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Viewing the 'Castles and Hovels' Category

Easy Cash

April 21st, 2015 at 07:01 pm

I sold some kid's clothes over the last week via a FB group, and today saw someone wanting to buy iron patio chairs. We replaced our patio chairs a couple years ago and have exactly the chairs she's seeking gathering dust in the garage. I'm going to inspect them tomorrow, and hopefully have them out the door by the end of the week.

More decluttering was done in the office and master bath. I listed a couple books on Amazon, but my ebay items failed to sell. I also have a box of postcards (gees, maybe I am a hoarder) that a co-worker's daughter would like, so I hope to get them out the door soon too.

We've just received the information about DD's school trip to Washington DC next year. It's a groaning $1200+, and of course, all her friends are going. So--in a burst of inspiration, we're doing the 52-week savings plan which will fund it nicely. There are also fundraisers along the way, but if we have overage, she can use it for spending money.

And today was a NS day!

The New Shoes and Other Updates

August 23rd, 2014 at 07:45 am

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!

Working and Thinking

August 13th, 2014 at 10:36 am

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.

As August Ticks Down

August 6th, 2014 at 06:57 am

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.

Happy Shopping Except...

July 5th, 2014 at 11:55 pm

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.

Drips

May 27th, 2014 at 10:40 am

I hesitate to call the teeny amounts I've found for my bathroom budget snowflakes. They are more like teeny drips, an apt description for such a rainy odd day.

I did a bit of shopping over the weekend, and actually did quite well with coupons. DD has been very interested in, of all things, tortoises, so we took her to see some at a local pet shop. Interestingly, their patio was FULL of giant tortoises returned after their former owner didn't realize how big they get. Some were huge, too big for DH to lift. But we enjoyed watching them.

Besides the usual groceries and Claritin purchases, we got "Monuments Men" from Redbox. Any one else see it? I thought the idea behind the story was fabulous, but the writing just didn't do it justice. Still, it was worth the $1.20. We also had lots of fun at the library where I got the JK Rowling mystery written under her pen name, Robert Galbraith. The story is set in London, and all my favorite places are referenced again and again. I'm halfway through and enjoying it.

DD went to a sleepover Saturday, and DH and I had an impromptu anniversary dinner as we weren't expecting to go out. We had a lovely time. Going through the stack of papers he left piled in the guest room, I found a four-month old check which I deposited. I'm not sure they'll honor it, but I figured it was worth a shot. I'll credit it to the bathroom fund if it clears. It's a refund from the dental insurance, so cross your fingers.

Yesterday I returned some sandals I didn't need, but bought some others for DD. Still, it was $50 credited to the Mastercard. I also succeeded (ha) in spending Kohl's cash on tee-shirts and summer shorts for DD. She's growing so fast we seem to need new clothes every season. But amazingly, Kohl's took two coupons and the Kohl's cash, saving a lot.

In other boring drippy news, I sold a book for $8 on Amazon, and listed several things on ebay, one of which has a bid. The week clears after my class tonight, so will get flowers and veggies planted then.

The Great Closet Cleanout

May 23rd, 2014 at 03:38 pm

While the rest of our house (except the basement) is clean and organized, my DH dumped everything he didn't know what to do with in our guest room while I was gone. Consequently there were stacks of magazines, unpacked Christmas presents, things inherited from my late friend, mutual fund reports, and things too various and odd to mention. On top of all that, the closet is my "gift" closet. Except about twice as much goes in as comes out.

Faced with that mountain and my yen for the bathroom redo (ignoring the periodontist for the weekend), I've recruited my university gals for another rummage later this summer. I've got a towering pile, and discovered to my amusement and somewhat shame, a lovely new set of sheets purchased for the guest room that I'd completely forgotten about. I planned on 45 minutes in there, but was there most of the day. And I figure I'm about half done. I listed a couple books on Amazon, and some of the rest will go on Craigslist before the rummage.

DD had the day off school and spent it with the Girl Scouts at a local waterpark. Her day was more fun than mine.

However, I got the state taxes mailed, deposited a rebate check (watch that burgeoning bathroom fund in the sidebar!), and mailed the latest book sale. I'll get there, to that clean decluttered place again, it's just going to take a while.

