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DD 16 - Houston, there's been a delay

September 20th, 2016 at 07:22 pm

No Soda. About an 80% on the daily dozen. Chocolate bought and consumed.

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The day didn't start well. I tossed and turned more than slept. Then when DH got home he tells me he's decided his car is "safe" for a 6 hour shift, so wouldn't be using mine. After a 2 hour "discussion" he promised to come straight home and change cars if he had the slightest hesitation about the wheel bearing. (DH got home about 3:20 a.m.)

As soon as I turned the lights on at work, I had a customer - one of the agencies. I later found out that I gave them the low income version instead of the full fare. I was blurry eyed and a bit foggy AND had two calls on hold before I'd even logged in. uGH.

After lunch I found out that the route changes are being postponed til November 1. Citing that the city budget has not been passed.

This is a mixed blessing. On one hand having more time to finalize prep will be very helpful. On the other hand, we have spent a massive amount of time advertising an Oct 3 start date. Now we get to explain that there's a new start date...

BTW - if anyone has an interest in bus driving, we are looking for drivers. ASAP.

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I helped out the first open house about the new routes tonight. 120 people showed up! Less than 7% sounded disgruntled, and of those, most of them we were able satisfy them.

It was actually kind of fun. Tomorrow I get to do it all over again. 4 hours overtime, thanks much. Smile

Doctor Visit Results ..

July 22nd, 2016 at 05:45 pm

So I finally heard back from my doctor about the bloodwork results. My lymphocytes had gone back into the normal range, but my platelets had not. She also said that my ferritan levels were on the low side. So she suggested two options - try taking iron supplements for two months and retest; or, go see a hematologist.

I decided to try the iron pills first. Reading about the symptoms of low iron, it sounds a lot like me. Extreme fatigue, brittle nails, etc.

The problem is though, I eat a lot of foods that are iron rich! My smoothie five days a week has strawberries, etc. in it. Spinach, raisins, pumpkin seeds, and on and on are most of my diet.(outside of my chocolate addiction ...)

So I don't get how I could have low iron.

Right now I'll try just about anything to get my energy back. So .. iron supplements it is. (taken with OJ for now - vitamin C helps the iron absorb better.)

The supplements are pretty cheap - got a 30 day supply for just a few dollars. So .. worth it.

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DH and I had our first date night (just us) Thursday night for July. Ordered out from Ming's and ate in the bedroom with the door shut - to keep the cats out. Smile

I had been supposed to cook, but just had no energy to do so. So DH suggested Ming's. Smile I'm going to do the CC roast on Sunday instead (when it's likely I'll have the most energy, after two days of not working.)

We still have most of our date night budget left - since DH's friend paid for our meal at the Chineese buffet on Sunday.

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DHs friend who we dogsat for and who had indicated he'd reimburse us for the meds we bought for his dog ... well, it looks like he isn't going to follow through on that. Ugh.

I bought the meds knowing full well that we might not be reimbursed, but of course I was hoping! $150 out the door.

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Our electric bill ... OMW! Somehow I missed the June bill (amoungst the many final bills, etc) - that was $99. Then the July bill - $149! Ouch!!!

We had our a/c set at 72 - DH agreed to let me put it up to 78. I couldn't sleep at all at 78. So put it down to 76. That seems ok so far.

Hopefully our next bill won't be so huge!

DH helpfully told me that big electricity bills should be expected in a house in the summer. Really hubby? I had no idea. Smile Doesn't mean I have to like it- or live with it! Big Grin

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Our checks for our joint account finally came today. We bought them from Walmart - enough to probably last us the rest of our lives. Smile (250 I think.)

It came in some weird packaging from someplace in New Braunfel's TX. At first I thought it was some kind of tourist brochure and almost tossed it without opening ... Glad I didn't do that!

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At work we now have 8 women and two men in administration. Smile One of our men who retired at 53 was replaced by a woman.

I really like her so far. In fact, she helped me out big time with a project I was working on.

We are changing our bus routes and our time schedules completely in October. My boss gave me a spreadsheet with all the time schedules on it for all the routes that one of the dispatchers had created.

