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Hello ... Hello .. Hello!

March 25th, 2023 at 08:08 pm

Hi all,

I knew it had been awhile, but not since August? Oops.

I just passed the 1 year mark in my new position at work. Still loving it. The new me we hired and I get along fabulously.

DH and I are a month off from our 7 year anniversary!! We're in discussions about an overnight trip.

My 101 yo grandma (CA) passed on Feb 13. We had a burial/memorial service for her yesterday. She is sharing a space with my dad.

I had planned on going ... but a bit over 3 weeks ago DH got hit with a nasty bug/cough (not Covid/flu.) A few days later I also got it. A few days before I was flying to Texas to pack up what could fit in mom's car from her house, and drive back to NE. All in prep for selling the house. I foolishly decided to proceed with the trip.

I'm now ending 3 weeks of horrible coughing. I actually went to the ER last Friday due to what I  suspected was a hernia exacerbated by the coughing. I had my abdomen ultrasounded yesterday morning, so hopefully we'll know by Monday what is going on. Obviously making a quick trip to CA wasn't a good idea.

I do have another trip planned to CA - for two weeks! I'm not sure exactly when yet, possibly September or early October. Why? I'm going to be an Aunt!!! Baby girl will be coming sometime in early July. I'm one of several family members who have offered to come for a visit to help the new parents out. And of course get to spend time with baby!!

In big spending news this year, we remodeled our main bathroom in February. We spent approximately $6,500. It is a vast improvement (got rid of the carpet!) but the person who did the job wasn't a perfectionist ... or really cared to make sure the job was well done. He also took 4 weeks instead of the 7-10 days estimated. Our home maintenance budget definitely felt this (especially after replacing our gutters last year.)

We are spending lots of money on specialized foods, supplements, medications and vet care on our nearly 17yo Munchkin cat. All I can say is that Petco Vital Care helps a lot! (Oh, and she's totally woorth it!)

My mom's late husband's will is through probate. His son M stepped up to the plate after being served ... (He'd been out of contact for 3 years, and the number mom had for him was disconnected.) He susposedly has agreed that the house needs to be sold quickly, so we can use the proceeds to pay mom's expenses at the ALF. But it's been two weeks since I was there, and he hasn't contacted the neighbor for the key yet. And to think I went down there sick ....

Mom's dementia/lack of mobility continues. Getting in touch with her via phone is an exercise in frustration. She keeps putting her phone on vibrate somehow. I bought a landline picture phone for her, which hopefully will help. I'm working on gathering photos to go with the numbers. (each button has a photo on it of the person on speed dial essentially.) Once I have the pictures, then my next step is to locate someone with a landline so I can program the numbers.

So ... that's all I can think of at the moment. I'm off to catch up on your blogs!


COVID Caught Me in TX

August 30th, 2022 at 12:45 am

I traveled to TX a couple weeks ago to see my mom, and get a bunch of errands taken care of for her. I flew out on Friday, then on Saturday my brother and I spent the day together, partly at the local mall. Sunday we picked mom up and did a trip down memory lane ... By Monday night I was feeling very off. By Tuesday morning I was utterly miserable - but bro had to do meetings in the morning, so it was up to me to take mom to appointments.

Let's just say, I found out very fast how heavy a wheelchair is AND how unfriendly the world is to people in wheelchairs.

Bro took her to afternoon appointments so I could sleep, and then he went to see a friend by himself. Wednesday, he had to do more stuff in the morning. By this time I was not just feeling miserable, but was coughing as well. So ... I started masking. (Up to this point I really thought it was just another sinus infection making me miserable. I've tested multiple times while feeling not quite that bad, and been negative.)

I got added on to mom's accounts Wednesday afternoon - all of us were at our limits of good behavior I think . . . so it was a good thing it was our last day there.

Thursday I flew back. I took a Sudafed just as I got on the plane ... not such a good idea when you'll be driving for an hour two hours later .... I got home and decided quickly that it was time to get some meds for the sinus infection because I was beyond miserable.

Lo and behold ... it wasn't just a sinus infection - it was COVID! Luckily neither bro nor mom got it from me.

I'm about 13? days out from Day 0 and have a lingering cough, am sleeping 9+ hours a night, and still feeling tired. But otherwise I think I'm okay.


DH got a $1.50 raise per hour, plus the delivery fees were raised by $1! The first raise any of the driver's have had in 18 years!!! Of course, just as we are celebrating this, then --- oh, the restaraunt is closed for cleaning for inspection Tuesday night, and we're still closing early Monday night. OY!

