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Archive for October, 2012

Name Tags, Oy

October 31st, 2012 at 01:17 pm

I promised to do name tags for the conference I'm attending on Friday. I'm a calligrapher, of sorts, and I thought it would be a nice gesture to make classy-looking name tags in italic script. I will admit I was trying to make up for my general lack of participation on the programming committee due to my move and my surgery.

Well, I got started last night, and it was a disaster. My calligraphy pen leaked all over my hand, and in the end I decided it was unusable. I went out to get another at Michael's, but my GPS took me to a shopping plaza where there was no Michael's. By this time it was almost nine p.m. I went to Wal-Mart and Walgreen's, both a long-shot for a special item like this, and of course, no dice.

This morning I emailed another board member who had offered her help and said she could easily print the name tags at her office, and had done it in past. I laid out my problem. I haven't heard from her yet, but my Plan B is to go out at noon and find a pen. I drove to work instead of taking the train so I could do this. I have to get more plastic sleeves and lanyards, anyway -- our attendance is unexpectedly large.

I hate it when I'm trying to do something nice and it goes wrong.

I did more laundry last night - $1.50. (Am I the cleanest or dirtiest person in the world? -- I don't know).

On my trip to work this morning I stopped at McDonald's and got breakfast -- $4.02.

While I am down here with my car, I'll get gas since it is so much cheaper -- even though I am not even down a half-tank yet.

Back at work

October 30th, 2012 at 04:17 pm

Second day back at work, and though I'm feeling a little draggy, I'm doing okay.

Yesterday on my walk home I took the route past Walgreen's and stopped to buy nuts for the office's Halloween party. I figure they are protein, easy to carry, and will counteract all the sweets. Spent $14.20 for cashews and macadamia nuts. I kind of like that walk. When it gets cold, I might want to stop at Walgreen's just for the break. I don't have a Walgreen's rewards card; maybe I should check it out if that's going to be a regular stop.

I also paid the hospital a $100 co-pay for using the ER.

This morning I bought next month's train pass - $105.25 (using my $30 voucher) -- and sent a $100 check to my sister for her birthday.

I got my check from my former landlord -- $35. Well, I tried. As I said, I'm not going to get upset about it.

My next challenge is going to a conference downtown on Friday. It looks like it will be a 25-minute walk from the station, and I will have to carry a bag of registration supplies. Hope the weather improves. It was pretty cold and windy this morning. I was glad I had a hat, scarf and gloves on! Of course, it is a minor annoyance considering what our East Coast friends are suffering through.

When I walked home last night I saw the huge, choppy waves on Lake Michigan. Looked very forbidding! So weird to think that a storm in the East so strongly affects a lake in the Midwest. Weather is interesting stuff.

Free at last!

October 27th, 2012 at 07:33 pm

I got my catheter out yesterday and it made me almost giddy to have it gone! I didn't think it was bothering me that much, but getting rid of it was an absolutely joyful experience!

I went out immediately to fill a prescription and picked up groceries at the same time. I had a craving for hot dogs and ice cream, and I got both. I spent about $35, which includes some non-food items. The prescription was only $2.38.

In the evening I went out to a local burger joint with my son's family. I didn't order anything -- I had eaten my hot dog -- but I ate a few fries off my son's plate. I went mainly for the company. Tonight I'm going to go over and sit for the grandkids, but I'll go after the kids are in bed, so it will be very easy on me.

I'm surprised that the heat hasn't come on today. I'm quite chilly, especially when I'm just sitting. I did some unpacking this morning, which got me a little warmer. I've now unpacked every box except those in the basement storage closet (and those are for a garage sale). I don't have everything completely organized yet, but I've made a lot of progress.

I found a bread board I was missing, but I still haven't found a pair of black pants and my black jacket. Now I wonder if I left them somewhere on my trip. If so, I hope it was at my friend's house. I don't see how I could have left them in a motel; I was very careful. And I didn't take those clothes on the trip! But I might have worn them when I left home.

