Monday, August 10, 2020

A Busy, Busy Last Few Days

I have been devoting the majority of my time to loading up my eBay store with items.  There is a pile or two of items that still need to get listed and I have been working on whittling down the piles.  July was a slow month on eBay selling wise, but that does not mean I can just sit around.

We also celebrated my granddaughter's 7th birthday this weekend.  Her actual birthday was on Friday and she was thrilled with a coordinated birthday parade from parents of her friends.  Saturday was a BUSY day getting ready for her actual party.  My daughter rented a HUGE blow-up water slide for our backyard.  They arrived at 6:45 AM to set up the water slide so our day started early. 

After the water slide was set up, we were off and running to pick up drinks, chips, and the cake.  Since the weather was HOT and SUNNY, I went to Tractor Supply to buy a belt-driven 36in outdoor fan for the party.  It was not cheap but it was sure worth it when everyone was sitting outside under the metal area and the fan was pushing through the group. 


Sunday was my day to recover from the party and all the work of setting up and then putting things back after it was all over.   I took two naps.  They were awesome.

Physical therapy for my shoulder is going pretty good.  I go twice a week and still do the home exercises.  I go back the end of the month to see the ortho doc and I guess we will decide what if anything to do at the time.


I did repaint my front door from bright safety green to a nice calming shade of blue.   It was time for a change.  Funny, it has been almost one year since I painted the door the safety green color. Last week, I cleaned like company was coming too.  Deep cleaned the bathrooms, bedrooms, and living room.  Just in case the outside birthday party was rained out.  Luckily it was hot and sunny.


 We are headed out for early voting and then back to the house to stay cool.  I have eBay stuff to get cleaned up and start listing when we get back.   I also need to get some more storage boxes for said new listings.  Managing eBay inventory is a bit of a challenge.

How have you all been?  How's the weather where you are? 

Thursday, July 30, 2020

What We Ate So Far This Week

Monday:  I grilled a huge package of chicken breasts that I bought at Aldi.  It was marked $10 regular price with TWO of the $2.00 off coupons so I paid $6.   The breasts were huge!


I also grilled zucchini. I cut off the ends, sliced in quarters brushed with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

So, we did not eat ALL that chicken and grilled zucchini.  I still think I am cooking for 4 adults instead of 2.


After dinner, I shredded the grilled chicken (about three of those breasts) and vacuum packed them in servings of 2 cups and froze them for later use.  Same with the leftover zucchini.



 I have been using my foodsaver more in the last couple of months than I ever have.  Some for leftovers and some for prepping items for the pantry.











Tuesday:  It was a soup kinda night.   The Bear Creek soup mixes are great for when you don't have a lot of time to prepare dinner and they are not that expensive. 


As you can see this is a family size mix that serves 8.  We will be eating leftover soup later this week.






I added more broccoli to the soup.  Before I started the mix, I took out a bag of frozen broccoli from Aldi, sauteed it in garlic and onions with olive oil for a few minutes.


Then I added 8 cups of water to the pot and mixed in the cheddar broccoli soup mix let it simmer for 10 minutes and it was done.





I shredded up some Aldi block cheddar cheese and sprinkled it on top and served with fresh strawberries.  We also had sliced Cuban bread leftover from Sunday night Spaghetti.



Wednesday: Bacon, Eggs and grits.  No pictures.

Tonight:  Leftover Broccoli soup with a small salad. 

Friday night (tomorrow)  It will be a pizza night, we typically get carry out from Lil Ceasers.

My meal planning has changed significantly since my daughter and her family moved out.  I am having to learn to cook for two again instead of 6 and we are eating a bit healthier too.







Sunday, July 26, 2020

It's Quiet Around Here

This is before the organization of pantry
My daughter and her family are all moved into their apartment, it sure is quiet around here. Truth be told,  I am enjoying the peace and quiet. They are still running back and forth to pick up a few items left behind and the grandkids will most likely be back this Saturday night to spend the night.

 I am cleaning out and organizing my pantry.  We did this earlier this year before the pandemic/lockdown started but over time it took on a life if it's own.  My son-in-law and I prepared most of the meals while they were living here, so we both were adding and using stuff without a great deal of organization.  It's going to take a day or two to get it in order and cleaned out properly. 

