Initial Victories and Epiphanies

I was so pumped to start my Uber Frugal Month Challenge on January 1, that I started it a few weeks early.You may be familiar with a “no-spend” month where you refrain from frivolous expenses. I’ve never joined one, so I can’t explain the difference from experience. But the goal of the UFMC is to dive deep and realize our goals, analyze our spending, determine what can be cut, and examine why we spend and how to take action to get there.

Continue reading

Taking Stock

I decided to kick the year off by joining in the Frugalwoods’ Uber Frugal Month Challenge to kick off my goals this year. (I want to fight the power and stick it to the man through simple living and early(ier) retirement).

Part of the homework leading up to the launch was to take stock of our spending for the past month. I used three months for an average. Now, I didn’t think I spent a lot but apparently I’m spending money half asleep and in a fog: Continue reading

Part VI: January 7, 2009

For the first time in 6 years I didn’t hate today- this day that I used to black out from my calendar, wanting to forever deny its existence.  It was the first time in as long that I didn’t even think about what today was and how it altered my life.  And while my peers were marrying and procreating, I was in the wilderness barely holding it together.  Six years ago today, I was in an industrial parking lot screaming and exiting my body in shock- begging, pleading and repeatedly telephoning my little sister and telling her to call me back. Continue reading

Part V: Sun City- The Party Van. Or the One Where I Intentionally Hitchhiked

I couldn’t walk any further, I was done.  My feet ached and I was exhausted and sunburned. I was lion bait. We couldn’t find the bus that returned the day visitors from Sun City to the parking lot. We took the sky tram up, but now it was closed. I couldn’t bring myself to say anything because Lauren and Regan seemed excited to walk. I’ve hiked down rocky mountains in bare feet due to blisters, I’ve backpacked on the continental divide.  I could swing this.  I threw some dirt on it, sucked it up and lagged behind, silently cursing my shoe choice. Continue reading

Part IV: Sun City. Or the One Where I Accidentally Trespassed

The Park

While I was in Pilanesberg, I spent a day in  Sun City.  Our ultimate destination was the Valley of the Waves. Lauren, Regan, and I spent a lot of time in the wave pool. I laughed when they told me the South African Sun was very unforgiving.  I live in Denver- a mile-high desert. I’ve survived Water World before sunscreen was really a thing. How much more unforgiving could the South African sun be?  I slopped on sunblock 3 times, wore a ball cap, sat in the shade, and finally purchased a sarong to cover my shoulders. I still got sunburned. South African sun is serious business. Continue reading

Part III: Manyane Resort

Life in the Chalet

In Pilanesberg we stayed in a Chalet at Manyane resort.  The Chalet slept eight and was pretty cozy- two bedrooms, a loft, a living room/kitchen with a sleeper sofa and two bathrooms. There were six of us.    I met Regan’s family for the first time and would be staying with them.  Thank god I loved them.  They were loud, irreverant, had no boundaries, light-hearted, and very sweet.  They immediately adopted me as one of their own.  They said I was pretty quiet during this part of the trip, but, I’m claiming jet lag. Continue reading