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Car battery died and other happenings

January 26th, 2015 at 06:38 am

Yesterday when I went to leave to go grocery shopping, my car wouldn't start. My hubby is now working a new schedule (Sunday through Wednesday 10 hour days) and wasn't home. So I called him and he figured it was the battery and said he would leave work early and get it fixed for me..he rocks! He called O'Reilly's and found they had a battery for $140....he also found a coupon online for $99! Yippe! It's all fixed...he said they seemed annoyed that he had the coupon...oh well...it's not his fault they put out coupons. I guess they hope nobody will be smart enough to look around for coupons?

My parents live a mile from me and my mom was sweet enough to come and get me and take me to the grocery store...I treated her to Starbucks as a thank you.

Since my hubby is now working Sundays, instead of being grumpy about it (thank goodness I work 1/2 days on Fridays), I decided if I didn't have plans on Sundays, I would make it my day to do projects around the house (in addition to regular things that need to get done)......yesterday's project was to clean the fridge and freezer. They look so much better now!

I've got lots of other projects on my list to cross off..and add as they come up.

Resisted temptation/hubby's in Japan/fitness update

January 14th, 2015 at 06:42 am

Hubby left last Sunday for a work trip to Japan, so I've been on my own since then. Last night after the gym, I was tempted to stop and get take out. I was proud of myself for not doing it. I did splurge on Sunday at got Panera for dinner and grabbed a sandwich there for lunch on Monday.

Last week we were really bad about hitting the gym, so I've renewed my commitment so getting there at least 4 times a week. I stopped Monday and Tuesday this week and walked on the treadmill for 40 minutes. I bought a new (cheap) pedometer to help track my steps. I'm aiming for 10K steps a day, but with a desk job it makes it harder. Luckily I work upstairs in our building so I make about 10 trips down the stairs every day. Hitting the gym is a huge step to meeting that goal. I hit 8667 steps on Monday and 9000 on Tuesday. I'm excited to see what I can get to today!

I hope everyone else's fitness (and financial) goals are going well!

Gift Card Roundup

January 4th, 2015 at 07:14 pm

As of today:

Quick Lane Rebate (from tire purchase last year) $1.50

Dutch Bro's coffee $7.00

Starbucks $10.00

Macy's $9.01/$10.26/$50.00

Kohl's $9.50/$25.00

I'm hanging on to my clothing cards to purchase items for Spring/Summer.

Happy New Year and updates

January 1st, 2015 at 07:36 pm

Been a bad blogger these past few months but hope to keep it up much better.

We ended the year on a pretty good note. DH received a 3% raise effective next paycheck. I received $1000 Christmas bonus at work, and finally, my very generous parents gifted us at Christmas, $14,500.

We also met our goals, with the exception of paying off the credit line. This was from last year's bathroom/laundry room update. It was almost paid off and we decided to remodel our mater bath. In October, the balance was about $3000. We added $14,000 to that that by the beginning of December. However, with some diligence,(and using some of the money from my parents) as of January 1st, it is $10,000.

I will blog about the bathroom remodel in another post. I am excited to share how we cash flowed a big portion of that.

We also had our water heater replaced the day after Christmas. It was 17 1/2 years old. As the girls have been in and out for the holiday break for Christmas, we discovered when all 4 of us needed to shower one after the other, some people were getting cool water. DH found a good deal on a new water heater from Lowe's, and for opening a Lowe's card, we saved $80 (and it will be paid in full when the bill comes) and we will also receive a refund of $125 as it is an energy saving model.

2015 goals include: paying of the credit line ($10,000)....getting the mortgage down to $100K (currently at $112K) and cash flowing a new roof in the Spring/Summer(amount unknown....5 to 7K).

That's it for now...off to update the sidebar.

Wishing everyone a Happy and prosperous New Year and good thoughts for meeting our goals!

Snowflakes

October 29th, 2014 at 08:50 pm

With all of the spending on the Wells Fargo card (vacation and bathroom remodel), we have earned two more $25 rebates towards our mortgage principal! One posted 9/30 and one just posted 10/28....it also appears we are less than $1 away from earning another.

I had 8000 points in my account at My Points. I cashed one out at 3700 for a $25 Regal gift card. We will save that and use it for a date to see the new Hunger Games Movie.

