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Archive for November, 2011

My pre-Holiday Pity Party

November 22nd, 2011 at 07:31 pm

What is wrong with me?

I have been teary for days...and today I left work early using a mental health break excuse...when really, I just came home and lost it.

I have so much to be greatful for..we are ahead on bills, and starting to make headway in paying ahead on our debt. The hub loves his job...I have about 15 coming for Thanksgiving and am ready for the big day..

But I am sad. Dag nabbit. I miss my parents. I did ok last year, but this year is tougher for some reason. Maybe having my son and his family gone this year...maybe having the hub in Alaska...not sure.

Sorry to complain...really, I have so much I am thankful for.

I know taking two classes this term was more stressful than I want to do again. And because of the changes at work, I am seriously reconsidering school altogether. Especially when I have to choose between my grandkids and school on the weekends. I enjoy learning- but I also enjoy having time to bake and enjoy my grandbabies.

Ok, enough whining for one post. I am not sure why such a mood lately...I need to just snap out of it.

Co-workers earning extra income by selling overpriced gadgets...

November 19th, 2011 at 07:26 pm

I have noticed that there are more co-workers selling things this year. Just this past couple weeks I have been asked to buy Scentsy and Papmered Chef. I know the girls selling these things are needing extra income, but the items seem so overpriced. I bought a warmer and some of the wax from Scentsy. It arrived yesterday and I tried it today. So far I am happy with the product. It smells really nice and is lasting a long time- but this is something I wouldnt normally buy...

Then, I ordered a pair of kitchen shears ($25) and a couple of coupon slicers (for my daughters -$3.75 ea)from Pampered Chef. I normally would pass on things like this, but it is so hard to when I know how tough this year has been for some of these families. However, I will probably find other ways of helping instead of buying these things.. any ideas?

Rather than spend the entire weekend fretting over my criminology test, I went ahead and focused this morning for a couple hours straight and just took the darn thing. I finished within the hour limit and got 94%!!! yay.

I still have a bunch of homework, but at least the pressure is off on the test. Smile Tonight, my GS-age 7- is spending the night. DD3 is also here babysitting the little foster boy for DD2 so she could go to a movie. So, no homework tonight. The Ducks are playing USC, so I am watching the game and enjoying my family. (The game kinda sucks...the Ducks keep fumbling the ball!!)

I also checked off a couple of chores on the master clean list today. We steam cleaned the floors and I eliminated all old mail clutter and scrubbed the counters. I moved everything that isnt necessary to the garage to allow for more space for all the seating. So, I feel like I am getting a good start on the Holiday prep.


Thanksgiving preparations.

November 18th, 2011 at 06:50 pm

To prepare for Thanksgiving, I used a couple of big post-it flipchart sheets to outline the plan to help stay organized.

On one sheet, I listed all of the chores we need to do to ensure smooth sailing on the day. This is posted on the kitchen wall and each day we are ticking off done items.

On the other sheet, I listed who was coming, the meal plan, and a shopping list.

My houseguest and I are tackling the chores and checking them off as we go...The other chart is really helping me to figure out seating for children and adults, as well as let everyone know what they can bring. I also have went through the cupboards and determined what we have so I dont buy things we have on hand.

My spluge this year is a Honeybaked ham. It is an extravagance...but one I am looking forward to. We had one about 20 years ago and I loved it...and Ive not had once since. I am really looking forward to the treat!

My SIL is getting our turkey free from his job. My daughters are coupon queens and getting pretty much everything else we need for very cheap.

So, I feel like we are on track for an organized and yummy day.

I took the Friday and Monday after off. So to top it off, I get a five day weekend to enjoy! It will be filled with shopping, homework, more homework, football, wrapping, decorating, and more homework...not necessarily in that order.

Our menu this year is Ham, turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potaotes, yams, asparagus, green beans, stuffing, gravy, rolls, fruit salad, and assorted pies.

I will have 13-15 people here...so it should be a blessed fun family day.

I love the Holidays...

TGI almost F

November 17th, 2011 at 08:32 pm

I am so ready for this week to be done. Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday.

Today, several long term employees learned their jobs were changing and some took significant paycuts. Sadly, this is due to the mortgage industry changes. The bubble burst has hit home. It made me really appreciate even more that I have a job and have not had to take a pay cut. I am blessed.

The hubs paycheck is pending on our account. It was much more than I was expecting. Not sure why. He is going to call me once he gets his stub. I was expecting $850 bring home for his first few days back on this hitch...the deposit is $1450. This is good news, if it is correct. I just cant think of why such a big difference. Hmm...

Lots of homework slated for this weekend. I am so ready to just take ONE class next term. I have had to put off grandbaby visits way too many times this term... not good. This weekend is my SIL and granddaughters birthdays. Having so much pressure for homework is making it tough..so I wont do this again. I know this means that I wont get my degree anytime soon...but with the tradeoff being time with my family, I am good with it. I make good money for not having a degree, with the hubs job, we are financially fine without me climbing any higher at my job. And if all goes well, I am hoping my 10 year retirement goal may be cut to five years....we will see.

Tomorrow is the farewell party for my friend. It will be a bittersweet day for sure. But I cant wait to see what she accomplishes with the teens she helps.

A questionable Amazon.com experience

November 16th, 2011 at 07:07 pm

I have tooted the Amazon horn a few times here, but last night I had an experience that has me scratching my head and wondering about the site.

Knowing I have a Prime account, my daughter called to see if I would order something for her. She had the item picked out and let me know what to get. I did a search on the site and found the item, but the price she found and the price I found showed a $7 difference. We compared all the details, including the number of comments on the item (1829) and it was identical, except for the price. As a prime member, I would have recieved two day shipping for free, she would have paid...Is it possible Amazon is upping the price on items under the prime membership to cover the "free" shipping????

