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Archive for March, 2013

I gave official notice, plus kitchen garden!

March 26th, 2013 at 10:02 am

So, I finally gave my official notice that I was quitting that high-stress low-pay freelance gig. I know it's the right thing to do, so why was it so hard?? I guess I'm conditioned not to give up money, even if it's small.

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I also paid $500 toward the mortgage, and my balance is now $66668.98. less than $10,000 to our paydown goal for the year. Ugh. I just want it all paid off!!!

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And, it's been so long since I've posted because I've been quite the busy bee in the garden. I've built 4 gigantic 10 ft wide, 8 ft-deep keyhole raised beds, plus two 8 ft by 3 ft raised beds in prep for planting my dream kitchen garden.


All of those beds, for lumber and supplies, cost me about $180. I also made two small round beds for $8 each from salvaged basement metal window well walls from the Habitat for Humanity thrift shop. There is still much much much more work to be done before last frost hits May 15, and planting begins, but at least some of the heavy lifting is done!

Sad face!

March 5th, 2013 at 02:10 pm

First the good news. An extra payment to the mortgage posted today: We're close to $67,000. I want it paid off so bad!!!

Now the sad face. Grandpa B, the kids' honorary granddad died suddenly in his sleep this week. He is my best friend's dad, and has always treated me and my children as his own family. The kids love him and he is precious to us. It's been a sad few days around here as I grapple with my own mourning, as well as supporting my best friend with her own grief.

I know how she feels, as I lost my dad 4 years ago. I'm putting a lot of thought into how I can best support her while not doing the 'I'm going to cheer you up" thing. We all know that doesn't work. So yes, this weekend we will be driving 3.5 hours to his hometown to attend his memorial and wake, and to spend time with our friends. I'm sad but at the same time hoping I can put that aside and offer some much needed laughs during this hard time.

Decision is made.

March 3rd, 2013 at 08:07 am

Some of you know I've been wrestling with a particularly low-paying but time intensive weekly freelance project. I think I've decided to let it go.

It's hard to say no to money these days, but looking at how much I'm actually making for the amount of work and hassle after taxes, is eye-opening. And, after contemplating its impact on my stress level, time with the kids, and all of that. Well, you know how that goes!

Something just clicked inside me. It's like a switch flipped. It happened last week. Two things happened:

First, my editor on this project called freaking out about the schedule and moving around the stories, making it sound like I had screwed up what was filed when. After at first being stressed, i realized I hadn't done anything wrong, they messed up on their end, and she was blaming me. (And, the phone call was really all for nothing, as everything was still on track even with the supposed mistakes, and nothing really needed to be done on my part. ) Anyway, I think that was it.

After that, when I got calls or emails about this project, I just kind of glossed over. I genuinely didn't care anymore. That is usually a sign!

Second thing: The kids had a special educational program at the zoo. It gave me an extra four hours one week to myself (luxury). Anyway, I sat and worked on my novel for the first time in six months. It felt great, and that satisfaction lasted a week. It's really time to do more avocation than vocation right now. I'm not getting any younger.

So yeah, I'll be losing about $400 a month before taxes in liquid income, but only about $120 a monthly after taxes, and I will have time to edit that novel and start working on the next in the series.

The only snag-- breaking up with the project. I need to give my editor notice enough to find someone. I was thinking of staying until the end of May. My plan is just to lay out the numbers, versus the time and my actual hourly rate, and say I just can't work for so little anymore. I don't want it to be personal, as my editor is also my friend. My fear, though, is that they won't be able to find someone to take over for me for so little money, and they'll try to give me more, which will put me in a tight spot.

So yeah, decision is made.

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In other news, we sent $3,000 extra to the mortgage today. I want it paid off!!

BIG Day today

March 1st, 2013 at 09:05 am

It's a big day today, for several reasons. First, hubby's annual bonus finally posted. (About $9,000 after taxes. ) and we now have to decide where it's going. My vote is savings, with 2k or so to the mortgage.

And the OTHER reason... I am registering my son for kindergarten today!! I can't believe it. When I started blogging here, I was 7 months pregnant and now, kindergarten. I feel like we've waited so long, but at the same time can't believe it's here already.

I'm nervous about going to the school, and I don't even know why!!!