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Three Book Sale Day

August 21st, 2007 at 04:13 pm

We sold 3 of dads books in one day! I've never done that before, however I've never had this many listed at once either. Apparently there are others who are interested in obscure history as well as math books from the 40's.

The freecycle birdhouses are a hit. I picked them up today and already have one in a tree here.

Did spend some money on the way home.......the local craft store had all their yarn on sale. Prices lower than I could get on line, so I picked up enough for a new afghan for moms living room here......and enough extra to use for my knitting/crochet classes this fall. So, truly, I'll get reimbursed for the yarn and the afghan will be free I believe.

Did get my address changed & the mail forwarded. Left a message for tenant with the post dated check. Working with former room mate person to get her name on the utilities from the old house.....that is harder than it needs to be. We both need to go in person with ID to get this accomplished. Gads.

Not feeling like I'm making much progress on this paperwork issue.

Did get a baby step in on moms tax stuff. Called the tax man....got some more specifics as to what he needed & then left another voice mail with the woman who holds the magic answers re; some property mom sold last year. (she just sold it, didn't file taxes, so all the capitol gains haven't been paid)

Called the electrician who is supposed to be working on the rental. He promises to get the job done by this coming week end. Scheduled him to come disconnect a heater in moms house......it won't turn off. (baseboard) Just runs on hot all the time. Guess which room?? My bathroom! Hotter than it needs to be in there, to say nothing of using power all the time.

Picked 6 cucumbers from the garden this AM, they are so good when they are this fresh. Hoping mom gets into cooking mode pretty soon with a couple of them. She makes a molded cucumber salad that I absolutely love.....slivered almonds in it....& cottage cheese. Very savory type salad and for some reason I've never made it myself. I laid all the cucumbers on the counter this AM....if she doesn't get the hint I'll have to dig out the recipe & add it to the pile!

Off to list more books!




Beach houses & Bird Houses

August 20th, 2007 at 09:27 pm

Figure out that title will you?? Smile

We spent the day looking at beach houses, on an island near us here in WA. Yukky rainy day, so it wasn't terrific, but we got to see the homes in normal condition! Did lunch out, and roamed around the little island. Very fun. I can see myself living there (one of the houses is almost perfect), no problem. Mom, I don't think so. She is just too tied to this house she is in. So, I'm not thinking a move is in the future. Hopefully, I'm dead wrong.

Came home to a voice mail from a freecycle pal......he has 2 bird houses in answer to my Wanted post yesterday. I have been trying to add things to moms backyard, since it was pretty much a blank slate. These bird houses sound oh, so frugal. Made from wood and recycled coffee cans! Can't wait to see them, they sound just funky enough to fit right in here!

So, it was houses of a grand sort.......down to a house made from an old can.

Did get an email from foster dtr today....finally getting some info re; their finance difficulties. I had heard from a friend that there was trouble & I so hoped it was not true. I guess it is. My gal is trying hard to pull them out of the situation she says her husband got them into...... Working several jobs, doing all sorts of things to earn extra......hopefully, it will be enough. Not sure what is worse, wondering if what I heard was true, or finding out they really are having a tough time?

Since I've decided this move to moms is a permanent situation, I began working on the paperwork that needs to be changed or transferred. Thought the auto insurance would be an easy beginning. Not so. Thought I could just add a vehicle onto moms policy, can't do that with State Farm they said. Plus, this would make my insurance almost 4X the cost it is now. Yikes. Tomorrow, I'll call my company & see about doing just a change of address, dropping room mate person from policy and only having a single vehicle. Will be interesting to see the comparison then. Showed mom how much she is paying for insurance, she isn't interested in making a change, they have been with the same company since 36 I think she said. Gads.

Received a rent check from a tenant (who was behind in rent anyway) and it is dated for October! Hopefully, it was a mistake, as the date was right, just the month and date were transposed on the check. But, need to call & get one reissued. Bother. I'm failing at Landlord 101......over & over.

No Money Fun Sort of Day

August 17th, 2007 at 09:28 pm

Over the years, with all the kids at my group home........we were used to finding No Money Fun activities. New kids expected to have a budget (or worse, no budget limits) & it was a bit of a shock to them how we spent our spare time. They soon learned we weren't a household that spent without thinking and planning......and then the No Money Fun sorts of events often won out.

Much research went on all the time, with all the kids adding possibilities to the No Money Fun list.

Tonight we did one of the favorites of all time.....just headed to the beach. This is a shot looking west from the little town I grew up in.



The sun was going down, there are ferries to watch, trains coming by regularly and lots of divers at the underwater park. My young man actually seemed like he was having fun.

