Thursday, January 31, 2013

I've moved....

According to my mail person - I've moved.  I've moved and left no forwarding address.

Except that I haven't.

But that is what he told the package that I was expecting to get from Amazon UK.  Return to sender.
She's moved and left no forwarding address.

Now why does he suspect I've moved???  Well, there is a FOR SALE sign at the end of my street.
I live on a dead end - I am the last house - except there is a vacant wooded lot next to me.  It is FOR SALE and has been for more than 3 years.  If there was a sign in my yard - I'd understand - it is not in my yard - it is at the direct end of the street.

Okay - it snowed - I don't have to be anywhere - I didn't shovel the driveway.  I don't have to be anywhere - I plan ahead to not go anywhere.  I assumed old and retired people didn't shovel immediately, and other than the sidewalk - didn't really think I had to either.  There were my tracks going to and from the mailbox.

I didn't take out the garbage or recycling the day it snowed.  I try to be nice and not make the garbage guys mess with 1/2 a container on an icy day.  It is just me,  I don't really have much garbage or recycling.  So there were no garbage container wheel tracks in the snow...

But if you suspected or were going to declare that somebody no longer lived there - wouldn't you go knock on the door?  Would you at least leave a note or form with the mail saying - hey, we have a package for you, but don't want to leave it if you are no longer here???  Why would you keep delivering regular mail including tax bank statements???

The best part was that the mail truck is noisy - even in winter with the windows closed - I can hear him before he gets to my house.  So for the last two days, I have been standing in the house doorway watching him.  He never even looked up at me watching him.

But I have moved and not left any forwarding address...  yet he still delivers my mail.

So tonight at 8 pm - and 11 below wind chill - I got the snow off of the driveway -
I guess I will have to go to the post office tomorrow and see if I can find my package which has probably already been sent back to the UK.

I wrote him a letter - and will leave it in the mailbox. 
Mostly it said what I have said here - I HAVE NOT MOVED -

The woman that has been the carrier recently - was just fine with delivering my packages.  Takes a man to screw it all up for absolutely no reason. 

I asked for an apology, and an explanation.

I am betting I don't get either - or that any future packages will be dropped repeatedly before I ever get them. 

-----

The upside is that I have gone back to stitching Escher again - the one I was working on before.  Got almost a full page done - and will take a photo in the next day or so.  It has been so nice stitching again.
And I have enjoyed watching the British shows that I ordered and got.  But getting the rest of them seems like it will take a miracle.


Friday, January 25, 2013

Test Pattern

Finished the remaining thread and the test of the pattern.  Here's the photo.
Liked the pattern, but if I finished it, it is only 45 inches, not big enough to use up two big balls of thread, so I'll look for something else.  Nice little pattern and it gets fancier on the outer edges, but I ran out of the leftover thread before getting that far. 

My messing around with shiny things finally distracted me enough to cost me $121.  It was the same as if I flushed the money.  So I have learned my lesson, made out my 'to do' list, and going to try to get life back to organized instead of just ignoring things.  A list today with basic housework, then start to dig back into the paperwork.  Ignoring the world was fun while it lasted.  It was more than most people ever get to do.
It wasn't a huge mistake, but it was enough to get my attention, and teach me a lesson.  The trick will be to see if I learned anything from it, and not to do it again.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Round One

Started crocheting a new pattern tablecloth - but only with the thread that was left over as a test.  I should get it done yet today.  Photo next time.  Considering starting a tabletopper /cloth - I bought two big spools while mom was sick, and it is a really easy pattern.  Using up the thread up seems like a good idea.  One last crochet project, then no more.  It is hard to find a pattern that I like, that I can read enough to make since I am mostly self taught.

Got my first order from Amazon UK that was shipped January 3.  It shipped in three boxes, and they all got to me the same day from the post office.  So sent on the 3rd, arrived January 22.
It had a few dvds that were rattling, and the cases were broke on the little spindle things that holds the dvd in the case properly, but that happens.  The bigger box sets seem fine.  So I'll watch the questionable dvds first.