The problem with it was 1. All the routes and times were on one sheet; and 2. All the times were written without a colon. i.e. 843P instead of 8:43P

So, the first problem was easily fixed. It was the second problem which caused me a great deal of frustration. How to insert a colon into umpteen cells without having to click on each one individually?

I tried every thing I knew how to do, plus what I could find on Google. Nada. Then TN saved the day by suggesting a V Lookup - and made one for me too!

From there, it was just a matter of around 4 hours of copying and pasting. Smile (There were a lot! of times needing colons ...)

Doctor Visit and a Close Call

July 11th, 2016 at 07:37 pm

So today I took off of work early to go to my doctor's appointment. My boss came out to help someone at the window who'd come just as I was getting ready to go.

Before heading out, I stopped at the restroom. Then I had to pass near the window on my way out. Guess who was at the window being helped by my boss? Let's see if you can guess, "My problem is that I don't agree with the policy about lost passes ..."

As soon as I saw/heard this, I scooted out of there ASAP. Seriously, that lady is back already? Did she lose her pass already? I am SO glad I didn't have to deal with her before leaving, or my blood pressure would have been sky high!

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As it was, I left with plenty of time to get there. You never know how long it'll take ... I got to the turn off about 30 minutes early, but then missed the turn off.... So, got there about 20 minutes early. Smile

They still had me in their system by my maiden name, so got that all updated. Then gave them the bill from the lab with my maiden name (got a call later from their coding department telling me I'll have to get back in contact with the original place. This may be fun ...)

Anyway, when my doctor finally came in to the room she told me that my platelets have always ran kind of high ... really? But that they don't usually get concerned til its in the 600's (mine was 580.) But still combined with the lymphocytes, it was worth looking into. So she's scheduled me for a repeat CBC and a blood smear (where a person looks at the individual cells?) That'll happen on Wednesday morning.

She also is referring me to an allergist. She said that I could possibly take allergy shots for a couple of years, and then be DONE with allergies! Oh joy! If that is truly possible... I'll deal with getting shot up every month for a few years!

She thinks that my tiredness, moodiness, nauseousness, lack of energy etc etc etc can all be attributed to my allergies (and insomnia due to allergies/taking Allegra D.)

All I know is I'd really like to stop putting all these chemicals into my body (especially when they don't seem to be helping all that much) and get my energy back!

We'll see I guess.

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On Sunday I made a recipe from the Stuffed at the Gills blog for Chow Mein noodles. It reminded me sort of of my favorite Amy's meal - Chinese Noodles with Cashew sauce. It was a bit of work ... but oh so good! Even DH approved. (We had a bit of a tiff because he was tired of my "trying" out recipes that weren't turning out that great ... we compromised that I'd limit my "trying out recipes" to 2 x a month. Otherwise we'll stick with ones we know we like already. Whatever. )

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I've started putting FSA eligible expenses on my credit card. I also downloaded the app for the FSA place - already have submitted two claims and been reimbursed for one. Pretty nifty! (Now if I can just find the receipt for the copay DH had back in May ... getting his 1 1/2 year checkup on his shoulder, that'd be another $25 back in the budget ... gotta be around here somewhere.)

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Our associate pastor preached this week. While I'm not too sure what I think of him overall, I did really like the story he focused on and how he related it to today.

He talked about the story of Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well. His focus was on how Jesus gave a great example of breaking down walls and barriers. Jews and Samaritans were very close cousins, but hated each other. The Jews thought they were better than the Samaritans. Sound familiar?

What I wonder is how can I / we go about breaking down the walls / barriers today? How can we make everyone feel equally worthy of love, equally worthy of a good place in the world, equally worthy of respect, equally worthy of dignity? All of us bleed the same color ... no matter race, religion or sexual orientation. All of us are equal in God's eyes.

How can we get the blinders off of peoples eyes so they can really see this? If we could do this, the world would be so much better off.

Sigh.

