Wednesday, July 19, 2017

WFMW - Homebuying Lessons

The other day I came across an interesting little article in our AAA magazine. We had to learn some of these lessons the hard way, so I thought it would be a good thing to share. Hopefully it will help someone avoid costly mistakes. I also found a good article on lifehacker as well. (Be sure to read the comments; they have great additional advice.) Buying your first home can be a daunting experience, so be sure to ask others what works for them!

Number one is number one for a reason! Just because you can technically afford a certain amount doesn't mean you have to spend that much money. You'll be much happier in the long run if you have some wiggle room in your budget for the inevitable maintenance and repairs.

We learned the "electric baseboards are an expensive way to heat" in an apartment, so we knew to avoid them when buying a house. Sometimes that may not be possible, but at least you'll know ahead of time. After that first electrically-heated apartment, we moved to another one. It also had electric heat, but each room had its own control which made it more manageable and we were able to easily make adjustments to stay within our budget.

Make sure you know what private mortgage insurance is, and be sure to cancel it when you reach that magic 20% number. No sense in paying for something you don't need!

WFMW - Good Health

I had another idea to post today, but Wayne read this article this morning and I decided to save that idea for next week. It's not procrastinating when it's a conscious choice to do something different, is it? Anyway, this is another "it doesn't really work for us" so I thought it went well with last week's post.

I like the premise of this article, which is that by making small changes and developing good habits, we can change for the better. In fact, I wrote about that here. However, we're doing all of these suggested "healthy habits" and are not seeing any weight loss. What's wrong with that?

These come from an article in the January/February 2017 issue of the Scouting magazine. The author (Jeff Csatari) states: "As we embark on the season of resolutions, here are some simple lifestyle changes for weight loss and better health."

  1. Go for a brisk walk before breakfast.
  2. Eat breakfast.
  3. Pack your lunch every day.
  4. Unclutter your kitchen counter.
  5. Follow the half-plate plan.
  6. Count your blessings.
  7. Go to bed by 10:00 PM.

Wayne doesn't always pack a lunch every day, but he tries to keep business lunches to less than one a week, and we eat less for dinner on those days to compensate. While he walks before breakfast, I walk afterwards; that may make a difference, but maybe not. So, while I agree that all of these ideas are important and helpful, our experience shows that you shouldn't count on them alone to help you with weight loss!
We think these are healthy habits as well, but counting calories is the only thing we've found to help us actually lose weight.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

A Day at the Beach

Today's Saturday activity was a trip to the beach, and we were blessed with an absolutely gorgeous day!! This time it was Lake Worth Municipal Beach, so after enjoying the water and relaxing on the beach, we ate lunch at Benny's on the Beach on the pier. It was nice to be able to share our fun activity with two of our favorite visitors.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

WFMW - Procrastination

Every so often these "Works for Me Wednesday" posts weren't actually about things that worked, but things that we wanted to work. I've always struggled with a tendency to procrastinate, particularly on things that I didn't want to do, and this week I felt the need to try harder to not procrastinate.

I remember reading a while back some questions to ask yourself to help you get going, so I looked up a couple of articles to see if I could find them again. These may or may not be the same, but they should work. I hope they help me, and I hope they help you!
  1. What one thing can I do to get started?
  2. What are my three biggest priorities today?
  3. How can I make this easier?
  4. What will go wrong if I don't do this now?
Actually, although those are good ones, I'm pretty sure those aren't the same questions I read before. Neither are these, but they're pretty good ones as well.
  1. Should I be doing this?
  2. Do I feel overwhelmed with options?
  3. Am I distracted?
  4. Do I have what I need (skills and resources)?
  5. How do I feel?

However, I like these two the best.
  1. What can I do right now that will make my life more peaceful and joyful later? (Helps with setting priorities.)
  2. Will doing this now, rather than later, give me more peace and joy? (Helps with motivation.)
So, I've been procrastinating posting this, because I didn't magically change in one week! And while dilly-dallying, I found a few more websites to share. Here's one.

