Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Book Review: Enough

I love to browse at the library.   I look at the new releases or a particular section and just see what looks good.   I picked up this book, Enough  by Will Davis Jr., simply based on the cover statement "finding more by living with less."
In the past year or so I've started reading entertaining personal finance and debt reduction blogs.   One of the items that comes up quite a bit is living within, or below, your means. That's why this cover grabbed me.   I didn't even read the back.
Note:  This book is written from the Christian and Biblical perspective on what it means to have enough.   This may or may not appeal to you.  If it does, keep reading.
I really enjoyed reading this book and the authors take on enough.   I really enjoyed mission work, both in the States and abroad.   When I see what is enough for others, it really helps put into perspective what could be enough for me.  
When you keep your own needs at enough instead of more than enough, you don't have to devote all your time and energy towards the pursuit of money to to afford it.   That frees up your time for other things that matter to you.  It could be your family.  It could be travel.  It could be running marathons.    I think of two friends who have made deliberate family choices to live "below" their means.   One car or no car.  Small house or apartment.  Both of them were able to stop working, or work just on-call when they had a baby.   That time and experience can't be replaced by money.    Just one take on having enough.
Another theme in the book is helping/giving/blessing others and seeing what amazing things God will do to bless you.   God can make sure that you have enough.   Another friend has started pondering going on a mission trip.    Volunteer trips are never free.   There is a cost for travel.  A cost for supporting the non-profit organization.   Meals.  Lodging.  Supplies.  She has started to pray about the trip.     Within the same week she found a possible opportunity that over the course of the spring would pay enough to cover the cost of the mission if she decides to go.    Coincidence?  Probably not.
I guess it was not coincidence that I happened to pick up this book at the library, either.
What does it mean to you to have enough?

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Texas State Capitol

Everything really IS bigger in Texas.

The Texas State Capitol is the largest state capitol by square footage and is second only in size to the National Capitol in Washington DC.   

But the Capitol in Texas is taller.   15 feet taller.   Take that DC.

We darted in a downpour from the visitors center to the Capitol and squished our way inside and joined up with a tour group.    Being my mother's daughter, I answered one trivia question right and then went on to answer a few more and the guide started teasing me.    When we told him we had to leave he asked "who is going to answer my questions now?"

Definitely worth a visit - even just to look up at the amazing dome and get out of the rain. 

Best Texas Quote
"You may all go to hell and I will go to Texas." ~Davy Crockett

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Choose a Job You Love

Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life
If you are going to spend any amount of time at a job (you can choose your own definition of job - it doesn't necessarily mean where you get your paycheck), whether it's 10 hours or 60, you should enjoy what you do.    Most people spend more time working than they spend with their family and friends.  More time at work than focusing on their health.   Enjoying their hobbies.  Playing with their dog (the one who looks longingly out the window waiting for their person to come home).  
Friday was my last day at my current property.   I've worked there for a little over 5 years.   For the past 3 years, I've been in what I consider the "Fun & Games Department."   The sole focus of my position was making sure that our employees had a great workplace and were equipped to successfully do their jobs.   I may not like my alarm clock, but I never dread going in to work.  
I have fun every day.   I read the quote above and think that Confucius really did know what he was talking about.    If you love what you are doing, no matter what it is, it doesn't feel like work.
I think about my friend who loves to run marathons and half marathons.   I look at that as a punishment.   He thinks it's fun.    Training for a marathon is work.   But if you love the run, it won't feel that way.   You'll make time for it.   
For the past 12 years, I've worked for the same company.   Four different properties.  Ten different job titles and responsibilities.   Each position was challenging.  Each position was fun.  
I look forward to starting my new adventure on Monday.  
Another day in my life where I will never have to work.   
What does it mean to choose a job you love?  

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Wisconsin State Fair

I grew up going to the Rock County 4H Fair each summer.   As a child I wanted to eat cheese curds and eclairs.   I wanted to watch the ducklings go down the slide into the water.    I wanted to ride the Tilt-A-Whirl and the Scrambler.     As a pre-teen, I wanted the "Moonlight Madness" wristband to go on the rides endlessly with my friends.     The fair was where I saw Tiffany in concert.

The Wisconsin State Fair sets the bar really high for state fairs.   I remember going to the Indiana State Fair as an adult and being saddened by the fact that it was a dry event and there was not an adult beverage to be had.      The Colorado State Fair is two hours away in Pueblo.   I realize my state fair experience is limited to these three, so I'm going to claim that of state fairs that I have visited, Wisconsin's is the best. 

Food on a stick is the theme at all fairs these days.

Food vendors ask themselves these questions:
Will people eat it?
Can I fry it?
Can I put it on a stick?

If the answers are all yes, you have a new fun fair food.   

Some of the items we tried at the Wisconsin State Fair included:  root beer flavored milk (it is Wisconsin after all), crab cakes on a stick, fried stuffing balls on a stick, pot stickers on a stick, potato pancakes - NOT on a stick, fried cheese curds, beer floats, Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy and Berry Weiss, fried bacon, the Fat Elvis (deep fried peanut butter cup in a banana coating with bacon on top) and a pulled pork sandwich inside a Bismark.  

What is your favorite fair food?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Simply Wisconsin

I make it back to Wisconsin at least once a year.   This time my sister and I caught up with a lot of family in a three day span in typical whirlwind tour style.     I will write delicious prose soon about my love for Racine Kringle and eating my way through the State Fair, but in the meantime I wanted to share this photo.   I was playing with the settings on my phone as well as with Instagram while drinking wine in the backyard and this was the result.

Simply Wisconsin.

If you've been to Wisconsin, or lived there, what is do you consider "Simply Wisconsin?"

Friday, August 3, 2012

An Ode to Denver Sky Ride

I appreciate public transportation more and more each year.  I would rather read, Facebook, blog, eavesdrop, plan my next vacation, listen to music, question peoples' fashion choices or gaze vacantly into space than pay attention on I 25.   Five years of commuting via light rail has saved me big bucks on gas and extended the life of my car.

If I'm flying out for a weekend I usually leave from work.  Cheaper than a taxi or a shuttle and less hassle than driving?  RTD Sky Ride.  A whopping $11 from Market St Station ($7 for me since I have a monthly pass) and I can sit on a comfortable air conditioned coach and tune out.   An hour later, after waving to the iconic demon horse statue, I'm at departures.

Today I'm taking a page from the rest of the world and creating a parody of "Call Me Maybe."

I just left work
and I'm too lazy
To drive myself so
Sky Ride baby....


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