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$2 Coffee and Then the Darn Dentist

January 15th, 2019 at 06:21 pm

I led a brainstorming session with colleagues today, spending only$2 on coffee. But then there was the follow-up dental appointment where the hygienist had me somehow convinced that I needed additional lab work to help determine the cause of my periodontal disease. To the tune of $150. I'm glad I decided on the fancy/expensive dental insurance this year. I have a feeling it's going to be an expensive year for my mouth (again).

A thrifty dinner of cauliflower cheese ensued. DD had a phone interview for a job this afternoon. She's eager for her first real job at the advanced age of 16. I hope it works out.

Getting a Bit Tight

January 14th, 2019 at 05:54 pm

We've paid both visa bills completely,so our travel bills are all accounted for. It's going to be a bit tight for the next month as my contractor husband won't get paid for while we're gone.

I haven't taken many steps toward frugality since we've been home, but we could take some steps towards eating through the freezer. Instead we've been doing some cleaning and decluttering. We thoroughly cleaned our fridge, have worked our way through the closet, and I'm cleaning the office and downstairs closet later this week.

Next weekend I'm off to Minnesota for a weekend with my best friends. One, a friend since second grade, has recently bought a house on the north shore of Lake Superior and is working half time in the Twin Cities. So we're all headed up north of Duluth where the temps should be below zero all weekend. I'm cold just thinking about it.

In the interest of frugality (ha), I've used gift cards earned from textbook reviews to buy a new jacket. I'm going to need it if we're snowshoeing this weekend!

I also need to load in 2019 goals. Many of them will be unaccomplished 2018 goals. It was that kind of year.

Lovely Lovely London

December 23rd, 2018 at 01:25 pm

Ok, it may be raining right now, but what a lovely time we're having.
We arrived Wednesday, found the airbnb with no problem, got settled in, went for a walk by the Regents Canal and got some groceries. It's quite a spacious two-bedroom in a nice area of London, but I do mss the "old neighborhood."

Thursday, I had lunch with a study abroad friend, we did a little stint at the British Museum, than a dinner at home to recoup a bit.
We tried to see the WinterWonderland in Hyde Park, but it was just too crowded. Friday we were off to see the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree, catch up with some friends, and then headed to the Southbank to see their European Christmas Market--which was much less crowded, free, and fun. Friday night was
the Barbican to see Macbeth. Meh--but worth it to see Eccleston, at least for me.

Really fun day with a long walk in St James's Park with family yesterday, lunch, a chance to see the new great nephew too. DD and went to the National Theatre to see Hadestown--her Christmas present. It was wonderful--and walked and walked on Bond Street and through Piccadilly to see lights. Very fun day.

Today we mt friends for lunch in Hampstead, did a long walk, and came heme stuffed and suitably tired. The airbnb has been good with both a washer and dryer. We've spent little except on food as the theatre tickets were all bought ages ago. We;;, maybe a few books at my favorite bookshop.

I've also managed to keep up with the project grading I took n to help pay for all this. It's fun assessment, and so far, not bad at all.


Happy Christmas to all my SA Friends!

Different Sorts of Days

December 8th, 2018 at 01:54 pm

I had to laugh at an encounter with a student group yesterday. I ran into them in our library coffeeshop, and they were surprised to see me, asking if I didn't have Fridays off. It's a week until the end of the semester--nobody has a day off, even on weekends.

But yesterday was filled with staff meetings, class scheduling issues, and then a wonderful few hours evaluating freshman research projects. We've been encouraging veteran instructors to help their students develop research projects and mentor them. I looked at projects from history, English, and psychology which were all so well done and interesting. And there was food! I cannot tell you how welcome a huge plate of vegetables and a lovely urn of coffee is in the middle of a day like that.

Two more student meetings followed--then off to the History Department to see my husband receive his award--where there was MORE FOOD. I think I should have been a historian--what lovely people, gracious and charming.

And then home to grade more projects of varying quality. So these late semester days are different, but bless the folks who order in food to keep us going.

Our DD did her first stab at the college entrance exams this morning. No news for weeks, but she can breathe a sigh of relief that it's over for a bit. And she's been made the head of costumes for their upcoming production of Mamma Mia.


Back to grading and how to improve this assignment next time.

