<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Home > Archive: October, 2019

Archive for October, 2019


October 20th, 2019 at 07:01 am

I got a call at 3 am this morning. I didn't recognize the number, so didn't answer, but then it started ringing again. I answered this time, and it was the police.

It turned out that an impaired driver smashed into two cars that were parked on the street. One of them was mine. The trunk is completely smashed in. The car has been towed away. I will try calling insurance today, but I don't think I will actually reach anyone until Monday.

I have a bad feeling about this. It's a 2010 Honda Civic and I bought it for $10K. I think it may be totaled, especially if the frame has been bent. I don't know what they'll give me if it's totaled, but I suspect it won't be $10K. I only have $3900 in savings to put toward a replacement.

And I'm going to be without wheels for a while. Luckily, I am well-stocked with food and don't really have to go anywhere. I've let DS know that I probably won't be available for music lessons this week.

I'm kind of stunned, but I am thankful that it was only this. When the police started out the phone conversation with "There's been an accident..." my heart was in my mouth.

OTC Order, Etc.

October 19th, 2019 at 07:31 am

Yesterday I received my fall order from OTC-Essentials. For free I got: bladder pads, aloe wipes, a digital thermometer, cotton balls, Loratadine, Dairy Aid, and stool softeners. This program saves me a lot of money.

I also paid my mortgage, putting an extra $50 on it. It was money that was sitting in my credit union savings account -- I thought it would be better to put it on the mortgage. I am shooting to get my mortgage balance below $60K.

I did find a live phone number for a family member for my cousin, and she was able to contact her and have a conversation about her ex's passing. Hopefully, this young lady will be able to contact other family members and spread the news, and let my cousin off the hook. My cousin was so delighted, and sent me a big thank you. It was really gratifying to be able to do that.

Today is supposed to be a lovely day, so I'm going to take a walk -- sometime -- when I get dressed. I'm also going to go through the fridge and make a plan to use up stuff. Just the kind of day I like.

Wheel Tax

October 18th, 2019 at 05:14 pm

Well, phooey, I just deleted my entry while trying to copy it!

So here's the shorter version. I tried to pay my wheel tax (resident vehicle tax) this morning, but even though I got verified that I was eligible for the senior discount, the system wasn't showing it yet. So I have to go back.

The process took so long that I was starving for lunch, and I made a rash decision to go through the McDonalds window. Spent $9, and now I wish I hadn't.

I'm doing some free research for my cousin -- her ex died, and she's trying to inform some distant relatives, but has outdated addresses and phone numbers. I'm doing my best, but without access to the databases I used when I working, I am not finding much.

I'm heading to my grandson's last flag football game tonight, and it will be the last game of any kind until baseball starts again next spring. He is not playing basketball this year.

Winter is coming! It is getting dark so early now, and a chill is in the air. I'm dreading it.


October 17th, 2019 at 12:50 pm

I went to the gym this morning and stopped at Aldi on the way home, spending $39 on groceries. Home Depot was nearby, so I stopped in there also, buying light bulbs for $4.

Yesterday I sent $20 to my Florida son.

Variables are at 79%. Two more weeks to go.

I got a letter from the city about renewing my wheel tax. I'm entitled to a 50% discount as an income-eligible senior, but they are saying I must bring in a benefit card, which no one has ever given me, and when I inquire about it, I am told they don't issue them any more. Grrr. I'll have to call the senior center, who has been helpful in the past.

Pay Day

October 16th, 2019 at 07:06 am

It's pay day! Now that I have more money, it is not as dramatic as it used to be. I paid my mortgage and my credit card bills. Nothing else is outstanding. Looks like I have $675 left over if I don't pull anything extra out of checking. I'll leave it there, as I like a cushion in checking.

My grandson passed on the haircut yesterday since his favorite stylist wasn't working. I took both boys to the library and helped GS2 find books on drought. We found some books about the dust bowl, which I hope will be okay. It occurred to me later that we were looking in the history area rather than science. He's in fourth grade and I don't know how exacting they will be about subject matter.

Today I have nothing going on, and may not even change out of my pajamas!

