So I’m currently debating the merit of having wheels this week

whlie my truck is in the shop, versus the cost and hassle involved in getting them. I’d be $400+ out of pocket expense to rent this thing, and I’m not even sure I really want the wheels at this point. If you see a big mushroom cloud to the northwest, that’ll be me finally boiling over. Maybe I should just saddle the damn horse and go run errands the old fashioned way.
So, my truck is in the shop and the shop doesn’t have its normally-available loaner car. So innocent little me, I called the local rental car place to see about renting a vehicle.

I’ve come to realize that you are a tough chick

but I had NO idea you were planning on doing this cross country move, complete with your huge brood and the animals by your self! I’d thought you were doing this move after your husband came home from overseas. Wow. You are impressive. I’m so very proud of you. You must have wanted this move alot more than I’d realized. So tell me, do you have a landlord? If so, please tell me someone had already checked this person out for you. You seem to have the knack of attracting the landlords from hell for whatever reason.

So, what is the long term plan, and what do you have to work with so far (meaning, housing, land, etc.)? What made you decide to choose the particular location you did? Do you have any family in the area?
As for your husband. I’m terribly sorry things have gotten to the point it has for him. Isn’t he in Afghanastan? I would think if he feels the need he to come home now, he knows what’s best. We have a lot of prayer warriors here, and you know, all you need to do is ask for prayers for his safety and for wisdom in make the decision for when he needs to get back home (which sounds like now from what you’ve written).

How in the world do you hook up with every whacked out landlord out there?

Heck your landlord adventures from hell could be a series in itself. Lol Believe me, you are a reality series in the making. Sort of Lucille Ball, the Duggers and the Pioneer Woman all wrapped into one.
Glad dh is finding work and I think you have a wonderful plan. My son is doing his college interning right now out at a ski resort in Tahoe. He’s in ski industry management. He wants to get his EMT certification next. His goal is to be one of those people on ski patrol who does avalanche control. He wants to live on which ever side of the equator has snow at any given time. I hadn’t realized he’d need EMT training for this job, but it makes sense, plus I would think it would be invaluable experience to have. It sounds as if you’re finding a great niche job for yourself

It’s cool that you’re buying land At least you’ll finally be putting down roots. You have to keep us posted on those adventures, because, knowing you, it WILL be an adventure!

Yes I am crazy!

James is home now. We are both surprised to find that his schedule is immediately full. The hourly rate is not great, actually it sucks. But hey it’s work, right?
I am certain that things will slow down for him at some point so I have decided to get some training for myself so that we won’t starve while we figure out this new life. Since our area is so rural (5,000 people in 7,000 square miles) there is a great need for emergency personal. There is a volunteer fire department and a volunteer EMS. I have decided to begin EMT training for several reasons:
1. It will help my new local community
2. It is dirt cheap. The instructor is also a volunteer, so the only fee that I pay is the 300.00 to the State for the exam and license at the end of training. I looked into similar training in Atlanta and the starting rate was 2K!
3. I can take this license that I get for such a great price and use it to work (for an actual salary) in another county, evenings or weekends or whenever I am not home schooling our “little” bunch.
So now that all seems great on the job front….
Our landlord has decided that he really doesn’t want to be a landlord after all. (This was his 1st try). And so he wants his cabin back… See now I am a total freaking expert at Georgia landlord / tennant law; looks like I get to study up in a new state!
I honestly don’t know how I always manage to find these bozos. I really don’t. Maybe this was the just the push we needed to commit and buy a couple of acres. Land is cheap here and we can put a trailer on it for now. At least I will be Bozo free that way!!!
As far a show of our own….. I think every possible reality show has been done to death. We would need a really big “hook” like Honey Boo-boo, and I don’t think I will *ever* need money THAT bad. Let’s hope, okay?


Prayers are already coming your way from me to your family. I’ll add the job opportunityies for your husband to the prayer list as well, but I’m guessing his skills are not going to be in huge demand with the crowd you’ve decided to relocate with. Your husband must love you dearly. I know I have a huge admiration for you, but you are a nut. I love it! You’ve taken the leap. I can’t wait to hear more of your adventures. Maybe you need to start a blog, and dictate your daily doings. You’re homeschooling and becoming a newbie homesteader. You have tremendous religious values. Your husband has been working overseas.There’s got to be a lot of interest in all of those areas. I know nothing about blogging nor how to generate an income from this, but I bet Jan could help you in that direction. Perhaps this could help to generate some income for you as well. Why not?

