Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Stop poking me!

I had my annual physical this morning, so I had fasted and was hungry! No issues or concerns. Apparently gynecological exams are now on a 3 year basis, so I am good on that until next year.  I lost 4 pounds from last year (yay!). Got my flu shot, so there was the first poke.  Now that I am over 50, a colonoscopy was recommended to be done sometime before I am 60..... I think I'll wait a bit doesn't sound very appealing.....I'll schedule my mammogram for next month and be done with that. Then it was time to draw blood. I always have one arm that never works, but can never remember which one it is to tell them.  Then I remembered how awful it was last year when they tried to draw blood! I had 2 pokes in one arm, one in the other and 2 in my hand. 

Well, this visit to the blood lab chair was proving to be no different. She could not find a good vein in either arm (at least she didn't try poking) and decided to do my hand, but that wasn't working either. She got a little blood in one vial (and needed to fill 3) and stopped because it was coming out too slow and was starting to puff up. Then she asked for help from the other guy. Well, as I have experienced in the past, it really does depend on who does it. Right away he found a vein in my right arm and had her use the smallest butterfly and within a minute it was done.

DD has been sick since yesterday. Sounds like the flu. Started with a sore throat and then vomiting. It's so hard to be 130 miles away and have her be sick. I know she just wanted to be home and in her own bed.  She is feeling a bit better this morning and I told her to get some plain crackers (which surprisingly, she already had some) and gatorade. Her roommate is going to bring her some gatorade when she is done with classes this morning.  Poor thing, she is so rarely sick and I know she felt miserable yesterday and last night.  She hates being sick and had to reschedule her appointment to discuss her major application with the department head and an informational meeting last night about the major. She did email someone this morning about it to ask if there was any way she could get the information that was presented and that sounds like it will happen.

We are having a potluck lunch at work tomorrow, so I have signed up to bring my yummy 4 cheese and bacon mac & cheese.  I am so going to pig out on all the food tomorrow :-)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Target deal

I got myself to Target today to get in on the last day of the buy $15 in personal care products and get a $5 gift card back. DH uses SpeedStick deordorant and I also had buy one get one free coupons. I purchased 4, got 2 free and a $5 gift card! $7.98 for 4 sticks of deodorant and a $5 gift card. Good deal in my book.

I was also there to pick up some Dawn dish soap for DH (car/parts washing) and there was a deal for a $5 gift card if you bought Dawn and Cascade dishwasher tabs, so since I needed the Dawn anyway and can certainly use the dishwasher tabs, I got those and another $5 gift card.

No problems using coupons there the last couple of times I have been there. I make sure that crabby cashier isn't there (she hasn't been) and picked the line both times of the super sweet and friendly cashier who is there most times :-)

Friday, October 24, 2014

It's a Dog Day :)

We have 2 dogs.  Or I should say 2 dogs have us. One is a yellow lab mix. A big 88 pound sweet, lazy couch potato. He fits right in with our lazy, couch potato lifestyle. A little over 2 years ago we decided to get a second dog. We wanted another lab mix, thinking we'd have another sweet and mellow dog. DS wanted a chocolate type lab, but we ended up with a black lab mix. It was someone nearby who advertised the puppies on Craigslist as non-registered purebred lab. The lady said her lab had puppies with their neighbor's black lab. We just paid a $100 for the pup, but the "purebred" was of no big concern one way or the other and we didn't really think he probably was anyway.

We brought home this little guy:
Over the next couple of months, as he grew, anyone who saw him (vet's, etc) thought he must have some Newfoundland in him. His paws were huge and his ears were getting shaggy fur.  As he grew up he grew into this beautiful animal:

Certainly not a purebred black lab, LOL. (not that we ever thought he was). And not big and bulky like a Newfie. He's got a big bushy tail and long sleek fur. One day I was looking at some picture of dogs and came across a "Flat Coated Retriever". They look exactly like our dog! And the description of this breed of dogs personality fits our pooch to a T.

