Making Us Rich!

So, last night I decided it was time to really try to get my head around Asia finance.  Daniel had taken Jayden to the library for story-time and Ethan had passed out from crying, so I actually had some real, undisturbed time – quite a rarity in my house! 

Here’s how this all started.  My brother Jack and I have – for as long as I can remember – been discussing easy ways to make money.  Nothing has ever really come of it – from selling hairdryers door-to-door to online data entry jobs; trying to navigate different site advice on the best ways to make money online or even selling specially-made cookies to neighbors.  Unfortunately, all that we have gleaned from these efforts are a big headache while making a few measly extra bucks on the side – hardly worth it. 

So a few weeks ago Jack told me that with the inheritance we still have since our nana’s passing, he was sure he had a foolproof way of making it make us rich, being, Asia finance.  His buddy Dick had been playing around in this field for the last six months or so, he said, and it had really done a lot for his bank balance.  I told him that I’d first have to do my own research and then get back to him.

Asia Finance: 101

This is what I found out, in a nutshell (or, as close to a nutshell as one can get on this somewhat expansive topic).  First, it seems that it’s very popular, because even after there was some crash in Asia’s economy back in the 1990s, it remained a pretty sure thing and people weren’t exactly running away from it.  That immediately gave me initial confidence and somewhat more interest in finding out more about this.

Second, it seems I already know a lot more than I thought – big electronic companies like Sony are Asia-owned and since I am confident in that market (who isn’t?), it could be a good one to start with.  However, what I wasn’t so aware of was that many of these companies have high profiles in the US market.  But if Sony releases some new game console, making an investment in its stock will be a direct Asian investment and a pretty good, safe option.  I’m very into safe.  Jack is too, but perhaps not quite as much as me, but I think he’ll listen to me when it comes to nana’s inheritance.

So that’s Japan taken care of.  Then I looked into what China might be able to offer and it seems that it’s a good idea to put some eggs in a smaller basket there, at least initially.  For example, not-so-large oil companies such as PetroChina have some pretty impressive options for investors.  And then it occurred to me, ooh, I may be becoming an “investor” and I thought that sounded pretty cool!

I also discovered that putting capital into companies was probably a safer bet than actually dealing with the whole Asian stock market as that appears to be a bit too unpredictable and complicated for my limited talents to date.  Maybe in the future, but we’re just not quite there yet. And it’s the same for hedge funds too. 

I was just about to look a bit further on this topic, when I heard the sweet dulcet tones of Jayden screaming, “mommy, mommy, we heard all about the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and it was cool,” and I knew my night of research had reached its natural end!

They’re Still Bouncing Up and Down

We had these new neighbors move in over the summer.  They wrote something on the local email list asking for help putting up their trampoline.  Her husband is away a lot so Daniel offered to help.  It was him and a few other guys and it took them hours and hours to finish putting it up. 

But it was sure worth it. Every time we look at our window – morning, noon or night, literally – there they are, bouncing around on it.  They have four kids ranging from around 7 to 14-years-old, but it’s not just those guys who are using it. Jayden was given a free pass (since his daddy was so helpful in its assembly), but he’s somewhat cautious (or as Daniel would say “a wimp”) so hasn’t taken them up on it yet.  Still, every time I look, there are at least 3 kids bouncing up and down. Even when I take Moo Choo (our dog) out for a walk before 7 am, there they are, jumping up and down on the trampoline.  Daniel often wondered how safe it was, but it does have a net so I’m hoping it’s okay and the company does have a good reputation for safety. For sure it has to be good for the mom who probably has her hands full, what with her husband traveling a lot for work.  I think he’s in the diamond business.  Either that, or gold; some kind of precious gem, I forget which exactly but he’s for sure never been seen on that trampoline!

Food Deliveries  

On the recommendation from a couple of our other neighbors (Kayla and Ruth), this Friday marked the first week of our family receiving an organic food delivery from Organics To You.  I was getting tired of reading about all the cancers that can be caused by non-organic produce and figured since it was so easy, why not check this company out? 

We started off with the Small Bin as we thought – from the description – that would cover our produce needs for the week.  At $33 I was impressed with the price and when it came I was delighted! I got apples, pears, oranges, satsumas, turnips, celeriac, onion, kale, carrots, beets, potatoes, leeks and broccoli.  I can use it all.  The fruits will go in Jayden’s lunch box and be available for him and Ethan as an afternoon snack and I’m planning on making a root vegetable soup with the turnips, celeriac, carrots, potatoes and leeks. The broccoli I’ll use for a quiche (Daniel just picked up some great dairy products over the weekend that I’m dying to try out) and the potatoes will be good for a meal of potatoes, beans and cheese or potatoes with tuna melt that Ethan simply gobbles up.  And if I have any leftover, I can always send it to the bouncing neighbors who must be working up a crazy appetite!  I’ll definitely be trying other baskets from this company in the future.

Money Matters

During my – many – years of dating, I tried to learn as much as I could about the theories of the opposite sex.  I read books like ‘Men Are From Mars; Women Are From Venus,’ by John Gray and ‘The Woman Men Adore…and Never Want to Leave’ by Bob Grant and a bunch of others along those lines.  And what I tired to fathom about different spending habits between men and women was that  the fairer sex liked to spend, whereas their hunter-gatherer partner, liked to save.  So I figured that since I wasn’t a spender, I wouldn’t have that challenge; my future husband and I would both be savers and there’d be nothing to fight about.

