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Archive for October, 2006

Gorgeous But Freezing

October 31st, 2006 at 05:31 pm

What a beautiful day..........as long as I don't have to spend much time outside! Yikes it's cold here. We're up to a crisp 27 now, but it was 21 when I first got up. I thought I was the only one who had a wood stove cranked up and sheets on the clothesline.....but I read Thrifty Rays' entry this week and she did the same thing!
I am truly looking forward to the dried outside sheets on the bed tonight.......just hope they don't freeze & break into chunks when I take them down! Smile

Finally got an email re; selling a book!! It had been months and months since I have had a sale. I did take everything off half.com and re list them all on Amazon. Bingo. A sale. Shipped it yesterday. Since the books are free to me, this is a great addition of free money to the account.

I've got enough points in MyPoints again to turn in for something substantial. Need to think of this for Christmas ideas..... and redeem it pretty soon as I always forget how long these take to receive.

Knitting classes this AM and then off to pick up another freecycle find. Hoping todays run takes care of my kitchen table dilema. Moms offering hasn't worked out well as the table still has no legs! Also have 2 free vintage baby carriages coming this week; which will be great at the antique booth.

Looking forward to another no spender here today............I'll get my classes & errands done, then I'm hoping to curl up near the wood stove and knit. (current project; socks for ME)

Frost on the Punkin'

October 30th, 2006 at 03:04 pm

My parents used to say there was frost on the punkin' when we had a cold morning and this morning........I've got the real thing for the first time.

Since I discovered my mystery plants were truly pumpkins....they are covered with a thin coating of frost, making them look like they have been covered in glitter. Very pretty, but a chilly 27 here this AM.

I'm glad I spent time yesterday hauling produce into the shed. I've got several boxes of acorn and butternut squash, along with 9 pumpkins that are basketball size AND have ripened to be totally orange. (not sure if there is anything to be done with all the pumpkins that are still totally dark green) I managed to salvage a colander of green tomatoes and have them inside beginning to ripen.

Two huge zuchinni were the last veggies to be brought in. Despite all the jokes about this vegetable, I had more requests from family for side dishes with this than anything else over the summer. I had 4 plants and think it was just about right for our household.

I managed to collect multiple envelopes of seed from flowers and veggies over the last couple weeks, so FREE plants next spring. Dreaming of a green house now....or at least a cold frame set up.....or a couple of other local gardeners I could share seeds with. Gardening is definately one of those hobbies where it is hard to be satisfied! Smile

Wrapping Up October

October 29th, 2006 at 05:13 pm

This should be the last month I'm having to withdraw funds from savings to pay monthly bills. I hate this..........

I'm actually paying November bills this week and looking forward to the first of December.......as the tenants in the other house will start paying rent then. Still feel like I made a good decision on this rental, but I'm definately excited to not have to "carry" this bill myself.

Everything is up to date, bill wise, and the dreaded property taxes have been paid. Sewing and knitting business is picking up.....it's a slow climb, but it is on the way.


Rental monies: Not good this month. Room mate person has only contributed half of her half so far......due to her vehicle accident. Plus, she didn't assist with the property taxes like promised either. Crummy situation, but I'm unable to think of an alternative. Everyone else has paid their little bits and done their part to keep us moving forward.

Another positive step with the latest electric bill...... They lowered my monthly average bill again!! TA DA. Even with all these extra people who don't know all 'my rules' yet. We're down to $105 per month now......... Started at $150, so we're making progress. This is the lowest I've ever had this bill, for as long as I've been keeping records which dates back to the 70's. Now it gets really challenging........we'll have to get pretty darned creative to cut it any further. (I'm willing to try however!)

Crossing my fingers that this next month I'll be able to generate enough money to cover expenses and start putting funds back INTO savings instead of making another withdrawal.

B & B for some R & R

October 27th, 2006 at 02:58 pm

Yes, I'm at my moms again this week......taking advantage of her "Bed & Breakfast" and a little peace & quiet compared to my 3 ring circus at the 'ranch'.

We've had a fun time, as usual.....and getting a couple things off the infamous TO DO list here.

I had decided to bite the bullet and take my good watch (seems to be my only watch too these days) in for a battery to see if that would make it GO. Come to find out, it didn't need one, it just needed to be kick started or something.....it's running now, at no charge. Nice surprise. I had to do something, as I'm finding a need for a watch when in knitting class, so I know when to wind things up....HA....Pun intended I guess! One location has no clock and I get too into the knitting, teaching and conversation and could end up keeping students there til the next day I think!

Also got a haircut, so I'm a brand new person.....at least it feels that way to me. I've got short hair, and that extra, too long 1/2" makes me fairly cranky; so it was definately time for a trim. Prices seem to fluctuate at the shop I visit. This time it was $14.00, used to be $13. but it is still 5 lower than around my house...... Will have to scout around for more coupons like I had last month.

