SPRING!!


*Opened all the windows to let in the fresh air.  My cat, Al, was having a wonderful time going from window to window enjoying them open after being closed all winter.

*Started planning landscaping ideas as well as the garden.

*Excited to see a squirrel and 2 chipmunks visit the bird feeders.

*Stood on the front deck and enjoyed seeing the green of spring return and the white of winter leave.

*Put the snowboots away...Yay!

*B got out his riding lawnmower just to clean it up and see what needed to be done to it to prepare for the coming months.

*A snowstorm came in on 3/27 and lasted until 3/28 and dumped 6 inches of wet, sloppy snow on everything.  Such is Spring in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

A Thought: One year after the start of the Pandemic


 Covid cases going down, vaccines given going up, businesses reopening slowly, kids going back to school....light at the end of the tunnel.

FEBRUARY SO FAR...

To celebrate National Homemade Soup Day, B made his famous (at least in our family) homemade chicken noodle soup for dinner while oldest son made bean and turkey soup
   
A former student's mother passed away-donated to Upaws (animal shelter) in her name

Saw something I have never seen before (and no, not talking politics).  People ice skating on Lake Superior.  I have lived here 50 years and have never seen it cold enough to safely ice skate on the lake.
 
Fixed garage door opener--B said he could have figured it out but I beat him to it.  Uh huh, right.
 
Straightened out tel. bill snafu--happy days, it was their fault not ours.
 
Oldest son had chest pains, had first ambulance ride, is well and home, called me long distance to tell me after it was all over
 
My vacation from 1) using my credit card, 2)  watching news programs a good portion of the day, 3) politics and anyone who wants to talk politics, 4) watching tv more than 4 hours a day, 5)  kitchen grazing in the evenings because of boredom more than hunger and 6) drinking too much soda daily is going pretty good so far.  I am proud of myself.
 
B and I got our second doses of the covid vaccine.  We feel better knowing that we are done and hope that the numbers we see mean that the pandemic is on the downslide. Both oldest son and dil have received theirs as they are educators.  Youngest son and dil will have to wait until their group comes up.
 
Ordered Puchkis for Fat Tuesday from our local bakery.  Not exactly healthy food but it's once a year and one cannot celebrate Fat Tuesday without homemade puchkis.

VACCINES AT LAST!

 

Well, after two tries to get registered for the vaccines, B and I received ours on Friday.  We were surprised to even get registered as the slots were usually all filled within 10 minutes of posting them.  The vaccine clinic was set up at the university and we rode in silence in the car there.  I think both of us were a bit nervous of what to expect since this is a first for us as for many people. We were pleased to see how well organized everything was.  A number of people were on hand to move us along to where we needed to go.  The sign in took no time at all and then we were sent to tables that were set up individually for the shots.  I was expecting pain since I am a big chicken when it comes to shots but I didn't feel a thing.  The nurse said that the most common side effect was a sore arm.  Which, by the way, I have been feeling since last night.  Not painful just uncomfortable.  After the shot, we were directed to an adjoining room to sit for our 15 minutes of observation.  The university provided free snacks while you waited.  B took advantage of that.  After the 15 minutes, we checked out...setting up the second dose appt at that time.  All in all, it only took 30 minutes.  We received texts from children making sure we were ok.  Oldest son will receive his next week.  

B and I believe this is another indication of "light at the end of the tunnel". 

Financial Figurings

Ways We "Try" To Save Money.

* When we were preparing for retirement, B and I thought of moving to a warmer year round climate (we both dislike winter).  We calculated how much we would have to put our house on the market for, how much the cost of moving would be, where we would move to, the housing prices there, etc.  In the end, we found that paying off our mortgage, staying where we are and traveling to warmer climates over the winter would be our best bet.  So that is the goal we set for ourselves.  2 years after we were both retired we were able to pay off our mortgage.  With the help of our sons, we are managing winter here and are able to travel more to see the son and dil who live in a warmer winter climate.

* When I retired, B and I decided we didn't need 2 cars.  The reason being the cost of gas, insurance and payments are not economical especially when two cars are not used on a daily basis now that we are both retired.  Plus, the fact that most of the time we go to the same places together so why use 2 cars.  This was one of the best decisions we made for retirement.

Because of the pandemic, we have not been using the car as much except to run essential errands and the occasional "ride around" when we start to get house crazy.  This has saved wear and tear on the car as well as gas purchases.  One of the few good things to come out of the pandemic.

* We grocery shop on Wednesdays for the simple reason that the grocery store gives discounts to seniors on Wednesdays.  With the senior discount and the coupons I clip, we manage to save an average of $30.00 a month.  This works for me.

I do have a rant about grocery shopping during the pandemic.  Our grocery store offers special shopping hours for senior citizens and disabled persons.  However, the hours are mostly very early in the morning.  I don't know about other senior citizens but getting up and functioning at 7am to grocery shop is not in the cards for me.  Good thing my grocery store is not at all crowded these days during thr pandemic so we can go in at 11am to shop.

* We have been downsizing for the past year.  Once a month I chose an area of the house to downsize.  It might be as large as a bedroom or small as a closet.  I set up 3 sections - keep, donate, trash.  We have been very ruthless with this system.  We don't keep anything unless we are using it or will be using it within the month.  I am pleased at how much space we have acquired with the downsizing as well as how it has helped me shop.  We don't purchase anything unless it is necessary we have it (such as a small chest freezer we need for shopping sales of groceries) and that it will be used on a regular basis (such as a new electric blanket w/dual controls for the winter).

* I love to read books and have many which I am reluctant to get rid of.  But in the interest of downsizing, I went thru my bookshelves and made a give away pile.  Looking twice at the give away pile, I noticed that many of the books were in very good shape.  So I decided to put them on Amazon to sell and boy, did they sell.  I don't get the original price back I paid for them but I get on average at least 50%.  I have been doing this now for 3 years and the money I make goes into a special emergency fund in the bank.  Every little bit counts.

*AARP - We use this card all the time with discounts on travel, restaurants, services, etc.  It doesn't save huge amounts of money but every dime counts in this day and age.

*Chest freezer and Pantry - the upside of the pandemic put us in the position of expanding our pantry as well as our freezer.  We keep a running list of everything in both and it has helped us a lot especially in the winter months when it has been difficult to get out because of the weather besides the restrictions with the pandemic.

*Meatless meals - Having a member of the family who does not eat meat started out a bit difficult to plan family meals.  However, being quarantined in the house, I have been trying new meatless recipes and testing them on B.  Some have turned out quite good.  Besides cutting our meat bill in half, we are also eating healthier...double benefit!

labels: saving money, coupons, Amazon book seller, groceries, cars, mortgage, moving in retirement, aarp, meatless meals, pandemic