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Archive for August, 2014

Cleaning - Not So Much

August 31st, 2014 at 02:54 pm

Well, I did some cleaning yesterday -- vacuuming, sweeping, laundry, putting stuff away. But then I got sidetracked because there were TWO of my favorite movies on TV -- "Shakespeare in Love" and "Cold Mountain" -- back to back. So I stopped and watched them, and I don't regret that! Hope to get more done today.

I'm planning a train trip into the city today, just to get my train pass. Have to do this before the month changes, or I will end up buying a ticket on the train on Tuesday morning -- and there is a surcharge for that. I'm going to take my grandsons with me, so we will probably buy a lunch or snack in the station -- so I won't really save any money! But it will be fun, and I need to keep doing things with the grandsons as long as they still think it's fun to hang out with Grandma!

I had an avocado getting ripe, so I made guacamole this morning. I had it for breakfast on a tortilla with cheese. My breakfasts are getting more and more unusual!

Saturday Musings

August 30th, 2014 at 09:40 pm

This morning I went to garage sales with my DIL. The sales are getting more sparse. Of course, there was a threat of rain, which probably discouraged people from setting up.

I spent $8 on myself. I bought a creamer for my "white cabinet" (a corner cabinet where I display white pottery), a small green shoulder bag, an Anne Klein rain jacket, a necklace, a scarf, and a set of three 1-qt. plastic containers with lids. For my DIL, I spent $50 on an original oil painting by a local artist. I could see she really wanted it but didn't want to spend the money. I told her it will be her Christmas present. I already have a Christmas present for her -- the Fiesta teapot -- so maybe I'll hold that until her birthday next year. Sigh. Some people are so easy to buy for, and some are so hard!

I believe the painting was a good deal -- this artist's work usually sells in the $200 range even for small pieces. It will be a nice investment for her family.

I also found a white tureen in an alley by a dumpster! It was missing the spoon and had a big chip on the rim, but, displayed in my cabinet, none of that shows! I needed a bigger piece in there, and it's ideal!

Other than that, I spent $1.50 on laundry. I believe I will hold off on other shopping until Monday, when I can start using my Discover card.

I was productive in the kitchen this morning -- I made migas for breakfast and then a dozen banana nut muffins. No other cooking required today -- I had a meatloaf sandwich for lunch, and for dinner, I have spaghetti sauce to warm up. I just have to boil the pasta.

There is some discussion of a cookout on Labor Day, but no real plans yet.

I really, really need to do some housework, and I'm really having trouble making myself do it! Wish I enjoyed it more -- I do enjoy when it's all clean!

Getting a Cold

August 29th, 2014 at 01:27 pm

It's starting to settle in. The headache, the sore throat, the sinus pressure. I DON'T want a cold, but at least I have a three-day weekend coming up, and I have gotten past the "interview," so I don't have to be attractive for a few days! Smile

I am now leaving for the train station before sunrise, which makes it really seem like summer is over, even though it is still hot. Soon, the evening hours will get darker, too, and then it will seriously be Fall.

I forgot to check my mailbox on the way out this morning. I've been hoping to get my senior card before having to buy my monthly train pass. So now I can either buy the pass this evening, paying full price, or I can take a chance that the card is here, and travel downtown this weekend to get a reduced pass. If I ride this weekend, I might take my grandsons along so they can get another train ride. Monday will be too late. It's the first, and I would have to buy a single-ride ticket on the train to get downtown to buy the pass. It's complicated!

Yesterday was my first no-spend day in a while. But next month, I'll be working on my bonus for Discover, so I will be spending. (Another reason I want to delay getting my train pass. I'm hoping it won't post until after the 1st). I noticed when I logged into my Discover account yesterday that they are providing a nifty little tracking tool, which I will use religiously!

The Meeting

August 28th, 2014 at 03:09 pm

Yesterday I met with my former boss and the director who works for her about the wonderful job opportunity I blogged about previously.

I met them informally for lunch. I think it went well. I certainly liked the director (who would be my boss, if this happened). And I think she liked me, too, but of course the question is, am I the right person for the job? It sounds both exciting and demanding. I would really like to have a stab at it, but I think the competition is going to be pretty fierce.

At any rate, it was a very pleasant lunch, and it's really validating to know that my former boss has this kind of confidence in me.