Pulling a zero on the new to me table and chairs here at moms. She is positive they are all in her basement, but so far, I've got the chairs, 2 leaves and a table ........TOP. No legs for this event. Pretty sure we'd find this inconvenient!! Will give the search another try today before I head home. I'm determined to get a serviceable table, with 4 matching chairs......without paying for them of course! Smile Where would the challenge be if I just went shopping??

Almost done with the knitted scarf to exchange for another massage tomorrow. I could get very used to this deal and I'm a speedy knitter, especially when it comes to this kind of knitting. I call it my 'idiot knitting' except when teaching a beginning class! Smile Wouldn't do there........ But, it is just stupid straight knitting...I can do it while doing several other things at the same time! (very grateful I'm not forced to knit at the same time as running a household like women in previous generations had to do..... there is a device I've only seen in photos, of a 'wing' event, a needle that was held under a womans arm, enabling her to knit with one hand, while keeping up with her other chores.)

Time for breakfast I hear....... I'm so spoiled. Coffee, toast & home made jam of course.....and I smell bacon too. Is there anything more yummy than that? Especially when someone else does the cooking!!!

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

October 25th, 2006 at 07:11 pm

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

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

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

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

Best Laid Plans, etc, etc............

October 25th, 2006 at 04:06 am

I don't think I crossed off more than 2 things from my list today. I was like a train that kept de-railing..........all day long. The positive thing was; it was a no spender.

I did have a relaxing morning, which was a good thing, because there was no stopping once I got busy. Went to teach a private knitting lesson; and wonder of wonders, this woman has finally 'got it'. I was so pleased & she was just WAY excited. Very fun to have a part in this.

Stopped at the bank to make a decent deposit and while waiting in line had an Oh Gads moment........I had a sewing customer coming in 30 minutes. Headed straight home........and almost made it.

Rounding one of the last curves on the way home, the truck in front of me suddenly stopped (so I did too), the driver jumped out and ran ahead, already on his cell. I got out.........followed him to find a young man, face down in the road. By this time, we had another young man join us......but both guys were scared to approach the guy on the ground. Just because my drama quota wasn't filled yet, I volunteered. Found out the guy was definately alive, conscious and then started talking to him. Obviously, he was a bit disoriented, told me he was following Gods' plan & he was listening for direction. Told him, so was I........and we were both supposed to be moving to the shoulder, asap.

After about 30 minutes, with no response from the sherrif, I get the guy to the side of the road. Someone shuts off my van, I get a guy with a big truck to block my van, as I'm totally in a blind corner all this time....... Actually we all were......this kid was so lucky he wasn't killed.

Then, my customer drives by, slows down and opens his window..........Says my name & has this dazed look on his face as he takes in the situation.... Must have been something! Anyway, I told him to go back to my house, go in and get his order......he reported back to me that he had & that he made another 911 call, since we were obviously still having a "situation".

We got the guy sitting up, then he decided he needed to continue on with his walk........so I headed home to call 911 again, we were out of all of our reception areas at this time...and the driver #1 followed the young man with his flashers on.......

I heard from a neighbor, that the aide car & sherrif were coming up the road a bit later, so hopefully, they got this guy a room for the night and an evaluation of some sort.

By the time I got back here, I was SOOO cold, since I hadn't dressed for the event. Started the wood stove and then had another Oh Gads moment........ I had a customer coming in the early AM and I didn't have her order even started.

Flying to the sewing room........I grabed my notes and the supplies and started in. This was a one of a kind, never done it before, didn't know if it would work sort of job. Just the ticket for the afternoon I didn't really have my wits with me. But, I think I've got a possible successful attempt here....... I told the woman I would give it a try, then she would have to see if it worked..... Crossing fingers for this one.

I'm done for the night. Certainly not done with my TO DO list for the day; good thing I get a brand new day tomorrow!

My Furnace Quandry

October 24th, 2006 at 02:14 pm

I'm still going back and forth on the question of the year here...........Do I put in a new furnace or just tough it out with the wood stove??

I thought I was done with this decision; weighing in on the wood stove side.........but I've come up with more questions for myself and it seems I need more information to make this a well informed decision.

I've had a couple mornings here, where a fire would be nice.........but I was going to be gone. With the new tenants, I'm not totally confidant they would "pass" my test of sorts to be Keepers of the Fire. So, we had no fire.....& it was definately chilly in here until I got the stove started later in the evening.

