May 2018

May 2018

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Quick Sales

Carlos Beltran
For Christmas, I gave Jim tickets to today's St. Louis Cardinals game. As luck would have it, unknowingly I had bought tickets to Bobblehead Day. The first 25,000 people entering the stadium received a Carlos Beltran bobblehead.

Since we're not collectors, as soon as we got to our seats, I listed the bobbleheads on Craigslist, using my iPhone. Within an hour, I got a buyer who asked if I was at the game. Turned out he was too, but had arrived too late to get a bobblehead. Jim quickly met him within the stadium and the sale was made!

Just yesterday I started listing items on Craigslist in an attempt to make some extra cash. This morning, a buyer came to the house to pick-up my Yadier Molina bobblehead from 2007, so that was also a quick sale.

Motivated by my recent success, I plan to continue combing the house for more items to list. It's a perfect activity for me – making money while de-cluttering!

Friday, April 26, 2013


Just about any day I use cash, I come home and dump my coins in one of three antique syrup pitchers. When all three pitchers are filled, I bag up the coins and take them to the bank. But before bagging, I add up my stash.

Tonight's count came to $113.33. I'll use 33 cents as seed money for my syrup pitchers, and keep one dollar coin because I'm a little superstitious about the number 13. The remaining $112 is going into the savings account.

It took me approximately a year to fill the three pitchers this time. I'm using my debit card more for purchases these days than for ATM withdrawals. Nevertheless, saving coins is an easy practice that pays off, so I plan to keep on collecting my loose change.

(UPDATE: I can't get over how quickly my arm recovered from the fall, especially since it was extremely sore that evening and throughout the night.  All that's left of the incident is a bruise the size of a softball on my left hip that hurts when I touch it. But it doesn't keep me from doing anything. Again, feeling very lucky and blessed!)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Lucky Me

This morning I'm feeling very lucky. On my afternoon neighborhood walk yesterday afternoon, I slipped on a patch of mud on the sidewalk and my left leg and arm hit the concrete. A passing car slowed, but didn't stop. How can people behave like that?

Anyway, I managed to get up, so surmised nothing was broken, and walked home very slowly. I then took a couple of ibuprofen, but the soreness began to set in quickly. By late evening, I could barely lift my left arm. And, despite taking a couple of aspirin with a sleep aide before bed, I woke all night every time I rolled on my left side.

This morning, my arm was so sore I forced myself to do some exaggerated moves to make sure nothing was broken. Fortunately, within an hour of being up and moving, my arm was 80-percent better!

I'm feeling extremely lucky and grateful. And the weather is warmer with full sun. It's a blessed day!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Getting Back to Normal

I just realized it's been nearly a week since I posted.  Honestly, days just fly by sometimes!

Part of the reason I've been so unaware is because I've been down with a cold for five days.  It's seriously been a rough school year for me.  It doesn't seem to matter how many precautions I take, if the grandsons get sick, within 2-3 days, so do I.  To say I'm looking forward to summer is an understatement!

What I've hated the most about being sick this time around is missing the great weather we've been having.  But, finally, this afternoon I was well enough to take my neighborhood walk again. And it's another beautiful sunny day in the 60s, perfect walking weather.

Now it's back to laundry, dinner prep, steam-cleaning floors, and other fun stuff.  Have a great week!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

My Favorite Paris Souvenir

Up until a couple of months ago, I hadn't polished my fingernails for years, mainly because I'm always fighting eczema.  But just before our Paris trip, my new prescription had gotten the eczema under control enough that I treated myself to a couple of manicures.  Yes, I could have colored my nails myself, but I've never enjoyed doing that.  Paris, however, changed my DIY manicure attitude.

Mavala nail enamal,
a great product produced
in Switzerland.
While in Paris, we ran into pharmacies several times to get tissues, ibuprofen, and other OTC items.  At every pharmacy, there was the same small display of tiny bottles of nail enamel, which I immediately found adorable.  Upon closer examination, however, there appeared to be the color I'd been searching for for several years, a pale nearly-translucent pink.  So, on our third pharmacy visit, I finally caved and purchased one bottle of Mavala Rose for five euros, roughly six dollars.

Shortly after we got home, hoping for the best, I got out my base and top coats and gave myself a manicure. Success!

Mavala Rose is the exact color I'd been wanting.  Plus it goes on easily and one coat gives the desired effect. But, best of all, it dries fast and lasts a long time.  I like it so much, I did an online search for a second bottle and was thrilled to find it on Amazon for $6.00 with free shipping/handling.

I should be able to get at least 20 manicures out of one bottle.  And, because it's so easy to use, I'll do them myself, saving a lot of money.  Who knew a tiny bottle of nail enamel would be my favorite Paris souvenir!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Not a Fan of Uncle Sam

When we sold the family business last November, we received eighty percent of the purchase price. As is normal with the sale of a pest control business, the remaining twenty percent was held back to be paid out a year later.  But the exact amount of the second check will be based on retention. I've decided to expect nothing, so that any amount will be a nice surprise.

Two-thirds of the purchase price we already received has been invested, planning for Jim's retirement in five years.  And the hope was the remaining third would cover taxes and the remodeling of our 30+-year-old kitchen.  But Uncle Sam had a different idea.  We ended up being taxed thirty-percent of the purchase price, five percent more than expected.  If we decide to proceed with the kitchen remodel, therefore, we'll now have to tap into our home equity.

That's a "hard pill to swallow" since we've been debt-free for nearly five years.  But our old kitchen is quickly getting to the point when it will have to be redone no matter what.  Appliances are slowing dying and new ones will not fit the same foot-prints.

