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Archive for May, 2007

1/2 Price + 1/2 Price = Really Expensive

May 31st, 2007 at 04:12 pm

A couple weeks ago, I convinced my mom (didn't take much arm twisting) to buy all the begonia tubers at a local nursery since they were half price. She used to raise the most amazing begonias, and hasn't had any for about a decade I think.

She opened them up asap when we got home, dug out a throw away pie tin and added some of the new magic compost to it. Set in her little babies and they have been growing ever since.

This led to the flower pot search here. Everything too small to go on the porch. I tried all the nooks & crannies. Also tried listing on Freecycle & CL. Nothing.

So, off we went today to 1/2 price pots.
Wow, are there some lovely items there! We needed 3 pots, and they had to be BIG.... Read, expensive.....even at 1/2 price. As mom said, 'half price from what exactly?'

The total for the project, not counting the tad of dirt.......is just under $150.00. Not exactly the budget project I was hoping for. But, mom is thrilled and it is her money.... Smile They are tall enough she can reach them, they show from the house as well as from the front when people drive up.. I think we will get that much enjoyment out of them.

And, in the future, we only need to get the half price tubers, which should hold the cost down to under $20.00.

Spent half the day running errands and then we got too hot. Home til the sun goes down & then we have to head out again. I've done more shopping since moving here.......more than I usually did in a year! But, the projects on the TO DO list here all seem to require something to finish them up.

Spread some more dirt, stuck in some more onion sets and got some of the old plants moved to better locations. Almost to the end of the bedding plants mom routinely purchases each spring.

Definately at the end of my energy today!

Giving Notice

May 30th, 2007 at 06:23 pm

After a bit of soul searching, (and the newest power bill arrival), it is time to give the "back yard people" notice to move on.

They were my mission & I've moved. It isn't fair to expect the others at the old house to try & work with these two. They have had one year next month, & have made much progress. (paying regular rent isn't on the list however)

The idea is to have the property rented, both the rooms inside and the areas out back. This should keep enough monies coming in to cover the expenses, if not make a bit of income.

I know I'll get involved in some sort of mission work, I'll just need to get a bit more creative, or take a bit of a break from it while here with my mom.

Worked outside before breakfast.....as that was the only cool time here today. The yard is coming along nicely and I can see my efforts paying off. I am coming up with some interesting difficulties being in the city. I can't cut a whole bunch of things down with my chainsaw as there is no burning here. So, each week I'm chopping down a van full of brush and taking it to the other house for the burn pile. I can compost here still (although the neighbors complained to mom about the food on her compost pile.......so can only do yard waste) but most of the things are so overgrown it would take years to break down.
And, the real eye opener for me is I'm already running out of room! I've never had a problem, since I've had acreage & could just make gardens until I ran out of energy or daylight. I'm having to hold plants until I can come up with a creative solution as to where they can be planted! (I'm pretty sure the lawn is going to be alot smaller by fall!)

Hoping to harness some freecycler with a strong back; have advertised free trees here this week. I need to clear a path to get the mower to the back forty and there are a couple really pretty evergreens right in the way. Too big for me to dig & transplant and too nice to just cut down and burn. Crossing fingers for some positive (and strong) responses!

Gardening Update

May 29th, 2007 at 07:30 pm

I figure I have made it to the half way point on the compost spreading event here. Getting progressively more tired and a tad sore. The rain over the week end made the dirt twice as heavy it seems.

I added a row of beets, along with a couple rows of cosmos from seed. Stuck in a couple dozen onion sets for good measure and transplanted some veggie starts that were apparently in the wrong place. Fairly wimpy versions of brocolli and brussel sprouts. With the new compost, perhaps they will come around.

Planted the cucumbers and zuchinni I had started from seed. Felt very frugal doing it this way rather than purchasing starts at the nursery.

Found stakes for the dahlia tubers that got divided and re planted yesterday and got half of the annuals in the ground.

Made good use of the patio furniture that I'd just put out.......There is nothing like sitting in your garden, viewing all your hard work! Smile

Just when I was thinking I was coming real close to having everything in the ground, a friend drove up with 4 pots of perennials from her garden for us. We had mentioned when seeing her yesterday, that we were putting in a new garden. So, we're blessed with 2 types of iris, a pot of flags, and a great lupine plant. It pays to 'talk' gardening with others..... Everyone needs to divide their perinneals & is usually looking for others to share with.

Crossing my fingers re; the weather & the garden tomorrow. We're supposed to be in the high 80's ....not exactly transplanting weather.

Surprised Myself

May 28th, 2007 at 10:13 pm

I was enjoying my morning, coffee & emails sort of day....just sorting through a couple lists I subscribe to, when I had a Wow moment. There, on a cooking list, was www.frugalgardening.com
Big as life.

