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Archive for October, 2017

A Lazy Sunday

October 15th, 2017 at 09:18 pm

I've spent another day just hanging out inside. I did take several trips up and down the steps to do laundry, but otherwise I have rested.

I ordered my $50 worth of OTC supplies from OTC-Essentials (a Medicare Advantage benefit). I ordered two bottles of Tylenol, some cold packs, a digital thermometer, wipes, dairy supplements and Epsom salts. I added $50 to my snowflakes. I've also earned $9 from Pine Cone this month, which also went to snowflakes.

C's son is here and her sister is on the way, so I am laying low today. I may take her some chicken noodle soup tomorrow, if I can goad myself into making it tonight.

I had a poor night's sleep, but took a nap in the early afternoon.

The best news of all -- the heat is on! I opened all the radiators last night, and this morning I smelled that familiar burnt-socks smell when the radiators first come on. So nice to be comfortable inside.

No-Spend Day

October 14th, 2017 at 11:00 pm

Just a quiet, no-spend day. It's rained all day long, so I just stayed inside all day. I finished my audible book, made tuna salad, and didn't do much else.

I got $10 cash back from Discover and transferred it to my bank account.

I heard from my sister. It's been two years since I've seen her, so I'm trying to find a cheap flight for her to come at Thanksgiving. She never has any money. At all. Poor income, poor management, poor attitude. She won't ever change, so if I ever want to see her, I have to fly her in. I'm okay with it. It is what it is.

She told me about a host of problems -- husband's surgery, damaged floors, broken toilet, etc. etc. etc. She gets food from a food bank. She sees a psychiatrist -- I assume through some social agency -- but I have little hope they are really talking about what they should be talking about. She is an expert at diverting the conversation.

That said, I still want to see her, and I think a break from her grim routine will be good for her. But I'm not finding anything under $300, and that's too much for me. I set up an alert and I'm hoping for the best. My brother said he would help, which is good news -- he wasn't willing last year. Not that I blamed him -- we all have to come to our own decisions when we have a family member like this.

I haven't heard anything from DIL today about C, and I haven't asked. I assume she will call me if I am needed. I will check in tomorrow if I haven't heard anything by then.

Usually I don't mind a rainy day, but I'm ready for it to end. Part of the problem is that the boiler hasn't been turned on yet, so I'm cold in my condo. I've wrapped myself in a quilt most of the day. It's always like this in the fall, but I never get used to it. The good news is that when the boiler finally gets turned on I have amazing heat! I just have to be patient.

Not Good

October 14th, 2017 at 12:37 am

Today was a bad day for C; too much pain. Hospice needs to step up with a new plan. I stayed with her while DIL ran errands (C slept the whole time). C really wants DIL to be with her all the time when she feels so bad, but it's so hard for her to do that, emotionally as well as logistically. I feel so bad for all of them.

It was a good day money-wise, though. I spent nothing, and I got a $7 rebate in the mail. And last night I avoided paying for parking at the Tae Kwan Do lesson, so that was a win.

It's turned quite cool -- as it should in the fall. I've pulled out my comforter, and the extra warmth is helping me to sleep better. The air conditioners are still in the windows, and I really need to put them away, but they're so heavy, and my knees are so weak. I wish they were on wheels!

Thursday Stuff

October 12th, 2017 at 05:06 pm

Went to the gym and then got gas -- $22. The gas cost $2.38 a gallon, and my receipt shows I saved .03. What? I guess that's all I earned from Food4Less this month.

Then I spent a couple of hours with C and then came home to make lunch -- sausage rolls and tomato casserole.

Later today I'm picking up the boys from school, and since the weather isn't very nice, I may take them to visit C. We'll have to see how she feels, and if they are in the mood. I feel like a short visit will do them all good.

I learned that my gym payment has been going to the wrong facility. It wasn't anything I did -- I've never gone to any Planet Fitness but this one -- but a few months ago, when I got my pass replaced because the bar code was scratched up, the attendant did something that actually transferred my membership to another branch. So today I had to sign up all over again, and I've been assured I will have no extra fees. Believe me, I'm going to watch.

Variables are now 70%. I am cautiously hopeful I will come in under.

