Is a Comfy Retirement Now a Pipe Dream?

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You wake up one morning and it feels like you’ve slept through the past decade with retirement either in full swing or around the corner. Sound familiar?  Unfortunately, there’s no easy button to press, only a reality that you don’t have near enough for a comfy retirement. Or at least, you think you don’t.

A global pandemic also has a way to derail the best laid plans, so you’re not alone wondering about your retirement and how all that will unfold. Regardless of whether you’ve met your retirement financial goals or not, a comfortable future can still be within your grasp.

Let’s explore for a moment what is deemed enough for a comfy retirement. A financial planner may advise you that a 401K is not nearly enough to fund your retirement, while a frugal person might be ecstatic to have a mere fraction or less of that amount.

If you’re the type that likes to keep up with the Jones’ and they have a pretty healthy money tree growing in the back yard, expect that enough, will never ever, really be enough.  I’m sure you get my point. You can still have a comfortable retirement, Continue reading

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Tread Wisely & Learn to Identify Poison Ivy

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Even though I’ve tried my best to eradicate poison ivy from our property, I still find patches here and there. And often I’ll also find one small plant where I least expect to, where birds might have dropped a seed.

Many look for berries as the end-all signal when they suspect poison ivy, but these are not always present or Continue reading

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Seed to Garden Step 4: Plant & Enjoy

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It’s been about six weeks since the seeds were started indoors and after a short period of hardening them outdoors, the growing seedlings are now ready to plant in the garden.  Over the past week, they have enjoyed the occasional jaunt to the outdoors for a few hours on hot, sunny days and then were returned to the more comfortable indoor climate each night.

Tender seedlings do not do well in cold weather or a brisk wind, but they do need to be hardened by spending a few hours outdoors each day for about a week, before transferring them to the vegetable or flower garden. Keep small plants moist during the planting, but avoid Continue reading

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Taco Mountain – A Taste of the South

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While discussing various dips and snacks for entertaining, I was reminded of Taco Mountain, a dish I haven’t made for awhile. It’s a Mexican style layered dip that can be scooped up with tortilla chips. 

An easy to make treat, it requires no cooking and prep time is kept to a dull roar. But the dish is big on presentation and flavor. Continue reading

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Planting in Bags – Not a New Concept

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potatoesbagFor the last couple of garden seasons I have experimented with planting potatoes in bags. Planting a harvest in bags is not a new concept. Europeans have been making use of this gardening technique for decades.

When a garden plot area is lacking, you can plant different vegetables and herbs in bags. All it takes is a little soil, preparing the bag for drainage and placing them in a sunny location. Even on a balcony or by the entrance door.

It’s economical and easy to do. And if the bag has Continue reading

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How Much House Can You Really Afford?

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The bank may say you can afford that dream home, but can you really?

It’s true that the first thing you should do when you’re thinking of buying a house is shop for a mortgage and get preapproved, that way you’ll have an idea of what housing price range you should be looking at.

It also assures the real estate person that you’re able to follow through with financing, should you want to put an offer on the ‘perfect’ house.

However, though the bank should be your first stop, what they say you can afford for a house, is not always realistic. You need Continue reading

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Shop Tip: Wax On, Wax On Again

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waxtoolsA few years ago I discovered through a tip in a woodworking magazine that waxing the surface of your table saw was a good thing to do.

Not being the wiser, I grabbed the nearest wax on hand, which happened to be a name brand car wax.

I lathered the table top with the stuff and buffed the daylights out of it and came up with a very nice slippery table. I was so impressed that I gave my thickness planer and jointer beds the same treatment. Little did I know that this would cause me some grief in the very near future.

Continue reading

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BBQ Roasted Chicken Delights the Senses

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There’s nothing like guests huddled around the barbecue, waiting and drooling over the chicken slowly roasting on an upright chicken roaster.  This style of roasting a chicken is also known as a ‘beer butt’ chicken and it has gained quite an audience.

It’s not just big on visual appeal, but it’s also packed with flavor and so moist, no other roasting method can duplicate it.

And if you don’t have any beer or can’t bare to part with even half a cup, no sweat!  You can easily use juice, a soft drink or chicken broth to make it moist and flavorful.

A high dome-shaped barbecue hood is a must though to accommodate the height of an upright chicken, along with roasting spice and a chicken roaster like the Weber Chicken Roaster featured.  Smaller chicken roasters will work much the same, but the Weber has some great features and has become my favorite chicken roasting tool.

Learn how to bbq roast a chicken using the Weber Chicken Roaster or other brand of upright roaster and enjoy this delightful summer meal.  Follow my steps and you’ll see how easy it is to roast a chicken on a barbecue. Read more

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Make Some Money With a Garage Sale

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It’s incredible how much money you can bring in from a garage sale, even when you don’t have a lot of big furniture pieces.  And having a garage sale is not difficult, just time-consuming.

Though garage sales limit the amount of time you have to invest in selling unwanted items, during the Covid-19 pandemic, attracting numerous shoppers to your yard is not a good idea.

During this challenging time, listing items on your local online auction or selling platform may be the better choice. That way you can limit who comes to your door/yard and maintain proper distances to protect yourself and your family.

Gathering stuff to sell is what takes the most time, but if you’re organized and plan ahead a little, you can have a successful sale and get paid for things you rarely use or don’t like.

Toys and sporting equipment the kids have outgrown are also good sellers. As are books and games.  But, there are exceptions when it comes to selling items at a garage sale. And if you have very pricey stuff or antiques, you may opt to sell some of those on consignment at a retail outlet.

Learn more about selling privately versus on consignment and how to hold a sale in my Garage Sale Tips and turn those unwanted or unneeded items into cash you can recycle into things you do need…read more

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Non-Dairy Alternatives for Milk-Free Diets

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Decades ago when my daughter was a toddler, having milk allergies or being lactose intolerant was considered by the general populace to be very strange and finding dairy alternatives was almost unheard of. So kids had to do without ice cream, cereal and all the other foods made from or consumed with milk.

In fact, many kids had to live with unpleasant stomach, asthma or bowel problems, because not enough was known about allergies in general and no one wanted to point a finger or even consider that an important item on the recommended food guide (milk) could be the culprit of all that discomfort.

As it turned out, some in our family suffered for years from the effects of drinking milk but we were lax to stop it, since we didn’t fully understand the symptoms. Today, there’s more information available and the need for non-dairy alternatives is alarmingly widespread.

Don’t get me wrong, I love milk and I’m not promoting you stop drinking it.  Continue reading

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