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slice of life at Ross

January 9th, 2010 at 07:26 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $14 breakfast + $42 stuff at Ross (gift card)
Found money - $0.39 (road, sidewalk, escalator railing - again!)

I was shopping at Ross Dress for Less - using a Christmas gift card. First off, I'm:

a size 12!

or at least I am by that pseudo house of fashion. We'll see how 12vy I am, but this pair of size 12 pants fit me perfectly - no "if I lost a couple of pounds" fit.

As I was getting dressed in the dressing room, I heard from the next dressing room over small children voices and the familiar clink of coins falling on floor. Add dressing rooms to the list of places to find change. I found a penny on the floor of an empty room - however it was glued to the floor!

Still, being a size 12 was exciting enough for me and got me through the exceeding long checkout line carrying pants, top, set of stainless steel mixing bowls. And I was waiting in the long line, moving along, I noticed one final thing that made me wonder. A 20-something woman 2 people ahead of me had an unopened 12 oz bottle of beer in her right front pocket. (Bottle cap said Rogue - a well known high-end Oregon beer brand).

It took me aback. Why was she carrying it? Leftovers from a party last night? Way to keep the edge off as she waited?- it was a screwtop, after all. She had a normal size purse and nothing in her left - no place to hold the other five. She moved all right - no stagger - and seemed normal enough.

I mentally thanked her, though. Musing about that beer bottle made the time pass by.

After getting out of Ross, I soo wanted to get a cookie. Then I remembered that I was now a size 12 and had standards to uphold.

post Christmas doings

December 27th, 2009 at 07:13 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $1.97 bagel (free coffee off the punch card + $1 apple
Found money - $0.22 (sidewalk, Safeway checkout, top of escalator)

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $14 brunch, coffee + $4 vegetables
Found money - $0.33 (road, sidewalk, under parked car)

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $3.88 coffee, bagel
Found money - $0.02 (sidewalk)

Yes, if you can believe it, I even found coins on Christmas day. $15.23, and counting. I reviewed my Excel spreadsheet of when, how much, where I found change and it turns out that I have found some sort of change every day between 11/21/09 and now - 37 days straight. I feel like the Joe DiMaggio of found money. Wonder what the record is?

DH and I had rib-eye steaks, gingered carrots, and garlic mashed potatoes for Christmas dinner. Saturday we were invited to dinner, movie, then back for dessert and digestif. We saw

Text is Sherlock Holmes and Link is http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0988045/
Sherlock Holmes, which played to me like the steampunk version of
Text is Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and Link is http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0120735/
Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. (liked steampunk, liked LSTSB). The conversation was varied - I've been finding that I'm suddenly the to-go person for help in losing weight. If only people knew that it really takes a total awareness and a total lifestyle change. Nothing magic, hell I'm having issues - I'm up several pounds to 174.

Not much fiscal is going on - I'm waiting for the end of the year when the last paycheck, the net worth calculation, and the 2010 Roth gets started at the end of the year.

Friday vignettes

December 4th, 2009 at 08:21 pm

Saving - $2 tip box
Spending - $1.75 coffee + $10 charging station
Found - $0.11 (bus steps)

Saving - $4 tip box
Spending - $1.75 coffee
Found - $0.47 (work carpet, in front of Chase Bank downtown, sidewalk, road, Safeway floor)

A few little vignettes on a Friday...

As I sat at my desk @ 10 am, eating a couple of leftover microwaved chicken wings w/hot sauce at my desk, I heard: "Breakfast of champions, eh?"

Got an unsolicited compliment. As I was doing an exercise another trainer pointed to me and said, "Like her. See how she's ..." And I lost the 1/2 pound I gained from Thanksgiving, despite finishing the last two cookies I baked the night before.

It was fun finding that nickel in front of Chase Bank. It felt as if I could say, "Jamie Dimon, you sucker!" Lately I've been really finding the change everywhere whenever I turn around. I wonder if its because everyone is using more cash, hence getting more change.

I hadn't noticed how deep this recession has gotten until I cut through the Wells Fargo Building on 3rd & Marion. As I rode the outdoor escalator heading toward 2nd Avenue, I got off at what would be the mezzanine and plaza. Great location - thousands of office workers could walk by. Back in the early 2000's there were at least 6 businesses in that space. Now? One: the soup place. No amount of fake-o gallery space can hide that.

I still have 200K of grandma money in a Vanguard money market fund waiting for stocks to drop. What did I make in interest on it last month? $7.

6 minute nightmare

October 26th, 2009 at 08:51 pm

Saving log - $4 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.16 (sidewalk, bus floor, crosswalk)

Not quite 2 years ago, I decided to improve my cardio and test out my long distance walking. I did it in part to save a bit of coin (nothing cheaper than walking), but mostly I did it as an emergency preparedness tool. If an awful thing happens, a couple of energy bars, reasonable shoes, and three hours will get me home.


