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Archive for January, 2013

So proud of DD3

January 31st, 2013 at 06:52 pm

DD3 is doing so good in Alaska. I am really proud of her. She is working long hours without a day off- but is plugging along. After 3 and a half weeks, she has brought home $5800. For a 21 year old with hardly any job experience, thats not too shabby. She has already completely paid us back the $5k she owed us, and now is building her savings and paying off her small student loan. She has no other debt. If all goes as planned, she has at least 3 more months to work- and then pans to come home, get her CDL and then go back up and work full time. Again, I am so proud of her.

But....I am a little sad too. With my son and his family in California, the hub gone at least half the time to Alaska, and now DD3 gone for such a stretch...my empty nest feels deserted. Well, not totally, the two older girls and their families are still here.

Work continues to be super busy with no slow down in sight. The days fly by, but I am so, so tired at night when I get home. This week, I have managed to forget to eat breakfast, overeat at lunch at my desk and come home not very hungry...so much for my mealplan. I will spend time this weekend working on a food plan. If I dont get my stuff together, I am not going to lose weight and feel healthier for the vacation time I have planned. AND THAT IS NOT OK.

Tomorrow night my middle grandson, age 4, is spending the night. I am going to buy us the Hotel Transylvania movie to watch (Ive never seen it). His splurge for dinner.....McDonalds. At least it wont be exspensive. When you are 4, I guess that is the IT place to eat. I have snacks, including popcorn, and breakfast stuff here...Looking forward to having him over. He doesnt often get to go without his big sister (7), so I am hoping he enjoys a night all about him.

Pooped, but still so blessed. Life is good.

Meal plan

January 30th, 2013 at 09:28 pm

The meal plan for the next couple of weeks.

Breakfast and lunch will be oatmeal, bagels, sandwiches, eggs and canadian bacon or leftovers.

Thursday:
Leftover steak/bread/salad

Friday - Grandson's choice

Saturday - Awards Banquet - Free

Sunday- Superbowl Party at DD1s - taking cupcakes for dessert

Monday - Rosemary/garlic/lemon chicken + quinoa

Tuesday - Leftovers

Wednedsay - Bean burritoes (with chicken if any is leftover)

Thursday - Teriyaki Chicken, rice and pineapple

Friday _ Grand daughter choice

Sat Leftovers chicken/rice

Sun - eggs, canadian bacon and cheese

Mon - at coast, job pays

Tues - at coast job pays

Grocery store FAIL

January 30th, 2013 at 08:25 pm

The hub headed back to Alaska today. He is on a four week rotation again..so I am home alone for a month.

I planned to go to the store tonight and spent some time on my break at work looking at sale ads and clicking on the online offers and coupons. The store has been asking me each time I go in if I am taking advantage of the online app and special offers..so I thought I would give it a try.

Lucky for me...along with this being the first time I used this program - the store completely changed their shelving system since I was there last week. HUH? Talk about totally disconboomerated...They changed the location for everything except the perimiter items(Meat, produce, bread and some dairy)..everything else was in a completely new location...

I also had to pick up my prescriptions.

What an experience.

I was looking at my list, my online app for the store on my phone, trying to figure out where everything was...

Well...to make a long story short-

They filled the prescriptions differently this time- instead of one month supply they gave me 90 days, so the price was different. (however, when I got home, one of the bottles only had 30 pills, even though the bottle said 90..and then when I looked at the receipt, they failed to charge me for the prescription)

Some of the online offers discounted, some did not. ARGH. I was watching as they rang up, but the clerk explained that some of the discounts "come off at the end"...

So...I am not a fan right now. I will have to go back to pick up the rest of the pills, pay for the prescription I didnt get charged for and try to get reimbursement for some of the discounts I didnt receive. Way too much effort...Store FAIL.

I did save 31%- but I should have saved at least 10% more off of my $81 bill if items had rung up correctly.

Anyway, I am well stocked on groceries for the next couple of weeks.

This weekend is our awards banquet at work, which means I will receive my bonus. Big Grin That is something I am really looking forward to. It should b e enough to pay off one of the smaller debts that we have.

Missing the hub tonight, but life is good!

Is time off worth it?

January 28th, 2013 at 04:04 pm

I am on hour #8 today and am not much closer to finishing any of my to-do list or projects as when I started this morning. Coming back to work always means so many interruptions - even keeping my door shut and avoiding eye contact. (I know, very anti-social of me). And I came back to so much work. I have to wonder if that time off was worth it. This afternoon my memories of relaxing last week are vague and fleeting. bleh.

