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Archive for September, 2006

I Have a New House!

October 1st, 2006 at 02:12 am

Well, not exactly...........but it looks so much better it's as good as a new house. I ended up spending a big chunk of money, but the whole place got done today, minus the trim I asked them to save for me to do, and my new front door. I love to paint, but I just knew I wasn't going to get to the whole house by myself. The remainder is do-able and it cut some time off the bid too.

I bought the extra paint from the contractor, so it was way cheaper than going to get it myself too.......another saving. I've got enough to do my 2 sheds and the new coop, along with the trim for the windows on the house.

So, the money is spent, but the feeling I have towards the house is my pay off. I think I might even get to like the place....Maybe???

The kids managed with all the windows taped up & not being able to go outside, I even got 3 sewing orders finished up.....the young couple that rented from us were here most of the day, cooking dinner (what a production; yummy, but a production!) The rock got dumped, spread and deposited where it was supposed to........and I'm totally pooped. And, the Navy got almost all the last minute details of the coop finished. (I do have to make some modifications for the chicks, I will have to hustle this week to get ready for them!)

Plus....I did do my walk this AM with one of the boys..... Managed to get laundry out prior to the house being wrapped in plastic so I've got clean sheets to dress my bed with; wonder if I can convince the kids to go to bed at 7:30-ish??? I'm certainly ready.

Feels like a productive day, even tho I did write checks for more money than I've spent on anything for me in the past year.
At least I spent it on something I will get years of pleasure out of........AND, I had the money put away so I'm only paying for it once.

Off to bed............. Hope I get the sheets on the bed before I fall asleep! Smile

Rocks, Coop, Kids & Paint.....

September 30th, 2006 at 03:10 pm

What a combination! Hope I can keep everything and everyone separated!

The load of gravel will be delivered this AM, some for the underground "fence" to keep critters out of the chickens' area and the rest will be spread on our nasty part of the driveway out back. I wasn't going to buy a couple wheelbarrow loads of gravel when it is cheaper by the truck, and goodness knows, I need about 6 more truckloads to finish our driveway and parking area. Today will finish the chicken fence project and inch forward on the driveway.

The Navy will be finishing up the coop today....supposedly there is a ribbon cutting ceremony planned for later today!

Boys here today; hoping to access them both on the gravel moving project.

And, just in case there isn't enough going on at the 'ranch', the painters are to show up & get the bulk of the house painted today. We have a dry day today, but rain in the forecast tomorrow.....hoping it holds out for us!

I hesitate to write it in black & white, but I walked this AM for the 3rd day in a row. Hoping I can keep this up!

Will be spending a big chunk of money today on the gravel, but that's it.

My Job's Done

September 29th, 2006 at 11:52 pm

My part time job officially ends tomorrow.....but the whole deal closed up shop today. At 3PM to be exact. I was on line checking email when I got home after classes today.......to find I had new clients to enter into the data base. Also a note re; some last minute changes I was to make to about 12 of the files.

I had time, so I started working on the list when I received the email about the data base shutting down at 3....I had only 12 minutes to go. I begged for a bit of time and finished at 3:09. Whew! I was a little cross eyed at first, trying to hurry. Because, of course........you all know what happens when one hurries?? I suddenly developed a case of several extra fingers and everyone that could, came to my door. (even a neighbor with their horse, wanting to borrow a pasture for a few hours!)

But, it's over, and I think I finished all that I could do. Certainly enough to warrant them paying me for Sept.

I managed to come up with a letter from a sort of supervisor person, got it emailed to the proper person (had to do that before Mon; got the request today) and I'm scheduled for an interview on Wed. (no location, no time yet)

Firmed up the parks & rec job, faxed all that paperwork in..........doubled the commitment to 2 classes, which will only be a whopping 4 hours; but it's a start with a totally new connection. I might be able to pull some private students from that pool too.

All in all..........a VERY busy day. We are feeling fogged in, as all the windows have been taped & plastic-ed for tomorrows paint job. I have 2 boys for the week end, I'm busy doing my impression of Betty Crocker as I type here.....cooking enough so I won't have to be in the kitchen much over the week end....... And, the last RV renter is being moved out. His surgery didn't go well, so he isn't able to come back here; so there are cars & trucks coming & going all the time.

It was a no spender & I even made some money today at knitting class!

