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Incidents and Thoughts

September 13th, 2017 at 02:35 am

Mondays are my long days with my regular classes, a short trip home for food and to check in with DD, then off to my adjunct job. In the best of all possible worlds, I wouldn't teach there, but it's a nice steady source of work, and as I've said before, I like the different demographic. But tonight was a mess. A former student walked into the computer lab and started cussing and threatening her former instructor for giving her a C in his class last term. My classroom is across the hall, but she was VERY loud, and I'm sure half the building heard her.
I have to admit there have been times over the years there when I've been concerned about safety. Long-time readers may remember a few years ago they had a string of issues with people roaming the halls, and one breaking into a student's car. The evening tutor is an old friend from my regular university, and he popped in to tell me they'd called security as the student was still out in the hall screaming and cussing. After about 15 minutes, she disappeared. My class wanted to run out there and see what was happening, but I convinced them that gawking would just make it worse, and I was concerned for everyone's well being. But no sign of security. Half an hour later the student reappeared and started it all over again. This time I popped my head out the door, and discovered, of all horrible things, that she had a small child with her--a little boy about 4 who was witnessing this volcano of abuse coming from his mom. Honestly, it was all I could do to stay put, but I worried that if I got in the middle of it, she might become angrier. Still no security. After 10 minutes or so, she left again. Needless to say, we didn't have the most productive class, and I've really beendissatisfied with the institutional response. They contacted me this morning , and I expressed my concerns. Their response? The student needed to exercise more self-control. What about everyone else in the building? Where was security? I have some big strapping ex-Marines in my class, but no-one is a match if she would have a weapon. Rethinking my future there very seriously.

Just Food

September 10th, 2017 at 04:55 am

That's all I'm spending on is food, and not much on that. The CSA veggies are plentiful and seem to feed us continually. Corn on the cob, sliced tomatoes, coleslaw, roasted carrots tonight with a bit of chicken. I made some banana bread with a couple of aging counter top dwellers

We're still in strict budget mode, and will likely be that way for a while. I'm trying to figure out the best and cheapest way for us to get from our house to my aunt's 100th birthday party in Fargo, ND. The airfares are not pretty, the train runs at awful times, and the drive seems very long. I think we need a Star Trek beam up or some floo powder.

I've been out of sorts for no real reason except money. DH has been reluctant to transfer money for his grad school tuition from his British account, and I'm feeling like I'm juggling everything to manage here. We need to work it out. We never argue about money, but this is bothering me a lot.

In slightly more upbeat news, I got a notification from Delta Dental that I never cashed a check they sent FIVE years ago. They'd like to send me a new one--hooray! It's only $50, but heck, I'll happily take it.

I think part of my mood is the complete turmoil the house is in because of the bathroom remodel. We seem to have things everywhere. Maybe I'll retrieve another plastic bin and fill it up with the bathroom items that didn't fit in the previous two.

Onward--let's face these things.

Two Fun Days

September 1st, 2017 at 01:33 am

Yesterday one of my London friends was visiting her parents in Chicago, so we met for lunch at a nearby outlet mall. I haven't been to an outlet mall in years, but she had shopping to do, and brought her mom. We had a delightful lunch, I really enjoyed her mother, and her dear mother bought lunch! Meaning to spend nothing, I did end up buying a cute gray and white striped shirt at the Gap outlet. I had an additional 15% off so it was only $18. Not strictly necessary, but it's nice to have one or two new things to start a new season, yes? I also had a coupon for the Ghiradelli outlet and got a small bag to add a daily treat to DD's school lunches. It was fun to ramble around the mall's shops a bit. I spent time in the Le Creuset and Company Store, but resisted.

Today was even more fun. DD and I spent hours at a nature center in a town about 45 minutes away. We saw lots of animals, got to feed some, and I sort of fell in love with a porcupine. Beautiful day in a beautiful forest setting and a nice way to wind up our summer. We'd heard about a place to pick peaches--which I didn't think was possible in Wisconsin--so then headed out there to pick some peaches. It was lots of fun. Between those peaches and our CSA veggies, we have enough food for a week. Or two. More fun awaits tomorrow. It seems like a good way to end the summer.

