Monday, January 21, 2019

Martin Luther King JR Day

So cold today.
Coldest day this winter.
A day of argument
and sadness.

I remember his legacy
It changed the course of my life.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

A well written blog post about the economy.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019


Travel commences soon.
Phoenix with grands in two weeks
Israel in two months
An island off of Boston and Niagara Falls this summer
Possibly Italy in the fall.

Workouts now include the shoes I will be wearing for long and short hikes.
My everyday shoes will work for regular days.
I've worn Sketcher Go Walks for 12 hours (and ten miles) at Disney World.
They will be in my suit case since they are so light.

Normally my back up relaxing shoes are my Teva flip flops.
They have been a part of the closet for ten years.
Good arch support.
Today my workout will include these instead.
Kyra Vent II.
Super light, with a back strap, they may take the flip flop place.
My greatest worry? Arch support.

 Several desert hikes are in place.
The Merrill Moab is light and flexible, but enough to hike in.
I've put about 50 miles on these so far and they are comfortable.
Best part, they have a wide toe box- no blisters!
I'll wear these on the plane.

Final is aqua socks.
They will go in my carry on.
When I slip off my Merrills, protection is still needed.
These are super light, have rubber bottoms
 and fit nicely in a large baggie (if the restroom is icky).

My Tevas are still calling me. After Phoenix, my plans may change.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

2019 goals


1) Travel to more then three places out of the ordinary
   One trip is planned
     Beginning to plan the October trip by the end of the month
      Still musing over the Christmas trip next year.

2) Visit the Maryland grands twice a month
      and the New York ones every other month.

       Feb is planned for New York already.

3) Get my packing down. Carry on instead of checking

4) Walk four days a week
    Took the doggie out today. By the time we passed three houses
she turned around and tugged to go home. At 11 (about 90 in dog years)
I gave her the leash and off we went

Tomorrow- no dog.

5) Swim twice a week through January, continue if the goal is met!

6) Moderation in all things for food.
Maybe I can shed a few more pounds as a side note.

7) Visit my mom three times in the year (UGGG-- I dislike Phoenix intensely- but I do love my mother, so I will go). First trip at the end of the month.

8) Begin planting my herb garden and learning how to dry the herbs I grow.

9) Have two no spending days a month- expanding to four.
     That grocery budget is driving me crazy

10) Spend pay raises on travel only.

11) Read, at least , two books a month.
 I am finishing The Road, the Rock and the Rabbi. Since it is a reference for our trip, it will stay on my Kindle.  Sister Queens was started this morning.  I'll continue finding biblical passages for research for places we will visit and incorporate that into my daily prayer.

12). Write, at least half, the historical fiction about my family since the 1600's
       Actually, I told my mom I would write about her father's family since the 1600's
       Herbert had been an orphan-placed on the orphan train to the West. I have done a ton of research and found  his family and how he ended up on his own. Then I tracked his mother's family back to pirates from England in the 1600's. The research is great reading---not sure if I can write it.  I promise, my real writing and phrasing is much better in a formal setting.

Twelve Goals.  All of them are very attainable. Wish me luck!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Wrapping up supplies and settling budget--WOO HOO 2019 is almost here!

Saving for year end sales are an important part of my budget
We actually delay about 40% of our shopping for this time of year.

During the Thanksgiving to Christmas sales 
Everyone landed a warm coat 
and some running or hiking shoes.
Oh yes, slippers as well this year.
My favorites are the Teva sales- flip flops are purchased for the summer. 
The budget also called for some new long undies- 
which were on sale for the cheapest in a long time.

Our favorite Spice House had  great sales.
Ready for another spicy year!

And then there are the "other things":
Holiday paper plates for $.50 for 24.
Snowmen, Hollyberry
Wrapping paper  7 rolls for $5.
Four rolls for the year and three new Christmas wraps
Stickers for the presents and ribbon--all together $1.
All the Christmas things are in storage for next year.

Two strands of solar "Christmas lights" $6.
They already adorn my back porch, which has been sorely missing solar light.
My garden is full of it.

Zip lock quart freezer bags box of 19 for $.50
Zip lock 38 sandwich freezer $.50

Cake mix $.25
The extra sugar and flour that the store purchased should be on sale tomorrow. It was marked half just before Christmas, and it will go down half  again. 

Ham broth and beef broth made and canned from 
 the bones of the Christmas dinners.
Ham and bean soup in my close future.

Tonight was my reconciling of the budget and planning for next year.
We were up in most areas,
 but that is not surprising since we did not travel as much this year.
Electricity and Propane were up about 5%.
Telecommunications is up about 15%- WE will work on that.
Kindle buying was up about 15%- 
the library will be reintroduced to our cards on Monday.

