I got an e-mail over the weekend that suggested…”Treat your valentine to a spring boat show!”  Well, damn, wasn’t that perfect?!  Since we’re on this purge-the-stuff-pay-off-the-debt mission, buying each other “stuff” is completely, happily out of the question for Valentine’s Day this year.  But, this suggestive little e-mail came complete with a coupon code to use on a boat show ticket purchase.  Buy one ticket for your Valentine, get a free ticket for you.  The coupon code was…wait for it…wait for it…LOVEBOAT.  Cute, right?  Okay, maybe a little nauseating, but, a sweet deal nonetheless.  So, we got our tickets for the Bay Bridge Boat Show for a total of $12, saving $12.  Hurray for saving money!  And hurray for spending money for experiences instead of stuff!  I’ve still got my fingers crossed that yard sale weekend isn’t going to fall on the same weekend of the boat show and striper fishing.  But, still no date for the yard sale yet.  At this point, the boat show and striper fishing are non-negotiables so we’ll have to come up with a Plan B for yard sale if it falls on the same weekend.

While I didn’t get either of the two UpWork contracts I wrote about a few weeks ago, I did secure a new contract at the end of last week.  This contract has me uploading eBooks to Kindle’s Direct Publishing platform on behalf of my client.  A ton of copy-and-paste work but no real mind-bending effort.  The pay isn’t great, but, the client continues to remind me that he is looking to build a long-term partnership based on “mutual trust and personal development.”  I’ve got no real solid idea what the emphasis on “mutual trust and personal development” is all about, but, it sounds pretty encouraging, so, I’m in!  I keep reminding myself that, at this stage in the game, it’s not at all about how much money I’m bringing in through the contracts I secure.  It’s much more about building my profile of contracts successfully completed and positive ratings and feedback from satisfied clients to rely on when I need / want to secure better paying contracts.  So, onward I go!  My first big deadline for this new contract is tomorrow at 11:30pm.  I’ll need to upload and publish 100 eBooks between 5am and 11:30pm.  I’m taking the day off work from my full-time job so that I can devote my time and attention to successfully completing the first deadline and getting a realistic idea of how long it will take me in order to satisfy the requirement.  I’m pretty sure that, going forward, I’ll be able to complete the work after I get home from work on deadline days, but, I want to make sure based on how much time it takes me focusing on getting it done.  (Note to Self: Do some research to identify what expenses can be counted toward self-employed tax write-offs and start tracking these expenses ASAP, as to not create a nightmare later in the year.  You’re going to be mad in August when you haven’t done it and have to backtrack for eight months.)

When I secured the contract at the end of last week, I got to thinking about where I was planning to hunker down and get the work done.  Since we’re getting ready to start working on the den soon, I figured it would be a good time to turn that back into usable space for working.  So, the den got cleansed of a kitchen table that had been a make-shift desk, a stool covered in drywall mud, an office chair that has seen better days and an empty, 2-drawer filing cabinet covered in obnoxious bumper stickers from my “younger years.”  And I surprised Josh Friday when he got home from work by telling him asking him nicely to build me an awesome, handmade standing desk.  Based on a half-baked idea in my head.  By Monday night.  Being the incredible husband he is, he agreed to the half-baked idea and timeline.  When I was working as an accountant, we had standing-only desks.  Years later, I realized I really miss standing to work, hence the standing desk request.  I gave Josh a rundown of my idea and he did an incredible job (as always) of turning my rambling ideas into a beautiful reality.  My new standing desk is absolutely beautiful and will make an excellent work space.  It’s all set up and ready to roll for tomorrow’s UpWork deadline and I kind of can’t wait to work at it!  I sent an S.O.S. to a coworker that I know has the same taste in decorating as me, and she graciously agreed to take the kitchen-not-in-kitchen-table off my hands.  She even offered to pick it up!  So, that happened yesterday.  The coworker also took a bunch of other items that I intended to sell at yard sale, lightening that load a little bit.  Awesome sauce!

My purging of non-yard sale stuff continues, too.  Saturday night, we stopped at Staples so I could drop off 2 more boxes for UPS to ship to Goodwill for the Give Back Box program.  We also went through a bunch of randomness in the den and marked a healthy pile for yard sale.

P.S.  46 days without news.  We didn’t even know the Super Bowl was yesterday until we got invited to a Super Bowl party on Friday.  We spent the evening at home.  Eating pizza, wings and cheese fries.  Watching animal shows on Netflix.  I’m not even sure who won the Super Bowl.  In the midst of our old-fest last night, every device began screaming simultaneously to alert us of an Amber Alert.  Oddly enough, today I learned that, despite the Amber Alert, the baby was never kidnapped.  Mom pulled the car into the driveway, left the baby inside the car, went inside for a moment, came back out and the car was gone.  The Amber Alert indicated that an “unidentified, unknown suspect” had fled in the car, which contained the baby.  It took them a good few hours to realize mom hadn’t put the car in PARK when she pulled in the driveway.  The car coasted down the driveway, hopped a curb and went down an embankment, into the woods.  The baby was in the car, unscathed, and definitely not kidnapped.  Everyone loves a happy ending, right?

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