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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Price Is Right

Another big difference in real estate between one town, city, or state and another regardless of how similar they look is cost. I'm not even sure exactly what makes such a huge difference. At least not in the levels that those differences occur. For instance, a condo in New York that closely resembles an efficiency apartment in any other state can be as much as a million dollars. Yeah, you heard that. Okay, for some New York is 'the' place to be, but at those prices who can afford to be there? Chicago can be said to be as desireable as New York, and while you can find some equally high priced condos they usually more closely resemble condos. You can find an even greater diversity in small towns and suburbs. For instance, the 10 acres of land we have with a much newer house than we had up north cost the same as the little 1/4 acre plot we had up there with it's run down 100 year old house. In fact, you couldn't even find 10 acres up there much less afford it if you could. I'm not talking in the big cities either but rather the outlying suburbs. Even from one rural town to the next down here the prices can vary to thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, and it can seem to the untrained eye that there is no reason for such a disparity. That's why it's always good to seek out a trained realator when looking at property. They can explain why there are such difference, and even point out what's so much better about one vs the other, or why perhaps you might even enjoy the lesser valued land if you have a need for the reasons it is cheaper, such as being more remote, or less accessible.

Big VS LIttle

While I've always said there isn't much difference in towns from one state to the next. One big city looks a lot like another big city, and the same with rural small towns. Even though some have certain 'flavors' and local feel for instance Wilmington real estate will have a different feel than, say, somewhere in southern California, basically it's a lot the same in many ways. I've driven from state to state and always found myself thinking that a small town in Ohio looks pretty much like a small town in Illinois. One thing is true, in small rural towns like where I live (population as close to zero as you can get without having just a piece of grass on the highway) there is a huge difference from a big city and the convieniences and availability of things like doctors and such. Sometimes I love the difference, and sometimes it is a royal pain. Right now, with needing to travel long distances every week for a high risk pregnancy specialist, I am feeling the great 'pain'. I'm close to considering spending the money for an apartment up north for the duration of the pragnancy, but that's a big pain too.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Walking Fit

I think since starting my diet in the middle of last year I have begun to single-handedly support the fitness equipment industry. My family room has turned into a gym. I love it. Nordic Track has been a mainstay of fitness equipment for as long as I can remember. Certainly since I was in my 20's, which is a long time. They have some of the best fitness equipment you can find for home use. My next big purchase is going to be one of their treadmills. I really wanted one before this winter set in since my walking outside is cut off due to extreme Illinois weather, but it just wasn't in the cards. I'm shooting for an early birthday gift though.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Maintaining the Cables

Sometimes I think my entire house is full of patchwork cables and phone lines. Every room has some form of patch cables connecting a piece of electronics, or a phone line to make it longer. Everytime I move my TV in the living room (which is often) I have to do some very elaborate extentions to get the cable to the set. The back of my desk is strewn with cables, connections, router box, and all kinds of gadgets to connect things together. My bedroom telephone is connected via the living room with extensions that run under the rug. Someday this house is going to explode with all of the wiring. It's gotten so bad I barely know what all the wires are for anymore when I look behind my desk, or the TV. Maintaining it all is a long ago dream. Now I just pray not to have a fire.

Making The Annoucement

Getting the word out when you have an announcement to make, like a communion invitations the whole fun of it is getting a perfectly presented package. I may have my own little announcement to make real soon. (I think I may be pregnant) so visiting this announcement site was a real idea starter. Really though, when there's something really big in your life, having a beautiful annoucement, or invitation is so much more appealing than just scribbling it out by hand. If I were to write out personal announcements no one would be able to read it anyway. First of all though, I'll post it in big bold letters on here. LOL

