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Bulls eye!

January 13th, 2014 at 08:06 pm

Two more items on the Target front:

My CU is replacing my debit card.
Got a Target missive to go and get my credit monitored.

So far, no weird transactions. Everything looks clean.

Next week is my first condo meeting as president.

This weekend I finished a mosaic clock. Got a clock motor thingy from Amazon, drilled a hole my wood backerboard and got the motor thingy in. Mosaicked the backerboard, grouted, let the grout cure, installed my hands and put the battery in. Very pretty. I'll post a picture when I get a chance to take the picture in reasonable light. Hard to do when I leave in the dark and get home in the dark.

Fixing up my red card

December 30th, 2013 at 09:21 pm

I have a Target Red Card and noticed that I had used it between the times card information was stolen. I have to assume that I was one of the 40M.

So far, no strange spurious transactions. However, I'm royally sick of the "no, they didn't steal this, so you are safe" then it turns that this happened, but you really are still safe. The final straw was encripted PINs. The hackers didn't have the PINs, then they did, but not the encription key. I changed my PINs up and made a teeny purchase to test.

Still watching.

On another note about still watching, I am collecting lists for 2014. If you are interested in playing, email me directly.

backsplash-o-rama

September 1st, 2013 at 01:56 pm

I still have to do my kitchen backsplash, but I helped lawyer friend and partner lay in their kitchen backsplash. We tiled two of them - they put in a basement unit with its own kitchen to rent out.

Both turned out well - my mosaic experiences directly translated - and I got free experience in set-up, the tile wet saw (don't know how running that will fly amongst my neighbors in the condo), doing corners, handling light sockets, using spacers, figuring out how to compensate for putting a design on a wall. It was funny how the three of us had different luck in the materials - most of it was subway tile with a glass tile band & I definitely had "glass tile" hands.

It was fun, but tiring. Now that I've got my own plan, know what color grout to use, and got fresh experience to draw, its time to do my own.

test

August 27th, 2013 at 09:46 pm

test test

create entry

August 27th, 2013 at 09:45 pm

when I use create entry on the control panel, it eats my entry. Grr.

keeping on

July 26th, 2013 at 10:50 pm

I had my frugal burn last week, and while I have a little more money at the end of this time period, I'll have another, smaller frugal burn ending mid August.

But I will have enough to do the Gumshoe with Spondilicks next weekend. For the first time in 10 years I missed the Greenwood Parade. Bummer, but it takes two buses, so I didn't feel up to it.

Not much more is happening. I've been sprucing up my 2nd bedroom for crafts - moved my work table around, unpacked a lot of glass, tile, and china. This week I painted two sliding closet doors in dk brown chalkboard paint (14$). Chalkboard paint goes on a lot like pudding; I felt like I was really slapping it on. Took at least two coats, a light sand to knock down the biggest brush strokes, and the third coat. Love the color enough so if chalkboarding doesn't appeal the color looks like I meant it.

feelin' the frugal burn

July 14th, 2013 at 06:57 pm

Gremlins ate my post, so this will be quick and less literate.

Tomorrow is payday - I had $60 to work with from Wednesday. I had a confluence of mortgage payment, COA monthly fee, and the (hopefully) last payment for kitchen, so I had to pull from my most immediate savings fund. At least I had it.

At work, the 403B switched out 2 funds and picked up 3 new ones. A couple of dividend funds to invest in there at last, along with a real estate fund to spice things up. I did a little adjusting to put a little bit into the new funds.

Have hit the gym twice last week and twice last week the week before. Soon it will be a habit again. I've been cycling between 170 and 177. Would be nicer if it begins to drop but it doesn't rise, well that's a win too.

Media costs

June 30th, 2013 at 06:13 pm

A couple of days ago I bought 1Gb of data on my little Karma unit. It took me about 4 weeks to use the first 1Gb. Thus far, my cobbled together, pay as you go stuff:

Dumb phone - 16$/month (bought phone for $30 in 2009)

Internet wireless (Karma) - $14/month (bought unit for $80 last month)

Netflix - $8.75/month, and I try to finish my DVD by Sunday/Wednesday to get me about 8 DVDs a month.

