Mushrooms in the dirt

photo Mushrooms by Ram

Mushrooms by Ram

a wee little land

far far away in the dirt

where potatoes grow.

©claireaperez

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Hollyhocks grow randomly: garden photos & a haiku

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Backdrop of  evergreen

Hollyhocks grow randomly

Can’t wait for spring.

Posted in Farm Stories, Photos

Cape Cod Light at Sandwich, MA

Cape Cod Light at Sandwich, MA

Cape Cod Light

Cape Cod Light at Sandwich, MA

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Ode to snow

Take your beauty and
Go snow go—to other lands
Where water is needed.

20140220-194814.jpg

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Mist of spring

Photo Mists of spring '13

Mists of spring ’13

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
pinks whites lemon greens
behind and ahead to keep
our hope through the grey 
 
 
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One of my favorite photos of the farm

One of my favorite photos of the farm

One of my favorite photos of the farm

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Where does my money go? @ the Lansing Community Library

Below are ten pieces of information I passed on at a Lansing Community Library program.  It includes websites, information, and insights from my time as a Cornell Cooperative Extension Money Management educator and VITA Assistant Site Coordinator at AFCU.

1.  Money management, like most things, is a behavior.  For any new habit you wish to add into your life, write down answers to the following questions:

  1. What do I want to do?
  2. When will I do it?
  3. How will I do it?

Remember, change is hard and may come slow…For simple strategies to select from see the book:  Small Steps to Health and Wealth.

2.  Write down $MART goals?  There is much written about these, in a nut shell, SMART means:

  • $pecific,
  • Measurable
  • Attainable, Agree
  • Review, Revise,
  • Time Limited and Trade Offs.

(Different sources use different words but the concepts are the same.)

Here is a link to a free template:  http://www.lsuagcenter.com/MCMS/RelatedFiles/%7B14132911-AD75-440E-B001-F7D813F36BC8%7D/2.2+SMART+Financial+Goals.pdf.

3.  Track your expenses.  Use a notebook, excel sheet, piece of paper, or calendar: knowledge and accountability are power.  At the end of the month, compare what you spent to what you think you spend and/or look at one regular cost you might be able to change.

4.  Write a spending plan.  Use a notebook, excel sheet, free template on-line, calendar.  Guesstimate the first month, compare your expenses to your plan before doing next months, where are the leaks?  What is preventing you from reaching your goals?

5.  Review you goals, are they realistic?  Do you need to revise your goals?  What changes can you make?  Small changes add up…see Step Down to Change in the Small Steps to Health and Wealth book linked in number one above.

6.  Use community resources:  do you need to buy it or do you want to buy it?   Is there a resource in the community where you can purchase it?

One place to call is 211 in Tompkins County, it is an information and referral line.  Also the Tompkins Count Human Services Coalition provides a wealth of information on community resources.

7.  Get insight…read books:  Suze Orman, Small Steps to Health and Wealth (free online), financial websites:

http://www.clarkhoward.com/categories/personal-finance-credit/

http://www.stretcher.com/

http://www.nefe.org/

8.  What is your spending style, do you need to adjust it to reach your goals?  There are many quizzes on-line and a particularly good resource:  Money Habitudes at…http://www.moneyhabitudes.com/

9.  Finally, do you check your credit report annually for accuracy? 

It is free at annualcredit report.com, watch out for trickery.  Do not enter any credit card information unless you know you want to pay for your FICO score and then check the site.  In addition, avoid the links to free credit report.com, this is not a free site.

I was able to get my free credit report recently.  I saved it as a pdf and can get access to it at anytime.  Since each of the three providers must give you a credit report annually, some experts suggest checking one report every four months.

10.  If is your path, only you can chart it out.

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Holiday cards and snow

as I write this my very restless husband is signaling that he wants us to get into the car and go source out two barrels for him for his spring project, a coi pond.  We are having a peaceful holiday season so far and I am grateful.  I feel for those who are not because I have had many a sad holiday and, as I mentioned a few blogs ago, the holidays can be an exaggerated dagger in the heart that is sore.

Here are a few pictures from a peaceful week…

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Cold is beautiful somedays

Cold is beautiful somedays

Cold is Beautiful somedays

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Lilies in December

http://www.sabbaticalhomes.com/OfferedDetails.aspx?id=44589Could there be anything as pretty as looking at the lilies in December…resting Asiatic bulbs under the semi-crusted earth waiting for next year.
Lilies  
Below is another picture of the lilies showing off their  blooms.  Summers ribbon candy, a digital image to brighten the day.
http://www.sabbaticalhomes.com/OfferedDetails.aspx?id=44589
Lilies

 

 

 

 

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