Thursday, April 26, 2012

Been thinking....

OK,so Tomorrow is my 40th birthday....and as much as I dislike that number,at the same time I welcome it too.

I've accomplished a lot,especially in the past few years,that I can be proud of.

Not all that long ago we were living in an old leaky mobile home in a run down trailer park,hoping the next storm didn't tear the place down.We were over 40k in debt,and it was nearly all credit card debt.We had been struggling to keep up with people we thought were our friends,and trying to live a lifestyle like they did.Then one day it all came tumbling down.

As happens to most people in our situation,there came a day when the bill collectors wouldn't stop calling,they were even calling me at work.We couldn't pay our bills,we couldn't even pay our utility bills.We were contemplating moving in with my parents until we got things sorted out.Our marriage was in trouble,money stresses are one of the largest reasons couples get divorced.

THEN...we took a step back,realized what we were doing to ourselves and our future,and took a drastically different path....

We could have thrown up our hands,filed for bankruptcy like most people in our situation would have,and walked away from everything to start over somewhere.

What we did instead was,pay down all that debt,every single penny of it..yep,we paid it all back,slowly,and with the help of a credit counseling agency,but it got paid back,we didn't trash our credit and kept that leaky roof over our heads for a few more years until the day we finally bought a house.

We've purchased our home,we have a really good start on being very self sufficient here with all the gardens and fruits trees,berry bushes,and the rabbits.

I have had some of my ramblings published in the past.Maybe now is a good time to finish some of those fiction stories I started and never got around to trying to get published?

I can see where my attempts here are progressing,and hopefully by next year I will be hosting teaching classes here at home to help local area residents learn to be more self sufficient and self reliant.I'd like to be able to teach people one on one how to do a lot of the things that I do here.

I've made some new goals this year that I want to reach,one of those is being able to work less hours at my full time job so that I can spend more time at home working around here.I'm not sure how I'll do it,but I'll find a way.

So I'm not sitting around feeling sorry for myself,pondering where all the time has gone,wishing this day had never come.Instead,I'm reaching out,grabbing it by the horns and going for the next ride....

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

On the subject of cheapskates...

I just finished watching a show about the biggest cheapskates in America...umm....what can I say....

There are things I won't making TP out of cut up cloth....but I will buy cheap TP,which I just stocked up on the other day....using my coupons and a sale at work,I got two 12 packs of the store brand version of Scott for $0.82..but I also got a couple of other items,and that total was the sales tax...

I'm not against dumpster diving,but diving for your wedding anniversary gifts...come on now....

There was a guy who rinsed and reused paper towels,going so far as to hang them on a little clothes line to dry....dude....get real...use a dish cloth and skip the paper towels completely...while you're at it,skip the foam and plastic plates too..if you're going to wash and reuse something,make it something worthwhile and with real cost savings.

OK,so I'm not cheapest cheapskate in America,but I do quite a lot of things that save us a lot of money.

First I shop on sale,I refuse to pay full retail for something if I can avoid it.If I can find what I need cheaper,that's what I do.

Such as today,I needed supplies to paint the shed and the new rabbitry....rather than going to Home Depot and getting everything,I stopped at the nearby Habitat for Humanity ReStore and got everything but the paint(they didn't have any) and spent about 1/2 of what I would have at Home Depot,and all the supplies are new,right down to the extension poles for the paint rollers.Had they been used items it would have been even cheaper I'm sure.

My Mom gives me coupons all the time for Kohl's because she doesn't shop I got myself a new shirt for work today for $2.99...on sale from the original $26.00...combined with the coupon,I get a new shirt dirt cheap.

I have been contemplating going back to the church that does the free clothing and household goods give away every week,but to me that's just asking for trouble since I do have pack rat tendencies.LOL.

I grow a lot of our own food right here at home,including the rabbits for meat.Don't be squeemish now...all those who choose to eat meat,no matter where you get it from doesn't change the fact that in order for you to eat,an animal must give it's life.By raising your own,you at least know what went into it,how it was treated and more importantly,what did not go into it....

I also make all of our own sauces,salsa and jams and jellies,pickles,relish,things like need to buy them...there's saving some money...

