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Things to Do Today

November 22nd, 2017 at 04:09 pm

1. Pack
2. Take laundry to car
3. Buy bread & butter gifts
4. Buy kitty litter
5. Clean litter pan
6. Order gifts for Florida kids
7. Clean fish tank & put in feeder block
8. Pay bills
9. Pick up sister at airport

My son defended his thesis and completed his Master's degree yesterday! It's official! I'm so proud of him. He has done this while working full-time and continuing to be an awesome father. There may be a celebration tonight. It may or may not happen, but I will have time, since I don't have to go the airport till midnight. I just can't celebrate too hard!

Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving Day!

Day Before Pay Day

November 21st, 2017 at 04:31 pm

I've made it to the day before pay day. I don't think I will spend anything today, so I created my monthly recap:

Housing: 695
Medical/Health: 356
Gifts/Charity: 268
Eating Out: 136
Groceries: 94
Utilities: 65
Gas: 60
Phone: 52
Vet/Pet Supplies: 27
Entertainment: 20
Furnishings/Equipment/Decor: 18
Laundry: 12
Fares/Parking: 10
Clothing: 8
Household Supplies: 3

Grand Total: 1824

Variables: 94%

As expected, a big month for medical and gifts. Eating out was unusually high, but it does reflect some good times, not just runs through the driveup window. Utilities were low because the cable/internet bill did not fall within this pay cycle.

Expecting a quiet day today. Still using up food. I had oatmeal for breakfast; will have peanut soup and applesauce for lunch, and cheese quesadillas for dinner. I still have quite a bit of food in the freezer, but I'd rather not thaw anything only to have to (possibly) refreeze before I travel.


November 20th, 2017 at 07:37 pm

Not much financial news today. I just spent $1.50 on another load of laundry. I think I will do one more tomorrow, and that will be it before traveling to Michigan.

I'm using up stuff in my refrigerator, and it's looking very empty! I don't like to leave perishables in the fridge when I travel, even when it's only for a few days.

On Wednesday evening, just before midnight, I will pick up my sister at the airport and then drive the rest of the way to Michigan. Unless I feel so tired, that it will be safer to stop and get a room. I'm always okay with spending money if it is in the interest of safety.

Before I go the airport, I will get some pet supplies and perhaps get a haircut. It will be pay day, so I will pay my bills and do my Amazon shopping, too. But perhaps I should wait on the Amazon shopping. Delivery is so fast with my Prime membership. I don't want my packages delivered when I'm not here. I do live in the land of porch pirates.

Day of Wonder

November 19th, 2017 at 06:58 pm

Yesterday was a bit spendy, but a delightful day with my grandson. We went to Chili's for lunch, where we got two deals -- one, that game gizmo at the table was already loaded so my grandson could play free, and two, we got a free dessert which we shared. The free dessert came courtesy of an email I had received earlier in the day. The total cost of lunch was $18.

Then we went to see "Wonder" but the show was sold out. So I bought tickets for a later show, which took us out of the window for the matinee price. But my grandson had his heart set on it, and I wanted to see it too. The cost of the tickets was $20.

In between lunch and the later show, we hung around my place. He helped me bring up my Christmas tree from the basement, and I'm very glad to have that chore done. I probably won't decorate it till after Thanksgiving, but it's set up.

This morning I bought some coffee filters at Jewel ($2) and did a load of laundry ($1.50). I also picked up a free bag of Uncle Ben's flavored rice at Jewel, the value of which I added to my snowflakes ($3.49). Very soon now, I'll be cashing out my snowflakes for the grandkids' college funds. Even if I don't add to it, they will each get $265.

My variables now stand at 94%. I hope I will not have to spend anything tomorrow or the next day, so that I can come in under. I believe next month will be quite expensive, with more Christmas spending, a dental appointment, and some travel.

Free Chili; Passing on Haircut

November 17th, 2017 at 05:15 pm

I got another free dinner last night. After bringing my grandson home from Tae Kwan Do, my DIL gave me a bowl of chili. Today I'm going to have pan-fried salmon and a baked potato for lunch, and cheese quesadillas for dinner.

