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2005-06-05 - 8:52 a.m.

Whoo HOO! I was surprised to open an e-mail from my brokerage entitled "YOUR TRADE CONFIRMATION" to find that I sold some stock on Friday that I had put a limit order on months ago! YAH! The good news is I didn't LOSE on that buy which to me is really a gamble. I think of the stock market as the game for gamblers who want to PRETEND they have no vices! For those "adults" who like to feign responsibility...

Anyway, it ended up giving me a gain- which after all my commission and taxes will pay for about 15 minutes of my attorneys time!

But hey- that's better than nothing right? : )

Oh- and it was TARGET stock which is likely a good LONG TERM investment. I haven't the financial freedom yet to be thinking in the long term yet so instead am getting what gain I can off my small retirement fund. But I remember that rule: DON"T TOUCH THE PRINCIPAL and am trying to adhere to it! (Which is why I am glad to have sold the stock as I BROKE that rule when I BOUGHT it!! Now I'll only invest the GAIN and leave the principal amount of cash untouched in the more stable IRA money market rather than gamble it in stock.)

So with my gain maybe I can buy ONE SHARE of something... Hmmmm... Do they sell LOTS of 1 ?? (HA HA!)

Hey if I do well maybe I can increase my holdings to be able to pay for a full HALF HOUR of legal fees with this account!

Getting ready for church this morning and then off to the ART MUSEUM which has a free family day today! I am the EXPERT at finding FREE entertainment! The real key there is to pack adeqaute provisions from home so the little ones are well fed. They they remain content! FOOD is likley the largest entertainment expense for most people so I try to AVOID that while STILL on the tight budget!!

And I keep in mind this is temporary... only a few more years until I work again and earn my own money! And I keep in mind IT WAS AT MY ENCOURAGEMENT that we continue with the house construction in VA !! Westley gave me the option of staying in Pittsford when we were there, or of stopping the construction at the rennovation of the existing part of the home and I was the one who pushed forward believing we can do it SOMEHOW! And it WILL GET done! It turns out that in LOUDOUN the wacko Board of Supervisors who were proponents of INSANE A 50 Zoning have been voted out, or mellowed out, and as we suspected progress CAN'T nor SHOULDN'T be stopped because of the insular zenophobic element there! I think their fears are lessening as the unknow become known! Leesburg and Purcellville are becoming more diverse and those who were so afraid of this population boom are either growing and learning its not such a scary thing... or moving further WEST to hand their Confederate Flags. SO not only are there many benefits to this- but land values CONTINUE to increase and it turns out that we actually will likley BE ABLE to move forward with the construction again in about one year! If all else fails, we then STILL can do so at some point by selling the 10 acre lot behind our house. Apparently there are almost NONE left in the Purcellville market. That only increases the value of ours. Westely isn't enjoying having to travel to mow every other week anyway. No funds in the budget to hire that out - oh and since his company has business there and he has to go there anyway his business travel is paid for !So he just stays over the weekend and often has FRI and MON meetings in NO VA for work! So it works out financially just AMAZING for us that we can really afford to maintain both places ON THE CONDITION THAT WESTLELY does all the maintenace himself. The great thing though is that this work should pay off in the increased value of real estate. WE recall when we were AFRAID to buy in CA anticipating a drop that never came! Loudoun is ridiculously similar in that we can hardly believe the values keep growing and we wonder who the hell is buying at these crazy prices.

My sister in law and brother in law who just had the baby yesterday put their house on the market last month. She would like to be able to afford to stay home! With the insane increase in the value of the home they bought a year ago, and the fact we are no longer there (which is one thing she liked about living there!) they decided they could cash out and IN CASH buy a home in TEXAS and still afford for her to not have to work for a number of years. So they figure put the house on the market- and nothing ventured, nothing gained. If it sells at their asking price they will be excited, but if it doesn't go for the gain they hope for they will happily stay there. (AS it is so beautiful!) But she would prefer to BE HOME with her baby and to stay in VA she has to go back to work as TEACHER in LOUDOUN PUBLIC schools where she works. They need that second income there. EVEN THOUGH the house will likley continue to go up in value, and they know this: that its the best investment they will EVER have-- There is nothing more valuable some mothers than being home with a child for as long as possible!

That is what makes me have peace at my lack of personal financial freedom! I REALLY HAVE THIS INCREDIBLE FREEDOM to be with my children ! (OK almost all my children.... BUt I was with Katerina and Soren home for a number of years!)

