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Archive for September, 2006

Stupid Laundromat

September 30th, 2006 at 04:42 pm

I live in an apartment and use the building's coin operated laundry facilities. I have contemplated getting my own in the apartment but they'd have to be portable and I do a lot of my laundry at my boyfriends or when I visit my parents (have laundry will travel). So the cost/convenience equation has never tipped in favour of buying. There is something about being able to do many loads of washing and drying at once. If you get behind you are caught up in 2 hours regardless of how many loads you have when you use a laundromat. And I don't have to go outside, the facilities are a short elevator ride away.

Days like this one though make me very tempted. Had three loads of bedding thanks to my meezer peeing willy nilly all over the place the last few days. Got it all washed no problem. Moved it to dry. Dryer 1 - worked fine. Dryer 2 motor wouldn't work so moved it to dryer 4. Dryer 3 was tumbling away for a while until I realised that there was no heat drying the clothes. So moved it all around to get the most dry I could. Lots of fuss later I have 3 loads of mostly dry stuff - two blankets though aren't quite dry.

I did write to Coinamatic to tell them about their lousy machines and even lousier service of the machines and asked for a refund for the cost of the machines that didn't work and for my time being wasted. Hey I can ask right?

Yeah I know its only $3 out of pocket but its the little things that are the most annoying. And this one is high on the list. We'll eff if a refund comes. I'm not really expecting to get anything for the fact that it all took longer but figures it never hurts to ask.

Broke - But the Cat is okay

September 29th, 2006 at 06:38 pm

Well okay for a 23 year old cat. He passed on his tests other than UREA - which he has way too much of. Oh and he's also got arthritis (though he called it something else) in his spine. So he's on prescription food (anyone know of a cheap way to get Hills KD prescription cat food?), some vitamins, and 2 types of tablets and he goes back to the vets in 3 weeks.

The food and meds and a couple of the tests all ran to another $150. Having pets is EXPENSIVE.

He's back home. He adores the food and is eating up a storm. Now to get him to poop in the litter box. I might have to buy something with shallower sides that he can get into easier. I'm going to check at the dollar store Smile The original use doesn't need to be for pets.

My wallet is way lighter but I'm blessed by having my finances in order such that I can do this without credit or anything like that.

I'm off to snuggle with Mao Smile)

Kitty Update

September 29th, 2006 at 08:48 am

Found a vet to bring Mao to this morning.

He is still having intermittent trouble walking but is happy and eating well. I have seen him drinking both last night and today.

The vet found him to be dehydrated, have a low body temperature and there same sore spots on his tummy. Mao actually yipped and growled when a couple of spots were prodded and pressed.

I left him at the hospital. They are doing a full blood work up, a full urine analysis and full xrays to determine exactly the state of his health and what the next steps should be. The vet is saying that I should get full information to base my decision on - there may be things I can do to keep him comfortable or it may be time to make a full decision.

The vet isn't suggesting that I do anything radical to keep him alive just that I base my decision knowledge. I liked the vets attitude and demeanor. And I do like this approach. If I can keep Mao going through reasonable measures I am happy to do that. Heck, I'd be more than estatic to do that Smile

Unfortunately knowledge is expensive - the bill will be (unless something is added) $574. This makes me very greatful that I am careful with my money so that I have it at a time like this.

I pick him up this afternoon and get the xray results then. Blood work and urine tests should be available tomorrow.

Kitty Stress

September 28th, 2006 at 06:47 pm

My cat is very old. I've had him since 1989 or 1990 - and when I got him I was told that he was 7 or 8 years old then. So he's now very very old. Even if he wasn't that old then he was definitely not a kitten. Now he's blind and deaf. But he's a purr monster and has a good appetite, and loves to be snuggled and cuddled.

Today I came home and found him lying on the floor someplace I never normally find him. That alarmed me. I picked him up and he purred and seemed happy to see me. Must have left him on the bed when I went to get changed (he likes to be carried). Well came back later and he was still there - that is unusual. He peed on the bed. *sigh*. I don't think it really got through to the mattress so the mess is "cleanupable".

But then I realised just how bad his leg is. He's having trouble walking Yesterday I spent some money buying a couple of baby litter boxes - he's had a few accidents lately.

My vet has said the last few years to enjoy every moment with him. The vet isn't in this weekend and I'm scheduled to go to my parents - 6 hours away. He is an excellent traveller and could come with me - I normally don't take him for quick jaunts but with his mobility he'll hardly be more cooped up than when he is in the car. I'm also considering kenneling him for the weekend.

