Home > Archive: November, 2019

Archive for November, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving

November 28th, 2019 at 10:46 pm

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

I'm looking forward to my favorite meal of the year. Smile

In money news, I was accepted for a new bonus credit card, the Citi Rewards + card, which will earn me a $200 bonus after I spend $1,500 in the 1st 3 months.

I remembered that I had to temporarily lift the freezes I have at the 3 credit bureaus or I'd be automatically rejected by the card issuer.

It's been a while since I've been accepted for a new credit card. Even though my credit score is sterling, I have no mortgage debt, so I think some issuers have trouble judging my creditworthiness with no installment payments to track, and just the revolving debt of my existing credit cards.

I took advantage of my primary bank's promo where, if you use their debit card 10 times in a 1-month period, you earn a $25 Amazon gift card. Easy peasy.

I also earned another $10 by paying a BOA credit card bill using my phone. I don't plan to be paying bills using my smartphone or my debit card on a regular basis.

As is his wont, my boss gave me a $100 bottle of wine this week. I will save it for when my cousin comes up for a visit between Christmas and New Year's.

Goings on

November 16th, 2019 at 07:51 pm

Sitting here enjoying a hot cup of Assam tea. I was going to rake leaves today, but darn, it's cold.

Well, I finally saw the bear! Not in my own yard, but in the center of town where we have a nice paved walking trail that goes through woods and open meadow, and where our municipal center, senior center, community center and sports complex are, among other things, like a new brewery opening soon.

I got on the trail and ran into my neighbor with her beagle, and we walked together a while until we parted company. I wanted to go see the photo exhibit at municipal center and she continued on the trail.

A short time later, I had returned to my car and was talking on the phone with a friend when I caught something fairly large, black and fluffy running in my rear view mirror. I craned my head around to see what it was, and there it was: a small black bear romping across the mown ball fields.

I later learned my neighbor ran into some other dog walkers who already encountered the bears near the meadow. I am guessing the bear was somewhat spooked by the people and their dogs, because it was running at what I would describe as a slow gallop, looking unsure about where it was going and probably feeling a little ill at ease being so exposed and in an open area.

It ran past my car, then headed down the busy road, and without pausing for a second ran into the roadway; luckily it wasn't hit, and I watched it as it scooted under a metal guard rail fence and then behind the Parks & Rec building. The rear of the building looks to be mostly fenced in as there are several very large mounded hills of I-don't-know-what there, but if the bear made its way out of there, it would have found the state horse guard stables and, beyond that, the woods and Pootatuck River.

The last two weeks at work have been slow, and I only worked 10 hours each week.

I've begun thinking about Christmas shopping, and bought my animal-loving cousin a 2020 calendar featuring topless Australian firefighters posing with various Australian wildlife; it's a fundraiser, and I thought she would get a kick out of it.

I also spent an enjoyable hour or so browsing gourmet goodies at, where I wound up ordering some interesting preserves: gooseberry, black currant and lingonberry, plus some fried herring for my father (can we say "Eew?")

I made my first app purchase for my iPhone recently: a year's subscription to Calm, which features a variety of meditation and destressing audio clips. I've gotten into the habit, believe it or not, of having someone read a bedtime story to me using this app. I always end up asleep before the end of the story, which is what you're aiming for. Last night I chose Gulliver's Travels, which I remember reading as a kid.

I've also been really enjoying the free audiobooks on the phone too, via Overdrive. I just finished "Educated," by Tara Westover, which was a riveting memoir of a homeschooled woman growing up in a survivalist family in the backwoods of Idaho.

This morning I made a great pumpkin pie with my own homemade crust (ground walnuts, tahini and maple syrup). I also made my own yogurt, which is now resting in my off oven with just the light bulb on, presumably so the probiotics I added will grow in the next 48 hours.

I've been enjoying the small ritual of brewing my Harney & Sons loose tea since making the trip with dad to their tea tasting place.

Last week I started trying to calculate what my RMDs would be at age 70.5 after deducting from my traditional IRAs the cost of 1) an immediate lifetime annuity I've been thinking of getting at age 65, just to cover "some" of my essential expenses. I like this idea because it would remove a portion of my assets, which are nearly all invested in mutual funds, out of the stock market and better manage my risks, especially in a recession and 2) after living on savings (traditional IRAs) between the ages of 65, when I plan to fully retire, and 70, when I plan to start collecting Social Security. I haven't finished the calculation and need to get back to it, but as usual, I am pulled in a hundred directions. Anyway, I have many years to figure this out. No rush!

Of course, if a Democrat gets elected president and delivers on some kind of radically different health insurance in this country that isn't tied to employment, I would definitely consider stopping work sooner. There is a certain comfort or security level that comes from still working and earning enough to cover just my ongoing expenses, but there are also things I'd like to do besides work, and I'm not getting any younger.