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Archive for January, 2018

The eye worsens, and job questionable job strategies

January 16th, 2018 at 01:35 pm

Ugh. I learned yesterday at eye doc's that I do now have a "small infection" in the eye with the abrasion. So they switched my medication and want to watch it closely.

I am feeling a little anxious about this and just want to get this under control. Infections in the eye can't be good, and they seemed a bit concerned as well.

So I'm going back today. Totally necessary, of course, but I'm wondering what my final tab will be. So far I've paid $160 in copays for 4 visits, plus $40 for the new med. Since I haven't paid my 2018 deductible, I'm guessing this will cost me at LEAST several hundred dollars. At least the deductible (on a COBRA plan I'll be losing next month) is just $500.

Update: Well, I'll be. I just check my Cigna account online and the 1st 2 of the 4 visits were there, and I don't owe anything beyond the copay I already paid. This is a mystery but I'll take it. (I will miss this health plan.)

So far, then, $200 out of pocket, and I'm sure there will be at least 2 more visits beyond today's. I will never take my eyes for granted again. Interesting how kind of a fluke medical event can put things in disarray.

Once I get on the high deductible healthcare exchange plan next month ($5,685 deductible), I would love to open an HSA. I guess I would fund it myself and the contributions would not come from my employer, and I can get a tax deduction at tax time? Never had one of these before but I imagine I can do it with a Vanguard money market account? I can easily transfer cash from one of my online money markets.

We're expecting 2 to 4 inches of snow tomorrow morning. Not a lot of snow by New England measures, but certainly enough to make the morning commute a mess. I will work at home tomorrow. It's just not worth the risk of an accident to be a hero and get to the office.

There may be some benefits to being a somewhat older employee, because I've already established that I don't drive in snowstorms, regardless of what fellow employees do. Used to be, this kind of decision would just stress me out; now i feel there's not as much at stake here so I'll make these kinds of decisions myself.

I will also hopefully avoid having to go back to eye doc tomorrow and having to drive in the bad weather. I will learn that at today's appointment.

My friend keeps urging me to be sure not to quit my job or I'll lose the opportunity for unemployment benefits. I don't see how that's possible if I tell manager I want to scale back hours and work part-time and he says absolutely no, we need you f/t and it would be too much hassle to find another part-time person.

My friend says, let them fire you if need be, but don't quit.

I still have this week to think about it but I'm inclined to just have a talk with manager, tell him I would very much like to continue working there but that I want to have more time with my elderly dad and I want to scale back my hours to about 25 hours a week, or 3 full days, preferably.

If he says no can do, I would probably then just say I'm sorry it won't work out then, and that I would probably start looking for a part-time opportunity elsewhere, although it may take me some time to find the right fit.

Truth be told, I HAVE been looking all this time and not found anything.

And if he then says, fine, and finds someone new to replace me, I again don't think I'd qualify for unemployment since I said I wanted to reduce hours. So I'd sacrifice 6 months of income that would be nice to have, but not much I can do about that.

I could not bring myself to do something stupid enough to get myself fired, either.

The writing on the wall, a fork in the road

January 14th, 2018 at 11:08 am

It's 5 am. Once again, my best thinking takes place in the early morning hours, at a time I'm not even aware I'm "thinking." Thoughts just appear.

And these are my thoughts.

In the next 5 years, I am going to suffer some pretty significant losses. I am concerned about how I will cope, and the toll these losses will take on my emotional health, but at the same time, I want to be there for those who are important to me. For someone who has no spouse or children, what is most important? Close friends and extended family.

My oldest and closest friend R. has advanced prostate cancer. It's been a long journey, but last night he told me, after wrestling with a choice between starting chemo and entering a clinical trial, that he's going with the chemo, ASAP.

He has spent much of the last few years preparing for his death and over this time, he's divested himself of much of his material wealth, probably giving about $200,000 to his younger niece. He's rearranged his condo so his bedroom is on the first floor, prepaid for his funeral and has gotten his ex-wife to agree to nurse him toward the end and look after his dog when he dies.

