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Painting & Refreshing House to Sell

August 24th, 2010 at 12:20 pm

We are busy w/projects here at the house. Spent $145ish on paint - this will cover the three rooms ceilings that need painting & repainting trim in one room, and then painting out living room & bathroom to boring neutral colors. I hate it. By cracky this house better sell after I bust my bum painting it colors I hate!

Contractor bath remodel guy on his way over as we speak to give estimate to replace vinyl bathtub that has cracked. Oh joy!

Prospective Listing Realtor says courthouse does not list our property acreage the same as we were sold and we were telling her that we had to sell. Had to dig out the abstract and old sale papers and will probably end up w/an attorney fee on top of everything else in order to get it set straight.

There has been loads of OTHER stuff going on, but the stresses and strains and actual hours needed to get it all done? Have prevented me from joining you guys here.

My continued absence...

June 10th, 2010 at 05:54 am

Since I was last here...I've been on a weeks vacation in NM and AZ w/the parental units visiting family, then my brother-in-law passed away unexpectedly, then another week's vacation in Missouri w/FrugalSon as Hubster stayed home to be with his sister, then my older brother passed away and we had his funeral.

Many of you may remember my posting about the last time he was in hospital...COPD and diabetes. Give up smoking now and save your family some grief later, okay?

We then spent some time cleaning up brother's affairs and then we (Hubster, FrugalSon and CashHappySon and I) went on another vacation, this time to Arkansas. Now, I'm back in my spot, hopefully for the summer and can catch up with you guys here on Saving Advice dot com!

Vacations? All paid for in cash AND I ended the travel season w/$60 left to put back in the pot for next year's vacations. YEAH for advanced anticipatory budgeting! It works.

Another financial event of note is that while we were gone on the last trip Hubster's final tier of unemployment benefits have ended. We are now totally going to be dependent on our retirement savings, Social Security and his carpenter's pension. I think we've got life covered, but it may run close at times. Saving MORE while you're working? Always a great idea!!

Sorry, I've been Absent...

April 2nd, 2010 at 02:46 pm

without leave! And then, time flies!!!

Both my parents have been having major health issues and along with others things, so, SA had to sit on the back burner! I've missed you guys.

SD Sioux Tribe Emergency Response Needed

January 30th, 2010 at 09:20 am


Photo credit: Juanita Oros

Many of you know I'm of Native American ancestry, this is not my tribe but the situation in SD is one I've just been made aware of. If any of you can help in any way I'm sure it would be most appreciated! If all you can do is spread the word that help would be great as well. It's true there are many people in Haiti who need our help, but there are people here on American soil that need assistance too! National media attention is needed in this situation. Do not be fooled. We are not all 'casino rich' or receiving an 'Indian check' each month. Many do not receive any government assistance.



South Dakota Sioux Tribe Seeks Emergency Assistance After Ice Storm


"Last week's ice storm in South Dakota left thousands without power and water. While many Red Cross resources are being diverted to relief efforts in Haiti, there is still the need for money and supplies in the upper midwest, specifically for the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, which has a full list of needed medical and general supplies.

Power outages forced 35 kidney dialysis patients from the tribe to temporary relocate to Rapid City, and the reservation requires glucose strips, first aid kits and even children's medicine.

The local Wal-mart has sent food and supplies, but in-kind contributions are being accepted. A full list of what the Tribe requests:

•Non-perishable food
•Cots
•Heat sources (heaters & fuel)
•Camp stoves & fuel
•Lithium 1, 2 and 3 batteries for law enforcement
•Lamps/Batteries/Lamp Oil
•Toilet paper
•Paper products for the shelters
•Pampers/formula
•Hand/baby wipes/Hand sanitizer

Ship in-kind donations to:
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Chairman's Office
Attn: Ice Storm Emergency Supplies
PO Box 590
2001 Main Street (Tribal Offices)
Eagle Butte, SD 57625

You can also contribute money to the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe's emergency relief fund, which has been depleted in the past months. Online donations are currently unavailable.
Mail checks to:
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe/2010 Disaster Account
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Chairman's Office
Attn: Ice Storm Emergency Fund
PO Box 590
2001 Main Street (Tribal Offices)
Eagle Butte, SD 57625"


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704094304575...


http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com/

Hotel de'Frugalis - It Costs How Much??

December 1st, 2009 at 04:49 am

Tried to make this post last night and it went to blipdom. Trying again!



How much does it cost to stay the night in the Hotel de'Frugalis? Or put another way, how much does it cost to live here each day? $13.68.


Mortgage $000.00 (pd. off 9/21/09)
Insurance $001.59
Taxes $001.66
Utilities $010.43
____________________
Daily Rate $013.68*
Monthly Rate $410.40
Yearly Rate $4924.80

I am not unhappy with this figure.

Cheaper than most hotels I can think of.

And, we just lowered our rates when we reshopped our house insurance. And costs may go down further this year as my heating bill just came in way under last year's balanced payment plan figures.

However, it does go to show you how much even a paid for home can cost you.

"You paid off your house! AWESOME - now you're on easy street baby!!!"

It might blow somebody's mind to think it still costs to live here if they don't consider true costs. The actual rate above would be higher still if I'd of managed to figure in upkeep, repair and maintenance dollars.

It's here where I get to thinking of something many of us ofteN overlook or just gloss over:

Cost vs. price.


Figuring out the true cost of home ownership.

And then I get into thinking about Use Value vs. Exchange Value.

In many countries a home isn't thought of for it's dollar value like it often is here in the US, but more for the tradition or use value as a home to flourish in that is purchased for generational use, rather than flipping potential or investment potential.

That being considered, here's a nice calculator on the buy vs. rent debate.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/10/business/2007_BUYRENT_GRAP...

This gentleman's article goes on to help you figure out, if you're in the shopping conundrum of rent vs. buy, how to understand the Rent Ratio. A way to effectively compare apples to oranges. Yes, the article is a bit dated, but the ratio will still work.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/28/business/28leonhardt.html?...

Okay, so now that begs the question, how much does it cost you to stay in the Hotel of YouAndYours-dom?

Today's Five Plus

November 28th, 2009 at 07:41 am

DONE-1)Shower, Dressed, Makeup, Breakfast & Vitamins.

DONE-2)House checking & Money Markets checkbooks balanced.

DONE-3)Stop an old autodraft before 1st.

DONE-4)Add new autodraft that will cover auto insurance, house insurance and house repairs their monthly pro-rated amount that we set back. To-do's numbers three & four are the result of insurance shopping that Hubster took care of for us - nice savings included! It paid for us to shop around - our new insurer is AAA. Twice the coverage and about $500 a year less cost! I'll take it! Auto insurance was due for renewal 11/30 so that's all spent, but there should be about a half of a year refund coming in on the house insur.! Old Agent - Send it!! Big Grin

DONE-5)Set up CC payments for Dec - 56.14 & 23.15 balances on two cards. We never carry a balance any more. EVER. 69 days TOTALLY DEBT-FREE and counting!

