The Early Bird Gets the Worm

I don’t know if it’s the age thing, but I’m finding that I’m waking up earlier and earlier. B, on the other hand..

I’m finding that over the course of the last few weeks I’ve been trying to get all my work done first and then do the fun stuff. A few weeks ago, this wasn’t always the case and I would blog here first, surf the internet and do other non-productive items. Then, I would wonder where my day would go and my to do list would still be waiting for me as I panicked to get something productive done.

Then the past few days I decided to change the pattern and do the work first, then fiddle around and it’ working out to be a succes for quite a few reasons.

Less guilt. When I’ve got my work for the day done, I can write here, sell stuff on ebay, cut the grass and other things I like and prefer to do

More Time. All I did was swap out the internet surfing for working and I seem to have much more time. It’s just after lunch and the day is mine. Heck, I could even work more if the urge came upon me, but at very minimum the work I planned to do is done.

Getting up early isn’t the problem for me. It’s the staying up late that’s the hard part and I find some days I can’t seem to make it past nine before I start to look for my toothbrush and make sure the dog is inside and then it’s off to bed for yours truly.

The upside of an early start is that it sure is quiet – even the dog goes back to bed.

Why am I sharing all this? Maybe as just as a reminder that facebook doesn’t pay you for your updates but with a ten dollar domain name you too could be doing what I’m doing – writing and making money. (I’ve actually made a few bucks with this site already) I do it with a 5am start, so that by noon-ish the day is mine. You might be like my wife where she starts her day about noon and is still happy to work well into the evening. Whatever works for you.

But this early bird start is working great so far and once you break the habit of NOT working hard it really becomes pretty easy and you find yourself working more and more. With the workday done I’ve got family time for walks with the dog and B, or just reading books or listening to music or gardening knowing full well I’ve moved the needle today.

And that’s all a guy could ask.

Hobbies, and How They Change

This site is a hobby. At least for now. Unless I get either an endorsement from softsoap or some other stroke of luck my one and only goal is to tell a story or two here and make a photo or two to share for all 27 of you today to read, and I’m finding that as I get older the toys I need get to be less and less important.

The same holds true for the photography. I have enough gear to make more than enough photos and I think that it’s too easy to get caught up in the technical stuff and tweaks that you realize you don’t need half the stuff and go full circle to using simpler and simpler stuff. A lot of times you think you need the stuff when you don’t. I always used to joke that the easiest way to save $100 at IKEA was to walk out of IKEA.

I find I’m reading more and more and down in the man cave listening to music less and less over time to the point where I may as well sell the stuff, even at a loss – because the usage my record collection is minimal to none. This doesn’t neccesarily mean I’ll get out of listening to music altogether but it does mean I can do with much less. Headphones and one small amplifier rather than a multi speakered home theater system might be and example.

Cheaper Hobbies are Just As Fun

This site is a perfect example of a cheap hobby that when you compare the cost per hour of blogging to say, sailing – writing wins(unless you’re writing from your boat). I’m reading (and writing) more than ever and I love the fact that I can take a speck of an idea and make it into an entry. Maybe it’s a great one and maybe it isn’t but it does not really matter because once I get into the writing (which can be an exercise in itself) I find that sometimes it’s hard to stop, I am having so much fun. And with every article I get a little better and get a feel for what posts resonate with you guys and what you could care less about. It all takes time, but I’d like to think I have a bit of time left yet.

As far as cost, the total cost for me to start this website was a ten dollar domain name. Everything else I already knew or had, and then it was just the big blinking cursor staring at me. I know this site is only weeks old and if I was counting either dollars or visitors as the success rate, the novelty would have worn off by now. But I’m counting days and words written and pages published instead. I’m pretty confident the readership will come eventually.

This is just a blog, and I’m just a husband trying to navigate the everyday of married life. The laundry and gardening and all that husband-ness entails. But it’s also a hobby too and I’m having a whole lot of fun. No drinking required.

I Went To The Hospital and All I Got Was This Lousy Prescription

It always happened in the library. I could feel it coming sometimes and then other times it would hit me like a Mack Truck.  I’m epileptic and as a kid I would have big seizures that would take over my entire body but  I would also just have leg seizures too where my entire right leg would shake uncontrollably

And for some reason, I remember that library days were worse. You’d be in class with all your friends in your bad 1970s wear (dad, plaid pants – really?) and the shaking would start and continue. I’d lunge for the table to hang on while my leg shook and shook and shook and I couldn’t do a thing about it.