I'll call my magician of a furnace man & get a quote on a new furnace; just a bare bones variety. We don't need bells & whistles here.........just a bit of heat when lighting the stove isn't an option.
The figure will make my decision for me. And, the line where it is just TOO MUCH, is totally imaginary. Funny, that. So, we'll see if I can get this decision made & be happy with it finally. We'll either be able to turn on the furnace for a bit to take off the chill.....or I'll be busy knitting everyone their personal afghan to cozy up with! Smile

Cash.........Dribbling In

October 24th, 2006 at 03:12 am

Not a ton of money, but there was some to the good column here today. The dog sitting event netted $60.00 which was a nice surprise! I earned it, but it was still a surprise, since I was doing it as a favor.

Had company almost all day........sometimes they overlapped which made it feel like we had a sign posted somewhere that said "Come On Over..." Smile These kinds of days make me tired. No reason to be pooped, but I am.

I did make a few people sit in my sewing room to visit, so I could keep working, as I have some orders that need to be ready for pick up tomorrow. (that means money in tomorrow too...love that feeling)

I need to bite the bullet tomorrow and send off the payments for the 2nd half of the property taxes. I've waited as long as I can without missing the deadline of the 31st. Have them all set up for online payment, so it's a snap.

Picked up a fabulous find on freecycle today. I had asked for a wooden headboard......and I got one. When I got it home & see it in the daylight......It is soooo much better than I imagined it. I'm so excited to start working on this project; it will be the centerpiece of my room if it turns out half as good as I can visualize it in my head. I will need to buy the foam, and whatever else I think it needs to make it cushy, but it won't end up being anything close to the $800. bid I had from the decorator last winter. And, the cheaper a project ends up being; the better I end up liking it. There is a definate connection between the two.

Knitting a scarf to barter for another massage. Wonder how many scarves she can really use?? Smile

Sold a $100 table at the antique booth today....that will help get the numbers up this month. Can't wait to see how it's doing......heading there on Thursday. I've got the mini van almost full of new items; let's hope there is room to stuff them into the booth.

Spent nothing today. Ate leftovers from the week end. Got rid of 2 more boxes of excess stuff on Freecycle. Got lots of help on the TO DO list from the new couples....we are starting to look clean & spruced up wherever you look. Good to have all this help & I'm going to be sure to add more things to the list every week. (no dummy here!) Smile

Gratitude

October 20th, 2006 at 09:34 pm

My house is a study in gratitude this week.

Couple #1 (the young kids) aren't grateful for a thing, at least that's the way they act. Fortunately, they aren't at the house much. Praying they get a permanent situation real soon! Smile

Couple #2.....Grateful for every little thing and tell me so often. Very helpful around here, always keeping their eyes open for things that need doing.

Me: Can't imagine being in either couples shoes. I have all my needs covered oh so well........and have many of my wants met too. Blessed indeed.
(I'm also grateful I only have 1 dog....the extra dog this week is truly a hassle some times!!!)

Room mate person: So into herself she isn't even aware of the needs of both of these couples. Granted she has a full plate this week, but she has been in these peoples shoes.......I guess I just expected more awareness from her.

Chalking up another no spending day, but will have a huge chunk of change going out this coming week.........2nd half of property taxes coming due on Halloween. Yuk. I've got the funds, I just hate to spend them on so much that I don't agree on!

Back to work..........more drapes to hem. I'm beginning to think that is all I've got in the sewing room.

A Full House

October 20th, 2006 at 12:06 am

We're full to the rafters here........all beds that is. Actually, we're out of beds and using the aerobed.

Found another couple, or they found me to be more exact. They are in the boys room until the week end. In the meantime, they are going to move the vintage travel trailer out from the overflow parking area and set it up as theirs in the back forty. No septic hook up, so they will be inside for bathroom & laundry........plus anything else they need. I love these two. Less than 24 hours after arriving, they have done things off my TO DO list already! What a treat for me.

Mom was here this AM, amidst the morning activity of all my new people heading off to jobs..... Good thing my mom is a go with the flow kind of lady! After the crowd thinned out, I gave her a perm and haircut, after which she promptly handed over a new 100 bill. Teased her about needing to get a perm more often! Smile

Room mate person still dealing with car accident & paperwork (not her best thing). Truck out of the storage yard but not before a $700 fee. She just refuses to "hear" me when I mention things like how much it is costing per day for the vehicle..... Good thing she had the money; and unusual for her too. A few years ago, she would have had to let the vehicle just go. So, I guess there is progress. No word yet as to any impact this is going to have on me. Room mate person has pledged to cover any increase in our insurance premiums......It will be touch and go as to whether she CAN cover any increases.

Another no spender here for me. Also started a dog sitting event/favor for this week.....I know I'll get paid for this one too. Silly really since I already have a dog to walk, this one is no more work. But, I'm not going to argue when the doggies mommy hands me money next week!

