Monthly Archives: February 2007


Looked at our main checking account this morning. The balance was $2,629.57. Sounds good? If you subtract out uncleared checks (what banks call “float”) and direct payments that I know will be coming out of the account shortly, the real figure is $9.90. I keep this information in a spreadsheet. As long as I keep up with data entry, I can get depressing reports about our finances with great speed and accuracy.

Not quite snowbound

mia_mcdavid and I were able to shovel out enough of the driveway yesterday morning to get our (smallish) cars out. Our local streets had already been plowed, so we could get around somewhat. We followed what has become our usual Sunday pattern: Pick up Tom at his group home, take him to church with us, then to our house for lunch. After that we relaxed at our place for a while, then took him home.

This worked OK, but the side streets around Tom’s home in Minneapolis had not been nearly as well plowed as those in Roseville, which added considerably to the driving stress there. After taking Tom back I needed a nap.

Mia went out to visit some friends in St. Paul. The side streets there were no better than those in Minneapolis. She made a very nice curried chicken dish for dinner, but we were both quite tired and were asleep before 10. Summary: We coped, but it was hard work.


As so often happens, I was quite tired from the work week last night, and went to bed about 9 PM, sleeping until 8 AM today. The forecasted snowstorm had not yet left much on the ground, so about 10 AM I drove into Minneapolis. As I wrote last month, Irish Books and Media was going out of business. Their lease expires at the end of the month, so today the owners were having a big move-out event. I have been involved in countless moves over the last 35+ years, including two previous bookstore closings. Most of the friends I have helped move have large collections of books, as do Mia and I, so I have a lot of relevant experience :-)>

This was one of the best moving sessions in my experience. There were plenty of people there to help, and lots of tools for taking down the shelves. I helped package several pallet loads of books to be trucked away, took down some furnitures, and hauled lots of boxes, bookshelves, and whatever. I also helped take a truckload of books to Irish on Grand in St. Paul. We got pizza for lunch, as is almost universal at such events. One of the pizzas was Pizza Lucé‘s “Pizza Athena”–the best commercial pizza I have had since we moved to Minnesota. The plan had been to work all day Saturday and Sunday. By 2 PM Saturday we were finishing up, and the owner was cancelling Sunday’s session.

So, with more of an afternoon than I expected, I drove down to c_nocturnum‘s, for colgaffneyis “camp drill”–a sewing and fabric work session today. mia_mcdavid and rillapins were there, along with a couple other members and haddayr, who had just joined. It was a pleasant time.

We are back home now. The much-heralded snowstorm seems to be finally here, but we have done our important weekend things. I am particularly pleased that the bookstore move went so well–they don’t need to worry about tomorrow’s weather. We hope to go to church and visit Tom tomorrow, but if we are snowbound we will be fine.

The Monster

Looked at our big credit card bill. It is grim. Not an immediate disaster: We can easily meet the minimum payment and then some. What bothers me is the trend. The balance is growing. What I want to do is stay ahead of the new charges and interest, so as to make some forward progress each month. I don’t see how to do this now.