Monday, May 23, 2022

2022 Update

got "converted" at work which means I am a career employee with USPS (rather than just a PSE), better insurance coverage, able to use annual leave, can accrue sick leave, contribute to TSP (Thrift Savings Plan), and contribute to retirement. Also means I can retire in about 5 years which I was planning on anyway but this way I will have more money (Social Security, TSP, Wells Fargo tiny pension, and USPS retirement). Still working a crapload of hours though as we are short staffed but I need the money anyway, to replace the HVAC system that died in December.

Goals for the next 5 years are: 1) get as close to debt free as possible between now and February/March 2027 (current vehicle will be paid off in 3 months) 2) get my book "Roommate Land" edited and published 3) Get my book "Stagecoach Blues" finished, edited, and published 4) Start writing all my murder mysteries and/or cozies and get them edited/published. 4) Complete the work on my house (windows replaced, carpeting or flooring in all rooms except kitchen/office replaced (kitchen and office flooring was replaced last summer, replace insulation, replace fridge and oven/stove, replace heat pump with mini-split). 5) get the landscaping up to par, front yard is nothing but a dirt patch now with some irises and Oregon Grape, and side yard is a mess as well. 6) Lose weight because if I do I can probably stop taking most of my medications or at least cut back on them, this would also probably decrease number of doctor appointments, ER visits, Urgent Care visits. 7) Replace this POS Dell Inspiron laptop with something that doesn't crash every 15 minutes.

I'd like to start blogging more regularly as it's a good release for frustration.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

2020 and 2021 update

Been working at USPS since April 2020, the pay is good, the work is physically demanding which helps with at least maintaining my weight. HA HA. Management sucks but you can't have everything.

Spent a week at the beach (Lincoln City, Oregon) in April 2020. Will never stay at the Lincoln City Motel 6 again, it was cold, noisy (across the hallway from the ice machine) and dirty as well as being at least 6 blocks from the beach. Next time I will pay a pet fee at a CAT FRIENDLY place (and BTW, PET FRIENDLY does not equal CAT FRIENDLY)

July 2021, broke my big toe on my left foot at work and it's been a total shitshow trying to get medical costs covered. Took my manager a month to fill out the form I needed, and then the postmaster lost the form. Filled out another form and faxed it about a week ago, heard nothing so far. Also, had a possible migraine complete with tossing my cookies all over my bathroom floor. But the piece de resistance was a blood clot in my lung, my first ambulance ride ever (that was NOT on my bucket list!!), serious surgery to place a catheter and sheaths in my neck to drip heparin on the clot, 4 days total in the hospital, missed 10 days of work.

Been working on home improvements, my next door neighbor laid down new flooring (spiced oak) in kitchen and office area, replaced 3 light fixtures (over the kitchen sink, in the guest bathroom, and outside the back door), and rebuilt my eyesore of a front porch (the old front porch had holes in the steps, bowed siding, termite damage, and peeling paint). My earnings from USPS paid for the supplies and for his time.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Bird Shit and Other Blessings

So lately the birds (probably barn swallows) have taken to nesting in my carport and shitting on my car. I've lived here for 15 years and this is the first year this has happened.

I was bitching online about the bird shit and it hit me--as I was driving my car home to park it in my carport--that there are a lot of people who don't have a car. There are a lot of people who don't have a carport. There are a lot of people who don't have a house. These days, there are a lot of people who aren't even alive to see the birds!!

If the most pressing problem I have in my life is birds nesting in my carport and shitting on my car, I'd say I am living a pretty blessed life. Bird shit is nasty and inconvenient, but it certainly isn't the end of the world.

Another blessing in my life this year is a warm house, finally. My house is normally heated with an electric heat pump that is malfunctioning but working. By "malfunctioning" I mean that the defrost control panel and monitor need to be replaced.

I have a quote for the work of $425.00 which I don't have right now. I have to run the furnace on emergency heat OR the heat pump ices over and runs continually (this plays merry hell with my electric bill, and electric baseboard heat is very ineffective in keeping this house warm)

There is a local Facebook group that is helping people that are affected by Covid 19 aka the coronavirus.

I hadn't spent much time at home before the pandemic started and did not realize exactly how cold it was in my house.

