I cannot believe it's been that long, but apparently yesterday was my lucky 13th Blogoversary. What? No card? No flowers?
Because I'm pretty sentimental I thought about all the folks who have traveled through this blogosphere like that lady from Atlanta, Retire at 50, the guy who was living in his car for a while, and another really funny one. Someone help me remember some of the others!
I've been determined not to go to the grocery store for another few days so we've had some slightly unusual meals. Last night's burgers were accompanied by kohlrabi fries. I just need to figure out what to do with the huge cabbage in the fridge. Maybe I'll try that eggroll in a bowl again. Or resort to store cupboard enchiladas for dinner.
In other mundane but satisfying news, my DD voted for the first time yesterday. I voted absentee, but am a dedicated voter, and hope she emulates that behavior. She was proud of her "I voted" sticker. And I cashed $35 out of SB and MyPoints to add to my big goal
I also did a usage test on some crackers, sampling three kinds they sent. For that I gained a $10 Amazon card that went for a wallet for DD. No other news--hard at work prepping for classes!
Viewing the 'Food, glorious food' Category
I cannot believe it's been that long, but apparently yesterday was my lucky 13th Blogoversary. What? No card? No flowers?
I'm spending every morning this week and next in sessions for improving online learning. I've taught online occasionally for more than a decade, but there's a lot of new technology and all sorts of tips and tricks to learn.
I had to laugh at myself today as I was somewhat astounded how many students access so much of their course material through their phones rather than laptops. "Who could use their phone as a primary learning device?" I asked my DH at lunch. He just stared at me and reminded me I access Duo Lingo every day on my phone for my language lessons.
Although I'd much prefer to be in the classroom, I'm looking forward to video commenting on papers, and some of the fancier parts of our learning management systems.
Today was a NS day. We ate up lots of leftovers for lunch, and although my DH was convinced there was nothing for dinner, I made a very good veggie-filled mac and cheese using up the last bits of leftover cream cheese, some questionable Brie, and subbing evaporated milk for the heavy cream. There is something so satisfying up using things up.
DD and I took our usual 40-minute walk today and for over five minutes we were accompanied by 5 turkeys. They followed us down the street and got a little too close for my comfort. But it was very funny. Another small joy for the day!
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.
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!
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!
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.
I'm am certainly in need of some oomph. While I'm getting some things done, I am certainly lacking focus. I've always been a person who works better with fewer distractions, and the distractions of the house are starting to erode my focus- along with all the underlying issues going on in the world. But I guess all you can do is keep on keeping on.
I made a list last night that includes a walk, the treadmill, a visit to a framing shop, and the garden center as well as several hours of work. I bought gas and dog food as well as posted DD's British passport application. We also went to the very empty library where I was impressed by their protocols. It was great to get new books which I hope will improve my focus. Laundry done too as well as a new dish--kohlrabi fritters. What to try today? Oomph updates as we go.
Our state university system has made a big fanfare about how campuses are re-opening. Yes, we're moving students into dorms in the fall. Yes, some classes will be held face to face. How many? I don't have a hard figure yet, but I would be surprised of the hundreds of classes offered by my department if more than one or two are face to face. It has to be this way. We don't have enough room to make socially distanced classes across the board. We will have a very hard time monitoring student behavior. But we've got to keep the machine running. Everyone I know has been sharpening their skills to teach online--classes, seminars, practicums. I seem to be both relieved and disappointed at the same time. This will be the first fall in over 20 years without me saying "Welcome to English..." in front of a classroom. But there's work to do, and we'll do the best we can.
In other news, I cashed $10 out of Mypoints which went into the UK house fund. I picked up the first CSA delivery which was heavenly. We now have wonderful greens, maple syrup, green onions, and the first darn kohlrabi of the season. No spending for days here.
Enjoy another lovely--though plenty hot--June day.
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.
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.
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.