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Archive for June, 2019


June 23rd, 2019 at 08:49 am

GS2 and I went to see the Avengers movie yesterday. No cost since he had gift cards (which he almost lost, but found in a pocket). He was quite unconcerned that he may have lost $50 worth of gift cards, but I was freaking out! Hopefully, when he gets older, he will be more money-conscious.

After the movie, we stopped at Pepboys because the tire light came on. We would have had to wait an hour and a half before they could check the tires over for holes or nails, so we settled for free air in the all the tires. The light went off. Hoping that is the end of it, but I'll be watching.

I made some homemade chicken vegetable noodle soup yesterday. We didn't eat any; just had chicken sandwiches and salad for dinner. I like to let soup season for a day or so anyway. I doubt that GS2 will eat any, but I will!

I've promised to make stuffed peppers tonight.

Today he is going to his D&D club, which meets for three hours. That will give me a chance to slip home and do some laundry, etc.

Tomorrow he has music lessons, and for "Eat-Out Day" we will go to his favorite restaurant, IHOP.

Everything is going so well.

One Day Down

June 22nd, 2019 at 07:28 am

My first day with GS2 went well. We went to his grandpa's house (my ex) to water their plants while they are on vacation. Doing this will earn a little money for him. Then I stopped at Walgreen's and picked up some creamer and sparkling water ($7). I like to have those around, and DS & DIL don't use them. I went to Walgreen's, because it was graduation day at the big university in town, and getting around was a huge challenge. Walgreen's was the easiest in/out.

I made myself a salad for lunch and GS2 made eggs & cheese for himself. For dinner I warmed up a rotisserie chicken that was in the fridge, which I served with carrots and rolls. This morning I stripped the carcass and put it in a pot for broth. I pulled off a lot of chicken to use for sandwiches, etc.

Today I made toast for myself and oatmeal for GS2. It was instant oatmeal, which I don't care for. We'll probably have chicken sandwiches for lunch.

We are planning on seeing a movie today. DIL left two AMC gift cards worth $50, so that will be free. He wants to see the Avengers movie, and I have to check that it's okay with his parents. (He's 9.) I wish he wanted to see Aladdin, Secret Life of Pets, or Toy Story, but he said no to all of them. Frown

Tomorrow he goes to his D&D club, on Monday he has music lessons, and on Tuesday & Wednesday he goes to the gym. Thursday seems to be a free day, but I have to go to PT. We'll see how that works out. If GS1's team loses early, the family might be home by then.

I'm only saying all this to firm it up in my mind!

I'm having fun!

Oh, and I found a penny yesterday, so found money is now $101.19!

Full-time Babysitting Begins

June 21st, 2019 at 05:37 am

Some time today GS2 will come over and I will have him for about a week, depending on how the tournament goes. We will sleep at his house, but will spend some time here during the day so my cat doesn't think he's abandoned.

I'm planning to make cheese quesadillas for lunch, but after that I'm going to be creating meals from the fridge at GS2's house. I'm really going to try to keep spending down, because pay day doesn't arrive till Wednesday.

I was looking at my calendar and so much is coming up. Another set of physical therapy, a trip to my brother's and a trip to my BFF's. Also, the boys are going to camp -- different weeks, but not overlapping with any of my trips.

I've had two six-hour nights in a row and that's not enough. I could sleep in a little later, but my cat won't let me. He insists I get up and feed him so he can sniff at the food and then look at me like I'm poisoning him.Smile So if I don't get to sleep early enough, my goose is cooked.

A Day Off!

June 20th, 2019 at 04:36 am

My DIL is taking a day off work today, so she will be caring for the boys. That's great, because starting tomorrow I will have GS2 in my full-time care for a week, while his brother and parents go to Cooperstown for a baseball tournament. GS2 is not much work, but it is a responsibility.

I plan to go to the gym, do a load of laundry, and rest up!

Yesterday brought another away game which was about an hour away. To make matters worse, it was cold and rainy, but not raining enough to call the game. Luckily, our team pulled ahead by ten points and the game was shortened by the slaughter rule.

My gas tank was low, so I bought gas in the suburb I was in. It was probably about as cheap as I can get it at Sam's. Total cost was $23. That brings variables to 87%. Six more days to pay day.

