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Grades Done Now a Short Respite

May 23rd, 2022 at 08:35 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.

Lots of Decisions

May 21st, 2022 at 12:50 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.

 

 

 

Well, I Did It

May 18th, 2022 at 10:29 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!

 

 

 

 

Movie Recommendation

May 13th, 2022 at 07:28 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!

Happy One Day From the End of the Semester

May 11th, 2022 at 01:33 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.

 

Hello SA Folks!

March 13th, 2022 at 06:23 pm

Oof, I've been out of touch for a while.  Blame the university, personal concerns, general weltschmerz.  But we're ok here.  We recently had to say goodbye to our wonderful almost 16-year-old dog, and are still feeling that pretty badly.

But money things are fine, and I'm contemplating a retirement buyout from the university.  I'm again frustrated with them and will certainly look at their offer.  I need to submit an indication of interest next week. 

Will read some blogs to catch up, and hope you're all well.

 

Novemberitis

November 15th, 2021 at 03:43 am

Yes, with four or so weeks left in the semeser, I'm in my usual mire of grading and planning and  not much else.  The dog saga continues as now we're wondering if her issues might be an ongoing ear infection.  So we're off the antibiotics and trying ear meds hoping that will help her jaw issues.  She hangs on and seem to eat only in the afternoons and evenings.  She's kind of herself sometimes.  --some wagging, some dancing around.  I'm going to try taking her to the park after school tomorrow to see if that perks her up.

Tomorrow is my scheduled booster shot. I'm glad to get it as I'm headed to Minnesota next weekend to see a bunch of friends and the numbers--especially outside the Twin Cities are not good.  In other snooze-inducing news I spent a small fortune at the grocery store and on an oil change.  I've had to dip into savings short term to cover this month's remaining tuition bills, hosing for DD, and the new range.  But we should be able to pay things back over the next few months. 

Which brings me to the somewhat unexpected news about DH's job. He's been a contractor at a large local firm for almost 20 years--with a blip of about a year at another company.  The last two years have been his happiest there, still a contractor.  And now it finally appears they're offering him a job.  So we'll see what they offer.  But while we would've been overjoyed at the news for years, it's now sort of "meh."  We want to move to London.  But this will at least offer some stability while we prepare for that. 

 

Vet Bills

November 4th, 2021 at 03:57 am

Let's start with the good news: Our 15 1/2 year old dog is still ticking, still wagging a little.  Now the saga: Thursday she went to the vet for a bad itch that didn't seem to ever go away.  Treatment --claritin and see us if it gets worse.  Friday she started strangely trembling and in a lot of pain. Diagnosis--bulging disc in her back which needs rest and a strong pain reliever.  Saturday morning after one dose of the pain pills, she couldn't walk, seem overdosed and unfocused.  When the drug wore off, she ate a little something and then sort of revived.  By Sunday and Monday she seemed much worse.  Lots of accidents, no food, running a temp.  I spent a good hour googling at home euthanasia. By Monday night I was convinced it was not a back issue, but instead an infection. We were up all night with her.

Yesterday morning it was back to the vet.  My husband had to carry her in, but while she was there, a huge abscess burst which was apparently the source of the infection.  Either it was not there at the previous appointments or they missed it. Since then she's been on antibiotics and has really perked up.  She's still struggling, but she's eating and is bright eyed.  Please don't ask the total of the unused drugs and bills.  But she's worth it if she still wants to hang in there.

Oof.  There will need to be cutbacks

September Songs

September 7th, 2021 at 08:48 pm

I have no idea why, but I've had Sinatra singing "September Song" in my head for days.  I guess it must be back-to-school time.

We're at Day 2 of masked instruction, and despite my qualms, it's going ok.  Cross your fingers that it continues to go ok.  All of our staff is nervous, students are unsure, but we're there and we're doing it.

In non-university news, our DD is safely ensconced in Scotland.  We had a wonderful trip despite less-than-wonderful flights.  On our flight out, the Chicago PD had to haul off the jerk in front of me for hitting a flight attendant and then refusing to mask.  His horrible behavior delayed us two hours which meant 200 people missed their connections in Dublin.  Part of me wishes they could've jettisoned him out at 35,000 feet.  But I don't have enough good things to say about Aer Lingus.  They were not my favorite airline before, but they sure are now.  They handled things so professionally and even comped us  meals and a  hotel room for 8 hours so we could shower and nap before the next connection.    And the paperwork for this trip was immense.  But despite all that, we did it!  

