Thursday evening I got home from work and started to take the dogs for a walk. Before we'd gotten very far, my landlady drove by and stopped me. She told me she had found something that morning and wanted to show it to me.
Here's what she found:
She asked me if I'd be willing to let it sleep with me that night. She guessed that it was only 4 or 5 weeks old. I agreed.
We named him Felix. Such a sweet little fella. We also agreed that with her two dogs and two cats, there were more than enough animals in the house. So, he'd only sleep with me until we could find someone trustworthy to take in the little fella.
Felix got some sleep Thursday night, a good bit more than I did!
When I got home from work today, there was a note telling me that my landlady had found a home for Felix - someone we could be sure wouldn't use him for *Halloween* purposes.
I was a little sad that he was gone already, but happy he found a good home so quickly (and that I'll get a good nights sleep tonight!)
My mom's gall bladder surgery went well. They were able to go in laprascopically (sp??) so she should recover in a two week time or so. However, my stepdad and she forgot to mention to me that he had a doctor's appointment on Thursday morning and would need someone to stay with my mom.
I got a call Wednesday night asking if I could sit with her in the morning. I had to make a few phone calls (begging) to find someone to cover my morning hours, but I was able to find someone.
I drove over Wednesday night so I wouldn't have to fight morning traffic.
No problems. Stepdad got home about 10:40, and I left.
Problem: Blinding Pouring Rain the ENTIRE way! It took me about 80 minutes to do a 45 minute drive.
I have not heard back from the animal shelter I applied to volunteer at, nor the job I applied for yet.
I am looking forward to this weekend - sleep and More Sleep! (oh yeah, laundry too.)
Archive for October, 2009
Thursday evening I got home from work and started to take the dogs for a walk. Before we'd gotten very far, my landlady drove by and stopped me. She told me she had found something that morning and wanted to show it to me.
This weekend I went to my mom's place. I'd been planning on going next weekend, but when I found out she was going to have gall bladder surgery on Wednesday, I figured it'd be better to go this weekend.
Anyway... mom came with me today to an international food festival fundraiser being held at my local church. Then after that, we took the dogs for a walk. During the walk, we came across a $5 and a $1 bill!!!
I hardly ever find money on the ground, so this was pretty darn awesome!!
I also stopped by Walmart and picked up a 50 ft Ethernet cord. Thankfully that seemed to do the trick. I may even be able to view Netflix (streaming) on it (watched a couple youtube vids and they worked really well.)
Where I live they have time Warner cable for Internet. I connect to it via a netgear wireless device. The best signal strength I get is 60%.
I can't play netflix on it, nor can I watch most YouTube videos. That's annoying, but I can live with it.
What I can't live with anymore is the connection constantly going down. Wednesday night I was trying to finish up my reference list for my research paper. There were some items I had a question on and needed my desktop - the iPhone wasn't easily able to do the needed search. The net kept going down. Finally got fed up and called my dad and walked him through finding the info for me.
Tonight it stopped working at 6:15 and still isn't working at 7:20.
Considering that I'm only here till May, I really hate to spend much money on getting the Internet working.
They have a modem I could plug into, but it is Far away.
This morning the woman who works out at the gym every morning told me that there is a receptionist job open at her company. She said I could use her as a reference. We talk a lot and are sort of Quasi friends.
Although being a receptionist doesn't excite me, having health insurance again and more income defintely does!
If I were to get this, I'd probably have to slow down on school - maybe take an extra semester or two. But if I'm making enough to live on, go to school, AND save .... I think the extra time would be ok.
Tonight I need to get my resume polished and put together a cover letter. Then tomorrow I'll stop at the library, print them out, and fax them in. (she told me to fax it. )
So if it works out, then sometime next year I'll have insurance again!
I've kind of gotten spoiled though, only working 4 days a week and pretty much having nothing to do at work. It sounds like the phones are pretty busy, and there might be some typing letters and other projects to keep a person busy. Their current person is being promoted in the company.
Today after work I headed over to Micheal's to check out their cross stitch supplies. Since I wasn't sure how to get there, I put in the address into my iPhone map function.
