Getting back into skin care

One area that I do slack on is skin care. Yes, I cleanse and moisturize my face, but that’s all I do. I don’t wear any makeup and outside of using the base carrier oils during the warm months and butters like cocoa and shea during the cooler months, I don’t do too much else.

Since I am getting older. I’m 46, I guess I should change that a bit and so I ordered some more rosehip oil and sea buckthorn seed oil. Both are excellent for ‘mature’ skin. Sea buckthorn oil will also turn your skin a lovely shade of orange (temporary) and so I typically was using this at night, both oils are loaded with lots of nutrients that your skin will appreciate. A few years ago, I used it and it did an excellent job eliminating the hyper-pigmentation that I’d occasionally get with my brown skin. Well, I’m starting to get hyper-pigmentation again and so I ordered the oil and this time, I’ll continue to keep it into my daily routine.

Since my life has been hectic, I definitely have been letting some things slide, but I do realize that I need to make the time to include them, because I do need to include myself into the equation also. I’ll try to remember to post pictures of the hyper-pigmentation and the fading process that occurs when I focus on my simple routine. Checking my website, I specifically wrote about my skin care maintenance back in 2013. I had no idea it had been that long ago.

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So… I have a credit card

I recently wrote about the fact that I haven’t had a credit card in years. In fact, the short period of time that I did have one (perhaps one or two years?) I didn’t use the card that much and simply stopped using it since the debit card was doing the same thing, the only difference was the money was coming directly out of my checking account.

However, credit cards had been on my mind lately. I know they can be used responsibly and paid off monthly before an interest charge takes effect. This is what I did, when I did have one. I learned that from my parents and Mike mentioned being the same way and also taking advantage of points that are offered by some cards. Guess what? Credit card companies refer to people that pay off their balance in full monthly as deadbeats.

In my thoughts about credit cards, I’d been thinking about worse case scenarios where I was unable to use my debit card, but that hadn’t happened to me… yet. However, I had heard stories of it happening to others. Also troubling was reading of accounts where some companies looked at your credit history to determine employment. While that really isn’t something I’m thinking about now (I work for myself and out of the home) perhaps it might be a concern in a few years if I choose to work somewhere else. I’ll be enrolling in college this fall to complete the courses needed to complete my nursing degree. Although, with that field, it most likely won’t be an issue finding work, but that revelation just gave me more to think about, and then it happened… I was at the Crown gas station using my debit card, as normal, and it was declined. Hmm? I’d just used it to purchase groceries at the store. I knew there was money within my account because I stay on budget. Also, quickly checking my phone confirmed that yes, nothing crazy was going on with my bank account. The money was there, my card was just not being recognized. Sighs… About a week went by and I decided to start researching cards and finally selected one. I’ve had it for a little over a month and I use it similar to my debit card, but there’s one additional step. Once the payment is made on my credit card, I log on to my account and pay the money the same day. Having read that it is wise to leave a certain amount until your credit card statement has posted, I have done that, but the next day the bill is paid.

So, now if/when I do run into issues with my debit card, well the credit card is there. Actually, when I’m out I now just use the credit card, since it carries additional security features that my debit card doesn’t offer I only started doing that about a week ago. The reason is simple, a FB’s friends checking account was compromised and instead of receiving their money instantly, they had to wait several days. Now for myself, that would be a non-issue, I have a budget, adhere to it and have an emergency fund, but it’s the principle behind that. It still feels a bit odd using a credit card, but I just have to go through one extra step, getting online to send money from my checking account, but I’m willing to jump through that additional hoop.

This is where Dave Ramsey and I part ways on our way of thinking. Even when I wasn’t using credit cards, his approach to them, they are evil seemed a bit over the top for me. Basically because he assumed that no one would be responsible with a credit card and I know that isn’t true. I was, my parents were and there are many others who are. Of course, having a credit card and using it wisely, is another great teaching moment for my daughter. It’s the first time I’ve had one since she’s been around and I’m showing, by my example, how they should be used properly. Pay the bill in full each month so you don’t have any interest charge and a nice little bonus is free points.  Sorry Dave, it’s highly unlikely that I will ever forget to pay my card bill. Auto payment would take care of that if I’m away from the computer for a month, but me being away that long is highly unlikely.

