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Archive for May, 2016

Day Ninety-Nine

May 31st, 2016 at 05:45 am

Calories: 1975

I hate it that I have to report another high-calorie day. This time it was not tempting treats -- I was just hungry, and I plowed through half a box of crackers.

I can see that in the past this is where I jumped off the diet -- about three months in, no really exciting progress, feelings of deprivation, rebellion against the constant tracking.... I'm not going to quit this time. Onward!

For the trip tomorrow, I'm packing carrots, apples, cheddar slices, string cheese, pepperoni slices, homemade muffins, a jar of peanuts, crackers, tortillas and a small bag of chocolate-raspberry bites. I'll buy coffee and water with my Dunkin Donuts card.

The first leg is only three hours, to my BFF's house, where I will stay the night. Then, early in the morning, I'll leave, hoping to make it to Chattanooga by supper time, where I will buy supper and find a hotel.

I've basically packed -- all except putting the stuff in the suitcase. I don't do that till the morning of, since it freaks out my cats. I've packed a tote bag with one change of clothes, pj's, and my cosmetic bag, so I won't have to lug the suitcase in. I'll repack it with fresh stuff when I head out from Indiana tomorrow morning.

I have a lot of gifts to take -- not only for my DIL's birthday, but a housewarming gift (bottle of wine) and some clothes and toys for the kids. That will be one trip down to the car in itself!

Since the library was closed yesterday, I didn't get my audiobooks. That will be accomplished today, along with buy extra cat food and cat litter.

Breathe!! This is the most stressful part of a trip for me. I am fine once I get on the road....

Day Ninety-Eight

May 30th, 2016 at 06:40 am

Calories: 1956

Oops! I went out to lunch after the baseball game yesterday. Not only did I have a hot dog and fries, but I had an ice cream cone! Oh well, it was a good day, and I more than made up for it the day before.

Today I'll be doing laundry and getting ready for the trip. Laundry, pre-packing, making lists, getting audiobooks, etc.

The keyboard is 58 inches long, so I'm going to measure to make sure it will fit between the front seat and the back of the car. It has legs, which may come off, but if they don't, I can stick my suitcase in the empty space that the legs create. Along with the bench.

My variables spending is at 90%. I will buy cat food and kitty litter today or tomorrow, to have on hand for while I am gone, but that should be my only spending before June 1. So it looks like I made it under budget this month!

Day Ninety-Seven

May 29th, 2016 at 06:46 am

Calories: 1261

Mostly just checking to report yesterday's calories. The hamburger I had for lunch pretty much filled me up for the whole day!

After yesterday's two games and the traveling, I was dog-tired when I got home, yet I had a very bad night. I feel like I couldn't have slept more than an hour or two. The biggest problem was pain and restlessness in my legs. I didn't exercise much yesterday, but I sat for a long time on bleachers, and I guess that was enough to mess me up. I'll try to stretch more today, but since it is only one game, it shouldn't be as bad.

Despite putting sunscreen on twice, I still managed to get a sunburn -- mostly on my upper chest, which I guess I missed in the application. Well, I'm just thankful I didn't get that much of a burn on my face.

I have arranged with all concerned that I will start my trip on June 1. Should arrive in Gainesville on the evening of June 3. I'm going to charge everything on my BOA travel card (though I don't think I'll get any points for gas & food -- I will for hotel rooms, though).

I've been told that the keyboard I'm bringing home is very large, so I'll have to clear out my car, and expect to fold down the back seat. Still, I'm very happy I can do this for my grandson.

Will pack a bag of food, and will only buy coffee on the road until dinnertime, when I will stop for the day and find a nice restaurant (by which I mean Cracker Barrel, or something like that!)

Yesterday I wore a pair of capris that were too tight to get on last year. They were still a bit tight, but I could wear them! For my trip, I'm taking all my capris and a bunch of tees.

I'm getting excited!

Day Ninety-Six

May 28th, 2016 at 03:34 pm

Calories: 1470

Yesterday was a pretty quiet day, but today I went to a northwestern suburb to watch two of my grandson's baseball games. These are his first games with the traveling team. The first game was a "slaughter" -- they called it when the point spread reached ten. Unfortunately, we were the losing team. We won the second game, though, 10-7. This team has had very little practice together, so it is bound to get better as the season progresses.

