Saturday, October 21, 2017

It is finished.

With the help of the wonderful brethren at my Ward, what needed to be moved has been moved.  A few details to work out and we should be ready for the new buyer to take over.

Today was bittersweet, saying goodbye to the house I grew up in.

New Goal For 2018

Do you like moving?  I'm not a fan.  I have too much stuff.

This is the big weekend I'm getting help moving what I'm keeping of Mom and Dad's stuff, along with some of my mementoes, into storage until I can get things done in my home and decide what I'm truly keeping, and what I'm letting go.

Stay tuned.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Update 10-16-17

Right now I’m in the thick of getting things out of Mom’s house, whether I keep it or donate it.

Quite the challenge, but thankfully, I’m getting help from people at my Church.


Saturday, October 14, 2017


So am I surprised from the sex scandal?


I think I’m more surprised at how long it took.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Monday, September 25, 2017

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Equifax Hack

Be sure to check out the podcast from Radical Personal Finance, this has a lot of information on what to do next with the Equifax Hack.

Radical Personal Finance

Saturday, September 9, 2017

A Piano's Purpose

I can feel for these stories, I am in the process of building a new life for myself.

Oh, and by the way, we do have a pretty worn piano at my Mother's home that we will need for it to go to a good home.  :-)

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Backing Up Your Data

I was so sad to read that lightbycoco removed her content from her channel, although going full time into a new job, I can completely understand it.  I went through the same thing.

The good news is there are other. Videos on digitizing your data, particularly from the Dallas Genealogical Society.

Their videos are from a few years ago, but still very relevant.

This one is the start of the series on Backing Up Your Files.

Monday, August 28, 2017

How "The Other Half" Lives

If you want to be wealthy, take a look at what wealthy people do to stay wealthy.

The Family Wealth book profiled in the One Percent documentary can be found here.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

US History: Are We There Yet?

We are still feeling the effects of the housing collapse in 2007-2008.  While a lot of new housing is going up, it's targeted towards those who have the means to afford the higher prices - whether it's a house or an apartment.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Family History During The Depression

I came from blue collar roots, and still consider myself to be blue collar now.

My Mother was born in 1934 in Cincinnati, Ohio during the depression.

My Father was born on a tobacco farm in Jonesboro Tennessee in 1932.

Neither had money, but worked and sacrificed in order to provide a good home for us kids.

We didn't do home movies, but the family sure did pictures.  Here are just a few.

Henry Earl Robinson - Mother's Father, with Frances Isabelle Kersey - Mother's Mother.  He died his hair black to make him look younger, but he was old enough to be her father.  Grandma left behind a home with the means to survive the depression (her father buried money in pickle jars in the back yard because he didn't trust the banks) to marry a man she felt sorry for - and lived with a dress and a full slip to switch out.  That was it.  In her previous life, she had a closet full of clothes.

Mom was born in a rough shack of a house in Cincinnati.  This was while my grandparents were newly married and he still provided for the kids.  By the time the youngest, Eddie, came along, he had left Grandma to provide for herself and four children during the depression.

My Father, Charles Sells, as a kid in Tennessee.  They were blessed with farm land to plant and grow their own food.  My Mother faced starvation in the city.

The only way for my Father (and for many men during that time) was to go into the military to get away from the farm and learn a new skill.

The way for my Mother to get away from the rat trap housing projects forced on the family by welfare was to marry young.  Mom was about to start her senior year of high school when she and Dad married.

They were a team and life partners to the end.  Here they are at my ASU graduation in December, 1999.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Breakfast For Dinner

I won't go into the kind of month I've had, but I will say thank you to Cracker Barrel for the great food, great service and a place to get away from the craziness that has become my life right now.  They have the best French Toast I've found anywhere.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Plato's Allegory of The Cave

If you've read or heard any parts of the book Early Retirement Extreme, Jacob Lund Fisker refers early in the book to Plato's Allegory of The Cave and how life in the chains of debt and commercialism creates it's own version of reality, despite the fact that the reality they see is really shadows on the wall, or smoke and mirrors.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Finance Book I'm Reading - And Loving

Yeah, I'm a nerd.

I'm really enjoying reading Early Retirement Extreme from Jacob Lund Fisker, it's a book that I feel everyone should read, however I will tell you it's college level reading and does not contain baby steps.

You will want to listen to both podcasts to get a better idea of what is contained in the book.


