Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Why - why - WHY?!

When doing deep spiritual business owner shit, it always comes up - what is your why?

I have a lot of whys. But it all comes back to this word:

FREEDOM. 

FREEEEDDOMMMMMMM. 

Here are some examples of what freedom means to me. 

Look at this girl. She is free. Seriously free. I got her from a free stock photo site.

Recognition and Appreciation. 

At my old job I was very unhappy. After years of being meticulously on time, I started to be late. Why? Because I was tired. Because no one really seemed to care if I was there or not - so I stopped caring if I was there or not. It felt awful.

It's important to me to feel appreciated in my work. To get recognized. I actually do like working hard. If I would have been recognized and appreciated, I probably could have stuck with giving up a little freedom. But no freedom, recognition or appreciation? No.

With my work now, I do feel very appreciated. There are good days and bad days. However, whatever kind of day it is, it is my decision to do it. No one is forcing me to do my work. It's up to me to commit myself fully. When it's my decision, the appreciation and recognition seem to come more often.

Schedule control. 

This is something I have a very hard time with anyway - I suck at saying no and am great at overscheduling myself. Now, however, it's on my terms.

The goal with the freedom of schedule is that someday once business is built up and hired out and managed, I hope to have more time to nurture myself.

Getting better.

With my own business, I can get better physically and mentally.

I am sick. I have chronic fatigue. I hate it so much. These days, I have more freedom to nap when I choose and pace myself. Canceling appointments feels awful, but it is easier than when I had a regular job. If I am going to really not feel up to it, I will cancel. Self care and all that. I try not to do this often, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

Schedule freedom also offers me more time to schedule doctors appointments. Bonus.

Mentally, I drive my success. I want to be a famous blogger? I can do it. I'm under control. What I do (and don't do) matters. But it's my choice.

Family

Simply, when I have a family, I want to see them, not have them in child care allll day. (Part of the day? Sure.)

Money

At my other jobs, there was always a limit on my income. With my businesses, the sky is the limit.

Identity

I now feel stronger about who I am and my motivations in life. I know that in every move I make, I am working toward what's important to me, not to someone else.

It is hard going from an altruistic job like social work to being a business owner and working for well off people. However, even though I liked the work as a social worker, the system did not allow me to feel happy with myself at all. Working for myself serves my identity way better.


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Treatin Yo Baby-Sitter Right

I was inspired to write this post after a wide variety of baby-sitting experiences. I have been babysitting for twenty years (since I was 11!) and am still doing it.

I consider myself to be a reliable, hardworking and flexible child care provider. However, I am at a time in my life where I am willing to put up with less and less from parents.

Here are some things that make jobs awesome that you might want to consider doing if you adore your babysitter and want to keep him/her around.

1. Plan in advance.

I cannot stress this enough. If you need a sitter, solidly book them as soon as possible. I think the hardest thing for me is when something is tentatively scheduled but not officially on my calendar, and then people make the assumption that since we've talked about it, I have reserved that time.

Good sitters have incredibly busy schedules, so make sure you let them know that you are serious about booking them, and then give them a solid time so that they can plan their day around it.

If at all possible, try not to change the time on them - they have lives too, and it WILL affect their other commitments.

For example:  Someone books me two weeks in advance. They tell me to be there at 6pm. I agree. I am hanging out with friends all day, and then leave my friends at 4:30 on the dot to go home, get ready and leave. Then the person who booked me asks if I can come at 7:00pm instead. That's a dead hour for me now - an hour I could've used to extend my well-deserved leisure time.

Things happen, but if you do this, it is appreciated if you pay for the hour you just disrupted. It is no fun to have things changed up on you, especially when you have commitments, traffic, commute times, etc to factor in.

2. Feed your sitter well.

This is not required, but it is GREATLY appreciated. It's hard going to a house and having nothing to eat. I often try to bring my own food with me, but sometimes I am just busy and don't get to it.

My favorite families offer to get me take out and ask what I want. Again, not required but completely appreciated.

A family I used to sit for in my early twenties always got me a nice little salad from the deli. I sat for them every damn weekend, and I didn't even like their kid that much. But they appreciated me and made it worth my while to go over there.