Raining and Pouring Into the Budget Sinkhole

August 26th, 2017 at 03:34 am

What a week--this morning I got an e-mail from the capstone project coordinator that after a dozen years of evaluating these projects, the university has decided to eliminate the post on all their campuses. It's not a huge amount of money, maybe $150-200 a month, but this last term is it. Not sure what this will mean for my big goal since that was a major source of funding for it. I'm going to have to figure a few more things out, but I keep reminding myself it's only money.

Maybe Uber-Expensive Month?

July 24th, 2017 at 09:01 pm

I just paid the down payment on the bathroom remodel and signed the contract. Yeesh--$8000. And went out to breakfast with a friend, bought various odds and ends for the UK trip, paid DD's $178 school fees, and bought a street map of Paris. All good, most necessary (not the breakfast, but it was delicious). DH and I had a long chat last night about trimming expenses in the UK. We're hoping to eat two meals a day either at the flats or picnic-style. I'm a cheap-o Londoner, so I'll put my grocery store skills to the test. I found all my British shopper cards, packed some reusable grocery bags and a tiny cool bag. My DH will carry anything in his backpack; it doesn't bother him at all while I HATE hauling stuff around. I have to remember some empty water bottles.
Anything frugal today? Free deodorant and toothpaste with various CVS offers and almost free pens at Walgreen's. Still eating through the fridge. Two days!

New Book: The Financial Diaries

July 23rd, 2017 at 04:24 am

I heard this broadcast on our university radio station this afternoon. I thought it was well worth a listen: http://wuwm.com/post/financial-diaries-profiles-budgeting-struggles-working-families#stream/0

The Shock! A NSD Followed by a Mini-Rant

July 13th, 2017 at 04:51 am

Unbelievably, I spent nothing today. I cleaned the house a bit, weeded the front paths, interviewed a dog sitter, used lots of fridge contents, and did a textbook review.

A number of financial things occurred that are worth thinking through. I spent 90 minutes or so with my prospective dog sitter for our UK trip. She's a former London student, 24, recently graduated, and I trust her. Despite my offer to pay her $25/day for house/dog sitting, she wanted nothing. I can't do that; it's silly and she needs the cash. But she absolutely refused the $400 it should cost, and we came to terms at $250, so that's a nice savings. I know she likes Starbucks and qdoba, so maybe I'll also get her a gift card. The house cleaning reminded me yet again of how much we need a bathroom remodel. Feel free to tell me to stop fretting about this and do the darn thing. Even sparkling clean, it's a horror of 1960 pink beige tile, and there's nothing remotely retro cool about it. Spending the cash makes me queasy, but I have payback plans. And we have the cash.

The textbook review took less time than I thought. The slightly disappointing news is that they pay again with a Tango gift card. I finally used up the other Tango gift card at Target.com with the dehumidifer and iron, and Target.com is really the best place to spend it. So I'll be doing some more Target grocery shopping online come fall. I miss the Redcard 5% savings, but I guess it has to be done.

Now for the rant: I called both Chase and Citi to put a travel alert on our credit cards for our UK trip. Although I'm not a fan of the top management of either of these companies, Chase's credit card services are nothing short of wonderful. You always get a person, not a computer or roboscreener. They're always pleasant, and it's always a nice interchange.

Citi? UGH. I hate them. First, a roboscreener with horrible voice recognition. When I said we were going to the UK, it heard Ukraine. I attempted three or four corrections to no avail, finally shouting at it, and asking for a person. Yes, it was as stupid as it sounds. All I need is an international scam artist with my Citi card in the Ukraine. My DD was hysterically laughing through this transaction, and it got no better when I finally got a human. Despite my insistence that I only wanted to file a travel alert, she tried to sell me half a dozen products. I know they have to do this, so I tried to be as pleasant as possible to her, but grrr--I HATE Citi. It's always that way. I'll dump them when we get back from the UK(raine). End of rant. Onward.

About to Throw in the UF Towel for the Month

July 11th, 2017 at 09:34 pm

Sunday our basement dehumidfier failed. From my google of the serial number, it appears to be 37-years-old and was here when we bought the house. We tried a bunch of fixes, but it was a goner. Also a goner was the $179 paid for a new one.

