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Archive for January, 2007

Can't Think of a Consequence

January 31st, 2007 at 05:05 am

I have been thinking of how to enforce the equine move out day (tomorrow) and have drawn a total blank. Except for those "too weird, or possibly illegal" sorts of solutions.

The question of the day is.........Since I gave the horse lady her 30 day notice to vacate.........tomorrow is the day......AND, yep, you guessed it........all 4 horses are still grazing away in my pasture. Granted, she could pull up tomorrow, load all 4 critters and drive off...but, there are probably 20 truckloads of her things here on the property that need to be moved too. Way more than 1 days work, even if there was a moving crew of some sort.

Guess what I learned? My boarding & lease agreement isn't all it's cracked up to be. There is nothing in there about not leaving when asked. Zip. Lots of reasons I can ask someone to leave....detailed description of how I can ask someone to leave.......but no help whatsoever about what to do if I wake up Feb 1st and still see the critters outside my window here.

Anyone else have experience with something even remotely related?? I've thought of things like locking the gate to the property, making it very difficult to get in to feed the critters, but not impossible. And, keeping a sense of humor, calling her to ask when she is coming to get the herd & telling her I am primed to post a Free Horses Ad on Craigs list, just to see if I can light a fire under her. But, besides these non solutions; I'm drawing a blank. Telling her I will charge her by the day is a pretty empty threat, as I don't think she has any more money and how would I enforce that anyway....unless I truly did lock the horses in??

I'm so hoping tomorrow brings a positive end to this experience. Can't believe the horses have been here a full year at this point. Boy, have I learned alot (the least of it being the big hole I've got in the boarding agreement!)

On the financial front here.......I finished a sewing order & got paid.....I transferred some pretty big money (at least for me) into checking so I can pay for the dental work I'm getting started on. Another appt tomorrow...and I'm actually excited. I had listed a building lot for sale....got a couple of interested parties....and a phone call today from someone that wanted to buy it last year but couldn't come up with the financing. His message now says he has put together a package & wants to meet. Timing??? Perfect. Contacting him tomorrow; hoping this could be a solution for both of us.

Seems like today has really been two days...I'm tired enough! Attempting to go to bed & NOT think about horses tonight. Smile

Weekly Update

January 29th, 2007 at 12:56 am

This retirement business has me busier than I would have ever dreamed........here I'm doing a weekly wrap up, since I obviously was just too booked to sit down here. Smile

Have been at my moms for the last 5 days, and with her current dial up situation, making daily entries here has been something that just wasn't worth the frustration. Amazing how spoiled I've become! Her keyboard just isn't "mine" either & my typing seems to take me forever compaired to my familiar set up at home. But, there is hope. I got mom to set up the appointment to get the package deal from Comcast, changing her phone and internet services...saving a big chunk of money monthly. Plus........no more dial up when I visit! (I did have an ulterior motive!)

I'm becoming more convinced each time I spend time at moms, I can't keep both places up to snuff on my own. I have hers in better shape than my place at this point.......so when I return home, the whole place looks like a collection of projects waiting for someone to get busy!

I managed a couple terrific freecycle deals for mom this week & she was more than thrilled. (definately where I got my Frugal genes from) New dishes for her; which led to reorganizing her kitchen so she can now use everything she owns and it is all located where she can reach it on her own. She is also set up with freecyclers coming to her place to pick up all the 'goodies' we purged from her cabinets.....so it will be good all round.

New people on the way this afternoon to look at the pastures. Still trying to decide IF renting them out is worth the trouble. Once I get the boarding insurance premium paid for the year, I've got to charge quite a bit to net me any profit.........not sure if this gal will be able to afford the new digs for her critters. We'll see ....

Glad to be home, anxious to get to work tomorrow......but not before heading out for my first walk with a Craigs list walking partner in the AM. Sunny weather here all week, so it should be a fun start to the week. Trying to set myself up for success, since I know I'll walk if I'm scheduled to meet someone at the trail...

No money out all week............Mom even filled up the gas tank in the van! (gotta love her!)

Retiring the Painting Equip for a Bit

January 24th, 2007 at 05:41 am

I finally finished the painting project in my end of the house. Did the bathroom, and then the bedroom and one of the closets. Totally ran out of energy at that point. I have taken over the one closet as my desk area......so I painted that one.

