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May 29th, 2020 at 03:27 pm
It's a time of discovery. A time to create the new lives we want to live! Despite not being able to garden IN our postage size yard, I did meet my desire to plant some food this spring. I am growing, sweet peppers, basil and a patio tomato plant. I also stuck the end of celery in one of my pots to see what happens. I may not do it right, but I'm trying! I have grown tomatoes before, just not in a pot. The basil is growing fast and it's a bit hard to keep up. However, today I will make pesto. I used some of the basil in this dish
and really liked it. My daughter who had never had eggplant before liked it as well.
At the beginning of the year I started sprouting broccoli sprouts on our counter in jars. So very easy!! In just a few days a tablespoon of seeds equals about 1.5 cups of sprouts. I make one batch about every ten days, putting them in my salads at lunch every day. Broccoli sprouts are very healthy for you!
I also started composting some of our food scraps in a bin after watching a woman do it on YouTube. This also might not work out, but we learn and try from doing things. I know I will improve. I already had gnats, but seem to have killed them with boiling water. I have been on the search for more 'brown' matter around to create a better balance in the compost.
I have a friend who started making her own kombucha a couple months ago. She doesn't live nearby so I have not tried it, but she is loving it! A little investment upfront, but will actually save her money in the long run and she says it tastes so much better than store bought. I may try this at some point as well. I might try fermenting my own sauerkraut next, or making sourdough starter. Or both! My daughter loves mushrooms so I'm considering buying her a grow kit for her birthday in July!
Has anyone made something fermented? Did you start growing anything recently that you had never tried before? What new thing have you tried lately?
May 27th, 2020 at 03:55 pm
My husband is out of town for work. He finally had two days off in a row on Saturday and Sunday, but worked Monday (Memorial Day) Strange times we are in, where the time off happens away from the family. But this is really like a deployment for many, so I have to look at it through that lens and be thankful that most days I have been able to see him.
They gave him the option of flying or driving to the destination. He could also have rented a car. He decided to drive his truck, which then prompted us to get some maintenance done that we knew was going to be needed soon. He got four new tires, rear brakes, brake fluid flushed and an alignment for about $1300.
The destination is about 900 miles each way. Mileage is paid at 57.5 cents per mile. This will give us a payment for about $1,035. I think we will bank this money in our Pot of Possibilities once it arrives. We had already been saving for the maintenance and that account is still flush with funds.
Don't worry planning for the second wave is happening, as is planning for hurricane relief in the age of CV. My husband, along with his team, have submitted these plans to higher ups multiple times. There are so many inefficiencies in government, so frustrating to observe. The Army Reserves is rarely deployed on the homeland, so a whole new era of responsibility.
My husband IS on the promotion list for Lieutenant Colonel. Now we wait for orders to make it official. It may take 6 months to get those, as only so many are processed and approved each month. We are grateful for increasing income and feel very blessed to have employment in a time when many others do not.
And on a completely different note, I'm buying a slightly used Crockpot today for $20. The one I had from our wedding (24 years) ago went out around Christmas. I have been pondering an Instant Pot, but haven't found the right price. So a crockpot it is for now. I have a lot of dried beans I have been putting off making because of it. Yes, I know I can use the stove and a pot, but I'm so used to the CrockPot! I am excited.
May 24th, 2020 at 05:20 pm
I know many of you reading are regulars and for the most part I think you are all still employed. However, if there is anyone out there who has lost their employment, or has reduced hours I want you to know about the four walls that can keep you fed and in your home for as long as possible.here.
The Four Walls is part of Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. There are six additional baby steps, but first you must take care of your four walls before you pay anyone else.
May 23rd, 2020 at 12:59 pm
We have our auto insurance through USAA. We have three cars on our policy. Just like many of you we received a credit recently because fewer people are on the road, less risk, ect. That first credit was $97.45.
We were notified this week we are receiving another one month credit, specifically 20% of what is equal to one month premium. For us that is $46.39.