I was scheduled for a haircut today, but decided not to get it. Even though I have room for it in my variables budget, I don't feel that I really need it yet. I trimmed my bangs last week, and the shape seems to be holding up. Waiting till after payday will mean no haircut till after Thanksgiving, but I honestly think my hair looks fine, and heck, I'll only be seeing family anyway.

I noticed that my DIL had a new globe on her mantel, and it is just like the one I have wrapped up for her for Christmas. Sigh. I will have to take it back. She likes to collect globes, but I know she doesn't want duplicates. I'll try to get that done today, before the flag football game.

I lucked out at Tae Kwan Do last night, when I found a free parking place. That's two weeks in a row. I told my grandson he is my lucky charm.

Tomorrow I'm taking my younger grandson to see "Wonder." The older one will go with his class. Today I might finally go see "Murder on the Orient Express." Two movies in two days is something I haven't done in a long time! Hmmm, maybe I won't. I should wait till Bargain Tuesday, or Senior Day on Wednesday. Every penny counts!

What's an Introvert to Do?

November 16th, 2017 at 02:08 pm

As much as I like to be included in big family gatherings, I also suffer in them. Last night's birthday party for my grandson was a good example. I was in the middle of a long table, but it seemed like everyone was talking to someone else. I couldn't hear what anyone was saying, and when I did, I didn't understand what they were talking about. (TV shows they're watching and stuff on the internet). Big groups also seem to bring out the preening and showing off -- everyone trying to one up and grab the attention -- and I am so opposite; I was brought up to be humble and it is something I embrace. But if you're humble in a group, you're invisible. I don't mind not being the center of attention, but I do mind feeling invisible.

Of course, this particular group is dominated by members of my ex's family, and I will feel quite differently next week when the family is my own! I hope.

My legs hurt all night, and I wonder if the stress of my social discomfort added to the pain.

Anyway, financially speaking, it was a successful night, as my meal was paid for, and I have enough leftovers for another meal today.

I made an appointment with a new dentist yesterday, one that is within walking distance rather than 25 miles away! That appointment will come up December 1. Now I have to remember to cancel my distant appointment and get my x-rays sent.

I spoke to my brother yesterday and he will see to getting my sister home again after Thanksgiving. He may even be able to drive her, as he is going to Myrtle Beach, and her home is roughly on the way.

Looking over my variables yesterday, I realized I had forgotten to record several loads of laundry. The correct percentage is now 88%. Only five days to go.

Free Bagel and Money In

November 14th, 2017 at 05:37 pm

This morning I participated in Bagel Day at Planet Fitness -- yummy Everything Bagel from Panera, along with a cup of coffee. Schmear, too.

I got almost $11 in Discover cashback dollars, and I received $30 in Amazon gift cards today. They came from cashed-in points on a closed credit card. I will apply the $30 to my Amazon account. When I get paid, I'll be ordering from Amazon to finish up my Christmas shopping.

I usually don't mention it, but I continue to find small change, and I'm now working toward reaching $90 in cash picked up from the ground!

Meals today: more soup for lunch, and for dinner, I will make tuna/egg salad. I don't have any bread to make a sandwich, but I could put it in a tortilla -- or just eat it with a fork!

Someone threw away a partially-used roll of Christmas wrapping paper so I snagged it from the dumpster. I can't see that anything is wrong with it. I was lucky enough to grab it before any "dirty" garbage was dumped on top of it. It's actually pretty cute paper and I've already wrapped a present in it.

So -- all this free stuff and extra income, and no spending at all! That means I just increased my net worth, right?

It's So Quiet!

November 13th, 2017 at 10:14 pm

I went to the gym this morning and did my strength training routine with two new additions. I added exercises for my hamstrings and quadriceps. My legs are somewhat better now but I am definitely not back to normal. I wonder if this is normal now. I'm getting old -- and old people hurt!

I had a box of cheddar bay biscuit mix sitting in my pantry so I baked them this morning for breakfast. The spices were quite gray, and the biscuits turned out pretty unattractive, but edible. They'll serve for another breakfast tomorrow and I still have several to eat on the side. Glad I didn't save them for company, like I was planning.