Bonus Mail Day

September 29th, 2006 at 02:12 pm

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 09:36 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!!!)

A Delightful Break in Routine

September 28th, 2006 at 04:13 pm

It feels good to be home.........but I've had a 4 day break from the day to day routine here. Our little vacation was so easy, lots of fun and had the bonus of the wonderful weather Western WA is having lately.

Who knew I'd be sitting by the pool, lounging about at the end of Sept?? We actually got too warm a couple times!!

I did spend extra on gas this week, and I did pay for 2 nights accomodations, but both of those were expected expenses. I also left the deposit here for the painters. (the house has been washed and with our 0ver 80 degree days lately, I'm sure it has dried.....so painting should be commencing soon!!)

Today is a sewing day; customers lined up starting tomorrow..........so no money in or out today; but income on the horizon.

The part time recruiter job I've been doing all summer will be coming to an end on the 30th. I have been invited to submit my resume (a pretty dusty document) to the new agency that will be handling the clients for the state. The job description looks WAY more detailed, like it would be a full time affair, and no where is there a salary mentioned. Lots more travel, more meetings, more of everything..... I'm having 2nd and 3rd thoughts about even throwing my hat into the ring. I love the clients, but I love the ability to work the job around the rest of my life. Not sure I want to have my life have to work around this new job.
Need to decide quickly, as the interviews are supposed to be happening today & tomorrow.

Which brings up another point. The woman I was working for, has the director position now with the new agency. She isn't a very organized person & that has been hard for me to work with/for. Not sure if I want to step deeper into that situation.

Did hear from the agency that is interested in leasing property from me...we're setting up a meeting for next week. I have been searching out houses that would be appropriate; just to have info for the mtg. Can't reach my lender person, will try again. Interested to see if I could pull off purchasing something without selling anything; and leasing it for more than the cost of the payment, insurance & taxes as well as upkeep and repair. There will be some sort of fine line there as to how big the house is, what kind of license we can get, how much income we can generate for the size of the house, etc. Not being a math whiz, this sort of boggles my brain cells, but perhaps this is the route I need to go, not the recruiter route???

Life is such a series of questions, choices and crossroads isn't it? How I sort info, make decisions and move forward is just so interesting to me. My style has developed over the decades; I gather info and then sort of wait it out.......until something feels so right I can't NOT make a decision. I take risks, but they're well thought out risks!!! Smile

Unplugging for a Few Days

September 24th, 2006 at 04:00 pm

Heading out on my little vacation this afternoon. Taking my mom & her twin, as well as one of my disabled young men.... so, it isn't really a vacation, will still be working ..........but working in a different place. The change will be good, the drive should be gorgeous today (we're being blessed with a 73 degree day today, all blue sky....not typically Seattle, that's for sure)

Won't have phones, net or TV, which will be fun for me. I'll see how addicted I've become! Taking a small TV & VCR for the young man, as he gets a bit frustrated if things don't move as fast as he wants some times........so a disney movie on his TV should do the trick. That will give the rest of us some time to play cards, visit or get the meals on the table.

Will actually be a no spend day for me......I will even up with my mom later, & pay my share (or more) of the fees for our "camping" unit. Tomorrow I'll have to get gas, but the whole week will be pretty low key as far as money goes. We're a cheap bunch to entertain! Walks on the beach, a stop at Peace Arch park (a tradition for my kids .....to stand on the border) and we're pretty much taken care of.

My young man that is joining us is so excited he was up most of the night. When I got up to walk the dog at 4-ish, he was standing in the hallway, his room light on.......& he asked if I was happy! Smile He was beaming. Just getting to go with us again has made his year!!! And, he's making the dinner tonight. He is beside himself with that!

I set up all my bill payer items for the time that I'm gone; so everything will happen on time. I've had such a time with Washington Mutual bill payer the last few months, I'm crossing my fingers everything happens like I planned.

My house will still be full of people when I'm gone, that is one benefit to having others here. There is always someone to handle pets & get the mail. Smile I need to pack up my last minute things like a book and my knitting........then it's just waiting for my mom & aunt to show up; and we're off......

911- KNIT call

September 23rd, 2006 at 10:41 pm

Well, now I've gone on a bona fide knitting emergency call. I've always told my students to call me, as there are many occasions I can offer assistance over the phone if they didn't want to wait until the next class..........