I should be getting an approximately $.60/hr raise this paycheck (annual COLA) and another raise probably the 2nd paycheck of September (end of 6 months in new posiiton.)


We had our first cantaloupe from our garden last night for desert! It was so good. Smile DH made pizza too - on mine, he put eggplant and red peppers from the garden; on his he put hamburger and also the garden red peppers.

Our garden didn't produce a lot this year, but I'm happiest about the eggplants and the cantaloupe! It's too bad our tomatoes weren't as prolific as the first time DH did a garden, with all this talk about tomato product shortages. (I think the heat got to them, or he overwatered?)


Mom told me today that my aunt (her sister)'s two children and husband all of some form of stomach cancer. Cousin B is in the hospital, but Cousin A and Uncle D aren't. I need to call Aunt D to find out the real story, because this sounds pretty far fetched ... I don't have the energy for it tonight though. I seriously hate talking on the phone any more.

Long Time!

July 27th, 2022 at 08:27 pm

I'm at home sick today (2nd day - not Covid) and can't sleep anymore ... so I thought it was a perfect time to check on my SA family.

Although I have been absent, you all have been on my mind. It's just this site is more difficult to keep up with on a phone, and that seems to be what I mostly use anymore.

So ... updates:

1. I have a new job! It's at the same agency I started working at in 2019, but a step up. I started it in March. I've been training my replacement for the last two months, and think she's nearly ready to fly on her own. (I *really* like her. She's known as Laura 2 at work ...}  This is a good thing , because ....

2. In August I'm taking a week off to go to Texas. At first it was going to be more like 7 business days - because I was going to move my mom here. She had started having lots of falls, R (her live in quasi bf) moved out, and she couldn't care for herself. In mid-May I got her placed into an Assisted Living place, and we had estate paperwork drawn up, as well as making me her POA. Much mama drama ensued. Finally two weeks ago the straw that broke this camels back, happened. I no longer am moving her here. Bro and I will still be going to visit her, but we will not be helping her sell the house or anything else.

3. Remember back in September when I reached my Healthy Wage goal? Yeah ... in the past 4 months I gained back everything I lost, plus 20lbs. Plus my exercise routine was completely abandonded. I had only enough spoons (energy) for dealing with mama drama. The past two weeks I have restarted my exercise routine - slowly. Food is an issue I'll deal with later,

4. We bought $10k I-bonds in May.

5. DHs hours keep getting cut because the restraunt can't keep cooks. This, in addition to crazy gas prices ($619 in June!) and my wonderful raise has pretty much been swallowed whole. Le Sigh.

6. On top of inflation and cut hours hitting our budget hard, our oldest furbaby Munchkin has had numerous trips to the vet to get her thyroid and blood pressure under control. Plus meds and special food. $$$ I did sign us up for Petco Vital Care which has more than paid for itself.

Checking In

December 18th, 2021 at 07:51 pm

I keep meaning to come back here, but obviously haven't - and now here it is nearly Christmas!

My CA trip went well overall, but when I got back, DH tested positive for COVID! I somehow managed to not get it from him. He was fully vaccinated, so thankfully, while miserable for 5 or 6 days, did not get very sick. By day 10 he was pretty anxious to get back to work. I got pretty sick a few weeks later (not COVID!) So between the time I missed work waiting for COVID test results, and actually being sick - I was glad for paid sick leave in September!

I did just manage to win my Healthy Wage bet! (We won't talk about what has happened since then ...

A couple months ago my church started a Stitches of Love group. I joined in, even though it had been 30+ years since I had attempted knitting or crocheting. With the help of YouTube and a few ladies in the group, I have gotten a decent start at crocheting. My first scarf took me four weeks .. (undoing and redoing) but yesterday I was able to make an earwarmer for a little girl in just a few hours. Progress. I have not attempted a hat yet. I've made scarves, cowls, and ear warmers. I currently am also working on a virus shawl.

My mom just had her roof finished being fixed last week (from the storm in July!) She's glad of that - it ended up costing $17k for the roof/chimney AFTER insurance. She's had some health issues the past few months, and is starting to come around to the idea of Asst Living.

