visualeyes's Profile

Display Name: visualeyes
Member Since: 2/3/11

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Exceptionally exquisite. House tour next, please!

Rachel's First Place (and It's Great!) House Call
7/29/14 02:45 AM

This thread is both heartrending and heartwarming in a strange way. It's giving us AT readers a chance to bond in respect for each other, since so many of us have had, or now have, very challenging money realities to deal with.

Like many single, older, self-employed consultants, I've been up and way down the financial roller coaster many times over the past decades. Yet I've still not recovered from the Great Recession, which hurled me from debt-free to debt-saddled & savings-depleted, despite my own severe belt-tightening, primarily because my self-employed clientele has not recovered either.

There are weeks with no income at all. Yet the flow is so unpredictable that none of the usual programs are a fit for the self-employed. I admit it irritates me when political figures pontificate about policy in callous sound bites. They have no experience of choosing to put $5 of gas in the car instead of buying food, or paying a utility instead of getting food, while getting whacked with exorbitant computer-generated overdraft fees because a client "forgot" to send the check they promised— I truly hope that the paltry projected 15% voter turnout for the 2014 mid-term elections somehow shifts. We need to wake up and take back our political clout.

So, back to what's so for me. My business colleagues and clients would be shocked to know how close to the bone my life is, because like so many other AT readers, I just don't talk about it.

What's behind the curtain:

1. No movies, no theater, no concerts, no Netflix, no TV. I get my streaming and online media for free, from AT to Hulu's free selections. I do pay for Internet & Digital Phone in a lowest-rung bundle with a 5 year old cell phone, but that's it. I volunteer as a Docent at a major local art museum. It keeps me sane and happily serves as entertainment, continuing education, a social network, and personal development, all for free!

2. No going out to eat with friends or even as a break for me. No frivolous food of any kind. I count calories, healthy fats, nutrients & H2O to be sure I get enough! Being vegan and always cooking at home ironically makes this much more enjoyable than it might otherwise be.

3. Cannot even take my clients out for coffee or lunch. I adjusted by turning my business virtual to cut down on driving (gas costs and auto wear & tear) or meal-oriented meetings. I network via phone and social media, and volunteer in leadership with a regional networking organization, which keeps that business expense low and my outreach active.

4. No medical insurance, even though it's mandated and I will soon qualify for Medicare. Maybe next year? Even the tax-fine will be cheaper than paying the monthly insurance fees I don't have. I have the support of a Homeopathic Doctor who has very generously offered me a very low sliding scale, and remedies average $10 each instead of expensive Western medicine.

5. No Gym. I walk a 10k every day and consider the fresh air and neighborhood landscaping/renovations, and the fenced in chorus of dogs voicing their greetings, as delightful entertainment.

6. Stuff. Have sold almost everything I don't absolutely need; via yard sale, Craig's list or local second-hand music & bookstores. No more iPod, DVDs/CDs, art books, unnecessary furniture, accessories etc. It takes so much less time to clean my house these days ;-)

7. Clothes? No, they'll have to wait; but fortunately, with my business mostly virtual, my business clothes get lots of rest and are lasting so much longer. Style? LA is conveniently casual, and the mild weather cuts down on wear and tear, a big help.

8. Vacations? They exist as great memories. I've switched gears, doing lots more writing these days, with 3 books in process, allocating the time and energy to letting my imagination wander.

9. Rent? I'm blessed to have amazing Angels for landlords who allow me to pay in partial installments, as long as I stay in communication. Since that's what I offer my own tiny cadre of clients, it's a full-circle adaptation that has graced me with much-needed support.

Budget Living: Living On Minimum Wage
7/26/14 04:32 AM

Most of these spite houses are bigger than those built recently within the "Tiny House" movement. I lived in 234 square feet for 11 years, so they seem generously proportioned to me, though the views and squished locations are clearly weird. I want to see inside, too!

Spite Houses Are Exactly What They Sound Like
7/25/14 10:34 PM

I think the idea from norahl is brilliant! Such a creative way to make the green pop without going overboard.

19th Century Style Cabinet: Should We Paint It Green? Good Questions
7/23/14 05:01 PM

OMG, this house is quite spectacular, we MUST see more, pleeeeeeease!