Here are part of the instructions:
Take 121 S 11.5 miles
Take the exit
Go on the road for .8 miles
Turn right on McCrumber Street
Yes, it actually said "Take the exit" and nothing more. Luckily I could see that I had to pass 35, and as I was about to pass 35, I saw a sign for the McCrumber Street exit, and was able to find it easily.
Gave me a good laugh though.
I was hunting for those cross stitch kits that included the pattern, thread, needle and a frame. They were ones I could almost always finish in 4 or 5 hours, and usually cost around $3 or $4.
Micheal's did not have any. All they had were kits starting around $10 and up that take 50 hours+ to make - ones I have the tendency (if I even open the package, that is) to start, put in maybe 10 hours worth of work, miss a row and/or add a row, get frustrated and give up on. I have finished maybe one or two of that size.
So I decided to try and find the other store which my landlady had mentioned to me. She wasn't sure if it was still in business or not.
I found it, and it was still in business. However, they do not sell ANY kits. The ladies also told me that they think that the little oval all in one frame kits that I was looking for aren't even made anymore!!
They showed me a large bin of cross stitch pattern magazines and books in the back that were all on sale for $1 each. I looked through them, and realized that I was going to have to change my plan of action. I hadn't wanted to do anything Christmas themed, but to find seperate patterns that fit into four or five different themes, would mean buying four or five different pattern books - plus of course all the ensuing thread.
So, I picked out a Christmas Mini Pattern book which had a pattern for a Bible with candles. Sort of Christmassy, but not too much. Then one of the ladies helped me pick out a good cloth for it, and she serged it for me. Then I picked up the thread. What I'm going to do is make 4 of them and put each of them into a coaster.
I have a project I'm already working on that I can give my mom and stepdad. When all is said and done, all of these items will end up costing right around $25.
Now it's just a matter of actually getting them all done in time!!
If they turn out good, maybe I'll post pictures on here of them.
I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who responded to my post yesterday. And to others who've responded to previous posts. You all are awesome!
I found out that there is a no kill shelter not too far from me called Operation Kindness. I have to pass a background check, an interview and send two references. Then I do an orientation session. I think this will be a good way to spend my Saturday afternoons, at least twice a month, maybe more.
My landlady also suggested to me the hospital nursery which is really nearby. I'm going to check into that and see what it'd take to be a "hold babies a lot" volunteer. I'm sure there'd be an extensive background check for that one!! (At least I'd sure hope so!)
Oh, I also finished the first draft of my mid-term research paper. The final draft is due Wednesday. It came together pretty nicely once I started typing it out.
I celebrated by going out to IHOP for a late lunch.
I stopped by Wal-mart to see what cross stitch patterns they had. (I've decided I'm going to make a bunch of those small oval patterns as a type of ornament for gifts this year - take about 4 or 5 hours to make and usually cost under $5.) But Wal-mart had NO Cross Stitch materials!!
So, after work tomorrow I plan on either finding a local needlework store my landlady mentioned, or a Micheal's.
If no luck there, then I'm going to see if I can find patterns small enough to work - I need one sports related, one antique car, one garden related, one for my grandma (maybe something teachery???)and one for my aunt (she's a nurse admin, not really sure what she's into).
Oh, I think I haven't mentioned this. But ... for Christmas I'm going to CA again!! This time it will be even better though - because guess who'll be picking me up from the airport in San Jose???? My brother!!!!!!! He'll be able to stay until the morning of Christmas Eve, then will have to leave for work. But that gives us nearly two days together.
After Christmas we're going to visit Reagan's Presidential Library and also go to Solvang - maybe take in Hearst Castle too.
It'll be nice to get out of Texas for a while, but even better to get to see my brother in person again! (It'll be good to see my dad and grandma and aunt and uncle too ..)
