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Archive for July, 2006

No Spending as a Habit

July 31st, 2006 at 07:27 pm

As a matter of course now, there was no spending again today. With my change in work status, (30 days today) I decided to really tighten up on everything until I could figure out how much I was able to make. Still can't tell what the money in aspect is going to look like, too early to guess too.....need to give my ads probably 6 months to be accurate.

So, no spending it is. I can do this. I've done it before out of necessity, and later on by choice for different reasons each time. So, nothing new. Spending money is truly what is out of character for me. It does show me I have all I need, and then some. Blessed indeed here and more than content.

All meals out of the garden and freezer these days. Yummy home made burgers this evening with a fresh salad and steamed new green beans. Add to that; most of the condiments for the burgers were home canned too, or fresh from the garden. Again, I'm stumped when I continue to run into people that don't garden, never have and don't want to. Even when they complain about the price of groceries they won't entertain the option of planting anything themselves.... Seems like one of those simple solutions to a problem to me!

Worked in the yard today and set up a free to me bird bath in a new garden. Looks great......now it just needs some plants. Will keep an eye out on freecycle for something suitable, or put in a wanted post next Sat.

Last day of the month, I think I've done what I'm supposed to have done re; the part time job and their data base. The only time I find out any info is when I've done something wrong, or omitted something....... There are no directions, or templates to follow. What a silly way to run a business. I know if I've done something outside the lines, I'll get an email tomorrow.........I'm saving the emails, making myself my own procedure book of sorts.

Goals related to $$$ for August

#1 had better be, get the rental RENTED.
#2 continue building the sewing business
#3 send emails to local home schooling groups, advertising the sewing and knitting (thanks to a fellow blogger here for that tip & reminder)
#4 shop and purchase the supplies for the projects the Navy man is going to be taking on this fall.

I would be thrilled if I get that short list completed......

My Life vs Ship Shape

July 30th, 2006 at 12:21 pm

I've always been pretty particular about my house and yard, but with the "Navy" now here, I've discovered I'm very, very lax about everything. I guess having the kids here for decades has worn me down to a frazzle and most things just didn't matter; except making it through the day til bedtime!

Our Navy man has been working since 9AM today, and has finished little things from the list and is now re arranging the pump house to put up shelving. He has reviewed the plans for the pump and is going to be changing my filter for the well, which I had no idea how to do. (tried to get some local well co, to come do it and teach me, but never got someone to agree to the job)

I'm going to need to do some brain storming to come up with enough projects to keep this guy busy. He comes in and sits in my office when he has completed all the items on the list (that we can do currently....some jobs are waiting for winter, as they are better suited to indoor time) I also need some supplies for him to work with, so there is going to be $$$ out in the near future. Since I'm not paying for labor, and most everything will help bring this property up in value, I think it's a good plan to spend money in this area. We are making a trip to my moms next week end to raid her lumber pile and permantly 'borrow' some of my dads tools. That should help keep costs down, as well as assist with cleaning up around her place.

Eating out of the garden, veggies for every meal here, and enough for stashing some in the freezer occasionally.

And, the best thing of all today.......I woke up to RAIN. Lots of rain. It rained last here on July 4th, not even enough to measure......and then really hot & dry since then. My gardens are almost talking to me they are so thrilled with this weather! Now the sun is out, but it is just 61, which feels like heaven to someone who has lived most of my life here in WA state.....Damp and cooler, my climate of choice...that is for sure.

Another no spend day here at our place.

Back Home & Busy Already

July 29th, 2006 at 08:15 pm

Just a quick update........had an entry almost ready to post and my PC decided it needed to update Firefox all by itself and bleeped me out of my blog. Drat. Too old and too tired to re do it totally.

Was at moms. Worked for a couple days canning and freezing my produce from the tiny garden here as well as her apple trees.
Lots of food "put up" as it used to be called.

Got home to find most of my pesky little TO DO list items were finished....The Navy has arrived!! He came running in the house when he found out I was home, as he was BORED he said and needed more to do. Glad to oblige, as I really hate seeing able bodied people just sitting around.........we tackled the garage and have him a place to build a work bench now. In the down time, while I was trying to figure out where to put everything, he slicked up the pump house, figured out how the pump works, taught me how to turn the water off to the house and created a TO DO list for tomorrow. I'm going to have to do some serious thinking in order to keep up with him! We're only on Week #1 of 52 weeks!

