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Archive for June, 2015

June Accounting

June 30th, 2015 at 11:47 pm

I think my personal challenge / getaway goal worked pretty well.

In my Everyday Expenses categories:
Groceries - $103.92
Medical - $40.64 (Allegra D)
Kari - $9.05 (food and litter)
Treats - 18.78
Movies Out - $5
Gifts - $39.50

SO much better than May!

I earned extra income in June:
$78.xx - parking garage job
$50 - PP GC from Swagbucks
$25 AGC from PerkPoints
$10 - AGC from Bing
$10 - Pact

Besides my usual ROTH contribution and my 10% to my EF, I had $313.06 left over! That means I have $156.03 to put towards my getaway in August. (The other half goes to my EF.)

In July I'm going to do the same thing, really try to keep my spending down as much as possible. There are a few things I know I'll have to spend on though:

new shoes!!
higher electricity bill than the past 5 months or so
possibly have to renew car registration?

I know I have at least one shift at the parking garage in July, and I might be able to manage $50 from Swagbucks again. I'm also going to put some more things up on eBay and FB ... see how that goes. I think $100 more should make for a nice trip.

My EF is at $8220.25 of my $12k goal. Sloooowwwlllyy moving towards the goal.

Right Turn Lady Again!

June 30th, 2015 at 12:03 am

I couldn't believe my eyes ... when I was waiting to make a right turn from the gym again today -- the same lady in the humongous SUV was next to me making a left turn! How bizarre! At least it didn't take 5 or 6 minutes this time.

I went to the gym today (as I said above Big Grin ) and *almost* chickened out of going into the weight room. I walked for nearly ten minutes on the walking track "warming up" ... (read . getting my courage up) It was full of guys - finally I saw a women go in there. My warmup was over. Smile

With the warmup and a five minute cooldown, I did about a 40 minute workout. I decided to go with a full body compound move workout. When I got there I tried to find out if they have fractional? plates, but I couldn't find a trainer to answer my question.

I think for now I'll just do the dumbbells for now (except for the deadlift - they have extra weighted bars for that.)

I can definitely feel that I put my muscles to the test! My arms are all shaky. Smile

I got my $25 AGC reward from Perk today - already spent it on my next installment of pea protein powder (for my smoothies) and a drain cleaner thingy someone suggested before (was waiting to get free shipping.)

For those who read and/or made suggestions/comments ... the boat was not (and won't be) purchased. This came about without me saying a thing. Smile Medical debt will be wiped out. (or nearly so) That's more like what I thought this person would do!

We had something unusual happen at the bus station today - NO callers or visitors making complaints! That is kind of a rare occurrence.

3 more days til the long weekend!! Can hardly wait!!

Skeeters and Pancakes

June 28th, 2015 at 04:44 pm

Saturday afternoon I went to a local park to join a group of church members - some bike, some walk. Yesterday I was the only walker. Frown It was pretty humid and the sun was beating down, so I thought I'd take the path with the most shade. However, after the short jaunt from the parking lot to the path where you decide your direction, I changed my mind.

Why? Skeeters!! I was being attacked by hordes of mosquitoes. So I chose the more open route.

45 minutes later I came back. One of the bikers was there at the parking lot and told me I had a swarm of mosquitoes all around me. I didn't even know ... I guess the sweat on me made me not feel them or something??

Will definitely need to be getting some bug spray before my next outdoor adventure!!

This morning I made oatmeal-banana-greek yogurt pancakes. They are so good! My first pancake turned out really good. I was able to spread out the batter in the pan with no issues. The second one though ... as I was spreading the batter around, half of it ended up falling out of the pan onto the burner!

I quickly turned the burner off and used one of the back burners (not as big as the pan and a little off kilter.) I'm just glad I didn't set off my fussy smoke detector!

I cashed out for a $25 AGC from PerkPoints last night. Now let's see how long it takes to get enough points for the next one ...

My weight had gone back up for awhile ... but the past month or so it has been going back down. Today I weighed in at the lowest in 3 months. Now if I can just keep that trend continuing!

I'm considering making a new savings goal - enough to pay for 8 30 minute personal training sessions. That would be enough for 4 weeks of 2 sessions. I would use it for strength training only. I need to find the gym's brochure with the actual costs, but I think it was around $350 for 8 30 minute sessions. (It's $50 for one 30 minute session, but you get a break on multiple.)

Maybe starting in August, I can "pay" myself $10 every time I go to the gym more than 1x in a week.

Before I'd actually commit to a trainer though, I'd want to interview them thoroughly. I've been doing a lot of reading on it (strength training) and know exactly what I want - so would want to make sure the trainer would fit with what I've learned.

I had a pt once before, only for strength - liked him a lot, but I don't think I really made that much progress. I think I'd be a lot more pushy now about getting exactly what I want out of it.

I don't know if I'll really be able to bite the bullet on paying for it again or not ... last time I think I used part of a tax refund. Just thinking about it right now.

Groceries, Drama at the Bus Station

June 27th, 2015 at 12:36 am

After working out today I was trying to make a right hand turn from the parking lot, and ended up sitting there for five minutes because a lady in a huge SUV was trying to make a left hand turn. I couldn't see over her and she made no attempt to let me know when I could go. I don't know, maybe it's just me, but it would seem to me like if you are in an oversized vehicle you might be aware that you are not see through ...


