Home > Archive: November, 2019

Archive for November, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 28th, 2019 at 12:31 pm

I'm getting on the road soon. After a terrible day of high winds, it is nice and quiet this morning. I think it should be smooth sailing. It does look like I might be going into a little snow, so I'm wearing boots.

My son checked in from Amarillo, Texas, last night. Now he will have to go north and go through those snowy areas. I will be eager to hear that he is safe tonight.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to great food, great fellowship, fun games -- and my younger son's 40th birthday party today! Doesn't seem possible.

Hoping you and yours have a great holiday!


November 27th, 2019 at 12:44 pm

Yesterday I went to the senior center to pay my wheel tax -- once again I could not do it! I did not have my registration. It wasn't in my glove box. I went home and went through everything I could think of and it was not to be found.

I wonder if the policeman who took it during my Indiana fender-bender ever gave it back to me. That was the last time I had my hands on it. I could have left it at BFF's, as well, but she said she had not seen it.

Anyway, I don't dare travel without it, so I went to the DMV and had them print out another temporary. That took about half the day.

It was well past lunch time when I finished up, so I stopped at a cafe and spent $12 on lunch. I could have gotten fast food cheaper, but I was not in the mood -- I wanted a real meal. Besides, I didn't want to eat in my new car!

I did some laundry when I came home and then basically crashed.

I am not getting on the road for my Thanksgiving trip until Thanksgiving morning. The weather is not going to be good today. And I'm just not ready. The weather is supposed to be calm and clear on Thanksgiving.

My son checked in last night from Louisiana. He said he is taking the southern route to avoid snow, but he's not going to be able to do that for long! He kept saying "we" and I figured out that his father-in-law is with him. That's good; I was worried about how he was going to drive alone and handle three dogs in the car.

My brother said he has already made the cranberry relish, so I don't have to worry about it. I have two bags of cranberries and two oranges! I will make jam before Christmas. I did that last year and it was a big hit.

I may not be doing anything for Christmas, but Christmas plans are stacking up! My family pre-holiday party (at my house) is on the 20th. BFF and her family are coming up on the 21st. Add to that, I'm going to a retirement party (three hours away) on the 19th, and a concert and recital in early December. I may be more than ready to just rest on Christmas Day!

Urgent Care

November 26th, 2019 at 12:39 pm

I went to urgent care yesterday morning to tend to the cat bite. My phone said it opened at 8, but it was really 9, so I went to a coffee shop beforehand, where I spent $7. I had walked there, so going back home wasn't really an option.

Once it opened, it took almost an hour before I actually saw a doctor. The check-in process was the slowest I've ever seen! There was only one clerk, and she seemed very hesitant about every step.

But I finally got in, and the doctor gave me a tetanus shot and a prescription for Augmentin. I've had several doses by now, and I think I'm going to be fine.

I paid $5 for a copay and the prescription was $10.

Variables are at 80%.

My son sets out this morning for his trip from Florida to Oregon. He his taking his three dogs. I am nervous about the weather he might encounter, and he promised to text me every evening to let me know he is safe. It's going to be a weird Thanksgiving for them, but it's the beginning of a new chapter in their lives! His wife and kids will join him at Christmas, and the kids will start school there after the new year.

I have lots to do today -- laundry, making cranberry relish, cleaning the fish tank, gym, library. But since I'm not leaving till Thursday morning, I don't have to stress.

Cat Bite

November 25th, 2019 at 01:31 pm

Last night Iggy bit me! I'm not sure what happened. I was petting him and he suddenly snapped. I think he was more surprised than I was. I must have touched a bad spot. Anyway, he broke the skin, so I cleaned carefully and applied a topical antibiotic. I'm going to urgent care today to get it checked out. I know that cat bites are potentially dangerous. I would have gone last night, but it happened after the urgent care closed.

The prescription I filled yesterday was $10. Variables are now at 77%.

My Fitbit strap came yesterday. It was easy to snap on and now I'm back in business.

The latest weather report now seems to be saying that Thursday morning is the best time to travel, so I think that's what I will do, even though I lose an hour. It will also mean that my neighbor will not have to check on Iggy till Friday morning, and will have only three days of care to do. Win win.

