Friday, June 23, 2017

Kittens! ~ Friday 6/23/17




I went to bed at 9:30 p.m. last night because I was so tired and, for once, Princess settled on the bed right away and slept with me all night (usually she comes up with me, eats a little snack, and goes back downstairs for a few hours).

I had an usually long and detailed dream about moving to Brazil with Greg, some kids, and his mother, because he'd been transferred there, and for once I remembered everything about my dream so I was able to tell him about it. We were laughing because it was all so ridiculous.

When the alarm rang, I felt exhausted!  I stayed in bed until I heard Greg get into the shower, Princess liking my forehead and chewing my hair in the meantime. I let her, I had no energy to wave her off!  Then Explorer came to cuddle a bit too.

This morning didn't start according to my grand plans of following my routine as I didn't get into the shower but instead came down still in my PJs. Is it still a routine if I don't follow it for a few days? Probably not.  I have dishes to do that I should do ASAP so I don't stress about it, but right now?  I don't feel like dealing with it. I just want to sit on my futon, watch the Law and Order marathon (although by now they've replayed the same episodes a number of times so I mostly don't pay attention) and continue reading my book about becoming wealthier.

You might be wondering why I titled my post "Kittens!"... well, I noticed two of my kittens looking intently behind a fogged up window and I thought there were birds at the feeder so I went to investigate and I saw... two little kittens on my patio!  They are undoubtedly their siblings and two of the kittens that I had found in the tree a few weeks ago (and left there).  Arrrgh! They are so cute!  Arrgh!  My heart melted. Again.  I called Greg and he was laughing at me while telling me we didn't need anymore cats but I went on the patio regardless to try to befriend them and they ran off as soon as I opened the door. Well, that's settled then, they're definitely not the kind who will come out crawling from the bushes, meowing for our attention!  But it means 2 more feral cats out there, of course.  They're so small still that predators will probably get them...  I'm going to need to come clean to Youngest Son about the whole story since he's bound to see them at some point. I've confessed to it to my daughter during the trip. It's going to be even harder to resist trying to befriend them (and adopt them!) if the kids see them because we all love cats so very much. So I guess we need to steel ourselves. Arrgh.  I didn't get a picture of them since they ran off so fast. But, a bit later on I saw one of them in the road with his mom so I was able to snap two pictures through my window (we have screens on the windows so that doesn't help the quality of the picture, though...).


Peanut and Explorer look just like their mom, Tabby Kitten looks a lot like this little one here, his stepbrother or sister.
Daughter is driving to Busch Gardens with her BFF today to meet an online friend for the first time.  The online friend is bringing her brother so I'm grateful that my daughter's BFF is willing to go with her because in this day and age, you never know if she's been fooled by some predator or something. And I say that as someone who met my husband online and who drove, by myself, to meet an online friend (hi Pixel!) back in April, lol.  I hope is all turns out to be OK.  That girl is also going to UF in the Fall and happens to have secured a job in the apartment complex where my daughter will be living.  Paranoid me thinks it's too big of a coincidence.  Yes, I am paranoid.

I think they're taking the BFF's car, so I should be able to take Youngest Son practice his "stick shift" driving. I told my daughter I'd pay for their parking ($20). They each have the Busch Gardens season pass so they don't have to pay for admission.  Meals are on them, though.

  • Plan my food intake for the day   DONE
  • Exercise 
  • Do the dishes
  • Post trip pictures on French blog
  • Write and mail postcards to my mom and great aunt
  • Back up all pictures to my external drive
  • Figure out where I was in the process of backing up my external drive!
  • Clip cats' claws DONE
  • Pull weeds 
  • Make hummingbird nectar
  • Find two books to donate to The Little Library when I go to the eye doctor
  • Check to see if I need to purchase more Prevident toothpaste
  • Balance the checkbook
  • Track Greg's latest paycheck in my Tax Worksheet DONE
  • Confirm the after tax amount of his raise and transfer the money to New Car Savings DONE
  • Wash Youngest Son's bedding with mine
  • Cut up Greg's old sheet for rags
  • Iron Greg's business clothes
  • Vacuum the downstairs
  • Mop kitchen
  • Find a bed for me (IKEA?)
  • Clean upstairs litterbox DONE
  • Bake banana bread
  • Figure out what to do with other egg yolks
  • Water the plants on the front porch
  • Water plants on patio?
  • Mend some items from the mending basket
  • Draft an email reply re: daughter's FL Prepaid/Scholarship ongoing saga
  • Take Wawa survey DONE
  • Make more salt-free garlic herb seasoning
  • Take Youngest Son driving DONE

SUCCESSES AND FAILURES
  • I lost more weight, yay!

