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Archive for February, 2020

So much for a no spend day

February 25th, 2020 at 03:21 pm

When we purchased our last vehicle three years ago, we bought a package that provided so many oil changes, so many detail jobs, free tire rotation, and points to save up to get cash, plus the privilege of a loaner if we needed it. A few months ago I had an issue and was pretty upset and the guy at the service department said since I didn't want the loaner, they would bring me the car when it was done. It's a nice service and we paid for it upfront and have gotten what we feel is our money's worth.

Well, today we were supposed to take my husband's vehicle to the place for a detail. No money out of pocket since it was part of the package. Except, when we got there, they were looking over the vehicle and pointed out that we had a nail in our tire so close to the sidewall that it could not be repaired. It has to be fixed, of course. I'm not doubting that. But so much for a no spend day.

In Illinois we pay extra gas tax and it is supposed to be used for fixing our roads and maintenance as well. Well, I'm not seeing a lot of fixing or maintaining and there's always a lot of junk on the roads. It's one thing to pay an extra tax for something and get something back, but I don't feel like we are getting our money's worth. Grrr

Using up, making do

February 23rd, 2020 at 09:17 pm

I've been trying to use up stuff from the freezer and pantry and only buying things we use each week like milk, eggs, fresh fruit, and bread. I know it has made a big difference in our past few grocery bills plus we are using what we already had. Once a week it is what I call buffet night where we have a little of this and little of that from previous meals. I just hate to see food go to waste so it's a good way to clean out the fridge.

Although we don't live in a flood plain, we bought flood insurance last year and this year's premium came due. So, I'm trying to cut back on spending a little bit on other stuff so it doesn't make our checkbook balance go down far too much. DH read that so many places have had floods that have never had the problem before and regular home owner's insurance doesn't cover it. I really feel insurance poor some days, but hopefully we will never have to use any of it.

I continue to work on hats and scarves for my church's knitting group. We haven't been able to meet for the past couple of months because every time we have a meeting planned, we've gotten snow or ice. So, I work on stuff at home. Another church gave us a bunch of crochet cotton so a couple of us are also making dish cloths. I made 125 of them last year to donate to a local food pantry for them to put on their line for people to take if they wanted them. I used leftover yarn for them and someone had given me some crochet cotton too. Hopefully with the three of us making them, we can have about 300 made for Christmas baskets this year. I know it isn't a big thing, but a new dishcloth is kind of nice.

I had purchased some yarn and it is very thin. My fault -- I didn't look closely. It would take three strands to make a hat or scarf. So, I've sort of put it to the side. Well, I was browsing Pinterest which I swear is dangerous. I saw a knitting loom pattern to make a market bag which is one that isn't totally solid. So, I followed the pattern and have made two, using up this thinner yarn. I am thinking maybe I can make these for gifts to add to packages for Christmas. They go quickly and don't take a lot of storage so maybe this is something someone could use. Plus, another use for the yarn.

I did crochet myself a doily out of some crochet thread I had purchased a few years ago at at thrift store. I have made 4 book marks out of the remainder of the thread. One more thing I used up.

And an update: A couple of weekends ago I talked about the neighbor girl and her mom letting her play sports with a 103.5 fever. Sadly, the girl wound up in the hospital for almost a week not only because of the fever, but she couldn't move her arms and legs and ached all over. She's home now, but I can't even imagine the pain and expense that caused. Plus, the fact she could have infected everyone else she came in contact with.

Go away, snow!

February 16th, 2020 at 08:43 pm

It's 40 and sunny. The snow we received earlier in the week is starting to melt so we can see the brown, crunchy stuff we call grass.


It's been sort of a tough winter here in Central Illinois. We've had snow, ice, and below zero wind chills. Then there is the gloom.

Fortunately we have not had the snow storms I remember having in the 1970s. A couple of times they had so much snow pile up, our three lane street in the downtown became a two lane one as they plowed the snow into the center lane as a large wall because there wasn't any place to put it. In high school I think we spent more time at home a couple of years than we did going to school We either had a snow day or early dismissal. I honestly don't miss those kind of winters.

A friend asked me last week, why do we stay here in Illinois? Good question. I can't imagine living anywhere else. I grew up here. I met my husband here. We own our home and have our friends, church, doctors, etc. here. Unless the Illinois legislature continues to add more taxes, the cost of living is probably pretty decent. They've been tax happy and we've had quite a few added. Hopefully it won't get much more expensive.

I'm just glad we didn't have enough bad weather to cause us to lose power, be homebound for weeks, or get in an accident. The beauty of being retired is we don't have to get out to go to work and if it is slick we often choose to stay in until the roads are better. We figure those people who have to be out don't need us clogging up the streets and getting in their way.

The ongoing joke is when the weather forecasters call for snow, the grocery stores are mobbed, and we have had photos showing the empty racks of bread, milk, and eggs. Seriously? I could see if we were going to have a storm that lasts days, but lately we haven't, and I don't get the whole milk, bread, and egg rush. If you aren't using this stuff normally, why the zealous desire for it now? I can only imagine they are making a lot of French toast or something! Perhaps the grocery stores pay the weather folks so they have a "run" on stuff.

Well, I'm glad that white stuff is going away. I know in the movies it's always magic when it starts to snow. What would be magic is having someone come shovel my driveway when it builds up.

So, go away, snow!

A Sports Rant

February 9th, 2020 at 08:29 pm

I'm starting this with a disclaimer...I'm not a sports person. Don't beat me up over this, OK? I know people like different sports. I think in many cases sports can be a great thing. But it seems like it is being taken to an extreme.

OK, now that I've explained that, this is my rant. I know people like sports. I get that is interests them and it is entertainment. But I worry that sports has taken over.

I grouse often on the weekend because a sports program will run over and the program I want to watch is either delayed or not shown at all. We only get two local news on Saturdays and Sundays, one at prime time, and then one at ten. Heaven help us if there is a sports program on in the afternoon and another in the evening and then there is no news. Yes, I know, I can catch the national/world news online. But our local station doesn't broadcast theirs online if there's a sports program.

Then there's the issue of how sports events seem to take priority over family things. A friend's mother died and her daughter-in-law and granddaughter couldn't attend the funeral because there was a game the granddaughter played in. The athlete's mom is now bragging how her daughter is playing with 103.5 fever. I bet the other players and parents are thrilled to hear that. Why has sports become so all consuming?

My husband likes to watch sports. I do not. I don't deny him that pleasure. I get that people like to watch, participate, and talk sports. A number of years ago a pastor at a church we used to attend would bring up a sports reference in every sermon. I nicely told him that not everyone cared for sports and perhaps he should vary it to keep the interest of those of us who aren't interested. Being the know it all that he was, he said everyone liked sports. There were times when he referenced something in a football game that I had to ask my husband to explain after church. Needless to say I didn't get much out of that sermon.

It's like sports has become a religion. Guess I'm a nonbeliever.

Thanks for letting me rant.

Mystery Solved! (I think!)

February 6th, 2020 at 08:24 pm

OK, maybe I'm being a little optimistic. Maybe it isn't solved, but I'm thinking it might be.

What mystery, you query?

Well, it's a personal one for me. I have been messing around with genealogy for the past few years. One thing I did know is my maternal grandmother, some of her siblings, and her parents came to America in May of 1902. I kept searching the year to see if there had been an issue in or around 1902 as to why they left England. No war, both World Wars happened after that.

Last night, just for grins, I used Google and typed in my great grandfather's name yet again and a document popped up. Seemed he and a business partner were in arrears for payments for their restaurant. I found two other documents basically saying the same thing, just a few months apart.

So, it may have been finances that drove them to sail across the ocean and settle here not knowing anyone.

It is starting to all make sense. My dad said his mom didn't know how to cook or clean and had to learn once they were in the U.S. I have found documents that verify that the family had a live in servant. Why they wound up in Georgia is beyond me, but that's where they lived for awhile and then came to Illinois after my dad was born. I still don't know how my grandmother met my grandfather who was from Illinois. And of course when she moved here, so did one brother and one sister as well as her parents.

What a find.

I had to share since we talk money and finances.