Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Weekly Update & Mortgage Challenge

Yeah, it's been more then a week since the last update. Tell ya the garden has opened up and swallowed me whole. So went out of town to a family reunion. We thought we would head south and roast in southern Oregon. I'll show off my new goodies later. All in all, not the greatest trip and my mother and I may never speak again before she passes. She needs rehab and I don't see that happening. She has chosen not to speak to me anymore, but that is what drunks do, they kick out the ones that care. Her loss. But either she smarts up and goes to rehab and get on her feet or she will mix pills and alcohol and pass on. 

Came home to 12 pounds of cucumbers and suddenly canning season has begun. I'm now picking 20 pounds of cucumbers daily to every other day.

One should not turn a blind eye to zucchini....We went out and picked 15 today. Gray Zucchini is new to me this year and very dreamy. Not only the coloring, but the insides. Oh how lovely it is. One I will grow every year from now on.

Got home and got a wild hair to gut our house, starting with this room. You tell Tucker and Cole to clean their room and this is what you get? We gutted the room, took everything out but the bed.

Tell ya about 70% of it left the house! two loads went to goodwill, not all from the bedroom, some from the playroom as well.

Just not pretty.

So asked the boys about painting their room. Oh they wanted it painted, but I was out voted. Do you see the changes? We also put in closet length shelves. It was a great idea.

See they have a floor.

Pulled this from the playroom. It holds all their stuffed animals. 

Next up is the playroom. Doing this on a very tight budget so it's slow going. The only thing I bought for the bedroom was a gallon of paint. For the playroom, we plan on getting a new carpet remnant, and about one gallon of paint. Also we will go to surplus and get a kids table, they run about ten dollars. So the whole play room should run under 100 dollars. So stay turned for that. But nice to refresh the house a little? Declutter and take a few loads to goodwill. 

So after a rough month and missing a few extra Mortgage payments. I have been sending a few dollars here and there to play catch up. I'm currently short 298. Now our payment went down by 20 dollars so I will have that. But I will make an effort to catch up and stay on track. The last two weeks have been good. We are currently at 117,340.35 should be in the 116's by the beginning of next month. Exciting. 

If you don't hear from me, I'm canning, drying, or doing something. Just wait until tomato season!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Weekly Update & Mortgage Challenge

Crazy, crazy week. So much going on in the garden. Our up coming camping trip. And my dreamy herb dryer died on my yesterday. No idea what I'm going to do. I'm using my excell right now, but it has a fan in the back, not great for everyday herb use. 

We are picking pounds of blue berries, raspberries, and strawberries daily. We harvested half of the turnip bed the other day. Now giving room to the other half to grow, harvest those after our trip and replant. 

We scored a free chest freezer the other day. Which is so needed since I'm filling up our other two faster then expected. 

When we get back from our trip it will be nothing but garden, garden, and garden. We are adding two semi big beds. If we can cut down an area we kinda let go, then I will add beds there? I plan on expanding at least one bed. 

Thought I would do updated photos on the hydroponics. My lettuce never took off. Did new seeds and kept them in a cool dark place and still nothing. Re-did the seeds for a third time and put them in the green house. And BOOM they took off. Hoping another week or two and I can put them back in the pipe. 

The strawberries finally took off, they apparently went into a shock for a few weeks, but finally came out of it and started to grow green, and bloom flowers. 

Same with the cucumber after a few weeks of shock I noticed the other day it was finally growing and taking off. 

Max is still with us. I bring him out twice a day to feed him grain. He is on the weaker side and has lost a few pounds. But still going strong. I just have to shake the food dish and he comes a-running.

Well not much going on, on the Mortgage front. I need to do my monthly payment. But this week and last I didn't make the extra payments. So last week hubby's work messed up his check so bad it wasn't even funny. We finally got paid, but they didn't want to pay him for sick. But his check came in pieces, we had to take the van in to get ready for the upcoming camping trip. Had to buy a battery, and other things piled on. This week it's all about the kids. Went through Tucker's and Ethan's clothes. Guess who has no summer clothes? Guess what I'm buying Friday? 

