Friday, January 13, 2017

Catching Up with Friends ~ Friday 1/13/17

Well, the school bus didn't come again. Today was less frantic, though, since I had showered last night and I got dressed as soon as I got up so there was less running around.  My son had asked another of the kids riding the bus if anything had changed and they said something vague about having to take a different bus, but he didn't investigate any further and didn't tell me that until this morning on our way to the high school (grrr) and you know what? I decided that I'll just start driving him every morning anyway; That's what I did with his siblings and that's just what I'll have to do from now on. I'm tired of wondering whether the bus will come, whether the bus has come, and then having to change what I'm doing at the last minute.


I hope you liked the paragraph above because it was typed with much effort. You see, I have two heavy kittens taking their nap across my chest, only they're so big now that they're also lying across my shoulders and upper arms.  It's hard (and painful!) to type in this position. They're purring so I can't kick them out!


So today is Friday the 13th and the moon was full last night. If that doesn't bring out the crazies, I don't know what will... for that reason, I decided NOT to call the Bus Transportation Office because, like a werewolf, I would have transformed into some beast and ended up yelling at someone on the phone.  Greg is like "It's our tax dollars!  You need to call them!" Well, how about YOU call them, buster?! He's your kid too and, after all, you are the one paying the taxes. I'm just a housewife. See?  It's better that I don't call anyone, I have sarcasm on full blast, already.

Let's look at the positives:

  1. Time spent with my son
  2. I can run an errand at Publix if I need to (they do indeed open at 7 a.m.)
  3. More gas spent means more RaceTrac receipts, which translates into more freebies :)

Today I'm having lunch with my friend Juliet and Greg is having lunch with a couple of his friends too.  I haven't seen Juliet in 2-3 months. We usually have lunch once a month and chat about our kids and husbands so we have lots of catching up to do, plus she had asked me to do a little of work for her every month so I expect that we'll discuss that.

I need to keep the lunch at 2 hours max, though, because Youngest Son has an FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) club meeting after school, which should end at about 3 p.m. so I'll have to go pick him up.

With that in mind, I would like to accomplish the following, today:


  • Read details of Diabetic Exchange program
  • Do my foot exercises 3 X 2X
  • Exercise DONE
  • Finish putting away Christmas decorations
  • Sweep downstairs bathroom DONE
  • Wipe out a USB stick for library
  • Update my Net Worth spreadsheet and share with Greg DONE
  • Greg and I need to assign the IRA contributions to specific funds - will do on Saturday
  • Create spreadsheet to calculate our Personal Savings Rate in 2017 DONE
  • Vacuum fridge coils
  • Declutter under window seat in Exercise Room
  • Compare music libraries between the 2 laptops and finish moving what's missing to my new laptop
  • Figure out what software I still need to move/reinstall on new laptop
  • Trying syncing my phone on new laptop
  • Clean litter box upstairs
  • Add Osmocote plant food to rose and hibiscus bushes
  • Reset all references in "Other Expenses" spreadsheet summary page DONE
  • Read some chapters in my book
  • Clip the kittens' claws - clipped Princess's claws

  • My son packed himself a lunch this morning, to take to school.

  • My daughter is at her dad's all weekend so I'm not feeding her and she's also not driving our family car since it stayed here this weekend.

  • I earned the daily Microsoft Rewards credits and I'm working on Swagbucks. My 1st goal is 100 BS, groan.

  • Speaking of Swagbucks, they confirmed that I'll get SB for my Kohl' purchase yesterday but they're cheap s.o.b's and crediting me with 38.5 dollars in purchases instead of rounding up to 39!

  • SavingStar credited my account with the $0.25 for buying the tomato at Publix.

  • I looked at the ad previews for Walgreens and CVS next week and made notes of what I might want to purchase. Walgreens will have a great deal whereby I can get a free gallon of milk with the purchase of (3) boxes of Kellogg's cereal priced on sale at 3 for $8.  I am planning on ordered (3) $1.00/1 coupons from Kellogg's Family Rewards, so I can get 3 boxes of cereal and a gallon of milk for $5.00, plus I'll use the $1.50 Register Rewards that I received for the Trolli this week, which will bring down my cost to just $3.50. Woo!

  • It looks like I've already earned all the Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices for the month that are activity-related as neither my biking nor my steps from yesterday earned me anything :( I'll just re-entered my weight for every day of the week so at least I got 20 BR points per day for that, and I'm at 1,400 Balance Rewards points (5,000 = $5 off my next purchase)

  • I spent a long time re-working my 2017 "Other Expenses" workbook because a lot of the formulas hadn't been copied properly. I pre-populated it with fixed expenses so that'll mean less work for me throughout the year, and also made some small changes to my reporting. I think everything is set now!

  • Since my goal is to add $2,000 to our Emergency Fund in 2017, I went ahead and incorporated a monthly goal of $166.66 to our monthly budget.  I might not reach that, especially since all expenses for any leisure travel that we undertake (my trip with my Daughter and Middle Son through the Eastern USA, Greg's trips to see his family) will come out of said Emergency Funds, I think.  We'll see :)

  • My daughter launched her Etsy store. There is a link to it in the right column of my blog.  This isn't a sponsored post, she's still charging me full price for a pair of the cat-themed ballerina shoes. Yes, she IS her mother's daughter, hahaha.

