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Viewing the '$ OUT' Category

Magic Furnace Man Visits

January 15th, 2007 at 05:58 pm

Amazing but true, I'm listening to the furnace humming away here.....actually heating the house! This is still the old furnace, the same one multiple technicians have looked at and pronounced Deader then Dead.

No charge for todays visit either.......but we're running on prayer here. I did ask the gentleman to give me a quote on putting in a new furnace, since he agreed this one was older than old and parts can't be found to repair anything on it. I'm feeling like it would be money well spent to put in a new one, something that I could rely on, that didn't have questionable wiring or need the planets aligned just right to work.

But, in the meantime, the heat is coming out of the vents for the first time ever! What a concept.... The natives here are going to be wowed! Smile

I braved the roads and actually drove somewhere today. Not bad at all.....and considering we're to get more snow tonight, I was thinking it was now or wait til spring. Spent money & got a haircut...much needed. Was looking quite unkept & I hate that. And, with ME being on my 07 goals list; the haircut was mandatory!

Would have made a bank deposit too, but remembered it was a holiday......Since I no longer have kids in school, I can't tell what day of the week it is without help!

Had a phone call from an old friend who had moved away a couple years ago......we will be getting together for a real visit soon. I think it was the first time I've had to explain to anyone (other than close family) what happened in the last couple years ....the move, the business, etc... Telling something to someone else is an interesting thing....it brings everything back up again, but also puts things in a different light. All good I think. Looking forward to connecting again and continuing to catch up with each other....

The Difference a Color Makes

January 10th, 2007 at 06:10 pm

I'm still painting.....still DO-ing with what I've already got rather then BUY-ing stuff.

And, I'm so totally excited about my "new" bathroom/bedroom it is just nuts! I've got 2 walls to go, and the dreaded closets & I'm done. So far, all with free paint from the county recycling plant. And, I'm feeling the boost that comes from color ....at least for me. This house had been painted all white on the inside; not a speck of color anywhere! And, now.....I've got a yummy shade of moss green sort of...not sure what this would be called, perhaps Fern? The name doesn't matter, the only thing on my agenda was using up the stuff I have on hand!

Once the empty wall was painted, I got help and we moved the new to me armoire in and I set up a new (really new....a Christmas gift from 2005 no less!) TV in it. How nice this will be! My room is looking more pulled together every day and I'm continuing to use from my stash of everything from paint to fabric.

And.....not to forget my Physical Self Goal .....I've made some headway on arranging walking partners. Got 2 responses from my Craigs list post & am meeting 1 woman on Friday AM! She is available 5 days a week... How terrific. The other person sounds possible too, we just don't have a date set up yet.

Snowed in here again tonight. (not really, I just don't drive in this stuff) But, we have power & we can flush! Wood stove is doing it's job and life is good!

Had to cancel a knitting student today, but signed up a new one for next week. Not a beginner either......someone who wants to learn to make socks! Can't wait. Have 3 different kinds on the needles to take for examples....I'm all set.

Did pay my housekeeper today ....for the month. So, $$ out. But it is so worth it to me. We did cut back to 2X a month, so it is half the expense....and almost as nice as weekly. With the rental monies from the tenants, the cleaning bill is covered anyway, along with any increases in the utilities, so it works for me.

Off to an evening of knitting here....and enjoying my new green walls.

A Change In Plans

January 9th, 2007 at 11:10 am

My knitting student cancelled today, giving me a free day here...........so what am I going to do???

One of my queries on Craigs list responded with a all wood armoire, for $55.00....so I'm headed to town to pick it up! I had passed on finishing up the furniture plan for my room when I quit work......but this is too good to not do. I'll paint it to match the rest of the pieces I've had since I was 16. Yes, that isn't a typo.........I was given a gorgeous set of furniture when I was at home & I still love it. Pays to get good stuff the first time!!

No replies on the bathtub search yet... Crossing fingers something cheap turns up. I AM going to finish up this room and have it the way I want.........I'm NOT going to spend a ton of money to get it that way!

Off on my treasure hunt........aiming to get back home before our new winter storm arrives. (I didn't put the generator away.....it's sitting at the ready, and we've stored WAY more water for flushing this time too!)

Do Rather Than Buy: Part 2

January 8th, 2007 at 09:13 pm

Mulling over the Do not Buy philosophy today, I happened to pass a church with a reader board out front,
"Whatcha gonna do with whatcha got?" and I started thinking more seriously about what it is I can be DOING to move myself along my list of goals.

When the same idea hits me from several directions at the same time, I know it is time to take a closer look. It's always something I already knew, but need to learn again or something.

Oddly enough, the first thing I did when heading out today was to SPEND money. What's with that you say??? I know......me too. But, all my projects here that can be done are hinging on needing a drill. I have the materials (most anyway), the person to do the jobs free of charge and the ideas of what needs to be done.........but a flaky drill that isn't mine. So, I'm the proud owner of a drill now, and lining projects up right and left!

Also stopped on the way home at the trailhead closest to home and walked for 30 minutes. Had one of my boys with me & he was at his limit....but it was a great walk.

