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Posts Tagged ‘sparks’

The summer has flown by fast. We’ve done our best to enjoy every moment of playing outside at all of our favorite places in Northern Nevada. This has also been the year of dry camping! We found a great spot in a BLM camp site on Walker River. We’re 20 yards from the river and our kids pitch their tent in the trees. Though the kids call these trips “ride, sweat, swim” the camp site stays cool since we are surrounded by willows and running water. But we are right on some of the best desert riding. Single track, climbs, sand, rock….every terrain is available to ride.

All of this riding started with a Yamaha 200 I call El Pepe. This bike was given to my husband by Giana’s husband. All I will say is that it is the toughest bike we’ve ever owned. It takes alot of abuse and requires little maintenance in comparison. Well this bike kind of lead to our oldest daughter getting a bike after she spend time tooling around on her friends little 50. She laid it down, then got up and picked up the bike before complaining about what hurts convinced my husband she needed her own ride. We found a screaming deal on a KTM SX65 PRO

KTM SX65 PRO

KTM SX65 PRO

that was ridden for 1 year on the KTM racing team. Of course, now she’s zipping all over the desert so we have to get Dad a new bike. He gets a Honda XR 250

Honda XR 250

Honda XR 250

with enough power to zip through the sand but hopefully not enough to kill himself. THAT leads to our youngest daughter commandeering my Honda 650 quad.

The brat stole my ride!

The brat stole my ride!

And so I’m left with…..El Pepe.

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After having dinner with a neighbor, we came home around 11pm, turned in our driveway and stopped to open the gate. I swear I saw a furry footstool running up my driveway in the headlights! My husband and I sat there, jaws dropped, trying to comprehend what we were seeing. It was hilarious because once he was out of sight, we realized we’d had an itty bitty bear in our yard!

from Nevada Department of Wildlife

from Nevada Department of Wildlife

He was just looking for a snack since he’s learned terrorizing trash cans all over the Virginia City Highlands is a great way to eat. But from the scuttlebut we’d heard, we had no idea he would be small. Probably about 350 lbs. He was heavy enough to jack our gate when he climbed it but luckily we didn’t see any damage to fences.

I still think he looked more like a footstool than a bear.

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With more and more people losing their homes, do you wonder where they will go? An apartment maybe, or I’ve heard of people walking away from their mortgages because they can rent a nicer home for half the price they were paying to own….

So my next question is who is making money right now? The rental owners or the banks with mortgages? The banks are working hard to correct their balance sheets but the investors in rental property are where the money is, and will be for a while.

I’m wondering where this is all heading. I would like to sell my home to upgrade in acreage but I’m caught in the same trap as the majority of people these days. But the smart people are always the ones to take advantage of a crisis. I want to be one of those people and I want to know all of my options.

Buying houses now, that sometimes cost less than when they did brand spanking new 4 years ago, is where the economy seems to be going. Those who were financially strong through the boom, and continued to keep financial stability during the bust, are the ones who are snapping up properties now. Especially if you realize that people have to live somewhere, the affordable investment is more secure than the 401k or IRA of last year.

The rental investor can offer such competitive rates and of course there is demand. Any industry that people create wealth in has to have a demand and investors able to take advantage of the situation. Of course, the demand stems from home owners not able to keep their investment but still needing a home and DESIRING a nice home to live in.

The investors with the courage to snap up short sales and foreclosures for 50% (or less) of their value will continue to make a profit for years to come. With the affordable prices, they are gaining a real estate asset immediately. With demand, the business model is a sure bet. With desirability, they are proud of where their money is parked.

Affordable. Demand. Desirable. Today wealth isn’t created like the automobile industry at the turn of the century or even the computer industry in the 1990’s, it is real estate. Where will your investment be tomorrow?

Me? I’m thinking it is time to quit my relationship with Wall Street and channel my funds into making my home a rental property. I have been a landlord before and it is a huge responsibility. At least it is if you don’t want to be a slum-lord. But, my husband and I are looking at our options. If we can’t sell our home for what we owe maybe we should rent it. We have been approached by rental opportunities but we were wary. I think it is definitely time to come up with a game plan and pursue this path.

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We put every ounce of energy and pride into our homes. We enjoy our gardens, have lovely outdoor spaces for us to relax or entertain, beautiful views to enjoy every season. Then. It. Happens.

