The Life of Crystal the last few weeks

I haven’t really had time (somewhat literally) to make any heart-felt journal post recently, so I’m going to try to sum up what I’ve been up to in a list for easy perusal.

  • Dad’s leg has an infection again. He’s on antibiotics and special wrapping materials right now. I’ve also ordered some items that I’ve done research on that are supposed to help these types of skin ulcers. The next time he has it unwrapped, I’m going to take pictures for my own archiving purposes.
  • Class is going well. It has a very laid back atmosphere, and I find myself asking questions which leads me to believe I’m actually learning. It’s a lot of material to go through though, and I’m studying almost daily to keep up. I’m going to try to switch to spending the afternoons on Sundays studying for the entire week so I have time for other things. I told a a friend of mine that they eventually teach us about tax fraud and the different methods people use to try and commit tax fraud. He says I’m going to be a Tax0r.
  • The last 2 or 3 weeks I’ve been working 15 hour days between my full-time job and freelancing. One evening I was up until 2am (and still had to get up at 6am for work the next day), and am not sure if I went to bed before midnight for an entire week. It’s quite “taxing” on my brain and I’m glad things are settling down some. I can’t complaint too much because the extra money is more than welcome. (this is part of the reason I haven’t been answering emails, fyi)
  • I had the Grove up to my abode last weekend. We were going to have a small bonfire out back and drum, but it rained so we stayed inside and ate food, drank Art’s homemade blueberry wine, and watched old bad movies. I’m grateful for having such wonderful people around me. And I’m also grateful for the two men that helped carry a new storage cabinet upstairs for me. (Thanks Art and Mark :))
  • Upcoming this month, I have to work for my full-time job on a Saturday all day. Several Grove events, some of which are pretty exciting. I’m going camping out near Berkeley Springs again, and am suspecting I’m going to freeze my ass off. And hopefully enjoying the harvest and season.
  • My wisdom teeth healed fine, in fact during my follow-up appointment the doctor said they were healing beautifully. I’ve had absolutely no pain from the surgery, and no pain since the surgery, which leads me to believe the one partially impacted wisdom tooth was indeed causing me the jaw pain. The whole thing only cost like $250, and that came out of my HSA pre-tax money anyway. Very painless.
  • Dad and I had either mormons or Jehovahs Witnesses stop by on Saturday, which I guess makes this officially our home now? I didn’t go outside because I was all henna’d up, but they did stop my dad on his lawnmower (rude?). I saw when they got out of the car that Bastian started jumping all over their nice suits and licking them, so I decided not to worry about bringing him inside. One of them was actually really scared of Bastian, and when they got back into the car I saw him using hand sanitizer :D Oh well, at least I have a pamphlet if I want to learn about God.
  • Holiday shopping has started. I’ve got the sweetheart done, and dad started. I have a few more things to pick up for my dad and maybe my sister and I’ll be finished. Of course the money used for this is money I put away throughout the year so it’s not hurting my finances right now. The sweetheart and I are trying to decide whether to get dad a log splitter or a new lounge chair as his big gift. The log splitter would help a lot since wood is our main source of heat and I’m discovering more and more that dad needs things to be as easy as possible right now with his leg. I’m fine with splitting the wood myself, but dad is not going to wait until the weekend when I can do it. He’s that stubborn. The lounge chair is nice because it lets him relax, the one he has now is falling a part, and it’s his main seating place throughout the day. It’s fairly integral for him. I guess I’ll have to think about this more.
  • Our well situation is finally fixed. We broke down and bought a new pump, since the one we got from our old house didn’t work quite right either. Now everything works fine, we have a new pump, new parts, new tank. Eventually we’ll need a new water heater, but I’m going to try and use this one up first.
  • Speaking of planned expenses, during my trip to Berkeley Springs later this month, I’m going to stop by a wholesale tire place that has been recommended to me for years and pick up 4 brand new tires for the mustang. I’ve already got a quote between $80 and $123 each (includes mounting), depending on which tire I choose. So while I’m out that way I’ll use the money I’ve saved up for this and get some new tires before the winter.
  • I got my car inspected for PA (where they told me I’ll need new tires before winter, which I suspected anyway), so I think I’ve completed pretty much everything to get myself officially transferred to PA now.
  • I seriously need to downsize my rock collection. I started filling up the cabinet that my friend Caryn gave me, and it’s overflowing due to rocks. We are having a goods auction to support the Grove in a few weeks, maybe I will downsize then.
  • Dad and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary in our new house on October 1st. Doesn’t seem like it’s been that long, but we’ve adjusted to it. I’m still not fully unpacked :x. Slacker.
  • I had to call Comcast the other day because my “promotional” period ended and they raised my rates. I had to threaten to cancel in order to be rebundled to a better rate, but I’m set in stone for another year at least.
  • Work had its annual party a few weeks back. I don’t think I played as well this year, but I had fun so that’s all that matters.
Read More...