I paid $10 to park, but lunch was covered. My only other spending yesterday was $1.50 to do a load of laundry after I got home.

And it's back to the real world and my real job today.

Crazy Evening

August 26th, 2014 at 02:03 pm

Yesterday afternoon I caught the train to the city at the usual time, heading home, I thought. Actually, it was later than the usual time, because the train was already behind schedule, lagging behind a freight train that was going SLOWER and SLOWER.

I was sitting on the train reading, when I realized it had been stopped for a while. And then came the announcement. It was stopped for good. The freight train had broken down, and my train was stuck behind it. We sat there for 30-40 minutes with no word on what they're doing to get us out of this situation.

Oh, and let me just say, we were stopped at an area where you did not want to get out. It was not safe.

Finally, they told us that if we walked back to the last car, we could get out on the platform and catch a train back in the direction we came from. So I did. I went back to station where I'd boarded, and as I was entering the station, I heard the announcement that the next train to the city was cancelled. Well, of course, the track is blocked!

So I found a taxi. I asked how much it would cost to go to my suburb and he quoted $60. I didn't see any other way, so I said okay. When we got closer to my suburb, I called my son to see if he could pick me up on the way. He was free, so the taxi driver dropped me off at a KFC and my son came and got me. The fare, with tip, was $46. I gave my son $10 for gas, so I guess I didn't come out ahead! Especially since I also spent $4 at the KFC, so that was exactly $60!

This all took a long time. I didn't get home till around 8, and I left work at 3:45!

And then I was so overstimulated, I could hardly sleep at all, and I am dragging now!

Just so glad my financial situation is so much more stable than it used to be, so that $60 for an emergency ride home is just a blip and not a disaster!

I did get back on the train this morning, and obviously the track was clear. I looked online to find news about the incident but could find no word about what happened to the people who chose to stay on the train. Maybe they got home sooner than I, with no money out, but I didn't like being trapped with no knowledge of what was to happen. So I'm glad I did what I did and I'm glad it's over!

The Wild Kratts!

August 25th, 2014 at 02:51 pm

It was all about the Wild Kratts this weekend! The brothers came to our local zoo and put on a program. My grandsons are crazy about them, so we devoted all of Sunday to the quest of meeting them in person. To put it briefly, it took two parents and two grandmothers standing in various lines (in sweltering heat) to get the boys at the show and at the autograph table. But mission accomplished. They both got to meet Chris and Martin, and both got autographs.

It was a pretty cheap day, too! I had free admission tickets (from a colleague whose husband works at the zoo). We paid $10 for parking. They tried to sell us admission tickets at the parking booth (not the usual procedure). We explained we had them already -- but it turned out no one was TAKING tickets at the door, so I actually still have the six tickets in hand. So we're going to get another free day later!

I spent $3 on water, and that was it. The other grandma bought ice cream for the boys, and my kids bought hot dogs (and delivered them to the grandmas as we stood in line).

After the show and autographs, we walked around a bit, but it was so very hot we gave out pretty soon. Good to know we can go back free and do the zoo properly. Probably in October, when it's cool!

On Saturday I hit a few garage sales and got a cardigan for $2, some toys for .75 and a necklace for .50. Then I went to the grocery store. I had a $5 off coupon if I spent $50, so I tried to spend as close to $50 as I could. The total bill, with savings off, was $49. I bought Truvia, a can of soup, poppy seeds, two jars of bouillon, cheese slices, Greek yogurt, eggs, cream cheese, wine, two packs of chipped beef, Canadian bacon, an onion, a red pepper, an avocado, four bananas, frozen yogurt, envelopes and two birthday cards. Double my usual number of items, but they were mostly small and light. I also spent $38 on gas and $3 on laundry.

More Pennies

August 22nd, 2014 at 01:21 pm

Found another .02 in the Walgreens parking lot. I think it is my most regular money patch.

I am waiting on buying my train pass until I get my senior discount card. I have only nine days left before I have to buy it; I hope the card will come, but knowing bureaucracy in general, I think it's likely the card will come too late. Oh well, even so, once I get it, it will be good forever.

I drove this morning because I'm going to the dentist this afternoon. I had kind of a rough night, so I woke up hard, and on the trip in, I completely bypassed my exit. Then I got stuck in a long line because a traffic light was out. Not a great start to the day, but it should be a light day of work -- no bosses, a lot of staff out.

