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Trying to Get What I Paid For

May 5th, 2017 at 12:11 am

Two of the three companies I emailed complaint letters to I've heard back from. Campbell's is sending me a two dollar coupon and gave me a list of products I can use it on. So clear they didn't read my letter at all. Although I now have a handy list of brands to avoid. Not that they were brands I use anyway, so no big hardship.

I heard back from Bounce, but only an email to say we got your email and hopefully someone will be with you in 3 business days. I bought some of the unscented dryer sheets, but when I opened the box, they stank of perfume. So I think there was an error at the manufacturing level and they put the wrong sheets into the box. The store wouldn't take it back since I'd opened the box. Since this was the 240 count $10 box, that's not a hit I feel I should have to take. I've been using their unscented sheets for a long time. I'm hoping they will send me a replacement box.

I still haven't heard from Reynolds. I bought their oven bags for turkeys, but there were no ties in the box. The bags are useless if there is no way to close them. This is the third box in the last two years I have bought from them that did not have the ties in them. Usually they are tucked into the instruction paper when they are in the box. Fortunately they have a tip on their website of how to use a strip of twisted foil to close the bag. Although that says to me this might be an awfully common occurrence.

I seldom bother with stuff like this unless it was a fairly big dollar number shelled out on a product, but I had all three negative product incidents happen in the same week, so I was irritated enough to actually try do something about it. If nothing comes of it, at least I tried. If something does, I'll feel better about the brands and not feel ripped off. And seeing how easy it is to actually do it, I'll probably do it more often in the future if it happens again. We should get what we pay for, not something else.

Got Hit Up for Money

July 4th, 2016 at 04:08 am

I got hit up for money from my nephew today. It took me a lot not to blow a gasket, because I know he doesn't know anything about what is going on right now with DH getting laid off, so I had to take a few deep breaths and responded with a terse message that DH was out of work at month's end. It's just that it's not the first time. This is a yearly thing and it's usually in the Christmas newsletter, but this was more direct. Right now is just bad timing.

He's in ministry, but he's not a pastor or minister or missionary, and it's a pledge situation for ongoing support, but it's not really the type I feel like supporting even at the best of times. It's working with college athletes and ministering through sports and I don't support athletics in schools in general. I think it takes away from the purpose of school which is to educate and also funnels money away from education. Not to mention how strongly active rape culture is in athletics.

If I were to give to faith based charities, it would be to the homeless kids shelter or the homeless women's shelter, both issues I have supported at times in the past.

He wanted to work in a faith based situation, he wanted to work in sports, and he chose a job that is not self-supporting. I'm sorry he can't support his wife and 3 kids, but I can't support them either.

Some Days Everything Goes as Planned

February 1st, 2015 at 08:05 pm

And some days you are just lucky to get dinner on the table. Despite having a meal plan, despite being well prepared, some days just throw you for a loop. My mother decided to tie up the entire oven for hours, so there was no way to cook anything I had planned. Of course, she did not tell me she was doing this. I didn't expect her to cook as she has been mooching off of us for the past five days straight and I'd assumed she would again today since she liked what I was making, so it didn't even occur to me that she would cook.

She knew what I was going to make tonight, too, and when. But tying both ovens and the entire stove top up between 3 and 8 when she knows I have kids to feed, and that there are blood sugar issues, irritates me. I just don't even... I will be glad when we can move out. I am so tired of sharing a kitchen.

I was tempted to eat out, but I figured I could scrounge up something, and I did. I ended up making toasted waffles (from the last batch cooking session I did), microwaved ham, strawberries, and coleslaw. Yeah, it was a weird dinner, but it was good and it hit fruit, veg, starch, and protein.

I am too frustrated to make up a menu for the week tonight. I'll do it tomorrow or it'll end up being chocolate everything.

In Search of...

January 20th, 2015 at 12:54 am

I need a new blender. The motor on my blender burned up right when I was in the middle of making homemade mayo for the first time. So of course we couldn't get it to emulsify and ended up wasting a cup of oil and a duck egg. Or well, we would have, but I threw some honey into it and a little store bought mayo and am using it as the dressing on coleslaw. I will try again in the future, but obviously not until we get a new blender.

So, this is the second Oster I've had that has had the motor burn up after using it for less than a year. And this one was maybe used 20 times. That's all. So no more Oster for me. Can anyone recommend a good blender that lasts and doesn't try to catch the house on fire? I'm just looking for a place to start my research.

Rolling Eyes

March 4th, 2012 at 12:05 am

So all that moaning my mother has been doing about the bathroom ceiling supposedly being messed up by us and the fact that there were four people taking steamy showers in there and just going on and on about how it was all our fault, even though she's the one constantly turning the fan off before the steam is gone? Turns out it wasn't caused by that at all. Turns out there is a leak in the roof and it has been coming in from above the ceiling, coming through the ceiling and not in any way, shape, or form is it our fault, according to the contractors. She did not apologize at all, but at least now we are not the ones who will have to pay to have it fixed. I'm pretty sure that there is a leak under the floor from the pipes under the bathtub as well that is ruining the linoleum and it is not, as she claims, caused by us getting water on the floor and not wiping it up (which we all do wipe up because she is so rabid about it). *sighs* Mom, I love you, but maybe things go wrong because your house is old.

