So I’ve been on this “new” computer for a couple of months

it’s got the latest outlook on it, and I believe the latest internet explorer as well. We think that the internet explorer might be the problem. We also have a complete up to date Mcafee on it. And one of the newer windows programs—I forget which one, my old computer had vista on it, and this one is newer than that. Before anyone asks, we have ran a complete scan, defragged, and even ran pc mechanic on this computer and these problems still exist.

I have my computer set for no pop-ups, and the firewall set, yet whenever I go to just about any webpage and click to move to the next page. An advertisement whole new browser window pops up. How can I stop this? Also pages I visit regularly have “drop down deals” on them that if I get anywhere near those they drop down and cover the page I’m working on. VERY annoying. Sometimes it’s on the side and the x to close them won’t work. I do not have this problem on my old computer, but it’s not running all the new stuff. Ex: when I am on working on my blogs. I move from one page to another while working on uploading blogs it will not only open (sometimes) the page I want, but a Toyota car dealership webpage. Or if I am at looking up a cricut cartridge that stupid drop down deals screws everything up. If I manage to get the extra windows to close they will sometimes re-open saying that it was closed unexpectedly.

2. I believe that the cause of the next problem is due to the first one. Facebook and other pages often don’t load due to a long running script. I click on the stop the script and it locks up my whole computer.

3. When on certain webpages I cannot highlight and copy things that I’ve previously copied, or as in my blogspot pages when I need to add a hyperlink I cannot highlight the section I want to hyperlink without first reloading the page, then it will work.

4. Again on blogspot I cannot directly copy from word (where I compose my post) and then open the correct page at blogspot and paste it immediately. I first have to put in the title, save it, then reload the page, then it will paste.

5. I correctly close down all my internet and computer windows before shutting down my computer each afternoon. But when I boot up the next day the same 4 windows, that I visited weeks ago in internet explorer all open up at once which bogs down the entire start up process. How do I stop this?

6. I have signature lines set up for my accounts, but they only show up periodically with no rhyme or reason when I’m sending emails.

Has anyone else had these problems and if so how have you fixed them. Jan who is getting pretty peeved at it.

Does he qualify for the Federal displaced workers act?

I know CA is different, but my bil went to the tech on small engine repair (to learn to repair the machines at the casino he now works for) on that and here in OK and he got a pittance living wage and food stamps and commodities (he’s Creek Indian) while he was in school and working a minimum wage job.
Shows you how states vary. When both dh and ds were unemployed for so long we did not qualify for food stamps due to their unemployment. We could have one or the other but not both. We chose to do the unemployment because at least with that I could mystery shop and make additional money while we were not ALLOWED to do that for food stamps. Keeping the 4 walls was more important to us, and luckily I had some food storage and the Produce Fairy.

Since all 3 of those categories happen to apply to us right now

I thought I’d change the subject line (was: fast food wages) and throw my thoughts in there too.

One of the problems in the past we have had since DH was discharged was being able to afford things, primarily medical insurance. Of course, right now, I’d be happy for work which pays our minimum monthlies (4 walls and bills) and try and figure out later about medical. But I digress.

While it may vary slightly from state to state, in California $50,000 is the cut off for every benefit or social program. No Medical, No food stamps, No TANF, No college tuition assistance. Since those are dropped, we would automatically be disqualified from reduced utility rates.

$50,000 would cover our 4 walls & minimums. It would not cover gas to get to and from work, it would not cover medical insurance, it would not cover food. It would not cover the spike in utilities.

Our rent, as an example, is $1900, and that’s cheap. Utilities are currently hovering in the $200 range, they would jump to at least $400 at full rate. Medical insurance would run at least $500 (last time pre-Ocare that I looked) but is more likely now to be closer to $1,000. Plus $500 a month for gas.

So when/if DH goes back to work, if he makes at least $50k, we have to have a plan to bring in an additional $1,700 a month on top just for survival.

That’s just reality. I’m not saying we shouldn’t do it, I’m just saying we better have a plan. Oh yeah, plus all the forestalls from the IRS would go away immediately too.

In MY perfect world, given how Ocare was supposed to be “helping the poor and needy,” if you became gainfully employed again, you would stay on state medical until you were able to financially cover medical yourself, but not longer than a year.

In California, you can go to Junior colleges for FREE if you are (a) a vet (b) a child of a vet (I think there might be a sliding scale), (c) are on any of the social benefit programs, (d) have low enough income, (e) are illegally in the United States under the Dream Act. These are called Board Of Governor’s Waivers. It is how DS18 and DD16 are paying for college this year. DD16 is getting her license to become an interpreter for the Deaf. It’s not a huge savings for the two of them, but it’s $3000 I don’t have this year, for sure.