3. Trust their judgment.

I assume that people hire me because I have lots of childcare expertise. My job is to honor the parent, but when the parent doesn't honor my capabilities and experience, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

A check in here and there from the parents during their night out is fine, but a play by play of the night via phone or text leaves me feeling like I may be an idiot, even though I know I am not.

4. Let them know when you will be back as close to the time as you can.

It's hard when someone says "Hey! We'll be back at eleven!" and you tell your boyfriend you will meet them at a bar at 11:30 and buy him drinks with all your babysitting money and then the people you're sitting for don't come home until 1:00am.

It's nice when people text and say "Hey, can we stay out a couple more hours?" but at the same time, what am I going to say, no? This puts me in an awkward position if I had plans after. I know I can always say no, but it feels funny.

It's also awkward when someone tells you that they will be out until 2am and then comes home at 11pm. This means you're making at LEAST $45 less than you were planning on - and realistically, a lot of sitters rely on that money. We wouldn't be giving up our evenings and weekends to be making that money if we didn't.

My preference? I love it when before parents leave they say "Do you need us home at a specific time?" This gives me the opening to say "Yeah, I'm going to go get raging drunk with my boyfriend after (or something like that)" or just "Well, you said that you were planning on being home around ten, so I had planned on going out with Dave around 11."  If I don't have plans I just say "Nope, I'm all yours tonight! Just keep me updated on when you'll be home."

Once I had a family tell me they'd be home at 11pm and they came home at 3am - and I had a 7am flight to catch the next morning. Not fun.

5. If you cancel, try to send a little something via PayPal or tack on a little extra money the next time around.

Again, a lot of times I depend on the money and plan my day around the job. Once I had an appointment that was thirty minutes north of my home. I had an afternoon appointment in the same area, that ended at 3:00pm, and ended up hanging out in the town until the job at six, only to be canceled on at 5:00pm. That sucked.

6. Provide a blanket and pillows.

I'm often tired when I sit, so being able to take a nap after the kids are asleep if I need to is amazing. Even if I'm not needing a nap, I often get cold. Everyone runs at a different temperature, so it's hard when someone's house is cold and I don't have anything to cover up with.

7.  Step one:  write down WiFipassword. Step two:  tape it to fridge next to the words "WiFi Password." Step three: tell your sitter that the WiFi password is on the fridge.

8.  As often as possible, round up on pay. Especially if they drove over 15 minutes to get there. Especially if you like them and want the to come back. Especially if you negotiated down significantly on their hourly rate initially.

9.  If at all possible, have your kids watch a movie while the sitter is there. Again, not required, but it makes the night SO much easier. It's hard to be "on" all day - having a movie can give us some much-needed mental downtime.

10. Be nice. Treat your sitter like a person. Ask about their lives and then listen to the response for 45 seconds. If you don't like or trust them, don't hire them again.

Almost every family I have sat for over the years has been absolutely wonderful. Keep in mind that these are only suggestions - no need to follow each one. They are just things that make my busy life feel so much better.



Sunday, June 28, 2015

Tips for Being a Kickass Babysitter

I have been babysitting since I was eleven. I have learned a lot. I am going to give you all some tips on how to be an awesome babysitter.

1. Keep a calendar (google calendar works fine) and make sure everything is scheduled perfectly. Don't ruin someone's whole night by forgetting that they scheduled you to babysit.

2.  Leave your house ridiculously early and arrive on time. Depending on where the job is, I leave a half-hour to an hour early. If I get there early, I park a few blocks away and play on my phone, or go to a nearby store and buy a coffee or something. Being on time shows professionalism, care and respect.

3.  Ask lots of questions. Here are some examples:

For babies:  When you put them in bed and they fuss, how long until you go back in? Do you rock the baby until they are completely asleep?

Once I sat for a family whose baby was used to being nursed to sleep. He wouldn't take a bottle and I put him down and he cried. I went in on and off, but it turns out that they held him and rocked him to sleep each night. I should have asked more questions to ensure that the baby was being taken care of in a way he was used to.

For older kids:  Do you lay with them until they fall asleep?

