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The First in the Deck Series

Our most recent DIY experience through the process.

Out With The Old, In With The New

Gotta love a new beginning, right?

Peppermint Shortage

Just a funny afternoon.

Coffeyville, KS

I loved this experience so much that I had to write about it. Then, through e-mails it spread to Coffeyville itself.

Photo Restoration

I had a lot of fun with this "old school" photo. It turned out too cool to not blog about it.

Kitchen Remodel (part one)

This is the first of a nine-part series documenting the remodel of our 50-year-old kitchen in our 100-year-old home!

This Old House

Shortly after we bought our house in February 2007, we decided to throw a big party for it in 2009. It's a Centennial party, celebrating the house's 100th birthday. This planned soiree has been on our minds lately as we have set a new goal for ourselves. The goal: to be done with all of our home improvement projects before the party. We've had a few get-togethers in our house so far and while I think they went well, a lot of work went into getting the house looking acceptable. This meant moving building material out of sight that was just going to have to be moved right back afterwards. We want this Centennial Party to be one where we can relax and enjoy our home rather than fret about concealing the construction. Also, I find that it would be an appropriate birthday gift to the house.

I was inspired by a fellow local blogger this week to do some graphic designing, but I didn't really have anything that needed graphic design work. That's when it occurred to me that I could start making a flier for the party. It's extremely premature of me to start on this, but I have fun doing little creative projects like this. I did a Google search to see what other people are doing for their Centennial events and the first result listed was Ford. They're celebrating their Centennial this year since they began production of the Model T in 1908. This got me thinking. Was the material for our house brought in by horse-drawn trailer? How cool is that? But, I needed to do some more research to find out for sure. Unfortunately, I've come to the conclusion after some searches that there is no way to find out.

What I did find out was that the first privately owned automobile in Springfield was purchased and brought here in 1905. So, one could stand to say that by 1909, the automobile was being used for all types of work where horses were used previously. On the other hand, Oldsmobile had been building automobiles since 1897 and it took 8 years before one of them showed up in the hands of an individual here in Springfield. This might reveal that the population and use of automobiles did not grow at an alarming rate, thus re-establishing the theory that our house's material was brought in by horses. On the flip side of that coin, many websites explained that Springfield's steady growth was attributed to it's placement in the US. It had become a transportation hub that saw multitudes of travelers as well as the distribution of goods. That being said, one could argue that the population of automobiles in Springfield grew at a rate faster than even larger metropolitan areas due to its incremental part in the growth of the western states.

So you can see the clear debate. The fact of the matter is that the automobile had been around for 12 years in the US. Just because the first privately owned automobile in Springfield didn't happen until 1905 doesn't mean that businesses didn't already have automobiles to provide better services. Here is a picture of one of Springfield's Fire Stations in 1913. You can see that they were very proud of their trucks. So, regardless of whether the material was brought in by horse or by truck, you know that it was pretty cool either way. I mean, look at those fire engines. If it was a truck like that that brought the material, I'm still amazed to think that we are now part of that history.

One quick interesting thing I found while searching was this photo. The caption read "Mrs. H. Frank Fellows at her home on North Main St. about 1910. This was the first house in the city with electric lights." Now, I have no reason to believe that our house was built without electric light installed. All evidence that I have seen points to the fact that the electric service was installed at the time of construction. Our house is two story, and this wiring runs between floors. This had to have been installed before laying the hardwood flooring upstairs. This suggests that our house was one of the first houses in Springfield with electricity.

Movie Review: The Other Boleyn Girl

Last night, Jodi and I watched The Other Boleyn Girl. It was worth the watch if for no other reason than the interesting history lesson. We weren't aware of which English King it was being portrayed in the movie until about halfway through when someone called him Henry and it became clear that it was Henry VIII (Henry the Eighth). The one that was married so many times that history has written several silly songs about him. However, watching the movie is no laughing matter. Neither was reading about the rest of his life and family's lives on the internet afterwards.

I'll try not to spoil the movie just in case any of you out there will actually watch it. But, seeing how it is historically correct, some of you may already know what happens. I'll just talk about what isn't in the movie, for the most part. The actions of Henry VIII caused England to break away from the Roman Catholic Church. Later, he became a Protestant and created the Church of England. His successor, his son from his fourth wife, King Edward VI, took the throne and died shortly thereafter. This left the throne to his daughter from his first marriage, Mary Tudor. She became Queen Mary and brought the Church of England back to Catholicism. This brought many persecutions to the Protestant community and to emphasize her feelings about how much she detested Protestants, she ordered 300 of them to be burned at the stake. Thus she became known as "Bloody Mary."

