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Archive for July, 2019

We Are the Champions!

July 22nd, 2019 at 05:32 am

What a night! GS1's team prevailed and won. The score was only 5-2, but there was a lot of back-and-forth tension, as the other team was very good also.

It was so much fun to storm the field afterwards for hugs, pictures, trophy-awarding and general joyous celebrating. This team has hung in there through years of the being the losers. It is so amazing to see their determination rewarded like this!

I spent $3 on a hot dog. It was not very hot, and not much later, someone from the concessions stand went through the crowd selling "ice-cold hot dogs!" for a dollar apiece. I should have waited just a little bit!

Earlier in the day I made a run to the library to pick up a book on hold. I spent only .15 on parking since I only had to run in and out.

Today it's music lessons for the boys, and usually, it's eat-out day. I'm going to ask the boys if we can hold off till Wednesday, my pay day.

Temperatures have returned to normal, and it's so nice to have relief from that heat. I just have a few fans running this morning, and I probably don't really need them.

From Heat to Rain

July 21st, 2019 at 05:12 am

The heat wave broke last night when a storm moved through. Well, not through, because it's still here this morning. Now we're in a flood advisory, but I'm really appreciating the coolness. I've turned off all the AC and even the fans.

I was planning on doing laundry today, but I checked the hampers and none of them are quite full enough. So I'll be doing it in the next few days.

There is an evening game tonight -- doesn't start till 7:30. It is the championship game. We'll have to see if it's dry enough. The game isn't here, but in a town about 25 minutes away.

My grandson has already signed up for a "fall ball" league, so there will be more baseball coming up. My understanding is that the travel involved will be a little more extensive.

Yesterday was a no-spend day, and I expect today will be also.

Hot Game

July 20th, 2019 at 06:07 am

Last night's baseball game was very hot -- in more ways than one. First of all, the temperature was in the 90s and the humidity was high, and I only survived because the bleachers were in the shade and there was a breeze once in a while. I don't know how the boys stood it. Secondly, the game ended in a forfeit -- in our favor -- because a coach on the other side had a temper tantrum against the ump and refused to leave the field. So the ump called a forfeit. Man, this guy really lost it! What a bad example for the boys.

Yesterday was a no-spend day. Until I went out for the game, I just spent the day inside.

I'm using up food rather than going to the grocery. I tried to make a cheese sauce yesterday, but it clumped badly. I believe it was the Swiss cheese slices that did it. I don't know how to rescue the result.

I could do some baking, but it is too hot. My air conditioners are barely keeping up.

Four days till pay day.


July 19th, 2019 at 05:27 am

Gearing up today for extreme heat, like many of you! So far, it's not too bad. I don't have my AC on yet, but I did have one of my units on all night, and I will soon put them both on again when it starts getting hotter.

GS1's baseball game last night was rescheduled for tonight, which I think is going to be worse!

The boys had a fine time yesterday at an indoor trampoline park. They jumped for two hours! Their mom & dad reimbursed me for the admission, so it was a no-spend day for me. I made them cheese quesadillas for lunch.

Today I'm going to go to the gym, then take the boys to their gym, and then I'm off for the day. I'll stay inside in the cool until baseball time in the evening. But I will hold out hope that the game will be rescheduled again.

No financial news. I'm just waiting for pay day, which is now only five days away.

Cancelled my Claim

July 18th, 2019 at 05:25 am

I cancelled my claim yesterday. The bylaws of my condo state that repairing/replacing drywall is my responsibility, and my ceiling is drywall. My insurance company could kick in for painting it, but it is about the same as my deductible, and I'd rather not have the claim on my record.

I'm just going to wait until my upstairs neighbor comes home, and talk to him about doing the repair as a coordinated effort, which is probably the best thing to do for the structure. Hoping he will step up and turn my repair as well as his into his insurance. The condo board president is firmly behind me.

So I'll just live with the hole for a while. I've had a fan on it for several days now, and I think it is drying out well.