Anyway... I stopped at the grocery store today and spent $10.71. My last shop for the month. It does put me over my goal of $100 by about $3, but I'm okay with that. SO much better than the $350+ I spent last month on food/junk, etc.

Bananas, apples, frz. veggies/fruit and 1 candy bar. So, 5 items. Smile

This afternoon I got a call from a man who was wanting us to see if his father was on one of our buses. His dad is an 80 yo and very frail - he'd said something about wanting to go to a particular location in our city, and then later was nowhere to be found.

I got a physical description of the man and the time he was possibly missing since. At first our bus driver supervisor said the man should contact the police first. But then the asst. living home where the father lived called asking the same thing and confirming that someone saw him get on a bus.

There followed a bunch of bus drivers getting descriptions of the man, and a confirmed sighting of him being left off downtown, but not having gotten a transfer. I received a third phone call from someone else looking for him after we had the sighting confirmed.

By about this time it was time to close up, so I don't know the ending of the story.

I really hope they found this mans father though.


June 23rd, 2015 at 10:55 pm

So I just got off the phone with NE. He got a call from his sister letting him know that their aunt had died.

This wasn't really unexpected because she'd been suffering from Alzheimer's for awhile, and not in the greatest health.

What WAS unexpected was how long ago she had died.


NE's sister was contacted by the aunt's son to let her know that the aunt had left her some money in the will. Otherwise who knows when she would have been told about the aunt's death.

Apparently the son got all hissy fitty with her because she hadn't come down to take care of the aunt last summer.

Oy vey.

NE is going to have to call this guy because he also was left something in the will. If it is the same or similar amount as what his sister was left, it'll be enough to pay off his surgery debt and have some left over. That would be a huge weight off his (proverbial) shoulders.

I just hope this guy doesn't try to berate NE for not coming down there .. NE would not let that fly. (He hadn't been asked to do so in the first place.)

Just wow. I'd feel so awful finding out a month AFTER a relative died. No chance to go to the funeral (if there was one?) etc.

I cashed in for my second $25 PayPal from Swagbucks today.

I went to the gym yesterday after work. Barely found a parking space - guess they have some kind of swim meet at the outside pool?? When I was leaving I picked up keys off the key board .. walked all the way out to my car ... and realized I'd gotten the wrong keys!! So trudged back and exchanged. Ooops. Don't think anyone missed them ...

Five weeks from now and I'll have been at bus company for 1 year! And I still have people coming by the window sometimes asking where the "other older lady" is. Smile (she retired)

Spending: Monday - None (other than buying Fitbit stock)

Tuesday - None

Sunday Outing and Resisting Tempation

June 23rd, 2015 at 12:44 am

Sunday afternoon NE and I went on another little joy ride into the country. We went out as far as Hickman (for those who know NE area) and visited a couple lakes there. We stopped at the local "grocery store" called Jack and Jill and each got a drink. (He treated Smile )

We also stopped at a large hotel that had a lot of brochures for tourist attractions in the area, and took a number of them to look at further.

It was a nice way to spend a few hours. Smile

Right now it is looking as though I'm going to have about $300 in "extra" money this month. That is .. if I continue to resist temptation til a week from tomorrow. Smile

That means I'll have $150 or so to put towards my little get away. That will pretty much cover lodging and gas. So July will be all about getting the money for food and entertainment.

I have $11 left of the $100 I allocated for my groceries category. Must resist temptation. (SO wanted pizza this weekend -- delivery pizza! But resisted!)

I'm trying to make the Allegra last a little longer by not taking it on the weekend ... not sure that is such a good idea. Because I have a bad sinus headache right now. Wasn't bad Saturday or Sunday, but maybe it was because I'd built up over the previous 5 days ...

I checked the Dollar Generals here, and :**( no frozen fruit. So I had to get the frozen fruit from the local grocery store - $3.29 for 1lb.

Spending: Saturday - none
Sunday - $13.33 - frozen fruit, etc. (groceries)
Monday - none

Sold and Bought Some Stock Today, etc.

June 20th, 2015 at 12:59 am

I have a good amount of stock in an electric car company - mostly inherited, but some that I personally bought with my own cash or with money rolled over from a company 401k fund. I've been wanting to diversify it a bit with another single stock, but hadn't found anything cheap enough or interesting enough.

With the recent IPO of Fitbit, that changed. Smile

I love my Fitbit, and from the many articles I've read, it seems to be a pretty healthy company (ha ha - no pun intended, really) with good growth potential. I'd forgotten about the initial IPO date, so unfortunately wasn't ready to pull the buy card at the start of the bell Thursday.

So I pulled it this morning. Smile I had $170.00 cash in my brokerage account which was leftover from the rollover where I purchased electric car stock. So I bought 5 Fitbit shares. I want to buy more than that though, so I went ahead and sold 5 electric car shares, which netted a bit over $1k after the trade fees.

I tried buying more Fitbit after work today, but I got a popup saying that if I put the new order through, my other one would be canceled. ???? So I guess I'll have to wait til Monday and hope the price doesn't go up too much by then.

All of this trading and selling and buying was done in an IRA account, so whatever tax consequences there will be won't happen for another 20 years. Smile

When I put my own cash money into the electric car stock, it was roughly around $1k. Enough to buy a good amount of stock, but not enough to hurt if I happened to lose money on it. That's kind of how I figured how much stock I'd go with for Fitbit.