Oil Change & Flu Shot

October 15th, 2019 at 06:25 am

I got my oil change yesterday ($64) and I also picked up a $10 prescription. While I was at Walgreens I got my flu shot. My arm is sore today, but not too bad. I get the high-dose shot; I don't know if that makes a difference in how you feel afterwards.

Anyway, I feel good that I will be protected against flu this winter (hopefully).

Variables are at 75%, but I think I have most things done now.

Since yesterday was Columbus Day, my son was off work, so he called me to come over and play a board game. The one he chose was so complicated that he had to explain the moves every step of the way. I felt really old and feeble! But still had a good time.

My BFF called yesterday asking if I could go with her to a colonoscopy this week. She was having trouble finding someone available in her area. I agreed to, but later in the day she let me know that she was covered.

Today I'm taking GS2 to get his hair cut after school -- then to the library.

Staying Put

October 14th, 2019 at 05:32 am

Florida DS let me know that I am not needed this week, so that's both a relief and a disappointment. Mostly a relief, since it would have been so expensive and I'm not sure I'm physically up to a whirlwind visit right now. He said he wants me to come when they are in their new place; he is very confident that one of these interviews will bear fruit. He is especially hopeful for the one today in Mississippi. He pointed out that it would only be an 11-hour drive for me, a big improvement over the current situation.

Today I'm going to head out to the gym, and then I will get my oil changed. I also need to pick up a prescription at Walgreens, so I will get my flu shot at the same time.

Yesterday GS2 came over while the rest of the family went to Costco. He didn't want to go shopping. We played a new game of his and then he watched some TV. He was happy to help me get rid of some chocolate chip cookies. I sent a baggie of them home with him.

It was a no-spend day, except for one load of laundry.

The Heat is On!

October 13th, 2019 at 07:50 am

I sent a message to the property manager site yesterday evening. I don't know if this was a response to that, but the heat came on a few hours later. Oh, it feels so good!

I talked to my Florida son last night. He has three interviews next week -- one in Mississippi, one in Seattle, and one in Blacksburg, Virginia. The employers are paying for travel and expenses. Things are looking good, or at least hopeful.

Yesterday, when I was still so cold, I used the oven to make granola, chocolate chip cookies, and to heat up a frozen pizza. It did really help to make the place more comfortable.

It was a no-spend day.

Today I'm doing some laundry and just taking it easy. Next week MAY be really busy, as I MAY go to Florida to help DIL, who is recovering from knee surgery. We'll see. Tickets are at least $500. I'm hoping someone down there can help. My ex has a sister and daughter and niece in Florida; seems like at least one of them could step up, but this is a family where narcissism runs deep and wide. We'll see.

Oh Baby, It's Cold!

October 12th, 2019 at 04:54 am

37 degrees here, and we don't have heat. This infuriates me every year. Our property management company won't turn on the boiler until the last moment they can. I think it's criminal to expect people to live in temperatures like this.

I slept under a pile of blankets but did not sleep well. I'm bundled up this morning. I turned the oven on this morning so at least the kitchen will be somewhat warm. I may do some baking to make it worthwhile.

I'll probably go somewhere else to hang out for the bulk of the day. Because everyone else has heat! DS says his building's radiators come on whenever the temperature dips below 65.

I went to the gym yesterday morning and then stopped at Aldi & Jewel for groceries: $55. Then I went to Kohl's and bought 5 pairs of briefs for $39. Not the greatest price, but it seems to be impossible to buy panties in just one color. I finally found a display where you could buy them individually. I really had to search to get the right size and style. So frustrating, but I'm done with that for a few years, I hope!

So variables have climbed to 66%. I hope I can lay low for a while.

Last night's flag football game was cancelled (thank goodness!) so I went to DS's house and we played a board game called Marrying Dr. Darcy. Amazingly, the boys love that game! There were times we were all laughing so hard we could hardly catch our breath.

Friday Morning

October 11th, 2019 at 07:28 am

What a difference a good night's sleep makes! I feel so much better.

Other than what I already reported, I did a little more spending yesterday when I ordered some fish food ($13). This will last a long time. And I forgot to report the purchase of a tank of gas on Wednesday. It was $30.

Variables are now at 56%, with almost three weeks to go.