I think I'm going to have to revisit my 20 items or less (grocery) plan. Not just because it's economical, but, more importantly, it's not easy to carry groceries upstairs. I need to shop more often and buy less.

I have discovered that there is a Walgreen's with a food mart on the way home from the train station if I take a different route. That could come in handy. There is also a health food store in the same strip mall, where I could pick up veggies or such if I needed them in a hurry. At a high price, I'm sure.

There are a couple of restaurants, as well as a Starbuck's and a Subway, just a block away on the other side of the station. So if I'm ever starving on the way home, I'm covered!

Checking In

October 26th, 2012 at 02:05 am

I've been out of circulation for a few days. On Tuesday I went in for my outpatient surgery to -- well -- fix my leak. It was supposed to be routine, but things are never really routine, are they? Apparently there was unexpected scar tissue to deal with, thus extra surgery, and the upshot is, I was sent home with a catheter in place. That was bad enough, but once I got home the catheter tube got stopped up with a blood clot and I had to go to the ER to get it flushed out so I could go! Very miserable day.

I'm much better now and expecting the catheter to be removed tomorrow. Living with it is not as bad as it might seem, I've gotten quite used to dragging my little friend around. I wouldn't consider leaving the house, though! My sons are checking on me and bringing me meals, so I am actually feeling quite spoiled now.

I spent $18 on four prescriptions -- super cheap, eh? My son filled them for me and couldn't get over what a good prescription plan I have.

Now I am ready to turn in for the night and I'm really looking forward to taking that painkiller that puts me to sleep!

My neighbor is playing the piano -- I don't mind, because he/she plays beautifully. Kind of a bonus! Free lullabies!

Bought my couch!

October 22nd, 2012 at 04:25 pm

But it won't be delivered for up to 12 weeks!

I had to find a couch that would fit through a 33" door. And I felt that I needed to get a sleeper, since I have only one bedroom. That really limited my options, so it came down to a special order. I had a coupon for $500 off, but couldn't use it, as it was for in-stock items only.

But the good part was that I got to pick my color -- red -- and I also found a pair of ottomans that I love which will serve as a coffee table, and also as extra seating when needed. (Couldn't use the coupon on those either -- not in stock). I'm really excited about how nice my living room will look -- in 12 weeks or so. (It might be sooner, but I'm going to focus on 12 weeks so I'll be pleasantly surprised if it's shorter).

I paid a $500 deposit; the total cost for all three items plus delivery is about $1500. Not cheap, but I think I made the right choice.

I'll be able to re-purpose the wooden chest now in use as a coffee table as a toy box.

This means I won't be looking for a dining room sideboard any time soon, but that's okay, I have a plan. I will use a tall bookcase instead, and fill another empty corner in the dining room with one of two occasional chairs that are serving as couch substitutes right now.

I still need to get a living room area carpet. That's my next challenge. Might as well get it before the furniture is delivered.

Other spending this weekend: $61 for groceries, $18 for household supplies, $50 for grandchild gifts and cards, $3 for laundry. I also spent $8 at Target along with a $50 gift card for a new toaster, some shelving, and a mat to go under the litter box.

The toaster is red, too. Needless to say, red is my favorite color!

Another free meal, and deposit issues

October 19th, 2012 at 02:55 pm

I babysat for my grandkids last night and got a free dinner of fish and spinach salad. I've had so many free meals recently I haven't grocery-shopped for at least two weeks (though I've picked up snacks and fast-food meals here and there). I really need to do some serious stocking up this weekend.