Sunday Morning

November 24th, 2019 at 01:43 pm

My grocery shopping yesterday totaled $62. That was more than I expected to spend, but I went ahead and bought the food I'm going to take to Thanksgiving, as well as doubling up on some items that were on sale and that I always buy.

Variables are at 76% and I still have a trip ahead of me. Luckily, it is now sounding like Wednesday will be a good day to travel in my area.

Today I'm going to fill a prescription (a cheap one) and do a load of laundry. I'm going to walk to the drugstore to get in some steps.

My Fitbit tracker started separating from the strap several days ago, and now I can't get the strap back on. So I ordered a new strap from Amazon yesterday. I had a $10 credit from MyPoints, and the strap was only $6, so it was free. According to reviews I read, this will be the answer.

It's been a good month for extra money -- I earned $39 in cash back from Discover and BOA, $104 in a class action settlement, $10 from MyPoints, and $3 from Pine Cone. That's pretty good, considering I am not doing the mystery shopping any more!

Re: the mystery shopping. I stopped when I had my hip surgery in April and I just did not take it up again, even when I started feeling better. I felt that the income for the work involved was too small, and I was uncomfortable in many of the scenarios when I had to be deceptive. Plus, I really disliked the reporting part of it!

Got the Car Back

November 23rd, 2019 at 01:54 pm

I got my car back yesterday afternoon, early enough that I could take the boys to music lessons. Afterwards we had dinner at McDonalds. I'll be reimbursed for that. It was under $10, anyway.

So yesterday's payout was $500 for the deductible. Though that hurts, it's so nice to have the car again! But I'm driving like a 90-year-old; I'm so afraid of another accident! I know I'll get over it eventually.

Today I'm going to the gym and then grocery shopping. I'm going to try to be circumspect in what I buy, since I'll be traveling on Wednesday (if weather permits!) I'll also stop in at the library.

I decided to wait until after Thanksgiving to order gifts on Amazon. I don't want packages delivered while I am gone.

Guess that's it!

Still No Car

November 22nd, 2019 at 03:15 pm

I was supposed to take the boys to music lessons today, but still no car. I called the shop and they say it will be ready this afternoon. That's cutting it too close. DIL is going to take off early to do lessons. I'll take the train/bus to the shop this afternoon. Depending on wait times, it may take an hour to get there!

I'm watching weather warnings about Thanksgiving. It looks like we are most likely to get rain, which will not stop me. But if it's rain turning to ice, well, then, that's a problem.

I paid my mortgage this morning, rounding it up a few dollars.

I realized last night that my next pay day is only a week before Christmas, so I might as well go ahead and shop. I'll be using Amazon. I'll have to hold off on Oregon son's family, because I don't know their new temporary address yet. (They are not there yet, but they will be there on Christmas.)

I want to take a minute to brag on Amazon a bit. My son was so stressed about making such a big move, but Amazon will pay for all moving costs. They don't have to do any packing, because Amazon will pack and move their stuff, and Amazon will sell their house! We are all blown away! What an easy way to relocate! I can hardly wait to visit them some time in the new year.

I decided to read my owner's manual for the Kia yesterday. I think I learned a little bit, but was mostly confused. I'm a hands-on learner!

Pet Supplies

November 21st, 2019 at 02:54 pm

I bought pet supplies yesterday to the tune of $86! This was pellets and pads for the Breeze litter pan system. I bought large amounts to get the best unit price, so these supplies should last a while. It was an Amazon purchase -- they should be here Saturday.

My neighbor came over and we went over the basics of caring for Iggy while I am gone for Thanksgiving. While making small talk, we discovered that she used to vacation as a child in a small, woodsy sailing resort on the same small lake where my brother lives. When I looked into it a little more, I found that the resort was across the lake and several miles south, but not far away at all from my brother's house! The resort, per se, doesn't exist any more, but some of the old cottages are still there. I think I may go look around and take pictures for her when I'm there!

I am hoping that the car will be ready today. It will have been almost a week. I've already figured out how to get there on the train and bus. I am itching to get out.

Other than that, no real plans for today. I'm going to make chicken mushroom Alfredo, and maybe I'll even bake cookies.

Pay Day!

November 20th, 2019 at 01:25 pm

It's pay day!