  • I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work.

  • I saw two young kittens in the backyard but they ran away. Not sure to count this as a success or a failure, lol.

  • I'm running SB videos to try and reach my first goal of 50 SB.  I've already earned the MS Rewards on my laptop and I'll do the mobile part on my phone while I'm biking later on.

  • I've been thinking about bloggers who haven't blogged in a while, like Laura from All That Junk in my Trunk, Dawn from Blessed Beyond Measure, Jess from Rebuilding Life, Daisy from Dirt Road Daisy and Tara from Daily Delight. If any of you are reading this, I hope you're OK.  I did "talk" to Tara briefly a few days ago via comments on MFP but we just said hi and supported each other in getting healthier.

  • A comment by Nan about lilacs and scented candles got me excited about lighting up my lilac-scented candle... but I guess I had already burned it. Rats. And I can't buy any more because... well, because... oh, just look:
My candle stash. Kindly ignore the shameful layer of dust on my shelf. I really should have dusted before taking the
picture but that would have been very disingenuous, wouldn't it have been? Sigh, I'll need to add "dusting" to my to do list.
  • The Neufchatel cheese that I bought a couple of weeks ago at Aldi and that has a September 2017 sell-by date was spoiled when I opened it last night. It's the 3rd time that it's happened with Neufchatel cheese from Aldi so I need to remember not to get it from there again.  If I were going to Aldi, I'd bring it back to use their satisfaction guarantee, but I have no plans to be in the vicinity of Aldi this week. If I still have it by Wednesday, I'll bring it back then.

  • I planned my food intake for the day in my homemade Diabetic Exchange Journal.  When I was time to figure out the exchanges for a pita bread, I use the calculations that I found in a forum comment from a dietician, somewhere:
    • Step one: begin by looking at the total grams of carb, protein and fat in one serving of the food you are eating.
    • Step two: divide the total grams of carbs, protein and fat by the number of grams per exchange per serving (carb is 15 grams per exchange, protein is 7 grams per exchange, fat is 5 grams per exchange)
    • To determine whether the carb exchanges come from fruits, vegetables, milk or starches, you will need to make an estimate based on the ingredients
    • So in the case of my pita, one pita as 37 gr of carbs, 6 gr of protein and 0.5 grams of fat.
      • Carbs: 37/15 = 2 (so 2 starches since it's bread)
      • Protein: 6/7 = 0.85 (so 1 meat if you round up)
      • Fat: 0.5/5 = 0.1 (so no fat, basically)

  • I printed Greg's new paystub, tracked it in my Tax Worksheet.  After figuring out the net dollar amount of his 2017 raise, I transferred money corresponding to his 2016+2017 raise+amount that used to be deducted for FICA to our "New Car Savings" account, and also scheduled an automatic transfer for each pay period through the end of the year.  I like to avoid "lifestyle creep" and automatize our savings so there's less temptation to just spend it all.
I found this infographic on millennials and the lifestyle creep on the SunTrustEnEspañol website
  • Princess got really comfy on my hand while I was trying to type, LOL.   I need to go cook my breakfast, though.
Little Miss Needy
  • McDonald's has a new offer for free medium fries with any purchase in their app. I might treat Youngest Son to a cheeseburger and fries... we'll see. Oh wait, he has spaghetti leftovers to eat so never mind!

  • I was awarded 21 SB for a search, so that put me over my 1st goal. After that, nCrave automatic videos were available so I'll be playing them until they run out or the day ends, whichever comes first! I'm at 1,953 SB as of 11 a.m.

  • I forgot that I had the free coffee from Wawa in the fridge (both the 24 oz and the sample size) and I brewed a new pot of coffee! I guess I'll be drinking coffee all day?

  • I'm almost out of Mrs Dash salt-free garlic and herbs seasoning but I found a recipe that I had saved in a notebook so I'll be making some of this instead of buying it. as I have all the ingredients on hand.

  • I input my weight into WGBRHC and earned 20 BR points. Inching my way to a $5 merchandise credit!

