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Archive for November, 2005

11/29: a joke

November 30th, 2005 at 07:48 am

Yesterday was ridiculous. Allow me to list the reasons why:

- Missed the first bus to work, and the next bus was 15 minutes late, which meant I was 30 minutes late for work.
- Took the late bus home to make up for the 1/2 hour, which meant I had about 20 minutes at home before I had to leave for band rehearsal.
- Couldn't find one of the cats anywhere - finally discovered that she had been locked in the uninsulated, freezing attic all day without food, water, heat, or the litterbox. I did not go into the attic at all yesterday. SO denies having opened the attic door as well. Apparently our cat can either magically walk through doors (only one way) or she can open them (but only from one side).
- After warming up the cat, I rushed out the door, only to discover that every door on my car was frozen shut. Couldn't find the lock de-icer. Called a friend for a ride but she didn't answer. SO was volunteering all evening and could not be reached.
- Went back into apartment to look up phone numbers of other band members. Wireless internet died and would not restart.

So, completely stranded and unable to reach anyone, I sat on the couch with a glass of wine and watched TV. I'm sure my band director is quite upset with me for missing band yet again.

November 29
$.72 hot chocolate

Lucky me! The massage lady is coming tonight to ease the stress away! Big Grin

it's raining, it's pouring

November 28th, 2005 at 10:15 am

November 25
$1.05 water (forgot my water bottle in the dishwasher)
$.75 candy bar
approx $55 grocery store with SO (can't find the receipt, went on joint card)

My sister and SO made a delicious dinner. It was nice to come home to that. I fell asleep on the couch fairly early.

November 26
$20 movie and popcorn (cash)
$14.86 beading supplies (cash)
$75 boots for sister and me
$16.75 bowl and measuring cup
$36.46 grocery store with sister (went on joint card since most of it was for my household anyway)

After having homemade waffles for breakfast, we went to Harry Potter, and it was great! I really enjoyed it. Then we went wandering through two malls, and I bought her a pair of winter boots and a pair of high black boots for myself. I also splurged on the bowl and measuring cup (totally awesome set). She wanted some speciality groceries, so we stopped by the store. I picked up ready-made cheese fondue and garlic bread, and we had a delicious dinner at home. Yet again, I fell asleep on the couch fairly early.

November 27
$17.06 gasoline (my only fill-up this month!!!!)
$25 dinner out with friends (cash)

I baked in the morning, and made pancakes. I don't know what it was, but I was in a completely foul mood for most of the day (might have had something to do with the migraine that attacked in the middle of the night). I took my sister back to school in dense fog. She tried to pay me back for the boots, but I wouldn't let her. For some reason I feel guilty taking money from someone who has no income other than what my parents give her, because she spends ALL of her time studying. I mean all of her time. She is a spectacular student.

Later that evening, SO and I met some friends for dinner. I hadn't seen this particular friend in 4.5 years, and it was so great to see her, and to meet her partner. We had a long 3.5 hour dinner at a FABULOUS Thai restaurant. I would go back to that restaurant in a heartbeat. Seeing my friend completely cheered me up, too.

November 28
$4 parking
$2 pop and a banana

Lazed out of bed 20 minutes before I had to leave for my bus...uh, that sucked. No morning shower, and I ended up driving anyway. Oh well, the plus side is that I didn't have to walk in the rain. (Rain?? In MN? On November 28?? It's true.)

trying to stay awake at work

November 25th, 2005 at 09:05 am

November 24
No Spend Day!
I baked the sweet potato pie for our Thanksgiving feast, and it turned out great.

November 23
No Spend Day! (I resisted the caffeine urge)

It sucks being at work when it feels like no one else is. I mean, obviously I have plenty of coworkers around, but there's still a LOT of people out of the office, hardly anyone on the bus this morning, etc. I'd much rather be at home napping on the couch right about now. We're supposed to get 1-2 inches of snow today, too!

Well, apparently I really should bring my car in (thanks for the advice, Russell). I guess I will throw myself back into the challenge of trying to find a mechanic who doesn't lie to me, doesn't charge an arm and a leg, and doesn't look at me crooked simply because I am a woman who owns a car. I'm debating whether or not it is even worth fixing this car, but I don't want a car payment right now, so I guess it is.

