Thursday, November 30, 2023

Had to Shop for Auto Insurance

 We recently received our 6-month auto insurance bill from GEICO.  Surprise!  It was a 20% increase in

the bill.  After that shock, I shopped around locally for auto insurance based on what I researched from the Word Of Mouth pages (local to me) on FaceBook. 

A call to a local State Farm office saved us $800 a year. Shocker.  The policy is the same as the one at GEICO and we were able to bundle our homeowners insurance in the package too.  Unfortunately, we could not get a policy from them for the rental ( my deceased parents' home).  That home still has insurance just through another agent.  It is difficult to get coverage for a home in Florida built in the late 1960's.  The insurance companies want the houses up to the current code ( related to hurricanes) and those strict building codes did not start until 2002. 

We are enjoying fantastic weather. The temps are in the 40s in the AM but quickly warm up to about 60 degrees.  I have been able to open up the house and air it out which does not happen very often at all.  We are expecting it to warm up to the 80s again at the end of the week. Crazy weather.  

There are a couple of things I still need to get looked at regarding the house.  The garage door opener is glitchy and has been for at least a year and the pool light works intermittently.  I am hoping to get both of those looked at before the end of the year.  I have YouTubed how to fix the garage door, but have yet to find a solution.  Regarding the pool light, I am hoping my electrician sons can help me to get that fixed. They are both soooo busy with their jobs and lives that it is hard to work that in. 

Monday, November 27, 2023

Menu Plan Monday - How Went Last Week Plans for This Week

Here is what we were supposed to have last week. Most days were successful.  Friday and Sunday were days we ate carry-out food.  I typically budget $50 a paycheck for eating out and we pretty much spent it all.  I was dealing with an upset tummy on  Friday and on Sunday we were finishing up projects on our to-do list.  I just got lazy lol. 

One of our projects was replacing a panel on the oven door.  The adhesive had somehow worn out along the bottom of the outer cover and when you would open the door, it would wobble.  Annoying.  

I ordered the replacement with the help of a local appliance repair business.  With the help of YouTube, we were able to remove the door and my husband was able to replace the panel and we were back in business.  There was a glitch in getting the door back on the oven, but more YouTube research helped that process.  

 Since the oven door was off, I went ahead and did a quick cleaning of the oven.  I removed the racks and
started them soaking with vinegar and Dawn.  Then I wiped the oven down and sprayed it with GooGone oven cleaner.  The GooGone was basically odor-free and did a fairly decent job of cleaning and removing most of the gunk on the inside of the oven.  I am putting a reminder in my phone to clean out the oven next year about this time with the link to the YT video that we found most helpful for removing and putting the oven door back on. 

Oh, and let's not forget how junky and crumb-filled the bottom drawer was. Disgusting! 


  • Monday - Roast in the crockpot.  I have had this roast in the freezer for a LONG time.  Will add potatoes and carrots 
  • Tuesday - Leftovers. Maybe.  If not, then Sliced Ham and air fryer potatoes with broccoli
  • Wednesday - Pulled pork sandwiches with sauce.  Coleslaw
  • Thursday - Thanksgiving at family.  We will probably eat sandwiches or hot dogs in the evening. Depends on how hungry we are..
  • Friday - Pizza    Chick Fil A ( stomach was still upset)
  • Saturday - Frozen fish triangles with Mac and Cheese ( Kraft blue box)
  • Sunday -  Crockpot Taco Hashbrown Casserole     Take Out Pizza


  • Monday - Sliced Ham and sweet potatoes.
  • Tuesday - Spaghetti Casserole 
  • Wednesday - Breakfast for dinner
  • Thursday - Hamburgers
  • Friday -      Grilled Cheese and Soup
  • Saturday - Air Fryer Chicken Breast and Large Chef Salad
  • Sunday -  Crockpot Taco Hashbrown casserole   Going to try to actually make it this
  •  time.

As I was walking this morning I already thought of a few different things we can eat this week. If I change anything I will post it. I did get 1.3 miles in this morning.  It is dreary but the weather is nice and cool.  Can't complain. 

Did you stay on track with your menu plans last week?  Are you eating any Thanksgiving leftovers this week? 

