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Hello ... Hello .. Hello!

March 25th, 2023 at 08:08 pm

Hi all,

I knew it had been awhile, but not since August? Oops.

I just passed the 1 year mark in my new position at work. Still loving it. The new me we hired and I get along fabulously.

DH and I are a month off from our 7 year anniversary!! We're in discussions about an overnight trip.

My 101 yo grandma (CA) passed on Feb 13. We had a burial/memorial service for her yesterday. She is sharing a space with my dad.

I had planned on going ... but a bit over 3 weeks ago DH got hit with a nasty bug/cough (not Covid/flu.) A few days later I also got it. A few days before I was flying to Texas to pack up what could fit in mom's car from her house, and drive back to NE. All in prep for selling the house. I foolishly decided to proceed with the trip.

I'm now ending 3 weeks of horrible coughing. I actually went to the ER last Friday due to what I  suspected was a hernia exacerbated by the coughing. I had my abdomen ultrasounded yesterday morning, so hopefully we'll know by Monday what is going on. Obviously making a quick trip to CA wasn't a good idea.

I do have another trip planned to CA - for two weeks! I'm not sure exactly when yet, possibly September or early October. Why? I'm going to be an Aunt!!! Baby girl will be coming sometime in early July. I'm one of several family members who have offered to come for a visit to help the new parents out. And of course get to spend time with baby!!

In big spending news this year, we remodeled our main bathroom in February. We spent approximately $6,500. It is a vast improvement (got rid of the carpet!) but the person who did the job wasn't a perfectionist ... or really cared to make sure the job was well done. He also took 4 weeks instead of the 7-10 days estimated. Our home maintenance budget definitely felt this (especially after replacing our gutters last year.)

We are spending lots of money on specialized foods, supplements, medications and vet care on our nearly 17yo Munchkin cat. All I can say is that Petco Vital Care helps a lot! (Oh, and she's totally woorth it!)

My mom's late husband's will is through probate. His son M stepped up to the plate after being served ... (He'd been out of contact for 3 years, and the number mom had for him was disconnected.) He susposedly has agreed that the house needs to be sold quickly, so we can use the proceeds to pay mom's expenses at the ALF. But it's been two weeks since I was there, and he hasn't contacted the neighbor for the key yet. And to think I went down there sick ....

Mom's dementia/lack of mobility continues. Getting in touch with her via phone is an exercise in frustration. She keeps putting her phone on vibrate somehow. I bought a landline picture phone for her, which hopefully will help. I'm working on gathering photos to go with the numbers. (each button has a photo on it of the person on speed dial essentially.) Once I have the pictures, then my next step is to locate someone with a landline so I can program the numbers.

So ... that's all I can think of at the moment. I'm off to catch up on your blogs!


COVID Caught Me in TX

August 30th, 2022 at 12:45 am

I traveled to TX a couple weeks ago to see my mom, and get a bunch of errands taken care of for her. I flew out on Friday, then on Saturday my brother and I spent the day together, partly at the local mall. Sunday we picked mom up and did a trip down memory lane ... By Monday night I was feeling very off. By Tuesday morning I was utterly miserable - but bro had to do meetings in the morning, so it was up to me to take mom to appointments.

Let's just say, I found out very fast how heavy a wheelchair is AND how unfriendly the world is to people in wheelchairs.

Bro took her to afternoon appointments so I could sleep, and then he went to see a friend by himself. Wednesday, he had to do more stuff in the morning. By this time I was not just feeling miserable, but was coughing as well. So ... I started masking. (Up to this point I really thought it was just another sinus infection making me miserable. I've tested multiple times while feeling not quite that bad, and been negative.)

I got added on to mom's accounts Wednesday afternoon - all of us were at our limits of good behavior I think . . . so it was a good thing it was our last day there.

Thursday I flew back. I took a Sudafed just as I got on the plane ... not such a good idea when you'll be driving for an hour two hours later .... I got home and decided quickly that it was time to get some meds for the sinus infection because I was beyond miserable.

Lo and behold ... it wasn't just a sinus infection - it was COVID! Luckily neither bro nor mom got it from me.

I'm about 13? days out from Day 0 and have a lingering cough, am sleeping 9+ hours a night, and still feeling tired. But otherwise I think I'm okay.


DH got a $1.50 raise per hour, plus the delivery fees were raised by $1! The first raise any of the driver's have had in 18 years!!! Of course, just as we are celebrating this, then --- oh, the restaraunt is closed for cleaning for inspection Tuesday night, and we're still closing early Monday night. OY!

I should be getting an approximately $.60/hr raise this paycheck (annual COLA) and another raise probably the 2nd paycheck of September (end of 6 months in new posiiton.)


We had our first cantaloupe from our garden last night for desert! It was so good. Smile DH made pizza too - on mine, he put eggplant and red peppers from the garden; on his he put hamburger and also the garden red peppers.

Our garden didn't produce a lot this year, but I'm happiest about the eggplants and the cantaloupe! It's too bad our tomatoes weren't as prolific as the first time DH did a garden, with all this talk about tomato product shortages. (I think the heat got to them, or he overwatered?)


Mom told me today that my aunt (her sister)'s two children and husband all of some form of stomach cancer. Cousin B is in the hospital, but Cousin A and Uncle D aren't. I need to call Aunt D to find out the real story, because this sounds pretty far fetched ... I don't have the energy for it tonight though. I seriously hate talking on the phone any more.

Long Time!

July 27th, 2022 at 08:27 pm

I'm at home sick today (2nd day - not Covid) and can't sleep anymore ... so I thought it was a perfect time to check on my SA family.

Although I have been absent, you all have been on my mind. It's just this site is more difficult to keep up with on a phone, and that seems to be what I mostly use anymore.

So ... updates:

1. I have a new job! It's at the same agency I started working at in 2019, but a step up. I started it in March. I've been training my replacement for the last two months, and think she's nearly ready to fly on her own. (I *really* like her. She's known as Laura 2 at work ...}  This is a good thing , because ....

2. In August I'm taking a week off to go to Texas. At first it was going to be more like 7 business days - because I was going to move my mom here. She had started having lots of falls, R (her live in quasi bf) moved out, and she couldn't care for herself. In mid-May I got her placed into an Assisted Living place, and we had estate paperwork drawn up, as well as making me her POA. Much mama drama ensued. Finally two weeks ago the straw that broke this camels back, happened. I no longer am moving her here. Bro and I will still be going to visit her, but we will not be helping her sell the house or anything else.

3. Remember back in September when I reached my Healthy Wage goal? Yeah ... in the past 4 months I gained back everything I lost, plus 20lbs. Plus my exercise routine was completely abandonded. I had only enough spoons (energy) for dealing with mama drama. The past two weeks I have restarted my exercise routine - slowly. Food is an issue I'll deal with later,

4. We bought $10k I-bonds in May.

5. DHs hours keep getting cut because the restraunt can't keep cooks. This, in addition to crazy gas prices ($619 in June!) and my wonderful raise has pretty much been swallowed whole. Le Sigh.

6. On top of inflation and cut hours hitting our budget hard, our oldest furbaby Munchkin has had numerous trips to the vet to get her thyroid and blood pressure under control. Plus meds and special food. $$$ I did sign us up for Petco Vital Care which has more than paid for itself.

Checking In

December 18th, 2021 at 07:51 pm

I keep meaning to come back here, but obviously haven't - and now here it is nearly Christmas!

