Sunday, August 22, 2010


Last week while driving home from work, I was inching along in traffic when I noticed the man in the car next to me.

He was driving a brand new didn't even have the plates in yet.  A large pinkie ring graced the clenched fist that pounded the leather encased steering wheel. He was throwing a fit, waving at the cars around him and clearly having a nice little tirade.

Now I'm no saint.  I've shaken my fist and pounded my own wheel and done my share of yelling at the Seattl-idiots -ites who don't know how to merge onto a freeway.

But at that particular moment I was content. Perfectly and utterly happy with where I was in the car and in my life. I may dream of a farm in the country, but I don't need it to be content.

And that was the lesson I learned that day. (again. and I'll probably have to learn it again. and again. and again. and...)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Telling Your Money Where To Go...

I read in Dave Ramsey's book Total Money Makeover that having a budget was telling your money where to go, not wondering where it went.

Now that we've finally paid off that last credit card we're looking at where that money should go now.  We still have my student loan, should we throw all our weight against that?

What about our Emergency Savings? We've got the Dave-Ramsey-suggested $1,000 in an account, but realistically we want to have a cushion of about $12,000 in there.

Then there's the thought that pretty soon we're probably going to have to sell one of our cars (I vote for Matt's, I'm too attached to mine) for one that will last us longer.

There's also the good argument that we're young and without kids and now is the time to see the world! Labor Day is coming up and we want to get out of town and explore this state a bit!

Oh, and not to mention that Christmas will involve a bit of traveling this year and, let's face it, Christmas is just always expensive no matter how hard you try! I just keep seeing that perfect gift for people!

So do we split up our extra income or throw it all against one thing? If we threw it all at the student loan it would still take us about a year to pay it off, and by that time (hopefully) there will be a little one on the way and flying to Paris for a week will be a lot more difficult.

So for right now, we're splitting it all up. A good chunk is going to the student loan, another good chunk towards the Emergency Savings, but we've also got a Travel & Gifts savings account for Christmas and other trips. We opened an ING checking account with the free $50 bonus and are using that to slowly begin saving for a car...we want to pay for the whole thing up front rather than having a car payment.

When you put all your extra money towards one thing it seems to go quickly (well, maybe not quickly but faster). Splitting it up makes it feel like each goal is going to take forever. I guess there's no perfect solution, but that's ours at the moment.

Where do you throw your money's weight? Debt? Savings? Fun?

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Its a cool, drizzly morning and I have the most wonderful, contended feeling.  A breakfast of eggs, bacon and coffee, a warm fleece, the sliding door open to let in the cool breeze and the sound of rain in. And, I did something wonderful this morning:

Select Payment Amount

*Choose one of the following:

I clicked that darned button to pay off the full balance of our credit card!!!!


Do you know how good that feels! We even have to skimp a bit this week to make up for it but after a year of working towards this goal its worth it not to drag it out ONE MORE WEEK!!!

In other news, namely garden news, I got a small batch of snow peas I blanched and froze along with the snow peas from our CSA box.  That should last us 3 or 4 stir frys, at least!

My tomato plant is enormous...I mean, its as tall as I am!  Its a Brandywine, but I didn't know they grew that big!  I discovered a problem, though. Just when I was excited to get a few blooms...they would drop off! Reading in my Rodale's Organic Gardening book, I found that shaking the tomato might prevent this from happening.

I had head about this originally on Apartment Therapy's Re-Nest website, where they talked about the old wives tale of Beating Your Tomato With a Broom. 

So I've been giving it a try! I never liked tomatoes much anyways, so I get a certain satisfaction from smacking them around. 

And you know what?

Since I started I haven't seen any more blossoms drop! No fruit yet...but hopefully if I keep up the regular beating I will! 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

And The Vision Expands

Everyone, it seems, wants to live on Thursday Farms whenever its up and running. 

How fantastic would it be to have my in-laws on the east slope where my Papa Palmer can keep an eye on the vineyard, my grandma over the river and through the woods, and my parents in the valley where my Mom can teach Bible studies in the outdoor ampitheater? (this is just a scenario, family, no one get their panties in a twist cause they weren't mentioned!)

Oh, and Aunt June wants to live there too, as long as she has a porch, a rocking chair and a gun.  Aunt June lives in Alaska at the moment, so you'll excuse the gun comment.

Last weekend I was down in Orange County and we hosted a big ole beach bonfire. So many good friends came, and what I loved was so many of them were excited along with us about this vision.  And they want to come visit. Or help harvest.  Or make butter together. I LOVE it!

As for right now, our house (okay, one-bedroom basement apartment) could nearly double as a B&B with as many guests as we've been having! I adore having friends and family come up and stay with us...we're actually investing in some REI 3 1/2 inch camp beds so we can whip them out on a moment's notice! (I'm not a fan of air mattresses...) 

In other exciting news, we finished our No Spend Month on July 28th (a wee bit early), and this Friday we will officially be out of credit card debt!


Hallelujah, Jesus be praised and help us never go back there again!!! What a huge step for us in heading towards being completely debt free!

'Till next time, may you live within your means and beyond your dreams!