Mom & I loved the evening. Great weather, no time limit; it was perfect.

Gardened a bit early this AM. I'm keeping up with the watering and the deadheading. No weeds yet to speak of, thanks to the heavy layers of compost all over the place. Gave the lawn a feeding, as it is struggling to grow in all sand. Can't wait for the compost load next spring, I'm going to figure out a way to sift a layer of compost over the entire lawn. No way I'm going to spend time on it again next year like I've had to do this summer.

A great day........

Another Craigs' List Connection Comes Through

August 14th, 2007 at 07:39 pm

As I write, there are sounds of drills, saws and lumber being manipulated into the greatest raised garden bed I could have ever imagined. (my version was sort of stacking the largest timbers out back, and hoping I could pound something into the ground on the outside to keep them from coming apart)

My latest Craigs list friend has designed the planter and is starting the assembly of it this evening. In exchange, he is taking lumber from the many stacks out back to construct a small tool shed at his place, just 10 minutes away.

I have had so many more success stories from Craigs list connections, in fact....I can't really think of any negatives. What a great resource!

The frosting on the cake this evening is when this young man began telling my mom about a tradition/ceremony.....not sure what the word was he used, but it was about this week, in Japan. Spirits of ancestors visit I think?? He is difficult for me to understand, because my Japanese is ZERO. Anyway, I think the deal is he is thrilled to be using my dads wood, especially this week.....and to be making something for my mom with dads supplies. Apparently very good for family he says. I don't get the details, but I'm not questioning it! Smile

I do know it feels great to be using some of what my dad spent decades salvaging. The alternative would be to just junk everything if/when the property is sold. That would make me way too sad.......so we're going to continue with my new friend Shin and see how much of this lumber he can use.

On other fronts here.......I did get my walk in today; around Greenlake. What a great day to be outdoors! Stopped on the way home to get gas (using moms car for most of my errands these days, so gas is a different deal for a mazda compared to my van!), and picked up a spreader for the lawn here. I've not done city type lawn care for years; leaving the lawn to the chickens, goat and the occasional equine escapee. There are sacks and sacks of product in the garage for the lawn, but no spreader.......so now I'm in business. Going to discourage some bugs first, then see if I can make a trade and get the moss out and let some real grass grow.

Each task here is connected to a couple others.......if I get the lawn stuff out of the garage, there will be room to move the freezer up from the basement so mom can get to it herself. It will be easier to unload from the car too. If I can get the freezer out of the basement, I will be a bit closer to clearing out a space to start painting the walls and getting a sheetrock ceiling installed. Way too many jobs to think about. Will go back to just tackling one at a time!

Time Alone; A New Experience

July 14th, 2007 at 08:54 pm

I can probably count the hours I've been alone the last couple of decades on my fingers. Seriously, I would think I had squeezed an hour or two out of the schedule to be alone......I'd shut the door as the last kid left for a home visit or something.........and someone would drive in. Five minutes by myself; Max.

Well, this week end my mom headed to her twin sisters place for 3 days. I'm like a kid with all new toys. I really have no idea how to use up all this ME time. (but I'm a quick learner) I've been more than busy and have loved having the house to myself.

Picked up some freecycle plants this AM, St Johns Wort.....which I've never grown. Actually, would never have recognized it before today. Nice plant, makes a terrific ground cover, but it has yellow flowers & I just can't do yellow in my garden. So, this will be banished to the back 40, where it can just grow to it's hearts content and cover as much ground as it wants. Also picked up a piece of carpet (really did think it was a room size rug, but no...) and not sure what to do with it now. I have a van full of carpet!

Took advantage of not having mom here and have had a virtual parade of freecyclers and craigs listers here for all sorts of junk. Made progress in the yard, basement and the garage. Pretty sure mom won't even notice what's missing....and took care to not get rid of anything I know she is still attached to.

I had waited til today to get a really cheap haircut, with a coupon that began today....only to find out the shop was giving that cheap price to everyone. Wow, were they busy. $5.00 for a haircut and I love it. For being cheap and for being a truly good cut. They also gave out gift cards for $5.00 off the next haircut, a coupon for a family members cut and a great tube of lip gloss. It was a good way to start my morning!

As of tonight........my time alone is almost up. My son called & is coming tomorrow for a visit & to help (I have his list all ready!) So, after my morning coffee, it will be back to normal here. After living with so many people for so many years, I don't think I'll ever get enough time by myself. Odd, I know...........

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.

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.

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.

