This week was a busy one! All week I drove to the next county over to go to outdoor school and experience it with students from our school. We had a great week, despite the rain and muddiness! The hikes were my favorite part!
When I got home, we spent one whole evening spinning and filtering some honey from our hives. It turned out a beautiful dark color and has a delicious taste!
Since it seems like the only weather we have anymore is rain, compost pickups are always rainy. I’m so lucky to have a great worker who doesn’t complain about getting rained on during pickups! Look how many pounds we have collected so far:
Even though that weather was not ideal, I was able to find a few sunshine rays that allowed me to release a few butterflies this week! 1 boy and 1 girl so far!
When I was rushing out of the house earlier this week and I found this lone leaf in the driveway:
I feel like the Earth was sending me some love back! We are pretty committed to each other! 😆
Wherever you are, whatever you do, try to bloom where you’re planted! 🌱❤️
We have slowly been turning our yard in front of the garage into an area for our pollinators. It will give them more pollen, nectar, water and shelter choices. It will also get rid of all of the extra grass cutting in this area!
Here was our basic outline of what we had in mind:
And here is how it is coming! Keep in mind everything will not be blooming for quite a while! Even though it mainly looks like mulch still, there are black eyed Susan’s, brown eyed Susan’s, purple coneflowers, yarrow, milkweed and white coneflowers. There will be more planted! We are using these adorable homemade stick gnomes that we created, so that we remember what we planted where! And, we decided that the perfect spot for the bird and bee waterer is right over by the garage! The sunflowers that came up early are looking big and healthy already! (1st picture) And the second picture is an echinacea bloom popping up!
Above, my Mr., who is always amazing me, created a planter from an old window frame that the glass was falling out of! It looks beautiful hung and I can’t wait to plant something beautiful in it! And have sunflowers growing all around it too!
We have lots more to plant and I’m hoping to get this certified as a certified wildlife habitat by July! I just want to make sure that I have all of the requirements checked off!
So far we have still been doing relatively well with this whole trying not to spend money on frivolous things journey! I was so proud of the Mr. for finding a used pair of boots that he really wanted for when we go hiking. He found them on eBay and I’m pretty sure they are never worn! And he raves over how comfortable they are!
We were also able to go to the museum in Antietam, MD and camping without extra spending. We took our own food and drinks, played the free putt putt there and avoided the gift shop where everything was so expensive!
Also, since the boy is starting his own little composting business, we told people nearby that if they were getting ready to get rid of something that the chickens would enjoy, that we would gladly take it! The chickens have been enjoying cabbage, lettuce, spinach, avocados and even some bread!
And even though new buckets would look great for the boy’s composting service, we decided to peel off labels and scrub down ones that were given to us instead! They will go out to his customers today. We did purchase easy to remove lids for them.
And we are still growing pretty much everything from seed to save money. I love weird varieties of plants, so growing from seed is about my only option. I am going to get the squashes, watermelons and gourds growing in the greenhouse this week! They can go in the ground at the end of the month!
We also got back a nice little tax credit for the solar panels! So instead of buying something new, we dropped that money on the loan that we have for them. They won’t take too long to pay off either!
And now for the things that I have bought: I purchased a nuc of honeybees, because most of my bees died this winter.
We also have to buy fencing for the garden, but that needed done because of the old fencing breaking.
Even though we are still spending money on our homestead needs, we are making huge financial strides! My braces (Invisalign) will be paid off next month. We still have no vehicle payments. We have no credit card bills (thank goodness!) and we are getting close to another $10,000 leap on our mortgage! We should have this place paid off before I’m 40!
Are you making your debt snowball roll?! We are trying!
Over the weekend we got the chance to try out the camper before we take it out for a long trip!
We went to the Antietam battlefield and museum first to give the boy a nice history lesson from the civil war. The murals on the wall even helped me better understand how the war progressed and we enjoyed looking at the relics.
We also walked many paths and wore those pups out!
And it was hard not to stop and look at the size of monuments and think of the devastation that this area saw.
We we to a nearby KOA and enjoyed their amenities! We played mini golf, played by the stream, checked out the dog park and just enjoyed nature! I also felt at home when we saw that the campsite had a mini farm with sheep, goats and chickens!
On the way home, we arranged our schedule so that we could pick up a new hive of bees to install when we got home. Nothing like a drive home with a hive of bees right below you!
So, after getting home, I rushed to install the new bees into their house and it was easy to spot the Queen! Can you find her?
