Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Investing Update


I was planning to do a blog post on how my tiny account designated for investing for income has finally broken even.  I had invested $250 back in February (here is the post) and of another $20 somewhere along the way.  I was all excited because the account had finally gotten to $270.65.  I went in today to check the exact amount... and it is now down to $269.85.  That is .15 cent less than what I've put in so far.

Sigh.

Living off of invested income is the bedrock of most early retirement/financial independence plans.  However, you evidently have to invest a heck of a lot more!  (Plus my initial investment was pretty conservative.)  This is turning into a learning experience instead...  But that is okay.  I am into learning!

I am making tiny progress-- the dividend for March was .82 but the one for June was a whole 1.06.

 Someday I'm going to look back on this and smile while contemplating my steady stream of passive income, right?

Right now my plan is to wait until our other (IRA) investments with this particular company reach a certain dollar amount at which point the percentage that the fund takes goes down.  Also the year-end dividend is supposed to be higher.

I'll keep you posted...

Monday, July 28, 2014

Teasers.... or "I Have Too Many Craft Projects Right Now!"

I've got four craft projects I'm working on at the same time.....

Yeah.  I need to just pick one.....

Here's some snapshots from what I've got going on, one from each of the four projects:





Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sunday Thoughts: Gratitude

Today I'm grateful to God for some quiet time in my studio.  I'm sewing!

It leads me to think of how much I can be grateful for what did not happen.  I haven't had computer troubles or car break-downs in a long time.  No major house repairs, either.  I'm not ill (mental = questionable, but, hey, join the club!) or suffering from a cold sore, or wearing a cast. 

Now if only my gratitude to God will lead to generosity to others....

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Weekly Round-Up

This week I....

... received this dress form from Singer as a first prize in a creative competition!  I can make a mini-me now.  (Only it will be exactly the right size.)

... played Bohnanza, also known as the bean farmer game, with some good friends.  The Magician and I both enjoyed it, which does not always happen!

.... harvested fat stubby carrots.  Apparently we need to really soak them when we water them?  Remind me to ask Doug the Master Veggie Gardener....

.... was given this by my niece Arwen.   Isn't it lovely?

.... unpacked canning supplies.  I'm hoping it isn't as complicated as it looks...

.... noticed that the rain barrels are now empty.  Yup, we used the last of the water up watering our garden.  Now we're back to the hose until it rains....

.... thawed some frozen strawberries to add to my oatmeal.  Mushy, but still tasty!  For how I froze them, click here.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

In Stores Now!


I met with the lovely and charming Myra this morning at Out of the Box, a wonderful, locally owned store that sells reclaimed building materials and architectural details.  They will be carrying three of my tiered trays.  (Click on the "Tiered Trays" tab above to see them with more detail.)  Check them out at 48th and R, Lincoln, NE or at their website: http://www.ootbreclaimed.com/.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Today we harvested our first....

... cucumbers!

The plant is dying of something or other, so I'm glad we got at least something. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Economics of Breakfast

Frugality adds up most when it is daily.  That's really about the only place where pennies matters---over decades.

And what is more daily than breakfast?  (At least for folks like me who like to be healthy and have reasonable control over our weight.)

Both of these look pretty good from the front.


But from the back we see that oatmeal, at $2.48 a package, costs .08 cents a serving because there are a whopping 30 servings per package.  However, cereal, at $2.50 a package, costs .19 cents a serving because one box boasts only 13 servings.

And seriously, who puts only a cup of cereal in her bowl in the morning?  The box probably has more like 8 servings in it, further driving up the price.  Oatmeal offers better portion control.

But what about taste?  Good point.  The really, really cheap oatmeal, the kind that has to be soaked overnight or cooked for an inconveniently long time tastes like wallpaper paste.  (Even soaking it in applejuice over night was insufficient.)  I'm not cheap enough to start off my day grouchy!

My solution: raisins.  Granted, they drive up the price of oatmeal close to the cereal price.  But I'm slowly putting less and less in my cereal. And they have more nutritional value than sugar.  Honey is also an option.  In the summer, I'm planning on fresh strawberries from our garden.

But what if oatmeal is inconceivable?  What if you are still trying to wean yourselves off of expensive sugary hyper-advertised preservative-laced ickiness?  Check out this post on how to eat boring cereal.