We bought a house 10 years ago

that had one already–and had a friend put one in his place, about $1000 about 5 years ago. Where did you get the $4000 figure?
Our grocery store sells filtered water–you can bring your empty jug and fill it up–triple filtered, including a reverse osmosis filter. I must admit it tastes way better than carbon filtered water. Carbon filters and reverse osmosis filters are completely different. I don’t think one can compare them–reverse osmosis are probably superior, but wasteful of water and considerably more expensive. I don’t know of any BRTC that sells them.

That’s been one of the more appalling hallmarks of the US for years now

And, of course, Pres. Bush doesn’t help when he makes statements about our “American right” to drive more and more gas-guzzling SUVs, when he rips the solar panels off the whitehouse, when he refuses to sign the Kyoto treaty, and when he appoints his oil and gas cronies to key environmental positions.. Online fuel economy guide.
One of the things that first attracted me to Artway was that they were environmentally conscious, in their manufacturing practices and in their products. Sheesh..

I’m sorryyou’re so frustrated.

Congrats, Rose, that’s awesome news.

I love it that you’re praying about the business growing but only so far as God intends. There is that tendency for folks to get into their heads what they want or feel they need, and then get mad when it doesn’t go their way when perhaps there was a very good reason for that. I also love that you’re putting confidence in God’s plan for you, even if it involves skills and tasks that you don’t currently think you’re capable of. Again, we get caught up in what we think we can or cannot do and forget that life is growth and growth involves learning new things. Sometimes those new things are skills we never knew we had; sometimes they’re boundaries we need to respect. In either case, this is an awesome update. Onward and Upward!

I am on a break, waiting on a stamp to dry

I wanted to tell you that I forgot that dh’s barber also ordered another coaster set with a cowboy them. Her business partner is into cowboy stuff so that is who it’s for. I will create one from scratch for that part of the order and my wheels are turning already on that.

I will make a good chunk on this. About time! I give the credit to God for this order. He knew I needed the boost for my self-esteem and also needed the money for paying some business bills … taxes, occupancy fees, booth fees, etc. It will all get plowed right back into the business.

Of course, I am hoping that when the recipients recieve their gifts that they love them as much as I do. I also hope they love them enough to make a puchase themselves for gifts or recommend my business to friends and family.

I would like to make this business much more than it is right now, but only as much as what God wants it to be. IOW, I want to grow, but at the rate God wants it to grow and only to the size He sees fit. He knows what I am capable of, much more than I do.

Okay, folks

The daily challenges I’ve been giving myself are getting things moving in terms of sales. Dh went to the barber this AM. She is getting married and is trying to finish up gifts for the wedding party and a few close friends. Dh tells her about my coasters/trivets, shows her a sample. Voila’! She orders FIVE SETS OF COASTERS WITH MATCHING TRIVETS …. all due by Thursday! She actually doesn’t need them till Friday. However, I am going to be out of town for a few days starting Thursday. (Dh is staying home to hold down the fort.) So actually I would only get a one day reprieve if I were home–till Friday. (The barber is getting married Saturday.) This is, by far, my largest order at one time.

When dh came in with the order, after getting his haircut, I almost had a heart attack! However, I am calmer now. I went to the barber shop and talked to her–it’s just about 5 minutes from the house. I am playing some music as I work that makes me feel calmer and gives me inspiration.

I went to the barber shop because I wanted to make sure I knew what she wanted and let her look at some of the colors I have available. Fortunately the design for everything is the same. I don’t have to come up with a design from scratch.

I have started the trivets and will be done shortly with those. The coasters won’t take long but just more of them to do.

It is a good thing I went to buy more tiles yesterday. I had only the exact amount of trivets before that purchase. Now I have some extras. Inevitably there will be a mess up somewhere. I know I had some tiles for coasters but could not find them yesterday so I bought some more of those too.

Better get myself back to work now. I just had to send a report of the good news!

