Home > Archive: November, 2021

Archive for November, 2021

Home Again

November 30th, 2021 at 01:58 pm

First of all, thank you for the nice comments on my table and dining room!

I got back from my Thanksgiving vacation yesterday.  It was a great time, good food and fellowship.  A lot of very fun game playing.  And I met my nephew's girlfriend for the first time, and we all agree we love her already.  But there was sadness, too.  SIL's parents have been moved (against their will) to a retirement/nursing home, and they are not doing well either physically or mentally.  SIL is run ragged with trying to care for them and please them.  Also, my good friend, who I have been lunching with whenever I visit my brother, has gone into assisted living, and when I had breakfast with him this time, he was very much changed and so confused he didn't even know me at first.  My gut feeling is that I won't have him much longer.

The trip was not expensive.  Altogether I spent $59 for gas, road food, and bread & butter gifts.  I also spent $17 on a sleep sweater, because my room was cold.  My brother is having furnace problems and help is slow to come -- they are so backed up with service requests, and, of course, a labor shortage.

GS1 broke his leg and ankle!  Skateboarding.  They were clean breaks and his prognosis for a full recovery is good, but he is going to need some help now to get to school, and I will be pitching in.

My vacation spending took variables to 98%, so I'm doing no spending today.  Tomorrow I'll get some groceries and get started on Christmas shopping.

Christmas Table

November 24th, 2021 at 08:15 pm

My table arrived, right on time!

I immediately dressed it in Christmas finery, so no, you can't see much of the table itself, but rest assured, the finish is beautiful.

Once I knew how to post a picture, but now it seems I don't!  I can't seem to find the sweet spot between huge and tiny.  Oh well.  

The morning involved a little spending: $35 at the grocery, $18 at the gas station, and $3 at the car wash.  Variables are up to 95%.  

I'm packing, and tomorrow morning I will leave bright and early.  Hoping for smooth sailing through the city as I make my way to Michigan!

Getting Ready for ThanksgivingTrip

November 23rd, 2021 at 06:44 pm

Today I'm going through my fridge and dealing with perishables.  I made apple crisp, and I'm cooking some carrots, most of which I will freeze.  I also chopped up and froze some celery this morning -- that will be good for use in soup.  Now I just have a bit of cheese to use up -- think I'll make an oven-toasted open-faced cheese sandwich later on.  I have managed not to go to the store this week, but I will tomorrow morning, just to pick up food to take to my brother's.  He will have the whole Thanksgiving meal planned, so I am taking wine, coffee, and English muffins for breakfast.  At least that is the plan.

On Thursday morning I will head up to Michigan.  I'm driving.  Supposedly Thanksgiving morning will be the best time to be on the road.  I will probably come home on Monday morning, since Sunday is supposed to be a very bad day travel-wise.  While I'm out tomorrow I'll top off the tank, so I won't have to worry about finding gas on Thanksgiving Day.

I'm hoping everything goes well.  My family has fallen victim to the culture wars, to some degree, so I hope there is no political discussion -- or religious.  So sad that we have to tiptoe around our families and friends these days, when in the past, differences were accepted and respected.

This and That

November 21st, 2021 at 03:19 am

I went to the refinisher today to take a look at my table to make sure it looks good.  To my surprise, it wasn't fully assembled.  I guess as long as it is by Wednesday, when it's delivered, that's okay.  The guy in charge said he is having problems with labor shortage.  The new finish does look fabulous, a really enormous improvement.

On the way home, I stopped at Walgreens and bought a large package of pads ($18) and two large bags of M&Ms ($8) for making trail mix.  I bought two because the unit price was lower that way. I also stopped at the bank and withdrew the delivery fee in cash ($115) and "bought" two rolls of quarters.  Variables are now at 85%.

I got a notification from Wells Fargo that someone tried to use my credit card, one of those small test charges.  They declined and notified me.  I called them and cancelled the card.  They will be sending out a new one.  I thought I had gotten past the danger from that awful computer breach, but I guess not.  I had already changed my password, but tonight I got to worrying that I should do it again, if someone somehow got access.  Well, I couldn't log in, because my card is cancelled. Duh.

I've been having a problem with my computer crashing after I leave it on without shutting it down.  I've been able to get it going again, by pressing the power button for a LONG time and forcing automatic repair, but I think I'll take it to Best Buy to have them check it out.  I have a service agreement, might as well use it.  I hope it's nothing serious.  It's a pretty new computer.

Table is Done!

