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Archive for August, 2018

Four Days Till Pay Day

August 18th, 2018 at 04:49 am

So I've got four days till pay day. I want to spend as little as possible during that time.

I'm planning to make roll-ups of crescent rolls and taco meat and cheese today. I still have plenty of frozen chicken, a can of tuna, and the makings for sausage biscuits. I also hope to have the time to make bread today.

I made granola yesterday.

I'm going to go back to the gym after a too-long break. Traveling, getting sick, and grandma duty has taken its toll on my regular schedule. The gym is several miles away, and when I get in the car I will probably see that I will have to put gas in it if I want to get around safely.

I also need to go to the library, which is in the opposite direction.

I'm making a list of things I need to get after pay day: cat food, kitty litter, aquarium filters, haircut, and a run to Aldi to stock up. Birthday presents for my grandson and granddaughter. A jelly thermometer.

I forgot to mention that during my travels I found .55. And I was able to do laundry for free during that time.

My son and DIL need my storage space -- they have to clear out C's storage area for the new tenant. I am fine with it, since I've been clearing out anyway for the garage sale. And this way, I will for sure get my son's help for bringing up the boxes, which I have to go through anyway.

Home to Stay

August 17th, 2018 at 09:15 am

I just got back from Indiana. The funeral was lovely, and it was very nice to get to know BFF's family better.

There was a dinner in the church after the funeral, so my only spending was $9 for meals on the road. I did not have to fill the tank again. (Though I will soon.)

I have the weekend to rest before I start taking care of the boys again next week. School starts the following Monday.

Variables are at 73%. I hope the next few days are low-spend. I should get groceries, but I'm going to try to be creative instead.

Back Home -- Briefly

August 15th, 2018 at 01:21 pm

I drove home from Michigan this morning, but tomorrow it's back on the road again to go to the funeral in Indiana.

My stay at my brother's house was lots of fun. Aside from the swimming and boating which we usually do, we also went blueberry picking. I picked 2 1/2 lbs. for $5. My kids took advantage of the dune buggy rides. My brother cooked us great meals, and we also went out to eat for one lunch. I also got to meet my friend P for lunch.

My vacation spending:

$28 for gas
$38 for pizza (treated one night)
$14 for restaurant meal
$7 for road food
$5 for blueberries
$18 for groceries

It was pretty cheap. My brother very sweetly did not want me to pay for the pizza, but I felt he had done enough cooking and needed a break!

I came home to an unhappy cat in a warm condo, but it was not terrible. I had left the windows cracked and the fans running.

While I was gone, I was awarded by ComEd $3.60 for keeping my consumption low on a peak savings day.

I also got a mystery shop payment for $39.

I ran out of reading material, and bought a book at Barnes & Noble, but I had gift cards to cover it.

Variables are 70%. And I still have another trip to go. But I may have enough gas to cover it, and I shouldn't have to eat out -- unless the family chooses to eat out after the funeral is over, which is a possibility. I'm not family, but I am invited.

Only one week till pay day.

And only a week and a half till school starts! I'll be glad to go back to a fall schedule, much as I love spending time with the boys.

Getting Ready

August 11th, 2018 at 04:39 am

Well, another no-spend day yesterday, and now it's the day to head north to Michigan. I'm going to try to get out of here by noon or so.

I slept poorly last night, as I often do before traveling. Think I might have gotten five hours.

My grandson and I packed my trunk with garage sale boxes yesterday. I won't have the time or the help to load up the car after I come back from Michigan, and I can't take a trip to Indiana without taking a load.

The storage unit contains at least 10 more boxes to go through. Whew!

I'll be leaving my cat for four days this time. I hate to do it, but with both my grandsons coming up to Michigan, I won't have anyone to check on him. I'll just leave lots of food and water. I'll have to check on the weather forecast to see what to do about windows/cooling etc.

I'm going to take my laundry, as it's so much easier to do it there than at home.

On the way I'll be buying bread-and-butter gifts. I plan to get a couple of loaves of their favorite bakery bread and maybe a carton of Seagram's Escapes.

Free Day Revoked

August 10th, 2018 at 04:37 am

I thought today would be a free day, but DIL has to work (because of being on vacation next week) so I have to be a grandma!

Yesterday I took GS2 to the pool. He has a pass, but I have to pay for a guest pass, which is $8. And he bought a $4 ice cream treat.

I also spent $4 on fish feeder blocks to use while I'm on vacation.

Variables are up to 50%.

Our jam-making experiment went well, I think. I haven't tasted the result, but all the jars sealed. I sent one home with GS2.

