Home > Archive: July, 2013

Archive for July, 2013

Sweet! SBs CC!

July 31st, 2013 at 03:33 pm

I don't know if there was a Swagbucks blog about this or not (I haven't really been keeping up with their blog lately) but I just noticed this today as I was about to do my NOSO. Swagbucks has teamed up with Visa to offer a credit card! 1,000 SB signing bonus (after first purchase) and a 2,500 SB bonus after spending $1000 in 6 months. THAT is something I can do. Smile

The rewards points for regular spending is across the board (no floating categories) at 1.25 per dollar.

Not bad at all! This may be my go to card for anything other than gas and groceries (unless one of my other cards is running their 5% deals in a category.)

The only weird thing is that it isn't automatic acceptance or rejection - I got the message that I'll have an answer in 2 - 4 weeks.

**Disclaimer - I pay my credit cards in full every month and have a healthy EF. Big Grin

This will be a great way to earn more SBs (and more amazon gift cards!)

Not much ..

July 28th, 2013 at 08:48 pm

Haven't really been up to much lately. Other than doing my daily walk with my walking partner (she's leaving on Wednesday morning Frown ) I've been pretty lazy. That will have to stop tomorrow - must start getting ready for the school year.

One bit of cool news - thanks to the one stock I have, my networth - not including my checking/short term savings - is now just over $100k!!

My mom will be coming for a short visit - Aug 8 - 11. I'll have to go to the airport to pick her up and drop her off. Since she has a Costco card, I'll probably include a Costco trip so I can use my gift card I have (about time for more cat litter and a few other items.)

I've been watching a lot on Netflix (H2o Mako Adventures - new addition!) and on Hulu (Touch - season 2!) I also found out that you can find just about ANY workout DVD program on youtube - and I do mean the *entire* program! Since I don't have a tv or a dvd player, youtube is the only way I'd be able to see a workout program in my living room. So, once my walking partner is gone, I'll have my iPad and YouTube and a playlist of various workout programs.

I've managed to make the daily goal on SBs for six days now - just need one more to get a small bonus for this month.

Yesterday I went to church for the first time since early June. It was our new pastor's second Sabbath - our outgoing pastor's wife had the idea he was single, but I don't think that is the case. Smile Anyway, it was Communion Sabbath (which in our church happens about every 13 weeks, or once a quarter.) There was a lady sitting next to me who I discovered that it was her first time ever having her feet washed by someone else, and her first Communion like we do (we stay seated and the elders pass out the crackers and grape juice.) So I kind of talked her through it. It helped to make the day more interesting. Smile (It was also her first visit to our church.)

Anyway, can't really think of anything else terribly interesting to report right now.

Avoided temptation

July 25th, 2013 at 06:38 pm

Yesterday I had to go to Walmart to pick up some hangars which I'd meant to pick up on Monday, but forgot. Smile

After getting the hangars, I was of course near the kitchen section. I've been thinking about getting a new toaster oven for awhile, and have been really annoyed with the lid on my blender not getting clean (after having been through the dishwashing cycle multiple times..) I toyed with the idea of buying a $15 one serving blender and a new toaster oven. The only thing wrong with my current toaster oven is that it desperately needs to be cleaned and has been in my back room for the last two years.... (It's okay, you can call me lazy.)

I did talk myself out of both of the purchases. The blender because well ... I have a perfectly wonderful blender (a Ninja!) and all the lid probably really needs is some actual elbow grease and it will be fine. I just have to get motivated enough to want to make my smoothies again to actually put the elbow grease in! As far as the toaster oven ... I haven't used the one I have in two years (more really ... I think the last time it was out and in use was five years ago???) So if I haven't seen fit to use it in two years++ AND the only thing wrong with it is needing to be cleaned??

So I guess I saved money by talking myself out of those purchases. Smile Now just to get to the cleaning of the items I already own!!

NE and I talked a long time last night, and I think we've worked through what we needed to. It is weird how sometimes things seem so much more serious in the written form than when talked about face to face.

I was doing some searching for online couples counseling and came across a couple interesting links. One is called power of two marriage - I did the free three day trial. It has some really good information/lessons on communication (along with a lot of other stuff too.) I worked my way through most of the communication videos/activities.

The other thing I found was a VH1 program called Couples Therapy where they take 5 celebrity couples who are having Issues (to say the least) and take them through counseling. I watched a few full episodes ... even though it is made for entertainment value mostly, it still seems to offer *some* valuable insights.

Yesterday I just managed to make the daily goal on Swagbucks. I think I got 4 of the codes? I made it today too. Thanks to the hotel com offer, between my two hotel stays I'll have enough SBs for two AGCs, otherwise I'd really be behind the 8 ball for August (more so than I am already.)