I'm not sure what the rest of the weekend will entail. We might go to a movie tonight. We might go rock climbing this weekend. We might burrow into the house and not move until Sunday. We'll see.

making 2006 plans

November 23rd, 2005 at 09:45 am

What a boring day. There is hardly any work to be done. I can't imagine what Friday will be like, when so many people will be out of the office. I've been listening to NPR podcasts all morning, but there's only so much of that I can listen to in one sitting.

Wish I could go home! I'm planning to make a sweet potato pie for tomorrow's feast. I have never made (or even tasted) one before, but I saw a delicious looking recipe on the Food Network last weekend, and I'm going to try it. I need to clean up the house a bit before my sister arrives tonight. I could be so much more productive at home.

Took the bus in this morning, and brought my lunch and breakfast again. I could use some caffeine, though. I may run to the lounge and get a beverage. Walking around a bit might perk me up as well....

I've been revamping my budget in my down time. I'm striving for a 65% needs, 10% wants, 25% savings goal.

SO is now on my health insurance, yay! He's been without for two years - not good. I'm really glad that the option is available to us. We'll work something out with the rent so we come out even.

I'm going to play with my budget and my 2006 goals some more, just to keep busy (and awake!).

sleeping in...ahhhh

November 22nd, 2005 at 06:42 am

November 21
$3.70 stamps

I got to sleep in today. No overtime on Tuesdays because of band practice tonight (it's nice that I can choose my overtime hours). I suppose I will go to band tonight, since I skipped last week....*sigh* So not looking forward to it.

I drove to work this morning, since I slept in so late (eep!). Oh well, the car needs to be driven. Unfortunately it smells like a gas station and has a whining belt somewhere in there. I need to take it in, and I have been putting it off for a while now. I should probably get the oil changed before the weekend, at the very least. I just don't want to hear that it needs 879 things fixed, to the tune of $8790.

November 22
$2 tea
$4 parking
$1.27 hot chocolate

oops, missed a day

November 21st, 2005 at 09:08 am

Apparently Friday was a blur.

November 18
$34.66 cell phone bill
$100 emergency fund
$100 family savings fund
$100 Roth IRA

Since my sister is coming this week, I expect my expenses to be a little higher than I anticipated. I'm going to try to eat at home as much as possible to keep costs down. Maybe we'll go to a movie at the cheap theater or something.

I just found out that I may get to see a friend of mine this weekend, someone I haven't seen in over four years. I hope we get a chance to get together while she is in town. I have a feeling we have both changed considerably. She was always a blast to hang out with in college! Maybe we'll just go out for coffee, or she can come over to our house (again, the cheap route).

I really don't want to have to spend a lot this week! *sigh* Luckily, I'm working three days of overtime again.

productive

November 20th, 2005 at 01:50 pm

November 19
No Spend Day!
I did three loads of laundry, fixed a lot of little things around the house, cleaned the fish tank, and installed seven handles on the drawers of our kitchen island. SO was gone for most of the day, so it was just me and the kitties. I caught up on a few favorite tv shows in the evening and started reading a library book, "Unmarried to Each Other." Interesting read. Makes me feel a little less like a pariah for never having had the desire to get married. Kind of nice.

November 20
$85.09 Target (put on joint card, which we'll pay off when it's due, split down the middle)
$33.07 credit card payment (in full)

$50 of that was groceries. We have only spent a total of $93 on groceries this month! Today I made beer cheese hamburger buns, potato empanada filling, butterscotch pudding, and guacamole. I did a couple more loads of laundry, ironed a bunch of work clothes, and prepped the guest room for my sister's arrival later this week. SO is making crock pot applesauce with what's left of our apples.

It's nice to feel productive! I feel so tired and so uninspired during the week. If I didn't have to work, the house would be so much cleaner, I'd learn how to cook a lot more things...and I'd probably shop more, too. Wink

Tonight I'm planning to make chile relleno casserole to go with the guacamole. I'm looking forward to reading more of that book, too!

