Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas is coming....

And I actually feel in the Christmas Spirit this year.  I don't know what it is, but we didn't get the entire tree set up, and I'm completely fine with how the house isn't decorated.  And I'm happy- relaxed, actually.  I got all the Christmas presents shopped for, except my dad's, who is getting purchased tonight or tomorrow after work, and 2 that I'm still working on.  I'm hoping to have them done by Christmas, but if not, definitely New Years Eve, since we'll be back in the area again then, and can just stop by and drop off! 

I think we've finally hit a breakthrough with the house situation.  I finally feel like we've got a handle on it, and have narrowed down our focus a bit more, and are more calm about waiting for  the perfect plot of land and home on it.  Whether or not we have to fix it up or not even doesn't scare me- which is great.  :) 

Still haven't heard about being more than seasonal- I'm not thinking I have anything to worry about though.  I'm assuming I'll be hearing in about 2 weeks or so.  Mid January? 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Reading a book....

called The Joy of Raising Chickens.   It's really good, and giving a lot of information that I didn't think about, but at the same time, knew.  What I'm finding awesome is that the author gives a ton of information about the different breeds, which is great- and what I need to know.  Hubs and I have talked about it, and we've decided that we should go with one animal per acre, so that we don't overload the land, when we actually get some.  So chickens are defintely going to be first, and then bees will be on the second acre.  Little man wants rabbits, which I think would be cool, if for nothing else, we can make our own fiber- which would be awesome!  :) 

Work is going really well, I'm hoping to hear that I'm permanent there soon.  I'm also hoping that I get another job I applied for, which will allow us to bump up our payments on debt, and save money for an actual vacation this year!  Hubs actually brought up Disney this year, which I'm SO excited about! 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


is coming.... Ugh- in my constant quest to pare down, I've got our list down to 27 people.  Craziness, yes, I know, but it's including bus drivers, teachers, subs, etc.  Plus, hubs can't afford gifts, so I'm paying for those as well.  Hence 27.  At least the boy is done, including Santa's.  We got him 4 gifts- something he wants, something he needs, something to wear, and something to read, so we got him a game, polar fleece sheets, a pair of pj's, and a sponge bob learn to read book.  And then Santa got him a train set.  So it'll be fun.  :)  Hubs still has to get something, but I don't know what yet, perhaps just another pair of pants, since he's lost a crapton of weight since last year.  And then, I'm buying myself a few gifts.  :) 

Friday, December 3, 2010

I'm having issues....

And I don't know how to say something without sounding like a witch.  So maybe someone can help me out here!  I would like to suggest stopping the adult gift exchange with my husband's family.  It's just gotten to be too much of a pain in the butt.  The parents can still give, but I'd like to stop purchasing gifts for my huband's family.  Any ideas on how we can gently suggest stopping it?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!

As Thanksgiving draws to a close, I am reminded of how much we have to be thankful for.  I would be negligent if I didn't mention a roof over our heads, a full belly daily, a vehicle to get from point A to point B, our health, our families, and each other.  I am so grateful for everything God has provided us with this year, even if it's not exactly what I thought/wanted.  But, God doesn't give us what we want, He gives us what we need-whether we realize it or not. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Recycling and other dirty things....

I am a huge fan of recycling.  We recycle almost everything- we live in an apartment right now, but we recycle what we can.  My parents also help us recycle by saving their aluminum cans, and we take them to the local recycle place to turn in for a bit of extra cash.  So today, our 55 gallon bin was full, and I decided to take our cans in.  I ended up having 13 lbs of cans, and we still will be getting more- we still have almost 2 full cases of pop around the house!  It sure looks nice though on our back balcony- it actually looks clean! You can recycle for cash in your neighborhood as well- simply google recycling for cash, and see what comes up!  It's a great way to make a bit of extra money as well!  We put our $7 that we got today in our house fund, but some people save it for vacations, or every couple of months they will take the family out to dinner or something else that everyone enjoys!  It's also great for getting out and getting some exercise!  Take a plastic bag (great re-use for all those plastic bags if you're not using reuseables yet!), and go on a walk with the family!  Collect cans as you go through your neighborhood!  Yes, definitely take plastic gloves with you!!  And we put each bag into our 55 gallon garbage can, and when it's full, we take it in!  If you've got young kids too, let them get into it, and help- allow them to wear sneakers and then smush the cans to fit more in each bag! 