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Beauty In Life

Living on a farm has a lot of pluses but there are a lot of things that aren't practical when dealing with farm type chores, and large animals on a daily basis. Things that a lot of women take for granted. Things like nice clothes, dangly earrings and chains, shiny diamond rings, fancy hair styles... I love all of those things, but they don't fit in around the farm. My usual dress code is no make-up, ragged sweat pants and t-shirts. In some ways it can be a drag, but in others I think maybe I take those precious luxuries and fancy accessories less for granted. I really appreciate when I can get all dressed up, put on make-up, polish a set of fake nails (real ones just don't make it out here) put on my jewelry and fuss with my hair. Times like last night when hubby and I go out and enjoy a nice quiet dinner at a beautiful restaurant are joys and pleasures not to be taken lightly. They don't come around often. They are special, wonderful times that are full of memories and I get a real thrill being all dressed up and bejeweled. No matter what place in life you find yourself, don't take any of it for granted. Take the time to be excited by the luxuries and beauties all around you. I know I do, even when I'm hip deep in mud on the farm, there is beauty to revel in and take delight in. It all makes life worthwhile, and a lot more fun.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Electronic Savings

After going to the store yesterday and buying yet another package of batteries I decided to take stock of all the items in the house that used batteries and what sizes. With the high cost of each package and most of the things that take batteries using the same size (AA) I have begun to think that rechargeable batteries are the way to go. I only have one gadget that takes a different size, and that's the DVD controler. For some reason that one uses AAA. For that one it isn't too bad buying regular batteries I suppose. The length of time it takes to use even one charge for one pair of batteries for that a package of four lasts about a year. What is the BIG drain on batteries is my walkman. It only uses 2 AA batteries, but they only last about a week. For that, and since all the other controllers in the house (2 tv, a vcr, and a different DVD player that uses AA) I could use rechargeables and save quite a bit of money over the course of a year. I'm just glad that I don't have one of those huge 'boom boxes' anymore that took six D batteries that only lasted a few hours each. Back then when those types of devices were commonplace I don't even recall having rechargeables available. That would have REALLY saved some money.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Rocky Start To The New Year

If I were just to go by myself and one of my friends, this new year has started off pretty rough. My mother-in-law had surgery to remove a tumor from her ovaries that ended up being begnin but they found inoperable cancer in other areas and the prognosis is grim. My best friend had a horse drown in a frozen over pond and two dogs pass away just since the beginning of this year already... all that and my own pains from recent injuries has made me feel a little vulnerable, and even sorry for myself. So I had to stop and step back and consider all of the things I had to be thankful for.

A couple in town have a new child that was diagnoses with cp, that must be devestating for them, and I have been blessed in my life to have never had to deal with severe, debilitating illnesses with either of my children, nor my grandchildren. A woman I know just lost her home because her husband lost his job and they couldn't keep up with the mortgage. Thankfully I have never had that experience and never hope to. I have so much to be thankful for. Sometimes it seems that everything is going wrong and it's easy to forget all of the wonderful things and focus on what is happening that isn't good. It overshadows all the rest.

They say meditation is good for the soul. I've never really gotten into that, but I can see where learning to focus on what is good, and take the time to step back and look at life just a little outside of the immediate problems is a good thing. It's then that you realize things aren't as bad as they may seem.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Treasure Hunting

I've had some time to kill recently due to an injury that has kept me pretty much sidelined. Just lately I've still been too hurt to do most things but not hurt enough to stay in bed so I occupied myself with light cleaning. Going through 'junk' that I haven't even looked at in years because it was just shoved to the back of a drawer or closet. It's amazing to me what treasures you can find doing that. Items I hadn't thought of, and in some cases even remembered I had. I found some clothes in the back of my closet I'd forgotten I'd even purchased because at the time I'd grown out of them (ahem, not because I'm a growing girl, but because well, I was just growing) and now that I've been dieting I'm back to that size. Hey, great. I don't even have to go shopping to get new 'thin' clothes because I already have them! Too cool. And it's just like getting 'new' clothes because I forgot I even had them, and I never wore them. Most of them still have the tags on them.

I found an old jewelry box stashed in the back of my closet full of beautiful gold chains, earings, and other accessories that I had back before I even got married. We're talking 25 years here. You know how when you move you just put things away to deal with later--and you are busy raising kids, and living life--working, whatever, and you forget all about those 'later' things? This is that type of thing. I have a whole bunch of jewelry that I'd just put away for 'later' and now can wear again!

Being hurt sucks, but these last few days 'treasure hunting' sure has made it worth while.