DH and the kids and I spent the day out at the in-laws. We also picked up our check. It is a Cashier's Check so we don't have to wait for it to clear, it'll be available immeadiately so on Monday we will deposit it and then drive directly to BoA and make a payment. I can't wait to watch that balance drop like a rock.

Bills and Shopping

May 16th, 2011 at 07:30 pm

First off, I put $3 in ones and $1.23 in coins into the coin jar today, eventually destined for the EF. I also went to the grocery store again as I had totally forgotten to buy deli meat for the kids' lunches when I did my big stock up. Plus we were out of fruit bars and rice bars so I got some of those as well, and they had a good milk sale going on, so I went ahead and stocked up a bit. The milk doesn't expire until the 25th so there is plenty of time to drink it and I shouldn't even have to set foot in a grocery store again for several days. I'm hoping at least ten days. I spent a total of $55.52.

I had physical therapy today so that's another $90 out the door. I really wish I didn't have to go every week but when I skip a week it starts getting hard to walk properly again, and the last thing I want is to go back to using a cane. It screws up my shoulder, scapula, elbow and arm and I end up limping which makes my other leg and hips hurt. I guess for now it is a necessary evil.

DH contacted me that he did suspend the Toyota payment for this month so I was able to pay the other two medical bills, $31.71 and $96.51. I also sent $100 off on the 18 months same as cash computer loan. Even though I have the money to pay this, I'd rather collect interest on it when I'm not being charged any interest o the loan, which will be paid for long before the time is up.

That house that we like so much has been taken off the market because it didn't sell. I am hoping that means they are going to let it sit for six months and then relist and make it look like a new listing. With all the information I've gathered about that house, if it is put back on sale by the time we are ready to buy again, we can probably get the price way down, since no one has bought it despite three price reductions and I'm thinking they'll just be happy to be rid of it at that point.

DS went back to school today and he had a good day and had no pain. He didn't eat breakfast though and he didn't want to take a lunch because they got out early. I made him take a couple of rice bars so he'd at least have something if he did get hungry. His appetite is way off though since the surgery. He's lost five pounds and if he keeps eating like that he's going to lose more. Which considering he was 10 pounds overweight at his last physical isn't a bad thing but I don't want his nurition to suffer at the same time. He did eat half a piece of chicken, some watermelon, some potatoes and a glass of milk for dinner though so at least he isn't starving.

DD is doing well on her prediabetes diet. Her face has gone from being quite round to having a pointy chin and cheekbones and she's only been on the diet since the 3rd. That's only 13 days. She says all of her tops are getting loose, too. I've been following the diet for the last 4 days and I can already see a change in my face and feel a change in jeans as well. So it seems it is working quite well for us both.

I watched the documentary Fat Head (after someone here rec'd it) the other day with the kids (they got such a kick out of it, it's so funny and entertaining) and it really describes well what has happened over the last couple decades in our country. Plus it really explains in a very understandable way how insulin works with protein and how it works with carbs. I'd definitely rec it to anyone who wants to learn why our weights in America are so screwed up. It's not new information (at least to me) but it is presented in a way that would be very helpful for those who haven't done the reserach themselves.

Finished reading The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritson. I swear that woman has a very grisly mind, but her books are can't put them down sorts. I'm already well into The Keepsake. It is so nice to be able to read again. Now that I'm used to them my trifocals are worth their weight in gold.

Also bought gas today. $44.74 for 10.92 gallons at $4.09 per gallon. Yeeps.

Bad Customer Service

March 31st, 2011 at 04:01 pm

Just had a really bad encounter with a cashier at Kmart. She was a real snot and refused to take my $3 off catalina coupon. Her computer wouldn't take it and I know there is a way to override it but she wouldn't do it. It hadn't expired, I had qualifying purchases, and it came from that very Kmart. She was acting like I was the one with the problem because it was "only" $3.

She didn't get her supervisor for me because customer service was backed up. It took me 25 minutes to get through her line with only one person in front of me. I had too many people in line behind me to get out and switch lanes, was sort of trapped there because of how their aisles are. In the amount of time she served one person the only other line that they had just opened up served seven people. She was super slow and just didn't seem to care how long it took her to do stuff. It took us less time to shop than to check out and that was with my daughter trying on 3 different bathing suits.

I just filled out the survey at www.kmartfeedback.com and left contact info so maybe I'll hear something from them, but I won't hold my breath. Oh, and she was really super snotty when 2 more catalina coupons printed out and she handed them to me. And I'm thinking, "Great, two more coupons I won't be able to use." I am thinking about calling the store manager as well and complaining or maybe writing a letter. I just don't like being treated like this.