And, just to tempt the universe or something, I checked Craigs list for bathtubs (my one real WANT here) and have found 3 online in our area...all under $100. One new that was used as a demo in a condo, 2 others that look fantastic too.... We'll see if any of them pan out...and if so, how amazing would that be?

Brought in an armful of fabrics I had been saving (like they need to age or something??) and have them strewn about my room, to see what works & to get my ideas firmed up. I can see a headboard recovering project & some new shams....along with the window coverings.

Finished a very frugal project this evening, by recovering my ironing board with things from the stash. I had fleeting thoughts of buying a new cover....and then banished them quickly. My ironing board is now beautifully new and just exactly like I want it! Free too!

So, a productive day......even got paid for one of the week end kids.... Will keep pondering the Do not Buy idea around here and see how much I can get accomplished.

My Second Home

December 8th, 2006 at 09:02 pm

My home away from home.......yes, back at moms for a few days. Staying long enough this time to get things done AND have some time to just do fun things together. (we've packed so many things in the past couple days, we're both exhausted tonight!)

Have the yard all cleaned up for her, patio furniture stored and the lawns mowed for what I hope is the last time this season. Moved her furniture so the arrangement is more convenient for her and hung the pictures we just matted and framed.

I got my haircut (finally.....put it off due to the snowstorms & I was really getting cranky!) and used a coupon on it's last day......so a $7.95 haircut this time! Nice. Also managed to fit in a Trader Joe trip (none by my house) & use my $50 g/c from October. Also nice.

We did dinner out, just for fun & then home. Since my mom doesn't enjoy putting up a tree any longer, I just did a few little things throughout her house, so it still looks a bit holiday-ish for her.

Had a money discussion tonight, but not re; the cc payoff. I asked if her one mortage is at a good interest rate....and her comment was 'should she pay it off or take the money in question and add to her annuity fund account?' Told her I have no idea. When it comes to comparing apples to oranges I'm no good. She will talk to her accountant to see if he can shed light on this one. It is the question of income vs. interest being paid or something like that....... I just wanted to know if she had the best rate on the loan.

Will aim for the cc discussion tomorrow. Also need attorney meeting and some much needed changes to her trust account, etc, etc ........ We always seem to have things that need attention. Grateful we can talk about anything and everything!

Catching Up

November 20th, 2006 at 05:40 pm

I've been playing a long game of "Catch Up" here, and I'm not winning! Seems I get more behind each day/week.....

Spent a couple days last week at my moms, getting some BIG things off her list, but not making any headway around here. I'm having a Thanksgiving dinner, plus overnight guests here for the week end, so this week is pretty booked.

Started last night.......during the middle of the night. I couldn't sleep, so I got my tablet & started making lists. Shopping, TO DO, what to cook when sorts of lists. Finally got to sleep around 4AM. (can't wait for lights out here this evening!!)

Did the shopping for the week today, and have a couple of the menu items started already. (gotta love things like frozen salads, etc.......a do-ahead dream)

Sold a book on Amazon yesterday, so got it mailed today. Would love to see this little venture a tad more active. Not going to get rich with this one. But, no expenses on this either.

Did have to spend money today, on a new feeder for the chickens. They had quickly outgrown the chick feeders and needed to graduate. I have no idea where the feeder is from the old house, so this was a stupid expense, replacing something I already have......had??? Should last the rest of my lifetime however. Plus, I now have it set up so I won't need to fill grain containers 2X a day! Nice.

Picked up fabric for a customers order, re lining slacks.......which is such an easy do, but people are willing to really spend on this repair.... Should get this done & be paid the first week in Dec.

Anxious to try my new SonicCare toothbrush system from BzzAgent. Just got it in the mail today & will set it up this evening. Probably needs to charge, now that I think of it......

Also got an invite from a food co, to participate in a survey. I'd requested a sample from the freebies pages here ages ago. There was a list of thank you gifts they will send when I complete the 20 minutes..... Nice!

Timers' ringing, means I'm due back in the kitchen. Hope everyone is up to speed on their Thanksgiving prep....

Furnace Decision Time

November 3rd, 2006 at 10:14 pm

Furnace Repair Person #2 was here today, and has complicated the issue considerably. We have a heat pump, and there is apparently no way to resurect the furnace part of it at all. The bill to put in the new heat pump would be at least $5,000. Yikes. Not leaning that way at this point......... The bill for the service call $139.00.

He did show me a trick or two with the back up furnace we do have......and it IS working (no idea who did what to make it work........it hasn't worked for a year), but was only here to be the back up to the heat pump.... But, I can use it to circulate the heat from the wood stove, and the gas fireplace. So, with those tricks, I think I'm going to tough it out this winter again..... (It helped that it was over 50 degrees here today too!)

The rest of the day was spent just relaxing and knitting. Enjoyed spending some time alone, as this week end is going to be another full house event. Finished Sock #1 and am 1/3rd into the second sock.

The young couple is moving out today & tomorrow....... Even tho they weren't ideal for our household, they did manage to buy a car that runs, each get 2 jobs and have an apt to move into. All in 30 days. Not bad progress, considering they were in tent city from June until just this past month. Wishing them well.

The returning couple will be here to paint their room this week end.........anxious to get back to this crazy place! They will be paying rent, in addition to pooling our resources towards the food budget. I think we can each benefit the other re; finances.