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On an unrelated note - I got the iPad working again without having to take it in anywhere. Smile It is now mine. Ha ha ha. Big Grin (DH is quite happy with his Chromebook.)

Personal Responsibility - Does anyone have it anymore??

July 5th, 2016 at 06:35 pm

What a wonderful first day back at work after a long weekend. Not.

Starts off with a mentally challenged man making rude gestures at me while telling me he's not stupid and that he could do any of our jobs better than we can ... No idea what prompted this - I hadn't even had a chance to say good morning to him before he started off ..

Then multiple calls of complainers ...

Then I realize that I put a $5 bill in the $1 bill section, but got distracted before I could move it to the right place. Guess how much the cash box was off? $5. first time I've been off in months. Ugh.

Then of course ... the sinus headache....

Topped off by the lady who had called last month about losing her bus pass and wanting us to replace it for her for free. When she was told that our policy is that we are not responsible for lost passes, she ranted about how illogical and stupid that ws to me on the phone for ten minutes, and then when I transfered her to the bus driver supervisor, she ranted to him for ten+ minutes - finally ending that she was going to contact the mayor about our stupid policy.

So ... she shows up today just after I finished counting the cash and realizing that I was short $5. My head was pounding. There was 8 minutes left to go.

She asks me if I remembered her calling about her lost pass. I told her that I talk to a lot of people in a month, so sorry, I didn't . Then she says she'd found her pass, so had "let it go." Then proceeds to rant and rave for ten+ minutes about how stupid and illogical our policy is. Acting like she expected me to agree with her.

One particular gem ... someone losing their pass isn't the fault of the bus company, nor is it the fault of the person who bought the pass - it's an act of God. So of course the bus company should refund or replace the pass. I wanted to say - Are you out of your mind? Seriously? On what planet is you losing your pass an act of God?

Finally at 4:33 she says that she has to get out of there. My boss wasn't much help .. just came by as she was leaving to tell me it was time to log out and go. Gee, really? How about telling this lady her ranting time was way past up.

I plan on asking her if I can tell this lady if she dares show her face again, that she needs to buy her pass elsewhere. I do NOT want to deal with her again.

(I'd reiterated multiple times that this is our policy. Did no good. She just wanted to rant.)

Then after work I call back our insurance agent about the plumber claim. She told me that they won't cover it (the broken faucet) because the inspection report said that it needed to be replaced because it was about to fall off. Huh?? We were told it was leaking and might need to be replaced, but nothing about it about to fall off ... oh well.) While on the phone with her I stuck my foot in my mouth and told her that we hadn't liked our realtor C very much - one reason being that we had felt like we'd kind of been pushed along in the house deal - for instance, being told to not ask for any thing to be fixed that wasn't major in the inspection report otherwise the deal might fall through. Not to mention that we'd both felt like we did nearly all the legwork of finding places, and he did nothing until we actually had a house to make an offer on .. Too late, I remembered that she had been suggested by our realtor C.

Oops. I plan on sending her an email tomorrow apologizing - not for what I said, because it truly was how DH and I feel - but that she wasn't really the right person to say it to. We hadn't planned on saying it to anyone really - just not recommending C as a realtor if anyone ever asked us.

Then I get home and in the mail is a bill for some labwork I had done back in February I think. I'd gotten a bill for it previously, and called to explain about the name change on my insurance. Apparently I need to call again - because they are still trying to charge me for the full $270.

Ugh. I hate talking on the phone!

I have a doctor's appointment on Monday. Presumably to discuss the labwork with the high platelet/lymphocyte count. But I also plan on bringing up my sinus headaches/allergies and pushing the doctor to help me get something figured out other than what I'm already doing (which only seems to work some of the time.) These sinus headaches are making my life miserable.

Irritable and the House and Obamacare/tax Question

March 14th, 2016 at 05:01 pm

So .. I went to work today. Within about 20 minutes of getting there I was really wishing I was back home.

People on the phone being obtuse. My computer got switched out on Friday (which is a good thing, mostly) which meant that I had to re do all my settings ... and my locator application was hidden, and a my address book program didn't get put back on .... etc., etc.