I'll be using the food in DIL's fridge for the next few days. It is her wish that I use it up while caring for GS2. That will help with the budget.

Long Days

June 19th, 2019 at 04:47 am

Yesterday was long. I picked up the boys at their gym at 10:45 am, and I didn't go off-duty until 8:30 pm. That was because I took GS1 to his game and the pre-game practice, right after DIL got home. There is another game tonight. But maybe it will rain!

It didn't help that the game was a heart breaker -- our team comfortably ahead until the last inning, when the other team had a hitting spree and pulled ahead to win.

I did get a free lunch -- they had some very good leftover stuffed pizza that warmed up beautifully. It was so filling I didn't have any supper.

Today I'll make that corn pone pie for lunch that I planned for yesterday.

No spending yesterday, except for a load of laundry. I don't expect there will be any today.

I had 7 hours of sleep last night, but less than an hour of deep sleep. I never feel good when the deep sleep is so scant.

Thinking about the end of gap year, and what I will do with my increased income. I'm thinking I will add $10 to each spending category in variables (there are 18) and put the rest in savings for big ticket items. That will give me some breathing space. I'm also going to round up my mortgage payment to $400, which is only $52 more per month. After I tackle some of my big expenses coming up, I'll review adding more to the mortgage.

This and That

June 18th, 2019 at 05:57 am

I got credited with the BOA cashback savings -- it has gone into my savings account, which is just fine.

I had a good day with the boys yesterday. After music lessons, they chose Steak N Shake for Eat-Out Day. The bill was $29 including tip. Then we went to the library. In the evening there was a baseball game up in Lake Forest. My grandson ran home twice, made an awesome throw that got someone out at home, and pitched an inning successfully. And the team won, so it was a good game.

Today I'm picking them up from their gym. They are taking advantage of a program for pre-teens, where they work with a trainer three days a week. I'm planning to bring them home for some corn pone pie (chili with a topping of cornbread).

And there is another game tonight! Again, an away game, but not quite as far.

I put a load of laundry in this morning. Someone had left laundry in all three machines, so I moved one load out and went ahead and started mine. I don't have time to wait on other people. But I don't understand how someone could use all the available machines and then not keep the process moving. Maybe they were just about to come down and do that. I hope so.

I had kind of a rough night. The Fitbit shows 7 wake-ups between 11 and 1. I was in pain, and I know I took Tylenol a couple of times during the night. I got less than an hour of deep sleep, but I did make seven hours. It seems to be par for the course these days.

Variables are at 83%. With a week of full-time childcare coming up, I will probably not be able to meet my goal this month. But I will get a break later in the summer, when they take a couple of family vacations. Also, the boys will be going to camp this summer -- at different times, however.

It didn't even feel like summer yesterday. I wore a heavy jacket to the game. At night, I was cold and thought about getting out an extra blanket. My air conditioners are not yet installed and I'm starting to wonder if I will even need them this summer.

A Nice Sunday

June 17th, 2019 at 06:33 am

I had a very nice Sunday. I finished watching "The Rain," and I started watching "Outlander" on Netflix. I actually watched Season 1 a long time ago, but I have to watch it again before watching Season 2 because I have forgotten pretty much everything.

I also spent a lot of time reading.

I felt like I had a rough night last night, but my Fitbit says I got 7 hours, with an hour and 43 minutes of deep sleep. I'll take that.

Today I am taking the boys to music lessons and then out to lunch, as this is our "eat-out day." Then we'll go to the library.

There is a game tonight, and the next two nights as well. And I started babysitting GS2 full-time starting Friday, so I am not going to get much of a break for a while. Good thing I had a low-key weekend.

I looked at my BOA bank account this morning, and they have not credited me with the cashback savings on my BOA credit card. I may just be impatient, but how hard can it be? I'll keep watching.

Happy Father's Day

June 16th, 2019 at 06:25 am

Yesterday was a pretty calm day. I attended GS1's baseball game in the afternoon. That was easy, as the park was nearby, and the game only lasted an hour. Our team won by the slaughter rule -- when one team is 10 points ahead, the game ends.

This coming week there are three away games, so I think I am going to end up buying more gas.

