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Pheww, Getting Back to Some Semblance of Order

September 8th, 2019 at 02:29 pm

Hey! I actually can cross off an item that's been on my goals list for years. Our painters have come and gone (with a chunk of cash), and we really love the look of the family room. It's an interesting room; it started life as an attached double garage which the previous owners transformed into a large family room with cedar wainscoting and a knotty pine ceiling and exposed beams.

It's always been the center of our family life but the berber carpet was awful and the wood was just too darn dark. So while we've left the beams their original wood, the ceiling and wainscoting are white and the walls are a sort of duck egg blue. We've moved most of the furniture back in and are re shelving books, attaching new switch plate covers and trying to decide which furniture and artwork will stay and what will go.

It looks so fresh. I'm so happy to have it done.

In other news, I edited a thesis early in the week and am awaiting payment. Classes are going full speed, and now the planning for spring scheduling begins. Tomorrow night DD and I are off to a class on writing college essays. So much happening so it's especially good to feel a bit more organized.

Back to School for All of Us

September 3rd, 2019 at 06:44 pm

Well, this is quite the day. My daughter started her senior year today, I tackled yet another set of classes, and my DH is at his evening history class with the cheery title" Genocide, Mass Murder, and Ethnic Cleansing."

Our family room painters came today and have now primed everything. We would paint ourselves, but it's a very high vaulted ceiling.

Lots to do this week. First weeks are SO busy.

Rainy Days and Mondays

August 26th, 2019 at 08:09 am

yes, it's raining and Monday, and all the semester meetings begin this week. Where the heck has the summer gone?

Well, a month was devoted to our French exchange student, a week recovering from dental surgery, and another month to (TMI ahead warning) my bout with cyclospora, lots of antibiotics, and more knowledge of my GI system than I ever wanted to have.

Last week I finally got my DH and DD on vacation to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons. Yes, we spent more than I would have liked--renting an extra motel room two nights as my DH's snoring was keeping us all up and cranky. But we really enjoyed the parks. What a gift to the nation and to the world. Thank you Teddy Roosevelt and all the wonderful park staff we met. Both of those parks were SO unlike our Midwest home, and we were overawed with the majesty of them.

Our new floor has been installed in the family room, but we're still sort of camping as our painter can't start until next week.

Lots of readying for school ahead. We need to plan effectively for best use of time and money.

A Summer Bug

July 29th, 2019 at 08:41 pm

or was it food poisoning, I'm not sure, but the last five days have been mostly attending to digestive matters. I'm still not right, but am better every day. I have not been out of the house since Thursday, so except for some upcoming travel reservations, have spent very little. And I don't doubt the grocery bill will drop since I haven't eaten much, skipping dinner every night. Today went better, and I made a double batch of the NYT summer minestrone, freezing one large container for a later dinner.

On the financial side, I've sold a half dozen more books, including my DD's ACT and SAT prep guides. Lots of things are lagging but that's the way of the world, I guess.

DD and I have a MN jaunt planned for Thursday, so hoping to be at full speed by then.

Sold A Few Things

July 25th, 2019 at 10:52 am

I'd been thinking about getting rid of some of my canning supplies. While I like making jam, I'm really not that interested in canning peaches or tomatoes any more. On Sunday someone was looking for jars on a FB list, so I sold a dozen. More can probably also follow.

Today another book left for a couple of bucks, and this morning someone else indicated they wanted to buy three more. Glad for the money, and also even happier to get rid of things. Tomorrow I'm going to do a Target return and take my daughter's unloved flute to the instrument store.

It's a quiet day though; I woke up not feeling well so will take it easy--try to get a bit of work done, but not much else.

Working Day

July 15th, 2019 at 08:53 pm

I needed to get some serious work done at the university today so spent the day there. I brought lunch so my only expense was coffee. I did sneak a little time looking at Amazon Prime deals but resisted. And we had a frugal dinner of chicken pitas with some tzatziki sauce and the last CSA cucumber. That and some bean salad made for a light meal of mostly leftovers. We're still in fridge clean out mode, but am gradually clearing it. I need to find some time to make coleslaw and will throw the first of the kohlrabi into it.

