Sunday, November 30, 2008

Wow, crazy weekend

So, after writing my little PSA on Friday, I headed to work. Talk about INSANE. I am reminded each year why I won't go out on Black Friday and go shopping, sheesh!

Kind of a sad weekend for me, as one of our technicians got promoted to another position within the company, and yesterday was not only his last day with us, but also his going away party. I rarely make close friends quickly (as most people that know me can attest to), however this particular coworker and I became good friends very quickly. Was very difficult to see him leave the going away party yesterday, but at least he's only a phone call away, and I have an open invite to go hang out whenever I need or want to.

So, this makes us shorthanded at work... right before Christmas. I've figured up my hours for the next 4 weeks (I already have my work schedule, thank goodness), and I'm going to be averaging 45 hours a week or so. Will be nice for the paycheck, but will also be a bit of a drain on me physically. We also have the option to go in and work basically whenever we want outside of the normal schedule, and I am already planning on taking advantage of that, at least on the 9th. We'll see how I feel after doing that once to determine if I do it again.

Also coming up on the 9th is the Nine Inch Nails concert here, which I am going to. Went to a very good concert this month on the 17th, Jet Black Stare, Tantric, Drowning Pool, and Saliva. All of the bands were excellent, and I hadn't ever heard of Jet Black Stare prior to this show, and I was very impressed. If you like rock music, check them out. Saliva is basically the band I went to the concert to see, and they were fabulous.

Hoping I won't slack up on my updates over the next few weeks, but with as busy as I am going to be, we'll see what happens. The other good news for me is that I have ordered a Blackberry Storm, and it should be here prior to the 8th of December. I've already gotten to play with a few at work, but it will be nice to have one of my own. Also seriously considering taking the test from Research in Motion (RIM) to become a RIM certified Blackberry technician. Work probably won't pay for it, but it's something I want for my own knowledge and to assist me in doing my job every day. The test is 150.00, and I will have to see where the closest testing center is to where I live.

So, that's all I've got for now. Catch y'all on the flip!

Friday, November 28, 2008

If you're a "Black Friday" shopper, please read this...

Please remember to be kind to the people you encounter that work in the store you're shopping in.

Chances are, they had to get up earlier than you this morning to prep the store for your arrival, and they're the ones that have to stay afterwards to clean up after the onslaught of people.

Chances are, they're missing out on their own holiday shopping to be at the store so you can get yours done.

Chances are, if you're that one bad transaction for the employee, you're going to ruin their whole day, and be the type of person that they associate Black Friday with as an example for their reason for disliking it. DON'T BE THAT PERSON!!

Just a little PSA from me to you. Thanks and have a great shopping day.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Storm release, and other random thoughts.

Last Friday, Verizon Wireless released the new Blackberry Storm. Talk about one SEXY phone. I want one very badly. Hoping to have enough money after Christmas to purchase one for myself.

Still working quite a bit, and we're losing one of our technicians at the end of the month due to a promotion, so that means in December I'll be pulling 45-47 hour weeks. I'm not going to complain about the overtime, especially before the holidays. Spending the holidays with family, as per usual. Should be good times. I am very blessed to have such a large and wonderful family that enjoys spending the holidays together.

Already figured out my new years resolutions, and I'm already putting plans in motion to get them started. Going to keep working on my weight loss, I've already lost nearly 70 pounds since July (no, I wasn't trying, it just happened, but now I'm actually working at it), and I am going to quit smoking again, hopefully this time I won't relapse like I did in May. I am also going to get back on track financially, unfortunately these past 4 months have wreaked a bit of havoc on my finances, and I'm a little behind on a few things. Going to work on getting caught up, and get some savings built as I have another business trip coming up at some point after the first of the year where I will again spend 2 weeks in Denver, Colorado, and rather than some costs being paid up front, I will have to cover them and submit an expense report.

Still single, although there are some prospects on the horizon. I've definitely learned a considerable amount about myself in the past few months, and it's been healthy and good.

Other than that, I haven't been up to much. Spent the last weekend re-arranging my apartment, as I am turning my second (spare) bedroom into a dressing room. Going to spend next weekend stripping down an old hardwood desk that I used to have, re-staining it, and then I am going to use that as a vanity table. I figure if I am going to live alone, I might as well enjoy my apartment, so I'm setting it up so it is comfortable for me. It's been fun, and I've done a lot of it fairly inexpensively, just by being creative with how I am doing things.

Hope everyone has a fabulous holiday season, my best wishes to you and yours.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Over the hills and through the woods to grandmother's house...

...and beyond.

What a long and emotionally exhausting weekend. I drove over to my grandma's house on Thursday, and we continued from here (I am still currently at my grandma's house, going back home tomorrow) to Omak, Washington. Itty bitty little town in north central Washington, home of the Omak Stampede and Suicide Race.

Got to Omak, and we found out that there was going to be a potluck dinner at the Grange Hall in Okanogan (another little town, just outside Omak), so Grammie and I headed over there. We got there, and there was probably 35 people there, most of which are family. Let me sidetrack here and explain that my grandmother is the oldest of 13 children, so my family is HUGE. Got to see aunts and uncles and cousins that I haven't laid eyes on in over 10 years. Was difficult to see my uncle Kenny, as he is the twin brother of my uncle Pete whom passed away, and was the purpose of me being in Omak. I walked up and he gave me a hug, and I was half expecting to hear when asked how he was "Gooder n' snuff and not near as dusty", which is a classic uncle Pete-ism.

Got to visit with my uncle Lyn for quite a while, my favorite memory of him was when he let me drive his 1998 Ford Cobra, candy apple red with a tan ragtop when I was about 17 years old. We had a great visit, and then we headed out to my uncle Danny and aunt Cynthia's house. Got to see my cousin (whom I've always called Aunt) Bert, and I haven't seen her in a VERY long time.

The next day was the funeral, and I managed to hold it together until they started doing the military honors. The first report of the rifles for the 21 gun salute hit my ears, the tears began falling, and when Taps was beginning to be played, that was it, I completely lost it. I watched as they folded a flag with the utmost precise movements, and present it to my aunt Margie on behalf of the president, to thank uncle Pete for his service in the US Navy. Talk about a gut wrenching experience.

As I was walking out of the church, my uncle Lyn gave me a huge hug, and told me that the entire family knew how I felt about my uncle Pete, knew he was one of my favorites, and that he just wanted me to know that he loved me very much. After the funeral, we headed back to the Grange Hall for a huge dinner.

One of the things that struck a chord with me was watching my cousin Adam, in his dress greens, speak about uncle Pete (his dad). He pointed out that the best way to describe my uncle Pete was the term "love in motion", and more true words were never spoken about that man. Uncle Pete loved everyone, the way he figured it is if you were alive, you were worth loving, regardless of anything else. Adam mentioned "If you want to honor my dad, be a person like he was."

The dinner at the Grange Hall was full of hilarious stories about my uncle Pete, and the evening was spent laughing and joking around, just like uncle Pete would have wanted. The next morning a bunch of us got together for breakfast (pancakes and chili, a family tradition), and my aunt Bert gave me a gorgeous silver necklace. The pendant is a silver mobius, and on it is engraved the following:

"Count your blessings, instead of your crosses, count your gains instead of your losses; count your joys instead of your woes, count your friends instead of your foes; count your smiles instead of your tears, count your courage instead of your fears; count your health instead of your wealth, and love your neighbor as much as yourself."

Very true words, and albeit simple, they are so easily forgotten. This necklace is exactly what I needed yesterday, and I have been thinking about those words since she gave it to me.

I'm taking a lot away from this weekend, and while I am still very sad about my uncle Pete's passing, I am happy for the fact he was able to do it on his own terms, surrounded by family and friends that love him so very much.

RIP uncle Pete. Fifteen two, fifteen four, and a pair of socks... I love you.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Short update (again)

So much for no traveling. My uncle passed away Sunday afternoon, so I'm headed out for his funeral on Thursday.

Not really looking forward to it, but it is what it is, and I get to see some of my family while I'm there, some of which I haven't seen in 10 years or so. That part of it will be nice.

Got to go to Kalispell, Montana yesterday, the drive was gorgeous, and it reminds me of why I LOVE living in Montana.

Hope all is well with everyone, Verizon put out another roaming list update, so if you're a Verizon customer, dial *228 on your phone and push option 2, then allow the phone to reset.

Catch ya on the flip, I gotta go pack.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Gotta love it when coworkers upgrade...

I am now the happy and proud owner of a Blackberry. Yes, you read that right. A crackberry. And I'm seeing the reason they call it that! I really enjoy mine, still getting used to it though, especially texting/typing on it, since it's a suretype keyboard instead of a qwerty (it's a Blackberry Pearl).

Work's going pretty well, although I've picked up a cold somewhere. I think I'm going to have to go buy some Sudafed tomorrow, as I can't find the last box I bought. Hopefully this doesn't keep me down for too long, as I HATE being sick.

Just a short update tonight, time to get back to playin with the new phone!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ahhh, the things that vacations can do...

So, I got to head to Fort Collins last weekend, and the vacation is exactly what I needed!! I flew out of Missoula early Friday morning, got to Denver at around 3 in the afternoon. Got to hang out with my two friends from training that evening, had a couple drinks at a cool little bar. Saturday was spent knitting (one of my friends' mom is a knitter... kindred spirit!!!), and overall just relaxing.

Got to go see a band that night called Heartfelt Bastard, they're a punk band local to Fort Collins... was interesting. The band itself was pretty good, was less than impressed with the impromptu mosh pit and being doused in beer, to say the least.

Sunday was spent with my other friend from training, just spent the day visiting and watched Dark Knight (again, LOL, and this friend is one of the ones I saw Dark Knight with the first time while I was in training in Denver), and got to go to Red Lobster for dinner... OMG it was soooo good.

Monday was again spent relaxing and knitting, plus I had to pack up and get ready to go home. Got on the plane at 9:30pm, and by 11:30pm I was back home in Missoula. I have to say, it was the coolest experience to decend through the clouds and watch the snow/ice in the clouds sparkle under the plane like an ocean of crystals. Plus there was no moonlight, so the stars were shining much brighter than what I'm used to seeing, unless I go out to my mom's house.

Started back at work this afternoon, some stuff has changed at work, so we'll see how that goes over. I work another 7 day stretch (well, one day is down), then have two days off. No plans as of yet for the days off, but I'm sure THAT will change before the week is out. I also don't forsee any more traveling until after the new year, as our store goes into blackout sometime in November and doesn't come out of that until after the new year, due to the holidays. If I leave town at all, it'll be work related.

Looking forward to this weekend, get to go out with a couple friends of mine either Saturday or Sunday (figuring Saturday, but I'm not sure). I just got home from having dinner with two of my coworkers, ended up closing down the restaurant again, LOL. We always end up doing that!

Oh, also, the workout thing is going VERY well! Been trying to go after work each day that I'm actually at work, but I've learned I HAVE to put my gym bag in the car when I get ready for work, since if I head home first, I'm less inclined to go to the gym. Plus, while I was in Fort Collins, my friend and I walked from his apartment to Red Lobster, about a mile and a half each way, so I ended up getting a "workout" in while I was gone.

My ex happened to get his hands on an iPod Shuffle, and didn't have a use for it so he mailed it to me, and it arrived today. I already have an 80 gig iPod, but didn't want to take it to the gym, as it's kinda big and clunky, so the Shuffle (or as I've named it, "Shufflie") will be perfect. I've already got it charged and loaded with my "Workout Tunes" playlist. I haven't weighed myself since I started, but I'm already almost into the next lower pants size. Not really marking my progress by pounds, focusing more on inches.

Anyhow, gotta find my tape measure and update my measurements spreadsheet, I measured myself prior to starting my job, and I'm interested to see how many inches I've lost since then, as I'm down 4 pants sizes and 50 pounds since starting the job. (Additional edit: 26.5 total inches lost since June)

Catch y'all on the flip!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Work work work work work

I swear, work is all I do anymore. Today, I was outside talking with my neighbor, and my territory manager calls me. Apparently a lot of VZW corporate people are in Helena this week, and they want one of our techs to go up to the Helena store and work for a few days. First thing I thought was "Cool, I get to go to Helena on the company's dime"... no dice. My other coworker is going, and rather than having two days off this week, I have to go into work tomorrow, and they extended my shift on Friday by an hour.

Did the math, and while 15 hours overtime will be SWEET, I was really hoping to have two days off so I could get stuff done, like laundry. It looks like I'll be doin laundry tonight, rather than sitting at home and relaxing.

9 more days till Denver, was looking at flights again today, and the price for a direct flight to/from Denver jumped by over 100 bucks, so it looks like I'll be doin the layover thing again this time around. Hoping I can score a layover in Seattle, as I have a couple friends there I'd love to see for a little while. We'll see, I'm booking the ticket tomorrow.

Anyhow, I think I'm gonna start getting my clothes together so I can go work on my laundry. Have a great rest of the week, everyone! Catch y'all on the flip!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Got the hookup!

So, I found out today that due to where I work, I get a discount on my monthly membership fee to Gold's Gym, hence the reason why ALL of my coworkers work out there, hehe. 23 dollars a month is completely doable, so I'm starting my membership after I get home from Denver.

My friend/coworker is dating a body builder and is good friends with another one, so I just inherited two personal trainers. Not planning on bulking up, just toning up and hopefully helping the Metformin (if the docs put me on it) take off this extra weight.

My plan in the meantime is to get my measurements down, going to build an excel spreadsheet to track my progress.

Anyhow, I'm super excited now, we'll see how this goes!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I hate doctors...

... they're nothing but a buncha friggin VAMPIRES!!!

Prior to my trip to Mississippi, I went in for what I thought was a normal check up to establish care with a new doctor. We discussed a bunch of stuff, and the doctor said she wanted to do a full blood workup on me to get a baseline, and to test me for a endocrine disorder called Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). They take 3 vials of blood, send me a 200 dollar bill, and tell me they'll call with the results.

So, a few nights ago, I went out drinkin with a coworker, and after being driven home from the bar (wasn't gonna risk a DUI, tyvm), I remembered that I hadn't heard anything back from the doctor. Being that I'm never home, I rarely check the voicemail on my house phone, cause people that REALLY need to get ahold of me have my cell phone number. Sure enough, there's a message on the voicemail from my doctor, saying that she wants to pull MORE blood from me, and that it looks like I very well could have PCOS.

What does this mean? It explains the reason why I can't seem to lose weight (even when I'm trying my damndest), among other things. Since I've started my job I've lost almost 50 pounds without trying, and from what I've read online, once they start actually treating me for this, the excess weight will come off fairly quickly.

Only one major caveat to that though, it also means switching to a low carb diet. Anyone that knows me knows I LOVE pasta, rice, etc., so switching to a low carb diet is going to be interesting. One helpful thing is that my dad is a type 2 diabetic, so I'm hoping I can snag some of his recipes and what not. The other thing I'm not looking forward to is what this is going to do to my grocery budget. I mean, seriously, rice, pasta, etc., are cheap. Oh well. Being healthy is more important at this point, and that's what I've got to remember. Also, if I start dropping weight, I am going to seriously look into a gym membership. Have some coworkers that I can work out with and will help keep me motivated. Besides, one of them is dating a bodybuilder, and I can probably get some excellent advice from them.

Plans for my trip to Denver (actually Fort Collins, but I'm flying to/from Denver) are still on, one of my friends that's there and I were talking a few days ago, and it looks like I may get to go to Red Lobster while I'm there, which is my FAVORITE restaurant EVER. I think after I get more blood drawn and what not, I'll worry about everything after I get back. I don't need stupid medical crap screwing up my fun weekend with friends.

Catch y'all on the flip!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


No particular reason for updating today, just feeling pretty restless.

Life's going awesome, the Denver trip is fast approaching, thank goodness, maybe after my trip I'll be able to settle in a bit for the winter, as I doubt I'll be able to make any more trips like these ones until after the new year, blackout dates and all. We'll see. These trips are good for me though, as it's nice to get the heck outta town from time to time. REALLY looking forward to seeing my two buddies from training. They're fantastic people, and I just think the world of them both.