Mowed lawns, finished an order for a customer a day early so they could come this evening & pick it up.........which they did.......so $$$ IN today and no money spent. Nice!

I did treat my mom to dinner out last night, as we had a coupon for one dinner free.......and we had worked at cooking type tasks for 2 days, it felt good to let someone else cook.

We got to see the new grandbaby too yesterday, he now weighs 11 lbs and is doing pretty well. Still using an odd car bed thing, as he tends to stop breathing in a normal sit up type car seat....looks sort of like a baby bathtub.

Time's up. I've worked so hard today, sitting down isn't a good plan.......I'm falling asleep here at my desk. A very productive couple of days...

Square Foot Gardening Escapes Boundaries

July 26th, 2006 at 08:20 pm

OK, it wasn't a true square foot gardening plan, with a grid and all. But, it was close, in that it is a very small area, bordered by sidewalk & driveway on 3 sides and gravel parking area on the 4th side.

I took old sod out, prepared the soil by adding many wheelbarrows of compost (OK, I had one of the kids do it!!!) and then I started by just setting in a couple of the perinneals I had brought from the old house.

Then, spring arrived and it was time to think veggies. With no where else to put the flowers, I set in the zuchinni plants, put in a couple rows of bush beans, added in a row (now 2)of sugar peas and everything was coming along just fine for awhile. I had extra space & picked up a couple dozen onion sets and they filled up any extra space around the edges. Oh, and don't forget the flower seeds I put in on the end of the whole affair, Cosmos and sweet peas.......now beginning to look more like a hedge, lovely......but quite substantial.

Lately, it is hard to find any soil. Plants have run amuck. I can still reach in and harvest most everything (the beans are going to be interesting) and it is really easy to keep it all watered and weeded. Vines are beginning to creep out on the sidewalks....

I think I do this on purpose, I have always loved gardens that seem to be overflowing. I'm happy with this one, just wish it was bigger now!

I'm posting a picture, in an attempt to show that it doesn't take a BIG garden to grow a garden. There has been much discussion on Flash's blog re; my initial question "why doesn't everyone grow a garden??"..... this is an attempt to address one concern that was raised. Not enough room.



My area is approx 10' X 10', right outside my front door. It was the easiest piece of ground to clear when we moved in last fall. Definately a lazy persons garden, it takes me a minute or so every couple days to pull a weed that has the nerve to come up.......about 15 minutes a day to water, or no time if I just let the hose drip slowly overnight. Can't tell how long it took me to plant the whole thing as it's been a work in progress, but it can't be 2 hours total.

And, if you don't have 10' square to work with........notice the planters behind the garden? They are each my 'salad' containers, planted with mixed greens and bush peas. They would fit on a deck or porch and you could have fresh salads all summer.

Hopefully, this can help some of you cross not enough space or time off your list of excuses!!! If not, let me know here.

Still thinking on the lack of confidence as a reason not to garden........Ideas forthcoming!

In the meantime, check out the sister site from Saving Advice, at
www.frugalgardening.com

Busy Phone

July 26th, 2006 at 02:59 pm

The phone has rung, with potential renters for the big house here. Yeah!!! Since I don't have a key yet from the current renters, folks are going to drive by this afternoon. Praying at least one of them just can't envision living anywhere else!!!

When the phone hasn't been ringing, I've been on it for my part time job......trying to contact local law enforcemtent offices. We're trying to get booth space at all the local Nat'l Night Out Against Crime events happening on Aug 1st...

Low Cost Fun Tip: Night Out Against Crime is happening nation wide, usually on Aug 1st in the evening. All free, tons of police vehicles, fire vehicles, all the canine units, live music, food......(pretty sure the food will cost something, but the rest is all free). Great summer activity, especially for those of you with kids that are police car/fire truck crazy.

I'm so enjoying the cooler temperatures here today. Spent some time in the garden, could stay outside long enough to hang the laundry.... how nice, I was getting pretty close to running out of clean clothes!!

Waiting for the Phone to Ring

July 26th, 2006 at 08:57 am

I placed an ad in a larger paper this week, hoping to generate some interest in the rental house that will be vacant as of Aug.