I got breakfast at McDonald's on the way -- $6. Kind of an indulgence, but I was feeling so awful I needed something to keep me going.

Looking forward to a weekend of sleeping and catching up. Lots of laundry to do! Oh, and I'll have to clean the aquarium again. BTW, the angelfish who had the fungus survived and seems to be doing better, but I lost a neon tetra -- complete surprise. The weird thing was that he changed color and when I discovered his body I thought a strange fish had somehow gotten into the tank and died! Weird.

Goodwill trip

August 21st, 2014 at 01:37 pm

Since I had the car, and it was Wednesday (Senior Discount Day), I went to Goodwill after work. I was looking for jackets/blazers for work. I found only one, a pale pink, which will soon be too summery, but it will be good for next spring/summer. I figure I can make it work for fall by wearing it with black.

I also found a pair of jeans, a pair of chinos, and a pair of capris. Not too long ago I gave away some pants that were too big, so it was good to find better-fitting pants to replace them. Then I bought some gift items: a shirt for my BIL, a brass gazelle statuette for my BFF, and some Pfaltzgraff bread-and-butter plates for another friend. And finally, an item to resell -- an Isabel Bloom sculpture (peace dove) which is worth about $20-25. Or it would be a good gift. The total bill was $32.

When I went over my receipt after coming home, I saw that I was charged $4.24 for SHOE/BLT/PRS. I did not buy shoes, a belt or a purse. Furthermore, I brought home 12 items but the receipt says 13. So somehow I was erroneously charged for something I didn't buy. The checkout girl was very sweet, and I don't get the feeling I was conned, but something was goofed up.

Here is the question. $4.24 is less than the savings I got for my senior discount, and I got everything at a crazy cheap price anyway. Is it worth trying to get a refund or a store credit? I could go back on Friday, when I drive again, but they are in a construction area, and I had an awful time last night just getting headed in the right direction to go home. I don't really want to do that again. What would you do?

A Nice Surprise

August 20th, 2014 at 01:46 pm

Last night I went home, ate dinner, watched TV, and after about 45 minutes of toodling around finally noticed that the shades in the dining room had magically been hung on the windows! My DIL popped over during the day and did that! What a nice surprise, and the difference it makes in the dining room is amazing. No more glaring sun in the late afternoon!

I got a free tomato from a co-worker yesterday, so I had a tomato sandwich for dinner. The rest I chopped up, and today for lunch I will combine it with some salad greens, leftover steak fajita and salsa. I love using up bits and pieces like that.

I had a big meeting yesterday and work is heating up again. I am able to pretty much take it in stride, with so little time on the clock, and other irons in the fire. The drama seems pretty inconsequential. Nice to be able to look at it that way.

This morning I was in a deep sleep when the alarm went off, so I couldn't get going as quickly as I should have. I drove to the train station, to see if I could park quickly and catch the train, but no such luck. Not a single parking place. I drove. I also got a McDonalds breakfast on the way - $4. It is getting harder to wake up now that the mornings are darker; I'm just going to have to push myself.

Unfortunately I will have to drive again on Friday, so I can go to the dentist. That will also make it possible for me to go to the alumni dinner that evening, so I guess I will.

Students are moving in today. The campus is busy. Our sleepy summer is over!

Nothing Happened

August 19th, 2014 at 02:19 pm

Sometimes I feel like my blog is like Seinfeld -- a blog about nothing. Not nearly as amusing, of course!

No, nothing happened. After my free meals yesterday, I finished the work day, rode home, found a penny outside Walgreen's, ate a salad for dinner, drank a glass of wine and went to bed.

Nothing interesting in the mail. No enlightening conversations. No ah-ha moments.

So I am just going to stop and appreciate the wonderful blah-ness of my life right now. I think change will be coming soon enough, with all its drama and uncertainty. I'm going to enjoy the peace and quiet, while it lasts!

I am starting to think about how to spend $2000 a month come September (to earn my Discover reward). I believe I have to do it through January in order to get the $400 bonus. I'm going to check out whether I can charge my monthly assessment fees. I also wonder whether I can charge my mortgage payment? Also, I have some expensive items to purchase, so this will be as good a time as any to at least get some of them. I need a new mattress set, a new dining room set, I need to reupholster my sofa, and I need to get a washer/dryer installed (if I can figure out where to put it). If I decide to keep my car, I should get the exhaust system replaced.