What I remember being the worst about this was the embarrassment – that I wasn’t normal, that I didn’t fit in. I had epilepsy. I was different. Luckily, with either my age or the meds or a bit of luck I outgrew the shakes and spent a good part of my life without any epileptic symtoms at all.

Then in my early 30s the cat came back and I decided it would be a good idea to have a seizure in the checkout lane at the grocery store. Twice.  For some reason, the checkout lanes and grocery stores don’ t mix. Luckily, there’s a drug for that and it’s called dilantin and for years and years and years I’ve been happily functioning with the right amount of dilantin in my bloodstream

All that changed about a week ago, I started to feel a bit woozy, for lack of a better term. No seizures, and not really dizzy per se, just weird. Just not right. Being a man, I did what anybody would do: I ignored it. Until last night when I got to experience my very first hospital visit in the USA.

Finally, B had enough of me being weird and out of sorts so off to the Emergency Room we go. In Canada, I had the pleasure of paying a whole lot of taxes and In return I would get free health care. In  the USA, if you don’t  have health care you are hosed. Admitting in emergency in the US is far different, as there’s an extra step in getting you admitted. I call it  the money room.

Now, I’m not up on the intricacies of health care in the United States, but in Canada you have to show proof of your ‘health card’ and that’s pretty much it.  In the US, they want to be certain of your ability to pay. There’s also differences in how they treat once you get in the door and pass the payment screening, but once you’re in they’ll order every test and plug you in to so many doo-hickeys your head will spin (In my case, it already was)

Upon admittance I felt ‘woozy’. There’s no technical term for ‘woozy’ and they didn’t know what to do with me but once admitted – the hospital performed every test they could think of, and I had:

  • bloodwork
  • cat scan
  • chest x-ray
  • ekg

I fear the hospital bill for all this if B had not included me on her insurance plan. One of the differences I found in my very first visit to a US hospital was at the end when the released me I was given a list of specific instructions and who to call, what to take and how to continue now that I’ve been released.

After all the tests, it was determined my dilantin levels to be too low, so they’ve upped the prescription and I’m to call  and make an appointment with an neurologist now that I’m back home to continue with the next step.

The moral of this story?

If you feel ill, get fixed. Maybe it’s the Canadian in me showing through but they have lots of doctors and technical stuff at hospitals and if  you have insurance – go. If you don’t have insurance, I would do my best to get health insurance at any cost in the USA.

Listen to your doctor. A few months ago, I got a call from my new Doctor in the USA after some bloodwork was done and they called and said my dilantin levels were low. I didn’t think too much about it  because I have been taking the exact same dose for years and years – what could change I thought?

Apparently I was wrong and my levels had changed and even though I didn’t have an epileptic seizure, I came close, and made others worry due to my stubborn/stupid self diagnosis. I’m not  a Doctor and I don’t play one on TV either

Lessons Learned:
Do what your wife says.
Do what your doctor says.
Do get help if you feel ill.
Don’t self prescribe.
Bring a book.
Hospitals here have Tim Hortons

2012 Vegetable Garden Surprises

Update: The big green thing below we thought was sign of a pea may be a weed afterall. I told you we were no gardeners. The good news is that there are what we think is a real row of peas coming up.

I can’t lie. I really did not have a lot of  hope for the veggie garden we created last weekend. Our green thumb skills are absolutely zero and the ground we used was far from superior: I lifted the cement tiles that were the floor of our dog kennel and below that was gravel and then below that is red clay – not exactly the most welcoming environment for a veggie garden, even with the help of $100 worth of store bought dirt.

But, wouldn’t you know that less than a week later, we have signs of life in our very first garden. Saturday morning, before breakfast I  went out  to see what I can see and I couldn’t believe it but we have signs of life in our garden.

We have Peas

 

and beets

and tomatoes all showing signs of life, and amazingly the dog doesn’t really seem to have much  interest in it yet, but the neighbour tells us we have bunnies so perhaps we’re celebrating a tad early. Not shown, but there’s some melons and carrots starting to poke up through the dirt too.

I’ve also hired these guys to keep an eye on the garden, but they seem to be more interested in the earthworms in our lawn:

So, it looks like we might have a veggie or two out of our garden yet..

The eBay Hour

When I moved in here I virtually took over B’s basement with my stuff that came with me in my big 17 foot u-haul (the only truck rental company that would allow a cross border move and return the truck in the USA ) and so very, very slowly I’ve been parting with a few of my items on eBay.