Ambituous Saver's dad dying recently got me thinking. My parent's aren't very old, and I don't think I'm in any danger of losing either of them anytime soon ... but my grandma is 88 .. and you just really never know. So, I'm thinking that over Thanksgiving when I'm at my mom's, I'm going to take my camera and buy a memory card for it, especially to record her telling stories about her life, memories of her parents, stories of others in her family, stories of me when I was little, etc. Maybe I could bring the photo albums my mom gave me from her first marriage/college age and video her telling who all the people are.
Then when I'm out in California, I'll do the same thing with all my relatives out there. (may have to get a couple memory cards!) You just never really know .. and if my brother or I ever have kids someday, these videos would be a great way to share vividly with them who we came from.
I may even ask my mom's brother and sister if they'd do something similar (they live in TN and OH) - I'd have to send them question starters and find out what kind of memory cards their cameras use ... but it would be great to get all those memory cards and somehow transfer them onto a DVD. Could be good Christmas gifts for next year.
Like I said in the title - this may be kind of a rant and not really financial. You may want to skip to a different one.
So, you've been warned.
Ever get the feeling that no matter what you do, you're still standing still and going nowhere fast?
Ever attend some group function where you don't know anyone and have no idea how to break into any of the clusters of people to meet anyone?
Ever hear yourself talking to people (when you finally muster up the courage to actually talk to someone in one of those clusters) and hearing what's coming out of your mouth and think you sound like a bitter, negative and just plain sad person?
Ever find yourself wondering if life is ever going to really change, or if its gonna just stay the same status quo forever?
Ever wonder how you lost the ability to make connections with new people and how you seem to have lost connections with all your friends?
Ever wonder how you're going to get through yet another Saturday night all alone?
Ever wonder how in the world you can get away from someone (like, let's say, your landlady) who doesn't get the hint to stop talking via body language (or still doesn't get the hint when you verbally say you have to get going)?
Yeah, that's me alright.
I attended my local church for the third time today. It was a service in the park. The service part was fine - it was just the standing around feeling like an idiot while all these people who knew each other already formed little clusters everywhere that wasn't so great.
Then once one of those little clusters finally pulled me in, for lack of things to say, I hear myself being a little too brutally honest about why I left teaching and the fishbowl of pastoral/teacher life in the church. And then saw people trying to get away from me as fast as possible as I'm kicking myself in the rear.
I stink at small talk.
Then of course there's having nothing to do on a Saturday night other than surf the internet or watch a movie with my landlady. When what I'd really love to do is go find someone to play card or board games with - or just get out of the house. (If this was a once or twice a month occurrence, that'd be one thing. It's when it is 90% of the time ... and then the other 10% is usually a weekend spent with mom and stepdad .... well...)
Not to mention I had to go and read one of those insightful articles about singles that tell you not to stay home - but get out there and be seen! Ok if you're single, have money to spend, drink, and oh, actually have someplace to go! But lets just say that you're single, broke, don't drink, and better yet, have no place to go - what then?!
Oh yeah, lets talk about the connections thing. It appears that pretty much all of my friends have gotten way too busy in their lives to keep a connection with me. Even my one nearby friend T seems to have pretty much dropped me - haven't seen her in six weeks, and hadn't heard from her in a month before that. And yes, I did attempt to contact her several times.
Other people I've met through various functions - and seem to have made some kind of a connection with - simply vanish.
I'd like to have a life. Really, I would. My life right now consists of working 4 days a week at the gym where I see a few people throughout the day - some of whom don't even bother acknowledging me; coming home and walking the dogs; sitting in front of the computer for hours and hours either doing school work, or more likely, just surfing; and of course the scintillating brief chats with family.
Then of course there is the weekend.
I'm attempting to get back into regularly attending church. For many reasons, one of which is to try to meet new people, and sadly, another partial reason is to fill hours. (more reasons than those two, but they are sadly two of them)
But that still leaves Friday night, Saturday afternoon and evening, and Sunday to fill. In my faith Friday sundown to Saturday sundown is supposed to be "set apart" from the rest of the week. So things like watching TV, doing schoolwork or shopping aren't generally done. (not Jewish)
I want to change my life. I want to figure out how to be that elusive single person who has a life and is perfectly content.
