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Archive for May, 2013

May Recap

May 31st, 2013 at 01:15 pm

I promise, I promise, I will not spend anything else today. So these are the correct numbers for the month of May. It was a killer.

Furnishings/Equipment/Decor - $1537
Car Repair/Maintenance - $1163
Housing - $1039
Vacation/Travel - $384
Gifts/Charity - $206
Medical/Health - $190
Clothing - $146
Fees/Services - $139
Eating Out - $110
Fares - $105
Utilities - $95
Groceries - $89
Household Supplies - $67
Phone - $55
Gas - $42
Personal - $41
Entertainment - $36
Laundry - $23
Vet/Pet Supplies - $14

Grand Total - $5481

The highlights -- paid the balance on my rugs (they're installed, yay!); had an expensive accident/car repair; bought a plane ticket for a vacation in July; had a lot of graduation gifts; paid for a doctor visit; bought shoes and underwear; treated family twice when eating out; renewed my license plates and driver's license -- everything else is pretty regular. Lots of outgo -- my EF will be shot when the Discover card comes due.

A Morning Delay

May 30th, 2013 at 08:36 am

When I arrived at the downtown station this morning, I saw people sitting around and heard a voice on the loudspeaker. I knew it was about my train. How can it be that EVERY time there is delay, it is my train that is affected? It just seems to defy the odds.

I was very thirsty, and I couldn't find a water fountain, so I ended up buying a lemonade for $2. At least it was large and actually had a piece of lemon in it. After I bought it, I found the water fountain, so now I know where it is, anyway.

I got a call from the furniture store. As I expected, they denied my request for reupholstering my couch. At least I tried. I am sure I will get it reupholstered at some point, but first I want to get the car repair and rugs paid off, and get the savings accounts back to more comfortable levels. I have my second property tax bill coming up, too. It seems like every month I have some $1000 bill to pay.

Meanwhile, I'll put a blanket on the seat cushions and try to find something to drape on the top where my cats like to sit. Thank goodness I found the Shark handheld vacuum which does a pretty good job.

I forgot to bring my lunch today. I do have some peanut butter in my desk, and I picked up a packet of crackers in the station, and there are treats left over from yesterday. So I might be okay.

Party for Departing Student

May 29th, 2013 at 09:48 am

I have had an awesome student worker for four years. He started working for me his first week as a Freshman and now he is graduating. He already has a job lined up with the Department of Defense. He is really bright. What's more, he has always been a great help to me, always cheerful, always willing, always reliable.

So we're having a party for him today. I spent $19 on treats and supplies, and put $50 on a gift card. The rest of my department contributed too, but I did the most, since he works for me. I know he will appreciate it, but I think he is also going to be embarrassed. He's that kind of kid!

Other spending yesterday and today:

It cost me $7 to mail a box of books to my sister.

Spent $1 on paper towels.

Sent $20.13 for my cousin's daughter's high school graduation. Class of 2013. Get it?

And I also renewed both my license plate and driver's license for $133.

I found a Canadian quarter yesterday -- so disappointed! I also found a penny, which was legal tender. Smile

Back to Work

May 28th, 2013 at 07:28 am

Well, that long weekend sure went fast.

On top of the fun -- "cook-in" (as opposed to cook-out), playing games with my grandsons, etc. -- I got some tasks done, like really cleaning the fish tank. It finally looks crystal clear! And I swept and mopped my wood floors -- but still have to do the tile floors in the kitchen and bathroom. Did three loads of laundry and changed my linens (shamefully overdue!)

No spending yesterday.

Today I drove to work so I could get the state-required emission test done. With my long hours, I can never get it done in my own area, so I'm going to do it here at lunchtime. It may take a little longer than my lunch hour, but I arrived a half-hour early in case anyone notices.

I also brought a box of books to mail to my sister. Getting to the post office is something else I never get done at home. I don't even know where the post office is! But here in my "work town" the post office is easily accessible. I will stop there on my way home.

I received the panties I ordered, and boy, were they small! I washed them prior to wearing and they were even smaller. But when I finally wore one of them, I realized they are very stretchy, and they will do. Just not what I expected. So hard to order things online -- I'm old-fashioned enough that I prefer to see what I'm buying!

I had toast and a hard-boiled egg for breakfast this morning, and brought leftover seafood enchilada (with a fresh tortilla) for lunch. Tonight I'm planning on salad.

I bought no meat this week, but I still have frozen hamburgers (one box lasts me a long time!) I also have the makings for egg salad and grilled cheese sandwiches (as well as several more salads), so I'll be fine this week. I am really doing fine on my low-buy system. Even when I was carless I had enough to make do. Quite eye-opening!

Got My Car

May 26th, 2013 at 08:57 am

Picked up the car yesterday -- $1118. But that's better than having a gas tank with a hole in it. Now that I know the muffler is not good, I can hear how noisy the car is. I'll start making plans to get that done.