Need to get some house cleaning done tomorrow after work, and need to clean out my car too.

Just random thoughts I guess. In a really good mood tonight, and overall still very happy with how life is going. Things just keep getting better and better, so I certainly can't complain.

Going to try and get some sleep, I work midshift tomorrow, so that means I get to sleep in a bit, YAY!!!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Home again!

So, I'm back from my trip to Jackson. Had a good time, never been to Mississippi before. Got to hang out with a very good friend of mine, and as it looks now, friends is what we're meant to be. At least I don't have to look back some time from now and ever wonder, right? We went to a really neat bar while I was there, and I got to meet some very neat people. All in all, not a bad experience.

Not much else to update. Looks like I'm still headed to Denver next month, made an executive decision while en route back home today that I still want to go see my friends that live there, so I'll be traipsing through airports and on airplanes again in 3 weeks. Should be good times, these are friends of mine that I made while I was in Denver in July for training. I've been enjoying these little 4 day or so jaunts out of town, I may make this a habit! Thinking I want to go to Vegas again sometime soon, and who knows where else. Jacksonville, Florida would be on that list as well. We'll see.

Anyhow, gotta finish getting unpacked and unwind a bit before I'm gonna be able to sleep, plus I need to find the charger for my phone, I'm pretty sure I packed it back into my suitcase...

Catch ya on the flip!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Short update.

Attention Verizon customers: New Preferred Roaming List out as of 9/23! Dial *228 and push option 2 to update your devices! This public service announcement brought to you by the number 4 and the letter Q.

Things are crazy as hell around here. Work is busy, and I leave for my trip tomorrow. Almost done packing, just need to get last minute stuff in the suitcase, and I am going to *try* and get to sleep early tonight, since I have to be up at 0400. What's the 0 stand for? "OH MY GOD IT'S EARLY!!!"

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

OMG an update that isn't a month from the last one!

Life is going SO WELL!! I just walked in the door from going out for drinks with some of my co-workers, and I'm not quite tired enough to sleep yet, so I figured I'd do a quick update.

As I said in the first line, life is going very well for me right now. Work is awesome, still loving the job. Doing very well at the job too, which always helps.

I mentioned in my last post that I may be going to Mississippi to hang out with an old friend of mine, and those plans have been finalized! I'm leaving on the 26th and I will be home the 29th. I know I'm going to have a wonderful time, and I'm very much looking forward to it.

It's been a long time coming that we finally get to hang out in person, considering we've been very good friends for going on 5 years now, plus there's definitely an attraction there that we are pursuing. I'm obviously not clairvoyant, but the future looks incredibly bright, and I have figured out that whatever is meant to happen, will happen. I am happy though, and that's what matters to me. I feel so blessed these days, and I feel that I've found a part of me that I lost along the way. Not sure if that makes sense, LOL. It's almost like I was on a flight, a piece of my luggage got lost, I figured it was gone forever and the airline just found it, only a couple of years later.

Other than that, not a whole lot going on in my world. Have had two visits to the dentist in the past month (yuck, I *hate* going to the dentist), grabbing lunch tomorrow with an old friend of mine from school who I haven't seen in a few months, and just living each day to the best of my ability. Have had 1-2 "bad" days, but those are bound to happen once in a while, I just deal with them as best I can.

Starting to get pretty tired now, just thought I'd check in and update while I was thinking about it. Catch y'all on the flip!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Major changes...

I know, I know, I know, need to update more often, haha!

So, I'm not moving to Houston. I broke things off with my boyfriend last week, because I determined that I need to work on myself for a while. Going to Denver (and subsequently Boise) changed my perspective on a lot of things, and I realized that for the first time in my entire life, I am COMPLETELY independent, financially and otherwise. And I love it, absolutely LOVE IT! It is kinda nice to know that I only have to account for myself and my cat, and I'm back to enjoying life again, which is more than what I could say for myself 8 months ago. We are still going to remain friends, as we were friends first, and foremost.

Still loving the job, and I find myself learning more and more every day. Been at it for over a month now, and every day I get off work happy. Absolutely adore my co-workers, I work with a fantastic group of people. Over the last few weeks we had a big barbeque, and a float trip on the river, both of which I attended and enjoyed thoroughly. The float trip was my first one ever, and I truly had a blast (and got a bit sunburnt as well, unfortunately). We might be doing a Labor Day barbeque, but I haven't heard anything set in stone yet. I've been averaging 8 hours or more of overtime each pay period, which as you can imagine, doesn't leave me with much time to do much outside of work. I'm not complaining though, the extra cash is nice, and if I can get 4 hours per pay period, I basically don't have to pay for my insurance coverage, as the overtime makes up for the premium that is taken out of my check. According to what I've heard through the grapevine, the management and the rest of the staff are pleased with how well I am picking things up and how well I am doing.

Other than that, not much going on in my neck of the woods. I am planning on having a friend come see me probably sometime this month, and I am going to Fort Collins, Colorado in October to hang out with two friends of mine from training. Also looking at planning a trip to Jackson, Mississippi to visit another friend of mine, however I am not sure when exactly that will be happening. I know, a month ago I was saying I didn't want to see the inside of a plane or an airport for a while, and here I am planning more trips, LOL!

Anyhow, gotta get my lunch made for tomorrow (bagel with turkey and spinach, watermelon, some crackers, and a frozen bottle of water), and get to bed. Tomorrow is (at the least) double time, if not double time and a half! You're not gonna hear me griping about THAT on the paycheck!

*228 and option 2 your phones, Verizon folks, and pull the battery when the phone is done updating!

Catch ya on the flip!!

Thursday, July 31, 2008


I had no idea what the cellular industry was all about, but man, I'm sure familiar with it now!

Week one of "real" work (well, first 4 days, I work tomorrow) have been pretty good, for the most part. I like my other co-worker that I finally got to meet on Monday, we get along pretty well, and he definitely knows his stuff. The store managers are pretty cool, and very patient with Laura and I, which is very helpful. We are starting to get it down though, I even opened on my own this morning! My only real complaint is that my feet hurt like crazy when I get off work. I'm not used to standing on them for 8+ hours per day, and on top of that, I've clocked 4 hours of overtime so far for the next check, not counting if I get any overtime tomorrow.

Anyhow, I know it's a short update, but I have stuff I gotta get done before I go to bed. Don't forget to do *228 option 2 on your phones, people! Especially Verizon customers!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Shelby is leaving the building!!!

OMG finally. I get to go home tomorrow.

It's not that I haven't enjoyed my time doing training, but I swear to God and all that is holy, my feet cannot take any more abuse. During mentor week, rather than doing five 8 hour shifts, we did four 10's, because my co-worker has to be back in town for a wedding on Saturday. My feets are screaming.

Couple reflections on training (some of which I may have already mentioned, but oh well):

On Denver: Was odd to get along with everyone in my original training class. It's not often that you can shove 24 people plus 2 trainers into a small room and have everyone get along. This was surprising. Even our primary trainer commented on it, and mentioned that she hadn't met a training group that got along as quickly as we all did. We were pretty well all friends by the end of the first Monday, and she said that never happens.

On mentor week: Was odd to get along with my mentor. I honestly was worried that I wouldn't, and that we would not have an easy time of it, but once again, I was proven wrong. My mentor was awesome, and let us move at the pace we felt comfortable. As of yesterday I was handling transactions on my own, with only the occasional question for her.

On the co-worker: I like my co-worker. She's really nice, and I'm glad I'll be able to work alongside her. I also look forward to meeting my other co-worker that I haven't met yet. He strikes me as the type to be a bit of a smart-ass, which means we will get along just fine. I got to talk to him for a minute during the conference call last Tuesday, and I'll get to meet him on Monday when I actually start working.

On travel: If I don't get on a plane in the next month, you will not hear me complain at all. I am so done with flying.

On packing: do not want to. Why can't they make a CTP? Clothing transfer protocol? Where I can just dump all my clothes in a tube and they end up in my apartment.

Anyhow, on that last note, it's time for me to start packing my stuff in preparation for yet 2 more plane rides tomorrow. Catch ya on the flip, everyone!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

On the road again...


Will the traveling ever stop?

