Categories
Finances Frugality Simplicity

Information Costs More than Food?

I just stumbled upon an article saying that we pay more for information than food (dead link)!

You gotta click on the link and check it out — cause for a lot of people he is exactly right!

I know people who have almost all of those things–the internet, the cellphone, the internet on the cellphone, the satellite radio, the satellite television, the DVR (modern TiVo)–even the wireless card for Internet on the go besides the internet they were paying for at home! I read the article and the comments and wanted to laugh!

I pay for a mid-grade DSL connection. That connection is my television thanks to Hulu and other places. It is my phone thanks to MagicJack. It is my radio thanks to Shoutcast. If I want instant replay I just wind back the controller on the page, so I have TiVO as well!

My two cellphones are both prepay, and combined cost $50 every three months to keep active, but we rarely use all of the time we purchase for them. We mainly keep a texting package on them and use that.

I splurge with having two cellphones, but feel safer knowing that my daughter can contact me wherever she is and regardless of where I am. That is a blessing when she is at her father’s house or out playing–or we get separated in a store.

It is cheaper to have the two prepay phones than it is to have even the smallest family plan.

So, no cable, no satellite radio–not even a television or a game machine in this house to pay for XBox live or whatever game is hot these days…

Read the article please, and leave in the comments here how much YOU are paying for information–I would honestly love to know!

Categories
Finances Frugality Simplicity

Family Cloth Savings

I figured it up: When we use bathroom tissue it normally takes about 2 rolls a week of average tissue in our house.

I buy 40 packs of Pom tissue at Sam’s Club. The current price is $18.88 plus tax for those 40 rolls, meaning each roll costs $0.41 each before tax.

I make my own laundry detergent, which costs about a nickel a load. However, I prewash the family cloths before I toss them in with my normal load of whites so at most I am spending a quarter extra to wash them. In the summer I hang them out to dry so that is free, but in winter they are dried with my normal load of whites, which costs me nothing extra cause I have to dry that load anyway.

With all that in mind I think I am saving at least $0.50 a week by using the family cloths. I would be saving more if I used the more expensive tissue, but I’m cheap. That works out to about $26.00 a year savings to me personally, provided I only used 2 rolls of bathroom tissue every week.

That may not seem like much, but every penny counts in this economy. Frankly I see no point in giving Big Business that money if I can use it on something I enjoy more, like a good steak or for seeds for a garden (which will give me something back).

We work to make money then give it all back to the businesses who hire us. It’s like a form of slavery. The more we think we want the more we have to work to get it. The more we work, the more we think we want.

Hmmm…. I think it is time to research menstrual cloths. I may be on to something here…

Categories
Finances Frugality Simplicity

Shopping and Simplicity

When I go shopping, I see lots of people with shopping carts overflowing with stuff. I see myself several years ago, or actually not too long ago shopping at Sam’s Club.

Then I look into my cart. I had a 10-pack of Ivory soap, a gallon of milk, a plastic washtub, some drain cleaner and a bag of Timothy for the guinea pigs. I had picked up some mushrooms and some chocolate but put them back after some thought.

I really didn’t need the washtub, but the metal bowl I use to rinse my dishes in wasn’t very satisfying when the time comes to rinse larger items.

I found myself wandering the aisles just looking at the choices. Retractable clothes lines for seven dollars each when a 99-cent piece of cord would suffice. Chunks of wood packaged to stuff in your closet – when the spruce tree you had for Christmas could have been cut up and used to scent your closet just as well.

Boxes made out of fabric covered cardboard–the type of craft I’ve tinkered with since I was a kid–but my boxes said Eggs on the side!

I could go on but there is no real point.

I felt like an outsider watching a strange ritual today as I wandered around the store. I passed people debating on clothes and cleaning supplies alike, cringing because I feel like I’m carrying a deep dark secret.

The few people I have told about this – most think I’m crazy. I told one friend about making laundry soap and was scolded for not telling him I needed money to buy laundry detergent.

I feel lonely as a result of my frugality. Friends shake their heads because I sold my queen-sized bed when I moved here and now sleep on a small cot in an even smaller room. Instead of a couch we have a rattan loveseat–the dog is the only one who uses it so why waste money on a couch?

Somehow it is all okay however. I am marching to the beat of my own personal drummer. I am not going to give in like I have in the past and follow my spendthrift friends.

