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Nothing to Sit On

August 27th, 2006 at 07:07 am

My lack of normal furniture was really apparent yesterday. For some reason, our house was full of drop in company from early AM til way after dinner. For most people this probably wouldn't have created a problem.........I mean, the people weren't all here at once, but I don't really have a place more than 3 people can sit down in the same room anywhere here.

When I moved, I left most of the big stuff, as well as the custom stuff the kids couldn't ruin or tip over, at the other house..... And, I've never done anything here but sort of "camp out" when it comes to furniture.

We've got 3 (albiet mismatched) chairs around a tiny little table in the kitchen.......and we can "borrow" the chair from my desk to make an eclectic little grouping if we have 4 for dinner (which has been often lately).

I've got a new couch & loveseat in our TV room, but the universal rule of loveseats for some reason is 1 person to a loveseat........which means again, I can seat 3 people.

I think I am going to have to do something here. We had 9 of us milling around at one point yesterday, people would sort of rotate through the available chairs. Fortunately, everyone knows me well enough to just deal with it.

I'll start watching Freecycle more closely for sitting upon sorts of events, to see if I can come up with a comfy, animal friendly, FREE option to solve my guests standing up situation here. When it was just me and the almost never here room mate person, 3 chairs seemed like overkill.

Oddest Phone Call I've EVER Received

August 19th, 2006 at 08:31 am

Good thing I was sitting down when the phone call came yesterday. Good thing the woman identified herself with some details besides her name. And, it's probably a pretty good think I kept my tongue and didn't let my sarcastic self take over the conversation that ensued.

Some background first............ I bought the house here in Oct of 05. It wasn't my first choice, but I already had the other house rented, so a move was in order.

Anyway, back to yesterday. On the other end of the phone, I hear the woman identify herself and then she says "I'm the woman you bought the house from." (I had never met her, just the husband person) She then just blurted out "I want to buy the house back from you".

Shocked, surprised and totally blown away is where that left me. I don't even know if I spoke for a bit. She was really nervous, but did start talking pretty soon about how her daughter didn't like their new home and really wanted to be back here, etc, etc.......... and how she would be considered the coolest mom if she could pull this off and buy back their house.

Guess how old this daughter person is that is creating the hub bub in this family?? She is a SIX YEAR OLD!!! Can you imagine?

Anyway, this looks like it might be a legit offer, I told her I would certainly entertain it, but didn't want to do anything in a hurry. She agreed and thought that working out a deal so it was finalized by next summer would work for them too.

I did call my realtor so he could get a chuckle out of this too; it was a first for him, no one has offered to buy back their house after this amount of time.

No idea if this will come to pass, but I have no ties to this place and could easily move by next summer. (even tho moving comes right after being drug behind a bus in the scope of my favorite things!!)

Evening News Had Some Good News

August 9th, 2006 at 06:35 pm

I don't even watch the 6PM news usually, but tonight I was by myself for dinner here, and didn't have a book to read so turned it on to find a neat little morsel of info.

A gentleman who was tired of reaching companies customer service departments and getting lost in the continual loop of voice mail called erroneously; Customer Service...........set up a website called gethuman.com

I have checked it out and saved it for the next time I want to call a company for any reason; I know there will be a next time......I'm getting better and better about this, thanks to many of you here.
He has indexed the companies and listed the prompts you need to key in at each opportunity, in order to by pass the recorded messages and truly, get a human.
TA DA. What a great service!

I almost can't wait to have an instance to try it out....the website list of companies looked massive. I've been ticked off at the automated voice commands too, but can't imagine coming up with a solution to the entire problem.

Anticipation

June 30th, 2006 at 09:05 am

I'm down to counting the hours until I can officially declare Retirement! At least from Job #1. I won't be lounging on the beach in Mexico or anything even close, but I won't be caring for special needs kiddos on a full time basis as of 3PM today!!!!

I'm so excited I'm giddy. I have mental lists, written lists, a TO DO list on my Google sidebar here............all things I haven't been able to do with the houseful of kids. And, lucky for me a couple of them MAKE money, so I can do things I love and get paid too!

I think my main focus is going to be walking! I have been so jealous of the other blog entries about walking & exercising! I used to do that on a daily basis too, with the kids. But, the last 4 years, no way. So, tomorrow morning (and maybe even this evening if it's not 80 degrees) I'm heading out for my first solo walk in 4 years!!!

And, this walking addition does relate to money, at least for me. I've grown fat & lazy...........and I've got closets full of clothes that don't fit. I've got a new job that I'm going to need clothes for.... and I'm way too cheap to go buy things. So, I'll re do myself to fit the available clothes, all for no money spent.
(I might need a new pair of walking shoes right off the bat, haven't tried mine on for ages!)

The wardrobe, plus the obvious health benefits (& potential medical savings) make this a very frugal plan for me.

