Home > Archive: July, 2020

Archive for July, 2020

Interest Rates Down Again

July 31st, 2020 at 08:27 pm

Several of the online banks have dropped their interest rates below 1 percent. I expect they'll stay low for a long time as the economy struggles, but it's hard to scrape together any interest these days.

We're still waiting on the CAS number from Edinburgh here. DD has noticed in her online FB group of incoming Edinburgh student, less than 1/3 have their numbers, so we're not alone, but it does make planning frustrating.

In other frustrating news, our internet was down for two days meaning neither DH or I could get any work done. He hopes to make up some time over the weekend, but that's hundreds down the drain. I've been existing on cell data alone. So let's tighten the darn budgets some more? But where?

The dentist called and said we have a credit. Would we like it applied to future bills or a check? Check on its way. Our food budget has been slim, but the CSA veggies have been great and the garden is doing well--not like Lucky Robin well--but plenty for us. It's time for a fridge inventory.

I blanched and froze kale and expect to get through the week with no new purchases. And since it's turned cooler (Hooray!) the a/c has been off. I've been loving the NYT "At Home" section, and see that they want me to clean the stove this weekend. I think I'll take them up on that.

I see lots of banks have been sending us bonus offers to switch checking or savings. We really like our local bank, but would move some savings $ to get a few hundreds in bonuses. Time to consider that!

So cleaning, cooking, and thinking on the agenda for the weekend--especially if DH is working. We have a drive-by birthday celebration tomorrow night for my work BF. Might be fun.

Quiet Days

July 25th, 2020 at 12:35 am

It started out cool and lovely this morning, but it's turned into a hot day. At 5, I gave in and cranked up the A/C. Without it the old dog lays on the tile floor and looks at me like I'm making her suffer.

Still no news from Edinburgh, but our DD's drive-through graduation is tomorrow. She's so done that I had to talk her into participating and decorating the car. Lured by the prospect of a Culver's sundae later, she's agreed.

I'm also in a summer cooking slump. I made soup with a large head of cabbage and cooked down some marginal fruit to top my DH's bowls of oatmeal. Dinner tonight was a grilled sandwich and salad. I'm busy prepping for fall classes and spent ZERO again today. I feel like an extremely boring human lately, but I suspect I'm not alone.


July 23rd, 2020 at 11:57 pm

Three darn zoom meetings today--all with lots of bad budget news. I'm safe from more cuts besides the mandatory furlough days, but I've lost more staff.

The drips are small but good drips. Another $5 will go into my big goal from a MyPoints payout. And we got another load of CSA veggies today which made a nice veggie pasta tonight. I'll freeze some kale later for winter soups.

And still we wait for DD's CAS number from Scotland.

Lovely and cooler today!

Starting the Day Right

July 21st, 2020 at 02:57 pm

I've noticed that if I get up and go for a walk for about 40 minutes before sitting down to work, my day goes so much better. I've been walking with DD almost every day, but that morning walk alone seems to clear my head and give me much more energy. And two walks a day seems like a good idea, right?

I've got a document to edit this morning for a university committee, and will also have to face some decisions about class cancellations. My dept chair would like to drop two more classes, and I'll have to decide whose will go. I'm asking him to just drop one, but our budget is dire for the department and university as a whole.

Lots of veggies from the CSA to use up. I made veggie enchiladas a couple of days ago, and the recipe made about twice the filling needed, but my DH is the king of leftovers, so he's been filling quesadillas with it. I've got my first cherry tomatoes and lots of peas from my planter box vines. I've never grown peas before, but they've done well in wheeled planters with a makeshift trellis repurposed from ancient tomato cages. And they have the added advantage of acting as a patio screen from the neighbors who must get sick of me hanging clothes and talking to the birds.

The big goal has been updated with some cash from Swagbucks and MyPoints. I seem to be able to hit those sites regularly now without papers to grade and while watching rom-coms and documentaries with DD. If you haven't seen "The Biggest Little Farm" on Netflix, I recommend it. It's a lovely film about a young couple trying to start an organic farm.

Wishing you all a lovely sunny cool day like we have here!

Waiting Waiting

July 20th, 2020 at 03:16 pm

I keep hearing John Mayer singing, "waiting on the world to change" in my head. Right now we seem to be waiting so we can take the next step and wait some more.

Our biggest wait worry is for DD's "CAS" number. I think (I'm foggy lately) I wrote that she's decided after all to go to Edinburgh for university. Her AP scores were excellent--all 5's--and she had an unconditional offer. But we need that number from the school so her visa can get started. Then we'll wait for the visa. Then we'll find a place for the mandatory two-week quarantine after arriving in Scotland. And flights, and packing. I'm going with her for the quarantine period and for a few more days. The university would provide isolation facilities, but we'll get an airbnb, order groceries in, and wait it out. I can't say I'm looking forward to that flight, but the infection rate is so much lower there, I'm happy she can get out of here.

I can teach online--and all my classes (and all my colleagues' classes) are online, so one of our airbnb requirements is great wifi and some outdoor space.

This will all be mightily expensive so we're saving and scrimping. And I'm learning all the rules for college spending. And I'm getting my classes as ready to go as possible. Waiting but busy.

Ugh, Taxes

July 16th, 2020 at 03:21 am

I'm not one to complain about paying my taxes. I support the necessary work of the government, but I knew, given my DH's better hourly rate this year we could be hit hard. And we were. My adjunct job has horrible bookkeeping and their withholding is always screwed up, so that made it worse. But heck, we had enough in the checking account to pay it, so onward.

Spending today was limited to selling my DD's AP prep books on ebay. One sold and we pocketed $5.80 after shipping. And her AP results came today--she's a superstar. Three 5s. Very proud mom here.

Now must do some minor belt tightening to make up for the tax bill. My adjunct university will probably not be in my plans this years. I'm too busy at regular work, so that withholding issue will be gone.

I'd love to turn off the A/C but it's rained buckets tonight and feels like the jungles of Brazil out there. Ugh.

College Student Finances?

July 6th, 2020 at 10:36 pm

Spending some time this week getting DD ready for university and looking for some ideas. She has a debit card, but I wonder if she should have a secured credit card? Or if we should get her a card on our account? It seems the secured card would help her build credit, and there are several with no fees. We'd link it to her checking account and pay it off every month.

Any advice? Ideas?

July? Really?

July 1st, 2020 at 08:39 pm

Though June seemed to last forever, maybe Paul Simon is right, and July, she will fly?

We started the morning picking strawberries at a local farm. We went early to avoid the heat, and picked just one flat. I'll make freezer jam tonight, but freeze others for smoothies and maybe a strawberry margarita or two. There'll be some for desserts and lots for just eating.

Got the news that DD's UK adult passport app has been received so that's good news. And we've switched our Friday summer lunches out to Wednesdays, so went to a cute nearby town on Lake Michigan for an outside deli lunch. Very hot here inland, but as usual, cooler by the lake. I've updated so saving figures, and need to make some appointments this afternoon. We're watching Neal Oliver's BBC History of Scotland which has been really interesting. Will do some university work tonight while DD is at her grocery job. I still can't get over the fact it's July.