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Archive for September, 2006

I Have a New House!

September 30th, 2006 at 07:12 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 30th, 2006 at 08:10 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Job's Done

September 29th, 2006 at 04:52 pm

My part time job officially ends tomorrow.....but the whole deal closed up shop today. At 3PM to be exact. I was on line checking email when I got home after classes today.......to find I had new clients to enter into the data base. Also a note re; some last minute changes I was to make to about 12 of the files.

I had time, so I started working on the list when I received the email about the data base shutting down at 3....I had only 12 minutes to go. I begged for a bit of time and finished at 3:09. Whew! I was a little cross eyed at first, trying to hurry. Because, of course........you all know what happens when one hurries?? I suddenly developed a case of several extra fingers and everyone that could, came to my door. (even a neighbor with their horse, wanting to borrow a pasture for a few hours!)

But, it's over, and I think I finished all that I could do. Certainly enough to warrant them paying me for Sept.

I managed to come up with a letter from a sort of supervisor person, got it emailed to the proper person (had to do that before Mon; got the request today) and I'm scheduled for an interview on Wed. (no location, no time yet)

Firmed up the parks & rec job, faxed all that paperwork in..........doubled the commitment to 2 classes, which will only be a whopping 4 hours; but it's a start with a totally new connection. I might be able to pull some private students from that pool too.

All in all..........a VERY busy day. We are feeling fogged in, as all the windows have been taped & plastic-ed for tomorrows paint job. I have 2 boys for the week end, I'm busy doing my impression of Betty Crocker as I type here.....cooking enough so I won't have to be in the kitchen much over the week end....... And, the last RV renter is being moved out. His surgery didn't go well, so he isn't able to come back here; so there are cars & trucks coming & going all the time.

It was a no spender & I even made some money today at knitting class!

Bonus Mail Day

September 29th, 2006 at 07:12 am

Days like this remind me to get to the freebie list and start signing up for things! They also spur me on to slog my way through a survey or two on a daily basis.....even tho' I feel like hitting the delete button!

Today I received a FREE coupon for a package of Green Giant veggies, which was supposed to be something on a website....Can't remember exactly how this happened, but I remember contacting the company because the site wouldn't load for me or something. Got a nice letter AND the coupon! Pays to follow up on things!

Also received a $5.00 check for participating in a survey.....no notation on it as to which one; but 5 dollars is 5 dollars!!

Also got the $35.00 check for a freezer I recycled through our local electric co. Wasn't sure I was going to get this one, as there was much confusion with the freezer issue here last winter.

And, last but not least, I got diaper samples for grandbaby and natural sleep aides for me! Not a bad haul.... Smile

I took sample sizes of almost everything we needed on our little "camping" trip this week too. Thought about the ease of using them, how they cost me nothing but a tad of time here & there....and how they were so nice to just slip in when packing.
Grateful for all the folks that post the sites to send in for all these little bonuses. I still have no idea how they come up with all of them, but I'm glad they do!

Excited to start my day here........I'm on Day #2 of taking a morning walk!! (this is a huge TA DA for me... Now, to just keep it up) Also have a new client coming this AM to firm up a sewing order for the holidays, a returning client to pick up an order AND drop off more work to be done...nice. And, I've got a private knitting student this morning too. Top off all that and the house painters start prepping today, and the job will begin tomorrow. I'm way past being excited about the paint job! A year of looking at this partially done house, with the horrible color is way too long!

Bzzz...... I'm a BzzAgent!

September 28th, 2006 at 02:36 pm

I remember signing up for things I had heard about here from other members; and it's true, if I wait long enough, things begin to happen. I'm in as a BzzAgent! I've tried and missed a couple times, and then I believe there was one I truly wasn't interested in........... But, it's official, I'm allowed to Bzzz to my hearts' content now.

Dusting. I will know all there is to know about dusting very soon. Who knew? But, this happens to be a pet peeve of mine, so I'm anxious to try the product on my Dust Difficulty Area here at my home. My piano has a black finish, actually a polyester surface, but it shows dust almost by the hour. (and I live on a gravel road) So, this will be a good test of whatever this new system is.

I sent in my barely there resume for the part time job, did find out what the pay rate is, and it is better than I'm getting now...... I can always find out more & work from there. Interviewing next week.

Heading to the sewing room now, to get up to speed for the appointments scheduled for tomorrow. Love seeing a day where I've got paying customers scheduled....

