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Starting over again

Posted by: Tammy

It’s been a long time since I blogged. It’s not for lack of content, that’s for sure! I am a very busy woman and each evening I say that I’ll spend a few minutes writing and then my head hits the pillow and before I know it, the next day has begun. I think that today will be the day that I find those few moments to write and then the next day has begun. Before I know it, I’m almost ashamed to write. But, every endeavor has to start somewhere, so here I am.

Where to begin?

A quick update from our homestead. The summer has been an exceptionally busy one with our normal camping and my working more outside the home now. I’ve picked up quite a few per diem hours plus one guaranteed day every week with a pediatric dental office. Working with the kids is both exhausting and rewarding and just plain fun. On the downside, working more outside the home means less time for the homestead projects but we’re still managing to accomplish things and I’ve tried to have our sons step up to some of the responsibilities, as well.

Despite working more, I still have a large garden. One of my homesteading goals was to have some type of fruit producing plants and had decided on raspberries. This year, they’re producing beyond my wildest expectations, providing cups and cups of fresh raspberries on a daily basis and yet taking up relatively little room in the garden (so long as you teach them who’s boss when it comes to where they want to spread to!). I’ve already put up 14 half-pints of seedless raspberry jam!

One issue with our garden production this year was a cool, wet spring combined with that VERY snowy winter. The heavy snows provided ample protection for voles and chipmunks over the winter and my garden has been heavily raided by said voles. This seems to be an issue for a lot of gardeners this year. It took a very long time for my sugar snap peas to germinate in the cool, wet spring only to have them sucked down into a hole and devoured by voles costing me four weeks of planting time! I went so far as to over plant my sugar snaps by DOUBLE on the second planting, only to have the same thing happen and doubly happy voles. Snap traps set by the vole holes DID remove a few of the most aggressive voles but it was a constant battle. I had to plant green beans in three different areas in an attempt to confuse and overwhelm the voracious little beasts! Cruel as it sounds, I’m hoping for an intensely cold winter with little snow cover in order to reduce the populations. We’re in absolutely NO DANGER of our voles and chipmunks becoming endangered around here any time soon.

So with the voracious garden critters, I’ve struggled to provide even daily vegetables for the household. I haven’t been able to put any vegetables into the freezer. I just used the last of the previous year’s freezer pickles. I might actually have COUGH*SPUTTER* BUY, cukes for freezer pickles.

Our boys are growing quickly! I’m always thankful that I can bake and cook like I can! Our oldest is 15 now and can eat an entire loaf of homemade bread as a ‘snack’ after school and STILL eat twice as much as my husband at dinner a few hours later! Even with working more hours, I’ve been able to keep homemade bread in the house using a no-knead artisan bread dough that you store in the refrigerator (have I told you about that bread recipe? I’ll have to check).

We’ve been slammed with some high priced repairs and issues this year. I’ve been grateful that even though the money has been going out, that God saw fit to provide me with more work to bring the money in cover it all with minimal impact on our emergency fund. Sometimes the repairs came as fast as the paychecks, but again, at least we had the extra paycheck. 🙂

That was a pretty quick and smoothed over update. From this point forward, I’m going to be working hard at giving you more about our frugal life. In my own defense, I share so much of what I do within the forums, that I don’t think I have much to write about here but not all of you are members of the forums (you should be though 😉 ) and you wouldn’t feel it redundant to read it in the blog. So, no looking back, we’ll look forward!


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