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Yarn, Reusing, and Gardening

February 25th, 2022 at 08:48 pm

Recently I saw a little plaque that said, "Queen of Yarn." I feel like that sometimes when I look at the yarn I brought home from church. I continue to work on scarves and dish cloths for our Stitches of Love group. We have promised 110 hats and scarves to two non profits for next year, but we will have far more hats than that. Scarves take a little longer to make than hats. The dish cloths will go to a food pantry to put in the Christmas baskets.

Besides the crocheting, I also recovered two other hot pads with the fabric remnants. So, I have three new to me hot pods. I have been saving the bags the newspaper has come in due to bad weather and plan to make a wind sock out of them for the yard. 

Am I the only one delighted when something I buy comes in a glass bottle or jar? I'm so sick of plastic stuff. I recycle everything I can, but I wonder if it truly gets recycled. A lady from church is saving the caps off of plastic bottles to give to some charity that sends them in to make park benches. So, I made a newspaper sleeve to save them in. 

I bought a book at the thrift store today about small gardens. If food prices continue to rise, we may need to plant more things this spring and summer and this book supposedly gives ideas on small area gardening. 

We lost a lot of money in our retirement investments last month. I'm sure this month will be more of the same. Kind of scary how quickly it can drop.

I think if inflation continues as the chance of even more war and conflict, we will need to tighten our belts even more and continue to looks for ways to reuse things and find more reasonable alternatives.

I am praying for Ukraine and our world leaders.

Retirement savings frustration

October 10th, 2021 at 09:26 pm

Years and years ago I started an IRA when I worked a number of part time jobs. None of my jobs would allow me to put in money before taxes, but I saved up and started an IRA on my own. This was before the beautiful thing called a Roth IRA came about. Anyway, I wasn't making much, but decided the fact I was young and compound interest would be my friend.

When I finally got hired full time as a teacher, I went to a financial advisor and we opened a wonderful 403b. We let my IRA money basically alone which was fine. So, after over 30 years, I have made some money on my investment. It isn't huge, less than $10,000, but it is mine.

However, the original company sold out to another company. A few years later that company was bought out. and now in 2021, another company has taken over. This last company, doesn't seem to be a really good one. So, my financial advisor and I decided we would move it to another IRA that I have. Shouldn't be an issue, right?

Wrong! I filled out a bunch of papers and they were sent in and within 24 hours, we were told they were not the right papers, although these were the ones the person on the phone said we needed. So, another batch of paperwork was filled out and then we heard nothing. Finally we called and spoke with someone and they said that they were just getting around to processing the papers. I had to sit in the office with my financial guy as he asked questions (I'm glad he knew what to ask) and then verify everything, and he took copious notes. They thought maybe the money would clear in the next 24 hours, but she wasn't sure. The paperwork itself done by the company was one big mess -- they sent me a statement, but instead of using my Social Security number, they were using the tax number for my financial guy, and had the wrong address. 

I'm happy to report that three months have passed since we first put in to transfer the money and it is no longer with this company. Fortunately  my financial guy knew the questions to ask, and what to do, and called repeatedly. It is scary when you think a big company screwed up the paperwork to begin with and then took almost three months to give me what was rightfully mine. It is now in an IRA where things are done correctly. But wow! 

Taking care of items

January 14th, 2018 at 08:35 pm

Ever hear about you not owning things, but they own you? I think there is a lot of truth to that statement.

I have been working around here the past few days trying to take care of some things. Twice a year I try to use orange oil cleaner on my cabinets since they tend to dry out as well as get dirty from cooking and canning. I always dread doing it since I have to get on a step stool to do the upper cabinets since I'm short, but after I do them all, I'm so pleased with how nice and fresh they look.

The other day it was snowy and really cold out and I noticed my shoes and boots had salt on them from walking outside. So, I cleaned them and then used a special polish on them. One pair I've had a number of years and I think when I went in to buy a new pair of shoes a few months ago, I had them on and the salesman commented how old these were and the fact they still looked like they were in good shape. Apparently cleaning and keeping a protective polish on them helped.

DH decided a few years ago he liked a silver service of a coffee pot, sugar, creamer, and tray and we purchased it at a flea market. It's his service and funny since he doesn't even drink coffee, but I'm the one who gets to keep it polished. As I'm working on it, I'm admiring the beauty of the whole thing. And how much nicer it looks after it is cleaned up.

As we were eating brunch this morning at home, there was a commercial talking about if you had to buy a car and then learned this would be the only car you had for the rest of your life, how would you treat it? It then compared that to your body and how you should take care of it since it is yours for the rest of your life.

I was thinking not only does this apply to our bodies, but also our finances. I know people who are retirement age or nearly there who are saying they wished they had put more money away because they aren't sure how they are going to live or how tough things are right now for them. A couple of people in particular had a chance to have matching 401Ks, but swore they couldn't afford to put money in them. I never had that opportunity, but boy, I wished I had! Neither of these people worked at jobs that paid only minimum wage -- they had good steady work and great benefits. But, they basically piddled their money away all the time complaining they didn't have enough. I truly wonder how they are going to face retirement because both will receive pensions and getting paid once a month might be a struggle since they are of the mindset of "oh, I have money" and then they spend without looking toward the future.

Guess it is wise to take care of things to make sure they last to the best of your ability, whether it be an object, your health, or your finances.

A Busy Week So Far!

July 12th, 2012 at 03:05 pm

It's only Thursday, but I feel like this has been a long, busy week. I'm not complaining by any means, but I'm tired.

Monday we wound up making a couple of trips to the credit union, a bank, then back to the credit union. Last weekend we received the flyer from the credit union stating they had a special account for those folks over 50 that paid a bit more interest. Both of us meet that criteria, so we decided to check it out. Seems one has to open another account within the accounts and put in a mimumum of $1000, but once you open it and keep the money in a couple of weeks, you can let it drop below the $1000. We had the money because with my husband's pension system, in July he receives the "thirteenth check" which is based on how well the investments the pension did over the year. It was for $1004. So, we opened the account to get a bit more interest. While we were there, we learned their money market account was paying .4 as opposed to the .2 we were getting at our bank. I have told DH that it no longer pays to be loyal to a bank. So, we drew out half of what we had in our money market at the bank and deposited it into the credit union's money market. It is insured so we feel safe doing that.

Yesterday we drove to St. Louis to visit one of DH's relatives. We had a nice visit and ate at a microbrewery in St. Charles. It was good. None of us drink beer, but the food was good and decently priced.

Today is errands and DH's allergy shot. I have a pork roast in the Crockpot for supper so that will be yummy and have leftovers as well.

Sad Stock Market Day

August 4th, 2011 at 11:43 pm

My dh was watching the stock market numbers for the last half hour before it closed...dropping almost 513 points...newscasters claimed it was the biggest drop since 2008.

Tomorrow the unemployment numbers come out...I'm wondering if we need to fasten our seatbelt for yet another drop. I hope not, but things are looking grim. We were watching the news and they said veterans who have returned from oversees are coming back and having problems getting jobs. One gal said she has applied for 300 jobs -- she wants to be a chef, but said she'd be happy at a fast food restaurant, just to get a job and her foot in the door.

I hope tomorrow is a better day.