A neighbor has invaded your space. It doesn’t mean they physically are in your space but they influence it in someway.
  • Radio is too loud
  • Their conversation is clear as bell (conversely, they probably hear everything you say too!)
  • Copycats: everything you do you notice is being done next door?
  • If you step foot outside, someone is watching you
Anyways, you get the idea. The point is, you don’t have to quit enjoying your space and you don’t have to lower yourself by acknowledging their inconsideration. Instead, focus your energy and pride into building outdoor insulation.
I compare my vision of outdoor insulation (patent pending) to the insulation you put in your walls. There are different techniques to insulation indoors or out but it is all about layers to make it work.
I’m going to break this out into different steps

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ph02829j1I keep seeing headlines for articles like ‘Save Money – Grow a Garden’. When I read the actual article, I want to yell “HA! You really think it is that easy?” These short and sweet features are not written by gardeners. If they were, these lucky gardeners live in gardening heaven because instructions like “Plant seeds when warm, water and feed your family all summer” don’t work anywhere I have ever lived.
Working in Dirt
Some people might like the appeal of saving money by growing their own vegetables, but a show stopper is actually getting dirt. While I think it is great, I know many people who just DO NOT ENJOY IT. And that’s ok! Gardening is a labor of love but it is about fertilizer, soil amendments, etc.
There are always options though. Hire a professional. Ask at your local nursery, they might offer services. Friends and neighbors usually give references as well. Not all professionals are expensive but you have to ask to find out.
If hiring is out of the budget, ask a gardening friend to help out. I love to get my hands on other people’s dirt!
Water
This can be an art, depending on where you live. In our clay soil, it is a constant monitoring process to make sure the garden doesn’t have too much or too little water. And with the weather, the soil changes every year too, since we are constantly amending it for improvement.
Plant Choices
Once again, I recommend checking with your local nursery. There are different hybrids for every climate and elevation. My plants need to withstand harsh sun and wind while producing in a short growing season. Other areas may be able to plunk a Beefsteak Tomato in the ground and have more produce than they can eat. (I really envy those people) The best advice you will get is from other gardener’s experience.
Gardening is a wonderful way to subsidize your income. But it is work. Fortunately, it is work that I love to do!

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Yesterday was a beautiful day, so we went with Giana Edberg of Outdoor and Resort Properties, LLC to see a property on the market. Not only are there great deals to be found right now, but this great deal was located on 40 wonderful acres. But when you have 40 acres, it can be quite the hike to figure out the property boundries. Not that it was a hardship, but in hindsight, it is funny that it felt like a treasure hunt.
 
We found the boundry markers. The REAL treasure was the allusive cactus we have heard grows in the Virginia City Highlands but have never actually seen.
 vch-cacti1
I don’t have alot of experience growing (or keeping alive) cactus. So when Giana mentioned how easy they are to propogate I wanted to try. She did caution that since we aren’t through the cold season, we do not want to cause it stress.
 
So we left it alone. We do not want to threaten it’s survival.
 
Finding it was a wonderful gift. We want someone else to be surprised when they come across it in the future. Especially the future owner of the gorgeous property!

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Good day, good news!
 
I have received my list in the mail for the plants offered for sale at the Washoe County Nursery. Time to plan. Time to research.
This makes me a happy girl!
 
I have to admit, this isn’t a program for everyone.
You must have a minimum 1 acre property and have an evironmental purpose for planting.
 
From the Nursery site:
Qualifications for the purchase of plants
The program is not intended to provide landscaping materials for small home lots. The purpose of the program is to provide locally adapted, affordable trees and shrubs to conserve and enhance Nevada’s natural resources through conservation plantings such as:
Erosion control
Post-fire rehabilitation
Wildlife habitat
Greenbelts
Reforestation
Windbreaks
Water Conservation
Mine reclamation
Wetland and riparian restoration
Woodlots
 
Washoe State Tree Nursery

Washoe State Tree Nursery

My needs definitely run to erosion control, wildlife habitat (birds) and water conservation. I have bought honey locust saplings that are growing great. The biggest advantage for me is the nursery provides Caragana (most people call it Russian Olive). This is a pretty plant that grows strong with no attention, extremely little water and is extraordinarily soil tolerant. I will research other options for erosion control at the top of the swale [insert link] at the top of my swale, but my final decision will be made after talking to the folks at the nursery. I have had wonderful experiences learning from the staff and they never fail to help me make better decisions about my plantings!

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