Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Our Journey to a Mortgage Free Home ... #17

(You can read previous entries in this series HERE.)

In our last post I told you it took us 5 years to get our hearth completed because there were other more pressing things that had to get done asap, one of them was our porch!


 We had a lot of help getting our porch built before the permit expired and the subsequent inspection.  One family came to help every day for 3 weeks.  We are so grateful to them!


The floor is going down ...


The porch goes along the entire length of the front of the house and wraps around the corner on one end.


Another view of where it is starting the wrap around the corner of the house.


The front steps ...


Here's what it looked like a year ago.  Since then we've installed a porch swing along with doing a few other things.  It is still not completed, we need to put a ceiling in it and stain it before we can call it completed.

And of course, we are still paying as we go and sometimes that slows us down considerably!

So what else did we have to do before we could get back to our hearth?  Next week we'll talk about that!

I might mention that during this time between the hearth beginning and the hearth being completed we were installing sheet rock on the walls, sanding and painting.  Talk about living in a construction zone!  Let me say that it is not for the faint of heart!!!!

Patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27


Have you read this series, This is Why! and this free e-book, Yes, You Can Have a Well-Stocked Pantry?  And don’t forget to check out the ‘Free Downloads’ page.  You’ll find some helpful pantry building stuff available for free!

If you are blessed by what you read here and would like to help financially support my writing, you can do that by making a small contribution by clicking on the donate button.  I would be very grateful!  

 https://www.paypalobjects.com/en_US/i/scr/pixel.gif

Thank you for using my Amazon affiliate link when placing your Amazon orders.  I earn a small percentage that doesn't increase what you pay.


Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means. 

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Ways of My Household ... 2/27/2017

Drum roll … we finished the chicken coop this week!!!!  Savings to us this week by doing the work ourselves: $234.  Take a look at the before and after pictures.  Being able to walk into the run opens up so many possibilities that will make caring for them easier and the watering system … that alone is worth doing the whole 
project!  Hats off to my husband, we put our heads together and designed what we wanted and he found a way to make it happen!  (We still need to give it  a new paint job but that will have to wait a bit longer.)  Our unseasonably warm weather this month has made it possible for us to get this project done earlier than we had anticipated.  We’ve got some
other outside construction type jobs we hope to get completed before the hot and humid days of summer arrive in our area, I surely hope we are able to beat the heat and humidity!

I downloaded for free the book, An Old Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott after reading Jes’review over on Strangers and Pilgrims.  It sounds like my kind of book.  Saved: $7.99     


We saved $242.04 using coupons and shopping sales for pantry and non-pantry items.

I made 2 jars of kefir this week.  Savings $16

My husband needed a tool for a tool party gift for a young man in our congregation who is getting married; we found a good quality one on clearance for a third of the original price.  I’m so glad that my husband enjoys frugalness as much as I do!

I transplanted 2 raspberry starts.  Savings to us:  $10  The savings are reflected in total saved for pantry and non-pantry items total above.

I earned $24.85 from Amazon affiliate link usage.  Thank you to everyone who shops on Amazon through my affiliate link.

I started pruning my rose bushes.  I also gave them a drink of nettles tea and fertilizer.
Our asparagus bed is coming to life and we’ll be eating asparagus this week.  This means that a walk to the asparagus bed will become a part of my daily routine!

I trimmed up the crape myrtle bush and another rose bush.

I added wood ash from our wood stove to one of my raised beds and worked it in.  If this weather holds up I’ll be planting in it before long!  I have decided to plant this raised bed in the square foot gardening format.

I did a ‘check-up’ on my lemon trees and gave them a drink of nettles tea as well.  I can hardly believe that they are still alive since this has been a ‘learn as you go’ experiment!