In short, he has done what he does best: plan and prepare.

I know I will take his death hard, for though our relationship has always been rocky, we've stuck with each other since I met him in my late 20s. He probably knows me better than anyone else, and I know him pretty well too.

The prostate cancer, which he has talked about often, has been a part of his life for years, but maybe it never seemed real to me because outwardly, it didn't affect his life too much; he takes various drugs that kept it at bay. But now, things are getting real. The cancer has progressed. They have found little tumors all over his body. Hence the chemo.

Still, in recent conversations, R. always wants to know what's happening with me, and what my trials and tribulations are. He's ended the call with encouraging words; he's always been good at reminding me of things I have to be grateful for, my accomplishments, and what I've done well in my life.

Then there's my father, who will turn 85 in a few months. His health is stable now, but he has a variety of health challenges, and anything could happen in the next few years.

And finally, there is my cousin J. J. has 2 things in common with my friend R: they are the same age (70), and they both have prostate cancer. J. is still in the phase where the medications he takes keep the cancer at bay, so he is not as far along as my friend.

J., too, is dealing with his prostate cancer (and other health issues), but instead of preparing for death, he is preparing for the best life he can have in what time he has left. He is doing this by getting serious about his health. He told me he wants to get back in as great shape as possible, thru diet and exercise, so that his quality of life is as best it can be and then he hopes for a quick, not lingering, decline leading to death.

He lost 20 pounds in recent months; part of it is, I think, that he wants to look attractive for the 20-something with baby he plans to marry soon. He, too, is grabbing the bull by the horns, pursuing a relationship with a young woman most would think is foolish, doomed or even disgusting. But for a man who stuck it out with an unhappy marriage to an alcoholic for much of his adult life (he was asking my father for advice not long after my own parents split up, and that was when I was 6), I understand his desire to wring some enjoyment and happiness out of life before he goes, and this is what he wants.

He told me last night a probation officer was scheduled to do a home visit of his house prior to the release of the woman from jail, which could be in as little as 2 months time (she was arrested/jailed for drug possession and resisting arrest). Two of the conditions for the home inspection are no alcohol, and no firearms.

So my cousin spent this weekend emptying his house of guns and ammo. He's a huge gun enthusiast and owns many extremely valuable weapons. (Something I personally abhor but I just overlook it for the sake of our friendship, which I enjoy.) He and his friend brought them all over to his friend's house, but after seeing how much space they took up in his friend's garage, they then moved all of it to a storage locker. My cousin estimates he has some 15,000 rounds of ammunition.

This brings us back to "the writing on the wall." I see that I will probably lose 3 very important people in my life in the next few years. I want to enjoy these people while they are still capable of doing so and are still here. I want to spend more time with them and lend as much support as I can when they the going gets tough.

Because they are the most important thing in my life.

I also want to build a stronger social network. While I'm working these crazy hours, I don't feel I can do that. I always pictured myself getting more involved in the many clubs and groups in my adopted hometown community, but I just don't have the time or energy to do that while I'm working full-time.

I want to build that stronger network to help prop myself up after I lose 3 key people in my life.

Which leads me to thinking about leaving my current job, at least in the form it exists now.

Last night I did another quick check of where I stand with retirement savings. I used the T. Rowe Price calculator, which reassured me I should be in reasonably good shape, whether I stopped working now or in 2 years time, whether or not I collected Social Security at 62 or later.

So I'm thinking of telling my boss I don't want to work full-time anymore. I've been there for about 4 months and haven't really been happy, mainly because I don't have control over the length of my workdays.

I'd been planning to talk to him about my future there, hopefully next week, after they return from some national sales meetings our company has been planning for, for months. My plan was to grit my teeth and tell him I wanted to become a "permanent freelancer," which would mean they'd make me an offer *right now the headhunting agency is still writing my paychecks) and pick up half my health insurance premiums on a healthcare exchange plan. And then I would stick it out for 2 years and see how I felt about retirement, or not, after that.