I'm curious to see where this will go. Big Grin

Hectic afternoon at work today. Have a new story for my bus chronicles - might do one tomorrow. Smile

Did some grocery shopping this afternoon. bread, fruit (bananas and oranges), cheese, frozen vegges, chocolate, soda ... $18.41

Also stopped at a local green grocer type place (OH) and treated myself to some stuff from their deli - curried tofu, cajun yams, and a spinach/lentil, etc. patty. $6.31 It was either that or give in to my strong desire to order pizza ...

I'm reading a really good book by Elizabeth Musser right now - Swan House. I've read other books by her, and they were also very good. (Christian, romance, historical, major issues like racism, poverty, etc.)

I got paid for my part time parking garage job! $73.65 - that is one 8 hour shift (although it wasn't actually a full 8 hours, because I left 30 minutes early after being told I could if I wanted to.)

I don't know when I'll have another shift though, because it seems like all the available ones are on Saturdays. Frown Sometimes having beliefs that are so different from the mainstream can sure make it hard to find the extra income (and sometimes the main source of income too ... so many jobs I've had to turn down over the year due to Friday night/Saturday issues ...)

Note - I am an Seventh-day Adventist. Similarly to Jews, we celebrate Sabbath from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset.

I think I have settled on what my August trip is going to be - Des Moines -- Friday - Living History Farms; Saturday - Memories Day (visit church my dad was pastor of, visit various places we lived, etc.); Sunday - Adventureland!; Monday - drive home and recover. Smile

I still need to get the addresses from my brother - our dad kept a list of all the places he lived his entire life. My brother has it somewhere. We lived in three different houses in Des Moines. I'm most curious about the house we lived in where my bedroom was in the finished attic, we had a lake within close walking distance, and I had an awesome friend named Tara who lived across a hayfield from us that had a small stream running through it. Lots of good memories there.

I was in 3rd grade when we moved from there to New Mexcio.

On Sunday I plan on going to Dollar General to buy frozen fruit, and also stop at Sears to see if they have the shoes I want. (dress shoes for work to replace ones that are falling apart) I'm going to try to hold off til July to actually buy them though so I can put it on my Discover card and have it count towards July's $500 spending.

I've also been thinking more about the Nationwide thing of using the debit card 8x in a month to avoid fees. If I give myself a budget of $20/month for treats (which would be much less than I have been spending) that would mean 2x a week I could get about $2 worth of a treat. So in reality it would be money I'd spend anyway (realistically) and $20 not put on the Discover or Swagbucks cards isn't going to be that big of a deal. And it's only for 3 months + 2 weeks.

A good friend of mine and her family are doing fundraising to pay the fees to adopt a baby boy from Papau, New Guinea. They were missionaries there this past year and were asked to adopt this particular child, but before it could happen, they had to come back to the US. I'm thinking that this might be where my charitable giving will be going starting in July.

So that's all for now folks ... (bet you thought it was never going to end ...) Smile

And One More - August Trip Thinking

June 17th, 2015 at 11:58 pm

I'm thinking of going to Des Moines, IA for a few days in August. Possibly spend a day at Adventureland (found a $4 discount coupon for August), then spend a day or so checking out old houses I lived in in the area. Maybe another day doing other stuff in the area.

I haven't been there since 1986?? So if anyone has any ideas of interesting things/places there, or nearby, I'd love to hear it!

I checked hotel prices in the area, and am finding run down places for $60+. Checked AirBnb and found a nice looking place for $45. Will need to do some more looking on that front.

I might end up going somewhere totally different though ... just not quite sure where yet.

Financials More Or Less

June 17th, 2015 at 11:52 pm

I asked today about having a direct deposit split between two banks and was told that the city isn't set up for that. (I had that capability when I taught ten years ago .. could do it myself on our website.)

So that means I'll have to have my whole paycheck go to Nationwide for a few months. Then do a quick withdrawal. Good thing I have a month's buffer in my checking account at all times. Smile

I've also done some thinking about the 8 debits per month to avoid the $8 checking account fee. I think that will be a total hassle and would probably end up making me spend more than $8 each month that I might not have otherwise spent. So .. considering that the bonus is $200 ... I'm going to eat the $8 fee until I get the reward - probably total $24 - $40.

Got Firefox working again properly! I was beginning to think I was in need of a new computer ...

I did something called "Refresh Firefox" that got rid of all my add ons (Adblock, Swagbutton, etc, etc.) It's now running super silky smooth! I'm just going to deal with the ads for now I think.


$9 .... at Walgreen's. Sigh. So tired today all I wanted was some chocolate and soda. Kind of overdid it.

Dollar General - found out where one is which is near another store I like to go to once in awhile. I might try to get over there on Sunday - also want to go to Sear's to see if I can replace my dress shoes. They are beyond bad.

Bus Chronicles 1

June 17th, 2015 at 11:37 pm

I realize this isn't really financial, but in a way it is .. sometimes at work these things happen and I'm bursting to share it with someone .. but have to be choosy about how often I share so I don't interrupt others. Smile

What these will be - once or twice a week when I have enough material, I will write about some of the more interesting phone calls, people, and lost items at our bus station. This is mostly for myself, to kind of record some of the things that happen. However, I'm hoping some of you might find them interesting as well. Smile

Lost and Found Tales

- a new dish drainer
- a bucket of crickets
- a backpack with a XXX DVD and other ....
- a large bag of moldy food (probably dumpster food)
- post it notes --- Here's a story that makes this interesting ....

