Wednesday, December 21, 2016

💵Spendy Wednesday💵 ~ 12/21/16

It's beginning to look a little more like Christmas, I think?  The temp this morning was 56F/13C and our high today will only be 21C.  It's 8:20 a.m. right now and very gloomy. Ugh. Low energy day for me, it looks like.

Unfortunately for me, it's also my grocery shopping day and, as has become usual for me on Wednesday mornings, I really don't want to go. Ugh.  I have several stops on my list once again so it'll take me a while. Greg has volunteered to pick up our son from school at 11:00 a.m. after exams so that helps me a lot.  And then our son is on vacation for a couple of weeks, yay!

The bus was over 10 minutes late this morning, if it ever came at all. I don't know since after 10 minutes and still no bus in sight and 10 minutes away from the 1st bell ringing at school on the last day of exams, I jumped into my SUV and drove my son to school.  The other kids weren't waiting for the bus and my son reported that they hadn't taken the bus yesterday either so I'm guessing they finally told their parents that they had accepted a ride from the stranger a couple of times last week and the parents decided to get them to school on time themselves this week.

The line to drop off was long this morning and I hope that my son made it to class before the 2nd bell rang.  I had wanted to stop by Dunkin' Donuts on my way to pick up my birthday freebie (free drink) and some doughnuts for breakfast as a surprise to Greg and my daughter but the line was extremely long so I didn't even pull in the parking lot.  I guess that saved me money?  I might still run to Donut King later on, we'll see.

I did manage to sleep in my bed with the door closed last night so, for the first time since August 30, I slept without at least one kitten in my bedroom or in bed with me.  I felt a little sad but I was so tired and needed the night without them.  Greg said he woke up at 3:30 a.m. and couldn't go back to sleep because he took a 2.5 hour nap mid-day yesterday. So he was up first thing this morning.  

I think Princess is mad at me for not sleeping on the couch last night because she is usually asleep on my chest at this time of day but today she decided to take her nap on the floor (well, on the Ripple Rug that I had given them) and it sure looks like she's pouting.


A few hours later... so I went shopping at about 9:30 a.m. and didn't get home until about 2 p.m.!  Greg went to pick up our son from school and then he wanted to go Christmas shopping. Our son and my daughter decided to join him and off they went!  They had lunch at Cracker Barrel first.  I had thought to meet them for lunch but then I realized that I wasn't done shopping, I had a trunk full of groceries, and I wasn't very hungry yet (it was noon) so I changed my mind and didn't go with them.

I think I probably should just cater Christmas every year because it goes something like this:
  1. I do all my Christmas shopping "early" and I declare that I'm done.  
  2. Closer to Christmas, I wrap my presents.  I decide that I didn't buy enough even though I've spent what I had budgeted already.
  3. So I take advantage of the excuse that I need to go grocery shopping for our Christmas buffet/meal to do more Christmas shopping at the same time and I go WAY over budget because by then I've forgotten what I've already bought and wrapped.
So methinks that getting Christmas catered would save us tons of money. Especially since I go way overboard with the food. Especially times two since there will be only 3 of us here on Christmas Eve AND we can't do a buffet because the darn kittens won't stay off the table. See "Failures".  Seriously, this Christmas is going to be stressful.


I convinced Greg to agree to wait until my daughter gets home from her shift on Christmas Day to open all the presents.  She should be home by 3 p.m. and I could tell that she was sad that we would open our presents without her and just open hers with her in the afternoon. She still lives here so I voted that we wait for her.  Next year might be a different story... She was excited to hear that when I told her :)


Warning: I'm using several swear words later on in this post. If this offends you, come back another day :)

