Tuesday, November 3, 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  July 7,2020

Previous balance  $76,999.00
  • $3000.00 payment from eBay earnings and savings ( includes payment of $278 for the monthly bill)
  • $22.42 BOA credit card rewards
New balance     $73,253.67

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 again.  I had to pay a copay of $250 for the surgeon and a $250 copy for the surgery center for my shoulder repair.  There are also a cumulative amount of copays for physical therapy for $500.  
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.  But for real, it is super slow.  I think the election has a lot to do with it.  That and job losses, no more stimulus packages, and reduction in the unemployment benefits. 

There is lots to get done today, clean the freezer, pack up a few things for eBay, clean out the kitchen cabinets, and menu plan.  There is plenty more to get done, but that is it for now.


Monday, November 2, 2020

Recovery From Shoulder Surgery

Moon at Sunset
 Surgery was 9/23/20 and therapy for my shoulder started the week after surgery.  Last week I saw the surgeon ( 5 week followup) and he said I am on track for proper healing and reclaiming 100% use of my shoulder.  That being said, I still have two months of physical therapy. 

Most days were filled with periods of rest, pain meds, ice packs, and naps. There was not a whole lot going on otherwise.  I was able to drive a couple of weeks ago, but I only went out when absolutely necessary.  Or to save my sanity. 

Today, the pain is much better.   There are days when I have to take a pain pill and I still use the ice packs several times a day.  They have been a lifesaver.  I still have to sleep in a recliner.  I have tried to sleep in bed, but it is still too painful. 

We are experiencing a cool front and the temps are in the low 70's.  It is a wonderful change from the 90's that we have been dealing with lately.  The house is open, the breeze is blowing through the house.  Such a nice change. 

The cool weather has motivated me to get busy.  I have cleaned out and inventoried the freezer in the kitchen.  Made banana bread with some frozen bananas that I found in the freezer and prepped some hard-boiled eggs using my rice cooker. 

Otherwise, Things are the same.  And that is okay with me.  No drama is a good thing. 

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Shoulder Surgery

 I wish I could say eBay sales were keeping me super busy this summer, but I can't.  I have been busy with

listing and organizing my eBay stuff in anticipation of the next few months.  

I did decide to have my shoulder surgery this month.  Two months of physical therapy did little to improve my shoulder, so I took the next step.  Surgery.  Yuck. 

The surgery went fine.  I did end up with a rotator cuff tear, bone spurs, tendonitis, and arthritis.  I go back next Thursday to have stitches removed and then start another plan for more physical therapy.  To update, I now have had both shoulders fixed and both knees replaced. I surely hope that is it.  

Right now, I am taking it easy, taking pain meds, and catching up on NetFlix.  Happy Fall, ya all. 

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.


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.

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)

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


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!

Friday, June 12, 2020

Friday Stuff

It's hot and humid almost every day now, so summer is officially here.  Last week we endured daily deluges of heavy rains due to the tropical system in the gulf that was heading to Lousiana.  The gray days were depressing as heck. 

This week the sun has been out so we are more motivated to get things done.  Yesterday, I mowed the lawn, washed the pool deck and did laundry.  Today I just got back from Target to pick up a few things.  They had toilet paper and disinfecting wipes limit one each.  I automatically pick up toilet paper and wipes if stores have them.  You just never know. 

Late last week I decided to move my retirement accounts from a fee-based financial planner to a fiduciary financial planner.  I have been thinking about this for months.  When I researched the fees that were being charged to my account I discovered that they were hidden and high.  

I have been with this Financial Planner since my mom passed and I had to roll over her IRA into my name as a beneficiary.   I think what sealed the deal for me to move the accounts was when they changed from Mellon to LPL it was a cluster as far as communication about the move and how it was handled.  

Of course, time will tell if the move was the right move.  Maybe the extra fees were worth it?  We will see. 