There are a few things to pack up for eBay today.  Sales have slowed down a bit, maybe it is that time of year.  With all the chaos that has been going on for the last week, I have not really listed anything.  I am still working through the free donations of Noritake china from a co-worker.  I think that will be a slow dime for sure. But with eBay, you never know.




I made Oatmeal Scotchies today while waiting on hubs to fix the mower.   I love using these Silpats, the cookies keep a nice round shape and are easy to remove. The mower died right when
I started and it seems it needs a wire or something repaired before I can get back to it.  He went to the hardware store to get the wire and said it shouldn't take long, so I decided to bake a few cookies while I waited.


They were pretty tasty! 













Thursday, July 16, 2020

A Few Changes and Updates

Things are changing a bit around here.  My daughter and her family are moving out and getting a
Gary and Midge 
three-bedroom apartment for their family. This makes me happy as now the grandkids will each have their own bedroom. One is a pre-teen boy and a 7-year-old gabby girl.  They definitely need their own room.

I will miss seeing the kiddos daily but it is time for them to move on.  Truth be told, I am okay with it.  Currently, we are in a semi-state of chaos as boxes are being packed, toys are being evaluated to see if they are going with or going to the trash. There is also school shopping to get done before the move, even if it ends up being virtual, the kiddos need new clothes and school supplies.

My daughter has picked up a few extra shifts at the hospital to help with moving expenses so her time is limited to get things done.  We also have our granddaughter's 7th birthday to plan the first week of August. It will be here because we have a yard and pool for whoever wants to come over and social distance with us.

My physical therapy has been going pretty good.  The exercises seem to be improving my range of motion and strength. The pain after the therapy does me in for a bit but a cold pack and ibuprofen help with that.  I have been doing the home exercises as well.  The last thing I want is to have surgery. 

When all the dust settles after the kids move out, I can finish the painting of my bedroom and start the living room. Before the end of the year, we are going to purchase new living room furniture.  What we have now is a hodgepodge of stuff and is wearing out so, comfortable it is not. 


How was your week?


Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Transfer Tuesday


                     

Hello Tuesday!  This is the day that we make an extra effort to pay down our debt.  Most every Tuesday we apply extra cash (whether it be BIG or small) to our outstanding debt.  This helps keeps us aware of and accountable for our debt. And it all makes a difference.

My last Transfer Tuesday was June 16th


Previous balance  $78,142.20
  • $1000.00 payment from eBay earnings( includes payment of $285 for the monthly bill)
New balance     $77,427.20

When we started paying down the debt in Sept 2019 we were at $95,853.00

My inspiration for Transfer Tuesday is Pennies Not Perfection

We have had several medical bills, the hubs had cataract surgery on both eyes, ($3500.00) I had an MRI on my shoulder ($385.00) Perscriptions for hubs eyes pre and post-surgery ($250.00) Ortho office visits ($80.00) I think that is it.  

I pulled more money from eBay savings and some from an RMD payout from last year.  The bills are all paid and let's hope that is it for now :-)


eBay is slowing down a bit, but there are still some sales happening.  I am still working on listing the Noritake that was given to me by a friend.  Free is always good.

There is lots to get done today, mow the yard, pack up a few things for eBay, clean bathroom, and work on eBay shelves in the garage.  There is plenty more to get done, but that is it for now.


Sidenote:  I looked for an hour for the airchuck to blow up the mower tires.  It was not where it was supposed to be and luckily my son in law had one in his truck.  Good grief, I finally got the mower ready to go and was able to mow about half the front yard, and here come the rains.  Now the yard looks sketch and I am over it for today lol.


This may be my favorite Crepe Myrtle this year.  I love this color!

Friday, July 3, 2020

Turning 60 and MRI results

Yesterday I turned the big 60, stepping into a new decade and looking to simplify life, plan for
retirement, and not to take stuff so seriously. 

It was a great day, with calls from family, text messages, FB messages from friends and family too.  My daughter took us out for dinner at Red Lobster, there was social distancing in place at the restaurant.  Tables and booths were spaced accordingly.   Dinner was delicious and was followed up by Raspberry Delight cake from Publix.  It is a tasty cake BUT super-rich.  A little bit goes a long way.


Earlier in the day, I went to my appointment to get the results of my shoulder MRI.  The doc said a lot, but basically, my shoulder does not need surgery at this time.  He said the muscles need to be built up to strengthen the shoulder and this would reduce pain.  He also gave me a Cortisone shot in the shoulder (OUCH) and ordered physical therapy.

