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Different Sorts of Days

December 8th, 2018 at 01:54 pm

I had to laugh at an encounter with a student group yesterday. I ran into them in our library coffeeshop, and they were surprised to see me, asking if I didn't have Fridays off. It's a week until the end of the semester--nobody has a day off, even on weekends.

But yesterday was filled with staff meetings, class scheduling issues, and then a wonderful few hours evaluating freshman research projects. We've been encouraging veteran instructors to help their students develop research projects and mentor them. I looked at projects from history, English, and psychology which were all so well done and interesting. And there was food! I cannot tell you how welcome a huge plate of vegetables and a lovely urn of coffee is in the middle of a day like that.

Two more student meetings followed--then off to the History Department to see my husband receive his award--where there was MORE FOOD. I think I should have been a historian--what lovely people, gracious and charming.

And then home to grade more projects of varying quality. So these late semester days are different, but bless the folks who order in food to keep us going.

Our DD did her first stab at the college entrance exams this morning. No news for weeks, but she can breathe a sigh of relief that it's over for a bit. And she's been made the head of costumes for their upcoming production of Mamma Mia.


Back to grading and how to improve this assignment next time.

Ugh, Busy

October 18th, 2018 at 07:05 pm

Not much time to write lately,and I miss you all. School is very busy, many meetings, some challenging students, and the usual pile of grading and prep.

DD is also busy with school, theater, and friends. I'm so glad we bought the Harry Potter Sunday movie package together. We just saw the 6th one on Sunday, and it's a nice time for us to sit down together, chat on the way, and just plain relax. It was parent/teacher conferences tonight, and they all love her. She's doing very well. She's got three AP classes, two languages, and a full slate of theater assignments. Honestly, her life exhausts me.

We drove to her school together this morning at 6:45 as we baked two coffee cakes for the French Honor Bake sale and she couldn't balance it all. I headed to school right after that. That's the kind of schedule we've been handling lately.

I have a weekend filled with grading and prep, but hope to get outside some. I need to tackle garden clean up. DH is hanging in there with the new job, but they've only paid him for a week so far. His ear checkup is tomorrow, so hopefully he can go back to the gym and start more normal activities.

Two months to our London trip!

Lots to Report

September 9th, 2018 at 02:21 pm

Hmm--It's been a week or so since last I blogged, and what a busy week it's been. DH had more interviews, but has taken the contract at his former employer that he left about 20 months ago. It's a great hourly rate, and honestly, he really likes it there. We think he starts on Wednesday after all the checks. Glad we got his drug test in before his surgery.

So yes, he's also had ear surgery. Last Thursday we drove to a hospital about an hour west of us at (ugh) 4:30 a.m. for his stapedectomy. He's never had any surgeries or much medical, and he was a nervous wreck. But all went well, and I think he was a bit sobered by folks getting pacemakers, stents, and much more serious things. We'll know in a few weeks how successful it's been restoring his hearing. Right now his ear is full of packing which will be removed on Friday

School started for DD; all's well there. School also started for me, and while my classes seem fine, my new administrative function is headache inducing. There are plenty of my colleagues who would rather not speak to one another, so they've decided I'm their intermediary. Because I'm in charge of class scheduling, I've had everything from pleas, to demands, to outright anger about next semester's schedule. All of a sudden I can see who the easy folks are, and who is decidedly difficult. It's going to be an interesting time.

This afternoon DD and I bought a Harry Potter package at the local theater. We got tickets for 9 shows--all the Potter movies and Fantastic Beasts for $27. We go the next eight Sundays. I really enjoyed seeing HP1 on the big screen. So much grander than DVDs at home.
It's fun for us to hang out too--if there's a week I can't go, she can always take a friend.

I've been busily using our garden and CSA veggies. Friday night it was Southern Tomato Pie, followed by Croatian Chicken last night, and tonight veggie curry.
Time to ramp up a bit of frugality. We've been too lax lately.

