Friday, September 30, 2016


We are almost through the first full week of Fall. Temperatures are finally beginning to feel like Autumn and the desire for comfort foods is building. Foods such as Chili, soups, casseroles, etc. Dishes that are best with crackers included in the recipe or as an addition to the bowl. 

One product we use a lot of is TownHouse crackers. I can't sneak an off-brand by Bob (but I have a plan). If you've ever opened up a package and gotten that waxy plastic taste, you know that their packaging is NOT the best option for longterm storage.

I was able to get a package and a half in a 1quart jar with my Foodsaver.

Now, there are a couple of gals on YouTube who get fancy by stacking them. I didn't stack and got the same amount in each jar.

I also bought three boxes of the TownHouse Italian Flatbread Crackers and got the same amount in the jars.

The plain buttery crackers will be great for adding to casseroles. I can mix those with the Italian Flatbread crackers for Chicken Parmesan. 

Because I've heard mixed stories about using the FoodSaver for 'crumb' type items, I chose to put the full crackers in the jar and will crush them as needed. 

Since these pictures were taken I've also purchest Mini Saltines (I prefer saltines in my soup and these are 1/4th the size of a saltine square and Oyster Crackers (which Bob prefers in his chilli).  As soon as I've finished moving craft pattern books up to the studio, I'll have a full 5-shelf book case for these dry goods. The jars are lighter weight than regular canned goods so the cheaper partical board shelves will withhold these jars nicely. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

ROAD TRIP - Ozark Sustainable Living Festival

Last Saturday I braved what I thought was going to be a pleasant weather day to attend the Ozarks Sustainable Living Festival at the Next Step Seventh Day Adventist Church in West Plains MO.

The church hosted a similar festival two years ago with what I believe was a much better organized, attended event (both by vendors and those interested in 'sustainable' living. First, I'm going to show you what I saw then give a this year verses two years ago critique.

These first pictures were taken from three different vantage points around the field/ track of the church yard.
as I approached from the parking area

to the left facing the church

from the back side of the track

I was disappointed in the number of vendors. I realize the weather was questionable, after having survived three days of heavy rain. Two years ago, we had an organic beef meat processor educating as well as offering burgers for sale from their food trailer. There were also a lot more educational booths on sustainability and prepping-type information.

I understand the lack of food availability on the track may have been due to the church offering a vegan burger plate inside the church. (Though I can NOT be sure that was the reason for lack of other options.. just an observation.)

Booths on the lawn included:

Blacksminth Matthias Pen from Ava MO

Garden of Hope (Killian) from Doniphan MO
Garden Nursery, Air Plants, Succulents

Activities for kids such as Balloons

I did not get this gentleman's name but he appeared as if this was the last place he wanted to be.
 Very unapproachable. Notice Tupperware in the background. 

While Tupperware has been around for generations, any prepper knows that plastic is NOT the best way to store long-term. 

There were1 -hr  time slots for seminars in the Main Hall:

Sustainability - The Big Picture Overview  /w Larry Sweet
Food - Our Unsustainable Food System -- help change it  /w Dan Leary
Energy - Everything Needs Power /w Craig Wiles 
Community - We're All Part of This  /w Galen Chadwick
Shelter - Earthships for Sustainable Living /w Allen & Mary Severin 
Panel of 'Experts' - Bring Your Questions
Economics - Prosperity without 'growth' /w Mike Luster

I missed the first seminar, got in on the tail end of the second and sat through part of the third. What I did hear was a lot of 'background' information but no how to put the information into practice. They did offer a sign-up to get an MP3 disk of all the seminars for $5. I signed up for one to hear the ones I missed. 

I couldn't sit through the rest of Energy and rain moved in so I headed out for lunch and to pick up a few things at the box store. Before I'd finished lunch, the sky opened up and began flooding the streets so I bypassed the box store and headed home. I later heard on the news that had I not left when I did, I might have been camping out at the local Comfort Inn for the night due to impassable roads.  

Sustaining Sponsors (contributing $1000 or more to support the event):
Professional Resume Writers (Mick Slack)

Aside from vendors and children's activities, there was to be music. There wasn't anyone there while I was there.

