Leaky Faucet Investing

Drip. Drip. Drip. Leaky faucets can be annoying. Not to mention expensive. Some folks don’t worry about that leaky faucet or running toilet, because really, how much water can a drip cost? Well, over the course of several months or even a year, that ‘drip’ could be costing you hundreds of dollars.

What does that have to do with investing? Many companies reward shareholders by paying a dividend on the shares they hold, typically paying quarterly. So, if I own 100 shares of a company that pays, say 0.5225 per share, then I would receive a dividend check in the amount of 52.25, (0.5225 x 100 shares), 4 times a year. Just for owning their stock. Kind of like a profit sharing program.

Now, many of these same companies also offer a Dividend Re-Investing Plan, Or DRiP. By opting into this Plan, rather than receive a check, I would receive a statement showing the shares I own, the Dividend per share payout, and the amount I received. in this case, $52.25 That 52.25 would than be used to purchase additional company shares.

So let’s say that company had a share price of $50.00. That 52.25 would purchase 1.045 shares of that company, bringing my total to 101.045 shares.

Now here’s where it gets fun. The next quarter. I get paid the same dividend rate, 0.5225/share, only now, it’s being applied to 101.045 shares, instead of 100. Meaning the Dividend payout would now be 52.79. A whole 0.54 more than the last check. Big whoop right? Well, lets say the price of the company dropped a bit that quarter and the share price is now 45.75. That dividend payout has more purchasing power, and that 52.79 would purchase 1.1539 shares for a new total of 102.1989 shares. The following quarter sees a stock price of 51.73. At 102.1989 shares, our dividend would be $53.40, purchasing 1.0323 shares for a total of 103.2312. We close the year out with a stock price of $53.88. Furthermore, the div rate gets bumped up to 0.55. Our div would pay $56.78 and purchase 1.0538 shares for a total of 104.285 shares.

As you can see, we are being paid a share+ every quarter for a total of more than 4 shares per year. 2 years, 8+ shares. 3 years 12+ shares, and 4 years at 16+ shares. By year 5, our fractional shares would have rolled over and we would be +21 shares over 5 years, having never invested nothing more than the dividend payments. Over those 5 years we would hope to have seen several more dividend rate hikes, as well as, an increase in per share price. Where we were in the 45-50$ range, we would hope to be in the 50-55$, or even 55-60$ price range.

And in a nutshell, there you have the leaky faucet investment strategy. In 5 years time, our investment has grown by 20 shares and @ $55/sh, $1100 in price appreciation. A good company will have a consistent history with raising dividend rates, so we might now be receiving 0.58 / share.

While it might not seem like much, that leaky investment has made us over $1100, AND continues to earn. Not bad for doing nothing more than being a shareholder.

Thats Dividend Re-investing, or DRIP.

A.k.a. – Investing the leaky faucet way.

Written for DumDittyDo.com

ALL WORLD WIDE RIGHTS RESERVED

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Changing Seasons, Changing Mindsets – and OH! those blankets!!

Now mid way through November, the weather has finally cooled, bringing an actual chill to the air. Quite different from the scorching summer heat, and a welcome change. And as the seasons change, so do our mindsets. Chores to do, yard work to tackle, and oh yea, something about the holidays ….

As this particular season changes, I find myself with idle hands, desperately seeking an activity or two, and to that end, we have begun making candles and throw blankets. The throw blankets are double layered, hand tied, WARM, and machine washable. Perfect for an evening of Telley, or at an outdoor event.

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Alabama Crimson Tide avail for $50

We’ve found several similar blankets, (online) but they generally ran in the 4′-5′ length and only about 3′ wide. Maybe these are made for munchkins, but certainly not for me. Even at average height, those would barely be considered a (napkin) lap blanket. Me, personally, I prefer a blanket that wraps under my feet and could cover my head (if I so choose), or about 7′ long. Something that wraps around my body, like a papoose. Something about 5′ wide. But that’s my preference.

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Harry Potter – Limited Quantities $50

Your preference might be different. Perhaps you have a new addition to the family, and need something more like, well, a papoose. Maybe you’re tall and like something even longer. Perhaps you live in a ‘House-divided’ and want a blanket with BOTH your favorite teams, one on each side. Maybe you like pro sports, or root for your Alma Mater. Whatever the case, we can make a blanket just for YOU. You tell us how long you want your blanket, and what kind of team or pattern you’re wanting (Harry Potter!!), and we will send you a few pics to choose from. Choose the one you like, and we can have it made and shipped in no time.

As a General rule of thumb, these blankets cost about $10 per foot of length, but will vary depending on availability, licensing and what the supplier feels like charging at the time we purchase the material. Again, sports teams, and movie themes will have licensing agreements and cost more than something that is not. Makes sense, right?

img_5670Other than that, we charge actually shipping costs, which includes the packing material, and can all be tallied at the time of purchase. We accept Paypal, Major Credit Cards, and Cash (of course), though nothing will be shipped until funds are received. Further, if you are in the Atlanta area, Pick Up may be available.