No new goals for Nov.......just more of the same. Holding the line on any spending, being creative re; gift giving.....telling everyone about the sewing and knitting business and continuing with all advertising. All feeling very routine at this point...not boring, just routine.

Escaping for a few...........

October 25th, 2006 at 12:11 pm

Heading to moms after teaching another private knitting class this afternoon.

Needing a bit of time alone (which is totally impossible here at the 'ranch') and mom has a TO DO list too. I'll get both needs met at once, plus get in some great visit time too.........an out to dinner event and hopefully a haircut.

Leaving a note to the young couple, asking them to move on.........They aren't working out, they aren't working at all is the bottom line. The previous couple has found a way out of their lease, and have asked to come back. (this is the couple that cooks, cleans, does chores and is so much fun to have around..........also the massage person!!) They are willing to pay the going rate for rent too.....so we should all win on this one. (I told them not to move out in the first place!)

Spending a ton of money today.......transferring dollars to the checking account to cover the 2nd half of property taxes. Days like this, one questions owning properties.

No Chicks Yet.......

October 12th, 2006 at 08:29 am

We're still waiting for the phone call from the post office about our shipment of baby chicks. The "nursery" is all set up, the heat lamp is hung, the water container is filled and the food is out. The bedding is all fluffed and we're still ....chick-less!

I even looked up the order form and yes, the week of Oct 9th is the shipping week, so I'm on track..... Thought I could have made an error with the calendar, but no.

When it gets to be 9AM, I'm going to call the post office, since this is a new one to me...... Our previous shipments of live poultry, have been at the old place, different post office, etc...... I have visions of hungry cold chickens sitting in a back room somewhere!! ACK...

On the other end of the spectrum in my life.....I pick up the tax paperwork today (finally; I thought my preparer person had died or fallen off the face of the earth) and there will be a BIG check getting sent off to IRS. Capitol gains taxes for last years real estate juggling event. I have made some interest with the money that was set aside for this.....but as of today, my bank account is going to look decidedly ill. But, a big TO DO item off the list.

No other spending, after picking up the boxes of paperwork at the tax lady, it will be an at home sewing day for me. Lots of orders to complete and appointments to get ready for. First one, bright and early tomorrow AM. Wish I had some spare time today, as it is a great painting day and I still have shed walls needing attention! Not enough daylight mixed with too much on my list.....

Waiting For Chicks

October 11th, 2006 at 08:16 am

Since the coop is done........I just had to have chickens. Waiting for spring was going to require more patience than I have.

Plus, when I looked up my usual chicken supplier, they had an end of season special that I couldn't pass up. Who knew there were close out sales on chicks?

So, I'm getting the usual 24 that I paid for and 1 free surprise chick in the mail this week. Staying close to home in the AM, so I'm here when the phone call comes. Then, it's off to the post office with the heater blasting on the van........to claim my little box of "peeps".

We're almost set up here at home for the chick nursery. Still need to pick up the sack of Chick Feed today, but we'll only need one of those and they will be big enough to start eating regular food. Not a big expense to get this new addition to the "ranch" up and running.

I've had my own flock of birds now for a couple decades so this past year without the eggs has been a big adjustment. So has trying to figure out what to do with all the waste from the kitchen! The chickens used to handle all that and more!

I don't know if we save money with our own chickens, probably not, since ours are pretty spoiled. But, we get a better product and don't spend more money for the eggs. Plus, since I'm cooking less, for fewer people, there is a chance I'll have extra eggs, especially this spring. Selling just a couple dozen eggs a week would make the project hold its' own.

Housekeeping Day & Marathon 48 Hours

October 4th, 2006 at 01:23 pm

I've cut back on my housekeeper service, to just 2 times a month.........and today was one of the days! What a treat!

I love a clean house; and enjoying the clean without having to be the one doing the cleaning is really something luxurious. And, as the ads say......."I'm worth it!"

At least I feel that way now. I may have to cut back further, but so far, so good with this plan. Mom is now covering her own cleaning bill, so I'm technically not paying for our 2 times at all. Room mate person is still paying her half of the bills......which included 2X monthly for the housekeeper when we figured the bills.....and I'm going to leave it this way until she brings up the subject.

So, it's a money out sort of day.....and I plan to stop and buy dinner to take to my moms this evening too. A real splurge for me. Aiming to use the entertainment book and pick up something on the way to her place after my interview.

Have a jam packed couple days here........have everything written in the day timer, including addresses, directions and phone numbers. (a real money saver in my book. no wasted gas, time or energy finding places)

Taking off this afternoon for the interview.......taking the dog with, as he will be going with me to spend the night at moms. Taking knitting with; as we'll be watching TV and I hate to just SIT. Taking lunch makings for Thursdays outing with autistic young man...... Will take him with me on a Freecycle pick up; free downspouts/gutters for sheds here....and it happens to be a sewing customer, so I've got my supplies to have a fitting on a Norwegian costume of hers at the same time... Then, drop the boy back at his new home and head to a meeting with a new private agency re; purchasing some real estate to house autistic adults & them leasing it from me. (I know, I haven't learned my lesson yet....will probably still be working in this area til I die)

Then, heading back home with the dog, moms ladder so I can finish painting the sheds, the gutters, the costume job and perhaps an offer for a job and perhaps tentative plans to buy a house. (wonder if I could fit any more into 48 hours??) Retirement....What is the definition of that anyway??

