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Monday Musings

November 4th, 2019 at 02:48 pm

This works out to be a very busy week. Today was running a couple of errands and DH having his pre op appointment for his second cataract surgery. For the first eye, we had to pay $1500 for a special lens. Today the eye doctor said he didn't think this eye would need it. We had the money saved, but I can't say I'm super disappointed. I had taken the money out of savings and transferred to checking so we would have it. I'm glad some of it will be returned to savings.

A friend of mine is a local reporter and she was complaining that she has a very long day tomorrow and won't be able to get anything for supper. After I retired, I had given her one of those ceramic mugs with a plastic lid to microwave soup. She said that between her running for different meetings she wouldn't be able to even do that. So, I suggested heating some soup up and putting in a Thermos. The issue is they only have one Thermos and her husband uses it. I had a couple, one is a wide mouth one, so we took them to her so she can heat up her soup tomorrow before she leaves for work and have it tomorrow afternoon before she sets off to her many meetings. I gave her a regular mouth one too so if she wants to take coffee or tea at some point, she can. I have been blessed that I had these things and I'm more than happy to help her out. The nice thing is she was grateful. Plus, it gives me an excuse to get a couple of things out my cabinets because I know they will be put to good use.

This afternoon I baked two sheet cakes. One is a belated birthday cake for DH. Someone had made him fancy decorated cookies, so I told him I would make him a cake later. The other is for church for a funeral dinner. I cleaned house today and other than cleaning the bathrooms, and doing a couple more loads of laundry. that is done for the week. DH worked in the yard and put away the hoses so they didn't freeze. It's supposed to get really cold by the end of the week.

Tomorrow we drop off the cake for the dinner and fill all the candles around the altar. I also plan on making my grocery lists. I will be baking soon for our bazaar and I'm trying to stock up on stuff a little bit at a time so it isn't one big bite at the grocery store. A friend is going to have knee surgery and she asked if we could bring her some yarn from the supply at church to make hats, so we will do that Wednesday when we grocery shop. I also offered to pick up stuff at the store for her as well.

On Thursday we will make our first delivery of hats to one of the schools. It is supposed to get really cold at the end of this week with a chance of snow on Thursday so it might be a very timely delivery.

Right now Friday is pretty open. I'm sure something will come up. Saturday is our long anticipated "Gone with the Wind" Supper. We were going to have it earlier, but then one of the couples had some things come up. The nice thing with this group is we like fixing food and eating together and it is far cheaper than going out.

So, it is a busy week, but a good busy. I'm glad to have the bulk of the cleaning done. No one says I have to have it done by a certain time, but I do fret over it. I try to keep things pretty tidy and dust even if it doesn't look really dusty so things don't get real bad. I vacuum the floors at least once a week and then use one of those squirt mops on the hardwood and vinyl. It's scary how much dirt two people with no pets drag in.

Frost, Shopping, and the Weatherman

October 13th, 2019 at 11:21 am

We have a new weatherman for our local station and I think he believes he is entertaining. I do not need to be entertained when watching the weather...I want the forecast basically, but he likes to think he's clever. Well, Mr. Clever kept saying we were not going to have a frost Friday night. DH happened to go outside Friday evening and came in and said he believed it would frost. So, here we are out with a flash light so he can pick bell peppers and Rosemary in case it did frost. I picked a few tomatoes that were starting to ripen just in case. Fortunately we had picked a majority of the herbs earlier that we wanted to dry.

Well, it did frost. It wasn't a killing freeze, but some of the herbs got it as well as some of the other plants and flowers. DH normally pulls up stuff when they predict a frost because he doesn't like dealing with the plants that get kind of soft and slimy after. That stupid weatherman was wrong and he assured us in the viewing area we would not have a frost. Glad DH was smart enough to go check.

We did go to an outdoor market yesterday that is about an hour and half away from us. It is in Morris, Illinois, along the Illinois-Michigan Canal. We also like to visit the downtown of Morris and go through the shops. It wasn't a huge spend day. We bought an acorn squash from the Morris FFA for $1 and some cinnamon rolls for our breakfast this morning as well as a cupcake from the local bakery to enjoy there. I had taken a Thermos of hot tea with us since it was a bit chilly and that was a nice treat. It was basically just a trip to get us out and about. I liked looking at the booths. I noticed that some had some knitting and crocheted items and I like looking at them.