I wish I could figure out the answer.
I've tried meet-ups (meetup.com -site where people of similar interests in local areas can arrange get togethers). Had no luck in making any connections that made it out of the meetings.
I'm trying at church - have tried before as well. Somehow everyone is already part of a couple, or if not, already well stocked with people in the church, so makes it difficult to add myself in. But, I keep hoping that somehow, somewhere, I'll find someone who actually has time and space to add me to their life once in a while.
I would just so love to find one person to go walking with, or several people who like to play games, someone I can connect with like I did with T, but maybe without kids or hubby - and preferably live close enough to actually spend time together, even a couple times a month!
In SO many ways I am blessed. I have a job. I have a roof over my head, and plenty of food to eat. I have plenty of clothes to wear. I have a great family who loves me. I'm having the opportunity to return to school and pursue something that might actually be an enjoyable career.
But is that all there is to life? Work, shelter, and non-husband/children family?
And then of course I take a look at myself in one of the 15 deleted video clips of a message I made for my brother. Do I really look like that? Forget the slow, steady and sensible weight loss, and bring on the speedy as a silver bullet loss! (No, I won't really go that route. I just feel like doing it when I think of my image in those deleted clips.)
.... I was looking at my sidebar and noticed my 3 personal goals. #3 is "Give of myself to others, and enrich my life with friendships old and new."
This entire post is all about me, isn't? How crappy I feel about my life. How I can't seem to make any new connections or maintain old ones. There is nothing about how I'm giving of myself to others.
Maybe that's a large part of my problem. I'm so focused on myself that I've become myopic.
***Warning - Religious talk ahead***
Even though I'm attempting to attend church regularly again, it's not really for the right reasons. First and foremost it should be about improving my walk with Jesus, and in so doing, being a light to others. Not about meeting other people to fulfill *my* needs of friendship/companionship.
I call myself a Christian, but I'm not so sure I can really claim that. A Christian is a follower of Christ. Christ was someone who cared about others so much that he sacrificed his own needs to make sure others were taken care of. He forgave people who were unimaginably evil towards him - he didn't become bitter or continually rehash old hurts.
I've made my sacrifices for others (one person in particular.) But I didn't do it particularly cheerfully, nor leave that time without somewhat of a bitter taste in my mouth for time and resources lost. I say I've forgiven and moved on, but then I hear myself talking (like today at the outdoor church) and realize that I really haven't.
I need to change my focus. It may be the only way to change my life for the better.
Now, just to figure out how to do that.
So this morning I got up earlier than usual for a Wednesday (day off) and drove over to the Brakes Plus shop. There was one car who had arrived ahead of me. The person I talked to said they only had one technician on staff today, so it might be a bit before they could give me an estimate.
I told him that was fine, because I could walk home and get stuff done.
So, I walked back home. The past week we've had wet and cold weather. Today, we had clear skies, but *muggy* weather. I was soaked by the time I got back. (about 8:20 a.m.)
So, I piddle around doing various things until finally I get the call about 10:30. I'm told my rotors are shot and need to be replaced. To have the front brakes done + the rotors would be $310. They also suggested a brake flush and some toolkit thingy which would have added another $90.
I went ahead and did the $310 work.
Was told it'd be a few hours. So, I decided to walk over to the library so I could get a card, and use a computer to print out the journal articles for my research paper. (The question was released last night for our mid-semester paper - due one week from today.)
The walk to the library wasn't bad at all - except for the mugginess, and crossing two pretty busy roads. (with stoplights thankfully.)
After getting my library card, I managed to find a free computer and sat down to get to work. Unfortunately, the computer wouldn't let me set cookies, so I couldn't access the articles I needed to print.
Luckily the person working the information desk was very accommodating and let me work off one of her computers - she even went and fetched my papers for me!! Turned out that she also is a library science student at my uni, but is almost finished. She didn't know about RefWorks, so I told her about it. (great site where you can export document citation info to, and then it will format your references for your research papers.)