November 19th, 2021 at 06:11 pm

I finally got a call that my table is finished!  I paid the balance of $1125 this morning.  It won't be delivered until Wednesday afternoon, because the delivery guy is slammed with work.  That means I can't get on the road for my Thanksgiving trip until Thursday morning, but that will be the best time to travel, traffic-wise, anyway.

It's unfortunate that this is happening right before Christmas, but I think I have enough in savings that it will be okay.  

I'm going to start ordering gifts on December 1, to roll the expense onto my December budget.  I am trusting (fingers crossed) that the orders will be fulfilled before Christmas.  Everyone on my list has pretty full and varied Amazon wish lists, so I think it will be okay.  If orders can't be fulfilled, they will get cash.  Given my budget, my gifts are not a tremendously exciting part of their Christmas, anyway!

Pay Day

November 17th, 2021 at 04:02 pm

Pay day has become so undramatic that this morning I completely forgot it was pay day.  But I finally did remember, and paid my bills -- mortgage, two credit cards (which I always pay in full).  Everything else is automatic.

I went to the dentist yesterday and (yay!) got my crown recemented.  It feels so much better, and I'm so glad it wasn't any more complicated than that.  They submitted the bill to insurance, so I don't know yet how much the cost will be.

I got a call this morning that my table will be ready at the end of the week.  I've heard so many promises I'm skeptical.  But fingers crossed.  

Oh yeah, almost forgot.  I spent $52 for a birthday gift for my son.  It should arrive from Amazon today.  That finishes up the November birthdays, and I can start to concentrate on Christmas.

Just a Bit More

November 13th, 2021 at 04:52 pm

I ordered some hair conditioner and a set of Ruby sliders (chair leg covers) from Amazon.  I had some credits, so the total order was only $8.  They are supposed to be delivered today.  Variables are now 53%.

Tomorrow I'm going to GS1's birthday breakfast.  I'm planning on giving him $50 to put on his debit card.  You know your grandchildren are growing up when they only want money. Smile

Crown on Pause; Busy Day

November 12th, 2021 at 03:34 pm

My dentist is out of town until Tuesday, so I have an appointment then to have my crownless tooth examined.  I continue to have no pain, so this really isn't an issue, as long as I chew only on the left side!

I had a busy morning yesterday.  I  started the day with a stop at Walgreens, which is where I have bought Christmas lights in the past, but they had none at all.  From there I went on to a drive-through breakfast at McDonalds ($3).  I did not have breakfast at home because I had to move the car for street sweeping at 9 am, and pretty much had to rush out of the house.  After breakfast, I went to Goodwill to drop off an old headboard and footboard that I finally decided to let go of.  They wouldn't take them!  They have decided not to accept furniture anymore.  I don't know it that applies to all Goodwills, but it does to those in my area.  I was going to take them to the Chicago Furniture Bank, but I texted BFF to see if her son might want them.  Lo and behold, BFF wants them herself!  So I will pass them on to her when we meet again.  From there, I went to the gym and did my workout.  Then I went to Sam's, mostly to check for Christmas lights.  They had lights, but only the big-bulb kind; I want the little fairy lights.  While I was there, though, I bought some raspberries and blueberries ($8).  On to Home Depot, where I finally found the lights, and I also bought a box of nails ($13).  Then I went to Aldi and bought 7 items for $20.  Since I was out, I stopped at Best Buy to have them examine my phone to see if they thought it would weather the 5G upgrade.  (Consumer Cellular continues to push me to buy a new phone).  The technician looked it over carefully and said he could see no reason why it would not be fine after the upgrade.  It is, after all, a 5G phone.  He said, if it was up to him, he would just hang onto this phone and IF I started having trouble with dropped calls, etc., then it would be an easy matter to buy a new phone then.  I thought that was good advice. 

I came home and put my feet up and enjoyed the rest of the day.  Today I'm going to tackle getting the new Christmas lights on the tree!  (Yes, it's early, but I'm going to take the tree down early this year, because I'll be cat-sitting my grandcat, who is a known Christmas tree climber!)

November Birthdays

November 9th, 2021 at 03:30 pm

So, November is the month for birthdays in my circle.  Two of my grandchildren, one of my sons, and my BFF.  Plus, my sister and SIL have late October birthdays, and my mother -- no longer living --  was also a November birthday girl.  I only give gifts, however, to my grandchildren, sons and BFF.  I gave BFF her birthday gift when we met for lunch, and yesterday I ordered a gift ($52) for my granddaughter.  Later in the month I will give cash to my grandson and I'll order something for my son.  I wish this birthday cluster didn't occur the month before Christmas!