Picked up another REALLY part time teaching job. Only one class, but for a local parks & rec department, so room for more classes in the future. Sent in all my paperwork via email, so that was easy. Class not scheduled til next April.... (won't exactly figure that money into the budget just yet, huy??)

Off to make some money ....waiting anxiously for the mail now that my new dusting "system" is going to be shipped today! (promising my piano that it will be all shined up soon!!!)

A Delightful Break in Routine

September 28th, 2006 at 09:13 am

It feels good to be home.........but I've had a 4 day break from the day to day routine here. Our little vacation was so easy, lots of fun and had the bonus of the wonderful weather Western WA is having lately.

Who knew I'd be sitting by the pool, lounging about at the end of Sept?? We actually got too warm a couple times!!

I did spend extra on gas this week, and I did pay for 2 nights accomodations, but both of those were expected expenses. I also left the deposit here for the painters. (the house has been washed and with our 0ver 80 degree days lately, I'm sure it has dried.....so painting should be commencing soon!!)

Today is a sewing day; customers lined up starting tomorrow..........so no money in or out today; but income on the horizon.

The part time recruiter job I've been doing all summer will be coming to an end on the 30th. I have been invited to submit my resume (a pretty dusty document) to the new agency that will be handling the clients for the state. The job description looks WAY more detailed, like it would be a full time affair, and no where is there a salary mentioned. Lots more travel, more meetings, more of everything..... I'm having 2nd and 3rd thoughts about even throwing my hat into the ring. I love the clients, but I love the ability to work the job around the rest of my life. Not sure I want to have my life have to work around this new job.
Need to decide quickly, as the interviews are supposed to be happening today & tomorrow.

Which brings up another point. The woman I was working for, has the director position now with the new agency. She isn't a very organized person & that has been hard for me to work with/for. Not sure if I want to step deeper into that situation.

Did hear from the agency that is interested in leasing property from me...we're setting up a meeting for next week. I have been searching out houses that would be appropriate; just to have info for the mtg. Can't reach my lender person, will try again. Interested to see if I could pull off purchasing something without selling anything; and leasing it for more than the cost of the payment, insurance & taxes as well as upkeep and repair. There will be some sort of fine line there as to how big the house is, what kind of license we can get, how much income we can generate for the size of the house, etc. Not being a math whiz, this sort of boggles my brain cells, but perhaps this is the route I need to go, not the recruiter route???

Life is such a series of questions, choices and crossroads isn't it? How I sort info, make decisions and move forward is just so interesting to me. My style has developed over the decades; I gather info and then sort of wait it out.......until something feels so right I can't NOT make a decision. I take risks, but they're well thought out risks!!! Smile

Unplugging for a Few Days

September 24th, 2006 at 09:00 am

Heading out on my little vacation this afternoon. Taking my mom & her twin, as well as one of my disabled young men.... so, it isn't really a vacation, will still be working ..........but working in a different place. The change will be good, the drive should be gorgeous today (we're being blessed with a 73 degree day today, all blue sky....not typically Seattle, that's for sure)

Won't have phones, net or TV, which will be fun for me. I'll see how addicted I've become! Taking a small TV & VCR for the young man, as he gets a bit frustrated if things don't move as fast as he wants some times........so a disney movie on his TV should do the trick. That will give the rest of us some time to play cards, visit or get the meals on the table.

Will actually be a no spend day for me......I will even up with my mom later, & pay my share (or more) of the fees for our "camping" unit. Tomorrow I'll have to get gas, but the whole week will be pretty low key as far as money goes. We're a cheap bunch to entertain! Walks on the beach, a stop at Peace Arch park (a tradition for my kids .....to stand on the border) and we're pretty much taken care of.

My young man that is joining us is so excited he was up most of the night. When I got up to walk the dog at 4-ish, he was standing in the hallway, his room light on.......& he asked if I was happy! Smile He was beaming. Just getting to go with us again has made his year!!! And, he's making the dinner tonight. He is beside himself with that!

I set up all my bill payer items for the time that I'm gone; so everything will happen on time. I've had such a time with Washington Mutual bill payer the last few months, I'm crossing my fingers everything happens like I planned.

My house will still be full of people when I'm gone, that is one benefit to having others here. There is always someone to handle pets & get the mail. Smile I need to pack up my last minute things like a book and my knitting........then it's just waiting for my mom & aunt to show up; and we're off......