I'm getting close to caught up on the sewing orders.......they were creeping up on me earlier in the week. Spent some time yesterday making organization from chaos in the sewing room too, which has helped my attitude. The nicer my space is, the more I love working in it. Funny how that works!

Made another "bed buddy" for my mom, hers was getting worn out and ugly. Simple white tube socks, (I put one inside another) fill with white cheap rice and sew shut. Heat in the microwave and toss in a cold bed while you're brushing your teeth.......absolutely heavenly to crawl into an already warm bed!! They are also nice to put around your neck, or on your lap. Saves turning the heat up sometimes.

Time's almost up here before everyone starts to return home. I truly love a full house!


My No Spend Philosophy

October 18th, 2006 at 02:10 am

As I was headed home from a new knitting class I've booked today........I started thinking about how today was another No Spend Day for me. That started me thinking about how that works, why it works and just how I end up living this way and not minding it at all. (I get more than a few questions from friends about my lack of spending)

I think the first thought has to be mulling over whether something is a need or a want. Those are pretty easy for me, as I am old enough I've easily got all my needs taken care of (or I should by now) and things are in the want catagory.

Once I have defined the need/want issue.....then the rest isn't as organized. I know I think hard about if I could do without whatever it is......or could I make it?........could I barter for it? Do I know someone else with one & do they still need theirs??

Obviously, I run through Craigslist and Freecycle to see if I could pick one up for the price of the drive....

And, there is the question about cost vs. payoff. Does the new item save money in the long run? Can it make me money all by itself? This is the area where I'm most likely to spend any money if I do spend.

At the end of the day; NOT spending money makes me more content than spending money. And, I haven't always been this way. I used to love shopping, clothes and things for my house........ These days I get just as jazzed with a box full of baby chicks or a van full of free downspouts!

Here's to chalking up another no spender here!!

Freecycle Finds & Other Ramblings

October 16th, 2006 at 03:28 pm

My 2 tables I picked up yesterday were terrific. Particularly love the rattan topped sofa table. All oak! And another end table, also oak.......plus the gentleman had found another table by the time I got to his house, so I got 3 gorgeous tables for a bit of a drive. What a savings! I've been furniture shopping with my mom the past few months and can't believe the price tags! This was WAY more my style.

Not even sure where I'm putting these....but they will all find homes either here or at my moms.

Todays freecycle deal is more downspout and gutter material, aiming to get it in my mini van since I don't have a reliable person with a truck around here. With the Navy mans help, we'll get gutters hooked up to the outbuildings and make my 2 rain barrels functional before next garden season.

It's a no spend day here....as is typical.
I'm planning to spend the bulk of the day in the sewing room. I've got clients coming towards the end of the week; for some reason 3 of them all with draperies needing hemmed. Easy jobs, but boy......have they taken up the space in the sewing room. Piles and piles of draperies!

The new little couple in the 4th bedroom is soooo young and soooo in need of almost everything. They make me so grateful for my parents. I can't imagine parents that would just not be there for kids like these. Anyway, they are safe, dry and happy to be here. The last 3 months they have been staying in one of the Seattle areas Tent Cities, so this place looks pretty good to them. Hopefully, they will take advantage of the situation & make some headway towards getting their lives on track. They have 2 interviews and a medical appt set up for today, so it looks like they are moving forward.

Cooking Note: Thanks to others here for continual inspiration to concoct new meals from existing items. We had a delightful Thai Braised Chicken dish last night...using up one of the many cans of coconut milk I have for some reason. Totally yummy. Fun to create and nice to get out of my cooking rut here.

Half Through Oct. Already

October 15th, 2006 at 04:28 pm

I need to start moving faster, earlier and working longer days I guess. Where in the world have I spent half of October already?

I have more days in the month WITH sewing & knitting appointments than without. That is a step in the right direction. I am quoting and charging more money than I have before.....I typically don't charge enough for my time. Current jobs are almost laughable, when I'm working on them and then know what I'm going to write on the bill... I don't want to get too high, but so far, customers have been eager to pay what I'm quoting, so it must be pretty close to right on. There really isn't much competition out there to double check my prices, unless it's a dry cleaners.

The back 40 RV-ers have moved on already....one month rent from them and then we came to a mutual decision it wasn't working out. Have advertised this again.

The extra bedroom situation: I have a young couple coming this evening to move in for approx 3 months. I won't be making a ton of money on this deal, just enough to let them know they have to pay for housing. But, they are going to work on my TO DO list with/for me. With the new paint job here & my mind set changing........there are some projects I would love to get done. These are the perfect kids to do them.

RE: Room mate person....... Will continue to hold the line re; her paying half the expenses here at the house. Also hold her to paying off the personal loan from me for the now crunched truck. Also will drop her from the insurance if this effects my total bill in any way. (we have had our insurance together for decades now, as it was so much cheaper than each having insurance seperately) She has a great driving record, but I'm not willing to keep her on my policy if this accident turns out nasty. Will dole all this info out to her in teensy pieces, so she doesn't have a meltdown.

