Monday, October 22, 2012

Advice from Dad

When I was a kid there was a show on tv where you could win a million dollars.  Wow... A million dollars! What a dream.  My Dad used to say that you had to have income from a variety of sources and not to spend your principle.  "You must have several streams of income,"  he taught me.  Once you have invested, keep your investment and use only the interest.   Get a good education to get you started.

Dad went into the Navy and swerved his time spending most of his adult life in the Navy Reserves.He earned a degree in engineering at Illinois Tech and later went on and received his Masters in Business at Northwestern University.  He worked as a Management Consultant and had his own firm. Dad had some small side investments.  My Mom brought her own investments to the marriage and so they had income from stocks.  They were very conservative spending money. Our clothes came from Sears, our house never finished, few vacations, and always had an old car.

But my Dad being a typical chauvinist of the times, really just wanted me to marry a man with money or that had the ability to make money.  So the advice was not really direct... But nonetheless, I did get the message.  That never happened.  Sometimes I dream about a "prince charming" but I don't see it happening.

I remembered this when I started my company.  If I relied on one source of income then if something went awry or I was unable to work then I would suffer a great loss.  So I divided my company into three basic divisions with each having an income stream.  One source is the strongest so I regularly work on how I can increase each one over time.  

On the personal front, I have several sources and potential ones that can create income. My company provides me with a paycheck.  I have a small rental house and some small investments.  But, though they don't actually create income, I have other potential sources.  I am a volunteer guide for walking architecture tours in Seattle(which has the possibility with some friends to become income producing),  I earned my Coast Guard 50 ton Masters Captains License (so I could get paid to take out people on my boat or be hired for other boats) and I have published my first small book (which doesn't make am any money, but it is just a start!)  I am an artist... which doesn't also make money but contributes to my sanity!  I have too much debt and need to make some long term choices and pay off taxes.  But, I know that I have a great year ahead.

My other interests bring other people into my life.. and often they become clients for my real estate school or refer others! 

I worry about money and my future all the time.  I have always been totally responsible for my kids and supporting myself.   I wonder what the future brings.. but I will do my best to be as conservative as I can be to take care of myself. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Altered Books... Photo Albums

I have been having a great time making little photo albums by altering children's board books.  They are little treasures.  I made one all about my paternal grandmother, Anna.  One is just of photos of flowers.  Once is the lighthouse book I made for Riley.  I love the colors of the Chihuly exhibits. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fall Palette of Color

Driving over Snoqualmie Pass heading toward Spokane I was in awe at the colors of the leaves!  The show this year was better than I remember for a long time because we have had such dry clear weather.  I love the colors that grace the sides of the mountains, tucking out from the floor of the forest, and on the trees and scrub that line the highway! It's almost like the hills and trees are singing!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Did I Become the Family Historian!?!

I never really thought of myself as the one holding the key to our family history... but it appears that way!  If I knew years ago that I would hold in my possession photos from the Grandparents on both sides, photos, slides and videos from Mom and Dad, and memorabilia from birth records and Navy orders, I would have asked more questions when I was young.  All I have are the photos and notes in the boxes.  Oh, If I could call and get answers, how much easier researching family history would be.  But, like a puzzle .. much of it does come together over time. !

It was so exciting when a box arrived from my first cousin, Casey Colnon Mackie, with photos from my great Uncle and Aunt who I was named after.  Aunt Natalie was beautiful.  I have her wedding photo and a letter she wrote her mom about her wedding.  But, there is more to piece together.  I have to try to identify the people in many of the photos and the approximate dates of photos.  Then I will eventually scan the photos to preserve them.

Though I am not much of a story teller, I do have a talent for scrapbooking, matching photos, learning about the history of the family and sharing the information with my relatives.  I love taking copies of the photos and making some cute artistic photo books, making wood cubes with old photos glued on all sides and varnished, and making online albums.  I hope that I can leave my family with information about their history!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Walking to See Art in Pioneer Square

It's First Thursday so soon... and a perfect way to spend the evening is walking around to Galleries.  Jane and Karen make sure it is on the calendar every month and plan the strategy in advance.  I follow along and just enjoy the art that can range in value from over $10,000 to $10.00.  Sometimes the most affordable is the art I enjoy and understand the most.  This week we were with Kay and Michelle also!