Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Tanker surprised me the other day by saying he was happy that I was happy about the move.  I asked him why....

T~ "Because I was worried you'd be sad to leave."
Me~ "Missouri?  Why would you think that?"
T~ "This is your home."
Me~ "Um, babe...we moved to KY when I was 4.  I was gone from MO for 23's where we visited.  Not where we lived."
T~ "I still thought you'd be sad."
Me~ "Not really.  It'll still be here.  Growing rocks and all."

To be honest, though we've tried to settle in and make it a place to live, we haven't.  We've not tried hard to make it home...probably because somewhere, deep down, we knew that we'd go back to KY someday.

Thankfully the screamers take after me and have very few issues settling in somewhere and making friends (though there is an initial shy period in both...a gift from their father).  They get the 'take me as I am' part from me which does tend to make them a little strange to other kiddos at first but they get along alright in the end.

Tanker has psyched himself up for school, which is good...he's tired of not being able to work.  It's a different kind of drag from not being able to FIND a job, this whole being told he CAN'T have a job because he doesn't have training in a field that is not incredibly physical.  Hence the going back to school part.  Don't get me wrong...he'd LOVE to have a physical job; his body doesn't particularly care for the idea.  And since he's already been told by the VA here that they won't do anything for his back until he's at least 50 (he's apparently too young...whatevs; like it's going to get any better on it's own over the next 13 years he'd be waiting) he's hoping that the VA down there will be more, um, helpful.

Me, I'm going to attempt to find something work-wise and then go back to school next spring.  Hopping into the medical field that my family so loves and I've avoided as much as possible.  Inevitable.  But it's okay...I've found a field of study that I'm interested in.  Unfortunately, it's first a less expensive bit of training that will let me work at least.  All goes well and I'll be done with the first bit in a year.

As it is now, we are living life in boxes (literally) and are eagerly awaiting next Wednesday morning (as early as possible) when we begin the trek back to the Bluegrass State.  I don't relish the drive trapped in a Durango with 2 boys, 2 cats, 2 rabbits (gifts), an English Cocker with separation anxiety and a Boxer....but I'll manage.  Though Tanker may end up with an animal or two joining him in the moving truck.

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Tons of goodness today.

Got the go ahead to pick up the keys to the house a day early!  Had a decent bit of rain hit (of course, I had watered the garden early this morning).  Made some killer salsa with all the goodies from the garden.  The pinto, white and black beans are already starting to 'brown out' as we call it, so we MIGHT get the benefit of those plantings before we leave.  The black-eyed peas are doing the same.  All the plants I've transplanted from garden to pot are thriving which means we get to take at least some of the garden with us.

And finally....we've sold EVERYTHING we were wanting to sell except the trailer.  No biggie on the'll sell; either here or there.

The moving countdown is officially under the two week mark and boy are we ever ready to go.

In other news, started the $5 jar and paying via cash only on Tuesday...there's already 1/10th of our goal in there.  Tanker commented on how he disliked the rapid decline of total cash in his billfold when he dumped the fivers but he likes that the balance in the jar is growing.  Give and take, Tanker, give and take.

And so, I leave you with a picture of what caused the screamers to squeal like teenage girls at a boy band concert....they insisted we look for the end so they could have the pot o' gold.  Unfortunately, the operator of the camera didn't double check the settings, so the picture just doesn't do this one justice.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

$5 and a Big Pickle Jar...

So we have a few of those industrial size pickle jars (don't judge our love of pickles) and I read somewhere (probably Pinterest) about a lady that takes every $5 bill she get and puts it back.  In something like 7 years, she amassed over $20k...just sticking back every $5.

Pickle are about to become an experiment.  Starting sometime next month, the pickle jar will become the $5 jar.  A second one will become loose change jar.  (Note:  I should probably put one in my car as there is currently at least $4 worth of change hanging out in just the door pocket thingy right now.)

Since we will be transitioning from using debit for everything BACK to cash (with the exception of bills that are already set to be paid through ACH/Debit) only, we're sure to land on a Fiver now and again.  And change, oh boy...that will always be a given.  Tanker is down with the plan.  We both have noticed that we spend considerably more money paying via cash only and saving every little cent it is (literally).

Call it an experiment in curiosity more than anything.  We know what we spend via debit (it's there for me to see, download and pour over anytime I want).  Now we want to see how we'll do via cash only.

Confession...we aren't used to having the income we have now.  We're used to living on half the amount.  We went through a period of not knowing what to do with ourselves and wasting money.  It became easy to see it, want it, buy it.  And we found the screamers coming down with serious cases of the 'gimme' disease.  No more.

Spending like that didn't make us happy or make us better people.  It just gave us more crap to pack up and move or sell.  A flippin' headache.

Now, we're pretending that we're bringing in what we're accustomed to.  I don't check the balance after all the bills are paid and we have a set amount each pay period budgeted for groceries, gas and entertainment.  You know what, this month has been a good month for us.  Hopefully it's a preview of the new norm.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Sometimes There Are No Winners....

In the hour plus since the verdict was handed down, I've seen my FB and Twitter feed blow up with the opposing sides attacking each other with relish.

Zimmerman was given a 'not guilty' by a jury of his peers because the prosecution failed to impress upon them an actual murder took place.  Murder implies intent.  They did not prove intent.  They apparently did not even prove manslaughter (an option for the jury).  Trial complete, sentence handed down.

The boy is still dead, the man is still alive.

Stupidity to begin (or re-surge...take your pick).