The hub is two more days, then he will be gone for another month.

By the end of his time home, I am always plotting ways to regain my frugalness. It seems like we spend so much more and so much more easily when he is home. Am I a closet enabler? Possibly...but my heart is in the right place. hmm.

One of my co-workers went to get pizza for lunch today. I failed to plan ahead and didnt want to leave at lunch, so I bought lunch since she was kind enough to go out and get it. $15- out of my allowance $$.

We never used the tri-tip this weekend, so I am hoping the hub is bbq-ing that up for us for dinner tonight and we dont spend anymore money. Thankfully, the house/grocery fund still has $43 to last until Friday and we have left overs that should get us through until he heads back north. Otherwise, I will use allowance for groceries that are bought beyond the $43.

Im pooped...and I still have an hour to go. And my brain is on fry mode. - But yes, I would do the week off again- even if it does mean long days this week.



DH made amazing homemade chili tonight!

January 24th, 2013 at 10:38 pm

The hub made chili for dinner tonight using the leftover bbq steak from last night. He had beans, green peppers, tomatoes, and seasonings and just made up the recipe. It was so yummy! He also made cornbread. Our friends arrived shortly after 5pm and had dinner with us and also loved the meal. Kudos to the hub..

Tomorrow is the friends day to cook and clean for meals, our day is Saturday. The rest of the weekend should be a no-spender for us, as we have all the food we need for meals on Sat. We might go to see one more movie..Django. Our friends really want to go see it, and it looks like a good one to see, so we may splurge one more time.

I booked the Disneyland trip last night and came up with some ideas for saving money on food and other activities DD2 wants to do with the kids. Glad we have some time to plan this out..

Enjoying out vacation so much. We have two full days left here..and plan to enjoy the whole time! Life is good!

Snow, movie and the hot tub! Life is good!!

January 23rd, 2013 at 07:25 pm

Today has been such a great day. We are at the vacation/rental house and it is gorgeous. There is snow everywhere, but the weather has been mild. Today we went to the movies and saw Argo. Such a good movie - I remember when the hostage situation happened in 79, I was a senior in high school- but of course, we never knew this part of the story. We both really enjoyed it. It cost more here than at home...a matinee was $7.50 each.

Tonight we are grilling steaks and having baked potatoes and salad. Tomorrow night, our friends will get here. Like all vacations, time is flying by! The hub is grilling extra steak to add to some homemade chili tomorrow.

We have used the hot tub several times, and planning on enjoying it again tonight...and lots while our friends are here.

Another fun, memorable week for us- we are so blessed. Life is good!

Today would have been my dads 80th birthday...its been 5 years since I had one of his dad hugs...sure do miss him. Happy birthday papa!

Eating out..its been expensive

January 21st, 2013 at 07:53 pm

When the hub comes home, he enjoys going to the restaurants that he misses while he is on the slope. We have ate out a few times since he has been home, Olive Garden (we took DD2 after her massage, $65), mexican ($32), and the first night we went to a little sports bar with friends ($45). Today, we went to Costco at lunchtime to pick up a few things for our trip tomorrow and I had a $1.50 hot dog, he had two pieces of pizza. Gotta love the $7 price tag for their oh not so healthy food...lol. Dinner was leftovers from the meals out. We bought a tri tip, thick cut bacon, salad fixings, snacks, etc. We still have to go to the grocery store in the morning to get the items that we didnt want to buy in bulk. We spent some time making a list today and packing what we had on hand to avoid buying extra.

We are pretty much packed and ready to go tomorrow. We cant check in until 4pm, which means we have no need to leave much before noon.

Today I worked about 5 hours keeping important balls rolling at work. I will spend at least 3-4 more hours working this week. Since DD2 has asked me to go with her and the kids to Disneyland, I will 'comp' out a day there.

The meals that we have at the rental house will primarily be stuff we make at the house, so meals shouldnt be too expensive the rest of the week. We come home next Sunday, which is Dd1s 31st birthday and so we will do something with her family for dinner.

Then, the hub leave a couple days later and will be gone another month.

But for now, I am looking forward to our get-away. Should be lots of fun. Life is great!

How hard can it be to buy rosemary, really?

January 20th, 2013 at 06:31 pm

I went to two different stores today that carry plants and seeds. Neither had a rosemary plant or rosemary seeds. I tried last summer to get a plant, and was told then that they were sold out...Is there something special about rosemary plants and seeds that I dont know? I use it so often in my chicken, that I thought it would make much better sense to have a plant, rather than buy every few weeks in the produce section...but wth?

