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Archive for September, 2008

Quick check in

September 26th, 2008 at 12:11 am

Shipped more eBay stuff, so I'm adding $19.66 to the Challenge and Vespa funds. The new totals there are:

Challenge: $12,694.17

Vespa: $278.37

My daughter got a coupon for free ice cream at Baskin Robbins for her birthday and we also got a 2 for 1 coupon there in the paper last week, so we're going out for ice cream tonight after eating the chicken dinner I made in the Crock Pot. (Chicken that's been in my freezer forever, but good chicken nonetheless....)

Saved money on lunch but now I'm paying for it...

September 24th, 2008 at 06:40 pm

I made the mistake of opening an email that I got from Rubios this morning. Ever since then, I've been cravings a fish taco.

Although I have plenty of money left in my personal expense account for the month, I didn't want to waste gas by driving all the way to Rubios.

However, the craving kept gnawing at me, so I knew I had to do something quick to get over it.

My solution was to eat leftover mac and cheese from last night. As a result I now have massive heartburn.

Not a good thing... .

I might need to drive to the store for some Rolaids if I can't find some here soon.

A tempting offer, but I'm not falling for it....

September 23rd, 2008 at 07:08 pm

Today is a fund-raiser night at a local restaurant to benefit my daughter's school. I don't particularly care for the food there -- plus I already planned to cook tonight -- so I've decided the school will get over our NOT being there.

This morning I had to go to the doctor for a biopsy thing I have to get done twice year. The doctor was "concerned" that he didn't get a good enough sample and suggested I might need to come back in two months for another biopsy. I happened to be in excrutiating pain at the moment that he said this and suggested he might want to refund my $30 copay if he didn't do his job "right." He didn't think it was that funny... .

After the not-so-fun doctor visit, I stopped off at the post office to ship off a jacket that I sold on eBay, so I'm adding $9.54 to the challenge and to the Vespa fund. My new totals are:

Challenge: $12,674.51

Vespa: $258.71

Pine Cone Check and other odds and ends

September 20th, 2008 at 02:18 am

I got a $3 check from PineCone, so I'm putting that toward the challenge. My new total is $12,664.97.

It was a spendy day today since I got gas for my car, haircuts for both myself and The Midge (plus some hair products), and we met up with my husband for dinner.

Tomorrow is The Midge's birthday party. I'm already feeling like I've been run over and trampled by a bunch of rabid kids jacked up on sugar, so no telling what tomorrow will bring....

Challenge money and ChaCha

September 18th, 2008 at 11:51 pm

Got another check for the booming business. After I put some of the $1,140 aside for taxes, I have $855 to put toward the challenge, so my new total is $12,661.97.

I applied to be a ChaCha guide a couple weeks ago and was accepted, but haven't activated my account because I've been so busy.

I'm hosting 8 little girls for a party this weekend since it's The Midge's birthday, so I doubt I'll have time to do it until next week but I definitely want to get started on it so I can start putting more toward the Challenge -- specifically the Vespa fund.

Today's addition is actually going toward my vacation fund. I've got a Thanksgiving trip coming up that I'm paying cash for and I'm also planning to pay cash for another trip in May so I want to jump start that fund as well.

I have a few more auctions up at eBay, but nothing terribly exciting. With any luck, next week I'll get more stuff posted there as well.

And, to update you all on my husband's sleep apnea, he wore the CPAP machine for the first time last night and I have to say it was a wonderful thing not to have him snoring all night long....

Thank goodness for good health insurance

September 18th, 2008 at 02:47 am

My otherwise fit and healthy husband, recently found out that he has severe sleep apnea, which causes him to stop breathing for brief periods of time throughout the night (in his case 42 times per hour) -- plus snore so loud that the neighbors across the street can hear him.

Today, we met with a respiratory therapist to fit him for a CPAP machine. There was another patient who also was meeting with the therapist at the same time.

