Plan, Snowflakes, Dietbet, Ibotta Rebate!! Meal train

June 17th, 2017 at 08:41 am

Ever since my DH injured his so-called "good" shoulder, I have been contemplating what would happen if he couldn't work anymore. I realized we would be in a *very* tight spot. Yes, we have reserves which we could repurpose for daily expenses, and could cut into the stocks ... But that just feels like a short term solution with long term consequences - since the reserves and the stocks are for long term needs.

So, after a lot of thought and juggling of numbers on my part, and then the ensuing discussion with DH, we have made a mutual goal of fully funding both of our ROTH's by the end of this year. $12,000.

We already had $3555 set aside for whenever we opened DH's Roth. Then I felt comfortable putting the $1900 we had set aside for the EF. I also decided that as much as I would love to do a cattery design in the cat room/family room, that by the time we had saved enough to do it, we'd probably be down two cats. So ... I'm putting the $455 set aside for that towards our goal.

That just leaves $6,090 to reach our goal. Or, an average of $1,000/month starting in July.

We are cutting our spending money from $400 to $0. We are cutting the Date Night category from $100 to $60. Groceries will go from $300 to $200. I am also stopping the $25/mo Extra Principal. Plus, I will be stopping my extra contributions to my 457 at work - this will add approximately $140 back into the budget. There also is the $185/mo we've already been setting aside for DH.

That puts us at $890.

Which just leaves $110 to fund each month.

Our plan is to take 1/2 of whatever we make (profit) in side jobs or overtime and put it towards the goal. The other 1/2 will go towards our own spending money.

If we reach the $12,000 goal early, then we will decide what we want to do.

DH has also agreed to sell the non-functioning Honda! Not paying the title/registration for that thing will add back at least $100 which we can also put towards the goal. The sale price of the Honda though I think we'll put all into DH's car replacement category.

The purpose of all this is to get as much money put away as possible in a place that will most likely outearn the 2.5% of our current checking, and even the 5% of the Northpointe checking, but still be assessable if circumstances warrant it. (Contributions only.)

Best case scenario we won't have to touch any of it for ten or eleven years.

I'm going to be doing a new budget in YNAB to reflect all this, plus to cleanup the current budget. Smile

*I just thought about something - we have probably $200 in cashback rewards on our cards - that could go towards our goal too. Smile

---
June Snowflakes as of 6/17
June Snowflakes so far:

Swagbucks - $25 Walmart; $25 Paypal; $25 PP

Pact - $10

Earnhoney - $5; $5

Earnably - $10

Yoolotto - $6.75

MyPoints - $25 PP

FetchRewards - $10 in Walmart gift cards

**On Swagbucks there is a deal where you contribute $9/month for 4 months to WCF (World Wildlife Fund) and then 60 days after the 4th contribution you get 6500 SBs. So, a $29 moneymaker (plus you get a nice tote bag for grocery shopping.) Someone on the FB Swagbucks Swaggernauts group verified this offer with Swagbucks.

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Dietbet Round 5 weigh in was today - and I made it again! Now just one more month to go for the final big payout!

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On iBotta there is a current bonus called Dash for Dollars. You only have to complete ONE branded rebate by the 19th to get a $5 bonus!

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At work we are doing a meal train for the dispatcher who is going through chemo right now.

I was thinking of doing a meal of corn pudding, green beans, mashed potatoes and brownies. My DH thinks there isn't enough protein. There's cheese in the pudding, but I can't think of anything else that would go with it.

Dh suggested lasagna .. but to me that would be so much more work, and more expensive too since I already have most of what I need for the pudding meal.

Any ideas?

Northpointe Checking, etc.

June 7th, 2017 at 07:19 pm

If you read the website "doctor of credit" you probably already know about this. Just in case you don't ...

The Northpointe bank in Michigan offers 5% interest on up to $10,000. Direct deposit is not required. You do have to make 15 debit transactions each month, and either a ACH withdrawal or deposit of at least $100.

