Sunday, April 12, 2015

Weekly Update

Yeah, it's been awhile.

The Easter Bunny came, He hid the eggs outside this year. Took the kids awhile to figure that one out!

This Critter finished fourth grade math. He will now receive a 3 week math break. Next week it's catch up on English week. I think a good hour a week on English he should make a dent?

Sierra says Hi.


We finished filling the new tomato beds.

Then my kids were goofy tonight at dinner. So what is a mom to do? Grab the camera, of course.

Crazy busy transplanting tomatoes this past week and will continue over the next few days. I will post more on tomatoes, later. Lots of experiments this year. But I think I have it figured out on what will work for me. Now just need to get them out to the green house. I'll have a semi final count later, but it's over 300 tomatoes.

Hubby gets two weeks off soon. We will then take a two week school break. YEAH. Ethan will be done with 5th grade math this week. Since Cole is way ahead doing 4th grade I gave him 3 weeks off. 

Well hubby is off, a ton of projects to do around the house. We have made a very long list, during the days we are out and doing things and at night we are de-cluttering our bedroom. It has become a dumping zone. Get the tomato rack out of there and get busy.  Got some boxes from Costco to fill for goodwill. So done with clutter. 

Mortgage fell to under 109k. Which is actually a very big deal around here. We bought the house for 109k. We are now officially making a dent on the house. But might have big changes coming for next year, as I may need a new van and before long we will need a second car. You are not getting that on 20 dollars a week. And the last thing we want is a car loan. So a big debate coming at the end of the year. Right now our focus is getting under 100k. 


Friday, March 27, 2015

Weekly Update & Mortgage Challenge

Just ARG. So I do the last blog post and then all heck broke loose. Ethan who never complains, well ok he complains, but if something hurts he works through it. So in the midst of doing chores and trying to push through, he plops on the couch and starts crying because the pain was so bad. So asked the neighbor to take us down to the ER. The joy of an ER. But it's a kids ER. Come to find out it was a virus. Ethan seemed to be one of the first ones, where the virus fills you with air and you are in pure misery for days, with a slight fever. Neighbor who is a nurse came over about two days later saying the ER was filled with kids with the same thing as Ethan. 

Well the doctor of course sent us home with drugs. Hum one doesn't need drugs if you are filled with air. Came home and googled them, the side effect was coma. Well Joy there. But me being me, I gave Ethan olive oil. About 1 tbsp every two hours until he started to feel better and then went to every four hours and then twice a day. Well pushing apple juice.

He then passed the virus to Tucker. Who had one dose of olive oil and claimed he was cured. Ok then. But the day after Ethan was feeling better, allergies hit. This child has never had seasonal allergies, was dying. But Cole was much worse. He looked like he went ten rounds with king kong. Poor baby. His eyes were black and blue and puffy, his nose was running faster then a hose. 

After a google search came up with Hylands. So had daddy bring some home. After two doses Ethan was fine. But poor Cole, it took a full day before it finally kicked in. It was two days before he could live without his towel he was carrying around. 

During rain showers, I've been out working or planting. If I'm stuck inside I'm working on cleaning the house. I don't know what happens I think the house sneezes and just crap everywhere. 

I got two tomato orders in over the last two days. I have two more orders out. I'm doing one last experiment. This time with fish fertilizer. My seed starter is just crap, so about once a week I'm feeding my tomatoes and that is really helping. I now have nearly 100 that have been moved to 4 inch pots and are doing really well. Just waiting for the weather to warm up so they can live in the green house. Right now the 4 inch pots go out during the day and inside at night.


I'm in the midst of a new project. Hopefully I can reveal it next week? I can't wait to do the next project, it excites me. I just got curtains done for the neighbor and later this weekend I'm hemming dresses for her. Always something to sew.

On the Mortgage front, I sat down the other night and wrote out the rest of the year. If we stay on track and make every extra mortgage payment. Then we will be 1,121 dollars short of being below 100k. So hoping over the next few months to find money here and money there to put towards it. I found a whopping 5 bucks today. BUT. The truck is back in the shop. And logically nearly everything is under warranty and shouldn't costs us much of anything. That truck IDK. We drove it to the dump, then to pick up hay. Then we were off to get dirt. We get two blocks from the house and it dies. Utterly dies. So a call to brother in law and he shows up about an hour later. He tinks with it and runs home to get his truck to tow hubby. Hubby thought to give it one last try. And it takes off. So he went. The hood pops up and he comes racing home and lands in the area across the house. So he calls brother in law, I get a hammer. I get the hood down, and he was able to back into the driveway. 

