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Archive for July, 2023

Appliance shopping

July 30th, 2023 at 08:02 pm

My refrigerator chose to die on the hottest day of the year.

Actually, it IS repairable, but would cost more than a thousand to repair, so I was advised to go shopping instead.

And I can't really complain--the machine is 29 years old!  (The previous homeowner left me all the manuals for appliances and things she'd purchased that stayed with the house.)

In the meantime, it's actually not 100% dead yet, just dying, and a purchase of two big bags of ice from the convenience store plus the refrigerator's insulation seems to be keeping things cool enough that I'm not worried.

Delivery of the new machine is Thursday morning--just in time for my annual houseguest, who arrives on Saturday.

I also thought about replacing the range at the same time.  

The range actually died two years ago (it works, but I smelled gas, so I had the neighbor turn off the gas and haven't used it since.)  I do most of my cooking with my instant pot and air fryer anyhow, so it wasn't a major loss.  Plus I have a countertop kettle for boiling water.  That has sufficed.

The advantage of replacing the range now is that they are probably going to have to remove doors to get the fridge in.  My house was built in 1915 and the entry to the living room is through a 29-inch doorway (with an antique French door).

The disadvantage is the additional cost right now, plus I'm still a little iffy on whether I want to replace the old gas range with a new gas range or if I want to convert to electric or induction.  It's cheaper to just replace gas with gas.  I anticipate remaining in the house for another 7 to 10 years.  If I thought I would live here for longer, my preference would be to switch to induction, even though that's pricey.

Right now the plan is to wait until January (when there are likely to be sales) and buy a new range then.  Maybe a dryer too.  At that point, I will have replaced every major appliance except the furnace.  I don't want to wait too long to replace the range since I think that gas is going out of style, so I don't want to wait until it becomes hard.  And in the interim, I'll think about whether I might want to convert to electric or induction.

Two minor $$ wins

July 1st, 2023 at 10:45 pm

Got two long-outstanding "to dos" done today:

1.  Canceled a magazine subscription that had automatically renewed for a refund.  I like the magazine but have no time to read it.

2. Called my internet service provider (which was also my cable company back when I had cable TV, which I haven't since 2008).  Every year they yank up the price--but if you call them and request a promotional rate, they'll give it to you.  My promo rate had gone from $47 to $65 a few months ago (plus the assorted fees and taxes) and I had been too busy to call.  But I saw the payment go out of my account today and that was the prompt to call them.  Got the base rate back down to $30 for now!

Mid-Year Assessment and Re-Boot; also Belated Blogoversary

July 1st, 2023 at 07:15 pm

Well, this year got knocked off track by Buffy's illness and passing :^(.  Still feeling like the wind was knocked out of my sails.  This next month is the lightest of the year at work and I have already arranged to take every Friday off, and hopefully I will both be able to make some progress on personal goals and get some R&R.

With regard to my 2023 Goals:

Health:  Well, I lost weight from Buffy's diagnosis to passing, then gained it back.  I'm currently at about 1 pound down from the beginning of the year.  Exercise was going well until Buffy's passing and even for a bit after, but the combination of my overall sense of exhaustion after the stress of Buffy's illness with the record number of poor air quality days has put a dent into things recently.  Working with the personal trainer twice a week, which I did from September until Buffy's diagnosis in March, was very helpful, but I'm still paying down the debt from Buffy's illness.  I'm planning to get back to my regular "slogging" (very slow jogging) and join a nearby gym to work out on machines a couple of times a week just so that my muscles don't go to complete mush, then I'll go back to working out with the trainer again in the fall. 

North Star goals:I tend to organize my life by major goals.  Ever since 2009, the year that I left academia, (and my last long-term romantic relationship ended, and my mother and Henry the Pricey and Priceless Basset Hound were diagnosed with their terminal illnesses), the goal that served as my North Star was becoming a financial planner.  Well, I've been one for nearly a decade now, putting the cap on that achievement with my official CFP certification 2 years ago this week.  Then I turned to restoring my health as the major goal.  Even though I gained a little weight back recently, I'm still down about 30 pounds from 2 years ago and even with the exercise slow-down, I can jog a mile and still do so a couple of times a week at least.  I certainly need to continue on the health improvement path, but I've got some decent habits generally in place, and what's come in to view recently is planning for retirement as the next "North Star" goal to organize my long-term planning from now (about 7 weeks shy of 63) until age 70.  And what *that* means is trying to focus more on finding a place to live in retirement (in my area; I don't plan to move away from here), getting ready to move, and focusing more on relationships and hobbies (as well as my health) so that I have built something to retire TO, not just to retire FROM.  I'm a creature of habit, with my identity very (too much) tied to my work, so this too will be a long, slow process.  [I just noticed that my 17-year Blogoversary was a bit over a week ago; any of you who have been with me since that 2006 time frame when a lot of us seem to have started here can see that transition in real time in my blog.]

Systems, habits, & routines:  This is where I've gotten off track recently.  My performance at work had improved before Buffy's illness, then slowed down again.  But right now I have NO CLIENT MEETINGS scheduled for July, so it's my chance to catch up and get ahead.  Although not much is on the calendar yet, it looks like August could end up being super-busy with as many as 16 meetings on the administrative assistant's "to schedule" list.  Typically, I have 8-12 a month.  Plus, we just adopted new tax-planning software at work, which I am trying to master ahead of everyone else since as the only CPA in the financial planner role in my firm, people look to me for support.

My big goal for July is to make some significant progress on decluttering my house.  I have a houseguest arriving 5 weeks from today.  Every year when she comes, I manage to get the surfaces cleaned off, so that the place is reasonably presentable.  But every year the piles in my various storage spaces in the house just end up expanding.  This year, I want to actually GET SOME OF THE EXCESS OUT of the house, rather than merely re-arranging it.  Wish me luck!

My incentive for this:  I'm not allowing myself to get another cat until I make some progress.  Hopefully I can make decent progress during the next month, then adopt two new cats (my plan is to adopt a bonded pair of young adult cats) sometime this fall.

In the meantime, I probably spend several hours a week watching cat videos and missing my Buffy.