Good evening all

Haven’t been online much lately; one of our ongoing Murphy frustrations is that my computer might be about to croak off. But I’m slogging through ultra-slow performance, rather than putting this on my smartphone, because we have a pretty exciting thing shaping up here. We may have found a combine. But now I have a payment method dilemma.

An equipment dealer about 5 hrs away has the model we’ve been looking for, at a price better than we expected to find. We haven’t made an offer yet, but we probably will sometime this week. We’re not talking a huge sum of money – less than $1000. But I’ve been debating with myself how best to send him the money if we can agree on a price. Each method has some pro’s and con’s:

1) a personal check would be convenient, but it would have to clear before it was considered “real”. There’s also the delay in getting it mailed there. We expect 4-6 days’ worth.

2) a certified check would be only slightly less convenient, and wouldn’t need the clearing time to be considered “real”. But the mail would take just as long.

3) a wire transfer to the seller’s bank account would be nearly instantaneous, less than 24hrs. But the seller would have to give me the wire instructions to his bank, and that makes some folks nervous. Yet this is my current most-preferred method. No question when the money gets there, and no wait before it’s considered “real”.

4) A paypal transfer might work, except he didn’t seem keen on even sending me pictures via email. I don’t know that he has any sort of business website either. I can offer to go this route but not sure he’d accept. This is not an eBay auction so there’s no formal auction house to do the money handling. Just him and me.

5) I’d dearly love to go out there, inspect the machine in person, and hand him cash. But the drive would be 5 hrs one way, I don’t want to have to spend the night, I’m not sure my truck is really up to such a long roadtrip (particularly through some rough and empty country), and frankly I would rather not take the time to do that. Flying out there would very possibly cost more than the combine itself given the short turnaround time. So doing this in person seems unlikely.

There’s also the issue of when to make the payment vs when to have the equipment movers arrive. I can’t exactly have the delivery crew load up the machinery and drive off with it, before it’s paid for. So I’d have to know that the payment got there before I scheduled them. But I don’t like the idea of my paid-for equipment sitting there for days or weeks while the delivery guys get their scheduling figured out. Stuff like that is too easily “disappeared”.

When my husband was traveling for work

I joined FestivalNet.com which is for exhibitors, artists, etc. You can search their site and see what’s going on in any given area. I used it as a tool to find things to do in areas I was unfamiliar with and attended a number of events.
Maybe this will help locate things to do in your surrounding area that would be free to do. A search of our area within 30 miles has a pirate fest, mango festival, craft festival, street fairs, parades, music fests, etc.. I like the craft fairs as I always come back with a head full of ideas and they provide great motivation for repurposing things I already have on hand. I generally don’t duplicate what I see, but take things a step farther.
Also, whomever suggested joining a museum is spot-on. We did this when the kids were little but take note that they have a 90-mile rule – meaning that you didn’t get in free to places within 90 miles of your ‘home’ museum. Now, this was never, ever enforced in our experience but something to consider. We priced memberships at a number of museums, too, because a family membership at the best value we could find is $35 today. Another, for example is almost $100, so we went for the $35 membership with free access to the museum with a $100 membership price.