Oh, and this woman was older than me, I reckon around 45 to 50, so she certainly should have known better than to be so rude. I've actually never had a young person treat me badly at Kmart. They all seem to care about their jobs. It felt like this woman felt she was too good for her job, like she was just putting in her time. That should never be so obvious to a customer.

End rant.

DS's Birthday Today

March 13th, 2011 at 08:41 pm

Eleven years ago today I gave birth to a bouncing baby boy. Today he's still bouncing, though it tends to be off the walls, off the ceiling, off the bed. My husband managed to lose one of his presents last night. He only bought it on Friday, it shouldn't be that hard to remember what he did with it. Wouldn't have been that big of a deal if we had gotten more than two things. It was a used video game that DS wanted desperately, so it was one of those tiny ones for the Nintendo DSI.

So DH made an unexpected trip down to Burlington to a Game Stop there and picked up another one. The first one cost $22. The second one cost $43. Both were used. Needless to say I am slightly annoyed with DH. I took the money out of my laptop fund, because we'd already used up all the birthday money I'd budgeted. Then DH decided it was okay to use the leftover money from the $50 I gave him to buy modeling glue! So I didn't end up with any of the money back.

DS and my mother made cupcakes tonight to take to class tomorrow. A lovely homemade chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting made from cocoa. I was jealous, but we'd already had homemade yellow cake with homemade white frosting for his birthday. Anyway the ingredients for the cupcakes were $2.

Tomorrow is going to be a difficult day to get things down to the school. 28 cupcakes and a science fair project. Oh, well, we'll manage.

Comcast is on My List Again

February 24th, 2011 at 07:10 pm

Comcast needs to get it's act together. I paid for both the phone for the old house and the internet for where we are living now on the 17th. The checks have still not been cashed. Seriously, Comcast, it takes you more than a week to cash a check now? As greedy and as grasping of an entity as you are and you haven't deposited the money yet?

It's annoying. I want my checkbook to be up to date and these two checks are the only things I am waiting on. They better cash them before the end of the month. I hate carrying stuff over from month to month (and generally avoid writing checks the last week of the month so I don't have to and everything will have cleared). I took them there in person so they couldn't have gotten lost in the mail. I should dig up my statements and at least make sure they were credited to my accounts. If they try to pull late fee garbage over this I am going to go down there and make a scene.

In other news, I spent $35.92 for $11.022 gallons of gas. It's at $3.25 a gallon at the cheapest place. It's better than in some states, but it still is a ridiculous amount to be paying.

I also spent $5 on soup for my poor sick kiddo (because I'm too sick to make another batch myself). They were on sale and of course I grabbed the cans right over the sign that said Chicken and Stars. And then of course I get home and see that they are Chicken with Rice, which nobody likes. Why can't they put the sale sign with the proper item? Most of the time I check, but I wasn't feeling good and from a distance it looked like the right kind. They were on sale, too, so I should just be able to exchange them. I'll do it tomorrow. Kiddo will just have to deal.

Baby's First Decade

March 13th, 2010 at 10:25 pm

My youngest turned ten today. I think that's way harder for me to grasp than the fact that I turned 40 in February. In less time than he's been alive so far, he'll be heading off to college or trade school. Wow. I hope he earns lots of scholarships.

My sister's kids descended en masse on us, presumably to celebrate my son's birthday and not to eat us out of house and home. I hadn't really planned on doing anything other than making T pizza for dinner because it was what he wanted. We already celebrated his birthday and gave him his presents last weekend when his dad was home. Today was just supposed to be a mellow day. T didn't want any more than that.

I wasn't feeling good. I'm still not, been fighting a sinus infection that's not responding to meds, and I just really wanted a quiet day. R made the from scratch chocolate cake batter while I sat curled up in a chair in a blanket in the kitchen and read out the ingredients to her from my laptop. Then we discovered that mom's one cake pan was flaking.

I haven't brought in my glass cake pans or my metal rounds yet and I really did not want to have to drive with my head this full of congestion and buy a cake pan when I had good ones at home. Didn't want to drive back to the house either. Fortunately I had bought baking cups for making muffins and had my muffin tin here so instead of a birthday cake he got birthday cupcakes. I did put together the from scratch butter cream frosting but R stayed with it in the kitchen while it blended for the ten minutes. I love having a child who is old enough to bake with minimal supervision.

I had started the dough in the bread machine as soon as the cupcakes went in to the oven. They were cooled and frosted by the time the dough was done rising and I had assembled the pizzas and they were ready to go into the oven. I had only intended on using part of the dough to make one pizza but with extra mouths I suddenly had to feed I ended up using it all. Fortunately Mom has one of those ovens that has two parts so you can cook two things at once. I was able to cook them evenly and not one after another and they came out perfectly.

T loved his birthday dinner. He said it was better than Round Table Pizza and a bakery cake. Which made me feel pretty good, considering that from making it all from scratch, I spent around $12 where all that pizza and cake bought elsewhere would have rounded out around $60. The boys loved the food too and wished that their mother would cook like that. They said it was the best pizza they'd ever had. That made me feel good even if I was kind of annoyed with the whole day's change of plans.

