Friday, May 30, 2014

Pay Day Friday

My paycheck was deposited today. I actually had $700 left out of May's budget and transferred that to savings....which was better than the prior month, when I had to take $200 out of savings to make it until payday. Current savings is at $2677.  Based on my June budget I should be able to at least put some more in savings (my goal is $500) at the end of June. Keeping fingers crossed. I made an extra $75 for May at my side job with the extra time I had to put in dealing with the IRS audit, putting together all the documentation requested.

As always, I'm trying to reduce what we spend on food and for some reason never accomplish this! I'm back to weekly shopping at Walmart, rather than the more expensive (and nicer) supermarket. They have similar prices....WHEN the stuff is on sale, but I have to spend too much time figuring out what is on sale and since I really don't like having to go to more than one store, I end up paying their high prices on things I need that week that aren't on sale.

So, my current plan is back to Walmart, where pretty much the prices stay the same each week. If I see a better price in another grocery store ad I will bring the ad with me and make them price match. Plus when shopping at the nicer store I didn't buy pet food/treats, cleaning supplies or personal care there, because their prices are obnoxious, so I was still making a trip to Target or Walmart for those things anyway. Now I can just do it all at Walmart with occasional trips to Target when I can combine their coupons, mfg coupons and their sales.  I am going to watch my individual prices like a hawk and compare, compare, compare.

In other areas, for the time being, some costs are going down about $130-$150 per month in total. DH has gone off all his meds, which is a $60 per month savings. Plus he needed another OTC medicine to offset one of the side effects, that he now no longer has, so that saves another $15 a month. He is rarely drinking his "diet" banana shake any more (just having a sandwich or half of a lunch meat sandwich, with lettuce, on whole grain bread), so I cancelled the automatic monthly shipment of that, which had just been increased $1 a month to $56. I had just gotten a bag delivered and still had half a bag from the previous delivery, so I'm sure what is left will take care of the occasional times he wants that for lunch. Plus he has cut way down on drinking soda. Instead of 4-5 cans a day he had himself up to, he is drinking just one. Even if I get the 24 pack on sale for $5 (sometimes), that's a $25 a month savings.  Not sure how long all this will stay as the status quo, but I guess I'll take it for now.

He's just trying to manage his pain "naturally". He does much less and really tries to pace himself. He uses the heating pad A LOT and takes warm bath's to help soothe his aches and pains.

It's warm weather now, so instead of $300 a month electricity bills, they are now $150ish. Basically that extra money just ends up going into yard care/maintenance during the summer. We will definitely be spending less this year on adding things to our yard, compared to the last 2 summers. All the trees, plants and shrubbery are now in place....we just have to pray they live this time! and the BBQ and fire pit purchased last year will last years. Sadly, the beautiful yellow rose bush I treated myself to last summer died. I have no idea why. I pruned it down last fall, at the beginning of spring some green was starting to shoot out of the branches and then all of a sudden the branches turned black. Everything else planted around it (which has been there for years) is growing fine.  I don't really anticipate having to spend much more this summer on our yard, other than more weed and feed for the lawn and probably one more pallet of blocks to finish the island and our back "steps" our our french doors. We need one more small perennial for our driveway island and if I replace the rose bush, I will just buy both at the local guy's house where he sells for $5 each. We still have a lot of the spider mite pesticide purchased last year that was over $100 for the small bottle, but like a teaspoon is used to make a gallon. DH is still doing our monthly ant pesticide spraying around the house and other buildings, so that is still saving us over $40 a month (and we've still had no ants).

I also won't have "back to school" clothes shopping this year, which I usually spent $250 or so. If she wants new clothes she's on her own now that she's graduated high school. Plus, she has more than enough clothes to wear and it's all going to look new, since she won't know anyone at college. I'm spending enough on her dorm room things.

Oh! and I earned $25 in cash back using my PayPal debit card this past month :-)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Day Three, Four and Five of the long weekend

Trying to catch up about my days off.

