Sunday, June 27, 2010

No zoom needed

The visitor outside our front window
what we were doing behind the glass!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Pieces coming together

Wandering through a saw mill today
we agreed on a walnut plank for
our son's sword.
The grain weaves an intricate pattern, like his life.
Leadership is strong and swift,
as is his sword.
We are glad we can provide it a solid background.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Day three

Changing lifestyles

Third day without a soda.
The worst headache I have had in quite a while.
Second week of a daily walk.
The dogs and I are feeling much better every morning.
Fourth day of class.
This class is kicking me to the curb with the amount of work.
Almost ready for daily tracking of spending.
I am not sure how any of us will enjoy living on a budget
especially the travel budget!
Welcome changes.
It is worth it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Technology and the classroom

The class that is consuming me for the next two weeks deals with technology in the classroom. Being literate in society.
The ethics and truth of things.
The question comes...who chooses the ethics and the truth in the modern classroom.
We are so busy being tolerant, the line of truth gets blurred.
The class is going over some amazing things, but those things are here now and we have to deal with them head on!

Thomas More

There has always been a place in my heart for Thomas More. Decision to defend something intangible is a trial within itself. Standing up to an authority when you know their decision could take your position, your life.
More is the Saint of Lawyers, but I wonder how many lawyers these days would do as he did. Would they really follow the example and stand up even if it were their own life that they would give?
What is the example for me?

Monday, June 21, 2010

The rain does come

Nightly, the rain blows in. The trees act as if they are tiny twigs- snagging, twisting and breaking. Grass lays down so the river of water can reach the ravine without hesitation. Darkness of the night is only broken by the small solar lights on the porch. The small dog huddles next to my husband as the big dog grunts that she is not allowed on the bed. She tries to fit under, but alas her head is the only part that will fit.
I slip out of bed to watch the play. Standing behind a large window, the same one that brings the outdoors in to me daily, it feels so surreal.
Wild fires on the mountains in Flagstaff filled the front window of our old house. Typhoons out the window in Hong Kong. Sandstorms in Saudi. Storm view have been a part of my adulthood. Maybe I choose to view because I could never see the storm coming or be safe in a storm in my childhood.
The storm will pass and sleep will overtake once again. Safe. Home.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A ledger

On July 1 we will begin to ledger our spending. Our last regular paycheck is on 19 July and it will be put in designated places to cushion the beginnings of separate savings categories for different expenses.

There is a breakdown of larger categories within my spreadsheet. The major areas are: taxes and insurances, utilities, groceries, allowances, gasoline, everything else.

"Allowances" breaks down into areas that we don't track as well: minor travel, small house repair and personal spending(clothing, snacks, new power tools). We found when we tracked those things carefully, it caused more problems than it helped. We let little things slide and found little joy in never having money for the newest book we were anxious to have. Later we may track those more if there needs to be more savings.
"Everything else" are those expenses we know that come up, and need to be planned for. Those things include: car maintenance, pest control, vet bills, tractor repair, college, and presents, etc.

It looks to me that we will have a wash on retirement income and expenses. We shall see!

The most difficult part of living on a budget is spending money only in the places you decide it is desirable to spend. There is a thought by some of my extended family that we have much more money than we actually do. When we choose to spend on something (like my mother's 80th birthday) we have saved for a year to do it. Same with visiting the kids. When other little things come up and we say, "We cannot afford to do that" there is a snicker and a sneer that we are simply being cheap.
Trying to get past that is one of the largest challenges of my life.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Opening doors

One of my oldest friends, Mindy, is opening an art studio on line. This music video was one she posted. It so fits both of us.
Decompression comes slowly.
Creativity needs room to expand into.