This is a great opportunity for those who may not have direct deposit available (or who can only have it sent to one place at a time like me) to get in on a place offering a decent interest rate.

I opened an account this past Sunday, and just got the welcome email today ... so they are a bit slow. (You can do this all online - no matter where in US.)

---
My new iPhone came in a few days ago, but I didn't get to pick it up til Tuesday night. It has a 6 digit passcode which is hard to get used to - I keep starting my old passcode ... I got the SE, so my old otterbox works with it, and I don't have to worry about it not fitting in my purse pocket, etc. Smile

Having a new phone is letting me see just how bad my battery was on my old one. This morning both phones started at 100% battery. They were running videos ... within 90 minutes my old phone was on 40% and my new phone was about 91%... What a difference!

---
I decided to not go with my points based plan for housekeeping. I came to the realization that I probably wouldn't follow through on it - so can't expect hubby to. I did get him to agree to go to his first physical therapy appointment - tomorrow - I made the first appointment, but its up to him to make more.

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Tomorrow I'm putting up the posters for the Food Bank drive. Here's hoping we beat last year's numbers.

Won Round 4 Dietbet! etc

May 20th, 2017 at 11:37 am

Well the one bright spot right now is that I have one 4 of 4 rounds of Dietbet - winnings are about $90 so far. I just need $25 more to recoup my initial bet, then the rest is gravy. Smile I have lost about 26lbs from my initial weigh in. Nobody seems to have noticed yet, but I can tell a difference in how my clothes fit.

For larger people like me, it seems like it takes a loss of more like 50 lbs or more for anyone to venture to guess ... are you losing weight?

Work ... ugh. Ugh ugh ugh. I don't know if interviewing is really a good thing or not ... it gives me hope of getting out of there for something better .. so I start getting irritated even more by stupid things.

I thought I was to hear back about the job by yesterday. The fact that I haven't makes me feel like its probably a no. Frown I hope I at least get the courtesy of an email.

---
DH found a leaf blower he wanted on the Sears website Thursday. So on our way to dinner we stopped by. The in store price was more. I couldn't pull up the online price on my phone. DH was really irritated and didn't want to bother talking to anyone.

Friday I found the offer he'd found and took screenshots and printed them out. Then after work and making the bank deposit I stopped at Sears. I told a sales person what I was looking for and asked him if he could honor the online price. He cheerfully said he could - then thanked me for being pleasant. He'd apparently had a lot of unhappy people to deal with that day.

I told him I could relate ...

So .. the leaf blower in store price was $59.95. Online price was $47.95. I had $7.03 in Shop Your Way points - walked out with it for just under $43.

My DH was quite happy when he came out to the kitchen on his way to work to see I'd gotten it. Smile

---
I did call my mom for Mother's Day. It went fairly well. I bit my tongue hard when she told me she and paramour had both sold their cars and bought one new one. I badly wanted to ask if her name was on the title ... If she does ever decide to leave this guy *for real* she's kind of painted herself into a corner. Sigh. She's an adult.

--
I started a new money making website - Earnably. Pretty good so far.

--
Almost forgot! On Wednesday DH and I bought a ladder from Menards. DH started cleaning our gutters by standing on the third rung of the ladder and moving the ladder constantly. After about twenty minutes of me watching him do this, I offered to get up on the roof and finish the job.

Ii have no fear of heights, while DH does. It was my first time on a roof - and it was a little nerve wracking. But I got used to it quickly. Smile It was actually quite fun ... until I had to get OFF the roof.

DH held the ladder tightly for me and talked me down. Whew! Now our gutters are clean!

Interview and Lost Cat!

May 12th, 2017 at 07:45 pm

Thanks everyone for your well wishes. I think I did fairly well. I definitely was in a better frame of mind than my last interview.

If I'm offered the job, I think I might take it ...
It sounds like I'd be busier, have more computer related projects ... and can wear jeans everyday! Smile Not to mention a bit over $2/hr raise and it's slightly closer to home.

I should know by Thursday or Friday.