DONE-6)Paperwork filing.

DONE-7)Recharge camera batteries.

DONE-8)New entry here showing my spare bedroom BEFORE & AFTER pics. After repainting the bed and investing in different bed-linens.

DONE-9)Clean out purse.

DONE-10)Sketch out painting idea for Jeffrey's Penny Experiment. http://www.pennyexperiment.com

DONE-11)Get old comforter & shams listed on Craigslist.

12)I've been eyeing the closet in the spare bedroom. The clothes/shoes/stored items all need to come out and the walls & shelves in there need a coat of paint. Actually while doing that I need to 'encourage' Hubster to help me change the way the shelving is in there to add some more up top storage - we now have a LOT of wasted space. There is probably wood in the attic that could be used to add some more simple storage shelving. He's not up yet - he'll be thrilled with this idea - NOT!!!

The reason I want to get into this closet is there is a bunch of his parents' stuff that needs going thru and either shared with siblings or gotten rid of. So far, it's just THERE, overlooked and neglected, as it will stay unless I press the issue.

This is their jewelry, his Dad's coin collection, and family photos. I feel bad - he has two sisters who could be enjoying some of their Mom's jewelry. The coins and Pop's jewelry could possibly be worth something as well, and they could all probably use a small cash influx right about now, and the family photos ought to be shared.

13)Work on FrugalSon's & my personal (not House) budgets for 2010.

Okay - that's today's direction. Here we go!

---

Yesterday was a No Spend Day for the housebudget. Well, it was no-spend if you don't count that we popped off and invested in ING's 2% CDs yesterday. I don't consider that 'spent'. AND, while I had planned to pay yesterday for the meal out w/family, you can't beat my Dad to any restaraunt and pay first. He's a sweet little pain-in-d'patumpkus that way!

The whole way there I was encouraging Hubster to speed up or he'd beat us there and have already fixed it up with the cashier. Sure enough, he was there first. If I'd of been driving, we MIGHT have made it there early enough, but Hubster drives like your Great-Grandma on a handful of downers! I have to read in the car or go further C.R.A.Z.I.E.R. than I already am!



Found out yesterday that Dad will likely be having cataract surgery within the next month or so. If it's on a Friday, sister will drive him. Any other day of the week, I'm his chauffeur, and I'll need to budget gas money for that. Glad to do it - he often takes long driving trips to make his living/playing, it's worrisome enough for my 78 year old Dad to be out driving cross-country, so at the very least I need for him to be seeing well! He doesn't have to keep working, but does like a mad-man. He's a very hard worker.

Earn A Bit o'Green On Black Friday?

November 27th, 2009 at 06:20 am

Today we go to my Dad's town to eat out at a buffet place for our Thanksgiving meal with him and my brother, and take Dad another load of firewood. Not sure if my sister will make it or not. I did just see her the other day as she, Mom & my niece took me out for my birthday luncheon. Last night the Mom & Stepdad parental units came by for general Thanksgiving feasting. Several places to visit/separate celebrations on holidays? Oh the joys of divorced parents! Means we stretch these events over several days!

----
I'm planning on participating in Jeffrey's (co-owner of Saving Advice dot com) Penny Experiment. Care to join me?

http://www.pennyexperiment.com/
----

Do Black Plus Orange Equal Green? YES, today they do!

ING has some special offerings today on Black Friday only.

http://ingdirect.com/BlackFriday/

Think I'll take the $465ish I've been gathering together for our next CD purchase in our CD Savings Escrow Fund and add a bit to it to get to at least $500 & go ahead and do their 2%/12 month CD.

Yes, we have a line item in our budget called 'CD Savings Escrow' where we put back a bit of money each month towards purchasing CDs. Gather enough together to make it worthwhile and pop off & purchase one.

We also have line items for making 'Savings Bonds Purchases' and another for buying 'T-Bills' and the autoMAGIC ones for our 'DRIPS'. What can I say, I like having lots of various money piles!

And, I'm likely to bite on their $121 bonus for orange checking. Usually not a rate 'ho, but today, I think I will dally w/the orange in order to get a little green in my pocketbook.



I don't particularly NEED another checking account, but what the heck, I'm sure I can think of & set up another goal fund for something! Big Grin

No, still not a big ING fan, but I'll happily take their money.

Re: their requirement that you make 3 signed debit transacations - does anybody care to comment on the 'where you have to sign for debit transactions', as I'm a little unclear on where exactly those places would be. I'm sure I've signed before at places, I just can't recall any specifics at the moment - brain fog has rolled in. I'd appreciate your comments & suggestions.

Help please?

I Am Thankful...

November 26th, 2009 at 08:45 am



I am thankful for all of you here at the Saving Advice dot com bloggerdom! All through the year you inspire me and help me stay focused. I do appreciate all of you so much. The differing perspectives of each of you are such a help to everyone. Here's hoping you all have very nice holidays with your families. I wish you all plenty of enough and MORE! Safe travels too!

In your honor I'm donating $8.03 to my $20 Challenge. Here's hoping it keeps me off the dole in my old age!!

Can somebody pass the turkey please?


$20 CHALLENGE UPDATE

$012.60 Nov balance
+008.03 turkey donation
_______
$020.63 Nov MTD

2009 Challenge Total $1013.98
Cumulative Challenge Total $2067.74

The Emperor Will Have No New...

November 7th, 2009 at 03:16 pm

The Emperor will have no new clothes. At least not for awhile. Up to my eyeballs in calculator tape revamping the Frugalis Family housebudget. Better hope Santa puts clothes on the list for those here who need them as there is no room at the inn for new clothing. Being up in the air over the possibility of healthcare coverage for Hubster sees me throwing all extra dollars into the Medical category until we find out exactly what kind of coverage we'll be able to get.



Nope, not Hubster, he has better knees.

Today has been a No Spend Day.

Yes, we paid off the house, but those dollars are going into future house repairs or updates. For now.

Bookkeeper Eats Free!

November 4th, 2009 at 03:49 pm

Took another load of wood to my Dad today. Afterwards we were talking about getting something to eat before we headed out of town towards home. FrugalSon said, "Today bookkeepers eat free." That meant me, since I keep his financial records. I took him up on his offer. We had a very nice meal at a nice Mexican place - not here:



He did have tamales & an empanada and I had steak fajita nachos. Yums! We're calling it my birthday lunch. My birthday is later on in the month, but hey, it works for me!

Thanks FrugalSon! What a generous soul.