It's been hot and looks hot all week. Still haven;t gotten around to listing anything except a mousetrap game--no takers so far.

Another work day ahead tomorrow. DD is enjoying her new job. I'm thinking of investigating IRAs for her. I'd happily match whatever she can deposit. Anyone have experience with IRAs for minors?

Getting it Done

July 9th, 2019 at 02:27 pm

Our lovely Juliette from Lyon has left us, and we're planning the rest of the summer. It was an expensive time, but fun.

Today our DD got her AP results back from her three AP classes and happily passed them all--one with a 5! She drives herself hard though and would've liked all 5s so was a bit disappointed. However she starts a new job on Thursday with more hours and we have 7 weeks of summer fun ahead. And tomorrow she turns 17. She's also house and cat watching for another few bucks.

After her birthday winds up, I need to buckle down to work. Lots to do and to balance with summer fun. And we need to throw in some frugal days to balance the French spending. Tomorrow I'll likely list some lamps for sale and maybe a few other things. It's a beautiful cool day here so enjoying this kind of July.

Time to Regain Some Balance

July 1st, 2019 at 08:03 am

Yikes, it's been a month. We've had the lovely Juliette from Lyon, France with us for 2 1/2 weeks, but she'll be leaving Sunday. And as fun as it's been, it's been tough on the budget. We've been to a dairy breakfast, way too many meals out, the art museum, the public museum, the Brewers' game, a day train trip to Chicago and up the Willis Tower, the boat trip on the river, the Art Museum, then to Spring Green to Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin and an overnight in Madison. Good thing I'm getting paid this summer or my budget would be shot. Less expensive outings on the docket for this week.

In other news, my DH has had his contract extended until the end of the year, and it appears my DD will be switching jobs in search of more work hours. Hopefully that will allow me some time to catch up--and I have serious catching up to do.

Grabbing onto these last two months of summer and making the most of them.

Back To Work

March 24th, 2019 at 06:45 pm

My spring break is ending, and DD's is starting. I always wish they were the same week, but they never seem to overlap.

In financial news, we've been looking at the totals for DD's France trip when she graduates. She's aiming to pay 25 percent or more and have some spending money. We'll chip away at it with the installment plan.

It's been a cheap-ish break for me. I went to Minneapolis last weekend to see my BF, but got a great deal on a hotwire hotel. Parking for the weekend cost more than just about anything else. BF and I went to see a band we like, toured a model home, and planned our trip. I also got a couple hours to visit with my brother and his wife.

DD has a lot of work hours this week as they're teaching her to frost cakes. Sweet, huh?

I'm also teaching my night class which is a good source of extra cash, but I am so tired the next day. I've thought a lot about giving it up, but will teach through June.

I cashed in some Swagbucks, mostly earned from online shopping and put it toward my big goal.

Seven weeks left in the semester and seven weeks to France.

Catching Up

March 9th, 2019 at 07:07 am

The last month has sort of been a whirlwind, and it's good to be back reading everyone's blogs on SA. It's been extremely busy at work as we're trying very hard to hire for two new faculty positions. We have eight candidates chose; the seventh came on Thursday to speak, and the eighth arrives Monday. All of this has meant lunches, lectures, campus tours on top of the usual mayhem of the semester. And this is my first semester writing employee annual evaluations. And we've hosted professional development sessions. And my part-time class starts Monday.

And that's just my work. Our DD is enjoying her new part-time job with all the thrills that go with a paycheck and bank account. She is tired. She's also been very busy with theatre as they have two more performances of Mamma Mia. There have been a couple of weeks of craziness as she tried to balance that with school work, 6am meetings of the French Honor Society, bake sales, you name it. We are both longing for spring break.

DH is enjoying his class and his contract has been renewed for another three months. Although we odn't like the uncertainty of contract work, he is making more money than he ever has. That's been a good thing. And he still has free lunch and bus fare there from his student bus card.