And then DD's birthday--not lavish, just an ice cream cake and pizzas for her party. And I may've bought some patio lights at Amazon today for Friday's party. And we took her out to dinner last night and there were a few books and some cash.

And I bought some theatre tickets for London, and had a bra fitting, and bought an expensive bra there. I could go on, but it's just the wrong month for me to be UF. My next best shot is October or November. Better to be just sensible, not frustrated, and have fun.

An NSD Here

July 2nd, 2017 at 11:03 pm

It's been a lovely Sunday at the lake--lazy and full of sun. We went on a pontoon boat ride, played cards, ate marvelous leftovers. Tomorrow I'm taking the girls into town, so there will be some spending, but it's a cheap vacation when you're staying with relatives and cooking your own food.

Modified UFM for Me

July 2nd, 2017 at 04:46 am

Yep, I can only do a modified this month--I'm at my brother's in MN, and have committed to a few things here as well as DD's birthday later in the month. But we will "eat the fridge" and the pantry--and eat ALL the food. I'll be happy if I can hit 15/31 days as we leave for the UK at the end of the month.

In other good news, I got an offer for a textbook review for $300, and am still (ha!) using the Target gift cards from the last one. Today I ordered a new iron to replace the one I dropped last week and a few things for DD's birthday from Target with no cash outlay. But I did spend $30 on minigolf and dilly bars for DD, her friend, and my brother and sister-in-law.

I also cashed out $25 in SB which will go into the 100K Fund.

Almost NS Day

June 12th, 2017 at 02:01 pm

I almost got through the day with no spending, but then buckled down to reserve something for our last two days in the UK. We want to be near friends in Windsor so booked something in Maidenhead/Taplow. It has been a challenge to find something private enough for the four of us under $200/night. We had a lazy day; I watered the garden, did some laundry, and we watched the Tonys and read. I also made my first three Mason jar salads for lunch and cooked a whole chicken in the crockpot to keep the house cool. We'll see how the salad lunches go!

MonkeyMama--my next post is for you!

More Spending

May 15th, 2017 at 05:19 pm

And the spending just continues. I think it started a week ago when I got a haircut. My local salon had a deal where you buy a $100 gift card and get an additional $20 added on to it. It's my regular spot, so there went that $100 on top of the haircut I'd already paid for. Then there were the sheets on Friday. Then there was $150 at Costco. Yesterday we had a lovely Mother's Day brunch. Some of this was a bit excessive, but yikes, it seems like a lot right now. I was hoping for a NS day today, but DD really needs some shorts and honestly, a good amount of new clothes. She's grown three inches in the last year, and not much fits.

Small economies (very small in retrospect) include taking home food from the dept picnic on Saturday, laundry on the line today, and a few small rebate checks. UK planning continues, and we've managed to wangle an invitation for two nights with friends outside Cambridge.

I'm determined to get my grades completely ready today, although I must plan my evening adjunct class too. I SO want to turn them in before I head to Door County with BFF on Wednesday (where I'll just spend more.) Sigh.

Plans are Being Made: Advice Needed

May 7th, 2017 at 02:58 am

So, we're off to the UK again this summer. DH needs to help clear up his parents' house, and it looks like DD's BFF will be joining us. I've just booked a cottage via airbnb, and we'll spend another week between London and someplace else.

I'm trying to figure out what to do about costs and could use your sage advice. The BFF's parents will pay airfare, but the usual cottage/car costs should be all ours. Should I just tell her parents to figure money for meals out? We may end up with two hotel rooms in London, and she'll need cash for tourist-y things. Any advice?

I will also have them buy travel insurance, and I guess we'll get a notarized letter etc from her parents authorizing travel.

Eight Days

May 4th, 2017 at 12:55 am

Eight days and 8000 papers from now to the end of classes. I don't have much other news. I think starting a diet during these last stress-filled weeks of the semester was probably a bad idea. But we're still working at it.

I deposited $1000 (rounding up) from my adjunct job into my 100K UK House goal and made a whopping 68 cents interest on it. You can see the totals in the sidebar.

I'm very eager to get started on house projects, go for a walk, read a book, eat down the freezer again. But first--back to the papers.

My Magic Number is 5

April 26th, 2017 at 01:03 am

No, not the lottery, but that's how many sessions of each of my classes I have left. Circle the date in red: May 11! I cannot remember when I've been so happy to have a semester over. I think it's the combination of being here vs London this spring, my brand-new class, and the ongoing budget cuts.