The first thing the therapist did was go over the cost of the machine. She informed my husband and I that our insurance would cover 100 percent of the cost for any equipment. Then she explained to the other woman that her insurance only covered 70 percent of the cost. The basic CPAP machine costs $1,000, plus the hose and mask and filters and all this other stuff has to be replaced at a minimum every 6 months. There's also an optional humidifier that you can add onto the machine, and there are certain medications they recommend if you're prone to sinus problems in our extra dry climate. All of this adds up to a lot of extra medical expense each month.

So as the therapist went over all this, I could just see the other woman's face begin to melt into that horrified look that one gets when they realize their insurance sucks.

The clincher was when the therapist explained to the woman that she would have to leave a $200 deposit today. We, on the other hand, were free to go on our merry way.

I felt really bad for the lady. This is a machine that could ultimately save -- or, at the very least -- prolong her life.

I'm assuming she paid her deposit because I later saw her in the parking lot carrying the machine and a bag of supplies that went with it.

As we were leaving, I was thinking how glad I was we do indeed have good insurance, because otherwise the only thing keeping my husband from stopping breathing 42 times an hour tonight was my elbow into his ribs everytime he woke me up with his snoring....

In exchange for my sanity...

September 12th, 2008 at 10:36 pm

... I got free jeans, a sweater, lunch and a turkey today.

Yes, that's right, free jeans from Nordstroms, a really, really nice sweater, a so-so lunch and a huge honkin' turkey.

How did this happen, you ask?

Well, my mother who is quite possibly the craziest most difficult human being on Earth (but I still love her dearly), wanted me to go shopping with her for a birthday gift for The Midge because she didn't know what to get her.

She showed up at my house with the sweater and the Butterball. She originally bought the sweater for herself but then decided she didn't like it and rather than take it back decided to pass it to me (and then my sister if it doesn't fit me).

As for the turkey, it's been in the freezer since the Nixon administration -- along with about 8 other turkeys -- and she needed to make room for an Obama administration turkey. Thus, the free turkey now defrosting in my fridge....

So after the turkey/sweater exchange (for which I am eternally grateful because one can never have too dry or old a turkey...), we then went off to the mall. Not being a mall-type person (or even a shopper for that matter), this was going to be a painful trip no matter what, but then my mom had to go and crank up the crazy/difficult mode a notch.

I won't go into the all the crazy/difficult details because to re-create them would be too painful, but suffice it to say that at one point I was seen huddled in the children's department of a major department store begging for someone to put me out of my misery.

After that little meltdown on my part, my mother decided we should eat and ordered me to call my sister to join us. I dutifully complied and got hysterical laughter from my sister when I told her and then nothing but dial tone. (Thanks a bunch, C.)

So off I go to lunch with my mom, which I figured would be safe until she broke my arm when I reached for my wallet to pay.

She then ditched me in Nordstrom so I decided to try on some jeans that were on sale (a planned purchase). After I bought the jeans, I went back to find her and when she saw that I had bought something for myself, she threatened to break my other arm for not letting her buy it (even though it isn't my birthday) -- and then she wrestled $40 into my pocket and said it was time for her to go terrorize my sister for not joining us for lunch.

I'm now home nursing my arm and my sanity and wondering how long it's going to take that turkey to defrost....

Mo' money

September 10th, 2008 at 07:57 pm

Got more eBay stuff shipped off today, so I'm adding $17.93 to the Challenge and Vespa funds. The new totals are:

Challenge: $11,806.97

Vespa: $249.17

I need to get more stuff posted on eBay, but don't know if I'll get around to it this week.

Also on my to-do list this week is to get my flex pay stuff submitted, so I get reimbursed for the glasses and contacts. My plan is to drag my husband out with me Friday to pick new glasses, then submit the flex pay stuff over the weekend.

I splurged and ate Taco Bell for lunch today since I was out and about running errands. I've been really good about eating lunch at home every day (yummy, homemade leftovers from the night before). But because I didn't cook last night, I decided one lunch out was more than reasonable -- especially since I hadn't spent any of my personal expense account money this week.