Queen Mary died within a couple years and that left the throne to Queen Elizabeth I. It's terrible to read about all the many beheadings, stake burnings, and tortures that were so readily used in England. And this is just among the nobles! When the Queen isn't even safe from a public beheading, you know that none of the common people are. It's no wonder why the Pilgrims risked sickness, disease, and the challenges of an unpopulated land by piling on a boat and shoving off not long after all this.

For the movie review, I would give it one thumb up and one thumb down. The movie is full of terrible choices made by everyone. It's full of power-seeking, manipulating, lying, cheating, murderous characters. Sadly, it is historically accurate. Which is where the thumbs up comes from. I enjoy movies that teach history and incite interest in it by accurately representing it while telling a story. But, I'd rather watch a movie with a lot less adultery, a lot more action, and would it kill someone to get some comic relief around here?

Ownership is 9/10's of the Law

The other day I was listening to the radio while driving in the car. I was flipping through stations and caught the tail end of one of our local church's paid radio spots. If you listen to the radio a lot in Springfield then at one time or another you've probably heard this guy. His name is Bob Casady and he's the senior pastor of Schweitzer United Methodist Church. They have little radio "commercials" if you can call them that. They're probably better classified as mini podcasts. He usually starts off asking a question or making some sort of observation and then he expands upon it a bit. He always makes good points and they're pretty interesting to listen to. He always ends them with, "I'm Bob Casady and these are my perceptions." Then, he throws Schweitzer UMC in there somwhere but I forget exactly how he words it.

Anyway, I missed the meat of the radio spot, but I did catch the summing up of it at the end. He said, "It's okay to own things as long as you don't let them own you." It's hard to argue with that, and I'm not going to. After all, I agree with the statement. But, then again, doesn't everybody? It's one of those statements that sounds deep and meaningful, but is really just a safe statement that no one will challenge. Don't worry, Bob, I'm not attacking your perceptions. I didn't even hear all of it. I'm simply doing what I believe you would want me to do. Explore the concept.

So, let us explore. Here is my question: At what point do you belong to your belongings? When does what you own take ownership of you? I have two contrasting thoughts on this subject and let me share them both with you. The first requires me to travel back in time a bit to 1999. I had a CD collection at this time that I had been building since 1994. If I liked a band, I bought all of their albums. I'd even look for bootlegs or live recordings because I couldn't get enough. I even caught myself on many occasions buying an album that I didn't really like just so I could complete a band's discography. Every time I bought a new album (two or three times a week) I would rearrange my cd case because I had them in a very specific order. This was not your average run-of-the-mill cd case, either. I special ordered this case. It held 250 cds including their artwork. It was thick and it was heavy and it was popular. People loved to flip through it. It was like going to the record store without having to go anywhere. It was cool. Now let me admit what was going on behind the scenes to enable the making and maintaining of this case. I was addicted. It was a little shrine that I had built. It was no longer about having a variety of music to listen to, it was about having the best collection. It was about watching people's reactions when they looked through them. Now, I have a hard time even remembering what it was about. But, it wasn't good or healthy, I can tell you that. In the end, I had just over 300 albums and and I had probably spent an average of $7 or $8 on each of them. I had the specialty case, two other smaller leather cases, horizontal racks for the cases, two vertical shelves full of cases, etc. I had blown a lot of money on this, but it's not just about the money. I would get angry if someone put the CDs back in the case in the "wrong slots". I would go through and spin them all around until they were all horizontally shown in the window. I wasn't just addicted. I had a localized obsessive-compulsive disorder. In 1999, I had grown apart from my old friends. Most of them moved away. I got saved. I made new friends. I had a new lifestyle. I didn't listen to the CD's anymore, but I still felt the same way about them. I realized at that time the problem that they had become and I felt a need to be rid of them. So, I started selling them for next to nothing and I did sell a few, but they weren't going away fast enough so I burned them. I went camping, built a bonfire, and burned them. It was liberating. Take note that it wasn't just the music itself that was wrong but it was what it represented for me. Since, I have reacquired a few of the albums but they don't hold the same power. They're just a few scratched up CDs that get very little attention or play time.

