Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Best Cash Back Credit Card Available - Citi Double

I was at the hospital for most of the day with a family member who had surgery. They have a well oiled system at the hospital where they get people in and out in a very scheduled manner. It wasn't quick but it was efficient. 

I was there for hours waiting as the wheel turned and knew I would have some "sitting" time so I brought my credit card bill and a calculator to work on getting the bill paid. I have used credit cards for all of my adult life. I have never paid interest on a credit card. I got my first credit card when I was 18 and read all the fine print as my mother told me her lawyer father told her to NEVER sign anything without reading the entire thing in full. I read the entire document when I applied for, and got my first credit card. It was a local department store called "Cherry and Webb" and I applied for the card as I got a discount on my first purchase by applying for the card. I got a $500 credit line and purchased some Estee Lauder powder and a brush to apply it. I immediately paid off that card as to not get charged the crazy interest rates. Due to that one transaction, I had a credit rating.

When I got married the month I turned 19, my former spouse applied for a Discover card and was denied even though he had a college degree, was 26 and had a good paying job. I applied for a Discover Card and got one without a college degree and a minimal paying job! Good credit can work for you. I got cash back on that credit card regularly and still have a Discover card today.

They will sometimes give me $20 to use the card at a specific store or stores so I use it then, for the most part, I use the card that will give me the most cash back.

I wanted to share another post about this with you as I think it is CRAZY NOT to use your good credit to make money! If you look at my blog for the past few months, you will see that I had some work done on my roof and rain gutters and another contractor at my home and with that, I have lots of bills. I usually make between $10 and $15 a month on my cashback purchased items. I also make $12- $15 on paying my bill on time in full. The Citi Double Card gives you 1% when you purchase and 1% in full when you pay off those purchases so for each thing I buy, I am getting 2% cash back. I do buy my gas with another Citi card through a wholesale purchasing club that gives me 3% cash back on gas but other than that, I charge any bill I can.
You can see on this bill that I made nearly $50 this month just paying my normal bills! Next month, I will actually be making more than this month as I will be making the $35 when I pay off this months bill but I put another $1500 on for my rain gutters so I will make more than I normally do by paying off that bill. I wanted to share with you also, if you have a large bill to pay, you can talk with the company, contractor, creditor and ask if they will give you a discount by paying cash up front for the bill so they don't have to wait for their money. They don't have to pay fees to the credit card company.

Princess One had some health issues and went to the ER. The bill was nearly $11,000. She got her portion after insurance paid the bill and she owed over $4000. She contacted the hospital and asked if they gave a discount for cash up front and they took 55% off her bill! Each time they have a child, they get a huge discount for "pre-paying" for services. You can check into discounts for that as well. 

She inspired me, so I called the hospital billing today while I was waiting and asked if they take off for a cash up front payment. They spent 20 minutes running me around the issue and finally, I pinned them down and they said, "We don't offer a cash payment discount after sending out the bills UNLESS you ask for it! So, I could go in the day I get the bill and say I wanted to pay it and would have to pay it in full even though I am paying it quickly and with cash.
I had two different women on the phone for the hospital where the surgery was today and they both talked around in circles until I pinned it down. You don't get the discount unless you ask! I know lots of orthodontists, chiropractors, dance and music teachers will also give a discount if you pay in cash at the beginning of the class or treatment. Just another way to save yourself some money!   

I currently have near $1000 in cash back on credit cards. I am working on collecting enough to pay my house taxes for the year. Check it out! You could earn enough to take a small vacation just by doing what you are already doing..... Just pay your bills with your credit card and pay the cards off in full each month! You could even set up auto bill pay for your credit card

Happy spending and earning! Have a BLESSED Day!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Super Fast Internet and More T-Shirts - Amazing Finds

I had a bit of a drive to get to the town where I am staying, at least for a few days, to help my family member that is having surgery. I stopped at a few second hand stores on the way looking for more t-shirts I needed. 

I spent a few hours at the first store going through all the t-shirt racks. I found about 30 t-shirts there for the quilts I am working on. I found these two fun t-shirts at the top and was so happy to find them.

We LOVE "Elf" the movie and "Rudolph" and the "Heat Miser" song was one of my favorite as when I was little when we didn't have movies at our finger tips, the school would find out when the tv stations were going to play "Frosty" and "Rudolph" and we would get to all watch it during school times which wasn't a common thing.