The question had been raised about saving water, and there was an article I had submitted about rain barrels and saving rain water. Too fun. I still am surprised anyone reads the articles, let alone refers anyone to them.... So, it was a fun way to start my day.

We did attend our little towns Memorial
Day service this AM. Nice the weather straightened out and didn't rain on us, as it is held outdoors. (scary thing to do in WA state!) Sat with my old Camp Fire leader at the service, got caught up on the news from all the other "girls". Invited another friend who we met there to come back with us for lunch. Fun afternoon, no cost fun.

Worked in the new garden the rest of the day........most of the new plants are in the ground, a few more wheelbarrows of compost are spread and we're able to see progress.

Looking forward to tomorrow, nothing, absolutely nothing on the schedule.

Gleaning Day Here

May 27th, 2007 at 02:30 pm

Took mom with me on the glean for the food bank this AM. Easier day all round. The manager was coming out the back door when I arrived, saving me tons of time and a long walk to the front of the store in the rain. Only half the food today too, so it will be slim pickings at the food bank for the clients, but it took me less time. I'm pooped. Hauled 500 lbs of food out, in the van, out and into the food bank. Oh, and then I hauled the spoiled food to my other house for the chickens this week.

Scalped my gardens, bringing bouquets home with us for the cemetery tomorrow. Also dug up boxes of plant starts and some of the garden sculpture pieces I've collected.

Definitely pooped. Mom & I went out to breakfast again after the mornings work. Nice to just sit and visit. Breakfast is a cheaper meal when going out....plus, we only do 2 meals then for the day. Works out well for us.

Pouring here today, so no gardening. Have brought a van full of plants from my other garden to start here....but I'm willing to wait for a dry day. Gotta love these perennials; they just keep producing more plants at no cost. A frugal gardeners dream. Mom has always had annuals each and every year, with no perennials to speak of. This is fun teaching her another way to garden....and odd too. She is a fantastic gardener, so it seems peculiar to be telling her anything!

I'm planning an afternoon of knitting, which is just about as active as I want to be the rest of the day! Smile Oh, and a few freecyclers visiting this evening........I'm starting to give away my dads back forty collection of lumber. So, there will be a bit of traipsing through the woods I guess.

Lifes Good

May 26th, 2007 at 09:23 pm

So far, life is very good after moving to my moms. I feel so good being able to do things to assist here on a daily basis. Plus, we're having so much fun.

When I would come for a few days, it always seemed like we had a deadline for everything, and time would go by so fast.

Now, not many deadlines......but time is still whooshing by. Can't believe it is almost the end of May!!!

We had a massive TO DO list made out for today and almost made it through the whole thing. I found a great electrician, referred from a friend, who came for a walk through of the empty rental. He wasn't scared of the old construction, nor the small job....I do think we'll hire him for the necessary work on the place.

The Saturday market was just opening up when we finished our electrical meeting, so off we went for a stroll through the booths. We bought a pound of cherries and 2 pieces of hand dipped chocolate that was better than any I've ever tasted! Heaven! Not exactly on the food plan, but who wants to live without chocolate??

Then, errands for mom, and out to lunch to celebrate our almost deal with a new renter & the pretty sure we're hiring the new electrician. Any excuse will do for a celebration here!

While out, mom had spotted a rhododendron that is in bloom here in WA right now. It truly is gorgeous, & she has none like it. So, off to a nursery to see if we can spot one like this.....and voila, we did. I love watching my mom spend money, as I never remember her doing that when I was a kid. The new plant is perched in the new garden space while we evaluate where exactly we want to plant it.

I Survived

May 25th, 2007 at 10:01 pm

Survived........but barely. Yesterdays event with the autistic kiddo coming to "help" spread the truckload of compost went as well as it could. We got at least half the pile of dirt spread, the brand new garden bed is ready to plant and I lived through the whole experience.

This young man truly LOVES to use a wheelbarrow, but is driven to go FAST. I mean really fast. I can hardly keep up with him if I haven't prepared the beds before he gets started. ( I was pretty organized for yesterday)

We stopped a couple times for him to eat, us too.....but barely. He eats as FAST as he does anything else, so back to the garden we went, no matter if I was done or not.

The later the afternoon got, the less energy I had and the more wound up my young man was getting. Bless mom for speeding up dinner & getting it on the table....in we went for a meal I can hardly remember since I was so tired!

Bag up the kiddos work boots, take one more picture of him with half a pile of dirt now.......and motored him back to his new house.