He is very sweet, but he is NOT a lazy couch potato. He is lively and energetic and needs lots of activity to burn off his energy. Thankfully we have over an acre of land and he can run and chase balls, squirrels, etc, until he is tired out. The personality of Flat Coated Retrievers is that of a "Peter Pan". They just don't really grow up. Wooo doggie! that is our dog! He is almost 2 1/2 years old now and just a fun loving dog. One of his nicknames is "Fun Bobby" ("Friends" fans will recognize the name). The breed website says they "retain these qualities as well as his youthfully good-humored outlook on life into old age".

Even though we are not active folks, this dog fits into our lives. He makes us laugh, he makes us get out of the house several times a day to throw him one of his dozens of tennis balls around the place. As long as he is exercised at least a couple of times a day he is well mannered and stays out of trouble. And, fortunately with DH home all the time and me home all but 3 days a week, he gets lots of the attention he needs. He would definitely not be the type of dog you could leave alone all day while you are at work. He would go crazy with boredom.

He is also a very good alarm dog, and while not aggressive at all, he has a very loud scary bark. Last night was a good example. He sleeps out in the living room, either on the floor next to the couch, or on the couch. At 2 am he lets out a single loud bark. DH gets up to look out the window (as druggies are always walking past our house at all hours of the night) and he starts barking more, so DH lets both dogs outside for a minute. It must have been nothing serious as they came right back in. Fun Bobby comes to my side of the bed (he's tall and his nose is level with my head on my pillow) and pokes his head into my neck, so I give him a snuggle and say "good dog". He then proceeds to climb up next to me, so I skooch over, give him some snuggles and belly rubs, thinking he'll stay just a few minutes and leave, like is his usual M.O. But he falls asleep next to me with his head on my pillow. After about an hour of this I am hot and can't move, so I tell him to get down. He does and takes 2 steps and starts to crawl back up near the foot of the bed. I say ok, thinking he'll sleep at the end of the bed. As I turn myself over and lay back down he plops down right next to me and we end up just like we were before I kicked him out of bed, only we just switched sides!  Ah well, I let him stay. He never sleeps with us, so figured he must have really wanted to for some reason.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bugs and such

I've had a stomach bug the past couple of days. I even stayed home from work yesterday, not something I do very often. I woke up at 4am with my stomach churning and feeling awful and when I got up felt nauseous. So, I slept most of the day (when I wasn't in the bathroom) and just took it easy.  Feeling better today, but glad I can do my work from home. I hate being sick, but fortunately I hardly ever am, so guess I was due :/

I'm anxious for the next payday on the 31st. It has an extra day in the pay period, giving me an extra $225 (after taxes). After expenses (that I know about at this time) I should have about $1000 extra. I'm sure other things will come up during the month, but whatever is left should reimburse savings back for the $520 septic pump bill, as well as some to put towards upcoming Christmas present shopping.

I'm currently reading this:

The 8th book in my all time favorite book series. But I'm only halfway through the 800 pages and the book is due back at the library next Tuesday.  I don't think I'm going to be able to finish it before I have to return it. Maybe I'll be able to have a good reading session this weekend. I guess if I can't, I'll have to put it on reserve again, wait my turn, and finish it at a later date.

I'm listening to an audio book called "Fly Away" by Kristin Hannah. It's a good story, but a bit depressing.  In fact, I have it playing on my ipad mini while I sit her at my desk today. I absolutely love that I can now download audio books from the library at any time, and always have something to listen to (mostly in my car).

I'm still watching Downton Abbey on Amazon Instant Video. I just started season 4. Looks like I'll get through this season just in time for season 5 to start on tv.

On the dinner menu for tonight: just a big pan of Stouffer's chicken and cheese enchiladas. DH loves these things and they are pretty tasty and easy to make, though they do take about an hour and a half to cook. Plus, it's about one of the only things he will actually eat leftovers of.  That will be our dinner on Friday night too.

Monday, October 20, 2014

$520..........for crap!