Did place another order the night before all of this showed up.  I think it was 7 or 8 days since I last ordered anything.  Not great, but better.  I had fun putting everything I ever really considered into the cart, then laughing at how much it would cost.  My problem is that I know you can divide it up and order four times, and it doesn't look as bad, and I have sort of been doing that since Thanksgiving.  And if I had to add that number up, it would make me sick.  So hopefully, the order from Tuesday was my last order.  I want to not have a credit card bill for a few months.  I used to have netflix, so there was always a credit card bill, but now that I've stopped it, it would be nice to just give the credit card a few months off.  I am not a credit card person, or paying for groceries with a bank card.  I have cards, but I don't use them.  Except for this run or binge, or whatever it is, usually, I don't have a problem.  So I will pay off the bill when it comes this month, even before the stuff I ordered arrives.  And the goal will be for the February statement to just say zero.

I keep watching a few ebooks I would like to have, but I have not read the first ebook that I bought.  I am not going to buy more things when I haven't read the first book yet.  I'll still get the free books, and I look to see if they go on sale for $2, but I am not buying more till I read the book I had to buy the first time.  I end up reading other things.  And I am still loving the free library magazines downloads to my e-reader.  I have enough without buying more.  I know I have enough to read, and to watch.  It is nice to have something coming to look forward to getting in the mail, and maybe that is part of it, and if it is, I need to get over it.
So if I can manage with the books, and not buy even a second one, I have the discipline to not buy. 
It feels like it is out of my system and I have a new plan - at least to watch watch and read what I have, but only time will tell.  Back to use it up, wear it out.

And the second order was mailed the day after the first order, so it might show up today.

Some people are doing this with cross stitch patterns or something else, always waiting for something, always ordering more.  I know we all seem to do this at some point with something.  But I am to the point that it was fun, but it needs to stop.  If it were something else and not dvds, it would be bad and they probably have a support group for it.  Bottles of wine, men, trips to the casino, trips to the bar, trips to the craft store.
For whatever reason we all do it, but when it becomes too often, it is time to stop. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

And the rest...

Can't seem to make blogger work as I expect it to...

Talked to my friend with the husband in the care center to offer to take her to the visitation for her brother-in-law, because I know she is not comfortable driving after dark.  Her kids were going to get her, but I offered.  Her cable company dropped the local broadcast channel, you know, the one she liked, so I offered to lend and hook up an extra antenna so she can watch the local news.  So while I am there, the dog pees on the rug, that morning he had thrown up on the bedspead at 4am, and there was blood in it so she was worried.  She'd had lunch with the neighbor ladies, and had a nearly flat tire when she came out of the restaurant.  The woman just does not get a break, and she is over 80...  The least I could do was to get her so she got to watch the news broadcast that she prefers to watch.

Made it to the movies this week to see Monsters Inc 3D.  Didn't know if it would be changed enough to be worth paying to see it again in 3D, but it was.  The counter kid said- are you here alone???  Yep.  What can I say, I don't have friends that are goofy enough to go to kids movies.  Just me.  $8 including the large drink.

Shopping for dvds again tonight, mostly looking.  That last order I placed had one set that was $85.  I was really worried it would go up in price if I didn't order it, so I did a week ago.  Tonight I noticed it is now $102.  nothing changed other than the price.  Glad that I ordered it when I did, it was the most I have paid for a series at once.  I have noticed some big bounces in prices.  One series went from $35 to $75.  Another went from $60 to $106.  all from US Amazon.  Amazon UK still has some of those same series for half the price.  Even tv series that are made here.  Some shows they are repackaging, and they are half price of what they were for a completed series show.  Pays to check prices.  Was looking for something different, and pulling up clips and shows from youtube to see if it was something worth ordering.  Only found maybe one show, and the other things just seemed odd.  Was surprised at how many complete shows are out there.  Not that they are supposed to be there, but they are.  Actually, because I did get to see a show, it made me want to buy it.  Mostly it was an interesting way to kill the day while doing laundry.  And I didn't order anything... yet...

Cut the thread, call it completed

Going to call it a finish on this table topper.  Cut the thread last night.  I started it while sitting in the chair at the same time as my mother started her chemo treatments.  The news was good, and they said it had worked, and she was going to be a survivor.  I'm sure my mother was braced for the worst, and in shock when they told her she was going to live.  That was in May, by August she was dead.  It's been more than a year now, I needed to cut the thread, and call it completed.