Lady calls and tells me she left her bag with post it notes on a bus and that she'd already contacted the driver and knows he has them. I let her know that the bus would be back by her at such and such a time. She tells me that won't work for her. So I tell her that she can pick them up from the bus station. Again, that isn't going to work for her. So I tell her that she can make an arrangement for someone to come pick it up for her. Again, (say it all together) That Won't Work for Me!

I explain to her that those are her only options. She huffily says, "Well, then I guess I just made a donation to your company." I replied, "Well ma'm, if you're not able to come pick them up within the next two weeks, I guess you're right." She asks to speak to my supervisor. Big Grin (I may have been a little bit snarky here ... we'd been going around and around several times.)

My supervisor tells her the same thing and says that I'm the one who makes the policy for lost and found.

Two days later her son comes by and picks up the $3 worth of post it notes.

There Are No Stupid Questions:

1. If I want to ride the bus only a short distance, shouldn't I be able to ride it for free? Nope, if you want on the bus you either have a pass or pay the fare.

2. I washed my pass / kept my pass in my bra / left my pass outside during the rain storm ... can I get a free replacement? Nope, sorry. We aren't responsible for lost, stolen or damaged passes.

3. My child told me that the bus drive said she couldn't take the same bus back home that got her there. Ummm.....

Incredulous Queries:

1. Scratchy/bad connection .. Where is the bus supposed to be coming by Ferris Parkway? Um ... could you please spell that? Annoyed lady spells it. I ask for an address ... realize she's in California, not Nebraska.

2. Lady calls wanting bus info ... figure out she's in Florida ... still wants me to give her bus info ...

Shake your Head - Go Ahead! Repeat Often!

1. "Interesting" Lady ... ten minute+ monologues either describing how another bus passenger is out to get her, her favorite sandwich at the hospital cafeteria and how they make it, or some variation.

2. The Vet Complainer - asks a question about the bus, then proceeds to complain about the mayor, the city, the bus system, NE in general, the VA ...

General Complaints:

1. Ask what time the bus is going to be there. Finds out it's going to be an hour (or possibly 90+ minutes on two particular routes.) Expels a curse or two, and then usually starts complaining about what a messed up bus system we have. The best ones are where they compare our system to LA (CA) or other such megaplexes ... (We are a city, but a city of maybe 600k. We could probably fit in a 1/10th of LA's area.

2. How long it takes to have the phone answered / amazement that I answered on the first ring ... sorry, I'm only one person. I just had the ten minuter on the line where I can't get in a word edgewise, and there were six calls in a row without me even having to hang up before you ...

Head Scratchers:
1. I answer the phone and get this, "Where's the bus?"

2. Even better - I get, "I'm on 10th street, when's the bus coming?" Ummmm...

3. Here's one from today --- Guy calls asking when the bus is leaving from downtown to go out to West O. I start telling him by saying the bus number and the time. He interrupts me by saying, "That bus doesn't go out on West A!" You're totally right sir ... but you didn't ask about West A!

4. Guy calls in saying he lost his wallet. I get the bus route #, time and place. Call dispatch, find out the wallet (supposedly) isn't on the bus. Tell that to the guy. He gets very upset and says, "I've lost 3 wallets on that ______, ______, ______ bus this last month!" (Wallet turns out to actually HAVE been on the bus .. just somehow didn't turn up in the first search.)

General funny / trying to not embarrass customer:

Someone comes in to buy an $8 pass. Hands me the money. I count $9. Double count it. Hand the pass, receipt and a $1 back. Look of surprise - "Did I give you $9?!"

There's lots more ... but I'll save some for another time. Smile

Chirp, Chirp, Chirp ... Firefox??

June 17th, 2015 at 12:43 am

This morning when I walked into work I was met by quite an intertesting item in the Lost and Found. My first indication that something different was afoot was the noise. Chirp ... chirp ... chirp ...

I looked on my desk and saw a sweater, a bus pass folder, some keys, and a Wal-mart bag. Hmm... maybe the noise is coming from the bag.

So I look inside the bag. There is a round container with small holes in its sides. Then on top of the container is a removable plastic lid with a small round hole.

The mystery was solved though by the sticker on the lid ... 50 live crickets!

My boss thought I should throw them away. But I wanted to give the person who lost them at least a day to make a claim.

So all day today I was serenaded by the lively chirp, chirp, chirping of 50 crickets.

At the end of the day I took them home with me and let them go on the front lawn near my apartment. They were pretty good sized crickets! I hope they are happier having some freedom (even if short lived) now rather than being fed to some creature! Smile

NE dropped his phone in water this morning .. and it was ruined. So I still had my Android phone I'd gotten 3 years ago to test out Ting. It's operating system is so outdated I can't run Perk or SBs on it, so it's pretty much useless to me. But for texting and calling it will still work perfectly fine. Smile

I called Ting and had them take the phone off my account and put it on NEs after porting his number to it. What a process (the actual process wasn't that difficult - it was the 20 minute wait for a rep when NE was already running late for work.)