Other items on my list include being able to play the piano again, have people over to the house, attend church, skip a meal if I want, have some flexibility to the days, traveling. As I said........the anticipation is just making me a giddy fool today!

Good Teachers, My Parents

June 20th, 2006 at 02:56 pm

I learned something new about my parents today. Considering I've lived a half century already; and most of it within an hours drive of them......I find this latest little morsel so fun!

I called my mom to tell her about the freecycle plants I had been gifted with today. We were going over what each one was and where we both planned on putting them in our respective gardens and she pops up with this............ "Your Dad & I used to package up little bundles of lilly of the valley pips, tie them with twine and sell them to the local nurseries for .75c each."

What?? I knew they were frugal to the point of no return, but I was not aware they had their own little side business. We visited for ages about this venture; apparently there was a perfect spot on the north side of their house that was always crowded with lilly of the valley and they would thin them out each year by selling some. I'm impressed.

I always knew my parents were so very creative, but this was just a different sort of deal with the selling an item to a business. Mom can't even remember how the contact came about, but it was a small town and they both liked to garden, so I imagine they would have visited anyplace that sold seeds or starts. They must have struck up a conversation, or seen something posted?? Who knows?

Somehow, knowing this piece makes gardening together with my mom even more interesting! No wonder I'm always trying to think of ways to make money from things I'm doing anyway!

Potential New House Mate

June 18th, 2006 at 01:11 pm

Have my fingers crossed, candles lit, prayers being sent up regularly, tried bowing to the East.........am I missing anything?? Smile

Just got an email response re; sharing the house here, and after talking with the woman we have set up a meeting for one afternoon this week. She sounds perfect. I know I've been saying that each time someone responds, but this one really does sound good. Now, if we can just make this work!!

The added income, splitting bills 3 ways instead of 2 ..........wow, that would make life rich. She even said she would love to contribute extra to cover the weekly housekeeper! And, even when I told her of our oddities here, she wasn't off-put. (alright, I didn't tell her ALL of our weird qualities, I'll try to ease into those if she truly shows up!)

So, if you're into sending up positive thoughts for others.........I want to be in line!

$20 Challenge = Retirement Plan

June 1st, 2006 at 07:14 am

I'm sure I would have quit work this month anyway, but with the experience of the $20 Challenge, I am doing it with a different frame of mind I believe.

Since brainstorming about the original Challenge, trying to come up with ways to make money outside of what I was doing at the time..........I had a whole list of things I was capable of doing. So, retirement and choosing to just go it on my own was the obvious choice to me.

Without the Challenge & the thought put in on it, I'm not sure how this would have felt. A bit like taking a trip without knowing if I should head to the airport, the docks........or stick out my thumb! I'm grateful for the timing of it all. Finding this site, the Challenge itself and the last 5 months I've had to get things in order to make this change.

I'm fairly confidant I can pull off this life change here; my list of income producing possibilities is growing and things seem to be falling into place. I am aiming to stay here at my home, work for myself and still have plenty of time to tackle the rest of the items on my Do Before I Die list.

All this, thanks to the $20 Challenge. But, as I retire, it makes sense to retire the Challenge too.........as it has now become the Official Retirement Plan here!

Spending today, as rent is due on the antique booth. I've got a few things ready to take in. Hopefully, there is a paycheck waiting for me!!

The Art of Bill Paying

May 26th, 2006 at 10:06 am

Love online bill paying. Usually. I am over being ticked at the mix up with the house payments last month. Gads, what a snafuu.

The changes the online bank helper & I made to the multiple accounts has shown up and seems like it has solved the difficulties.

Noticed a direct deposit to my checking account of $93.00 but I have no idea who the money is from. Love added funds, but would like to know from where??? Couldn't get more info from online, will have to look into it some other way. Money from half.com is regularly making it's way into my checking account, not going to support myself with these deposits, but I like them anyway.

Not as anxious to pay off the cc balance since the whole amount is at zero interest at this point. Funny to me. I have the money in other accounts, but here I am paying monthly to cc. Guess I'll go along like this til the increase in interest moment....then pay it off. Might as well earn interest on the money until then. I am paying 3 times the minimum anyway.

Just another tidbit to add to my odd bits about me........I love paying bills. Just like I love ironing. Something about a routine activity & seeing results of my efforts I think. I can turn bill paying into an "Activity" here. Favorite music, cleaned off desk space, flowers, candle .......the whole shebang. Even when I didn't have enough money to go around. Even when the list of those who wanted my money was WAY longer than my dollars available, I've enjoyed paying bills. Go figure.

............and two steps back

May 23rd, 2006 at 12:47 pm

I shouldn't have written down the "plan". Naturally, the next day I get an email and a phone call, the potential housemate is checking out one other option, closer to her job and the gentleman with the RV didn't get the RV...so, I'm not as close as I thought to having July solved.

