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Archive for July, 2014

In Stitches

July 30th, 2014 at 03:13 pm

Ok, only my gums are in stitches, and I look like I've done a few rounds with Mike Tyson, but the dread gum surgery is over. Gone also is $1327 and another $60 for prescription co-pays. But it's done, and at this rate I'll be 5 pounds lighter by the end of the week.

I have another appointment for suture removal next week and more work on the other side, but the bulk of it is done. Great doctor, comforting dental tech, nice office staff; I guess that's as good as it gets.

I'm off to read some blogs, spend some time on e-mail, watch some movies, and read the new Cormorant Strike book.

Home from Vacation

July 25th, 2014 at 06:24 pm

Wow. We had a great hassle-free time in Minnesota. It was great to see relatives, and our trip to the Minnesota North Shore was fabulous. My DH had never been, and I was a bit concerned he wouldn't like it as much as I do, but he loved it. We did lots of hiking, gazing at Lake Superior, and visiting state parks and the National Monument at Grand Portage. There was plenty of history, plenty of great food, and lots of fun.

We went over on the food budget, but not much. I used up the gas cards from CVS, we had a couple meals in the condo, and everything went well.

I'm especially glad DH enjoyed himself as I'm trying to sort out options for an eventual return to MN as well as part of our future plans.

While we were gone I made a swift $9.00 on ebay which I'll add to the totals. I need to hunt around for more possible listings.

Post-vacation retrenchment means clean up, schedule review, and other fun. Happy weekends to all of you!

Make That Two Bids

July 18th, 2014 at 03:21 pm

Excitement doubles here as I got another ebay item listed and it has plenty of bids.

In further accomplishments, I got lots of laundry done, we're almost packed for our getaway, and I opened a Vanguard Roth last night which will be the home for some of my older mutual funds. The fees on those older funds are just too high, and I really like the way Vanguard does business.

We're excited to see my MN family,especially my SIL--and the bride-to-be. Great to get out of here for a bit too. I'm getting stale. My daughter put it best last night, "Every couple of months, I like to go on a trip." I've been home since April. Gotta go.

A Bid!

July 17th, 2014 at 04:26 pm

I'm way too excited that my lagging ebay item has a bid. I'll need to list a couple more things, but indeed got everything else mailed and done.

We had fun last night at a football (soccer) match. A popular Mexican team was playing Swansea from the English Premier League. Since there's many more Mexican Americans than Welsh around here, we were a bit outnumbered, but it was fun to see. My soccer-loving husband had a blast. I brought in food and we tailgated a bit too. The ticket prices were horrendous at $40 a piece, but it's not very often we go.

Need to make a library stop and also buy some cards today. I seem to be buying lots of sympathy cards lately.

Up North

July 16th, 2014 at 05:58 pm

I wonder if anyone except Midwesterners use that phrase, Up North" to designate a particular place. In MN it meant places north of the Twin Cities--Brainerd, Alex, Duluth, and everywhere in between. Here in Cheeseland it means Rhinelander, Minoqua, and all of those parts of the state.

I spent a big chunk of yesterday searching for a getaway spot for us now that we're not heading to "our" lake. I found three that would take the dog too, and quickly narrowed it to the mid-range option. They've also knocked 10 percent off because we'll be staying midweek. Now I'm trying to budget meals. It has a kitchen, but we won't want to eat every meal in. I guess I'm figuring between $50 and $75 a day for the three of us. That will give us the opportunity to have some great local food, but not blow the budget further. Does that sound reasonable?

Frugality abounded (sort of) yesterday. I'm on the waiting list for the new Robert Galbraith mystery (aka JK Rowling)at the library, but I think I'm #367. I saw it yesterday marked down at Half Price Books, and had another 40% off coupon, so relented. I'll sell it back when I'm done. DD escaped without purchasing anything, but got a $5 reward in their summer reading program. She'll save that for later.

We spent nothing else, ate from the fridge and freezer, and started gathering trip essentials. I mailed my ebay sale, transferred money from checking to savings, and found a few more potential ebay sales.

In larger news, the university seems to have money available for online course development. My boss offered me a chunk of change to work on converting a class I already teach into a more viable online offering. Things are never done there until they're done, so we're cautiously optimistic.

Shopping Around

July 15th, 2014 at 08:08 pm

We had some bad news about my wonderful S-I-L who has been diagnosed with uterine cancer. She and my brother have been married almost 35 years, so she's very dear to me. That news has also changed our plans for a week at my parents' lake place in MN that my brother bought from us.

So, I'm trying to decide whether we should be super cheap and stay home (ugh), go to nearby Door County (nice, but been there lots), or go from Minneapolis to the North Shore of MN. That would be my top choice, but we'll have to take the dog since our dog sitter is not available.

My DH has never been there, and if we can do it affordably we will. Now--on to hours of web site searches for prices and pet-friendly accommodations.
MY DH says I'm a travel-planning geek, so I have a lot to do!


Today's frugal missions will include transferring some money from checking to savings, depositing my U-Promise check of $14.46 and mailing my ebay sale.

The Birthday Weekend

July 14th, 2014 at 04:18 pm

My darling daughter turned 12 on Thursday. Although we had a chocolate strawberry birthday pie and her favorite chicken on Thursday, most of the celebration took place on Friday.

We took five of her friends to a local fondue spot. DH and I got a separate booth so they felt in charge, but I'd specified a cheese fondue followed by a chocolate one for them. They really enjoyed themselves, especially ordering something as fancy as fondue. The restaurant threw in a photo and took two of our coupons, so the damage was less than a party might have cost.

As far as gifts, she's a funny one to buy for. She wanted books and new sandals, but when I offered a phone, she turned me down. In fact, even the idea of a phone seems to stress her out. About half her friends have phone, and while she'd just get a prepaid, it would be comparable to her friends' fancy phones. But she doesn't want it. I think there's part of her that is reluctant --thankfully for me-- to enter into lots of that teenage fray.

The rest of the weekend was recovery and football. We also bought a new lawnmower after much deliberation. That $300 was not unexpected but not welcome either.

One of my ebay listings sold for ==drum roll== $2.79. The other has been relisted. I'll list more this week.

Caffeine Trumps the No-Spending

July 8th, 2014 at 04:35 pm

I almost had a no-spend day yesterday, but there's something about a 4 1/2-hour class that demands coffee. It's horrible 50-cent coffee, but it's just the ticket around 8 p.m.

I'm going in tomorrow night to tutor for a cool $100, and this new literature class is excellent. They're a chatty bunch, seem to be doing their work, and it's been a pleasant time so far.

In the continuing periodontal saga, it looks like I'll pay half, or about $1600. I may get a new bathroom yet, depending on other spending including the recent demise of the lawnmower.

I still need to list a few things on ebay, but one of my items has a bid.

Happily Bowing to Peer Pressure

July 6th, 2014 at 09:59 pm

I've listed two items on ebay thanks to Creditcardfree's inspiration. I'll aim for one more tonight. I suspect I have 12-18 things around here that would sell and I'd be glad to be rid of.

Let the challenge begin!

Happy Shopping Except...

July 6th, 2014 at 06:55 am

Oooh, I had a good shopping day today. I bought some nice groceries on sale at Target and even remembered my coupons. More grocery shopping followed that, all with great deals and double coupons on a few things. I'm not a huge Kohl's fan (blasphemy here in Cheeseland), but I picked up a cute black tee for very cheap after joining their new loyalty program. One more card to try to keep track of....

Yesterday DH and I did a walk around our house looking at trees that needed trimming, bare spots near the fence that needed something, and lots of other areas that needed a couple hours weeding. So after the football today, he trimmed shrubs, and I stopped at the garden center for some drastically reduced hostas. Hooray! Just what I wanted. Except for the third time in six days I was overcharged, this time for $10, and none of the clerks could figure out how to do a price adjustment. Twenty minutes later they finally figured it out. I'm very happy I brought the thermal bag for my frozen groceries, or I would have a car dripping with not-so-frozen yogurt soup.

I love these three-day weekends. We seem to get so much done. We finished some Netflix series that we've been watching, got most of the laundry done, and actually feel ready for the week ahead. Well, except for that weeding.

DH had a fraud alert on his Chase card Friday, and it indeed was fraud. This is his third Chase card this year. We expect the new card Monday.

3rds and 4ths

July 5th, 2014 at 12:07 am

Yesterday DD and I took advantage of a special at the theater to see "The Fault in Our Stars." We had read it together, so it was good to see the film together.

I enrolled for movie perks at the theater and we ate lunch before, so only spent $6 on the tickets. A quick stop at Target to return a few things rounded out the afternoon.

Today we had free ice cream and snacks at our town's 4th of July parade, then free red, white, and blue bagels. But we did spend a bit on lunch watching France vs. Germany. I did remember it's the first Friday of the month and we'll get triple Chase points as well as Aadvantage dining miles.

Tonight will be a picnic followed by fireworks. We've made traditional food and despite that Brit boy's muttering independence, we're having fun!
Happy 4th!

Cash In, Rain Down, Stipend Up

July 2nd, 2014 at 06:03 am

I got paid for my adjunct class yesterday and read a few more capstone projects.

We too had the bad Midwest storms Monday night. As I was teaching the first session of my new class, our lights flickered several times then went out. We're in an interior classroom, and it was pitch black. Within 15 minutes we got the word that it would likely be hours before power was restored, and our administrator sent us home.

Today I met with our Study Abroad office about next year's London program. Based on the increasing costs there, they're planning on increasing my stipend. It will raise student costs a bit, but the higher rents and strong pound really eat into the stipend.

Looking forward to having my DH home for the holiday weekend. I believe today was a no-spend day too!

On Sunday I bought a few things for DD's upcoming birthday celebration and was significantly overcharged at both Walgreen's and Michael's. I caught the Walgreen's error before we left the store, but ended up returning to Michael's to collect the $15 they overcharged. A further reminder to myself to check those receipts all the time.