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Archive for April, 2006

Autistic Free Weekend Planned

April 28th, 2006 at 10:40 am

I just got back from taking my autistic kiddo to his mom.....he will be gone until Monday afternoon. Even the trip back home in traffic (44 miles) was relaxing! I'm already soaking up the quiet at my house. It's hard to know how exhausted I am until he is gone and I can feel myself shutting down.

Heading to my moms again this week end. Hoping to get to many of the items on my TO DO list for her place. She had rented her house out for 2 years, so there is plenty that got ignored during that time. Lots to do. Sunshine expected here, so we should be able to make a difference to her yard. I'm also going to be fixing some gouges in her new walls.......movers (read Grand sons) weren't very careful. Then, I'll touch up the paint job.... This is the same house I lived in from 6th grade til I got out of high school......it feels odd to be the one maintaining it now. But, it is feeling great to get it in shape again too.

I spent $40.00 on gas today..but that will be it for the weekend. I can go a long time without spending money here!

Blossoms on my free strawberry plants already!! I'm planning on bringing home another van full of free plants from moms on Monday... Gardening on the Cheap!!

No Spend Days Stack Up

April 27th, 2006 at 08:45 am

Racking up another No Spend Day here today. When you put a couple of them in a week.........and then at least a weeks worth of them each month, it really makes a BIG difference. Seems like a little thing, but.........as people here are mentioning often, it's the little things that add up to major changes; in numbers or in habits.

No gas used, no errands to run, not even an appointment on the calendar here at home. So.........my day stretches out for me to use as I see fit.

I'm soaking up the quiet here this AM.....yesterday afternoon and evening was nasty here. My kiddo had a mini meltdown......lasting a few hours, low intensity ...but I'm pooped. So, my choice today is to rest up for this afternoon when he gets back from school. Just when I think I'll miss the paycheck, we have a day like yesterday!

I had another person stop by last night (during the nastiness) to see about renting space to store his boat for a year. Not much money.....but something. He didn't strike me as a sure thing, maybe I just wasn't paying close enough attention, but he seemed shorter on brain cells than I did.

My tenant/room mate person.........never know what to call her, she is more like an old child that I need to keep working with... Anyway, she was complaining about her bedroom yesterday & how it is so full of paperwork and a total disaster. (I have for years offered to assist her with setting up a file system, she has brought home more file cabinets, file boxes, actual file folders and all the extras one would ever possibly wanta to set up a system). I offered again, she said today........I told her it was good I was sitting down... And, then asked what time?? Morning to her can be anything before dinner. It's almost 9, she has been up once and has gone back to bed, so I'm not optimistic about getting a start on this project today. I thought it would be a great time to figure out what she can do re; the finances here at the house.... She really has no idea how much money she has to work with each month. I can only guess at this point too.

I've got blossoms on my free strawberry plants! A few things are really starting to take off in the garden, maybe I'll have something to look at besides flat ground and gravel one of these days!

The Navy's Coming To My House

April 26th, 2006 at 01:46 pm

Well, not the whole Navy, but the gentleman that came today to view the property is going to stay with us for a year.........starting in July. He is stationed at the Navy base in Everett, which is pretty close to my place. He advertised as needing a level piece of property to park his RV on for a year. Well, level.........we've got. Not a bit of elevation to the whole place.

He is going to split the power bill with me as well as tackle all my projects I can't do on my own. I'm thrilled. He didn't think that was enough on his side of the bargain, but he hasn't seen The List.... Smile

Found batteries here, so didn't need to make a stop to get those. Ran out of time prior to getting gas, so that is a Must Do the next time out. Found a big snaffu at the bank, they had taken $$ out of my kiddos acct, when I had paid bills online. Should have been my own acct, but the bank took it out of our joint acct. Numbers aren't even close. I transferred money back into his acct, but the state will probably have to investigate me for fraud or something. I'll be sure to make a note when I pass everything on to whomever in July.

Closed my eyes & hit SEND on bill payer & gave over $5000. to the county for property taxes. That just hurts. My savings account doesn't look quite so healthy anymore..........and of course, now I'm at zero saved up for the 2nd half of the taxes. I need that much again by Halloween! (appropriate holiday for tax day!)

Only $$ spent was postage for shipping my Half.com sale out. $1.35 Not bad for the day.

Dinner is split pea soup from the freezer & grilled cheese. Homemade cookies for dessert. I received a few comments from my post My Own Brand of Frozen Dinners........ Seems quite a few people have wished they could do OAMC (once a month cooking), but were unable for a variety of reasons. Cooking just 2X's as much as needed for a meal is an easier way to go for me, offers more variety and I believe is less expensive. (at least the cost is spread out) Almost no difference in time either.......that was what decided against OAMC for me....I couldn't come up with the entire day free.

