The Imperative of a Wisely Prioritized Budget

he puts into words what most of us know. We are waking up to it, many of us anyway. We just don’t know how to get OUT and DO anything about it. I work for a small business that gats nailed all the time and live in a two income household that still doesn’t even bring in $40,000/year. We don’t overspend on any of the luxuries mentioned, but we are still stuck at the mercy of the elite, shopping at Wal-Mart and feeding the other big corporations because we can’t AFFORD to do anything else. We are literally STUCK in it

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Dead

I have no passion left. I don’t care about anything I once cared about. Organic healthy food, gardening, exercise, making my own health and beauty products, hiking, camping, art, building, writing, fun, adventure, sustainable living, TREEHOUSES… Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest don’t inspire anymore, they only make me sad and angry now. It’s all so worthless. No one else cares who I am, or who I once was. those things don’t matter, who I was never mattered because I was the only one who cared. No one shared in those passions with me. I can’t care anymore. It’s too hard to keep up with all of that. There isn’t time nor money to care anyway and it hurts too much to give a shit when no one else feels my passion, no one else feels joy in doing those things WITH me, always telling me why we can’t, or why they don’t want to. No one cares to lift me up to a place where I am ABLE to care about those things and pursue them. No one is proud of my passions, and now I’m not either.IMG_6101 They are dead, and I might as well be too. I wish I was. I wish I could lay down and never wake up in this stupid world. But I can’t. I would leave and find like minded souls, but THIS is my family. I have an obligation to feed and clothe them, to keep them alive and moving forward. So I stay. I try to love them. I DO love them, even though it means losing myself. I’m trying. I wake up every morning, I pull myself painfully out of merciful sleep and I put one foot in front of the other, living the same drudgery over and over and over again. I work every day instead of doing the things that I once loved, and every cent I make is sucked away  by the money sucking machine. No passion, no hope, no joy. I hope I can keep trudging long enough to get them through before I die. I am dying. Slowly. I’ve failed the child that I was. Not a single dream has come true. I’m tired of fighting, so I won’t anymore. I surrender to this bondage, the enslavement to the machine. Fuck it all.

My First Step Toward Homesteading. Help? Please?

I have all these passions inside me. Things that grew from … probably my childhood living in Oregon and Tahoe, I don’t know, but as I have become an adult, the passions grew but so did all these circumstances that have prevented me from actually perusing them. So now I find myself, almost 40 with this weird “American Dream” (More like nightmare!) type of lifestyle with a pretty ok job and a husband with two pretty ok jobs, barely making our bills, living out in suburbia (A.K.A. hell, ok maybe it’s not SO bad…) with our 2.5 kids (Three. We have three kids. I guess we are the rare family that made that stupid point five, like you can have half a kid…whatever.). Our cars are on the brink, and the boy has a nice medical bill from THINKING he MIGHT have broken his arm,that we can’t pay thanks to medicaid cutting the kids off every other month and having to re-apply which is a torturous process (I loath paperwork!) and I’m about to take the family dog to the vet next week because he’s limping, has stinky ears and seasonal allergies that cause him to scratch himself bald.  So I know you’re kinda sorta supposed to start these things with some kind of “budget” (Watever that is), but yea, our budget right now is negative nothing. So all I’m left with are these passions, and my head is gonna explode one of these days and I’m gonna go postal if I don’t do SOMETHING, ANYTHING to start moving toward them. So I’m making lists. Things to research, to learn about to do in order to get us closer to the actual DOING of the things. I’d love any insight any of you homesteaders have regarding this list (I need SPECIFICS people!!!) and I’m going to work on each thing at least three times a week (God and Family willing). So here’s my list, my first tiny baby step, me, throwing it out into the universe (A.K.A the internet) in the hopes that if I keep stepping and keep throwing, it’ll all come back to me somehow.

 

Homestead check list.

 

 

How much wood will we need for approximately 2000 sq ft of structure (Not nessesarily one big house, but maybe a network of tree-structures for the family, a small barn, a shed and a wood shed?

What kinds of wood will we need?

Will we need steel beams or other components, what kind and how much will they be?

What types of widows will we have?

What type of insulation will be best?

Composting toilets. How do they work, how much do they cost?

What kind of bathing system will be best for us?