I really don’t like to think of my custom coaster business as “plan”

Because that term has a negative connotation to me, never really being an outstanding student and all. Anyway..

I have have been doing some creating today. I actually have been challenging myself on facebook to get a certain number of items done by a certain time to hold myself accountable. Saturday is when all this started. I had been web surfing looking for ideas, then never really implementing them for quite a while now. So, Saturday evening I challenged myself to get something created, photographed and posted on fb within 24 hours. I got it done with a couple hours to spare. So I made the same challenge immediately, to have something created, photographed, and posted within 24 hours. I got it done in an hour! It was done by Sunday evening.

Then, Sunday evening I challenged myself to create 2 things, get them photographed and posted within 24 hours. It was done with plenty of time to spare. Then this evening I got a 3rd project done. The ink fumes and alcohol ink fumes must be going to my brain! LOL

I have a secret challenge I have given myself, which dh knows about and he thinks it’s a good idea. I had to order a particular thing to get it done. I hope it comes in by Wedsnesday so I can get it done this week. When it’s all said and done, I’ll post about it on FB, with a picture. Till then, stay tuned and till it’s all done, my lips are sealed.

Oh it feels good to be back in the couponing saddle again!

Even if I only did a quick mini-run. Albertson’s (until Tuesday July 1) has the following on sale:
Garland Jack BBQ sauce .99 (coupon $1/2 = .49 ea after cpn), retails 1.99
Koolaid .20 (coupon Buy 10 Get 3 free, cpn expires 6/30, = .15ea) retails .25
Van Camps Pork & Beans .33ea limit 6 (no coupon) retails 1.67 each!
2L sevenup company “10 calorie” soda .88 WYB 4, (coupon .75/1) retails $1.29
So you’re saving (from retail) 1.50 more on each BBQ, .10 more on each koolaid, a whopping $1.34 ea on P&B, and a whopping $1.16 ea on soda.

At Stater Bros:
Farmer John hot dogs are on sale .99 (from $3.99) cpn is $1/2
Garland Jack BBQ also .99, but part of a 4 offers/household/day promo, cpn is $1/2
Koolaid also .20 ea
Reynolds baking cups .99 (from $1.29), cpn is $1/1 = FREE !!

Stater Bros has a “new” store policy (YMMV) that they aren’t supposed to take coupons if they exceed the sale price. It takes “too much of the cashier’s time” to manually ring up the coupons. So, be aware that on any given day, particularly if it is busy, and with any given cashier, they could refuse to take your coupon and you can get cash advance loans next time! On the other hand: WALMART updated their official policy, and are now allowing you the benefit of OVERAGE. This means if your item costs .90 cents, and the coupon face value is $1.00, you get .10 cents “credit” towards your order. What this really translates to is they have updated their software to ignore item price and only count # of items purchased minus # of coupons scanned.
HAPPY DAY, especially since they PRICE MATCH !

I may have actually sort of done the same thing

Our pasture landlord has traditionally been able to put together a haying crew composed of his kids and grandkids. But this past weekend as we were working in our own hayfield, we learned that his son (our age) now has two jobs off-farm so can’t help much with haying, and his grandson is only available part-time due to other summer work. My landlord is 90 this year and doesn’t have the endurance to go work the fields all day himself anymore. His wife is in her 70’s and she can run the equipment perfectly well, but she’s got a pinched nerve in her lower back so bouncing all over those fields is a long day for her. Yikes. They had to hire two new young people this past weekend, who by the looks of things don’t have a lot of experience on a haying crew. So my DH and I talked about it, and we told our landlord that if he’s ever short a person for his crew, to call me and I’d come work for him this summer. Part of me hopes he takes us up on that offer; I hate to see him work himself into exhaustion. Part of me is hoping he doesn’t call very often because we certainly have our own work to do. But geez, we’d rather help them out (and yea the extra money would be nice) than keep to our schedule and watch his family flounder around with getting their harvests done. Or worse, not get the hay done and then it goes to waste and their barns stand empty. So I guess we’ll see how it goes this summer.