My CA trip went well overall, but when I got back, DH tested positive for COVID! I somehow managed to not get it from him. He was fully vaccinated, so thankfully, while miserable for 5 or 6 days, did not get very sick. By day 10 he was pretty anxious to get back to work. I got pretty sick a few weeks later (not COVID!) So between the time I missed work waiting for COVID test results, and actually being sick - I was glad for paid sick leave in September!

I did just manage to win my Healthy Wage bet! (We won't talk about what has happened since then ...

A couple months ago my church started a Stitches of Love group. I joined in, even though it had been 30+ years since I had attempted knitting or crocheting. With the help of YouTube and a few ladies in the group, I have gotten a decent start at crocheting. My first scarf took me four weeks .. (undoing and redoing) but yesterday I was able to make an earwarmer for a little girl in just a few hours. Progress. I have not attempted a hat yet. I've made scarves, cowls, and ear warmers. I currently am also working on a virus shawl.

My mom just had her roof finished being fixed last week (from the storm in July!) She's glad of that - it ended up costing $17k for the roof/chimney AFTER insurance. She's had some health issues the past few months, and is starting to come around to the idea of Asst Living.

My brother and SIL bought a third home in Tahoe, with the intention of using it as a short term rental (Air BnB.) (They have a rental home in their town.)  Unfortunately, due to the fires, etc., they closed on it two days AFTER a new ordinance was passed restricting STRs. His business is also having some growing pains, and their super sweet dog was dxd with cancer recently. Frown

DH is excited about news of one of his co-workers leaving soon. He is hoping to take over one of their shifts, and give up one of his current ones. That would be a change for us - he's had Sundays and Thursdays off our whole marriage - this would make it Friday's and Sundays.

I've also had a co-worker leave recently. The posting for their job went up yesterday. I'm contemplating. I'm just not sure that I want to go from a relatively low-stress, 40hr/week job, to a higher stress, salary job. I'd keep my same supervisor, and still work with the same people, just my responsibilities would be very different.If it were five or six years from now, I would more strongly consider it - being that much closer to retirement. But do I really want something like that 11 years out? I may throw my hat in the ring anyway - who knows if I'd even pass through to the interview process. Just see what happens.

Almost forgot - I got my booster shot on the 14th, and then took 3 vacation days. (Birthday mini-vacation!) Unlike with the first two shots, I had no ill effects from the booster.

Heading Out to CA Soon, News of the Weird, etc

August 21st, 2021 at 03:46 pm

Hi all,

We are having a big birthday party for my grandma's 100th birthday next weekend. It will be at my brother's house. I will finally get to meet my sister in law! They've been married now just over 3 years.

I'm a little nervous about it, considering the upsurge in cases, both here, and in the San Francisco area. But unlike last summer, I am vaccinated (and my grandma at the very least is) so, not too worried.

I leave Friday morning and come back on Monday. DH won't be coming with me (I asked him if he wanted to go - we started planning this five months ago - but nope, he didn't want to go. He is recording a song for her - When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain - according to my aunt, it is one of her favorites. DH and I both think it's kind of weird, but, each to their own taste, right?)


I've been taking the bus most of the time I've worked at my current job (other than the 9 months or so I was able to work from home.) Unfortunately, due to driver shortages, they are going back to the reduced schedule for the school year. Same thing they did last year, but I was able to work around it by doing a combo WFH/drive in later/use a co-workers parking space who wasn't using it.

This year I don't have either of those options, so it's either go in super early (and conversely, leave early); or go in late (and of course leave late); or ... get a parking space. Our agency will be moving to a new location by June (with plenty of free parking). So ... we are finding $90/month in our budget for me to have a parking space. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

Starting in October, I can at least have it deducted pre-tax from my paycheck (when new benefits start.) But still ...


DH turned 55 this month. This means he is less than 5 years out from when I think we can afford for him to retire. The Bridge Fund (i.e. money to hold us over until he can start taking SS at 62) is within $4k of being fully funded. (Well, at the low end of fully funded.) All those stimulus checks helped move the funding along much more quickly than anticipated.


In November, I'll have been at my job for two years. It's funny - I'll still come across bus drivers from my former job who will recognize me, and wonder why they hadn't seen me in awhile. Smile Now that I won't be taking the bus much anymore, that probably won't happen.


I am very close to my goal weight for my HealthyWage bet (ending Sept 22) but I'm not sure if I'm close enough. I've kind of stagnated for a few months now. I would hate to do it, but I may end up having to renew for another 6 months - just for the final 3 or 4 lbs. (I'd rather do that than do some short-term thing which may or may not be healthy.)


In July DH and I went WAY over our grocery budget. So, we went back to basics for August - using the chalkboard. We each buy our own groceries due to our diets being almost totally opposite (me vegetarian/mostly vegan -lots of veg. no meat; DH - lots of meat, very little veg.) I posted equal amounts on two sides, and then as we buy groceries, we pin up the receipt and post the number. So far, it looks like we are going to be coming in $100 or so under budget. Big Grin


In news of the weird ...

Last Saturday my mom (who lives in DFW, TX) was watching a lightning storm. All of a sudden she heard a loud boom! and a bunch of thuds along the roof and side of the house. A bolt of lightning had struck her chimney, and destroyed it - also putting a hole in her roof. Her electricity and Internet were also knocked out.

She was fine, physically. But the news from the insurance adjustors almost made her faint. Her home insurance (which supposedly is normal in TX) has a percentage based deductible. Thanks to the upswing in home values ... her home is worth close to $1 mill. This means her share of the costs will be around $17, 000!!

This is for a house she STILL has not had a final legal rendering of whether or not it is her house or not. (There was a paper along with her late husband's will stating the house went to her ... but it (the extra paper) wasn't notarized - so there are legality questions.)

If she would have moved out of the house a year ago when my brother and I were doing our best to get her to do this, then she would not have had this huge expense. This particualr circumstance wasn't in my mind, but I was worried that there would be some huge maintenance issue that reared its head - making it definitely not more affordable than renting or buying a smaller place.

All I can say, is that I am thankful we have a flat rate deductible for our home insurance.

Hello Again, Yes, I am Alive

July 3rd, 2021 at 08:36 pm

Thought I would pop in and actually make a blog post ... I have stopped by a couple times and caught up on everyone else's postings, but by the time I caught up on those, I ran out of time to do a post of my own.

So, here I am!

Not really that much to report.

I had a merit raise in April, which took effect in my June paychecks (roughly 2.5%.)

Our investments only surpassed $500k in June.

DHs Bridge Fund (i.e. retire at 60 fund) surpassed $20k recently (goal is at least $25k.)

We had our garage door opener replaced - our cost was only $75. Our home warranty reimbursed us the remainder of the cost ($220.xx)

We also had the side door to our garage replaced after the bottom half of it disintegrated. That was an ordeal - 5 weeks+ between getting the initial estimate and finally having the person come do it. Just under $300.

The past few months I've been doing a plant based low fodmap diet. For whatever reason, I've been able to adhere to this much better than any other plan before. So .. I am now down approximately 15 pounds from January of this year. My cholestroal numbers have also made significant improvements - I attribute that to *truly* laying off the oil and the added sugars, as well as the added black cumin and daily tofu/tempeh to my diet. (In a period of about two months, my total cholesteral dropped 20 points - the only thing I really did differently was strictly no oil, no added sugars, added daily 1/4 tsp black cumin, and daily tofu or tempeh. Otherwise I was continuing what I was doing before.)