We also save our paper to donate to our local school or church (whichever one we feel like taking the paper to!)  This is awesome- it gives the school/church money, and it allows us to recycle our paper as well!  I remember going to a recycling place when we were kids, and having our entire back of our station wagon filled with paper.  They don't do that anymore, or at least I can't find a place that pays for paper recycling.  It was just a lot of trouble, so I don't mind donating for a good cause!

The only things I don't recycle yet are plastics.  And as we get closer to getting a house, we will start looking into recycling those plastics.  Right now, it's just not feasible, in terms of space.  Unfortunately. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday's Fragments

* Today was my son's Thanksgiving Feast at his school.  How cute was it to see 75 kindergarten children in their turkey hats!  I'd post a picture, but I'm not cool with my son's picture posted all over the internets!  Suffice it to say, it was the most adorable thing ever!!  :)  They had pumpkin pie, cranberry jello, and cornbread- each made by one of the classes!  It was so funny though, because they came in, sat down, and 15 minutes later, they were gone!  One of the other moms made a comment that she wished her Thanksgiving could be so fast!  :)  I agree!!

* I'm struggling through Chelsea Lately's latest book.  I don't understand her appeal at. all. She's kind of like Oprah to me, I don't like them, and I feel like I should but I don't, and I can't make myself.  So I just kind of ignore them, and every so often I'll try again, and still won't like them.

* My job is going well.  :)  I like it a lot, and I'm keeping up with the people who have been there longer than me.  I'm also doing way better than the guy who was hired the same time as me- which is good.  :)  I've been doing line, and it takes him 30 min. to bowl out a flat.  In that same time, I can bowl out about a flat and a half, if not 2.  Last time we both bowled, I ended up taking 1 of his overloaded flats and bowling it out for him- in the same amount of time it took him to unload 1 underloaded flats.  I'm definitely still hoping they'll keep me there after the holidays, which is looking pretty likely!  Whoo!!

* I've GOT to get cracking on Christmas presents.  At least write down what I want to get people, so that I can start making them, and getting them wrapped.  We're coming up on about a month until Christmas!  Argh!!  Which scares me- I have to finish more than 1 project a week in order to get presents done for people.  I promise, next year, I'll be more organized!  Yeah, right, I say that every year.  And every year, I fail! (Or at least not do as well as I could!!)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thankful Thursday

With Thanksgiving coming up soon, I've been counting my blessings.  Moreso now than ever.  I'm coming up on 2 years of being cancer free.  I was diagnosed with Stage 1A uterine cancer on December 2, 2008, and had a complete hysterectomy along with ovary and lymph node removal on Dec. 28, 2008.  I decided that I didn't want to wait, and have it grow/get worse if I waited.  Ever since then, I've been having a follow up every 3 months, and after this last time I can start finally going every 6 months.  Yay!  But I'm so grateful that I'm healthy, and it was caught so soon, and I don't have to worry about it anymore (even though I know I always will!).  I get to watch my son grow up, and I'm looking forward to sitting on the front porch swing with my husband when we are both old and gray.  :) 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Meal Planning/Freezer Cooking

By far my favorite way I've found to reduce waste in our kitchen is once a month cooking.  Now, I don't only cook 1x a month, but I do a large amount of prep work once a month, and freeze it for use later in the month.  For example, I will cook 3 lbs of hamburger meat, and divide it up into 3 freezer bags, and then have it throughout the month- simply remove and dethaw!  Wha-lah!  Ready to sprinkle taco seasoning onto, or mix with Spaghetti sauce or whatever else you want to use it for! I love doing this, because I mess up the kitchen, use every pot and pan in the house, for one Saturday or Sunday per month, and when I'm done, I have most of the meat for the month done!

Lots of time I will also prep out entire meals- simply prep them to the cooking point, and freeze!  Or you can cook them, and then cool/freeze- but I prefer prepping to the cooking point, and then freezing.  Cooking then cooling just takes too much time, I find, but that's just me!  I love it- when my son gets off the bus, I pop dinner in the oven, and my house smells wonderful when my husband comes home from work!  No mess, no fuss, and the only thing we have to decide is what vegetable we're having! 