Sunday I was up by 7:30, which of course the dogs don't mind one bit. I read some more on a blog I am reading (4 years of the family working towards it dream goal, very inspiring). I don't know if it's from going off all his medications or what but DH has quickly gone back to a more "normal" sleep schedule. He's in bed by midnight or 1am (versus 3 or 4 am) and up between 8 and 9, so that is probably a good thing....(though don't tell anyone, I really liked my couple of hours of just me time and the peace and quiet!).

DD and I planted all the annual flowers in the window boxes and whiskey barrels.  Looks nice and I don't know how, but I purchased exactly the right amount of flowers and potting soil!

Monday and Tuesday were a blur....we are still dealing with many issues related to our estrangement from our son (he seems to think all the thousand and thousands of dollars of assets we let him take with him out of the country (which was originally just to be for 6-8 weeks, and is now 10 months) is his and his to do with what he wants. I honestly don't even know who he is anymore. It's causing much stress for all of us, including my mom, to say the least.  I don't even think I slept more than a couple hours total Monday night and when I was asleep I kept dreaming that I couldn't breathe.

Today I'm back to work - trying to wrap up the specific documentation and explanations requested by the IRS auditor. Their CPA emailed me the list yesterday morning, but I since I had the day off as vacation, I decided I wasn't giving it up to work on this (nor was I in any mental shape after a sleepless night) and emailed back that it would be to be completed on Wednesday. I'm almost done with it, I just need to type out my notes. I have lots of pages as "proof", so I am going to wait until I am at the office tomorrow so I can scan them all. If I tried to use my home scanner it would take me hours, as it only does one page at a time. Our copy machines at work will take a whole stack of papers and scan into a pdf in seconds.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Day Two of the long weekend

Saturday was DD's senior prom. We headed out at 9:15 am to go to Walmart and finish up the weekly grocery shopping and spent $109. But that total included a $15 rice cooker and $10 in make up stuff for DD, that she owes me back for. My neighbor had given me a big gallon ziploc bag filled with rice. He said he liked the flavor but it cooked up too sticky for his liking. Other than minute rice or rice a roni, I have never cooked regular rice! I like rice, just never bought "real" rice before. I figured with my limited cooking skills a cheap rice cooker was probably a good investment. Tried it out yesterday and loved it! I see there are also recipes to make oatmeal (DD and I will use this) and chili in it, so I will definitely be giving those a try.

After we put our groceries in the car we went back inside the garden part of Walmart to pick up a big bag of potting soil. We stopped by the outdoor chairs to take a look. DH likes to sit out on our front porch and has 2 very ugly, old mismatched lawn chairs sitting there. I had made a comment earlier last week, I'd like to get something nicer looking and matching. I found 2 folding chairs with mesh seating for $11 each. They are a 2 tone cream and brown color and match our house colors. DH really liked them and they were comfortable to sit it. Our front porch is very tiny, just enough room for 2 chairs. I also wanted the folding type for easier storage, so a win win in my book.

DH got out of the house for a few hours to help a friend with something (I SO did NOT want to go help him with this and was glad I could use "helping DD get ready for prom" as an excuse!) and DD and I then went to her hair appointment for her "prom do". $54 - yikes, but it's her big day, and something she really wanted done. It turned out cute, but the curl (she had it curly down one side of her shoulder) did not hold long at all, so it was more just wavy by the time she left to go to her friends for pictures. I'm not sure she'd spend the money (well, I spent the money) on that again. She didn't spend money on getting her make up, nails and tanning as some of her friends did. She bought shoes that she could also wear with her graduation dress and with anything dressy, in the future. So other than her dress, which cost $170 (she bought months ago) she stayed somewhat frugal. She wasn't too thrilled with the restaurant her friend picked out to go to. VERY expensive. Just a basic salad was $9 and main entrees started at $30. She ended up ordering a crab salad for $18 and that's all, but said it filled her up.