PetSmart Run

October 11th, 2017 at 05:27 pm

This morning I took the zucchini bread to C, went to the gym, and then went to PetSmart to stock up. I bought two boxes of kitty litter, a big bag of dry cat food and a box of canned food. Then I noticed that their supply of $5 Christmas kitties was in. That would be stuffed kitties, of course. I buy two every year for my son's labs, so I thought I would get it done early. I want to mail their Christmas box at the beginning of Decmember this year. So two kitties went into the cart, and the total was $70. Yikes! The litter was on sale, too!

Tomorrow I'll get gas, and I think that will take care of all the necessities for this month. Variables are at 67%, with two weeks to go.

It's cool and rainy. I don't intend to go out again today, so I put on tonight's pajamas! Might as well -- it saves on laundry.

I had zucchini bread for breakfast and just made sausage rolls for lunch. (Burned the sausage a bit, but it wasn't bad!) Dinner will be leftover tomato casserole. I still have spinach to use up, so tomorrow, for one of my meals, I'll make spinach-cheese quesadillas. I share this mostly so I will remember to do it!

No child care today; DIL is off of work, but I'm on tomorrow, for after school and for transportation to Tae Kwan Do. I've had a nice break, though!

Bagel Day

October 10th, 2017 at 03:31 pm

Today was bagel day at the gym! Hoorah! Love a free breakfast. Today's lunch will be BLT sliders and dinner will be tomato casserole. I also must make time today to make the zucchini bread, which I didn't get made yesterday.

On the way home I stopped at Jewel and bought some dishwasher detergent and a couple of packages of Command hooks -- $14. I have some pictures to rehang. One in particular has jumped off the wall several times, so there is something off about the frame. I would like to get this wall hanging reframed -- it is an old sampler, that either my grandmother or great-grandmother made. It needs to be preserved better, but that will be an expense down the road. Next month's big expense will be paying for my physical therapy, and after that is Christmas, plus a couple of birthdays.

On the bright side, I'm enjoying all the free entertainment that's coming my way. Now that the fall season has started, there is plenty of TV to watch. I'm listening to my audible book, and playing games on my new tablet. Of course none is this is completely free; I'm paying for services and devices that make it possible, but there is no out of pocket cost.

Well, I'd better start shredding that zucchini! I hope to make enough to take a loaf to C.

Columbus Day

October 9th, 2017 at 03:31 pm

Just got back from the gym, Food4Less, and McDonald's. At Food4Less I spent $13 on granola bars, sausage, rolls, raspberries, carrots, celery, and macaroni. At McDonald's I bought two sausage biscuits for $2. I thought it was a special deal -- didn't realize I could have bought one for $1. Oh well. The second went into the freezer. I was too hungry to wait to make breakfast at home.

I took C some chicken pot pie yesterday and we went to GS1's baseball game. It was a perfectly lovely day. Unfortunately, our team lost pretty badly. I think he has only one more baseball game, but quite a few more flag football games.

My variables are already up to 54%, so it's time to dial back and only buy necessities. I know some pet food/supply expenses are coming up, as well as a fill-up at the gas station.

Since today is Columbus Day, my son is home from work, and I won't have after-school duty. I've already done my obligations, so I'm home for the day. I think I will make some zucchini bread. And I have to do icky things like mop, vacuum and clean the fish tank. Later, though, later! Smile

Haircut & a Good Book

October 7th, 2017 at 03:57 pm

Got my haircut yesterday; it was my only spending. $16.50, including tip. I had a $3 coupon, but gave a $3 tip, so I came out even, really. The price of haircuts has gone up a bit, but I want to stick with my stylist.

I got an email yesterday that an audible book I had on hold from the library was finally available. I'm listening to it on my computer, because I don't know how to get it on my tablet or phone. I guess I would have to download the app and also get email on my devices. I kind of gave up on email on my phone some time ago, because I got so much junk; it was very annoying to be constantly "pinged" for another ad.

Anyway, it's a really good book -- The Chemist, by Stephenie Meyer. Turns out she is the author of the Twilight series, which never really interested me, but I like this, at least so far. It's a spy thriller; not a vampire to to be found. I rather enjoy just listening to a book. I can read without the cats trying to knock the book out of my hands!