We would also watch "Rudolph" at home when they showed it at night. There weren't the variety of shows that there are now so those were all the options that we had. I was so excited about the shirt that I told  Princess Two about it and she had NO idea who the Heat and Snow misers are! Sad but true!

I hit a second store just before closing after I reached my destination and met someone at the store and they helped me go through some racks and we hit a jackpot finding about five Broadway Show shirts.

The store turned the lights down as they were closing and I asked her to hit the backside of a rack and I was SO excited when she pulled up the "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" shirt! It is a Disney Mary Poppins original. I am so excited for Princess Five to see the shirts we found. 

I was praying I could find the shirts I needed for the quilt I am wanting to make for my dad for Christmas and my prayers were answered. Between the two stores, I found the EXACT shirts I needed that were on my list. I wanted a few shirts that would represent a few times in my dads life and one that would represent all the missions that his children and Grand-children have served. 

I found the taller stack of shirts today! Every shirt I had on my list for my dad. I brought all the supplies I need to cut the t-shirts into squares. If all goes well with the surgery, I hope to get all the shirts cut this week. I don't know that I will be able to get it done soon but hopefully before Christmas. 

Have  a Blessed Day! 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

T-Shirts for Quilts For Days

Over the past few months, I have been traveling to a city a few hours away to visit with a Dr. I go every two weeks for the past two months. 

I have never spent much time in that city and the only time I have ever stayed over night there was in High School when I returned from New Zealand. My mother wanted to see some shows so we stayed there over night and she went to a few shows. I went to one with her but was so jet lagged, I slept through the entire play. 
A friend informed me after my first visit there, that they have a huge new second hand store. She knew I was looking for Broadway show shirts to make a quilt for Princess Five and suggested that I look at the store there when visiting the Dr. 

I got directions to the store and went after my second visit to the Dr. I spent about three hours going through all the racks of t-shirts in every section of the store. It was a huge store and they had the best prices. Most of the t-shirts were $2 or less. Many were even $1 and a few were $3. At our local second hand stores, men's shirts are $2 or $3 and women's t-shirts are $5 and $6. 

I was so happy with what I found. Each time I have gone, I have found at least 1 Broadway show shirt and sometimes up to three. Princess Five is thrilled with the collection I now have.

Today, I got a few more and we are up to 20 shirts now. Several are for the same shows as I have three for "Wicked" and Three for "Phantom" but they are all different so I think we can make it work. I know she wants a few of the more popular shows but I may just have to order those from official sites and pay the huge cost to get those more popular shirts. A sweet friend gave me her "24601" shirt from Les Mis the other day for her quilt and I thought that was really kind as I know she still wore the shirt. 

I am working on a quilt for my dad depicting his life and have found some great shirts from that store in the past months. I have a few more to find but was really happy with what I found or already had at home. I also have been collecting shirts for a Disney Princess quilt and a Mickey quilt.

I have, over the years, collected funny t-shirts for myself and have found a few gems to add recently there as well for $2 or less each.

Because the price is right, I have also collected a few "Star Wars" shirts and some cute Disney shirts which will be a fun quilt. My goal is to make 5 quilts so eventually, each girl can get one for their family other than the quilts I make from their own t-shirts from their schools, clubs and life events. 

I will do as I always do, and have them draw numbers to pick the quilt they want. It will take me a few years to get them all made but they are already looking good as I have nearly enough for two already. Princess Five saw what I had last week and said she thought the Mickey one would be really cute.  

The room looked like a huge mess but when I folded all the shirts up, I got them down to a bag or two per quilt. I am hoping that in my trip this week, I will be able to find a few more of the ones I need so I can get working on those for the winter months. 

I would like to have the one for my dad done by Christmas but I have so much to do on my mom's stuff that I may not be able to get it done. I have a family member having surgery this week and figured I could take the shirts and cut them into squares while I take care of them after surgery. I pray the surgery goes well and I won't be needed long but God is in charge and I want to have stuff to do just in case I need to stay longer.

I am so grateful my friend told me of the store and that I was able to get all the quilts I needed for less than half of what I normally would have paid. Have a Blessed Day! 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Getting Melted Duct / Duck Tape Goo Off of Trailer, Car, Garage Doors, and Windows

I have a trailer which I use once or twice a year for family camping reunions. I have only used it once a year for the past three years as my children haven't been around for our annual Easter Camping but the rest of the year, it is stored on a sidelot at my sisters home. 

