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Archive for June, 2013

Lazy Sunday

June 30th, 2013 at 03:16 pm

It's been a pretty lazy day -- the kind I need. I did a load of laundry and shopped for socks at Kohl's -- $9 on top of my $50 gift card. I got 12 pairs of socks. For some reason I go through socks like wildfire, so this time I got Gold Toe and Nike in hopes that they will last longer. The Nikes were 20% off but the Gold Toe were full price.

My upstairs neighbor left a note on my door that they will be doing some remodeling for the next four weeks and I might hear some noise. Nice of her to let me know. I'm guessing that since I'm gone 12 hours a day it won't be much of an issue.

I also watched the movie "Broken Flowers" with Bill Murray. Although it was billed as a comedy it is much more thoughtful and introspective than that. I recommend it.

I was hoping to have my kids help hang my pictures (yeah, that's right, they're still not hung), but they went to Six Flags. It is such a nice day; it was the perfect time for them to go.

Meanwhile, I'm just enjoying hanging out with the windows open and the breeze blowing in!

Unusual errand

June 29th, 2013 at 03:05 pm

I had an unusual errand this morning. I rode the train downtown just to buy my monthly train pass for July. Here's why. When I went to the station in my work town yesterday, I arrived too late -- the ticket window was closed for the day. Monday is July 1. I had to have the new pass, but I can't buy it in my home station -- there is no ticket agent there at all. I COULD have bought a one-way ticket on the train Monday morning, but I really have no cash at all. I'm going to pay my big Discover bill on Monday, and it will take everything I have in checking and my slush fund. So this morning I rode downtown on my June ticket, bought my pass with a credit card at the ticket window, and then rode back home. It took two hours, counting the wait in the station. Crazy. But it didn't cost anything, except, of course, the price of the ticket. Which I get at a reduced rate because my employer kicks in $30 in vouchers every month.

My free lunch yesterday disagreed with me. I had a bleu cheese burger with carmelized onions. It was delicious, but rich, and later in the evening I paid for it. So I had kind of a rough night, and I was really tired this morning as I made my way downtown. Not to mention that my cold is still in full force -- but I am very grateful the headache is gone.

I'm very excited I'm finally going to pay the Discover bill. And I didn't have to go to the credit union to get money. But I did have to wait to get my monthly disbursement from TIAA-CREF, which is now being processed in my checking account. On Monday morning I'll transfer the money from the slush fund into checking and pay the bill! Only a few days before it is due. I usually pay immediately! Next month's bill should be much lower, barring any surprises, and I can finally start the work of building up my slush fund again.

I got a nasty chore done today. You may recall that I had a car accident last month that drained my gas tank. Well, somehow some of the fluids flew back and got stuck and dried on the back of my car, leaving a big ugly stain. When I got the car back from the shop I went through the car wash, but it had no effect. A second wash a week later didn't help either. Today I finally attacked it by hand with full-strength Dawn and a heavy-duty Scotch-Brite sponge. With some serious elbow grease, the stains finally came off. My car is white, so the stains were very noticeable. I'm glad to finally have that done. Even though it's a 12-year-old car, I like to have it looking nice!

Drove In

June 28th, 2013 at 09:06 am

I decided not to ride the train today -- with the Blackhawks parade downtown, and $5 fares all day, I figured it would be a crush of people. So I drove.

When I drive, I try to make it an opportunity to get things done that I usually can't on foot. So I'm going to take a bag of books to Goodwill, I'm going to get my hair cut, and maybe even get a pedicure. Doing these things after work before I hit the highway should get me past the rush hour madness. And it will be a nice lift to feel pampered again after the horrendous beginning to my week.

I also have to find time to buy a train ticket, but it has to be around noon. I'm not sure when the ticket window closes here, but it's early -- not like the downtown station which is open all the time.

And I have to get gas, so today will be a little spendy.

I bought breakfast at McDonald's this morning - $5. But I have a free lunch at work today -- fiscal year-end celebration -- and I packed a dinner.

I did a load of laundry last night and got to the point where it is folded and in the basket, but then I was too tired to put it away. Ah me, wrinkles ahead. But much better than if they weren't folded!