Our septic tank was pumped today and that was the bill. According to DH it's been more like 11 or 12 years since we had it done and the guy said we called to have it done just at the right time - it was just ready to need to be pumped.  And I'm sure the price I sorta recall paying 12 years ago isn't the same as now.  It was $380 for the pumping, plus tax and a $22 county fee (whatever they heck that is for). Plus DH added $75 to the bill by having them install a riser on the lid so next time he wouldn't have to dig 1 foot and a half down. He'll only have to dig like 6-8 inches. He could barely manage digging that big hole, physically, as it was, I'm sure in another 10 years or so, he'll be even less able.

First thing this morning I called the company we used before but they guy said they were working on a broken pump and couldn't come out for at least a week. I said thanks, but no thanks. I'll try someone else. So, I called another company and she said they could come out this afternoon and they were done and gone by the time I got home from work and now DH is busy filling the hole (smaller hole though, with the riser!) and trying to replace the pieces of sod so the grass will grow back where he dug it up.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A care package

I put together a cute little "care package" to send to DD at college. I snapped a picture of it and then sealed it up. THEN I realized the picture is all blurry!

Boo!! Sorry for the terrible photo! I took a medium sized flat rate box and using some spray on adhesive taped blue wrapping paper on the insides to make it look a little prettier.  I found some cute owl stick-on's and put them on the inside flaps and on the card envelope.  About a month before she left for college we both started having owls show up in our lives - every day! My grandparents collected owls and owls are also a sign that big changes are coming.  We have liked to think my grandma is trying to say hello :)

In the bottom of the box I put 2 of her magazines that have come in the mail, along with her voting ballot. I even taped a postage stamp to it, so she has a stamp to mail her ballot in with. There is some Ghiradelli chocolates and some Ferrero Roche chocolates and a box of chocolate covered raisins. The owl has a cute "tail" that hangs down and says "Welcome". I thought it would be cute for a Halloween decoration for their dorm window or door.

The card is a funny/cute Hoops and Yoyo "thinking of you" message.  We both love Hoops and Yoyo!

Fall maintenance

It looks like we will need to have our septic tank pumped out. It has been awhile. I think we had it done about 7 years ago, when we refinanced our house. I honestly don't remember how long it's been. But, at least DH remembered the name of the company we used, so I can save time trying to decide which company to call. Seems like it was in the $200-300 range to have done. Thankfully, I have the money for it. I have been keeping an emergency reserve of at least $500 for something unexpected (I currently have $1300) for house our auto repairs that might come up.

It's a beautiful Fall day and I did a bit of fall pruning this morning, though decided to wait on the big fuchsia bush. It still has all the little leaves on it, making it hard to see all the branches that need to be cut at the base. Plus, our yard waste cans are plumb full so I will wait until they are empty and the bush is easier to cut down.  I cut down the 2 rose bushes and also cut down a bit on a diablo ninebark plant in the back yard. We actually made is through this summer without anything dying! The year before was quite a challenge for us.

Here's a funny: We had some corn cob type squirrel food we put out over the summer. Apparently they would drop the corn kernels around as a couple of corn stalks were growing nearby. One even ended up clear on the other side of our property, just over the fence, on neighbor's property. DH pulled out the ones growing on our landscaping, but I noticed the one just over the fence actually has a corn cob growing on it!

DH did another leaf blowing session this morning and is digging up the lid to the septic system right now, so it will be ready for whenever the septic company can get out here. I'll call first thing in the morning and hopefully it will be within the next few days.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Prepping for cold

DH is starting to button up the house in preparation for cold weather. The 2 window air conditioners have been removed and the windows shut. The vents around the outside bottom of the house have been covered over with small boards he nails on (painted to match the house even!), in hopes that it helps keep the cold air from the crawl space under the house and up into our floors. We started doing this last year and I think it did help keep our electricity bills down a little bit.

If weather permits (sounds like Sunday might be my dry day) I'll be finishing clearing up some "dead" plants from our landscaping. I have a huge fuchsia bush that dies off this time every year and leaves a big brown mess of branches that I have to cut down to the ground and dispose of. I also need to cut my 2 rose bushes down. The one that was totally black and dead, until DD poured a bunch of Miracle Grow on it, grew green and very tall the rest of the summer, taller than me! But no roses ever bloomed on it this year. I'm hoping next year.... This year we planted a raspberry plant and a blueberry plant (no berries) in one of our whiskey barrel planters. Does anyone know if there is something I should be doing to the plants for winter? Do I cut them down? 

