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Archive for February, 2007

even if its ridiculous

March 1st, 2007 at 04:35 am

Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $1.50 coffee + $20 lunch + $9 mucinex

Woke up this morning almost, but not quite, normal and thinking that maybe, just maybe I might be well by the weekend.

Since it is the last day of the month, it was the last chance that I had to deposit my tip box drippings after work. So I did so at a freezing ATM at 6:30 tonight. I put in $44 from the tip box into savings and took out $40 from checking. Ridiculous when you think about it - why not short circuit the whole thing - deposit $4? Same thing, right?

But that's what savings looks like. Its important to save the $44, not the $4, now matter what it looks like. If you save the $4, you only have the 4 and the other 40 goes poof. If you save the $44, you have the full 44. Saver's alchemy to know that its not the same.

Everythings down

February 28th, 2007 at 03:21 am

Savings log - 0$ tip box
Spending log - $1.50 coffee, tip + $4.50 soup for lunch

I was busy today so I went home to the news that the stock market's down big, big, big today. (-416).

Just because I wanted to know how a 416 point drop meant to me, I figured out that I've lost a bit over $3700 today. Who knows, it might be worse tomorrow or in the days to come.

Correction or crash, I've got to be philosophical about this.
From reinvesting dividends, my Drp portfolio is still in the black.
3 out of 4 of my drp stocks were (not now) close to their 52 week highs - bad because if you want to buy good company stock, you want to buy when the stock's cheap.
I have a fair amount of cash and T-bills (paying at 5.2%) to buck me up.
And 3% corrections to the stock market used to happen quite often, every few months or so.

Stocks go down, stocks go down. Repeat and note that its time for a glass of 3 buck-chuck wine.

G*d this is a boring entry

February 27th, 2007 at 03:53 am

Saving log - $9 tip box
Spending log - $1.37 coffee + $5 lunch

Pleasantly surprised at work - I walked in expecting piles and I saw only a little one. There were a couple of shockers on the work email - people leaving. Its February and it seems like all of the energy of fall disappears into a morass of depression in late winter. But our department is humming along. The temp staff that we hired to process the paper is mostly gone and its quiet again. I still have plenty to do and I'm now a week behind!

My trainer is going back home for a few days so the schedule is a little different this week. I worked out today and will tomorrow, which picked up my energy level a lot. Wore the medium gym shirt I was given when I joined the fitness challenge - it fit great. One year ago I still would have been an XL. I got weighed again today, and lost .8 of a pound over the past three days.

Again, not much on the financial front. I expect to finish the month (payday is Wednesday) with about $60. Bought another $100 I-bond at the end of this month; put another $50 in a Drp; all I expect to do this week (actually any Thursday) is watch my current T-bill rollover. Its amazing what you can save when you are in no condition to spend.

Close to normal

February 25th, 2007 at 05:06 am

So close that I bought DHs Saturday breakfast to celebrate. The pinkeye disappeared and while the cough hasn't completely gone away, I'm not coughing every 30 seconds. Still have the earache at times. For awhile last week my head felt like the plane would never land. Big Grin

I didn't go into work on Friday, but I was out and about a bit more. Took care of some business at the gym - and I weighed in at 186. At -2 pounds the flu/pinkeye eating plan is a winner.

Finished with picking through my MP3s, then reloaded my player. There were enough dups, mediocre and ickily ripped MP3s that I managed to get 17 Gigs down to 12. Being sick made me ruthless.

I didn't spend much money but one thing financial hit this week - our yearly lease is up and rent is going up by $45/month. We'll have to decide whether that's acceptable or whether the rental market is soft enough and our ambition is high enough that we move. Its the first rent raise in 5 years. My first impression is that we stay. Ambition is in short supply lately.

Actually made it out of the house

February 23rd, 2007 at 02:11 am

Spending log - 3.74$ mocha + 1.73$ croissant +2.50$ bag of salad +7.00$ pinkeye drops

Whatever I got, I wouldn't wish it on anyone. I woke up this morning with the earache, the serial cough, the sore throat, and most embarassingly of all - pinkeye! I mean cripes, kick a girl when she's down. But I'm a lot more energetic today, so I decided to dress warmly and carefully, then step out and go somewhere. I mean with the pinkeye, I have to wash the sheets, the pillowcases, the towels - why stay home? Discovered that the fresh air helped to control my cough, and while the mocha was delicious, my appetite is still not there - only ate half of my croissant.

