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Archive for July, 2011

First Experience Selling Gold

July 30th, 2011 at 03:29 pm

I took a couple of pieces of gold jewelry to two jewelry stores today. They included two of my dad's rings and a couple small pins belonging to my mom and great aunt. It was interesting to watch how they determined the gold content and weight. Although I was initially very hesitant to go, everyone at both stores was very nice. I'm going to have my mom's ring reset eventually, and the pleasant experience at one has made them the venue of choice for the restyling.

The bad news? The jewelry isn't worth much--One store offered me $147 and gave me the name of two nearby stores. The next store was worse at $120. We tried to go to a third place--one that the local paper's investigative team said was the highest payer, but they're closed on Saturdays.

Both my brother and I are doing our bits to get my mom's affairs in order. She left the house to us in a trust years ago, so there are few tax consequences there. I think the funeral home owes us a couple hundred dollars. The rest of the estate is mostly a few thousand dollars and personal property. I wouldn't look for a European cruise vacation in my future, but I'm glad her money outlasted her--and she had enough. Considering she came from a family with nothing, leaving a lovely home and two (sort of) well-adjusted children, she was magnificent. A life well lived.

Friendly Friday

July 29th, 2011 at 11:38 am

I spent my first discretionary spending money of the week on a cup of Starbucks for $1.59. It was worth it. While DD was at Vacation Bible School, I planned four weeks of a fall class. Not sure why I'm not that productive at home with my own coffee, but I'm not.

While there, I ran into two colleagues and chatted a while. One dropped off a freelance project for me to grade, and it was just nice seeing folks.

I had planned on getting some bids on my mom's small amount of gold jewelry this morning, but it can wait until tomorrow. I think I just need some downtime to read and relax.

Great weekends to all of you!

Kumon?

July 27th, 2011 at 07:49 am

My fabulous DD is two grades ahead in reading, but has always struggled with her Math. My sister-in-law sent my nephew to Kumon for math help for a couple of years--and now he's graduating from engineering school. Has anyone out there used Kumon? Reactions?

I like their methods, but I'm not sure if it's worth the $100/month they're talking about.

Raining raining raining here. It's a happy peaceful sound!

Not so cool

July 26th, 2011 at 02:23 pm

Just when I thought I had our budget figured out until I get paid in October, our A/C quit last night. I did all the troubleshooting things I found on websites, but to no avail. It cycled on, quit quickly, the fan worked but wouldn't "listen" to the thermostat. Off to Angie's List to find a repairer. Now $592 and a new control board later, I'm wondering how that's going to fit in the budget.

But at least he got it fixed before the heat starts again tomorrow. Glad we have an emergency fund. Wish I had fewer emergencies.

Another Cleaning Bonus!

July 25th, 2011 at 10:11 pm

For weeks my desk has been bothering me. I've got too many misc greeting cards, note cards, and just plain junk in that desk. Tonight I sat down, sorted greeting cards into types and purged a bag of stuff. Happily I came across a very pretty card and searched for its matching envelope, only to find that it was a (oh dear) two-year-old birthday card from our friends and frequent house guests from the UK. Here's the best part--it had $60 in it! I remember when they gave it to me, but I must have stashed it for the great photo of DH's home village on the front. Yeah $60!

A Great Fundraiser

July 25th, 2011 at 07:52 am

We had a good weekend back with a nice dinner with friends on Friday night, some tasks accomplished Saturday, and a terrific fundraiser picnic for a colleague whose son is battling leukemia. With donations from local businesses we had a picnic for over 125 people and raised close to $1000.

DD has a busy week with Vacation Bible School and a nature camp class so I'm hoping to get some work done. I got great back-to-school bargains at Target last weekend and need to sit down and plan out the budget until I get paid again in (eek) October. I see some belt tightening in my future. So tonight we're dining on picnic leftovers. the A/C can go off for a couple of days, and some bills need to be paid.

Hope you all have less sultry days!

Trying to Get Back in the Swing of Things

July 20th, 2011 at 12:07 pm

I think I'm still a little jet-lagged. And it may be the heat, but I seem to be moving very slowly. DD and I have had a quiet day. I'm reading a lot; we went to the grocery store and took the dog to the groomers. We also stopped at Walgreens to buy (DD would be horrified if she read this) some deodorant. Despite regular baths and showers, at the lofty old age of 9, she appears to need deodorant. What a milestone, eh?

Like lots of folks, we've had the A/C on for days, but it's an a nice even 100degrees out, and none of us do very well in the heat.

I tried to upload some of my England photos to my blog, but it keeps eating them. I did get my Facebook album up for some friends. My $100 new digital camera did a beautiful job. And only $95 with the Target Red Card!

I may give myself a couple of days to unwind and then attack the to-ebay pile.

Doing the Math(s)

July 18th, 2011 at 04:08 pm

We had a very happy time on our 16 days in England--four days in London, a week near DH's family in a National Trust cottage with friends and more time in places we'd never been--the Norfolk seafront towns and the old Suffolk wool towns. It was very fun--and very expensive. We did some budget smart things--packing snacks, utilizing the grocery stores, and only eating out once a day at most. But England is increasingly expensive, and the effects of the recession and inflation have also hit there. Tonight I'm going to do the math or maths( as DH would say) and figure out what we spent and the damage to the waistline!

Glad to be back on the budget program!
Not so glad it's as steamy as it is!