Early Retirement Extreme Book Review On Radical Personal Finance

Interview of Jacob Lund Fisker on Radical Personal Finance


The Power of Money from The Power of Thrift And Other Ramblings

Monday, July 10, 2017

Future Book Read: Zero Waste Home

This is one of my goals, I'm slowly getting there, but will be able to hopefully implement more fully once I'm debt free.

Friday, June 30, 2017

San Antonio - Day 4

I didn't check until I got to San Antonio what time we were leaving, so I didn't schedule myself for any classes.  The first part of my day was with breakfast and some work on the computer from the third floor.

I did take a few classes, one on Googlizing Your Learning Space, the other on Engineering Storytelling:  Using Legos For Storytelling.  Both were okay, and had some good information.

Then I took a short walk and took some pictures from the River Walk.

Then it was lunch and the flight home!

One last picture:  This is probably the closest I'll ever get to Mark Hamill.  RIP Carrie Fisher.

San Antonio Day 3

By day three I was finally starting to feel like my old self.  My asthma was calming down from the change between Arizona's dry heat and the hot, muggy air of San Antonio.  I was also adjusting to the time zone difference.

Tuesday started off with a panel discussion on how to choose the right technology to meet instructional goals. This was a great panel discussion talking about picking the right hardware and software dependent upon what the school district wanted to achieve and how much funding they have to meet these needs.  I did make one comment/question at the end of the presentation regarding the lack of speaking of infrastructure with regards to any of this.  Without the infrastructure (starting with the building, the electrical being able to handle the hardware all the way to plugging a projector into a wall socket to the wireless involved in making the magic happen in the classroom), you don't have the ability to make any of the rest of the technology work at all.  You're dead in the water.

The next was my first of the official Google classes, An Impact Portait:  Measuring Impact of G Suite & Chromebooks Across The District.  This wasn't bad, I did take a few notes, but you were rushed into a room in 5 minutes, sat down on plastic, multi-colored chairs, covered a school district's rollout of Chromebooks without much of a mention of web filtering, and then we were rushed out for the next 5 minute break.  It was good and I did get a copy of the presentation so I can look back on the notes.

After having lunch with some of the other people from my school district - chicken salad sandwich - I went to another really fun, interactive session called Don't Laminate Your Lesson Plans!  Basically a lesson about keeping your lessons up to date with new ways of engaging the students.  Very good, taught by Anne Truger.

The next session I attended was called What Does It Take To Become Future Ready?  It was advertised as a panel discussion but instead became a lecture infomercial from a non profit.  I got a few good links to go to for information.

By the time I got done with the "panel" discussion, the line was too long for the next class, so I skipped it.

I was invited to go with a group from my district to go to the Bier Garten (German restaurant) before going with the group to the Ed Tech Karaoke.  I had heard about this and wasn't sure about it, but, hey, why not, right?

The Bier Garten was right on the River Walk, so it was really beautiful, with a light breeze to make the heat bearable.  I ate a cheeseburger with a pretzel roll bun.  Very, very good.  I had a non-alcohol strawberry slushie and then water for the rest of the time.

Then we walked on the streets above the River Walk to the Aztec Theater, which is an old theatrical house in adobe.  It's an amazing place, the music was loud, there were drinks, free popcorn and free pictures.  The main stage had the more professional level of karaoke, while those who just wanted to sign up and do a song had a stage in the lobby.  It was a lot of fun!

The other funny part of the whole thing, started while we were in line around the back of the theater before the whole thing started.  There was an ice cream truck brought in for anyone who wanted an ice cream (I was too full), but talking to the ice cream truck and the security guard was a man who looked exactly like, no lie, Christian Slater.  Then, throughout the evening, I was up on the balcony of the lobby watching the Karaoke, and the Christian Slater doppelganger was walking around, going into rooms that were for employees only, so he apparently works for the theater.

As I type this, I'm watching the favorite movie I've seen with Christian Slater - Bed of Roses.

It was a late walk back to the hotel with the group and right to bed.

San Antonio Days 2

It's Friday, June 30th, and I'm now typing all of this from home.  Ahhhh, there's no place like home.

For Monday, June 26th, my day started off crazy.

I set my alarm for 5:30 am, but found out that my iPod Touch was still set for Arizona time as I usually keep the Location preferences turned off.  In other words, it didn't know I was in Texas, so instead of 5:30 am Texas time, I was waking up at 7:30 am Texas time.  And my first class was at 8:00 am.  Believe it or not, I still made the class with a few minutes to go.