When I realized how high the bill was AND how cold I was I posted in the group asking for a space heater. I got a space heater. I also got a former chimney sweep that cleaned off my roof--it was covered with pine needles and pinecones--and checked out my chimney (said it was good to go).

I had about 1/2 cord of wood that a neighbor who was moving out of the park sold to my next door neighbor for $10.00, and the second neighbor gave me the wood for free.

This was back in 2016, and I hadn't used any of the wood since then because the roommate I had at that time was a full blown alcoholic who could not be trusted to not burn the house down, I only wish I was joking.

Once the chimney sweep told me that the chimney was fine, I started building fires in the woodstove. I heat the house during the day with the woodstove, and let the furnace kick on at night so the pipes won't freeze.

Third blessing, a friend paid for a month of a Keto boot camp. I lost 15 pounds during that month and discovered that I slept better, had more energy, and best of all--95% pain free. Sugar is an inflammatory addictive substance, boys and girls, and although giving up sugar did not cure my arthritis it sure as hell made it less painful.

Fourth blessing -- I've been spending a lot of time cleaning and decluttering my house for the last year.

I thought I was finished with this job a few months ago and then realized that I still had a lot of stuff that needed to be sorted. I took pictures with my phone of all my unframed pictures and then uploaded them to Facebook (will be uploading them to Google Drive and One Drive as well).

I went through the bathroom, the office, the kitchen, and the entertainment center that I had re-purposed as storage in the master bedroom. Several boxes of stuff went to the free table in my mobile home park clubhouse (this included multiple unopened tubes of toothpaste, 5-6 staplers, 5-6 staple pullers, cleaning rods for guns that had been sold 12 years ago, and other assorted usable stuff that I didn't need but was too good to throw away).

I got rid of nearly all of my reusable drink cups, because who needs 40 damn drink cups?

I call all of this a blessing because it has given me something productive to do while waiting for word on the THREE jobs I have accepted that are on hold because of the coronavirus. It's also a blessing to have something to do that doesn't require leaving the house and also keeps me from feeding my face 24/7.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Payouts in January 2019

Amazon Gift Cards:

Life Fun and Everything: $25.00
Fetch Rewards: $10.00
NCP: $10.00
Paid Viewpoint: $15.09
Google Opinion Rewards: $10.00


Cathouse Mails: $3.28
Marino Mails: $2.86
Wallaby Mail: $3.76
Wine N Roses PTR: $2.52
Heather Conzett: $2.75

Mini Update for 2020

In my last post, I had gone from Market of Choice to Consumer Cellular to UNEMPLOYED. October 11, 2019 I started a new job as an electronics associate at WalMart. So all is well? NOT.

I was fired from WalMart for excessive absenteeism on January 2, 2020. I missed a lot of work due to one sinus infection after another (2 visits to Urgent Care, 1 visit to the ER, 3 rounds of antibiotics -- and of course the antibiotics caused other infections in unmentionable places as well as upset my stomach no end),

Here's the really special part, I was at home sick (having called out) and received a phone call to come pick up my final paycheck. Being fired over the phone was a new experience for me, and it's an experience I wouldn't recommend to anybody else!!

I had applied for unemployment benefits in between Consumer Cellular and WalMart but had never claimed any weeks. So I reopened the claim on January 2, 2020 but of course they had to investigate my firing so it took 3 weeks--21 days to the day--to be approved for benefits. I'd received my final paycheck on the same day I got fired, and that was the only income I received until Monday January 26, 2020 when I received a check for 2 weeks of unemployment benefits. I will continue to get unemployment benefits for several weeks, and I am also on SNAP and OHP.

Just to add to the total joy of the situation, the same day that I was fired I discovered that there was a broken and/or leaking pipe under the house. The park manager came over at 1:30 AM (yes, in the very early morning) and turned off the water. The guy who usually works on my plumbing was injured and couldn't go into crawl spaces. NONE of the other plumbers that I called ever called me back or they had an hourly minimum so I finally ended up (AFTER THIRTEEN DAYS WITHOUT ANY RUNNING WATER!!) with a handyman that was recommended by a fellow park resident. It turned out that a pipe under the kitchen sink (under the house) had just simply burst. Matt fixed it the day after I called him

I brought buckets of water from the clubhouse to flush the toilet for 13 days. I did laundry at the clubhouse too and finally asked the park manager if I could use the clubhouse dishwasher to wash dishes as the kitchen was starting to smell pretty ripe. I used baby wipes to keep myself clean and boiled bottled water to wash my hair. I was so happy to finally get running water again after thirteen days without any.