Will meet with horse people re; the winters use of the pastures here. They aren't making any steps to put in a sacrifice area, need to let them know I'll be watching for signs the pastures are going to pot and then give them their notice to move. I have learned I'm not charging near enough for the boarding......could actually be making some money on this part of the property.

It's another no spend day, with a pick up of a couple freecycle pieces of furniture. I'm working on outfitting the living room here as my knitting class area.......(currently is just a room with a fireplace) Love free stuff! Hopefully the 2 pieces I'm getting today will fit in somewhere here or at moms.

Dinners planned......finally using up a can of coconut milk (have no idea why I've got so many of these) in a Thai inspired chicken dish over rice. Should be yummy and totally out of the pantry & freezer.

Chick Update: All 24 doing well. Chirping and scurrying around and then napping in a pile of fluff. Too cute!

Some People: Magnets for Bad Stuff ??

October 14th, 2006 at 06:16 pm

I heard that saying years ago from a therapist who was working with some of my kids.........he didn't explain it, other than to say it. Over the years, I've thought of the saying often and today, it's playing out here again with The Room Mate Person.

I had to let the little dog out this AM (early!!!) and noticed room mate persons vehicle wasn't in the driveway. Hmmmm
Then, saw their wallet and a traffic ticket on the counter......Hmmmm

This AM, I find the rest of the story includes totalling the truck, room mate person is OK, did spend the night in the ER, still don't know the whole chain of events....but the bad stuff just lurks behind every corner for this person.

Of course, every step of this new development will cost money. (none of it mine......directly) I know bills here will take a back seat while new transportation is acquired. Work will take a back seat to court dates & more medical appointments. So, in the long run........I take a hit or two finance wise.

I have been holding a hard line re; bills & such and this event just gives me more to work with. I will not give in. I won't help with a new vehicle. I will hold this person to the original agreement that we have on the now crunched old vehicle. (loan paid off, but money still owed to me that was used for the down payment)

I have to give credit to the magnet for Bad Stuff theory.......... I would be writing for weeks if I were to list all the negative stuff this person collects. I don't know if it's attitude, or other people this person chooses to be with or what. I've never known anyone that continually has what some term "bad luck" that lasted for decades and decades.

Since nothing I've done over the years seems to make a whit of difference as to what happens to this person.........I'm going to stick with 'doing nothing' this time. I've learned not to rush in and Fix Everything, although it is tempting. I don't have enough $$ to solve this situation; and wouldn't if I did. So, I'm an observer....... I'll try to keep my mouth shut and practice being grateful for all the positive things in my life.

Chick Report & Other Happenings

October 14th, 2006 at 01:30 am

The chicks are doing well......chirping away, starting to eat the food and definately drinking water. (must have been parched after 3 days in a box!) Heading out to the coop soon to tuck them all in for the night.

Had a couple sewing customers that came to pick up their orders.....Money IN. Love that! Both happy, both promise to return with more work. Got pro active and asked them each to tell someone else and also mentioned the knitting classes & group forming. (not usually so In Your Face with my work........but that is free advertising, I'm not passing it up!)

Respite kiddo here already........will have 2 this week end. Cooked ahead already, so not much involved meal-wise for the 3 days. Spent time in their room today & moved furniture....it's a better set up now. We dealt with the not so good lay out for a year.....Gads, am I lazy or what? The movers clunked the stuff down and that's where it stayed! Looks better now, and both boys have more space.

It was a no spending day here......nothing novel in that for me. Only went out at 5AM for chickens.....not much else going on at that time of day to spend money on anyway!! Smile

Hung clothes outside; they almost got dry. I think they will feel dry once they warm up inside. I'm NOT going to run the dryer!

Going to bed REAL early, since I was up with the chickens before dawn today. They may be full of energy, but I wound down about 5 tonight........ Need to keep my eyes open long enough to dispense meds and get the kiddo into bed.

The Babies Arrived!!

October 13th, 2006 at 02:53 pm

It's been a busy morning here at our little "ranch". I got the call from the post office a few minutes after 5........and headed off for what I thought was the post office. (I had called yesterday to get address & directions, since I needed to go to the next town & hadn't ever seen the P.O. there)

After dinking around in the dark and the FOG.....I finally found the post office, only to be told the package was at the Annex. Who knew??

With a new address and directions, off I went, still dark........and still in the FOG.....lots of FOG now.

Couldn't come up with anything that remotely resembled a post office, pulled off and called. Got more directions, which all relied on me being able to see landmarks. HA. No landmarks visible. I finally stumbled upon the Annex. Then, had to find someone coming in to point me to a door that I could get into.... no easy task.