I think I probably would have taken it better if I wasn't so grumpy from being ill and tired and if it had been planned and not suddenly thrust upon me. *sighs*

I had to go buy a few gallons of organic milk yesterday so I ended up with $3.58 in ones and change out of a $20 to add to the coin jar.

$60.28 beginning balance
+ 3.58 amount added
------
$63.86 ending balance

Yesterday I also paid $1079 on the credit cards and $375.14 on the mortgage.

Broken

September 3rd, 2007 at 04:48 pm

I forgot to mention the CD player in my car is broken. It was working just fine and then it wouldn't turn on. This wouldn't be too bad but the radio is also part of the CD player and so is the clock. Fortunately the car does have another clock its just never been set, so I had to dig out the manual and set it.

If we didn't spend so much time in the car it wouldn't matter that much but I think I'll have to get a new one put in before I go insane with the kids and their constant backseat bickering. Whoever said music soothes the savage beast wasn't kidding. Not talking about me here. Big Grin I'm talking about the kids.

First I'll talk to DH about it though and make sure it isn't a fuse. I don't think it could be and the CD player is 8 years old. The place that installed it doesn't even exist in our county anymore. It of course has a CD in it, too. Annoying especially because it is one of mine and not the kids's.

I'll price them on Wednesday when I come in for physical therapy. Hope its not too pricey. All I want is a simple one CD player with a radio. No 5 disc changer business. No MP3 adapter. I'd even settle for a tape deck.

Meanwhile, I have my tape recorder and I guess I will bring it and my old tapes along. That should be a hoot. Have to be careful. My taste in music in high school and college ran the gammut between Paula Abdul, Heart, Howard Jones, David Bowie and Alice Cooper. Can't be playing Alice Cooper in front of the children. Ever.

I Hate Taxes!

March 24th, 2007 at 06:46 pm

Well, obviously. Everyone else does, too, I'm sure. DH found out why they took so much out of his bonus check this year. Apparently our wonderful IRS branch of our government has a new tax law in effect. (If you didn't recognize it, that last sentence was dripping with sarcasm). Bonuses are now considered income and are taxed at the higher 25% rate as well.

But you know what really sucks? Reimbursements are taxable this year. Reimbursements? How the heck can they consider the company giving you your own money back as taxable income!?! And at the higher 25% also. I mean come on. This one is utterly ridiculous!

I know we will get it back with a few thousand dollars with the next refund. But they already take way more out than they should. As I've moaned about many times before, we can't do anything about it. Because he works 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off, he only gets paychecks for 2 weeks out of every four, but they have to tax his checks as if he were making the same amount all four weeks (which would like double our income and put us in a way higher tax bracket). Our lovely IRS does not allow exceptions to this rule. And that extra $3600 each year would have come in handy during the year. That's $300 a month more we would net if we could have it through the year.

I really wish something could be done. We already take the maximum of allowable exemptions, just to get as much as we can. DH plagues HR each new tax year to see if it has changed, but nope. Of course it is in the government's best interests to not change the laws, they get a whopping (to me) $3600 a year from us that they get to earn interest on.

Anyway, just a rant. I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

The Wonders of Technology

March 14th, 2007 at 05:49 pm

And today is one of those boring days.

I did not do much today in the vein of saving money. I did take photographs of the three brand name spring sweaters I am going to put on e-bay and will try to download the camera tonight. I am not very good at that as I have only done it once and DH had to hold my hand through it.

I am totally backwards about technology sometimes. Although I have always been able to intuitively figure out any VCR or microwave (or word processing program) I've crossed paths with, the more advanced stuff waylays me. Once I get it I'm good. It's just a question of getting it.

I mean, how hard is it to take the little thingy out of the camera compartment and stick it in the dealy on the printer and let it sort itself out between the CPU and monitor? Doesn't seem like it should be such a challenge. Most of it is automatic. But then again, it took me two years to remember how to look at my photos on the camera without asking DH how do I do it. Sometimes it really is a case of PEBKAC.

And we won't even talk about locking and unlocking my cell phone keyboard so it can be on without accidentally dialing somewhere exotic like Mozambique or Zimbabwe or South Central Los Angeles.

I will muddle through, I always do, I just wish the learning curve wasn't so high. Then I just have to go into DH's e-bay account and figure out how to post what I want to post, which should fall under the intuitive grasping of knowledge (software) instead of the "darn technology and all its advances that are supposed to make life easier if you have at least the retention of a kitchen sponge," (or hardware).

I am so right-brained, left-brained stuff is just a challenge. So if I learn left-brained stuff in a creative right-brained way, I ought to get it eventually. Right?

TinklyCash Isn't Paying Out Right Now

March 8th, 2007 at 09:41 am

I posted this in response to Lux's blog but thought I'd put it here, also. TinklyCash is not paying out right now, especially not in the less than 72 hours that they promise. I'm 438th in the payout queue and no payments have been made in weeks.