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Saturday Check In

Thanksgiving did not go as planned. We were invited to our daughter's in-laws for a Turkey feast and I was really looking forward to it. About 30 minutes before we were supposed to leave, my stomach was not feeling great, and decided that I had to stay home. 

 I encouraged my husband to go on without me, but he declined.  He stayed home and ate a turkey 
sandwich.  Luckily, my inlaws sent over food with my daughter for us.  My husband was able to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal and I made myself some plain spaghetti with butter.  That was about all my stomach could handle. 

The rest of the evening was uneventful with regard to my stomach issues, but I really did not tempt the fates by eating anything else. 

Black Friday came and went.  I did order a new comforter from Belk to take advantage of the Black Friday pricing, but I did not venture out into the shopping chaos. Most gifts have been bought already and the rest of the gifts will be gift cards or cash. 

I did venture out to the local thrift store to drop off items, but one was closed and one was not accepting donations after noon.  This was one of the few occasions that I did not need to go to the grocery store for something.  Leading up to Thanksgiving I felt like I was at the store every day! I was finishing up an Ibotta deal and then I got hooked on Ibotta and felt like I had to get more "deals".  Vicious circle lol. 

My stomach is better but not 100%.  I hope that today (Saturday) there will be a vast improvement.  
Regardless, I will try to get a few things done.  When I go back to the thrift store to drop off items, I will probably go in and see what they have.  I am looking for craft stamps, and sometimes you can find them in the bags they hang on the wall. 

  • Morning walk
  • Drop off items at the thrift store
  • Finish putting up Christmas decorations
  • Decide what is for dinner
  • Vacuum and dust master bedroom
  • Work on decluttering the computer room
  • Continue to pull together estate papers.  
The weather is cool but with that, we are not seeing the sun as it is overcast and gloomy.  I am okay with that as it will help the electric bill.  This morning it is 56 degrees with a high of 74 degrees. 

How is the weather where you are? Did you go out and shop Black Friday deals?

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Menu Plan Monday

 I run hot and cold on menu/meal planning.  Here's to getting back on track. Again.

  • Monday - Roast in the crockpot.  I have had this roast in the freezer for a LONG time.  Will add potatoes and carrots
  • Tuesday - Leftovers. Maybe.  If not, then Sliced Ham and air fryer potatoes with broccoli
  • Wednesday - Pulled pork sandwiches with sauce.  Coleslaw
  • Thursday - Thanksgiving at family.  We will probably eat sandwiches or hot dogs in the evening. Depends on how hungry we are..
  • Friday - Pizza
  • Saturday - Frozen fish triangles with Mac and Cheese ( Kraft blue box)
  • Sunday -  Crockpot Taco Hashbrown casserole

What's cooking at your house this week?  

What Are You Doing for Thanksgiving?

This Thanksgiving we are invited to my daughter's inlaws home.  I love that I don't have to cook a big meal and am only required to bring a dessert ( or whatever else is needed).  The days of prepping a huge Thanksgiving dinner for 17 to 20 people are done for me.  I look back when I did do the big meal thing and it was at a time when I was working full time and commuting an hour daily round trip. What was I thinking lol? 

My children are grown and in their 40's.  You would think I could go to their house for Thanksgiving.  My daughter does not cook.  She always said since she was a little girl that she never wanted to cook and that she would find a man who would cook.  And that she did.  

My middle son does have a BIG neighborhood Thanksgiving dinner celebration.  We have attended on a couple of occasions and have enjoyed ourselves.  We try to rotate between my son and my daughter's in laws for Thanksgiving. 

My oldest son will either come with us to the in-laws or he and his girlfriend will celebrate at their home. He works A LOT and he may be working some of the holiday weekend.  

We will all get together for Christmas dinner at our home.  I will fix dinner and entertain the masses then. We don't exchange gifts but I do put together a huge saran wrap ball that is filled with assorted gift cards and small dollar tree gifts.  The total amount for the gift cards will be about $400. You get what you get. 

What pleases me is that my grown kids are happy in their lives and careers.  I can pick up the phone and chat with them and catch up.  And they can do the same.  I am GRATEFUL that we are still on the same page as a family and are not divided by disagreements or significant others. 

That is the best gift for me as a mom.  The love and support of my family. I pray it continues. 

