Where I stand

I know I haven’t been blogging much lately.  I have been trying to keep Musical Mondays going, because music is one of the most divine gifts given humanity, in my opinion.  Music is and has always been one of the truest passions of my heart.  But it’s not much from me, is it?  Thing is, here lately it doesn’t feel like I’ve been doing much of anything.  Maybe it’s a case of the winter blues.  Winter isn’t the same here where we are as it was in Mississippi as a kid – where it mostly WASN’T winter.  But it’s not the chilly, snow-covered winters that I got hooked on when we were in Chicago.  Oh, it’s been cold, make no doubt about it.  But no snow.  And part of me is grateful for that.  I really don’t want Joshwa out on Buttercup in the snow, or for us to have to rely on someone else for help getting him to and from work.  So I’m thankful for no snow, even though part of me is craving it like a kid craves candy.

But I’m not doing NOTHING.  I do spend quite a bit of time playing my game, but I’ve been working on other things as well.  My resolution for this year is to get out of debt within the next two years.  Part of this is simple – I’m tired of having debt hanging over our heads.  Part of it is purely selfish.  We decided that we wouldn’t move until Buttercup was paid off.  This is a good plan, since we’ll need a four-wheeled, preferably four-wheel drive, vehicle for winter time in the mountains.  So, to help that along, I’ve started working on our debt.  I’m the bill payer in our household, so this falls to me to figure out how to do it and implement that.  Which is hard, because when we find a little bit of extra money, we tend to do like many people living paycheck to paycheck – we squander it.  But, we’ve gotten better.  I took advice from a blog I read.  I wish I could tell you which one, but there are so many that when I came across this gem, I didn’t think to snag the link, because I wasn’t thinking of sharing it.

But the advice was, she said in her blog, pretty standard advice for getting out of debt.  And it seems so obvious now that I’ve been told, but it never occurred to me before.  When paying off debt, pay your smallest debt off first.  I had been going about this COMPLETELY backwards, I can’t lie.  But it makes perfect sense.  So, I started with our smallest credit card debt, and I’m proud to say it is now paid in full.  We still have about half left on our next credit card, but I’m hoping to have that paid off with our refund check.  I HAD hoped to have it paid before then, but a few things came up that took that option out of my reach before I even realized it.  But that’s okay.  Because our next debt is Joshwa’s student loans.  We’re down to less than $1500!!  So after we get the second credit card paid, we’re tackling that monstrosity, while continuing minimum payments on Buttercup.  But as soon as that sucker is paid off? (aiming for end of this year)  We’re tackling Buttercup’s payments.  Hopefully with about $400 a month, we’ll get it done by the end of next year.

And then?  And then we’ll be saving up to move to put a down payment on a truck.  I’ve wanted a truck since I was a little girl.  Always did.  And wouldn’t I love an SVU again?  Yes.  But fact of the matter is, a four-wheel drive SUV will be more expensive than a four-wheel drive truck.  And we need something with a bed so that when we take our road trips – and how can we NOT take them, with our family scattered all over the US? – we want to be able to take Buttercup along.  Because, unfortunately, it’s just not feasible for her to be our long distance vehicle.  But, man, we love to ride.

On that note, we have taken a couple of short rides in the last few days.  It was cold as hell, but totally worth it.  There is a joy and freedom that I can’t find words to explain when we’re cruising down the road.  So, as a reminder to all of you out there, please always look out for two-wheels.  I know, I know – there are some jackasses that are a danger to themselves and others.  But there are more who are careful, conscious drivers.  And you never know if that bright gold/yellow bike coming down the road has a hot rod who doesn’t care, or my husband.  Let me tell you, in four wheels, he scares the hell out of me when he drives.  He’s not a bad driver, he’s just not a driver like I am, which might be mildly obsessive.  But on two wheels?  He never scares me.  He never takes stupid risks.  Hell, he doesn’t even speed anymore.  My fear with the bike is not that he’ll do something stupid, but that someone out there won’t be two-wheel conscious and will do something stupid and take him from me.  And you never know who that person on that bike you just cutoff would leave behind if your carelessness took their lives.  Summer isn’t the only time bikes are out.  So always look twice.

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