<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
Home > Archive: December, 2017
 

Archive for December, 2017

Checking In

December 29th, 2017 at 12:10 pm

Yeesh--a busy 10 days since last I checked in. Christmas was super busy--driving to Minneapolis, a hotel stay, two days of family, brunch with friends, another day spent mostly driving home. We had one quiet day home now both DD and DH are down with my brother's Christmas cold. Since then I've been make juice drinks, soup, and trying to avoid getting sick myself. I ran out to the library for books and movies, for groceries, and to pay the property taxes. I finished my grading and have spent lots of time sorting, clearing, and doing laundry. Here are my lessons from the holiday. Make dinners ahead and freeze them. Next fall will be a make one/ freeze one marathon. Buy as much as possible in one go. I honestly bought 80 percent of my gifts--very happily--at Marshall's. Third lesson--my DH's anxiety issues make it difficult for us to stay in a single hotel room. When he can't sleep, we are all miserable. I think I'd like to spend next Christmas in London with the Brit family. We'll get an airbnb and relax. Christmas has become a hassle for us, and I want it to be peaceful and wonderful.

In other family news my sweetest nephew is moving from Minneapolis to a huge fancy job outside of Oakland. We'll miss them--but what a cool job with so many opportunities for both him and his wife.

Hoping everyone recovers quickly. I need to take some stock of what's in the house to prepare for our Uber-frugal month I'm looking forward to it!

Perspectives

December 16th, 2017 at 05:48 pm

Oh, I was cranky all day. I committed to cooking and serving at the AODA house tonight, and with the end of the semester and Christmas, and so much to do, I was whining to myself all day. I spent two hours with my least favorite co-worker proctoring a competition which was only lightened by a couple of my students wishing me a fond farewell--one with a lovely handwritten thank you note. Then I was scheduled for a nasty two-hour meeting with of all things, textbook salespeople. Halfway through it dawned on me that the reason we were having this rah-rah meeting for this company was that my boss has just published a text with them. What a pain. At least they bought lunch--but I am NOT ordering their texts. Half my co-workers caught on too, and everyone was mad. I rushed home to finish the pies and veggies, and slice the bread, pack it all up and gather the family to drive over to the halfway house.

But yu know what? Two minutes with 16 men who are struggling with addiction, have spent time in prison, have lost their families, jobs, and senses of self who were so happy to see our chicken and rice casseroles, peppermint pies, kale and squash and green beans, and my whole stupid whining vanished. I have nothing to complain about. They are lovely guys trying their best to turn their lives around. They are so grateful for dinner, a roof over their heads, and someone to talk with. We had a lovely time. This was our second time there, and we'll schedule this every couple of months. Life is good. Plus--I'm going to finish the grading on 3/4 of my classes tonight. I sure am.

Thick Headed

December 12th, 2017 at 07:17 pm

I am determined to get this cold out of my head and chest by the weekend. I'm sick of being so thick headed. Wrapping it up in all my classes and I'd love to get everything graded and set before this weekend too.

I had a productive meeting with the dept chair today. He has promised me a new literature class in the fall and will try to iron out some various issues. I'll elaborate on them if it actually gets done.

I spent a bit too much on fruit today, but made a great dinner with items from the fridge and pantry. I've also spent a lot on parking this week, but feeling lousy has necessitated parking close. It's only two more days.

Back to yet another glass of water to help keep the head clear.

Lots of Sleep and Postponing the Day Away

December 8th, 2017 at 09:33 am

I was indeed pretty worthless yesterday. I made one class a drop-in day, and had almost a dozen students with questions and feedback requests. The second class had presentations and I sent them home afterwards. I normally park about six blocks from the university and walk, but feeling so lousy, I splurged on $5 worth of parking on campus. I came home and napped, we ate leftovers, and DD and I decided to move our fun downtown Chicago day to week after next. I'll be done with school then, and I just couldn't think about going anywhere last night. I had lots of sleep, and feel significantly better. If I'm feeling up to it, I'll try to tackle some laundry and finish grading today--and maybe get some cookies made with DD tomorrow.

I'm looking forward (really!) to an uberfrugal January with many of you. In the meantime, I'm going to have a reasonably simple Christmas. My cheap-o wreath needs to have a bow attached, we still haven't bought a tree, and decorating can't really commence until I tackle the piles of grading and laundry. But I'm going slow. I've added $50 from SB to my Big Goal.

It Figures

December 6th, 2017 at 07:18 pm

Saturday night out with friends we all commented that we hadn't yet had a bad cold--sort of atypical for a semester. And yesterday afternoon I had that --here it comes moment--and it's been worse since.

I have a few easy days at school listening to presentations, but will probably need to reschedule mine and DD's day away.

I managed to make a good pasta bake for dinner and correct a few presentations, but think I'm pretty worthless now. An early night is in order. Only spending was $2.30 for a mug of herbal tea. I bought a pizza stone last night for mu SIL's Christmas gift on Amazon through SB last night.

Dollars for Doughnuts

December 5th, 2017 at 06:44 pm

I stopped at the grocery this morning to buy a couple dozen doughnuts and some clementines for my classes. They had a scheduled walk-in work day today. Looking up with a bag of clementines over my arm, who did I spot but my work BFF office mate, also slung with a bag of clementines and two dozen cookies. Not good for the budget, but we all try to help students who are almost as tired as we are through these last weeks.

I've been listening to a Walter Isaacson audiobook. Today's selection was about Time's Person of the Century, and I'm just struck with the stature of some of the people he discussed--Jonas Salk, Alexander Fleming, Rosa Parks, FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt, Nelson Mandela, Lech Walesa, Chinese students in Tiananmen Square. I'm weary of the news, of all the heroes with feet of clay, of all the blatant disregard of common decency in public life. Granted none of those people were perfect, but the struggle toward fairness, decency, democracy seems so lost to me. I'm weary of the world, I think.

Amazing

December 4th, 2017 at 10:18 am

Yesterday DD and I were right next to a local Target store. I had a return, but we also walked through the entire store without spending anything. I didn't buy the gift card deal either. Now granted I was in a Target the day before, but this may have been one of the few times in my life I went through a Target without a purchase.

We did spend a bit at the grocery store, but they were having a reopening sale and I got peanut butter, and a case of bottled water for 99 cents. We normally don't drink bottled water, but I always think it's good to have some around in case of emergencies. Bread was 49 cents--not a favorite brand but good enough for sandwiches and chicken breast for $1.49. We made chicken Parmesan last night ( or chicky chicky parm parm if you're a Parks and Rec fan)

It's been a splendid day as my classes are just working on final projects and I'm there to offer advice and feedback. It's nice not to have to "perform" some days.

I'm on a mini-declutter roll. I took a bag of stuff to Goodwill this morning, and as I put the rest of the Christmas things out, I'm sure they can be sorted and culled. Friends gave me a lovely Molton Brown gift set for my birthday--it's my favorite English bath brand. The gift set included trial size shampoo, but I'm a shampoo monogamist, and I thought, heck, try to sell it. It sold for $3 on the local FB list which I'll add to my totals. I'm feeling frugal--time to make some soup!

Fun Night

December 2nd, 2017 at 08:18 am

We went to a local Christkindl Market last night. Lots of food vendors, gluhwein, sausages, etc. in a very prettily lit market. DD had a couple gingerbread men, and I bought three jugs of bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup I'd seen on a local food show. The guys who own the tree farm were there selling it, and I had a sample shot and was convinced. Deliciously bourbony syrup that will be a great Christmas gift for my two foodie nephews and their wives. I bought three bottles, and intend to give the other away, but it was really really good and may end up in our old fashioneds or on pancakes.

The three of us stopped at a neighborhood spot that came highly recommended by a friend. Great food, but they didn't have the service right. Our long wait was relieved by the appearance of an appetizer wrongly delivered to our table which we ate. Oh well, it was free, and they ended up comping our drinks because things were so screwed up. Then a nice drive around a neighborhood called Candy Cane Lane to look at the Christmas lights. Lots of fun and family time for not much cash.