It was a fantastic class on Google Drawing, which I wasn't sure about taking, but I'm so glad I did.  I learned a lot of new tricks about using Google, not just drawing, but across their other apps as well.  It was a great way to start the ISTE Conference as far as I was concerned.  It was taught by Andy Mann, who is a certified Google Teacher/Trainer, who, unfortunately was asked to do this and another class on Google products due to the original teacher passing away.  Very, very sad.

After that, I decided to go into the Expo Hall to see how that was.  I kept hearing about it, but I didn't know what to make of it.

Big.  Really, really big.  You could spend your entire conference in here, and you wouldn't be able to visit every booth.  I spent a few hours in here (they also had some danishes for a continental breakfast here, so that was where I ate after the Google Drawing class.  I did visit several booths, including the one for Smart Technology, which makes the Smart Notebook software to work in conjunction with their Smart Boards.  I told them of an issue we were having with their software, so they have since contacted me on my work email and I'll follow up with them next week.

I couldn't find Apple, though, at the Expo Hall and had to ask to find out where they were.  They weren't in the Expo Hall at all, but had segregated to a location where you had to jump through hoops to get there if you were coming from the other end of the Conference Center, like I was.  Leave it to Apple.  They had already been sending out messages that you had to be at their booth at 7:00 am each morning to pick up the tickets for their classes, as their classes had limited seating.  They were hands on classes, and Apple had brought their own stock of computers to use, so this made sense.  I went over, though, after the Choose Your Own Adventure class and was still able to get a ticket into the class I wanted, so I was very thankful for that.  The class I wanted to take had a time change, it was now at 4:00, so it worked perfectly with my schedule.  While at the counter, I had heard they were going to be presenting at the EdTekTalks at 2:30, which meant I would need to cut out early to make my Apple class, however they also said there was going to be a surprise for those attending, but they wouldn't say what it was.

The Choose Your Own Adventure class was not what I was thinking about.  It wasn't about Choose Your Own Adventure Stories, it was about Choose Your Own Adventure Teaching.  It was outstanding and I've already been talking about and sharing what I learned from it yesterday at the office with a teacher who came in discouraged and in need of some technical help.  The lesson was taught by Aaron Sams, who is a former chemistry teacher who was able to do more than flipping his classroom, but was able to utilize technology to make learning experiences while still covering the mandatory curriculum.

After this, I went to the big ballroom where the EdTekTalks was being held and saved some seats for people who indicated on Google Hangouts they wanted to attend.  We all sat together and watched a presentation, much like the keynotes you see at the WWDC for Apple, with a video from Pharrel on there talking about the impact teachers made in his life and how he was now working with some collaborators and Apple to make the iBook, Tuniversity, to teach teachers and others on how to use the newest version of Garageband with students using the Pharrel song Happy.

After that, it was time to go to the Apple Class, but by that time my head was pretty much filled up with all of the other great stuff I was learning, so I felt like I was falling behind in the class.  I did, however, use my district issued laptop for the class, as they had more people there than the computers they provided.  They just instructed me on where and how to download the materials and data needed for the class and I enjoyed it immensely.  I want to do more to learn the XCode and Swift and possibly find ways of making some apps as part of my job.  I also did hear from the Lego booth that Lego is working with Apple to allow Swift code to work on the EV3 robots produced by Lego.  Great stuff, I'll probably be hearing more about Swift in the weeks and months to come.

After all of this, between the heat from Sunday and all of the walking I did on Monday, I needed some rest, so I stopped off at the quick mart they had in the lobby of the hotel and picked up a turkey sandwich to go before I headed to my hotel room to eat and relax for the rest of the night.  A good dose of several medications and I was off to dreamland.

San Antonio - Day 1

I'm writing you from the Grand Hyatt in San Antonio, Texas.  It's June 25th, Sunday, and it's hard to believe I'm here.  In a nice hotel!

So far:  I parked in the renovated East Discount Parking Lot and rode the new monorail system to get to Terminal 4.  Walked around Terminal 4 a little bit (completely redone:  ground floor is still the arrivals, 2nd floor is still departures, and the 3rd floor for the gates, along with a shopping mall.

I've been on two Uber rides, both were fantastic.  I'm loving Uber and will have to download the app at some point in time.

The flight in was bumpy taking off (wind gusts with desert heat), and was bumpy coming in (scattered showers with rain predicted for the remainder of my stay here).