Before and After



  

The elf slippers have all been altered to I don't have to feel quite as silly wearing them after the holidays.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

11 Days

11 days...  if you order a dvd from Amazon UK, it takes 11 days to get here if it is send by Royal Mail.  Two seperate orders mailed a day apart arrived a day apart.  They suggest 7 days, but it was 11.  Arrived just fine, not crushed or anything.

My order from last Thursday arrived Monday.  Was watching the Cracker series and needed series three, so it was available - like new - for $6.34 including free shipping.  Paying $19 for it new was the other option.  So I tried - like new - and it was like new.  The tri-folding packaging still crackles when you open it.  I am betting that you can't count on a great used version, but that was what I got.

It has been an odd week.  I only have about 4 people that talk to regularly.  My kindle buddy that is the woman helpping me clean out my parents house.  She also house cleans for an old man and another old couple.  The husband in the couple died this week on Monday.

Wrote my other male friend - we went to high school together.  His uncle died Monday so he was making plans to go to that funeral.

Okay, those are the closest people to me.  They say things happen in threes.  Now the only other people I talk to start running through my mind.  My mothers neighbors, and my mothers friend with the husband in the care center.  That is my circle of people close to me.    So I was reading the obits last night and one of them is for the brother-in-law of the woman with the husband in the care center.  He died Sunday.

There is the three.  That is creepy.  If you know lots of people, to know 3 people attending funerals at any point in time is not unusual.  If you only are close to four people, to have this is weird.

And actually I talked to the fourth guy, my moms neighbor on Saturday.  Just local gossip and one of those stories was about a guy he knew whose wife had just died.  He said his friend was the second husband and the kids were burying her in a plot with the first husband, their dad.  The surviving husband was so mad he would not go to the graveside services.  But the guys former co-worker friends still had to go to the graveside services because they were the pall bearers.  You really just can't make stuff like that up.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Trying again... simple, basic.

And now I have eaten out while out shopping.  Good habits do not last long for me....
To be fair, I was out of town, and they don't have that food chain here.  I ate, it made me sick almost immediately.  So if that doesn't make me not want to eat fast food again, it should at least make me want to avoid it for a while.
Slept better after getting out for some fresh air, and a little exercise while shopping.  Didn't buy for myself, but got my kindle buddy a roku.  If she has what I have, it makes my life so much easier.  Now she does.  Same routers, same kindles, same dvd players, same roku. 
So I am going to try again - find a rut, stop spending money, straighten my life out, do what I need to do, and do what I want to do. 
Okay, I need new eggs for baking cookies, and I'd like to go to see Monsters Inc in 3D this week at the cheap $5 theater.  That is my plan this week.  Simple, basic.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Just could not sleep...

Fell asleep before midnight, but then woke up at 2am, and really just could not get comfortable and fall back asleep.  Watched Bridget Jones Diary - twice.  Then I shopped on-line and ordered another dvd in the middle of the night.  Mostly because I would like to hear the extra commentary track.  Sure, shopping from bed again in the middle of the night.  It was $14, not the national debt, but still.
Did get the kindle hdmi cable today.  That is pretty neat that it will put whatever is on the kindle screen onto the tv screen.  Had the funny idea that really close couples could read books together on the tv screen.... made me laugh, and made my skin crawl at the same time. 
My kindle buddy came over today, so it was nice to spend a little time with her.
Ran an errand later in the day, so I even left the house.
I seem to have broken one bad habit.  It used to be that whenever I was out, my car seem to visit at least one drive-thru eating place.  And I do mean every time I went to get groceries, or to the box store, I would pick up something to bring home, or stop in the middle of the errands.  I have not stopped for fast food yet this year.  I just still feel like I can't find a groove that lets me sleep at night, and stitch a little, and clean house, and organize a little.  It should be easy, I don't have anybody else expecting me to stop and feed them.  Every day, I do try.  Most people are trying to get out of a rut, I'm trying to find one...
And I just hate being too awake to sleep, and too tired to stitch or read.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Shopping