The park manager paid to have my heat pump partially fixed. It had been icing over the last 2-3 winters and it turns out there were two reasons: the filter hadn't been changed in FIVE YEARS (they need to be changed every 3 months) and the defrost control board and sensor both need to be replaced. I'm looking to buy the parts on Amazon and have Matt install them if it's something he can do.

I have been lucky with Amazon gift cards for the last several years. If a site pays with Amazon, I jump on that (also if the site pays with Serve--American Express prepaid) I can reload my Amazon balance with my Serve card. Some sites also pay with virtual debit cards that can be used to reload the Amazon gift cards. Apps and surveys work the best for me, as most of the PTR sites I belong to are slow payers.

I've purchased cat food, cat litter, decorative fencing, two toilets, a Christmas tree (artificial), a fitbit (actually my 2nd fitbit as the first one got washed accidentally and died), my Kindle, a box of Godiva chocolate, a SAD (seasonal affective disorder) light, a swimsuit (which ended up getting returned because it didn't fit) and a years supply of vitamin D.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Another year, another update: Job Changes

Since my last post in 2018, I've changed jobs (from Market of Choice to Consumer Cellular to UNEMPLOYED)

I started working at Market of Choice on July 2, 2017. My original position there was as a kitchen clerk, then I switched to being a dishwasher, and my final position was as an apprentice clerk.

On August 26th 2019 I started training for a position with Consumer Cellular while still working at Market of Choice. My last day at Market of Choice was September 2, 2019.

I worked two weeks straight between the two jobs, and the apprentice clerk job involved anywhere from 19000 to 24000 steps per day. I was flat out exhausted and actually am still recovering from that experience.

Consumer Cellular turned out to not be a good fit for me, and I quit in lieu of being fired (my last day there was September 19, 2019).

While I wouldn't recommend quitting a job (without notice) without having another job lined up, I feel like I did what I had to do for my own sanity. I was sick every day either at work, before work, or after work.

I've had one interview since quitting and have several irons in the fire job-wise.

Another year, another update (10/3/2019): Mother passed away

To think I used to update this blog on a daily basis, then it was updated on a weekly basis (then a monthly basis) and now I'm lucky if I update it once a year.

In my defense the last two years (2018 and all of 2019) have been very interesting (IRL).

My mother passed away in late November 2018 and her passing has caused some serious changes in my life (mostly good).

I did not expect to inherit anything from my mother other than physical stuff such as her stereo, rolltop desk, etc.

Technically I did not inherit any money (when she wrote her first will, she was very mad at me so I was left $1000.00--and nothing if I chose to dispute the will). When she wrote second will I was left nothing at all, and ditto for the third will. The third will was judged to be inapplicable for whatever reason, so the second will (wherein she left her money to two of her friends) was the one that was judged to be her true last will and testament.

In that second will, again I was left zero, zip, nada, nothing. However, in late February/ early March of 2019 I received a request from my mother's friends for my address. At that point since I did not know that I had been left nothing--the last time my mother and I had talked about her will I was still in said will--I assumed I would be getting a check for $1000.00

I got a check all right but it was for way more than just $1000.00 (although I would be have been incredibly grateful had I gotten a check for any amount!!)

I was pretty sure I was going to be receiving a check so I haunted the mailbox in the clubhouse for a few days and yes indeed approximately 4-5 days after the request for my address I received a letter and a check from my mother's friends.

This check was for EIGHTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS!! First I had to reread the check about 10 times to make sure I wasn't hallucinating the amount (I kept saying there are too many zeroes on this check)

. Then I blurted out HOLY FUCKING SHIT in front of god and everybody (actually there was only one person in the clubhouse at the time, and he just laughed at me!!)

It turned out that my mother had thirty thousand dollars left when she passed away (I was very surprised that there was anything left because she was the queen of poormouthing!!). According to her she was broke beyond belief. LOL.

There were bills that had to be paid from the thirty thousand -- she had spent a month in adult foster care, there were charges from the hospital, and she wanted to tithe to her church as well.

I was in such shock I had to go to the next-door neighbors house to decompress and calm down!!

