"Choosing trust over doubt gets me burned once in a while, but I'd rather be singed than hardened." -Victoria Monfort










Monday, April 21, 2014

My Credit Has Become My Hobby.



I've been spending hours pouring over potential houses. I'm not ready to buy yet, but looking at what is out there, is keeping my dream alive. Keeps me focused! (That, and the people who moved into the house next to me with two yappy dogs that yelp and bark like they are being murdered out their window facing my apartment whenever the wind blows)

I spend the rest of my spare time working, and re-working my budget. Shuffeling money around between credit cards, deciding what to pay more on, and what to pay the minimum on. Pay the low interest one down, transfer back on from the high interest card.

Not buying clothes on my store cards...even though they are having sales, and I really need new summer clothes!

My credit usage rate is what is holding me back. I'm just about maxxed out on my cards. I make good money, but I have a lot of credit debt. So, I've taken on raising my credit score as my next project.

I check my credit karma account on a daily basis...even though it only updates once a month.

Your credit score is like a child you have to keep an eye on it!!

So...I'm cutting back!

Discount food shopping is a big one..in the way of my non-perishables, and produce...(the rest I can't stray from the grocery chains..)

My hair roots are longer than I'd like. I am going longer between hair appointments. I've cut down on my wine consumption (the horror!) switched to a knock off toilet paper brand (this is huge for me, I am a strict Cottonelle user!!) I'm fighting the urge to tan, but this might lose out because I have to wear shorts again one day!

Every day I think about what I can cut next, and I spend $50 a month to have the dog groomed, when I'm perfectly (almost) capeable of doing it myself!

Of course this was a good idea until he started to scoot his butt on the floor a month or so back, which prompted a vet visit because I thought he had worms. Turns out he needed his anal glands expressed. Something the groomer always did. And saving the $50 wasn't worth it when I had to pay an equal vet bill to have tests run, and his glands done.

So in the spirit of continuous improvement..I'm reading "everything you need to know about anal glands".

Yes, it has come to this!

I just know owning my own home again is going to make all of this worth while! Moms of human kids do way grosser things, right?!!!!


Mr. Magoo sporting a hair cut by me, and 
cooling off on a walk in the park. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I May Be an Official Re-Virgin...

I just love the dating scene....said no one over 21, ever!

I am not ashamed to say that while dating here and there, I have been celibate for 17 months. Good Godfrey in writing it seems even longer!!

I say celibate, because it sounds more like a decision vs. an affliction. Which...I guess it is, because if all I wanted was sex, I could certainly make that happen, right?

The last time was with exmanfriend. Someone that while I was not in a relationship with at the time, I once deeply loved, so it seemed perfectly OK. Now,  the thought of just tossing it away after all of this time seems silly. After you go for so long without being intimate, your goods turn back into a gift again.

While I have not lost the desire for sex, the thought of waiting gets easier the longer I wait. I have the most amazing dreams about sex with the most random people in my life, which is quite amusing.

That being said, I have yet to find those "fireworks" again, and I'm holding out until I do! (I think...)And despite the long cold spell...I still want it all. Nothing less!

Plus, it's going to take a very special man to understand that while I may love spooning, I would never make my Mr. Magoo get out from in between us in the bed.


I mean, just look at him. He's so completely worthy of a double spoon!!






Friday, April 11, 2014

You Stole Whose Bank Information?...

I guess in this day and age, everyone will succumb to having their financial information stolen at some point. "They say" it's inevitable.

It was just another Saturday, I was at the gas station buying cigarettes, and the cashier told me my bank card was not authorized. So, I presented the card to my secondary account, and went right home and confirmed, yes, I have my rent money, plus more in the bank. Surely it was a mistake, the cashier was an idiot...

Two days later, I'm at the grocery store...same deal. Luckily I have two bank accounts, so I am able to pay for my food, and go home. I called the bank who says, my card had been "compromised" and that they shut it off, and sent me a letter.

Sidenote: the post office has given me every bit of mail for people in a 4 block radius lately in the way of delivering me their mail. I had lodged a complaint with the post office already about getting random mail. I didn't get my bank card, but they said it had just left a few days ago and I should have it by week's end.

All I could think was, thank the stars they shut my card down, and no one stole my money! 