For lunch I turned the chicken/broccoli/cheese goop into soup with a little broth. For dinner I'll have a repeat of the tortilla pizzas. So boring, but I'm using ingredients I need to to use up.

I redeemed $3 from Pine Cone; that is my only financial news.

The bright spot in my day was some email correspondence with man friend, whom I haven't heard from since August. We're planning to meet sometime after Thanksgiving and before Christmas.

Normally I would get the boys after school today, but DIL is taking the day off after working this weekend. So this is a long, uninterrupted, quiet day for me. I'm reading a good book. This is what retirement is all about!

A Gray Day

November 12th, 2017 at 08:03 pm

I went to the gym this morning, but otherwise it's been a quiet day so far. I don't expect to spend anything.

I have about $100 to last the next ten days. I'd like to spend as little of that as possible. I know that I will be eating out for my grandson's birthday on Wednesday, but it will be at a fairly inexpensive place. On Tuesday, I will get a free bagel breakfast at PF.

Though my pantry and freezer are emptying out, I think I will have enough food to last. Today I made a chicken/broccoli/cheese combo that I spooned over mashed potatoes for lunch. There's plenty left over and I think that will become soup in the coming days. For dinner I'm going to make pepperoni pizzas with tortillas.

I'd love to see The Orient Express, but I will wait. I'm trusting it will still be around after Thanksgiving. I'd also love to see Wonder with the grandsons. If they mention they want to go, I'll spend some of my remaining $$$ on that.

I'm holding off on the remaining Christmas shopping I have to do until after pay day. It will be Amazon shopping.

I'm feeling a little blue, but I suppose that's normal. The weather, which is definitely gray, is not helping. I'm really looking forward to Thanksgiving to boost my spirits.

Short Visit

November 11th, 2017 at 08:06 pm

My BFF is already gone, but we had fun. I spent $49 on eating out -- I treated BFF for her birthday -- and I spent $36 at Goodwill. I bought a set of wineglasses for myself, a couple of books, a Gap hoodie, some socks, some Christmas decor, and a couple of small Christmas gifts. I also filled the gas tank for $32.

Variables are at 87%.

The weather is cold and even snowy! I got a little lost winding around in the northern suburbs yesterday, but it was such a pretty drive, with the gently falling snow and all the beautiful houses, I didn't mind a bit! And I won't mind a bit if all the snow disappears now!

Now I'm going to do some laundry and catch up on my reading....

Yay! No Spending!

November 10th, 2017 at 01:16 pm

Yesterday I went to the gym and took my grandson to Tae Kwan Do. That was fun because he was so jubilant to get the news that he can progress to the next belt in early December.

I continued wrapping presents and got all the way through my gift stash basket. I kept track of what I gave to whom, so now I know what I need to get to equalize and fill in the spaces. The gifts in my stash are bargain things I've found throughout the year, many of them secondhand (but pristine).

Now I know I need to get one Amazon gift for each person, plus some small things for my sons. I'll wait for the next pay cycle to do that.

Now I'm waiting for BFF to arrive in about two hours. I'm not sure what we'll do today -- it will be a short visit, so it will be whatever she wants to do. She has to go home tomorrow in order to babysit on Sunday. I appreciate her effort to squeeze me in!

My variables are at 70%. That means I have $220 to play with. That should be easy in the remaining twelve days, but there will be spending today, I know.

I found out yesterday that my son's family will come to my brother's for Thanksgiving. I was hoping, but they hadn't committed yet. They didn't mention Christmas, but I will be fine with just a gift exchange and simple dinner before they fly to Florida.

Christmas Thoughts

November 9th, 2017 at 01:08 pm

Yesterday I went back to the gym after a brief hiatus, and it felt good. Afterwards I went to Panera and got a bagel. I thought I had to make only one more visit to qualify for a free "Pick2" Then I got an email saying I only had to make 2 more visits. Huh.

I took a different route home along the lake shore and listened to Christmas music on the radio. It was a happy ride.

I'm struggling with what to do over the holidays. I know I'm going to my brother's for Thanksgiving, but Christmas is a big question mark. My grandson let slip yesterday that my son & DIL are planning to go to Florida, which means they will celebrate with my ex's family. Even if invited, I don't want to have Christmas there -- I had enough miserable Christmases with that crowd when I was still married. Besides, it would be very expensive.

