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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Cutco, Kittery Trading Post, more

Wednesday drove to Concord to have lunch with my mom and sister, but it turns out only my mom showed up. My niece was sick and my sister stayed home. We had a very good lunch and when I got home, caught up on a few things before a friend came over to demonstrate Cutco kitchen knives and accessories.

She's just starting out and I was her second "guinea pig." It was funny, because Cutco is located in Olean, NY, where I did talks at some schools last year. She went through her spiel and did a good job. There are these Super Shears that actually cut a penny in half - she demonstrated that. I was *very* impressed.

Even though I hadn't planned on buying anything, I have never had a good cheese knife and ordered one of those, as well as a kitchen tool set. I have cheap ones you buy at KMart, etc. These are all guaranteed for life, so I am excited.

Thursday I ran around with the dogs on errands, began putting my clothes in the new dresser drawers and general cleaning up. My living room curtains arrived the day before and look beautiful, so I went to Linens N Things to find bracket holders instead of tiebacks to pull them back (does that make sense?). They are a brushed gold to match the picture frames in the living room.

The life insurance check came and I headed to my lawyer's office to pick it up, give him a $1,000 retainer for his services (I'll be billed February 1st for the rest), then went downstairs to see Vivi in her office. I've never seen so many zeroes on a check before. She hugged me and we decided to have dinner out. I was mentally relieved and a bit exhausted and couldn't even begin to think of what to eat for dinner.

I went to the bank, talked with their financial advisor (I know all the girls there, so they were wonderful when I walked in), and put some into my checking to pay off:

1) The damned motorcycle so that I can put the title in my name and sell it. Anyone interested in a Triumph Bonneville T-100 with less than 500 miles and upgrades? The original parts are included. It's in like new condition.

2) The Sears credit card, which was in Chris' name

3) The hospital bill from when Chris was in for the pancreatitis. Although our insurance covered a lot of the bill, we still owed a lot.

4) Pay off some of my credit card debt

The rest went into a money market checking account, which gets 4% interest. A friend of Chris' from the Marines is now a financial wiz in Chicago and is going to help me invest some of it. I want to renovate the bathroom first (a project Chris and I had planned on doing for a long time now), then maybe the kitchen. But the bathroom is a priority. The bathtub is all pitted and the tiles on that wall are mildewed and beginning to fall off. I want to get one of those jet spa type tubs.

Vivi and I went to our favorite Japanese restaurant, but it was closed, so we headed to Chapman Cottage, a B&B that serves dinner Wed-Sun nights.

It's a beautiful place, the people who work there are wonderful and the food was superb. I had half a rack of lamb with roasted potatoes and a field greens salad with champagne dressing; Vivi had an 8-ounce filet mignon with roasted potatoes and the same salad, plus two glasses of red wine, dessert and cappucino afterwards. All for under $100 including the tip.

Friday I finished putting clothes that had been in boxes into the new dresser drawers, caught up with a bunch of paperwork and generally tried to get a little more organized. It is so overwhelming sometimes dealing with everything.

My cop friend, Dave, and his friend, Bob, came over at 4 pm to clean out the gun safe in the basement and take the rest of the firearms, ammo and accessories to Kittery Trading Post, where Chris had bought almost all of his firearms. I was dreading that some of the sales guys he knew were there and they weren't. The guy who waited on us, Judge, was very nice and gave me cash versus trade (basically a gift card for anything in the store - check out the web site, they're like L.L. Bean). I would have lost 30% going cash, so I did the gift card and have almost $2,000 in gift card credit. So I'll be buying birthday and Christmas presents from KTP, ha ha.

I did leave two of the salesguys Chris knew well the memorial leaflets from the funeral service and gave them my phone number to call if they wanted to. So far, no calls. Oh well.

Dave and Bob dropped me off and I collapsed. It was 7 pm. I heated up some chicken quesadillas in the oven, then watched The Ghost Whisperer with the dogs.

Today I headed over to the workshop to supervise the sale of four pieces of machinery for a friend of mine, Bob, who is restoring a wooden sailboat. He brought a friend with him and expressed interest in the Atlas Lathe. The company who makes it said I should ask at least $2,000 for it, but I told him $1,500 OBO. He said if no one else buys it, he'll take it. Phew! That was the most expensive piece of equipment in the shop. Everything else is going from $10 up to about $350.

I took Mom2 to the store to stock up on milk and stuff just in case this storm we're supposed to get is really bad. I want to make sure she's taken care of in case I can't get over there.

I went to KTP to buy new sneakers for my walks with Guin and Bandit and ended up getting a pair of chestnut Ugg boots (the last pair that happened to be in my size and at an excellent price) and some mocs to replace the ones I've been wearing out, plus three pairs of funky socks.

I'm home now, trying to put more things away. Vivi is going to be calling. Maybe we'll hang out. If not, I'll go pick up some swordfish or tuna, take a nice, long bubble bath and hang out with the dogs.

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