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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 04:36 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.
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 11:27 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 02:24 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 04:40 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 06:48 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 02:45 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 05:01 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?

Secret Spending

May 14th, 2020 at 06:00 am

Does that headline sound naughty? I think I could give y'all 100 guesses and you wouldn't come up with what I spent $7.99 on. What? You guessed Monopoly houses and hotels? Gees, you're smart!

My DD and I are fed up with my DH's cutthroat Monopoly playing. He plays so hard to win and tries to buy up all the houses, never changing to hotels just so we can't buy more houses. So I've bought a secret stash and will surreptitiously add one or two to the total number every few days.
If this isn't a sure sign that we've been cooped up together too long, I'm not sure what is.

In other news--one of my staff got her promotion file passed (hooray), now on to the dept approval tomorrow. I'd rather NOT think of the meeting tomorrow as they've scheduled (gulp) 2 1/2 hours on Zoom to unroll all the bad news. I may have to turn the camera off to hide the wine bottle.

I participated in an online focus group tonight for $20. I like these little side hustles. Graded projects most of the day and evening. Will be 1/3 done tomorrow, I swear.

Another NS Day!

May 12th, 2020 at 06:08 am

But yikes, so busy at work. It's like digging a hole with a teaspoon trying to get to the end of my dropboxes. One of my people is up for promotion, and I had to review/rewrite half of her file. She's got kids at home, trying to teach four classes, and if we can get her file through this teeny window before things get cancelled at the university, it'll be such a relief. So I spent half the day on that.

But we do have some financial news. Our DD has won some sort of an academic scholarship at her high school. It's likely to be small, but hey, every little bit. She took an online AP test today, and I graded for hours and hours.

It's darn meetings and darn grading all week while fielding excuses from students. Some of them are very valid and almost heartbreaking; others "kind of forgot about class" and want extensions. Sheesh.

Not Much New

May 2nd, 2020 at 04:56 am

We got another Costco order today, dropped some things off at the church food donation, and I wrote course proposals and graded homework.

That's about it in my world.

I saw this story and thought about Keeping it Frugal, Laura.

Virtual Proms and So Much Food Prep

April 19th, 2020 at 10:46 pm

My wonderful daughter and her friends held a virtual senior prom last night. One of her friends decorated their whole living room with lights and all three of their girls and the parents dressed up. They had big "Class of 2020" signs, and then zoomed six more girls in. It was a lot of fun as they laughed, chose dance numbers, and just enjoyed hours of teenage chatter and dancing together.

I'm plugging away at classes, seemingly cooking all the time, and trying not to think too far ahead. Our university chancellor held a virtual town hall meeting on Friday outlining four possible scenarios for next year. They all involve furlough days (read paycuts as furloughing from teaching is impossible), and some combination of online, hybrid, and maybe some face to face teaching. Our deficit has doubled because of the refunds for dorms and food service and other expenses.

It sort of made me want to cry, but like so many of us, we are incredibly lucky. DH and I continue to work, our house is paid for as are our cars. We have food, lights, heat, telecomms, health, and each other.

So, in more uplifting news, I thawed some forgotten puff pastry which should use more of the (damn) ham with swiss and spinach for a puff pasty something.

So onward! At least to the kitchen!

We're AOK

April 9th, 2020 at 06:28 pm

Like most of you, we're still home, still on three computers in three different rooms with one coding, one learning, one teaching--and one barking to liven things up.

Groceries are being delivered--for the most part for which we're grateful. We're walking, playing monopoly, and cooking a lot.

I planted spinach, we raked the yard, and my CSA guy delivered three pounds of spinach today. We like spinach.

In decluttering efforts we've given away plastic Easter eggs to local families looking for some. I'm going to take another swipe at parts of the basement today.

Happy for what we have been privileged to have. Realizing how much we have taken for granted.

First Grocery Delivery Yesterday

March 31st, 2020 at 07:45 pm

We'd been two+ weeks on just what we had at home, and I ordered a few basics and some extras yesterday. I think in the lost world, they would've totaled to about $50, but they were almost $100. Yet that's a small price to pay for safety for everyone. We tipped the delivery person $15.

School work is quiet, DD is done with her classes for today, and DH is working away in MY home office.

Mt DD's school trip to France in June has been cancelled, and I'd sure like that money back. I understand the company is trying to negotiate with everyone for refunds, but it will be nice when that arrives. And it's been so slow here that I've even completed my Swagbucks goal for the month; I think that's the first time in years.

Wishing you all well!

And that's that.

March 14th, 2020 at 05:48 am

All of our university has closed down for two weeks when we all switch to online for a while--and maybe until the end of the semester. DD is out of school for a month with her HS switching to online.

I had a meeting today with our instructors trying to get everyone ready. It's a strange strange time.

And just a note to all of you out there--please don't yell at the store clerks because they're out of TP. Three nasty folks yelled at my kid tonight for that very reason. Patience, kindness, compassion, community.


March 2nd, 2020 at 08:55 pm

It was a no-spend Sunday--except for the offering plate.
And for me it was almost exclusively a work day, but I think I've rounded the corner with my employee evals.

And this is the last week of my adjunct class which I will not miss--except for the paycheck which got deposited today. I'm behind on my grading and would like to spend tonight catching up. I've updated my big goal with some new figures and am 6.2 percent there.
I'd planned on putting the last adjunct paycheck toward that, but think it will go into DD's new Roth IRA.

This sunshine sure helps the mood.