Small Sale

December 4th, 2018 at 07:53 pm

Yes, I sold a game for $8. We had a duplicate, and more than the cash, I'm happy to move it on out. I have much more to go, but I can feel the semester about to wind down even if there are almost two weeks left. My pot of soup made over the weekend was a nice no-work dinner tonight.

I stopped at CVS on the way home from work for some chocolate to fill up the Advent calendar

Still patching in some London bits. We've always taken the tube into London from Heathrow as it's the cheapest, but it can be a hassle with big suitcases, depending on the final destination. I hemmed and hawed over the Paddington/Heathrow express as it's pretty expensive unless you book significantly ahead. But I found we can take the non=express train right to Paddington for only a few quid more. And the airbnb isn't far from there, so I think that's the right decision. We have a long list of things to do before then--and it's only two weeks!

Replenishing

December 3rd, 2018 at 05:50 pm

Our bank balances are looking better. DH and I both got paid on our regular jobs and my adjunct job too. We're still going to have to juggle a little, especially with Christmas and the London trip.

I finally see some light at the end of the term. I should be finished grading everything except final projects by tomorrow. And I plan on a very early night tonight.

We had a comforting meal of leftover Swiss steak tonight. It's one of my childhood favs, and it seemed perfect on the cold wet weekend. Glad I made enough for leftovers. Soup on the stove for tomorrow.

There will be a dentist bill in the near future. I have a troublesome tooth that needs dealing with and I hope to get it taken care of this week.


Oh--almost forgot our big fun news: My DH has been working on a masters in history. There's no economic justification for it, but it's been a part-time thing for several years. The big news? His paper won the best graduate paper of 2018 complete with a $400 prize. Very proud of him.

Raining and Awful

December 1st, 2018 at 08:31 am

This seems like a good day to stay in and grade papers or update the online grades. That will happen, but not before the semiannual trivia tournament. We've lost our amazing player, but are still hopeful.

And today is payday, so that's excellent news. I'll be taking a look at what can be replenished from the recent drain to savings. And it's 17 days to London. Still more planning to do there, but getting very excited.


Because we won't be home for Christmas, I'm doing minimal decorating around here, but did pull the Advent Calendar out and filled the first two days. I'll have to replenish that tomorrow.

I continue to have mixed feelings about my evening adjunct job. On one hand, I love the different demographic and the literature classes. The pay, while minimal, always comes in handy. On the other hand, I'm exhausted teaching until 10pm and then teaching again at 8am the next day. It's hard to wind down.

There may be a halfway solution. I could try to limit teaching there to summer months or just an occasional class. I thought I'd do it for a single semester, but it's now been 12 or 13 years. I've been so fried lately that I really want to step back and re-evaluate.

Hello, Hello

November 26th, 2018 at 06:01 pm

Oh man, it's been 21 days since I've posted?

Here's a short (?) summary:
We bought a new-to-us car. We'r big believers in quality used cars, and this one is a fancier, newer version of my wrecked car. I love it.

Shelling out the difference between the blue book value from the wrecked car and the cost of the new car has made things a bit tight around here. We paid cash, but I've emptied many a pot to find that cash.

The semester is over in 2 1/2 weeks.

We stayed in Cheeseland for Thanksgiving and had dinner with my office best friends--and her boss,, the undergrad chair, and an assortment of others. Wow--meeting people's partners is always interesting.

Need to do some London planning--by the end of the week. I've already booked two plays and a Christmas carol sing-along at Albert Hall. And a family event. And a lunch with London colleagues. Maybe I don't need to book more? But I want to!

I've taken on an odd assessment project that I'll learn more about on Thursday. It's a limited amount of work for $1500. I'd rather not, but hey, we need to dig out of the car situation.

More soon!

The Ongoing Car Saga

November 5th, 2018 at 06:34 pm

Two weeks later, I still have the repair shop's loaner vehicle. The body shop still has my car. We still don't have the accident report from the city. We've been back and forth with the repair shop and have, I think, come to some sort of settlement. The total damage is more than the blue book value of the car, and they offered to either have the vehicle repaired or give us a check for the amount of the repairs.

We've decided to write the car off, but are waiting for them to draw up a document exempting us from any legal liability concerning the accident. So we've begun the process of looking for a new (used) car. All of that is frustrating.

Apart from that it's been busy. I've just paid for the ACT fees for DD and another round of ACT prep subsidized by the school district. Work is very busy.