And, a P.S. to me.......I have now walked 7 days in a row here!!!! I promise to walk in the AM, even tho I will be at moms and she is not able to go with me any longer.

Made Some $.....Spent Some $

October 3rd, 2006 at 04:25 pm

Did a little of both today......had a knitting student, so made money there. Had a request for particular painting supplies from the Navy man...(he has offered to do the trim on my windows this afternoon), so I spent almost what I made; but it is a good deal in my book.

I'm running out of energy and time with this painting project. I wanted to do some of it myself.....but I forget I'm not in my 20's anymore. Heck, not the 30's, 40's...either!

So, any help is appreciated at this point. Money well spent in my book.

Cashed my last paycheck from the part time job effort over the last quarter. Kept it all out in cash.......thinking I'll try an experiment to see when I run out of cash.

Was thinking to buy a pair of shoes today, so my interview outfit looks a bit more polished for tomorrow......but passed. They can take me in my birkenstoks. No one should be interviewing my feet anyway. Or, on the flip side, if my feet are happy, I will do a better job??? Smile

Better go pick up that paint brush and get busy!!!

I Have a New House!

September 30th, 2006 at 07:12 pm

Well, not exactly...........but it looks so much better it's as good as a new house. I ended up spending a big chunk of money, but the whole place got done today, minus the trim I asked them to save for me to do, and my new front door. I love to paint, but I just knew I wasn't going to get to the whole house by myself. The remainder is do-able and it cut some time off the bid too.

I bought the extra paint from the contractor, so it was way cheaper than going to get it myself too.......another saving. I've got enough to do my 2 sheds and the new coop, along with the trim for the windows on the house.

So, the money is spent, but the feeling I have towards the house is my pay off. I think I might even get to like the place....Maybe???

The kids managed with all the windows taped up & not being able to go outside, I even got 3 sewing orders finished up.....the young couple that rented from us were here most of the day, cooking dinner (what a production; yummy, but a production!) The rock got dumped, spread and deposited where it was supposed to........and I'm totally pooped. And, the Navy got almost all the last minute details of the coop finished. (I do have to make some modifications for the chicks, I will have to hustle this week to get ready for them!)

Plus....I did do my walk this AM with one of the boys..... Managed to get laundry out prior to the house being wrapped in plastic so I've got clean sheets to dress my bed with; wonder if I can convince the kids to go to bed at 7:30-ish??? I'm certainly ready.

Feels like a productive day, even tho I did write checks for more money than I've spent on anything for me in the past year.
At least I spent it on something I will get years of pleasure out of........AND, I had the money put away so I'm only paying for it once.

Off to bed............. Hope I get the sheets on the bed before I fall asleep! Smile

Rocks, Coop, Kids & Paint.....

September 30th, 2006 at 08:10 am

What a combination! Hope I can keep everything and everyone separated!

The load of gravel will be delivered this AM, some for the underground "fence" to keep critters out of the chickens' area and the rest will be spread on our nasty part of the driveway out back. I wasn't going to buy a couple wheelbarrow loads of gravel when it is cheaper by the truck, and goodness knows, I need about 6 more truckloads to finish our driveway and parking area. Today will finish the chicken fence project and inch forward on the driveway.

The Navy will be finishing up the coop today....supposedly there is a ribbon cutting ceremony planned for later today!

Boys here today; hoping to access them both on the gravel moving project.

And, just in case there isn't enough going on at the 'ranch', the painters are to show up & get the bulk of the house painted today. We have a dry day today, but rain in the forecast tomorrow.....hoping it holds out for us!

I hesitate to write it in black & white, but I walked this AM for the 3rd day in a row. Hoping I can keep this up!

Will be spending a big chunk of money today on the gravel, but that's it.

New Student; Not Easy Money

September 22nd, 2006 at 07:37 pm

Met with my new knitting student this AM and wow, will I ever be earning my money with her! She is not a quick study, fun but wow, I had to take each and every part of my movements apart with my hands to try to get her to do the same thing.

She warned me she was uncoordinated, but I was not prepared for this amount of disconnect between her brain and her fingers. Smile

By the time I got home this afternoon, she had already called here asking for more help!

I guess I can look at it as job security?? If she doesn't get discouraged & quit that is.

Gave a presentation for the other part time job, to potential foster parents.......still no word if that job is continuing. Stopped at the sewing machine store to get a couple parts for my old machine and got offered their teaching position there. Told him I would think on it, but I'd rather just do my classes solo & not hook up with a store. So, it's probably not going to be added to my numerous part time events I already have going.

Did spend money on my 2 parts for the machine, but will be able to make that back within a month I think. Both are parts I can't find, but know I had at the old house. So, it's a stupid expense in my book, but I was tired of having to make do.

Preventative Spending & Then Some

September 19th, 2006 at 10:46 pm

I went all out today and bought 2 new tires. Brand new. I hate buying things like tires, but I'm taking my van on the little trip next week, so it needs to be in top shape. Apparently, I was lucky my old tire hadn't blown up or something....it was in pretty bad shape the guy said. A whopping $247.00 bill later & the van is good to go.