Between the two games we went out to Portillo's for lunch, which our Illinois Laura will recognize. I had a delicious hamburger and drink for $7.

I didn't have to buy gas, because we carpooled.

There is another game tomorrow, in the same place. I will offer to take my car, or else pitch in for gas.

Variables spending is at 88%.

I believe there will be no Memorial Day celebrating this year. Some family members are out of town, and my son is planning on studying all day. After two days of away baseball games, I think that will be just fine.

Day Ninety-Five

May 27th, 2016 at 05:46 am

Calories: 1419

Yesterday I finished up my shopping for my DIL's birthday. I picked up the book she wanted at Barnes & Noble -- I had a 15% off coupon and the total was $14. I also picked up the bird feeder at Walmart, which was already paid for.

I was in the neighborhood of Bed, Bath & Beyond, so I stopped in to find the callus shaver that interested me. I looked all over the store and consulted with several clerks, and finally found it at the very front of the store in a Tweezerman display. The shaver was $9 and I also bought replacement blades for $6. Today I'll try it out; hope it's worth it. I was kind of mad at myself that I forgot to take a BB&B coupon, since I have a gazillion.

While I was there I saw a sheet set that was marked down to half price -- still in the $50 range. It was the right color, size and had a 650 thread count. But I passed it up, since my budget is straining this month. Good thing I did. I learned yesterday that GS1's first traveling game is a twofer in a suburb about 45 minutes away. I'll have to buy gas and lunch (or take one). Then there is another game in the same location on Sunday.

I talked to my Florida son last night; he was checking on my timing for the trip. I was planning to arrive on Thursday evening, but he will be on his way back from a business trip, and he wondered if the next day wouldn't be better. He's going to confirm his plans and then let me know. It's no problem for me to leave a day later, though I'll have to check with my friend in Indiana whether her home will be available to me the day after I said.

No activities scheduled today. I'm planning to wrap the presents and organize the stuff I want to take. Also, it's not too early to check out audiotapes for the trip, so I might get that done today. I have some laundry to do as well.

I finally got back to my writing yesterday, and even though I am not pleased with what I produced, it feels good to be back on track again.

I think I'm almost ready to open the bin with my smaller clothes. Not that I can't continue wearing my pants, but a couple of pairs are really wearing out now, so maybe it's time to see if I've shrunk enough to get into some smaller pants in better condition. I hesitate, though, because if they're still too small, I'll really be depressed!

Day Ninety-Four

May 26th, 2016 at 07:05 am

Calories: 1487

My calorie count is pretty good, considering I had a big bowl of ice cream yesterday. It was so hot, and I craved it desperately.

I didn't go out at all yesterday. And I really didn't accomplish anything, except finishing the novel I was reading. Which is good, because I'm going to give it to DIL when I go to Florida next week.

I will go out today, though. I have to pick up that gift at Walmart, and I'm going to check with B&N about whether the book I ordered is in yet. If I do go to B&N, I'm going to swing by Bed, Bath & Beyond and pick up a callus shaver. I've been using a disposable shaver on my corn, right after my shower, and it helps, but I think a shaver adapted to that purpose will work better. This evening I will go to my grandson's Tae Kwan Do class.

Variables spending is at 83%, with only five days to go. But I have yet to pay for the book, and there will probably be some cost on the 31st, when I drive to Indiana, the first leg of my journey. However, I don't plan to fill the tank until I leave the following morning, so I might come in under budget yet!

Day Ninety-Three

May 25th, 2016 at 06:23 am

Calories: 1344

I did go to see "Love & Friendship" yesterday, and I enjoyed it -- it was very witty. It didn't have the warm heart of other Austen stories, but then, Jane wrote it when she was a teenager, I believe!

I got the popcorn, too. For some reason, I forgot there was not only a calorie cost, but a financial cost, too. The small bag was $6. It really wasn't worth it.

I did get the discount ticket price of $5.75, and I validated my parking ticket, so I didn't have to pay for parking.