I hope not, anyway.

Categories
Finances

Paying the Bills

Bills. It really should be a four-letter word. Those evil little slips of paper that land in your mailbox are just foul. Because of them we have to do another four-letter word: work. Nasty words, both of them!

Anyhow, to simplify my life I have been taking steps to work at home and spend more time with my daughter. I have published on Associated Content for most of a year now, and tonight have taken another step toward freedom: I have applied at Demand Studios for a position either writing or copyediting.

I am terribly nervous, and hopeful at the same time. They pay on average about $15 an article and would be a great way to not only build my readership but pay those four-letter words off, you know? I could write whenever, wherever – however!

Please send a wish out that I get a position with this company, and can continue my dream of freedom!

Thanks!

Categories
Finances Food

Homemade Donuts?

Good evening!

Katie came home in good spirits today, talking of Yu-Gi-Oh cards she trades with her friends. Surprisingly, she played at my feet and in the living room for most of the evening without even asking to get on the computer to check her Webkins or watch a show!

I finished a book entitled Affluenza, which was a wonderful companion to the movie they released a few years ago. If you ever stumble upon it at your local library check it out.

Rummaged through my cabinets and found a can of pumpkin pie mix, so I found a simple pie crust recipe and made a pie. Katie was delighted, and ate all of her dinner in exchange for a piece of pie. Of course, my crust wasn’t as pretty as those in the store (the crust recipe didn’t quite make enough crust to do fancy edges on my 9.5-inch deep dish pan) but that’s okay. Next time I’ll know to make a double batch and use the leftover crust to make monkey bread!

My sister has stumbled upon what she considers a great inexpensive treat: home fried donuts using ready-made biscuit dough. She says she makes a hole in the center and fries them in a bit of hot oil and sprinkles them with powdered sugar, only frying what she will eat and saving the rest of the can of dough in the fridge. Considering that a can of biscuit dough costs about a dollar and makes 8 fresh donuts but a dozen of stale donuts costs $2.50 on the clearance rack, she does have a point.

I don’t feel like running to the store yet so I’m going to look in my cookbook to see if I have the ingredients to make some donuts from scratch without buying biscuit dough. If I could make a batch but only fry them as wanted, we would have a fresh treat on occasion without having to eat a large amount of donuts before they get hard…

Anyhow, the dishes are washed and I am beat. Goodnight for now!

Categories
Finances Frugality

Out of Butter

Last night I sat down to watch The Crow and ended up blowing off washing dishes. That movie was an excellent film – I was pleasantly surprised! I should have done them, there weren’t that many to do, but I was just lazy! This morning I woke up and knocked them out in just a few minutes, annoyed at myself for not getting off my butt and taking care of them last night!

After Katie went to sleep I watched that movie and slipped outside to walk to dog and watch the meteor shower. I only saw a few shooting stars, but it felt so nice on that dark path, standing there in the dark and making wishes! The silence was so strong, only broken once by a train passing through in the distance.

As I stood there in the dark just me and the dog everything felt so right with the world I wanted to start crying. I didn’t actually tear up, but the urge was sure there. When I was a child I would lay out in the yard just watching the stars. We didn’t have street lights where we lived in the country, and the stars would just wink at you in friendliness.

This is my life. No rushing, no grabbing. Sitting at the kitchen table for hours with my daughter after school while she talks about her day and shows me magic tricks.

I actually ran out of butter yesterday. I had used up the very last stick the night before and didn’t realize it. When I went to get some out to butter my homemade bread there was absolutely none to be found, not even in the freezer.

At first I was annoyed, but then I just had to laugh. I was just out the day before, and at Sam’s a few days ago but had no clue I was so low on butter. This is the first time I have ran out of butter – totally ran out almost a decade and it took me by surprise.

You know what I did? I ate my toast laughing sans butter. I don’t think I’m going to go out and get any today, either! It feels so liberating to be out of something and NOT run to the store and get it, to KNOW that I can go but choose NOT to. Instead we will do without for a couple of days.

Instead I have it on a list with a couple of other items. I’ll pick it up later in the week when I head out for something else. My daughter expected me to follow my old habit of rushing out to the store to grab just that one thing, and was shocked that I did not. I’m kinda shocked as well, to be honest.

The day after Thanksgiving has been designated as a “Buy Nothing Day” by Adbusters. I had one of those yesterday and the day before as well without even trying! There was a time when it would have felt like an impossible goal.