Eight Grade Graduation: School is over

My daughter successfully completed the eight grade. My goodness, where has the time gone? Sometimes, it seems like just the other day when she was born. Her eighth grade graduation was last Thursday. Besides her daily chores, she’s spending her days relaxing.

Asus – 2-in-1 15.6″ 4K UHD Touch-Screen Laptop – Intel Core i7 – 16GB Memory – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M

For her graduation gift, her grandparents (my parents) purchased her a laptop computer. It wasn’t something that I was going to purchase for her, so I wasn’t expecting that at all. She’s really enjoying the computer and has already started drawing on it and researching topics that interest her.

Another year

Today is my daughter’s fourteenth birthday. Sometimes, it feels like ‘just the other day’ when she was born. It’s so wonderful to see how much she’s grown and seeing her talents shine. She’s  good listener and her friends tend to come to her when they just need to talk. They know she won’t share their information and that she will be honest with them. Lying is  big pet peeve of hers, as with me. I pray that she has many more birthdays.

Harpers Ferry: Vacation on a Budget

This fall, my daughter and I will be going on a short vacation. It’ll be about two to three days and will land on the days when I don’t work out of the home. I recently picked up an additional job that has me working out of the home for a few days each week. Why? I have long-term goals, which I’d like to cash flow, one which involves relocating in five years.

Initially, I was going to surprise my daughter, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized this would be a perfect opportunity to hand the vacation planning reins over to her and let her choose the place… on a budget. A budget can be as big or as small as you want. In our case it’s fairly small, $500. It will be cash flowed so no hanging debt, just how I like things. I told her the the state, Virginia and she surprised me and told me she would not mind visiting Harpers Ferry. I haven’t been to Harpers Ferry since I was about 14. I love visiting historical sites and am pleased my daughter seemingly shares my enthusiasm. She really enjoyed her class trip to Colonial Williamsburg, VA. She wanted me to attend and so I accompanied her as one of the parent chaperones.

Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia

Harpers Ferry is a historical landmark recognizing the last stand of the abolitionist, John Brown.

John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry (also known as John Brown’s raid or The raid on Harpers Ferry) was an effort by armed abolitionist John Brown to initiate an armed slave revolt in 1859 by taking over a United States arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. Brown’s party of 22 was defeated by a company of U.S. Marines, led by First Lieutenant Israel Greene. Colonel Robert E. Lee was in overall command of the operation to retake the arsenal. John Brown had originally asked Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass, both of whom he had met in his transformative years as an abolitionist in Springfield, Massachusetts, to join him in his raid, but Tubman was prevented by illness, and Douglass declined, as he believed Brown’s plan would fail.

I gave my daughter the details. I wanted the place to be nice and cost under $130 nightly. I wanted to stay in a place that had a kitchen, so a condo or cottage. Having a kitchen means that we can prepare our own meals. I most likely will prepare the meals in advance, so the only thing we have to do is heat the meals and eat! Preparing your own meals, also reduces the cost of what you will spend. It also means the meals will be nutritious and delicious. I love to cook. She accepted the challenge and not only found several places, but a few were under-budget by at least $200! From her list, I did find a location that seemed perfect for us. It had excellent reviews and was owned by a retired couple that have a house on the premises. The cottage where we’d reside used to be home to dairy cows. Don’t worry, it’s doesn’t look like a cow’s home. The couple grows and harvest grapes which they then have processed at a local winery. They also have sheep! As a spinner, you know I’m thrilled. The only drawback is they’re about 20 miles away from Harpers Ferry. My daughter found a few other places also, but this is the one that really jumped out for us. They have a large pond on their property and that was a huge draw for her, also it’s secluded. We both love that. I’ll be following up with the owners very soon.

Outside of family, this will be the first vacation we’ve taken together. We’ve done day trips, but no overnight trips for just the two of us. I’m not counting the school based trips where they were away for a few days or the La Leche League Conference, that I attended with her, when she was only a few months old. We’re both looking forward to this time away and of course we’ll be armed with some portable crafts, excellent walking shoes to check out the historical sites and of course there will be lots of laughter.