My brother and SIL bought a third home in Tahoe, with the intention of using it as a short term rental (Air BnB.) (They have a rental home in their town.)  Unfortunately, due to the fires, etc., they closed on it two days AFTER a new ordinance was passed restricting STRs. His business is also having some growing pains, and their super sweet dog was dxd with cancer recently. Frown

DH is excited about news of one of his co-workers leaving soon. He is hoping to take over one of their shifts, and give up one of his current ones. That would be a change for us - he's had Sundays and Thursdays off our whole marriage - this would make it Friday's and Sundays.

I've also had a co-worker leave recently. The posting for their job went up yesterday. I'm contemplating. I'm just not sure that I want to go from a relatively low-stress, 40hr/week job, to a higher stress, salary job. I'd keep my same supervisor, and still work with the same people, just my responsibilities would be very different.If it were five or six years from now, I would more strongly consider it - being that much closer to retirement. But do I really want something like that 11 years out? I may throw my hat in the ring anyway - who knows if I'd even pass through to the interview process. Just see what happens.

Almost forgot - I got my booster shot on the 14th, and then took 3 vacation days. (Birthday mini-vacation!) Unlike with the first two shots, I had no ill effects from the booster.

Heading Out to CA Soon, News of the Weird, etc

August 21st, 2021 at 03:46 pm

Hi all,

We are having a big birthday party for my grandma's 100th birthday next weekend. It will be at my brother's house. I will finally get to meet my sister in law! They've been married now just over 3 years.

I'm a little nervous about it, considering the upsurge in cases, both here, and in the San Francisco area. But unlike last summer, I am vaccinated (and my grandma at the very least is) so, not too worried.

I leave Friday morning and come back on Monday. DH won't be coming with me (I asked him if he wanted to go - we started planning this five months ago - but nope, he didn't want to go. He is recording a song for her - When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain - according to my aunt, it is one of her favorites. DH and I both think it's kind of weird, but, each to their own taste, right?)


I've been taking the bus most of the time I've worked at my current job (other than the 9 months or so I was able to work from home.) Unfortunately, due to driver shortages, they are going back to the reduced schedule for the school year. Same thing they did last year, but I was able to work around it by doing a combo WFH/drive in later/use a co-workers parking space who wasn't using it.

This year I don't have either of those options, so it's either go in super early (and conversely, leave early); or go in late (and of course leave late); or ... get a parking space. Our agency will be moving to a new location by June (with plenty of free parking). So ... we are finding $90/month in our budget for me to have a parking space. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

Starting in October, I can at least have it deducted pre-tax from my paycheck (when new benefits start.) But still ...


DH turned 55 this month. This means he is less than 5 years out from when I think we can afford for him to retire. The Bridge Fund (i.e. money to hold us over until he can start taking SS at 62) is within $4k of being fully funded. (Well, at the low end of fully funded.) All those stimulus checks helped move the funding along much more quickly than anticipated.


In November, I'll have been at my job for two years. It's funny - I'll still come across bus drivers from my former job who will recognize me, and wonder why they hadn't seen me in awhile. Smile Now that I won't be taking the bus much anymore, that probably won't happen.


I am very close to my goal weight for my HealthyWage bet (ending Sept 22) but I'm not sure if I'm close enough. I've kind of stagnated for a few months now. I would hate to do it, but I may end up having to renew for another 6 months - just for the final 3 or 4 lbs. (I'd rather do that than do some short-term thing which may or may not be healthy.)


In July DH and I went WAY over our grocery budget. So, we went back to basics for August - using the chalkboard. We each buy our own groceries due to our diets being almost totally opposite (me vegetarian/mostly vegan -lots of veg. no meat; DH - lots of meat, very little veg.) I posted equal amounts on two sides, and then as we buy groceries, we pin up the receipt and post the number. So far, it looks like we are going to be coming in $100 or so under budget. Big Grin


In news of the weird ...

Last Saturday my mom (who lives in DFW, TX) was watching a lightning storm. All of a sudden she heard a loud boom! and a bunch of thuds along the roof and side of the house. A bolt of lightning had struck her chimney, and destroyed it - also putting a hole in her roof. Her electricity and Internet were also knocked out.

She was fine, physically. But the news from the insurance adjustors almost made her faint. Her home insurance (which supposedly is normal in TX) has a percentage based deductible. Thanks to the upswing in home values ... her home is worth close to $1 mill. This means her share of the costs will be around $17, 000!!

This is for a house she STILL has not had a final legal rendering of whether or not it is her house or not. (There was a paper along with her late husband's will stating the house went to her ... but it (the extra paper) wasn't notarized - so there are legality questions.)