Email - $20/month. I might work on moving it to get that a bit cheaper, plus after a few years one gets a thick level of spam and old commitments. You move your email, decide on your most important accounts and let the rest go. Smile

I like the pay as you go - it keeps me aware of what I'm doing and I can manipulate things a bit.

got wireless

May 28th, 2013 at 09:30 pm

Broke down and now have wireless Internet. I got a little Karma unit. Its $79 flat, 1 Gb/month free and if I need more, its $14/1Gb extra. We'll see how I do. The flatness of the pricing appeals to me. It would be perfect for my sister, who usually piggybacks from a neighbor's wireless. Unfortunately its not available in Milwaukee.

how's the apocalpyse workin' for ya?

December 21st, 2012 at 07:53 pm

Well it is the great Mayan reset day, the end of Bak'tun 13. Yippee. Decided to not bother with the diet today. Big Grin. Nothing like being caught on a diet on the last day of the end of the world! And if the world goes on tomorrow, well, then I can get back on the wagon.

I haven't weighed myself and I think that I'm gaining, but I put on a blouse known to be 'tight' on me and voila, a bit of space. So perhaps the routine of nearly every night spending 1-2 hrs painting a wall or an hour setting up to paint said wall perhaps counts as exercise after all. Or if, as it was tonight, clearish skies with no rain .... the golden rule of the carless person: "buy something heavy and awkward that you don't want to be lugging when it rains". Such as tonight, when I laid in two more cases of canned cat food. Lugging that on the bus and walking it home counts as weight bearing exercise, probably about 20 minutes of kettlebell swinging.

I'm still settling in, but I'm going to try to cheap out in surprising ways. For instance, I'm going to hold out on buying household Internet and wireless as long as I can. Several coffeeshops and the library maintain wireless within a three block radius of my condo. Clearly I'm not going to be doing sensitive work in a public network, but it should be fine for blogging and I think I can do my banking at work. I'm finding value in that a non-wired home forces me to be in the present and really relax. Pet the cat. Actually watch and enjoy the DVD. Paint the wall. Carpet the floor.

Carpeting is done. I showed off my pictures to them and they were thrilled. The carpet tile people (Flor) called me an asked if I would like a couple of boxes of samples. Totally free, and they paid for shipping. Smile I said yes - I can make many bath mats, kitchen mats, entryway mats, and I have several friends who would be interested in what I come up with. So an opportunity presented itself.

Tomorrow will be the start of another big project - moving my stuff out of the old place. The ex is back with his family, and he flew out. He told me that I could use the car and that he would gas it up. I have a lot of stuff, but what I think I will do is just intensively get a slice of stuff every day for the next few days. for instance, tomorrow will be clothes and mosaic hobby stuff. Tomorrow cookbooks and a cooler of beef, etc. Then when ex comes back we take it room by room.

...as I was saying (long)

December 13th, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Well, this is the first post in about 5 months. My entry title is a take off on Jack Paar's first words when he came back to his Tonight show after a big long kerfluffle.

Anyway, what happened was not a mere storm to my routine it was a fiscal hurricane (apologies to those still coming back from ss Sandy). It was all self induced. Pull up a chair and let me tell you about it.

First of all, no more DH. Actually, just to be clear, DH was more a DP (partner). We never got married, but we were together for over 20 years. I fudged the legal aspects of the relationship to provide myself a hair more anonymity. And now, it matters little except for the fact that no marriage, no divorce.

I had been dissatisfied in our relationship for some time, but something good usually happened that I could go on for a little longer. Last July though, I just looked around and saw that DH (okay, DP) was not going to change and I was damned, if I continued, that I was going to spend my next 30 years picking up after him. I blew...for me I blew, and then while I snapped back I snapped back into a different place ... a different realization.

We broke up, but we did go to Argentina together. I did give him the option to not go (he took out trip insurance), but told him that we all did want him to come. I can't say what he thought about the whole thing. I know that strangely enough, it took the heat off of me. If he did something cringe worthy, I didn't think of it as a reflection on our relationship because there now wasn't one.