I also don't want to go to my brother's, as their Christmases always focus around my SIL's family. Another (expensive) option would be to go to my Florida son's, but he is likely to be involved with my ex-family, too, as well as hosting my DIL's family.

Basically, I feel like being the outsider in any setting will feel worse than being alone. I know a lot of people think spending Christmas alone is a terrible thing, but it is something I am considering. I have done it before, when plans had to be cancelled at the last minute due to weather. It wasn't terrible.

I think, if I spent Christmas alone, I would work out a way to make it meaningful.

I'm thinking about Christmas because I spent a big chunk of time yesterday going through my gift stash and wrapping gifts. Whatever happens, I want to be done in time to mail gifts, if I have to.

My BFF is planning to come up tomorrow for a short visit. I hope she really will, because there is a forecast for snow, and she is a very fearful traveler.

Big Medical Bill

November 8th, 2017 at 01:16 pm

Yesterday I got a $325 medical bill, most of which is the out-of-pocket cost for physical therapy. I won't be able to take it out of variables; it will come out of savings. Also, I can't wait until pay day; it is due before pay day.

That's my only financial news.

I took the boys to their music lessons yesterday. They didn't go to school, but DIL thought they were ready to get out of the house by 4:00 p.m. It was clear we were all not operating at full capacity, as music was left at home, and other music left at the music teacher's. Today I will need to go back to the music teacher's to get it so that GS1 can practice.

I spent about an hour and a half doing housework yesterday. There is still a lot to do. I find it helps to set my timer in half-hour increments. I work full-on for a half-hour, and then take a break. It would really be helpful for my mental state to get the place back in order.

Thank you again for all your nice comments on my posts about C. Taking care of C was certainly the biggest thing in my life these past few months, and it was helpful to me to post about it. I love the community we have here.

It's Over

November 7th, 2017 at 05:01 pm

C passed away yesterday morning. M and I were with her, holding her hand and stroking her hair. The end, when it came, was very fast.

There will be a memorial gathering and celebration sometime after Thanksgiving in her hometown. The date has not been selected yet. C was cremated yesterday, and there will not be a formal funeral. Her ashes will be spread according to her wishes.

All the family who is local went out for a late lunch yesterday at Buffalo Wild Wings, and it was a good time of sharing memories and just generally letting down. My contribution to the total cost was $16.

Today I'm just going to work toward getting back to normal. There is a lot of housework that has been neglected.

Thank you to everyone here on this site for your caring and support. You are the best!

The Shoes

November 6th, 2017 at 01:41 pm

This morning I finally ordered the shoes for my son's birthday. Two days in a row I tried to order on the DSW site, but it remains down. Finally I realized that since I "lost" my coupon, when I bought the shoes in the wrong color and and then returned them, there was no reason to stick with DSW. I ordered the shoes on Amazon. Total price was $47. They will be delivered in two days. If he doesn't like them, I think Amazon will be easier to deal with if he wants to return them.

Total gift spending this month has been almost $300. With three birthdays and some Christmas spending, that hasn't been too bad. November has always been a killer for me.

I am still well within variables, with spending at 67%. Two weeks and two days to go.

I didn't spend anything yesterday. M and I went to the Skechers outlet, PetSmart and Aldi on our break. M did some spending, but I did not.

I may save some money on food this month, since I end up eating at C's a lot.

Today is Pizza Day at Planet Fitness, but I've had a lot of pizza lately, so I doubt I will take advantage of it. I have not made it to the gym the last few days. It just feels too hard right now. Chores at home are suffering, too. I come home so tired. Luckily, I slept pretty well last night, so today should be a better day than yesterday.

Still Hanging in There

November 5th, 2017 at 02:34 pm

C's friend M, who is staying with her full-time, takes regular medication. When she came up, she brought the amount she thought she needed, but since C is hanging on longer than expected, she ran out. She arranged with her husband to mail more to her, but the mail was diverted somehow, and it came three days later than it should have.

Yesterday she was on the verge of driving to Indiana to meet her husband, when the package finally arrived just as she was going out the door. Big relief.