I charged it on Discover, as I usually do. However, within the same cycle, the second half of my rug bill will hit -- about $1000. That will mean hitting the EF to pay Discover off in full. As much as it hurts, I remind myself that I used to just charge things like that and plan to pay it off, oh, someday.... How good it feels not to go into debt!

We had lunch at a Mexican place, my treat, for $55. I bought gas ($42). When I got home I went grocery shopping. It was my first trip in two weeks and I only spent $42. I surprised myself with my restraint!

I think the cashier ignored the $1 off coupon I gave her. It's not on my receipt. Really, I have to stop shopping at that store. The cashiers are uniformly awful!

Grilling out at the ex's tonight. It's cold -- I hope we're eating in! I'm going to take some crudités and dip. I expect that not much will get eaten and I'll take most of them back! He always provides way too much food!

Don't You Love Fridays?

May 24th, 2013 at 07:02 am

It's a whole different feeling even coming to work on Friday. It's .... happiness!

I finally connected with my son last night and he and the fam will drive me to pick up my car on Saturday. My DIL is in a race in the morning, so it will be after that. We will find some nice place to eat as a treat/payment. I saw that a restaurant I used to frequent is still there (ironically, I used to live pretty close to the area where the car was towed). It was famous for seafood. I wonder if it's still any good. The tow guy also recommended a Mexican restaurant in the area.

After talking with the service department again, I have decided to wait on the muffler. Nothing is loose or in danger of breaking -- it's just something on the horizon. I'll wait a bit and let the dust clear financially first.

I have two more graduations coming up -- a young cousin, and my student worker. I will be writing checks for both of them, not sure on amounts yet. But I bought the cards this morning - WHAT? - $15! Lesson to self -- pay attention when you are buying Papyrus cards at the station. Or better yet, get nice cards somewhere else. Well, they are very nice cards. I do love the brand; wish they were not so high.

I also bought breakfast for $4, having nothing tote-able at home. I am covered for lunch and dinner, though. And tomorrow morning I can scramble some eggs before I get my car. I'll go grocery shopping as soon as I get home.

Yesterday I got next month's train pass for $105, saving $30 by using vouchers from work.

I also made a $40 credit card payment to attend a workshop, but I will be reimbursed.

Happy Friday everyone!

A chilly Thursday

May 23rd, 2013 at 06:39 am

Weather has taken a turn -- now it's cold and rainy. I'm a little relieved, since my air conditioner has yet to be installed.

I spent $1.50 on laundry yesterday -- otherwise a no-spend day.

The furniture inspection was very brief. He took a few pictures, said that my problems were typical for that type of material, and said it would be up to Carson's whether they would pay for reupholstering. He recommended a print rather than a solid color if I have it redone. I'm not holding out much hope.

This morning while I was walking to work from the station, someone who works at the College greeted me and then handed me a pomegranate smoothie. She had gotten a free one for some reason and was looking for someone to give it to. I didn't know her, though I knew her face. So I thanked her, and had a free breakfast! There was a leftover slice of pizza in the fridge from Tuesday's lunch, so I had that, too!

The Toyota dealer called to say the car is ready. The cost is a little more than quoted (isn't is always?) but he went into great detail describing how the old bolts had given away, blah, blah, blah. Looks like it will be around $1110. He also said that the muffler (which is original) will need to be replaced soon. I may call and just get it done, too, especially if I can't pick up the car till this weekend anyway.

It looks like I will need to get a ride. Even though the dealer would provide a ride from the train station, they don't have the personnel to do that in the evening, and the only stop is at 7pm. I texted my son to ask for a ride -- no answer yet, but I left my phone at home this morning, and also forgot to check messages, so who knows? He may have said, "Great, Mom, can't wait to do it!" Smile

I am missing a fish

May 22nd, 2013 at 07:21 am

Poor Dreamsicle, my fancy guppy. He has disappeared. What puzzles me is there is no body floating on top. Now I can't remember if I saw him when I came home from my awful weekend trip. I did a quick check for bodies at the top, but I don't think I did a roll call.

So what could have happened? I have only two theories: he died and the other fish ate his body, or, he jumped out and the cats ate his body. The day before I left, I scared the pleco while adding water and he made a huge leap which could have knocked Dreamsicle out of the tank.

Oh well, he had a good life. He was always first to the dinner table. RIP, Dreamsicle.

Today the rep from the furniture store is coming to look at the couch. I don't expect to get any satisfaction, but I do want to at least express my concerns. I AM finding it easier to clean the couch now that it is humid and now that I have a powerful hand vac. But I have to clean it often.