Text is video and Link is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hos_uIKwC-c
video models what might happen to the Alaskan Way viaduct should a slightly more powerful earthquake hit Seattle than the 2001 Nisqually quake. The commuter bus that gets me closest to home gets to downtown from West Seattle using the viaduct. I wouldn't be on the viaduct at that time, but clearly if I was expecting it to come to my stop and take it home, not a chance that day and for many months thereafter.

nutty day

September 25th, 2009 at 10:30 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $9 lunch + $20 copay
Found money - $0.16 (parking lot)

Saving log - $1 tip box
Spending log - $5.50 magazine
Found money - $0

It wasn't the full moon today, but it could've fooled me.

Act 1. It started when both of my employees called in that they weren't coming in, shifting the work to me, and today I had scheduled my physical this afternoon, so it wasn't that I could do their work all day. Luckily my boss was available and I could take off at 2pm and make my 3pm appointment (phew!).

Act 2. All this week I heard that the auditors were doing fine, they were satisfied, blah blah blah. At 11:30am one of the auditors comes by and asks me to explain 4 detailed transactions and how I calculated them. Did they look at my online calendar and say, "11:30? Perfect. Lets screw her over." It took me an hour to explain what I did and what that transaction represented (non-profit accounting 501, flipping between Excel and Access), culminating with an attempt to go into where I get the national data from. Link to get the original data bombs out. Grrr. She went away, and I bought a lunch and scarfed it down by 1pm.

Act 3. Same auditor returns at 1:30pm asking a different question on a different transaction. Auuugh! Luckily a couple of directors could answer some of the auditor's questions and she went away again.

At 1:59 pm, I slipped out while the getting was good. It turned out that I was a bit early for the physical.

Physical was undergone with no issues - matter of fact, I thought my blood pressure was going to be high (auditors!) because the last time it was checked it was high. 130/88. Not perfect, but much better than I had feared. Also got the listen to the heart, the Pap, the cholesterol test, and a couple of shots - DPT and seasonal flu. The doctor seemed happy to see me.

I had an interesting moment when I stepped on the scale with the nurse - I joked that it would be a lot better than it would have been 4 years ago. (It was by 35 pounds). The nurse asked how I did it, I started with the food diary, and she said, "I could never do that."

I interpreted the comment the way I wanted to (ie. That's difficult and I'm impressed with your skills), but I have to wonder how I would have taken it if I had heard this comment from a health professional when I first started. Say what you want about a trainer, none of them would ever say never.

The blood drawer was a hoot. We cracked wise about our day, me about the auditors, and she about the oddballs she got that day. As I was leaving, I said my final shot, "thank you, you've been a great audience. We'll be here all week - don't forget to tip your waitress."

spotting change & bagging jump ropes

September 11th, 2009 at 08:22 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $4.50 coffee, chocolate croissant + $1.75 iced coffee
Found money - $0.10 (under a bench)

Sad, in a sense. I spotted the dime under the bench from the bus, so I got off the bus at the next block and walked over to pick it up. Kind of funny that I can even spot change from the bus - but the bus has to be stopped.

Today I participated in a day of service - I was part of a project helping a non-profit by stuffing a jump rope (in a plastic bag) into another plastic bag and sealing the bag with a label. Repeat 4500 times. The 15 of us made for efficient work - we got done in about 5 hrs. The jump ropes will be given to every kindergarten kid enrolled in the Seattle school district. So if we didn't get the label on perfectly, well, no 5 year old would notice. The non-profit in question is working on lessening childhood obesity.

back at work

September 8th, 2009 at 10:54 pm

Saving log - $0
Spending log - $1.73 coffee
Found money - $0.07 (coffeeshop counter next to the non-fat)

Tried out the new trainer - I think it will be a good fit. Knee was okay on the ball squats - we are not pushing it quite yet. I've been jogging off and on for a few blocks yesterday and today and it felt pretty good. I got several new homework assignments from the new trainer. Smile I'm going to go through my appointments to clear the decks by Nov 1, when we expect a lot of work to hit.

For laughs, I texted my sister and got one back. Lotsa fun for a nickel.

Found the seven cents, but I put in the coffee person's tip jar. - I'm buying goodwill. I'm counting it as found, just spent right away.

The fundraising temp staff are here on their first day, so the energy level at work has doubled.

fun, spendy day

September 5th, 2009 at 10:49 pm

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $12 coffee, breakfast + $41 cat toys, collar, treats + $17 id, camera case

Sometimes you just have to have a spendy day. At least it was fun stuff. We used another PAWS coupon for some cat spending - the cat pillow was appreciated, the new collar, not so much. V.I. must have had an attachment to her old collar even though there was a cat claw embedded in it. Hers? I don't think we will ever know.