Life just keeps getting better.

Categories
Finances Frugality Housing

Bubble Wrap

Once again I have managed to achieve my goal of washing the dishes before bed. Maybe I’m starting to get the hang of this!

My daughter and I spent the day watching movies – though I took some time out to grab a snack for dinner. Simple snack of summer sausage with cheddar.

I used bubble wrap to line the windows in the kitchen today. I want to see if what they say about it keeping in more heat is true. I don’t know yet but I don’t feel as chill sitting by all of these windows in the kitchen now. I will miss my view here in the kitchen. I don’t look out the other windows so they won’t be missed.

I am hoping to have enough bubble wrap to give two layers to at least some of my windows for added insulation. They say that a single layer of bubble wrap will add an extra R-factor to the insulation value, so I am hoping it will help my single-pane windows.

I was going to just put some plastic on them, but cannot locate it since the move. Figured since I had to go purchase something, might as well try something new, you know?

Just a sign that I have too much stuff. If I didn’t have so much I wouldn’t be so disorganized!

Here in the kitchen the thermometer on the fridge says it is 65F in here, and the one near the ceiling says 68F. I will turn it down lower tonight and raise it back up in the morning. Thankfully we keep a stockpile of quilts.

I am a touch nervous about the first heating bill here, so we are keeping the heat low at first. I have been told that the highest heating bill here was $184 one month, but one never knows… I have lived in places and had $600 heating bills, so I want to make sure this place isn’t one of them.

When we lived in a 10×50 mobile home, even with horrible windows (with plastic you could still feel a breeze) the highest electric bill for heating was slightly over $200, but that was several years ago. I am heating 576 square feet here, not much more, and this place is in much better shape, especially the windows.

It will be okay.

Let’s just face it: I’m cheap.

Right now I would feel soo much better if my daughter and I were living in a tumbleweed house: she could have the attic, and I could sleep in the living area like I do now – and live in the kitchen, like I do now! It would be much less expensive to heat this winter, and I could pack up my whole home whenever I wanted to travel to visit my family!

Ah well – I’m happy nonetheless. I am living my version of the American Dream sans house and car payment – doesn’t get much better than this! But we all have little things we like to think about!

It is late, so time to walk the dog and hit the sack.. Goodnight everyone!

Categories
Finances

Simple Progress

This morning the school called: my daughter had a fever – could I pick her up? I was kinda disappointed for I had a special treat lined up for today, but such is life for a single mother.

Anyhow, a few clicks and all my current bills were paid – it feels SO NICE to no longer have to concern myself with a variety of websites and logins – just one place and a few clicks and I’m done! Such peace! I was finished in record time!

Also I called ATT and had my unused land line turned off. I have a cellphone that I use primarily, supplemented by MagicJack when I am watching my minutes. Now that I have voicemail set up on the cellphone I will simply have the Magicjack forward all calls to the cell, saving electricity by not having to have a Windows computer on 24/7. Those who know me understand how rarely I am actually on a phone, so it really was a waste of electricity to have it on when I have the cell as well. Since the cell is portable and also contains my clock, my address book and my brain it makes more sense to use it than a landline – especially since it costs less to use the cell than keep the landline lol!

I purchased a small jar of instant coffee this morning. Not bad. I put a bit too much in the cup but it still tasted okay. It felt good knowing that I no longer have to drag out the percolator (or a coffee maker if I had one) whenever I want the occasional cup of coffee. The tea kettle stays out from frequent use. What to do with an unneeded percolator?

My daughter and I discussed my sleeping in the living room over the winter. She thinks it’s a “cool” idea, but suggested that for the winter we stash the rattan loveseat and coffee table in the back room and just use the folded-up futon during the day as a bohemian couch! It isn’t like we have much company, and it would make for more space and ease of use while I sleep here in the winter!

Slowly, life is becoming less complicated. I have noticed that even with the lower income the bank balance is staying steady, yet all of the bills are paid. KGB will help increase that balance a bit, as well as any computer jobs I happen to get. I will be able to be home more for my daughter with this simpler lifestyle, and have more time not only for her but myself as well.

Categories
Finances Simplicity

Financial Simplicity

In the past to simplify my bills I have paid electronically via the individual websites. It was faster and easier than mailing all of those checks, but still a hassle to go to each of those websites and pay in turn.

