Monday, May 4, 2015

Shopping deals

I had to go to Target yesterday to pickup DH's Crestor prescription. $162 - ouch! One more year until that goes generic. I wonder how much it will cost then? It will be like getting a raise next year this time!  While there I took advantage of a couple of deals to save and stock up on.

2 bags of Purina One cat food - I had a $5 off when you buy 2 coupon and they were on sale too.
2 large jugs of laundry detergent and a 6 pack of Kleenex - get a $5 gift card back when you buy 3 items, plus I had some coupons that I stacked. I also had a pharmacy rewards save 5% coupon.

All told I spent $43.73 and saved $22.81. I haven't been Target shopping much the past months. DD loved going to Target so I'd tag along and get some deals while there but I pretty much have only been going there for prescriptions lately.

I won't need to buy cat food or laundry soap for quite awhile.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Sunday morning. A nice sunny 70 degree day. Too bad the past several days have been consumed with our wayward son. We have had no contact (ie we have left him alone) with him for 5 months. We got word through a mutual person that he and his new girlfriend (since January and another one with children) broke up (apparently due to some lie on his part, no surprise) and apparently he had been living with her. The relationship with first "friend" (I use the term loosely as this guy was/is a shyster) he had been living with and working odd jobs for since October was on the outs. We got concerned for his well being. He still has no job, it sounds like he's basically sold or traded everything he did have (for pennies on the dollar) and we were concerned if he might even be homeless now. We tried to reach out to him, only to be shot down again.

I took my mom to lunch yesterday for her birthday. Trying to keep the peace and keep my mouth shut. She is fine as long as we just ignore the topic. I've also realized I need to keep my mouth shut to her with info I have heard from others about him.....because it goes straight to him, apparently, and that made me realize that is one of the reasons (besides her money) that he is keeping in contact with her. He can find out what we know that is going on with his life.

I've been on a cleaning frenzy all morning! Now my back hurts so I'm taking a little break to relax the muscles and then I can re-start. I have cleaned and mopped both bathrooms. Swept and mopped the entry way, kitchen and laundry room. I have "un-vacuumed" my good blanket for my bed out of the "magic bag" so that I can put it back on and take of that god-awful red blanket I bought before Christmas. It is FULL of red fuzz balls - sticking to the sheets and other bedding. I just spent an hour vacuuming off as much of the fuzz balls as I could off the sheets. Then I put on my other set of sheets....and because I have used (but washed, of course) them too during the red blanket phase, it was covered in red fuzz balls.  That blanket is going to Goodwill!

DH has been outside working in the yard all morning. He used the weed eater and now is mowing. Poor older dog doesn't know what to do. He hates being outside when the lawnmower is going (even if he is a acre away LOL) and he hates the vacuum too.

The rest of the day? finish my laundry and get all the strawberries I bought yesterday chopped up and ready for strawberry shortcake. Last bunch I bought a few weeks ago I let sit in the refrigerator and they spoiled :/  I also am waiting on a text from the pharmacy so I can go pick up one of DH's prescriptions. - OH! just checked my phone and the text came 2 minutes ago.

This week I am going to approach my boss about using up some of my vacation days to take Friday's off this summer. I doubt it will be an issue, but I just realized how close summer is getting and I'd better be letting her know I'd like to do this.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Closing in on the week's end

Funny how knowing DD is now less stressed is putting relief on me. I didn't realize her over-achieving path was stressing me out a little too! LOL.  I encourage and support anything with her, but I'm glad she has decided on a more realistic path for her education and level of learning. Her classes will still be hard, but achievable. I asked her what her boyfriend thought of her changes and he thought it was a good plan too, but told her she's throwing a wrench in his future plans.......he wants to buy a house (for them) by the time she graduates and now he's got about 6 months (maybe a year) less time to do that, haha.  He really is a sweetie and so responsible and such a planner for his future (and, obviously her's too).  They've only been together a little about 5 months, but I really see this as a long term relationship and in talking with her last weekend I see that they are definitely headed in that direction. They are so similar and have such similar goals in life. They adore each other and are just so grown up about everything in their lives.