  • Make butternut squash soup and freeze (make sure I have proper containers) 
  • Dust the Cat Room
  • Sweep or vacuum the Cat Room
  • Clean the windows in the Cat Room
  • Fold the laundry
  • Put away the laundry
  • Clean the downstairs bathroom toilet bowl
  • Wrap the new Christmas presents (ugh)
  • Unload and reload dishwasher
  • Make Dr appointment for son's annual check-up and for daughter
  • Make dermatologist appointment for my son
  • Take batteries out of fans and store them until next hurricane season
  • Make appointment for son to take permit test
  • Vacuum fridge coils
  • Declutter the printer stand
  • Go through receipt bucket and archive what needs to be archived, file what needs to be filed
  • Take RaceTrac surveys
  • Recalculate our 401(k) contributions for 2017
  • Work on Net Worth document
  • Clean upstairs litter box
  • Check my passport's expiration date
  • Input receipts (paper and email) in my spreadsheets
  • Move my music library to the new laptop
  • Install software programs on new laptop
  • Sync my phone with the new laptop
  • Wipe old laptop of all confidential info
  • Take old laptop to be fixed
  • Work on shopping list
  • Sort the last few coupons in organizer
  • Give Greg the Valvoline coupon

  • I had a good night's sleep.

  • I got my son to school on time.

  • The long line at Dunkin' Donuts saved me from spending money on donuts that aren't all that good anyway :)

  • The cool temperatures predicted for today will allow us to keep the AC off but also to not have to turn on the heat. Woohoo!

  • I earned the daily Microsoft Rewards credits. So close to a $5 Amazon gift card, I can taste it!

  • I earned a few Swagbucks.  Still I'm going shopping today I won't bother trying to reach my 1st Daily Goal.

  • They did confirm that I'll get 600 SB for my Microsoft Store purchase at some point in January.

  • I perused the new weekly ads for Aldi and Save A Lot and finalized my shopping list. 

  • I earned 25 bonus KFR points by entering this bonus code in my Kellogg's Family Rewards account.

  • I went to do my grocery shopping / Christmas shopping.  I made several stops, as usual.  I spent way too much money but also got some freebies.

    • Save A Lot: I bought:
      • an 8-lb bag of Red Delicious apples for $3.99
      • 2 papayas on clearance at $0.79/lb
      • a huge bunch of fresh mustard greens (uh, I thought it was kale!  No matter...) for $1.99
      • some turkey deli meat with a $0.75/1 coupon (which made it cheaper than at Aldi)
      • and boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1.39/lb.  
      • I charged my $15.68 OOP to my Amazon Chase Visa for 1% back in Rewards. 
      • I found a brand new penny in the parking lot!

    • Panera: 
      • I picked up a free cinnamon crunch bagel for free with my Free Bagel A Day in December reward. I ate it in the car for my mid-morning snack.
      • They included 3 small pats of butter with it, although I hadn't ask for it, so I saved them in my fridge for a later use.

    • CVS:  I just wanted eggs, milk and some candy for stockings. But when I scanned my ExtraCare card at the kiosk, I got some coupons including a $5.00 off any Revlon Cosmetics.
      • Transaction #1 was completely free to me and I got $5.00 back in ECBs! I got...
        • 2 gallons of whole milk (on sale at $2.79 each)
        • 2 dozens eggs (on sale @ $0.99 each)
        • 2 bags of Hershey miniature assortments on sale @ $3.00 each and got $3.00 back in ECBs
        • 2 bags of Holidays M&M's on sale @ $3.00 each, redeemed a $1.00/2 manufacturer coupon and got $2.00 back in ECBs
        • I redeemed the $12.00 in ECBs that I had received for the botched survey that I had received a couple of days ago.
        • My OOP then was $6.89 and I paid for it with the CVS gift card that I earned via our USAA Visa Rewards program :)
      • Transaction #2 was a lucky one!  I had looked and looked at the Revlon display wondering what I could buy for $12 that either my daughter or I could use because I had the $5 coupon from the kiosk and I could get $4.00 back in ECBs if I spent $12 in Revlon cosmetics and/or beauty tools.  I had wanted to get myself a new pair of tweezers but I couldn't find any cosmetic item that my daughter ought to use (I don't think she should wear make-up although she's getting some that she had picked herself already so there's no reason for me to buy her any more!) so I decided not to buy anything.
        But when I was in the car looking at my receipt from Transaction #1, I noticed that I only needed to spend $0.07 on a "beauty" purchase to qualify to receive a $5.00 from the CVS Beauty Club and the cut-off date is 12/31 since the Beauty Club resets every 1/1 (according to Southern Savers, I hope she wasn't wrong!).  So I went back inside and got:
        • My Revlon tweezers, priced at $8.29, yikes! However, I've used Revlon tweezers before and loved them and when you have as many chin hairs as I have these days, you'll understand why I splurged on expensive tweezers!
        • A stick of Revlon under-the-eye concealer for me priced at, yikes, $11.49. I need it, I look very tired in all the selfies that I take!  I haven't worn concealer in 15 years, mind you.
        • I redeemed a 20% off any full-price item digital coupon that I had uploaded to my card. That saved me $1.72
        • Then I redeemed the $5.00 off Revlon cosmetics coupon
        • And then I had forgotten that I had unlocked a $5.00 off $20 purchase digital coupon on my app this past weekend so that got deducted automatically! Woohoo!
        • My OOP ended up being $8.97 (so I pretty much the concealer for free when you think of it) but I received $4.00 back in ECB!
        • This should further allow me to get the $5.00 ECB from the Beauty Club (I hope!).
        • I charged the $8.97 to my Amazon Chase Visa card for 2% back in Rewards.
        • I'll stick the tweezers and concealer in my stocking from Greg, lol.