Whatcha making for the day of Giving Thanks?

I’m leaning toward turkey breasts or a whole boneless turkey roast. We’re only having 11 people total (10 of whom are eating…baby Donovan doesn’t count).

We’re having scalloped pineapple, salad, turkey/gravy, relish tray and two desserts (Sweet Potato Sonker and Carrot Spice Cake). My mother in law is bringing a dessert, cran-relish, sweet potato casserole, and a bunch of other stuff. She’s doing a fair bit of cooking for me and I appreciate it….

We’re all down with bronchitis right now so I am not feeling the greatest at all! My neck is twice its normal size thanks to my lymph nodes being swollen. Plus, I can’t talk! I lost my voice!

I’m sure others will have a lot of pointers

on this-or-that aspect of your post. But I’d be very happy and motivated to talk with you, on-list or off-list, about the issues of setting up a rural living which will be tolerable for the short-term, and consistent with what you are looking to achieve long-term. The imminent loss of your husband’s job is a huge complication, true. But it’s do-able, and I daresay having him home, safe and sound in once piece, is infinitely preferable to worrying about his day to day safety. So, keep unpacking, let’s start to talk more specifics about your finances and how to go from $6K to $1K without going totally insane. We might flirt with some crazy notions but let’s keep you on this side of that ragged edge. Just breathe deeply, in-out-in-out, every time you start to feel overhwhelmed. And know that other folks have been where you are and have weathered the storm. Get your hubby back to safety, and we can help you figure out the rest.

Hello! Sorry for the late check in

it really took forever to get satellite internet set up. I didn’t realize just how much I do on line to manage our lives. I think I need to adjust that somewhat being as far out as we are now.

Anyway we are still unpacking but really enjoying our new location. It’s cold already which is new to us (Atlanta is called Hotlanta for a reason!) The move itself was a total budget buster. No matter how carefully I planned all these unexpected things kept popping up. In the end I decided that I was damn lucky to have dragged 7 kids and 1 neurotic dog to the other side of the country with out illness or injury and I should just be glad for that!

So here I am in the long desired spot, with a really broken budget BUT also a plan. I had a 3 month plan to get us right back to where we were when we left. But then hubby calls and says he thinks it’s time get out NOW. Our income would plummet from 6K to 1K per month. THAT TOTALLY FREAKS ME OUT. I have no idea how to make that adjustment that fast. We are not ready. The plan was to bring him home once we had a second truck and money for tools and then there was a certain mark we wanted to hit on the snowball too. He works as a carpenter so a truck and tools would be essential for him. But he is the one dodging bullets and bombs (not a hyperbole) and so I can’t tell him to stay. I’m glad we are moved already, but ending his overseas contract right now scares the jeepers outta me. Our local is so remote that jobs for me and the kids are not really an option. The nearest grocery store is 79 miles away. I know that sounds nuts, but the plan was to be here in time for spring planting so that we could be self sufficient by next summer. I was counting on the regular and large paychecks for months and months to come. Ending that suddenly is almost like an emergency. But at the same time, IF IF IF he does stay there it will be ending soon anyway (Halliburton’s gonna have to pull their people soon) and I think it’s better to jump now while there is work here for him, even though it’s only going to net us about 1K per month.

He has a reasonable (not awesome) life insurance policy but why do we want a job where the amount of his life insurance is even a factor?!


Of course I found many conflicting stories, but no straight scoop. One thing I did find, however, is that the CEO that got the 300% pay increase is NOT the one that is now in charge. That was the man in office prior to him a man who is no longer affiliated with Hostess and hasn’t been for a bit. (source Forbes magazine)
I also found out when the current CEO took office he was hired to put Hostess back on his feet and that one of the things he did was declare he and all the top executives would get the salary of $1 (one dollar) for a year in order to bail out the company some. In exchange the unions agreed to the pension cut. The agreement was made and as part of the agreement one year later on January 1 the executives would go back to receiving their normal salary.

The company is billions of dollars in debt, the employees were given the opportunity to take an 8% cut in pay to stay employed, the union bosses lied to them telling them there was a buyer in the wings that would agree to all of their demands—there was no buyer and Hostess told them that prior to Thursday. The union chose not to settle. The lengthy strike had put the company in even further debt than originally listed and the CEO says that even if the union settled now the company could not be saved.