It is HOT in my condo. I'm looking forward to the cooler weather coming. I have a nice ceiling fan in the bedroom, which helps at night. I have two untried air conditioners in the storage unit which came with the condo -- I will need my son's help to get them installed. I have no idea if they are functional. May is pretty early to start air conditioning, so I am trying to tough out this little hot spell.

No financial news, other than the noontime pizza yesterday cost me $4 for my share. Oh, and I got a $34 reimbursement check from the insurance company. Ironic.

Oh yes! I finally got a call from the rug company! They will deliver the rugs on May 31.

Carless

May 21st, 2013 at 08:59 am

This will be a somewhat challenging week. Without my car, I cannot grocery shop -- at least not very easily. There is a Walgreen's within walking distance, but only the pharmacy is open now while they are going through an extensive remodel. Jewel is about a one-half hour walk away, but the weather is hot and/or stormy -- and I don't even get home until six.

I bought breakfast at Corner Bakery this morning ($3) and a group is ordering pizza here at work for lunch -- I'm not sure yet what my share will be. I have supper planned at home -- a hamburger and green beans. I can actually eat the same meal all week long, as I have enough. It's lunch that will be the problem. I will scour the pantry tonight to see if there is anything I can throw together.

No word yet on the car, but I'm not expecting it yet. I did check out Amtrak. There is actually a stop that is only about 15 minutes away from the dealer, so I think I will have no problem getting someone to pick me up. The fare is only $11. The only hitch is that the train only goes there once a day, and it arrives there at 7. Service closes at 7:30 on the few days it stays open in the evening, so it will be cutting it close.

I CAN probably get someone to drive me, but I would rather not. The traffic is awful on that corridor. It's a lot to ask. It's Plan B.

Just Got In

May 20th, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Just got home from my weekend with my friend in Indiana -- which was a little more interesting than it should have been, since I had an accident on the way down!

Not a real accident, but definitely a mishap. I drove over a big piece of metal -- couldn't dodge it -- and it pierced my gas tank. I didn't realize it right away, and lost power when all the gas leaked out. I had many helpers -- a young man who pulled over behind me, a state trooper, the tow-guy and eventually the Toyota dealer. The gas tank has to be replaced, and I won't get the car back for a week. But the worst part is that it will cost $1000 and change. Does anybody remember I JUST canceled collision & comprehensive? That seems to be my kind of luck!

I called my son to make sure the car was still worth the repair -- he looked it up on Edmund's and said it was worth $5-6K, so I authorized the work.

MY BFF came and got me and we went ahead with our planned fun weekend -- it was just a little longer than planned since I had to wait till this morning to get a train back to the city.

On top the expected repair, the costs for this weekend:

$2 laundry (Friday night)
$43 restaurants
$40 towing
$13 Goodwill
$8 Macy's
$20 Target
$7 movie
$21 train fare

Not bad overall. We ate all our meals out except this morning. The Goodwill shopping was 50% off and I found clothing for myself and for family. At Macy's $8 bought a bra, panties and a top because I used my ThankYou card and a 20% off coupon. At Target I bought a book and some cards. Got the senior citizen discount for Amtrak, but had to pay for the last leg home because my train pass was on my kitchen windowsill. Who knew I would need it?

So... I don't know how I will get my car back, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I'm just glad to be home safe and sound!

Undy Stock-Up

May 17th, 2013 at 06:45 am

I got an email for 30% savings at Bare Necessities. Since I've been thinking about replacing my panties, I took them up on it. I bought 6 pairs for $41, which includes shipping. The last time I stocked up was when I lived in North Carolina, though I have bought the odd pair here and there. Anyway, they've lasted for more than four years, and I only have to get rid of them now because the elastic around the legs is giving out.

The furniture inspector is coming next Wednesday. They can't give me a time until the day before, so I'll have to take the day off. Maybe once I know the time I can also schedule my DTP shot, and maybe I can also get the emissions test done. There is so much I just can't do on weekends.

I did not make the asparagus-mushroom dish last night. I decided instead to combine the leftover cauliflower and dressing, put cheese on top, and bake it. Wasn't too bad. There is still some left, so tonight I will add beaten eggs and milk and bake it again. The endless meal! I need to learn not to make so much.

I don't want to waste the asparagus and mushrooms, so I will take them on my visit -- maybe treat my friend to a fancy omelet. She doesn't cook at all, and is amazed by any little thing I make.

Here is the meal plan for today:

Breakfast: Banana nut muffin, coffee
Lunch: Yogurt, peanut butter & crackers, green pepper strips
Dinner: Cauliflower casserole

I didn't get to the laundry last night, so I plan to do a load tonight and take the rest on my trip. Whatever fits in my big IKEA bag. I will head out on Saturday morning, because driving through the city on Friday night is a NIGHTMARE! Just not worth it.