Next day after I snapped, I went to my credit union in search of a home loan. Which, if you look at my net worth, was easy to get. I had 20% and could qualify pretty easy for a 3% 15 yr fixed. Next I thought hard about what I really really wanted. I thought, wouldn't it be nice to have a real yard? Yeah, I suppose, but really yard work only appealed to me once in awhile, while plants in the yard grew relentlessly. And if I waited for Seattle home prices to turn reasonable, well I'd still be spending 30 yrs waiting for that. Plus, if I truly wanted to do yard work for a couple of weeks, I could fly out, spend some time with sister at the farmette, help her with the garden and weeding, and since I co-own the farmette, well, it helps me also.

After a bit of searching, I found probably one of the last sweet condo deals in Seattle, out in Lake City/Cedar Park, out at the northeast edge of Seattle. And yet the bus commute was 20 minutes shorter than what I'm used to (buses here are express, and I'm on the last stop before downtown), and the neighborhood itself sports a +90 walkability score. So I now am a proud condo owner.

With it, well I'm still spending money right and left. However, I'm buying quality and getting exactly what I want. New carpet, but carpet tile instead of wall to wall shag; new paint, but high end paint which means I can get away with 1/2 coats, only buying 1 gallon and taking only 1/2 sessions to paint a room. V.I. (kitty) has moved in with me and seems to have settled in well. Of course that litter genie could have helped much.

I can't rightly say that I'm saving money yet, but I am saving my sanity, resetting my routine, making new friends (I'm now closer to Spondilucks, who invited me to her New Year's party).

More to come, but as it is, while life is different, it is nicer for me than before.

calm before the storm

August 16th, 2012 at 08:45 pm

Its been 10 days since I last wrote. Not that much has happened:

Got evaluated at work, and did smashing. I did read though that our medical insurance is going up double digits so who knows if a smashing evaluation translates into a raise.

Did the Gumshoe but did not win. Paulette did the Gumshoe and she did not win. We made plans next year to do the Gumshoe together ... and not win.

Working on the mosaic business numbers. Am about 30% done. Don't know if I'll get them done before Argentina, but we will see. Went online to vistaprint and did up a $10 box of business cards.

Got the first notification of what our 403B fees are or will be, with a lunch meeting about it next week.

KO split on Monday. 246 shares. Yippee!

Been hotter than blazes lately up here in the northwest corner. In addition, I've been averaging 2-3 hot flashes/day.

But all in all, it feels like the calm before the storm. I don't think the storm will happen before the Argentina trip, but mostly after. And by a "storm" I mean a complete change in my routine. Things feel different, like the routine that I have I will not have too much longer.

I do have one change already - my current trainer left the gym and I have to decide whether the new spot is convenient enough that I can work it, namely get there by public transit within 15 minutes. If not, I think I will see if and how I can get by with just me. I say that, but the last time I said it I was 20 pounds heavier. Right now, altho I'm stalled in the mid 160's, I feel that really ... 150s is about the right weight and I'm pretty close. And without gym, I can get some real savings in for the "storm" to come.

jury duty

June 23rd, 2012 at 07:15 pm

My second day is Monday, and am part of a pool for a trial. If I'm picked for a jury, I'll be out for a little while. I'm a little quiet these days anyway!

first commission

June 17th, 2012 at 08:48 pm

I screwed up my courage, took my photos and talked with one of the art/decor/design boutiques in the neighborhood. It was a swing and a miss for what I wanted to sell (she is moving away from furniture and going toward purses, clothing, rugs, car upholestry). Anyway, she looked at sister's house numbers, wrote her house number on the back of a business card and wanted a mosaicked house number for her house in up rural Snohomish. Yeah! Not super duper big, but a confidence builder nonetheless. She asked how much it would cost, then caught herself because she herself has trouble pricing a job. I'm to keep track of my parts and labor.

I also connected with the mosaic store/workshop in Wallingford (Seattle neighborhood). The owner and staff were extremely friendly and enjoyed the pictures.

So big lesson: say hi, make connections even if its scary, and always bring pictures.