  • So my daughter's BFF waited until the last possible minute to try to earn the volunteer hours she needs to qualify for Bright Futures. In her defense, she's had a lot of serious health problems during high school. Anyhoo, in the past couple of weeks she's been volunteering at the local animal league shelter and at a local library too.  One of the ways she can earn additional volunteer hours at the animal shelter is by bringing donations of food, cleaning products, etc.  She doesn't have a lot of money so my daughter asked me for suggestions on how she could minimize her cost to make donations. I told her about the PETCO Pals Rewards coupons and also to print pet coupons and wait for BOGO sales at Publix, especially if there was a BOGO coupon because then you get the food for free (or tax only, I think).  Well, this morning there is a BOGO coupon for a brand of dog food and a corresponding BOGO sale going on at Publix at the same time!  So I emailed the details to my daughter and explained how it works and rain checks (if Publix runs out of the food).  My daughter and I are conflicted about the fact that you can buy your volunteer hours (my daughter actually volunteered more than 100 hours herself and Youngest Son volunteers at the library every week) but the shelter does need the food and of course we want the best for her BFF...

  • And then I printed 2 of the BOGO coupons for the BFF and some coupons for me since they had reset since Sunday.

  • I checked the ad previews for CVS and Walgreens next week and updated my shopping list. I'll be getting some candy at Walgreens because I'll get Register Rewards for them, making them essentially "free". I'll redeem the RR the following week for some groceries.  The candy will be given to Youngest Son.

  • After taking a shower, I took Youngest Son on a driving lesson with the Ford Focus (stick shift). This time I had him drive all the way to the Van Fleet Trail where Greg and I go walking. I knew he wouldn't want to go walking and it was hot anyway so then I had him drive home.The road doesn't have a lot of traffic but has a lot of curves and is narrow with lots of pot holes to avoid. The speed limit is also 55 MPH for half of it so it was good practice for a lot of things. However, today he was having trouble with the car stalling when he tried to drive in 1st gear (like at a stop sign) or stalling when he got to a stop sign because he forgot to put it in neutral. So he needs to practice this more before I feel comfortable taking him on a busier highway and I had him drive home. So he got about 40 minutes of driving done today. We talked about practicing the same route at night and also in the rain, so we might go out again tonight. We'll see.

  • Then I drove us to RaceTrac to get our free Sodapalooza refills. I redeemed a survey reward code for a free Monterey Chicken hot grill roller item for his lunch.  So glad we didn't go to McDonald's!

  • It was already 1:30 p.m. when we got home, so I made my lunch and got back to my Law & Order marathon on ION TV :)  I had to throw away about 2 oz of chicken because I had cooked the breast last week and the bottom part of it had become slimy and smelled a little. The top was fine so that's what I used for my lunch.

  • While I was gone, nCrave automatic videos allowed me to reach my 2nd Daily Goal. Yes! I'm now at 2, 010 SB so I should be able to get a new gift card soon. I'm thinking about getting something else than a Walmart gift card this time, though. Maybe Amazon, we'll see.

  • PBS sent me a reminder that they're airing a new (well, the 4th) season of The Great British Baking Show right now.  I emailed Greg to warn him that we'll watch it tonight, on the PBS app of our Roku.  We love that show!

  • Brighthouse is/was our cable internet provider but it got bought by Spectrum a few months back, who has now taken to calling my cell phone every day, probably to upsell me, so I blocked them on my cell phone. I've heard that they don't do contracts and were cheaper so I was wondering if I would pay less for our internet if I contacted them.  However, I just found a site with the following information that was updated last week and I'll stick with what we have right now. Our speed isn't as good but it's good enough and we pay less than the regular price will be after the 1 year promo. I hate those deals with small print, they're all so scammy. So we'll stick with our regular plan which hopefully will keep on being offered.  We're not under contract either and we don't need nor want home phone or cable TV.

  • I clipped all of the cats' nails. I had some trouble with a couple of them (Princess hates anyone holding her or even thinking of holding her and fights it with her all might!) so Youngest Son stepped in to help and distract them.  I only did the front paws for the kittens, all four paws for the more sedate older cats. It helps that I caught most of them while they had been napping!
  • To reward the kittens, I gave them each a Greenies treat from the bag I got at a steep discount yesterday (tuna flavor, I'm not sure how that's supposed to help their breath!) and got their favorite toy out: the long bendy stick that has a small bell and multicolored feathers at the end. They go c-r-a-z-y for it so I let them jump and run and pounce after and on it for a while before putting it away in its hiding place again.  I think Princess will soon forget about the ignominy of getting her front nails clipped and may return to cuddle before bedtime :) (update: it's 9:34 p.m. and she hasn't returned yet...)

  • But Explorer did come to cuddle instead of her!