I won’t lie. This has been hard. I don’t know why but I have a bit of a thing for stuff and although I’m far from hoarder level  could definitely shed a few lbs of items kicking around the house. We have a rule here, and  I think it’s a good one  – for every new item in the house one item must go. I think that’s fair, except B hasn’t been following the rule when it comes to shoes, as these arrived earlier this week:

 

 

I have a horrible personality trait that if I can put it off until tomorrow – I will and although my stuff and I have moved in for months already, I’m finding I don’t use a fraction of the stuff. Probably the biggest waste of money is my DVD collection. Back in the early 2000’s when I had more money than brains I would buy DVD’s like they were going out of style. This stopped years ago as my income dwindled and I got older and wiser, but I still have hundreds of movies that I could sell on eBay one at a time.  As I showed you, it’s surprising how those dollars add up.

Forget The Sunk Costs

Selling on eBay can make me want to cry when I think about what I paid for the item vs what I can get. An example:  I bought a video card for $20, found I had no use for it and sold it for ten dollars on eBay. I could argue that I lost ten dollars (and I did ) but there’s no sense worrying about it. I now have ten dollars for something else (new water heater, here we come!) and there’s less crap in my closet. Another example is a HP notebook I had that I sold on eBay, and it arrived not working for the buyer.  So I took it back and refunded him the money and just tossed it  in the goodwill pile for the next drop off. But then I thought  – oh what  the heck, I’ll list it on eBay and start the auction at $1.00. It doesn’t matter that I spent over $500 for the thing as the money is long gone. That laptop ended up selling for over $100 for a broken notebook computer. Again, the new water heater fund grows:

The eBay $1000 Challenge 

With these examples in mind,  I’m going to touch every item I have and ask myself: do I need this?

I have found that once the stuff is gone you rarely miss it. The stuff I don’t need or use far outweighs the stuff I do use. I use my computer every day, but I don’t watch a DVD day every day because now I have a life. We have an entire library of books here and I’m very slowly getting through them at about a book a month. I have years of entertainment in the library alone. I don’t need DVD’s to entertain me. Besides, this is the age of Netflix

Also I find that cheaper hobbies are just as fun as the more expensive ones. Photography is an example: My 5 year old digital camera works just fine and although I think  I need a new one, I don’t – the one I have  has lenses and megapixels and all the stuff you need to make great photos. The camera on my phone is a piece of  junk, but that’s another story altogether.

When you have too much stuff the stuff  starts to own you instead and I’d like to change that and use the proceeds from the sales to pay for the things we really need.

eBay Selling Tips 

I am by no means an eBay expert but I find I have learned a few things:

  1. You don’t have to sell it all right away.  I’m finding that the eBay selling can be a hobby in and of itself and that way  you’re not overwhelmed with having to package it all  right away. I’m selling on eBay for about an hour a day in the evenings. It’s way more profitable than watching TV and every day  I have less stuff and more money. It’s fun to watch your money grow.

  2. I don’t sell internationally. It’s just not worth the extra time for answering questions and getting shipping estimates to find out you undercharged on shipping so you’ve lost money on the deal. There’s 350 million people in the USA – somebody will want my stuff and I’m finding the shipping estimates that eBay provides are dead on.

  3. Take lots of  great photos of your item and for the higher priced items, pay for the eBay picture package that allows you to  enlarge your photos and really show the detail of your item. Of course, if you’re getting rid of  a $1 item it doesn’t make much sense to pay more in eBay fees than the item cost, but if you’ve got something worth some money spring for the extra couple bucks for the listing fee. I think it’s worthwhile to pay so the bidder can see exactly what they’re getting. They can’t touch it, but you can photograph it well and describe it to the best of your abilities.

  4. Don’t  sweat the small stuff. This is a fun way to make some  money  with your household items. Didn’t get paid for your item? wait a few days for the buyer to respond and if he doesn’t, somebody else will want your stuff when you list it again.