I'm dealing with the latest cut in income here....which is better than I would have done in the past. Frantic is what I used to be when anything changed income-wise. I did send out a couple resumes, got an inquiry back, now not sure what the next step is. It has been decades since I truly searched for a job; this is new territory.

Did the dentist thing again today....I'm making a big step here in deciding to go ahead with the big project I had been saving up for. Pretty much a new do on my teeth.....All part of putting ME on the list for '07.

Freecycling with abandon this week, still clearing out old things from my bedroom project.....as well as collecting other items that can be put to use here at the 'ranch'. Sure beats spending money to take my old stuff to the dump.

Sold a book on Amazon.com this week. First in absolutely ages. Not going to get rich on this particular deal....but it is turning the free to us books into cash, so I'm not complaining. Also received a $24.00 check for surveys this week....a nice surprise. And, a letter saying I had overpaid my income taxes by a whopping $12.00; which is interesting since I didn't owe anything.... Will let the tax lady sort this one out.

Heading to my moms tomorrow for a bit of a break from this place. I get a bit cranky with no time alone here. Usually have the days to myself, but one of the renters here has been home all week........so it's time for me to take some R & R at moms' B & B. Smile We have much to do anyway....one of her rentals is now vacant and we need to get to cracking on putting it into shape to advertise again.

And Another Door Slams Shut

January 21st, 2007 at 07:16 pm

OK, it must be time for me to take a serious look at one of my security issues. I tend to get just a bit more than concerned when I have no idea how the income is in-coming. And, yesterday..........one of my last bits of regular income stopped as of this month.

My every week end young man will no longer be coming to my house. Yes, the very one that was going to switch to week days, not week ends and I was thinking of tipping my new found freedom filled life upside down for.........isn't going to be here at all anymore. (after a little more than 10 years)

Consequently, I had a bad nights sleep. (not helped by the fact the chickens are beginning to cackle the egg laying noises....they started during the night last night) Thinking about how badly I react when my financial security is jolted.......being more than creative about pulling together the income to replace the chunk that has now stopped???

I seem to be coming up with all sorts of ideas; none of which resembles a full time real job sort of event. Hmmmm. I think I've worked at home for so many decades the thought of doing something Out There just seems way too foreign.

I'd given myself one year to test this retirement from a full time job and I've got 6 months to go. Cushion money in the savings account still intact.....so I'm not hitting bottom yet.. But, wow, do I feel peculiar. No problem with the decision of what to do re; the young man..........the decision happened without me!

Life Beyond Busy

January 20th, 2007 at 11:35 pm

I logged in to find I hadn't posted for a few days. Unheard of! I guess I've been playing catch up after the weather had us on shut down, stay at home mode for so long.

I've been working in my room every chance I get, and am at the point I will have to spend some bucks pretty soon to keep going forward. I did re do the dust ruffle at no cost.........refinished the armoire & added fabric so it matches my "master suite" to a T. Finished the pillows to the bed, so it looks very Princess & the Pea- like.. And, finally got the FREE window shades up on the window & slider. Wow, do they give the room some class. And, they operate magically almost. You have to pull them up, but they automatically go down. And, the cords all retract on their own, so nothing is hanging .... Way cooler than anything I could have done on my own. VERY worth being involved in the product test panel.

Sewed like crazy this past week, and have had a steady stream of customers as well as another trip to the retirement home where I now have a weekly appointment to handle their clients jobs. And, since the snow is gone, a Craigs list connection got here.....I'm trading with her, she wants 4 garments made out of fabric she was given and then I get the rest of the fabric. What a haul! There was a full mini van of fabric for me. I just got through sorting it all and I am guessing the value is well over $500. Not a fair trade by any means, but she didn't want the excess....so, I am the lucky recipient.

Also, before the last snow, I posted a Wanted notice on our local freecycle list asking for lamps. Got a flood of responses, so spent the last 2 days rounding up the lamps. What a wonderful, frugal deal Freecycle is. I've got light now for just a few gallons of gas and I've met another handful of great friends. Ulterior motive here is to spread the word about the sewing & knitting, as I send a thank you with my sig. line, as well as leave a business card with a thank you on peoples porches.

Put all this together and I've apparently missed a couple days........they have all run together. Also slipped a perm in for my mom yesterday....forgot that!

Kids have changed schedules here, so I'm faced with a crossroads sort of decision. My long time guy needs care now 5 days a week, not just on week ends. No more money, and I would not be able to do what I've just now got used to doing. Thinking and praying hard before talking with his mom on Monday.