I know you're also thinking, yuck, I hate casseroles!  I agree to a certain point- and when I refer to casseroles, I don't mean chicken, rice, and vegetable mixed together with a can of soup poured over and frozen.  You can freeze stuffed peppers- prep them, put in a dish, and pour tomatoes over them, and freeze.  You can also freeze stuffed cabbage or baked macaroni and cheese.  And, now with all the sales on baking supplies, you can make cookie dough and freeze it, but more on that in another post!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dave Ramsey rocks my socks!

So a few years ago, I found Dave Ramsey.  I have no clue how I did, I just remember hearing about him, and then checking out The Total Money Makeover from the library, and being totally on board with his plan-immediately.  So we knocked out a few debts to the tune of about $8,000, and then it all came to a spluttering halt.  We moved, health issues, etc, etc, and three years later, we're finally getting back on the plan.  It's not completely how he would do it, but it's close enough, where we feel we can call in one day and scream "We're debt free!!!"

For those of you who don't know who Dave Ramsey is, he preaches freedom from debt- no credit cards, no loans, no nothing.  Pay cash for everything and save up for what you want.  It fits in nicely with our overall goal of living more simply.  He definitely has a take no prisoners sort of approach to his debt reduction goals however- get gazelle intense.  And live like no one else, so later, you can live like no one else! 

He also is a strong Christian, and is very proud of that fact.  He often interjects with WWJD type questions- and always has a great opinion about what we should do.  It's funny, because we usually end up asking each other, what would Dave say?  Or what would Dave do? 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Search continues for body of murdered Carmel teen - 13 WTHR

Search continues for body of murdered Carmel teen - 13 WTHR

God, how horrible is this? This young man met a man online, and he was murdered during the encounter. I know we tell our friends/family not to meet people online, or at least be careful about it. I just wonder if this young man was ashamed to say he was homosexual, that's why he didn't tell anyone he was meeting the older man. Scary though. I'm teaching my son not to be ashamed of who he is, and if he happens to like men, I'm fine with that. I don't know- I know I'm all over with this, but I'm so bothered by it on so many levels. Not least of all that no one is really talking about it.

Friday's Fragments

*I am SO tired.  I got up at 3am, and went to work.  Granted I'm done for the day, but I'm still dragging.  I'm just in that area of "I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'm trying to be helpful." Which sucks, but hopefully that will go away soon.

*I have got to drop stuff off at the post office, and the library.  Some of the stuff should have gone out earlier in the week, but I had NO cash until now.

*Diet Coke is heaven!  I just finished a giant Diet Coke, and YUM!  It tasted so good!  I know it's not good for me, but who cares?

*I had NO idea that breast feeding had so many accoutrements!  Silly me thought that all that was required for breastfeeding was.... a breast!  And a child, but nothing like nursing pads, cloths, creams, bags, pumps, tubes, and all sorts of other stuff!  And believe me, I found out all this this morning while I was stocking infant stuff!

*Thank Heaven's it's Friday!!!  Tomorrow is our son's school's pancake breakfast.  :)  Yum!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Starting a new job

In our quest to get a house, I've decided to get a second job- preferably one at night, so that I can still be at home during the day, and evening with my family.  That way, we can save up, and we can get a decent down payment together.  To that end, I've accepted a seasonal job at a national retailer as a night stocker.  I'm hopeful that this will not just be a seasonal job, but will be permanent after the holidays as well.  I'm thinking it will be, simply because night crew doesn't tend to stick around, and during the interview, it was mentioned that they are lacking someone in softlines.  Which makes me think that unless I screw up too badly, I'll be offered a permanent position.  Yay!  I'm excited!  It's a great discount, and it's an awesome company to work for. 