On our way home we stopped at Kohl's so I could use my $50 gift card DD had given me for Mother's Day. I also had a $10 off $10 purchase coupon, a $10 off $25 coupon and 15% off and was able to use all of the coupons with my gift card. I got a blouse, 3 tops and a pajama top. With tax it all came to $54, so I just had to pay $4 out of pocket......and I got $10 in Kohl's cash to spend later. Nice!

DH was still feeling some energy when he got home and mowed the lawn. We took a few pictures of DD out on the backyard with the "park" behind her. It does look quite nice with everything so green. Our little oasis surrounded by "ugh".

She looked so beautiful and her friends mom drove the group of them the 45 miles (how dumb to have a prom 45 miles away! seriously?)  to their venue, while she visited with her other daughter who lives in that area, and then drove them back home. Us other parents thanked her several times, as it all made us feel better knowing a parent was driving that distance, especially home late at night. DD spent the night at her friends, where her mom put out extreme fixings for ice cream sundaes. They had to get up fairly early (friend had church) but got fed a nice pancake breakfast and DD was home by 10am. I'm glad my girl and her friends aren't into the big party scene. She said they all danced together almost the whole night and had a lot of fun.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Day One of long weekend

Day 3 into my 5 day weekend, but here's what went on Day One.  I have tried to sleep in each day and have been wide awake by 7am or even earlier! Oh well. Friday afternoon I ended up having to participate in a conference call with my side job's CPA and the IRS agent who is doing the audit. It was about a 25 minute phone call just basically explaining how system works to account for the earnings (which is commissions). I was a bit stressed all morning about the call - not knowing what she was going to ask. I would have rather been prepared ahead of time, especially with any documents I needed in front of me, as it turned out at one point I did and they had to wait for me to get it.

Then DD got home from work and she went with me to get my hair cut. Whoa! I didn't realize it had been 4 months since my last cut. I knew my hair was getting long (past my shoulders) but I usually don't go more than 3 months. I haven't colored it since then, either and at this point I think I'm going to leave it as it. It doesn't look terribly gray - more like just very blonde (I usually color a dark blonde/light brown). I think I'll leave it awhile longer and see how long I can stand it.

On the way home we stopped at Bed Bath and Beyond. DD wanted to look for a shower caddy for college and I wanted to get some little filters for my Keurig. I like to use them in my adapter cup, makes cleaning out the grounds much easier. I had always gotten them at Walmart for a few bucks, but they stopped selling them. $5 at BB&B :(

Then we stopped and had a piece of pie at Shari's.  That seems to be our new thing to do together about once a month, while out on errands.We take turns paying the bill :-)

Next we did some of our weekly grocery shopping. I've decided that for the most part I am back to grocery shopping at Walmart. While the other grocery store was nice and more upscale (well, just about anything around here is more "upscale" than Walmart), I think I am spending more, even though I really try to buy their sales. They  have great sales each week, but then of course I'd buy the other stuff I needed that wasn't on sale. $5 for a box of cereal or $3.29 for a loaf of bread - which are $3 and $2 at Walmart.  So, I just stopped there to only pick up the things on sale and spent $36.

DH was craving Chinese food for dinner but after our pie DD and I weren't super hungry. There's always more than enough for one with the Chinese meal, so I just picked up a meal for him. They had new take out menus, so I figured the price must have went up again and it did. Plus, they forgot to put in the crunchy noodles to go with the chow mien. With tax $12 for dinner and I was able to eat the rest of the fried rice and chow mien that DH couldn't finish.

After dinner DD and I went over to a store nearby (about a mile) that has a garden center and bought all my annual flowers. Those prices keep going up each year too. $68, including tax, this year.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Gas, bananas, and curtains

I'm saving about 10 bucks today - my wonderful boss sent me an email this morning to work from home today, if I'd like. It's a beautiful, sunny, 72 degree day, today and I'm supposed to enjoy the sun from a home window, while working.  Though we both know my desk at home doesn't sit near a window, LOL. I did take an extra few minutes outside with the dogs this morning enjoying the morning sun and listening to all the birds chirp. One dog found a dead garden snake on the fallen tree that is in our "park" area. Yuck. Something got to it and didn't quite leave it all together.

