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Archive for March, 2010

Life goes on....

March 19th, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Today was payday and along with my automatic deposit form was another check for 3 days of jury duty. I had completely forgotten about this after I had told my boss I didn't get paid, that was what 6-8 weeks ago? Anyway nice suprise.

I also called my comp carrier to find out what is going on with my shoulder claim and that I have not received any disability pay. I have been on half time for about 10 weeks.

My FIL fell Wednesday and ended up getting flown out of our area because we have no neurosurgeon coverage here. Luckily his "bleed" healed itself and he was discharged from the hospital the next day. DH had to drive to where he was flown and is driving his parents home tomorrow since his father needed to stay in the area another 48 hours just in case. He is 85 and stepped wrong off his tractor hauling horse manure to his garden!

However, now DH can go to Home Depot and take advantage of 26 cents brick type blocks for our garden edge and go to Trader Joe's and get some 2 Buck Chuck for cooking.

It's a warm beautiful day here on the North Coast of California, but the clouds are moving in tomorrow.

My tulips are in full bloom and there are bumble bees buzzing close to the ground driving my little Jack Russell nuts. I think he might be a little afraid of them!

I thought I had killed this peony last year, but it is almost ready to bloom.

And lastly, my Azalea is in full bloom. It is 1 year old.

Oops forgot to add, I added $1000.00 to my retirement funds today too.

The Ax Officially Fell

March 13th, 2010 at 04:16 pm

Thurdsay meeting at noon in the admin conference room. Boss had to scramble. I contacted her on Tuesday and said I wanted to meet with her. Well she must have figured it out. The outsource HR person was on speaker phone during our meeting encouraging us to apply.

I was completely prepared for the meeting with my 4x6 card with my topics/questions to cover. A coworker who works at home who was at the meeting (I was not sure until I walked in what kind of meeting it was going to be) told me I was very prepared and calm with my questions/topics.

The only real issue I have other than the way this entire episode is being handled is that the HR person did not tell the truth about our flexible spending accounts. She said the money was gone on my date of termination (still yet undetermined). I said, "So you mean I have to submit all receipts by my termination date?" She said yes. That did not sound right to me so yesterday I called the administrator of the plan, which is also the administrator for our health insurance. She told me the facts correctly which are I have until 12/31/2010 to submit receipts/bills. The medical expense must be INCURRED by my termination date.

Another interesting little tidbit. I can spend up to my entire years election, not just what has been taken out of my check so far. So 3/23 I have a female exam, 3/24 I have a vision exam and 3/25 I have a dental exam. I am going to get new classes, contact for a year and then buy as much over-the-counter stuff as I can. I called in a bunch of drug refills even though I don't need them yet. Why wait to run out??

On the other hand I am almost assured of getting on with the new company (coworker heard doctor I mainly transcribe for tell the COO he wants me doing his work with the new company) and will be working from home again. Yippee!! After working "in-house" at the hospital for 15 months, I am definitely ready to go back home. Also I am paid by production so that I can get up and stretch and take a walk and load the dishwasher and throw clothes in the washer, etc. The level of lines to produce to be considered full-time with benefits is very reasonable and I know I can produce enough after I am used to the new software in 4-6 hours depending on the dictator. So all in all I am going to be much happier.

However, my focus on food has slipped over the past few weeks, probably because I have been waiting to find out what is going on with my job. Also I was surfing food sites and blogs much more last month and I think I was so inspired by all the cheap foodie blogs out there. Not that I have been spending, we have just not been enjoying our food as much. Time to get back into that and being creatively frugal. Just last week we bought those new baby heads of lettuce at costco and we have not used one head!! Because we are out of salad dressing and let's face it I can't make basil ranch dressing like Tomaso's can. So this morning I am running to town to get some milk and half and half at Costco, then over to Winco to get a few things including Tomaso's basal ranch dressing where it is the cheapest in the area.

All of my homemade bread, cookies and muffins are gone, finished off Thursday so I am going to do some baking today and tomorrow. Now that I know bread slices just like commercial when it is completely cool, I cannot stand the thought of paying $3.00 for a loaf of bread or $2.59 or whatever the double pack at Costco is. We do not eat that much bread so a homemade loaf lasted a while in the freezer.

Lastly DH caught a ride to Reno with MD's SI to pick up from our oldest daughter his truck. He will be gone a few more days, stopping in on one of our business to see how things are going. He filled 3 Rubbermaid large containers with wood so I could keep the fireplace insert going with a warm fire.

Oh and lastly, I upped the speed of my internet for $10.00 more a month to fastest possible and received a card in the mail (I completely forgot about) to get a prepaid $20.00 Visa.

Time to get up and get my frugal day started.

Oh I almost forgot! has a garden form to keep track of when and what you planted. I know smart Excel people can make these up themselves, but I am not one of those smart people! I printed one out and already have my lettuce I started about 10 days ago to put immediately on the form.

Happy Daylight Savings weekend!

Every little bit helps!