What other supplies for building will we need?

cattle panel

What kinds of tools and equipment will we need?

come-a-long

hand tools -screwdrivers, hammers, hand drills, saws, crowbar, ropes, chains, pullys

power tools? cordless or non? how much power would we need for the running of such things?

Wood burning stoves. What are the best kinds, how much are they?

Rainwater cachment systems?

How much does it cost to dig a well?

What should we look for when purchasing land as far as growing food and having enough water and wood?

Can we use water from nearby lakes/rivers/streams? How?

Plumbing to and from a treehouse?

Water filtration?

Water heater?

What kind of power and how much will we need?

How much storage will we need?

How will we make money?

What will we live in while building and implementing our plan?

How much $$ will we need initially?

What is our plan for getting that $$?

Internet/WIFI? We know we need it, how will we get it and how much will it cost?

How much food will we need to grow to sustain our family = How much land will we need?

Best growing/harvesting practices?

Food preservation practices?

Wood storage shed.

Hoop house for growing during winter months.

10-12 chickens.

One milk cow.

Four or five goats.

link to article I read on arched cattle panel animal shelter DIY:

http://www.valhalla-project.com/2013/09/valhallas-quick-and-easy-arched-cattle.html

 

A dog.

Several outdoor cats.

Maybe a llama for wool.

Best composting practices?

Keeping critters out of the garden.

Bees! Types of hives and best beekeeping practices.

Treehouse building practices and techniques?

How are we going to gain that knowledge?

Fruit trees, how to prune and take care of them.

How much money will we need each month for things we can’t grow or make from the nature around us? Like castile soap, borax, hydrogen peroxide, essential oils, flour beans and rice, gas, clothing etc. as well as bills like property taxes and insurance etc…

What exactly WILL all those extra expenses be?

A small barn/coop for the few animals.

Clothes washing? In winter?

What will our daily schedules look like?

Weekly Schedules?

Monthly Schedules?

Yearly Schedules?

What laws/regulations/codes make life harder/easier for homesteaders?

recipes:

Cinnamon Bourbon Cherries

useful hacks for homestead living:

http://mentalfloss.com/article/51702/10-lifehacks-100-years-ago

http://www.homesteadingfreedom.com/the-worlds-simplest-and-oldest-chair-design/2/

 

So that’s it. My baby step.

Today I pushed you from me. 


  

For the second time in history.

In reality I can’t count how many times I’ve pushed you out.

But this time…

Oh this time it’s as sweet as it’s been bitter.

Cuz you’ll think of me too as time grows thicker.

Waiting on the Other Side

  Are you there? 

On the other side?

Watching me? Waiting?

I’m lonely.

Slowly returning to normalcy.

No longer hiding and scared.

Still can’t eat much.

Can’t sit down much.

I walk around sighing

playing with my hair

touching my face

hugging myself.

One second smiling,

The next I’m dying.

I’m a twitterpated tween.

Shake it off

Check my phone

My inbox is safely,

despairingly…empty.

Love songs are no longer meaningless, but tragic.

Attempting to push emotions

& crackling chemistry asside

Trying to bring back logic 

In order to decide.

Think RATIONAL thoughts Jeanette!

Reality is rarely like our fantasies.

Don’t jump in blind.

(Self Portrait by JETTE 1997)

Jump Start an Artist

Well lookie here!! I may not be making tons of cash but I got featured in a national publication! It’s pretty cool to see my designs in print! Especially InStore which I have been reading and browsing through since I started my apprenticeship in 2008. The designs shown are all ones I had done prior to getting this job. I would love so much to be able to make that scarabesque ladybug into a real ring. The blue wax that is pictured was for a lady who got her wedding band before she got her engagement ring (weird, but cool for me!). She had me design a sturdy ring for her big diamond to match her band. She works with her hands a lot and wanted something heavy. Here’s how it turned out in the end:

534872_2978786927074_1238374206_n  599695_2978782686968_800633856_n

The angel is the first wax I ever carved. It was a gift for my mother in memory of my niece. It will forever be a treasure to me and my family, and the author of the article is right, I had drawn a picture of her that the piece is based off of long before she died, and before I ever dreamed I’d be a jeweler!

Erin when she was little.

   Erin when she was little.

Erin a few weeks before she passed.

