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Archive for August, 2015

Catching Up

August 23rd, 2015 at 06:20 pm

It's been a busy couple of weeks. School started for teachers August 13 and students returned August 17. We had some very hot days (most of our schools are not air conditioned.) But, like most educators, we are optimistic about a good year. We have a new principal at our building this year and if the last 7 days are any indication, he's going to be a winner! A strong leader makes a workplace so much better.

DH planted a small garden and we have been enjoying tomatoes, peppers, onions, and herbs. We had hoped to get more tomatoes this year so I could can quite a few, but our tomatoes have really dropped off. A friend and her brother have kept us supplied in green beans. Another friend gave us some sweet corn. And I have acquired cucumbers to make pickles from a variety of places. I have canned what I could and have quite a few things for our pantry. There is something about looking at what we have that makes me feel good. Weird, eh?

Before school began, I had meetings in the district. It was funny how old habits pop up. We were given ample time to go out to eat. I took my lunch and ate there and worked and I took my coffee instead of stopping and getting some for the morning. It was interesting because some of the folks were already complaining how money was tight. Imagine that!

I plan on retiring at the end of this school year. I didn't get a special deal or retirement bonus or anything. Someone asked me how I could plan to retire so soon (I'll be 55.) I said we saved and paid off things. Our home is paid for. Both vehicles are paid off. Other than our every day spending and bills, we don't have any outstanding bills. Basically, we have lived below our means. We met with our financial advisor last summer and when he saw our budget, he was astounded. He said that so many folks "finance" everything and are never prepared at this stage in their lives. So, unless we have some major thing come up, we should be doing OK.

I was telling a young person the other day I was planning on retiring and we were talking about Roths and 403bs. He said he and his wife don't have money to save. I told him he needed to find money to save, even a little bit, because it is over the years that it increases. I could tell he really didn't want to think about how to save money; it is far easier to complain you don't have it instead of trying to figure out ways to save it.

Our meals for this week:
brunch: scrambled eggs, sausage, grits, toast, fruit
Baby back ribs, mashed potatoes, greens beans, fruit
Pork tenderloin roast with carrots and onions, roasted potatoes
Leftover roast with sweet potatoes and green beans
Quiche with leftover sausage, sliced tomatoes
Chicken with barbecue sauce, roasted potatoes with peppers and onions, roasted vegetables, fruit

Sultry Sunday

August 16th, 2015 at 09:09 pm

Geeze, it is hot out there. They predicted 90 and my car thermometer said it was 91 over an hour ago. So glad we have a/c. I remember growing up we didn't and sleeping wasn't easy being hot and sticky. I know we are very blessed now, even if we do complain about the bills.

Started back to school last Thursday. Our building is not air conditioned and it was warm. I dread tomorrow after it being closed up all weekend and so hot. The good thing is this is my last year; my intention is to retire at the end of this school year. Some of my friends are already doing a countdown of school days.

My church is doing a capital campaign and last Sunday I posted on Facebook a query -- if I baked something would people be willing to donate for whatever it was? I had a decent response. Last Monday I dropped off a loaf of zucchini bread and today I baked 5 loaves of banana bread. Two have been delivered and three go tomorrow. Tomorrow evening I am fixing a meal for a neighbor for a donation as well. People have been generous so that has been nice.

One of my older friends no longer emails, so I have been writing her a letter every weekend and mailing it. She says it is like getting to visit with me each week, so that's kind of nice. Do you still write letters?

It's getting near supper time. We are going to have some leftover pork roast from the other night with some leftover vegetables, but I think I will have to come up with some starch. I like the option of cooking once and having a meal or two off of whatever was fixed, even if I have to add to it. Saves money and time.

Goodbye Summer!

August 12th, 2015 at 08:01 pm

Today is the last day of my summer vacation as school begins for staff tomorrow and the students return on Monday.

What a summer this has been. I can't say I've saved a ton, but what we spent was anticipated. We planned on taking two small trips and everything was paid for.

I did wind up buying more canning jars than I anticipated, but that is a mixed blessing, no? It will be nice having the food this winter and not buying as many groceries.

As an educator, it is always exciting to begin a new year, but it is also sad to think my vacation time is over. Yes, I know, that's the beauty of vacation...enjoying the time off, but returning to work.

One thing I'm not looking forward to is packing lunches again. I don't mind fixing lunches at home, I just dread packing lunches to take to work. I don't know why, it isn't difficult. I guess it is just knowing I have a limited amount of time to eat and I don't want to have to little or too much, and there are some days the pickings are slim...that's when I resort to crackers and peanut butter from the pantry. Oh, well. My eating from stuff at home saves us money so we can do all those fun things during the summer.