It is a day in June! Who knew we'd still be here in June?
Tackling that list is the focus of June here. Last night I listed and sold one of my DD's toy boxes. Are you saying, "Hey, isn't that kid graduating from high school?" Well, yes. But the $35 can go right into the college fund. I have another to list today, but it's a mere plastic bin, so I don't expect much for it.
My DH had an errand this morning at the university, so he's just packed up two boxes with old clothes and the contents of DD's toy boxes (with the exception of a teddy bear or two), and taken them to the contactless Goodwill drop off. Two boxes and a toy box gone is a triumph of bulky junk leaving.
When scouting around for paint in the basement, I found some old dried up cans of latex paint which apparently can go right in the garbage and recycling. I managed to pry the paint out of both and rinsed out a jar with more latex in it.
It's cool today so the focus will be upstairs. I'll have a couple hours of university work every day too. We don't expect an announcement on fall classes for another two weeks, but that will be a big job when it happens.
In further money news, I see my online savings interest rate has dropped again, now to 1.15%. I think staying steady and stable through all that's going on is the best we can do.
Viewing the 'Junk and more junk' Category
It is a day in June! Who knew we'd still be here in June?
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.
After updating classes and grading papers, my DD and I decided to drop off some pansy bowls I'd planted with the remnants of the pansy flat I bought earlier.
Since of our pansy recipients was a co-worker who lives close to the university, we decide to walk around campus. It seemed like a good idea; I haven't been there in well over a month, the flowers on campus are usually cheery, and it offers a lot of things to see. But instead I came home almost in tears. It seems so sad to see campus completely empty. All of those buildings should be bustling with students, and friends, and colleagues. The coffee shop should be full, and the library should be open. Instead of a good idea, it seemed like a bad bad dream.
Then I came home and cooked a big dinner, but faced with yet another stack of dishes, I think I just spiraled down. One of my dear co-workers is ill, so I did some of his grading and stayed up too late.
I need to find something else to help raise the spirits. Maybe, like CB, I need to paint something. Or maybe just a book and a nap. Ugh.
I got some course prep done Saturday morning, caught up with laundry, and thought about tackling "the drawer of death" as my husband calls it. It's where insurance papers go to die as well as articles I somehow think I need to save and coupons, school announcements, and various horrors.
That's been pushed off for during today's football game. I figure it will be a bad game for us here in Cheeseland so DH and I will work through the drawer to distract us. I'm hoping to get through it, file the flex spending, and put things in their proper files.
So what was fun about Saturday? We went to a great birthday party for a dear friend thrown by her 85-year-old dad. They're also Brits so lots of UK talk, really smart people with interesting jobs, opinions, and fun. Great food and a beautiful flat overlooking Lake Michigan too. Unfortunately on the way out, I took a tumble on the ice, smashing the cake I had in my hand, and sliding into the street. I struggled to get up and cursed the fact that DH and I took separate cars so I could pick up DD from work. I can feel the wrench to my back a bit, but it seems much better today. Then on the way into the car, I fell again. I love snow, but ice--ugh.
Got home rattled but safe and sound. And at 1am, DH and I finished our 1000-piece jigsaw of the London skyline. We're such dorks that it was way more fun than it should have been.
So today is church, lots of cooking, more course prep, football and the drawer of death. Then here comes the semester.
One of my January--maybe into February--goals is to eat through the freezer. It's been too long since it's been really emptied. So to that end today I took out two more things to cook. So we had chicken thighs for dinner and I made two enormous pots of turkey broth from the bones of a turkey I'd roasted in November. There are enough thighs for another meal this week, and I'll make soup tomorrow and freeze the other half of the stock.
I'm trying to make it fun--a freezer scavenger hunt!
Now for the odd thing. I was cleaning out a summer purse (what? it's January?) and found what I thought was a circle clasp for a key ring. I remember picking it up sometime last summer, maybe in Madison or Chicago when we were out with our French student. I was about to throw it out when I looked a little closer, and I think it's a wedding band. But I have NO idea where I picked it up. My husband says he has a vague memory of it, but can't remember where we were. So what do I do with it? If it were in Milwaukee, I'd advertise in the free lost and found, but I don't think it was. It's got a few small stones and a jeweler's mark for gold inside. And it looks like it's been run over or been through the garbage disposal. Ideas?
I am so wrong, says the woman who spent $800 on rugs today. And I had coffee drinks, bought a crate of peaches, and a bunch of craft supplies.