This radio broadcast also brought to mind one of the conversations that Edward Norton's character had with Brad Pitt's character in the movie Fight Club. Norton's apartment had just exploded due to a gas leak and he had lost everything that he had in the fire that followed the explosion. Pitt explains how Norton didn't need this stuff anyway and that he was the better off because of it. He goes on to say, "Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy (stuff) we don't need." This line of thinking is so very true. I have to work where I work so that I can pay for all the amenities that my family enjoys. I work more than I do any other thing. I only sleep about 40 to 45 hours a week. I work at SRC for that long and that's not counting all the work that I do around the house. So, if all this work is to pay for these things, do they really own me?

These two examples of being owned by things are very different, but have lots of similarities. The CDs brought on ownership through obvious addiction. The Fight Club theory brought on ownership in much the same way, however it is socially acceptable here in the US to have all these things and have to work hard to pay for them. Actually, it's not just acceptable, it's encouraged. Why should it be embarrassing to drive a car that has a bad paint job and dents everywhere? Does the car get from A to B? Why then must the trip from A to B be "in style"? Yet, all across the country, every day people trade in their perfectly good running cars for the newer, more expensive models. And people don’t think that they, too, are addicted?

So, then, where do we draw the line? I’ll tell you where. And I’ll use another movie to do it. Robert DeNiro’s character in Heat said to Val Kilmer’s character, “Allow nothing in your life that you can’t walk out on in 30 seconds flat, if you spot the heat around the corner.” He was talking about living a life of crime that is potentially running from the police if they ever show. But, what I mean by using this quote is simply this: One day, we'll all walk away from what we have worked our entire lives to collect. Only those things that have no physical weight can we carry with us when we go. So, if your physical possessions are getting in the way of you having more spiritual possessions then you need to clean house.

What do you think?

Ancient Games

Two years ago, I wrote a blog about the game Scorched Earth. It was a game that I played in computer class in high school. It had occurred to me two years ago during a conversation about old games that I might be able to find that particular game somewhere on the internet. I didn't remember the name of the game, but after typing a description in the Google search box I did find the game. The game was available for free download as it turns out that the game is freeware. Anyway, I downloaded my game, played it, wrote a blog about it, quickly became bored with it, and filed it away in a folder deep within my windows folder archives.

That brings us to today. Or yesterday, actually, when I had a magical notion. It's sort of like a magical potion except that a magical notion is better because it comes first alphabetically. It dawned on me that there was a lot of games on that particular website, not just Scorched Earth. So, last night I ran the same search and WALAH! (is that how you spell that ridiculous sound?) There were plenty of ancient computer games just waiting for me to try,

You should definitely check out the site and try some free games. Because these games are DOS based games, you can even load them on to your flash drive and play them right off of it. I let Jacob play them and he loves them. It just shows that kids don't need fancy graphics to enjoy a game. And the ones I got are violence-free, unlike pretty much everything on the market these days.

For a link to the website click here. My favorite game so far is Rally Sport. I made it into a self-extracting file and uploaded it to my folder. You can download this file from there by clicking here. It's a really cool racing game that is reminiscent of RC Pro Am on the original Nintendo Entertainment System, but it's way better. The graphics are sort of lame, but the gameplay is surprisingly fluid. Definitely worth the download! It's only half a megabyte for the whole thing, so don't think there is a problem if it is done downloading after two seconds. After you let it self extract to a folder somewhere, double click the file that is named "Rally" and it will open the game. It doesn't tell you the controls so I'll list them below. Happy gaming!

A = Accelerate
Z = Brake / Reverse
< = Steer Left
> = Steer Right
Esc = Return to Menu / Exit Game if already at menu

Peppermint Shortage

This week was the first week in which I decided to ride my bike to work. I couldn't ride Monday because it rained all day and today has promised to have the same watery problem. I was, however, able to ride Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. The benefits of these rides are already beginning to show and I'm excited about that. Where previously there was somewhat of a tan line separating my gleaming white ankles and feet from my just off-white legs, there is now no visible difference and I'm proud to say that I have graduated to "signs of life" pigment from the knees down. I don't know if I've lost any weight or gained any muscle definition because I don't keep track of those things, but I'm hopeful that I'll also eventually notice some improvement in those categories as well.

I hope that I don't sound like a health nut or worse: a fat guy. But, I apparently like to talk about myself, so just deal with it. This should come as no surprise to you anyway if you've ever read any of my blogs before. I'm really off the intended subject, though. Which, I've yet to even touch on. I told you the biking thing just to explain that I stopped at PriceCutter on the way home from work yesterday to pick up some dishwashing detergent. We tried some "eco-friendly", good for the environment dishwashing detergent and it's terrible. It leaves a milky-white powdery substance on everything. I hope that it is equally as good for humans to consume than it is for the environment, because I failed to get it all off a glass and used the glass anyway. I'll probably turn into the swamp thing or something. Or do you have to live near a swamp for that to happen? Maybe just the Thing, then.