In comparison to the festival of two years ago, I was disappointed in this festival and would have accomplished more staying home. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

PUTTING FOOD BY - Turkey and Noodles

I love this picture. While the storage itself is not practical for home-use, can you imagine having that kind of a stock-up and never having to worry about any of it going bad? Yeah.. not going to happen.

I am learning to keep 'freezer' stuff to a minimum. I mean, if the power were to go out for any length of time, I would be cooking like a mad woman - then trying to figure out how to preserve what I'd cooked, or feeding the neighbors. 

In the grand scheme of preservation, the freezer is not our optimal food storage. So explain to me why I have an entire hog in my freezer downstairs LOL. Some of that will convert to canning jars this winter.

In the mean time, I've also learned how to best freeze foods for long-term storage and avoiding freezer burn. My foodsaver is my best friend - both for freezing and for dry jar storage.

Thanksgiving leftovers are a cook's nightmare. Not mine. I learned many things at an early age and one of those was how to convert leftovers into amazing meals. One of which is Turkey and Noodles.

I started by removing the meat from the carcass. First I sliced off all that I could for hot turkey sandwiches. This is usually good for a couple of meals.  The rest became shredded pieces. This is about 1/3 of a 6 quart metal mixing bowl.

I made a batch of egg noodles using 1 dozen large eggs, 1 Tablespoon of Salt and enough flour to make a workable dough.

I like noodles with some texture so I only roll my dough to about 1/4" thick. My mom always rolled her dough into a cylinder as if she were cutting cinnamon rolls and sliced her noodles off in 1/2" strips. I just take a pizza wheel to my flattened dough. they are 'home style'.

The noodles are placed into a bowl and tossed with a bit of flour to keep them from sticking to one another.

Bring a large 6 qt. pan of chicken stock to a boil. Once the broth is at a rolling boil, drop the egg noodles a few at a time into the broth and stir to keep them from sticking together. Continue to boil until they are no longer doughy. I usually do not add the meat until the noodles are almost done. This gives me more room in the pan for stirring the noodles. 

Once the turkey and noodles were done, I divided them into 8" round cake pans (you can use square or even a 9x13 if you are feeding a family of 4 or larger). An 8" cake pan is the perfect meal size for two people. Place them in the freezer uncovered, to freeze.

Once the pans are frozen solid, they will pack nicely into Foodsaver bags without worrying about juice squeezing out the top and the bags will conform to the shape. 

Nothing says comfort on a cold winter afternoon then a bowl of homemade turkey and noodles. You can do this same process with chicken or beef, too. If you want to add the vegetables in, like peas or carrots, at the time of cooking that will save you a step in heating up a vegetable side when you serve  up a bowl. Since my husband does not like vegies, I bypass these ingredients and heat up our individual favorites (he'll eat mushy canned peas or green beans) when I fix the meal. 

Now... I did mention the disadvantage to freezer usage at the beginning of this article. One of the things I'll be trying this fall is Pressure Canning. I've never used one before but I do know that when it comes to meat/ broths, pressure canning will expand my preservation options and keep me from relying on the freezer quite as much. I'm off to buy one tomorrow and will let you know how that part of this prepper journey goes. 

Friday, August 19, 2016

PUTTING FOOD BY - Prepackaged Pasta

While they are not my favorite thing to purchase, having quick fix foods in the pantry do make life easier when the rest of the world refuses to stop spinning for two seconds. However, I do not like keeping things in their original packaging. I prefer glass canning jars.

The picture above shows items pulled from the kitchen cabinets. The picture below is their repackaged version:

I try to package pastas in wide mouth quarts. I do not use half-gallon jars (though I could), because once I pop the seal I want to use them up in a week or two as opposed to resealing a larger jar.

I've heard, though I can not get confirmation on the fact, that you should not use the vacuum seal for powdered items as they can clog the air canal. Makes sense. So the pastas are in jars and if they have a coordinating powder mix in a separate pouch, I put those in the 1/2 jelly jars and screw the lids on tight. These are the jars I will use first. 

