Showing posts with the label planning

How I Get Things Done: Doing 5 Things In One Area

I am often asked how I get things done. I know I am a single mother with busy kids so that means I have to get things done. Of course, I enlist my kids into helping because, most of the time, it is their mess. At the end of the day, though, most of the work falls on me to keep the house running smoothly and to get things done.

I often don't feel like doing anything. Morning is my best time to get things done because I am tired at night after being at work most of the day. When I get home, I don't want to do anything including cooking. I often have prepping and homesteading tasks to accomplish. I have blogging to do. I have an Ebay store that needs daily attention. 

I have things to do! 

Crazy, right?

This is how I get things done: I choose an area and get five things done in that area. 

I will grab a piece of scratch paper or use my Any.DO app on my phone and make a list of five things I want to get done. I often will have a list for the morning and one for the evening. My morning …

The Joys and Concerns of Living in a Rural Area

This weekend is a prime example of why I usually try to make do with what I have. I did more running this weekend than I ever like to do, just to find three rolls of the kind of fencing I wanted. I was not a happy camper, but I have accepted this part of life.

Living in a rural area has its joys. I love the quiet, the openness, the lack of city regulations, the lack of noisy neighbors who can see every thing you do, and the space to do what I want to do. 

Living in a rural area also has its concerns. You have to drive to get what you need, often needing to go farther to get it, and you have to plan everything out to make sure you don't make a wasted trip. This last weekend was one of those weekends. 

Let me get started at the beginning. 

I have to get a fence put up around my garden. I have rabbits running wild on the farm, the chickens are pretty sick of being cooped up, and the dog thinks nothing of running through the garden, destroying whatever happens to be in her path. My onions…

2015 Garden Plans and Goals: Becoming More Self-Sufficient Every Year!

Photo by my daughter, Jordan 

The garden is tilled! Now time to start planting and planning some more. I love gardening and all it entails. I am working on making the homestead into a food producing machine. A lot easier said than done, but every year I make progress.

What am I going to do this year?

1. Plant asparagus and hope it comes back next year. These are second year plants as opposed to the first year plants from last year. I have hope they will. I added a lot of rotted chicken manure and bedding to the area they will be planted.

2. Put a fence around the garden. I love my chickens, but I will love them a lot less if they eat everything I plant. So a 3-4 foot fence will be going around the garden. At the end of the season, I will let them back in the garden to fertilize, eat leftover produce (if any!), and scratch around a bit.

3. Adding two more blueberry bushes. All four of my blueberries planted last year came back. I will add more soil acidifier to keep them happy and mulch hea…

Sunday Savings on the Homestead Week 10: Plan Your Garden!

Every Sunday I will be posting a Sunday Savings on the Homestead. This posts will concentrate on one money saving thing you and I can do to save money for the week. Some will be easy, some will be be a bit difficult, and all will concentrate on one way to save money for the week. Please join me in trying to live a frugal life in 2015!

March is here! I can finally get excited about gardening! Not that the snow has gone away yet, but planning what to plant, where to plant, and how much is wonderful! 

I have already amended the soil a fair amount with old chicken manure and bedding. I might add in a bit of peat moss too because my soil is a heavy black dirt that needs some lighting up. 

What are you going to plant? Where? How much?

My garden is going to contain:
2 rows (18 plants) tomatoes - 9 paste tomato plants and 9 heirloom tomato plants
2 grape tomato plants
2/3 rows of snap peas
2 rows of green beans
1 row of yellow onions
1/2 row of red onions
1 & 1/2 rows of bell peppers
4 zucchini hills

Daily Habits, Routines, and Prepping: Why Do They Go Together?

Many of us do the same things every day. We get up in the morning, take a shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, and start our day. Have you thought about how your daily habits and routines are a part of your prepping?

I didn't always see daily habits and routines as part of my prepping. I didn't use to have these habits and routines. Then I discovered Fly Lady and started to develop some routines. Then I had a few emergencies and discovered how nice it was to have these habits in place. I didn't have to search for clothes to wear. My clothes were in a neat pile, ready to wear. My phone and keys were in easy to find.

Lately, my nightly routine has been expanded. I make sure that by the time I go to bed, these things are happening:

1. Dishwasher is running.
2. The washer is running.
3. My clothes are laid out for the next day.
4. My phone is on the charger beside my bed.
5. All the lights are off.
6. The doors are locked.
7. Keys are beside my phone or in my jacket pocket.
8. My need-to…

Preparedness on the Cheap: Learning Your Evacuation Routes

No one wants to think about evacuating their home. I know I would not leave mine until I absolutely had to or was forced to leave. However, in being prepared, we have to think about all possibilities whether we want to or not.

I live in a rural area. I know my evacuation routes by heart. I have them marked on a map that is always in my vehicle. I carry maps of Minnesota and Iowa because those are the two areas I travel the most in. I know the main routes and the alternate routes by heart. I have routes that miss all towns/cities, but can always go into a town if I need to.

While I find this important in rural areas, I find having evacuation routes crucial in urban areas. When I find myself in a town or a city, I look at maps to make sure I know how to get out of town. Main roads are good, but might be clogged with other traffic trying to leave. I look for alternate routes and I also try to make sure I have contacts that live or work in that city for more information on ways to leave the…

Making a Budget: No One Wants To, But We Need To!

In the 13 Ways To Save Money In The New Year post, point #13 was to find someone to be an accountability partner for spending and budget making ideas.

Before you can look for an accountability partner, you need to do something first. You need to make a budget.

I know, I know. Making a budget is really, really, really hard. 

I know because I struggle with it too. However, I am determined to make a budget this year, adjust it when necessary, and stick to it. I have to give my money a place to go and I have to keep a tighter eye on where it is going.

Making a budget is not an overnight project. You need to look at the last 2-3 months and determine your expenses (bills, groceries, gas, etc.). How much, where, and frequency of money being spent is all things that need to be noted. How much money you make and frequency of money being paid to you needs to be noted. From these things, make a budget.

You can use a computer program or go low-tech (like me) and use a notebook or a planner. Just so yo…

13 Ways To Save Money In The New Year!

A new year and new goals! Yes! One of my goals for the year is to live as frugal of a life as possible. What I was really saying is that we are going on a spending fast. We literally will be cutting back expenses and saving money as much as possible. My finances are not where I want them to be and I need to change that.

What will I be doing to save money in the new year? 

1. Unsubscribe to all or all but a few (3-4) emails a day that encourage me to part with my money. Most of the time, I just delete the emails before I read them, but I have moments of weakness and click on them. No more!

2. Commit to spending no money for anything not on the goals list, that is frivolous, or unnecessary. 

3. Write out your goals to know where the money needs to go and what needs to save for. Where does your money need to go? What are your goals for the year? Think about the areas of the home/homestead, prepping, financial, gardening, and kids. Set a plan for those goals and how to attain them. Check out …

Preparedness on the Cheap: Evaluate the Perimeter Of Your Property

(Preparedness on the Cheap is a series of articles for the prepper and everyone else that do not have a lot of money, but needs to take steps to be prepared. A good deal of prepping is learning, planning and organizing. Prepping doesn't have to cost a lot of money, but does involve a lot of doing!)

I take very regular walks around the yard and evaluate the property. I ask myself questions such as:

Do I need more privacy?
Does the yard look taken care of?
Where could someone hide? Where could I hide?
Do I have a clear line of sight of all my property?
Where can I take position at to protect my home and family?
What do I need to trim (trees, bushes, long grass) to reduce places for others to hide?
Do I need to secure anything so it can not be stolen?

You might think these questions are a little out there or sound crazy. But when you are thinking about defending your property and your family, are they? The answer would be no. You have a right and a duty to protect your home and loved…

30 Days of Preparedness: Stocking the Non-Food Items

People often forget that while they need to have plenty of food stored, they also need the other essentials in life. What would be those you ask? Items such as batteries, toliet paper, feminine supplies, soap, deodorant, and other essentials make life so much easier and better smelling for all of us! Plus there is a lot of items we do not use every day, but we would certainly need in case of emergency!

How do you plan to address these things? Do you plan on making them yourself or having them on hand? Either way, you need to have the items on hand!

What do you need to have on hand when stocking non-food items? I have a list of things I definitely want to have on hand, but that list could look different for everyone. Here is some questions I ask myself and you may want to ask yourself to start or beef up your non-food stockpiles.

1. What are you prepping for? For example: power grid failures, EMPs, natural disasters, financial collapse, job loss, rising food costs, etc. What items wil…

What I Do To Be Organized

I am not a naturally organized person. I don't carry around a planner because I forget to write things down in them or forget them altogether. I am a visual person and need to have my organization in front of my face or somewhere my eyes will see.