We are being warned about violent thunderstorms this morning, and then record heat. Right now I have the air conditioners off, so I can run my dishwasher, but they are going on again when the dishes are done. (Such is life in an old building.) It is comfortable now. I am hoping the storms will not affect power.

Yesterday I spent $7 on shakes and $28 on gas. I made lunch at home for the boys -- turkey and cheese sandwiches -- which were not a big hit, but at least they ate some of it.

GS1 played in the first game of playoffs last night, and his team won, so there is another game scheduled tonight. I am concerned about the heat, and I hope they will cancel if it is as hot as they say it will be. Last night's game was interrupted by rain, but they were able to come back and finish.

Plodding Along

July 17th, 2019 at 04:50 am

I got a reply from my PM contact, and he recommended that I talk to my insurance agent. I did, and I started a claim. It is all so much more complicated than I thought it would be. I sent him a copy of our condo bylaws this morning, so he can determine where the responsibility lies. He told me yesterday that the owner above cannot be liable if he has not been negligent. He did leave his condo for an extended period of time without turning the water off, but I don't know if that is actually negligence in insurance terms.

The agent thinks that the PM company should cover it with their master policy, but that isn't what they are saying, of course.

If it turns out that I have to cover it through my own insurance it would only be a $250 deductible, and if that's what it takes to get it done, I'll do it. But I will let this play out and see if my agent can get the PM company to step up.

Yesterday was a no-spend day. I played Monopoly with the boys and made lunch with stuff from their fridge. I decided not to have them at my house because the kitchen smelled funky. Today it smells better -- or I am getting used to it. I am keeping the AC on so it will dry out. Not just for that reason -- it's hot, anyway.

Today will be another hot day. I may take the boys to the beach today.

The Hole in my Ceiling

July 16th, 2019 at 04:28 am

I emailed my contact at the property management company yesterday, but I haven't had a reply yet. I tore down the plastic covering the hole in the ceiling because I felt that mold was growing there -- or thinking about it. I would really like to get this fixed. I'm really annoyed with my neighbor -- not because of the leak, he couldn't help that -- but because he went away for so long without letting anyone know where he was. As far as I know, he is still in whereabouts unknown.

Yesterday I kept my Eat-Out Day promise, and we went to IHOP, GS2's favorite. I felt like we ordered conservatively, but it was $31. We spent the afternoon in the library; it was a very hot day but cool in the library.

Today I need to get back to the gym, which I will have to do before I pick up the boys at 10:30.

I hear rumors that there will be a playoff game tonight. Nothing on the calendar yet.

I ran the AC all night but turned it off this morning. I don't know how long that will last. Yesterday was a peak savings day, so I turned off everything between 1 and 3. I was at the library, so it didn't matter, but it was quite warm and stuffy when I came home.

Eight days to pay day, but it won't even be any fun. With the property tax due, and a big Discover bill (mostly due to medical bills) I will have to move some money from savings, something I never like to do. I just hope it will be my last low-grade pay day. Social Security is still telling me nothing.

Full Day Coming Up

July 15th, 2019 at 04:40 am

A full day on tap. Music lessons at 10, which take place in a nearby suburb. Then lunch out with the boys. GS2, who gets to choose this time, has already chosen IHOP. When my responsibility with them is done, I'll tackle the ceiling problem, starting with talking to the property manager. The upstairs neighbor still has not come home.

I did a load of laundry yesterday and that was my only spending. I didn't go anywhere, but stayed inside in the cool. It's really hot here and it looks like the whole week ahead will be the same. My electricity bill is going to be high.

I keep checking the Social Security site and they keep saying my application is processing. I'm not going to rest easy until the process is done.

Today I can order my free stuff from OTC-Essentials. I can do this quarterly -- $50 worth -- as a feature of my Medicare Advantage plan. This time the bulk of it will be spent on a new bathtub mat.