Went to the antique booth today with a van full of stuff. Again, it all fit in but I couldn't identify anything that had sold. Something MUST have!!! (crossing my fingers) I am starting to stack things up, since the first month I was really spreading them out to fill up the booth. Things are being moved and looked at, which are both good things.
I did spend some time and re arranged most of the displays, I used to notice things sold better if they were in different places at least monthly.

Did the banking and the post office run at the same time. Stuck to my gas saving plan of driving below the speed limit too.

Got an email invite to write reviews for InsiderPages today. Sent off my request to be included. 50 reviews in 2 weeks for a $50 g/c from Amazon. Definately worth tapping out a few reviews here. I did 4 this AM, and did some thinking about other possibilities as I was driving today. This is more my kind of deal.........the trial offers just didn't pan out for me very often.

Gads, I just had an AH HA moment here. I have always thought I should start keeping track of my No Spending Days here, just as another tool in my frugal kit.... And, a quick look to the right of my monitor, shows my catagory of No spending days......... DUH.... It's right there for me. Since January when I began writing here........I've had 62 NO Spend Days!!! They do make a difference in the bottom line!

Just got another call for sewing....from a blurb I put on Craigs list. (need to remember to put that in on a regular basis! Stupid not to take advantage of a free source of advertising)

After reviewing my options for July, it is interesting to me that they are the same things I was brainstorming over when trying to come up with what I could do for the $20.00 Challenge. Instead of it being a lark at this point and a fun way to save some money, it is going to be the new retirement plan..... I think that is a tad on the humerous side.

Back to my writing.......if I'm going to get 50 reviews done, plus a couple for insurance....I've got to get cracking. This isn't a task I can do after school unless I am trying to sound like a pre schooler!

The Power of a Phone Call

May 18th, 2006 at 08:19 pm

Update on the rental situation........

I left voice mails at all the numbers I have for the company leasing my other house. I also sent off emails to the same people. No responses.
So, being more than curious and pretty cranky, since the rent was due on the 10th.........I googled them. I found a press release from the Seattle Times, saying they had been given a stop placement from our states dept. of social & health services. Yikes. My imagination started going at this point. Where were the kids? Were the kids still at the house, was it empty, had the woman just skipped.... Overdrive......that's right.

I put in a call to the state licensing dept. Explained my situation. Got the list of infractions, none at "my" house, but in the neighboring county. Said they were working with the owner to get them back in line, but yes, there was a stop placement order.

Within an hour of my talking to the state, I get a call from the admin assist. from the tenants office. The check has been held up, but will be in the mail tomorrow. I asked about the late fees.........she had no idea, but promised to call me tomorrow.
Feel much better, will be able to sleep easier tonight.

I've still got some calls to make to get my facts straight about the rental & their contracts with the state, but I ran out of business hours today. Tomorrow being Friday, kiddo home from school, appointments here for potential house share person AND, the state workers frequently don't work on Fridays...I'm guessing it will be Monday before I get some concrete answers.
I'm glad this was bugging me enough to keep at it. And, I'll not count on the money until I actually cash the check.

Enough for tonight...........I've had plenty for one day!

Income Sources; How Many Does It Take?

May 16th, 2006 at 07:17 am

There might be another able bodied, employed room mate in my future. I got an answer to my Craigs list post yesterday & the woman has an appt to come check us out on Friday. I also got a phone call last night from the gentleman who wants to park his boat here on the property...he is getting closer to moving, says the boat should be here next week.

If I add enough of these odd little income sources into the mix, I am going to be able to paste together enough money to cover the costs here. I've got a ways to go........ Once I get the expenses covered, I can relax a tad. Spending nothing is OK by me, however I would love a bit more cash monthly to be able to continue working on the house & yard.

I feel like I won the lottery......I got an email saying some plants that were offered on Freecycle are MINE to pick up!!! Woo Hoo. Some ground covers (established) and a couple ornamental grasses. Can't beat FREE! (there's an article on the sister site www.frugalgardening.com about Free Plants) Picking these up today and coming right home to get them in the ground here.

Have my van full of items for the antique booth trip today; hoping to see some vacant "holes" in the display, meaning something has sold. Would be nice to get a sizeable check on the first. Interesting that this started out as my 'solution' to the $20.00 Challenge here. Now, it is part of my master plan to get enough of these little income sources so I don't need to go get a 'real job' after I retire in June.

Conveniently, the post office is a block from the booth space, so I'll mail the book that sold today too. Another $5.00. Postage for this will be the only spending today. Wish I could find the magic in this book selling deal....it is such an easy way to add dollars, but at one a month, I'm not going to be able to add much to my income total with this method.

I forgot to post to the forum, the coupon train arrived this week end. I've gone through them and pulled out some terrific ones for our household.......now I've got to file my new collection and then this package is off to Oregon!

Cleaning, painting and pricing

May 9th, 2006 at 07:36 am

Today is a prep day for the antique booth "business". I've been blessed with a delivery of free goodies, just waiting to be sorted through. Also, I've got a ton of painting to do on my collection of little tables & such. So, no need to think of what to do today.

