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Archive for November, 2007

Old neighbor thinks all money isnt green??

November 29th, 2007 at 10:15 am

It looks like the last vacant house is about to be rented. The family that has been looking at it, I have not met--however my parents have showed them the house twice now. I have spoken to them on the phone and they seem pleasant enough. I just spoke to the woman, and found out I know her soon to be mother in law--she was a former teacher of mine,and I will add one of the best teachers I have ever had.

Now, about 5 minutes ago, the old bat (and yes--that IS a nice term for her) that lives catty cornered from our rental house has called all beduzzled because the family is "of color". So, without thinking, when she tells me that, I rudely blurt back--"oh my gosh--I forgot they don't use GREEN money". She says "huh"? So I told her, I don't care what color the people are, as long as they take good care of the house and pay me on time. Then I pretty well told her she was out of line. Then she tells me that years ago, "people like that" robbed her fathers store--(like in 1937...) So, there are no white robbers???? She really ticked me off, but now I feel almost sorry for her. She is probably in her early 90's. I think its so sad that she can be that judgemental of a person she has never met based on what they look like.
It will be the lady her children for now, then in a few months her will be then husband. She is also a teacher-almost 40 who is working on her masters degree. The man she is marrying has an older sister that was a year ahead of me in school, and his mom was one of my jr high teachers, and his uncle my math teacher and his other uncle my 5th grade art and band teacher.
I am giving them a break on the first months rent, and they are going to finish some painting I started and never finished. Her future husband is a professional painter.

Not much going on today

November 28th, 2007 at 09:51 am

I think I will take the rest of the tomato cages out of the garden so we can plow it. I got about half of them out a couple weeks ago and got interrupted and there it ended.

DD#3 is fixing lunch today. Scrambled eggs, OJ, bisquits, and pears. Last night DD#4 did supper-grilled cheese, salad, tomato soup and pudding.

Sadly, they learn cooking much faster than cleaning up the kitchen afterwards--but they are coming along

The all have the laundry down pat as well.

They have each learned to knit, and we will soon be adding crocheting to that list.

We are working on baking currently.

Next month we begin piano and sewing. Right now I am making some music flash cards. I printed off the notes and symbols from the internet, and am putting them on index cards.

In January, the girls are planning on taking sewing at home school coop. However, they each have to have their own machine to take each week--so Santa has been hunting down some nice used ones from free cycle and craigs list. Meanwhile, xt month we are going to start learning some basics on mine.

Of course, all this is in addition to their book work--reading, writing, penmenship, math, history, social studies, geography.....

Lately we have been using a lot of National Geographic (DH grandma subscribes for him for his Christmas every year) & MO conservation ed materials. I bought a US timeline at the teacher supply store awhile back, and we are working our way across it. We started in 1492 and are now up to 1775. I tried to time it so we would hit Jamestown at Thanksgiving but we were a couple weeks early. We will skip Lewis and Clark as we already did that in great detail on vacation--we followed their route for about 1700 miles with the camper.

We have been working on our money management as well. Each are involved in their mutual fund accounts, their CD and savings accounts. Now they have "paying jobs" for people at church. When someone is out of town, my girls feed animals, bring in mail...
I make my girls pay taxes (of course, the "tax" goes into their savings accounts) They didn't like it at first , but now they know how real paychecks work. Just wait till the find out my 10 cents on the dollar tax is cheaper than what they will really have to pay. And, in real life it doesn't go into their savings!

Cows & the Alliance center

November 27th, 2007 at 04:17 pm

Well, yesterday afternoon, we had a horse with an attitude. She kicked down the west pasture gate, and she, and 11 cows took a walking tour of the yard. Evidently the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, as least to equine and bovine eyes, as no one wanted to go back into the pasture. There are still a few stalks of things in the garden space so that is where their tour ended. Finally the cows went back, but the horse continued her attitude. Bucking, kicking, rearing....90 minutes later she goes back in. (at least they can't fly like when the poultry got out)

Of course, DH is at work...he is ALWAYS at work when something gets out. The girls got the gate back up. However, the cows all decided to sit beside the gate for 2-3 hours after. You could see them wishing that gate to come back down.