I sat in the last row of the airplane, and thankfully there were two men sitting in the middle and aisle seat of the plane (I took the window) to spend the plane trip talking to and humoring a man who was on the other side of the plane obviously drunk.  A very nice guy, but kooky none the less.  Sorry, I've had enough encounters as a child with drunk men that didn't turn out well, so I'm not even remotely interested in dealing with that.

The River Walk has grown in scale, and now much of the city is built above it - you have to go down stairs or ramps to actually reach the river.  However, they do have the boat rides still, I'm glad to see that.

Once I reached my hotel room, it was all I could do to actually leave again to fetch a bottled water from the hotel's gift shop.  Only to meet up with some of the other people from my employer who was also traveling on this trip.  We ended up taking this really long walk to get to Rosario's, a Tex Mex restaurant that has fantastic food.  I highly recommend reserving a spot in line, as it took a while for us to get seats, but the food was worth the wait.  Very well done.

My only drama for the day was two - fold:  I walked to the Orbit bus stop with suitcase and all, only to find that they don't stop there on Sundays.  By that point my heels of my feet felt like they were on fire due to the slip on shoes I wore and had already packed and locked up my tennis shoes in the suitcase.  I was trying to be thinking ahead to the TSA.  As it was, since I had driven to the airport instead, so there were no lines at the TSA and I was able to take more time in getting everything out of my bags (namely all of the technology) and they did a separate manual search of my carry-on purse (so that I only needed to worry about what was under my seat).  I had plenty of time at that point, so I made a point of thanking them for making sure we are all safe in flying out today.

The second part of the drama came once I reached my hotel room and took all of the technology off of airplane mode.  Family drama started popping up on my Facebook Messenger and I called my Mother to talk to here about it before leaving my room .

Now it's time for me to go to bed and get some sleep.  I'll have to set the alarm, as we are two hours ahead of Arizona.

So far so good for the ISTE Conference, I did go over and checked in, getting my name badge and a bag with stuff I haven't had time to look at yet.  Tomorrow will be a full day, so I guess I'd better get off of here and get to bed!

Monday, June 26, 2017

U.S. History - World War II

World War I was supposed to be the war to end all wars, but sadly that has been proven wrong.  This ugly war took our Greatest Generation to Germany to take down a madman committing ethnic cleansing, and taking over Europe.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Debt Update

Having paid off another credit card in May, we are on a roll!  One more credit card to go!

Given that I am replenishing my emergency savings, the debt has not gone down for June.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Getting To Know The World Around Us: Scandinavia Countries

The Scandinavian countries primarily consist of (in alphabetical order):  Denmark, Norway and Sweden, although Greenland is associated with them due to the Vikings settling there after leaving Scandinavia proper.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Banking Reforms - Post Depression

Among the biggest reforms made during the depression was the Glass Steagall Act, which separated banks from investment service corporations.  In other words, Chase did the banking, JP Morgan did the investing and they could not combine their assets.

The 1980's saw a change.

In 2000 we had the "DotCom" crash.

By the time we reached 2008, there was a lot of ways banking and investing corporations (which are now combined) were using creating accounting to make their balance sheets pass the audits.

Yes, economic crashes are cyclical, however the severity and frequency wasn't there in the 40's, 50's and even much of the 60's.  With cultures changing and clashing between the generations in the late 60's and into the 70's, this was when you saw gas shortages and issues with the Middle East impacting the lives of average Americans.

Did Glass Steagall work?

Monday, June 12, 2017

Why Should We Care About The Great Depression?

I'll use an old phrase:  Those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

We have become a hyperconsuming culture in the United States, where we want to live like a celebrity, without the pay of a celebrity.  As was said on the Oprah Winfrey Debt Diet show, "we want the bling".

Let's give it some historical context, shall we?

Did you see what happened in the Great Depression?  Our national debt was at 44%, and that was before the New Deal.

The problem is the citizens of the United States don't support our national spending with bonds, that has been outsourced to other countries.  Because of this, the American people have lost focus of what this debt means, and how it will eventually come due in the end.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Finally - Success!

Finally!  Success!

I changed how I set up and cooked the recipe from March in the Crock Pot and it worked!

What I did differently:

I added the liquids first:  Cream of Chicken Soup & 1 - 32oz container of Chicken Broth.

Stir well.

Then I added the boneless, skinless thawed chicken breasts - diced.

Stir well.

