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Archive for March, 2012

Break Done

March 26th, 2012 at 06:26 pm

No, not a break down, just the realization this morning that my break is done. I wish I could say it was well balanced with fun and work, but frankly, there was way too much work. I finished up my grading this morning.

We did get some major items addressed. Although his final bid isn't it, we've decided on a window replacement company. Compared to the three other ones we spoke with, this company got top ratings on Angieslist, they were very detailed and professional, and they offer to mix and match windows from various manufacturers when possible. We walked out of their showroom on Saturday and said, "well, that settles that."

We also got the taxes done with a decent enough refund from both the state and the feds. My flex benefits claims have been filed, and the mountains of laundry are now down to small hillocks.

No pedicure yet, and no office cleaning either. I did indulge in a little fun spending at TJ Maxx on Friday including a new spring/summer bag and a couple of new tops. I did get on the treadmill and am ready to get on it again momentarily. And I did manage to see a couple of episodes of Luther on Netflix, though the last one was a bit too violent, even for my strong stomach.

So, with my online class busy with revisions, and the questions printed out for my evening class, I'm moving on to tomorrow's students and trying to scrounge up some more money for the windows.


Swagg-er

March 21st, 2012 at 02:30 am

As those of you who "do" Swagbucks probably know, they have a special March Madness promo, so I worked Swagbucks a little harder today. My last search yielded (wow) 57 Swagbucks. That meant I met my goal, got the bonus, and I did a happy little Swagjig.

That was very fun! And my day of grading and cleaning meant it was also a no-spend, eat up leftover day.
Spring has indeed sprung!

My Plan for the Week

March 19th, 2012 at 05:33 pm

My carefully (not) balanced out plan for the week includes (in no particular order):

1. Walk every day
2. Complete all grading and post it to online gradebook
3. Clean office
4. Finish all laundry and ironing
5. Clean laundry room
6. Send five cards and letters
7. Get rid of 60 things through recycle, freecycle, gifts, donations. (That's 10 a day!)
8. Get three window bids and decide.
9. Call painter re house trim bid
10. Call interior painter re DD's room.
11. Pedicure and fun shopping!
12. Read three books for personal enjoyment
13. Taxes
14. Submit flex spending bills and deposit checks
15. Run away for one or two days to Chicago or Minneapolis or Dells.

To that end, I've started the laundry, graded all last night and this morning, gave old bulky computer monitor to Best Buy.
Lots to do!

Window Shopping

March 19th, 2012 at 02:59 am

DD got all excited yesterday when I said we were going window shopping. Little did she know we were shopping for windows!

Our 1960 house has windows in need of replacing. They're rotting, the hardware sinks right through, even with wood putty, and they leak a lot. We've spent eight years with 3M plastic, caulk, and trying to hold off buying windows, but I think we have to start now. Since the house trim has to be painted this year, it seem like we should buy windows in anticipation of that.

Saturday we went to three window showrooms, but I need to spend some internet and library time figuring out what's best. I have estimators coming out this week, but I anticipate a month or so before we make a decision.

Any one have experience with window replacement that can advise me?

Thinking Thinking Thinking

March 16th, 2012 at 03:12 am

I'm thinking about how to best spend my break. I need a balance between lots of fun, some school work, and some house work.

Today's oddness occurred during a class discussion before exams when a student (they're pretty much all juniors so about 21) asked what the word "spouse" meant. Does that seem really odd to you? Three or four more admitted they'd never known what the word meant. But I fed them doughnuts as an exam treat and just shook my head.

I also found myself shaking that head again when I saw the local fancy grocer had roasted brussel sprouts for $7.99/lb and the raw ones were 1.99/lb. I think for $6,I could turn on the oven and find some olive oil.

I welcome any oddball advice on how to spend my break---

I Got Sunshine

March 14th, 2012 at 04:53 pm

It's spectacular here today. The combo platter of spring warmth and sunshine with impending spring break has helped me be one happy camper.

I've got minor but cheerful good news. I've finished writing my midterm exam to be given tomorrow; my online class is done for 10 days except for grading, I've hung the guest room bedding on the clothesline, and I wangled an optician appointment to use my flex spending a brilliant one day before the deadline.

I certainly need new glasses; my original no-line bifocals have lost their coating, and I suspect the prescription will have to be ramped up. But what style? Sunglasses too? All the funky gals at the university have largish dark-framed numbers, and I suspect that's where I'm headed too. It's so fun to have money I have to spend!