I am looking forward to going out to Napa, CA at the end of August for my grandma's 100th birthday. I'll finally get to meet my sister-in-law! They'll have been married 3 years on July 5th. Against all odds (opposite cultures, knowing each other less than 8 weeks ...) their marriage seems to be working well. I'm very happy for my brother.

My mom *finally* had a lawyer look at her late husbands will - and there is no provision for the house to go to her. She has use of the house until she moves out, and then it goes to the son. This information has caused her to completely reconsider moving into something smaller, more affordable, and with less maintenance. She seems to prefer living in that HUGE montrosity, pay exorbient property taxes and utility bills, and all the maintenance costs. If she was 100% mobile and in good health, then maybe it would make sense. But she's not. She may never regain full mobility (she had a hip fracture back in March, and is still using a walker.) But what do I know.

February Update

February 28th, 2021 at 05:40 pm

So this has been an interesting short month ...

Some of the highlights:

1. Mom fell in her bathroom, broke something in her hip and took 7 hours to crawl from tub to where her phone was to call 911. She is currently in rehab - has stated that she is ready to be rid of the house, and possibly go into an Independant Living situation. My brother and I are working on timing of us going down there to help move this along.

2. I got two doses of the CV vaccine while working several vaccination clinics. I'm scheduled for another clinic next week. This makes me so happy (being a part of this!)

3. Our house got refinanced. We went from a 30 year, @ 3.875% to a 30 year @ 2.875% and dropped our monthly payment by $100. We looked at going to a 20 year, which would have raised our payment by $40 - but ... we don't see ourselves here for much more than 10 years in this house AND we are working towards making it possible for DH to reduce his work hours or even retire within the next 5-6 years. So ... reducing our monthly obligations by $100 in the short term allows us to use that money for investments - and in the long term, gives us more breathing room in our budget when DH reduces/retires.

We are closing on Monday afternoon. Due to when we are closing, we are getting to skip two house payments. Plus we were within 3 months of both our home insurance and our first half of property taxes being due - so they HAD (I checked and argued on this ...) to include that money in the loan amount. We are getting $850 back at closing, plus the $1000 for the two skipped payments, plus $2500 for home insurance/6 mos property taxes we don't have to pay out of pocket.

All of this money will be put into our 4 main categories that always need funding - Auto Maintenance, Medical, Pet and Bridge. The first 3 have a $2k max funding, and then everything goes to the Bridge. (DH's Bridge to retirement - i.e. income replacement until he can take SS at 62.)

The first 3 funds are close to maxed right now, so a good bit is going to be going into the Bridge fund. Essentially, our house refinancing is going to make it possible for DH to reduce hours/retire likely 6 months to a year earlier than planned. (Depending on how VGT goes ...)

4. I worked 18 hours of overtime this month on a time sensitive project. That money essentially will have the first 3 categories fully funded.

5. I spent a good part of my afternoon yesterday at the Emergency Vet with Samantha, our 16 yo Siamese cat. She has a UTI. 3 1/2 hours and about $300 later ... (though the vet was trying to talk me into over $700 of stuff. Yeah, lets see what is the least we can do to figure out what is wrong, and then go from there. Mmm kay?)

6. A really sweet lady from my local church died on Friday. I don't think it was COVID related. But of course we won't be able to have a normal funeral for her. I really feel badly for her grandkids. They truly loved their g-ma.

7. Goals ...

Well, I have one more week to go to finish a StepBet (I think it will be #6 for the year.) Plus I have two more going (on week 3 of 6 right now.) I may take a break from StepBet while I am in TX.

Have not done well with the no sugar thing this month. At all.

Still keeping up pretty well with daily book reading, language app, litter box cleaning, piano playing, steps, etc.

I did not finish any more 2021 projects this month.

8. DH started Keto on Friday. So I am going to start a sugar cleanse on Monday. i.e. Starting tomorrow no added sugar is allowed at all. No exceptions.

I'm going to have to renew my Healthy Wage bet for another 6 months. That means I have 6 1/2 months to lose 35lbs so I can get my money back. Sugar is my nemesis. So, basically, until Thanksgiving, I am going to be strictly no sugar. That is the only way I'm going to lose this weight.

Goal updates, Side $, Life

February 13th, 2021 at 08:00 pm

Overall, I'm doing really well keeping up with most of my 2021 goals. I've missed very few days for: opening language app, sitting at piano, scooping one litter box, put one thing away, do one cleaning task, make bed, read / listen to one Bible verse, meet step goals for Stepbets, and make a blog/forum post daily. I've done okay on not eating oil/dairy/sugar ... still could use improvement. I completed 3 2021 projects in January, and posted two items on a giveaway site.


In November I was introduced to an interesting banking idea called PrizePool. (It is FDIC insured.)  Essentially it is a normal bank account (savings) where you are awarded tickets for every dollar you have in your account. There is a weekly drawing where you earn cash prizes. Most weeks I've won $2.20, twice I've won $22, and this week I won $11. You earn both from your winnings, but also from referrals winnings. It's a great passive way to earn some income.

If you're interested, my referral code is: 41ZWE


My mom's sister is going to be having surgery to remove cancer on her spine on the 18th. This is at least her 2nd round of cancer. She's in her mid 70's. Frown

I was able to help out a a COVID vaccine clinic a few weeks ago - and also get my first dose. (Pfizer I think.) I'll be helping again this Friday, and getting my second dose. (Planning on taking the following Monday off - based on my reaction to the first dose (extreme fatigue), I'm guessing I'll need it.

I'm looking forward to my next paycheck. I got 16 hours of overtime last week helping out with a time sensitive project. I'm going to get a few more hours this weekend catching up on my regular work.

I don't mind winter weather mostly ... but this negative double digit weather can go away!

16 Years! RIP Uncle

January 23rd, 2021 at 06:38 pm

I'm a few days late, but on the 19th, it marked 16 years since I posted my first blog on this site.

My life now is certainly different from back then. Different in good ways, and in sad ways.

One recent change is the passing of my Uncle J from Covid. He was 73 - just 3 1/2 years younger than what my dad would have been. I feel for my grandma - having lost two husbands and now two sons.

Uncle J officiated at my wedding (almost 5 years ago!) He tried so hard to bring my dad "with" him - used a pair of his shoes, his suit, his tie and his Bible. That will always be a special memory for me.

Uncle J and Aunt J never had kids. They devoted their lives to missionary work - mostly in the middle east. Uncle J had just led a mission trip to the Dominican Republic, when he came back to the US, and visited a grieving friend over Christmas ... where he caught Covid.

At some point there's going to be a zoom memorial service, but I don't know when. It's so strange not making plans to go be there in person.

Hello! And 2021 Goals

January 2nd, 2021 at 08:23 pm

Well hello all! I'm going to catch up on everyone's blogs, but thought I'd get a post of my own up before I get distracted.

Not really much to report. Life is marching on pretty much the same as always. Unfortunately, with one less cat in our family - our 19 yo Baby finally couldn't keep going any longer, so he took his journey on the Rainbow Bridge on Dec 20. He is definitely missed.

I turned the big 45 on the 15th ... yikes. Time stops for no (wo)man.

DH and I are starting to have more serious discussions about his retirement timeline. He's wanting to look at the possibility of going part -time. I'm not convined that'll make sense ... but we're in discussion mode. (He's 54 - our thinking is he'll be retired by 60, unless our finances make sense to do it somewhat earlier. Maybe by doing part-time ...)