    • Murphy USA: I redeemed a coupon for a free can of QuickStart energy drink. That stuff doesn't do anything for me but boy, I needed a drink and the placebo effect of thinking I was drinking an energy drink!

    • Kohl's:  I had the free $20 in Kohl's cash that I got from Discover Deals this week (I posted about this a couple of days ago) thought to try to find something for Greg and our son's stockings but I didn't feel like roaming the store like a zombie so I was dreading going there. However, on my way there, I remembered that the last time I was there with Greg, he had looked at flannel shirts with longing. I had reminded him that he already had tons of flannel shirts but he said he wanted more. Well, he wears them off at the elbow pretty well and that's all he wears, winter or summer.  So I decided to just get them a couple more shirts. It was surprisingly hard to find them, there was only a tiny display of them, but I got him two of them. They were on sale for $17.99 each and after my $20 in KC and my 30% off discount, my OOP came to $11.96 and I earned Yes2You Reward points on there. As a matter of fact, I think I'm due for a $5.00 reward from them any day now... I charged the OOP to my Kohl's charge card.

    • Aldi. Oh my. The parking lot was so full, I had to park in the row the farthest from the store!  Thankfully though, although the first aisle was clogged with people stopping 2 abreast to buy salsa and wine (ugh!), the rest of my shopping went pretty smoothly. 
      • So smoothly, in fact, that I kept on grabbing things to put in my cart and I ended up with an OOP of $190.58 that I charged to my American Express for 3% back in Rewards.  Gulp. I won't detail what I got because it's a lot. The only "deals" were two loaves of whole grain bread marked down to $0.70 each, 2 containers of sushi priced down to $0.99 each (yuck, it was gross, I'll never buy sushi there again!) and 4 containers of my beloved cranberry almond chicken salad, priced down to $0.99 each (I froze them!). I did buy a few items that will be Christmas stocking gifts.
      • I was super disappointed to see that the only Stilton cheese that they had was mango/ginger white Stilton. Arrgh. We wanted the real Stilton, the blue one!  I was going to stock us up for a whole year!  And also, they were completely out of cat litter.  Arrgh, again.
      • But hey, they had raclette cheese so I got a wedge and I'll make raclette for the kids at some point soon.

    • GameStop.  So I wasn't going to get Greg another gift, and then I definitely wasn't going to get him what I got him because I felt that it was too expensive for what it was and also I had read reviews about it that made me think it would be a waste of money very shortly as people complained about the quality of it. But then I was feeling really guilty about it because 1) he wanted one, 2) he would use it several hours every day, 3) he's been an awesome husband and 4) he makes quite a good living and he's sending me and my daughter to France next year.  But then I couldn't find it in any local store when I checked online.  Today though, I thought I'd stop by GameStop.  
      • As I walked in, a clerk asked if I needed any help so I hollered "Do you have any Xbox One Elite Controller in stock?" and guess what?!  They did! And it was the same price as the one he had seen at Best Buy on Monday... ready?  $149.99. For a game controller. I know. Arrgh. Hey, it's Christmas.  I was talking to the 2 clerks and explaining that I was worried about the bad reviews that I had read about components breaking off and not being covered under the warranty and not being fixable, but the one clerk told me he'd had one for a year and used it extensively without any problems and told me what to do to avoid the breakage problem so I think it'll be OK.  Well, I hope!  I charged it to Amex for 1% back in Rewards.  
      • Later on, back at home, it occurred to me to check Ibotta and sure enough, there was a rebate for $5.00 back off a $75.00 purchase at GameStop so I was able to submit my receipt and got the $5.00 back. Yay!
      • Greg's gonna be super surprised because I told him I had looked at the reviews and I didn't want to buy him something that was going to break. Then he had said he didn't want it (but he really does). Can't wait to see his face when he unwraps it!  I'm so gonna win Christmas. He's very very hard to buy for.

