Sunday, July 31, 2011
Saturday, July 30, 2011
I did not know really what I was getting myself into, all I knew is that MiB needed to work at the office and my Saturday options consisted of hanging out in the TLF by myself doing laundry or exploring on my own, neither of which really had much appeal. I got this email soliciting help for the "Maggie Brigade" and thought, why not? You know I should have known it was a little more then routine helping since the email suggested you to bring your own cleaning supplies and rubber gloves!
Friday, July 29, 2011
So anyway I have many thoughts on and about money but it's not a topic of conversation for me, usually, but lately it's been in the topics of conversations I have been on the fringe of...I am just going to tell you right now we are a one income family BY CHOICE, we are not in debt, we buy cars without a payment plan, we have retirement accounts, we do not live paycheck to paycheck, we tithe, we save and we are by no means destitute but we are not what I would consider wealthy. I like to think we do all right. How much we make is no secret, it is readily available published information, my husband is in the military and that's just how that works. We have always tried to live within our means, we budget, we save, we do without, we have had PBJ months so that we can do other things, it's never been a problem, I think we managed well.
Anyway, I am hearing about people who are struggling, who are losing their homes, who are losing their cars...I'm blown away by the number of folks who are walking away from "things" they cannot afford that I consider basic necessities (homes). They don't even look back...there are a couple things I "notice" about the ones sharing this...
WARNING: THESE NEXT FEW STATEMENTS COULD BE CONSIDERED JUDGMENTAL...continue reading at your own risk.
So you are losing your house and you still have a state of the art cell phone...yeah, okay.
You are letting your house go back and you have acrylic/gel nails and you just had a pedicure...
You are going to walk away from a home that was too expensive to begin with...
Your house is being foreclosed on and you just spent $400.00 on a COACH bag...
Are you getting the picture? It's crystal clear to me and yet the ones in this situation seem to want sympathy...no, I don't think so. I'm old school, I think you tighten your belt and take care of your business. Give up some of your "necessities" to take care of the real bills, get rid of extras to take care of basics.
It was only nearly three years ago that we have switched from prepaid (read that TRACFONE) cell phones to contract phones and that was only due to some unique aspects and giving up the landline that we decided to do that. We do not and have not had cable TV since we have been married with the exception of our stint in COS, CO when we lived at the base of the mountains and could not get rabbit ear reception. We had dial up internet until we lived in Italy and only DSL was available. We don't eat steak at home and rarely out either, we drive new to us cars and we pay cash for them. I am not bragging here, I am telling you that this is how we roll, we don't buy it if we can't afford it, we don't have the latest gadgets nor do we long for them. Living is not about having stuff and having stuff is not living in our world. We are pleased with our life, it works for us.
Find out what works for you and start making changes to have more money then month, to be free to help others, to find happiness not in a dollar figure. I think everyone has dreams, I do, I dream of a simpler life with less. I want less stuff, less distraction, less busyness and the sad thing is I already have less of each of these things if you compare me to someone else in my socioeconomic situation and that is scary!
When MiB retires we are considering lots of options, one of those is a nomadic lifestyle. Sounds nuts and somewhat off the wall but if you know us very well that's not so hard to picture us doing it and I think we could do it, seriously! We have a while to decide but with careful planning and not having the debt monster eating at our heels and if we really think it's what we are supposed to do we know it's possible.
I hope if you have financial issues you are taking an active role in figuring ways to solve them, that you are seeking guidance and making a way to get into a better place. I like this guy and I think he gives solid advice if you are needing/wanting some direction.
My personal favorites on being better with your money are
- Have goals!
- Live below your means...always!
- Save and pay cash, it's very rewarding!!!!
- FREE is good, do free things and be happy about it!
- Eat meatless one or more nights per week (or try the vegetarian lifestyle)
- Shop as a necessity not for recreation; don't shop with friends, you spend more!
