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I got home Sunday night about 9 p.m. I'm thankful I took today off as well, because the lawn was in dire need of being mowed, plus I needed to do all my usual prep for the week things.
Overall I had a good time.
Saturday night before the cruise a good friend I hadn't seen in years stayed with us at our hotel. We stayed up WAY late talking.
She has two elementary aged children and her husband has a debilitating illness which pretty much puts the whole load on her. Thankfully before the illness manifested itself, he was a border patrol agent and had all kinds of insurance on himself. Including long term disability.
I had to deal with an eBay buyer claiming I hadn't sent their item. Finally they admitted that their son's roommate had taken it. No apology of course.
The absolute best part of the trip was our excursion on Roatan, Honduras. It started out a little iffy - we were following our guide through the neighborhood streets of the city to our van. (We got there late.)
Once we were in the van with the others, we drove for about 45 minutes through the island. We really got a good look at their reality I think, versus how often tourists are given only the pretty version of a place.
Our first stop was an animal sanctuary. Outside where we waited, there were a number of cats hanging around which made me feel right at home.
Inside, I got to hold a sloth!! I also held a mccaw bird and went into a monkey cage. The monkeys were hilarious. I took some videos but am not sure how to share them here.
This one guy in our group got peed on by a monkey, and then later stung by a jellyfish. His wife wanted to go horseback riding - he adamantly said no.
After the animal sanctuary, we went snorkeling near a shipwreck. I've been snorkeling before and feel pretty confident about my swimming abilities. But I am SO glad I decided to use a life jacket.
The shipwreck was in a coral reef which was very near the surface. A former Corneal freaked out and so did my mom - before getting very far. I freaked out too - but mostly because I had been holding back waiting for my mom and was separated from the group. I was worried I wouldn't find a path back to the boat through the coral.
I did see some fish, but I'm glad I didn't bother with buying a camera to take pictures - I never was relaxed enough to do that.
It really was a great time overall though.
Our other two ports were Cozumel and Costa Maya Mexico. We only went ashore for a few hours at each of those places - it was SO hot and humid.
After being to a few stores you pretty much saw everything available. I bought DH a t-shirt, and a nice top for myself. Mom bought a bunch of various things.
Most of the entertainment was top notch. One of the two comedians was quite funny. One night they had a musical version of Saturday Night Fever which was amazing. Another night they had a Cirque de so lei(sp?) style performance which was phenomenal.
The first night mom had a raging fit and we ended up getting move to a room with a port hole …. Loved the room, but could have lived without the embarrassment. (One of her bags had the tag ripped off, so she was sent all over looking for it, everyone assuming there must be alcohol or an iron in it. Neither of us drink.)
The first three days we had some rough seas and lots of rain. It was a very weird sensation to run on a treadmill on rough seas …
I was able to find PLENTY to eat. I had salad for lunch and dinner, plus cooked veggies and fresh fruit. I did veer away from my diet a little … um … chocolate molten cake ….
I don't think I gained anything - but I did make a point to take the stairs as much as possible. Plus made use of the treadmill a few times.
Okay - I made a shared album if you want to see the videos and more pictures. I'm going to see if I can help mom figure out how to add hers to the shared album too.
Waiting to board ship:
Cats outside animal sanctuary
Selfie with monkey
Outside a shop in Roatan
Well, I don't know that there is really that much financial to write about. Let's see ...
I finished my 6th week of physical therapy for my shoulder today. It finally seems to be making some progress. The PT guy came in and suggested doing a laser treatment - usually costs $249 for 6 treatments if done by itself (insurance doesn't cover) but would be $20/visit on top of my copay.
He gave me one free treatment today.... I gotta say, I think it did help.
He mentioned that he thinks I may have the beginnings of frozen shoulder ... The pain is getting better, but there's still only so far I can lift my arm in various directions without my shoulder protesting. PT guy said it was stiffness from not being used.
He told me to stretch, stretch, stretch - even if it was causing discomfort. That's the only way I'll prevent frozen shoulder.
So ... I'm bullying through the discomfort and stretching!
DH and I were discussing the need to check our gutters again. He has two bad shoulders (and a fear of heights) and with my shoulder situation, I don't think climbing a ladder is a good idea.