M and I went out to do some shopping yesterday while DIL stayed with C. I returned the shoes to DSW, but could not get a replacement in the right color. I have to order online, but the site is down. Nothing is simple!

We also went to Home Goods and Target. I bought Christmas gifts totaling $44, and kitty litter for $27. I also spent $33 on groceries for C's house. DIL says she will pay me back, but if she forgets, I won't say anything. It really isn't her responsibility any more than mine.

I also spent $6 at Panera, but M gave me $10, so that was more than covered.

Going back to C's today.

Thought I Did Good, But....

November 4th, 2017 at 12:46 pm

I actually blew it. After leaving C's last night I went to DSW to get the shoes that DIL recommended for my son's birthday. I found them on the clearance rack! Right size! And I had a $20 coupon which brought the final price down to $32!

But once I got home, I looked at DIL's email again and realized I got the wrong color.

So I'm going to have to go back and see if there is some way to make an exchange. Luckily, I still have plenty of time before DS's birthday.

Other spending was $4 for breakfast, but M gave me $10, so I'm ahead there.

C is continuing to hang in there. Yesterday she sat up quite a bit and had some lucid moments. So we continue taking care of her basic needs and making her comfortable. I spend pretty much every day there.

Yesterday I went through her refrigerator and froze a lot of food that people have brought. I also made some potato soup with leftovers. A few days ago we had to throw out almost a whole chicken, so that was a wake-up call.

Variables are now 47%. 2 1/2 weeks to go to pay day, but most gifts bought.

Thursday Stuff

November 3rd, 2017 at 02:14 pm

Yesterday I bought some beverages to have on hand at C's. M contributed, and my out-of-pocket cost was only $2.

C is hanging in there. Sometimes she seems stronger, which would be good if she could recover! But recovery is not an option, so we continue to wish for her comfort and a speedy resolution.

She still has her sense of humor. Yesterday she asked for a cigarette. We pointed out to her that she has never smoked. She said, "I've taken it up!" But these moments are rare. She mostly sleeps.

My packages from Amazon arrived yesterday. Now I'm concentrating on my son's birthday gift. DIL gave me the specs on a pair of shoes that we wants, but this morning I noticed that the chosen color does not come in his size. So I'm still working on that. I really want to use a $20 coupon from DSW.

Got a notice that my Capital One credit card is closing because of non-use. I was also informed that I have points to cash in. Only 3118, I'm not sure if I can actually do anything with that, but I'll check it out.

Carrying On

November 2nd, 2017 at 12:04 pm

I took care of two November birthdays and also bought a couple of Christmas gifts on Amazon for a total of $104. I still have to buy a gift for my son's November birthday.

I set aside $10 each for my local grandsons for Halloween, but forgot to give them the cards. I'll do that today.

Did a load of laundry last night.

Variables are up to 43%.

C continues to hang in there. She is weak and it is getting more difficult to care for her, though she is compliant. Hospice is coming today, so they will be able to bathe her and do some things M and I cannot do.

DIL spent some time there yesterday, but it gets to her emotionally and she has so many other responsibilities pulling at her. I wish for her sake that C could slip away -- in her lucid moments C wishes it, too, but that's out of her hands, of course. We just carry on.


November 1st, 2017 at 01:13 am

Today was Halloween, but it really didn't feel like it. I didn't see the grandsons all day. Usually I go trick or treating with them. But today I stayed at C's house all day.

C's son was there also, as well as her ever-present friend M, who is going to stay to the end. The hospice nurse has offered an opinion that the end will come within the next few days.

Meanwhile, I was dealing with a few snafu's in my own life. I learned that my mortgage lender did not have a copy of my building owner's master insurance policy. It was supposed to be faxed on September 29. I notified the person in charge, and it was faxed again. I hope the problem is resolved. They are threatening to make me pay the insurance myself, at a punitive rate. Egads, I go through this EVERY DAMN YEAR! Can nobody do their job?

I also learned that I sent my Florida grandson's birthday presents to the wrong address last month (a former address). The gifts were never received -- no doubt stolen at the former address. Luckily, Amazon was nice enough to credit me the cost and I reordered. It did cost $5 more because some of the prices went up.