On a recent trip to Big Lots, I found small tortellini pasta in several varieties. These cute little bags were perfect for me as Bob does not eat anything that includes the name of a vegetable or green leafy additive.

I did get a couple bags of four-cheese so I could fix something for the two of us, but primarily this purchase was for my meals when he is gone. I stored them in pint jars... just enough for two meal-preps each.

I will probably get at least four meals from each jar, but I'll cook them in batches of two so that I'll have meals for two days in a row then the other half of the jar for the following week. 

What types of pastas do your family enjoy? Share your favs, or a link to a favorite pasta recipe.

Friday, August 12, 2016


Bob loves cinnamon toast, cinnamon rolls, etc. So when I found Cinnamon Roll Captain Crunch I knew this would become a favorite. Since the product is new on the shelves (in our area at least), I thought I'd better stock up while I could find the cereal.

I'm not a sweet cereal fan so these are all for Bob. I packaged them in quart jars. I figure he'll go through one jar in a couple of  'man' servings so the contents won't have time to get stale. He can alternate cereal a couple of days a week with other things like his 'leftovers' omelets, sausage gravy with biscuits, pancakes/ eggs/ bacon, etc... all his other favorites.

As you can see I only got eight jars. I'm thinking I might want to stop by Big Lots today and pick up a few more boxes. I think this was three boxes.  At only .75 per breakfast I think we can add a few more to the pantry.

Monday, August 8, 2016


A couple of weeks ago, Bob and I made a trip to West Plains. He was meeting up with a guy to buy a generator and I needed a few things from 'the evil store' as we've dubbed the big Box Store. We always spend more than we intend when we walk through those doors. But I'm getting better.

On this day, storms were to the south and west of us. I was struck by this cloud formation. All of the clouds seem to be sprouting up from the ground like mushrooms.

Over the course of about 45 minutes the clouds went from the single plume...

to having a smaller friend. They soon joined to form a circle of sorts.

And finally, I loved the brush strokes of this formation. One of the ladies on a crafting thread I belong to thought this one would make a lovely scrapbooking background. I agree.

You can keep sight of where you are going while still enjoying the beauty around you. 

Friday, August 5, 2016


As I said in an earlier post, I've been like a squirrel preparing for winter... while we are still experiencing the summer heat. I've just had this feeling of needing to stock up.

Over the next few weeks, I'll be talking about various forms of 'stocking up'.  Keep in mind, I am only stocking food for two people. Your food preferences and number of people in your household will dictate your options.

When my pantry is well-stocked, I'll share recipes using the pantry items.

If you would like to see some great videos on dehydrator and food saver storage, check out Linda's Pantry on YouTube.

This picture shows four loaves of French Bread. I didn't realize until I got home that one was sliced, but the slices worked up the same. I purchased these from the discount rack at my local box store for .50 each. 

At home, I sliced them into bite-sized cubes and spread them on food dehydrator trays. I have five racks. These four loaves took ten trays total, so I had two drying rounds. 

Each batch took approximately twenty-four hours to dry. I wanted to make sure no more moisture remained. When I could crumble a piece in my hand easily, I unplugged the dehydrator and let the bread cubes cool completely before vacuum sealing in wide-mouth quart jars. 

These four loaves (minus 6-8 slices for meals) gave me eleven jars. I can use them for stuffing, or crush them for breading.

Because they are so versatile, I will probably make more later in the season

Monday, August 1, 2016


One of the 125 bases for Air Evac Lifeteam is located in West Plains, Missouri. The new office building was completed in 2015. We drive by this display often on our way to Hirsh's Farm Supply or one of our favorite restaurant options.

The flags and helicopter are the cornerstone of their parking lot. I am always awestruck by the flags. Last week, the flags flew at half mast. I'm not sure why. I thought perhaps they may have been in tribute to the many fallen police officers over the previous couple of weeks. However, when we drove past the Sheriff's Dept, their flags were not at half mast.

One of the items on my Photography Bucket List is to take a night shot. I just never remember. Maybe tonight. 

Monday, July 18, 2016


After several weeks of nursing tendonitis in my right elbow, I'm finally able to spend more time on the computer past buzzing email. I'm ready to get back to work.

