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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

We Made It Through November

 What a month this has been. The finances took a hit because I was away from work for almost 2 weeks after a potential exposure to Covid. I did get paid by work but not as much as if I had actually worked. I am thankful that I am healthy and was not completely without income. We are a little bit behind but not by too awfully much.

Speaking of Covid, it has started to hit at work pretty hard. Whenever a case is reported at work management does a robo call to all employees. Yesterday they reported 6 new cases over the weekend and Monday morning. I am just hoping this round avoids the area where I work so that we can visit with some family over Christmas.. We don't have big plans, just me, hubs, my 3 kids and son-in-law and the 2 grandsons on Christmas Eve day and then I was hoping to go visit with my mom and dad on Christmas day. 

I have done my Christmas decorating and now I am regretting getting rid of so much. The house looks nice but I think I will start buing some quality pieces over time. We haven't put up our Christmas tree because we cant find the lights for it or I donated them! 

Debt payoff was Ok this month. We paid off about $730 on 401k loans, daddy and mortgage and $790 on consumer debt for a total of $1520 for the month. I should have only 3 more payments on the Barclay account!! This one excites me!!

We are having spaghetti for dinner and that makes me happy!! 

We had Monday and Tuesday off and will be working Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I didn't do much on my days off other than maintain. Sometimes even that is a struggle, so I am OK with it..

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Back To Work!

 I go back to work tomorrow after almost 2 weeks off on Covid watch. My test came back negative. I didn't get any projects done becauses, well, I am lazy and unmotivated. It is what it is. I am so glad to be going back to work even though I don't like my job. I have left the house 2 times since I have been on Covid watch. On Sunday I went and picked up my daughter after an auto accident and took her to ER and then to pick up a car rental. She was #3 in a 4 car pileup. She hit her chest on the steering wheel and hurt her arm. Not a good thing for a nursing mother, poor girl. She's OK, just very sore. After I took her to the car rental place, I went to Walmart for a grocery pickup. I was a little late, but they were OK with that. The only other time I left the house was yesterday when I went to the clinic to get my FMLA paperwork filled out. Fortunately the place where I went to get my test done is associated with the clinic(which provides free care through my employer) and they were willing to fill it out.

I was supposed to go the clinic on Saturday but as I was getting in the car to go they called and asked to reschedule the appt. to Tuesday as I needed to be seen by the DR. and they only had NPs in the office. The Dr. is the one who fills out the FMLA paperwork. But guess what? When I went to my appointment yesterday the NP filled out the paperwork and then took it out to the DR. to get signed. The first time I saw this Dr. was about 12 or 13 years ago when I went in for foot pain. He told me I had fallen arches. I about fell off the table. I have very high arches. At this point I can't even remember if he looked at my feet. I ended up going to an actual foot Dr. who diagnosed me with Plantar Fibroma(nodules on the plantar fascia). I have been a little leery about the clinic Dr. ever since. My blood pressure was 148/80 on Tuesday. I used to be on bp meds back when I was having bad back pain but I have been in the normal range without meds for a couple years. When I got my covid test I was in the normal range. So hopefully it was just a fluke. In the New Year I am going to get all my physical exams and test. I found a lump on my breast a couple of weeks ago that I was going to have checked out after my covid watch, fortunately it has shrunk to where I almost can't feel, so it was probably from an injury at some point. But finding the lump was a good reminder to start taking care of myself.

My uncle passed away. He was my uncle by marraige. The aunt that he was married to passed away a couple of years ago. He was the uncle that you always tried to avoid. He was just so boring............but from what my husband and brother in laws tell me he wasn't quite so boring when ladies weren't around.....had some interesting stories to tell, LOL. My sister who lives kind of close to him has been doing a lot for him since my aunt passed away. He has a daughter that lives in the next state and a son that lives in the same town as he did, but the son was only interested in the money that my aunt left and did not step up and do a lot for his dad. My son used to take him on errands also and do a little bit around the house here and there, but he is on house arrest until the day after Thanksgiving, so he hasn't been able to help anymore. The service will be on Sunday and burial on Monday. We will go to the Sunday service but even though I could get excused from work without attendance penalty, I can not afford to lose any more pay. At this point I am not sure how many people can attend, anyway.