This was all my fault, because I didn't even notice that the account held my son's old address instead of the current one. I just clicked his name.

So, one problem solved for sure, and hopefully, the other one is, too.

And yet there is another one. I just updated my Excel, because I was prompted to, and now it is gone. Sigh. I hope it is there is the morning. I am too tired. A new computer may be in order, but I can't tell you how much I hate the thought of spending money on that. Thank goodness all my Excel files are saved on a thumb.

Another Day

October 30th, 2017 at 02:48 pm

Yesterday's spending was $28 for gas and $2 for Halloween cards. Today I'll stick two tens in the cards and mail them to my Florida grandchildren. Unfortunately, they'll be late, but hopefully, still appreciated.

Last night I picked up C's sister at the train station. I will go over there today, but now that she has two people caring for her, in addition to DIL, I will probably make it short. I spent most of yesterday there.

I made spaghetti sauce last night, and I will take it over today, along with the pasta.

I am assuming I will pick up the boys today, though DIL has not said yet. She may be off work and planning to do it herself.

I appreciate all the support that is expressed here. You are all so kind. I hope everyone understands I am writing about this just because it is my world right now; I'm not looking for kudos. In fact, I feel I am doing only what anyone would do for a friend, and my DIL and C's sisters and friends are the real heroines in this story!


October 29th, 2017 at 12:21 pm

The flag football game was indeed cold; I sat in spitting rain, also. Thank goodness the game went pretty fast, and was sweetened by 32-0 score in our favor. My grandson made three touchdowns, though one was not counted because of a flag on the play.

Afterwards the parents shared donuts and hot chocolate -- there was enough that I had a donut, too.

After the game I went to C's, and I spent most of the day there. Mostly I was talking with her friend M, who is putting in long hours there. C is not really capable of conversation any more, she drifts in and out of consciousness and she cannot speak very well. But she seems to be pretty comfortable pain-wise, and she sleeps a lot. She was happy to hear about our grandson's touchdowns, so she is not completely out of it.

I can't help but think the end must be coming soon, but I've never been through this before -- I don't know how long someone can last in this state.

DIL was with us for a while in the morning, but needed to go home. Later in the day, I talked with her on the phone and she was in tears, not emotionally capable of coming back. She is very strong, but then she breaks. I hope for her sake that her mother doesn't linger too long, so that her own healing can begin.

I spent $14 on lunch for M and me, and I also picked up some cider for M for $3. When I got home, I spent $1.50 on laundry.

I'm going back today, but I've got to gear up for it.

Saturday Morning

October 28th, 2017 at 12:28 pm

I went to a professional workshop yesterday afternoon, as well as a Happy Hour. I got to see some old friends and made some new ones, I hope. I don't expect to get any work out of it, but I did enjoy using my work "muscles" again and discussing issues with others in my field. Kind of gave my brain a jumpstart.

The Happy Hour served as my dinner, and it was free.

In the morning, I went back to Aldi and did some stock-up shopping: walnuts, canola oil, brown sugar, white sugar, tuna, evaporated milk, tomato juice, pasta sauce, beets, and chocolate chips. As you might guess, I'm getting ready for holiday baking and gifting. The total bill was $18.

The beets are going to go into the purple potato soup that is still in my freezer. I'm going to try to turn it into borscht.

I'm done with grocery shopping now except for picking up perishables and necessities.

It cost me $6 to park for the workshop. There is no way to park downtown free for any length of time. There are spots that are good for two hours, and a garage that will let you park free for less than an hour, but if you have to park for more than two hours, you are stuck. I didn't think about taking the train, which certainly would have been cheaper, and no cost out of pocket.

Today I'm going to my grandson's last outdoor flag football game. (It will continue at an indoor facility next week.) Unfortunately, it is very cold this morning and the temperature will not even hit 50 today. So I'm planning to bundle up!

A Long Day

October 27th, 2017 at 01:08 pm

Yesterday seemed like a long day, though I was home by 7:30. It seemed like midnight!

My spending was $17 for pizza for the kids.

I reminded my son that I was signed up for a workshop today, and he said he thought I might be able to go, but he would keep me posted. I still haven't heard anything, so I am planning to go, and I will leave if I have to. It's right here in town, so location wouldn't be a problem.