I paid my credit cards (always pay in full) and my mortgage. There's a healthy amount left in checking, which is good, since I'll be writing a $500 check for my car repair soon. I hope soon! There is a possibility my car will be ready today, but I am not holding my breath.

I also paid $100 for the mammogram I had last month. The basic mammogram is free on my plan, but I got an ultrasound as well. I was surprised at the cost, but, oh well, without insurance it would have been almost five times as much.

And I bought a gift for my son's birthday for $19. I have two other small gifts on tap. I will probably get something else before the day.

Variables are at 59%, with a week and three days to go.

I didn't feel well yesterday -- dizziness that turned into a headache. So I asked my neighbor if we could do the cat care training today. She'll be over this afternoon.

Busy Day

November 19th, 2019 at 03:02 pm

Yesterday was quite a day. I caught the train to go downtown (in my city, not the big city), and then I saw the bus I needed parked at the station. It was empty and the door was closed so I waited. Well, apparently it was break time for the driver; I waited quite a while, and I debated walking to the library instead. And I was sitting outside on a bench -- no place to sit inside the station.

But we finally got on the road, and I went to the dealer to pick up my owner's manual, which they had right to hand.

I went out to catch the bus back, and saw it drive away before I could cross the street. The next bus was in half an hour, so I started walking to the next stop. Then to the next one. I was finally picked up, went back to the station, and then walked to the library, about four blocks. I checked out some books and then checked the online schedule for the bus home. It was supposed to arrive at the stop at 1:00. At about 5 after one I started walking again. The schedule had switched to say the next bus was arriving at 1:30. I got about a block down, and the bus went past me! Apparently the schedule switches to the next bus even when the current one hasn't arrived.

So I started walking again. I went past two stops and then waited at the third where there was a bench. It was very cold and my nose was running; I was so miserable. But the bus arrived when it was supposed to, and I got to the stop nearest home -- about four blocks to walk again.

During all this walking, my back was hurting like crazy for some reason. I was so glad to get home, and so tired.

I think I would be better at mass transit if I did it more often and got used to the schedules and stops.

Anyway, once home, I rested a bit and then started decorating the tree. I finished all the house decorating this morning, and it's done, except for figuring out where to store the big boxes!

I do have one Santa to fix. His reindeer lost an antler. Luckily, I have the antler and just have to glue it back on. But that's a project for later, because I'm pretty wiped out with Christmas decorating right now.

So, I was talking to my next door neighbor -- not the one I was thinking of -- and asked her whether she knew someone in the neighborhood who did pet sitting. She offered to do it herself! She has a dog, and no experience with cats, but she is very reliable, and I'm so pleased that she offered. She even says she will not accept money, so I will have to figure out a nice gift.

Today I'm going to show her the setup and what is needed.

In other news, sad news, my BFF's brother did not make it. He passed away peacefully yesterday morning after being taken off life support. I feel so sad about this -- I did not know him well, but knew him through BFF's stories. There will probably be a memorial service before Thanksgiving.

Another Day

November 18th, 2019 at 01:30 pm

Yesterday I did a load of laundry, as planned, and then put up the tree. I also put the lights on, but not the ornaments yet. I'm going to do this in stages; I will enjoy it more that way! Today I'll do the ornaments and then tomorrow I'll do the house decorations. I have a huge Santa collection that I'm going to weed this year; I'm running out of places to display them.

I'm also planning to take the train & bus to the library and to the dealer's to pick up my Kia owner's manual.

I offered to host a light Christmas dinner and gift opening on December 20, before my family leaves for Florida. Mulling over what to make. Right now I'm thinking maybe chili or beef stew in the Instant Pot. I've already promised orange rolls and eggnog.

On December 19 I will drive down to central Indiana to surprise my former boss at his retirement party.

I realized yesterday that since my grandson will be with me at Thanksgiving, I have no one to check in on Iggy while I'm gone. The last time I hired a service to do that, I was very disappointed -- they actually let the water dish run dry. My neighbor has someone who does this for him, so I'm going to explore whether that person is available.

Pay day is the day after tomorrow. With variables at 44%, I'm doing well.

BFF updated me on her brother last night. He was in surgery again to remove a blood clot. None of this looks good.

This and That

November 17th, 2019 at 01:56 pm

Yesterday was a no-spend day.

