Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Homestead To Do Tuesday

Well, the manic feeling from the Prednisone has left me and now I am back to my fatigued self.


Today, there is not much going on at the hodgepodge homestead today.  I have been focused on lowering bills and getting out of debt. In addition, I have been thinking out of the box for ways to build up this homestead with as little money as possible.

For instance, we FINALLY brought the baby ducks outside. The original run was not big enough for 9 ducks and 4 chickens so I created a makeshift run.

It looks horrible.

BUT, it works.  It will be getting fix shortly. We bought a shed to convert to a coop. As soon as we bought it, our neighbor asked if we wanted to buy his EXACT same shed for $100 cheaper and it has the base we were going to do without. Uh, heck yeah we do! He needs a bigger one. So, sometime We may be able to recoup some of the cost of the shed. So happy about that!

Another homestead to do task is to get rid of clutter!  I am thinking yard sale!  Or at least craigslist. Less clutter, more money towards debt!  (I am thinking this is morphing into a Monday Money post, oh well).

Another to do is the turkey and duck eggs we are incubating. Exciting!  I am nervous and excited at the same time. Who knows what the neighbors will think about that?!?  The ducks may not stay. Maybe one of them. The rest will be given away...or eaten.  But probably given away.

So that is what is going on here at the hodgepodge homestead. Nothing too crazy exciting!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A bonus "whatever" to share!

There is nothing quite like going up to the man's extra room to look for something and glancing at the bookshelf and seeing a paper plate with what looks like his tarantula on it.
This is how it feels, all in less than two seconds.
Heart stops, breathing stops, a small gasp comes forth, and panic begins to set in. The body stiffens, preparing to fight for its life. Then you slowly look to where the tarantula "should be" and it is there, in its cage, not ready to pounce and kill you.
Then the realization sets in that this is just "the skin" that was shed and plucked from the cage to give to an adventurous little girl relative.
For some reason I expected "the skin" to look like human skin peeled from a sunburn, which of course makes no sense.
This is what then happens when you realize what it is.
Your body instantly calms and is not ready to fight for its life. You glance one more time to make sure that the tarantula is indeed in its cage. You disgustingly look at the skin. Mutter a curse word at your husband for having "the skin" there. (It is not like it is in HIS room or anything). Then, you remember that what you want is in the garage and you leave the room.
That, my friends, is how my morning had started. Hope your morning was better!!

1st ever "Whatever Wednesday"!

This is such an appropriate post for today!  So, besides transforming my suburban/country home into a homestead, I got the idea years ago to write a book. 

Not just any ol book, but a book to dedicate to a special lady. 

That lady is my step mom. 
She is wonderful. 

I got the idea several years ago (in the shower...I mean, who DOESNT get cool ideas while showering?) to write a book for mothers day for her but have never had the time to even think about starting it. 

I am about ready to start it now. 

So, you know how around mothers day you see all these books about great moms but I have never seen one for step moms. I am sure there may be a select few, but I have never seen one. So after thinking about that, my mind went on a train ride...you know how minds get sometimes....

Well, my thoughts went to how step moms get a bad rap and then I was thinking of how in fictional stories, the step mom is always the evil one. 

I then thought about the books about moms again and how you have these "chicken soup" types books about great moms and blah blah and I thought, "how wonderful would it be to have a similar book for step moms?" 

So, my plan is to write one. 

I am starting on research about the "good" step moms in fiction and in history. What I would like from you, if you so choose, is your story. 
- Why is your step mom great? 
- What fantastic things has she done to have made you love her bunches? 

I have not sat down and figured out all what I would like in the stories, but I will...hopefully soon. My goal, if all goes as planned, is to gather stories and include them in the book. 
I have no money to offer, but what I would really like to do is offer each of you, whose stories make it into the book, a copy of the book, once it is published so that you can gift it to that special lady in your life. 

That is my preliminary plan. Right now I am just collecting names of those who may be interested in giving their story. This is really in the infant stages so if you have questions, please ask, but mind you, I will probably not have an answer at this time. I am really just starting out. So, if you are interested, please comment below that you are. 

That is all I am asking for right now. As soon as I get more details, I will pass them along to those interested. Thanks!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Homesteading to do Tuesday!

Welcome to Tuesday, my friends!  How is life treating ya?