Ortho Doc's office wall 
After a visit with the Ortho doctor, he ordered an MRI which is scheduled for June 26.  He suspects torn rotator cuff but who knows?  It sure hurts.  I am still taking Advil, using the ice pack, and the TENS unit.  All of which provide some relief. 

The hubs is supposed to get his cataracts done this month.  I say supposed to as he is experiencing some scheduling and communication difficulties. The surgery center needs the physical from his primary which according to him they have faxed multiple times.  The surgery center did not have it as of yesterday afternoon.  

The hospital pharmacy called him and said we don't have your eye drops available for surgery. Oh man.... the hubs was getting hot now.  Then to top it off, the hubs had to fill out an online health survey questionnaire  for the surgery center. You know, the hubs is not one for technology.  This pretty much sent him over the edge.  He tried to log on but may have misspelled a few things.  He came home yesterday flustered and frustrated.  He was HOT!! 

 This is not something he usually does, but then he has never had a surgery before.  He never asked for assistance so I am letting him experience the joys of navigating our wonder healthcare system.  

We did navigate the online questionnaire last night.  The rest of the stuff he will have to take care of today.  

 Monday is his first one and two weeks later will be his second one.  This is what I don't get.  We are on the hook for $1500 per eye as it is robotic surgery and from what his doc says the manufacturer of said robot gets a $1500 fee every time it is used.  For the LOVE OF PETE! 

This will dramatically affect our savings, to say the least. 

I had my 6-month dentist appointment this week, and that was good.  I still need to call and get in for a colonoscopy.  Now, those are super fun.  

For dinner, I am using the crockpot.  We are having Crock Pot Ravioli/Lasagne. I had some frozen sauce which I defrosted, frozen ravioli, and mozzarella cheese.  I warm up the sauce and then layer the sauce, frozen ravioli, and mozzarella cheese into the crockpot.  It takes about 4 hours on high or 6 hours on medium.   We use the Reynolds crock-pot liners so clean up is a breeze.  Add in a loaf of sliced Cuban bread and a salad and dinner is done. 


Thursday, June 4, 2020

A Month of Appointments

We did a drive-by of a Sunflower Field 
First of all, today feels like Monday. It's not, but it sure feels like it.  June is filled with appointments for both me and my husband.

 The hubs is having cataract surgery on both eyes,( not at the same time).  His vision has been suffering for the last few months and I know he is excited to get it taken care of.

I finally made an appointment with the orthopedic doctor to get the ball rolling on my shoulder.  The pain has not gotten better, it has only increased with time.

At least we can get the ball rolling with diagnostic imaging to see what is going on.  Meanwhile, I have been using cold wraps and a TENS unit to manage the pain.

 What's a TENS unit?  They are small devices that work by delivering small electrical impulses through electrodes that have adhesive pads to attach them to a person's skin.  These electrical impulses flood the nervous system, reducing its ability to transmit pain signals to the spinal cord and brain. I picked one up at Walgreen's and it is battery operated.   It helps more than I thought it would.

I am still waiting on my Covid-19 antibodies results.  A friend who went two days earlier than I did, already got her results. She was negative.

Our savings took a hit with all the vet bills associated with our bully, Princess.  You know, it is what it is.  At least we had the cash stashed and it did not end up as a charge card expense that we could not pay off.

We have had a glut of rain this week and it continues into the weekend.  It is hard to get motivated when the sun isn't shining.  When I get back from getting my haircut and picking up my glasses today, I will probably catch up on laundry.

Tonight's dinner is spaghetti with bread and salad.  It won't take long so that will be nice.  I recently painted our bedroom, this was before Princess passed, and now I am going to tackle the trim work.  Maybe today, maybe tomorrow.  More like tomorrow.

I did pick up another 10 lbs of Jasmine rice to divide up, use my seal and save and put it up as back up to whatever may be coming down the pike.  Oh yeah, we still pick up a pack of toilet paper when we go to the store.  It may or may not be needed when and if things go south again with a reboot of Covoid-19 or whatever else there is.