I'm still tired today....but I did manage to get in some more yard work. No money spent today, but lots of projects crossed off the list. I'm proud of myself re; one that was looking like I'd need some help. My dad had installed the water pipes & faucets to the back 40 here with a master shut off valve.....located about 24" underground. I had found it, and dug it clear....but then couldn't figure out how to reach it to turn it on. Today, while looking for a tool to finish yet another job....I found his one of a kind tool he had made to reach this valve & we have water to all the faucets!

I dug around the property the last couple days scrounging up bricks to replace the broken ones on a planting area (again my dads creation). Found enough to do the job and today figured out how to get the broken ones out and got the new ones installed.....and didn't have to pay anyone else to do it.

Feel victorious, tired......but victorious! (small things float my boat)

Freecycle Frenzy

May 23rd, 2007 at 08:46 pm

Every time my mom gives any hint she could part with something......or a group of somethings.....I box or bag it up and list it on Freecycle.

We have been REALLY busy today, just keeping the people straight. We sent a couch and loveseat to a new home....bless that guy, mom can now park in the garage! A mattress & box spring, lamp, ironing board and iron made their way to a new home too..... A big box of vases, you know the kind that seem to grow under the kitchen sink?? A big bag of chocolates we didn't need here, a light fixture, dahlias that weren't the right color for the new garden and almost anything else that wasn't nailed down!!

I think I'm tiring my mom out! Smile

We broke down & hired a young man from next door for an hour. I was trying to remove some sod prior to the new compost getting spread tomorrow & was coming up OLD! This kid finished the job in an hour (or less). Good decision, definitely a good place to spend $15.00.

Another lunch out today, free to us as we were scheduled to be mystery diners. Had the yummiest salad I've had in ages......grilled shrimp & spinach.

Finacially.......some money out, some will get reimbursed and I made a phone call for mom, getting dads retirement benefits sent again. They have been messed up since 07 apparently & mom didn't notice. First hint I might need to step in a bit more here...

Heading to bed to get ready for a LONG day tomorrow. Bringing the autistic kiddo here to spread compost. Believe it or not, it's one of his favorite things to do. Work boots, huge wheelbarrow and constant moving, everything that floats his boat. We'll see how far we can get on these 8 yards of yummy dirt in the driveway!

Name That Bug!

May 22nd, 2007 at 04:36 pm

I'm working in the new to me garden (seems like I've been doing that now for awhile) and I kept turning up these odd bug/larvae type critters.

Anyone have an idea as to what this is?

They are located in the sod I'm tearing up......they are right in the root area, so only about 1"-2" under the surface.

I can't get a picture to turn out any better, although I tried. Thank goodness for digital, I'd hate to think of all the film I'd just taken of a BUG.

He (she, it??) wiggles at the front end (assuming it's the front end) but doesn't seem to have legs. I've watched it for a bit on the surface of the ground and it doesn't burrow....

The 2nd half of my problem is the lawn is full of ridges. Not that you can see, but when walking on the lawn it feels like the sand on the beach when the tide has gone out and left the ridges...
Wondering if these critters have anything to do with the weirdness of the lawn.......or if they are a food supply to something else that is doing the nasty work to the lawn?

I have a bug-in-a-cup that I'll be taking to the garden center tomorrow to see if there is anyone there that can identify this critter.......but, I thought I'd try this avenue too. I've never seen anything like this before.

Cheaper Equals .............Hard Work

May 21st, 2007 at 09:21 pm

I'm a firm believer in that......if I want to save money, I need to be willing to work hard. Neither one being my favorite word!!

Today was a good example. I could have hired someone to do the patio cleaning event. Or, I could have saved some money renting a pressure washer..... But, we did this ourselves with almost no cost.

Mom had bought a gallon of some sort of plant friendly cleaner, that was supposed to work magic. I brought my extreme nozzle for the hose and we got out a couple old push brooms. With a couple applications of the cleaner, some good exercise on the end of both brooms....we now have an almost new looking 40 year old patio.

So, work and time ........and a great job done for very little expense.

What to Pack?

May 20th, 2007 at 06:30 am

This is an odd move..........I'm moving, but not. Returning each week end for at least an overnight......and then back to moms.

So, the question as I look at anything here is....do I want it here, or there? Or, the better question, do I want it at all?

I've been keeping the freecycle list moving right along this week end, CL too, with posts of things I'm not willing to move, or pack up here. Voluntary Simplicity at it's best!

Almost done with my week end responsibilities here at the "old house", lawns mowed, sewing job almost finished (some hand work left on it, had to save it for daytime) and another van load of my things ready to load up after the food bank/gleaner job this AM. Even fit in a load of laundry & got it dry on the line.

No money spent this week end, but will be buying gas before leaving tonight. One more plus at moms, is her little Mazda. Way better than the van re; gas consumption.