We had a great time in Edinburgh and environs, going all around and to the Scotish border abbeys and to Stirling, then back to the area where DD and I stayed last year with a trip to southern England for five days to visit DH's family.  DD is handling thing brilliantly.  She's signed up with the NHS, has a UK bank account, got her phone straightened out,and has been meeting people and exploring every day.  Uni starts in another two weeks, and she's encountered the fun of adulting, realizing that despite making meals today, she'll have to make them again tomorrow! 

The trip reinforced our desire to move back to the UK, so we've been decluttering and making a plan.

That's it for now.  After all, it's September which means I have work to do!

 

 

Well, Hello!

July 31st, 2021 at 03:29 am

Hi SA Friends:

Long-time, no check-in.  I guess I'm tired of screens--teaching on screens, chatting on screens, working on screens.  But I need to get back on the SA Wagon. 

So what's news in our world?

DD and I spent most of July in Minnesota seeing friends and relatives--lots of hiking, eating, drinking and fun.

DD is headed back to Scotland for university in a few weeks--more on that to follow.

DH is still working from home

I taught a summer class remotely.

So overall, not much.  We've spent some $ on landscaping which is lovely and more on new doors which we're waiting on.  We also got new family room blinds when our old ones fell apart.  Our old dog has renal failure but is hanging in there so far. 

That's enough for now, but I promise to be back soon.

Hope you're all well!

 

 

 

I Got A Haircut!

March 10th, 2021 at 03:56 am

When else would that be such exciting news?  It's my second haircut in a year.  .  And just a cut, no color.  I'll handle the color myself as I've actually liked the Madison Reed color I used in November.  And I tipped my stylist a lot; what a hard year she's had. 

My DD has been cooking one night a week--all vegetarian dishes.  Tonight she made the Tiktok feta pasta which was rich, but delicious.  I feel a bit restless, but am eagerly looking forward to break in a week and a half.

 No other news to report.

Paying Myself Back

February 19th, 2021 at 05:45 am

It's been a busy day with student zoom conferences and an unexpected vet visit.  Our old dog had a strange episode last night--something the vet called an acute collapse.  She came running in from the yard, and when I turned around she was flat on the floor and not moving.  She stayed that way--though conscious --for about 4 or 5 minutes while I sat next to her trying to comfort her.  There was no sign of injury, so I'm not sure whether she ran into our unforgiving iron chair legs or collapsed for another reason.  But when my DH came in, she raised her head, and a few minutes later as I tried to carry her to her bed, she got up, drank some water, and sat there staring for a while.    By midnight she seemed almost fine, eating, drinking, etc

 

The vet was unsure too--did she have a concussion from running into something?  A cardiac event?  He ruled out a seizure as there was no shaking or spasms.  But she seems pretty good today for almost a 15-year-old.  So aside from $70 at the vet, I stopped into ALDI on the way home for some bargains.  I also am slowly paying myself back for DD's first year at university.  I owe myself $15,000 but have paid back $3000 since November.  A few other minor additions from refunds and Swagbucks added more to my big goal.  Financial goals for the weekend include DD's taxes.  Happy it'll be warmer!

Singing the Same Song

February 15th, 2021 at 08:03 pm

It's cold cold cold.  We were whining abut -4 until I checked my friends in central MN at -26.  My cabin fever comes and goes, but February--ugh.

We had a nice cheap Valentine's Day with lots of good food. I made strawbery pancakes and sausage for breakfast, then jambalaya for dinner with a bakewell tart--my first attempt at those.    I'd ordered some cute penguin earrings for DD, and DH bought a pretty blooming plant for me.  It was a nice day.

I have student conferences all week.  They're challenging weeks as I try to juggle regular work with talking to them.  But it really helps us all to talk to each other and build a solid bond. 

In between I'm decluttering,  and adding more layers to my bulky Michelin man conference clothes.

Good luck to all of you with the weather challenges!

 

 

February Cold

February 9th, 2021 at 11:08 pm

Yes, it's my least favorite month of the year, and we have a long cold snap.  Oh yeah, and everything else that's going on.  COVID has hit our circle hard--My best friend has lost her mother-in-law, two work colleagues have lost parents, and Friday my aunt died.  In between those, we lost two friends to colon cancer.  Man, I'm cheery, aren't I? 

So we keep on keeping on.  Work is fine for all of us.  DD is very busy with online classes, and my minor victory is I actually got on the treadmill today.  Little money news here.  I've become a fairly regular ALDI shopper as it's big and mostly empty when I go--and cheap.  I'll do the taxes this weekend. 

