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Archive for June, 2010

Beautiful Breezy Morning

June 29th, 2010 at 09:47 am

I dropped DD off at the local nature center for her summer class this morning and then went for an impromptu walk with a friend I met there. It was a spectacular morning, cool and breezy. Lake Michigan was at its most blue and the wildflowers were in abundance. We sampled a few raspberries on the path and wondered over the unusual flowers.

On the less attractive side of nature, I think we had a coyote incident next door last night. Around 10:30 we heard a great snarling and barking hullabaloo followed by complete silence. I'd seen a coyote trotting down the street earlier and I suspect it got a cat or a bunny. These suburban coyotes seem to be everywhere lately!

Normal Week with Little Successes

June 28th, 2010 at 08:48 am

Today was the first day since DD's end of school we've had a normal week. After a bit too much spending on our Massachusetts trip, we've re-learned lessons about traveling with friends. We need to do our own thing and have our own priorities in line. I was happy we got a room with a kitchenette in Cape Cod as we ate dinner in one night and several breakfasts in. Besides the cost, it meant the Brit DH got to watch the World Cup!

After returning home, our friends stayed with us for another week, including a night away in a nearby city. They didn't blink at spending $175 for dinner for two. They're lovely generous people for us, bringing us back bottles of wine and a case of beer. But man--they're spending habits make both me and DH nervous.

I've done a textbook review for some extra cash and sold a few things on Craigslist which were cluttering the basement. It's going to be an expensive summer and I need to think of lots of ways every day to save and make some small cash. No university paycheck until October!

Basement Expenses --Ugh

June 11th, 2010 at 05:45 pm

The basement project continues, but today the electrician's bid came in. He was (gasp) $4000, and the others who bid were a bit higher. The former homeowner wired huge swathes of the basement himself, and none of it is up to current code. Honestly, I thought the electrician would be 1-2000, so I am feeling a little sick now.

My brain is working OT trying to come up with ways to save on other things, especially until my university paycheck begins in the fall. We have the money for it, but it would hit our domestic emergency fund pretty hard. Ugh Ugh Ugh.

Boston and Cape Cod

June 10th, 2010 at 02:28 pm

We're heading out later in June to Boston and Cape Cod. I haven't been to Boston since I was a teenager, and although I've scoured the guidebooks and planned a few things, I'd be thrilled to hear anyone's Boston "must-sees." We'll do the Freedom Trail for DD--although the Brit husband complains all the time about being called a British tyrant!

Ideas or recommendations, anyone?

Gift expenses?

June 9th, 2010 at 08:28 pm

Why is it I never know how much to spend on gifts?
Tomorrow is DD's last day of school and the parents chipped in for a teacher gift, and I had no idea how much to throw in.
Tomorrow is also DH's birthday, and I have no idea how much I "should" spend.
This is always an issue. I recently spent $100 on a wedding gift for my nephew, and some of my friends thought that was way too much. Others said they routinely spend $200 on gifts for relatives.
Kid's birthday gifts are another fraught one. For an 8-year-old? I try to keep them from $10-$15 with more for "special" friends. But I never know.


In other late-breaking news, the basement contractor forgot about the basement window when measuring for our closets. We now will have one fewer closet and a sort of bookcase-alcove spot in front of the window. I guess it saves on the door cost, but I'm already mourning the closet.

The last day of school always reminds me of how glorious that day was when I was a kid. Freedom!

Rainy Day

June 8th, 2010 at 07:23 am

The rainy cool weather today means I'll catch up with my evening class grading and have some time to get ready for our trip to Boston.

We're traveling with friends, but it always makes me laugh how differently we approach travel. They're paying full price (eek!) for a hotel room, while we used Hotwire to find a hotel a block away for $100 cheaper a night. They always take a taxi from the airport while we almost always use public transportation or a shuttle bus. I've got packaged snacks ready for DD, and I'm hoping we only have to check one bag. I'm planning a swing into restaurant.com to find some deals and have checked to see which places near the hotel offer American Airlines dining points. I always become a tad obsessive about saving money on travel, but am looking forward to it!

I've been home with the basement contractor and so haven't spent a dime--except those five dimes on coffee during my evening class last night.

Usual Saturday Errands and a Hygiene Question

June 5th, 2010 at 06:45 pm

After dropping off DD at her French lessons, we went to have breakfast and coffee at the local Einstein's Bagels. They delivered our bagel/egg sandwiches to the wrong table, and I saw the folks there pick up the top of the bagels, peer into both of them and then return them to the counter. I was unsure of whether we should eat them after other folks had handled them, but I didn't want to make a fuss when they arrived at our table.
Now was I being reasonable? Or is that too many hands on our bagel sandwiches? No one sneezed on them, and the other people looked, well, relatively clean. But the people next to us overheard us muttering about it and felt we should have asked for new sandwiches.

What's your verdict?

I mailed four ebay sales and returned a jacket DD didn't need. More fun, I sold more of her clothes on Craigslist. All in all, I'm adding $157 to my sales total for all the misc we've sold in the last two weeks.

More Stuff Out and Some Stuff In

June 2nd, 2010 at 07:42 am

I took a bunch of stuff to the charity shop yesterday, and bought a compost bin on the way home. I'm not sure whether it was the right one or not--it got mixed reviews, but this is our first foray into compost, so we'll see.

I've got four ebay auctions ending this morning, and the oddest thing is what's selling best: the white fur headband from my 40-year-old Chatty Cathy doll. And Dh wanted to throw it away....

It's cool and rainy here today, so after a trip to the grocery store, it's stay at home and clean day.
I'm still in the midst of the battle to see what the child has outgrown; the short answer is nearly everything from last summer!