Same thing. Sleep is an important thing that everyone has a different take on. There are some things that are not my preference to do with kids, but it's important to honor the child's routine and the parent's choices.

Ask when bedtime is, what time they should eat, etc.

4.  Don't let them watch ANY TV at all unless the parents specify otherwise.

If the parents don't explicitly say that it's okay to watch a movie or show, I ask. "Are they allowed to watch TV? What is their limit on it?" This goes for other screentime, too. Get explicit directions about how much TV, iPad, etc they can do.

5.  Ask about snacks.
Some people are more strict about their kids eating than others. Make sure to inquire - some parents let their kids snack all night, some have clear limits.

6.  Honor the parent - even if it's something you wouldn't do with your own kids.
You see, I don't LIKE to bribe kids to eat healthy by offering desert at the end, or putting kids in time-outs or having to entertain babies at all times. I have my own beliefs. However, with babysitting, I am there to honor the parent's preferences, even if it's not mine.

This is within reason, of course. I will never physically hurt a kid EVER or say something mean to them. I also avoid time outs unless they are specifically requested. In an ideal world, parents would trust my professional opinion, but that's neither here nor there.

7. Do the dishes.
Yes, do the goddamned dishes. It's not that hard. The parents will be impressed. If the dishwasher is clean, unload the dishes and reload the dirty ones. If the dishwasher is dirty, make sure there are no gross dishes in the sink and load it up. Run the dishwasher if you can figure it out.

8.  Clean up as much as you can. Not deep cleaning, necessarily, but tidy up the house as much as you can. Organize the toys, etc.

9.  Stay off your damn phone until the kids go to bed. Like, maybe a glance here and there, but try not to use it too much.

10.  Be polite, kind and have fun.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Lost Weight with the Washington Health Exchange Inspired Diet!

Hey!

I know it's been a while since I've posted, but I've been doing a new diet this week and I just had to share!

I was on vacation last week in Mexico.  It was absolutely amazing.  All-inclusive, so all our meals at the resort.  The fact that I had traveler's diarrhea the whole time I think really prepped me for the diet I am writing this entry about.

Anyway.  Owning a small business, my finances aren't as awesome as they once were.  C'est la vie - I do what I can to succeed - it's what you HAVE to do the first few years as a small business owner. I have a health care subsidy through the new Affordable Care Act and pay the state of Washington (Washington Health Plan Finder - www.wahealthplanfinder.com) $107 each month to cover a plan with Premera.

Unfortunately, I've been late on my payments before.  Oops.  So, at the beginning of March I called to make sure I was all caught up, then set up auto pay so I would be on time from now on.  I felt bad being behind and decided that auto-pay would make things easier and save me time.

The trip to Mexico is something I got on a barter system called Itex (itexinseattle.tumblr.com) and was really nice.  On the night of Monday, March 23rd I checked my bank account balance.  The next day I was hoping to go shopping in the downtown area of Ixtapa, where we were staying.

Horrified, I checked my bank account and was greeted with this:


What?  I thought.  WA Health Plan Finder took out $323.46?  Why on earth did they do that?

Very strange.  I was all paid up.  Even if they were taking it out for April (which wasn't authorized until the 23rd of April), they should have only taken out around $93, which is my premium.

Luckily, I had an awesome broker.  I called him.  He said he would take care of it.  He called the next day and sorted it out.

What he sorted out was that not only did they take money that I did NOT owe them - they owed ME for extra money that I overpaid in 2014.  Nice, guys.  Nice.

So, okay, cool.  They can put it back in, I'm good.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to spend any money in Mexico at that point since I was overdrawn.  Dave took me out to dinner that night, which was nice and we were able to drink and eat at the resort the rest of the time.  Good deal. Dave gave me some pesos to go shopping with, but I felt bad so I didn't buy much, but that was okay, because I didn't need much.

We left Mexico on the 28th, which was a Saturday.  My money still hadn't been refunded.

So began my awesome diet.  I will go through it for you day by day, just in case you want to replicate it.