Today will be a no spend day. The first I think I've had in a lonnnnngggg time.

I plan on doing a refresh on my YNAB budget and attempt to get my spending back under control. I just have spent way too much this summer.

Almost forgot. I messed up with my internet provider. I'd had them send me a new modem because my old one kept dropping my Skype calls. I kept forgetting to send the old one back... so they charged me for it. Frown $119. Ugh. No way to send it back and get refunded after 30 days. It still was good I called though, because my 6 month promotional period had ended and my bill was going up to $45 + taxes. Got it back to $25 + taxes.

What I Found and What I'm Thinking

July 24th, 2013 at 04:06 am

This is going to be short - I had written it actually yesterday and without thinking, hit Save and Publish. You guessed it ... off it went into the ether-sphere.

Short background - before heading off to my NE adventures, I had two things happen involving my front door. One was that it was sticking and not shutting or opening very easily. When the guys were here turning on my swamp cooler, they "fixed" that issue. Then a day before leaving for NE I noticed that my door would open even if it was locked properly with a bit of pressure. I put in a work order before leaving.

My walking partner (for a few more days anyway...) called the maintenance man to make sure he had gotten around to looking at my door. He didn't seem to know about the work order, but said he'd get on it.

Fast forward to Saturday - my walking partner stopped by my house and checked my door. Said it seemed fine to her.

Now to Sunday around 4 p.m. I pull into my driveway and see ... my front door wide open!

I made a few phone calls, and Monday morning a couple guys came by and my door is now fixed. (Nothing was missing or messed with - but I have found a few erstwhile flies.)


NE and I have hit a bit of a bump in the road. We're working through it, but at the moment it has kind of derailed some of my thought processes I was going to mention here. Ugh. Emotional eating stinks.

About the only thing I've really accomplished since arriving back here is getting my front door fixed, getting completely unpacked, and doing a clothes purge (and taking to Goodwill.)

Tomorrow I really need to get by the school and see what shape the library is in, and how full my mailbox is.

I received my summer school paycheck (finally.) I figured out that before taxes were taken out, it equaled to about $200 less than I make in a month. So .. 65 hours of summer school equals about 130 hours of regular school year pay. (And that was with the summer school rate being reduced $9/hr from last year.)

My one remaining walking partner has found a different job. She called me today to let me know that the place she's going to is looking for a librarian ... I thanked her, but told her I wasn't interested. In six months I will start looking seriously for the next school year, but I am committed to here for this year.

I am so thankful I upgraded my phone. The GymPact app is a great motivator, but now with it looking like I more than likely won't have a walking partner, I am going to have to rely more on my indoor exercise. Not as fun or as enjoyable .. but will get the job done.


July 22nd, 2013 at 05:15 am

What a summer it has been. Summer school, CA trip, and finally a long sojourn in NE. Now about three weeks til the first day to report back to work.

I have so much to catch up on, I'm not really even sure where to begin.

Finances - Oh boy. I really am not sure how much I spent between CA and NE, but to put it mildly ... it was way too much. Gas and lodging I have hard numbers for the NE trip -gas $237.xx; 2 hotel stays - $105.xx. I averaged 35.8 mpg (that's including around town driving in the average - otherwise it would probably be closer to 37mpg.)

I went a little nuts with the close proximity of fast food places and other shopping places. Seriously, a little nuts. NE treated for most of the meals we ate together - but that was just one meal a day. I bought groceries for myself to supplement, and ... the fast food ... Less than a block from his apartment - McDonald's (smoothie anyone???) and Pizza Hut (personal pan pizza???) Amazingly I seem to have only gained a pound (maybe it was due to all the walking I did as well?)

Then of course there was the Adventist Book Center (or ABC as Adventists know it.) I restrained myself on books (only 2! both on sale) but the veggie foods?? Total spent $71. I also checked out a Goodwill store and came away with 20+ books for the library (one, a brand new hardcover 2006 Guinness World Record book!!! Score!!) as well as a few other items (such as a pretty casserole dish, a pannini maker and a glass container for NEs change.) All for ... $28.xx!! (less than the cost of the WR book alone brand new!) I also went to the mall ... it was SO hot ... and I wanted to see if my gym pact anywhere function really worked ... It did. I also managed to spend money at JC Penny's (super clearance sale!) and then at Dress Barn (lace skirt/white blouse for $30.)

I messed up with one of my credit cards. I thought I had them all on auto pay full bill - but I left one out. Ooops. Thankfully when I got the notice that my payment was late, I was able to call them and get the finance charge and late payment fee dismissed. Thanks to my history of no late payments and always paying in full. Smile

As I mentioned, I did a lot of walking. NEs place is less than 3/4 of a mile from Wilderness Park. There are some really fantastic walking/biking trails there. Most nights when NE was working, I did 3 - 5 mile walks (usually 4 miles.) It was SO beautiful! (and HOT!)