Sam's Club

November 18th, 2005 at 06:53 am

Last night we made a run to Sam's Club, which hasn't happened since July. We got 50 pounds of cat litter for $7, not bad. Also laundry detergent (which I always buy there because it lasts forever), toilet paper, butter, eggs, cheese (another thing I always buy there), and some snacks (which I don't normally buy there). However, buying a large container of chocolate is cheaper than buying it out of the vending machine every day. We stopped by the liquor portion of the store as well and bought beer and wine.

By the time we got home (after a quick stop at Taco Bell for dinner), I was exhausted. I cleaned the bathroom and basically collapsed on the bed. I fell asleep before SO's sister came over and stayed in bed all night. I'll do laundry this weekend. This working overtime business is apparently catching up with me.

November 17
$2.82 breakfast
$88.99 Sam's Club
$.22 Taco Bell (SO paid for the rest)

I may have to pick that book up at the library that everyone is talking about...the 50/30/20 plan. Sounds interesting.

free lunch today, whoohoo

November 17th, 2005 at 06:57 am

November 16
$3 two handmade birthday cards
$1 cappuccino
$.85 cheetos
$2 parking at the restaurant
$4 glass of wine

SO paid for my dinner, which was sweet and unexpected. We all had a lot of wine and a lot of food. I went to bed at 8:30, right after we got home!

I bought a small breakfast this morning, but lunch is free (some sort of work luncheon). Tonight will hopefully be low-key. SO's sister is stopping by for a beer, and I have a ton of laundry to do. My mini-radio's batteries died already (I'm not sure if I left it on, or if it just putzed out). It is a lifesaver to be able to listen to MPR on the bus in the morning, so I'd like to get those batteries replaced ASAP...don't know if I'll step foot out of the house once I get home tonight, though. Cold winter weather makes me want to burrow into my den and not emerge until April.

uh oh snow

November 16th, 2005 at 09:11 am

November 15
$.80 3 Musketeer bar (another afternoon weakness...and now I know where they are cheaper)
$37.54 my portion of the electric bill
$80 tickets for my upcoming band concert (I was paid for them in cash, and decided I'd rather keep the cash and write the band a check)
$56.07 car insurance
$50 college loan payment

I was supposed to get paid yesterday, but my bank account has yet to show the deposit. I called and found out that it is because I opened my account in another state (eons ago), but my employer assumed I had opened it in MN. Once they change that little glitch, I will get paid on time. Yay!

I skipped band practice last night. Didn't really have a good reason other than I didn't feel like going. I am losing any dedication I had to this band...not sure if I will continue in the spring. I enjoy a few of the people I sit by, but 2 hours a week to practice music I could play with my eyes closed is not very fun. Not to mention driving 40 minutes to get there and back. I barely have time to eat dinner on Tuesday nights.

We got our first snowfall of the season overnight (lucky us in Minnesota, to not get snow until now!). The walk to the bus stop this morning was...chilly.

Today is my best friend's birthday. We have been pals for 16 years. I am going to dinner with her and a few other friends this evening to celebrate. It's one of our favorite restaurants, so I'm really looking forward to it.

Here's an interesting website I enjoy browsing: Baby Name Wizard. We use it at work. It's great if you are naming something (a kid, a pet) but it's also interesting if you want to see how popular your name was when you were born, or to find neat names from the 1800s.

concert

November 15th, 2005 at 08:27 am

Last night we attended the Gwen Stefani/Black Eyed Peas concert. It was a good time. Gwen Stefani was not as good in concert as I had heard she was, but we still had fun. The Black Eyed Peas were better than I expected.

November 14
$.75 3 Musketeers bar (afternoon weakness)
$15 parking
$25 drinks for two

log

November 14th, 2005 at 07:23 am

November 10
forgot to add: $120 Christmas gifts, including one for myself. Clothing with our work logo on it, so nothing too exciting, but it will be a cozy sweatshirt.

November 11
$27.42 Walmart
$17.04 birthday gift
SO bought pizza for dinner.

November 12
$16 Christmas gift
$11 bar food
SO paid for my dinner. Friends bought our movie tickets.

November 13
No spend day! Free delicious dinner at in-laws.

Busy day today!

day off!