I live in a small town (7000 peeps)

and they are pretty graceful on the water bills.. its the smallest bill to be paid and we forgot to pay that tiny amount for months once and it was very embarrasing to have them come by and shut off the water (at the house at the road) and have them come back later to turn it back on.. simply because we overlooked that $25 bill that had added up to like $100 because we hadn’t paid it). Great little town that was very patient with us and doesn’t charge a boatload of fees..

Better news, bummer news

So I open my door today to find a “shut off your water” courtesy notice, along with a $44 PENALTY for not paying on time.

Say what? I paid that bill on July 1st, JUST SO I can jip Huntington Beach out of the opportunity to screw the citizenry over.

Because I pay online, I don’t usually bother to keep a copy of the confirmation. Which it turns out, is going to really mess me up this month. Because “evidently” I must have keyed in a number wrong somewhere….(either debit or account) because ‘they don’t have any record of the transaction.’ (and it’s not showing up on my bank account either, which is the only good thing.)

Of course, if I actually FIND it paid, and I entered in the water bill/account number wrong, are they going to refund it or credit it? ANSWER: HELL NO. (ok, her answer was (and I quote) “ABSOLUTELY NOT, it’s not OUR error.”)

Can you tell how much I JUST HATE this fricking monopoly of a city I live in?

Just trying to breathe baby.

The better news is: I have an interview for a parttime childcare position tomorrow, pays roughly $1100 a month, which would pay our bills and the rent shortfall.

Still haven’t heard from The Rival Firm. I told DH if we didn’t hear back after this week (they had said they weren’t going to make a decision til mid-July) follow up, and if it seems like it’s going to be a long while coming, call the 75 mile/day commute and see if the position is still open.

We need to get moving money IN.

It’s been quiet here at the blog today

Not sure if msgs. are going out and I am not receiving them or what. I have been crafting and creating the last 3 days. dh is at home holding down the fort while dd and I are at The Croppers Cottage. I have also received an order from a store at home where I have wholesaled some monogram coasters. They have ordered 4 more. I have been challenging myself even on this trip to create by posting challenges with a deadline at my fb page. So far I have met the challenges. I hope you’ll stop by and see what I’ve created and if you like my work, I hope you’ll “like” it and share it.
I am excited that this business is picking up. This past Tuesday I got a rush order that was big. Not sure if I posted it here but … dh’s barber needed some more gifts for her wedding party. She ordered 5 sets of coasters with matching trivets. Then she also ordered a different set of coasters. I had to get it out by Thursday morning because I was leaving to go on my crafty weekend. I ended up getting it done on Tuesday and delivered on Wednesday. It produced some much needed cash for the business. Plus it is getting my name out there.

We are going to have some custom shelving built for my studio at home. I have had to stash stuff in the living room because there is not room to store in my studio. The shelves will be about an inch thick and all will be adjustable and about 16 inches deep. Certainly sturdy enough to hold all my supplies. He is also building out a work table that will be able to hold a granite table top. The guy building the kitchen cabinets is building this job. He has bought materials and will be starting it very soon, if he hasn’t already. I can’t wait to get it done!

On the topic of or kitchen …. the cabinets, granite and sink are all in and dh is working on getting the faucet hooked up. Water lines have all been run for the fridge in the kitchen and the one in the garage, the dishwasher, and the sink. Gas has been hooked up again for the stove. We just have to have the back splash installed. We are on the list and know what we want, just waiting our turn in line. The granite got started the day I left for my trip so I have not yet seen it all installed. I cannot wait to see it when I get home.