WASHINGTON HEALTH EXCHANGE INSPIRED DIET:  DAY ONE - MARCH 28TH

This was our travel day.  We had breakfast at the resort and left around noon to go to the airport.  Dave, of course, had to pay for the cab - I was very grateful.  He also bought me some drinks at the airport.  Airport didn't have a lot of food, but we didn't have a lot of money, so it was fine.  Dave gave me some pesos for a snack, so I got some cheddar potato chips and these weird Mexican "Asian" peanuts.

Now, this is the beginning of the diet.  When you don't have a lot of money to spend, you buy less food and start to lose weight.  No meals were really available anyway, so it was fine.  Saved a lot of calories just eating snacks.

Took the plane from Ixtapa to Los Angeles.  SO HUNGRYYYY.  But again, was depending on Dave to buy me food and he wasn't really wanting to buy a super expensive airport meal.  I totally would've splurged on the $9 airport sandwich, but making him buy that for me would be pretty inconsiderate, so we stuck to water and an everything bagel with cream cheese.  Again, lots of calories saved.

Got home LATE.  We had cheese and tortilla left in the fridge.  Made a quesadilla on the stove with butter.  Fridge was pretty bare because we were going out of town, so bonus points on the diet/weight loss - I was still overdrawn, so didn't have any money to buy groceries (EXTRA CALORIE SAVINGS Y'ALL)

Sunday I was exhausted.  Slept a lot of the day.  Super hungry.  Dave had me go to the corner store to get some half and half to go with our coffee, which he gave me $3 in cash for.  Half and half cost $3.59 - the clerk at the corner store let me have it for $3.  I thanked him endlessly.

This is what makes it all worth it:  you're hungry.  Your blood sugar is low.  The government stole your money - and the kindness of a small business owner brings you back to life, letting you know that there is decency out there.  Thank you, man at the corner store - I promise I will make it up to you, someday.

That night we made some rice with chicken bouillion cubes for seasoning.  Yum.  But some black beans and salsa with it.  Nom.  Not bad!

DAY TWO - MARCH 30th

Starting to panic a little bit.  Dave was home from work, thank goodness, so he was available for moral support.

Called WA Health Plan Finder at 11:17am.  I've talked to them so many times in the past few days I can't even remember what was said, besides the fact that I stressed I was still overdrawn, and (despite the awesome diet that I am thankful for) I was worried about being able to pay my mortgage on the 1st of the month, so could they please get my money to me right away?  They said they would escalate the ticket.  Cool.  I requested a call back by the afternoon.

My car was in the body shop up in Northgate - it got hit about a month ago and wasn't quite done before we left for vacation, so Dave's wonderful friend Carl took me to pick it up in his sweet convertible.

Ate a Kind Bar - just 200 calories - had a bunch of them from a big Amazon order.

Drove my car back home from Northgate.  It wouldn't accelerate, was acting weird, starting smoking.  Darn it.  Ate some rice and called Wa Health Plan Finder again to see what was up.  Wish I didn't have to call so much, but was really concerned about paying bills on the 1st, so I was trying to be proactive.  Didn't get a lot of information.  I think I started crying at this point.  Was on the phone for 13 minutes at this point.  According to this article, crying burns 1.3 calories a minute - can't remember if I cried throughout the whole call, but if I did, my calorie burn count would be around 16.9 - not bad!

Took my car into the shop after it cooled down.  Was alerted that it needs an entirely new engine.  Cried and walked around the block while I waited for the shop's loaner car to come in so I could drive it for a day or so while they looked at my car.

Now, this isn't DIRECTLY related, but this walk would not have happened if it wasn't for WA Health Plan Finder.  How so?  Well, the place I take my car is Village Auto Care in University Village.  University Village is full of shopping and tasty food, and I was starving thanks to the diet,  However, being overdrawn still, I had no money for tasty food, so I walked (extra exercise, yay!) and cried (1.3 calories per minute, yay!) and that, my friends, is a WAHPFD (WA Health Plan Finder Diet) success!!!!