This morning I am going over to DS' house for breakfast, probably in an hour or so.

After breakfast, I'll have laundry to do. I will also put up the Christmas tree, as I didn't get to it yesterday. I know it's early, but I want to enjoy the season, as the day itself will not be traditional. I hate putting up the tree, but I love it once it's done. My whole house is transformed by Christmas decorations.

I did make my freezer list. If anyone is interested, here is what's there:

Bag of flour
Package of Hawaiian rolls
Half bag of blueberries
One homemade hot pocket
Bag of cauliflower
Bag of green beans
Bag of peas
Bag of asparagus
Leftover chicken rice casserole
Leftover chicken stir fry
Leftover Hawaiian chicken stir fry
Leftover potato-cheese soup
Leftover Mexican mac & cheese
4 partial loaves of bread
1 mini sub roll
Bag of bread crumbs
1 pie crust
3 bags of bacon grease (sandwich size, flattened)

Yes, I do save bacon grease. I find if I put in sandwich bags and flatten them out, I can easily break off chunks to use. I mostly use it for frying eggs, but recently learned it's pretty good for pancakes, too.

It's not that much, but all jumbled up in the freezer along with freezer packs and ice cube trays, it was hard to see.

In other news, my BFF has kept me updated with news about her brother. He had emergency surgery yesterday but his colon had to be removed and he may not survive the day. News like this makes me realize I do not really have problems.

Christmas Plans

November 16th, 2019 at 03:53 pm

Well, being stuck at home does make it less likely that I will spend! I spent $3 on laundry yesterday, and that's it.

Christmas this year is turning into a problem. My local kids are going to Florida in order to visit some cousins they don't get to see often. I won't be part of that, as it's my ex's family and they are too toxic for me! My Oregon son will be in Oregon, and his wife and kids will fly up for the holiday (as they will still be living in Florida to sell the house.) Plus her parents will fly there. I was invited, when I asked about it, but there will be no room (DS will still be in temporary housing), and I can't afford it anyway.

My brother celebrates with his wife's family, and I don't want to be part of their crazy scene either! My sister -- well, I could drive out to NC, but frankly, the way she lives is so depressing I can't do it. (Hoarder, overspender, five untrained dogs in a townhouse, disabled husband -- you get the picture.)

Friends, of course, are all involved with their families. Sigh.

I am thinking of doing a DIY one-day retreat at home. I'm reading up on the concept, and I like the idea of it. Mainly, it's a day of intentional reflection and relaxation, doing kind things for yourself and turning off the outside world. I know that sounds odd since Christmas is a time of communion with others, but, to me, being on the fringes of someone else's celebration is depressing, not uplifting.

I'm kind of excited thinking about planning it!

I was tentatively planning a small trip with BFF after Christmas, but her brother is in a health crisis, and she can't commit to anything at this time. And, again, I really can't afford it right now, anyway.

On to today's plans -- I'm making a veggie scramble from leftovers. It's going to be very diverse -- potatoes, onions, peppers, green beans, carrots, squash and mushrooms! Plus, I'm throwing a little cheese in there. I've been chopping this morning, and at noon I'll saute it all in a little olive oil. Hope it's good!

And I'm going to make an inventory list for my freezer. I just have a small freezer on top of my fridge, but I do lose track of its contents. I'm going to make a list and post it on the door -- cross off things as I use them and add them as I put them in. I was inspired by Lucky Robin's freezer organization!

Also, if I feel energetic, I'll put up the Christmas tree. All the boxes are in my dining room and I'm tired of walking around them.

I got a call from my dealer that the manual is in. I will catch a bus on Monday to get it, probably make a library stop as well. I don't expect the car to be ready before Wednesday, and from past experience, it always takes longer than they say.

Birthday Dinner

November 15th, 2019 at 01:17 pm

GS1's birthday party last night was fun. I ordered a skirt steak sandwich meal, which cost $15, and I took home half to eat today. He was pleased with my $50 gift, but he got $100 from my ex. Such is my life, always outdone. I keep reminding myself it is not a competition, though to my ex, everything is a competition. Smile

In addition to the half-sandwich, I also took home some grilled veggies, which I will probably use in a stirfry or fried rice.