I got a statement yesterday from my former landlord explaining why I am getting only $35 of my deposit back. I wrote a rebuttal letter this morning questioning the charge for water (I'm sure I paid the bill already) and one day's rent in October (I turned in the keys on September 30). I don't know if I'll get anywhere -- it's a big property company and I imagine they usually get their way, but those two charges would, if corrected, return $70+ to me. Considering that I paid a hefty fee to break the lease and left the apartment clean, I'm annoyed. (I'll grant that the carpet has to be replaced, but three years of wear and tear on a cheap carpet will take its toll -- and it wasn't new to me!)

However, I've made a deal with myself not to get upset about things like that any more, just deal with it and let it go. So, the letter is in the mail, and I'll put it out of my mind now.

It's been a rough week for me. I'm feeling tired, overworked, and unsettled. All the extra walking, while good for me, has also irritated my ankle (the one that's full of metal). I hope it will work itself out, because I have to walk! (Actually, I could drive to work if I have to, but it's more expensive and not as fun as the train). But I DO have to climb stairs, there is no getting around that!

I'm looking forward to getting more stuff unpacked and organized, and perhaps even finding a couch this weekend. I'm sick of the empty room, and fighting with my cats for the one comfortable chair!

One of those days

October 18th, 2012 at 08:30 pm

Another really bad night's sleep, and I'm exhausted.

I have been dumped with too much work, to be done in too little time.

The weather's icky.

My new home is infested with little black flying beetles. Harmless, but not good roommates.

The more I unpack, the bigger the mess is.

I have to have minor surgery next week, and I am not feeling ready.

The good news --

No spending today.

I found my black shoes (my back-ups sprung a leak!)

I get to have dinner with my grandkids tonight and put them to bed.

It's almost Friday!

Free food

October 17th, 2012 at 06:56 pm

I've been getting the benefit of free food at work due to several birthdays and Bosses' Day. Granted, it's mostly carbs, but with my new commuting schedule, I appreciate not having to pack food.

This morning I was ready a little earlier than usual and walked to the station rather than wait at home. A train was leaving just as I was arriving. So I could take an even earlier train if I wanted! It might not pay off, though, if there is not a corresponding early train out of the city...

I've started a new "station" book, and returned the other. I've lost interest in getting Kindle books. The ones that are free I've already read or I'm not interested in reading. I've spent too many years getting free reading from the library to pay for it now. I do understand that I can get free Kindle books from the library, but frankly, it's so easy to pick up a book at the station and just give it back when I'm done. Maybe after I work my way through the selection I'll feel differently.

Tomorrow night I am babysitting for my grandsons and my DIL has offered to make dinner (another free meal!) So I will go there straight after work. She has promised she won't be out late, but even so, I could fall asleep on the couch once the kids are in bed. And I might.

I unpacked one more box last night -- and it reminded me that I have to get a toy box. In my apartment, I used built-in bookshelves for the toys, but here I have no such feature. I am thinking I could use the chest I am currently using as a coffee table, and then buy a more traditional coffee table to go with the new couch. I would have to empty the chest of all the board games stored there, but they should be stored in the dining room, anyway, where the table is. I have a bookshelf in the dining room, and all I have to do is empty it of the knick-knacks, which will go ... where? Such is the unpacking life. I will be glad when I get it all sorted out.

My only spending today -- $5 for a $10 Dunkin Donuts coupon from Groupon. I figure I will use it when traveling.

This and that

October 16th, 2012 at 01:45 pm

Did another load of laundry last night -- sheets and towels -- $1.50. I hope I am now caught up for a while.

I made my first mortgage payment yesterday. I doubled it, then rounded up. I hope that I will always be able to do this, at least as long as I am working.

I still have some cash left over. I am going to move some to my slush fund and emergency fund -- get both of them fully funded -- but after that, I'm not sure what to do. I could buy stock, or I could put a chunk of money on the mortgage. I know what I DON'T want to do is fritter it away.

I haven't yet had a chance to look for a couch. I hope this weekend will be the right time. I've seen good-looking couches on the Home Reserve website. The couch is delivered in boxes and has to be assembled. I would be assured that it would fit through the door -- but I am not at all sure about the assembly process. I've had a lot of trouble with assembly and have sworn it off several times. I don't think either of my kids are particularly handy in that way, either. So I think I'll go with the "real" couch and just be careful to measure.

