Home > Archive: May, 2020

Archive for May, 2020

Menards Shopping

June 1st, 2020 at 04:01 am

One of the items on the summer to-do list was paint the mailbox. I thought I had leftover spray paint downstairs, but it was nearly empty. And I'd been meaning to drop off some old tables at Habitat once they re-opened so DD and I had a surprisingly good outing on Saturday.

We dropped the furniture off curbside at a Habitat site, then headed for Menards. I normally dislike Menards and all those big home stores, but we did very well. They were requiring masks and restricting entrance to adults, as well as enforcing good distance guidelines. We bought a much-needed specialty light bulb, the spray paint, dog treats--and oddly enough--baking powder, fettuccini and peanut butter in their much-expanded grocery section. On our way out, I spotted herbs in their garden center so picked up the thyme I'd wanted. It was amazingly easy, and I'm glad we could fill in some needs.

That $30 was all we spent all weekend. Who knew shopping at Menards could be so good?

Keeping Busy and Moving Forward

May 29th, 2020 at 09:47 pm

Today was my daughter's last day of high school. It was, as expected, very anticlimactic. They'll take cap and gown photos next week. She started the process for an online summer class at my home campus, transferable to her university this fall. Once the paperwork goes through, she'll be set.

I participated in an online focus group about online education for 90 minutes today for which I'll receive $100. It was fun and interesting to meet with nine educators from all over the country. We all have the same concerns, so it was reassuring to be together with people who understand the situation and are doing their best to serve their students and institutions.
That $100 will go into my big goal fund which is looking more and more like my UK home fund.

I cleaned my closet yesterday with a goal to get rid of 20 things which I hit on the nose. Today's community service goal was to remember to drop off some canned goods at the church food pantry which thankfully got done. DD and I went for a long walk admiring the flowering crab trees and lilacs. I'm also admiring my carrots and radishes which are all enjoying the sunshine. My peas are up, and we've located several old tomato frames which we're repurposing into a trellis for them. Next goal--soup from various fridge bits and pieces.

It looks like a nice weekend. Onward.

The Burgeoning List.

May 24th, 2020 at 09:22 pm

It's been a nice weekend--the first in months without full drop boxes of papers to read. We had a family meeting yesterday morning and created a rather large list of summer projects. I have to laugh; my DH is not one for change and thinks our bedroom color is just fine. It was last painted 17 years ago when we moved in. It's a long list, but it will be a nice balance between prepping for a probably all online fall semester and doing lots of home projects.

I think our DD will likely take a summer class online too. Just something easy to knock off a GER.

Summer is Coming

May 22nd, 2020 at 02:26 am

DD and I masked up and spent a good part of the afternoon at Costco. Costco itself did a great job with safety, masking their employees, wiping down the carts, and installing plexiglass at the register. But old habits are hard for people to break and I think one-way aisles at all stores for now would be a great idea. We bought a lot, so I'm glad we won't be going back for a while. It was the first time I've been in a store since March 13.

On to good news: my semester is over, my daughter took her final AP exam today, it's spring, and summer awaits. It's not the summer anyone planned on, but I have projects, and a nice list of things that can be done.

Secret Spending

May 14th, 2020 at 05:00 am

Does that headline sound naughty? I think I could give y'all 100 guesses and you wouldn't come up with what I spent $7.99 on. What? You guessed Monopoly houses and hotels? Gees, you're smart!

My DD and I are fed up with my DH's cutthroat Monopoly playing. He plays so hard to win and tries to buy up all the houses, never changing to hotels just so we can't buy more houses. So I've bought a secret stash and will surreptitiously add one or two to the total number every few days.
If this isn't a sure sign that we've been cooped up together too long, I'm not sure what is.

In other news--one of my staff got her promotion file passed (hooray), now on to the dept approval tomorrow. I'd rather NOT think of the meeting tomorrow as they've scheduled (gulp) 2 1/2 hours on Zoom to unroll all the bad news. I may have to turn the camera off to hide the wine bottle.