Another good read and I try to get this into the hands of young people is The Wealthy Barber. It's a really, solid easy to understand book. I snag copies on ebay and half.com fairly cheaply and have also picked it up in used bookshops. MiB keeps copies in his office to hand, sometimes the copies come back sometimes they don't. It's a good read!
You know you can do it...so save some bucks, pay cash, live large with little it's an amazing thing to do and feel! I know we are truly blessed, we have abundantly more then we need, we are wealthy beyond understanding; it's a contentment that we found not in the monetary system of our society but in an eternity system within our beliefs. God is good and he is the source of our true wealth and everlasting life that he freely gave to us and we accepted it. Wow, what more could one really ask for?
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Another BIG D has hit our family. I have to say in all honesty I had a feeling this day was going to come, in fact, I am surprised that the marriage lasted as long as it did. I recall perfectly the night we got the phone call letting us know that he was getting married...MiB and I both looked at each other and said many prayers that night before going to bed. Honestly, we prayed for something to prevent it from happening cause we both felt it wasn't right.
It was a "rush job" in our opinion (and NO there was not a baby on the way, that's a whole other issue), a decision being made on not such good reasoning. I won't go into that, it's not really my story to tell, but suffice to say MiB and I had our doubts. It's never good to have the "I told you so" card on your side, but there was a solid talk before the wedding took place, he knew he should have never walked the aisle that afternoon and he did it anyway. So here we are some nearly 14 years later and he is walking down the aisle again today! Only this time it is to the judges bench in a courtroom where the gavel will bang down and what was will no longer be. A shame really, due to many, many reasons, many reasons if I so wanted I could probably make a case for ending my very own marriage..if I wanted to be that selfish. Yes, seriously, I think I could have a case for divorcing if I had that mindset. My MiB takes after his dad and some of those characteristics aren't that flattering and we live a military life of lots of stress and separation but thankfully, we worked through this, we come up with ways to love each other unconditionally, to think positive, to not dwell on all the negative. I have my own set of faults in this too! People, there are NO PERFECT PEOPLE, well, excuse me, there was one...you do know what happened to him? Yeah, it wasn't pretty...
So anyway I could go on and on and on, on this, but let me start wrapping up by saying this, I mean if you are still reading to this point I want to say something more encouraging on marriage! Your marriage should be NUMBER ONE! It should be your primary area of concerns, you should be focusing on it ALWAYS. Guard it with your life, make it your goal to make good decisions regarding your marriage, your home. There are people out there who would love to be in your shoes, they will do for your spouse what you do not, they will gladly step in so guard your marriage with your life! If you have children, they are very important but your marriage is more important. I believe the greatest thing we have given LilBlue is our example of marriage and while not perfect she has witnessed give and take, unconditional love between us, working out issues and romance.
As I said I could sooooo go on and on and say sooooo many more things, not even it was his fault, it was her fault things, they both had faults! Trust ME on this one!!! However, the nuts and bolts of it are this: a marriage is over, and like I said they both had their shortcomings, we all do, but seriously there could have been resolution if had been wanted; there could have been happiness many moons ago had there been more of an honest partnership, if you get married it shouldn't be an adversarial atmosphere, your spouse is NOT the enemy. And I think God should play a big role...you should be in it together and for the long haul.
It saddens me to think that people who choose divorce think God is in it and is blessing the mess they made of His holy institution, I mean, really? Are you kidding me? God ain't proud of you...does he still love you? Yes, but he is grieved and unhappy with your choices.
God is not happy about divorce, PERIOD. You can be excited, happy, sad, mad whatever, but rest assured GOD HATES DIVORCE and people who let their marriage go are selfish, self centered, egotistical, disobedient, irresponsible and a whole host of other things that could make your blood pressure rise if it hasn't already... and I hate divorce, too. My parents were divorced, I hated that! I have issues with divorce (not divorced people but divorce, there IS a difference) in case you didn't pick up on that. And if you don't like my stance sorry, it's MY BLOG, I can say pretty much whatever I want cause again, it's my blog to voice my life and things that happen within my life.
