Above Water

What sort of drugs produce this kind of stuff?  Seriously.

Nicole is going to teach us all how to manage money.

I am not kidding.  She is going to do this.  We begin, she says, by writing down every penny we spend.  Go work on that, little toddlers, and then come back later when she does the next episode, whenever that might be.

Well, I’m way ahead, since we rarely use cash. I pretty much have a record of every dime we spend.  It comes at the end of the month in a credit card statement.  We pay the balance owed.  In fact, it’s automatically paid.

Our utilities? Paid automatically.  We don’t buy bags of ice for a cooler or gallons of gas for a generator.

Our house payment?  Don’t have one.

Insurance?  Debited from Social Security.

Seriously, though, many years ago we decided to do something spectacular and wonderful and get out of debt.  We weren’t drowning, but I sure didn’t like owing money.  So I made a list, not of what we spent, but of what we owed.

I ordered everything according to the interest rate charged, from low to high. Then, I put the lowest amount/lowest interest rate debt at the top of the list.

From that moment on, I paid extra on that one debt.  An extra two or three dollars.  Whatever.  It was finally paid off.  When it was gone, I took the amount we’d been paying monthly on that debt and applied it to the next debt on the list.  That one went faster.  From there, the amounts we’d been paying on Debt 1 and Debt 2 went to Debt 3.  You get the idea.  I thought of it as “snowballing.”

Two years later, we were debt free, except our house.

Speaking of our house, we’ve owned about a dozen of them.  We’ve actually lived in seven, I think.  We had a rule which we never broke. We bought House 1.  (For the record, we paid $27,500 for that first house.)  I can’t find a photo of it right now, but here’s Nathan sitting on the porch steps of that house.

When we sold it, six years later, we took the proceeds, every penny, and applied it to House 2.  Ditto with House 3.  This is House 7 and we paid cash.  This process took about 30 years, but here we are, and the loans kept getting smaller and smaller because we made larger and larger down payments.  I also insisted on 15-year mortgages, and sometimes I had to really get assertive to get them.  Lenders love those 30-year ones, and I don’t.  Anyway, the basic rule is this:  real estate money stays in real estate.  Profit from real estate stays in real estate.  No deviations.  No taking the house money and buying a new car.

But that’s a rabbit trail. The Nauglers don’t own a house and never will.

It’s worked well for them.  You know, that whole writing down spending 50 cents.

They aren’t wealthy, she says.

Somewhere out there is an understatement that thought it was going to be the Understatement of the Year 2017. That understatement was already imagining the crown it would wear.  It looked in the mirror and could see it.

And the understatement is now sobbing hysterically, because it just got eclipsed by this one.

. . . we aren’t wealthy. . .

You don’t say?  You have to be fucking with us all.

Where would the Nauglers have been without the Mormon church giving them money, food, paying their rent, paying their ulilities, setting Nicole up in business, and giving them cars?  Where would they have been without GoFundMe?  What about all the online begging?  Do I really need to link to all of it?

Hell yes.

Instead of paying for medical care, just stiff the hospital.  You can buy a lot of sodas for that kind of money.

Or just hint that you need something and hope somebody donates it.

How about outright begging?

It’s easy to keep “above water” when you rely on other people to throw you a life jacket.

So, everyone, follow Nicole’s fabulous budgeting advice, learn to manage your money like she does and you, too, can live in a garden shed and not have a pot to pee in, literally.







Nicole’s blog went down.

It went down, as could easily be seen, because she didn’t pay her hosting bill.

Let me explain this a bit for those of you for whom the words “domain name” and “hosting service” are Greek.

Websites have two parts, and you buy them separately.

For this website, one is the domain name (blessedlittleblog.com).  There’s an annual fee for me to register that.  In addition, I pay for a hosting service. The hosting service (places like GoDaddy and Network Solutions) is pretty much a giant computer where your website is stored. When people want to visit here, they tell their computer to go to blessedlittleblog.com, which is the address, and the hosting service then transmits the data to them so that they can read these words and see the images on the blog.

Those two things are separate. They are billed separately.

That’s because people can register a domain name and never put a website on it.  I have several of those. For instance, Nathan’s website is at nathan-davis.com. Type that into your computer and that’s where you’ll go.  But try typing in nathandavismusic.com.  You’ll be taken to the same place.

The primary site is the first one. The second one is just a domain name that I own, and pay a small amount annually to have traffic redirected to the main one.

The same thing is true of Nathan’s movie site. One site is the name of the movie: nathandavisstilllives.com.  But when Dean was mulling over names for the site, he wanted to ensure that people who forgot the exact name of the movie could find it easily. So he got nathandavismovie.com as well.

It just makes the Google much happier when you do that and costs very little.

You see how domains are one thing and hosting is another.

If you own a domain name and have no hosting package, there will be no website.  Instead, the company puts a holding page up.

Here’s what you see at romancingvictims.net right now.  That is Network Solutions’ (that’s where the domain name is registered) holding page.  Why is it like that?

It’s like that because my hosting service ran out and I didn’t renew it.  However, I still own the domain name and will until next spring.  So it will just sit like that until then.

The reason that there’s a difference between the date of my hosting running out and the date of my domain running out is because originally, I thought that the Romancing site would be up for maybe six months, max. I never dreamed of years of it.