Lottery Tickets

May 16th, 2013 at 06:18 am

Yesterday I was cajoled into joining a Powerball lottery pool and I offered to buy the tickets since there is a place in the station and I'm always looking for something to do on my break between trains. Well, the train was late (second day in a row), so I didn't have any station time. But since I had promised to buy the tickets I got in my car once I got home and went off to find a place to buy them. I ended up at the grocery store, where they had a machine. I had never used one before, but figured it out. It didn't return change, and I only had a five, so I after I bought the two Powerball tickets I bought a $1 Illinois lottery ticket.

Well, as you know, we didn't win the Powerball. However, my $1 ticket won me $2! Not sure what the lesson is there. Smile

So -- my personal spending for tickets -- $2 -- my winnings -- $2. Yay!

I was not really thrilled with the roasted cauliflower I made last night, and now I have leftovers. Not sure what to do with them. There's always soup, but they are a bit scorched, so I don't know how that would taste in soup. There is a "buffalo cauliflower" recipe that calls for hot sauce and butter -- maybe that would be a good way to re-use them.

The dressing wasn't a great success either, but mostly, I think, because I did let it bake long enough. I was getting pretty hungry.

My kitchen is a mess. The dishwasher is full of clean dishes and I've been too tired to unload it on top of the cooking, so all the dirty dishes are getting piled in the sink. I'll have to do it tonight.

Today's menu:

Breakfast: Banana nut muffin, coffee
Lunch: Peanut butter on crackers, green pepper strips
Dinner: Asparagus and mushrooms with rice and cheese

I should also do a load of laundry. My darks hamper is already full. I'm traveling this weekend, so won't be able to do laundry unless I take it along to do it at my BFF's. She wouldn't mind, but do I want to lug it?

I have to say, I'm really looking forward to retirement, because just covering the basics while I'm working and commuting is getting pretty challenging.

Speaking of the commute, I've started working on my novel on the trip. I write in a notebook rather than carry the computer. Not sure I'm getting quality work done, but the time sure does go fast!

Pay Day!

May 15th, 2013 at 08:51 am

Not too exciting, since it is mostly going to bills, but it will be good to have them paid and have a clean slate for next month.

Since daily reporting of my projected meals for the day is helping me to stay on track, I'll offer today's menu:

Breakfast: Banana nut muffin, coffee
Lunch: Cottage cheese, green pepper slices, granola bars
Dinner: One-half sauteed chicken breast, sourdough-onion dressing, baked cauliflower

I didn't do the baked cauliflower last night, obviously. Instead I had roasted asparagus along with the chicken and mushrooms.

I have to say for someone who doesn't like vegetables, I'm actually enjoying them. Maybe there's hope for me after all.

I'm having an "end of year" feeling -- so many around me are wrapping up the school year, going on vacation, or going on to other things. But here in the offices, we just keep going. In fact, next month will be our busy time, as we try to reach our fiscal year-end goal and process the influx of gifts. So even while I'm kind of letting go, I should be bearing down. A funny feeling. The warm weather is beckoning and not helping any!

Free Breakfast

May 14th, 2013 at 09:58 am

Got my free breakfast this morning at the retirement/recognition breakfast. I took a lot of fruit, a biscuit without butter, and a small serving of scrambled eggs. Passed up a lot of goodies, but I'm fired up again about eating healthier and maybe dropping a few pounds while I'm at it.

For lunch I brought some mozzarella and tomato to make a caprese salad. Also brought crackers.

Tonight I am planning on sauteeing a chicken breast and some mushrooms. Perhaps I will also bake that head of cauliflower!

I found a penny on my walk home and again on my walk to the station this morning, so 2c added to my found money. I also earned $28 in Discover Rewards thie month and I'm also going to count my $25 Amazon gift card as extra income.

I went to my first homeowner's association meeting last night, and met my new neighbor there. He is not a college student, but a Navy civil engineer who is stationed at a nearby base. He is also not a renter. He bought the condo, even though he expects to be here for only three years. He must have gotten a good deal! I think I will be quite pleased to have him across the landing!

The meeting itself was mostly a bust -- not well-attended, and the main business was to elect officers whom I did not know. But I did learn that the roof is scheduled for replacement in 4-5 years (and they plan to have the money in hand without raising assessments). Also, I learned that it is fine to get a washer/dryer unit installed; just have to make sure it is done by a professional. (I wouldn't do it any other way!) However, with expenses as they are right now, I am not in a hurry. I don't even mind using the basement laundry too much, but I know that in the future the stairs might become an issue.

I'm planning to take a trip to Indiana this weekend to visit my BFF. On the agenda -- The Great Gatsby, Goodwill and dinner out -- and we will probably have dinner with her mom in her "new" retirement home. She has just given up independent living, and from the sounds of it, just in the nick of time! Anyway, it will be a bit of a splurge, but not really costly.