I'm glad I didn't get rid of that phone! (I'd been planning on getting rid of it somehow, just hadn't decided the how or the what.)

I called Nationwide bank tonight and found out that due to some issue with the identity verification process when I applied for my account, my application hadn't gone through. So I redid the verification questions over the phone, and had a welcome email about a minute later. Now I just need to figure out if I can have two direct deposits - the main one to CapOne and then a small one to NW. Then a few months from now, I'll have an extra $200. Smile (and will close the account asap w/o fees.)

Spending - Monday - forgot I bought Allegra D - $20.32
Tuesday -- None

*I didn't have any Allegra left Sunday night, so tried with just the non-d allergy stuff. Misery. I really hope I can find a cheaper alternative, but having a sinus headache when you're trying to sleep or work just isn't worth saving a few dollars.

Forgot to ask my Firefox question - I have the latest browser and am finding it to be really slow and buggy. Also, I can't delete any of the bookmarks from my favorites bar. I don't know for sure if it is FF fault, or if it is just that my computer is getting too old for the browser.

Just wondering if anyone else uses FF and has similar issues.

Parking Garage, HuHot, etc.

June 16th, 2015 at 12:24 am

Sunday was my first shift for my part-time job working as a parking garage attendant. Pretty much what I did for 8 hours was stand at the back of a parking garage and help people get out of the garage by putting their ticket in and paying, or swiping their hotel parking key.

There were a few mishaps that kept the day somewhat interesting. Several hotel parking keys not working, a CC getting stuck in the machine, someone not have a CC to pay and the floating supervisor not being available because someone in another garage couldn't get out and was threatening to drive through the gate ...

All in all it was okay - not a bad way to make $11/hr. Smile Once in awhile.

So NE and I went to HuHot last night. The food was good, especially once I found the tofu. But OH MY WORD it was expensive. $13.99 per person not including a drink. By the time I paid for our meals, NEs drink, tax and a tip, it was about $40! So .. I have $10 left for next time. Ugh. If I would have realized that, I probably would have ordered a dessert or two to go just to finish off the card. In fact, that might be what I do anyway. NE wasn't overly enthusiastic about the place, and would much prefer a buffet. We can go to a buffet with tip for $24, which would be less than what another meal at HuHot would cost minus the $10 on the giftcard.

Work today was much, much, much better. Seems like the grumpy sauce ran out even though the rain didn't. Smile

Made it to the gym tonight for the first time in too long. 30 minutes walking the track.

I've been thinking about trying the Stronglifts program, but feel intimidated to go into the weight room and figure out how to do the stuff myself. I asked NE last night if he'd be willing to come with me once or twice to just basically talk me through the form, etc. He basically said no without saying no ... Said he didn't think it'd be safe to do without a spotter. My question is ... what do other people do that don't have a spotter???

I'm going to try something similar with just dumbbells and a bench. Maybe also see if they have a pullup bar. The outside pool is also open, so I really need to try my swimsuit on to see if it still fits and get in there! Make use of my gym membership!!

I really wish it didn't take me 20 minutes to get there and 7 to get home ... That makes it more difficult. But if I were to say I'd go later ... yeah, wouldn't happen. I can't sit down other than to put my shoes on.

I put in for vacation for August 7 and 10 today. Now I just have to figure out what exactly I'm going to do ... Smile

Spending Sunday and Monday - $0 (other than gift card)

Fun Afternoon :)

June 14th, 2015 at 12:48 am

This afternoon after church a group of about 20 of us participated in a Kids Against Hunger event. It was a blast! Within the space of two hours we were able to put together enough food packages to feed 6000 people!

It's setup in an assembly line fashion - each part of the food bag is supposed to be manned by one person, then one person weighs the bag, one person seals the bag, one person puts a sticker on the bag, and another person puts it in the box.

At my table we had a 7 yr old and an 8 yr old. For the first hour they were pretty good, but after that they started goofing off a bit. We put them to different tasks and that seemed to help - but for the last half hour or so their grandma and I were doing 5 jobs between us - it actually went a lot faster and smoother with just the two of us doing those jobs. Smile

I didn't get much sleep Friday night (again) and almost decided to not go today. I'm SO glad I went!

Stopped by the library on my way home and dropped off 4 more entries for the Adult Reading program, and picked up the movie "Boyhood" which was on hold for me. I might watch that tonight.

Tomorrow I'll be doing my first shift for the parking people - from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Afterwards NE and I might be going to eat at HuHots (with my gift card.)

I'm hopeful today was the last day Walgreen's has their candy on sale 2/$1 .... $3.89 gone again. Sigh.

Talked to my grandma tonight and found out my brother has been interviewing for a different position. If he gets it I have the feeling that will put a crimp on him having vacation time to be able to come out here in September. Supposedly it's a good bit more money and he won't have to move. They came to him.

Good News AmEx :) and other stuff

June 13th, 2015 at 12:13 am

So NE has still has a large amount he owes for his surgery over what insurance covered. He's been paying what he can each month. I asked him a week or so ago if the place took AmEx, would he be good with the idea of my paying a portion (maybe $500 or so) and then sharing some of the cashback.

Last night he told me he got a new bill ... and drumroll please .... they take AmEx! So my dilemma about how to get the spending requirement finished is done! Even if I only keep 1/2 of the cashback, that is better than none (or purchasing grocery gift cards from future months grocery budget money.)