Back in Action

June 27th, 2013 at 10:29 am

Being sick reminds you of what is really important in life -- your health! I used to laugh at those ads that said, "If you've got your health, you've got everything!" Nowadays I know what they mean.

After three days of hardly being able to lift my head, I am back at work, and mostly recovered. I finally broke down and went to the doctor yesterday. I thought I had a sinus infection, but he disagreed and said I was suffering a facial migraine. He prescribed me some meds that took care of it. What a relief.

Being sick also means not much spending! I had to pay $2 to park near the doctor's office, and my prescription cost a whopping $3. I also spent $25 online for a heavy-duty cord and cord cover so that my son could hook up my second air conditioner.

Ah, the air conditioners! I have been spoiled. I have had central air for many years. I tried to remember when I last had a room-size conditioner and I think I had one when I was a newlywed. For most of the years since, I have either had central air, or nothing (but lived in cooler climates). So it is quite an adjustment, in my vintage condo, to revert back to the air conditioner in the window. I have two. They both came with the condo, and they appear to have some years on them. They work, but they are noisy. REALLY noisy! I can't hear the TV, and we can't have conversation in the dining room. So I will only run them when it is really hot.

Oh, and the reason for the new cord, etc? I blew a fuse the first day and had to route the cord halfway around the room to get the two air conditioners on different circuits.

I'm guessing they are going to add a pretty penny to my electric bill as well.

Okay, CB, calm down and remember, it's wonderful to be healthy again!

Terrible Cold

June 24th, 2013 at 01:41 pm

Oh boy, am I sick. I felt a cold coming on on Friday, but met my commitments on the weekend, which included having the grandsons overnight on Saturday and making a Mexican birthday meal for my DIL on Sunday. Last night I thought I was feeling pretty good.

My mistake. I was only coming down with the real thing. Today I have a raging headache, a stuffy, runny nose, a deep, hacking cough and I'm dizzy as all get out. I called in sick and told them I would probably be in tomorrow. Now that it's 3:30 I wonder, because I am no better. If I am in the same shape tomorrow I guess I will drag myself to the doctor to make sure it is not an infection.

I did two loads of laundry on the weekend for a total of $3.00. I also went grocery shopping. Despite using my $20 coupon, and $4.25 in other coupons, I spent $36.54. I had not intended to go much above $20, but I had that dinner to make, and other things to stock up on, like kitty litter and pantiliners. Anyway, the receipt says my total savings was $40.34, which counts the coupons and store savings. Or 54%.

Here is what I got for $37:

Jiffy corn bread mix
90 oz. Tortilla chips
2 L Ginger ale
Can of corn
3 packets taco seasoning
2 8 oz. packages of Teddy Grahams
30 lbs. kitty litter
16 oz. yogurt
40 count Kotex pads
2 packs Scotch Brite pads
1 bottle wine
2 1/2 lbs. ground beef
2 plum tomatoes
1 head lettuce
6 oz. raspberries
1 avocado
1 lb. baby carrots
l lb. load sourdough bread

I had to go back to get another can of corn and a half gallon of almond milk, but I don't have that receipt to hand right now. I'll find it when my head clears!

Yesterday was a lost day

June 21st, 2013 at 06:59 am

I was dead-tired all day due to lack of sleep. A cold is coming on, making me feel even worse. I stumbled through my work (amazingly, it didn't suffer too much) but I didn't tackle anything that required a lot of thinking.

I also raided the work refrigerator twice for cheesecake. It didn't even taste that good to me; I just felt this incredible NEED....

Last night I got home too tired to make dinner, so I made microwave popcorn and went to bed.

This morning I am more rested, though not 100% since that cold is still gathering strength. But I hope I will be more present in my work today.

Our office is having a pizza party at noon, so I will enjoy a free lunch today.

MY DIL is celebrating a birthday any day now. I am so bone-headed I cannot remember the date, but I know it's twenty-something. I usually make a dinner or lunch for the birthday person and I have asked her to think about a menu, but she hasn't gotten back to me yet. I am hoping for something simple because I also have to clean the house and my energy level is pretty low.

Her gift is already purchased -- two gifts cards, one for Kohl's and one for i-Tunes. She is hard to buy for -- very specific tastes -- so I think gift cards will be welcome.