Then I added the spices into the whole mixture.

Stir well, cover with the lid and run the Crock Pot on low for 6 hours.

After 6 hours, stir well.

Add 1 package of the dry egg noodles.

Stir well every 30 minutes for the next 2 hours.

Remove from heat and it's ready to serve!

It was yummy and I was able to take the creation to a Church pot luck dinner!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Pattern & Texture

Add some spice to your life!

For those of you living in apartments, there is a new way to get around those white walls...

Wednesday, May 31, 2017



Despite my being so tired, I still managed to get three tasks accomplished today!  We'll see what tomorrow brings!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Depression Era Cooking

Where my mother was raised, they ate potatoes, had re-constituted dehydrated milk, and relied on the government and charities to get by.  She would get 1 pair of shoes for the entire year, her clothes became the hand - me - downs for her younger sisters.

My dad was in overalls through most of his childhood, and since he was raised on a farm, they grew what they ate.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Which Are You? PAW - AAW - UAW

In the book, The Millionaire Next Door, authors Stanley and Danko give an equation to find out whether or not you are truly wealthy.

I'm in the UAW category, but hoping to make some changes on that.

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Stock Market Crash of 1929

Most of us living today didn't live through the Crash of 29, much less the Great Depression.  That means that many of the stories of how people survived (and didn't survive) that period of U.S. history are either lost, or recorded.  My parents were children of the Great Depression, and yes, I know many of their stories, such as my mother fainting on the street from hunger and how worried my maternal grandmother was that her oldest child was having to experience this.

This American Experience show from PBS is very good at explaining what happened that led to the Crash of 29.  More on the Great Depression at a later date.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Being Broke Vs. Being Poor

I've never thought of either one this way, but I totally get it.

I can also say how thankful I am to be in neither boat, but only because I was willing to make the changes in my life to decrease my spending and the blessing of a better paying job.  I needed to trust God and take that step into the darkness on both.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

The Rules of Lighting In Your Home

I'm learning a lot from these videos, how about you?  Who knew there was more to lighting than flipping a switch?

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Debt Update

Last month's total debt balance: $16, 257.44

This month's ending debt balance: $14,572.60

Amount paid off: $1684.84

This month had some leftovers in funding from the tax refunds I received last month, not fully there yet, but I am making progress!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam (Teacher)

Just a quick note that I have been made a Sunbeam teacher! These are (at least for my Ward) ages 3-5. A fun age! Needless to say, I thought I'd share what I've been doing for lessons. Here is the blog link: Dawn's Sunbeam Page Enjoy!

Picking Cell Phone Providers And Plans

I've gone back to the beginning of the Radical Personal Finance podcasts and came upon this gem that I'll be using later when I decide to upgrade from my Tracphone.  There is some great information here!

Episode 4: Radical Personal Finance

Friday, April 21, 2017

The New Treasure

A new book to treasure and use.  I'm currently reading ebooks from the same author and am enjoying them a great deal.

Her website:

Monday, April 17, 2017

The King, The Kaiser And the Czar

A very interesting video regarding one of the last times the royal houses of Europe would gather on friendly (maybe not so friendly) terms.  The devastating rifts created in World War I would forever change these relatives - and the nations they ran.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

What Would You Tell Your Teenage Self?

This is a blog post that stems from a vlog on YouTube about things about Finance you wished you learned in high school.  Given that I worked with middle schoolers for a while, I can appreciate this topic, as I did try to incorporate some of these lessons with them.  One thing is for sure, those kids will now know how to calculate a budget on Excel.  LOL.

If I could travel back to when I was in high school, one of the biggest financial things I would do is to sneak a copy of The Millionaire Next Door and give it to myself.  I was already saving money, and had learned some of the basics of balancing out a savings account book (great practice for reconciling a checking account register), and had some idea of compounding interest.

I was, however, part of the regular tuning audience for a television show called Lifestyles of The Rich And Famous.

I grew up middle class, and when I was in high school, I was convinced that this was how all wealthy people lived.

I would want myself to understand that the majority of the truly wealthy people don't live like this, but have ordinary lives, with jobs that are not so glamorous.

I would also tell myself that, despite everything that will happen to me in the future, it will be okay.  Yes, I have my struggles - not just financially - but it will be okay.