Then, at 1:34 a.m. (DH is home this time), our lab-a real farm dog, starts sounding the alarm. About the same time, I hear a very raspy breathing outside. I peek out the window (would have never done that if DH wasn't home) and see COWS in the front yard. Here we go again. So, we get up, get DD#3 up and we prepare to rodeo. By the time we get out there, the cows are heading down the drive, and across the road into the corn and bean field. Luckly, about this time we realize these are not OUR cows--they belong to the neighbor a road over, and they are heading home at a fast pace, with our lab & a neighbors dog running them the correct direction. So, around 2:30 we make it back to bed.

Dang dog won't herd our cattle for me, but does it for the neighbors cattle.

The girls & I got up early this morning and took a pickup load of food and winter clothing to the Ministers Alliance. It is an all on one food pantry/clothes closet/training center/crisis center. If there is a need, they try to fill it.

As part of our homeschooling, I have the girls do "service" projects, and that is what the girls chose to help. They have successfully organized 2 drives for food and clothing so far, and another is to start next Sunday at a couple of local churches. It has really opened their eyes to people in need, doing without, and the importance of getting a good education to get a good job, and budgeting.

Until we got involved here, my girls had no idea that some adults could not read. In fact, the 11 year old has helped teach an adult to read. I was very proud of her--she never told any of her friends or even me--the principal at her school 2 years ago caught her doing it--teaching a janitor after school in the library. Only the librarian who was in the room when the lessons were going on knew. I just thought she was reading after school.

Waste of materials on Walmarts behalf!!

November 25th, 2007 at 01:45 pm

For the past several years, I have used the Franklin Covey dayone organizer. I have the leather binder book case cover thing, and have always just bought the refills. This organizer is organized the same way my brain is. I also have in it an address book, credit card/library card holder, places for photos, and a section for special notes--like my ink cartrige size, clothing sizes, a pouch to hold a caculator, pens & a notepad, and a coupon organizer. It has everything except a kitchen sink in it.
Well, I can't find the refills. I called Franklin and they say it is a "made for Walmart" product and they don't sell it directly. But, all the Walmart stores around here have decided not to sell the refills (have to buy the entire set up again including the binder and address book and all the plastic pages...) for $30 some bucks. All I need are the $7 2008 pages. None of the other brands who make refills will fit my book.
Today I looked at one more walmart on the way home from church. Down that aisle I saw the manager and voiced my opinion to her. You know what she did?? She agreed with me, because she used the same system and is also unhappy that their district manager dropped the product. She sold me the entire new binder with the pages all in it for $7!!! She agreed it is a waste of money and materials. Yee haw for her and her customer service!! A rarity these days!

Yes!! fixed my printer-saving $$$

November 24th, 2007 at 04:49 pm

For over a week, my printer has refused to print. It kept telling me I had a bad cartridge-I tried 3 and still got the same message. Took me all afternoon, and several downloads and it now works!! Since we homeschool, I was kind of at a loss. Good think it was a holiday week! Next week we will hit the math a little harder to catch up. I had their lessons all printed out at the time except for the math--thats when it broke. (I try to keep a week ahead on our planning, so if we go out of town suddenly or something, its all ready). If I had printed it at the library, they charge 20 cents a page, plus the gas and time getting there.

Changed my mind

November 24th, 2007 at 02:04 pm

Didn't go to the store after all. I need to get my secret pal from church her gift and give it to her at church Sunday. Then it dawned on me that tomorrow is Sunday. Why waste gas going to the city today, then again tomorrow?? We will be at church twice tomorrow (morning and evening) so I will get her gift in the afternoon between services. Some Sundays we come home between (for 4 hours) and other times we stay in the city and go to my mother in laws or to the library. So, tomorrow I will just take her card and a gift bag and pack it and take it in Sun evening. Thus, saving 2 gallons of gas.