I was supposed to take the boys to join DIL at C's house last night after their YMCA activities, but she texted me not to come; it was not a good night. So I kept them until my son came home from work. It was a late night for him.

At this point, I don't know if C took another turn for the worse, but it sounds like it. That's why everything is up in the air today.

More of the Same...

October 26th, 2017 at 05:13 pm

I went to Aldi this morning after dropping off the boys and going to the gym. I spent $36 on ten items for myself: oatmeal cookies, croutons, ground beef, salad, almond milk, wine, cheese dip, peanuts, vinegar and granola. I also spent $10 on frozen pizza and ice cream to take to C's house -- not that she will eat it, but the caretakers will.

I also spent $1.10 on a sausage biscuit for breakfast.

Today I will pick up the boys and keep them until 6, when I will take them to Tae Kwan Do and basketball, and then home at 7. I'm planning to take them out somewhere for dinner before their evening activities.

I'm supposed to go to a professional workshop tomorrow afternoon but I expect I'll be needed for Grandma duty instead. I told my DIL about the workshop, but I am sure she's forgotten. Heaven knows there is too much on her mind. I may go to the first hour of the workshop and then skip out early when it's time to pick up the boys. Maybe I can get in on the Happy Hour afterwards, if my son comes home from work early enough. We'll see. I don't need to go to the workshop, but I would enjoy the social part of it.

Pay Day & October Recap

October 25th, 2017 at 03:16 pm

It's pay day. I paid my mortgage, my Discover bill and two other credit cards which I used for small charges, probably when I couldn't use the Discover card. I also have a medical bill to pay, but I haven't received an itemized bill. I could pay online, but nothing is itemized there. So I will wait.

My assessment fee will hit the bank any day now. I had a break this past month -- the assessment fee did not fall into the October pay cycle.

I went to Food4Less after my morning workout and spent $34 on ten items: bread, powdered milk, rolls, raisins, a sweet potato, creamer, orange juice, blueberries, raspberries, and butter. I'll shop again tomorrow at Aldi.

I took the boys to school this morning and I'll probably pick them up this afternoon. DIL is still with her mom. Today she will get a hospital bed delivered, which will make caring for her easier. C's friend is on the way up from Indiana to provide some much-needed relief for DIL, though DIL worries that the friend is not very strong herself. I have offered to do what I can, but C really wants only her closest family and friends to care for her intimate needs, and I respect that. I'm a relatively new person in C's life.

The weather has turned very cold and rainy and it is an unfortunately dismal backdrop to the pain and suffering.

Here is my October recap:

Housing: $321
Gifts/Charity: $280
Insurance: $206
Utilities: $158
Groceries: $111
Eating Out: $105
Vet/Pet Supplies: $59
Furnishings/Equipment/Decor: $55
Phone: $52
Entertainment: $40
Personal: $40
Gas: $22
Laundry: $15
Household Supplies: $14
Fares/Parking: 6

Grand Total: $1535

That's the lowest it's been in a while, and it includes my condo insurance and a plane ticket.
Hoping to get a nap today, as I had another bad night. That's three in a row. This is crazy!

No-Spend Day

October 24th, 2017 at 01:37 pm

Yesterday was a no-spend day, and today will be, too, unless something surprising pops up.

I picked up the boys after school, but it was cool and rainy and playing in the schoolyard was not an option (that's what we usually do). GS2 made plans to go to a friend's for a playdate, and I did the chauffeuring. GS1 came home with me. He did his homework on his new school-issued tablet. Neither boy mentioned getting a snack, thank goodness!

Today DIL is taking her aunt to the airport, and I am going to stay with C while she makes the trip. DIL is planning to stay with her mom tonight, so I assume that the friend who was staying will be gone, too. I am already on deck to take the boys to school tomorrow morning.

This is the last day before pay day. I have done a little better than I thought -- spending 108% of the variables budget for this month -- but in the overall scheme of things I have $10 of variables cash left due to underspending in previous months. This total includes spending $198 on an airline ticket. I am very glad I don't have to take that out of savings, especially since I had to pay my condo insurance this month, and that definitely comes out of savings.