With a $5.00 off coupon from my mom, I stopped in for one of the cheapest haircuts I've found around here. Got out for only 8 dollars & change. Not bad. And, it's one of the better haircuts I've had in ages. Amazing how good I feel for that 8 dollars!

Went to a normal persons' retail fabric store today for the first time in years; decades really. A customer brought me a project without the necessary notions, so it was a have to sort of trip. But, I enjoyed myself immensely. What gorgeous stuff...I couldn't keep my hands off the fabrics. Just bought the zipper for the customer, which I will charge her for; plus for my time to go pick it up. Almost thought seriously about talking to the mgr at the store, as they were advertising for experienced teachers. But.......way too far away from my house to be logical. (would be fun tho)

On another note entirely....... I got an email out of the blue from a person I had worked with briefly in the past. She is now exec dir for a new non profit locally, interested in leasing my big house for autistic kids. Told her she was about 2 months late to get in on that house, but I would love to talk with her next week about somehow making something work between us. I'm going to look into buying a house and having them lease from me. Felt good to have the backing from the state on this one...Actually, the whole thing feels pretty good. And, if the foster parent recruiter position doesn't continue after Sept.....well, it seems like this is coming into focus at just the right time. I'm willing to keep an open mind & really give this a look see.

Managed to fit in a trip to the new antique booth.....continuing to sell items, not at a flying out of the booth pace; but things are moving. Stuffed another box or two of items into the little piece of real estate we're renting in the mall.

A fun day with mom........got all the things on my TO DO list crossed off (love that feeling). And, we managed to finish up some things from moms list too; as well as taking an hour or so at the beach just enjoying the afternoon with each other.

I'm One Tired Old Woman

September 12th, 2006 at 10:51 pm

After working ALL DAY here at my moms, I can feel the tired ......in my bones, in my muscles. We both worked outside most of the day. (I can't imagine how tired my mom is!)

Her place is starting to look like someone actually lives here.......someone who cares about the place!! The only thing I couldn't do was mow her lawn. The really terrific mower I had bought her, only a couple years ago, is dead in the water. My nephew has apparently killed it. So, that gets added to our TO DO list for tomorrow......Take Mower to Mower Dr.

I visited the antique booth; have actually sold a couple items...2 in Aug and 3 in Sept. Not going to get rich this way! But, it was a start.

Went with my mom to her empty apartment & posted For Rent signs. (big step for her) And, while there, we both were angry enough to come right home and write the letter to the house on the same property.......to the tenant mom wants to move out. Letter done. Will mail certified tomorrow. (another HUGE step for my mom)

Did spend money tonight......treated mom to dinner. We really wanted to sit down and have someone wait on us I think. Had leftovers here, but they just didn't cut it tonight. We have a local little diner type place we enjoy......great food, easy atmosphere, open almost anytime and cheap too. So, it wasn't a break the bank sort of expense.....and we got re-charged to tackle another couple jobs around here this evening.

I do think I'm going to sleep well tonight. After being outside all day, and truly working this out of shape body of mine.........I'm shot. Going to go hug my pillow for about 8 hours!! Night!

Even the Dog Got Good Mail

September 5th, 2006 at 05:18 pm

Yes, the chihuahua is a happy camper today. He finally got mail.......and free too! He is not a fan of dry dog food, so I haven't sent for those samples, but today our Cheech got his very own Schmackos Bakon Stripz (I guess they are presuming dogs can't spell!)
He's loving them, no matter how they spell bacon!

I got a $5.00 check for a survey too, which is just free money in my book. Answer a few questions on line and wait patiently. OK, forget about the survey totally, and be surprised weeks later at the mailbox, is more like it. This isn't a quick buck, that is for sure. But, it is free.

Added my $5.00 to the rest of my monies collected over the first week of the month here............and I had a sizeable deposit. Not like it used to be when I was truly working, but it seems to be working. I'm starting month #3 now.....

Cut the housekeeper back to 2 X a month, to cut costs as well as make a bit more sense. Since we don't have a fulltime kiddo now, there really doesn't seem to be as much of a need and the smaller bill will come in handy too.

Did a presentation for the part time job...went well. Just getting into the swing of this...still don't know if we get to continue after Sept 30th. After pouting for a week or so, I've really got busy with my clients and have been workiing faithfully, even tho it might all be for nothing. Only 1 more paycheck guaranteed from this job.......definately praying it will magically get funded for the coming year.

Blew my no spending streak by buying 6 plastic dishpans today. Had to look at 3 stores for them. I guess no one washes dishes anymore?? I won't be using them for dishes, but they make dandy nesting boxes for my chickens! The Navy man is building the racks for these to slip into...so I needed the pans for him to measure. This way, the whole deal will slide out to be emptied and washed. I've never had a chicken coop so efficient! This project is taking an absolute age, no idea when there will be chickens in the coop.

A very productive day so far........now I just need to do something towards my landlord role and see if I can make some more progress in that regard.

Shopping Again.......

August 25th, 2006 at 04:36 pm

That's 2 times this month. A new record. I usually don't go at all.