The company that let dh and ds go in 2009 kept a handful of employees after laying off 2/3’s of their staff. Those they kept were given no choice either take a 25% cut in pay or find another job. No negotiation, no would you, just “you will.” Guess what, every single one of them took the pay cut without a grumble. A job is too blessed hard to find in this day and age.
Something to remember here, the union employees are not the only ones that lost their job with this liquidation bankruptcy (their second bankruptcy in less than 10 years). So did the executives. If the company is gone, bankrupt, the executives don’t get paid either. Even if they get a severance pay it will be up to the bankruptcy court as to how much they get, not Hostess, not the executives.

maybe I don’t know what I am talking about

Or maybe I am just paying too much attention to media crap. But I might strike too if I was told that my company wanted me to take a paycut (this after they stopped paying into the employees pension); but the CEO was getting a 300% increase in his salary and 9 other company executives were getting a 60 – 100% salary increase.

I know it’s stupid to leave a job but if this is true it would be very hard for me to stay there, you know?
Just my thoughts.

I think some of you will remember that a few years back

the trucking company I work for was facing a 10% pay cut. We’re a union carrier. It wasn’t long after that we gave 5% more. The union never struck. Non-union office personnel took the pay cuts as well and also had to drop to 35 hours a week for a few months.

2 years later we’re in business and making a great recovery. Many of these guys have no experience other than their truck driving skills. Quite a few carriers over the years have already gone out of business. There’s not a lot of places for these guys to go. Thanks to a clear head and every one giving a little we’ve bounced back and all still have our jobs.

Really sad.

Hostess filed for liquidation this morning as a result of the union strike.

How shortsighted do you have to be, to be one of the 18,500 workers who would rather be out of a job rather than take an 8% paycut.

Get your food storage in. About 30 food products (including breads) will no longer be produced. Sure, most of us can do without a Twinkie. What happens when other bakeries go the same way? They’re all part of the same union.

What idiots.
If my husband was one of the striking workers, he’d be coming home to a lot of grief today.

So, many of you know that we went “off grid”

and disconnected from satellite TV and went over the air antenna with a Roku. We’re a standard def (old school) TV.

About the only thing I wish I had after disconnect was youtube– like you can get on the newer smart or HD tvs. Well, my prayers were answered, and last month I found a list of private channels for Roku, one of which is called videobuzz which creates a portal into youtube.

I found this youtube channel called LDSPrepper. Oh my heck. He’s got like 250 videos uploaded running the gamut from explaining simple to complex gardening, he did this whole live review/show and tell on water filters (6 different kinds), has a series with the Texas Seed Bank owner, did a whole “basic solar energy” video (I actually understand how to use and wire solar panels now…!!)

It has been AMAZING. All of it (so far) has been tilted toward real life, real food, real world applications self reliance stuff vs. dry pack canning kind of stuff (warning: he ends every video with the line “if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear” (it’s an LDS scripture reference.) Not preachy, but when you have watched 25 videos back to back like I’ve done it kind of wears on you..BTW that’s about as Mormon as he gets for those worried by his channel name.

OK, since we’re talking about television options

particularly via broadcast-over-antenna, and life-after-cable, I have a question. We’ve been very happy with our disconnect from cable, but less than pleased with our use of the digital antenna. We just don’t get good reception here, thanks to our geography I think. Being on the other side of a hill sort of limits our options. So now we’re looking into tapping into streaming video over the internet. Kathy, your comments about Roku may have answered some of our questions.

But here’s a very specific question. There’s a series on HBO that we’ve sort of fallen in love with (Game of Thrones, for all you sci-fi/fantasy fans out there), and we just devoured the first season on DVD. The second season’s DVDs aren’t slated to be available until April of 2013, but the third season starts in March. We’ve been trying to figure out how to watch via streaming video. I know that HBO has generally clamped down on such things. We actually looked into buying a membership just to HBO, but geez it’s $18/month which is rather pricey for a single show. And even if we didn’t object to the price, our internet carrier wasn’t listed as one of their options, so we can’t get it anyway.

On having more than one type of tomato plant

she means having slicers, juicers, sauce tomatoes etc. Different tomatoes for different needs. There are also determinate(all ripen at once and they may be one shot wonders, mainly juicers and sauce) and indeterminate(ripening at different times and generally continuously mainly slicers). Some have more Lysine than others, while another one will have more vitamin C. Yellow ones are pretty and tasty, but the deep red ones are better for certain needs, purple and orange ones provide slightly different vitamin contents as well. The ones that are green striped have an entirely different make-up.