Thanks for the earache advice. What seems to be working for me is a combination of 1 aspirin and squirting into my ear a .3% solution of hydrogen peroxide (topical rinse strength). Hold for a few minutes, then mop up the excess. The only side effect that I've been experiencing is that what I've been coughing up and blowing out has been foamy. The plumbing's all connected as it were.

Within 1/2 of a Gig of music to review before I wipe my MP3 clean of files, and then re-load with reviewed files back on.

Again with the no spend day

February 22nd, 2007 at 05:26 am

Sick again, at home still, no spend day again. I did manage to step out today and get the mail, plus I risked identity theft by putting my Netflix envelope in the mailbox. Right now its all about the coughing, tiredness and earache in one ear. And surprisingly its the earache that's bugging me the most. Anybody have a frugal earache cure?

no spending please, I'm still sick

February 21st, 2007 at 03:32 am

Well this flu does put a crimp on spending. I've had two no spend days in a row because I've spent most hours asleep. Should also work well with the weight loss plan, too - with my appetite gone, I've eaten a small meal or two a day, and for the rest, its water, water, water.

It's hard to believe that pandemic flu would be even worse.. how could I possibly feel five times worse than I do now? But if it is, I have to think of this week as a dry run. When I get better, I'm going to move most of the bottled water inside. Its in the storage shed a couple of yards away but I don't feel up to getting it.

I'm also going to try out a couple of electrolyte recipes and see what they taste like. Mostly they call for sugar and salt and water. Simple enough, but its rough enough to cook when you're sick, then try following an unfamiliar recipe.

Flu

February 19th, 2007 at 12:28 am

What I have right now, so I've spent only for over the counter items and soup. Other than my temperature spiking at nearly 102, not much is happening. I've the perfect sick project - I've been going through my MP3 music and picking out the stuff that didn't record well, that I hate, or that is too long.

So much for planting peas on President's Day.

Rhody in bloom

February 17th, 2007 at 04:04 am

Today
Savings log - $4
Spending log - $2 coffee, milk + $8 lunch + $8 takeout

Noticed that the rhododendron next to the front door is in bloom. It blooms in pink every year in February because its sheltered and its next to two dryer vents. Didn't cost me a thing - what a priceless pleasure and far prettier than a groundhog. The flower buds did get nipped from last month's freeze though. I'm thinking about getting some pea seeds and plant them this weekend. The rule out in Seattle is to plant peas on President's Day.

Left my bus pass on the living room end table and it went downhill in the morning. I did manage to get what I most wanted to get done this week. I got hit up for some flowers to a co worker at work, so I scooped up $5 in change from my tip box and sent it off.

Last Sunday I filled up my MP3 player, so I've been listening to what I have and have been pruning it. Listened to about 3.5 Gs of tunes and I have 12G more to go. I know how my DJ friend feels!

buying CDs

February 15th, 2007 at 03:47 am

Got the post-chocolate hangover? You know, where you are bouncing off the wall from the chocolate with the knowledge that the acne will come in a couple of days?

Feb 13, Tuesday
Saving log - $9 tip box ($4 mine + $5 for the MP3 case I sold to DJ friend)
Spending log - 1.50$ coffee + 5$ lunch

After a great day of work yesterday, I got pounded today. Everybody was needy and calling. Sigh. It was nice to get the $5!

Opened up the bi-monthly electric bill and got a brutal surprise - $184! We had the same usage patterns as last year. Somehow every year its never a pleasant surprise.

I also paid into a Drp this month and a wrote a check to finish off paying the credit card completely. I plan on putting another $300 into ING this month.

Feb 14, Wednesday
Saving log - $1.50 tip box
Spending log - $1.50 coffee + 15$ lunch + 2.00$ snack + $17.30 CDs

Sigh. I got $40 last night and I spent it all by tonight. Last Sunday afternoon, the new CD store wasn't really open but the door was - the owner was talking to a friend - so DH and I walked through. We couldn't buy anything but the owner let me lay-away what I liked, to pay when he officially opened. I found 2 CDs from my young-college-hood. Tonight he was open for real and I bought them for real. It dates me, buying CDs in a brick and mortar store. Even the owner was my age, with a touch of gray. In a few years buying a CD will be like buying a buggy whip. He also had vinyl. Got to tell DJ friend about it.