The 9 documents I printed out cost me $14.55, but I think it was worth it to have hardcopies to work off of.
When I was done at the library, of course I walked back home. I managed to read through all my documents, and even write an introduction to my paper, when I got the call that my car was ready.
So, I walked over to the brake place and picked up my car. When I got home, I started a load of laundry.
Then I took the dogs for a walk. Because it was so muggy, both dog walks were shortened. (I take both for a walk together, then go out again with Nikki for a longer/faster walk.) In my second walk with Nikki, we came across a lady with her dog who somehow didn't understand about picking up after your dog's #2's. Ick! The lady herself was pretty nice, and I didn't say anything to her about it ... Maybe I should've.
Well, by the time I got back from the 2nd dog walk, I was completely soaked and parched. Finished up my laundry .. and since then have been procrastinating about doing any more work on my paper!!
Tomorrow is a long day at the gym, so I'll take my netbook and all the documents tomorrow. I'm sure I'll be bored enough to actually get some more work done on it.
I'm thinking I really need to get a copy of MS Word. For me to have the full functionality of RefWorks, I have to have Word. So far I've gotten by just using Open Office. Maybe if I could find a copy of MS Office that predates the 2007 version? I *detest* the 2007 version! (I'll have to have MS Access for a class I'll be taking this summer .. so one way or the other I'm going to have to get it.)
@ My mom had an outpatient procedure on Friday - they injected something into her back to calm a swollen nerve -- seems to be helping so far, but she may need the injection a couple more times
@ I spent all day Saturday at a library science seminar, and then met with classmates. It was really funny - one lady I had a lot in common with - we were chatting away and I mentioned about my barefoot running - she reacted like she'd met a celebrity! Lol! I'd mentioned it in my intro and she'd remembered it ever since - said her husband would be jazzed. Too bad she lives in Houston , I think we'd have fun together.
@ my dad sent me a check for the monthly iPhone charges + a little extra -for clothes! I thought that was really sweet and hood timing since I had just bought some new pants!
@ Saturday morning I did my official monthly no- s weigh in. Since July 23 when I started ( including two weeks where I wasn't doing great) I have lost 8 pounds!!
@ I don't get what's going on with E ( gym manager). When I went to the south gym on wednesday there were no clean, dry towels. There was a load washed - luckily I arrived 40 minutes earlier than I was supposed to ( wasn't sure about traffic) and barely managed to have a dry towel ready for the first gym visitor. I off handily said something about it to E, and he was like "I don't know why you guys complain about doing the laundry" I wasn't complaining about doing the laundry - I was annoyed that HE hadn't done any the day(s) before, which left me with no clean towels to start the day. According to the person who normally is there on Wed's this is a normal occurrence.
Then on Friday I went to the south gym again after E had supposedly opened it - I found out when I was closing for the day that he hadn't turned on any of the machines!!! Seriously , how does he wonder why people aren't renewing?? Not to mention all 3 locations constantly running out of one supply or another. (like the ladies bathroom on wed having no papertowels!)
I think he's as bored as I am with doing this but he is rebelling against his parents (owners of gym) by doing the bare minimum - and even less!
I worked an extra shift at the gym today. So, that will be a nice little boost on the 15th.
But ... the real reason for this post.
When I got home from work, I had a letter from my old apartment complex. It was kind of thick, so I was wondering what in the world it could be. Were they charging me for things in the apartment??
Well, I opened it up and was shocked to see a check for $314!!!
When I moved in, I paid a $300 pet deposit and a $99 Security Deposit. I am pretty sure that half of the pet deposit was non-refundable.
When I moved out, I didn't put too much effort into cleaning ... so basically wasn't expecting much, if anything back.
They charged me $85 for cleaning, etc, and gave me the remainder!! I'm sure not going to argue with them about it.
That money will come in handy next week when I get my brakes worked on.
I just got back home from work to find a note on my door from my landlady. Essentially it said that the longest that I can stay here is till Oct 2010.
Apparently there was a huge misunderstanding.