Later in the day, I went to Walmart to pick up one of my DIL's birthday gifts, only to learn that it hadn't been shipped to the store yet. I was just going on faith it would be there next day, as promised. Foolish of me. I'll check before going back.

Today is payday, though the bank still shows the deposit as pending. I scheduled my mortgage and Discover payment. Done.

Nothing on my calendar today, so I'm hoping to get some writing done. It's what I wished for when I was working -- time to write -- so why don't I do it? I perplex myself. Smile

Day Ninety-Two

May 24th, 2016 at 07:10 am

Calories: 1517

My calories would have been lower, but I was still hungry after dinner, so I had some toast. For me, this is all about finding an eating plan that will be comfortable for life without making me fat!

That's why I'm planning to have a small popcorn when I go to the movies today! I'm going to go see "Love & Friendship." I love anything Jane Austen (though I have to say Pride & Prejudice & Zombies was a little too far out of my league!) I'm going by myself, as I don't have a Jane Austen soulmate here in town.

Last night was another baseball game. I gave my grandson a ride home afterwards, and he asked me why I was always going away on a trip (when I mentioned I would be in Florida next week). Tickled me -- I sure don't travel much, in my perspective, but in his perspective, I do! He asked me why I am always going to Michigan, and I said it was so I could see my brother, which blew his mind -- he had no idea that "Uncle M" was my brother. I guess that's how it is for kids, they go here and there to visit and actually have little idea of the relationships behind the visits.

I don't think I have any financial news today, except that my electric, cable, and assessment fees all posted yesterday -- but that's all automatic. Tomorrow is pay day! But that is a non-event, as well, since all I do on pay day now is pay my mortgage and pay the Discover bill.

One cool thing, though -- they changed my street-sweeping schedule so that it is always on the two days after pay day. That's going to be so easy to remember!

Day Ninety-One

May 23rd, 2016 at 05:56 am

Calories: 1496

I got my shopping done for my DIL's birthday. I bought three bottles of Seventh Generation hand soap at Target, ordered a book at Barnes & Noble, and ordered a bird feeder at Walmart. Walmart's order will be ready to pick up tomorrow; B&N will let me know. Altogether I spent $38. I also have some bargain books and a bar of bath soap to give her.

With any luck, I will be able to bring back a keyboard for my grandson. If my son's cousin is able to get it to Gainesville from Sarasota, I will take it the rest of the way home. I would even be willing to meet his cousin halfway, as my grandson really needs this for impending piano lessons.

While shopping, I picked up some body wash for myself - $3. I also picked up a free loaf of bread and added the value - $2.99 - to snowflakes.

Variables spending is at 78%.

Today I have to get a beach pass for the season, before the price goes up at the end of May. I think it's around $35, if memory serves.

Day Ninety

May 22nd, 2016 at 06:32 am

Calories: 1374

I did well yesterday, even with a surprise eating-out lunch (and an indulgence -- a small chocolate shake). I had a very light dinner.

After GS1's baseball game yesterday, I went out to lunch with GS2 and the other grandma ($7) and then we went to an art fair in the park, which featured work by K-12 students citywide. Both my grandsons had work displayed. Both were self-portraits -- one a collage and one a painting, which was a little off-beat, depicting only half his face. I love their creativity. We visited most of the exhibits, and GS2 made a Father's Day card at one of the booths. It was a good day.

When I came home, I had to wash my bedding again because of cat mischief. Grrr! I think it happened because my quilt was on the floor, and somehow that makes it fair game? I'll have to be vigilant about any other accidents, and see the vet if need be. If I can figure out which cat is the culprit!

I reordered my prescription online yesterday and realized it is due to arrive the day I leave for Florida. I have enough to get me through my vacation, but I don't like the idea of the package sitting there for a week. I'll have to tell my son to look for it if I don't get it before I leave. Anyway, the refill was free, one of the perks of my Medicare Advantage plan.

Today I'm going to shop for a couple of things from DIL's Amazon list -- I mean shop live; I don't want to take the chance that packages won't arrive in time, much less pay for shipping. There is a book I can get at Barnes & Noble, and hand soap from Target; should be easily accomplished. (She said confidently). Smile

I also want to see "Love & Friendship" -- the latest Jane Austen movie. I may wait till Tuesday, which is discount day, only $5.75. Wednesday is Seniors Day, and it's $6.25 -- what's up with that? Seems it should at least be the same price as discount day -- anyway, I'll focus on Tuesday.