Then I talk to my supervisor to find out what the text on Friday was all about. She told me that people taking Friday and Mondays off is a pattern of someone unhappy at work.

So I told her I had a doctor's note because I was genuinely not feeling well! At first she tells me she doesn't need it. Then ten minutes later she comes out and wants to see it. I thought that was pretty bizarre.

Can I take 20 more years of this?????

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So ... the houses. First, the $52k (1880) one. The reason it is $52k is because it needs extensive renovation. Plumbing, electric, etc., etc. Neither FHA nor Rural loans would work for it unless a lot of improvements were made first (by current owners.)
We didn't get to look inside of it because C (our Realtor) hadn't gotten in touch with the seller's Realtor. (Granted, the house was only listed on one site, which made it difficult to find.)

The $120k house. Mr FT and I got there more than an hour before scheduled time and just drove around the town/area, and walked around the property. Sigh. Love. Love. Love. That feeling you get when a place is just *right.*

A super sappy wide smile lighting my face as we walk around inside the house.

Until ... heart falls into stomach ... the basement wall has bulges....

C at first declared "you guys don't want this house" but then after looking it over more, he told us that it wasn't as bad as some he's seen, and maybe it could be fixed.

He's suggesting offering 85k (last tax assessment of $95k) -- 15 y.o. roof, basement wall issues, the amount of work the yard will take to get it back to a manicured level, etc. (Where we would ask for a credit for the roof, them to get the basement taken care of, and closing costs.)

Mr FT and I feel like we're capable of tackling the yard stuff (although probably hire out the dead tree removal.)

We're taking time to sleep on it a few times and think some more about it.

I also have a call in to the mortgage broker person to find out what would disqualify a house from an FHA or Rural loan. (i.e. the basement or roof)

Love, love, love the house/land/town. Love. Will feel so sad if we can't make it work. Worth the 30+ minute commute.

I'd love to share a link to the property, but we might end up actually living there ... so Smile

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I came across an article today that mentioned something about Obamacare which got me wondering.

Mr FT has healthcare through the NE health exchange. He's getting subsidies.

I have health insurance through my employer.

When we get married, Mr FT is going on my insurance and dropping his insurance.

Now what I can't figure out, is this - I know tax wise we'll be considered married for the whole 2016 tax year. So, I had already figured we may have to pay back part of his subsidy. But ... now I'm wondering if we'll have to pay ALL of it back - because once he marries me, he'll be disqualified from having Obamacare coverage.

I haven't been able to find anything definitive on this. That could be a lot of money. Gulp. It also really doesn't seem fair ... but what is fair in life, right? Especially when it comes to government and taxes. Sigh.

Well Darn It!

February 2nd, 2016 at 04:57 pm

When I was working as a school librarian in New Mexico, I was part of a program called Americorps. As part of that program you get an education award for each year of service. I earned two awards.

I used about 30% of it for a certificate program, but have had no use for the rest of it.

With marrying Mr FT, my plan was to transfer the award to him so he could pay off his student loans.

I'm almost POSITIVE I read that the only qualification was it had to be an immediate family member.

But ... tonight I was doing a little more research into it to refresh my memory. Unless I was reading something way different, I really messed up.

Apparently you can only transfer it to a child or grandchild AND only then if you were 55+ years old when entering into Americorps service.

If this is truly the case, then we won't be able to pay off his student loans in one fell swoop. So .. I guess that means that we really have no reason to wait to actually buy a house til after we're married. (I figured it would take a few months for the award to be transferred, and then pay off the loans.)

What a colossal waste of money. The award money will expire in 5 years (7 years from end of service.) I have absolutely no desire to go back to school for anything.

Ugh and Double Ugh!

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We sure got some snow here this morning! There was nothing by 2 a.m., and then when I looked again at 4, there was at least 4 inches. By noon, there had been at least 10!

I got stuck trying to get out of my parking lot and couldn't find my shovel. So I improvised and used ... a mop! Then when I came home tonight, I had to make 3 attempts to get up the little hill into the parking lot!

