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Archive for May, 2012

Really? A No-Spend Day?

May 30th, 2012 at 09:50 pm

Our lovely house guests went out for groceries today, came back with loads of wine, made terrific chili, and I didn't spend a dime. How nice is that?

Tomorrow my window installers come--and I suspect they'll want the second half of the payment. Feast or famine?! I did get the second half of the veggie garden in, but still haven't listed my ebay items. It's too fun to play with friends, but they leave on Friday, so I'll list things then.

Our DD had the happiest day with the listing for next year's Battle of the Books. I love having a kid that is so excited about a reading list of 45 books!

Finishing Things Up

May 29th, 2012 at 08:56 am

We had a lovely, albeit expensive, anniversary weekend in Door County with our British friends. The place we stayed was spectacular--terrific views and accommodation.

So now, I need to clean up, pay some bills, sell some ebay items, and get life back on track. I got the veggie garden half in before we left, but need to do more planting and more cleaning, laundry, and meals.

The clutter sales goal in my sidebar is haunting me. I need to get busy!

Yesterday's Small Spending

May 22nd, 2012 at 02:04 pm

Coffee again? My evening class was driving me nuts; they seem to have no manners at all, and I took a long break with some nice coffee.

Today's last committee meeting started off the fun week ahead with our friends arriving from the UK today. We're excited to see them! The food bill will increase--and I love having them here.

Still lots and lots to do!

Productive but Fun Weekend

May 21st, 2012 at 08:06 am

I did my second documentation class Friday night. I'm continually amazed at how bad students' search engine and vocab skills are. We spent a long time discussing how to get the best results from a filtered library search. I've committed to one more class there, but may do another if it seems necessary.

Saturday was all about errands and cleaning. I sold (wow!) three books, including unused texts, clearing over $150 so they had to go to the Post Office, I shopped, and then we had some old friends over for dinner. I really enjoy their company, so it was very fun.

Yesterday after church DD and I worked on a class project about local businesses, and I spent a couple hours sewing a wolf costume for her upcoming play. I am not a good seamstress, but it was very forgiving fabric so it turned out well, despite my sewing.
Then a long walk.

I have an evening Mysteries class tonight, and our British friends arrive tomorrow, so I have lots of things to attend to!

Break Really Begins Now

May 18th, 2012 at 09:03 am

Yesterday I pushed the button and graded the final students of the semester. Then I had a long meeting with the Study Abroad folks who went over the recruiting I need to do, the budget in place, and various other things like visa, forms, establishing a website. It looks like that will be an ongoing job until we actually begin.

I need to have at least six students sign up, and the cost gets cheaper for them with every additional student after that. I hoping the London Olympics gets people even more interested in the UK.

But this morning after DD went off to school, I went back to bed with a cup of coffee and a new volume of short stories. I read a terrific story, and then slept for over an hour. I think that's a suitable kickoff to summer break.

Now to clean and tackle the million things that didn't get done over the semester's chaos.
I feel energized!

Check, Check, Check, Checkbook!

May 16th, 2012 at 06:29 pm

On my list today? Make dinner and dessert from the various odds and ends we had around. I made a batch of Paula Deen's beef/veggie soup. It was good, but made enough for a small army. It did use up cubed beef, a cup of frozen okra, black-eyed peas, green beans, and a cup of corn--all lingering freezer leftovers. So count that as a check.

Next item? Finish grading the online class. Although it took hours and hours, it's done. Check that one.

The mixed fruit crumble/crisp was also from the freezer. It used last summer's raspberries, some frozen cranberries, and last year's last rhubarb, supplemented with apples. Check that one off.

Checkbook? We got a call from the local bus company that someone found DH's checkbook on the bus and turned it in. He hadn't realized he'd lost it, but I'm grateful to whoever turned it in!

My plans to clean out the freezer are coming alone ever so nicely!

Yesterday's No-Spend Day

May 15th, 2012 at 09:15 am

Nothing spent yesterday as I'm working on clearing out the semester's debris. Lots of clothes washed, lots of papers graded, and then the evening class where I usually at least buy a coffee. But I got talking to a student on the break--and there was no time even for coffee.

Lots of clutter to be cleared here. Last night I gave a friend DD's purple fairy sheets. I'm a bit sad she feels she's outgrown fairy sheets--but the pink scotty dogs are pretty cute too.

Today's goal is to finish grading--then start in on the clutter clearing and cleaning.

Lovely Weekend

May 14th, 2012 at 07:09 am

Despite the long drive and lots of talk about documentation and citation, Friday night didn't go too badly. The other instructor was clearly not prepared for the evening, but I always have too much stuff--so I passed out examples, did samples, and spent time with each student helping with their projects. I think I can get through three weeks of it just fine.

Saturday morning we three did a school fund-raising run-walk. MY DH was less than enthusiastic, but we had fun and got some exercise. And lots of gift cards, coupons, and vouchers for free food and travel mugs. Perhaps it was the run tee-shirt with the big cupcake on it that made him doubt he'd wear it again?

Saturday night DD had a sleepover birthday party to attend. She'd heard from the b-day girl a short list of what she'd like for a gift, and apparently there was some grumbling from other moms about the price of the gifts. But we stuck to our budget with a gift card and a few little trinkets.

That sleepover meant DH and I had the evening to ourselves--and we made the most of it. First to a tapas place that we loved--then a movie. Wow--that much fun without paying the babysitter. I'd have sprung for the expensive gift for the b-day girl!

Yesterday at church we sang my DH's mom's favorite hymn--and since we'd both lost our moms since last Mother's Day--it was particularly meaningful to be together and remember them. Then we went out to lunch, weeded the lawn, and did some home chores. All that dining out is really unusual for us--and we ended up eating frozen eggrolls last night with the sleep-deprived DD snoozing on the sofa. It sounds odd, but it was very fun.

My Next Freelance Gig

May 11th, 2012 at 12:46 pm

My new freelance gig starts tonight--teaching three classes on citation, research writing, and documentation to graduating college seniors who probably should've learned this in middle school.

It's an hour drive, so my usual salary for these folks has been adjusted to compensate. I can't say I'm thrilled about discussing documentation and citation for a couple hours on Friday night, but hey, I can do it for a few weeks.

I'm giving myself the weekend to enjoy dinner out with DH and Mother's Day, then summer frugality sets in.

See That Smile?

May 10th, 2012 at 09:08 pm

I was up until 3 am last night, trying unsuccessfully to finish up my grading. But I made it through all three classes, said goodbye to all of them, went to a departmental meeting, took DD to the Cupcake Bakery since she's doing a project on them, and came home to make dinner. And still I'm smiling because classes are over. I feel like I'll miss some of them this term; there are close to a dozen (from 100) that I wouldn't mind seeing again!

But I have tons to do around here. Our yard, house, bill drawer, and more look like they've been hit by cyclones. A couple more obligations tomorrow at the university--and then some time to finish grading, and clean up the end-of-term wreckage.

Happily Spinning

May 9th, 2012 at 12:37 pm

After two long weeks without a dryer, we're currently spinning along. That darned Sears wouldn't match the Home Depot package that came with free delivery and removal of the old dryer, so we ended up with a Home Depot purchase, despite my qualms about their politics and ethics.

But I'm very happy to have a dryer and it's made my day of intense grading much more pleasant to sit in the cloudy grayness and listen to the dryer!

NYT Story on Couponing Blogs

May 7th, 2012 at 09:23 pm

The Extreme couponers hit the NYT:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/06/magazine/coupon-clipping-as-the-key-to-economic-rebirth.html?pagewanted=1&ref=us

I Can Hear It....

May 7th, 2012 at 12:19 pm

I can indeed hear the end of the semester. I spent a chunk of the weekend grading proposals and presentations with a rather staggering variety of grades. Some groups will not be happy with their grades. Classes are over on Thursday; I suspect it'll take me another week to wind things up.

And my new evening "Mysteries" class starts tonight. We always start with Poe and then a look at the many many renditions of Sherlock Holmes. I wonder if any of you have seen the PBS "Sherlock" series with Benedict Cumberbatch? I was determined to hate it, but I indeed like it a lot.

Our DD adores her new green bedroom. It's as cute as cute can be--partly because I spent hours dejunking it. And my Groupon painting coupon was a real bargain as it took the painter almost nine hours to do the ceiling and two coats on the walls. It was a very humid day.

Once the end-of-semester storm clears, I'm getting busy with selling other stuff around here.


Slogging through Saturday

May 5th, 2012 at 09:45 pm

I did plenty of errands today, but the past couple days have had their extra time devoted to helping a friend move. They have had a hard time. The husband bought their house 6 years ago, and now it's worth less than half of what he paid for it. So they're walking away from it and have rented a cute duplex closer to the university in a much better neighborhood. But they feel awful about leaving the house, yet their daughter is almost ready for kindergarten, and there's no way they can send her to school near their old deteriorating neighborhood.

So, this morning they moved--and a bunch of us went over there with dinner and drinks to spend the evening putting stuff away. They looked so tired; I really felt for them.

Now I'm tired too. But tomorrow can be devoted to moving DD into her newly painted room and grading some papers.

One Goal Ready to Roll

May 3rd, 2012 at 08:05 pm

My DD's room will be painted tomorrow, thanks mostly to a Groupon I bought last fall. We spent the bulk of the evening excavating in there, so it'll be ready for the painters.

I vow to sort through everything before it goes back into the newly painted room. She's a little squirrel, and tonight I found a bag of Valentine candy stashed in the back of her closet. Yuck.

But happily, much of her stuff--from outgrown clothes to books and other junk has found a good home.

It's been a low-spend day, with spending only on (you guessed it) coffee.

Back, Broke, but Blissful

May 2nd, 2012 at 02:18 pm

I got back from NYC on Monday afternoon. And man, despite my best efforts to save, I spent a lot of money. But we had a dandy time including seeing Philip Seymour Hoffman in Death of a Salesman, Wayne Shorter at Lincoln Center, and another great show at an uptown jazz club. We walked the Brooklyn Bridge, saw the Renoirs at the Frick, enjoyed a Yankees game, and spent a glorious day in the Cloisters and the Heather Garden.

Immediate spending adjustments will have to be implemented, but I can't say I regret a moment. Now there's just over a week left at the university, and I have lots to do.

More soon!