I think I am also going to cash out 3700 for a $25 Starbucks e-gift card. I can load that on to my registered gift card.

I have also in the past few months, earned several $5 Starbucks gift cards by using some various apps on my phone (ShopKick and Ibotta). I also started using another shopping/rebate app called Checkout 51. I am $9.25 towards earning a $20 check.

I love free stuff Smile

Update

October 28th, 2014 at 08:28 pm

Once again I have fallen off the blogging bandwagon! Here are a few updates:

Master bath remodel. We have taken the plunge into another remodel project. If you remember, last October we remodeled/updated the girl's bathroom and our laundry room. DH really wanted to do our master bath so here we are. They started yesterday and this should take a total of about 3 weeks. The neat freak in me is full of anxiety. DD1's old bedroom is filled with stuff for the new bathroom (2 sinks, toilet, faucets for the sinks, tubs and shower, plus the new vanity we had made). The new bathtub is finally out of the garage. DD2's room is filled with everything from our closet and bathroom, plus the girl's old bathroom is filled with the stuff we use daily. It is all so disorganized. The upside? We will have a beautiful new bathroom and it will be a great opportunity to purge!

I am happy to say we have cash flowed a portion of this project. We agreed since we had 40K in savings, we would purchase everything we could on our Wells Fargo card (plus earn 1% back) and pay it off every month, which we have. The only thing we can't put on the card is the payment to our contractor. That is going on the credit line (via check to him), and depending on how things play out, we may pull a bit out of savings to pay it down, but not completely off. We are ok making payment on the credit line and paying it off as fast as we can...because....

Property taxes are due Nov 15th in our state....isn't that nice? Right before the holidays. Plus they went up a this year over $200.

DH's tires are paid off!

We took a quick trip to Vegas a few weeks ago for our anniversary. Saw Blue Man Group and KA (a Cirque show) Both were fantastic and the weather was great.

That's it for now.

I hope to be better about posting Smile

Long overdue update......

August 20th, 2014 at 08:27 pm

Hi all!

I am still around....haven't been blogging but reading and commenting.

Things are well around here since I last posted. We have paid off my tires and owe $400 on DH's. Final payment (no interest) is due in November. We also have about $3,000 left on our home equity line of credit. Just as that is being paid off, we will run it up again as we are going to be redoing our master bath. We have the money in savings to pay for it, but do not want to deplete it. We will work at paying it down as soon as possible.

We have been enjoying summer, much warmer weather in the NW than usual, thus running the a/c a lot more too.

Since we took our big vacation for the year back in April, we did a 3 day road trip in July to visit Crater Lake in Southern Oregon and then headed over to the coast for a night. We are also looking a doing a short trip to Vegas in mid October.

DD1 is living in her college town, working and taking classes. DD2 came home for the summer in mid June. She will head back to college in mid Sept. She was lucky enough to get a job transfer from her college town up to the franchise in our town for the summer. She will also be returning back to the store in her college town when she heads back.

I guess that's it for now. Am really going to try to be better about posting. Lot's of things to share!

Off to update my sidebar Smile

Cancelled the paper

May 20th, 2014 at 07:57 pm

We are cancelling our newspaper subscription. Our paper went to a F,S & S edition with an "extra" edition on Wed. We signed the card to get the Wed paper and it came once and has never come again. DH also hates the new format. They changed it, I imagine to save some money. I like it but DH doesn't. We have also had problems with delivery.

That will be a savings of $12.50 a month.

I imagine we will pick up a Saturday edition or a Sunday edition for the coupons. We are usually out and about at some point, so it won't be a wasted trip.

Back to blogging/updates

May 18th, 2014 at 07:47 pm

Hi SA friends!

Well I am back to blogging. Finally feel in the mood Smile

I updated my side bar figuring it was time as I still had 2013 goals on there.

You will notice a little debt. The story behind the tires...first mine...back in February, I had 2 nails in one of my tires....DH also noticed my tires were pretty bald. My vehicle (2010 Ford Escape), it would seem was due for some new tires after 4 years. We went ahead and got them...0% interest for 6 months. DH's tires are another story. In 2012, he gave up his Ford Fusion for a more economical car (Ford Focus). He loves cars, and really wanted to add a bit of 'dash" to the Focus. He doesn't really have any hobbies, and rarely spends money on himself, so he wanted to use his bonus for new tire and wheels. I didn't feel like I could say no, so he shopped around and got new tires and wheels. Again, we are at 0% interest for 6 months. On both sets of tires, we also got visa rebate gift cards.

