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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Whole House Generator Start Up Fail

 We  purchased a whole house generator maybe two years ago, and quite possibly it could be three years
ago.   Anyway, yesterday, the gas company came out to make the final connections from the gas line to the generator. 


After he completed what he had to do, the hubs and my son ( an electrician) and via the phone my other son ( an electrician - he installed the generator to the house) did the actual start-up on the generator.  It did not go well. 


When the power was shut off in the house, the generator should recognize this and after a minute (to make sure it is not just a quick power flash) will kick in and run to power the whole house.  This is the perfect example of what should occur. 

What actually happened, is that after multiple attempts by the generator to kick on and sustain power to the house ( which it could not) is that half of the light bulbs in the house blew.  A power strip that was connected to the main TV, Internet, and Home security, started to smoke. Which means it did its job and protected the items plugged into it.  But, the smokey smell was definitely concerning. 

The electrician son that was here ran several scenarios in his brain as to what the frick was going on. The electrician son on the phone ( who installed it) was in a panic as to what was going wrong.  The rest of us were sitting in a hot house sweating ( 94 degrees yesterday) while they were trying all the tricks of the trade to get the generator online and functioning properly. 

After about an hour the generator was taken offline, the house was back on regular power and that is when we figured out the more light bulbs took the hit and died. We did get a new power strip for the main TV, Internet and Security system. 

Fast forward to this morning, I am getting bone broth out of our freezer side of the fridge in the kitchen and the floor is wet, and all the frozen stuff in the freezer is starting to defrost.  Luckily, we have another fridge in the garage.  I shoved all I could out of this freezer into that freezer and what did not fit, went over to my daughter's fridge/freezer.  

It could be worse, ALL the appliances could have been fried. What is going to happen is that the one son electrician who may or may not have crossed a couple of wires is sending out a generator expert to see what is actually going on with this generator. We should have answers and be back online Thursday.  Hopefully. 


How was your Tuesday?  Do you have any experience with a whole house generator?



Monday, April 25, 2022

Weekend with the Grands

The weekend was busy, we had the grandkiddos and they spent the night Saturday night.  When they

Cricket surveying her yard. 

come over, we had a plan in place.  We need a plan, things to do for them so they don't sit around and flounder and get bored. 

Target was our first stop, the kids had a budget of $25 each to spend.  We ended up spending about $30 dollars each. It could have been much worse because we tend to give in pretty easily.  The next stop was a comic book store.  I have never been to a comic book store and it was an experience to be sure.  If you watched The Big Bang, well, then you pretty much know. 

 Lots of comic books, interesting sci-fi decor, and a variety of customers similar to the clientele on Big Bang.  We did spend about $30 for everyone to get what they wanted.  Next was dinner.  We ended up at the drive-through at Wendy's.  We tried to go into the dining room, but that was locked. It was a drive-through only.  Ordering for 4 people with different wants at a drive-through is quite an experience.  For the most part, we all got what we wanted. 

Afterward, we headed home and watched the kids play out back with their new Nerf guns.  The weather was perfect, cool with a nice breeze.  We did play games when we came in, the kids got their baths, had a snack, and eventually fell asleep around 10:30.

Sunday, the kids and I went to church and Sunday School, and afterward, I dropped them off at their house and I came home and took a two-hour nap. Dinner was take-out pizza.  We were wiped out lol.

This week we are both home, hubs is off for a week and a half.  Lots of things to get done around here, the list is growing and never ending. Tomorrow, the plumbers are coming to re-pipe the house.  A necessary evil so we can get a better home insurance policy. Honestly, I am not even sure what the policy will cost us, I can only get through one huge event at a time. 






Friday, April 22, 2022

Another Milestone In The Books

 Two weeks ago I submitted my last bit of paperwork to the Florida State Retirement System to initiate
my monthly payments.  Now, my retirement is a mere pittance, as my time as an employee in the school system was MANY years ago when I was making maybe $6.00 an hour.  I know, BIG money.  It may buy a tank or two of gas for our truck. 

The day-to-day around here does not vary too much.  I get up early, check eBay orders and eBay email, and pack up orders if there are any.  Spot clean and pick up around the house, run errands, and maybe hit up a thrift store. I did renew my eBay store subscription for another year, and I think this will be my last year selling online.  My store will be having lots of sales to reduce inventory. 