I hope to post these not only on our Facebook page, but also on Craigslist, eBay, and anywhere else we think of 🙂

If you like the pics, and wish to order your own blanket, send me an email @ DumittyDo2u@yahoo.com, and we will find the perfect pattern for your personal blanket. Or perhaps as a gift to that Steelers fan, or Penn State Alum. (All major colleges and sports teams avail).

 

Coo-Coo for Paw-Paws

Nope, not Cocoa Puffs. I have been Coo-Coo for Paw Paws ever since I wrote an article about them for Helium (a writing service that has since changed names). While many in the world consider a Paw Paw to be a Papaya, The fruit to which I am referring to is the American Paw Paw.

‘Asimina triloba’, to be exact. The largest edible tropical fruit indigenous to North America. Part of the Order Magnoliales, which includes the tulip, magnolia and nutmeg, and more specifically, the Annonaceae Family which includes other large pulpy fruit like the custard apple, soursop and sweetsop to name a few.

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Natures Custard

‘Asimina triloba’ is often referred to as the ‘poor man’s banana’, Hoosier banana, Prairie Banana and my personal favorite, the ‘Banango’ (for it’s unique custardy pulp that looks somewhat like a mango while having a banana-like texture). Some have also likened the taste to having a hint of pineapple or even cantaloupe. Whatever it may taste like, it is unique to North America.

Finding a Paw-Paw can be quite the endeavor. They ripen quickly, bruise easily and do not store well (lasting only a day or two at room temperature, and perhaps a week if refrigerated). It does however make wonderful ice cream, and can be used in jams, jellies and any recipe calling for bananas. The American Paw Paw is known to have more proteins than most other fruits.

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Flowering Paw-Paw

Paw-Paws are also difficult to pollinate, as their flowers have a near non-existent scent. What odor it does produce can be foul, likened to rotten eggs or rotting meat. Common pollinators, when they can be found, include fruit flies, blowflies and carrion beetles. While it is suggested in numerous publications to plant at least Two (2) different varieties, some farmers have even resorted to hanging raw meat or chicken necks nearby to aid in pollination. Some animals that feed on the Paw Paw include foxes, raccoons, squirrels opossums and even black bears.

Native Americans often used the tough inner fibrous bark for making fishing nets, mats and ropes. The logs have also been used for split-rail fences.

As an added benefit, Wikipedia also states:

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Zebra Swallowtail

Due to the presence of acetogenins, the leaves, twigs, and bark of pawpaw trees can be used to make an organic insecticide.[12] The one notable exception is the zebra swallowtail butterfly (Eurytides marcellus), whose larvae feed on the leaves of various species of Asimina, conferring protection from predation throughout the butterfly’s life, as trace amounts of acetogenins remain present, making them unpalatable to birds and other predators.[15]

Other family members, like the ‘pepper plant’, are often used (in Africa) to spice meats, and the ylang-ylang has aromatic oils that are used in perfumes and spices.

Paw Paw seedlings are often expensive. 1-2 foot tall saplings can cost upwards of $30 each. However, if you are willing to grow your own from seed, it takes about three years to reach this height. (One of my seeds sprouted the first year, this year!) Most seeds spend the first 6 months of the first year sending down its deep taproot, before emerging above ground the following year. (I got my seeds from KSU – Kentucky State University, which has the only full time Paw Paw research program in the world! I sent them my request on their Facebook page in early spring, and they sent me TEN seeds for free.)

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Paw-Paw patch

After that, the young seedlings require an additional 1-2 years of ambient light, found best in an ‘understory’ location. This is important, as direct sunlight can kill the young saplings. Paw-Paws also enjoy rich, well drained soil, again found in nature along the edges of forest growth. (Think years and years of dropped and decayed -ing leaves, and the rich organic soil it creates. Usually damp under the top layer). Finally, Paw-Paws do NOT transplant well, as their long and deep roots are quite fragile, and susceptible to breaking, which often kills the seedling.

Once you get it growing, however, Watch Out! Paw-Paws are ‘runners’ (underground roots) and will create ‘patches’ of Paw-Paws 20’40’ high and several feet thick. More if not properly tamed.

Written by Jack Sprout for     DumDittyDo.com       All World Wide Rights Reserved

My Atlanta Garden – Update Aug 2016

Written by Jack Sprout
for DumDittyDo.com
All World Wide Rights Reserved

I’ve taken a bit of a respite as the website builds content. At the moment, I am the DO part of DumDittyDo.com, (though from what I hear, there are plans to add a financial advice columnist), while others still are writing some Dum stuff. (Largely political in nature, though I admit to liking both ‘Mr. B. Nice’ and the ‘Marihuana‘ postings). I have also come to understand that a new Ditty is soon on it’s way, with accompanying video no less. Sounds like fun.

Another reason I have been absent, is due to the fact that what I really want to focus on, with My Atlanta Garden, is winter gardening and how successful I can be in cooler (zone 7b) temperatures. (and in a greenhouse.)

But before we get to that, an update on this years’ Garden:

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Cukes gone Wild !!

