Time sure does seem to be passing quickly. It seems like I just barely finish the data process for one month when its time to start the process all over again.
I took a couple days off this week to attempt to get some home projects done. I did actually manage to accomplish a few things - changed out my winter clothes for spring/summer clothes, and used a Rug Doctor on our upstairs carpets. I also strongly hinted to my DH about wanting to have someone come and tile our bathroom - get rid of the carpet!! (No, he doesn't want us to DIY - he thinks it would be too easy to do a bad job.)
So ... I had a Zoom with my supervisor yesterday. I found out that they are not replacing the second receptionist at our office due to budget cuts (she retired in January I think.) Guess what? I get to be the main receptionists permanent break giver now - and back up if she's gone on vacation or sick. Woo hoo! (can you read the sarcasm? if not, add a lot and you'll get close) It doesn't start until we are all back to "normal" working in office.
I just have to repeat to myself - at least I still have a job. We did actually technically fire someone - although the term was = we chose to not renew her contract (after 19 years!)
I was looking at paydays - it looks like we're going to have a 6 paycheck month in July! I told DH if he wanted to take 2 or 3 days off, July would be the easy month to do it without affecting our budget. I doubt he'll actually do it though, it would cut into his spending money too much. (which, I will say, he's been putting a lot of it into the stocks/etf's and has done pretty well)
But, he can't say he didn't have the opportunity!
I have something like 16 vacation days left (and still accruing) since I didn't use 9 days for Ireland. I need to look into it more, but I think we can sell back vacation days in August - though with the budget cuts, maybe not?? I really need to get a better handle on that - I usually use all my vacation time each year, so don't worry too much about it. (My supervisor was telling me that the receptionist is wanting to take the week after Christmas off and wanted to know if it would conflict with my vacation plans - I told her nope, the only day I plan to take off is the weekend of my birthday (15th.) But then we looked at the date, and it is a Tuesday, so we were both saying - may as well take Monday and Tuesday! Do up my 45th birthday big! -- likely not actually do anything ... but will be nice to have a really long weekend.)
So ... by September 22 I need to have lost about 20 pounds or I will be saying say'o'nara (sp?) to nearly $1k (HealthyWage.) Yeah, I don't like that idea. (About $300 of it would be my actual money, the rest would be winnings.)
I've been fighting the same five - ten pounds most of the past five months. (Mainly because I keep jumping off the cliff into junkfood'ville and have trouble climbing out.)
At any rate, I am committing to absolutely NO:
Processed foods (that means Amy's, Laura!!)
flour of any kind
sugar (this includes my beloved date sugar ..)
My focus is going to be on eating as much as possible foods without labels - legumes, whole grains (not processed into flour), vegetables, greens, and fruit (not dried, but whole.)
This is for the month of June. I will reevaluate at the end of June to see if it is actually working, and if I want to keep going with it.
I do hope to eliminate processed food and dairy completely from my diet, but one way or the other, whole grains flour will come back into my diet, and possibly the "healthier" sweetners like date sugar.
My DH is doing keto - one meal a day. He eats around 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. So ... we aren't eating together at all anymore. This makes it so I can change my eating timing to around ten a.m. to six p.m. - which is healthier than going as late as 8 p.m. and pushing up against bedtime.
(DH has lost 25lbs in two weeks. He is ecstatic. I'm happy for him, but also worried about what some of the weight he's losing is actually comprised of. Not to mention the copious amounts of meat he's eating ... and fat - but - silver lining -- he's eating spinach!!)
This will definitely save us money in our date night category! (i.e. no eating out, even if I was willing to go to a restaurant right now)
Viewing the 'Accountability' Category
Time sure does seem to be passing quickly. It seems like I just barely finish the data process for one month when its time to start the process all over again.
Here are my goals for 2020. I found a Google template which I used to break the goals down further, and to be able to track them on my phone. There's two sheets - 1 with the goals, and one for tracking my chore cards (part of one of my goals.)
For some of these goals I actually chose a number that is 40-50% less than what I'd really like to achieve. However, in an effort to actually ACHIEVE these goals, I made them for a lower amount.
Here is a link to my goals spreadsheet -
1. Win my HealthyWage bet (Approx. 3.5lbs/mo) (Ends Sept 22.)
2. Eat healthier -
a-Reduce dairy intake to 2x a week and limited amounts.
b- Reduce processed food products to 2x a month i.e. Amy’s or store bought veggie products.)
c - Reduce junkfood intake to only stuff others buy. IOW - no money spent on chocolate or other overly junky food products.
3. Run for 30 continuous minutes at a 17 mpm pace.
4. Win 5 Stepbets.
5. Win 5 RunBets.
6. Do a weight routine 25 times.
7. Fund Ireland Trip by April. Go on trip in May.
8. Read 25 books - at least 5 non-fiction.
9. Memorize two complete songs on the piano from the simplified Hymn book.
10. Complete Lead Sheet 1 and Classical 1 in Simply Piano app, as well as at least 2 stars on all songs up to those levels.