I start work in the morning, which kind of scares me, but on the other hand it's just a relief to get going.  I should have started last week, but due to some other commitments, I had to push starting back until yesterday's orientation.  I'm pretty excited overall about it.  It's a good thing, and I'm hoping it's a lasting thing.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


We can't get the house.  I hate mortgage brokers.  I wish we had the money to just buy the house we fell in love with outright!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


We have been looking for a home for the past 3 years.  Yes, 3 years.  We moved here 3 years ago, with the intention of purchasing a house the first year.  Thus living only 1 year in an apartment.  God laughed, and well.... one more year in an apartment.  Same thing the next year.  But through this all, we've been looking at houses, and finally, we found what seemed like THE. PERFECT. HOUSE.  So we emailed our agent, I drove past, and we officially looked at it last night.  It was built in 1900, old farm house, built on 1.3 acres, surrounded by farms.  We drove up, and I completely fell in love.  So did my husband.  Great, right?  Yeah, not so much.  The foundation in the corner is crumbling, and there's something in the roof/attic that makes the ceiling upstairs bow downward.  Both of those things make the house not. so. perfect.  :(  So we looked at another house, on an acre, but it's a manufactured home, and it doesn't have much storage.  And I'm a freak about storms, like I am obsessed with basements.  So for me to go from "must have basement" to "sure, we can live in a manufactured house, aka doublewide, with no safe place during a storm, oh, and by the way, our house is actually dropping in price every day we live in it!" is kind of a huge deal. 

What we're dealing with right now, is that I cannot see ourselves living in any of the homes we can afford for more than 5-10 years.  They're tiny.  And while that doesn't bother me, I just can't deal with no basement for longer than that- I will go crazy.  But, it will force us to live more simply- that's for dang sure!  :) 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


So I got a book today from our local library about chickens!  I am so thrilled, I've found a few bulletin boards on raising chickens, and I am so excited about learning how to raise them.  And what kind of chickens to get.  I know I want some basic chickens, and some easter egg colored chickens, and probably some more rarer chickens.  I'm not sure how many I'm looking at purchasing, but I'm thinking 10.  Wow.  That somewhat is amazing to me.  I never in a million years thought that I'd want chickens, but here I am, prowling the internet looking for the best chickens, coops, where to purchase them, the best nurseries, etc. 

Monday, September 13, 2010


...we didn't get the house.  It's gone already.  Oh well- something better will come along.

We are still looking for a house.  Looks like we will be heading about 5 miles further north in the county.  It'll be considered rural, so we'll be able to get the USDA rural loans. 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

New house?

We have been looking for a house for 3 years now.  The first one sold from under us, the 2nd, we can't get a preapproval that high, and now this one- I've pretty much told my husband that if we like it, we're putting an offer in on it, depending on how much we can get preapproved for, and how much we will have to have for a downpayment.  As far as we can tell, it only needs cosmetic updates.  Which, whatever, we can do that!  It is an older home, so that's cool- we're not adding to the huge amounts of garbage that is created whenever a brand new house is built.  It's also on a lot big enough that if we put up a fence, or even if we don't, we can have a compost pile, a garden, and possibly bees and chickens.  Chickens I'm more concerned with because of the laws.  But I'll have to look into it, it's an older neighborhood, and bees probably won't be against the law.  I'm way more excited about bees than chickens!  And, we can string up a clothesline, there's no HOA to prevent that.  So we shall see. 

Friday, August 27, 2010

And so it begins.....

I've been meaning to start a blog about how my family and I are trying to live more simply- cut the clutter, handmake more things, reduce, reuse, recycle, at the risk of sounding like a parrot.   So here it goes....  I have a son, and a husband who is a naturalist.  Before I had our son, I was an animal care specialist for a major midwestern university.  So the environmental caring has always been a priority for both of us. 

Over the past two years, I've expressed an interest in canning some of our own foods.  So this year, I bit the bullet, so to say, and decided to go ahead and try to make jam and pickles.  They were a huge success, and I will definitely keep doing those next year, and will add at least 2 more things to can.  I'm very excited!!

We are also members of our local freecycle organization.  If you don't belong to your local chapter, consider joining!  Their goal is to keep stuff that we no longer need/want out of landfills.  One man's trash is another's treasure. 

Our goals over the next year or so include purchasing a house so we can have at least a small garden, begin/maintain a compost pile, continue making some of our own food, slowly moving into a more locavore eating pattern.  We also want to start making our own green cleaning solutions, and barring that, supporting local businesses that sell green cleaning solutions.