Today I have set up bill payments via my bank’s website. A one-stop solution to paying bills. Instead of going to all of those individual sites I will go to one only to schedule all of my payments. Best part is that it is still free, even if they have to mail a payment!

I only set up two payees today, with plans to set the others up as I pay them. I am in hopes that it will make my life a little simpler than it already is. We shall see.

I am still in the process of digitizing the rest of those music CDs on a “think of” basis. I think about it, walk into the other room, and start ripping another to my hard disk. When I finish I will start back on the DVDs. I will be so glad to box all of these discs away! Should I put them outside in the building and get them out of the house? It is very tempting to just get rid of them…..

Categories
Finances Food Frugality Minimalism

Grocery Dilemma

Today the need arose to restock some perishables, so off I went to the grocery.

Pork loin was $1.69 a pound, but only if you bought the mega family size packs. The next best price? $2.99 a pound.

Such a dilemma. Do I purchase several pounds of a food we don’t eat regularly? Package it, freeze it, hope to skate through any power outages and maybe eat all of it before it succumbs to freezer burn? Or do I pay over a dollar a pound more for a lot less – with no repackaging, no refreezing, no concerns about power outages and no fears it will go bad before it is gone?

When my two oldest children were home, it would have been a no-brainer, but with just myself and one little girl…

I chose the smaller pack. That pack has enough for two meals of pork chops, so one meal may get frozen after all. However, there is no danger of a single extra meal going bad before we eat it – our current refrigerator is a small one so there are no places for food to hide and be forgotten.

For us, that choice was the simpler one, despite the fact that the per-pound price was more. Simpler in that there is very little repackaging. Simpler in being less to store. Simpler in being less to worry about this winter when the power outages hit. For each one of us, there is a different path on the way to simplicity. Where has your path taken you?

Categories
Finances

The Law of Attraction is just wonderful!

The hundred-dollar bill that I posted on my vision board has finally come to fruition. We will be getting a check from Social Security for a little over a hundred dollars a month for my daughter now.

Actually two things have come to pass. No longer will I be accused of not reporting income that I really didn’t receive (my ex-husband apparently told the Social Security Admin. that she was living with him and it started showing up on my income), but thanks to the nice people at the Administration, my ex-husband will no longer be a threat to us.

He will be too busy dealing with the misappropriation charges against him for all the money they have given him for our daughter, especially since the whole time he was filing court papers against me saying that he never saw her…

Plus they are going to make sure that our other daughter is getting full use of her check. I have heard that she is going around having to struggle to get things she needs, so they are going to make sure that she is getting what she is due.

Considering the amount of money I gather he received for Katie alone, I have been told that he may be facing jail time, especially since they have proof in all of his affadavits that he wasn’t seeing our youngest daughter.

For those of you who are wondering, and thinking I’m an evil person for keeping myself and my daughter away from him – I don’t dare go around my ex. He promised that the only way I would get away from him is if “one of us died,” and while I was in that area – well, it was in my best interests to leave if I enjoyed breathing.

Whenever he finds my location and/or phone number, things start happening. It starts with phone calls, breathing, random hangups, death threats – then strange things start happening around my home.

I stay as far away from that man as a result now. Judge me how you will. I won’t even go to that little section of the state in fear of what he would do if he saw me there…

I have told the SSA that I do not want him to have a clue as to where we live for safety reasons, and they have promised to keep my information confidential. Either way, they don’t have my street address, just a post office box. I’m not taking any chances.

But the Law of Attraction is working things out. Soon all the evil he has dealt to others will come back to him. I don’t wish him ill, I just wish him out of my existence. It is happening.

The delay is the hardest part of the Law of Attraction to deal with. If you are like me, you want what you want NOW, not some time in the future. But honestly, if I got everything I wished for instantly, I wouldn’t enjoy life very much. Part of the enjoyment is in the anticipation.

Right now I am working on attracting the means to place my daughter in a much better school. I want her to be safe, and have great experiences and get an excellent education. I want her to be happy, and learn about life on the right side of the tracks. I come from the wrong side of them, and want her to have — well, I want her to comfortably see how the ‘other half’ lives so that she can have a choice in how she lives her life.

I want her safe and protected, with no chance that anyone can kidnap her to get back at me. That is what I want to attract for her. The best life I can give her.