Back to the paint bucket, working on insides of closets........not my favorite painting jobs but I'm always so thrilled when I get one done!

Hit A New Low

January 17th, 2007 at 04:18 pm

I'm flying high this AM with the new low I saw on the scales this morning... It's the best news I've had in ages and fits right in with my 07 Goal of putting MYSELF on the list.

It's good to see a change in the numbers, so far that is my only concrete evidence of some of the changes I'm making in my routines here.

Loosing weight equals money saving for me....I don't have any expenses related to this, just time, effort and the will to change... I've even got the new clothes so I don't need to go out and buy the next size down. (actually have a couple sizes ready to go....feeling optimistic)

Off to my dental appt this afternoon too........it was another thing on my 07 list to get the ball rolling on some work that has been on my wish list for ages. Not many people get excited about going to the dentist.......but I am! Smile This will be a pricy event; but planned for.

And, if that weren't enough for the day; it looks like the weather is finally turning from the frozen tundra sort to the more typical Seattle rain/shower/drizzle sort of rotation.

The Difference A Haircut Makes

January 16th, 2007 at 08:43 pm

I'm a new person. Got out yesterday & have myself a new haircut. What a change in my outlook! I usually keep my hair pretty short, heavy on the easy care bit.....and I was almost 2 weeks overdue for a cut. The longer it gets seems to be directly connected to my crankiness levels! Smile This is a regular expense that is going to stay in the budget!

Painting again today; working on the armoire, one section at a time. Since I've got the paint out, I'm going to spruce up a table at the same time. I love to paint, but hate the clean up/set up time.....so I keep my roller & brushes in plastic bags & in the fridge when I'm not painting.

Read an article online somewhere this AM about how being organized is frugal. I am so sure this is true and am continuing to use up what I have or do without.....and if I haven't touched something since I moved here to the new house....out it goes. Either CL it or Freecycle it, but it's gone.

Another no spend day.....but no income either. Re read my 07 goals, trying to keep them in the forefront of my mind so the steps to reach them become 2nd nature.

Waiting for the warming front to hit the area.........listening for the sound of the snow melting..... Can not wait to see the grass again!

Magic Furnace Man Visits

January 16th, 2007 at 01:58 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wall #3 Finished

January 15th, 2007 at 12:45 am

Finished painting wall number 3 in my bedroom this afternoon. Not enough paint to do the last wall..........so cut it in to not look stupid until I get out & pick up another gallon of paint. Love, love, love the new look. I've never had a green room.

I need to paint the headboard while I have everything out of the corner & undone. Will do that this evening.

Finished the pillow shams & the throw pillow for the bed, it looks great, although a bit of a mess until the bed goes back to the headboard, etc. Also need to take the dust ruffle off next sheet changing day, as it needs to be lengthened. Something about the carpet here, the dust ruffle is sort of high-water style & has always bugged me. I'm into DO-ing with what I have here this year..........so this is on my to DO list.

No money out today.......none in either however. Cleared out a couple bags of acrylic yarns to a freecycle person, which felt good. Trying to keep a handle on 'stuff' so it doesn't overwhelm the space I have here.

Can't wait for the weather to clear up this week..........I'm anxiously awaiting a haircut as well as the first of my dental appointments. All part of my Put Myself on The List program for 07. And, the walking partner I have lined up is ready to go too, when the ice melts... Plus, I need to pick up my free lamps... Busy week ahead!

Staying Busy, Although Still Frozen Here

January 14th, 2007 at 04:31 am

I've apparently got customers who don't mind driving in this weather.....as I was busy enough today to have more than one person here at the same time! I just need to repeat days like this now....over & over all month long!

Also took time to sew from my fabric stash; or technically, my moms stash. She had given me some vintage fabrics a few years ago to put in the antique booth. I did. They didn't sell....so, today I took one chunk of gorgeous pink mystery fabric and made a throw pillow (had the pillow form too), and almost have the shams finished. Had to dig around to come up with backing fabric, but they should be done and on the bed by tomorrow. That project moved a few things out of the stash and got me moving towards finishing up my room.

Thought I'd found the custom mixed paint for the furniture, but after doing a sample area....Nope. Not quite. I like it, but it isn't at all what I need for the armoire. Might try it to paint all the cabinets in my bathroom.

Listed a desk on Craigs list, thought I'd give that a try before putting it on Freecycle......and it's sold and picked up, within 24 hours.