911- KNIT call

September 23rd, 2006 at 03:41 pm

Well, now I've gone on a bona fide knitting emergency call. I've always told my students to call me, as there are many occasions I can offer assistance over the phone if they didn't want to wait until the next class..........

But, my brand new student (of yesterday) had left a message saying she needed help...and when she called again this AM, she had something I couldn't guide her through on the phone. Her cat had attacked her knitting, and removed the needles.......then drug it around several rooms of her house. Needless to say, as a brand new knitter, she couldn't figure out what way was up, let alone get it going again. (and I had cast on for her, as I don't like to have brand new beginners cast on AND learn to knit the first lesson)

So, I packed up my knitting supplies and off I went.... She paid me for another lesson, as I did stay the whole hour. Knit her off a piece of my work, and left her with more practice yarn on her needles. She actually knit 5 or 6 rows while I was there.....with no more than 1 error per row, which isn't bad, considering how hard she has to work to knit. It's definately not coming easy for her.

But, it's a money in day for me, as she paid me for a months worth of lessons today. Nice. And, a new concept for me re; how to bill for classes.

I'm gathering up items for our "camping" trip tomorrow, clothes out on the line, pantry items grouped together in the kitchen and perishable food listed so I won't forget them. I'm only in charge of the meal for the first night and then the drinks for the 4 days....so it's super easy for me. My goal is for the disabled young man I'm taking with me, to make the dinner......so it's going to be prepped, & ready, he just needs to assemble and take the credit. I know we'll be hearing about the dinner menu for years to come; he will be so excited to have participated. This is for sure one of those things that doesn't cost much; but will end up being priceless. Way more fun for me than buying something, that's for certain.

I'm having a terrific day here, everyone on the property is getting along, most everyone is working their tail off and I can see items getting chalked off the master TO DO list here. Love days like this. Productivity; gotta love it.

Trading a Haircut for a Massage

September 23rd, 2006 at 05:47 am

The high point to my week will be the massage today! I am new to this massage thing and I've found it to be one of the best things out there!

The temporary renter people will be back this AM, one to work out back and the other for me to give her a hair cut (after the perm I gave her last week) and then.........she will give me a massage. She is sooooo good.

My only problem is coming up with things I can do in trade for her! Her hair won't need doing for years she says, her perm lasts that long! Drat. I might have to break down and appropriate some money to actually PAY her! Smile

She has been baking again this week, and plans to bring us "treats" today. I do need to make a run through the kitchen and toss what didn't get eaten from her visit last Sat. I'm always at a loss for the right thing to do in situations like this. Her baking truly isn't inspired. Sometimes someone will eat something here from her.......but then most of it just sits until I feed it to the birds. Many things taste like she cuts back or leaves out the salt and sometimes her recipes just aren't that good. I can't tell her at this point, I don't believe anything positive would come of it. These are the sorts of lies my mother taught me that really are better just left alone. Lying by omission I guess is what I'm doing.

So, I'll slick up the kitchen and be grateful she shares her hobby with our household........ Trim her hair and then gratefully, get ready for my massage! Such a deal. If I'm ever just wondering what to do with extra money; having a therapist scheduled here on a regular basis would be a perfect idea!! That and my clean sheets (hung outside) every night and I'd be in absolute heaven.

New Student; Not Easy Money

September 22nd, 2006 at 07:37 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

Collecting House Painting Bids

September 22nd, 2006 at 08:01 am

I met with my first potential house painter person last night.......before leaving for work; and I didn't faint, didn't even gasp.
In fact, I had to bite my tongue so I didn't just give him the job right then. His bid is WAY less than I was expecting(but then, I have no idea what I was expecting, since it has been decades since I had a house that needed painting).

$1700 for the whole place, including washing, all the paint and my outbuildings. I think that sounds like a bargain; since it would take me forever to do it myself....and truly, I'm pretty sure it would never get done, as the first step is definately ladder type work & that's not me these days.

Another person supposedly this AM, with another this evening. I called 5, and have appointments with these 3 already. Maybe I can get a decision made prior to leaving town on Sunday? We've only got a few weeks window here to get this project fit in before it will be icky, wet, cold, typical Seattle weather again.....so I need to be quick.