His Inner Sanctum Violated

November 2nd, 2009 at 07:06 am

Yesterday was spent working on a really detailed networth statement and cooking a fabulous Sunday dinner.

On the norm I just catch the various bank accounts & retirement funds, but yesterday went to zillow & edmunds and did a more in-depth look at where we are at starting Hubster's official "Golden Years" with ALL of our assets! Not too shabby. Could of been a lot better, but for us, it's looking better than expected and Hubster was quite pleased with the "If We Cashed in All of Our Chips" numbers. I am too!

One of the things I'd been forgetting to put into our networth calculations is our burial plots. Ours are paid for already but we might end up selling & replacing them in a different location. Depends on if we decide to downsize and where.

Today I've got a To-Do list that far outnumbers five - there are 45 things on my list! Boy, am I behind!!

The majors today will be:

{x}2/3rds - filler now drying - 1)Filler on twin bed veneer. It's outside and up on the working platform.

[X]DONE w/a snafu - 2)Buy paint for above project. - Got the paint, started on back side of headboard. More gray looking than the deep black. I tried to tell the guy in the store that it didn't look right - he was filling in from electronics - but he insisted that it was right based on how dark it looked when dry. It did look dark, but I've got to go back tomorrow now as it just looks like a funky gray on the bed. POOODLES & FARTZWAZZLES!!

[X]DONE - 3)Mail off tube.

[X]DONE - 4)Content placed on my other blog.

[X]DONE - 5)Write & mail off sympathy note to friend's family. Long time ill, she passed away this weekend.

6)Get those newly figured out categories into YouNeedABudget software. I upgraded my software this weekend and we're going to be starting a fresh new budget this month with some newly aligned goals and taking into consideration the different income sources we're firing up. Keeping spending in a tight line will be KEY!! A fine balancing act, if you will. Of course we want to put off withdrawing from our retirement accounts as long as possible.



[X]DONE - 7)Get these entries up on Saving Advice!

Yesterday was a No-Spend Day.

I have a dime on my keyboard to start off November's $20 Challenge.

$20 CHALLENGE

$000.00 beginning balance
+000.10 laundress pay
_______
$000.10 Nov MTD

2009 Challenge Total $993.45
Cumulative Challenge Total $2047.21

Sicily's baking inspired me and I grabbed out my sourdough starter yesterday and made some fantastic sourdough rolls and I also made a chocolate pie. My fellows thank you Sicily!

While I'm out today I'll be making a bank run and depositing October's $20 Challenge Money. Yes, Pigger squealed again when I violated his inner sanctum!

And, speaking of inner sanctums, remind me to tell ya'll later, but Hubster has a stalker - one of his old fellow employees now hopped up on meth!

My Special Treat To You...

October 31st, 2009 at 04:42 am

Off with their heads...



THEIR Trick?
Pay Czar's Just Getting Started
http://www.politico.com/politico44/perm/1009/feinberg_fights...

YOUR Treat!!
The Zombie Jamboree* - a fun tune

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bNy2jA26Cg

*Language alert - contains curse word d*mn.

----

Here's a link to Hulu and some of the shows from "The Bank of Mom and Dad".

Be sure and watch the followups as well.

http://www.hulu.com/bank-of-mom-and-dad


I could stand for them to be a bit less boney and have more meat, but tasty none the less!

---
I have a spooky Halloween thing going on - my blog posts keep disappearing from the roll! Go to my HOME button and read back thru, my other post for today has some neat tunes in it. Does anyone know, did I push some PRIVATE button that made me disappear?

Edit to Add: Ahhh, I think I figured it out - if you do your posts early and put them in as drafts? It makes your other posts disappear from the main blog roll. Poooh! Go check out my other posts!


http://luxliving.savingadvice.com/2009/10/31/whos-the-quee...


Find out her name - Who's the Halloween Queen?

Who's The Halloween Queen?

October 31st, 2009 at 04:17 am



Happy Halloween To You!


Click here to listen to one of my favorite bands from way, Way, WAY back in the day!:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHEuSGGmX-c


My favorite song of theirs is Chant 13th Hour.

Hope everyone has a nice safe holiday weekend. Enjoy the candy! I'm looking to after the holiday sales to stock up on some dark chocolate! $$'s saved. M&Ms here are up to OVER $4 a bag from $1.98 last year.

Think we'll snuggle in later tonight, pop some corn and watch one of my favorites - Don Knotts in The Ghost and Mr. Chicken.

Here's the Haunted Organ song from that movie:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nz_crHdfggY


...and if you really like good organ music?

Here you go:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FXoyr_FyFw


---
Dodd moves to freeze CC interest rates:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1009/28769.html

---
One of my favorite treats to get at Halloween when I was a kid? Coins! So, if you've yet to buy candy, you might try running to the bank early this morning and getting a couple of rolls of pennies, nickles, dimes or quarters to hand out. I used to just love that! See, I've been a money nerd for a long time!

Strength to Bust Thru The Web?

October 30th, 2009 at 02:02 pm

Do I have enough strength to bust thru the web of too much to do???




Today's Five - Fortified Plus

[X]DONE - 1)Dressed to shoes
[X]DONE - 2)Makeup
[X]DONE - 3)Bed made
[X]DONE - 4)Laundry
[X]DONE - 5)Breakfast
[X]DONE - 6)Walk
[X]DONE - 7)Replace Calculator Tape
[X]DONE - 8)Vacumn Living Room
[X]DONE - 9)Fix Lunch for self & Hubster
[X]DONE - 10)Dust TV w/static brush
tried can't find wire 11)Put wires on family art/Hang in Studio
[X]DONE - 12)Put papers back in safe
[X]DONE - 13)Get gift tube put together
[X]DONE - 14)Beans in Crockpot
[X]DONE - 15)Bake cornbread for supper
[X]DONE - 16)Find Orange Paint in basement
[X]DONE - 17)Paint orange on wall
{x}half done - 18)XFind address for tube / Xpackage up / mail off
[X]DONE - 19)Closet, find 2 things to donate - (I found four things)
[X]DONE - 20)Read for inspiration on Flylady dot net - I have seriously fallen off wagon w/Hubster home this year.
21)Work on New Proposed Budget for SS & Pension
22)Revamp house-budget's categories on You Need A Budget software
23)Update Networth for October
{x}half done - we spoke, we'll speak some more! Big Grin 24)Talk w/Hubster about Roll Over funds where to invest - I'd like munis or T-bills or even somewhere outside the bounds of US borders, the state of the U.S.$ is worrying me.
[X]DONE - 25)Find 2 jobs online for Hubster to apply for tomorrow. He's still looking for employment because he can draw UE till late Dec. even w/SS.
At least in our state, here's a legal opinion:


http://nelp.3cdn.net/f96d84de63766102b2_8rm6b99ab.pdf


Hubster called UE office today and got the same answer.