Monday, April 10, 2017

FHE - Getting To Know The World Around Us - King Christian IX

If you have ever watched a European Royal Wedding, you may have noticed members of royalty from other countries in attendance. This isn't just a formality or courtesy visit for the newlyweds, they are also there as many are related through either King Christian IX of Denmark or Queen Victoria, or both.  King Christian IX and Queen Victoria were contemporaries, which meant their children were eligible matches for the royal houses throughout Europe.

A book was written, along with a DVD series, on this called A Royal Family which does a fantastic job of covering who married who, what happened with each child's descendants, their continued closeness as a family and how it was impacted by the two World Wars.

Sadly, the DVD is no longer available and the web site for it appears to no longer be around, but it's worth checking to see if your local PBS station (in the U.S.) will be airing it again sometime in the future.  In the meantime, you can always get the book.

I recorded the PBS airings of the show, however I will not be posting all of them.  I'm posting the first one, which sets the stage between Denmark, the U.K. and Russia in finding spouses for royal children.  Another one of the episodes has been published on YouTube to show the story of the King of Greece.

Episode 1:

King George I of Greece and his descendants:

This is a different documentary, it's in Danish, but still very interesting to watch.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Why Get Out Of Debt?

There are a number of reasons for people to get out of debt, some societal, some macroeconomic, some personal.

My top reasons:

1.  To take care of myself - I'm pretty independent and do not want to have to depend on others (Church, Government, Family) to keep me fed and housed.  People in debt may find, particularly as they get older, that being able to live while keeping up with all of those debt payments is going to become extremely hard if not impossible.

Having worked jobs in various industries - for various amounts of pay - I found I had to drastically cut my expenses in order to make minimum payments on debt when my paychecks were either cut off or reduced significantly.  People living above the poverty line cannot expect to continually stay there forever, jobs change, companies change management or ownership, living conditions and the economy can change all of that.  The only way for people to continue to be in a position of being able to take care of themselves is to have money saved up - and a reduced lifestyle so that it doesn't jeopardize the savings.

2.  To take care of Mom - My mother is now at an age where her being able to go to work is not going to happen.  I need to be out of debt so that my paychecks are being used in ways to enhance both our lives, not paying someone else.

The new federal administration - coupled with my state's administration - doesn't give me much confidence that Mom will be in a position to live off of what she has for the remainder of her life.  The cuts to services for seniors - including medical coverage - is going to place an increased burden of cost on her, so I need to be prepared to assist with this burden.

3.  Macroeconomics - Our society is one that is built on spending money.  It used to be that debt was never used other than a home or vehicle.  With the advent of the credit card, this changed.  Unfortunately, the curriculum in elementary and middle schools regarding money hasn't changed.  As a result, a lot of high school students have to catch up, if they enroll in the few classes offered about personal finance, in order to understand what they need to know when they start getting summer and after school jobs, as well as how to handle money when they graduate.

Kids don't understand savings because there are a lot of parents out there who weren't taught about compound interest and don't understand how it can make you (with interest being paid to you for your saved money) or break you (with increased interest being charged against you for debt).  Personally, I would like to see financial institutions make a better effort to hold small classes on personal finance - starting with how to reconcile a checkbook, calculate debt, calculate living expenses and payment on debt and basic budgeting.

The other piece of macroeconomics is the fact that interest rates are on the rise.  This makes any debt more expensive and a lot harder to pay off.

4.  Personal sanity - I don't like being in debt, I was raised by parents who had debt, but who overcame a lot and saved and invested.  They were also very forward in their thinking, my parents both have had their burial expenses paid for in advance for several years.  One short term goal is to get our wills updated set up some sort of estate planning to better manage what we do have.

Have you ever heard of debt slavery?  Those who have been up to your eyeballs in debt, you understand this term.  With debt, people lose the freedom to spend what they earn towards what they want, because they are having to spend that money to pay for something they financed.  In many cases, what they financed has depreciated in value, so people find themselves under water in their debts, or have nothing to show for their debt.  Getting out of debt cuts those chains of bondage and allows for people to have choices about how they want to live - provided it is within the means of what they are earning.

Secular history and biblical history both give examples regarding debt:  "Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest."  (2 Kings 4:1-7)

5.  Personal goals - People can't have too many goals if they can't afford to pay for them.  Reaching limits on debt requires that the goals be changed to meet the demands of the debt, rather than for a life well lived.

I've already stated my goals for this year, what are your goals?

If you could live off of 50% of what you currently earn, what would you do with the extra 50%?