Thanksgiving--my sister has cancelled the annual get-together at her house. There would just be too many people in too little space.. We are going to my daughter's house on Saturday for Thanksgiving dinner and then hubs and I will probably visit with my mom and dad on Sunday after the funeral service, though it will just be a visit and not Thanksgiving. I am thinking we might go over there on actual Thanksgiving day just so the sisters don't have to interrupt their Thanksgiving day. But hubs may be wanting to go visit with his family in KY since we didn't go last week because of my covid exposure.

Moneywise-things are tight due to my circumstances. I missed out on working my 4 day week which is the big paycheck. Work is paying me but not what I would have made if I had been able to work. This week I will only work for 2 days which a lot will be ate up because I will get doubled up on my union dues, medical and dental insurance, United Fund contribution and 401k loan. Next week we will get 2 days of holiday pay, so that will help get caught up. Haven't had to spend a lot on groceries since we have been slowly stocking up. Which reminds me that I need to get together another contribution to the food drive at work. hubs has already taken in 1 bag. I think we have about 3 more bags to take in. We are donating cans of corn, green beans, broth, some other canned veggies, stuffing, tuna and some soups. Next year I am going to shop the idea of feeding a set # of families. As hub's said when we talked about it, there is no reason that those donation boxes shouldn't be full as even the people who just got hired are making at least $50K a year. 

What am I thankful for this year? I am thankful that even though money is tight it is not nearly as tight as it was at this time last year. Truly, at this time last year we were teetering at the edge and now we have taken a step back. I am thankful that my family so far has stayed healthy during this horrible pandemic. I am thankful for my grandchildren. I am thankful that hubs is encouraging in this journey to get out of debt, even though he does sometimes get sidetracked. It is all better than it used to be. 

Even though I mean to post more than what I do I will probably not post until the end of the month. So, I will take this opportunity to wish you a Great Thanksgiving. 

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Just When I Thought Things Were Looking Up....

This was our week to work Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Wednesday was a complete s...-show. Thursday was so much better. Friday was going pretty good, at least for me. 15 people called off of work. Probably a record number. I went to my second break at 10am and laid my head down. I never sleep on my breaks but I was so tired. Our supervisor walked in and looked around and made a comment-he said-"hmm, that's not a good sign" and asked if we had seen a cerain person. I took my lunch break at 12pm and again laid my head down to rest. The same supervisor came in and asked me if I was the "poly" person today, I said no that I was on 611. He asked me if I was on 612 the day before or on Wednesday and I replied, no, I was 3rd packer both days. He theen asked my coworker if he was on 612 the day before and the coworker replied yes. The supervisor says' OK, I need you both  to go up front and see Tracy. (our personnel director). I went out to the line to get the bike to ride up front and someone says, "see you in 2 weeks". I asked what was going on and evidently one of our coworkers had tested positive for covid. So I go up front and Tracy asks me if I had worked with the coworker within 6 feet or for longer than 15 minutes at a time. I said yes. So 3 of us got sent home for 2 weeks. I know for a fact that one of the temporaries should have also got sent home as he worked along side the person with covid all day long, but he told them he felt that he had not been exposed. In order to get paid we had to go and get a covid test right away. I left work at 1pm and went to Priority Care. Did not get out of there until almost 4pm. Won't have results until Wednesday at the earliest. Myself, I think it was a bit early for testing, but I have to jump through the hoops. I will receive $425 a week minus taxes. That is quite a pay cut. Time will tell if I pass it on to hubby if I do have it. 

I am just thankful that we are in a better situation right now than we were at this time last year. At this time last year a reduction in pay would have been absolutely devastating.