11. Complete three classes with an A or better.
Home / Financial:
12. Complete 3 Chore Cards each week.
13. Scoop the litter boxes 150 times.
14. Digitize 250 slides and upload to FB group.
15. Finish basic financial info backup system for DH - including a binder putting all important documents in one place. (Possibly use The Big Book of Everything as a guideline.)
16. Clean out - sort, shred, file, one file drawers worth of stuff in home office.
17. Dishes - Go to bed with an empty sink, or a dishwasher full of dirty dishes being washed, AND no dirty dishes or silverware anywhere upstairs but the kitchen - 120 times.
18. Write 3 real letters - handwritten, not email.
19. Make the office into a “homey” space - i.e. look like someone who knows about homemaking lives here. (i.e. purchase and hang artwork or other decorations, clean off, sort, organize bookshelves so they look neat and organized, keep desk clear of stuff, maybe replace dad’s 13+ year old office chair, make the makeshift monitor stand look less makeshift …)
20. Make 10 real recipes I have not made before.
So ... I didn't get the job I interviewed for at the beginning of October. Sigh. In asking for feedback, I was told that all 3 (THREE!) of us scored high, but that the one had the highest score. They also told me that I might want to focus more on current experience - I had focused more on previous places/experience because I was trying to target management skills.
I also had brought a sheet of paper in with me with notes, and was told that I might have projected more confidence without it. I'd never brought a sheet in with me before ... and won't do it again.
Thankfully, the same day I received the disappointing news, I also got a different interview scheduled! That happened this past Tuesday.
This job is working at a city agency which helps seniors. They really have an amazing breadth of resources they offer. My job would be a lot of data entry, data verification, data reports, and also helping to put out fires at different centers (the agency covers 8 counties.) It would be one step up from the position I am currently in - which obviously means not a huge pay increase, but I would go to the next step in pay, so *some* increase AND the ceiling is higher.
I should know about this by the end of this week. Sigh. I was a whole lot nervous going into this one - didn't use a skills reminder paper, and made sure to emphasize current related experience.
They had completely different questions than what I was expecting. Mostly directly related to the required job skills. None of the usual - what is your strength/weakness, tell about how you handle a conflict, etc. They did have one very different question - tell us about how you are amazing. I was pretty stumped on that one ... but did come up with something which I think worked (the person who would be my boss said "that is amazing!")
In other news ... I am SERIOUSLY contemplating taking a trip to Ireland this coming May with the community college I'm taking classes at. It's from May 18 - 28, and cost $3200. That covers airfare, hotels, ground transportation, breakfast and supper, costs of entrance to various sites, and something else. The only thing it doesn't cover is the cost of the 3 credit class you have to enroll for as part of it.
I looked up airfare to Dublin, and found the cheapest flight is $1200. So ... 9 days of hotels, probably another $800 (sharing rooms), and the rest the cost of food/entrances/transportation.
I have $1600 that I had set aside for going to France when I thought my brother/sil were going to have a formal wedding ceremony there (doesn't look like that's happening ... they just bought a house - $623k!!) So, that is about half the cost. The total is due in April, so that gives me about 6 months to come up with the other half.
I haven't done the BOFA credit card bonus for $200 yet, so I could do that. Then I'll keep my eye out for more checking bonuses - I just got a $300 bonus from BOFA, but need to keep that open a couple more months with direct deposit. Otherwise I'd go for the Chase Bank checking deal and get up to $600 bonus (can't split my direct deposit unfortunately.)
I'll just have to keep on the lookout. Plus just will have to really be careful on my spending. Plus if people as me for gift ideas ...
My DH thinks I'm silly to be spending so much money on a trip. I agree, it's a lot of money ... but IRELAND?!
I have a couple more weeks to make the final decision. But I really think I'm going to do it! (I am waiting to hear if I get the job first too - would need to run the vacation dates by my new boss first to make sure that's not a bad time to leave.)
So on Monday I get a text from my brother telling me that he's met someone who is "it" and he wants to bring her on the cruise with us in Sept.
I tell him that while I would love to meet his new girl, I felt that adding her to our cruise would change the whole tenor of it. (IOW - he'd be totally into her and we'd get very little time just us.)
He then tells me mom suggested it.
Tuesday I stayed home from work sick. Had a long conversation with my brother. Found out he'd been dating this girl for less than a month, but feels SURE she is the real deal.
She's 28, a French citizen, and possibly Catholic. (The only reason this last bit matters is that the faith my brother and I were raised in is quite different than Catholicism. Plus he'd probably have to have his first marriage annulled.) Her family owns some wine vineyards in France I think.
He's traveling to London in a few weeks to meet her family at her brother's graduation from Oxford. Then she's going to be getting some 90 day Visa to be in the States, while working on securing a job so she can stay.
The cruise falls within the first month of this 90 days.