Back to the packing.....have an odd load, clothes, fresh eggs, the pots of flowers from the garden (since they didn't get watered while I was gone) and all the household files.

Between Two Homes

May 18th, 2007 at 05:25 pm

I'm back to the old house this week end, since my week end young man is here today.

Feels so odd being here among all these people!!! I have to admit, life at moms is just so relaxing. This week end is really going to cement the move for me I think. I'm feeling resentful at almost every turn here.

I mowed all the lawns, because room mate person didn't take time last week to meet with me re; the big mower. I refuse to turn over the keys to it until I see if she can manage. Otherwise, I'm going to have her buy her own mower to maintain the place.

Most all of the food for my young man is from the freezer, so that part is a piece of cake for me. I do have a ton of weeding to do & am so thankful it is going to rain the next couple days, so watering is off the list.

Chickens seem to be doing fine, with the limited care I know they are getting.

Will do my grocery store glean for the food bank on Sunday morning, then back here to feed the hens.........and then pack the van for moms. I do need to unpack it first I guess.....I've brought a full load of scrap wood to burn in our burn pile. My dad has saved everything since they bought this property in the 40's, so it is a bit of a junk yard. I figure I'll have it cleaned up in about 30 years!

Also fitting in a sewing job tomorrow, hemming a formal for a pick up on Sunday.

So, it will be a busy couple of days for me..... Room mate person is also holding another Barn Sale today through Sunday, so it is a bit zoo like outdoors. Approx 25 cars here on the property since I got home.

Mystery Shopping: Continued.....

May 17th, 2007 at 06:26 pm

I've had a few inquiries re; what exactly Mystery shopping entails.......so here goes with my teensy bit of experience....

So far, I've visited an assisted living center and gone out to dinner. Each one had a survey I could view on line prior to visiting the establishment...so I knew what types of info I needed to look for.

After completion, I fill out a form on line and fax in either a business card or a receipt. Pretty easy stuff.

I do think this is easier if a person is observant by nature, and likes to try new things rather than being a creature of habit.

Naturally, both of my "shops" were odd, in that the forms I had to fill out didn't even get close to including the situations I encountered.... Smile The first one, they called me to have me further explain myself!

I've got another "shop" scheduled for next week, mom & I are doing lunch at what is truly moms favorite local restaurant. Her fav & paid for too. For 15 minutes or so of online work, I would say it's a good deal for us. Mom enjoyed last nights survey almost more than dinner. She was an eagle eye when it came to the details. Wore a watch with a second hand, so she could accurately time the arrival of the food/beverages, etc. Smile

I'll keep posting as I get a little further along with this new hobby! So far, I would have to say it's worth it to me.

I'm Now a Mystery Shopper

May 16th, 2007 at 09:55 pm

I'm approved, I've shopped, and it was fun.

Neither of my two "shops" were actually shopping... as I have only picked things that were NOT in malls. That would not be fun for me.

However, this seems pretty painless, and was actually fun this evening. I chose one my mom could join me on & we agreed to sign up for more of the same. Getting paid to go out certainly has our name all over it.

I gardened for most of the day....whew, much better than working outside in yesterdays hot temps. Then, gave mom a perm and a haircut and printed a TON of signs for the other house's Barn Sale again this week end.

New goal: convince mom to list 4-5 things on Freecycle each week. (I think it will be easier to loose weight!!) Smile

I'm Adjusting... But the Dog, Not so Much

May 15th, 2007 at 08:49 pm

Being at moms is feeling pretty good. Can't find a negative yet, plus we seem to always have a good time. It will feel great to not be thinking of the day I have to go home all the time.

However, the dog.....is a different story. He hasn't eaten now for over 24 hours, which isn't a big deal for most dogs.....but this is a tiny little guy. Barely 4 lbs, (with his sweater on), so he isn't supposed to go this long with no food. He has been drinking water, but barely nibbles any food offered.....and goes & lays down. He is also obsessed with being outside, since there are so many new smells and sounds. Too much to do I think....he just has no interest in food. Hoping he snaps out of this phase & starts to perk up when breakfast is served tomorrow.

The people at the other house are doing OK, the biggest problem is they have run out of egg cartons to put eggs in. Today they resorted to using tupperware containers, they called to report. I'll get to see how they are holding up when I go back for Fri & Sat this week end.

Spent money today.....needed a haircut, and having forgotten to bring my hairdryer, it was almost a necessity. Now I've got the shortest hair I've had in decades, won't need a haircut for at least 6 weeks this time.

Received notification my first mystery shop passed muster, so I'm eligible to sign up for others now. Have put my name in for one this week, as well as next week.........we'll see. I have no idea how many people are in this pool, so don't know how many I need to sign up for in order to end up with an assignment.