Bus is almost here, I'm going to grab 15 min of quiet time before my guy storms in here.

Lacing up running shoes

April 26th, 2006 at 07:17 am

I've got a list as long as my arm ....and need to get it accomplished before the bus returns my kiddo at 2:30. It would be so much easier if places I needed to frequent were open at the crack of dark in the AM..........instead of not opening up til 10, or worse yet, noon, like the library.

I have a box of things to add to the antique booth, which is next to my bank so I can make a deposit. Which is next to the P.O. so I can mail my half.com sale (computer game). Then I need to back track to the other town for the nearest library; they are holding 4 books for me and only give 10 days on that hold. (wonder if they will increase that due to gas prices??? I can't be the only one grouping errands) Also need to stop in at a store & pick up batteries for CD player......not usually considered an emergency, but believe me, it will save my afternoon & evening. Autistic kiddos mom loaned him her personal CD player....without extra batteries. Bad combination. Hard to explain batteries to him. Impossible even. So, batteries are definately on my list.

I do need to be back here at noon, I'm interviewing a gentleman who wants to rent RV space in the back 40. He is stationed at the Navy base here for 1 year & doesn't want to move his family just for that short amount of time. Hoping he loves it here & will "sign on" with us. (we are an odd bunch however....so I wouldn't blame him if he runs right back to San Diego)

I've got laundry washing to get out before all my places open up.....and I've got to find some sort of hunk of something to take out for dinner.

Will need to do a gas stop too.......I don't like to get below 1/4 tank since I live out a ways. Thinking I need at least $40 for this.

Better get to work, reading and writing here don't make a bit of difference to the length of my TO DO list!! (It is my favorite thing to do when enjoying my cup of coffee however!!)

My Own Brand of Frozen Dinners

April 25th, 2006 at 09:31 pm

Tonight, I reaped the rewards of cooking ahead. Granted I only had to cook for 2 tonight, but still..........I was only in the kitchen as long as it took me to say "Your dinners done". For someone who doesn't like to cook, this was a dream.

I have been dilegently cutting, packaging and freezing extra servings for the last couple months. I used to do this sort of thing in spurts. Since joining here, I've gotten more excited about freezing parts to dinners than actually putting a big dinner on the table.

So, today, I took out several big slabs of a pork tenderloin (have to call these pork chops for my autistic kiddo, then he eats them. If I call it a roast....no go) and a baggie of home made applesauce from the freezer. Microwaved a dish of leftover cauliflower from last night(when I cooked 2 heads instead of 1) and then zapped the meat & applesauce. Tossed a quick green salad and whoosh.......I'm out of the kitchen. Total time: less than 15 minutes.

Nights like this really make me see the benefit of the packaging and labeling. I've got pork, roast beef, turkey and ham all done the same way currently. Plus a few sides .........and several desserts.........all packaged up so I can take out however many servings I need. (the number I cook for changes from 1 to 6)

I can't imagine how much money this saves me. Since I'm no good with numbers, chances are, I'll never know....
And, the time saved is amazing. It truly doesn't take much longer to cook 2 times the food needed; tossing 2 tenderloins into the crock pot as opposed to 1??? Really. Took a bit of time to cut and freeze......but not nearly as much as cooking another meal from scratch.

And, to top it off, we get to skip the frozen meal aisle of the grocery store too!

Odds & Ends

April 25th, 2006 at 10:28 am

I'm still wrestling with the re fi or not to re fi question here........not even leaning one way or the other yet. I think I'll probably end up doing it, just to "hide" the cc bills in there. I hate to pay them, they aren't technically mine, they have so many negative emotions connected and they just make me cranky. I think I'm ready to pay for them to not be on my desktop monthly.

I received the refund from the IRS. Mind you, this is a refund I don't think I should be getting........so I'll put this into the ING acct. and just wait. I gave up trying to convince my tax accountant that my income was non taxable. She insisted, filed and here is the refund.

Also have a refund from auto insurance.......I raised my deductable on another vehicle. With the check from one of my clients and the other 2........it's time for a bank run. Will do that tomorrow, grouping a batch of errands. I used to do this, but now with gas hitting $3 here, it is imperative.

Heading outside to work in the yard. I'm to the point of needing to clear more garden space. I've no more room for the flower seeds I've purchased...and the new beds will mean less mowing.

Gads.........good thing I'm sitting down. I just got a email notification that I've made a sale on half.com. Hadn't sold anything since Jan. But, I went in this week and changed the price on each of my listings, thinking I had priced everything too high. Maybe that was the trick.... I'll already be at the post office tomorrow on errand day.....so this is terrific timing.

Better get to work........not much gets done around here while I'm at the computer!!