Gasoline use and car items were about 10% more
Groceries were up about 25%
BUT, our restaurant budget was hardly used. 
They did not offset, but it is close. 
Still, being careful this coming year so we can enjoy the trips we are taking.

Savings, surprisingly, was also up about 5%. That works.
It certainly wasn't from the market- which ended our year almost flat.
Tonight we were laughing that we actually made more on cash back from our card
then we did from the interest on our savings!
Taxes were DOWN! Excellent. 
Not changing the budget yet,
Trust is an issue with me.

Last, hotels seem to be having a war
which helps me with 
my next trip to see my mom.

Wish I had time/money/inclination to go to Hawaii right now
Those deals are AMAZING!

Heading to the beach to see the fireworks
and then home to start 2019 on a solid budget!

Hope your end of year is just as thrilling as mine.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Hands and Feet

The canned goods trickle in slowly,
Sometimes the pantry buys the food from the state food bank
with money that is donated.
At this time of year larger pieces of meat are donated
when  the word is put out.

There are two men- in their 70's.
They drive to two different stores and
get day old bread and
left over produce and meat.

At first our tithe was a dozen eggs to each family
You know a dozen eggs is cheap- but it is a full protein.
Next we added butter and cheese.

The Samaritans serve between 10-18 families a week.
If a homeless person wanders by, they are served as well.
About 2500 people in 2018.

Yesterday the Church had enough to give out
a turkey, cookies from the Scouts and another group, butter, eggs and
all of the canned goods that make up a Christmas dinner.
We do Thanksgiving, Christmas and have thought seriously about Eid next year.
There is no religious screening.
Yesterday there were 90 families

We also packed cans for two other parishes .
Their ministers took the canned goods and bagged for themselves.
Then we sent of several hundred
small cans of things
to be given on the street in the next few days.

At first I questioned, in my normal nature,
if we had enough.
Maybe we should limit.
But a person who has worked this collection for years
said, "We are hands and feet. The amount will be just enough."
And it was.

Normally, I do not go outside when people get the food bags.
I prefer the stocking room
where we decide what is going to be given
by judging what we have.
Yesterday I went out once  or twice.
There were hugs and tears and thank you in many languages.
We all knew those thank you's were for those who let us
be their hands and feet.

I am not saying this for glory.
In no way.
But, if you are reading this,
if you have the ability,
remember that even one good can of food
can help someone.
You may have to just stop by a Church to put it in a basket in the back.
You could just stop at a local shelter
and put it on a step.
Someone will get it.

They may be a drug addict.
They may be just out of jail.
They may not be able to hold a job.
They may be undocumented and get severely underpaid.
They may have a job that does not stretch far enough.

It does not matter.

For YOU can help carry them
and be the hands and feet.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

The market? What In the Heck?

We have followed the Stock Market for a very long time.
Usually we get out at the first whiff of smoke.
This time we did not.
I am doing OK at this point.
Enough of my stocks are up to balance the down
but that will not hold if we keep playing this game.
My husband, OTOH, is a mess.

Gnashing teeth and stating he should have gotten out two weeks ago
and he should have
because his IRA is in the toilet.

We think we will just ride it down now.
Not a fun ride.
He has about 20 months before he has to begin to liquidate
because of forced withdrawals.
I cannot remember, did that get changed?
Fortunately I recharaterized a bunch of his money from
Traditional to Roth two- five years ago.
His traditional is so low because of the market.
It may be rolled this year.
I'd better hurry up- the roll has to happen before the 31st.

My savings is mostly in cash/CDs.
Where it has been for a long time
Making 2 cents in interest
but it is safe-
well, safe enough for me to sleep.
I am still heavy traditional.
Four years before Social Security for me.
The intension is to roll just enough to keep us in our current tax bracket.
If the taxes go back to the old brackets and deductions
It will be a problem.
People in Congress, just make up your minds
I am not rich and need to plan!

It is the best Christmas season in the last 10 years.
We are in a trade war, but any yoo hoo should be able to see that
we will be much better off when we control our own
market destiny again
and are not held hostage to China.
(I have been saying this since we lived in China many moons ago.)

We are going to pay more for things.
The new trade agreement with Mexico insists that half the workers get paid a living wage
what a concept. Help to raise our border country from poverty!
Canada can no longer log out BC and sake the wood to us at half price
while we are trying to be sustainable in forestry.
Yup-it is going to cost more--but we can handle it.
That does not explain why the market is crazy.

We are getting out of foreign wars,
closing overseas bases,
& cutting the number of long term people in defense.
 Government jobs are slowly being culled and turning them over to
state or private sector.

I just don't get it!
OK- I know this is more political then I normally like
but it is what it is
and I just don't get
why the stock market is tanking.