Worked in the garden most of the day, getting beds ready for the truckload of compost coming next Tues. I should be ready by then! I am taking pictures so I have a record of the progress. My camera & moms PC and software aren't well aquainted as yet, so posting may have to wait until I go back to my PC, or pack it all up and move it here.

Definitely more things on the plus side for the move.......and I'm having fun identifying what is important & what I can surely live without...speaking of life stuff, not possesions.

Happy Moms' Day

May 13th, 2007 at 06:09 pm

Hoping all of you who care for others have a special day yourselves!

I am at my moms, we've had a fun day planning her new gardens! No work, just the fun stuff........walking through the spaces, talking about ideas, plans, etc.

My kids are calling in, most of them know if I'm not home, to check here at my moms... My son had even sent me flowers here ahead of time, so they were here when I arrived. Nice, since he isn't the sort who usually manages stuff like gifts, etc.

I brought an entire van full of my things this week, and have them all put away. Mom is pretty flexible, telling me if things aren't like I'd like them, just make any changes here I would like. I've got a couple things on my list here.......but nothing urgent. If I do end up moving in, I'll paint whatever room I end up using....as I can't stand her paint colors in the bedroom. (to be fair, she didn't choose them, the grandkids did when they were living here)

Still many things to decide on re; how I'm going to handle the "sort of moving" stage I'm in. What things to drop out of, what to consider important enough to spend the gas money to drive to....those kinds of questions. Taking this a day or so at a time for now. So far, life is very relaxing here!

Cranky Today

May 12th, 2007 at 03:27 pm

**Not much related to finances here, using the space to vent about a neighbor/dog issue that has made me more than cranky....

I'm so ticked at a neighbor today I can hardly speak coherently. Her 2 dogs are usually in my yard a couple times a day (they have at least 5 acres, but the dogs always come here!) but the last week or so, there have been 3. And, this new one is a pit bull. I'm truly a dog lover, but these guys all have to stay out of my way, or they are going to be re located.

I tried their phone this past week, disconnected. No real surprise. I went to their house yesterday, no answer at either door. (thought as I was doing this, how stupid I was.........all 3 dogs loose and barking at me the whole time) And, today again, the 3 dogs in our yard.

I got my camera, went out, they were all still hanging around my place......and I got some lovely shots of all of them.

I went next door again, found the dtr home (middle school age) and told her I was NOT happy. I asked for their phone, she wouldn't give it to me. I asked for the grandmothers phone (she owns the place) and was told she had sold it to the woman who used to own my place. (yes, the one that keeps returning, asking to buy this place back) I told her I would call the new owner & deal through her.

As soon as I got home the neighbor called from work, telling me she would have me arrested for harassing her dtr. Gads! By the time she got off the phone she was apologizing. She said she didn't know the dogs were let out.......ever. And, her parents still own the property, and I got updated phone numbers.

I did tell her I had pictures, and if I saw any of the dogs out again, I was turning them all in. Have the county complaint form bookmarked!

Needing to do some deep breathing to calm down....I was so ticked she would try to turn this into my problem. She told me I had bought property in the country and would need to get used to having animals on my property.... What????

I did turn all my angry energy to good use when I got off the phone..... I have cleaned out and organized my clothes...a Freecycle bag on the porch, my clothes packed to go to moms tomorrow and the rest can move over if & when I take the furniture. So, a good job done.

Will need to head to the fabric store later, have a customer needing a replacement jacket zipper. Hate it when they don't bring the parts for the job & I have to go out. The price goes up, that's for sure. I always make a point of telling everyone how I hate shopping, and it would be cheaper for them to go. But, it will be one zipper ....in and out, no other expenses today. (and this one will be reimbursed.)

Eggs & More Eggs

May 11th, 2007 at 07:38 pm

We're gathering almost 2 dozen eggs a day these days! Yikes. Even if we all ate eggs daily, we couldn't use all these!

I need to find some outlets for them. Advertising on CL to no avail. Only interest has been from one time buyers, to incubate the eggs for their own flocks. No help at all!

I'll be taking a couple dozen to moms this week end, by Sunday, it might be closer to 4-5 dozen! She can pass them out to her bridge playing buddies. Smile

I have had the same size flock before, actually for over a decade (not the same chickens, new ones every couple years, but always 24 hens or so) but I don't remember having this many eggs.

I don't live on a street with any traffic, so a sign out front won't work. Will keep thinking of options. Will call foster dtr to see if she'd like a half dozen hens for Mothers' Day?? They lost the flock they had to predators. If they have a closed in coop/run, that might be a solution to my problem.

In the meantime......everything we all cook and eat MUST contain eggs! Smile

Dentist, Book Sale & Horses.......

May 10th, 2007 at 07:40 pm

Another of my mixed bag sort of days here.