Being Boring

March 13th, 2012 at 04:25 am

I sat and graded for hours today, finally got dressed about 1, graded some more, then went off to teach my night class. They're reading Elie Wiesel's Night, so we had a great discussion, but until my break, I think I'll be the most boring person on the planet.

My one triumph today? My DH's favorite instant coffee for a super bargain price at CVS with $10 extra bucks,

In fact, all my expenditures today were on coffee: DH's instant and my (ugh) machine coffee at school for a whooping 50 cents.

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZz

Fiddly Friday

March 9th, 2012 at 06:56 pm

It's sunny but cold-ish here, and I'm spending Friday further frittering. The house needs a couple of hours cleaning, I have stacks of grading and stacks of laundry, there's food to be made, class prep for next week and all sorts of odds and ends to be accomplished.

Today's hilarious event was DD's pioneer simulation. With the bargain lace-up boots, long skirt, checked shirt, bonnet and apron on she looks very funny. We packed up her lunch in a wicker basket and off she went on the bus. The bus driver was similarly overcome with laughter.

Weekend's monetary goals? Get some checks deposited, don't spend much, and hit double-coupon day. Taxes will have to wait for my break.

Yes, I Can.

March 8th, 2012 at 03:55 am

Yes, I can make it to spring break in eight days.
I wish my break held lots of fun like it did in the days when DH and I were dating and I flew to London for the week. These days if I can get lunch out with a girlfriend, it's a triumph.

I'd really like to go somewhere for break, but I'm halfheartedly committed to saving everything I can for new paint on the house trim, new windows, and new bathroom tile. But really, I'd rather go to London.

But there is good financial news. Our mortgage continues to shrink although I've stopped major prepayments when we worried about DH's job.

I resisted buying lace-up boots as suggested for DD's "Pioneer Days" simulation, but this afternoon while she was at dance class, I zipped over to Target. I figured they'd have nothing but sandals and spring shoes, and I was almost right. There, staring right up at me from the clearance rack was one pair of girl's lace-up boots reduced from $25 to (yeah) $7.28. In her size! It made my day--not too tough since the rest of the day was spent grading papers and prepping my online class.

Eight days, baby.

Flurried and Flurries

March 5th, 2012 at 04:10 pm

It was a bit of a flurried week, but Friday's snow was more than flurries, I guess.
DD had a friend over for a sleepover on Friday, and the three of us went to see "The Lorax." I'm continually amazed at the behavior of some children--which of course precipitated a lecture to DD on Saturday.

DD's friend is actually one of our favorites. She's a very nice little girl, and we like her whole family. The movie theater has a full restaurant attached. I've never been there before, but had a Groupon for it, so off we went. At full price, the three 3D tickets would have been $30. We ordered a pizza--then DD's friend asked if we were also having appetizers--and could she have a root beer float. One set of mozz sticks and two root beer floats later, my DD was struggling. She's not the world's biggest eater, but DD's friend cruised right through all the food, asking before the film started if we could also go for ice cream later.

Food at the theater with tip $42. Another $10 at the ice cream shop where friend wanted a waffle cone--then a big waffle cone dipped in chocolate, then asked if she could have anything she wanted. I reined it in a bit, but she did end with a double waffle cone topped with sprinkles. DD and I were about at our limits. Yet we had lots of fun. But has anyone else been faced with this?
I kept thinking about my mom's lectures to not ask parents for more things--and I always send cash with DD. But I think we're in the minority.

On Saturday I headed to the grocery store, graded papers, and then went out with some friends. Of the five of us, one friend (who insisted on paying for a favor we did her last fall) is in bankruptcy, another is in the middle of a short sale on their home, another is months behind on rent. Yikes! I felt strange and prosperous.

DH and I had a long discussion about how people deal with money stress. I'm a natural withdrawer. If things are tough, I tend to retreat, get quiet, and work through it. But the gloom of the economy--particularly among my academic and house-poor friends--makes many of them search for cheer with meals out, weekends away, and other "treats" that make things tougher in the longer-term.

Tonight--after a 10-week term off, my evening classes begin again. I can't say I'm excited, but the cash infusion looks satisfying.

No Lions Seen

March 1st, 2012 at 04:28 pm

But March hasn't really come in like a lamb either. Maybe more like slightly ornery animal--a muskrat?

It's been an odd day: I almost kept DD home from school with the runniest nose, but she has tomorrow off, and several big projects due today, so off she went.
We wrapped up her Pioneer A-Z last night, and then I spent a couple hours trying to untangle my online class.

Good grocery shopping yesterday, but spent (gulp) $60 on gas and another $50 on the dog groomer. It all had to be done, but still...

Today is payday--and that--along with March-- is happy news.