He runs over to the mechanics, who says he will send over a tow truck. Get the call the tow truck will be there Thursday. Nope, never showed up. So we are leaving to do errands today and here it comes. So we help it get into the drive and out. You can get in and out, you just have to do it in such a way. 

So hopefully next week get word on the truck.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Weekly Update & Mortgage Challenge

Days are flying by here. Tomatoes are happier, this is the week where they need to grow, or tank. With the weather warming up, I'm putting 3-4 flats in the green house everyday. So they can have real sunlight and warmth. But because it's not a heated green house I bring them in after dinner. I don't know how cold it gets out there.

Peppers are just happy. I think this is a fluke of nature, but lets see what comes out of it?

I got another sewing project done. Well it's not done, but it's done. It's on fabric, I just don't know what to do with it? Will it be part of a quilt? a wall hanging? So it's rolled up waiting for it's final fate. Starting on a new one tomorrow. Need to get these ideas out of my head.

All the detail was done on the sewing machine. It works really well since coming back from a good cleaning.

As usual things are crazy busy here. Ethan and Tucker are trying hard to finish up their math so they can have two weeks off at the end of April. I got parsnips planted today. Hopefully turnips tomorrow. Everything is weather depending. I was able to finish up the old raspberry area today. I was waiting for any babies to pop up. So I moved those and got that area ready for my new rose hips. We are nearly done killing an old compost pile, which will be our new second pumpkin bed??? and we are putting in another potato bed. So lots to do out back.

This weekend will include a trip to the dump (the truck is filled) and then off to get dirt. We will then finish off the two new tomato beds and get a bunch of barrels ready. I have rose hips, goji berries, and two roses to get planted. 

Mortgage is down to 109,655 slowly trucking along.

Thursday, March 5, 2015


Yes, Yes, Yes, It's been a long time. Sadly this will probably be the normal for awhile? The weather is so nice and nearly in the 60s' so I'm out when I can and enjoy it. So much to do and so little time.

The new tomato beds are in. Hoping next week to finish up with the dirt. The neighbor is using the truck right now for their dirt.

The far wooden bed, it's being replaced as soon as it can be. The front wooden bed we will replace over the winter. The wood is falling apart.

I had a tomato emergency. It seems the dirt I was using was holding water and drowning the tomatoes. So I transferred them to new soil. Stuff I used last year that did really well for me. But even now I'm not super thrilled with it. But that took many, many hours. Now I just have some left over splitting to do. Really hoping this saves my tomatoes. Only time will tell. 

We cut a fence in half. Nothing like being able to see everything the neighbors do now. But this is a good thing, more sun in our yard. And with the neighbors working all day I can keep an eye on their place. We still have much more fence to, but we like to pause and live with things for awhile. Would hate for neighbor to come home and say how much she hates it?

The neighbors deck. As of today it's all done. Well the deck part. She is now talking railings or benches or well something? Come Saturday their garden beds will be in place and filled and Ethan is heading over to teach them to plant peas. They have three starter beds and will probably add as they go. But with them both working so much it's a start. They are aiming to retire soon. So. 

We still have many more projects for them on our list. But one thing at a time. We are pausing on them at a moment, and working on our stuff. We have two trees to get into the ground. Right now we are tearing out an old storage area so we can get the apple tree into the ground asap. Hoping to have both trees in the ground tomorrow????

Our list to do is long. But the weather is helping.

So on the Mortgage front, We are now under 110k. 109k is what we bought the house for. So this means all the medical is now totally paid off. We had borrowed about 20k from the house to pay off bills long ago. It's hard but we are hoping to stay on track and be really close to 100k by the end of the year.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Weekly Update & Mortgage Challenge

Oh another crazy week here. Need to remind myself later this weekend to take a photo of the deck we have been building at the neighbors. We are so close to done. Today was building steps and leveling them, without killing each other (hubby and I) and putting in the final boards. Now just have the side boards to put up quickly and we will be done.We also took down four of her fence panels. Slowly opening up the neighbors fence so she can see how far back she wants to take down the fence. (less to replace later)

This week, I dragged hubby out to help me. This is the old raspberry area I have been tearing apart. Been racking my brain on what to do with the area and finally I just decided to give it back to the goats. It's really hard to water, and sun isn't always 100% there. So we ripped out everything and bent the fencing back and around. And OH how they love their new area. And now the neighbors can see them and pet them. So a win for everyone. And if I ever want the space back the fencing is still there. We just tore out the other 4 layers of fencing I had up.