So, we started making a long list of what all we don’t want to forget on our trip out west! It was a great learning experience! Keep blooming friends! 🌱💚
Yesterday was quite an interesting day. I had been the middle person between the county waste service, our school and an outside source that provides insight on how to start composting at our school. We had a meeting and I thought everything was going well. The great news is that it was well received by the staff! The bad news is that our maintenance department is very against it. But, obviously they don’t know me well, because if they did they would know that this girl has lots of fight in her for this beautiful planet!
Since I used to be the person that would be ridiculously angry and say things that I would regret, I’m proud to say that I have become pretty calm the older that I get. It’s hard to be mad when there is so much happiness in my heart! So here’s a few things that get me up and going in the morning:
-Teaching anyone about the environment, gardening and beekeeping! Even my student teacher interns!
-Growing everything from seed! (Or just watching anything grow!)
-Watching everything come back to life in the spring!
-Watching the bees awake from their long winter!
-Cleaning up this world and spreading goodness! With so much negativity in the world, I’m trying to make it a little better!
-And, of course, raising this kid to be compassionate towards others, a good citizen, to have a love for our planet and everything in it and to live life meaningfully!
When life kicks me down, I choose to think of all of the good around me and there’s a lot! What gets you up in the morning? What brings you out of your funk and makes your heart happy? Keep blooming (even on cloudy days!) 🌱💚
Last weekend was absolutely beautiful! It was in the 80’s and with temperatures like that, I was able to get a lot accomplished!
We purchased 3 trees from our local soil conservation fundraiser. Thankfully the trees had not broken dormancy yet, so we got them planted as soon as we could! And, of course, we had to put deer netting around them to protect them! We have a major deer overpopulation issue, so it has to be done!
I’m also doing everything that I can to clean up our hillside it was so full of weeds and was covered in poison ivy too! I decided to plant wildflowers to the farthest end where black eyed susans and coneflowers come up already. And the rest of the hill is planted with strawberries! I’m not sure how that will work out, but they will give off pretty blooms, possibly some fruit and will spread out! (Hopefully!)
I also started removing all of the cover crop that I planted in the raised bed. I separated out the Egyptian walking onions. I am hoping to try them this year!
I got the carrots and lettuce planted and hopefully they will pop up when the weather warms up!
By the way, the one beehive that survived the winter is doing great! I love seeing them come and go!
I love being able to share what we are accomplishing around here! We are far from perfect, and I don’t want to ever seem like we are braggers. I am just proud of finding what makes us happy and how we are slowly transitioning to a more self sufficient life! Keep blooming!
We made 3. major achievements this month! 1. We paid off the truck!
So, we are officially vehicle payment free! Of course last month, instead of putting more money towards the house or the solar panels, I needed new tires for my car. They were leaking air constantly and not safe, so that’s definitely a must!
2. On the awesome list is that made another $10K leap on the house! You know, when you look at how much you owe and it is no longer in the $80K’s (for example) and now in the $70k’s!! That’s exciting! That will definitely feel good to get paid off eventually!
3. The Mr. has been doing a great job of packing his lunch! For pretty much ever, he has been a “pick up a snack while working” kind of guy. But after I showed him a quick write up of how much that really costs per year, he changed that habit!
For Valentine’s Day I actually had parent-teacher conference day until almost 6pm. So, it was easy to not go out to eat! But, we enjoyed out weekend and my parents even took our boy for a night. It was very quiet around here without him! 😳
My Mr. made me a beautiful pollinator garden for the special occasion out of upcycled wood. We just need to get the bamboo to fill it, but we have a free source for that! It is quite an invasive plant!
We were able to make a few bucks this week too! The dead hive provided us with some honey to sell. We will use that to help buy us another colony! Bees are not easy to keep! (Or cheap!)
And soon I will have a surplus of eggs to rehome!
Also, the Mr. blacksmithed some beautiful mantel brackets for a beam of barn wood for a customer! They turned out beautiful!
And now, in their new home!! They loved them just as much as we did!
Our electric bill came, and I was expecting a nice bill because February was pretty cold, but to our surprise it was $0!!
And to save a lot of money, I start my garden from seeds. Getting plants from the nursery is pricy, and you can only get certain varieties, so I save my seeds and use the heirloom varieties yearly! And this year, I got involved in a seed swap to get different varieties! (I did have to pay shipping)
It was not a perfect month because we still needed to buy items for the camper, and we started picking up some candy for the boy’s Easter basket. Oh, and we got Chinese out one time, but used the money from our crafting and not the bank. So, we haven’t been perfect, but it’s nice to be able to create a growing savings account and work on our debt snowball!