And, if he gets a part-time job we might have access to a cheaper health-care insurance plan for him.


"Habits are cobwebs at first, cables at last." ~ancient proverb


Don't laugh at the first five or so of these on my list. The only thing I was consistently getting done was laundry. Some days I'm a nightgown girl all day, and it was getting to be too often when I had nowhere to go. Got to get back to my Flylady routines. I don't mind having one day a week to stay in my jams. But more than that? It's just too easy to let everything go to pot. And I need to eat breakfast EVERY day!!

I need good habits and I get better at keeping those good habits up when I keep in touch with the Flylady dot net method. I can't keep up with all the emails but I can check my book & read online to inspire myself.

Right now the second coat of paint is drying on my little orange spot and then I can move the chair back and vacumn that last tiny little corner & put the vacumn totally away. Everything else has been vacumned, even the dining room which I had no intention of doing today!

Another area that was getting sloppy was the cooking. If I don't stay on myself it's just too easy to forget to get anything out of the freezer and then just run out for fast food. That's got to stop! Beans are cooking in the crockpot and smelling good. After checking the cabinets and freezer I see I'm out of ham up stairs and will have to make a return visit to the basement to check for some canned ham to oooomph up the beans.

Okay, I told ya'll my house was a scary place after dark. While vacumning in the foyer I decided I'd open the front door to get right up to the threshold edge. Boy am I glad I did - the cobwebs - you wouldn't believe!!! It's scary in the daytime too!

No one ever uses my front door, like hardly NEVER! Jumping Jehosophat that thing was full of cobwebs which is unusual. So I go to cleaning it up and finally figure out why. The last time someone had it open (like maybe early spring?) someone (I'm not naming names), but someone AHEM! left the glass up on the storm door and it only had that very porous screen covering that part allowing critters into the space between storm door and wood door.

It's good to clean ocassionally! Big Grin Really, I keep telling myself that. If someone had come to that door, they'd for sure think no one had been in this haunted house for ages! Truly. There was dust and cobwebs and other ick on the doorknob even! Oh my. Well, Housekeeper of the Year? I'm not. But, that glass over the screen being down? Will save some utility bill $$s come this winter! And it keeps winter weather off my wood door too.

Back to my list! Crack that whip. I likely won't get it all done, but I'm on it like white on rice.

Stirring the Pot

October 30th, 2009 at 04:52 am



As I'm often likely to do towards the end of the month, I went online and rounded up these accounts, just to stir up a bit of the juice in the old interest pot and decrease the leftover flotsam in my personal checking!

RV Land Travel Fund - strictly in savings form
$232.34 10/9/2009 balance
+002.66 eye of Benjamin
_______
$235.00 new balance

Houseboat Fund - riding the waves of DOW
$407.54 10/9/2009
-019.70 investments down - hex on the WallStreet gurus & their Congressional familiars (not to worry I still have the shares in good stuff - think DCA, steady DRPs)
+002.16 root of Money Plant (come on, 7 come 11, baby needs a new pair of deck-shoes!)
_______
$390.00 new balance

I used to own one of these cool granny pots pictured above. I paid $80 for it and used it for years and years in my yard for Harvest parties & other picnics. We'd build our fire INSIDE of it and use it to roast weinnies & marshmellows and keep our backsides warm and our fingers de-iced! Great fun. I sold it a few years ago, but I wish I still had it - I think I'd like to hold our elected officials feet to the fire over the current economy!! And I'm sorry to say to all her fans, but Nancy Pelosi* is looking rather witchy to me lately!

*Might as well stir the political pot while I'm at it!

edited later to add:
Pelosi - Can't always get what you want

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1009/28919.html

Today and Carpenter's Pension

October 27th, 2009 at 08:29 pm



Tonight we filled out the online forms for Hubster's Carpenter's Pension to begin. We had busy busy daylight hours today that kept us from getting it done during the day.

It has to be printed out and taken in for a notarized signature. Spouses are protected from being left out of pension benefits and decisions by the law requiring that we sign off on the decisions. It's rather a strange thing. His application signature? Requires no notarization. Mine as spouse? Does.

Anywho, I plan to go first thing in the morning to the bank and get it notarized and off in the mail. The way I understand it we are asking for it to begin on 11/1. Not sure when the first check will arrive though. It will be back-pay from 11/1/09 though no matter when it actually starts.

First we had to get an estimated payment paper from them, which we did, telling them when he was planning on applying. That & the online application gets them on notice that he's to be put in the starting line up. Once they receive the notarized paperwork evidently they spring into action and send you a letter telling you when the first check will arrive.

We're going automatic deposits on this as well.

Once it's up and running they notify the authorized state insurance agency that he's eligble to go with that HCTC (I think it stands for health care tax credit) thingamadoodle that will get him the 65%-80% discount on some health care insurance coverage. The money in the pension check will be nice, but the healthcare benefits that we're hoping to get until he qualifies for Medicare? EXCELLENT.

Step by step folks. It's a process.

Keeping yourself going lockstep through the process can be, shall I say, taxing. He hates paperwork and gets majorly frustrated by all the little boxes to be checked and legally jargoned disclaimers that are made.

Also required are copies of birth certificates and marriage license. Fortunately that was all still out of the safe from the SS office visit.

Once this starts I will be so relieved. If you've been reading along with me from the beginning this was the mysteriously disappearing pension. I fought long and hard thru Congressmen, etc. to find out where it was 'hidden' and get it on somebody's radar that several million dollars of this company's pension funds had just slipped silently away after a company bankruptcy and was hidden deep within several layers of insurance buyouts by a major insurance company and it's many subsidiaries - I'm not naming names but it almost barked like a dog in it's commercials, Charlie Brown.

Finally we were able to get it taken over by this Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. It's a really AWESOMELY GOOD thing that they are doing protecting people's pensions in these trying financial times.

Today was a personal No Spend Day for me.

Today we went to another town to deliver some of CashHappySon's winter clothes.

Today the nearly local parental units came over. Since early this year they now live 30 minutes away instead of two hours away.

Today I got my truck stuck in the muddy yard trying to load up more wood to take to my Dad's tomorrow.

Today my Step-dad helped get the truck unstuck.

Today I baked a chocolate marble cake.

Today I balanced the housebudget checking account.

Today I called the bank on the sudden $15.47 checking fee that they whomped on our housebudget account. Because of Hubster's age we have a FREE Senior checking account.

Today they refunded the mistaken monthly fee.

Today my Mom had a brain scan and a check on her caratroid (sp?) artery to see why she's getting so confused and forgetful. No indication of when the results would be back.