It's 80 miles round trip to my work (usually 3 days a weeks) at at 29mpg and current gas prices it cost me about $10 a trip. I'll also save $20 in gas next week, as Monday is a holiday and I'm also taking Tuesday off. This extra $30 total can help pay for the $50 alteration bill on DD's prom dress, that we go pick up today.

I speed worked on a short project so I could take about a 15 min break and make some banana bread (I usually work at a pretty quick pace as the norm, but figured that would justify the break!). I had a whole batch of very overripe bananas about to be tossed in the garbage last night (thankfully I didn't) because I wouldn't have time to make bread out of them. Usually I can't keep enough bananas in the house, but DH hasn't been feeling well, so not eating any or drinking his shake I usually put them in. I use an old recipe out of a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook that calls for shortening. I was just a tad short, so I just added margarine to make it up. I was also just about a 1/4 cup short on flour (I need to stock up the pantry, it appears) but found some whole wheat flour DD had bought for some recipe she made awhile back, so I threw that in with the regular flour. There was enough for 2 loaves and soon I should be smelling baked banana bread!

DD is working her last shift as a host this morning. Starting Thursday she will be a server. She's not sure of what her "regular" schedule will look like, but she has nothing else going on until she goes off to college next September, so she is willing to work any shifts they give her.

DH is mowing the lawn right now. I've always liked that sound of a lawn mower (as long as I don't have to do it -haha!). First he did a bit with the weed-eater and now he's riding around on the mower. Our older dog hates when it's lawn mowing day, so he ended up back in the house laying here at my feet.  Young pup is game for anything that keeps him busy, so he's enjoying following along.  DH carries the "chuck-it" tennis ball thrower with him and pup will drop his ball in his path, so he has to divert a bit, reach out and pick up the ball and give it a toss. They have their routine down :-)

I had been thinking about getting new curtains for our bedroom windows, and then DH made a comment that he'd like some curtains that cover the windows to block out some of the morning sun (since he sleeps a good bit of the morning). A few quick looks at some stores and the only stuff I was even kind of liking would have cost me $80 to do 2 windows. I finally found something I liked at Walmart, they came in a complete 5 piece (2 panels, valance and 2 ties) set and were only $10 each! The picture is kind of dark, but these are totally sufficing for what we need. They look ok with my dark cherry furniture and do a great job of blocking out some of the sun/light. They are kind of silky, which I'm glad because I wasn't really liking all the "canvas" type ones I was finding in my price range.

The picture came out dark, but looks a lot better than what I had on there for years and years. I only had some white lacy valances on top with the white blinds. Didn't match the room at all anymore. That big planter next to the lamp needs a plant! It died and I haven't replaced it yet.

It's been nice to start using the BBQ again (did you know there is an app to check your propane tank to see if it's getting low?! Is there an app for everything?).  Sunday our good neighbor was out mowing his yard all afternoon, so we asked him if he wanted to join us for BBQ burgers when he got done. We had a nice visit and meal of just good old cheeseburgers and some potato chips. We talked about the neighborhood issues and joked about moving and neighbor said we can't move for 3 more years. huh? we laughed.....he said because if we move he's following us to be neighbors and he has SO much stuff it would take him 3 years to organize, downsize and pack it all up! Haha!

I picked up some perennial plants to plant in our new driveway island. We got those planted on Sunday and it looks really nice (though we still need to get some more blocks to actually finish the border of the island). We decided we need one more plant, so I am going to pick up another "grassy" type plant and also put in a few solar lights. Last summer I found a guy that sells outdoor plants out of his home. They are all $5 each in 1 gallon pots. The 3 I bought last summer are still doing great, so that is where I got the plants for the island and we also picked up a raspberry and bluberry plant to put in on our our whiskey barrel planters.