So a kitchen remodel is my newest project.  Last week I met with a designer and general contractor. I've also been doing a lot of online research, and closely examining our budget to find ways to save more money.  I should have all the numbers by early May.

I love to cook and have been dreaming of a new more-efficient kitchen for many years.  I'm "keeping my fingers crossed" that, one way or another, my dream will be realized this summer despite Uncle Sam's greediness.

Friday, April 12, 2013

MS Weekend

Mike, Emily,
Elliott and Jonah
Five years ago, my son-in-law was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis after his eyesight was severely compromised seemingly overnight.  He spent a few days in the hospital while tests were run and heavy doses of steroids were administered.  Gratefully, his eyesight fully returned within weeks.  And, so far, his weekly self-administered injections are keeping the disease under control, and have prevented any progression.

When our MS journey began, we were told Mike was one of the more fortunate victims.  He was fit, young, and his symptoms were "silent."  In other words, no one can guess Mike has MS.  But the best news was there's a very real possibility a cure will be found in Mike's lifetime.

To that end, every spring we actively participate in MS fundraisers and the St. Louis MS Walk.  Tomorrow is our annual garage and bake sale held at my daughter's house.  We've already donated a truck load of items.  (Every year I'm amazed that we find that much stuff!)  And I've spent the morning baking and packaging cookies.  Then Sunday is the annual spring St. Louis MS Walk.  The weather is predicted to be sunny and in the 70s, which will be so appreciated after years of walking in the rain and cold.

So, that's our focus for this weekend.  If you would like to help, I'll be collecting monetary donations through my MS webpage for the next couple of weeks.  Every little bit helps and is greatly appreciated.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

"I Yam What I Yam. . ."

Mom rarely opens her eyes now.  She sleeps most of the day either in bed or in a geri-chair.  Dad sees her four mornings a week and feeds her breakfast.

Last Tuesday, while dad was feeding mom, I touched her arm, got six inches away from her face, said "hi, mom," and got absolutely no reaction.  Yet, dad continued to feed her.  I was so concerned I did some research.  I found it's extremely risky to feed someone who's not fully awake, especially if the person doing the feeding has no training.  So I told dad I'm concerned mom might choke or aspirate while he's feeding her when she's not fully awake.  Big mistake!

Dad twisted my words in his head and came to the conclusion I'm willing to let mom starve to death. And he just can't understand how I could be so "cold-hearted."  First of all, someone in mom's state doesn't feel the starving if that should occur.  Second of all, I never suggested no one feed mom, just that it be someone with experience and training.  I mean, how will dad feel if mom chokes or aspirates while he's feeding her?

I have to admit a few of my family members often misinterpret what I say.  I might take some of the blame, but most relatives and all of my friends seem to have no problem understanding me. Besides, I'm 61 years old, so I don't see me changing.

I'm sorry for dad that he took things so wrong, but the incident was a turning point for me.  In the past, I would have desperately wanted to explain myself and "fix it."  But, this time, I'm leaving it alone, finally understanding that I have no control over how people think.  And I don't have the energy to constantly edit myself for certain individuals.  As Popeye says, "I yam what I yam and tha's all I yam!"

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Perseverance Pays Off

My feet have several challenges.  I have a frozen toe joint in my right foot and a huge bunion on the left foot.  Plus both feet are double wide.  Because we do a lot of walking when we travel, however, I really don't want to give up walking as a fitness option.  And I seem to be doing OK.

Even though we used the public transportation in Paris a lot this last trip, we still walked several miles every day.  And I was pleased to be nearly pain-free for most of it.  Plus any little discomfort I had was easily fixed by taking a break and an ibuprofen pill.

I, therefore, decided to keep up my walking regimen when we returned.  But I really needed a true fitness walking shoe, so I started another online search.  I'd looked for walking shoes many times before, but always ended up ditching or returning them.

This time I ended up taking a chance on the Easy Spirit Romy and I'm thrilled to report it works great for me.  I now finally have a shoe that gives me support and bounce when I hit the sidewalk for my brisk neighborhood walk.

Unless you've walked in my shoes (pun intended), you have no idea what a big deal finding a comfortable shoe is.  Believe me it's huge and I'm glad I persevered!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Closet Switch

I spent the entire morning switching out my closet's cold-weather clothes for warm-weather items. Hubby has the walk-in closet in our bedroom, so I have the regular closets in our bedroom and guest room.  I keep my off-season clothes in the guest room.

While making the switch, I decided to try on nearly all of my warm-weather clothes.  I'm refusing to get down about the pieces that no longer fit and just be happy that most items will work, again, this year.  With what I already have and a couple of online orders I placed this week, I'm now set for spring and summer weather.  And grateful I don't have to shop at the brick-and-mortar stores!

Funny, I used to love shopping for clothes and now I hate it.  I think it's primarily because there are so many other things I'd rather be doing.  But I still want to dress fashionably, so I'm very grateful for all the online shops.

Now back to re-organizing the hobby room, a fun task!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Spring Fever Attack

The high temperature today is predicted to be in the upper 40s.  But, beginning Friday, the forecast is 60s and 70s for the rest of the month.  Spring is finally here!

And I have spring fever.  I woke today ready to start cleaning out every closet and drawer in my house.  I plan to begin with my hobby room closet.  Time to purge items I no longer use and make things I grab often more easily accessible.  It should be a fun day.

My goal is to finish the total-house clean out by April 13.  The MS Fundraiser Garage Sale my daughter and son-in-law typically hold on Holy Saturday was moved to April 13 this year, because last weekend we still had snow on the ground.

A plan with a goal, what a great way to start the week and a new month!