Now, I was a big supporter of them because they always paid out quickly last year but ever since the big earthquake in Taiwan they have not been paying out. It supposedly damaged undersea cables that were used for international banking.

Doing PTR's is incredibly time consuming, which is fine if you are doing something else while doing them, but doing them and not getting paid? That's just irritating. If and when I ever get paid from them again I'll post it here for those interested in doing it, but until they are back on their feet, I don't think you should waste your time on them.

Waiting on TinklyCash

February 26th, 2007 at 05:22 pm

I went to check up on my payment from TinklyCash and I am 441st in line waiting to receive payment. Well, that doesn't sound good. I have not received a note from them that payment will be delayed, so I am kind of surprised that there is such a huge backlog, usually if they are late they are very good about sending stuff out.

They have always paid in the past, even though it took 3 weeks one time, they told us why beforehand. Usually they paid the next day. I hate to give up on them, so I think I will wait a bit longer and see if I at least move up the list at all.

I know there was an earthquake in the islands where this is based, they sent that note out beginning of January that it had messed with some undersea cables or something that interferred with online banking, so I'm more likely to give them more of a chance.

Outlook on Dayslook Not Good

February 26th, 2007 at 05:17 pm

Well, I have a feeling that Dayslook is a non-legitimate PTR. On my first cash out, they are several days late on payment already. Oh, they sent out a notice saying they were waiting on payment from someone else before they did payouts themselves, but its been quite some time now, a couple of weeks, so I will eliminate them from use. They are right up there with SeekBizs, non-payers.

ReadRevenue No Longer Pays

February 26th, 2007 at 05:14 pm

I am sorry to say this but I have to withdraw my recommendation of ReadRevenue as a good PTR site. They claim payment within 48 hours and for all of 2006 they made payments promptly and I never had a problem with them. But they have paid out nothing since December. I've cashed out twice with them, hoping the first time was a glitch.

The first time was on January 13, 2007 and despite 8 emails that I have sent starting within 5 days of the missing payment, I have had absolutely no response from them. I cashed out again 0n February 21. Today is the 26th. Well past the 48 hours they post on their website that they will pay to paypal by. It should have come on Friday.

I did some research and from what I can find online, no one else has received payment from this company since December. So don't waste your time on it anymore if you had signed up because I said it was legitimate. It no longer is.

Again with the Medical

February 1st, 2007 at 09:17 pm

So, my kidneys are acting up and I'm going to have to get an x-ray as regular doctor thinks there is more going on than just a simple infection. Because they are recurrent. I'm of the mind that I just have to be on antibiotics longer than 2 weeks. Give me 5 weeks and it'll kill those bacteria suckers. They're resistant, what does he expect after all these years of treating them? So an x-ray, but so far no glow in the dark juice and being run through the giant Lifesaver.

Of course, I may be in denial because I really don't want my life turned upside down again by another medical crisis. I am so done with that. I mean, the insurance is relatively decent now, but still...I do not want anymore hospital bills, anymore surgeries, anymore bits of me taken out than have been. True, what's one kidney? Just a spare part anyway, but still, I'm attatched. I've lost enough odds and ends already.

I used to joke that the only things left that they could take out without replacing were a kidney, a spleen and part of my liver. Guess I shouldn't tempt fate that way, should I now?

I mean, I didn't have a clue when they went in for other stuff that they'd find a big honking tumor growing through my appendix, or a year after that my gall bladder would be 90% dead and the remaining 10% diseased. I knew stuff was wrong with the gall bladder because I was turning yellow and couldn't do anything and was having nasty attacks and they noticed it was "a bit odd" during the first surgery but it never occurred to me that it was mostly a dead organ sitting there.

So now with the kidney, I'm either going to be in complete and utter denial or I'm going to go in the opposite direction and completely freak out and think there is a tumor pressing into the kidney and that is the problem. I'm trying to sit here and be numbly in the middle until next week when they take the x-ray.

I'm more worried about what will happen to our financial health if this is serious than I am about myself. Which I recognize as being tweaked but there you go. I'm tweaked. Well, maybe its simply a coping mechanism. My daughter is now the age I was when my mother had cancer. That brings up all sort of issues with my own kids. Or would do if I told them what was going on.

We can't take out another loan, I won't charge anything on a credit card, and I can't visit the bank of MOM because of the fact that she already took out that mortgage for us for the last go around and we'll be paying it off forever and a half. It's probably nothing serious. But...what if it is? What am I going to do?

Sell the house, maybe. Pay off all our debts and the mortgage on our own house, go move back in with mom and work on paying off that mortgage.

Then there's the whole Dad thing. Dad has cataracts, early to middle stage dementia, and MS. Mom's overwhelmed. But coping. If there is one thing my mother can do it is soldier on no matter what. I don't want to make her have to cope with me, too. Not right now.

Well, I'll muddle through, I always do. I will bend, I will not break because that is what I do.