I found my phone charger last night -- plugged into an outlet, so I used it already in my new home and just didn't remember. So I hooked up that phone, and -- yup, it's still there -- no phone today. I also forgot to pack the bread for my sandwich.

What I DID remember -- the book to return to the station, the rest of my lunch, my keys, my pass, and the kitty litter trash which I take out every morning. Evidently, I can' remember more than five things at a time!

Just lost a post

October 15th, 2012 at 02:52 pm

I don't know how....!

So I'll make it brief this time and say -- I'm tired (what's new?) I'm glad Homecoming is over.

I spent:

$7.50 at Steak N Shake
$32 on gas
$22 on used books
$4 on used games
$5 on a secondhand pair of pants
$3 on laundry
$22 at burger place

I managed to pack breakfast and lunch today!

I can't find my phone charger. Frown

Looking forward to a good night's sleep tonight!

The aftermath

October 15th, 2012 at 02:47 pm

What an exhausting weekend. Homecoming -- tons of extra work. Former in-laws in town -- extra time spent visiting. Babysitting -- always fun but always exhausting. Then last night, when I should have been sleeping like a log, I was awake because 1) my joints hurt and Aleve wasn't cutting it, and 2) I smelled skunk -- must have sprayed in the alley, but it was so strong you'd think he did it in my condo!

I can't find my phone charger. I have one in the car, but would have to drive around to charge the phone -- wish I had thought of it while I was going back forth to Homecoming! Anyway, I know where it WAS in my old apartment, but just can't figure out where it is at this end. So frustrating.

I spent a bit this weekend. I expected to be fed at Homecoming, but I was always marooned at registration or at the information table. While I could grab a few snacks, I did not get a meal. So when I left on Saturday night, I was starving. I stopped at Steak N Shake and spent $7.50 on a sandwich and drink.

I also made a Goodwill stop, to drop off things, and popped in to look around. I found two Scrabble Jr. games ($2 each), which I am collecting for the letter tiles, and also a nice pair of pants ($5). I am a little low on wintery pants, and this is a washable pair so I snapped it up.

I also went to a used bookstore and bought the last two Hunger Games books for my DIL. $22. (Not cheap for used books!)

Also filled up on gas ($32) while I had the car in the land of cheaper gas.

Yesterday evening I did two loads of laundry ($3) and tonight I really should wash my sheets and towels.

On Friday I spent $22 treating co-workers to hamburgers. It was my turn -- nothing official, but each of us on our small team occasionally treats for lunch. I had an AmazonLocal coupon I needed to use before the end of the year, so I volunteered.

Today I ALMOST left the house with no food packed (I got up late due to my lousy night's sleep). But I thought about having to tell you guys, so I threw a bag of salad, a block of cheese and a bag of grapes in my bag. There was already oatmeal at work for breakfast, I just had to be patient and not think about eating till I got to work. For lunch I just need to scrounge up some dressing -- I think there are freebie packets in the fridge, but if not, I'll make a run to the cafeteria and buy a little cup from the salad bar.

So, see, you are keeping me honest, somewhat!

So much for NSD

October 12th, 2012 at 01:49 pm

Shortly after I said I would try for a NSD, I bought a flat iron from Folica. $59. It was a good price, and I had already decided I wanted to have one at work. The elements are going to do a number on my hair on my daily walk from the station, whether it be rain or snow or a warm hat.

I need to be thinking about a winter coat, too. I have lots of coats and jackets, but the only really warm one I have is short and very casual. I need something longer and suitable for work. A friend recommended North Face, which looks pretty casual, but if I found something in a quiet color it might be okay.