Tomorrow I'll do my monthly recap.

Previously I said I had two birthdays coming up this month, but I have three! How could I forget my little granddaughter? Since I have to mail the gift to Florida, I'll order something from her Amazon list.

My shepherd's pie turned out only okay -- I think it tastes better made with beef rather than chicken. Anyway, I'll be eating it for several days; I made too much, but I was going with the ingredients I had to use up.

As usual, I'm really excited about starting a new budget cycle!

Sorry, I just realized someone asked about hospice for C -- yes, we have hospice, but they are popping in more than staying. That may change soon.

Bad Times

October 23rd, 2017 at 02:26 pm

I had a bad night last night -- pain, sleeplessness, restlessness. I still don't feel very good. My worry is that I won't be up to par for watching the boys after school, but it is something I must do. C continues to fail, and DIL is taxed more and more. C is no longer acting like herself, her confusion is taking over and she is even "combative." I am not sure what DIL means by that; I hope she means argumentative.

She still has her sister and her friend staying with her. There doesn't seem to be any point in my visits, because she doesn't seem to know me. So I will be on call for her caretakers (bringing supplies and food) and will be on call for child care. I may stay with her later when the sister and friend have to go home.

When C was in the hospital, they told her she probably had 4 to 6 weeks left. It has been 6 weeks. She is surely near the end, and how I wish it could be more peaceful, for everyone's sake.

Anyway, I will try to get a nap today. I'm not going to try to go to the gym or anything.

Sunday Morning

October 22nd, 2017 at 01:37 pm

C came to the flag football game yesterday, but she stayed in her car, along with her friend. When I stopped to say hi, she seemed confused. DIL says that her pain medication has been increased and is now in patch form so that her stomach doesn't get upset. The downside is that she is confused. She has even been having hallucinations, but DIL assures me that at least they are good ones.

After the game, I went out to lunch with my son, DIL and the grandsons. I shouldn't have spent the money, but it just didn't feel right to say no. We went to Chili's. I spent $15. We played Mars Attacks at the table and had a good time. We need times like this!

I also spent $1 on parking, but I found .12 under the parking meter!

I spent the rest of the day at home. I put together the bottom layer of the shepherd's pie; today I'll make the mashed potato topping and bake it. I also have half of my lunch from yesterday to eat.

I'll be doing a load of laundry today, too. I have only $8 till pay day!

Just Stuff

October 21st, 2017 at 01:12 pm

Spent $7 yesterday - $5 copay to the doctor, and $2 for parking. I was hoping to get out of the parking garage before an hour was up, so I could get free parking, but the doctor's office was busy and it took a long time to get my flu shot.

C texted me that she wasn't feeling well and was staying in bed. Her sister was with her. Today is GS1's flag football game, and I wonder if C will go. She was talking about it earlier in the week when she was feeling good, but now I'm afraid she's in another downturn.

After going to the doctor's I went to the gym, and after I came home I just stayed home, babying my knee, but I can't say that it feels any better today. I am bothered by muscle spasms as well as the knee pain, so I must remember to hydrate and stretch.

I'm planning to make shepherd's pie today (with chicken) so I can use up some carrots and celery.

I may do some laundry; just want to be sure I have a full load. I have only $24 left to spend, and I want to make it count.

My friend J emailed me that our former awful boss "Mean Girl" has finally found another job -- hooray for J, who has been stuck under her thumb till now! And J is in the throes of an awful divorce that has been a long time coming, but at least she is finally getting through it. I will be glad when it is all done and she is free. She has suffered too long. Anyway, we agreed that we would get together when we are both in better circumstances.

Thinking about expenses next month, I have two birthdays coming up -- my son's and one of my grandson's. I haven't made any decisions about what to get, but I am going to float the idea of getting shoes for my son. I have a $20 coupon from DSW. I would have to convince him to go look at DSW. He is an Amazon addict and doesn't like to shop at brick & mortar stores. As for my grandson, I will pick something from his Amazon list.

I have a dentist's appointment coming up, too, but I really want to switch dentists to one that is closer, so I need to do something about that.

And of course there is Thanksgiving, but that will be in the pay cycle following, so I'm not going to worry about that yet.

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