New Numbers

April 15th, 2007 at 03:37 pm

I weighed myself this AM (after being at my moms for a few days) and surprised myself with a brand new number! I knew I was making progress, as I've been able to button the bottom button on a few shirts....that used to be an open type, jacket only situation! All buttoned up these days, and I can sit down without ripping the buttons off too! Must be the walking!

Felt jazzed about the weight loss & started getting busy on the TO DO list around here. I've got laundry out on the line, the burn pile started and the compost dumped. Eggs collected and chickens fed.

I brought home some free wood from my dads vintage wood piles.......I found great stuff to make some roosts for the chickens. Now, I just need to figure out how to mount them to the walls. (these are to replace the almost silly version of a roost that a very helpful someone made for the coop......looks more like a prop for a manger scene in a Nativity)

Now, I'm back to crocheting the first of my samples for this Thursdays class. The purse is done, now I'm working on the handle, then out to the sewing room it goes for the lining and assembly phase. I'm wasting too much time today, thumbing through patterns, when I just need to grab one and start on another item for the display. Thinking small things at this point.....planning on a soap sack, 2 different size hats and a scarf at this point. I can start a small baby blanket after I get these done......

Back to work........

Calfvision: Free Entertainment

April 11th, 2007 at 08:37 pm

I've been keeping a close eye on the neighbors pregnant cow, checking the window facing her pasture every time I go past...

This afternoon, I could tell (even with my limited cow experience) that she was standing odd... Best description I could come up with. Looked a little closer and there was a teensy little pile of brown calf on the ground. Not moving yet even.....I must have missed the birth by minutes.

I just pulled the couch around and decided to plug into the local calfvision channel. It didn't take long before I realized there was going to be another calf. And, I got to watch it being born. Sat there for what seemed like ages, watched both calves practicing using all 4 legs at once. So cute. When I finally decided to get back to work, both new little additions had figured out how to walk a few steps and where dinner was located.

Way better than television and totally free. I didn't have watch a calf being born on my life list........but if I did, I could cross it off now!

I'm Running Out of Week.....ACK!!!!

March 7th, 2007 at 07:04 am

I put WAY too many things on my schedule for this week. WAY, WAY too many. At the rate I'm going, I won't be ready to leave on "The Trip" until next Sat, and the leave town day is this Sat.

If it weren't enough that I have the huge sewing project (the trade for CL fabric)which I misjudged how much time I would have in the first place.... I added in some freecycle items; both Want & Offer. And, to top it off the book sales on Amazon are still chugging along, with another sale this AM. (so add in a post office run too, in my spare time)

And, yes, there is that packing deal too...I am doing laundry now in preparation for aiming to pack tomorrow.

I have not ditched the walking plan during my current scheduling snafoo (0r, is that snafuu??) My new friend & I are up to 3 miles a walk (it does take us an entire hour to do that, so we're not burning up the trail yet!) Heading out again this AM, hoping it does that magic thing & clear up my head so the rest of my day is turbo charged and twice as productive. One can hope??

No spending today.......other than gas to get to the trailhead. And, saving money by picking up a van load of FREE, day old bread from the local gleaning group. The chickens have gone frugal too, no more commercial feed for them.

Weekly Update

January 28th, 2007 at 04:56 pm

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!)

Life Beyond Busy

January 20th, 2007 at 03:35 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!

Wall #3 Finished

January 14th, 2007 at 04:45 pm

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 13th, 2007 at 08:31 pm

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......

And Again: More Winter

January 11th, 2007 at 10:43 am

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!

Adding 2 More for Thanksgiving

November 13th, 2006 at 08:07 pm

My "Little Dinner" is getting bigger it seems. We were 5 adults which seemed small compared to previous years, but was just about right for the house I thought.

So much for what I thought. Smile

I learned that my one guy that comes on the week ends, didn't have his usual place to go on Turkey Day as he calls it. So, it would be just he & his mom, in their apt. (she can't cook, they don't really have a functional kitchen either) So, tonight I asked them if they would like to come for dinner then my guy can just stay for a long week end, so his mom still has to do just the 2 trips to my house. With about 5 seconds, she replied....."Sure!" They're bringing the beverages; so one more catagory crossed off.

Next, I get a call from my mom & yes, her twin is coming too. Early in the day to help with dinner & they will bring a salad, fresh veggie & 2 pies. (reminded them there were just 7 of us!!) They then asked if they could stay overnight......so we'll bump the kiddo out of his room, toss him in the living room on the aerobed and have the twins in the bedroom. Too fun. But, now we've got meals to plan for Friday!!! Smile

So, my one little dinner has spread out to a couple days, several meals and we're up to 7 adults. (still haven't got a commitment from the new couple out back in the trailer.....planning in my head for 9, just in case.)

