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October 30 & 31

November 4th, 2018 at 06:15 am

October 30
$41 Gas for gas car
$5 Lunch
FREE MOVIE
Dinner: Indian Butter Chicken

I have no idea why MH needed gas and how he spent $41 on gas. Didn't use a coupon?? I don't know.

I spent $5 on lunch out.

MH and I had another movie date night, but I wasn't feeling well and cancelled on him. I was relieved to have one less thing on my plate.

My female/TMI health issues started last summer, or long before all this STRESS. But I was being optimistic that things might resolve a bit with things settling down. Unfortunately, I ended up with my stress level back at around 11 again. Was just a horrible week. I just felt my #1 priority at that point should be to go home and rest my body. I was not having a good day on the female/TMI front. So MH went to the movie alone.

I probably needed a night off, regardless. Phew!

MH applied for a job today. I will blog about that later.

Edited to add: I pulled up gas prices today and they had gone up to $3.57 at our grocery store. I noted $3.25 at the beginning of the month. MH told me he didn't have a coupon/didn't plan ahead (no idea, very unlike him). The cheapie gas station is still $3.18. (They are slow to adjust sometimes, is just a very small gas station. Both these gas stations, closest to our home, are usually cheaper than Costco). I might go over to the cheapie gas station to put two gallons in the hybrid car, for our next out-of-town trip.

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October 31
$0 Car Stereo Fix
$4 Groceries
$40 Escape room
Dinner: Leftovers

I took the gas car at some point the week prior and I immediately noticed one speaker is out. I honestly have no idea if it just happened then or if MH was that oblivious with his single sided deafness. *sigh*

So he took it in to get it fixed on this day. In the end, something had just become disconnected. They told him we had a lifetime warranty, regardless. (Oh, they don't know how long we keep our cars!! Big Grin )

MH also inquired about a job he had seen posted there. (They do home theater and smart home sales also, which is right up his alley. Not his dream job by any means, but probably a million times more interesting than his current job). The other job he applied for was more the same, but really convenient because it is in our neighborhood.

I noticed that we had a donation pickup date (& I remembered!). I had a few bags collected over the past few months. Plus a few things I had set aside in the garage when we installed the electric charger and cleaned up the garage a bit. So it was nice to get all that cleared out of the house. I had an old scooter that was pretty beat up and not sure they would take, but they picked it up. Phew! A couple of old bike helmets, a skateboard, etc. From inside the house, had a couple of bags of clothing.

DL(13) ended up getting invited to an Escape Room with a group of friends. I guess MM(15) was invited when someone cancelled and then dis-invited when that person changed their mind? (He is always friends with all of DL's friends, kind of young at heart. Doesn't go so much the other way because the older kids don't think a 'younger brother' is as cool as an 'older brother'). But anyway, MM didn't seem to care either way. Thank goodness, because they didn't tell us until they picked DL up that we were expected to pay. Wha??? So MH handed them $40 and they didn't even give us $5 change. I heard him tell DL later, "Your friend owes you $5." Anyway, whatever, we will survive, but I would have been really peeved if it was $70 ($35x2) sprung on us.

I guess I don't know what the norm is, but if I invited the kids out somewhere, I am paying. I will say that when we took MM and his friends to the water park for his birthday, several people offered to pay and seemed shocked we were treating. & that was for a birthday party! So maybe I am the weird one.

Lesson learned. Next time we ask and don't assume.

MM didn't end up doing anything. I think it's the first time he sat out Halloween, but mostly his brother and all his friends ditched him. He was totally cool and fine with it.

I had some plans to sort through Halloween costumes and get some sold or donated. HA! That is my purge fail for October. Will try again next year...

October 29

November 4th, 2018 at 06:11 am

October 29
$?? Target (Groceries)
$14 Indian Grocer
$10 Gymnastics
Dinner: Spinach Manicotti

I keep getting locked out of Target card (new website?) so I have no idea what MH spent at Target. He picked up some groceries. I will update when I get the info.

MH stopped by the Indian grocery on the way home. I don't know that he picked up anything dinner specific, but DL(13) totally goes crazy for their Indian version of "hot pockets". I overheard MH telling DL that they'd stop by on the way home from school and stock up.

