Frugalwoods

57

Christmas Lights, Lightbulbs, a Headlamp and other November 2020 Expenses

Let there be LIGHT!!!! I’ve surrendered all restraint and decorum with regard to Christmas decorations. This year, we are lit. It’s dark, it’s cold, there’s nowhere to go and so I transformed the interior of our house into a beacon of light/some might call it tacky. Up to this point, we’ve used hand-me-down and garage-sale-purchased strands of Christmas lights which, while cheap at the outset, were not cheap from an energy use perspective. This year,...

43

These Two Months On The Homestead: Halloween, Thanksgiving and of course, Wood Stacking

October AND November 2020 Oh yes, you get a double dose of homesteading because I neglected/forgot to write this up last month. But who even noticed?! It’s a pandemic! We had an election! This Month On The Homestead‘s timeliness does not rate. Fall in Vermont blows in with intention. No balmy leaf-crunchers here, fall is a rapid descent to winter. In a year that’s felt like a decade, November alone spanned several years. Wood Stacking:...

88

Reader Case Study: Furloughed Behavioral Therapists Wait Out The Pandemic

Anne and her husband Michael live in rural Colorado where, until the pandemic, they worked as behavioral therapists for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Now, they’re on voluntary unpaid furlough and requesting our help deciding what to do next. They recently sold their behavioral therapy practice, have a five-acre homestead with dogs and farm animals and are wondering if now’s the time to transition to full-time homesteading. What’s a Reader Case Study? Case Studies...

96

Oatmeal And Other October 2020 Expenses

The pandemic, the election, rising Covid cases and deaths, intonations of entering a dark winter… shall we talk about that today? Nah. In a world that’s (potentially) spiraling out of control, let’s focus on the things we can control. I can’t control politics, I can’t control the coronavirus, I can’t control what other people do or don’t do. All I can control is myself (and my success rate there is only about 60%). I’ve known...

49

This Month On The Homestead: Pumpkins! Need I Say More?

September 2020 Our pumpkin crop is in! We (by which I mean I) harvested, rinsed, dried, and carried all the pumpkins from the patch to the house in mid-September. Started from seed in our kitchen last March, our pumpkins thrived and were–somehow–not eaten by a varmint. I now have pumpkins on every windowsill, each table, in all rooms (bathrooms included) and I am NOT SORRY. I love me a good pumpkin and the fact that...

123

Reader Case Study: Facing A Potential Lay-Off At Age 68

Lily and her husband Robert are in their late 60s, have been married for 40 years, and planned to retire to a life of travel in 2022. Lily and Robert paid off nearly half a million dollars of debt in their late 50s and since then, have put themselves in a fabulous financial position. However, the pandemic has them questioning their readiness for this move. They’d like our help today determining what to do if Lily...

103

A Dishwasher And Other September 2020 Expenditures

I’m convinced that large appliances are in league against humans. This month we had to replace our dishwasher and our TV and this is not the first time we’ve had a confluence of such events. Revenge of the Appliances hit back in 2016 when our oven, refrigerator and closet door all broke in the same month. Are these coincidences? Or are they evidence of the tenuous hold we have on our modern world? Whatever the...

139

Reader Case Study: Making Full-Time Farming a Reality in Arkansas

Sara Beth and Colt operate an 80-acre livestock farm in the Arkansas delta with their three dogs. They raise cows and goats, have chickens and ride horses. Running the farm is their dream. The only problem is that it isn’t profitable (yet) and so they’re both working full-time jobs in addition. They’ve asked for our help in figuring out how to make it work financially for Colt to quit his day job and manage the...

31

This Month On The Homestead: Carrots, Sunflowers, Tomatoes, and Sugar Wood

August 2020 This month on the homestead, last month on the homestead, any month before that… it’s all running together in a stream of continuous, monochromatic green. Nevertheless, I’m thankful to be here, grateful for this space for my children to roam, not to mention I can go outside and scream into the void anytime I want. For example. August is abundance month, the final burst of life before we turn inward for a fall...

78

Educational Posters And Other August 2020 Expenditures

I dub August “leaning into the pandemic.” No longer in denial, no longer hoping for a swift conclusion, no longer deluding myself that school and daycare will resume anytime soon, I am leaning in baby. Leaning In Actually Looks Really Boring. Sorry About That. Me leaning in primarily manifests as really, really boring expenses, but since you’re already reading this, I’ll do my best: 1) Educational Posters. In acknowledgment of our new role as “homeschoolers,”...