I have a question for the jam-makers here. What is the best way to skim the foam? I feel like I took too much of the jam away, while still leaving too much of the foam. I used a big shallow spoon.

It certainly was a messy job, generating lots of dishes and stickiness everywhere.

Today I have to fill the car trunk with garage sale boxes, even though I'm going to Michigan first. When I come back on Wednesday, I won't have any help. Today I'll have GS2's help. Maybe on Wednesday I can fill the back seats myself. We'll see. If only I had an elevator!

Plans & Preps

August 9th, 2018 at 06:09 am

My BFF's mom passed away yesterday morning. The funeral is planned for the 16th. I will be able to make it, but I will have to leave Michigan Wednesday morning, sleep at home, and then take off early Thursday to go the funeral. BFF says I can stay overnight at her place, as most family will be staying in hotels. But if I'm still standing, I'll drive home. It will be a long day. I live about 3 hours from both my Michigan and Indiana locations, but, of course, in opposite directions.

I ran a few more errands yesterday, getting gas ($28), bulk-size food storage bags ($16) and bread ($2). I also went to the library and got a new book to read, as well as an audiobook to listen to on the road.

I promised GS2 we would make blueberry jam today. I haven't tried to make jam for a long time -- hope it goes well.

I'll have a free day tomorrow before I head to Michigan.

The decluttering/garage sale project is going well. I have started on the last area, the basement storage area. The first box yielded mostly things for cheap sale, but one vintage item I will put on eBay. I have a growing collection of things to sell on eBay. When I finish the decluttering, I will list them, and whatever doesn't sell will go into the garage sale.

I will be glad when I can reclaim my dining room!

Late Mystery Shop

August 8th, 2018 at 06:16 am

Last night I did a mystery shop at 9:30 pm. I didn't get home till 10:15 or so (took the wrong route home) and then I had to complete the survey. So I didn't get to bed till 11, which is late for me. Of course my cat woke me up at the usual time, so I'm feeling pretty sleepy. But I can't nap; I have grandma duty today.

I did another load of laundry yesterday for $1.50.

I bought groceries for $7, using a $5 gift card from Target.

Variables are 39%.

I used my Panera gift card to buy a couple of bagels, which my grandson and I had for lunch with the rest of the sandwich spread I'd made the day before. No cost.

We had heavy rain and flash foods in the early evening which made me wonder if I should even attempt the mystery shop, but it cleared up before it was time to go.

I'll be spending more than a weekend at my brother's; he graciously invited us for the rest of the week after learning that my kids had taken vacation time at work. Don't know how I missed that conversation, but I guess I did! So I'll be contributing to the cost of feeding us next week. I'll need to get more feeder blocks for the fish and poor Iggy will have to spend some more time alone (he hates it!) And I will need to fill the tank again today.

I'll be glad when the summer draws to a close -- it will be more restful.

BFF's mother continues to hang in there. I hope she finds peace soon.

Yesterday's Spending

August 7th, 2018 at 04:56 am

Spent $1.50 on laundry yesterday after Iggy threw up on his quilt. I threw in the towels to make it a full load.

Otherwise, it was a no-spend day. I took GS2 to a local frozen yogurt shop because I had a coupon for a free serving. I didn't get any yogurt for myself.

I made sandwich filling from cream cheese, walnuts and olives, and GS2 loved it! That was a surprise -- I thought it would be too savory for him. I also added some Trader Joe's Everything seasoning.

I have a mystery shop tonight. I accepted it over the phone and didn't understand that I was assigned to be there just before the restaurant closed. It closes at 10 pm and it's about a half-hour away. I don't have much interest in eating at that time of night. I wouldn't have accepted it had I understood, but I thought he was saying I just had to be there any time before closing. This is an annoyance, but I'll do it.

There's been a misunderstanding about the Michigan trip coming up. I thought son & DIL would be working on Monday and so told my brother we would all leave on Sunday. Turns out son & DIL will be on vacation the following week and they were planning on staying longer. I honestly don't remember any discussion about a longer stay, but I admit I am getting more spacey, especially when I am feeling overwhelmed, as I have been lately. So I have a call in to my brother, which he is not returning, and I'm feeling like everyone is mad at me.

I found a double entry in my checking register -- I added my TIAA payment twice. I wondered why the balance was so high. I corrected that, and I'm still in the black. Then I made some corrections in my variables spreadsheet, and it is higher than I thought -- 36%.

As I said -- spacey!