On Saturday night I burned out and I thought it was *finally* happening. That all this stress was catching up with me. It is a complete miracle that I have not been sick at all this year. Anyway, I turned off work around 6pm, MH made a very hearty/healthy dinner, and I felt so much better after that. Phew!

I e-mailed "workaholic" and told him I was DONE, but that I could finish some work Monday night if he still needed help. I meant it, but also never expected he'd actually need help. I felt conflicted because I wanted to cram more work in at high pay rate, but was hitting some wall where I was questioning my sanity. I hadn't gotten as much work in at higher billing rate as I had wanted to, but was losing motivation.

Anyway, in the end, I felt fine after I took a break, and "workaholic" never got to that work on Monday. So I had one more big work day push on Monday night.

I am mostly done. MH is monopolizing my time on Tuesday and I have a couple of client meetings (dealing with old clients still). & I have maybe one hour of work left to do Wednesday night and then some invoicing to do. But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Phew! If I get home at 4:00 Wednesday and spend a couple of hours wrapping that work up, I can still have a nice/quiet evening. I am taking the rest of the week off. Time to rest and regroup.

Since I am not even getting to posting this a full week later:
Of course, life laughed at me and I ended up having another total week from hell.

October 28

November 4th, 2018 at 05:39 am

October 28
$31 Groceries
$16 Haircut
Dinner: Mexican Potato Soup (crockpot)

Not much to report. I wasn't noticing any decrease in our grocery spending, though DL was gone for for 10 days, MM was gone for one weekend, and we've been eating out excessively (for us). BUT, it hit this week. The grocery run this week was an entire $31. We have enough food otherwise, to get through the week.

MH ran some errands and got a haircut. All I did was laundry and work (job #2).

October 27 - Last Saturday

November 4th, 2018 at 05:37 am

October 27
$29 Deli Sandwiches
$124 Professional Classes
Dinner: Out

MH ended up taking MM to his volunteer shift at the animal shelter, because I was working all weekend. He went to the free car charger (which is right by the shelter) and got about 50-cents worth of free electricity. Or enough "fuel" for the drive home.

I don't remember why, but we decided to bring dinner in. I think MH was just feeling that he had not planned better. & when he brought up the idea of eating out, everyone was game. He picked up some sandwiches from our favorite deli. I still don't understand food delivery, but I guess is nothing our families ever paid for. Just to say we picked up our own food and didn't have any additional expenses for that.

Though I worked like crazy all weekend, I did take the time to sort out my professional licensing and education. The good/bad news is that I can take some live webinar classes during Saturdays. Phew! Is so much easier because then your credit is just based on attendance, and confirming every 15 minutes or so that you are there.

That said, the "cheapie" place that "twin" referred me to (I bought an unlimited class pass for 12 months) did not have two of the courses that I needed. I recalled I had a free course for some professional membership renewal, but I had to pay for the other one. I just used the CE company that I usually use. I knew they had the right course for my state and their classes are top notch. Next time I can take more time to shop around. These two could potentially be more time consuming because they are self study. Will see.

So yeah, that pretty much consumes my Saturdays for the rest of the year. It's pretty much 4 hours x 5 weekends.

October 21-26 - Crazy Busy!

October 27th, 2018 at 09:23 am

October 21
$107 Groceries
$ 20 Round Table Pizza (Used $5-off coupon)
Dinner: Linguine with spinach and pine nuts

MH went to see a free movie (movie pass) and the kids decided to randomly crash at their friend's house for most of the day. This was decided while MH was at the movies, and I had to drive them. But I obliged because DL(13) was in such a good mood about it. In fact, I had taken a nap and had woken up and was just listening to him talk to his friends online. It was just "cute" and he was in a super good mood. Then he tells them, "I have to go wake up my mom so that she can take us over!" I pretended to be asleep and chastised him a bit but said if he promises to NEVER wake me up again like that, I could take him. I wasn't really asleep anyway. TEENAGERS!

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October 22
$258 Symphony Season Subscription
Dinner: Fiesta Chicken Burritos

I did go ahead and buy some Symphony tickets. The Season Subscription worked out to $40 per ticket, good seats, with fees and everything. If nothing else, the convenience fees were so high for the single concert purchases, that was where most the savings was. So we paid $40 per ticket for good seats. We otherwise would have paid as much for the nosebleeds probably. The same seats were $60 per ticket if we purchased each concert separately.