Her teen son was hitting golf balls in the back yard with a friend and hit the back window of the trailer with a golf ball and it broke the lower back window on the trailer.

I don't know if he didn't tell them right away or if he told them and they felt bad and didn't want to tell me but for some reason, instead of letting me know so I could get right on fixing it, they put a piece of cardboard over the area and used duct tape to hold it onto the upper window and trailer side. I really don't have an issue that the window was broken as accidents happen but worrying about spiders getting in or water damage, I would have fixed it right away. 

I guess they forgot about the window as when I called to talk about taking it camping over Easter possibly, my sister told me about it. I told her I could just take care of it and she told me they would do it.

I figured they wanted to do it so I didn't worry about it but when I was headed to go over and help them with their daughters wedding reception a few months later, I guess it reminded them it wasn't done. I took some stuff over to put in the trailer and her husband had me help him put the window in.

I was in the trailer and he was outside in the back. I didn't go to the back of the trailer and look so it wasn't until he was kind enough to drop it to my home for our August lake reunion that I saw the back of the trailer.

I noticed the back had melted duct / duck tape on the metal painted section and on the upper glass of the window.

I had cleaned the trailer and waxed it using teak oil a few years back and to clean it before using the teak oil, I used mineral spirits to clean it. I use mineral spirits / turpentine in the kitchen all the time to remove sticky labels, Sharpie, gum, stickers on fabric etc.

I figured it would work on the sticky mess melted on the side of the trailer left by the duct tape having been on there for months. It worked like a charm softening the hardened goo on the trailer. It seemed to work better by getting it softened and then scraping it off using a fingernail verses wiping lots as it tends to smear the goo around using more of the turpentine verses getting it soft, scraping it off gently and then wiping a bit more to clean.

The trailer had some leaking issues around the awning so I used some gorilla caulk on it and will have to let you know how it works next time I take the trailer out. 

Have a Blessed Day! 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Inexpensive Disney Party Favors - Fridge Magnets - Fun Craft

I have been so busy lately and with not feeling well, I have been trying to catch up on things I have taken pictures and video of and in the past few days, I was able to upload a few videos after several tries so I was able to post the updated videos yesterday about the parasite and glad to have that off my "to do" list as so many people have asked me for an update.

I am hoping I can catch up on some of this stuff next week but am not sure what my situation will be as a family member is going in for exploratory surgery so for now, I am going to blog about the videos I have uploaded and hope I can update on family stuff next week while staying with family.

You know I have a Disney Fanatic daughter who wants to be a Disney Princess. She loves all things Disney so I found these cute shower curtain holders at a second hand store for $1.50 for 12. In the past, I figured out how to make shower curtain hooks into cute magnets  and did so on a blog post using these cute bird hooks and we used them as a "good luck" gift and she kept one for her magnet board.

Since that went well, I thought I would give it a try with these cute "Mickey" heads. I have seen similar solid ones before but they were scuffed and the price was $3 and I didn't think they were that cute but I really liked these with the lines through them and they were half the price so I went ahead and bought them as I have been looking for some since I first saw them. 

I guess I used a dremel tool to get the glue off the bird shower curtain backs once I had wiggled and twisted the hook off but they were new in the package at Walmart so the glue was a bit firm. 

These hooks were a bit older and just using pliers on the back took off the glue quite well and I didn't need to use any other tools to remove them. 

Just twist and turn the hook on the back but don't push it to the side or bend at an angle or you will split the front. The other decoration was thick and I didn't have any problem but I split the front of two of these as they are a bit thinner and not as sturdy of resin so be careful depending on the front you choose. 

I glued little strong magnets on the backs but ran out and used some larger thicker magnets on a few but it was fun that it gave them a bit of a three dimensional look having some be closer to the fridge and others further away. If you could find three or four different thicknesses of magnets, it would be cool to have them all at different spaces away from the fridge or magnet board. 

This is a fun project and if you could find some discounted or bulk somewhere, it would be a fun wedding favor or gift for an inexpensive price if you are willing to do a bit of work. 

Princess Five saw them on the fridge the next day after I made them and commented on how cute they were. You can basically do anything as they have so many varieties available now for bathroom d├ęcor! 

Have a Blessed Day! 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Hello Hello - I'm At A Place Called Vertigo - Parasite Update

I am so sorry about my post yesterday. I went right to bed after posting at 8:30 p.m. and Princess Two called waking me at 12:30 p.m. today asking me if  I was "OK" as they were worried after reading my blog post.