One thing I did yesterday was finish watching "Chernobyl." I recommend it. It is a sad, dark story, but the production is excellent, and it is such a stirring cautionary tale about the danger of governing by lies and secrecy. That was a disaster that didn't need to happen. I remember hearing the news about it, but at the time I had no idea of the extent of the damage and the threat to mankind.

Post-Game Lunch

July 14th, 2019 at 06:23 am

The family went out to lunch at a local hamburger place after yesterday's game. I was treated, but I did have to pay $1.50 for parking.

I also did a load of laundry and I will do another today.

We are in a heat wave, and I have been using the AC quite a bit. This morning it was cool enough to turn them off and open the windows, but I don't think it will last too long.

My upstairs neighbor still hasn't come home. I have high hopes for today, since it is a Sunday. But if he is gone for, say, the whole month -- or the whole summer -- I don't know what I should do. The ceiling is starting to smell funky and I want to get it repaired, but I'm afraid that if I do it myself I will get stuck with the bill.

Baseball and Free Food

July 13th, 2019 at 06:54 am

I went to GS1's baseball game yesterday evening. It was held in a very green and shady park, so much nicer than some of the ball fields which are located in concrete treeless compounds. The parents brought in food -- sandwiches, cheese & crackers, desserts, fruit and drinks. I would have brought something, too, but since I'm not on the email list, I didn't know this was being planned. Anyway, at their insistence I made a plate for myself and had a nice free supper.

In the morning, on the way home from the gym, I ran into a garage sale. I ended up spending $20 there on gifts. I kind of hated to spend anything, since variables are at 107%, and this month is nowhere near done. But I felt that I would regret passing up these items, which will save me in the long run.

There is another game today, and it is hot. I am taking my portable chair, in hopes of finding a shady spot.

Eat Out Day

July 12th, 2019 at 04:58 am

My eat-out day with the grandsons is usually on Monday, after music lessons. But this Monday I was sick, and on Tuesday and Wednesday I was dealing with the plumbers. But when Thursday rolled around, my grandson requested that we have our eat-out day. We went to Culver's, and I spent $16. We also went to 7-11, where he got a free slushie. And to the library, where, of course, everything was free.

Today I'm going to do some laundry and do some cooking. I have the stuffing for stuffed peppers made; just have to parboil the peppers and assemble them. I'm also going to make potato pancakes from some of the mashed potatoes in the freezer. I also have some chicken taco filling in the freezer, but the consistency is very soft and juicy, so I think I may turn it into soup instead.

I'm going to go to the gym this morning, and to a baseball game this evening. It's in a neighboring suburb about a half hour away. GS1's team is doing very well this season. They are winning the majority of their games. Last night the score was 17-6. I think they have a good chance of being in the playoffs.

Water Source Found

July 11th, 2019 at 04:17 am

The plumbers got into the upper unit yesterday and found that the refrigerator was leaking. I don't quite understand the problem. He said the water line popped loose, but he also said my neighbor's floor will need to be taken up, that the leak is under the floor. My neighbor is still gone wherever he has gone to. He'll be quite unhappy when he comes back.

They covered the hole in my ceiling the best they could, and the dripping has stopped. (They turned off the water upstairs.) I have my kitchen back. Now I just have to wait for the repair and the payment for repair to be resolved. I am assured that his insurance will pay for it, and I hope I don't have any problem with that.

I had two automatic payments hit yesterday -- my tollway pass ($40) and AAA ($59). That pushes variables back up to 99%. Sigh. I have to pick up a prescription today. It's only $10 but that will put me over. I'm so glad that gap year is almost over. Just one more low-grade payday.

Home Repairs

July 10th, 2019 at 06:12 am

The plumbers came and hacked a hole in my ceiling, but they could not find the source of the leak. They have to get into the upstairs unit, but that is proving difficult since the owner is not around. They are coming back today and hopefully bringing a master key.

Meanwhile, it is continuing to drip steadily, and the ceiling is getting soggy where it isn't broken.