That’s sort of a general statement

which could be interpreted in a few ways. First, from the point of view of your diet, it’s best to eat a wide variety of veggie simply because they each provide different nutrients. If we all lived just on tomatoes, we’d get lots of Vit C but not much Vit A and other nutrients. If we all lived on garlic, well we would smell great but we wouldn’t have much Vit C. Etc etc.

Or, she could be talking about rotating veggies through each garden area (either through the beds or through the rows), in subsequent years so that the soil isn’t stripped of one narrow set of nutrients, but rather hosts different plants each following year (and hopefully is replentished with compost and other natural soil amendments in between)
Or she could be talking about different varieties of the same veggie, like Brandywine vs Roma tomatoes, Snow peas vs snap peas, pinto beans vs kidney beans, etc. Growing different varieties of the same veggie can result in a wider range of harvesting times, and sometimes different nutrients (some varieties being selectively bred for richer this-or-that).

I would guess she meant the first interpretation, where a variety of veggies in the diet makes for better nutrient intake overall. But maybe some of the second and third interpretations as well. A diversified farm is generally a healthier place in terms of nutrient cycling, just like a diversified diet is for the individual.

We held our dog, loved it, and petted it while she quietly went to sleep

Our family had no money for any treatment, and though we love our dogs, our children’s health and welfare took priority. We had already done some testing and blood work, and were at the point of exploratory surgery to see what they could find. I had a long talk with the vet, and she agreed with our decision.

We just had to put down our 13.5 year old Standard Poodle

I thought she was just slowing down because of age (poodles can live 15-16 years) well my youngest son (15 ) noticed she had this weird breathing thing going we took her to the vet they did some tests ($207 which I paid on the spot with fast payday loans + bad credit from Detroitharmonie) and they told us she had cancer all over. The vet said we could put her down that night but my son wanted to take her home to say goodbye for a couple of days which we did. Anyway my son was of course very…and said couldn’t we have treated her? Even if we realized a few months before I would not have done it…we LOVE both of our standard poodles but I cannot spend thousands of dollars on them. Also the treatment would have made her very sick

Pets and end of life care (and expense)

I wondered if anyone could provide some insight on how they have dealt with their pets as their pets come to the end of their lives, while continuing your commitment to be debt free. I have 4 cats. 2 are 17 years old. 1 has kidney disease which we’re managing with subcutaneous fluids. That is really all I’m prepared to do. Kidney disease is basically a (very slow) death sentence. My vet hasn’t suggested kidney transplants or dialysis or anything like that, but I’m not prepared to do that, primarily because of the expense. My other senior cat is (at this moment) at the vet. The doctor put him under sedation to check and see if some symptoms I’ve observed are just an injury (in his mouth) or indication of cancer. If it’s cancer (and, of course I hope it’s not) I just don’t know what to do. I am not willing to rack up debt to try to fight cancer in a 17 year old cat.

This may not be an issue today. The news may be fine when the vet calls me. But I feel like these questions are going to arise soon. To be clear, my vet has been very respectful of my finances. But I just wondered how other folks have thought about this. “Back in the day” when your pet came to end of its life, you held them and loved them and let them go (or had them put to sleep). There are so many other expensive options for some conditions . . . I’m just trying to figure this out.