Well, back to work.  I can totally smell the banana bread. One of my favorite things to eat, though I hardly ever take the time to make it.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Saving on pet needs

I bought another Petco gift card online a couple of weeks ago.  This new method to save some money is working out nicely. The giftcard was at a 20% discount. I had received a $3 off our brand of dog food coupon in the mail from Petco and a nice surprise when I got to the store to make my purchase - the dog food was on sale $5 off! All in all I saved 25% over the original price of the bag of dog food ($55). I also kept track of how long the previous bag lasted and it was right at about 6 weeks. Using this method, I can save about $120 a year on this dog's food.

Then I realized - why am I not doing this for our other dog's food? He is able to eat "regular" (we feed him Purina One) dog food and I have always bought it at Walmart or Target, as they seemed to be a bit cheaper than the pet stores. But, if I just buy a bigger gift card I can also save 20% on that food (and cat food). I will be implementing the rest of the pet food into this plan.

I see that Petco has an online ordering plan where if you sign up for regular deliveries of the dog food, the shipping is free and you can also save up to 15% more. I need to check into that more and see if I can pay via a giftcard when it's set up to automatically deliver. Petco is a bit out of my way and automating the food into regular deliveries with free shipping seems to be a no-brainer, especially if I can save with the discounted gift cards.

Petsmart is much closer to us, but the discounted gift cards seem to run at 11-12% off, so not quite as good of discount as I am finding on Petco.

I have dropped the very expensive fish oil capsules from young pup's daily care and also stopped giving both dogs the "grass saver" tablets with their dinner. He's not itching and the grass savers didn't really help much at all. This will save me about $30 a month, too. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday jabber

I am so happy it is Friday. It's been a pretty quiet week with work. I took Monday off for DD's tennis matches and then my boss has had the last 3 days off.  DD and her partner made it to the sub-districts playoff's (the only one's from their team). It was double elimination and her goal this year was to win one of the matches, but it wasn't to be.  These girls from the other district are always so good. She has made it to these play off's every year (even as a varsity freshman) but pretty much always got demolished by these "north girls". It was just survival mode and hopefully get a few points here and there. This year was much improvement. They won several games and made the other teams work for their match wins. Lots of great shots. So, 4 years of tennis is done and I think DD is a bit relieved and is ready for a break.

Does anyone out there us the YNAB budgeting system? I'm giving the trial version a go.  I have like 25 days left. I'm just not sure I will pay for it - I know me, and I'll have a week where I can't find the time to enter every transaction and then I'll stop doing it.  I like the concept though, but really - it's not much different than the way I budget on my own anyway. I've made myself a spreadsheet very similar before, but again, it's on me to keep it up and I'm not very diligent.

It's been hot here this week. I went and bought the replacement a/c unit.  I haven't used my Lowe's credit card since last summer, (and my credit scores seems to have stuck at 692 for months now) so I put it on the card and will get 6 months to pay, no interest, on the $299 unit.  I see they did up my credit limit from $300 to $1300 - though I have no plans to use up any of that!

Just got a notice from my employer provided health insurance company that our plan will no longer be offered when our renewal comes up in July. surprised am I? Not. Obamacare is a joke. And we have really good insurance through work. My boss just went to a meeting with our benefits company and they said there are so many small companies (which apparently make up like 95% of all employers in the US) who's plans have already  had to renew this year that are not in compliance and  the laws keeps changing weekly, they can't keep up. They said there are already small companies (those with less than 50 employees) that have already amassed $150,000 fines by the government! There is seriously something wrong with this country. I can't imagine how much this new plan is going to cost my company when they finally figure out what will comply....or what kind of plan we will end up with. Probably astronomical deductibles.