Variables are at 47%.

One of my crowns fell off yesterday while I was eating.  I rescued it and I think it can just be glued back on.  But there isn't much tooth left there and I wouldn't be surprised if the fix is more complicated.  I'll get in touch with the dentist on Thursday, when my Discover card re-ups.  It doesn't hurt at all, so I don't think there will be a problem waiting for a few days.

I created some sores on my feet last week while walking, and because of where they are, they keep getting chafed and disturbed and won't heal.  So I'm taking a few days to hang around the house barefoot.  After one day, I have made some progress.  But I have to do laundry today, so I have to put on some kind of footwear to go down to the basement.  I need bunny slippers!  I actually put them on my Amazon wish list. Smile



November 8th, 2021 at 12:04 am

But at least it was a generous splurge rather than a self-indulgent one.  I went out to lunch with DIL and the grandsons on Saturday, and I picked up the check, since it was also the fourth anniversary of her mother's death, and she was feeling a little blue.  My son is traveling, so he wasn't around to prop her up.

I had forgotten how much restaurant prices are rising, so I hope I didn't audibly gulp when the bill was $102 (including tip).  It was just Buffalo Wild Wings, nothing fancy, but it all adds up.  And the boys have big appetites now.

Today I went to the gym and library, and I also stopped at Sam's and filled the tank for $33.  I should have filled up when I was Indiana -- actually, I did try, but I couldn't make the pump work and I gave up and left.  The gas was a lot cheaper there.

I also renewed my AARP membership today ($12).  I had let it lapse, but I think I can get a discount on my phone bill now that I have Consumer Cellular.  I'll have to see if the credit is available retroactively.

Oh, and my tollway pass auto-replenished for $40.  So, with all those things, my variables are already at 41%.


Midway Lunch

November 5th, 2021 at 09:35 pm

Yesterday I met BFF at the middle point, and we had lunch in a cute little place.  Unfortunately, something I ate there did not agree with me, and I had a pretty miserable afternoon and night.  All better now.  After lunch, we went to an antique shop, and I found some items that I often look for, but rarely find.  I spent $56.  I'm going to consider that my Christmas present to myself.  I also bought a gift for $8.  Lunch was $13.

The day before that, I bought groceries at Aldi ($23) and got a car wash ($3).  The car wash was the deal of the day.  It is a new business, squeaky clean and well-run.  And super cheap!  The wash was $3 and there was no charge for the vacuum.  I will definitely go back there.

Today has been quiet, just did one load of laundry for $2.

Variables are at 21% with 3 1/2 weeks to go.

Hump Day

November 3rd, 2021 at 02:09 pm

Yesterday I ordered a couple of things on Amazon, and also picked up a few things at Walgreens:

Aquarium light - $20

Gift - $29

Groceries - $15

Variables are at 16%.

Today I'm going to Aldi after my gym visit.  I expect to only get 10 items.

Tomorrow I'm going to meet with BFF in our middle city for lunch.

The book I ordered from Amazon arrived, and the credit from Skechers went through without any prompting from me.  Sometimes I just worry too much!


October Recap

November 1st, 2021 at 02:35 pm

Housing - $795

Utilities - $198

Clothing - $125

Personal - $120

Groceries - $108

Gifts/Charity - $193

Medical/Health - $61

Gas - $32

Eating Out/Takeout - $31

Phone - $18

Laundry - $16

Entertainment - $14

Grand Total - $1611

Variables - 68%

After my stewing at the beginning of the month, it turned out to be a low-spend month.  Buying three pairs of shoes kind of threw things off, but I have returned one pair, and the above reflects the new total -- I am trusting that the credit for that return will eventually come through.  I'll go to Skecher tomorrow if there is still no action -- Chase has confirmed they have received no communication from Skecher, and that the credit will appear on my account immediately when Skecher comes through.  They did say they have 30 days to file a credit.  I don't know what they're waiting for.  Sigh.  I'll go back tomorrow if nothing happens today.

I have asked Amazon to replace the book that never appeared, though it was "delivered."

No updates on my food-stretching project; I'm still eating what I have already made.  But you can see it sure has made a difference in my grocery bill!

Looking forward to a frugal November!

Edit:  I switched something from gifts to personal, because it's something I'm going to keep for myself.  So the numbers above have changed, but not the bottom line.