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More Shopping

December 9th, 2019 at 02:07 pm

My Kohl's coupon was not yet usable, so I went to Bed, Bath & Beyond for the gifts I still needed. Armed with coupons, of course. I spent $43. That was for two gifts, a card, and some stocking stuffers for the kids. The gifts are wrapped. I'm waiting now for the next and final phase -- ordering Amazon gifts for the Oregon crew, which I will do on the 11th. And that means no more wrapping, yay! My wrapping supplies have held up well. I didn't need to buy anything except tape this year. Picking up gift bags at Goodwill has been a good strategy.

Today I'm scheduled to go to the Kia dealer for my 30,000-mile checkup. I'm determined to take good care of this car. Speaking of Kia, my first payment on the balance is due on January 1. It will come out of my upcoming SS check on the 18th. I'm planning on knocking that out in ten months.

I missed one of the Christmas events I was planning on, a choral concert at the college where I once worked. It was held on Friday, and I was thinking they would do it on Sunday, so it was over before I checked on it. Oh well. Saved a little gas.

A Day at Home

December 8th, 2019 at 02:47 pm

I caught up on my wrapping yesterday, and I have two packages ready to mail. One is a little gift that was supposed to be in a package I sent already! I'm going to send it, anyway, since it kind of ties the other gifts together.

I'm done except for ordering some Amazon gifts to be delivered to Oregon. I'm waiting till my Discover card cycle ends, because it's about as high as I want to go right now. Oh, and I also have one more gift to buy for the celebration we will have here on the 20th. It's for my ex's wife -- don't know what to get. I think I'll take my 25% off coupon to Kohl's and look around.

I didn't get started on the food gifts, but maybe today.

This is the calm before the storm. I have plans for the 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 23rd, and 25th! Not all are set in stone. But it will be a busy season and I'll be happy to rest up afterwards.

Got the news yesterday that assessment fees will rise by 3% in January. I have to remember to change the automatic payment before it is withdrawn, which is usually the 25th of the preceding month. So I'll just go ahead and do it today. My new mantra is "Just get it done!"

Christmas Prep

December 7th, 2019 at 01:11 pm

I spent $32 on small gifts yesterday. I took the gifts category out of variables, so now it is a more reasonable 22%. Gift total is nearing $500.

The Oregon gifts are ready to pack up, so I will try to get that done today. Plus, four boxes arrived from Amazon yesterday, so I need to open those and wrap the gifts inside.

In the midst of this, Comcast is upgrading equipment, so I also have a package from them, and I have to figure out how to hook up the new stuff. And then send the old stuff back. Not sure how much time I have for that, but maybe it can wait till after Christmas.

Probably won't get around to making jam today, but maybe tomorrow. I also want to make some kind of sweet bread to bake in a heart-shaped mold. Both of these will serve as gifts.

Yesterday's Spending

December 6th, 2019 at 01:45 pm

Yesterday's spending - $11 to send a package, $5 for canning lids, $41 for groceries, $1.50 for laundry, $27 for Christmas gift. Variables are at 71%.

The canning lids are for making jam, which I hope to get to today or this weekend.

Today is a gym day, but I slept so poorly I wonder if I will be up to it. I don't really have too much to do today, so maybe with a little more octane (coffee) I can get myself there.

I do expect some packages to be delivered today, so there will be more wrapping to do. I need to add a small gift for my granddaughter to the Oregon box, so I should do that today so that I can get it in the mail soon.

Parking Ticket

December 5th, 2019 at 02:05 pm

%^(&(^^%!!!! Can't believe I parked too close to a fire hydrant and had to pay $60! It was my fault -- I was tired, it was dark, and I wasn't paying attention the way I should.

Spent another $102 on Christmas gifts. I keep thinking of people I need to buy for. I didn't have a very good gift stash this year. I did buy gifts along the way but used most of them for birthdays.

Variables are at 64%. Eventually I will move the gifts out of variables and tap savings, since the total will be too high to cash-flow.

But speaking of savings, despite all my woes this year and all the bad luck, my net worth is $2,000 more than it was last year at this time. That may change, though, when everything Christmas-related is reckoned.

I'm just surprised that it isn't lower.

I still have some extra income hanging out there -- $250 from insurance for the fender-bender, $800 from the canceled car warranty, and possibly $500 from from insurance for the total loss of the Civic. The latter is only a possibility since it has to be recovered from the other party, who seems to be pretty much a hot mess.

Would it be nice if it came all at once?

Wheel Tax Done!

December 4th, 2019 at 02:36 pm

I spent $34 on my wheel tax yesterday, and $20 for dinner at Noodles & Co. That was for three of us, so pretty good. And my DIL may reimburse. I also spent $5 at Aldi for water and snacks, and $5 at PetSmart for fish food. Variables are at 47%.

