Tuesday, September 30, 2008

That was depressing

I just checked the balance in my 401k. At least it isn't as far down as my other investments.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I just need to wait for the market to stabilize. In the meantime, do I continue to contribute to my 401k? Or should I just take that money and bury it in the backyard, as I mentioned previously.

Retirement just doesn't seem possible.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Rolling, rolling, rolling

This is what Mr. Fix-it and I did this weekend. I was a little nervous getting started on the Segway, but after I got used to it, it was great fun. We had to stay below 6 MPH for a bit, then got to speed up to 10 MPH. Here we're going down a slope which was also fun. The machine doesn't let you go over the top speed and in fact it "pushes" against you when you approach it, which is a little disconcerting. All in all, quite fun and I wouldn't mind having one myself, though I'm not sure where I would ride it.

video

$3.55

It's been months since I paid that "little;" the last time was probably March. I wonder if prices will go up or down in light of the current economic crisis?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Scrap Pink has started

But it's not too late to sign up! If you need help purchasing your spot, select pay by money order and put your paypal e-mail in the notes so you can be invoiced.

I won't be around much (family stuff and all that), but will check in over there when I can. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Scrap Pink

I just want to remind everyone about Scrap Pink this weekend. I can tell you that the challenges are fun, the prizes are huge, and I'm doing a little game with a prize too. If you have trouble purchasing your spot, just e-mail Sharon or post here.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Burp!

When it rains, it pours. My friend brought in muffins for her coworker's birthday and I was invited to partake. And someone else brought in dulce de leche croissants so I had to try one of these (yum!!!). And one of my coworkers brought in donuts and another brought in pumpkin oatmeal cookies (those I could pretend were healthy, lol).

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Check your toilet paper

Seriously! We just bought some toilet paper and the rolls are 1/4 of an inch narrower than the old ones. Same brand, same style, higher price. Guess this is one way companies can save money.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

My new garden enemy

I'm still battling ants, but the aphids seem under control at the moment. Now I'm battling grasshoppers. I'm not sure what's worse, the aphids or the grasshoppers. I think the grasshoppers do more overt damage. They're defoliating the bean plants and are going crazy over the basil. In fact, one of them tried to make it into the pesto tonight (ewwwwww!).

Speaking of pesto, we had it over kelp noodles tonight. A friend gave me some to try and um, I think I'll stick with pasta. The texture was crunchy, like jellyfish or cartilage. I think I would have liked it better in a salad, maybe with an Asian-style dressing. One good thing is it is low in calories, only 6 per serving. My friend is trying out different raw recipes so no pasta for him.

New perspective on garages

When I got home from work last night, a mom was passing by with her little boy. Mr. Fix-it greeted me at the door (how sweet!) and was laughing. I laughed too when he told me what she said. "Yes, some people park their cars in their garages if they have enough room." I guess it was a novelty for her son to see me pull my car into the garage.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The backyard or under the mattress

Those seem like better choices as to where to keep my money. That's what my grandfather did. What's good enough for him is good enough for me, right? Maybe my dollars wouldn't keep up with inflation, but at least I'd still have them.

I'm so angry and frustrated and sad. I feel like I've done all the things you're supposed to do as a responsible citizen. Never invested in get-rich quick schemes. Always purchased health insurance, even when I had to pay for it out of pocket as a poor student. I've always voted, paid my taxes on time, never went into debt except for college and our house and two cars. Since those two cars, we've paid cash for subsequent vehicles. We pay our bills on time, put money away for a rainy day, put money away for retirement, donate to charity. Sacrifice now so no one will have to take care of us later.

Yet, the leaders in finance can't be so careful. And my tax dollars have to prop up a failing system. So what do people learn? You don't have to be responsible. It's okay to risk your money and everyone elses because you've got to get while the getting's good. That irresponsible risk is okay because the government will bail you out.

Okay, maybe this is a simplistic view. I'm not an economist, I'm not a financial guru. I'm just an ordinary citizen who's scared of her economic future.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Scrapping for a cause

Interested in a fun scrapping weekend? How about reserving September 26 through 28 for the Scrap Pink crop over at Linnecards.com? For a mere $10 (all of which goes to Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Research), you'll have access to a special forum where we'll have fun games, creative challenges, and great prizes! Plus you get a shopping discount! Who wouldn't want all that? Just click on the banner to the right to get started.

I can't tell you what all the challenges are (that would give you an unfair advantage), but let me me just say there's something for everyone!

What, you're not a scrapbooker? You can still partake of the games. Or just come lurk in the forum. It's for a good cause.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hoping for Oregon Spring, Winter Glasnost, and Siberia


I was lucky to find some tomato seedlings at the nursery. Unfortunately, no one there could tell me anything about them so I bought one of each variety. Let's hope I end up with fresh tomatoes all winter. My current plants are on their last legs.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Clearing stuff out

I've got a bit more room in my closet since loaned out some clothes. And I'm trying desperately to cut down on the paper (do I really need to keep every pay stub I've ever received?).