I tried Craigslist first, got a handful of emails, and one appt to see the home, but nothing too serious yet. Will continue to keep the house listed there, since it is free.........my favorite 4 letter word!!

I do have some money put away that will cover the monthly mortage payment for a few months.......but I haven't taken money from that account for anything for ages, so I'm leary of doing it at all. I need to exercise some caution here.....as I tend to rush into renters, so I'm not footing the bill; and then "pay" for it later.

Vowing to move a little slower this time. Do some interviewing as well as the credit check. (have no idea how to go about that, going to learn a few new things this time)

Still haven't called the state licensor to see if there is another company interested in having the home for a group home, which is my desire....... They are the ones that reccomended the people that just got the license pulled, so a bit of nasty residue left re; all that.

Another no spend day here.........stringing quite a few together this month, as I knew I would. When presented with a finance challenge of any sort, I can tighten up the purse strings so quickly the money literally jumps back IN the purse. I have spending nothing down to a science here. And, the interesting part is.....I usually don't mind and often don't notice.

How to Make a Cucumber Unhealthy

July 25th, 2006 at 08:17 am

How, you say, could I do that? Taking that perfectly beautiful, crisp, home grown cucumber and make it less than a perfect food???

Well, I confess. One of my 'have to' treats is a sandwich made with a fresh cucumber........on white bread with mayo........and a liberal dousing of fresh cracked pepper.

It just doesn't taste the same on whole grain bread. Even homemade. Sorry. Since it will only take me a couple sandwiches to get this out of my system, I'm going to ignore any health conscious suggestions to alter my summer treat and just go for broke.

I noticed there was a good sized cucumber, hiding under the bush beans (that have sort of gone nuts) when I walked the dog this AM. I hadn't even started to check the cucumbers, but will now include them in my daily checks out front.

Note to room mate person: Buy ingredients for salad dressings. We do go through lots of dressings and dips during our gardens prolific times here. Favorite is still my version of ranch, comes out to be more of a yogurt/peppercorn sort of event.
Totally yummy.

Will try to come up with a healthy stir fry from the garden to make up for my not so healthy lunch......... Smile


When Is It Going To End?

July 24th, 2006 at 09:38 am

This heat wave has to give way to our usual NW weather pretty darned soon, or there will be casualties! We aren't geared for these kinds of temperatures and are fading fast out here.

My productivity rate has slumped to nothing. No, I take that back, I started the dishwasher this AM. Smile I did get up before the sun came up and finished an order for a sewing customer too. The sewing room was OK at that time of day. But, the rest of the day is looking like a sit in front of the fan, read a book sort of day again.

I am going to attempt washing the pots & pans that have collected since the thermometer has sky rocketed here in WA. Putting my hands in hot water seemed excessive & I've been putting it off.....but the kitchen looks nasty, so today is the day.

Getting paid for the sewing order this afternoon......so Money IN again. It's a no spend day here........with nothing else on the schedule.

Meals are pretty much out of the garden these days, so they aren't costing much. When I don't have kids to feed, I've been enjoying just veggies for most meals. Too yummy!

OK, free time's over, I am heading to the kitchen to clear out the last 3 days of mess & clutter.

Cooling Off to a Cool ...........88?????

July 23rd, 2006 at 10:15 am

That's right. 88 degrees is being touted as a cooling off period here in WA state. Who thought getting down to 80 would feel GOOD??

I have become an expert at climate control here at our place. I had a huge bolt of white drapery weight fabric, which I have cut, ripped and installed at ALL windows with a high tech system of thumb tacks. Not pretty, but it works!

Windows open during the night and closed up tight as soon as the sun comes up. Watch the temp in the evening and open things up as soon as the outside temp is lower than the inside.

As soon as the windows are open at night, I've been setting sprinklers outside the bedroom windows, and then putting a fan in the window closest to the sprinkler. Lovely cool breezes...........and sleep! As soon as I know everyone has cooled off, I can walk the dog and turn off the water.

Without A/C, our house could get to be an oven. With our gypsy camp curtains and being diligent about windows & fans, we're managing to keep our cool.

Other than running fans.........it's another NO Spend Day here.