I drove today, since I'll be working late. I had to take a detour, but still got here a little before the train does. It was pretty hassle-free, too. Still, I won't be doing it a lot because it's cheaper to take the train. There won't be many weekends like this -- Homecoming comes but once a year!

I bought my breakfast again -- this time at McDonalds. I just can't seem to focus on breakfast at home. I don't have a lunch today, either. Once I get really settled, I think I'll get all the food issues straightened out.

I had my outfit planned for today and was quite surprised to find that the pants I had in mind are missing in action. They must be in a box or suitcase somewhere. I really need to focus on unpacking, but now I am at that unlovely point where I'm running out of room and don't know where to put the things I unpack. Sigh.

Beef jerky for breakfast

October 11th, 2012 at 01:58 pm

This morning I ate some beef jerky for breakfast and thus wasn't tempted by the pastries at the station. Not the best breakfast, but it was low-carb and fast. I really don't have time to cook a breakfast at home and at 5:30 AM I am not hungry. But I sure do get hungry along the way! I'm thinking boiled eggs and cheese slices might be other portable options.

No spending yesterday after breakfast, and I'll try to make this a NSD, too. My big plan for tonight is to figure out where the library's drop box is. I hear there is a drive-by, so I wouldn't have to pay for parking to return a book.

I may not use my new local library too much, even though it seems pretty awesome. Aside from the pay-for-parking issue, I do have a wonderful library across the street from where I work, and I think I can work out an agreement to borrow there, as a College employee. I actually walk past it every day on my way from the station. Also, the stations themselves have freebie books available on a give-one take-one basis, and I have seen some pretty good titles available. The book I am reading now is from one of the stations, and I am enjoying it.

Tomorrow will be a long day. I will go straight from work to an alumni reception for Homecoming. It is scheduled to last until 9. I am going to drive to work -- the trains are too sporadic after rush hour. I don't want to get caught waiting for an hour downtown. Then Saturday will be another long day -- information table, game, alumni tent, reunion dinner -- long, long day. On Saturday morning I will be going to my ex's for breakfast (he does this quite often for the kids when he has family visiting, and I am always invited -- and I usually go). I usually take something, but it is always coals to Newcastle -- too much food! Maybe I'll pick up some coffee.

I am anxious for this month to be over so I can look over my numbers and get a feel for my expenses in my new place. I am hoping my utilities, for one, will be less expensive, but so far I have not received a bill for any services used here (except the Comcast bill.) Speaking of the Comcast bill, I think I may be all right on that -- upon examining it, it looks like the higher charge includes installation so the next bill should be more in line ... We'll see.

Another day

October 10th, 2012 at 03:43 pm

Another load of laundry last night - $1.50. I had a better experience with the dryer, letting it run through the whole cycle. Everything was dry and more or less wrinkle-free.

That should catch me up on laundry for a while. I'm glad, because I don't really like the trek to the basement. It's awkward, carrying a basket and unlocking doors, and two flights of stairs to boot. I am storing my detergent and fabric softener in my locker, which is close to the laundry, so I don't have to mess with that, but it does mean more locking and unlocking. I have a bajillion keys!

In addition to doing laundry, I made chicken salad last night (brought it for lunch today) and made some chicken broth for a future meal. And gave myself a much-needed pedicure!

I was ready earlier than usual this morning -- I don't know quite how I did it, since I had to wash my hair. I even had time to get the crockpot going. I got to the station early and bought breakfast - cappuccino and a granola bar - $3.50. Note to self -- should have used the extra time to eat something at home!

I got my new Comcast bill -- sure enough, it's higher. Somehow the message that I wanted the same service did not get through. However, for the higher price I do seem to have a broad range of channels and I just might stick with it. At least long enough to see how I like it. Let's see -- what channel is "Extreme Cheapskates" on?

I already finished my library book so I picked up a science fiction book at the station. I've only read a little but it seems like it might be interesting. I am not a science fiction fan, but if the characters are interesting, I can enjoy the story.