I slept over 16 hours and have dragged all day today. The spider bite is still super red and hot and I had hot and cold sweats all night and most of the day today. I tried to take it easy today but wanted to get the package off to Princess Four in Japan on her mission. It was nearly $70 to mail it and most of it was just snack food but I know she could really use something to lift her spirits as she has been struggling for the past few months. Please keep her in your prayers as she is trying to figure out this weird illness and struggling with a non-English speaking companion. 

Any regular reader of my blog knows U2 is my favorite band. I have seen them many times live and their "Sunday Bloody Sunday" tape was the first album I ever purchased. 

It is sad for me to say that I have really connected recently with one of their newer songs (only newer than the older albums but nothing really new) "Vertigo." Here is the music video, the spinning really gives you an idea... 

Over the past few months, I have fallen once ripping out my good shoulder and hitting my already broken tail bone. It was while I was in the play and at that point, I didn't know I had vertigo. At a certain spot in the show, we were dancing up bent over and when I would stand, we would have to run backwards on stage and get into a line from the front of the stage. Several practices in a row, I would go black and almost fall again. 

Meanwhile, I lead the music in my Sunday church congregation Sacrament Meeting. I look down at the music and then up at the audience and then down at the music and up again. One Sunday, I felt light headed most of the meeting and there was a song just before the sacrament that I didn't know as well and looked down and up often. I blacked out and grabbed onto the music stand and wood railing near me. Not knowing what the cause was, I spoke to a Dr. friend at church and then went home early and went to bed. I thought perhaps I was having some anemia or heart symptoms. 

Between the play and church meetings, I would get a little light headed which would only happen usually if a storm front was moving in fast. During this time however, I would get dizzy daily and noticed myself having to grab onto things around me for balance and bearing. I would get nausea if I did something where I was up and down like pulling weeds in the yard etc. This was when I knew for sure it wasn't my heart but was vertigo. 

Church has become interesting as I have nearly fainted several times now. I thought about having someone else lead the music but I really love having that position as it gets me there early and I am always on time and feeling as horrible as I do most of the time, I worry that if I didn't have that responsibility, I may not go as often and I LOVE going to church and once I am there, even if I am not feeling the best, I usually stay, enjoying the spirit of fellowship. 

I have learned to pull the music stand up super high so I can just look down with my eyes and not my entire head. I lean against the wood railing. One of the biggest reasons Sundays were so bad, is that I always wear heels on Sunday and that would throw off my balance before looking up and down. So, I started wearing flat shoes. I also don't bow my head in prayer as that also caused it to be worse. Using those techniques, I have been able to keep my balance a bit more leading the music and I find myself touching the wall when I walk etc. 

Just tonight, I had a tree branch fall off in the latest storm and in breaking off the branches and picking them all up off the ground at dusk, I was walking around the back yard like a drunk. I am glad it was fairly dark as it would have been a funny sight for the neighbors. If I climb on a ladder as I did this week to fix a leak in the trailer roof, I just have to keep my head level as I climb the ladder and not look up or down. It is amazing how the body adapts to situation. 

It wasn't until a month or so ago that I realized that this symptoms was related to the parasite. My neighbor one house away has had vertigo for years. He even had surgery which didn't fix the problem. He is now in a nursing home with dementia type symptoms and also has left lower lung lobe issues the same as I do. I was talking to a neighbor one house away across the street and he also has been suffering from vertigo for several years. It was when he told me that recently, that I remembered my sister in law that has all the symptoms of the parasite, was in the ER several times about six months ago with vertigo and they couldn't fix her problem but found it was calcification formation somewhere in the inner ear. 

I realized that the calcification in the lungs, the calcification in the thyroid and now calcification in the inner ear are all parasite side effects. I have also started up with tinnitus ringing in my right ear the past few weeks. I know a few neighbors have complained about that in the past few years.

So, with all that new information, I thought I would make a few update videos on the parasite symptoms and things I have tried in the past year or so. I wish there were lots to report on a cure front but basically, just updated symptoms. Let's pray that someone can figure out a cure soon so that I can be done with this nightmare forever! 

Have a blessed day.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Spider Bite Exhaustion

I had a video uploading all night and it never posted. I then tried to reupload it and it wouldn't upload due to it being a duplicate. 