I'm currently in Boise, Idaho. I flew home from Denver on Friday evening, got in around 11:45. Went out to my mom and stepdad's house, and then left Missoula again today at 1 PM to come here to Boise for my mentoring week.

The hotel I'm staying in is pretty nice, I was pretty surprised when I walked in the door, that's for sure. The rental car that the company is paying for is nice as well, it's a 2008 Mercury Milan, that thing gets up and goes pretty darn quick!

So, my plans for the evening consist of surfing the net, and signing up for my insurance benefits. Hoping to hear from my friends that I made in Denver, I miss them very much.

That's my update for today, I'll be updating again throughout the week, so keep your eyes peeled!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Denver update

So, here I am in Denver, late Tuesday of my week 2 training. Training has been WAY different than what I ever could have expected. I honestly expected it to be all stuffy and starched collars, and I can honestly say it's been anything but. I get along with just about everyone, which is absolutely fantastic. There are certainly some folks that I am going to miss dreadfully when we all part ways on Friday afternoon. Got everyone's cell numbers though, so I imagine there will be tons of texts flying across the nation afterwards, probably with the end comment of "You're a towel!" God, I'm gonna miss these guys, and that's the truth.

Training itself has been alright. I (for the most part) like both of my instructors, however I'm not necessarily keen on one's teaching style. She's in training, and it shows. She's a nice lady though, and the other trainer is as much of a nerd as I am, which is awesome. I have also found kindred spirits in some of the other nerds/geeks in the class.

However, one side effect of the training has been that my alcohol consumption has increased dramatically, LOL! I swear, I have drank more in the past 5 days than I have in the past year. I think I needed it though, I haven't ever really "cut loose" in any aspect of my life, not in a long while. As anyone that knows me can attest, most of the people I hang out with are the guys in the group. I've always been somewhat of a tomboy, and it especially has been showing this week. I mean seriously, how many other chicks can talk cars, computers, and guns with someone and actually KNOW what she's talking about?

Anyhow, I'm rambling. I've been enjoying training a lot. I head back home on Friday, and then I get Saturday off, then Sunday I head out from Missoula to Boise for my mentoring week. Then, I'm sure I'll be starting in the regular store, so I'm staying busy.

Things in my personal life are going okay, for the most part. I'll be honest though, I've been so busy with training and such this week that I haven't really had the time to focus on my personal life. I'm sure that will change as soon as I get home though, as I'll have more time alone to dwell on it. I have honestly been anything BUT alone on this trip, as there's always somebody asking me to hang out, or a large group of us will chill out in someone's room while we all talk over each other. Some of us are planning on going to the 12:20 AM showing of Dark Knight on Thursday night (well, technically Friday), considering that the giant screen theater is all of 3 blocks from our hotel. Should be good times.

Anyhow, I gotta get in the shower here in a minute and get ready to get myself to bed. 6 AM comes dang early, and I only got 3 hours sleep last night.

Hope all is well with everyone, and I'll hopefully be updating more often, LOL!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New News!

Yeah yeah yeah, I know, haven't updated in forever, LOL. Haven't really had anything to update about... but now I do!

So, the other half is still in Texas, trying to get things set up for us there. In the meantime, I needed to find something here in town to pay the bills, so I started throwing out applications. Well, one hit and stuck!

I am going to be working for Flextronics, which is a company that is contracted out to Verizon Wireless to provide in-store customer tech support. The pay is good, full benefits, quarterly bonuses, and they're an international company so when the time comes that I'm going to be moving, there's a possibility that I can transfer within the company.

I start training on July 7th, and it's paid training in Denver, Colorado. I spend 2 weeks there, then I'll probably be headed to somewhere in Idaho to do a week's worth of in-store training. They're paying for all the expenses associated with the travel, so I'm kinda looking at this like a paid vacation of sorts. I have a friend that's going to come take care of my cat, and we live in a pretty close knit neighborhood, so I'll have my neighbors keep an eye on my apartment.

I'm pretty excited about it, although a little nervous too. I suppose that's to be expected, right? I've already got my list of stuff that I need to take with me typed out, and as soon as I have my itinerary, I'll probably start packing, since there's some stuff I need to wait to find out (i.e. does the hotel have a pool, etc).

So, that's the latest. Still missin my boyfriend, but I think that the new job will definitely be keeping me busy!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

An Update of Sorts.

Wow, been a while since I've updated. Sorry about that.

Well, finals week came and went, and I graduated from the University of Montana on Saturday, May 10th. I've changed the name of my blog to reflect that :)

On May 11th, both my boyfriend and his brother (our roommate) left. Boyfriend headed to Texas, roomie headed for Arkansas. There was a bit of turmoil around that time, and quite frankly, I don't want to get into it. Basically my boyfriend attempted to break up with me, and then we got back together the next day and are working on our relationship.

Job hunting for me is going pretty slow. I can't apply for many of the jobs I want until the school changes my transcript to reflect the fact that I've graduated. I just checked, and they still haven't done it. I did apply for one job at the Medical Examiner's office in Houston, I'm hoping to hear back from them soon. Really hope I do. I miss my boyfriend terribly. It's very odd to be in the apartment alone with my cat. I've gotten a lot accomplished in the two weeks that he's been gone, and I think right now if I got a job in Houston, I could be completely packed and ready to move in 4 days. Working on getting that down to three days, but we'll see. My goal has been to throw away 10 things per day, and I've been meeting and exceeding that goal on a daily basis.

There's been some rather emotional self-discoveries made this past two weeks, but what doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right?

Anyhow, I'm doing alright. It's nice to know I can always fall back on myself in hard times.

We'll see what the future brings. I'm hopeful for it.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

May's pseudo-menu

Due to us moving, I'm trying to use up all the meat we have in the freezer, so this month's menu will be pretty meat centric.

5/6 – Macaroni and Cheese
5/7 – Clam Chowder
5/8 – Penne spaghetti
5/9 – Dinner with Daddy, no cook
5/10 – Graduation BBQ, no cook
5/11 - Manacotti
5/12 – Beef Stroganoff
5/13 – Tater Tot Casserole
5/14 - Antelope pot roast
5/15 – Polish Kielbasa and Hashbrowns
5/16 – Baked chicken
5/17- Stuffed seashells
5/18 – Fend for yourself
5/19 – Steak, baked potato
5/20 – chicken stir fry
5/21 – Date night
5/22 – BBQ venison
5/23 – Chicken and noodles
5/24 – Black bean burritos with deer burger
5/25 – Chicken fettuccini
5/26 – Biscuits and gravy
5/27 – Elk steak, mashed potato

It's Official... We're moving!

Well, we've decided not to rent a truck, instead we're putting a hitch on my poor car and towing a trailer to Katy. I've played around with a spreadsheet, and it looks like it's going to be about $1500.00 to move. Better than the original 3 grand!

Also just made up the "intent to vacate" letter for the apartment complex we're leaving, and reserved the trailer we're renting.

The prospect of having to say goodbye to my family is driving me crazy. I'm going to miss my mom terribly, but Roger's promised I can come home whenever I want/need to. Plus I have family in Austin, which will help.

Also, with only renting a trailer, a lot of our belongings are not going to be able to go with us on the trip, unfortunately. I'm talking big items, like my dressers, entertainment center, couch, etc. Some of this stuff we were going to get rid of anyway, but not all of it. I've been going through websites to see how much it'll cost to replace some of my kitchen appliances with things I want. I may be a little overzealous in what I want, but if I'm being given a clean slate to work with and get exactly what I want, I'd rather not just settle for what I can get, yanno? Mom said I can store a few of my sentimental things in her storage unit here in town, and if they drive down to see us, they'll bring them with.

Lots of stuff still left to complete before we move, but it looks like we'll be out of here by the 2nd of June. Scary. I'm somewhat excited, but then again I'm sad. Need to get ahold of the vet, must do that Monday.

Finals week is here, and as you can see by the countdown, we're getting REALLY close to graduation time. I'm off for now, but don't be surprised to see to-do lists on here in the next couple of weeks.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Eyes are leaking...

Just got the coolest graduation card. It's Dr. Seuss, and has quotes from "Oh, The Places You'll Go" in it. I haven't read the book in so long, I had forgotten how it goes, but this is a very sweet card. I also think that the receipt of the first graduation card has made it very real.