The house is so awful, there really is nowhere to go but better.........so I'm not too worried about the job. I will want to know what brand of paint is used, and how the surfaces are prepared, but that's about the most I need I think as far as info goes. I am getting very excited about this...... Can't tell you how bad this color makes me feel here. Anxious to get it done prior to starting off Year #2 at this place.

It's so nice to have a house fund for projects like this........and it's nice to see a bid that didn't knock me over with the estimate. Nice all round........and I'll end up with a color I know I already love. (using almost the same combo as my other house; why mess with a good thing?)

It will be interesting to see how the other bids come in. This first one was running a 15% off special, end of season deal......... I really didn't think of it on purpose, but this might be a pretty economical time to get the place painted. I know the rush season would be spring here....... Maybe I accidentally am "shopping" at the right time? What are the odds? Smile

Another New Customer

September 21st, 2006 at 03:08 pm

I'm getting busier with the sewing and knitting.....finally! The ad comes out on Thursday and the phone has been almost busy today. Got the one new student and set up several appointments for next week already.
Like money in the bank for October! Nice.

Got contacted today by the Neilson company....I apparently had inquired about something ages ago, as I'd forgotten what this was about. They are sending something and a free gift card (didn't ask for where or what, as I had another call coming in), but it was a positive something or other & it wasn't going to cost me anything. That much I did understand.

Working tonight and tomorrow afternoon at my foster parent recruiter job.........sure wish I knew if it was going to continue or not.... I hate not knowing and not being on top of things. Plus, it is truly difficult not knowing what to tell clients. What I do know is I've got one more for sure paycheck from this source. Still praying and lighting candles ........and bowing to the east and typing with my fingers crossed. Really want to continue doing this job, it is just too much fun!

The Details of Personal Finances

September 21st, 2006 at 09:35 am

Success IS in the details, isn't it? I'm a devout list maker and it seems like most of my daily TO DO list is composed of items that either save me money, figure out how best to spend my money (if there is an expenditure on the horizon) or how to continue my money making efforts here.

Each item alone isn't too much of a big deal (at least in my little financial world), but put together as a list, I can make an impact on my finances every day! I do need to get busy on my list every day if I want to see continued progress.

Todays list started off with recording one more little check for one of the tenants out back...........(now only one pesky little one left for Sept) And, while I was recording this check, the phone rang & I signed up another private knitting student, to begin tomorrow! Woo-Hoo...

I've also made a decision to get some help in getting my house painted. I haven't had to do this at my old place because I made a huge leap years ago and put vinyl siding on it, saving $$ over the years I know. But, this new place has a miserable paint job on it, ugly color, new trim around new windows that have never been painted or treated........and it is making me cranky to see it in such nasty shape each time I think about it (which seems to be often). So, I'm calling for bids today & will spend some money on this place.

A few more phone calls, all relating to taxes & possible money for another house as an investment and I can see todays TO DO list is totally related to my finances.
Not really surprising, just interesting how my days activities are all connected to spending, saving or making money. Call me driven, obsessed or whatever.... At least I'm focused! Smile

Landlord Progress Report

September 20th, 2006 at 07:41 pm

My progress in this area continues to surprise me. I have no doubts re; the power of writing down my goals. As soon as I make the goals public; I'd better be ready, as progress will happen with, or without me!

I've now got just 2 small amounts of $ still owing for Sept. & know that they will both be coming in pretty soon. Have spoken to both parties.

I've updated the boarding agreement for the horse people & have one signed one on file. One to go. Met with both horse people & re defined my responsibilities here.........which amounts to nothing but having the property. Cleared up what their TO DO list is on a daily basis. Could further tighten this up by having a consequence if they don't hold up their end here.

Talked to the parking space rental person, he gave a sort of notice............he is looking for a space closer to Seattle. It would actually clear things up here if he did move, as the space could be rented to a horse person for feed storage.

Had a productive conversation with room mate person which resulted in one of her OLD vehicles being towed off the property today. (her choice) One down, a few more to go.... She is to be clearing all of her junk out that is sitting outside the one building we agreed was hers to use. This amounts to an incredible amount of stuff.....will keep the pressure on here.

All in all......a very good month. I have had to step way out of my comfort zone with these landlord type issues this month. I hate this part, but I survived and here we are almost at the end of the month; things are being addressed, accounts are almost all current and most of my people here are happy campers. Now I just need to keep this up so little things don't become big things and I start to ignore them and they become disasters.

