Monthly Archives: May 2011

Account Info List

After a bit of a hiatus, I feel like I’m getting back to finance basics. I hadn’t checked any accounts or paid any bills in nearly three weeks. Thankfully, since we’ve worked to streamline our finances and set up as much as possible on autopay, I wasn’t actually delinquent on anything. It’s kind of a relief to have been MIA and not feel any dread now that I’m ready to refocus on our finances.


It’s also a reminder of how essential my Google Docs folder with all our account info has become for managing finances with simplicity. I have no doubt that without this handy crutch I would have been needing new passwords left and right to log in…passwords are the first thing to vanish from my brain! I’ll give a gentle nudge to say that when you set up your estate documents, it’s important to share this info (or at least have it all compiled) for your executor. Most of us get multiple bills via email, and how else can anyone deal with them without a clear account info list? 


It also makes me realize that we have several gaps in our record keeping, and I would hate to send anyone through our files to find the wheat from the chaff. In fact, based on my response to a questionnaire we filled out when we got our personal finance planning report from Jonathan Pond, he advised that updating our will and doing a better job filing be some of our top priorities…the filing still needs to be sorted/simplified.


I found a detailed list of info you should have handy for your executor. While some items (like appliance guarantees) seem a bit overkill, I certainly agree that we should have all the essential documents in order. I also found a simple template from O magazine. Now that the gardening weather is so nice I don’t expect to tackle this soon, but it does give a good project for next autumn.


Do you have a master account list?


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Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Will & Testament: Make it your family priority

At the new year I talked about how updating our wills and creating new “last wishes” documents were a family goal, and about a month ago I wrote about questions for estate planning. I may be stating the obvious, but given the recent death of my father, I realize how essential documenting your last wishes really is for your family. I encourage you to make setting up your estate affairs a top priority for your entire family.


Ironically, Hubby and I signed our wills, advanced directives, and power of attorney when my father had already passed away and we just didn’t know yet. I was planning to have the tough talk with my father the next time we met, and I was already discussing the need for estate planning with my mother. My Twin Sis had tried to broach the subject of writing a will the last time they saw each other in January, but he kind of scoffed at her asking “Why would I need a will?!” She pressed further and told him that writing a will is the responsible thing to do, especially for someone 65 with a heart fibrillation. She insisted that it wasn’t about inheriting money, but it was more about his last wishes. Where did he want his ashes scattered? Did he have any causes he wanted to donate to? What about giving money to his “best-ex” who who was partners with for 14 years and still best friends with? How would we know anything about handling his finances? We knew that we didn’t want to be kept on life support, but that doesn’t matter without an advanced directive…


As in turns out, these questions were forced upon us much early than we anticipated. Please, I urge you to get your estate affairs in order, I promise you’ll breath a sigh of relief when they are done and your family will thank you when you are gone.


Not to keep this post entirely depressing, I want to share Brett Dennen’s new song Dancing At a Funeral from his new Loverboy album.




Do you have a will and testament? 
Does your spouse? Do your parents?


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Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Wally’s Way

As my close friends and family already know, my father Wally passed away, and just last Monday I was busy hosting a wake in his honor. Needless to say, it’s been a surreal experience to both mourn and celebrate his life.


Like perhaps most daughters, I now realize how much I took him for granted. But I also realize how much his direct influence has shaped my life, especially when it comes to pursuing my passions and speaking my truth. And I feel deeply that his memory will only make me a better parent, friend, and person.


Reuniting with and meeting many of his friends has given me pause to think about the value of my friendships, and my desire to invest my energy into them more readily. Let’s face it, relationships take lots of time and energy, but my father never hesitated to make himself available to friends. Upon his death, it was abundantly clear that he had hundreds of friends touched by his friendship. I can only hope that I will be so lucky to have such genuine love poured out when I go, and the whole experience makes my heart feel more open.


More than anything, Wally was an oral historian for his community. He listened to people, he learned, and he shared. He had his own unique “Wallyisms,” but everyone loved him. Like his life partner said, “He was the best. The best Wally he could be.” And in my opinion, that’s best anyone can aspire to…being true to yourself and having people who love you for you.


In reflection, I’ve also been thinking about how much my father was really the definition of hippie and he created his own sub-culture:

  • Dropped out of college to live in Haight-Ashbury
  • Hitch-hiked to Woodstock
  • Smoked a joint with Janis Joplin
  • Lived off the grid (just gravity fed piped water…like the Bull Run)
  • Lived in a house truck (his father built a homemade RV on a pick-up truck to travel to Alaska for a month when he was ten years)
  • Founding member of Hoedads Treeplanting Cooperative – planted trees and picked cones (for seedlings) for 25 years
  • Charter member of the Oregon Country Fair
  • OCF Recycling Crew member for 25 years
  • Dated Jerry Garcia’s wife, Mountain Girl, until she returned to him following health issues
  • Renaissance man – Taught skiing at Mt Bachelor, taught himself to sail, taught himself to play guitar
  • Called Eugene his home – as one friend put it – “Wally was a Eugene Icon
He was obviously one-of-a-kind in an era of much social change, but I know that he felt like his true legacy was leaving behind twin daughters who are simultaneously working to live authentically, while sharing our passions with the world. I feel like my true legacy will be raising children who are willing to express themselves with such openness and love.

What legacy will you leave behind?


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Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Happy Mama’s Day!

I’m excited to be heading for a mini-Mama’s day vacation…dropping kids off at “Grandma and Papas” before Hubby and I head down for a few cherished days as adults…we lived in Ashland for two years prior to kids, so I’m sure it will feel surreal to visit…then we’ll have time as a family for Mama’s day itself.


Last year I took a lot of time to write several of my favorite posts on “Green Mamas.” I’ve gained lots of new readers since then, so in an effort to recycle:


Ode to Green Mamas
Celebrity Green Mamas
Green Mompreneurs – I would now add JBF organizers to this list! 
Global Green Mamas
Great and Grand Mamas


Lastly, to our beloved Mama: Thank you for raising us with green family values and being generous to the core. We love you more than you can know. 


(photo of Twin Sis on the left)


Happy Mama’s Day!


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Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.