Started off with emails re; 2 books that had sold on Amazon. Packaged them up & took them when I headed out for a days errands. Why is it the books that sell here are the ones I don't have packaging for? Smile

Went to the dentist for a quick check and some paperwork, then off to the only imaging place in the Seattle area for a CT scan thing. Gads, 5 minutes and BIG bucks. What a business. With this scan however, I think I'm heading into the last half of this dental work I had scheduled for this year.

Stopped on the way home for my first Mystery Shop event. Fun, actually. Took a total of 30 min, plus about 15 to log my results after I got home. We'll see if I "pass" now.

New horse lady paid for 2 months ahead. Nice. And, a call arranging a meeting for this evening re; storing a boat and a motorhome on the property.

So, it was a money out.........money in sort of day. Got home soon enough to enjoy some time in the gardens.

A Garden Update

May 9th, 2007 at 06:42 pm

The garden is loving the taste of spring weather we're having this week. 60 and sunny out..........I can almost hear the plants growing!

I know this isn't a picture of the veggie garden, but it just screamed Spring!!! to me. Veggie seedlings just didn't have a 'wow' factor!

The rhubarb looks full grown and it is barely spring. I've harvested a couple times already and will be sharing with freecycle by next week. There is no reason I have 4 hills of rhubarb. I'm still finding packages of this in the freezer from last season. Must share another hill.

Broccoli, brussel sprouts and strawberries are all growing like crazy. Berries are starting to set; there are at least twice what I had last season.

Sugar snap peas, bush green beans, radishes and cucumbers were all planted from seed and they are now all up and putting on true leaves.

Still no sign of the lettuce mix I put in from seed. Hmmmm Might have to re do this one. Cilantro not up either, but it was planted most recently.

And, there is a row of something coming up, but it was before I made my vow to mark everything, so.....it's a wait & see crop!

Cosmos from seed are coming up; I love having flowers among my veggies as I think it helps bring the bees to the garden. Sweet William and Love in the Mist also planted from seed.........no sign of the seedlings yet. Lupine seedlings are growing great.

This is the time in my garden where there seems to be little to do......compared to the getting ready to plant stage.....or the keep up with the harvest stage. I'd better pull up a bench in the garden & enjoy it!

Blog Soup

May 8th, 2007 at 10:58 am

Yes, it's one of those entries where nothing seems to go together........but I'm tossing it in the mix anyway!

No spending today, however no money in either....so it's a wash.

I have given the go ahead for the re fi of the house here, so I can get the monies out for the remainder of my much wished for dental work this year. I will need the funds by August. I'm doing an interest only loan, for 10 years, which will lower my payment and have no penalty if I pre pay anything. I just couldn't find anything wrong with the deal, no matter how long I looked at it. No paperwork, no appraisals, just someone else finishing this up and I sign it. Works for me. There is an advantage to working with the same person all the time.

I'm making almost no headway on the Shut the Land Line Down issue. Neither phone provider here offers a limited version of a phone. Neither will shut down the 411 calls. But, with my cell phone provider, I called re; the possibility there & found that both mom & I are eligible for new phones (both free), and then I can use my current phone with charger here for the 911 set up. It won't have a number, so the tenants won't have a phone to use for messages, but I can see they are unable to limit their usage of it as it is.
I'll head to the phone store within the week, pick out a couple phones and then turn this line off before the end of May.

I continue to let people know about the phone number change, as well as the move..... Inching towards being freed up here.

Doing a Mystery Shop on the way home from my dental appt on Thurs. (it is actually on the road home) Seems easy enough, no real shopping required, but taking a tour. Sort of combines acting with writing! Not expecting to get rich with this deal, but it falls into my category of free money. I'll try it once & then decide if I want to continue. My mom is jazzed about it, as she wants to do the out to dinner 'shops'. This could get lots easier when I move to her place, as everything is so much closer then.

Got the call yesterday; the news feature re; Frugal Gardening is finished & the producer says it turned out well. The downside is.........I probably will never see it. Hmmmm, that could be a good thing too!! Smile

Got yet another email from tenants at the other house; they want to tell me again how they can't afford the full rental amount. I haven't backed down, so this time they also asked if they could pay the full amount each month, but in 2 payments.
I did agree to this, as I'm not so picky about when I get the money, as long as I GET the money. Still crossing my fingers about the state licensed facility coming through for August when the lease runs out.

New tenants here at this house have paid their rent, in addition the back yard people have paid something towards rent for the first time! A bit of a victory I'd say.

See, nothing did hang together here........a bit of this, a bit of that ....thus, Blog Soup. Smile

Shutting Off the House Phone? Yes or No??