My next big thing on the list here for me is to see if it is really possible to buy another property (I know, this puts me further in landlord territory) and lease it out. Started researching today, will make some calls when I get back home next week.

Preventative Spending & Then Some

September 19th, 2006 at 10:46 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

Another No Spender Here

September 18th, 2006 at 03:08 pm

It probably gets boring .....my life; spending no money! Smile

I do have expenses on the horizon, the van & it's mysterious tire noises, as well as the rental for our pseudo camping experience next week end. So, I don't go through a month spending nothing, and I don't feel deprived. There just isn't much I feel compeled to purchase, besides keeping the monthly bills paid up.

I have continued to have the automatic amounts taken out of my checking account; including a couple savings accounts, stock fund and mutual fund. I thought I might have to stop these, or at least cut back....but so far, I'm still chugging away and not feeling the crunch after formally retiring.

Maybe the deal is I'm old. Old enough to have collected all the "stuff" I could ever need (or want)?? Old enough to really know the difference between need & want in the first place? Old enough to have made a ton of mistakes (and learned from a few of them)??

Whatever the combination, I just don't end up having a conversation with myself about "should I spend money for_______?" It just doesn't come up.

I just thought of another possible reason I don't spend money!! I'm old enough that I tend to forget what I was thinking I needed anyway! Smile That must be it!

No Spend & Lots of Chores Today

September 17th, 2006 at 09:47 am

I may not be spending money today, but wow is my TO DO list a long one!

I'm scheduled to go "camping" (read this a bit tongue in cheek........it's a coast to coast resort deal, with mobile homes we rent that sleep 9) next week end, so I'm starting to set things aside for that.....

I've got 2 sewing orders to complete today for appointments tomorrow AM.

Will have my 2 boys here all day today, but I've cooked ahead, so meals should just be a microwave sort of deal; love that.

We're trying to do the first phase of the Extra Vehicle Dance here today; aiming to get most of the rarely driven, excess trailers, etc into a newly carved out section of property........ So, I need to get the rocks picked out of it and mow it to a manageable level prior to noon when the truck with hitch & a backing trailer up sort of brain arrive.

I need to pack for a couple days at my moms, starting tomorrow........which cuts down my prep time for the camping trip to Thurs, Fri & Sat. In one of those days I need to get my van in for a service date; as I'm the driver for this upcoming excursion. My tires are doing a shimmy sort of thing when they hit a certain speed......and I need an oil change sort of pit stop too. If I can find a spare scrap of time this week, I'm getting dangerously close to Have To Have A Haircut time.

With all that said, I'd better get off my duff here and park myself at the sewing machine. Taking coffee & some good listening music with me so I can enjoy my morning...........prior to switching gears and picking rocks!!!

Hope everyone has a blessed Sunday!

I've Decided to Stay

September 16th, 2006 at 08:09 pm

After 11 months in this new place, I've finally come to grips with the idea I actually live here now. And, I am going to stay for at least another year. (for those that remember the previous owners call re; this house..........she is not wanting to buy it back right now, not even next year, something about being scared of the capitol gains tax if you buy too often?? I hadn't heard anything about that......but anyway, she isn't an immeadiate offer on the table)

So, even tho I truly haven't fallen in love with this property, nor the house.......I'm going to dig in my heels and put in my time here like as if I'm living here. (notice I'm not planning on making it HOME). I'll do the work, fixing up all the things that will make a true difference to someone looking to buy it, continue working on the yard, and making the whole place work to pay for itself.

All that being said: I advertised on Freecycle today for a kitchen table & 4 chairs. Big step for me. No way am I going to buy furniture for this place, but it has been tricky getting a meal served to the 6 adults that occasionally eat here. It's time I get a real table and enough chairs to go all the way around it. We've got the original table I bought when I "set up house" for the first time way back when..... and 3 odd chairs. Odd as in they are all different.......and they each are truly odd as chairs go too. Time for the whole funky mess to move on to the burn pile out back I believe. Crossing fingers that I have an email tomorrow from some kind freecycling soul with a solid table and 4 respectable chairs that all need a good home!

Why Is It?

September 16th, 2006 at 06:42 pm

I must have signs that goes up outside here.............Interrupt NOW, the old woman is cooking dinner!

I can spend the entire day without interruption, no one calling, no one stopping in..........not even one of the many tenants here coming in for bathroom/laundry/or other amenities....