We're going to work out the details more on Sunday night.

The above news is especially good since I'm planning on attempting the Discover deal of spending $500/month for 5 months for $75 starting in July (I think.) If I put everything on the Discover, I should be able to do it pretty easily.

I forgot my lunch at home today. Frown Luckily I had a tortilla and vege refried beans in the fridge at work. Still, I wasn't sure that'd be enough, so I bought some things from the vending machine. Yikes! SO expensive. $1 for a standard sized Snickers.

After work I went grocery shopping - English Muffins ($1 each!), eggs ($1.99 for 1/2 dozen OMW!!), Brownie mix (for treat day when I'm on - $1/each!), canned sweet peas ($.89), oranges ($1/lb), bananas ($.59/lb), Morningstar pizza and corndogs ($2.99 each), Amy's Black Bean enchailadia ($4.15 - cheaper than going out to eat or most take out -which I was sorely tempted tonight), 20 oz Cherry Pepsi

Total - $27.18

Two more items I "bought" with rewards points - a can of Pilsbury crescents (YUM!) and a 1/2 gallon of Mint Chocolate Chip Gelatto. I've never had gelatto, and have always wanted to try it. This sounded SO good. Especially for free. Big Grin


Summary - Rant about bad day at work.

I told my boss that some people here must have gotten ahold of the grumpy sauce this week. She told me she thinks people are just sick of the rain. Smile

Redeemed Bing points for a $5 AGC today

My rent check was cashed today, and I heard from the property manager that I can put my keyboard box in the laundry room (big box that I can't break down and will help make my bedroom look a bit more ... finished.)

Jazz and Heat, Etc

June 11th, 2015 at 01:06 am

So Tuesday night after much hemming and hawing I decided to go for it - or at least see if I could find a parking space in a safe area and reasonable distance from the jazz concert.

I left for the concert about 5:40 with my phone at 56% ... Not smart.

Had to use Google maps to find my way there. Even so, got turned around. Finally found a parking spot that was somewhat reasonably close, and had lots of people / other cars.

Put $.25 in the parking meter - after 6 the spots are free, and I parked about 5:50.

I started walking in the direction I thought it was ... only went two blocks when I saw a woman at an outside restaurant - asked her where the place was and was told to turn around and turn left.

About ten minutes later I found the Jazz concert! I was carrying a book, a water bottle and a blanket. The temperature was a cool 97+ degrees ...

I had brought a $5 bill with me in case there was some vendor food that tempted me, but I didn't even see where the vendors were (although I saw a lot of people with vendor type food.)

I found a place to spread my blanket out and preceded to try to be comfortable sitting on the ground on a blanket in the "cool" weather. Smile Not too long into this my phone died. Oops.

Shortly after 7 the band began playing. It was pretty good music. After about 6 songs though, I'd had my fill of sitting on the ground. (I have circulation issues with my feet ... sitting on the ground for very long makes for sleepy feet.) Amazingly that was the same time they broke for intermission - so it made it easy to slip away.

I'm really glad I went, even though the weather made it almost miserable (saved by good breezes.) However, if I were to go again to something like this, I DEFINITELY want to procure a lawn chair! It also would be nice to have company ..

Walking into work today I found a quarter laying on the ground. Thought it was pretty funny since I had just spent a quarter the night before. Big Grin

Today was kind of stressful at work. The phone was going constantly - with quite a few memorable calls. Not all for good reasons. I also had a slew of mail in pass orders for the football bus shuttle. I had to really pay attention so I didn't put an bus shuttle order into the front desk receipt book.

I decided to treat myself after work ... Walgreen's has their candy bars on sale 2/$1 - not a great price considering that's what the NORMAL NON-Sale price used to be ... but better than today's "normal" prices.

My rent check hasn't been cashed yet. Usually it's cashed within a few days of my putting it in the box. I sent the property manager an email tonight to see if I can find out what's going on. I'd sent her an email a few weeks ago too though, which I haven't gotten a reply on. Hope nothing is wrong.

I got two more medical bills stemming from my ER visit. One can be paid with AmEx and the other can't. Sigh. I still am not sure how I'm going to get to $1000 spent on that darn card. I'm at about $300 right now - it's so hard finding places that take it. The lure of the $250 cash back made me not consider carefully HOW I could actually do it. I'd always heard that AmEx is'nt accepted everywhere, but the reality is now sinking in ...

I *really* don't want to go the route of gift cards - but I'd rather do that than lose $250! Maybe I can purchase gift cards for the airline I'll most likely book for my CA trip in November .. hmm... (haven't figured out which airline yet.)

Tuesday spending:
$.25 - parking meter

Wednesday spending:
$3.89 - treats from Walgreens

Earnings: $.25 from in front of bus garage

Spent some, Earned Some, Etc

June 9th, 2015 at 01:55 am

Yesterday NE and I went out for a lake drive -- we went to a total of about 5 nearby lakes. Before we got started on that though, we had to get a park permit. He decided to get two of them - one for each car. It came out to $39.50.

He didn't have enough cash, and there'd be an extra $2 charge to use debit/credit. For once in my life I actually had the cash on me! (thanks to all the FB sales lately.) Later he was going to pay me back and I told him it was my treat - his birthday gift. Smile (August 3rd - he's HARD to shop for.)