I crocheted 2 more dishcloths this week for the dishcloth challenge I’m participating in.  Savings:  $8

I’m on day 5 of my 100 Day Essential Oil Challenge.  I’ve been slow getting started but now I’m up and running.  I found someone who is willing to answer my questions and provide or point me in the direction of finding the information I seek.   I highly recommend her.    Right now my focus is on learning about what essential oils can do for arthritis and respiratory issues.  When I feel comfortable with these, I’ll move on to other things.  I do better if I focus on one or two things at a time so that’s the approach I’m going to take in this challenge.

Not working outside my home … Saved $100

Thus far this year my Vicky Challenge Savings  savings/earnings have been $4973.71, add this week’s amount ($642.88) and the total for 2017 thus far comes to $5616.59.
Now it’s your turn, what have you done to build up your pantry, care for your household or live frugally this week? 

Patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27





Have you read this series, This is Why! and this free e-book, Yes, You Can Have a Well-Stocked Pantry?  And don’t forget to check out the ‘Free Downloads’ page.  You’ll find some helpful pantry building stuff available for free!

If you are blessed by what you read here and would like to help financially support my writing, you can do that by making a small contribution by clicking on the donate button.  I would be very grateful!  

 https://www.paypalobjects.com/en_US/i/scr/pixel.gif

Thank you for using my Amazon affiliate link when placing your Amazon orders.  I earn a small percentage that doesn't increase what you pay.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Weekend Assignment: Gardening????

Whether you plant your garden in pots, raised beds or in a traditional row garden ... whether your garden is small or large, this is the time of year to get your plan together.

What are you going to plant?

Where are you going to plant it?

When does it need to be planted?

What seeds do you need to purchase?

If you're a gardener, that's your assignment, plan your garden!  

Patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27


Have you read this series, This is Why! and this free e-book, Yes, You Can Have a Well-Stocked Pantry?  And don’t forget to check out the ‘Free Downloads’ page.  You’ll find some helpful pantry building stuff available for free!

If you are blessed by what you read here and would like to help financially support my writing, you can do that by making a small contribution by clicking on the donate button.  I would be very grateful!  

 https://www.paypalobjects.com/en_US/i/scr/pixel.gif

Thank you for using my Amazon affiliate link when placing your Amazon orders.  I earn a small percentage that doesn't increase what you pay.


Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Preparedness: Our Disaster Preparedness Class

We have just finished the disaster preparedness class that I taught online via a Facebook group.  I intentionally kept the class small ... the goal was 125, but we actually had 139 and participation was outstanding.  I simply loved teaching this class.  

What did the members of the class think?  Here's what some of them had to say (their comments are used with their permission) ....

It's amazing the amount of knowledge I gained from taking your class. Someone would comment on how they would handle the situation and it would be something I never thought of before. Seems like the class was just the right size too. thanks again.  Vicki

I really liked the class, gave me new insights on being prepared. Love reading everyone comments.  Coleen

I have loved the lessons, I think a smaller group allows us to interact with each other better than a larger group would. Now I have a list of things I need to do to prepare for most situations. Margaret

I loved the interaction and the fact that we were from different parts of the country / world. I got so many great ideas and things I would have never thought about. Took plenty of notes. I think you did a great job of setting up each day - I liked having the weekends off. (so to speak -from new things happening) The group seemed to really get in to it and try to figure out what works for them and where they stand on preparedness. Thanks for doing this.  Crystal

The class size was perfect. The subject matter was very thought provoking. Toni

I really enjoyed it a learned a lot from everyone. I also liked the pre class questions and discussions. This is a area that I need to work on. Thank you for taking the time to do this. I also liked the type of questions you asked. Lorie

I learned a lot from these classes and will continue to revisit my notes to ensure I am better prepared for any future events.  Sharlene

I want to Thank you for doing this class. It takes a lot of time and work. It is much appreciated. I think the class size was good. I think if it was any larger the discussion time would get complicated and hard to follow because of too many comments. I loved hearing from people from all over and various experiences. The questions were very thought provoking. Several I had to take my time to mull over in my mind. It did make me take A very serious look at my home pantry family and self. I did enjoy some of the light hearted answers. I enjoyed this time with these ladies and you and will miss it. I will look forward to your fall class. God bless you for taking this on. Bonnie

