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Archive for November, 2013

Real Snow but Few Flakes

November 26th, 2013 at 02:50 am

This was one of those days you had to push through. About 11 last night as I was finishing up some work, DD started vomiting. Twice we got her cleaned up and re- situated, then she'd start up again. Eventually around 2 she settled down and slept. But of course we were up hours after that, cleaning up, washing sheets, figuring out who could stay home. At 7 she woke up and insisted on going to school. She was giving a presentation on Jonas Salk and was very excited about it. Yet by lunch she was queasy and came home again.

So, little work was done. DH stayed home, dozed while she was at school, then worked online for a bit.
I zombied through my classes, stopped at CVS, then took over the afternoon shift. She seems better but has eaten only a bit. And nothing like a vomiting kid to make you feel queasy yourself. I'm opting for an early evening.

We had a couple inches of snow here this morning which screwed up everyone's commute, so to optimize a speedy exit, I again spent $7 in the ramp. No more!

Yesterday's Meetings and Food

November 22nd, 2013 at 03:50 pm

Yesterday was all about London and London students. I spent a total of 12 hours with the rep, meeting students, talking about the program, and finally a great dinner with the rep. I came home and almost fell down with exhaustion about 9 p.m.

Several of my former students came by, and I was thrilled to see them. The students were generally good, except for my two no-shows. Because this is LONG mandatory meeting with three hours of information, I'm not sure what will happen with them. Frankly, I'd like to boot them out now. I don't need problem children with me for months. I also had to tell one to stop texting. Sigh.

But lots of enthusiasm and lots of ideas. Now, back to real life.


Getting There

November 21st, 2013 at 04:14 am

I feel like the worst of the semester is behind me. All my students are working on big projects, and only need feedback from me. Nothing new or too major to assign, and only three weeks to go.

Tomorrow my London contact arrives to do the meeting with this year's students. Unbelievably, there are three I still haven't met, so finally I'll see everyone tomorrow.

I've been pretty frugal, and I've also been trying to diet a bit. I've kept up with Swagbucks up to now, but imagine if we're traveling over Thanksgiving, I'll abandon the monthly goal. My Nectar Adpoints are very slowly adding up to help with my London grocery bill. I've done some Pinecone surveys and some Christmas shopping at the church bazaar. Now I just need a few days to tie up loose ends and do an analysis of things that need to be done for the semester, the London trip, home, and Christmas.

My dear friend with cancer is home, but the prognosis is not good. She's a very stubborn soul, so I'm hoping she'll let me help while I can.

It's going to get very cold here, and I've made yet another pot of turkey broth from the turkeys I roasted for the shelter. It smells heavenly here. Nothing like a big pot of homemade soup.

Yikes, It's Sunday!

November 18th, 2013 at 04:05 am

And I'm nowhere near caught up. DH and I are still coughing, the wind is howling here, and it's almost Monday.

But I do feel like things are in perspective a bit. I spent almost three hours with my friend in the hospital on Friday afternoon, and it was so good to see her. I'm going to go either tomorrow or Tuesday again. What a time she's had.

On a slightly hilarious note, I thought the storm had passed this afternoon, so headed out to Target. After filling the cart and all sorts of bags, I checked out and headed to the car--in a gale force wind with horizontal sleet. I was soaked by the time I got to the car, thought I'd thrown all the bags in, and was about to park the cart in the cart corral when it blew right out of my hands and about 20 yards into the empty parking lot. There was no way I was going to chase it, so headed home where I found one of my bags must've remained in the cart.

I called Target, but they admitted no one had gone out into the storm to get the carts. But best of all, they said to bring in my receipt and get the things I'd left behind. Really? Amazing. I'll try that tomorrow after school.

Yikes, it's Friday

November 15th, 2013 at 04:16 pm

I feel very behind in everything from class planning to laundry to house cleaning and errands. I owe half a dozen people e-mails. I need an hour with a cup of coffee and a list.

Since I don't teach on Fridays, I thought I'd have the day to catch up. But last night I remembered I'm meeting with London students followed by a two-hour meeting.

And I got some sad news about a dear friend who is in the hospital now with cervical cancer. We used to be thick as thieve, like sisters really, We had a rough split over money lent, but a mutual friend who lives hours and hours away says she wants to see me. And I so want to see her. So either before or after all these meetings, I'll go to the hospital.

If you're the praying kind, keep her in your prayers.

Very Full Fridge

November 12th, 2013 at 10:16 pm

Now, there's a nice problem to have. But the turkey bones have monopolized the fridge, and though I cooked half of them down yesterday, I still have another pot's worth to go. I used to make a mean turkey creole soup years ago, and I think I'll try it again. I bought some okra today and have the rest of the ingredients.

As ceejay, ccf, and cb said, it's cold here in the Midwest. A nice pot of soup will be perfect for tomorrow.

Apparently the full fridge didn't mean that I haven't been eating much. I lumbered onto the scale this morning and it wasn't very pleasant. So it'll be a low-cal soup. I'm still too congested to get on the treadmill, but perhaps by Thursday.

There's just about a month left of the semester and frankly, I'm wondering how we're going to get through it all. I could use a week off to spruce things up around here and rest up. Despite the cold, it's the point in the term where I have to show up.

A bit of grocery spending today, but nothing else.

Colds and Cold

November 11th, 2013 at 11:10 pm

My DH was home Friday with a cold that stretched all weekend,; no one felt great but it was nice to be home together. He had it worse than me, but I woke up this morning thinking I was too sick to go to school. But two ibuprofen later, and I got through the whole day, just a little slower than usual.

Because of the rain/snow mix this morning, I parked in the ramp at school, something I rarely do, but between having a cold and the weather, I think it was worth it. The wind was howling off the lake, and I was glad to stay warm and dry.

Staying in most of the weekend, we didn't spend much. We got take-out Saturday night; nothing like spicy hot and sour soup for a cold.

I also volunteered to roast two turkeys for the local shelter's Thanksgiving meal. I did one yesterday, carved it, and then froze the meat and pan juices to bring to church later. It made the house smell so good. I'm making soup from the bones now.

Only a little bit of snow lingers here, but it sure is cold.

Mutual Fund Fees

November 2nd, 2013 at 04:00 am

I wager some of my retirement funds that many of you saw the PBS Frontline special, "The Retirement Gamble" when it first aired last spring or maybe when it was rebroadcast last week. Here's a link to it:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/business-economy-financial-crisis/retirement-gamble/the-retirement-gamble-facing-us-all/


It got me mad (as usual) and got me thinking about my own mutual fund holdings and how badly I've probably been stung by the fees. I just did a cost comparison from one of my American Century holdings with a Vanguard Index fund. Now granted, this is Vanguard's site, but if it's near accurate, American Century, whose fees are ranked "below average" is costing me a lot of money. A lot of money.

I'm wondering about how I sweat the small stuff, like the price of coffee, yet these fees, which seem to have little if any relation to performance, are costing me tens of thousands. It sort of makes me sick.

I suppose I'm the only ding-dong here who isn't in all low-expense ratio funds?