I have been purging and getting rid of stuff daily.  It may be little things or a couple of big things.  The goal is to move or rehome 5 items a day.  This week I am going through old photo books that my mom had.  They are mostly photos of hers while she was a young woman transitioning from living and growing up on a farm to her life in the service. 

With the purge, I have been going through my mom's jewelry.  My dad bought her necklaces and bracelets that she never wore. She was not a big fan of jewelry, she only wore a watch, not even her wedding rings. I distributed a few pieces to my kids, well the ones that wanted any of the pieces. The rest I will sell.  In fact, I already sold her 10k gold class ring at a local pawn shop.  It was my first time in a pawn shop and I was nervous.  But the transaction went fine and I will be going back. 

I posted of few of the pics on her hometown Facebook page to see if any family members of the people in the pics wanted the pics.  A few did and I mailed those out.  The rest of the album is going to the town library, they reached out and asked for it.  They will use it to document the history of the people and of the village. The town or village she grew up in has consistently had a population of around 600 -700 (maybe a bit less today) but the residents are passionate about their history. 

Today's agenda:  

Pack up a couple of eBay orders

Purge a few items   Taking to Thrift store Monday. They are not accepting donations today.

Vacuum and Mop kitchen floor

Run to the post office. 

That's enough for now lol

Hope your day is awesome!









Wednesday, December 8, 2021

It's Official

 Yep, it's official.  I submitted my "retired status" to the ultrasound licensing board, ARDMS, and I have
officially closed that chapter of my life.  To be honest, the door was pretty much shut for the last couple of years.  I have not scanned a patient or stepped on a college campus as an adjunct.  It feels pretty good.  I have always entertained the idea of going back to actively scanning but that is as far as it got.  It was always a thought, not an actual action. 

Now what?  Pretty much the same as before.  I will continue to work on my online reselling business and I may, just maybe pick up a part-time job after the holidays to supplement our income.  There is money in ultrasound, but I am not able to handle the stress of the job.  Who knows?? I may not be able to handle the stress of any job anymore.

 This morning I am working on the pile of mail that accumulates on the counter.  It was definitely getting out of control. Most of the pile is going into the trash as junk mail and filler material from actual bills.  I still like getting paper billing notices even though I monitor all of my accounts online.  Maybe that is the old school in me.  I did see where our auto insurance is going up $30 a month.  That is motivation to see what else is out there.  I think I can bundle my auto with my homeowners and save a few bucks.  I will need to follow up with our agent. 

The rest of the day is filled with wrapping up a few gifts, prepping more graham cracker houses so the kiddos can decorate them this weekend.  I am meeting a Sunday School friend for lunch downtown.  I am so lucky to be in this class, they are a mature group of ladies with so much wisdom to share about life.  I love them all so much.  

They have filled the gap of losing my mother 9 years ago.  Mom was more about her than me, and with the help of my SS ladies, I have learned to let go of some of that resentment towards my mom.  The rest of the resentment and healing will have to come from therapy.  Which I will be starting again soon. So there is that. 

Time to pack up eBay packages and get them to the Post Office.  

Have a great day and be good to yourself. 


Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Transfer Tuesday December 7, 2021

 


 


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

Our only debt is a HELOC with an interest rate of 2.24% The minimum monthly payment goes towards the PRINCIPAL and the INTEREST.   I am chipping away at the balance until we sell my deceased mom's house that is currently being used as a rental. At that point, we will pay off the rest of the balance.  Until then, I will be sending in payment to this debt and/or to my taxable investment account every Tuesday. 


MONEY MOVES THIS WEEK


Previous balance on last Transfer Tuesday Post    $63,806.00
 Finance Charge: $117.24

New Balance: $63,996.18
Minimum Amount Due: $247.49

Minimum Payment: $247.49

eBay gross earnings  10%     $32.00     

New HELOC Balance:   $63,526.51

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

Short Term Savings: Our short-term savings account is a "Keep the Change" account.  BOA will round up debit purchases and send the round up amount to the savings account.  The account previously was a little over $1300.00.  When we bought out our phone contract, we needed to spend $300 to cancel the account and move it over to Spectrum for a much lower monthly bill. 

Invest:  M1finance account which I have named our future vehicle replacement fund.  The balance is currently $3798.32

We are sending $200 from recent sales that have taken place on different platforms to include Etsy, Mercari, and eBay to this account which will bring the balance up to $3998.32.  As this is a taxable brokerage account the balance will fluctuate.  