Today I will be cleaning out a couple of kitchen cabinets that are long overdue.  These cabinets hold the meds and supplements for us.  I am not on any maintenance meds but I do take supplements when I remember. My husband is on a couple of maintenance meds and lots of supplements. 

Happy Sunday!


Friday, November 17, 2023

Friday Check In

 It has been an absolutely dreary week with endless rain and no sun.  There is a tropical depression that has invaded South Florida and we are reaping the after effects of that storm.  Hurricane season is ending with a bang, that's for sure. 

For the last week, I have successfully walked at least a mile every day, even in the rain lol.  It has been good for me physically and mentally. While walking, I plan my day and come up with a mental to do list.  The challenge is to remember what I came up with and get it done. 

I write down what I can recall and try to get most of that done through out the day.  Today on the list is:

  • Order the last of the Christmas gifts from Amazon
  • Order new curtains from WalMart.  ( I will pay the shipping, I do not want to GO to WalMart at all)
  • Organize Estate documents. ( This is ongoing and I try to do a little every day or so)
  • Start wrapping the few gifts that have arrived.
  • Work on my desk and clean out a spot for me.   Started it.
  • Figure out what is for dinner tonight
  • Plan what is for dinner for the next few nights
  • Finish up Christmas decorating inside the house
  • Vacuum and wash floor in TV room. ( I like to just deep clean one room at a time)
I may run to the Thrift Store and see what they have.  Last month I closed down my eBay store and have had a couple of resellers come over and buy what they want.  I am done with reselling and all that it involves. 

But, I still like to go to the thrift store and look around.  :-)

Have a great weekend! 

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Checking Back In

 It has been MONTHS since I last posted.  

I have been checking in now and again to read my favorite
bloggers and have kept up for the most part.  I have just been busy with thrifting and reselling and YouTube.  I have a thrifting YouTube channel and now a cash stuffing/budgeting YouTube channel.  Strange, right?  

The budgeting channel evolved from researching budgeting for retirement, then I got sucked in to the YouTube rabbit hole of cash stuffing and budgeting.  I am happy to report that using cash for many of our transactions has been helpful in tracking the money. I feel confident that we will be okay financially when the hubs steps down to part time with benefits and then eventually retires. 

Other than that, I have been just keeping up with the regular stuff.  I was given a 6 month supply of Qzempic for weight loss and it was successful.  Then insurance denied the refills. And the weight loss has stalled and now I have gained a few pounds back. 

We are currently in the middle of a bathroom renovation, we are doing the tear out and hubs is rebuilding a couple of walls and will be doing the drywall as well.  We contracted out for the tile work. It is still not cheap, but considerably better than the first quote we got at $20,000.  Good grief. 

I think that is it in a nutshell for now.  I will leave the link for the thrifting channel: HappyGirlThrift

and the cash stuffing channel: Figuring Out Retirement

I am still busy with the grandkids, but they are getting older and are starting to do their own thing.  They are just super busy.  I do get to  pick them up from the bus one a week and we will go out to grab a bite and or shop for a few things. 

We have not been to Disney, passes expired probably 2-3 years ago.  Going there with the kiddos was the most fun, for sure. 

My grown kids are all well, everyone is working and have the lives that they want for the most part.  Which is a blessing.   

Thanks for reading this long overdue post, and I will check in more often.  

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Tuesday This and That

 Follow up on my check-up with the nurse practitioner and my metformin for weight loss journey. The
scale does not lie, there was no change in my weight.  I have been monitoring my caloric intake and going to the gym three days a week for weight training. Maybe I am building muscle?  

 She wants to continue the metformin for 6 weeks with an increase in dosage to 1000mg per day. We are trying to build a case for the Ozempic injection for insulin resistance/weight loss and appeal the decision by insurance.  Insurance declined it initially.  It being Ozempic. 

We did pick up the stuff from the online auction. The drive is about two hours round trip. We are able to take back roads and enjoy the scenery which is still very rural.  The small town where the auction house is located is struggling, with many buildings listed for sale.  It seems their primary employer is the large county jail that is adjacent to the small town. 

 At first look, most of it will be saleable. There are a few items that will go straight back to the thrift store. Most of which are home decor items, that are mass-produced for stores like Hobby Lobby, etc. I am going to start listing the remainder of the items today.  It will take me several days to get through all the stuff. 