Hoping to get a sizeable collection of my stash ready & priced and make my weekly trip to the booth today. It is my only opportunity this week. I do know from the last time I did this, the more often I visited the booth, the more money it made. Not sure what the connection is exactly, more inventory is obvious, and I do keep it all cleaned up and organized by being their regularly. I try to make a major change monthly so everything is viewed differently & regular shoppers 'see' something different when they return. Anyway......donning my painting 'outfit' as soon as I'm fortified with my AM coffee here.

Today is a no spend day, just using the gas to go to the booth & back. Put enough No Spend Days in a row and it starts to feel like I'm making money!!

Pay Day today & weighing decisions

May 7th, 2006 at 06:59 pm

Down to just 2 boys now..........one leaves tomorrow night. As todays kiddo left, his dad & I got a moment to talk finances. I finally figured out what it is he is paying me per week end......and he gave me a check today. So, now I'm able to count on a specific amount from this $$ source when I am trying to make $$ IN match the $$ OUT. This is the kid I would love to have more than just 2 week ends a month.

Looking forward to getting paid tomorrow for my first sewing job. I've come across a couple of my yearly calendars I used to use for sewing appointments.....and I am reminded about how many people I could pack into a day. Sometimes I can't remember why I quit........but then one of the kids comes up for his 452nd "ug" (his word for hug) in the day......and I remember, I can't get much else done with these guys. Nor, could I have customers here with them....

I think I've decided on not re-fi-ing the house, to absorb the 2 cc's. They are at zero right now, so it seems rather stupid to do that just to make them not cross my desk monthly. I get pretty cranky with them as a constant reminder of a bunch of stupid business decisions with my sister. But, it would make me nuts to see the balance of my mortage go up too. Think I'll stay as-is on this one.

RE; the cable modem however........I'm leaning way to the dial up side on this decision. I can't think of a single good reason to pay through the nose for Comcast when I could get something for under $20 a month. I'm using moms dial up a couple week ends a month and it's not bad.....the money saved would be considerable, and that usually makes me like whatever the option is. Smile I plan to drop Netflix when my full time kiddo moves out too.... Added up, the bills I CAN lower or eliminate, will make a sizeable difference monthly.

I learned over the week end our local power co is going to be announcing in June, the details of a zero int, energy loan package again. If so, I'm going to jump on this one and get the heat pump replaced here. (found out the one here doesn't work at all, too old to repair, pronounced absolutely dead) I did this with the windows and insulation at the rental & it was a terrific deal. That will add to the electric bill, but the new renter is going to be paying half of it anyway, so it won't impact me directly.

Just reviewed the length of this post............I can tell I've been with kids all week end. No one to talk to!!!



and the work paid off

May 5th, 2006 at 12:53 pm

Success. Ta-Da.........and all that!!

I just came from the antique booth and I made money this month. After paying rent, and the taxes/fees........I cleared $100 and change. Made the bank deposit, along with 2 pay checks on the way home. And, mom called, her first gift payment has just been added to my account too.........so it looks the healthiest it has in ages! (my $20 challenge still isn't in the black, but it feels better than going further in the red!)

As usual, when something starts to pick up, I get more than a little jazzed. So, I'm setting up my painting area to get some of the assorted little tables done up and ready for the booth. Apparently, I can still sell any sort of little table affair.

I have made a conscious decision to drive 5 miles below the speed limit on a regular basis.......been reading blogs with the calculations of how much gas a few more mph adds on. I don't think I ticked off too many other drivers today.
I don't drive much, and I've never been a fast driver, so this isn't much of a change for me. But over a month, it can't hurt.

Other frugal things for the day:
remembered to turn off the water heater (getting easier)
cooked an ovens worth of bacon at once, should last over the week end
made up a huge batch of pancake mix, making some really cheap breakfasts
Have laundry on the clothesline

The Navy's Coming To My House

April 26th, 2006 at 01:46 pm

Well, not the whole Navy, but the gentleman that came today to view the property is going to stay with us for a year.........starting in July. He is stationed at the Navy base in Everett, which is pretty close to my place. He advertised as needing a level piece of property to park his RV on for a year. Well, level.........we've got. Not a bit of elevation to the whole place.

He is going to split the power bill with me as well as tackle all my projects I can't do on my own. I'm thrilled. He didn't think that was enough on his side of the bargain, but he hasn't seen The List.... Smile

Found batteries here, so didn't need to make a stop to get those. Ran out of time prior to getting gas, so that is a Must Do the next time out. Found a big snaffu at the bank, they had taken $$ out of my kiddos acct, when I had paid bills online. Should have been my own acct, but the bank took it out of our joint acct. Numbers aren't even close. I transferred money back into his acct, but the state will probably have to investigate me for fraud or something. I'll be sure to make a note when I pass everything on to whomever in July.

