Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Pay Day

Today is payday, so I got my bills due paid online this morning. I do not know what is up with our health insurance company's online bill pay system. The first couple of months I ended up paying over the phone because I couldn't figure out how to log in. I keep a list of logins and passwords and what I wrote down wouldn't work. Last month I finally got it figured out, got logged in and decided to set it up on auto pay for the first of each month. I tried to log in this morning - just to make sure my auto pay was still set up and going to work and the password wouldn't work. Finally I had to request a temporary password and then reset the password. Just for kicks I then logged out and tried to sign back in with my new/reset password. Nope. Wouldn't let me log in again. Good grief.

I am finally starting to pay a little extra (just since last month) on our home equity loan that is interest only payments (for another 5 1/2 years and then switches to normal type loan payments). I am, for the time being, adding the $25 a month I get reimbursed from work for my home internet and whatever I earn on my PayPal debit card cash back, which is averaging about $30 a month. It's not much, but at least something will start going to that huge principal each month. I'm going to try to keep track of whatever else savings I have each month (if I under budget something) and start adding that to it too.

DD got home yesterday, took a nap and then made dinner for us, which was a nice surprise. She was super tired from their trip and a bit sunburned. She headed back to school about 8pm and got back there just before 10:30. Her first class today isn't until 10am so at least she'll get to sleep in a bit and rest up.  She didn't do that great on her grades last quarter. A C, a C+ a B and a D+ in physics. OUCH! She studies so much, but it's really her fault for not finding out what her grade was going along through the quarter. It seems these professors don't really tell you how they grade (curve or what) and a couple of times I'd ask and she'd say "I really don't know what I'm getting in that class". Well, get your butt in there and ASK! Tell the prof you really have no idea what your grade is and you need to know how you are doing throughout the quarter so you don't end up failing! She is going to go talk to an adivsor this week and see what she needs to do. She has to maintain a 3.0 to even stay in this business program/major.

Well, off to work for the day.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Not ready for Monday

After last week's 2 day work week I am so not ready to work all week.  Well, I guess technically it might end up a 4 day work week, since I start jury duty on Friday. Ugh! DD is supposed to be back sometime later this morning, but won't be heading back to school until this evening (waiting until after all the rush hour traffic is done) so at least I'll get to see her for a few hours after I get home from work.

I had to make another trip to Lowe's yesterday morning to pick up one more bag of weed and feed. I thought we had been getting one, but it's two needed. They also had some big bags of potting soil on sale, so I got a couple of those for when I plant flowers soon. While DH walked around with the spreader and applied the weed and feed and the insecticide on the lawn I got the vacuuming done.  Then I went outside and sprayed some clear sealant on that cute owl balancer I got for the yard. It was recommended if you wanted to keep the finish looking newer and not weathered. Trying to keep the dogs off the lawn area for 2 days isn't fun. I'm used to just letting them out and they go wherever they want (yard is fenced). Now we have to go outside with them and make sure they stay in the front gravel area or go way down in the back of the property.

Then I made a yellow cake for this week's dessert. Then I took a nap. Got up about an hour and a half later and just watched a bit of tv, while we waited until it was time to leave for our dinner reservation. DH tried to get out of it a couple of times, of course. LOL. Finally when I said that DD got us the $100 gift card and they also gave her a $20 gift card with it, but that card has an expiration date of 3/29. No sense in wasting that card and we've got to go sometime anyway.

Anyway, it was a delicious dinner, I wasn't really looking at the prices too close. We had $120 to spend. Well, it all came to $125! Plus I still had to tip. Honestly, $147 for some food is just not my thing.  We don't even drink alcohol, so I can imagine what it would cost for wine or drinks. DH ordered a coke and I had a lemonade. We had an absolute amazing appetizer of hot crab and artichoke dip. I had some clam chowder soup and DH had a salad. Then we both had the prime rib.  I couldn't even eat it all. We were both so stuffed when we got home. We brought home the leftovers and DH can have a steak sandwich for lunch and I'll take the leftover clam chowder. It was brought out to me with a bowl with some bacon pieces drizzled with something on the bottom of the bowl and then she poured the soup over it. Yum. She was a good waitress, so I gave her a 20% tip of $22.

At least tomorrow is payday....and then I get to pay my income tax bill. Oh Joy.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Saturday morning

DH had a super productive (ie he over-did it physically) day yesterday. Me not so much. I had a terrible headache most all of the day.  He did his monthly spray for ants. (I still can't believe I paid almost $45 a month to have this done for 2 years!). Then he did a little bit of leaf blowing (I think he just likes to use it). After that he mowed and then sprayed some round-up weed killer around some areas. That all kept him busy for a good part of the day.

