Becky's Farm Life

The simple life, living off God's land, one day at a time.

Helping Each Other In These Hard Times

  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,

Becky

 

July 5, 2009 Posted by | economic situation, helping others, ideas, low income, making do, neighorhood, saving money | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

A deep breathe-some tears-a lot of Prayers

Well it’s been a long week. This is what’s been going on:

*Took my truck in, it was not acting right. Well I now need a new engine. The engine will last 2 days – or 6 months or maybe a year. Cost if they can find a used engine $1,800.00. Ok Lord, let’s watch and see what You do. I need to sell the tractor to pay for the engine.

*The man came and put a new glow bar in my gas stove. While he was testing it, the safety switch would not shut off. Now I’m not to use the stove at all until it’s fixed, this Tuesday or Wednesday. Cost $250.00 for safety switch, glow bar was $166. The Lord sent someone to buy a hand gun I have which will pay the the safety switch. Thank you Lord. Now I’ll have a new stove, which will cost more than a brand new one.

I am glad I have a grill and a two eye gas stove outside.

*Well I had the stove man check the washer and dishwasher while he was here, ( so I would not have to pay another service call fee). The washer needs the arms that hold the tub in place. And the dish washer needs a sprayer bar. But they are cheap and he’ll bring them out with the safety switch. Thank you Lord. I’m taking very deep breaths with a few tears.

*Then I go out to mow the grass, I have 2 push mowers. To start, the best one, I had to turn on it’s side to get a string that was around the blade. Well when I set it back up right there was oil on the ground. So this house wife went and got a quart of oil to refill it. Would you not do the same? Well it took the whole quart. I started it up and mowed for about 10 minutes and the thing started smoking really bad. So I shut it off and called a guy. Did you know a push mower is Not supports to have a whole quart of oil? I didn’t. So he tells me to drain it. I ask, How? He said there’s a plug, or tip it again to drain it out. Well I looked and looked, could not find a plug, so I tipped it again. I got the right amount of oil in it. And mowed for an hour, and it stopped working. Ok Lord thank you I have another mower. So I go get it going, and mow another hour when it dies. Ok Lord, this yard really needs mowing. So inside I go to rest and cry a bit. I go back out and try that mower again, it starts. Thank you Lord. I mow another hour and it stops yet again. Then it dawns on me, the mower stops when it’s hot.  Sure enough I go back out when it cools off and it starts. Thank you Lord. Then I have to turn it off to take a phone call. I go back out and I don’t have the strength now to pull the cord to start it. Ok Lord, no more mowing today. Will this mower or mowers start again today? I am praying hard they will.

*The closet that holds the hot water heater has a hole in the floor to the ground. The main bathroom floor has dropped 2 inches. The landlords just left and they said they’d fix it tomorrow. Thank you Lord. While they were here they treated all the ant hills in the yard. Thank you Lord. They said all their rentals were having the same problems with ants.

Things I learned:

*I have also learned I do not have enough hands to do all that needs doing. Yard is clean – house a mess or yard a mess and house clean. I have to find the middle ground somewhere. Please Lord.

*A push mower does not need a whole quart of oil. And you need  good arm muscles to keep starting them.

*The Lord always sends people to help you in His time.

*Prayer is so much better than worrying. Worrying never fix a thing, while prayer fixes everything.

*Tears are good, they clean your eyes and heart.

*There is always something good to be found in the bad things that happen. In ALL things give thanks. I forgot to do this with the mowers and stove. And the Lord will still work everything out for my good.

Thank you Lord for Your mercy and grace.

Well let’s see what happens today on the farm.

Have a great day and God bless you all.

Becky

May 11, 2009 Posted by | blessings, farm life, life, making do, Prayer, saving money, self sufficiency, update | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Things are a little tighter so far this month.

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,

Becky

 

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.

 

September 8, 2008 Posted by | blessings, Canning, creativity, disability check, give away, low income, making do | , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Low Income – Disability Check – Recession

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4.  Bought power strips to plug in the TV, VCR,  etc., so as they can be turned off all the way when not in use.
  5. Lower watt light bulbs
  6. Home school books left over from older kids, another 4 years worth left before I need to buy more.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.)
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14.  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.
  15.  Read a lot. There are so many ways to learn something new.
  16. Pray a lot. Count your every blessing both big and small.
  17. 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.

Becky

August 27, 2008 Posted by | creativity, disability check, Food prices, food storage, ideas, low income, making do, recession, saving money, self sufficiency, Stocking up | , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments