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Saved $53.50

May 29th, 2006 at 08:45 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

When we returned our Avis rental to the Edmonton airport in Canada we were told we owed an additional $53.50 for a one-way fee. It stinks when companies add charges on after you've paid and used something and there's no time to dispute it since you've already paid for the use. Anyways, since we had to catch a plane I figured there was nothing I could do about it.

Today I emailed the travel agency that booked the rental car for us and complained about not letting us know the cost up front since it would have affected our decision to rent with Avis. I told them we wouldn't book with Avis ever again. They offered to refund the money and I took them up on it. I'm still not going to book with Avis again, but I would use the Travel Agency again. Smile

I got a lot of sample products from each of the hotels we stayed in. I've never had moisturizer samples in a hotel before, but the first one we stayed in, the Hampton Inn, had Purity basic moisturizer samples. I started using it today and really like it, it's a very light moisturizer. I'll have to find out where they are sold.

All of the hotels we stayed in were clean and nice. The Ptarmagan Inn in Banff was probably the least nice. It was really old. No microwave or fridge or A/C. They had portable fans in the room. At Lake Louise we stayed at a 5 star hotel that was a suite.

It had a living room with a fireplace and dining area, plus a separate bedroom with a king size bed and a bathroom with a separate shower stall and a jacuzzi tub. I probably spent a half hour in that tub that night. I was so stiff from sitting on the train for two days it felt wonderful.

Unfortunately, even though we specified non-smoking rooms, my parents room smelled of smoke and since my mom is allergic to smoke they had to move them. The only other room they had available was a small room on the 5th floor in the back with no view. It was a better room than any other room we had on the trip, but compared to the first one it was a real let down. My dad wasn't very happy about that. The room they were originally given was supposed to be a non-smoking room, but someone obviously didn't care. It was very unfortunate, but nothing we could do about it since the hotel was full.

Finished reading the library book Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher. Sci/Fi. Very Good.

There's no place like home

May 24th, 2006 at 09:13 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

Got back from my trip at 11:45 last night. Long day of traveling. Left from Edmonton, Canada at 4:35 pm. Went to LA and from there to CO. Pretty round-about way to travel, but that's the way the tickets worked out.

I really enjoyed the train ride through the Canadian Rockies. The food was fantastic. It was all chilled but so good. We saw bears, a wolf, (which was my favorite), elk, deer, a puma, 2 bald eagles and an osprey. Unfortunately our second day on the train we were stuck on the tracks for 5 hours while we waited for them to fix the roads, which had washed out from so much snow melting. That meant we didn't get to Banff till almost midnight. We would really liked to have had some time shopping there. It looked like there were a lot of really cute gift stores.

I won a poetry contest on the train. We were asked to write a poem about Salmon. We read our poems to each other and then everyone voted on the winner. Mine won. So I was inducted into the Order of the Salmon and given a Salmon pin. I didn't know I could write poetry. The salmon begins his run blue/gray in color and after they spawn they turn red and then drown.

Here's my poem:

The salmon starts out blue and gray
Just another working day
Swimming upstream night and day
To reach the top and earn his pay
Then before his blushes can fade away
He reminisces on his busy day
And as his life slips away
You can hear him sigh and sadly say
Darn! Retirement was just 2 days away.

The Edmonton Mall was a big disappointment. It was huge and there were a lot of stores, but nothing that we don't have here. No really interesting gift stores. And it was loud and crowded and just overwhelming. But you never know how something will turn out till you try it.

I spent just about $100 in cash on souvenirs and gifts. I spent around $150 on the CC, $70 of which was for a meal for all 3 of us. And my parents put all the other meals on their CC and I'll get an accounting of that sometime next month and pay them back then. I'm estimating around $150 for meals.

So I think I did really well on the spending part. I got myself some really beautiful jade earrings. Two pairs, one a pair is hearts and one pair is Orcas. Gorgeous. I like to get earrings as souvenirs, because it's something I can use for years and remember where I got them from. I still have a pair of jade maple leaf earrings that I got last time I went to Canada 7 - 8 years ago.

Slept in today, it was really great to be back in my own bed. Did laundry, unpacked, got groceries, caught up on personal email, relaxed. Had a ton of mail but only about 6 pieces were worth anything. I got my $25 Great Fun/Buy.com rebate and a sample of Rolaids.

The day before I left for Canada I sold a $20 book on half.com and I sold another one today for $3.

Spent $1.59 at the post office and $40.94 at King Soopers for groceries.

While on the trip I read the following books:

Master of Wolves by Angela Knight. Romance. Very good

Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris. Supernatural. Very good

Micah by Laurell K. Hamilton. Supernatural/Romance. Excellent

Dark Demon by Christine Feehan. Supernatural/Romance. Excellent.

cancelled Great Fun

May 2nd, 2006 at 08:59 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

Went to Village Inn for dinner. Early bird special. Top Sirloin steak, salad, large baked potato, corn, cheese bread and half a piece of pie for $6.99 and it was surprisingly good steak. Total with tax and tip $9 Brought the pie home for later.

Cancelled my membership with Great Fun. Thanks Flash, for your blog listing the URL with the phone numbers. I couldn't find the number and remembered you had listed a website so I browsed your blog till I found it and used that to find the number. The process was relatively painless, didn't take more than 10 min total, including hold time.

Sent my $1500 pre-payment to the mortgage company today.

Booked our car rental for the Canada trip, plus the show we wanted to go to opened up and we got tickets for that. Spent another $134.82

Finished listening to the library book on tape The Bodyguard by Suzanne Brockmann. Adventure/Romance. Very Good.

flex account

April 3rd, 2006 at 07:40 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

DirectTV still has Showtime on tonight. I didn't see anything I wanted to see that I hadn't already seen this weekend, so I didn't get to take good advantage of the freebie.

Had a Dr appt this morning to check if my blood pressure has come down with the meds. It was 124/80 very good. She also took another blood test to see if I'm low in potassium, calcium or magnesium. I've had horrible cramps in my calves when walking this last week and she thinks it's a side affect of the meds. I hope they send it to the right lab this time, they sent it to the wrong one last time and it cost me $100 because it was out of network.

Went to McDonalds for breakfast after the Dr appt and spent $4.84

Got the March Walgreens rebates already. Expecting another $10 GC from them too.

Got information from my flex account, they paid my claim. My flex account still had money in it from last year and they told us we could use it up till March of this year. They took this claim out of this years account. I don't understand that and need to call tomorrow to find out what the deal is.

I hate calling people on the phone about accounts and things.

Booked our hotels in Edmonton for the extra night we are staying in Canada. $83 each. So far I've spent $2578.83 and I haven't gone anywhere yet.

Applied for my $10 rebate from the My Points insider club. I got my first two CDs from Your Music. The Wanda Jackson CD was really good. And I absolutely love the ZZ Top Rancho Texicano CD. I've been chair dancing to it all afternoon.

Finished reading the Smart Shopper magazine and printed off a $5 off $25 purchase coupon at Party City for my mom from one of the cites listed in the mag.

Finished reading Kiplinger's magazine. This issue is about How to save money on everything and the had a lot of the same stuff that was in the Smart Shopper magazine.

Finished listening to the library book on tape Winter Prey by John Sandford. Mystery. Very good. I love this series and the main character Lucas Davenport. He has some great lines.

airline tickets booked

March 25th, 2006 at 09:03 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

We booked our airline tickets today. I joined the mypoints insider club for $1 and going through there site to United got 250 points plus the round trip ticket was $427.89 this was at least $50 cheaper than I found it anywhere else. We also got travel insurance for the tickets for $17.12 each.

I need to go back to Mypoints and get the $10 signup rebate.

I also signed up for Your Music through My Points and got another 250 points. For this you pay $5.99 a month with no S&H and get whichever CD is in your queue sent to you each month. You can cancel anytime. After looking through their selection of music I quickly came up with about 8 CDs I would like. They have a wide variety, but I especially like older music and mostly I buy greatest hits CDs. I purchased ZZ tops greatest CDs which is a two CD set for $11.98 and my first CD that will be sent to me as my monthly pick is Wanda Jackson's greatest hits. I've been looking for a CD for her for a long time in the stores. She was called the female Elvis and does some great rock-a-billy stuff. I think 5.99 is a bargain for a CD. I plan to get some gifts for my nieces from here too.

Went to the King Soopers for groceries and spent $54.08, got to use my Safeway $5 off coupon from the Entertainment book I got from Mypoints. I have enough points for a $25 gift certificate now, just need to go do the paperwork to get it sent to me.

Got a free box of Act II microwave popcorn at the grocery store.

Watched Alien vs Predator which I had taped from last weeks free HBO weekend. I thought it was good. I liked that they had a strong black woman hero for this one.

Went to the library and picked up about 8 more books on tape, plus 2 Ray Charles CDs.

Listed 11 more books on Half.com.

Finished listening to the library book on tape Face the Fire by Nora Roberts. Romance. Very good.

Canada trip booked

March 23rd, 2006 at 09:10 pm

walked with mom 35 min yesterday
walked 55 min today

Went to Taco Bell for supper and bought extra for lunch tomorrow. $10.42

The free movies are gone, but I have a couple taped that I might get to next weekend.

Got an email that our Canada trip is booked, but the show we wanted to see is sold out. Oh well, I'm sure we will find something else to do.