Sweet Peas & a Headboard

April 24th, 2006 at 01:36 pm

It's April & hot enough here I had to come in from the garden and take a break. Supposed to get over 75 & that is too hot for me.....
My project for the morning was to plant my sweet pea seeds...........I matched them up with an old iron headboard for them to use to climb on. I'm hoping these were the dwarf plants....can't remember. (one difficulty of ordering on line & not taking notes)

If even half my seeds come up that I've put in the ground this week, the front yard should start looking like someone is living here pretty darned soon. I'm so tired of the plain, scalped look.

I said a prayer over a rescued shrub too. It had been dumped in our Dump Free Fill area.........but it is at least 4' high and seems to be holding its own even if it had been dug up. Its got a new home now, been watered in & given a couple shovels of compost......we'll see if it makes it. No idea of its' right name, my mom has always called these Lily of the Valley bushes. If it grows here, it will be known as the Second Chance Shrub.

Another No Spend Day here.........Dinner is leftovers, so I've no excuse but to head back to the garden & try to get some more seeds in. Groundwork for almost free produce this summer & fall.

I found another couple boxes of items that can head to the antique booth for my $20.00 Challenge. Will spend time this evening getting them all priced and in the van.

Also need to do some money moving.....time to take $$ out of savings and put it in checking so I can pay the property taxes on line. Have to do this by the end of the month....it comes to just over $5,000 for the 3 properties. Then, I have to immeadiately start stashing money in the account to pay the 2nd half in Oct. I so wish I felt like I was getting my moneys worth; but I don't. I guess I just need to pay it and get busy so I don't think about it!

My Betty Crocker Impression

April 23rd, 2006 at 05:17 pm

I did my best impression of Betty Crocker all weekend & I'm ready to hang up my apron (If I wore one!!) With the 3 boys here, I barely had time to get cleaned up before the next meal had to be started. As long as their plates are full, they really don't care what they eat......so it is an easy (if non ending) gig. Doesn't help that I hate to cook!

I snuck out this afternoon, while a burrito bake was in the oven......and planted flower seeds I bought on line. Hoping to get out this evening & get everything a light drink, mostly to keep the trio of kittens out of the flower beds.

Got a commitment from one of the boys family to continue using me for respite as long as we both live here he said! Sounds like a permanent thing to me. Now, If I could just get them to use me every weekend instead of every other...

No spending day.........wouldn't have been time! Smile

Gardening as Therapy

April 22nd, 2006 at 09:33 pm

I escaped to the yard today........and all 3 boys came with me! Wouldn't you know? I put them to work for a bit, then got out the riding mower and climbed on. When I'm mowing, they know to leave me alone. It's MY time. I've got at least an acre to mow here; and it relaxes me, gets me out in the fresh air and I've got plenty of time to mentally make out the Garden TO DO List!

If any of you are doing much the same thing; getting out in your gardens or even planting a pot of herbs on your porch.........there is a new site here just for gardeners. Actually, it's for gardeners aiming to garden without spending buckets of money.


Please visit & let me know what you think. It's in the beginning stage....there will be one new article each week in addition to a tips section.
Feel free to let me know of topics you would like to see covered and please do send in your gardening tips!!

I don't proclaim to be an expert gardener, but I sure can garden without spending money!

Soup's On & other ramblings

April 22nd, 2006 at 10:21 am

I've got a kettle of split pea & ham soup on ......the house smells delicious. (my kiddo calls this soup "just like baby food") Fortunately they all love it here. Brought the ham bone home from Easter dinner & tossed it in the freezer til I could locate my split peas. Found them yesterday & set them to soak. Soup for dinner tonight. How easy (and cheap) is that?? Yummy too. Hopefully, there will be extra for some lunches this week also.......that would be easier if someone DIDN'T like it. Smile

Bedding out on the line today.....gorgeous day here, although it was a frosty morning with ice on the bird baths!

I've found some of the planters & will be filling them with soil, so they are ready to fill with salad greens. Too cold yet, but I'm getting anxious. Having the containers all ready at least makes me feel a bit better.

I think I've held off mowing as long as I can. With gas prices so high, I'm just not going to enjoy this as much as I normally do, but it is starting to look like no one lives here!

Crossing my fingers, bowing to the east, praying, lighting candles ........all at the same time here. My autistic kiddo is on the edge today. (has been there for a couple weeks) But today feels awful to me..... My helper isn't coming this morning & my kiddo is trying hard to deal with that disappointment. I'm going to be the only adult here til late this evening..........so gearing up for a long shift today. 3 boys & me. Thank goodness only one is difficult. The other 2, always have been great, but by comparison, they are perfect! I've got as much done as I can, meals, laundry and I even snuck in a shower & hair wash... Wow, what a treat!

If I Was Homeless..................

April 21st, 2006 at 10:32 pm

I ponder that thought and wonder what my actions would be if I truly was homeless and had to rely on my wits (if I had any left) and the kindness of strangers.