Okay, so goals for 2021. Most of these are what
I would call micro-goals to build habits. The main idea is to just START and then see what happens from there. Some days it may morph into MORE and some days it may just be the START and nothing more.

Like the guy who wrote Atomic habits. it's about changing your view of who you are. If you are a reader, then of course you're at least going to open up a book every day, right?

I'm a Healthy Person who is:

Completing 18 StepBets

Not eating sugar/dairy/oil at least 300 days

Completing 60 20+ minute non-treadmill workouts

I'm a person who enriches my life:

By opening a book (physical/Kindle/Audio) every day

By opening my journal to write in/a new blog post/a new forum post every day

By sitting at the piano every day

By opening a language app every day

By starting a Bible podcast or reading one verse every day

I'm someone who keeps her home clean:

By scooping 1 litter box a day

By picking up one item out of place

By spending five minutes on a cleaning task

By taking hangars with me to the dryer

By completing 12 2021 projects*

I'm a Financially Savvy person:

Adding $3500 to DHs Bridge fund

Who only spends an average of $30/week for groceries

Who posts 12 items for sale on sale sites

Who puts items on a 30 day waiting list (non-replacement/repair) before deciding to purchase


2021 Projects

*Put up file organizer in office

*Create file system

*Clear out and organize bathroom cabinets

*Clear out and organize kitchen drawers

*Clear out/shred/organize office file drawer

*Clear out/shred/organize second office file drawer

*Create an If I'm Not Here file

*Clear out/ organize office closet

*Get rid of old non-working tv

*Hang mirror in bedroom

*Hang curtain rods / curtains in bedroom

*Choose photos for Nostalgia wall

*Find frames for Nostalgia wall

*Print photos for Nostalgia wall

*Hang photos for Nostalgia wall

*Research prices of waterproof flooring for bathroom

*Determine budget for bathroom flooring

*Hire someone to do the bathroom flooring

**Nostalgia wall is an idea I saw on a YNAB videocast talking about gift ideas

**Our bathroom is carpeted ...

$101k and Car$

November 15th, 2020 at 01:24 am

After our November payment, our mortgage is at just slightly below $101k. Our December payment will be approximately $343 principal. So ... if we added an extra $650 or so, we'd start out 2021 owing less than $100k on our house.

I was telling DH this, and he asked how much we'd started out owing. Well, we paid $140k, but our loan was for $112k. So, since May of 2016 we've paid a little over $11k on our balance. He wasn't too impressed with that - interest, what are you going to do? (We pay 3.875%)

I did look briefly into refinancing, but for whatever reason, the low interest numbers weren't coming up for us (i.e. under 3%) or they'd require buying points AND a new inspection/appraisal. I told DH this, and he admitted that an appraisal wouldn't be helpful. Yep, that's for sure.

So ... I flirted with the idea of making that extra payment.

But then we started talking to our insurance person about increasing the coverage for the delivery vehicles ... and that will take finding an extra $1k in the budget for the first 6 months premium if we go with 500k coverage. (I actually know where this can come from - I'd set aside money for auto deductibles - but all of our vehicles are liability only now - so no deductibles.)

DH has finished fixing the muffler on the Acurra - so before he can drive it, it needs to be insured. It is really necessary to have at least two vehicles delivery insured - so if one is in the shop .... On the personal insurance we have my Yarris and the pickup. We won't use the pickup during the winter, but taking it off would only save maybe $100.

I told DH that if he were to have another at fault accident, he'd have to quit delivery driving because the insurance would be too much. His most recent accident (backing into and breaking a pole) was in April, 2019, the one before that was in August, 2018 where he hit a bicyclist crossing the road (he was turning right.) If he can at least get through 2021 with no at fault accidents, the August one I think will drop off his record.

Well, Hello!

October 31st, 2020 at 10:18 pm

I figured out how to login to my account again! Smile

Sorry for being MIA for so long. I had not realized it had been so long since I actually posted a blog here until a few days ago, and then I couldn't log in!

Hmm .... what are some life updates?

In two weeks I'll have been at my new job for a year! I worked 100% from home from mid-March until late September. In September I was asked to come back for the express purpose of giving the receptionist her breaks. I log in at home in the morning (7:30) and work til 9, then log out for my "meal" at 9:15 and drive to work, where I clock back in (and it always counts it as 30 minutes, even if it was only actually 17 minutes ... but I really don't care.) Then get off at 4.

I guess that is something new - we started having to clock in and clock out in September I think. Really annoying, but am starting to get used to it. Soon something I'll really like will be happening - we'll be able to change our direct deposits ourselves AND have multiple ones! This will make it easier to do checking account bonuses. Smile

I've actually been getting some overtime! My supervisor told me on Thursday to not worry about it - if I have stuff to do overtime with (which I do) then go for it! But not to feel obligated to do so ... Hmm.... Smile I got 14.25 hours in the most current pay period. I'm thinking of maybe doing 3 or 4 this week - because it did cut down a bit too much on my time to do house tasks.

Speaking of house tasks .... I seem to finally have gotten some kind of a routine where I'm keeping the (upstairs at least) decently clean. I'm slowly also working on cleaning out and organizing cupboards and closets. Still a long way to go ... but it is better than it was a year ago for sure!

What sort of prompted this was a trip to Texas in September. My mom had a major foot surgery (bunion issues) and I went and stayed with her for a week and a half. (Barely survived ...) but when I got home, the smell and the mess hit me really badly. I resolved to do something about it.

DH is reluctantly doing the few things I've asked of him (i.e. put his shoes on the shoe rack when he comes home, close the shower curtain after a shower ... etc.) I think though that him seeing me set a routine AND following through on it has caused him to be more proactive on getting his own list of stuff done.

Financially things are moving along fairly smoothly. We do have a 4th car that is almost road worth/ready to be insured. My insurance agent is in the process of figuring out the most economical way to meet our insurance needs ... I'm anticipating having to up our auto insurance budget by at least $800/yr to do what we really need to be doing. Gulp.

I voted here on the first day of early voting. The early voting center is right next to the credit union we use, so every Friday I'm there anyway (to deposit DHs cash tips.) From the looks of the traffic lines, it appears that it has been quite the hopping spot. I'm really curious to see if there is a large upswing in people actually voting this year. (My DH won't be one ... but he'd be voting opposite of me ... so, not pushing it too much. Smile )

I invested part of the money I had saved for my Ireland trip into the Vanguard ETF VGT. DH talked it up so much, and after looking into it for a good bit, I decided it wasn't too big of a risk. I've put enough aside to buy another stock in November (from my spending money.) I also diverted some of my Vanguard Total Stock Index money to buy some Tesla stocks before they split. My brother (and my dads side of the family) have stayed pretty heavily invested in Tesla from the beginning ... I wish I hadn't sold all of it. But ... it could have gone the other way. My brother has a networth almost 5x mine (and is almost 5 years younger.) Good for him!! (He and his wife recently bought a second house for a rental unit.)

I missed the mark on my Healthy Wage bet which ended in September. I knew this was going to happen, so I decided to extend it 6 months. Unfortunately, so far, it seems like my focus on getting the house in order has caused my diet/exercise focus to falter. But I plan to slowly start back on the healthy path tomorrow. I *really* don't want to completely lose the HealthyWage bet - need to lose 27lbs by March 20. Doable if I manage to get on it SOON.