I kept track today of how many calls I took asking about if the buses were running. Over 100 total, but 45 of them were in the first hour! Other people were also taking similar calls.

It didn't help that Omaha shut down their bus system. I think that got a lot of people here panicked that we were going to do so as well. How nice would a snow day be ... Smile (did you notice how well I slept last night? Yeah.)

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I may have misunderstood the Brink's PrePaid deal. I have an email in to customer service to clarify, but from what I can gather, it pays interest 1 x per quarter, not monthly. Which is why I didn't have any interest show up for this month. The .50% is for amounts over $5k, so it still should be 5% for the first $5k.

Waiting now for clarification.

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I received my $25 AGC from SBs today. Pretty fast since I only ordered it yesterday!

Last Day of Year 39

December 14th, 2015 at 05:09 pm

So ... I had lots of ideas and plans for year 39. Those plans and ideas worked about as well as most New Year's resolutions. Smile

Nevertheless, a new decade of life means maybe plans and ideas and goals can be a bit better off than just another set of resolutions. We'll see I guess.

Financially I did okay. As of now I have quite a few LTP (long term planning) funds fully funded and have started on the Car and House funds.

Health/weight wise ... um ... If I remember what I started at last December ... Well ... I pretty much maintained I guess. I pretty much haven't been to the gym in at least 3 months (although I have been exercising - just not at the gym.)

Friendship wise ... While I still don't have anyone here I "hang out" with outside of church activities, I am a little more involved. Maybe eventually that will lead to something. Someday.

Relationship wise .... Mostly good, with some frustrations that rear themselves at times overly much. But that generally tends to happen when I'm way overtired.

Job wise - Most days/most of the time it's ok. I have a great boss, and a couple co-workers I also like. The co-workers who were causing drama before have pretty much completely laid off. So ... it's tolerable.

It's definitely helping being able to take time off now and then to get away. Like today - I took off to have a long weekend as my birthday present to myself. Although I might have taken today off anyway because Sunday I did something to my back, plus feeling miserable cold/allergies. (My back is feeling better tonight, as are my cold/allergies.)

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Yesterday NE and I went to the local urgent care place because NE had a finger infection. (Most likely from him biting off a hang nail ... When I asked him if he was going to stop doing that - Why? 1st problem in 49 years? - Ohhhhkaaayyy.)

While we were waiting for his prescription to get filled, we went over to SuperTarget. I had $2 coupons for cat litter (Scoop Away 25lb) plus the Savings Catcher had 25% off it. I unfortunately forgot my Red Card though - asked at the front desk and was told to bring my receipt the next time and they'd make an adjustment.

Of course ... I wasn't used to having NE along on a shopping trip, so I also spaced using the coupons (but not the savings catcher!)

I went back to Target today and was able to get both the 5% adjustment and the $4 in coupons! (I also bought a 3rd box with a coupon. Kari is SET for litter for a long time!)

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While I was out today I also stopped at Walmart - mainly to pick up a few iBotta items - definitely things I'll use, but didn't need right now. I also was really wanting to find a Terry's Chocolate Orange .... no luck. Stopped at a few other places too. All sold out. Frown

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I cashed out for $20 from iBotta today, and also for $25 PayPal from Swagbucks.

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I got a postcard from my doctor letting me know that I need to schedule a baseline mammogram .... Oh the joys of my new decade. Smile I was going to do it today, but then realized that I don't know what my bosses schedule is like ... so need to get that info first.

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My aunt (who Thrifty Ray has met) has really gotten into knitting since retiring. While I was in CA over Thanksgiving she made me slippers, and had me pick out the yarn for an afghan. She texted me today to let me know that it was finished! I might have it here by Friday. So cool! (Or should I say, so warm!)

Now that we can post pics again, I'll post a picture of it when I get it. Smile

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If I'm on the upward mend of this cold on top of allergies thing, then hopefully within the next few days I'll have the energy to get my apartment back into shape. I'd really hate for the property manager to come in right now ... (not dirty, just really, really cluttered/messy)

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Oh! I almost forgot. I logged in to restaurant . com today to buy the gift certificate for the fancy place NE and I will be going to on Thursday night. Only to find out that my $200 credit seemed to have completely disappeared!! I checked on Living Social to make sure they hadn't reversed the offer I'd purchased or something ...