The physical therapy office is next door to his office, so I went over there and set up my first appointment for next Wednesday. I am willing to give it a go to avoid surgery.  After a month of therapy, I go back to the Ortho Doc and then we decide if I had enough therapy, or I need more therapy,  with the last resort is an arthroscopic surgery called a decompression. I will have to look that up.

Today I went to Aldi and picked up a few things, mostly produce and butter.  They were super busy!
They were only allowing a certain amount of people in at a time.   Here is a pic of those shoppers waiting for their turn to go inside.

When we go to Publix, this is not the case. As of yet, they allow however many shoppers in the store. 

What are your plans for the Fourth?  We are staying home, my daughter loves to spend money on Fireworks and no doubt this year will not be any different.

It will probably pretty much be just us, maybe our oldest son will join us, but if not that's cool. 
It will be HOT and HUMID which is no surprise. At least we can take refuge in the pool.  But even some days it is too hot to go swimming.

Next week, bills will be paid, money will be shuffled around to make payments on CC that were used for the hubs medical bills, my MRI test bill, and now my upcoming physical therapy. I just don't have the energy to do that today.  In fact, a nap sounds like a good idea right about now. :-)



Have a Happy Fourth!








Tuesday, June 30, 2020

It Is HOT Here

It is soooo Hot here that staying inside seems like the best and only option. The heat index has been in the 100's and there is little if any rain to break up the hot days.  I guess I am getting to an age where I cannot take this heat.


Last Friday I had the MRI of my right shoulder.  The appointment went well except for the pain of the actual test.  The positioning of me, my shoulder and the device clamped to my right shoulder and then shoved into the MRI tube made for a painful experience.  I had to request we stop to reposition once and that helped only a little bit.  After the exam which was only 20 minutes, I immediately left the MRI room and went into the patient bathroom and threw up from the pain.  Follow up with the Ortho Doc is this Thursday. 

Yesterday, I took the hubs to his cataract surgery on his second eye.  We were up at 3:30 AM so we could get ready and leave here by 5:00 AM for his 6:00 appointment.  Same as the first time, they let him in the facility but I had to wait outside in the car for 2 hours.  Luckily it was early and only moderately hot outside.  Now that both of his eyes are done, we can move on to scheduling both of our colonoscopies. This is the year of getting medical procedures done, I guess.

Today we go back to the eye doc for a follow-up check on hubs eye.  After that, I will clean what I can around the house.  The shoulder pain is limiting what I can do and what I want to do.  Mostly just the basics are getting attended to. I take breaks to rest and ice my shoulder. 

This weekend, I picked up a carload of vintage Noritake china from a friend for free.  Her mom was a dealer in Noritake and after her mom's death, they had to close out her estate, sell her home which also had a  separate building FULL of Noritake china. My friend loaded all she could and took it to her house, ( her son said they left at least 20,000 pieces behind) and sell it for a $1.00 apiece.

Well, that was last year, and this year she gave me what was leftover for free.  I managed to list about 50 pieces this weekend with probably 100 more pieces to list sitting in my garage. 


 Cue the theme to Sandford and Son.


Going back to bed  before I HAVE to get up and take the hubs to town for his eye re-check.  Have a fantastic Tuesday!

Monday, June 22, 2020

Monday and a Loaf of Bread


It was a productive weekend around here.  Saturday, I was able to get all the linens washed, the living room, kitchen, and dining room swept and mopped and all the clothes that were clean in the basket put away. 


Sunday, I was  able to use my new to me breadmaker. I found this breadmaker at the GoodWill for $5.00.  It is a Toastmaster TBR15  and comes with a horizontal bread pan that makes both 1 pound and 1 1/2 pound loaves.


Our local stores have not had bread flour, so I ordered it fro WalMart.com. ( Come to find out, I also ordered bread flour  from Amazon as well...oops) Oh, and yeast was not on the shelves either so I had to order that from Amazon.


 The breadmaker did not come with directions/recipes, so I ordered a recipe book specific to this breadmaker.

It was easy enough to throw the ingredients in the pan and push the button and let the machine do all the work. I forgot just how good it smells when you have bread baking in your breadmaker/oven.  It is the best!


My husband and I  taste-tested the loaf after it cooled off but was still warm. If we didn't have family coming over for a Father's Day cookout, we could have made a meal just on the loaf of bread and butter.