When I was looking at this place as a possibility, I remember stating several times that I was looking for something for several *years* because the program I'm in will *take* several years. I guess she didn't hear me say that, or it didn't register or something.
The soonest I'll be finished with my degree program is May 2011.
The thought of having to move again, even a year from now, makes me sick to my stomach.
I *think* Spring classes end in April, and then May you can take a 3-week short class before the regular summer classes begin. So ... probably the best time for me to move somewhere else would be in May.
August wouldn't be a good month, because I think there'd only be a two-week break between the end of summer classes and Fall classes.
I just feel like screaming myself hoarse right now!!!!!
I don't know about any of you, but over the years I have tried many different things to lose weight. I've tried Weight Watcher's several times - both doing actual meetings and doing online only. I've tried ediets, WeighDown, and just simply counting calories through Sparkpeople or Fitday. A few times I tried taking some of those "miracle pills" that just left me jittery and sleep deprived.
All those diets and plans have several things in common: 1. They are complicated with lots of rules to remember or time spent entering information. 2. You develop the mentality of "Well I slipped up today, may as well totally fall off and start again Monday." 3. Most of them cost a lot of money. 4. They're not truly sustainable.
And .... although I lost weight on all of the various plans ... I eventually have always regained it.
So, what does all this have to do with anything?
This past July I was reading a blog on Sparkpeople of a person who has attempted more diet plans and styles than I have. In the post I was reading, she had just discovered the No-S Diet. I was completely intrigued, and so went looking to find out more about it.
It is simple. Not complicated. And completely free. And ... it saves me money on my groceries!!!
Here is the No-S Diet plan: No snacks, no sweets and no seconds, except for (sometimes) on days that begin with S.
So, that means that Monday through Friday I have three meals. Each meal fits on a plate. If a Special event comes up, such as my birthday or a family member's birthday, I can choose to make that day an S day.
S days can also occur when you are sick.
But usually, S days are only Saturdays and Sundays. No rules apply on S days except ... You can't mess up!
Do you see why I love the weekend now?
This is NOT a plan that will help you lose 20 pounds in 8 weeks. You're more likely to lose 4 or 5 pounds in those 8 weeks. But ..... you also are more likely to KEEP those 4 or 5 pounds OFF Forever!
This is truly a plan which can be easily followed for life. It is essentially learning how to maintain an appropriate weight, while working on losing weight.
How does this save me money on my groceries? Well, that's pretty easy. I'm eating less! When it is a weekday (or what we call N days) I can drive home from work without stopping to get a snack.
Before, I would fight and fight with myself about stopping to get something, and would lose the fight more often than not. Now, it's not a question. If it's an N day, I just don't stop!
Believe me, I didn't think I would be able to manage 5 days in a row without chocolate. But so far, I have managed 6 sets of 5 days with NO Chocolate!!! The awesome part is, is that after making it through the 5 days, I can treat myself to a cookie or even a small Dairy Queen Blizzard with No Guilt!
I will have to warn you though -- you may find your tolerance level for sweets diminishing. A few weeks ago I bought a Peanut Buster Parfait and only managed to get 3/4 of the way through it. The chocolate was making me feel sick!!
I haven't followed it perfectly. There have been days where I backed my car into the wall (and a few times even drove over the cliff.) But when that happens, I am learning to say "Mark it* and move on."
*Mark It -- Reinhardt, an engineer and librarian, who developed this system, also developed something called "Habitcal." This is a simple way of marking your S days and your N days to show Success, Failure, or Exempt.
So, if you're looking for a simple (free) way to lose weight and keep it off for life, and probably save on your grocery bill too, check out No-S!
Let me know if you have any questions, I'd be more than happy to answer them.
I finally managed to get a picture of the two dogs I've been taking for walks most nights. (We didn't go today because when I got home from church it was too hot, and then later it's been raining and they don't like the rain.)
So .... here's Nikki (the one full of energy):
And here's .... Kayla (who is starting to walk a bit faster and further!):
And here's Sierra, one of the two cats - I rarely see Max (the other cat) so haven't been able to capture a picture of him yet: