18th Costco Shopping in 2020 – $257.03 today / $1,110.83 this year
I am doing OK physically and financially.
Because of ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Costco shopping is no longer fun and relaxing. For today’s Costco shopping, I had to take a half day off from work so I can shop on my preferred time slot, Thursday 10 am – 12 pm. Today, in addition to my usual shopping list, I also had a “get ready” check-list. On my check-list I had items such as wallet, mask, and disinfectant wipe. We can be extra forgetful at strange times like this. I would hate to arrive at Costco and realize I forgot to bring my mask. So, check-list was a must.
It’s been 50 days since my last Costco shopping. It’s depressing to get ready, go to Costco, put on the mask, and wait in line. And there is a legitimate possibility that I can contract virus and die. It is scary.
I arrived at Costco at 9:30 AM. The warehouse opened at 10 am for general public. However, customers 60 years or older were allowed in at 9 AM. Line wasn’t too long at 9:30 AM. People who arrived at 10 AM had a long line to deal with. I was inside Costco at 10:12 AM.
There were plenty of toilet papers and meat items, but we were limited on how many of each item we can buy. I always buy toilet paper and meats at sales price. But, today I paid full price on toilet paper, New York steak, stew meat, and more. I will not wait for sale. I will not go to another store to save some money. I will gladly pay full price and mitigate this craziness. I also picked up a lot of comfort food and snacks.
The Afredo sauce looked promising. I can’t wait to try it.
I had a huge craving for Costco hotdog, so I bought Kirkland Signature hot dog franks. Those are the real deal Costco hot dog franks. But, they didn’t have Costco size hot dog buns – so I got little buns.
I came home 3 hours later and proceeded to vacuum pack most of the meat items, including hot dogs and buns (in packs of 4). I was completely exhausted afterwards. I hope I am good for a month or two.
17th Costco Shopping in 2020 – $41.99 today / $853.8 this year
I haven’t gone to Costco for over a month. I plan to go soon.
Because I work from home, I’ve been drinking my weekend coffee, Ruta Maya dark roast, a lot faster than my usual pace. Ruta Maya is THE best coffee ever. It’s strong, tasty, but has a smooth after-taste. There is nothing like it. Starbucks doesn’t even come close to Ruta Maya. People who taste it agree with me. After tasting my coffee, some people copied my coffee setup exactly (coffee, grinder & french press). You’re welcome. 🙂
Ruta Maya coffee is available at Costco website. Delivery is free. I highly recommend. I tried both dark and medium roast. I like dark roast better.
You should never go to coffee shop for daily coffee unless you are a millionaire. Buying good coffee to enjoy at home is a great way to save money.
I brushed my teeth and put on my retainers. I am so sleepy.
I haven’t gone outside for 19 days now. Because I live alone, isolation really feels like isolation. I am not the type of person who talks to himself. So, my mind is running everywhere, but my mouth is shut all the time. I’ve been having crazy vivid dreams every night. My mind is not completely clear.
I worked all day at my living room. Later I ate turkey gumbo while watching The Conners.
It’s midnight. I was about to tun off the lights and go to bed, but I heard the birds singing outside in the dark. So I set by the window for awhile.
I have a big tree in my front yard, and a family of birds live up there. I’ve been enjoying their singing for several years now. I just love hearing them, especially in the morning and at night. This is my sound when I wake up in the morning. I will be very sad if they move away. Sometimes I don’t hear them for a few days. But they always come back and sing.
I remember hearing them when I was in Georgia. It was the same voice, but they sang a different song. I was fascinated by that. Ah~ Georgia… I miss Georgia. Is there any place prettier than Georgia? The rain, the greens, Waffle House, Piggly Wiggly, and nice people.
I wish I have a nice watch with a moonphase calendar. Moonphase calendar on a watch is cool. How much is the cheapest moonphase watch? I shall check it out tomorrow.
We have video meetings twice a week for work. Maybe I’ll log in from my closet, with all my shoes in the background. Mm… maybe not. That would be silly.
What do I eat for dinner tomorrow?
OMG, I completely forgot to file income tax. I think the deadline had been extended, but…
OK, I’m going to bed now. I will continue tomorrow.
This is a quick plug-in. I will get back to you with my official review on Featherweight 3i hair dryer by T3 Micro. I’ve been using this hair dryer for three days so far. It performs almost as same as my favorite hair dryer that I paid $250.00 a few years ago. I will also review their styling iron. I haven’t tried the iron yet. I need more time.
Costco’s everyday price of $99.99 on Featherweight 3i is pretty good. But, now, it’s on sale for $79.99. The sale ends in two weeks on May 17, 2020. It’s OK if you missed the sale. I think $100 is still good. Styling iron is also on sale.
I am currently comparing this hair dryer with my $200 professional unit. 3i is lacking some professional touch, but its overall performance is right there with my $200 hair dryer. So, If you want good hair dryer but $200 is outside of your budget, 3i may be for you.
Just like any other hair dryers, you’ll have to purchase a diffuser separately.
Seven years later, earlier this month, while I was fixing my house from water damage, I saw the professional guys cleaning and dusting my house with these towels. They praised its superior performance on picking up dust. “Hey! I have those towels, too”, I said.
So, I started to use the towels around the house for dusting & cleaning. They work like magic. The towel will pick up a lot of dust and not let go. I would then walk outside and shake off the dust. Sometimes I wet the towel to wipe down kitchen counter and sh*t. They are very effective in cleaning. Also, I am saving money on paper towels. After each use I hand-wash and hang dry them (picture). When needed, I toss them in the washer.
These towels are Costco’s staple item (#713160), you see these towels in your warehouse as well as online. If you already have some in your garage try using it around the house. If you know anything that cleans better than these towels, I would like to know about it. My kitchen, right now, is immaculate.
The only place I don’t use these towels is on my car. For car wash, I use better towels. I have two bucket system, use high pressure water nozzle, and use a leaf blower to dry (the way professionals do). I have a pretty decent car was system.
Quick one-handed demonstration. Not a very good demo, but you get the idea.
Costco’s executive members receive 2% reward certificate about 3 months before their membership is renewed. I didn’t receive my reward gift Certificate this year. There was a possibility that I received the certificate but I threw it out carelessly. On my last Costco shopping, I talked to the customer service. They confirmed that the certificate was mailed out over a month ago. So, I requested for another one. The process was quick and painless.
I finally received my certificate in the amount of $56.88. I need to get paid $60 in order for my executive membership to pay for itself. $56.88 is pretty close, but I am not enjoying any perks for being an executive member.
In the past, executive members were allowed to the warehouse one hour before regular business hour. I could enjoy that perk – now that we are dealing with Covid-19 pandemic.
I think I should downgrade my membership. I will shop even less this year due to the pandemic 2020.
I work from home due to stay home order (Coronavirus Pandemic 2020). As I work, my mind wonders about everything from fixing my house to end of my life.
I reminisced about my good old days, the time I had absolutely no worries… the time I thought I would never die. Then I remembered this song. I completely forgot about this song for 30+ years. I went online and found the video.
I love this song. The video is fun. This was my time. Good times. I hope the new generation is enjoying their time as much (Twerking and daggering… But, there isn’t actual penetration. So, I guess that’s being “innocent” by today’s definition. Anyway, it’s their time now).
The Blow Monkeys – Digging Your Scene
The Blow Monkeys – It Doesn’t Have To Be That Way • TopPop
I am terrified about future water damage in the house. I learned that water leak is common. You are likely to have water damage in your house before your house gets robbed.
For immediate peace of mind, I installed water detecting alarm system with 10 sensors. (adding 5-10 more sensors soon)
I plan to re-route water pipes. That means I will install entirely new water pipes running over the ceiling. That will cost $5K or more.
I now turn off main water valve every night, or every time I’m away from home.
I will install a remote switch for the main water valve. So, I can turn on and off water with a smart phone.
I shall replace my water heater that’s getting old.
With that, I hope I don’t go through this traumatizing event ever again.
Coronavirus pandemic is multiplying the level of anxiety and stress.
Recovery and repair
Phase 1 was emergency recovery work – to stop water leak and dry interior of the house.
Phase 2 was repair – replace damaged carpet with new flooring.
It took 4 days to dry my house. That 4 days was miserable with noise and heat. I slept over at my friend’s house for 4 nights.
They found asbestos in the bathroom and the laundry room. My insurance company sent people for quick clean up. But they were slow on communication. We wasted 8 days waiting for them. “We’ll get back to you” they said.
If everything goes as planned, my house will be done around Easter.
My insurance company sent an adjuster to my house, and gave me the Dollar figure on how much it would take to repair my house. I told them that I would use my own people for repair, so they would write me a check. Now, it is up to me to use that money wisely.
I claimed 7 items for property damage with detailed pictures. The insurance agent was surprised. Most people claim a lot more items, she explained. “I am trying to be fair and honest” I replied. All my solid wood furniture looked good after they were dried.
Rainy Day Fund
I have a rainy day fund. It takes one full day to move money to my checking account. This emergency fund is allowing me to keep calm and take care of everything that’s going on.
First few days, I wrote a few checks in the amount of over $12,000.00. Then the insurance check arrived afterward. I could have used my credit card. I could have asked my guys to hold my checks for a few days. But, it was easier to write checks and say “The check is good”. My mind was at ease.
Things are moving smooth because I was able to pay my people quickly.
We are living in a scary time. A lot of people lost job at my work. If I didn’t have a rainy day fund, I would have a mountain of stress and worries right now. I live alone, so money is my strength. I am so glad I saved during my good time.
From this point, I will save for not just one, but two possible disasters taking place at the same time. For example, I can lose my job and need a new roof at the same time.
My life had turned upside down with water damage at my house. My glorious closet room was gutted, so was my nap room. It’s tough dealing with this alone. I felt like crying at times, but there was nobody to cry to… so I just sit quietly in my broken house. This sucks.
It was Wednesday, the day four. I was trying to do whatever I can while I work full time online. I am tired and sleepy all the time. But, I am slowly gaining my mental strength. I am finally getting used to my new reality. This morning, I had to move everything in the garage so the cleaning guys will hose down the mud.
It was around 7AM. The cleaning guys were supposed to arrive at 8AM. It was hectic. I needed a wrist watch so I can tell time quick. But my jewelry chest was in the bedroom, in the pile of mess. So, I maneuvered myself to the middle of the pile, I opened up the jewelry case, and I froze…
I couldn’t decide. Which is the most disaster proper watch? I don’t want to look too flashy. I don’t want to look too delicate. I don’t want to wear an expensive watch. Disaster watch should not be too big nor too heavy. Casio LCD watch is depressing. I can’t wear Nautica watch… for water disaster? Please…
I stood there for awhile, trying different watches. At this point, I must tell you that I am a very indecisive person.
Finally, I picked my disaster watch (picture below). It’s affordable yet has a hint of class, smaller in size, easy to read, and it says “I am ready to work”
16th Costco Shopping in 2020 – $29.37 today / $811.81 this year
I was depressed and physically exhausted from dealing with my disaster. I had to get away and relax my soul. So, I went to Costco. There, I saw the same Costco employees working there – some with masks, some without. God bless them. In our war against invisible enemies, people working at Costco are the heroes. They truly keep us alive. Think about how it would be without these amazing people working at Costco and grocery stores everywhere. Imagine them waking up every morning knowing anything can happen. If that’s not a war mentality, I don’t know what is. And God knows… no.. I don’t want to think about it. I don’t want to say it here. Anyway, these guys working at Costco are true heroes. God bless them.
I went to Costco around 1:10 PM. I stood in line, but the line was short. I only waited about 15 minutes. Toilet paper was out of stock. But, I saw some shoppers walking out with toilet papers. This meant toilet papers were in stock about an hour ago. Also, inside the warehouse looked more stocked (fuller). I saw less empty shelf spaces. I took that as a positive sign.
I had such a big craving for chocolate cake. I wanted a cake so sweet that it will hurts my gum. I have a craving maybe because I feel sad and demoralized. Maybe my body needs Costco chocolate cake for its holistic, medicinal effect. Luckily, I found this flat layer of Chocolate cake. They now make flat chocolate cakes, same size as cheese-cakes. Cakes are smaller because there are no parties. So, big cakes will not sell. I thought that was interesting.
