Wednesday, August 15, 2018

When Getting There is ALL of the Fun - Cadillac Ranch

I can't remember a time I wasn't in love with the thought of travel.  I was a preschooler when I watched my aunt board a tiny plane in Morgantown, West Virginia.  I wouldn't see her again for years.  I remember crying and asking why I was crying and why it made me sad.  The innocence of a child.  My aunt was making her way to Alaska to start a new life there.

Alaska became the far away place I originally found most interesting.  After all, I knew someone in that cold part of the world.

When I was seven, I was so excited because in my school in second grade we got pen-pals.  I can remember thinking Tulsa seemed so exotic from my small town in West Virginia where we had homemade lunches by a school cook in her 80s, no stoplight in town, and our Dairy Queen closed every winter because there wasn't enough demand for ice cream during snow storms.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

3700 Square Feet of Garage Sale. Is that right?

To say I am overwhelmed right now seems trite, so let's just say I feel drowning in a sea of camel fur.  Does that give you a better idea?  How about drowning in camel hair that the health department once wanted to confiscate from my grandmother?  Yes, there is a story there, but not now. . .

It feels weird to say that my grandmother died recently.  She hadn't spoken to me in years.  I sent her an invite to my wedding thinking maybe there would be some reconciliation there, but the only relative I had was my dad's step-sister.  That's another story as well. . .

For the last few years, I have wanted to move. Badly.  Like really bad.  I inherited the house my mother -- she and Dad bought it when my husband was only 3 years old.  That's how long I have lived here. (I'm a tad older than he is.)  It's the site of where the priest said Last Rites for my mother, lifeless on the floor, the site where I watched Dad leave after almost 25 years of marriage to my mother, and countless other memories, and it seems the bad memories outweigh the good.  So I've been frantically selling on eBay for years.  (That's an affiliate link because disclosure. Plus there will be more affiliate links in this post.)  I went to my grandmother's estate auction and bought three carloads and one truck load full of stuff.  That's all from the place she was currently living.  My uncle (who I am starting to become friends with, but again, another story. . .) My uncle is wanting to turn the place where my grandmother once lived into a hunting cabin.  Grandma was a crafter.  Some of the stuff can be valuable, some of the stuff is just trash, and some of the stuff is just nothing but confusing.  (I even found a bouquet she made of used plastic spoons nestled in a coffee can because someone somewhere thought the idea was clever.)  But knowing there is some good stuff in there that would be tossed out, we are bringing it home and sorting through it.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Why God May Give You More Trials Than You Can Bear

Having memorized so much of the Bible, I cringe when I hear it misquoted.  I was in Bible quizzing in high school as I mentioned in my post about memorizing Scripture.

God will never give you anything you can't handle.

It's in the Bible, right?  Actually it isn't.  Most people think that is what I Corinthians 10:13 says, but let's take a look at that verse in a few different versions.

 13 No temptation[a] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[b] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[c] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.  (NIV)

Friday, July 20, 2018

The Debt Free Virgin Without Tattoos who Married at age 42.

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With all the talk about the post "Men Prefer Debt Free Virgins Without Tattoos", I think it's appropriate to tell my story -- a story not often heard of the consequences of purity culture.  I grew up in a church that allowed dating (although no dancing, but we had great times at non-dancing activities.)  I spent two years at a college of my denomination, dates were allowed, and I still have good friends from that time in my life.

(This post contains affiliate links.)

My dad was hit by a drunk driver, and I didn't have the money to go back to college, so I stayed home a couple years.  I didn't have the money to attend a Christian college, so I went to a state school and was in Christian groups.  While I was there, the book I Kissed Dating Goodbye became very popular amongst my friends, and I bought into it completely.  I had a list of things I would not do with a man before I was married.  (Even allowing him to touch my head was on it.)

I was so hopeful that doing all this would mean God would grant me the wonderful Christian man that I deserved.  (What?  How can you earn a good husband?) 

Saturday, June 9, 2018

What is Very Dice? Does it Legit? What can I earn for Free?

What is VeryDice?  Does it really work?  Can you really earn free prizes?
(This post contains referral and affiliate links)

I was skeptical at first, but I have to say it is a fun app I have really enjoyed having on my phone.

You sign up, and you roll virtual dice.  It's that simple.  You can earn extra rolls by doing various things such as watching ads or downloading other apps. I will occasionally watch some ads, but most of my rolls have come from the daily free spin.

How does it work?