I didn't spend anything yesterday. Today I am shelling out $1.50 for laundry.

Variables are at 77%. It's been such a long pay cycle. I still have a week and half to go.

I talked to my Florida son last night. He was very excited about a new plan to bring in more money with some side hustles and invest it. This is a big turnaround for him, as he has been pretty lax about money in the past. Seems he is finally learning. I'm going to send him info on the mystery shopping sites I use.

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!


June 15th, 2019 at 08:28 am

I just had the weird experience of leaving a comment on Amber's site, only to see that I was somehow logged in as MonkeyMama. Then my comment disappeared, along with MM's, I assume. Sorry, MM, if that was the case. I shut down and logged in as myself, so hopefully, this will show up as my own post. I have to say that all dysfunction on this site is entertaining, if baffling.

I've been busy this morning. I've been to the gym, and then I went to Jewel and spent $24. I wanted to go the library and pick up a book on hold, but it wasn't open yet, so I swung by Mickey D's and got a $1 sausage biscuit. Then I went to the library, only to find that the "book" I'd put on hold was an audiobook, so I had to change the hold. I did find another book I wanted to check out, so I'm not bookless until the holds come in.

Yesterday was a no-spend day, which I spent inside. I watched two episodes of "The Rain" on Netflix and got some chores done, including peeling and cooking all my bargain potatoes and making a huge batch of mashed potatoes which I froze in small containers. I can use them as side dishes in the future, or I can turn them into soup with a little broth and milk.

I arranged with SIL to work at her store on the 4th and 5th. She says I can be the cashier. Hope I can run the machine without too much trouble!

I also made plans to go visit BFF the last weekend in June.

Starting next Friday, I'm going to be babysitting GS2 full-time while his mom & dad & brother go to Cooperstown for a baseball tournament. I can't afford to go, and GS2 doesn't want to sit through rounds of baseball games, so this is a happy solution. He's an easy-care guy.

This and That

June 14th, 2019 at 05:30 am

I managed not to spend anything yesterday. I did reap a few cashback rewards -- $8 from BOA and $7 from Discover. I am banking both.

I had a short day watching the boys -- only 11 am to 3 pm. But I went to an away baseball game in the evening, which took 4 hours out of my day. I needed to do that because I was GS1's ride home. It was an exciting game, but unfortunately our team lost in a last-inning rally.

I made hot pockets for the boys for lunch and rounded it out with fruit from their home. DIL gave me a couple of overripe bananas. Today I'm going to make blueberry banana bread.

I'm also planning to cook a bunch of potatoes in the Instant Pot to make potato soup. I can probably make the soup in it, too, I just have to look up a recipe.

I got 6 1/2 hours sleep last night, with about an hour of it in deep sleep. Maybe I can take a nap today.

My SIL in Michigan has asked if I can come help her the first week in July when she has a big outdoor sale at her antique store. She would pay $10 an hour, but the real incentive would be getting to spend time with them. I would have to check with DIL to see if she can manage without me -- also concerned about my hip and all that standing -- might not be a good idea. So I'm conflicted.

Hmmmm I

June 13th, 2019 at 08:39 am

I can't log in on my computer, but it works on my phone!

Yesterday was a low-spend day, just $1.50 for parking. I took GS2 to the orthodontist, which was downtown. They may have had dedicated parking somewhere, but I couldn't find it, and it was raining, besides.

Tonight GS1 has a game in a suburb about an hour away. I offered to take him. Chances are it will be cancelled. It's pretty rainy today.

I'm going to take over the hot pocket ingredients for the boys' lunch. We ended up having pizza from the freezer yesterday, since there was little time between appointments and playdates.

I'm getting lots of reading done! Just put holds on three more books at the library.

Long Day

June 12th, 2019 at 04:06 am

Yesterday was a long day. Babysitting didn't start till 10:30, but DIL worked till 6, so it was long anyway. DS is traveling; had he been working here he would have been home by 5:30. Not all that much difference, I guess! GS1 spent the afternoon at a friend's house, so it was relatively easy, just caring for GS2. The problem was that I wasn't feeling very well, so it was just a bit of a struggle. I did perk up midafternoon.