May 7th, 2007 at 01:17 pm

I'm getting so ready to shut down the land line phone here, as the autistic kiddo calls at least 7 times a day. Early as 6AM too, if I don't remember to unplug the phones the night before~

This would also curtail the use of the phone by the 2 couples living here......a couple of them have used 411 more than a few times this past billing period, even though I provide the free411 number at each phone.

However, I realized that left no phone here at the house in case of emergency. I'll be taking my cell phone, room mate person has her cell, but is frequently not here...and only one of the couples has a cell. (although, they have been known to misplace theirs more than a couple times)

I've been checking on line, for options re; providing a cell phone here, with no plan attached to it, truly no phone number. Just the ability to call 911.

Anyone have a better idea? Or ideas as to specifics re; the phone?? I understand all cell phones are supposed to make free 911 calls, but I'm reading about not using an old phone for this, due to the numbers being programed into it?? Rapidly heading into uncharted territory here for me....
I want to make sure the phone isn't set up for other calls, so I keep myself from getting a surprise bill.

Gleaning to Lower Food Bill

May 6th, 2007 at 02:00 pm

I re joined our local gleaning group, mainly to receive the old bread and produce to feed the chickens. However, it is going to be a nice addition to the food budget here too.

I used to be involved with this same group, for almost 15 years, quitting when I had the difficult autistic kiddo move in. (couldn't be involved with anything with him there)

The organization is run differently these days & it is a bit difficult to not keep saying "when I was doing this....." to the leadership team. But, I'll learn.

Today I did my "job" alone for the first time, they think I'm properly trained now I guess. The chickens are all set up with fresh food for the week, as well as the kitchen is brimming with things I brought home for people.

The food often looks perfect. Hard to tell what the store is getting rid of it for.......until you do this for a bit. Let the perfect food sit a day & it becomes pretty apparent.

I spent a few hours this AM chopping, slicing, steaming and freezing......so none of the people food is going to go to waste. I have no idea how much this would be if I had to pay for it, but then, I would never buy this much produce at a time either. Nor, this variety. But, I'm set up for all veggie meals for most of the week.

Food rescue programs are so important for so many reasons.......well worth the time it takes to get involved. Stores save the dumping fee, others get to eat fresh food when they normally wouldn't, and we're saving space in the land fills.

A Coffee Mug & a Bedroom Set??

May 5th, 2007 at 04:31 pm

My bedroom and my morning coffee out of "the cup", is about all I need to think about taking with me when I move on....

I've been looking at things differently as I move through my days here, and there isn't much I want to take anywhere!!

Having just moved in '05, I pared down considerably and have made an effort not to add more stuff since then.

There are things I don't want to part with, but there is no need to take the piano to moms, as she already has one, etc.... So, it looks like one bedroom and a coffee mug with pink roses on it will just about do......and some clothes of course.

I do think I'll pay to have the things moved, as there are some huge pieces and if I hire someone, I know they will all get moved in and set up. If I use the room mate person & the new big truck here, I will end up doing most of the work.

Barn sale going on again today, yesterday was so successful, room mate person decided on Round #2 today. Busy around here. Horse boarding person is repairing and replacing fencing, at her expense...can't beat that.

In the Extremely Small Business News.....
we've sold a couple dozen fresh eggs today!! {Pretty sure I can't retire on the Egg Money, but it is fun to see people so excited about them.)

Completed another Pine Cone Survey as well as one from Greenfield, gotta love these regular little deposits. Also got the funds for the books sold through Amazon.

Just a Decade or So Behind

May 4th, 2007 at 05:15 pm

That's me. Just getting around to mastering something the rest of the world is way past comfy with.

*insert drum roll here.....*

I have, just this afternoon, figured out how to set up voice mail on my cell phone! Not only have I figured it out, but I HAVE it set up, and it works!

Stuff like this baffles me. The clock in my van, programing the cable box or setting the VCR/DVD to record (heck, I have days when I can't get it to even play a silly movie!) and anything to do with the auto features on any and all appliances are something I've pawned off on the kids who lived with me over the years.

But, for some reason, the voice mail on the cell never made it on the TO DO list. Thus, it was now on the top, as I can't switch clients over to the cell number if I have no voice mail.

So, one BIG thing off my list of what needs doing prior to my trial move. I also started talking about the whole event with the autistic kiddo today. He seems OK with it, but who knows? And, truly, I need to remember I'm not in charge any longer.

Next step will be to wean the couples who stay here off the house phone. I have let them all use it for a message phone, since it is impossible to get a job set up without a phone number & an address. I need to be ready with my answer to the next question........."Can I use your cell phone?". Not sure of my answer yet.

The thought of not having a phone ringing dozens and dozens of times a day is absolutely heady to me. I'm getting closer to that being possible & it spurs me on!

