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Archive for February, 2020

100 Day Challenge Update 4

Goal 4 – Read at least 15 books with at least 5 of them coming from my To Be Read lists Progress – 4 read with 2 of them coming from my to be read lists

Over the years I have collected books from library sales and trips to the Half Price Bookstore. Then they sat on my shelves until last year when I decided that it was time to get rid of stuff. I went through my shelves and got rid of a lot of them. Some because the subject was no longer relevant and others because I couldn’t figure out why I had even bought them. Now I’m down to around 50-75 on my shelves. They are part of my to be read list.

The other part – and it is the larger part- is all the book titles I’ve come across through blogs and podcasts. I would really like to cross some of them off this year. I made a start by going through the list to see what books I can get through the library. I also discovered some titles that I removed for the same reasons as above.

Do you have a to be read list? How do you find time for reading? What types of books do you read? I’d love to hear from you – please leave a comment




Travel Goals

Way back in 2010(oh my! hard to believe it was that long ago), when I started this blog I had six goals and two of them had to do with travel.

One was to do five solo retreats. I had originally planned to go to different places for each retreat so that I could experience different areas of the country. Instead what happened was that my first retreat location was such a good fit – not too expensive, a beautiful place, a welcoming vibe, a good mix of group and individual activities, great food,  and close enough that the time to get there wasn’t too long. I ended up going there almost every year since my first time.

The second goal was to go to the Galapagos Islands. I put that on the back burner when our church sponsored a trip to Israel. I had a lovely time in Israel. It is a beautiful country. One of the highlights was floating in the Dead Sea. Learning some of the history and seeing sights that I’ve heard so much about in church was an experience that I will always treasure.

Once that trip was over I started thinking again about the Galapagos and perhaps adding Machu Picchu to the itinerary. However lately I’ve been reading about how those areas are suffering from the effects of tourism and I wonder if I should go? Part of me would still really like to go but another part of me thinks I could use the money I’ve saved to explore other areas of the world and/or the United States.

In terms of the world some goals would be walking along the Great Wall of China, seeing the Northern Lights in Finland, seeing the salt flat in Bolivia, going back to Great Britain, Greece,  and visiting my brother-in-law in Saudi Arabia before he returns to the states.

There are a lot of things I’d like to see and areas I would like to explore within the US. One thing about traveling in the US is that the hubby would go with me. He has no desire to travel outside of the US but would love to see all the National Parks in the US. We could probably find some areas that we would both enjoy.

Also, I’ve been thinking about relocating once the boy graduates. The cold winters and my arthritis aren’t a good match and I’m considering a warmer climate for my retirement years. Traveling in the US would allow me to see if I would like living somewhere else.

What are your thoughts about travel? Are you a fan of international travel or do you prefer to stay close to home? Have you been to any of the places I mentioned above? I’d love to hear from you – please leave a comment

100 Day Challenge Update 3

Goal – Stay within my budget

My main motivation for this goal is to be able to start putting money into a liquid emergency fund. We have money in mutual funds but we may not be able to access them quickly in case of an emergency.

Currently I try to save  so that at the end of one year I have enough money to pay the next year’s property taxes and the car, disability, home and life insurance premiums. I was not able to do that this year so I need to save for that shortfall along with the regular savings and my hoped for emergency fund.

The property taxes and the life insurance premiums come due in the first three months of the year. I had enough for them but we’ve had some unexpected expenses come up and that is putting a wrench in the works.

First the check engine light in the car came on. While it was being fixed my hubby decided to have them fix the rear windshield wiper as well. Then the circulating pump started acting up and we weren’t getting enough hot water for everyone to get a bath/shower.

Now I need to work hard to keep the other expenses down. We’ll be eating out of the freezer and pantry as much as possible and staying out of stores. Hopefully we’ll be able to squeeze out a few dollars over the next three months.

How do you handle unexpected expenses? Where do you keep your emergency fund? Drop me a comment and let me know.

100 Day Challenge Update 2

Years ago I started scrapbooking because my sister in laws were doing it. We got together a couple of times and I made two scrapbooks for my daughter. I collected a lot of photos and mementos through the years but once my son came along there never seemed to be time to do anything with all the stuff I collected.

Now I’m going through the boxes and trying to decide what is worth saving and what isn’t. There are a lot of good memories and some things I had forgotten about in these boxes. There are things I want to save even if I don’t decide to put them in scrapbooks. However there is a lot of stuff that I’m going to toss. I can’t decide if it is horrible or okay that I’m considering throwing away photos of my nieces and nephews along with things that my kids have made for me.

So anyway, the challenge update of this post is that this week I’ve done some decluttering and spent some time on a hobby that I’m trying to decide if I’m going to continue or let go of.

What have you been up to lately? Are you making progress with your goals? Leave a comment and let me know.

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