Home > Heading Out to CA Soon, News of the Weird, etc

Heading Out to CA Soon, News of the Weird, etc

August 21st, 2021 at 03:46 pm

Hi all,

We are having a big birthday party for my grandma's 100th birthday next weekend. It will be at my brother's house. I will finally get to meet my sister in law! They've been married now just over 3 years.

I'm a little nervous about it, considering the upsurge in cases, both here, and in the San Francisco area. But unlike last summer, I am vaccinated (and my grandma at the very least is) so, not too worried.

I leave Friday morning and come back on Monday. DH won't be coming with me (I asked him if he wanted to go - we started planning this five months ago - but nope, he didn't want to go. He is recording a song for her - When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain - according to my aunt, it is one of her favorites. DH and I both think it's kind of weird, but, each to their own taste, right?)


I've been taking the bus most of the time I've worked at my current job (other than the 9 months or so I was able to work from home.) Unfortunately, due to driver shortages, they are going back to the reduced schedule for the school year. Same thing they did last year, but I was able to work around it by doing a combo WFH/drive in later/use a co-workers parking space who wasn't using it.

This year I don't have either of those options, so it's either go in super early (and conversely, leave early); or go in late (and of course leave late); or ... get a parking space. Our agency will be moving to a new location by June (with plenty of free parking). So ... we are finding $90/month in our budget for me to have a parking space. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

Starting in October, I can at least have it deducted pre-tax from my paycheck (when new benefits start.) But still ...


DH turned 55 this month. This means he is less than 5 years out from when I think we can afford for him to retire. The Bridge Fund (i.e. money to hold us over until he can start taking SS at 62) is within $4k of being fully funded. (Well, at the low end of fully funded.) All those stimulus checks helped move the funding along much more quickly than anticipated.


In November, I'll have been at my job for two years. It's funny - I'll still come across bus drivers from my former job who will recognize me, and wonder why they hadn't seen me in awhile. Smile Now that I won't be taking the bus much anymore, that probably won't happen.


I am very close to my goal weight for my HealthyWage bet (ending Sept 22) but I'm not sure if I'm close enough. I've kind of stagnated for a few months now. I would hate to do it, but I may end up having to renew for another 6 months - just for the final 3 or 4 lbs. (I'd rather do that than do some short-term thing which may or may not be healthy.)


In July DH and I went WAY over our grocery budget. So, we went back to basics for August - using the chalkboard. We each buy our own groceries due to our diets being almost totally opposite (me vegetarian/mostly vegan -lots of veg. no meat; DH - lots of meat, very little veg.) I posted equal amounts on two sides, and then as we buy groceries, we pin up the receipt and post the number. So far, it looks like we are going to be coming in $100 or so under budget. Big Grin


In news of the weird ...

Last Saturday my mom (who lives in DFW, TX) was watching a lightning storm. All of a sudden she heard a loud boom! and a bunch of thuds along the roof and side of the house. A bolt of lightning had struck her chimney, and destroyed it - also putting a hole in her roof. Her electricity and Internet were also knocked out.

She was fine, physically. But the news from the insurance adjustors almost made her faint. Her home insurance (which supposedly is normal in TX) has a percentage based deductible. Thanks to the upswing in home values ... her home is worth close to $1 mill. This means her share of the costs will be around $17, 000!!

This is for a house she STILL has not had a final legal rendering of whether or not it is her house or not. (There was a paper along with her late husband's will stating the house went to her ... but it (the extra paper) wasn't notarized - so there are legality questions.)

If she would have moved out of the house a year ago when my brother and I were doing our best to get her to do this, then she would not have had this huge expense. This particualr circumstance wasn't in my mind, but I was worried that there would be some huge maintenance issue that reared its head - making it definitely not more affordable than renting or buying a smaller place.

All I can say, is that I am thankful we have a flat rate deductible for our home insurance.

5 Responses to “Heading Out to CA Soon, News of the Weird, etc”

  1. CB in the City Says:

    So glad to hear from you! I hope your trip is amazing.

    I had a lightning strike on my roof years ago. At that time, my insurance paid for all the damage except the deductible. There wasn't actually any roof damage but my computers, TV, and several other appliances were fried. I am so sorry your mom has to shoulder such a large cost!

  2. wink Says:

    Happy upcoming 100th Birthday to your grandma! There was a lightening strike to the roof of one of the buildings in my condo community recently. Thankfully there was no fire and no one was hurt, but it totally fried the electrical systems in that entire building. Glad you mom is ok but sorry for the financial cost! It's always good to hear from you!

  3. VS_ozgirl Says:

    Hi Frugal Texan, lovely to hear from you! I just had a read of your previous post and it said that she has use of the house until she dies and then it goes to the son of her late husband…. Can the son contribute part of the $17k in the interest that it goes towards upkeep of the house? (I guess if she has use of the house until she dies and the property is paid off, and she normally does not pay mortgage payments, then $17k is an unfortunate expense but long term is not that bad). Enjoy your trip to Napa, and congratulations to your Grandma in reaching 100!

  4. Turtle Lover Says:

    It's good to hear from you even if it's news of the weird! Have fun on your trip! Congrats on your healthy wage bet weight ... 😊

  5. rob62521 Says:

    Hope your trip is wonderful! Hope your grandmother has a lovely birthday.

    Wow, what a dilemma with your mom and that repair. Glad she wasn't hurt.

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