I do use a lot of coupons,but I will never be one of those Extreme Coupon people..sorry,I do have a life outside coupon reality the people featured on that show were simply hoarders using coupons shopping as a means to feed their retail therapy addiction.

So how about you? Do you qualify as a cheapskate? OR can you do even better than those people featured on that show?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The trouble with grocery shopping

I sat here this morning and looked through the local grocery ads,contemplating what we need versus what's on sale...

I'm having an increasingly difficult time making a shopping list this year so far.

It seems as though the stores are geared toward having boxed,powdered,or frozen ready made foods on sale cheap....highly processed,overly sugared stuff...even the cereals they have on sale are high in sugar...

I'm looking for things we need....and not finding any of it...

I used to buy a lot of that stuff,until I got smart.You get what you pay for in most cheap food.It's all either highly processed and full of salt and sugar,or full of ingredients that read like a chemistry test.

I want food...real...plain and simple food...

One of our goals this year is to reduce our dependence on the grocery store by growing a lot of our own,buying it locally and putting it up,or if need be,eliminating it altogether...

We can purchase beef and pork direct from the local meat processor,we're replacing chicken with rabbit meat,and well,fish will be a challenge....we like a varied diet when it comes to meats,and tend not to have the same thing more than once a week.

Ideally I'd like to find a local fish farm,but the nearest one is still a good hour away...we've been there a few times,it's really fun to catch your own.We do go fishing during the warmer months when we have time too,but locally it's pretty darned hard to catch enough for regular meals unless you want fried pan fish...

If we can grow and put up most of our own vegetables,we'll be set there.We're also working with a volunteer program this year that "pays" you with part of the harvest you bring that will help too.

We'll still need to buy things like flour and sugar for cooking and baking,but for the most part,I'm finding less and less need for a grocery store.

How about you? Since switching to more,real foods,are you having a harder time shopping and filling your pantry with foods you're actually willing to eat?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Triumph and Tragedy....

I know I posted about our first litter being born,and they are doing good,mama rabbit has made a good deep,fluffy nest for them,and seems to be a good mother,considering this is her first litter.

A while back I brought home two Silver Fox cross bucks(supposed to be bucks anyway)..

I never bothered putting them in separate cages since they were both supposed to be bucks...and seemed to get along ok...and they were siblings as well.

Well,I went out to feed and water yesterday morning to find an entire litter of dead kits in the cage with them...guess what,one of the "bucks" is not a buck....

There was nothing I could do for the kits,they were all already dead,killed by the buck.So we quickly disposed of them and put the doe in her own cage to rest and recover.

Chances are the litter would have died anyway,but it still saddens me to know that this might have been prevented had I taken the time to double check that both were indeed bucks..lesson learned,even pro rabbit breeders can give you wrong information from time to time..

Friday, April 6, 2012

We have babies!!


I went out this morning to feed and water,and all the normal stuff...and found we had a nest full of bunnies born during the night.

Does she look pregnant to you? LOL

I don't know yet how many there are,she was very nervous this morning,so I didn't want to disturb her too much,so we'll wait a few days before we count them.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

What's going on?

I really wish this weather would make up it's mind,one week it's 85,the next it's in the 30's again...makes it hard to plan what I'm going to get done on my days off work.

Well,anyway,things are hopping around here.I've got a friend working on building the new rabbitry,once it's done it will be INSIDE the privacy fence in the backyard.Hidden a little more from passers by,and safer from night time prowling critters(we've got a healthy population of fox,coyote,and raccoons along with weasels and stray dogs...).

It's not much to look at right now,but when it's done it will be sided white,with two windows along the side and a wider door on the back side(think large wheel barrow size opening)...


We bred this doe to the buck,but so far, is 30 days from the breeding,so IF she is,she's due any minute...

I've also added a small 6x8 pop up greenhouse this year,and the plants are doing their thing,waiting for it to be warm enough day and night to set them out in the garden beds.

I will be taking on a few clients/customers this year for produce sales as well,so I'm working on setting up a small plan to keep everything organized.I've had people coming to me already asking if they can purchase produce from us this year.Very cool!

I've also got a waiting list for rabbits,should this doe every decide to kindle...

That's about it for now,nothing overly exciting.LOL...

I should have more updates,and more interesting things to talk about soon though.So hang in there,I haven't forgotten about you,or this blog.