Okay, I think I've rambled enough. I'm sure I'm forgetting some things, but hopefully I'll get back here more often.

Disconcerting News

August 19th, 2020 at 02:27 am

When I got home today from taking our 19 yr old cat, Baby, to the vet (who we were thinking we'd have to let go of two weeks ago .. but he's holding on,) I got a Facetime call from my mom.

I had literally just walked in the door. If she'd called a few minutes earlier, I would've missed the call.

I think I've mentioned before that I was adopted by my dad. My mom, is my biological mom, but the man who was my dad, adopted me when I was 2 1/2, shortly after marrying my mom. He died back in June of 2012.

So ... the news my mom had for me today. My biological dad, who still lived in the town I was born in, had died. His memorial service will be on Saturday.

I wasn't really sure how I felt about it when she told me, and I'm still not sure how I feel about it now.

He never made any attempt to reach out to me over the years - not even when I attended college for two years in my birth town. (Not why I went there, but ... still...) So, I don't know that I feel a sense of loss per se ... unless it is the loss of the opportunity to ever show off what he missed out on (if I ever actually lose enough weight to feel like showing off ...)

Sammy, mama cat, is doing okay. After getting a shot (pain meds? antibiotics? don't recall) she perked up a lot.

Our cats (Baby and Sammy this year) are sure eating through our pet funds this year.

Sammy - Vet Bills

June 2nd, 2020 at 11:37 pm

So our 15 year old Siamese (chocolate point my husband thinks)usually sleeps on the pillow near me. Two nights ago she wasn't there when I woke up. I thought that was weird, but we're in the time of year where the cats don't sleep on the bed so much.

Then I couldn't find her when I fed everyone breakfast. Very unusual, but I had to get to work.

When DH came up shortly before going to work, I asked him if he'd seen her - he hadn't. He went looking and found her in the one place I hadn't looked.

(Already) long story short - I took her to the new vet at Petco (Thrive.) They couldn't do too much because they were closing early due to the curfew (first curfew ever in our city.) They did bloodwork and x-rays - the vet told me he was really concerned, and that we should take her to an emergency vet to be rehydrated over night.

So ... I rushed back home. DH then took the car (and Sammy) to the overnight vet, and went to work. (We currently have ONE working vehicle out of 4....)

It looks like Sammy most likely has cancer. DH will be picking her up tonight and bringing her home (then back to work.) We're going into wait and see mode, but the likely outcome will be the Rainbow Bridge. Frown

She's such a good cat, and she's mama to one of our other cats. It'll leave a huge hole in our household.

It's also taking a huge bite out of our vet fund ... just as we got it fully funded again. Sigh. So far - $250 for Thrive vet, $457 down payment on emergency vet - probably another $500+ when DH picks her up tonight.

If she was only 8 or 9, maybe we'd look into finding the cancer and treating it. But she's 15, why put her through all that when there's no guarantee it'll do any good. Frown

In other news ...
I made my monthly contribution to my IRA today - and decided to buy a share of VGT etf stock with part of it. The 4 shares I bought with my fun money already made nearly $45.

Almost June, already?!

May 30th, 2020 at 01:54 am

Time sure does seem to be passing quickly. It seems like I just barely finish the data process for one month when its time to start the process all over again.

I took a couple days off this week to attempt to get some home projects done. I did actually manage to accomplish a few things - changed out my winter clothes for spring/summer clothes, and used a Rug Doctor on our upstairs carpets. I also strongly hinted to my DH about wanting to have someone come and tile our bathroom - get rid of the carpet!! (No, he doesn't want us to DIY - he thinks it would be too easy to do a bad job.)

So ... I had a Zoom with my supervisor yesterday. I found out that they are not replacing the second receptionist at our office due to budget cuts (she retired in January I think.) Guess what? I get to be the main receptionists permanent break giver now - and back up if she's gone on vacation or sick. Woo hoo! (can you read the sarcasm? if not, add a lot and you'll get close) It doesn't start until we are all back to "normal" working in office.

I just have to repeat to myself - at least I still have a job. We did actually technically fire someone - although the term was = we chose to not renew her contract (after 19 years!)

I was looking at paydays - it looks like we're going to have a 6 paycheck month in July! I told DH if he wanted to take 2 or 3 days off, July would be the easy month to do it without affecting our budget. I doubt he'll actually do it though, it would cut into his spending money too much. (which, I will say, he's been putting a lot of it into the stocks/etf's and has done pretty well)

But, he can't say he didn't have the opportunity!

I have something like 16 vacation days left (and still accruing) since I didn't use 9 days for Ireland. I need to look into it more, but I think we can sell back vacation days in August - though with the budget cuts, maybe not?? I really need to get a better handle on that - I usually use all my vacation time each year, so don't worry too much about it. (My supervisor was telling me that the receptionist is wanting to take the week after Christmas off and wanted to know if it would conflict with my vacation plans - I told her nope, the only day I plan to take off is the weekend of my birthday (15th.) But then we looked at the date, and it is a Tuesday, so we were both saying - may as well take Monday and Tuesday! Do up my 45th birthday big! -- likely not actually do anything ... but will be nice to have a really long weekend.)

So ... by September 22 I need to have lost about 20 pounds or I will be saying say'o'nara (sp?) to nearly $1k (HealthyWage.) Yeah, I don't like that idea. (About $300 of it would be my actual money, the rest would be winnings.)

I've been fighting the same five - ten pounds most of the past five months. (Mainly because I keep jumping off the cliff into junkfood'ville and have trouble climbing out.)

At any rate, I am committing to absolutely NO:
Processed foods (that means Amy's, Laura!!)
flour of any kind
sugar (this includes my beloved date sugar ..)

My focus is going to be on eating as much as possible foods without labels - legumes, whole grains (not processed into flour), vegetables, greens, and fruit (not dried, but whole.)

This is for the month of June. I will reevaluate at the end of June to see if it is actually working, and if I want to keep going with it.

I do hope to eliminate processed food and dairy completely from my diet, but one way or the other, whole grains flour will come back into my diet, and possibly the "healthier" sweetners like date sugar.

My DH is doing keto - one meal a day. He eats around 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. So ... we aren't eating together at all anymore. This makes it so I can change my eating timing to around ten a.m. to six p.m. - which is healthier than going as late as 8 p.m. and pushing up against bedtime.

(DH has lost 25lbs in two weeks. He is ecstatic. I'm happy for him, but also worried about what some of the weight he's losing is actually comprised of. Not to mention the copious amounts of meat he's eating ... and fat - but - silver lining -- he's eating spinach!!)

This will definitely save us money in our date night category! (i.e. no eating out, even if I was willing to go to a restaurant right now)

Raise, Bought ETF, etc

May 16th, 2020 at 01:41 am

So on Thursday I had my 6-month evaluation meeting. I got a high enough score for a raise. It should be about $.60/hr.

I'm glad I have the supervisor I have and don't have a particular co-worker for a supervisor.

It looks like we'll still be WFH till at least the beginning of June. I wouldn't mind longer ...

DH asked me to convert his index funds in his ROTH into an ETF a few months ago. So ... I looked at our accounts a few days ago and saw that my index funds had lost around 7% this year, while DHs ETF had gained 11%. HMPF! Smile (We're down about $30k from our high.)