Yesterday, the grown kids passed by for hamburgers and hotdogs to celebrate Father's Day.  It is always nice when you can get all of your kids together to celebrate and visit.  Along with hamburgers and hotdogs, we had baked beans, coleslaw, and my granddaughter made a devil's food cake for dessert.

My granddaughter is 6, so she was supervised while she made the cake.  She reads the directions and can follow them pretty well, but she still needs someone to sorta double check when it comes to using a measuring cup.  Her favorite part is licking the beaters and the bowl. That could be my favorite part too!




Time to start the day.  There is always something to do and its time to be productive.  It's going to be another hot one, I am going to try to get the yard mowed but that has been on my list for almost a week.  I guess letting it go to seed it more of a positive way of looking at it. 

I enjoy mowing the yard, but since my shoulder is so jacked up it is not near as much fun.  My husband said he would do it, but the control freak in me won't let him.   I know, I need to let that go. I just can't lol.

Hope your Monday is FABULOUS!






If you were curious, I posted my eBay numbers from last week HERE

Saturday, June 20, 2020

The Health Department Called

The health department called yesterday to let me know the results of my Covoid-19 antibodies test I took on May 28th.  I was in Publix picking up BOGO peanut butter when the call came.



 I walked over to the Pharmacy waiting area to hopefully get a better signal and to find out the results. After confirming my identity I was informed that I was negative for the Covoid-19 virus antibodies. Well, there you go.





The CV-19 numbers are going up quick in Central Florida. Talk is Florida is the new Hot Spot for the virus. Is that because some of the theme parks are open?  Universal, SeaWorld, and I think Busch Gardens is open.



Disney is slated to open mid-July.   When that happens, there will be a high influx of out of state visitors headed to the parks.  Chances are they won't be self quarantining if they are from states with high CV-19 numbers.

MAR 8, 2020 HAUNTED MANSION LAST VISIT BEFORE DISNEY CLOSED



People are itching to get back into the Disney parks.   I like Disney, but having to wear a mask in the heat and humidity is just not something I am going to do.


 It is hot enough without a mask. And with out of state and out of country visitors thrown in the mix, I think we will wait until the numbers start going down.

 In Orlando and the county, it is located in, starting today, masks are mandatory.  The county we live in is a little more hard-headed and I don't see the county requiring mandatory masks for us.


Friday was slated for rain, I was going to mow in the AM but the clouds said otherwise.  Then in the early afternoon, the sun came out! The grass did not get mowed because it was too dang hot.


I ended up listing a few items on eBay, packed up a couple of things, and put up a few things into eBay storage. After dinner, it did finally rain and luckily it was enough to soak the yard and all the plants.  It also cooled it off to a comfortable temp so that is was enjoyable to walk Cricket.



What's on the list for today?

  • mow the yard
  • wash bed linens
  • pick up Father's Day card for hubs
  • start painting the trim in bedroom 

Always lots to do!   Happy Saturday!








Thursday, June 18, 2020

Dr Appointment Update and a List

Cricket, our Papillion She runs the house.
Monday we were up at 4 AM to take the hubs to his cataract appointment in Orlando, the
appointment was at 6:30.  They checked him in car side,( take temp, fill out Covoid 19 questionnaire, etc), and then when it was his turn they came out the parking lot to walk him in.  They did not allow companions inside to wait, so the parking lot was full of cars with significant others waiting on their people.

All in all, he was inside for about 2 hours, and when he was done I was instructed to drive around the back and pick him up.  He was rolled out in a wheelchair, we loaded him up and the headed back to the house.  He said the procedure was painless and that even after the procedure, he did not experience much pain.  The next day we were up early again to take the hubs back for a re-check of his eye.  Everything looked good the doc said, and we count the hub's cataract surgery on his right eye was a success.  On the 29th of June, we will do it all over again for his left eye.

I am counting down the days until I can get my MRI of my shoulder on the 26th.  At first, I was dreading the thought of possible surgery.  NOW, I will do just about anything to alleviate the pain. Sleep is sketchy and the pain is increasing.

Earlier this morning I had a nice phone chat with the new financial planner advisor at PERSONAL CAPITAL. As I stated before, I moved the inherited IRA from a fee-based planner to a fiduciary planner.   He answered all my questions regarding the move of the account and where it will put us at retirement. (This is available if you allow them to manage your accounts for a percentage).

