Showing posts with the label randomness

"Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make Do, or Do Without": The Need to Learn Skills and Learn How to Make Do

We talk a lot about what we need to acquire and purchase as people who live the various lifestyles of prepping, homesteading, and the combination of the two. We talk about what we shouldn't buy as frugal people and sustainability learners. Somewhere in the middle though, we need to understand that we need to get back the phrase that most of us should live by.

"Use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without."
That phrase hangs on the wall of my office in the form of a printable. I look at it almost every day and sometimes I still forget to apply it. However, the kids were gone for two and a half weeks on vacation with their father's side of the family this summer. I found myself unconsciously living that phrase.

I only bought groceries once while they were gone. I went back to the store the day they came back. Otherwise, I was going through our food stores and seeing what needed to be eaten. I would set those items on the kitchen counter in an effort to remember to make …

Tired of the Election Chaos? A Guide on How To Vote American!

I'm tired of the elections, the politics (and I love politics), the saying something and meaning nothing of this current batch of candidates. They sure can promise a lot of things that may or may not happen. They can throw a lot of smoke to cover up their past deeds and mistakes. This year, they sure can throw a lot of mud and not be bothered with telling the American people what they really need to know. This is the first election that I don't want to vote in. I want nothing to do with it even though it is my American duty to vote. Women fought very hard for my right to vote and that effort should not be wasted even 97 years later. However, my gut feeling tells me nothing good will come out of this election no matter who gets elected. I don't ignore my gut feelings. Ever. So I won't be posting who I am voting for or endorsing. I don't know who I am voting for. I don't know if I am going to vote, but I probably will. Don't ask me or give me kind suggest…

Friday Thoughts - Week of August 14

The Friday Thoughts might give you the impression I am obsessed with certain things, but then again maybe not. Many people ask what I think about things and I am not a very good talker. I will start trying to put my thoughts here every week and see what happens. I am going to keep it to five things that have been on my mind or heart, but I am not making any promises. 

1. I am really looking forward to this weekend. I will be kid-free for the weekend. As much as I love them, as a single mom, I need this once in a while. I need the mental break. Maybe I can get organized again too with my planner and my calendar!

2. If you are inclined, please say a little prayer or send some good vibes for Shali. She is having an MRI on Sunday for her ankle and will probably end up with surgery. We will know more after her follow up appointment on Thursday. She injured it playing sports in high school and, at 20, is in constant pain. Too young for that!

3. Wow, did you all see that explosion in the port o…

Friday Thoughts - Week of August 7

The Friday Thoughts might give you the impression I am obsessed with certain things, but then again maybe not. Many people ask what I think about things and I am not a very good talker. I will start trying to put my thoughts here every week and see what happens. I am going to keep it to five things that have been on my mind or heart, but I am not making any promises. 

1. I did not watch the presidential debates last night. I could care less about the debates unless they are really going to talk about the real issues. And although I think Donald Trump could contribute a lot to this country, I really don't think he is presidential material. I like a few other candidates and will just wait to see how they do.

2. In a couple short weeks, I will have two kids in their own apartment at college and two kids at home. That just seems so strange. I love them so much, but life has more in store for them and I can't wait to see the adventures they go on in their lives.

3. In relation to #2, …

Friday Thoughts - Week of July 24

The Friday Thoughts might give you the impression I am obsessed with certain things, but then again maybe not. Many people ask what I think about things and I am not a very good talker. I will start trying to put my thoughts here every week and see what happens. I am going to keep it to five things that have been on my mind or heart, but I am not making any promises. 

1. Well, there is certainly something going on in the air financially in this country. All signs are not pointed to the good either. If you are not paying attention to the financial news in other countries, you might want to be. If a recession or depression happens in this country (again), this will be hard on everyone. So many people depend on the government or other services to stay alive and that may not be possible if something happens. 

For the frugally minded, this might not be such a hurt for you. For those that are not frugally minded, you might want to jump on the spend less, save more train. Having cash reserves …

"What Do You Think Is Going To Happen? Is The World Going To End?"

The answer would be "I don't know" or "I doubt it". Literally, I don't know. I can guess and not be right. I can only give you my views and let you make your own decisions.

I see a lot of signs of potentially bad things happening, but I don't know which way anything is going to go. I see a lot of signs that I find rather alarming and very disturbing. I see a lot of questionable decisions being made and a lot of questionable people making those decisions. We have natural events happening in unexpected places as well as expected places. We have things going on that are out of our control.

I don't ever see the world self-imploding or blowing up. I also believe that everything works in cycles. The weather works in cycles. Nature works in cycles. Animals work in cycles. You get the idea.

Natural disasters do not worry me that much. They are part of life and nature. We have no control over them. We can prepare for them as much as possible, but we always need…

Top Posts of 2014!


Things in Life Do Not Happen In My Time: Tales From A Frustrated "Homesteader"

Today's post will be funny, a bit frustrating, trying not to be whiny, and wondering what decisions I should have made differently. Just for your own information. I do try to warn people. Sometimes.

