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Archive for June, 2017

tuesday tidbits

June 6th, 2017 at 12:35 pm

I am generally not a big fan of weddings, but the one I attended on Sunday was a lot of fun! Gorgeous place (upscale inn), really good food and libations, and lots of love and warmth and laughter. My friend is 65 and this was her second marriage, but first real wedding, so she went all out. Oh my goodness, I’m so curious how much it all cost. I think her new husband paid for it, since he’s a bit younger and is still working. Apparently, he really wanted to host a wedding so that friends and family could gather and celebrate. His first wife died after being ill for many years and he is very happy and grateful to have met another woman with whom to share his life.

The food was delicious! My friend and I split our entrees – tenderloin and potato gnocchi with wild mushrooms. Yum. The beef was amazingly tender. The wedding cake and desserts were also tasty, so I broke my no sugar streak and completely indulged. It was worth it! After dinner, there was a lot of dancing to a DJ and I love to dance! I ended up losing track of time and suddenly it was after midnight and the party had cleared out. My drive home involves a desolate mountain pass, so the groom insisted that I stay over. It turned out that I slept on a foldout couch in his brother and sister-in-law’s room. Talk about awkward moments – sleeping with strangers! They were so friendly and very accommodating – “we love slumber parties!” Needless to say, I didn’t sleep well and needed to leave by 8a in order to make a massage appointment that I had scheduled for 10a. I had already arranged to take Monday off from work since I figured I would be tired after the wedding. I drank more than I usually do, so I had a bit of a hangover all day, even though I stopped drinking early and switched to water so that I could drive home (which didn’t happen!).

Yesterday after my massage, I couldn’t resist buying a bag of potato chips and a pint of ice cream ($7.49) for lunch – hangover food. I then had dinner out with my friend D, but I wasn’t very hungry so spent $13.99 on an appetizer (including tax and tip). I ate only half of it, so will have the rest this evening. D is going to live overseas for a year and last night was the only time that worked for us to get together before she leaves. I usually don’t like to eat out, but it was the easiest scenario. In hindsight, I should have ordered a full entrée and saved most of it for dinner tonight! It wouldn’t have cost much more than the appetizer. Oh well. I will be eating my own food for the rest of the week. I’m also starting “no sugar” again today. So far, so good although I am starting to feel my usual afternoon cravings, so I must resist temptation.

Back to work today. The weather has been cloudy and rainy for a long time – I hope it dries out soon! I dropped my car off this morning for a yearly state inspection and a $60K mileage maintenance. I’m bracing myself for unexpected repairs, so mentally preparing for a bill up to $2K. Hopefully it will be less than that, but I want to be prepared. Ultimately, I will be glad to have the car be up-to-date and safe for now. I have a physical therapy appointment at 4 for an issue I’m having with my arm and then I’ll go home for the night. I hope to muster up energy to do some cleaning because my house is a disaster. Smile

saturday

June 6th, 2017 at 08:16 am

I wrote this entry on saturday and then never got around to posting it, so doing it now even though it's kind of dated. Smile

My spending yesterday (Friday):

23.00 – groceries – raisins, flax seeds, rolled oats, grapes, 3 carrots, 1 cucumber, 1 banana, small daikon radish, 1 beet, head of local romaine lettuce and local spinach

5.34 – toilet paper

17.95 – gas – 8.348 gallons @ 2.15 (cash price) at a locally-owned station. Full price was 2.25/gal, so I saved .83. I passed a gas station later with a price of 2.37/gal!

10 – friend’s pre-wedding ceremony contribution

Last evening, 24 women gathered to celebrate our friend, who will get married on Sunday, with a nature-based spiritual ceremony followed by a potluck. It was hosted at one woman’s lake house, which is was gorgeous setting. Sadly, it was too cold and wet to convene outside. We were asked to bring flowers, so I cut some very fragrant late-blooming lilacs from my yard and a large rhubarb flower, which was beautiful and received many compliments as a unique choice! All of the flowers were combined and spread on the floor for the ceremony. The bride-to-be (who is 65!) loved the event. She has cultivated deep friendships with many interesting, intelligent, conscious women, which was reflected in everyone’s words.

As planned, I bought organic green and red grapes to contribute to the potluck. My post-work errands took longer than expected, so I was running late for the ceremony – scurrying around my yard cutting flowers, getting dressed and finding rain gear in case we gathered outside. In my haste, I left the grapes at home! Now I have a LOT of grapes. The potluck food was amazing – a spread of healthy, delicious choices which I thoroughly enjoyed. I skipped dessert and am now on Day 13 of no sugar. The wedding is tomorrow (Sunday) and if the cake/dessert looks really good, I will indulge and then go back to no sugar on Monday. If it’s something that I don’t like, then I will skip it and maintain my sugar free streak.