I wish I had a crystal ball and could see whether I will get a new job or retire, because that would certainly color some of my decisions! But I just won't know for a while, so I'll have to be content to wait it out!

Weekend Update

August 18th, 2014 at 04:08 pm

For someone who's trying to earn credit card rewards, I'm finding it surprisingly hard to spend money. I'm determined not to spend frivolously, though, so I just have to find the right balance.

This weekend I spent $54 at the grocery store and $13 at Kohl's. The Kohl's spending was a top that looks like two pieces, suitable for work. It was originally $36, but with a markdown, a $10 gift card and an additional 20% off, it came to $13.

I went to an impromptu picnic this weekend with my son's family, but since I had just eaten, I just brought a bottle of water. I enjoyed the company and watching my grandsons play.

We also had a games afternoon -- Bohnanza with the boys and a new South American card game with my son (can't remember the name). More cheap entertainment, which always seems to be the most fun!

I didn't do too much cooking this weekend, like I usually do. I had four petite sirloin steaks on hand, (two packages for the price of one. I cooked two in my grill pan, eating one for dinner and cutting up the other for steak fajitas later. The other two are in the freezer, which is getting pretty full! I'm going to have to concentrate on eating from my freezer soon.

I had my free breakfast at work this morning (opening day) -- apparently I didn't take enough, because I'm starving now! That's okay; a free barbecue on the College lawn is coming up in a half hour. And I think that will be the last of the free food events for a while, at least until Homecoming.

I found .65 on the train on Friday evening! And this morning I found another penny in a parking lot, so had .66 to add to my totals.

Pay Day

August 15th, 2014 at 02:00 pm

Love Pay Day, even though it's so anticlimactic any more .... Just a few bills to pay (credit cards and mortgage) -- everything else is automated.

I sent $650 to the credit union. $321 will go to the mortgage, the rest to the E-fund.

I had a big bill to pay ($1,200+) to Chase Freedom. Already got the reward. There is $15.88 left in rewards, but I can't unlock it until there is $20. I'm not using the card now as I am charging up the Citi Thank You Card, and after that I'll be working on earning my $400 Discover bonus. So I think that $15.88 is just going to sit for a while.

Last night I stopped at Supercuts and bought a gift card for 4 haircuts for $40. Now I hope my stylist stays there for four more months!

I did have a free lunch yesterday at my meeting -- sandwich and cookies. Today I am going to lunch with others to meet with a former colleague. I have a lunch in the fridge that's been there all week, and I haven't had a chance to eat it. I think I may just eat it today, and get something minimal when I go out. Either that or freeze it for next week.

I have a $5 off coupon for spending $50 at the grocery store this weekend. I will try to hit $50 as close as possible, stocking up on sale items as much as possible.

I also have a $10 Kohl's gift card -- but it may have expired; I'll have to check it. If not, I'll go get a little gift for my grandson's upcoming birthday.

My fish with the fungus looks better today. Maybe the medication will work. Tonight I'll do the second dose.

Ran Errands

August 14th, 2014 at 02:00 pm

Well, I ran my errands on the way home from work yesterday, so I racked up a little spending.

First I went to the post office and mailed a box of books to my sister - $6. Then I took my old Samsonite bag to a repair shop. It didn't cost me anything to drop it off, but it will cost $60 when I pick it up. I am getting the wheels replaced. It is still a really good bag, so getting the wheels fixed is worth it.

Then I went to Ulta and bought nail polish to extend my manicure - $10. And then to PetSmart for a fungus cure, which cost $14.

The fungus cure is a bright green powder, which had a surprising effect on the water in the tank! The angelfish is still alive, but I think she is still in danger. The medication needs to be refreshed in 48 hours and then after another 48 hours I'll do a water change and replace the filter. Not filtering right now, as it would only pull out the medicine.

I watched "Harry and Tonto" on one of the oldie channels last night. I miss movies like that; just sweet and slow-paced, with good acting and no big drama. I saw it in the theater many years ago, and watching it brought back many memories of those times.

I didn't get my free ice cream yesterday -- I had too much cheese on my pizza at lunch, so I was lactosed out. Today, I believe I am getting a free lunch as well. We are going to a presentation by one of our Trustees on the College's historic relationship with the Church, and I believe free lunch was mentioned.

