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Home > Archive: October, 2011

Archive for October, 2011

A mouse in the houseÖor worse?

October 24th, 2011 at 11:53 am

Ugh. I have had some sort of critter in my kitchen for the last week. I thought it was a mouse, but have not caught anything yet in the covered snap traps Iíve set. I usually get one or two mice inside during fall, catch them quickly and thatís it. This time, though, the signs are different from usually mouse activity. Itís a lot louder, I havenít seen any droppings, itís not getting caught in the traps and yesterday I finally found what Iíve heard it gnawing on. I had a rotting gourd in my compost bucket and I noticed that a good portion of it is gone. This morning I was awoken by the loud thump of something falling onto the ground. I thought it was an apple from the kitchen table, but when I went downstairs noticed that it was a gourd in my front entryway. And the pumpkin on the table had bites taken out of the fleshy part and the stem and there were gourd shards everywhere. Iím starting to think that my friend is bigger than a mouse. Maybe a rat, a squirrel or a chipmunk? Gross! Iíve only had rats once years ago in an apartment and my upstairs guy neighbor took care of them for me and my roommate (set the traps and disposed of two rats that were caught). Iím going to have to get a larger trap this morning at the hardware store. Yuk. This would be a good time to have a boyfriend or husband. I get tired of dealing with everything on my own.

In money news, I have the third week of my finance class on Wednesday. We each pulled our online credit reports and will be reviewing them this week. At first glance, mine looks fine. Iíll also get my credit score. Iíve tracked my spending for all of October so far and will develop a spending plan based on the final totals.

I was going to make some food for the week yesterday, but I ended up having a lazy day and Iím not very motivated to use my kitchen until I catch the critter. I have a can of Muir Glen southwest bean soup that Iíll take for lunch today with a piece of bread, so I wonít have to eat out. And last evening I was dying to go buy a Newman Oís frozen pepperoni pizza and some Ben & Jerryís ice cream (both are on sale which made it very tempting). I managed to help myself stay home and have a can of Muir Glen chicken noodle soup and some bread instead, saving myself $8.98 and a bunch of calories. Yay!

I walked for 30 minutes three days last week and 50 minutes on Saturday. My goal this week is to walk 35 minutes at least four days. I also joined in CreditCardFreeís purge challenge (clear out 27 items a day for 8 days) and got rid of a bunch of papers from my desk and junk from my bathroom.

Off to the hardware store. Sigh.

Who is eating my fall decorations?

Todayís update

October 20th, 2011 at 05:24 pm

I exercised after work on Tuesday and Wednesday for 30 minutes and I have to admit itís the first time Iíve exercised in quite awhile. I had so much energy when I got home, so Iíd like to do another 30 minutes today. I will walk outside if itís not raining, otherwise I will go to my workplace gym and do the elliptical. Iím starting small, limiting myself to 30 minutes, even if I want to keep going, just to get me back into the swing of exercising. Then I can increase it from there, hopefully adding some running.

I ate a breakfast of zucchini soup made by a friendís husband, to which I added sunflower seeds and Ezekiel sprouted grain cereal to make it heartier to fill me up since I wonít be eating lunch until about 1:30. I made a turkey, tomato, parsley sandwich with mayo and mustard on a fresh pita pocket from a local bakery for lunch. Iíll also enjoy some free red grapes from a recent work event. For dinner Iím making linguini with tomatoes, cubed mozzarella cheese, peas, cauliflower, fresh parsley, olive oil, salt and pepper. Iíve been curbing my habit of junk food buying and eating Ė yay! I got a free chocolate turtle at my finance workshop and some free cookies at a work event yesterday, so Iíll have some sweet indulgences on the cheap!

Tomorrow Iím going to bring my breakfast to work, then order a late lunch from a local Indian place as a treat. Iíll eat that around 3, which will hopefully serve as both lunch and dinner. I figure getting lunch will be cheaper than ordering dinner. At 4, Iím attending a stress reduction event and then at 6, Iím going to a local theater to see a Bollywood dance routine (my hairdresser is in the troupe) and then watching a Bollywood film (3 hours Ė yikes!). Should be a fun evening for $6. Iím hoping one of my friends will be able to join me, sheís going to let me know tomorrow. I should bring some type of snack, since itís going to be a long afternoon/evening.

The finance class is going well and fulfilling its intended purpose. Iíve been tracking my spending, creating goals, and will formulate a spending plan. Weíll be pulling our credit reports, which I havenít done in years, so it will be helpful to review that for any mistakes.

Iíve got a nasty cold sore on my lip and Iím looking forward to the day that itís gone! They take so long to heal, even with Abreve. Does anyone else get cold sores and what do you use for them?

Busy, busy bee

October 18th, 2011 at 06:31 pm

Mid-September to mid-October is one of my busy times at work and I have been swamped. Iím starting to slow down a bit and will still have lots to do between now and the holidays, but wonít have as many pressing deadlines. Whew.

Since my last entry, I celebrated my 47th birthday and was unexpectedly dumped by someone who reappeared in my life this summer (not a total surprise based on our history, but it still hurt!). Iíve been feeling sluggish. I always have an energy drop once the dark mornings and evenings begin and I also might be fighting off an illness.

I started tracking my spending starting October 1. I want to get back in touch with where my money is actually going. So far, so good. Iíve been mostly sticking to my ďno eating out or excessive junk food purchasesĒ challenge. Iíve been consistently bringing breakfast and lunch to work each day and have usually eaten dinner at home. I had lunch and dinner out this past Saturday while spending the day with a good friend, but the total for both meals was only $17.27, so Iím fine with that! For lunch, I had a delicious pulled pork sandwich with a side of baked beans for $7.07 at a local museum and for dinner had a delicious beef soft taco and a virgin strawberry margarita (I was driving) for only $10.20 including tip at a new Mexican restaurant that we wanted to try. Yum! Both expenditures were worth it, although next time I need to rethink eating baked beans in the middle of the day. Smile Iíve made a few tame junk food purchases (hard sour dough pretzels and chocolate milk), but Iíve definitely reduced my spending and consuming in that area.

Other financial updates:

I received my $1200 flexible spending reimbursement check today! I will deposit it into savings. This is a big deal because I had no idea I could recoup all of my money now even though I havenít fully paid into my account yet. And, I usually wait until the very last moments before the March deadline to submit my expenses. This way I have the money now and a lot less stress!

I signed up for a four-week (4 hours total) financial workshop offered through my workplace. Iíve attended one session and although I donít think Iíll learn anything earth-shatteringly new, it will be another way to help me to refocus my attention on my finances. I just have to commit to doing the homework!

My telephone bill was paid automatically this month and my autopay electric bill will begin next month. This will greatly reduce stress because I have been forgetting to pay my bills. Now I donít have to remember these two and they wonít be late!

I need to create some new mini-goals!