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Archive for May, 2012

Catching up

May 31st, 2012 at 08:43 pm

The hub left for Alaska yesterday. He will be gone for the next three weeks.

This past weekend we went to a local casino and spent the weekend. We are such big gamblers (not). I gambled $20 the whole weekend, him - $40. When I booked the reservation they had a deal to buy tickets to a wildlife park nearby...for $10 per person (normally $18 per person, so a nice savings!). So, we got to go there one of the days. It was such fun to drive through and see zebras, giraffes, wildebeasts, buffalo, hippos, etc...all roaming around. I loved watching the giraffes. They are such unique animals. I enjoyed the day and took a ton of pictures.




Honestly, we have both been working so much, we used a good portion of the weekend catching up on sleep. It felt so nice to sleep in. And, being it is a casino, we got meal deals like rib-eye dinner for $8.99. All in all it was a pretty inexpensive get away.

I signed up for a summer course (Business Ethics) and then a math class in the Fall. I stopped taking classes when I moved into this new position to allow time to get settled in. The bulk of the settling in is 90% done...I have finished writing the strategic plan and revising our security program, so I feel like I will have more free time now to get back to studies. Math is my weakest subject, so I am also working with a tutor this summer to refresh my math skills before diving into it next term.

I plan to use the next three weeks while the hub is gone, to focus on some frugal meal planning and to get some rooms re-organized. I seem to accumulate 'stuff' from grandkids and kids visits...Plus, my closet is overdo for an old clothes purge. This weekend I puposely did not make plans to get started.

Otherwise, all is well here. Life is good!

No Seattle for me :(...for now anyways

May 15th, 2012 at 05:57 pm

We found out today that the hub is sharing a room in Seattle next week, so I do not get to tag along. Frown I am bummed. But it makes me more resolved to go there sometime so I can meet my SA friends there.

I rescheduled my vacation for August and booked a house with a fabulous ocean view and private beach access. I love the ocean- I grew up near it in Southern California and spent many young years enjoying those waves and bon fires and beach volleyball. The last time I was on the coast was last August, so a visit is long overdo. The house has an expansive grass yard that backs down to the beach. There is a HAMMOCK at the back of the lawn with a great view..



to keep costs down, we wont eat out. We will be cooking at the house...
We will be there 3 nights...and I cant wait!! Then, we will come home that Tuesday and I have the rest of the week off with the hub. SHould be relaxing and fun! This beach is about 2 hours away...so not too bad for travel time and cost. All in all the trip will cost about $800.

I budget each month for vacation, so the money is already allocated. Big Grin And, it leaves a little still for the meet up in July (San Fran) and maybe one or two more mini trips this year somewhere local.

Im bummed about Seattle. Frown But will look for another opportunity to meet my Washington SA friends.







Helping a friend...or not.

May 10th, 2012 at 09:25 pm

I have a good friend who is trying to upstart a business. This is one of those sales businesses where you sell and recruit other sellers (like Amway)..only this business is vitamins and other products. The more you sell and the more other sellers you recruit, the more you make.

She signs people up for vitamins that arrive in 3 month supply shipments, but the buyer pays by the month...so for $40 each month, I would get a 3 month supply every quarter. It is set up on auto pay/auto ship. I L*O*A*T*H*E these types of tactics. She is also selling a tower garden ($400) and then the buyer orders the supplies through her (supplier)...for a crazy cost. She is such a believer and cant understand why anyone wouldnt jump at the opportunity to buy and sell these things...

I love my friend...but I refuse to get sucked into these kind of sales tactics. Unfortunately, she fully believes in this product, so each time we meet...it ends up being a sales talk. bleh.

I would much rather just give my friend money. But she wont take it. But I refuse to buy overprised vitamins that will net her a fraction of the cost and lock me into a long commitment.

Bottom line, I wont sign up. But knowing how important her "business" is to her does not make it any easier...

And I know, no matter what I say...I will hurt her feelings because she honestly believes in her product.

Sigh...

I still dont know if I am getting to go to Seattle. The hub will hopefully find out tomorrow. I would love to go..and meet our SA buddies there.




The life of Slope work

May 8th, 2012 at 05:10 pm

The hub called today to tell me that they need him to work 3-4 extra days before coming home. Thankfully, they are paying for changing the ticket home, which will amount to several hundred dollars. It is the end of ice road season, so they are getting all of the equipment serviced and stored away for the season...and it is taking longer than planned. This will be a nice boost to the paycheck, so the hub was more than willing.

This will be a sporadic and quick rotation home, since, in addition to those 3-4 days shaved off, he will be in training for 5 days of it.

Unlike Ima Saver, it got warm enough here today that I chose to turn the air on for a bit to cool the house down tonight. It was over 90 here today, so the house was way to warm when I got home.

Not much else is going on tonight. Just aquiet night.



Seattle?

May 7th, 2012 at 06:35 pm

The hub gets to go to Seattle during his 3 weeks home for training. He will be there the week I had planned to take vacation. If he will have his own room there, I hope to go with him - AND I WOULD LOVE to meet a couple of my SA friends there for lunch if I can....hmmmm...I will know on Thursday if I am going.

I am back on West coast time. It took a while...but I finally feel rested again.

I budgeted $400 this month for the electricity bill on the two houses, but the bill was only $235 (yay). I am going to continue to put the extra into an electricity escrow account so that next winter when the higher bills come it it is covered. If there is extra then, it will all go to debt reduction.

I finished running the totals on the trip back east today. I was happy to see that we did come in under budget by over $100. (including all souveniers, meals, etc.) The extra will go back into the vacation account.

If I DO get to go to Seattle, the trip will be paid for by the extra money the hub earns that week. Our hotel will be paid for- as will the hubs airfare. I will have to pay about $300 for my airfare plus pay for my meals + fun $$...but will be very excited to get to go!!

Otherwise...our bills and debt reduction is going well. I am very happy with our financial progress this year!



Boston and New York

May 3rd, 2012 at 07:57 pm

I had a conference in Boston Monday and Tuesday. My job paid for my travel, the hotel and my expenses during the conference.

I checked my mileage program, and I had a $99 companion ticket, so I asked DD1 to go with me - neither of us have ever been to the east coast.

We arrived in Boston last Thursday. We hopped on Amtrak Friday morning and went to NYC. We spent about 50 hours in NY. It was beyond amazing. We had a chance to see just about everything we had hoped to see while there...the WTC memorial, Empire State Bldg, Rockefeller Center, Central Park, Statue of Liberty...Manhattan, SOHO, 42nd street, Chinatown, Little Italy, Greenwich Village, Harlem, etc, etc. It is hard to describe how amazing seeing all of this in two days was...literally sensory overload in a good way. The people were all so nice, the food so good, the sights so amazing.

We had a chance to meet mjrube (SA fellow blogger) and have lunch with her. What a lovely time we had overlooking the harbor and enjoying a great meal together. Thanks J for making time for us!!!

I stayed within my planned budget...we ate milaysian, italian, steak...we had frozen hot chocolate at Serendipities...a Fenway special (hot dog) at Cheers...NY style pizza (yum)...Boston creme pie in Boston...

We saw where Samuel Adams and the victims of the Boston masacre were buried...as well as Thomas Jefferson's parents..and walked part of the Freedom tour.

Simply, amazing.
I cant wait to go back for a real vacation.

The conference I attended for work was awesome...and all in all, an uber fantastic week.

I spent about $1200 out of pocket for one of the most amazing weeks...and honestly loved every minute.