Navy Rent Increases

July 22nd, 2006 at 09:46 pm

The rent got paid today from the Navy man and he paid more than we had agreed upon. I had heard him say he had rented space for his boat that he brought up from CA with him and I asked him if he thought we didn't have room for a boat??? Heavens. There is probably an acre of space just leveled, clear and covered in gravel, specifically for parking.... I offered for him to bring his boat and keep it right here, so he could use it anytime he was free. So, that is the new plan, but he felt he needed to pay for that....... I didn't even argue! Smile

No money out today. Felt like I was spending money as I've had 3 fans running most of this evening, trying to keep the house from hitting 80 inside. Pretty sure we won't notice an increase in useage, there are enough other areas I have cut to the bone, so it should even out.

Fortunately, we had some cloud cover today, so it didn't get as hot as expected, but all true Seattleites are looking pretty droopy with this heat. We need to do a collective rain dance or something before this gets serious!

My 10' X 10' Garden

July 22nd, 2006 at 04:54 pm

I was lazy this past spring. Being new to this house & yard, I only prepped a little patch of ground for garden space.

I had brought some plants with me from the old house, so in they went....... People gave me starts from their yards, so I stuck them in the same piece of ground. I bought some perinneal seeds online (cheap) and stirred the seeds in the same area....

Then, it was time to put in some veggies....and into the same place they went. Bush beans next to the cosmos which I had never planted before.....who knew they got so huge?? More sugar snap peas since we always seem to use them up before they make it to the kitchen....and 2 huge packets of onion sets for a stunning border. Certainly I could squeeze some radishes in somewhere too...and now I've got 4 little spots of radishes in different stages.

Had to have a couple zucchini plants since we're all hooked on fried zuch. slices and then there are the strawberry plants we were given....

The garden has jumped it's boundaries a bit and I did get another little strip of ground cleared out for the squash.....but the deal is; a garden doesn't have to be huge to fit in bunches of plants.

I'm sure planting flowers and veggies together benefits both, as well as it makes for a much more interesting gargen patch. I've heard that the flowers bring beneficial insects to your garden....and also help to insure polinization of your veggies. Whatever the experts say, I'm loving having my beans next to my cosmos!!!

Flash & I were 'talking' about why is it more people don't garden??? Between her coupons and the coupon train I have jumped on here........and my garden.......we sure aren't paying full price for anything these days and we're definately eating better too. I will have to ponder the question further as I enjoy my gardens' bounty again this evening! Smile

Got a Nasty Bit of News Today

July 21st, 2006 at 04:17 pm

Drat & darn. My renters called, and they are all done with the group home, kids were removed today and they will be cleaning the house up and returning it to me by the first week of Aug.

I've quickly emailed & phoned to my little network here, letting everyone know the house is up for rent again. Hoping to keep using it for kids, or disabled adults; either would work really well with all the changes I had made to the place over the years.

Good thing I've got my ever present safety net & can foot the bill on the rent if I have to for a few months. I don't want to....but I can.

Pray, light candles, bow to the East......send all the good karma this direction if you are so inclined. A solid plan for rental by August would be a terrific blessing indeed.

I have a showing of the other house already on Tuesday.......& I'll remember to take pictures then. I don't have anything but the old fashioned hold in your hand pictures of the other place, so I couldn't send any out with the ads I placed on Craigs list already. Getting a small response from that too today. Pics will help.

I'm too hot to do anything but sit & read today. It's 96 outside in the shade, but I've been able to keep the house a bit cooler (although it is climbing as we get to evening here) So far, only 77 inside. Not too bad. But, it's time to go stick my head under a faucet!

Wilting in WA

July 21st, 2006 at 08:42 am

Watered my plants this AM and I was uncomfortably hot outside at 7AM! Didn't get to everything so I'll have to head out again. Trying to muster up courage to go outside...........

Who has our Pacific NW weather and when are you going to give it back? Smile We're just not used to these kinds of conditions! No one out here as A/C, so the best we can do is plug in a fan, move the hot air around a bit and pay through the nose for the power to do that!

At least I don't HAVE to do anything today. I've got a stack of new books from the library as well as the DVD of The Education of Little Tree. (thanks to everyone who reccomended this) I'll alternate between the shower and sitting in front of the fan with a book; that won't get much done but who cares!

Another no spend day here; I should add them up for this month, as I'm pretty sure I'll be hitting a new record for me. Since I'm not spending anything but the have-to bills for housing and utilities I have mostly no spend days.