My major decision looming is whether to try to figure out our retirement timeline myself or hire a CFP.  I know some of you have experience with them, and I think I'd feel reassured if I go that route.  Dido?  Anyone else have recommendations?  My only qualm is that many of them I've found want huge $$ of assets, some stipulating over 2 million.  That's not us.  But we are a bit complicated with money in two countries and juggling tuition etc. 

 

Revving Up for the Semester

January 14th, 2021 at 04:20 am

This week and next week are all meetings all the time.  Those of you who are able to sit still and not fidget in long zoom meetings, please divulge your secrets.  I find myself moving around, nodding like a bobble head, or messing with pens and paper.

DD has started back (virtually) at Edinburgh, but my university doesn't begin classes until 25 January.  I have lots of prep for my classes and a lot of training for new instructors. 

Our only real significant financial news is getting our stimulus check.  We've decided to donate at least half and have set DD to find the best new donation spots.  It's been officially 10 months of this now, and I know how great the need is everywhere.

I sold a pair of extra ice skates and will throw that cash into the 100K fund soon.

Wishing you all safe and peaceful days.

 

That Post-Christmas Lull

December 28th, 2020 at 05:39 pm

There's always a post-Christmas lull, isn't there? I've finished up my grading for my regular classes, but have some work to do for the FLEX classes I'm babysitting.  And I'll need to start planning for next term.  And there are some errands to be done.  But I'm starting it slow today and trying to think of what I want/need to do.

I've put a few things on the calendar: our teaching symposium will be virtual, there are students that will need to be talked to, we'll need to cancel some classes.  For me, the biggest item will be finding a financial planner to help us sort through retirement/relocation planning.  I've done a lot of the online calcultors, contacted my university pension people, etc, but I'd llike to have a firmer plan in place in a few months.

DH is still working away in the basement.  His office is closed (even virtually) but since he's a contractor, he's still working. even over the holidays.  We're glad for the regular paycheck.  Grateful for the stability so many lack right now.   

Not much financial news: I'll pay half the property taxes this week, we'll make some donations.  Our Christmas was pretty cheap with minimal gifts.  The holding pattern continues,.

 

Merry Christmas to All

December 25th, 2020 at 07:33 am

I was half dreading today, knowing I'd miss my usual Christmas breakfast with my Minneapolis friends, and then Christmas with my brother and his family.  But it went very well with just the three of us home.  It's been a food-centered week.  On Tuesday I drove out to our admin's house.  She's been the only one in the office since March, but was recently diagnosed with cancer.  A bunch of my co-workers made food.  I made chicken soup and squash soup and gingerbread, and dropped it off.  She'd just got back from chemo. 

And today we had a lovely cheese fondue, homemade bread, veggies etc.  It was a quiet night, but we lit candles and watched our church's service.  A peaceful end to the day.  Merry Christmas all.

Still Grading

December 14th, 2020 at 08:31 pm

That will be my slogan for the next four or five days: Still Grading.  I'm never quite sure whether I should take a day off now classes are over and just do house things and errands or push straight through the grading.  I certainly hit the wall on grading on Saturday, and I wasn't alone.  All my teaching pals were cooking, messaging, decorating--anything to step away from the dropboxes for a while.   

I have another meeting and a final student session to round out the afternoon, but then will go back to grading. 

It's been a cheap weekend here--a no-spend Saturday and Sunday though we did look at dining chairs.

I also listed few things on Facebook and have started yet another Goodwill box.  Our wondrous admin person at the university is starting chemo this week, so I'll make some soup, collect some things from others, and drive out to her house this week. 

My biggest "gulp" has been our property tax bill which which has risen by more than $500.  Ugh.  I normally auto-save each month for that bill, but borrowed some for DD's tuition.  I think I'll pay it in three installments this year since there's no tax advantage to paying it all before December 31 any more.

Such a frugal December here....

 

Quiet Days

December 7th, 2020 at 11:39 pm

Let's see; what's happened?  I'm in full grading mode and not doing much else.

We got a tree on Saturday.  The local nursery was out of Frasiers so we got a pretty balsam.

Half the lights are on as that's DH's task and he's torn between work, school, and home chores.

Honestly, we're all very cranky.  My DD is waiting to take her exams, DH is busy, and I don't have enough time in the day to get everything done.  We keep getting stalled on things like replacing the dining room table and curtains.  We get halfway there, but cannot find anyone to take our free and pretty table.  So both are in the crowded dining room now.  I need to touch up the paint where the old blinds were, but also need to finish the mountain of grading. 

