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Archive for November, 2013

Potpourri

November 24th, 2013 at 11:25 am

Three days (not counting today) until Thanksgiving. We have a typical menu and rarely stray from it. DH and I enjoy what we have and why change it?

Hubby made our weekly trip to Aldi for our normal weekly stuff last Friday. He said it was crazy busy. Of course it was...people were buying for their holiday. He said he was glad he wasn't fighting for turkeys or ham. We had bought ours earlier and bought other stuff ahead of time before the big rush. For those things that aren't perishable, it is nice to buy them on sale and have them on hand instead of fighting crowds and searching for this and that?

Anyway, we have invited some family and a couple of friends and we look forward to their company. Which brings me to this next item. We haven't heard from this one couple for awhile. No emails, no phone calls. Suddenly they want to see us. One hates to always think there is a motive, but... Anyway, part way in the conversation there was a hint of they didn't know what they would do for Thanksgiving. The hint was brought up and then expanded actually. They have family, but really, they don't want to fix a meal. Part of me is sorry we didn't invite them. But, in reality, we don't have room. It isn't like they have no where else to go.

I mentioned to DH that a few years ago when my mom died, two different friends invited us to Thanksgiving because they didn't want us to be alone. Very kind and very thoughtful. These friends are not the ones who gave us this hint of wanting to join us. So, I'm just going to live with my guilt.

In other things, one of the local credit unions is offering a CD for 2% for 54 months. I don't want to tie up our money for that long for 2%, but I am hoping it means maybe interest rates are starting to go up a bit.

It is really cold here...well below the usual average. I'm happy to be home and warm...let's say I'm thankful!

Just talked to a retiree...

November 17th, 2013 at 04:55 pm

Just got off the phone with a friend who is a retired teacher. She has been retired 28 years and we were discussing the pension system in Illinois and the changes in insurance.

She and her husband were savers when they were young and when they retired, they had investments that were decent. Her husband has since died and she has been careful with both her pension and her savings. We were talking about how the market in the years before she retired went up and down and although they didn't save vast amounts at one time, the compounding interest throughout the years certainly paid off.

A person we both worked with retired ten years ago. His pension is over double what she draws. And he put nothing aside all those years although he made far more money than she did because he wasn't always in the classroom.

Right now Illinois has some major pension problems. One of the things the legislators are looking at is possibly doing away with the cost of living raise. It isn't that pensioners wouldn't get one, but it wouldn't be compounded like it is now. This person is scared that they will no longer compound because he isn't sure how he can make it.

It is sad, isn't it? No, I'm not saying it is sad about his worry about the cola. It is sad that he never planned ahead to put anything away in case something came up. Although he draws a large pension, he cannot make ends meet and often gets a loan from his home equity to give him spending money.

I find that scary. Especially since this is someone who is educated. Yet he lives for the moment and buys expensive toys. He has made fun of me for being "cheap." He's usually making fun of me for something so it really doesn't bother me, but we figure he has quite a balancing act when it comes to paying bills. Yikes!

Educated yes, but lacking common sense. Wouldn't you agree?

Suze Orman would be upset

November 10th, 2013 at 04:31 pm

This has been a busy and spendy weekend. The expenditures were planned so I'm not going to beat myself up over them, however. Suze Orman might disagree, though!

We went to concert and I had purchased the tickets last summer. Since it was in a town an hour away, we decided to make a day of it. We had received our Christmas Club check so we did some Christmas shopping, had a nice dinner out, and went to the concert. It was a fun time, although a late night. It made getting up for church a little difficult, but we did it.

Today was spent cleaning and fixing. DH raked leaves and cleaning gutters. I did some housework as well and then replaced our mailbox. Seems the neighbor kids liked playing with the door a few years ago and weakened it. It finally fell off on one side. We bought the new mailbox last week as well as new towel rack that would replace the other one that we had tried to fix with no success. I have that replaced and clean towels. I also put peeled and cored apples in a Crockpot to make apple juice and applesauce, so I think it was a productive day.

My comment about Suze Orman...we watch her most Saturday nights and usually agree with her, but we have noticed she seems to want people to do nothing anymore, except save money. Or maybe that is just what we are picking up on. We have savings and investments, and our house is paid off and we don't carry balances on our credit cards. But somehow, I think she would say not to buy Christmas gifts, but invest the money instead. If we were in debt, I would agree, but I guess I'm getting to be a rebel to some extent. We think if we have money in the bank, no debt, we should feel like we can splurge and go out to eat once in awhile, take in a concert, and buy gifts.

Waste not...

November 3rd, 2013 at 01:05 pm

Watching certain shows just appall me at times.

I'm a sucker for those home improvement shows, especially when they are redoing the kitchen. Yet, people love to tear up cabinets, sinks, countertops, etc. Now, granted some of the cabinets are pretty bad, but many are just considered "out of date". I'm not saying they should keep them in the kitchen, but why not remove them and recycle them? Years ago when we bought new cabinets, the neighbor asked if they could have them for the garage. Our contractor was thrilled because he didn't have to figure out a way to dispose of them...so he left them in the driveway and the neighbors came and got them. When they have their garage door open, I get to "visit" my cabinets.

There's a new show on the Food Network with Robert Irvine about restaurant redos and they take a charter bus and run over tables, chairs, and such for the ad. Why are we such a destructive society?

I was contemplating the things I try not to throw out. A local food pantry asks for egg cartons because they get eggs in bulk and can then divide them up by the dozen so we save our egg cartons to donate.

A gal I know runs a small restaurant since they cannot sell food that was made that day at another day, they are always looking for plastic lidded containers. I save our cottage cheese, sour cream, and other plastic lidded containers for them. They take the leftovers home and don't have a lot of money invested in the containers. They also have chicken broth they give away from the chickens they cook for chicken salad so they use these plastic containers for the giveaways. She in turn saves the box tops and bread labels that our school saves.

Whenever we have clothes that are so stained we no longer wear or would donate, I cut off the buttons. I've been doing this for years and kept them in a fruit jar. I sold the jar of buttons at our booth for $4 last month. I keep one for us for odd buttons too so if we lose a button we hopefully won't have to purchase a new one.

On some of the cooking shows, they mix something up and have quite a bit left in the mixing bowl and just throw it out. How wasteful. My DH's aunt who grew up in the Depression couldn't get over this wastefulness.

Unfortunately society in general has become fairly wasteful. So much of everything is disposable. My brother said they just bought a new appliance and were talking about how appliances don't last. My mil had a chest freezer that was over 30 years old and still working...it was disposed of because the bottom rusted out since it was in the garage and ... well, the moisture rusted it out. But, imagine, an appliance lasting 30 years? I realize it was an energy hog, but still...30 years??????

A few years ago I happened upon some overripe bananas and I pulled some kids from a class and asked if they wanted to bake with me. They were grossed out about the bananas...I told them they were far sweeter than ripe ones. We made the bread, talked about using up what we have, and when it was baked, they certainly enjoyed it.

I'm sure there are many ways to not waste things...what are some things that come to mind?

The last two weeks have been a blur

November 1st, 2013 at 08:24 pm

The last couple of weeks are sort of in my memory, but...

Between attending a day workshop, working on paperwork for my job, doing lessons for classes, and then having to deal with an illness, I can say the past couple of weeks are a blur.

I am feeling better, but I seem to have taken a couple of steps backwards. But, I think with some rest this weekend, I'll be OK.

One of the ladies I work with put an offer in on a house. She said the people counter offered because they didn't want to owe money at closing. She was kind of confused. I told her it sounded like they were either underwater with their offer or they had used the house for home equity loans. She looked at me like I was an alien at first. I explained we have a friend who will never get his home paid for...every year he needs spending money so he takes out a home equity loan. She said it was crazy and I would concur, but that is what he does.

DH went to Aldi today and we went to the other grocery tonight. The store was having some incentive that if you spent $300 over a set amount of months, you get $10 off the next time you shop there. I wasn't spending money for that, but I guess I finall hit the mark because I have the coupon for the $10. Not a bad deal overall, if one isn't spending money on stuff they don't need.

If you are in the Midwest, don't forget to "fall back" tomorrow night.