The last few days I have gotten an insight into those around me. At times when we are going through our own hard times, we don’t look around and see. And we all are bad for this, even me. I live in a small neighborhood were most are on fixed incomes or are low income; older people, families with children. The Lord has opened my eyes to those around me. One family has 10 kids, 3 grandbabies, and 3 adults (only one car that holds 4); another an older blind man with his older sister living together (just to make ends meet, both their cars are in need of repair). These families are having car troubles too, along with me. So I have put together kind of a neighborhood car help. We have agreed to call each other when we HAVE to go to town, to see if the others need anything or a ride to town. We all live about 20-30 minutes from town, and no one goes to town for fun. I am praying this will work for us all. All the cars are on their last legs and some have stopped working. Hopefully taking turns going to town will save gas money along with car wear and tear. We as a neighborhood, have been trading things around with each other. We have become a closer people. We all have a way to help others along. Look around you, really look, who can you help today. It does not have to cost money, most times it’s just your time. Can you pick up something in town for them? If you don’t have something they need, do you know someone who might? Sometimes they just need an ear, someone to listen without judging them. How can you help?
This winter is going to be harder than last winter. People have by now used up all the saving they did have. Some may have gotten jobs by now, but now they are trying to pay off back bills and the new bills are still coming in. More and more people rich and poor are having a hard time just with life’s have too (rent, power, food). They have already given up the extras, and still have a hard time with the musts.
So this week coming see if you can help at least one person/ family with something? The Lord does not aloud us to help ourselves but help others. May you all have a great week.
God bless you all,
First off, thank you all for your prayers. I am still kicking, just had a few bad days. (almost a pity party) Funny how easy it can sneak up on you. For a few days, I felt like I was in a black hole and could not get out, and at times did not want out. You all know how your mind can play games with you. But the sun has come back out and the black hole is gone. Thank you Lord. So I am going to try again and get this blog going with more posts.
I dropped my power bill by: turning off lights and use them only at night when it’s dark or work is being done, using the small night lights in hallway and bathrooms ( no need turning on all those lights when the night light works fine), now I do turn the bathroom light on to take a shower, the cow fence charger was taken down( it used power), unplugged the extra ice box, turned off the water heater during the day and off after showers, TV-VCR-computers etc are plugged into a power strip that turned off when not in use, no dryer (not using it to dry wash cloths like before about once a week, now I use homemade wash cloths and napkins so we are talking about almost 50 cloths to hang up.), do one load of dish in the dishwasher a day (no more- different glass every time you get a drink).
My gas stove is getting fixed this Thursday, no more store bread. It went out months ago, and I have been using the small toaster oven. But it’s not big enough for bread. And the bread prices keep going up and up along with everything else. It’s a bit of money to get it fix. But I also see it as saving more money as I will be able to cook more at home. Boy we sure do miss my oatmeal cookies. 🙂 I have saved up to get it fixed. And can’t wait to get it back in working order.
TommieLynn’s male hamster got got last week. For three days he had freedom. Then this morning the female hamster was not in her cage when I woke up. Her and her 7 babies gone. I don’t mind telling you think twice and then think again before getting hamsters. Well her freedom did not last as long as his, only a few hours. Thank you Lord. And the kittens keep coming, now we are up to 14 kittens, 1 more cat due any day. Anyone need a great mouse cat, they are free. My cows were so much easier than these hamsters. LOL
It’s going on it’s second week of rain every day. Today it only rained this morning. My grass is almost knee high but it’s still to wet to mow and it’s supports to rain the rest of this week. So I have not even been able to do any garden work. My garden does not need to be that big this year as my food barn and freezers are still full. But we do need a few things. I am so thankful I started stocking up when Tommy told too, almost 2 years ago now.
The jobs are still very few in this area. More and more people losing jobs and homes. And more are having their power turned off. More are growing gardens, and more are trying new ways of doing things to stretch their money. At times it’s overwhelming to see the way this world is going. But I’m ready for home.
I have been making homemade popsicles out of kool-aid and juice, an quick snack. I have the cream in the freezer for homemade ice cream when it gets a little hotter. I am still stretching my meats at dinner, and having eggs at dinner as we have so many eggs. Sometimes just sandwiches. Trying very hard to buy less and less from the store, most of the time I do great. There are times when I do buy what I call extras/just because things. So far we are doing good. When KFC chicken sends out great deals with coupons on buckets of chickens, I get them and pack in meal size freezer bags. It a fast meal and better than the frozen box chicken. Does not happen often, but it’s a treat too. When we do go out to eat, we use coupons or no go. Have you all seen more then usual coupons coming out in the mail? Some are great deals. Right now here, KFC has a 2 piece meal deal out for $2.00. I know fast food is not good for you, but sometimes you just need to get out, a night off.