This is the point in the semester where I wish I could lock myself in a room and have someone leave food outside.  I'd emerge in six or so days.    Isn't that Holly Jolly?    I think we're also just like the rest of the world, weary of isolation and sameness.  But will keep pushing through grading as best as I can.    Onward.

 

 

Flush That Cash

November 18th, 2020 at 05:01 pm

Since March, my DH has been mostly living in the basement.  His office shut down and he has been working from home 9-5.  Plus all his grad classes moved online and his thesis prep and his approximately 200,000 books are all downstairs too.  Other items downstaris include the laundry room, furnace, water heater, freezer, canned goods, and way too much other storage along with the treadmill.  And a small bathroom. 

Now the toilet down there has started leaking around the seal.  He's an ambitious but somewhat inept DIY-er and shut off the water, drained the tanks, and was ready to replace the seal which is about 40 years old.  Then he got stuck.  The seal was a mess, he's frustrated, and it's taking away from his work time.  he's paid by the hour.   So we've called the plumber.  They can reseal and replace the original old toilet, reseal and replace a new toilet we buy, or reseal and bring their own.  After a bunch of hours evaluating, we've decided they should do the whole darn thing.  Their estimate is about $750.  I guess I'm thankful they can't come until early December; we have two lovely bathrooms upstairs, and early December means another pay period before they'll want their cash.

This afternoon I'm taking a look at how much money I'll need to transfer from DD's 529 plan to cover her tuition, 2/3 of which is currently on my credit card.  As my dear father-in-law used to say, "So much spending out."

Despite our three-person and one small dog Thanksgiving, I got a 15lb turkey for 37cents a lb.  This was after I'd bought a turkey breast, but we'll cook the big one and save the breast for later.  I couldn't pass up that much turkey for that little cash. 

That's my spending report.  Back to work to finance all this.

 

Soup Time

November 11th, 2020 at 09:23 pm

Yeah, it's 45 degrees out, I've got wild rice in the cupboard, and a budget that needs a little help, so, as usual, it's soup time.  I love the Instant Pot wild rice soup I started making last winter, so will start a pot as soon as I get offline.

I'm trying very very hard to pay DD's tuition bill without moving money from her 529 plan or our savings.  I think I'll be short, but not by much.  And since they let me put it on the credit card with no additional charges, the cash back feature will repay it.  Trying hard for zero spending until the next card date rollover early next week.  So soup it is!

I went to my university office to work today; it's quiet as a tomb and not much more cheerful.  But I put the lamps on, turned on some music and got stuff done.  Unfortunately the kitchen was locked up, and my tempting casserole leftovers were not nearly as nice stone cold.  But we got through it. 

 

Holding the Line on Spending

November 5th, 2020 at 01:26 am

We're trying to make November as frugal as possible.  Some of this comes from the desire to pay DD's tuition without dipping heavily into her 529 plan, while some of comes from wanting to accomplish a few home improvements. 

We'd like to knock out part of a kitchen wall and put in French doors onto our patio.  it's a bit complicated as there would be masonry work, moving electric switches and a heat register.  We also got a bid on a new front door.  I expected the French doors to be expensive, but over $3000 for a new front door and storm/screen door seems excessive.  I may need to get a new bid on that. 

So frugality!  Lots of leftovers eaten in the past few days and the only spending for the month has been $140 on ear drops for the dog's infected ear and the vet appointment. 

I'd like to update my blog statistics to show a deposit to the 100K goal, but can't seem to update those.  Anyone else have control panel issues?

 

 

Lots to Consider

November 2nd, 2020 at 05:23 am

It's been a busy time; online teaching, well, I find it draining.  It's more computer-based work than regular teaching with none of the fun.  But we're getting it done.

The biggest news there is that the university is struggling with their budgets and I've been informed I may be eligible for an early retirement package.  If they do offer it to me, we'll need to sit down and see what that would do for/to our budget.  I really am not eager for an early retirment, but I may take it.  I'd like to have more freedom than I have, and we're again talking about moving back to the UK.

Not much other news:  One of DD's friends came for the weekend.  Her university has same-day testing, and she was tested before she arrived. She stayed with us because her whole family--who she hasn't seen in a month have all tested positive.  So it was either another weekend in her dorm room, or a weekend with us.  We were happy to have her.  Lots of treats purchased, but we also have lots of leftovers. 

We're supposed to have some warmer days this week, so looking forward to going out for some longer walks. 

 

 

 

Every Little Bit

August 24th, 2020 at 03:36 am

Quiet weekend with household chores punctuated by an unfortunate run-in with yellow jackets. Friday we got fed up with them as they've found their way into my DH's basement office, so the bee man came out and sprayed.