I use these tools to see where every one will be, where I need to be, what needs to be remembered, and for papers that cannot be lost.

My calendar and two of my lists
Large Desktop Calendar Hung Up on Office Door
- Everything gets written there so everyone can see it
- Everyone writes down their schedule - no exceptions!
- I use Command strips to keep it up

Google Calendar on my phone
- Reminders set up for bills, blog, and appointments

To Do Lists
- I live off of these things!
- Always one in my pocket or nearby
- I use them at work and at home
- I also leave a to do list for my kids so they know what needs to be done by them every day

Shopping Lists
- I write down what we are out of as well as the sales I am interested in

Bulletin Boards
- I…

How Do You Not Worry About Money? Simple, By Worrying About It.

Confusing concept, yes?

I get asked all the time if I worry about money or how do I not worry about money. There is not simple answer to this because right now, I am always worried about money. I try not to worry and trust that my needs will always be meant as well as my family's and my loved ones. That concept seems easy, but in practice is very difficult to do.

Questions and doubts plague me all the time. Do I have enough money coming in to meet the flow of money going out? Will I have a little cushion this month or will it be a really tight month? Will I be able to take care of my family's needs? Will I forced to find another job outside of the home?

Or this week's current problem: Do I have enough money to cover the accidental double payment I made to the utilities with the check I wrote to the mechanic? Too late to stop all those checks so the answer will be sketchy until payday next Tuesday. This problem only occurs when I pay bills in a hurry or forget I paid onlin…

Preparedness on the Cheap: Evacuation Plans Part 2

Now that you know where you are going if and when you need to evacuate, you need to plan what to take with you. Whether you decide to have a 72-hour kit or everyone have their own bag or both, you need to have some essentials with you. I am choosing to have a 72-hour kit along with everyone having their own bag. I already have a tote packed and ready to go if we need to go.

Several areas need to be covered in your 72-hour kit and/or personal bags:

1. Water
2. Food
3. Clothing/Shoes
4. Important Papers
5. Personal Care and Sanitation
6. Security/Safety
7. First Aid
8. Tools

What you are seeing is a top view of my 72-hour kit. I did remove a few things from it so you could see in the kit better. I just used a tote that I had on hand, but the lid is attached. For the most part, everything has a pouch or is in a plastic bag to keep things organized, separated, and dry.

What is in my 72-hour kit? Many things and I keep adding:

1. A case of water stored by it on the shelf to grab and go.
2. Two water …

In A Holding Pattern...

Feels like I am just waiting and waiting and waiting. Waiting for the nicer weather that is now here and hopefully staying. Waiting for the chicks to arrive. Waiting to plant my garden. Waiting to get my yard cleaned up and in shape. Waiting to build my raised beds. Waiting to be outside in my favorite outfit, tee shirts and jeans.

What is a girl to do while she is waiting? Plan, plan, and plan. Spring clean the house. Reorganize bedrooms. Purge clothes and toys. Figure out where to put the day lilies and how to landscape around them. Watch the amount of sunlight around the barn to make sure the blueberry bushes will get enough sun. Decide what to plant in her planters by the driveway: pretty, functional, or both?

Look at lots of chicken coop plans and decide that I don't want to build anything really. I have two buildings at my disposal and have decided that I want to boot the dog out of her dog house in the barn and put the chicks there. I think it was once a place for the milk…

Garden Plans and Goals Update!

With Spring coming in four days, I would like to start giving regular updates on the progress of the garden this year. I will also share my frustrations too, but I would like to be positive about gardening. Gardening is therapy for me and I want to be an encouragement to all of you!

I plan on sharing my progress through my goals and plans as well as what I have gotten accomplished. As of right now, that is not a lot due to snow, snow melting, and muddiness right now! 

2014 Garden Plans and Goals

1. Buy a rear-tined tiller. My ground gets very hard even with the additional soil conditioners. A tiller will be a gift from heaven. Especially if I can find one that I can start easily. 

Not yet, but soon! I am researching and patiently waiting for an used one. A new one costs $500-600 and that just makes me cringe to spend that kind of money!

2. Adding in more peat moss and compost to nourish the garden. 

3. Buying biodegradable plastic or material that will block the weeds in between rows. I wil…