Closed my eyes & hit SEND on bill payer & gave over $5000. to the county for property taxes. That just hurts. My savings account doesn't look quite so healthy anymore..........and of course, now I'm at zero saved up for the 2nd half of the taxes. I need that much again by Halloween! (appropriate holiday for tax day!)

Only $$ spent was postage for shipping my Half.com sale out. $1.35 Not bad for the day.

Dinner is split pea soup from the freezer & grilled cheese. Homemade cookies for dessert. I received a few comments from my post My Own Brand of Frozen Dinners........ Seems quite a few people have wished they could do OAMC (once a month cooking), but were unable for a variety of reasons. Cooking just 2X's as much as needed for a meal is an easier way to go for me, offers more variety and I believe is less expensive. (at least the cost is spread out) Almost no difference in time either.......that was what decided against OAMC for me....I couldn't come up with the entire day free.

Bus is almost here, I'm going to grab 15 min of quiet time before my guy storms in here.

Sweet Peas & a Headboard

April 24th, 2006 at 01:36 pm

It's April & hot enough here I had to come in from the garden and take a break. Supposed to get over 75 & that is too hot for me.....
My project for the morning was to plant my sweet pea seeds...........I matched them up with an old iron headboard for them to use to climb on. I'm hoping these were the dwarf plants....can't remember. (one difficulty of ordering on line & not taking notes)

If even half my seeds come up that I've put in the ground this week, the front yard should start looking like someone is living here pretty darned soon. I'm so tired of the plain, scalped look.

I said a prayer over a rescued shrub too. It had been dumped in our Dump Free Fill area.........but it is at least 4' high and seems to be holding its own even if it had been dug up. Its got a new home now, been watered in & given a couple shovels of compost......we'll see if it makes it. No idea of its' right name, my mom has always called these Lily of the Valley bushes. If it grows here, it will be known as the Second Chance Shrub.

Another No Spend Day here.........Dinner is leftovers, so I've no excuse but to head back to the garden & try to get some more seeds in. Groundwork for almost free produce this summer & fall.

I found another couple boxes of items that can head to the antique booth for my $20.00 Challenge. Will spend time this evening getting them all priced and in the van.

Also need to do some money moving.....time to take $$ out of savings and put it in checking so I can pay the property taxes on line. Have to do this by the end of the month....it comes to just over $5,000 for the 3 properties. Then, I have to immeadiately start stashing money in the account to pay the 2nd half in Oct. I so wish I felt like I was getting my moneys worth; but I don't. I guess I just need to pay it and get busy so I don't think about it!

First $$ for Challenge

April 20th, 2006 at 01:05 pm

Actually picked up a check for $15.00 at the antique booth today. Can't count it as profit, as I'm paying booth rental. But, it is a start. Money coming in, as well as going out. Progress in some form?? I could see empty spots today again, so I know there have been sales in April too.........the check should be getting bigger each month as I get the booth full. I'm already thinking this will be just a summer thing for me, this mall doesn't push the advertising like the one I participated in previously.

Also got my first phone inquiry on the sewing/knitting ad that ran for the first time yesterday. No appt yet, but I think we will be meeting as early as Monday next week. Need to do some work here at home, so I've got a decent place for people to change for fittings and I need a sign out front so they are sure they've got the right place. I would rather work here at home than take the time & gas to do the antique booth. Money will be much better too. And, the advertising is less than the booth space.

Also cashed a check from one of my respite clients. She forgot to pay me on the first, so I actually ASKED for it this past week end. Very unlike me. I should be able to make it last for months....only using cash for gas these days.

How Come My Parents Have An Estate?

April 12th, 2006 at 11:36 am

Just what sorts of decisions DID my parents make that created a sizeable trust? After writing about inheriting the fruits of their labors, it got me to wondering about a few more things....

1) Just how did they do this??
2) Did they do without?
3) And, will I be able to do them justice, managing their estate?

I can see a few things that just "happened" in their lives......like a house being given to my dad early in the 40's. Granted, he had to leave home and come to WA state to take care of his uncle who lived alone & had just had a stroke. Not an easy task for my dad I'm sure. But, when his uncle died, the house & property were willed to my dad. A good start for sure.

When my parents married, they were both working and then there was the free & clear "gift" house. Nice. One car, Dad walked to work for 20 some years. We walked to stores & school. They gardened, canned, mom sewed, dad built us play equipment & doll furniture, we learned that if you wanted something, you learned how to make it.

It never seemed like we went without....there were kids who had more than we did, but it never really bugged me. My parents seemed normal to me, although I've since learned they were far from it. They had NO debt. None whatsoever. Paid cash for everything.

I'm hopeful I have learned enough from them both, to continue with their legacy they have built up. I don't think they started out life hoping to have enough to even need a will..........however, being frugal & creative; they managed to build a new home (again, free from debt), travel to europe, winter in Palm Springs, collect rental properties and have choices throughout thier lives that having "enough" money brings.