Love the pantry & freezer for holidays....as I've got many of the items I'll need already put away here. I will be spending some for the food, but nothing over the top. All my baking ingredients are already in the pantry, bread has been set aside for the dressing, other people are bringing items.........so I think I'm getting the turkey roast and whipping cream. Not bad!

Located the staple gun & received a free to me battery operated drill..........so I can finish the Re-Do on the Freecycle table event before Thanksgiving. I have free fabric too....the cushions are in great shape, so a little work and the set will be all ready to go. I actually LOVE the table & chairs .......couldn't have found anything new that I like as well. Gotta love it when that happens!

Fortunately, no one I know expects anything but a fun day here; so I'm not compelled to pit myself against Martha. We'll be reasonably cleaned up, the food will be outstanding & plentiful and everyone won't have to worry about a think. We don't stand on ceremony, or which fork to use...or any of that. (although I would love to set a formal table once before I die... Smile )

So, it's looking like a no to low stress day.........plus I'm feeling really good about having others here that wouldn't have somewhere to go otherwise.... I used to think I'd like to go help serve holiday meals at the mission in town or something, then I finally realized I do that......just at home! (on a tiny scale)



Gorgeous But Freezing

October 31st, 2006 at 09:31 am

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)

Freecycle Finds & Other Ramblings

October 16th, 2006 at 08:28 am

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.

A Houseful of Company

October 9th, 2006 at 08:32 pm

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!



Housekeeping Day & Marathon 48 Hours

October 4th, 2006 at 01:23 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.

Bonus Mail Day

September 29th, 2006 at 07:12 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 28th, 2006 at 02:36 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trading a Haircut for a Massage

September 23rd, 2006 at 05:47 am

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

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

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

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

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

I've Decided to Stay

September 16th, 2006 at 08:09 pm

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

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

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

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

September 11th, 2006 at 12:37 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Even the Dog Got Good Mail

September 5th, 2006 at 05:18 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First Offer & I Couldn't Do It.....Drat

August 29th, 2006 at 08:26 am

I got a call last night, and the gentleman said it was from an offer I signed up for on line in February! Asked me if I remembered doing that?? Gads, I can't remember much of anything these days, but I just said "Sure, of course I remember!!" Smile

He was from one of the ellusive Mystery Shopper companies I followed links for and left my name with way back when...

He patiently explained what they do, then told me he had a job for me to visit a restaurant in our area, but the catch for me was......it had to be during a 3 day period this week. Since I'm doing more than my usual schedule of things this week, there was no way to fit in a delightfully long lunch in Bellevue (which really isn't just down the road from my place) Drat.

He did say offers usually have 1-2 weeks notice and usually come via email, which sounded lots better to me & my crazy life these days. He also said that turning down "jobs" was not a negative, so there's a chance I can still take advantage of this little program.

Now that I don't have full time kids, this would be fun to grab someone and go out.
And, I have to say........now that I know the program really exists, I might even look forward to the possible email from them!

Going out and having the bill paid; now that is the way to Do Lunch!

Another $50.00 Gift Certificate Added

August 16th, 2006 at 07:01 am

Adding up the Amazon gift certificates again here. I just got notification this morning; my reviews for Insider Pages got accepted and my $50.00 will be arriving in the mail shortly! TA DA! That was an easy do.
Just review businesses I have frequented and let Insider pages know when I was finished. I like the whole project.....I get to write, I get paid and in the process, I can let others know about some local businesses that could use the free advertising.

I think I might even use some of my Amazon money this week, I've got a birthday gift for the room mate person here to figure out. She's pretty easy to buy for, so I just need to find her something on Amazon & it's free to me!



Survey Jackpot

August 15th, 2006 at 11:45 am

The Hunter Douglas survey I participated in is truly paying off. I had my doubts, and wasn't holding my breath for the package to arrive.........but arrive it did...this morning.

One more thing to go on the TO DO list, is to get these installed, then I can complete the survey about ease of installation. And, they are mine to keep if I like them, or return them for $50.00. I'm all done whining about surveys that don't seem to pay off!!!

I'll continue to do the silly little surveys to get entered into the "sweepstakes", which I never expect to win.....because, that's how I believe I got into this event with the blinds. I was sent an email on this one, it wasn't through the typical survey sites I have signed up for.

Whatever the reason, I'm excited to be getting free blinds, as that is the only price that would be in my current budget for something that isn't really a necessity here. (no window coverings on any windows here, as there is no one that can see in here anyway) But, blinds for the sun in my room would be a real treat. Gone with the white sheets here!!! Smile


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