Home > Archive: January, 2021

Archive for January, 2021

Laundry & Iggy

January 31st, 2021 at 03:48 pm

Iggy was sick again yesterday, and as a result I am washing sheets, a mattress pad and my bedspread.  He has also soiled his quilt, as well as another quilt I put on the bed temporarily.  I have those set aside to wash, but I don't know if I'll get to it all today.  This will add at least $4 to my laundry tab.  If I wash the quilts, $4 more.

I would take Iggy to be put down today, because it's clear to me now that he is more miserable than happy, but my car is in a distant garage and we have eight inches of snow, and it's still falling.  Besides that it's Sunday!  So if I could even get out I would have to go to the emergency vet, which probably isn't even open in this awful storm.  Iggy has taken refuge in his carrier and I just hope I can take him in tomorrow, but that will be dependent on whether my son can get his car out of his alley and whether he is willing to try.  This is all completely discouraging.  I'm angry at myself that I let the vet talk me into continuing to treat him when it was so clear to me that he was on a downward spiral.  Now I'm stuck in a bad situation.

Car in the City Garage

January 30th, 2021 at 08:31 pm

I moved my car to one of the city garages this morning, and I will keep it there until my doctor's appointment next Tuesday.  Parking is free until February 3, because of the coming snowstorm.  The more cars that are off the street, the better the city will be able to plow.

DS picked me up at the garage, and we stopped at Walgreens on the way home.  I stocked up on batteries ($10) and also picked up some groceries ($13).  That should be my last bit of spending for the month.  Variables are at 52%, the best I've done in a long time.  It makes me wonder if I've done something wrong in my count!

Now I'm just looking forward to a couple of snow days, with no worries about the snow piling up on my car.

Amazon Order

January 29th, 2021 at 03:43 pm

I thought I might go out and grocery shop today, since another snowstorm is coming.  Then I rethought it.  My freezer is full of food to use up.  The only thing I was worried about running out of was cat food.  So I ordered some from Amazon.  $21.  I already had two packages of Command hooks in my cart, so I got those, too, for $27.

The city has agreed to open the parking garages free so that the streets can be plowed more efficiently.  I take my car there when the snow starts.  I'll have to take the train home.  I haven't been on the train since the pandemic began, but I am trusting I can manage to stay away from people on the short trip.



Tax Refund

January 28th, 2021 at 04:36 pm

Yesterday I checked to see if my 1099-R was ready, and it was!  So I went ahead and filed.  I'm going to get a tax refund of $909.  Whoopee!

We have been hit with 8 inches of snow, and I have been moving my car around for three days so they can plow.  A lot of others are not doing that, so the plowing has been hit or miss.  But the main roads are clear.  It's the side streets, like mine, that are a mess.  I wish I could plan on some melting, but it sounds like we will get another snowstorm this weekend.  Oh well.  It's winter.

One Project Tabled

January 27th, 2021 at 02:54 pm

The other day our water was turned off while another unit was getting plumbing service.  When it came back on, my toilet was suddenly flushing better, after having been sluggish for some time.  So, even though my toilet is very old, I scrapped the plan to get a new one, and decided to look for a new seat.  The current one is chipped and not attached well anymore.   Well, I learned that my toilet is actually smaller than standard and getting a new seat to fit is just about impossible.  If I could even find the right dimensions, the seat would probably cost as much as a new toilet.  I could get a seat that's too big, but that would probably look weird.

There's no rush, now that the toilet is functioning better, so I'm going to wait on the replacement.

Once I get my property tax paid, I'll focus on refinishing the dining room table.  And while it is out, I'll send the dining room rug out for cleaning.  After that, I need to retile my kitchen floor.

Right now I'm anxiously awaiting one tax document so I can file.  Should be available in a few days.

I hope the next stimulus payment comes through.  That will definitely help with the projects.  And, since I will be supporting small business, it will help the economy, too.


Bills Up, But SS, Too

January 25th, 2021 at 04:06 pm

I got my electric bill -- or, that is, it hit my bank -- it's an automatic payment.  It's higher than usual.  I don't know if I've been using more electricity or if new charges have been tacked on.  I guess it's time to be more mindful of what lights are on.

I also paid my assessment fees -- automatically.  They have gone up, too.   Oh well, Social Security payments have also gone up by about $25!

We are expected to get a big snow today.  Tomorrow I am scheduled for a house call from United Healthcare.  I think I will cancel.  I don't really need it, and I think the nurse practitioner will have trouble parking on a bad snow day.

Pet Supplies

January 21st, 2021 at 07:57 pm

I made a run to the vet's office this morning and picked up a bag of saline, needles, and a bag of dry kidney care cat food.  The total was $37.  That pushed variables up to 38% -- still good for this time of the month, especially with my new lower variables bucket.

I have a little 403b fund from the few years I worked at a  local college at the end of my career.  It just surpassed $30K -- a milestone! It was at $10K when I retired (for the second time) in 2015.  FYI, this is just an extra fund; my main retirement fund from my university days is a bit larger. Smile

Pay Day

January 20th, 2021 at 10:37 pm

Another pay day has arrived, and it was uneventful.  I paid off the credit cards (which is how I do my regular spending) and arranged to transfer funds to my credit union to make the mortgage payment.   There were no surprises.

I did a load of laundry today, taking the total to $14 so far.  Even though the cost of each load has gone up, I am still trying to keep the month's total under $20.

No sign of the sewer work that was planned.  I wish, when they put up signs clearing the street, they would at least show up to do the work.