The first two things I did with the money were paying off my back due space rent for my mobile home and my back due property taxes; together those items took slightly over twelve thousand dollars. My landlord said that he'd had to listen to my request for a payoff quote several times (I'd had to leave a message for him) to make sure I was actually saying what he thought I was saying. Similarly, Deschutes County Tax Assessors asked me if I had sold my house.

After the two major financial stresses in my life were removed, I hired a cleaning lady to come in 3 hours a day every two or three weeks. I'd allowed my house to become a total disaster area after my last roommate left (she was a self-proclaimed neat freak who ripped on me all the time about my slob tendencies, never mind that she didn't vacuum the bedroom she rented from me even once in 13 months).

I bought a 52" inch television as well but haven't taken the time to get it set up. Another purchase was a new laptop as I write books (mystery novels, some erotica, and some non-fiction) and I needed a laptop that didn't crash all the time).

I got some needed work done on the car I purchased in August 2018 (replaced tire sensors, oil change, etc)

I bought an Instant Pot on clearance at WalMart so I could start cooking more (that hasn't happened yet but it will).

I bought a new garbage disposal and had it installed, now my sink doesn't leak (the old garbage disposal had rotted clear through at the top, no I am not joking, you could see daylight through it!!, the sink leaked, and the dishwasher never got used because it backed up onto the countertops).

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Yearly Update (9/30/2018)

This is going to sound like a broken record, LOL, but I hadn't even realized until this week that I hadn't updated my blog or my home page () in over a year.

In my defense, it has been an eventful year starting out with surgery to remove an anal cyst last September and continuing craziness through as recently as August 20 of this year.

Good stuff that happened:

1) Got a $2.00 an hour raise at work earlier this year.

2) Bought a car on August 20, 2018 (candy apple red 2009 Pontiac G5 with a whole lot of bells and whistles). The car makes it easier and much more convenient to get to work every day, particularly on the two days per week that I work a morning shift.

3) Switched from salad bar to dish pit at work, this has decreased pain and stiffness in my hands.

4) Had a yard sale in June and made $60.00 (put everything that didn't sell in the yard sale on the free table at the clubhouse, as yard sales are way too much work for 'only' $60.00).

5) While getting ready for the yard sale, found a murder mystery that I was writing 20 years ago (going to complete it and get it published.

6) Using Amazon gift certificates that I earned (mostly from surveys) I've purchased a Kindle Fire HD and a Fitbit over the last year).

6) Have been able to pay most bills myself and haven't needed food boxes (by most bills, I mean I have a lot of unpaid medical bills because my insurance doesn't cover a lot of stuff or only covers half of what is charged--or less).

7) I can afford internet access at home which makes life a little easier in terms of keeping in touch with family and friends as well as applying for jobs.

8) I brought my A1C from 8.7 to 6.8 and am continuing to deal with my diabetes fairly well.

9) I finally gave up and bought a new swimsuit so that I can start working out at Juniper Swim and Fitness

Bad stuff that happened:

1) Had my yearly bout of bronchitis in February and missed nearly a month of work (had no insurance at all for March because where I work you have to work a certain number of hours per month to keep your insurance).

2) The same day I bought my car I slipped on my kitchen floor because it was wet and did the splits. My left leg went one way, my right leg went the other way, and my right foot slid under the dishwasher. We are still not sure what ripped open my big toe on my right foot, but it sure did a bang up job of it. The gash was about 2 inches long and 1/8 inch deep, hurt like blue blazes, and bled like a stuck pig. I spent 4 hours in the emergency room at St Charles getting the wound cleaned. Also had to get a tetanus shot as well as two stitches and I missed close to 4 days of work because the toe just hurt so bad all the time.

3) Locked myself out of my car and the locksmith cost $108.00. I've never had a car before that locks itself again after you shut the door (and the keys were on the front seat). I learned to keep the keys with me, and to keep the doors open and/or unlocked.

4) The trigger finger that developed in my right ring finger has gotten to the point that I will probably be having surgery in October or November 2018. The steroid shots simply don't work on a long term basis.

Monday, September 18, 2017

**Surgery Not Covered By Insurance**

Go Fund Me often breaks frames, so this blog post is my way of getting around the frame-breaking.