Anyway, again off-subject, while standing in line with my Electrosol liquid (which is awesome, by the way, but probably kills flowers in the swamp that it winds up in) I noticed that Peppermint flavored Eclipse brand gum was more expensive than its other flavors. I wondered how this came to be. I even asked the checkout girl if it could possibly be a mistake. She took the time to scan it and one of the other flavors to do a price check, but indeed the computer showed the same price difference. I might have discussed the matter with her further if I had not connected eyes with some customers behind me who were apparently very busy and important people who did not have the time to bear witness to a 15-second price check experiment. I took my Electrosol and my 10 cent cheaper spearmint flavored Eclipse brand gum and pedalled home.

I did a simple Google search on Peppermint to see what I would come up with and I did have some interesting findings. Okay, they're not very interesting, but I have to at least say things like that to keep you people reading. I found two sites that claim there are nationwide peppermint shortages. One site briefly mentions China's shortage of the product while the other is a gossip site for all things Starbucks and it makes mention of a shortage of Peppermint in their stores as well as their lack of ability to get it from their supplier. These two little known facts don't prove anything, I admit. But I needed something that sounds like proof. A wise man once said, "As long as you make a case, weak as it may be, you are bound to convince somebody." Okay, I just made that up, but someone wise could've said it. It's possible, and you can't argue with that.

So, whether the possibility of a Peppermint shortage concerns you or not, I think that I'll be growing my own Peppermint and selling it in dime bags. For every bag I sell, I can afford to buy one more pack of Peppermint flavored Eclipse gum and sneer at the other cheaper flavors that poor people are forced to buy.

Hot Rod Golf

What do you get when you mix golf with a car show? You get a ridiculous looking golf cart as shown here. This sums up what we did this past weekend. Jodi got me a set of golf clubs for my birthday this year. I really like them and it's nice to finally have a set that is my size. The few times that I've gone golfing, I've either borrowed clubs from the guy I went with or I've used the set I bought a few years ago for $3 at a garage sale. They're good clubs if you're 5'3", so they should work just fine for Jodi. We got a babysitter Saturday and headed for the greens. We played the par 3 course by Payne Stewart and had a blast. We didn't keep score, but I was proud to say that I did get a couple bogeys and almost got a par. That's pretty good for me. It was also fun being out there amongst some real golfers. Some guys were out there in their golf shoes and their fancy bags, while Jodi and I both sported our bare feet.

Sunday, we took Jodi's parents to the Hot Rod Magazine Power Tour. My mom gave us an invitation that also got all of us some free BBQ. The show was huge. There was no way to get around and see everything. Just when you thought you had seen it all some left and more came rolling in. It was a revolving door of muscle cars and antique beauties. My favorite was a 1960 Ford F100. It's the first 57 through 60 model I've ever seen at a car show. I wound up talking to the guy for quite a while. He and his son swapped the frame out for a 1974 Ford truck frame. I told him my plans for my frame swap and he said that it was a good idea. He told me all the things he ran into along the way, but had said that it wasn't as difficult as they had thought it would be. I'll do a few things differently than what they did, but I love the turn out. Mine will stay a little more original. For example, I'll leave the gas cap on the cab even though it won't connect to a tank anymore. I'll also keep my big mirrors. They were original and while they prove bulky and less stylish these days, I like them.

Another cool thing I saw was a hardtop convertible. Jodi's dad had told me about them, but it wasn't until yesterday that I finally saw one. Ford only made them for 2 years and they didn't last, but what a collector's item. Because of their hinges getting bent and rusting up, the usage of the convertible option was rarely used and the cars themselves got scrapped when they wore out. So, they are a very rare breed. It's a complete waste of space, but it makes for a great car show spectacle.

Intelligent Design

I want to expand on a previous blog entry that I wrote back in March. The subject is about the theory of Intelligent Design. I had a revelation of evidence to support this theory when I was 18 years old. Just so you know a little bit about me then, I was not yet saved, but I had been raised in church. Because of this solid foundation, deep down I believed in the existence of God. However, I had never come to see the power of God or His reality. From what I knew of God, He was a powerless god that once did powerful things, but only did them then and not now. Now, He merely was a spectator watching our lives unfold and a sorter of the good and the bad when we kicked the bucket.