This topic feels very heavy to me......perhaps because I'm coming up to Easter week end, 5 years since my Dad died. Five years since I've become even more involved in moms affairs.

Hopefully, I will continue to learn from mom and always make decisions they both would respect. Here's hoping too, my mood will be a tad bit lighter after spending Easter week end at my moms! I'm not usually so introspective!

My week end

April 11th, 2006 at 09:39 am

Today starts my week end..........again, I'm just the opposite of most people. I don't mind, it's been this way for years.
No kids for a bit today, a whole day stretching out, full of hours for me to put to use. (or not, which is usually the case with my first day of no kids)

Getting the coupon train package in the mail, along with Easter notes to a few people. Going to go to the antique booth today, knowing they are open this time! Crossing fingers that tons of stuff have sold..........

_______________________________________

Life intervened here.......and I've been to the booth, things did sell (can't add to my challenge, as I'm still in the red for this project); I added more and they still didn't ask for my rental $$ for April. Odd way to run a business.

Got the coupons mailedI know I pulled enough of them out of the train to cover my postage costs many times over. Just working with the coupons caused me to take another look at the food on hand, items needed and what we tend to use frequently. Good exercise.

DAILY $$ TRACKING: Spent postage, used some gas to get to antique booth. That should be it for the day. Eating out of the freezer & pantry again (still).

surprise overnight guest

April 4th, 2006 at 07:05 pm

I think I'll soon be living in a tent city here! Anyone else have communities where the homeless are banding together and forming tent cities?

I woke up really early this AM (probably due to daylight savings time and my internal clock being out of whack). Went outside to walk my fierce chihauhau and was thinking we were all by ourselves, like usual. Just strolling down the driveway (pretty slow, chihauhau's don't go very fast!) and there was a pick up parked just behind the pump house, out of view from the house. Since the truck belonged to my carpenters helper, I'll presume he didn't have a place to stay either and has decided this would be an OK place to camp out.

This certainly solves my problem of night time vandals taking the fencing down & letting the horses out. Now, I've got people in the front and in the back, coming and going all the time. Who knew this would be the solution?? Smile

Word is getting out about the new place here. I used to always have a "person in need" staying at my old house. We're just picking up steam here. I was contacted by an old friend today, offering us a free travel trailer for the next "person in need". We'll see how this shapes up. Never boring here, that's for sure!

Fastest 3 months on record

March 31st, 2006 at 08:43 pm

The older I get, the faster time goes. I'll never finish my TO DO list.....there just isn't time.

March's goals are still sitting here taunting me; I didn't get much accomplished.
DID: find out the furnace really needs a memorial service. Dead Duck. However, the wood stove kept us toasty warm & now we're not even lighting it most days....
Result: Not going to do anything.

DID: get a paltry handful of acorn squash seeds planted indoors. Not much of a beginning on the garden I'm counting on feeding us. Will keep this on the list & aim for a little more variety in our diet!

DID: get the antique booth opened up at a local mall. have it barely stocked. Will continue working this angle to fund my $20 Challenge, visiting weekly to stock with new items.

DID: come up with 2 more places to advertise the new sewing/knitting business, ads will start in April.

Generally, I am so much more aware of my finances and finding more to learn each day. I'm jealously reading others blogs about net worth, absolutely in the dark as to what mine is. Going to ad that to my list of things to do for April.

My main goal will be to tighten up the budget, eliminate items that I won't be needing after my client moves out in June and begin to add some income to the equation. If the next 3 months go as fast as Jan - March did, I'd better hurry up.

Something was missing

March 30th, 2006 at 09:44 pm

Finally, something was missing from the antique booth.....I can't remember what, but that means at least one little something sold! (please, oh please....let it be sold and not have sprouted legs and walked to someone elses' booth) I didn't have to pay next months rent, which is odd, the month is up. Who am I to tell them how to run their busines; it does tell me things are pretty lax. I'm just hoping they do a better job at advertising and pull some customers in. I'd like to have great big holes in my space, where some of the larger pieces sell....that is just too fun to go in and find it like that. One time where upset and messy are good things!

Answering the question this week.........Just how far can 2 chickens go??? We've been eating off them all week, still not to the soup stage either. Going to pop the remainders in the freezer & do a shrimp/pasta event tomorrow night.......before the chicken isn't welcome any longer! Will pull it out for Chicken Surprise next week.

New contest rules

March 30th, 2006 at 10:36 am

OK, I'm taking the $20.00 Challenge to a new realm. How far in the hole can I go?? I've done nothing but spent money so far....and tomorrow the rent will be due on the antique booth space at the mall. Hmmmm.......... Anyone else loosing money on the challenge, or am I in a contest all by myself?