If she would have moved out of the house a year ago when my brother and I were doing our best to get her to do this, then she would not have had this huge expense. This particualr circumstance wasn't in my mind, but I was worried that there would be some huge maintenance issue that reared its head - making it definitely not more affordable than renting or buying a smaller place.

All I can say, is that I am thankful we have a flat rate deductible for our home insurance.

Hello Again, Yes, I am Alive

July 3rd, 2021 at 08:36 pm

Thought I would pop in and actually make a blog post ... I have stopped by a couple times and caught up on everyone else's postings, but by the time I caught up on those, I ran out of time to do a post of my own.

So, here I am!

Not really that much to report.

I had a merit raise in April, which took effect in my June paychecks (roughly 2.5%.)

Our investments only surpassed $500k in June.

DHs Bridge Fund (i.e. retire at 60 fund) surpassed $20k recently (goal is at least $25k.)

We had our garage door opener replaced - our cost was only $75. Our home warranty reimbursed us the remainder of the cost ($220.xx)

We also had the side door to our garage replaced after the bottom half of it disintegrated. That was an ordeal - 5 weeks+ between getting the initial estimate and finally having the person come do it. Just under $300.

The past few months I've been doing a plant based low fodmap diet. For whatever reason, I've been able to adhere to this much better than any other plan before. So .. I am now down approximately 15 pounds from January of this year. My cholestroal numbers have also made significant improvements - I attribute that to *truly* laying off the oil and the added sugars, as well as the added black cumin and daily tofu/tempeh to my diet. (In a period of about two months, my total cholesteral dropped 20 points - the only thing I really did differently was strictly no oil, no added sugars, added daily 1/4 tsp black cumin, and daily tofu or tempeh. Otherwise I was continuing what I was doing before.)

I am looking forward to going out to Napa, CA at the end of August for my grandma's 100th birthday. I'll finally get to meet my sister-in-law! They'll have been married 3 years on July 5th. Against all odds (opposite cultures, knowing each other less than 8 weeks ...) their marriage seems to be working well. I'm very happy for my brother.

My mom *finally* had a lawyer look at her late husbands will - and there is no provision for the house to go to her. She has use of the house until she moves out, and then it goes to the son. This information has caused her to completely reconsider moving into something smaller, more affordable, and with less maintenance. She seems to prefer living in that HUGE montrosity, pay exorbient property taxes and utility bills, and all the maintenance costs. If she was 100% mobile and in good health, then maybe it would make sense. But she's not. She may never regain full mobility (she had a hip fracture back in March, and is still using a walker.) But what do I know.

Hello! And 2021 Goals

January 2nd, 2021 at 08:23 pm

Well hello all! I'm going to catch up on everyone's blogs, but thought I'd get a post of my own up before I get distracted.

Not really much to report. Life is marching on pretty much the same as always. Unfortunately, with one less cat in our family - our 19 yo Baby finally couldn't keep going any longer, so he took his journey on the Rainbow Bridge on Dec 20. He is definitely missed.

I turned the big 45 on the 15th ... yikes. Time stops for no (wo)man.

DH and I are starting to have more serious discussions about his retirement timeline. He's wanting to look at the possibility of going part -time. I'm not convined that'll make sense ... but we're in discussion mode. (He's 54 - our thinking is he'll be retired by 60, unless our finances make sense to do it somewhat earlier. Maybe by doing part-time ...)


Okay, so goals for 2021. Most of these are what
I would call micro-goals to build habits. The main idea is to just START and then see what happens from there. Some days it may morph into MORE and some days it may just be the START and nothing more.

Like the guy who wrote Atomic habits. it's about changing your view of who you are. If you are a reader, then of course you're at least going to open up a book every day, right?