But, my brand new student (of yesterday) had left a message saying she needed help...and when she called again this AM, she had something I couldn't guide her through on the phone. Her cat had attacked her knitting, and removed the needles.......then drug it around several rooms of her house. Needless to say, as a brand new knitter, she couldn't figure out what way was up, let alone get it going again. (and I had cast on for her, as I don't like to have brand new beginners cast on AND learn to knit the first lesson)

So, I packed up my knitting supplies and off I went.... She paid me for another lesson, as I did stay the whole hour. Knit her off a piece of my work, and left her with more practice yarn on her needles. She actually knit 5 or 6 rows while I was there.....with no more than 1 error per row, which isn't bad, considering how hard she has to work to knit. It's definately not coming easy for her.

But, it's a money in day for me, as she paid me for a months worth of lessons today. Nice. And, a new concept for me re; how to bill for classes.

I'm gathering up items for our "camping" trip tomorrow, clothes out on the line, pantry items grouped together in the kitchen and perishable food listed so I won't forget them. I'm only in charge of the meal for the first night and then the drinks for the 4 days....so it's super easy for me. My goal is for the disabled young man I'm taking with me, to make the dinner......so it's going to be prepped, & ready, he just needs to assemble and take the credit. I know we'll be hearing about the dinner menu for years to come; he will be so excited to have participated. This is for sure one of those things that doesn't cost much; but will end up being priceless. Way more fun for me than buying something, that's for certain.

I'm having a terrific day here, everyone on the property is getting along, most everyone is working their tail off and I can see items getting chalked off the master TO DO list here. Love days like this. Productivity; gotta love it.

Trading a Haircut for a Massage

September 23rd, 2006 at 12:47 pm

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.

New Student; Not Easy Money

September 23rd, 2006 at 02:37 am

Met with my new knitting student this AM and wow, will I ever be earning my money with her! She is not a quick study, fun but wow, I had to take each and every part of my movements apart with my hands to try to get her to do the same thing.

She warned me she was uncoordinated, but I was not prepared for this amount of disconnect between her brain and her fingers. Smile

By the time I got home this afternoon, she had already called here asking for more help!

I guess I can look at it as job security?? If she doesn't get discouraged & quit that is.

Gave a presentation for the other part time job, to potential foster parents.......still no word if that job is continuing. Stopped at the sewing machine store to get a couple parts for my old machine and got offered their teaching position there. Told him I would think on it, but I'd rather just do my classes solo & not hook up with a store. So, it's probably not going to be added to my numerous part time events I already have going.

Did spend money on my 2 parts for the machine, but will be able to make that back within a month I think. Both are parts I can't find, but know I had at the old house. So, it's a stupid expense in my book, but I was tired of having to make do.

Collecting House Painting Bids

September 22nd, 2006 at 03:01 pm

I met with my first potential house painter person last night.......before leaving for work; and I didn't faint, didn't even gasp.
In fact, I had to bite my tongue so I didn't just give him the job right then. His bid is WAY less than I was expecting(but then, I have no idea what I was expecting, since it has been decades since I had a house that needed painting).

$1700 for the whole place, including washing, all the paint and my outbuildings. I think that sounds like a bargain; since it would take me forever to do it myself....and truly, I'm pretty sure it would never get done, as the first step is definately ladder type work & that's not me these days.

Another person supposedly this AM, with another this evening. I called 5, and have appointments with these 3 already. Maybe I can get a decision made prior to leaving town on Sunday? We've only got a few weeks window here to get this project fit in before it will be icky, wet, cold, typical Seattle weather again.....so I need to be quick.

The house is so awful, there really is nowhere to go but better.........so I'm not too worried about the job. I will want to know what brand of paint is used, and how the surfaces are prepared, but that's about the most I need I think as far as info goes. I am getting very excited about this...... Can't tell you how bad this color makes me feel here. Anxious to get it done prior to starting off Year #2 at this place.

It's so nice to have a house fund for projects like this........and it's nice to see a bid that didn't knock me over with the estimate. Nice all round........and I'll end up with a color I know I already love. (using almost the same combo as my other house; why mess with a good thing?)

It will be interesting to see how the other bids come in. This first one was running a 15% off special, end of season deal......... I really didn't think of it on purpose, but this might be a pretty economical time to get the place painted. I know the rush season would be spring here....... Maybe I accidentally am "shopping" at the right time? What are the odds? Smile