Today is your day.
You're off to great places!
You're off and away!

As vast as your vision can show,
As high as your highest dreams grow,
As far as your passion can reach -
These are the places you'll go.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

T-Minus 19 days and counting.

I swear, things can't get any more hectic around here!

I finally got all of my graduation announcements out, thank goodness. Now I'm just trying to round up and organize people's travel data so that way I can make sure I get to see all the family that is coming in from out of town. Roger's mom, and grandpa are coming, and my dad and his girlfriend are coming, and I believe my cousin is coming into town too. Mom's throwing a party for me after the ceremony, and some online friends are throwing me a party I think the Wednesday after. I love my computer, all my friends live in it.

Went to the firing range again on Friday, had a wonderful time. Have definitely decided on the Glock 27 as my next handgun purchase.

Trying to get things organized for the move, starting to make "to do" lists and such. We've decided that we're going to give 60 days notice to our apartment complex, and tell them we'll be out by July 1. That way we have essentially 6 weeks after graduation to get our poop in a group and get this show on the road. Most of the apartments I'm seeing in Houston want a monthly income of 2 to 3 times the cost of the rent, which is completely doable with the jobs that Roger and I are looking at.

Finished my first pair of knitted socks, they turned out WAY awesome!

I've been commissioned for 3 more pairs from other people, plus I want to make more for myself. They're WAY comfy. And it helps that sock yarn is way cheap. I've told Roger that I want to spend about $110.00 on yarn, and it'll get me enough sock yarn to make a pair of each color that I like. I've also set up a plan where if someone wants me to make them socks, they have to purchase the yarn for their socks, plus purchase sock yarn for me. I doubt (at this rate) that I'll run out anytime soon, hehe.

And per my friend's request, I'm gonna post my BBQ Pork recipe.

1 pork roast
1 jar applesauce
1 bottle BBQ sauce

Put roast in crock pot, cover with half of the jar of applesauce. Cook on high for 6 hours. Pull roast from pot, dump the contents of the crock pot, and put roast back in. Pull apart with forks, mix in the BBQ sauce and the rest of the applesauce. Cook on low for 2 hours. Serve on hamburger buns.

I've started a new policy for myself too. I have to drink at least 16 oz. of water upon waking up, between "other drinks" (soda and juice, mostly), and before bed. Sometimes I substitute iced tea in place of water, but I've noticed that my skin is clearing up. I'm hoping that it'll be completely clear by the time graduation rolls around. I bought an insert for my Nalgene wide-mouth bottle that constricts the flow of liquid out of it, and it also keeps me from getting smacked in the teeth with ice cubes (since I'll only drink water if it's ice cold).

Anyhow, that's enough rambling from me. I need to start getting ready to go, Roger and I are going on a date tonight to Applebee's. Catch ya on the flip side!!

Oh, yeah! I promised pictures of the results of the pattern I was testing. Here ya go!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Yarn PSA

Heya! Just a quick public service announcement to anyone that may Google for Mystical Creations Yarns. Buyer beware! The dye on this yarn isn't set, so the color will run. I've seen pictures of this yarn in water, and it looks like a tragic accident involving a Smurf.

Most of my information comes from Ravelry, and while I trust the people on there, I'm going to refrain from furthering any of the drama. I'm sure you understand.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Shout! Shout! Shout! Shout at the Devil!!!!

Ok, yeah, odd title for the blog today, but I'm jamming to Motley Crue.

Added the countdown to the blog. Gettin close to grad! I'm so ready to be done.

Going to the firing range *hopefully* on Friday. Will need to blow off some steam, and my buddy Aaron got a new pistol, so gotta put some rounds through it.

Car is fixed too, by the way!

Gotta get back to knitting, I'm testing out THE cutest pattern. I'll post pictures when it's done.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Random ramblings

1) I’m tired of school.

2) I don't think "private" and "preferred list" blogs on MySpace should show to people that can’t read them. Obviously if I’m not supposed to be able to read it, why show it to me? Prove that I don’t "rank" on someone’s arbitrary "list" to be able to read what they’re writing? Gee thanks, MySpace. *flips the bird*

3) I graduate in May. I have 25 announcements to send out, and 21 people on the list that absolutely HAVE to receive them, or else I risk torture and dismemberment. If you don’t get an announcement, or you’re included on the one that I send to your parents, I’m sorry, but these things are really friggin’ expensive (think 79 bucks for 25 of them. Yes, SEVENTY NINE dollars).

4) I’m looking forward to moving. As much as I love Missoula, and as much as I’m going to miss my family, I’m not leaving much behind other than that.

5) My car is broken, which makes me sad.

6) I want to go to the firing range again.

7) It’s 11:49 PM, and I’m tired, but I have a pepsi to finish.

8) I keep forgetting that I got my hair highlighted, until I see a reflection of myself in a mirror, then I’m asking "WTF!?!?!"

9) Nine is a good number to stop at.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

April's Menu!

4/1 – BBQ Baked Chicken
4/2 – Black bean burritos
4/3 – Potato Soup
4/4 – Cheater manicotti
4/5 – Subway
4/6 – Burgers
4/7 – Date Night
4/8 – Enchiladas
4/9 – White Chicken Pizza
4/10 – Chicken Stir Fry
4/11 – Pizza
4/12 – French Dip Sandwiches
4/13 – Chicken Stroganoff
4/14 – Lasagna
4/15 – BBQ pulled pork sandwiches
4/16 – Pasta with broccoli, roasted garlic, and pine nuts
4/17 – Black bean burritos
4/18 – Faked fried chicken
4/19 – Subway
4/20 – Fettuccini Alfredo
4/21 – Meatloaf
4/22 – Macaroni and Cheese
4/23 – Kid Food night
4/24 – Chicken Stir Fry
4/25 – Pizza
4/26 – Stuffed Seashells
4/27 – Black bean burritos
4/28 – Burgers
4/29 – BBQ Venison
4/30 – Omlettes

Please keep in mind that my grocery budget is $200.00 per month, and this is only the main dish that's listed, sides aren't included.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Parenting Rant

Since when did parents... stop BEING parents?

I hear stories pretty frequently about how the child in a parent's life is allowed to make the choices for the whole household, and I'm just aghast. Here's just some examples, based on things I've seen/heard, etc.:

If I tried to tell my mom what we were or were not having for dinner, or threw a fit about what she was fixing, you know what happened? I got to wait till breakfast to eat, and if I was lucky, mom didn't serve me the meal from the night before, cold. Also, if my mom put it on my plate, I was required to at least try it, and while my mom did placate a lot of my food tastes as a child (I didn't like sandwiches on regular bread, but I was more than happy if it was on a pita), she was still the parent.

If I tried to backtalk my mom when she said for me to clean my room, she'd dump all the drawers out, take everything out of my closet, etc. I would then have an hour to clean my room, and anything left on the floor would go to Goodwill. Only took once.

What am I trying to say here? Who knows, really. Guess I'm just learning what kind of parent I will turn out to be. Can't wait for the day my kid says "MOOOOOOOOOOOMMM, you're just old fashioned."

Monday, March 17, 2008

And on a whole different tangent...

Something I've never actually written about in my blog, probably because I hadn't thought about it, but after Friday, I just had to share this.

SKS? Fully customized with a pistol grip, adjustable stock, and other accoutrements? HELL of a lot of fun to shoot!

Went to the firing range with my buddy Aaron and his girlfriend last Friday, and had an absolutely FANTASTIC time. Aaron also let me put some rounds through his Glock 27, and I really really really want one now. A Glock 27 is a .40 cal subcompact semi-automatic handgun. It doesn't kick too much, and it fits my hand well. I also started researching what it's going to take to get me my Concealed Handgun License in Houston.

In other news, spring break is next week. Got to start getting my "to do list" together.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

March Menu

So here it is, March's menu. As you can see, there's a couple additions, as Spring Break is later this month, so we're planning for lunches that week. Bought a bunch of Lean Cuisines and soups and the like for the FFY days. Already did March's grocery shopping, spent $273.00 total, saved $164.00. Roomie will reimburse $93.00.