Variables are at 43%.

Did not do much of anything during the day. I finished reading a book in one day! I have another, but I'll probably end up taking the train to the library before I get my car back. Thank goodness it will start to warm up today.

I heard from an old colleague that my old boss is retiring in December. I would like to go surprise him at his celebration, but I don't know how family plans will unfold during the month. It is a three hour drive away. But it would be nice to see him, as well as other old friends.

In addition, BFF is dealing with her older brother's health issues and may take a trip to Minneapolis to sort things out. I told her I would go with her if that develops. Her brother is a high-functioning autistic who has lived independently, but now he probably needs to transition into assisted living. He probably won't go willingly, however. Frown

My Florida/Oregon son told me their offer on the house has been accepted and now they are going through the inspection. I definitely want to make a trip to Oregon once they get moved and settled.

Bumper Damage

November 14th, 2019 at 02:35 pm

My bumper damage was much worse than I thought. The estimate I got was $1700, so of course I decided to go through insurance. I will have to pay a $500 deductible.

To my surprise, I learned that the other party had opened a liability claim against me. I was shocked, since to me it was clearly a case of two people backing into each other accidentally. I suspect she saw white hair and decided to take advantage of the situation. I talked to my claims agent and gave a statement. At this point I am so shell-shocked from accident problems that I don't care what the outcome is. I know what I think is right, but right doesn't always prevail. I just keep thinking I'm going to get past all this.

Anyway, I dropped off the car for repair and it will be about a week without a car. At least I know the ropes now for getting around on the bus and train. But I don't plan to go anywhere until the cold lets up.

EXCEPT -- I'm going to GS1's birthday party tonight at a local restaurant -- hitching a ride with them. I don't have the cash in hand that I was planning to give, so I'm going to send money on Zelle and have DIL put it on his debit card. And I'll create a clever (I hope) little certificate to put in his card. Thank goodness I do have that already.

Florida GD's birthday was yesterday, and DS sent me a picture of her posing in a pair of Frozen pj's. I kind of wonder if they think that was my gift -- it wasn't -- but I guess they'll figure it out when my packages are delivered. They were supposed to deliver one yesterday and one today, but I know they don't always meet those goals.

Before the news about my car, I got some stuff done yesterday. I spent $22 on groceries, $56 on cat food and $20 on gas. That takes variables to 33%.

I also went to the library and checked out two books which will help me get through this week!

Woo Hoo!

November 13th, 2019 at 12:59 pm

My reimbursement was placed in my bank account yesterday -- $880. It almost feels like payday!

I had to go out yesterday and scrape my car and move it to the other side of the street. They are going to sweep leaves today. I don't know how successful they will be, as the leaves are frozen to the street and covered with snow. Oh well, their problem.

Since I've done the work of scraping the car I will get out and run errands today. I'll go to the gym, get a few groceries, buy cat food at the vet's, stop in at the dealer to see if my manual has come in, and go to the repair shop to get an estimate on my scraped bumper.

I don't think I mentioned that my car came without a manual. I looked on eBay and thought I might buy one, but at that time I was feeling stressed about money and didn't pull the trigger. When I went to the dealer to pick up my registration, I asked if it was floating around there by any chance. He said no, but sat down right away and ordered one for me at no charge. Saved a few bucks there!

I spent $42 yesterday on gifts for my granddaughter. They should be delivered today. It is her 7th birthday.

Variables are at 23% with two weeks and three days to go.

Bitter Cold

November 12th, 2019 at 12:48 pm

It's really cold here this morning. The "feels like" temperature is below zero. I do not plan to go anywhere. And I don't think I will try to move my car until it gets warm enough to melt the snow and ice that's all over it. That's the beauty of being retired and I'm going to take advantage of it.

My BFF sent me home with some leftover chicken and broccoli from our weekend together. Yesterday I chopped it up and added it to frozen risotto with squash. It made a pretty good skillet dinner, though a little dry. Today I'm going to sauce it up, and part of it I will use for hot pockets, which I make with crescent rolls.

I am running low on a few things but nothing that will drive me out into the cold.

I am watching my bank account but so far there has been no deposit from insurance. I should get a little over $800 for taxes and fees, and there shouldn't be anything holding it up, now that my title has been found and submitted. If it doesn't appear today, I'll call again.