6.  Giving back - One of the reasons I like the different plans for getting out of debt that I've mentioned on previous blogs is that there is a part of this plan at the end to specifically talk about giving back.  Dave Ramsey talks about "live like no one else so later you can live and give like no one else".

Within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, giving doesn't just come in the form of callings, but also of your increase, with the options for ways in giving more money if the individual chooses to.  There are funds for missionaries, education and providing assistance for temple attendance for those who live far and must make extreme travels in order to reach the closest temple.

Even within some companies, the opportunity for giving back can be done directly from your paycheck (in the U.S., many companies offer the opportunity to contribute to charities under the umbrella of The United Way and have it taken directly out of your paycheck).

7.  Preparedness - part of emergency preparedness is to have alternatives regarding how people will live in the event of a financial crisis (we have seen this several times in the United States with several stock market crashes and crashes in other commodities (housing) over the centuries).  There are also the preparedness that must be done in the event of a natural disaster or war, which preparations require money.

Again, there is that aspect of independence, of having an alternative place to live, alternative forms of "money" for bartering, alternative forms of producing your own food and clothing.

8.  Providing For The Family - It has recently been released in the news that more people in the U.S. are dying with debts, some of which will come back on the family left behind.

More videos on Finance:

Some additional videos to check out:

Thursday, April 6, 2017

A Somewhat Productive Week

Not bad for the week.

I've gotten three loads of laundry done, I took a carload of recycling out on Monday after work, tonight it was a carload of large cardboard boxes to recycling and three bags of trash to the dumpster.

I have a lot more to do, but I'm getting there.  This Saturday marks the second Household Hazardous Waste day, I've already got a box going for that.  I also have on more large cardboard box and a large amount of newspaper recycling to take out, plus delivering items purchased for a Mom to be taken to her home.  I have more laundry to get done, plus some preparations for Church and a funeral this next week.


Monday, April 3, 2017

FHE - Which Is The Christ?

Watch this video of the Parable of The Good Samaritan and try to deduce which person in the parable represents Jesus The Christ.

Which person represents Christ?

The obvious choice is the Samaritan - he is the one who cares, he is the one who heals.  And given the feelings that the Hebrew people felt towards the Samaritans, it could be also said that Christ descended below all things - including the social class of people felt to be inferior.

Here is one other observation:

Could Jesus also be the man who was the victim of the attack in this parable?

Remember, a priest and a Levite both passed by (the preachers of their faith) the victim and walked off, leaving him to die.  These are people who profess to know God intimately, but pass by the Son of God without recognizing Him.

Instead, he was rescued by a man who didn't know who he was or what he represented, but cared anyway.

Which person in this story would we be?  How many times are we that priest or Levite and walk off, leaving someone in distress?  How many times are we the Samaritan?

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Daily Task Schedules - May - December 2017

If you liked April's Daily Task Schedule, I've made the PDF's for the remainder of the year.

May 2017

June 2017

July 2017

August 2017

September 2017

October 2017

November 2017

December 2017

Daily Planning Guide

This is by no means a perfect page to use for planning, in fact there are people who might not like it at all.

I saw a number of daily planning sheets, but I found they were missing one element.  If you've ever seen the Time Management lecture given by the late Dr. Randy Pausch, you'll understand why I added it in my own little version.

Which reminds me:  I need to clean out my inbox.  LOL.

The Daily Planning Guide - My Take:

Guide (Google Sheets)

Update:  I've also added the PDF version as Google Sheets doesn't translate well to mobile devices, particularly when you have to format things a bit differently.  Guide In PDF

Remainder of 2017 calendar (Google Sheets)

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Use of Colour In Your Home

Yeah, I need to do something with these white walls in my home, but I also need to start from the top (my HVAC unit) and work my way down.  First, though, I need to pay off as much debt as I can.

No April Fool's jokes here, enjoy.

Monday, March 27, 2017

FHE - Movie Night!

I really feel sorry for today's kids.  They were never exposed to our beloved Jiminy Cricket teaching about safety - and common sense.


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Debt Update - 3-24-2017

Debt total for February:  18,916.15
Debt total for March:  16,257.44
Debt paid:  2658.71

I had refunds on both Federal and State tax returns that have paid off the Care Credit card (medical bills), I am now on track to pay off my next credit card within the next few months.


Monday, March 20, 2017

FHE - U.S. History

With all of the books and movies made regarding historical events and people in the United States of America, there is no collection that compares with the U.S. National Archives.