I am grateful I don't have a long list of payments to be made, as I've switched from an ample paycheck to this new method of scraping together monies from my plethora of part time efforts. No car payments (only did that once in my life and I knew then I wouldn't do that again. I sold the car right away, and divorced the husband person who bought the car with the excuse it was a Gift to me......just to make sure!!)

Again, if you've got Seattles rainy, drippy weather.........send it back, please. (heading to the shower again to cool off)

WA State Bakes Again

July 20th, 2006 at 11:01 pm

Yes, it seems we're headed for a few more days of really hot weather here. Anything over 75 and I have to live in my shower! Some of the weather reports have been saying the nasty 100 number even.....gads, to a native Seattle person that number makes us all a bit cranky.

Went to the Navy persons change of command ceremony on board the USS Ford today. What a deal that was! Fun, interesting and I found out just what a high ranking guy our Navy man is. I also found out the pair of shoes I ended up wearing of mine, need to move on to someone else with smaller feet. I've gone barefoot for so long, any shoes feel awful, but todays pair were torture. I waited til I got in the van to take them off and switch to my birkenstoks....as there were Navy people lining the walkways, escorting us everywhere. I'm NOT wearing shoes like that again, blast the dress code. I'm old enough to get some sort of waiver I think! Smile

Didn't spend a cent today, even tho I was out all day long from 8AM til after 9PM. Took snacks in case I needed them, and went to a late lunch with my mom with a G/C.

Planning ahead for the hot weather, I'll take something out to thaw tonight and pop it in the crock pot at the crack of dawn tomorrow.........keeping the house cool, only cooking once and getting many meals from whatever I grab from the freezer and not spending anything on food. Just 2 boys this weekend, but they will expect to eat & neither will be affected with the heat. Me........a salad and raw veggies from my garden & I'll be happy. And, ducking into the shower periodically to cool off........


Another No Spend Day

July 19th, 2006 at 07:35 pm

Fairly easy to rack up the no spend days when I work at home. Easy too, when I know there is no extra money coming in yet. The dollars are all numbered and accounted for these days.........and there certainly aren't a surplus yet.

I've got a big cushion and several financial 'safety nets' in place in case I get in a pickle. (like my other place not being rented or something) But, I'm not spending a dime at this point until I can assess how much money comes in each month.

Good thing I'm used to not spending. Shopping of any kind isn't a vice of mine. Comes natural to be on the deep end of frugal!

Veggie dinner out of the garden again tonight. What a treat. Free & better than any store or restaurant food. Just can't beat this.

I've met all of the Naval contingent now....which is nice, as I'll know some people at the ceremony tomorrow. The RV is moved in, parked and leveled. Mr Navy won't be living here until after his family all returns to CA in 10 days, but we managed to get the back forty all cleaned up & ready for him, just in time too, I was still picking up when he drove in.

He wants to build himself a work bench in the garage, so he can have all his tools out & have a place to work on his projects during the year. I'm just getting way too excited about the prospect of all the things he points to and says he's going to handle! He must REALLY not want to live on base, if working here is a better deal. Smile

What A Great Day

July 18th, 2006 at 07:39 pm

Wow, when the good things start happening.......it is amazing. Our Navy commander drove in today, will be bringing his RV tomorrow. So, rent from him starts this week.......

Met with the 2 that will be moving in this week with their 5th wheel unit....they are prepared to pay $225 rent. Yikes, I wasn't thinking they were going to be able to scrape together any money!!!

Our little man with the VW bus is here this week "camping" and getting a break from living in his low income housing downtown Seattle. He is just too cute. And, paying rent!!

Still advertising the room/house share bit.....and had another bite on that ad today. Supposedly, a woman is coming tomorrow to check us out. Perhaps we can meet her and not scare her off? Smile Keeping my fingers crossed & the prayers going up!

Got a call from dtr & new grand baby is now 10 lbs!!! Doubled in weight already, she says he looks like a real baby now! Grateful he is OK, even born so early & tiny.

Had enough snap peas from the garden to saute in butter & garlic for my dinner. Totally enjoyed them....absolutely yummy.