So, since I am currently feeling well, I guess I will start me some projects around the house. We had plans to go see the grandkids this weekend. We haven't been in a while because there were some distant coworkers out with covid some time back and we wanted to make sure no one else came down with it. Also had to cancel our trip to Kentucky for this Wed, Thurs, and Fri. We were going to visit with hubby's parents. It is the anniversary of the death of my stepson and his girlfriend. 

Stay safe, stay well and if you are of the mind, please pray for our country, no matter if you lean left or right. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

End Of Oct Update In November!

 How oh how does the time go by so fast? I can't believe it is already Nov 3. What will the next few weeks bring?

On my last post I wrote about a trainee I was dealing with. He finally gave it up. After I talked with management they had a meeting with him and afterwards he and the head supervisor came out to tell me that he had given it up but he thanked me for my effort on his behalf. Management was wanting him to give it up but for some reason they were reluctant to force the issue. 

I have been watching Call The Midwife. Quite enjoying it. The storyline about thalidomide did strike a chord. My little brother was born in 1970(thalidomide was pulled from shelves around 1962/1963). My brother was born minus an elbow on one arm that was short and missing 2 fingers on each hand. It is unknown what caused this. I do know my brother was a surprise baby. Spoiled rotten. Not only because of this deformity but also because he was the youngest of 5 and the only boy.

I made a big boo boo last week. On the 29th I initiated a payment online for the mortgage. Later that night after I had gone to bed I realized that I had used the wrong checking account for the payment. So I got up hoping I could still cancel the payment. There was a cancel option which I chose and then I set up the payment for the right account. For some reason the payment was not going to post until the 2nd. Yesterday I was paying something online and my card was declined. I checked my balance and I was overdrawn by over $600. Sure enough, the mortgage payment had come out of the wrong account, anyway and I was afraid that another payment would be coming out of the correct account, also I called the mortgage company and they said that there was no additional payment scheduled. Thank goodness. So I was planning on going to one bank and withdrawing the money to deposit into the other bank. I knew there would be an overdraft charge. I checked the account again and 2 more charges had gone through. They were auto charges that are supposed to come out at the end of the month but sometimes don't post until the 1st-5th. So now I am looking at 3 overdaraft charges. Then I decided to try and make a deposit from right bank to wrong bank by writing a check and taking a picture. It worked! The check was credited and then the other 3 payments went through. I was pretty happy about that. I know it seems like it would be simpler to just have 1 account, but once I have created a cushion in the mortgage account I will put it on auto withdrawal and will only have to monitor it. 

So, as far as the October update, we ended with a balance of $193349 which is a reduction of $1548. Not a stellar month, but progress, nevertheless. I am contemplating separating the tracking of the mortgage debt from the rest of the debt. If the country doesn't erupt into chaos, I am expecting great progrees on the debt payoff in 2021. I have great hopes!