Are you building up your supply pantry?  Maybe you already are stocked up, what do you think is important to have on hand?

Friday, May 29, 2020

Today is a Better Day

Up until this morning, the days were hard to get through with the passing of our bulldog Princess.  I woke up feeling like the weight of grief had been lifted.  I am grateful for that and am content know that Princess is in a better place without pain and suffering.

Yesterday I went to a Covid-19 drive-thru testing center.  I wanted to get tested for the antibodies to see if I had them.  Today was the last day that this particular center was going to be open and the test is only $20. 

If you do end up having the antibodies it does not guarantee that you won't get  Covid-19, but if you do get it it may be a less significant case of it.  But who really knows?   

I was super sick in late February and I am curious if I had a case of Covid-19  or maybe it was just the flu. 

On the way back from the testing center, I passed by Goodwill.  They have been open since the 15th of this month, but I have only now had a chance to go.  They had arrows on the floor to promote proper direction in the aisles, and the announcements reminded everyone to practice social distancing.  I think everyone was cognizant of staying proper distances from everyone else and we all tried to pay attention to the arrows on the floor. 

There were a few fun finds that I feel pretty good about being able to flip on eBay.  After that, I took a ride to town about 20 minutes south to pick up a box of items that I found on FaceBook Market place.  It was a porch pick up, they left the items on their porch and I left the money under their front doormat.

Before I put the items in the back of my car, (both from Goodwill and the FB porch pickup) I spray them down with alcohol.  I keep a small spray bottle of alcohol in my car at all times.

 I use it on my self when I get back in my car from shopping, on my purse, and any purchases while they are in the bag before take-off for my next destination. Does it help?  I hope so.  I feel better when I use it.

My budgeting and saving have been ignored for the last couple of weeks.  We were busy taking care of Princess, running to different veterinarians, and mourning her passing.  Bills were paid on time, but that is about it.  The vet bills took a chunk out of savings, but it what it is.  I am grateful we had the cash to cover it. 

Time to get busy with a new day.  Enjoy your Friday!

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Letting Go of Princess

The last two weeks have been filled with visits to the Veterinarian, Emergency Veterinarians, and Opthomologic Veterinarians. 

My Princess was sick and dying from mast cell cancer.  The cancer metastasized to her nasal cavity, blocking it and pushing her left eye back out of the socket. 

We kept her comfortable as possible as we researched options.  Unfortunately the location of the mass greatly limited any treatment plans for a full recovery. 

We made the decision last Friday to help her across the rainbow bridge.  Our vet came to the house and Princess crossed over pain free and surrounded by love.

The hole she left in our hearts is huge.  I miss her so much. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Busy, busy, busy

Last week was my week to work with the kiddos as they completed their daily school assignments.  Some days were longer than others, I think we are all glad that school is almost over.  Glad and a little bit sad. I really have enjoyed the time we have spent working on their distance learning.

Minivan Birthday parade!
Last Thursday was my oldest grandkiddo's birthday.  With the pandemic/social distancing, there is not too much that you can do to celebrate a special day.  His group of friends have all had birthdays these last few weeks and we have celebrated them all in a different way.  There was a chalking event at one little boy's house.  His mom arranged for all of his friends, teachers, whoever to stop by and chalk a Happy Birthday greeting on his driveway for him to see later that day.  Another mom arranged for friends to come over and shout Happy Birthday from the street to the birthday boy. 

For my grandson's birthday, there was a small parade of minivans that arranged to pass by our house with the vans decorated with balloons and posters.  It was awesome!

I had a great Mother's Day, all my kids came over for a surprise breakfast. One son bought over breakfast from our favorite donut shop and donuts of course.  It was so nice to have all the kids home at the same time even for just a couple of hours.  My heart was full. 

eBay has been keeping me busy for the last couple of weeks too.  Sales are pretty good and I almost have all my stuff that has been laying around listed.  I am hovering around 900 listings, and still trying to get to 1000.  If I can find more space to store inventory, I will definitely push past 1000 listings.