Variables

August 6th, 2018 at 04:56 am

When I checked in last night, I forgot to report that variables are now at 32%, with 16 days to go. I am supposed to go back to Michigan this weekend, which means more gas. And I will be going back to Indiana soon for a funeral. (Not sure if I will be able to do both.) Other than that, I don't think there are any unusual expenses to worry about.

I left my AC on while I was gone this past weekend, because it was so very hot, and I didn't want my cat to suffer. The AC is still on, though summer storms are expected today and may give us some respite. So I'm sure I can expect an unusually high electric bill.

I'm still doing fine on food, as long as I'm not picky about what I eat!

Exhausted

August 5th, 2018 at 02:45 pm

I got back from my trip to Indiana about an hour ago. BFF's mom is "actively passing," as they put it in the health center, but she may hang on for a week or even two. The first time I went to see her, she was very uncomfortable and struggling in her bed. They have since shortened the interval between morphine doses and she is now much more peaceful. But she does not connect with anyone, she is in her own zone.

BFF is all over the place emotionally, which is not surprising.

When we weren't at the health center, we were cleaning and straightening the house in anticipation of overnight guests. We did go out for dinner last night, which she covered.

Her brother will arrive today and I hope he can help her through some of her mood swings and anxieties.

I will go back for the funeral, when it comes. I think she will have ample help from family until then.

It was a pretty low-spend trip. I had enough gas in the car to get there and back. I spent $14 on road food.

I'm exhausted!

Oh yes -- another expense. My tollway pass refreshed -- $40.

Spending Again

August 3rd, 2018 at 05:28 am

Went to Sam's yesterday. Filled the tank for $27 and then bought garbage bags and creamer for $25. Big containers, obviously. I decided to buy the creamer at Sam's because I seem to go through it so fast, I might as well go bulk. I also bought a $5 rotisserie chicken for my son's family. They are on a no-carb diet.

I took my grandson to IHOP for lunch, and spent $12.

So it was kind of a spendy day. Variables are up to 23%.

Today I'm heading south to be with BFF as she wrestles with the news that her mother is now in hospice. I guess I will pack a funeral outfit just in case. BFF seems to think that death is imminent. My experience is that hospice can drag out, but I guess it is better to be prepared than not.

My grandson helped me carry boxes of garage sale stuff down to the car yesterday. The trunk is almost full. The garage sale is going to be the last thing on BFF's mind, but I cannot pass up this opportunity to transport some boxes. It will take several trips to get it there, and the sale will happen eventually.

Back to Normal

August 2nd, 2018 at 06:42 am

Thank you for your get well messages!

I am better today, feeling ready to tackle grandma duty again. GS2 is coming over in about a half hour. I vacuumed the house (because he sits on the floor a lot) and now I am bushed!

My BFF's mother has just gone into hospice care. She has been in a facility a pretty long time with dementia, and she no longer recognizes her family. Her oxygen levels have diminished and she doesn't want to eat, so her team decided it was time.

BFF is thrown for a loop, even though she has been expecting this for a long time. Expecting and experiencing are two different things. I offered to go down and stay with her this weekend, but first I have to see how well I get through this day.

I did another $1.50 load of laundry yesterday -- had to, to wash a "sick" towel, so I just washed everything I could find to make a full load. I shouldn't have to do laundry again for a while.

I don't know if it was the way I was feeling, but I seem to have been in an apocalyptic mood for entertainment lately. In the last few days, I watched "The Road," "How it Ends" and five episodes of "The Rain." I guess when I'm feeling bad, it makes me feel better to see problems that are so much worse!

Better...

August 1st, 2018 at 06:00 am

It was a bad day yesterday, and I didn't sleep much last night, but this morning I woke up feeling better. I still have a stomachache but I am much improved. I did have to bow out of child care today.

I did two loads of laundry yesterday, just trying to keep up with the mess my illness was making. $3.

I found a big error in my variables table -- I neglected to remove the income I am no longer getting from the College. Duh! Kind of what Gap Year is all about. So last month, my first month of Gap Year, I actually came in at 99%. Well, at least I was still under. This month's, so far, is 13%.

I took a shower this morning, and when I get some energy back, I'll put fresh sheets on the bed. This will make such a big difference in how I feel.

I ate only crackers yesterday (which I didn't manage to keep down.) Today I had a piece of unbuttered toast. Here's hoping. This should help out my food budget, anyway.

Yesterday evening there was a concert in the park behind my building. Two different bands played music from the 60's. My window was open and I enjoyed a free concert while lying in my bed. Would have been fun to be there, if I were not feeling so bad. But I'm hopeful that I'll be almost back to normal tomorrow.