Sunday, February 28, 2010

Points to Ponder #2

Bad Kreuznach, Germany 1988

You know how sometimes your brain latches onto a "problem," and you can't think of anything else until you've resolved it? Such is what happened just now.

I will not take my Foodsaver with me on the road. I went through all the pros and cons, and decided that I just won't need it. It'll take up too much space, and in my opinion, it'll cost too much to keep using the special rolls (even though I currently buy generic ones in bulk). There are numerous ways to freeze meats for longer periods of time, but the key would be to just not buy so much at once. Also, if one of my goals is to cut back on meats, then I just won't use a Foodsaver all that much anyway.

Problem solved.

One day closer...

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Points to Ponder #1

That's me, 2nd Lt. Floyd, in front of the King's Palace in Oslo, Norway
September 1980

I saw this passage on a fellow traveler's blog:

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness - all foes to real understanding. Likewise, tolerance or broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in our little corner of the earth all one's lifetime." Mark Twain

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Losing the Stuff Update #3

Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Texas - 1990
We started with a tent....

1. I sold another Prairie Schooler cross stitch pattern - this one, also out of print, went for $35. There are bids on another 30 charts on ebay.
2. A woman from the county schools office came and picked up the two bowling balls and bags, so I didn't have to take them to the thrift shop.
3. I realized that I also have STUFF at the office - several tubs of teaching materials, yearbooks, student work, and more. So I first threw away the student work. It was hard. But I was able to keep telling myself I don't need it. I don't need it. I don't need it. The teaching materials are going to go to a couple of colleagues who are still in the classroom, and they can do with them what they want. The yearbooks are either going to the library at the high school or the dumpster. I'm on a roll here.

One Day Closer...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Losing the Stuff Update #2

Glacier National Park
July 2001

1. I posted on freecycle that we had two bowling bags (and balls if anyone wanted them) to give away. So far, there are no takers, so the bags will go to the thrift shop.
2. I sold 25 of my CDs through craigslist, and another 13 are "reserved" by a guy named Tony who will come next week to pick them up. That's money for the blue pig!
Note: I already have all the music on my computer and my ipod, and all the favorites are on my iphone, so there's no need to have the actual CDs. If I need CDs to play in the truck or Jeep, I can burn them cheaply from the computer. It was easy to let them go.
3. So far I've sold 5 of my cross stitch pattern booklets - all were OOP (out of print) and 4 were also rare, so they were snapped up quickly. They were sold for $10.99, $30, $40, $35, and $35. That's $160 for 5 booklets! There are 58 more listings - some are for multiple booklets - and I'd guess that over half of them have bids so far. Now most of them are going to go for under $5 - but there are a few more that are OOP and rare.

So it was a busy day in cyberspace - all this while I worked and held meetings and answered emails and phone calls.

One Day Closer...

Feeding the Blue Pig

Let me tell you about the blue pig. It's about 6" high and 12" long from snout to tail. It's made of nearly indestructable plastic, and the only opening is a slot in the top. There's no plug like there is in a ceramic pig. I deliberately got this one because of that. I can't break into it.

I got the blue pig about a year ago, when I was on a frugality kick (yeah, I know I should be on a frugality kick all the time) and was trying to find ways to save a little money here and there. I would my morning Starbucks, for example, and would come home and put $2 in the blue pig. If I took my lunch, instead of eating out, I would come home and put $5 in the blue pig. I sold a bunch of rubber stamps on ebay, and after I'd accumulated over $100 in my paypal account, I transferred it to my checking account and put a hundred-dollar bill in the blue pig.

I clean out my wallet every few days, and all the silver coins go in the blue pig. It's quite heavy now, and I'm guessing it's about 3/4 full. My best estimate as to how much money is in there is that it's over $500.

Now that I"m using ebay and craigslist to start Project Purge, all the money I make from those sales will go in the blue pig.

I haven't decided what the money in the blue pig will be spent on - and I won't decide until it's crammed so full that I can't put anything else in it. One thing I HAVE decided is that it's going to be related to our full-timing goal - something for the trailer, a bill that needs to be paid off, gasoline for the travels - who knows? We'll see what the need is when the time comes.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Starting Slowly - Losing the Stuff

Today's Update:

1. The rocker-glider was given to a gal through Freecycle. She picked it up today.
2. I put 49 cross stitch booklets on ebay - some are worth over $30 (they're out of print and rare).
3. I gave 3 booklets away for the price of postage on a cross stitch message board.
4. I am making arrangements with one of my friends for a yard sale at his house in May. I'm sure that will NOT be the last one, since I know of a lot of things already that I need up until the end, and other things that need to stay on the walls to make the house look sell-able.
5. An old DirecTV dish that we used before we got our portable dome (for the trailer) is going to the thrift shop tomorrow, since I advertised it on freecycle and had no takers.

Future tasks:
a. scan scrapbooking pages and put on a CD. I can't believe I have 15 3-ring binders full of scrapbook pages!
b. sell/donate music CDs - I have them all on my computer, my iphone, and my ipod - so why do I need the actual CDs?

One Day Closer...
(The Firehole River, Yellowstone National Park)

The first task that we need to work on is divesting ourselves of our "stuff." So our minds have been focused on that lately. I'm using ebay for things that are easy to mail, craigslist for things that are not, freecycle for things we know won't get any money, and I'm planning a yard sale (or more) for May. Yesterday I spent almost the whole day (the Olympics were on TV) putting a couple dozen cross stitch patterns on ebay. Since almost half of them are rare and out-of-print, I woke this morning to see that nearly every one has watchers and about 10 have bids already. I'll be adding some birkenstocks and Weekenders clothes later, since I know they sell well.

Don's coming by the office this morning to drop off a rocker-glider that has already been claimed on freecycle. Next up will be the bowling balls, bags, and shoes - I tried to give the balls to the bowling alley in Redlands but they didn't want them.

Don keeps finding more things in the basement that need to go - so I'm going to try craigslist before I put them in the yard sale. The two backpacks, sleeping bags, pads, and cooking stuff are things that are very dear to me, but I think we won't be backpacking any more.

That's all for now - gotta go to work.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Countdown to Full-Timing

I think the last snowstorm did it. After getting a 5-foot snowfall that caused power, phone, and even water outages, followed by another 2 feet three days later, Don and I have finally made our decision for what to do when I retire. We even decided when I'm retiring - 2014, unless the district offers a buy-out in 2013. (I'm hoping for 2012 - we'll see.)

We're going to:
a) sell the house
b) sell or give away almost everything in it
and then
c) hit the road as full-time RV'ers.

Right now we know we can do it in the trailer we have; we'll see down the road if we can afford a 5th wheel more geared to full-time living. I know that we'll take advantage of all the work options we can - from volunteering at state parks in exchange for RV sites to working at a grocery store/gift store at a national park and everything in between.

We bought a few books about full-timing, and I follow the full-timing forum on RV.net. I also visit as many blogs as I can find about it, so I think we're going into this with our eyes wide open.

So we're starting now with divesting ourselves of STUFF.

I will use ebay, craigslist, freecycle, and eventually a big yard sale. I can't believe that even in our 975-square-foot cabin we have so much STUFF. Today's task is to take pictures of the cross stitch patterns, birkenstocks, and some high-end skirts that I know will sell on ebay.

So, strap yourself in and follow our story of getting ready to go, and then hitting the road.