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Archive for July, 2006

No Spending as a Habit

August 1st, 2006 at 02:27 am

As a matter of course now, there was no spending again today. With my change in work status, (30 days today) I decided to really tighten up on everything until I could figure out how much I was able to make. Still can't tell what the money in aspect is going to look like, too early to guess too.....need to give my ads probably 6 months to be accurate.

So, no spending it is. I can do this. I've done it before out of necessity, and later on by choice for different reasons each time. So, nothing new. Spending money is truly what is out of character for me. It does show me I have all I need, and then some. Blessed indeed here and more than content.

All meals out of the garden and freezer these days. Yummy home made burgers this evening with a fresh salad and steamed new green beans. Add to that; most of the condiments for the burgers were home canned too, or fresh from the garden. Again, I'm stumped when I continue to run into people that don't garden, never have and don't want to. Even when they complain about the price of groceries they won't entertain the option of planting anything themselves.... Seems like one of those simple solutions to a problem to me!

Worked in the yard today and set up a free to me bird bath in a new garden. Looks great......now it just needs some plants. Will keep an eye out on freecycle for something suitable, or put in a wanted post next Sat.

Last day of the month, I think I've done what I'm supposed to have done re; the part time job and their data base. The only time I find out any info is when I've done something wrong, or omitted something....... There are no directions, or templates to follow. What a silly way to run a business. I know if I've done something outside the lines, I'll get an email tomorrow.........I'm saving the emails, making myself my own procedure book of sorts.

Goals related to $$$ for August

#1 had better be, get the rental RENTED.
#2 continue building the sewing business
#3 send emails to local home schooling groups, advertising the sewing and knitting (thanks to a fellow blogger here for that tip & reminder)
#4 shop and purchase the supplies for the projects the Navy man is going to be taking on this fall.

I would be thrilled if I get that short list completed......

My Life vs Ship Shape

July 30th, 2006 at 07:21 pm

I've always been pretty particular about my house and yard, but with the "Navy" now here, I've discovered I'm very, very lax about everything. I guess having the kids here for decades has worn me down to a frazzle and most things just didn't matter; except making it through the day til bedtime!

Our Navy man has been working since 9AM today, and has finished little things from the list and is now re arranging the pump house to put up shelving. He has reviewed the plans for the pump and is going to be changing my filter for the well, which I had no idea how to do. (tried to get some local well co, to come do it and teach me, but never got someone to agree to the job)

I'm going to need to do some brain storming to come up with enough projects to keep this guy busy. He comes in and sits in my office when he has completed all the items on the list (that we can do currently....some jobs are waiting for winter, as they are better suited to indoor time) I also need some supplies for him to work with, so there is going to be $$$ out in the near future. Since I'm not paying for labor, and most everything will help bring this property up in value, I think it's a good plan to spend money in this area. We are making a trip to my moms next week end to raid her lumber pile and permantly 'borrow' some of my dads tools. That should help keep costs down, as well as assist with cleaning up around her place.

Eating out of the garden, veggies for every meal here, and enough for stashing some in the freezer occasionally.

And, the best thing of all today.......I woke up to RAIN. Lots of rain. It rained last here on July 4th, not even enough to measure......and then really hot & dry since then. My gardens are almost talking to me they are so thrilled with this weather! Now the sun is out, but it is just 61, which feels like heaven to someone who has lived most of my life here in WA state.....Damp and cooler, my climate of choice...that is for sure.

Another no spend day here at our place.

Back Home & Busy Already

July 30th, 2006 at 03:15 am

Just a quick update........had an entry almost ready to post and my PC decided it needed to update Firefox all by itself and bleeped me out of my blog. Drat. Too old and too tired to re do it totally.

Was at moms. Worked for a couple days canning and freezing my produce from the tiny garden here as well as her apple trees.
Lots of food "put up" as it used to be called.

Got home to find most of my pesky little TO DO list items were finished....The Navy has arrived!! He came running in the house when he found out I was home, as he was BORED he said and needed more to do. Glad to oblige, as I really hate seeing able bodied people just sitting around.........we tackled the garage and have him a place to build a work bench now. In the down time, while I was trying to figure out where to put everything, he slicked up the pump house, figured out how the pump works, taught me how to turn the water off to the house and created a TO DO list for tomorrow. I'm going to have to do some serious thinking in order to keep up with him! We're only on Week #1 of 52 weeks!

Mowed lawns, finished an order for a customer a day early so they could come this evening & pick it up.........which they did.......so $$$ IN today and no money spent. Nice!

I did treat my mom to dinner out last night, as we had a coupon for one dinner free.......and we had worked at cooking type tasks for 2 days, it felt good to let someone else cook.

We got to see the new grandbaby too yesterday, he now weighs 11 lbs and is doing pretty well. Still using an odd car bed thing, as he tends to stop breathing in a normal sit up type car seat....looks sort of like a baby bathtub.

Time's up. I've worked so hard today, sitting down isn't a good plan.......I'm falling asleep here at my desk. A very productive couple of days...