There's a small pile of stuff to go to Goodwill. Now I just need to get them in the car and over there. In that pile is 210 pieces of scrapbook paper. Yes, I counted them for the tax deduction. I hate to think how much I paid for all that. But, better to get rid of it now, than to store it for another year. I should have brought them to the crop last week, but I didn't know there would be newbies there. Most of the people I regularly scrap with have already seen my givaway box which is why I didn't feel like hauling it over.

We've been selling a few things on ebay. So far so good (knock on wood). I just sold a couple of QuicKutz for more than I paid so I'm happy for that. More money for my scrapbook addiction (or paying the bills). More important, they are out of the house and I don't have to think about them anymore.

I'm debating whether or not to put some books on half.com or just donate them. Or opening an etsy shop. Maybe sell cards or some of my excess SB stuff? Or would that lead to me buying more stuff? The goal is to get stuff out of the house!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Two nights out in a row

I'm just not used to going out on "school" nights, much less two nights in a row. I'm soooo tired. I went to an LSS to meet some friends (and pick up my Stampin Up order, lol) and made the cutest page. Sorry, but I can't post it since it was for a challenge and all the entries will be posted at once.

Then I went to a Pampered Chef party. I like their stuff, but it is rather expensive. So I was cheap and spent only $30 (for two items). I asked Mr. Fix-it about a few other items and when I told him the price, he balked. Good thing we were on the same page.

Boy, I'm feeling old. Out for two nights, and it wasn't even that strenuous and I'm looking forward to the weekend to recover? That's sad!

I remember

and I cried on the way to work this morning whenever I thought about it, when it was mentioned on the radio, and when I saw flags at half mast. Let us remember those who perished and those they left behind. Let us remember those who survived and those who are protecting us now. And let us work together for a world without terrorists, without hate.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Clean or not?

Wow, I'm just full of questions this week, lol. I was in the office breakroom washing out my bowl (I often eat oatmeal in the morning), when someone commented that they wouldn't use the sponge since other people have used it. I've noticed that many people won't use the group sponge and prefer to use a paper towel as their washcloth.

First of all, if you know anything about oatmeal, you know that it is difficult to scrub off if it has had a chance to dry. Although I try to wash my bowl as soon as I'm done eating, sometimes I'm called off to a meeting or get caught in work so there's a delay. Second, I figure that we're all using warm or hot water to clean, along with soap, so there's some sanitation there. Third, we're not dealing with raw food. Fourth, the sponge gets changed out every couple weeks.

So, would using a group sponge gross you out? Am I being too casual about germs?

Monday, September 08, 2008

Am I fat?

One of my coworkers is at that awkward pregnancy stage where her regular clothes are too tight and she's not quite large enough for pregnancy clothes. So since I'm a little larger than she is, I offered to loan her some of my clothes, or at least my "fat" clothes and some of my clothes that are knit or have elastic waists. She's worn a few things to work and commented on others so I'm glad she's getting some use. But I'm a little embarrassed that my regular clothes fit a pregnant woman.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Shallots galore!

This is the first time I've grown shallots. Not bad for a first time effort, eh? I got the bulbs from Uncle B, so these are extra special to me.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Neighbor's house update

We went for a walk tonight and noticed there were for sale flyers available at our neighbor's house, so of course we picked one up (or I did, Mr. Fix-it was too embarrassed to). Be prepared to make a hefty down payment or at least have a good income if you want to buy this house. It is offered at $775,000. Wow! That's a price from a couple years ago. Maybe they aren't serious about selling? Maybe the housing market has turned around in our area? (I don't think so!)

Lest you think I'm rich or something, my house is worth waaaaay less than that.

4 am

Did you know that it is really dark and quiet at 4:00 am? For some reason I woke up and couldn't fall back asleep for the longest time. And then I slept fitfully until I really woke up. Guess we both didn't sleep well since we didn't get up until 7:45 am. That's late for us (well, late for Mr. Fix-it, lol).

Not sure if I've got a lot on my mind or what. Or maybe it is this cold (allergies?) I've been fighting since Tuesday. I even went home early on Tuesday and took a nap. That's soooo not me. Ah well, at least I have the weekend to recover.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Won't you be my neighbor?

It looks like the house next door is for sale. I say "looks like" because there is a realty sign, but no flyers and I can't find the house on the MLS. They've been good neighbors. The bad thing is they smoke and sometimes we can smell it in our house, but overall, they are friendly and quiet. Mr. Fix-it isn't happy about all their cars, but they park most of them in the driveway so it doesn't bother me. Yes, parking can be a bit difficult sometimes, but still, better than our other neighbors who didn't part in their garage or driveway for years. I asked Mr. Fix-it to be nosy and ask about their move, but he hasn't done it yet.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Stringbean update

I just wanted to show you how long the string beans can get. I think the longest string bean I've gotten is about 16 inches long. I'm still harvesting them, just not as many.
This is what I'm getting about every other day. Which less than what I was getting every day. Still, that's enough for us and to share since Mr. Fix-it isn't interested in eating these more than twice a week.