-----So I got home early on Thursday ... DH wanted to go buy a lawnmower off Craigslist. We did that, and then got home and I raked leaves out of the bushes/side areas and DH started mowing / mulching. Unfortunately I didn't realize that along with the leaves, I was getting rocks.

We now need to replace the glass in our front storm door. Oops.

----
This morning I went to feed the cats and realized one was missing! The best we can figure is that she (Sunny) got out around midnight when DH went out to his truck for something.

We spent close to 45 minutes this am searching, and I spent another 90 minutes this evening looking. We posted on Craigslist, Nextdoor and Facebook. I also contacted the Humane society.

Sunny is one of the two elderly cats with bathroom issues. Still, she is one of the sweetest, most precious cats. I am so sad. Frown

We also put one of the litterboxes outside. This is supposed to help them smell home from a mile away.

Here's our Sunny girl:


Long Day - Conversation at Work

May 1st, 2017 at 07:08 pm

So.... today I had a talk with my supervisor - after asking for the 11th pm off.

Long and short - I told her I am looking for another job. That it has nothing to do with her - but mostly my getting stressed out by the cash aspect. I also told her I was worried about the longevity of my position for a number of reasons.

In a nutshell, she reassured me that the cash aspect is not something to be so stressed about (be careful, but not fearful), and that my position isn't going anywhere.

I'm still going to interview for the job, but mainly for the experience (and I don't know who to contact to cancel.) If I get offered the job, I will think about it, but I'm leaning towards staying put.

I'm glad I told her, even if it was really hard.

---
I got a $25 AGC from Perk today. I also did a Schwan's offer for 4000 SBs which instantly credited (spent $27.40 after 30% coupon.)

I stopped at Dollar Tree and stocked up on frozen fruit, etc. Then got some bananas from HyVee. About $10 altogether.

--
Are there really people who don't know Hitler killed 6 million Jews in WW2??? A co-worker today made a comment expressing shock at that number (reading something in the newspaper.) I kind of thought that was basic high school history ...

New Computer and YouGov

April 2nd, 2017 at 10:34 am

My new computer arrived on Wednesday, but I didn't set it up until Saturday night. Windows 10 definitely takes some getting used to (at least its not Windows 8!)

My old computer is still working, so I'm using it to run videos on while surfing on my new computer. Smile It can connect via WiFi to my modem, but I think I'll be getting another Ethernet cord to connect directly.

I upgraded my monitor and keyboard - already can tell the new keyboard is loads better than the old one. Smile My monitor is a 23" - watched The Secret Life of Pets on it last night. Sweet!

---
Last night I used one of the two $25 gift certificates I got for transferring two prescriptions to a local grocery store. Spent an additional $14.

I also went to Aldi. I was a little frustrated because two of the four main things I went there for, they were out of - Almond Milk and the frozen 85% beef patties (for DH.)

We overspent on Groceries in March by $17. In January and February we came in ~$80 under both months, so maybe our overage was due to some restocking.

---
We are in full planning mode for our road trip! We plan on stopping in Colorado Springs for Pike's Peak, Denver for some Pizza place, Las Vegas for a buffet, and some forest in Utah. Then finally arrive to the Los Angeles area to celebrate our one year anniversary with my grandma, aunt, uncle and brother!

I am SO looking forward to the time off! If I could find another job here with comparable salary and benefits ... I'd jump so fast... something that had NO cash dealing.

----
I *think* I may make it for Round 3 of Dietbet. I'm about two pounds off and 13 days away.

I'm kind of enjoying my break from Stepbet, but will definitely join one again after the trip. It really is a good motivator to get the steps in!

---
I received my $40 check from Inbox Dollars yesterday. I'm already closing in on $7 towards my next check. Smile

This morning I did the last survey I needed to do for YouGov to cash out for a $100 Amazon card. I also have enough to cash out for a $25 Perk AGC.

Too bad I didn't wait a few weeks for these to put towards my computer. Smile I'm sure the $ will come in handy for something else. Wish I could order thru Amazon from Apple - then could use it for my phone.

