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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Day 146 and God is so good

Last week I posted about losing a child and being worried about the loss of income. Well, this week I've had drop-ins three different days and was able to make some extra $'s that way and I have a child this evening. Then the dad who had quit his job has found a new one so that child should be returning the week of the 16th. I've tried really hard not to worry about it all and God has taken care of us.

Something kind of funny, I did get one call for child care this week, but when I told her my rates, that I got paid in advance, and I get paid whether the child was here or not, the poor lady couldn't get off the phone fast enough, saying that she would talk to her husband and get back with me. I just had to smile. She has not called back.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Day 145 and Seeking the Minimum Level (from the Tightwad Gazette)

One of the articles in the Tightwad Gazette book is on "seeking the minimum level". What this means is do you fill the cup up with laundry soap just because it's in there or do you experiment and see how much will get your clothes clean? Do you always put toothpaste all the way across your toothbrush because that's the way it shows in the ads or do you see if less will work just as well? What she suggests is cutting back in some of these areas little by little until you reach a level that doesn't work, then increase it back up again. I think this is a very interesting concept. I know that I do that with my toothpaste, I put it all the way across the brush without even thinking. I'm going to experiment with cutting that back. I already generally use less laundry soap than recommended and have never been able to tell a difference in our clothes.

If you are interested in finding and buying this book, I looked online at Amazon.com and Wal-mart.com and they both had it in stock. You can go to www.google.com and do a search for "The Complete Tightwad Gazette" to find other places where you can purchase it. You might also try your local library, although this is definitely a book that I'd suggest you own, if at all possible.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Day 144 and the Dryer Saga

A few days ago, I referred briefly to our dryer problems last summer. It actually started in the spring during spring break with a broken belt and pulley. It ended up costing over $140 to get it fixed and still made awful noises, then in June a belt broke again. I called the same repairman to have him look at it and he asked if we'd pick up the belt in Enid. We did and I let him know we got it. I made sure and mentioned to him that this was the same thing he fixed last time. When he finally came and fixed it 2 weeks later, he didn't charge us for the labor but made sure to mention that he "couldn't do that again". I just thought to myself "well don't worry, we won't be calling you again". What is it with most repairmen that they think they are doing YOU a favor by fixing your stuff? Ugh! Anyway, the dryer immediately started making noises again so we've been nursing it along ever since. It won't always start right up if it's been being used, you have to wait about 10 minutes and try again. It is still working almost a year later, but I'm not sure how much longer it will last. This is one of those times that I wish that Tom and I were more mechanically inclined so we could do stuff like that. Unfortunately, it ends up costing more in the long run if we try to fix things. LOL! It's also one of those times that I desperately wish we had a clothesline outside. At the old house, I had one rigged around the carport, but I've not found a good place to do it here yet. Truth be told, I just want a regular old-fashioned t-post clothesline!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Day 143 and Serenity's Car

Well, how's this for a challenge to a positive outlook? LOL! Serenity was getting ready to head back to Norman yesterday and her car overheated. It's the intake gaskets, not the water pump like Mark had hoped so probably going to end up being pretty big bucks. I'm guessing around $300 total. But here's all the positives:

1. Serenity had just barely got out of town when it happened so she was able to turn around and come back. It would have been awful if she'd been out on the interstate and broken down.
2. Mark was able to come right over and look at it.
3. We still have over $600 in the baby EF so getting it fixed won't be a problem.
4. Serenity was here in Pond Creek and not in Norman when it happened. Here we have Mark (who we know and trust) and Napa (who gives us a discount on parts).
5. Serenity was able to take Tom's car back to Norman while Tom uses my van until her car is fixed. Hopefully we can take her car to her on Saturday morning. Occasionally, I question whether we really need that extra vehicle since I don't transport children anymore. But it sure is a blessing when something else breaks down to have another vehicle available to drive.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Day 142 and Added a couple of new favorite links

I added a couple of new favorite links today to my list at the bottom of the page. One is for my child care provider friends out there and it's called "Explorations Early Learning". It is the website for Jeff & Tasha Johnson's child care program. Jeff wrote the book on burnout for child care providers called "Finding your smile again". Great book, by the way! The other is for the Frugal Dad blog that I talked about a few days ago.

From "Finding your smile again", I read this today:
Positive outlook: The way you think about the world becomes a mirror of the world you live in. If you see the world as dark, dangerous, and dreadful, that is the world in which you will live. If you see a world full of possibilities and potential, that is where you will reside. Thinking positively about situations and people can help you bring about beneficial outcomes; your personal outlook is an important tool in fighting burnout and in changing your thinking.

That just hit me between the eyes! WOW! Have you ever known people who's outlook on life is so grim that you can't hardly stand to spend time with them, it's just too depressing? I try really hard not to be one of those people, but I do find myself feeling that way from time to time. Here's to having a more positive outlook!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Day 141 and Thoughts from the Tightwad Gazette

I've been rereading my Tightwad Gazette and trying to re-inspire myself on our frugal journey. Some of the things that she writes about in the book really make me stop and think. In the intro to the first book, she talks about how paying attention to the little things along the way helped them to pay attention to the bigger things which all helped them to meet their goal. That is so true, isn't it? We can nickel and dime ourselves into a hole. I'm not sure I could ever be as thrifty as Amy Dacyczyn and her family are, but I sure am inspired by all that they have done.

One of the problems that I face in trying to find ways to save money is opposition from my family. Last summer, our dryer was on the fritz for several weeks. During that time, I got very good at keeping up with the laundry by washing and hanging a load every night with a fan pointing at it. It would be dry by morning and I would fold and put them away. Even after the dryer was fixed (sort of, but that's another story), I kept it up for quite a while because I felt like it was helping save electricity. But eventually, I stopped. So in the last few weeks with the advent of warmer weather, I've tried to start again, but not everyone in the house likes the feel of the air-dried clothes. Then I hear whining and complaining. That's my own fault for even putting up with it. But it's hard to hear day in and day out. Some days I think that teenagers are the pits. LOL. I guess I just need a thicker skin.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Day 140 and Wow

What a weekend! I was feeling pretty good and not too tired until during church tonight, then it hit me all of a sudden! So I've not got much to say except good night and hope you all have a great week. Who's having a hard time believing that we are in June???