For the wedding, I’m wearing a dress and shoes that I already own. I’m so glad that the dress fits because I haven’t had any time to go shopping. Tomorrow afternoon’s forecast is chilly and damp, so my long dress will work well. If it was going to be hot, I’d probably have to make another choice. I still need to get a gift, which may be swing dance lessons for the couple or some type of gift certificate. I’m planning to spend $100. I really wish they had a registry, which would make gift choosing easier. They are older, but didn’t specifically say “no gifts”. I’m glad to get them something, I just hate guessing and wasting money. I talked to my bridal friend to get some ideas, but still haven’t chosen the final gift. I found out that they need a new kitchen table and they could have put out the idea for people to make contributions toward a beautiful, locally-crafted table. That would have been a great idea, but it’s too late! Frown

Today is a low-key, no spend day. I got some free old tarps from a friend that I will use to smother grass in front of my house to create a garden bed. I’m eating leftover chili and salad that I prepared earlier this week. I’m trying to get some things done around the house, but my motivation is quite low. There’s an event (free) that I’d love to attend tonight, but it’s not until 8p and it’s at least 45 minutes away. I will most likely stay home and relax. This next week is going to be fairly busy.

Snowflakes – found .16 on the grocery store floor; found .11 about a week ago while taking a walk (very odd – there were a bunch of pennies scattered all over a dirt road). Received $9.10 of free red organic grapes yesterday when I mentioned to the produce clerk that the grapes I had bought last week were not very good. I shop at a small, independent health food store that has excellent customer service!

Here's a photo of Friday evening's beautiful sunset at the lake house:



TGIF

June 2nd, 2017 at 11:57 am

I am so glad it is Friday even though I only had a three-day work week. Smile

Last night's swing dance class was fun. I couldn't walk during the day as planned, but after class I pushed myself to walk for 30 minutes. The class is in a town that I rarely visit, so I enjoyed the new scenery – lots of interesting old buildings, houses and shops.

I brought my breakfast and lunch to work today. I will be leaving shortly and stopping for groceries for the week on the way home. My list is small and I hope that I can stick to it!

A friend is getting married on Sunday and a friend of hers is hosting a women's ceremony this evening to celebrate the bride (who is 65!). I need to bring some flowers (going to pick some late blooming lilacs from my yard – free!), $10 for the woman who created the ceremony, and a dessert. I'm planning on buying organic red and green grapes, so estimating about $10. I considered making a crisp with rhubarb from my yard, but I don't have time. I also called a local bakery to inquire about fruit or other tarts/pie and discovered that they cost $28! So, I'm going with healthy grapes, which will work for me because I am on Day 12 of no sugar.

I need to stop for gas on my way out of town. The ceremony is 45 minutes away and the wedding on Sunday is about an hour away.

Happy weekend!

thursday

June 1st, 2017 at 08:44 am

Today should be a no-spend day.

I brought my breakfast, lunch and snacks to work. I have a massage at 3:30p which will be covered by insurance. Smile Actually, my company switched insurance providers for cost reasons this year and there has been a problem for massage therapists getting paid for their appointments (both of my therapists bill directly). My company is using one of the largest, most established insurance companies around, so it's hard to believe that this problem has not been solved over the course of five months. Apparently, we are just about the only company that covers massage therapy and for some reason all of the claims keep getting denied. And, then more paperwork is requested. And, then the claims are denied again. It has been so frustrating, especially since the therapists are basically working for free because a lot of their clients are from my company. Argh.

After my massage, I will go home and eat some pre-prepared chili and brown rice and then head to a swing dance lesson. This will be my fourth of out of five lessons. The lessons are $10 each or $40 if you paid all at once at the first lesson, which I did. I liked saving $10, of course, but prepaying has also helped me to actually go to the lesson when otherwise I might bail after a long day. Smile It's been fun! Thankfully, you don’t need to bring a partner and, during the lesson, we switch partners constantly while learning the steps. It's very inclusive and user friendly. After the hour lesson, the instructor puts on music and holds a practice session and people dance with each other. It's been a great way to get me out of the house! I love to dance, so I hope to continue with lessons and eventually attend some local dances. A friend was supposed to join me, but somehow she has had a conflict on each Thursday night, including tonight. Frown

I walked yesterday after work for 1 hour and 15 minutes and then did 20 minutes of yoga stretching. I hope to walk for 30 minutes at some point before my 3:30p massage. I wore my walking clothes to work so that I could go at any time. My workplace is very casual during the summer months. Smile

Just decided to check my retirement accounts and I have hit the $700K mark! $700,380.76 is the total for my work 403B account, a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA. It's always exciting to hit a new benchmark. At the same time, the number is so ethereal due to inevitable market ups and downs. Who knows how much money will actually be available when I retire? It will all depend on the state of the market at that time.

Snowflake: I currently have $87 of sw@gbucks accumulated.