November 11th, 2005 at 08:40 am

Today I am going to stop by the library, make a bracelet and birthday card for a friend of mine, and maybe run to the mall for a last minute birthday gift.

November 10
$4 parking (cash)
$10 lunch for two (cash)
$10 dinner+tip for one (cash)
$8.25 movie (cash)

It would be nice to go on a real date with SO. We haven't done that for a very long time.

Saturday: birthday gathering - Indian dinner and movie.
Sunday: nada nada limonada

drove in again

November 10th, 2005 at 07:35 am

Ok, so I flaked out again this morning and drove to work. I had to pick up cash along the way to pay for parking and for my night out tonight (dinner and a movie). I took out $40 and spent $.95 on a hot chocolate (to break a $20) and $4 on parking. Who knows how much tonight will be, so I'll update later.

November 9
$4 parking

I didn't work out yesterday, either...got hit by a light migraine and crawled home to my bed right after work. I didn't take anything for it because I'm beginning to think I'm building up an immunity. I just took some excedrin, though, because my head still hurts.

I love the vacuum cleaner idea too, but I don't think my landlord and her baby downstairs would appreciate it much. I'll have to come up with something else. Keep the cat deterrent ideas coming! By the way, I won't put my cats outside...I live in the city and on a busy street. Besides that, growing up I saw too many of my cats die on the road in front of my house to ever have an outdoor cat. The little rugrats are just going to have to learn that night time is for sleeping! Sweetly enough, my cat was giving the new cat kisses this morning...licking her head and such. I think they will get along well, he just has to stop chasing her through the house!

Holiday gifts: half done

November 9th, 2005 at 07:03 am

November 8
$4.33 Lunch
$86.24 Christmas gifts on overstock.com (charged, will be paid later this month)

I am done with my mom, dad, and sister. I need another component for my best friend's husband, something else for SO, something to mail to my aunts, two more components for the ILs, and things to fill my parents' stockings. Wow, it feels good.

I drove to work today...lazy and slow this morning. However, I grabbed lunch and my gym clothes. Considering parking is $4, it's about the same as eating lunch at work...but I need to work out. Desperately. FrugalTexan Laura is inspiring me!

Thanks for the cat deterrent ideas! I need to get SO fully on my team...he has been feeding the little monster at 4:30 for the past two days to keep him from attacking me. It is sweet of him, but that is just reinforcing bad behavior, and I seriously doubt SO intends to get up at 4:30 for the rest of this cat's life. We need to discuss this tonight.

never a good night's sleep again

November 8th, 2005 at 08:53 am

My cat is driving me nuts (the first one, not the new one). He has this thing now where he starts yelling, jumping on my head, throwing everything on the counter onto the floor, gnawing loudly on magazines by my bed, etc at 4:00am. I keep telling him to wait two hours until my alarm goes off, but he won't. I haven't slept well in months (and not just because of him...SO starts snoring right around then too). Last night I was so frustrated, I told SO I was going to get my own apartment. Not really, but it's a nice thought, having a studio with just a bed in it, all to myself. *sigh* The new cat spends her days and nights in the spare bedroom, until she adjusts to her new living environment. I can't wait until there are two cats jumping on my head. There are moments when I think fondly of how nice it was to live completely alone.

November 7
No spend day.
Cat testing at the vet was about $65, and SO paid for it, so now he only owes me $50. Good news, the new kitty is leukemia and FIV-free. Smile

Today I have to buy lunch. Fitful sleep from 4:00am on kept me in bed too long. I managed to catch the bus, but getting ready in 20 minutes meant no shower, no breakfast, and no lunch. The new cat escaped from her room, so I was dashing around the house, mascara wand in hand, trying to catch her with the other cat hot on her trail (or is that tail? to be more literal). I need a nap.

new kitty

November 7th, 2005 at 02:02 pm

We picked up our cat, and she is adorable. We have to keep her separate from our other cat until we know for certain that she does not have feline leukemia. We're taking her to the vet after work tonight for testing.

November 6
$35.80 pet supplies (fish and cats)
$85.95 cat adoption
$28 Target (more cat supplies, etc)

SO will pay me back $80 for his part of those purchases and Nov 5th's groceries.