Time to hit the hay!  Hope you all are doing well!

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Revisiting 2020 Goals

1.   Work on reducing the HELOC balance.  The amount is considerable ($84,107.73) but I am dedicated to whittling it down by $20,000 in 2020.  Okay, I realize that $20,000 is a HUGE goal, and I hesitated at this amount.   I had to convince myself not to lower it because I did not want to set my self up for failure.  But, the only failure is not trying.  Any amount put towards lowering the balance will be a success. So there you go!

  • As of May 1, 2020, the HELOC balance is $79,157.65

2.  Increase Emergency Savings from $1000.00 to $3000.00.  Right now our emergency fund carries about $1200.00, but by the end of the year, we would like to increase that to $3000.00 for a little more peace of mind.

  • As of May 1, 2020 we have $1000.00 in our brick and mortar savings account, $1965.00 in our Capital One 360 Emergency Account named "Safety in Numbers" and $1457.00 in our Stimulus 2020 account also located at Capital One 360 for a total of $4422.00.  I originally started with multiple sinking funds at Capital One with small amounts going into each designated account biweekly.                                                                                Then the Covoid 19 virus showed up and I decided to build up our emergency savings to at least 3 months of bare-bones living expenses.  We calculated that amount to be at least $6000.00 

3. Getting healthy. Time to focus on getting rid of some extra weight and change our eating habits.  This is a goal that we have every year, and every year we fail.  My stumbling block is I am an emotional eater and consume food when I am happy or when I am sad.

  • This is a work in progress. I have been walking almost daily, but the emotional eating is still happening. 

4.  Building online income.  I sell on eBay and (will be expanding to Etsy) and it is consistently inconsistent. But I will continue to work at adding listings, tweaking what is already listed, and promote on Pinterest and Twitter. The earnings will go towards paying down the HELOC.
  • I am still listing and selling on eBay ( Have a look at my eBay store) and have decided to not expand to Etsy.  It is enough work for me to manage eBay. Jan and Feb were good months, March and April are not that great, but you still gotta keep plugging along! 
5.  Christmas 2020  Set a Christmas spending budget which I currently estimate to be at $1000.  This includes spouse, grown kids, grandkids, Christmas tips for my hairdresser, pool guy, mail person, and our pastors.  Maybe If I set an amount NOW, it won't be such a shock in December.
  • Future goal.  First is to build up the emergency savings. 
I will finish ALL holiday shopping by Thanksgiving!! No more of this last-minute stuff. My mom ALWAYS finished her shopping by Thanksgiving and I use to do the same.  I really need to do it again, to enjoy the holidays without the stress of  Christmas shopping.
  • Still a goal!
6.  Have more fun!  Life is short and I know that saving money, budgeting, and being frugal is important.  But....   having fun and enjoying life is just as important!   Living in Central Florida provides many opportunities to visit theme parks and be a kid again.  An annual Disney Pass is one of my sinking funds/categories. I love to go and visit the theme parks with my grandkids or even by myself.  They make me happy.
  • Disney trips are on hold for who knows how long. The parks are closed due to the pandemic and we will just have to wait and see how it all shakes out.    We will find a way to have fun that does not include theme parks.  The home quarantine has brought to light all the things you can do at home to have fun, board games, painting rocks, and there is always the pool.  
7.  Plan a Trip  To Wisconsin.  It is family reunion time!  I am hoping my anxiety won't get in the way of travel this year.  We will have to put away a couple of thousand for this trip for travel and lodging.  I really want to go, but the anxiety of planning gets to me.  I know once I get there it will be fine.  But, I have to get there first.
  • On hold.
8.  Roth IRA..... hello....  you remember me, don't you?  My retirement planning has become more important than ever.  I will research ways to better invest with my ROTH and shop and interview financial planners. We have one now, but I need to make sure he is the best person for me and my retirement goals.