Truly I was planning on buying new rugs for the dining room and family room. Would you be shocked if I told you our dining room rug was bought in the 1980s? It's done its duty. And the family room rug is part of my vast redecoration scheme in there. More on that as it develops, but I did look at paint colors and get a bid on the painting. We'd attempt it ourselves but it's a vaulted ceiling and a huge room. You'll see it's on my 2018 goals.
The peaches have become a summer ritual for us, but this year half of them will go to my friend whose husband's kidney comes out tomorrow. If you're a praying sort, keep them in your prayers. please. And the craft supplies (slime--eww) were for her son who is making slime with friends tomorrow to keep him busy.
I'm really pleased with the rugs; they were part of the Bon-Ton going out of business sale and were supposedly 70% off. I think that's a dubious figure but I really like them. Much jazzier than my usual traditional taste.
I made a huge Greek salad for dinner to use some CSA veggies and will shortly head off to bed with my new library book.
We had a lunch out today--not ultra frugal, but I did have a coupon, and who can deny an England fan a chance to see his team finally break through the knock-out round. What a match!
I did sell two games on FB and made a swift $10. They're already gone; it's so satisfying to declutter and make some cash. And I got to the gym. An all-around good day.
The frugal feeling is in full flower. I've got rotisserie chicken bones in the crockpot with some veggie scraps to make a batch of broth. Dinner was all from the CSA box with the addition of the last of the rotisserie chicken--an excellent strawberry spinach salad. And the NS day got even better when I listed some basement clutter on FB and sold the first thing for $5. Another is being given away tomorrow.
Well, it has been relaxing--especially since my department's part of the grant fell through. I thought it might; we just weren't the best fit. I just wish they'd have figured that out before 10 hours worth of meetings. So DD and I have been hanging out, and I've really enjoyed it.
We even enjoyed cleaning the closets today. She found an old state quarters map, and was thrilled to pop out the quarters and add them to her cash stash. No luck on jobs yet. Having a summer birthday sort of hampers that. We've spent some money on summer fun. We joined the local gym and have been every other day. We took a free water zumba class which was pretty funny. A bunch of older ladies, me, and mu daughter in the pool dancing to "You can Leave Your Hat On" had me laughing all day. And DD is also taking an advanced French conversation class to keep her French up over the summer. She loves French, and may very well do some sort of international something. I think it's in the genes.
We sold some clothes from the closet purge this afternoon too and took the rest to the charity shop. All in all, a very satisfying rainy solstice. We've also been making great use of the library; she has a stack of books, and so do I. Tonight we watched the last Star Wars; last night it was My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I think we're doing a darn good job of balancing lazy and productive. I am planning an ultra-frugal July, but we have so much stuff in the freezer, it shouldn't be too hard. And the CSA starts next week too. My new class starts in 2 1/2 weeks, so I've been writing the syllabus. More to do, but only tackling one job at a time. The weekend looks like it will have lots of World Cup, a Scandi midsommer celebrations, and probably the art museum with friends tomorrow. Not sure I could tackle this much leisure all the time, but it's nice to have a few weeks of it!
I've had a couple of lovely days. Yesterday a tedious meeting turned into a happy occasion as two of the top three places in our writing competition were taken by MY students from last term. I couldn't be happier if I won myself. The prizes are small-ish with the top student earning $150, but it's so fun for them and great for their resumes. I've also made progress on readying my classes for the upcoming term.
We got lots of decluttering done, and today I made $15 on a selling some of that stuff. And I had lunch with a colleague--one of those lovely long lunches because it's so fun to talk with them. I cashed $50 out of Swagbucks which is going to my big goal. I'll credit my totals when it hits the bank.
And I made the most delicious mac and cheese yesterday from a recipe on a can of evaporated milk. Fattening and decadent, but used up lots of pantry stuff and delicious.
We're all home today for MLK day which has turned into a nice snowy organizing day around here. We continue Uber-frugal helped by the overflowing pantry and freezer. I've just started bean soup for my DH's lunches this week. I had beans in the pantry and a ham bone in the freezer. I also extracted a bag of CSA carrots from the freezer which I'll put in the soup and try roasting some with dinner. I'm not sure about roasting veggies which have been frozen, but we'll give it a try. yesterday's spending was a canister of oatmeal and the church offering. We're also going to sit down today and try to fund DH's grad school tuition more mindfully. His classes handily total (ugh) $5200/year, and I think he finds that figure staggering as do I. But if he wants to continue, some cuts will have to be made elsewhere. We'll see what happens. For now, the decluttering and the freezer contents reduction have been very satisfying. Ideally I'd like the chest freezer empty by spring break.