Spring Break for us is going to be spent organizing this apartment, going through things, and getting rid of a lot of stuff. I'm actually looking forward to decluttering, but I'm also looking forward to sleeping in! School's running me ragged. Also, I've put in the menu what cookbooks some of the recipes are from, so that way I remember where I found it!

DISCLAIMER - This is just a main course listing. I do not list side dishes, or every single item that goes into making my entire meal. I also don't normally make a menu for lunches or breakfast because nobody is home during those times, but it is spring break later this month, and I had to plan ahead for that.

3/8 – Chicken Stir fry
3/9 – Black Bean Burritos
3/10 – Chili dogs
3/11 – Hashbrown soup
3/12 – Chicken Broccoli Divan (
1-2-3 Simple, pg 86)
3/13 - Antelope pot roast
3/14 - 5 Cheese/Spinach Calzones
3/15 - Subway
3/16 – Broccoli & Noodles supreme (
1-2-3 Simple, pg 122)
3/17 – Irish potato soup
3/18 – Beef Stroganoff
3/19 – Omelets
3/20 - Orange Glazed Chicken (
Campbell’s No Time to Cook, pg 22)
3/21 - Clam Chowder (2006 Crock Pot Cookbook, pg. 116)
3/22 - Tacos
3/23 – Dinner at Mom’s (Easter Sunday)
3/24 – Lunch – Soup/Sandwiches 3/24 – Dinner - BBQ Venison (1975 Crockpot cookbook, pg 165)
3/25- Lunch – Fend for yourself 3/25- Dinner - Enchiladas
3/26 – Lunch – Black bean burritos3/26 – Dinner – Chicken Stir Fry
3/27- Lunch: Chicken burgers 3/27 – Dinner - Knuckleheads
3/28 – Lunch - Fend for yourself 3/28 – Dinner - Pizza
3/29 – Subway
3/30 – Tatertot Casserole
3/31 - Spaghetti (w/spaghetti bread)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Meme tag!

Louise tagged me!

I have added all the links together below.

I have selected 5 other bloggers to be tagged and I hope that you will similarly publish this post in your blog. You will have to tag 5 other bloggers and just keep adding on to the list. (Do not replace, just keep on adding!)

It’s really easy way to build your community and make new friends!

The Strategist Notebook ~ Link Addiction ~ Ardour of the Heart ~ When Life Becomes a Book ~ The Malaysian Life ~ ~ What goes under the sun ~ Roshidan’s Cyber Station ~ Sasha says ~ Arts of Physics ~ And the legend lives ~ My View, My Life ~ A Simple Life ~ Juliana RW ~ Mom Knows Everything ~ Beth & Cory's Mom ~ A Mind Forever Voyaging~ enjoying the ride ~ Jennifer's thoughts ~ Mom of 3 Girls ~ Amanda ~ Don't Make Me Get The Flying Monkeys ~ ExPat Mom ~ Just Jessie ~ Wilson Six ~Krisitn ~ Nuttier Than You ~ Shonnte ~ Summer's Nook ~ Laura Williams Musings ~ Melissa's Idea Garden ~ Confessions of an Everyday Housewife ~ Blah Blah Blog ~ Stop the Ride! ~Soap, Blings & Girly Things ~ It's All for the Best ~ Keeping Feet ~ Junky Love in Freehand ~ Getting Out of Debt ~ Free From Broke ~ Money Matters ~ Arohan's Investing Life ~ My Investing Blog ~ Finance and Fat ~ Iowahippiechick ~ MakingMoneyJournal ~ ~ Life Liberty & The Pursuit Of Money ~ Making Cents Of Debt ~ DebtDiet Fiscal Musings Paid it Down and Moving Forward Phoenix from the Ashes Canadian Saver The Good Life on a Budget Last One In Line Finding Financial Peace CT Mom Beachgirl's Budget Blog~Saving For a Home of My OwnMrs Micah Brightside of Debt Bouncing Back From Bankruptcy Give Me Back My Fibe BucksLife and Debt in ChicagoMy Journey to Eliminate Debt My Money and Politics

I'm going to add:

OneStop Mom
The Red Curl
Living Almost Large
Debt Free in the Ozarks
Need to be Debt Free

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

It's almost time

Started making some realizations lately, and it's beginning to hit me just how close I am to being in the "real world".

12 weeks till graduation.

I see that number, and start to panic a little. 12 weeks?!?!? TWELVE?!?! Where did the time go?

Also, something else is making it's appearance, and that would be burnout. I'm getting burnt out on school, burnt out on being on a budget, burnt out on cooking, cleaning, the whole bit. I'm just ... spent. Looking VERY forward to spring break already. Maybe I should start counting down to that, rather than agonizing on graduation.

5 weeks. 5 weeks until a break. 5 weeks until I can just be. I'm sure stuff will come up between now and then, but I can say one thing for sure. No alarm clocks that week. That may be a good week to start tossing things out and going through clothes. We were supposed to do that over Christmas break, but yeeeeah, that didn't happen. I may set small goals for each day that week, as far as packing/throwing things away. These goals will be things that don't take more than an hour each. That may make things seem a bit less daunting, I think.

Started working on my resume, and I'm so completely at a loss that it's not even funny. I've never had to write a resume for the "real world" before! I've always been a retail rat, and that's what my work history shows. When I was looking at retail jobs, my resume made me feel good... but now it's making me feel somewhat inadequate. I'm going to make an appointment with career services and see if I can't get some help.

Otherwise things seem to be going well. I'm still trying to remember to take my Chantix, still haven't had a cigarette since 12/12/07. Not saying I haven't craved them. Also, I've stopped taking my birth control. No, we're not *trying* for kids, but we're not necessarily doing anything to prevent them, either. Fact is, my plumbing is screwy, and I need to make sure that Auntie Flo still knows where my house is.

Starting to look at jobs in Houston, and I really would LOVE to get on with Harris County still. My friend Stephanie helped me out a few nights ago to decipher the benefits package, and it makes me want to drool. I am also going to pass it on to my mom, as she's a medical biller, and she knows more about the doctor's office side of things than I do.

Hope everybody is doing well, and I'll check back in soon :-)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

February grocery savings...

Hit both Safeway and Albertsons today, and got all of my groceries bought for the month, excluding any more milk we need.

Albertsons: Spent 153.01, saved $44.60
Safeway: Spent $69.56, saved $44.56

Total spent: $222.60
Total saved: $ 89.16

Roomie will be reimbursing us $75.00, so we came in under budget! Wahoo! And this included a bunch of convenience foods I don't normally buy, but they were on sale, and the boys requested them.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Requesting prayers for a friend

A friend of mine is less than 36 hours from having an egg retrieval done, as part of her IVF treatments.

I wish to ask for prayers for guidance of the doctor's hands, and also calm and strength for my friend and her husband, these last few days have been very very hectic for them.

Update 2/3/08 - they're headed to Charlotte to do their transfer! Good luck you two, and grow "yoyo's" grow!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

February Menu time!

2/1- Enchiladas
2/2 - Subway
2/3 - Creamy Chicken and noodles
2/4- Beef Stroganoff
2/5- Pulled Pork Sandwiches
*2/6 – Ash Wednesday, Lent begins – Grilled cheese and soup
2/7 – Chicken with cream of mushroom soup and rice
*2/8 – Spinach and Cheese Calzones
2/9 – Black Bean Burritos
2/10 – Shelby layer dip
2/11 – Chicken and Broccoli skillet
2/12– Family Style French Toast Bake
2/13 – Tater Tot casserole
2/14 – Steak, Baked potatoes, Homemade bread, brownies, wine
*2/15 – Broccoli and Pasta Bianco
2/16 – Taco Bell
2/17 – Biscuits and Gravy
2/18 – Beef Stew
2/19 – Homemade mac and cheese
2/20 - Asian Chicken
2/21 – Fend for yourself
*2/22 - Hashbrown soup
2/23 – Black Bean Burritos
2/24 - Subway
2/25 - Chicken and Dumplings
2/26 – Crockpot BBQ Pork Ribs
2/27 – Chicken stir fry
2/28 – Omelettes
*2/29 – Stuffed seashells with garlic alfredo

What's up with the *, you ask? Well, as I mentioned in my last post, Lent starts on 2/6. Fridays during Lent, and Lenten holy days (Ash Wednesday and Good Friday) are meatless days for Catholics.