  • I am fine with my current financial planner. As far as my ROTH, well I don't know.  I may pull it out to pay down the HELOC. We will see. 

9.  Read 10 books.  I miss reading books.  With everything online, I spend too much time reading and catching up online.  I could not tell you when the last time I actually held a book in my hands and read for enjoyment.  It has been a while, that's for sure.
  • I have read one book so far. Sigh.
10.  Compile a folder/notebook for our estate planning.   I need to put all of our "financial things and paperwork" in one place for safekeeping.  A notebook with all current accounts and final wishes and arrangements will make things easier for the family members who have to take care of it.
  • Kinda forgot about this and need to get to work on it. 
There is nothing suggesting that the end is near, but I need to get all this in one place for peace of mind for us and our family.

So there it is a list of goals for 2020.  For me, it will be motivation to stay the course for self-improvement and paying down debt.  I have put up yearly goals in years past, sometimes they motivate me and sometimes they are so overwhelming that I will self sabotage my own success.
Self, let's stay on the side of success and not self-sabotage this year. 

I am happy with what we have accomplished financially, we still have a ways to go.  How are you doing on your 2020 goals?   

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Transfer Tuesday and Paying Down Debt 4/28/2020

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 March 10th.  Shortly after that, the Covoid 19 was starting to impact our country, and things were beginning to change.  I recall sitting with our tax guy and talking about the curfews that were going to start for our counties and I also recall how nervous and unsettling this made me feel.  Maybe it affected you in a similar way?

We did get a tax refund, but I used that to pay off a credit card that I used to buy groceries, ( a lot of groceries) before the shutdowns and curfews kicked in.  During this time, I knew that I would be much more prepared for any future similar situations by building a stockpile of storable food items and TOILET PAPER.

Current Balance $79,685.00
  • Payment of $27.35 CC rewards
  • Payment of $500.00 from hubs OT
New Balance $79,157.65

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 $5472.35 REDUCTION in the balance.  Our goal is to reduce the HELOC balance by $20,000.00 this year. Only $14,527.65 to go!

Monday, April 27, 2020

Monday and a Small List

Happy Monday!  I have been up since 4:00 AM with shoulder pain.  This pain is not unfamiliar to me
since I have had rotator cuff surgery on my other shoulder 10 years ago.  My other shoulder, the one that is screaming with pain is currently being iced to help with the pain.

I have not yet went to the doctor to get it checked out, waiting for the Covid 19 to settle down and see when things get back to the new normal.  The ice definitely helps with the pain and inflammation.  It is not ice, but a gel ice pack that I used when I had knee replacement surgery a couple of years ago.

On the agenda today is distance learning for the kiddos, that starts at about 9AM.  I happily have several packages to ship from eBay sales this weekend and will try to get those done on before the post office closes today.  Oddly enough, I find packing up items to ship therapeutic.

Things on my list to do today:

  • List eBay items
  • Sweep off the front porch
  • Do a couple loads of laundry
  • Take a power nap

That's about it.  What is on your list of things to do today? 

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Keeping Busy This Weekend

Yesterday was a busy day around here. I started with a list typed out on my phone and managed to get almost all of them done.  The morning started with prepping hard-boiled eggs in the rice cooker.  And then on a whim, I decided to try to use the rice cooker for its actual purpose, cooking rice.  I had jasmine rice on hand and it turned out to be pretty good.  Who knew??

Last week I purchased some seeds from Etsy.  The seed included Pigeon Peas, Cranberry Hibiscus,
and Everglade Tomatoes. I also ordered cuttings of Cuban Oregano and Longevity Spinach.  Yesterday I used egg cartons to plant the seeds to get them going.  

