Monday, October 31, 2016

Friday, October 28, 2016

Averitt Youth Art Gallery

Each month a different "artist" from each elementary school is chosen to have their artwork on display at the Averitt Center Youth Gallery.  Madison was chosen for the month of October!

This is  her beautiful picture!

Surrounded by her siblings...she's becoming quite the little artist!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Tree limbs

Since Hurricane Matthew swept threw our town, I have an overabundance of tree limbs.  I've used some to edge my new garden beds...

or to build a little trellis for peas and such....

and also to make new roosting spots in the coop for the chickens.....

more spots to keep away from our night time visitor :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Autumn in pictures....

trees are getting sparse....

little boys are playing in the afternoon sun.....

wreaths are on the door.....

Red Ribbon week at school....

the Knock-out roses are still blooming...

spiders are building webs everywhere....

Fall garden is sprouting...sugar snap peas

kitties are napping.....

Ben is on guard.....

New garden beds are being prepared...

finally home.....

A visit from Boots the cat.....

Who is in the hen house?

Just a little nap..

Last week about two hours before work I laid my head down on a couch pillow and shut my eyes.  Just for a minute...a little bitty tiny minute.  I opened one eye up when I felt Lucas standing in front of me.  One eye to see this mess.....

Sweet mother of Jesus....who left the markers out???????

He's not even ashamed.  All I can say is thank goodness for washable markers!

Unexpected visits....

Last Friday as I was closing the door after waving goodbye to the kiddo's for the weekend, I spied a truck coming down the drive.  A kind of familiar figure was leaning out the window and I realized it was Nick.  Nick, my oldest son who I haven't seen in far too long was now standing in my driveway and inside the truck were two more surprises....

Ethan (or Alex, as they call him) and Elaina, my two grandkids.

Thankfully they were able to come back the next day and visit for a bit before I had to go back to work.  The kids are so funny.  I wish my kids could have spent some time with them.
Hopefully we will be seeing a whole lot more of them now. 

Sweet unexpected visits.  :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Cutting things in half

I talked to a wonderful woman from Coastal Solar regarding our conversion to solar.  I found out a lot of great information and got a price tag for the system.  $29,000 for the complete install of the maximum allowed system on a residential unit.  That's is a hefty price tag and it would only give us at 49% reduction on our current usage.  Now there are rebates and tax cuts to be had but it's still a big chunk of money!

Since this isn't something I can do right now I decided to see what I could do to cut my bill in half.  Air conditioners are off since they eat up kilowatts.  It's been a bit cooler the past two weeks so it's aer  little easier to do this.  Now during a South Georgia summer?  Probably not so much!   A new exhaust fan is in the upstairs window to pull that hot air through and ceiling fans are running on max!  My kitchen is the hardest part to cool (because of it's location in the house), so I've just added a box fan out there to keep the air moving.  I  have limited mystove usage and am relying on my handy crock pot and the grill to cook, or just eating meals we don't have to cook. 

I've also stopped using my dryer.  Well, not totally, but if I use it at al it's for a quick dry of undergarments lol!  Everything else goes on the washline.  I purchased a retractable one from Lowe's and it spans my entire deck and can be easily put away. 

I've also really paid attention to my lights.  I don't run my outside lights all night.  (we have had a really full moon this week so there is no need!)  All other non essential lighting is limited as well.  I'm looking into using little solar lights in the house as well that I charge during the day and then bring in at night. 

So far this week, I have cut my daily electric usage in half!  My average daily usage last month was 132 usage yesterday was 62 Kw!

I know there are some other ways to decrease my consumption.  The back of our house is all windows so I need to do something to deflect that direct sunshine and keep the house cooler.  Air flow throughout is also an issue.  I only wash with cold water for dishes and laundry, and I stopped using my dishwasher.  I don't really mind doing all these things because in the end it's more cash in my pocket to do the things I want to do!


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Using less

I long to put solar panes on my roof.  We have an incredible southern exposure roof line and would greatly reduce our expenses if I could knock out my electric bill or at least decrease it significantly.  I am always looking for other ways to reduce my electric usage and sometimes they are just so simple it's ridiculous.  I have become so used to my creature comforts...the dryer, the air conditioner, the dishwasher.  It's all so easy...just a push of the button.  Today I thought to myself...well, let's just try a few things and save some energy and money!

I shut off the air conditioning and opened my windows. 

I baked six loaves of bread.

I put up a makeshift washline on the deck and hung out my laundry. 

Little day at a time.


Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew has come and gone.  We were very lucky to have minimal damage and a very short loss of power compared to the rest of the county.  I worked the night of Hurricane Matthew and our brave EMS folks had quite a difficult time bringing sick patients in due to downed power lines and trees.  It never ceases to amaze me how much people abuse the Emergency Department though.  Despite the hurricane,  we had people seeking treatment for non emergent ailments.  I mean, come on people!  It's a hurricane!!

I have great concerns for our society when we do have a complete system failure.  I meet so many people that just don't know how to provide basic first aid.  They constantly rely on someone else to take care of them.  There will come a day, and I fear it will be soon, that there will not be the "someone else".  They will be all on their own and it's high time they learned how to put on a bandaid! 

You don't have to be a "prepper" or a "tree hugger" to learn basic skills.  Take a basic First Aid class or for God's sake go to the library and pick up a book!  Educate yourselves because in the end the only person you are going to be able to rely on is YOURSELF.    We have several trees down in our back yard around the pond.  I have a chainsaw in my shed, but have never used it.  Yesterday I had my best friends husband come and teach me how to use it.  Do I feel comfortable?  Absolutely not!  I cut three  areas of the tree just to get a feel for it.  It's hard and I have trouble starting the dang thing up, but I know more than I did yesterday about using a chain saw and THAT is what is important!


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Moving on....

Hi all!  Well lots has happened since my last post in March!  We have had some major changes around here and it's been leading me to re-evaluate what is most important to me.  The older I become, the more disgruntled I become having to work "outside" the home.  I am a nurse and I make a good living, but there are days it is overwhelming.  You find yourself unappreciated, tired and less compassionate.  I would love to be able to balance my "work life" and "home life" so I can find more joy in both. 

So here is what has been going on:

1.  I am  now among those breed of women you would call "independently separated".  After 12 years of marriage and 5 children, we both decided to go our separate ways.  It is a work in progress and will hopefully be the best thing for both of us. 

2.  My homestead plan is humming along!  I started a small journal with my plans, hopes and dreams to be more self sufficient and it really has helped me to stay on track...and work ahead! 

3.  I have only ONE child at home with me during the day now!  That is HUGE for me since I have not been "childless" for  12 years! 

4.  I can say that I honestly have been living my life for ME, not for someone else or under someone else's expectations.  For, the first time in a long time, I feel like I am getting back to who I really am.  I am really starting to be able to place responsibilities where they should lie, instead of always on my shoulders.  This goes for my kids, my husband, my family and my co-workers. 

5.  I have reconnected with my oldest son.  Big.  That's all I can say here.  :)

6.  I am learning things and exploring ideas that I may not have ever done before.  Also BIG. 

So my hope is to keep up my little blog here and update you on my homestead and whatever else I happen to be doing for the day.  If you follow along, I hope you find something useful along the way. 

Much love