Today my Mom told me the same story for about the 100th time.

Today I acted like I heard it for the very first time, again.

Today we had quite a spirited family discussion of the moral tone of our country and bashed various and assorted politicians.

Today I cooked a pot of Tortilla Soup for lunch.

Today I paid two CC's in full, as I do every month. We are still debt free. Housebudget paid.

Today I paid the water bill, 3000 gallons this month - $40.45 - that's for 3 adults, 2 of us who are home all day every day now. Housebudget paid. $2.50 of that is for prepaid ambulance service. ARG!

Today I cooked steak, baked potatoes and a salad for supper.

Today Hubster worked all afternoon cutting up the biggest chunks of the wood into small enough pieces so my Dad can carry them.

Today was quite a day.

Now, I'm going to bed w/the lumberjack! Talk to you all later.

Good night Gracie!

---
link to Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.
http://www.pbgc.gov/


link to PDF file about a Predictable Secure Pension For Life - has a nice checklist:

http://www.pbgc.gov/docs/a_predictable_secure_pension_for_...

---

Visited the Social Security Office

October 26th, 2009 at 02:07 pm



We definitely applied for Social Security benefits for Hubster this morning.

On SS he'll be getting about an $185 a month increase over unemployment. A raise! Not near what he was making last year but a raise over what we've had coming in this year. Unemployment will stop (at least we believe it will). He's to call and double-check on that. If not, it runs until Dec 24th.

This gives some extra moolah to the budget to help him get some kind of health insurance.

To facilitate that we are also going ahead this week and starting his carpenter's pension. It'll be small (decidely not the 80% of final salary he was promised for years!) and we are likely going Joint Life on it so it should continue to me for my lifetime at the same rate as we'll draw now if something were to happen to him. If we just went on his lifetime it would be more in the check now. But I'm younger by a good bit and likely will be the longer liver.

Once this starts he'll be able to get health insurance thru our state approved insurance program and PBGC (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp - they took over the pension plan when his company went kaput) will help offset the cost of that approved insurance somewhere in the range of 65-80%.

If we can do that until he's eligible for Medicare it should all work out. At least that's the current plan. With the pension & SS increase over unemployment there should be room in the budget to cover this healthcare expense.

At any rate, SS checks should start within the next few days to a couple of weeks the lady said. She was very nice and quite helpful really. There were a gazillion people there but we had the first interview of the day and were called first out of the crowd because we had an appointment scheduled.

I stressed over this interview more than was reasonable. Just silly really, but I was - woke during the night, triple-checking to see that I had all the needed paperwork, then woke early before the alarm and rechecked it. What a goose! I seldom get that worked up about anything.

I'm unclear as to when the carpenter's union pension check will start arriving - somewhere in the 1-3 month range after they receive the paperwork.

SS will be a direct deposit.

Where's the Orange Paint?

October 25th, 2009 at 02:03 pm

...it's down there.

YEP, you know where.

(cue spooky music)


Well, it's got to be dug out SOME TIME so I can paint the spot where the smoke alarm used to set. Some wacko man type personage must of installed it in this weird space between rooms. It was there when we moved in. Along with the thermostat that now sits hidden behind the big picture there. Who puts a thermostat smack dab in the middle of a wall? A man, I'm telling ya!!

This new trim installation in the dining/foyer area gave us the opportunity to fix this area into two different paintable spaces. As it was, whatever color was painted on that one wall in the living room had to tie all the way over into the foyer AND dining room area.

before:




after:



This way if a person wants to they can paint those two wall spaces a different color, and I'm likely to change the orange wall in the foyer area (to the right) later to the same yellow that's already in the dining area and on the other side of the foyer.



The trim in the dining room had to be thin to fit over the door AND go all the way down that long skinny little part that divides the addition of the dining room from the older portion of the house.

Okay - Who's ready to go d.o.w.n. **THERE** again and dig out the orange paint?

Not me.

Not today anyway. Perhaps some time next week I'll get my bravado up and venture into the basement again.

And, then Hubster can reinstall the smoke alarm ?elsewhere?, I'll finish painting the ceiling in the dining room and we can then consider this little chapter closed for now. Oh yeah, the new paint on the ceiling trim? Makes the rest of the trim in the room look like crap! Big Grin Always something, huh?

I love my orange wall. It's very warming at night in the rest of my cave (living room) with the lamps on. I realize it's not for everyone and will most likely have to be changed back to boring bland if we list our house for sale in the future. But for now, it makes me smile.

All except for that little white circle!

Orange paint - On next week's to do list.

Living Room
Before:

Do not adjust your screen, those WERE wavy lines you see at the ceiling line!

After:

Free boards in the attic, some paint, a lot of cussin' & discussin', and a couple of tubes of caulk later? Ta-da. Then you saw it - now you don't!

The Week Flew By!

October 25th, 2009 at 08:22 am

Yesterday was a No Spend Day.

I spent about two hours in the basement yesterday looking for Hubster's Honorable Discharge paper, and realizing that I've a ton of work needing done down there - out of sight, out of mind.


Photo caption: Fortunately NOT my basement!


Ours is bad, but not THAT bad.

The biggest part was moving boxes out of the way of our long-term filing cabinets. Ninety-nine percent of those boxes came from MIL & FIL's estate. I am going through the boxes and selling stuff in my booth, it just takes time. Gaa! They were major hoarders though - not her maybe, but my FIL definitely was.

Tomorrow morning we have our appointment with Social Security to begin Hubster's SS payments. Wish us luck. Hopefully I have gathered all the necessary papers.

Hubster spent yesterday working on making some very nice vent & water connection covers for the outside of our house. The construction of our house is a wild mixture of cement block, rock and siding. There's a weird little arched recess where the water hose connects out front and he's decided this year (we've lived here since '99) that it needs covering. Whatever. It'll be nice. The man does good work.

Last week while I was out running around - museum presentation, breast cancer awareness party, and a funeral - he got the dining room trim up and painted. I'll get pics later.

The ceiling trim there & in the living room looks fabulous and makes the rooms look completed to my eye. He could care less, but it drove me batty from the day we arrived, the rooms just didn't look finished. Now we still have all three bedrooms, the utility room, the bathroom and the strange pass thru area between kitchen and dining room that need the same treatment. But they'll wait till later (hopefully spring).

I've yet to get the bed drug out and veneer filled & painted, but it's been piled with 'stuff' out of the dining room all week. Hope to get it all unloaded and then tear the bed down and get onto fixing it. I'll need to buy more paint so thinking that'll run about $20.