Room mate person added another $100 to her half of the rent. She is getting close to making rent this month! Yeah. Can't wait til she is up to speed again, and can start paying me the money she owes me for her truck. I had loaned her the down payment & the agreement was to pay me back after she finished paying for her bank loan. (this was way before I quit work...)

Since today is Sat, it's the day our local Freecycle group allows WANTED posts. I had made a commitment to post something each week, so I could keep working on this house, without the cash outlay. Todays request was for lamps. I have several people who responded, so just as soon as the temperatures are above freezing I'm heading out to round up the new lighting for wherever??? Not sure what I'm getting, but they all sound workable. I'm not too into decorating the common areas...just WAY particular about MY space. But, we're pretty much in the dark everywhere, as the overhead lighting consists of a couple spotlights on things like fireplaces, etc. So, free lights coming up!

Extra time this week end, as my usual Sat, Sun young man isn't coming this week. Hoping to make some more headway on my room tomorrow......

Moving Along Smoothly

January 12th, 2007 at 11:10 pm

I can see progress everywhere here! Love that.

I moved a temporary sewing room into the unused/empty dining room as it was WAY TOO cold in the garage to keep up with the deadlines that were looming. Lovely place to sew, but I can't wait to get back to my workspace when it warms up a bit. Have a steady stream of clients at this point, so small money coming in on a regular basis from sewing. Adding a knitting student every other week now for the last month or so too....

Room mate person paid another installment towards her half of the rent for Jan. She is just over the half way mark now, so she may make the amount this month.

Horse boarders received their notice to move out the end of the month....reminds me to take first & last when I come up with the next contract. Didn't this time, but I was negotiating the current agreement when I had used up all my brains; I can't be held accountable for anything. Have an interested boarder coming next week to preview the property...have not quoted her a price yet. I'm finding it difficult to come up with comparison prices; will keep asking around so I am in the right ballpark.

Dug through my paint and found the custom mixed stuff for my new to me piece of furniture. Think I'm starting that this afternoon....as I'm up to speed with the sewing.

Still frozen in here; there is no way I'm going to drive when it isn't necessary. So, spending held to a hard and fast ZERO today.

Veggie Deprivation

January 12th, 2007 at 04:00 am

Reading the posts about the veggies is making me realize how few fresh veggies we've had around here since the produce from the garden was finished up. This isn't the greatest for our nutritional status, but it's the way it is. I've got veggies canned or in the freezer & that is just how things are through the winter here. We do add some fresh things in occasionally....but it's a treat when we do.

I'm anxious to get some things planted, but now.....even more so. Onions, zuchinni, asparagus......they all are yummy.....and FREE (almost) if I raise them myself. I do think my absolute fav has to be brussel sprouts, which I didn't get any starts for this past summer. I'm going to be camping out at my local garden supply store this spring, to be sure & get my quota. (not sure I know that number....as we've been able to eat whatever I grow in previous years.)

Heading to the freezer before turning in tonight & taking out a package of cooked butternut squash.......The soup of the day tomorrow will be curried Thai butternut! Has to be one of the yummiest things I've tasted lately.

I'm disappointed we're still iced in, as I had set up a walking partner for tomorrow AM. There is no way I'm driving in this stuff....there are more vehicles in the ditch than on the roads around here! I will just have to wait til next week to meet this woman. The treadmill again!

Off to do my Really Cold Weather prevention plan tonight.......bank the fire in the wood stove....leaving a slow drip of water to keep the pipes from freezing up and opening the under sink cabinet doors; only because my dad taught me that one. Not sure if it really helps or not, but we've not had anything freeze up either. Tonights overnight temp is supposed to be a whopping 16. Yuk!

And Again: More Winter

January 11th, 2007 at 06:43 pm

We are snowed in again here....seems more like weather that should be in North Dakota or something, not a suburb of Seattle! But, it's a winter wonderland outside....cold as can be, with no sign of warming up today.

All's well however, as we aspire to the scouts motto of always being prepared! It's one of those Prepare for the Worst, Expect the Best sorts of events.....but I'm getting tired of the whole scene & long for spring!

Gardening catalogs are arriving daily now (if someone is willing to slog their way to the end of the road to get the mail!)so someone thinks there is going to be an end to this weather! Smile I have thumbed through the pages, making notes as to what I want the garden to contain this year....deciding what needs to be done first once the deep freeze lifts and making rafts of TO DO lists for anyone who is willing!

