I think I blogged about this several years ago but this bears repeating. Kiva is a great organization. Their mission is to connect people, through lending, for the sake of alleviating poverty.

It is amazingly easy to do. You go to their site, pick someone, and loan them $25. Your $25 is lent with other people's $25 until they are funded. They pay you back and you can reloan or take your money out. This goes though PayPal. I just looked at the loans I've made and no one has defaulted.

I was very surprised to learn that I have made 19 loans in the last couple years. I generally fund women in the arts if I can. My loans have been made to people in Uganda, Kenya, Lebanon, Togo, Mexico, Azerbaijan, Paraguay, Dominican Republic, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru.

Even though times are tough now in this country we are all so rich. This is a really simple way to give and make a difference in other peoples lives.

straw into gold...

Today I spun straw into gold.  Gold into cash. And cash into a new front door.

OK I admit to a little magical thinking here but it was like spinning straw into gold. Having seen what my parents left behind when they left we are working towards not doing the same. So whatever we find that we will not use goes. And I noticed that I had some 80's gold jewelry I would never, ever, wear again. Not even a lot - 3 rings, one heavy gold necklace and a thin one I thought was gold but was silver and I got $710 for this jewelry I didn't want. And we do want a new front door. So it feels like I am getting a free front door. Especially since Ellie our neighbor had an actual wooden slab of a door with our numbers on it painted an unfortunate shade of 70's orange that she generously gave us. (Thanks Ellie!) But I digress.

Here is what I now know about selling gold...

Gold is currently selling for $1200 an ounce. You hear this on television BUT that is for 24K gold. Most jewelry is 14K although I did once have a ring that was 18K. Jewelry is 14K because 18K or 24K is generally too soft for jewelry.

The going rate for 14K gold was 58% of what the 24K gold was selling for. 75% for 18K.

Not all places you take your jewelry to are the same either. Everyone pays a different amount. So call around or visit to compare prices. Here are some guidelines...

18-25% is the percent you get if you use the mail-in places you see on TV or in ads. They pay the least and I would never mail my jewelry anywhere.

38-48% is the percent that places in the malls generally pay.

48-60% is what the coin shops pay.

80% is the percentage I got at Rick's Olde Gold at 1314 Williamson St. here in Madison.

They were nice, it was easy and I'll get a new, free front door.

And that is a little lesson about spinning gold into a new front door.

Oh and I've been asked about those ads I've put on my site. It is called affiliate marketing. I contact the company and ask to put their ad on my site. If they agree I do. I make my living by making & selling fonts. I would like to make money from my blog so I can afford to spend more time doing it.

If for example you were going to buy something from Amazon anyway and you first went to my site and clicked on my ad for Amazon and bought it I would get a small commission.

But only if you want to. And if not that is OK too. And my mother had to buy all my Girl Scout cookies.

Wicked Problem

Wicked problem

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Wicked problem" is a phrase used in social planning to describe a problem that is difficult or impossible to solve because of incomplete, contradictory, and changing requirements that are often difficult to recognize. Moreover, because of complex interdependencies, the effort to solve one aspect of a wicked problem may reveal or create other problems.

I just recently learned of this term. I have a problem without an immediate solution or one that I can see. I am a problem solver and a good friend suggested that maybe it was a wicked problem. I like that term and I guess find comfort that there it is acknowledged that some problems are not readily solvable.

Interesting rocks

I just had to have some of these cool rocks. And that is odd since I don't really collect rocks. I am a minimalist and our house is contemporary so I get by with the least amount of stuff possible. The smooth oval ones are Shiva Lingman. Used to remind us that perceived opposites are different energies that are part of the whole. Aids in uniting all sides of the self.

The green stones are Fluorite. Flurorite creates order and stability out of chaos.

What drew me to these stones as they are in their natural state. The shiva lingman are naturally stream polished. The flurorites are 8-sided and form this way naturally if the soil is right. Very interesting.


If you have not sent or received a Monk-E-Mail you just have to do this. My friend Ann send me one the day I was prepping for a icky surgical procedure. If you know Ann you know it was hysterical. We just sent it to a friend who was turning 50. And it was equally funny.

You get to pick the chimp. The clothes he wears and you can write your copy or record audio. Very easy and fun. Or another internet time waster.

Note: If the friend you are sending this to has a Dilbert cube outside the bosses office do know that the card is spoken and all her co-workers (and boss) can hear it. Maybe send it to your friend at home...

Conversation the other day....

Me: Did you John: No

Me: You don't know what I was going to say.

John: You were going to ask if I had a hard time logging on to the internet at Panera.

Me: Oh... yes

This is the end of week 3 of John and I both working from home. By the time John goes back to work we will be communicating telepathically.

Another non-resume building skill

"Synesthesia" means one sensory experience described in terms of another sensory experience, such as hearing colors or seeing notes.I smell colors. Actually I smell a smell and know what color it is. I've always been confused by the color perfumes are. I have some perfume that is colored blue. And I was so surprised that it did not smell blue. Apparently perfume manufacturers don't know that they need to match the smell with the right color. They probably don't even know that there is a smell color association. I first noticed this at the Country Kitchen we use to visit in the wee hours in my college days. The bathrooms were heavily air freshened. One place had a bright neon blue green color smell, another place had a vile neon florescent hot pink color smell. What is surprising is that at some point in time you figure out that other people don't do this. And this usually comes with some very strange looks.