Other things NE and I did together - spent a lot of time at various area lakes with him showing me some of his favorite fishing spots as he was growing up. We also went out to Tuttle Creek where he caught a lizard, took a picture of it, and then let it go. We saw Man of Steel - loved it! Went out to eat at a lot of fast food places - mostly that are only NE/Lincoln places (Runza, Gregs, Tastee's --- all for Cheese Frenchies! Yum!!) I ate more fried foods in the three weeks I was there than I usually do in a year! We did eat at a few sit-down restaurants - IHOP, Olive Garden and a local place Beacon Hill Bar and Grill. I treated for IHOP.

NEs aunt died while I was still out in CA, and the TN family held the memorial service for her without inviting NE or his sister ... so we didn't do any big road trips.

Kari and the five cats ... Kari eventually settled down enough to where she was comfortable being out and about in the apartment -but not without hissing and batting at the other cats. The five cats just kind of tolerated her I think... Kari knocked down a 5 gallon aquarium (empty thankfully!) which shattered all over the place. She also took a great liking to a pair of expensive speakers as a scratching post ... Ugh. I hope when NE comes here to visit, that he and Kari will be able to like each other without the other 5 cats running over every time .. NE just barely got to the point of being able to touch her without being hissed at.

I attempted to hook my computer up to NEs modem, but could not get it to work. Until tonight I was slightly worried that I had jostled the modem or something in it during the trip to NE - but it is working perfectly. So, I was pretty much without a computer (although NE did let me use his laptop .. I didn't do too much on it because of its small size.) I really did not accomplish much at all - other than reading several books, watching stuff on Hulu and Netflix (and getting a warning notice from aTT that I'd gone over the 3 GB limit and my service will be slow next month ... ummmm thought I had unlimited data??) I forgot some books I needed to do stuff for my elective classes (from the six=month class.) Still, all in all, I kept pretty busy/occupied while NE was at work.

I am happy that I went. The time there definitely helped me see some things more clearly, and see some things that need to be addressed. He really tried to be thoughtful and do things he thought I would like. One thing that was clear is that I won't have to worry about him complaining about my housekeeping ... Smile We did a lot of talking about different things - from current events, past events, views on issues, to possible future scenarios. It was definitely a good thing.

So ... in other news... my great Uncle (my grandma's sister's husband) died this past week. I wasn't close to him or anything, but I did like him from the times we'd interacted. Then in other big, but not really surprising news (sadly) ... my mom and the man she married in December are getting divorced - his idea. Basically he decided that he couldn't handle her health issues (more later), that she drove him nuts always wanting to go do things instead of sitting and meditating for eons of hours, etc. She is coming out of this pretty badly ... gave most of her furniture away when she moved in with him, gave up her tutoring students/business, gave up Buddy her dog, etc.

Her health issues --- about 15+ years ago she had a pituitary tumor which was removed by them going through her nasal cavity. It has returned, bigger than ever with the addition of lesions. She's going to need surgery to get rid of it, but due to the larger size and the legions, they are having to figure out the best course of action. She is staying at an extended stay place right now, and last week slipped and fell hard on her back/neck. She has had multiple back and neck surgeries ... So far it doesn't appear to have caused any more damages, but still not good.

Oh the REALLY big news?? My brother called my mom today!! (He had cut off contact with her in June after our dad died due to a number of reasons.) He told me he decided that it was time to let go and get past it. I was completely ecstatic!!

In mixed news ... I am now without any walking partners. Both of the co-workers I walked with this past year have gotten different jobs. Frown Frown One of the former teaching assts is taking one of the positions, another vacant position is being taken by someone who I don't think will be living here, and I don't know what's going to happen with the third one. The third one is my only hope for a new walking partner...

I have more I am thinking about, but this is already way too long. Smile Tomorrow - what I found when I arrived home ... and lifestyle/diet thoughts/plans/thinking.

Checking in

July 14th, 2013 at 04:11 am

Hi everyone. I've tried posting a couple times but took too long, and lost my post. I'm in Lincoln right now but will be heading home probably on Saturday. Kari has not adjusted very well at all to having 5 cat mates ... This morning she knocked an empty acquarium down and it shattered ...ugh!

I brought my computer with me, but haven't been able to getting to connect to NEs Internet. So ... I haven't accomplished much while here. I still am glad I came. There's been ups and downs, but mostly good.

I'm trying to keep up with everyone's blogs, but signing in on my phone is a pain, so not too many comments. Will write more when I get home!