With $38K in savings, you might wonder why we don't just pay them off....I definately would, but DH thinks it's better just to keep the money in savings since we are not paying any interest. They WILL be paid off at the end of the promotion though. I have just divided the payment into 6 months, and they will be gone. I just hate having it hang over our heads, and it's one more bill to remember to pay. We have purchased many, many things over the years on promotions like this and have never paid a penny of interest.

Our home equity line of credit should be paid off in about 5 months...just in time to start a new remodel project...lol...that's another post.

My mom is still giving me the $500 a month...for now, I just put it into savings. We have had some big visa bills the past few months, mainly from our recent vacation and a few other purchases, (a new mattress for one)however, I have been able to pay in full each month, but have had to transfer some from savings. I hope with this months bill, it will be the last time we will have to do that and we will be able to start earmarking the $500 for something else.

That's about it for now Smile

Feeling meh & a few vacation pictures

May 1st, 2014 at 07:33 pm


St Maarten

Pretty sunset

The Pitons in St Lucia

I've been feeling kind of blah lately and haven't felt much like posting.

We had a great vacation, so I thought I would share a few pics.

Hope you enjoy them Smile



Back from vacation......

April 14th, 2014 at 02:46 pm

We had a great time, but unfortunately, I am feeling really cruddy today. I started feeling ill on the 2nd leg of our flight home.

Woke up today and still feel yucky. I feel fine for a while and then all of a sudden start to feel awful again. Managed to get to the grocery store and fill up my tank though. DH was a sweetie and got all the laundry in the washer and dryer, dropped books off for me at the library, and went to the post office for the mail .He also mowed the lawn.

I hope I can make it to work tomorrow.

Will try to update vacation numbers soon.

An unexpected credit...

March 31st, 2014 at 06:43 am

First off, thanks for the info about taking food on the plane....I knew you couldn't take liquids (until passing security) so I have no idea why I thought you couldn't take food. Our last few vacations have been long flying times and I can't believe I didn't know this.....this really helps a lot and I am excited to be able to bring some healthy snacks and food!

I received an email awhile back from Barnes and Noble about a settlement and that I would be receiving a credit soon. It has something to do with the Nook (and possibly other e-readers) so I was pleasantly surprised to receive my credit this weekend of $16.00! I loaded it on my account along with a $25 gift card from my birthday so I have $41 to spend. Obviously, this comes as a great time with several long planes rides coming up. I found a couple of books I loaded last night and have a few more in mind to finish up the credit. Yipee!

Using it up and vacation meal planning.....

March 30th, 2014 at 07:56 pm

We will be leaving on vacation next Saturday, so I decided to get creative in the kitchen for the coming week. I went to the store this morning and only bought a few fresh produce items (apples, banana's, strawberries, raspberries and a cucumber) I have milk, eggs, cereal, bread, cheese, lunch meat, a few frozen entree's and some canned soup)to get us through for breakfast and lunches, along with the fresh fruit. If we run out, we have canned fruit we can use. Dinners will be using odds and ends from the freezer and pantry...nothing fancy, but enough for Monday through Friday.

We plan to eat breakfast at the airport on Saturday morning and buy some snacks for the plane ride. Our first leg is almost 5 1/2 hours with no meal. We will have a little less than 1 1/2 hours before our next flight which is almost 4 1/2 hours to grab a bite to eat, and then that will be it....we do not get to our final destination until 9:40 pm, so I doubt we are going to want to eat that late. I hate the thought of buying snacks at the airport due to the cost, but I don't think we would get through security with food in our carry on's and I am sure not waiting until we land to eat. I get a little cranky when I am super hungry Smile

We will spend the night in a hotel and part of the reason we chose it was because they offer a hot breakfast in the morning. It will be nice not to have to find a place to eat. We will board the ship in the early afternoon so our meals will be set for the duration of the trip. Our only other meal should be lunch during our layover on the way home (we will eat breakfast before disembarking), but we may have to purchase some more snacks for the flights home as it is another 10 hour travel day with no meal service once again.



