Monday, September 21, 2009

Five Dollar Finds

(pardon the *** but I was having a problem with spacing and indenting in this blog. *** means new paragraph!)
***I’m very proud of the $5 stroller we found at Goodwill and converted into Bug’s buggy. We’ve used it several times and it will certainly come in handy once we start taking the dogs with us on trips. But I’ve found a new treasure.
***I’ve been wanting some sort of vanity by the bed for awhile now. Pmo got me a jewelry chest for Christmas, which gave me a long awaited place to hang my necklaces, but I didn’t have anywhere to put it. So every day, I would go into the hall closet and take out the chest, but I couldn’t explore the jewelry. Also, every night, I would take off my jewelry and put in on my nightstand. So it was only logical that I put a surface beside the bed that could handle all that traffic. My nightstand was small and round. I needed something more like a desk, but still small so that it would fit in the space.
***We set out on Sunday afternoon to see if my vanity could be found at Goodwill. I looked over the furniture room and didn’t see anything. I saw another stroller that probably would work for Bug, but I already fixed that problem. I started looking again and I found it. I though it might have been a kitchen cart or something because it really wasn’t big enough to be a desk. It even had a little shelf underneath for bonus storage. And it was $5.
***We brought it home after running a few more errands in the rain. I wiped it off with furniture polish and now it sits beside the bed. It holds a lot: my jewelry chest, lamp, TV remote, retainer case, lint brush, etc. I’d like to get a small stool to slide underneath, but one of our folding chairs will do for now.
***It’s just amazing to me what you can find for a little bit of money if you just look for it. That cart may not have been there yesterday, and if it wasn’t, I’d try again next time because I know that‘s my best option. It's cheaper than a consignment shop or Walmart. I don’t have to run out and buy a $40 piece of furniture. I’ve gotten along so far without it. It’s just nice to make my daily routine a little easier. Several months ago, we also got Pmo a desk from Goodwill for $10 or $15 that we turned into a work bench for the garage. It’s better than spending hundreds of dollars on a Craftsman.
***There were other activities this past weekend. We walked about 5 miles at Race for the Cure on Saturday morning. I liked having it downtown. It was very scenic. The shuttle from Mead Johnson was also extremely efficient. We didn’t have to worry about parking near the race and didn‘t wait long to get on or off the bus. On Saturday night, I went to a bachelorette party for some quality girl time. And Sunday evening, we put out fall decorations, including some new leafy lights my mom got us earlier in the year.
***This week, I’m getting my haircut and thinking about getting dog beds. If I can find them for a decent price. We put Bug and Jack in their pet taxis in the back bedroom at night, but Jack’s always been unhappy with that. He hides behind the couch and just shakes like he’s scared to death when you shut the gate. I really don’t think he sleeps much at night because he hates it so much. If they had dog beds, they wouldn’t be so confined and could stretch out and get comfortable. I’m hoping I can just shut the bedroom door and they’ll curl up and go to sleep. We don’t want them roaming the house and waking us up in the middle of night.
***This upcoming weekend is Grandma’s birthday, so I’ll probably take the dogs and go home to have lunch with her and Mom while Pmo heads home to visit a friend. There’s also the Fiddler Fest in Newburgh which I’d like to visit at some point, maybe Friday for lunch. And the Yart Sale (cheap art) is also Saturday, I believe. Fall starts Tuesday. Get ready for pumpkins, apple cider, and lots of leaf raking!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Swayze Crazy

I don’t usually write about celebrity deaths but Patrick Swayze is a different story. Most people choose Dirty Dancing as their favorite Swayze movie, and I love it as well. Nobody puts Baby in a corner and all that jazz. But when I think of Swayze, I think of Dalton in Roadhouse, but more importantly, Orry in the North and South miniseries. My mom taped North and South off TV, without commercials, and we would watch it over and over again. It was like another version of Gone With the Wind to us because we love Civil War movies. I even named some puppies we had after the main characters: Orry, Madeline, George, and Constance.

What's weird is another actor, who died this year and is well known for his other work, was in North and South, too. David Carradine played Justin Lamotte, who was pretty much Orry's nemesis through the entire story. Justin tricked Madeline into marrying him, and she was in love with Orry. Justin was a mean, mean, man. Carradine played it so well. He'll always be Justin to me, just as Swayze will be forever Orry: a southern gent and war hero. So sad they're both gone but at least I have them on video forever. As long as my VCR doesn't eat the tapes.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Credit Crazed

I'm slowly starting to realize how much we depend on credit. Like it's our God given right. I mean, who can afford to outright buy a house, a car, and an education with cash? If I was not able to get loans, I would not live in my home. I'd be taking the bus to work. And I'd probably work at a lower paying job because I'd have no education. Which means I'd never be able to save up enough money to buy a car, a house, or an education because I would barely have enough money to survive. What a vicious cycle. I couldn't take trips unless it was on a Greyhound bus or an airplane. I'd always share walls with neighbors. I couldn't ride my motorcycle.

I guess I'm really starting to think about this because I'm getting close to paying off my car. And I'm thinking about which bill I'm going to work on next. I call it my pyramid. It starts with my least amount of debt and works up to the highest outstanding balance. My credit cards were at the bottom, and now they're done. My car is next, then my motorcycle, student loan, and last but not least, the house. I guess up until this point I've always added onto my debt instead of paying it down. I'm finally at a place where I can take control and really sink my teeth into getting rid of some of it, without starving myself or being bored. It's kind of exciting in a nerdy sort of way.

I'm also stashing more money into savings. It's something I've never been good at, nor able to do. But even with the extra expenses I've incurred this summer like vehicle registrations, property taxes, dog shots, etc., I've been able to save a little money here and there. It's the first thing I do out of my paycheck now instead a last consideration. I think of it now as an emergency fund and can't believe I never really had one before. I mean, I've always had a savings account but there was never much in it. I'm also thinking of moving some moolah over to another savings account that I don't use anymore to stow away a fund for our next trip or big purchase. If I can't easily transfer money from that account into my checking, it's more likely to stay there.