Going to lash myself to the sewing machine this evening.......Might even work on the dreaded black sparkly blazer... Smile

room mate issues

July 18th, 2006 at 06:42 am

Again, this room mate person of mine is pushing the limits here. She had a huge garage type sale in the barn (think BIG barn, full of junk) and now there are assorted items scattered throughout the back here.

I had reminded her that this week was the all cleaned up deadline, due to the renter arriving today. But, no........I can see an assortment of junk from the house, and apparently there is a pile of 'good stuff' behind the barn too. So, my morning will be spent tidying up. I'm going to freecycle anything I have to move myself. The things I can't move..........I have no idea how to handle.

Frustrating to say the least. Fixable, yes. And, NO, she can't move out. She is a fixture here, isn't able to live on her own, so thanks, but that solution is out of the question. Having her here does have benefits, I just need to remind myself of those while I'm out back today!

My coffees finished here.........time to get to work for the day. It's cool here this AM (52!!!) so I'll get the outside chores done right away....then, it is sewing room time for me again. I've got many jobs from new customers yesterday. Judging from the responses I've been getting, I don't think there is anyone else that sews in this county!!!

A no spend day........ making money as I sit & sew! My kind of day!

Business Picking Up

July 17th, 2006 at 03:35 pm

Advertising takes it's sweet time, but I can see my efforts paying off. I have been an avid freecycler and every time I have picked something up, I have left a business card with a thank you. So far, 2 of those folks have called for sewing! I'm getting 2 calls per week on the ad, and 1 appointment out of those. So, the machines & I have become aquainted again after a gap of about 15 years! I'd forgotten how much I really enjoy sewing. My brain is playing some 'catch up' too, some things that should be no brainers, are taking me a minute to decide what to do! With practice, I'm hoping my brain cells line up and come to work on a regular basis here!

The part time foster parent recruiter job is turning out to be really fun! As an added task, they asked me to contact all the local law enforcement departments & arrange booth space for the National Night out Against Crime on Aug. 1st. I do feel like I'm going over the 10 hours a week at this point.......need to watch this, or I won't have time to sew!

----------------
Just stopped for a customer bringing draperies to hem. Nice easy job. I've got 2 other customers scheduled for this afternoon, one paying and another drop off & fitting. I need to get more organized here, as to where people go, fitting room, tables to lay things out on......Thinking it might be time to sacrifice the so called living room here.

Just realized by writing here, that I haven't placed the 2nd ad I had on my goal list. Will call on that right now.

Back to work!!!

My New No-Stress Life

July 16th, 2006 at 06:58 pm

The differences are amazing to me. I used to be wound up pretty tight I guess, trying to 2nd guess what the autistic wonder child was going to find irritating next.

Now, my days just flow smoothly. I can't even think of anything that is difficult or could possibly make me cranky.

I am so grateful for this new found peaceful state here. But, just to remind me of what I'm missing; the kiddo still calls at least 3 times a day. Today he is actually getting moved into an adult home, with 24 hour staffing, so perhaps there will be more going on and a call to me won't be his high point any longer. One can hope.

I turned on my favorite radio station (classical) today while sewing and I spent at least 4 hours of uninterrupted time! What a treat!

I guess my biggest irritant these days are the numerous flies that are invading my house. With it being hot, the doors are open and I don't have a screen on the front door.... Thus, the flies. Thank goodness that is the biggest problem I have, huh?? Smile

Back Home & Back To Work Here

July 16th, 2006 at 01:06 pm

I had a great time at my moms, it feels like I'm really Out of Town somewhere.......when in reality, I'm only 40 something miles away. But, her house is right on Puget Sound, and when the weather is sunny, it is a pretty place to be.

Home looked good, and it felt good to sleep in my own bed after a week. Also found a nice suprise from mom, she had tucked $100 in my bag when I left, as a thank you for the work. Nice!

All sorts of chores had piled up here (while I was away doing moms chores) Funny how this works in life..... I don't mind it, but you never think of this when charting out your life. At least I didn't consciously anyway. I always knew I would be the dtr taking care of parents, it's why I have never moved away from WA state.

Hung laundry, ran the dishwasher, mowed lawns and cooked a bit ahead. Almost caught up with day to day stuff.

Spent a couple hours yesterday with my part time job here on the computer, getting the hang of their data base I think. My first paycheck from this job was here when I arrived back, nice!

