First let me say, I am mortgage free. The Mango Hut, in all it's modest glory is mine, all mine.
I still have a lot of debt and I know that my path isn't the traditional one, but I have always felt it was the best for me. That the best decision I could make for my future to stave off the whole bag-lady possibility was to have a paid-for home. It would have made more financial sense (perhaps) to use home equity to consolidate debt - but for me, that was trading unsecured debt for secured. If things went south financially, then I would have lost my home, too. So, as it stands, I made the decision to pay off the house and work on the other debt. Now with the house paid off, it is my hope that I will be debt free in two years. It may not be the the right choice for everyone, but for a middle-aged single woman, the finest gift I can give myself is a some real financial security.
Of course, who knows if I will ever live there again, but right now the Mango Hut is doing lovely things for me and my family. It is allowing me the opportunity to partially fund Mom's retirement for a couple of years while Bick and I get the rest of our obligations in order. The Mango Hut - something to be thankful for. Bick insisted that we celebrate my accomplishment last night - so in typical Roxie/Bick fashion - we donned our new matching robes (no, we really aren't that schmoopie - they only had one color and style), built a fire, stuffed everything we could find with cream cheese and threw it in the oven, put on Sinatra and danced. We then retired to the barge for the first time this fall to watch the fire and talk. Wonderful evening.
Our Thanksgiving was very, very nice. I hosted Pebbles and Guy (and their Dog), Bette (sister) and FarmerTed (her guy) and Mom. Bick went to Durant, OK to be with his family. We had a very nice time - everyone got along great and seemed to enjoy themselves - and while the whole ordeal left me very, very tired, there was no stress. Nice time.
Foodwise - it's been so-so. And although it is cold and rainy here, I am going to bundle up and get outside to get some exercise.
Monday will be back to your regularly scheduled Beck programming.
Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Tenacity will serve you well.