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This was the balance of our home equity line of credit (heloc) when we moved into our current house in April 2004. At the time we were carrying two mortgages in addition to the heloc, as we hadn’t yet sold our Meadowbrook house. Needless to say I was freaking out. We owed a lot of money to a number of different banks. I never thought we’d pay it off.

Fast forward four years and four months…..

We paid it off last week.

I still can’t believe it. That is a ton of money. Gobs of money, actually. Honestly, we didn’t do anything special and we certainly weren’t saints. We bought a lot of crap along the way—computers, clothes, oriental carpets, furniture and we built a new garage. I wish I could say there was a secret, but in reality we just kept at it. We’d build up some money and then make a largish payment, in addition to making the 378.84 regular monthly transfer from our checking account.

It feels like a big weight has lifted. We did keep the account open, as we would eventually like to finish our upstairs, adding a bathroom and additional living space to the master bedroom. I’m not sure we will be able to pay for a remodel out of current cash flow, so we may run up a balance again in the future. However, I’m living in the moment and for now I’ll enjoy having to make one less monthly payment.

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Fruit Salad

I seriously can’t wait to eat lunch tomorrow.  The kiwi is from my organic fruit/veggie box and the strawberries are frozen.  Last month my parents brought up a flat of locally (Olympia) grown strawberries and they are unbelievably sweet.  They are awesome even frozen and then thawed.  I wish I had another flat stored up in my freezer.  I think stockpiling will definitely be in the plans next year.

Most likely, yes. I’ve finally gotten my blog off of imperium and moved over to wordpress. I know I’ve only blogged like (ok, not “like”, but exactly) once this year. Ill try to be better if only for myself to remember different things as they happen. Sadly, I’m getting older now and the memory is failing. Anywho…the new blog can be found at:

https://alykat.wordpress.com/

See you there!

Progress!!

Im not going to make any resolutions this year. Its getting old. Every year I resolve to save more money, eat better, exercise more, blah, blah. These things have graduated from resolutions to more of life goals and I think Im actually doing pretty well. Theres always room for improvement, but nobodys perfect, right?

2008 has been a pretty good year thus far. I did a 5k race on New Years Day (Resolution Run at Sand Point) and ran the best time Ive done in a while, 25:57/8:27min per mile. I still havent jumped in Lake Washington to complete the dip portion of the race. Maybe next year.

I finished my first book of the year (never mind that I started it in 2007. It still counts, dammit!) and I also managed to get started on a new knitting project. I only had to rip it out twice. Its going to take me a while, but I think Ive finally gotten the hang of the double knitting and following a complicated pattern. I still cant zone out with this project, but Ive been able to get into more of a groove with it.

argyle scarf.jpg

I need to enjoy my time now. Work is ramping up again and Im probably going to 6 days/week starting this weekend. At least I dont have anything to study for or any homework to do. This is the first time in a while. I do want to do a Masters program, but for now Im just enjoying having down time. And hobbies.

Happy New Year Everyone! Here’s to hoping that 2008 is a great year!

I took the 4th section (Financialbiggest & scariest section) of the CPA exam about 3 weeks ago. I wont find out the results until sometime around Christmas, but I havent kept studying. I figure if I failed Ill study again in January and retake the section again during the first week of February.

Ive been studying for almost a year straight. It has sucked. And it has been hard. In the mean time, though, Ive taken a break from all things exam related. I actually feel like a real person with outside interests for the first time in a long time. Over the past three weeks Ive:

Gone to FL for a work conference
Read two books and have started a third
All caught up with Money including receipts, investment accts, etc.
Watched a hell of a lot of teevee.
Knitted a hat and am about way through knitting a scarf
Started going to the gym again
Become obsessed with Americas Test Kitchen**

**I love this show. (PBS, Channel 9, Tuesdays at 6:30pmI record on Myth) Its a little bit Alton Brown in that they explain why they do things a certain way in a recipe and why other techniques, ingredients, etc. dont work. I also bought one of their cookbooks last week and so far its excellent. Both recipes Ive made have been a success.

FALL

[Fall] Is definitely my favorite season. Back to school, Halloween, leaves changing, Thanksgiving, federal returns filed…I love it all!

Here are a few pictures taken this morning.

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SONG OF THE DAY

“Heat of the Moment” by Asia.

‘Cause it’s 1982 again.

I never meant to be so bad to you
One thing I said that I would never do
One look from you and I would fall from grace
And that would wipe this smile right from my face…..