I learned that once I load $75 onto my Brinks card, it will be there until I use it up; I cannot lose it. The only stipulation is that I cannot load more than $75 per month, and I cannot have a balance above $150. This will be great for Uber riding, as well as Amtrak. I'm already covered for the local train/bus transit.

I got a notice from Xfinity that my equipment needs to be updated, so I'll take care of that today. And I need to get back on Amazon and finish my Christmas shopping. That is, that kind of Christmas shopping. I will still need to get stocking stuffers, which I will do at retail stores.


December 3rd, 2019 at 02:27 pm

After updating my spreadsheet with the laundry I've done and buying gas, my variables are now at 40%.

Today I'm going to pay my wheel tax. Yes, I really will! While I'm there, I want to verify that if I load $75 onto my Brinks card (for discounted ground transportation) that I won't lose the unused portion at the end of the month. Wording on the website is unclear. Once I do that, I'll get the Uber app and link this card to it.

I am taking the boys to music lessons tonight. Their lesson times keep jumping around, because the teacher is settling into a new job.

Tomorrow is the middle school Christmas concert, and a recital is coming up on the 14th. BFF's family is coming up to the Chicago area for Christmas fun on that day, so I am going to try to meet up with them after the recital.

I made a reservation at a steakhouse for Christmas dinner. The downside is that it is about an hour away from BFF's location, but I thought I would grab the reservation, and we can cancel if we find something nearer to hand. So far it looks like the nicer restaurants in her area are closed on Christmas Day.

I am close to finishing the Augmentin. It has been less disruptive the last few days. Maybe I have found the knack of how much to eat beforehand. Last night I took two pieces of pizza while at Planet Fitness. I would feel bad, except that I know they throw out tons of it at the end of the night. I wanted to make sure my stomach was full for the Augmentin onslaught.

I talked to my Oregon son last night. He had just finished his first day on the job and was feeling good. He confessed he had driven through a blizzard he didn't tell me about before, and slid onto the median at one point -- but everything was okay. He knew I would freak out if I heard that while he was still on the road. This happened between Amarillo and Flagstaff, which seems odd, but there you go.

Christmas Shopping Etc.

December 2nd, 2019 at 07:54 pm

I did a bunch of Christmas shopping this morning on Amazon. It was $354, and I'm about half done. I didn't get any Cyber Monday deals; I was working from wish lists.

After doing laundry and cleaning up, I went to the Kia dealer to see if someone there could help me with the phone function. Someone did get it paired for me, and showed me the basics, but for some reason my contacts would not download. I'm going back next Monday for the 30,000-mile service, so we will revisit the problem then. It was nice of him to spend his time on this, since I didn't buy the car there!

I got some body wash at Sam's yesterday for $10.

I'm doing some chauffeuring and babysitting this evening, but I should be done soon enough to get my FREE PIZZA AT PLANET FITNESS! It didn't work out last month, but now I know I should not go there earlier than 6:30 pm.

I heard from my claims handler. The other party in my fender bender has reluctantly agreed that she was 50% at fault. DUH! I should get back 50% of the deductible I paid to fix my car. That's $250 and every little bit helps.

I forgot to report that last month my variables came in at 86%. Christmas shopping will make it unlikely that I will come in under this month, however. I'm already at 38% -- day two!

My plans for Christmas Day are altering. I'm going to drive to BFF's on Christmas morning, planning to arrive after she gets done with her gift opening with the grandchildren. Then we're going to go see the new version of "Little Women" and, hopefully, go out for a nice dinner, if we can find a place that is serving. We are both big Alcott fans and we visited the Alcott house this summer, so seeing this movie will be quite meaningful for both of us.

She invited me to stay several days after, but I am going to have to see how Iggy is doing. His kidney function seems to be getting worse, and I don't want to have to leave him for long.

Home Again

December 1st, 2019 at 02:17 pm

I came home yesterday rather than waiting till Sunday. The roads were still pretty clogged, but I bet it will be worse today. I was extremely tired when I got home and just rolled into bed.

I had a good Thanksgiving holiday, but having to take Augmentin really worked a number on my stomach. I'm still taking it, because it's a ten-day prescription. Even though I take it with food, it still messes with me. Family members encouraged me to just stop taking it, but I think a little discomfort is worth the security of knowing I'm killing any bugs that might be lurking.

The cat bite has healed up beautifully, so I'm not really worried, just cautious.

My vacation cost only $37, mostly for gas and food. I also bought a bag of Jelly Belly's to give my cat sitter.

