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Happy Fourth

July 4th, 2017 at 02:48 pm

Happy Fourth of July! Hope it is a safe and joyous one for all!

Supposedly our Illinois lawmakers are supposed to vote on a budget today. The House passed one two days ago, but like the three branches of government (remember that in school?) it has to go to the Senate. The governor says he's going to veto if it passes because there are no changes in the budget -- he'd like to see some cuts and term limits. Imagine that, a politician wanting term limits. Smile Anyway, the state needs a budget because so many organization in the state cannot run without the stand funding. Many of our schools may not open on time. Some pensions may be delayed. Road work has totally been shuttered. If you've been on any Illinois roads lately, you know how necessary that work is.

Panhandling has become an issue in our city. I emailed the city manager who ignored my email, at least he didn't respond. That was three weeks ago. Last week I emailed one of the city council members who not only responded, but did so within two hours of my email. I asked about the laws concerning panhandling and he said that there is one against aggressive panhandling, but cities are cautious about passing new ones since a law was passed a couple of years ago in our state capitol and it was taken to court and considered unconstitutional. It has gotten to the point where if you go to our library these folks will knock on the windows of your car and follow you to your car or to the building and they don't give up. Because we have a mental health facility located in our downtown, one never knows if the person you are dealing with is also mentally ill which makes it even more of an issue. Our city is a very giving city, we have a homeless center that provides food and drink, daily showers, laundry facilities, use of the phone, counseling, clothing, medical services, as well as a place to send and receive mail. We have a men's mission, a lady's mission, as well as different organizations that provide food, clothing, and services, and one place, called Good Samaritan that provides a hot lunch every single day of the year and gives snacks besides. The director of the homeless center has said not to give money to the panhandlers because it isn't because they are needing the basics, they will use it for drugs or alcohol.

As I said yesterday, few plans here for the holiday and that's fine. If you like a great harmonic rendition of Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA" here is a super one:
http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=1FEFBMNU&utm_source=GodTube+Must-See+Video&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=07%2F04%2F2017

Hope you have a wonderful day!

Third of July

July 3rd, 2017 at 09:30 pm

July in the Midwest is usually very hot and very humid. Today is no exception to this. Our a/c has run more than I wish and we did turn it up a little so it wouldn't run as much.

I had planned to grill turkey tenderloins for supper tonight, but to be honest, the idea of standing over a hot charcoal grill doesn't sound like fun. I don't handle heat well. So, I brought out the countertop convention oven I purchased a number of years ago. I actually bought it when I was teaching and would use it with my classes to bake stuff. I store it on when I'm not using it because it is pretty large, but I use it a lot during the summer when I want to bake something so I don't heat up the house. My plan is to get two meals out of the turkey tenderloins we bought at Aldi. I try to get more than one meal out of the meat we buy, not only for saving money, but also for health reasons. I went out and picked onions and used a larger one to cook with the turkey and vegetables and then we will have the smaller ones for the table to eat with salt. I had to buy radishes, but we like eating them with our meal too and I figure you can't eat too many root vegetables.

No big plans for the Fourth. I know this makes me sound like a little old lady, but it just isn't worth it to us to fight crowds and traffic to go sit on a blanket and wait for some fireworks that in the past haven't been all that terrific. We watch the Fourth of July program on PBS. So much crime has happened in our town lately, even during broad daylight; that is another reason we choose not to go out after dark, although some shootings have happened during the day. My mom used to have a police scanner and she would say the news didn't tell half of what really went on.

Hope you have a good Fourth. Other than paying bills that were already budgeted for, it has been a NSD for me. I have worked around here and enjoyed the afternoon with a book from the library.

Pension problems and state budget woes

June 29th, 2017 at 11:50 pm

I live in Illinois. The land of Lincoln. I'm sure he is spinning his grave at this point. For over two years we haven't had a budget and it looks like it will be another year without one. The fiscal year ends June 30th and we are getting depressing news of what is going to stop or be delayed if there is not budget in place by midnight tomorrow. We have a governor and the speaker who are basically holding our state hostage because neither one wants to compromise. I would like to drive to Springfield and in my best teacher voice tell them to grow up and get along.

I'm not overly impressed with our news media. I have emailed our local television station complaining that there are so many "filler" stories and less local news or news that really impacts us. I'm not trying to be someone who doesn't want to know what is going on elsewhere, but I would like news about our community and nearby too. Each night they say we don't have a budget, but not much else. Today the state comptroller shared a video stating all the things that would be stopped or delayed if there is no budget. My pension is one of them that may be delayed come August. There are lots of teachers here in Decatur who get a teachers' retirement pension, not to mention around the state but not one news media has mentioned it. I found this little video on Facebook. I called teacher retirement to find out if it is true and was told that although we have to get our pensions, it is true that it could be delayed. I asked how much of a delay and was told they didn't know.

So, hubby and I are wondering if this is going to come to pass. He also has a state pension and has heard nothing about it. Fortunately all of our big bills have been paid (property taxes, homeowner's insurance, long term insurance, car insurance) so it will be the basic bills of power, water, phone, groceries, etc. that we will have. And we have money in the bank if we need to dip into it.

But I knew some folks who won't be so fortunate. One person makes a far bigger pension that we do and at this point he can't live on it and has to borrow money and put things on credit cards to buy everything he wants and thinks he needs. I emailed him about the possibility of the delay and said we were cutting back our July spending just in case. Haven't heard a word from him. Probably won't.

So, now the waiting begins. Will we or won't we get a budget? Will our legislative leaders learn to get along and work together? Personally, I'm not very optimistic.

Papers

June 21st, 2017 at 08:29 pm

That six letter word is driving me crazy. Or crazier. We have so many of them and so many of them say don't discard. I have been going through drawers and did get rid of a bunch of stuff.

I have two boxes of stuff to donate (non paper items). I recycled a bunch of stuff that could be. The shred pile has grown considerably as well, but still have a ton of papers that we are keeping. It is discouraging. I threw away some photos. They were photos I took, no people in them, and although at the time I thought they were great, now I don't think so . I had a scrapbook of things when I first started teaching over 30 years ago. I pulled out the photos and have either mailed them to the people who were in them if I could find their addresses or dropped them off to local folks.

One of our stops today was the library. As my husband was getting in the car, a guy wanted him to roll down the window. I told him not to because I knew it was a panhandler. They hang out in the library parking lot quite a bit. One of the guys who was associated with the homeless shelter has been on the news saying not to give them donations because their needs are being met at the local homeless shelter and they want the money for drugs and/or alcohol. One gal argued with me the other day. She said she needed money for coffee, I told her the shelter which is about 4 blocks away has free coffee. She told me she was thrown out and I just walked away. You feel sorry for them, but I don't want to give them money for drugs.

Change

June 18th, 2017 at 07:48 pm

Every year we take our change into the credit union. We are fortunate that they have a change counter, but you have to have an account there for them to use it. This year we had $162.49 in change. DH uses cash for just about everything so he has far more change than I do. I use some cash, but often I'm paying for things like groceries or stuff at the home improvement store so I use the credit card. If I find change I put it in our trusty pickle jar. I was cleaning the other day and moved a chest and found a penny so you know where it wound up. We would have had more change, except we used quite a bit of quarters in January when we went to Tybee Island - Savannah. You pay for parking everywhere and according to the locals, the meters are strictly enforced. We also did laundry there since we were there almost two weeks. We put the money in our Christmas Club Account from our change jar. This gave us over $900 in our Christmas Club account.

Speaking of Christmas, I'm happy to report I've bought two gifts this week. Yay, me! LOL I have also made a few gifts so far. Plus I bought a gift in January too when we were on Tybee Island.

The knitting group I belong to at church has over 300 hats made so far. Most of us are making hats outside of the 4 hours a month we meet. Our intention is to give them to classrooms in high poverty schools in our area.

I used to enjoy doing crafts like crocheting, embroidery, cross stitch, etc. Then for awhile between work and my hands going numb, I gave it all up, even after having surgery on each hand. I started crocheting again a couple of summers ago -- I made star ornaments out of crochet thread for every staff member at my school for Christmas. Our mascot was the Super Stars so I thought it was appropriate. I discovered if I didn't overdo, my hands didn't hurt. So, I again have found the pleasure in crocheting and now knitting on the round loom. My goal for this Christmas is to crochet a small ornament to put in our Christmas cards. I do one or two here and there, but I have a ways to go. We send out a lot of cards. I thought it would be something nice anyway and keeps me off the streets and out of trouble. Smile

I found a brand new package of pillowcases at our church's rummage sale. These are the kind you embroider upon. I'm looking forward to working on these. I know they aren't popular, but for $3 and my work, they will do. Some of those sites on the Internet talk about how out of style Baby Boomers are. Guess I fit that bill. Who needs to be in style anyway?

#27

June 15th, 2017 at 08:02 pm

Any of you remember the show Grizzly Adams and Denver Pyle was a character and he named his mule a number instead of a name?

That, of course, has nothing to do with my post, except today is number 27 for me. Not mules, but wedding anniversaries. DH and I married under an oak tree 27 years ago in his mom's backyard. I don't know, maybe my husband thinks I'm as stubborn as a mule. Smile

It's been a good 27 years. We have had our struggles and our triumphs.

Two years ago we renewed our vows under that 200+ year old oak tree. Last year the oak tree was cut down to make room for a hotel. The property had been sold a number of years ago when DH's mom died.

Our wedding was very simple. We wore clothes we had. My parents, godparents, his mom, brother, sister-in-law, and nephew attended. We rented a community room for the reception and my parents bought the cake and I made Chex party mix (you couldn't buy it already made then) and bought mints and bought the stuff for punch. Friends helped me set up the room beforehand with paper tablecloths and paper plates. We could rent the room for $15 but you had to move tables and chairs out and move them back afterwards. The key rental was an additional $15, but it was returned when you returned the key. We had a place that sold discounted cups, plates, flatware, and paper tablecloths and that's where I bought them. The punch bowl was borrowed from a friend. We brought the cake server from home. A teacher friend videotaped the ceremony and the reception for free for the practice. My teacher friends served. I think we spent less than $200 on our wedding altogether and here we are still married 27 years later.

We decided instead of spending the money on a fancy wedding and reception, we would put our available money as a downpayment on a house. Am I sorry? Not really. Yes, there are times I wish I had the fancy dress and the church wedding. But afterwards, I probably would have kicked myself for such needless spending.

So, happy anniversary to us. No big trip for us. We are going out to dinner. And it will be enough.

And you saved...

June 12th, 2017 at 07:34 pm

Do you read those messages on your receipts from some of the stores that tell you how much you saved by shopping there?

Our public library is now putting that on the bottom of the checkout slips. Last week I checked out some magazines and some books and at the bottom it told me: "You just saved $89.89 by using your library. You have saved $513.71 since April 14, 2017."

Pretty cool!

Sunday Catch Up

June 11th, 2017 at 07:57 pm

It's Sunday afternoon. The outside temp is hot and it's windy. Glad we have air conditioning and can afford to run it.

I've paid bills and updated a few things. I'm getting ready to enjoy a book for part of the afternoon. I know I certainly get my money's worth from the public library. DH has watered some of his vegetables that are in pots that have dried out so quickly. I picked a little lettuce and washed it and put it in the chill chest for tonight's cold supper of sandwiches.

I was doing a little research the other night. I'm not dedicated enough to actually buy a subscription so I just search for stuff that I can find that is free. Just for kicks I typed in the name of a great uncle who died in World War I. I knew very little about him other than his name and that he died in the war. Well, I discovered that he is buried in a cemetery in Iraq and that he fought for England. I knew the family had come to America in 1902, but didn't realize he was in the English military. I also didn't know there was a cemetery in Iraq for casualties of World War I and World War II. Unfortunately the cemetery isn't in very good shape due to folks looting and tearing it up. That's unfortunate, but it isn't limited to Iraq. Why people feel the need to desecrate cemeteries is beyond me.

Hope you all had a great weekend. I hear that book calling!


Sunday Catch Up

June 11th, 2017 at 07:56 pm

It's Sunday afternoon. The outside temp is hot and it's windy. Glad we have air conditioning and can afford to run it.

I've paid bills and updated a few things. I'm getting ready to enjoy a book for part of the afternoon. I know I certainly get my money's worth from the public library. DH has watered some of his vegetables that are in pots that have dried out so quickly. I picked a little lettuce and washed it and put it in the chill chest for tonight's cold supper of sandwiches.

I was doing a little research the other night. I'm not dedicated enough to actually buy a subscription so I just search for stuff that I can find that is free. Just for kicks I typed in the name of a great uncle who died in World War I. I knew very little about him other than his name and that he died in the war. Well, I discovered that he is buried in a cemetery in Iraq and that he fought for England. I knew the family had come to America in 1902, but didn't realize he was in the English military. I also didn't know there was a cemetery in Iraq for casualties of World War I and World War II. Unfortunately the cemetery isn't in very good shape due to folks looting and tearing it up. That's unfortunate, but it isn't limited to Iraq. Why people feel the need to desecrate cemeteries is beyond me.

Hope you all had a great weekend. I hear that book calling!


Nice day to make jelly

June 7th, 2017 at 07:43 pm

It's isn't super hot and humid here today (this weekend it was horrific for the first of June) so I decided to use some of the apple juice I've made to make apple jelly.

I make our own juice and apple sauce because I don't want product grown in China. I've read about where many of the fruits and vegetables grow there and it scares me. Plus, I don't use as much sweetener for either. I use cinnamon and nutmeg while the apples cook and add a little sugar, but not much. When I make the applesauce, I put in a little maple syrup while blending it and it gives is a good flavor, but not too much sweetness. Anyway, I've made quite a bit of applesauce and I have far more apple juice than my husband can consume. So, jelly it is!

I use the jelly throughout the year and I try to make up extra to give away at Christmas. I've been kind of fortunate that I've found jelly jars at the thrift stores lately. I have a few friends who save the jars for me, but many don't, even when I ask them to. I hate to appear cheap, but besides the work, jars, lids, and rings do cost money.

It's been a productive day overall. I washed, dried, and ironed the kitchen curtains and washed the kitchen window which is a pain in the patootie for me to wash because I'm short and have to stand on a step stool to wash the windows as well as hang the curtains. I've done some laundry besides, and some cleaning, made the jelly, and penned three letters.

I think I felt like I needed to really be productive because yesterday we drove to Chicago to visit a friend of mine from college. It was a nice visit, but I'm not sure driving 3 hours each way for a two hour visit was worth it. We didn't do anything else because we had to meet my friend at a certain time and by the time we finished our lunch and visit, if we had ventured any farther, we would have had to fight rush hour. I wasn't in any mood to do that, so we came home. And I was exhausted from the driving so I was ever so glad to be home. My friend was generous and bought our lunch so our trip was basically for gas. Is wasn't the cost of the trip, but the weariness of all the driving that makes me wonder if it is worth it.

I Hear the Cha Ching!

June 4th, 2017 at 07:10 pm

It's downright hot and humid here in Central Illinois. The a/c is running and I can almost hear the bill going up. But, being asthmatic and allergic, I will pay it, perhaps not happily, but knowing I can afford it and feeling blessed that I can. And although I gripe, putting in extra insulation a couple of years ago really did help.

I'm working on some decluttering. It never seems to end. But the yarn stash is going down. Between yarn donations from friends and some yarn I've purchased at thrift stores, I had quite a bit of it. I have mentioned before knitting hats with the church group and then I use the the bits and pieces leftover to crochet dish cloths and Swiffer covers. Every two weeks when the group meets, I take the hats I've completed in so I'm getting those out of the house anyway. Today was the paper monster. I save all the credit card receipts and then reconcile them with the statement. Finally got through that pile and they can be shredded. I also have some other paperwork I had to finish before seeing the end to it. Plus paying some bills. And here we were promised that we would have less papers with all this technology!

My heart goes out to those in London with all the sadness.

Hope you are having a lovely Sunday.

Not much to report

June 2nd, 2017 at 07:51 pm

It's a warm Friday down here in Central Illinois.

My church was having its annual rummage sale. We dropped by and found a few things. I bought an unopened box of stationery. I write to three shut ins and I try to find nice cards and papers. My husband says that I'm probably one of the few people who still write letters. I also found packages of sheer curtains that had never been opened. I have been looking for some for a window, but didn't want to pay big bucks for them. I spent $6 for both of them and they were new in the package.

We do a weekly tun through the thrift shops and I found a summer dress and jacket for $5. My husband reads to classes during the year and he found a kid's book for 45 cents that he wanted for his library.

I finished book #49 last night. I have been keeping track of all the books I read. I belong to a Facebook book club which we just tell the title and author and if we liked the book or not. The goal is to read 17 books since the year ends in 17. That is one of the joys of being retired...I can read far more.

Yesterday we received a bunch of calls from an unknown number. My curiosity got the better of me and I answered it today. I was greeted with "grandma" and the guy started in on his sob story. I could tell he was calling from a call center because when I answered, I could hear all the other callers in the background. He went on to say he didn't sound like himself because he has a broken nose. I asked him how he broke it and he told me he was in an auto accident and that some lady ran into him. I asked him where he was and he said Fort Wayne and that he was going to his friend's, Mark Fisher's brother's funeral. The brother had leukemia. I asked him why he left town with his ankle bracelet because he wasn't supposed to. I think I stymied him for a couple of seconds and he said he knew, and he was sorry. I asked him if he had told his dad and he said no and I asked him why not and he hung up on me. Some rude "grandson." I make light of this because I don't have grandchildren and I knew it was a scam going in. I think he realized I was messing with him. Hopefully they will quit calling. I'm tired of all the calls we get and there are so many. I bet we answer the phone maybe once every couple of days or so because most of the calls are basically scammers or people wanting to sell us something. Personally, I think it is darn rude of them to even think to waste my time. Although I do think the ones calling from Microsoft and are pretty bad. The second to last one he was telling me my computer was sending him messages and it needed to be fixed. I asked him which computer and he said what did I mean and I said which one, we have more than one and I need to know the ID from it so I can use the right one. He asked to speak to my husband which is even funnier. My husband doesn't touch the computer. What scares me is he knew my husband's name. I told him that my husband hates computers so it would be a bigger waste of his time and he hung up. The last call I just said we don't have a computer and hung up. I'm sure they will call again.

Snowflakes

May 31st, 2017 at 03:11 pm

I'm not as good as some of you about getting snowflakes, but I did get $2 for filling out a survey on television watching. I discovered we are creatures of habit and kind of boring as well.

I'm expecting a rebate from Miracle Gro -- there was a $2 rebate on each bag up to $20 and I sent it in for the soil we bought. It was also on sale. We actually bought more than that, so I saved the extra receipt and gave it to a friend with the rebate form and suggested she put the money in her granddaughter's savings or college fund. It was for $12 more. She offered to just give me the money back, but I thought the granddaughter could use it -- she is 3 and her folks are savers too.

Showing respect

May 28th, 2017 at 06:35 pm

I had a chiropractor appointment this week. I hate being the grumpy old woman, but I do believe that is how he considered me after our conversation.

My appointment, the first of the afternoon, was at 2. DH and I try to get to places a bit early because you never know what could cause a delay. The chiropractor had a sign on a door that he would return and open up at 2. Another customer pulled into the parking lot and went to the door, tried it, saw the sign, and then walked back to her car. It was after 2 by this time.

At 2:15 this same lady got out of her car, went to the door again to try it (stilll locked) and came over and asked us if we were waiting for the chiropractor. We said yes and she asked when my appointment was. i told her 2 and she said hers was at 2:15. Then another fellow pulls up, and he rolls down the window and said the chiropractor had called him and said he was running a few minutes behind. The minutes tick by.

It was after 2:30 when he arrived. The last man left before the chiropractor came. He took the lady with the 2:15 appointment and got her situated, then had to answer the phone and finally he was ready to work with me. I told him I was very disappointed with his tardiness and since this hasn't been the first time, it was getting out of hand. He said he was sorry, but I find it hard to believe it won't happen again.

His personal life is getting in the way of his professional one. His girlfriend thinks nothing of delaying him. This time she needed him to change a flat tire. One time was because they were shopping. Another time he was late because he needed to clean up a baby after a diaper mishap. The list goes on.

It is sad because he is a great chiropractor. However, I think he is going to ruin what business he has. I had referred him to a friend of mine and I wondered why the friend after being treated and raving about him, suddenly didn't mention him again. Well, it seems he had an appointment and he didn't show up so my friend left after waiting for awhile. No call or text to explain.

I don't understand why folks who go into business for themselves do not realize that it is a lot of work and a lot of sacrifice of your personal time to make a go of it. The fellow I mentioned before did not come back while I was at the chiropractor. i wonder if he decided not to return at all. My chiropractor has commented how he needs more business. I'd say before he gets any more, he need to take care of the clients he has.

I certainly hope I won't have to find another chiropractor. Perhaps I'm old fashioned and believe that being late is showing disrespect for the other person's time. I realize there are times it cannot be helped, but when someone is consistently late, it makes you wonder why. I try to respect other people's time and hope they would do the same for me.

It's a spendy time

May 21st, 2017 at 09:03 pm

I don't know why, but usually in May and June we tend to spend. A lot. Part of it when certain bills fall. Part of it is we just tend to spend. It's not like we don't have the money, we do, but sometimes it just hurts to part with the money. I hope that doesn't sound too weird.

One expenditure was not totally unexpected. I knew it was coming. We have a water softener. We've had one in this house for 19 years. Our water is incredibly hard. We put the one in 19 years ago and it has started to really go bad. The guy came to look at it to see if is was fixable and he said because of the age and the mechanism that handles how the salt is distributed, it wouldn't be worth fixing. So, alas, we put out the cash for a new one. Hope we get 19 years out of this one.

We are still purchasing materials for the bathroom remodel. I ordered a light yesterday. Our local Lowe's didn't have it nor did any other places around here. I looked it up on Amazon and they had it and then I thought maybe i should look at Lowes.com. They had it and it was $10 cheaper. It's my $10, so I ordered it from them. I wish I could have gotten it delivered to our Lowe's, but that wasn't available.

We have been watching a couch at a local furniture store. There was one I really wanted. It went on sale, but it still seemed to be more than what we wanted to spend. They were having a floor sample sale this weekend and we went in and he originally said the same sale price as before and i told him we were in here before and thought it was too much. He came down more so we bought it. The one we have is a sad one. We've had it for a number of years and it has two recliners. Well, the middle cushion isn't a recliner and it has sagged. Then the bonded leather started peeling away. I don't know why because we aren't hard on furniture. I had it covered up with a throw as much as I could, but the area is getting bigger.

We had a little scare last week too. A few months ago we bought a new car and traded in a car. When we went to transfer insurance, we thought it was all taken care of. We get the premium notice on what should be the new car (we paid the premium on the car we kept, or so we thought.) Anyway, seems they cancelled the policy on the car we kept and kept it on the one we traded in. I have been driving without insurance for almost two months. I was just nauseous thinking about that and all the things that could happen. We went in and got it straightened out last Monday morning, but they kept telling us they had it fixed to begin with. There's a reason I don't trust folks. Anyway, as soon as they send the premium notice, we will pay that as well.

We have visited with two different couples and they ask us what we are up to. I guess we are boring because other than volunteering and living day to day, we haven't done anything spectacular. One couple has to tell us about all the places they have been running to and shopping they have done. The other couple was telling us about the trip they are going to go on to the ton of many thousands of dollars. Funny thing about both couples, neither one has the money to do any of this. It is either put on credit cards or using loans. I will admit, after hearing about the grandiose trip, we kind of wondered what we were missing out on for a bit. Then we realized we really don't like to do lots of major traveling nor do we want to spend the money on a trip right now. We had a minor pity party and then realized we are happy with our lives at this point and we really aren't missing out on stuff. I think we forget that people like to brag about this and that to make themselves feel important. I'd much rather lead the boring life we lead, save money and have it when we have spend times. Then when we do something out of the ordinary, it remains special.

Hard to believe it is May

May 10th, 2017 at 08:14 pm

Here it is May 10th. Can't believe it is almost a year since I retired. I've enjoyed it and I love the life I have. I have been so blessed to be able to retire and not have to do without things.

DH and I were talking. I guess we have become used to a somewhat frugal lifestyle so we don't have huge things on our want list. Well, we would like to get a new driveway and we are saving for it. A couple of summers ago when we met with our financial guy, he wanted to see our budget. I have all these different accounts...money market, savings which is our home improvement account, vacation, Christmas club, and then regular checking. I thought sure hew as going to tell me these accounts were ridiculous, but he asked me about them and we told him that we save up for stuff. For example, the savings account is for home improvements. We put in a set amount every month and have a goal in mind. Back then we were working on a new roof because we knew we would need one. Last May we had that new roof put on and paid for it with cash. He said that was wonderful because so many of his people want to take money out of their investments to buy a new car or do home improvements.

The saga has continued with the neighbor and the kickball. It came to a head last week when I saw the kids playing, so I opened the front door and stood behind the storm door and watched. He saw me, kept looking up to see if I was still there, and when he thought I wasn't watching, kicked the ball right into our yard. I went out and told the kids that this kid's dad needed to come over and get the ball. The dad refused. DH and I walked it over there (dad was working the garage) and explained that this is not the first time the kick ball has wound up in our yard and many times it has been in the flowers and the vegetable garden and we don't want kids tramping down the plants. It isn't like the ball can roll into our yard. We sit on a bit of a hill so it has to be an upward kick aimed at our yard. The dad didn't say too much except they were done playing today. I just said my husband works way too hard in the yard and garden for it to be torn up. The little boy never apologized or anything. I finally commented that I knew he was watching me in the doorway and it just makes me wonder what happens when we aren't home. I suspect I know because there have been plants broken off and one of our solar lights has been crushed. Anyway, for a week no kickball and then this week the kids gathered to play basketball. That's how it starts. Then they get tired of basketball and start kickball. So, I had a little yarn project so I sat out on the front step for an hour and a half working on my project. No kickball that night! I'm sure this kid thinks I'm the meanest thing on two feet, but I feel I have to be the adult here since the parents apparently don't want to be the bad guys.

We have started purchasing the materials to update the master bathroom. Let me tell you, master bathroom is certainly misnomer because it is tiny...the only thing master about it is it is right off the master bedroom. We ordered a new vanity and medicine cabinet and had them custom made by the Amish. They are beautiful. I need to order a new light. We bought a new countertop and faucet and I've decided that I'd like new towel racks and shower curtain rod. I realized the last time we updated this bathroom other than the floor was over 17 years ago. Fortunately the shower surround and stool are OK. We did update the floor a couple of years ago with a piece of leftover vinyl from another project. I'm kind of excited about having some new stuff. I realized my toothbrush holder is over 18 years old. There's nothing wrong with it, but I'm kind of tired of the color. I paid $1 for it. I think we got our money's worth as far as it goes. The current vanity and medicine cabinet are still OK as is the countertop and faucet so we plan to donate them to one of the thrift stores. We did that with the other ones from the hall bathroom and they sold within a couple of days. They aren't the highest quality, but they look decent. We try to take care of things.

Health wise I have struggled with allergies and asthma the past few weeks. I think the mold and tree pollen are high and with not having a super hard freezing winter, I think a lot of stuff didn't die off.

I should be content, but...

April 23rd, 2017 at 04:52 pm

Most days I am content with what we have and feel pretty blessed. Then there are days...

A couple of folks I worked with are either buying or selling their homes or both. We've lived in this house 19 years this month. It is the longest I have ever lived anywhere. I didn't think we moved that much, but I realized that as a kid, I lived in 6 different places not counting college, and as adult, I've lived in 3. I realize there are folks, especially military families, who move far more. But for someone here in the Midwest, it seems like a lot of moves. Probably why I don't want to move again.

Anyway, back to the folks and their homes. My city is around 70,000 in population, maybe a little more if you count the villages near by. Cost of living is pretty cheap and we are still having economic problems. Our city used to be almost entirely blue collar, but we have lost lots of industry. The cost of an average home is $81,000 according to city data. Imagine my surprise when someone I worked with who is about 20 years younger just sold their home for $374,000. Wow. I'm in shock. I know I made more than she did, so her husband must have a big paying job. Another person made about what I made and she and her husband just bought a house for around the same price. I can't even imagine the upkeep or payments. Not to mention cleaning the huge thing. I'm talking these houses are big. Ours is around 1500 square feet. These houses are at least double that.

Then I start wondering if I made mistakes and didn't take enough chances. Our goal, when we bought our first house together in 1990, was to get the house paid off. We didn't pay off that one, but sold it with more equity than what we owed, and bought this one. We made extra payments on our mortgage and when something worked out we could actually pay it off early, we did. We then spent the money we were paying on the mortgage, well spent is the wrong word, but I just kept writing the checks and put it in a savings account until we had enough to invest. I guess part of me is just a little jealous of their fancy new homes.

I have been talking to myself and saying I need to be content with what we have. It's wrong for me to be jealous. Realistically, I don't want a bigger home and I certainly don't want to clean a bigger home. I don't know for sure, but something makes me think they may have outside help cleaning. I certainly don't want to pay for the taxes (Illinois taxes are outrageous) as well as insurance.

Anyway, forgive me for my coveting, but thank you for allowing me to think through this and put my thoughts down as I work through this. Hopefully I am feeling more content.

As Seen On TV

April 21st, 2017 at 08:33 pm

It's been an exciting week around here. Lots going on. I am involved in some things for both church and the schools where I volunteer. I can't say it's been a cheap week because we have purchased some things here and there, but nothing to break the budget by any means. Most of it planned too.

I know I've written about the knitting loom and making hats with some ladies at my church. And by now, you have probably figured out I have an ornery side to me. A few weeks ago we were watching the local news and the sports director commented it would be slow sports night and he might have to take up knitting. Well, I thought it would be worth a try so i emailed him and invited him to join our little group. Especially since Rosey Grier used to do needlepoint so why not be a good sport and join us. I wasn't sure if he would even answer, but he did. The sports director, Gordon Voit, took us up on the challenge and came and did a little knitting and broadcast a sweet story. I wish he hadn't spotlighted me so much, but he spent almost two hours with us and by the time he was ready to leave, he had endeared himself to all of us. One of the ladies, the one who talks about reading obituaries is 89 1/2. She is a spunky little thing and is always ready to do something for someone. So, if you have a few minutes and want to view this little clip, I hope you enjoy it.

http://www.wandtv.com/story/35194853/knitting-challenge-gordon-voit-goes-head-to-head-with-the-loom

SA problems and dinner

April 16th, 2017 at 09:20 pm

Lately I have had problems accessing the Saving Advice blogs. For two days I would click on a title and would get an error message saying the page had been removed. Today it is taking forever for the pages to load. I thought it might be my computer and or router, but I'm not having problems with any other sites, so I'm going to think it is with SA.

A friend told us they weren't sure if they were going to have Easter dinner at home or out. Then mentioned that a local chain restaurant had a deal for $110 for ham, 2 sides, and bread. I looked it up and then saw our local Kroger ad and tried to determine what it would cost if one bought stuff from Kroger to feed 8-10. I think even adding a dessert, the cost would be around $54 before tax. That is still less than $110 and most of the stuff was ready made, other than heating up the ham and the rolls.

Our dinner for the two of us was more reasonable and we have leftovers. Some we will eat again tonight and the rest will find itself incorporated into other meals throughout the week.

Hope you had a lovely Easter.

A little of this...a little of that

April 12th, 2017 at 07:59 pm

Today has been quite a busy day around here. DH and I cleaned house. I am happy that we did and I like having a clean house. I just threw in a load of towels after putting fresh ones out after freshening up the bathrooms. They weren't dirty, but I have found if I do touchups here and there, they don't get bad either.

Lunch today was chicken and noodles. I had purchased a whole chicken and cooked it in the Crockpot the other night with some spices, herbs, and a few vegetables to make a good broth. We had some of the chicken for dinner, and I used the rest to make chicken and noodles with the broth. I also froze the extra broth so I will have it on hand for something else. So, we have had three meals from that chicken and I think one more is on the horizon. Not enough to make it an entree, but we may be having potluck for dinner one night with the leftover pork chops from another meal. I like having extra food because it means it is easier to put meals together. I usually have some soup in the freezer so if we need a quick meal, I can thaw and heat it up, but I used the last of it. So, that is on the list to get done.

Well, after my rant the other day, I can say a couple of things seem to be worked out. I emailed the city librarian about the fact our books weren't checked in and we were getting fines. He emailed a response and within an hour, we received a phone call from the person in charge of circulation and our books were checked in and the fines wiped out. That was a relief. DH checks out bunches of children's books because he reads to classes during the week. It's one thing to pay a fine that you truly owe because you were late and we have done that without grumbling. But it is a whole different story when you owe fines on stuff you returned on time or before. Right now DH has 24 books out and I'd hate to see what the fines would be if he returned them and they weren't checked in.

Yesterday the neighbor kids played on another street. Hopefully they will find the other street a better fit for their kickball game. I don't like being a cranky neighbor, but I don't like it when you've had to ask them more than once to stay off your property and there is so little regard for both your request and your yard and plants.

I don't know when you get the ads for your grocery stores, but we get two of them on Wednesday and one on Thursday. I do wish we'd get them all on Wednesday because I prefer to make my lists on Wednesday night. So, i have to make a tentative list and finish up on Thursdays before I go shopping. Oh, well.

I just finished a fictional tome last night. If you like Fannie Flagg books, this one is similar, but it is a Christian novel. It is "Velma Still Cooks in Leeway" by Vinita Hampton Wright.It is set in a small town and kind of an interesting outlook.

I have been working on knitting hats for my church group. We meet tomorrow and I like to have some finished before we go and work some more. I have been making Swiffer covers and dish cloths out of the leftover yarn. I have a feeling one of the dish cloths is going to be wild because I have lots of different colors, but not enough to make anything out of just a couple. One of my friends has a tea room and I have been giving her some of the Swiffer covers and the dish cloths and she is delighted. She told me she didn't care about the colors, and on the dishcloths, she intends to throw them in bleach so eventually they will all be faded out. I just like that I can use up these leftovers. I have lots of dishcloths for myself now and can use a clean one every day since I have made so many. Guess I'm rich in dishcloths. Smile I used a Swiffer cover today to polish our floors. I bought some special cleaner/polish and like the fact I'm not using a disposable pad, but can wash it when I'm finished.

It is sunny here. Not super warm, but a pleasant spring day. We had so much rain last week that is makes it seem so much more like spring when we have a couple of days of sunshine. Hope things are nice where you are too.

Today is not the day to mess with me

April 10th, 2017 at 09:41 pm

Today hasn't been a relaxing day. Actually, some of this started yesterday.

DH is very proud of his yard and garden. He has certain plants that come up every year and then he plants annuals. He babies his lawn and garden. We have repeatedly had to remind the neighbor kids to stay out of yard and driveway. Our driveway is steep and I'm sure it is fun to ride down,sled down, or skate down. But, it also has some broken areas (we are saving to replace it in the next couple of years) and there is another neighbor who parks just at the edge of it. We have bushes too, alongside the drive. It makes it difficult for people to see traffic coming into our court and for the traffic seeing anyone leaving the driveway. I have had to ask them to stay off our driveway for their own safety. I don't want anyone to get hurt either falling down on the driveway (liability issues) or getting hurt because a car or truck didn't see them race down the driveway. I do believe kids are still playing in the driveway when we aren't home because last summer when I wash washing down the garage door, it was dented about a fourth of the way down. Neither DH or I dented it and it kind of made me think something was run into the door. We have also found some of our solar lights broken around the yard. OK, lots of wordiness, but we have asked the neighbor kids to place stay off our property nicely. Yesterday they were playing kick ball and within ten minutes, five times the ball came into our yard. We have a slight hill so it isn't like the ball just casually rolled into the yard. It was kicked and it landed way up by the house. Once in DH's garden. So, then we have kids walking around in the garden and the planting to get their ball. I finally contacted a parent and asked them to have their kids stop kicking the ball in our direction. She said the wind took it and I nicely suggested they kick towards her house in the future. I didn't want to be that neighbor who had to tell the kids to stop, but today, they started in and guess what, second kick, the ball winds up in our yard. I simply went out and asked the little boy to kick in his own yard. Guess I messed up their game, and I only can imagine what they do when we aren't home.

This about capped off my day. We received our car insurance premium and we expected it to increase a little with the new car (we asked before we bought) , but it went up more. Seems someone decided to delete one of the cost savings we have on both cars. The clerk told me the new amount, I started the check, then told me a different amount since it was prorated. I wasn't happy because I had to void the check and write a new one. She then talked to me like I was stupid and said I could have just changed it and put my initials on it. Maybe I could, but I didn't want the check coming back incorrect. I don't like being spoken to like I'm an idiot.

Then, we went to the library because I received a notice I had an overdue book. It was returned before it was due, but apparently wasn't checked in. Seems the library is changing to a new system and putting in chips so books can be checked in when they are put in the return chute. But, they don't have chips in all the books so they are putting returned books on carts and doing the chip thing and not checking in books. The lady at the checkout desk claims they will backdate the check in, but as it is, both DH and I have overdue books on our records at this point.

So, I'm already not in a very good mood and then have to become the cranky neighbor with the kids. I wasn't grouchy when I asked them to stop, but it just didn't make my day go any better. Hopefully things will improve. I ate being that kind of person, but I don't like things to get torn up.

I tried a new recipe the other day. I wrote it down after seeing it in one of the magazines I was going to donate. DH liked it and I think you could change it out to use whatever you had one hand. I'm going to write it down below, but I didn't use sausage with it. I substituted bell pepper and mushrooms and DH loved it. If we had sausage I would have used it, but instead decided to use what I had.

Brunch Pizza Squares

1 pound bulk pork sausage
1 8 oz tube refrigerated crescent rolls
4 eggs
2 T milk
1/8 t pepper
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a skillet, cook sausage and drain. Unroll rolls onto a lightly greased 13 x 9 x 2 baking pan. Press dough 1/2 inch up the sides and seal seems. In a bowl, beat eggs milk, and pepper. Put sausage on rolls, then pour egg mixture over sausage. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered at 400 for 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted.

Sunny Sunday

April 2nd, 2017 at 09:36 pm

It was a nice surprise -- it was sunny this afternoon. It was supposed to be rainy. So, it was like a gift -- a pretty spring day!

It's been busy around here. Not too much out of the ordinary, but busy. Well, one thing big..we bought a new car. I'm not going to apologize for buying a brand new one. Yes, I know a used one is better because of it doesn't lose as much value. But, we are at a point in our lives we don't want someone else's problems. We deal with a great dealer and any service we have needed has been fabulous. Actually, DH got the new car. I got his old one which isn't that old...a 2013. He's a happy man and that's what I value. I tease him that he has a new lady in his life. Men and their cars!

Other than that, I'm just trying to keep my head above water on things. We finally got our taxes done. It seemed like we waited forever to get one of our 1099 forms. We are getting a small refund. We would rather get a small refund than pay. One of our friends who is also retired is getting a huge one. We can't figure out how.

Since I've retired, I have tried to keep a schedule on cleaning the house. I tried doing that when I worked too and sometimes couldn't, but as a retiree, it is easier. I did then when I was off school in the summers. My mom would ask why I would do this, but I told her it was far easier to clean the house when it wasn't really bad then it was to have to do a deep clean. With my asthma and allergies it is helpful if I keep the house pretty clean.

I'm on the call committee at church as we seek a new pastor. Our current pastor is retiring so we have been working on finding a replacement. Plus I volunteer at two schools and do some other things at church. I'm pretty satisfied with how my life is going and I have found I am not spending a lot of extra money (OK, except that new car). I guess I'm not a high maintenance person.

Today I visited with a lady who is 93. Fortunately she still lives at home. Her sons look out for her. We were talking how little things mean to her now. She was always a careful shopper, but she said it doesn't hurt her to part with things anymore. I know some of you have blogged about decluttering and have voiced this same opinion.

DH has been working in the garden putting in lettuce and radishes and onions. I'm already looking forward to eating them!

Hope you have had a nice Sunday.

Rediscovering an older pleasure

March 17th, 2017 at 09:08 pm

Years ago I had a sewing machine. It was my grandmother's. Big heavy "portable" thing that you had to be a weight lifter to put it on a table. I used it. A lot. I then decided to buy a newer machine with a cabinet. My mom was an expert on machines and she picked it out and we brought it home. We both used it. She used it far more than I did. When I moved out, I gave it to her since she was using it more than I did. When she died, I didn't have room for it, so I gave it to one of her friends who had a daughter who wanted a machine. It's been ten years since my mom died.

Since I am retired, I have time to do more than just sew on a button. I decided I wanted a machine. I found one at a thrift store for $20. It isn't perfect, but it works. It also isn't as heavy as my grandmother's. I have no idea what happened to my grandmother's machine, by the way. This one has a few problems, but for the little bit of sewing I plan to do, it is workable.

Yesterday I decided I wanted to try and make a cloth grocery bag. I had no pattern, but I measured one and made my own pattern. As I'm pinning the pieces together I just felt a degree of satisfaction. I won't be making anything big or fancy, but it certainly is nice to make something I can use. I bought some scrap material for $1 and I didn't use it all, so my bag will be less than a $1 when I get it finished. I decided to crochet the handles so I'm not quite finished with it.

There is something so satisfying to creating something and finishing it, isn't there?

I think I may have mentioned a group from church where we knit hats on looms. One of the reports for the local paper is a school chum and I told her about our goal of making more hats than this year and adopting some classes next year and giving them hats. The story did make the paper and as a result, we have had four people donate some yarn and a couple more promise. It's kind of nice when people like to get involved. Anyway, here's the link to the story if you are interested:

http://herald-review.com/news/local/stitched-with-love-lutheran-women-knit-hats-for-decatur-students/article_92359267-25af-5b5a-b3d7-35d95df884cf.html?haa=123&utm_content=bufferfeddf&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=LEEDCC

To follow up on an earlier post, I did cancel the subscription to the Sunday Chicago Tribune. It wasn't easy. I wrote a letter to the editor of the Trib and I haven't seen it published, but received another phone call this morning begging me to reconsider. I refused. DH said he didn't want me to have to bother with it anymore and I'm relieved.

Hope your Friday is a good one and if you are Irish or Irish wannabe, hope you had a great St. Patrick's Day!

Leftovers and a vent

March 15th, 2017 at 05:10 pm

Fixed lunch a few minutes ago. Used leftover pork roast to make pulled pork. It was pretty decent. Tonight will be leftover pork chops with baked sweet potatoes and a salad. Last night we had chicken I lightly breaded and baked. The chicken breasts were so thick that I sliced them in half so we have enough for another meal. Yesterday for lunch we had chicken noodle soup which was leftover from Sunday's supper. We tend to repurpose leftovers around here. I do like the idea of cooking once and getting a couple of meals out of it. I still have so much soup left I will be freezing it for another time. A pretty good deal for a whole chicken I got for 69 cents a pound.

Now that I am retired, I try to volunteer. I was not a happy camper yesterday. State testing is going on in the public schools in Illinois and I know how stressful it can be. I volunteered to help out. That means more than just showing up. I had to watch some required videos and sign off on them before the testing. I asked what time I needed to be there yesterday and was told 8 a.m. I got there a few minutes before and the person then realized the first set of testing wouldn't start for an hour. She hadn't bothered to check her schedule. I was not pleased. I realize I am retired, but that is a waste of my time to sit around for an hour. Schools aren't exactly comfortable spots to just lounge around. She sort of apologized, but I didn't say too much. For years I had run the state testing in the buildings I was assigned to. If I had anyone kind enough to volunteer, I made sure they had the exact time they were needed, followed up if things changed, and made sure they were felt appreciated.

A few years ago my husband who is retired from the library and quite a fabulous reader of children's books volunteered to read each week in one of my schools. The two teachers decided they couldn't set a time that he could read back to back so he read at one class in the morning and one class in the afternoon. I told him not to agree to that because it wasn't a good use of his time, but he didn't want to upset anyone. So, he would show up in the morning, read for 30 minutes and then leave and show up a couple of hours later to do the same. These same teachers would conveniently forget when they were going to be gone on field trips or something else came up and he would show up and they would tell him he couldn't come in or one time they weren't even there and he walked into an empty classroom. The following year I told him not to even think about volunteering for those teachers. I lined it up for him to volunteer in another teacher's room. She stayed in the room with him (which is what teachers are supposed to do), thanked him profusely every time he read, and if something came up, told both him and me ahead of time.

Being disrespectful of a volunteer's time is one way to make sure one doesn't eagerly volunteer again. Sorry I had to just vent.

So very frustrated

March 14th, 2017 at 09:55 pm

Earlier I wrote about our struggles with receiving the Sunday Chicago Tribune. It has been ongoing. We would get it a Sunday or two and then not get it. I would call, email, message, and it never seemed to help. I have decided it isn't the paper carrier. I believe it is the same one who delivers our local paper and she is top notch. I believe it is whomever distributes the paper downstate. We haven't received the darn thing the past three Sundays. DH stopped into Walgreens where he can sometimes snag a copy and they were sold out, but the clerk told him something interesting...the week before last they didn't get the Sunday paper until Tuesday. We haven't had horrible weather around this time, so there really isn't an excuse.

I have called their number on Sunday mornings and get the blasted automation system which says we will receive a replacement paper in 90 minutes. Yeah, right. Call me skeptical because it has never happened. And it didn't.

The past three Sundays no paper and I call on Monday, and get it promised it will be delivered if not later in the day, on Tuesday. No paper, Then I call on Tuesday and they will credit my account. What good is it to credit my account when I don't get a paper. It isn't like I'm going to get interest on this so called credit.

Each time I call, I get someone who cannot pronounce my first name correctly. It is Debbie. I can't imagine that being THAT hard. They can't pronounce our street name nor our city. I finally asked where their calling center was located. He said Philippines, but I really think it is India. The guy yesterday promised me a newspaper within an hour and a half. I told him we are three hours away from Chicago and I rather doubt if anyone wa going to speed and drive here to give us a paper. I asked to cancel and was given he same spiel I was given last week. Basically, give us a chance, we promise you will get the paper Sunday. etc. I told them I wanted to talk to someone from Chicago and he promised someone would call me later in the day. I kept my cell phone with me and no call. Not a surprise. I called this morning, got another person who couldn't pronounce my name or city or street name, started in with the same verbal garbage about giving them another chance and I just said I was tired of it all, I had better things to do with my life than call about a newspaper that wasn't being delivered and no, I didn't want to access it online. My husband wants a real newspaper, he doesn't read things on devices and I wanted the coupons, so cancel. She argued and I told her again I wanted it canceled and the credit to be returned to me. Supposedly it is done. We shall see.

Sunday Musings

March 12th, 2017 at 06:14 pm

Sunday afternoon here in the Midwest. We didn't get the snow they predicted yesterday. It wasn't going to be much, but still glad it missed us. Overall, we haven't had too bad of a winter so far, but we do need some precip. I would just prefer it wasn't snow or ice. Picky, aren't I? There's a chance of snow tomorrow. Fortunately if there is snow, we don't have to go anywhere.

We went to a small town near here (Arthur) for the Home and Garden Show yesterday. Other than the money for gas, we didn't spend anything at the show. We go most years because we like to look at the booths because many of them are Amish businesses. Some of the handiwork is nothing short of amazing. We did stop by the Amish bulk grocery and buy a few things. They were planned. We stopped at a thrift store too, but didn't buy anything.

After church and brunch here at home, I usually pay bills, and update our church's Facebook page and then head over here. It seems like I'm visiting old friends as we keep up with each other.

Not much to report new really. Last night I fixed a pork roast and we will have pulled pork sandwiches from the leftovers for a lunch or two. I also made chicken noodle soup for tonight's supper. I bought some whole chickens on sale about a month ago and fixed one that week and put one in the freezer. It made it's appearance this week for a couple of meals and I used the leftover chicken and broth for the soup we will have tonight and probably for lunch one day this week. I did our weekly grocery shopping on Thursday (one big advantage of being retired) and I planned meals for this week before going. I just can't imagine not planning meals to some degree.

I don't miss packing lunches for work. I would often take leftovers, but I still don't miss that. I have a friend who is always complaining she has no money, but often puts on Facebook where she had lunch. Granted, she hits fast food, but even that can rack up quite a bit if you eat out every day. If she has to work overtime, she moans and groans on Facebook how hungry she is. I really want to tell her to grow up. She knows she has to work overtime on these occasions so why not pack something to heat up or eat later? Guess I'm kind of snarky. I have suggested she read stuff on this site when she has complained about being broke and she informed me she knows how to save money. She might know, but unfortunately she doesn't use that knowledge if her posts about being broke are true. That is the key, isn't it? Use what you know.

The newspaper came out to do a story on the knitting group at church. It is supposed to run sometime this week I think. We are making hats to donate to the public schools next fall. I counted the hats we have made so far on Thursday and we had 70 made. That's pretty good for just a few ladies working together. One lady joked if we keep up this pace, we might be able to adopt a whole school. Wouldn't that be something?

Hope you all have a great week!

Feeling blessed

March 5th, 2017 at 07:42 pm

It's Sunday afternoon and there's a routine around here. We attend church in the morning, come home and have brunch, clean up, and then DH goes to finish the newspaper and I head to the computer. I update our church's Facebook page and then pay bills, then relax by perusing SA blogs. Not a bad routine at all.

After reading folks' blogs and then seeing a gal I went to high school with, I realize both DH and I were very blessed to have the jobs we had for as long as we had. DH graduated college and intended to be a high school history teacher. Well, he didn't coach and in the late 60s and early 70s, that was pretty much an unwritten requirement. He worked a couple of different jobs here and there and then found a job on the public library's bookmobile. He worked there 35 years and loved it. He enjoyed books, liked helping people, and every day was different.

My start was a bit different. I wound up working about 5 different jobs before I was hired full time as a teacher for the public schools. There were times I worked two jobs and did some free lance writing to make money. But, I never forgot what a struggle it was. When I was hired, I remember what my dad told me when I was 16 and getting my first job -- go in early, do more than they expect, give more time, and never stop learning. He said you never want to give your employer a reason to fire you. I realize there are always circumstances beyond one's control, but he was right. I never was fired from a job so I guess I was very fortunate.

As I mentioned, I saw a friend I went to high school with and she just was laid off from her current job. She had hoped to stay with it until she retired at 62, but no such luck. It wasn't too long ago she was laid off from another job because of money problems with the place she worked. They had to cut back and she and a couple of others lost their jobs. I told DH I guess we were really lucky to have the same jobs for over 30 years.

I'm not sure what I would tell someone starting out looking for employment other than to not stop learning. When I was home on break during college, I worked as a reporter for a small newspaper. Back then, there were typesetting machines that you typed into and you saw one line at a time. You had to learn different keys to center stuff and to quad left and so on. One of the typesetters called in sick and the other one asked me if I wanted to come back and learn to fill in. I did with the editor's blessing. It worked out for all of us because when we would get close to deadline, he would put me on the typesetting machine because I could edit and type at the same time when time was short. Back at college I worked part-time for both the publishing company of my college and then for another publishing company which helped me pay for my school. Now typesetting is defunct with all the fancy computers, but because I was willing to learn it helped me finish college with no debt.

Anyway, just thought I'd say I feel very blessed and hope others seeking employment find worthy work of their talents and skills.

Well, Phooey!

March 2nd, 2017 at 08:52 pm

That sums up my feelings right now. I thought digging out DH's old pedometer would save me some money. I don't want to invest in an expensive FitBit or anything. So, I went and got a new battery...DH hasn't used it in years, went through all the trouble to unscrew all those little dinky screws to get it replaced. Then, it took me about a day to figure it out since DH has no idea where the little instructional book is. I finally got it figured out yesterday afternoon and did record some steps. I was all primed today to use it...did my morning exercise, went grocery shopping, and while cleaning, knocked the darn thing off my waist band. I will be giving it a proper funeral in a few minutes after I dissect it to get out the nearly new battery. Well, phooey! No good deed goes unpunished.

Stamping

February 28th, 2017 at 08:24 pm

As I go through some of my desk drawers, I have a bunch of stamps and a few stamp pads. I really used to enjoy stamping things. I never got into it hot and heavy like some, but usually at Christmas I would stamp some Christmas decoration on the envelope, and the same for birthdays and greeting cards.

Just for fun, I priced stamp pads the other day when I was at a sewing center. Holy cow! They have certainly gone up in price since the many years ago I purchased a couple. I also looked at an office supply store and they were cheaper, but they only had black and red.

I still have a couple of stamp pads and I have some ink to refresh one of them so I did that and have been using the stamps on a few of my cards and letters.

I guess I'm a dying breed because I still send birthday cards, sympathy cards, get well cards and even thank you notes. Of course with schools not teaching cursive, people may not even be able to read cursive in a few years. Sad commentary when you think they will not be able to read historical documents like the Declaration of Independence. Anyway, I still write letters to some people and I like embellish the envelopes.

Do you know if folks still enjoy using their stamp pads? I figure since I'm not spending anything, I can still enjoy using them.

Potpourri

February 26th, 2017 at 07:10 pm

This will be a potpourri since I don't have one really important thing to say.

Every so often, we share food with a few of our friends. I enjoy cooking and I enjoy sharing food, even if we can't meet for a meal. We had a surprise this week...someone called and said they had a surprise. They had grilled pork and gave us enough for two meals of pulled pork. Yum!

Someone on Facebook posted about instead of giving up something for Lent, how about collect a plastic bag of stuff to donate each day. That sounds like a great idea, but we have been giving stuff regularly anyway, so I'm thinking maybe of finding something each day to donate instead of 40 bags.

When I retired I joined a group at church called "Stitches of Love." The purpose of the group was to knit and crochet items to donate to various places. In the past they had crocheted lap robes. They recently started working on round knitting looms and made hats. We made hats and I took them to a few schools and they were passed out. It was fine and the schools appreciated them. However, a friend and I decided to adopt a classroom this year and we made hats for the whole class and the teacher and took them in. The kids loved knowing they were made for them. So, I brought this idea to the group and it has been interesting about the reaction. We decided to try and ask other Lutheran churches to join us and suddenly there is a zeal we haven't seen. It is pretty exciting to see people wanting to get involved with this. My DH said it is like we have a new purpose. So, that is kind of cool.

As far as grocery shopping, I've just been buying fresh fruit and vegetables, bread, and dairy. I'm trying to use up things in the freezer and pantry. It has certainly made our grocery bill go down the past few weeks. I have tried to be creative in using some of the stuff too. Hopefully that is a good thing.


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