I'm a Healthy Person who is:

Completing 18 StepBets

Not eating sugar/dairy/oil at least 300 days

Completing 60 20+ minute non-treadmill workouts

I'm a person who enriches my life:

By opening a book (physical/Kindle/Audio) every day

By opening my journal to write in/a new blog post/a new forum post every day

By sitting at the piano every day

By opening a language app every day

By starting a Bible podcast or reading one verse every day

I'm someone who keeps her home clean:

By scooping 1 litter box a day

By picking up one item out of place

By spending five minutes on a cleaning task

By taking hangars with me to the dryer

By completing 12 2021 projects*

I'm a Financially Savvy person:

Adding $3500 to DHs Bridge fund

Who only spends an average of $30/week for groceries

Who posts 12 items for sale on sale sites

Who puts items on a 30 day waiting list (non-replacement/repair) before deciding to purchase


2021 Projects

*Put up file organizer in office

*Create file system

*Clear out and organize bathroom cabinets

*Clear out and organize kitchen drawers

*Clear out/shred/organize office file drawer

*Clear out/shred/organize second office file drawer

*Create an If I'm Not Here file

*Clear out/ organize office closet

*Get rid of old non-working tv

*Hang mirror in bedroom

*Hang curtain rods / curtains in bedroom

*Choose photos for Nostalgia wall

*Find frames for Nostalgia wall

*Print photos for Nostalgia wall

*Hang photos for Nostalgia wall

*Research prices of waterproof flooring for bathroom

*Determine budget for bathroom flooring

*Hire someone to do the bathroom flooring

**Nostalgia wall is an idea I saw on a YNAB videocast talking about gift ideas

**Our bathroom is carpeted ...

ATT Settlement, etc. Belated 15 yr Pst

February 8th, 2020 at 10:50 pm

When I got home from church today and looked through the mail, I saw an envelope from ATT. I almost threw it away without looking at it. Glad I didn't!

Inside was a check for $12.49 - settling for throttling my unlimited data when I was with their service.

I vaguely remember signing up for this class action suit.

I also cashed out my StepBet/RunBet winnings - $82.42. (This is from multiple bets.)

I was at Whole Foods yesterday looking for non-dairy yogurt (taking antibiotics for a sinus infection) and decided to see if they have the vegan donuts I'd heard about.

They did. Luckily at $2.50 they aren't going to be very tempting - because taste wise ... very tempting.

I missed posting on my 15 year blogaversary. I've seen so many people come and go, and sometimes drift back again. I'm so glad to have found this place 15 years ago.


January 1st, 2019 at 10:07 pm

Back Home!

September 17th, 2018 at 11:44 pm

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. Smile

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. Smile

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. Smile

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.;F5210E44-4C91-4BF0-96E1-2F1B36A64D9A

Waiting to board ship:

Cats outside animal sanctuary

Selfie with monkey

Holding Sloth

Outside a shop in Roatan


May 19th, 2018 at 03:15 am

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.

So frustrating.

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. Smile

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.)

2017 Taxes, other updates, Bullet Journal pics

January 30th, 2018 at 02:04 am

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. Frown

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. Smile

So, here are some pics.

The cover.

The Index / Collections

Feb Spread

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.

Sunny .. Le Sigh :(

November 15th, 2017 at 01:18 am

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.


Credit Card Free

August 27th, 2017 at 01:00 am

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.

Sweet! Cashed out for SBs again!

May 31st, 2017 at 01:35 am

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.

I'm back try 2

April 30th, 2017 at 10:29 pm

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. Smile 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. Smile

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. Smile

I just need to go back to my stricter diet plan (ate LOTS of junkfood this trip .. plus not much movement.)

Not found?

April 30th, 2017 at 09:51 pm

Um .. I can open older entries, and other people's blog entries, but not my most recent entry. Is it just me?


April 18th, 2017 at 02:55 am

*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. Smile

*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. Smile

While at the mall, I got a few deals from JC Penny's - 2 sweaters and a turtleneck for $13. For next winter. Smile

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)


April 1st, 2017 at 03:47 pm

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!

April Fools!

(wishful thinking)

Dietbet Round 2, Work, Green

March 18th, 2017 at 12:57 am

I did my weigh in this am and came under by 1.5 lbs. I'll know how much I won by Monday. This next round is where it is going to get hard - the weight loss has SLOWED. But I'm going to keep trying.

I wish I had a job where I didn't handle cash. Again today I was short. I really try to be careful. UGH! I'm just glad the camera is there to prove I did nothing shady if they decide to look.

I wish I ha a different job.

Oh yeah, good example of government waste today. Thanks to a persistently annoying "concerned citizen." Squeaky wheel gets their way, even if it's ridiculous.

It was funny today seeing so many people wearing. Smile

How much longer til we can elect someone different??? Way too long .

Any suggestions on where to have a custom built computer made? I tried a few but they all got out of my price range PDQ ($500 or less - no monitor.)