You can also go to JC part time (6 units or 2 classes) for free if you are (f) an enrolled high school student. DD16 did this for 2 years.

Our JC systems are set up as Vo-Techs in additional to being a gateway to a 4 year university. So at a minimum, a person in any of the 5 pre-mentioned categories you could do a 2 year program to become a licensed cosmetologist, auto mechanic, etc etc, for free, and better your life as a result.

On the other hand, IF DH were to do that, guess what? Our unemployment stops IMMEDIATELY. (This goes to hand up vs. hand out.) So we can be on sitting on our butts for 2 years doing nothing, and be able to pay rent. Or we can look at reality, go to school in the same 2 years to better our opportunities, and GET COMPLETELY CUT OFF from money that WE PAID INTO for 20 years of working.

THAT is how screwed up our government in. IMO, they don’t really want to give people a hand up, they want to create a mentality that ingrains you HAVE to be dependent on the government in order to survive.

When we first applied for EBT (food stamps) DH’s unemployment handed kicked in yet, so we qualified for the maximum, $793. When it kicked in, (a whopping $1800 a month which doesn’t cover our rent), it dropped to about half, $390. We reported the income, but it took 6 weeks for our case “worker” to note it. By that time, according to their math, they had “overpaid” us for 1 month by $390. Our choices were (according to them) even though it was THEIR fault, to (1) pay it back all at once, (2) pay it back in installments, (3) be dropped from EBT. We chose (2).

So now our EBT is $380 a month. I’m grateful for it. But it is completely ridiculous to think that a family of 5 could feed itself, even cooking from scratch, on $380 a month. And that doesn’t include toilet paper, shampoo, stuff like that.

I digress. EBT managed to figure out “we owed them” for THEIR error. Exactly why are they unwilling to do the same for the WalMart fiasco? To answer Eldred’s question, every time I buy something on EBT, it prints out at the bottom how much I have left, like a gift card does. I’m sure people bought their normal amount of stuff, saw the balance didn’t go down, and then went back in for more.

Still, EBT DOES have a way to get that $ back. It and Walmart may choose not to, but that’s a different decision than not being able to.

Yup, got all those covered

and know it will be a process but the local office is encouraging me to go ahead and I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

It’s nice to know that I’m on the right track when I read your comments Kathryn – I research and keep digging until I have a plan A, B, C,D, E and F… maybe even G and H – plan for the absolute worst and hope for the best – and find the silver lining in every situation.

Just have to figure out how I can fit my mini cow in the mix – that would make parasite management a LOT better.

March 4, 2016 | Category: covered

My first gut reaction to anything with a USDA stamp on it is..

“there’s gonna be LOTS of hoops to jump through, and it’ll be awhile in the process…….” First things first. It’s not enough for most farm loans, to merely be earning a profit at the moment. Every ag lending program I’ve ever seen, whether through USDA or through commercial lenders, requires that you show your business records for typically the last five years. They want to know that not only are you managing things well now, but you have a long track record of managing the farm profitably through all the regular ups and downs of whatever market you’re selling for. And when I say records, I’m talking about typical business accounting reports like Profit & Loss, Cash Flow, taxes, sales records, cost of doing business, etc. So if you don’t have those records, and/or if you don’t have rock solid performance, that right there may disqualify you.
Having said that, perhaps a more careful and prudent approach would be to find a local or regional ag lender, and go in and talk to them about what you would qualify for IF you decided to refinance. Most lenders are happy to sit down with someone (whether residential, commercial or in this case agricultural) and go over your actual numbers to see what you could do today. Ask them about that particular program too, and see if they have any experience with it or with other USDA lending programs. That would give you some really valuable information not only about whether you qualify, but also what are the hoops going to be. Also find out how long it takes between actually making the application, getting an answer, and then getting the money. Those loans are rarely fast. Think in terms of months. Particularly since the USDA offices are coming off the furloughs, they’re going to be seriously backed up with paperwork that needed to go out three weeks ago. I’d let this sit for at least two weeks and let them start to get caught up, before going in for that appt.
Most importantly: if you don’t qualify now (and don’t be surprised if that’s the situation) ask what you’d need to do now, to qualify down the road. This also applies not only to your situation, but to ANYONE wanting to refinance ANY type of loan. Lenders have had a hard time keeping up with all the new financing changes given how flaky the economy has been the last five years or so, and that’s their day in day out jobs. Very difficult for borrowers to keep up with those changes. So even if you would have qualified a few years ago, the rules are all different now. Given that, it’s very, very common for a borrower, or potential borrower, to want to find out what they qualify for. You’d make the lender’s day if you walked in without your heart set on X, but rather wanted to see where you stood and how you can strengthen your application. Or, if you already do qualify, then you’ll KNOW instead of wondering. We’re preparing to do exactly the same thing so that we can learn what to do now, to be able to qualify for buying the farm where we rent land. We don’t want that moment to come one year, two years or five years from now, and go in with fingers crossed, and find out we don’t qualify. Better to find out now, and kill those obstacles now, then present a really solid application later.