Finished reading the library book Airtight Case by Beverly Connor. Mystery. Very good. If you like Patricia Cornwell you will probably like Beverly Connor.

Free HBO

March 17th, 2006 at 09:58 pm

walked with mom for 35 min

I've got free HBO this weekend and they had some pretty good movies on tonight. Watched Chronicles of Riddick and Miss Congeniality 2.

Did finally get approval from my boss to take my vacation on my original date May 17. Filled out the booking form, and need to run it by my parents in the morning and then fax it.

Finished listening to the library book on tape White Death by Clive Cussler. Adventure. Good.

fighting for vacation time

March 15th, 2006 at 08:58 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

Won 5 more bottles of Coke today.

I so want to retire and not have to worry about deadlines or losing my job. I asked for my days off for my Canada trip. I'm going with my parents and we probably worked at this for two weeks to find a time that fit everyone's schedule, was during the cheap time to go, missed mother's day and memorial day weekend, etc. We came up with the perfect time. It happens to co-incide with one of my work deadlines. So my boss doesn't want me to go then.

I think that stinks. There is never a good time workwise. There is always something happening. This is a big deadline, but these kinds of deadlines have never been met in 3 years, they always move. So if I move my vacation there is no guarantee that the deadline would be on that date anyways. The thing I would be doing on that date is also being done by 3 other people. It's not necessary for all 4 of us to do the same thing on the same night.

I work almost all of my vacation time throughout the year unpaid. I get 3 weeks of vacation but an extra 2 - 3 hours a week adds up to 100 - 150 hours, which nullifies my vacation time. Anyways my boss hasn't said no he's just asked me how important it is to go on that date. My parents have agreed to move the date, but I just don't think it's right to have to do that. I plan to talk to him tomorrow to see if I can talk him into saying it's ok to go on the dates we want.

Finished reading my book Blame it on Chocolate by Jennifer Greene. Romance. Very cute. If you like Janet Evanovich you will probably like Jennifer Greene.

Free Meal

March 10th, 2006 at 08:38 pm

walked with mom for 55 min. Very cold, it was snowing while we walked.

Went to dinner afterwards. Used my Entertainment book coupon BOGO. My dad's meal was horrible so they gave him his meal for free too. He ended up paying for mom's meal and mine was free.

We sat down and worked out several of the details of our Canada trip. My mom loves to shop. The biggest mall in the world is in Edmonton. We will be about 3 hours away from that. So we are extending our trip by one more day to go shopping. This mall is like disneyland I guess. It has 7 theme parks, wave-lake, dolphins, submarines, casinos and replica of the Christopher Columus boat and 800 stores. No way we will get through even a fraction of it, but it seems a shame to get so close and not even visit.

Paid my car insurance today. $359.98.

Sold another book at half.com for $8

I finally won at the coca-cola game. I won 5 2-liter bottles.

Finished listening to the library book Birthright by Nora Roberts. Romance. Excellent.

passport woes

March 6th, 2006 at 09:31 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

I printed out the form for the passport and filled it out, then I took sometime off work to go to the post office. I checked with the State Dept website to see where to go and our small town post office was listed. Went there but they said they don't do that. Have to go to the next small town over. Went there and gave the lady the forms, paid my $97 and left. Took about 10 min total. Half-way home I suddenly realized I had used my step dads name and data instead of my birth dad. DOH! He has been my dad for almost 40 years and I just don't think of my birth dad in connection with my father. Turned around and went back to the post office. Fortunately she hadn't sent the form out yet and I was able to cross out his information and put in the right information. Had to call my mom to get his bday and place of birth.

So I get back home and finish my work day and start to do a little more research about Canada. What do I find? You don't need to have a passport to go to Canada until Dec 31, 2006. So basically I wasted $97 for the passport + $8 for the photos Frown The website I was looking at earlier must have had it wrong or I mis-read it.

Well at least now I don't have to worry about getting it in time. This is all happening because I'm in a rush. I wish we had figured out we were going in May a few months ago and I would have had time to do the research and think things through.

Now I'm trying to get the money from my online bank account in to my checking account. I hadn't set up the transfer mechanism yet, since I wanted the money to stay there. Now I find we have to pay the entire amount of the tour when we book because we are less than 60 days away.

Anybody use cancellation insurance? I'm debating about getting it. It's 7% of the total or around $140. What I wonder is. what's the criteria for canceling, for example, if my dad had a heart attack, he obviously couldn't go on the trip. My mom and I wouldn't want to go, but I wonder if the cancellation insurance would kick in for us under those conditions.

So many things to check out/research still and no time.

