Friday, October 24, 2014

Vacation!

It's been over six months since Spring Break and around four years since I last took a week off of work.  Let me put it this way, the last time I took a full week off of work, it was having surgery to remove my ovary.  Yep, it's been that long.  Partly because taking time off at a school doesn't work very well with getting the job done.  The other part is that I simply can't afford any kind of vacation trip.

I'm taking a week off to get caught up with things at home, but also to try to recharge my batteries.  In short:  I'm burned out.

From work.

From caregiving.

From trying to squeeze time to run a load of dishes between work, Mom and Church.

Don't get me wrong, I love what I do at work, I love my Mother, I love Church.  It's just been too much with nothing getting done at home.

So, I'm taking a staycation, of sorts.

I'll be taking Mom to appointments she has made this coming week, I'll be taking care of appointments that have been long neglected for myself, and trying to find time to go to the Temple and do some writing.

Maybe take Mom out for a ride in the car, just to get away from things for a few hours.

We'll see what this coming week holds, but I'm praying for strength, patience and a little more serenity in my life.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Dinner!

I haven't made this since Decker passed away.

1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
Water
1 can Corn
Rice - add to desired density

Optional:  Cheese


iOS 8.1

A big improvement, but not fully there yet.

See if you can spot what is wrong:


Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Haves and The Have Nots




Last night I found out why Elder Holland was inspired to give his talk from this past General Conference.

After a 9 hour shift and a 1 hour drive in rush hour traffic, I went to a retail establishment up the street from the Gilbert Temple.  It is an establishment that is not only run by people who are members of The Church or Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it is an establishment that has contracts with the Church regarding the sale of items being sold through the Church's Distribution Center.

I went to this store because it's hours worked better for me than trying to go to a location by the Mesa Temple, but also because I hadn't seen the store yet and wanted to see how it looked.

The store is very big, and very beautiful.  There are "zones" created for specific products or genre of items.  The area for the Church's Distribution area was also very lovely, however it didn't have the items I was looking for - the Check Registers for the Family Finance Class I'm taking in my Ward.  I wanted some extras that would get me through a full year.

Aftter some roaming the store, I found them - in the back of the store behind a wall where most people would not think to look for these items.  

As I walked into and around the store, there were people who were obviously either on their way or had just left the Gilbert Temple.  One couple was dressed casually.  All, however, looked me over with an expression of "who is this person and why are they here?"  It was definitely not an expression of welcome.

When I picked up the check registers, I was approached by one of the employees asking if I needed some help.  I indicated that no, I had just found what I was looking for.  As I continued browsing, however, I noticed he was watching me.

When I was ready to leave, I took my place in a line.  When I was at the head of the line, though, it was taking the cashier a very long time to take care of the customer they were handling.  Other employees (remember this was on a Friday night) saw me standing there, but no one wanted to come and help.  I did catch one employee's attention, who simply told me they were not on the clock and could not ring me up.  To their credit, after I had been standing there for more than 5 minutes, they finally found someone willing to handle my transaction and I left.

Needless to say, I don't think I'll be going back there again.  It's obvious that someone who doesn't "look the part" isn't welcome there.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Getting Back Into Couponing




When Decker was alive, we had some financial goals as a couple we had set before marriage.  One was to become financially independent.  With his death came a very deep depression that has taken years to work through, so a lot of things fell by the wayside, so to speak.  One of those was couponing.

I'm starting to get back into it, in an effort to handle money better, and make my money work for me, rather than the other way around.

So, I ended up at 3 stores last night:  Walgreens, Frys Foods and Wal-Mart.  Everything I bought at Walgreens and Frys either had coupons or store sales, Wal-Mart I didn't.  I don't have very many coupons at this point, so I need to get stocked up.

The tally:

Walgreens:

Spent:  $40.00 (after coupons)
Coupons:  $1.80
Store Coupons:  $5.00
Balance Reward Savings:  $4.74
Store Ad Savings:  $3.98

Total Saved:  $15.52


Fry's Foods:

Spent:  $39.14
Mfg Coupons:  $1.05
VIP Card Savings:  $4.82

Total Saved:  $5.87


Wal-Mart:

Spent:  $57.02


Keep in mind that a lot of what got spent at Wal-Mart was food for Rachel, and I didn't have any coupons for what I bought there.  Fry's and Walgreens I used both paper coupons and electronic coupons I loaded onto their cards in advance.  This took some time to go through and do.  Walgreens makes it a lot easier with their iPad app, although I haven't checked to see if Fry's has an app yet.  I'm also not sure about Wal-Mart, although I do know they have some sort of savings program.

The only item that will not be immediately used that I purchased was the ibuprofen from Walgreens.  Everything else was food or other items that will be getting used within the next few weeks.


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Apple's Rotten Fruit

These last few weeks since I upgraded my iPad to iOS 8 has been challenging.  More challenging than I've had with any other upgrade.  This is definitely one piece of software that was not ready for prime time, but Apple released it on everyone anyway.  Microsoft was always notorious for doing this, but Apple?  Really?

1.  Sluggish iPad.  I now have to wait 5 - 10 minutes for changes made that reflect on the memory usage to actually show up.  This used to show immediately on iOS 7 and prior.  Last night I deleted a lot of trash out of my email and had to leave my iPad plugged in overnight for the memory to fully change it's reading.  Other things, such as pages loading on Safari also now take forever.

2.  Crashing apps.  Everything now crashes.  Some days are better than others, but it now takes 3 - 4 times to get into Facebook without it crashing - only to wait an additional 5 minutes for any data to actually load.  Third party software issues?  Not entirely.  Mail crashes constantly, as does Safari and those are both from Apple.

3.  Dark screen setting.  On iBooks.  A great idea, as well as that Accessibiltiy trick of clicking 3 times to have any of your apps change to the dark screen.  Unfortunately, my iBooks decided to go into permanent dark screen setting.  Clicking 3 times doesn't work due to issue #1 above.  It finally fixed itself when I plugged the iPad in and synched it with my MacBook Pro.  Whyy did I need to do that?  Well...

4.  Disappearing data.  Thankfully I backed up everything onto my Mac computer before upgrading anything.  Initially, I lost pages of writing on my Pages app.  I lost my financial spreadsheets on Numbers, and Keynote wasn't registering anything.  So I let it sit for a while and guess what?  It finally reappeared!  Which is more than I can say for the books in my Purchased page in iBooks.  It only shows a fraction of the books I've purchased.  Thankfully it is showing on the iBooks app on my Mac, so I was able to synch the ones I wanted back on my iPad.

5.  Getting Trapped in Trash.  I'm not kidding.  I accidentally deleted an email I wanted to keep, so I went to the trash to move it back to the Inbox.  That worked, except that when I went to leave the Trash can, the little "I'm thinking" spinning wheel just spinned.  It never let me out.  I clicked out and opened another app then went back, still in Trash with the spinning wheel.  

I finally gave up and started looking online, but I couldn't find anyone else posting about this issue, so I posed the question on the Apple Forum.  Thankfully a very nice person responded within a few hours suggesting that I double click the Home button and then drag the app upward to close it completely.  Thankfully that worked without having to do a hard reset on the machine.

6.  Getting your memory back.  I looked at my Usage and found I had 2 GB being used in Mail.  Why?  Apparently those photos I sent to my sister were still in the Sent Items box.  I went through and trashed everything, then emptied the Trash.  It still didn't work, I still showed 2 GB of Mail.  I went through ALL folders and deleted everything.  I got frustrated so I walked away from it for a little while.  When I came back, I noticed that the Mail had gone down to 1.8 GB.  I left it again for a while, and it went down more when I came back.  Then I realized it was suffering from Issue #1 above and left it plugged in overnight.  Thankfully, I now have the 2 GB of space back.

7.  Bluetooth no longer works properly.  I use a Logitech keyboard with my iPad for a lot of my major typing projects (like this blog).  It used to be I could turn it on and the Bluetooth on the iPad immediately registered it.  Not anymore.  If I haven't used the keyboard (or anything else requiring Bluetooth) in a few hours, I have to go into my Settings, turn off the Bluetooth entirely, give it a few seconds, then turn it back on, before my keyboard pairs with the iPad again.

My complaint is this:  there is talk that Apple is going to announce new iPads soon, when are they going to fix the software for those of us who are happy with the iPads we already have?  Also, why did they release a major OS that was obviously so flawed?

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Catching Up

I've just finished updating my Quicken software with transactions up to October 1st for the checking account.  Tomorrow night I will work on the credit cards, which shouldn't take long as there is not much on them.

This is in anticipation of the second of a series of classes in personal finance.  I need to show how I've been spending my money for the last few months.  I figure I may as well get it done for the year, that will be a lot less work to do at tax time.

I also got the couch and dining room table cleared off.  Nice!