My dad did not want a divorce, G did not want a divorce, it stinks to go through this as one of the parties getting the divorce who didn't want it, but let me tell you it royally stunk to be the kid going through it as well. Thankfully, there were no children born into this union; however, their are two that came with the marriage who are now grown and unfortunately screwing up their own lives and those of their children....boundaries people, boundaries. It is my belief that had solid partnership parenting been involved in the rearing of these two you would see a difference in their lives but again that didn't happen and now the result of this is playing out. It isn't pretty from what little I know and the shame of it is the children are now going to be the product of this same type of unhealthy, adversarial environment.
I am going to get off this topic now, it's a downer and again, if I offended you, well...I am sorry for that, I think that stinks, but I make the posts on here and this is how I feel and how I see it and so it is what it is. Tomorrow will be a new day..
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
We started at CVS, went on to Fred's, BigLots, Michael's and Albertson's before we finally scored at K-Mart. And it was in a spray bottle. And it was $5.99! I was stunned for many reasons.
Michael's usually has the small bottle which last a long time. They didn't even have a place on the shelf for it. To BigLots credit they had "Goof Off" but I just wasn't sure...the other stores didn't have it nor did their help have any idea what it was or where to find it!
Maybe people here in LA don't have sticky situations...maybe they leave their sticky things alone or maybe they use some other wonderful product to take care of their sticky issues. I really don't know but I do know I am a GooGone fan and glad we finally found it!
Enjoy your day and don't take GooGone availability for granted it's not just everywhere you know!!!
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
The first week has been a wide spectrum of events, thoughts and experiences. From a memorial service to a impromptu dinner with the boss and leadership, it's been ALL GOOD. The 2nd seems happy to have us and we are definitely happy to be here. The leadership team is a good group and at first look we will mesh well. that is a great feeling!
We are still in billeting and will be for several weeks to come as we work out the housing and wait to receive our household goods, which have been in storage for, oh say the past 16 months. I have to admit I am getting a little excited to get "our stuff" and get in a house and get settled in. I wasn't really feeling like I had missed my things until MiB returned. Now I have him I am also ready to have our things and get back into the swing of living together amongst our stuff!!!
It has been great to have a kitchenette and actually fix meals this past week. And while they have not been elaborate meals they are still "real food" as MiB puts it and he has enjoyed my cooking...I laugh cause I have definitely put food on the table so to speak but don't at all feel like I am "cooking" for him. I have very limited supplies to work with both food wise and dish/serving/prep/cooking ware. It's laughable really, but fun!
Hope your week is going good, life is good here and we are living the dream in LA!
Thursday, July 21, 2011
This morning I went to PWOC...it's been awhile since I have been involved with PWOC but that didn't change the fact that we were all military spouses who find having a relationship with Christ makes our life more complete. I immediately felt at home and even though I hung back and didn't jump right in on the study discussion I could have! Next week a potluck :)
- Being new, is never easy...
- A smiling face is ALWAYS welcome!
- Farmer's Market on Saturday, woohoo!
- It's real hot here in LA, like REAL H.O.T!
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Hard Start followed the morning of briefings as we attended the funeral for a young Airmen this afternoon. Airman Kyle Schunk lost his life a few days back in a motorcycle accident. It is never easy to attend events like this especially when it is a young person. I do not know all the details surrounding the event and I do not need to know them; what I do know is that it is a tragedy for this family. They are grieving, they are still in disbelief. The Barksdale family has done an excellent job of reaching out to this family. The service was well attended and thoughtfully done, it honored as well as celebrated the life of Amn Schunk. His family was thankful for those who came to the memorial service, they were grateful for the reception held after wards, they were glad that their son's life was recognized and celebrated.
Amn Shunk was just a couple years older then our own LilBlue...it makes me even more thankful for my own when I attend events like this. In an instant this young man is no longer with us, we do not understand it but I trust that He who created me and this young man does. I know that I trust in the one with the master plan, to that I cling...
