When my husband and I were first married, we had just started our junior year at the University of WA. We had no extra money coming in and lived off what my husband had earned that summer working two construction jobs in Alaska (where the daylight lasts long enough you can do that.) I had kept my wedding costs to a minimum and we were able to live in a one-room home that his parents owned. We had a desk, table, three chairs, a hot plate and a hide-a-bed, as well as our wedding gifts. “Eating out” meant a picnic on a mountainside after a hike.

Making Lists


There were lots of things we wanted and we made a list and prioritized it. A television set was on top as well as a clothes washer and dryer. I don’t remember what else was on the list, but the ranking of the different items kept changing. The list kept us on our budget. We never carried debt on a credit card, as we couldn’t afford it. It was easier to do without. The funny thing is, that many things we considered essential became non-essential over time and got crossed completely off the list.

We finally got the TV set when we moved to Hawaii six years later. At that time we also got a miniature clothes washer. Living in Hawaii, I hung the items out to dry (diapers on a clothesline, made soft by the wind). I bought my first full-sized washer and dryer after we moved back to the mainland. If we couldn’t pay cash for it, we didn’t buy it. We shopped yard sales and discount stores, especially for the children’s toys and clothes.

We bought used cars using money we had set aside for them, so we never had a car payment.


I also use lists to get projects done and books written that would never be finished if I hadn’t used a list. When the items are written down on a piece of paper, it helps me see what is important and what not so important. Then the items can be numbered, according to importance, which is the last step in prioritizing them. Do #1 first and so on.

I know I would never have built a house, raised three kids, and finished over 50 books if I hadn’t kept lists. I let my books slide this summer while I got other things done, but intend to finish two of them around the first of next year. One of them is #14 of the pioneer Trahern series and the other is the last Lucky Dog book. Both are done past half-way, they are just not high-priority at the moment.

The last complete Trahern book, #13, takes The Sunniest Gal from Tennessee on a train ride from Boston to Cheyenne, facing death and finding love.

Filled with heart, hope, and holiday traditions…it’s Christmas, the most magical time of the year.
So, what could be more romantic than breaking through the bah humbugs to find love with your own personal Scrooge? Check out Irresistible Scrooges!

Irresistible Scrooges

Join the Authors' Billboard Newsletter mailing list and get a newsletter filled with new releases and books on sale every Friday.

Start out your subscription with a free book!

About Nancy Radke

A USA Today bestselling author, Nancy Radke grew up on a wheat and cattle ranch in SE Washinton State. She attended a one-room country school through the eighth grade. She learned to ride bareback at age 3 (Really! It was a common practice.) and when she got off or fell off, she would pull her horse's nose to the ground, get on behind its ears, and the horse would lift its head so she could scoot down onto its back. Nancy spent most of her childhood exploring the Blue Mountain trails that bordered the ranchlands. She and a friend once took a trail that turned out to be a two day trip. They always rode with matches and pocket knives, so made camp and returned the next day. These long rides worried her parents, but provided plenty of time to make up stories. Her first novel was set in the Blues, and is entitled APPALOOSA BLUES. TURNAGAIN LOVE was the first one published. It rated a four star review from Affaire de Coeur. Scribes World said "Turnagain Love has some fascinating twists and turns, unexpected complications, and charming scenes." It is light and humorous. Nancy currently has over 30 books written, both modern and western. All her stories are sweet and wholesome.  View website

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.