Free Stuff

January 19th, 2021 at 04:23 pm

Today I got my $50 worth of free stuff from my Medicare Advantage plan.  This happens every quarter.  I pick, and they send!  It's coordinated through Walmart.  This time I ordered two packages (48 count each) of Poise, a mat for the tub, 50 tablets of Dulcolax and six bottles of Fleet enema.  No, things are not that bad, but my recent bout with acute constipation made me aware I should have some help on hand.

Later today I'll go to the library and pick up three books on hold.  I need to move the car, anyway, because tomorrow they will begin sewer work on my street.  That should make parking a delight!  Not.


January 17th, 2021 at 04:47 pm

I spent $30 on entertainment in the past few days.  First of all, with the lottery totals so high, I decided to buy a ticket, but I didn't want to go out for it.  I figured out how to do it online, but I had to put $10 in my "wallet."  Oh well.  I have bought two tickets, one for MegaMillions and one for PowerBall.  On the first, I matched two numbers but won nothing.  On the second, I matched nothing.  Don't lecture me, please!  I only buy tickets on the rare occasions when the jackpot is extremely high, and there is a reason I classify the expense as entertainment.  A few days of harmless dreaming!

Then yesterday I spent $20 to rent "News of the World" on Amazon Prime.  I enjoyed the movie and do not regret the decision.  I did the same when "Emma" came out on demand.  I figure I will spring for the cost when the film is something I really want to see.  That doesn't happen too often.

Variables are now at 33%, a little over halfway through the month.  Pay day is coming up on Wednesday, but most of my spending will be on fixed bills, not counted in variables.

Glad I stocked up.  It's snowing nonstop, though we are predicted to get only a few inches.

Morning Errands

January 14th, 2021 at 08:37 pm

Just lost an entry because I wasn't logged in!  I'm not sure how I could get to the "add entry" page without being logged in, but here goes, I'll try to re-create it.

I went to Kohl's this morning because the shoes I ordered from Amazon were too big.  After I went through the return process, I went to housewares, looking for a cutting board.  I didn't find one, but I found a nice gift for DIL on clearance -- after all the discounts and promotions, I paid $13 for a $40 item.  My first Christmas purchase for 2021!

Then I went to Aldi and finished my grocery shopping, ringing up $45.  Variables are at 29%.

Getting ready to hunker down, because it's going to snow tonight.  I may not be moving for several days.


January 12th, 2021 at 08:02 pm

Well, it seems to be an unusually nice day for this time of year, so I decided I would get out and do some shopping before the weather gets more seasonable.  I went to Panera for bagels ($7), Jewel for groceries, cat food and a birthday card ($41),  and Sam's for groceries, tp and gas ($51).   These purchases bumped my variables up to 21%.  I haven't done my "real" grocery shopping yet, which I will do at Aldi.  The groceries I bought at Jewel and Sam's were items I can't buy or don't like at Aldi.

I came home very tired.  I think I'll take a nap!

Amazon Purchase

January 11th, 2021 at 03:19 pm

This morning I ordered a new pair of house shoes (Skechers sneaker clogs) and a dough hook for my KitchenAid stand mixer.  The total was $40 because I had a $35 credit from a returned Christmas gift.  I almost ordered a hook from a source that would have charged $15 for shipping, so I'm glad I caught that!

I am starting to see gaps in my food supply, so I may do some grocery shopping soon.  But not today, I don't think.  I still have plenty of food in my pantry and fridge, but I will soon need vital things like cat food and coffee creamer. Smile

Variables are at 9%.

I am almost completely back to normal after pulling my leg muscle.  I'm grateful for that.  

Pulled Muscle

January 6th, 2021 at 01:26 am

This was not the best day.  I decided to go to the Immediate Care center for what was termed "acute constipation."  While getting reading to go, I pulled a muscle in my thigh while pulling on a pair of boots.  Really weird that this happened; it was hardly a strenuous movement.  The pull is so bad I can barely walk.  It's been a miserable day.

As for the problem I went for, I got an x-ray which showed no obstruction.  I just have to drink more water and eat more fiber!

While I was out, I spent $11 at a drive-through for a plant-based lunch.  I wasn't feeling up to cooking.  

My auto insurance payment (semi-annual) hit the bank today -- $748 was withrdrawn.  Also my $26 Medicare premium.

Variables are at 3%.


January 3rd, 2021 at 04:37 pm

For 2021 and going forward, I made an adjustment to my variables plan.  Currently, in addition to fixed or regular expenses, I subtract $200 for taxes and insurance.  Now I'm adding another $200 for projects.  That will make my variables -- my "everything else" spending -- pretty low, but doable, I think.  If it's too tough, I can adjust again.  It should be a good discipline, though.

Yesterday I did one load of laundry and had a picture made into a 5x7 print for $2.75.  Variables are at 1%!

Double Woo-Hoo!

January 1st, 2021 at 05:08 pm

I got my stimulus deposit already!  Woo-hoo!

My sidebar is finally fixed!  Woo-hoo!

Does this mean 2021 will be a good year?  I don't dare think it!  But fingers crossed!

I've been thinking about new year's resolutions.  I think my number one resolution is to do my best to play the hand I'm dealt.  Pivot!  This past year has taught me that.  Other than that, my resolutions are:

Work on my novel every day.

Drink LOTS of water!  At minimum go through my five water bottles every day.

Have something with fiber at every meal.

Exercise every day, whether it is a walk, stretching, climbing stairs, or lifting weights.

Save for home improvements, and get them done.  I need to refinish my table, get a new toilet, replace the tile in the kitchen, send out a rug and runner for cleaning, and paint most of the rooms.

I will probably need to replace my phone in the coming year.  I'm just glad it's hung on this long.

Happy New Year, everyone!  Woo-hoo (another one) for 2021!