Janine's Beautiful Baltimore Home House Call
7/3/14 02:47 AM

Fascinating! These robots are pretty darn gentle in their precision, even though they are clearly gargantuan.

The only thing I'm left wondering is whether this pace will dramatically subside once tablet books make their growing cultural dent in reading habits. I just sold 3 of my own bookcases, but of course there are always endless tchotchkes to display ;-)

The Making of an IKEA Billy Bookcase Factory Tour
6/30/14 12:51 PM

Once I caught onto the the "less stuff" secret and made it a reality instead of a daydream, wow! what a difference. I love not having to step around corner-ized jumbles, too.

Dirty Little Secrets of Tidy Families
6/5/14 01:01 AM

Quite spectacular, and seems impossibly bigger than it is. Having lived in 234 square feet for 11 years (I've since moved), I really get this!

Brian's Off the Grid Home Small Cool Contest
5/29/14 04:36 AM

After two seasons with a similar unit, I got rid of mine. Noise, window venting problem (I have older windows too, so had to leave open and the city soot came in.) and excessive electricity costs were not worth it. Not a I have a series of fans strategically placed. Much softer sound, less cost, and windows can remain shut.

NewAir AC-14000E Air Conditioner
Unplggd Test Lab

5/9/14 12:14 PM

Yay, no pink! This is lovely and warm and serene.

Avery's Room of Forest Friends My Room
4/25/14 12:55 AM

… maybe it's one shoe per square foot? Kinda fun ;-)

Small Space Style: 10 Inspiring San Francisco Small Spaces
4/21/14 03:57 PM

Beautiful! Would love to the the room it lives in, too, since your taste is so artistic.

Before & After: A Cheery, Spring-Like Vintage Vanity Chair Rescue
4/19/14 02:14 PM

Makes my minimalist heart sing ;-)

Before & After: A Vintage Bathroom Gets a Charming New Look
4/15/14 01:42 AM

Fab and groovy!

Before & After: Alexa's Affordable Stenciled Vinyl Bathroom Floor Makeover
4/5/14 03:53 PM

I'm all for exposed brick, but gosh, in the bedroom it looks like it's about to crumble completely and harbors mucho dust in the cracks. Maybe some fresh grout to finesse this look?

Before & After: A Dramatic Small Space Makeover... and What Makes it Work Lonny
4/3/14 10:44 AM


New Generation of Appliances Targets Small Space Renters
4/1/14 03:28 PM

Dog spelled backwards may signal deities in training, and their smiles beguile, including this demure sweetie. Yet cats embody divinity so completely that they mirror entire universes in their merest glance. This mystic emerald-eyed beauty had me at meow. A fun contest, thx!

Congrats Team Cat!
4/1/14 02:17 AM

Wow, wow, wow! Really fabulous.

Before & After: Out With the Mice, In With the Nice
3/20/14 12:46 PM

Ok, I'll vote: I'm a fan of shoes inside, having grown up in Boston where it's customary. It's the default custom here in LA, too.

Naturally, I change out of wet or dirty shoes/boots at home, and offer to remove them if I visit someone else's.

Was invited as a weekend guest by former shoes-are-ok-inside friends who did not warn me that they had converted to becoming a "no shoes" house when they moved to a Northern California college town. No salt or mud to deal with, but they did own a dog who, like any normal dog, was into naked paws inside and out. I used my own socks to wear inside, since no house slippers were provided, changing to a fresh pair each day. I was stunned at how filthy my house socks got, so I changed into clean ones to put my shoes on when going out, and I threw my house socks out when I got back home. Yuck.

As for my own Southern California city-ish home, I sweep my wooden floors once or twice daily since city dust, filters in from busy street traffic. I would never consider bare feet or anything less than hard-soled slippers at home, to keep my feet and socks clean.

Zero Tolerance: Do You Have a Strict \"Shoes Off\" House?
3/14/14 12:52 PM

Remarkable! And the varying widths in the mosaic effect remind me of handmade cloisonné. Bravo.

Before & After: $30 IKEA Table Gets Milo Baughman Makeover
3/14/14 09:38 AM