Anyway, probably too much information. But thanks for listening. I needed that.

Waiting for Raises

January 15th, 2007 at 02:34 pm

Seems like a lot of people on the blogs right now are waiting for raises. I hate it, waiting. Last year, DH got what his boss called a partial raise. Contracts had not been signed and it was promised to him that when they were signed, which was supposed to be last summer, he would get the rest of his raise and it would be substantial. And retroactive.

I am not a greedy person by nature, but I really don't like waiting for what was promised. See, the raise last year was pretty much eaten up by the huge jump in medical premiums. Add on the new taxes for bumping up a tax bracket by just a few dollars, seriously by $5. Afterwards we were left with about $25 more each month net. Now this year the premiums went up again. Not by a couple hundered a month like last year, just by $28 a month. So now, DH is bringing home $3 less than he was a year ago before the raise. Ain't life grand?

So anyhow, last week we learned that the contracts were finally signed. Then his alternate called to say that there had been a meeting and raises were not being given out across the board. Which means selective raises will still be given out, but not everyone gets one this year.

Now I am worried that his boss will go back on his word. Not because he wants to but because of pressure from higher-ups. And of course, it'll probably be week's end before we know anything at all. He had a great direct boss, who will fight for him, but that doesn't mean he will be successful.

Meanwhile, DH's alternate was just offered a job for another company up there doing the exact same thing she is doing now. The starting wage for this same job there is $1.50 more per hour than what DH makes now. The wage range ends at $11.50 an hour more than what DH makes now. DH is currently at the top of his wage range with the current company after 11 years.

Now we are both starting to wonder if his company is actually paying the differential or not. Because there is supposed to be one for working up there, the employees are supposed to make a lot more money than the ones in town (like $10 an hour more) as they are working outside civilization and all and are away from their families.

Finding out something like that is close to impossible as the company won't release the information, so the only way to find out is to ask an employee in the same job how much they make. Awkward. Finding it out from another company, a bit easier, but not by much.

So anyway, his alternate may leave for this other company. If she does, he's back to doing the work of two people again. Which he's usually done for at least half the years he has worked there. And never been compensated for. And I feel he should be because it means more time away from the family. Its all just very frustrating. I feel bad for DH because I think they take advantage of him. He is extremely loyal. It's been a good job and a good company, but...its things like this that make you question your loyalty to the company.

I know I'm probably just blowing everything out of proportion and that it will all work out just fine, but if it doesn't...I'm going to encourage DH to actively pursue other opportunities, because we can't afford not to get compensated appropriately.

We will survive, raise or not. But I was looking forward to actually making some headway this year, instead of walking in place.

Adventures in Power Tripping

November 16th, 2006 at 10:02 pm

...or what happens when the power goes out and you can't see where you are walking.

48 hours without power is about 40 hours more than I can handle. 40 hours without a phone line really drove me nuts. Not being able to access this site or the internet? 3 hours of that was about enough. 2 days with the school closed due to a power failure, no ability to watch movies, use the computer, use the game cube, and reading by candlelight in the evenings made for 2 stir-crazy children and 2 just plain crazy parents.

But thank heavens it is back on now. Phone came back first, then power. We ended up spending an unbudgeted $100 on food, some eating out and some to restock the fridge. We had to throw away much of what was in the fridge, managed to save some apples and oranges and some veggies, but tossed out all the meats and salad dressings, cream cheese, sour cream, yogurt, the pre-chopped veggies had turned brown, and some of the condiments.

I had moved some stuff to a cooler, milk, eggs, butter, turkey and ham (the organic nitrate/nitrite free stuff for sandwiches), mayonnaise, jelly and peanutbutter. And it was still cold and good, so we didn't lose it all. Just some.

We had quite an adventure yesterday morning with the kids getting trapped at the school, a tree down across the road halfway between the school and our house, a tree down further down the road in the other direction, a tree down across the exit, but not the entrance driveway to our development. We called the school, they were keeping the kids at school until the roads were cleared even though there was no power.

So we decided to walk down to the school, which is 1.2 miles one way. We told the school we were coming and to tell our kids. It was raining pretty hard and the wind was whipping pretty good, but we wanted our kids home with us and the fireman said it could be several hours before they cleared the road in either direction. So we walked and the one tree was really big and had brought down the messanger cable as well as the power line, and the cable line. When they did end up cutting the tree up, they accidently brought down the phone line as well.

There was a safe place to get around the downed line on a side road that came out again further down the highway. So we finally made it to the school after about twenty minutes of fast walking. So we go to find our kids. "Oh, that bus decided to go on a reverse route and try to deliver as many kids as they could. But they'll bring back the ones who they can't deliver." They couldn't tell us that on the phone? So now we are at the school with the possibility that our kids could be at home, or they could be brought back to the school. You could say I was one p.o.'d parent.