I cashed in two Pine Cone survey awards -- my snowflakes are crawling up to the $1000 range!

Oh, I forgot -- I also used a $3 birthday coupon at CVS to buy a travel comb and brush for $1.72.

The Birthday Continues...

August 13th, 2014 at 01:38 pm

Last night my son and DIL gave me puzzle books and a game for my birthday, and I hear a family picture for the wall is on the way!

They also gave me a spaghetti dinner.

I noticed last night that one of my angelfish has a growth. I looked it up, and it appears to be a fungus. So I drove today so I could stop at PetSmart to get something for it. I changed the water and filter last night, since bad water is a likely cause.

From what I read, it seems likely that the fish will die, but I want to make sure the others are safe.

Since I drove, I also grabbed a package to mail and a suitcase that needs repair. I'll make those stops, too. Oh, and I'm going to stop at Ulta to get some nail polish that matches my manicure. It's starting to show a little wear. I want to keep it going; it looks so nice.

Today there were still Cinnabons left at work for breakfast. We're having pizza at noon as a farewell for our student worker. And in the afternoon, there will be an ice cream social on the College lawn. Wow. A day of junk food! I will enjoy in moderation and get back on the wagon tomorrow.

My family's football pool is starting up again, so later today I'll be sending a $34 check to get in. I never win a thing, but it's good for the camaraderie.



Birthday Weekend in Michigan

August 12th, 2014 at 04:00 pm

I had a great time in Michigan this weekend. I boated, swam, ate steaks from the grill, drank wine on the deck, played cards, and overall just enjoyed myself immensely.

On Saturday, my SIL took me to her painting class and I produced a masterpiece (NOT) and brought it home. More on that later ...

My spending: $62 on gas, $5 for a car wash, $62 on clothing, $11 on food.

I didn't expect to buy clothing, but when I loaded my painting into the car on Monday morning, I accidentally wiped it against my pants. It was an oil painting with heavy application, so it was still wet. My good black pants were ruined. I was heading to a meeting at my old college, so I just had to apologize a lot and cover myself with paper towels. But after the meeting, I found a superstore and bought a replacement pair for $25. While at the store, I also found a perfect black purse of the type I'd been looking for, and it was another $37. What can I say. It was my birthday and I was feeling expansive.

Later that day I met with my old college professor, and it was such a good time! He asked for my life story, and boy, he got it! I can hardly believe he listened so attentively, but he assured me it was entertaining. We promised to stay in touch, and I hope we will.

So, all in all, I'm feeling really good, ready to rest up and get back in the swing of things!

All set!

August 8th, 2014 at 02:06 pm

I got my Citi card AND my check from Capital One. They were both in my stack of mail. My card is now activated and the check has been added to my EF.

Yesterday I applied for an RTA pass, which will allow me to buy reduced-fare tickets for the train. I am eligible now that I am (ahem) 65. Or will be on Monday! This will save me about $55 per month.

This morning I packed for my trip (so nice to have a new suitcase!) and I will leave from work. Unfortunately I woke up at 3 and never really fell back into a real sleep. So I will have to be very mindful on the road tonight. I will be tired. But I never fall asleep in the car -- not even as a passenger, so I don't worry about that. I just worry about attentiveness.

I'll be able to use my new Citi card for the trip and start racking up those points. Even though I don't anticipate a lot of spending!

This morning I bought breakfast at McDonalds ($4). With all I had to do this morning, I didn't have time to figure out breakfast. But I do have a lunch at work already. I'll get dinner on the road.

Oh, and it's weigh-in day, and I lost two more pounds! Woot-woot!

What's in the Mail?

August 7th, 2014 at 01:34 pm

I have a pile of mail on my desk at home that I haven't been able to get to. I have just been too tired at night to deal with anything besides eating dinner and going to bed. So there it sits.

I meant to grab it this morning, so I could open it during slow times at work, but I forgot.

I am hoping that within that pile is my new Citi card, and a $100 bonus check from Capital One. I MUST open my mail tonight, before I get on the road tomorrow for a weekend getaway.

Aside from the Citi card, I also signed up with my current Discover card to try to charge $2000 per month for five months for a $400 bonus. I don't know if I can do it, but there is no penalty for trying. Just have to make sure I don't do unnecessary spending to make the goal, but I'm not too worried about that -- I'm a pretty cautious spender. I thought it might be a good opportunity to get some big-ticket expenses out of the way. We'll see how it goes.