I am jacked up on too much Pepsi now, though, and I'm having a hard time focusing on my work for the booming business so next time I might rethink the "run for the border."

eBay sales and cereal deals

September 10th, 2008 at 01:00 am

Sold and shipped a couple of my daughter's outfits. My "share" was $8.88, which I'm putting toward the Challenge, so the new total is $11,789.04.

I had to take some money out of the Vespa fund -- not for a Vespa tire, but for something else that I hadn't budgeted for -- so my adjusted total there is $231.24.

I had to get my eyes examined and order a year's supply of contacts today, so I spent $310, which I'll be reimbursed for from my flexible spending account. I also need to order new glasses for those times that I can't wear my contacts. I'll be doing that later this week after I recover from writing the check for the contact lenses....

On a good note, I took advantage of

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this deal and got four boxes of Kashi for $1.

Follow up on the falling TV and more stuff

September 8th, 2008 at 04:18 pm

I know you are all dying to know what happened to my new DVD player after the 5-ton TV fell on it.

Well, I'm happy to report that it works just fine, and you can't even notice the dent and broken plastic.

On to other riveting news, I forgot to have Gil the Grocer deliver butter yesterday (guess who wasn't too awake when she placed her grocery order...), so today despite the rain I climbed on my bike and rode over to the nearest store. I also told The Midge, who is recovering from the crud, that we are skipping karate tonight. All this was not done to better my health or The Midge's health, but simply to avoid driving today.

Not much else going on financially. The booming business has me chained to my desk; so as much as I feel like shopping for some fall clothes, it's not going to happen today.

Falling TVs and other highlights of my weekend

September 7th, 2008 at 09:17 pm

As I've mentioned before, we do not have cable. Instead we borrow DVDs from the library and have an obnoxious set of rabbit ears on our bedroom TV so we can kind of tune in to local channels if we get desperate.

The big TV is in the basement family room, which we rarely use so all it's hooked up to is a DVD player. When it's too icy to run outside, I will go downstairs to run on the treadmill and put a movie in the DVD player so I don't go stark raving mad from boredom.

However, a few months ago, the bedroom DVD player died so I moved the basement DVD player upstairs so I could occupy The Midge with a movie every now and then.

I just got around to buying a new DVD player for the basement last week and my husband graciously was hooking up the DVD player for me this afternoon when the TV fell on the new DVD player -- and sort of on him, but not enough to hurt him.

After we righted the TV (which, by the way, weighs more than the two of us can easily lift...), we discovered the plastic around the DVD drawer was broken and the DVD player itself was slightly dented. However, the power still comes on and the drawer still opens, so hopefully the DVD player itself is still useable. (It's still questionable because my husband is still downstairs working on it. Did I mention that I'm the one with the technical skills in the household?)

If it doesn't work, another DVD player purchase is definitely in my future before the snow hits....

On to other matters, today is going to be a no-drive day. But no such luck with the no-spend day since I did have my groceries delivered this morning. Plus, I rode my bike to the grocery store to get some veggies for a last-minute dish I added to the menu, so more money spent there.

Then I got home and realized I forgot potatoes. After running 4 miles and then biking another 3, my legs were rubber so I was ready to give up on the last-minute dish until I happened to be talking to my neighbor, who said she was going to the grocery store. I asked if she wouldn't mind picking up some potatoes for me, which she was more than happy to do. (I love my neighbors....)

Back to my husband, he bought all our plants for the landscaping project he started last week. $300 later, the corner that usually resembles a weed-laden crack house finally looks decent.

We still have to rip out a dead evergreen by our front door (hate evergreen and/or pine anything). Then we're going to lay a bunch of mulch down and let everything settle over the winter (including our spending plan) before extending our front patio a bit next spring.

A house full of sickos and me...