Finally Did the Taxes--Good News

May 22nd, 2014 at 08:33 am

We filed an extension since we were out of the country over tax season, and yesterday, after pondering the need for more cash, I finally got to the taxes. It's good news there. Because I only got half pay in 2013 while in London, we seemed to have dropped a tax bracket and are getting a good refund. That won't happen again this year because on my online teaching, but I think we're about 25 percent of the way to funding the new bathroom, carpet, and maybe, (gulp) a water heater. The fireplace facing will have to wait, and we'll need to be pretty scrupulous with other spending.

The water heater situation looms. We've been in the house for 11 years, and were told the water heater was 10 years old when we moved. It's recently started to not heat as well, and we've received conflicting advice about draining it. It's situated poorly, not as near a floor drain as I'd like. The weekend's tasks will include toting up some estimates on that, the bathroom, and the carpet.

Bean and veggie enchiladas were assembled last night from misc fridge findings. I'm still in a bit of a post-London funk. The London office and classrooms are right around the corner from the Waterstone's book store on Torrington Place. I did a google image search of it this morning and almost started to weep. It's an amazing building and a brilliant bookstore. I really miss it.

But I'm glad to have the taxes done, glad to get a nice refund, and hope to come up with some ideas to make the budget stretch.

I Need More Money

May 21st, 2014 at 07:31 am

How's that for a headline? Right now my desires are outpacing our income. We really need new carpet in the family room and office. It was cheap carpet put in by the previous owners and it's not only worn and fraying, it's stained. I keep cleaning it, but it's a losing battle. My office carpet was originally in our living room, but 10 years ago when we installed hardwood floors, we moved it in here. It's at least as bad as the family room.

I also really want to re-do our 1960s bathroom. We've done some interim remodeling along the way, getting rid of the truly horrible tiled vanity top, but the pink-beige wall tile and yellow beige floor are awful. I dunno, minimum bathroom remodel is what $10,000- 15,000 with ceramic tile?

And then there's the fireplace refacing. And I'd like to do some traveling this summer. And we need to top up our retirement savings. And, and, and.

DH's college classes have not helped the budget. He adores them, and they've made him very very happy. But they're expensive.

Besides the regular teaching, I've got three evening classes stretching from now to the end of October. I need to figure out a way to rustle up a couple more thousand without touching savings. Hmmm. What to do.....?

Sorting it out

May 1st, 2014 at 06:44 am

Though we've been home a week and are we're mostly over the dread jet lag, I'm still a bit overwhelmed with how much there is to do. The house is clean-ish, but I still have a large suitcase to unpack, piles of mail to sort, and lots of planning to do.

The office and family room carpet that we've needed for years is now really tatty. I think that's our first spending priority, then a new laptop for DH, then the bathroom remodel. I need to go through those savings accounts and our retirement accounts to see where we're at. DH is very good at small-picture saving, but never looks at the future planning, so I need some time with that.

Though I filed a tax extension, I still have to actually file our taxes. I have insurance claims to file, two weeks left of my online class, and to boost income, have volunteered to do an eight-week evening class beginning (eek!)on Tuesday. Lots more university duties loom too.

I can't say I've been distracted by the fabulous weather; it's still 40 degrees and raining. And I'm on a diet. Ugh. I may need 15 minutes with photos from Nice and the English countryside.

Ups!

February 1st, 2014 at 01:55 pm

Hooray! DH's interview went well, and they offered him the contract. He's happy to be going downtown again as it's a shorter commute, and he loves to take the bus. Good all around.

I headed out early, scoping out a route from my flat to the Eurostar Station at St Pancras. A friend is coming over the end of the month and we're going to France, so I wanted to see the most direct route. No problem at all, a very easy bus ride to a tube station on the Picadilly Line. I'll also go that way next week to get DH and DD at Heathrow.

It was fun being at St Pancras. It's a beautiful station, and I enjoyed seeing people rushing off to catch their train to France and watching folks come in. It was so much fun, I bought a coffee and just sat for a while.

Then off to the Tate Britain. Last year many of the Pre-Raphaelite paintings I like were down as the Tate was being remodeled, but I spent a lovely day there and also saw a great photography exhibit.