I have scored some free food lately -- garden tomatoes and protein bars from people at work. Yay! I'm also getting all kinds of birthday offers in my email from restaurants, etc. Tempting, but I would have to find someone to eat with me. I wouldn't feel right about going alone and ordering a free entree, for instance. So the offers are not so much of a deal for me. I have to look through them again, though. I think there are several offers for free ice cream, free muffins, etc. Not so good for my diet. There's always a catch!

I can hardly wait for my weekend! I'll be at my brother's house in Michigan again, along with my son's family. We are planning to boat on the lake and swim in the pool. I will go to a painting class with my SIL. My brother called and asked what kind of cake I like, so I know there will be some kind of food celebration! Then on Monday I'll visit my old college and a former professor who was very influential in my life. All very exciting stuff! And none of it should be too expensive.

Found $2!

August 6th, 2014 at 01:49 pm

Wow! Two dollar bills in the Walgreen's drive-thru. That gave me a lift this morning!

But I had such a downer of an evening last night. My DIL's mother called me, needing a friend. I went over there, and she spilled all her misery. She moved to our suburb about six months ago after a lifetime in a small town in Indiana. She is desperately lonely and disoriented. Of course, having never moved, she didn't know how hard it is to adjust to a new area, so she blames herself. Her wrought-up emotions spurred an argument with her daughter, which was why she was so distraught last night.

I advised her to find some volunteer work, find a small church (she hates the big ones), and also talk to her doctor about anti-depressants. She is clearly very depressed. But most of all she needs to begin to build a social circle and just give it time.

It made me realize how lucky I am to be so adaptable. I moved around all my life, so it is no surprise to me that it takes time to be part of a new community. And I am able to see the adventure in it, while for her, it is just scary. I hope and pray she comes around.

Anyway, that's how my evening was spent. I didn't even have dinner. I got to bed late, didn't sleep well, and now I'm dog-tired today. But I hope she is feeling somewhat better.

I guess the "crying office" travels with me!

In financial news, I went to a new nail shop at noon yesterday and got a really nice mani-pedi for $30, as well as a $10 gift certificate because it was my birthday month!

I need to spend tonight and tomorrow night getting ready for my trip to Michigan; time is running out fast and everything is generally in a mess right now!

Awful Day

August 5th, 2014 at 01:20 pm

Yesterday was an awful day at work. A temp employee was fired. It didn't have to happen; it was a bad chain of events, with some things not handled well.

The temp was really, really counting on getting a full-time job, which was never a given, but she didn't seem to understand that. The original plan for that job was to wait to fill it till a director role was filled. However, somewhere along the way, plans were changed (though not announced) and they started interviewing for the job. (I think because a good candidate who was personally known to the boss expressed interest.) So supposedly the job was posted. (This I don't know for sure; I never looked at the site myself). The temp did not apply because she continued to believe the director position had to be filled first. Meanwhile, we interview the boss' friend, and ta-da, she is hired. The temp still doesn't know. I didn't dare tell her, because I suspected the job had not been posted and that the higher-ups were pulling a fast one. I just stayed out of the whole mess.

Well, of course the temp eventually finds out that the job has been filled, and she's furious that no one told her. She seems to be a person with poor impulse control, so she lashed out at the boss, as well as several other people, which, of course, ended her temp employment. I felt bad because I hadn't told her, and I sensed that she was in a pretty desperate state. She came to my office and cried, and then left. (Just for the record, I seem to have the crying office. Everyone comes here to cry).

All day I felt so bad I even felt sick. What a mess.

They say the job was posted, and if only she had looked at the website and applied, all this ugliness would have been avoided. Though she still might have been angry that she didn't get the job -- which never would have happened, with this other person in contention. But at least she would have had her shot.

Ugh.

And now we have no one doing the job and three weeks until the new person starts. I don't think we are getting another temp.

In other news, today is street-sweeping day and I had to move my car. I could not find ONE parking place on the right side of the street and I combed quite a few blocks. So I ended up driving to work again, just so I had a place to put my car. At least gas prices are low.

I just feel very weary. Ready for things to lighten up a bit.