On Friday I rode along with parental units to a funeral (it was my nephew-in-laws mother who passed) about two hours from home and we stopped beforehand for lunch $5ish at fast food place, and then we went to a nearby town for a few hours in an antique mall. I spent nothing there which was a real feat as I had a long time in there as my Mom picks up every single item (or so it seems)! My Stepdad and I each made about six laps around the mall in there and Mom only got half-way thru before we drug her out! Then we ate supper on the way home and I spent $6.00 for a burger basket & fries and drink and $2.00 on the tip.

I balanced two checkbooks yesterday.

Need to take Ms. Carmel to the puppy groomer and have her nails clipped - $5.

Need to send money to the plumber for that hot water repair earlier this month - $300.

It's bill paying time and most everything is automated these days so it'll be interesting to see how my little routine differs now that there is no house payment to be made. I am planning on setting up an autodraft for the old mtg. payment amount out to savings for a future roof, HVAC, carpet, etc. fund.

Had it!

October 20th, 2009 at 10:12 am

Yesterday evening I did get the Lux's House of Beauty treatment done, but it was after 11 p.m. and I was too lazy to log back on and get it crossed off the to-do-list!

Hair is now looking fabo!! Had Lux's Night of Beauty. Cost $6 & tax for 2 boxes of inexpensive hair-color.


Photo: Milton Berle


And come on ladies & gents - no one commented on how frightful I was looking yesterday without it! Not a single one of you!! And I sooooo count on you folks to keep me looking cutting edge on a dime!

Today's Plans...More than Five

October 19th, 2009 at 07:54 am

Greetings My Lovelys,

Today's TO DO list - Made last night, which is actually a better time to plan, as that way you can hit the ground running rather than kill a perfectly good morning farting around on the computer! Big Grin Who me???

Most of us say we're morning people, so why do we waste the better part of the day?

Everybody on board? cause away we go...

[X]DONE - 1)Make Bank Deposit.

[X]DONE - 2)Call Dentist - make payment plan. Write check.

[X]DONE - 3)Post Office - Drop off bills.

[X]DONE - 4)Move money back local to repay Lux for Tree Surgery.

[X]DONE - 5)Stop AT&T automated payment - so we don't get crammed on that $12.95 IDL charge we didn't authorize. Make online payment instead.

[X]PARTIALLLY DONE - got it purchased. 6)Buy Haircolor for Lux's House of Beauty night. Get it on head!! Big Grin Be boot-i-fied! Under $6 - long hair, buy 2 boxes.

[X]DONE - 7)Buy brackets for Museum Project. Under $3. Plan B - try this afternoon at another place when I go out w/Hubster because Plan A place was closed. Plan B place had them but they were $7.50 in the metro area. Local would've been much cheaper! Procrastination costs again. Frown

8)Package FrugalSon's SOLD painting & prints for shipment! They can go out in tomorrow's mail.

9)Call tribe about sons' enrollment.

[X]DONE - but No Sale - Buyer didn't show - ARRGGHHH!!! 10)Go with Hubster this afternoon to drop off Craiglist sale of extra mirror - $34 inflow.

[X]DONE - 11)Call Jennifer with donation information for Breast Cancer Awareness.

[X]DONE - 12)Have Meatless Monday (thanks Paulette Goddard for the idea!) Beans are soaking for supper.

[X]DONE - 13)Laundry.


I'll update again as the day goes along.

Must get busyyyyyyyyyyy and go to town.

TTYL! Got to go see if Ol' Nellie can get me to town and back.



Your friend,
~L.L. Frugalis, Bus Driver to the Stars

My Intentions Are...

October 18th, 2009 at 08:12 am



Here's my five I intend* to get done today:

[X]DONE 1)Sort some bills that need paying and write the checks, address, stamp. One rogue bill here ?somewhere? that came in earlier this week from the day Hubster got laid off in early January. He went to the doctor early that morning only to arrive at work to layoff news for the entire plant. Evidently they've been trying to collect from insurance company all this time and it's a no-go. I normally put all bills in one place and a quick glance this a.m. finds that paper missing - perhaps it's on Hubster's side of desk?

2)Clean off side desk-table whatchie. (I need to get you all a picture - great buy!**SEE BELOW) Maybe that bill is there? Piles of files and miscellaneous junk mail gets piled there from time to time. Okay, PEOPLE, who stacked this stuff h.e.r.e. of all places??????????

ON HOLD - MORE PARTS NEEDED 3)Get canvas framed & name plaque installed. This will entail encouraging Hubster to do it for me. Hopefully today. I need it for sure by Wednesday a.m. I keep trying to get him to let me do it with his instructions so I learn to feel confident with those tools, but this particular project is in need of the pro's touch.

[X]DONE - 4)Cook Sunday dinner - creatively, using any leftovers that can be incorporated into something looking like a balanced meal. Wish me luck, I'm going in to the tupperware...

[X]DONE - 5)Strip & wash current bed linens and get the flannel sheets on the bed. It's cold here! I told Fern already, I'm out on the heat challenge. Hubster turned it on early this a.m. as it got down to low 30's last night. His fault entirely Smile, I SWEAR I could've made it with more blankies & a nightcap! Shiver me timbers!


[X]DONE - Alternate #3)Paint one wall of living room & trim doo-dads so Hubster has them to work on dining room. His decision to start this late in the day! After this there is only one portion of one wall in the living room repainting job that needs doing. It'll wait for another day.

*I will update throughout the day as things get done.

**side-table desk whatchie:

Great for when a project needs more space, such as for collating papers, sewing, crafting, sorting STUFF, extra place settings for a crowd, etc.

I paid $49 for this and then went to Walmart and bought paint in their discounted 50% Oops Mixed Up The Wrong Color aisle to get paint that nearly matches walls & desk in living room - SCORE! The cabinetabledeskwhatchie was originally $69 at a junk/antique mall. I asked if they'd take $49 - I figured dealer had anywhere from $0-35ish in it. I'm perfectly willing for dealer to make a profit, but they don't have to make their entire month on my back, you know?

An FYI - ALWAYS ASK FOR A DISCOUNT at these places. Many are already preauthorized to give at least a 10% discount without contacting the booth owner. You can get often get more off by asking them to call them and just ask. Worth a try.

I resisted when I first saw this and left it there and kept thinking and thinking about it - always a good sign that the something would be useful to me, so back I went for it some weeks later glad to see it still there.

Anyway this thing was a perfectly servicable white when I got it but it didn't match the decor. ALWAYS when shopping in these places think of if you could make something work for your place with a bit of paint, spray or brush. I OFTEN spray paint items from the antique'heap. EASY fix. This thing has drawers on both sides (6 total) which is cool and the drop-leaves are also on both sides. I want to add wheels to it which would make it even mo'betta!! Note that for a future Five Things list? Maybe next month.

What? I told you if it stands still? I paint it. Forever am painting some thing.