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Monday, July 18, 2011
What I did enjoy was seeing all the fresh produce stands and had I been going to a place where I could use it I would have had me some fresh produce. What I didn't enjoy was the incredible range of gasoline prices. It was really odd and made no sense. In MO where we started out it was $3.50, just south was 3.59 which was unusual because usually it is cheaper south of us. Then at the state line of AR and MO it dropped to $3.43 (we gassed up!), further into AR it got up to 3.84 a gallon :( Here in LA it is $3.55 but it was cheaper before we got into the Shreveport area. I tell you it is weird!!!!
So we have driven the base with what daylight we had, it's pretty neat, lots of history, a great airpark, lots of neat stuff to look at. We think we found the house we will live in, it is East of the main base so there is a commute involved even though it is base housing. There is a shopette out there along with tennis courts and a pool so it will be nice. I'm not really sure when we will know what the dealio is but hopefully we will be in something by Labor Day!
It will be a full day tomorrow so I'm signing off...
Saturday, July 16, 2011
|Dakota and Lil'Blue|
After messing around in the heat, we were all hungry so off to town in search of food we went. Blue Iguana got our business and it was tasty, I ate too much but man it was really good! Everyone enjoyed a little ride before heading back to the farm. After a a quick 35 minute power nap we were all ready to go to the livestock sale at the VCYF. We had hoped to bring home a goat, but the one we wanted was not for sale...probably best, we didn't really need a goat anyway!
Ummm, I hate to admit it but we went for ice cream AGAIN. Yes, my 6#s are back with a vengeance...I just pray that when we get to LA I can get back into the exercise routine and get back on track with eating healthy. It's really been a challenge with all the traveling, but I just keep thinking I will not be traveling that much longer! Some of us did not have have ice cream, some had apple pies, some had cheeseburger and fries...hmmmm, at least I didn't do that...I only had ice cream : )
Tomorrow it is our last day in MO. We are having a "winner, winner chicken dinner" with the family and we will finish packing up all our stuff and pray it fits in the vehicles we are driving. I really don't think there is a worry there but I guess it depends on how much we decide to take with us!!!
Friday, July 15, 2011
It's been soooo hot, we also had ice cream on our way home. Uncle G joined us for that since he arrived in town for the weekend to spend some time with all of us before we go to LA. It is always a good thing to get to spend time with LilBlue and Uncle G; sweet times for all. Tomorrow the plan is to go to the farm for the day and mess with the horses. Since the horses haven't been "messed" with in a while I hope we do not end up in the ER...but LilBlue really wants to ride so we will see what we can do!
Thursday, July 14, 2011
After our fair visit we went on down to see the Sheldon grands and then back to town for Mickey D's and a nap. We enjoyed it and the Littles were wore out for sure, they took very good naps!
- Reunion time is nearly over!!
- Family is family, you love them.
- Finally, FRESH maters and melon :)
- This is some super duper HOT weather!
Monday, July 11, 2011
While we would have liked to have found LilBlue a replacement vehicle first we could not pass up this one. It was the right price for our budget (PTL!!!) and we definitely wanted to get back into a Honda. Score.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
We have car shopped for LilBlue with no success, we have shared meals, hung out, done laundry, drove around, and just goofed off. We've hung out in the rooms, hers and ours! Ate w/the Bud and his family (Olive Garden, Pete the waiter was the best!) as well, life IS good. Looking forward to being in MO together for a few days this week too.
Until I write again, enjoy life today, it is too short not too!
Oh, and we did have some vehicle success. More on that later :) PTL!
Friday, July 8, 2011
|Seeing our girl!!!|
We are visiting LilBlue and it's been awesome already! We went to Kahn's one of our ALL TIME favorite eateries and it was sooooo good. I got the platter, I am the only one! LOL Then we spent the evening visiting the local car lots. Got some good leads and will continue tomorrow with that process. It's crazy to car shop and I absolutely do not like it but it is a necessary so we are doing it.