This revelation came to me one night about two o'clock in the morning. I had just been brought home from the hospital by my roommate. Earlier that evening, I had lost control of my car while delivering a pizza and was broadsided by a Ford Bronco that couldn't avoid me as I slid sideways into his lane. It was quite an ordeal and for the second time on that mile stretch of highway in Ozark, Missouri I couldn't remember the ambulance ride into Springfield. I briefly told this story without much detail last year in a previous blog titled Head Injury.

What I didn't write about at the time was what happened on the way home from the hospital. When the nurses finally unstrapped me from the wooden stretcher that I was hog-tied to, glass went everywhere. I had been covered in broken glass in my car and much of it hitched a ride with me to the hospital. I brushed it all off and didn't give it any thought until the car ride home. I had something in my eye and was rubbing it trying to get it out, when it occurred to me that it might be glass and I therefore shouldn't be rubbing it. I quit immediately and resisted the urge to touch my eye the remainder of the trip despite an overwhelming desire to attempt its removal. When I got home, I went straight to the bathroom and pinched my lower eyelid and pulled down and away from my eye. I could see something in there but couldn't get my other fingers on it. I looked around the bathroom and found the perfect tool. A nail. As I pulled down my eyelid, I used the nail to slide the object towards the corner of my eye. It worked perfectly. I retrieved the object and found immediate comfort for my eye. I found that the object wasn't an object at all. It was merely a collection of sleep (people call this stuff a variety of names including eye goo and eye boogers, but I call it sleep and confirmed my proper use of the word). However, upon closer inspection, as I rolled it between my fingers, the sleep peeled away and revealed a 1/4 inch long sliver of glass.

Here comes my revelation. I was amazed at how complex the human body is and how it even had a defense mechanism in place for glass getting in the eye. It would've been very easy for that sliver to cut right into my eyeball, but instead my body surrounded it with a protective coating to thwart the chance of that happening. I realized that the human body is so amazingly complex, leaps and bounds beyond any other species, that there is just no possible way that we were an accident of nature. Our creation had to have been given great thought beyond our comprehension. Our very existence is evidence of a higher intelligence.

Let's take that a step further and look at our planet. Scientists even agree that the probability of Earth forming so perfectly placed in our solar system to contain life is beyond calculation. There are no other known planets that can sustain life. Science has found what appears to be evidence of water having existed on one of Jupiter's moons, but that's as close as it gets. And that even remains debatable, after all, where did the water go? Could the moon have lost its atmosphere? How?

I have a hard time making since of any theory that makes life out to be accidental. I'm not accidental. You're not accidental. We were made with purpose. Let the numbers speak for themselves. God was and is a mathematician. His design is meticulously put together and science reveals this all the time, but largely fails to credit Him with it.

Furthermore, upon searching "Intelligent Design" on for an appropriate picture to go along with this blog, I was surprised to see that 100% of the results were very hateful slandering at Intelligent Design. I searched further and found tons of articles, blogs, and rantings spewing a blind hatred for the Intelligent Design theory. It's not hard to see the obvious cause for this blind hatred. People get offended. But, it's more than that. They display a need to convince others of their beliefs or lack there of. They crave it like blood thirsty maniacs who have no class, no decency, and no manners. They refuse to debate without the use of slander, name-calling, and making absolute statements based off of common belief or common understanding of evolution without any actual evidence. Do the research. I've seen hard evidence of the existence of God and the historical evidence that supports the events found written in the Bible. But, I really need to look no further than my own bathroom mirror to see the evidence of intelligent design. The existence of every living thing is a miracle in itself.

Game Winner! And her chosen topic.

We had a winner, yesterday! Congratulations to Jodi Felton for being the first and only person to comment on yesterday's Celeb Guessing Game and get all the celebrities' names correct. After a little confusion about how the game works she managed to pull herself together and take home the gold. And as the rules clearly state, she gets to pick the topic for my next blog and since I'm blogging right now I guess I should get on the subject she chose, "Why I Love My Wife".

In no particular order:

Because we share similar goals - I want to fix up our house. So does she. I like to entertain people. so does she. I wanted a family. So did she. (past tense on that is only because we have one now where before we were married we didn't, not because we no longer want a family). Etc.

Because we share similar interests - I like old style architecture and antiques. So does she. I like music. So does she. I like getting really cool photos. So does she. I like to relax by watching movies. So does she. Etc.