Monday, October 19, 2020

2 Days Off And I Feel Like I Have Earned It!

 Hello! A few weeks ago someone from the crew opposite that I work was telling me about a guy who is training for the same job that I do. The trainer on that crew is probably the best of all the "cold ends" (my job title) that there is. I was hearing stories about how this trainee jumps around and is all hyper and several other issues, such as he comes back from his breaks all hyped up and wears long sleeves to hide track marks and people do not feel safe working around him.. The person telling me about it is also a person who is known to be someone who like to report on people. He is not well liked. I get along with him pretty well, I knew him from a previous job that we both worked. The trainee had been called in to speak with the supervisor of all the other supervisors because they felt that he (the trainee) needed to "disqualified". Which just means his training would end and he would return to being a production worker but he could still try to get other skilled jobs and could try again in 2 years to train as a cold end. Evidently he gave a pretty good sob story and begged to be given more opportunity, so it was agreed that his training time would start over. (training is usually 8 weeks) So a few weeks ago I found out that I had to cover an extra day of work because the trainer and 2 other cold ends were on vacation.(3 cold ends on the same shift should never happen as there are not enough "reserve" cold ends to fill in the empty slots, thus the extra day to cover). Since the trainer was on vacation it was decided to put the trainee on the opposite crew which would mean my crew and I would be his trainer. I was uncertain about how technical to get with him because for one thing the first thing he told me was that he knew everything about 2 of the positions that cold ends do. Come to find out the only time he had done one of those jobs was when he was giving that position a break. So I worked with him for 3 days last week and things were going fairly well, even though he claimed that he had never failed at anything in his life and he wasn't going to fail at this. He also claimed that he had engineering experience. Then he told me about how he had maintenance experience. Then he claimed that he was a computer programmer. I spoke with the head supervisor of the supervisors and told him that I thought the guy could be trained and that part of the problem was the guy who liked to tell on people. It was decided that the trainee would stay on our crew for his training. So the trainee and I talked and I told him that I would do everything I could to ensure that he got trained and qualified but that he had to do things my way and when he was qualified and on his own he could try all these things that he wanted to do differently. So Monday came and I am trying to guide him and he was very resistant to doing things the way I told him to. He would rush around and do things that were not his responsibility. I told him that it was not his job to do these things, he needed to concentrate on his own responsibilities. It is fine to go out of your way but not if it creates safety issues. Tuesday our lines were down for maintenance so basically it was just showing him things we take care of when we are down. I also took him step by step through our HMI(human-machine-inerface) which he said his other trainer had never done. We had Wednesday, Thursday and Friday off. So Saturday he is doing this one thing and I tell him that he needs to quit doing it that way as the other person assisting him was going to get hurt. He keeps doing it and then he gets his thumb jammed because the other guy was trying to match his movements and it didn't go well. At one point I said to him that maybe the reason people didn't care to work with you was because you are bouncing all over the place and being rough with the product and he said yes that is probably true but he did not calm down in his ways. After one of our breaks I gave him a notebook that was about 10 years old that was basically a Standard Operating Procedure for the whole line. I told him I would do his work and he could sit over on the desk and read through it. He complains that it is outdated. Eventually he said that he didn't know the stuff  in the notebook. I asked him why did he tell me that he knew how to do the job, lol. Once he came back to take over his work he asked me if I gave him the notebook to get away from him and that if all his questions bothered me he would just shut up and not say anything. I said, well, I did need a break from the high energy and I wasn't going to give you the notebook because some of it is outdated, but that it might clarify some of the things he needs to know and to ask all the questions he wants but that he needed to listen to what he was being told. So he continues with the action that caused him to get his thumb hurt. At the end of the day the night time line operator came down to the area and saw what he was doing and told him to stop and the trainee is saying I'm not doing that and the line op is saying I just stood here and saw you do it. Sunday is more of the same and at one point I ask him how is he going to feel when he hurts someone because he won't do that part of his job correctly. He replied that he is just matching the other guys energy and I tell him no, that is not what is going on. He needs to calm down and not panic when things go wrong, to listen to what I tell him and when I say 'don't push that button" then don't push that button. It's hard to explain all the things that are going on, but I am not sure I can train this guy, but I don't want to let him down, either. I think he has had a hard life due to drug addiction, which we are all wondering if maybe his break time is being used to "enchance" his energy. I am conflicted. Some of the conflict comes from the trainee slightly resembling my stepson who passed away almost a year ago.