I've spent a little (very little) time reflecting on this.  My thoughts are as follows:

If you don't like how the system works, change it.  But change it the right way.  A revolution is needed, yes.  A revolution in thought.  We have evolved from a country of innovators, doers and thinkers to a country of people with their hands out, waiting for someone to do for them and asking "when I gonna get mine."

Have we (me and mine) been on the receiving end of others work?  Yes.  We have.  But it was used the way it was meant to be used.  As a hand up, not a hand out.  We busted our asses to get to the point that the hand up was no longer needed.  That's how it should be.  We need to impress upon our children and grandchildren that the world is not here to do for them...that's their job.  The world owes them nothing.

The system works only as well as the parts.  Our parts have become sluggish and dependent on someone else to work for them.  New parts, that should be moving in to take place of well worn ones, aren't fitting the way they should.  They are weak (mind, body and spirit) to the point of breaking.  They do not pull their weight in the the machine of the Nation.  And so it falls apart.

You want a system that works...then work for it.  Work together.  Do not depend on a few to do the work that was designed to be done by many.

Friday, July 12, 2013

19 days....

It seems like an eternity!

In 19 days we will be keys in hand Kentuckians again.  The house is pretty well packed, utilities (that we're paying) set to be moved, important paperwork in hand, address changes put in.  All that is left, is to wait.

The house down there is ready...but we've budgeted so tightly this month (paid off a few extra things that we normally would just be making payments on) that the extra rent for a half a month is not available. is available, we just opt for August to not be as tight as July is in the fundage department and will stay here unless there is some magical windfall that appears.

In the meantime, we hang...doing research on schooling for me and Tanker.  Getting finances lined up for that and such.  Discussing which places to apply the extra that will be coming in from the GI Bill (that won't go toward school) in an effort to finish off all remaining debt before we buy the new house.  There will already be a sizable amount to put down on the loan, but we want more...less to pay off, less monthly debt, less interest going to "them."  The plan is to have it paid in half the time anyway...doable, even on the income we have now.  Even more doable with any kind of increase in the income; which means even if I pick up just a part-time gig somewhere the extra $$ will be put straight up on principal of any debt incurring interest.

Alas, I must be off...tomatoes are starting to turn, blackberries require picking and a cobbler be in the making.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Findiing Joy.....

today I was reminded that even though I don't think so all the time, my life is good.

It is good because I was fortunate enough to be born in a country that (for now) allows me to speak my mind without fear (which I'm likely to do anyway, Right or no).  I've got lights that come on at the flip of a switch to read by (candles on standby should I choose that route).  I've got clean running water that appears at the twist of a knob.  I've got a roof and walls to protect me from the elements, bugs and beasts of Nature.  I've got a man that loves that love me most of the time (dang that whole being a parent and not a best friend).

We don't have a lot of money, but we do not want for anything.

Life, here in the Ozarks, is good.

And I'm grateful.

The Cash Bonus I Totally Forgot....

Ever sign up for something and forget you signed up for it?

I've done it a lot with "trial" stuff in the past, not so much anymore.

Ever forget you signed up for something that paid you in cash?

Totally did that.

I forgot that I had signed up for Ebates about a gazillion years ago...until they finally got tired of trying to send money to a PayPal account that doesn't exist anymore and they mailed a check.

Oh hey...I have an Ebates account.  Kick in the butt for all the money I could have gotten back whilst online shopping since before we went to Germany.  Seriously.  All that cash.

Oh well, I remember now...and will hopefully not forget again.  Even if it's just slightly over $100...that's a lot of canned goods.

Lesson learned.  If you don't have one and do a lot of online shopping....go get one.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Birds are Gone....

For the first time in what seems like forever I won't be traipsing out to put up birds at dusk.  Feels weird.

Still have Momma Rabbit and the bebes, for another 3 weeks; they (well, momma and 5 of the bebes) will be off to some friends.  Two of the bebes go to KY to be pets to some sweet kiddos.

Plants from the garden are slowly being assessed, dug up and repotted in their new container homes.  Grapes, kiwi and thornless blackberries will come up in about 2 weeks to be repotted.  Fingers crossed that everyone survives and thrives.

We've shown the current place to a couple of potential buyers for the landlady...not sure anyone will buy at what she's asking without A/C (folks are sorta set on having it).  I'm probably a little too honest about the place to promote a sale though.

Next week begins phone calls to schools, paperwork gathering, faxing and getting everything in line for the screamers to start on time.  First day is August 7th down there, so have to get on it if the new school is going to be set to handle the eldest screamer's "needs."  Paperwork required to get the screamers insurance through the State must be done (the kind we still pay for but at a lower rate than private...Obamacare before it was Obamacare...KCHIP if you're curious).  Transfer stuff for the VA...change of address for bills, checking/savings accounts and mail in general.  Transcripts to be ordered for Tanker.  Options to be explored for me (school will likely be put off until next Spring for myself however).

Most of the house is packed...Tanker is in a hurry despite the fact we still have approximately 24 days here.  Most of the big items that needed to be sold are sold.  I've had a hard time dealing with the freebie seekers trying to lowball prices...but have decided to start asking them if the lowball price they're offering is what they would accept and why.

Alas, that is the life here at the moment....not terribly interesting, but not boring either.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Its Official

By the first of August we will again be Kentuckians.  Land size is smaller, but that just means back to container gardening for some biggie.

Pics will come once we get in permanent...none were taken this trip because flooring and the likes are being finished up.

A busy month ahead...lots to sale, pack and get rid of.  Wish me luck!

The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedience, and by parts. --Edmund Burke