"john" makes me shake my head.

He is the carpenter who became homeless after I hired him to put up the clothesline and build a chicken coop here. Tonight, he asked if he could wash a load of laundry.........Told him the laundry room was all his.

He washed his laundry & proceded to run it all through the dryer. I don't know if I would do the same.... Would I want to dry my clothes in the descreet darkness of the dryer drum rather than hang them outside for anyone here to view? Probably. If I was homeless, I'm pretty sure my laundry would not be all lined up like my mother taught me to hang it. All the towels together, ranked by size, all the shirts hung the same direction, socks matched and hung in a row....nothing out of place, everything in good repair.

I don't think he even caught the irony of it all. I listened to the hum of the dryer, surprising myself by not turning it off to save the electricity. I'm glad I have a choice of where I can dry my clothes. I'm glad "john" has clean clothes tonight. (and dry ones.....) I'm glad I can think of other ways to save money.

Company On My Monday

April 21st, 2006 at 07:01 am

I'm turned around with my work....this is my Monday. The first of the respite kids arrives this afternoon.

I'm also having my mom & my aunt come for brunch this morning; they will be sure to be gone by the time the school bus drops off the full time kiddo. (Not many people brave coming here when the kids are home! )

I've got a yummy sounding recipe for baked french toast, that is in the fridge, just ready to pop in the oven. The bacons been through the oven already & just needs to be warmed at the last minute. Juice chilling.....potatoes shredded & in ice water, will do those at the very last minute...

Will be cutting both mom & aunts hair; they're twins, so just one haircut 2X's. Fun couple of women, I hope I'm just like them when I get to be 83.

Raining slightly, which is great. I over seeded the repair patches in the lawn yesterday. Perfect timing.

It's a no spend day here. Love those. The chicken coop is getting a little closer to being totally framed up, there are 3 walls now up and the framework for the run is finished. "john" wants to finish now, since he has learned I won't finish paying him, until he finishes the job. (he has continued to ask almost every day now for some time.... slow learner!)

"john" update: He hasn't taken advantage of the situation here. But, he is trying to take advantage of me. The numbers aren't real good with my little program here, only 2 out of 6 have taken advantage of the offer & made enough money to move a step up on the ladder. This is the first one to try to take advantage of me. Asking for money, using supplies from here, when he said he was buying them, etc. We even have a couple things that have disappeared, with the most apparent being our extra gas. We'll see how this plays out.....
I'm always hopeful when we get a new person added to the "ranch" that they just get busy & save the money they can while living in a "no rent" district. Not this time, I'm afraid.

First $$ for Challenge

April 20th, 2006 at 01:05 pm

Actually picked up a check for $15.00 at the antique booth today. Can't count it as profit, as I'm paying booth rental. But, it is a start. Money coming in, as well as going out. Progress in some form?? I could see empty spots today again, so I know there have been sales in April too.........the check should be getting bigger each month as I get the booth full. I'm already thinking this will be just a summer thing for me, this mall doesn't push the advertising like the one I participated in previously.

Also got my first phone inquiry on the sewing/knitting ad that ran for the first time yesterday. No appt yet, but I think we will be meeting as early as Monday next week. Need to do some work here at home, so I've got a decent place for people to change for fittings and I need a sign out front so they are sure they've got the right place. I would rather work here at home than take the time & gas to do the antique booth. Money will be much better too. And, the advertising is less than the booth space.

Also cashed a check from one of my respite clients. She forgot to pay me on the first, so I actually ASKED for it this past week end. Very unlike me. I should be able to make it last for months....only using cash for gas these days.

Slash Your Grocery Bills

April 19th, 2006 at 01:07 pm

Catchy title huh?? It's on the current cover of Womens' Day magazine. I have a free issue for some reason........when I picked it up this AM I went right to page 158 , anxious to Slash MY Grocery Bill.

Turns out it is a quiz, it starts off with.............

We all like to think that we're on top of our game each time we head down those food ailes...... These tips will save you big money the next time you shop. (I'm getting pulled in here......ready for the big tips!!)

Dinner in a Pinch;
1) You need an easy, cheap dinner that can be ready in less than 30 minutes. So, you head for_____________

(I've only got one answer here, My Pantry)
I couldn't believe the choices offered

-freezer case
-dairy case
-the phone for chinese take out

Gads, no tips here. The rest of the quiz was just as bad. No slashing involved.
I wouldn't want the grocery bill that came from following their tips either! I need to go look up the definition of slash!!

Clothes on the line, finally.

April 19th, 2006 at 09:34 am

Finally able to hang laundry outdoors. The weather is cooperating today.....breezy and going to be 61. The posts have been up, but just yesterday the wires got strung......so it is now usable. I don't think I'll ever have this much laundry at once! 5 lines.........3 poles......plenty of room for our whole household at once. I feel so much more frugal with a clothesline! Now, to just re train the rest of the people here, laundry only on days it's nice outside! Plan ahead....what a concept??