I made cheeseburger sliders with sides of mac & cheese and watermelon for the boys for lunch. Today I'm going to make homemade chicken hot pockets. And more watermelon. There's a lot to eat.

Last night's sleep was particularly short -- only 5 1/2 hours. I'm not feeling it now, but I probably will later.

No spending yesterday, and now only two weeks till payday.

Sleepless in Chicago

June 11th, 2019 at 05:38 am

Only 24 minutes of deep sleep last night. And only 6 hours and 20 minutes overall. Not enough. I can't use Advil every night, so I just have to power through.

Yesterday I took the boys to Walgreens before their music lessons, and we bought birthday cards for their mom. Well, I bought them all. But it was such fun to watch them picking them out. They both picked out wonderful cards for their mom. The total was $22, unfortunately! After music lessons we ate at Noodles & Co. and that was $32. The rest of the week -- that is, today through Thursday, we will eat at home, either mine or theirs. Today I have sliders ready to warm up.

My prescription for restless legs was renewed -- only $10. I already paid online and just need to pick it up.

I'm doing a load of laundry now. That and the above expenses have brought variables up to 72%.

Oh, and I got a bill for $80 for my PT consultation. Makes me shudder to think what the rest of it will cost. I'm not going to pay that bill till payday.

Hooray for Advil!

June 10th, 2019 at 04:36 am

I took some Advil last night before bed. My doctor said I could if I really needed it, and I needed it. I had a better night. The sleep was only 7 hours, but I had more deep sleep -- 16% -- and I feel better. I don't feel pain this morning. I think my home exercises are making my pain worse, not better. This has happened to me before -- I overdo. I'm going to stop for a while and then do them more gently.

I completed my mystery shop yesterday, spending $20 above what I will be compensated for -- but that's all right -- I got things I needed. Variables are now 61%. Two weeks and two days to go.

I bought a watermelon because one of my tasks was to ask a produce worker how to pick a ripe one. Well, then I felt obligated to buy it. It's a small one, but still too much for me. I'm going to share it with the kids. It's still in the car; I was too tired to lug it upstairs.

Today I'm taking the boys to music lessons. They will be hungry afterwards, and we will be in an area where all the restaurants are, so I think we will make Monday eat-out day. I have meals in the freezer for the rest of the week.

Iggy (my cat) seems to be okay now, digestion-wise. But last night he bit me! I think it was a love bite, but he's never done that before. He seemed quite surprised himself, especially when I squawked!

No-Spend Saturday

June 9th, 2019 at 04:15 am

Yesterday was a no-spend day. Variables are at 57%, and there are two and a half weeks to go till pay day.

It will be an interesting pay day. I will pay my mortgage at the new interest rate (which has raised the payment from $321 to $348), and I will owe $250 for the mortgage reset. I will also pay my semi-annual car insurance, which is $643. That's a lot all at once, and I may need to do some juggling.

I slept only 6 hours last night. I dreamed that I had fallen off a building -- that's how much pain I was in. It is frustrating. I went through this procedure to get rid of pain, but I'm starting to wonder if I ever will. I got up at 5, simply because it is less painful to be up and moving around than it is to lie in bed. Weird.

Only two more months of gap year (if indeed I will get the first higher check in August). I've been pretty lucky, with not many emergencies, and I hope that continues for the little time left. I have a mental list kicking around of all the things I need to get done once my income goes up -- I'll share when it becomes more solidified! I know one big expense will be the co-pay for all this physical therapy, once it comes to an end.

More birthday spending

June 8th, 2019 at 06:15 am

My only spending yesterday was $16 to Amazon for a birthday gift for DIL. (Both my DIL's have June birthdays!) I still need to get a card and maybe a candy bar or two.

I signed up for a mystery shop this weekend. I have ten pages of instructions to read, and it only pays $5 plus $9 in goods. The most frustrating part is that I am supposed to ask an associate a specific question, but can I find it anywhere? No, I cannot. I have to go back to the site. Supposedly there will be two more documents accessible today, so more reading, oh goody!