When we came home I took some vegetable soup that I had in the freezer and heated that up for our supper and made herb cheesy biscuits. Not a super big spend day and we had a nice time.

I noticed that someone had posted that Christmas is 74 days away as of yesterday. I'm already thinking about all the cookies I need to bake for our church bazaar the first Saturday in December. Yikes! Most of my Christmas shopping is finished. DH picked out some clothes from Lands End that he wanted and they sent an email with a huge percentage off just that day so I took advantage of it.

DH will probably be pulling up the rest of the plants this afternoon. It supposed to warm up later this week, but you never know when the frost will be, especially with this weather man!

Requests For Money

October 8th, 2019 at 08:48 am

Between the robo calls and the mailings, we must be considered rich because they are so many requests for money. I was tricked last week, there was a name on the caller ID I recognized and I answered it, only to be spoofed. Grrr.

I normally don't answer the phone when I don't recognize the number, but this one got me. I politely declined, asked that our name be taken off the list, and hung up. Grrr.

I know this makes me sound selfish, but I'm about ready to quit giving to anything because if you do, they apparently sell your name to others and then you get more requests. Egad.

If the charity sends envelopes with postage paid, I am now sending back a note asking to be taken off their lists. I guess some of these organizations are given money just for the sending out for requests, but to be honest, I'm tired of the constant begging. There are lots of charities out there that do great work, but we cannot give to all. Then, of course, there are those are scams.

We do support certain charities, both national and local, but we can't give to them all. When do they stop sending them out? I know my mother-in-law and my mom kept getting requests even after they died for a year or so.

I'm easily amused

October 6th, 2019 at 12:26 pm

I loved Lucky Robin's latest blog title, "Blah, blah, blah! because I too struggle with coming up with something witty and creative and I'm often unsuccessful at both!

My husband loves his garden and his yard and is so frustrated that we have a squirrel (or more than one!) who has eaten tomatoes and dug holes in the yard. So, I've watched DH chase the squirrel around the yard. Talk about cheap entertainment! I bet that squirrel thinks my husband is a crazy man.

We went to a downsizing estate sale at a really fancy house yesterday. DH did find a beautiful history book for $2 and I was entertained with seeing this lovely home and all its room and fancy furnishings. When I was growing up, my dad drilled into me I needed to get an education so I could get a good job. Our guidance counselor was no help -- he told all the girls in high school they were too stupid to go to college and to become secretaries. I didn't mention he was the football coach and that's all he really wanted to do. I told DH when I was in high school and had no one who had gone to college in the family, that I didn't realize there were many careers for women besides teaching, nursing, and secretarial besides factory work (our town had major industry at this time.) I wonder if I had chosen a different career that paid more if my life would have been way different.

Last night I peeked at SA and could hardly wait for today when I could read the blog posts and catch up with my SA friends. So glad we are back even if entries were lost.

It isn't super cool, but cooler than it has been and I'm looking forward to chili tonight. I pulled some out of the freezer.

Ah, the joys of being easily amused!



111 Books and counting

October 4th, 2019 at 12:59 pm

I just finished John Grisham's "The Reckoning" and it is the 111th book I've read so far this year. I enjoy Grisham's court novels and this one did not disappoint. I am not going to spoil the story, but it showed how some people's decisions can effect others even when they don't think it will.

I think that is true in real life as well. How many of us had been involved in an auto accident through no fault of our own?

I joined Goodreads awhile ago and it suggests you set a goal for the year. I have to chuckle about it. My goal was 100 and I met it. They sent me an email last week and said I should check some of my friends' posts for encouragement. Really?!? I surpassed my goal.

Not a whole lot to report money wise. We did hit the thrift stores and I found 4 blouses that were like new and a new kitchen towel. The blouses were marked $4, $5, $5, and $6 and they were name brand, and when I took it to the cashier, she recognized us since we come in about every week, and said, I'm marking them all $4. That was a nice surprise. The kitchen towel has a goofy looking turkey on it and although I didn't need it, I wanted it to hang on my stove's handle. It amused me and cost a buck and tax. This thrift store is kind of high end so I imagine the towel was probably more expensive than what I paid for it.

I will be happy when the city finishes the parking lot at the library. Right now it is a pain to get in because there is little to no parking. I will be happy to get more books and not struggle to find a parking place. I see where John Grisham has a new one coming out. I liked his page on Facebook and I see where he left one of his books in one of those "free little libraries" in one of the cities he was traveling to. I bet someone got a nice surprise. Do you have a favorite author? He is one of mine, but I also like some of the cozy mystery authors like Laura Childs, Amanda Fluke, and Diana Mott Davidson.