Because we share similar senses of humor - Our sense of humor, or sixth sense, if you will, is the most important of all the senses. What good is it to see life and find it dull? What good is it to hear life, but miss the amusement of it? Some people have a sense of humor that is too under-developed in order to keep up with a group and have fun. Jodi and I laugh a lot when we're together and I imagine that we'll live to be a hundred because of it.

The truth is that a reason for love can not be explained in words. All these things I've mentioned aren't why I love her. They're things that I like about her and they definitely have helped us to become the good friends that we are, but they aren't reasons for love. I'd love her if she didn't share my interests. I'd love her if we had different goals.

I could list some really romantic things. I love the way she walks and talks in the morning when she first wakes up: like a five-year-old that just got disappointed by some bad news. Or, how when she laughs really hard she accidentally snorts just a bit. But, these aren't reasons to love her either. I'd love her if she didn't do these things. The fact that I love these things is the result of me loving her, not the cause.

So, Jodi, I hope you enjoyed your chosen blog topic. The reasons I love my wife, are undetermined. They remain a mystery just as Love itself is mysterious. Anything that I could list would simply be debatable whether it is a cause for love or an effect of it.

29 Celeb Guessing Game

Here is a short list of some celebrities who have turned or will turn 29 this year. These celebrities seem young to me and so by grouping myself in with them I feel a little younger myself. You should try this and see what celebrities are your age. It'll make you feel better about your age. Unless, of course, after searching your birth year your list is only 3 or 4 names long and they all starred on Golden Girls. Or worse, On Golden Pond. Come to think of it. Stay away from anything Golden.

Yesterday, I did promise a game. And I never let people down. Phh, ha ha. Yeah right. Well, I won't let you down this time. The first person to guess the names of all these celebrities and do so in a comment on this blog post will receive their name mentioned in an upcoming blog post, will have the honor of choosing my next blog topic, and depending on their proximity to me may even receive a cheesy gift from me even though it's my birthday. Good luck.

30 Goals to Achieve

Tomorrow I turn 29. I haven't given it much thought up to this point and I'm a little ashamed to admit that I'm starting to think quite a bit about now. Although, all it took was a simple Google search to quiet my rising concerns over the issue. I stopped clicking on the Google results after running across five other blogs that shared a common theme. They all were describing the things in which the authors thought that they should have had worked out by this age. Apparently these five people had a set of goals for their lives and they didn't really know that they had them until this 29th birthday came about. So, they spoke of their determination to get these goals achieved in the next year.

I, on the other hand, am rather content where I am in life and what I have accomplished. There is only one goal that I know that I had made in my early twenties that I don't see happening by the time I reach the big 3-Oh. I had wanted to be in a house for five years by that time so that I could have enough equity built up in it to sell it and buy a few acres. I then wanted to use the property value to acquire a construction loan. I would then build a house on a one acre plot of this property and live in it for a minimum of two years. This way, when I sold it, in my thirties, I would avoid Capital Gains tax and be able to build another house on another one of the acres and repeat this process a couple or three times. It's a great way to make good money as long as you leave yourself with enough capital to pay for two mortgages until the house sells.

Well, I didn't get approved for a home loan for many years because of a poor credit history. Jodi and I had to work at it to get our credit good enough for approval. Because of this stumbling block on our path, my plan had to change. But, I'm happy to announce that the plan is no less profitable. I thought that I'd have to live in a house for 5 years before I got enough equity to do anything like this, but that's not true. Jodi and I have proven our shared love for home remodeling and have managed to stay dedicated to it in every way including financially. It's so easy to get that tax refund and go out and buy some new toy. But, we've started new projects every time we got a large sum of money and even some times when we didn't. The result is an ever-improving house that scarcely resembles the one in which we bought about 16 months ago.

I'm thinking now that the appraised value of our house will be much higher than what we had originally estimated. And because we're doing all these home improvements with available cash rather than taking out a loan or racking up a credit card debt, we stand to come out much prettier. This all means more equity which can be used to acquire another house to do it again or some land to do the previous plan or whatever we decide.

Every other goal for 30 is already achieved, so I can concentrate on and enjoy my life rather than feel the pressure of a set of goals left unfulfilled. Stay tuned tomorrow for my actual birthday as there will be a fun little game for you all to play. The winner will receive an honorable mention in an upcoming blog as well as a possible cheesy gift that has yet to be determined. Even though it's my birthday.

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