Monday, December 29, 2008

Back to Basics Update

The Back to Basics update is a little on the slim side due to Christmas :)

Garden News
Nothing new planted this week. My husband rigged up some shade for the second veggie patch. As I grow different plants I'm learning what works, what needs to be tweaked and what doesn't work at all. I've found that in veggie patch 1, which is in full sun, grows wonderful tomatoes, zucchini's and corn. Lettuce, potatoes, watermelon and pumpkin do ok here too. But cucumber just die. So the idea is to shelter the 2nd veggie patch from the harsh day/afternoon sun, and see what works in there. I'll keep you updated ;)

Planning for the Future
The budget is being drawn up. And next pay is when we start. I'm reverting to a 'cash' only budget in that I will be using envelopes to put money aside and using cash for purchases. I will be removing the key cards and leaving them at home. Fortunately we have no credit cards, so they are a non-issue.
I've got one shade sail up! My husband went to the hardware store and did it himself. We just need a few more, but it is a start.

Working for the Future
I've signed up to complete two modules as part of my leadership training (I'm a girl guide leader). This, I hope will all count when I eventually re-enter the work force and also make me a better guide leader.

Building Community
Via I've made my first loan. Maria is from Peru and will be using her loan to finance her clothing business. It feels wonderful to be part of a team of 25 people working together to help people less fortunate to get a leg up. One Maria pays her loan back, I'm going to re-invest the money with someone else.

New Year Resolutions

This year I'm not going to make the goal of losing weight. I'm not going to set myself up to fail, I'm not going to beat myself up because I'm not thinner and prettier than an airbrushed model in a magazine ad. Nope, no more, zilt, end of story.

This year I make the 'new years resolution' to just be me. To buy clothes that fit, without moaning over the size. After all it is just a number. This year I'm going to where bathers. Just bathers. I'm not going to 'hide' my body in board shorts.

This year I am going to be proud of the body I have, the body that looks like it has produced 4 children.

This year I'm going to feed my body good food and lots of water, not because I want to lose weight, but because my body is beautiful and deserves to be treated that way. This year, when I indulge on chocolate and other treats, I'm going to enjoy them, and I'm not going to feel guilty, because the feeling of guilt is bad for my body and my spirit.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Back to Basics Update

Sowing Seed or Planting
Sowing: Beans, tomato, rockmelon, pumpkin, lettuce, capsicum
Planting: Strawberry
Transplanting: Luffah and Rosella
Harvesting: Tomatoes, zucchini
General Garden News: Finished mulching. Liquid fertilised (Seaweed based stuff) and applied wetting agent to all pots and garden beds. Weeded and removed some snails.....need to use snail bait but I feel so bad killing them....
Planning for the Future
Ordered some more seeds. Collecting lettuce and parsley seeds. I have stuck to a spendings diary all week. It looks scary! However it is the week before Christmas (not really a good excuse) and I did pay the mortgage and service the car so the amount spent looks worse than it is. I did buy a NO JUNK MAIL sticker which I think is a wise investment. I have felt so overwhelmed with Xmas spend spend spend pressure that I needed to do something pro-active. I can't really reduce the pressure from friends and family, but I can eliminate the junk mail/advertising pressure. And as an added bonus it will reduce paper waste, and the junk mail lady still gets paid regardless. Sweet.
I have also set aside time between Dec 26th and Jan 1st to really attack the household budget. I'm continuing the spending diary, but I haven't made any deliberate changes. However, I have started questioning the worth of my purchases, if I really need it and could I do without? I find budgeting very challenging as my husband's income is up and down all over the place (he's self-employed). Any tips?
Working for the Future
Nothing t o report
Building Community
I have been making an effort to connect with the great blogs I read via the comments.
The biggie for this week though was I DISCONNECTED THE FOXTEL, without discussing with my husband I might add too. Now the reason I put this piece of news here is because this one act has really connected us with our community and with each other. We have done more stuff together as a family this week than we have done in the past 6 months. We have gone for walks, attended Christmas Carols, visited friends, worked together in the garden, laughed, went to the movies (never have we done this as a family) and generally spent time together. The kids are also getting along better and are amusing themselves with normal kid activities like cubby house building and crafty pursuits.
New Skill
Nothing to report

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Xmas gifts for the Teachers

This year my two school aged children have eight teacher/teachers aides between them. Thinking of a gift for each without breaking the bank was a challenge, however I came up with these a while ago and thought they could be adapted for teachers too. Basically they are teacher quotes, rolled up, popped in empty capsules and placed in a baby jar.
I bought the capsules in bulk from a medical supply store online (but they are available in smaller quantities from health food shops), and all up cost $30 for 8, with about 750 empty capsules left over......ahhh well next years gifts are covered too.
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Monday, December 15, 2008

Picasa picasa picasa

I have downloaded Picasa and oh boy, for something completely free, I'm am so impressed! Having said that, I never edit my photos (partly because I haven't had the software), but that could soon change.
Here is a picture of my baby girl 12 months ago. Ok the only editing I did was rotating it, but I had forgotten about this sweet photo. So now I'm off to edit then print it.
Have a sweet day :)
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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Basics Update

Didn't do any planting this week. But did mulch. Also found that all the seeds in the second vegie patch were baked due to lack of mulch and full sun position. Hence the mulching. Also hubby started on a little pond in one of the garden beds. We are attempting to encourage frogs to our garden. :)
Plannng for the Future
Hmm spending diary is that I keep forgetting. But I have been trying to reduce spending. In the short term I'm resisting the urge to buy more toys the kids don't need for Christmas. This is hard to to do, especially when I'm feeling bombarded by junk mail, tv ads, pressure from family/friends to buy more and more Christmas gifts. Mid-term, we are getting the money together to put shade sails along the back of the house. This will help reduce temperature in the house (I hope) as this part of the house gets the full afternoon sun.
Building Community
Put my name on the church roster. Also got the pattern for the St John teddies. My goal is to make 4 before school goes back next year.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Let's Get Back to Basics

I have been terribly naughty when it comes to spending and conserving. I admire Rhonda and Eilleen and many others so much. They make thriftyness and frugalism a lifestyle rather than a hobby and although I aspire to be like them, I have, in recent times fallen off the wagon a bit.
So when I saw Belinda's get back to basics challenge I thought 'yep I'm in'. But then it never even made it to the blog. So here we go! Better late than never :)

Sowing Seed or Planting
Planted two rows of corn. Also planted a citrus tree. Need to investigate making up some sort of bug spray as the capsicums got attacked, there is no capsicums now.
Planning for The Future
Doing a spending diary to record where all the money is going. Meal planning has changed in that I'm trying to include more meals tha can be 'recycled' into meals the following night or making two meals in one night so dinner is sorted in one go rather than spread over two days.
Working for the Future
Continuing handmade gifts for christmas.
Building Community
Last week of Girl Guides next week! Meeting with the other leader soon to discuss ideas for next year, including teaching them life skills and including more service.
Learning a New Skill
I'm attempting to make more dishcloths, but this time with patterns in them to make pictures.