I'm not really sure what to do. My BF just reminded me that this has happened with him before - him having trouble walking.

Sorry not a very on topic blog. Family crisis tend to do that to me. The only bit of this that has to do with frugality is that I am wondering (second guessing and beating myself also work in place of wondering) if it is my being frugal that isn't pushing me to the vet with him or the reality that he is a cat over the age of 20.

Canned vs Dry Beans

September 27th, 2006 at 07:09 pm

I made up a bag (1 pound) of dry black eyed peas the other day - soaked overnight in water (the quick soak method I find can lead to not soft enough beans), then the next day cooked for about an hour. They turned out perfectly. Soft but not mushy.

Did some research. You can freeze cooked beans and a drained can equals approximately 1.5 cups of cooked beans.

So for 97 cents I have the equivalent of 4 cans of beans. I have no idea if I looked if i could find a pound of black eyed peas (dried) for less than that - probably.

I find it very hard to find cans of beans for 25 cents or less each. At times I've spent $1 per can though around 70cents is more common.

Today was just a stinky day

September 26th, 2006 at 07:39 pm

After this mornings incident (my last blog entry) I came home to a kitchen that smelled quite ripe. Note to self. Tossing meat waste itno garbage means that you should be taking aout the garbage within the next hour... And yes, *sigh* I did spray some oust. I seem to be able to
tolerate a bit of that - bought to cover up smoke smells from when my mom visits.
While I hate her smoking she's 80, has a bad hip, and has alzheimers. Of the people I lecture about smoking or wish they'd quit I can't bring myself to even suggest she should.

On a good note. The store had $1 off coupons on the brand of milk I like and I needed milk.

Money and Health Tip

September 26th, 2006 at 03:25 pm

Don't buy air fresheners.

Okay, so I'm not fond of the scent of fresh spring meodows wafting out from the latest product from ______ (insert name of manufacturer who makes stinky products here).

Okay not fond is a bit mild. Air fresheners, especially the plug in ones cause me a migraine. I had to go to a meeting on another floor of my building today. Instant migraine (complete with unhappy stomach) thanks to the odor.

When the meeting was done, I went to my boss and he took me to HR with him to lodge an official complaint about scents in the workplace. I've lost time and the company has had to pay me sick pay due to this in the past - twice actually). HR is not willing to go into the "don't wear perfume" discussion but they are willing to send something out regarding being considerate of your fellow employees and overly scented items like air freshener.

Not the Greatest of Days

September 25th, 2006 at 06:04 pm

Today isn't going down as one of the best days I've had. If it can go wrong it will Work was beyond nuts though I'm now done last Wednesday's task that was absolutely due then. I didn't make much traction other than that. While I did stay late I ended up having to go home as today was the day they decided to shampoo the carpets - and the cleaning solution they use is noxious.

I did get my pension plan paperwork in to work so they can "cost" adding back service into the plan. She estimates a couple of weeks which is only to be expected. Someone has to do some crunching. Once I get it back I can evaluate what I want to do then.

The weirdest thing I got to deal with was my father got an offer on his house. Well its really my mom's house as it is in her name. But she isn't in a state where she can make financial decisions so I got to deal with the lawyer as I'm her POA. For some reason dad is buying the new house a week after he is selling other other house. I caught that and refused to agree to the offer. A formal rental agreement for the week or closing the same day he is buying is much more appropriate.

I opened a bag of milk and went to make a cup of tea tonight. But, somewhat not suprisingly the milk was off - and it curdled as it went into the cup. So I am doing what any sensible person would. Having a Light Mike's Hard Lemonade.



Grumble

September 24th, 2006 at 07:32 pm

I hate when I write something and then manage to touch the keyboard in a way that's not quite right and manage to lose it.

It wasn't that witty, inspirational or useful, but dang it, it was my blog entry. And its now off dancing in cyberspace.

Cooking today (So far Meatloaf, Cafe Chicken and Cornbread)

September 24th, 2006 at 10:34 am

I'm cooking up a storm. This way I'm not going to be tempted to eat out for meals next week.

As I type cornbread is in the oven. A meatloaf is in one slowcooker and cafe chicken is in the other.

The cafe chicken is a new recipe but I think its going to be excellent on some rice with veggies

* 1/4 cup strong coffee
* 1/4 cup ketchup
* 2 Tbsp brown sugar (i used splenda)
* 2 Tbsp Worstershire Sauce
* 1 TBSP vinegar
* 1 TBSP lemon juice
* chicken

Mix and cook in slow cooker. I might end up thickening it when its done but this should be tasty and tangy when its done. Would probably work really nicely with beef too. The original recipe calls for cooking it in the oven and basting. That sounds like work compared to doing in the slow cooker.