This may seem silly, but I'm missing my bird feeder at home. We have magnificent backyard birds, frequently 4 or 5 cardinals at once, and sometimes even hawks. So today I bought a small bird feeder and some seed. I have a small patio out the back and thought it might be fun. I can always bring the feeder home if I want. It'll be interesting to see what kinds of birds might appear.

Some quick grocery shopping on the way home, then back here for dinner. This will be a very busy week, so I need to get some work done tonight.

Planning for Productive Weekend

September 27th, 2013 at 08:14 am

I have loads to do. Paper grading is looming, and I've just finished commenting on 27 pretty awful assignments.

Maybe it's the thought of DH's job instability, the upcoming conference talk, or even (yeah!) London that makes me want to hunker down, clean the house, make soup, and prepare. Maybe it's fall?

I'll know by next week whether I'll have enough London students to go this year. But I'm cautiously optimistic. We took quite a financial hit last year as I was on half salary while there, ironically working at least as hard as at home. But I've volunteered to do an online version of one of my regular offerings in addition to the London classes. Since I'm teaching that class now, I've been trying to compose the online class for spring term at the same time. I'll regret not having the luxury of just focusing on London, but if I get everything up and operating, it should be less painful.

So, the dishwasher is humming as is the washer. Next step might be the slow cooker.

An off topic addendum: I hate banks. The $10K that I moved to Chase for their $150 bonus has earned me a whooping 14 cents in 90 days. And reading about their trading scandals and executive pay have not further endeared them to me. As soon as the bonus hits, the cash is going into the credit union.

Decluttering Continues but More Junk Added

July 18th, 2013 at 07:30 am

My super-decluttering powers continued yesterday as I found that a local Goodwill has drive-through drop-off. They were pleased with the aquarium (me too!) and the converter boxes. I am SO pleased to be rid of another big bag of stuff. I have more outgrown clothes to give to a friend at school tonight too.

However, more junk was procured at Target yesterday, albeit useful junk. A distant Target had all their 4th of July stuff half off. So why did I buy $20 worth of that? We're having a combined birthday party for DD and (long-suffering) DH this weekend with an American/British theme. Fortunately for me, all the red and blue cups, plates, tablecloths etc were half off. I'd already bought some, so the full-price ones will be returned, but pleased as can be that they're cheaper now.

A bit concerned that as I age (rapidly, this week) I'm taking on my mother's obsession with garbage pick-up. After my class last night, I was on the curb at 11 hauling stuff out. Pre-party or post-decluttering nerves? Not sure, but at least it's out.

Happy Decluttering but Unhappy Husband

July 16th, 2013 at 09:34 pm

I had a fabulous time today doing the dread basement cleaning. I have no idea why I enjoyed it so much, but I suspect it had something to do with the weather. Cleaning a cool basement in 100 degree weather is nice. Or maybe it's just me taking a stand.

Some of the back story on the basement: We redid it a few years ago from a very 1960 rec room to a nice white space with a little built-in bar/sink, a huge wall of closets for out-of-season clothes and a big space for DH's books and papers. Short version: His paper hoarding and book collection was way out of control. Any flat surface is immediately covered with his junk. I fight back upstairs, but I'd really let the basement go.

But my dear daughter really wanted a space long promised to her, and I have to say, I just got sick of his mess. I knew he'd have the hoarding anxiety attack when I told him I was doing it. He had LOTS of warning, and I promised to straighten and rearrange, but not throw any of his "stuff" away.

But frankly, it's my house too, and I'm done with it. I swear he was on the verge of going through the recycling bags to check every bit of three-year coupons for traces of treasure. He started to argue with me about getting rid of the remotes for the TVs we recycled. But tomorrow they're going to Best Buy where the TVs went to die.

I'm not having it; the clutter is stagnating and depressing, and if he needs therapy to deal with it, well, the insurance will cover it. Any one else remember the "Twilight Zone" episode where the murder rate spiked in the 100 degree heat?

Basement Dejunking

July 13th, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Oh my, DH and I spent some serious time in the basement last night getting rid of junk. It wasn't always as bad as it is now, but DH really tends to hold on to things. I had a heckuva time convincing him to let go of an old-style TV, a VCR and a huge chunky old computer monitor. The VCR went to the Salvation Army with a big bag of toys DD has outgrown, and the monitor and TV went to Best Buy for recycling. But he's upset about it. It burns him that things purchased in the last 20 years are worthless. But they are. And they're taking up space.

It looks MUCH better, but the next round of dejunking is going to have to be done when he's at work. He doesn't miss it when it's gone, but the process is really difficult for him.

Many "To-dos" Done

July 8th, 2013 at 01:29 pm

I am pleased with progress the past few days. I got grades posted, three more capstone projects read, the pay sheet for those turned in, a couple of sale items purchased, and a few small gifts for DD's upcoming birthday ordered.

DH has been working hard on our landscape project too, and tomorrow is officially the kick-off meeting for next year's study abroad in London. My former landlady e-mailed me today asking if I wanted the flat again in January. I indeed do, but am worried I won't get my requisite number of students. She also wants 1/3 of the rent now, which seems a little steep to me.

DD is at Vacation Bible School--although they call it something much jazzier now-- for a couple afternoons this week. The youth leaders are fabulous, and she loves it. Plus who can beat $45 for three afternoons of wholesome child care? I may get that basement cleaned yet!

Summer Nights

July 6th, 2013 at 11:28 am

DD and I spent yesterday evening with a bunch of my university friends in the most relaxed night in weeks. They grilled, we all brought salads, and I must say, I made the most magnificent mojitos ever. The kids splashed in the pool, wrapped themselves in towels and played in the driveway.

We have a series of two or three more parties before the end of the month. I deal with real life early next week when I need to grade and plan some more projects here.

DH has been fabulous with the brick garden edging. I hate that kind of work, so am delighted he's taken it on.

The rest of the day is devoted to housecleaning before DD's friends come over for a sleepover. Then pizza and a fire in the patio firebowl.

Dumb Luck

July 4th, 2013 at 02:18 pm

I've been in super summer slo-mo lately and have been putting things off all week. But with DH home today, we decided to finally re-do the edging in the front of our house. We've had ugly scalloped plastic edging there for years, and I've wanted brick interlocking edgers.

I'm not a big Menard's fan, but it was near a couple of our other stops, so we popped in and bought 50 of them at 88cents each. Much to our great delight they rang up at 44 cents each as they were BOGO. How fun is that?

I also had a Land's End return and exchange--and both things I exchanged were on sale, saving me another $14 there.

I think I should buy a lottery ticket today!

Lazy Day

July 1st, 2013 at 08:57 pm

We worked too hard in the garden over the weekend, and we were both feeling it today. DD and I had a lazy day, just doing some laundry, a little shopping,a little reading, and a nice walk. I would like a couple of days a week like that!

Besides the garden work, we also cleaned out one of DH's closets. He tends to keep his office wear in our office closet and casual and occasional sweaters etc in our room. I filled up another big bag of stuff for the charity shop and managed to get it out of the house. Today's shopping included some books sold to Half Price Books and DD's gift credit for finishing a month of their summer reading program.

But I have tasks to accomplish tomorrow, yet the lovely weather here has been amazing. We live quite close to Lake Michigan and it was ten degrees cooler than it was just a few miles inland. I feel for all you West Coasters and everyone else with the hot weather. I'd like to send some cool lake breezes your way.

A Brief Break

June 30th, 2013 at 07:44 am

I took a little break from my money blog here last week to get some much-needed tasks done. DD had a writers' camp at the university, and I used every minute she was there and all of the rest of my free time to get some research done on an article I've been trying to get written.
Most of the days were spent in the university archives, and I'm such a geek that I LOVE archival research. But I think I have just about everything I need now to start writing. It was an expensive week. DD and I ate lunch together, and despite my determination to bring our lunches every day, I caved and we ate in the university cafeteria twice--then had a Friday lunch date as we always do in the summer. But it was fun, and it was great to see her all excited about writing.

I'm off to go strawberry picking this morning, but I am happy to be spending most of next week home to catch up on everything that didn't get done last week.

We got our second chimney bid finally, and it was more than 3K higher than the other bid. This guy said we needed a new chimney liner too. I'm frustrated with the process, and will go with the first bidder. I've had such a hard time getting anyone to bid, that I'm not pursuing this further. The first bidder is highly rated also on Angies List and works with our roofer. Good enough, I hope.

Another Big Declutter Day

June 22nd, 2013 at 10:20 pm

I've been telling DH all week that we couldn't turn on the air con until we completely cleaned the furnace room where it lives. This wacky reasoning arises from several sources. First, sometimes the air drainage tube sweats and leaks a bit, leaving damp spots under the hose. I didn't want anything in there damaged.

Second, and frankly my real reason, that room is a mess. When I was in London, DH "put away" the Christmas stuff--meaning he took it out of the main floor of the house and dumped it in the furnace room. It was such a mess, I've had a hard time convincing myself to deal with it and really wanted his help. I promised it would only take the two of us an hour. After 2 1/2 hours, it was terrific. Lots of stuff dumped, more stuff already at the charity shop, many things just sorted out.

That almost made up for my evening with my soon-to-depart friends which was so sad that we all went home early. But the basement was an accomplishment. We have another room to sort out there, but that will be this week. It's supposed to be a hot one, and I think I'll actually enjoy being down there.

A low spend day--just my sad dinner.

Some Tasks Cleared

June 21st, 2013 at 11:49 am

My DH was feeling better last night, so I cornered him with the four painting bid and the bank decisions. We concurred on everything, but are waiting to hire the painter until we look at a friend's house on Sunday. She had the same painter as was pleased with him.

We also decided to continue with two checking accounts, one for me and a joint account. In principal I'm all for combining our accounts, but I must admit, trouble with my first husband 15 years ago makes me want my own money. My DH is about as relaxed about money as anyone I've ever seen and leaves all of these decisions to me.
But we're definitely switching to the credit union and to the "over 50" account since it saves us money and offers a few perks.

Today's task has been to search out valances with grommet tops for the family room. No luck at Bloodbath and Beyond, but I'm happily shopping online for some. Penneys and Gardeners.com both seem to have some that I like. I'm eager to get this done!

Jobs, Tasks, and Errands

June 20th, 2013 at 10:03 am

I seem to be up to my ears in some jobs, tasks, and errands. This is NOT going to be the week where I lounge on the sofa and read. Lots of garden cleanup remains to be done, plenty of home fix-up jobs, and all the errands seem to be piling up.

I chatted with the bank teller yesterday about changing our joint account. Because DH is now officially over 50, we can get the same free checking with a free safety deposit box and some other misc perks. We had chatted about a safety deposit box anyway, so I suspect we'll change over. I need to get more potting soil, mulch, and spend a couple of hours in the garden.

Part of this is piling up because DH is still so tired from work. He comes home, eats, and falls asleep. I could really use a couple of hours with him at full force every evening to go over the painting and chimney bids with me, consider the bank and credit union options, and dejunk his closet. Maybe the week will go better? I think I mentioned in ceejay's comments that he saw his name pop up in an email during a presentation yesterday. He's worried about job stability yet again. Lots of stress on him, so perhaps I'll just make the decisions and plunge forward myself.

Kid Fun and Painting Contractors

June 16th, 2013 at 10:16 pm

I spent all day Friday with DD and two of her friends. They did lunch, a library movie, with the time in between spent at Barnes and Noble reading books to each other. She really had fun--and so did they.
It wasn't my dream day, but I'm glad they all enjoyed themselves so much.

Saturday was not so fun--lots of errands and shopping and more bids on the chimney and exterior painting. It's going to be an expensive summer for the house.

Today we had a quiet day with special treats, gifts, and foods for DH. It was a spectacular day here and we all went swimming in the municipal pool. A really lovely summer time.

Fancy Garage Shelves?

June 6th, 2013 at 07:30 pm

I managed to get my ebay stuff listed, contacted the Study Abroad folks about my airfare reimbursement, and today received the check for DH's osteopath while we were in London. All good.

Our new TV cabinet was delivered yesterday, and I hung around today to meet the charity shop drivers who were picking up our old one and an old desk. But, much to my chagrin, they wouldn't take the big old entertainment center. No one in town will. They told me that so many people had dumped the old style ones since flat screen TVs took over that they can't sell them. It's now in our garage. I've listed it on freecycle and Craigslist, but I suspect it will become a very sturdy holder of dandelion spray and old hoses.

Scrounging for the Chimney

June 4th, 2013 at 06:23 pm

That's a strange image, yes? But that's what I spent most of the day doing. I cashed out from one of my survey companies to the tune of $10, then remembered I had Chase points to apply to our bills. I roll mine onto my bill pretty regularly, but tonight we had over $300 between the two of us to put on the bill. That will make a dent in upcoming expenses.

I also listed some of DD's old DVDs on Craigslist and located a few things to go on ebay tomorrow. I also had a long conversation with the wife of the next chimney bidder. She seemed great, so I hope their estimate is a bit lower. I also followed up on an insurance claim for DH's back while we were in the UK. They haven't paid us yet, and they should.

Anxiety sometimes produces results!

Chimney Woes Again

June 4th, 2013 at 07:23 am

We got our first chimney bid. I sort of estimated it would be in the $3000-$3500 range. It was $4265. Gulp.
No, that doesn't include reinstalling the flashing. Then there's the exterior painting which really needs doing. And DH's dad is not doing well, and I'd like him to go visit. All this is pretty stomach churning.

All in all, no matter how I look at it, we're nearing $10K in expenses.


So? What to do? Well, I'm not sure. I can raise a couple thousand with my summer teaching, and another $750 (pre-tax) with the tutoring. I've volunteered to take someone else's tutoring hours next week (twice) and last night another instructor was looking for coverage for his speech class. That will help a bit more although I was planning on that for DH's birthday.

I think I need to declutter and sell some more for another couple hundred. And I guess, sigh, that means the EF for the rest.


The second chimney bidder can't come until mid-June at the earliest. But I'll call him back and get some appt figured out.

What makes this worse is the cancellation of that summer class. That cash would have paid for the darn chimney. Grrr.

A Splendid Day

May 29th, 2013 at 07:39 pm

I had coffee with two of my London students today--their idea. It was really nice to see them and catch up. Then lunch with an old friend from grad school. Neither of these was very expensive, and both were very fun.

That $12 and a quick trip for the milk special at the grocery store was about the size of today's spending. I have more folks interested in my books, so I'll sort that out tomorrow.

The only off note of the day was the chimney contractor recommended by a friend in the construction business. I'd e-mailed them asking for a quote. They returned my e-mail saying they could do a free quote in three or so weeks, but if I wanted a quote before then, it would be $125 to QUOTE it. Really? I dismissed them with a pleasant enough--but honestly--a little peeved e-mail. Have any of you heard of that?

More, yes, more

May 26th, 2013 at 11:02 am

The decluttering continues more fast and furious than I expected. The Turbotax software I listed sold within hours as did a book. That adds another $16 to the May totals. And we took another bag to Half-Price Books for $8.

And now for the big push. I spent a couple hours Friday night inventorying some of my old books. Many of them seemed not really necessary, especially if it meant hauling them all down to my university office. I belong to a sort-of scholarly discussion list, and I decided to see if any of my fellow list members were interested in them.

Man alive, I had no idea. I think I'll be able to sell 20 or more to them. Amazing. It's doubly nice since many of those same list members were so helpful in my work.

Some of this was prompted by our discussions the past week about potentially moving back to the UK. It's certainly not imminent, but now back on the radar.

Up on the Rooftop

May 24th, 2013 at 11:26 am

Last night DH spotted a stain on the living room ceiling near the chimney. A quick peek into the attic revealed some wet patches, so our roofer came out this morning. Problem was--it wasn't the roof or the flashing, it's the tuckpointing on the chimney. We'd been told that before, but it seems like a bigger job now and semi-urgent.

I scoured Angie's List and got a recommendation from the roofer, and have called their top picks. Not thrilled about another outlay of cash, but it has to be done.

In other household news, I've packed up three or four dozen books I used years ago for my dissertation and am taking them to my university office. I rarely need them here, and I'm hoping to donate them to the university special collections if they're interested. But my home office is jammed and I need the shelf space. Some more books will go to the reseller too. And I listed more software on ebay.

Yep, declutter is becoming my middle name.


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