DD is supposedly being switched to a server starting next week, but first they asked her to do them a favor. They are getting a weekday host to replace her, but needed a server to fill in at their other restaurant this Sat and Sun....30 miles away. She already worked all week, but is doing it.  Then for some reason her co-workers thought she was permanently getting switched to the other location and DD was like "Noooooo....that better not be what's happening". Then one of the assistant mgr's said he thought that too. A few minutes later one of the owners came in and she talked to him and said there was no way she was driving 30 miles each way for a part time job, when she has a job 1 mile from home! She'd just stay a host, if that was the case.  He said, no, it was just for this weekend only.   It's a very rare occasion that DD ever sleeps through her alarm, but she did this morning! She's lucky I got up when I did or she would have been late. She had to get ready and out the door in 15 minutes.

I need a vacation from work! I have 3 weeks available to use right now and by the end of summer I'll have earned another week. But, no money to actually go anywhere and staying home with DH for a week wouldn't do anything to help me relax. So bleh! Guess for now I'll stick with days here and there and some long weekends.

I got a stupid photo speeding ticket. $124. It doesn't go on my driving record/insurance, so not sure if I want to take the time to see if I can go get it reduced.  By the time I drove downtown, paid for parking, all the time involved I'll probably have 3 hours into it.

On a brighter note, a hummingbird finally showed up at my window hummingbird feeder. It was so neat to see one sitting (it has a little perch) and not in motion for a little bit. When they have always come to my fuchsia bush, their wings are always abuzz. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Where's my delivery?

It's been a partially frustrating week. Trying to find things I need/want with no luck (in stores), not getting stuff I ordered, forgetting to do things. GAH!

The first of May I did an Amazon order for a room deodorizer fan (for DD's stinky tennis clothes bedroom) and a treat dispensing chew toy for one of our dogs. It was being delivered via UPS, but using the USPS as the final delivery. I HATE that! Our mailbox is around the corner in a large community type box. It does have a nice large parcel box, where she could leave us the key to get our package, but apparently someone broke the key in the lock and the post office has never fixed it. Sometimes she will try to drive down our street and stop in front of the house and honk, but it's usually pretty early (before DH is up) and our house sits so far back from our road that I don't usually hear her if I am home, so she puts the package pick up notice in our box and I have to schlep down to the awful post office and stand in line to get my package.  Last month the company that mails DH's monthly health/shake mix started using this service, instead of UPS delivering right to our door.  Another trip to the post office. I am not happy. I sent comments to Amazon and the shake mix company that I don't like this new shipping method.

So, my Amazon package was supposed to be delivered Saturday.  The notice is in my mailbox that the package can be picked up at the post office on Monday. I go in Monday afternoon and after standing in line and then waiting and waiting, find out they can't find my package. She takes down my ph# and name to keep checking and let me know. Of course they don't call. I do some tracking of the package online the next morning and see that it got returned to the seller for "insufficient address". Seriously? It made it all the way to my mailbox (doesn't fit, she can't use the parcel box and we weren't home), I got a notice with my address on it and it gets returned? I called the post office and the best they could come up with was that it got put in the return area by mistake.  Who knows how long it will take me to get the $50 credit for the order.  I'm really disliking this new delivery system that UPS and FedEx are using. I order things because I want them shipped to my door....not have to go pick them up at the post office.  Plus, we like our UPS guy! Same guy for years and years and he gives our dogs treats :-)

Then I keep forgetting to order DD some 6x6 envelopes that will fit her graduation announcements. When we ordered the cards announcing her AA degree, I guess we didn't make sure they would fit inside her high school annoucements envelopes! I finally remembered to get on Amazon this morning and place the order (about $7 and almost that much in shipping) but free shipping if I ordered $35, so even though I haven't gotten the credit on the returned order yet, I re-ordered my other stuff. Turns out the odor eliminator fan was now about $7 cheaper than when I ordered it 2 weeks ago, so at least that paid for the envelopes!  We tried to find some at the local office supply and craft stores, but no luck.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Thursday this and that

I'm working from home today. DH is sick in bed and I want to keep an eye on him, keep the dogs out of his hair and get his laundry done, while I get some work done. I has written this long paragraph about it, but deleted it. It is what it is and he's a typical man when he's sick.