I also made a stop at Office Depot and solved a problem that has been nagging me since the long walk/jogs on the weekends. Its inconvenient, but necessary, to carry the remnants of my wallet as I jog - need at the very least, my bus pass, driver's license, a bit of money, key, and if I buy an apple or have a bit of tea at the end, I need a place to put the change. My running pants have one rudimentary pocket. I've been jogging in my jacket with the pockets to get one, but it does get mighty warm during. Smile I originally thought about a wrist wallet ($15), but never pulled the trigger. Today I just went with a very simple ID pocket on a cloth lanyard ($4) and see if that works.

I leave you with a non-financial picture.

The harbinger

food, exercise, cat

September 3rd, 2009 at 10:15 pm

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $40 dinner for 2

Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $3 peanuts
Found money - $0

Been a rough three days of eating. Tuesday I helped polish off a lot of angel food cake along with a lot of homemade blueberry plum whiskey compote.

Recipe is straightforward - 1 lb blueberries, 1 lb pitted ripe plums with skins on, 1 c sugar, cook about 15 minutes, add 2 tbsp whiskey, cook 5 min more, cool, store in refrigerator. It forms a sauce, thinner than a jam, although with a bit of pectin it should make for a smashing jam.

Wednesday I went to the baseball game and got logy with a beer, garlic fries, and a bag of peanuts. At least I could only finish 2/3 of the bag and I had to shell the peanuts besides. And tonight we had dinner, appetizers, and drinks with friends. DH bought the beers and fries at the stadium; I bought our dinners tonight.

I also got a bit of a shocker yesterday morning - my gym trainer quit, so it is time to finish off the rest of my time with another. I'm sad, of course, he was a great trainer, but my MO has been that I lose the most amount of weight within the first three months of training. Makes sense if your body gets used to specific exercise - and every trainer has their own favorites that they will try on you. In other words, from the tactical losing weight/gain muscle thing, this is the best thing that could have happened. So if you buy trainer time, three months and then done.

I get twinges in my knee when I climb stairs, and tried one legged squats - that knee felt very challenged.

V.I. is settling in still more - we only had her for five days and her coat has improved by leaps and bounds. She wasn't terrible to pet when we got her, but her coat was rough and dandered. Now, very soft and glossy even at the base of the tail. I don't think improved food would work that fast. I think its because her stress levels have gone down - being the only cat in a quiet environment, she has the time and the desire to clean herself properly.

and I'm probably average for what I carry

August 28th, 2009 at 10:47 pm

Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $17 groceries (blueberries @ $3.88 for 2 lb)
Found money - $0

Saving log - $1 tip box
Spending log - $22 Overstock.com purse
Found money - $0

My knee felt much better and I was much more confident on it than I had been, so I was bossed around by the trainer this afternoon. Did no knee exercises specifically, but during the twists and turns it was obvious that everything is connected. Got weighed today and I am at 173, so eating carefully to make up for no heavy exercise worked okay.

Received the purse at overstock.com. Some people are seduced by shoes, some by jewelry, some by jeans and skirts and belts... me, the purse. But this one fills a need. Vinyl, with a zipper at the top, useful because everything else I have is open or snapped at the top, I walk, and it rains in Seattle. As I was loading up my new purse, it occurred to me I carry expensive stuff routinely:

MP3 player - got it at $300
PDA - $150
Digital camera - $100
Spare prescription glasses - $200
Phone - $40

...depreciation, of course, so none of it will sell at those prices, but still, it gives me a jolt that I daily lug a pile that cost me $800. Bumping up against that 1K limit. Big Grin

snoozy Sunday

August 23rd, 2009 at 09:59 pm

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $24 groceries, sister's birthday card
Found money - $0.01 (under the elliptical machine at the gym)

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $2.00 coffee
Found money - $0

My knee is still bothering me and it felt iffy to jog, so I did 45 minutes on the elliptical machine. And I got paid for it too by finding that penny underneath.

I'm down to $50 until the next paycheck next week - I broke down and transferred $200 from ING. With the chiropractor, mailing sister's birthday gift, and next weekend, I wasn't going to make it.


August 18th, 2009 at 08:19 pm

Saving log - $1 tip box
Spending log - $1.73 coffee
Found money - $0.01 (sidewalk, corner of 1st/Cherry) + $0.01 (next to wastebasket on 1st)

Saving log - $1 tip box
Spending log - $1.73 coffee
Found money - $0

My knee swelled a little bit. I can walk on it, its just stiff, but I'm taking it easy - no long walks, no stairs, no jogging, aspirin, and (R)est, (I)ce, (C)ompression, and (E)levation. The chiropractor gave it some gentle stretches and twists yesterday and it moved a lot better. Today, better, but I'm thinking that the workout Friday is going to be iffy. Better to lose a week than lose several weeks.

Yesterday I did make it to the bank to deposit the tip box earnings for the month.

Buying the beef set me back - after my monthly commitments, I only have $90 from my current paycheck to last me until the end of the month. I probably will have to grit my teeth sometime next week and take a bit of money out of savings. I'll hold out as long as is convenient, then break down. Bartering for a duck is a go, though, and that will feel good - I suspect my Duvall friends could use the bucks and the customers.