Getting my foot in the door in another field

Next week I start a tax course to train to be able to do taxes. It runs in the evenings for several weeks, and then maybe by tax time next year, I’ll be doing taxes part-time. Mostly evenings and Saturdays. It doesn’t pay much, but it at least puts my foot in the door for another line of work under my belt. I like having experience in many different fields, and right now I have it in veterinary care, retail, customer service/admin, and web development. All of which I could fall back on should the need arise (web development being the preferred, obviously).

Taxes are sort of an odd way to get into finance, but it’s an easy/cheap start. Right now I wouldn’t want finance to be my main source of income, because it’s simply so volatile. Taxes on the other hand, will always be doing business because everyone has to do them.

Now I just need to work on my web dev training more.

Read More...

Saturday Job, Next Year

So I talked to my Aunt about working for the tax company she manages, and we’re going to look into that as a possibly second job -next- year. There is a tax course I have to take in order to prepare to answer questions about all sorts of situations regarding taxes, which I will be taking this fall. My cousin Steph is going to take it with me so I’m really looking forward to that.

Anything to diversify my skill-set and get a leg in the “financial bracket” of the work force :) That’ll put at least 5 different types of jobs under my belt that I have experience with should I ever need to fall back on one.

Now if I can only get into more programming :)

Read More...

List of Random Personal Updates

  • Dad still has a bad cough. A doctor finally gave him some anti-biotics because we think it’s like a bronchial infection. I am attempting to supplement that naturally, if I could find my eucalyptus oil.
  • I had a Grove housewarming party on Saturday to show off the new digs and had a wonderful time. I enjoyed showing everyone around and just having the space to have all of these people in my house. If it were the old house, it’d be impossible. One of them spent the night because he was drinking, and I made him breakfast the next day.
  • This week has been rather intense at work because we are launching the redesign of one of our biggest sites on Monday. I clocked in 12 hours on Monday alone. Another co-worker has also been working hard on the same site, so she and I were treated to dinner at an indian restaurant last night on the boss. We needed that.
  • My sister’s birthday was on the 6th. She is officially 15, oh boy. She may be coming over today to exchange holiday gifts, pending how the weather is. Course my gift for her is sorta ruined because she quit her job, but I’m hoping she gets another one, maybe not even till this summer.
  • I got my juicer which was paid for by the sweetheart, and have already made my father and I some fresh apple juice to test it. No fruit or veggie is safe now.
  • I love the smell of our garage. In a way it sorta brings me back to childhood memories of playing in my grandfathers garage on the farm I grew up on. It has that same mechanic’s smell, mainly the oil I think.
  • I have upped my 401k contribution from 5% to 7%. The difference in my Net pay will be very minimal, but the amount taken out for the pre-tax contribution will be significant enough. That just means the compound interest will be greater in time. In 2011 I’d like to be able to max my contributions to my 401k as well as my Roth IRA. But I won’t be able to until I’ve taken care of the remaining debt.
  • I’m attending a conference in Laurel in February, which I’m sorta looking forward to, and at the same time I’m wondering if it’s going to wind up like a lot of other conferences. At least I’ll get to meet Diana Paxson.
  • I love watching our stream when the water rises. The other day with all of the freezing rain, the water was pretty high and creating little waterfalls as it goes. I can’t wait until warmer weather when I can enjoy it more. I’ve thought about having folks over for a campout around the stream.
  • Speaking of the stream, it’s not entirely on our property, it’s on the property of the woods behind us, which are mostly owned by a development company. I believe it’s the same development company that has the easement on our property, but there’s also a woman that lives back there. I’m not sure if she owns the property she lives on, and if so if maybe it’s -her- easement. It’s hard to tell without some serious digging.

    However I know that development company is really wanting a right-away so they can develop the woods back there at some point. I thought to myself, if they ever offer to buy the easement from me right out, that I might consider trading it instead for 150 feet past the stream (so it is then mine), as well as the abandoned house property to our right. If they wanted the property bad enough, I bet they’d do it. They can’t develop close to the stream anyway, and they offered to buy our neighbors property (who refused), -and- they were refused to build a road on the abandoned house property by the county. This way I’d expand our lots, and I’d have another lot with a house I could fix up and rent/sell. Just random thinking.

  • I love this look with the dark woods and copper. I can’t pull anything like that off downstairs because of all of my fathers stuff, but maybe upstairs…
Read More...