My store of choice today........The feed store. I needed to pick up the chicken wire for the finishing touches on "The Coop" here....and also a roll of roofing paper. I tried to collect both from freecycle & Craigs list, but didn't get enough, or big enough rolls, so I had to go shopping.

Did the other necessary errands at the same time, banking and gas for the van. Then, straight home.

I'm busy making signs for the room mate persons yard sale again this week end. (she has to be out of the regular swap meet, due to our state fair, so this is her way to make rent) Speaking of rent, she has already paid $400 towards Sept rent & I'm flabergasted. Who knew she would come through?? Certainly not me.

The kitchen is becoming very fragrant...we've got a turkey dinner coming along in there. I just love this, I leave to do errands & the temp person here has dinner just moving right along by the time I get home. We're still harvesting veggies from the garden, so all the side dishes are virtually FREE, which makes dinner all the better!

Better go do my part, frying zucchini pancakes to go with the meal........yummy!

When Neither Decision is a Good One

August 22nd, 2006 at 11:06 pm

After imagining all sorts of awful things for the last two days, the group of people that have rented my old house came to "visit" tonight and talk they said. I knew the meeting was to happen, & I've had 2 days to try to think of what they could want/need/whatever/???

I need to remember to turn off my brain in situations like these. I always, but always............come up with a scenario that is WAY worse than what really happened.

They really needed to tell me all the improvements they had been making and the hours they had put in working. They brought pictures to share, so I could see the progress which was great (you have no idea the mess I was left with).

And, they had some questions as to whether they could dispose of some of the things that were mine.....easy answer, if they were doing it, sure. Dispose away!

So, there really wasn't much to the meeting at all. They finally broached the subject about getting one more month of rent off the deal, and then asked if they could plan on staying 2 years instead of just the one they had originally talked about. Sure to both of those too.......

Considering I would have had no way to do what they have done, and not enough money to have hired the work done as well as paid the mortage, I'm getting the bargain of the century here. Plus, they are all so nice, and I'm going to have friends for life here. So, one more month of paying the house payment myself, it seems like peanuts in the scope of how huge that job was when I was contemplating it by myself. I can do the rest of this year, I don't like it, but the alternative is horrible.
This is definately an example of having to make the best decision out of two poopy decisions. There really isn't a great option, just a less poopy one.

Shopped With A List

August 21st, 2006 at 10:15 pm

I don't do the grocery shopping for our household. I do make out the lists however........but today, I did both.

What an amazing place grocery stores have become, at least in my area. My mom took me to her favorite store after we had gone out to an impromptu dinner and I just wandered around sort of in a daze.

The already prepared stuff area was bigger, by far, than the sections with plain food in them. When did that happen? The cafe was as big as the produce section used to be and there was even a take out sushi bar!! This isn't even in downtown Seattle, but way out in the suburbs.

I managed to find all 3 items on my little list, and then splurged on a 'gift' for our Navy man here, I couldn't resist.
He said he has been asking the cook on board his ship to provide him raisens for his oatmeal in the AM and has been told "Sir, the Navy doesn't have raisens". So, of course, I bought him a little package of those little boxes of raisens. I can't wait til he finds them in his in box area here in the house! Worth the money in my book.

So, I made it out of the store with 4 things, and my moms milk. I don't care if I never do the grocery store run again....it was just TOO much stuff for me. I'll be content with listing the things we need in the kitchen on my list; posted on the fridge and then putting the items away when they arrive after someone goes shopping. I'm definately spoiled!

Moving In Day

August 21st, 2006 at 07:05 am

I'm off today to move into the new antique booth............just as soon as I finish packing the van with the boxes of priced items, meet with 2 new sewing customers and pack lunch for my disabled young man that is with me all day today.

Then, we'll take both vehicles and head to the booth and see what sort of eye catching display we can come up with in the 4 hours I have for this event today.....before I need to head to the meeting point to drop off my young man.

I'm excited about this booth, even tho it is the most expensive little piece of real estate I've rented in this venture, it is the nicest one... I even have 3 entire walls to work with at this booth. (the last one only had 3 poor excuses for half walls) So, I've got the tools loaded, as we're allowed to rig up anything we want in our little areas. Love this part!

Unfortunately, I'm doing this set up bit right during the hottest part of the day. Moving furniture and the rest of our goodies when it's pushing 90 is already making me tired! There is no way to wait for a cool day these days........something has happened to our weather and we only have Hot & Sunny now in WA state. Who messed with the controls here anyway???

On the way home, I need to swing by a grocery store......I don't usually do our shopping, but need the ingredients for a birthday tomorrow. The new tenant loves to cook, so she's agreed to make this special dessert that the room mate person has requested for ....oh, maybe 10 years or so, but I've never done. They are just too complicated & I've just never managed to do them for her. But, the planets have alligned this year and she will get her requested dessert tomorrow. At least the grocery store will be A/C this evening....I might just have to stay & brouse for a bit! Smile So, spending a few dollars, but I should be under $10.00.

It's going to be a long day; funny how much gets packed into one of my days now that I'm "retired". I'll have to re-define that word one of these days.....when I have some time!

splurging on salmon

August 13th, 2006 at 08:06 pm

While working at the Festival of the River today.......I splurged and bought a fillet of salmon and a slice of watermelon. I had sat there yesterday and smelled the smoke and the fish........as well as watched others gobble up the meals right and left...so today I succumbed.