Still eating out of the pantry/freezer. Coming up with some great meals and doing a fair job of not letting things go to waste. Thanks Jeffrey for todays reminder re; food waste. Doing my part here! I have to use all sorts of tricks to keep ahead of the fridge (otherwise known as the closet where we put things to spoil). If I plan to wash a shelf every time I'm doing some real cooking, that makes me have to empty it. In the process, I can use, freeze or compost it. Aiming for the first 2, but at least with a compost pile, and a garden, it isn't a total waste. (just expensive garden additives)

Housecleaner here today.....my favorite day! Paid him at the beginning of the month, so no cash outlay for the day.

Free plants from mom to get into the garden.......have some done already, then realized I've got to get the wash done first now that we have the clothesline. If the things aren't out most of the day, they will still be damp.
So, plants this afternoon.......

My funny (but fairly pathetic) happening yesterday........ The other F adult here, that I've told needs to pay into the household to cover at least her half of the expenses...brought me a job application yesterday. Her best idea is for ME to get another job!! Gads. I've supported her for decades here, it is her turn, as I have told her. Need to do the conversation again this evening. No way am I going to get just any old job, the one she thinks is perfect for me is hardly enough $ to justify leaving home each day. She doesn't understand taxes & take home pay. Going to continue to push her to pay up!!

Real estate fun

April 18th, 2006 at 06:26 pm

Met with my mom & the real estate developer this AM........and we were both disappointed. Learned a couple things, but we were both surprised to find out this gentleman had only brought one scenario to the table (his). I could see my mom moving back away from the table during the meeting......she was in no way going to sell her property outright to this guy to let him develop it.

As it stands now..........we did make some progress. Mom will ask her renter to move, we'll fix up the house & the apt & see if we can rent them to a commercial sort of tenant. At least the house. Get them both rented so she has more of an income from both. She tends to rent really low, aiming to have renters in there for decades (which she has consistantly done)

Then, we're searching for our own builder to put up a big house on the back half of her primary residence property, then listing that FSBO.

In the meantime, I do think she will be keeping her ears open for a builder that would want to work with her, developing the downtown property. We did find out she could put parking and 1 retail unit on the bottom floor, then going up 2 more floors; holding a total of 4 condo units. She wants to do this so bad, it was totally disappointing to hear the gentleman this morning telling her she would find it to be too much work. He had no idea who he was talking to. I'll bet on Mom!!!

I did bring home a van full of plants from moms.........FREE plants. My absolute favorite. I've got them in the shade here & plan to get them all in their new homes tomorrow. Planted some flower seeds, started some more veggie seeds indoors.... Going to quit for the night & put my feet up! Thinking about money all day was exhausting!!! Smile

Pretending I've Got Big Money

April 18th, 2006 at 07:00 am

That's the plan for today. I'm off to a meeting this AM, where the agenda is how to develop a piece of property (held free & clear).

My mom has asked me to sit in on this meeting with her & a developer. It is the first time she has asked me....I'm going to just watch & learn.....but it will be fun hearing numbers this big!!

The lot is zoned commercial & is one block off the main street in town. Currently has a rental home & a one unit apt bldg. She is thinking of tearing those down & putting up a new bldg, parking on ground level, one level of commercial and then however many condo units she can stack on top. This will be my moms first commercial development, she has done others....but they were all residential pieces.

I think I know how my mom thinks, but today will be fun to see her "at work". The figures will be bigger than anything I've ever been able to scrape together, so I can act as if today! I'm guessing todays meeting isn't for her to act on the proposal, but for me to use as a road map in case I want to develop it later. I don't think she will be able to watch the 2 buildings get torn down. She & dad lived in the house for decades and they built the apt bldg themselves. Too many memories!! But, the real estate is under used the way it is now and I can see that she is itching to do something with it too.......... We'll see what she decides. (no answers today, she is the one that taught me the 24 Hour Rule. Nothing is decided unless you ponder it for 24 hours!)

back to work here

April 17th, 2006 at 10:42 am

Spent Easter week end at my moms, it really was a great break. (she does a nice version of a Bed & Breakfast!!) The weather was so horrible, we didn't do yard work like planned. We had thunder, lightening and even some hail again. Nasty for Easter.

The biggest job I did was hang all her pictures and what nots on her walls. She was nervous about putting holes in her new walls! Things look so nice at her place, she has done some great work there.

I used her computer to keep up with email & blog reading here, but wow, what a difference. I'm so spoiled. She has dial up and I haven't used that for a decade or so........I had time to do other things while waiting for pages to load!! I'm thinking a cable modem is going to be on my list of things to keep, not cut here!

