TODAY WAS A DAY – Marilyn Armstrong

I had been considering getting an insurance plan on all our home appliances — including the heating and electrical and plumbing — and the roof. The problem is, we couldn’t afford a longterm plan. At $500 a hit for four hits, that is all our money. Bought month by month, it’s $45/month which makes it a lot more expensive and for us would mean less money for food, medications, dog food, bird food. Everything.

The thing about a fixed income is the fixedness of it. It means that whatever money you get, you will never receive more than you do right now. You will never get a raise or a Christmas bonus. Or any bonus. If the price of food and gasoline and heating oil goes up? Your income doesn’t.

So you have to think long and hard when your “savings” account is less than $2000 because your house has had its way with your savings.

You can eat less. You can even do without medications if its absence isn’t life-threatening. But when a piece of the house is sagging and showing signs of collapse, you have to fix it. Somehow.

Right now, I’m looking at the chimney which urgently needs repointing before it collapses. The bathroom that so badly needs renovation; in which the tub has been scrubbed so much, the color has leached out. The wall tiles weren’t anything special when brand new and they are a lot less special after 50 years of mildew and aging grout. My son has been planning to fix parts of the bathroom for years. As he rounds the bend to age 50, I think it isn’t going to happen. So tomorrow, the bathroom fixer-uppers will be here and we’ll see if we can make something happen. I don’t know if it’s possible, but it sure would make life easier if we could.

I canceled the house insurance. It doesn’t matter how sensible it is. We do not have the money, not if we are going to fix other things. Pray our heating system doesn’t die because I think we’ll die along with it. And that the roof doesn’t start to leak.

We live in that sad place where we earn too much money to get any state subsidies and too little to live comfortably.

Then I got a bill from AT&T for $70 AFTER the letter which told me that was NOT going to happen. I told them they could keep their service. I disconnected my phone and said I’ll die before I pay them. Then I called U.S. Mobile.

Total: $35 + $2 shipping for a flip phone. I can upgrade later. Including a SIM card. If all we are going to do is talk, I can get 300 minutes for 5 bucks a month. If I want to add 200 texts (I’ve yet to send one), it would be another 5 dollars. If I got their unlimited plan, it would be $34.99, which is still $5 cheaper than anything AT&T offers for “Seniors.” Since it’s an “open-phone,” I can get a better phone if I want and just move the SIM card.

They have begun selling Blackberry phones again … the ONLY cell phone Garry ever loved. Ah, the classics.

I lost my debit card Sunday night, so I canceled it and ordered a new one. I found it today. It was hiding inside my Apple computer. I called BOA to cancel my order for a new card. They hadn’t ordered a new card or canceled the old one. Talk about feeling protected! After all the jabbering on the phone, they did absolutely nothing. Lucky me, nothing was needed but they didn’t know that.

As part of the hunt for the missing debit card, I discovered that the areas under the sofa in the living room and under the bed were beyond words. The living room was merely dirty. The area under the bed was appalling. There’s no way to just clean it. The bed, mattress, machinery (it’s a movable bed), and its frame must weigh half a ton.

We cleaned what could be cleaned. The rest of the dust and mess will have to stay there because there’s no way to move that bed … or to get a vacuum under it.

Then I realized that I could not plug in Garry’s new lamp because we don’t have an extension cord. I ordered two AmazonBasic extension cords. Now, I hurt everywhere and I never got any coffee.

So I also didn’t write anything until now and this is going up tomorrow because there’s nothing on the boards for tomorrow or any day until next weekend.

Meanwhile, WordPress removed the way you call up old blogs — which I do often, most of the time rewriting them before posting. I have close to 9,000 blogs and if I can’t access them without their actual name (like I’m going to remember 8,768 blog names?) … I give up.

Honestly, I feel like giving up anyhow. I’m tired of WordPress and AT&T and anyone who wants me to pay them more money for less. I think that’s everyone.

Categories: Birds, Humor, Personal, Photography

Tags: , ,

24 replies

  1. Marilyn, please have a coffee, it will make a lot of things seem better.


  2. I found Red Pocket cell phone service for about $20, on a month-to-month basis. You might want to check it out online!


    • This wiil, except for the phone, be $5/month. We don’t text. I’ve literally never texted and in theory, I could spend an extra $`1.50 for 40 texts in case someone needs one for some reason, but that still brings the months cost up to all of $6.50. I don’t think it gets much better than that. If we wanted unlimited text and phone, that would be $10/month, by the way. Once you cut the line to the Big Guys, suddenly, you can actually afford a phone! And there are tons of “open” phones available on Amazon, including Blackberry and iPhone and Samsung and it’s a LOT less money than the Big Guys charge. If they aren’t careful, they’ll put themselves out of business. I weep for them. Really. I do.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Money-the necessary evil! May you find solutions and help that don’t cost money. Having a fixed income is damned hard. You have a great can do attitude, but even that goes so far… sending good thoughts.