---
I forgot to mention this - but I paid off the last of DH's medical debt in February!

Second Home Chef Meal, etc

February 11th, 2017 at 12:20 pm

Thursday night DH asked me if I'd help him with the meal because he didn't know what he was doing. So we worked together on it - I worked on the grape tomatoes, he cut up the olives, capers, oregano, and garlic. (If I would've realized how long the tomatoes would take, I would've used the Mini Bullet.)

Like with the risotto, I felt there were some key steps missing in the directions - things you had to guess at.

I unfortunately burned the pine nuts - which dissapointed both of us.

The recipe didn't call for the tomato mixture to be cooked - but neither of us fancied eating raw garlic or tomatoes.

We added a package of mixed veggies.

Overall it was edible, but not something either of us would try again.

So, even if I wanted to pay for meals from Home Chef, these two meals would definitely discourage me from the idea. Glad we got them for free.

Angel hair Pine Nut Puttanesca

----
I had my yearly review at work on Wednesday. Even though my unions contract isn't signed, I still am getting the next step in pay. It makes about a $.51/hour raise. Smile Better than nothing.

I also found out that I still get my PCH days even without th signed contract. So I put in for vacation for April 20 - 28. 5 vacation days, an 2 PCH.

We need to figure out what we'll do with the cats while we're gone. 4 days away is one thing, 8 - 10 is another.

We did get paid back the $150 for the dog's meds. DH went over to the owners house Wednesday night.

We still haven't listed anything on eBay. DH couldn't find the cord to connect his camera to my computer, so has ordered another one from eBay. ($2)

--
We're planning on going to Tico's for Valentine's on Thursday. (I'll get Swagbucks for it through Swagbucks local app)

--
I cut DHs hair this week and he felt it made him look bald in the front. So he had me give him a buzz cut instead. I'm going to see if the daughter of one of the light duty ladies would be willing to give me a few pointers in cutting men's hair. I've watched youtube videos, but I may need more than that.

Frustrating Day - Avoided Temptation

January 30th, 2017 at 06:58 pm

I won't go into it - but take TWO phone calls in a row of 15+ minutes at the end of a day where I had lots of sales which needed to be reconciled ... and with the 13 minutes I had left I could reconcile the total from just the amounts to the cash/checks/credit cards but NOT to the actual passes. If I'd had another five or six minutes I might have done it - but Union regs say I have to be done at 4:30, and I'd already pushed it 3 minutes.

That plus multiple annoying other phone calls, and I was not in a good place.

Driving home I really wanted to stop and get junk food. But I didn't.

---
I got an email from Citi saying they had No Record of my redeeming points for a check. Ummm...

So I called and redeemed AGAIN - this time for $650. I also converted my card to the double cash back card. Hopefully in time to avoid the annual fee of the Thank You card.

I had ordered some things from Amazon on Sunday due to arrive Wednesday. When looking at the email today, I realized I'd somehow put my old name and address!!

So I contacted Amazon, and they're sending a replacement order! Sweet! (I then went into my address book and deleted the outdated info.)

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A budget meeting funny .... Last night DH and I had filled all the categories except the fun group. I saw there was still $552! Both DH and I were in disbelief because we'd put some large amounts in several categories. So we went through all of them again to be sure we hadn't skipped any.

We got to house maintenance and found out that I'd entered 30 instead of 300! That one little zero makes a big difference!

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I'm going to wait til Wednesday to do a monthly recap - but lets just say I'm happy with groceries. Smile

Freaking Out a Little ... taxes ; 2016 Joint Spending; 2017 Goals

January 1st, 2017 at 02:29 pm

So .. DH brought me his 3rd paycheck for December this morning when he got home along with the paystub.

I'd printed out my paystub at work last week.

Then after getting some more sleep ... I got on TaxAct and entered our info as much as I could without all the forms.

OMW! I really hope that once I have the proper forms it will look a lot better!

To buy our house, I sold some stocks and took a distribution from my ROTH (all contributions/5+ years old.)