We're adding in another couple folks in the back forty this month. A brother & sister that have an RV, no job due to a disability. I've met the guy whose property they are on currently, he swears they are perfect tenants. He has his property up for sale, so they need a new place to 'camp'. We're it until their name comes up for Section 8.

Had a builder make me an offer on a lot I have locally. Unfortunately, he is offering less than the county appraised it for. So, as attractive as the monthly monies would be on a real estate contract, I'm going to pass.

Heading to the sewing room this afternoon.....I have 5 orders for customers to finish up for this week (not including the dreaded black sparkly blazer)

Hot Weather; Sheets on the Windows!

July 13th, 2006 at 10:23 pm

We all shared notes about how we hung white sheets on windows to keep the sun out when it was hot.........I've still got my lovely "set" of custom thumb tacked window coverings up. (You'd think, since I sew, I could come up with something a little more attractive, huh??)

Well, there may be something a tad more attractive in my future. I had responded to a survey about window coverings a couple weeks ago & did get a response, saying I would be accepted to the trial....and to watch for an email.

I have got to this point in other surveys, only to never hear back from them. Well, today.....Hunter Douglas sent me the directions as to how to measure my windows and where to send in the order. I will be properly impressed if I end up with 2 new window coverings! Measuring and ordering will be first on my TO DO list tomorrow when I go home.

I've got 2 windows in my room, which happens to be the room that gets the warmest.......so I am hoping I can get these to work in there. If not, the family room also has 2 windows...and that wouldn't be a bad alternative.

There will be a series of emails to see how I'm doing with the product, then after the test, I can either return them for $50.00 or keep the 2 window coverings. (not sure if it is blinds, shades or what, but the value is supposed to be $500.) Unless these turn out to be purple with green stripes and they have to be hung on circular windows or something.........I think I'll keep the product!

I'm anxious to see if this product testing/survey actually works out. I've become rather leary of the emails, as I can't count the number of them I haven't qualified for.

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.

The Dreaded Black Sparkly Blazer Goes On Vacation

July 10th, 2006 at 10:42 pm

Yes, I brought the nasty black blazer with me for my week at my moms. Got it ripped open, ready for another fitting. This time, I'm taking note of what the woman is wearing when she tries it on, that has to be the explanation for why it is so HUGE on her now. (jeans, sweat pants, her uniform pants???)

Have been busy all day, got the spraying done at moms apt. building....haven't fired up the chain saw yet, needed to save a project for tomorrow.

Did get all the plants I brought her for her Birthday in the ground today....her yard is looking so much better; almost like someone lives here! Smile

We went out for dinner........without a coupon (horrors!!) She always pays, I think I would have to fight her for the bill. But we enjoyed ourselves, despite a call from my kiddo in crisis. Wonder how long this is going to continue?? The mom had my cell number for emergencies, & she gave it to him tonight. I've since turned it off... I'll call about my van at the shop, rather than leave the phone on so I can get a break this week.

The next few days will be spent doing everything I can find that my mom needs done, or wants to do, or whatever. Her birthday is Wed & she deserves everything she can think up! I've been making mental notes for a few months, just little things that she has mentioned about where she would like to go, etc. I don't have to be home til Saturday......so we should be able to fit lots in!

Found My Shoes!!!

July 9th, 2006 at 02:27 pm

As ridiculous as it sounds, I found my shoes. I was looking for my walking shoes to hit the road with as soon as I was free this week.........and I couldn't find them anywhere. Well, this morning, while loading up the tools in my van to take to my moms (heading over to her place for the week, celebrating her Birthday and continuing the work in her yard)..........there were my walking shoes, along with my good pair of garden clogs.

I guess I stuck them in the pump house since it was winter, I couldn't garden, and I sure couldn't get out of here to go walking. It is funny how excited some tiny little thing can make me!!

So, I'm packing the shoes, hoping to get a walk in with mom while I'm there this week. Money saved here too, as I was thinking I would be buying a replacement pair.

Dropping the van off at the shop in the AM for the electrical difficulties, praying it is a simple (cheap) fix. Mom is picking me up, and then we head to her place. I'm taking the chain saw, as she has some saplings coming up where they really shouldn't be and they are WAY too big to transplant. Also taking my big sprayer to take care of her fruit trees this time.