I didn't want to sell any of my index funds at a loss, but I did want to play a little with his ETF. So .. I used $1k of my fun money (thanks to no Ireland trip) to buy 4 shares. I'm going to possibly buy 1-2 a year. I don't want to tie a lot of money up in it - but a little bit won't hurt.

DH has decided to do time limited keto - eating within a 4 hour window to start. So that eliminates our meals together, and probably eating out too. ( He was talking about we still could do Chinese buffets ... um a buffet?? I don't know when I'll be ok going to a buffet again.) Plus I don't think he was thinking about timing.

I really hope he focuses on getting the full 30% of low-carb veggies/greens ("allowed") and doesn't just eat meat. Sigh.

He probably has a kidney stone again. He had to have a laser procedure in Feb? to get rid of one. Helpfully completed his out of pocket for the year. Yay? It was not pleasant and he doesn't want to do it again. He may have no choice.

Mom just HAD to get a haircut on Monday.

She and her hairdresser started with masks ...

Yesterday she got a call saying that the person who had an appointment directly before her had tested positive for Covid.

Her hairdresser is in quarantine, and of course has had to cancel all her appointments.

Mom didn't understand why she needed to self-quarantine.

Oy vey.

Coming Up on Six Months

May 2nd, 2020 at 06:25 pm

May 14 will mark six months in my new job. I had a Soom call with my supervisor yesterday (we do this bi-weekly) and she brought up that it was time for my 6-month eval so I can get my raise. Smile I'm glad she brought it up so I didn't have to!

Overall, I am SO much happier in this job than the bus company. There is a co-worker whom I'm probably going to have to have a strong conversation with once we're back to in-office operations. I'm so not looking forward to that.

Our May budget looks really good. We had enough to cover all the basic amounts fully, with $100 leftover, plus the $2400 stimulus money. That money is being doled out to car repairs, pets, medical, income bridge fund, and a little bit to vacation.

If my raise hits in May, then our June budget will look pretty nice too. (It'll be about a $.60/hr raise.)

I've been doing well with my eating reset. 8 days I haven't bought chocolate, soda, junkfood or fastfood/takeout.

When I was at Aldi yesterday I ran into a church member with whom I worked with when I was at the bus company (he worked in the mayor's office doing communications.) It was nice to chat and catch up a bit. He's on our church board - it sounds like they are talking about having church services at a locally owned campground (where we can effectively social distance.)

It'll be weird to go back to church after all this time ... it'll be harder still to go back to working in the office. But from what I'm hearing, that won't happen till at least the end of May. Cases have been multiplying here lately, and our peak is predicted to happen around May 11. (Although our governor is capitulating to the minority asking to reopen. Our Mayor is kicking back on that ... I'm actually pretty impressed with her - a first year mayor. I'd vote for her again. Nearly 70% of Americans polled would rather stay closed down and kick this thing NOW, rather than reopen too soon.)

I watched a youtube video about the 1918 Spanish Flu. OMW! I only pray that Covid-19 doesn't follow the same pattern. Horrific. I'd heard/read about it before, but not to this level of detail. I'm actually curious why there aren't any fictional / real life books about it (other than scientific non-fiction) - at least that I've come across. There's books revolving around the Chicago fire, around the 1906? San Francisco earthquake, etc., but not the 1918 flu. I'm going to have to do some searching on that, because that just doesn't seem right - that big of a thing being ignored by fiction writers?? I mean the reality of what happened with it makes the movie Outbreak seem mild in comparison.

Youtube video - 1918 Spanish Flu historical documentary | Swine Flu

Starting Year 5

April 26th, 2020 at 02:16 am

DH and I celebrated our 4th anniversary on Thursday. It was a really good day. I took off from work a few hours early. Then we drove to Glenwood, Iowa and got carryout from our favorite Mexican restaurant and then went to a nearby park to eat.

DH surprised me with flowers, a really sweet note in a card, and ... (long story) he bought himself a wedding ring. Overall, since we had our CA trip in September, things have been going much better. And in the last few weeks, even better. I'm looking forward to seeing where this coming year leads us.

DH is still doing his delivery job, although a few less hours due to early closing. I had changed some things on my paycheck prior to this whole pandemic ... so it is evening out. Plus of course the $2400 stimulus (which came in time to pay the $1100 medical bill for an outpatient procedure in March.)

We have maxed out our 3% Kasasa checking account. So I did some looking, and saw that Capital One was at 1.5% - so opened a savings account there. (I still had my checking account open from when it was ING. That's how I fund my IRA - it has my maiden name on it and was already attached. Vanguard won't let me add our joint account since DHs name is primary or something like that.)

My eating has been pretty bad recently. But I have made a conscious decision to stop and regroup. For at least the next two weeks, my focus is to: 1. Not buy chocolate/junkfood - not an option; 2. Fast food/takeout on my own is not an option; 3. Eat the food we already have on hand. Once these seem to be going well, I'll add in an exercise intention/focus.

Today I finally opened my Gridler I bought a few weeks ago. I used it to make waffles. Yum! It was so much easier to use than my mini-waffle maker.

I made a big pot of Great Northern Beans for DH (he found a cheap source for them.) I also used up some leftover lentils to make a "meatloaf." I'll be freezing it tomorrow after the flavors meld some (though I'm not sure where I'll put it, since the freezer is pretty full.)

I'm really going to miss working from home when we have to go back.

March This and That

April 1st, 2020 at 12:30 am

Well, this is my second week working from home. Overall I'm really enjoying it. I think it'll be hard to go back to the normal routine.

I did go into the office for a few hours yesterday and saw my boss. It's pretty obvious she's an extrovert Smile she was so happy to see me.

DH is still doing his pizza delivery. He says business has picked up some this week, and tips are bigger. When all the universities shut down, deliveries took a hit.

I asked him tonight if I could locate a mask for him, would he wear it. Nope, he'd feel like a dork.

I'm keeping in mind my locus of control. I can control what I do, but not what others do.

If I knew for sure things would be okay in 4 weeks or so, and he could get his hours back, I'd tell him to take a month's vacation. But I don't think either of those are true.

My Ireland trip is canceled obviously. I got my refund a few days ago. Sigh.

I bought something thats been on my wishlist for several months - a 5 - in - 1 griddler w/ removable waffle irons. It should be here next week.

Have not been doing well with the eating. If I continue like this, there's no way I'll meet my Healthy Wage goal in September. Ugh.

Well, not much else to say, other than Wash your hands and stay home! Be safe my friends.

Considering Making a Change

February 29th, 2020 at 11:44 pm

Right now we are fully funding our IRA's, plus at work I have 7% taken from my salary plus a 9% employer match (which is required), and then an extra $300/month pulled pre-tax to a 457 plan.

However, a number of our monthly bills have been going up. This is causing us to not be able to fully fund some of our categories more months than not. I do all the budgeting each month, and allocate the money in the MUST categories, and then have DH decide the allocation for the remaining categories.

Those categories are the Pet Fund, Medical Fund, Auto Maintenance Fund, Bridge Fund, Vacation and Date Night.

To fully fund all of those, we need $850. Most months we are at least $300 - 400 short. So, vacation usually doesn't get funded, Bridge fund and other funds get about 50% funded.

From conversations we've had, I know this stresses DH out.

There's only two solutions I see to this - one is DH putting all his cash tips into the family budget (which may or may not help enough); or me decreasing the extra I'm having withheld from my paycheck to my 457.