I dropped collision and comprehensive on my car now that it is 12 years old. My plan is to drive it as long as I can but it is doubtful that I will replace it. I can't justify the cost for as little as I need to drive now. Allstate sent me an email summarizing the changes. The (six-month)premium decreased by $112, bringing it down to $219. They tagged on encouragement to enroll in the Easy Pay Plan (automatic withdrawal) which I've been doing for years. Really? Do you not know I'm enrolled or does any change take you back to square one? So frustrating.

I'm frustrated with my Discover card, too. It's time to pay the bill, but I can't log into the online account until I get the replacement card in the mail. I find it odd that someone hacked my account only to use the reward points. Guess that was all that they could get to? Anyway, I will have to open a new online account and change all the automatic payments that come to that card -- Netflix, Illinois Tollways, Verizon, to name a few. Sigh.

Freezing

May 13th, 2013 at 06:25 am

It is SO cold! The College does not have its boiler running any more, so the offices are cold. Luckily, it will warm up again tomorrow.

My Mother's Day was just what I would have planned myself. In fact, I almost suggested that we play games and order a pizza, but I refrained. And that's exactly what they did! Almost spooky! It was a lovely day. And they also gave me an Amazon gift card, which they really didn't have to do. I'll probably end up buying a gift with it! (Don't tell them.)

No more spending to report. I packed muffins for breakfast and for lunch: cottage cheese, broccoli and mandarin oranges. Oh, and granola bars for when I get the nibbles.

School is winding down fast. We are entering exam week. Of course, it doesn't really affect me, except that my student worker will soon be graduating. He has been with me for four years, and I will miss him!

Found another dime!

May 12th, 2013 at 11:24 am

I found another dime this morning, making my finds this weekend equal to 25c! Unusual. I usually find a penny here and there.

I did four loads of laundry this morning -- just finishing up the last load -- so that's $6.

I was mistaken about what I spent on file folders & hangers. They were not $12 a box, but $16 for one box and $22 for the other. I guess I just remembered looking at boxes that cost $12.

I am waiting for my son to call about today's plans, which are still unknown to me. My other son, in Florida, called me this morning, and we had a nice long talk. He and his wife also sent me a card along with a bunch of pictures of my granddaughter.

The card really touched me. Confession here. I sometimes feel like my kids don't really love me, though my more mature self knows that's ridiculous. But I have a lot of competition with their stepparents and in-laws ... and their father, most of whom are more colorful than I am, and all of whom are wealthier and tend to "buy" love, if you know what I mean. So sometimes I feel like the little mouse that nobody notices. Well, the card said, "You know, if there was a contest for "Most Loved Mom," .... You'd win, hands down!" I tell you, I burst out crying; it was just the message I needed to hear! Now if I can just control my paranoia....

The pictures were wonderful, too. My granddaughter is blessed with beauty, that's for sure.

Tomorrow evening there is an meeting for my condo association. I have managed to miss the two previous, so I am really going to try to make this one. Oh, and I have a new neighbor. The condo directly across my "back porch" has been empty since I moved in -- it was for sale at the same time as mine, and I looked at that one, too. (Not nearly as nice.) Well, a young man has moved in. I'm betting he's a renter. I briefly met his parents, who are helping him move in, but haven't met him yet. I am hoping he is quiet, though I suppose he won't affect me as much as the neighbors above and below -- both of whom are noisy at times, but not enough to be a problem.

I used my new handheld vacuum on the couch this morning. It is a Shark, and it seems to be pretty powerful. It is the best cleaning result yet.

I got a call from the person in customer service who took my complaint about the couch's material. She is going to send someone out to ascertain if the material is defective. I'm pretty sure he will say it is not, but it was nice of her to follow up that way. The material is not so much defective as it is unsuitable for upholstery, but I'm sure they won't see it that way!

A Busy Saturday

May 11th, 2013 at 04:44 pm

Quite a bit of spending today. I was going to babysit my grandsons, but my kids decided to take them along on their trip. I decided to use the sudden freedom to get some things done.

I went to the doctor's office and got my lab work done. No money out of pocket. I have to make an appointment for the shots I am supposed to get.

I paid $.90 for parking. This time I found a spot on the street instead of using the garage. I was a little worried that I would run out of time, though, on the meter, so it's not as carefree as parking in the garage, even though it's a little cheaper.

I was lucky enough to find .15 on the street!

Afterwards, since it was a fasting test, I was really hungry, and planning to get some breakfast, but I decided instead to go the grocery store and buy my breakfast there. I spent $22 on 11 items. (Eleven this time because I decided at the last minute to grab a box of mac & cheese that was on sale. It's my grandsons' favorite food.)

Other than the mac & cheese I bought: granola, cauliflower, a green pepper, broccoli, a tomato, asparagus, raspberries, mushrooms, sourdough bread, and a four-pack of bakery muffins.