So … I spent another 40 minutes on the phone with Expedia finding out how / if we could make these changes.
I didn't have her full name or birthdate, so it mostly was a waste of time.
Then my mom called, and that was another hour+ on the phone.
My brother got her info to me on Thursday morning. My boss kindly let me take an extended morning break (after I gave her a brief rundown)
An hour on the phone with the CS rep yielded the following -
Because we were going from triple occupancy to double occupancy, my mom and I's room costs $240 extra.
My brother and J's cabin will be an extra $700 above what he'd already paid.
Plus of course transportation costs are going to go up.
Oh yeah, I'm pretty sure I'm going to lose my Swagbucks on this deal now.
I was just barely figuring out how to cover all the expenses in time - so now to have to add an extra $120 to it …. UGH! Especially since if she actually does come (a lot can happen in 3 months …), then I'll have very little time with just my brother. Which was sort of the purpose of the whole trip!
So … I'm scrambling to see if I can find any new bank bonuses. I think I'm probably done with CC bonuses for at least a year. I'd thought about selling my iPad, but I've started using it a good bit again lately.
I could have just said NO, but then there'd be a good possibility that he'd decide to just not come.
*We haven't been reimbursed for the water heater yet ... I'm going to wait til Tuesday, then contact them if it still hasn't come. Grrr...
*Tuesday was our two year anniversary. We did a mini-road trip on Wednesday.
While on our mini-trip we stopped at two fish stores. DH saw some corals he was very interested in, and I saw a Clown Trigger fish which I think I might like to get after the cruise (when I have spending money again ...)
We ate at a Mexican restaurant in Glenwood, Iowa which we'd been to before and really liked. The food was very good again, but our server left a lot to be desired.
Still, it was a nice way to mark 2 years.
*I got my $200 checking bonus from one of the Christian credit unions.
*I also got my $100 bonus from My Money Bank
*I see my $150 bonus pending on my US Bank card, but it's been pending for several weeks ...
*I cashed out for $25 Paypal from Earnhoney and Swagbucks, as well as $25 AGC from Perk
*We way overspent on groceries this month .. mostly due to my reverting back to some bad eating habits. I'm really trying to reign those in again. Both for $$ reasons and for health.
*I'm halfway through a Runbet and a Stepbet. I also am participating in a Spryfit bet that will end at the same time. About $120 tied up between the three.
* I need to get my passport sorted soon. Only 4 months to go!
*I have been tracking flight prices with Google Flights, so far the cheapest flight has been $216. But that doesn't include baggage. I'll probably pull the trigger in the next week or two.
*I have completed 3 weeks of physical therapy for my shoulder now. I don't think there's been much improvement yet. They tell me it can take 4 - 6 weeks ... then if still not good, do an MRI. Ugh.
*I slogged through Lost in Space and also Let it Go on Netflix. LiS has little bad language and no sexy scenes. LiG is the complete opposite ... is about the realities of motherhood.
I was so excited last week when I was able to order the Dash mini waffle iron (with my Perk Amazon card.) Then I got it and put a sweet potato puree mixture in it - trying something I'd seen somewhere.
I have managed to get most of it off, but there still is a decent amount left.
I can't remove the plates or run them under water. I used a damp paper towel, a damp dish towel, a pair of silicone mini-tongs .... all helped, but not enough.
Any ideas? I really want to use this thing!
I had my 3rd PT appointment on Thursday. The PT assistant told me she thinks it is my upper trap, not my rotator cuff, due to the pain radiating throughout my arm AND the huge knot in my trap area.
So she's concentrating on working out the knot ... as am I.
My arm was really throbbing Wed pm, and I REALLY did not feel like going out for a run. Did it anyway, and my arm actually felt better? PT said I probably relaxed the right muscles while running.
I did my 3rd run today. Good thing since winter seems to be coming back for a visit the next two days. Yuck.
DH and I had a good discussion last night, although it was almost totally derailed before even getting started with me getting ticked at him when he snapped at me. Schwan's guy came at just the right time to give me a few minutes to cool down (got him to take me off his route list)
DH will be going to see his stepdad on Sunday evening(something he is NOT looking forward to) so I pretty much have the weekend to myself.
I am hoping I met the final requirement for a $200 checking bonus in time. Yesterday I was double checking what was needed for each bonus, and realized I hadn't set up estatements. Oops. Have them set up now.
I finished a Jan Karon book (Father Tim) "Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good" and started another one "Come Rain or Come Shine." It had been awhile since I'd read the series, so I'm not totally sure where I'd left off at.
My eating isn't going well to put it mildly. Sugar sugar sugar ...junk. At least breakfast and lunch are still healthy ....
On Monday I'm going to a customer service training thing. I'm just happy for a day out of the office - paid.
Hopefully all the SBs coupon prints will credit on Monday so I won't have to fiddle too much to reach the daily goal.
Still loving my standing desk. Getting lots of questions about it too.