Got home and decided to call my friends (if I could call them that - they're kind of that friend that you don't invite over any more because they steal your money and then you can't trust them anymore - or, more indirectly, that friend who comes over and eats your food, causing you to lose weight, am I right?!) at WA Health Plan Finder to check in.  The man I talk to has no clue what I'm talking about.  We review my entire payment history, starting from when I first signed up, in January 2014.  (It took a bit - but good news - talking on the phone burns 51 calories per hour for someone of my age, height and weight!  (Check out this Fit Day Calculator  to find out what you would burn if you had to spend an hour on the phone talking to WA Health Plan Finder.)


There's the call log for the 30th - I spent a total of 89 minutes, 20 seconds (I think - sorry, blood sugar is low - still going on the diet as I write this, lol - and I'm not good at math anyway) on the phone.

Now, if you want to accelerate your weight loss, I would suggest additional crying (I think I only cried through the first phone call - not sure how much I did on the 57 minute call) and walking while you talk for maximum calorie burning.

Anyway, dude I talked to who I revealed my entire payment history with said that he would take care of it and call me back the next day.  Cool.  

Dave made me some rice and lentils, so that was good - a bit carby, but did the job.  He also made me a vodka soda.

Now, I know alcohol is a huge calorie source, but if you decide to do this diet, I would STRONGLY recommend that you buy alcohol BEFORE WA Health Plan Finder takes your money.  You will need it.  Totally not a waste of calories - I could've used three more drinks!

DAY 3 - MARCH 31ST

Had my networking meeting at 7am.  I had cried a lot the night before and not slept well, so I was exhausted.  

(Crying was partly because of the heartbreakers over at WA Health Plan Finder, but also partly because I figured out that I would need a new car that I just don't have the money for.  So I can't contribute ALL the calorie burn to them.  Sorry guys : )

At my networking meeting I had a protein shake and two cups of coffee.  I made some old oatmeal that I had found in the cupboard and put it in a thermos, but I really hate oatmeal, so I didn't eat it. 

Met with a new client after my netoworking meeting.  They paid me right at the appointment.  Score!  More money to avoid overdrafting.  

Guy from the night before never called the next day, (thought that only happened when I was single and dating, LOL!)  but I was really tired and hungry and didn't have the energy to call WA Health Plan Finder,  so I decided to scrounge for as much money  as I could find to deposit into my account and hope for the best.  Paid myself from my businesses, borrowed some money from Dave, picked up a couple of hours at my nanny job.  I was exhausted from not sleeping, but I missed the kid I nanny for, plus they have a lot of food so I had a salad with goddess dressing while I was there, along with some really good popcorn that the dad of my nanny family buys from Vermont or something (that's how good it is - he has it shipped from Vermont!)  

Found some money in my super off-limits online savings account and transfered it.  It was a transfer that took a couple of days, but said it would arrive by April 1st in time for bills.

Even with all the money I scrounged, I was still short what WA Health Plan Finder took out.  I deposited $200 that I got as a "cosmetic allowance" for when my car got hit, but that only covered the amount that was overdrawn.  On top of that I had money for the mortgage (yay!) and enough for the auto-withdraws that were coming for my car and home insurance, dental insurance, retirement savings and a couple of other things, but not quite enough to pay the credit card bills due on the 1st or cover the two checks I sent out to pay bills.  Welp, better just hope those people wait to cash them!

The funny part is that I don't have a lot of money, and my credit aint what it used to be.  But, God gives us these circumstances to test our patience, right?  So, on top of the being hungry/worried/etc my credit card bills were now going to be late, which would ding my credit.  

So, back to the diet.  Anyway, credit card payments will be late.  Will affect my credit.  Total bummer.  Does worrying burn calories?  Feel sick, don't really feel like eating, so it's fine.

Found some chicken in the freezer to make food for the next day.  More rice - turned the burner on too high and messed it up, so it wasn't that good and I didn't want to eat it.  More calories saved.

Drank some tea and tried to calm my raging headache.  Tea = zero calories, but is damn tasty!

DAY 4 - APRIL 1ST

Yay!  Bills are due!  

Mortgage went through (double yay!  If that one bounces it's a $25 fee) as well as my insurance.  People who I have sent checks to haven't cashed them yet.  I have a protein shake to celebrate, but don't want to get too excited.