  • It doesn't look like I'll be exercising today so I went ahead and earned the mobile MS Rewards.  I'm 4 credits away from being able to order a $5 Amazon gift card.

  • Tabby Kitty just brought down his 2nd sock of the day. I was hoping that he was over that since I hadn't noticed any new socks downstairs in a couple of day, but nope. At least he 's playing with it instead of just dropping it there and never touching it again (until I bring it back upstairs because he brings it back downstairs!). It's like he's feathering a nest with socks but his nest is my whole downstairs...
Sock #1

Sock #2 (also ignore the basket of ironing that I have to do!)

And here he is looking quite innocent.
  • Explorer is the mellowest cat but also very high strung. Is that possible?  Like here, he's relaxing near me while I'm scratching his chin and decides to start cleaning his back paw... he's completely relaxed. And then Tabby Kitty makes a little noise down on the ground and Explorer shoots out like an arrow (scratching my arm in the process) goes to hide!  He did that this morning too when we were cuddling in bed. Each time he scares the poop out of me because I'm pretty high strung myself, hahaha.
Very dignified position, isn't it?!
  • The flowers on the back patio really need to be watered because it hasn't rained in over 24 hours and it's been quite hot. But I'm hoping it'll rain overnight so I don't have to go out there and do it myself, lol.

  • I was reading something online and was reminded, again, that paying for stuff on Amazon with Amazon Rewards when you have an Amazon Visa card that pays 5% back in Rewards makes no financial sense. And yet that's what I do because I love seeing those "$0 due" when I place my orders!  But I should apply the points to my credit card balance and earn 5% back on ALL my orders instead.  Arrgh, I really need to do this, it's so stupid to focus on the "freebies" when it's actually costing me money in form of rewards that I'm NOT earning.

  • For dinner I made Mock Zuppa Toscana Soup.  I used the turkey andouille sausage from Aldi (4 links only, I froze the remaining 2 it was $2.49 for 6 links),  white wine from Aldi ($2.99 a bottle), collard greens bought on 50% off clearance at Save A Lot ($1.25 a 32 oz bag), Better Than Bouillon Reduced Sodium (I got it for free at Publix with a gift card I had won), minced garlic from Dollar Tree, 4 Yukon potatoes that had been in my pantry for several weeks.  Instead of cream, I used the 4 little pots of half and half I got with my free coffee at Wawa yesterday. To accompany the soup, I used 2 pitas from Aldi that I had bought several weeks ago on clearance and frozen. I cut them in halves.  The soup was very spicy, I think the next time I use that type of sausage, I will omit the red pepper flakes!

  • After dinner, Greg and I watched the 1st episode of the 4th season of The Great British Baking Show. They made Jaffa cakes! I looooove Jaffa cakes!  Now I want to make some!  Oooh, and I guess we're late to the party because episodes 2 and 3 have already aired so now we have dates for tomorrow night and Sunday nights (because I can't binge-watch this show while I'm on a diet, there's so much salivating I can do in one night without succumbing to temptation.)
You can also find those in the imported foods section of some supermarkets, they're called "Pims" and are made by Nabisco.  They come in Orange or Raspberry flavor. They're my very favorite cookies.  Publix usually carries them.

FREEBIES
  • My daughter's BFF drove to Busch Gardens so I didn't have to pay for the gas (or wear and tear on the Focus)
  • A survey reward code from Wawa for a free drink
  • I told daughter about the BOGO sale on dog food coupled with the available BOGO coupon that will result in dog food freebies for her BFF to redeem at the shelter for volunteer hours toward a college scholarship
  • Two free Sodapalooza refills for my son and myself
  • I always forget to mention this but Greg gets 4 free Sodapalooza refills for himself every day now that he has my daughter's cup too and that there's a RaceTrac station near our home AND his office!
  • A free Monterey Chicken hot grill roller item from RaceTrac, with a survey reward code

HEALTH
  • I lost weight again, woohoo!
  • Breakfast was my usual egg white omelet with onion, zucchini, and spinach, and a cup of papaya.
  • I had my morning snack with lunch, my usual strawberry shake.
  • Lunch was a chicken wrap made with a whole wheat tortilla, 2 oz of grilled chicken breast, light mayo and spinach. I also had a side salad of Romaine lettuce and cucumber with some light balsamic vinaigrette, and a cup of papaya.
  • Afternoon snack was a slice of homemade whole wheat bread, toasted, with some Earth Balance with Olive Oil spread melted on top and 8 Thin Wheat crackers from Aldi.
  • Dinner was a full bowl of Mock Zuppa Toscana and half a pita. Later on, I had a Fit & Active yogurt.