It's almost time to order seeds.....since I can get them started indoors next month. Again, more lists! The seedlings I started last winter worked out well (first time for me) and ended up being a neat item to trade with other gardeners.

I've got garden chores to do.....but can't get out to do them! Very frustrating, to say the least. I have some free to me straw for the garden (actually locally grown hay, but it is too coarse to feed to animals I've learned), but I'm not going to put it on the garden beds until I think we're done with the gale force winds.....as I'm not sure the people down wind from me would want to be covered in straw! Smile

Watching the thermometer, sipping tea by the wood stove and taking another stroll through my virtual garden via the stack of seed catalogs........and waiting for spring!

The Difference a Color Makes

January 11th, 2007 at 02:10 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Change In Plans

January 9th, 2007 at 07:10 pm

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

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

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

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

Do Rather Than Buy: Part 2

January 9th, 2007 at 05:13 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do Rather Than Buy

January 8th, 2007 at 05:24 am

I subscribe to a weekly online newsletter that touts the Do rather than Buy philosophy and I decided it would be another addition to my 2007 Master Plan here.

Not that I buy much..........but the DO-ing part is where I need to light a fire under myself!

So, Step one was my bedroom. Since that is where I spend most of my time these days (other than the sewing room), I decided I needed to get off the pot and DO some of the things I had already set aside for projects in there.

I had received a free gallon of paint (really expensive paint no less) and have completed the walls & woodwork in my bathroom. Gave it almost a new look. I think I'm going to continue and paint the cabinets, since I really hate them like they are now. Can't mess them up in my opinion. Then, I've already got my bolt of to die for fabric for the room.......I'll finish the window treatments and a curtain for the gigantic closet in the bathroom before calling it done. (giant closet is the new home for the wished for bathtub)

I also remembered to post a Wanted note on Freecycle and got one response already. Started with dowels to use for my drapery project. (already have fabric for the entire house) If I remember to put something in each week, I should be able to fill in the gaps here and begin making a dent in the collection of supplies I DO have.

RE; My Goals and the plan to reach said goals.......... I did mail off the letters to the horse boarders, giving them 30 day notices. And, I've advertised on Craigs list for new critters. Just in case I had any doubts this was the right move.......tonight a stranger came to the door to let me know "my" horse had become tangled in her blanket. Called the owner, who came right away. Excuses a mile long as to why she is using blankets with hardware missing, and generally in need of repair! (she has asked over & over if I would fix the blankets!)

Sent one week end boy home with stories of the power outage & no water no flushing event here. Told his mom, so she wouldn't wonder about us!

No spending ...........although no income either. Had an interesting question/comment today from one of the people here. She said she was going to town and did I need anything from the store? Told her no, but thanks. Everyone commented that I always say No.... Seems they are all running out for something all the time. I just haven't been raised that way. Runs to town were planned events, with lists. I don't need anything, so I don't go to town. Seems simple to me....but it sure confounds the natives here. It has caused me to think ...Again.... about the way I'm living. Simple. Uncomplicated. Cheap. But, living well nonetheless. I have everything I need....food, water thankfully, and all the clothes and other stuff I could ever use. I guess I'm more confused by how they can think up more stuff they all need, as often as they do... Someone is headed to town more than once a day here!! If I ever DO need anything....I won't have to wait long! Smile

My Latest Luxury: Flushing!!!!!

January 7th, 2007 at 07:04 am

We finally got hit with some of the power outages that have been happening here in the Pacific NW. Last nights winds toppled a couple HUGE trees near our street; taking out the power, cable, phone and the road.

When this happens at our place, we have come to the conclusion the biggest difficulty is Flushing. That's right. We are on a well, so without power, we are without water. Without water, the toilets are pretty much just for decoration. We did have our rain barrel with 50 gallons in it, so we were running out to the barrel and hauling water in to fill the toilet tanks. Lessons learned included.....it's better to fill the tank BEFORE you have to go..... Smile

We were out of power over 24 hours....felt very Little House on the Prairie-ish here.

With help, I got the generator up and running..........and yes, had it outside the house. (Seattle had multiple people die from having them indoors; although I can't imagine doing that, the noise alone would be too much for me!) Kept the food in the fridges and freezer at the proper temps....didn't run anything else off it this time. I discovered I need a different kind of plug in order to connect to the generator thingy that is wired into the house. Will pick up one of those this week...just to be ready for another outage.