Tomorrow hubby has a friend coming to help him install his wood stove out in the garage. He had one out there but he upgraded a couple of years ago and never installed the newer one. I hope they get it done because I am tired of hearing about it, LOL. My last weekend off hubs and I participated in a "Trump Train Parade" ride. One of my sisters wanted to go, but she can't drive because she broke her leg last spring. She said she could ride with her neighbors or her husband would do it, but she knew he really didn't want to. I have to say, I enjoyed it and was happy to help out my sister. It was awesome to see all the people cheering. One of the last towns we went through was the "town" (wide spot in the road) where I graduated high school. I spent one of my days off at my daughter's watching the baby while she and her husband went to the closing on their house that they sold. he was home from daycare because he had a cold. Which he was gracious enough to pass on to me! On Thursday I met up with my 3 sisters at my aunt's house to help sort through old pictures. That was fun. Some of the pictures were from the late 1800's. There were a few newspaper articles about happenings in the area way back when. It was a lot of pictures! My grandparent's had 10 children starting in 1933 so you can imagaine how many pictures had been collected over the years. I brought our car decor from the Trump Train Parade  that belonged to my sister because she is going to another one this weekend. Of course I had to throw a Trump 2020 on 2of my sister's cars as they are avid democrats. We have all agreed to disagree:). I left early because I had to get home to pick up hubs and go get our flu shots at the clinic. Last week I also went and voted in our Union elections. The elections did not go as most people thought. It's hard to know how things will turn out as we are actually 2 differents plants in the same union. It was almost a clean sweep for the other plant. There will be another election in April when our Union officially merges with USW.

Not much going on in our financial world. Our 401k's are doing pretty well at the moment, but we all know that can change from day to day. Bills are being paid and for that I am thankful. I am going to have to work some overtime if I want to have any kind of Christmas. Hubby will work some overtime, too. The extended family(aunts, uncles, cousins, cousins kids and their kids) has already been cancelled due to Covid and the health of some of the older relatives. 

My brother is living at my mom and dad's right now. He usually lives in jail. He called the other day to let all of us know that my dad had gone to the store in the little town where I went to high school which is about 6 miles away from the house. My dad had to ask for directions on how to get home. So it has begun. The next time I visit I am going to make sure I have a current picture of my mom and dad and their cars in case we ever have to put out a silver alert. 

I need to get some housework done but I have a good excuse not to do it right now. The hubs is taking a nap and it would just be rude to make noise, wouldn't it? 

At work we have had 2 more cases of Covid 19. That makes 6 cases total. Really not bad since there are about 500 employees. One of the current cases works on the opposite day shift that hubs and I do. The other case of Covid, ironically, is the Safety Director. 

Everybody stay safe and get out there and exercise your right to vote!

Monday, September 28, 2020

The End Of September Update!

 Oh my oh my, how the time just flies by!  I feel like financially we have done really well this month! Next month should be good also as hubs and I both will both be having 5 paydays!

Hubs has been working on cleaning up the outside some. Sometime back we had a tree cut down in our backyard and we still had 2 big pieces that were too heavy for hubs to get his log splitter under. I was so tired of looking at them. So I started a fire on top of one of them and after a week of smoldering that first one was finally gone! So then I set my sights on the second only took about 4 days. It looks so much better in that area. I don't think hubs agreed with my method but he does agree I got the job done! Last week he sealed the driveway and that looks really good. Yesterday I cleaned up an area between the house and detached garage that was extremely overgrown with weeds. We want to cover it with red rock and add some plants. That won't happen until spring, probably.

In August I had my 15 year anniversary of employment with my employer. I got a certificate in a plastic frame and got to choose an item from a catalog. I chose a Kitchen Aid hand mixer. It is nice looking but not really any better than some hand mixers I have had. Especially since I had to work 15 years for it, haha.I also received another week of vacation. Yay! Actually, I sold this vacation and used the money to stock up on groceries and household items. I could have taken the vacation but I am pleased with my decision. 

