Laura Ingalls starts a journal

Where are you and where are you going?
Laura Ingalls
Posts: 474
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:13 am

Laura Ingalls starts a journal

Post by Laura Ingalls »

I am finally going to give a synopsis of my current life and a place to state some goals, joys, frustrations.

I am an early 50-something woman married to the father of my mostly grown babies and Prius co-owner. DH and I have been living a semi-retired life since 2014. We are Midwestern folks. One of our offspring is attending technical college and the other is in high school.

My nerdy interests include cooking/preserving walking/hiking, foraging, reading, camping, traveling, and drinking beer. I also like live music and art museums/shows. DH’s list is mostly the same but add bicycling. He likes to participate in a famous ride across our state. He also enjoys sitting in the woods with a gun looking at deer.

We aspire to a more nomadic existence but still have a public school schedule to deal with awhile longer. Hoping that my mom and in laws stay healthy enough that elder care doesn’t replace the school schedule as a stumbling block.

Goals for this year are to lose some weight and to do some solo travel. I had a short opportunity in 2019 and had fun. Chinks in my ERE armor are anxiety especially about financial matters and finding a Goldilocks amount of structure vs freedom in life.

mooretrees
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Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:21 pm

Re: Laura Ingalls starts a journal

Post by mooretrees »

Glad you've started a journal! I've appreciated your input in other journals so excited to follow your own journey.

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jennypenny
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Location: Stepford USA

Re: Laura Ingalls starts a journal

Post by jennypenny »

One of the rare times I wish the forum had a 'like' button.

I'm looking forward to your posts. :)

classical_Liberal
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Re: Laura Ingalls starts a journal

Post by classical_Liberal »

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Last edited by classical_Liberal on Fri Feb 05, 2021 2:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

Laura Ingalls
Posts: 474
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:13 am

Re: Laura Ingalls starts a journal

Post by Laura Ingalls »

Thanks guys

I am thankful for the community here. Glad too have it in my life.

It makes me less antsy about not going anywhere but snowshoeing in the park and the grocery store. Tired of Zoom holidays and book club.

Some day I’ll dig deep in to FAFSA optimization or my Ibotta fixation. See if everyone falls asleep.

7Wannabe5
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Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Laura Ingalls starts a journal

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

I well remember the FAFSA optimization years :o Looking forward to reading more about your journey.

SavingWithBabies
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Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:50 pm
Location: Midwest, USA

Re: Laura Ingalls starts a journal

Post by SavingWithBabies »

I'd be curious to read the FAFSA optimization parts as I've gone through that as an independent student (went back to college late, I was broke which made it straightforward) but not as a parent. I have a while but always curious!

Laura Ingalls
Posts: 474
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:13 am

Re: Laura Ingalls starts a journal

Post by Laura Ingalls »

@saving with babies

The NYT had a good FAFSA article. I tried to link it but I couldn’t get it to work.

Two basic concepts of FAFSA optimization for the early retirement are plan ahead. The current school year 2020/2021 uses income from 2018. The other is to keep yourself eligible for simplified needs test (currently~50k).
Currently, it is also useful to get some sort of assistance. Free and reduced lunch is the simplest.

We had a low income for 2018. Needed to sell some appreciated stock in 2019. The difference in our expected family contribution was ~25k (in our specific case the entire cost of attendance) so it does make a difference. 2020 ended up not being a FAFSA year either as elder kiddo is in a two year program. This year we are going to be poor again and just have our paltry earned income to report.

Laura Ingalls
Posts: 474
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:13 am

Re: Laura Ingalls starts a journal

Post by Laura Ingalls »

Update of challenges and joys.

Bad news after a fairly mild winter we have been bombarded by bitter snowy weather. I also think I have a vehicle that needs new battery and I had to walk home from an outing at 10:30 pm in -25 windchill. My yoga practice has been crappy. I miss my in person classes at the Y.

Good news. My Ethereum stake has grown to $250 (my basis is about $200.) I am funding my crypto experiment with Ibotta rebate funds.

Younger child was in a play which he enjoyed and got him out of the house some.

Older child scheduled himself a doctor’s appointment for the first time. He is doing good other than being sick of the weather like everyone else and having the cold exacerbate an old ankle injury.

We had a nice Valentine’s meal with walleye DH caught this fall and a wild rice pilaf that I made. We also had a date at the botanical garden this week and pretended it wasn’t cold.

I went on a short solo outing to a hotel/spa a little over two hours drive away. I got my first ever pedicure. Took in all the sauna, steam bath, and outdoor hot tub that one human should. Also explored the area on foot and walked around the nearby lake which oddly had better snow removal than my walking by the hotel. Anyway had a rocking good time all by myself. Didn’t feel weird at all being by myself. While not exactly ERE compliant I felt that I got a very good value for money spent and did something novel.

ertyu
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Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: Laura Ingalls starts a journal

Post by ertyu »

Learning to find comfort, calm, and satisfaction on one's own is an underrated but vital skill. Good for you : )

Frita
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:43 pm

Re: Laura Ingalls starts a journal

Post by Frita »

Dang, walking home in the bitter cold is no fun. We replaced a car battery this winter as well. Fortunately, we were just stranded at home while the trickle charger did its thing...multiple times. When we looked at the paperwork, the warranty ha expired a month or two before. Planned obsolescence, grrr.