    • ABC Liquor Store.  I wanted to see if maybe they had a kit of a small assortment whiskey/scotch/bourbon in mini bottles from around the world, but they didn't have anything of the sort. They do sell cheese but they don't carry Stilton :(
      • I bought Greg a bottle of bourbon that's of better quality than the one he usually drinks and, bonus, it was already gift wrapped for free. Woohoo!
      • I charged the OOP to my Amex for 1% back in Rewards.

    • Publix: 
      • I had brought my huge bag of recyclables (plastic bags and foam trays, egg cartons and cups) so I used their free recycling bins for those. I will reuse the large trashbag with handles that I use to collect those in the house. I had gotten it as a free sample several months ago.
      • I went inside to see if they had Stilton so I didn't get a cart or basket.  They didn't have any. But they had this miniature wedge of Camembert. I love Camembert and I especially  love stinky Camembert!  However this was about the size of one biteful of Camembert for me so I resisted buying it.  Yay.

      • Then I went to look at the cat litter. I couldn't remember how many jugs we had left but it was either 1 or 2 and since we have 4 litter boxes, we go through them pretty fast.  However, after spending way too much time calculating prices and comparing it to Aldi's, I couldn't bring myself to spend so much on generic cat litter for the next week.  That's from the woman who just spent $150 on a game controller for Pete's sake!  Still, I just couldn't do it.  However, I was next to the cat toy section... and I saw a couple of items for the cats so I grabbed those for their Christmas gift (even though I already have toys from the thrift store to give them!). I also grabbed a gag gift to give to Greg that will probably end up with the cats after he laughs.
      • Right next to the pet section is the electronic section and I spotted... earbud cases!  Seriously?  They make those?  I needed those 4 pairs of chewed up earbuds ago!  There were 2 prices on the shelf, one for $8.99 and the other for $7.99 for the exact same item. I grabbed one for Greg and one for our son since they both tend to leave their earbuds where the kittens chew on them.  The price difference will be important in a couple of bullet points.
      • I also bought a travel adapter. Not for me or my daughter (I already have one) but for my son who ordered himself something that apparently doesn't come with an American plug.  OOps, I just realized that he's going to need a transformer as well. Anyhoo, I'm keeping my receipt and if it's not what he needs, I'll just return it. Or give it to my daughter for her future international trips! It was priced at $10.59.
      • At the register, I saw D cell batteries and I bought 2 packs of 2 each because I wasn't sure that I had new ones and I've been meaning to replace those in our smoke alarms for a few months already.
      • So my OOP, which was supposed to be ZERO, ended up being $62.52.  I need to stay out of the stores!  I charged it to Amex for 3% back in Rewards.
      • But then I stopped by Customer Service to point out the two different shelf stickers for the earbud cases. The rep went to check and confirmed that apparently an older sticker had been left on by mistake and the real price was the $8.99 per case that I had been charged. However, Publix has an awesome policy in those rare cases when you find a mistake like this: they give you a free of those items!  So he refunded me $8.99 for the one case and the $1.00 difference between $7.99 and $8.99 for the other, plus the tax, for a refund of $10.69!  Thanks, Publix! He also refunded me in cash, which means that I'll still earn 3% back in Rewards on my whole original purchase OOP total.

