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Amparo Bertram

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08:41 am: A penny saved
The big news this week is that I've started the process to refinance my mortgage. It's going to cost a hefty chunk of change up front in fees, but it should save me $30K in interest over the life of the loan, which I consider a pretty good return. Plus, the monthly payments will be lower, which means that if I continue my current payments and assign the difference directly to the principal, it will pay off the loan faster and save more.

My garden continues to advance into spring. My second camellia has bloomed, and it is every bit as lovely as I had hoped. Most of my trees and shrubs are beginning to break their winter dormancy. It's always a relief to see that they are still alive. I harvested my fenugreek greens yesterday...a task which mainly consisted of picking off the leaves and trying to avoid the aphids. After blanching, I wound up with about 2.5 cups of greens. That's not terrible for a winter experiment, I suppose, though it pales next to the bounty that the sugar snap peas are providing.

Indoors, I planted the seeds for my summer vegetable and herb crops. This year I will mostly be planting one each of many different varieties, in an attempt to see which ones fare best here. In particular, I will be trying eight varieties of tomatoes, seven varieties of basil, and four varieties of hot peppers.

I'm continuing to pick my backyard dandelion blossoms. They're quite productive. It's time-consuming to strip all the green bits from the petals, but so far I've collected two cups. It takes at least a quart to make a decent batch of wine, so this will be an ongoing project.

I stopped at the local nursery yesterday to pick up a few supplies, and I found myself seduced by their display of flowers. I stocked up on a number of perennial bulbs plus a tree peony. Now I just have to find time (not to mention space) to plant them all. It's a shame that the weather is so chilly today; it makes me want to stay indoors. Maybe it will warm up later in the morning.

Comments

[User Picture]
From:mangaroo
Date:February 27th, 2012 11:05 pm (UTC)
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the process to refinance my mortgage

Woot! If you'll owe less monthly and stand to save $KK in the long run (even if you didn't pay off early), the interest rate must be significantly lower? Have interest rates gone down again? I'm happy for you, but I want the economy to recover already.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:February 28th, 2012 01:19 am (UTC)
(Link)
Have interest rates gone down again?

They started going down not long after I bought the house. This refinancing will lower my rate by 0.625%.

I'm happy for you, but I want the economy to recover already.

Everyone seems to think that it has bottomed out and will only go up from here.
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