AN UFM Fail but a Birthday Success

July 11th, 2018 at 08:30 am

My UFM has gone off the rails. I have plenty of excuses, the major one being my daughter's 16th birthday yesterday. I guffawed through articles about what to do for a 16th birthday that included new cars, trips abroad, and a cake made of rolled up dollar bills.
But DD was hesitant about her birthday plans, and decided at the last minute what she'd really like is a whole day with her BFF, especially since the BFF recently moved back near us. I was just the driver and offerer of options. They decided on an hour or so at Target where they bought nothing and looked at everything, followed by a trip to the amazing ethnic grocery next store where I bought olive oil, and they spent 35 minutes looking at imported squid, Polish candy, Mexican peppers, Turkish grape leaves, and just about everything else you can think of. I remember very well loving trips like that with my friends when I was that age. On to the Humane Society where I fell in love with a dog and they fell in love with a cat. Lots of petting but no adopting. We then had lunch in Milwaukee's funky third ward followed by more odd shopping. They spent, I kid you not, 60 minutes looking at succulents. Then we all had pedicures, paddled boats on the lake, followed by dinner at PF Changs and more d**m shopping for them.

I kept up my cheerful demeanor, but by the end of the evening, I let them shop and goof around while I sat in a comfy chair at Barnes and Noble. DD loved the day; it'll take me days to recover. And today won't be frugal either as I'm meeting DH for lunch to cheer on English football. Frugality will resume, but it's likely to be next week. Hey, she's only 16 once.

The UFM Begins and a Fun June Ends

July 2nd, 2018 at 09:55 am

We spent the weekend in Madison so DH and I could work on his history project and DD could tour UW Madison. Great hotel with some nice dinners out, but it was sweltering which put a damper on some plans. We met up with a former student, swam in the hotel pool, and enjoyed their lovely free breakfasts as well as the huge Farmers' Market. As an employee of UW Madison poorer sister campus, I was blown away by their fabulous facilities and beautiful setting. I go there at least once a year, but am always impressed--as was DD. Their offerings tick a lot of her "want" boxes.

We came home to a very warm day, but managed to unpack and get some laundry in before our power blew out with a strong rainstorm about 4. No electricity until midnight, but everything appears to have survived in the freezer and fridge.


Today's plans include a trip to the gymn, DD's French lessons, some meal prep for the week, and perhaps dinner with friends. Thankfully I have a gift card just waiting to be redeemed for dinner. My dear friend is headed back to AZ on the 5th, and I'm eager to see her again before she goes.

Finishing Up the School Year

June 7th, 2018 at 07:23 pm

Our DD finishes up her sophomore year tomorrow. Not sure where those last two years went, but she's such a great kid. She and I spent part of the afternoon looking at gyms. We're thinking of a no-contract easy plan at a gym close to our house for the summer. She's been applying for jobs, but hasn't heard from her top pick yet, and she wants to keep busy. I'm sure she can find some pick-up work from a couple places, and she's volunteering at the local Alliance Francaise and library.

The university still seems to have a chunk of me for the summer. I had another grant meeting this morning, and will start planning for the fall pretty soon. I have lots of new ideas. Yesterday we got the news of our student writing competition, and one of my students took second place, so I'm delighted for her. Too bad it meant another long meeting with my least favorite colleague, but I got through it without opening my big mouth.

I got some CVS bargains on toothpaste and a few other things, but spent no other money today. And I'm meeting another dissertation editing client tomorrow. I really enjoy dissertation editing, and think i'll start on hers over the weekend. In another bits of cash, I filed for flex money on my new glasses, and I'm subbing for a colleague for $200 on Monday night. I've been a bit antsy since coming back from California, but now the summer looks better. Lots to do but I'm eager to jump in.

Quiet Monday

January 29th, 2018 at 07:37 pm

It was a quiet day today which was particularly welcome since our daughter woke up at 1 am sick to her stomach. I didn't sleep much after that trying to listening to her, but managed to struggle up and out for my 8am class. Today's spending was just coffee, and then I headed home to take the next shift with the ill one and send my husband off to work. She appears to have revived as the day went on, so we watched Netflix, I graded papers, and we had simple lunches and dinners mostly from the pantry and from leftovers.

Not much other news--school has started in earnest, so plenty to do there.

I'm planning an early night to try to recoup some sleep. Lots on tomorrow's schedule.