 

A few items I sold recently on eBay:

 

 

Feel free to follow along and see all my current eBay items on auction

Home

I was rinsing off the dishes last night, listening to Canada’s Only Jazz FM station when it dawned on me: I’m home

I think,silly as it is – the thing that dawned on me is that finally after 5 months or so of living here, I know where everything is, and I mean everything. I know where the strainer goes, where the extra batteries are, and how to wash the dog even (my least  favorite chore –   Wet and Dog and Jim should not be in the same sentence) and all this takes time. The garden we made was our garden, not just B’s garden. )

For a long time I’ve felt like a fish out of water when it comes to the everyday. I’m from another country and what’s norm for B is not for me and although the changes are small, they can be big. I got a bank card today in the mail and I had to ask B a question because it’s different than what I’m used to in Canada. Sure, the Tim Horton’s cup sizes grew in the USA but the little things really took time for me to adjust. When I moved here it felt like all I did was ask questions

But now that we’re creating a life together day by day it feels more like home. I have a barber, an accountant, a mechanic, a bank account.. a card that says I can work here and I realized that this will be the best summer ever as I was rinsing dishes and the birds were chirping. I know how to cut the lawn, what type of gas the car takes (regular) where the so-so grocery store is and  where the better grocery store too.

It took me a bit to get used to the foreign currency, but I figured out a system for that.

I know how to get around without the need of a GPS. I can make it to the drug store and back and not get lost anymore.

It all takes time I guess, but now I am home.

A Mailbox Story

See the mailbox above? see how it’s a nice  tan color (in need of a repaint – it’s on the list). Well, it wasn’t always that way. Until yestarday it featured a most horrific floral pattern known to mankind. Think of the worst  wallpaper border you could find then apply it to a mailbox.  B moved here 5 years ago and  I showed up 5 months ago and during all that time neither of us took any time to pay attention to a mailbox because, well, it’s just a mailbox.

But, we were both outside getting ready for our evening run and I realized that the mailbox pattern might be wallpaper or something and not painted on.  It turns out the floral pattern was held down with magnets, and a quick lift and our mailbox doesn’t look half as bad. I’m amazed actually that the mailbox magnet pattern survived all the Buffalo weather over the years, but I’m just happy that the floral pattern is gone.  I felt like a scene from the Golden Girls every time I checked my mail. This is much better.

Home Improvements, one day at a time.

Incremental Improvement

Every Day, my goal is to be a little better. Be a better husband, learn a new skill (yoga, anyone?), but what really gets my motor running is when it comes to my  entrepreneurial advances.

As B knows too well ( just  like I know the Chaco is very dry) I live and die by Google. I’ve had great days and not so great days but when you keep slugging away at it you get what is probably the most valuable thing – even better than money – and that’s data.  And with data, you can make more money. What I do  is not rocket science – I write online, on blogs just like this one and I write about some topics I think may be of some help to others.

A real world example of this would be this site: Two weeks or so this was an idea. I found a theme, installed a blogging system or content management system and started writing.

At first, nobody showed up. Then some family and friends found me on facebook and started to read the trials and tribulations of my tidy husband-ness. And then after a few weeks  of writing – strangers started to show up and there’s no way I would be able to answer their question without the data:  But, by searching Google – they give it  to me:

This is the very first search term for Tidy Husband. As it’s a question about soap and  I find it rather fitting that I answer a question about being clean. This means Google thinks this too as it rewarded me with a number 3 ranking on the front page for this term. Not too bad for a two week old website.

This is what’s known  as a long tail search term. I’ll never ever, at this point be on the front page of Google for ‘soap’, but I will eventually get searches for all the other topics I  write about here.  Not a lot at first, and for some pages – not at all,  but if you keep writing you get more more and more searches over time.

About the Money

Some bloggers just like to write as their hobby, but I prefer to get paid for my writing. I’ve made to date with this site something like two bucks and money making isn’t really the focus of this site, but what I have found is that if you write topical and helpful articles that really add value  –  the average income for every article I publish works out to be  just under $2 a month. So to make ten thousand dollars a month, I need to write 5000 articles – and that’s what I intend to do. I have about 500 under my belt, now so I’m well on my way and my income reflects that. If you’re swift I just told you how much I make with the articles I write.

Just like any company that creates, some products sell really well (Big Mac) and some are absolute duds (McRib). But the best sellers pay for all the duds. One article can pay your mortgage.

Every article I write takes me  about 20 minutes to bang out – maybe a half an hour.  So every hour I work I just added $4.00 to my monthly income – A full workday brings another $32.00 a month. In a month, I make another $640.00 a month. Do you get a $640 monthy raise?

As time goes on, you get better at figuring out what will make you more money and what will make you less.  You just have to keep banging away at the keyboard. Answering Questions is fun and so are comparing items.

Using the Soap topic, one article I may write might be:  Where can I Buy Softsoap Online? or Who has the Best Price on Softsoap, or 10 Uses for Softsoap You Didn’t  Know

I have facebook friends that write novel length facebook posts and all they are doing is creating more value for Mark Zuckerberg. If you’re going to write, make it for your own site. You don’t need any programming skills and there’s lots of places to write and get paid or blog for free. You don’t have to know a thing about computers to do this either.