I ordered the Pops Subscription, which was Broadway, Queen & Star Wars. (I know MH will LOVE the Star Wars one). The guest conductor we saw last time was AMAZING and he is doing two of those shows, and is why I know MH will love it. The Queen show has a different conductor. I may buy a couple of more tickets so the kids can go. No one (in my household) wants to go to the Broadway one with me, but I will find someone to go with me.

The classic series is $30 per concert. I don't want to go to *every* concert. We do go to a lot of other concerts (art museum, art school, etc.). It may be that I just buy tickets to one of those and will see how bored MH is with it. He will 1000% go, because he knows he drags me everywhere. But it may be I consider just buying a solo season subscription at some point in the future. I don't know if I know anyone else who really wants to go to a bunch of classical concerts. & I could be mis-judging MH. He may enjoy it. But I think it's an easier sell once or twice per year, at this point.

I stopped by "forever employer" on the way home from work (is 100% on the way to/from my old job) to drop off the work I did over the weekend and discussed working past October. (It wasn't on my radar to discuss it, but employer wanted to ask what pay rate I Was expecting). Will probably go back to my old pay rate. Still not sure what exactly I will be doing, how many hours, how quickly before I burn out. Lots to figure out. In my mind, I am probably committing through April or May.

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October 23
$9 Lunch
$14 Dinner
FREE MOVIE
Dinner: Out

I was thinking of just focusing on work this week and not going out for lunch, but "twin" invited me to lunch Tuesday. I couldn't say no! (I had invited her all the prior times. I just had no plans to initiate during such a busy week).

I figured MH Would probably never meet me for lunch or anything like that, because my office is so far away from home. BUT, there was a free movie screening in my work neighborhood on Tuesday night. So he came by my office and we had a quick dinner before the movie. We saw Bohemian Rhapsody. It was really good.

On the plus side, I was able to have MH pick up some files for me, from "forever employer", on the way. Saved me a trip!

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October 24
$10 Gymnastic
$11 Groceries
$107 Christmas Purchase
Dinner: Korean Beef Bowl

Work Work Work

MH picked up some groceries (no idea what) and took MM to gymnastics.

MH also ordered some electronic toy for his parents for Christmas. They are the only ones we buy for. They go kind of crazy re: Christmas though they are toning it down a wee bit over the years. I don't know anyone else who actually wants to participate in any Christmas/Birthday gift giving. & I mean, I often exchange gifts with friends and family, but it's more "from the heart" and "I saw this and I thought of you" stuff. Not any holiday obligations.
In contrast, my in-laws go crazy but in a way that sucks *all* the fun out of it. *sigh*

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October 25
-0- NO SPEND
Dinner: Salisbury Steak

I stopped by "forever employer" on the way home to drop off work I did Wednesday. It was super weird because "twin" was there working. She agreed to help through October only, if they just hired her through her new employer. So that was the arrangement she was able to make. "Awesome Admin" is going back full-time through April, but she was not there. Anyway, it felt like I walked into a time warp, with most the old employees there.

At home, I finally got around to setting up some invoices for work I did this month. I sent out about $400 invoices. I expect to invoice about $3,000 total this month. ("Forever employer" is paying me double my billing rate, so that is the bulk of it. Will send them a bill when I am done with October deadlines).

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October 26
-0- NO SPEND
Dinner: Salsa Verde Carnitas (crockpot)

I have so much work to do for Job #2, but I just came home and crashed instead. I slept for around 11 hours.

I feel refreshed, but I still have about 16 hours of work/deadlines to get through. *sigh*

I would probably just take the entire next week off, but... I have more news on this front. Next post.


October 20 - Kittens!

October 21st, 2018 at 09:41 am

October 20
$15 Groceries
Dinner: Spaghetti & God Sauce

I think I only worked about 6 hours on Saturday. Got distracted by some other things (tending to some chores), and did end up doing some cooking, etc.

In the morning, DL(13) was in a cooking mood. So he made chocolate chip pumpkin bread. I have a super easy recipe that makes a ton. I had literally just sat down to work, and don't remember who thought of that recipe (him or me) but I talked MH into supervising him. I am sure next time he can do it on his own.