DD is almost done with tennis. She had her last regular match earlier this week and tomorrow and Saturday is supposed to be sub-district matches.  Only there is like 80% chance of rain, so I don't know how this is going to happen. She asked her coach what happens and she said they will do it Monday all day......well, DD works Mon-Fri mornings and doesn't know who she can get to cover her shift (they only have one host those mornings and the weekend hosts go to school) if she has to play tennis. I can tell it's all stressing her out.  I think she's just ready to be done with tennis! She didn't get to play singles, like she really wanted and get this....the girl who got to play first singles all season is blowing off sub-districts because she supposedly has a first aid class she wants to go to on Saturday. Coach was pretty mad and then says to DD "do you want to play singles then?" and DD is like "no.....I haven't gotten to play all season, I'm not seeded for singles (she and her partner are 2nd seed in the district for doubles play) and it wouldn't be fair to my partner to not play with her".  At her match the other day, they were getting beat pretty bad (this team is undefeated) and playing the district first seed doubles team, but she and her partner did have some great shots and one of DD's really good shots even got a "Nice shot <insert name>" by the other teams coach. I was impressed that he knew my daughters name! Shows he really pays attention to the sport he coaches. No wonder his team is undefeated.

Yesterday she practiced with some guys from the boys tennis team (they play in the Fall) and kind of reconnected with a boy who was her boyfriend for a short time back in 6th grade.  I remember him as kind of a chubby kid - but he grew tall and lost all that baby fat! Nice looking boy. Turns out he will be going to the same college she is going to and he and another of his friends will be joining the tennis club there. DD wasn't sure if she was going to do that or not, but I think knowing that she will now know some players, it will change her mind. Plus, she has until next spring to decide. By then she'll be wanting to play tennis again, I'm sure.  Her coach keeps their names on little tags she hangs on a board for their team ladder matches. DD got hers to keep yesterday and put in on her key ring. It's been the same tag coached used for 4 years. She started out as #10 on the ladder her freshman year and worked her way up to #1 junior and senior year.  Nice little memento :-)

Yesterday we dropped her prom dress off to be altered. It's a little big in the top area. Almost $50 to have it taken in - eek! I was expecting maybe like $30.  Oh well.

I am finally going to get some estimates on what it will cost to repair/remodel our bathroom. I hope I have enough money. By the end of May's paycheck, I should have close to $4000 saved.  We have to get this done. At a minimum we need the subfloor and flooring replaced under the toilet and a new toilet. I'd also really like to have a new shower installed and ideally, I'd like the whole bathroom remodeled (nothing fancy - it's not like we need granite or anything), but that is more than likely more than I have to spend. I have a few phone numbers to call to set up getting estimates, but now I need to wait until DH is done being sick.  I have zero idea what it will cost, so hopefully what I have saved is at least enough to get the floor replaced and the new toilet. The floor is rotting underneath, due to a bad leak years ago from our hot water heater that is right on the other side of the wall next to the toilet. Over the years the wood has apparently been gradually rotting out from being wet for that time years ago.  I'm worried DH is going to fall through the floor like the clip from that new movie "Neighbors"!

My desk and cabinets are overflowing with paperwork and crap.  In addition to all the side job paperwork I have to keep and file one of my upper cabinets is crammed with my papers and junk. Some of the junk being several big printer cartridges. I used to take them to Staples for the credit (most from my printer at work and some from home printer) but they just kept piling up and I just kept forgetting to take them (plus they only give $2 store credit now).  I finally just decided to throw them out. I need to get cleaned up and organized and the $12 isn't worth my time right now! So in the trash they went. (I know, not very green of me, but we do recycle just about everything else). I just needed to get this cleaned out and see some quick progress. And guess what I found? the box to my Nook reader, so now I can work on listing that for sale - probably just try and sell it on Craigslist.