I haven't done much unpacking at all this week, and I won't have much time this weekend either -- it is Homecoming weekend, and I have to work all day Saturday. Maybe Sunday will be productive.

Coins in the lamplight

October 9th, 2012 at 02:06 pm

I found .21 this morning -- three coins in three different places, on my walk this morning. And it was dark -- but the light from the streetlamps made them shine. I'm going to keep watching for coins; I have had excellent luck in the past few days.

I did laundry last night -- $1.50. I am trying to get used to the dryer. It seems to run a long time and the clothes come out very hot. There is no dial to see the drying cycle. I had it on normal (because there were jeans in the load)-- tonight, when I do the next load, I'll try permanent press.

I seared some stew beef and put it in the fridge last night. I meant to put it in the crock pot this morning, but did not, for lack of time. I have determined that I MUST leave the house at 6 to make the train. If it gets past six, I might as well linger at home, because the next train doesn't come till 6:51.

So tonight the plan is -- do another load of laundry, make chicken salad, and simmer the chicken carcass to make broth. And unpack another box! I didn't do that last night.

Tomorrow morning -- get that stew beef in the crock pot, and in the evening I'll make Stroganoff.

I didn't bring a lunch today, but I have oatmeal and nuts to see me through.

I'm still not sleeping good -- I think my mind is just whirling with all the change, and I'll eventually adjust. I think the time change will help, too, as I'm sleeping REAL well at 5 am!


October 8th, 2012 at 06:47 pm

Another bad night's sleep. I just can't seem to drop off that edge, even when I'm tired and sleepy. I woke up feeling awful but wrenched myself out of bed at 5 in order to make the early train -- only to realize halfway down the alley that I didn't have my pass with me. The time it took to go back and get it made me just late enough to watch the train go by as I was climbing the steps to the station. The next train came about a half hour later. To console myself, I bought a banana muffin. $2.39.

Thank goodness it is quiet at work today and not much is expected of me. The students are off for Columbus Day, which we call Fall Recess.

I paid my $339 assessment fee and arranged for my insurance company to send documentation to my property company. Seems like the paperwork never ends.

I also remembered, just in the nick of time, to re-register to vote -- I am in a different county now. As long as the application is postmarked October 9, I should be able to vote in the November election.

Tonight it's more laundry -- I have two loads tonight, I think. I "bought" some quarters from my co-workers in preparation. I will have to remember to get a roll of quarters at the grocery from now on.

There is a sign in the building lobby announcing the monthly homeowners' association meeting to be held in Mrs. L---'s apartment. C'mon folks, how am I supposed to know where to go? Actually, I can figure it out because of the kind of work I do (I have access to Lexis-Nexis), but how annoying is that? Am I the only new person in the building? And if I am, wouldn't you think they'd put a more informative note in my box? Perhaps even a welcome?

I'm cranky today.

A productive weekend

October 7th, 2012 at 11:03 pm

It's been a busy weekend. Yesterday, I got up early and located the local Target. I happened to have quite a few Target coupons so I did my grocery shopping there was well as shop for house items. It is not a Super Target, so the food offerings were limited, but I could work with it. I spent $130, with $6 going to a turntable for a kitchen cabinet, $6 for kitty litter, $4 for giftwrap, and $35 for bathroom hardware. All the rest - $79 - went to food. On the way there I also spent $30 on gas. (Must find a different station -- overpriced and credit card reader wasn't working.)

After I unloaded my groceries, I went to find the local library. It seems like a great place, but you have to pay to park there! That might cramp my style. I paid $1 to park (but I found .91 in the lot!) I think this area may be a mecca for coin-finding! I got a library card and checked out a one-week book to read on the train. I must finish it in one week as there are no renewals. (This is just for the most popular books).

In the afternoon, I went to my DIL's baby shower, which was held in a local pizza parlor and was a lot of fun. I took home gardening gloves, measuring spoons and two plants as favors and prizes.