Yesterday was a no-spend day, though my cable/internet bill did come out of the checking account.

I earned another $5 Amazon card on Swagbucks, bringing my total for the year to $25. I have only recently learned how to get more than a couple points a day, so I expect the year end total will be higher than this would indicate. I also earned a $91 Discover bonus this month, as well as scoring those $20 grocery coupons, so that's how my extra income has jumped up.

I'm really glad it's Friday, and I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend!

It's a muffin day

June 20th, 2013 at 06:34 am

Yesterday was a no-spend day, but today I bought a muffin and coffee at the station. It was one of those days when I could hardly get up in the morning. My allergies are kicking up, and my cat wanted to flick her tail in my face all night, so I slept poorly. The only thing that got me out of bed was thinking about that muffin.

I did manage to pack some hummus, a tortilla and blueberries for lunch.

Free lunch tomorrow, per an email from the boss. We are all going out together at some undisclosed location to have some bonding before we tackle the end of the fiscal year.

Grocery shopping & Garrett's Popcorn

June 19th, 2013 at 06:40 am

Even though I didn't feel like getting in the car and going to the grocery store last night, I wanted to use my $20 coupon before it expired. I ended up spending $21.38, so for $1.38 out of pocket I got:

64 oz. bleach
18 oz. peanut butter
5 oz. croutons
Box of Kraft mac & cheese
15 oz. lime juice
3 bags microwave popcorn
16 oz. sour cream
14 oz. flour tortillas
8 oz. cream cheese
1 Stouffer's chicken pot pie
1 large frozen supreme pizza

My savings beyond the $20 coupon was $4.81, for items that were on sale.

I'm going back on Saturday to use the other coupon.

That's the good news. The bad news is, I succumbed to Garrett's popcorn in the station last night. I bought a small bag of the cashew caramel crisp. $5. I made it my supper. Those of you who know Chicago know the lure of Garrett's popcorn!

Financial Lull

June 18th, 2013 at 06:28 am

Not much financial news. I stopped at the bank in the downtown station yesterday and deposited all my folding money, as well as the settlement check, to get ready for paying my Discover bill. I am $5 short because I had to use a fiver for the El on Sunday. But I am sure I can make that up somehow before the bill is due. I probably have that much in coins.

I did a load of laundry last night. $1.50. I've switched from doing all my laundry on the weekend to doing a load whenever one of my hampers gets full. Seems like I'm doing just as much, but at least it doesn't kill a whole morning.

Today I'm paying a $64 bill for lab work, but it will come from my flex account.

I had a free lunch yesterday -- the College held an outdoor jazz festival over the weekend that was not well-attended because of threatening weather. So there was lots of food left over. I wouldn't be surprised if there is still some left today.

Tonight I'll do a little grocery shopping, using one of my $20 coupons. Then I'll do it again in a few days to use the other. (I can't use more than one at a time.) I figure I will stock up on sale items -- and $20 worth won't be too much to carry up the stairs, either.

I'm really looking forward to building up my savings again after I get over this rough patch. I know my Florida trip will cost me a bit, but I'm still hoping to reverse the trend -- put money INTO savings for a change!



What a Weekend!

June 17th, 2013 at 07:55 am

I didn't even think about money, and it shows!

I took my grandsons to the museum on Saturday, and, while it wasn't an awful day (time with my grandchildren is never awful) a lot of things went wrong. I bought tickets for a movie that we didn't see, couldn't get into an exhibition that we WANTED to see, lost a toy behind a display case, couldn't stay with our friends because the phones don't work in that huge mausoleum of a building, and to top everything off, I LOST the car in the parking garage and it took FOREVER to get someone to drive us around in the golf cart so we could find it.

And it was expensive. Tickets -- $55. Parking -- $22. Food -- $24. Souvenirs -- $8.

I asked my older grandson how he liked it and he said "Kinda boring."

On Sunday I met friends downtown and we mostly cruised the sports shops (it was father's day, what can you do?) I spent $71 on shirts and onesies for gifts. We wanted to go to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner, but the wait was too long and we ended up at McDonald's. Big disappointment in terms of the experience, but certainly cheaper -- I spent $6 there.
I also spent $7 on the El.