Oh look. I even gave Hubster 3 drawers of this for his very ownsome. He accuses me that all the space in the house is mine and all he has is one sad bookcase to store his good stuff on.

Also when shopping an antique mall, think REPURPOSING. Just because it's always been used as a frobtottlebaum, doesn't mean you can't use it as a bobleknocker, does it? Go for it. Note our repurposed two user desk beside this thing - it used to be a kitchen table.

For all you Flylady fans - this however is one of my hotspots.

Five

October 17th, 2009 at 09:32 pm



1)Laundry DONE

2)Paint ceiling in Dining Room 1st coat DONE (prep work so Hubster can get crown molding up in that room) Needed because WACKED OUT bug spray man hit the ceiling in here with his bug juice making BIG ugly stains! Saving myself the cost of hiring a painter worth it's price in a post-whiplash neck-ache to a Frugalista such as myself. Ben-gay here I come.

3)CashHappySon's coats & winter wear from basement DONE

4)Cut up last of canteloupe likely for this season before it's gone-by freshness date DONE

5)Hang up clothes on top of dog cage DONE

Retirement Here We Come

September 28th, 2009 at 04:49 pm


"More Social Security for the American Family." Poster for the Social Security Administration, by an unknown artist, undated - Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, National Archives and Records Administration

---

PROJECTS-
I got one of the drawers painted on the chest of drawers when the fumes from the oil based enamel gave me a whopper of a migraine over the weekend. I'll wait a few more days to work on the other ones because I know it will wipe me out again. Bugger! Let me see --- which day do I want another migraine????

OUTFLOW-
Today is a No Spend Day for my personal budget. Housebudget paid a bill.


PENSION-
What we worked on today was setting up the online account for Hubster's Pension. We also watched a nice explanatory DVD that came with his papers. After that we then went online there and requested a formal 'Estimate of Benefits'. Time to get that back 15-45 days. Step 1 in their process.

And then 90 days afterward to get the actual pension started after we do the formal application which can be done online as well. We are getting ready to push the button on this because as I figure it his extended unemployment will run out Christmas week, December 23rd to be exact. O Happy Holidays, huh?

We already have a pretty fair estimate of what the monthly defined benefits amount will be - nothing huge, but we are aiming for a joint plan that will give him a certain amount each month while he's alive and then it cuts in half to pay me for the rest of my life should I outlive him.

The real reason we are going ahead with this one is that it will allow us to get the HCTC (health tax credit whichie-I may have the initials screwed up) that will pay 80% of health insurance premiums for Hubster. He currently has no coverage as his employer went bankrupt as a LLC and did not have to provide COBRA. The most recent inquiry on health coverage for him? $1600 a month!



EGADS AND "Hang on Elizabeth I'm Coming!" [Old Sanford & Son reference] He won't be able to get Medicare coverage until he's 65 so we would be/ARE wide open for disaster if he had a major medical issue before then. I am okay on this front as I am a registered member of my tribe and can get medical treatment thru my tribal membership. I'm sorry but my thoughts are if you can easily afford $1600 a month for insurance coverage on a regular basis for just one member of your family? You probably don't need the coverage!

---
SOCIAL SECURITY-

Hubster is 63 years & basically 3 months old, and with no lively prospects of finding employment he can perform, then we are looking to press the early Social Security button as well. By the time that process gets going he will be basically 63 yrs & 6 months old. Not what we'd originally planned to do (he was planning to work until 70), but looks like that's the way the cards have played out. We called and talked to a SS rep online today (Teresa in Iowa was very helpful & kind) and we have an appointment set up for October 26th which is the earliest we can get in to our local office. We could of course go ahead and do it online, but there are still many unanswered questions and we will be using the time between now and then to write them all down, get all our needed papers together - birth certificate, military discharge, marriage certificates, etc., etc., etc.........[it's all here someplace Smile] and if we want to we can try to continue deciphering the answers online and possibly make a few more calls to reps and then do the formal application online.

We will still keep the October appointment anyway as there are more issues we have questions about that likely won't be answered online. Haven't seen them so far!

We are getting there people. Not without lots of discussion though! Much to be considered, hashed and rehashed, or as I like to say 'cussed and discussed!'.

---

UTILITIES-
I paid our water bill online - 3000 gallons, 34 days in the billing cycle thru to 9/18/09, in the amount of $40.45, $2.50 of which is for the ambulance service to our rural area.

---
MONEY MARKET VS. CD LADDER
On those MM funds that were earning next to NOTHING!!!? We started yet another CD at ING (Ughhh! Hubster liked the 12 month option), at 1.85%. Emigrant has 2.00% for 16 months & beyond. I wanted to go there, so we decided to do one amount at ING and then some laddered CDs at Emigrant for dates spread out.

Well, the ING one got done, but the Emigrant ones we decided to wait. Why? Because if it takes a little longer to get the Pension & SS income coming in we don't want to be 'income-less' for a month or two or three. Yes, we could put expenses on CCs for a month or two if needed, but we don't really want to.

So, for now the majority of the MoneyMarket $'s is still sitting in the MM earning very little. Remind me after those checks start coming in to move the other on out! (yeah right, like I'm gonna forget!!!)

We are going to leave some in there as our cash cushion, but we don't need this much just sitting idle!!! Guess who made this decision? Ummm, wasn't me! Frown I've been complaining about it for YEARS!

Even if we do need 'some' cushion in case of a shortage before those checks start coming? ...it isn't THIS much. Oh well. That's the way it is today! I will keep pitching for only leaving a bare minimum bit idle and moving the rest.

On Having Lower Mortgage Balance

August 15th, 2009 at 07:06 pm



NJDebbie commented on our low mortgage balance. We bought on a 15 year mortgage, a somewhat smaller house (ie not a McMansion) with lower pricing than most folks do, but it needed lots of elbow grease. And, we've done the work and added a lot of value to our place. There is a good deal of equity tied up in the walls.

I'm ready for it to be paid off, and even as that is about to happen we are thinking of selling! We keep tossing it around.

I love my house, but the acreage it sets on will likely be problematic for us as we age in regards to lawn-care. Two and a half acres of rolling yard that has slopes and cross fences and creeks and LOTS of trees to be weed-eated around. I don't want to have to rely on my kids and grandkids to keep up the yard as I grey.

The latest discussion is just how many months of lawn-care we could have done for us with the amount we'd pay for a realtor's fee if we sold and rebought elsewhere.

We're doing a lot of talking, going back and forth on keeping cash out of a house vs. paying off early. The experts all disagree and we can't make up our minds!

Meanwhile we are doing a lot of getting rid of stuff now so that our kids don't have to go through it like we did on Hubster's parents house. We have way, way too much stuff! Much of it inherited from an admited pack-rat. We've been busy craigslisting and ebaying it.