Cooked on the wood stove.........fashioned "pans" from heavy duty foil, as I didn't want to put my good cookware on the stove. Did a variety of things, including soft tacos from leftovers.

When the power did come back on, the water started filling the toilet tanks........one of the best sounds of the day!!! I'm so grateful for automatic flushing toilets!!! What a treat....we were all way too excited about this!

Update on 2007 Goals (already!!!)
I did mail out the letters to the horse people, giving them 30+ days to move out
Have begun to do more research on going rate for boarding any animals.

And........amazingly, room mate person paid a chunk of cash towards her share of the rent. Woo Hoo.

A good day.........Lots of positive stuff amongst the people here today. Adversity does seem to bring people together. Lots of laughter re; the hauling water for the toilets...... Everyone was busy doing things requiring no power which was a nice change. All the Christmas decor got taken down and stored away, I got my bathroom painted and put back together.....and the week end boys got to pee on trees!! (saved a bunch of water hauling!!) They will have stories to tell their parents come Monday. Smile

Dinner Impossible?

January 5th, 2007 at 08:45 pm

It's a new show being advertised on TV lately; not that I'm planning to watch......but it sums up our current menu planning/ cooking/ eating situation here.

The backyard people qualify & are using food stamps these days.......as well as I'm taking them to our local food bank 2X a month too. This yields plenty of food for them however, some pretty odd combinations of items neither of them knows much about.

So, I've begun a new deal of offering to teach them how to turn their items into dinners (or lunch & breakfasts too, for that matter). Started by leaving out a couple of my Taste of Home magazines which they have been enjoying and commenting on. Take their comments and steer them towards their "pantry" they are accumulating and see if we can come up with something similar for them.

Todays meal had to include the fresh peppers they got at the food bank yesterday, so we're using the last of the new years pork roast, a jar of their salsa, one of their onions, and simmering it all to go in soft tacos (tortillas also from the food bank). Have the dried beans soaking, waiting to simmer them up and make re fried beans to go with the meal and I think we're set...... with a couple added fresh items from our fridge.

If you don't know what to do with items, food bank donations are almost worthless to some. I'm not sure if my new dinner game is going to make an impact or not, but I feel better. They might learn something, and worse case is they don't..........but they will be on clean up on the nights I cook for/with them. I can live with that!

Learned they are both crazy about bread pudding, so that will be next on the list to turn the leftover bread & bakery items into a "new" dessert.

Dinner Impossible.........Not around here!

Onwards to Year #2

January 4th, 2007 at 07:09 pm

Yes, amazing as it is.........today is my one year anniversary here!! Didn't post daily, but darned close I think. The taking myself to task on a regular basis is not a new thing for me, but doing it in front of others sure was.

The magical things that have happened due to the posts are too numerous to mention. They happen all the time (and yet, I forget the power of this little event & don't post things sometimes until I've tried everything I think!) Maybe 2007 will get me posting things before they really are tangible, more in the idea/wish stage.......it sure seems to get the universe moving around my place.

Looking back, I can see where not much changed and on the flip side EVERYTHING has changed. I'm still the frugal, cheap, allergic to spending money person I've always been, but my life has taken a turn I wasn't prepared initially. Hindsight being what it is.......I guess I was more prepared than I thought I was, as I'm still here, life is still humming along and there haven't been negative rammifications to me retiring so abruptly.

My goals for 2007 have been committed here earlier this week, and I've got them copied off and posted in front of me at the desk. I can feel the momentum picking up, my enthusiasm and creativity are bubbling away steadily here.... (I really love all the things involved in starting a business!!)

I'm still gleaning bits of information from everyone here who posts or comments. I read many of your blogs regularly and feel like I would know you if I happened to run into you personally! I can't stress enough how much ANY post you make helps the rest of us......even if it seems unrelated or you're still mulling around an idea........ Reading of others paths here has been so valuable & I know I'm not the only one thinking this way! I just want to say "Thank You" for giving me gentle reminders and encouraging pushes to keep moving, for being my coaches and my cheerleaders along the way. I appreciate having a friendly space to share what is a huge part of life!!

Picking Up Momentum

January 3rd, 2007 at 08:59 pm

Even though I know the "write it down, know where you're going" sort of planning mystery..........it truly jumps up and surprises me again and again.

Just wrote here about the steps I would begin making to grow my new little business & whoosh.........it's a day with multiple client meetings & a Money IN day too!