Dietbet Week 3 , etc

February 7th, 2017 at 07:18 pm

It looks like I'm down about 13 pounds. Official weigh in for round 1 is on the 17th. I'm way over where I need to be for it.

I'd ordered two meals Home Chef through Swagbucks which came Friday. I made one on Sunday - Mushroom Risotto. DH had never heard of risotto, but he liked it ok. (better than the quinoa I made last week.) I liked t too, but there was way too much dairy in it. I'll make it again, just veganized.

*I added the brussel sprouts
*Also, I made it in the InstantPot

DH will make the angel hair dish on Thursday. 2 meals for free. Smile

I don't know if it was the dairy overload,or it just was coming anyway, but I felt miserable at work yesterday. So I stayed home today.

I got the $650 to go to the student loans from Citi yesterday. Now just have to put account numbers on them and mail.

Like CCF, I also got a check for $7.97 yesterday.

I also got another question from IQ. Up to $.50 for Feb now. Smile

I might try out Credit Karma today for taxes. I'm still waiting on some forms from Vanguard to really be able to finish them.

Sick Kari :( ,Rug doctor?? etc

November 26th, 2016 at 03:43 am

I took my cat Kari to the Vet today. She has another UTI. Frown The vet said that sice it's her 2nd one in a short time, that we should start using only distilled water, give her l-lysine pills, and switch to Iams or Science Diet. He said that if it keeps happening, then we'll have to go to a prescription diet.

I hate it when my furkids are feeling poorly. Frown

Question - What is the best way to have a continual source of distilled water? I bought 3 gallon jugs tonight, but that probably won't be enough or more than a week! I'd hate to be generating that much trash st for water.

We are on the lookout for a rug doctor, or something of similar quality. DH says the ones in the store are way subpar to the ones you rent. We need to be cleaning our carpets at least once a month ... renting a RD will get old fast.

Any suggestions?

Also - we almost bought a snowblower today from Tractor Supply, but DH found out that the engine was made in China, and the warranty isn't being honored. He wants electric start and self propelled? The ones he was looking at on Sears and Ace was a $600 Craftsman. But he feels worried about the engine ...

DH made his first turkey - a 14lb one we got for "free" using grocery store rewards points.He was very happy. I got a tofurkey roast. Ugh. Won't get that again.

I did do some shopping today - got e clothes at Goodwill's $.99 sale, got my oil changed at Walmart (shopped), used a $10 survey reward at CVS to get some freebies, etc. Basically what I would've done Saturday night if I hadn't had today off.. Smile

DD 31 - Step bet / Planet fitness

October 5th, 2016 at 12:59 am

DD day 31 = about an 80% with moderate chocolate consumption.

I decided yesterday to do something called Stepbet. It's put on by the same people who do Dietbet. The thing I like better about Stepbet is that the outcome is much more controllable.

What do I mean by that? Well, on Dietbet you had to le a certain percentage of your starting weight in order to win. So many factors could workgainst you to make it not work out. Whether or not you were doing the work or not.

With Stepbet however, it's completely up to you whether or not you make your step goals. You don't have to rely on your fickle body, or worry about female hormones, water weight, etc. , etc. You either do it, or you don't.

So, I put up $40 of my spending money saying that I will meet my step goals for the next five weeks.

Tomorrow is the first day that the steps count. They connect to whatever you use to track steps, and come up with an Active Day goal and a Stretch Day goal. You have to meet the Active Day goal 4 x and the Stretch Goal 2x each week.

My Active Goal is 6,675 steps.
My Stretch Goal is 8,775 steps.

Today I'm at over 7k steps, so if the bet had already started, I'd at least have an Active Day in. Smile

I don't want to lose my $40 Smile In fact, I don't want to lose my $40 + whatever else I might get from the pot. Smile

My meeting today at Planet Fitness plays into the Stepbet. I met with one of their trainers to design a plan. I told him my goals were to walk/run a 5k in 45 minutes or less, do one real pushup, and one unassisted pull up by Thanksgiving. (I want to do a 5k in the Turkey Trot.)

He put ogether a plan for me mixing cardio/weights. If I follow that (plus make sure I'm more conscious at work about getting up out of my chair and moving around) I think I'll do this with no problem. Smile

DD 28/29/30 - Planet Fitness!

October 4th, 2016 at 01:20 am

DH must actually be listening to all my talk about Dr Greger, etc. Sunday night I was saying how I still feel so tired all the time, etc. He said, "You know what to do. That plant based, whole foods diet." If I hadn't already been laying down, I probably would've fallen over in shock. Smile

He pointed out that the ravioli and bread the church ladies brought us Friday night weren't whole wheat, and had cheese.