After an hour...........or more.........I did get to pick up my box of baby chicks!
Hustled them into the van, had the heater on.....and drove them home to the newly prepared coop.

Took them out of the box one at a time and dipped their beaks into the water, then into the food before setting them in their new, fully furnished chick condo. Without a thermometer, I'm guessing I have their area at 80 degrees or so...... which should work just fine for a few days, then I can start raising their heat lamp a bit.

One little chick didn't make the trip, she was toast when I opened the box. That's happened to me once before, so it was no surprise.....But, it looks like the other 24 are making themselves at home and are already drinking their fill and beginning to scratch around in the chick-start feed.

My Surprise from the Tax Lady

October 13th, 2006 at 01:57 am

I'm not sure if I should get excited, or if I should search out a second opinion! I went this AM to pick up my paperwork from my tax preparer lady....I had been trying to reach her all summer (hit and miss trying) and then lately, very seriously trying.

She asked for a few more numbers last week, I emailed them off to her asap.......and today was the day to pick up the piles of paperwork she had of mine, as well as I needed to pay her for her services.........AND, then send off the check with the proper forms.

She had me review the return (like I can tell what it all means???) and said I owe zero. ZERO?? That I truly don't understand. I had asked her to estimate how much I would owe when I dropped off the paperwork to her last spring. She told me a whopping figure for the capitol gains tax......which I promptly did some short term CD stuff with, so I could make some money while she was putting together the return.

Apparently, she had not figured in the 1031 exchange bit, which is set up to reduce capitol gains......thus, the zero owed. Now, do I go with "apparently", or do I pay money to have someone else double check the figures? Gads, what to do in these kinds of situations? I'm absolutely no good with anything to do with numbers....truly deficient in that area.

The whole thing has been e-filed, so it is on it's way already.... I can always hope & pray it passes muster and no one finds anything amiss??

I confess, I'm already imagining a bathtub in my master bathroom now.....in the worst way! Smile Definately enough money in this stash of mine to do a tub and plumbing. Will ponder the situation for a few more days...but the vision of steam coming up from a bathtub is almost too much for this tired old woman!!! I might start tearing out the closet in preparation!

No Chicks Yet.......

October 12th, 2006 at 03:29 pm

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

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

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

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

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

Waiting For Chicks

October 11th, 2006 at 03:16 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back Up My Ladder

October 10th, 2006 at 11:09 pm

And, back to painting again. Had to take a break, so came in to sit down for a bit.....and get myself jazzed up to go out for the swing shift here!

On shed number 2, have 2 sides completed, (minus one trim board). Need to crack open the next 5 gallon bucket for the 3rd side. Seemed an excellent time for a break.

I'm grateful for the bonus nice days we've been having. Great painting weather in my opinion. I've even been too hot today! Who would have thunk?? October and I'm too hot!

Room mate person is over her funk and speaking again. She mentioned her Oct rent will be in to me by the week end, in addition to her surprise amount to add to the hunking property tax bill due on Halloween. It's always a surprise if she does manage any extra money towards these bills.........but I'll take whatever help she can muster up. I've kept her here at my place for decades when she wasn't able to pay anything.......or get herself out of bed for that matter. So, it's nice she can participate in the program here now.

Two more new sewing customers today... need to do some work this week in order to meet the deadlines I've set up. Everyone pays when they pick up their orders, so next week is shaping up well. Smile

A no spending sort of day here....my usual sort of day. Did deposit some checks in the bank to help the balance along. Lovely leftovers tonight, so I'm not even cooking dinner. That means I can paint til I drop, or night fall.......whichever comes first.

Back to my ladder.

A Houseful of Company

October 10th, 2006 at 03:32 am

Lots of extra people here today to celebrate my entrance into the official ranks of being a Senior Citizen! Apparently, I can rake in all sorts of benefits now. We'll see; I don't usually spend much money anyway......I'll have to keep my eyes open for Sr. Specials.

Very enjoyable day. Everyone else brought parts to a wonderful dinner, other people did the cooking, there was lots of wine.........yummy bread dipped in olive oil mixtures to begin with....and a 3 layer cake with pineapple filling and whipped cream; totally yummy.

Fortunately, I did get up and get moving this AM, took my walk before breakfast and was "good" all day, so I did splurge with wine, bread, etc at dinner. Back to normal eating tomorrow.

A definate no spend day, plus I picked up a couple freecycle items. Got a dual action stationary bike, which will give me a trade off from the treadmill when it is too wet & icky to walk outside here......as well as a couple downspouts and pieces of gutter material to finish off the coop (keeping the chickens from getting too wet & icky). Love freecycle; and love the people that participate. Always nice to run across anyone that thinks free is a good word!