We also found a DIY solution that knocked off another couple dozen of them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FhifTGKtUQ&feature=youtu.be
They are yellow jackets--not bees or we would have chosen a more gentle solution.

In a bit of financial news, I sold four books and made $12. Every little bit helps!

Lovely Evening

August 7th, 2020 at 10:27 pm

We had a friend over for dinner last night--socially distanced and on the patio. She lives alone, her law practice is suffering, and she's lonesome.

I initially thought I didn't have "nice" enough food for a company dinner but we had pesto farfalle with green beans, French potato salad, grilled zucchini and pineapple and pork tenderloin. I think we finally got grilled pork tenderloin right--it was delicious. I also made Julia Child's blueberry clafouti in a cast iron skillet, and I hate to brag, but it was wonderful.

Our guest is also a Brit, so we talked a long time about whether/how long we'll stay here or go. Her daughter lives in London and although her elderly parents are local now, she's thinking a lot about moving. It was a good talk. And I'm tickled not to have spent extra on groceries yet come up with a good dinner. The CSA veggies are the stars of most of our meals these days.

Lots of meetings today, and if it's hot tomorrow and DD is at work, I'll spend the day structuring my class web sites. I've done another session on accessibility readers and formatting, so much to think about.

No sign of the passport or CAS number for DD yet. We still wait on all that.

I've updated the sidebar with our big goal number. The increase is due solely to a couple of surveys and discussions. I'd sure like to see that at $10,000 by the year's end, but lots of expenses coming up.

Quiet but Beautiful Weekend

June 22nd, 2020 at 01:24 am

What a beautiful June it's been. My garden is doing well and the greenery is so gorgeous. I love June.
We had a quiet weekend, and today our DD has gone back to her work as a grocery checker at the small convenience store near us. She hasn't been in since March but it seems they have good safety guidelines in place, so she was eager to go back. Just four hours today.
I bought a few books, but we still have a lot of food, especially with the CSA delivery. Not much else new.

I need to do some serious work this week planning for fall. Happy Father's Day to all the dads in your lives!

A Few Things Purchased

June 15th, 2020 at 03:40 am

I spent some cash at a friend's online Pampered Chef party. I don't know her all that well as she's really a friend of a friend,, but she's a single mom who has been furloughed from her job. And I like nice kitchen things so I googled "Best Pampered Chef" products and bought a few things.

We also spent about $100 yesterday on getting a new British passport for our daughter. And she's going "up north" with friends for a few days to a friend's cabin before she starts working again next weekend.

I always read the unclaimed property listings in the paper hoping to discover a windfall, but I did find a good friend's name listed. I messaged her, and to her great surprise she had $77 coming from a phone refund. She's promised to buy me a patio margarita when the check arrives.

Still no word from the university, but I expect to hear plans this week.

Peaceful Sunday

June 7th, 2020 at 05:48 pm

We're having a quiet Sunday and cool beautiful weather. We had dinner with a friend last night. I was hesitant but I think we did it mostly right. We did have shared food, but she lives alone and we ate and sat outside on her deck. She is an attorney in private practice and I don't think she's seen anybody in months. I hope it was ok, and it sure was a mood lifter.

Today was supposed to be our DD's high school graduation so it's a bittersweet day around here. We've ordered a cake for tomorrow, and will be celebrating in bits and pieces all summer, I guess.

After a big Costco shop on Thursday, we're set for a long time. I'll be glad when the CSA starts as mostly I'm buying produce and eggs and milk.

Not a lot of money news; we've been donating to food pantries and social service organizations. Some things I ordered online have been delayed including live plants, so I expect that will be a mess to untangle. This should also be an interesting week for work; I expect some sort of announcement from the university about fall classes. Better grab the peaceful Sunday while I can. Wishing you all the same.

Hot Day Progress

June 4th, 2020 at 01:45 am

Not a lot of real money news, but we've been good on the decluttering front. DD and I watched some Marie Kondo videos and sorted though most of her clothes. One big box went to the charity shop today as well as a big plastic bin. I found a place about 20 minutes south of us that recycles refrigerant so we dropped off the broken dehumidifier there, then masked up and went into Kohl's with a load of plastic bags for recycling. I boxed winter sweaters for the out of season closet, found some lavender soap given to us by the French exchange student last year, and stored them together.

DD had her "fake" graduation pix taken this morning. Every senior had a five-minute slot for the cap and gown photo. They're still trying to schedule something for July.

I see a Costco trip for fresh fruit and veggies tomorrow. We need a half dozen more things as we're still feeding us all 3X a day. Lots of food!

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?


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