She also got her two roommates for next year to go view the 3 bedroom apartment in the complex they looked at and they both really liked it. Hopefully they will get in there in the Fall.  She is also looking into taking 2 online classes through the University during the summer, and then she would be able to graduate next Spring and not have to go the extra quarter in Fall of 2016 and try to figure out housing for one quarter. Since she doesn't now need to do the full time summer internship, she could do the 2 classes and do a part time internship or job. She's still trying to figure it all out.

I went to my chiropractic appointment yesterday and they are having a drawing to win 2 mountain bikes. If you leave a review on google and yelp you get entries into the drawing, so I did both after I got back from my appointment. I have been going to him 8 years now. The chance to enter ends this week and so far it doesn't look like too many have entered based on the number of recent reviews left on both. 19 on google and 13 on yelp. I'd say my odds of winning are pretty good (but I never win anything, so there's that - haha!) If I won them I'd just give them to DD and her boyfriend if they'd want them. He's really into biking (like he rides 20 miles sometimes!), but I'm not to sure about mountain biking. If not, I could always sell them, I guess. DH can't use it and I wouldn't go bike riding by myself.

I am working from home again today. My gas expenses for this budget period will be really low. I have a full tank still and will only use a little over half a tank next week. I won't have to fill up again until Saturday May 9th and that shouldn't be more than $30 and will get me through to the next payday. I budgeted $80 and will be able to apply the extra $50 towards my extra home equity loan payment next month.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Weekend spending and other stuff

While visiting DD over the weekend I spent the following (not counting the hotel room):

Lunch: $9 (we split a sandwich, since we had bagels a couple hours earlier)
Movie: $5 (DD had gift card to use up. This was what was out of pocket after tickets and a soda and raisinettes to share
Dinner $45 (including tax and tip)
Coffee: $9
Car Wash: $10
Ibuprofen from Walgreens: $4 (my back started hurting a bit Sunday morning and I hadn't brought any with me :/)
Pottery Painting fun: $50

Total $132. But - because I have been keeping track of my grocery/misc and gas spending in a spreadsheet I knew that I still had $134 left in my grocery/misc budget! I had already done all my shopping for the week and no more was going out before I get paid again on the 15th. Woo! Nice to spend that and not have to have it come out of my savings.

I've been coming under budget in gas, but with the fill up to drive to see her I was going to go over my gas budget because I was going to have to fill up this morning before going to work. But, I got an email from my boss yesterday morning that I could work from home if I wanted. There will be virtually no parking spaces available at the office, due to an event being held for customers. Since I didn't get the dog to get his nails trimmed last Friday, I took a lunch break and ran him over to get it done. He's such a neurotic dog. Whines and cries all the way there (a whole 2 mile drive). It's quite pathetic. Then he is a perfect gentleman while they grind away and on the way home he's happy and smiling and not a peep out of him. I decided to fill up with gas (I don't like having an empty tank if an emergency came up and we needed to use the car right away) and I had a .10 cents gas rewards to use, so I ended up over on my gas budget this budget period.

In another "money issue". I have been getting collection notices in the mail addressed to DS. He apparently stopped using his bank account here, but overdrew it, and owes the bank about $30. They probably can't get a hold of him via phone because he got a new #. Our family friend is also getting notices for a different account (same bank) that he opened to try and establish a business here in the States, so he could earn money doing web design when he was in Canada. He used friends address at the time because he wasn't communicating with us. We have no address for him and now no phone # for him, so I just sent him an email yesterday morning alerting him to the notices we are getting and asked him what he'd like me to do with them. No reply as of yet. I'm sure he'll just ignore it, like everything else.

