Saturday, December 29, 2007

Tax Time

Now with Christmas done, it is time to get my records in order for taxes. I had been updating things quarterly so it shouldn't be too much of a hassle. Still, I would much rather be creating art or out skiing. This is definitely not my favorite thing to do!

One good thing, my husband got notification from the state for unclaimed property, about $86.00. I have tried,myself, to look up whether there was unclaimed money floating around and never found anything under my name, guess I should have looked under his. Anyway, a nice unexpected surprise.

Cashcrate- $20.35 for month of dec
Inbox Dollars- $18.34
Send Earnings-$17.60

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Paid Surveys, Do They Really Pay?

I decided to research paid surveys to see what they were all about. In the past, I was totally turned off by them because you had to sign up for offers that usually entail a free trial period , then if you didn't cancel in a certain amount of time, you were stuck paying a monthly fee.

I did a search on the internet and tons of information about surveys abound. It was tough going through it because most people were pushing certain sites that they were affiliated with. If you signed up through them, they would get compensation for the referral.

I think it is very hard to find all the survey sites online. Many don't advertise that heavily so they will not show up in the searches. I signed up for paidsurveysonline. It's a site where they list many survey sites and you have to pay a fee to access it. It was OK but not great. There were a lot of broken links. Also the big survey sites, I already knew about. Still there were some that I had never heard of. Supposedly all these sites checked out and are legitimate. They are not supposed to scam you.

Here is a blog that I found that rates the different paid survey sites and I think he does a great job, Paid Survey Scams.

Right now, I have made about $50.00 + dollars doing several $1.00 or less surveys. I just did one today that was $5.00. Cashcrate is one that I only do the daily surveys on, I don't do the offers. I did have 3 people sign up under me and made about $5.00 from those referrals. I received my first check from Cashcrate for $11.40 so they do pay when you have $10.00 or more in your account. Another site is and They have $1.00 daily surveys. is another one that is offering $1.00 and $.75 daily surveys. I don't qualify for every survey but I do qualify for quite a few. Still I am researching the paid surveys that pay $5.00 and up and they are out there. I am hoping that more and more of my surveys will be in the $10.00-$35.00 range.

I have two separate emails to handle the surveys and all the spam that comes with it. I did do a couple of offers but some places will not let you cancel in a timely fashion so I decided to not do anymore. I am spending an hour or less per day taking 1-4 surveys. Some go about 10 minutes, most are around 20.

All my earnings are going into buying GET ( Guaranteed Education Tuition) credits for my younger son. I already have 2 years of tuition bought for him and I am hoping the surveys will help me buy the next 2 years.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Interesting Facts is Debatable

I have been tagged by Catherine at La Perle and I must come up with 5 interesting facts about myself. This is going to be hard:

  • I worked as an aphid specialist . There are only a handful in the world that can identify different species of them. Was second author on a book about identification of species.
  • I am the owner of two donkeys, Poncho and Yoshi. They are very good alarm clocks. Don't need a rooster to get you up in the morning when these two guys are around.
  • Whitewater rafted for the first time in my life, last year. It was a great experience!
  • Competed in a couple of horse shows and placed in both.
  • Would love to learn the guitar, speak Spanish and become a good ballroom dancer
Glad I only had to come up with 5 things. Anymore and I would have been in trouble.

Monday, December 10, 2007

A Stress Free Christmas

My goal for this year is to really enjoy Christmas and not get stressed out. In previous years, I remember just baking into all hours of the night, buying gifts and doing so many things like crazy. I literally wore myself into a frazzle. Christmas would come and go. Then it was like a huge letdown. I would get depressed , then I would get physically sick because I had been going on overdrive all through December and it would finally catch up with me. All in the pursuit of having a perfect Christmas for my family. I remember calling one of my friends after the holidays and she was sick with a horrendous cold and sinus infection. No doubt she was trying to have the perfect Christmas too.

For this holiday season, I think my attitude has been a lot different. I don't even have my Christmas decorations up or the tree yet and that is OK with me. I bought a lot of gift cards instead of hunting for hours for the perfect gifts for people. I don't bake anymore, just make peanut brittle and that wasn't too bad. I am meditating and exercising more and truly that has made a tremendous difference.

We have been invited to a lot of Christmas parties and usually I don't like to go because I am tired and stressed but this year I've gone to a couple and it was fun. Now I look forward to going to the rest.

I am also looking forward to seeing my college son this week. In the scheme of things, all these Christmas trappings really don't matter, it's about being with the ones you love and spending time as a family. As my older son prepares to leave the nest for good, I know these days are numbered and I just want to make the most of the time we have together.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Gluten Sensitivities Vs. Celiac Disease

I decided to revisit the idea of going with a gluten free diet for my teenage son who has been having chronic digestive problems since June of this year. I had him tested for celiac disease and it came back normal. I have been reading about people who tested negative too but decided to go gluten free anyway and found out that was the cause of their health problems. I have to admit I really dread making the switch. I live in a small rural town and getting gluten free products will be a nightmare. As it is, I am going to about 5 different stores to get my son's enzymes, probiotics, rice milk products, rice chips and etc. If gluten is taken out of the mix, I am not sure what I will do. I guess if worse comes to worse, I can order gluten free products off the internet and have them shipped. I don't know what people did in the pre internet days!

My friend's daughter worked as a nanny for a woman who's child was autistic. The mom had to cook everything from scratch and the little girl was on a gluten free, dairy free diet. My friend's daughter was hired because the mom knew she would have to spend quite a bit of time preparing food and so needed an extra hand with her girl. I already have had a taste of what the time requirement will be just with the diet restrictions we have already made. The gluten free diet will definitely be a huge challenge.

I was trying to understand the complexities of testing for gluten and it turns out that it is not gluten but a molecule called gliadin that is the culprit. This can be found in some gluten containing foods but not all. Rice, corn, buckwheat and millet have gluten in them but not gliadin and so are considered safe to eat. Another thing I found out is that people may not have tested positive to celiac but have high levels of the igG-gliadin antibody. Studies have shown that when these people went on a gluten free diet, many of their symptoms improved or went away totally. A lot of labs used to test for this antibody but because they thought it was of little significance, they don't anymore. I have to do some investigation to see if my son was specifically tested for this antibody and what the results were.

About 1 out of 150 people may be gluten intolerant. I think that number is huge. I am noticing that the grocery stores are carrying more gluten free products, however one still has to be careful because gluten free does not necessarily mean gliadin free. My son's health is on the line here and so I am willing to try anything and perhaps going gliadin free will be the answer.