Categories
Finances Housing Personal

Fish and things

So far, the shock of losing my job has worn off and life has continued as usual. School is out and talk about the layoffs are dying down.  My sympathies to the other 50 billing agents who were laid off as well.

Fortunately I have been in tougher spots so I know I will survive this one.  Already plans are in motion to decrease my housing expenses even more than I already have.  It just takes time, however.

The little goldfish seemed uncomfortable even with water changes, so today we invested in a filtration unit.  I do not enjoy having the extra electrical outlay, but I won’t have the little critter suffer.  We got one of the filters with the biological filter, which means that there is a living thing helping to filter the water besides the mechanical filtration.  Already little Smudge seems happier.  Perhaps the water wasn’t being agitated enough.  We also got some Aponogeton bulbs and placed in the tank, to provide a more natural environment.  The one plant already in there seems to be doing well, so am hoping for more to grow.

A friend of mine gave me an Eiro energy drink to try, so I drank one today.  They don’t taste as sickeningly sweet as other energy drinks I have tried, and is chock full of healthy ingredients.  You don’t get that sugar buzz, and so far I seem to be a lot less lazy as I have been!  If you are interested in trying a great healthy energy drink, email patwinn7 (at) hotmail dot com and tell her you heard about it from the Computer Lady.  

Also at the store they had a new supply of kerosene lanterns on sale for four dollars each.  Considering how handy they were when we had the bad ice storm I grabbed one before the price goes up.  It is the old fashioned lantern style with the metal base and the bail handle.  I like the glass ones but they are not designed to be portable, and these can be used like flashlights or whatever outside in a safe manner.  During the ice storm we used the two we already have to go between rooms, had one hanging in the bathroom on low, just used them for everything.  In this current world condition one cannot be too prepared, so I grabbed this one to be safe.

I am hoping to locate a portable propane stove and oven to start using.  We have an electric stove here, which is okay but worry about power outages.  Also gas heat will heat water a lot faster and more economical than electric ever can!

We already have a kerosene heater, but plan to invest in another small one.  If we end up moving into a small mobile home, during really cold days a heater on each end of the place should keep it toasty without the super hot spots that one large heater gives off.

When I was a child my father had a small wood stove in our mobile home; while it was warm in the living room, at night ice would form on the walls of my back bedroom.  I had a small electric heater but I hated using that much electric, you know?

The place I’m looking at has an electric furnace, but I personally detest furnaces because they are noisy and expensive to run.  Also during a power outage you are stuck. Much better to start off with an electric-free alternative!

The mini garden outside (actually a repurposed flower bed) is doing well.  The tomato plant is growing at an insane rate, but the two green pepper plants seem to be lagging behind.  I am keeping them dusted after making a shaker for Sevin dust.   Also waiting to see how the peas do this year.. will have them climbing up the sunflowers as an experiment in living trellis.

I would love to come up with an idea for a gypsy-type garden, meaning a small portable garden for frequent movers.  I hate the thought of building up land when I may move in a year or so!  Perhaps one of those gardens that are made with the kiddie pools?

Time to get on with the housework.  The laundry may wait, but my wardrobe will not!

Categories
Finances

Finances and Miscellany

Today was six long hours of back-to-back calls, interspersed with a couple of breaks.  They sent a small list of people home early on in the day, but then it got busy.

I was grateful for the craziness, for it tells me that all is well with my job – and my world. I will work six more hours tomorrow, and then next weekend I am picking up the shifts of a friend of mine who is having surgery.  I hope she does okay.  That will be eight more hours added to my paychecks.

Since moving here from my apartment, at times it seems as if my bills have gone up, but I do believe they have gone down.  My rent included my utilities, and was over $325 every month – sometimes getting as high as $400, but here so far I have barely breached the $300 mark – not including my deposits and moving fees. As such I feel that overall I will save money here, money that I can use to move toward a better, more sustainable life for myself and my daughter.