Our combined income just from our jobs this year was a little bit more than I had figured when deciding how much to sell, but that doesn't account for the huge tax bill.

Nearly $4k between Federal and State!

They are showing the stock sale as Interest income and not Capital Gains!! If it were just capital gains, almost all of it would be taxed at 0%. (Possibly all of it.) So this just doesn't make any sense to me at all.

If this really is the case ... then there goes our fence. Ugh.

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I seem to have deleted my budget for the first few months of the year before DH and I started joint budgeting. So ... these figures are for July - December - once we'd both moved into the house and totally combined finances.
Immediate Obligations
Mortgage - 2633 (loan payments only)
Extra balance payments - 200
Natural Gas - 217 Average - 36.27
*Electric - 819.29 Average - 135.40
*This included a missed payment due to moving, etc. prior to July - so really, 7 months worth.
*Phone 484.84 Average - 80.70
*This includes a $200+ bill for DH when he was still in his apartment without WiFi
Internet/Cable - 365.65 -- Avg - 60.94
Water - 214.60 (billed bi-monthly) Avg - 35.77
Netflix (4 months) 42.74 - Avg - 7.14
Groceries - 1903.90 Avg - 317.32
Car Gas - 1554.80 - Avg - 259.13
True Expenses
Oops Tax (Accident Ticket) -- 151.95
Car Insurance (DH only - 6 month prem) 177
Car Maintenance - 1351.51 --- Avg - 225.25
Clothing (minus my $170 purchase) - 182.74 Avg - 30.38
Computer Replacement - 284.88 Avg - 47.41
Phone/Garmin Replacement - 173.81 Avg - 28.97
Home/Yard Maintenance - 2311.10 Avg - 385.20
Household General - 1039.23 Avg - 173.17
Medical - Non Deductible - 146.97-- Avg --24.50
Pets - Cats - Food/Litter - 375.63 -- Avg -- 62.60
Pets - Cats - Medical - 542.28 --- Avg --90.40
Pets - Non Cats - Food/Shelter - 114.62 -- Avg - 19.10
Pets - Non Cats - Medical - 38.54 -- Avg - 6.42
Quality of Life
Vacation - 237.28 -- Avg --39.55
Fitness (gym memberships) 293.76 -- Avg -- 48.96
Just for fun
Laura birthday (includes concert) - 165.77 --Avg -27.63
Scott Birthday - 103.94 Avg - 17.32
Date Night (eating out/take out) 226.84 -- Avg - 37.81
Debt payments
Student Loan (5 months) - 261.05 -- Avg -- 43.51
Medical Debt payments - 2390 -- Avg - 398.33

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DH has been talking more and more about needing to find a different job which won't be so hard on his knees/hips - something like a night auditor at a hotel. I'm okay with that, but I'm thinking that to prepare for the drop in income once that becomes necessary, that we need to scale back on some other things to create a good buffer.

I'm not really sure where we can cut back much though. One area I'm going to try is to cut back on grocery spending. Maybe see if DH would be willing to set the thermostat to 60 degrees (heat) (is at 65 now.)

We've got some big expenditures in 2017 though ... fencing our yard / removing trees/bushes / purchasing a winter vehicle someday for DH / an extended roadtrip to CA to see Grandma/brother, etc.

Plus, we have the goal of eliminating the student loan debt by December. Approximately $4200.

I'd like to say, well, let's just live on one of our incomes and put the rest into future savings. But ... just filling up the categories of immediate obligations puts us slightly over what DH brings in. That's before putting money into car replacement/ car maintenance/ house maintenance, Pets costs, etc.

The only way I can see us actually being able to put away significant amounts is if DH actually starts to sell his electronics.

Tonight is our budget meeting for January/2017. So, this may be a large point of discussion.

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Okay, my 2017 goals. (so far)

Financial:
1. Pay off DH's student loans by December. (Approx. $4200)

2. Reduce average grocery spending to $250/month

3. Discuss the amount of needed buffer for DH to take a different low-paying job with less stress on knees, etc.

(Car costs and gas costs would be exponentially smaller with a night auditor job .. but the income would probably drop at least $5 - 6 /hour.)

