Thursday, December 5, 2019

Less Than Three Weeks Until Christmas?!

I heard on the news today that there is less than three weeks until Christmas and I immediately had to check my calendar to be sure.  Sure enough, 19 days from now it will be Christmas Eve.  Yikes!

Currently we have no Christmas plans but we usually end up cooking for all of the cousins and their families so I guess we better get to planning that and I have friends in Japan that I send gifts to which I need to do ASAP.  Fortunately we culled our Christmas gift list (after our immediate family expanded to 100+ people!) and now only send money to the kids (5 of them) which they use to buy things for themselves and the grandkids (13 of them!).  We figure it is better for them to buy what they like instead of giving gifts they may not even want.  Hubby and I don't give each other gifts anymore since we just buy what we want, when we want it, but hubby does make me a home-made card for Christmas which I look forward to each year.  I don't even do Christmas cards anymore (Facebook is so much easier and faster and I'm a bit lazy so...), and we didn't decorate either (hubby's days of climbing ladders to put up lights are long past and we don't have any kids or grandkids here to need a Christmas tree--plus trees in the desert cost around $80 which is crazy considering that when we lived in Washington we just went outside and cut down a tree for the cost of a $5 permit!).

I hope your Christmas plans are coming along well...

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Holiday Shopping...Or Not

When the Black Friday ads started coming out--at about the time we were cleaning up from Halloween!--there was so much cool tech that I absolutely wanted.  Note that I really don't even need any new tech as my phone still works great, my laptop is awesome, and I have not one but two tablets which also work great.  But I love tech and the prices on everything from tablets and laptops to appliances and TVs are soooo cheap this year!

The first item on my list was a Fitbit which was on sale for only $49.  I figure that having a Fitbit will inspire me to walk more (I think this every year when they are heavily advertised!) so I told hubby that I was going to pick one up and he said "why? you've had three of them and you return them within a week."  Hubby is right, of course.  I just couldn't really get into Fitbits before because they were so complicated.  I couldn't turn them on and off when I wanted, I had to wear them around my wrist and I never wear watches or jewelry so it was kind of annoying, and they just seemed like more hassle than they were worth.

So I decided not to pick up the Fitbit and tried to figure out what else I could use instead and I found that there are several free apps for my cell phone that would basically do the same thing.  I tried a couple of apps which I didn't like then I read about a simple pedometer app--called Pedometer, how basic is that?--which is super basic and easy to use.  I gave it a try today when I did a 10k and I LOVE it!  It is super simple, just push start when I start walking and stop when I am done, and it is also very accurate even though I was walking both inside and outside.

A bit of creativity--and free technology--saved me at least $50!  Now I am going to look at the other things on my "want" list and try to come up with cheaper solutions that would be just as good as spending money on stuff I don't really need.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Our Anniversary!

Today hubby and I celebrated our 29th anniversary (actually 33rd anniversary as we met on this day 33 years ago and moved in together a couple days after that--talk about moving fast!--then got married exactly four years after that).  Today hubby made me a nice card as he has done for years and years, and then we spent the day out shopping around (we didn't buy anything, just looked), had lunch at the casino (free), watched the overhead light show and listened to bands in the downtown Fremont area (free), and had dinner at another casino (also free).  We had a fun day just enjoying each other's company!

On another note, we skipped Black Friday all together as there was nothing that we actually needed.

And on another another note, I am back on Facebook.  After months of not using it and trying alternative ways to communicate with people like text message and email, it seemed really hard to send messages to individual people or small groups and remember what was sent to who and forgetting to add people, etc.  So Facebook seems to be the best way to communicate with groups of people although I really really wish there was a better social network I could use!

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you are all having a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday today!  The hubby and I are watching the Macy's Parade and enjoying a quiet holiday at home but we may head out later to do some Black Friday shopping later.  It may even snow here today which is really really rare!  Of course we had a very frugal dinner today; since there are only two of us we went to the deli and got a few thick slices of roast turkey instead of cooking a whole bird, then I made all of the sides myself.  I also made pies...

Happy holidays to you and yours!

Sunday, November 24, 2019

10 Things for Today

Today I am...

  1. Shampooing all of our carpets.  The $50 carpet shampooer we bought a few years ago has paid for itself several times over.  It's easy to use and does a great job freshening up/cleaning the carpet.
  2. Celebrating hubby's great blood pressure.  The few times he checked it when everyone was here it was 160/90 (!).  In the last two days while eating a healthier diet at home (and with much less stress) it has dropped to 120/70 with no change in his medications.
  3. Trying to avoid all of the Black Friday ads online.  There are so many great deals on tech right now but I really don't need anything new, even though the prices are really low.
  4. Deciding to #OptOutside on Black Friday (the Friday after Thanksgiving).  Since I don't need to shop, I will do another 10k with my walking club on that day, thus saving money and improving my health at the same time.
  5. Thinking about new year resolutions.  Who am I kidding?  I never keep my resolutions but about this time of year I come up with all kinds of things I want to accomplish in the new year.
  6. Wondering if we will get snow for Thanksgiving.  Snow in Las Vegas is really rare but apparently the weather forecasters think we may get some this week which would be really exciting!
  7. Looking forward to the National Finals Rodeo which takes place in Las Vegas starting next week.  There will be cowboys everywhere, lots of great rodeo events (some free!), and even the ever-popular Cowboy Christmas craft fair.
  8. Still trying to figure out what to do for our anniversary next week.  After 33 years together, our anniversary isn't such a big event but I would still like to come up with something nice to do with the hubby.
  9. Debating the merits of fostering a pet for the holidays.  Our local animal shelter is looking for foster families for the holidays.  This seems like a great idea (kind of a try before you buy for pets) but I don't know if we would be too busy to do this or not.
  10. Praying for Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  She is simply amazing and I really really hope she outlasts Trump's presidency.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Back to Normal!

The rest of our guests left yesterday so as of today, we are back to "normal"!  I headed out on a 10k walk with my walking club this morning around a pretty park in Las Vegas and hubby went and played poker in peace without having to worry about meeting up with people/picking up or dropping off people/cooking for people/etc.  It's been quite the busy month! 

Now that hubby's surgery sites have healed up, the wedding is done, and the remaining guests who stayed an extra couple weeks after the wedding have all returned home, we are looking forward to a very quiet Thanksgiving with just the hubby and I (something we started a few years ago and really enjoy compared to the hustle and bustle of cooking for a huge group of people...we will do Christmas for everyone but Thanksgiving will be simple and peaceful).

Among the events of the past couple weeks...

  • We have eaten out SO MUCH because everyone wants to try all of the fabulous restaurants in Las Vegas but now I feel like a stuffed turkey and hubby's blood pressure shot up so we will get back on track with at-home, mostly vegan meals which are way healthier than restaurant food.
  • One of our guests forgot her insulin at home when she came to visit.  Talk about a mad scramble!  A visit to the ER would have been very expensive, ditto a visit to urgent care (did you know that ONE Lantus insulin pen costs nearly $500??? Yikes).  Community clinics don't carry insulin (they said go to the ER), so she spent nearly $70 to have her insulin FedExed to her overnight.
  • The same guest, who happens to be in pretty poor health, fell twice while she was here.  She is elderly and ill and not at all steady on her feet and she was walking ahead of us and tumbled right down the stairs.  Fortunately nothing was broken, unfortunately the poor lady was black and blue from head to toe (blood thinners will do that to you) and she looked like she went a few rounds with Mike Tyson!  This is the first vacation she has had in years so she was still happy to have got to visit and see some of the relatives she hadn't seen in ages. 
  • The SIL played in a big bingo tournament and won $17,000!  I've never won that much in my life and she was only marginally excited about her win but if I won that much I would be doing cartwheels or something!
  • The weather her has been wonderful and it is the end of November.  When our guests were heading back home to the cold and snow, I was extra thankful that we live in a sunny, and generally warm, place.
  • I'm still marveling at the fact that while I have only worked about six weeks of this entire year, money still seems to "show up" when I need it so I can pay all of my bills; it's quite amazing actually.  I will refocus on either getting a job or starting some sort of business in the new year.
  • Finally, a couple things that seemed like big (financial) deals turned out to be minimal things.  I thought I might have needed another crown when I went to the dentist a few days ago but he said my teeth are fine, I just need a cleaning so that was wonderful, then hubby's van had some sort of binging oil light go off which according to Google might have been something major but turned out to be a simple sensor replacement--yippee!