Quick check in....financial & fitness

March 14th, 2014 at 06:51 am

Not much new on the financials....having low/no spends days....it's not hard during the week, but is harder on the weekends when we have more free time.

Paid the water/sewer bill on Wednesday and also the garbage bill. DH and I both needed gas on Thursday, other than that, no spending except my iced coffee addiction.....I am working on that!

Workouts are going well....this week I went Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday...took Tuesday off as my stomach was bothering me....been doing cardio (at least 40 min) and some form of weights (working a different body part each night).

Seems to be paying off...I have lost 2 pounds and definately feel slimmer....I think I haven't lost as much weight as it is all turning to muscle.

Happy Friday friends!

Updates...financial and fitness

March 9th, 2014 at 08:38 pm

First....fitness...worked out 6 out of 7 days last week....M,T,W,TH,Sat,Sun....took Friday off! Working on the treadmill for 40 min and then doing weights of some sort. Stepping on the scale tomorrow to see if anything has happened. I don't think I lost much (if any), but I definately feel slimmer.

Finances...on autopilot....not much new to report. My mom is still gifting us the $500 per month. For now, it is going directly into the savings. I will be increasing my SEP IRA at work tomorrow.

Working on plans for the next 4 weeks. Making lists of what needs to be accomplished before we leave on vacation. Financial, household, and personal.

I am really looking forward to getting away! So glad it is coming up soon, AND that is is paid in full!

Mortgage payment & workout

March 5th, 2014 at 08:53 pm

Paid the mortgage today...with an extra $82 going to principal. Just received another $25 reward from Wells Fargo that will be applied to the principal.

We have received 2 rewards so far this year as we have spent quite a bit on the card. We have charged our upcoming vacation and a new mattress which has really added up.

We get 1% back on all purchases and when we reach $25, we have it applied to the principal.

To be clear, we always pay the statement balance off each month and never pay any interest.

Work out today: 45 min treadmill (392 calories burned)
also work ab's.

Have exercised 3/5 days so far.

Fitness goals

March 5th, 2014 at 06:44 am

Hi all!

I haven't been online much and when I finally did, it appeared SA was down.

So I promised I would post my fitness goals and here they are....I am dating mine from 3/1/2014 to 4/4/2014 as we are leaving 4/5/2014 for our cruise....that gives me 5 weeks to work on the goals.

Work out: 25 days (more if possible)

This will be a combination of treadmill and weights.

So far:

3/3/2014: 45 min treadmill & worked abs and legs (calories burned 378)

3/4/2014: 45 min treadmill & worked abs and shoulders (calories burned 388)

On the treadmill my incline is between 8.5 and 9.0 with a pace of 3.1 to 3.2.

I will weigh myself once a week (on Monday's)

Rooting for all my fellow SA friends who are working on their own goals....we can do it!

Got my ticket reduced!

February 19th, 2014 at 08:24 pm

Went to take care of my ticket on Tuesday. No more do you have to see the judge (I guess it's been a long time since I've had a ticket). Went through security, got in line, went to the counter, the gal ran my driving record and said I can reduce it to $130 (it was originally $260). I whipped out the debit card, paid and was out of there in less than 10 minutes. I was sure happy about that!

Did I mention that about 4 days after I got the ticket, they put a big long speed hump so people can no longer turn left? The no left turn sign is still there though....ugh....

Glad it's all done and taken care of.

My dad's in the hospital.....crazy days

February 12th, 2014 at 08:32 pm

It's been a crazy past few days....my dad was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday somewhat unexpectedly. He is having some surgery on Friday so won't be home until Saturday or Sunday.

First we had the snow/ice storm hit Thursday afternoon. I left early that day. On Friday, my birthday, we ended up having to go get new tires for my car. My low tire pressure light came on Thursday and when DH checked my tires, he found 2 nails in one, and discovered that the others were bald. Found a good deal and we were able to get them on that afternoon.