Looking forward to a few days in the area and hoping to spend a little time visiting a few friends and spoiling the girl. Even if she has to work throughout the visit there will be time to hang out, then we will all head to MO where she will take a SHAM sister adventure and we will see the family for a few days. Our quick stop through last night and this morning just won't do...
The SHAM sister adventure is a little trip for that the girl cousins are taking. They have now all graduated from high school and hope to make this an annual tradition to get together at least once a year for a few days to hang out together. I think it is a fabulous idea and hope they make it happen!
Waiting on a load of clothes in the dryer then it is off to bed, love to be able to do laundry at no charge when we stay in military billeting, love that perk and the cost of the room!
Stay tuned NE adventure reports will be coming up!
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Still uncertain on next few days as the flooding on I-29 have our trip to the Big O in a big detour. The way to get there is not really the way and a lot more miles, Lil Blue is supposed to be coming to MO next week, not sure how she will come down either. Such decisions, we would love to go up and get to see her and the Bud there and spend some time in there but what to do, what to do!
I'm still not feeling the love on the LA move...still no house. That just makes a girl a bit blue. We'll see, surely something's gonna give!
- Divorce stinks...
- Family makes it worth it all!
- Life is good, sometimes you have to make it better!
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
This has been one of those days where we have accomplished much but I feel like we got very little done...
We had to change rooms today, which means pack up, check out, haul it all around (think surfboard here) and then recheck in, bag drag and get back at our other tasks! We had many, lots of little things to get done and accomplish before the day was done!
We piddled this morning, then did a drop in visit at our former church and since it was a workday we got to see lots of the men folk! Fun! Then we did a lunch bunch with our good educational friend. She took us to a little Greek place, she always knows the BEST places to eat. I thought the hummus was some of the best I have EVER had, seriously, it was that good! It had a bit of olive oil drizzled on it and a few fresh chopped tomatoes as well and was served with warm, yes I know warm pita wedges, it was heaven!!!!
Our afternoon was packed with getting those little things done...sewing our roof rack (don't ask!!), more OU goodie requests gathering, Sonic stops (yes, multiple stops, it's hotter then blue blazes here and a drink with good ice is a necessity), dessert shopping :) and putting finishing touches on our "bomb" project!
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
It's always fun to catch up with those we have known and tonight was no exception. We are so thankful for our OKC friends and love to spend time with them.
Monday, July 4, 2011
Sunday, July 3, 2011
So for the steak house we hooked up with Twin 2, it was an unknown for all of us as I found it on my iPhone through a restaurants app. I am going to write my own review for submission cause I think some of the "great" reviews that got this place a top notch rating did not eat at the same place we did. There is no question the food was good...my cucumber/avocado rolls were nice, the wrap was a bit more tough then what I am used to but still the filling was good. The twins steaks were very nice, the vegetables were really tasty, the salad was acceptable. The big disappointment I had was with the fried rice. It was okay fried rice, but we were eating at a Japanese steak house and the first bite of rice made me think we were dining on Indian cuisine. The flavor of curry was so heavy and overdone it made it hard to get past that. I would not in any way be able to go here again because I wanted Asian fried rice and that it was definitely NOT. Now to address the portions...either I was really, really hungry or the portions were chintzy. I know I was hungry, but I was not starving, so I think their portions were lacking in size and that especially rang true when the check arrived. I am not a total cheapskate, but I like to feel like I got my money's worth when the bill arrives, I did not. Needless to say, I will not go back. Not only for the overpriced portion but I won't bore you with the neglect our table got. This sentiment was shared by not only us but the other four diners at our grill.
I guess the meal was secondary the conversation rocked it was great to be with MiB and have dinner with Twin 2; those are good times even if were eating dirt! It is awesome to get to spend time together with family and we enjoy every minute, this is what memories are made of and you are going to have them so why not make them good. Living life this year on the road so to speak has really brought to life making memories and making them good.