The wicking bed continues to perform well, having put off many delicious Tomatoes. The early Broccoli and Squash, however, did not flourish that well. I suspect this had to do with the heat, although I admit it did take me a while to figure out the watering amounts and an appropriate (nutrient) feeding schedule.

Now mid way through August, the cucumbers are really taking off. The temperatures haven’t really abated much in the daytime, though the nights are nice and cool, dipping into the 70’s F*.  My watering has also become more consistent, as have the Heavens, providing more consistent rain (finally) these past couple of weeks. A major time saver when I don’t have to water the trees.

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Jalepeno

The rock garden did well with the Hot peppers (Habanero and Tabasco) and Onions, but little else. I highly suspect lack of sufficient water, due in part to the shallow depth of the garden soil. I plan on dismantling this garden, and moving it to the back yard, while possibly switching to wood, using some 2”x10”’s that were inherited with the property.

The Aquaponics System was pretty much a FAIL. I don’t seem to do well with fish, it seems, having killed them off early. Not to let the system go to waste, however, I continued running the system Hydroponically, with mixed success. The Tomatoes grew nicely, but didn’t really fruit, even though I added a liquid based fertilizer.  (And I KNOW they had plenty of water.)

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Hydro-Maters

As we traversed late July and early August, the Cucumbers began growing nicely and indeed gave off some nice big juicy fat Cukes for our Salads. I have also taken note to WHERE the plants flourished and, just as importantly, where they DIDN’T. With that in mind, I have begun building another system behind the garage, where it receives more direct morning light, and less afternoon sun. I was able to notice this pattern not only in my gardening routine, but also by Clocking the Garden area. I expect this location to do much better next year. I am also installing (4) IBC totes, holding somewhere in the neighborhood of 2000 Gallons, or 4000 liters, and supplying up to SIX (maybe 8??) grow beds! I am planning on covering the totes with roofing, and then directing any rainwater into the totes to replenish loss from evaporation.

The raised cinder garden also flourished with nice tall Tomato plants AND big red juicy fruit. The Squash we harvested were delicious, if not plentiful, and now the Cukes are doing well in there also. I’m fairly certain this lack of production was due to inconsistent watering and even occasionally OVER watering, as I tried (desperately) to combat this years’ brutally hot and dry days.

The Greenhouse has held up nicely to the few storms we have had, and I am looking forward to extending the growing season in there. I am also curious to see how the shorter days and Winter location of the sun (zenith?) differs from the Summer, as well as the difference in how much sun these two areas receive. (Winter v Summer)

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Pomegranate

Average Fall planting time here, according to my Farmers Almanac, is mid September and barely a month away.

In other news, We have our !~1st Pomegranate ~! YEA !!  I am preparing an area for a chicken coop, and surprisingly, one of the Paw Paw seeds has sprouted above ground!

But, we’ll save those for another post, coming soon.  Until then my friend.

Feasting on Toms Toes

NO, we don’t actually eat ‘Toes’ (or put them in our mouth in any way shape or form …  I mean ewww) per say unless of course they are red and plump and juicy … and come from a Tom-a-toe plant. At which point, we eat all we can. But before we get to the feasting part, let’s review some ways to ensure a healthy crop.

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Excess water = cracked skin

If you follow my blog, you know that I’ve been writing about a bumper harvest and, sure enough, they just keep on coming. Bucketful after bucketful, these beauties are giving their all. At least in so far as the water and nutrients they receive.  Anyone that grows tomatoes has to be especially vigilant in their care. Not only do they need proper support (they can get top heavy), but they are heavy feeders and require lots of water. But here’s the thing, Tomatoes need a regular water schedule that is also consistent in the amount they receive. Too much water, and they (literally) grow out of their skin.

Tomatoes plants are also classified as ‘heavy feeders’ meaning they need to be fertilized throughout their life. About every week or so I add some calcium and potassium, along with a 30-18-18 solution. Normally I sprinkle this on the soil around the individual plants and then water it in, allowing the nutrients to reach the roots. Some things (like potassium potash) can be applied (foliarly) by spraying directly onto the leaves. I prefer the water in method because it cuts down on mildew and fungi that can affect the quality of the plant. Furthermore, if you spray at the wrong time (midday) you can ‘burn up’ the plants.  Finally, when watering I make sure not to ‘splash’ the stem or leaves with water as this can lead to soil borne diseases.

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A plethora of produce?

Once you get all that together (and even if you simply water alone) your plants will produce a prolific plethora of produce. (We love alliteration!!) We have had several tomatoes this year that were so big … (How big were they?) They were so big, that a single slice covered an entire piece of bread. Add some salt pepper and mayo, and viola’, presto change-o,  a tomatoes sandwich. Throw on some bacon, and POOF, a B.L.T. We toss them in salads, (duh) and in soups; we’ve made pesto (with some home grown peppers and cilantro), we even eat them raw with little more than a shaker of salt.

Truly, no matter HOW you slice them, it comes up YUMMM !!!  (I’m **snicker-ing** at my own humor). HAhahahahahaha