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Archive for August, 2014

The New Shoes and Other Updates

August 23rd, 2014 at 02:45 pm

The cute new shoes have arrived. I'm tickled.

Other than admiring the shoes, I'm spending the weekend mired in the freelance project accuracy checking. The material I'm checking is a disaster. It seems like it was written far too quickly, and I'm giving it a fairly scathing critique.

We're also in the process of moving books off our big set of bookcases to ready the room for the new carpet on Monday. I hope to sort through and divest some, but I'm fairly sure only mine will be sorted. As snafu knows, my DH will never surrender a book.

Onward!

All set!

August 21st, 2014 at 07:12 pm

I've been trying to put together an outfit for my nephew's wedding. A couple of weeks ago I got a great dress with matching jacket at Talbot's --pretty green linen, just the right length. And super cheap. But I've been fussing about shoes.
Now I could relent and wear beige sandals, but my family always teases me about my deep shoe love. I priced Lilly Pulitzer green shoes and decided they'd cost more than the whole weekend away, but today, found some very indulgent but beautiful Lilly Pulitzer three-color summer sandals with kitten heels with the same green tone as the dress. And on ebay for $24. Do I absolutely need them? No. Will they make me very happy? Yes. Adorable shoes, great fun colors, kitten heels, and $24. Well spent, I think. But I'd better do some more Swagbucks!

Patting Myself on the Back

August 21st, 2014 at 02:01 am

After another self-enforced viewing of the PBS Frontline series on retirement planning and mutual fund fees, I spent an hour on the phone with Vanguard who happily handled all the paperwork to get me out of a bunch of my higher fee mutual funds and into a nice target fund. I'm happy with the allocation; after years in brokerage, the last thing I want to do is fuss with trying to outwit the market.

We did it all online, and I'm so glad I got it done. I then called Schwab, which will be a trickier transfer, but sold most of my holdings (not all!) and will roll that into that Vanguard fund as well. I'm only sorry it took me so long. Simplify, simplify, simplify.

In other good news, the freelance editors are very happy with my work and have sent me another batch to accuracy check. I read two capstone projects, and have a stack of finals to grade. I also deposited $750 from my flex spending that cleaned out the account, but helped pay the periodontist.

DD's school registration was today at a lovely $203 bill. What doesn't get done tonight, will have to get done tomorrow. Lots to do!

Working and Thinking

August 13th, 2014 at 05:36 pm

Not sure whether I said, but I took the freelance accuracy checking gig. It pays well, but entails fairly serious work checking chapter and web content for a textbook I use. The publisher wants a quick turnaround on the content, so I'm working all day today on it. Or most of the day. I expect it to take several weeks of on and off work.

I also filled in for a colleague in his night class yesterday. He always pays me cash, so that'll be a couple hundred. And I took the garage sale money to the bank.

I also filed the flex spending reimbursement for $750 of my periodontal surgery. I need to take photos of various leftover garage sale items for listing on Craigslist and ebay. Maybe as a break from all this detail work.

It seems I have plenty of financial stuff to do. I had a long chat with another colleague about teaching more than a regular load. I'm rarely in favor of that; my teaching load is heavy, and to do a good job, I really can't take on much additional work, but she is teaching way too much. She and her husband are trying to save for a down payment on a house. They live in a two-bedroom rented duplex now, and have two children. To give the kids their own rooms, they've moved their bed into the living room. Both her husband and son have had serious medical problems in the last several years, and I'm worried about her taking on so much. I'd like to do something to help, but can't think of quite what. I was encourage to hear that her parents (who are also struggling financially) are moving into the flat below them. That will at least help with the babysitting.

Satisfying Saturday

August 9th, 2014 at 09:52 pm

The dreaded garage sale is finally over, and I think it went very well. We sold about 3/4 of our stuff, much of the rest has already made it to the charity shop. I held on to DD's snow and rain boots and will give Craigslist a shot at them.

My buddy made over $300 as she has bins and bins of kid's clothes, and I made about $141. We sold a few things for a friend for another $35. She brought sandwiches over and we sat under the tree and chatted. All in all a satisfying day with loads of stuff out of my house and some cash in my pocket.

We also ordered the carpet today, and I'm about to pay the homeowner's insurance. Now might also be a good time to take photos of the few remaining things to sell on Craigslist or ebay. Feet up and thinking about opening a beer.

As August Ticks Down

August 6th, 2014 at 01:57 pm

Hey! I just noticed one of my 2014 goals is carpet for the family room. I think I'm about to tick that goal off my list. DD and I stopped at a couple carpet stores, and I looked on line for a bit, but a local chain has just expanded to our area and seems to have the best deals I've seen. I chose a couple styles yesterday for our very large family room, then sent DH to look on his way home. Happily he chose several of the same, so we're about ready to roll on it.

The room is big, so the carpet, even with discounts, will run us about $2000. But we'll do the removal ourselves. It should be quite an adventure as we have four huge bookcases along one wall that will need to be emptied and moved.

In other boring news, I'm headed back to the periodontist today to get my stitches removed. Tonight will be devoted to rummage sale organization.

Much Improved, Thank You!

August 5th, 2014 at 06:32 pm

I woke up yesterday and went for a long walk before DD even began the day. I ate well, slept well, had a good class, and feel pretty darn good. Same morning routine this morning. A solitary walk REALLY helps my wellbeing.

I have only two weeks of my current class left, have got the prospect of some nice freelance work, and have sent out next year's London flyers. I don't think I've said it officially, so I'm saying it now: I'm going back to London next winter/spring--enrollments willing.
All my SA folks are cordially invited to come visit.

With the smaller than expected periodontal bill, I think we have enough to swing the new family room carpet. DD and I are headed out to look at some in a bit.

And a colleague and I are having a (yuck) rummage sale here on Saturday. Tomorrow will be devoted to unearthing more things for sale. We'll throw the proceeds in the bathroom fund.

I cashed $50 out of Swagbucks today--also destined in part for the bathroom fund.

Lots of Emotion

August 4th, 2014 at 05:01 am

Phew. Sometimes emotional energy is so exhausting. I'm feeling for all my SA buddies who seem to be going through emotional issues right now.

We've had some too. My friend who had moved to Germany last year returned yesterday. All of mutual women friends were very happy to see her, and it's been lots of fun preparing her new place, but it's been long days. That joy is tempered by our sadness that her return really signals the end of her marriage. I think she moved to Germany to give it a final chance for them to sort things out as the husband really wasn't happy here. But their relationship just continued to deteriorate there, and he's returning with their 5-year-old only to leave them both in a couple weeks.

My "aunt" (long story) died yesterday, and although she was 98, we spent much time together years ago, so we're sad about that too.

The saddest news for us is my S-I-L's cancer surgery did not have good news. It looks as if the hysterectomy is not enough, and there's Stage 3 cancer in her tubes as well. And their son's wedding is a month away. So we're all pulling for her.

Somehow my DD and I thought it would be a good idea to binge watch some more "19 Kids and Counting." Unfortunately the season we were watching ended with the stillbirth of their last child which sent us both into a big crying jag. I sort of rallied, but DD, in 12-year-old hormonal storm, started connecting all our current concerns and is now sleeping in our bed next to my snoring DH. Looks like I'll be spending the night in her room.

Looking forward to renewed balance in the morning. And our best to all of you. Not much financial, but more on that tomorrow.