Ho, ho, ho, little did I know.  When I met Daniel I thought he was the total opposite of my father as he did like to spend (my father has always been cleverly frugal with his pennies).  What I didn’t realize until after we got married was that Daniel shared a lot of similarities with my father, except in the money realm. It hasn’t been easy trying to navigate finances with Daniel, but over the years we’ve been married, thankfully I’ve learned to relax a lot (although I do still get frustrated in this area at times). 

What is interesting to me is also, is what I have discovered on having spoken to my female (married) friends.  This stuff about financing, budgeting, and men and women’s stereotypical spending habits, is all a big myth and perhaps  just a nasty, manipulative way of keeping women barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen while the men go out and spend, spend, spend.

As I was chatting to my girlfriend Kayla just yesterday, she said when she goes out “to spend money” it’s a lip-gloss and a pair of socks totaling $8.50.  But her husband Mike will come home with a Plasma TV for $800….hmmm, who’s the spender there?

It does seem therefore that “women shop, men buy.” Therefore, I have now decided that we need to break down the brainwashing that we’ve accepted for way too long that it is women who need to kick their compulsive spending habits in the butt and really give our men a talking-to on how to budget sensibly. 

I don’t fancy my chances with Daniel at home, but it’s definitely worth a try.  Watch this space for how it goes…

Jayden Jumping on the Bus!

So we took Jayden to his first theater performance last night.  Since it was his first time, we decided to splurge on three tickets at the Oregon Children’s Theatre.  Jayden’s been watching ‘Magic School Bus’ since my colleague Michelle (who happens to be half my age…now that’s enough to make you feel old!), recommended it as an educational show she’d grown up on.  So when I saw it playing at the theater, I suggested to Daniel it’d be a fun family outing. Well, for the three of us at least; we got a babysitter for Ethan who would have spent the entire evening throwing popcorn or screaming his head off.

We got there at 4: 30 (the show was scheduled to begin at 5) and of course Jayden immediately wanted to eat.  Thankfully, I’d bought some of his favorite snacks, so he was munching on apples and Cornflakes and then of course he got thirsty (I hadn’t thought that far ahead) so Daniel had to go locate some juice, but the only one he could find was mango and Jayden decided this was “ewww.”  Still, at least he didn’t spill it all over the chair or anything and we weren’t thrown out of the theatre, something for which I was thankful.

Jayden overall seemed to enjoy the performance, but I think he’s become so spoilt with the Disney movies he watches nightly as I try to navigate what’s new in the world of Asia finance (a long story; some possible business venture my brother and I are trying to start; one of our many attempts at making some much needed money), that he was a bit bored.  It got me thinking that perhaps he’s stopped enjoying the basic loves in childhood and that it could be my fault because I let him watch too much TV. Hmmm, something to consider, but I see I am digressing.
Anyway, at the end of the show, I asked him if he had enjoyed it and he said in his all-too-cute voice (I must get Daniel to record that at some point), he replied with a smile, “it was fun mommy; can we do it again?”  So I was happy.  And then afterwards, as a treat, we went for bagels and cream-cheese – Jayden’s favorite – at the Portland Bagel Co. and I had the yummiest sandwich with my favorite topping – Tillamook Cheddar and Egg.  Yum; the whole evening was worth it just for that!

My Maddening Migraines


So, before I got pregnant (which was later in life) I used to get a migraine about once every few months.  Then, in my pregnancy with Jayden, they got even worse.  But miraculously, apart from on the day of his circumcision a week after he was born, my headaches all but stopped!  Now, although the pregnancy with Ethan a few years later was very much wanted (all the doctors said I was “over the hill” – biologically-speaking at the ripe young age of 39 and probably entering the menopause, or, at least, peri-menopause, yes, lovely), it wasn’t easy on my body at all. I felt the age difference and also could hardly move. Now, of course that wasn’t helped by the fact that in the seventh month I broke my ankle and was put in a cast, but I see I am once again digressing…

Back to the migraines…I thought they would be there again in the second pregnancy but they weren’t and of course I was delighted. Again, about a week after the birth, I had one huge attack and then nothing.  But now, here I am, Ethan is 13 months (approaching 14 months actually) and my headaches have started again.  I get one about every 2 weeks and since I am very against medication (I have no idea why really) I try to manage them by sleeping with an aromatherapy hot pack on my head (which had also worked in the past).  Unfortunately last night when I tried this, I woke up a couple of hours later and it was way worse so I took a Migraleve (that I’d ordered online as it had been highly recommended by a fellow sufferer) which had also helped pre-pregnancy, and thankfully I woke up this morning feeling fine, but somewhat tender.

So now I’m wondering what my next step should be.  I used to do a lot of Chinese medicine for all of my aches and pains but I am so busy (in a fun way) with the kids and work and shopping and swimming and trying to think of extra ways to make money (I’ll discuss the Asia finance idea at some point when I understand it myself a bit more), that I’d rather just pop a pill.  I’m just wondering if that’s the best way to deal with it all. I definitely don’t want to go to a doctor, as, quite frankly, I’d rather have my teeth pulled.

…But implants and dentists has to put aside as a post for another time… It’s time to get on with the laundry and the dishes.  So  I leave you with these thoughts and wish you a Happy Wednesday! It’s the middle of the week, do something exciting that takes you away from being in the middle… be at the top…if only just for today…