I went outside with the dogs for a late morning ball throwing session (just before the headache hit). The first thing I noticed when I stepped outside (with just a sweater on) was how warm the air felt. As I stood in the sun tossing the ball to the dog I listened to all the different bird sounds coming from all around. Then I noticed a little bird drinking out of our new bird waterer thingy. Then he got right in and was taking a bath with water splashing everywhere.  He was having a wonderful time. I wish I would have had my phone on me so I could have taken a video or picture.

DD texted. They are sightseeing around today and she's having fun. She'll be back Monday, but basically has to get her stuff and drive right back to school to start Spring quarter. Hard to believe after a couple more months she'll have finished a year of college already.  She's busy applying for summer internships, something she needs as part of her degree program. Hopefully she'll be able to find something fairly close to home and not be driving an hour or more each way.

I need to be productive today, besides just getting the grocery shopping done. The headache is gone and there is a whole house that needs to be cleaned. Best get it all started.

Friday, March 27, 2015

End of the work week

A very short 2 day work week and I'm already anxious for the work day to end today and the weekend to start!  I had fun with my new little bank deposit scanner at work yesterday. A big stack of checks to deposit for almost $200k and zip then through the little scanner and the deposit is made. Handy new little gadget :)

We are still very much on track for getting a mid year bonus. If we keep on the same sales rate, we'll probably hit our end of June goal at the end of May. Currently we are almost double our sales from last year at this time. I don't think that has ever happened before. The economy must be picking up. We've even hired a couple more people this past month for new positions added, so that is good too.

I guess I don't need to fill up with gas tomorrow (I have been filling up every Saturday after grocery shopping, just to try and make the work week less hectic). I only drove to work one day this week and still have almost a full tank. Hopefully, it will get me through all of next week. I usually only use a little over a half a tank per week, so I should be good. Filling up each Saturday also seem to make the budgeting more "even".

The nicer weather can't come soon enough. DH really needs to get out of the house and be busy with yard work. He's on my last nerve - enough said. LOL. Today is mostly sunny, so maybe he'll be able to mow the lawn again.  That always takes up a good hour or more of his day and usually puts him in a better mood.  About a month ago I showed him the "health" app that came on our iphones, where it shows how many steps you walk in a day. I showed it to him because I was joking that he must walk a mile when he is on the phone with someone because he paces all around when he talks. He seriously does walk a mile or more! Some days (when he's feeling ok) he walks 3 or more miles a day! I can barely get in a half a mile, unless I'm out shopping. Though most of the time my phone is sitting at my desk and not on me. There have been a couple of days where he's walked 10,000 steps - and that's all from just in the house and around our 1.25 acre property (he walks the whole area almost daily to look for and scoop dog poop). Then if he gets on the phone he puts on a bunch of steps, LOL.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Thursday already

Back to work today. The rain has finally let up and we're supposed to have partly sunny and 70 for a couple of days. Even though I have to drive into work I always kind of like Thursdays - probably because I don't have to make dinner - haha! Every Thursday I stop by the little mom and pop burger place and get DH his double bacon cheeseburger and fries.

Does anyone else hate cooking as much as I do? Ugh. I have always disliked it. I think the only thing that I've learned to do to make it somewhat bearable is plan my meals ahead each week. Then I'm not standing in the kitchen every night trying to figure out what to make and if I have all the ingredients to make it. Thank God for two nights a week of take out food. Next week we get 3 days. I made reservations for Sunday evening at the restaurant DD gave us the gift card to. We will get a nice steak or seafood dinner with a view of the city.

Since the neighbor behind us got out of jail a week or so ago, their house has turned into drug central again. Since the drug bust the bedroom window all the deals were done through had been boarded up. Since guy got out of jail a week or so ago, the boards are down. On Monday morning DH witnessed the guy literally breaking into the house, through the window and climbing in. Within an hour the cars started coming and the drive-up drug window was back in business. Yesterday a car went in and out to the house on our street at least a dozen times and many of those times was at the house behind us before or after. DH called it and reported a suspicious vehicle at least 3 times, I think when I called it was the 4th time. Nothing from the cops.