My granddaughter's birthday is tomorrow. That really crept up on me. I'm going to order a gift from Amazon today. My grandson's birthday is the next day (different families, though). I'm going to give him cash, just waiting for info on when we will have a party for him.

What a Weekend!

November 11th, 2019 at 01:41 pm

On Friday morning, I called my insurance company and got the news that the title was found and had been submitted. Then I went to the dealer and my registration was there. That freed me up to make my weekend trip to see BFF, so I got on the road and went!

So here is the bad news. While there, I backed into someone also backing up in a Target parking lot. I scratched up the rear bumper -- enough that it needs to be replaced but luckily it is a small corner bumper and not one of those that wraps all the way around the back. I will pay for the repair myself, and the other person's damage was similar to mine, but she called the police, anyway. So they issued a "Driver Exchange of Information" and told me to contact my insurance company. I did that this morning.

You can imagine how depressing this is with all that has happened already. This is not my year.

Other than that, it was a fun weekend! The cost -- $27 for gas, $37 for food, $20 for shopping, $7 for a movie. We saw "Harriet" which was really good!

I left home so quickly I left her present sitting on my dining room table, so we'll have to make plans to meet again.

I was planning to drive home this morning, but I got a weather alert that heavy snow was coming, so I made the drive last night. Thank goodness! The cars are already covered this morning and I am so glad I'm not driving through it.

Title Woes, Etc.

November 8th, 2019 at 01:07 pm

My title seems to be missing in action. I am waiting for office hours to begin, but I will have to call Allstate again and see if anyone found it in my car. I now wonder if the employee at the collision center did not put my title in the glove box. If so, it may be floating around their office. This is so frustrating. I cancelled my weekend trip so I can follow up on this.

I'm supposed to get my registration today, but I'll bet the problem with the title will halt that. I'm very reluctant to travel with neither a title nor registration.

In other news, I reversed my decision and decided to put my credit card balance on a new 0% card. I took a look at the page Monkey Mama recommended, and I chose the American Express card, which offers 0% interest for 15 months and no fee. Even offers bonus points, but I'm not going to put anything else on the card in order to earn them. The transfer will take place in about 10 days.

I just couldn't see any reason not to do this. I'll pay it off before the 15 months are over, but now I don't have to decimate my savings or skip Christmas!

Yesterday I took the boys to music lessons and then went to a concert directly after. Dinner (from the Culver's drive-thru) cost $12.

I also got word from my son that they put on offer on a house in Oregon. The pictures look lovely and I hope they get it!

Oh, also, I canceled my warranty yesterday, and I am expecting to get about $800 back -- but it won't arrive for about 60 days.

Collecting Funds

November 7th, 2019 at 01:52 pm

I called Allstate yesterday and talked with someone who promised that my reimbursement for taxes and fees would come within 48 hours. It's not there yet. I'm expecting $880, or thereabouts.

Today I'm going to the former car dealer to cancel my warranty. I should get a refund from that, not sure how large though. Buying it in the first place was a waste of money, but I was afraid of a car disaster during my gap year. And here it happened just after, and the warranty is no help on a totaled car.

I'm working like crazy to have extra money to throw at the BOA credit card.

I looked into a transfer to a 0% card and decided to just get it done on this card. It will keep me motivated to be frugal.

It is frustrating to have to be superfrugal again after so recently being released from my gap year budget. But that's how it goes. I want this car paid off.

Heading out to the gym soon, then the car dealer, then shower and dress for music lessons and concert.

Tomorrow I'm expecting to get my registration, which I will pick up at the new dealer. Then I'll get on the road to go visit BFF. We're having pizza and cake with her kids and grandkids in the evening. I am committed to no/low spending during the weekend and will encourage eating in. We'll see how it goes.

If my registration isn't ready on Friday morning, I will probably cancel the trip. I don't feel good about taking a trip without proof of registration in my glove box.

Warranty Cancellation

November 6th, 2019 at 04:14 pm

I didn't spend anything yesterday except for $1.50 for laundry.

Today I went to the dealer who sold me my Civic to cancel the warranty I bought at the same time. However, the man I needed does not work on Wednesdays, so I'll have to try again tomorrow. I think I may get some money back from that.