When you roll the "dice" you earn tickets.  Those tickets can be exchanged for items in the rewards center.  Here's a pro hint:  Many, many things from Amazon are in the system, you just have to search for the item instead of browse.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Frugal or Frivolous? My opinion on Subscription boxes. And a Frugal solution.

FTC disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.

I have won a few subscription boxes over the last few years, but only one month of them.  For someone who loves mail, I have to say they are extremely tempting, but I also am a frugal person.  I just looked at one of the more popular subscription boxes, and it costs $19.95 for a month, but it claims to have $50 of stuff in it.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Book Review: Almost Amish

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Almost Amish: One Woman's Quest for a Slower, Simpler, More Sustainable Life by Nancy Sleeth

Having graduated high school located within an Amish community, I'm sure my perception of the Amish is different than the average person.  When I hear "Amish" I automatically think of the elderly lady who would stop by to use the school's telephone, the lady who we would buy produce from by the side of the road who kept their buggy in their garage, or the girl who would take my money at the store that sells bulk foods.

This book was inspired when Nancy Sleeth was talking about hanging her clothes out to dry, and she was asked the question, "What are you, Amish?"  That is not the first thing I would think of when it comes to the Amish, but evidently that's the idea some have of the Anabaptist communities!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Six Ways to Best Use Your Income Tax Refund

FTC disclaimer:  This post may contain affiliate links.

It's that time of year again when the tax refunds come in.  Some people seem to think it's Christmas and go out and buy the latest and most expensive stuff they can't afford the rest of the year, but that's not really the best use of your refund.   Here are some better ideas.

1.  Unless you are getting Earned Income Credit, make sure you don't get much of a refund.  Why let the government hold on to your hard earned money all year when you could be using it?  If you like having a "windfall" once a year, start a savings account!

2.  Pay off credit cards / bills.  If you owe anything on credit cards, pay them off.  With interest rates as high as they are, you are much better paying off credit cards.   I highly recommend the method of paying off debt that Dave Ramsey talks about in The Total Money Makeover.  Pay off your smallest debt first and then you can put that money that you pay each month towards your next biggest debt, and so forth.  (If you haven't read Dave Ramsey's book, I highly recommend a small part of your tax refund and buy it or another good financial planning book for everyday people.)

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Book Review: Summer Promise by Robin Jones Gunn

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Robin Jones Gunn posted on a social media site that during a radio interview she was introduced as Christy Miller. I can see why. The character she created is so realistic that I, as a non-fiction aficionado, enjoyed this book greatly.

Summer Promise: Book 1 in the Christy Miller Series is a Christian book, and I normally have a bias against books that weave the "plan of salvation" into the story line, but aside from that I want to read the rest of this series, and I'm not even the target age range!

I believe this was originally published in the mid 90s, it's a bit dated in the fact the teenagers have no cell phones! I thought different times how crazy it was none of them texted! What a difference fifteen years makes!

The book doesn't shy away from difficult topics. Drinking. Drugs. Death. Sexually active friends. An alcoholic mother of a friend. These might make this book not a great choice for a tween, but unfortunately this is the world in which teens live, so tackling these topics in a book would likely be a great help to some girls.

Christy is from Wisconsin, but living with her aunt and uncle for the summer. She makes new friends who are different from those she knows back home. She takes risks in wardrobe and changes her hair, starts wearing make up and she falls for a guy who takes her to Disneyland for her birthday, but then at the end of the day things aren't quite the way she thought they were. . .

The biggest thing I disliked about this book is it's part of a series, and of course, when the end comes, you're left wondering what is going to happen next.  But that's all the more reason to buy the next book and enjoy more time reading!

Friday, February 23, 2018

The First Time I Needed Permission to Read a Book

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My mother never was one to tell me I couldn't read anything.  She always said she taught me right and wrong and trusted me to know the difference.  Summers found me at our local library devouring books from the likes of Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, and the Childhood of Famous Americans series.

One of my favorite authors of all time at the ripe old age of sixteen was Dr. Seuss.  I loved the lesser known book I can Lick 30 Tigers Today.  I checked it out of the library quite often when I was younger, and I would giggle while curled up to my mother listening to her reading that some of the tigers' fingernails weren't very clean.  As with some of his books, there were other stories included.  I loved the Glunk that Got Thunk, and growing up in poor Appalachia, I felt sorry for the family who the Glunk was overtaking their phone line.  I would remind myself it was just a for-fun-fiction story, and get back to the rhyme.  (That's how I always remembered fiction and non-fiction.  Written "for fun" starts with the letter F.)  And I loved King Louis Katz that was the last of the stories in that book.