  • I drove the Ford Focus to have lunch with my friend at our favorite Japanese place.  I should have thought to take the Ford Focus this morning when I drove my son, but actually the SUV allows me to see above the sea of cars rushing to get into the parking lot right past the exit that I'm trying to maneuver as I leave, so it's better for me to drive the SUV in the mornings.

  • I drank water and had the chicken teriyaki Bento box. I left a 20% tip.  My bill came to $14.65. The discussion and friendship were priceless :)  My friend is in the process of having her CPA determine whether she should have employees or independent contractors so she still has to determine what she would want the people working for her to do. She knows and respects that I don't want to be placing phone calls so she's thinking about having me work with an Excel spreadsheet (how perfect would that be, for me?!) but she wasn't really clear yet on details.  So I'll wait until she's ready :)

  • She's an amazing person who likes to walk the talk, so to speak. To this extent, she and her husband have been hosting (for lack of a better word), since Thanksgiving, a local 10-year-old boy who is homeless and whose family situation wasn't the best.  She was telling me that she decided to open her home to him after the local authorities threatened to put the boy in foster care and the grandfather, who she knows a little and was asked if there was anybody he know who might be able to take the boy in,  offered her name.  It wasn't an easy decision for her and her husband as they are ready to be empty nesters in a few months and considering moving to Orlando, where he works, but she tells me that she felt she needed to do something and not just nod her head at all the sermons in church on Sundays.  She had so many compliments to say about this young boy, I really want to meet him and see what help we can lend. I talked to Youngest Son about it since the boy loves our library and is, apparently, very bright, to see if maybe getting him involved with the Teen Video project or the D&D Club would be feasible. It might not be as it really is for teens, but we'll see.  I have been wanting to be more involved with my community so maybe helping out by taking him on outings or passing on items that we no longer need might be a way to be involved?  I'll have to talk to Greg about it.

  • I purchased a pair of shoes from my daughter BUT I went through Ebates (referral link, if you sign up for Ebates by 3/31/17, you'll get $10 and I'll get $25!) to get 1% back and I'll also earn 1% in Rewards from Amazon Visa, ha.  I was going to give her cash but she asked me to order through the site so she can get her store off the ground.  Oooh, and an email from Ebates reminded me that I should be able to qualify for the $10 Walmart gift card welcome gift since I spent more than $25 via Ebates  within the first 90 days.... I'll have to keep track of that...

  • I didn't do much this afternoon, which allowed me to keep up with Swagbucks (I should hit that 1st goal after all!) and cuddle with the kittens. I think that's definitely a success :) And I reached my 1st goal!

  • I printed a few coupons via Swagbucks and also via the CVS website.

  • It started raining at 6 ish tonight, yay!

  • For dinner I'm grilled chipotle chicken sausages in the toaster oven and making a box of Deluxe Macaroni and Cheese from Aldi. I was supposed to make biscuits to go with it but neither Greg nor my son like those canned biscuits so I'll skip them for tonight. I might also make a spinach salad. Never mind, Greg didn't want salad so I didn't bother.

  • Youngest Son is going to an award ceremony next week for his FBLA Club and has to dress up. He's never worn a real tie, always a clip-on, but now that he's 15 he feels that he should start wearing real ties. So I talked to Greg about borrowing one of his, and it so happens that he had to buy a black tie for his father's memorial service and that will work great for our son.  So we don't have to go buy him a new tie :)

  • I reached my 2nd Daily Goal in Swagbucks, woohoo!

  • I exercised for free at home on my recumbent bike, listening to 2 episodes of Frasier on Netflix and catching up on blogs on my Kindle :)

  • Gas:
    • to drive my son to school and pick him up in the afternoon
    • and tolls for Greg's commute
    • to drive to meet my friend for lunch

  • Lunches:
    • Greg had lunch with a friend
    • I had lunch with a friend too!
Greg's lunch. Mine was MUCH healthier :)

  • Shoes: I just had to buy those cat-themed shoes made by my daughter for her Etsy store (she can make more!) :)

  • Stupid Blogger is giving me the "no, you may NOT type any spaces today!" side eye again. What is going on?! It's only in some parts of my post.  So I'm copying parts that I have already typed and that didn't give me any problems and retyping over them so I can type space in the other parts. It's so tedious. I checked the HTML and I don't see anything that's causing that on that end...

  • Two stray cats were in our backyard this morning and this isn't good because it was the kittens' mom and the stray black and white cat and when I chased them away the male chased the female so that means that we'll end up with more kittens around here!  I asked Greg to get the large trap that he had used on the possums down from the shed so we can try trapping at least one and call Animal Control (I love cats, I don't love ALL cats and I really dislike stray cats in my backyard) to get them since they never patrol around here anymore.  Well, he told me to just call Animal Control. Greg is all kinds of annoying this morning. Animal Control is going to do what?  Not lay in wait in our backyard, waiting for the cats to reappear!  Plus I hate calling people. I'd rather catch the cat(s) and drive it/them to Animal Control myself.  Note to self: remember to remind Jeff NOT to tell me about any stray kittens!