New Charger

August 4th, 2014 at 01:45 pm

I try so hard to remember everything as I go out the door in the morning. This morning, when I was at the station, I realized I hadn't grabbed my phone. THEN I realized I never took it out of my bag yesterday, so I had my phone with me, it just didn't have much juice!

I decided to bite the bullet and buy a charger in the station. I'm sure I paid top dollar ($33) but now I'll have one to keep at the office. Consider it a stupid tax.

I found another penny on the train, so that offsets the cost! Smile

Looks like I will be able to transfer $650 to savings on payday, unless I have to take money out of the bank during the next two weeks.

This week, before my trip to Michigan on Friday, I want to get a mani-pedi and vacuum my car's interior (it's a mess!) Should have done both this weekend -- I'll have to make time in the evenings. I'm leaving on the trip right after work on Friday. It'll be a traffic mess, but I like to have the whole day on Saturday. My SIL is going to take me to her oil painting class on Saturday morning -- what fun that will be!

Hit the $40 Mark!

August 3rd, 2014 at 07:02 pm

On Friday I found a nickel at the train station, which pushed my found money up to an even $40. Then, for good measure, I found a penny today in the laundry room!

Saturday was a busy day. My ex's sister and her husband were in town. They are still friends of mine, so we got together. It was their grandson's birthday, and they invited me to his birthday party at Red Lobster. I spent $14 on Legos and gift wrap, since I didn't want to come empty-handed. In turn, they paid for my dinner! Which was totally unnecessary, but they insisted.

I also did my grocery shopping. My ten items were: croutons, tuna, dishwasher detergent, granola, Grands biscuits, frozen pizza, ground beef, blueberries, cat litter, and romaine lettuce. $32. I had a 10% off coupon and a coupon to get the ground beef for 2.99 a lb. Also had a coupon for the kitty litter, which was also on sale (along with everything else!)

This morning I froze half the ground beef in patties and cooked the rest and made spaghetti sauce.

I also did two loads of laundry for $3.

At noon I made myself a salad and realized I was out of salad dressing. So I looked up a recipe and made some honey-mustard dressing. I think I'm done with buying dressing. It's so easy to make good dressing from scratch.

Tonight I'm going to have the stuffed flounder that I brought home from the restaurant, along with the green beans I got on the side. I definitely cannot eat a whole restaurant meal any more, which is a good thing! I always get an extra meal!

I've eaten all my frozen muffins, so breakfasts this week are going to be yogurt and blueberries (as long as the berries last!) and granola bars. I have lots of leftovers in the freezer for lunches. Dinners will start with spaghetti, and after I get sick of that, there is more salad, tuna, plenty of eggs, and the makings for grilled cheese sandwiches -- as well as the frozen pizza. I feel I am doing really well on my ten-item limit. I could probably even roll it back to nine and have enough to eat!

The Grands biscuits I bought are for making breakfast sandwiches. That will be next week's project, since I didn't buy sausage (or ham, or whatever filling I end up with). It didn't make the list, since nothing was on sale! But the biscuits were.

Today I think I'm coming down with a cold. My throat is sore and my head is woozy. I feel okay when I take Advil, and I think it's time again!

But I am happy to report that the pain in my legs is getting better. I even navigated the stairs today without pain. Is it the apple cider vinegar? Who knows, maybe it really does help with inflammation. And it certainly is cheap!

Exciting development!

August 1st, 2014 at 01:19 pm

The other day I got an email from an old boss -- not the one I've been talking about who went to the museum, but another one. The email merely said, "I have an idea. Let's set a time to talk."

I didn't think much about it, but when she called, it was to talk about a job! Not just any job -- this would be the best job I ever had! Now, of course, this is only talk -- I will have to go through the process, and compete with others, but the bottom line is, I am going to meet with her and the person who would be my immediate supervisor at the end of August for an informal chat. The job is not posted yet. It would be working as an assistant director at a very large and respected university -- still within commuting distance. The salary would be a $30K increase for me!

I'm afraid to hope, but this would be a life-changer for me. I would have to work for four more years, but I would be ending my career on a high note. I wouldn't have to scrape so much. I could beef up my retirement fund and pay off my mortgage. Even more, I would be able to do the work I was trained to do, and be proud of my position.

I can hardly believe I have TWO irons in the fire. I guess I am not meant to retire! But the beauty of my current position is, even if both fall through, I can still proceed with my original plan and retire next August.

I'm going to be impatient all month!