But now the probable short time remaining for some of those close to me has me rethinking things a little. Of not working for 2 more years, because I'm not sure my father, cousin and friend will still be in good shape by then, or even alive.

This is one reason why I've worked so hard to save for retirement (aka, "freedom"). To be able to make decisions that truly are best for me. Now yes, my financial well-being may also be "what's best for me." I do still hesitate a little bit, mainly due to the uncertainty about high health insurance costs until I can get on Medicare in 7 years time.

I'm also feeling a little pressured to make a decision very quickly, because ideally, I would make up my mind about what to do before committing to anything like the arrangement i described at my company, unless i was really going to stick with them. And I'll need to decide that quickly because my COBRA ends Feb. 28 and I'll need to know when I choose a healthcare exchange plan whether I'll qualify for subsidies or not.

When I used the T. Rowe Price calculator, i factored in health insurance costs based on 2018 premiums on the healthcare exchange of about $775 a month, leaving full-time work at age 59 (the software wouldn't allow me to set it at my current age) and making just $16,000 a year. (Presumably I could make at least that at some kind of part-time work.)

I DO want to have some kind of part-time work to lend structure and balance and a sense of productivity to my life while at the same time not allowing work to dominate my life, as it does for most people.

I keep thinking about this one woman at my office who has been there since the company started, around 2009. She's just 2 years younger than me, married with no kids. My guess is that because she told me once her husband works 2nd shift, he is not home when she gets home, usually around 10 pm, and so she must
figure, why not work late at the office since she's going home to an empty house anyway?

It just seems to me she's essentially sacrificed much of her personal life for this job. And I think others have too, which made me understand better why they mostly seem willing to regularly work very long hours, because casual friends have probably dropped by the wayside a long time ago and so their only real "friends" are the people they work with. I noticed this in observing how much they seem to enjoy each other, and how, whereas I generally love to bolt out the door when I know I can, many of them tend to hang around talking and having extended conversations with others before they leave, or on their way out the door.

Anyway, that's just a side note. My experience has been that you usually end up losing friends after leaving a job; it's just too hard to maintain friendships with someone who may not live near you, and with most people being busy raising kids, etc. So I never wanted to rely so much on workplace friendships, because they seemed ephemeral to me.

These are just some of the thoughts swirling around in my head. I think I would do alright, financially, if I left full-time work now. My hope would be that if I told my boss my desire to scale back to a strictly part-time role, he would make that happen, while having to hire another person to pick up the slack. That's what I would hope.

I would pay for my own health insurance, continue a frugal lifestyle, work part-time somewhere, if not where I am currently, and spend a lot more time with family and friends. Not to mention, enjoying my own life more and feeling more relaxed.

What do you think? Would you still stick it out with work for a while longer? I could do that. I just wonder if it would be the right decision.

Knit jeans and other apparel wonders

January 13th, 2018 at 10:14 pm

I hit a home run with a recent class action lawsuit. I subscribe to a newsletter that consolidates all the class action lawsuits and periodically scan and/or file a claim for items I may have purchased.

Usually the check you receive is a few dollars. This time, because not as many people filed claims, more $$ was distributed to those who did. It was the Blue Buffalo lawsuit, and I got a check for $81!!

I am quite pleased with that.

A jean that fools the eye
OK, I admit it...I like to watch TV shopping channels while I'm making dinner or something. I recently bought some boot-cut pants for $21, which includes shipping. They are super comfy pull-on KNIT pants even though they look like JEANS with a regular zipper and button and the same pocket/styling as a regular blue jean. It's almost like trompe l'oeil, especially with the ones that look like blue denim.

I liked the one pair I got in the mail today, so I ordered them in another color. I am always looking for comfortable clothes to wear to work since I sit all day. These pants feel like a sweat pant but are lighter weight, and they should wash well as a knit.