Luckily, the vet visit tonight should be free, since we are bringing her to a participating vet within one week of adoption. Keeping my fingers crossed. She just got spayed, and I suspect she has a respiratory infection. We'll see what the vet says. Medications will be free too if needed, but we'll have to go back to the humane society. By the way, the adoption process was aggravating beyond belief. We had to get a signed letter from our landlord stating that we are allowed to have cats, had to have a form of ID and proof of residence, and then had to listen to someone read word-for-word from a four page pamphlet. I used to volunteer at a humane society, so I understand that they want the pets to go to good homes...but I was expecting them to ask for a blood sample and our credit reports. On top of it, they were rude. Not cool. We endured it to adopt our kitty, though.

Forecast for the week: Stormy, unless SO pays me back fast. My best friend asked me to go to a movie with her on Thursday (which means dinner too) and we are going to dinner and a movie for her birthday celebration on Saturday, too (double date, so maybe SO will pay for me...?).

My crocheting instructions must not have been TOO bad... I hear my friend has half a scarf done already. Smile

unexpected purchase today

November 6th, 2005 at 10:40 am

November 5
Stayed in most of the day and gave crocheting lessons. I hope I was clear...it's so hard to tell. There was also a wild two-year old who joined the lessons (somewhat unexpectedly), so it was a bit hard for everyone to concentrate.
$45.49 Groceries: Not too bad, but they now have baggers at the store, and they are awful. The guy put all of my groceries into two bags (not a smart move). I didn't like that store much to begin with, and now I really don't think I'll be shopping there much.

November 6
Today we're picking up a new cat! We'll have to get another litter box etc., but we have a Target gift certificate we can use. I'm excited!
I'll update the totals later.

feeling ill

November 4th, 2005 at 10:22 am

I don't know what it is, but I've been feeling ill since last evening. I'm thinking maybe I ate something funny (my stomach is so sensitive) or maybe my flu shot from a few days ago is affecting me now. In any case, I am at home today.

November 3
No spend day! Yay!
I made the lasagna and it turned out great. I also made rolls from scratch and a salad. Easy peasy.

November 4
No spend day presumably, since I'm still in my pajamas and have no interest in leaving the house.

Tomorrow morning I may run to the grocery store for a few things, and I'm teaching a friend of mine how to crochet in the afternoon. It should be a low-cost weekend...emphasis on should.

log

November 3rd, 2005 at 06:12 am

I fully paid off both of my credit cards yesterday, which totaled about $1350. Not a big deal, because I was expecting it. I was solely using the cards for the last month because I wasn't sure when I would get paid or how much my checks would be. It sucks paying out that much in one fell swoop, though...a bit startling. It's amazing how much more a paycheck is without health insurance! Too bad I can't just not have insurance (well, I probably could, but with my luck I would break my leg or something).

November 2
Credit cards $1350
ATM $40
Way overpriced lunch for two $14.07 (cash) (won't be dining at Brueggers again)
Michaels $6.37 (cash)

I talked to an old friend last night for an hour and a half. It was good to catch up. Tonight a friend of mine is coming by to bead. I have been making a lot of bracelets and such lately, and so has she. I am debating between ordering pizza or making lasagna. I guess it will depend on how tired I am later today. If I go with lasagna, it will be a no-spend day.

I also picked up five books at the library last night instead of perusing the shelves at Barnes and Noble. Just as good!

eleventh month of 2005

November 1st, 2005 at 01:31 pm

Wow, the year flew by.

I'll be keeping track of my finances here this month. I always keep track of it elsewhere, but I feel more accountable for my purchases when I write them down here.

As for my job - yes, I am editing now. Unfortunately it is not for a publishing company, but at least I am editing! Hopefully it will help me get me to where I want to be. However, I found out last week that my coworkers will be doing my reviews, basically. I'm not too thrilled about that. The reviews are monthly, too. Ish.

As for the apples - I made apple crisp and applesauce over the weekend. Both turned out very well. I still have 10 pounds of apples left, so I may take that suggestion and make apple pie packages for the freezer.

I had a really productive weekend. I'm always so much more energetic during the weekends. I just want to sleep during the weeknights! Too bad weekends are so much shorter.

November 1
$18 flu shot