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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 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.
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.
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!
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!
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
We haven't heard from you for a week or so. You ok?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I'm still struggling with this cold and congestion. I'm mostly fine, but despite the neti pot, steam, lots of hot baths, Vicks, it keeps coming back. It seems to really be going around here, and it's making me drag a bit.
Today was another NSD. I'm SO happy I brought the small old electric kettle to work. On Mondays and Wednesdays my classes are back to back in the same building as my office. I had to leave the classroom for a bit as I was coughing a lot while they were working on a project, but between classes I could run upstairs, make a big mug of orange tea and rehydrate for the next class. My office mate was skeptical--she rolls her eyes sometimes at my frugality--but this morning she was making tea with it and has brought several boxes of various teas to the office.
I'll do January UFM budget totals tomorrow or Wednesday. I did get a check from my adjunct university for evaluating their capstone projects, so that'll be a nice boost to the account. DH has a luncheon interview tomorrow. We had cauliflower cheese for meatless Monday dinner, and I've made a cranberry apple crisp with some cranberries from the freezer. As I said, I think we'll continue uberfrugality (with some room for a few things) until DH gets a job. Maybe it's not uberfrugality then--just frugality?
One small worry. The dog yelped when I scratched her ears earlier and did the same to DD. I cleaned her ears with some peroxide, but worry she may have an ear infection. Some new snow has made it very pretty today--if still cold.
of Spring semester that is. Although the weather is mild-ish, it's very gray. I taught two classes today in a small room that is supposed to hold 28 students but had 22 chairs and not much room for more. Latecomers had to step over everyone else. It's not ideal, but it will do. Only one real issue--a student who I had to tell twice (really?) to put his laptop away. I hope that's the end of that because if it continues, I'll ask him to leave. Everyone else seems fine. Another first day tomorrow with two more.
DH had an interview this afternoon. He has a bad cold but pressed on which I think was a good idea. He's not sure how it went but he was there for 90 minutes which I think is a good sign. A different phone interview is scheduled for tomorrow.
DH and DD are both at church now. She's babysitting and he's at the small group. My spending today consisted of $12 for a new grade book. The university used to furnish them, but no more. I ordered it from Amazon using a gift card received at Christmas, so I spent nothing out of pocket. I also filled up the car for #27. We had =no shock here= leftovers for lunch and leftover turkey from yesterday's turkey breast for dinner.
I was thinking today that we may try to continue the uberfrugality until DH gets a job. I do need a haircut so that will have to be in the mix, but everything else can wait.
I finished The Underground Railroad which I indeed recommend even if it is harrowing. And we're continuing to watch Homeland. I feel really boring, but between DH's cold, plenty of odds and ends to do around here, and uberfrugality it seems more like stasis that anything. Thank goodness for the library.
My grocery bill, that is. I scoured the ads, gathered the paper coupons and clipped the e-coupons. I made the meal plan for the week, inventoried the fridge and the freezer, and came in at $36.61 Hooray! We have become VERY good at eating it all. Veggie burgers last night with the tail end of a bag of frozen fries, crudites and dip. We're finishing off the ginger cake too. Tonight was pork tenderloin with onion marmalade, rice pilaf and some lovely fresh green beans. Lunch is the rolling inventory of leftovers.
Other tasks today included running into the university to copy my course calendars and spending an hour dejunking and rearranging the office. I donated five older textbooks to the book donation box, re shelved others, and pitched more piles of papers. Our office is still a disgrace as the university lacks the cash for repainting it. We checked the records, and it hasn't been painted in 27 years. We have ugly water-stained ceiling tiles, but we are about # 9782 to have them replaced. Perhaps in the spring my office mate and I will repaint it ourselves. In the meantime, I'm trying to scrounge plants and hang some more artwork.
Very inspired today by the women's marches around the world. We are mighty.
DD and I used the $5 Thursday movie special for a January mood brightener. I loved La La Land--not sure it's for everyone, but I thought it was worth seeing on the big screen as the cinematography is spectacular. And we got free popcorn with the tickets which together with the water bottles from my bag made for a lovely evening. Maybe not technically uberfrugal, but cheaper than therapy.
Our planned trip to see the eagles feed has been postponed due to the horrible weather. It's been raining half the morning. I used our $5 bagel credit for 6 bagels--another deliberate mood lifter. And I narrowly escaped a stupid multi-car backup in the parking lot. The bagel shop is next door to Starbucks and a breakfast diner, and as I entered the lot six cars were all backing out simultaneously. I knew it wasn't going to end well, and indeed it didn't as unbelievably four of them collided. I'm glad I hung back, but there was lots of shouting in the parking lot.
So, my plan for the day has been changed to tidying the family room and office, doing laundry, and maybe some quiet reading time and a DVD or two.
In the interest of eating it all, I made cheap soup from bratwurst, potatoes, carrots, and some onion. I've used this recipe before as I usually have those pantry staples, but added a handful of leftover frozen chopped spinach from Wednesday's stuffed shells. Honestly, I would normally throw that single handful out, but it worked well in the soup. And there's still some for lunch today.
DH has an actual interview on Monday. I'll prep him over the weekend.
And still cabin-feverish. I had a fun day out for us all planned tomorrow driving west to see the eagles feed on the river. But now DH has a cold and I'm not sure that will happen.
I'm also sad--sad that for the first time in four years I am not bound for London on this third Thursday in January. I've heard from lots of my former students today, and we're all sad together. It doesn't bear thinking about and while it's probably for the best, it doesn't make me feel any better knowing that.
I am not happy either at the dire financial hardship of many of my friends. There's likely to be some serious downsizing at the university, and the bleak situation there coupled with politics, no London, no job for husband is making me blue.
I'm not a weepy person--at least not anymore--but I think I need a few days to myself to get my head back on straight. I just want to be quiet and maybe have some drinks with my BFs. If this continues, I may drive to MN one weekend soon and hang out.
But we remain uberly frugal. Yesterday the car tire needed a new valve, but it was our only spending and was $40. DD got another babysitting gig at church for next Monday, so she'll have some spending money soon. We ate leftovers for lunch and stuffed shells for dinner courtesy of the almost forgotten cottage cheese from the fridge and frozen spinach in the freezer. Maybe I'm a shark--I need to go forward.
Man, it's cold. Granted I grew up in Minnesota and -20 was a fairly common occurrence, but it feels cold here, and it's only -15 with the wind chill. I have several layers on and my warmest socks, but I do let the heat drop to 58 from 8 to 2 then it rises until bedtime.
I've spent much of the morning helping DH polish his resume and am now about to write him a cover letter. We have bean soup (LOTS of bean soup) and wild rice salad for lunch. The pantry clearance continues unabated.
I also signed my university contract and returned it. Yet on today's list is the insurance reimbursements, more work on my syllabi, and lots of work on my conference talk. I did manage to get out of Costco with just the milk and required smoke detectors since ours have both gone pop. But I splurged on a cup of $2 coffee with my Costco shopping buddy. I'm still under $30 in total spending since Sunday--even with the smoke detectors at $24.99. Grocery shopping is scheduled for tomorrow, and my target is $25 at the primary store (enough to activate the double coupons) and another $5-10 on the shop with the better produce. I might be able to delay that until next week.
Stay warm, folks!
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