September 5th, 2008 at 05:43 pm

Not only is The Midge home sick, but so is my husband. I've ordered them to stay away from me so I can get some work done -- and so I don't catch the cold again....

So today should be a complete no-drive/no-spend day for the whole family. I'm getting ready to make BLT sandwiches for lunch and for dinner we're having homemade pizza.

I also might defrost some pastry puffs from the freezer and make them a treat if I'm able to get at least one booming business project done today.

My doctor finally emailed me and said I have a "slightly abnormal" esophagus and I should go to the GI doctors to get it stretched again, which would be the third time they've stretched it.

I'm thinking I'll wait a while since there's no mass and I'm not going to die or anything like that.

Managed to behave today

September 5th, 2008 at 12:45 am

After a spendy day yesterday, I managed to have a no-spend day today despite actually leaving the house to volunteer this afternoon.

The Midge has a sore throat, so I think I'll keep her home from school tomorrow -- and hopefully keep myself home as well, which should result in a no spend/no drive day.

No word from my doctor about the results of my esophagus x-ray yesterday, so I'm going to assume I'm just a hypochondriac and forget about the whole nasty experience.

I got up early to run this morning and now I'm fading fast so a quick dinner of tortellini with homemade pesto (using basil from my garden) and homegrown tomatoes is on the menu tonight. Then it's early to bed for me and the little sicko kid.

Challenge money and barium swallows...

September 3rd, 2008 at 07:52 pm

Finally shipped off this week's eBay stuff and I ended up making a mere $10.74, which I'm putting toward the challenge so my new total is $11,780.16.

Of that, I'm only putting $1.52 toward the Vespa Fund because I used the rest on stuff for The Midget's birthday party, which is coming up in a few weeks, so I now have $304.35.

After a no drive/no spend day yesterday, today has been a whole lot o' driving and spending.

First thing this morning, I had to drive downtown to get an x-ray of my esophagus taken. Let's just say that a barium swallow to start the day is NOT FUN!

After that trip to hell and back -- plus a whole lot of water to wash away the barium taste -- I took my car in to the tire place, where I was informed I needed two new tires to the tune of $200.

I also need to order The Midget's new karate uniform today and the infamous Beauty (of Beauty and Beast fame) is off at the groomer's, so that will set me back at least $36 as well (plus Beauty and her boyfriend, the Beast, need their special bank-breaking dog food so I'll be buying that while I'm at the vet/groomer's as well....)

FOR SALE: Kids' Clothes CHEAP!!!

September 2nd, 2008 at 09:15 pm

As mentioned in my previous post, I spent a good part of today posting all my daughter's fall clothes that no longer fit on eBay.

Because I'm not above a little self-promotion, here's

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the link in case anyone with little girls wants to check out what I'm selling.

(And, no, I didn't buy all that Gymboree and Talbots clothing. My crazy sister and mother did....)

A whole lot of nothin'

September 2nd, 2008 at 04:07 pm

For the most part, this weekend was spent puttering around the house.

I managed to get caught up on all my coupon filing. I had coupons from June that I needed to get clipped and put away, so everytime I sat down this weekend I grabbed a handful and went to town. I finally finished with that project around 9 last night.

Yesterday I also had four eBay auctions close and made some money. I still need to ship stuff off tomorrow -- my errand day -- so I haven't figured out how much I'll be adding to the challenge yet.

Today I'm anticipating a no spend/no drive day. Speaking of which, I ended up with 6 no-spend days in August and 4 no-drive days. Not bad, but I could definitely do better.

Over the weekend, I also made The Midge try on a closet full of fall clothes that were leftover from last year. Despite having tons that she outgrew, she still has a whole wardrobe -- or two -- that fit her. (Of course, her birthday is coming up so we're anticipating even more clothes from her crazy aunt and grandma....)

Today I'm trying to get a bunch of the clothes that didn't fit posted on eBay. I'll have to post a link once I get that done.