I didn't get the whole meal, as it didn't look like I would enjoy working on corn on the cob, while manning an info booth.....so I just took the fish and the fruit. Paid $7.00 for that part of the meal and was looking forward to the fish especially.

It is so odd to me how deciding to spend the money for this 'treat' for myself made me so hyper critical. I didn't enjoy the fish as much as I had thought I would.....and will think before repeating a similar purchase. I had presumed it would be tasty & yummy......and it was a tad dry and would have to be called satisfactory. Not great.....in other words, not worth the treat. Blah!

My dinner here, when I got home was oh, so much better. I wonder when I will KNOW this lesson, and how long it will take me to learn it? If I had of known any of the people I was working with today, I should have asked them for a taste of their fish.....and I wouldn't have bought any for myself.

So, money out today.......with nothing coming in. Can't get myself jazzed up to head to the sewing room tonight, so will need to be up at dawn tomorrow to get an order ready for a customer coming at noon. I'm more of a morning person anyway.....lucky for me!

My $20.00 Challenge Failure Comes to a Close

August 10th, 2006 at 01:44 pm

My efforts at the $20.00 Challenge began with renting space at a local antique mall here...........and stocking it with 'free to me' items to sell.

Just one catch. Most of it isn't doing that.........selling that is.

So, today I gave my notice and I'm pulling out at the end of August. Admitting failure on this front......but not giving up totally. I like doing this so much, I'm going to give it one more try in a different city, hopefully one with more foot traffic.

This might work out better, since it will be in the town my mom lives in. We can fiddle with the booth together and I'll be a little more attentive to the space, since I'll be at moms anyway. Could end up being a fun thing to do together too...although she hasn't shown any interest so far (and when I started this venture a few years ago, it was originally to sell her things for her.......she didn't wnat a garage sale but needed to clear out 60 years of stuff)

Bottom line...........My Challenge cost me money. I only made rent and a profit one month. The other months, I paid for the privilege of displaying my collectables for other to LOOK AT, not buy. So, a definate money out sort of day here, as I paid the last months rent..... Good thing we're not talking BIG money here, but I the whole experience ended up in the red.

Better Sit Down: I spent money!!!

August 8th, 2006 at 05:17 pm

Unheard of these days for me...........but, I did spend money this afternoon. I didn't even shop around, just whipped into Lowes' and bought 3 outdoor light fixtures. All on sale, hopefully, they will work for my project here.

Getting the supplies here, so when our Navy man gets back in port next week, he has all the stuff he needs to get to the next TO DO list.

Our outdoor lights have been a constant problem for me since we moved in a year ago almost! (can't believe that) They are all sensor lights, with no override switch, so you can't do the simple thing of turning on your porch light. I needed to wait until someone made their way to the porch in the dark, then tripped and fell on the step.......triggering the motion detector and then the light would go on..........for 30 seconds.

In WA state, we really do have lots of dark days in the fall & winter.....and I like to have the outdoor lights on when expecting either company or a customer. I was actually glad Mr Navy couldn't fix the lights in a way.......because at least I knew it wasn't just me being stupid with the electrical stuff. They really didn't work right!

So, money out........but necessarily so in my book. Each light was on sale from 20 something to 9 something, so it won't break the bank here.

I've kept my receipt as I'm notorious for finding the ONE item at the store that doesn't work, or is already broken in some way......... I'm almost expecting to have to take at least one fixture back. Hopefully, they will all go up without a hitch and we'll be lit up with a switch instead of people tripping up the walk!

Out to lunch; Makes Money?

July 13th, 2006 at 10:13 pm

Since I had to work this evening, mom & I decided to have one more meal out and do it really early in the day. (I had to be in front of my first class on my own by 4:30)

So, moms favorite is Applebees......and off we went. She ordered a salad & I treated myself to shrimp! Absolutely yummy. We had taken 2 cars, so she went home to walk my dog & I went to work.

My situation didn't go as planned; my boss showed up, saying she wasn't sure I was going to be there! Gads, what part of my 2 confirmations didn't make sense to her? And, then.......the session wasn't what she had told me it was. She said 4 hours, it was just one of the little intro deals at the most 30 minutes. (we could have had a normal dinner anyway!!! )

On the home front.......moms day didn't go as planned either. She started getting sick! and sick....and sick. I told her she should be sure to let Applebees know, she said she couldn't do that. I went to the office, called and it took a bit of work to find the mgr, but he listened to my tale and then promised mom $50.00 in G/C in the mail tomorrow. Nice. I asked mom what she thought the phone call was worth, she guessed $10.00. I think she started to feel better as soon as she heard the amount of the G/C!! Smile She is doing fine now......but had a miserable afternoon & evening.

Just goes to show.......those phone calls do work. No matter what. And, I really didn't start out to make her any sort of money, my concern was their salad greens &/or who was doing the wash & prep of them. The refund......plus some .......was just a nice idea and great customer service.

Honest Mechanics

July 12th, 2006 at 04:34 pm

I've got the best mechanics. They don't speak much English, and my Spanish wasn't good when I was taking it in school & is almost non existant now....
But, can these guys fix a vehicle and do they ever stick to a budget!