February 27, 2016 | Category: reaction

I’m thinking longer term

made my peace that it probably isn’t going to happen within the next 5 years unless I win the Lottery (and you gotta play to win!) and I’m tired of living for tomorrow – time to make the best of what I have and enjoy it.

No limit or minimum on the size.

This program is in place if you have less than stellar credit which is why I’m thinking of it.

Working on both those – pups are paying for themselves and the rest of the dogs so that is covered.

Sheep will break even even if I have to sell all lambs (calculated using 1 per ewe and 10 out of 16 ewes) for meat. Most of my girls throw twins and trips and if sold for breeding stock, even if only 10% I’ll show a healthy profit.

Poultry – as much as I’d like to have chickens again, I’ve come to the conclusion that guineas can do the same pest control job I need and cost significantly less to feed, and honestly, I LIKE roast guinea fowl!

Mike says refinancing is only good when

you will be holding on to the place longer than it would take you to recover the cost of the refinance. He generally says 5 years or longer. I know you have been talking about moving lock stock and barrel north, WAAAY north, and if you are still considering that then a re-fi may not be a good option due to the costs.
Also, I forget how many acres you have, but those loans sometimes are based on the size of your place, also with where you are located are you in danger of being pulled into the city limits or fence line? If so that may rule you out.
With what your ex has pulled this last couple of years would you even qualify? Because even though you are divorced the bills he took will still show up on your credit report.
Kathryn knows a heck of a lot more about farm financing than I do, so you two may need to do some serious chatting about the pros and cons of the option.
Please remember though if there is anything you cannot bank on it is livestock production. It’s either really good, or really bad—we’ve both been there—sometimes together.
Have you ran a cost analysis on your sheep yet? How about the puppy sales? I know we discussed the pros and cons of poultry production the other day.

Yeah, I knew it was to pay off your mortgage

But it doesn’t sound like a standard mortgage that you’d get from a simple re-finance. That’s what gives me ‘pause’… Is there any stipulation from the USDA on WHAT the loan needs to be used for?

Is there any merit in what I’m thinking?

Ya know… if the planets align just right and I can make decent sales next year, my sheep could pay off my mortgage which would be make me giddy with delight since I have 10 years left.

I was mulling over something so wanted to ask the collective wisdom of the group:

The USDA has a loan program for farmers at a really low % like 1.5 or it may be capped at 3% – regardless, if I refinance using that program, and keep it at 10 years, I could use the extra 2% to pay down my loan faster (currently close to $60,000 or thereabouts) – anything my sheep provide over and above breaking even I could throw in as well after establishing an emergency fund.

December 12, 2015 | Category: thinking

I am proud that my kids are getting the message

They may only be 6 and 7, but they understand the importance of saving for things. Even my son, who has very severe ADHD, understands that he needs to save money if he wants something. We just started an allowance system that is a base amount (5 dollars) with chance to earn more for doing extra chores. Each week, they put one dollar into their long term savings piggy bank. The rest they can choose what to do with. They are also deciding to sell some of their toys that they don’t want anymore. My daughter wants an American Girl doll and she is saving for it. She already has 92 dollars saved. My son is saving for something electronic, like an i touch. They are choosing not to use their money for those impulse buys and I am so proud of them.

They say that the best thing a mom can do in life is to teach her children well. That is my goal for my kids and I think that they are getting the message with money. I really hope that they can avoid making my mistakes and we are on the right track. I am a very happy mom today.

September 27, 2015 | Category: message

I just came back from the local bait & tackle shop

They are out of Red Worms (used for composting) and they are not going to be getting any more. That would be because the supplier has decided to STOP SELLING them to the shops.

AND, everyone in the county buys from the same wholesaler.

So I think I am going to have to make a small investment in about 200 worms, and a larger container and start growing worms, worm compost and compost tea. I will have a ready market (albeit wholesale) with the bait & tackle guys, plus all the gardening people.

July 27, 2015 | Category: shops