We had some great talks about property, her wishes and plans........have the next bunch of meetings planned out, (starts tomorrow with a developer) so we did make progress, just not in the yard!

Mom sent home most all the food, so I won't have to cook today, or much of this week if I get my act together in the kitchen. Aiming for a kettle of split pea soup with the ham bone!!

My autistic kiddo is due back here any minute. He left Sat AM to be with his mom for the holiday. He had a total meltdown after his mom got here, physically & verbally abusive to both she & I. I needed the break from him even more so after that event.....There isn't enough money to be worth doing this full time. Here's hoping he will be good to go for a bit now.........I'm still too pooped to deal with the crisis mode again.

condensed conversation

April 15th, 2006 at 11:48 am

I've waited to find the perfect time for a conversation here at my house, but there hasn't been anything close to perfect. So, I crammed it all together into a sentence or two this morning and it was pretty abrupt.

I've shared my home with this other adult now for years. Shared the home, not the finances. She has not always been in a position to help out, nor did I need the assistance, so of course, the path that was easiest just happened. She lived here, for nothing, contributing her food stamps.

I told her a month ago, she needed to come to the table with a plan as to how WE were going to keep this house open & what she was going to do to make that happen. She never brought it up. So, this AM, I told her I couldn't do it myself, & was contemplating a couple scenarios. None of which included the 2 of us staying here. Abrupt yes. Truthful, yes. Can't say she was even shocked. She is not used to handling finances, so her first reaction was to start selling her auction stuff on ebay. (not exactly the answer I was hoping for)

I'm leaving for the week end, will let her think on the subject for a couple days and we will visit the finances again come Tuesday.

Looking forward to a few days without my autistic kiddo........he has been up since 4 something.. all I saw was a 4 on my clock.......wasn't too alert at that time of day (night) And, needing a break from the other person here......she has been ill, along with clinically depressed (all the time), and the only other adult here is the formerly homeless guy, who comes in to shower occasionally!!! I need to get out! Anytime you think you live in a crazy environment, think again...........come spend an hour or two here & no matter where you're living, it will seem heavenly!! Smile

random thoughts

April 14th, 2006 at 06:05 pm

Mixed up day, my thoughts are no where near organized. Thought I was spending no money, then realized it was Friday, the day I pick up my kiddo from swimming and we, traditionally, go out for a snack. I was early, so I ran through a grocery store for snack items. Saved $$, but spent when I thought I wouldn't have to.

And, since I was out, I got a hair cut too........spent $$ again, but no more gas doing it at the same trip.

And.......(getting to be a theme here) I saw the craft store had their fabric on 20% off. I have half-heartedly looked for fabric for a vintage chair I'm re doing for the antique booth. Ran in today and found something very workable. Only spent $2 something on the piece I needed. (no excuse now, not to have something new for the booth this coming week)

Watched Oprah tonight while putting dinner together. Wasn't surprised at the stories, but I found the whole hour pretty compelling. I am feeling mighty grateful tonight, here in my home, warm-safe-fed- the list could go on and on.

gardening experiment; Progress

April 14th, 2006 at 08:28 am

My seeds from the holiday acorn squash are starting to peek through the surface this morning. I've got them started indoors, as they would float away outside. (way too wet here still, and cold, and this gardener is NOT going out in this weather)

I've never planted enough acorn squash for our household, no matter how many plants I put in. Maybe I'll be closer to that point this year? I don't know how many plants I'll have, but if I get more than 6, I'll be ahead of the game. Our local nurseries don't have much selection, or I'm too early, or too late....whatever the reason, I can't seem to get more than one pack of starts for any veggie and often times I have done without certain veggies. No greenhouse here.....but this year, I've got a great big window I'm taking advantage of, and have a little nursery of my own going.

This is definately a no cost experiment, if it works I might have enough squash to put in the shed for winter. Nice! Free food. My favorite kind!

DAILY TRACKING: Will be using gas for an errand day. No cash out of pocket however. Picking up a box of rose food from a freecycler in the area (inherited a rose garden with this new property, horribly ignored, but perking up) and then sitting at the high school pool to watch my kiddo swim.
I'm using my new business cards to leave a thank you message every time I pick up a freecycle item.....and I'll have a project with me at the pool; hoping to generate at least some conversation. Word of mouth is my best advertising; knitting in public is a great draw!

blogging as an addiction

April 13th, 2006 at 07:57 pm

I admit it. I'm helpless when it comes to my PC & blogging. Both reading and posting. I've just started a 2nd blog this week........mostly just for me; so I have a place to track the headway (If there is any headway) as I attempt to turn this piece of ground into a "yard".