    • Tractor Supply Co: I wasn't going to stop there at all but as I approached it, I remembered that they carry cat litter and that the last time I had looked at it, it wasn't much more expensive than Aldi's and I was really nervous that we wouldn't have enough to last us a week and also I didn't want to go back to Aldi before next Wednesday.
      • Their 14-lb jug of cat litter is priced at $4.99, just a dollar more than Aldi and cheaper than Publix. I bought 2 jugs.
      • I bought a fish-themed light string as a gag gift for Greg. It was marked down to $7.69.
      • I found a sign for my kitchen that was also marked down (to $4.19) and that says something about your choices for dinner being Eat It or Leave It or something along those lines. I can't remember exactly but it made me chuckle because it's always been the rule for the kids, growing up, and I like snarky signs in my house. So I bought it for myself and Greg can give it to me at Christmas.
      • Lastly, I grabbed the last Arm & Hammer Litter Mat that they had. I'd been looking at those for several months but never pulled the trigger on buying one. However, those cats always come out of the litter box with litter on their paws and then it's all over the floor. So I figured I'd try one of those mats to see if it helped keep the litter off the floor where we walk on it. I think it was priced at close to $10.
      • At the register, the middle-aged cashier asked me "How many cats do you have?" so I replied "six!". So she goes "Bless your heart. I have nine. And they're all rescues!". You know what I thought? "Fuck you, lady!" because, seriously. All she cared about was to tell me that she had 9 cats and she was so much better than me, obviously.  I hate people like that. And mine are all rescues too, lady, only I didn't pay any adoption fee to any shelter :)  Ugh, she really annoyed me with her smugness.  I told Greg that now we need six MORE cats so I can go and tell her "Bless your heart. (because you do know that in the South, that does mean "fuck you", don't you?!), I have TWELVE cats and they're all rescues from the neighborhood!"  but, strangely, he's not on board with that. Party pooper.
      • Anyway, I apparently paid for my $23.40 OOP with my Amex for 1% back in Rewards.
      • When I got home and unrolled the plastic mat, it was very obvious that a rat had gotten to it and chewed it up! So I went to dig my receipt out of my purse so I could set it aside to go get a refund.  
      • Only... when I looked at the receipt, I couldn't find the mat on it!  She was so busy trying to impress me with her superiority that she didn't charge me for the mat!  So I guess, I'm keeping it.  Maybe they can shake their paws on the non-chewed portion of it.

What it should look like (above the word "clean")

What it looks like!

    • Advance Auto Parts: Greg's truck needs new windshield wipers pretty badly and he mentioned on Monday that I could give him some for Christmas since I was complaining that he was so hard to buy for.  
      • I explained to the attendant that we don't have a garage and Greg does a lot of driving so I wanted good quality refills. He offered 2 different brands that are quite more expensive than the Rain-X that I usually purchase. However, I had just looked through their sales flyer and seen that one of the brands offered a $10 discount if you bought 2 refills, whereas the other, priced at about the same, didn't. So I bought the ones that got me a $10 discount.
      • I also wanted him to get him a steering wheel cover because several months ago he had mentioned that he would like one. He hunts (well, tries to!) and the camo wheel covers are on sale for 20% off. Also people always comment on his "pretty red truck" (LOL!) so I thought it would help him feel a little more... manly?  ha.  However, apparently not all the steering wheels are of the same size, so I decided to wait until after I could measure his steering wheel.  I'll have to go to the store again but it's in town so that'll be a quick errand.
      • I'm a member of the SpeedPerks program and my purchase was over $30 so I should qualify to receive a coupon via email. Hopefully I'll get it before Christmas so I can apply it to my steering wheel cover purchase? We'll see.
      • I paid for the $36.36 OOP with my Amex for 1% back in Rewards (I used Amex a lot today since my other cards would also have only earned me 1% back and there's always a chance that I uploaded some Amex deal to the card that I completely forgot about!).

  • So I finally got home and scrambled to take all the gifts upstairs to my room, where I wrapped them in my comforter on top of my bed so even if Greg peaks into my room, he won't see anything. I have a crapload of stuff to wrap tomorrow. Shit.  I thought I was done!

  • I put everything away. I was concerned, as usual, that I could, fit everything in the fridge and the freezer, but it fits. Nothing else will, but it fits. Phew!