And.........BAM. The minute I toss dinner on the stove (and tonight I was grilling a kitchen full of steaks, in addition to finishing off homemade brownies and frying up garden fresh zuchini slices) everyone wanted something right then.

I have only 1 of the boys this week end, so it was quieter; but not an easy do, as this guy is mentally ill, so can be a handful. Then, let's see.......the horses all got out, the 5th wheel tenant tries to 'round them up', succeeded in just irritating the critters....I had to stop and call the horse owners and call off the wanna be cowboy outside. Then, all the horse people arrived, they came in one at a time; each for something, then at the end all at once to set up a co op pig raising operation here next spring, the Navy stopped in to give me an update on his schedule and the 5th wheel young lady came in with paperwork I needed to sign asap; as her landlord.

The steaks did get done, brownies are cooling. The 1 boy got fed. Paperwork got filled out. Horses got rounded up. Fences got mended. Wanna be cowboy got new instructions; leave the horses alone, no matter what and everyone eventually went to their own little corners of the world.

And..............I ate cold steak. Wasn't the treat I was hoping for. I'll keep my eyes open for those possible signs posted outside.......saying Interupt NOW!

The Mystery of Blogging

September 15th, 2006 at 07:28 pm

I know I'm not the only one that has noticed this............. But, when I write something down and it goes "public" or "live", it takes on a brand new level of importance in my life! I've journaled my entire life, at least since I was in the 5th grade....but this is so much different.

When I write here, especially listing goals, or plans; I'm compelled to make some progress and make it quick, so I have something to come back here and report on!

Magic, mysterious power this blogging business. I'm definately hooked, and my life is so much more organized because of it.

This whole business was in my face again today as the very last of my issues on my Landlord 101 posts has been addressed today. Amazing to me; left to my own devices, I would have ignored a pesky situation or two until they had got totally out of control. And, with the items listed here......I just got busy paying attention to each one until just today, the last little situation got attended to.
(I have added one more piece; but can't address just yet......but it does involve the horse boarding situation since the horse lady sold one of her horses to someone else, I now have 2 horse boarding people....just need to work on some of the boarding agreements to get them up to date)

So, the progress looks like this:
-Horse lady is up to date on rent
-Added horse person paid through the end of 2006
-Parking space for van: talked to the owner, he thought he had auto payment set up, but it had only been set up for a one time payment. Is changed to monthly now & will be caught up by Oct. 1.
-Room mate person has paid for Sept now...and will continue paying half the expenses here from now on. She will also begin paying me the money I helped her with to purchase her vehicle, starting in Oct.
-New RV renters out back: met with them re; the Things That Must Be Changed...and they are making headway. They are paid up too!
-Helped mom with the Please Move Out Letter for her pesky tenant, got that mailed and also listed her vacant apt.
-And, the last little piece here is the Navy rental.........he will pay, he just has no set schedule that I know of. He is more help than anyone else around here, so I should be paying him, technically. But, the agreement was for him to pay half of the electric bill, so we'll stick with that.

In addition to all of these just falling into place, we've worked together to come up with a parking area for everyones added vehicles, trailers and assorted "other" things that came with everyone. Fences are moved and this weekend should see the rocks get picked up and the area mowed, then everyone can start moving things in and clean up the entire piece of property in the process.

I had listed what seemed impossible to me, and given myself all of Sept to begin working on THE LIST.... and here it is the 15th and I'm done with the list, have taken on a bit more in almost all the situations and we've still got half a month left! TA DA and a thank you to everyone who reads this and makes me accountable. Thanks also for all the terrific pointers & suggestions along the way; it is so true, a couple of heads working together on something makes such a difference!!!

Hard Sell at a Financial Seminar

September 14th, 2006 at 09:23 pm

I have gone to one too many of these financial seminars.....the latest one was yesterday with my mom. She had received a "special invite" and off we went.

I was doing OK with the info presented right up til the end when the bottom line ended up being "pay to attend a 3 day seminar" scheduled in Oct. If we didn't sign up right then, of course the price went up and up! (I hate that tactic, it really makes me cranky in a hurry)

So, we walked out. But, I'm still pretty sure all the info was right on.....I just think I can do much of it on my own, or at least with the collective wisdom here and in the forums.