What I figure is our Mortgage payment is dropping by 20 dollars. I will keep paying the same amount so that is an extra 100 dollars. And between now and the end of the year I will try hard to find another 160 to make up the difference so we can stay on track. Find 5 here and 10 there it will add up and we will get back on track. 

OH our Mortgage payment is dropping by 20 dollars. Complete shock because the Mortgage payment always goes up and up, this is the first time ever it went down. So can't wait for the re-fi to really drop the payment!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Well Hell

Look who is now riding a bike? Mr. Tucker. I realized he was close yesterday so we loaded up the kids today and went to the park, got about 1/2 way around the track and I felt he was ready, so we put the peddles back on the small bike and let him go. Oh good gravy. BUT he finally got it and took off. Finished that lap and stopped at the van for a water break. And that is when Buddy took Tucker down. I put this crying kid on the bike and told him to go.

I know I could have easily been called mean mom, but he wasn't thinking about the peddling he was thinking about the pain and off he went. Nearly around the track. Oh look Tuck you can ride a bike. So back to the van and we put him on Cole's bike and off he takes. He does have an issue with starting and stopping. But after dinner we ran up the road and worked on that. His first breaking he landed in a bush. Had to fish him out and I put a crying kid back on his bike and told him to go! He now gets a bike of his own. 

Tell ya Cole is right behind them. Another day or two and I may have three bike riders?

Welcome a new family member. I want to do sauerkraut and I wanted to get a crock, so we ran south to a place that sells a lot of canning stuff. This was half price compared to Amazon. It will be the first of many. But I didn't plant that much cabbage so this is just a starter. Work on it and see how we like it and go from there. If we like it, then lets go cabbage crazy next year.  I just wanted a 2 gallon, hubby talked me into a 3 gallon. who I'm I to say no? See if we can add a 5 gallon next year. Go from there. I'm super excited. 

Speaking of hubby, probably won't be a weekly update this week. Work isn't paying him his sick leave. So right now our check is laugh-able. Of course there is an email now and a phone call tomorrow. Hoping tomorrow to have an answer and a pay date! But this is why I don't allow him to take days off. It's a fight to get paid. He gets sick leave but good luck using it and collecting on it. If he is sick he goes to work if his back is hurting he is going to work. It shouldn't be like that. But crap if there is something to fix, this would be it. If you get sick leave allow people to use it without jumping through 15 billion hoops!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Weekly Update & Mortgage Challenge

YES! I know it's been a few weeks. I'm trying. But that massive garden I have is demanding all of my time right now. The boys are out giving it some time every morning, moving it forward. Making great strides.  Should be harvesting turnips later this week.

Boys goofing off!

Bunches of Oranges on the orange tree. Exciting.

This marshmallow. OH this marshmallow, we got it rolled into the goat pen, then my awesome husband tried to lift it without me. To turn it upright. Well you try lifting 200 plus pounds, it didn't go well. He throw out his back so bad he thought he was dying. Just dying. I tried to calm him down, but nope he was dying. Wanted me to call 911, he was dying. So I called 911 and they came and took him away, I finally found someone to watch the kids so I could go and sit for hours on end in the ER. No x-ray nothing you just pulled it really good. Two rounds of hard drugs and 4 very long hours we were headed home. Doctor telling him he wasn't dying. Just too much pain for your body at the time.

I got the joy of dealing with everything. Had to go and pick up the kids, run by his work because now he gets a week off. I was so burnt out after getting home, but no had to water, and do everything. Tell ya after two days he was done and ready to go back to work. He is now back at work and doing just fine.