I will keep an eye out between now and spring, I cant imagine that picking up either a plant or the seeds can be this hard...and I know growing my own will be much cheaper than the $2.50 - 3 per package that I have been paying..not to mention more convenient.

Today, I spent $45 today on two new king size pillows, two standard pillows and 4 pillowcases to fit them. Our pillows were getting so old. I bought different firmnesses so that hopefully the hub and I can both mix and match to make them comfortable.

Grammas going to Disneyland...

January 20th, 2013 at 05:29 pm

Im the slowest learner on some things. I have lost so many posts by not saving before I hit save and publish. Youd think I would learn eventually.

Take two..

The hub arrived safe and sound Friday night and our weather has been gorgeous all weekend, hardly any fog.

Yesterday we took DD1 and her two kids (7 and 4) up to the snow for the 7 year olds girl scout outing. It was such a pretty day. The sun was out all day, but it was cold and perfect weather for grilling hotdogs on a campfire and enjoying hot cocoa. DD1 had all the food, we just paid the $5 for the parking permit and had such a wonderful day. The kids sledded all day and then slept all the way home.

DD2 asked again if I would go with her and the older two kids to Disneyland. DD2 is a single mom (8 and 4) and also is the daughter who has Z, the little foster guy. DD2 is a hard working single mom who juggles her own responsibilities, plus those of being a foster parent. She doesnt have the money and resources to do disney on her own. So I am going to go with her. Z just turned two last week, so he is a little to young to appreciate Disneyland and the 10 hour drive each way to get there, so we will leave him here. I am checking into hotels and ticket prices for a good deal. I hope to keep the budget under $2000 for the four of us.

DD3 is doing awesome in Alaska. She loves it up there and is really enjoying her experience.

The hub and I will be home tomorrow and then on Tuesday we leave for 5 nights up at the rental home we reserved at the resort. We got a great deal...rent three nights, get two free..Our frinds will be coming up on Thursday night to join us for the weekend.

Enjoying vacation so far..life is good!


Still waiting on the hub...

January 18th, 2013 at 01:18 pm

The hub is STILL NOT HOME. and I am not sure we wont have the same problem with flights this afternoon. He is about to board to fly to Portland, and is booked on the 5:30 flight to come home. However, that flight was cancelled yesterday due to the freezing fog and visibility...Right now, the sky is clear, but I can see the fog layer hovering on the horizon, almost like its lurking and laughing. Evil fog.

Our friends have offered to drive up to Portland to pick him up if the flight is cancelled again. We will know when he lands in Portland what the plan will be.

ARGH.

So, day one of vacation is being spent doing laundry and housework and waiting. So far, the added expense of this fog is Almost $200 (hotel and meals)..and if we have to drive to portland and back it will be another $200...or more.

This is feeling a little deja vu from my vacation last August in Alaska when it took the hub almost 3 days to meet up with me...Honestly, this trip and that trip are the only times weve had a problem getting him home. Feeling like my vacations are jinxed. :/

Oh well, a day off is always a welcome day. Enjoying it in spite of that evil fog lurking on the horizon. Dumb poo poo head fog.

Vacation...sort of...Hub home, not yet....

January 17th, 2013 at 06:43 pm

Today I was not as successful at getting my workload completed for vacation. There were simply too many roadblocks. So, while I am officially on vacation, I will be toting my laptop from work and working off and on to keep some important balls rolling this next week. It is simply unavoidable. But, that comes along with being exempt.

The hub is enroute tonight, but I am not sure if the heavy freezing fog we are experiencing will allow his plane to land or not. (Update...his flight is cancelled. He wont be home until tomorrow...poor guy.) He will arrive in Seattle in a couple of hours, and then we will find out if the connecting flight is happening. If it doesnt, the poor guy will sleep in the airport on one of those comfy (not) benches. He has been working 20 hour days and so I know he is exhausted already.

DD3 received her first full week paycheck. Her bring home, for one week = $1717. She was ecstatic. She will have all debt (she just owes $ to the hub and me and a small student loan) and have a nice big savings account to come home to.

Since she is paying us back, and we arent supporting her, my debt repayment will accelerate nicely. In all, she started out owing us just over $5k, but she will be under $3k tomorrow after only two weeks.

So happy to be on vacation..even though I have to work some, it is nice to know I can just do it on my time. So looking forward to our trip to the vacation home next week!!

Great eval and raise!!

January 16th, 2013 at 06:20 pm

This has been a good week.