I revisited the letter sent to me from Allstate and I realized that it directed me to an email address different from the one I was using. So I sent the bill of sale info to that one. If I hear nothing today, I'll call them tomorrow.

I spent a good deal of time cleaning the stovetop yesterday. I started out with a baking soda paste, but it didn't do much and I had to wipe the stove about a thousand times because a film kept reappearing. Then I used one of those spray-on cleaners, and it didn't do much either. I am writing this in hopes I will remember from now on -- ammonia is the answer! Straight ammonia on rags, stuffed around the burners and covered by inverted bowls to keep the ammonia moist. The grates and knobs I ran through the dishwasher. The grates aren't perfect, but much better. I know I can make them perfect by soaking them in ammonia, but I think it's all good enough for now.

Tomorrow is gym day, and I'll also be taking the boys to music lessons. Then GS1 has a concert right after. Add to that the visit to get my warranty cancelled and it will be a busy day!

No Pizza

November 5th, 2019 at 02:41 pm

Well, I did my workout in the early evening instead of the morning, but I didn't time it right to get the free pizza. After I stretched my workout to ridiculous lengths, I just sat and waited for a while because the attendant told me the pizza was supposed to arrive at 6 pm. and it was already 6:05. At 6:15 it still wasn't there, and I felt conspicuous waiting, so I left.

I came home and had a hard-boiled egg.

No spending yesterday!

I got a letter from Allstate telling me I can make a claim for reimbursal of tax and fees. Yeah, I did that. I'm going to call today. The reimbursal for towing slipped through the cracks and I wouldn't have gotten it if I hadn't called. I'm wondering if it happened again.

I activated my debit card for ground transportation yesterday. If I understand the rules correctly, I can load it with up to $75 a month, and whenever I use taxis, Uber, Lyft, Amtrak or Greyhound I will only be charged half. The only thing I'm not clear on is whether I have to use the $75 in a month or if it rolls over. This will be useful for getting to the airport.

Really tired today after a restless night, so I don't think I'll be doing much of anything.

Early Arrival

November 4th, 2019 at 12:51 pm

Yesterday I got to the library a half hour before it opened. I didn't want to sit outside in the cold, so I walked to Panera and spent $2 on coffee so I could sit there.

I parked in the nearby garage where it's free if you get out within the hour. And I did.

I also sent $20 to Oregon son. Even though a new job is on the horizon, it's going to be very expensive for them to make this move.

My neighbor called me yesterday about a smell in the building. I told her I hadn't smelled it, but when I opened my storage closet, I got a whiff of it. It's a dead animal smell. I pulled everything out of the closet to make sure there was nothing there. And there wasn't. I put everything back except the Christmas tree and decorations. I'll be putting them up soon enough -- I'd rather not do that hauling again.

My storage closet shares a wall with my neighbor, so I'm wondering if an animal has somehow gotten into the wall and died. My neighbor is going to call the property manager today.

Today is a gym day, and I was getting ready to go, when I realized it is pizza day at the gym! If I put off my workout till 5pm or so, I'll get a free dinner. So that's on! That will make up for the coffee!

Made plans with BFF to go visit her this weekend. It will be her birthday. I have a few things I've already bought to give her, so no outlay needed for a gift. There will be a cost for gas, of course, since it's a 3-hour trip. But I have about a half a tank so that will get me well into Indiana where the gas is cheaper.

Yesterday's Errands

November 3rd, 2019 at 02:54 pm

Yesterday I took my car to a professional car wash (one that has people) and got the exterior washed (and all the leaves and crud wiped away) for $12. I won't do that often, but it was worth it yesterday. I'm going to miss the free car wash service I had from my previous dealer!

I also spent $18 at Aldi, making strategic purchases which will utilize and stretch what I already have on hand. I did a load of laundry ($1.50) and got my hair cut ($18.) Variables are at 9%. I forgot to report that last month I kept the variables down to 87%. Ten days without a car helped on that.

I stopped at the senior center, but I still can't pay my wheel tax until I have my new registration in hand. But I picked up my Brink's debit card, which I can use for discounted service on taxis and Uber. I don't use those services much, but for getting to the airport they are essential. I believe the attendant said the discount was 50%. I have to read up on it.