While I've been off, I've been watching lots of YouTube, researching various stock up/ prepping methods. Again, not the SHTF kind of thing, but just being prepared for anything that comes down the road. I'll be introducing you to some of those folks in the coming weeks.

While the temps rise to the upper 90s here in the Ozarks, I'm already looking forward to fall. Not so much wanting to escape the heat but planning for winter. The FoodSaver is getting a workout and the pantry is getting an overhaul.

For now, life is about the garden. Everything got a late start because I had problems finding straw bales. I finally had to settle for some hay bales and I have to say, I am not as happy with the hay. They seem to break down faster and do not drain like the straw bales do, which creates a root rot problem.

This is a shot of my horseshoe bale garden. There are 13 bales here with five separate double-stacked tires down the center. Closer inspection of the individual components:

Brandywine tomatoes. I have each plant staked. We'll see how they do. Normally, I would have put them on the cattle panel like last year but I had a good paste tomato there and wasn't planning on doing slicing maters at all. But those bales were hay and I lost every single paste plant. I've since planted those bales with a Solar Fire... heat/ drought resistant plant that turned out to be a bush plant. I'll show those next week.

Here's a close up of one of the Brandywine loaded with blooms. I think I'm going to pluck one bloom from each cluster so the energy will produce better quality. 

I finally got to plant some herbs this year. This pot is about 95% Basil. LOL I'll be creating basil/ oil cubes, pesto cubes (both frozen) and drying basil in the dehydrator over the next few weeks. 

I'm still in the process of revamping some of the blogs but I' hope you'll hang with me as I get back on the road with this one. Lots of things to share! 

Monday, May 2, 2016


Hi everyone.

After serious contemplation and soul searching, I have come to the decision to put all of my blogs and social media attentioins on temporary hiatus. JUST for the month of MAY. I have some health issues I need to contend with as well as household/ family things. So I'm going off the grid for a few weeks.

I am hoping, with rest, the health issue will improve and I can come back in June stronger than ever.
By then, I should have some of the notes in place (that I've taken here and there about post ideas but have 'here and there' LOL) so that I can bring you quality information and share what's going on in my little part of the world.

Stay safe!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


Before I go any further, I'm going to warn you.. this is going to sound like a sermon. And if you will listen to my words, maybe I will save your life. I can only hope.

I want to talk about HIGH WATER. We have a saying:


People around here seem to ignore the saying. Their claim is that they've lived here all their lives, they know the roads, they know how deep the water is.. yadda yadda yadda

What they do not take into account what can be under that water... or what might NOT be there - like the road itself.

Anytime you come across water over a road, TURN AROUND! Last year one guy found out the hard way, he couldn't see the road for the water... because the road had fallen in, leaving a cavernous drop, which his little truck took a nose-dive into. Thankfully, he was not hurt. You Just Do Not Know!

If you do choose to drive through water that appears to just be a few inches, drive slow. Do not spray water up into your intake. That will flood out your engine and leave you at the mercy of any current you did not realize was there. Not to mention the towing cost and the the mechanic cost for drying out your engine. Do you REALLY have to be out and about in a storm that bad? Seriously?

Sadly, some people have chosen to attempt flooded roads and have never lived to see the other side. At least not of this world. Is getting somewhere more important than having more time with your family? Or risking your family?

Be Safe!

Monday, March 14, 2016


While I am doing Prepper posts on Friday, I wanted to do this one today. Today begins Missouri Emergency Preparedness Week.

Living on the edge of Tornado Alley, ear marks us for a bit of earlier preparation than most other states. The National Emergency Preparedness Week comes up in May and we'll be talking about this again then in some other capacities.

If you, someone you know, or you've seen the devastation a tornado can leave in its path on TV, then you know how important being prepared is. Spring brings unsettling weather patterns. Like our systems battle the seasonal change, so do the elements. We just can't give the elements Nyquil and tuck them in to bed (where I spent a good portion of last week).

Instead, there are definitive things we can do to at the very least, come out on top.
National Weather Service  has a great breakdown of what you need to look for ahead of time, how to prepare for a storm and what to do following a storm.