Off to make my grocery list... and debate if I want to make a king cake for Mardi Gras.

Friday, January 25, 2008

February budget completed, and Lent

Only one minor change in the budget, our rent went up by $15.oo, so therefore our income increased by $5.00, due to roomie's rent increasing ($15.00 divided by 3 people is $5.00 each).

Income: $1330.00

Rent: $565.00
Bresnan (Cable, internet, and phone bundle) $120.00
Groceries: $200.00
Gas: $50.00
Hobbies: $60.00 (split between 2 people)
Pets $10.00
Dinners out: $50.00
Savings: $275.00

Total outgoing: $1330.00

Since people have asked, I'm going to explain the budget categories:

Rent: Our apartment complex covers the utilities

Bresnan: We have a package through our internet provider to receive cable internet, phone, and cable TV at a set price ($120.00)

Groceries: I feed 2 people on this per month. We shop once a month, and roomie reimburses us his 1/3 of the total cost, so while we'll actually spend say, 210 at the store, roomie pays us back 70.

Gas: we don't drive much. I drive to a park and ride lot a couple of miles away to ride the shuttle bus to and from campus. Saves me money in the fact that I don't have to pay for a parking permit or pay to park each day on campus, and I'm not driving as far. I put MAYBE 30 miles a week on my car. Fiance drives to and from school, and maybe puts 30 miles a week on his car.

Hobbies: Fiance plays World of Warcraft, and has two accounts ($30.00). I flip flop back and forth between Lord of the Rings Online and World of Warcraft, and knitting. Depending on what I want to do for the month determines what I do with my $30.00.

Pets: We use this category to buy fish supplies, or kitty litter, or food. This amount is low because fish don't eat much, and we buy the big bags of kitty food and litter, which lasts a while.

Dinners out: pretty self explanatory.

Savings: we have a 2000 mile move to save up for.

Budget categories that have changed in the past year: Ciggies and Visa have been eliminated. With January's budget, Visa was paid off, and I quit smoking in January. Changed the budget by $150.00. Also, our rent went up by $15.00.

Why isn't there blow money? Because both fiance and I "work", and money we earn is our blow money. I clean a house once a week, and fiance is a teachers assistant on campus for a couple of his instructors. Any money we make becomes our blow money. For the last couple of months, I've been using my blow money to both save for an iPod (which I bought last week), and paying off Redline Recovery. Since those are both taken care of, my blow money has more wiggle room.

On another tangent, Lent is coming up. Yes, I'm Catholic. I've been thinking recently about what I want to give up for Lent, and it's come down to Mochas (did this last year), and red meat (also did this last year). Me giving up red meat last year really hampered our grocery budget, and sucked for meal planning, as fiance and roomie still wanted to eat red meat. I think it's going to be Mochas again this year. Considering I drink at least one per day, that could get interesting.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Shelby and school, and another debt gone!

See ya later, Redline Recovery! Just had them pull the last payment I owed for my settlement agreement. Hooray! Another one bites the dust!

Got a nice comment on my last post, asking about how I manage to do the school thing, and my reply comment turned into something post worthy, so I figured I'd just post about it, haha.

Yes, unfortunately, I do have student loans (and maximum grants). With us moving to Houston, they'll be paid off hopefully within 6 months of graduation, due to a HUGE increase in income. Unfortunately, college tuition here is not cash-flow-able unless you have a good income. Cost of attendance for my college for a year at the in-state rate is just shy of 16k per year. Having student loans right now is just one of those things we have to deal with, knowing what we'll be able to do financially by having the degrees that go along with them.

Working while going to school? For me it's a huge drain. I worked for a grocery store that started me at 18 hours a week, which was do-able. (un)Fortunately, I'm one of those with a strong work ethic, and when people would call in sick, I'd go cover their shifts. 18 hours turned into 25 per week, then turned into 36 per week. Finally finals week of Spring semester 2006, I worked 74 hours in addition to taking my finals (I was carrying 17 credit hours that semester). I flunked out. I was placed on academic suspension (got kicked out of school), and I had to appeal to be allowed back in. One of the contingencies of my appeal being accepted was that I would either go back down to 15 hours per week, or quit my job.

I chose to quit. Not to mention that rarely did I have time to spend with family or friends, or with my fiance, or even just have time to sleep in. I can't even try to count how many times I would have a weekend day off, just to get called into work. At one point, I worked 17 days straight with no day off, but then I'd get yelled at for requesting time off for a trip, nearly 6 months in advance.

The money was nice, yes, but the toll on my schooling, my emotions, my family life, etc. just wasn't worth it. Plus not to mention, it essentially put me a semester behind, and I'm having to scramble now to get caught up. Your senior year, so I've heard, is supposed to be a coast year. YEAH RIGHT! I carried 19 credits last semester, and 18 this semester. And my friends wonder why all I want to do on the weekend is sleep.

What we live on is my fiance's Montgomery GI Bill. Due to his veteran status, and because he paid into the program (I think it was $2400.00 paid in), he gets a check for $1100.00 per month, for 36 months, which is a pretty decent return on his money, we think. We're only in school for 9 months of the year, and 9x4 is 36. Also, DF's brother lives with us, so we budget based on a total of $1330.00 total income per month. Here's an example budget for us for a month:

Income: $1335.00

Rent: $565.00
Bresnan (Cable, internet, phone bundle) $120.00
Groceries: $200.00
Hobbies: $60.00 (split between the 2 of us. He plays online games, and I play online games and knit)
Gas: $50.00 (we don't drive much!)
Eating out: $50.00
Savings: $285.00 (bulking up the savings for our move to Houston)

Total outgoing: $1335.00

I bring in my spending money for the month by cleaning my best friend's parents' house once a week. I get paid well, sometimes they feed me, and they let me do laundry. Fiance is a teacher's assistant on campus for a couple of his instructors, and is paid for it. It works for us!

We both attend college full time, and don't work other than what I outlined in the paragraph above.

I *may* choose to go on to grad school at some point, but right now I just want to get out of school and get out in the "real world". I've been doing the college thing off and on since 2002, I'm ready to be done. Stick a fork in me! If I choose to do grad school, it'll be cash flowed.

Hope that everyone has a fantastic week!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Ba da bump bump bump... another one bites the dust!


Oh, and lookie! The piggie on my ticker moved up by 500 bucks!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

New Semester... it's almost over.

So, tomorrow is the last day of my Wintersession class... and I can't say that I'm sad to see it go. 14 weeks of classes smashed into 14 days means little to no sleep for yours truly, and the constant feeling of my head being full. Go figure, right?

So, classes start up on Tuesday (Monday being a holiday).

Here's my class schedule:

9-10: Human Evolution (requirement for my Anthropology major as upper division theory)
12-1: Social Research Methods
1-2: Pre-disposition report writing (Upper-division writing course)

11-12:30: Social Stratification
2-3:30: Computer Ethics (Ethics requirement and lower-division writing course)

So, on MWF, I'm going to have a 2 hour break between classes. Debating whether or not I should come home during that break, or just stay on campus.

My friend Jen sent me this Bento Box. It is the cuteness. The sauce bottles are even cuter. Figuring out foods I can stuff into it.

My friend Kelley said I need to quit tweaking my school refund money budget. The pennies are squealing and begging for mercy.

New ticker added to the top of the blog, showing where we are in our moving fund. It's moving along just fine!

That's it for now... must decide what to do with that two hours on campus on MWF.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Couple of updates and a rant...

Got an email back from Harris County. I am required to take my typing test there. Phooey.

I will most likely have a part time job upon arriving in Houston. Go me.

My Grandpa passed away last Friday, and the services were today. No, I didn't go, grandparents are in Arizona, I'm in Montana.

And for the rant...

Why is it that people have become so flippin complacent and short sighted in their lives?

Case in point, and the reason I'm writing this:

Last night, I was sitting at my computer, working on homework. Get a message from a "friend". Let me note here that said "friend" has a thing for me, and is married. He thinks that because he chooses not to be monogamous, that I shouldn't be monogamous either.