Go Away, Murphy!

April 2nd, 2019 at 12:13 pm

Murphy apparently thought we invited him for an extended stay. He can leave at any time. Nothing super major, but nothing minor either.

A few weeks ago DH noticed he has a low tire pressure. He thought it was from the constant temperature changes so he filled it up. But, it kept going down, slowly.

So, we made an appointment at a tire place to get it checked. I took it in since he had was supposed to volunteer at a class. The guy said the vehicle was done and it was $62 and some change. I asked incredulously "to fix a tire?" He said they didn't fix a tire, but changed the oil and rotated them. I was chagrined to say the least because we had just had the oil changed and tires rotated three weeks before and they should have noticed that when they went to put the sticker there. I said we didn't ask for that, but to check a tire. He asked did I still want them to check the tire? I wanted to make a snarky remark at this point, but held back and said that was the real reason we brought the vehicle in.

So what should have taken 30 minutes according to the original estimate appointment time was over 2 hours. He acted like he was doing me a favor for not charging me for anything, but I had news for him, I wasn't paying for the oil change and tire rotation since I didn't order it.

And the tire still has a leak. Grrr.

Then a couple of weeks ago my headlight burnt out and it cost over $450 to replace.

Now our 8 year old dishwasher has decided to leak. Not truly unexpected because we've read that appliances don't last long and 8-10 years is a typical lifespan and I use my dish washer a lot since we eat at home a lot. At least it didn't ruin the kitchen flooring.

So, for awhile I'm going to do all dishes by hand why we figure out our next step. I imagine a new one will be on the horizon. I can live without one, but it just didn't come at a good time. A lot of our normal expenses came due last month and this month like homeowner's insurance, car insurance, home health care insurance, and then I had a big bout with Vertigo. Couldn't see my doctor so had to see an Express Care and then do a follow up with my doctor. Fortunately, the Vertigo was short lived, but still an added expense.

I think Murphy has overstayed his welcome!

Busy Tuesday

March 26th, 2019 at 08:50 am

Today has been a busy place at our homestead. Three different folks came by. One was for the annual termite inspection. Glad that is over with. One was a guy to measure for a new storm door. And the other was for a painter to do some small projects. All of these items come from our home maintenance savings account. Looking forward to having some things fixed up or touched up.

Yesterday I had a bad bout of Vertigo. Very scary, and glad today I'm better. I did go see the Express Care place to make sure and she gave me some medicine. It made me sleepy, but at least I'm not dizzy.

Started some laundry and we also have to go fill the candles at church. No expenses today so that's good.

It is sunny so maybe spring is starting to wend its way.

A great afternoon for a cup of tea and a book

March 21st, 2019 at 11:49 am

Here it is the official second day of spring (first full day if you want to be accurate) and it is gloomy and cool. I'd say cold, but I guess 41 is a lot warmer than it has been this winter.

One of my favorite things to do is go to the library and we did. I returned 4 books and checked out 5. So, after I finish here, I'm going to go back to reading.

Amber asked for a list of books I've read so far and here it is:

Title & Author
The Christmas Wedding James Patterson and Richard DiLallo
The Skeleton in the Closet M.C. Beaton
Amish Promises Leslie Gould
Amish Sweethearts Leslie Gould
Standing in the Rainbow Fannie Flagg
This is the year I put my Financial Life in Order John Schwartz
The Next Millionaire Next Door Thomas J. Stanley and Sarah Stanley Fallaw
Christmas Cake Murder Joanne Fluke
Plum Tea Crazy Laura Childs
A Highland Christmas M.C. Beaton
Agatha Raisin and the Day the Floods Came M.C. Beaton
Raspberry Danish Murder Joanne Fluke
The Dead Ringer M.C. Beaton
An Amish Family Reunion Mary Ellis
Waking Up in Dixie Haywood Smith
A Plain Man Mary Ellis
Agatha Raisin and the Busy Body M.C. Beaton
A Christmas by the Sea Melody Carlson
The Essential Tea Companion Kim Waller
Winter in Paradise Elin Hilderbrand
You Don't Own Me (#6 Under Suspcion) Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke
As the Pig Turns M.C. Beaton
Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener M.C. Beaton
The Blood of an Englisman M.C. Beaton
Winter Stroll Elin Hilderbrand
Winter Solstice Elin Hilderbrand

I tend to get on an author and try to read everything they have. I did the same with Grisham, except for his non legal ones. I also tend to like the Amish fiction because sometimes I need something easy, even if it is predictable.


