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Archive for June, 2015

On to the Next Month

June 30th, 2015 at 07:04 pm

Yesterday was sort of a wrap-up for me. I got the dishes and food all stowed from the food swap, finally finished my grades for my Bestsellers class, and unwound a bit. And we've been eating leftovers from the community meal and swap.

Today will be moving forward day, I think. We have to get DD packed for camp, all her various forms completed, editing contracts signed and scanned, and the office tackled.

There's a pending bus strike here, and either my DH will have to pay high parking prices, or I'll have to drive him to work. He's going to ask to work at home for a few days, so we'll see how that pans out.

I'm not quite sure what to do with August. DD will be done with her camps, but it can be a long month without many planned activities. I have plenty to do, but her friends are here, there, and everywhere in August. I've been thinking about a(nother) trip to MN but we'll see how the budget holds for this one.

I finally have good news about DD's January root canal. After way too many conversations with the endodontist, the insurance folks, and my HR people, it looks like the insurance folks have finally paid their half. I won't quite believe it until the check is in hand, but that will help all our accounts.

I haven't sold anything in almost a week, and am itching to get rid of more things. DD and I may take some stuff to Half Price this afternoon.


Community Dinner and Food Swap

June 29th, 2015 at 04:54 am

This dinner and food swap started when I was in London, and this was only my second one. Though it sounds like the whole town came, it's really a small community of friends and friends of friends.
We hosted tonight. The hosts get to pick the theme, and we picked Southern-style BBQ. One couple made pulled pork with peachy sauce, someone else made slaw, and we had potato salad, mac and cheese, and I made deviled eggs, and beans. One friend made two HUGE pies, a peach and a strawberry rhubarb. I made mint juleps, someone else made peach sangria.

We also made food to swap with a bean theme. We have squash and white bean soup, black bean burrito filling, pasta salad with green beans, cannellini and pepper bruschetta, and a warm bean salad. We had a lovely evening with tons of kids running in the yard, lots of talk and laughs. Very fun and not much work. And my daughter had so much fun she's out cold in her room with her clothes still on. Now that feels more like summer.

Summer Restlessness

June 28th, 2015 at 04:25 am

I'm always restless on these long summer nights. I don't want to waste them and look forward to sitting outside with a glass of wine long into the evening.

But today was too full of chores and errands for that kind of night, and I find myself up at 11 still dealing with groceries, dishes, and long lists of things to do.

We did get to the bathroom contractor's storefront today and set up an appointment for an estimate. I've got some ideas and am eager/apprehensive to see how much this will set us back.

Today was an expensive one with a Costco trip and lots of groceries. We have our community dinner and food swap here tomorrow night so I've been cooking up a storm. Better find my book and try to get some sleep before tomorrow creeps up on me.

Bleah

June 25th, 2015 at 05:22 am

It's actually been a productive day, but such a drag. I packed up lots of the books we sold, an ebay sale, a book given to my husband by his history professor, and (the most exciting!) two boxes of Swiffer wet-jet pads from our busted Swiffer. Everything except the professor's book and the ebay sale was sold on FB, and the other two delivered to the post office.

But most of the day was spent reading truly horrible capstone projects, most of which I failed. They have a new advisor this term, and his students are not getting good advice from him. I failed more than half his projects. There's only so much bad prose a person can handle.

DD and I did take a little trip to Target for some camp essentials for her: stronger insect spray, a new flashlight, that kind of thing as well as some fill-in groceries. That was a swift $50, even with the Red card.

I need more fun! Perhaps tomorrow?

Why I Hate AT&T U-Verse: Chapter 9879

June 21st, 2015 at 06:23 am

After a dozen calls, as many chat sessions, and one very angry session with the rep in the ATT store today, my Facebook connectivity came back for about 3-4 hours tonight. It had been completely out since Wednesday. I got nothing but the runaround from ATT including customer service reps who said everything from "reboot your computer," to " unplug your modem." But of course, it was not a hardware problem, and a few of them admitted it was their problem, not the FB problem that seems to be the party line.

Now the da*n thing is out again and now it will not even load Google, much less FB. Apparently this remains a widespread problem in the Midwest.

It's one thing to have this problem; it's completely another to have such horrible customer service.

Still no U-Verse Resolution

June 19th, 2015 at 09:56 pm

Despite several calls and chats with ATT today, we are still unable to load FB. FB says it's a u-verse issue; U-verse says it's a FB issue. Frankly, I don't care whose issue it is, I just want it fixed.

There's more news, but I'm fixated on that right now.

In Facebook Withdrawal

June 18th, 2015 at 07:48 pm

My FB pages have refused to load for the past two days. After running various diagnostics, I've confirmed the problem is with our ISP, the always- disappointing u-verse. The chat help said it would be another 8-12 hours at least.

Besides being very behind on messages, I'm slightly concerned about my FB selling pages, but perhaps this is a good break in the action.

First world problems indeed, especially in light of all the horror in the news today.

Nice News

June 17th, 2015 at 05:38 pm

Long-suffering readers may remember that last year I got a summer textbook editing job, accuracy checking lots of auxiliary material. I've been on the verge of calling the editor to see if they have anything else in the works as they were very easy to work with last year. But she beat me to the punch, e-mailing me on Monday and then ironing out the details in a phone chat yesterday. It's easy, if somewhat tedious, work, and if they indeed get it ready for the summer, good for my break schedule. Last year, unfortunately, it stretched until Christmas.

In less pleasant news, my dental insurance again rejected my daughter's root canal after assuring me they'd pay. I need to contact them this afternoon to see what's up.

I have more things I'd like to pedddle on FB, but it's been down all morning, so that will have to wait.

Some In, Some Out

June 15th, 2015 at 04:39 pm

I got my closet reorganized this weekend, and it's paid some dividends. Besides being much neater and more pleasant, I sold a shoe rack that I'd been using as a shelf in the closet, a bunch of scarves, and a shawl, as well as old shutters that have been sitting in the garage for years. That whopping total was $17, a large bag for the charity shop, and a much better closet arrangement.

Both my daughter and I had pedicures yesterday, a somewhat frivolous expense but totally mood lifting.
Now summer can officially begin. Rain, rain, go away!

Some Celebratory Spending

June 12th, 2015 at 03:14 pm

White DH still in the UK, I'd planned on a leaner budget, but DD and I have been living it up: Chinese takeaway last night and breakfast out for the last day of school. Leaner budgets can wait until next week.

I did cash out $50 worth of Swagbucks last night, half to Paypal and half to Amazon as I see some book purchases in the future.

Nothing coming up this weekend but a few free kid events.

The Study Abroad folks haven't invoiced me for the March Iceland trip yet, so I've contacted them. I'd like to get it paid, and usually they also pay me something for my airfare, so perhaps that will be a wash? I still miss all of them and London a lot.

Dreary but Productive

June 11th, 2015 at 07:32 pm

It's been raining most of the day, and it's been one of those stop/start days. Example A: I sold a basket to a woman in a nearby suburb and offered to drop it off en route to another errand. When I got there, I could hear vacuuming but no answer to my repeated bell ringing and door pounding--in the rain. So off to Walgreen's and Goodwill. All good there. Then back home for lunch, found other FB sales had been picked up and paid, messaged first woman who apologized and wanted me to come back. Ugh. Example B: But then got a message from someone I've been trying to buy a chair from for weeks. Could I come this afternoon? Ok--arranged basket drop off, then got ANOTHER message from chair woman saying she was having an allergic reaction to a bee sting and couldn't make it. Sigh. But dropped off basket, picked up a few groceries, and came home wet and cold but $9 to the good.

I have now officially cancelled chair purchase after third missed meeting, and am again in that place where I'm tired of it all. But I found some old shutters in the garage last night and will try to sell them before I slack off on other FB sales for a bit.

Example C: I've wanted to close my Wells Fargo accounts for months but was waiting for the end of my university direct deposits for the academic year. But now that the university overpaid me by $4K and I wrote them a check to repay it, I have to wait for the check to clear. And this is the university--it could be weeks. Sigh.


Fun but a Little Expensive

June 10th, 2015 at 07:02 pm

A bunch of went on a tour of Milwaukee's only urban creamery yesterday. They're known for their artisan cheese, and we've been meaning to go for a while. I traded a friend some FB sales for admission price, so the $3 was free for me. But I did spend $18 on cheese. Yikes. And then we went to lunch to the tune of another $20. And then DD and I went to Dairy Queen after dinner.


Hmm--fattening and expensive. But fun! I got a couple of frugality/financial planning books at the library and heard about my friends' financial woes. I'm grateful we're in a better place than them, but sure wish things would turn around for them. Everyone is working extra jobs, buying used clothes, etc, but summer is lean for teaching staff. We probably should not have gone to lunch and should have packed lunches. We've discussed that before, but haven't quite got it together yet.

Nothing spent today although I have been shopping airfares as my MN girlfriends want a autumn hiking trip. They've already booked, but I can't find anything quite cheap enough yet. I think I have some time and am crossing my fingers that fares go down not up.

A NS Day

June 9th, 2015 at 03:04 am

I spent the morning getting the kidlet ready, going for a walk, and working on school stuff. The walk was lovely although it's been a bit sticky here. That and a load of laundry rounded off the morning.

With DH in England, I didn't want to leave DD alone all evening while I taught, so she spent the evening with a friend. Conveniently the friend's husband teaches where I do, so we drove together this afternoon. I saved a babysitter; he saved gas, and we had a fun time gabbing.

When I got home I realized I hadn't spent a dime. Isn't that lovely? I'm always tempted by the vending machines, tempted by ebay, tempted by fast food after four+ hours of teaching, but I seem to have gotten past all those lately.

Nice Dinner and Weekend

June 7th, 2015 at 08:05 pm

Although I'm missing my DH, the child and I are having a lovely weekend, highlighted by a dinner party last night and lots of lovely leftovers today.

On Friday I sold a few more things, but still have lots of decluttering and selling to do. And tomorrow's list includes calling the insurance agent to review our rates.

Better get on that list right now!

Junk Junket

June 3rd, 2015 at 04:26 pm

Yep, I'm out the door running errands, delivering stuff to folks, dropping off checks, and going to Goodwill.

I listed four things on FB groups last night and two have sold. And had a fabulous e-mail from a London student who told me how I was like "la luna" in London shining on them, giving them so much to think about. I hope he didn't mean "La lunatic." But it made me almost cry.

Every day life can be so mundane; it's nice to hear from someone who appreciates things.

Adding $6 to my mundane selling list. More importantly, getting rid of extraneous junk clouding la luna's life!

Let's Call It a Stupid Day

June 2nd, 2015 at 05:33 pm

I'm not quite sure what was going on with me yesterday, but all sorts of minor things just went wrong. DD and I heard a clunk yesterday morning, but I could find nothing that fell off anywhere. Later in the afternoon I went downstairs carrying too much--the bread machine and two laundry baskets, missed the bottom step and wrenched my ankle. Then I discovered what clunked--a brand new giant bottle of laundry detergent had fallen off the dryer top, split and spilled all over the floor.
After getting that cleaned up and muttering up soap dollars down the drain, I hobbled back upstairs and needed a shower to get all the soap residue off, promptly breaking off the shower head.

So--$25 for a new shower head, $20 worth of detergent gone, a slightly swollen ankle, and a really cranky self.

Thankfully my evening class went very well, DH got a new shower head, and things seem less precarious today.

In other financial news, I set up DD's Washington trip account and paid the first $99 on it.

Steering Back on Track

June 1st, 2015 at 06:31 pm

After the Door County expenses, now comes DD's summer camp expenses. So, to keep things as much in line as possible, we're going to need some simple weeks with limited spending. We have lots of food around, and not a lot of obligations. DD and DH have been going out to Noodles or some such place on the nights I teach. It's more cash, but I feel strongly it's better for them. They spend more time in conversation rather than hurrying back to their respective screens.


DH is flying back to the UK to see his dad later this week. It's another slightly optional expense, but his 89-year-old dad is failing and they need time together.

So, as you can see, we need to hold it down. I'm always looking for ways to economize and stretch. Hit me with some new ones! This is the week to try things!