I came home and ate one muffin and the raspberries for breakfast along with some fresh coffee. The other 3 muffins will go into the freezer for next week. They were on sale for $3.49, so at .87 apiece they are still way cheaper than Corner Bakery.

After breakfast, I took my new computer to Best Buy to make sure the anti-virus software was installed. I thought it was, but I kept getting messages from Best Buy to install it. Turns out it WAS installed; they just forgot to key it in their system.

Office Max was right next door, so I popped over to buy file folders and hangers. I bought a big box of each, I think they were about $12 each, and I also bought a notebook to carry in my train bag.

Then I went to Ross -- I bought 2 plates and 4 mugs in a new pattern I am collecting; also some placemats to use when the grandkids are here. Total bill was around $30 (receipt is still in the car.)

Then on to Wal-Mart, where I bought a Shark handheld vacuum ($50), an aquarium brush ($4) and Mother's Day cards for my DIL's ($6).

By this time it was time for lunch, so I stopped at Jimmy John's and got a $6 sandwich.

Came home really tired! Shopping is hard work any more!

When I logged into my email, I found a message from Discover confirming my purchase of a Banana Republic gift card with Cashback Rewards. I did not do this, so I called them. I'll get my rewards back, but my card was cancelled and I'll get a new one in a few days. This is a pain, because I use that card all the time, and it's the one set up for automatic payments. I'll have to remember to update my accounts once I get it.

I made a broccoli salad for dinner -- broccoli, grated mozzarella, dried cranberries and walnuts in a mayonnaise-based sweet-sour dressing. I went heavy on the broccoli and light on everything else -- it was still good! I have many fresh veggies this week, so I will have to be mindful to use them up.

Well, time to clean the fish tank and then feed them. It's getting a little late for them -- their little fish bellies must be rumbling!

Almost a No-Spend Day

May 10th, 2013 at 07:18 am

I slipped a $50 check into my nephew's graduation card and took it over to my son's house for him to deliver. Other than that, I didn't spend anything yesterday.

I will have the grandsons overnight on Saturday when my son and his wife make their trip to the graduation. On Saturday morning I have to go get lab work done and get at least one of my shots, so I don't know what else I can get done before the boys come. I may not make it to the grocery store. (But I could do that tonight, if my strength holds up!) Whenever they come, I have to make sure to have Kraft mac & cheese, almond milk and granola bars on hand, but I think I am actually covered on all those fronts right now! So I suppose I could actually wait until Sunday -- which will probably be laundry day, also!

I think I will need to spend tonight and whatever time I have Saturday morning on picking up & cleaning. I've let it become a bit of a mess.

Anyway, back to the medical stuff -- I did my research and it looks like immunizations are generally covered. (The shingles shot had an *, so I'm guessing it's not completely covered). Also, my previous doctor's nurse reported back to me that I had no record of immunizations with them. So I'll get one of the shots on Saturday -- probably the DPT. I'm not going to get both in one day. I'm already going to get stuck for the blood work.

Feeling Spiffy

May 9th, 2013 at 06:27 am

Wearing one of my "new" tops today -- I like the way it feels, fits and looks, and I love the way the Goodwill necklace I bought last year goes perfectly with it! In fact, today I am wearing a Goodwill top, Goodwill pants, a Goodwill necklace and garage sale earrings. The socks, shoes and underwear were purchased new. Smile

No spending yesterday.

This morning I woke up to the alarm, and then I must have gone back to sleep, because the next thing I knew it was only one-half hour before it was time to leave. That's pretty much the minimum it takes me to shower, dress, put on make-up and gather my stuff for the day.

But I made it, and I even grabbed some muffins from the freezer so I would have no excuse to treat myself at Corner Bakery.

For lunch I brought the leftover casserole and some yogurt. I bought a big container of plain yogurt last weekend -- not my usual thing to do, but I needed some plain yogurt for a recipe. Now I am dividing up the rest of it into individual portions and dressing them up with jam and honey. Today's serving is made with honey. I don't know why I didn't think of this before. I do the same thing with ice cream -- I buy vanilla, but I add other things to it. My favorite right now is to top it with chocolate syrup, maple syrup and walnuts. Of course, I don't do that too often or I would not fit into my Goodwill pants.

Graduation Card

May 8th, 2013 at 07:04 am

I bought a graduation card this morning at the downtown station. Generally I avoid buying cards at Hudson News, because they only have Papyrus cards which are so expensive, but then I remembered I actually wanted to get a special card for my nephew's graduation. This one has a photograph of penguins on the front, with one of them stretched up tall, and the sentiment is "Stand tall! You did awesome!" He'll like it. The card was $4. Now I have to put a check in it!