Our six month premium was due May 4, so the first credit did reduce our payment owed. Now we have this credit, so I assume it will get refunded to our checking account. Or maybe it will just sit there until our next insurance payment is due. I should look into the specifics.
I am going to put these credits into our Pot of Possibilities, so they can do their magic. 😀
Are you getting another return of your auto insurance premium?
May 19th, 2020 at 02:49 pm
A few credit card rewards have been tossed into the Pot of Possibilities this month. I usually report these at the end of the month and I will again at the end of May. But it's kind of fun to write about tossing them into our new pot!
Chase Freedom $49.38
US Bank $12.32
American Express $52.86
That is $114.56 into the pot in addition to our two monthly contributions of $260 each. These happen on payday.
Next month I'm increasing the two monthly contribution to $310 each because we are discontinuing giving our oldest daughter her monthly allowance, which was $100 per month.
Looks like my husband is traveling for work and will be gone about two weeks. I expect there will be some per diem money that we can save in June after his expenses are submitted.
The Pot is growing!
May 10th, 2020 at 12:59 am
In my last blog post, I mentioned the need to change the name of what I have been referring to as our Big Goal for the last couple years, which was originally started as a house downpayment goal for our next home, potentially four years from now when my husband retires. Sooner if we love the next place we get stationed with the military.
The new name needed to have a more positive vibration, as I was starting to feel like Big Goal sounded like something unattainable or just really hard to do. I think how we feel about something can affect the outcome.
As you can tell, I have taken several days to consider some ideas that came out in a couple brainstorming sessions. We have decided not to attach a specific number to this name or goal. Of course,I will always know what our original amount was, but I'm not going to track that as an end goal.
The new name for this cash accumulation is the Pot of Possibilities!! I have this image in my mind that I will throw various amounts into the pot and that numerous possibilities can be created with those funds. It may be a pot that allows for a house, or maybe a house AND something else. It's the seed money in some respects to the new life we begin to create when retirement comes around. Oh, the possibilities!
May 1st, 2020 at 03:12 pm
(Multiple posts today...check them out!)
I just reported on our Big Goal progress for April. We are very close to the milestone of $75K. I have been thinking for awhile about changing the name of our goal. There is a bit of a negative connotation to the term 'big goal' almost implying that it is unattainable or that it would take a miracle to reach. I truly want to believe that it is possible, so I need a new name. I don't know what it is, but if anyone wants to make a suggestion I'm sure open to ideas. The money was originally intended as a downpayment on our next house, so it could be home related. But in these unknown times I simply see it as cash that can be used to sustain us in the hard times. But again the term I use has to have a positive vibration to it. Because I know things are going to work out and this is an attainable goal. I'm also open to not having a number attached, because of course, if more is supposed to come our way it will!
I might also be hurting ourselves by not throwing every penny toward the goal. I did not include the stimulus money in the goal, or any housing refunds, or the money we were able to save this money simply by not being as active in the retail world or driving as much (specifically able to set aside $1,030.24!)
I have a feeling that health and sustainability are going to be big lessons for many of us in the coming years. We actually just had a power outage of 21 hours this week. I was grateful once again to the neighbor who let us hook to their generator for our fridge and to charge our devices (our daughter was trying to still do homework!) I think sharing in that way is beautiful, but I also think some self reliance is important too. We may be using some (or all) of our stimulus money to buy some things that help us be more self reliant, such as a generator or a camping stove. We may also use money to invest in more glass food containers, or having a bigger stockpile of foods on hand. I don't have it all figured out, but it seems like that investment may be helpful in addition to keeping cash.
In another note, I'm glad we don't eat a lot of meat or dairy. We do use some and it would be missed, but we are able to live without it. I do find it sad for the farmers who are forced (or choose) to kill their livestock before getting it to market. So many repercussions of the actions taken. But again I believe this will all work out. It will be bumpy for awhile, but we will collectively come to a better way of living in the world that is sustainable and healthier for everyone. We all want health and vibrancy and our natural world can provide it! We just have to come back into balance.