The dove that was hanging out in the pole barn was actually sitting on two eggs, the baby doves are now sharing the nest with their momma. This is the second set of hatchlings this year for this same spot.  

Hubs is going to see the pain management doctor at the end of the week.  Hopefully, it will be a noninvasive fix for him and he can get back to his old self and back to work.  I have given him my TENS unit that I used before my rotator cuff surgery and we bought him a back brace belt that was recommended.  He has used neither. I ask him if he is going to and his response is yes, tomorrow. 

The grandkids are going back to school in a couple of weeks, summer for them has flown by.  I am taking my granddaughter to the movies today for a fun day out. Last Saturday, I took my grandson out thrifting.  He really enjoys going and looking for video games and stuff.  Lucky kid, he always finds something!

Hope you have a great Tuesday!

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Wednesday, Online Auction, Gym Time

 Time just gets away from me! I am still staying busy with tackling daily lists and running around the grandkids.  They are getting older so any time I get with them ( even if it is chauffeuring them from point A to point B) is good enough for me. 

Early morning walk with Cricket 
Yesterday, I met up with to former coworkers for a brunch at a biscuit joint. This is the second year we met for brunch since I left my position pre-covid 2019.  We bonded as teacher assistants in an elementary school that (we felt) treated teacher assistants as second-class employees.  The grunts.  That being said,
budgets have been cut so severely that there are so few teacher assistants, and now only for ESE students, mainstream teachers are getting the short end of the stick. Brunch was really good as was the company.  I really enjoy these ladies. 

My gym time has been consistent for the last 4 weeks.  This has a lot to do with my husband being home with his back injury.  I miss having the house to myself lol, and getting up at 4:30 to go to the gym, walking the dog, and spending time on the porch drinking coffee  (by myself) and enjoying the crows keeps me grounded. His being home and not really able to do all the things he wants to do is frustrating for him and for me. I know, this shall pass too. 

I am still not able to remember where I put the new spray nozzle for the hose.  It has got to be here somewhere.  I have been cleaning out my eBay room and putting together a bag of stuff that will be going back to the thrift store. I was also able to throw out some things which I know won't sell or are not fit for the thrift store.  

On the other hand, I will be going to an auction house to pick up several lots I won via an online auction. Did I get carried away? Yes.  Do I need to NOT do an online auction for a few weeks?  Also yes.  Each lot starts out at $5.00 and for the most part, you can typically win with just a $5.00 bid.  The quantity of items in each lot varies. I won a tea set that was made in Japan for $5, and another lot was 20 Horror DVD's for $5.  

Today I am headed to see the NP to follow up on the Metformin for weight loss. I have not got on the scale as I can get carried away with daily weigh-ins.  I also need to decide today if I want to sign up for online counseling, I am still feeling "stuck" and lack the ability to move on with a couple of issues.  The weight gain and LACK of counseling most likely go hand in hand.  

Off to get the day started!

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Wednesday, Heat Index, No List, Crows

I have an appointment in Orlando this AM, so my list for today will be brief.  Also, it is going to be too hot to do much of anything outside. 

There were a couple of things that did not get accomplished yesterday, I just ran out of steam.  I will add those to tomorrow's list and see how it goes. 

I decided against making strawberry syrup from the tops of the strawberries.  I have plenty of strawberry freezer jam for a very long time.  Hubs tried it last night and thought it was SUPER SWEET ( it is) and made a face and added in a Yuck for effect.  

Whatever. I still like it and it looks like I will be the only one enjoying it. A little bit at a time because it is so sweet lol. 

It's the second day of Amazon Prime days, I really have not found anything I cannot live without. I do need to order more sneakers for myself and I will do that later today.  There was something else but I can't remember it right now.  

The crows came in to eat this morning.  They typically come in a group of four. The mockingbirds are still mad at them and try to attack them.  

The bird in the middle is the mockingbird buzzing by the crows. 

Not much else.  Time to hit the road and head south. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Hawk, Freezer Jam, and Another List

 Had lunch with my middle son for my birthday.  We live in the same county but are still an hour away from each other.  This is an elongated county with a HUGE LAKE  that you always have to go around in order for us to see the middle son and his family.   It is so nice to spend time with grown children one on one.  No spouses, no grandkids.  Precious time for me. 