I can be exceptionally frugal until I personally go back to work even when it requires short term sacrifices. In the end I think the SACRIFICE of having to give up time with children out of the necessity to go to work is a WORSE sacrifice to have to make. Despite the fact that THIS weekend, when I wanted to drive to Buffalo to pick up the older kids and I didn't IN PART because they were already at Grandmom's and I have vowed to not deal with her, the OTHER PART (and more determinative actually as if I HAD to I could handle the obnoxious grandmother) was that with finances tight we just don't have the $50 in gas for this weekend! Next Fri when Westely gets paid our cash flow is different! WE are actually in debt for the first time on a credit card (very substantially actually) as we HAD to replace the whole HEATING system which had AESBESTOS on this NY house. WE bought the house KNOWING this, but it was a good move as we would otherwise not have one here! Westely's employer from the past five years was FANTASTIC in keeping him on the books for one extra month after he started his latest new full time job- so we got THE MORTGAGE THAT MONTH!! IT APPEARED he had that second income! So we sqeaked by in the approval process... and it worked out PERFECTLY! But we really had a very short window in which we could get the mortgage and buy a house so we had to take the best we could get at the time or have to have the kids and I only in VA for the next year!

Our frugality has to now carry us for about six more months or so until the heating unit and debt to WESTELY'S parents and the credit card company is whittled down.

(Note I didn't say "paid off" - we'll get there eventually.)

When looking at the debt ratio the average american hold it really is just astounding. I am VERY lucky at least I have a car titled in my name that is paid in full, and that all my student loans are also paid off. So in fact I personally carry no debt (with the one exception of one bill that was a joint one with my EX At the time of our separation I paid off half and he agreed in the Property Settlement he's assume half. Those bill collection letters still come as he never followed through! But it hasn't been a problem for me as when we did apply for the mortage jointly in VA on the prop we sold they accepted my property settlement paperwork as proof of his obligation rather than mine DESPITE the fact the bank never granted a novation. When I signed that agreement I KNEW it really MEANT nothing to the bank and that TECHINICALLY I AM STILL RESPONSIBLE for that debt! But I have no intention of worrying about it as my EX can deal with it (OR NOT)! It shows up on his credit report too, and HE WAS ETHICALLY the one who should be resonsible for it as it was charges for FOOD and DIAPERS to care for our kids when finances got tight! I don't think it helps him any for me to take on his responsibilities.

Maybe since I was in that position once where I was literally surviving on a charge card for necessities, I will never live beyond means. I refuse to charge anything that is not an absolute necessity.

I was surprised by the one counselor's we just started going to who asked me something about why we don't have child care. I told him we looked into an AU PAIR and its about $15,000 a year which we just can't afford now. Then he asked something about why I haven't passed the BAR, why don't I take one of those classes that take only about a month. He seems to think its that easy and I am guessing where his head was going with this is that I haven't passed the BAR because I don't have the SUPPORT of a sitter to study for it.

What bugs me about this assumption is that the FIRST time I prepared for the VA BAR almost 5 years ago now I OPTED to take the AT HOME study couse because THAT's WHAT I WANTED! I have SO MANY AT HOME courses so I can do them AT MY OWN PACE. Now maybe that was a bad CHOICE on my part! At that time we actually GAVE my BEST FRIEND a GIFT OF ATTENDING A COURSE herself! She went in person and she also now has failed the NY BAR THREE times! She like me was a very similar student! WE ARE BOTH SMART PEOPLE, but its just not that easy for us for different reasons!

Anyway... so I don't have all the support NOW but I certainly HAVE HAD it and COULD have had a sitter. In fact I did so when studying and I had Soren in the Georgetown Child Care Center which was a great place. But once Sadie was born and was an infant I didn't WANT a sitter for her!

I am so amazed that it is so hard for people to understand and accept MY CHOICE to stay home with my babies! It is just so amazing to me that when I say I am home because Westely and I both agreed this would be best, and because I WANT TO BE, that then it is thought of as perplexing to some that we don't have the income to get an AU PAIR to help me. I don't really WANT an AU PAIR IF I HAD one I would then enjoy a bit of time studying and gradually work toward my goals. But I would STILL be here most of the time!

I just don't get other people's discomfort at me enjoying having a pack of kids. I respect THEIR individual life choices!
OK - enough venting on that! I have to get everyone off to church on time!

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