Posts Tagged ‘sunset’

Third Resolution

November 23, 2010

SunsetNov2010

Now where was I?  First resolution is to get TKGA Masters Handknitting level I in the mail by year end, then continue to prioritize my knitting projects (you know, rather than starting projects and never finishing any?)  Second resolution is to take more care with my health, in particular my mental well-being.  My third resolution is to put my money house in order. 

I’m pretty sure that a dose of financial planning plus sustainable changes in my spending habits will not only help me achieve my long-term goals, but will contribute to my well-being in the short-term thereby contributing towards resolution #2 (double-dipping the benefits doubles my motivation!)

So what are my long-term goals?  I’d like to have enough resources to live in the home of my choosing and to not worry unduly about basics like eating and healthcare (I’m sure I have plenty of company).  Simple enough, except that if the track record for my family is anything to go by, my retirement fund will have to last me a loooong time – I anticipate checking out at 96 years old.  So I will try to continue generating an income after I retire from my corporate career:  I want to spend more time on my love of knitting, design and travel, and I want my supplemental retirement income to be generated from self-employed income.  The tricky part with this is, I may need funds upfront to invest in my business.  I guess my savings plan will need to consist of a source of income for my daily basics plus a fund to establish my business. 

For short-term financial sensibleness I did the usual listing of income and expenses, checked my insurance policies, and looked glumly over my 401K & Roth IRA and examined my credit card statements.  This has been an expensive year with multiple deductibles to pay for (hail storm in the Spring); a substantial contribution towards repairing the road we share with neighbours; son’s college tuition; and lowered income (tenant couldn’t pay the rent, husband’s reduced hours).  We do not have a fixed income, and we certainly do not have fixed outgoings!  I created a budget of sorts, but just to check that we don’t actually have to spend more than we earn, just to cover the essentials.  I decided to stop buying anything I do not need until credit card balance is zero and there’s enough in the bank to cover the amount I’m likely to put on the credit card by the time I get the next statement.

Well, the good news is that in just six weeks of being on a spending diet, I got the credit card paid off.  Now I want to get our emergency cushion up, but I decided that from this point forward, I get a spending allowance for something I do not need right now to survive.  This month, I gave  myself $150.  I blew half that on yarn (thanks to Slackford Studios for having a sale on one of my favourite treats) and the other half went towards reorganizing the kitchen.

I’ll be back with the results of the kitchen reorg and knitting progress soon, in the meantime, can’t close out without any pics at all, took this yesterday; perfect radishes and tasty arugula from my Fall garden:

Radishes

Modern Lace Shawl: Pamuya

November 1, 2010

I’ve been busy getting a Fall garden going lately – the weather is just delicious right now, and almost every evening ends like this:

Sunrise 10/31/2010

Once indoors, I squeezed in a few rows here and there on Pamuya designed by Alexandra Weidmayer, which I thoroughly enjoyed knitting.

Pamuya II

There are enough plain(ish) rows for mindless knitting while reading or travelling. I really like how it looks relatively modern, yet is light and lacey.  You can check out more of Alexandra’s designs here: dragansvarg

Pamuya VII

The yarn is Schaeffer Trenna, which is 50/50 merino & silk – feels so good, I can’t quite make up my mind as to whether this is a keeper or a gift for someone special….

Inspiration in Galveston Island

July 19, 2010

I can’t imagine how I managed to wind up in a land-locked state.  I like it here well enough, but every once in a while, I have to head for the coast.  I do not need white sand, surfers, or yachts, just waves, rocks and maybe a little sand, and of course sunrises…..I got my coffee and wandered out to the balcony just in time to catch this one:

GalvestonBeach

So what do you do at the beach? I’m just content to get sand between my toes and let the waves wash my cares away….

GalvestonBeachFeet

GalvestonBeachFeetII 

GalvestonBeachFeetIII

BabySis & I chose to visit a submarine – the USS Cavalla (OK, we probably wouldn’t have chosen to go there if it weren’t for having Son & Brother-in-Law with us). Its really cool, see, the first sign you see let’s you know how original everything is:

GalvestonWarning

Even the bathrooms and kitchens were fascinating to me – anyone living in a New York apartment should visit this submarine; its a study in efficiency. So tiny, it wasn’t easy to take good pics. I couldn’t resist a couple that I find inspiring, I’m fascinated with knobs, levers, and the like, surely I can find inspiration from this:

GalvestonKeys

Lookie! They even have cables down here!!  (You know that’s going in my ideas box)

GalvestonPipes

Speaking of cables, I must go knit a few more rows on Nettie’s Neck Warmer done in reversible cables – I’ll be back with photo’s.

Hail May!

June 5, 2010

I’ve been bizzzzzzy the last few weeks! I looked at my last post here, and can’t believe how much time has passed, and that I was reminiscing about weather Oklahoma-style. We got more weather, Oklahoma style. On the morning of May 10th, our local news channels warned viewers that conditions could be as dangerous as May 3rd ’99, stressing that there would be severe storms and a high likelihood of tornadoes. Everyone should be where they need to be (home or somewhere safe) by 4:00 pm. So we moved our laptops to the storm shelter and my car into the garage. When we saw a tornado headed towards us on TV, we moved ourselves to the shelter…..then all hail broke loose! The biggest hail I’ve ever seen:

P5100377

The hail actually pierced the decking on our roof so we made son wait a good 10 minutes before we decided it was safe enough to go outside and retrieve this hail stone, by this time, the rain reduced its size a little. It now has pride of place on what was the ice cream shelf in our freezer.  Funny, I ran out of tape when I printed labels to help the guys find stuff, so the shelf was labelled “ice” now it looks like I put that up there just for this occasion.

I’m smiling as I recall our stormy evening, it was reassuring that my family knew what to do. It was very nice to have a secure shelter to go to, right in the middle of our home.  So we have claims on a couple of autos (the windshields were smashed and there’s craters in the hoods) as well as one for the house.   The claims rep that came to inspect our roof and a few items in the yard that were damaged, commented that we were taking everything very well. I explained that I knew for a fact, that so long as no one is seriously hurt, even if the whole house had been blown away, within three years you find yourself wondering how come there isn’t enough room in a 3-car garage to park your car.  Life goes on…..

Sunset I

(Immediately after the storm)