I've talked to DH about increasing the amount he puts in - and he did up it a bit. But the idea of putting it all in makes him feel like he'd have no motivation to go into work. (Sarcastic thoughts in my head about this ... but not going to say them.) So I don't think asking him to increase his contribution more is workable.

That leaves reducing my 457 contribution. If I completely stopped it, it wouldn't be a straight $300 extra back each month, due to being pre-tax. But it would be about $250.

This would make it possible for us to fully fund the important categories (pets, medical, auto, bridge) every month, and put something in vacation every month too.

I really hate the idea of scaling back on the retirement savings, but I'm not sure what else to do.

If we could get our electric bill down that would help. (It went up another $5/mo for the next 6 month period - budget billing.) And maybe in another year or so the car insurance bill will go down to a more reasonable level (as long as there's no more accidents ...) So maybe this won't be a permanent thing.

I'll have a raise in May, and again in August. So, maybe by the following May I could start funding it again?

Or should I just leave well enough alone, and hope that our current funding level in these categories will be enough?

I have 14 years to go to retirement (hopefully!) and am on good track for that. DH hopes to be retired in a bit more than 6 years (that's partly what the Bridge fund is for.)

This is when I wish I had someone I could lay all the numbers out to and the goals and obstacles and have them just tell me what to do. Sigh.

Really trying to avoid looking at current fund balances - other than knowing this is a good time to buy, buy. buy!

ATT Settlement, etc. Belated 15 yr Pst

February 8th, 2020 at 10:50 pm

When I got home from church today and looked through the mail, I saw an envelope from ATT. I almost threw it away without looking at it. Glad I didn't!

Inside was a check for $12.49 - settling for throttling my unlimited data when I was with their service.

I vaguely remember signing up for this class action suit.

I also cashed out my StepBet/RunBet winnings - $82.42. (This is from multiple bets.)

I was at Whole Foods yesterday looking for non-dairy yogurt (taking antibiotics for a sinus infection) and decided to see if they have the vegan donuts I'd heard about.

They did. Luckily at $2.50 they aren't going to be very tempting - because taste wise ... very tempting.

I missed posting on my 15 year blogaversary. I've seen so many people come and go, and sometimes drift back again. I'm so glad to have found this place 15 years ago.

10 Years (Belated)

January 9th, 2020 at 03:24 am

In January 2010 I was single and woefully underemployed. I was working for minimum wage at a small local health club - I'd started the job over a year earlier, a few months before being laid off from my oil and gas job. I was renting a room in a lady's home - loved her pets! She was jealous I think of the attention her pets gave me (sorry, but dogs tend to gravitate to those who consistently walk and play with them ...)

I was also taking classes towards my Master's in Library science, and mostly living on savings. My networth was approximately $45k.

Fast Forward ten years.

I bought a used car, had three different main jobs (plus the tutoring in 2010/11), earned my Master's, moved to two different states, lost my dad, got married, and bought a house! (Mom got divorced, married, divorced, married and finally widowed.) Oh, I am again taking classes towards another degree.

Our networth is approximately (not including house or cars) $350k. A good portion of that though comes from the stocks I inherited from my dad. (Go figure, they are up nearly $100 from when I sold them a few years ago. Could've gone the other way.)

2020 Goals

December 31st, 2019 at 08:32 pm

Here are my goals for 2020. I found a Google template which I used to break the goals down further, and to be able to track them on my phone. There's two sheets - 1 with the goals, and one for tracking my chore cards (part of one of my goals.)

For some of these goals I actually chose a number that is 40-50% less than what I'd really like to achieve. However, in an effort to actually ACHIEVE these goals, I made them for a lower amount.

Here is a link to my goals spreadsheet -


1. Win my HealthyWage bet (Approx. 3.5lbs/mo) (Ends Sept 22.)
2. Eat healthier -
a-Reduce dairy intake to 2x a week and limited amounts.
b- Reduce processed food products to 2x a month i.e. Amy’s or store bought veggie products.)
c - Reduce junkfood intake to only stuff others buy. IOW - no money spent on chocolate or other overly junky food products.
3. Run for 30 continuous minutes at a 17 mpm pace.
4. Win 5 Stepbets.
5. Win 5 RunBets.
6. Do a weight routine 25 times.
Personal Enrichment:
7. Fund Ireland Trip by April. Go on trip in May.
8. Read 25 books - at least 5 non-fiction.
9. Memorize two complete songs on the piano from the simplified Hymn book.
10. Complete Lead Sheet 1 and Classical 1 in Simply Piano app, as well as at least 2 stars on all songs up to those levels.
11. Complete three classes with an A or better.
Home / Financial:
12. Complete 3 Chore Cards each week.
13. Scoop the litter boxes 150 times.
14. Digitize 250 slides and upload to FB group.
15. Finish basic financial info backup system for DH - including a binder putting all important documents in one place. (Possibly use The Big Book of Everything as a guideline.)
16. Clean out - sort, shred, file, one file drawers worth of stuff in home office.
17. Dishes - Go to bed with an empty sink, or a dishwasher full of dirty dishes being washed, AND no dirty dishes or silverware anywhere upstairs but the kitchen - 120 times.
18. Write 3 real letters - handwritten, not email.
19. Make the office into a “homey” space - i.e. look like someone who knows about homemaking lives here. (i.e. purchase and hang artwork or other decorations, clean off, sort, organize bookshelves so they look neat and organized, keep desk clear of stuff, maybe replace dad’s 13+ year old office chair, make the makeshift monitor stand look less makeshift …)
20. Make 10 real recipes I have not made before.

5 Weeks In

December 21st, 2019 at 08:24 pm

About 5 weeks in to my new job, and I'm still quite happy. I spent a day at old job training my replacement last week. They made a really good choice.

We're not going anywhere for Christmas, per our usual. I purchased and sent mom our Christmas gift already. She sent us a check - which is what I had asked for - money towards my Ireland trip. She specified that some of the money was for DH which I think made him feel good.

I was approved for the BOFA $200 bonus card. I'm also debating about the Chase savings/checking bonuses.

I won a RunBet on Thursday - $8.87 profit.

Not much else to report.


November 29th, 2019 at 07:00 pm

Not to much going on.

I'm loving my new job. and getting used to being a bus commuter. I've had my warmer clothing be useful several times.

DH and I ate at IHOP for Thanksgiving .... we were going to go to Golden Corral, but we left too late. DH wasn't a happy camper. But he did get his turkey. I didn't really care one way or another.

I spent part of Thursday updating the budget. At our budget DH had $200 to play around with once all our baseline categories were funded. He divided it between car maintenance and medical - which is exactly what I would've done too. Smile

I might go to Aldi this afternoon for some groceries, but otherwise this is a no spend day for me (well, I do need to pay a car registration renewal)

So far today I got a load of laundry and dishes done, vacuumed, and got all my warm weather clothes put away and put out my cold weather clothes.

I still need to get in a 30 minute run, but otherwise, I'm ready to relax. Smile

4 Days On New Job, ETC

November 20th, 2019 at 01:45 am

What can I say? Smile So far, so good!

Best thing so far - I have my own office!!
Next best thing - once I get trained on the databases, I will be BUSY!
Next best thing - my new supervisor seems easy to get along with so far
Next best thing - people seem happy for me to be there - very friendly so far
Next best thing - Flex time!! I worked an extra 15 minutes on Friday, so tomorrow I get to leave 15 minutes early. This Friday I'm going to my former supervisor's retirement party - and am able to use my two breaks plus work an extra 30 minutes - so I don't have to use vacation time.

