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Archive for October, 2017

Halloween

October 31st, 2017 at 06:13 pm

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 07:48 am

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!

Yesterday

October 29th, 2017 at 05:21 am

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 05:28 am

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 06:08 am

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 10:13 am

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 08:16 am

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 06:37 am

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 07:26 am

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 06:37 am

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 06:12 am

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.

Going to the Doctor Today

October 20th, 2017 at 07:12 am

I have an appointment in about an hour. This is a follow-up on my knee, plus, I will get my flu shot. I'm not even sure what I will tell him about my knee -- I have a different pain in a different place every day, and sometimes it's my other knee! And sometimes it's my hip! I think I'm dealing with generalized joint deterioration. I also have muscle spasms in my thighs, but I think that comes on with fatigue.

My upper body continues to be fine. Smile

I know I need to get into a place where I don't have to climb stairs, but the timing is so bad. My son may move somewhere else when he finishes his degree in December, but I don't know where! So I don't want to relocate somewhere here in town, because I don't know whether I would want to stay without their presence, follow them, or go back to my hometown where my brother is. Also, with my gap year coming up in July, it will be a bad time financially to look for a new home. It would be much better to relocate after my gap year is done, but that will be in August/September 2019.

I really hate the very thought of a move.

I managed not to spend anything yesterday. I have only five days to go before pay day.

Yesterday I made autumn soup (kind of a variation on refrigerator soup -- I used cheese sauce, beef broth, broccoli and carrots, and a roux to thicken it. It was pretty good! I'm going to finish it up today.

I also made chicken fajita filling. I had fajitas for dinner and will have another serving today. So no cooking today is necessary.

Money Still Dribbling Out

October 19th, 2017 at 07:20 am

Well, I intended not to spend anything for a week, and then I spent $17. It was a combination of groceries and eating out. I bought groceries for C's friend, who is staying with her, and bought dinner for my grandson, who was hungry after school but didn't have time to go to my place.

I still have $31 left before I truly overextend, but life being what it is these days, it will be hard not to spend it.

C had a good day yesterday. She sat up and talked with us for hours and didn't seem to be experiencing much pain at all. Every day like this is a gift.

I got a product to try from Pine Cone. I can't say anything about it, but it is a product I use regularly, so I was happy to get a free supply of it.

My son and my grandson went to the Cubs game last night. I'm so happy they won! Even though the boys said they didn't care who won or lost, I'm sure it made a fun experience even more fun!