I may go to the gym today. I am struggling with how much to try to do gym time on top of PT and my PT exercises. I know it's probably not too much exercise, but I don't want to hurt my healing hip, either. My hip still hurts, especially at night. My Fitbit shows disrupted sleep. Last night I was awake 10 times before I woke up for good. But I did get 7 hours overall, so that is acceptable.

Forgot to say: I did spend $29 for gas.


June 7th, 2019 at 05:51 am

My cat seems to be feeling better today. No more signs of diarrhea but I will keep watching him.

I got to my PT appointment way early yesterday so I went to a nearby Home Goods store. I spent $21 there, buying two gifts, and one little gift for me, a porcelain mug for $5. It has a hydrangea pattern, and I just couldn't resist it.

I removed the $295 hospital bill from variables, which takes it down to 43%. I was kind of hoping I could cash flow it, but it will have to come from savings. I do have $5K+ in my EF, so it is not a tragedy.

My auto insurance declaration came yesterday, and the next six months will cost $643. I have a bunch of discounts and it is still that high. But it is no higher than it was last time, which is good news. I was afraid my two fender benders would have an affect, even though they were not my fault.

Today I am not looking after the boys. I am going to make a run to the library to pick up a book on hold, and then get some gas at Sam's. I have figured out that putting books on hold saves me parking fees -- I do my browsing at home, and when I get the book, I can just pop a quarter into the meter and run in and out. I know it probably seems weird that I have to pay parking fees to use the library, but the library is located in a heavy shopping district, and if they didn't have metered parking, everyone would park there and go shopping all day. So I get it.

Sick Cat -- and Social Security

June 6th, 2019 at 04:19 am

I have a sick cat today -- at least, a cat with diarrhea. I read up about it online, and it seems it is not time to rush to the vet yet, so I will watch him. If it continues I'll take him in tomorrow.

Today I have PT and I begin my babysitting summer gig, so it wouldn't be a good day anyway.

My visit to the Social Security office was kind of a waste -- I waited for about 40 minutes only to learn I would need to make an appointment -- which would not occur until August. But the person I talked to did say that I would need to apply for my benefits all over again. That helped. I got back online yesterday and filled out the application and submitted it. Hoping I did everything right. Then I used an online calculator to figure out what my new payment would be -- it appears it will be almost twice as much. I can hardly wait.

This and That

June 5th, 2019 at 06:46 am

Yesterday was a no-spend day, but I've done a little spending today. I'm working on a $3 laundry session (two loads), and I bought a $28 gift on Amazon for my Florida DIL. During this gap year, I'm trying to keep gifts in the $30 range. I'll be so glad when it's over.

I plan to go to the Social Security office today to see what I need to do to get set up for the switch to my own benefit in August. I tried to find out on their website, but couldn't find it. Last time I stopped there, the line was out the door, and I left. I hope today is a better day.

Today my DIL is going to do school pickup since it is the last day of school. I start babysitting tomorrow. I have a 10:45 PT appointment which is causing a problem; DIL is trying to find a way to work around it, maybe with a playdate. From now on, my appointments should not interfere with DIL's work hours.

I am doing without painkillers at all now, but it does mean a rough night sometimes. It is so hard to maintain a position that doesn't hurt. I only got 6 1/2 hours last night, but I did get more deep sleep than I did the night before. (Thanks for the info, Fitbit!)

I'm thawing a meatloaf and I'm going to make mashed potatoes (from scratch) today to go with it. I bought 7 lbs. of russet potatoes yesterday for only .99. It may be a challenge to use them up, but I couldn't pass up the bargain.


June 4th, 2019 at 07:52 am

Just got back from the gym. On the way I stopped at Food4Less and spent $15 on a few items. That takes variables to 91%. Yikes! Well, I knew I couldn't cash flow that big medical bill.

I felt a little sore at the gym. I didn't do any exercising on vacation, and the car ride was hard on my hip joint. I was pretty achy. I need to get back in the swing of it. I unfortunately missed a PT session on Monday, because I got home too late, but I have one coming up on Thursday.

School is ending on Wednesday, so I will soon be baby-sitting during the day. My intention with my timing of the surgery was to be all back to normal by the time I needed to do this, but it will actually be about another month before I am considered back to normal. Thank goodness the boys are old enough that I don't have to chase them around or anything. But I imagine I will be pretty tired that first month!