Sold my folding table via FB garage sale - $5. Only about the fifth or sixth time I listed it. At least it's gone now.

Cashed out for a $25 PayPal from SBs.

I'm not sure if I'm going to go to the jazz concert tomorrow night or not. I'd really like to, but I'm just not sure about parking in downtown. It starts at 7 - not sure how long it'll last. I could always leave early I suppose. If I had someone to go with me to it, I'd like that much better (especially if that person were to drive/park!)

I'll see.

Sunday I also went to see Avengers 2, and bought some candy at Walgreens. Smile Shhh...

A fairly major intersection closed for roadwork today and for at least the next 18 days. As expected I got tons of calls about it/about the detour.

$39.50 - 2 park permits
$5 - Avengers 2
$2 - Candy from Walgreens

Monday - No spending. Smile

I'm still feeling somewhat sore from my fall on Saturday, and some of the bruises got bigger/easier to see. But otherwise no ill effects from it.

Slipping and Sliding, $200 offer!

June 6th, 2015 at 07:29 pm

So today I wore my sandals to church. (went better with my outfit than black heels .. really need a pair of white sandals, but I've never been able to find a pair that stays on my feet.)

As I was walking to the building, I walked over wet ground and may have stepped in a small puddle.

I get to the church, greet the greeter, and then start down the stairs to go to Sabbath School.

As I reach the second step down, I did my own version of slipping and sliding. My left wrist, forearm, elbow and left side of the ol' gluteas maximus(sp?) took the brunt. Both of my ankles seemed to get into the action as well.

Thankfully no clothing was ripped or dirtied. Also, thankfully I was able to get up and walk (...limp a bit) to the SS group.

Have some majorly sore areas on my left side now though! (One bruise has already shown up on the gm, and I have the feeling another one will be appearing on my forearm.

I just signed up for an offer with a $200 bonus after 90 days. All you have to do is open an eChecking account with Nationwide and have one direct deposit of $200+ within the first 60 days, and then two-three more of $25+ (to avoid the fee.) You can close the account after getting the bonus with no penalty. The interest rate is abysmal (although not bad for a checking account) Ooohh... reading the fine print a bit closely ... to avoid an $8/month fee you have to make 8 debit card transactions a month. Yuck. I'll have to figure out how to do that without messing up my trying to spend very little (or you have to have a 10k balance. Can't quite do that.)

Well .. if you're interested, here is the link:

I signed up at church today to go to a Kids Against Hunger food packing event next Saturday afternoon. I didn't realize at first, but you are supposed to make a donation to participate. Minimum $10. I already did my charitable giving this month, but I guess I can take it from next months category. I suppose I really should wait til closer to the end of the month to decide where to put the non-tithe charitable money to be sure I have some to put in things that come up.

Tonight I'm planning on going to a free concert at my church - The Allen Family. I'm pretty sure I went to a concert of their's here last year in June. The name sounds familiar (and so does their picture.) If it is, I remember I really enjoyed the music. Smile

I had been planning on going to help one of our elderly church members pack their moving truck tomorrow morning, but I'll have to see how my arm is doing.

NE and I will be going out to eat tomorrow night - it's my turn to pay, so we'll be going to Hu Hot's where I can use my $50 gift card. Smile We also are going to do some driving around the local lakes. Hopefully it won't be too muddy.

I decided to bake a frozen pizza I'd bought back in Jan/Feb from the local store that was closing. Let's just say that it's not a brand I'd get again even if I could.

Happenings at the Bus Station, More About the Adult Reading Prizes, etc.

June 6th, 2015 at 02:30 am

Today at work I was talking with the Office Manager about yet another frustration which occurred due to my not knowing about a detour. She suggested I talk to the transit manager about it, but should have an idea in mind to solve the issue. We talked a bit more, and then came up with the idea of using a Google spreadsheet like what we do for the Lost and Found items. That way detours, accidents, delays, etc., can be updated quickly by whoever hears it on the radio .. and I can then see them without my first knowledge being a phone call from a bus rider wondering where the bus is at!

So .. I did talk to the transit manager. He told me he had had a similar idea, and that he would be working on getting something put together. I really hope this does truly happen, because it would mean a lot less having to deal with one particular dispatcher ... I also pointed out to him that my being able to know this stuff would help to make our bus company look better. Smile

I already have two entries for the Summer Adult Reading Program. Smile The Life List - Lori Spielman and Two Testaments - Elizabeth Musser. Both very good books.

I was asked what some of the prizes were:
Weekly branch drawings - giftcards to various places
Booklover's Gift Bag - filled with goodies and a bookstore giftcard
Grand Prize - Booklover's Gift Bag and a Paperwhite Kindle

Ooo la la! Big Grin

Thursday spending: Nada Smile

Friday spending:
Gas - $25.xx
Groceries - Apples, cat food, cat litter, bread, Morningstar Corndogs, frozen veggies, frozen fruit, Apples, Bananas, treat -- $31.19 -- My ten things. Big Grin

I had someone ask me something strange on Thursday. An older man came to purchase a bus pass. As I was helping me he asked me what church I went to. I told him which church. He then told me that he'd thought I was a Pentecostal because I seem to like to wear long dresses/skirts and have long hair. Ha!