Before I went to the museum I did laundry - $1.25 - and went to the grocery, where I spent $100 on gifts cards and $63 on groceries. I used one of the $20 coupons, and now I have two more to use within the next five days. I'll do some stocking up.

Now I'm back at work and feeling like I have to rest up from the weekend!

Oh, I forgot to add the cool part! I found $1.23 in change -- mostly pennies! It looked like someone just dumped their pockets!

This and That

June 14th, 2013 at 01:09 pm

Well, I'm really low on groceries, so I didn't pack a lunch this morning. At lunchtime I took a walk to a nearby restaurant and got a sandwich and fruit cup to go. I was unfamiliar with their menu, so the sandwich I got was way bigger than I expected. I did finish it, but didn't touch the fruit cup. I'll take that home for dinner. It was a little pricey, too - $10. But I've had a lot of free meals lately, so I won't complain.

I got a call from my BFF that she is coming up to Chicago with her son, DIL, and granddaughters to visit the Field Museum tomorrow. So I'm going to take my grandsons and we'll make a day of it. Which reminds me, I'd better buy tickets! They won't be cheap -- not like the old days, when you could go to the museum for $5.

I got flowers today! The board sent them to me in thanks for organizing the workshop. I was so surprised and thrilled! But now I have to figure out how to take them home on the train, because I'm sure not leaving them in the office all weekend.

I have enough to pay my Discover card now, once I get paid and get my disbursement from TIAA-CREF. As long as nothing else sabotages my checking account. I can't think what -- surely there can't be any more surprises, but you never know.

I'm going to go get more gift cards from the grocery store -- one for my DIL's birthday, and one for me to buy socks and stuff at Kohl's. I'll get another $20 coupon -- that will make $60 in free groceries. Just have to make sure to use the coupons by their (short) expiration dates.

The Workshop is Over

June 13th, 2013 at 04:27 pm

And it was a success. The speakers were great, no glitches, everything went like clockwork. I think everyone had a good time, and I hope they learned a lot. It sure seemed educational to me. I haven't looked at the evaluations yet, though. I think I will wait till tomorrow. I'll enjoy the day.

I ended up driving and I paid $12 for parking. Which is pretty good for the city. That was a little more than if I had ridden the El, but I was glad to have control of my coming and going, and it was nice to park right across from my venue and not have to schlep all the materials I was carrying very far.

Today I got a check for $8 from a litigation settlement. I don't remember filing for it, but I'm glad to add it to my Discover challenge. I stopped at the grocery store this morning and bought more gift cards ($100) and a birthday card ($3) and got another $20 coupon for groceries. I also got $50 in cash to put toward the Discover challenge. I also got a Pinecone payment for $3. I'm working my way there. I WILL pay that bill in full!

Two More Bills

June 12th, 2013 at 07:53 am

Well, I thought I had it figured out how I was going to pay my Discover bill in full, and then two more bills popped up. My semi-annual insurance, and AAA -- both due this month. I put a call into AAA and switched over the payment to my new Discover card, so no problem there. I left a voice message for my insurance agent -- I think I can switch that to a credit card payment, too, but I'll have to make sure it doesn't invoke any fees. As it stands, the automatic payment comes out of my checking account.

If worse comes to worse, I'll just stop by the credit union and make a withdrawal to cover the difference when it's time to pay the Discover bill. The CU is halfway between home and work -- but since I'm usually on the train, it will mean a special trip, if it comes to that.

Yesterday I bought some gift cards for the speakers for the workshop I'm organizing. Of course, that came out of the the board's account rather than my own. But since I bought more than $100 worth of cards, I got a $20 coupon for groceries. I don't have to spend any set amount, either -- just more than $20. I think I'll get some more gift cards tonight for my DILs and get another coupon.

The golf outing went fine, though working after work made for a long day. The free buffet supper was great -- lots of man-food -- they actually served chicken, ribs, pulled pork AND roast beef, as well as many sides. A very hearty meal. And they also gave me a drink coupon which I used on a Kahlua & cream -- a blast from the seventies!

Now I just have to get through tomorrow. I think I have everything done except actually writing the thank you notes, and printing the evaluation forms. I hope the day goes well. This is not a natural role for me and I'm way out of my comfort zone. But if it goes well it will all be worth it.