The Whole Tooth

August 17th, 2017 at 08:58 am

Yesterday was all about the teeth, thankfully not mine for a change. My DD got her bottom braces removed and is just on retainers on the top and bottom. We finished the $100 co-pay several months ago, so it won't make a difference in our outlay, but she is ready for corn on the cob. We'd scheduled a cleaning with the regular dentist a few hours later, but when we arrived, learned the hygienist was ill and we've had to reschedule. It would've been nice it they'd have called!

I haven't done a big shop since we got home, so we've been mostly eating from the freezer. On the way back from the dentist I bought a new things to fill in until tomorrow or Saturday. I'm going to try to crank the grocery bill down, especially with CSA veggies coming today. Our CSA e-mail said they're done with summer squash deliveries for the year, but we're welcome to come and glean. We just might. They're about 30 minutes from us, and while we don't really need the zukes, it might be worthwhile for all of us to visit. Plus I love the idea of gleaning--all Ruth and Naomi and that. I saw a fabulous French film a few years ago about potato gleaners that really stuck with me.

As I wrote on Patient Saver's blog, my DD earned/won several reading prizes at the library. For reading 2000 pages, she got a new hardcover she'd been wanting and was entered into a drawing for other prizes. In that drawing she'd won 7 new manga titles. She's over the moon. I encouraged her to apply for the teen council at the library too thinking it might be a way into a PT job when she's old enough, and she was accepted there as well. How fun!

I'm prepping for classes and reading capstone projects. Two read in two days means $150. I'm also going to call ATT to see if we can pare down our bill. Like CCF, I'm focused on that big goal. Towards that, I've deposited $125 from Swagbucks--mostly rebates on travel.

Wonder Woman

June 14th, 2017 at 07:38 am

Wonder Woman was fun--DD, her BF, and I enjoyed it a lot--especially at $5 each with free popcorn. I'm not a huge fan of those comic book films, but it was refreshing to see a woman in the lead role. An added bonus for me was that I saw them filming parts of it last year in Trafalgar Square--and I recognized those scenes in the film. DD and I went for a long walk, made stuffed shells for dinner, and I started my office cleaning. I'm going to get more of it done today. The movie was the only spending yesterday.

Sending out thoughts and prayers to the folks affected in the big apartment block fire in London and the congressional shootings at the baseball field in the Washington area.

UK Planning and Spending

May 29th, 2017 at 06:56 pm

We had our planning meeting with our daughter's BFF's family on Saturday night to talk through England planning. I think her mom really wants to join us! But it's all systems go--and I booked flights Sunday, and after looking at hotel prices in London, booked a two-bedroom airbnb for six nights instead. The airbnb also gives us plenty of options for breakfasts in, access to laundry facilities, and other meal options. It's a self-contained flat with a full kitchen etc. And--it's in my old neighborhood in London so I know the shops and transport very well. I thought about exploring a new part of the city, but finding a two-bedroom with three beds for under $200/night was a triumph. Now, of course, the girls want a day trip to Paris. DH would prefer to have a day to himself in London, maybe with his brother or BFF, so we'll trade off who has the girls so I can have the following day with my London colleagues.

Real life also progresses here. I spent more than I wanted to at the garden center, as usual. We spent Saturday clearing the raised beds and doing lots of weeding and chopping. I also drove DD to Half Price Books where happily we bought nothing and got $12 for her outgrown books. I'm making several boxes for the upcoming garage sale. Lots of things can go. Plenty to do!

Friday Fun

April 14th, 2017 at 09:38 am

I usually go to church n Good Friday, but DD has the day off and needs some cheer. We're going out to Noodles for lunch (with our coupon) and picking up the making of something strange called Rainbow Slime. Her friends are coming at 2 to mix this goop up.

Yesterday was our dirge of a department meeting, harried students, textbook reps, no lunch--all on a day of little sleep the night before. I honestly cannot believe I had the foresight to pull a lb of hamburger out of the freezer before I left for school and make a hamburger pie thing when I got home. But it was another no-sped day for me, though DH had to pick up half and half on the way home.

So--we're off to Michael's (with coupon), and tomorrow I'll do the "real" Easter shopping. I'm sort of treading water here with the expectation things will ease up soon.