  4. I read “too wealthy to qualify..” and my heart goes out to you. Welcome to my world. At least you’ve got Garry and he’s got YOU. Monetarily that doesn’t mean anything obviously, but having someone to share the burden is HUGE. Those of us fighting those battles solo might be forgiven for thinking things would be better without us. And good on ya for finding a workable solution to the phone mess…I’m with Verizon, which is about the same price as you said AT&T was charging you. I’m with AT&T (involuntarily) because they bought my cable/satellite company and one needs that damned service if one wants a workable TV. The jury is still out on whether or not that’s going to last. AT&T is dim witted and annoys the living crap out of me every time I’m forced to deal with them. I hope you endure on WordPress, because you are one of the big reasons I come here every day….a suggestion if you wish to find an old blog that the idiots in charge here have lost for you…go to google and if you can remember a word or two IN the post or title, along with “Serendipity – Seeking Life etc” you should be able to pull up anything. Yeah. That disconcerted me too when I discovered that my ‘private’ blog was a lot more public than I realized. Happy trails Marilyn. Hopefully Spring isn’t far off (no groundhog shadow here anyway), and things might look up. Condolences!


    • Right now, since their “fix” isn’t a fix and actually makes what barely worked before completely useless now, I copy and paste the entire piece to a new page, edit, give it tags, and post it. Supposed you can filter to the month and year an everything comes up.

      Nothing comes up.

      For January 2017 — not that long ago — I got ZERO entries and that was actually knowing the title and the month and date. I gave up, did a copy and paste and so far, so good. But I’m tired. I don’t want a fight. I just want to be allowed to do my thing, but everything is some kind of monstrous hurdle. I realize I’m sinking into a depression, but it’s not s “depression” depression. More like hopelessness. I don’t see anything that looks positive on the horizon. It just looks like more of the same until someone kicks the bucket.


  5. You know what I admire most in you and Garry‘s attitude? You being on such a low income, with so many problems in need of a solution and no chance of doing that, with such a number of worries, so much (quite justified) anger….. You still buy bird feed and food for your dogs – you are truly good people. I salute you!


  6. My WordPress seems the same so far. I usually look for old blogs using categories and tags but I have nowhere near as many as you. I would never remember the titles either. It sounds like you have had a bad day.


    • I’ve had a bad few months where everything is some kind of battle-royal. It’s ridiculous. My bank ignored me, AT&T actually lied and I have it on paper and they are STILL lying. The house needs work and we don’t have the money and aren’t going to find it and those lottery hits aren’t coming in. I’m trying to find something to look forward to.

      A friend had a WONDERFUL idea for a vacation in Utah, in the monument valley area with Native guides — what they call a “Photographer’s Dream” — and I said there was simply NO way we could manage it. And worse, it DOES sound like a dream — a once in a lifetime dream. Meanwhile, there’s the bathroom and the chimney and the bugs and the mice. And Bonnie is getting old and blind and Garry is wearing out. Having nothing to look forward to is no fun at all. And of course, we’ve got Trump.


  7. I’m not sure I understand the issue you’re referring to about calling up old blogs. If I am looking for something from a past blog, I do a word (or phrase) search. How else do you do it? What about WordPress changed?


    • There used to be in the “Posts” area of the dashboard a function where you typed in the name or part of the name or a key word from an older blog and it would appear. You copied it, rewrote or changed the photos or whatever … and voila.

      You work on a phone, so I’m not sure if you have entirely the same functions available to you or even if they are called the same things, but also — you don’t have almost 9,000 of them! I have so many posts, I can’t back them up without help from their engineers. The quantity is too big to handle in one bite.

      I’ve been revising older pieces more recently, first of all because most of my followers are either newer than I am, or they are as old as e and THEY are rerunning their older pieces too. If the TV can rerun episodes, surely so can I! And often, a subject comes up and I’ve written about it, sometimes pretty well and all it takes is a little revision and better photographs and it’s new again.

      Hell, I can barely remember everything I’ve written. How could anyone remember so much stuff? And somewhere in the middle of all of that, I had massive heart surgery and there are some vague and fuzzy areas to my years.

      But now, that little piece of menu offering is gone. Supposedly you can “hover” your mouse above the title and you can then copy the piece — assuming you FIND the piece. Except it doesn’t work, even if you DO find it.


  8. Having a fixed income is a disadvantage with being retired. You don’t know how many years you have left so hence don’t know how much you should save. Every extra you get is a risk. Luckily we have a good insurance company and the guy comes personally when we have to alter anything. He even tells us stuff we can cancel to save money as we no longer need it,


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