It would be far less expensive for us to hire someone to come out and do it, then for me to get up there and fall again!
I mowed our yard on Sunday - between picking up sticks/trash and mowing it took 3 hours. Ugh. Then the next day up pops TONS of dandelions. Double ugh. It almost looked like I hadn't done anything to the yard.
I have one run left to do to complete my Runbet, and one day to complete my Stepbet. 3 days to complete my Spryfit bet.
I paid our home insurance and my car insurance today. $1347 out the door. Oh well, it was all budgeted for.
My grandma's been having lots of health issues recently. Her pacemaker hasn't been doing it's job as well as it should - she had to have it recalibrated? once, and almost went in a second time. She's now on a low potassium, liquid diet. Hopefully Frosty's are low potassium, because she LOVES her Frosty's.
I have the sad feeling that she probably isn't going to make it to 98. (She turns 97 in September.) We are prepared for the phone call with our Emergency Travel funds. A fund you hope you don't have to use for a long, long time, but are very glad to have when you do need it.
I still am not getting my eating back under control. Breakfast and lunch most days are very healthy and on plan ... it's just what I eat at night isn't very good.
I'm hoping this weekend I will actually follow through with my meal prepping plans and have everything ready to go for the week. When I manage to do that, the week seems to go so much better with my managing to eat healthfully. Less wasted food too. (DH is very frustrated with the food waste ... I am too, but I have all these great plans about what I'm going to do with it ... then it becomes a science experiment before I get to it ...)
At least I'm doing good at getting my exercise in ...
Sigh. (Diet is 80-90% of the health battle. Exercise is important, but it can't replace healthy eating.)
So I finally got my W2 today, plus a form from the second bank we use.
We'd gotten the form from the railroad retirement place too, but it's confusing. On the top form it says RRB-1099 and has info for both 2016 and 17. The next 3 slips are RRB-1099-R - the amount listed is different, and nothing is said about 2016.
Of course, I entered the new info (plus seeing what would happen if I put 1400 in my traditional to max it out.)
The only form that matched the available forms for the railroad was the RRB-1099-R. So that's all I entered.
Somehow we just barely squeezed past the saver's credit.
Even so, once my retirement contributions from work were entered correctly, it shows us a refund of $825 federal and $166 NE! (with maxing my IRA - otherwise 625 and 66.)
I still need the form from Vanguard before I can file, but I think we may be getting a nice little boost after all.
Thanks all for your comments on my last post. We had another discussion last night that didn't go well. Either he thinks I'm being controlling (You make all the decisions anyway!) or he's upset because I didn't roll over backwards trying to figure out how to do what he wanted. (Which is what happens mostly ...)
I tried to start off the whole thing by showing him how much our networth had grown since August - from 237k to 262k. He of course has to nitpick what I'm including in networth (not house or other non actual dollar figure assets - the house, because I don't think we would be able to sell it for what we paid for it, and the rest are depreciating, so what's the point?!)
In other news ...
I got my bullet journal Sunday. I had a little time to work on it that night, and then spent a lot on it today at work.
So, here are some pics.
The Index / Collections
Habits / Tasks
Master Grocery List (part)
Here's the cover of my morning pages journal - I wish I could have found a similar cover for my bjournal, but it's better than most.
So on Thursday Sunny went in to the vet to have two teeth removed and be tested for the circevirus. (sp?)
The end result - 8 teeth were removed / fell out, she was tested for the virus and biopsied for cancer.
The vet said it was either cancer or gum disease.
I was hoping for gum disease. No such luck.
Our sweet baby girl is going to be heading to the Rainbow bridge sooner than later. I'm going to miss her so much. She is my favorite by far. Not very much of a cat's cat, but loves her humans.
With all of the vet visits in October and November, put pet fund is down to $400. A few months ago we had nearly $3k. I would spend it all again if we could've had a different outcome.
Someone on Facebook local is selling a clicker (used at the university) for $10! If you want me to, I could go pick it up for you.
I got credited for the Proactiv deal - spent $25 got 3000 SBs. So I cashed out for another $25 paypal. I made monthly master, and should ge getting 525 SBs for SB local plus the remainder of the dollar shave deal soon. So I'll be able to cash out again fairly quickly.