We've been having to turn the heat on in the mornings and evenings now, though I see DH isn't turning it quite as high as he usually does and he's been putting on a sweatshirt instead of cranking up the heat. Not sure why the change after all these years, but I'll take it.

Now when I bake something in the oven, I leave the door open for a bit, after I turn the oven off, to let the heat fill the room. Might as well not waste it!

Speaking of baking, I have been making us a dessert to snack on, about once a week. I've made a couple of cakes, peanut butter cookies one week, and brownies last week.  This weekend I think a pan of Tollhouse bars sounds like a good dessert to make. The trick will be to get them made before DH realizes there is cookie dough to eat!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Doctor visits

This morning was 2 doctor visits.  One for me to my regular monthly chiropractic visit. Over the past year or so my chiropractor has been trying to add a second doctor. I'm not sure what the issue is, but he's on about his 4th or 5th one! The first was a woman, but she was in 2 days a week and not on the day I always go in (Wed). Then he had a young man for awhile and he treated me once or twice.  I didn't care for him, so I always tried to wait until I could see my own guy. Last month he had an older guy, who I didn't not like at all.  I'm sure it's just me! I have had my same chiropractor for 7 years. I trust him to adjust me.  I just don't like having someone else do it. I hurt for 2 days after the last guy!
So, this morning I go in and see another new guy working there. I don't know why, but for some reason I trusted him right off.  Hopefully, he'll stay for awhile, if I can't have the clinic owner/doctor treat me.  I'm not pushy enough to speak up and say "hey, I only want Doctor N to adjust me!".

Later I went with DH to visit his regular doctor to see what he suggests about the constant nausea DH feels. His guess is that it might be acid reflux, so prescribed something to give a try for a couple weeks and see if that helps.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed this takes care of it. The prescription was one of those $4 ones, so that made me happy.  The prescription is Ranitidine, which I guess is Zantac, which is also available OTC at same strength, but a 30 day supply of a $4 prescription is way cheaper than buying a 30 day supply of Zantac over the counter.

I'm just glad DH was open to giving it a try. He is so anti medications. I won't be thrilled to get the doctor bill for $100 or so for the visit. I still HATE case anyone was wondering.....

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Weekend recap

We had a busy couple of days. DS made a very quick trip home. He was here all but 36 hours and I think I got to see him maybe 3 hours, at the most.  DH got a few more hours with him. All in all it was kind of a frustrating time.  He did finally return some of our racing property, but since we now have no race trailer (he sold it!) he had to borrow a small open type car trailer to get some of the stuff home.  He is a PIG! Hate to say it about my own kid, but he is a total slob.  The old SUV/truck we have been letting him use the past 15 months is a total pigsty.  He's wrecked it on both ends (apparently trying to miss hitting a moose in Canada) but didn't bother telling us. It wasn't a brand new vehicle (we bought it used for $5000, an old railroad fleet vehicle) but it was in straight shape and clean inside and out. It's filthy inside and out now. All the stuff he did manage to get back here is dirty........and he knows DH keeps his stuff really clean! The example that was always set for him growing up is that when we borrow something from someone we give it back in better shape than we got it! It was all very disappointing and we feel very disrespected at this point.  DH and I worked VERY hard to earn the money to buy all that stuff over the past 8 years and it's all just a bunch of junk now. The only bright note in all of this is he is at least out of Canada and we don't have to worry about the possibility of never seeing our stuff again.  Where he is headed with his life, I don't know, but he isn't going to get far with his laziness, slobbery, and total lack of money management. He's a computer whiz and he's out doing odd jobs to earn money.