Busy, busy, busy

June 11th, 2013 at 06:52 am

My Discover cycle closes today. Whew! Once I have verified that it has closed, I am free to use the card again. I really need to get some groceries, and also a couple of birthday gifts -- which I think will be gift cards this year. The birthdays are for my two DILs, and they are so hard to buy for! I thought I would enjoy buying girl gifts, after raising sons, but they have very distinctive tastes that I haven't ever really figured out.

I spent $40 on gas on the way to work this morning, paying with cash. Once again, we have the highest gas in the nation! I found a station selling for $4.25 a gallon, but downtown it is $4.59. They say it is because of "summer blends" and refinery issues. That's what they always say!

The workshop I am organizing will take place the day after tomorrow. I just sent a "GO" note to my catering contact, made up an evaluation form, and made a list for our secretary to create nametags. I'm waiting for all my presenters to send me their slides, and I will send them all out to the attendees, along with parking directions, etc. I still have to go get gift cards for the presenters -- I'll try to do that at noon today. And I have to complete and print the agenda. Oh yes, and the registration list, too.

This is a lot of work. I'll be glad when it's done. I just hope it will be a success.

I still haven't decided whether I'm getting there by car or by train. Drawbacks and benefits both ways. I'm leaning toward driving, since I'll be carrying stuff, the parking will be validated, thus not so TERRIBLY expensive, and I will be more in control of when I come and go. It looks easy on the map, but of course it always looks different in person.

Today is the golf outing. I am ready with my credit card forms, which I will need when the auction winners pay up. I don't have to go out there until late afternoon. I hope the dinner/auction won't go too late into the evening. I had one of my famous can't-get-to-sleep nights last night, so I'm really going to struggle through the day.

Oh yes, I have a regular job in there somewhere, too.



The Meeting is Over

June 10th, 2013 at 10:29 am

The meeting I dreaded is over, and it was just fine. How much time do I invest in dreading things that turn out not to be bad at all? The truth is, when bad things happen to me, they happen without warning, so why do I even waste my time worrying?

Tomorrow is the golf outing. I've decided to use my cash to get gas and drive. It's just too complicated to meet this responsibility without a car. I've done this event for several years and it's mostly enjoyable. I always get a wonderful free dinner!

I'm really looking forward to doing some financial re-grouping this month. I do have two birthdays coming up, and a vacation in Florida -- but the airfare is already paid, and I hope that buying groceries for my kids will be my major expense once there. I really don't want to do anything but enjoy my granddaughter!

No-spend weekend

June 9th, 2013 at 08:26 am

I'm trying for a no-spend weekend, even though, technically, I already failed. I have a prepaid phone service that loads $50 every time the balance goes under $5.00. Well, that happened, so I spend another $50 without trying. It's getting to be more and more of a challenge to meet that big Discover bill. At least it will close in a few days and can't get any bigger.

I also admit I spent $1.50 doing laundry, but since I have a separate stash of quarters that I tap for laundry, it's not going to affect my Discover challenge.

I didn't feel great yesterday, so I stretched out on the couch for most of the day. I watched three movies -- Doctor Zhivago, Before Sunset, and part of Camelot. I didn't get through Camelot because my son asked me to come over and babysit the kids while they had an evening out. I was feeling better, and since it was only a matter of entertaining them for an hour and putting them to bed, I agreed. Then I stretched out again and read.

When I got home and got to bed, I had debilitating pain in my hips and knees, which was odd, since I hadn't done anything. Maybe my joints are worse when I DON'T do anything. Anyway, I got up and took some Advil and eventually drifted off. I did have a vivid dream that someone came into my front door, and I realized that I had left it unlocked. Then when I looked over the person carefully, I realized it was most likely a monkey. Odd, no? It seemed so real.

I intended to make a batch of muffins today, but I don't have enough eggs. I had a biscuit and cheese for breakfast, and then later on snacked on granola without milk -- because I'm out of milk. Yet my pantry is full and I'm not going to starve. I just have to focus on what I have. I COULD go grocery shopping -- I have cash, and there is a little gas left in the car. (Don't I sound pitiful?) I just want to ride it out, make do, in the good old-fashioned Yankee way.