   Erin a few weeks before she passed.

My drawing of her.

  My drawing of her.

Hand carved, cast and finished Sterling Silver necklace in memory of Erin.

Hand carved, cast and finished Sterling Silver necklace in memory of Erin.

I thought since I hadn’t designed anything in CAD before the information was submitted for publication that I’d share a few designs that I have done in the last few weeks and haven’t shared yet. Enjoy!

Rose gold and colored diamond necklace centerpiece.

Rose gold and colored diamond necklace centerpiece.

Rose gold and colored diamond ring.

Rose gold and colored diamond ring.

Androgynous ring. Can be a man's wedding band or a man or woman's right hand fashion ring.

Androgynous ring. Can be a man’s wedding band or a man or woman’s right hand fashion ring.

Scroll pattern ring.

Scroll pattern ring.

Please Pray

I have to share! I’ve been worried and wondering how on earth I’m going to get my bills payed and how I’m going to get me and my girls to K-Con this year. I PROMISED them I’d do whatever I could to get us there, but then I lost my job. I’ve been struggling hard. My new job barely covers the bills and I’m behind from being unemployed for two weeks. But PRAISE GOD, a friend just called and said she needs a muralist here in town for the month of June and I can do it after work and on my weekends! If the business owner accepts her bid it’ll be a $10,000 job! I don’t know what my share will be but I bet it’ll get us to K-Con so I won’t have to break my kid’s hearts! Please pray he accepts the bid and that I can get it done in a timely and professional manner without burning myself out? Thanks! Love you all!!!!!

I Felt Beautiful Today

From the moment I woke up I felt attractive today. My fellow women will know what I’m talking about. There are so many times when we are tired, drained, worried, emotional, critical of every line around our eyes, every bulge that we think is getting to large or perceive as misshapen. But every once in a while despite all that, we just know we’ve got it goin’ on. Today was one of those days for me. I had spent all day yesterday pulling weeds and moving dirt with shovel and wheelbarrow from an area in the yard and leveling it off so it will be ready to receive the decomposed granite I hope to one day (Maybe in six months, or three years, or maybe never if I can’t get these damned bills payed) put there so we can put a fire pit on it to sit around with friends roasting marshmallows and drinking wine.

The dreaming of things to come, envisioning all the things that will grow there, how I’m going to make it beautiful, the sun I soaked up, the physical activity and being able to look out back and see the work of my hands was healing. It all came together to make me feel pretty today. It helped that I felt particularly skinny ;). It also helped that my check was pretty OK this pay period. Not near what it used to be, but it still allowed me to make some payments. That feels good. Hopefully it gets the creditor’s phone calls to stop. Hopefully I can keep up and not lose my house. Hopefully I can save enough to keep my promise to the girls in three months. All of this is unknown and all I can do is keep getting up and going to work, keep designing, keep selling, keep spending wisely, keep smiling, keep hoping, keep praying.

Most days I feel so old and tired, but today, I woke up and thought, you look good for being almost 40, you look good for a person who’s walked through your life, you look like there is still life in you. I though about how I carry myself. I thought this morning that I can still be fierce if I keep workin’ what I’ve got and what I’ve got ain’t half bad for a mother of three. I though that all the wisdom and strength that comes from struggle can be hot. Maybe not nineteen year old brick house hot, but still hot. So I snapped a selfie before I even got in the shower, no make up, no nothing. Just me, feeling pretty.

photo

Before Freddie Gray: A History of Police Violence in Baltimore

Historic Sprawl

Last week, a man named Freddie Gray died of injuries received after his arrest by officers of the Baltimore City Police Department. Gray’s death and the ongoing protests have focused local and national media on the violence of police brutality in Baltimore City. Reading stories on the recent history of deaths in police custody, the history of “rough rides” in Baltimore police (both from the Baltimore Sun) and a look back on a decade of police brutality complaints (“The Obscene Culture of Police Brutality”) have helped broaden my understanding of this issue. But when Gene Ryan, president of the Baltimore Police Union, stated protests that call for the arrest of the officers involved in Freddie Gray’s death “look and sound like a lynch mob” – it is a disturbing reminder that a deeper understanding of American history is essential to reforming an unjust police department. And much of this history is still unwritten.

With all of this in mind, I’ve assembled…

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