Day Eighty-Nine

May 21st, 2016 at 08:23 am

Calories: 1626

Ah me. Lots of bad eating yesterday. My justification is that I was feeling bad, and I went for the comfort food. Today I feel a lot better. My sore throat is gone, and I don't feel any particular signs of a cold coming on. Not yet, anyway.

In a few minutes I will head out for GS1's baseball game. His season is wrapping up, but he has made the traveling team, so there will continue to be baseball all summer long. And I'll get to see new towns, as many will be away from home.

I grocery-shopped at Aldi yesterday. I didn't stick to 10 items -- I got 12, because they had chicken and beef soup base on sale in the clearance bin. Here is what I got for $27: chicken breasts, creamer, eggs, croutons, salad, a sweet potato, strawberries, honey, ice cream and kitty litter -- as well as the two containers of soup base, of course. I'm finding I like Aldi better and better all the time. I can get most things I need there and the prices are amazing.

My variables spending is up to 74% now. But I only have 10 days left. Unfortunately, I remembered that I have to get a birthday gift for my Florida DIL. Her birthday is not until mid-June, but I want to take her gift along when I travel there on May 31. I do have a couple of pristine secondhand books for her (she's okay with that) but I also want to get something off her Amazon list. I'll have to check that out today.

So that will, no doubt, take me over 100%. I do still have a $500 surplus in the variables this year, so it's not a real problem, just a sign to be careful.

Gotta go!

Day Eighty-Eight

May 20th, 2016 at 05:43 am

Calories: 1560

Even though it was a fairly high-calorie day, I woke up in the night hungry. I didn't succumb, but it was an uncomfortable night.

I seem to be getting a cold. I have a sore throat, which is my typical "tell." Anybody have a surefire way to ward off the worst of it? Zicam, or something like that? I've tried Airborne in the past, which did nothing.

No spending yesterday, other than $1.50 for a load of laundry.

My grocery list has reached 10, which is my cue to shop. I guess it's better to do that today than wait for the weekend -- and I may not feel like doing it later if a cold does set in.

Day Eighty-Seven

May 19th, 2016 at 08:02 am

Calories: 1489

Yesterday I bought new ink cartridges for my new printer (it's going to run out of the sample cartridges soon, and I wanted to be prepared). With a $10 coupon, the cost was $51. At least in the future I will be able to buy the black and color cartridges separately. With my old printer, I had to get a whole new set every time.

My variables spending is now 73%, quite a bit higher than I would like it to be at this point. But I renewed my license plate, got an eye exam, got a haircut, bought a fan and new shoes, as well as the ink cartridges, so that's a lot of extras on a slim budget. I think my spending will be minimal the next two weeks. Then it will balloon again when I start my vacation trip to Florida.

My net worth is remaining steady, so I am not worried overall.

My son and DIL just sent new pictures of my granddaughter. She is so beautiful, and looks so mature for her age! I can hardly wait to see her again.

Day Eighty-Six

May 18th, 2016 at 05:47 am

Calories: 1574

I took some homemade gorp with me when I went downtown yesterday, in case I was starving by the time I started coming home. I didn't need it, but ate it when I got home. It was over 500 calories, so I could have saved some calories by eating something else, but I was tired and ready to take it easy.

The event I attended was a tour of the surrealistic collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art. It was really interesting -- I was glad I went!

The big financial event yesterday was an addition of $531 to my snowflakes! My bonus from the Alliant credit card came through! Now I am only awaiting the $200 bonus from Chase. Already my snowflakes are equal to what I made the whole year last year.

My passport and my passport card have arrived, so I am all set for travel.

I am seeing news of long lines at airports, so I am glad I decided to drive to Florida instead of fly. I am doing little things to get ready for that trip. Yesterday I made banana muffins, and froze most of them. They'll be good to have on the trip. I'm also planning to take apples, baby carrots, and string cheese.

Variables spending is at 67%, with only 58% of the month gone, so I'm running over a little. I think I can make up for that in the next couple of weeks.