I've had a fun week. I drove with colleagues to a small river town on the MN/WI border called LaCrosse to give a presentation at a teaching symposium. It's a pretty town with the beautiful Mississippi bluffs. They all went out for dinner after our session on Thursday, but I ate the free lunch and was upgraded to the fancy level at the hotel where I had a free glass of wine and appetizers. I stayed in all night and graded papers. Friday brought free breakfast, lunch at the conference, and my only food spending--a nice dinner at a beautiful supper club on the river bluffs. It was fun to be with my buddies, though none of them would be my ideal traveling companions. And we always talk too much about work. I did buy a pretty scarf and some earrings at a local shop.

My adjunct class ended last night with hugs all around. What a nice group of women. And I spent hours today evaluating capstone projects so that'll add some $$$ to the bank account in June. The next adjunct session starts in two weeks.

I've also cashed $50 out of Swagbucks which will go into my 100K goal. And I found a penny in the parking lot. Today's biggest find was a very cute outdoor wrought iron plant holder marked "Free" curbside on the way home. I love it! It's missing one terra cotta pot but is sturdy and fabulous.

Spendy Friday Leads to Frugal Weekend

April 3rd, 2017 at 07:09 pm

Friday DD and her BF went with me to Kohler to the famous bathroom design center there. Trip Advisor described it as "the Disneyworld of Plumbing." I have to admit, we had a very good time. Imagine 14-15-year old girls turning on all the taps, envisioning themselves in the model rooms, critiquing everything from sinks to soaking tubs--and blabbing a lot about their ideal homes. Since DD went to the movies with her BF's family on Thursday, I treated her to lunch and the $12 lunch special was augmented quite a bit by tiramisu and cannolis as well as wine for me. But we really enjoyed the Kohler art center and spending a goofy day together.

Spending continued as my office mate and another colleague went for wine and apps later--and missed the happy hour specials.

Something had to give amidst the riotous food spending so I told DH we were eating from the freezer and pantry and not going shopping over the weekend. He was less than enthusiastic, but I had a pouch of that Rick Bayless Frontera simmer sauce which made a lovely dinner over chicken on Saturday night with frozen veg, and plenty of beans and cheese for a huge pan of enchiladas with some leftovers for lunches.

Frugality wasn't the only reason I didn't go shopping; I spent hours and hours on a dissertation I'm editing. Yikes, what a mess. Great topic but not fabulous writing and a tremendous lack of knowledge on APA citation. Untangling bad citation in scholarly work is a nasty job, and I'm afraid this will cost her more than she bargained for. The writer wants it ready to submit to her advisor by Friday. She has to look over the parts I sent, then I'll come back to it on Tuesday or Wednesday. And off to tonight's lit class in a couple hours. I need another spring break!

Haircut!

March 29th, 2017 at 01:55 am

I bought 50 cents worth of coffee last night to get me through my evening class, but that was the total for yesterday. Today I had a haircut and bought three loaves of discounted bread at the local coffee shop. They always have day-old lovely loaves for $2.79. We pop them in the freezer and think they're worth the cash. The fresh loaves are $5.
I forgot my gift card for the haircut, but will just use it next time. Not much other news. Seven weeks left of the term!

Long Night's Journey Into Day

March 24th, 2017 at 09:17 pm

(Sorry, Eugene O'Neill for that title) Our dear dog is home, but obviously very tired and in some pain. I slept (well, not much) on the floor with her last night, and she really didn't want to lie down. Lots of shaking, pacing--all the pain signs. DD is also home with a cold, so I have a sick-ish kid, a pain-riddled dog, and a very tired me. DH is happily at work.

I've made some soup, given the dog pain pills and a small amount of meat, and am grading papers and trying to compose a grant proposal. The surgery etc was $902. When I estimated our income needs in retirement I should have thrown in a lot more for pet necessities, I can see that now. I'm not sure we'll always have a dog, but I would like one most of the time.

I'd also like another week off school, but that's not going to happen, so I'd better finish this pile up. And do some forward planning for classes.