How do you handle lifestyle creep?  Do you send your raise amount to savings, increase your debt repayment accordingly, or do you just leave it in your checking account and spend it on everyday stuff?

12 comments:

  1. You get a lot of free stuff at RaceTrac. Do you every buy anything or are you just very clever in managing their offers?

    I think kittens just follow you because they know that life can be no better anywhere else than with you.

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    1. Aww, you're very kind to say this, thanks for the compliment :)

      We do get all of our gas for our 3 cars at RaceTrac and we purchase food and drinks on occasion, usually when we have a BOGO coupon, of course! They're extremely generous with their offers, from the freebies that we can earn by taking the short survey on each receipt (I have soooo many receipts and they don't limit the timeframe in which to take the receipt or in which to redeem the freebie), the coupons on their app (I think the coupons are based on how many loyalty points you rack up because I seem to get more freebie coupons than Greg, you do earn more loyalty points by purchasing merchandise than by buying gasoline and while he uses the most gas, I'm the one making the purchases in the store) and of course their awesome Sodapalooza summer promotion each year (we paid $9.99 per cup this year but that gave us unlimited refills for a little over 3 months plus a bunch of coupons for merchandise, including more freebies!). I really love them and we're extremely loyal to them. Plus it's close to our house and also the cheapest game in town so what's not to love?

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  2. More kittens! Aw, they are so cute! I seem to have acquired my neighbor's cat! It hangs out in my garden more than it does in his garden!

    That life style creep was very interesting to read! I must show it to my daughter. She just received a raise based on her annual evaluation. According to her calculations, the pre-tax amount will just about cover her $100/month increase in rent! LOL. She was thrilled because it means that she doesn't have to tighten her current budget to accommodate the rent increase. :) I'd like to say that I don't increase my discretionary spending because my income increased, but that won't be quite true.

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    1. I think that if the raise goes toward paying an increase in FIXED expenses (such as rent without having upgraded to a larger place or a "better" neighborhood), then it isn't lifestyle creep. You're just maintaining the same lifestyle. But if you do decide to upgrade your car or your apartment based on that, then it pretty much is. I also don't think it's necessarily a bad thing, sometimes your current car isn't safe to drive or you need a larger apartment because you now have a child or your current one is located in a neighborhood that isn't safe anymore, but also it's so very easy to not even give it a thought and just incorporate it in your budget when you could be maintaining the same budget but using the raise to pay down debt faster or put it in savings for x goal (retirement, car replacement, college, etc...). It took me years to realize that I could have been NOT spending Greg's raise, I wasn't always so aware of my own financial limitations!

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  3. Aww those kitties are so cute. We have a new Racetrac pretty close to the house but I use the plenti card now at a Mobil- I just looked and I have $70 in points!!! I've been doing more shopping at
    Winn Dixie so guess that is the trick and activating for 3 or 4 X. Great work on the dieting! I have been saving $$ like crazy but not losing any weight boohoo. I'm thinking I might go to my sister's later today. We used to get together a lot and now, it's more the phone. She's only about 30 minutes away so no excuse. DD and family are staycationing near Gainesville. They usually go to this particular park/river in August but decided to go earlier this year. I don't know if your son would be interested or qualified, but GS just got an email that the band teacher quit! She was new this past year and now they need another one. Daughter says it is nigh on to impossible to find someone- St Augustine HS. Marching band camp is up in the air. Well, guess I had better do some work and make a few home visits at 9 AM.

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    1. The Mobil station across from the RaceTrac station in Clermont has prices that are sometimes 10 cents a gallon higher. Even with Plenti points, I can't justify paying that more more, seeing that we gas up 3 cars. If you have AT&T for your cell phone you can link your accounts and earn Plenti points that way too. I did that a couple of years ago without even knowing anything about Plenti, save that I saw bloggers who have Rite Aid pharmacies rolling their Plenti points there, the way we "roll" ECBs at CVS, and I was envious. It's just recently that I've been able to enjoy the Plenti points as I redeemed my balance at the Winn Dixie Liquor Store when I bought Greg's whiskey. It was almost half the total bill after my discounts for having a Rewards card so I was pretty excited! I do activate whatever offer they email me, but even with their 3-day sale prices, I can get better prices at my other stores. So I guess I'll just keep on accruing them via AT&T and then also when we occasionally eat at Chili's.