His basic premise was to include Real Estate/Stocks/Forex and Net commerce to create passive income streams. Not a bad plan at all. But, he needed to sell his 3 day event & then give us all his Free Software package telling us all how to do the income stream.

I have more learning to do........as many of his ideas rang very true, but I'm just too much of a wimp to jump right in. I'll need to do more reading and research prior to making any big moves....but on the other hand, if I don't make my money MAKE some money, I won't ever be in a better position. I do feel like I'm at a financial cross road right now & I don't need to pay anyone for a 3 day seminar to help me figure that out.

I think I'll put all his points on my 2007 list.........as I'm already booked through 2006 with my Landlord 101 program! Smile

I'm One Tired Old Woman

September 12th, 2006 at 10:51 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

TO DO list getting longer and longer and.....`

September 11th, 2006 at 12:37 pm

No matter what time I get up or how late I stay up, I can't seem to catch up! I was going to title my entry Getting More Behind Every Day, but the double meaning had me laughing ...........but it sure is true. I'm working harder, more jobs, longer hours and I am getting 'farther' behind as well as gaining more of a behind in the process. Drat on both accounts!

I need to put me on the list here, so I start seeing that things for me get worked into the days.....

Update on Landlord 101:
-Horse lady did pay up & is now current. She has agreed to change the fencing so I have room to park vehicles and not put them IN the pastures. Have the new boarding agreement now, will have the 2 people sign these before the month is out.
Reminded both of them that I am not paying for any of the upgrades or repairs for the pastures.
-Emailed the renter of the parking place....no response yet.
-Temp tenants moved out of the extra bedroom here. Experience was absolutely terrific. Will start advertising again.
-New tenants in other house called & emailed me this week, sounded urgent, but I can't reach them by phone or email, so will cross my fingers & pray all is well there.
-room mate person has paid 2/3 of her rent for Sept already. Nice!
-RV spot #1: rent due
-RV spot #2: rent paid already

I will be at my moms again for the next 4 days, helping in her yard, getting it ready for fall/winter. While there, I'm hoping to work with her on 2 of her rentals. She has one still vacant (all ready to rent) and the other we need to ask the tenant to move. Can't seem to get a letter written that my mom approves of ...she is having a hard time with this one.

Two repeat sewing customers today......will need to get their orders done when I get back home, as they are already scheduled to return next Monday. My regular private knitting lesson has been bumped to Friday this week, since I'm out of town.......but in my spare time I'm making samples to take to class.

HA. Spare time. What in the world is that???

Got a freecycle call this AM and I'm off to pick up a rooms worth of drapery sheers this afternoon (on my way to moms). Hoping they will work for any of the rooms here at the new place. I have been without window coverings as I took down all the ugly, old, dark brown draperies on the first day here!
Even if they aren't exactly right, I can change them around and make them work for something! Free fabric is better than paying money for fabric any day!

I've Got a Mystery Veggie

September 8th, 2006 at 08:35 pm

I'm stumped. I've grown many kinds of squash in the past.......and have planted a few varieties this year. However, this one has me totally stumped.

I didn't plant this patch of squash.....the only possibility I can think of is they came up "volunteer" from the previous owners garden or compost pile??

The size and shape are just like pumpkins, but they are mostly all green. Some have a hint of stripes on them, but all still in green shades. Some are now the size of basketballs; even though I haven't watered this patch at all. (so obviously, they thrive with NO care!)

I've cut one open & discovered it's a real thin meat sort of event, with tons of seeds in the center. The meat of the veggie is light green to white. The outside is very thin and I can put my fingernail right into it, so it seems more like a summer squash rather than a hard winter one.

And, no..........I haven't cooked one yet. Not sure how exactly. It would be great if it turned out to be yummy, as we have wheelbarrow loads of them!

Any ideas as to what this is? Or do we have some kind of Ripleys' Believe it or not Squash here?

Successful Survey........Another $20.00

September 7th, 2006 at 05:54 pm

This one was easy! The same firm as last time, so perhaps I only had to do the refiguring of things on my PC the first time. Anyway, this was as simple as point and click..... I was in line and ready to wait for the survey to begin.

The product in question was something for small dogs & I certainly have one, so I can thank the Chihuahua for this $20.00. A nice bit of extra money for just sitting here and discussing a potential product. I had enough down time while others were answering, I took a couple phone calls and started writing a letter. But, a totally painless way to add to the coffers here.

