I've been doing a variety of things to get ready for the coming winter.
Yesterday I got 4 new Michelin tires for my car. I got them at BJs. I made sure to ask to see the tires before they were put on my vehicle, to check the date of manufacture found on the sidewall, since old tires that have sat around a warehouse for too long just age prematurely, irregardless of how much you drive or don't drive.
I've read that if the tires are over 2 years old that you should ask to get different, newer tires. I was really hoping that wouldn't be the case since I don't have much time these days for a run around, but luckily the date of manufacture was Feb. 2017. DONE.
To kill time while the tires were being done, I walked over to the Kohl's and shopped. Nothing I needed but I wound up buying a nice wine-colored, duck down-filled winter coat for about $55 after coupons. It's super soft, has a hood and lots of pockets, including inside pockets and HOPEFULLY will be warm.
On Friday morning I also got my flu shot. The location was in town, but still 10 minutes out of the way compared to my usual commute route, but I was the first appointment of the day and they took me immediately. DONE
I spent a little time yesterday afternoon putting away the last of my potted plants, which sat baking in the driveway all summer. The cosmos, which I had planted from seed mailed to me by someone on a butterfly propagation Facebook site, were so easy to grow and attracted a lot of pollinators, so I decided I wanted to grow the orange and yellow flowers again next summer. I let everything to go seed and I had plenty of seed heads to cut and crumble. DONE
I am making a list of small jobs for a freelance electrician I know to come and tackle all in one visit. The main thing I want him to do is install a new light timer so my exterior front door lights will be on when I arrive home from work in the dark.
I had one years ago but it broke. Since then, I used solar lights on stakes, but they, too, stopped working after a few years and I found the light too low to the ground to help when I'm fumbling with a key in the door and my hands full of stuff.
And I know they have a lot of products where you can control the lights remotely using your Smartphone, but since I find my smartphone not 100% reliable (and part of that is my novice abilities) I don't want to come to rely on it for too much.
So the list is DONE but I can't call the guy til the flea problem is dealt with. Especially since I'm living with lots of diatemacious earth all over the carpets, seat pads, etc.
Looking forward to ending mowing for the season so I can stop paying for that particular chore. Maybe 2 more weeks to go.
My furnace heat has now been reset as per my new schedule. It's still only been on sporadically. I like to have it kick on about 10 minutes before I have to get out of bed on a chilly morning, and also to have it running when I arrive home from work. However, my arrival home could be anytime between 5:45 pm, if I'm let out of work early, to as late as 9 pm.
I've been fiddling around with a light timer inside the house, again, just to have some light on the house when I arrive home so it's not a completely dark house. I have yet to get it working properly. It's on my list of things to do today.
In other news...
I got my bank statement from old bank and when I balanced, I saw that every check has now been returned/paid out. So I was able to go to the bank yesterday, close out the checking account and get the balance of $3,000-odd dollars in cash (a check would have cost me $10) and then I had to go to new bank to deposit that money. Once it clears the new checking account I will do an online transfer to one of my Barclay's accounts which get better interest.
The teller asked me why I was closing the account. I told her I'd been with them for at least 20 years and after all that time, I still felt completely neutral about the bank. I just felt I should be getting more for being a loyal customer.
It was a hassle setting up the account with all my credit cards and doing micro deposit checks with my brokerage accounts, but I hope it was worth it.
I met dad for lunch yesterday. It's not quite the same as all these many months I've met him for dinner, but I hate driving at night if I can avoid it and I feel I'm doing so much running around on my weekends. It just seems easier to do lunch, but it makes for a more abbreviated visit with dad, and that is what this is all about.
Now that the sale of his house is DONE, and after helping him also sell his boat, motor and trailer, he told me recently he had 3 old ceramic jugs he wanted to sell which he'd bought years ago at an antique store.
I quickly (and amazingly) found a guy on a vintage jug collectors website who especially seeks out jugs imprinted with certain Paterson, NJ businesses, which made the jugs to store olive oil, wine or liquor.
He expressed an interest in seeing dad's jugs, so yesterday I told him let's do lunch in your town so I can take pictures of the jugs, which I did. The collector emailed me back and offered $60 for 2 of them. I had made the mistake of telling dad earlier that my quick research online seemed to indicate they would sell for around $100 each, but I have no idea if that's accurate and of course condition is always a factor. So dad was disappointed with the offer, which I thought he should take anyway since the chance of finding another person with an interest in such a specific thing is negligible.
The collector then offered $70 for the pair but indicated he wouldn't go higher. I'm hoping dad will accept because I am acting as middleman for all these sales and have to take time to relay a lot of back and forth conversations, etc. The collector lives in NJ not far from my half-brother's house and said he would pick up.
Dad has also mentioned he has some sleds he wants to sell and there's still his canoe and kayak, which can wait til the spring. I like helping him, but sometimes I get a little tired of it.
I have come to greatly dislike going to the dump. I liked going during the week when I wasn't working, but now I'm forced to go when everyone else has to go, Saturday mornings. It's always mobbed.
I've always thought the layout of recycling vs organics vs trash was poorly designed becus if you pull over to the right lane to drop off recyclables, when it gets crowded you get boxed in by the left lane of cars going straight toward the trash drop-off.
And since the organics drop-off is in-between recyclables and trash, it means I have to wait to get back in line from recyclables, get out of line for organics, and then wait to cut back into line for the trash. Sound confusing?
It would be better to get there before 9 am, but truth be told, on my precious weekend day I don't like to rush out the door in the morning. It is also slower right before closing time, between 2:30 and 3 pm, but it's harder to organize my schedule to accommodate such a late drop off of trash.
It's bad enough that I decided to purchase a composter for $40 that was offered at a discount, supposedly from $100 by the town, which is offering a 2-hour composting workshop next weekend. I'm surprised any workshop would take 2 hours, but I don't know. I've decided to start using the at-home composter so I can eliminate that particular drop-off when I go the dump Saturday mornings.
I checked the composter online and it does indeed sell for $99 on Amazon, so I think I SCORED on this purchase.
So after 5 months of wrangling with an electricity provider who seemed incapable of actually giving me the kilowatt rate they advertised, I followed through on my warning that I'd complain to the state utility regulator, DPUC. Ten days after they DPUC involved, they told me I should be getting the $50 gift card in the mail (something the electric company offered me for all the hassle but then again failed to deliver on) and a refund of any balance owed from not getting the lower advertised rate. I did get the gift card (if I had gotten it earlier I would not have gone to DPUC, so the electric company really shot themselves in the foot). At this point, I have already chosen another utility provider so even with the gift card and any possible rebate I have taken my business elsewhere. Stupidity on their part.
Preparing for winter
I've been doing a variety of things to get ready for the coming winter.