I wrote customer service and got a form reply telling me how to redeem an offer. Ugh! I replied ... nothing back yet.

SO VEry Aggravating. (I bought a $200 r.com gift certificate for $35 from Living Social. I hadn't used any of it yet!)

Work, etc.

November 10th, 2015 at 07:45 pm

So today was one of those days at work.

I had the person who kept interrupting me before I could answer their question ...

I had the person who started taking Jesus's name in vain all because they were going to have a 30 minute wait at the main transfer station ...

I had the person who came to the window on their cell phone and acted very annoyed with every question I asked / every time I spoke to them ...

Then I had someone ask me why we have a sign up about no cell phones at the window --- point to above reason ---

Then I had the person who had no earthly idea of their location and expected me to know where they were by just rattling off some business names (gas station, other places that are multiple locations ...)

So yeah ...

Not to mention that the office is super duper COLD. I think it's colder inside than it is outside! I wore a sweater today which helped, but my hands were still freezing!

Then CW who loaded a time sensitive project on me a few months ago started telling me about a new project she wants me to do. Supposedly NOT a time sensitive one - but to do whenever I have time to fill.

She of course went on and on and on off on different rabbit trails. I told her I'd be happy to do it - I just can't log off the phone very often nor for very long. (Like I had to log off the phone when she came to tell me about this project .. 25 minutes later ...)

Seriously, if she'd stop talking so much to people about how little time she has and how much she is overwhelmed, she might just get done what she needs to get done! I would guess she wastes at least 6+ hours a week talking about this to various people at the office (mostly me or my supervisor.)

She's a nice person, but I try to avoid her if I can just because she can be a time suck.

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I think I've decided to NOT do the transmission flush for my car tomorrow. I did some more reading on it, and it looks like it's not recc'd until at least 100k. I am still going to get my tires rotated and my belts looked at (Toyota Yaris's don't have timing belts - the have timing chains, which almost never need to be replaced.)

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So .. today was not a no spend day. I gave in to temptation. I stopped at Walgreen's hoping they had the chocolate oranges in.

Nope. But I did still end up buying a couple of candy bars and a Coke. Also bought toilet cleaner. ~$6 total

I was also WAY tempted to stop by BK. But I managed to resist that one. Yay me?

Thinking I'd have a sweet potato for dinner. Nope. Checked them and they'd all gone bad. Argh.

So .. finally opened up a box of Quorn Chic'n Cutlets I bought in September? Microwaved two of them according to directions.

Yuck. Double yuck. SO bland. I had to smother them in ketchup to eat.

I think the only thing to do is to fry them in breading or something. Which kind of negates the whole healthy factor (and since I'll need to use eggs to get the breading to stick ... makes them not vegan. Not that I really care about that.)

I've got around 5 more boxes of Cutlets left. 3 boxes of nuggets (which I *think* are breaded.)

These are definitely NOT going to be a good deterrent to my "stop at BK or eat at home" argument with myself ...

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Decided to NOT go to a movie tonight. Just too tired (didn't sleep well last night at all.)

Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be nasty. I'm so glad I won't have to field phone calls on a day like tomorrow will probably be. Doubly glad to have tomorrow off.

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Almost forgot - a bus funny -

Guy calls me and tells me he left a horse statue on the bus. I clarify with him until I get the picture that it is a 6 inch wooden statue of a horse. He had it sitting on the seat next to him. Not in a bag or anything - just out on the seat.

Another one - guy calls complaining about a couple who brought on two large dogs on the bus. Says that the bus driver told the couple they had to pay $1 per dog.

Um ... Had my supervisor talk to this guy. She figured out that he had no real idea what time this happened or for sure which bus route. She thinks he was making it all up. (No, we don't charge for animals brought on to the bus.)

Bizarre.