I know 30 days isn't long enough for this to take hold and begin making money, but to what length am I willing to go here?
The only costs have been printing price tags, booth rental and gas to get to the booth (23 miles round trip). This first month I haven't had it full, as it takes alot of work to get enough items cleaned, marked and hauled in. Full spaces sell more, people feel more like shopping I guess. I've been taking additional loads of things weekly and have a new batch of items to mark this morning and take in today. It might look full after todays additions.
Since I'm doing this project alone, unlike when I did it with a partner a couple years ago, I'm limited as to what I can take in by myself. I've got a great dresser to get cleaned up....but then I started trying to visualize how to get it out of the van and actually into the booth. I can picture it, it's just not pretty!!

I did get the #2 file cabinet emptied and almost everything re filed in order even. Novel plan. All my files pertaining to the questions on my "info for tax lady" list are sitting behind the desk, waiting for that part of the job to be finished. Going to tackle that tomorrow and get at least a beginning FAX off to the woman.
In the process, I've now got a huge box of check registers to organize. I've always kept them since on occasion they have saved my behind. Planning to organize them before putting them away this time.

March is almost over and I feel like it has been extremely productive. Besides deciding to quit my job and live the 2nd half of my life doing something else......I can tell a real mind shift here. I've not had any major changes in spending (because I hardly spent anything already) and I didn't make any huge changes to save money (I'd done most of the things on all the "50 things to do to cut your household bills" type lists years ago). What I have noticed is a focus on money and finances.......or perhaps how everything relates to money & finances?? I have seen so many small things that I would not have noticed prior to my joining this list and beginning my financial boot camp of sorts.
Looking forward to April (even tho' it is property tax month!!)

Will be paying booth rental and of course using gas to get to the antique mall......but no other expenses.

no turning back

March 29th, 2006 at 06:57 pm

I did it. I sent off the last notice, so it's official.........I'm retiring from my job in June. I feel a huge surge of relief and only a tad of anxiety.

I won't NOT work, just not at the same job I've been doing for the last 33 years. (I can't believe it's been that long!!! I started when I was 6!!! HA!)

Life as I know it might change a bit....or I might decide to change it totally. Not feeling like I really have to pin it down at this point.

I would have liked a few more of the bills to be paid off prior to making this move, but timing is everything and if I didn't quit in June, there wasn't going to be a GOOD time.

I'm hoping some of my brain cells regenerate, living with autistic kids has taken a toll..........

favorite day of the week; Wednesday!!!

March 29th, 2006 at 07:30 am

I'm always so glad when Wednesday rolls around........it's cleaning day here at our place...and someone else does it!! There is nothing like having a totally clean house, all in one day...effortlessly! I do have to pay for the service, but it is well worth it. As one of the discussion questions tosses around, what do you consider Luxuries?? Well, this is definately one for me.

The benefits are so many,at least for me. We no longer purchase cleaning supplies, what I have on hand will last for years, plus we make most of our own anyway. Cheap, cheap, cheap. I can do other projects on cleaning day, getting way more done this way. And, having this gentleman help out weekly has put the household on a schedule where I'm not considered the one with the whip and the chair; making people tow the line and pick their stuff up. Now, when it is Tues night, people know if they want their areas cleaned, personal stuff needs to be picked up, handled, washed, whatever. I'm out of the loop and I get the clean house feeling too. Just can't beat Wednesdays around here!

Dinners done, will be serving what was on the menu last night and got pre empted by the Autistic Kid meets the Dry Cleaner Event we had yesterday.

So,that leaves me in the bookkeeper role again today. I hate, hate, hate income tax time. The only good thing I can find about the days I'm working on this project is my file cabinets are getting organized............and I love being organized. Music & coffee didn't even help yesterday.....I ended up with unexpected company and I was way too happy to put the many stacks of file folders on the back burner. Visited the day away and I'm no closer to having my ducks in a row to start faxing numbers in. Drat. It won't be so bad next year....is what I keep as my mantra here!! It won't be so bad, it won't be so bad.........................

something from nothing

March 28th, 2006 at 06:56 am

My favorite thing...........making something worthwhile from things that were going to be tossed. Today, I'll plant my seeds from the acorn squash I saved this winter. I don't have a greenhouse, so I'm starting these indoors; hopeful I will have a tangle of vines come harvest time......covered with acorn squash.

I finally found the seeds I had brought with me from the old garden; will have to wait a bit longer to plant directly outdoors, but there are a few more I can jump start inside. It looks nothing like spring here today however..........gray and drippy.

Just the kind of day to force myself to tackle the other file cabinet as I continue to search for files necessary for the tax project. 4 drawers to go, then I can start replacing the piles I've got everywhere. Some good music and a pot of coffee........I can be finished by this afternoon. An added bonus, when I get the project done, it should leave me more room in the new space for my sewing room to spread out.

Anxious to see the mock up for my ads today. More money out.........but I really can't spread the word adequately without paying for some real advertising. Spend $$ to make $$ it seems.