I spent $16 on groceries yesterday and paid my grandson $10 for his care of my cat while I was on vacation. I also paid $3 for breakfast at McDonalds, since I had pretty much no food at home and a kitchen that was dripping on me.

I took the big medical bills out of variables and they now stand at 78% with two weeks to go.

Hoping to get some resolution today on the leak.

Oh, I had the guys look at my living room ceiling "bow" and they said it was unrelated to the drip, but they had seen the same thing in another unit and it required a whole ceiling replacement, because patching it will cause the whole thing to crumble. As I thought, the old original plaster is giving out. It has served its time. The good news is that it is stable for now and I probably won't have to address it until I want to get the condo ready to sell -- whenever that is.


July 9th, 2019 at 06:14 am

I'm heading out to the gym soon, and I will also get a breakfast sandwich and pick up some groceries.

My kitchen ceiling started leaking yesterday. I wasted some time calling a plumber, who would not come unless he could also get access to the upper unit. (My upstairs neighbor does not seem to be home.) I finally got in touch with our condo board president, who advised me to enter a work order on the property manager's website. He also told me that this should not be an expense that I would have to cover. And that the PM can enter the upstairs unit in the case of an emergency, which this is. So today I am waiting to hear from them, while the ceiling continues to drip. (I have filled two buckets so far.) I will have them also look at the bowed-out area in my living room, in case that is related.

I'm caring for GS1 today, so we'll both have to hang out at here after I pick up him at his gym.

I also got a bill for the physical therapy - $240 -- which adds more challenge to what already feels like a challenging month. Of course it will come from savings, but that hurts, too.

I checked on the Social Security application, and it is still being processed.

At least I seem to feel better today, physically!

Vacation Recap

July 8th, 2019 at 06:17 am

I'm back from my Michigan trip -- not feeling great today, but I did have a good little vacation. It was not too expensive, either. I spent $11 on gas (my sister filled my tank once), and $21 on food. Also bought a pair of reading glasses, because I couldn't find mine (located later), and without them I couldn't read a book or my phone. That was $27. An unfortunate expense, but I guess it's okay to have an extra pair of reading glasses. And they are better than my others -- a better prescription. I also spent $16 on OTC meds and toiletries at CVS. These were not things I had forgotten, but things I decided I needed.

I had a good time eating all kinds of food I shouldn't have had, and I paid the price last night. I don't know why I so thoroughly turned my brain off, but I learned my lesson.

It was good to see my sister and my man friend -- a treat for me on both fronts.

My tire light came on on Saturday, which caused some momentary worry. I found a Discount Tire, which checked my tires over and found a tire stem which needed repair, and was causing a slow leak. They fixed it for free, and they were so very nice.

My ride home was pretty awful. Of course, Sunday after the 4th was a bad day to travel, but I got caught up in the traffic going to the Gold Cup soccer match, and I spent 4 hours in a jam! I had stopped at an Indiana gas station and topped off the tank, to avoid getting the more expensive Illinois gas -- well, all that idling probably more than overcame my savings. It was so frustrating, too, with people pushing into different lanes, and driving illegally on the shoulder. Thank goodness I wasn't worried about gas levels, and I didn't have to use the john! Because I was trapped -- there was no way to go forward or backward.

I came home to find my second property tax bill in the mailbox -- $515. That needs to be paid by August 1.

Right now variables are at 98%, which is clearly not good. But a chunk is medical expense, which will come out of savings instead; I just have to make the adjustment. I'm due for a haircut, and should buy some pet supplies, but I think both can be put off till pay day on the 24th. I will have to get some groceries. With my recent traveling, I haven't done much.

I almost forgot -- I did not work at my SIL's store as planned. Because my sister was there, SIL insisted that I use the time to visit with her instead. It was very generous of her!