A week later, I still had no card. You don't realize how much you depend on a bank card, until you don't have one! All of my auto bill pays had been rejected. I had to shuffle money between accounts, but I kept telling myself, I am very lucky, my money is still there, I just have to re-arrange things to make my payments! It could be worse!

A week passed, another call to the bank to report the card never made it to my house. I then had to wait out the weekend, and make an actual trip to the bank branch to order a card to be mailed to the bank instead of my house, since my mail person has been an idiot.

I left the branch with a temporary card, which made me feel so much better!

I asked about where my card was stolen, so I could avoid using it again, and they just said it was a multi-merchant compromise that started with the big Target scam.

This has taught me that I need to start taking cash out of my account vs. using my card so often. Sure, it's an extra trip when you buy gas, but honestly, I think going back to cash will also help me save money for my house down payment!

And, in the myriad of phone calls to the bank, they talked me into opening an actual savings account. I have two checking accounts, but now I have a bonified savings. With no bank card access, so I'll actually save money vs. dividing it between two accounts.

There is always a silver lining!

Through the two week ordeal, and all of the inconvenience, I just kept remembering that I am very lucky no one took money from my account.






Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Gotcha Day...

Four years ago, I adopted a VERY introverted little dog because I learned from my visits with him at the rescue that he was there and gone a couple of times. Turns out, he was adopted and returned twice for not "bonding" with the people who took him home.

He lived the first four years of life in a cage at a puppy mill, terrified of just about everything. I knew my home was the one he needed to be in so he could know what love is, and become a beloved pet! I had the patience, and love to give to him to wait for him to come around!

He learned to eat out of bowls, walk stairs, play with toys, (and then his kitty siblings) all in due time, but it just took time.

And, he's grown into the best little companion I could have hoped for!

Animals come into your life for a reason, he has inspired my love of volunteering for animals, and it really makes me feel good to spend time with those animals who have no one else to depend on.

Happy "gotcha" day to my Mr. Magoodle bug!


Mr. Magoo is a rambunctious dog, that you would never guess is 8 (or 9, or 10...) and he sure turned awful handsome with some TLC.

I work with dogs all the time that are amazing, but don't show their true colors on a first visit with them at a rescue, they have trust issues.

Take a chance! Consider adoption! Some animals just need patience to become who they are meant to be.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

So I Thought I Was Having A Heart Attack...Fred Sanford Style..

Let me preface this by saying about a year ago, I took my wellness test at work, where my blood pressure was pre-hypertension. The nurse said I should follow up with my Dr. in a week or so for a re-test in case I was just stressed out. 

I never did it.

So, in the back of my mind, everything weird about my body, is because "I probably have high blood pressure".

I had a small episode last week when my 15 year old persian, Fizzgig developed a medical problem that scared the bejeezus out of me. I had a hard time breathing, my heart was racing...it was not enjoyable. I probably have high blood pressure. I should go to the Dr.

Who wouldn't worry about this pretty girl? 

Flash forward a week later. My boss tells me that the day before, she knew I was running in circles to find some information out the entire day, but she wanted to teach someone else in another department a lesson that a process needed to be in place. I said "I was the only one wasting my time here!" I was pissed. Later, she told me my face was really red. It was!  This project is new to the department, and it is managing thousands of employee's bonuses.

So..I started thinking, I probably have high blood pressure and I never got tested! Then, it all started to fall into place.

I hurt my left arm at bootcamp that Monday, but what if it wasn't my muscle, and it was a blood clot. The more I thought about it, my arm started to throb. Then it started to tingle. My heart was racing. I was clammy. I was having chest pains, and shortness of breath. Then, my fingers started to tingle. I had a feeling of impending doom! I kept picturing myself being carried out on a stretcher.

My dad died of an aneurism and my brother has blood clot issues. What if I'm having a heart attack? It spiraled pretty quickly. I started to feel dizzy. The numbness was getting worse.  I couldn't take it anymore. I stood up and announced I was going to urgent care.

In the car I called my Mom, because at this point, the entire left side of my body was numb, my chest was tight, my heart was POUNDING, and I couldn't catch my breath. I was worried I'd die in the car on my way.

Mom told me I was probably having a panic attack. She said if I were having a heart attack I wouldn't be driving my car. I said "no Mom, I'm legit dying, I physically feel like I am dying right now, you have no idea how I am feeling". (Mind you, my mother suffers from severe anxiety, and in fact did know a little something about how I was feeling.)