I just got next year's tentative schedule for my adjunct evening classes. It's a lot more composition and less literature than I'd like, but it's a nice 5/6 terms, so I'm going to take them. It's going to be a busy weekend, and I'm handing off dog watching to DH to finish things up.

Snow Night

March 14th, 2017 at 03:47 am

No snow day at my university this morning, and the drive was pretty darn bad. It usually takes me 15 minutes, but it was about double this morning. It was still snowing like crazy when I got there, so I decided to park in the ramp for the first time this year. It was the right decision--so snowy. Only about half my students came in. I left at noon and spun out on a side street on the way home. Luckily the guy behind me was able to avoid me, and somehow I managed to steer into the skid, so all was well--although pretty scary.

By 2pm, my evening class was cancelled, and I must say I did a happy dance. The thought of a long slog in heavy snow seemed awful. Multi-car accidents all over town. So I got a bonus night off, finished writing my midterms, and felt like I won a prize.

My only spending today was the parking ramp--a good thing since we've had so many car repairs and other expenses.

The other good news for the day is that unemployment approved my husband's claims that since he;d accepted another job it was valid to turn down work. I'll be looking for that cash soon.

Ugh--Lots of Spending

March 10th, 2017 at 08:14 pm

Between a trip to the emergency vet last Sunday night and a tire replacement and brake repair to my DH's detestable car, it's been an expensive week.

The vet visit also means the dog needs surgical removal of a lipoma that has turned bad. There are a few cancerous cells in it, and last weekend it developed a cyst which burst, caused an infection and other issues. So--that'll mean another $1000 toward the end of the month.

Because he pays zero attention to these things, DH has no idea when he gets paid. His first week there has gone well, though he dearly misses the free lunches at his old job. He bought lunch the first day, but was shocked to spend $5 for a mediocre salad. Can you tell he has not bought lunch for 15 years?

To remedy this cost, he is bringing his lunch. Before I started my new class on Monday night, I made a big pot of soup from an easy mix in the cupboard. He has been eating that with a sandwich and some fruit all week. We'll experiment with some new ideas when my spring break begins in SEVEN days.

Students keep asking where I'm going for break--it appears I'm going to the veterinarian. But I'm secretly plotting a drive to Minneapolis to spend a long weekend with my girlfriends before all this starts.

My new class did indeed start on Monday night. It's Women and Literature--and I have 13 women and 4 guys.
Glad for the work, but not the extra load right now.


The air compressor we bought with my Target gift card balance has now broken, so that will have to be returned over the weekend as will a pair of shoes DD wanted but which are way too big. Oh, and I have Warby Parker frames to return.

I've also scheduled a one-on-one with the financial rep from my 403b account over spring break. All this work is making me want to do more retirement planning.
Lots more happening, but I'll update later today or tomorrow.

Holding Pattern

February 23rd, 2017 at 10:11 pm

That's how I feel: we're in a holding pattern until DH starts work on March 6, and gets paid. There are plenty of other things for me to do--lots of work, lots of decluttering and treadmill time I should be considering, but we're just holding on for now. And we're in that tail-end of winter period where it's just waiting. The false spring is over, and we're back to gray.

I do have lots of activities going on this weekend--a work ceremony tomorrow, student meetings, lots of grading, a retirement party for a former colleague. I wonder if I didn't often fill these sorts of gaps with a little recreational shopping or travel and that's why I feel sort of in stasis?

My Brit friend who has gone to Nice with me a couple times is headed there this week with her cousins. I'm staying put here in Cheeseland. I see big pots of potato soup and chili in my near future.

DH's car repair showed up on his credit card, but it's not due for a month, so I won't have to transfer cash. I don't see anything in his orientation material about when they start paying him, but I'm hoping it's within two weeks of starting. I cashed another $25 out of Swagbucks, as I've been running those darn videos as I grade papers. Spending today was $8.49. The university won't spend any cash on our awards ceremony tomorrow, so I volunteered to bring a flat of bottled water. It was $2, but I had to buy a few other things to get that deal--all things we needed like cereal and pasta sauce and all cheap.

Maybe an NSD?

February 22nd, 2017 at 09:48 pm

It's a gorgeous day here, but I spent most of it inside my office and in the classroom. Nothing like 70 degrees in February to keep attendance down.