Forget the money and just write. 

My number one enemy in all this is internet access and the blinking cursor. Some days are  hard to get started . One reason I created this site is just to get me started writing  some days.

Patience is also a factor. This doesn’t happen overnight. In two plus weeks with this site, I made 2 dollars. It’s real hard to convince your wife that it makes sense to work for nothing for the first year or even two before you see any real money. Thankfully, I married the best wife ever. I’m rich in so many ways.

Be Accountable. 

I may be the ultimate time waster and putter-er but I also know when I say something I’m going to  do  it and that starts today. But  first I need a goal: I think making $100 a day is a good start. That’s $36,000 a year. Not too shabby of an income for walking the dog and keeping the bathroom clean. I do have a few sites that have been sitting on the back burner  for some time that would  be perfect for this project and  I want to report my victories here.  I’m thinking monthly would be a good start so I’ll report on the May income in early June. Over time, both my word count and income should  increase. I think it would be really cool to write a million words, regardless of how much money I make.

 

PS. About the photo:  When I moved to the USA, one change I had a hard time with was well, lack of change. Coins, that is. All of a sudden I have a big wad of cash in my pocket only to realize that I really only have four bucks. So, I started to toss my dollar bills and coins in a coffee tin. Over 5 months we have close to $200 in cash and who knows how much in coins. B has wanted  to spend it numerous times, but I want to save it for a whole year. At the rate we’re going, we could have over $500 in that can by years ‘end if not more. That’s a weekend away somewhere, or maybe even a week if  we plan right. And I don’t miss those dollar bills one bit.

Long Hot Summer

About a week or so ago I took the car in for service to get the air conditioning serviced for spring and as it was cool out still, I didn’t really test it all that well when I picked it up from our mechanic’s.  The next day B comes barging in saying “the air conditioning isn’t working”. Sure it is, I say. It has to be because we paid to have the air conditioning on the car fixed. They’re good guys  – if they say it’s working it  must be.

I thought it worked. She didn’t. It turns out we were both right.  The A/C would work sometimes and then not other times. It would work fine when I drove B to work, but then not on the way home. So, after a week of  this yo-yo of the air-co I went out to do some errands and dropped by the mechanics to have a look again.

Now. We all know how the story goes – On the way to the mechanics the air conditioning worked again.  But, despite the fact that it was a Friday afternoon at  4pm, they tossed it up on the hoist to have a look..

This is where my knowledge with car repair stops – when I  hand over the keys. I know absolutely zero about the finer workings of the average automobile. I know there’s pistons and valves and lots of other stuff, but he could easily sell me down a river as I have no idea what I really need.

After some testing and prodding they pull the car down from the hoist because the air is working now as i has been since I arrived – , but as they go to back the car out of the driveway the air conditioning stops on them. We are  not done yet it seems..

Now they’re intrigued. Now back up the hoist the mitsu  goes and they fiddle and tweak and rev  the engine for what seems to be an eternity to get to  the problem. There’s dye they use to check the airco for leaks, but they  don’t see any real great leaky parts so they are stumped.  ”What if it’s the clutch motor thingy” one of them  asks the other. Maybe… so they get the great ideal to bypass the clutch motor thingy (told ya, no car knowledge here)  with a paper clip. They fiddle with the paper clip for eternity and wonder why the paper clip is not passing the electricity as it should.

It turns out the paper clip was a coated paper clip so the electricity was not passing through as intended so a new uncoated paper clip was found still no go. Whatever they tried to fix with office supplies turns out to be unrepairable in it’s current state.

After that test failed the car came down off the hoist with the diagnosis of a new clutch for the air conditioning system. I am to believe this clutch is different from the clutch to the transmission but I’m not so sure.

Regardless, the diagnosis is at very least we need a new clutch for the air  conditioning system at $400 and the new compressor could be upwards of $1000 because you can’t buy just the clutch for our car model and make  – you have to buy the whole compressor too

All this to say it’s going to be a long hot summer, because the purchasing department tells me that there’s no way we’re going to spend $1000 on an air conditioning repair on a car that at ten years old is probably not worth much more than the new part  it needs.

So….for this summer anyway we’re enjoying the 4/60 air conditioning system: 4 windows down at 60 miles an hour.

How To Save on Your Grocery Bill and The Summer 2012 Vegetable Garden Project

Not to be confused with the front garden project, we have now started a vegetable garden in the back yard too.