I have been working on having different bank accounts for different purposes. One account receives money from hubs and it is used for paying the mortgage. If all goes well, by the end of December we should have enough money in that account to have a 1 month cushion in the mortgage and an average electric bill. I am estimating that by April we will either have enough for a 2 month cushion or a 1 month cushion of all household bills. That would include Mortgage, Electricity, Gas(natural), Cable, Cell Phones, Trash and Auto Insurance. I also have an account with Capital One 360. I make a weekly deposit that covers my car payment and some sinking funds. The sinking funds cover annual car registration(plates) for my car and hub's truck and our trailer. It also covers the annual contribution to the neighborhood streetlight fund. That cost is about $50 a year. I also use it to cover Christmas at my extended family. If we attend we bring a gift in the $15 range from both of us and a contribution to cover the rental of the facility. Another fund is for auto maintenance but it will be a long time before there is enough in there to cover anything. The sinking funds are automatically deducted and sent to their own little sub accounts. I also use this account to pay the Netflix bill and one debt payment that I have never got around to moving to my account that is used for my other debt payments. Weekly payments to my dad come directly out of my paycheck and go to his bank, so that is not actually my account. I have another account that I send $50 to every week that I use to park money and if I get enough in that account I use it to pay off my smallest debt at the time. This is the account I raid when extra funds are needed. My last account is the account that all the debt payments come out of in addition to groceries, gas and miscellaneous. This probably all sounds confusing but it has helped me to get/keep our mortgage payments current and I have not missed a car payment. 

This weekend we had our friends who were our neighbors B and K before we bought this house and moved. We asked them if they wanted to come over and they brought their son, his girlfriend and a friend and B's father. We knew beforehand that the guest list had grown. I made some really really good ribs and me and B made some killer chicken wings and he also made some gator tail. We had cole slaw, potato salad and baked beans. Some alcohol was also consumed though not as much as usual and we all decided to go to bed fairly early compared to past get togethers. When I got up the next morning K and B were finishing up the dishes that didn't get done the night before. It was good to catch up as we had not seen them since last October. It is hard to get a weekend that everyone has off and no other plans.

I have been watching a show called BroadChurch on Netflix and sporadically rewatching Endeavor. Endeavor is about Inspector Morse in his early career.

It was a good month on debt payment. We ended August at $197107 and we are ending September at $194897. Our balance went down by $2210. I am extremely happy with that. I am enjoying watching the balances go down. We are not paying any more than minimums until after the election. Whether the Democrats or Republicans win, I totally expect the opposing side to dispute the results. I am really disgusted at the threat of violence depending on the election results. I don't believe I need say anything more on that subject!

So I hope everyone is staying safe. I believe we are in for a rise in Covid numbers due to the relaxation of everything Covid. I hope those of you in the rainy areas and the smoky areas find some relief soon. Happy Fall, Y'all!!!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Another One Bites The Dust!!

 It is official!! The payment has been made, the payment has posted at the bank and it has posted on the collectors website---Hub's Walmart is PAID OFF!!! 

This debt is the second largest that has been paid off to date. We are deciding in the next few days whether to send that payment to Sam's Club or wait until we see what the next few months bring. I am leaning toward banking the payment and if things are OK at the end of the year we could just take that money and pay it all at once. It is so exciting to see so many of the accounts under $1000 and in just another month or 2 there will 3 that will go under the $2000 mark. 

Though I will be working on the line tomorrow at work, I should have some time to start catching up on all the blogs I like to read. You miss a couple of weeks and all kinds of things happen. There are some that I am months behind.  Hopefully I will also get some time on Thursday. I know I won't get any time to read up on Friday. On Saturday we are going to visit daughter and her family. That makes me happy, it has been a few weeks since we have seen them!

I once wrote about how it seems like death comes in 3's. It has happened again. First it was a co-worker who went on medical leave about 9 months or so ago. His service was last Thursday. Then another co-worker who has been away from work battling leukemia passed away and his service was yesterday. On Saturday our neighbor lady who has had health problems for a long time passed away and her service was today. 

Today I went to my parent's house and helped 2 of my sisters pressure wash their house, garage and one of the outbuildings. My other sister sat with my mom and watched us. She broke her leg and has had a lot of issues with it and isn't allowed to put any weight on it until around Thanksgiving. I think she had the hardest job today, haha. 

Time to get ready for my beauty sleep and to get rested so that I can be a good employee tomorrow. The factory is so much more comfortable now that the weather is starting to cool, It's a good thing!