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Archive for January, 2007

Little signs of spring

Out walking in the neighborhood today, I saw teenytiny little purple tulips sprouting, a bush with little purple flowers, and there were lots of little birds chirping happily in the sunshine.

The days have been getting noticeably longer again. It’s light out till almost 5:30, and I as hate the dark of winter, I love when there starts to be a little more daylight.

I love the little signs that show the earth is starting to wake up again. One of the things that helps to ward off seasonal depression is that things stay really green in Portland in the winter — trees are usually covered with green moss and sometimes leafy green ferns, lawns are green, etc. So it never feels as dead as New England does in the middle of winter. And now I’m reminded that spring starts way early out here. Last year, there were things with lots of bloom and colors in February. I love watching things come to life again.

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Apparently, you can buy decommissioned missile silos. Because who doesn’t want one of those? There’s a bargain one for $67,000 in Missouri, and then a luxury model in Maine for $300,000. And the ultimate gift to get the billionaire who has everything: A missile silo for $1.8 million in Denver.

Tim: “We don’t need to buy a house, we need to buy a missile silo!”

Clearly.

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Out of Portland!

We had one night left on Myra’s boarding package from our Christmas trip, so we dropped her off yesterday to be boarded and then drove out to Astoria.

We haven’t been out of Portland for a long time, so it was nice to go on a little road trip. We wandered around Astoria for a little bit (very small town, doesn’t take much time to see what’s there). I told Tim we needed to yell “Heyyyyy yoouuuu guyyyyyyys,” when we drove into town, a la Goonies. Astoria is cute, but we definitely prefer Cannon Beach, the beach is prettier and the town is nicer.

But just having a change of scenery was really nice. Between football season (We really don’t get out at all on weekends during football season), and working from home, we just haven’t left the house, let alone Portland for very much lately. It helped my stir craziness go away 🙂

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I spent a good part of the weekend with various digestive complaints, including the really fun deep back pain I get sometimes that is not muscle or bone related and is so uncomfortable I just fold myself over hoping it will go away.

I think I am allergic to dairy, or at least higher-fat dairy. I had a couple sips of a latte with 2% milk and my stomach started feeling off right away. I had a matcha tea latte made with water, not milk, and I immediately couldn’t breathe because I was in so much pain (I wonder if it is the whey protein, but I have whey protein in my shakes and I’m fine, so that’s puzzling).

I’m going to cut out all dairy for a while and see how that helps.

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Revelation

There is no better motivation than anticipation;
Neither reaching the goal nor realizing a dream can compare to the deliberate delight
of a journey, yet to be taken.

— From the back of the new Lucy catalog.

I would have to say I agree to some extent. It’s great when dreams come true, when you go on that trip, when you get that job, when you finish something you really wanted to do. But thinking about it and dreaming about it and planning and working for it, anticipating the final outcome, there is delight and excitement there. Wondering what will happen, waiting to see what the universe holds in store for you — there’s magic in that.

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I’ve put in my best effort

So, I did the editing test to the best of my ability. After I sent it, I noticed I missed at least one thing, but overall, I think it shows I know how to edit, how to copy edit and how to write headlines and teasers.

And now I just have to wait to see if they want to hire me. I still feel pretty good about my chances.

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Life without credit

Both T and I have made bad financial decisions in the past, but we’ve done a lot to change and improve that. One thing we have made a conscious decision to do is not have credit anymore.

Sometimes, this is challenging. There have been times when we needed/wanted to book flights, and could only do so when we had enough money in the bank. When we travel and rent a car, we can only use places that allow you to use debit cards, and they often place a hold on your account, so again, we have to make sure we have the money set aside for that.

But there are plus sides as well. If we really want something, we save up for it, and then we own it free and clear. And having to save up for it means we enjoy it more when we get it. It’s changed how we look at shopping and buying things, because if we have to use our debit card, we pay for it immediately. I still think that with credit cards, it feels like you didn’t really have to pay for it, because you don’t see an immediately lower bank balance (or in our case, a smaller amount of weekly cash).

I see all the credit card commercials on tv, and they are so manipulative. Use your credit card for everything. Earn points for flights. Get cash back! Credit cards are easier than cash. And unfortunately, so many people buy into that. Oh, I’ll be earning flights or money back if I use my credit card. Well, you could keep more of your money in the first place if you weren’t spending so much to credit card companies.

And credit cards really target people who have no business having credit cards (college students, people who declared bankruptcy). They make it seem so easy, and they will keep increasing your limit, until one day, you look at what you owe, you look at your credit card balances, and don’t even remember that dinner out you had last month but are paying interest on.

I just think that credit cards foster an unhealthy relationship with money, and it is easy to get screwed by them. Living without credit has its challenges certainly, but I think I prefer it this way.

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