I'm not really looking too forward to Mother's Day on Sunday.  Half of my heart is gone and it will just be a reminder of how broken it feels.  I know DD will do her best to make me feel special, but it will still be really hard (I'm tearing up right now just writing this). I still cannot believe he did this to us. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Tuesday update

I don't know where the past few days have gone. Busy with this and that and spendy.  Friday I had to go into the office for our big meeting. No bonus, as I had hoped. Bummer. Just basically a state of the union address. At this point we are behind on meeting our 2014 sales goal, so probably nothing paid out mid year. But, jobs that have contracts won have really increased and once those jobs can get ordered and on the books, we should meet our sales goal for the year - we'll just have to wait until the end of the year to get paid the bonus.  Regardless, I work for an amazing company and am grateful and blessed to have such a good job.

Saturday DD and I kept quite busy and I spent a lot of money :/. We got up early and got the weekly grocery shopping done and put away at home. Then we took off for a day of errands and shopping. We got fueled up at Starbucks (I still have money on my gift card) and headed down to surprise my mom with some birthday flowers and chocolates ($35). She was spending the weekend at her boyfriends, helping him with a yard sale. We surprised her quite good and got a $10 yard sale find in the process!

                               This cute cedar 2 seater to go in our little fire pit area. I love it!

Then we were off to a mall to find a dress for her graduation, shoes that she could wear with both that dress and her prom dress and jewelry for her prom dress.  We found the dress to wear at graduation at the first store, so that was nice ($48). Shoes were another story. She just wanted a pair of black mid heeled pumps. Seems like everything was either flats or 6 inch heels. We looked at about 5 stores in the mall and by then we were both getting tired and it was past lunch time. DD treated us to lunch at Panera Bread and then we headed back to our neighborhood mall to visit Charming Charlie's for jewelry. But first we stopped at Krispy Creme to buy some donuts to take home as a treat to DH (and us). $8 or something like that. What a great selection Charming Charlie's have at such good prices. Cute necklace and earrings (bling-y) for $16. There are a few stores that have shoes near our home and we were going to stop there and look for shoes, but we were too wore out as it was almost 4pm by then.

So, Sunday we headed to the 3 stores near us that have shoes and finally found some at Kohl's. $48.  DD has been needing to get Microsoft Office program on her new laptop, so we ended up buying the Office365 deal for students.  A 4 year subscription for $80.

Then, luckily I happened to open my email on Sunday morning for my side job. They are getting audited by the IRS and finally there was the email from their CPA office with a list of all that is needed. I was able to spend Sunday morning pulling all the files for that year and organizing them. I found the perfect size box at work yesterday and now it's all boxed up and ready to ship to the side job office (in another state). Glad that's all done.  Hopefully their audit goes well, I can't imagine that anything major could be wrong. Between my accounting and the good CPA's tax returns, all should go smoothly.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

It's a picture perfect day

Spring is my favorite time of the year. I love watching everything come back to life and bloom.  Some things I am sad only bloom for a short period, like my azaleas below, but soon others will be in bloom, like my rose bushes.  Ha - I see watch dog got his nose in the picture!

The 3 oak trees (different varieties) we planted last summer are getting their leaves now. Some year, when I am really old, they will be a lot bigger :)  The blocks around the island aren't finished. We ran out and need to go get more! I also need to pick up some plants to fill inside the driveway island.....just on the other side of that fence is where neighbor and DH held the meth head thief the other night.

My new hummingbird feeder. I haven't gotten any visits yet but I usually don't see them until this fuschia bush blooms and then they are regular visitors. It grows fast and by the beginning of summer will take up that whole bare area around it and it will bloom all summer long.

Weeds are all abloom too! I swear I could pick some every day!  This little area has gotten away from me.

Luckily these weeds are very easy to pull out, so it won't take long to clear out this area.

And while I was out and about the yard (throwing the ball to the dog the whole time) I also fed the barn kitties. This is the ladder they climb up to their "hut". We rarely see them but the food is gone every day, so they obviously spend some time up there.