Didn't even leave the house yesterday

November 24th, 2007 at 10:32 am

well, I did twice to walk as far as to the turkey fryer. DH fried a turkey yesterday. He did it with his usual hot cajun spices. But, by the time its fried, the heat of the spice is much much milder so that everyone can eat it. We went to the inlaws for the holiday, so we had no leftover turkey at home-although we could have brought some back if we wanted. But DH already had a bird and he really enjoys cooking in the fryer. But, we decided since the stores and roads would all be busy, we stayed in.
I do have to get out later today though. But, I am waiting until I have to go out.
I ordered some free gift cards from mypoints this morning. I had enough points to get 3 $10 ones. I debated between getting them from Walmart or Red Lobster--I did Walmart. I think I will put them in the girls Christmas stockings. I think it said I had 60 points to go to earn another free gift card, so I can possibly get one more before Christmas.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

November 21st, 2007 at 10:09 am

Mainly so it covers up the sleet and ice. It is just now start to stick. The kids love it, the chickens aren't so surre about it - they keep holding one foot up in the air, the ducks could care less, the rabbits are buried in hay, the horses are rearing up and running around in it, and the cows are all napping in a circle by the front gate.
So we are off to the dairy in a few minutes: http://www.shattomilkcompany.com/farm.html
They have the best milk--I even like their rootbeer milk. Its so creamy is taste like a milkshake, even though it sounds kind of gross.
The girls are going to churn butter this afternoon for dinner tomorrow.
Then I am off to meet a lady--she is getting a car seat I had on free cycle, and I am getting an afgan she had on free cycle--she started it and never finished it, but all the yarn and needles come with it. We traded things one other time too.
Then to the post office to mail the book I sold last night on half.com

Its sleeting with just a dab on snow in the air

November 21st, 2007 at 08:45 am

31 degrees out and sleeting. Ugh. I didn't take the girls to the library for the weather (its the next county over--about 20 miles-our county has no library). But, we do need to run down the road to the dairy and get some cream so the girls can make butter today.
Tomorrow we go to the inlaws for the big dinner. I am to provide the bread and a desert. After inspecting my pantry, I think I will make mississippi mud pie. But it would be nice to have fresh butter for the bread.

sold a book on half.com

November 20th, 2007 at 08:19 pm

Just got an email that a book sold on half.com. So, more money to my challenge money. The book was only 75 cents, but they paid $3.10 for shipping. Usually the shipping is over, so I may actually make a whole dollar. For those of you who don't know, half.com figures the shipping price themselves--based on the seller and buyers zipcodes. Sometimes they are right on, sometimes short, sometimes long.
Had 3 regular lightbulbs burn out today-replaced them with CLF's. I already had most replaced, but not all. 2 of todays were in closets-I didn't replace the closet ones earlier as they are rarely one. The other was in a fixture in a ceiling fan that I honestly thought I had already replaced, as it is used daily.

Won a contest $25

November 20th, 2007 at 12:02 pm

I wrote an article for thriftyfun.com and won $25. They have already paypaled it to my account. I am adding it to my very meger challange money.

Maybe a rent customer??

November 14th, 2007 at 03:23 pm

As we speak, my parents are showing my home to a prospective renter. I readvertised it, but with a new twist on it this time--a tip from one of my husbands uncles.
Instead of saying no pets--they pay higher rent if they have a pet. I tried to have a higher deposit for those who had a pet, but they all said they couldn't afford it. But, DU pointed out that renters will agree to paying $50 more a month for a dog, before they will agree to pay an extra $250 deposit for a pet--even though they will be paying more and it won't be refunded back as it is part of their rent.
Wish me luck. Had it rented before-but they were air force and got orders to leave before they were moved it--so, I gave them their money back. The work I was doing on it is almost done--about 2 hours painting left and a pipe to repair and thats it.

