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Archive for August, 2020

Last Day of August

August 31st, 2020 at 02:07 pm

Since it's the last day of the month, I would ordinarily do a monthly recap, but I might be spending today. I hope that I can get someone to come and look at my dishwasher -- and repair it!

The baseball double-header yesterday was lots of fun. The weather was just perfect. Our team lost both games, but GS1 was in good spirits anyway.

I did end up buying lunch -- $9. Variables are at 64%.

Sitting for so long in one place seemed to be hard on my body. I was very stiff and sore when I went to bed, and it was hard to get to sleep. And it was hard to stay asleep, too.

Looking forward to a new month! And to getting to see my BFF on Wednesday!

No-Spend Day

August 30th, 2020 at 02:13 pm

Yesterday was a no-spend day. I did a lot of reading, tooling around the house, and watched a few things on Netflix.

So far I have spent only $33 on groceries this month. I credit that to having a freezer full of leftovers, plus doing more eating out than I have done in long time. All of the eating out has been drive-through, with the exception of one lunch which I had at an outdoor table. The reasons for eating out -- relentless heat, going to out-of-town baseball games, and renovation at home. Today is another day that I will go to a double-header up in Wheeling. I plan to eat a late, big breakfast to try to avoid another restaurant bill.

Anyway, back to groceries -- there are, of course, many things on my list to buy, as I am running low on provisions, but I am planning to avoid the store until the month turns. Because a $33 grocery total is amazing!

Dishwasher Trouble

August 29th, 2020 at 03:24 pm

I started my dishwasher in the usual fashion this morning, but it sat there and did nothing. The control panel seems to be dead. I did all the troubleshooting things, checked the breakers, etc., but the machine is just not working. Of course, it's a Saturday!

I washed a sink full of dishes by hand, and I'll handwash until a repairman comes on Monday or Tuesday. I won't call till Monday.

I bought this dishwasher in 2015, and it was second-highest rated, after a very expensive Bosch, so I'm really disappointed.

Meanwhile, I'm spending another day inside, but I will do no cooking; will not do anything that generates a lot of dirty dishes. I'll probably use paper plates. I have tuna salad and spaghetti in the fridge, so I'm set, for today, at least.

It's cooler today. The windows are open, and I feel a breeze. Overall, life is good!

Indoor Friday

August 28th, 2020 at 02:56 pm

I'm planning a day inside. It's going to be hot, but we're going to get a break tomorrow. I will crank up the air and get things done around the house.

I'll be doing a load of laundry. I am NOT going to go out for lunch. I'm having a bagel and stewed apples for breakfast, and will have spaghetti for lunch, with green beans on the side. Not sure about dinner; I am so often not hungry at dinnertime.

I'm going to work on cleaning up in the kitchen. The dust drifted even there, the furthest point from the living room.

Yesterday I got my new ride-free card (for bus and train). It has been renewed for two years and I didn't even have to reapply, since the office that issues it is closed.

I went to the library and picked up a couple of books I had on hold. So far it is working out pretty well; the books become available about the time that I need them.

I learned that my cousin in NC, the one I used to live with, caught COVID-19 while in rehab after a fall. I am feeling so bad for her, and hoping hard that she doesn't get worse. At least she is already in a place that will provide care.

Peak Savings Day

August 27th, 2020 at 06:15 pm

It's another peak savings day, so I've turned off all the electricity, and will keep it off for the next four hours. After my hair dries, I'm going to go get some lunch. This is getting to be a bad habit, but I really don't want to heat up the kitchen.

Last night my son came over and hooked up the TV, etc., and helped me bring some furniture back into the living room. The couch and the ottomans are going to stay in the dining room, however, because.....

I ended up sending the rugs out for cleaning. It will be more expensive, and it will take more time, but I think it is the best thing to do. This way they will be cleaned clear through, and since I suffer from allergies, I think this will be a good thing. Scrubbing them with a carpet cleaner only gets the very top layer. And they really need cleaning.

It will be anywhere from a week and half to three weeks before I get them back, depending on how busy they are. But with much of my furniture now set up around the perimeter, I will be pretty comfortable. The heavy couch won't be moved back until the rug comes back all clean.

I've been working this morning, putting little things back, hanging pictures, etc. I'm so glad I've been freed from the claustrophobic bedroom. I didn't know how much that would bother me.

Before the repair, I packed up all the dishes and porcelain whatnots in my hutch. While putting them back this morning, I kept out some to go to Goodwill, some to sell, and some to store in other places. It looks so much better now, with the best pieces showcased. Gave me a lift!

