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This & That

September 19th, 2020 at 04:46 pm

Insanity continues here, too much bad stuff to keep track of.

Good News: GMIL was released from the hospital and has been home for a couple of weeks. Phew! We visited her once in the hospital (through a glass window) and visited her at home through her screen door when we did our test EV run two weekends ago.

I never had time to get to it, we went to the Bay Area four weekends ago to pick up a new (used) professional grade trombone for DL(15). I had put some email alerts up about a year ago and had set aside the cash when we sold our treadmill (and eventually forgot I had that cash still). But as school/band started back up, I increased my efforts and found some good options. It was a nice surprise how little cash I had to come up with (just had to get $500 from the ATM to top off the purchase and to replenish cash emergency fund).

We could probably sell the old cheapie trombone for $300 (what we paid) but we have decided to donate it to DL's art school. That got lost in the mix; MH can drop it off sometime this next week.

Bad news last last week (just some highlights): A fire broke out in our zip code and the fire department was setting up a perimeter the street behind us. It was a really windy day. In the end they put out the fire crazy fast. It was a large fire, for such a short period of time. I expect that is why our cars were completely covered in ash (dark/black ash). There has been a general raining of grey ash for several weeks now, but that day was much worse. The same day, our neighbor's tree fell and missed MM(17)'s car by just inches. My nerves were just completely shot by the end of that day. (Which seems to be mostly my state of being any more. It's either that or completely numb by the bad news overwhelm. I wish I could say it was just a 2020 thing, but I am three years in at this point). If that's not enough excitement for one week, young relative's "it's nothing" diagnosis was changed back to, "It's really bad" and is being sent back for another biopsy. *sigh* That one I had been really struggling with. I am running out of people. So... The relief on that front only lasted a week or two. Now it's back to square one.

{I wouldn't be surprised if this was a COVID thing. It follows the trend of "completely stumping the Doctors". In fact, my employee who has been infinitely ill all year, her nurse brother is now fairly certain she is a COVID long hauler. He is just putting two and two together}.

We did get our gas car sold. Phew!

Usually MM(17) is the super charmed one, but DL(15) got all the luck last weekend. The last couple of years we have had a new season between summer and fall: fire season. When it is smokey and it is difficult to go outside. But I don't remember it ever being so bad as it has been this year. The air is too hazardous to go outside. Anyway, I know DL(15) was really looking forward to his day trip with MH Saturday. He just really wanted to get the heck out of dodge. I was concerned if they should even be in the car or go anywhere so was looking up the air quality Saturday morning. They had decided on the family cabin near Tahoe. Was really they only place within day trip vicinity Saturday that had clear air. ??? Don't ask me! No idea how on earth they pulled that off. Most of the west coast was under a red or purple "hazardous" level.

They went and hung out at the cabin for a few hours, went for a hike (I am so jealous!), and rescued a few priceless items from the cabin. No fires in that vicinity right now but as someone else said, all that it takes is a spark. It's definitely the most at-risk property in the family; it is in a woodsy area.

They drove 150 miles and spent $3.60 on fuel. They skipped the free charge because they hadn't used much fuel by the time they got there. The cabin is about 60 miles away. After that, the extra driving was going to see a movie at the drive-in.

In other randomness, MH seems to be making progress with the state and Unemployment claim. It's like... If you stand on one foot, jump in a circle and howl at the moon... Maybe he can get his unemployment check. 🙄 Is kind of how that is going. It was 1000% approved and he had been getting payments through mid-June? Then it stopped. Though we had followed directions and did everything right, they told us, "Well you never did this." (*This* is the exact opposite of what their website or formal instructions say to do). Which was super weird and wonky and we were skeptical. In the end we literally got a check the next day... For last year. ??? Don't ask me! MH immediately called again because his online account was all messed up and he was freaking out. Not cashing this check because it isn't right. In the end, whoever he talked to assured him it was all fixed and online it shows they have issued us $6,500 in payments (for last 3 months). It's showing on one side but not on the "checks issues" side, it will take a few days to process. I now know that check could be in our pocket like tomorrow (because we got that weird check in one day!), but they seem to be a little more slow and cautious with the whole "releasing 3 months of payments" thing.

I didn't really know what to do with my sidebar since we spent more money than saved this year, with car purchase. (Re: first sidebar "savings" goal). For now, I will just cross my fingers and hold my breath for a few more days. The unemployment catch-up will put us back in the black for the year (added more to savings than we pulled back out, cash car purchase included).

We are both so "not counting our eggs until they hatch" types, not really sure what to do with this. If unemployment starts rolling in again (another $600-$1800 per month, depending on Federal unemployment boost). It just fell off my radar and feels like a big windfall as it enters back into my radar. Mostly, MH's income was funding our IRAs so our #1 financial goal is probably to set aside $12k for 2021 IRAs. There's also college next year, shortly followed by college x2. Hoarding cash continues to be the most prudent, until college decisions become more clear. I think our financial priorities are pretty clear: Retirement, college, mortgage. College might bump up or take the center stage for a while.

Edited to add: Today is apparently a good money day! I get an email scan of all our mail from USPS. I just got a ding on my phone and I was happy to see car insurance refund (gas car that we sold) AND a client check (I only have the one client; just sent out the first 2020 invoice last weekend). And... 7 Unemployment checks (7 envelopes) for 14 weeks probably. Woohoo! Now we just cross our fingers that it actually shows up in our mailbox. This might be a lot to hope for, these days. But this email means it is all supposed to arrive in our mailbox today.

I got sidetracked by the good money news. It all reminds me though that MH would have been back to work the first of this month. (The summer unemployment is just gravy gravy because he usually has summers off). We hadn't thought too much about it. It seems fairly moot because DL(15) has been so moody and needy. As long as schools aren't in session, MH isn't going to have a job. As long as schools aren't in session, he's going to need to be home anyway. (I appreciate this is one thing working out well for us; it seems to be a disaster for most people with kids). I think initially Labor Day passed and neither of us gave it much thought. It was always pretty obvious he wouldn't be back at work this calendar year.

I am just happy to get in a general update. I was going to do a separate financial update, and I guess now I can do that with some more clarity.

1 Responses to “This & That”

  1. Amber Says:

    So glad to hear your GMIL made it home. Love that you are donating the trombone, I am sure some kid could use it.

    The fire and tree, I can see why your nerves were shot, glad no one was hurt. Please take care this week.

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