We couldn't get ahold of the bus driver on his radio as he had turned it off, due to too much chatter on it. Argh! So we told the school that if they kids did come back to hold them there and we would come back when the road was clear. Then we walked back home. Just as we were passing the tree, they finally got it cleared (several hours, my eye!), so we got to walk the highway with a ton of cars zipping by to make up for having to wait in a really long line for so long. Fun.

Got home to a note on the door that the kids had gone to the neighbor's house, like we figured they would, so it all turned out okay, but the kids told me that the bus was driven over some downed wires and he had squeezed it through under some wires that were angled down across the road and went around a tree. That I am not happy about. The kids safety should come first, so I am calling the bus garage tomorrow to complain now that we have phones again and school and buses should be running tomorrow.

School conferences were supposed to be this week but obviously they were cancelled. I hope we can reschedule for tomorrow as DH flies out on Monday and he really wanted to go. He almost always misses them and this one just coincided with his being home for a change. Also basketball practice was cancelled, too.

So anyway that has been my last two days in a nutshell. A very large, very full nutshell.

Oh, and today was the automatic deposit to savings of $10 so I will send that off to ING tomorrow. I'm not sure where my total is at right now and I'm too tired to look it up.

Spent $178 but still feel Lucky

August 17th, 2006 at 10:26 pm

Sigh. We blew a tire on the way into town tonight. This is one that has already been repaired 3 times so I knew there was no fix to it and I was right. Fortunately DH did not lose control of the car and we were able to pull off to the side of the road within 1/10 of a mile on a nice wide piece of shoulder. And it was a good place to pull off, too, which was a relief because of course it was on the driver's side, closest to the highway traffic.

I am so grateful DH was home. Two days ago I would have been trying to figure out how to change it by myself. I learned many years ago but that was on my old Nova. Even DH had to look in the owner's manual to figure out where the jack went. I'm just really glad I had the locking nuts removed the last time we bought new tires. Had to have them cut off at the time as the tool got tossed out accidently years ago.

Our spare went on as easy as can be but the tire pressure was different between the two front tires and that pulled the alignment out worse than it was already. We decided to go ahead and get two new tires as the tire place had a sale on right now, instead of just one. The other tire was still okay but the wear pattern was a little off and I prefer not to mess around with stuff like that too much when DH is gone so often.

So we bought the two tires that were on sale but ended up getting a free upgrade when they couldn't find the sale tires, even though the computer said they had them. We went ahead and had it realigned since it was so badly out of whack. I had planned on getting it realigned next week anyway when we got the oil change done, so I did have the money for that set aside. It was the tires and their installation money I didn't have.

Well, we charged the extra and we will pay that off next month. It means less eating out again, but we are getting used to that. We were lucky in that we got to the tire shop at 6:10 and they closed at 6:30. The only tire shop in the area that is open past 6:00. And we have bought tires there before and like the shop, too.

We are also lucky this did not happen tomorrow when we were on the way to the fair. I would have hated to have spoiled our day that we have been planning.

If an incident like this has to happen, it happened under all the best possible circumstances. I feel watched over today.

Ethical Dilemma

July 1st, 2006 at 03:18 pm

Okay, I have a situation I'd like some opinions on. Back in May, before I'd even set up a paypal account, I got an email saying there was money in a paypal account connected to my email. There was no paypal account connected to my email when I checked. But I wanted to set one up, so I did, and sure enough, as soon as I did, there was $70 sitting in my account. I asked paypal and it was legitimate.

So DH tracked it for me and found out it was related to a certain numbered ebay sale of an item I had certainly not sold, because I did not have an ebay account and had never used ebay (only DH has, and its a different account).

However it did have an email the money came from, so I emaled and asked what the money was for, since I didn't have an ebay account at all, and I had only just set up the paypal account and there was the money.

This person insisted that she had bought the item from me. I explained patiently, and ad naseum, with smaller and smaller words over the course of 6 emails that she had made a mistake somewhere and sent the money to the wrong person. It appeared that she simply wasn't reading what I wrote, only continuing to respond that the money was for something she'd ordered from me.

This went on for about 3 weeks. Well, finally I got an email from someone who had been forwarded the entire string of emails I'd sent to the idiot (sorry, I have low tolerance for people who won't listen or act stupid when they are not). This happened to be the real person she had bought the item from, whose email address was the same as mine, except it had 3 numbers following the letters.

She had also gone round and round with this woman about her not having sent it to the right email addy, and finally had gotten the sale rescinded due to lack of payment and the result was the other woman was kicked off ebay. She got my email from the list of emails that had been forwarded to her and she emailed me to explain what had happened or I'd still not know.

I asked her if she wanted me to transfer the money to her. She did not, she wasn't going to send the product now, and so the money wasn't hers. Well, I tried one more time to explain what had happened to the first woman and she responded with a profanity laced email that I had gotten her kicked off ebay and stolen her money. She still didn't get it, and I was trying to return the money!

Well, I checked with paypal and supposedly if I did nothing to withdraw the money, it would be returned to the sender on June 28th. Well, guess what? It wasn't and there it sits in my paypal account.