I found all the classes to be informative and thought provoking. Thoroughly enjoyed them and feel that I am much more prepared should some thing occur. Thanks for allowing me to participate. Deloris

I loved the class and the size was good. I feel like I got to know a few more ladies this way. I would be signing up for the next class for sure. I thought about many things and found things to implement. I feel I need to go back through the posts and take notes as going along I found things to implement but didn't write them all down.  Thank you very much!  Annabel

I really enjoyed this class. The class size was good. I've learned so much and hubby and son helped with what we would do. Christina

I really got a lot out of this and really appreciate you putting the class on. It really made me think and I learned many things from the whole group! I'm definitely in for the fall class!! Tami

Thank you for all the work you put into this. I think the class size was good.  This class has helped me to realize even more that I need to go through what we have and organize and get rid of what we don't use and prioritize what we have and what we need. Your check ins with for example batteries you had was so good. I had let our batteries go down and right after you asked a real good sale came on and I had the coupons. Now we have had the batteries we needed for the drill. I would like to get a check list of things we should have or look for at garage sales this summer that would help in a crisis situation. I am sure I'm not the only one sharing with others from the class so you aren't only reaching the people in the class but others as well. Be Blessed.  Lisa

After going through Hurricane Matthew I felt an overwhelming need to help others prepare for disaster type situations; the preparedness posts I’ve written and continue to write, the Hurricane Matthew posts I’ve written, the why prepare post I’ve written, the one month preparedness pantry posts and this class have all been for the sole purpose of helping others prepare. I saw so much devastation after Hurricane Matthew and in some ways I am still processing it.

I will be teaching this class again in May.  If you are interested in taking the class be watching for sign-up information sometime in April.  (Until registration is opened for the class no one will be allowed to join the class.)  Class size will be limited to no more than 150.

 Patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27


Have you read this series, This is Why! and this free e-book, Yes, You Can Have a Well-Stocked Pantry?  And don’t forget to check out the ‘Free Downloads’ page.  You’ll find some helpful pantry building stuff available for free!

If you are blessed by what you read here and would like to help financially support my writing, you can do that by making a small contribution by clicking on the donate button.  I would be very grateful!  

 https://www.paypalobjects.com/en_US/i/scr/pixel.gif

Thank you for using my Amazon affiliate link when placing your Amazon orders.  I earn a small percentage that doesn't increase what you pay.


Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means. 


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Our Journey to a Mortgage Free Home ... #16

(You can read previous entries in this series HERE.)

In our last entry I told you we would start on the hearth and that's literally what we did ... start on the hearth ...


Here is how it started, we had to install cement board on the walls and under the foundation for fire protection codes.  Then my husband started laying bricks after he cut the arch ... yes, it's a corner hearth! 



Here we are at the half way point with the flue and attic pipe installed.  Then .... it stayed like this for about 5 years ... yes, I said 5 years!  We did install a small used wood stove to help heat our house in the winter months but other than that this was what it looked like for quite some time.  (We had other projects that were screaming for our attention.  We had deadlines to meet so we didn't have to renew our permits ... which would have cost us more money!)


This is what it looks like today!  I absolutely love it.  My dear husband did all the work himself and he had never laid a brick until this project!  I am so very proud of him!  (Yes, that is an old wash tub holding our wood.)

So, what did we have to do that pulled us away from completing our hearth in a timely manner?  I'll share that with you in the next entry ...


Patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27


Have you read this series, This is Why! and this free e-book, Yes, You Can Have a Well-Stocked Pantry?  And don’t forget to check out the ‘Free Downloads’ page.  You’ll find some helpful pantry building stuff available for free!