After becoming involved here with the frugal gardening site, I thought it would be a good idea to rub elbows with other gardeners. I can't join a real time garden club until summer, so online I went. Found a great little site, not many others there yet, but it will give me a chance to see what others are interested in. (http://www.gardenstew.com/blog/index403.html)

Between spending time on my finances and getting out in the yard, checking on the 2 blogs and now trying to find another source of income........it is sounding more like my old life all the time. (I'm not used to having much down time)

Just because I had a minute or two of sparetime today, I joined another Yahoo group; ExtraMoneyMakers. Read about this on another blog site, all about gift card offers, etc. Just at the reading stage so far......too early to know much. Busy list however.

Great mail day: 2 $5 coupons for our local hardware store, walmart sample of some more face cream something or other, an offer for a bank card with a $10 bonus and a free good housekeeping magazine.

My Points; finally something to redeem

April 13th, 2006 at 07:44 am

I hit 2000 points last night & plan to redeem them for gift cards today. This still seems like such an odd deal to me, I read emails and they pay me. Odd; but neat!

I did not purchase anything, this is just with the daily "read this & earn 5 points" type of emails. I remember getting an email that asked me to update my preferences, to increase the number of emails received........ I did do that & found WAY more emails per day from My Points. Helped boost the total that way.

When I signed up, I was just checking things I might be interested in, not really understanding what I was doing.......just blindly following someones directions here in a post. Now, I've got this figured out! Should be getting a gift card every couple months at the new rate the emails are being sent to me.

A No Spend Day here....... Can't garden; it's way too wet here this week. I've nothing stockpiled to price for the antique booth, all books are listed on line........I will have to search for something to do today.
Will update Craigs list for the rental, sewing business as well as a note re; the antique booths week end hours.

I have this rule, or guideline for my life.........if I want something to happen, I need to be AT LEAST meeting whatever it is half way. So, if I'm aiming to switch jobs and make up the income, I have to DO stuff towards that goal. Sitting around waiting for something to happen TO ME.......not my style. So, up and ready........let's see what I can get accomplished today!

knitting hits the news here

April 12th, 2006 at 09:03 pm

I finally got one of the ads done, approved and ready for this coming weeks issue of our local paper. Using the same ad for another paper, different town on the other direction. While talking with the ad rep, she offered to do a human interest story to get my business up and running. Knitting is still a pretty big fad here & she has a couple ideas she wants to write about (helps that she is a knitter too!) Finally some momentum here. Stalling out , being anxious and not doing anything. She is going to push me to get moving.

Got an actual phone call too today re; someone storing a boat here on the property. No deal yet, but possible. Still working with the 2 emails re; renting out a room here. Something needs to get firmed up pretty soon, so I can paste together some regular income.

Had to call my tenant for the other house again, rent wasn't in the box on the 10th like agreed....... Nor have they paid the water bill. I did get a response, they are going to handle them tomorrow. I hate having to call like this.

Listed another pile of books on Half.com.....although it feels fruitless. Have only sold 1 out of 37 listed. Less on Amazon......0 sold there. I am only listing free to me books, so I'm not spending anything on this project....good thing too! I have no idea what sorts of things sell, so just listing blindly still. Since I don't have money out on this, I'm pricing them a bit above my shipping costs.......plus gas these days, but it seems like I'm coming in mid range, not too high. Would love to have a SOLD email a little more often!!

A no spend day, housekeeper was here today, but he was paid at the first of the month. So, we're clean and spiffed up for the week. Love Wednesdays!

How Come My Parents Have An Estate?

April 12th, 2006 at 11:36 am

Just what sorts of decisions DID my parents make that created a sizeable trust? After writing about inheriting the fruits of their labors, it got me to wondering about a few more things....

1) Just how did they do this??
2) Did they do without?
3) And, will I be able to do them justice, managing their estate?

I can see a few things that just "happened" in their lives......like a house being given to my dad early in the 40's. Granted, he had to leave home and come to WA state to take care of his uncle who lived alone & had just had a stroke. Not an easy task for my dad I'm sure. But, when his uncle died, the house & property were willed to my dad. A good start for sure.

When my parents married, they were both working and then there was the free & clear "gift" house. Nice. One car, Dad walked to work for 20 some years. We walked to stores & school. They gardened, canned, mom sewed, dad built us play equipment & doll furniture, we learned that if you wanted something, you learned how to make it.

It never seemed like we went without....there were kids who had more than we did, but it never really bugged me. My parents seemed normal to me, although I've since learned they were far from it. They had NO debt. None whatsoever. Paid cash for everything.

I'm hopeful I have learned enough from them both, to continue with their legacy they have built up. I don't think they started out life hoping to have enough to even need a will..........however, being frugal & creative; they managed to build a new home (again, free from debt), travel to europe, winter in Palm Springs, collect rental properties and have choices throughout thier lives that having "enough" money brings.

This topic feels very heavy to me......perhaps because I'm coming up to Easter week end, 5 years since my Dad died. Five years since I've become even more involved in moms affairs.