Called WA Health Plan Finder.  Blood sugar is REALLY low.  I am REALLY frustrated.  Really worried about being overdrawn.  An F-Bomb slips out.  I feel horrible.  Person on the phone gets really upset with me, as she should.  Does shame burn calories?  I feel really bad, cry more.  The F-Bomb didn't help my situation. woman and her supervisor wouldn't help me because of my behavior.  I don't blame them - however - I wouldn't have been so frustrated if I hadn't had to go through it several times.  

Found out that my refund was coming, but for the wrong amount - only $225ish.  WTF?  

Call WA Health Plan Finder to cancel future auto-payments.  Trust is gone.  Cry on the phone with that woman,  Try to be nice to make up for saying the F-Word earlier.  Still feel horrible, still crying, so more calories burned, I guess, to look on the bright side.

Not feeling super well, but head up to my nanny job for a couple of hours.  Had a snack with the kid - hummus and carrots.  Don't want to freeload too much, however, the kid decided not to finish her snack, so I finished it for her - crackers, string cheese and carrots.  

My nanny mom pays me in cash, and I absolutely have to use it - can't deposit it - feel shitty, but I need things.  

Drive the loaner car to the car shop to drop it off.

T car shop doesn't know what to do with my car - probably needs a new engine, which is way too expensive for me to fix. Decided to take it home. The owner is an ABSOLUTE gem and didn't charge me for taking a look at it - however I used so much gas in the loaner car that I gave him $10 cash.   Drove my car home.  It was scary as shit - didn't accelerate well and starting smoking from under the hood.  Damn it.  Parked it on the street and slapped a "FOR SALE - NEEDS WORK" sign into the window.  

Like my sign?  Hehe.


Had a protein shake.  Thank god for all that protein powder that I bought - like the biggest cannister ever!

Had around $25 of cash.  A wonderful friend said he would let me borrow his car for a week or so while I try to figure out what to do.  His car is in Sodo.  I decide to take the bus down there.  Normally would take an Uber or something, but, you know, overdrawn.  That's okay.  Good exercise. 

Leave the house, realize I only have a twenty dollar bill and a five dollar bill.  Go to Starbucks and buy an 8oz drip, the cheapest thing I can think of that will keep my hands warm on my walk down.  Ask for small bills and change for the bus for change.  Barista complies.  I thank her many times.  These are the people that make my world worth it.  

Walk down to the bus stop - it's raining and then does some thunder and lighting, but I ain't scared.  

Hop on the bus.  It's a bus that goes to Tacoma but stops in Sodo.  While on the bus I start to get SUPER nauseous and clammy and sweaty.  WTF.  Hopefully burning calories?  Anyway, I take off my coat and sweater and scarf to try to cool down.  Girl next to me asks if I'm getting off - tells me it's the last stop before the freeway anyway.  I get off the bus.  

Turns out it was way too early to get off - the place I'm going is still 2 miles away.  Boo - good exercise, though.  Sodo isn't a super good place for a woman to walk alone at night, but it could be worse (plus if I get chased down by some weirdo the calorie burn is better, right?)  Still super nauseous - probably the not eating and then drinking coffee.  Walk by a McDonalds, buy a double cheeseburger.  The most protein I've had in a few days.  HEAVEN.  

Walk to pick up my friends car, it is super sweet.  He is the best.  

Drive to pick Dave up.  Thank goodness he has money and he takes us to buy groceries.  I feel bad that I can't contribute, but that's okay.  

I will prepare some food from the groceries now that I'm done writing, PLUS we have alcohol!  Woot woot!  Still, the diet will have to continue the next couple of days - or for a bit until my business brings in a little more money (clients pay me on the 1st of the month usually and it take a couple of days to come in - however, I do have to pay my employee and pay some business bills.)  

DAY 5 - April 2nd

Diet is still in full force.

Woke up to a phone call this morning from the local office (a 360 area code rather than a toll free number.)  Message went like this:

Yes, good morning Stacy, this is __________________ from the finance dept at HPF, we do have the documentation to refund payment to you, it has been approved and is pending signature by the higher ups, and most likely will be issued back ACH to your bank tonight, most likely by 4:30 tonight most likely, okay, have a nice day, thank you."