Spent $94 today

November 14th, 2007 at 12:38 pm

at the grocery store. Ouch. I don't like to spend that much. Normally I go to Aldi's and stock up, but we have some things to eat that are lacking 1 or 2 ingredents that Aldi's doesn't carry.
The had frozen turkey on sale, so I got one for the deepfreeze. With what I bought today, and what is in the pantry and freezers, we are good for the rest of the month.

My goal is to use up as much as I can in canned goods before snow hits in about 3-4 weeks, then go to Aldi's and buy cased can goods again. I normally once a month buy canned goods by the case, but once a year (if not twice) I try to eat the pantry to empty to ensure that nothing gets outdated. I do rotate my foods, but I buy so much that sometimes something gets missed in the rotation.

At first my husband laughed at me, but now that we have been doing this for a year (since we got married), I notice him "shopping" downstairs before he makes his meals to take for work. He has also learned to "shop" downstairs when when he runs out of shampoo, soap, shaving items... He has mentioned my system has saved a lot of fuel and trips to town.

No word yet

November 13th, 2007 at 03:37 pm

Still no news, good or bad about Daffny. Searchers are still out looking, but it is getting dark. Last night they stopped the search at dark, so I am assuming they will tonight also. I fear the worst, but I am hoping for the better. She has now been missing for almost 66 hours. It has been warm during the day, but cold at night. They said she had no sweater or jacket. My daughters think I am the mean mom because I won't let them ride their bikes down our gravel road. I told them this is one reason why. (Also, tractors, combines and grain trucks are not looking for kids on bikes, and our driveway is 1/5 mile long--plenty of room to ride on it).
I kept the heat off today. Did some laundry but cheated and put most of it in the dryer instead of hanging it up to dry. My stomach has been weird all day and I feel puney. In fact, DH is going to pick up a pizza on the way home from work--I already have my PJ's on and its not even 6 pm yet.

Bad News

November 13th, 2007 at 09:16 am

I just received several emails that a daughter of one of our local homeschooling families is missing from Independence MO. She is not in our coop, but her coop does things with ours, such as skating and bowling monthly. She was out walking in Independence and is now gone. She is only 17. She is a very well behaved girl, good friends, not the type to run away. They have pinged her cell phone and narrowed it down and gone over that area once so far, they have not found her or the phone. But to me that does not sound good-no teen would go off without their phone. Please pray for her family. Her name is DAffny Star Velder. This is her senior year.

How I save money by keeping a clean house

November 12th, 2007 at 02:35 pm

How I save money by keeping a Clean House

I save money a number of different ways by keeping a clean house. This may seem like ďtoo much workĒ to some people or you may say it ďtakes too longĒ, however I have not found that to be the case. True, I am a SAHM, but I do have other activities that keep me busy through out the day, such as running a farm, and being a home schooling teaching mom. I find that I can clean our home in about 45 minutes a day. My children also take part in cleaning-as each is responsible for their own room and bathroom.

We donít buy fancy cleaners or air fresheners. We do a lot of our cleaning with lemon juice and salt, vinegar, baking soda, some bleach, and soap and water. For air freshener, we usually burn a candle or use a match.

I will go thru the typical home, room by room, and point out the ways that keeping it clean is saving us money.

Entryway or doorway I keep our entrances clean and free of clutter. First off, I donít want a guest (or anyone else) tripping over clutter and getting hurt or suing meÖ I keep a rug by each door for dirty or wet shoes to go onto. By encouraging people to take their shoes off at the door, it saves the life of the carpet and my carpet cleaner. I also make sure that once the shoes are cleaned and dried, that they then go into their proper closet.

Living room, Family room, hallways and bedrooms I vacuum daily, as it helps the carpet last longer. I also vacuum the heat registers and cold exchange ducts weekly. This keeps dust out of the air and makes it easier for those with allergies so that they do not have to take their allergy medicine as often, making it last longer. It also helps the furnace not have to work as hard so the motor will last longer.