But I came armed--coffee in a travel mug this morning, quiche and strawberries in my lunch bag and plenty of tea in the office.

I hung around so I could talk with a nurse practitioner about editing her capstone project. She was lovely, it sounds like an interesting project, and we negotiated a lower rate than I usually charge since it sounds like an easy project. She hope to get half of it to me by spring break. It won't be a lot of cash, but we are trying to build a solid relationship with the nursing school, so this may also help me get to know some of them better.

On the way home I deposited my flu shot reimbursement and DD's babysitting money. Wednesday is our spaghetti night, so it's been an easy day with only one problem with a student who seems to appear and disappear all the time. We'll see if he can straighten himself out. Off to write tomorrow's exam.

A Slight Complication

February 22nd, 2017 at 12:43 am

Against my advice, DH decided to tell the unemployment folks he turned down work. The fact that he turned down and accepted work on the same day doesn't seem to matter to them, so they're holding his unemployment payments until it goes to some sort of committee. Now it will be at least a month until he gets any unemployment, but if they rule in his favor, he'll get the back payments.

So we remain on a tight budget. I could move money from savings, but I'm determined to hold tight until his first paycheck. That should be mid-March. I get paid in another week, and my long overdue flu shot reimbursement arrived today. The insurance company still owes us for two more. I bought dog food today and filled up the gas tank totaling about $48. I have noticed how little day-to-day spending we've done. Another $20 on groceries, a couple of takeaways, regular coffee (even the cheap stuff) add up to maybe $500 or so a month. And I've done NO unnecessary clothes shopping, no house purchases except for DD'2 $10 FB desk chair.

I have three recommendation letters to write tonight for students. I wish them well, but I hope the job-hunting and recommendation season ends soon. I could spend hours weekly on these.

DH had lunch with a former colleague today; an expense but good for networking. Over 100 more people at his old firm got laid off today alone, including the woman who laid him off.

Finally Out of the House

February 18th, 2017 at 06:47 am

So, I left the house for the first time since the death cold grabbed me on Tuesday. I went to a meeting at school, stopped for a cheap frozen turkey breast and a loaf of bread and came back home. Total spending $11.42. It was a brown-bag meeting so I packed a lunch, made coffee in the office, and managed to take two of the spare bagels left from the earlier meeting home.

We also gave DD $40 for making the dean's list at school. She's heading off to an anime convention tomorrow with friends. My other budget triumph was a batch of very good stuffed shells made with the $1 sale cottage cheese and some leftover shopped spinach. I made enough for leftovers, but alas, we ate them all.

Our Blu-Ray player been having issues finding our wireless network lately. We've tried lots of tips, but while the Blu-Ray itself works, the receiver wasn't, so DH hooked up the free Roku we got as a public TV bonus gift. Works like a charm now, so we finished watching the pretty good-Aussie series, "The Code." We only made it through the first season, but I liked it.

Lots of grading yet to do, and a fair amount of cooking and errands tomorrow. Anyone have Presidents' Day off? Not me!

Hey Robin?

February 16th, 2017 at 02:11 am

We haven't heard from you for a week or so. You ok?

Well, Let's Call It Flux.

February 14th, 2017 at 08:29 pm

Just as DH wound things up last night and we both sat around our precious kleenex boxes whining about our colds, he opened his e-mail to yet another job offer.

We spent some time discussing it then and some more time in the morning. Pluses? It's closer to home saving him several hours a week in commute time. He likes the people, and they're eager to have him. They have a solid benefit package and it's not a contract; it's a "real" job.

Minuses? The other job would expand his skills more, is a bigger company with slightly higher pay. And he's committed to the other contract agency at least verbally.

The unknowns at the first offer trouble us. He doesn't want to get into the instability of another contract. Often the benefits offered by agencies in terms of salary and vacation disappear when full-time work is offered. They hired him without meeting him in person and he has no idea what it's like. But it is more money--enough to make us think a while.


We're still unsure. And I'm eating lots of chocolate to help my cold and my decision making. I'm sure it must help.

He's asked for a day to consider, but we'd like to tell the agency soon if he decides to turn them down.