How was your Transfer Tuesday? 


My inspiration for Transfer Tuesday is Pennies Not Perfection



Sunday, December 5, 2021

Sunday Stuff and the Season

Every ornament I own is on this 3 ft tree.  lol. 
 The holidays tend to scratch that itch that is depression.  Why is that?  Memories of past Christmases when loved ones were still here and the kids were little?  Maybe.  Or is it the drudgery of getting through another Christmas making sure that it is enjoyable for everyone? Maybe that too. 

The decorations are up, I think all the presents are bought, and Christmas Eve lunch is planned. Now what? Certainly, there are underlying issues that need to be brought to light.  It could be the holiday blues so it is best to wait on that until the New Year.  

Yesterday I dropped off eBay packages at the Post Office, hit up a local Thrift Store, and then went to Target.  Target was busy, they actually had more than 2 cashiers working, at least 10  were ringing up customers which was nice. 

I made chicken and dumplings last night, and magic cookie bars.  Talk about a carb coma evening.  The hubs loves chicken and dumplings, he ate two bowls and took a bowl to work today.  It's not on our regular rotation as far as regular meals, but when he asks for it, I will make it. 

Have you watched "Dopesick" on Hulu? It stars Michael Keaton as a small-town doctor in the Appalachian mountains and the introduction of Oxycontin to the nation as a "non-addictive "pain reliever. It is a fascinating look into the all-encompassing addiction process associated with Oxycontin.  I definitely recommend it.  

Today will be catching up with all the clean clothes that need to be put away, listing a few things on eBay, packing up a few things that sold and hitting up Goodwill and see what we can find for color of the day deals. 

Enjoy your Sunday and find your joy!


Thursday, December 2, 2021

Thursday Happenings

 The last few weeks have been busy, busy, busy.  I have been adding listings to my eBay store 5 days a
week.  If you sell on eBay, you know putting listings together can take a little bit of time especially if the item requires research on what it is, what it is worth, etc. 

eBay slowed down considerably since October following one of their updates. I was so convinced that I would meet my goal of grossing $32,000 this year based on earlier monthly sales.  There is still one month left this year, so we will see how it goes. 

Transfer Tuesday is still happening, even though I am consistently inconsistent with weekly posts about the transactions that take place.  Don't think I will meet my goal of paying it down to $49,000 this year either.  That's fine, it will eventually be paid off with the sale of my deceased parent's home.  That date has not been set.  It's complicated because I kinda let it get to that point.   

I am still walking 3-4 times a week, but I had to stop the Pilates classes.  There were expensive, and eBay was too slow to support the cost of the classes.  Maybe next year I can go back.  Meanwhile, I do go to the gym with the hubs 3 times a week. 

Christmas shopping is 95% complete. Is it under budget?  No, not so much.  Sigh....  The tree is up and the house is decorated inside and out. We are planning to have a Christmas Eve get together with family.  My daughter provides Olive Garden so there is no cooking and minimal clean-up.  Having Italian for Christmas or Christmas Eve is a tradition that started with my mom and one that we all enjoy. 

Thanksgiving was spent at our son in laws parents' house.  They have a tradition of inviting us over every year and it's great to be so fortunate to get along with all members of our families. We will reciprocate with  Christmas Eve dinner if they are available.   With blended families consisting of 2nd and 3rd marriages, it can be a chess game to get everyone together at one time.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not.  All we can do is try. 

With eBay being so slow, I have tinkered with the idea of going back to work PART TIME.  I have no idea what that means right now, but it is something I am considering.  Hopefully, eBay will redeem itself in December and turn things around. You can't control what you can't control.

We have had some additional spending in November.  I had to get a new battery for my car, we choose to replace them when the warranty is done as opposed to continuing to use the same battery and one day be stranded out in the middle of no where.  That was $120.  Other than that, there has not been any big spending. Well, unless you count Christmas. 

Today I am going to Target to return a couple of purchases.  Balancing the grandkids gifts is a work in progress, and I need to whittle down one kiddo's gifts so there is not disparity in the amount spent or number of gifts under the tree.

After that, the usual stuff.  Daily spot cleaning, listing, and wrap a few gifts. 






Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Transfer Tuesday 10/26/2021 Paying Down Debt,

 


 


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

Our only debt is a HELOC with an interest rate of 2.24% The minimum monthly payment goes towards the PRINCIPAL and the INTEREST.   I am chipping away at the balance until we sell my deceased mom's house that is currently being used as a rental. At that point, we will pay off the rest of the balance.  Until then, I will be sending in payment to this debt and/or to my taxable investment account every Tuesday. 


MONEY MOVES THIS WEEK


Previous balance on last Transfer Tuesday Post    $63,878.00
 Finance Charge : $118.18

New Balance: $63,996.18
Minimum Amount Due: $247.74

Minimum Payment: $247.74

eBay gross earnings  10%     $15      

New HELOC Balance:   $63,733.44

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


How was your Transfer Tuesday? 


My inspiration for Transfer Tuesday is Pennies Not Perfection






Monday, October 25, 2021

Corn Maze, Decorating Halloween Houses and Pumpkin Carving

 Yesterday was a busy day. My son in law and took the grandkids to the local corn maze.  We were three hours early so to kill time we went to the local flea market in Mount Dora.  It has been years since either of us has been to this flea market.  It was fun, we were there early before it got too busy and walked all of the booths inside and out. 



We left the flea market and headed to the corn maze to check it out.  We were probably second in line to get tickets and one of the first families in the park.  The farm had a lot to offer and do.  Zipline for the kids, fishing, giant slides, a huge wooden fortress playground, and a bounce house.  



We picked the hardest Maze and headed in.  They give you a flag to raise if you need help finding your way out.  The corn was crazy high, and it was a well planned out maze.  We tried to use the theory to keep turning right to find our way out. That was not successful. At all. 


We walked and walked. We saw the same groups of people several times.  It took us about 35 minutes and 3000 steps but we eventually found our way out of the maze successfully and without help. 

The rest of our stay at the farm was watching the kids play on the fort playground, satisfying our thirst with Gatorade, and sitting in the shade.

After we left the farm, we hit up Publix to buy pumpkins for the kids to carve. They were too expensive at the farm. 


When we got home, I finished setting up for the Halloween House decorating and pumpkin carving.  The kiddos helped get the icing ready by adding gel colorings of their choice. 


The kids ate and decorated at the same time.  And the adults got in on the fun too.  Our neighbor asked if I was making graham cracker houses for Christmas lol.  Well, maybe!  

Today was a day of rest!   I did get two loads of clothes washed and the bed sheets washed with beds changed.  I also took a nap.  Yesterday was a long day lol. 


I also was able to get several eBay listings added and inventory put away in the correct spot. I am hoping to boost sales with more consistent listings.  We shall see. 

 How was your Monday?













Friday, October 22, 2021

Halloween Haunted House Prep for the Grandkiddos

 


I am putting the horse before 
the cart, but if you want to find out how I made these graham cracker houses ( to use for Halloween activities for the grand kiddos) keep reading! 

My son-in-law and I are scheduled to take the grandkids to a pumpkin farm on Saturday to pick a pumpkin, go through a corn maze, all the stuff you do at such a place. 

When we get done with that, we will work on decorating the graham cracker houses.




I attempted to make
graham cracker houses for the kiddos to decorate for Halloween. When you google Halloween graham cracker houses you get a bajillion websites to choose from about how to make them or correctly construct them.

I settled on the simple homemade haunted Halloween houses at melskitchencafe.com  Her experience with royal icing, regular icing, and hot glue was less than spectacular. She presents a burnt sugar method of attaching and constructing the houses. 


Cutting the graham crackers takes a little finesse, but using a serrated knife on a flat surface, works out pretty good. There were a few that I obliterated, but I finally did get the hang of it. 




After you separate your graham cracker pieces and trim up pieces to be used in the roof, you heat 1-2 cups of sugar over low to med heat. Don't stir, don't move the pan, nothing.   It takes about 15-20 minutes but you will have lovely caramelized melted sugar to use for "glue".

You do have to keep a watch on it as it may start to melt too fast and start smoking.  Just move it off the burner and into the garage so you don't set off the fire alarm in the house. :-)

And, remember that the burnt sugar is hotter than fire and will burn the crap out of your fingers.  This is probably better left to adults to do or super responsible teens. 




The sugar turns a lovely brown and is a bit messy to work with. But, it glues those graham cracker pieces together wonderfully. They do not budge, slip or move an inch! 