As soon as our yard blooms with all the leaves on the trees and I can plant all the flowers (sometime in May) I am calling several realtors so we can get some estimates on what our place is worth. Obviously there is no way we can get rid of these drug dealers, and all the maggots they bring in, by ourselves so our main goal needs to be to move as soon as we can. It won't be soon, but at least we'll have a good idea of where we stand and how long it might take us to get where we need to be.  It might light a fire under DH's butt to get serious about selling all that race equipment out in the shop once and for all.  Maybe the threat of us actually leaving will also light a fire under good neighbors butt to get involved with trying to help get rid of these drug dealers. He's really not going to like it if we move. He has always joked if we ever move he's moving next door to us again.

I've been ignoring my knitting the past couple of weeks because I made a mistake and hadn't figured out how to fix it and I knew I'd need more yarn and didn't have it yet. I tried to fix the problem last night and just made it worse. I think I was only about 1/3 of the way into it so I ended up pulling the whole thing out! When I got it off the circular needles I also realized it was wider than I really needed it to be, so I could reduce that and cast on 40 stitches instead of 52. I cast on and got about 2 or 3 rows into knitting and realized I goofed again! Somehow I didn't finish a row and turned around and started the next row and so I had this uneven blanket started. Geez! So, it's all pulled out again and just laying on the coffee table.  I'll try again tonight.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Still enjoying another day off

I took Monday and Tuesday off work to spend a little more time with DD while she is here a few days. It's been nice.  Monday we just did a bunch of shopping around (in the pouring rain). It seems like I spent a bunch of money, but I really didn't spend much.

First we went to the bank so DD could deposit her Spring quarter tuition check from Grandma and then we got Starbucks (used my gift card) I finally spent my $50 gift card at Kohl's, plus I had a $5 off coupon and a 15% off coupon. That gave me $65 to spend with nothing out of pocket. I thought I was really close to $65. I bought a pair of jean capri's (my first pair!), a cotton blouse and two t-shirts.  It came to $80........as always seems to happen when I shop at Kohl's, whatever price sign is on the rack I get something off of turns out that the items wasn't really from that rack or something along that lines. I thought the jeans were going to be $29 and they ended up being $37.50.

Then we stopped at Michaels, just to check and see if they had the yarn I need to finish my blanket back in stock. They did and it was on sale for $4.99 so I got the 5 skeins I needed.....that night I got an email from Michaels with a 20% off your whole order coupon. Just my luck! After that was Petco, because I had $10 in Palsrewards that expired that day. I bought 2 boxes of dog treats and the coupons wouldn't ring up. Said I already used them. GRRR! This was the first time I even earned them and the first time I was going to use them. The guy called the manager over who didn't know why either, other than to advise me to call and find out what is going on. She offered me $4 total off the 2 boxes, so I said ok and spent the $6. I went online to my account when I got home but couldn't figure it out and decided it wasn't worth my time calling. I won't be getting dog food there anymore anyway.

Then we went across the street to Penney's at the mall. DD wanted to look for some tank tops and maybe tennis shoes. She found one tank top and a pair of capris.  We had a 25% off coupon, but for some reason it wouldn't apply to the jeans...just the way our luck was going with coupons that day!
We decided to get lunch across the parking lot at Panera. We split a sandwich and chips so lunch only cost $7. Then we stopped at Ross for her to look for some more tank tops and she found a couple there.  I browsed through the home goods stuff while she tried on her clothes. They had some cute wind chimes for cheap, so that's probably where I'll go back to get one or two when I get my arbors flowered and decorated up.

Yesterday morning I took her to a doctors appointment to follow up on her big toenails fungus problem. The oral medication she has been on for 3 months has not worked at all. We saw a different doctor in the  office this time and she is putting DD on a topical anti-fungal medication, plus another 3 month of the oral medication.  I was expecting a big charge at the pharmacy for the new medication but it was only $20.  We went to a little diner nearby and had breakfast while we waited for the pharmacy to open up and get her prescriptions.

Today was back to work (a work from home day) and my boss sent me an email first thing asking how my long weekend was. After I replied she emailed back and told me to take today off, too, with no charge to my vacation time. Again, one of those nice little perks from her! While it's not extra money in my pocket, it is extra time :)  I told her I had payroll and a state tax return to file, so I'd get that stuff done and then take the rest of the day off........and a nap!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Gift ideas?

I need some advice and suggestions.  DH and I have a wedding to attend next month and I have no idea what to get the couple for a gift.  They are in their early 50's (2nd marriage for both), so obviously already have a house set up.  Plus, they are not close friends, so I am not really familiar with their likes and tastes (other than they are both down to earth, same income level, not showy or brand name types).

I haven't even been to a wedding in years. I don't know what is an appropriate amount to spend, let alone what I should get them for a gift. HELP!