Square Foot Gardening Escapes Boundaries

July 27th, 2006 at 03:20 am

OK, it wasn't a true square foot gardening plan, with a grid and all. But, it was close, in that it is a very small area, bordered by sidewalk & driveway on 3 sides and gravel parking area on the 4th side.

I took old sod out, prepared the soil by adding many wheelbarrows of compost (OK, I had one of the kids do it!!!) and then I started by just setting in a couple of the perinneals I had brought from the old house.

Then, spring arrived and it was time to think veggies. With no where else to put the flowers, I set in the zuchinni plants, put in a couple rows of bush beans, added in a row (now 2)of sugar peas and everything was coming along just fine for awhile. I had extra space & picked up a couple dozen onion sets and they filled up any extra space around the edges. Oh, and don't forget the flower seeds I put in on the end of the whole affair, Cosmos and sweet peas.......now beginning to look more like a hedge, lovely......but quite substantial.

Lately, it is hard to find any soil. Plants have run amuck. I can still reach in and harvest most everything (the beans are going to be interesting) and it is really easy to keep it all watered and weeded. Vines are beginning to creep out on the sidewalks....

I think I do this on purpose, I have always loved gardens that seem to be overflowing. I'm happy with this one, just wish it was bigger now!

I'm posting a picture, in an attempt to show that it doesn't take a BIG garden to grow a garden. There has been much discussion on Flash's blog re; my initial question "why doesn't everyone grow a garden??"..... this is an attempt to address one concern that was raised. Not enough room.



My area is approx 10' X 10', right outside my front door. It was the easiest piece of ground to clear when we moved in last fall. Definately a lazy persons garden, it takes me a minute or so every couple days to pull a weed that has the nerve to come up.......about 15 minutes a day to water, or no time if I just let the hose drip slowly overnight. Can't tell how long it took me to plant the whole thing as it's been a work in progress, but it can't be 2 hours total.

And, if you don't have 10' square to work with........notice the planters behind the garden? They are each my 'salad' containers, planted with mixed greens and bush peas. They would fit on a deck or porch and you could have fresh salads all summer.

Hopefully, this can help some of you cross not enough space or time off your list of excuses!!! If not, let me know here.

Still thinking on the lack of confidence as a reason not to garden........Ideas forthcoming!

In the meantime, check out the sister site from Saving Advice, at
www.frugalgardening.com

Busy Phone

July 26th, 2006 at 09:59 pm

The phone has rung, with potential renters for the big house here. Yeah!!! Since I don't have a key yet from the current renters, folks are going to drive by this afternoon. Praying at least one of them just can't envision living anywhere else!!!

When the phone hasn't been ringing, I've been on it for my part time job......trying to contact local law enforcemtent offices. We're trying to get booth space at all the local Nat'l Night Out Against Crime events happening on Aug 1st...

Low Cost Fun Tip: Night Out Against Crime is happening nation wide, usually on Aug 1st in the evening. All free, tons of police vehicles, fire vehicles, all the canine units, live music, food......(pretty sure the food will cost something, but the rest is all free). Great summer activity, especially for those of you with kids that are police car/fire truck crazy.

I'm so enjoying the cooler temperatures here today. Spent some time in the garden, could stay outside long enough to hang the laundry.... how nice, I was getting pretty close to running out of clean clothes!!

Waiting for the Phone to Ring

July 26th, 2006 at 03:57 pm

I placed an ad in a larger paper this week, hoping to generate some interest in the rental house that will be vacant as of Aug.

I tried Craigslist first, got a handful of emails, and one appt to see the home, but nothing too serious yet. Will continue to keep the house listed there, since it is free.........my favorite 4 letter word!!

I do have some money put away that will cover the monthly mortage payment for a few months.......but I haven't taken money from that account for anything for ages, so I'm leary of doing it at all. I need to exercise some caution here.....as I tend to rush into renters, so I'm not footing the bill; and then "pay" for it later.

Vowing to move a little slower this time. Do some interviewing as well as the credit check. (have no idea how to go about that, going to learn a few new things this time)

Still haven't called the state licensor to see if there is another company interested in having the home for a group home, which is my desire....... They are the ones that reccomended the people that just got the license pulled, so a bit of nasty residue left re; all that.

Another no spend day here.........stringing quite a few together this month, as I knew I would. When presented with a finance challenge of any sort, I can tighten up the purse strings so quickly the money literally jumps back IN the purse. I have spending nothing down to a science here. And, the interesting part is.....I usually don't mind and often don't notice.

How to Make a Cucumber Unhealthy

July 25th, 2006 at 03:17 pm

How, you say, could I do that? Taking that perfectly beautiful, crisp, home grown cucumber and make it less than a perfect food???

Well, I confess. One of my 'have to' treats is a sandwich made with a fresh cucumber........on white bread with mayo........and a liberal dousing of fresh cracked pepper.

It just doesn't taste the same on whole grain bread. Even homemade. Sorry. Since it will only take me a couple sandwiches to get this out of my system, I'm going to ignore any health conscious suggestions to alter my summer treat and just go for broke.