March 8th, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Just called Direct TV and was shocked at how little our bill would go down over the premium package we have now. So I told the guy I was losing my job and he decreased our bill $15.00 a month for six months! Of course I may have to cancel the whole thing when the job loss happens.

We only spent $118.59 of our Costco Amex rebate check, put the rest on a cash card. We both had eaten too much at lunch so it was not fun at Costco. We ended up getting 2 large cans of tomato sauce, case of italian style tomatoes, 25 pounds of dried pinto beans, case of canned black beans, case of canned kidney beans and a case of carbanzo beans, soy sacue, 2 gallons of white vinegar, asparagus, red peppers, mixed nuts, cranberry juice, yellow onions, olive oil and puppy food to donate to Miranda's Rescue who are out there every first saturday taking donations.

We usually get at least $50.00 a month worth, but this time only got the one bag. I feel bad about that, but until I know what we are facing with Cobra, unemployment, etc, I have to be conservative.

I crashed and burned yesterday, had no energy, slept in until 7:30, etc. DH made me a really nice barbecued steak dinner along with a coffee pudding with choco whipped cream from Tyler's Ultimate on Food Network. This is his new favorite show.

So back up and at work today. Tacos for dinner tonight with venison burger from the freezer.

I called my flexible spending people to see if they got my fax and I called to find out how to submit my contact lens receipts to get reimbursement for that.

I called the local vet to find out about rabies clinic because Landon is due. Luckily every Saturday from 12-1:00.

We had a cold snap with rain today and there is snow in the low hills of Humboldt County again. Hopefully it will not effect my lettuce seedlings!

The ax has fallen.... or is falling soon.

March 6th, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Found out on 3/4 that I am losing my job at the end of the month. We got our AMEX/Costco rebate in the mail yesterday, $333.48. We are using it to stock up on staples. The freezer is pretty darn full. So I have revised my budget (other than rebate stockup) to $250.00. DH may be hitting a Trader Joe's next week and we definitely need peanut butter and a few other items we like to get there.

I am downgrading Direct TV and we are giving up garbage collection. DH can take it to work on dumpster pickup day which he generally has twice a week(our business). We just have to get into the routine. I would like to take this opportunity to switch cell phone plans too. All our kids have Verizon, so we have cut our hours tremendously. I should find out if they have a pay as you go plan. We are also asking the older girls and actually already did, to take over the insurance for one truck we loaned them that they can share permanently between them (it's nice to have a truck around). Between that I can squeeze at least another $100.00 a month out of the budget. Thank goodness it is almost gardening season and I will have time to invest.

If my stomach would just settle down I think I could come to peace with it pretty easily. I found on line that the Cobra Assistance is extended through layoffs that occur before 3/31/2010. Apparently you only have to pay 35% of your Cobra costs. I have an appointment Tuesday for my precolonoscopy appointment and my doctor's office said they could fit it in before the end of the month (employees of the hospital get any hospital costs written off).

So I guess I should say they are outsourcing my department (transcription). My middle daughter works as a contract employee for the same hospital and will not have the safety net I have, so I really am not happy they are not giving us much notice. But how radiology can tell their transcriptionist and HIM doesn't tell their employees, did they really think it would not leak out? I have known something was coming since last October (approximately), but had the signs as early as last June after I had only been at the hospital 6 months. My boss' attitude towards me change so drastically I was stunned. Then for a while in October she became downright rude and lately she has just avoided me as much as possible. So actually good riddance for that reason, but I work with the nicest bunch of people really. I will miss them.

So my plan is to study at AHIMA to get my certification in coding, which will be much easier on my upper body. I may have trouble getting a job with transcription because I have an open comp claim right now for my shoulders and neck. Same with individual insurance coverage, my broker said I may have trouble. So I will need to get on group coverage in what?? 18 months or so when Cobra runs out. 18 months should be enough time to figure that out.

Anyway there are many positives including taking more time to get physically in shape and be able to spend some time with my sisters who live out of state (Oregon, Washington) and daughers who live the other way (Reno, NV) and my YD and granddaughter who live way east (South Carolina, Coastal Beaufort).

Luckily the February food challenge with my sister made a switch in my head with food costs. We did "okay on food spending, but in February I took it to another level and started participating in shopping and cooking more, really watching the ads and even shopped at CVS with a few coupons. DH actually ate my food without dumping hot sauce on it first!

I have many, many projects to work on besides studying. My physical health (getting in shape, losing at least 15 pounds), my pictures of 31+ years of marriage, quilts, knitting, the yard both the flower and vege garden. I will not be bored! In fact I wish I could start now!

Today's plans are the library for some good books to read, Costco for stockup purchases and cleaning the house! Dh is still sleeping (it's only 5:00 a.m.) so I will pay bills (it was payday) and work on the budget until he wakes up (or just catch up on blogs!).

I worked at home for 10 years before taking this in-house position 15 months ago and I have to admit I was much happier at home with some flexibility in my schedule. And now with my aging mother I think it is even more important to have that flexibility.

So I would like to have prayer from those that do that I find peace and not worry and try to enjoy this time of transition (I have never in my 52 years collected unemmployment).

Happy weekend everyone!