I'm going to the library today, to pick up a new book on hold. Perfect timing, I just finished my last one!

Almost forgot! I got $104 in the mail yesterday for a cash settlement in a case against State Farm. I'll take it!

More on the Car, and October Recap

November 2nd, 2019 at 01:19 pm

I appreciated all the nice comments on my new car. I am definitely mulling over the idea of transferring the balance to a 0% card. I just got an offer for one the other day, which I threw away! I would still pay off as quickly as possible, but I wouldn't have to hurry as much. I'll have to look at the numbers, though.

Someone asked -- my new car is silver, with black interior.

I got up yesterday and first thing I did was take a look at my car (I could see it from my window.) To my shock, it looked like a garden had been planted on the roof! It turned out that the surprise Halloween snowstorm we had dumped a load of wet snow and then knocked down the leaves from the trees. I was parked under a big honey locust tree, so all these tree-like compound leaves were stuck in the frozen snow on my roof, waving around in the wind. And I mean a lot! They were all over the windshield, too.

I cleaned it up the best I could, but I had to wait for the temperature to warm up before I could really move them. Hoping the ones I couldn't reach will blow off today.

I went to the gym (it's been a long break from that!) and then to Sam's, where I spent $36 on bread, dishwasher pods and parchment paper. Large packages, of course. I was planning on stopping at the senior center to pay my wheel tax, but, being a senior, I totally forgot to do that, so I'll do it today! I will go to Aldi, too; I have about 7 items to buy. And I hope to be able to get in for a haircut, though that is not easy on a Saturday. That may wait till Monday.

I did my October recap yesterday, and here it is:

Furnishings/Equipment/Decor: $5,383
Housing: $809
Car Repair/Maintenance: $221
Insurance: $211
Utilities: $175
Groceries: $143
Vet/Pet Supplies: $118
Clothing: $60
Phone: $52
Gifts/Charity: $51
Medical/Health: $36
Gas: $30
Eating Out: $24
Laundry: $14
Vacation/Travel: $10
Fares/Parking: $10
Entertainment: $9
Personal: $7
Household Supplies: $4

Grand Total $7367

$5,273 of the first category is the cost of the car beyond the insurance payout. I figure a car is equipment. The rest is the pans, sheets, remote and curling iron I bought earlier in the month.

Housing: I paid $50 extra on the mortgage.

Car Repair/Maintenance: That was the work I had done on the Civic just before the crash. Wish I had waited on that!

Insurance: That was my annual condo insurance.

Vet/Pet Supplies: A vet visit and special kidney care food.

Clothing: Underwear! Much needed.

Everything else is pretty much self-explanatory. The $10 for vacation was the money I paid my grandson for taking care of my cat. I paid him after I came back, and it fell in the next month.

A New Car!

November 1st, 2019 at 12:01 pm

I bought my car yesterday -- quite unexpectedly! I was going to wait until Saturday when my son could drive me to several places in distant suburbs. But when I looked at local websites rather than the big Autotrader-type things, I found new options.

I bought a 2014 Kia Soul with only 29K miles. It is in beautiful, perfect condition. I paid cash (which included putting $2700 on a credit card) and the total was $12,705. I'll get some of that back because I'll be reimbursed for taxes and fees.

It was a little over my spending limit, but I am so pleased. I did look extensively at Toyotas and Hondas, understanding totally that their reliability is legendary, but the only options for me would have been cars that were older than the one I lost (which was pretty old already!) or cars that had very high mileage.

The Kia Soul has good ratings for reliability as well, and I am trusting that this will be a good car. I love the way it looks and the way it handles, the roominess of the interior and the nice, high seat! I didn't realize how much I hated getting in and out of the low-slung Civic. A friend of mine just told me that he LOVED his Soul and that it handled great in snowy conditions.

The fly in the ointment is going to be quickly paying off what I put on the card. I'm going to have to really be frugal in order to pay it off in a couple of months to ameliorate the interest. Unfortunately, this is the worst time of the year for that, as Christmas is coming, as well as two birthdays this month.

Today I'm going to go get my wheel tax paid, as well as go to the gym and pick up a few groceries. I'm due for a haircut, but I think that may have to wait until tomorrow. But I'm so excited to get in my new car!