Weekly (or more often if we use the fireplace) I wipe down the light bulbs with a damp rag, while the light bulbs are cold. Dusty lights do not put out as much light, which makes a person unnecessarily use a higher watt bulb, or turn on more lights than necessary. I also clean the globes on the ceiling light fixtures every month or more often. It only takes a couple of minutes for nice bright results.

I hit the windows once a week on the inside with a vinegar and water solution. The outside I get about once a month. I do have newer windows and I can get the outside from the inside. This allows more light into the house, keeping the lights off.

I wipe down the TV screen and electronics every few days. This keeps dirt and dust from collecting on them and making them last longer.

Once a day I take a rag damp with vinegar water or bleach water (diluted) and wipe surfaces down to help prevent the passing on of germs. These surfaces include the remote controls, telephones, door and cabinet knobsÖ It only takes me about 5 minutes to do the entire house.

I donít like clutter in the house. I have been in houses where it is cold, and I see that they have boxes and stuff stacked up over the heat registers. I make sure ours are uncovered while the A/C or heat are on. I also make sure that clutter or shoes do not block doorways. This ensures that doors can be completely shut. I keep our closet doors closed so that we are not paying to heat or cool the inside of the closet.

Twice a year I rotate and flip the mattresses and then vacuum them. This extends the life of the mattress. If you have a larger/heavier person in your home you would probably want to flip and rotate them more often.

I wash the curtains every few months and rehang them in the opposite window. This allows them to sun fade more evenly and be replaced less often. I just throw them in with the regular laundry and line dry.

Kitchen and dining room I keep my kitchen cabinets and pantry clean and organized. Why pay to go buy a spice or can of something you already have just because you canít find it?? I run thru the cabinets and pantry weekly, and rotate foods according to the dates on them. I do the same with the refrigerator. This prevents food waste and spoilage. Why spend money buying food to rot away? Thatís gross. When I do dishes, either in the dishwasher or the sink, I add several tablespoons of bleach. This helps to kill germs and prevent colds from being passed on.
I regularly clean the coils of the refrigerator and freezer, so that the motor doesnít have to work so hard and overheat.
My trash is emptied daily, and my wastebasket is washed out at least once a week with soapy water to prevent it from smelling bad. This also helps to not attract bugs and other creatures into the house.

Bathroom The bathrooms get wiped down daily with vinegar water or bleach water. I keep lots of cheap toothbrushes on hand and change them frequently. The bathroom trash is emptied daily. I make sure wet towels are hung up to dry and not sitting around to mildew. This increases the life of the towels. Often you will find our bathroom windows open about Ĺ inch at both the top and bottom for air circulation.

In the basement We keep a clean filter on our furnace and A/C unit. This prevents dust and dirt from being blown through out the house and also helps with allergies and to prevent sicknesses.

Laundry I stay on top of our laundry. I try to do a load daily. This way, we arenít buying more socks or underwear because itís all dirty. I can also have time to line dry it by doing a load a day. We use cloth napkins in our house at mealtime, and this also ensures they are always clean, so no one is using disposable ones. (The cloth napkins just go into the next load of laundry, regardless of the color).

Office You must stay organized in the office. If you donít, you misplace bills and get charged late fees. I keep all the office supplies in one area. I have found since I organized the office two years ago, that we have not had to buy any pens or pencils since. Any free ones we get from businesses or vendor shows go into the pen and pencil bin. I also keep our coupons organized in a bin in the office. We have a special file for warranty information. That keeps us from paying for repair calls that we may not need to.