Health:

1. Increase fruit/vegetable intake to an average of 35 servings a week.

2. Reduce added sugar - Buy/eat added sugar items only 2x a week. No more than one servings worth.

3. Reduce processed foods / foods that come in packages. (Not sure how to make this a measurable goal)

4. Do 30 minutes of strength training each week.

5. Complete 8 StepBets successfully.

Home/Self:
1. Create a doable cleaning schedule and DO IT.

2. Actively play with the cats ten minutes a day.

3. Limit computer time during the work week after work to two hours. Limit computer time on the weekend to 3 hours. (Not including budgeting time.)

4. Don't get sucked in to Mama Drama.

5. Less Overthinking/Guessing negatively/More Positivity

6. Keep an active lookout for a different job.

Phone Frustrations, etc

December 14th, 2016 at 08:35 pm

DH told me on Monday that he wanted to send his stepdad a card with a few photos from the wedding. He had supposedly hurt himself that morning and didn't come.

I was surprised, but happy to do it.

So on the way home tonight I stopped at Walgreen's to use their photo kisok.

When I opened the app, my phone which was at 24%, went dead. The photo lady told me I could plug into the kisok and charge my phone while using the kisok.

So .. I tried that. My phone wouldn't charge. Finally, the lady let me use a charger plugged into the wall. My phone came back on at 24%! Then went dead as soon as I opened the app.

Again, I got my phone ack on. But this time just tried using the kisok. But I couldn't get my phone to connect to it.

At that point I gave up and came home. Where I placed an order at CVS which I'll pock up tomorrow. I got 12 pictures (2 sets of 6) for $2 after a coupon.

I hope DH likes the photos, because so far they've been a royal pain.

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I'm looking forward to our dinner out tomorrow night. We'll be eating at one of the oldest restaurants in Lincoln - Billy's. We went there last year for my birthday, and both loved it. So now for a repeat. Smile
(We have a restaurant's.com coupon for $25 off - good thing, because it's not cheap.)

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On Tusday there was a fire in Omaha at one of Sprint's substation's? It knocked out cell and data service in Omaha, Lincoln and surrounding areas for most of the day.

It also affected us at the bus station - the gps system to track the buses is based off of Sprint's towers. It basically made it so what is already a finicky program, nearly unusable.

Here's hoping it'll be working tomorrow!

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I'm taking off Friday. I plan on seeing Hacksaw Ridge in the morning (matinee), go to the ABC and see if they have Wham yet, shop at shopkpo for some sweaters, and take my car to have its brakes checked. Mostly fun stuff, with something necessary thrown in. Smile

Got Our First Property Tax Bill, etc

December 11th, 2016 at 11:48 am

I hadn't been sure just how much it would be, so I'd been setting aside $150/month for it. Looks like that was underestimating a bit. Our first payment is due in March for $1106 and the remaining $1106 is due in August.

I currently have $900 set aside for it, so by March we'll be fine. However, we won't be ready for the August payment at our current savings.

We need to save $1300 more by August. So instead of $150/month, I think we should be putting aside 163/month. Maybe I'll make it 170/mo to have a round number. Smile

Starting in September, we'll need to save $185/mo (rounding up)

I can pay online - so will have to find out if there is a CC fee and if I can find a good sign up bonus to negate it. Smile

*We don't have an escrow account.
------

I got a "refund" check from my former Internet company which had charged me for a month of service I hadn't asked for. Of course the check is in my maiden name - misspelled. I don't know if I can cash it, and am not sure it's worth the hassle for $15.xx *They over credited me somehow.

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Speaking of banking hassles ...

On Friday I stopped at our credit union to deposit DH's paycheck and tip money into our joint account. I've done this nearly weekly for almost 8 months!