To keep utilities down, I have promised myself not to use the clothes dryer this month, to instead hang my clothes up to dry instead.  I am testing how it is to hang clothes inside to dry, so have a small clothes line hung in the back storage room and the clothes hung on it.  This experiment will tell me whether or not I really NEED a dryer in my life.  If we can manage by drying them inside, then it will be a simple matter of not replacing the dryer should it die, and then I won’t have to worry about moving to an area that forbids outside clotheslines.  Or I can simply dry my clothes inside to keep people from knowing my business.  An even better reason.My neighbor decided to get a magicjack of her very own.  So far she likes it.  She has it running on Windows vista without a single issue.  I’m glad for her.  I dislike Windows vista personally.  It takes too much machine to do too little stuff.  For instance, this netbook is running my magicjack, a word program, a notepad program, and Google chrome with several pages open.  It is working fine.  If I tried to do that on my vista computer, which has over twice the power of this little machine, it would literally choke and freeze.M

As I frequently say, less is truly more.  I would invest in one of these little machines that run linux, save for the fact that my magicjack needs windows to run.  Well, there is another reason.  I can find these little things running windows for a lower price than I can the ones running Linux.  If I really wanted, I could install Linux myself and save money!

I love these netbooks.  They have a small screen and small keyboard, but both can be easily remedied by hooking up external devices, so I honestly cannot complain.  They are powerful enough for my day-to-day needs, and I do a LOT. They don’t use a lot of electricity, they have an incredible battery life, especially if you get the bigger battery, and they are VERY portable.  Perfect for a wandering Geek like myself.

Well, it is time to fire up the grill and fix some burgers.  I’m thinking of getting a propane stove kit, one with a small oven, where I can use it instead of my electric stove now, and in any home I have in the future (or little cabin, if it comes to that).

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

Categories
Finances Frugality

Small Steps to Financial Independence

My gas bill came in today.  I have gotten it down to $15.66.  I’m hoping I can get it a little lower, but don’t think I can lower it much more than that.

We went to the store and to my amazement my daughter did not buy a single toy.  Instead she bought a little candy, and chipped in by buying her burger at McDonald’s.  We got chips and drinks at the store, and got us a sandwich apiece off of the dollar menu for dinner.  Nice, inexpensive meal – and a cheap way to eat out on occasion!

As I walked through the store and looked at all the things they had for sale I reminded myself that all my needs have been provided for, that there was really nothing in the store that I needed, only a couple of things that I wanted.  I picked up a few things, like some tomato plants, a box of borax, some sulfodene medication for the dog, a bag of chips on clearance and a pack of capri-sun for dinner, then it dawned on me:  we really honestly truly don’t eat that many tomatoes, so instead of paying money for the plants,  transplanting them, caring for them, dehydrating the excess why not just buy the couple I want to eat green, or better yet bum a couple off a friend of mine who has several plants in the ground already?

I also reminded myself that I still had a little bit of borax at home, and considering how little I use I could safely let the store keep their box of borax for a little while longer.  So I put the tomato plants and the box of borax back on their shelves, double checked our purchases, and left the store happier because I managed to put things back than I was going there thinking I needed all of these things!

Every time I buy less, every time I reduce our consumption will make the next time easier.  Yes we did not have to eat out, but it cost us just a couple of dollars at the restaurant, and a couple of dollars at the store for additions to the meal that will actually last us for days.  The chips will still be around for snacking next week, though the drinks will be gone with the weekend.  Considering that I could have spent that amount and only had a single meal but instead have a little more makes me feel better, especially since we have drastically reduced the amount we eat out anymore.  We used to eat out once or twice a week depending upon my schedule, but now we may eat out once a week tops.  It has been two weeks or so since last we ate out, so I am content with how well we are doing.

I mean, I want us to save money but I don’t want us to be totally deprived.

I have managed to pick up some hours to make up for the hours lost these last couple weeks.  I am having to give up my weekend, but such is life. You do what is necessary to pay the bills.  Once I saw they were drastically reducing our hours at work I hoarded my last paycheck, so I have enough for rent and stuff next month, but every single hour I can squeeze in at work will keep me from getting in the hole.

Besides that, when they send me home early I try to submit more articles at Associated Content.  Every advance payment, every single page view helps me to pay bills that much better.  My content producer page is here.  Will you please read my articles and leave a comment on them, for good or bad?  Every article you read helps me better support my daughter.  You can subscribe for free as well.  Thank you!

I wish that I had enough articles, enough page views every month that I could just write full time instead of worrying about a day job, but I am thankful that I have made it to clout Level 4 in less than six months! Then I would never have to worry about my schedule or my daughter’s schedule.  But it will come in time.

A long time ago I got a fortune in a cookie.  It says, “Whoever wants to reach a distant goal must take small steps.”  I am making those steps.

Peace.