Buddy says HI!

For the past two days I have been digging up the new tomato bed area. There is space here for three new beds. Now the area is all cleared. I just need to move the roses, weed block and buy brick. But this weekend we will be focusing on the new raspberry bed. Raspberries MUST be in the ground this weekend. Then I will focus on the tomato area.

My baby tomatoes are looking GREAT. As I counted tonight all by four tomatoes have started. I will start the splitting process this weekend, for those that are ready.  I'm also starting some herbs this weekend.

I started tomatoes two different ways. Both ways worked really well. The ones in the jiffy pots are my bulk tomatoes. Like Bonny Best, John Baer, Heinz, Earliana, and one more. These are the ones I can give to neighbors or anyone else who asks for starts. And if not well more for me.

And in pots. I planted about two seeds in each pot. For some weird reason some pots have 5 starts? Figure that one out. Oh well.

So every spare chance I get that the weather is nice I'm outside working. So nice to have our weather, so I'm getting a lot done. Work that would normally wait until late March or April. So hopefully I can get a lot done this year?

On the Mortgage front we are down to 110,675...

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Tomato Freak!

Yep me. I planted hundreds and hundreds of tomatoes this week. And yesterday they started to pop. So very exciting. I won't know the final count until or if they pop and are planted? I am also growing a few for the neighbors. Not to mention the tomato book I ordered and me googling the author and finding his blog and now I need all the tomatoes he created. OY.

I am dabbing in peppers this year. I'm doing 3 hot and 3 sweet. We shall see?  I did mark the tags properly, as HOT or Sweet.

We got a new toilet this week. Our old toilet, it got to the point you just couldn't flush. You plunge and plunge and yeah no, couldn't flush. It was 20 years old, so it was time. 

Our new toilet came with a cat apparently? 

Onions are starting to pop. So exciting. 

My tomatoes. Every time I go in to look I see another has popped and looks like this. It's so exciting. To see a seed you saved, and it looks like this. I have two more orders coming in. As seed orders come in Tomatoes are planted asap.  Would love to have over 200 tomato different seeds by the end of the year. Currently sitting at 163. I keep my tomato list updated as they come in.

During rain breaks I've been out working in the old raspberry area. I got some of the raspberries planted. Although our goal is to have the new raspberry bed done and raspberries planted by next weekend. As raspberries should be in the ground as they are getting ready to start growing and blooming. I also want to get the old area all cleared, looking pretty and weed block down so I can plan what to do in that area next? It might be kept cleared this year? It's a tough area, so we will see? Might even open it up to the goats?

Money, Well house is below 111k. YEAH. Currently sitting at 110,838.47. Staying on track so far. Would love to be about 100k at the end of the year?

On the goals, the truck is set to get tires next week. We just have to get it to town. Hubby wants to do one more thing on the truck and then it's done for the moment. It will go back on the list later for other things I"m sure. But need to work through a few goals first. On the way home from town we will pick up a truck load of dirt to fill the raspberry bed. I also need to get the tomato bed up and going soon. So much to do and sooooooo little time.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Weekly Update & Mortgage Challenge

And it has been another week. I do not think I have sat down once over the last two weeks or so? Between the garden, canning, school and neighbors. Yikes. Neighbors are keeping us busy on hubbies days off. We started a deck for them, it's more done then not, although forgot to take a photo. We are hoping to sneak over there off and on next week and move forward on it. Next project will be benches on the new deck and then a shed out back. But we need a few nice days in a row before pouring concrete. So it will be a little while.

We've had some pretty warm days, in fact on this day it was in the 60's  and I was out in a tee-shirt digging up this grass spot.

The grass spot is in front of this bed. The bed was cleaned out, my hope is to go right down the line of cleaning out beds and digging up dirt.

The raspberry bed is in. You see that long bed along the fence line.