Here are the basics:

Knowing your risk, taking action and being an example by sharing your knowledge and actions with your social network are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared and save your life and others.

Know Your Risk: Hurricanes, tornadoes, storms - every state in the United States experiences severe weather. Visit to get the latest on weather threats. THIS LINK will take you to great information about the difference between a WATCH and a WARNING as well as other key information. THIS LINK from is another great source.

Take Action: Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a family communications plan, putting an emergency kit together, keeping important papers and valuables in a safe place, and learning about Wireless Emergency Alerts. 

A 72 Hour Emergency Kit should contain: (but not limited to the following items)
Information from

   WATER - one gallon per person per day
    FOOD - a 3-day supply of non- perishable food per person. 
   BATTERY -POWERED (or crank) radio
   FLASHLIGHT & extra batteries
   WHISTLE - to signal for help
   CELL PHONE w/ charger/ inverter/ solar charger

A Complete list can be found HERE as well as links to separate items, such as the First Aid Kit

Be an Example: Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with family and friends on Facebook or Twitter. Your preparedness story will inspire others to do the same.

Don't be caught un-prepared. A few minutes now will save you pain and suffering later.

Friday, February 26, 2016

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS - Finances - The Change Jar

DISCLAIMER: None of the information provided is law. I share what works for me. Only you can determine what works in your life.

One of the things I try to do every year is make a trip to Texas. I love to travel and the heart and soul of my music writing is there. I have made wonderful friends over the years and I love the whole vibe.

While I do not make a lot of money on my freelance, thanks to my husband I am not a 'starving artist'. I do strive to pay for the majority of my trip on my own. Last year, I paid for a 21-day trip through Texas, including hotel stays the entire time from money I had stashed away all year. The gas and most dinners (I paid cash for breakfasts and lunches) went on the credit card. But even with that, how could I acquire enough cash to pay for even a week from Missouri to Texas, let alone two?

The change jar is my salvation.

Remember when I talked about how I saved our butt when Bob over drew our bank account using the debit card?

Bob used to tease me all the time about having money squirreled away all over the house. I would get $10 in quarters, roll it and stash it in a box in the basement.. you know the lowest NE interior of your house where you need to go in case of a tornado. I did the same with nickels and dimes. Pennies, I do not spend at all.

The other thing Bob used to tease me about is NEVER having ANY change in my purse when we would go out somewhere. I always paid with dollar bills and brought home the change. Even if I was only needing a few pennies, I still broke the $1 bill.

At first when I started doing this, I was saving money from October to October to pay for my annual pilgrimage to the Ozark Creative Writers conference in Eureka Springs AR. The conference ran about $100 (which included the opportunity to enter several writing contest categories for the chance to win Prize $$$), hotel night for three nights (and usually split between at least 3 - 5 people), plus the 2 banquet meals with the conference and about $70 for breakfast/ lunches for the 3 days.

Thankfully, I do not have to do that anymore. That is Bob's contribution to my writing (one of many but he says this is 'my' weekend - yep, I'm keeping him)

So my money gets put back for Texas. With his job this year, I'm not sure I'll spare money for travel. We shall see in the coming weeks. But over the course of the past ten months, I have managed to piggy bank two Miracle whip jars of quarters plus a larger jar of just nickels and dimes. I also strive to win our weight loss challenge every 3 weeks so I can bank that $100 towards my trip.

We are also lucky enough to get taxes back most years. We apply the Federal tax towards something that needs done to the house, new tires for a vehicle if they are due or put it back for emergencies. We split the State return as our year-end bonus. We do not just blow the money because it's there. Everything has a purpose. In able to reach the Out of sight Out of mind = Security status, you have to do assign a purpose. Living willy-nilly, as Grammy used to say, is NOT going to give you that security when you need it. You have to be PREPARED.

The point is.. coins add up and quickly become the
Out of sight Out of mind = Security

Yes, you know it's there but if you earmark that money for a special occasion  - and remember that each time you think you are tempted to dip into the jar to pay for something else - then you will have earned the right to truly enjoy your special occasion.