Still Eating From the Garden

October 8th, 2006 at 11:18 pm

Summer is definately gone, the leaves are starting to color up here in the Pacific NW and I've got a fire going in the wood stove.

But, after a short walk to the garden, I just put a couple acorn squash in the oven for dinner. They will be yummy with a little maple syrup drizzled over them!

Salad is also courtesy of the garden.....diced cucumbers & tomatoes with a bit of mayo/sour cream dressing.... tastes like it's still the middle of summer!

The main dish is from the pantry: home canned beef tips and veggies. I'm going to heat this up in the oven, with a topping of home made biscuits with snipped chives, fresh from the herb garden.

It may be more work than going to the grocery store, but this sure tastes better. And, this particular meal took only a few minutes to prepare & is happily going to cook on its' own. (giving me more time for my wintertime hobby of knitting!)

At this stage in the garden game here,
it's just a matter of watching the weather report and waiting. I will want to get things indoors prior to the first real frost...but until then, things are still ripening on the vine here and we're eating for close to nothing!

Dipping Into Savings ......ACK!!!

October 8th, 2006 at 03:09 am

For the first time since I officially retired at the end of June, I had to withdraw money from savings to pay the monthly bills here. And, there will be another withdrawal for the property taxes due on Halloween.....

I'm feeling more than a little concerned about this turn of events. Especially since I am turning down the part time job event this week. There certainly isn't enough in the old savings account to continue on at this new pace....so, another solution needs to crop up: And Quick too please???

Getting another "real" job will be the last straw.......I'd still like to try to paste together some more of my fun types of money making events here, like my knitting and sewing. I guess what I need to do is decide how far down I will be comfortable taking the savings; just how low will I go??

As of Dec 1st, the other property will begin to hold it's own, with the rent covering the mortgage, taxes and insurance. I've been paying these expenses since Aug 1st, while the whole place gets refurbished. I know this isn't the entire problem; but the leak from savings will slow a bit when the new lease takes effect.

This certainly has been an interesting year........

Wish I Was Taller

October 7th, 2006 at 11:09 pm

If I had another 6" or so, I wouldn't have had to climb up and down the ladder so many times today! But, drat.........I'm getting shorter all the time. So, up and down I went all day.

I do feel like I had a work out while I was getting shed #1 completed. TA DA. ALL DONE. Even the trim. My arms, shoulders and legs all feel USED. Not used up, but definately used. I quit early today.....there is an easy shed to do tomorrow, no windows, and a sliding door set up, so no cutting in whatsoever. I'll tackle it the next dry day, which may not be tomorrow as I look at the weather report.

The Navy man has torn out some tacky looking wainscoating in my kitchen. Fed the burn pile with it straight away. Even not finished, the kitchen looks so much better! Can't wait til he starts working on the sheet rock and the window trim projects. Then, I can paint all winter indoors! Oh, to get some color in my world here........

I've received a handful of responses to my Craigslist ad re; starting a knitting drop in group. Now, I just need to grab one of them, pick a day and START.

I did get a new customer in this AM; she will be a regular. The potential tenant for the extra room is an absolute no go. After speaking to him about his dogs, he continued to let them romp through my gardens. I love dogs, but just like kids, I like them lots better when they behave!

It's another No Spend Day here; I did have random thoughts of calling the painter & having him come back to finish the sheds....but I resisted. Saving money is hard work around here!

Possible Tenant & a New Customer

October 7th, 2006 at 02:51 am

I pulled in one of the phone calls & have a new customer.........a fairly easy job as soon as I match some thread/yarn to the existing trim on a sweater. Have a week to accomplish this one.

Got a great email & phone call from the ad for another tenant/room mate person. The gentleman is coming tomorrow AM for a walk through/interview. Praying this works out, he said he is willing to pay the price I asked. This would be another temp situation, he only needs a place til Spring.

My sewing ad seems to be working better now that summer is over.....maybe everyone is going through their closets!! I will need to spend some time this week end finishing up the jobs I currently have...I'm a firm believer new jobs won't come in if I'm behind here.

And, lastly, an odd little tip I got in my email this past week or so. A cooking tip. I don't know about you, but when I'm cooking from scratch all the time, especially baking.... I end up with extra egg yolks occasionally. I do what my mom told me to do which was put in a small dish, cover with water and seal up in the fridge. Then, the catch was to remember to use them in something; the best I could do was french toast or something......and I usually forgot to do that. Well...the tip I'm going to use next time is to just pop them in a little boiling water & cook them to a hard boiled stage. Then refrigerate and use as grated egg yolk on salads. I think I'll be much more likely to use them up rather than tossing them out with this tip.... proving I'm never too old to try something new!

No Painting Today

October 6th, 2006 at 04:57 pm

The weather finally caught up to me and I'm rained out of my painting job. (rained IN is more exact!)

