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Sure Seems Like Hawaii or Florida Right Now......

July 19th, 2015 at 06:43 pm

I live in So Cal and Delores the Tropical Something is passing through. It has rained significantly both yesterday and today! Warm rain with thunder and lightning. Just plain hot. Local beaches were closed yesterday due to the lightning. Very strange muggy weather that I do not recall being this bad growing up. I have never been to either Hawaii or Florida but I definitely do not like this kind of weather. And we are about 5 miles from the beach. I prefer my rain to be COLD.

DH was busy putting put 5 gallon buckets to catch any rain coming from the gutters. I did laundry earlier today and hung items on the clothesline. Dry in the nick of time!

Went to Ralphs' for grocery shopping and to linger in the AC! Had some digital coupons including $30 for filling a prescription. Got a veggie tray on markdown for $1.49 (reg $7.99) dated today that we had for lunch along with homemade bean burritos. I am planning something for crockpot for tomorrow due to the heat. I did see something at clearance at was tempting -- an older model Sodastream (brand new in the box) for $20. There were about 5 of them in the back. But we do not drink enough soda to justify. I certainly do not want to increase soda intake not do I need another machine in the house......................

What To Say

June 18th, 2015 at 12:12 pm

I have not posted in quite some time but have continue to lurk around the pages..............

Anyway, I am in need of some advice. I just found out that a male cousin in his early 40s has stage 4 cancer. He had stage 1 10 years ago but it has returned with a vengeance. He is married (wife about 10 years older) and 4 children from 11-17 years of age. His wife has not worked for a long time. I am not super close with them but am worried about the family's emotional and financial future after he is gone. I do not know the current state of their finances other than they own a home and are making payments. They look OK from the surface. I am trying to think of how to broach the subject of finances with the family which I think should be done before he declines to a point where he cannot provide information or his opinion. I cannot speak to his mother (my aunt) because frankly, I think she is odd. She would think I am trying to butt into their personal affairs. I have spoken to the wife in the past about general savings principles -- couponing, free stuff for kids to do in their area, etc. One of my brother is closer to him, and he may try to broach the subject. But how do you? I do not want to butt in, but I do not want them to end up in foreclosure, etc. I just want to try to help her find out what she may be entitled to -- life insurance, social security, etc. and try to get as much done as possible now so when something happens the transition will be least be less painful on the financial side.

Finally Dead!

November 14th, 2014 at 03:45 pm

Yup, the rat is finally dead! The dogs and even our kitty in the back have been stalking and barking at the bushes in the side yard for a long time. No tomatoes at all for the season -- always mysteriously disappearing. Only the jalapenos were not taken.

Well......we tented our house last weekend for termites (they returned RELUCTANTLY before our warranty was up, so re-tenting was free) and his body was found -- with his last meal of berries next to him. Yay!

DD and I (and the 2 dogs and the 2 cats) went to visit my mom about 2 hours away for the weekend. DH stayed behind and slept in our trailer parked in front of the house. Too many stories of break-ins at tented homes.

It was nice to visit with my mom. She cooked for us and my brother (who lives nearby). I do not think I cook that much in a month! Anyway, we went to church on Sat pm at her parish and the priest had a seeing eye dog! I thought it was the neatest thing! My brother said the priest was retired and helping out at this parish. Also, he could only see on the edges of his vision. The dog has been with him a long time. Dog sat on the altar next to the priests's chair on a mat. He "knew" exactly when the service was over! Also, we sat in the front right section of the church. There was an older man in the front left that had an uncanny resemblance to my deceased father! He even had a cane and walked the same way. It was a nice thing to happen. Although it could just be that all older men start to look like each other! Smile

Not Much of an Update

September 27th, 2014 at 09:45 pm

A long time has passed since I have added an entry. Why -- Life is pretty much the same thing. But here goes......

Work is slow but will be picking up next year. I am officially eligible to retire. Now that I am at the end of the tunnel, it is hard to get out of the hole! Springtime is the best time to go due to taxes and a few other things. It is a huge change and am debating whether 2015 or 2016 is the year. DD will be starting college in fall 2016, but my retirement has no financial implications on her tuition. We have savings in place. I am planning to work part time in some fashion, but have not thought seriously about it.

DH has 10 years to go until full retirement and I think he is a bit jealous that I have the option. Well... I did point out to him that he was a full time student when we married and did not get a full time gig until about 5 years afterwards. So it is my turn! Smile

I am really trying to get the house in shape since we moved almost 2 years ago -- too much stuff of course. The storage at this house is smaller, and things are a bit scattered. The trouble is that DH wants to hang onto his family's stuff (not antiques, either -- dime store stuff) and anything I have should be dumped. Sigh.... At least I am able to get rid of old clothing, sheets, etc. via a fundraiser for my DD's team. They get $$ per pound for textile items.

My Mom is still living on her own and doing well. Her mind and health are good for 83. She has an annuity (was a 10 yr one) that she was receiving interest every 3 months. It is maturing and she received a letter asking for her preferred option for the account. There were only 2 options listed and cashing out was not one of them (I think one was a lifetime annuity payout and the other 1 5 year plan of some sort). I called the company and got a fishy answer. He said that when it matures it will stay liquid and she can get her principal out at any time. He stated that my mom could send a letter of instruction if she wanted to do something else. But that she should also look at the contract. I looked at the contract and the language is confusing. She decided to receive the entire lump sum and invest it somewhere else (this is money that she does not need). So I drafted a letter of instruction and she mailed it via certified mail last week. However, when I looked up to see if the letter has been delivered -- it has not yet been delivered! So much for the US Post Office. It was out for delivery today (Saturday) but the business was closed. So it should be delivered on Monday. My question --- the actual maturity date is tomorrow. But the letter will not be received until Monday. Does anyone think that the company will cause any problems with this? Or should everything be OK since the maturity date is on a Sunday? Any feedback would be great.

Family Photo Did Not Post

June 1st, 2014 at 08:09 am

For some reason, the photo of the new little ones did not post, so I am trying again. Ginger is extremely interested in a mounted cut in our office. Even though they do not move, she seems to know that they are birds and that they used to fly....

Welcome to the Family

May 31st, 2014 at 10:02 pm

We have 2 new family members -- four legged ones, that is. DD wanted a kitten for her 16th birthday, so we went to a county shelter. DD picked a tiny, tortoiseshell she named after a troll -- Gamzee (teenagers!). While we were there, a larger, older kitten picked us. Ginger is the loudest cat that I have heard! She was "telling" DH that she wanted out of the cage. Plus she is a very beautiful kitten. Being the softy that he is, DH decided to also take Ginger so that she had a chance. Ginger is a 6 month old that was an owner surrender.

Taking them both was a good decision. They play with each other, and are not afraid of our dogs. The only problem is that they are not very quiet when they chase each other in the middle of the night!

Spring Break Road Trip

April 28th, 2014 at 09:29 pm

My friend and I (both savers) went on a road trip with our girls to see a few colleges. The girls are in 10th grade but we figured that a road trip would at least give them a feel of different types of colleges - small, medium, and a bit larger. Prices of attendance can give them a reality check now rather than later.

So here's where we went --- University of Idaho and Washington State were visited when we flew to Spokane. Oh, and I left DH behind -- this was kind of a girls' trip. Plus he has to keep working in order to help fund college! Smile Both of these campuses were beautiful. Idaho was much smaller and seemed to have smaller classes for my DD who intends to have an engineering major. Wonderful countryside! Costs between the two --- Idaho is cheaper. Cheaper is not necessarily better, but we got a personal tour at Idaho with the dean of the department where we toured labs, etc.

When we flew back home, we drove to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Sonoma State in northern California. Cal Poly does not have my DD's exact major, but it does for her friend. This is a larger school but is well-known and can be very competitive to attend. Sonoma is a state school that is much smaller (8000 or so). It is in wine country which is a plus for the parents! Smile

We then spent a day in San Francisco. DD wanted to stop in Haight Ashbury to shop in the Oddities store. I might get pelted with tomatoes, but the area was known for hippies in the 60's and is full of their descendants today. I did not feel very comfortable there at all. We stayed in a wonderful B&B in town (not in the Haight area) and walked to Chinatown, Fisherman's Wharf, and Ghiradelli's. I actually lost weight on the trip due to all the walking!

So far, DD loves Idaho -- the small class sizes and the outdoors is her favorite. If she can get a scholarship, the school may be affordable. Of course, our local state school is close by, but DD would rather go away (sniff, sniff).

Here's a few pics from the trip --- a sorority house in Idaho, and some San Francisco scenery:

Visit with Mom

April 5th, 2014 at 08:09 pm

Last weekend we drove out to visit my Mom. She is doing well since my father passed away last year. The only residual item is that she still does have problems sleeping. I started an online bank account for her. She was very disgusted with the low rates at local banks -- She earned a whopping 10 cents from an account with Chase. Discover Bank ended up being a good choice for her. 0.85% interest plus they do send statements in the mail periodically. I handle the account online but at least the paperwork will ease her mind.

The flowers at her farm are very bright and colorful this time of year. Our dogs especially liked trumping through them to look for lizards!

We also spent some time at our property which is located nearby. The cherry trees and other fruit trees are in bloom. Hopefully the birds and other animals do not enjoy all the fruit this time. Other types of trees on site are olives (I have process these as Greek olives in the past), pecan, walnut, plums, pomegranate, peaches, nectarines, Asian pears, Bartlett pears, and several kinds of apples. Also several varieties of grapes. I have made red wine a few years back with success. White wine not so successful. At home we have a very prolific apricot tree and some lemon and guava trees. Small dwarf lemon that is always loaded, and some lemongrass. Tomorrow is the day to work on our garden and plant tomatoes and more.

Paycheck to Paycheck

March 24th, 2014 at 06:13 pm

I just saw this HBO documentary on youtube today. It is about a single mother with 3 children working as a CNA for $9.49 per hour. Her workshift included nights as well.

The film highlights the difficulties in her life and more. Her name is Katrina, and she has had to choose between paying for medical care/prescriptions for herself or for other bills (rent, etc.) She has no insurance at the time of filming (although she may now). She was also paying her rent on partial payments (the company was working with her - good). I did like that Katrina was trying to look to the future for her and her family -- she applied for college and was accepted! I wish her the best. What I did not like (but is none of my business) -- I cringed when I saw her girls drinking root beer with breakfast in the morning! Frown They also had a puppy (looked like a purebred) at the beginning but did sell it on Craigslist.

The kids are cared for and loved. Katrina is frazzled and doing the best as she can. Her ex is in the picture and is helpful with his time, but he had no job at the beginning of the film. Later he does get a job in a sock mill (they make socks?)

Just wondering if anyone else saw this and have any comments?

Sleepless in Seatlle

December 28th, 2013 at 05:10 pm

I am watching this movie -- it brings back a lot of memories. This is a movie that DH took me to while dating, A "chick flick" as he puts it now. I remember that DH shyly put his arm around me at the theater. This was a second date. The first date I got the nerve to ask him to my company Christmas party. He went and we had a good time. He likes to tease me about what happened when he brought me home. I blushed, said thanks, and ran inside. .... it's a wonder that we went out again! But I had just started dating again after a very nasty divorce, and am shy if one does not know me. But we have been married over 18 years now. Maybe we will even go to Seattle someday.........

Christmas was at my house. Everything was great, both food and company. One of my brothers was in Disney World for Christmas, and to surprise me Mom we did FaceTime with him and his family. Mom was very happy.

But now we are still deluged with leftovers. ..... The dogs have been lucky to be the beneficiaries of some leftover meat and gravy (with the fat skimmed off). I have been getting creative and making turkey tacos and the like. No need to go to the grocery store except
for milk.

I had purchased new sheets for our bed and need to go back to Kohl's to exchange them. The fitted sheet does not fit by a long shot, so I think it is defective. I am just waiting for the after Christmas crowds to die down.

I am so proud of my son. He finished his first semester back at college after a long hiatus, and got an 'A' and three 'B's. He seems very excited about a new purpose in life. He is still uncertain about a major but that will come with time. He is looking for a part time job to help with expenses but seems to finally get it! He is focused on school and is trying to live as frugally as possible. He is actually couponing!

Good Deals on the Weekend and a Question

November 11th, 2013 at 04:57 pm

This was my "power shopping" weekend. This really means that I had the time to research the best deals and coupon combining to go to my local stores. There were some good deals at a new Gelson's store but the store was not that close and I always to figure in the price of gas.

I went to CVS to get the store brand Tylenol that was free after machine coupon. I had a 50 cent off any order coupon so that paid for the tax. I also stocked up on some female supplies for my DD. CVS had their store brand at "Buy 1 get the other one at 50% off." Plus I had a get $3 off $10 when you buy any. So this beats any deals at the other stores. While going to the checkout, I noticed someone taking Halloween candy out of boxes and marking them down. All Halloween items were 90% off! Of course I need candy like a hole in the head (as the old saying goes) but I could not resist. There were 4.5 lb bags of Child Play candy for 79 cents! I bought a few bags and then hustled to the checkout. I figured I would buy more if I stayed. Smile

I went to our local Vons and Ralphs and got some deals. It is too bad that the double couponing has been gone for a few years and the great deals are just not there.

Target was the "target" for today and I got what I needed (I had coupons for almost everything). However, DD came along for the shop and found some dresses she wanted. Lucky for me I had a coupon for $10 off $50 or more of women's clothing/accessories.

The best part is that these stores are all within 1 mile of my house and of each other so I shop local and do not waste gas.

Now on to my question....... I was looking at the garage freezer and throwing out the items I had forgotten about in an attempt to do better about wasting food. There is a frozen Butterball turkey from 2008! It was my FILs (lame excuse I know). Anyway, would it be worth defrosting and cooking for our canine family? Or should I just chuck it? It looks good (no apparent freezer burn).

Close Call, etc.

November 1st, 2013 at 01:32 pm

My brother works at LAX, but today he was in downtown LA when the shooting took place. He said that he parks in the same lot where the gunman came from. His co-workers were all sent home. I am so glad that he is safe.

Today is my Friday off, and I seem to have a set routine -- take DD to school, laundry, boot camp, and then more laundry. I also stopped by a local women's shelter with a donation of clothing, books, etc. Turns out that they can use those reproducing white grocery bags, so I will definitely stop by and bring them lots. I will also stop by our local library bookstore with a donation of magazines and books as a start to my bike ride.

I am (still) going through boxes of stuff and am finding many, many things that I forgot I ever had (and probably will not miss). Books are my weakness and I need to read and pass them on. But that can be tough because I always figure that I will read the same book time and time again. sigh.......

Halloween was a pleasant surprise. We had lots of neighborhood kids, and got rid of almost all of the candy! I will take the surplus to work on Monday -- the guys will gobble them up. I will make sure that these go into the other trailer. This way I would have to make a conscious effort to eat them myself. I am keeping my fingers crossed!

Farewell. Dear Spot

October 12th, 2013 at 01:01 pm

Our cat, Spot, was killed early in the am a few days ago by two coyotes. They appeared to be a parent and offspring. She was approached from both sides of our truck in the driveway and did not have a chance. Spot was an outdoor cat that came in occasionally but always wanted to go out after a few minutes.

I heard a yell at 3 am by our side door, and rushed outside with our black lab. The lab charged at the 2 coyotes and they ran down the street with Spot. I called the dog back because I was concerned about a fight between the dog and the coyotes. Plus she is black and I can't see her in the dark. DH ran out with a bat and went in the car to chase them. He chased them up and down some side streets but to no avail.

I feel horrible that Spot did not stay in the house overnight - but she never wants to do that. It is also ironic -- I got her as a half feral cat from the desert surrounded by coyotes and she died in suburbia. Our dog keeps looking for her at our window box at night.


Tired Again!

October 6th, 2013 at 01:29 pm

This is the 3rd time I have tried to post, but poof......the entries seem to disappear. Frown

Anyway, ever since I went on the 9/80 schedule at work, I am actually more tired on the weekends that begin with the Friday off!

Friday -- up to take DD to school, 4 loads of laundry, bootcamp, bank, Costco, and other errands. I squeezed in a 30 minute bike ride to the local library to donate some magazines (the library is not 30 minutes away, but I use it as an excuse to get the ride in). A small (15 min) nap was doable because no one else was at home to disturb me.... Smile Then pick up DD after school sports practice and off to the doctor for weekly allergy shots for her. Thank God for Costco chicken!

Saturday --- up early to drop off DD to take the bus to her sports meet. Then off by 7:30 am to watch her run at the meet. The whole area was under severe Santa Ana winds with dust blowing everywhere. DD actually had her best time for the course even though she threw up a few times during the race and ended up with a terrible migraine. Then we left the area and stopped at a 99 cent store and a Target to get a few things. Home for lunch with a Pita bread ham sandwich. Decluttering for awhile and then off to Ralphs to snag a few deals I had on my list. Then home for dinner of leftover chicken with Caesar salad and fresh French bread with butter.

Sunday so far ---- Dropped off DD to work at a local church day care this am. Went to another local market for a few deals (I do bargain shop --- but do not waste gas going out of my way). Then time to pick her up again. Made DD a fruit smoothie with protein powder while reminding her to finish her homework. More decluttering on the agenda with church scheduled for later today. Hoping to get another bike ride in as well. It is hot here but no winds.

I can hardly wait to get back to work tomorrow so I can relax! Smile

GS Weekend

August 10th, 2013 at 09:00 am

This weekend DD and her troop are finishing up a Journeys project. They are Seniors (going into 10th grade) and this is the last hurdle before working on the Gold Award. It was hard to get them up this am, but now they are busy having a Sharpie throwing contest! I am outside. Breakfast was French toast and eggs. The girls did it all and did not have to be prompted for cleanup. Lunch is sandwiches and dinner is at Downtown Disney. Tomorrow is wrap up with bagels and cream cheese. Lots of grapes and watermelon as well. The girls are a good bunch and work together well. They do not always cross paths at school which makes their meetings a better thing. I am so proud of them all because not many girls stick it out this long. They have definite ideas for the Gold Award ranging from music to construction. It will be interesting to see the planning and implementation process. I have been trying to give them ideas for fundraising as well more frugal ways to accomplish something. Polishing their speaking and presentation skills will go along way when they ask for donations of building supplies, etc. I will be one of the advisers for the troop assisting in the proposal prodding and more. The troop has chatted about ideas, budget, and plan to make PowerPoint proposals for the Council committee. This will definitely prepare the, for the real world.

Application Still Pending

August 5th, 2013 at 09:53 pm

DS's application for community college is still in pending mode. Semester starts August 26 --- so I hope every it done quick so he can get some classes of some sort. He has gone to community college before and not done well. Fun and rent have always gotten in the way. So far, only 2 classes from the first prior school were good. I have an unofficial transcript pending from the second. He says he wants to make a new start, and I hope it goes this way.

I spoke to DS to brainstorm ways to make additional monies and/or cut expenses. There are at least 2 temp agencies within walking distance. He can check them out to see if anything can work for him. Food pantry ---- there has to be some nearby. My friend goes to one near my neighborhood. I drove her one time and they are so generous!!! Lots of fresh produce and other goodies. This same friend (who was unemployed due to cancer and is now on permanent disability) also has made money entering 2nd chance lottery tickets online at the state lottery website. Some tickets have monies not claimed (duh!) and others give one a shot at second chance drawings. This same friend got a ticket to be on the California Lottery Show and won $30,000 on TV (yes, from a second chance ticket that was mailed in). I told DS about this - picking up tickets can be a bit disgusting but the odds are better than a quick pick!

I am also referring him to swagbucks -- he currently has the time (and the internet) to earn points for GCs, etc.

Anyone have any more ideas? This is for a young man who used to pick up coupon inserts for me when he was a kid out of the piles of newspapers left out for trash!

The House is Rented!

August 4th, 2013 at 03:30 pm

Yipee! Tenants signed lease effective August 1st!!! One less thing to worry about --- unless they stop paying! Nice couple with teens who want to change the landscaping at their own cost. No problem with us -- we want to save one rose bush to relocate to our house. We are planning to get the house exterior painted next week so it will be in better shape then when we had lived there! Smile

My mom got a letter from Social Security in regards to my father's death and survivor benefits. It looks like that she will be automatically switched over to his higher benefits. She needs to verify the deposit amount to confirm. Also will be paid the $255 death benefit to be direct deposited as well. I am glad that she did not have to go the office and potentially endure a delay.

My DS is giving everyone fits --- he is in his mid 20s and has been drifting (or getting by) for awhile now. But his money has been running our and family will not assist him any longer unless he make some dramatic changes. It has been mostly his dad who bails him out --- I give cash gifts for birthday and Christmas and food/toiletry care packages. Well, DS was laid off and has no income. His car was repossessed by his dad due to nonpayment for parking tickets (total laziness -- just can get up to move the car on street sweep days). So, we told him to apply for financial aid and go back to school full-time. He can walk or take the bus! I have always said that I would pay for college but he had not wanted to go for the last few years (he is ADHD which does not help with focusing but he needs to GROW UP). So far, it looks like he will be eligible for monies. His application for the closest community college has been submitted. There is a paralegal program (approved by the ABA) that may be promising for him. He can still transfer to a 4 year university afterwards but be more marketable as a paralegal in the event something happens. If he gets aid, then I will take the amount that I would have paid for college and contribute the monies towards his needs (rent for example). But of course, I will pay for the rent directly to the landlord because DS and money are always squandered - he has little impulse control. He has been in party mode. I told him to look for a job on the weekends only and go to school during the day during the week. He has also applied for food stamps. So, hopefully, he will get the message. He sent me a budget and I will go over it with him. I think that a weekend job will be tight but can work. His share of rent with utilities, etc. is about $400 per month. He may have to make a few sacrifices. I will be meeting with the ex-DH and stepmom to discuss the situation and come up with a united front. Ex-DH is the weakest link in the chain --- he has always felt guilty and DS capitalizes on that................ My DD has even gotten on the phone and told DS that he was not a smart donkey (not in those words)! Wish me luck!

Slogging Through the Paperwork

July 19th, 2013 at 09:17 pm

I have been trying to help my Mom get any benefits that she may be entitled to since my father's passing. Strike One --- It took a very long time to get through to Social Security, but I was told that they would send paperwork to my mom for both the death benefit and the survivor's benefits. Supposedly the survivor benefits will be automatic. The mortuary had already informed Social Security of the death.

Strike Two --- Called the pension fund to let them know of my Dad's passing and inquired about procedure for the death benefit. I was told that the death benefit was discontinued in 2009 because the pension fund was not doing well. They will send my mother a copy of the letter..........She sure could have used the money.

Strike Three --- I emailed the fraternal union regarding the passing, and claim form procedure. Hopefully I will hear from them soon.

Mom is still planning to move closer this way and sell her farm. I told her to let it rest for a few months first. My youngest brother, J4, lives nearby and is increasing the size of his chicken coop. So Mom will give him her chickens when he is finished. So then the only animals left will be the cats, more cats, and lots of kittens......Smile

Still trying to get our other house rented. 2 more credit reports appear to be a bit checkered --- late payments, no payments, etc. Probably not worth the risk. Sigh......another couple that my husband likes has not returned our emails or calls to authorize online credit checking. Perhaps they already found another place. So tomorrow I am back to calling the backlog of numbers. I am tired of showing this --- the stress of my Dad has not helped. Next time, I may hire a company or an agent to screen and select a tenant (we will still manage the property). I have gotten so many stories and I am still a bit soft, I think. Everyone seems to be so nice --- and I am sure they are ---- but they may not pay their bills!
A guy at work did give me another perspective: He said that I cannot expect the financial caliber of a renter to be the same as a buyer (or myself). If they were, then they would probably be buying not renting!

Sad News

July 13th, 2013 at 10:05 pm

My entries keep getting deleted, but here goes........

I am sad to say that my Dad passed away last week after a short battle with cancer. He was 86, and he will be missed.

One smart thing my parents did was prepare financially for this type of event. The plots (4!) were purchased back in the 1960's -- but I do not know who the other 2 plots are for --- two of brothers are single so by default those are theirs! They also prepaid a mortuary/funeral/cemetery plan (or forethought plan as referenced by the mortuary) about 5 years ago to make their own choices. My mother opted not to go to the mortuary - so one of my brothers and I went to confirm all arrangements. Not all costs were covered (believe it or not -- there are non-guaranteed costs) -- church donation, death certificate, funeral escorts (motor type "cops"), etc. Since the price of those items went up, the difference is owed. Also, flowers were not listed. Total extra cost is about $1800 which does include a 10 passenger limo for the family. Three of us will chip in so Mom does not have to worry.

It also turns out that Mom's income stream will drop by at least 50%. Dad had a pension with no continuance, so that is gone. Mom will go to the Social Security office to collect on his behalf since that is about 3x the amount she is currently receiving. I do not think she can do so until she has a copy of the death certificate. She is entitled to a death benefit of $2500 from the pension. I do not know if Social Security has a death benefit or not. I will call them on Monday. Dad also had some small life insurance listing me as the beneficiary. But I will give her the monies. Luckily, their home is long paid for and there are no big bills. She is considering selling the farm and moving back to where we grew up. 4 out of 5 of us live within 30 minutes from there, and Dad's grave is there. I do not blame her at all for wanting to make a fresh start. I only want her to wait at least a month before making any large decisions.

Anyway, finances sure creep into every facet of life and death.........


June 23rd, 2013 at 06:13 pm

Life is yet another blur....... My dad has been in the hospital (ICU) since Wednesday. He had a lump on upper leg that would not go away. Through a series of events, he went to ER to get admitted so that the lump could be biopsied, and ended up waiting in the ER for at least 14 hours because there were no beds! Grrrr! I did not know that a hospital could be full like that! He finally was admitted and went to surgery where a mass was removed. Dad had some issues during surgery so a second mass was left in. He is still in ICU but should be transferred to a regular room tomorrow. We went to see him on Saturday (2-3 hr away from home) and he was still not awake. He did respond when I spoke to him (turning his head towards me) and moving around like crazy. He was trying to remove the ventilator and oxygen tubes - can't blame him! Today he did wake up so all of the tubes were removed. Yay! The initial lab result was bad (cancer) but he will get additional testing as soon as he is out if the ICU. Once the facts are in, he can decide what he wants to do. He is 86 and I hope he can live a peaceful, pain-free life on whatever terms he (and my mom) wishes.

So, as a result, I was unable to go to the Antiques Roadshow. Frown But my friend did go with her husband -- they had a great time even though the wait in line was 3 hours! I gave her a tablecloth that I thought was WWII era -- and it was. I thought it was from Japan (it isn't) but it was made from rayon because cotton was not available at that time. It was Middle Eastern looking but was either Italian or French made and sold in the United States. So the only guess is that my FIL bought it while he was in the service stationed in San Francisco. Worth --- about $60 - $65.

Still trying to rent our other house --- lots of calls and a few showings. Two people did take applications but did not return them. The house is priced on the lower end in our neighborhood - and a gardener and pool service are included. I plan to list it on some free sites today. The traffic that I am getting are from signs posted in front of the house and well as entrances to the tract. I have not been a landlord for a long time (20 years) so I am trying to figure out how long to hold out before lowering the price or not. Decisions, decisions....

Oil Change Grrs!

June 12th, 2013 at 09:14 pm

Went to the local dealer to get an oil change for my 2012 car. DH said that he does not have the time to do the work and the extra cost is not worth his effort. So.. I made an appointment last week for yesterday at 1 pm. I took the time off work and got there at about 12:45 pm. When I got there, everything was locked up!!!! There was a sign on the door that said that the dealership was closed from 12-2pm for an Employee Appreciation Luncheon. Seems no one called me to let me know what was going on! I was extremely hot since I wasted the hour I took off from work (I did bring magazines to read but that is not the point). I could not make another appt. because I was just over the mileage.

When the service reps arrived, they kept asking if I had spoken to the receptionist when I booked the service. Hey, I don't know - the person was female but that does not mean anything (this also frosted me since I work in a "male" occupation and have been asked on the phone if I was the receptionist!) Regardless, if an employee event was planned, the dealership should care about their customers enough to call and reschedule. The service rep did find the appointment time of 1 pm on the computer. He really did not seem sorry. He also did not offer a discount, or anything else. If I get an email from the dealer about the service, I definitely will mention the issue. Customers did not seem to come first.

My vent is not officially over.....

Life is Tough

June 9th, 2013 at 08:14 pm

Poor DD is sad --- she auditioned for a different choir for next year, but did not make it. She doesn't know why and does not want to ask the teacher about tips for improvement. Although I am prejudiced, DD is very good - better than some of the ones who made it into the other choir. But life is not fair! Unfortunately, DD's school schedule will not allow her to stay in the existing choir for next year. The new choir was zero period, whereas the existing one is 3rd or 4th. DD is also on the XC team which is last period, so there may be no juggling room. DD says that AP Chem is offered but that is a bit much for her at this time. It is her choice, but is sounds like running wins over singing. But her schedule will be better in 11th grade --- so choir can come back. She will try out again next June for the new choir, but has said that she will be OK if she does not make it and then resume with the existing choir. I may contact the counselor tomorrow to see if there is any hope.

On another note, the other house is up for rent. I have gotten lots of calls but nothing further. We did drop the initial asking amount by almost 8% so hopefully it will rent soon. I am going to buy another sign tomorrow to put at the entrance to the neighborhood. The price looks on the low side, but we'll make that up in a month.

It Has Been How Long?

June 1st, 2013 at 01:27 pm

Wow --- I did not realize that I have not blogged in almost 2 years! Frown I have been living vicariously through all others on SA. One factor is not blogging has been my place of employment. That is where I have the most time (at lunch of course) to check the SA site. But I am hesitant to post since everything is monitored. Not that I would mention anything negative or anything specific.

But things are still spinning furiously around here! Since my FIL passed 2 years ago, DH and I purchased his his home and moved in anout 6 months ago. We are in the process of putting our old house up for lease. I have been in that house about 25 years, and have seemed to collected lots and lots of things.......... Plus the home we now live in has lots and lots of things from my in-laws........Add those two together and you get = STUFF! We have had a garage sale, made lots of donations to local charities, library, freecycle, etc. and still have only made a medium dent in STUFF. Meanwhile, the new house has stuff everywhere. Frown Lots of kitchen items - china, dishes, etc. I set some aside for donation, but DH grew up with the item, so he wants to keep it. Plus with working, the other house, and activities with DD, I have very little time to go through STUFF.

On the plus note, I got free tickets to the Antiques Roadshow in a few weeks. I am going to pick a few small items to bring - I do not want to lug furniture, paintings, etc. This should be a fun experience!

Now, off to go through a box of STUFF!

Yoo Hoo - Found Money!

June 19th, 2011 at 11:32 am

It has been slim pickings for loose change and such in the last 6 months or so -- perhaps due to the declining economy. But on Friday pm I went bike riding around the neighborhood and found - two $5 bills! In the middle of the street with no cars parked nearby. The last time I found a bill was a $20 on the sidewalk about 2 years ago. Also found a Canadian penny (my optimist self says that when we drive through Canada to Alaska there will be a use for all those Canadian pennies!)

Also got $10 cash in the mail from doing a phone survey about a local newspaper. Zippity doo dah to that! Smile

DD - Officially a Teen :(

May 23rd, 2011 at 08:57 am

DD, my baby, is now officially be a teen! Today is her birthday. Boo hoo -- I wish she could stay little forever! Smile Actually, she is pretty good. Saturday night she had a slumber party with 6 girls spending the night. Swimming, eating, oujia board, eating, Harry Potter movie, eating, Wii, makeup, talking, etc. Very loud around here! The girls were up until 3-4 am. DH and I are still tired. It was interesting to hear what they were chatting about. Boys of course. Even mentioned ole Arnold (former Gov of CA). The talk was not favorable. Shows that girls do pay attention to what goes on.

It was a little bittersweet - leftovers from FIL's reception fed all the girls with only the addition of pizza to round out the party. FIL would have been happy that the food did not go to waste.

A Salute to FIL - RIP :(

May 22nd, 2011 at 06:47 pm

My FIL had been battling pneumonia for about 3 months. Tough to beat when one is 90 and also suffering from dementia. He was able to come home on hospice and passed away the next day. It was clear that FIL knew that he was at home. He had told us in the past that he hated hospitals and the like. It seems that he was hanging on until he came home. So he got what he wanted. A great man - WWII veteran, husband, father, hunter, fisherman, jokester......
Always giving to others....

DH (baby of 3) as well as our DD seemed to take it the hardest. FIL stayed with us for a time until a caregiver took over. And weekends when she was off. DH was at his home every day taking care of the house. He lived a long, good life and as DH says, "Dad got his money's worth".

RIP, FIL - you are missed.

My Friend is Home!

March 1st, 2011 at 08:39 pm

My friend that had a brain tumor removed came home last Friday! Yay! She had a few ups and downs in the hospital (possible food poisoning with hospital food, for one) but is home and recovering. One cannot even tell where her scar is unless you really look (behind her ear). Her DH is retired so they are making the best of each moment. DF (dear friend) is out and about each day and getting her strength back. Very upbeat and planning a summer vacation. Radiation should start in about 2 weeks for a duration of about 6 weeks or so. Chemotherapy will probably be done concurrently. The outcome is all in God's hands, and I hope and pray for the best for her and her DH. Her DH's concern is that her life is comfortable and without any suffering no matter how long or short it turns out to be. I wish that for all of us. I did hear about more cases of this type of tumor (GBM) from a doctor friend of mine. Sure is more common than I would have thought. The Dr. had a friend that actually was able to compete in a triathlon after recovering from brain surgery. Wow! Yes, she was an athlete prior but it shows what one CAN do.

Brain Surgery

February 18th, 2011 at 09:34 pm

My friend that I have previously mentioned had her brain tumor removed on Wednesday. Removed 99%! Smile
Pathology report not back yet, but it appears to be cancer. Frown But Dr. is very optimistic because so much was removed. Radiation will be the next step. Visited her in her room today (already out of ICU) with a plan to go home on Sunday! Boy, that sounds quick. Her spirits was very good and she seems to feel OK for what she went through. Back to her joking and sarcastic self. It looks like a large bandaid over the incision area - I would have never guessed that she had brain surgery. The irksome part of all this is the delay with the insurance approvals. It took almost a month to get everything arranged - and in a month, the tumor grew considerably. Grrr............

Too Many Sickos!!!

February 13th, 2011 at 08:26 pm

Is everyone getting sick at work or at home? Here for sure. DH, then DD, and DH (again) have a bad cold with congestion. Sometimes chills and sometimes fever. I have escaped for the moment. FIL is pretty bad, too. DH took him to the Dr. who gave FIL some antibiotics. DH has not gone to Dr yet due to sheer stubbornness (which means he is not that sick!). Visited FIL today and his voice is soooo raspy. He is starting to look very frail (he is 91). Fairly good spirits though. Hope he bounces back to full strength.

Update for Sunday: FIL is much better and slept more soundly. Smile

Here's a WWYD (what would you do) question: Someone I know has a DH who is an alcoholic with no job and not looking very hard. She is also an alcoholic but does not drink (on Antabuse) and is fairly far gone and a "great" enabler. They have 2 children. Her DH is so bad that he hides his drink of choice in water bottles (I assume vodka). Mrs. DH has stated that when the family was driving somewhere she took a drink of what she thought was water. That is how I know. Anyway, I just think it is horrible that this man does not value his family or anyone else. Yes, I know that this is a sickness. I told her that he does not belong behind the wheel of a car and could kill himself, someone else, etc. She glossed over my remarks. My question: Is there anything I could or should do about this? The chances are good that Mr. DH brings a water bottle every time he drives. I do not see him at all (I think Mrs. DH has told him my opinion before) and her only occasionally but they live in an adjacent town. Any thoughts?

Girl Scout Cookie Time!

February 11th, 2011 at 09:21 pm

It's that time of year again - GS Cookies for sale! DD's troop has an individual goal of 134 boxes for a camping trip scheduled for June of this year. So far DD has surpassed the goal and is at about 250 or so. The GS Council in our county has started a new program called Cookies - Now! where the cookies are available the first day of the sale. This is in lieu of taking orders and delivering a month or so later. We were apprehensive about this because cookies must be purchased upfront and one could be "stuck" with the unsold cookies. So far my review of this program is a "thumbs up." It is easier to sell when you have the product in hand with a smiling girl holding the boxes! Smile Disadvantage: Determining how many boxes to buy upfront. But I work in an adjacent county where the cookies can only be ordered. So this has been a big advantage over the "competition" -- I have had repeat orders from customers. Also, we have some cookie varieties not available in that county. If we run out of cookies the cookie mom goes to the cookie warehouse. So far so good. DD should get all the do-dads incentive prizes she wanted. One scout we know has a goal of getting a laptop via the program (2500 boxes) - lofty goal but she is sure ambitious. She cold calls local businesses, etc. Wow.

The weekend should be busy as usual. There are free activities for kids and JoAnn and Michael's relating to Valentine's Day. DD wants to make homemade ones this year and course this weekend is it. And of course, Bath & Body Works is in the same shopping area. So we will have to hit that store with our free coupons. We also plan to visit our local library bookstore to donate books and magazines. The Saturday volunteer is the nicest gentleman and we plan to bring him some GS cookies for Valentine's Day.

Enjoy your Valentine's Day!

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