Home > Archive: May, 2022
Archive for May, 2022
June 1st, 2022 at 03:28 am
It's been a spendy week, our anniversary dinner out, some "fun" food for the weekend, and the garden plants. Like all of you, I'm a bit aghast at the cost of restaurant meals. We only go out for a "fancy" dinner on our birthdays or anniversary, and although we had less expensive (and lovely) fish entrees, a $38 pork chop was on the menu. It was a really nice new restaurant, but still, $38 for a pork chop? Who knows? Maybe it was stuffed with $5 bills?
But today my summer class began, I met a friend for coffee (and I had a free one from my punch card!), returned some library books, and even got a load of laundry on the line. DH cleaned out the A/C thinking we might need to have it on, but thankfully, it seems like it's cooling off now. And although DH's carpool isn't quite what he had in mind (she leaves at 630am), so far he's hanging in with it. I predict it won't last long. Since he's only in the office three days a week, he hasn't readjusted to an earlier schedule, and it's affected his sleep. But so far, so good. And he's been enjoying the free lunches at the office.
I have to go into the university for a planning meeting tomorrow, but hope to combine it with a few errands including a Goodwill drop off.
May 26th, 2022 at 04:44 pm
I spent an hour this morning filing some Flex spending reimbursements. I'd gotten behind on that since the paperwork is a bit fussy, but the totals were over $100 with DD's allergists and various prescriptions. I likely have more to do, but that's a start.
I got a much-needed haircut yesterday, but couldn't get a color appointment until (eek) July. I'm not the most skilled colorist and without DD doing the back of my head, I was not enthusiastic. But I bought a Madison Reed color kit which I've had success with before, and spent a good hour on it this morning. I don't like doing it; I have thick hair and it's a process. The results are fine, I've saved $50 or so, and am presentable for a while.
Now off to another meeting; they're endless in these weeks after classes are over.
May 25th, 2022 at 04:11 am
I had coffee with one of my instructors to tell him I was leaving. I'm a huge fan of who he is as a teacher and as a human. He does a lot of film work as a sideline, and has the coolest ideas. He's so interested in everything that our planned 45 minutes of coffee turned into 2 hours.
Since I was already out and about I thought it was about time to buy some tomato plants and annuals for the patio. Yikes, inflation has hit there too. I ended up with smaller tomatoes for cheaper which I may live to regret and tried to be very strategic with purchased annuals, supplementing them with some things started from seed. But man, sort of moderate to meh geraniums were $8-10. All the cheaper ones left at our local nursery were salmon, and I wanted hot pink and white. But another woman and I teamed together to sort through 50 flats, searching for red for her, and my white and pink. I love to find someone else on a mission like me. And we succeeded.
DD and her BF are safely in Scotland, recovering fron jet lag with a walk in Holyrood Park and a trip to her favorite ramen place. Her parents ate leftover pasta for dinner and enjoyed watching the baby bunnies who are unfortunately nested in our front planter box. But they're adorable and likely have their eyes on my new plants.
May 23rd, 2022 at 09:35 pm
Pheww--It was a long weekend of grading final projects and figuring final grades.
I did manage to slip away for a couple hours to see the Downton Abbey movie with DD. I can't say it was the best movie ever, but it's always a lovely escape to Downton for a little while. And speaking of DD, she's left for her European jaunt today with her BF. They'll be gone almost five weeks and covering way too much territory. They start with a couple of days back in Edinburgh where thankfully they can stay in her dorm room with her BF in another dorm room for free. Most of the rest of the time they're staying in hostels and a few days with family friends. Yeah, I am a little nervous about two 19-year-olds wandering a big continent, but I like to think they're careful girls.
Lots of odds and ends to clean up from the semester, and my summer class starts in a week. But I hope to take some time with the garden, the house, and some additional planning before the next class begins.
I've been combing through the guest room closet--a sort of catchall and gift closet. I sold a set of sheets that I bought on impulse for the guest room, so will send that $25 and some misc refunds to savings soon.
May 21st, 2022 at 01:50 am
I got my final retirement date from the university today. They'd orginally told me August 21, now they're changing it to August 11. I'm not sure it matters as I'll just do a bit of clean-up, perhaps sit in on some candidate interviews etc between when my summer teaching ends in late June and then. The university health insurance continues until the end of August when we'll switch to DH's health insurance.
That switch may take some getting used to. He has a variety of plans from which to choose, so we'll need to look those over more carefully, especially now that DD is getting more intensive allergy treatments. I'm busily booking dentist and a variety of doctor's appointments as we've already hit the copay with our current insurance.
I've decided to take the lump-sum incentive as a 403b contribution. I will hit the upper limit for those almost exactly with the incentive. Because I don't want that settlement money exposed to current volatility, I changed my mutual fund selections today and will temporarily stash that in a money market fund. We're considering all sorts of possibilities including keeping a base in the US when we move to the UK. It will be nice to have that money a bit liquid.
I can also escrow sick leave to buy into the state insurance plans later which I will do once I hear all the options. I have some time to decide that and have any appointment with the state benefits people later in June.
Lots of decisions! And still...lots of grading to finish.
In simpler news, it was a no-spend day, I hung a load of laundry outside and DH and I ate leftovers for lunch and chicken burgers and a cucumber salad for dinner. I'm itching to do some house things, but back to the grading. Grades due on Thursday, but man, I'd like to finish this sooner.
May 18th, 2022 at 11:29 pm
Today was indeed a one-off. I had a sit-down meeting with my boss and told him I was taking the retirement incentive package. I'll teach a summer class but my last day at the university will be August 21. I turn in the papers tomorrow. Because I've always had impeccable timing, this has coincided nicely with the giant stock market sell-off.
But heck, DH's job is going well, the university pension will almost be as much as my current take-home pay (minus, of course, the health insurance and 403b contributions. I'll delay any other withdrawals from investments as long as possible and Social Security for years. Except for traveling, we're pretty lean livers. I'm forever grateful that DH grew up eating whatever was put in front of him and never wasting food. DD's education is pretty well paid for,and she's decided to be an RA her final year at uni to save on rent and food.
So here we go. I've got a series of benefits meetings with the HR folks, lots of house cleaning and clearing, and a complete inventory of things to do.
And yes, I did find a penny at ALDI today!
May 13th, 2022 at 08:28 pm
We took advantage of some reduced price movie tickets last night to see "The Duke." I know I'm a supergeek, but I thought it was charming with Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren set in 1960s England. I'm so delighted to see a movie for adults without a Marvel superhero in them.
It's going to be a weekend full of grading for me. Hope you all have a good one!
May 11th, 2022 at 02:33 pm
Hello my SA Friends:
Yeah, it's been a couple of months. I spent a wonderful 10 days in London and Scotland visiting DD.
She's home now finishing up her last final of her sophomore year and working part-time. She has an internship this summer and is plotting another trip. She clearly has my wanderlust.
Unfortunately I returned from Scotland and immediately got COVID, but both DH and I recovered pretty well.
And now I have nine days to decide whether to take my retirement incentive or not. I'm certainly leaning that way, trying NOT to look at the stock market. DH (he's such a youngster) will continue working, and I can switch our health insurance to his. But the prospect of not teaching after so many years leaves me a touch sad.
I looked at a couple new London neighborhoods with a friend, and we're trying to plot whether we can indeed be transatlantic. As soon as I can finish up the semester's grading, I'll make a final decision.
Hope you're all well! As I focus on financial matters, I hope to be back here more often.