I've taken the bus every day. So far the weather has only needed a light jacket, but I think that will change on Thursday. Brrr!

I made my deposit for the Ireland trip! I have u7ntil Dec 16 to make the first installment payment. I'm going to be looking into a credit card rewards for that. Maybe BOFA - $200 after spending $500 I think. Then maybe a second one with a bigger spend requirement / bonus for the remainder.

My DH has been sick this last weekend. I told him to stay home. That our budget would be fine next month if he misses a few days. He wouldn't do it. He wanted to know how we could afford it, if I'm bellyaching about finding $90 / month for parking downtown. Ugh! Not the same thing! Even after close to 4 years, I'm not sure he gets the whole budget thing.

He did finally agree to go to an urgent care place where he got antibiotics for his issue, and is now feeling better.

I really wish he had paid sick days.

Last Day!

November 14th, 2019 at 02:21 am

Today was my last day at the bus company. So weird! Some people stopped by especially to say bye ... others not so much. Oh well. I got to say bye to those I really wanted to.

I *think* I left it to where the new supervisor and whoever is the new me will be able to be successful. The new supervisor has my email and permission to email me if needed. Smile

Something seriously funny - I was on my afternoon break and had just finished my Lara bar when an important trick hit me that I hadn't told J. I ran to her office to tell her before I forgot ... C was in there and had JUST finished telling her the same thing! (Essentially the trick is how to forward calls to the answering service - esp. for route questions. At least until she gets more familiar with it all.)

I had a lot more at the office than I realized - took two trips to get it all out!

DH is going to drop me off tomorrow so I can take a box of stuff with me - which would be a bit impractical on the bus. Smile I'm going to have to be much more organized ... no more leaving my purse or phone at home ... or waiting til morning to make my lunch or decide what to wear ...

DH asked me if the hassle was really worth saving $3/day ($90/mo parking garage) -- I asked him where exactly that $90 would come from? Date night? Vacation? Where?? With my last paycheck increase we are just now hitting our basic budget. (We had enough to cover the essentials before, but now we have enough to cover the essentials plus the basic funding level for sinking funds like pets, car repair, medical, etc.)

So .. the bus it is, plus DH willing to drop off once in a while. Smile

The temperature has seemed to get better today, and the forecast looks decent (high of 40 tomorrow) so a good way to start my bus adventures. Smile I ordered some high waisted silk long johns that should be here tomorrow. Smile


I saw this on the YNAB forum and signed up for it - took a few days to get it, but I used it today and it worked!!

If you use Synthroid and have insurance, sign up at this link (synthroid . com before breakfast club) They'll send you a membership card which makes your Synthroid only $25!! (I've been paying $38 .. and it seems to be a little more every month.)

If you don't have insurance, I think there are other prescription savings cards you can sign up for. But this is the first I've seen for someone with insurance. (I take that back, my DH has a couple meds we were given a coupon for which lasted a year.)

Two days Left!

November 9th, 2019 at 03:36 pm

I only have two days left working at the bus company! It's been a busy time trying to prepare information for my successor. I wouldn't be so concerned about it if it wasn't for the fact that one week after I'm gone, my supervisor is retiring. So the lady who got my supervisor's job knows little about the bus company or about buses in general. The big kahuna has said he might try to arrange with my new supervisor for me to come back for a day to train my replacement once they've hired one.

The application closed on Friday, and apparently LOTS of people applied. We had several anxious people call this week wanting to know the status of their application. Obviously never applied for a government job before. Smile I'm kind of curious to meet whoever gets hired. Smile

We had a day this week where the morning temp was 12 degrees. So I decided to test out my new coat and hat/muff thing. Toasty warm! And not too bad hat hair.

I still need to work on keeping my hands warm though ... That's always an issue though, so nothing new. Sigh.

I won $10.45 in my RunBet which finished on Wednesday. Then turned around and started another one! Big Grin The treadmill sure is coming in handy (for me at least ...) My current Stepbet closes this Sunday, and it looks like about a $6 profit.

I'm still doing Intermittent Fasting (from 8 pm to 12 noon approximately.) The scale is moving SLOWLY in the right direction, but even better is my stomach seems to be going away too (again, SLOWLY.) I do think I;ll need every bit of a year to win my Healthy Wage bet at this rate ...

Anyone who is a member of the original YNAB forums - they are shutting them down on November 30. Check the forums for an alternative solution people have come up with.

In case you are a The Crown fan ... the new season starts on the 17th!! Smile

I'd also like to recommend Holiday in the Wild. Sweet and not too sappy. Smile

Netflix + treadmill = RunBet WIN!

Wonderful Sunday

November 4th, 2019 at 03:48 pm

My day started with luxuriously enjoying a little extra sleep. Then I got up and got the budget updated and ready for our belated November budget meeting. I was very happy to note that we were actually able to meet ALL the basic budget funding with $20 left over. Smile

Our medical fund got very low though because we ran out of FSA money in September ... but now we have a new influx so we can rebuild the fund.

November will have a 3 paycheck month and 5 weekends for DH, plus one paycheck for me from my new job. So .. I think December is going to be FLUSH!

After playing with YNAB, it was time to get ready ... to go see Phantom of the Opera with a friend from church! She arrived right at 12:30 and we found parking for only $5!

The Phantom was phenomenal as expected. Smile

When I got home DH was awake and working on the CRV trying to fix a melted headlight wire (
I think ...) Once it got dark, he gave up on it, and then we did the feeding of the cats. (They get the special treat twice a week - canned food with supplements ...)

Next we headed to the restaurant I'd chosen for my celebratory dinner - a sushi place we'd been to before. I ordered the vegetable sushi plate and DH got the mongolian grill. I used the chopsticks to eat Smile and didn't make too much of a mess. We splurged and ordered a piece of cake. Yum. A couple of the sushi rolls have slices of mushrooms. After the first time we went there, I bought some dried shitake mushrooms and tried to replicate .... not so much. I still have half a bag of dried mushrooms I need to figure out how to cook so they aren't like rubber ...

When we got home I checked my grades to see if anything new was graded - my teacher takes FOREVER to grade things. My midterm was graded! I got a 97% which put me at a 97% average. Sweet!

Our evening ended with DH and I spending a few hours doing our budget meeting and just hanging out.

All in all, a very wonderful Sunday. Smile

(Made all the better by having taken Monday off work so I could fully enjoy my Sunday.)

Bus Stop Ccold Weather Gear

November 3rd, 2019 at 12:38 am

So with my new job it'll be easiest for me to walk 4 blocks to the bus stop, take the bus downtown, and then walk two blocks to work. I have sneakers and snow boots for walking. But my winter apparel isn't great for possibly standing for ten minutes in blowing snow or freezing wind ... It works for a quick walk from car to building ....

So .. I was wondering what should I look for in a good jacket. I'll want a hood of course. Do they make hoods with detachable face masks?? I'm okay with spending a little $$ on this because I don't want to have the excuse of being cold ... Smile

Also, I have several decent pair of warm leggings (tights without feet??) but hate how they don't seem to stay up. With a 4 block walk I don't want to get to the bus stop with them halfway off my backside. So ... any ideas on how to get them to stay up while also being able to pull them down easily when needed? (i.e. not having to practically get undressed to use the toilet.)

Help please! Smile

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