  • Checking Feedly, I saw an article from the Orlando Sentinel School Zone claiming that all open spots for UCF dorm rooms for Fall 2017 had already been claimed on the 1st day that they opened the reservations, on Monday!  I emailed my daughter about this, who is planning on either getting an apartment with her BFF or living at her dad's if that doesn't pan out, so she's contacting her BFF to see if she can make it to East Orlando this weekend to look at apartments, since all those people who are out of luck with dorms are going to be on the hunt as well.  I also emailed and texted my BFF with that information since her son was also planning on living on campus in the Fall...

  • Greg's Sunpass account (tolls) was replenished automatically to the tune of $25.
  • Greg's lunch: $ 14.10 plus tip (I think)
  • Nathalie's lunch: $ 14.65
  • The cutest shoes evah!  $49
  • Greg reported that he got a free pack of gum at work yesterday.

  • St Jude's Hospital sent me another free set of address labels and a notepad. They're all Christmas-themed though.

  • Fed the kittens
  • Prepped breakfast for Greg (he had to cook it himself because...)
  • Drove my son to school
  • Worked on recalculating formulas in "Other Expenses" spreadsheet
  • Swept upstairs landing
  • Swept main stairs
  • Swept hallway
  • Swept downstairs bathroom
  • Ran dehumidifier in downstairs bathroom
  • Swept exercise room
  • Checked on IRA contributions and noticed that they still need to be assigned to specific mutual funds
  • Texted Greg about that and asked if we could do this together tomorrow
  • Straightened out my 2017 Other Expenses workbook
  • Planned for monthly transfers to Emergency Savings
  • Went to lunch with my friend
  • Picked up Youngest Son from school
  • Ordered shoes from daughter
  • Entered receipts into my spreadsheets
  • Scheduled a credit card payment
  • Cooked dinner
  • Unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher
  • Texted with my daughter
  • Clipped Princess's claws while she was sleeping :)
  • Exercised
  • Created my 2017 Personal Savings Worksheet
  • Shared Net Worth Report with Greg

  • Last night, I used the sleep mode function on my fitness tracker.  Hmm, no wonder I feel tired when I wake up?!

  • Drank 2 cups of water before drinking my coffee
  • Breakfast was a bowl of generic rice crispies, 1 cup of ~2% milk and 1 banana. I drank coffee.
  • I did my foot exercises.
  • Lunch was a tiny side salad, a small bowl of miso soup and a teriyaki chicken Bento box. I have no idea of the calorie content so I think I'll skip entering the calories. I drank water
  • Afternoon snack was an apple. I drank water.
  • Dinner was mac and cheese and a chipotle chicken sausage. I drank water.
  • For exercise I used my recumbent bike for 45 minutes (7.05 miles).
  • For lunch with a lovely friend
  • For an appreciative son when I drop him off to and pick him up from school
  • For two kittens who still wanted to cuddle with me this morning!
  • That ties are "one size fits all"!


Well no birds in the backyard this morning (or the neighborhood, it's strangely silent), because of the darn stray cats :(


  1. Oh, those shoes are cute! Your daughter is very talented!

    Glad you had a nice lunch with your friend. Your lunch sounds delicious! Chicken teriyaki is one of my favorites.

    Cute picture of the kittens cuddling up to you for a nap! Sounds like you had a good day, all in all. You got a lot done!

    1. You know that as soon as she showed me the shoes, I HAD to have them! Even if she hadn't been my daughter, I would have bought them. Then I thought Greg would wince at the price but he said she would have priced them higher, hahaha.

      I did have a good Friday. Greg is sick today, though, so it's not shaping up to be so good. He has a migraine because of all the rain we got last night and he's miserable. So that puts a damper (ha!) on things here. We did run errands this morning and he insisted on coming since he was needed for 2 tasks, but I think we'll spend the rest of the day in silence at home. I might go on a bike ride on my own, we'll see.

    2. Oops, sorry, I forgot to add that I hope you have a great weekend, Bless.

    3. Aw, sorry to hear Greg has a migraine. Those are the worst. Hope he feels better, soon and you'll still be able to have a nice weekend together.

    4. Thanks my dear. He felt better after lunch so he started doing some work from home. He must REALLY been feeling better :)

  2. Those shoes are amazing! Your daughter is very talented. And those kitties snuggling on your neck are also adorable.

    Your friend sounds like a really amazing person! So glad you had a nice catch up lunch. I actually love the chicken bento boxes that you can get at sushi restaurants -- yum!

    1. Thanks, Laura. I agree with everything you said :)

  3. Very pretty shoes!

    Now that was a nice picture of Greg's lunch. I really was hoping for a photo of your lunch!

    1. Ah, I forgot to take a picture of it! I'll have to remember next month! Do you like Japanese food or are you just trying to see if I ate a lot of terribly unhealthy things? LOL.


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