Good point DH.

Staying strong on the soda. Doing decently on the DD - still at about 70-80%.

Avoided free pizza today at planet fitness.

Planet Fitness .... I was going to sign up just for the $10 plan. But my co-worker told me about the wonders of the hydromassage....

Long story short ... I signed up for the $20 plan. The massage options are worth that alone.

I also made an appointment to meet with a trainer to put together a plan tomorrow (part of membership)

On Sunday I went to the other gym ... even with Sunday traffic it took 30 minutes one way to get there. Not going to work.

I spent a bit of money on Sunday and today. Petco, Aldi's and Dollar Tree.

At Petco, besides restocking the canned food, I bought a "black light" ... yes, we have two residents that don't always use the appropriate place. I had $10 in rewards and a 10% off coupon. $43.xx

At Aldi's - almond milk, beans, lemon juice, etc. Also a mat that is supposed to be used to keep rugs from sliding - but I'm using on our dining table - to keep the tablecloth in place when cats run across it. I also bought a fall wreath. $37.xx

Dollar Tree today - frozen veggies/fruit/chicken nuggets/veg empanadas, etc. Found a coupon for the chicken. $12.89

Final Day of Countdown ... Thank Goodness

August 23rd, 2016 at 01:12 am

Tonight is the last night I can't take anything for my allergies other than nasal spray or icy hot. Thank goodness for that, because after four days of not too bad, today it got miserable. Just have to get through the morning tomorrow, and then can take my allergy meds again!

I worked Sunday from 5 to 9 p.m. at the local university's welcome celebration event. A dispatcher and I passed out tons of route maps and hand sanitizer, and answered a few questions.

It was fun about the first 2 1/2 hours ... then I was just tired and hungry and wanted to go home and see DH. Thankfully Jimmmy Johns came by with free 1/4 sandwiches - turkey, ham, and veggie! So that gave me a little boost of energy.

I completely overslept on Sunday, (took a nap before going to event) and did not get any veggies cut up. Tonight was exhausted and stressed from work, and so did not feel like cutting veggies.

So ... went to Russ's and bought a couple packages of pre-cut veggies. Made a sauce of olive oil, paprika, tumeric, salt and garlic, and roasted them for 30 minutes.

(mushrooms, asparagus, rainbow bell peppers, onions, red potatoes, zucchini, etc)

Here's what it looked like in the pan:

Tomorrow I WILL cut up some of the stuff I bought on Saturday night.

Hubby is doing really well with his eating I think. Not perfectly, but baby steps, right? I'm really quite proud of him. I think he has taken it to heart where I've said before that he needs to figure out changes he can actually live with long term - not just things that work short term. (I've REALLY been trying to keep my mouth shut and let him work it out on his own ... other than just making sure the fridge/counters are stocked with fruits and veggies .. Smile )

Now I just need to do as well with staying away from soda and chocolate ...

The groceries I bought today (pre-cut veggies and a couple packages of firm tofu) cost about as much as our two entrees from the local Chinese place last night. (Which gave us enough for two meals each ... DH commented that the rice (white) just didn't stick with him as well as the meal of roasted veggies/tofu/cauli rice ... don't think I;ll ever get him to eat brown rice, but this is an amazing admittance!)

Mexican Hash ... Cats ..

June 16th, 2016 at 01:06 am

Tonight I made the Mexican Hash. Again, the stove here is frustrating me. I ended up burning the sweet potatoes instead of "lightly browning". Ugh.

I think the directions missed a step in explaining when to season the pinto beans ...

Otherwise, a kind of meh meal. One upside is that I actually ate a little bit of avocado, and didn't die or have an "incident." I have a thing with certain textures I guess ..

Here's the meal:

Kari won't take the calming gel from my finger, so I had to kind of trick her by getting it on her fur/paw. It maybe? is helping?? She actually came out into the kitchen last night where DH and I were sitting/talking and where the dog and a good number of the cats were. First time she'd really ventured out of the office in a week (other than at night to sleep with me.)

I got some more gel on her tonight. We'll see I guess.

Feeling frustrated about several things right now.