The good that came out of this trip is that they guy he is staying with and working for (he came too, and is a nice guy, from what we could tell in the short visit time) bought out everything that was left out of the racing shop of our dear friend that passed away a few years ago. DH has been slowly selling stuff for his widow over the past 2 years and it would have taken him at least another 2 years (he just doesn't have the physical energy to do it very fast). It is all gone and done with. He never has to go to that disorganized place again! I could write pages to describe that place (every time DH would go down and try to get all the parts and stuff organized and make some room to actually move around in the shop, his widow and her adult son would stuff more of their crap in there and move what he just organized!).  You don't know how happy this makes me that DH is done having this deathbed promise he made done with! It was just too much and too stressful for him.

And at least DS did take some time to stop and see his sister at college on his way back "home".

On another good note, DH cleaned out my vacuum the other day and now it works great again. It was very clogged and had stopped having much suction. Yay!

DD has signed up for Amazon Student Prime.  Supposed to be 6 months trial and then $49 for a year. I was wondering why we were able to get the Instant video's, as I thought I read that didn't come with the trial student version. So, I have been happily watching Downton Abbey episodes this past month. Yesterday, I noticed on her checking account online (it's linked with mine) that she got charged $99 for Amazon Prime! She called and somehow she got signed up for that (1 mo trial) and not the student version. (no wonder I was able to watch instant video). She called and got it cleared up and they switched her to Student trial version and removed her $99 charge. But then I lost being able to watch Downton Abbey! OH THE HORROR! I was in withdrawals within minutes! I wasn't waiting 5 more months for her trial version to be up to be able to finish watching it all (I'm just on the end of season 3). So, I logged in, paid the $49 fee for her, and got my Downton Abbey back! LOL

Not sure what I'm doing the rest of today.  Probably cleaning the bbq grill and putting it in the shed.  DH is outside with his handy dandy backpack leaf blower going around the property cleaning up leaves. We had a bit of a wind/rain storm yesterday. Oh, and I'm sure I'll watch at least one episode of Downton Abbey :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


I really got nothin' to say today! There's really not much going on and kind of a blah day. Doesn't that just make you want to read, LOL.

Work has been stressful - but for my boss, not me.  She's not the type to pass her stresses on to her employees. (I love her!) She's been dealing with one thing after another that just zaps her time. As soon as she gets done with one long drawn out issue another pops up.  She got good news yesterday and I worked speedily this morning (I'm working from home today) to revise our mid year financials. After some much sought after advice from several CPA's, we finally got a consensus on how to report a major business change that took place, so now our financials don't look so scary to our bank, as we try to renew our line of credit with them.  She should be able to breathe a little easier, hopefully for awhile now.

The company I work for is still on the edge to making our yearly goal to pay out bonus's. I'm not holding out much hope that it will happen.  Honestly, I think it was a really unrealistic goal to base a bonus on. Pretty hard to do a 25% increase in business, based on this still shaky economy.  Oh well, gotta give our sales team props for coming pretty close!  I have a good job and good pay and work with great people. December/January comes annual reviews and hopefully I will get another salary increase at that time.  Only a few months away!

So, if you aren't snoring by now, stay awake and move on to the next (hopefully) more entertaining and informative blog :-)

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The joys of couponing

I went to Target this morning to return some jeans in the wrong size I got for DH last week, and to use some coupons to get a deal on some Nature Made Vitamelts vitamins.  Almost didn't get the deal, due to a very crabby cashier!  I had 2 manufacturer coupons, one was for $3 off (and stated only one per customer, so that's all I had) to use on one bottle and one for $1 off to use on the other bottle. Then I had 2 Target store coupons for $1 off each.  The policy on those, at least in the past, has always been to be able to print out 2 and use them and be able to stack with a manufacturer coupon.

Well, the crabby cashier tells me right off - you can't use these coupons. You can only use one. I said, why not? I have always been able to use a Target store coupon with a manufacturer coupon. And she says "well, I tried one earlier and it didn't work, so you can't". DD says "my mom has been couponing for years....". I was just about to put up an argument with her (since I was in the mood and there was no one behind me to hold up the line) and she says "well, I try them". Sure enough, they all go through no problem.  Then she acts like "well, Target is changing how they do coupons, because people try to double up on them, so don't expect it to work on the future".