This person never got around to checking his spelling or grammar, but if you can look past that, there are some helpful suggestions. This person has helpful suggestions AND proper grammar!

Please let me know ways you've found to overcome this problem. I'm hoping that I can turn this weakness into a strength someday before I run out of tomorrows!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Another Beautiful Saturday!

It's Florida in the summer, so once again there was rain in the forecast, but we figured if we got an early start we could stay mostly dry, so we did. And we successfully completed the second loop of the "east" side of the Cypress Creek Natural Area (otherwise known as the Hammock Loop Trails) before the rain arrived. The last time we went it was still in the dry season; it was interesting to see the difference a few months makes. Fortunately, although there were a couple of streams to jump over, we didn't have to go slogging through any marshes.

Since this trail was round-trip and less than 10 miles (4.69 to be exact), I went on the hike as well.

This time Cypress Creek actually had water in it.

We took the detour to the overlook once again. I expected more water there, but there was some.

Along the way we passed another little lake.

And we made it to the canal on the border, to find a new set of crops growing on the other side.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day!

We drove home through a couple of heavy thunderstorms, replaced the downstairs thermostat, celebrated with a new recipe, and are looking forward to visiting with friends at a wedding reception this evening. We hope you each have a pleasant Saturday as well!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Our Finished Closet

Just as a reminder, here are the before pictures:

Contents removed, shelves removed, holes patched and everything painted.

First order of business was to unload all the components and carry them upstairs. That took a good couple of hours!

The fact that the system rests on the floor, as opposed to hanging from the wall, was one of the main reasons for going with this company.

At the end of the first day - everything but the handles (which were left at the factory/showroom) and the counter (which was meant to be done later).

Wayne did a good job of inspecting, found a couple of minor issues (which were fixed the next day), pronounced it overall very good, and decided the first items to be returned were the suitcases.

He didn't like the fact that the top looked unfinished, but that's the way it comes. However, with a little bit of elbow work (and supplies already in the garage), everything is shiny and white, even if no one else will ever see it!

For 35 years we've used a laundry basket for a hamper. Personally, I don't mind that because it makes trips to the laundry room easy. However, one of the things we're looking forward to using is the built-in hamper. Hopefully it lives up to our expectations!

The finished product - just waiting for our clothes and shoes and momentos to find a new home!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Stone Mountain

After a day of driving and a day of church we were ready for a day of playing before the second day of driving, and we had a great time exploring Stone Mountain. We didn't have a great time finding the correct parking lot (the GPS sent us to a side entrance, not the main entrance, and the signs weren't terribly clear), but once we got started on our hike up the mountain we had a great time.

Hiking to the top of the mountain is a pretty straight-forward one mile path, and since we took it at a two-year-old's speed, it didn't really require any exertion at all.

I enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with my mom, but was also grateful for Brad's strength and patience, since when you're 75, maybe a two-year-old's speed is still a bit too fast.

Brooke found just about every single puddle and enjoyed splashing in them. Because it had rained overnight, there were quite a few! It was also cloudy and overcast for our hike that morning, but that was nice because if the sun had been shining, it would have been hot. There's not a lot of shade to be found on a large granite rock.

The hike was not wheelchair compatible, so a few of our family members rode the tram to the top. (The whole group shot was not on my camera, so hopefully I'll be able to add it later.) We arrived about the same time and enjoyed the view together, then they rode back down, along with my mom and the little girls.

I'm always intrigued when I find things growing in the crevices of rocks. I'm sure there's a good gospel lesson there.

As you can imagine, it didn't take us nearly as long to return to the car.

After exploring a bit at the bottom of the hill, and watching a short movie explaining the carving process, we drove to the playground area to have a picnic lunch.

That was the end of Stone Mountain, but it wasn't the end of our fun day! Brooke got to go on her special ice cream date with Grandpa. You can guess how she felt about that.

The rest of us had fun with Robyn's toys.

And then it was time for an early-birthday dinner, complete with a cake that reminded me of the ones my mom made for me growing up.

One last story -

And one last picture taking session before leaving!

Thanks for helping us create some wonderful memories!