(If you are looking for a skinny pant, you won't like these, because they don't hug the leg.)

Don't ripen bananas in the microwave
Just so you know...it doesn't work.

I had 2 bunches of bananas purchased from Aldi's that were quite green. I do not like to eat mushy bananas. But these were hard as a rock and would NOT ripen after 2 weeks of sitting around. I read online you could zap them in the microwave for about 30 seconds after stabbing them with a fork a few times. Didn't work.

Putting them inside a paper bag also did not work.

I have finally gotten success (slowly) but putting them in a warm area, upstairs, near a heat vent.

I'm on track for retirement
I used T. Rowe Price's retirement calculator to gauge where I stand. If I make no further savings/retirement contributions, retire in 2 years and include Social Security income starting at age 62 (I plan to defer) and based on my estimated monthly needs of $3300 (I could get by with less, but I added a cushion for expensive health insurance), T. Rowe calculates I should have an income from my current investments/savings of $4,560 a month until I'm age 95.

If I include NO Social Security, I would still have a monthly income of $3,130, which also makes me happy since that tells me I should be able to defer taking SS until full retirement age of 66, for a higher subsequent monthly payout.

Eyeglass frame prices and more

January 13th, 2018 at 05:24 pm

So far with my scratched retina I've spent $120 on 3 office visit co-pays and all of $1.12 for the generic antibiotic drops.

But I haven't paid my $500 deductible for this year so I expect to see more bills coming my way. I'll also be incurring another $40 co-pay when I return to doc Monday to hopefully get this thing out of my eye, which is uncomfortable. Two more days and nights to go til then.

I was really looking forward to the weekend but was asked late Friday afternoon if I could work on some hot project that "had to be done" this weekend. It's kind of hard to say no when the owner of the company and my manager are standing there looking at me. At least I can work at home. It's just that I don't know when I'll get the work so, umm, I can't go off hitchhiking to Utah or anything.

Next week many people will be at the meetings we've all been preparing for, for months, so the office should be relatively quiet and maybe I could even leave on time.

This morning I went to local optician to look at eyeglass frames. Only because Cigna said they participate in their Healthy Rewards program that offers discounts on frames. Turns out they don't. It still came out to just under or over $400. .

The markup on eyeglass frames seems to be similar to the amount some people for mattresses...meaning, a lot, and way in excess of what it's actually worth. Just my opinion.

I decided to try Target, and found a better selection of frames there. I chose one and again the price was about $400. I supposedly "saved" $160 with my Cigna Healthy Rewards, .

I didn't really feel like investing more time in eyeglass shopping, so I bit the bullet and ordered a pair. Depending on how they work (they're progressives), I may wind up getting another pair just for use with the computer, because that's what I'm having trouble seeing right now. I keep having to use the lowest portion of my current glasses to read, and even then, my vision's not great. They are quite scratched up, too and I never liked the frames much. (Got them at BJs 5 years ago.)

So I'm really looking forward to the new pair of glasses, which I should have in 1-2 weeks. If I do get the 2nd pair of computer glasses, I will definitely try an online place like Zenni Optical. Seems like it would be harder to mess up a single strength lens.

And the weekend is nearly here!

January 12th, 2018 at 12:23 pm

Heating oil price mysteries
I've been checking oil prices daily on my usual go-to heating oil delivery company website. When temps are warmer, prices drop, and vice versa. The worst possible time to order heating oil is when it's exceptionally cold.

I've got about a quarter tank left; this is when I like to reorder, because there's usually a lag time of at least 3 days before they can deliver. So this week I've been waiting for the extreme cold temps to pass and was hoping to snag a lower price today, as temps will rise to 50. (They will drop again tomorrow to more seasonal temps, so today was my slim window of opportunity.)

The price did fall yesterday, but today remained the same. The advertised price on their website Was $2.83 a gallon, considerably higher than this time a year ago when it was $2.05 a gallon. (Yes, I track oil prices all year long, looking for patterns.)

