Yes, I am totally getting the hang of Lightroom. I figure if I bring you one image a day, I’ve got enough to last many lifetimes. So eventually, I’ll have to step it up and share several images at once. But today, I bring you just one: a male cardinal taken from my garden with my Nikon D3200. It’s a tiny little area—amazing the birds (and squirrels!) you can attract with a few feeders, a bird bath with mister, and a fountain.
In other news, I made it through Day One of 100 Days of no alcohol. It’s interesting how I was thinking more about drinking last night than when I allowed myself to do it. First there is the half-full wine rack. What am I going to do with all this perfectly good wine? What about the lovely bottle of Cain Five I’ve been saving for a special occasion? Maybe I should have drunk that first before I took on this challenge. Maybe I’ll drink it on my birthday. That’s after the 100 days are up, after all. What about the half-open bottle of tonic water? And the remaining unopened bottles? What about all the lovely wine glasses in my china cabinet? If I quit drinking forever, what am I going to do with those? And the unfinished bottle of gin? And the Courvoisier I could be sipping during these cold winter nights? What about the fact that nearly all my friends are drinkers? Even the new book club I’ve joined involves many bottles of wine.
I know I’m not the first person to deal with these issues. And in the big scheme of things, they are pretty silly. In fact, I think you can put sparkling water in a wine glass without being cited for a wine-glass infraction. And honestly, this will save me from having to figure out which freaking glass is the chardonnay glass, and which is for Pinot, and which is for Cabernet. I can put sparkling water in whichever-shaped-glass I fancy at the moment.
Yes, I’m sure it will all be fine.
I don’t know if it was anxiety, but I had a bit of a burst of energy last night. I’d ordered a modem/wireless router combo to replace the Time Warner rental equipment, and it arrived yesterday. Normally I’d procrastinate on the task of installing it. But since I wasn’t lazy and zonked in front of the television, I decided to give it a go. Buying the equipment, instead of renting it, is in keeping with my newish frugality. Recently I’d cut the cable cord, saving nearly $200 a month (amounting to $45,000 in fifteen years if invested conservatively). When I learned that Time Warner was increasing the rental charge for the equipment to $8.00 a month (plus tax), I decided it was time to buy my own. Granted, the one I selected was quite pricy and will take over two years to pay for itself. But I bought the latest and greatest thinking it will keep up with technology longer—Netgear C6300. Seeing as I’ve been renting their equipment for ten years at my current abode, I think I’ll get my money’s worth. An hour and a half later, with the help of a really nice Time Warner tech, I had the equipment installed and all my devices up and running. With this additional savings, I expect my next bill might drop below $60 per month.
Also in the frugality department, and back to thinking about booze, not drinking alcohol will save some additional cash. Last year, according to my Mint.com app, I spent $1200 on alcohol. This includes only booze bought at liquor stores and bars; if it was included in my grocery tab (wine) or restaurant tab, it doesn’t show up in the “Alcohol & Bars” category. I’m guessing I could bump that total up to at least $1500 to account for the latter. This savings would pay for a large chunk of the annual cost for my cleaning lady (all but $900), an expense I’ve been struggling to justify.
Just one more reason to stick with the 100-Day No Booze Challenge, and perhaps beyond.