Spring Break Lunch

March 29th, 2017 at 08:50 pm

To (barely) help enliven DD's spring break, we had lunch at Noodles. I did have a BOGO coupon, but at least she got out. I feel bad that I'm so busy this week, but hopefully we can make up for it later. Someday perhaps our breaks will fall on the same week? Total spending for the day was $8.27.
Big big projects at school. I'd like to speed up the rest of the semester.

Free, French, and Fun!

February 19th, 2017 at 03:03 pm

DD and I just got home from seeing a cute French film, Belle et Sebastien II. Our university is hosting a French Film Festival, and all the films are free. It's also free to park on Sunday. We did buy a good looking cake in support of a youth program in Haiti. All the Francophone countries are showing films so there's quite a wide range. As a bonus, DD gets French extra credit for going. I'm going to try to go to a few more while it lasts.

We did the weekly shop yesterday, but I blew the $50 budget buying another 99ct/lb turkey breast and more milk than usual--but we just about hit $70.

DD had a great time at the anime convention. We're going to have to get used to her being out later. We feel like old fogeys (sp?), but she has a much better social life than we do. We watched more of The Crown, and I graded papers.

On Wednesday I'm meeting with a nursing doctoral candidate looking for dissertation editing help. That could be a nice bonus. I'm not sure I need more work now, but I can put some other things on autopilot. No other spending to report--but am scuring the Target ad for other things we need.

Off to do Errands

January 14th, 2017 at 11:40 am

My most exciting news is that I sold a pair of DD's outgrown boots for $15. Does that give you an idea of how mundane life has been around here? She went to "Cocoa and Cram" at her school this morning--an exam prep session that had snacks, so I didn't feed her breakfast.

I'm off to the bank, the grocery and drug stores. Crossing my fingers that I can keep under $50, my uber-frugal goal.

DH and I had a quiet night. I'm sorting through course files and generating huge piles of recycling. We've been trying to watch "Man in the High Castle" but I've lost interest, so we switched over to "Homeland" DVDs from the library. What great acting.

Long Weekend

January 13th, 2017 at 02:00 pm

We're still eating it all. Last night I made a pot of vegetable soup that has CSA veggies from the freezer, cabbage and celery root still from the CSA and assorted little bits from the veggie drawer. Not magnificent soup, but hearty. Then today I baked Rachel Ray's chocolate chip banana bread using three bananas rescued from the freezer. DD liked it, but it was too sweet for me. However, it will all get eaten.

DD also got paid for her church babysitting gig today. She's happy. I'm encouraging her to save some of it. She also babysat for them Monday night, so will look forward to that.

Oh, and I took a new photo for DH's Linked in profile. It looks pretty good. He's busily applying for more jobs now. I cashed $25 out of Swagbucks. Back to working on my other classes and finishing cleaning out my England class files.

I need to find something fun and frugal to do together. And of course, the Packers' game is Sunday.

The UberFrugal Begins

January 1st, 2017 at 12:11 pm

We had a lovely NYE. Rather than sacrificing our rather modest tradition of pizza, a movie, and a jigsaw puzzle by the fireplace, we went ahead with it. We saw the Dev Patel movie, Lion, which I recommend although the more cynical among us may find it sentimental. In my current mood, I thought it was very good.

I did some bargain grocery shopping on double coupon day yesterday, and the freezer is well stocked. Lots of pasta bargains, the usual chicken breast markdowns for the dieters and some freebies.

In an unusual situation at our church, they had no volunteers for the nursery this morning, and they sent out a call for paid help. DD was interested, so she made some spending money, and I tagged along. They tried to pay me as well, but that's silly, and I refused. Through both services we had one very charming little boy who played with toy cars on the playroom rug. We came home and made pumpkin pancakes which were delicious, I must say. We've now used up the non-carryover part of our flex spending, we gave some time to church, and (!) I sold my ice skates for $12. I hate to admit it, but I think my 50+ years of skating are done. My fear of falling has overcome all the joy I used to get out of skating. I'm happy to have them out of the basement and happy to have the $12. Now to find some more crud to declutter--especially if it brings in some cash.

Some In, but More Out

July 27th, 2016 at 10:24 pm

We started out the day with some more vet spending. The round of vaccinations, heart worm treatment, etc ran a cool $225. I came home to a $200 rebate from our health insurance for our CSA membership which just made it into the checking before we headed to the graveyard of no-spending: Target. DD needed a new phone, and we slightly upgraded her current pre-paid phone. It's mostly from her birthday cash, and she's v excited. As current phones go, it was cheap--well under $100. I'm a bit shocked at how many of her friends have $500 phones. But she understands our attitude towards things like that, and never complains.
While there, we also bought the graphing calculator required by her school which was on sale for $89.

On the way home we stopped at grocery as it's double coupon day, and I needed a few things for dinner. Our local grocery chain has been purchased by Kroger, and it appears they're eliminating all their own brand organics. I was WAY too excited to find most of those items tucked away around the store for 75% off. Oh my word, I got $4 granola for 75 cents, cans of chili beans for 35 cents, organic applesauce for 75 cents--it was pure delight. I loaded up the cart. We checked all the expiration dates and bought a few extra things for food shelf donations. We spend $65 and the register tape (never completely fair) said we saved $98.

It's been an interesting day; I'm sure enjoying having DD home. We spent part of the evening watching the convention and the rest reading her required book for Honors English in the fall.

All the Low-Hanging Fruit

June 25th, 2016 at 12:21 pm

My scavenging has paid off, but I'd dearly like to find another $500, so the scavenging will continue. Except for a massive five-item grocery list, everything this week will be from the cupboard or freezer. Maybe I can do this in $25 increments and get some decluttering done at the same time.

My daughter learned a valuable lesson yesterday at Starbucks with some friends. Her drink didn't come and in her adolescent shyness, she was a bit scared to speak up--something she never is around here. but she texted me (isn't this odd?), and I gave her a script of what to say to the cashier. She got her drink, a free cookie, and a $5 gift card. Lesson learned; speak up for yourself.

Spending Spending Spending

May 24th, 2016 at 05:44 pm

In stark contrast to last week, this has been both an expensive and a sad week. We lost my father-in-law on Friday, and we're all dealing with it. The fuel pump went on my husband's car on Friday morning. My daughter was confirmed on Saturday so that was happy, but also a bit expensive with a new dress, dinners, and a gift. So, all these bits of life have added up to lots of spending. Although we'd all like to fly to the UK for the funeral, that's probably not practical. After hours of searching I've found my DH a flight for $1250 through BA. But he'll need to take a week off work, so that will all add up. The fuel pump was $500, and yes, the French camp payment is rapidly approaching. My daughter's outgrown all her summer shoes, I spent $150 at Costco on various necessities, and we had a tree taken down for $900. I think I'd better stop adding it up as it's making me a bit ill.

Cheap Weekend

May 16th, 2016 at 08:16 am

One way to have a cheap weekend? Tackle house tasks you've been putting off? My Dh is done with his spring class, so he's now available for many chores. He's started cleaning the basement, I spent some time dejunking various spots and we had a fabulous time yesterday digging out creeping bell flower. If you want to know exactly how fun that was, google it.

Our big evening out consisted of $5 tickets to DD's school musical. She ran the stage crew. We have several more evenings of that kind of fun ahead of us as the band concert and spring sing are happening soon. And there's plenty more garden work to keep us busy--despite the SNOW flurries we saw Saturday.

We've been getting by remarkably well on freezer and cupboard stores with just a few trips for milk and fruit and veg. Our Meatless Monday menu looks like it'll be a Southwestern bowl burrito.

Happy weeks to you all!

More Montreal Planning

May 9th, 2016 at 11:21 am

My BFF has booked her airfare to Montreal with ai rmiles. We don't have enough, so I guess I'm going to have to bite the bullet and pay mine. But we did find an airbnb that is cheaper than the hotel, has good reviews, and lots of space. This will be our first time in airbnb, and I'm sort of glad we're doing it together. Between the shared expense of that, I hope now that it can come in with airfare under $850.

Among other considerations are DD's French camp arrangements. I've told her friend's mom that I'd drive up there, and she said she'd pick them up. This is a long drive--maybe between 9 and 10 hours. But the thing is they have a program on the final morning, and I'd like to see it. But it means 20 hours total driving and at least one overnight motel. And I hate to drive that far by myself. DH would happily come, but he'd have to take a day off work, meaning about $500 in lost wages. I think I'll get over my desire to see the program, three tanks of gas, a motel stay and several meals out. Gees, when I add it up it's pretty nasty. Let's save that money to camp next year or college.

We had a nice Mother's day brunch yesterday--simple but fun-at a local place. I dug up the raised beds, seeded some chard and radishes, and look forward to the bounty. Over the weekend I sold some clutter on FB too.

Summer Planning

May 6th, 2016 at 07:53 am

I spent a good chunk of yesterday planning a friend's "milestone" birthday. She lives in Minneapolis, so I'll drive up there in June. With my BFF, we got the invitations e-mailed, the menu sorted, and I have a gift already--happily from my overflowing gift closet.

I also went through photos trying to figure out how to incorporate them into the party. We're just doing some potted annuals dressed up with raffia and candles in mason jars for decorations--both inexpensive reusable items. Beside the gas to get there, I plan on spending about $75-100 on throwing the party. It's at her house so I'll stay with her.

The more expensive item yesterday was paying the deposit for DD's French camp. I charged $300, but we still have (ugh) $1685 to go. I'm driving both her and her friend to Northern MN, so that also will have to be budgeted for.

And then there's Montreal. I'm hoping to slide in with airfare and shared hotel under $1000. The meals will be extra, but most of the hotels provide breakfast. We're also very good at buying and bringing snacks and water.

Good thing that except for the French camp deposit I only spent $1.75 yesterday on a gallon of milk.

Busy Life, Quiet Blog

April 9th, 2016 at 04:45 am

So, it's been still a very busy and very fun time here in Fantasyland. DH and DD were here for Easter week, and we had loads of fun. I talked DH into spending the bulk of the week in his hometown to max out his time with his 90-year-old dad, and DD and I had a grand time in London--walking everywhere. She requested a trip to Forbidden Planet, a couple of fun walks, a trip to Kew, and she got to sit in on my increasingly raucous classes (spring fever!). We went up to the 35th floor of a London skyscraper for breakfast, saw a stately home (for free!) and rode the bus all over. We ended this trip by meeting friends who traveled to Normandy with us via the overnight ferry.

We got a room on the ferry both ways and spent two jam-packed days in Bayeux, Caen, Arromanches, and the D-Day landing sites and museums. We splurged a bit on a tour guide, but divided it between us, and agreed it was well worth it for all we learned. We saw the Bayueux tapestry, the cathedral, had a gorgeous hotel, and just plain enjoyed ourselves. DD spoke French to the waiters and was very pleased she was understood. Very fun for all of us.

Yesterday I went on the student trip to Brighton which was also fabulous. I'll close with a photo from Omaha Beach and count on your support when I'm back to real life in a week. And snow. And taxes.

Moments of Peace

December 2nd, 2015 at 05:56 pm

I have been scrambling hard at work, and there's plenty to do around here. But after a lovely class session earmarked as "Drop In and Work on Your Projects" complete with some jazz playing in the background, I walked to the car amidst a gorgeous light snowfall. It was really lovely and made me determined to find many more such moments in the coming weeks.

I again spent nothing today. We had a simple supper of CSA vegetable soup and grilled cheese sandwiches with ham and pineapple on them. It was delicious--I'm definitely doing the ham and pineapple grill again.

Our daughter and I went to the ortho for an initial consult today. Are all the orthos now so freakily upbeat and happy? We had to shake hands with a dozen people there, look at all the jazzy colors for her braces, and watch a very strange film on the ortho practice with bad rock and roll soundtrack. I guess it's better than the dread I felt going as a teen, but I thought it was way over the top. The price? About what I had planned, but still unpleasant.

Balancing Act

November 30th, 2015 at 11:27 am

I've been trying to balance minimal household chores, cooking, and family time with the mountain of grading that is staring at me. Despite some frustrations, it's going pretty well.

We spent some time over the holiday discussing whether we could afford French camp for DD again this year. Those numbers and our weakening water heater has brought on another round of belt tightening. Oh, and there's the plane tickets to the UK for my father-in law's 90th. I've reset the frugal daily spending, making an impromptu dinner at home after Saturday's post-holiday driving, parked in the free zone enabling a long walk to class today, and brought my own coffee. If I can make that work for the next few weeks, we'll call the water heater fund started. Maybe Swagbucks can kick in $100.

It's all about the balance.

September Song

September 1st, 2015 at 10:21 am

September is always bittersweet for me--goodbye summer, hello schedule. But DD was up and out the door on time this morning-although no sign of the school bus. The first couple weeks are always iffy with the bus.

And I'm at the university today copying, then home to try to create some order. I do plan on a stop at Home Depot for more spray paint and a tack cloth, but not much more.

And the paycheck countdown begins! I should get some cash from my capstone reads today, but another month before a real paycheck.

I'm hoping for a leaner month!

Feeling Very Off-Track

August 16th, 2015 at 08:19 am

I've been feeling very off-track lately. It seems like I'm not getting much done and am behind in housework and self care too. The house needs a solid pick-up, and I find a very full fridge and freezer hard to deal with. I think I officially have August-itis.

Causes? Uncertainty about DH's job (always and again), impending semester with lots to do, August-afflicted child who sleeps too late and hates the heat, travel hangover, delays in bathroom remodel bids, massive canning days that put off everything else, horrible edits and capstone projects that frustrate me, too many social obligations. I feel stuck.

Plan? Tomorrow (heat and aforementioned social obligation today) must be devoted to catching up. I may have to build in a reward to the child for helping me. Maybe even build in a reward for myself.

It's time to get financially back on track too. Back-to-school shopping was expensive as child now requires adult sizes. Yesterday I spent (ouch)$250 on jeans, pants, and shoes for her. The only upside now is if she outgrows those three pairs of shoes, I can wear them.

Tomorrow demands a list. Getting on that today. Wish me luck to get unstuck.

Checking Things Off the List

July 9th, 2015 at 09:43 am

I had my London de-brief meeting yesterday, and they've asked me to do the program again. I'm undecided, but leaning that way. Lots of things to discuss with the family first.

My DD is still at French camp, and I'm missing her a lot. She's my partner in crime in the summer. But I'm getting a lot done. On the way home from yesterday's meeting I dropped a big bag at Goodwill. Then I stopped to deposit checks from a friend and for the root canal reimbursement. For the life of me I can't figure out what and how they're paying. It seems the endodontist has received half the amount, and I keep getting tiny check for other portions of it. I'll wait until next week for the endo to reimburse me, but I'm not sure what else they're actually paying me for. Honestly, it's like putting tiny shards of tile together to see what kind of sculpture they form.

I've been dragging my feet on closing my Wells Fargo checking. It means moving my paycheck direct deposit and my IRA direct debit, but I moved the direct debit a while back, and since I don't get paid again until October, it seemed like the ideal time. I figured it might take 15 minutes but 90(!!) minutes later, they finished it up, and I walked out with another check to deposit in our joint checking. Check that one off. Now to fix a few other direct debits.

I also need to spend some time on the phone setting up dental and doctor appointments. And some more decluttering--and a long walk. I've also blocked off a couple hours to write next fall's teaching materials.

Our CSA box had turnips this week. Anyone have fabulous (stop laughing) turnip recipes they'd like to share?

Road Weary

July 7th, 2015 at 09:57 pm

I am home again after driving 1200+ miles to take DD and her friend to French camp. The trip taught me a few things including that my DD is pretty low maintenance. Her friend is not. My DD is used to our rules about food, stopping, buying junk, etc, and it was interesting to see their differences.

We spent $100 on Sunday's hotel, had a lovely dinner with some of my Minnesota friends at a place where kids eat free on Sundays. Again, my daughter was a star. Free breakfast the next morning saved us some cash as did the car snacks in lieu of lunch. I stayed with friends on the way back who made me an excellent dinner. So gas, hotel, and some road food was all that I spent--and I even managed to stay out of the outlet stores.

It's very quiet in the house without the kid around. I hope she's having a grand adventure.

Bleah

June 24th, 2015 at 10:22 pm

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?


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