Once at urgent care, they take my blood pressure, test my blood sugar, test my pulse, and by the time they are hooking me up to the EKG, I felt safe because I was there, so I say to the nurse "you know, I actually feel fine right now".

So the Dr. read me all my results, which were all NORMAL! So I told her about what my Mom said about our family history of anxiety, and she in fact concluded that..Yes..I had a panic attack. 

I had always heard about people thinking they are having heart attacks and it turns out to be a panic attack. But I really never imagined the physical symptoms would be so physical and so SEVERE! She explained what the body does during an attack, and why and how the symptoms escalate, and how it resulted in a loss of feeling in my left side. It all made sense.

What doesn't make sense is that why at 38 did this just happen to me now? For no real reason? With no history of my own? I am always very zen, and don't let things get to me.

My biggest lesson of all is to not dismiss people who suffer from this all the time. I guess I have always been kind of skeptical of it's severity, and karma slapped me in the face really hard!

But I'm mostly happy that instead of paying $40 bucks to visit my primary Dr. I am now going to pay hundreds to find out my blood pressure is fine.

A very expensive lesson, to listen when a nurse says to follow up with your Dr.








Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Turning Bad Neighbors Into a Positive...



I have long been thinking about delving back into the great big world of home ownership!

I'm a single girl. I'm scared. Plus I have a pretty pimp apartment, spacious, beautiful, and only 6 miles away from work. One mile from my hair salon. Centrally located to every important thing in my life. I've become pretty happy here.

And then, my ideal duplex neighbors moved out. And I have spent the last year of my life cursing the day my new neighbors moved in. They are in their early 20's..not ideal neighbors in any situation. 

I hate them. I find myself talking about their asshole-ness out loud when I am home alone. I complain about them at work. I facebook their dick moves. They annoy me on a daily basis, and I can no longer consider my home my peaceful sanctuary!

I read a very timely quote this week that read "never wait until you have enough money to have kids or buy a house it will never happen".

I've always said this apartment was my last stop before home ownership. I have moved a billion and one times, and I am not moving, only to move again. 

I'm done waiting on "the one" to come along so we can buy our dream house. It's the millenium, who needs a man? I'm a 38 year old successful single lady, and I'll buy my own dream house. I'll enjoy everything there is to about being a home owner, and stop worrying about the negative parts. Things always work themselves out. 

I'm getting all of my ducks in a row, because for real this time... I am going to buy a house! I am looking at a pretty sizeable stock payout this fall, and with that, and all the work I have been doing on my credit score, I will be ready.

I knew that 2014 was going to be my year, and when I achieve my goal, I'm leaving those asshole neighbors a thank you card...because they are the last straw that  forced me to finally get off of my ass, and start planning my future!


Not to mention, I've promised Mr. Magoo a doggie companion upon said home ownership..and he's pretty excited!


Here's to another big adventure! I couldn't be more motivated!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Winter Can Suck It...

I know I live in NE Ohio, and I am use to cold and snow, but the past few winters have been really mild. The return of real winter this season is a total bummer! A person shouldn't feel real hatred towards school kids who have had so many days off, that they are trying to pass a new calamity bill to get more days.

Back in my day, we were lucky to get one snow day in your entire school career.

Or, for all those people down south who get a dusting or a couple of inches, and everything shuts down! (my own sister included!!)  Yes, I understand snow is tragic when you are not use to it, but when you, yourself are going to work at -40 wind chills, or in over a foot of snow and ice, you start to feel some kind of way about people staying at home in their jammies.

Last night they said 3-5" overnight. That's no biggie. I had to get up super early to be to work at 6:45 for a super big meeting at work. However, I woke up to about a foot of snow, and left 45 minutes early to drive my very short 6 miles to work. This should have been plenty of time.

Needless to say I got stuck halfway out of my driveway and into the street in about 5 inches of ice. I was outside, in my work clothes, hair perfectly curled, sweating my curls out, cursing, and using a garden shovel to try to break up the layer of ice to get out. People passed. No one helped. If this were any other day, I would have said "FUCK IT!" and went back inside.

A man on foot walking past me actually said "C'mon April, right?" You have no idea how bad I wanted to hit him with my freaking shovel.

Did I mention I also have PMS? I should come with a warning label at this point!