Once, over a year ago, I came to them with a lower price from another company, and so they gave me a .05 "price match" discount. I thought this was a one-time deal, but surprisingly, they haven given me this .05 discount ever since.

Yet for some reason, today they gave me a price of $2.75, which is .08 cheaper than their standard offer. I didn't want to question it in case they got it wrong!

And then I learned that if I paid by check, I'd save another .05 a gallon, or $7.50. Hey, it's something. So I will get my 150 gallons for $2.70 a gallon. Note to self: Always pay by check.

My eye issues
The pain from my scratched retina has eased somewhat as the antibiotic drops have kicked in, but it's still feeling uncomfortable since my doctor inserted a "shield," much like a contact lense, to protect the eye. I can feel the edges of this thing in my eye, and I have to sleep with it and keep it in my eye til I return to the doctor's on Monday.

I wasn't even sure I'd be able to sleep with it in last night, but thankfully, I did.

So when I went to see doc yesterday morning, he had another doctor, a dry eye specialist, look at my eye. I asked her if it was a very deep scratch and she said no, it was not, but it was fairly large, and that's why I was feeling as uncomfortable as I was. Yet I am not allowed to keep doing the eye drops for pain that my regular doctor gave me.

On top of that, the shield thing they inserted in my eye causes my vision to be blurry. You can imagine how difficult it is to perform my job as a one-eyed editor. I had a good laugh about that with someone I work with at the office.

I sure will be glad to put all this behind me, soon. It's amazing how much we take simple things like our vision for granted, until something goes wrong.

We're expecting lots of rain today. Instead of my morning walk before work, I may go out there with a shovel instead and try to shovel away snow from my foundation to avoid a wet basement.


Fun new survey program

January 11th, 2018 at 01:07 pm

My local hometown bank, the one I just switched my checking account to, sent me an interesting offer, which I've taken them up on.

It's a kind of mystery shopper program where they'll pay me $10 a survey, up to 3 surveys a month, where I answer questions about my contact with the bank; I have to visit the bank once a month, which I usually end up doing anyway.

The programs will last for 12 months, so there's potential for me to make an extra $360! This will be a nice addition to my long ongoing Communispace credit card surveys, where I usually earn $20 a month.

Headed to my eye doctor in about 10 minutes to check on my eye. I'm not sure the pain eye drops are doing much, but for now, the eye feels "ok." Thank god for drugs, when you need them.

I hope I can do my job without too much trouble. When I woke up, I did not even feel like going in, to be honest. My eye was all filmy/smeary from all the drops I put in and it made me think my vision had gone blurry before I realized it was all the drops

Hurt my eye

January 10th, 2018 at 10:25 pm

OK, I have very dry eyes to begin with. It often feels like I have something in my eye, and I don't.

I woke up this morning with my right eye feeling very sore. I found an eyelash in my eye, which I promptly removed. I'm guessing it was in my eye all night. Normally, your eye would wash it away, but with my eyes being so dry, that didn't happen. It no doubt just stuck there, causing irritation all night long while I slept.

I applied some drops (free samples from eye doc from last week's visit) and off to work I went. Eye started feeling really sore now, almost intolerable. At lunchtime, went to buy more drops. (The pricey pharmacy in the town where I worked charged me $16 for the tiny bottle, and only after I used it did I notice it was 8 months past its expiration. (I will be returning this for a refund.)

Now my eye felt even worse. I called my eye doctor; he had one appointment time available at 3:05 pm. I flew out there with hurried explanations to 2 coworkers since my manager was in a meeting.

I was 20 minutes late but did see the doctor, who confirmed I have an abrasion on the lens. He gave me eye drops for pain and for antibiotics and I have to see him again tomorrow morning, before I go into work, to make sure there is no infection.

I expected the pain meds to work, but they have not, and I am still in a considerable amount of discomfort. It hurts to close my eyes. It hurts to open my eyes. It hurts to move my eyeball in any direction. I can only apply 1 drop of the pain med a day.

