The last 3 months of our 2 year plan...

 Almost 2 years ago we started a plan to really focus on paying off/down our debts and building our business.  We've been pretty successful and are now in the home stretch.  One debt still haunts us, though, our last credit card.  When we started our journey, we had 4 credit cards and a personal loan.  We've paid all but that last, big, pesky credit card.  That's the one that we packed our medical-related debt onto nearly 10 years ago.  I was hoping to have it paid off by the end of this year, but the dog needed nearly $2000 in vet care, there were lots of vehicle repair bills, the washer and dryer both needed know, the usual.  We've been hovering between the $10,000 and $11,000 mark.   As of the end of the year, with the scheduled payments I have set up, we should be around or just under $10,000.   My plan is to put everything I can into paying down that card by the end of March.  Here are my ideas: 1.  A Spending Frost.  I can't do a full-on spendi

So, You Want to be A Stay at Home Mom?

 What I wish I did to prepare to be a stay at home mom: I was young, naive, and, let's face it, life was very different 19 years ago than it is, today.  Back then, as a young bride, I was religiously and socio-politically conservative, believing strongly that it was best for me to stay home.  I also feared that if I took on a career we'd have gotten too used to the income to allow for me to stay home.  These were all "stuck" mindsets I wish I had the influence, education, and gumption to overcome.   Now that I am older and wiser, hindsight is 20/20.  I always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, and my husband was supportive of that.  However, I should have been more supportive of him, of us, instead of focusing so heavily on what I wanted.   1.  I wish I had taken getting a career more seriously.  There were options.  For example, I could have simply finished at least an Associates Degree at my local college and then become a teacher's aide at my alma mater.  That wo

Spring Cleaning has Begun!

 I saw this old advertisement and just had to use it for this blog post!  It's old-fashioned and my last name is Scott! For me, March is the perfect month to start spring cleaning.  Winter likes to hold on throughout the month and any sign of spring means deep mud, both of which prevent me from doing outdoor work.  Once the fine weather comes, the mud dries, and the ground thaws, my house gets neglected in favor of the outdoors. I have 7 small rooms to tackle, which gives me 7 weeks of spring cleaning:  Kitchen, Dining Room, Living Room, Master Bedroom, Boys' Bedroom, Daughter's Room, and Bathroom.   I started early over the last weekend of February.  Last spring and summer I minimized and purged a LOT, but there were so many things I didn't go through, yet, or set aside, not ready to part with them.  However, we're coming up on 9 months to a year of that stuff just sitting there, forgotten, right where I left it last year.  Therefore, out it goes. Paperwork over 10

We May Become Part of the New Unchurched

  In my 40 years of life I have never not gone to church.  There were brief breaks here and there in recent years lasting no more than 3 months tops, but church on Sundays has always been a part of my life. Until now..... We may become part of the new unchurched. The unchurched is typically meant to describe agnostics, atheists, and apathetic people who don't attend services on Sundays or belong to any church or denomination.  However, there is quite possibly a growing group of unchurched people who identify as serious Christians.  They are Christians who would like to find a church community, but are struggling to do so. What is our struggle? We can't seem to find a church we can agree upon. I like Catholicism, but my family does not.  My oldest likes our former church, but I struggled with some of the theology and my husband struggled with some of the politics.  Also, the church was very community-based, which is great, but we live in a different community.  I refuse to go to

For Hard Times or Saving Money

Sometimes life gets challenging and finances get slim.  Sometimes we want to save up some money for a purchase or to pay down a debt. Sometimes picking up extra work isn't an option. As we look at our bills we are quick to realize that the most flexible and readily available change we can make is to our grocery spending.   We've enjoyed the benefit of a better financial situation in the past 2 years which has allowed me to increase our grocery budget and indulge in foodstuffs and household products I have had to pass by in the past.  However, I know finances are easy come-easy go, so I like to keep it in the back of my mind how I plan and utilize a more austere budget. Lately, my grocery spending has been very high.  With all the children home instead of in public school, and with hubby not working weekends right now, and thus he likes to shop with me and help me try new recipes, we've increased our spending significantly.  However, I would like to back off a bit in order t

Fitness After 40: Any Progress?

Now that I am 40 years old, I have stopped chuckling at my predecessors who warned me that everything changes.  Certainly not!  They just didn't keep themselves up, I would reason.  But, as is usually the case, I am eating my words. In my 20s and 30s I could get fairly fit without too much effort, and it would stick.  At 40, a good stretching routine on Monday would be undone by Tuesday morning and I feel like I am stretching myself out for the first time.  I'm also noticing that I cannot grow in strength and repetition as quickly as I used to.  In my early 30s I managed to go from a couple of modified push ups to 25 full-plank pushups within a month.  At 40, after a solid month of moving from plank to slow drop to the floor and I still cannot push myself back up! Light-headedness and nausea plagues me if I work out too hard.  I've had to limit myself to my stretching-pilates routine and walking workouts.  Sometimes, I can hit the exercise bike, but at a leisurely cruise pa

When Your Home Can't Have the Aesthetic You'd Like

 One thing I love about those fix-up-the-home shows on HGTV is the reveal.  People walk into their completely done and perfectly staged homes.  There's no every day clutter.  There are no scuffs on the trim, dirt on the floor, dust bunnies under the beds, shoes piled up by the door, mail on the counter.  Even the fruit in the bowl is perfect with no flies buzzing around them.   All the rooms are painted and decorated to aesthetic perfection.  Everything is DONE! Oh, that feels good! I would love to be able to move out and have someone come in and redo my home to exactly what I need.  I could walk in every room and breathe and feel relaxed because it is so perfect.   But, I don't live in HGTV.  I live in reality.  Working class reality with 5 other individuals who don't really give much thought to aesthetics.  That can really get me down, sometimes, when I feel like my house doesn't rest my heart because it is never really fully clean and never really done and never real

Out with the Old

  Woman Sweeping Her Home by Jean-François Millet I've wondered a lot lately if people who go through a tragic, traumatic, or life-changing experience, even a good one for that matter, have this desire to get rid of their old things.   I had mentioned in a post early this year that I turned 40 and felt like a page had turned.  No, not even  a page -- more like a book closed and I opened a new book.  I won't go into details as to my life circumstances except to say it is not marriage-related.  Hubby and I are still going strong.  But, with this closing of a book I find myself antsy to change so much in my home.  I wouldn't even really mind moving! I've purged a lot of my wardrobe and bought new. I'm repainting and looking at new furnishings or arrangements.   I'm interested in different books. My previous hobbies feel kind of ho-hum and I'm ready to get rid of all the old "maybe someday" boxes of stuff. I want to sell almost all of my vintage clothi