I participated in an online focus group tonight for $20. I like these little side hustles. Graded projects most of the day and evening. Will be 1/3 done tomorrow, I swear.

Another NS Day!

May 12th, 2020 at 05:08 am

But yikes, so busy at work. It's like digging a hole with a teaspoon trying to get to the end of my dropboxes. One of my people is up for promotion, and I had to review/rewrite half of her file. She's got kids at home, trying to teach four classes, and if we can get her file through this teeny window before things get cancelled at the university, it'll be such a relief. So I spent half the day on that.

But we do have some financial news. Our DD has won some sort of an academic scholarship at her high school. It's likely to be small, but hey, every little bit. She took an online AP test today, and I graded for hours and hours.

It's darn meetings and darn grading all week while fielding excuses from students. Some of them are very valid and almost heartbreaking; others "kind of forgot about class" and want extensions. Sheesh.

Grading and More Grading

May 9th, 2020 at 06:43 pm

Yes, it's that time. I'm deep into the dropboxes and digging them out. I'll also have a lot of late work to handle as some of my students have really struggled with online learning. It's great for the happy, bright, and motivated. It's not so great for the worried, sad, and struggling. But we'll do what we can to get them out as unscathed as possible.

I've decided it would be a swell idea for DD and DH to each make one dinner a week. I'll provide instructions, but there is zero reason for me to do it all. Last night DH made a lovely combo of spaghetti with meatballs and roasted broccoli. Ok--so it's frozen meatballs and jarred sauce, but I'll take what I can get very happily.

We had another Instacart order this morning. I've decided to alternate Costco and the local market for the best balance of quantity and selection. I'm a big tipper, so it's not cheap, but we spend nothing else and I'm buying fill ins for the food pantry at church.

The news is discouraging with ignorance and hate, so I'm taking a few days off--although I did listen to the queen again. Thinking about VE Day is sobering and puts things into greater perspective.

Folding, Grading, and Trying to Get Out of my Head

May 5th, 2020 at 03:55 pm

My wonderful daughter and I have started a big project. Our United Way is sponsoring a huge appeal for disposable masks. Yesterday we picked up the kit for 700 masks. It's four gigantic rolls of paper which you fold, hole punch, and attach rubber bands for behind the ears.
Because we're a bit slow on the uptake, we had to watch the video instruction about a dozen times, but then got into the swing of it. They're due back Friday so we'll have some busy evenings.

That was our only outing yesterday as we had the "pneumonia front" pass through on Sunday dropping our temps 20 degrees. Before that we had a great hike in a county park followed by Culver's drive-through custard.

This is the last week of "instruction," and I think we did as well as we could through all of this. I read a blog on a FB group of teachers titled :"Not Crushing It," which is kind of how I feel. We got through it. Of my 100 students, about six have disappeared from online access. The university is trying very hard to find them and get them back--and is being very generous with incompletes and a credit/no credit option. I'm probably the kindest grader I've ever been.
Then there's DD's college plans. Her Scottish university seems also in panic mode--encouraging her and other foreign students not to give up on them. But it all seems like a (bag) pipe dream at this point. She's confirmed at Wisconsin-Madison without turning down Minnesota or Edinburgh. And with the university system in such financial panic, we'll need a lot more funding from the state. And I worry about my pension plan and seemingly everything else at 3 am. I think this is the lowest I've been since this began; I hadn't realized how much I care about the institution I love/hate/love.

Sorry for the big whine. I need to re-set, keep folding masks, and live with the uncertainty that we've all had to live with. My husband loves this isolation; he's not nearly as social as me. I get a lot of energy from going out, seeing students/friends etc. So glad our daughter is home; she's the best company and one great mask folder.

Not much detailed financial news. My seeds are sprouting, we have a lot of food to use up including another magnificent pot of bean soup, and I've reverted to my bag lady behaviors of moving money around and running stupid Swagbucks while grading.

Not Much New

May 2nd, 2020 at 03:56 am

We got another Costco order today, dropped some things off at the church food donation, and I wrote course proposals and graded homework.

That's about it in my world.

I saw this story and thought about Keeping it Frugal, Laura.