** possibly somewhat misleading as insurance may cover PART of the costs for removal of an anal cyst on September 1, 2017**

I had surgery to remove an anal cyst on 9/1/2017. The surgery was uneventful and healing was quick. However, because it took two months to get a referral (from my doctors office) for this surgery, my health insurance through Regence Blue Cross/ Blue Shield lapsed. My new insurance through my new job (which I started on July 2) was effective on 9/1/2017 BUT....and this is a big BUT...there is a $1000.00 deductible which I had no way of reaching considering the insurance kicked in the exact same day I had the surgery.

I have given my new insurance information to all three providers (anesthesia, surgeon, and hospital)

I got the bill today for the anesthesia. $963.00, and it doesn't say whether that is before or after submitting to my insurance company.

The cost from the surgeons' office is $700.00

I haven't received the hospital bill yet (and truthfully it's the least of my worries as St Charles Medical System is very good with working with financial problems--ie when I was admitted in 2006 with pulmonary emboli my entire hospital bill was waived).

There are two issues right now.

1) Will my insurance cover any of this? There was no pre-authorization from Providence (my new insurance provider) because at the time the surgery was scheduled I was still covered by Regence Blue Cross/Blue Shield

2) Again, if my Providence plan does cover the surgery and related costs, there is a $1000.00 deductible which I had no hope of reaching since the surgery was on the same day that my Providence insurance became effective.

There are probably co-pays as well.

In short that means that I will have to pay at least $1000.00 out of pocket for a surgery that would have been partially covered (IF NOT FULLY COVERED) by my Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance up until 8/31/17.

TIMING IS EVERYTHING, and hindsight is always 20/20.

The reason that I am trying to raise $5000.00 instead of just the $1000.00 that I know for sure will be my responsibility is 1) the co-pays that may be required and 2) as stated above, my current insurance may not cover ANY of the costs incurred due to the surgery not being pre-authorized.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Update Update Read All About It (Giggle)

It's been almost 4 months since I updated this blog.

Part of the reason is that I just don't have much time for PTR these days -- or surveys, or apps, or traffic exchanges, or safelists, or paid to click, or or, LOL --so I am not clicking, surfing, etc nearly as much as I used to (no clickie, no surfie, no surveys, no submitting upgraded ads, no this, no that, no the other thing equals no money, or at least not as much as I was making online--which was still peanuts compared to what I make offline!)

Many of my posts are saying "this site has paid me this much" or "I am waiting at this site for this much for this long" or "this site hasn't paid me in forever" and when you aren't very active you aren't reaching payout very often so there's nothing to post.

I actually started to do one of those "who has paid me in blah blah blah" posts a few days ago and realized that it would take me literally hours to retrieve all the information since I haven't updated consistently since 2016. I literally said the hell with this I have better things to do LOL and shut down the page.

. I do still enjoy clicking/surfing, and I really LOVE taking surveys--but I work full time now and my job is very physically demanding. By the time I get home every night (anywhere from 9:45 pm to 10:30 pm) I have generally walked anywhere from 9600 to 12000 steps and all I want to do is have my dinner, pet my cats, and go to sleep.

I bought a Kindle recently with Amazon gift certificates that I earned doing PTR, surveys, etc and I do a bit of clicking on my breaks/lunch 1/2 hour at work but not enough to make payout very often anywhere.

July was yet another month of not submitting my upgraded ads--here's hoping that August will be different since I now have money to spend on upgrades and affiliate pages.

That's another change in my life -- I am finally making decent money (well, decent for this area) around $2000.00 per month before taxes. There's a trade-off though in that I don't have the time or energy to be on the computer all the time.

Once I evicted my roommate (more on that later) there was no internet access at home, and the three hours of computer access per day at the library didn't really give me much time to click (oh let's be honest here I'd rather play games on Facebook, LOL).

The potential roommate evaporated into thin air when we discovered that she was allergic to my cats, and I decided NO MORE ROOMMATES EVER unless and until I get a significant other.

I'm also trying really hard to get healthy -- walking a lot (used the rest of the Amazon gift certificates for a FitBit which I am actually using), taking the stairs instead of the elevator 9 times out of 10, eating 'better for me' food (have given up soda--it's been 33 days--and ice cream--22 days--completely, cut way down on chocolate), eating regular meals not waiting all day and then pigging out.