Wacky Day

July 3rd, 2019 at 05:43 am

Well, yesterday was a wacky day. I paid my BOA credit card by transferring funds from my bank account -- I thought! Later I got an email telling me I had added an account to Bill Pay, and was it my action? I called the enclosed number, and I explained that I had made a transfer, and did that explain the Bill Pay action? The person I talked to did not see any pending actions, so I transferred again. Well, you know what happened. I paid twice, once by Bill Pay and once by transfer. Doesn't seem that either can be undone, so I am going to have a credit on my credit card -- which is okay, I use it all the time anyway. I also transferred some money from savings to checking to cover the extra funds that went out of my account.

Another snafu -- while figuring all this out, I got a late start to pick up my grandson at the gym. Then I got stuck in construction traffic. Then I realized I did not have my phone with me. My grandson called me and got no answer and then called his mother. Everyone was worried. I wasn't actually VERY late, but enough to get everyone riled.

Then there was the double header baseball game last night. When we got to inning four of the first game, the sirens went off, indicating lightening in the area. All the teams trooped off to the senior center that adjoins the fields to wait it out. Our team ordered pizza, so we all had dinner. (My son paid my portion.) After about forty-five minutes, I left, because my windows were open (it was raining) and there still had been no decision on whether the games would resume. Later my son came over and told me the games were cancelled and the first interrupted game was chalked up as a win. Then he installed my air conditioners, thank goodness! It is so nice in here!

Today I'm going to pick up GS1 at the gym and take him either to his mom's work or to his grandpa's house (still waiting for the decision on that). Then I'll head up to Michigan. I've got all my packing to do before that, and I'm in the process of doing laundry. Luckily, I've got packing down to a science and it won't take long.

My brother called me yesterday to let me know that my sister was coming for the holiday. She was on the road from North Carolina and had not let anyone know. That's my sister. I am committed to two days of work and lunch with my man friend, so I won't get to spend a lot of time with her. But it will be good to see her.


July 2nd, 2019 at 05:58 am

I had a full day yesterday. I started the day with laundry, and then went over to sit with GS1 while he played on his tablet. After a while I took him to the library, and we spent two hours there -- me reading, him on the computer. It was nice and cool. When it was time for lunch, we went to a pizza place. I spent $22, but there is plenty of pizza left over for other days. After lunch, we went back to his house and watched baseball bloopers on YouTube, and when his mom came home at 3, I went home for a little rest before the 5:30 baseball game, which lasted until 8:30.

Today will be much the same, except I will pick him up at his gym at 10:30, and there are two baseball games tonight. And we will scrounge lunch from the fridge.

I haven't mentioned variables, and that's because they are skyrocketing! I've spent 75% of my available income. A big chunk was medical, which I will probably take from savings instead. Then there was my two-day vacation and the spending I did there. More eating out than usual. I should mention also that I am working with a smaller amount to start with -- I did not have a lot of mystery shopping or other extra income to add in.

And now I have a trip to Michigan coming up. But I will make some money there, when I work at my SIL's antique store for two days.

Summer is always a little spendy for me. It is so different from the rest of the year, and I'm just going to embrace the differences -- because they are fun! And know that things will even out later in the year.

I'm Back!

July 1st, 2019 at 05:40 am

I got back last night from my trip to visit BFF. I had to drive through a rather scary storm, but I didn't have to stop, and made it in good time.

I spent more than I would have wished. Gas was $26, but that was the least of it. I spent $95 on clothes, which is so unusual for me. But I really needed decent underwear (without holes), and some fresh summer outfits. My gap year austerity was wearing on me. Only $16 on food; we mostly ate at home. I also picked up some groceries and household supplies for $37. We went to see "Yesterday" at the movies -- loved it! -- and that was $7 for my senior ticket.

The most important thing is that we had a really good time, even though we only had two days to do it in.

GS2 has gone to summer camp for two weeks, so I will only have the care of GS1 for that time. And only during DIL's work hours, of course. GS1 is 12 and pretty independent. It will be only two days this week, because I'm leaving again on Wednesday for my visit with my brother in Michigan.