Showing posts from May, 2024

Friday Thoughts

     Well, I've been adding things all week to various posts, but yesterday was the day the Trump Criminal trial verdict in NYC was announced. I'm avoiding politics, but I'm not an ostrich. I believe the right verdict was reached; the evidence, in mass, was seemingly all  provided by one time loyalists. But, I'm worried about the behavior of his unhinged cult members, so going to lay low and keep my eyes and ears open and walk in opposite direction of any red hats. Be careful out there.       Regardless of your political beliefs, I  know this blog group are caring people that just want all people to have decent lives. You worry about virtual friends health and wellness; you write about donating and volunteering in your communities. You share your knowledge of thrift and savings, helping us all maybe save a few dollars to make ends meet or indulge in rewards from time to time. We check in on each other when there's long gaps.       I just learned a police officer die

Thrift and Such May 30, 2024

                           Here's my journal for the week in thrifty actions. My tracking week goes Thursday to Wednesday as I like to get a post up on Thursdays.  Saving on things we buy I topped up on Thursday when the Holiday stores discounted by 40 cents a gallon. Then, a man walked around with 10 cent off gas cards good the whole summer. I even got him to give me a couple extras so I could give to my kids.  When I was at my daughters, the holiday near her was already 25 cents less than my town, so I used the card, and topped off again, saving another $3 or so on gas. (Read below on splurges why this was necessary). The railing was $75 less than originally quoted. That is as a nice surprise. I assume supplies were less and he passed savings on to me.  Earning money Received a $16+ rebate from Menards. I do need things-grass seed, hose real or holder, so it will go to good use.  Loaded receipts in Fetch. This is the only scheme I do right now as the rest feel like I would need t

Monday of a Long Weekend Recap

      Nothing very exciting. I had given a contribution to the family flowers that are put on graves every spring, but wasn't able to go along as siblings and cousins did on Thursday. My sister sent a couple pictures. While we did not lose any immediate family members in wars, there's a long service history in the family in several branches and several members are active in VFW and American Legion work. Memorial Day has always been treated with reverence.       I did more weeding- that's what my  back yard seems to be this summer, weeds and big thistles. I had to take it a bit easy as my knee was playing up and with Tuesday being an office day, didn't want to be in more than the regular discomfort.       My gray mood came back- just sad at times. I keep trying to be busy, but I'm avoiding what needs to be done before my surgery and that's a complete clean, purge, pack, and declutter of my bedroom. It'll get done but will need to will myself. Other things occ

Planing to Live in Retirement Edition 1

      Several retirement seminar speakers spoke about the actual living once retired. One presenters full presentation was this specific topic. Points were reiterated over and over that in retirement, certain needs must be nurtured and well maintained to really have a successful transition to retirement. After fiscal preparation, these fall in four additional broad buckets.  Mental Physical Social  Purpose      Without balance and intentionality in all five, not only may retirement be unfulfilling, but it could also contribute to a premature death. I can see that happening, especially for circumstances like mine where a person is used to a crazy busy work life and the original plan was scrapped by the loss of retirement partner. I'll be honest and say, while fiscal worry is there a bit, I do worry I'll be engaged enough to feel I'm healthy in all four other areas. I'm going to work through several of the exercises the speaker shared, most of which cross over two if not

Dinner Past and Future, May 26, 2024

     I'm in a gray mood, but hoping as I get up and about I'll feel lighter. I've got a day with the dogs, though if it's rainy, might be an awful long day for them inside. My sister's hosting a BBQ so I'll go out for a bit. My blogs are nothingness to read some days, but a sort of pattern for me. Sunday, so must be aral plan day. May is winding down. Our diet has been more of some things, and not as much variety as I like.  Sunday - I had cheese and crackers after too much food all weekend. My son had grilled  ham and cheese and tomato soup Monday  - My daughter worked her second job near our house and could save time by working from our house in the afternoon so she joined us for supper. Chana Masala, basmati rice, naan Tuesday  -  Risotto with Asparagus Wednesday -  Turkey Burger patty melts and shells and cheese Thursday - Garlic chicken, couscous and Italian blend vegetables Friday - Penne with vegetables, plus son ate a leftover turkey burger Saturday  - L

Saturday Recap May 25, 2024

       This has become a weekly journal of sorts. Where have I been and what have I been doing sort of thing. I hope to capture something positive each day.  This is for May 18-24,  2024. Saturday : My sister picked me up by 8:15 and we were off for a 30 hour or so mini trip. We had breakfast out, mine was strawberry cream cheese pancakes with eggs and sausage and loads of coffee. Indulgent and I regret nothing. We shopped downtown Chippewa Falls before our tour of the Leinenkugel Brewery followed by a tasting, and cheese curds from a food truck.       Our guide was a knowledgeable 19 year old, multi generation employee. I mention her age because she shared she couldn't partake in the free case of beer each employee gets each month. I highly recommend if you're in the area. It was about right, and the lodge for tasting a good after spot. It was getting on 5:00 so we checked in to hotel and had a night playing cards and snacking on things we'd brought plus ordered pizza.  O

Retirement Seminar Tidbits

      Well, that was two days of head spinning information. I spent the last two days, 6 hours of content day one and 6  1/2 on day two going through everything from Deferred Comp and Pension to keeping health insurance and Medicare, to life planning in retirement. Much was information I knew already, but I learned several new things. The new things I learned have prompted me to get a review of every piece of paperwork that touches my life before and after I die.       Those of you that have already retired will probably be amazed at my ignorance on some of these new tidbits. Those outside of the USA have to be thinking what an awful lot of crap to try and deal with. Life insurance - I can only keep employee automatic for 18 months, but then can convert to an optional life. ( I have both now.) However, it converts to a whole life policy at market rates. But, if I keep for five years, it becomes a paid up policy with a 20% lifetime value. I have to find the chart to estimate how much co

Thrift and Such May 23, 2924

                         Here's my journal for the week in thrifty actions. My tracking week goes Thursday to Wednesday as I like to get a post up on Thursdays. Summer unofficially starts Monday, or is it the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, and so does, after my weekend mini trip, does my renewed focus to be more fiscally intentional. It's been a rough week, both financially and mentally, but the good thing about a new week, is I can try a bit harder and focused.  Saving on things we buy I went for a few top up groceries and grabbed some snacks and hit a 3 for $10 sale on diet Coke 6 pack bottles. It's a splurge I limit both for health and cost, so should last a few weeks. Earning money Nothing to share this week other than the medical reimbursement came in the mail and will go right in checking towards the credit card bill.  Avoiding spending When my daughter planned to save driving time and avoid traffic between her jobs, she offered to pick up lunch Monday. I resisted an

More Thinking but Better

      You all know if you've read a post or two, I use the blog to dump things from my head from time to time. It's like releasing a bit of pressure from my brain. Tuesday's post was that- not so much a post, but a slow turn of a pressure valve, letting the hot steam out. All Tuesday I was off kilter from the strain of a challenging Monday. It was rainy, then stormy. I chose not to drive into the office, which certainly would have been an hour both ways, but the big dog still got his play day at doggie care.       Work remains challenging, but I'm plugging through. A new, not even on my radar, policy change has been added to implement with the other dozen or more coming July 1. My count down is at 59 weeks. However, one of the perplexing life challenges had me questioning that. I had feelings that it would be ridiculous to retire so early with so many unknowns. I felt selfish and shortsighted. I felt guilty that I was deviating from the plan I had with my husband to ret

A Little Checked Out Tuesday

      We've got more curve balls and rocky roads ahead as a family. I'm in knots about so many things. I'm plugging away at house things, anything I can do that feels like a little bit in my control, a little order. It's the plates of unknowns and chaos the four of us have spinning that feel precariously unbalanced, ready to crash one or all at any time. I hope my kids each catch a break at some point. I know I can't live through their success and happiness. But, it's sure hard to see the challenges and be of no help, other than a soft space for their plates to land. Maybe they'll just crack instead of smash. After all, cracks are where the light gets in, right?      

Dinner Past and Future, May 19, 2024

        This was started  Friday night since I was gone and chipped away a bit over the last couple days.  I appreciate so many comments from my Saturday post- you flatter a girl, but I think there's some sort of filter I'm not sure about, because I see more wrinkles and signs of wear than pointed out My hair was chaos in the breeze and long overdue for a cut and color. Still, so kind of you all to not point that out. I had a lovely weekend mini trip, perhaps with too much adult beverages and food for for a college freshman, but back on the healthier eating bandwagon. Here's the past week of dinners. Sunday - After huge Mother's Day lunch, it was just Fend for Yourself if hungry Monday  - Chili over rice, corn bread Tuesday  - Take and bake garlic chicken pizza and salad  Wednesday - Pork roast, mashed potatoes, and California blend vegetable ( frozen 1)2 roast for future) still so much leftover for him Thursday - Pizza hot dish using up sauce, pepperoni, mushrooms, and

Saturday Recap, May 18, 2024

      This become a weekly journal of sorts. Where have I been and what have I been doing sort of thing. I hope to capture at least a single joy or simple pleasure each day.  This is for May 11-17,  2024. Saturday : The nice things included having grand pup and lots of walks, homemade pizza with the two kids here, and Northern lights chasing even without finding them.  Sunday : Mother's Day lunch with my husband's family was a bit overwhelming, so I was glad to be outside and have sun glasses on. My nephew came and actually was able to eat so that was so good for him. Once home, we had nice dog walks, then I picked up my older daughter from the airport. It was nice to know she got home safely.  Monday : oh, Monday work days are a lot, but I tried having an attitude that Monday is an opportunity to refresh. The weather was beautiful, not as hot as Sunday, so walks were pleasant. My youngest came back after work so her and the kitten stayed over again. She unfortunately is having

End of an Ups and Downs Week

     I'll recap the week tomorrow- have been popping things in to remember as the week went along. I can say this week had a lot of ups and downs, and just "moments" that don't fit either place, but were "just life".  Ups: The fence got completed! Mother's Day lunch was nice, though overwhelming a bit. It was a beautiful day and I saw all the kids because my daughter got an earlier flight home.  A project at work finally is able to move onto the next steps. It's been a major stress point and while a lot of work is ahead, there's a path finally.  Downs  My older daughter either drove over, or something was already in her tire, but it went flat and couldn't be repaired. Another unplanned expense after she had a bit of a fender bender a few months ago. Not a great way to ease back after vacation. Speaking of her vacation, while Zion and the hiking were spectacular she shared the yoga retreat itself was a bust. No daily classes, four women in a b

Thrift and Such May 16, 2024

               Here's my journal for the week in thrifty actions. My tracking week goes Thursday to Wednesday as I like to get a post up on Thursdays. Yet again, thrift was minimal in the money department.  Saving on things we buy I mostly bought Aldi own brands for everything from hummus to canned tomatoes on my stock up shop. I feel buying store brand is my only hedge on grocery inflation while trying to eat a healthy and variety filled diet. Used 10¢ coupon to fill up my gas tank. It's been higher than usual few weeks of driving. It was on sale, plus I had a 10% e-coupon for another non skid muddy paw rug for back door. I'll probably need to keep a short pan of water to clean paws until grass takes care of dirt spots. This is a necessity purchase, not a want.  Earning money I did a survey to earn a $5 Target e-gift card Avoiding spending Splurge beside below, none of us wanted anything for supper Sunday after the huge Mother's Day buffet. We popped a few batches so p

Progress and Now to Enjoy

      The fence got put in yesterday! I was called on the way to work, a very confusing call. I was surprised because they just had sent an email that the window was up to four weeks and they don't pre-schedule. She had two files in front of her and wrong Post-It notes on mine saying I needed a call first because of problematic neighbors. No, not my note. I had her double check the address, and sure enough, not my house. She apologized and said she'd call back. When she did, she still confirmed fence was ready to be installed.       My son was doing a project from home so I let him know. It took about 6 hours total from his report and he and pup took advantage in the late afternoon. My son had made a makeshift desk area with a couple old chairs. Today he'll get the patio hosed off and furniture out. He'll mow the front and side yard too. I'm swamped for work, but might take a meeting out there. One of the benefits I'm looking forward to in nice weather is an out

Monday Refresh Thoughts

      I did very little house or yard work the last two days. Beyond basic tidying up, I left much for the week ahead. I've decided on these perfect weekend days, it's a waste to spend all morning doing housework and afternoons doing yard work when I have weeknights that get long for me and hours of time- purpose instead of the television. So, while I watered plants, and we did a bit of weeding, I'm saving the bulk for the week ahead. Plus, it got hot yesterday, 86 degrees and for this Minnesota person that needs to ease into season changes, just too hot to do a lot of outdoor work.      My son is around today so will mow the grass. He's going to his grandma's to do a few tasks too. Tonight, I'll get the dogs out on their leads ( Broken record coming-can't wait for the fence), and pull more weeds that just grow and grow with the rain and sun mix we've had the past two weeks. While I have big spring cleaning jobs I keep putting off, window sills I'm t

Dinner Past and Future Sunday, May 12, 2024

      Happy Mother's Day in the US. I'll see all of my three. I still hate grocery shopping and my son's of the same mindset to really be in the mood or desperate. Meals again were cobbled from pantry, freezer, and small top ups. But, I fo ally went on Friday. Sunday - Pork chops, fried apples, sweet potato, and a bit ever to buy again riced cauliflower and sweet potato steam in the bag. Thankfully, I made gravy that helped give the dude some flavor.  Monday  - Chicken tacos with rice and black bean and corn salsa Tuesday  - Son and older daughter are good she brought or they scrounged.  I had dinner out with my youngest. Later, my son had some leftover turkey meatballs from the freezer with pasta sauce and cheese in a couple French rolls for sort of a meatball sub.  Wednesday - Rotini pasta with loads of vegetables  Thursday - A cobbled together tomato and cheese hot dish using up bits of cheeses, plus combined pasta types. It was just so so. Friday - I ate the leftover ho

Saturday Recap, May 10, 2024

     I guess this weekly post is sort of a journal. Where have I been and what have I been doing sort of thing.  This is for May 4-10, 2024. Saturday : My sister hosted a fun Derby day. I didn't really have a fancy hat, but seeing the pre- races, there was a style that looked like a headband, with big flowers attached. So, I made my own with tissue paper. Silly, but funny.  We all put two dollars in the kitty, drew two horses. I had the two favorites. The favorite didn't even show, but my other horse, Sierra Leone placed 2nd so I won $5, a whole $3 profit. My sister M was voted best hat, but I got two votes. Sunday : I knew I'd ache Monday, but we got a lot of yard work done, and prepped for fence posts. I splurged on more flowers to replant and a hanging basket, just because. I'm truly done now- need to make sure I water every night, so they don't die. My daughter put the planters I bought last fall together. They're smaller than I had in my mind, and shorter,

Friday and Weekend Ahead

      I'm off a few hours early this afternoon....we'll see. I haven't checked the weather but I think all weekends supposed to be good. The fence posts went in yesterday. No date for the remainder but it's a start, and the young man that is managing the work thought it looked like two weeks out rather than the up to four.       I realized that on my May intentionality list, I put going to the cabin for an initial cleaning the same weekend as my Chippewa Falls get away. So, I'm scheduling my floating holiday for May 17, and plan to use that as the day. However, I just got Pups sedated groom, shots, and full physical exam scheduled day before so he might be a little loopy still. As my son may or may not be here, the cabin may need to wait. But that's next weekend to figure out.       This weekend is Mother's Day, never the same since my mom passed 14 years ago. We'll join my husband's family for brunch out with my MIL. My son suggested taking me to a