Sunday activities

January 7th, 2018 at 09:56 pm

1. Made a batch of granola, which should last about 2 weeks.

2. My turmeric capsules were running low, so I filled another month or so's worth by filling them myself with organic turmeric I bought in bulk and store in the freezer.

3. My new Samsung TV is now fully working, both with the antenna and Roku, though I still get just 2 channels with the antenna. The room it's in faces north and east, and that just isn't the right place, I guess. Come warmer weather, I'll likely move the TV down to my family room, which is closed off now for winter.

4. I donated $25 toward the purchase of 30 farmland acres in town that will be developed for housing if $600,000 isn't raised by mid-January. It's a scenic area with an old farm I've hiked past many times.

They have only slightly surpassed the $300,000 point, so it seems doubtful they will reach the goal unless some angel contributor steps forward. This is actually why I delayed contributing til now...they were so far behind.

I did grocery shopping at Aldi's, BJs and Big Y, stocking up At BJs on 2 heavy boxes of cat litter. I'll get as much as I can before my membership ends Feb 28.

Filled up the gas tank.
Stopped at Tractor Supply for some birdseed.

Tidied up, here and there.

Tomorrow it's back to my normal work routine. I hope to raise the subject of my future work status with manager some time this week. I need to know, if only so I know whether or not to claim subsidies.

Time for new eyeglasses

January 5th, 2018 at 09:20 pm

Has anyone had success buying eyeglasses from somewhere other than a typical retail optical center and saving money?

I'm not a Costco member so can't go there. I confirmed that. I used BJs last time around and don't feel there were much of any savings. (I wear progressive lenses.)

There's a frame shop associated with my eye doctor that had nice frames at $180. More than I'd like to spend but I am truly sick of the glasses I've worn now for 5 years.

The frame shop is having a special package deal where the lenses and frames are $350, but I don't know yet if they'll offer frames I like for that deal. That deal doesn't start til end of January. I do also have a $50 off coupon for them; not sure if I can use the coupon on their package deal, but I would try.

I'm tempted to try an online place, but I'm worried if the glasses aren't quite right, I can't very well have someone adjust them for me. So I don't know.

I may return to the optical place tomorrow and see if I can find any frames cheaper than $180.

Next up: Replace car battery?
Today I stayed at home to work again for a 2nd day. I tucked the car in the garage as I was worried these frigid temps might make it hard to start the car. It hasn't yet, but I realized recently i still have the original battery in my 2013 Honda, and it should be replaced soon rather than waiting for something to happen.

I'm now a 3-TV household
I bought a new TV (26" or so) to replace the one in the kitchen as I wanted to hook up an HD digital antenna to it so I could watch local news/weather stations on it. I did this successfully with the Samsung in my bedroom.

Unfortunately, while I measured to make the sure the total length of the TV would fit under a kitchen cabinet, I neglected to check the height, and the TV is in fact just 1 inch too high to fit under there. No way, no how.

That stinks. Dumb mistake. So this means the older Sanyo (2005) I had in the kitchen will stay there and I won't get local stations.

So I put the new Samsung (identical to the Samsung in the bedroom) in my office. But interestingly, while the bedroom digital antenna, which faces south, picks up an extra 13 stations, the antenna in my office, which faces east and north, only picks up 2 channels, and reception for those are iffy.

Wondering if it might be worth trying a different HD digital antenna.

I also programmed the Roku for the office TV but now after viewing the 2 over-the-air channels, i can't get back to Roku. So I'll have to call Samsung or Roku for assistance. Frustrating.

Car needs a wash
My car is so filthy from road salt. I had hoped to wash it last weekend, then this weekend, but that won't happen due to the extreme cold. I'm too frugal (cheap?) to pay for a car wash. So I'll wait another week.