We really fell off the wagon as to having kids cook. I told MH if he went over what the kids wanted to make this week I could supervise. I generally get home by 4:30 so can help more on that front. He was resistant because he's in the mindset I am doing WAY too much. But you know, cooking will get my eyes off the computer screen for a bit and I'd rather get in a better schedule of kids helping us. & if we make this a more regular thing, they shouldn't need any supervision/help. The point is to hand off some of the chores to them! But anyway, I just told him that I'd personally embrace "difficult teenager's willingness to help." You know, lean into that. Because if he won't, lord knows I will.

My plan was mostly to work all day, but I had agreed to take a kitten break. One of my old clients is fostering kittens. I LOVE her regardless and is nice to foster our friendship outside of work. But OMG, her home is always filled with kittens. She has been busier than I have been, so I haven't seen her in a few weeks, but she told me it would be great and helpful if I went and played with kittens while she was out. MM(15) finally agreed to go with me yesterday. They were bottle fed kittens. O.M.G. I had no idea! They just kind of attack you and purr like crazy. We walked in and they just started climbing all over us. We just giggled the whole time. I had gone over a couple of times to help socialize the "getting socialized" kittens, and they seemed friendly enough, so I had no idea. I guess I've probably always adopted the scared cats too. I have never experienced anything like this! They just loved loved loved having some people to play with and to sleep on.

It was hard to tear away ourselves from the kittens!

On the way home I got some groceries. I picked up some eggs in case DL was in the mood to hard boil eggs. I had been wanting to make pumpkin bread too, so he is making my life easier. He is not the "makes my life easier" kid, so I was kind of eating this up yesterday. If eggs will magically boil themselves and pumpkin bread magically gets made.

Our store has not been stocking pumpkin this year (???) so I made sure to pick some up while there (I took the last can). Picked up some meat and tomato sauce for dinner, and garlic bread. & a few other odds and ends.

The God Sauce I made for dinner is just a pasta sauce that I make. The first time I made it, DL told me it was so good it was like it came straight down from God. Something like that. To this day, we call it God Sauce. MH can't stand it (is lots of vinegar and garlic) and so I often make this dinner when he is out because it is super easy and the kids go crazy for it. In this case, no leftovers. *sigh*

MH was off on a movie shoot yesterday. I think they were supposed to be done last month but they are crazy behind now. I think he told me yesterday it might be 6 more months.

October 18-19

October 21st, 2018 at 09:02 am

October 18
-0- NO SPENDING
Dinner:Chicken Satay (Thai)

Someone delivered free (very small) sandwiches to my office. I don't remember the eatery and they were just okay. But that was a nice perk! They were trying to generate business, I suppose.

I can't tell you what a 180 I have done in office environment. My "forever employer" was actually somewhat snobby and their office was a bit of an art museum. Absolutely beautiful offices. BUT, they built the building around 40 years ago and the area has really gone downhill since. Seriously, on like my last week there, someone was setting up a tent in our parking lot in the middle of the day. UGH! I don't know if problems were getting worse because our building was clearly becoming semi-vacant or what. Other than that, it just comes in waves. It may be quiet for several months, and then some weeks there are people fighting outside every day.

New office is in the Beverly Hills of my region. The most expensive zip code.

Let's just say, no one ever came to our old building handing out free sandwiches. Ha!

I hadn't really given it much thought, but "awesome admin" keeps telling me how much "safer" she felt at her last new job, though it was a little ghetto in many regards. I will say that I did pull over to call my mom for some reason the day I dropped off my employment paperwork. In the business park parking lot I pulled over somewhere and mentioned to her it was so peaceful and nice. I definitely noticed that right away. But it's amazing how quickly we adjust to these things. Hadn't really thought too much about it otherwise. Is just my new normal.

Because I do only have a 1/2 hour break, I often just sit in my car at lunch. I would have NEVER done that at my old job. It's some combo of the nicer neighborhood and also being able to run the electric car and listen to music and keep the temperature inside nice.

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October 19
$17 School Play
Dinner:Pork chops & Brussel sprouts

MH took MM(15) to the high school play. This is not the art school, so I wasn't as interested. I had to work anyway.

I have some free tickets available for the art school, but all the plays/musicals they did so far this year seemed depressing and/or I was too busy anyway. Will have to pay more attention. I think I am owed 4 free tickets at this point.