Well That Was Weird

October 6th, 2017 at 03:30 pm

After all my complaining about my new tablet, I opened it yesterday morning to find that the immovable screen was gone and for the first time I got to see my home page. Everything seems to be okay, except that I see there is an icon for that kids' service, so it looks like they pushed it to me. It's free for a year, so I just have to remember to cancel it.

I downloaded Candy Crush and a Scrabble game -- I think it's just called Words. I'll investigate the e-reader part of it later. I am interested in the audible content, too; that would be handy for trips.

I washed a load of towels yesterday ($1.50), and in the evening I took my grandson to Tae Kwan Do, which cost me $1 in parking. So it was a pretty cheap day.

Today I'm going to get my hair cut.

I went to the gym early this morning -- as soon as I realized I'd left my phone in the car overnight! I decided as long as I had to navigate the stairs I might as well go get my workout done. Then I went to Food4Less and spent $11. I bought a bag of tomatoes and a bag of zucchini for .99 each. I also picked up a frozen pizza, a bag of popcorn, a bag of frozen soup veggies, and a can of Grands-type biscuits. I'm planning to make a chicken pot pie with the veggies and biscuits. Probably not till tomorrow, since the chicken needs to thaw. Today I'm going to have cheese quesadillas and spinach salad for lunch and dinner. I already ate a really good breakfast of fried eggs, broiled tomato, and a roll.

There is quite a bit of zucchini in the bag, so I think making zucchini bread is in my future.

I also stopped at Chase and picked up two rolls of quarters. I don't have to do laundry yet, but my quarter stash was running low.

No childcare duty today, so I plan to do more resting and reading. That's my version of R&R!

Frustrated!

October 5th, 2017 at 12:25 pm

I got my Amazon Fire tablet, but I am not happy. It is stuck on a screen that is forcing me to sign up for a kids' service and to make an account for a child. This tablet is for me; my grandchildren will never touch it. I don't want to do this -- even if the service is free (for a year, until they start quietly charging you.) I don't like this kind of back-handed selling. When I ordered it, I saw nothing about this except that it included "special offers" which I assumed were ads that could be swiped away. I literally cannot make this screen go away with signing up, and I can't use the damn tablet at all.

There is a tech number to call, but I'm steamed. I feel like returning it, but I've already entered my account information on it and I can't wipe it -- I can't do anything but look at that stupid screen demanding I sign up a child.

Time again to share how much I hate modern technology. The technology itself is wonderful, when it works, but the way it is handled to fool and bilk customers is shameful.

Has anyone else faced this problem?

In other news, I took the boys to Noodles & Co. yesterday to the tune of $21. I've got to stop this. I've got to start grocery shopping with the boys in mind so that I can feed them without going out. The good news is that they did not want to go to the movie I offered, so I wasn't out any more than I expected to be.

At least I came home with a small serving of mac & cheese that I will have for lunch. And C and her sister provided me with dinner last night. C is getting a lot of food from friends and neighbors and I think she is a bit challenged in using it up.

Today I'm off duty with the boys. They are going to my nephew's house after school to play with their cousins, which will make a nice break for all of us.

My knees are suddenly bad again. I can only assume I climbed stairs too much yesterday, but I am pretty much stuck with having to do that. I am planning not to go out all day today, so that they can settle down again.

My allergies are kicking up again, too, but that's because I've been lax about taking Zyrtec. Too much going on -- I'm forgetting to take care of myself. So I just took a dose, and I plan to do nothing today but relax and catch up on sleep if I can.

Feeling Better

October 4th, 2017 at 12:16 pm

Yesterday I had the opportunity to stay home all day after my morning workout. It made a difference. My knees are feeling better.

Today the grandsons only have a half day of school. Of course, they are dismissed at different times, because my younger grandson has swimming lessons after school. So I am picking up one at 11 and the other at 1. Then they will be in my care until DIL is off work at 4. I am thinking about treating them to the Lego Ninjago movie.

This evening I will have dinner with C, her sister, and my DIL.

Sleep was very interrupted last night. I fell asleep around 9, woke up at 11:30, read until 2, and then had fitful sleep until 5:30 this morning. At least I finally finished Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix. On to the next!

I really wish Banker Gurl would check in. I don't like it that she was in Las Vegas this weekend, and we haven't heard from her.