Sunday, we went to see my parents (1 mile away), dad was having an issue and we offered to take him to urgent care but he refused. We did convince him to make an appointment with his doctor on Monday afternoon. I had a mandatory meeting on Monday morning at work from 8:30 to 11:30 and then I left early. There was still so much snow, there is no way they could have gotten out of their driveway. Got over to the doctor, they saw him and did a few things, wanted him to see a specialist on Tuesday. Got that all set up, and took the day off from work. Got them over there and did paperwork, after the appointment they decided to admit him to the hospital. Had to take them home to pack and eat lunch, go back to get them, get to hospital and got him checked in and then took my mom back home after he was settled and all. Exhausting day. I am just grateful I am able to be there for them and that it appears (fingers crossed) all will be well.

DH received a cash reward at work for an idea that was implemented. His work will do that if you suggest something and they put it in to place. He got $30 so he took me to dinner at Panera (we just got one in our town....I love it there). It was welcome after the previous few days.

Thank goodness all the snow and ice is gone! Today we are back to typical winter in the NW...rain! It feels like a heatwave at 50 degrees!

It's my birthday..who ordered snow? Not me!

February 7th, 2014 at 10:42 am

So it's my birthday today.....I'm another year older and hopefully maybe a little wiser....lol

Enjoying a snow day today at home I was going to take the day off, but then decided not to since we only work half a day anyway on Fridays. We got hit with a snowstorm on Thursday. Luckily we only got about 3 inches in Portland, but the snow really packed down and it is very cold out. The college town where my daughter's are got 9 inches (kind of like right before Christmas and finals week where we got nothing and they got 9 inches). Only 2 people that I know of were going into work today...one was going to be picked up by the owner of the clinic who has a 4 wheel drive truck. The rest of us live out in the suburbs and nobody wanted to chance it going in..especially since more is supposedly on the way. Luckily we were all able to leave early yesterday. It was slow going on the way home...took double the time to get home but thankful everyone was safe and sound. By Sunday it is suppose to warm up and actually rain...something we have seen very little of around here this winter. It has been dry and cold. Still, I am thankful...so many of you have had a never ending Winter Frown

DH and I are going to head out for a birthday dinner later though....I have a Ford Escape that is a 4 wheel drive so we should be just fine.

I'm going to enjoy my unexpected 3 day weekend Smile

Birthday freebies.....

February 4th, 2014 at 07:48 pm

So my birthday is on Friday. I have received several emails for freebies and/or discounts at several restaurants.

Panera (free pastry)
Red Robin (free burger)
Roadhouse Grill ($10 off an entree)
Red Lobster ($5 off an entree)

Of course, some of these require spending money, but I am always happy to get an entree free or at least a discount. DH and I do go out to dinner at least once a week, usually on Friday or Saturday....sometimes we are really naughty and go out on Friday and Saturday.

Maybe being empty nesters isn't so good for the pocketbook Smile

What a scam.....

February 3rd, 2014 at 06:38 am

DH told me he received a call from Chase, letting him know that his debit and credit card had been locked and to call them right away....you had to punch in some number, ect, ect.

The scam? We don't have Chase. Of course he didn't do it.

Makes me wonder how many people actually do fall for these types of scams....my guess? Actually more than one would think.

Sad

My not so frugal day...traffic ticket.....

January 20th, 2014 at 08:12 pm

Boo! I had a pretty darn good day today until I stopped on my way home at Office Depot. We were out of printer paper so I popped in on my way home from work....I was also happy to get 100 shopkick points.

Well I decided to go out one way and wished I would have gone the other!

I took at left when I wasn't suppose to....in all fairness, there is a sign that says no left turn....but everyone and I mean everyone in our town takes a left pulling out of this particular lot. In fact, people waiting for the light to the right actually leave space for people to take a left.

My bad luck I guess...$260 and a court date of Feb 18th...hopefully I can get it reduced.

No excuses, but still, a crappy way to end my day!

I even had a friend on facebook wonder if anyone had ever been caught....well now she knows someone who has...ha ha

I cheered myself up with a cookie and Sunday nights episode of Downtown Abbey.

I'm such a criminal....lol

Menu plan for the week

January 12th, 2014 at 04:44 pm

Jumping on the band wagon along with everyone else:

Chicken soft tacos
French dips
Omelettes
Barbequed Meatballs with rice
Ham

All dinners above will have one or two sides with them.....as long as I have the main part of dinner planned, I can easily do the sides....usually a salad, veggies or fruit or a combo of both.

I find menu planning to be especially helpful during the work week as we like to eat early, rest our tummies and then head to the gym. I like to get my work out done and have some time to relax when we get home before bed.