Life is moving and grooving here on the wannabe homestead! So much to do, not enough hours in the day!

I have to let you in on a secret, well it is not much of a secret, but you know what I mean. So, I have rheumatoid arthritis. I have had it since I was 5 years old so I am pretty used to it by now. Anyway, with all the hubbub of graduation and all, my body decided that it was tired of being strong and once everything calmed down, I went into a flare. It did not help that I had taken myself off of medication last summer since the side effects were worse than being off the meds, in my opinion. I had things to do and did not have time to sleep away my days off because of the stupid meds!  So, since I was in a flare and had not been on any medication for almost 10 months, the PA and I decided to do a prednisone taper. I must be getting more sensitive to the side effects now that I am older because boy do I get them!  I dont remember having issues with the med when I was younger!  The past few times, I noticed that it spikes my blood sugar, which I do not notice. I notice the crash though!  Wowza! Nothing like feeling fine one minute and then next feeling like you are about to pass out and then feeling fuzzy minded and weak for the next several hours!  Ok, so I know one of the side effects can be mood swings. Oh I am loving this side effect. I have not felt irritable, but oh boy do I feel some energy!  Saturday (day 2 of the taper), I could have cleaned and reorganized my whole house if I did not have to work. Seriously. I felt GREAT!  I totally understand why manic people do not want to give that feeling up!  Ok, so I am still feeling a bit energetic so please bare with the manic posts for the next few days...haha!!  That's my secret..I am all hyped up on Prednisone and getting things done!

So, now that I am done with that tangent...on to the day! I could type my 'things to do list' for the day here, but that would be boring for you all to read!!  I am so energized that I have plenty of things I want to work on, but alas, I will only write about one subject today...maybe 2.

One happening around here is that we are getting new heating and AC units for the house. The upstairs system was totally broken and the downstairs one was not doing so great either. For the price a new small car, we will have new systems in by the end of the day!  Yay for AC!!  (although I am coldnatured and will have to keep a blanket by me at all times since the boys like to freeze me out!) This adventure has not been without mishap though.One guy slid off the rafter in the 130 degree attic at the beginning of the day yesterday and his foot went through the ceiling. Oops!

Today, I had big plans to sorta waterproof a wooden futon we had so I can put it on the screened in porch. That may still get done, but what I really want to do is get the baby ducklings outside. I am really tired of my bathroom smelling like a barn!  That is what I am working on today. We bought a new shed yesterday with plans to use it as a coop/storage area for the poultry supplies. Who knows when it will be put up (men!).  The coop we have now is ok for them to stay in but I noticed that the chickens are missing tail feathers so I am suspecting mites. I have sprinkled some Diatomaceous earth to help rid them of it. Hope it works. I am still learning. Also, although the coop is big enough, the pen, or run, is not. I need to make it bigger. I have ideas and they will look pretty pathetic, but they will work. So, today is all about research on adding ducks to the already established flock and getting rid of mites, if that is what it is.  I had hoped to post about how to do these things at this time, but I think this post is long enough!  I may come back and add some pics and links in a bit though so check back for an update!!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Blog themes for the week

I am a list person. I love lists. I also love being organized. I have noticed that other blogs have themed days. I like that. I think I am going to try to do some themed days too. Mine is going to be pretty loosely themed though. That way I will, hopefully, have things to blog about. Here is what I have so far!

Money Mondays: This is where I hope to talk about debt reduction using Dave Ramsey methods. Maybe I will discuss ways to make a little extra money on the homestead or ways I found to cut some bills down. It may also be a day I discuss some cool deals I found for cheap off of craigslist or facebook,

Homesteading to do Tuesday: Yay for the homestead day!  This is for projects I have going on around the home. It may be about the chickens and ducks. It may be about worms. It may be about staining the deck or decorating the house. It may be something simple as a craft or some skill I am working on to make the homestead more...ya know...homey.

Whatever Wednesday: This day is exactly what it says...whatever!  Whatever goes, baby!  I also toyed with the idea of Wholistic Wednesdays...but 'whatever'!