It's Done!

August 26th, 2020 at 07:03 pm

I was told that the job would take three days -- that was back when I had the original meeting with the company owner. In fact, it only took them two days! They did a wonderful job. The ceiling looks fantastic. They even painted the crown molding, which wasn't part of the deal. They did a wonderful job of cleaning up, too.

However -- it is clear that I will keep finding plaster dust in odd places for a long time. Oh man, it went everywhere!

I have arranged for Stanley Steemer to come and clean the area rug and one of the runners. I will wait on the other runner, as I will need a way to get around while it dries. They are coming this afternoon.

I washed the drapes -- turns out they are machine washable and dryable! Who knew? They look great and I've got them hanging up again.

Yesterday I spent $18 on lunch. I just had to get out of the house, between the dust and and noise. I went to a local restaurant with a patio and had a burger and sweet potato fries. It was lovely, except for the yellow jackets who wanted their share.

I also wrote a check for $1375, the balance due on the repair.

The rug cleaning will cost $120. Not cheap, but it's worth it to me to get it professionally done. The technician will lay it for me, too. I tried to do it myself, but it was impossible on my own.

Once it is clean and dry, I can start moving back the furniture, and start feeling like life is normal again.

Speaking of normal again, I made plans with BFF to meet in the middle and have a socially-distanced lunch on some restaurant patio. We keep in touch regularly, but it's been some time since I've seen her. I may not have seen her since Christmas!

I'm feeling pretty good....

Day Two

August 25th, 2020 at 04:08 pm

The workers thoroughly stripped the plaster off the ceiling yesterday. Did I mention dust everywhere? Dust everywhere. And plaster dust is heavier and grittier than regular dust. But yesterday one of the men told me his wife would come and clean after they are done. It is part of the deal. Because, as he says, "It's a lot."

They are putting up the drywall today.

I called a local carpet cleaner yesterday to see if they could pick up my carpet. It turns out they didn't do that kind of service, and the ones who do specialize in orientals. And they are expensive. So I'm going to go back to my original plan and have someone come in and clean the carpet after the work is done. Which means more days spent in the bedroom, but what the hey.

I looked over the drapes yesterday. I was going to take them to the dry cleaner, but they look pretty rough. I'm going to machine wash them, and if they're ruined, I'll get new ones. But they might come out all right! I've heard of such things.

I spent $22 yesterday on gas, and $10 on lunch. While I was out, the guys blew a fuse. My fault, really. I forgot to tell them they can't run the air and power tools at the same time. So it's a good thing I'm hanging around. If I had gone away, they would have been stuck.

Iggy was terrified yesterday morning and stuck to me like Velcro. Then, by afternoon, he decided he wanted to help the guys out in any way he could, and I had to shut him up with me in the bedroom so he wouldn't be under their feet. Today he's sleeping peacefully through the noise -- the new normal.

Glad to be making progress....

Ceiling Repair is Imminent

August 24th, 2020 at 01:54 pm

I'm waiting for the workmen to arrive -- which should be in about 10 minutes. All the living room furniture is crammed into the dining room, and some in my bedroom. I will be living in very tight quarters for a few days. Iggy is freaked, but he finally fell asleep in his favorite corner.

Not sure what I'll be doing these few days. Probably a lot of reading, unless the noise is unbearable. I think I will go out to eat. The kitchen is free, but the workmen will be walking through to dispose of waste material.

This will not be fun, but it will be a good thing to get done!

Sore Hip

August 23rd, 2020 at 01:52 pm

I slept well last night, but woke up with hip and back pain from sleeping in the wrong position. I was also dreaming about sheltering from a tornado, so I guess it wasn't the most peaceful of nights.

I have two back-to-back games today, and before tomorrow I have to get all the living room furniture moved into the dining room (with my son's help.) So it's going to be a busy day.

Yesterday I washing Iggy's quilt and the shower curtain liner for $1.50. Variables remain at 54%.

Minor Financial News

August 22nd, 2020 at 01:12 pm

Not much financial news to share. My electric bill hit the bank -- it is $53 -- it is usually around $35, but it is reflecting AC usage now. My retirement account in TIAA is higher than it's ever been, thanks to the performance of the stock market. My net worth has inched higher than it has been in three years.

I am preparing for the ceiling repair on Monday by moving everything I can to the dining room. The big stuff I am leaving for my son to move tomorrow. Two big items -- a hutch and a file cabinet -- will stay. They will just be covered by the workers. It is already feeling empty and strange.