Yard, garage, barn Keep these areas clutter free!!! Put items, tools and toys back way when you are finished using them. This prevents garden hoses and toys from being lost, run over with the mower (causing you to buy new and pay for mower repairs). Why does my brother have 4 snow shovels??? Because he keeps forgetting where he left them. Ours are hung on nails in the garage and barn. Our hoses are kept rolled up to prevent them from being run over, mowed over, frozen or chewed up by a dog. When we buy motor oil, or wiper fluid, it ALWAYS goes on the same shelf in the garage. If it isnít there, we know we are out. We are not buying more when there is a case of it laying all spread out in the barn, basement and garage. Tools need to be put back where they belong so they are not lost and needlessly replaced, or allowed to get rusty and broken. Make sure everything has its own home, and gets returned to it. Keeping tools picked up also prevents someone from having an accident, such a stepping on a pitchfork.

Above all, stay organized. Always keep items in the same spot. That way you are not buying what you donít need.
Declutter!!! Turn unwanted items into cash. Sell them; get them out of the way. If its trash, then put it out with the trash. Otherwise, you are basically storing garbage, paying yourself to heat and cool it, and to clean around it.

No heat

November 12th, 2007 at 12:44 pm

Yesterday it got up to 70. Not sure where it is at today, but this is now the 3rd day without the heat on and it is 68 degrees inside. I could handle the weather just like this for the rest of winter-except I do like snow for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Years Eve, New Years Day and Feb 14. Other than that, 70 is fine.

How do I change colors on my blog??

November 9th, 2007 at 09:53 am

I have done it before, but can't seem to remember now how I did it....(old age starting in I guess)

House for rent

November 9th, 2007 at 09:46 am

We currently have a house open for rent (or sale) again. Bad part about air force is that when you do get good ones in there they get transferred out..... Anyway, signs are back up in the yard, and the ad is in the paper. So far we have gotten around 20 calls, but most have pets, and we do not allow pets. What gets me are the ones who then start to beg about keeping their pets over the phone, and they haven't even seen the inside of the house yet!!

I think I have them trained......

November 8th, 2007 at 11:19 am

I think I finally have made it through the chore roatation twice now. I think I can say each of my children now know how to do laundry, clean house, do the chores on the farm, basic sewing, and have some frugal shopping skills. We will continue to work on these skills daily to refine them, but I feel they each have the basics down good.

I haven't been outside yet, it looks bitterly cold. But according to the therm. on the south deck, its in the mid 60's. The heat is on 63 and it has never kicked in.

The girls are working on their schoolwork right now, so this is my computer time. I've been working on my "how I" article. I have been rather impressed with what I have read so far.

I don't think I will cook supper tonight. We have leftovers of ham and beans, potato soup, 1 hamburger from grilling out Sunday, 2 slices of pizza, 4 porkchops, small amount of chili, and a small amout salad. What doesn't get eaten today and tonight, will go to the freezer. DH is working tonight-a long shift, so hopefully he will take 2 meals worth of leftovers with him.

Warm supper

November 7th, 2007 at 04:16 pm

I turned down the heat a bit before we ate, since it was a warm cozy sort of supper menu--no one noticed. (It is set on 63 now). I made potato soup this morning, and it simmered all afternoon. Also had some Apple Grunt and fried green tomatoes and bread that I baked yesterday. Only thing is, I forgot to put out the tomatoes. Oh well, I am eating them now.

Contest entry

November 7th, 2007 at 09:18 am

I entered a contest on tips to host a holiday dinner. I had to shorten it from my orginal, as it was too long. But, I got an email today that it is now on line. Its on thrifty fun, which is a website similar to this one. If you want to view my entry, you can. Just go to: http://www.thriftyfun.com/tell_a_friend.ldml?tf_index=tf93885878

New vacume cleaner

November 6th, 2007 at 08:37 pm

Broke down and finally got one. Was already on sale, then I had a $50 Sears gift card, plus I also had a coupon for 10% off if used Nov 4-7. I put it on my charge, and will pay it off next month, so I can send in my $50 off if you charge a purchase coupon. So, I am only going to end up paying around $30 for it from my own money.
Also, the family went to the dentist today. The girls need to go back next week. Two of them have a tooth that never developed all the enamiel on it, so they are going to work on that, and one has a cavity.