My problems with the van, were going to cost almost $500 yesterday, but when I called about it today, they said it was done & they didn't even need to do the brakes, it was just the light & the sensor. They opted not to fix it, since they knew I was only trying to get the thing ready to pass emissions and the difficulty was the Service Engine Now light. That they did fix. And, it was only $200. Very nice surprise.

Ran the van right through emissions and it passed there too. Another $15.00 gone. Now to mail in for tabs, another $35.00. Vehicles can sure suck up money!

I'm grateful for the friend who turned me onto the Mexican mechanics in the next little town here. What a find. They have kept my vehicle running smoothly for way less than half what I was paying. I can get it done faster as well as always being able get it in whenever I call. The only glitch is I'm pretty sure the whole crew isn't legal....

found a cheaper cut

July 11th, 2006 at 09:40 pm

Still at my moms & enjoying day after day of just doing what we want to....feels like heaven to me!

While out buying plants with mom today, I went into a Great Clips for a haircut. The one in my little town charges $17 for a simple cut. This one said the charge was $13, but when I was done, they charged me $12.00. Nice! Guess where I'm planning on haircuts from now on? I'm at moms often enough, this place is open 7 days a week, and is cheaper. They even have a punch card system, that will give me one free cut every 13th. I had thought all Great Clips were the same, but they said it depends on the owners. Here this one is in a bigger city and cheaper.....shows what I know. Not much. Shows me I need to continue to question and look into things and not assume anything.

I did call in about my van today, since I hadn't heard from the shop. Not great re; the cost, but nothing I can't cover. There is apparently a part needing replacing that will fix most of the electrical stuff on the dash, but one of the lights that was on actually WAS saying the rear brakes needed replacing...so that is a bit spendy. The whole thing will be done by noon tomorrow, and thanks to mom, this is her trip out for her actual birthday....shuttling me to my van. I'll head back here with her, to spend Wed & Thurs, then go back home on Fri.

Banked my last regular paycheck today. It will be interesting to see how close I can get to that number on my own this year. Between my part time jobs and cutting expenses, I'm thinking I will be close. No money for extras, enough for necessities.

Went to Work, With Adults!!!!

July 7th, 2006 at 06:05 pm

I have had a busy week here, for the first week of my so called 'retirement'. Two meetings, both way out of my area; so lots of driving. But, both were with adults!!! It felt so good to talk and share ideas (thank goodness I still have one or two, I was worried I couldn't talk of anything but Mr Rogers' Neighborhood!)

I remember being busy like this, but it has been 4 years with nothing but my disabled kids here. Yikes! Getting up to speed all in one week has been a shock. I'm pooped tonight.

One of the funny parts of both meetings was when other peoples phones rang, I could just smile and KNOW mine wasn't going to ring with a kid emergency. How many years has that been the case, I was always having to spend time out in the hall, smoothing things over with schools, talking to crisis workers, etc. I got to just sit and participate both days. Pretty fun!

And, I'm finding out the stuff I need to be doing on my own as of next week, is just too easy. And I get paid for it. And, it's all with adults. Not a kid in sight! Smile I'll just try not to act too excited, lest they get the drift and decide not to pay me........

I did spend money this morning......had to fill up with gas before heading out, then I had no idea how early I should hit the freeway, so I arrived with time to spare. Went to a grocery store & picked up a yogurt for breakfast and decided to pick up a paperback (at full price no less) for something to do for fun prior to the meeting. Nothing else was open and I didn't know my way around well enough to go somewhere and be sure to make it back in time. I loved the book, a new one by James Patterson. Finished it when I got home this afternoon. Will list it on Half.com and see if I can make some of my money back.

A great couple of days. And, now the 2 easy boys for the week end, and it's payday week end for both of them too. Nice!

Goals for July

July 2nd, 2006 at 03:13 pm

I'm slow on the goals & re capping these days....... Hoping to get this whole area a bit more exact.

I will have my last paycheck this month, which gives me all of July to see how close I get to that with all my part time jobs. Not hoping for miracles here, but at least half would be great. Will get the ad placed in the 2nd newspaper this month!

Aiming for at least half the days to be no spend days, but will have some expenses this month.
Car tabs & prior to that the emission testing and prior to that a bit of repair work, as my car has an electrical snafoo that the guys won't even put it through emissions with. Drat.
Need to purchase some supplies to have on hand for the Navy man (who is working for some of his rent starting this month) to actually work with. Sheet rock & supplies, moulding for the kitchen project, washers for faucets & the like. Have a couple G/C to offset some of these.

Getting a bin full of shoes from a friend today, hoping I can come up with some appropriate (FREE) footwear from this collection, otherwise, I need to buy 2 pair of shoes. My feet are going to complain; working at home is very comfy for feet.

I will add walking to the program here, so I can save money & not have to buy new clothing. Hmmmm what to commit to?? At least 3 times a week for this month...sounds doable. (do need those shoes however)

Thank goodness I can already feel a jump in my energy level. Only my 2nd day here and I'm just wired with the excitement of it all...... I had all my normal chores done around here before lunch!! Unheard of!

Did buy gas today..........otherwise no money OUT.

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