DH is adjusting well, I think, to his new job but still doesn't like being on the 23rd floor. My adjunct class has also begun. It's small but interesting. The class is "Bestsellers," and this week we're reading _Hidden Figures._ They struggled with _Lincoln in the Bardo_, but I expected that at an open enrollment institution. I'm trying to stretch the grocery budget with soups and pantry cooking to cover some of our car expenses.

Piles of grading and conferences with the athletic academic advisors tomorrow on the precarious status of their students.

Advice Needed On Car Accident

October 23rd, 2018 at 04:49 pm

It's been a swell couple of days around here. Sunday morning on the way to church my car died. Three times. I was able to get it restarted and home, but have been driving my DH's beater (and I do mean beater) ever since. My car is no showroom special. It's a Volvo station wagon with a cool 153,000 miles on it, but I love it. Today it went to a new auto shop. We got an estimate on it and scheduled a repair for Friday. It needs about $800 work. However, on the way to pick up my husband, the shop's driver got into an accident with my car. Not sure whose fault it is, but it was a multi-car accident and we're waiting on the police report and condition of the car. In the meantime we have a loaner.

So, I know usually the insurance follows the car, but is this a special situation? Should the shop's insurance or the at-fault driver pay? Should we call an attorney?

I've called my insurance agent and left a message, but I don't know much right now. Advice?

Ugh, Busy

October 18th, 2018 at 07:05 pm

Not much time to write lately,and I miss you all. School is very busy, many meetings, some challenging students, and the usual pile of grading and prep.

DD is also busy with school, theater, and friends. I'm so glad we bought the Harry Potter Sunday movie package together. We just saw the 6th one on Sunday, and it's a nice time for us to sit down together, chat on the way, and just plain relax. It was parent/teacher conferences tonight, and they all love her. She's doing very well. She's got three AP classes, two languages, and a full slate of theater assignments. Honestly, her life exhausts me.

We drove to her school together this morning at 6:45 as we baked two coffee cakes for the French Honor Bake sale and she couldn't balance it all. I headed to school right after that. That's the kind of schedule we've been handling lately.

I have a weekend filled with grading and prep, but hope to get outside some. I need to tackle garden clean up. DH is hanging in there with the new job, but they've only paid him for a week so far. His ear checkup is tomorrow, so hopefully he can go back to the gym and start more normal activities.

Two months to our London trip!

Rain Rain

October 1st, 2018 at 11:49 am

It's a cold and wet day here. And busy. I'm heading to Seattle to meet my BFF on Thursday and feel like I have thousands of things to do before then. In the meantime, DD and I are off to see Hank Green speak at the university tonight. Y'all might be more familiar with his brother, the YA author, John Green. DD is a huge fan and we culdn't turn down a chance to see him at the university tonight.

We're trying to eat through the freezer contents, but this may be a week for getting through rather than making progress. Back to grading and writing quizzes.

Week One Done

September 28th, 2018 at 11:53 am

All seems to be going well at DH's new job. He's having a bit of trouble with his fear of heights as the new office is 23 floors up. But I hope he'll gradually get used to it. And again, he loves their free lunch, And he's using his university transit pass to get him on the bus and back for free. He's become cheap to have around!
I've also been pretty cheap this week--spending only on a couple cups of coffee and not much else. We also have piles of CSA veggies so grocery spending has been minimal.

I have a large pile of grading to tackle, and instead, spent the morning on university "service" evaluating Fulbright grant applicants. It's very fun to see what other folks are doing, and I always enjoy the others on the panel.

We've got theatre tickets to see "In the Heights" tomorrow night from the season package I bought DH for his birthday. DD is a huge theatre geek, and she's going with us. It should be fun.


The autumnal weather is making me want to bake. I see a pumpkin loaf or cake in the weekend's forecast.

Happy Fridays to all of you.

Finally!

September 24th, 2018 at 07:56 pm

We jumped though all the hoops, got DH's degree verified, and waited, waited, waited, but he began the new contract today. He said it went very well, and he's very happy to be back at the company where he worked for 15 years. The atmosphere is so much more his style, very casual and conversational. He saw loads of people he knew--and they started off te day with balloons at his desk, a Starbucks card, and a cookie. I figure it will take us a little over a month to regain our bearings. But finally we're back on track. No spending other than coffee here.