Too Much Outgo

October 3rd, 2017 at 03:43 pm

Yesterday after I picked up the boys, I learned that DIL had to go to the airport to pick up her aunt. I usually keep the boys until 4:15 or so, but yesterday I needed to wait until my son came home, which was more like 5:30. The boys were hungry after school, so I took them to Subway, and the three of us ate for $16. That was an unexpected expense. I could have taken them home and rustled up something, but frankly, I didn't feel like it.

Today I went to Walgreens to get my AARP deal on toiletries that I need. Well, I got SORT of a deal, because everything I bought was on sale -- but the cashier said that the AARP 20% discount did not apply because it was only for non-sale items. Darn. I might have done better had I picked out cheaper non-sale items and got the discount. As it was, I paid $24 for two large bottles of shampoo, two bottles of body wash, and a stick of deodorant. At least I will be clean and sweet-smelling for a while!

It seems to me I have received the AARP discount before on sale items (I never buy anything full price!) But I didn't have the fine print with me and couldn't argue.

At least I am getting close to my $5 reward. 710 points to go, out of 5,000.

I went on to the gym and did my modified workout.

As far as I know, I am not doing after school care today, so I plan to stick close to home and rest.

I had toast for breakfast, and I'm planning to have yesterday's Planet Fitness pizza for lunch, along with spinach salad. Dinner will be turkey manhattan, which, for you non-Midwesterners is a diner meal consisting of bread, turkey slices, gravy and mashed potatoes. Pure comfort food.

I slept very poorly last night and I hope I can nap today. C is with her sister now and is being well taken care of. It is heartwarming how her friends and family are pitching in.

Splurge Spending

October 2nd, 2017 at 01:31 pm

I certainly didn't like waking up to the news of carnage in Las Vegas. I know several of our own are frequent visitors -- I hope everyone in our group is safe and sound, and my heart goes out to the injured and families of the victims.

Yesterday I did my splurge spending for the month. I bought an Amazon Fire tablet for $54 -- it will be delivered tomorrow. My other splurge was $40 to attend a professional workshop. I don't expect I will be working any more, but the conference happens to be taking place in my suburb, and one of the tracks is being led by an old friend I would like to see again. So I guess I am going mostly for the social aspect.

I did not make the run to Jewel yesterday because my DIL needed to use my car. No great loss.

My other spending was $1.50 for laundry. I need to do one more load of towels, and then I will be caught up.

Today is pizza day at Planet Fitness. I'll try to make it there, but I will probably be watching the boys after school, so I may miss that window of opportunity. No matter, I need to go to the gym anyway, pizza or not. I took yesterday off, because I stretched too enthusiastically on Saturday, and my legs were really hurting yesterday. They still hurt today, but they are better. I have to remember to stretch very gently. My legs are so sensitive.

Forgot to say -- I also paid my annual condo insurance -- $206 -- it was withdrawn yesterday. It doesn't come from variables. Variables are at 38% now.

More Shopping and Phone Problem

October 1st, 2017 at 01:37 pm

Took C to GS1's baseball game, then afterwards went to the gym and then to Food4Less. I spent $13 for broccoli, peppers, tortillas, apple, raspberries and dinner rolls.

Today I'll go to Jewel to get my freebie and to buy popcorn.

On Tuesday I'll go to Walgreens for AARP discount day (20%) and get the toiletries I need. I think that will conclude my shopping for a while.

Variables are now 20%.

I continue to have problems getting calls on my phone. I don't know why a dead space has developed after years of adequate service, but I can't receive or make calls from my living room, which is where I am most of the time. It's not my service provider, either, because others with different providers have the same problem in my living room. So something external has changed -- some cell tower has been moved, or something like that.

I have decided to get a tablet, so I can use it for the games I like when I'm lounging in the living room, and I can leave my cell phone in the areas of the condo where service works. I think it's the cheapest solution. If I want to yack on the phone (which I mostly don't, I'm not a phone talker) I can do it in relative comfort in my bedroom.

My son said he thought I could get a tablet for about $50. Does that jive with you guys? I know nothing about tablets.

Today my grandson has another baseball game, and it is out of town. Last I heard, it was iffy if even he was going, because he's been invited to a birthday party he really wants to attend. If he plays, and if C wants to go, I will go, but otherwise I may sit it out. My knees are aching -- too much stretching yesterday? I feel like a day of relaxation is in order.

Have a great Sunday, guys!