Hopefully, I will continue to learn from mom and always make decisions they both would respect. Here's hoping too, my mood will be a tad bit lighter after spending Easter week end at my moms! I'm not usually so introspective!

Coin Jar: er.....dish & zip lock???

April 11th, 2006 at 07:58 pm

Mine certainly isn't a jar. And, I've got a few things in my collection that aren't coins either.

I had a plastic drawer thing which I dropped coins in prior to the move in Oct. As I went to pack it, crack......it broke. Coins everywhere. Thus, the zip lock.

After moving to the new house, I thought I'd upgrade to a china dish, matched the room, had lovely violets painted on it.... (actually, the dish "happened", because I made a stupid bid for a cream & sugar on a tray for the antique booth. When I got them, it wasn't a set, wasn't even a sugar & creamer. So, I couldn't sell the dish, I had paid money for it, so thought using it was better than nothing.

It did look nice, but WAY too small....it is already quite useless. Not sure what method to go to now.....

the zip lock is holding up, perhaps that is the answer for me??

My week end

April 11th, 2006 at 09:39 am

Today starts my week end..........again, I'm just the opposite of most people. I don't mind, it's been this way for years.
No kids for a bit today, a whole day stretching out, full of hours for me to put to use. (or not, which is usually the case with my first day of no kids)

Getting the coupon train package in the mail, along with Easter notes to a few people. Going to go to the antique booth today, knowing they are open this time! Crossing fingers that tons of stuff have sold..........


Life intervened here.......and I've been to the booth, things did sell (can't add to my challenge, as I'm still in the red for this project); I added more and they still didn't ask for my rental $$ for April. Odd way to run a business.

Got the coupons mailedI know I pulled enough of them out of the train to cover my postage costs many times over. Just working with the coupons caused me to take another look at the food on hand, items needed and what we tend to use frequently. Good exercise.

DAILY $$ TRACKING: Spent postage, used some gas to get to antique booth. That should be it for the day. Eating out of the freezer & pantry again (still).

FARM REPORT: Update!!!!!

April 10th, 2006 at 04:25 pm

For those of you following the local farm report here.............TA DA...........

The dead cow just got picked up! Finally. I couldn't do more than just peek occasionally at the process next door. On the other hand......my autistic kiddo sat outside on the back porch and watched the whole event. YUK.
All he wanted to know is where the cow was going?? I told him I didn't know which was just a way around not going into what a rendering plant is.
He then replied "to garbage".

I let it go with that.............

Aiming for a picture

April 10th, 2006 at 01:49 pm

Hoping to share a sure sign of spring in my entry area here.......... (just think, I could have taken a picture of the....... still there.....dead cow next door!)

As it is, I'm not sure what (if any) picture might appear. Too funny.... The things I've learned here-perhaps I'll learn this too??

Spent a few $$ in gas today, went to the antique booth to update, only to find it closed. Stupid. Went to the bank & then mailed a package to my son. Forgot all about taking the coupons, will try again tomorrow. Brain is past dead after 5 days with autistic kiddo home. Shouldn't have planned to go out in public already today.........needed some recuperation time I guess. Smile

Emailed the figures into the tax lady, hoping I have all she needs. Still can't find a couple items, may have to forego listing them........I'm not sure if that comes out to be a plus or minus for me........I hate taxes, don't understand them and NO, I don't even want to. I've always had a non taxable income, so usually don't need to file......but this past year is different....and I hate it.

dead cow as landscaping?

April 9th, 2006 at 09:31 pm

Yes, the neighbors dead cow is still in the field. Still draped with the blue tarp. This is going to get gross pretty darned soon. I am so thankful it is raining here.

I did some research today, found out WA state has a law saying dead livestock must be properly disposed of within 24 hours. Gads, we're going on 48+ at this point. The difficulty is, no govt offices are open until tomorrow.

On a totally different topic........I've been thinking of mentioning this site to a couple friends, but haven't. (and keeping my mouth shut isn't one of my best skills) I'm enjoying having a confidential place to track progress, or lack of, in addition to letting my ideas form and finally gell.

I have considered myself fairly open & honest, but there is no way I would share the things I write here with any of my local friends. So, they are out of luck. I did share with my mom, absolutely sure she will never visit the site. (although, she sure wants me to ask questions for her, giving her feedback from the group)

RE; my mom, or parents in general. I'm wondering if anyone else is in a position to be inheriting from parents, and including that in your retirement plans? I've worked for years with my parents, & now my mom.......setting up a trust and working on their finances with them. Don't get me wrong, I'd trade anything to have my dad alive again......and I'm not counting the days til mom dies; but.........the thought does cross my mind about the estate they have been able to put together........

A no spend day today........staying home will do that! But, I have no trouble not spending money; it's easier for me than spending it.

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