Home > Archive: July, 2021

Archive for July, 2021

Home and garden news

July 11th, 2021 at 12:08 pm

I was sorting through some old receipts and I came across the receipt for the garage door opener I finally had to replace earlier this year. It was a Sears Roebuck model that came with the house, so I knew it was old, but the receipt confirmed a previous owner had installed 1988! That garage door opener lasted 33 years!!!

Looking at that old receipt got me interested again in tracing the history of my house. I did it once many years ago, but got stuck at one point in the 1940s, I think, and in any event, I can't find the list I made of all the prior owners I did research back to that point. I will try to set aside some time to start the process at the town clerk's offce where they keep the records. The house was said to be "circa 1930" when I bought it, so I'd like to see for myself how far back I can go, or if there are records prior to that time.

I bought a cordless, battery-powered hedge trimmer and tried it out last night. I love it! I've had a B&D corded electric hedge trimmer for years, but even with my 100-foot-long power cord, I only used the trimmer on some boxwoods near my driveway. Now, with the cordless trimmer, I was able to walk the entire perimeter of the property, easily cutting through the any brambles and other overgrowth that surround me. Of course, I'll need to go back and pick up all the trimmings, but at least I can keep stuff trimmed better so my mower man doesn't just avoid doing all the edges.

As my knee continues to heal, I have reduced the frequency of my physical therapy/doc visits because it's been getting kind of costly, plus I want to preserve some PT visits should I end up having to go for surgery anyway. My  insurer said they'll cover me (I still pay a $30 copay) for up to 40 visits for any one issue in a single calendar year. I think I've used up 7 PT sessions so far.

I also thought that bike riding could be a good way to continue rehabbing the knee without the pounding of the joint that comes with walking on a hard surface like asphalt. I've tried it out a few times in a very limited fashion around my neighborhood, and liked it. Unfortunately, my neighborhood is surrounded on 2 sides by busy roads and another way  to go involves a very steep hill. I have to be careful coming to a stop and not hopping on that leg when I dismount, but the circular motion of pedaling should be good to help stretch the tendons in that leg in a controlled fashion, and they are very tight.

Here in the Northeast, we've been stuck in this tropical weather pattern of heavy rain followed by continued mugginess and high temps. Not the kind of weather that inspires me to do any much-needed weeding or cutting back of vines. My tomato plants have toppled over from their own weight and really need to be tied up today. I've been steadily eating zucchini and my mid-summer-planted stringbeans are just popping up. I'll be growing them under row cover to keep beetles from attacking them; one hoop/netting thing is done, and now I just have to cut row cover for the other one. I just use 2 plastic hoops, over which I put the netting, which is secured by small rocks.

Tomatoes, unfortunately, are much to big to grow under a row cover! Same for the zucchini and eggplant. I only planned to have ONE zucchini and 2 cucumber plants, but somehow I planted TWO zucchini, which have now taken over.

Last week I was able to switch my auto/home/umbrella insurance policies over from Safeco (division of Liberty Mutual) to Progressive, saving myself $368!! Safeco quoted me a pretty good rate of auto/home about 5 years ago, but every year since then, they hike their rates by about 15%, and I've never in my life filed any claims. This really irks me. I feel they take advantage of good customers instead of rewarding them. This seems to be the modus operandi for many insurers these days.

My car insurance was about the same as Safeco, but the real savings with Progressive came with the homeowner's insurance and the umbrella (aka "excess liability") policies. As part of the discount, I will be doing their Snapshot program where you download an app on your phone that allows them to monitor your driving. So for 3 months, starting at the end of next month, when the policy becomes effective, l'll be following the speed limit, and braking and accelerating very gradually. And I will retake the AAA safe driving course.

On a bit of a whim (!) I decided to apply for a new passport, and was at the PO a few days ago to do so. I say "whim," because I have no specific plans to travel abroad, but I figured if I do travel, it will most likely be in the next 10 years. Also, a passport could serve as an important form of ID if, by 2023, you don't have one of those special driver's licenses with the star in the upper right corner, and I had just gone and renewed my driver's license recently without "bothering" with the extra paperwork involved in getting that star before realizing I really should have. If you don't have it by 2023, you'll need to show your passport even to fly domestically. All thanks to 9/11. All these new requirements just weren't on my radar, for some reason.

The only thing that made me nervous is they require you to hand over your original birth cetificate, which is mailed with your application and then returned in a few weeks. Makes me very nervous. The total cost was $160.

I was sad to surrender my old passport from 30 years ago, when I received a cool visa from Hungary and other European destinations.

Got together with a friend at one of the newer breweries in town. They rehabbeden th old buildings that made up the campus of a former state mental health facility. I love what they've done!

Recent lunch at a Polish restaurant with dad: stuffed cabbage and an enormous potato pancake..

At another restaurant recently, they etched the shape of a horse (their emblem and namesake) into the dusting of cocoa powder in my dessert!


Congratulations to one of our own!

July 8th, 2021 at 09:40 pm

Please join me in congratulating one of our own resident experts here. Dido at Fiscal Fitness here has passed the Certified Financial Planner exam today!

You've studied long and earned it, girl!