I forgot to mention that on Friday night I spent $1.50 on laundry. I met a lady in the laundry room who used to teach at a university (in another state) where I worked for a long time. Unfortunately, she is moving away, so I won't get to pursue that friendship.

This morning I slept in till 8 (that's really late for me!) I spent most of the day opening boxes and putting things away. I made a lot of progress, but there is still a lot to do. But I'm really starting to feel like I live here!

Late in the afternoon, my son called me to come to the playground (right down the street) where we watched the grandsons at play and talked. After a while they came home with me and my son helped me with a few things. I now have my home office set up (in the living room) and my bedroom closets are filled. The kitchen is done and so is the bathroom. The vital areas! Tonight I baked a chicken in my new oven, and I ran the dishwasher for the first time.

Tomorrow I start the work week over again -- and it will be a long one since I will have to work Homecoming weekend -- but I am feeling much more settled.

Cheap dinner and train trials

October 5th, 2012 at 02:30 pm

Last night was a frugal night out, as my friend insisted on paying for our dinner at a Mexican restaurant, and I only contributed $6 to the tip. Of course, it's not really frugal, because now I am committed to paying for her next time! On the plus side, I did take home a couple of quesadillas for dinner tonight.

Because of the night out, I took the 7:15 train to the city. (I usually catch the 4:15). Then I had to wait until 8:30 for the train home. This meant I had to walk home a little after nine. I was nervous at the thought of it, but the 6-block walk was uneventful and I didn't really feel frightened. It felt good to get home, though!

All my joints and my bad ankle were screaming last night when I went to bed. I got up and took Aleve, but it was still quite a while before the pain subsided enough for me to sleep. I am hoping that the pain is coming from my increased activity and my body will adjust as it becomes routine.

Anyway, because of the bad night, I couldn't get up at 5 this morning. The alarm went off at 5 but I didn't manage to get up until 6. I took a later train, but I learned that it is really much better to take the earlier one. I had a longer wait at the downtown station, and there was no express to my work station.

I'm so glad it's Friday! I hope I can get a little farther along in unpacking this weekend. I have a shower to go to (for my grandchild-to-be), shopping to do, laundry to do (and that will be my first adventure with coin-op laundry in the basement) ... but I hope to at least get my home office set up. My laptop is still in the carrying case, and the desk is piled high with boxes. Even though I have my computer here at work, I feel unconnected....

I should also look at couches this weekend. The time will go fast.

Making a little progress

October 4th, 2012 at 01:43 pm

I realized this morning that I actually look forward to my train ride. I love the reading and relaxing. The walks to and from the two stations take about 40-45 minutes altogether, so are a good way to get my fitness done for the day.

This morning I spent $2 for a scone at the station. I haven't grocery-shopped yet, and since I'm going out to dinner tonight, it won't happen till Friday night or Saturday. I've been making do with the little food I brought from my old place, and food that my kids have shared with me. Yesterday was a birthday for two people at work, so there was food available there, too.

I'm meeting friends at an Italian restaurant near the station on my work end. That means I will get back home about an hour later than usual and walking in the dark. That makes me a little nervous, but the walk is through a very nice quiet neighborhood, so I probably shouldn't be. I was raised to never walk alone after dark, and it's a lesson that stuck! (That said, I'm walking in the dark in the morning, but that feels different.) Soon it will be dark both ways, so I might as well get used to it.

Last night I transferred my undies, camisoles and socks into a shallow little dresser I used to use for whatnots. This morning I put my shoes in a rack in the closet. Some pairs are still missing in action. I assume they are in boxes I haven't unpacked. (There are lots of those!) Every day getting dressed in the morning gets a little easier.

This morning I spotted the box I packed my sweaters in. I was glad -- I think I'll need them soon!