Then I have this turkey. Well all my kids are turkeys. So I got in a mood a few weeks ago. Here Ethan is nearly 11 and doesn't know how to ride a bike yet. Mostly our fault, we live on a dirt road, we never have any money for a bike. So for three weeks I saved up and we got Cole a brand new bike. Figured Ethan and Tucker could learn on that then they can get a bigger bike. So we got a bike and training wheels and off we went. Well except the training wheels didn't fit. So we returned them. And in me thinking there has to be a better way. I was on You Tube and let me just say OMG. 

So you take off the peddles and you let them get balance, once they have balance and are keeping their legs up, you put the peddles back on and let them go. So this morning we took off the peddles and went up to the park. For a good hour the boys were walking their bikes around the park (we had a small old bike, Cole's new bike, and a borrowed bike), Ethan finally got it and took off. So after dinner, we put the peddles on the bike and off he went. In under two hours that child was riding a bike. So we moved him up to Cole's bike because it's bigger then the tiny old bike we had and started him on. He took off on Cole's bike. 

So after some more practice on that he can get his own bike. Now Tucker has the smaller bike, it's his turn, he thinks he will be riding by the end of the week. Forcing mommy to find money for two new bikes before our camping trip. But it was so exciting to see him out riding. Can not believe it was that easy for him to learn. He did not want to come in tonight, just all over the place. Although he is sore in the behind area....Two hours on a bike will do that.

On the money front, we seem to be doing ok. I've been cutting back on food and a lot of no's and saving money. Which is how we got a bike. Found out about Mortgage Recasting. Basically you send them a large sum of money, and a fee and ask for a recasting. And they shake up your loan and you get a smaller payment, but your rate and loan time stays the same. Been thinking on that. If I were to put the 132 aside for the next 18 months and send them that and ask we could drop our monthly payment by a lot. But I don't think we qualify because we normally go FHA, I am not sure we did that last time, we streamlined, but did we streamlined FHA? And would it remove PMI? On the flip side I like seeing the house amount drop every week. We are now under 118k which is exciting. Currently 117,971.00 We are thinking on the recasting and may call with our questions.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Weekly Update & Mortgage Challenge

And it has been a week! First off Mr. Vader, the BIG dog has left. His momma came and got him. Boy has he missed her. She came over to tell me she was going to pick him up later. He sat at that front door waiting for her.

And this little one has missed him something awful! Very depressed over loosing his brother. Although I didn't realize how big Vader was until he was gone. The house feels so empty, I don't have a big dog under foot. Just everything so quiet.

We got the hydroponics set up this week. These are just test tubes. We are in the midst of building an A-Frame that will house the tubes. But until then they are on saw horses. I have lettuce in one and strawberries in another.


I'm testing a cucumber in a bucket. I saw someone do cucumbers on You Tube, BUT the guy had nine plants in one hole. HELLO. You can't put nine in one hole and expect it to work well. I have one in this hole. We will see what happens?

Trying lettuce in a tub. I plan on doing tubs in the green house over the winter. So we will see?

So much going on this week. My mother is retiring. Oh yeah. She says she plans on spending more time down here. Oh Lord help me! 

Max the goat is really sick. It's like one of his stomach's has stopped working. It's the oddest thing. Hay will go down and come up, but not go down again it gets stuck. Mind you this goat hates me, so it was something when he wanted in the house so I brought him in and gave him some grain, and realized something just isn't right. So we got the joy of pining him down and removing everything. Oh after that he felt great. Ate some grain and back out. But he won't eat hay and he lightly grazes. So I bring him out once a day and fed him grain. He may be grain fed for the rest of his life. He is nine so he is getting up there in years. We will just see how things go. At least he stopped running from me and is letting me treat him or he would have passed on by now. 

Spent the week planting, planting and more planting. Have 181 tomato plants in the ground. Yeah, went a wee bit over board again? All the beds are just full. I still have 7 flats left in the green house. 3 are just tomatoes. No idea what to do if they get tall enough to plant? I have a lot of fine tune planting to do now. 

On the Mortgage front. Went from 118,634 to 118,235.62 had an issue with our numbers. Finally got them in order. Made no sense as nothing was off, but something was just off. So it took me a few extra days to pay the mortgage. Had to be sure the money would be there.

Friday, May 30, 2014

More Roses!

OK OK I know I wasn't going to get any more Roses. BUT Silly me was out and about all by myself. Well OK not by myself, I had Ethan, my partner in crime. We were out doing errands, and the place we normally get chicken manure was out. So I thought I would stop at the garden center. They had it totally over priced, but I got some verses using more gas driving around looking for it. So my van smelt amazing coming home!. 

Any Who back to the roses, I honestly wasn't even going to look. Except they had a few as you walk in and they were in bloom and stunning. And before I know it Ethan and I were walking through the roses, after a few minutes we both landed on this Orange one. Her name is Judy Garland. Read her story here

Stunning is an understatement.

The colors are amazing.

This is Texas, I fell in love with him as we walked into the garden center. He is my first mini.

Again Stunning. Needs some love, so I think after some trimming, planting and food. I will have one amazing rose.

How can you say no to that rose? 

Sadly I broke into my birthday money for these. But they were worth every penny. 

8 Roses and counting.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Weekly Update & Mortgage Challenge

EXCUSE THE MESS! But seriously if I waited for the couch to be cleaned, we would have been there all day long. The pipe is for hydroponics. Holes are all cut out. We got a load of 2x4's delivered today, someone was going to burn them can ya believe it? We plan on heading up and getting more. Hubby will start on an A-Frame to hold these pipes. Almost time to get started!

This little Turkey, he is in first grade, but half way through second grade math. He is scary on how stinking smart he is. Well he is now done with school until we start up again.

So hubby and I fought last night. I found a wee bit of money in the budget and this faucet needed fixing. It was streaming water, you could hear our septic pump running all the time. It was a matter of time before the pump burnt out and then how much would that costs? Lots more then we have. 

So last night well running numbers I mentioned that its time to fix the faucet. Hubby was like I thought you were going to call a plumber? Hum no, why would I call someone for something so simple? I fixed it last year, I can take it off and put on a new one? Then he got on you tube and watched a few videos, and really we found out it could be a simple nut or washer issue. 

So this morning we went out and found our faucet looks nothing like any of the faucets we saw on you tube. We did this and this and that and still streaming water. So hubby frustrated with me, sawed it off, and went to the hardware store and bought a new one. Came home and within one minute had it all totally fixed. Water has stopped streaming. We waited 5 minutes to turn on the well, and then another 5 minutes to turn on the house water. And still it's dry. We just left it like this to be sure it won't leak. A leak in the inside wall is NOT good. 

So for 20 dollars instead of 300 plus we have a fixed faucet. Now there is a place for plumbers, don't get me wrong. Like last year when the dog hit the back faucet and it was ripped off the house and took pipes with it. We called a plumber because the pipes in the house needed to be fixed and I was busy under the house cleaning up the flood. Spent 360 dollars we didn't have. But when you have plumbers on You Tube saying folks it's easy peasy fix it yourself and save the money! 

On the Mortgage front, moving slow. From 118,766. to 118,634.

Friday, May 23, 2014

One Word & Weekly Update


So we are going to try hydroponics. We will do some test tubes this summer. Trying to figure out how to grow strawberries, lettuce, and I'm thinking basil? We also have some scrap wood coming to make an A-Frame. An A-Frame will hold about 6 tubes on each side. I'm hoping to build one A-Frame this summer, add in the tubes and see where all this goes. Well building this, I'll have about three tubes set aside and some lettuce in a tub. And just play with things.

So a few things I have learned all ready. I have only seen men on you-tube talking about hydroponics. And one should not drink and make you-tube videos. Just saying! And you can get sea sick watching a you-tube video.