Friend asks what I'm doing. I reply "Homework". I'm in the middle of a Wintersession class right now. 15 weeks of classes smooshed into 14 DAYS. Little hectic, to say the least.

He asks "Shouldn't you be in bed getting your beauty sleep?" I reply: "I'm working on homework, have to graduate so I can get out of here." He asks me "Why not just stay here and collect unemployment until you find something you want?"

That's what started it.

I told him essentially that the reasons we're moving to Houston is to be able to set up our financial future, and that we can do so by being disciplined. I pointed out that I want to be able to put my kids through college if they want to go, etc. He harped on me for "adding to the already over-populated planet" and that I'll never be able to afford cash for a house while also raising 2 kids.

Side note here, this is not the first time that we've had a dispute over financial matters. A few months ago, he lit into me, and said that my goals were unrealistic and stupid. I basically told him to drink drain cleaner.

I told him that I was tired of him spouting his rhetoric at me, and this was what I got in return:

"oh, spouting my rhetoric?? you're awful damn mouthy yourself for someone who's never spent considerable time in other parts of the country, let alone the world, and doesn't realize that outside your little dream bubble, the world isn't as shiny and sparkly as you'd like to think! hopefully one day you'll wake up and say "damn, maybe that guy had a point and he actually had an idea about what he was saying"."

Know what? My bubble is reality. People all over this country are busting butt and killing debt. Look at all the personal finance blogs out there. Look at all the people that listen to Dave Ramsey. It can and will be done.

Mind you, this rhetoric is coming from someone who:

"when i spent 16 months deployed for OIF, I made between 50-60 grand, tax free and I STILL had to take out a loan for 10k for a damn honeymoon--five years too late. and of that 50k+ that i made, I got myself out of debt, except for student loans and the loan for the trip and I've got about 3k left of it. the rest of that money went to paying montly bills, not getting out of debt, just bills"

INTERJECTION: He had 50-60k in cash, and still took out a loan for a honeymoon? Hello screwed up priorities, imo.

No offense intended to any veteran that reads this blog, but just because you've been overseas does NOT give you the right to treat anybody like dog feces.

I mentioned that I'm looking forward to being able to enjoy the arts and such in Houston. Houston is listed 2nd in the country for amount of theater seats per square mile... 1st place is New York City.

He claims that because I'll be in the thick of it, trips to the theater will become trivial. I fail to see how. It's not like theater companies put on the same, say, 6 shows EVERY FRIGGIN YEAR. I'm going to be there for at least 2 years, if not 6 years. That's a lot of theater to go see, and I doubt I'll see the same show twice in that time.

I want to be able to go see operas, and musicals, and plays again. I want to get caught up in the emotion that is evoked when enjoying the arts. I want to be able to walk through a museum and enjoy it. I want to be able to go to the Zoo whenever I want, or an aquarium, or heck, there's stuff OUTSIDE of Houston I want to see. The Alamo is a perfect example. There's some things in life that Missoula is truly lacking, and I'll be able to enjoy those things in Houston. I personally don't see a damn thing wrong with it.

I'm thinking at this point my best bet is to cease and desist any and all contact with him. With "friends" like him, I don't need any enemies.

Sorry for the rant, but I would end up continuing to fume if I didn't get it written down somewhere.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Houston, we have a problem!

LOL! Just joking!

Actually, the Houston front is looking absolutely fanTASTIC! If all works out, I may have found us an apartment! Granted yes, we're not moving until one of us has a job, but it doesn't hurt to start preparing. Thanks to some friends who have checked out the apartment complex for us, we're going to be in a pretty nice area, and the apartment itself is sah-wheet! A little over 1300 sqfootage, 2 bedrooms, 1.5 bath, loft style, in a complex that has a fitness center and (get this) TWO pools. The price isn't bad either.

Also, I'm in the process of being in contact with Harris County, Texas, about their job situation down there. There's one job on their job board I would LOVE to have right now, and I'm waiting to hear back from them as to what I should do in order to get my name under their noses. The job requires a typing test, which is administered there. Kinda difficult for me to take a typing test in Houston, dontcha think? Yeah, I thought so too, so I fired off an email. We'll see what they say.

So, that's the latest on the Houston aspect of things. We'll see what happens, and I'll update when I get an email back from Harris County.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Grocery savings!

Just got back from the grocery stores, and while I didn't do as well as I have in the past (some of the sales weren't all that good), I think I did alright.

All we have to buy this month will be more drinks, milk, bread, and some deli Roast Beef (for the French Dips later this month).

So, the receipts please!

Safeway: Spent $82.53, saved $41.09, plus I get 10 cents off each gallon of gas I buy.
Albertsons: Spent $184.33, saved $58.15.

It was roomie's turn to pick up certain household items that we all use (TP, drinks, and milk), so his reimbursement to us will be $110.00, so we're still right around $50.00 under budget.

Hmmm, guess I did do pretty close to as well as I have in the past. COOL!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

3 weeks

3 weeks ago today I started taking Chantix.

I haven't had a cigarette since.

I am proud of me. That is all.

Oh, wait, no it isn't! I went to a local yarn store today (Knit Wit & Stitchery), the ladies working there were very nice and understanding that I'm a knitting newbie, I start a class on Saturday the 19th or thereabouts (Knitting felted clogs! Will help me learn short rows and increases, two things I need to learn in order to knit socks), and I was able to grope yarn. I like bamboo yarn. It is pretty, has a sheen to it, and is soft.

I also started my Winter-session class today. 3 hours is a very long time to sit in one class.

Oh, duh, edit!

R talked to his buddy that lives in Houston, that has the same certifications that R will have upon graduation. At this point in time, it looks like it is 99.999999999999998% certain that we WILL be moving to Houston, probably sometime in June. The money is just too nice to pass up, honestly. If I've crunched the numbers correctly, we will be out of debt within 8 months of moving there. Exciting exciting stuffs!

I'm scared to move, but I think that's part of the whole thing. R has promised me that we can set up a savings account specifically for me to come back to Montana WHENEVER I feel the need to, outside of planned "hey, we're going to your mom's for Christmas, right?" I think that will help. I'm fortunately lucky enough that I can say that my mom is my best friend. Not many 25 year olds can say that.

Also, it is quite possible that we will be buying a house in Houston, after we're there for a while. Since we're going to be there for at least 5 years, why not, right? We'll keep it within the "Dave Ramsey Rules" of 20% down payment, 15 year fixed rate loan, and no more than 25% of our monthly take home (which right now looks like it'll be over 10 times what we're making yearly now).

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy 2008!

Happy New Year, everybody! This post is going to cover a lot of stuff, so put on your seatbelt, we're off for a ride!

January 2008 Budget!

Income - $1325.00

Rent - $550.00
Savings - $225.00
Bresnan - $120
Gas - $50.00
Groceries - $200
Gaming - $60.00
Pets - $10.00
Dinners out - $50.00
Visa - $60.00

Total out - $1325.00


January meal plan!

1/1 - Hoppin' John and cornbread
1/2 - Steak, mashed potatoes, etc
1/3 - Black bean burritos
1/4 - Soup and sandwiches
1/5 - Subway
1/6- Chicken with cream of Mushroom soup and rice
1/7- Tortellini Alfredo
1/8- Pork Chops and Macaroni and Cheese
1/9-Beef Stroganoff
1/10- Omlettes
1/11- Broccoli and Pasta Bianco
1/12- Beef Stew
1/13- KFC/A&W
1/15-Pot Roast
1/16-Black Bean Burritos
1/17-Biscuits and Gravy
1/18- Chicken and Broccoli skillet
1/19- Anniversary dinner of Steak, Smashed potatoes, Pie
1/20-Chicken Stir fry
1/21- Stuffed Spinach Seashells
1/22- Hashbrown soup
1/23- Fend for yourself
1/24- Asian Chicken
1/27-French Dip Sandwiches
1/28-Black Bean burritos
1/29- Fend for yourself
1/30-Taco Pizza
1/31- Chicken & Dumplings

2/1- Enchiladas
2/2- Taco Bell
2/3- Creamy Chicken and noodles