I got my results from the mammogram and ultrasound, and it's an all-clear. That's a relief. I was a little freaked about being ordered to get an extra procedure this year. I just walked out at the end without stopping at the desk, so I don't know if there was a cost for the ultrasound. If so, it will appear on their website so I'll keep an eye out for it.

GS1 has a flag football game tonight, but we are supposed to get a serious cold front coming through. He said, "Great!" upon hearing that, but it may be pretty miserable in the bleachers.

Other than that, I have no obligations today, but plenty of work to do at home!


October 10th, 2019 at 10:39 am

I feel really awful today. I got a terrible night's sleep. I was stressed about things and I tossed and turned, and had nightmares when I did sleep.

I felt better once I got my early-morning medical appointments done (mammogram and ultrasound). I wish I could nap before music lessons this afternoon, but lying down didn't get me anywhere. So I just have to get through this day and hope I sleep well tonight.

I got my order of briefs from Amazon (second seller) but they sent the wrong color! I was going to send them back, but after some back and forth they offered a 15% discount if I chose to keep them. So I will; they are a neutral color, and it will save me some hassle. And I can always use extra underwear. But I still want some black pairs to wear under dark pants. I'm skittish about ordering online again, so I'll look around. At the end of the day, I still prefer shopping in person.

I spent $5.50 on parking today! The hospital parking was $4 for two hours, and then I was so hungry after the procedures (and after skipping breakfast) I stopped at Einstein Bagels and had to pay another $1.50 just to park by the restaurant. I would have gone to McDonalds where parking is free and the food is cheap, but it's being remodeled.

My breakfast at Einstein's was $8 for a bagel sandwich and coffee. But it was pretty good.

Now I'm going to try to rest again before taking the boys to music lessons.

Babysitting Today

October 9th, 2019 at 06:07 am

After my outlay for car repair yesterday, I spent nothing the rest of the day.

Today I'm taking care of the boys -- the first Wednesday of every month there is no school; I think the teachers have meetings and professional development.

GS2 has an orthodontist appointment at 10, and afterwards I am to take him to a friend's house. I will have GS1 for the rest of the day, unless he figures out something else. I figure I will at least be on the hook for lunch.

I called the vet to find out the results of Iggy's tests. His creatinine level is actually a little better, which is probably due to variance in the test, since creatinine levels do not improve. But that means he is stable and doing well with the kidney diet -- and he likes it! So we'll stick with that. Costly though it is. I hope I have a few more years with him; he is such a sweetie.

Tomorrow I have the dreaded mammogram, plus I am to have a diagnostic ultrasound this year. I may have a copay for the ultrasound; we'll see. I'll be glad to get that over with.

Tire Trouble

October 8th, 2019 at 07:29 am

I was coming home from the gym this morning when my tire light came on. I stopped at Midas, and they determined that a TPMS sensor had to be replaced. They tried to repair the stem first, but it was so stiff and old it broke. That was $157.

Yesterday, I took Iggy to the vet. The visit was $75 and I bought food for $30. The good news is, he has gained a little weight. I have to call later today to get the test results.

Anyway, these two things have convinced me not to tackle any of my short term goals this month. My variables are at 52% and it's only 8 days into the month!

I am also due for an oil change, and I guess I should get that done rather than try to push it off till next month. Midas gives you a free change after three of them, so I guess I'll go back there. I did like the service I got.

Monday Morning

October 7th, 2019 at 06:46 am

Yesterday I sat at the two baseball games for about four hours. Plus, the ride there was about 40 minutes each way. That was a big chunk of time. DS and I were the only fans there for GS1. But it was a beautiful day! There's something invigorating about being out in the open air.

I bought coffee for myself and DS ($2). In turn, he bought me a hot dog when it got to be lunchtime.

After the games, I came home and did laundry and I washed and seasoned my new pans. I used one to heat up some scrambled beef and peppers (with spaghetti sauce and rice). I forgot what I was doing and burned it! I rescued some the the food and the pan was fine -- but why do I burn food every time I buy a new pan? Like it's an initiation rite?

Then, while I was making the bed yesterday, my hand went right through one of the pillowcases. This was my second best set, now that I have bought a new set. Makes me wonder if I need to buy another set. I can use pillowcases from my third best set, which I am going to throw away, but the second best set will look awfully patchwork, since the bottom sheet already doesn't match. I'm not excited about buying more sheets right now, so I'll watch Sam's to see when they go on sale.