LOL!

Okay, okay.  I can't laugh too hard - she did say by 4:30 tonight, which could have easily meant 4:30pm or 4:30am in the morning (you never know.) but if it was the afternoon, it is not here yet.  

I'm also not holding my breath that it's the right amount, since there have been a lot of mistakes with that, too.  

(The most recent mistake:  they said they were refunding me $225.  I said the refund should be for $323 plus whatever is owed me from 2014.  She said she would send an additional refund of $323.  I said I would be MORE than happy to take both, but amount from 2014 was under $100, so $323+225 would put me over.  I mean, they stole my money, so you'd think I'd be more secure in stealing theirs, but that's just wrong.)

So here's the current status:



Turns out I have $39 to spare!  Yay!  I could buy something awesome, I think but should probably save it for gas.  Also, my brother loaned me money for a new car, so will probably need to fill it up if I end up buying it.  If nothing else, I am borrowing my friends truck and should fill that up with gas.

Today I skipped breakfast (breakfast is for suckers!  Go WHPF-Inspired Diet 2015!) and had coffee.  Went to a client meeting - social media for a restaurant.  Super cool, but then I had to look at delicious food pictures all afternoon while writing their posts, which was horrid.

Wanted to go to my coworking space directly after my client meeting, but hadn't made lunch, so came home and baked some freezer burnt chicken.  Double bonus on this - I couldn't go down to my coworking space for food and also cause I couldn't afford to park for more than three hours.

Turns out doing this (and my Google Calendar syncing incorrectly - fuck!) made me miss my 1pm meeting.  Oops.  Felt horrible.

Went into the coworking space at 2pm and parking in 1 hour free parking across the street.  After my 2pm meeting I went and moved my car (had to run across the street  - almost got hit by a truck - bonus exercise points!) to a 2 hour free spot and then worked for a couple of hours there.  Had a lukewarm protein shake while I was there and (free!) coffee.  

Drove home at 5 (tried not to accelerate too much so I wouldn't use too much gas, LOL) and came home and had a romaine salad with peas, chicken and salad dressing.  (I know, right?!  Salad with vegetables AND protein?!  GET OUT OF FUCKING TOWN!  Thank god for rich boyfriends who buy groceries, amiright?)  

I decided to drive up to Lake City to look at cars, found one I really like, money borrowed from my bro will allow me to buy it, negotiated a deal on it, YES!  Brought a Kind Bar and some water but was feeling nauseous and heache-y so didn't want to eat.

Came home, did some work and ate eggs that we had with newly purchased cheese to make them more flavorful.  Nom, protein!  

I then broke down and decided that I couldn't take it anymore.  I had $12 in cash and I NEEDED a drink!  My refund is coming soon anyway, right?  So I went and had a vodka soda at the bar, it was amazing.  

Came home to spend time with my love, who bought me some juice, which I just had a glass of.  JUICE IS SUCH A LUXURY but really good.  

Good news, too - a person texted me wanting to buy my barely running Lexus!  Life may be looking up after all!  Of course, if I sell the Lexus, I will need to use the money to pay my brother back, not eat food (wishful thinking, right?!) but that's okay!  I am grateful for all the good that is coming into my life.

Hopeful that the refund will come tomorrow, but understand if it doesn't.  The people at WA HealthPlanFinder are BUSY - maybe they're eating lunch.  Maybe they're having handcrafted coffee drinks from Starbucks.  Or maybe they feel empathy for me and want to start this diet as well to show support.  

I used to work for the government.  It was not easy.  I had to be an oppressor - tell people "no" when I knew the answer should be yes.  While I think providing kind-of affordable health care is great, I just wish they could get their shit together so that participants in the program could have money to eat on a consistent basis and not have to have their vacations ruined by accidental money withdrawing.  That's all.  

On the edge of your seat?  Stay tuned!  I will edit this entry until my money gets refunded, which could be up to 30 days away!  Wow!  

Haven't weighed myself, but am down at LEAST 5 pounds.  They don't call it "HEALTH PLAN" Finder for nothing :)