Seeing Costco like this felt like meeting a sick family member. It was sad to see Costco like this, but Costco was still there. It’s still here with us. And it’s guaranteed that it will get better. I will take that.
I am doing good physically and financially. Please take care everyone. I will talk to you soon.
** I was writing this blog when the main water line broke at my house (Saturday March 21, 2020 – around 1:30 PM). I was going to my closet room for another quick picture. Instead, I walked into a pool of water. I am happy to announce that all my shoes are saved from water damage. I couldn’t save my house though. They are still drying my house (March 24. 2020). 🙁
One of my new year’s resolutions is to buy no more than three pairs of Italian shoes this year (2020). People spend money on model trains, antique guns, art works, and other expensive stuff. Shoes have been my hobby for last three years. I just want ten more pairs of Italian shoes to complete my wall of shoes. And, I will never buy another pair of dress shoes again. I don’t think it’s a complete waste of money, because I enjoy wearing my shoes every single moment. Also, they feel amazing good. They don’t have “break-in” period. Even the boots feel good (enjoyable) from day one.
This is my first pair of Italian shoes in 2020. I love this beautiful tan suede derby. I’ll need a matching belt to rock these shoes. Shoes without matching belt would be an amateur night. My pants should be white or almost white. Socks should give it a nice contrast, etc, etc….
I daydream about going out on a bright Summer day in these derbies. In my daydream, I don’t work, and I never get sick. And I am holding either a cup of soda or an ice cream cone. Hehe… I am finally at this stage of my life, but why do I have to get old? Hm…
Shoes are not a waste of money if they bring you great deal of joy. Now, I have two more pairs to buy this year.
First of all, I am physically and financially OK. I am thankful for that.
Here’s the bad news. Main water line inside my house broke Saturday evening. I suffered significant water damage in 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, laundry room, and hallway. All bedrooms and hallway were carpeted. Despite the fact that it was Saturday evening, both plumber and water damage people came to my house within an hour. I did call my insurance company (Wawanesa). I hope insurance will come through for me.
I am tired and emotionally drained. I hope the shock will wear out so I can deal with the situation rationally. I thought coronavirus was too much to deal with. This is heavy.
I am sure I will laugh about this 1 year from now. In fact, I will write a blog 1 year from now to talk about the outcome. But, for now, this is difficult.
Anyway, please take care and be extra careful at times like this. I will handle my situation and get better. I will be better than before. I promise you. All I’m asking from you is to think about me. When you go to sleep… just think “Hm.. I wish that Costco guys is doing OK.” That’s all I’m asking.
I must go.. I have a lot of things to do. Insurance adjuster is on his way.
15th Costco Shopping in 2020 – $39.31 today / $782.44 this year Member Only Savings – $5.2 today / $149.7 this year
First of all, there were no eggs, no toilet papers, and no SPAMs. It was depressing and confusing. But today I took my time and tried to enjoy my Costco shopping experience. And it did make me feel better. I felt much relaxed this time. Today was not as crazy as last Friday. But, it was raining pretty hard outside, so I don’t know if craziness will return when it’s dried.
Member only savings saved $5.20 today. I found almost everything on my Costco shopping list. I wanted some chicken for chicken soup. But Costco was completely out of chicken. Luckily, they had rotisserie chickens. I shall make chicken soup with rotisserie chicken. RANA Lobster Ravioli was on sale ($4 off). I never had this before, but I have a high hope. They looked pretty good.
Last Friday I had a sad experience picking up a smashed bag of Doritos while I was in the sea of panic shoppers. I was still nurturing that sad feelings. Today, I saw dozens of pretty bags of Doritos on their own shelf. I felt much more relaxed this time. So, I picked up a bag, hoping this bag will make me feel better. I feel bittersweet that the bags of Doritos are reflecting my life at the time of panic. I will sit home alone and eat Doritos… hoping everything will be fine.
Greenridge Farm’s beef snack sticks are… just OK. They don’t have personality. They are 13 Inches long – big, with not much flavor.