I dragged all day. I have some hot swollen bug bite on my leg and have a migraine coming on. I checked a few things off my "to do" list but ended up lying down several times thought the day. I almost feel like I have a fever and am wondering about the spider bite. I have had a video uploading for hours and it is stuck at 41% again and this is the sixth time I have tried to upload this video. I think I will make calling a new internet service a priority tomorrow as I don't think it could be any worse than it is currently.

I had a friend drop over unannounced and she looked at my leg when I opened the door and told me she thinks something is wrong. I started crying as I am SO tired. I seriously can hardly walk through the house. With that, I am headed to bed and praying I can sleep tonight and wake with some energy tomorrow. I even took a protein shake today hoping it would help me feel better. No luck. 

Even my go to "coke" didn't help me have enough energy to mail a package to Princess Four today. It will have to wait until tomorrow and I pray I feel better and good enough to mail it. 

Sorry about the lame post but it is 8:30 p.m. and I am headed to bed. 

Have a BLESSED Day!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Life is a Bowl of Cherries - Removing the PITS

I had a food bank board meeting this past week. I always stay after and type up the minutes of the meeting while they are still fresh in my head.

The workers there told me they had a pallet of cherries that they didn't think would last through the weekend to distribute as they aren't open Friday and the weekend so they told me to take what I wanted and distribute them. 

I have never bought enough cherries to do much with other than eating them fresh as they are so expensive. On sale at their cheapest, they are nearly $3 a pound and usually even more than that so we buy them on sale maybe once or twice a year (if that) to enjoy fresh. 

When I was little, we would go pick them off the trees and enjoy them fresh and would pick enough to bottle. I am not much of a "canner" as you know if you read my blog, but due to the cost, I have never dried cherries. I thought it would be good to try doing that with my windfall of cherries this week. 

Today, I will share what I learned about pitting cherries. I have to say that I am a little embarrassed by the amount of cherry pitting items in my house. In looking, I guess that when I would see one at a second hand store on sale, I would purchase it as I planted a cherry tree a few years back with five varieties of cherries on it. In the past few years, we have had a handful of really enjoyable cherries but not enough to do more than eat. In my hopefulness, I guess I was hoping I would get enough to freeze or dry thinking I may need a cherry stoner in the future. 

I found three hand held pitters and a mason jar one that does one at a time and then a "Feeding" one that does them quite quickly. I remember using a "feeding" type while helping bottle them about age 14. Before that time, we canned them with the pits in and just spit them out while eating them out of the jar. 

The small metal ones you just hold the cherry in the opening and push down. The metal at the bottom bruises the cherry and the pit pops out but it takes some time.

The plastic hand held one has a better base holding the cherry instead of bruising the bottom. It leaves the smallest mark of any of the pitters and would be the one I would purchase if I needed pristine looking pitted cherries.

Or, if I just wanted to eat them pitted or feed them to a child or an elderly person. It is fairly quick and easy and doesn't bruise the fruit as much as any of the other pitters. This is the "go to" for those in the above situations. 

The mason jar pitter is also one you can use to pit through the tip stem hole and works fast and keeps the pit contained but the exit hole is much more visible and large so it would work if you were feeding someone the pitted cherries but not as much if you wanted to use them where you wanted them to look whole and pretty. It did take a bit more push on the top than using the thumb method as well if that is an issue to anyone. 

The quickest by far, yet the messiest as well is the self feeding pitter / stoner. It has a tray that feeds the next cherry into the pitter. One drawback is that the cherry often gets stuck on the pitter metal and needs to be pulled off or shaken off or it drops back into the hole so I used a spoon to pull it out so I didn't touch the cherries.

If it worked right, they would pop out quite fast but at least 2 in 5 had the pit stuck on it still and had to be pulled off, once again, I used a small spoon to cut the pit off and put it in the discard bowl. 

I have a video showing the merits of each pitter. In all, I would probably stick with the thumb one wearing gloves to keep my hands clean if I weren't going to do bulk or wanted them to look decent.

If volume is the goal and you don't care about looks, like maybe using it to make fruit leather, I would use the self feeding one but you have to pull off the stems, then sometimes feed them in, then pull them off and sometimes dig out the pit so all in all, I don't know how much time they saved in the end if you were fast with the thumb pitter, it may be a wash. 

I am so blessed to have the food bank in my life. I was able to share with friends, neighbors, and family. I froze some to share with my girls when they come next. I'll share about how to do that tomorrow. Have a BLESSED DAY!