Running low on heating oil
I have a little more than a quarter tank of heating oil left. I noticed oil prices jumped to $2.85 where I usually buy it, so I'll wait til mid-week next week, when temps should moderate and hope prices drop again. Otherwise, I'll just have to bite the bullet and pay the going rate.

I need to declutter
I'm looking around here and still feel stifled by so much "stuff," my mother's stuff. I need to begin again to focus on either disposing of things or finding the right place for them because I'm constantly walking over or around things for which I have no room. I have to start "letting go" of more stuff.

The first item will be a handful of wood weaving tools which I will never use. I know a weaver in town who would probably like them. Still, it's hard to let them go. I may keep the 2 hand-hewn sticks to display on my shelves and let go the rest.

Weekend plans
Aside from routine grocery and gas errands this weekend, and lunch with dad, I also hope to change my furnace humidifier filter, stop at the eyeglass frame shop and put away Xmas decorations.

My prayers go out to Thriftorama.

Snowstorm, working from home

January 4th, 2018 at 12:50 pm

We're expecting 8 to 12 inches from today's storm.

I told my manager yesterday toward day's end that I was concerned about the weather and would like to work at home. He said fine. They are actually paying for hotel rooms for 5 or 6 others, who live further away than me, to spend the night! They don't feel they can easily do their work from home, though some I've talked to disagree.

I am glad he didn't ask me to do that. I have a cat to feed and besides, it would be icky not to have a change of clothes, etc.

I have too much stuff in my garage so just left the car outside. It will just take a little more time to clear it off. I brought my car brush and snow shovel indoors for easy access, have made sure my heat will stay on at 67 all day in case there's an outage, and now I have my kerosene heater which will at least keep the pipes from freezing.

The super cold temps will return when the storm dies down and it will be frigid through Sunday, so this would be the worst time to lose power, kerosene heater or not.

Due to having a few days off for the holidays, my paycheck today was only $518 for the week.

My manager wanted me to edit something for him first thing this morning, and I wanted him to see how capable I am of working at home efficiently. Naturally, I couldn't get into our company email remotely with a PW I last used 4 months ago. I had to email him for help, and he in turn emailed the vendor firm they use fir IT stuff; that was nearly an hour ago and I'm still waiting for them to respond. Sigh.

I hope to order new eyeglasses this weekend, assuming doc office manages to mail me my prescription.

New Year's Day Adventures

January 1st, 2018 at 09:40 pm

Tired of being cooped up by cold weather, I decided to go for a short walk. I bundled up in:

* A hat
* 2 layers of mittens, plus hand warmers
* Long underwear and pants
* A turtleneck, sweatshirt and coat
* Thick socks
* A scarf wrapped around my face from nose down.

The only exposed skin was around my eyes. I was comfortable, but only walked for 20 minutes due to a certain area of neighborhood where neighbors always burn wood, and the smell is thick in the air. The Northeast already has the worst air quality in the nation, so no need to breathe the stuff in. I turned around.

Earlier in the day, I posted a barely used pressure cooker for sale on Facebook with several accessory pots that nest inside it for steaming and so forth.

I got over 45 responses. The first person was a no-show. I met the 2nd person at the library, but she questioned me about the part that goes on top of the lid, which I didn't have. I searched high and low for it and tore apart my kitchen without finding it, and finally concluded that it possibly never existed. I thought maybe the pressure relief valve was somehow built in.

I looked online but the Manttra website kept giving me warnings that my info could be pfished, so I didn't go further there, and found no user manuals for my particular model.

She bought it anyway, and then when I returned home, of course that's when I found the top, on the top kitchen shelf inside a cabinet, all the way in the back. Even though I had looked in there before.

So I called her back and drove to meet her, though she was half the way home. She was glad to get it. I felt it was good karma to do this on New Year's Day. Sort of sets the tone for the year ahead.

I made a big pot of tomato vegetable soup today for the workweek lunches. Did a load of laundry which is now drying on racks. Decided to wait til next weekend, for warmer weather, before doing another test drive with the kerosene heater again.

Back to reality tomorrow.