I told him that I just like to wear those kinds of things sometimes, and that I like long hair. (Although my hair is hardly what I consider "long" right now! He should've seen it before I cut it in September!!)

I just thought that was so funny. Most of the time I wear dress pants or on Friday's jeans, but once in awhile I'll wear a dress or a skirt. And yep, the ones I wear at work anyway are fairly long (my skirt was barely mid-shin on Thursday) - but there is a good reason for that! I never know what kind of bending, stretching, etc. I might have to do ... hence a skirt that only reaches my knees would just not do unless I want to put on a show for other people .. Smile

More Bing :) Etc.

June 3rd, 2015 at 11:42 pm

Say what you want about the actual Bing search engine, but their Customer Service rocks! I replied to the email from the CS person yesterday letting them know my issue was fixed, and thanks! This morning I got a reply back from a different agent thanking me for letting them know AND giving me ten bonus points as a thank you! Sweet!

At work today I got a replacement headset for the one that quit working on Friday. What a welcome relief it was to get it! The phones were nuts at times today and I felt like I was going to get a permanent crick in my neck from holding it in place with my shoulder while looking for info.

Went to the library to pick up some books on hold. While there I found out about an Adult Summer reading program! Prizes for reading books! For adults! Wheeeeeeeeee!!! Big Grin

I may have my first shift at the parking garage this Sunday. It's from 10 - 6:30 for some Soccer Bash thing. Before taxes, that'll be about an extra $100. Sweet! I'll have to do my grocery shopping on Friday after work or Saturday night though, because NE will be here as soon as I get home on Sunday.

I am going to be making brownies for the Treat day tonight. My turn. As soon as I finish this post. Smile(From a mix I bought on sale a few weeks ago.)

Spending Today:

Walgreen's - (medical) $19 (Ten day Allegra D)
Library - $2.60 (late fines, hold not picked up fine - finally had cash with me to pay this.)
Dropped off rent check

Bing update, etc.

June 3rd, 2015 at 12:00 am

I got an email from Bing CS asking me to send a screenshot. When I got home and went to the page to get a screenshot, it was already fixed. Smile 525 credits, which is quite doable.


I relisted four items on the FB garage sale - two of them have had multiple people express interest and even say they'd come by and buy it ... No shows. I'm not gonna give up though, because I'd rather have a little cash for these things than just give them to Goodwill. Smile

Day 2 no spending (outside of normal bills.)

I bought Kari a cool toy from Amazon a few months ago, and I KNOW I took a video of her playing with it the first time - about three minutes! It was super adorable. But I've looked on both of my phones and on my computer ... and it is nowhere. Frown I'm afraid my delete happy self may have accidentally deleted it, as well as the hundreds of food photos for Pact.

She still plays with it every once in awhile, just too unpredictable to take another video. Smile

We're interviewing for new bus drivers right now. They're looking to hire 8! The interviews started on Friday. Today this one guy came in who had driven all the way from Minneapolis! Not only that, but I knew I recognized his name = he'd called me in April? and asked me to send him a copy of all the maps and schedules. Guess what he did with the All Route maps? He had them majorly enlarged and laminated - $200+ He's pretty much memorized all the routes/schedules and could probably find his way around here from any point A to B.

Boy, I hope he gets the job after putting that kind of time and money into it.

I'm thinking of watching another movie tonight. I guess I'm in the movie watching mode lately .. haven't really watched much of anything since maybe January?? I should check to see if there's new episodes of OUAT on free Hulu. Hmm... Smile

Bing, Etc.

June 1st, 2015 at 11:47 pm

Those that do Bing, have you ever had a monthly bonus? I was just working on Bing and saw a June bonus if I do 625 searches.

So ... I did all the searches - mobile and desktop and got 20 credits. Hmm .. 31 x 20 = 620 not 625?? Anyone know where those 5 extra credits are supposed to come from?

I tried contacting support, but got an error message.

I got credit for another Pinecone survey, and so was able to redeem for $15.

My coughing is WAY better .. not gone, but better. Although I still feel uber tired. Didn't help that Kari thought the sun coming up at 6 this morning meant I should be awake and feeding her either ...

Looks like NE has strep - we went to the local urgent care place last night. I better not get it! (I get strep so easily ...)

Spending outside of regular bills today: $0

Saturday night I watched "Disaster Wars" on Hoopla. It was so badly written and badly acted! I loved it. Smile

Tonight I might watch Thelma & Louise Smile A recent Mental Floss article made me think about watching it again, and of course the library had a copy. Smile

I saw on FB yesterday that Bette Midler is going to be in Omaha this coming Friday. All the tickets I found were on resale sites and only being sold in pairs ... so $88 minimum. I have no one to go with me, and .. it's a Friday night. (I am an SDA, so my Sabbath starts on Friday at sunset.) Bullet dodged there, otherwise I might have been able to talk myself into doing it - even though I have no idea who I would get to come with me. Frown

Now if Kenny G or Jim Brickman come into anywhere within an hour and a half radius ... (on a non Friday night or Saturday afternoon) all bets are off! Smile I haven't been to a real paid concert since 2008 shortly before I was laid off from the oil and gas job.

I love going to concerts. Maybe I could find a concert happening in a 3 - 5 hour radius in August and make that my travel bug/savings goal ... hmm... Two birds, one stone. Smile