DH and I both enjoyed the chocolates. Again, Valentine's Day is like most other holidays - it arrives at the back end of my paycheck, when you get paid on the 15th and last day of the month. So far, only Labor Day is the only exception.

keeping things tight

February 13th, 2007 at 04:56 am

Saving log - $.50
Spending log - $2 coffee, milk + $7 sundries

My assistant took me out to a Thai lunch today, and I went to the chiropractor. Gave DJ friend one of my carrying cases for my MP3 player (he's giving the same type of MP3 player to his wife) and he offered me $5 for it. Nice. When he pays, I'll put it in tip box.

Slight frugal tip: a big cell phone case often works to house an MP3 player.

Several items that we were looking for in the last two months finally came, so work came in a little torrent. I was productive and the day went by fast.

Wrote the check to MIL for the plane ticket for Paris. (1007$) For large purchases like this I under withdraw from my savings in a round number ($1000) just to keep things tight.

Two by two

February 11th, 2007 at 06:39 am

Bought $33 box of chocolate truffles I picked at the local chocolatier for DH on Valentine's Day. It wasn't much of a decision - I just went for 2 of nearly everything except the coconut and the peanut butter. I know DH doesn't really like peanut butter, but I forgot whether he really loves or really hates coconut. It was just a whole lot easier to say two of everything but these two, and there is nothing like appearing to be decisive when there is a line behind you.

Opening the box later, the chocolates were nestled in two by two and it looked like the hold of Noah's Ark.

It was such a nice day today, that I also walked to the library, something that I hadn't gotten a chance to do since early December.

Sister chat

February 10th, 2007 at 04:13 am

The phone call last night with sister was wide ranging. We compared notes on how we were each handling our money.

Sister - putting in new windows in the house, new furnace, 3 small oriental rugs, loan to her partner's brother (paid back), one IRA. Happy that she got 800$ in interest.

Me - bed, IRAs in 2005, 2006, Roth IRA in 2007, $2500 in stock, loan to DH (paid back), $20,000 to Vanguard in a taxable account (soon to be another $20,000), MP3 player. Happy that I got $1,900 in interest and dividends, and $3,900 in paper profits.

I'm going to have to keep my yap shut though. I think that sister bought okay stuff, but she needs a little patience. Wait until she gets everything and then see.

refund already

February 10th, 2007 at 03:59 am

Saving log - 0$
Spending log - 2$ coffee, milk + $7 lunch

I logged into my checking account online, and lo and behold my refund was grinning at me. (289$) I filed my taxes on Jan 29, got my refund on Feb 9. 11 days.

Shame on you if you do the rapid refund! H&R Block is loaning you your money and all because you want to shave a few days off.

190

February 9th, 2007 at 05:24 am

Saving log - $7
Spending log - $1.50 coffee + $5 lunch

Not lbs, K. As in $190,000. Got a voicemail from sister telling me she (we) got the WiDNR bid from the executors yesterday, so I know what to expect today. WiDNR is offering $190,000 for the 72 acres, leaving us the 7 acre farmette - house, barn, sheds to sell. We also got a bid to rent the property to Peanut, the farmer whom we fear is an ecological pig. We received a form where we were to decide separate yays/nays on each bid.

So I called sister a few minutes ago and we hammered out the decision.

Yay - $190,000 State of WiDNR bid.
Nay - Peanut.

In my mind it boiled down to one paragraph in the option s.23.09(2)(d) document (we are the Grantors):
'Prior to the closing of this transaction, the Grantor shall remove and properly dispose of all hazardous or toxic wastes or chemicals located on, in or under the above described property.'

In other words, if Peanut makes a pig of himself, he pays about $4,000 to use the land, and it takes $4,000 for us to clean up after his pleasure ... its a wash, and he's not worth it.

Tomorrow I copy the forms and send them off. Now its the house and barn. Sister is furious at the executors for not checking the level of propane the house was getting and with the extremely frosty temperatures this last week, she figured that this cold snap blew both the water heater and the toilet, with possible burst pipes and water damage. Time to ask lawyer friend about executors' responsibilities.

Trouble, mean and generous

February 8th, 2007 at 05:07 am

Feb 6, Tuesday
Saving log - 0$
Spending log - $2 coffee, milk + 9$ lunch

Not much money movement yesterday, but a little gym movement. Lost 2.5 pounds, so I'm now at 188. Got chided a little for not drinking enough water, but the trainer and I had a number of good moments yesterday too. I could do situps to my toes on a padded incline set at the steepest incline. I even managed to do 3 sets of 10 situps (30 situps), which is very exciting. The best part was glancing over and seeing a relatively buff guy set the incline down a little to do his situps. The trainer nudged me... didja notice? Hah!