I was fascinated with the Everglade Tomatoes, they are a fast-growing, heat-tolerant plant that grows prolifically. The tomatoes that they produce are about the size of a quarter.  They are supposed to be quite tasty as well.  

The Cranberry Hibiscus produces edible leaves and flowers. The leaves and flowers are light pink in color.   I have not grown a hibiscus plant from seed, so this will be interesting.  Will I make Hibiscus tea with the flowers when the plant matures?  I may try it.  I am looking forward to seeing the pink flowers. 

The cuttings of Oregano and Longevity Spinach were transferred to our container garden.  My granddaughter and I have several Home Depot buckets for plants and flowers.  Two weeks ago she and I planted Sunflower seeds, Watermelon seeds, and Zinnia Seeds.  They are sprouting and the process of growing from seed to plants is exciting to her.  Truth be told, it is exciting to me too. 

I had wanted to make a batch of Weight Watcher Taco Chicken soup but I did not have any black beans.  They are on the list for our grocery shopping next week and I will try to get it made for next weekend.  

An interesting effect of the pandemic is we are also shopping from my daughter's employer ( a regional hospital).  Since the census is low due to the restrictions on elective surgeries, etc the cafeteria has an oversupply of different items.    They are currently offering Boar's Head deli meats for a reduced price, deli cheese, and container of flour and sugar.  Crazy, right?

Have you checked out the TikTok app?  Oh man, don't do it!  It is a huge time suck!  I know I have wasted several hours watching the entertaining videos.  Some are cute, some will make you cry, some will make you laugh, it is app crack!  

I have a few listings to put up on eBay today, a few items to pack up for tomorrow to take to the post office.  There is always stuff to do around here, its a matter of staying on task and not getting sidetracked.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Monday Stuff and Another Loaf of Banana Bread

The days run together, don't they?  We pretty much have the schedule during the week.  Get up, maybe walk depending on weather, then get the kiddos down to the house for breakfast and distance learning starts at 9 AM. 

"Homeschool" or distance learning can last between 3 -  4 hours which includes multiple amounts of brain breaks. All of us need a brain break.  All. Of. Us.

After that, I need a nap then about 2 depending on the weather, we get the kids in the pool or get them outside to shoot hoops or play four square. 

This weekend we took a drive to a neighboring town just to get out of the house.  The town is older and more established, I wanted to look at how different yards are being landscaping.

We then ordered lunch from Chipotle, walked in, picked it up and took it home to eat  It has been months since we had Chipotle and it was super delish.

I think we are on our 5th loaf of banana bread.  We are baking a loaf of banana bread at least once a week. 

The hubs works in engineering (HVAC) at the big hospital and they are so slow due to the CV-19.  Floors are blocked off, as you may know, there are no elective surgeries currently and this has led to a huge decline in the number of patients in the hospital.

His department alone had a layoff of 10 employees last week.  Those employees are on redeployment for 5 weeks, they are getting a paycheck as normal but are not working.  After the 5 weeks, they can use PTO to stay in the system, after that, they will have to apply for unemployment.  Meh....

The hubs was not laid off, thankfully!   We are grateful for his job and the benefits that come with it.  Hopefully and with great caution, the state will reopen and things will get back to normal.  I know it will take time, but the soon the better.  How much more can the economy take?

I worked on moving money around all weekend.  We did get out stimulus last week, paid for the brake job on the truck that my hubs did last month and I stashed the rest into our online savings account.

We were 3 paychecks behind in tithes to my husband's church.  He pulls out cash for his tithe, saves it and then uses the cash for major repairs and upkeep on the church.  This weekend he is putting in an AC unit for the church.  He purchases the items needed with the tithe cash, and he installs for no charge.

He uses HIS cashback CC for the purchases and then I add the cashback earned to the HELOC debt.  It's a lot to keep up with, as you may have guessed.  But for now, that's what we are doing.

It is time to get dinner going, we are having grilled chicken, yellow rice and peas.  Easy peasy.