Shares of Nu Skin fell as much as 18 percent on Monday

after the direct seller of personal care products forecast in an earnings report it could incur between $10 million and $14 million in restructuring charges for the fourth quarter. The restructuring move includes cutting jobs at its Provo corporate office and in China, and closing 67 retail stores in the Asian country.
Kara Schneck, Nu Skin’s spokeswoman, could not immediately specify how many of its 1,200 Provo workers would be laid off and which departments will be affected.
It’s also not clear how many of its 4,500 workers companywide, primarily those in China, will be affected by the planned layoffs. These layoffs are aimed at reducing general and administrative expenses and improving profitability, she said.
“We’re still evaluating it. We’re trying to have minimal impact on the corporate office. We’re looking to see how we can make the international market more profitable,” she said.
This round of planned layoffs comes on the heels of a $13 million restructuring effort the company completed in May 2006, a move that resulted in the layoffs of 226 Provo executives and employees.
Shares of Nu Skin closed at $15.06, down 8.02 percent or $1.36 in Monday’s trading session. In after-hours trading, the stock dropped another 10.51 percent or $1.64 to $13.96.
The company, in SEC filings Monday, said it expects to incur between $7.75 million and $10.5 million in employee severance and other compensation charges, and between $2.25 million and $3.5 million in lease termination costs for the fourth quarter. About $2 million of the restructuring costs will be non-cash charges.
To trim overhead in China, the company plans to close 67 of its 115 retail outlets and branch offices in smaller cities, and focus instead on opening five flagship stores in the key provinces of Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. At one point, the company had as many as 160 retail stores in China.
“We believe we can operate more effectively and more efficiently by focusing our business around our larger flagship stores, complemented with small, satellite retail counters or kiosks in key markets,” the company said in its SEC filing.
The Provo company has been operating as a storefront-based retailer in China since 2002 while waiting to be approved as a direct seller. But even after receiving its long-awaited direct selling license in July 2006, Nu Skin still faces a challenging regulatory environment in China. As a result, the company’s executive distributor count in the area is flat in the third quarter from a year ago, while the number of active distributors dropped 7 percent.
“There’s a lot of potential in China because of the large population there. But it’s also a very new market for direct selling,” Schneck said. China is now slowly relaxing a ban on direct selling it had implemented in 1998 to crack down on large-scale pyramid schemes after it discovered that such schemes were flourishing along with legitimate marketers such as Amway Corp. and Avon Products Inc.
Nu Skin, in its third-quarter earnings report released Monday, said revenues in greater China were flat at $51.9 million from a year ago, with sales gains in Taiwan and Hong Kong offsetting a 7 percent drop in revenues from mainland China.
Revenues in Japan, which account for nearly half of the company’s earnings, were also hit by unfavorable foreign currency fluctuations, which impacted revenues by 7 percent on a year-on-year basis.
Truman Hunt, the company’s president and chief executive officer, said new Japanese and Chinese management teams are implementing plans to boost business in those markets.
“At the end of the third quarter in Japan, we began launching aggressive sales initiatives focused on distributor recruitment.
The enhancements to our China operations are scheduled to be fully implemented by the second quarter of 2016,” he said.
The Provo company saw its third quarter net profit edge up to $13.5 million, or 21 cents per share, from $13.2 million, or 19 cents per share, a year ago. Total revenues were up 5 percent to $290.7 million from a year ago.

“In the fourth quarter, we will execute additional operational modifications that we expect to improve our operating margin to 10.5 percent for 2016, significantly increasing our earnings per share,” Hunt said.
For the fourth quarter, Nu Skin predicts revenue of $295 million to $300 million, while analysts expect a profit of $302.4 million, according to a poll by Thomson Financial.
For fiscal 2016, the company expects earnings per share of between $1.15 and $1.22 on revenue of $1.18 billion to $1.2 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expect net income of $1.12 per share on revenue of $1.22 billion.
The company also announced Monday it is investing $100 million to buy back shares on the open market and in private transactions. The $100 million share repurchase adds to the $14 million remaining from the prior repurchase.

Equinox International

Just curious to see if anyone knows any other updates/information that what is posted on the website(last update was February 2007). It’s been over 8 years and I would like to know if any of us are going to get ANY of our money back!

Would love to hear from anyone that was involved with the company. I’ve healed but I would like to have some kind of financial retribution. It would be nice to have some of my savings back.


I realize that

and I posted it in hopes that someone would be able to use something from my experience, however little. And I forgot to mention! I found the posts from the former higher-level pins (4000 PV, 7500 PV, platinum, emerald) extremely helpful in terms of “building credibility” (ha! I still talk like an IBO) with your loved one who no longer wants to listen to you. Yes, it is SO frustrating to have your beloved brother tell you, “You don’t learn how to be wealthy from someone who isn’t wealthy. These Diamonds are wealthy, so I’ll only listen to them.” But if you at least talk about a higher-level pin who left the business because they learned about some shady things, then it would help plant seeds of doubt. Deb’s story was especially helpful, seeing as how her grandfather helped found Amway!

Other tips that may be helpful:
1) Do NOT talk at all about the MLM with your loved one! The worst thing you can do is ask questions because they will get disgusted with you. It sounds ugly, but it’s the truth -I was once an IBO, too. The brainwashing CDs have already negated you by warning the IBO that “your parents just won’t understand”.

2) Pretend the MLM doesn’t even exist. However, every now and then you can casually drop some news about a Diamond or Emerald who resigned.

3) Unconditional love goes a very, very long way. Caution! This does not mean enabling the person, but treating him/her as an independent individual, with all the responsibilities it entails (that is, they pay their own way for everything). If they try to use emotional blackmail to hit you up for money, make a reference to their so-called independence: “Oh? But you are an Independent Business Owner. That means you should be independent. And besides, you don’t want broke money from a broke person.” *smile* I think it’s okay to recognize birthdays and the usual holidays, though.