Feb 7, Wednesday
Saving log - 0$
Spending log - $2 coffee, milk

Several of our temporary staff are leaving at the end of this week, so we took them all out for a lunch on the department's dime, making it very nearly a no spend day. Got a little old fart jolt when the lunch conversation turned to Iowa, and I jokingly mentioned that The Music Man was set in Iowa. Blank stares all around. Man do we have trouble...Big Grin

Thoughts while I was walking home... You stereotypically can be mean and cheap or kind and generous. I think I'll mix and match and try to be cheap and kind. After all there are a couple of people at work who really are mean and generous. Ick.

meetings and a talk

February 6th, 2007 at 04:44 am

Saving log - $3
Spending log - $1.40 coffee + $7 lunch

Had a nightmare that I remembered last night - I dreamed my purse got stolen, along with all my financial data. Time to put a password on my PDA. It's just so weird - usually I sleep like a rock.

Meeting meeting today, and then I gave a talk to the customer service staff on one of the "hats" that I wear on my job. It went okay, but time flew by without me getting much done.

In addition to the two meeting, I had a chiro adjustment. Chiropractor asked me if I was getting better from my cold ... I didn't know he knew I was sick for the day. I suspect that the trainer told him - I'm sure he doesn't know I blog. It gave me a little start - imagining I'm the subject of gossip. (Chiropractor is 1/2 block away from work, gym is 1/2 block away in the other direction. I have no excuse to miss appointments.) The insurance has kicked back in for the year, so now it is just the $20 copay.

About the only thing financial I've done is move more money from ING into T-bills. Right now I have about 10K in T-bills, and will stop when I get 16K in. The interest rate is slightly better, and I plan to use what I have in ING for the Paris trip. It sets a limit on what I can spend.

Eggs

February 5th, 2007 at 05:43 am

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $3.28 bagel, coffee

Lots of vegetarian chili, delicious Mexican sodas (tons of sugar) and a decent Super Bowl game. No really, really memorable ads, though, IMO.

Our hosts now have a 3 month old puppy, which was cute and active and nippy. We also got 10 fresh chicken eggs from the Duvall friends, with a promise that we'll come out and teach them how to waterbath can.

When I was in their bathroom, I weighed myself...something I still dare not do at home. 182. We'll see Tuesday whether that scale is, ahem, optimistic.

night before the super bowl

February 4th, 2007 at 06:48 am

Friday, Feb 2
Saving log - $8 tip box ($3 to replace what I took out, $5 extra)
Spending log - $2 coffee, milk + $6 lunch

Saturday, Feb 3
Saving log - $0
Spending log - $10 breakfast + $33 groceries

Friday I went to work. It was a trial for the first hour and I thought I would only stay 1/2 a day, but I got a second wind and left only 1/2 hour early. That 1/2 hour made all the difference - I managed to leave work while it was still light. The walk from 8th Ave NW was still dark blue dark, but it is early February.

Took a nap when I got home, then checked to see whether I filed the taxes correctly and when the refund would come (Feb 13, it turns out). Finally, I managed to get 10 minutes of calisthentics in before I went to sleep for real.

Saturday was the usual - breakfast at Denny's and a little grocery shopping for the super bowl get-together hosted by friends in Duvall. The friends are kind of drinkers, kind of not. I wasn't planning on drinking much tomorrow. At the HT Oaktree - whose parking lot today was as busy as I had ever seen it when it was Larry's - I picked up bottles of Mexican-made soda. Interesting flavors like tamarind, mango, guava along with orange and lemon, and at .65/apiece, I figure it will be a trip in a bottle. I bought and cooked our week's meal - beef stew and barley salad. I just didn't want to cook during the week.

changed locks

February 2nd, 2007 at 03:37 am

Saving log - 0$
Spending log - $3.28 coffee, bagel + $9.56 groceries + 40$ Drp

Sick today. Called my trainer and my boss last night - I was tired, achy and cold with the shivers, running a bit of a fever.

This morning I was a bit warmer with a sore throat, but well enough so DH and I were out and about a little bit. Hit the coffeeshop for an hour and then we went to the rental property agent (aka landlord) to pay rent and the sewer water garbage bill (50% this time - they got it right), and also to discuss renewing the yearly lease. Last stop was the grocery store to get soup and high-fat comfort food.

Most of my afternoon was spent asleep. I did hear the locks on our door being changed. A couple of days ago DH came home and found mud tracks in the kitchen. He called the landlord who hadn't sent anyone out. We didn't have anything stolen, but both DH and the landlord made the decision to change the locks.