I received my eval on Monday, and it went way better than I expected!! Not that I thought it would be bad, it is just the first time Ive been evaluated by this boss. My raise is 5.75% which is really good! However, the scale raised and even with this increase, I am lower on the scale than where I was before the increase. hmmm. So, I asked for that to be corrected. I am on the list that will be re-evaluated after evaluations are all done and the budget is finished. My argument has been acknowledged as valid and so it is very likely that the additional increase will happen.

Tomorrow is my last work day before vacation. I have been going full throttle since December with the changes we have had at work, and so I am ready for a break...however, my calendar that first week I go back is already booked solid. There isnt an end in sight for a while..so I plan to unwind as much as possible the next week and a half.

I mentioned that I bought new clothes and a new pair of shoes last weekend. My oh my...those new shoes are WAY comfy and were a good investment. Smile My feet feel soo much better at night now. And the new clothes have put a bounce in my step. It has been great having a few new things to wear.

Z turned two this week. He is getting so big. Still no new word on what his future holds, but for now, he is safe, happy and loved.

The hub is supposed to come home tomorrow. But as Lucky Robin described in her blog today, there are extreme conditions on the Slope and it is questionable if he will actually get out and all the way home or not tomorrow. We dont leave for our get away until Tuesday morning, so we have a little wiggle room for travel delays.

DD3 is doing wonderful at her job up north. She is learning so much and aside from all the snow and extreme weather this week, she has really enjoyed being up there.

Monday and Tuesday were no spend days, I stuck to the food plan and ate leftovers. Today I went to lunch and had grilled salmon and rice pilaf ($15). It was so tasty and it was soooo nice and relaxing to get away from the desk for an hour.

Tomorrow will be super busy getting everything ready for being gone next week..but knowing when I leave work tomorrow night I have the next 10 days off will make it worthwhile. Big Grin

Life...is really good. I am so blessed.

New work clothes...

January 13th, 2013 at 09:21 pm

DD2 came over this morning with Z. DD2 needed to study and take some exams to recertify for her phramacy tech license. We had a great day.

I DID scoot out for a while today to finally get some new work clothes, loooong overdue. I took advantage of the end of season sales and got two pair of slacks, two jackets and a really pretty blouse for $114. Then, I got a new pair of really comfy shoes for $99. This is my second pair of expensive (in my book) shoes. They are so comfortable. With my salary, and the new work I am taking on, I needed to update the clothes that I wear. I have been rotating everything for so long, I know my wardrobe is looking tired. The new clothes are very nice and should last for a while. I lucked out and one of the jackets I got matches a shell I already had perfectly- as well as a neclace...so I have a complete + accessorized out fit and it cost under $40 + shoes. the other jacket and the other blouse will each make a new outfit with one of the pair of new slacks...so I can mix and match for 3 days.

DD2 called while I was out and asked to go to lunch. I decided this would be a good treat for her...so we met at olive garden. Our meals were big enough to also feed us dinner.

The new caseworker for Z has told DD2 that she is most likely going to lean the same direction as the former one...which is to place Z permanently with her. SHe just wants to make sure 'mom' has been given this last opportunity so that she cant come back on the decision down the road. That is reassuring...Z turns two day after tomorrow. This afternoon, he and I layed down for a nap. He patted my cheek and told me "wuv u gramma"...and then he fell asleep.

Tomorrow is eval day...and I hopefully find out my raise. I am excited to finally find out this information. I hope all goes well!

Living off stock on hand this week...

January 13th, 2013 at 11:15 am

The ...Packers....lost last night *sniff*. I guess that means I can be more focused on other things until next August.

I have Z today. I didnt expect to but DD2 just realized that she has to get in 20 hours of study for her pharmacy tech certification renewal by the 20th. So, she is studying and I am playing. Z turns two on Tuesday.

I havent grocery shopped for the week- and plan to challenge myself to live off of what I have on hand. I have tamales that SIL sent home with me last night. I have one chicken breast, that I can shred and make enchiladas and I have pasta and sauce. For breakfast, I have oatmeal. Lunch will be paid by work Mon - Wed as we have a guest visiting, and I am their host, so I will be taking her to lunch on the corp card. Piece of cake.

Tomorrow is my evaluation. This is my first eval with this boss. I am eager to see how she scores me and learn what my raise will be. Big Grin I work really hard at my job, but I am so blessed to have the position that I have- I am doing what I love and getting paid for it. I hope to do this 8 more years, and then retire at 60. The hub supports this idea, I just have to stay financially focused. Any raise I get will be added to the 401k contributions.

Today is an kick back day of laundry, housework and playing with lil Z. Life is good!