I will be looking into this this weekend to see if this was a fluke, or if it is a Amazon's practice. I will not be a happy camper if I have been duped into believing Prime membership is something it is not...

One of my co-workers is leaving and we are having a farewell for her on Friday. She has worked there 20 years and is leaving to take care of at-risk homeless teen girls. Because of her tenure, the company is giving her a nice gift and send-off...and because she is a dear friend of mine, I was asked to work with another friend to pick out the gift and arrange the send off. So, we spent today shopping and putting the gifts together, ordering food and creating a scrap book. We had such a fun day putting this event together. We had a budget of just over $500 for food and gifts. We bought her a nice outdoor rocker for her back porch, soft pjs, a robe, a lap blanket, tea, wine, candles, a journal, gift cards, and an uber soft loveable teddy bear. Then, we ordered about 7 platters of fruits, breads, and croissant sandwiches for the breakfast. All in all, it was a great day spent planning an event fit for a special friend...and getting paid for my time...and it didnt cost me a dime!!! Gotta love that!

Big Grin

Seriously? Both headlights?

November 15th, 2011 at 07:02 pm

In advance, sorry for the rant.

Today, I was really glad I made that oatmeal last night...I ended up not having time for breakfast or much time for lunch, so my oatmeal served as both meals.

Right after I hit the enter button on my post last night, my houseguest came home and told me BOTH headlights were out in my car. So, I had someone look at the fuses today, but that was not the problem apparently- as replacing them did nothing for the lights. So, I came home before it got too dark (did I mention uber busy day today)....

So, tomorrow, I will try replacing the bulbs and hopefully that will be the end of it. Having the hub in po-dunk Alaska when I have no headlights this time of year really stinks!!! I hope this is an inexpensive fix.

I received a collection bill in the mail yesterday for $31. I know that medical collections must be high with the economy being so crazy. But I have asked my Dr office during my last TWO visits about paying this bill..both times I was told that they were waiting on the second insurance company and that I didnt need to make a payment. But now I get a collection letter. ARGH. I have a pre-paid debit card for my medical, so paying $31 is no big deal--WHICH IS WHY I KEPT ASKING. So I called them today and they said the second insurance had never been billed. I went ahead and paid the bill but asked them to please bill the insurance as they have stated. It is so frustrating. They are so used to hearing 'stories' that they are immune to really helping...but cmon.

One more gripe (honestly, this all happened today)...I turned in some old photos (great-great ancestors) last week to be reprinted...they needed 2-3 days and I said I would pick them up in a week. In spite of my crazy day, I ran over on a quick break to pick them up and THEY WERENT DONE! He was just starting to work on them. Seriously?? He said to come back in an hour...huh?? I had meetings all afternoon, so I couldnt go back for them. His 'sorry' could not have been less sincere...seriously, if he only knew the day I was having.

I have no energy or enthusiasm for homework tonight, so I am taking the night off. A glass of wine and mindless TV for me tonight....Its been a day.

Go Packers!

November 14th, 2011 at 07:56 pm

I took a vacation day today and thoroughly enjoyed it. I slept in, worked on my research paper for criminology, wrapped some Christmas presents, planned Thanksgiving dinner and made a shopping list, replaced my very cranky hair dryer, GOT TO HAVE LUNCH WITH MY SON, and am now watching the Packers game (and they're winning). (Go Green Bay!) I also made my oatmeal for the rest of the week. Yep, great day!

Work has been really stressful lately. My job is changing and not necessarily to something I am passionate about. Frown But I am paid well, and will do what I need to do. All the parts of my current job that I love, I will no longer be responsible for. My focus will be on risk management...lots of interpreting regulations and stuff. But I am greatful to have a job- I know I am blessed and have been a little spoiled- so I need to buck up and do this.

My son left with a UHAUL packed full today to start moving his family to Sacramento. My DIL will move at the end of the month. It was SO GOOD to see him. I will certainly miss them and will be spending more time on the road once they get settled in...luckily, I have a very good relationship with my DIL. I need to add a line item to the budget for gas for trips there. Smile






Catching back up....eventually

November 13th, 2011 at 08:08 pm

This weekend my girls and I did our annual girls trip to Portland. We have done this trip for about 5-6 years now, and it is something we look forward to (and save for) all year. We left on Friday morning at 6am and just got back a couple of hours ago. We had an awesome time shopping, eating amazing meals, sightseeing, and just spending time visiting. We came home with tired feet, lighter wallets and happy hearts. I stayed well under budget and even picked up the tab on the more costly meals so the girls dollars would stretch a little farther. I remember being a mom of young children and never having enough money. They were so appreciative...and I enjoyed treating! Both the girls are actively frugal. This morning, we stopped by the store so they could buy 3 newspapers each for the sunday coupons and circulars and they planned their shopping/couponing on the drive home.

The hub is on his second trip to Alaska for his job. He is loving it. He was home for three weeks and left last Thursday. When he arrived, he found out he is now on 4 & 2's meaning he will work 4 weeks and then be home for 2 and then work 4, etc. This means more paychecks, but less time at home. It is up to him how much he works- but he wants to put in as much time as possible, so thats what he will do. Smile The extra week nets about $2200, so it will help us achieve some of our goals much quicker.

I took an extra day off tomorrow to catch up on homework and to start wrapping Christmas gifts. I have ordered many of my gifts online this year and have quite a few to wrap...so I want to get a head start. I am blessed to earn almost 6 weeks PTO per year, so I have plenty to take the day tomorrow.

No matter how much fun I have on our trips, I am always glad to get home. There really is no place like home!!!