Giving Notice

March 27th, 2006 at 07:04 pm

I'm working my way up to giving notice and retiring from my job........been doing the same thing for 35 years now & I'm pooped. Too exhausted to think straight most nights. I sent off one email today, letting my respite worker know, then I have my clients mom, the agency I work for..........and then my client. Hoping to have them all notified by the end of this week. Feel crappy about doing it via email, but I can't do anything in person, as the client is always here. Can't use the phone, since he stands here and echo's everything I say when I try to use the phone.

As if I needed a push to quit, this afternoon was just awful here. Life without this kiddo will be absolutely heaven. Way less money to work with, but I'll manage........at least I'll have my wits about me.

Meeting with the newspaper folks tomorrow, to put an ad in re; my sewing/knitting business. Hoping to pick this up to full speed by June when the income takes a nose dive. Also meeting with a woman who answered my ad about renting a room here.....the thought of getting rent from an adult is a novel idea.........no care involved there!!! Each piece that fits together here is helping to offset the loss when the state paycheck stops. (feeling very motivated after the afternoon we had here)

Dinner from leftovers........bless the microwave!

Picked up my box of dishes from the Freecycle wanted ad.........Way nice, the woman said she would be getting me more, took pity on me I think, I had kids with me & must have looked desperate!

Went out for brunch with my mom, she paid too.......again.....She is really pushing me to quit this job and move in with her......telling me I wouldn't have to work at all. Decisions, decisions.
Drove, so I used gas & spent .83 cents on postage today, but it was a pretty cheap day all round.







I survived the exit interview

March 22nd, 2006 at 02:37 pm

It wasn't as bad as Fridays meeting, in fact, it seemed as though the inspector had a change of heart/attitude. She came across almost nice, and she corrected everything that she had initially found out of compliance. So, we're good to go. Thanks everyone, for the kind thoughts, they helped!!!

I did sneak in a 20 minute session on my treadmill today, a new habit I'm trying to add in to the days here.

Picked up a Dave Ramsey book Financial Peace at the library, anxious to thumb through it this week.

Heading to moms, will take gardening items, so I can bring home a van full of free plants.

Everything on one day

March 22nd, 2006 at 08:27 am

I've packed a weeks worth of things into today........so, taking a deep breath and diving in. It's cleaning day here, so I've already done my run around picking things up routine......before A. gets here to clean.

I've got armloads of paperwork to take to my appointment with my tax preparer this AM. (yuk) Hoping like anything, she estimated the $$$ right, when I asked her to guestimate how much I will need to pay in capitol gains tax. I've got it in a short term CD........I would love for that chunk to be enough.

After the tax appointment, I'll head home for my exit interview from the annual state inspection last Friday. Another YUK. Friday was so terrible, I can't imagine how I'll feel after todays event. 3 people are coming today....not just the inspector person. I can't wait to see what regulations I'm out of compliance with.........the group I got cited for on Friday were not mentioned in my license requirements. Anyway, I'm so far down my road of making a life change, I'm just going to sit at this meeting and try my hardest to keep my mouth shut. Contemplated knitting through the meeting........but will most likely just take notes.

After I've made it through the exit event, I'm taking myself & the dog and going to my moms to stay overnight. We have a new pact, with gas prices so high.......we're going to stay over & get more from a visit if possible, without spending more for gas. Going shopping with her for more new furniture for her remodeled house. Asked her if we could do meals at home, no spending, less calories.......so it should be a great couple of days. Hands down, I've got the greatest mom, we have such a good time together.

Hoping for enough time between tax meeting to dash through the library, return books and pick up the things on hold (finance something or other) and still have time to use the treadmill here for at least 20 min.

Looking forward to having today behind me, totally against all my live for the moment tapes in my head!!!

Treadmill Tally

March 21st, 2006 at 02:23 pm

OK, so I don't have any stairs to climb here.........can't possibly make any headway on the one step into the house at the front door! So, I'm going to start tracking my treadmill minutes here.... (I'm definately at minutes, not miles or half hours.....)

Today: 20 minutes!!! Yeah me! I got this treadmill on freecycle, so no money spent (wasted, if not used). But, I haven't started using it to hang clothes on yet.

Went to antique booth, still can't see any obvious holes where anything sizeable sold. Deposited money at the bank, found a branch of my bank just blocks from the antique mall. From now on, will group these two trips & walk between them instead of drive.

Used up a "found" sack of weed & feed from the previous owner ......on what could loosely be described as my front lawn. Some day it will be a lawn....
Took another handful of cuttings from the trimmings dumped in my front yard from the landscaping company; got them planted.....free shrubs!

Oh, so quiet here this week without my autistic young man. I'm getting to actually think about things; impossible to do with him here.

Turning off my water heaters when not in use has almost become a habit. Each time I add something like this to my day, I can almost see the money start to add up...........or not add up as the case may be.

Here's hoping I can make this treadmill deal with myself & actually get on the thing daily!!! Can't be that much harder than remembering to turn my water heaters off & on.


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