I will be selling the DS kits and proactive on eBay too.
I paid $14 for two DS kits on my AmEx - getting a $10 credit for it. Already had 700 SBs given to me - and should be getting the remainder of 2000 if I remember right.
I pulled the trigger on my new phone tonight. I ordered it directly from Ting so I don't have to mess with the SIM card or pay for it extra. Saves $10. It should be here in ten business days (slowest shipping)
I can hardly wait!
I also canceled our cable - but kept the Internet. Our "promotion" had ended and our rate jumped by $34. By canceling the cable portion, it took off $15.
I was going to switch to Internet Nebraska, but their contract with Time Warner expired and Spectrum isn't honoring it. So I want to wait to see what happens there.
We got back from our trip Thursday night. Overall, it was a good trip. It was the most time DH and I have ever spent together continuously .... 7 days of 24/7 togetherness.
Our first hotel was in Silverthorne, Colorado. Up til about 8 pm travel was good ... then after stopping for dinner at Beaux Jo's pizza, the snow + darkness + winding mountain roads started. I'm thankful DH was driving.
We discovered that my headlights are foggy and probably need to be replaced. Not a good discovery to be made on a road trip.
Our next stop was in Utah, near Zion Forrest. We ate at a Chinese buffet that had egg foo young!!
The next morning we spent a few hours at Zion - free admission due to Earth Day!
Then on to Las Vegas where we ate at a buffet that had eggplant parm AND tons of sweets ....
Finally we arrived in Loma Linda. Grandma and my uncle were happy to see us. We got to our hotel, and at first were happy ... but then realized the wifi didn't work. Which ... one night would be doable, 4 night not so much. But even worse ... it had a double bed and a sofa sleeper. No way DH and I could both sleep on a double bed. So I ended up on the sofa (DH's feet hung way over the edge.) It was a *miserable* night.
I hated to complain ... but no way was I going to make it on little sleep for 4 nights ...
We were moved to a Best Western. Best hotel ever (other than Branson.) Great room, great wifi ... but the best was the breakfast! Make your own Belgian waffles --- with chocolate chips to add .. and little Nutella packets!! DH liked the eggs/potatoes/meats they had too.
My brother didn't make it down ... said he was sick.
On Sunday my Uncle gave us a driving tour of the San Bernadino valley. DH got to pick oranges and grapefruit from a coup;e of groves. He got a kick out of that.
On Monday we went to Santa Monica pier. DH fished off the pier for a little while - he didn't catch anything, but did spot a sea lion! We ate at PF Chang's - I was the only one who seemed to like it. We spent a good five hours in traffic ....
On Tuesday we went to Lake Arrowhead and ate at a Mexican restaurant on the edge of a cliff.
We left about 6:30 Wednesday morning, and drove all the way to Grand Junction, CO. We made sure to get there during daylight.
Thursday we left about 6:50, and by 7:30 encountered rain, then sleet and then snow. We were out of it by around 11 .... Definitely slowed us down a bit. We got home around 8 pm.
Friday I got one of my tires fixed that had gotten a nail on our trip. It was nice to be back in my own bed with the cats ...
I've got the budget all updated. We spent approximately $540 between gas, hotels, food, etc. Not bad for a 7 day trip.
I have an interview on May 11 for one of the two jobs I applied for!!
Why are you wanting to leave your job? I hate the money aspect - handling cash. I'm also really tired of dealing with people on the phone ... --- Not a good answer, but the truth.
Have you had any conflict with coworkers - how did you handle it? Yes - one lady I helped with projects was a major perfectionist who couldn't tell you what she wanted in a simple, straight forward manner ... I got majorly stressed out dealing with her, and my supervisor and I had a meeting with her. Nobody liked her. She's gone now.
Again, not a good answer, but the truth.
What are your goals in five years? Umm, have a job? - What I usually say ... I hope to continually improve myself as a person and as an employee.
Why do you want this job? It's a good pay raise, and looks like a lot more fun than my current job - lots of computer related work and NO cash handling ... (I actually have to come up with two - three paragraphs for this question...)
What has been your greatest professional disappointment? (was totally stumped on this one .. finally came back with ... Not being able to foster a good collaborative community at the school I was a librarian at. I was able to get one or two teachers on board, but there was such a turnaround each year that I wasn't able to grow it.)