I've worked like crazy today here at my place, getting caught up and trying to get my chores done before I'm gone for a week. Watering and mowing and more watering!!! With luck it will rain while I'm gone and my garden won't wilt.

Taking the dreaded black sparkly blazer to my moms, will work on the tedious part of taking it apart while we sit & visit (and watch her beloved baseball games!!!)

A No Spend Day Here

July 8th, 2006 at 09:36 pm

No spending and money in!! Gotta love days like this.

Got paid for one of my week end guys, and got a check in the mail for the new gentleman that is parking a van in my carport. Only $50 a month, but heck, it pays another bill! (I'm going to cover the monthly bills one way or another!)

Finished a sewing customers order this evening, had a fitting this AM on another order..... Both will pick up this coming week which means Money In again!

I'm able to use up all the leftovers with this combo of kids. Didn't have to cook yet this week end, just took meals out of the freezer! And, I'm picking salads out of the garden for every meal now,which is so great. Not very exciting salads just yet, but for my crew.......if it's green, it's salad.

Spent a few hours working at my 'new' job, entering clients info onto a data base. New stuff for me. I fought with Yahoo mail to set up a mailing list, but ended up back in my familiar gmail account sending them manually. Yahoo wouldn't let me send the whole list at once anyway, but wouldn't tell me anywhere what the magic number WAS! I'm going to have to speed things up to keep within the 10 hours a week I'm getting paid for! Hopefully, once I get going at this I'll be a tad more streamlined at the process.

Enjoying my what seems like Free Time, without the full time kiddo. A full week under my belt and I've been able to do SO much here. Started tearing my bedroom apart, laying out new window coverings, getting ready to remove the popcorn ceiling and prep for painting. Too fun!

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!

The Dreaded Black Sparkly Blazer

July 6th, 2006 at 06:53 am

For the 2nd time, the blazer didn't show up again. Hmmm, perchance the customer is realizing some of the difficulties might be of her own making & isn't going to require me to re do the order??? Please, Oh, Please????

Buying inferior materials does not allow for a top of the line end product..........
Buying a pattern that isn't what you want as an end result is a bad place to start.......
And, thinking a seamstress could do something to make a 4X not quite a 4X is futile..........

Maybe, said customer is mulling over this list too, and is having a hard time bringing the project back to me??

On the other hand, I had a return customer yesterday; and he is thrilled. Said he is sharing my info with others on his street.
Note to self: Stick to alterations, way more fun than new construction!

Ordered bags this week, such a great company. They are local, but service world wide accounts. What amazing customer support. I received a G/C yesterday for being a new customer (actually not, but since I had a new business, they gave me one! Nice) and they sent 3 referral cards, if someone else opens up an account, we each get another G/C. I can see why they have grown from 1 store to 4 since I've been using them.

Slowly remembering items I need to get the sewing business up and running again. It's been long enough I don't think of something until it smacks me on the head! Smile Like the bags! Getting an order finished and then not having something to put it in, or put over the hangers....Duh!

Antique Booth Update & other misc musings

July 5th, 2006 at 03:57 pm

Well, the antique booth has turned into a great way to spend (waste) money, IMO. I'm going to give it July & Aug. and then I believe I'll be pulling out. It is fun, but not enough I want to pay for the priviledge.

Took more items in this AM, the booth looks great, but just not enough moving to pay the rent, let alone make any money.

Good thing the other items in my Making Money Column are working out! 2 sewing customers this afternoon........and the check is in the mail from the foster parent recruiter position.

I do have 2 LONG trainings to attend tomorrow & Friday, with some long drives too. But, as I understand it, they don't happen often.

Since it is July, wonder of wonders, the housemate person has begun to pay rent. She is planning on splitting the expenses for this home exactly in half......and pay me in 2 payments during the month. I have the first installment already in the bank today! We'll see how long this lasts! She also paid the last payment on her truck loan (that was in my name) today. Now, she owes me $3,000 and will start paying that back next month which will also help my balance here. Didn't even factor that payment in as income.....

This is the month for my vans tabs & emission test. First, I have to take it in for some electrical work. The lights on the dash always show "service engine now" and I can't get it tested with that on. It would be an automatic disqualification. So, money out for the van, times 3 this month. Crossing my fingers the electrical can be an easy fix!!


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