• Life,  Personal

    New Beginnings

    This is it. Last night I said my final farewell to the kid. The very last call was scripted, just letting me know that she had arrived safely and that she would be out of contact for the next couple of weeks. I am now officially free of the full burden of motherhood. It started a few days ago. We…

  • Happiness

    A Bit of R&R

    I had the house to myself during my day off yesterday. I woke up early, knocked out my daily tasks, and then curled up with my current book. It was so pleasant to simply exist. I didn’t have to go anywhere. I didn’t have to do anything. I could simply be… …Until the messages and the phone calls started, that…

  • Finances,  Retirement

    Social Security is Not Enough

    A coworker is being forcefully retired at work. At over 70 years of age, he has worked for my bosses now for 40-plus years. Tears were shining in his eyes as he told me the news. He has one month’s notice before his last day. “But you’ve got Social Security, right?” I asked, casting about for a way to console…

  • Finances

    How to Start Saving Money

    Habits rule our daily lives. From what we do when we first awaken to the last thing we complete as we crawl into bed, we are controlled by habit. Habits allow our brain to take a break from the mundane, to power down for rest, or even to focus on other things. Tweak those habits, and you tweak your life.…

  • Decluttering,  Minimalism

    Tossing Your Stuff is NOT the Answer

    The other day I about fell out of my chair. Two DJs on the radio were discussing Marie Kondo’s show on Netflix. What? I could not believe my ears. Back when I became a minimalist people thought I was insane. I caught so much flak for eliminating my excess and writing about it. I’ve got family members to this day…

  • Finances,  Food,  Frugality

    Resisting Temptation

    It was early evening. I was on my way home from work, hungry after my shift because I’d not eaten since the day before. The aroma from a local pizza place called to me, enticing me with its flavorful aroma. My nose went on high alert. My stomach started growling. My eyes drifted to the restaurant as I began to…

  • Happiness,  Personal

    I Don’t NEED Anything

    Yesterday. Walking to work. I was crossing the street after checking the free stack at the local library. That was when it hit me: I don’t NEED anything! I really, really don’t. I have a roof over my head that I can easily afford even if Katie moved out tomorrow. I have clothes on my back. A surplus, actually, that I will use…

  • Economy

    Is the Social Security System Becoming the New Welfare?

    I came across an interesting article from NPR that other day titled Unfit For Work: The Startling Rise of Disability in America. It’s definitely worth a read. While I cannot speak for the nation as a whole, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend in my small area. I’ve noticed a rise in multi-generational Disability recipients. People I have known for years…

  • Food

    Beans and Cornbread

    Katie and I have been rather busy as we settle into this new year. While my daughter typically picks up something to eat while she’s at work or out with friends I usually don’t have time to even think about food until I arrive home from work in the evenings. By then I’m so tired I don’t even want to…

  • Finances

    Voting Every Day

    Every single penny you spend (or don’t) is a vote that tells the world a little bit about you. Every single penny you spend votes for the world you want to live in and the businesses you support. Do you drive past the stores on Main Street to shop at the Mega-Mart on the outskirts of town? Do you buy…

  • self-improvement,  Writing

    The Power of Ritual

    Every single morning the very first thing I do is look at my clock. I turn on the radio, pad to the kitchen, and start the coffee as I head to the bathroom for my daily constitutional. I tend to take my journal with me; writing while on the porcelain throne first thing in the morning allows me to flesh…

  • Personal

    The Changing Winds of Life

    It has been one helluva week here in this tiny little home. Katie decided that she had placed her life on hold for long enough. She’d sacrificed several scholarships and opportunities for a relationship that went bust, so she decided to correct that. On Monday she decided that she would join the Navy. The Army was out, despite our family’s…

  • self-improvement,  Success

    Test Your Limits

    Four hours of sleep is not enough. I’ve been experimenting with my sleep schedule lately. Since successful people tend to wake up earlier, I want to alter my personal habits in order to become more like them. Today I set the intention to wake up at 4 am since I have to be at work by 9 am. I feel…

  • Finances,  Investments

    Patient Experience

    Last year I invested in Corus Entertainment, a Canadian company I stumbled upon when I first began investing in the stock market. I could sense that they were about to make some serious changes to the company; based upon that and a gambler’s hunch I bought in. Sure enough, just as I expected, the company slashed their dividend. However, I…

  • Personal

    Update on Katie

    It has been a challenging week or so around this tiny house. The kid had a major dust-up with her fiancée so the wedding is off. She spent a week at a friend’s house mourning the change but came back home the other evening. Now she’s exploring her own path to the future. We have a Navy recruiter coming to…

  • Frugality

    Impulse Purchases

    “Mom,” Katie’s voice called out from her room as soon as I arrived home from work. “What type of tablet should I buy for my photo editing? I want a good one.” “I thought you preferred using your Mac for photo editing,” I replied as I began my evening ablutions. “Actually, I prefer using my phone but I want something…

  • Finances,  Frugality,  Investments

    Potential Paths to Success

    The kid got her permit today. She’s over the moon with the achievement. She intends to acquire her driver’s license, invest in a vehicle, and get a better-paying job. Late last night she discussed her options with me. She asked if I would mind if she lived with me, splitting the expenses until some time in 2020. This would allow…

  • Education

    The Reason I Read

    Did you know that the most successful entrepreneurs are the ones who are the most risk-averse? I didn’t until I started reading this book. I always believed that successful entrepreneurs were the ones who leaped in, all hell-for-leather, burning their bridges behind them. Come to find out, I’m completely wrong. They like to hedge their bets in all aspects of…

  • Life

    Distraction

    At first it was the television. It sat front and center of every living room. Residents and visitors alike would stare at the glowing screen, chatting during commercial break. Then came the video games. Names like Atari and Commodore. Devices attached to our precious televisions gave us something to do while we were glued to our televisions. We could direct…