This is the old raspberry bed. I lost probably half the raspberries in this bed. Now to clear away the wood and work around the edges.

I've been in the process of canning 100 pounds of potatoes.

Here is the new shelf we got from Costco. It's dreamy. I have set up the trays and filled with dirt, now to plant the seeds....Soon.

The boys got a new "couch" it's two big cushions. We need to make pillowcases, we bought some fabric today. Got these so the kids can pick them up when we move the couch in there during Christmas. Low enough for the kids to bounce on.

This one started fourth grade math last week. And is actually doing really well. Actually I have had Ethan teach Cole the math lessons and help him and it's been going OK. 

The neighbors are paying us to put in the deck and such. With that we can afford one of our really big goals of getting tires for the truck. We've been saving for awhile so we were close. Raspberry bed just needs dirt and well raspberries. And it's done. I will now work on buying pavers for the front. That has been on my list for two years, time to kill it. But plan on getting the tires in about two weeks, it's our first up coming free day. So we are working slowly on our list of to buy.

We have a week of rain coming, if I get outside during the morning we will work on deck, if it's after lunch I will be out working on raspberries. And if I can't get out, I will be inside planting seeds. 

Our Mortgage, I don't know where I left off, but we are at 111,300. Next week we should be in the 110k range. Exciting.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

A week...

I'm running a wee bit behind in life again. See that little black critter? Last week she told me it was time. She is 17 years old or older. She was starting to become miserable. It was time. So I wrapped a towel around her and glued her to me and that is where she was for about 3 days. I would put her down to make dinner or do this or that, but mostly she was glued to me. After the third day she closed her eyes and stopped breathing and she was gone. 

The day before we had finally picked a spot to bury her. So she was buried. And it's been tough. She has been such a part of my life for many, many years, and during the last few, you take care of her every need and then she was just gone. 

Just weird to have her gone. 

So I'm behind. I find myself looking for her. I keep finding mess after mess she left. So a lot of cleaning up that needs to be done. 

And then yesterday our lives kinda blow up. Neighbor came over, and she wants a list of projects done and she is unwilling to wait any longer. Hubby apparently said he would do the projects, but wanted to wait more towards spring. Because it's freakin cold outside. She wants this and this and that, and OH BOY. BUT talked her down and said one project at a time. So that was agreed on. First up is the front deck. So hubby today drew it out, and got prices and gave her a quote. She was OK with the price, and the project will start. So hubby has a part time job. Which is great, because we need tires!

Get that done and have her pick the next project. She has a list a mile long. 

The boys and I have been putting sets of legos back together. Going through books picking something and hunting for legos and putting them back together. I have many sets half done because we are missing pieces, so we move on and hope we come across that part. It's a nightmare, but we are making progress. 

Last week I was able to get the shelving unit from Costco. With Costco the fear is they will run out of something before you can buy it. So I rushed to save the money and we had enough last week. Oh the crazy time we had trying to bring it home. Let's just say we seriously considered tying a child to the roof of the van. We didn't but we came close. I'll have photos soon. Today I have been cleaning up the bedroom to make room for this thing. It's now all clear, now to bring it in and set it all up. I'm excited to have all my starts in one place.

And then there is tomorrow. Tomorrow is Tucker's birthday. So I'm off to bake a cake in a few. He demanded a cake. He all ready has his gifts. But he hasn't been able to play with them yet. Although time after time, I would catch him in my room on the bed just looking at them. 

And Monday, oh Monday. We will attempt Cole in fourth grade math. I think he can do it, but if he struggles we will head back to third grade math. But he has a math brain like his bother and mom. I actually think not too far down the road Cole will be passing Tucker in math. Oh why couldn't Tucker get a math brain as well?

Mortgage is dropping. Slowly as we've had serious budget issues. But I'm trying hard to drop it something every week right now. Currently at 111,600. I see 110 coming...That will be exciting.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Oh Please Let This Be A Good Year!

Oh please let 2015 be much better then 2014. Although I can't complain too much about 2014, no real major crisis. But the garden kicked my butt, and a few other things, really dragged me down. 

This week has lead to me tossing all the left over squash, I give up. I started to plan the garden for next year. Next thing to do is write out start dates of seeds. I know first up are tomatoes and onions. I'm trying to plant the rest of the garlic, but we've been frozen for the past week. Checked it today and I can move the dirt about an inch, not enough to plant yet.