I wrote about how we got rid of the dog kennel and, after some hard work we now  have a vegetable garden in the exact same spot:

 

How To Make a Vegetable Garden

  • Sell Dog Kennel
  • Cut Down All Weeds
  • Remove 12 2×2 concrete tiles
  • Buy pressure treated wood for edging
  • Add 12 Bags of Miracle Grow Dirt.
  • Add Vegetable Seeds.
  • Hope it all works out
The total cost for the dirt, seeds and wood was $104.00  which, if all of this actually grows we should break even when it comes to the prices we would pay for grocery store vegetables.  The goal will now be to keep the dog out of the dirt (ooh dirt!), and the bunnies at bay. Our neighbour tells us the bunnies live under our storage barn and we’re real close to undeveloped areas so I’m sure we’ll have a vistor or two.

Lessons Learned

Those concrete patio stones are heavy and starting late am wasn’t such a good idea. I should have been outside sooner in the day to avoid the big honkin’  sunburn I now have. It’s fun! B is just thrilled to tears with our new garden and we were both crawling around in the dirt to get the  seeds planted.  Our rows of veggie seeds are far, far away from being straight  and that’s OK because the very worst  that can happen is we re-sod the thing if this doesn’t all pan out like we hope.  That said, it would be nice to see just one of each vegetable pop up this summer. I think there’s something to be said for “I made this” as opposed to “I bought this”.

We dragged the dog igloo that used to inside the kennel to the end of the driveway, taped a FREE sign to it and it was gone in less than an hour and we don’t live on a street that get’s any traffic either.  It’s pretty big too – you’d need a truck or minivan to get that home, but somebody took it and it’s one less problem to solve.

We had probably one of the best weekends this year so far. We ate well, worked hard and had time for just sitting on the front porch and relaxing as well. The weather was just wonderful and it’s so nice now that summer is finally here

What If We Gave It Away?

dog kennel free

Boy, when B gets an idea in her head it’s sometimes hard to get her to think of anything else, and this weekend was all about getting rid of the dog kennel – she just wanted  it GONE, so I snapped a photo and put an ad up on craigslist and the thing was gone six hours later (well, kind of… keep reading)

Because  we were offering this for free the filter or cash was removed so my phone rang pretty constantly. A few people called and  wanted to pick it up later in the week – some even offering me bribes to hold the thing, but I wanted to get this task behind  me so I could go back to sitting in my comfy chair so no holds.  I also learned that even when the thing is FREE you can’t even give it away. One woman called, said she was leaving in the afternoon from over an hour away, and I told her I would not hold the thing for her, but afterwards thought I would be a swell guy and hold it for her and of course, she did not show.

After dinner, another woman called about it and I said yes, the dog kennel is still here and still free, and  she said she’d be here in 20 minutes or so. In the meantime, the phone kept ringing and I could  have given away a dozen or more dog kennels if we had them.  We had thought we had yet another no-show on her hands but nope, about 8pm a van pulls up and out pops 2 adults and 3 kids and they started to dismantle the dog kennel only to find there’s no way that fence is going into that passenger van.

So calls were made and as I write this the fence is leaning against the side of the house awaiting pickup from friend with truck. We’d like to see it gone today and I have no reason to think it won’t be. And if not, I have  a long list of others willing to pick up the kennel

One Task Done, Another Begins 

Welcome to married life. Now that we’ve got the dog kennel out of here, my next task is weed and remove the concrete tiles (heavy!) where the kennel stood and then the question begs: what to do with this space? I suggested sand box, but got laughed at – but we may  try our  hands at a small herb/vegetable garden..Tomatoes, carrots…etc. I’ve never been a big fan of gardening but B would love it and all it takes is a pile of dirt and some seeds. I could get really fancy and create a border around it, but I may be getting ahead of myself…

Craigslist Lessons Learned

“I’ll be there” means nothing.

If you give it away, somebody will need it or use it.

People are nice. Every person I spoke to was nice. I’m usually reluctant to deal with craigslist due to the fact that you never know what you’re going to get, but this was a relatively painless and quick process.

A Clean House

Due to the nice weather we had, we also got lots of other stuff done around  the house. I cut the lawn and painted in the kitchen and fixed a table (I hope) with some wood glue and B buzzed around running the diswasher, four loads of laundry and other puttering around the house.  We hadn’t really planned it but  we managed to get a lot done around the house but still managed to sit outside for a while. The summertime evening light is just priceless.