Sent off my check for $2000 to prepay the mortgage. Also sent off for a 3 month supply of my meds. $30

Free Stuff

March 5th, 2006 at 08:53 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

Groceries at King Soopers this morning and got my prescription filled. Called several places and nobody close to me had any new prescriptions incentives so decided I needed to just go ahead and get it filled. The pharmacy counter had samples of Tylenol and I got two of them. Spent $21.66 ($10 for prescription). I didn't get very many groceries because I knew I was planning to go to Souper Salad twice this week.

The Entertainment book has 2 coupons for Souper Salad to buy 2 adult lunces for $4.99 each. That's a dollar off each lunch. So I spent $10.72 and got two large salads, 2 baked potatoes, 2 pieces of gingerbread and 4 large bowls of soup. That's two dinners and 4 lunches or 6 meals for $10.72 and I don't have to cook or clean them. I plan to stop there after work and do it again. I used a GC.

Went to Walgreens and got 3 items that are free after rebate this month. Got Toothpaste, a tooth brush that I gave to dad and Garnier Fructuse hair styling stuff that I will give to my niece. Had coupons for all 3 so they actually paid me $2.50 to buy these things. I also got the passport pictures for $7.99 and some Jif extra crunchy PB for $1.00 a jar after raincheck and coupon. Spent $21.33 and will get $11.52 back in rebates. Used 3 GCs.

Went to Borders and bought one book for $6.76 after a 25% off coupon, used a GC.

Went to Barnes and Noble and bought one book for $6.41 had 10% off with membership card and used a GC.

Went to lunch at Ruby Tuesdays and had a large salad and baked potato, spent $9.28

Free Stuff I got this week:

Newpaper - $1
Sample Olay regenerist - I like this stuff, might have to buy some full size.
Sample Head and Shoulders
2 samples Tylenol Extra Strength Rapid Release Gels
Colgate Toothpaste - full size $2.99
Colgate Toothbrush - $3.49
Garnier Fructose hair styling stuff - $3.99

Finished reading the library book Lara Croft Tomb Raider The Amulet of Power by Mike Resnick. Adventure. Ok

Canadian vacation

March 4th, 2006 at 09:38 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

Mom fixed lunch and I stayed for a couple hours to talk about our vacation plans.

I have been saving to go on a train trip in the Canadian Rockies with my parents for 3 years. We were originally planning to go in Sept, but that plan doesn't work because of a scheduling conflict, so we decided to go the first of May. Off-season so we get a better price.

Anyways I've spent a lot of time on the internet looking up packages and prices etc today. We picked out a package we like, but still plan to do more research. The thing that caught me off gaurd though is that we have to get a passport. We went to Canada about 7 years ago and just needed copies of our birth certificates. Don't know why I was surprised, it is post 911, I just didn't think about it.

So now I need to hurry up and do that. I have to get pictures taken and from what I read it takes up to 6 weeks to get the passport. We go on vacation in 9 weeks, so I'm really hoping to get it done this week. Another surprise was the price, it's $97, plus the price of the pictures. Ouch!

The trip is very expensive too. Airfare is around $495 and the tour package is about $1700. Still need to add meals, entertainment and shopping, plus a couple new shirts. But I have saved $3300 for this and hope that covers it. If not I have 2 more months to save and I save $100 a month towards this, plus all my extra funds, so that will probably be another 3 or 4 hundred that could go towards it.

I'm looking forward to the trip, but it's kind of a scramble to get it all together. Should have started last month, but we still thought we were going in September then.

Got a free sample of Head and Shoulders in the mail today. Will probably give to my brother. When I sign up for samples now, I'm signing my mom up at the same time. My dad thinks it's pretty cool to get stuff in the mail.

I also got a whopping $234.00 in a settlement for stocks I purchased from one of the big companies that went bankrupt in 2000 and was in the news for accounting fraud. My shares were worth $22,000 at one point and went down to $0 and I get a big $234. About 1% of what I lost. Oh well, I've since made the money back on other things, but still I was hoping for at least 10%. The pot is something like $38 million, but of course the lawyers get most of it.

Finished reading the library book Questionable Remains by Beverly Connor. Mystery. Very good.

I was talking to my oldest niece last night and she told me she was reading Little Women and had two chapters left to go. I gave her the 3 books in the series awhile back. She was telling me how much she liked the book. I remember the first time I read it and how much I enjoyed it too. I've read it a couple times since then and always like it. It's nice to share an appreciation for books with her. I told her she should watch the movie sometime. She didn't know there was one. I said the most recent one I know of had Wynona Rider in it and I didn't like that one, that much. My favorite is the one with Katherine Hepburn. She was excited to hear that, I guess Katherine Hepburn is a favorite of hers. Another thing we have in common Smile

The youngest niece is still grounded, so haven't been able to do anything with her lately. According to her mom, I may never get to take her anywere again.