I still need to run out and get some candy for decorations. M & M's, licorice and a couple can of frosting.  I  constructed enough houses for the neighbor kids to come over and decorate.  I'll post the after-pics when the kids finish them.

Oh, I am passing by Winn Dixie today too.  They have Maxwell House coffee on sale again for $4.99.  You really can't beat that price.  Any savings will be negated by the candy I am buying for the Halloween houses, but that's the way it goes. Lol.

Should be fun for all!

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Thursday Stuff


 Morning walk
completed and we saw this family of three sandhill cranes.  They hang out in the neighborhood where we walk.  I saw the neighborhood hawk as well, but he was in flight. Not a great picture. 

We had a great visit with our middle son and his wife.  They live about 50 minutes away and all of our lives are so busy it is difficult to find a date to get together. 

I am ashamed to say we have not been there since before Covid started. Maybe longer.  It is on my list to do better and make a solid effort to visit them.  They do come here on Christmas, but it has been two years.  There was Covid, and my son's wife had major surgeries related to breast cancer. 

 She has been in remission for the last 2 1/2 years.  Praise the Lord! 

I did get the yard mowed yesterday, it was long overdue.  I am hoping that this will be the last time this year.  Maybe one more time, but that should definitely be it. Not much else.  I will be listing stuff for eBay, maybe 5-10 items. I need to pass by Aldi's and CVS either today or tomorrow. 

The hubs is off today because he has to work the weekend. I think he will be doing truck maintenance but when he woke up he said he is trying to catch a cold.  He can be kinda grumpy when he is not feeling well.  Hopefully the DayQuil will kick in and he will be able to get done what he wants to get done. 

Have a great day! 





Wednesday, October 20, 2021

We changed how we pay for the tolls we incur while driving.  It use to be associated with our checking account, but I recently updated it to my Discover Card.  For the first year of the card we will be getting double cash back on our purchases. 

  I wanted to do this right when we got the card, but it got away from me.  You can also earn 5% CASH BACK each quarter at different places when you remember to activate your card. This quarter the 5% bonus is for Amazon.com, Walmart.com and  Target.com.  For the first year of the card, that 5% will be doubled at the end of your first year.  Once my year is up for the double cashback, we will obtain a card for my husband and do it all over again. 

Wednesday This and That

Halloween Decor from our evening walk. Three faceless witches minding their cauldron. 
















 

Monday I went to see my primary care doc. He has me come in every 6 months.  It was he that suggested I get counseling last year and I took him up on that advice.  I started counseling in Oct 2020 and things were going along okay.  It wasn't awesome, but it was okay.  Digging up stuff from the past is uncomfortable and draining.  In Jan 2021, insurance no longer covered the provider I was seeing. 

I have yet to get back into counseling, but I need to.  The doc suggested Betterhelp.com, an online therapy service.  He said some of his colleagues have used the service and seemed pleased with them.  I will look into that and see if our insurance will cover it. 

Surprisingly, I am down 11lbs.  I have not weighed in at least a month, and I was pleased that the scale showed a loss.  He also said I need to drink more water as my GFR (glomerular filtration rate) was slightly out of whack and my LDL was slightly elevated.  My HDL was great.  Anyway, I am increasing my water intake and will be eating more green vegetables per his recommendation.  Pretty sure counseling will help as I am definitely an emotional eater. 

Granddaughter swinging and enjoying the great 
weather. 
Tuesday was Pilates. I really enjoy this class.  It is challenging and I know it has helped my flexibility and strength. After Pilates, I hit up Publix for a couple of BOGO's.  I did a morning walk and an evening walk with Cricket for a total of maybe 2.5 miles. 

My granddaughter came over after school and spent time on the front swing before I took her to gymnastics. It is finally cool enough to be hanging outside and enjoy this great fall weather.  

I am pretty excited about today.  We are going to see our middle son for a visit.  We live in the same county but at least an hour away.  There is no shortcut, no fast way to get there.  And then there is everyone's schedule to work around.  It will be nice to see him and his wife for a visit, even if for a couple of hours. 

Things to do today include: 

1. Running to Publix to get BOGO shrimp. 

2. Listing items on eBay (this is everyday lol)

3. Straightening out the garage (eBay Stuff)

4. Picking up dry cleaning

5. Vacuum and Mop the living room and kitchen.