I decided it was time to finally unpack the leftover boxes of stuff that had made it into the closets of my bedroom. What a collection of stuff.

I've got a continuous line up of freecycle folks coming today to help move the excess out of here. Gotta love this Freecycle bit. Just a quick post on line and then keep track of the responses........bag, label and sit on the porch. Whoosh.......Stuff finds new homes quicker than I can say "Out Of Here!

My room and bathroom are looking better already. I found a curtain rod that fit the bathroom window, so I might gather up a bit of my bedroom fabric and fashion a window covering event before I finish up in there. (I striped my windows when I moved in and haven't done anything to them yet)

It's another no spending day here........however, making no money either. I do have a new customer scheduled, so there will be work to be done....kind of like money in the bank.

Placed a group of ads on Craigs list; advertising the empty room again as well as the sewing & alterations business and I'm trying a new knitting group idea out to see if I can drum up some interest.....
Hoping to see my email box full of new ideas by this evening.

Back to closet cleaning & de-cluttering!

back home & pooped

October 6th, 2006 at 02:28 am

After my 2 FULL days, I'm back home and I know I'll appreciate my own bed & pillow. Moms is great....but there is sure something to be said for your own room, your own things ..... everything that means "home".

Did my weekly visit with the autistic kiddo...my service project at this point. I hate where he is living, so this makes me feel better. I picked up the ladder from mom, so I can finish the last side of the shed the next dry day.......

I had my interview, and think I've got the job, but I've decided not to take it. They took out all the parts I liked doing, and made it impossibly boring to me, plus, they can't tell me the salary til Tues.... And, they left a message here today that there is a training I'm expected to be at tomorrow. No one has hired me yet. I know I made the right decision.

I had 3 messages from new clients & have 2 of them set up already... Nice. Praying this fall weather brings wanna be knitters out in droves!

Didn't spend any money today, but have made a decision to. Since my new house here ended up not having a furnace, and the one it does have is a dead duck.....I'm going to get some bids and have a replacement one put in before the snow flies. Another of those expenses to bring this property up to snuff....just like the paint job outside. The wood stove works fine, but for those times I'm not going to be home & just want some heat for a bit.....a furnace would sure be a luxury.

Good to be back here........heading to my room to find my jammies and make a cup of tea!

Housekeeping Day & Marathon 48 Hours

October 4th, 2006 at 08:23 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Made Some $.....Spent Some $

October 3rd, 2006 at 11:25 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good Painting Weather Continues

October 3rd, 2006 at 03:11 am

I've been blessed with another week of sunny weather here in WA state.....so, the painting project continues. I've now got 2 sides of the shed totally finished, but I ran into a swarm of bees under the eaves of the 3rd and 4th sides... So, I had to move on to a different project and wait til sundown to spray the critters.

Spraying finished, many dead bugs on the ground and I'm ready to tackle the last bits of the shed tomorrow. (I think) I've discovered I don't have a ladder type event and I'm just a tad short. So, I've got plans to meet up with mom one day this week and borrow hers.

In the process of playing with the trim color on one of the lower windows, the Navy man got home and decided I wasn't being accurate enough. So, he volunteered to paint the trim if I bought him a little skinny roller. Says he can do all the windows in "a flash". Guess what I'm buying tomorrow? If I finish up the 2 sheds and all their windows, doors and trim.........I'm more than happy to share the window trim job with the Navy.

What looked like a daunting task a couple weeks ago, is now looking so great.....and I can see the end. My outlook towards this house has almost taken a turn around. I'm almost liking the place now! Smile

Didn't have time to spend any money today. Worked all day long, but the place is looking fantastic. Considering how tacky it looked before, anything would be an inprovement..... I can feel the value creeping up!

Finished off the cover letter and have all my ducks in a row for the interview happening on Wed. This will be for the part time position with the new agency that has been awarded the contract with WA state, regarding foster parent recruiting. I know both people I'm interviewing with, although the entire process seems odd since I haven't interviewed/had to present a resume or anything for decades. If I don't get the job, at least I've polished up some skills that had gone totally dormant! Will have to scare up some sort of outfit suitable for an interview, but again, I know both of these women, and have sat in meetings with them frequently....their idea of work attire is pretty attainable with my current wardrobe situation. Think I'll be OK...certainly not going to buy something for this event. Take me, or don't take me.......As Is.

Bottom line is I'm not sure I'm going to take the job if it is offered to me, as no one seems to know the salary or the entire list of duties yet. The preliminary email I got includes tons of responsibilities and no mention of compensation....so I'm not willing to jump up and down yet. Taking a wait & see sort of approach to Wed and the meeting.

Going to go scrape the paint off me and rest up for another day of painting tomorrow.


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