I need your help, ok. I have some many black ant hills in my yard it’s no long funny. Every other step, is a step into a ant hill and they are in my raised bed garden too. I have never seen so many. How can I get rid of them as they are now trying to come into the house??? They are breeding faster than rabbits and rats. HELP !!
I am still feeling my way through this new life, one day at a time, by God’s grace I/we will make it.
Well I can say I off to a rough start, but I am kicking hard. And by God’s grace we will make it.
Well for starters, the day Tommy went home, my truck broke- timing chain and water pump. So I got these fixed. But today the truck started spraying oil. Ok, Now I really want/need a horse and buggy. But wait there is more. The Social Security Office said Friday that I would not get any widow benefits until May(a whole month and the first on the month is this week.) I am a little rattled to say the least. But then this morning I went to the food bank, and saw a family getting paper goods(plastic bowls, and silverware) so they could feed their kids as their power was turned off last week. My heart broke, here I was getting upset because of money and my truck, when I do have so so much to be thankful for. And the lady that runs the food bank talk to me a while. Thank you Lord for her. I had had my eyes on myself and not others and God. So I got a spanking from God today. She asked about this blog, and I told I had not been here in a while. She said people needed it. So I am back and now you all will see me start this new journey, my new life. Let me tell you it’s scary at times, as I do not do change will. But I am holding tight to God’s hand as he walks me through each moment and each day. I am very thankful for my food storage. And everything I learned to make it through the hard times.
Thank you all for your prayers and comments here, they are such a blessing to me and the girls. Thank you again.
Ok, now I am trying to sell the small truck and the beef bull. Rent, power, phone bills have to be paid this week. So if you all we say a little prayer that someone would buy these. I was going to put the bull in the freezer, but we still have 1 1/2 cows meat in freezer and there is now only 3 of us. So that is a year plus in meat.
Some of you have asked questions that I have not gotten to, but I will this week, ok.
Thank you all for reading my blog and may God bless you all.
Until in the morning,
The disability check didn’t go far this month and this month is not even half way over yet. Why? I’m not really sure. I have been trying to figure that out. And the only thing I can think of right off hand is more trips to doctors, GAS. No extra trips (fun,just to get out,etc.) to town. Ok,time to get more creative with what I have. We just trade one of our big trucks for a smaller stick shift truck, but will have to wait until next month to get it on the road. That will help a great deal on the gas. Our food supply is good, Thank you, Lord. We have a roof over our heads, power is on, clothes on our back, and we will make it through this month. God has never let us down, and He’s never left us. So why am I posting all of this? Well this is my life on the farm and in this world. Just maybe it’ll help someone else make it another month, or they’ll become more thankful for what they have. I know some of the blogs I read and keep up with, do that for me. I see that there are others out there like me or are in worse shape then me. I learn from others along the way and pray for those in need. Sometimes something in some one else’s blog- renews my strength and brightens my day, or just brings a needed smile to my face. So I am not sure what you, the reader, will get from this post, but I pray you are blessed in some way.
I have been canning more potatoes, and milk, freezing cream. It really needs to cool off some here so as I can make butter. It’s still in the 90’s at 5pm here. My freezer is almost full of cream. The garden is almost done for this year, I have two rows of potatoes left to dug up. But it’s been really hot and we do not have a cellar, and I wanted to have some uncanned potatoes for the winter. So I’ll leave them in the ground just a little longer.
Our friends had to move out of state to find work. So they blessed us with a new looking couch( Tommy lays here to take his breathing treatments, and our old one had him just about laying on the floor. We really needed a new one), a bunk bed set( twin on top and full on bottom. which I put in our other room, for when family comes), an outside glass top table with four chairs, a gliding rocker, and a few other things. All these things were a wonderful blessing. It felt like Christmas. Our friends will be greatly missed, but they said they’d be back. The Lord used them to bless us. He’s still watching out for us.
On to a brighter note: 387 + people in the last 30 days have looked at the Canning Potatoes post. That’s a blessing to me. I know here potatoes have went way, way up in price. So if you find them on sale, can some. If you canned potatoes for the first time, please let me know how it went for you.