We are pondering a trip to France for DD. Her French teacher is from Lyon, and the advanced French students are offered the opportunity to travel to a Francophone country every two years. The cost is, well, yuck. It would be Summer 2020 as she graduates. They've offered us ways to reduce the cost including hosting a French student for a few weeks this summer and deciding early. These would save about $350--about 10% of the cost of the trip. We will sit down and talk this through in the next two weeks as she'll have to write the application letter in French which might take a bit.

She is also looking at more colleges, including British universities. So much to think about.

In the meantime, I'm thinking about France too. Two months before I take off with my BFF.

Another Snow Day

February 12th, 2019 at 08:22 am

With 10" of new snow overnight, we're all home again. I think this is a good opportunity to get a lot done--caught up on grading, laundry etc.

I spent nothing yesterday as I brought my coffee, and made a great big pot of soup from Thanksgiving turkey stock. I have another turkey in the freezer, and this might be the perfect weekend to roast it.

No real money news, but would like to get the taxes done this week and get a bit ahead of the game.

Back to it!

This and That

February 3rd, 2019 at 08:53 am

There was a fair amount of spending today, mostly on necessities. DD spent the morning at ACT prep, but headed to Target with me for khakis for her new job. They also wanted brown shoes, so DSW had a comfy pair. And then groceries. All in all I think we spent over $200 on the combination. Little bits of savings with red card and coupons, but not much.

I'm headed to brunch with my university friends. I'm eager to see them and catch up. I haven't been AT work since last Tuesday--and that was the only day last week with the snow and cold cancellations. I'm going to drop off the results of my decluttering either this morning or tomorrow.

I'll have lots of errands this week and need to plan easy portable meals. DD is working after school from 3-7, and DH is out two nights. Sounds like me and the dog will become besties for a while.

I thought I might run Swagbucks this month as it's a short month, but after 20 minutes on their site, I may just not. Not enough bang for the buck.

Enjoy the Super Bowl, folks.

New Month

February 1st, 2019 at 06:49 pm

Goodbye, January. The ghost of you will reappear in our heating bills, but it's nice to close the door on that cold, hard month. And it's nice to get paid. I also hope we can move on from all of our car bills, dental bills, etc.

In fun news, my DD opened a bank account today. She started her after school jojb orientation. Between that, the theatre, and all her schoolwork, she is going to be very busy.

I haven't spent a dime in days, but did contribute today to a friend's nephew's gofundme page. He's 27, has two children, and has just been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

It's time to buckle down for a serious pantry/freezer cleanout. I'd like to spend as little as possible this month--just milk and fresh fruit and veg. That's all for tonight.

$2 Coffee and Then the Darn Dentist

January 15th, 2019 at 06:21 pm

I led a brainstorming session with colleagues today, spending only$2 on coffee. But then there was the follow-up dental appointment where the hygienist had me somehow convinced that I needed additional lab work to help determine the cause of my periodontal disease. To the tune of $150. I'm glad I decided on the fancy/expensive dental insurance this year. I have a feeling it's going to be an expensive year for my mouth (again).

A thrifty dinner of cauliflower cheese ensued. DD had a phone interview for a job this afternoon. She's eager for her first real job at the advanced age of 16. I hope it works out.

Getting a Bit Tight

January 14th, 2019 at 05:54 pm

We've paid both visa bills completely,so our travel bills are all accounted for. It's going to be a bit tight for the next month as my contractor husband won't get paid for while we're gone.

I haven't taken many steps toward frugality since we've been home, but we could take some steps towards eating through the freezer. Instead we've been doing some cleaning and decluttering. We thoroughly cleaned our fridge, have worked our way through the closet, and I'm cleaning the office and downstairs closet later this week.

Next weekend I'm off to Minnesota for a weekend with my best friends. One, a friend since second grade, has recently bought a house on the north shore of Lake Superior and is working half time in the Twin Cities. So we're all headed up north of Duluth where the temps should be below zero all weekend. I'm cold just thinking about it.

In the interest of frugality (ha), I've used gift cards earned from textbook reviews to buy a new jacket. I'm going to need it if we're snowshoeing this weekend!

I also need to load in 2019 goals. Many of them will be unaccomplished 2018 goals. It was that kind of year.