This morning I put another load of laundry in -- mostly because the sheets need to be changed. I'll actually just put the same set back on, since it's my favorite -- high thread count, nice and soft.

I have another tough week coming up. I have to work at a golf outing, which will really lengthen my day, as my duty doesn't start till 4. Taking the train on that day will be difficult, as I will have to get a ride to the course (miles away) and then get a ride back to the station afterwards. Then I will have to deal with the evening train schedule, which can mean an hour wait in one station or the other -- or, horrors, both!

So I'm thinking, maybe the best thing to do with the cash I have is to put it in the tank, and drive on that day.

The other difficult thing this week is that the workshop that I'm organizing will take place on Thursday. I have a lot of last-minute details to pin down, and the day will be stressful, because I will feel responsible for every little hitch in the day. I shouldn't get myself into things like this. I'm also stressed out about getting there -- it's downtown, and not in easy walking distance of the train station. I can take the rapid transit instead, which would get me closer, but I'm relatively unfamiliar with it. Or I can drive, but I would have to find parking. Stress, stress!

Oh, and there is a third difficult thing. I have a meeting tomorrow with the boss who scares the patootie out of me, and I already know she is put out with me -- for doing exactly what she said instead of what she wishes she had said -- oh, I get so tired of this.

Retirement, where are you? Why are you still two years away????

The trip, and a crisis of conscience

June 7th, 2013 at 08:10 am

I am back!

The gas only cost $40 (however; I started with a half tank and am now under 1/4, so that isn't total usage).

I am having a crisis of conscience, though. On the way back from the workshop, I gave a ride to a fellow board member. When she was getting out of the car, she offered to pay half for the gas. I told her no, it was paid for. She smiled and said, "I hope your employer paid for it," and I nodded, even though it was our board who paid. Here is where it gets murky. She is on the board, but a committee member, not one of the directors. My request for reimbursement was only to the directors, and I wasn't planning on making it public to the whole board.

She and another committee member attended the event on their own volition and paid their own way. I feel somewhat guilty, even though my request for the reimbursement was approved. I feel underhanded. I should have just said, "The board covered my gas," but I was afraid she would think it was unfair.

Now, the reason I went was to represent the board and to participate as a roundtable leader. They were just attendees. I think I was entitled to ask for that little bit of financial support, but I'm not sure they would see it the same way.

I'm almost inclined to just put the money back into the account. But then I think, those two transactions (credit card charge and then a deposit) would look fishy, like I was using the board's account as a slush fund. Even if I feel guilty, it might be better just to let the matter lie.

Oh me, oh my.

My only other spending on the trip was $4 for a hamburger on the way down. (Paid by me, of course! Smile)

Uh-Oh

June 5th, 2013 at 07:09 am

Just when I thought my plan was sound ...

I forgot about my backup credit card -- the one I use in the rare cases when a Discover card is not accepted. I have a balance on it this month that I forgot about which throws me off by $44.

However, I'm still sticking with the plan! I do not have to pay this credit card until July 10. Once my Discover account refreshes, after June 11, I can charge groceries at Jewel and get $50 cash. (I often get my cash this way since it is easier than going to the bank.) I can put that $50 in the bank to cover the Visa card and we're all square. With no big expenses looming, I should have no trouble paying off the next cc cycle in full.

So, I'm taking off on my trip this evening. I thought about driving to work and leaving from there, but although it would save time it would also take more gas. So I took the train, and will leave from home. That will give me the chance to feed the fish, water the flowers and pack some food, anyway.

Speaking of the train, I had another train adventure last night. The train to the city ran late -- very late -- and I missed the connecting train home. I took the next outgoing train, but it did not stop at my station. It stopped at a station quite a bit north of where I live. It was a lovely day, so I walked home -- it took about 40 minutes.

My seatmate on the train was having a worse day than me -- she was trying to go to her niece's recital in a strange city without knowing anything except the name of the auditorium. I tried to be helpful, but I still don't know the city well at all. I called my son, and he looked up directions to the auditorium. It looked like she had a long walk to make and she was already late. We looked for a taxi but of course there was none. She had a great big suitcase on wheels. I last saw her taking off in the direction she had to go, rolling that suitcase behind her. I hope she ended up all right.