If you are blessed by what you read here and would like to help financially support my writing, you can do that by making a small contribution by clicking on the donate button.  I would be very grateful!  

 https://www.paypalobjects.com/en_US/i/scr/pixel.gif

Thank you for using my Amazon affiliate link when placing your Amazon orders.  I earn a small percentage that doesn't increase what you pay.


Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Ways of My Household ... 2/20/2017

It's beginning to look like spring around my house!  This flowering quince is just one example.  Daffodils are up and blooming, forsythia is in full bloom (it's so pretty), my hydrangea bush is putting on leaves as is my elderberry bushes.  Our pear tree is blooming and so is one of our peach trees. We simply have not had a winter and now it's time to start planting our spring garden. I surely hope ole man winter doesn't decide to make an appearance now!

Here’s how last week shaped up …


We’re still working on the chicken coop!  Savings to us this week by doing the work ourselves: $221

We saved $32.72 using coupons and shopping sales for pantry and non-pantry items.

I made 2 jars of kefir this week.  Savings $16

We found whole fresh picnics on sale for $.88/lb. They came in a 2 –pack so we purchased one.  We brought them home and slow-cooked them in the oven for several hours.  We had this along with home canned green beans and home canned beets from our pantry shelves for dinner that night.  There was lots more than we could eat so we left some in the refrigerator for leftovers and then vacuum sealed the rest (4 packages) and added it to the freezer part of our pantry.

I had two rose bushes that needed moving, they were not doing as well as they could in their locations, so I dug them up and moved them.  I will give them lots of TLC over the next several weeks to help them get established in their new location.

I made tuna fish salad this week so we could have something quick for lunches. Everything to make it came from our pantry and the eggs came from our chickens.  It was yummy good on some low-carb bread!  (It’s more of a method than a recipe … tuna fish; boiled eggs, chopped; home-canned sweet pickle relish and Miracle Whip salad dressing.  Mix, refrigerate and enjoy!)

I found this simple eye glass cleaner recipe over at Vicky’s Kitchen and Garden.  How simple … and how ‘chemical’ free!  Since both my husband and I need reading glasses this little recipe is going to come in handy.   

You know that I’m all about keeping a well-stocked pantry so when I read Cheryl’s post titled ‘No Money to Prep!’ I knew I had to share it with others.  It’s a good one so hurry on over there and read it.   

Annabel and Vicky gave us a boost in the encouragement area this week with this post titled Pantries and Preparedness:  Encouragement!  

I can’t forget Jes’s series that she is doing titled ‘The Time to Come:  A Proverbs 31 Preparedness Series, there’s some really good stuff there too.  

I hope you will take time to visit and read each of these posts/sites, when we all work together sharing our knowledge, the task of keeping a well-stocked pantry like grandma used to do, doesn’t seem quite so daunting. 

I got a virus on my computer this week and my son, who lives 12 hours away, was able to walk me through how to get rid of it.  Savings to us, at least $75  (So thankful to have a son who has the know-how to do this sort of thing.)

I crocheted 2 more dishcloths this week for the dishcloth challenge I’m participating in.  Savings:  $8

I saved several free crochet patterns from this site!  

Not working outside my home … Saved $100

Thus far this year my Vicky Challenge Savings  savings/earnings have been $4520.99, add this week’s amount ($452.72) and the total for 2017 thus far comes to $4973.71.

Now it’s your turn, what have you done to build up your pantry, care for your household or live frugally this week? 

Patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27


Have you read this series, This is Why! and this free e-book, Yes, You Can Have a Well-Stocked Pantry?  And don’t forget to check out the ‘Free Downloads’ page.  You’ll find some helpful pantry building stuff available for free!

If you are blessed by what you read here and would like to help financially support my writing, you can do that by making a small contribution by clicking on the donate button.  I would be very grateful!  

 https://www.paypalobjects.com/en_US/i/scr/pixel.gif

Thank you for using my Amazon affiliate link when placing your Amazon orders.  I earn a small percentage that doesn't increase what you pay.


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