DD dropped the chemistry class.  Too late to get a full refund (figured that) but she at least got a 50% refund on the class. One of the classes in the new degree program is an internship for credit. Much less hours required to fulfill  (800 hours total needed with the other program and no credit), so if she can find an internship this summer she can earn 4 or 5 credits over the summer and that kind of makes up for the lost credits of the class she just dropped (and not extend her time to graduate), so she'll still finish this year with the same # of credits under her belt. Then she went online and changed majors. Just as easy as that! I think she is really relieved now.Like I told her - with a minor instead of a major, she'll probably end up with same type of job when she graduates, anyway.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

College struggles

I mentioned last month that DD really struggled with her Physics class last quarter (she has to re-take it Fall quarter) and now this quarter is struggling with Chemistry. She just had a big test yesterday and knows she did terrible. She had a chemistry class at the community college (also needed as part of her high school requirements) but it didn't transfer. She got an A- in that class and thought that would help her do well in this class. She is beyond frustrated. She studied all week (as well as for her other classes), through Friday night. Took Saturday off to spend with me, and then started back up again at 2pm Sunday, after I left. She also has to take some engineering classes and is not confident she will be able to do well in those, either. She does fine in the accounting, math and business classes.

For this major she has picked she has to have these classes and has to have a 3.0 GPA to even stay in the program! As it is from this last quarter she is not going to make it unless she gets an A in this Chemistry class.  She did some looking into other degree's last night and found that she could switch to an Operations Management degree with a minor in what she is majoring in now and not have to take any science or engineering classes. 2 of the classes required for both degrees she is taking right now and she's only have to take a few extra business classes to get a minor in this degree and they count toward both degrees.  Plus, she would be able to finish in 4 more quarters, 3 quarters if she wanted to take 4 classes per quarter, but I told her that is too much.

She is feeling a bit down, like she is failing and giving up. But, I told her she needs to study/work in what interests her and something she does well in. If she is constantly struggling and feeling like a failure she is not getting any satisfaction out of it. A person should be satisfied in the work (or schooling) they are doing. That's what college is for - to try different classes and see what you are good at/what you like to do. I wasted my whole first year of college because I totally changed my major.

This morning she will go talk to her advisor - about dropping this chemistry class and changing her major to Op Mgmt and a minor in the other degree. These are the types of classes she does well in and the type of work she wants to do. Science and Engineering are not in her "wheelhouse" apparently.

If she has to go an extra quarter past next year to finish we will have to figure out housing for that one quarter. Next year she is renting an off campus apartment with 2 other girls but that is just for that school year. I told her if worse comes to worse she will just have to be in a dorm again for that last quarter, maybe she'll get lucky and be able to get a private room. If not she can tough it out for 11 weeks.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Weekend update

I had such a great weekend with DD. Too short of time, but we got all out of it what we could.  It's a little over a 2 hour drive, so I arrived at her dorm just before 10:30. The place on campus she wanted to get coffee and bagels didn't open until 11 (probably because college kids sleep in on weekends!) so we went and loaded a couple of bags of her things back in my car that she wants left at home. Stuff she doesn't use and less to bring home in 7 weeks. Then we walked over to the bagel/coffee shop, which is inside the library and waited a few minutes for them to open up.

After that we got back in my car and drove the few minutes to nearby area of "old town" that is full of cute stores and restaurants. Did a bunch of window shopping and then had lunch at a sandwich shop and a little more walking through some stores. Then we headed up the road a mile or so to go look at the apartment complex she is hoping to get in next Fall. She had found out last week that a 3 bedroom unit was vacated and will be available for viewing next week and wanted to stop in and make that appointment and just show me the complex. The lady offered to let us view the unit being cleaned so we got to see inside, which was really nice. There is a bus stop outside the complex and a bus to campus comes by every 15 minutes (bus pass is included in tuition) so DD will use that and not pay for a campus parking pass next year.

Then we stopped at REI as DD wanted a new jacket to replace The North Face jacket she lost (or someone took it) last Fall. Her boyfriend sold her old laptop for $100 so she used that money to buy the jacket. By then it was time to check into our hotel. It was a much nicer place than the place I stayed at the last couple of times. Our room had a king size bed with a nice duvet, soft towels and a whirlpool jetted big tub. We chilled a bit and then decided to go to a movie before dinner and have a later dinner.