Decided on Home Insurance ... Work, Ugh

April 21st, 2016 at 02:14 am

Mr FT and I discussed the plan offered by S, the person our Realtor suggested. It has a $2k deductible, and a $713/yr premium. My car insurance (with Mr FT as a second driver) will be about what I pay right now - but by having it bundled with the home insurance, we get a good sized discount on the home insurance.

We're going to have to do a bit more sluething on Mr FTs auto insurance. S did some digging, and wasn't sure how Mr FT has his car insured as a pizza delivery driver. (As in, many insurance companies won't insure pizza delivery drivers.) Mr FT is going to do some looking into it tonight at work to see what's up. (He is insured, and assumed that the same policy he had when he owned/operated the pet store worked for him as a delivery driver.)

Work was okay today up to the last 30 minutes. Then just UGH! Callers who won't accept an answer as THE answer and keep pushing and pushing. Reconciling the cash and being over $8 (1 pass worth) and staying ten minutes late to figure out what happened (figured it out.)

Then the tux place doesn't have Mr FTs tux yet - we were going to try it on tonight to make sure there weren't any needed changes. But now he's going to have to go by himself tomorrow. I can't go with him because I have my pedicure appointment on the other side of town. Let's hope it fits well.

Mr FT found some pliers which he thinks will work to cut the flower stems, and will bring them over tomorrow night.

I am SO tired. I am SO happy/excited about the weekend and family and getting married, but at the same time, I'm SO ready for it to be over.

I am really hoping I'm going to fit into my dress... been doing some stress eating ... not good ...

If this manicure lasts through Sunday looking presentable, I'll be surprised. Already had a chip on one of my pinkies. Frown

Here's the flower arrangement in the teapot I was given by C, the lady who threw the bridal shower for me. (With bent stems)

Escrow, Pantry, and a few pictures :)

March 29th, 2016 at 12:52 am

I signed the final offer paperwork today after work. C, our agent, was taking it to J, the mortgage person tonight.

In talking with J, I mentioned that I do NOT want to have my insurance/taxes held and paid by another company, but want to do it on my own. He told me that it was doable, but it would cost around $300 one time fee.

Um ... $300 one time fee to be in charge of my money over the life of the loan? What exactly is the problem here? (Well, one thing would be that they are charging me to NOT let them be in control of my money ...)

Does anyone else do their own escrow?

Am I foolish being willing to pay a one-time fee of ~$300 so that I can make sure I not only have my money sitting in the best interest bearing account, but also can know for sure that stuff will be paid on time!?

Our inspections are scheduled for April 8 - don't know what time just yet. Yikes! I'm going to be on pins and needles til then! I guess I should let my boss know I may need to take some time off during that day. Hopefully it will be in the afternoon so Mr FT can come and still get a good bit of sleep before work.

I'm thinking about how I can make the broom closet (which they call a pantry ...) into an actual pantry. Smile

Will have to look into shelving and stuff from various places. I'm thinking some kind of wire shelving and pull out wire drawers, etc. Leaving room for the broom too. Smile

I found out that there ARE some pictures online on different sites other than zillow. But I can't save any of them from the websites.

So ... here are a few pictures we took of the outside Sunday afternoon.

There's this one humongous old tree which may be dead - one huge branch towers *just* over the roof, and a few other branches touch the electricity lines. We're talking about whether it would be better to just get those branches trimmed (and if the electric company would do the ones on the lines) or how'd we go about getting the entire HUGE tree removed.

Would love any ideas regarding trees!

Huge tree in back of house

Part of side back yard

Mr FT adjusting his camera behind the compost bin fence

Dedicated garden area

View from behind garden tool shed

More pictures to come

Quick!! Lane Bryant bra sale!!

October 15th, 2015 at 10:58 pm

If you wear Lane Bryant bras, this is THE BEST sale I've ever seen!

They are doing $10 off each bra. If you sort the selections from low to high, it's possible to get a bra for $5.

Use this code for an additional 20% off: DEAL20LB

If you purchase $75 worth, use this code for $25 off - OCTGIFTLB

If you have a store near you, choose pick up at store for free shipping.

I just bought 4 for $32!!! (A purchase I'd been putting off til December when they have their buy 1 get 1 50% off sale.)

Exciting Phone Call!

April 1st, 2012 at 04:32 pm

This morning I got a phone call from my mom. She told me that she had bought a couple of the mega millions tickets (not too big of a surprise there). She had just checked her numbers against the winning numbers this morning ... and found out that she had won!! Whoa!!


April Fools Smile (don't I wish it was true ... Big Grin )

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