Settling In

October 3rd, 2012 at 01:44 pm

This was my third day taking the train to work, but it was the first day it felt a bit challenging. I woke up hard, dragged myself through getting ready, and walked to the station in a light drizzle -- no umbrella, because I didn't know where it was. (I remembered later -- in the car). Now my hair is doing its crazy curly thing, when I would much rather have it straight. I might invest in a flat iron to keep at work.

Last night DS1 and his wife came over to help with the unpacking. We got through a lot of boxes. The kitchen is almost all set up. He also hung a shelf in the bathroom, put casters on my bed and chairs, put brackets on the hutch and carried a lot of stuff to the trash. I'm starting to feel a little bit settled.

I had hot soup for dinner last night -- first time I had a hot meal, since I didn't find my pots till last night!

I still have a lot of work to do in the bedroom. I have to completely refigure the way I store my clothes, because the bedroom is smaller and my closets are so different. I will probably start storing out-of-season clothes, which I have not had to do before.

I brought an old dresser, planning to re-purpose it as a dining room sideboard. It is a piece of junk to start with, but it got scratched in the moved, and now a drawer is stuck in the "out" position. So once I get it emptied, I'm going to get rid of it and get a new sideboard. Target has some nice ones that don't cost too much.

I looked online for couches but didn't see anything that spoke to me. I think for a couch I'm going to have to do it live.

Someone asked me what I liked best about my new place. I have to say, there are so many things -- I love the cute kitchen, even though it's small. I love the wood and tile floors. I love the view of the courtyard. I love walking home through a neighborhood of stately old homes and seeing the lake a few blocks away. I WILL love the dining room, when it's functional!

And I love it that my boys can just drop over since I'm so close. It really is going to be a whole new life!

September recap

October 2nd, 2012 at 01:33 pm

What a month! I have a few new categories to reflect my new circumstances.

Housing: $2364
Moving: $710
Vacation/Travel: $645
Car Repair/Maintenance: $355
Medical/Health: $189
Insurance: $156
Fares: $145
Gifts/Charity: $130
Fees/Services: $96
Utilities: $94
Eating Out: $90
Furnishings/Equipment: $65
Phone: $55
Groceries: $46
Gas: $43
Personal: $36
Household Supplies: $34
Clothing: $29
Misc: $22
Vet/Pet Supplies: $13
Entertainment: $10
Total: $5327

Then, of course, there is the $31,000 down payment that I did not count in my monthly expenses. The closing costs came out to be $5781. The "housing" expense above is what it cost to break my lease.

Next month will reflect my first mortgage payment and assessment fees.

The car repair cost was replacing the brake rotors about 1/3 of the way into our trip, and replacing the wiper blades about 7/8 of the way back. I could have waited till I got home to do the brakes -- it wasn't dangerous -- but they were annoying and I had a great service experience with a Toyota dealer in Kentucky.

The vacation/travel expense reflects the road trip as well as some of the cost of the previous trip to Florida for the wedding.

The medical cost is for two tests performed prior to surgery (later this month).

The insurance is the annual rate for the condo.

Fares -- my monthly pass plus some additional train rides prior to buying the pass.

Gifts -- mostly for flowers for the funeral.

Nothing else is particularly remarkable except how low the utilities and groceries were. Utilities were low because the electric bill didn't fall into this month (paid last of August, first of September). The grocery bill was low because I was deliberately "eating down" my pantry.

Next month will be the first taste of the new normal.

I'm back, I'm relocated, I'm tired!!

October 1st, 2012 at 08:49 pm

What a week. A long car trip, a funeral, and a move, all in one week.

I'm in my new place, more or less. I will be living with boxes for a while, I think. But it's done!

All went well except that the couch didn't fit through the door and had to be sacrificed. It's too bad, but at least it was an old couch and it was getting pretty saggy. I'll have to shop for something more streamlined.

I'll do a recap of costs and my crazy monthly costs tomorrow.

For now, hello again!!!!