As soon as the teller looked at DHs check, she said "we don't have a signature on file for him, nor an id!" What are you talking about lady?! He signed a whole bunch of documents and had his id scanned when we opened our account! Besides, I'm DEPOSITING the check into our JOINT account - not cashing it! Plus, look at our balance - do you really want to tick me off?

Ok. I didn't say all of that to her ... Smile

She left and got someone from the back who showed her how to find his signature from the opening documents. Then tells me he needs to come in so they can get his id.

I scoffed out loud and told her - good luck with that. Besides you should have his id on file already. It's not our fault if you don't have it in the right places!

The only think I can think of is that she was a newbie teller. Or maybe it's just that branch that has annoying tellers. I've had two annoying interactions with the credit union - and both have happened at that branch. I only go there because its close to Planet Fitness!

If it weren't for the 2.5% interest rate .. I'd seriously be looking elsewhere.

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One week left for my current Stepbet. I'm not sure if I'm going to take a little break or not yet.

I'm still holding strong on the no soda. However, my junkfood/chocolate consumption is really, really bad. So bad, I've gained back at least five pounds.

I wish I could find the same willpower with chocolate that I'm having with soda. If I could, it'd make my exercise more beneficial.

Sigh. Maybe turning 41 on Thursday will be a turning point. Probably not.

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Big non-surprise - got an email letting me know I wasn't hired for the job I interviewed for. Sigh. It'd be a bad time to leave my boss now anyway. We're still getting everything worked out with the new routes and tweaks to the schedules.

Had a new light duty person start on Friday. Just as I was enjoying having my space back. She's nice and all ... but will be there at least a few months...

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Spent more money at the Vet. I managed to get a urine sample for Kari - the vet said it looked better, but the UTI wasn't cleared up. When I told him what a difficult time I'd had gyving her her pills, he suggested an injection. So .. that's what we did. Not sure if i's helping any yet or not.

One of our cats has taken to bullying her. Multiple times I'm startled awake to the sound of her mountain lioness scream as she's chased through the house or cornered.

I really wish I knew what to do to make it better.

Our Christmas Gift 2016 and 2017, etc

December 2nd, 2016 at 07:32 pm

DH and I had our December budget meeting Thursday night. I d smhing pretty cool to discuss with him.

The rewards points for the Chase Freedom account had finally hit - and I redeemed for $182!

As we'd discussed before, all credit card cash rewards would be pt towards debt. So I added the 182 to the 300 already allocated for December.

The exciting news was that due to DH making a bit extra in November, we had a little extra play money to decide on. The balance left on the medical (no interest) debt and the balance in our repayment category was just over $200!

So ... DH and I agreed to use the bit of extra to completely fill up the debt repayment category - as our Christmas gift to each other.

Then, in January we;re going to focus on our 2017 gift - paying off the student loans!

I plan on using CC bonuses to help with that (which is why the money is just sitting for now. Ready for action.)

We really could pay them off more quickly if we cut back on some things .. but I'm okay with a year from now. Smile

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I had to call CVS again today - my new card hadn;t arrived yet, and my app missing all my coupons ...
Turns out that whomever I talked to last tine messed up. The person I spoke with today was able to fix it, and help me change the card in my app.

I think they sent me $3 as a sorry ... Smile

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Crazy busy week at work this week. Free bus fare ended on Thursday. So EVERYONE came to buy their December pass this week, Around $2500 in sales just at our office. (Normal in a week - maybe $800-1k)

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Kari was a pain the first two days of pills, the expensive grain free wet food which she used to chow on - she turned her nose up at. So ,,, Friskies Pate it is.

I bought a pill grinder .. since I'll be giving her the lysine for the forseeable future. Much easier than the back of a spoon.

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I have 3 spaghetti squash ... I'd never had it before - and neither DH nor I were too impressed with it (just roasting and eating the strands) I don't want them to go to waste ... but haven;t found a interesting recipes for them yet,

Any ideas?

Interview, Soy Curls, Concert!

November 16th, 2016 at 07:22 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Only it was missing!

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

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

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

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


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