So my question is, what am I supposed to do with the money? I have made several good faith efforts to give it back. Part of me says that I should just keep it to pay for all the hassle I've been put through trying to do the right thing. Ethically this is wrong and I really feel at a rate of about 98% that I would feel tremendous guilt doing this and that it would bother me. 2% of me says I deserve it after all the garbage she put me through.

I guess I could try one more time to talk with paypal about it and see if they'll return it to her account. I'm really just so tired of dealing with it I want it to be done.

Dinner and 2 Movies

July 1st, 2006 at 01:11 am

I didn't have time to post twice on Thursday but DH and I had a rare date, while the kids spent the night at my mother's house. It was a very spendy date, too. But DH got a bonus check for some extra stuff he does on a safety committee at work and that's how he wanted to spend it.

So we went to Black Angus and had the special of a small lobster tail, King crab leg, and prime rib, with 2 sides. DH got the same. I got double veggies and he got veggies and a baked potato, loaded. No dessert and I drank only water, but DH had Coke. We took the bread home.

Afterwards we went to the movies and paid (gasp!) full price. I haven't paid full price in years, we always go to matinees and even that has gotten pricey. But he really wanted to use the money this way, and I wanted to see the movies. We so rarely go to movies. The last one we saw was the Narnia one, and before that The Day After Tomorrow. And we had gift certificates both times from my mother.

Anyway, we saw X3, which we had both wanted to see on the big screen before it was gone. There were 9 other people in the theater with us and we got to sit in the seats that would be behind the wheel chair seats, which means complete legroom. I've never been so comfy at a movie theater in my life. That movie went fast and it was good, but it made me cry a couple of times. I was expecting to cry at the second movie, not the science fiction one.

The second movie we saw was The Lake House. I adored it. Made me cry more than the other movie, but it was wonderful. A true romance. I hope those two don't wait over a decade to make another moive together. They have such good chemistry I hate to see it not used.

Anyway, DH and I had a marvelous time and in the end it was worth it, the money we spent. It will be a long time before I pay full price for a movie again. DH wants to see Superman next time he comes home. I may order the entertainment book as it has movie coupons. I don't know if our regular budget can swing another movie for awhile. That's what Netflix is for, it just means waiting a bit more.

I think this goes firmly in the Not My Fault category.

Being a Good Neighbor is too Expensive

June 4th, 2006 at 11:59 pm

Well, I was right about never seeing that $5 from the neighbor again. And I probably never will.

Yesterday my DH let him use our lawn mower, despite the fact that it was the first sunny day in over a week and our own lawn was way too long and the forecast said it would rain today (which it did). And of course, the idiot neighbor promptly plowed it into a rock that bent the blade at a 90 degree angle from its previous direction.

Did he come tell us right away? Oh, no. He tried to "fix" it himself. With a sledge hammer. When he couldn't fix it, then he finally came over and told DH. DH tried to fix it, but because of the sledge hammer, there was no fixing it.

The neighbor did some hemming and hawing and said "Guess it looks like you need a new one." DH goes "Yep." Neighbor goes, "I guess I should buy it." DH goes "Yep." Neighbor says, "Well, I can't buy it until Tuesday, why don't you go buy it and I'll pay you back." Right. Like he paid back the $5. I don't think so.

We had the kids's recital last night so we took off shortly after and didn't get home until really late. First thing we see when we pull in is that the neighbor has left both our gas mower and our old fashioned push mower on his front lawn instead of bringing them back or locking them up in his garage.

So DH went and got them. He left a note saying he had so they wouldn't think they were stolen, though I was tempted to just let him think they were stolen and see if he came over to even tell us. But DH said no, and added to the note that we were sleeping in and not to come over in the morning. We were exhausted from the recital.

Anyway, the guy had the nerve to come over this afternoon and ask if he could borrow the mower once we got the part fixed. DH said no and that he couldn't borrow it anymore at all. Neighbor wasn't happy and DH was even less happy. The guy has been there 2 months. Its about time he bought his own lawnmower or asked for one on freecycle.

FIL came out tonight with the replacement part and it is at least working again. It only cost $17.55, but that is $17.55 that could have been used for something else.

Oh, well. We are done being good neighbors. Now we will just be indifferent neighbors. I like it better that way anyway. And besides that, the guy was starting to give me the creeps.

Cell phone woes over

May 30th, 2006 at 05:10 pm

I didn't actually blog about this, but the post office misplaced a paid bill I sent off for almost two weeks! It finally cleared this morning as an ACH, and Cingular said that since the envelope was postmarked the 16th of May they would not count it as a late payment and there would be no interest charges added to the account.

Tomorrow I am going down to the CU and fill out the paperwork to make that an autopayment. It's the same every month so no surprises. I am just glad Cingular was rational about it. As soon as we knew there was a problem we talked to them and they were very nice about it, especially as we have never been late before.

It bugs me. Our CU has just finished updating its webtools so now we can pay any bill directly out of our account, but I like the convenience of autopay a little better than that.