On a money front......I participated in a Pine Cone survey this AM, at least the first part of it. I presume a product will be on its' way here & then there will be an additional survey. Love these!!!

Working this week end as my last young man is scheduled to be here this afternoon through Sunday afternoon. I will give notice to his dad when I see him Sunday. Not sure about the timing, but will most likely see him through the end of June, giving them almost 2 months to decide what to do.

Room mate person is holding a huge Barn Sale today & tomorrow, which is part of her commitment to clear stuff out of here, prior to me discussing leaving the place to her to manage. So far, she's doing a huge amount of business, which in the long run is good for me too.

My moving out decision is feeling more like the right way to go each time I tell someone what I'm doing. Details are falling into place, there aren't any road blocks and I can sleep well even tho I'm making a big change. Means I'm on the right track! My biggest disappointment is telling my new walking buddy I'm moving too far away to meet 3X a week to walk.

Weird Walking Weather

May 2nd, 2007 at 04:42 pm

I'm keeping up with my walking program, one of the many goals for 2007.... Having located a walking buddy has made a huge difference, as neither of us wants to be the one to wimp out. And, believe me, if we were going to wimp out, today would have been a good choice.

The weather seemed OK when we left...but before returning, the sky opened up and it poured. Then, the wind blew, and it hailed and just for special effects, there was thunder! Smile Gads, it's May for heavens sake!!! (currently, the sun is out and it looks like a different day!)

Anyway, we're both proud of ourselves, we're walking 3miles, 3 times a week at this point. Not bad for a couple of old, out of shape women!

I've made a list of things that need to happen prior to trying out my "move". (I'm an obsessive list maker!) Things are pretty divided up into the finances to hand off to the room mate person....and the sewing customers to notify and finish up current jobs.....and then the personal stuff like giving notice to volunteer positions.

Mom & I have talked about this possibility since last June, so this isn't anything new. I just wanted to stay here a year before making a decision. By the time I get moved, it will be a year. Moms house is so big for just her, there is no way she can keep it up, and it has a full acre of yard too....... so there is plenty to do.

If I can just keep managing the 2 places of mine as rentals, and keep up with my knitting, sewing and such for some spending money, I'll be in OK shape. It will just be different. And, I know I can do different.

This new living situation will give mom & I time to spend together without me feeling like I need to head home to take care of things here........ And when I'm here at home, I always feel like I should be helping out my mom. I think I'll feel less of a pull if I'm at her place...that is the question of the day.

No money out today..........just worked here on my "list" and in the sewing room. Walking in the AM sure gives me a jump start on my daily chores...what a difference getting up, dressed and out of here!!! I'm not seeing a weight difference this week, but not gaining either and that's a good thing.

Many Changes Due Soon.....

May 1st, 2007 at 08:52 pm

There were just too many things happening yesterday and today for me to not get the hint it was time to move on from my current house.

First......and oddly enough, the previous owner of this house showed up at my door & wanted to know if I'm willing to sell to her ..again! Yes, she is the same one that called me last fall with the same question. She needed to be in her home 2 years prior to buying this back...and it's almost 2 years at this point. Got me to thinking!

Number 2: I got a screaming, swearing, out of control phone call from my previous placement here..........the autistic kiddo & his mom. She was attempting to get her son in her car to head back to his house and he was beating her up, etc. Impossible to handle this in person, let alone over the phone. His "normal" schedule includes calling me 7 times a day anyway & I can tell it is still draining the sap out of me. I've decided to cut the phone here at the house & use my cell... This would lower a bill, the "kiddo" doesn't have my cell # and all I have to do is let my current list of sewing/knitting customers know the new #.

Number 3: My housecleaner quit this week. I'm feeling like I'm missing a family member! He has been helping here since I moved to this place & I've totally enjoyed having him as a friend too. (he has agreed to come clean my moms house monthly, as a favor to her...so this is still a good thing)

Number 4: The new couple that has moved in are not on my favorite people list. I think I'm just getting too old to make any effort at compromise. They aren't bad, I'm just not into getting as chummy as they would prefer.

So, in looking at things this week.......I'm getting closer to making a move to my moms for a 2 month trial period...to see how I like that life. There are more positives than negatives & my room mate person assures me she can handle the entire house payment here as rent........the 2 months will also be a trial to see if she can do this. (the previous owner & her buy back offer is still in the wings)

Things are just falling into place & if the only thing I get out of this is a way out of the constant phone calls, it will be a good thing.

Last bit of good news; my mom got the signed agreement for her apartment I had listed for her.........It is rented, as of today, with a years lease. That feels so good, and the best part is the tenant said he could help me out with the yard work! Can't beat that..... Smile