In the recipes tab at the top: Comment #7 from Stacie tells how canning butter turned out. I have not try it yet but she did and lets us know how it went. Thank you Stacie.
There are a lot of you who are first year canners, How is it going so far?
Well this was just on my mind and had to get it out. Hope you all have a wonderful day.
Until next time, and God bless you all,
P.S. Don’t forget to sign up for the give away. Please allow me to bless one of you. Click here to find out more. Drawing is tomorrow evening.
This year is hard on everyone with the recession : high gas prices – high food prices – job cut backs – no jobs – etc. I wanted to share how we are making it on just a disability check of $996 a month for 3 people. This is our second month living off of it, and it was a little hairy last month but better this month.
With this check, we first pay the rent, power and phone bills. And we are left with $ 211. The $211 is used for: food, gas for the truck, truck ins., soaps and etc., and animal food. And this can be tricky and overwhelming, but so far we are doing it.
The rent bill, we can not lower.
The power bill: is high in the summer due to having to run a AC in the food barn (which holds a years supply of food) , in the winter: we use gas to heat with so power bill will drop but then we have to add back the gas bill. Everything is turned off when not in use.
The phone bill: is a little high but it includes- free long distant and a toll free number ( for family and friends to call), and our Internet which is used for school and to find new ways to save money.
Some ways we are saving money, not spending money, doing without wants, new ways of doing things:
- We started last year storing and stocking up on food and other house hold goods. Which I am so thankful we did because we would be having a hard time now if I had not. And we put a beef cow in the freezer a few weeks ago. So our meat is good and will last 1 1/2 to 2 years.
- Our milk cow is giving us 21+ gallons of milk a week, chicken give us eggs ( 80+ a week) and meat, and vegs from the garden. You can do a lot with milk and eggs including feeding cats and dogs.
- We only go to town twice a month. I’d like to get it down to once a month but I’m not there yet. A trip to town cost us $30 in gas round trip.
- Bought power strips to plug in the TV, VCR, etc., so as they can be turned off all the way when not in use.
- Lower watt light bulbs
- Home school books left over from older kids, another 4 years worth left before I need to buy more.
- We do not eat out, and our sweets are homemade. I do buy cereal as I have not learned yet to make it. The good, low sugar kind- the good for you kind.
- I make a lot of my cleaners, clothes soap, monthly pads, dish clothes, cloth napkins, socks ( I buy wool sweaters from the thrift store, and take them apart for the wool.)
- I do use my dishwasher but I don’t use my clothes dryer. I chose to give up using the dryer so I could use the dish washer. And it is only ran once or twice a day.
- I chose to have Internet over dish/cable TV. We have air TV and get 3 channels (ABC, NBC, CBS), we think that is enough for us.
- We fix things when they break not buy new. I love DUCT tape, but hubby does not. Oh, well I still sneak it in once in a while.
- We save for things that are needed. We don’t rent to own, where you end up paying twice. Now there is nothing wrong with people who choose this, as I know it’s their only way. But we chose not to.
- When I go to the store, I only buy things on sale. I plan my menu on what I have on hand. And at times it’s been hard, as you ladies know sometimes you just want something you don’t have on hand.
- You really have to learn to give some things up but not everything. We have all of our needs meet and still have a few of our wants. It’s hardest on the kids. But I have been giving mine a choose of things. I just don’t say no. I ask her, “Would you like this or that? or Do you want to do this or have that?” Recently she wanted to go to the pool, well we did not have the gas money. Which I told her, she said ok and went out side to play. She came back in a while later and asked,” Mom, can I use that big roll of plastic to make a water slide?” I said sure. She found a way to have fun with out spending a penny. I am so proud of her.
- Read a lot. There are so many ways to learn something new.
- Pray a lot. Count your every blessing both big and small.
- Remember this earth is not our home. I say, Earth and living here is our boot camp for heaven.
I know it’s going to be a long hard winter for everyone. And we might have to give up some things for a while. But the sun will come out again, this I know. I know some of you are working with a income lower than ours. Some of you may not be able to pay your rent or buy food. And I’m really sorry, I wish I could be of more help to you, but I’ll pray for you. Maybe some of my ideas will help you, at least I pray they do.
I will list more things as they come to mind on saving money, etc. And I’ll let you know when I find great web sites, too.
Well I better go for now, work to do. Hope you all have a blessed day.