Transformation Thursdays: This may end up being an interesting day. I originally thought of it as a day to discuss our transformation to a simpler, healthier lifestyle. A day to discuss how we are doing healthwise, ya know with my RA or the boy's kidney disease or how I am really trying to lose some weight. Then the more I thought of it, some weeks may be as simple as the transformation or repurpose of an object around the house. If I am just not up to blogging about health, maybe I will blog about how I use a tobacco stick for something else entirely. OR, maybe I will use a Thursday to blog about how I transformed a messy ol garage into a storage haven for canned goods, hunting supplies, etc. Who knows?!?

Foodie Friday: I think I will like this day as I am morphing my family's diet, once again, to a more whole foods diet. Friday will be the day that I post some great recipes I have tried, anything about food really. Maybe I will find some great coupon sites for natural and organic foods. Maybe it is about gardening?  That is food too after all!

After reading over the lists, I noticed that some subjects may overlap on days. That's ok!! It is all what makes it fun and entertaining!  So, who is ready to follow my journey with me?!?

May update of goals!

I went ahead and updated my 2015 goals....here is the link to the post!

Not much as been done, but all in time...all in time...

Flash forward!

Wow, I really could have sworn that I have posted at least once since last December!  I know I thought about it often. Well, here is a much needed update:

I GRADUATED!!!  Saturday, May 9th, 2015, I graduated with my master degree in nursing with the concentration being a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner!  I am beyond excited!  This has been a long five years coming!  Now to study for the boards so I can then get credentialed and start practicing.  I may even have a job already too!  I spent 5.5 hours (yes, you read that right!) interviewing for a position in the ED at the hospital I currently work at for a position to do emergency psych consults on those who come to the ED for an evaluation.  Fingers crossed I get it!

Since I now have my life back, I have been thinking of all the goals I had made last year and how I want to begin working on them.  I am super motivated! My mind is constantly aflutter with visions of gardens, poultry, home improvements, and so on....

Speaking of home improvements....we are currently in the process of getting new heating/AC units installed. It has been getting pretty warm here in NC and the boy has been complaining that the upstairs has been really hot.  We have noticed that the downstairs has not been getting as cool as we think it should be. Since we have not had the systems maintenanced since we have moved in, we went ahead and signed on for a maintenance package with a local company that was recommended by a friend. Holey Moley!  The upstairs system was completely frozen over and took about four hours just to thaw to see what the deal was. It had 2 small leaks and one large leak. Nice.  The downstairs system had a small leak. We decided to go ahead and replace both systems on the recommendation of the company. We now owe what a small new car would cost and we are not happy about that, but we believe this will be our forever home so we think it will be money well spent. Plus these systems are guaranteed for about 20 years where as the others were only guaranteed for 10 and they've been here since the house was built 12 years ago.  I am just trying to be positive about the whole situation...sigh.

Since we decided to do the heating/AC units, we have to put the fencing on hold.  NOT happy about that.  I am going to see if the man and the neighbor down the street will work on it bit by bit over the summer. We were going to hire a company to come out and do it, but it just is not feasible for that now.

With all this talk about debt, I (with the man going along with my demands) have decided to do a total money makeover.  Have you heard about that?  Dave Ramsey's book?  With my student loans, the man's student loans, our car notes, and now the heating/AC bill, I need to get my finances organized and start paying it down.  I have a dream to call in or go to Tennessee to meet Dave Ramsey and yell that we are debt free!  I hope it comes true!  We are on babystep number 2 and will be there for a few years.  I am hoping to get all organized this week.

As far as transforming our suburban/country home to a hodgepodge homestead, it will come along Babysteps!  I plan on looking outside the box for ways to do things on the cheap, or the free. I will be stalking facebook groups and craigslist for cheap/free items to help with the transformation!

I "may" have mentioned previously about my family's health. I have rheumatoid arthritis and the boy has an autoimmune disease of the kidneys, iga nephropathy, or Berger's disease.  My whole reason for transforming my home to a homestead is for our health. I physically cannot handle acres and acres of an actual hobby farm and the man has no interest in it either.  Our little 0.88 acre site is it!  I figure if that family from Pasadena, California can farm on such little land, I certainly can do it on my bigger plot of land!

So there it is...my update!  I have much more to type (such as updating on the chickens and ducks!), but it is getting close to dinner time and I think we will be having lunch meat sandwiches and chips tonight since the house is a bit too hot to cook in today.  The budget will have to be neglected for today. Sigh.

Until next time....