DH was looking into tiling costs for the cat room - remove carpet and add tile - he's figured bare min of $5k for the area. Gulp. We need to come up with some other option (less $$) - easy to clean, and won't soak up cat messes... The carpet isn't doing so well.
We plan on removing the carpet in the office and bedroom - hardwood floors under carpet, and tiling the bathroom (currently carpeted.) Hoping these moves will help the smell. (Getting rid of cats is NOT an option.)
If I get this other job, I plan on putting some of it towards a once a month housecleaner ..
Or .. if I *don't* get this job, I'm looking at a teaching Chinese children English online job .. do 8 - 10 hours a week for $18 - 22 +bonuses an hour. And use some of that to pay for a housecleaner.
I did gain about 4 lbs on this trip. I have until May 17 to lose those 4 lbs, plus 2 more to win round 4. I think I can do it. If not, then I'll be on my way to round 5.
I just need to go back to my stricter diet plan (ate LOTS of junkfood this trip .. plus not much movement.)
Um .. I can open older entries, and other people's blog entries, but not my most recent entry. Is it just me?
*Won round 3 of Dietbet - will find out payout Wednesday
* DH *finally* has a truck. We drove to Topeka, KS on Sunday and bought a 1996 Nisssan truck with 179k miles for $1150. It runs well, and the body is in semi decent shape.
*While on our way back, I came this ** close to hitting a 5 year old little boy who ran out in front of my car from two parked cars at a gas station. I was very wide awake and shaking the next 90 minutes of the drive home.
*We may be taking the truck to CA - and while there we may be bringing back the family piano. It's always been slated as mine, but I haven't had anywhere to put it or anyway to get it. Now I have both - possibly.
*I'm LOVING my new computer. (well, mostly ... when I first set up the Internet on it I set it up on WiFi - that was excruciatingly slow. Now I have it hardwired in to my router, but haven't been able to figure out how to change the configuration.)
* I put in TWO applications for other jobs that have nothing to do with cash = and are with the city. And would be nice pay raises.
*The last few weeks I have been binge watching "Reign" on Netflix .... Finally finished the last episode Sunday morning.
*We leave for our California trip Thursday morning. Our first stop will be Denver, CO area where we'll be eating at a pizza place DH fondly remembers - BeauxJo's (sp?). Then our next stop will be near Zion Forrest in Utah, where we'll spend some time exploring. Then a buffet DH found near Las Vegas, and finally our final destination - Loma Linda.
DH wants to do some pier fishing on the ocean, and perhaps a boat fishing trip. Also wants to visit some aquarium he found there. My main reason for the trip is to visit family ... so I don't really care WHAT we do.
*It turns out this wasn't a really good time for me to leave for a week and a half at work ... It's actually starting to get busy. Oh well ... I desperately need 7 days away from it all.
*I had two $15 off $15 Lane Bryant coupons sent in the mail. I used one to buy a t-shirt, and one to buy 3 pairs of socks. The t-shirt cost $5 after coupon, and the socks cost $8 after coupon. Hopefully the socks will be better quality than a 9 pack from Walmart for about the same price.
While at the mall, I got a few deals from JC Penny's - 2 sweaters and a turtleneck for $13. For next winter.
What I really was hoping to find was jeans or dress pants. Sigh.
Okay, that's about it I think. When I get back from the trip I'm really going to try to be better about posting (and reading)
About a week ago I was contacted by a school in the southern part of Nebraska who was looking for a school librarian. They told I was recommended by a lady in my church here.
It would be more than double my current income, plus paid for health/dental/vision insurance. Our moving expenses would also reimbursed 100%.
The position is working with pre-k - 3rd grade students. The media center has a brand new computer lab and an iPad program. The library section has funding to be completely redone - I'd get to design the ideal library essentially (within budget.)
I've had three Skype conversations with various people there this week ... and basically ll that's left is for us to go out there and decide if we want to do this!
DH and I have been looking at properties in the area, and found several just out of town with 4 - 5 acres for less than what we paid for our current home.
DH is excited about doing his chickens and turtles and eBay stuff full time. For me, this job couldn't be more perfect!