Ugh--Lots of Spending

February 13th, 2017 at 08:38 pm

Today my DH took his car in to have a few things fixed. We planned on spending about $500, but things were worse than we thought, and by the time I got home from school, he had spent $1500 on it. I'm not sure that beater is worth $1500, but I guess he felt he needed to have a car ready to drive to work next week. This was not helped by the massive head colds we both have developed. I think we could have taken a couple days and bought a used car. We have the cash for it--but we both feel lousy and he just went ahead with it. He's trying to talk me into swapping cars with him. Uhmm- no. No. I am not a car person, but I picked my car out, care for it, saved for it, took on an additional class for it, and as much as we're partners he cannot have my car while I drive the huge monstrosity he wanted. Penny wise, pound foolish. Ugh.

Second ugh? Last night the dog came in from outside and began retching. This continued for a couple of hours in varying degrees of distress. By 11 p.m. we took her to the emergency vet where the symptoms magically disappeared. This morning she was considerably better with still an occasional coughing retching episode. I think she ate a burr and it's stuck. I pulled one out of her paw earlier. She's eating fine and acting mostly fine, and I'm hoping it will just subside. But the emergency vet is always a fine place to drop more cash. This of course contributed to our worsening colds with little sleep.

Sometimes the best thing for this sort of day is a hot bath and maybe a nap. DH is napping but I have class planning. And dinner. And maybe laundry. Glad i don't have a class tonight and hoping for an early night myself.

Job Offer!!

February 7th, 2017 at 11:24 pm

Well, it's not his dream job, and it's sort of a longish commute, especially for my public- transportation- loving DH, but it's a solid offer. The minute he hemmed and hawed, they raised their offer. It's a contract position at first, hopefully leading to a regular position in a few months. He's now contacted his other possibilities and told them he has an offer. They've given him three days to think it through. If the other closer jobs don't respond by then, he'll certainly take it.

He is not overjoyed about the commute, and we may have to consider another car sooner rather than later as his is quite the beater, has no a/c, and needs a new emergency brake. All of that is do-able, and I've already talked abut audio books for the commute. And we all know it's easier to get a job when you already have one.

I wish he was excited about it, but I think he's quietly happy. And if he can get settled into it now, he should be able to start a graduate class in the fall if there's something good in the evenings and online. The money is even slightly better than what he earned before which helps balance the longer commute.

I'm starting to feel a bit relieved, and eager to see how the next few days pan out.

Monday Monday

February 7th, 2017 at 01:21 am

Good classes today, but on the way to school I noticed my gas gauge appears stuck. I thought I had more than a quarter of a tank, but it read empty on the gauge--and the digital display.

After teaching I headed home--and voila--the gauge seems to be working again. But just in case, I filled the car, noted the mileage, and will track it in case it stops again. I also stopped at CVS for some 17 cent toothpaste. Yep, that's some fun.

More dire news from the university about demographics and enrollments. I think I'm ok, but the dip in the birthrate 18 years ago is not helping us. DH and I ate leftover taco dip on tortillas for lunch. It didn't look pretty, but it was tasty. We ate leftovers for dinner with a nice salad.

Best news--I got a haircut. And color. I was starting to look like, well, Wolfman Jack maybe? I have lots of hair and it needed attention.

DH's phone interview went well, and he has another tomorrow. We remain cautiously optimistic.

Spending out of pocket was 11.73 for toothpaste and gas. Haircut provided by gift card from last week.

Back in the 50s

February 6th, 2017 at 03:17 am

My grocery bill, that is--not the temperatures. The budget was not helped by my DH spending another $55 at the liquor store, but we were out of many things. He's starting to chafe at the restrictive budget a bit. I ran our numbers, and if we indeed put away enough for property taxes, DD's 529 and small contributions for both our IRAs, $200 month for groceries, and our other misc bills we have $300/month discretionary spending. That figure is without an adjunct income from me or DH's unemployment, so I guess we have a little wiggle room.

That said, I'm starting to fret a bit, but there's not much I can do except encourage on this end. I'm not ready to adjust my withholding or my pension contributions yet. I'm not sure that small economies are going to help me breathe a lot easier. I think we need a job offer. DH has another phone interview tomorrow.

I also think I to do a better job of self care. I've been having too many late nights, not enough exercise, and too many sweets. I have a haircut tomorrow, it's Monday, and I'm going to be better. Stamina is called for.


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