  • For lunch, I had one of the small sushi trays that I had bought (yuck!). Princess tried very hard to eat it too :)

It looks like I was teasing her with it but actually I was trying to get it out of her reach and that proved almost impossible. She was relentless!
  • Later on, I treated myself to a bottle of hard cider.  Surprisingly, that kept me full until dinner time!

  • Despite buying a ton of food, the only food-related rebate that I was able to submit was the $0.25 Checkout 51 rebate for a cucumber.  They credited my account right away.

  • Then I submitted my rebate for $5.00 back from Ibotta for my GameStop purchase (credited right away).

  • And I checked out what other stores I might have shopped at and lo and behold, there was a rebate for $5.00 off $40.00 at Gander Mountain and it so happened that Greg and I shopped there on Monday and we spent more than $40!  I love surprise rebates!  Another $5.00 credited to my account right away!

  • Hoping to get 2% back from our Best Buy purchase as well, although it's improbable (see:

  • Lastly, found a rebate for $1.00 off Dos Equis bottled or "draught" at Chili's and, what a coincidence, we ate lunch at Chili's on Monday and Greg had Dos Equis with his salad! Another $1.00 will be credited, hopefully!

  • And then... Ibotta emailed me that I had qualified for a $3.00 Holiday bonus! It's true what they say... you have to spend money to make money, sometimes! 

  • I had opened the windows again when I got back from shopping but closed them at about 6:00 p.m. because I was freezing!  Still no need for heat though, I just put on some socks and a cardigan.

  • Greg used the $15 off coupon at Valvoline when he got the oil changed. It was his first time there and he also reported (along with my son!) that everyone was super friendly. Yay!

  • We had a late dinner since no one was super hungry. I cooked the smoked turkey sausage links I had defrosted and a box of tricolor rotini (hidden veggies!). There was a little bit of salad left from last night so I'm eating that too.  I need to make room in the fridge!

  • After dinner Greg and I watched several episodes of "Bob's Burgers" on Netflix. I told my son that there isn't a bedtime in effect since he's on vacation.

  • My daughter painted another Disney-inspired mini canvas as a gift for someone.

  • Gas to drive my son to school and for Greg to pick him up.

  • I splurged on more gifts, especially for Greg and an especially expensive one at that. But he'll be surprised and I know he'll be happy.  And he makes the money and he's been an exceptionally good husband these past few months so he deserves it, lol.

  • Let's not forget that, in the meantime, Greg was ALSO Christmas shopping!  I have no idea what he bought, and I'm going to wait until after Christmas to open the email alerts that all the credit cards are sending me so I don't spoil the surprise of where he might have gone to shop for me (I'm pretty sure it was Target because he ALWAYS goes to Target!).

  • Also, he took the kids out to lunch to Cracker Barrel.

  • And he got an oil change for his truck. Since he has a lot of miles on the truck, we always get synthetic oil.

  • The school bus not showing up on time again and the School Board rep who still hasn't replied to the email I sent him last week.  I'll remember that at election time.

  • I found the kittens on the kitchen table this morning. Greg is insisting on us having a Christmas buffet despite this. I think it's a terrible idea because it'll be stressful to try to keep them off the table from the other side of the house but also because they could get really sick from eating people's food. Plus it's unsanitary.  Maybe I should set up a folding table in the living room, next to HIS chair, so HE can keep an eye on it.  Hmm, food for thought so to speak.

  • I spent so, so much money on food today.  I mean, I spent $200 at Aldi.  Eeeeeeek.  I tried to stop the cashier from announcing the total, wanting to remain in the dark until I was home and could freak out in private, but I wasn't fast enough. It's obscene.  However, I will console myself with the following thought: It's not all for our Christmas dinner and I bought protein that will last us next week and beyond: I got a whole turkey to be cooked around New Year's, a duck, a chicken, salmon, a marinated turkey tenderloin and frozen shrimp.  BUT: for someone who declared we were NOT going to have a Christmas buffet and whose family will consist of just 3 people for Christmas dinner and 4 people on Christmas Day, I bought way too much food.  However #2, we usually live on the leftovers from the buffet for several days after Christmas and I don't have to cook. But I still spent too much.  Arrgh.  And I completely forgot to look at my receipt before I left the store to catch any errors.