Start a coin jar. Does not have to be anything fancy. Just put it somewhere so that when you come home at the end of the day, you will empty your pocket or purse of all the change into that container. When the container is full, stash the jar away and start a new one, transfer that money either into your checking account as a HIDDEN DEPOSIT in your Secret Vault (we talked about that last week), turn it into cash and stash it in the lowest NE corner of your house in a fireproof box, whatever. Just DO NOT SPEND IT until you are ready for that Special Occasion you've been saving for ... and start all over.

Be Empowered!

Friday, February 19, 2016


DISCLAIMER: None of the information provided is law. I share what works for me. Only you can determine what works in your life.

I am here to tell you now... Debit Cards are EVIL.  That said, I own one. But the only place I EVER use it is at my bank drive-through IF I need cash after hours. But most of the time, I just go into the teller window and withdraw what I need ahead of time. I PLAN my spending.

Here is a fact. You are more subject to identity theft when you use your Debit card than at any other time. Credit cards rank #2. Why put yourself  at risk just for convenience. We all need to learn to slow down. I figure if it worked for my parents... and generations before them, then it works for me. Granted, some things have to moved along with the times, but if you have safer options, why not use them?

The other thing I still use is a checkbook and check register. Yes, I'm sure that makes me a dinosaur.. but I am a PREPARED dinosaur.

If you do your banking on-line and use your debit card regularly, you are missing out on an amazing way to secretly stash money away... and why I have enough saved back to sustain us for the next six months worry-free.

If you bank on-line and use your debit card, the exact amount is subtracted from your account. While this does make balancing your checkbook much easier, you do not have the opportunity to create an imaginary vault in which to stash money away.

I use checks and a check register... the old fashioned way. And I do not balance my checkbook. (I will get to that final point in a moment)

This week I am going to share with you THREE ways to stash money back. If you do even ONE of them, you will be ahead of the game... and better prepared than you probably were before we began this journey.

Here is #1:
Let's start with my husband's check deposit. His company uses auto-deposit. They put the money in our account and we get a hard copy of the check stub. I'm not going to tell you what my husband gets paid. So I'm going to use an example amount.

Amount deposited by his Company - $1574.23
However, that is NOT what I write in my check register. I will write $1500.
That $74.23 gets squirreled away in my vault. I never see that amount again.
Out of sight Out of mind = Security

Think for a minute. If I do that every month for a year, by the end of twelve months I have saved:

I have done this every month for the past 4 years... ever since Bob used the debit card multiple times and failed to tell me so I could deduct it from our account! I found out when an entire months worth of checks began bouncing... during the Christmas holidays.  THAT was Stressful for me. I will tell you next week how I saved our butts on that one.

Here is #2:
If I write a check for $32.87 I DO NOT subtract that amount from my register.
I subtract $35.00

In reality, I am not going to miss that $2.13. It's in my vault, and I know it's there.. but if I do not SEE IT, then I do not spend it!

I do this with every check I write. By the end of the month I probably have acquired as little as $20 that I do not see. It's there but..
Out of sight Out of mind = Security

What about Auto-withdraws?
I apply the same principle. For example, my Hughes Net internet is an auto withdraw. Each month, they deduct $118 and change from my account. Every month for the past four years I have been subtracting $125. That is almost a $7 difference per month/ $84 a year/ $336 over four years!
I know it's there but...
Out of sight Out of mind = Security

I apply this same principle to all of our auto-withdraws.

So why not just sock money back into a savings account from each check?
#1 - Would you honestly do that EVERY MONTH
#2 - If you can see it, you are more apt to touch it.
Out of sight Out of mind = Security

At the end of the pay period.. just before his next check is to hit the deposit, I put a circle around whatever amount is left. Mentally, I tell  myself there has to be at least $25 left. When I get near that amount, I just do NOT spend any more. I WANT that added security. I also strive not to write any more checks for the last 5 or 6 days prior. Then I go into the bank and request my current balance. By this time, everything I've written has probably cleared to this point and their balance is right on target.