I'm pretty sure she doesn't have a clue what she is talking about (I go in that store almost every week and have never seen her checking before) and if she is right, then seriously? It's such a big crime to buy 2 of an item and use coupons on them? Give me a break!  Plus she didn't even greet us hello or say thank you. RUDE!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Friday chatter

My girlie will be home this afternoon, to spend the weekend :-)  I think she might be more excited about it than I am!  After this weekend, probably won't see her until November, when she comes home on her birthday weekend and then Thanksgiving.

I'm having some........errr.......stomach issues this I'm glad I'm working from  home and have a bathroom the next room over! Ugh. I don't feel sick, otherwise, at this point, so maybe it's just something I ate that didn't agree with me.

I'm getting to the end of Season 2 of Downton Abbey.  Love that show!  Hopefully once I'm done watching all the episodes I won't have to wait too long for Season 5 to start up. I am going to go through withdrawals waiting until April for Starz to put on the second half of Season 1 of Outlander. Eight episodes went by too fast and they were so good and true to the book.

Guess I'm taking DH back to the doctor next week. I'm not sure what the point is really. He's been feeling nauseous the past month or so, almost 24/7. Most likely from all the pain he has. The only thing the doctor will be able to do is offer medication to try to offset his symptoms of pain and nausea, and if he's still not willing to take any medications, I don't see the point in even going to the doctor.

I am also loving our newly increased water pressure.  I was actually able to take a decent bath the other night. It only took 5 minutes to fill up the tub, instead of 20 minutes. When it took 20 minutes the first half of the water was cold by the time the tub filled up and I'd get a luke warm bath.  Our neighbor said he actually has water now coming out of all his shower nozzle holes, LOL.

Well, here's hoping for a good weekend. Hope you all have an enjoyable and happy one!


Thursday, October 2, 2014

September's savings total

I kept track again of coupons I used, gift cards earned, money saved on purchasing discounted gift cards, my 1% debit card cash back and Walmart Savings Catcher money earned back.  September's total was $151.21  Not as high as last month, but still awesome in my book.  $25 of it was an Amazon gift card through work, which was a one time thing. I had the most I've ever had in Debit Rewards - $30.96. 

I've been a bit lax on getting Swagbucks points the past couple of weeks, or I would have had more. Sometimes I just need a break from trying to do daily surveys!

I think I might change the type of discounted Walmart gift cards I've been getting. The discount is not a whole lot (around 3 - 3.5%) but if you figure I spend approximately $150 a week on groceries and everything else at Walmart, it adds up to almost $250 a year in savings. BUT, the printable e-gift cards I have been purchasing are a pain to use at Walmart. Not sure if it's because of the amount (usually over $100) or just the type they are but they require a CSM to come to the register to override for approval.  This can take anywhere up to several minutes to get a CSM to come over and holds up the line behind me. Last time I went early on a Saturday morning, thinking ok, they won't be busy (as compared to shopping Friday afternoon) and a CSM will be available and not hold up a line. Nah, didn't happen then either.  Last week it took forever for the CSM to come and the lady behind me was like "what is the problem?! Why are we waiting?!" - practically in my face.

So, I think I'll try to just buy actual physical cards that are discounted. I'll have to wait for them to arrive in the mail, but I'm tired of the CSM waiting game and holding up the line.  Even when I warn the checker right at the start, that she'll need to call over a CSM to approve/override it, they never believe me! Then act all surprised when they can't get the e-gift card to scan through without an override.

Well, off to do a Swagbucks survey........

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Blogger Help, Anyone?

Since I changed my blog "look", I lost being able to see my followers.  Does anyone know how to fix this problem? I'm scared to try any more changes, LOL. I thought about just deleting the widget and adding back, but then I wasn't sure if I would lose everyone that way.  I know it's still there, I can see it when I view my blog from my ipad mini.

The only suggestion I could find online, to fix this problem, was to go into the settings and change my blog address to something different, save it, then change it back to what it was.  Didn't work for me.