Happy New Year from Oregon

December 31st, 2013 at 10:27 pm

So it's about 10:20pm here on the West coast. I am just hanging out by myself....DH is in bed (he has to work New Year's Day) and the DD's are out with their friends celebrating. I'm not bummed we are not going out...we never do. I would rather just stay home and be cozy.

We ended up pretty much meeting the 2013 goals. We paid off both cars and a new wedding ring for me. We didn't up DH's 401K contribution to 15% but we did increase mine which probably made up for the 1%.

If it were not for my parents and their most generous gift, we would not have made the savings goal.

We would have been debt free except for the mortgage, except we took out the home equity loan to renovate a bathroom and laundry room. I don't regret this as those rooms were going to need renovating at some point. We will not be staying in this house long term....we have been here 16 1/2 wonderful years, but will be looking to downsize at some point in our closer to retirement years.

Looking forward to 2014!

My generous parents

December 29th, 2013 at 08:43 pm

DH and I enjoyed a very Merry Christmas courtesy of my very loving and generous parents. They gifted me with a check for $10K and DH received a check for $5K.

These funds for now, are sitting in the savings account. We would not have met that goal if it were not for them.

Plans for the money include making a large payment on the home equity line we took out in October for some home renovations. (I have already made one $500 payment).

We are also planning a cruise for April.

Next blog post will be about 2014

Bathroom/laundry remodel pics

December 19th, 2013 at 08:23 pm

So...here they are! We are really happy with how everything turned out.

The bathroom that was remodeled was the girls. I wish I had a before pic that showed it decorated, but oh well. It was a pretty grey/purple color with purple towels and rugs.

We also did the laundry room which is upstairs. I love, love, love having a laundry room upstairs.

Both rooms/projects cost approximately $12,000. Labor, materials,counter tops,mirror, paint, fixtures, tub, toilet, 2 sinks, new flooring, new towels & bathmats and few miscellaneous items. The last thing to do is redo the cabinets. We like the space they offer so we didn't want to replace them.














Got my Christmas bonus!

December 16th, 2013 at 08:53 pm

It was slightly smaller than last year, but that's ok....I feel so lucky to even receive one at all.

It was $1000. It has gone into savings for now.

I am not counting on a raise in January at my review. There are some big changes coming to healthcare next year and it is going to be costly for healthcare employers.

I am not just talking about the new healthcare plans. There is also going to be a new medical coding system in place starting in October.

We also may be looking at getting an electronic medical records system. That will be very expensive, not to mention the training it will involve.

So for now, I am just feeling thankful for what I have and for what I have been blessed with.

Awesome deal this weekend!

December 15th, 2013 at 06:26 pm

I got an awesome deal on a pair of boots for DD2 for Christmas. She had a pair of black boots (the kind that go up to the knee) and she just loved them. She took them to college and the zipper on one of them broke about a month into school.

I was at Fred Meyer on Saturday and they had their boots for 60% off....plus an apparel coupon for an extra 30% off.

Score!

A $70 pair of boots for $20!

I did text her a picture of them though, because I wanted to make sure she liked them. She is kind of picky and I didn't want to buy a pair she didn't like...now I just hope they fit her Smile

I did get a gift receipt but if she has to take them back, I am not sure what she will find...they were clearing out their stock of boots so fingers crossed they fit her well!

Feeling very blessed & what a day

December 4th, 2013 at 08:23 pm

I blogged a while back about my mom giving me $500 a month....she has been doing this for about 4 months now.....not really sure why, she just says cause she loves us. My sister gets the same amount, my brother (due to some family issues) gets nothing.

We have been throwing the money into savings for now.

Today I received a check for $2000!

That also will be going into savings for now to replenish after paying property taxes in November.

I had a few nice things happen today, all before 9:00. I stopped at Starbucks and the person in front of me paid for my drink....how nice....so....I paid for the person behind me. Wonder how long it went on?

I drove by and found out that a Panera is coming to our town....oh happy day...I love that place! Rarely get it unless we go to the mall (which we do not very often).

And finally, several co-workers complimented me and said I looked like I had lost weight/toned up. All that work at the (new) gym membership must be paying off a bit.

I would say this has been a great day! Smile


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