I finally finished up all the teas that were given to me that I wasn't particularly fond of and I did splurge and buy a box that was a holiday tea that was on sale. It is a sugar cookie flavor and it has a hint of it and is a nice change when I don't want regular tea. Today is just plain hot tea and I'm getting adventurous and having some with some milk.

There is something immensely gratifying about having a cup of tea in a china tea cup and saucer and have a pot of tea brewed. I've done the mug and tea bag bit too, but every once in awhile I like to treat myself to a fancy tea cup and a pot of tea. I collect blue willow dishes. Well, I should say I have collected. I won't buy anymore because I have more than enough, so I have plenty of tea cups and saucers as well as tea pots. Why have these things if I don't use them?

I have always wanted to go to a real tea room and have a pot of tea specially brewed, but never had that opportunity. There is an author by the name of Laura Childs who writes a mystery series based in Charleston, S.C. and the owner of the tea shop solves mysteries. Every time I read one of her novels, it makes me wish I could go to a real tea room.

Potpourri

March 18th, 2019 at 07:58 am

First, I want to thank everyone who responded about my last entry. I appreciate the support. I guess I'm sensitive, but it really bothers me when someone posts hurtful comments. One thing I wonder is, does this person or persons realize that those of us who wrote the blog can see their email? And if so, do they know you can research who they are by the email? Anyway, I appreciate the support of those of you who kindly responded.

It was an expensive week last week. My headlight went out and knowing how car places work, we made an appointment to get it replaced. I guess with modern cars, you almost have to take the darn thing apart to get to the headlight. It was high density and the cost was $455 for the very expensive bulb and the hour and a half it took to replace it. Yikes! We had the money in savings so that wasn't the case, but it sure is hard to part with it. A friend teased me I could have just opened the car window and used a flashlight. Now, that would have been a sight, and I'm sure the police would not have found that a bit amusing.

Also in the expenses was the home care insurance policy for DH. Fortunately we have not had to use it, but It seems the spring is fraught with lots of insurance since we have homeowner's, home care, flood, and then both car insurances coming due. Again, we have the money, but it is tough seeing it go out at such a fast pace.

We did get our taxes done. We didn't have to pay either the feds or the state, but not sure about next year. I say this every year, but I honestly feel like if you live below your means and you save and are honest, the tax laws really zing you.

One thing that wasn't as expensive was groceries. We bought some fresh fruit and vegetables and some milk, but we ate from the freezer and pantry which helped a lot. We tend to have a couple of weeks of large grocery bills and then a couple of weeks of cheaper ones. I like it when Kroger has a buy one get one free when it comes to meat because I take advantage of it and then freeze one for later consumption. Guess it evens out. Tonight I'm going to use some chicken and I'm going to trim it and use it and some chicken I have in the freezer that I did the same with and make some chicken broth. I like keeping it on hand to make chicken and noodles as well as soups.

DH and I continue to make good use of the library. I have read 24 books so far in 2019. According to the library receipt, I have "saved" $855.27 by using the library. It looks good at least. I know we get our tax money's worth out of the library anyway.

It looks like spring is finally coming here in Central Illinois. It has been a harsh winter. DH spent part of the weekend working in the yard cutting back stuff that he didn't get to in the fall. He said all the garlic he planted is starting to come up and some of the herbs that come back each year are showing they want to come back. Yay! I'm ready for homegrown stuff. I know we have enjoyed using the stuff I canned this winter.

Hope you have a delightful week and can find some economical ways in your days!


What do you think?

March 11th, 2019 at 08:17 am

I feel like I've gotten a lot done already this morning. Emptied the dishwasher, exercised, cleaned up, read a magazine so I can return it and my other large pile of things to the library, and wrote a letter. I like days like this when I get quite a bit done early.

I noticed that there is someone who sometimes comments on my blogs and they are not very nice comments. Either that person is really cranky or someone who wants to comment and then start something. I deleted the last comment. I notice when I get an email, I get an email address for them. I sort of wonder if this is their way of capturing our email addresses to send spam. It seems in the past when I've done that, I get a bunch of spam from a different website. What do you think?