Dang I'm getting hungry.

Fly-report - 5 bags gone

September 23rd, 2006 at 03:02 pm

A good day. 4 bags of garbage and one bag to go to a thift store.

About 1/2 was kitchen garbage - science experiments, what was I thinking when I bought that stuff, and stuff that was empty but the box was being saved(for what I had no idea). The rest was mainly old papers for the most part. Much of that got shredded - tax stuff from 10 years ago, paperwork from a car bought in 1992. Getting my paper stuff under control hasn't been easy but last nights search for pension documents was a wake up call for me. Time to get it organized and keep only that which is relavent such that I can find it.

And as I've been home a no spend day! Woo hoo!

Today's Goals

September 23rd, 2006 at 07:36 am

Not sure if I am going to do any shopping today. I'm more feeling like doing stuff around my cave Smile

I'm going to do flylady day today I think (www.flylady.net for anyone who hasn't yet joined that cult).

My objective is to get 5 bags minimum of garbage/clutter/crap out of here. I want to move ahead on making my place a home and not a "place for stuff". Its way better than it was a year or two ago but the more I do the more I want to do.

I'd also like to make a meatloaf and mashed cauliflower (like mashed potatos but without the guilt). I better take the beef out of the freezer if I want to do that

Found it!

September 22nd, 2006 at 06:17 pm

I found the other pension statement. So I can bring them both into the office on monday. They'll let me know what back service I can buy into the pension plan with them.

Added up the amounts. These two pensions total $592.06 per month starting at age 65 .. and one of the pension plans has some overcontribution money in it, $2,632.05 as at August 31, 2001.

Dang. Good thing I am getting my house in order financially. I think I was *this* far from forgetting I had these amounts.

Spoke to HR regarding pension transfer idea

September 22nd, 2006 at 04:33 pm

Spoke to our Pension person in HR today and asked about if we can put money from other pension plans into our plan. She confirmed that yes our plan allowed that. This is very unusual as these are Defined Benfit plans and not the normal Defined contribution plan that most employers offer these days. All I need is the pension statement that I got from the old employer when I left their employment.

Once I bring the paper in she'll send it to the actuaries or whoever calculates what that money, if transfered, would buy as past service in our pension plan. And the quote is no obligation *whew*. The biggest bonus with this is my boss is an actuary and I can go to him once I get the numbers for advice (its not like my salary information isn't something he knows).

I found one of the statements. I left this company in the late 90's. The pension will pay about $500 a month when I turn 65. Dang - that's actually real money.

I haven't found the other one but I'll keep looking. I think as I do that my paper shredder may get a good workout. A rental agreement on a place I haven't lived in in 10 years is hardly a peace of paper that is needed in my life. I'm sure I'll find more gems than that though

Thursday

September 21st, 2006 at 05:57 pm

I'm snowed under at work. Like 4 feet under. I've warned all my coworkers if they don't make sure it goes on my to-do list it won't get done. If they don't take me seriously it is to their peril - though honestly I'm not really taking work from them right now - if they aren't careful and are in reach too long I'll cheerfully delegate it though.

Trying a frugal(ish) recipe tonight - and low fat 2 cans of corn, a can of black beans and a large jar of salsa along with 4 chicken breasts sliced are in the slow cooker. Okay so maybe not that frugal but the only ingredient I didn't have was the black beans and they were well less than a dollar. Easy, low fat and healhty. I love all the ingredients so I don't see how it can't help but be good. I'm hoping to have this for tomorrow lunch - so I can review tomorrow.

The things I do for work

September 20th, 2006 at 05:53 pm

Every once in a while the strangest jobs fall my way. This time its researching how many adults have leaky bladders and how much it costs for the diaper sand pads and "adult bladder control products".

Part of the research is fine - I will just websurf the sites for depends, attends, and poise at work. The computer department might get some giggles - but that doesn't really worry me - they aren't at the site I work on so its not like I'll see them looking at me as they point and giggle.

So here I am at my local drugstore tonight standing in front of the "adult diapers" writing down prices, websites and what's in the package.

I found prices. I've found prevalence. Now all I need to do is find out how often on average one would change an adult diaper or pad. *hmmpf* I think I'll just ask a mother how often they change a toddler who is in the "diaper training" stage - and extrapolate that to older adults. Or maybe more research on their websites.

The good news is that I didn't have to buy any as part of my research. I'm hoping to avoid that really. However on a practical note I'll know the odds are I might need this stuff in the future.