You can only buy domain names by the year, but you can pay for hosting by the month. It’s a very inefficient way to do it, but if you think you’re not going to need it, or you are broke,  well . . .  That’s what I did.  After about six months of that, I realized it was going to be much longer term, so I extended the renewal, but that put very different dates on the renewal of the hosting vs the renewal of the domain name.

So, this is what appeared at Nicole’s blog yesterday.  This is GoDaddy’s version of the same sort of holding page that Network Solutions provides for Romancing.  Same thing.

It means that Nicole still owns the domain name, but failed to pay for her hosting.

There is no other explanation.

And really, it wouldn’t be a big deal at all, except that she found it necessary to make the follow explanation.

She hates those “stupid chip cards.”  I find that interesting.  I am sitting here looking at a little stack of credit cards (ours).  Every one of them has a chip.  We don’t even notice it, really.  The cards before those had a magnetic strip.

The only difference I can see (to the consumer) is that we used to swipe the strip and now we insert the chip.

We buy everything with credit cards.  We have never had a problem with any chipped card, and rarely had a problem with the other type.

Furthermore, the chip has nothing at all to do with buying something online.  What matters online is the number on the card, the expiration date, and the other little number on the back of the card.  Nothing changes when you get a new card except the expiration date (and maybe that number on the back).  But you have to tell the company that information, and they bitch until you do.

But the important thing is that the change in the card, she says, happened two weeks ago.

Combined with the short time span of two weeks, if it’s true that she only received a billing error notice “the other day,” then Nicole is paying for her hosting by the month.

I know this because if you buy hosting by the year, they send you notices for many weeks before your hosting service expires.  As early as three months before renewal, you start getting reminders.  They literally bitch and moan and fuss and email you practically daily.  If you have it on auto-renew, they do so before “a few days” prior to the renewal date (in the case of the hosting service for BLB, it happens 15 days before the due date), especially if your card is due to expire.

If your credit card is due to expire, they start telling you weeks in advance that you need to update.

This whole “a few days ago” thing is indicative of a month-to-month situation, and is probably the least economical thing possible.

I am going to assume that she has GoDaddy’s WordPress hosting service. That’s a lower-priced hosting package that provides the user with hosting plus WordPress already installed.  It’s pretty much plug-and-play.

My guess is that she has the least expensive package available. Her blog is small, with very few articles on it.

So, it costs a whopping $3.99 per month, if you buy it by the year.

Instead, she seems to be paying twice that, or $7.99 monthly.

Instead of paying $48 per year, one time, she forks out nearly $100.  Either that, or she is, in fact, paying annually, in which case they have been notifying her that her bill was due for a long time.

Now, really, I understand the whole concept of being cash-strapped.  I get it.

I also get it that sometimes a bill slips past unnoticed.  I’ve done it.  But not after the business notified me repeatedly that I hadn’t paid and I saw the notices and knew it. She makes all this sound like it’s GoDaddy’s fault.  It’s not. It is her fault.

But this is a woman who brags about how she feeds her children breakfast for $.25 each.  She tells everyone how to budget, how to manage money, while she appears to be paying twice as much as she has to for her hosting service.

She boosted that post linking to the blog. Consider that for a second. She paid money to boost a post bitching about people donating to a charity for needy children, but then failed to pay the hosting service so the people who clicked on the boosted post would be able to read her beautiful piece of writing.

We’re told that this is entirely because she just has so much to do.  She  is “so busy with grooming, filling bow orders, trying to keep up with business management and being a mom” that she couldn’t call GoDaddy, who are basically open 24 hours a day.

But she was able to find time to call Al Wilson’s employer and complain about non-existent bullshit, and call the Ranch and complain about money being donated to a charity for needy children. She was able to find the time to write endlessly about how horrible it all is and give a little synopsis of how wronged she has been, and encourage other people to call and complain.

She can find time for all of that.

But she’s too busy with “being a mom” to call GoDaddy.






Just FYI

As some of you have noticed, I’ve been putting up some more of the old Romancing stuff in the last couple of days.  My goal was to get enough of it up so that I could put up a menu.

If you look in the upper right-hand corner of the page, on a computer you’ll see “Romancing Archive.”  On a phone, it will say “menu” first.

That will take you to a page with a list of all the major pages from the old Romancing website.

If you’re even slightly interested in that saga, you can start there.  I’ll add more as I get them done, but what’s there should be enough to keep anyone busy for a while.

Once I finish all that, I am going to add another page with links to the major stuff about the Nauglers. I know sending somebody over here is confusing because they immediately face the problem of where to begin.

I am working on it.  🙂

In the meantime (and even afterwards), I put each post I make in a category.  If it’s Romancing-related, it’ll be in the Romancing category. If it’s Naugler-related or farm-related, it will be much less clear, however, the subject is always tagged.

So if I wrote a piece about Frances having a calf, it’s very likely tagged with words like “calf” or “Frances.”

The search box is located to your right, part way down, or at the bottom if  you’re on a phone. Just keep scrolling and you will see it.

In addition, there are links to the most recent posts on the sidebar and there is also a list of months for the archives, if you happen to know about when the post occurred.

As this blog grows, it gets more cumbersome to manage. I have 728 separate articles here now and it increases daily, of course.