Interested in learning the real history behind our nation, our customs, our laws, our leaders and our citizens?  Search the archives here.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Trying My Hand At Crock Pot Cooking

I'm not the best cook in the world, so I thought I'd try out a recipe book on the Crock Pot that's been on my kitchen counter gathering dust.  LOL.  It didn't work out that great, but then again, I probably messed up somewhere in the instructions.

I found this book at Costco and thought I'd give it a try.  

My first attempt:

Chicken and Noodles.

Easy, you say?  I still managed to mess it up, too much salt and garlic powder.  Yep.

Getting started...

With the ingredients all in.

As I stated, I messed up on the amount of salt and garlic powder, but I also put the noodles in at the beginning, rather than waiting until the first 6 of 8 hours had passed.

This meant it was a salty, garlic - y mush with chicken.

It was edible for the next few days, so I did eat most of the leftovers.

Maybe I just need to find something simpler.  LOL.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Learning About The World Around Us - France

I love Sophia from My Great Challenge on YouTube.  She also has a blog where she posts all kinds of details of subjects that interest her - books, makeup, decor and organization to name a few.

In 2016, her family took a trip to France where Sophia was born and raised.  Given her knowledge of the French history and culture, this is definitely a series to watch.  She does a fantastic job of explaining to those like me who have never set foot in France.  I just wish I knew the language!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

BYU Finance Class

If you haven't become familiar with the BYU Finance Class that is available on YouTube, Brother (Dr.) Sudweeks is providing an updated version of his classes on YouTube now!

The online link to where the textbook and other materials can be found:  BYU Personal Finance Class

Free Tax Help

If you live in the United States, April 15th is approaching.  There are some online sites that can offer help with getting your taxes done.

The one caveat I will say with this; if you have a situation where you feel you will need professional help, seek it.  Get in touch with the IRS directly, or go through a CPA either privately or through a professional tax service.  Usually I use TurboTax and file myself, however when my husband passed away, I had a CPA handle my taxes for that year, and I highly recommend anyone else in that situation to do the same.

That said, there is free tax help from the IRS.

Here is a basic link:  Free Tax Help

You can also file your federal taxes for free via the IRS:  Free File

For Low Income taxpayers, they have some information at this link:  Low Income Taxpayer Clinics

For the State of Arizona (where I live), the Arizona Department of Revenue offers this site for free and paid tax services:

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Spring Break

This week is Spring Break for me, so that means less away from the house, but more work around the house!

Needless to say, based on my kitchen, I have A LOT of work on my hands!

The Use of Space Within Your Home

I love this series.

Monday, February 27, 2017

FHE - Movie Night

Tonight it's a blast from the past in a 1980's video from Disney on the history of Disneyland in Anaheim, California.  Ah, Harry Anderson.  Our favorite comedian/magician.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Debt Update

As of 2/24/2017:

Total debt:  $18,916.15
Reduced by $620.00 in February.


Monday, February 20, 2017

FHE - A Little Constitutional History

If you've never seen this before, you're in for a treat.

Please have a safe and happy President's Day.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Oprah's Debt Removal Steps

Click here for updates and revisions to the Debt Diet™️ steps on


1.  Calculate your debt - add up what you owe.

2.  Track Your Spending
     Cut the waste and find ways to increase income

3.  Learn how to play the credit card game
     A.  Pay more than the minimum payment
     B.  Call to reduce the interest rates and fees
     C.  Get your credit score

4.  Stop spending!

5.  Create a monthly spending plan for your take home pay:

     35% - Housing - domicile, insurance, repairs, maintenance, taxes, etc.
     15% - Transportation - vehicle, fuel, insurance, registration fees, maintenance, repair, etc.
     25% - Other - regular fees for cellphones, tv, Internet, meals outside of the house, travel, movies, books , etc.  This is the "your life" part of the budget.

     15% - Debt - credit cards, student loans.
     10% - Savings - this is where you get rich.

6.  Grow Your Income.  

7.  Prioritize Your Debt And Raise Your Credit Score

Home, vehicle, student loans take priority.

8.  Understand Why You Spend And Start Saving - plan your spending.

I'm thinking there are a lot of people who followed this advice - which was brought out before the 2008 Stock Market Crash - and are grateful they did.  I'm thankful she had the thoughtfulness towards her viewers to make this series a reality.

As stated before, there are some changes that have since been made to these steps, be sure to check out her Debt Diet Action Plan page for the details.