I like the Sam's sheets (Member's Mark 450 thread-count) because they are very soft to the touch and reasonably priced. I tried them out when sleeping at my brother's house and I'm sold. But my brother said they do go on sale occasionally, so I'll keep my eye out and wait.

I'm taking Iggy to the vet today, and I'll be buying the canned kidney diet food when I'm there. I hope they are stocked up this time!

Checking In

October 6th, 2019 at 07:04 am

I have just enough time to check in before I go to a double header this morning.

Yesterday at Sam's I did some grocery shopping ($22) and also bought a set of sheets ($33) and a three-pack of frying pans ($30). Then I went to Aldi and spent $22 on groceries. Hah! Same total at both Sam's and Aldi! Variables are now at 22%.

The remote I ordered from Amazon came yesterday, and it is working fine. It is so much better than trying to use the Fire Stick app from the phone, because the phone keeps going to sleep and I have to reconnect.

I just ate some breakfast so I will not be tempted by the concessions at the game. (Though I will allow myself a cup of coffee, since it is cheap and hot.)

It's getting cool. I slept under several blankets last night because the boiler hasn't been turned on yet. It's supposed to get significantly cooler this week, so I hope the boiler is turned on soon.

Late Game

October 5th, 2019 at 06:39 am

I went to a flag football game last night at 9 pm. Got home at 10:30, and I was wide awake so I read for a while. I never slept well all night. I'm probably going to crash today.

I didn't spend anything beyond the online shopping I reported on yesterday. (Except for a load of laundry.)

I'm going to the gym today, and then I'll stop at Sam's and Aldi to pick up some stuff (read all about it tomorrow!)

I made an appointment for Iggy on Monday morning.

Along with Lucky Robin, I'm not going to try to salvage any of the lost posts. Since I post pretty much every day, there are too many of them. I save my financial information in spreadsheets, so I haven't lost any data, just my nattering about daily activities. My biggest fear was the loss of the community, and I'm so glad we have that back.

A Bit of Online Spending This Morning

October 4th, 2019 at 07:03 am

I sat down and ordered a couple of things from Amazon this morning. A four-pack of panties for $25, and a new Fire Stick remote for $30. My son pointed out that a new fire stick, with remote, was not much more, but it is $10 more, and that still matters to me. Just hope it will pair successfully with the fire stick I have.

The panties are rather expensive, but they are a brand and color that I want, and I paid the price.

Variables are now 11%.

I'm doing laundry now, and in a few minutes I will call the vet. Iggy seems fine today, but he is due for a follow-up and weight check.

Took the boys for music lessons yesterday, and learned that the appointment time is changing for the better. I'll have 15 extra minutes to get them there! Which is great, because it is a tight squeeze now between school dismissal time and appointment time.

Nothing going on today until 9 pm, when there is a flag football game. It is pretty cool today, so I will have to bundle up. Football weather!

What a morning!

October 3rd, 2019 at 08:30 am

It's ten a.m. and I'm just settling down with my coffee. Last night, when I pulled up in front of my building, I noticed that my front bumper was hanging on one side! I couldn't believe it. That is the third fender bender within a year. It must have happened when I parked in front of the Y to pick up my grandson.

I worried about it all night, and went out first thing in the morning to get it repaired. I went first to the last place that did repair work on my car. They were so busy I couldn't even pull my car into the lot, so I left without talking to anyone. Then I went to a place I had never been to before. It is pretty seedy looking -- old building, rough lot. But I remembered that it was one of the recommended places when I went through insurance.

Well, my prince was there, because this guy came out and popped it back into place, bolted it, and didn't charge me anything! That made me so happy!

Then, on the way home, I got a text from BFF. I pulled over to read it, because I knew she was awaiting results from a biopsy. Her good news -- it was benign! I'm so relieved because I was so scared for her.

I had to make a pit stop, so I stopped at Walgreens. I felt I had to buy something after I made them unlock the door to the bathroom, so I bought a big bottle of shampoo for $7. It is the brand I buy for company, since I use Head & Shoulders and purple shampoo for myself. Company will be well-fixed for a while!