But first you must sort, clean, investigate pricing, discuss all the finer points, etc. Me? There are days I just want to call the Disabled American Veterans and tell them to send their biggest truck and a couple of hefty workers to haul it all OFF!

Yet my frugal side butt-puckers and then we go back to trying to rid ourselves of 'stuff' and be good stewards at the same time. Being good in this train of thought is a lot of work!! Being charitable and just giving it away sounds ever so much nicer! Having depression era parents that harped the lesson home makes for a tough-row to hoe when the ease of just letting stuff go raises it's head.

How to hack our frugal dna strands?

Any one have a creative idea? thoughts?

...or is slogging through our only option? We've discussed having an auction, etc. There is just so much STUFF!

Dress by Your Astrological Sign

July 9th, 2009 at 06:35 pm

Linking for a friend, and I do think if you buy clothing that fits your astrological style that you'll spend less and be happier with what's hanging in the closet. Here's how:

http://www.elsaelsa.com/archives/2009/07/09/astrology-and-fa...


Happy Valentines Day 2 My Fruggie Frenz'

February 14th, 2009 at 07:25 pm


Happy Valentines Day to My Frugal Friends! XXOXOXOXOX, Lux

Deep Cleaning For Muscle Memories

February 11th, 2009 at 06:32 am

Warning - long winded pondering ahead w/associated painting below...


I've been busy attempting to rebuild my painting skills as a possible way to earn money in the future. Besides being somewhat of a burning passion (as my family will tell you I will paint it if it stands still - so, keep moving.) I think I could earn some extra dineros!

Yaaa Frugalis! -

This earning of money for my art would be easier if I wasn't so darn privately drawn in my personality. I am not shy in the slightest, but private to a fault. It's uglier than it is pretty in an extroverted world and to effectively market these creations I'll have to come up with a compromise that works FOR ME. See INFJ and Scorpio profiles on the web for privacy and introverted features of the Mrs. Frugalis gene-pool.

To get out there and financially win however, excercising painting muscles that haven't been used in 20 some-odd years equals an exercise in patience, something I'm woefully short of.

FYI - One of the best ways for writers to learn to write is to copy those who are masters. One of my best creative writing teachers had us literally copy paragraphs of great writers.

To me, painting is similar.

You attempt to copy what someone else who's a known 'great' does in order to build your own talent base. That way when you get going on your own ideas that other 'stuff' is in your veins and just flows naturally.

So, I've been spending a lot of my time working out the dust-bunnies in my muscle memories to get back in the groove on certain painting techniques and skill-sets. When I go to town doing my own creations I want the skills to again be there to back up my ideas.

Well folks, all I can say is, my ideas for some paintings are still cooking on the back burner. I have ideas and plans that I can't execute as well as they deserve to be done YET. They'll have to wait while I work up a good head of steam so to speak. The sketch book is filling up.

In other words it's gonna get ugly before it gets any better. That's frustrating to me, but part of the process. You know, all the old cliches, "to bake a cake you've got to break a few eggs", etc., come to mind.

All that said folks, in order to tell you that copyright laws prevent me showing you works that are a direct copy of someone else's artwork or photo. So, I can't show you anything unless it's my own original idea and I haven't been doing much of that.

Yesterday the day was spent working on COPIES OF ORIGINALS (so I can't show you) - a VIVID flourescent abstract in acrylics and later in the evening on a rose topiary painted in girly pastel colors in oils. Uggg-leeeeee! My abstract copy is a hot mess and the pastel one just doesn't suit my tastes - (like the form - hate the shades).

I love the brights.

See, this is good to know about oneself!

I do think that although I'm not necessarily happy with either one they do provide lessons. The abstract one teaches me that ugly can come and stay awhile before beauty emerges and abstracts are not just a few splotches thrown at a run.

The pastel one teaches that I'm not a pastel girl any more AND better - that the old color mixing lessons are still in the head somewhere down in deep dark storage and they'll float up given enough airtime. Although, I seem to have forgotten everything I ever knew about painting flowers (roses & anemones were called for). And, I learned that I can do the work of getting outside my comfort zone to try something different.

So, while we're all waiting on baited breath for my headspace to be completely revamped (yeah RIGHT on all points! - Breathe people, this could take a while), I'm going to put up a picture I did late last year. When I was younger we owned a LOT of exotic animals. We did in fact own a buffalo, who's name was Buffy (how original). He chased Hubster once! And he could flatfoot jump over the hood of a car given a running go at it. I give you 'Buffy Remembered'.



Artwork Copyright by the Artist


Yes, he's wild - verging on purply-hot pink, horns of silver, has red hair and neon yellow on his hump and my signature was done in the shades of the minty green turquoise grass blades as an effort to blend in and fade out. If this ever sells, that is not the original title of the painting.

This is a scanned image and may not be the best way to relay it to others. To market artwork you have to be able to reproduce it well, so I'm having to work on my tech skills as well - do I scan or photograph? Do I have the right equipment, etc.

He's done in acrylic, on a 5x7 canvas panel now resting in a silver-toned frame. Funny how the colors do not all translate thru the scanning process.

I love children's literature and would like to eventually be good enough to do illustrations for children's books that support tribal memories & cultural awareness for Native American children. My 'tiki' dream would be to actually write and do the artwork for my own Indian children's book.

My Dad did Indian art for years before the laws became stricter. I'm still not 100% sure how to refer to his items. He's not a tribal member, but I am through my mother's bloodline, so I can legally call myself a Native American Indian artist, while he can not.

Dadio's way better at it than I am. My brother and nephew are also tribal members and artists. I'll put up something my brother did some time and something of Daddy's too. I don't think I own any of nephews - his are pretty cool pen & ink drawings (B&W & colored) that are a combo of native art & anime - he's a child of his time.

Of financial note - I spent about $23.00 at the art store on Monday (canvas, frame & 2 tubes of oils on clearance at $1.45 each-SCORE!!)and finished using up a Christmas gift card on part of it, so only had a small outlay.

The Secret of Happiness

February 5th, 2009 at 09:38 am


credit: Calvin & Hobbes




"The secret of happiness is to admire without desiring." -Francis H. Bradley, 1846-1924, British Philosopher


Today is a NSD. Updated the sidebar.

New Baby Frugalis

January 26th, 2009 at 11:00 am



Along with his lovely wife, our number #3 child (Man of the Year Son), the 2nd of our four boys and one daughter, just had a new baby boy this past Friday. I got to go see him on Saturday and on Sunday. He went home from the hospital yesterday. Welcome Grand-Baby Frugalis!!! This is the sixth grandchild (4 girls & now 2 boys) and we also have a great-grandson too.

Momma & baby doing fine!!


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