  • I didn't realize that you needed to have the ABC Liquor Consumer Loyalty card and link it to Ibotta in order to be able to claim rebates on purchases made in their store!  I feel a little better that I didn't actually buy any of the items for which there was a rebate, although I had considered one of them and would have bought it had I realized I could get $10 back on it... Plus in the meantime, I'm not accumulating points on the ABC Rewards program because I don't have their card. And I've shopped there twice in the past couple of weeks!  Arrgh.

  • Similarly, I forgot to check Ibotta before Greg and I went Christmas shopping on Monday and, come to find out, we could have saved 2% on our purchase at Best Buy had I known to show the Ibotta-produce QR code at the register!  But I didn't know.  I just emailed them today with my receipt and asked if I could still get the 2% back. I'm sure they'll say no but I had to try, right? 

  • Warning, I'm gonna whine about freaking Microsoft again but this afternoon my laptop apparently was scheduled for more updates and restarted itself and then it took over an hour for all of that to take place. OVER AN HOUR.  I was so pissed off. I couldn't do any of the tasks that I was about to do.  Had I known it would be an hour+, I would have gone to do something else but I kept sitting in front of it, thinking it would be done any minute now.  We have 3 other Windows 10 PCs in this house and none of them needed to be updated today!  Arrrgh.  I'm pissed that they didn't tell me about how long it would take and offer to reschedule at a more convenient time. 

  • Arrgh, the update also deleted several shortcuts I had pinned to my Start Menu so I had to recustomize all that.

  • AAARGGH and it also made my computer switch to airplane mode so I suddenly couldn't connect to my Wifi.  This is really seriously starting to piss me off.

  • And guess what?  AAAARGH, it also decided to refuse printing because my program are set up to print to my Brother laser printer but suddenly that printer was no longer listed under "Printers".  When I first got the laptop, I was able to install the laser printer with the wizard without any problems. Today, that took some finagling. Then it told me it already had the driver for that printer installed (well, yeah, duh!) so it created a new Brother laser printer icon with the same driver. But it still wouldn't print because it said the printer was "in error".  I was FUMING.  I was able to fix it by creating a document in Notepad and then when I went to print it, my "first" Brother laser printer was listed there, along with the "new" one so I sent the document to print to the "old" one and set it as the default printer. It printed after that, so I deleted the "new" one. I'm no computer genius but I do know my way around a computer. I'm wondering how many non-technical folks are pulling their hair out tonight because freaking Windows 10 update broke everything and they don't know how to fix it. I'm sure I'll discover more problems as the night goes on...

  • I found the 2 male kittens on the kitchen table again this afternoon, happily chewing on... a papaya?!  that's after they were trying to eat my mustard greens earlier this afternoon! Alert, alert, vegetarian kittens in the house!  Man, we really can't have a Christmas buffet!

  • Some bug (probably a silverfish) ate a hole through the middle of the back of my cardigan!  I'll have to add it to my mending pile.

  • Fed the kittens
  • Drove my son to school
  • Finalized my shopping list
  • Earn rewards on my programs
  • Cuddled with a kitten
  • Spent many hours grocery/Christmas shopping
  • Put everything away
  • Submitted rebates
  • Raged not quite silently for the whole hour+ that it took for Windows 10 to update itself on my laptop
  • Typed this post, it took forever!
  • Screamed at my computer
  • Cuddled with kittens
  • Screamed at my computer some more (the update screwed up my customization!)
  • Cooked dinner
  • Dealt with more computer problems. I hate Microsoft Windows 10 and, aside from their Reward program, the whole Microsoft company as a whole.

  • For my husband offering to make me a PBJ for breakfast as I was busy finalizing my shopping list :)
  • For (finally) a good night's sleep
  • For my son being on vacation starting today so I can actually sleep in from now on!
  • For cooler temperatures again which means that the AC didn't come on and we didn't need the heat either
  • For very friendly cashiers at all the stores I visited today :)
  • For unexpected rebates and all the freebies I got
  • For not having to worry about paying the bills that I incurred today. I'm cheap and thrifty the rest of the year and a result of that is that I can go all out at Christmas. My love language IS giving gifts :) 
  • And for kittens!