We saw Age of Adeline. It was a really good movie and we both really enjoyed it. Then we drove to the waterfront and had dinner at a restaurant. The food was good but the atmosphere was really noisy. I think I would have preferred something a little more relaxed. It was supposed to rain all weekend but all day had been nice and sunny! After dinner we took a long walk along the waterfront and watched the sunset. Back at the hotel we each took our turn taking a nice whirlpool bath. I want a tub like that!

The hotel was nice and quiet and I actually got a decent nights sleep. There was some noise from the hall and doors shutting, people talking, but nothing until about 8am. All night was very quiet - complete opposite of the other place I stayed. The hotel had a good breakfast spread. Omelets, waffles, etc and we filled ourselves up. Nothing much opened until 11am, so we went and got mocha's from a coffee stand and then stopped at Pier One Imports just to look around.  Then we saw a touchless car wash and DD mentioned she wanted to try using that with her car and I said we have a new one near home but I've never used a car wash and was too nervous to try it by myself. So we turned around and decided to give it a try - so we'd both know how it worked. It was hilarious and we laughed and giggled trying to figure out what we were supposed to be doing. But I ended up with a clean car for $10. Then we went back to the "Old Town" area where the day prior we had been inside a cute shop where you could pain pottery and had decided to come back Sunday and do that. Very fun and relaxing! She painted a vase and I painted a napkin holder. She gets to pick them up at the end of this week. Her's will probably look fabulous and mine will probably look like a 5 year old painted it - haha!

I still had a bit of time to kill before I wanted to head home, so we went and took another long walk on the waterfront. It was the perfect mother-daughter weekend. I wish I would have taken pictures. Traffic was good going home (unusual) and I got home by 4pm and some time to relax before Monday arrived.

Friday, April 24, 2015

A very TGIF

I am so glad it's Friday. It feels like it's been a long long week.  I only have to work until 2pm today, as our office is closing early for a first quarter celebration. I'm working from home so I am not attending. It goes until 4pm and at that time of day, on a Friday, I wouldn't even get home until 6pm. I still have to get dinner, get grocery shopping done, etc, since I will be gone this weekend.

I'm leaving around 8am tomorrow morning for the 2 hour drive to see DD. I can't wait to see her. She has the whole weekend planned for us.  And other than a nice dinner (and the hotel room already paid for) it shouldn't cost me too much money. First on her list (yes, she makes actual to-do lists! LOL) is coffee and bagels (paid with her "dining dollars" used on campus), then some (window) shopping in the quaint old part of town with cute stores, then lunch back on campus, again with her dining dollars (she has lots to use up). We are also going to see the movie Age of Adeline.  She has a movie gift card to use so that will be free entertainment, too.

As soon as 2pm hits, I am off to get the weeks grocery shopping done. Then I'm taking one of the dogs in for a nail trim (the other dog has never needed one - he is so darn active and runs so much that he just naturally keeps them trimmed) and then at least try to get the house vacuumed, since I won't be able to do it this weekend.

I sent my mom the long email yesterday morning. She must be at her boyfriends house (she stays there as much as she is at her house) so probably hasn't seen it yet.  It hit me yesterday as I was driving home from work: she sees DS as a total victim in all this.  But in reality, it all only came about because DH and I put our foot down with all the stupid ass decisions he had been making and said get our property back to the U.S! Now! We were done being stupid with our money, our assets, and our potential liability (he had our vehicle and our insurance didn't cover him actually living in Canada) if he were to injure or kill someone in a car accident.

So, because we put our foot down and he refused to come back and get all our stuff back here, we got mad. Yes, indeed we did. And yes indeed, you don't want to push DH past his reasonableness or you ain't gonna like what you hear. So, DH became the scapegoat in all this of why DS didn't have to come back and why he didn't have to have a relationship with his family anymore. Plain and simple. So, I guess we should have just kept our mouths shut, let him do whatever he wanted and let ourselves be set up for potential liabilities we could never ever recover from...then none of this would have happened and we'd still be this happy, close family. Bite me.

Well, I'm going to put that all out of my mind for a couple of days and have a great weekend!