Yesterday's spending was $17 for a curling iron and $1.70 for parking. I meant to pay .25 at the parking machine and somehow got charged for $1.70. I hate those machines. I also spent $4 for fast food when I was on the run. I took the boys for flu shots yesterday, only to find that the doctor's office didn't have them yet -- then it was to the Y where they took part in some after-school activities.

Also gave GS2 $10 for his care of Iggy over the weekend.

I'm doing laundry today -- in catch-up mode. All three hampers are full; plus, I had to wash my comforter (Iggy barf) and will have to wash his quilt as well. I had to wake him up this morning to feed him. He ate a few bites and went back to bed. I'm worried about him. Will call the vet tomorrow. Today we have music lessons.

I set my variables total at what I spent last month as the new standard. So far I have spent 4%.

From April Till Now

October 2nd, 2019 at 06:17 am

I don't know ... it looks like the gap between April 12 and now might be permanent. I blog mostly for myself -- to have a diary -- but just in case anyone cares I'll do a wrap-up of what happened between then and now.

In April I was recovering from hip replacement surgery. It has gone mostly well. I still struggle with pain, mostly after I've been sitting or lying down for a while. I finished my physical therapy and moved to a new routine at Planet Fitness, after a brief experience in a class devoted to legs and shoulders. I manage the stairs well now, unless my knees are hurting. May need more work there. Financially, all costs from the surgery have been paid. All the out of pocket totaled around $1000.

Last month I finished up my gap year (my low income period) and I am now receiving the maximum benefit from Social Security, a reward for waiting until I turned 70. During my gap year, my net worth decreased by a very small amount.

This summer my upstairs neighbor accepted temporary work overseas and while he was gone, his refrigerator leaked and ruined my kitchen ceiling. Just yesterday it was all resolved. The ceiling has been repaired (beautifully) and my neighbor paid for it with no argument or hesitation.

I spent the summer taking care of the grandsons from Monday through Thursday. This fall, I am pretty much free except for taking them to appointments and music lessons. Today I am taking them to get their flu shots.

I just got back from a nice weekend trip in Michigan to see my brother's family. The weather was ugly, so we mostly stayed indoors and played cards. I treated my man friend (who usually treats me) to a nice lunch at his favorite restaurant. My spending on this trip was $123, which included gas and food.

My September recap:

Housing: $1112
Vet/Pet Supplies: $348
Utilities: $200
Medical/Health: $175
Groceries: $173
Clothing: $172
Home Repair/Maintenance: $170
Gifts/Charity: $163
Vacation/Travel: $123
Phone: $52
Gas: $29
Eating Out: $38
Household Supplies: $38
Fares/Parking: $28
Furn/Equip/Decor: $22
Personal: $16
Laundry: $15

Grand Total: $2912

Housing: I doubled my mortgage payment this month.

Vet/Pet: I took my cat Iggy to the vet and he had lost weight, so he got some tests. He was diagnosed with kidney disease. The total above includes the vet costs and the new food he needs.

The medical spending includes a dentist appointment.

Groceries were higher than usual but I had some restocking to do. Also -- didn't eat out much!

Clothing -- I bought three pairs of shoes this month, a real indulgence I gave into because my gap year was done!

The home repair was the replacement of the evaporator fan in my fridge.

Gifts -- Two birthdays, and I gave some cash to my Florida son who has lost his job.

Parking -- I got a $25 ticket for trying to run into the library and out without paying. I paid!

The rest needs no comment.

Here's to stability on the blogs! I hope we have no more surprises.


October 1st, 2019 at 11:09 am

Well, I'm glad to see some functionality! I do hope we get the blog archives back from April 12 to now.

I don't have any real news to report, but I'm glad to be embarking on my October budget. I'll post my September recap when I feel sure this whole thing is a go. But it looks like I ended the month with $800 extra in checking. I'll keep it there, because I like a cushion in checking. My next goal is to bring my liquid savings back up to $5K, and then I'll split the balance between saving for my next car and paying down the mortgage.

I just noticed that my sidebar is probably the one I had in April, so I'm going to try to update that now.

Edit -- it worked!