I hear you about doing yoga at home. My (former) teacher is so paranoid that she has not resumed. I guess I am waiting until I am sore enough from skiing to develop an at home practice. Here’s to hoping your Y classes start again soon.

Thumbs up to the mini vacay! The spa stuff sounds really relaxing and hedonic in a good way since so many things are closed. You have inspired me to poke around and see what I can find.

Gilberto de Piento
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Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: Laura Ingalls starts a journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

I feel the car battery issue, I had to replace mine this winter too. I was lucky though and it died in the driveway.

Laura Ingalls
Posts: 474
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:13 am

Re: Laura Ingalls starts a journal

Post by Laura Ingalls »

Battery was tested and is supposedly fine. 8-) I think I am going to invest in a trickle charger for it. Too many short trips and days with no driving.

Gilberto de Piento
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Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: Laura Ingalls starts a journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

Car batteries are mischievous creatures. I dont mean to be negative but this may not be the last time you have to battle it.

How old is the battery? Sometimes they act weird before they totally die. Id like to @sclass since I think he would have some entertaining thoughts on car batteries but this forum doesn't have that feature.

Laura Ingalls
Posts: 474
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:13 am

Re: Laura Ingalls starts a journal

Post by Laura Ingalls »

The vehicle in question is a Prius so it has three batteries. The problematic one is the 12v one (as opposed to the hybrid or “regular” one).

Laura Ingalls
Posts: 474
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:13 am

Re: Laura Ingalls starts a journal

Post by Laura Ingalls »

Anybody else read the proposed third stimulus plan? It’s like the semi-retired with dependents goody act or the undercover UBI act.

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/19/politics ... index.html

Crusader
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Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2020 11:16 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Laura Ingalls starts a journal

Post by Crusader »

I used to have a bad battery in my car and something similar to this thing saved me so many times:
https://www.amazon.com/NEXPOW-Battery-S ... 486&sr=8-1
I just kept it in my glovebox and charged it through my car's USB port when the car was running. Kind of a backup battery.

Laura Ingalls
Posts: 474
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:13 am

Re: Laura Ingalls starts a journal

Post by Laura Ingalls »

Spring has sprung. Though later this week we might be back to winter :x

Trying to walk more and eat more mindfully. Been reading Thich Nhat Hanh books. His books are repetitive and deceptively simple. I still am learning plenty though. At this rate my atheist spouse is going to be married to a Christian and a Buddhist.

Trying to work more on relationships. For the past several years I have kept a monthly total of expenditures. Every month I end up asking DH how much the credit card bill that he pays out of the brokerage account was. He always snarls about it. We are going to do this just quarterly for awhile. I think he views it as merely controlling since we don’t really formally budget.

Hope to work more on my relationship with my mother now that she is fully Covid vaccinated and try to do some fun stuff we both like.

Older child and I are going to Hawaii. This should be interesting as we can be oil and water at times. He is going to visit his high school girlfriend that lives there. Not sure of the exact status of this relationship. I am going to bring my camping stuff and let them do city stuff then the second half of the trip spend more time with him. Sort of part parallel play part cooperative play. I am going to keep a meticulous spending log on my spending as it is fun for me even if it isn’t for DH.

Frita
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Re: Laura Ingalls starts a journal

Post by Frita »

Yeah, I am excited that you are getting to go to Hawaii and get some more solo adventure time. Perhaps you can even upgrade on weather. This has inspired me to let myself plan something.

Good news about your mom’s vaccinations and ability to do more with you too! Being isolated during COVID seems especially hard for the elderly populations.

Regarding your spouse getting testy over you asking for the finances, I had to laugh. It seems mine and I will be on the same page, and then, bam, a little conflict surfaces. Our current one is the house temperature. We’d been fine with 65 degrees F forever, which was a compromise as it used to be much lower. Now he turns it up to 67 or even 68. It’s like a heat wave. Having to wear shorts in the house during the winter is so silly.

Laura Ingalls
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Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:13 am

Re: Laura Ingalls starts a journal

Post by Laura Ingalls »

More joys and more challenges

Life keeps rolling along pretty good. The weather keeps improving. Farmer Boy (DH) and I both got vaccinated for Covid. As did all of my sibs and spouses. Maybe we will final get to see my one brother and his peeps.

We took DS out of school for a couple days and went to Arches NP. It was fantastic. Definitely the most deserty place I have ever been too.

I would recommend not going during “Easter Jeep Week”. The everything but BLM boondocking gets very busy. There do appear to be many ERE compliantly boondockers that had been there all spring. Although we did get in on an experience that was totally up DS alley for free. We got a ride in an brand new Jeep Wrangler that’s a plug in hybrid. I am not a car person at all but this young guy driving was a trip so knowledgeable about the vehicle. DS sat in the front and peppered him with questions the whole time. I am not a car person at all but I loved seeing how passionate and knowledgeable this guy was.

We also visited some extended family for one night. That is an interesting story too maybe for another day.

Been energized by the trip. Appreciative of the green here and our “mini-mansion.” Worked at my part time job and was seeing stuff that needs to be done more clearly. Even jobs with little stress and time commitment benefit from a break.

Also thankful for my bed. They last night out we camped just off the interstate. The good news is my sleeping pad is comfy the bad news is it was very noisy and even earplugs were of limited usefulness.

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