We have a hawk that hangs around our street.  He is usually on the powerlines and just hangs around hunting for his next meal.  

The other day, the hawk stopped by and perched on our broken-down fire pit and then spent time in the bird bath. I suspect he was waiting for the smaller squirrels that run up and down the trees in the yard. He hung out for about 5 minutes, and of course, the crows were long gone. 

 Yesterday was a busy day, I did get a lot of things accomplished. I started a new list for today both here and on my phone. Maybe I need to make a shorter list, as I don't quit until I finish every last thing on the list. 

List for Tuesday: 

  • Gym 45 minutes
  • Walk Cricket
  • Plant more garlic ( instead of throwing it away)
  • list three things on eBay
  • Start cleaning fence panels ( may take all summer)
  • move rain lilies before moving rocks
  • Need to move more rocks 
  • run to Target for watermelon ( we eat watermelon every night)
  • Dust living room 
  • vitamins  
Yesterday, I did make strawberry freezer jam.  I overestimated the number of strawberries I would need, so I ended up making two batches of freezer jam  12 pints and I still have two containers of fresh strawberries left.  

I may just freeze them whole and vacuum seal them for later or maybe make a cake or pick up some shortcake for strawberry shortcake.  We don't need the calories, but it still sounds pretty good. 

I did save the tops of the strawberries so I can make strawberry syrup for later. I saw several recipes for this on TikTok. Part of making the syrup includes water bath canning it for long-term storage. I have to pick up more jars while I am at Target.   This is new for me, so I will keep you posted.  TikTok creators say it is very easy... Ok.

We have been spending quite a bit on medical appt copays, most are specialists and the appt is $40.  So far this month, hubs has spent 180 on copays alone.  In a way, this is good for us as we need to learn to budget better for these costs.  In the past, it was not such a concern, but as we get older it seems to be something we will need to plan better for. 

We are still waiting on the result of hubs colonoscopy, he has a history of polyps. They should show up in his patient portal any day now.  He is still struggling with his back/leg pain (pinched nerves) but is able to get around better than last week.  He is still out on leave from work, it is so strange to have him home all day.  That is why I get up at 5 AM to start my day.  I have about 4 hours to myself until he gets up.  And it is nice to putter around the yard and garden in the AM before it gets too darn hot. 

Today I am picking up my granddaughter from gymnastics again. I have to set an alarm on my phone as a reminder to leave on time and not be late. My grandson is feeling cruddy, according to his mom, he has been running a temp for a couple of days and now is experiencing cold sores on his mouth. Hopefully, he is on the mend. 

Have you ever made strawberry syrup from strawberry tops?  


Monday, July 11, 2022

Weekly Menu and a Daily List

Here is a list of possible meals for us this week.  The meals can switch days but this will help me stay accountable and hopefully out of the grocery stores for random shopping which is so easy to do. 

Except I still want to make freezer jam as Publix has strawberries on sale for $.99 cents per 16oz and I will need
sugar and SurGel. I do have the jars, so there is that.  That is all I did pick up.  Spent $13.05 on 5 packs of strawberries, Certo and sugar. 

 Monday: eggs, air fried potatoes sausage patties

Tuesday: Grilled chicken breast, salad with fixins

Wednesday: Crock Pot Ravoli

Thursday: Soup and sandwich Hot dogs and tater tots instead

Friday: Pulled Pork and tater tots Chick Fil A 

Saturday: Turkey ( I have a whole frozen turkey to defrost and do something with) 

Sunday: Frozen Pizza ( on sale at Publix which I still need to pick up before the ad changes. )

I do better when I write things down and then have something to refer to later on and I can change this menu up If I find something hiding in the freezer. 

Today my to-do list includes going to the 

  • gym
  • planting garlic ( cloves that have started to sprout)
  • paying bills
  • cleaning a rolling shelf rack in the garage
  • listing at least three things on eBay
  • make strawberry freezer jam (will let you know how it goes lol)
  • wash and put up clothes
  • vitamins
  • give dog a bath 
I will also be picking up my granddaughter from her gymnastics camp. That is always a pleasure, she is the apple of our eye.

Hope your Monday is fabulous!