Resource

John Brown’s Raid on Harper’s Ferry

 

Adventures in homeschooling…

Later this year, my daughter will be entering the ninth grade and she will be homeschooled. She approached me about 1.5 years ago and told me it’s what she’d like to do. Her reasoning being she wants to finish school a bit earlier and the freedom to move at her own pace, which tends to be fast. I already knew a lot about homeschooling, but told her to think about it for a year, do some research and if she was still interested, I’d make that happen. She was and so I went through the steps needed to get her registered with an accredited Christian homeschooling program.

Of course, the question I hear most often is socialization. What about that? It’s always nice when people parrot whatever they hear, right? But I don’t say that, I usually laugh and say what about it? What exactly does that mean? How is her socialization going to change? My daughter is quiet but interacts with a small circle of friends as well as others. In fact, her ‘socialization’ is much more well rounded than most her age since she interacts with all age groups based on the various ministries I’m involved with. But back to socialization, she’s still going to continue interacting with old friends and also develop new relationships with others she meets during her homeschooling experience. We became actively engaged in a few local homeschooling communities a little over a year ago.

A few months ago, my daughter told me she wanted to start homeschooling “right away.” I questioned her, but she was firm and gave me her reasons behind that and I support them. Her main reasoning being she’s has never ‘taken off’ in the summer. My daughter has a thirst for knowledge. The beauty of it is, that if she wants to ease up she can since she will be working at her own pace. Earlier this week, I followed up with the school where she’ll be attending, and told them our plans. I registered her towards the end of last year, but then the plan was fall. She’s now a student, just waiting for the full transcripts from her Lutheran school. She’s taking a few weeks off of school and then she’ll be in school. Working during the summer isn’t new to her since I have always had her do ‘mom assignments’ throughout the summer. NO, she doesn’t need a break. She doesn’t take a break from strictly fun activities during the school year, so why should she take a break from education just because she’s out of school? Also, her Lutheran school had summer work assigned to the students. There reasoning was similar to my own. Students within the USA, are lagging behind many other countries. Knowing this, I’ve always made sure that I gave my daughter all the support needed at home and when she’s at school.

Homeschooling facts…

“Academic Performance

The home-educated typically score 15 to 30 percentile points above public-school students on standardized academic achievement tests. (The public school average is the 50th percentile; scores range from 1 to 99.) A 2015 study found Black homeschool students to be scoring 23 to 42 percentile points above Black public school students (Ray, 2015).

Homeschool students score above average on achievement tests regardless of their parents’ level of formal education or their family’s household income.

Whether homeschool parents were ever certified teachers is not related to their children’s academic achievement.

Degree of state control and regulation of homeschooling is not related to academic achievement.

Home-educated students typically score above average on the SAT and ACT tests that colleges consider for admissions.

Homeschool students are increasingly being actively recruited by colleges.

Social, Emotional, and Psychological Development (Socialization)
The home-educated are doing well, typically above average, on measures of social, emotional, and psychological development. Research measures include peer interaction, self-concept, leadership skills, family cohesion, participation in community service, and self-esteem.
Homeschool students are regularly engaged in social and educational activities outside their homes and with people other than their nuclear-family members. They are commonly involved in activities such as field trips, scouting, 4-H, political drives, church ministry, sports teams, and community volunteer work.
Adults who were home educated are more politically tolerant than the public schooled in the limited research done so far.”

 

Live like no one else so one day you LIVE like no one else…

Although I’m not on social media that much, I do participate in a few forums that are beneficial. Besides the obvious crafting forums; spinning, weaving and sewing. I am a member of a few financial forums made up of people who are just as weird and frugal as I am. Quite a few within the group are millionaires. I guess you could call them the Warren Buffets within their bracket. I say Warren Buffet because if you know his story, you are aware that he lives well below his means.

Earlier today, the forum creator, David posted this…

We live in a culture that placates itself by consuming. New cars. Big houses. Precious jewelry. Fancy clothes. Fine food. While those who earn are well within their rights to spend, the “live for today” often catches up with them. It’s not about how much you make but about being content and living on less than you make.
Make $500k, spend $550k … Misery.
Make $50k, spend $45k … Happiness.
 
Sadly, our culture often lusts after the first group since they look “successful”. Delay a bit of your pleasure of today for a better tomorrow.

I get his point, but I will say you have people from both groups doing the first. I have seen numerous acquaintances placate themselves with things or going out and spending money they could not afford at a restaurant. Even spending small chunks of money add up over time and can hinder you from achieving your goals.