This last week was a satisfying week

I got one single blog post (with links to 22 new recipes) up despite the H and O keys only working part time on my computer. It was challenging to say the least, and I’m certain I’ve missed more than one H or O I needed to go back and strike numerous times to get it in my posts, but there is no new computer in my budget right now.
Since we put an air conditioner in the office I may start doing my computer work up there again and use the Frankenstein computer dh built for communication as well as business work for awhile and limit this computer to web searches and bookkeeping. Do you have any idea how many H’s and O’s you do in even one post?
Anyway, back to the homework report (3 o’s one h)
The guys only worked 3 days this week due to the holiday and taking the half day off Friday. So it was a honey do 4 days weekend. They worked hard all weekend between repeatedly going to town for this errand or another. We burned more gas than usual for errands, but still less than what they would have burned if they had worked those other two days.
Ds returned the weed whacker because it simply would not maintain power, despite the fact he purchased one that was suppose to be the type for the amount of property we keep knocked down. So he’s got that $240 back in his pocket.
His other good news is the medical testing he had done Friday all came out fine and his problem is a minor one that should be gone soon. We are extremely happy about that.
We have now completed week three of living off of food storage, except for perishables. This week saw a Mazzio’s Pasta Bake clone using freeze dried sausage, dried mozzarella, pasta, jarred Alfredo sauce, jarred pasta sauce, dried garlic and dried onion, and oh yea a little tvp. It was delicious! Had I not had the two jarred sauces on hand I could have made them out of dried ingredients I had on hand too, but I was lazy.
Dh told me work seems to be picking up at their job and overtime may be returning by September. I am hoping he is right because it would speed up or at least let me meet my Dec 25 goal to be rid of Best Buy. It’s been good they have not been on OT because they have been doing so much around here. But we are so gazelle intense around here it is crazy, so overtime would be wonderful too. Ds has even got back to being that intense and is now paying considerable extra on his mortgage sized Sallie Mae.
Now about the countdown reference. We have set and overall goal for being credit card debt free and headed to WDW by a certain date (which shall remain secret at this point—bad guys read posts too) We are doing a countdown of days to that point—yep it’s getting that close. It’s still a huge number of days, but it’s now days not decades or even years. It is close enough I will be building incentive charts for the fridge this next week. One of those charts will be for weight loss, because after all the average person walks 6.9 -13 miles a day at WDW and right now two laps around Wal-Mart wears me out—hey it’s a super center! The guys do better of course because of all the chores they do around here that require sheer stamina, but they need to lose a bunch of weight too.
Therefore, we have agreed to a non-exercise, exercise program that we hope will help us get in better shape. We are all doing simple extra things daily, that we will build up slowly as we go. Because each of our levels and weight loss needs are different we are adapting it each for ourselves, with some common grounds, like nightly walks together.
Example: The few times I go away from the house a month now I will park even further out than I already do (it’s a big truck and hard to park so I always go to the end of a row to park) to walk in.
Here at home this week I am taking either the front or basement stairs at least one extra time a day—the guys want me to do this when they are home because of a minor knee problem I am having. Next week it will be two extra times. The following 3 you get the idea. I’m also taking the long way to the bird pens when I do daily chores since the guys have knocked those weeds back to a safety zone now. Purposeful extra steps in one way or another for any chore.
They will be doing similar things at work. They are on the 7th floor, so they’ll walk those steps more now—they had already been doing that a few days a week. Since neither smokes they are going to start taking “exercise breaks” to go walk a lap around the building, building that up as time goes on as well. You get the idea. The countdown on that will actually be a count up for us so we can do that 13 miles per day by the time we leave for Florida with no stress.
We have a similar cut down on intake plan for cutting calories and counting down our poundage. So this next week I’ll be making all sorts of new things to post on the fridge. I’ll add photos to the photo section when I complete making them. UPSTAIRS—extra trip. LOL!
Only minor extra income was generated this week, but a penny here, a penny there it all adds up.

Some of the things are the same way I look at other’s debt too

My neighbor managed to purchase her house for under 100k, but managed to refinance and roll credit card debt into it for 280k and now she’s in foreclosure. She abandoned the house almost 4 yrs ago and took a job in another state, but continued paying on the house and continue using the credit cards. I never understood why she kept purchasing stuff just to not use it or sell it cheap at a garage sale.