I have been using the  FREE Personal Capital app and website to track everything financial in my life, Bank accounts, saving and checking the HELOC, The CD's, Credit Cards, Retirement Accounts, everything.  The FREE tools included is an investment check-up,  spending analysis, and retirement analyzer. It is a hand app to have on your phone if you are like me and tend to check accounts daily.  This way, the info is all in one place. And it is FREE.
THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT THE APP IS LIKE

PERSONAL CAPITAL is offering each new customer who links an investment account a $50 bonus and I will get a $50 bonus as well.  Remember, this tracks all your accounts, and it is FREE.  You do not have to buy anything.


The rest of the day will be devoted to accomplishing the following: 

  • packing up eBay stuff
  • sweeping and mopping the living room 
  • going to Publix for BOGO peanut butter
  • maybe mow the yard

How is your Thursday going? 





Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Transfer Tuesday




Hello Tuesday!  This is the day that we make an extra effort to pay down our debt.  Most every Tuesday we apply extra cash (whether it be BIG or small) to our outstanding debt.  This helps keeps us aware of and accountable for our debt. And it all makes a difference.

My last Transfer Tuesday was April 28th.  May was a busy and emotional month.  I was working with the grandkids and their distance learning, dropping off their work to the school, going to school to pick up free lunches twice a week.

Then our bulldog Princess became super sick and I was running her to different vets to seek treatment for a condition that turned out to be too advanced to treat.  We had to help her crossover the rainbow bridge and THAT was so hard.  Gah.

So here it is mid June and time to get back on track and post about our progress.

Previous Balance $79,157.65
  • Payment of $48.35 CC rewards
  • Payment of $1000.00 from eBay earnings.
New Balance $78,142.20

Just for a little perspective, when I started to focus on paying down the HELOC, we started 12/15/19 with a balance of $84,630.00. This is a $6487.80 REDUCTION in the balance.  Our goal is to reduce the HELOC balance by $20,000.00 this year. Only $13,512.20 to go!


We still have a ways to go, and there are some upcoming medical bills to pay which may slow down our progress.  But, small and slow progress is better than NO progress.









Monday, June 15, 2020

Pineapple Upside Down Dump Cake

We love our sweets!  Yesterday, I put together a Pineapple Upside Down Dump Cake.  The recipe is loosely based on one I had for a slow cooker, but we did not want to wait for our cake.

This is the end result! 


Here are the ingredients you will need for this delicious and easy dessert.



  • 3/4 cup butter, divided
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 jar (6 ounces) maraschino cherries, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted (optional)
  • 1 can (20 ounces) unsweetened pineapple tidbits or crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1 package yellow or white cake mix (regular size)

Directions: 
1.  In a microwave, melt 1/2 cup butter, stir in brown sugar. Spread evenly onto bottom of 13 x9 pans. 
2.  Sprinkle with cherries and the optional toasted pecans.  (we did not have pecans and it was fine) 
3. Top with pineapple and pineapple juice from the can.
4. Sprinkle with the dry cake mix. 
5.  Melt remaining butter ( I sliced it super thin) and drizzle or place over the top of the cake. 
6.  Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes based on your oven and location. 

Next time I will add more butter on the top.  The crust was a little powdery in some places.  But overall, you can't go wrong with a dump cake, and this one certainly is delicious. 








  • I

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Cheers

Here is the last gift I will receive from my previous Fee-Based Financial Planner. We were sent an email asking what kind of wine we wanted, White, Red, or Bubbly.  I picked bubbly. We were also asked to join in on a zoom type meeting. Obviously, that's not going to happen.

  They were always big on inviting their clients to "events".  This included expensive dinners so they could talk about what they are doing for "us". 

They also use to send Christmas gifts which were usually fancy cookies.  That changed in the last couple of years, now they send a card thanking us for donating to whatever cause they picked for the year. 

It will be interesting to see how the change to a fiduciary planner will play out.


It is early, early, early, Saturday morning and I am up because my shoulder is throbbing.  I took some Advil, had some coffee, and am using an icepack to quell the pain.  I must have slept wrong or something.  I am hoping to get the pain under control and either go back to bed or at least take a nap today. 

I have stuff to do today and it's all the usual stuff.  Laundry, pack up eBay stuff, list eBay stuff, but first I am going to try to get some more sleep.

Have a great Saturday!