      Thanks so much for the heads up on the music teacher position. It's a shame that the kids might not have Band Camp! My older boys loooooooved Band Camp. Oldest Son did work a few summers as the trumpet section lead and advisor during band camp at our high school. I'm not sure if he would be interested in the position seeing that it's in St Augustine and he has an apartment down here with his GF who is finishing school herself (graduating in December) and, at last news, very much wanted to remain in East Orlando near her parents. But when it's a more decent hour, I will text him with what you told me. He might know of someone who might be interested. I'm surprised that they can't find anyone. Thanks, regardless :)

      Have fun at your sister's! I hear you about not seeing people even though they live pretty close. I rarely see Middle Son who lives about an hour away, and my mom hasn't seen my sister in a month and they live less than 10 miles away!

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  4. You find the best clip art for your blog. Love the one of the cat shaping his nails. Ha. I also found that article about lifestyle creep very interesting. I know it is a thing, but didn't know what to call it. I was in the workforce twice during my married life. While raising children, I was home living the frugal lifestyle. Had I continued once I returned to the workforce, I could have accomplished a lot financially. But we never seemed to get ahead. I shopped more. We ate out more. I knew it was more than the cost of going to work. Now I know.

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    1. I didn't know it had a name either until a few years back. What an eye opener, eh? I really wish I had realized it a long time ago too because Greg now makes 3 times what he made when we first met! I would have saved A LOT of money. Even after I lost my job, if we had banked that money and not bought a huge SUV and a pick-up truck, compounding interest would have us so much closer to what we'd need to live on in retirement than what we have now!

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  5. Oh, Spectrum...Hubby and I signed up for it since it was WAYYY less than what we were paying for another company. I MUST stop procrastinating and upgrade our home alarm system because 1) we are paying way too much for monitoring each month (I found out after browsing around) and 2) the ringer on our house phone stays off but we pay for a line JUST for the alarm system. We have got to upgrade to satellite monitoring so we can get rid of the home phone. Well, Spectrum told us they would be out "sometime next week" a few weeks ago. They showed up on a Thursday evening, after dark. They didn't bother to ring the bell/knock/etc. My dogs lost it when they saw them out of my front, office window. I came into the office to see what they were losing their minds over. I look out and see two people who at first glance appeared to be sneaking around my front bushes. We have firearms in our home and both have been though training from our uncle, who is chief of police as well as both of us have concealed to carry permits. That is a great way to get yourself shot! I had hubby turn on the front light and spotlight. We saw their van at the end of our long drive, so hubby went out and chatted a bit with them and gave a friendly piece of advice about it would be a great idea to let someone know you are that close to their home after dark. All of the sudden, the computer and TV go offline. We look out the window to see these two knuckleheads frantically picking up their tools. It dawns on us that they have cut our existing line by mistake (they were only laying the new line, but the technician had to come back the weekend to install). They were going to LEAVE without saying a word! Let me tell ya, I was pissed. Long story short, we hubby goes outside to confront them, I call our current carrier to let them know what happened, then I call Spectrum main office to let them know what happened as well as to let them know we were no longer interested! I would rather pay more than get done dirty! ugh!

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    1. What a nightmare, Joy! I'm not looking forward to dealing with them. Brighthouse didn't have a great reputation but I really never had problems with their customer service or the techs at all. All the times when we did have problems and thought it was Brighthouse's fault, I think it was our router that was quite old. Since we've replaced it, knock on wood, we haven't had any problems. Spectrum had taken to calling me on my cell phone (the number I put on the account only so that techs could call me back when we did have problems) daily, probably to upsell me, so I ended up blocking their number.

      Good luck, moving forward! At least it sounds like you have a choice of providers whereas we don't. Brighthouse/Spectrum is the only cable internet provider here.

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  6. ...who drove, by myself, to meet an online friend (hi Pixel!) back in April... <-- and it turned out to be such a fun experience!

    Well, thanks a lot for posting and talking about Jaffa cakes! I still have some boxes stashed away from when Aldi had them (before I started my diet). I've been resisting so far, but since I suspended my diet for four days (four days off is a vacation for me, and on vacations, I don't count calories - just try to eat somewhat reasonable). So maybe that'll be my treat tonight! Tomorrow, it's back to counting calories again.

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    1. You are welcome! And my Aldi had lots of Jaffa cakes in stock just last week, both orange AND raspberry. Arrgh. It took a lot of willpower for me to walk away. A LOT. Tomorrow, I'll be averting my eyes. I hope you enjoyed your vacation from calorie counting!

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