May you be well. May you be happy. 🦋
May 1st, 2020 at 02:51 pm
We make automatic deposits to our money market savings account each pay period! For nearly a year I had been directing extra funds to paying ourselves back for the downpayment on our daughter's car. This month I can add those to the Big Goal progress!
April Big Goal Additions
Paycheck 4/1 $260
Paycheck 4/15 $260
Total Interest $156.31
US Bank $12.33
Chase Rewards $3.35
Amex Rewards $66.92
Swagbucks (Paypal) $10
Ebay Sales $7.46
Utility Refund $35.18
April Total $811.55
YTD Total $2,880.99
New Big Goal Total $74,964.92
Goal is $200,000. We are at 37.48% of goal. I celebrate every deposit and every milestone on the way there!
May 1st, 2020 at 02:38 pm
I'm a little frustrated as I thought I could open a new NFCU CD and add to it. I did apply to start it off with a $1000 that we have there, but now I find out that I was wrong. We cannot add to this particular CD. I'm going to try to cancel it as it is still in the application process. Worse case we have a small CD! I just like all things neat and tidy, but at least it would be earning more than it had been.
Here's the interest we earned on our cash savings last month:
All interest is saved towards our Big Goal.
May 1st, 2020 at 02:30 pm
The VA finally made their payment for our oldest daughter's tuition this semester. She had 18 days of benefits. The school usually estimates the amount they expect to receive and bills us for the remainder. This semester they underestimated the amount by over $1000! The actual amount they were off by was $1,129.72.
We have received that money back in our checking account, along with her refund of her parking permit which was $94. Her housing refund was $953.79. In total she has received $2,177.51. This is such good news, since she did take out loans this last year totalling $5,500. That will be a significant amount to put towards the balance. It is interesting how things work out sometimes.
She has had one interview, by Zoom, but the person interviewing seemed to be giving advice than trying to hire, specifically telling her she didn't have enough experience. So odd, as you would think the interviewer could read that this is a college graduate. She probably has more experience than some new graphic design grads, as she has been working on campus doing design for four years and has almost completed a year long internship. Of course, there are more experience people who have been in the workforce for awhile. Just still odd she even had the interview in the first place! I know she will find her path and a job eventually. She is blessed that both her part time jobs are allowing her to continue until she finds full time work.
My husband should know very soon if he is on the promotion list. It would be shocking if he was not. Last year we were hopefully, but knew it would be ahead of schedule. This year he would have to be failing considerably on all metrics to not get the promotion. It's simply his year to be promoted if that makes sense. We don't know how quickly it will be effective with all that is going on, but hopefully sooner than later.
April 28th, 2020 at 01:36 am
It's a message that is missing from this conversation. Our individual health matters much more than the actions of others around us. I welcome the opportunity to be part of those that get the virus to create community immunity. My husband thinks he had it in the middle of February, and if so, I did not come down with anything after being exposed.
May you all be well!
April 14th, 2020 at 02:30 pm
The stimulus money is pending in our account. We are getting $2,400. Our children are over 17, so we do not get, nor do we need the extra $500 per child. We do not even need the $2,400.
We have not made any decisions on this money. I think I'm waiting to see how this plays out a bit. I do think it will get spent in some form or another, which is the point. I have quite a few ideas of things we could invest in to make us more self reliant, but may need to help our daughter or some nieces and nephews.
Our oldest daughter is close to freaking out about graduation and not finding a job. Job postings are minimal. She is looking in multiple states. There is one that is more local that I really want her to get. No word on that yet, and I could see it be a situation where they may be on a hiring freeze. She does have an internship that started back up this week online. She was asked when she graduates and when she said in a couple weeks, he said she can stay on after graduation until she finds another job. That would be really great, although if they go back to in person, could create a housing issue. As it is now she is living 45 minutes away from work with my parents, but they still might work for her. This organization is also in a hiring freeze, so not being able to replace her would be noticeable. This organization also paid her four weeks when they closed down and she didn't work at all.❤️