Buddy survived Christmas.

I got busy in the kitchen last night. We've been without an all purpose seasoning for many months now. My basic mix is about 1 cup of onion powder, 1 cup of garlic powder, and then toss in everything else as you wish. From dried herbs, to carrots, tomatoes, orange peel, to kale. Although I never add salt. I add salt as the dish needs it, and normally I don't salt as I cook we salt at the table.

I made a mess and there was no one to clean up after me? I really didn't plan that too well.

Holy Garlic Batman! This is elephant garlic, I have about 52 cloves I'm trying to get into the ground. This is the year we are trying hard to change all garlic over to heirloom types and toss out the store bought garlic. Photos to come!

So it's the first of the year. Time that people make goals and such. We make money goals, we actually made them about a month ago. So this week we started to put those goals into play. 

On the side bar of the blog I actually wrote down some of our goals. Some are small, but will take many weeks for us to buy/do. As we save a little each week until we can make the purchase.

On the Mortgage front, if we don't re-fi we will be close to the 100k mark at the end of the year. Our base extra payment a week will be 135. BUT we will push ourselves weekly to hit 150 a week. And on the really good weeks as much as we can, to get us closer to the 100k mark. Although if we re-fi all those thoughts go out the window. But since I have no idea what those numbers will be can't even think about that math now. 

Our first goal is to get a new shelving unit for starting starts. Last year was a mess! I had tables up and the hallway blocked and peeing at 3am when you have a few inches to move is not fun! Plus a cat got up there to sleep and killed two flats of tomatoes that were going good. We can put the shelving unit in our room and be able to shut the door, so no one can bug anything! After that probably lights for the shelving unit. Although I have two from last year, so only need two more. And might not even need those because I will be starting seeds at different times, not starting everything at the same time. But it would be nice to have on hand. Then the tires for the truck, we are nearly there, but it's time to get them off the list. 

A few things on the list will be conquered when we get our tax return. Like the two gates and the back deck. Our side gate has fallen, it was leaning and we propped it up for now, but our dog has broken through it once. Plus it's to the point you can't open the gate. The goat gate broke many months ago, it's so bad, not only do we lock it, but we tie it up. As the goats know how to open it and let themselves out. BUT they don't know how to untie yet. And the deck has big holes in it. It's way past time. Just a matter of time before we fall through it. Hubby will have to take off a week here and there to work on these projects. So need to figure that out shortly.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Well It's Over

Spend all this time dreading Christmas and then BOOM it's here. On Sunday before my mother just showed up. Oh the fight we had. Excuse after Excuse after Excuse. Only a drunk makes that many excuses. Tell ya if my father wasn't there (he won't let her drive) I would have probably slammed the door on the first excuse. Just tiring and draining. 

Here is the last dress for my niece. I just adore these and I'm toying with selling them on etsy. I'm toying with a lot of things right now. My poor brain.

My boys have been in this position since the 24th. Building lego set after lego set.

My mothers gifts utterly suck. Oh no I'm not calling you fat. Then she buys me 1x clothes. I have never been a 1x a day in my life. If you plan on buying crappy clothes at least get them in my size? Yeah, her and I are about to have it out again. But this is the pile of crap to go back. Can someone explain to me what is wrong with cash? Because now there is something I really want, but it will take many weeks to save for. 50 bucks would have saved her money and gotten me 1/3rd of the way there? Just saying.

We will be taking down Christmas soon. Just wasn't in the mood this year. A lot of it has to do with my mother. The fighting, and the crappy gifts. It's depressing to know she will never ever get me one good gift. It has utterly ruined Christmas for me. But the kids had a hoot. So many Lego sets so little time. The best gift I got them was a movie. They got to open it Christmas Eve. Of course only got to watch a few minutes, so had to finish it on Christmas morning allowing us to sleep. And mommy likes sleep, mommy doesn't like being woken up at 7am going is it time is it time and that doesn't end until you drag yourself out of bed and tell them it's time. 

On the mortgage front, trying to hit is hard. Finding money here and there. Gas prices are down so take a little from there, and we now have a wal mart gift card so use that for food and put that money into the bank and send to the Mortgage. Currently sitting at 112,305. We have a new HUD house right around the corner, so our Feb date may be pushed back. Our house prices are just not going up around here.