Yesterday I brought an orange to work, among other things, for my lunch. At noon I couldn't find it in the fridge. I looked all through my bag, and it wasn't there either. I decided I must have left it at home. At home it wasn't in the kitchen and wasn't in the fridge. Then I decided it must have somehow rolled out of my bag somewhere along the way. Either that, or I was seriously losing my mind. Lo and behold, this morning it is sitting there in the break room fridge. Someone must have moved it. I'm glad I'll have it today; it's my last piece of fruit!

I made a really good casserole last night out of leftovers. I had some leftover spaghetti sauce and pizza sauce, which I mixed together -- layered it with cooked rotini and a mixture of cream cheese and cottage cheese. Yummy! I brought some for lunch today, and I still have two more servings after that.

I've decided that a hand vac may be the solution for my linty/hairy couch. Does anyone have a favorite? I will need something that has really strong suction. Doesn't have to be cordless, as there are plenty of outlets around. I used to have a Dirt Devil that I liked pretty well.

New shoes

May 7th, 2013 at 06:19 am

Yesterday the weather was nice, so at noon I walked to a shopping center (about a 20-minute walk) and I bought (ironically) walking shoes.

They were $70. A little bit of a sale, not much; more of a teaser sale. But the key thing is they are comfortable. New Balance -- the first time I have bought this brand.

I bought a half-size larger than my usual. Are my feet getting bigger? Anyway, I definitely needed the toe room. And now that I will be wearing sandals at work, I definitely needed some reliable walking shoes. My boots were good for the walk and the workday, but my sandals will NOT do for the walk.

In the late afternoon there were quite a few muffins left at work, so I snagged another one. That's two free breakfasts for me. I would never take two at the beginning of the day, but if they're still there at four o'clock, I don't feel guilty. Anyway, I know this crew around here well enough to assume the leftovers will get thrown out rather than used. (I just ate one -- it was delicious!)

Next Tuesday will bring another free breakfast -- a fabulous one -- when we have our Retirement/Recognition Breakfast. It is such a good breakfast buffet I look forward to it all year! It also marks my work anniversary, as attending it was my first "act" upon the joining the staff. So it will be four years here at the College. Two more to go! (And a few months)

My big accomplishment yesterday was to get signed onto my health provider's website. It looks like it will be pretty slick -- no more calling the doctor's office, it'll all be email. My "assignments" are: get lab work done, schedule a Cat scan, find out when I last got a DTP shot (also find out if insurance will cover it), get a shingles shot. Oooh, lots of needles.

Whew!

May 6th, 2013 at 07:56 am

Another afternoon spent with the grandsons wore me out but good! This time we went to a city park with a very elaborate wooden playground. They spent hours climbing, swinging, sliding, etc. Then we went home for a rousing game of Yahtzee and a ham dinner.

I was so tired that when my BFF texted me, I gave her some sort of short shrift answer that made her think I was mad at her! We straightened it out, though. Smile

In the morning I did my grocery shopping -- spent $31, and bought aluminum foil, buns, tortillas, ground cloves, dishwashing liquid, baking cups, eggs, almond milk, cottage cheese and wine.

I baked muffins -- a simple recipe that called for yellow cake mix and a can of pumpkin puree -- both of which I had in my pantry. I brought two today (they're little) and had them for breakfast. Guess what? A co-worker brought in muffins. I did grab one to save for tomorrow.

Busy weekend

May 5th, 2013 at 08:18 am

I had a good Saturday. In the early hours, I did two loads of laundry ($3), and then at about 9 I went to the big rummage sale. It was in its second day, so was pretty picked over, but I did manage to spend $8. I bought a white sugar bowl (for my white pretties cabinet), a plate with a calico cat to give to a friend, a cool wooden Santa for my Santa collection, and a tank top - beige & coral, Oriental print. I considered a very nice olive green purse which had been priced for $75 and marked down half-price -- however, still too much. Nice purse, though.

Then I went to my new doctor, and I like him very much! He gave me an order for lab work and to get my semi-annual Cat scan. The office was clean and professional, the staff friendly -- the only down side is that I had to pay for parking ($2), but now that I see that the building is right by a train station, I can actually take the train in the future.

After the doc visit, I went to a school fair with my grandsons -- we used to call this kind of event a "penny carnival." I spent $5 on tickets, and they spent hours bouncing in the bouncy castle, throwing balls at a target, making sand "necklaces" and all the other usual activities. We also indulged in cotton candy and sno-cones.

When it got to be dinnertime, we went to McD's and I spent $16 on dinner. (That was for four of us; the boys' other grandma was with us, too.)

This morning I did three more loads of laundry -- two of them were a blanket and a quilt. ($4.50) Just part of my spring cleaning.

Not sure how the rest of my day will shape up. I want to see the boys again while other grandma is still visiting, but I also have to grocery shop, go to Best Buy, and shoe-shop. I may have to do some of that after work next week.

This and that and a rant about the couch

May 3rd, 2013 at 10:45 am

Yesterday was a no-spend day. Today I got breakfast at Corner Bakery. I was out of the breakfast sandwiches I had made (they were small -- too small to satisfy -- so I doubled up a few days). I do plan to make muffins this weekend, if I can find the time. It will be a busy weekend. I have a doctor's appointment and school carnival, a rummage sale an a trip to Best Buy -- and maybe Macy's, on top of the regular laundry and shopping.

I am taking my new computer to Best Buy because I can't for the life of me figure out what's going on with my anti-virus installation, so I'm going to have the experts look at it. And at Macy's I will look for walking shoes -- I have my $29 Thank You credits to use, so that will help a little.

This morning I walked to the station a different way -- I was very drawn to go down an alley rather than the main road. Found a penny! No, I don't think that's the reason I was drawn there. Smile It was interesting to see all the stuff people had thrown in the dumpsters. I didn't have time to look, and I certainly couldn't have hauled any "finds" on the train -- but I can't believe the stuff people just throw away! Is it that hard to give to charity?

Today I called Carson's to tell them I hate the material on my couch and do I have any recourse? Customer Service said they would come and get it, but I would not be reimbursed for my $500+ deposit, and I would have to pay a $75 fee. And then I would have no couch and have to start all over. No option to have it reupholstered. So I think I will at least look into reupholstery options. I like everything about the couch except the material. I special-ordered it to get the right size and to get the kind of sleeper mattress I wanted. The material is a pretty color, but it is like burlap -- rough to the stuff and very loose-woven. The fibers from the stuffing actually work their way out. It is very static-y and every hair and piece of lint sticks to it like a magnet. It will drive me crazy if I don't change it up. But the money -- the money. Ah, me.

The Cost of Me Day

May 2nd, 2013 at 06:47 am

It wasn't too bad.

My pedicure was $30; the haircut $11 (both including tips). I spent $18 at Goodwill and bought 4 summer tops and a pair of capris. I didn't have to buy dinner, as I had a late lunch (and I had packed breakfast and lunch). I did get an iced tea ($2).

On the way home I stopped for gas ($42) and decided to get a car wash as well. I pressed the key for "gas with car wash" and the screen said I would have to pay the cashier. Fine. I went to the car wash and the attendant asked for my receipt. I said I didn't have one; that I would have to pay inside, so she took my word that I had bought 10 gallons and waved me through ($5). When I got to the end of the car wash, another attendant was running up to me, waving. "YOU HAVE TO PAY INSIDE! YOU HAVE TO PAY INSIDE!" Well, I knew that. While they dried my car I went inside and told them I was paying for the gas on pump 2. They had already written it off as a drive-away! They couldn't take a credit card -- it had to be cash, and of course I didn't have enough. I had to use their ATM, which chraged me a $2 fee. GRRRrrr. Seriously, I was there the whole time. A drive-away? I guess I should have paid before the car wash, but I thought I would be paying for both together. It wasn't clear at all.

So, yeah. that's me -- criminal of the year.

I am SO happy with the clothes I got at Goodwill -- all in pristine condition and quality brands. A pink pinstriped dress shirt, a black & white striped polo shirt, a red lightweight cardigan, a silky black & red top, and black capris. All good enough for work.

I think I need to invest in a good pair of walking shoes for the summer and then I should be set.

Me Day!

May 1st, 2013 at 07:50 am

I'm having a me day today!

In other words, I'm treating myself a little. First off, I bought my airline ticket for a week-long vacation in Florida with my son. This is the son with the 5-month old daughter so I'm super-excited to be able to spend time with her, uh, them. That will be in July, after the new fiscal year gives me some vacation time!

I drove to work, partly to avoid the problem of parking on a street-cleaning day, but also so I can get a pedicure during my lunch hour. Yes, it's sandal time, and time for the toes to look good. Then after work, I'll get my hair cut at Great Clips -- have a $7.99 phone coupon for that -- and then I'll plan to spend some time at Goodwill. I'm sure I've shared that there is no Goodwill in my new hometown, but there is a great one in the town where I am still working. I plan to really look it over.

I will be picking up something for dinner, too.

This Saturday promises to be busy -- I am going to a fair at my grandson's school, seeing my new doctor for the first time, and will also try to check out a huge rummage sale that my DIL told me about.

My nephew is graduating with an MBA next weekend. I have been invited to the celebration lunch, not the graduation (limited tickets). However, it is a three-hour drive away, and I think I will opt out. I will send him a card and a check, because it is quite an accomplishment for him. He started the program when he was unemployed, and kept with it after finding full-time employment. As the father of four kids, he has been super busy, but I am proud of him for sticking with this.