I've begun a relationship with the retirement apartments nearest to my home, and have 2 clients already. What a great exchange for all concernced. I only have one appointment, can see as many people as necessary there and get to visit with one of my favorite populations. Easy jobs for me, but fixing things people truly can't do for themselves. I am thinking of volunteering there a couple times a month with the residents who knit & crochet.....I would love to just sit & learn from a whole roomful of creative people!

My knitting student cancelled today at the last minute, which firmed up a new 2007 Policy (HA, the business is growing if I need policies!!) re; billing. I am going to have the classes paid for in advance this year, setting up a card for each student, to record the payment on, then keeping track of the class dates on the same card. Since I don't have my computer with me for classes, and often times they are held in public places, (and my memory is shot), I needed a way to track money & attendance anyway. Doing it this way, I can be assured they will call to set up the make up classes, rather then me having to call & see if they are still interested. Just pop students cards in my knitting basket prior to that class & I'm set.

Anyway..........before I had a chance to think about the free block of time, I got a response to my Craigs list posting re; sewing and I'm filling the slot by meeting a client & taking measurments for a window seat cushion. Works for me.

Forcing myself to whip up the You Must Move Out notices for the 2 horse boarding people. I've noticed they are almost out of hay out back, & I want to get them notified before they bring in a flatbed delivery of hay for the next quarter here.
I will get this done, I will get this done! Smile

Additional monies coming in this month will include the new rental payment from the young couple renting the bedroom. I just couldn't charge them during Dec, as they were still trying to get out of their lease & I would have felt awful. They don't cost me anything; in fact, they are worth their weight to me! Now, I'll be getting paid for them helping me! Not Bad at all.

Roommate person swears she will have rental monies this week. She is still behind for November & Dec! The auto accident did put everything on hold for her, as she didn't have a vehicle for ages & had to borrow money from someone to get through that period. Having her move out isn't an option....I've agreed she can stay with me forever; she isn't capable of living on her own. I do have another couple that are part of this support team for her, so I'm not in it totally alone. I knew the rent bit was going to be difficult for her to keep up, but I'm managing to hold the line & not tell her "that's OK, not to worry about the rent". Instead, I asked her for time to meet........and then asked her where she thinks the money comes from when she doesn't pay her half here? She really had no idea. (there's more than a couple reasons she doesn't live on her own!!) Smile

Just thought of another small step I can take re; the business .....I need to change my voice mail message....duh! Will aim for a quiet time around here and get one on there that includes the business.

Times up here.........off to meet the new client & then pick up the mirror from a freecycler. (will make a reminder note here too........be sure to list a WANTED notice weekly on the freecycle list to fill out the things I can still use for the business. No point in paying for anything!! )

Baby Steps Today

January 3rd, 2007 at 03:04 am

I made some itty bitty steps towards one of the BIG goals..........the building the business goal here. I'm horrid at posting the business ad on Craigs list, forgetting to do it on a regular basis; but I had one in yesterday and have 3 really great responses as of this afternoon. No appointments yet, but certainly some possibilities.

Also had a couple phone calls from existing clients, setting up appointments for this coming week.........people must be getting back into their normal schedules quickly after the holiday break.

Had my overnight holiday company until this afternoon, so didn't get much done re; "work". Did get a customers order ready to go for tomorrows appt. as well as my knitted purse off the needles & ready to take to my class tomorrow afternoon. Could hardly restrain myself from felting it, but wanted the student to see the before & after..........so I waited. Might get to it tomorrow night!

Have the new ad copy ready to go, will get it faxed in to the 2 existing papers I work with this week.

Got a freecycle full length mirror too ......picking it up tomorrow.....Have lots on the schedule tomorrow it seems. I have needed a good mirror for clients here; having left my nice one on the wall at the other house when I moved. I don't have a wall that seems likely for a mirror here; so still thinking of a way to make this work. Has to go somewhere, as it is too big to be a portable sort of event.

No spending today........got treated to breakfast for the 2nd day in a row, which is pretty unheard of here!

No walking either here today.......horrid weather, company; I'm full of excuses! Will aim for a walk tomorrow; along with all the other things on the schedule.

And..........I'm going to print out my goals & plan right now & put it in a plastic sleeve thingy to post in front of me here at the desk. I was thinking of coming up with some sort of way to track anything I do that is part of the "master plan".....even if it is simple hash marks. I'm a sucker for tracking progress, no matter how small. I'm also old enough to know it's the small things that add up to make big changes!