My November recap was pretty good:

Housing: 762
Car Repair/Maintenance: 512
Medical/Health: 151
Gifts/Charity: 144
Utilities: 143
Vet/Pet Supplies: 142
Groceries: 107
Vacation/Travel: 99
Eating Out: 57
Phone: 52
Household Supplies: 30
Furnishings/Equipment/Decor: 20
Gas: 20
Personal: 18
Entertainment: 16
Laundry: 14
Clothing: 2

Grand Total: 2289

I'm going to get to the gym today and just get back into the swing of things today.

My son arrived safely at his final destination in Oregon yesterday. On Monday he will go to Seattle for training, and his new adventure begins!

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 28th, 2019 at 12:31 pm

I'm getting on the road soon. After a terrible day of high winds, it is nice and quiet this morning. I think it should be smooth sailing. It does look like I might be going into a little snow, so I'm wearing boots.

My son checked in from Amarillo, Texas, last night. Now he will have to go north and go through those snowy areas. I will be eager to hear that he is safe tonight.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to great food, great fellowship, fun games -- and my younger son's 40th birthday party today! Doesn't seem possible.

Hoping you and yours have a great holiday!


November 27th, 2019 at 12:44 pm

Yesterday I went to the senior center to pay my wheel tax -- once again I could not do it! I did not have my registration. It wasn't in my glove box. I went home and went through everything I could think of and it was not to be found.

I wonder if the policeman who took it during my Indiana fender-bender ever gave it back to me. That was the last time I had my hands on it. I could have left it at BFF's, as well, but she said she had not seen it.

Anyway, I don't dare travel without it, so I went to the DMV and had them print out another temporary. That took about half the day.

It was well past lunch time when I finished up, so I stopped at a cafe and spent $12 on lunch. I could have gotten fast food cheaper, but I was not in the mood -- I wanted a real meal. Besides, I didn't want to eat in my new car!

I did some laundry when I came home and then basically crashed.

I am not getting on the road for my Thanksgiving trip until Thanksgiving morning. The weather is not going to be good today. And I'm just not ready. The weather is supposed to be calm and clear on Thanksgiving.

My son checked in last night from Louisiana. He said he is taking the southern route to avoid snow, but he's not going to be able to do that for long! He kept saying "we" and I figured out that his father-in-law is with him. That's good; I was worried about how he was going to drive alone and handle three dogs in the car.

My brother said he has already made the cranberry relish, so I don't have to worry about it. I have two bags of cranberries and two oranges! I will make jam before Christmas. I did that last year and it was a big hit.

I may not be doing anything for Christmas, but Christmas plans are stacking up! My family pre-holiday party (at my house) is on the 20th. BFF and her family are coming up on the 21st. Add to that, I'm going to a retirement party (three hours away) on the 19th, and a concert and recital in early December. I may be more than ready to just rest on Christmas Day!

Urgent Care

November 26th, 2019 at 12:39 pm

I went to urgent care yesterday morning to tend to the cat bite. My phone said it opened at 8, but it was really 9, so I went to a coffee shop beforehand, where I spent $7. I had walked there, so going back home wasn't really an option.

Once it opened, it took almost an hour before I actually saw a doctor. The check-in process was the slowest I've ever seen! There was only one clerk, and she seemed very hesitant about every step.

But I finally got in, and the doctor gave me a tetanus shot and a prescription for Augmentin. I've had several doses by now, and I think I'm going to be fine.

I paid $5 for a copay and the prescription was $10.

Variables are at 80%.

My son sets out this morning for his trip from Florida to Oregon. He his taking his three dogs. I am nervous about the weather he might encounter, and he promised to text me every evening to let me know he is safe. It's going to be a weird Thanksgiving for them, but it's the beginning of a new chapter in their lives! His wife and kids will join him at Christmas, and the kids will start school there after the new year.

I have lots to do today -- laundry, making cranberry relish, cleaning the fish tank, gym, library. But since I'm not leaving till Thursday morning, I don't have to stress.

Cat Bite

November 25th, 2019 at 01:31 pm

Last night Iggy bit me! I'm not sure what happened. I was petting him and he suddenly snapped. I think he was more surprised than I was. I must have touched a bad spot. Anyway, he broke the skin, so I cleaned carefully and applied a topical antibiotic. I'm going to urgent care today to get it checked out. I know that cat bites are potentially dangerous. I would have gone last night, but it happened after the urgent care closed.

The prescription I filled yesterday was $10. Variables are now at 77%.

My Fitbit strap came yesterday. It was easy to snap on and now I'm back in business.

The latest weather report now seems to be saying that Thursday morning is the best time to travel, so I think that's what I will do, even though I lose an hour. It will also mean that my neighbor will not have to check on Iggy till Friday morning, and will have only three days of care to do. Win win.