Recap:I've paid for obituary, memorial dinner, interment, funeral attire, hotel room, travel, gifts, postage for more gifts, thank you notes. I didn't contribute to theGoFundMe account for burial expenses, but I did pay close to half its current amount in interment, and brought the bones to Canada, so I think I'm good. I didn't contribute to the trust fund for my nephew and his mother, but I did help circulate notice of it to over 20000 people. I was the only blood relative who attended the funeral, so I'm good there too. Nobody's told me I haven't done enough. It just feels like I haven't because I don't know how much my brother left his widow. Objectively we can agree my brother should have planned better. Subjectively I don't feel his widow and son should suffer.
I am so happy to have an emergency fund. Christmas isn't going to be much fun though this year, unless we do an Advent Calendar of Joy or some antimaterialist mission. Something that doesn't involve a lot of money. I should probably mail something to my brother's widow and son though... maybe. I don't know how relationships through marriage go after a death. It's much up to the bereaved, or the older relatives, in my experience. I'm still in touch with my step-parents.
My husband did his open enrollment activity in front of me, groaning "that sucks" so I am gritting my teeth and mulling possible financial rearrangements. Like maybe paying for the car in full to free up some $$. I know he is reducing his HSA contribution. I may have to get my prescriptions filled in Canada if they'll cost half as much. Another thing I could do is reduce my espresso intake to once a week. I bought Mount Hagen Organic Instant coffee, which comes out to a little more than eighteen cents a cup, one twelfth of what I'd expect to pay for a demitasse of espresso. Nescafe is probably cheaper than that, even. I'd heard that Nescafe invests more $$$ in research and development. Half the coffee drinkers on the planet prefer instant. What helps me stay frugal is that I've become so old that I can't abide loud music in coffee shops in the daytime, and where I live it seems mostly young people with profound hearing loss are serving espresso. Seriously, isn't that what ear buds and earphones are for?
Shampoo: my hair's oil-clumpy whether I use a citrus shampoo, Garnier Fructis, or Dr. Bronner's soap. I wonder how I can get a smooth, manageable head of hair. Do I need to rinse with vinegar water every shampoo? And why do clumps of hair come out when I use soap or baking soda?
Food: Root vegetables and squash varieties I am experimenting with this year. We were introduced to yam chips and love them almost as much as sweet potato chips. Tried spaghetti squash for first time tonight, that was a big hit. Mostly I like roasting the root vegetables, putting tons of butter and maybe some chile powder or crushed red pepper on split-open halves of squash, with lime.