That reminds me, we skipped PTA meeting this week. I told MH that the money I would get from one hour of working would buy us 7 parent hours. I am going to do that, instead. This school is so nice on this front. If you can help more time-wise or money-wise, they will take whatever. I thought this was going to be more of a "time" year but apparently this is a "money" year. Take my money, because I am busy!!

October 16 - Splurge-y

October 21st, 2018 at 07:47 am

October 16
$15 Lunch
$60 Dinner
$875 new cell phone
Dinner:Out

See last post for context and splurge-y turn of events.

I met "twin" for lunch. There is actually a vegetarian Indian restaurant right by my office and they have several $5 dishes. I was thinking, "OMG!" In the end, I talked "twin" into eating there though she had never tried the place or eaten Indian food in general. I got a full meal and an appetizer to share with her. In the end they were so SLOW! Next week I may order ahead to-go and just grab a $5 dish some day to see how that goes. But yeah, I only have a 1/2 hour lunch and she was still eating when I left 45 minutes later. The food was good, so I will try the take-out later and see if that is faster. I can foresee grabbing a bite here once a week if the To-go works out better.

We went out to a splurge-y dinner at our favorite Indian cafe (yes we like Indian food! Most my friends growing up were Indian and I was spoiled by all their mom's home cooking). It was DL's first day back in the States and he really wanted to go out to his favorite restaurant. MH obliged him. I had extra money coming in, so whatever. MH was super generous on the tip again, though it's just counter service.

MH also ordered a new cell phone. He actually kept his last phone a full three years, which is a long time for a phone-obsessed techie. Heck, I really was just limping my phone along (during that last year) when I kept mine for 4 years. Anyway, I am in full agreement with replacing his phone now, before we have a potentially lower income year (2019). BUT, I think the amount of money he spent on this phone is RIDICULOUS. I am sure he thinks the amount of money we spent on this car is RIDICULOUS, so I am not really one to talk right now. Big Grin

So I am kind of grumbling to myself a bit as the entire first 10 hours of work I do for "forever employer" is going straight to pay for this phone. But on the flip side, I did appreciate the money seemingly falling from the sky, to pay for this phone. I just look forward to the part where I get to splurge on something too. I have to pay for last weekend. & then what's next down the line is I still want to get car windows tinted (haven't had the time). & I had been wanting to buy some show tickets. Which was one of those things that was going to go by the wayside with income cut, but now I have this extra money to fund that. I think the annual Sketchfest tickets go on sale in a couple of weeks and there was a couple of Symphony concerts I wanted to get to (I haven't looked up the price yet so I have no idea on that; how many concerts we go to and how many people, will depend on the price). I may have worked enough extra this week to pay for all of that, and can probably work another 15-ish hours next week too. Regular income/budget is all good. If I keep having side work, I will work on 2018 mortgage goal. I usually fund that with OT, but I didn't get paid OT this year ("fake employer" never gave me promised OT/bonus) and we instead prepped for unemployment and replaced an old vehicle, etc. I would be over the moon to earn an extra $3,000 to fund mortgage goal. I didn't expect this!

As to bonus, that is still being fought and I haven't ruled out filing a complaint with the labor board. With a little time and space, I am thinking I should just file the very open and shut "late final paycheck" complaint, which is a $3,000-ish penalty they owe me for giving me my last paycheck late. That would be about net what the bonus would be anyway, but the penalty is tax-free income. I won't file that yet because I "should" also file the OT complaint at the same time (or I lose rights to that bonus), but other lawyers are currently fighting that battle for me. So I need to wait for some resolution on that front, probably. I have something like 12 months to file a complaint. Before I was more in the head space I didn't want to deal with it at all. But I can see I am being much more clear headed about this right now. I was caught up in not sure if I wanted to bother if the lawyers took half AND I just wanted to move on with my life. But I can see taking the easy $3,000 puts us pretty square anyway. I shouldn't need a lawyer to prove I gave proper notice AND my paycheck wasn't dated until a full 2 weeks after my last day. I hadn't really considered the possibility before of fighting that battle on my own. I also didn't want to like take a day off so soon after starting new employment (for labor board hearing) but as time passes and I get to know new employer, I feel better about it.