Mr. Lincoln bloomed last week. Well then we had a storm from heck with hail and dumping rain and this bloom gave up and died. Luckily I got a photo the day before? It was lovely.

Lordy another busy week. Mostly out in the garden, way too much to do and not enough time. 

Today was my birthday and guess who forgot? I got to spend the day in the pouring rain planting my in laws flowers. You know when you are wet and sticky and just yuck. Yeah, that was me today. 

Well on the Mortgage front things are dropping. Sitting at 118,766. It's slowly dropping, but can't complain. I know one day we will get there. Gosh I hope!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Weekly Update & Mortgage Challenge

Thought I would show off some photos from the garden.

This is the new hens and chicks bed. They were here before, but not enough depth for roots. So I pulled them all out. Removed the plastic, dug out a few inches, put down the plastic. Filled with new dirt and replanted.

This is the newest rose, well ok can't say that. But I haven't showed off this one yet. This is Blue Skies it's a purple.

Blue Girl is blooming.

One bed of tomatoes are planted. I have dill in the middle.

My garden is starting to turn green.

This is actually my newest rose. Pot of Gold. It will be planted in the back. 

Not tons going on this week. Which is actually good. My one child (Tucker) who has been pushing every button I have, melted me the other day. Daddy and Ethan have been spending a lot of time birding, and have some birding dates coming up. Well Daddy asked Tucker if he wanted to do anything. He said he wanted mommy time to make a teddy bear for Ethan's birthday. Yeah, I melted. But then I directed him to maybe, Ethan wants a bird house instead???? So we are looking into that. Although that child is growing and ARRRR he is testing me every time we turn around. 

So on the Mortgage front. We are under 119,000. Ever so exciting. We are at 118,898.00. It helps in the stress department we are under 119. Need to go and do the math and see when we will be under 118.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Weekly Update & Mortgage Challenge

Garden photos to come. Sadly it's raining AGAIN.

Tell ya the cat who hates everyone. Sure gets around. This is the closes she has gotten to Buddy.

Here Kirby and Tinkerbell so inter-mixed. She sure takes care of Tinker. Tinker is close to passing over. Really just a matter of time. Probably be harder on Kirby then me. 

Any who, been a very tough week here. Work messed up hubby's check. I can't tell ya how many times I tell hubby to do something yourself don't trust someone. Well he trusted his manager who said he would take care of the vacation pay. HA manager said he thought the computer would just take care of it. Like really? And well does he care? nope. So we are only getting 4 days of pay this week which just covers the bills. It's so hard to take money out of savings, because we may not see that missing day? Then savings is down and we are hitting savings hard right now. I need the bleeding to stop. 

The truck came back a LOT more then we were expecting. Add in we need new tires. Garage guy said you have a bad tire. Sure enough pulling into the driveway it went flat. It has the spare on it for now, so we can save for new tires. 

So it's been a bumming week. I can't afford to get my mother a gift, but if I don't, I kid ya not she will call daily and whine. it's honestly a pure hell I don't want. But she won't listen if I say I can't afford it. She won't care that we didn't get our full pay check. She just wants her gift it's all about crap for her. Not to mention she hasn't called in weeks on end. IDK it's hard, because there is no loving relationship with her. You can't have one with someone who use to beat you and treat you like her personal slave?

And I'm bummed that I won't get a mothers day gift, told hubby to thank his manager for ruining my day? And it's not like I wanted much of anything, I don't need anything. Just wanted to go to the garden store and mosey around. Instead I will be gutting a play area and cleaning it up and out for the kids. 

On the Mortgage front, we are at 119,030. Next week we will be below 119. Even through we took a hit on the pay check, we are not stopping the payment for the house. It's way too important. And really we would have just tried to tough it out money wise. But I found out today we are out of cat food and I forgot we are out of flour. I'll be as cheap as I can, but....Just hope for things to be back to normal next week. And well some sun would be nice!