I should have gotten more chickens. Before my family attempts to shoot me about that last statement, I mean I should have gotten meat chickens along with the layers. I am a super excited chicken owner who cannot wait to have her chickens start laying! Bring on the eggs! However, I wanted to start small and work my way into this. I now realize I could have handled 25-30 meat chickens in addition to 14 layers. Chickens, so far, have been really easy to raise and give me much amusement some days. Next years plans: 25-30 meat chickens. And maybe a couple of feeder pigs?

I should have also bit the bullet and started a few beehives this year. We love honey. I use it to replace sugar in a lot of things. Producing our own would have saved me much moola as raw honey is starting to creep up the …

Facing Adversity While Living Life You Want

I have several hats I like to wear: Gardener, Homesteader, Prepper, Cook, Writer, Seller, Coordinator, Experimenter, Reader, Crafter, Hobbyist, Nature Lover, Natural Lifer, Deal Finder, Tightwad, etc.

I have several roles that I try to fulfill in my life: Mom, Girlfriend, Friend, Daughter, Granddaughter, Niece, Cousin, and Acquaintance.

What do you do when the people in your life do not support you and the hats you like to wear? What do you do you have no encouragement to pursue your dreams in life? What do you do when you get mocked and teased for living the life you love?

I have struggled with this for awhile. Last summer, much of it came to a head for me. I became very disgusted with the lack of support in my life to pursue my passions. I had great friends who supported me all the way and I had friends/family who supported me in some ways, but not all. Then I had people who did not support me at all.

Granted, their arguments were valid. I was creating too much work for myself. …

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day...

...And this is a holiday that I don't care for.

Commercials proclaiming "Show her your love on this special day." Really? If you really are in love, shouldn't you be showing her or him your love everyday?

To me, love is not flowers, jewelry, expensive clothes, expensive dinners, and whatnot. Those things are nice and can show appreciation, but to me they do not show love.

Love is changing the oil in the car, changing the light bulb when it goes out, fixing the door, holding hands, an occasional hug, a just because card, fixing dinner for the other or together, calling just because, laughing together, and all the other everyday things that happen.

Love is appreciating the person beside you by doing the little things for them. 

Love is showing someone everyday you care.

Love is going through a tough time together and becoming stronger because you did together. 

Love is buying them Caramel De-Lites because you know they love them (yes he did love them!).

Love is runn…

Choosing Easy vs. Challenging

Some days, it is a war in my mind. The war isn't a new one, at least not to me. I am sure it is not a new one to anyone.

The war of doing something the easy way versus doing something challenging or will challenge me.

I have written about laziness and entitlement before. This is not what I mean in this respect. A lot of people find life easier by taking the easy way: everything handed to them, always choosing what takes the least amount of effort, not having to work for much, and being very content with life being that way. I actually struggle to understand people like that, but they have the right to live like that. That path is their choice.

I enjoy learning new things and constantly challenging myself. Some days are just about surviving the day, but I always try to read or watch something everyday that will teach me something. That something could be a new skill, a new recipe, cooking technique, gardening, homesteading, preparedness, survival living, history, or parenting. I hav…

Top 10 Posts of 2013

Ever year I like to share with you what maybe drew you to this blog of mine or a post that you might have missed that was wildly popular. These, as do all of my posts, mean a lot to me and I am so happy to share what I have learned with you in 2013.

1. Dehydrating Blueberries

2. Homemade Laundry Detergent Revisited

3. Nourishing Foods For Your Food Storage
4. Frugal Tip Friday
5. Monday Frugal Update and Whatnot
6. Are You Struggling Financially This Christmas?
7. 10 Totally Free Prepping Things To Do
8. No Spend September - Will You Join Me?
9. Monday Frugal and No Spend Update

10. What Do You Carry In Your Vehicle?

Thanks for reading this blog and giving me the opportunity for doing this post! Have a great 2014!


Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday Shopping: Is the Headache Worth It?

Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday shopping can be crazy. Stores opening at midnight if they even closed at all. Standing in line and getting a ticket to buy an item at a significant savings. Missing out time with family and friends to go shopping. Employees missing time with family and friends on a holiday to satisfy a corporation's greediness.

No, I don't agree with stores being open on Thanksgiving Day. It is a holiday after all and just because someone works retail doesn't mean they need to pay that price. I don't agree with stores opening at ungodly hours to satisfy their bottom lines while offering deals that are irresistible to shoppers. I don't like the whole craziness of these shopping days and what they stand for. I personally try to never participate if I can help it. Last year, I got one thing online and regretted it because despite the reviews, it was cheaply made.

The problem with Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday shopping is that the people are feedin…

Some days and dreams are better than others...

I struggle. We all struggle.

Sometimes the right response to a situation absolutely does not come to me. Sometimes the right thing to say becomes clouded in what I want to say and can't. I am not a good verbal speaker most days. I have a tough time putting my sentences together and making sense. But I can write.