Shopping, real stores, real people.  What I thought might be $12, was $175 before I got home again.  Added a $30 flu shot and got groceries.  And last night I made another on-line order.  Frustrated that the rebate card had not shown up - figured if I placed an order then it would show up the next day.  Finally called about it today.  Their automated system said it was mailed Dec 21- and today is  Jan 11.  Then I wanted to know if they were lying or was it lost in the mail.  So about that same time my mail went to the wrong house.  
The neighbor girl thought she could get away stealing 10,000.00 from her own mothers bank account, the mom noticed it was gone after a statement - she had to file a police report to get them to look into it, they track it back to her own daughter.  
I know she is still petty theiving because she stands in her backyard smoking and talking on her cell phone right under my bedroom window.  She has more drama than any soap opera.  And I figured if my credit was in her hands - it was already gone.
I explained that to the store sending the rebate - did you REALLY mail it.  They finally admitted that the automatic thing lies and it had not been mailed yet and would probably be another two weeks before it is actually mailed.
Okay - that's fine.  I just wanted the truth.  Then I was glad I hadn't waited to place another order.  So now my plan is to see if I can not leave the house for 10 days.  I should not need anything, I can't think of anything else I even want.  After 10 days you run out of milk or something.  But I haven't come close to not ordering something for that long.  But it is obviously a bad habit I need to break.
At this point nothing I have ordered has come yet.  Maybe tomorrow.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Back to where I was

Finally back to the point that I un-crocheted from on the table topper.  My crocheting is better, more even, but still clunky, and I have to count and recount my chain stitches...  Glad that I did rip it back but I didn't think it would take so long to return to the same point again.

Realized why I have been feeling off - I am not talking to real people.  The last person that I talked to was the grocery checkout girl and the kid taking my groceries to the car, last Wednesday or Thursday, 7 days ago.  For most people, not talking to other people is not even an option.  It's a little weird.
I've done it before for periods of time, but you sort of need to have a mindset of that is what is going on.
I need to get out of the house for a while today, and maybe just wander around the store for a while.

Biggest excitement so far this week - getting a new recycling container with wheels instead of the tote box from the city.  I think I was low on the list, everybody else has had one for a year...  it's been a slow week.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Just one more.... and another...

Just had to place another on-line order before midnight.  Been looking at cheap hdmi cables to see what connecting the fancy new kindle to the tv looks like.  You need a special cable to do it, and these were $3.64 each with free shipping, no minimum order.  So it was the cheapest order lately.

So the - how long has it been since I shopped on-line - clock has been reset again.

Then I got an email from Amazon UK saying - Hey, we noticed you bought tv and film dvds....  maybe you would be interested in these new and upcoming releases....

Now that feels like the dope dealer saying.....Psssst..  Hey, we know what your problem is..., and now that you are hooked.....  here is more....

Did I go look?  Yes...  Did I buy?  Nope.
But I did opt out of the dealer sending me more e-mails.

I do already know that I have one more order I want.  I have a rebate from the dishwasher installation and it comes as a credit card.  I never seem to know how to get rid of those.  And for me it would be so easy to just misplace it.  There were also energy rebates for the dishwasher and one of those comes as a credit card.  Just waiting for the cards to show up.

Started out this year trying to write down what I am spending money on.
New Year, new start.  So far I have spent $12 on groceries.  And I would like to buy new cheap bed pillows this week, so $12 again?  I don't think my problem is actual shopping, but on-line deals can seem to carry me away.

Tried to get the free library magazines over nook and it doesn't seem to work.  It would make sense that the Barnes and Noble version doesn't really want you to get free library magazines.  Does work on the computer and kindles.  You seem to be able to even print the pages from the computer version if there was a recipe or puzzle or pattern and you just wanted a page or two printed.  Nice feature to keep in mind.  Spent some time randomly reading the magazines last night.  Seems to work great, and very comfortable to use.  Seems like the Nook should be able to do the on-line version through the web site even if there is no app version.  Just don't know why it didn't seem to work.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

New Year, New Habits...

New Year, New Habits... 
But so far I'm not sure I have GOOD habits yet.

I did not get through the first day without placing an order from Amazon.  But it was a learning experience.
It was from Amazon UK, and I was looking for British TV shows, mostly old stuff.  I know that the video formats are different. You need a player that will play region 2 -.  But if you buy a series here it costs $120, and the same thing from them is $29 after all the math and currency conversions, then that is a huge difference in price.  And shipping is $1.64 per item, plus a $3 per order charge.  So shipping doesn't kill you.
And you can buy a dvd player that will play that region for $40, but I figured out that if I entered a silly code, my current dvd player would play anything from overseas.  I tested the code - it works.

Two days later, I ordered more from the same place.  But there is nothing more that I want now.  Seems like it can take nearly a month to get here.  But for the price difference, I don't mind.

I learned that even the prices contain their VAT tax, which is 20%, so when you check out, suddenly the bill is 20% less.  So after shipping, you are still ahead of the cart prices and exchange rate numbers.
I was pricing Downton Abbey - from them seasons 1-3 are $29.  Ordering it here, and seasons 1& 2 are $45, and season 3 is another $34, so $79 total.  That is a huge markup to just buy is here.  So I ordered it from there.  It's sort of an odd time because it has not aired here yet, but I have already seen it, and the Christmas special that won't air here till March??? 
I am going to just have a couple of days and watch the whole thing straight through.  They keep talking about edited versions, but I'm not sure if that is the UK or US versions that are edited... I don't know if the extras are the same or not...

So that was the first thing I learned this year.  Also that shopping online while in bed from the e-reader is probably not really a good idea...  but in the end, for me, it was a really good deal for what I bought.  And a bonus to figure out that my player will play everything I bought without fussing. 
In the end I ordered 10 the first time, and 10 the second time.  I ordered only from Amazon items, even if I had to pay slightly more, but they are having a film and tv sale this month, most of the time, they were the cheapest, but I didn't want to get involved with third party vendors shipping to me overseas.  Something like 131 individual dvds total, and because some of the sets were large and complete series of the shows it made sense to do this.  Mixing in other things would have upped the shipping costs.  But it might be something to consider.  It really is not different from shopping here.

So that was breaking my first resolution of trying to spend less...
But since then I have actually been good.  I have looked, but not bought anything for two whole days...
I don't want to become that woman where shopping is her life, and shopping becomes the entertainment.
No no no...  so two days may sound crazy, but it is sort of a gut check to make sure that wasn't what was going on...

Then second new thing I have learned this year...
The local library offers e-reader free magazines.  You get the app, and it is available for computers too, pick out your favorite magazines, and you can download them, and read them offline-
It doesn't toss out the old issue, so if you get a little behind in your reading, no big deal.
It is common popular magazines, all the ones that show up in doctors offices for example, and without naming names.  The library seems to decide what the magazines will be from the service, so one city library might be different from another.  But I was hoping for Readers Digest, O, Redbook, or Good Housekeeping type magazine, a quilting magazine... and they had all those and more.  Free to library members.
So if you haven't checked what your library offers lately, you might be missing out what is available.
There is no limit, no return date, just really free magazines, or at least the electronic versions of the magazines.

My library also offers free music downloads.  3 songs per week.
And it isn't just old stuff, or the version you never heard of...
It is stuff from the radio, and if you want the whole album, 3 songs a week would take a while...
But most things, you only want this song, or that song.  Actually, I fall into a pretty good age group for this, I'm too old to know what the hottest things are, and so I'm not really looking for those anyway.  And I'm young enough that I still catch some silly song just often enough that I want it, but don't want to pay $1 per song to order it from the stores...  So this is perfect.  And it is completely legal.
Again, just something offered by the library, free mp3 downloads of popular music.
So I hadn't been to the library for years, and in the last year, I started looking at what they have again, and it is lots more than books...
And of course there are still regular books, audio books, dvds, cds, and e-books, but they are offering more.  So if you haven't looked for a while, check out your local library again or look them up on-line to see what they are offering.
End of my public service announcement. 
But a years worth of magazines, a years worth of mp3's, all adds up over the entire year...

And all this learning about new things just makes my day fly by. 
I am trying to learn NOT to pick up the e-reader.  I check for the free things once a day, and then at night I grab it at bedtime.  I bought one movie for $4, Gone with the Wind, because I wake up in the middle of the night and watching a movie will put me back to sleep, and the idea of having Rhett Butler in my bed just seemed too good to pass up... and if the civil war won't put me back to sleep, then I don't know what will...
So far I can't stay awake long enough to get to see Rhett...  so it is working well.

Only time will tell if my habits will change.