I've got all the rest of my chores done for the day........except anything on my landlord 101 list. Forcing myself to make another phone call as soon as I quit here! I promise. Really.

Paid Survey Scheduled Today

September 7th, 2006 at 08:04 am

I am seeing the survey "business" begin to pick up! I remember reading others blogs & thinking "how do I do that??" With patience and a bit of tweaking on my answers....I'm definately noticing a difference in the number of surveys I'm being offered as well as the amount of them that moves on to a 2nd level.

I did receive a check this week for a survey, granted it was only $5.00 but that sure beats the surveys I was doing for that not so fantastic Sweepstakes Entry!!! Then, this AM I've already completed a survey for $6.00 (will need to wait to see that one) and this afternoon I'm scheduled for my 3rd interactive survey for $20.00.

I couldn't get connected to the first one I tried, but the 2nd was easier and the survey was actually fun. So, we'll see how I do today......... The requirements for my PC settings are what threw me the first time, and the window to get online with the company is pretty small, but definately worth it in my opinion. I'll work for $20.00 an hour, with no commute & no expenses!

Since I'll be staying home again today; it's another No Spender here! Making money too.........Gotta love this! Have a few chores to do today, something needs to find it's way into the crock pot and I'm going to mow the lawns. (one benefit to it being so dry & hot here for so long.....the lawn just didn't grow, so WAY less mowing, thus.....less gas needed)

And, Another No Spender Here

September 6th, 2006 at 07:09 pm

Feels like this is my comfort zone; spending nothing all day. I can do this forever I think. I would have been great as a pioneer, not complaining a bit about living a long ways from "town".

I've often had this thought; I've been born a few generations later than I would have chosen. (if I had been given an option!) I think I could hold my own if I was plopped down in a different era........making my families clothing, putting up food for the winter, gardening as if our survival depended on it......the whole works! Anybody else feel like this, or am I the only odd duck?

Anyway.....digressing here and totally enjoying the fact that I can let my mind wander. (another benefit to retirement!!)
Truly spent nothing today, and made money too. My knitting student paid me a sizeable tip, over and above my hourly fee.....a nice surprise!! She is hooked and will be a regular. I hope she rounds up some friends & neighbors now and we can turn this into something a bit bigger! Too fun.

Gas Hits New Low Here

September 6th, 2006 at 07:09 am

I filled up yesterday when I found gas at $2.79 a gallon. Who knew I was going to think that price was an absolute bargain??

It's been over $3 for so long here in WA that I was almost getting used to needing $50 to fill up. Even with my limited driving life here, I was feeling the added expense for gas. Using only $30 yesterday felt like I had hit the jackpot!

Heading out today (already using up some of the cheap gas) to teach a private knitting lesson. Still can't get over making money doing something so fun! It ought to be illegal!

Even the Dog Got Good Mail

September 5th, 2006 at 05:18 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Landlord Makes Progress..........(already!!!!)

September 4th, 2006 at 07:24 am

Wow, be careful what I write here.....my note to me...

My entry yesterday was about my Sept. goals re; my lack of guts and follow through as a landlord. Well, guess what? My first opportunity actually walked in last night for a meeting with me!

The newest of the new tenants came in, carrying their total rent with them~ in cash even! I had a chance to visit with them a bit and I made it through half of the things on my list here! Yeah for me! They already made a couple of the changes this AM, and will be working on the others. I will give them the other half of my list after they finish this group. We covered parking places, dog barking, night time noise cut off time, neighbors & relations with them.........a biggy here........and the general mess around their unit. Plus the 4 vehicles that appeared in the horse pasture. We also covered the water hook up from the house, he will fix the leaky faucet for me! So, I managed to cover a laundry list of topics I consider to be Hard! (at least for me)

I do have to add one more to the big Sept list however..........I couldn't sleep well last night & came up with another issue. The gentleman that rents a parking space for a van here.....hasn't paid for Aug, nor has he been here this last month to work on his vehicle. So, contacting him, bringing it up to date, or having him move are now added to the list.

Since the parking rent sort of slipped by, I also will come up with a chart of some sort for me to use as a tracking tool each month. I have had a piece of paper I kept track of payments in my usual bill folder here, but it isn't detailed enough and it is too small for all my "people" here. So, that is on my list today too.

But, for the first day........I feel pretty successful & that is a good way to start on my new goal here. It reminded me what a useful tool this journaling is!!

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