A Challenge

June 4th, 2013 at 06:48 am

Found another penny in the station. I'm closing in on $30!

I have a challenge ahead of me. It will be seven days before my credit card cycle closes. I have just enough in checking and my slush fund to pay the bill in full, as well as my other fixed expenses. So I cannot charge one more thing. Nor can I take out any cash from any of my accounts -- except for the credit union account, which I am refusing to do. I have about $50 in cash in my wallet.

This could be easily managed, except that I have to make a trip to Indianapolis tomorrow. I will be reimbursed for the gas, but I will have to pay for it up front. I will have a free place to stay, with my friend, for the night, and she won't mind giving me a late dinner and breakfast the next morning. The workshop I am attending will provide lunch. I may have to buy dinner that night, unless I make it home earlier than I think. I WILL stock the car with crackers and other non-perishables. So I hope I can do it all for $50.

What REALLY makes this tricky is that the fuel calculator estimates the gas will cost $64. But I do already have some gas in the tank. And if I think I won't have enough gas to get home, I know my friend will spot me.

All this, because I REALLY REALLY want to pay my credit card in full! Naturally, if I feel I might be in trouble, I will use the card, so don't worry 'bout me!

Six cents richer

June 3rd, 2013 at 06:27 am

Found six cents this weekend the hard way. That's six pennies in six different places!

I babysat the grandsons yesterday while their parents went to IKEA to buy a new bathroom sink. When my son came home he realized he needed some caulk and adhesive to put it together, so he and I made a trip to Home Depot. I wanted to buy Command strips for hanging my pictures. Now that the rugs are in, I'm finally ready to make decisions about what pictures get hung where. I spent $39 on a bunch of value packs. I have a lot of pictures! I'm going to recruit the help of my son and DIL to hang them, so now I just need to wait for a time when they're free.

These two weeks are going to be tight for me. If I want to pay my Discover bill in full AND avoid going to the credit union, I'm going to have to be super careful. Especially now that I spent that chunk of change on picture hangers!

I also have to drive to Indianapolis to take part in a conference on Thursday. While my fee was paid, the transportation costs are not, although I might get reimbursed by my professional association.

Anyway, it will be lean times.

I packed my lunch this morning but arrived without the entree. I hope it is in the fridge and not sitting out on a counter.

I also forgot my phone.

My excuse is that I got little sleep last night. It was a perfect storm. First my legs were aching big time. I took some painkillers but the medication stuck in my gullet. (I get this a lot; I have no trouble swallowing pills, but getting them all the way down to my stomach seems to be a challenge.) Even with lots of water I could feel them stuck in my chest area. Just when it seemed the pain was getting better, my loudmouth neighbor started up. By this time it was midnight, but he and his wife apparently had company and they were having, shall we say, a very spirited conversation. When you have to get up at five; it is very frustrating to be kept awake at midnight. What would they think if made a commotion at 5 am? The rudeness of others sometimes astonishes me.

Sometimes Rain is Lovely

June 1st, 2013 at 04:14 pm

It's pouring down rain, but my living room window is wide open. I love it that the eaves are so deep on this building that I can do that. I love the sound of the rain and the fresh smell. My bedroom, however, is a different story -- I must close that window when the rain starts up, or it will rain in.

Yesterday was a pretty fun day. I got my rugs installed in the morning -- I love them! I am totally pleased with the size, the colors and the plushiness. Plus I got a scrap that fits perfectly in the closet where the cat box is. I hope it will help with the litter-tracking problem.

After the rugs were in I went to my grandson's school to have lunch with him. It was fun to surprise him, and fun to see him in his environment. He is clearly very comfortable and happy at school. However, the one thing I didn't get was lunch! He is a brown-bagger, so it didn't feel right to leave him and go through the lunch line. So after I left I stopped at Steak N Shake and spent $5 on a combo meal.

Then I went to work for the afternoon. Luckily my boss was very supportive about taking the morning off, even though I am really out of vacation/personal time.

This morning I spent $35 on food and pet supplies at Wal-Mart and $1.50 on laundry.

Later my son and the grandsons came over for games and Netflix, and then we spent some time in the park. Now they are home and I am baking muffins for next week and listening to the rain. As soon as I am done here I'm going to lie on the couch and read. Bliss!