I noticed there was a good sized cucumber, hiding under the bush beans (that have sort of gone nuts) when I walked the dog this AM. I hadn't even started to check the cucumbers, but will now include them in my daily checks out front.

Note to room mate person: Buy ingredients for salad dressings. We do go through lots of dressings and dips during our gardens prolific times here. Favorite is still my version of ranch, comes out to be more of a yogurt/peppercorn sort of event.
Totally yummy.

Will try to come up with a healthy stir fry from the garden to make up for my not so healthy lunch......... Smile


When Is It Going To End?

July 24th, 2006 at 04:38 pm

This heat wave has to give way to our usual NW weather pretty darned soon, or there will be casualties! We aren't geared for these kinds of temperatures and are fading fast out here.

My productivity rate has slumped to nothing. No, I take that back, I started the dishwasher this AM. Smile I did get up before the sun came up and finished an order for a sewing customer too. The sewing room was OK at that time of day. But, the rest of the day is looking like a sit in front of the fan, read a book sort of day again.

I am going to attempt washing the pots & pans that have collected since the thermometer has sky rocketed here in WA. Putting my hands in hot water seemed excessive & I've been putting it off.....but the kitchen looks nasty, so today is the day.

Getting paid for the sewing order this afternoon......so Money IN again. It's a no spend day here........with nothing else on the schedule.

Meals are pretty much out of the garden these days, so they aren't costing much. When I don't have kids to feed, I've been enjoying just veggies for most meals. Too yummy!

OK, free time's over, I am heading to the kitchen to clear out the last 3 days of mess & clutter.

Cooling Off to a Cool ...........88?????

July 23rd, 2006 at 05:15 pm

That's right. 88 degrees is being touted as a cooling off period here in WA state. Who thought getting down to 80 would feel GOOD??

I have become an expert at climate control here at our place. I had a huge bolt of white drapery weight fabric, which I have cut, ripped and installed at ALL windows with a high tech system of thumb tacks. Not pretty, but it works!

Windows open during the night and closed up tight as soon as the sun comes up. Watch the temp in the evening and open things up as soon as the outside temp is lower than the inside.

As soon as the windows are open at night, I've been setting sprinklers outside the bedroom windows, and then putting a fan in the window closest to the sprinkler. Lovely cool breezes...........and sleep! As soon as I know everyone has cooled off, I can walk the dog and turn off the water.

Without A/C, our house could get to be an oven. With our gypsy camp curtains and being diligent about windows & fans, we're managing to keep our cool.

Other than running fans.........it's another NO Spend Day here.

Navy Rent Increases

July 23rd, 2006 at 04:46 am

The rent got paid today from the Navy man and he paid more than we had agreed upon. I had heard him say he had rented space for his boat that he brought up from CA with him and I asked him if he thought we didn't have room for a boat??? Heavens. There is probably an acre of space just leveled, clear and covered in gravel, specifically for parking.... I offered for him to bring his boat and keep it right here, so he could use it anytime he was free. So, that is the new plan, but he felt he needed to pay for that....... I didn't even argue! Smile

No money out today. Felt like I was spending money as I've had 3 fans running most of this evening, trying to keep the house from hitting 80 inside. Pretty sure we won't notice an increase in useage, there are enough other areas I have cut to the bone, so it should even out.

Fortunately, we had some cloud cover today, so it didn't get as hot as expected, but all true Seattleites are looking pretty droopy with this heat. We need to do a collective rain dance or something before this gets serious!

My 10' X 10' Garden

July 22nd, 2006 at 11:54 pm

I was lazy this past spring. Being new to this house & yard, I only prepped a little patch of ground for garden space.

I had brought some plants with me from the old house, so in they went....... People gave me starts from their yards, so I stuck them in the same piece of ground. I bought some perinneal seeds online (cheap) and stirred the seeds in the same area....

Then, it was time to put in some veggies....and into the same place they went. Bush beans next to the cosmos which I had never planted before.....who knew they got so huge?? More sugar snap peas since we always seem to use them up before they make it to the kitchen....and 2 huge packets of onion sets for a stunning border. Certainly I could squeeze some radishes in somewhere too...and now I've got 4 little spots of radishes in different stages.

Had to have a couple zucchini plants since we're all hooked on fried zuch. slices and then there are the strawberry plants we were given....

The garden has jumped it's boundaries a bit and I did get another little strip of ground cleared out for the squash.....but the deal is; a garden doesn't have to be huge to fit in bunches of plants.

I'm sure planting flowers and veggies together benefits both, as well as it makes for a much more interesting gargen patch. I've heard that the flowers bring beneficial insects to your garden....and also help to insure polinization of your veggies. Whatever the experts say, I'm loving having my beans next to my cosmos!!!

Flash & I were 'talking' about why is it more people don't garden??? Between her coupons and the coupon train I have jumped on here........and my garden.......we sure aren't paying full price for anything these days and we're definately eating better too. I will have to ponder the question further as I enjoy my gardens' bounty again this evening! Smile