After 35 minutes of struggle.. the guy who lives next door (the one who gave me the cat clock a while back....yes, weird...) came out, without a coat on to ask if I was stuck...he helped push me out of my ice hole. I had almost lost faith in humanity. It took about five minutes of his time, and I was only half an hour late to my meeting.

Chivalry is not dead!!

In all of my in and out of the house getting different shovels, salt, and kitty litter...I forgot to lock Mr. Magoo back up in the kitchen for the day.

Mr. Magoo was "home alone"

Luckily he didn't do much damage. He ate all the cat food, rounded up his toys, the cat treats, a paper towel, a copy of a picture of himself, and some rawhide bones. He kept his mess pretty contained, and still went into the kitchen to use his potty pad.

I don't often dislike living alone, but today was one of those days. But I don't blame being single, I blame winter!





Monday, February 03, 2014

So I Like TV Shows....?

He is kinda dreamy...in a total phsycopath sort of way!

Jenkies people, it is February, and I have no idea where the last two weeks have gone!!

That's a total lie. Being snowed in makes way for things like binge-watching on Netflix. "Just one more episode, I can stop after that..." is something I often tell myself.  Yes, I am one of many people who sometimes fall victim to binge watching, and it's 'years worth of series' at your fingertips' charm! My latest addiction...is Dexter

It's so good that I am losing tons of sleep over it. I watch way past my bedtime. I watch way into the morning hours... I counted the moments at boot camp tonight until I could get back to my TV!

I even had a dream this weekend that Dexter was my boyfriend. It was a slice of paradise! And in waking life I really think he'd make a great boyfriend. Aside from that serial killer thing, he pretends to be a great guy...really well! Better than most men pretend to be! He's always there for his girlfriend, and he's pretty awesome with her kids. I mean his biggest strike for me was all the animals he killed as a child. (Ok I think killing people is bad...but I can't help sympathizing more with animals...it's what I do)

The fact that I actually typed out that paragraph probably has a lot to say about the fact that I am famous for choosing really poor partners in life.

I've been down the binge-watching road before. There was also Scandal. Orange is the New Black. Hemlock Grove. Breaking Bad.

I think in the near future, there are going to be support groups for people who can't seem to stop pushing "next episode".  Until then, it's me and Dexter until the bitter end!

Plus...watching show after show is pretty easy when you have a pile of adorable animals always willing to snuggle at a moments notice...Just look at those faces!

Mr. Magoo managed to sneak in the cat bed unnoticed!



Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Um, It's Cold...and I Took a Break!....

Freezing temperatures are not good for a frugal gal!! I enjoy keeping my bills cheap, I use the furnace and space heaters to keep my utilities well under $100 a month.

I have way better things to spend my money on!

We had the coldest temps in 20 years, they say. It was in the negatives, with a wind chill of -40 for two days. We had a week break, and then back into the single digits.  Everyone complained, and all the schools were shut down, and no one showed up to work, but through the ashes (ice chips), me and my Ford Fusion still made it through.

I also got back to the gym, and running again after a three week "vacation". (my boot camp instructor likes to say I was off for 4 months) The time off was kind of nice...instead of squats, weights, and cardio, I perfected the art of snuggling under a blanket with some cats, eating comfort foods, and gaining weight. But my clothes told me that this had to come to an end quick!

I paid the price of taking time off in the way of everything hurting, and not being the baddest ass in class. (which I HATE!)  I have also been having mean green juice, the last few days in an effort to flush out all of the crap and sugar I've been ingesting.

I came to the conclusion that green juice tastes best served in a wine glass with an orange wheel garnish! Presentation is everything!

By way of groupon I recruited a few coworkers to join boot camp with me. One girl came one time, and left to throw up half way through class..and refuses to return. It kind of reminded me that this class is not for everyone, and you have to want to improve and be the best. All of us "regulars" have been there, but we came back and got past that point. I mean, I don't know what people think I do in a boot camp class?? Aerobics? I mean, it's called boot camp for a reason! 

And here are my "kids" enjoying the cold weather...

I made new cushions for my cat beds to help keep them toasty...Fizzgig approves..

Mr. Magoo and his kitty brother, Pickachu discovered the best way to stay warm is to snuggle!

Fozzie likes to be on top!


These two don't know they are not related....

Stay warm out there, friends! And don't be like me and use it as a vacation from your fitness!