Busy Morning

August 21st, 2020 at 03:21 pm

Well, it was a busy morning yesterday. I went to Kohl's and exchanged my bras. I couldn't do that curbside, but going in to customer service was fine -- the store was quite empty, and everyone was wearing masks. Then I went to the Goodwill drive-up and dropped off four bags of donations. Then went through a car wash. Then went to DSW and bought a pair of booties. The spending: $5 for the car wash and $29 for the booties. They were originally $68, but they were in the clearance section, where they were 40% off, and I had a $10 coupon and a $5 coupon.

Variables are at 54%, with 10 days to go.

I was tempted to go through a fast food drive-up, but the long lines discouraged me. I went home and had a meal of leftovers.

Today will be another indoor day of peace and relaxation.

The Ceiling!

August 20th, 2020 at 03:32 pm

I got a call from the ceiling contractor yesterday, and he sent over the painter to look over the situation. It sounds like they are going to schedule the repair for next week. I started to move the small things in the living room already.

When I tried on one of my new bras from Kohl's, I realized it was way too tight! Even though I ordered the same style and size of one that I am wearing. I guess it must be stretched out. So today I'm going to exchange them for a larger size. Since I will be out, I'm going to take advantage of a birthday coupon at DSW and try to find some booties for this winter. I tried to get them just before the pandemic, but, once again, online ordering didn't work out so well.

I was intrigued by Disney Steve's assessment of his spending this year. I took a look at mine, and my average spending total is almost exactly the same as last year. But it breaks down differently. I am spending more in house repairs (surprise!), car repair, medical and gifts/charity. I am spending less on furnishings, gas, clothing and travel. I am spending a bit more on groceries, but I intend to fix that!

Pay Day

August 19th, 2020 at 01:50 pm

Pay day is not usually exciting anymore, just routine -- but today I made the final payment on my car, so to speak. When I bought my car, I didn't have quite enough to pay cash outright, so I charged the balance. I charged it to a no-interest card. Today I paid it off, well before the time when interest would kick in. I already adjusted my budget to pay that amount to my mortgage next month, and from then on. That is exciting, too.

Yesterday BFF let me know that she had $116 for me from the time when I had an antiques booth in her town. She used to pick up my checks for me, since she lived there and I didn't. Yesterday she found a file folder labeled "BOOTH" and the cash inside.

At first I was delighted, and then I realized it was unlikely that it was my money. The store always paid by check -- why would she have cash? And I keep a close eye on my money, as you all know, so I would have known if she had not passed on a payment to me. So we talked about it. She decided that perhaps it belonged to her daughter-in-law, who had also had a booth at one time. Well, her DIL couldn't remember anything about it, and insisted the money must be mine. In the end, we decided to split it, since no one can seem to remember why the money was set aside and who it belongs to. BFF is going to send me a check for $58.

I picked up my new bras yesterday at Kohl's. Picking up curbside was an easy process.

Today is going to be one of those quiet days. I'm going to do some cleaning in my bedroom, another load of laundry, and a bit of menu planning.

We are having a spell of very comfortable weather, so my AC units are having a nice rest, as well as my electric bill.

Walgreens Spending

August 18th, 2020 at 03:31 pm

My son needed a ride from the auto shop yesterday. While I was out, I went to Walgreens and spent $21 -- $6 on groceries (nuts and candy), $12 on cosmetics (brow pencil), and $3 on a get-well card. Variables are at 49%. The candy was for a fund-raiser to support teachers.

My monthly total for groceries is $33. I'm really working that pantry and freezer!

Otherwise, everything is on autopilot. Tomorrow is pay day. The bill payments will flow out. All is well!

Hot Day in the Ball Park

August 17th, 2020 at 02:13 pm

Yesterday was the first baseball game organized by the baseball academy my grandson attends. It was held in a very professional-looking field -- however, there was not a bit of shade anywhere! Parents who were already in the know brought umbrellas and sunshade canopies. I roasted. Thank goodness, at least I wore my baseball cap and shaded my face a bit.

The boys lost badly. Altogether, not a good event.

I spent $8 for lunch. Later in the day, I spent $45 for two new bras, which I ordered from Kohl's. I'll pick them up curbside in a few days. Variables are at 47%.

I spent the rest of the day resting and recovering. Funny, it wasn't so hot at home. I didn't even have the air on. But on that field -- excruciating!

This morning I started a load of laundry, and I'll probably be doing that for several days.