Some days I feel like I am back in junior high. Let me tell y'all - I HATED junior high school. I am still trying to wipe that whole time frame out of my mind 23 years later. The self-doubt, the mocking, the immature having mature feelings, and the feeling like I was going to be a mess are all feelings I don't miss from that time.

I have a serious need to help people because so many people have helped me when I was in need. I have a need to pay forward and bless others with the knowledge I have gained. I get so excited to know that I can help others. For so many years, I didn't feel like I had anything to contribute to the world much less friends and family. …

Scenes From The Farm

If you stopped by today and visited with us, this is what you would see!

We have bell peppers starting to blossom and some are growing peppers. I can't wait for them to turn red and orange!

Some rugs over a chair waiting to go back inside

Some wild roses on their last bloom

We are surrounded on all four sides by corn growing tall

Beautiful yellow daylilies

The tomatoes are growing big and we have tons of blossoms!

An apple tree loaded with promise for a large crop!
Not much right now, but I love the promise of this farm and the potential for what is here! Such beauty on five acres!
Thanks for reading (and looking!), Erica

Those Tired Days

I am having one of those periods in my life. I call them the "tired days". I am exhausted. Not physically, but emotionally and mentally.

I know I can't be the only one. I know I am not the only one.

These days happen when I have a lot going on in my life, some big decisions that need to be made, some emotional issues to get through, and all I want to do is shut down. I don't want to think, I don't want to do, and I don't want anything.

Well...I do want things. Not exactly things, but things to happen. I just don't want to make the decisions. 

I like living my simple life, even though at the surface that life may not seem simple. I like the decisions I have made thus far and don't want to make the wrong one. That scares me the most - making a wrong decision. I would rather stick my hand in a blender than to make the wrong decision. I get very insecure at the thought of potentially screwing up my life, my kids' lives, and those that are around me.

Monday Update

Until next week, I will make no promises that I will be posting regularly. Now that I think about it, next week isn't looking good either...

maybe the week after that...


What has been happening in the crazy busy life of this household?

Only this:

See the pretty girls ready for prom? That took a bit of work plus some creative complaining to have this come about. More about that another time. They both had a great time and were sad to see it over with.

See the walls and the floor? They are sort of new! The walls that needed to be replaced, got replaced. The walls all got textured and painted. The worn out linoleum got replaced with laminate hardwood.

I love it all! I was so happy with the results that I had to pinch myself! Now to get everything back together and get ready for the bathroom that needs new walls. I am glad that I found someone willing to get these projects done!

As some of you may know, we got some snow on Wednesday-Thursday last week! 8 inches of the wet, h…

Frugal Tip Friday: Spend Time with Your Minions

Today's frugal tip is not so much frugal as it is just plain needed.

Spend time with your minions, ummm...children!

I call my kids minions from time to time because we love that movie, Despicable Me. And, sometimes, it fits.

As they are growing up more and more, I have learned something. Spend time with them and let them know you care. Love on them. Listen to them.

This is the most frugal thing you could do as a parent as it costs nothing but your time and your heart. They will be more secure with themselves and the world because they know you love them. Sometimes, they will remember that love and caring when they get into tough situations and it will help get them through.

It also might stop you from completely melting when you think about having one graduate from high school, two with drivers' licenses, three who can look you in the eye, and four who might be too smart for their own good. Just saying.

Thanks for reading! Have a great day!

Now that Christmas is over with...

We can get back to the daily life business that suits me so much better. I do apologize for the lack of Christmas posts this year and promise I will have some pre-written and ready to go for next year. I just was not in the Christmas spirit this year. I am not exactly sure how or why, but life sent us a few curve balls before Christmas that did not help. Namely sickness and a lot of doctor's visits.

Part of the problem may also be that I am not a traditionalist. I rarely remember what we did the year before to do again next year. I also like to try new things all the time (except change the furniture which is another post) so doing the same thing year after year does not always appeal to me. Some things do stay the same, however.

Christmas Eve will always be at my parents. We do a birthday lunch because my dad and my Paige have birthdays on the 22nd and my niece has a birthday on the 14th of the next month. After lunch, we start with birthday presents and then go to Christmas pre…

Random Thoughts of a Busy and Somewhat Unfocused Mama

Since my mind has been going in many different directions again lately and is losing focus rapidly, I will attempt to refocus here and torture you all with it too.

#1 Kids and injuries go together. Right? No? We have a 50% injury rate among kids right now with a pulled groin muscle and a broken arm. The other 50% knows they should not get injured right now. Mama may end up doing something crazy like order huge rolls of bubble wrap even though that is not in her budget right now.

#2 Who are we kidding? These are my kids with my genetics. Bubble wrap won't help them. Hmmm...

#3 Speaking of budgets, I would like to create a workable budget. One that I can consistently use month after month. I am not good at budgeting so this might be a bigger challenge than I am willing to commit to. But a budget I need. Dang.

#4 My garden was not what I wanted it to be. I'm a bit disappointed.

#5 Hopefully the rain we get today and Saturday will be enough to loosen the ground so I can get my pot…