Before writing in the new 'adjusted' deposit, I circle whatever is left and add it to a 'savings' ledger. The money is still in my account but it becomes that
Out of sight Out of mind = Security 
How is it out of sight? Because I am only subtracting from the CURRENT deposit. Whatever was left no longer exists to me.

By doing this ONE small thing at the end of each pay period I usually have around $1300 at the end of the year. Some months have had more than others. There have been a month or two where there was literally PENNIES to circle. But even those pennies add up!

One other thing I do...
We pay our personal/ property taxes in December. I know roughly what they are going to be. I divide that amount by 22 (because he gets paid every 2 weeks and they are due in December) and I subtract that amount from each check. it is subtracted .. it's 'spent'.
In the register:
where a check # would go, I write SLUSH
Descritpion : RE Taxes
Amount: XXX

Then I have a page in the ledger where I track how much I've subtracted. By December when the taxes come due, I know the money is there.
Out of sight Out of mind = Security

Remember when I said earlier I do not balance my checkbook?
I once told my husband if I had to balance a checkbook, I'd never use one. I'd be strictly cash and the checkbook would be all on him. However, with him gone so much, there are times when I've needed to use the checkbook. But, I had to find a way NOT to balance the checkbook. I DO NOT need the stress.

I KNOW my bank balance is not going to jive with what the bank says because I have that Secret Vault. I have no clue how much is in there. I do not care. I only go by what I track, which is 3 things:

1 - The slush at the end of the pay period
2 - the RE Tax slush
3 - Income Taxes

As long as you keep on top of what YOU KNOW is in your account.. and that there is a SECRET VAULT amount that says you have more than you physically see, you are going to be fine.

For us right this moment, the pay period slush for the past three years is enough to make the immediate payments.

Reassess how you pay your bills. Is what you are doing RIGHT NOW working for you AND allowing you to build a cushion?

If you so choose, begin incorporating ONE of my methods into your tracking habits this week. A year from you now, if nothing else, you'll have Christmas money.

Be Empowered!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

REVIEW WEDNESDAY - STARS of the ROCK 'N' ROLL HIGHWAY - Victoria Micklish Pasmore

Take a trip back in time when music really got a party going with STARS of the ROCK ‘N’ ROLL HIGHWAY by Victoria Micklish Pasmore. Passmore’s research led her along U.S. Highway 67, officially designated Rock ‘n’ Roll Highway 67 by the Arkansas General Assembly in 2009. Stretching from Newport AR north to the Missouri border, the 111- mile route was once dotted with nightclubs, honky-tonks as well as school gyms and cafeterias where the first rock ‘n’ rollers staged their early performances and honed their skills in the 1950s and early ‘60s… the cusp of the Rockabilly era.

The publisher, Plum Street Publishers,  took the direct approach, putting a name most young people will recognize as the lead story – Elvis Presley. Geared towards readers in grades 5-8, STARS of the ROCK ‘N’ ROLL HIGHWAY is a great read for those of us who remember names like Elvis Presley, Conway Twitty and Wanda Jackson. While there were a lot more people Ms Pasmore could have included in her book, she focused on twenty, bringing the book to a quick read for any attention span. As I read the book, several thoughts went through my mind. First and foremost was how much musical history is right out my back door and I was not even aware. The other became a running list of names of people I knew who would enjoy this book as much as I was.

One thing I felt really set this book apart from others were the 'Did You Know' facts - five factoids - given at the end of each chapter. 

STARS of the ROCK ‘N’ ROLL HIGHWAY is the perfect read for anyone. Whether you like music in general, grew up listening to Jerry LeeLewis, Carl Perkins or Charlie Rich, or enjoy history in any form. And if as an adult you want your children to learn about when you were their age, this is the perfect door to opening dialogue. Don’t wait until your gone for them to begin asking questions and receiving no answers. Introduce them to the magic now that was the ‘rock n roll highway’.

I’m giving this book:

About the Author:

Victoria Micklish Pasmore holds undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Art and master's degrees in Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling. She has taught math, art, and special education to K-12 students for thirty years. A native Arkansan living in Mississippi and Wales, she is a world traveler and an enthusiastic fan of rockabilly and early rock 'n' roll music.