Thursday, April 17, 2014

Puttin' on the Green

I spent what little free time I had this past Saturday playing in the garden when we had very balmy temperatures in the 70's. I cleaned out the strawberry beds, planted peas, spinach, lettuce, carrots and radishes which it a tad late for the season but really it has been far to cold because of snow to do so before now.

 I also planted my Pink Lemonade Blueberry Bushes which produces fuchsia colored blueberries.

However not only did we have a cold snap--we had the cursed snow--on Tuesday. Everything fared well, except my blue berry bushes. All the leaves turned brown. I am pretty sure they will bounce back...or so I hope.

The strawberries seem to be okay after the cold snap, which is also where I inter planted the spinach since they are companion plants.

This is the bed 1 of 2 which has been planted with peas, lettuce and radishes. I am in the process of setting up my bamboo teepee's for the vines to climb. I still need to weave in the 4 foot horizontal bamboo poles, which I will secure with zip ties, only because it is easier than wrapping twine.  The ideal behind the companion planting is the radishes act as a flea beetle trap and aerate the soil when harvested since they mature in approximately 30 days and the lettuce will be harvested in about 45 days. And according to folklore radishes taste better when planted with lettuce. That is to be determined... As the peas grow and vine they will shield the lettuce and give the soil a much needed nitrogen boost. This idea will be repeated with poles beans.

My asparagus is coming up but not much of yield because there was the weeding incident where the hubbs was "trying" to help me and disturbed the root crowns. So much for 2 years worth of work...sigh...he tries, he really does, bless his heart....

The big garden has been tuned over and fed with the small amount of compost I had from my bin. I hope to set up a 2nd bin and have more black gold for my garden. I have my trays of tomatoes, peppers and cucurbit seedlings. Lets hope the weather is decent and we can plant before Memorial weekend this year.

A sure sign of Spring are daffodils and hyacinths. They always make me happy with the cheerful colors and, of course,  the hyacinth perfuming the air.

What is new in your garden?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Finally, a face to go with the voice behind the blog

If you look to the right side of the blog, you will see a picture of the real life me! Kinda scary, lol... I think it is time to shake things up a bit. I am working on revamping me, so it is time to change up the blog a bit. Now that school is nearly finished-less than 3 weeks until graduation y'all!-and I have a new job-beginning 4/21-I can finally get back in the business- or is it pleasure?- of making regular contributions to my blog. I know the last year has been intermittent with the posts, and I appreciate all of you that have faithfully stuck with me. So stay tuned...

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Surviving on Less Income After a Job Loss (Part 2)

Hey y'all! I already talked about ways to budget and save money after a job loss. So what does one do when the savings runs out and the checking account is empty? How can you make cash in hurry-legally of course-when your resources and time are limited.

1. Sell your blood or plasma

2. Sell your hair

3. Sell your breast milk.

4. Sell your eggs or sperm.

Ok I gotta say these 1st four are a little too much Les Miserables for me...

5. Participate in clinical research studies or consumer focus groups for cash. There are usually short and long term studies and they are typically well compensated, including free health screenings.

6. Try to get a job waitressing, bartending or other profession-keep it legal people- that offers tips.

7. Cash paying jobs such as tutoring, babysitting, house sitting and dog walking.

8. Sign up with temp agencies for quick work.

9. Gather scrap metal and aluminum cans. One's person junk is money in your pocket.

10. Gather all the change in your house and car. You would be amazed at how quickly it adds up.
Our personal best was $220.00... in loose change from our house!
11. Sell your stuff on Craigslist or EBAY.

12. Pawn jewelry and other valuables.

13. Have a yard or garage sale.

14. Have some talent with a craft? Make and sell stuff! Craft shows, Etsy, check with local shops and word of mouth are all good ways to start a cottage business.

15. If you have recent purchases (with the receipts) take them back!

16. Money scrounge-when I was a very VERY broke single mom (several decades ago), I would go to the bar parking lots just after closing and look for cash on the ground. NEVER, EVER go alone! I hate to make a sweeping generalization, but inebriated people can be kind of sloppy and careless. One of those weekends many years ago, I found $100 just by walking a few bar and convenience store parking lots. IF I was questioned as to what I was doing, I said I was looking for keys/ watch/ etc...haha. Recently when I went scrounging, it was just singles and change. times are tough all over. And fyi-IF do find someones wallet or debit card etc, I am kind enough to turn it in to the police station or bank. I am not a thief or an asshole like that.

ok the next few are not recommended but if you are facing catastrophic means (eviction/ foreclosure) you do what you gotta do!
17. Payday loan. This is NOT a long term solution and I do not recommend becoming a serial borrower. It becomes almost impossible to break the cycle and you end up deeper in debt.

18. Living on magic plastic. Cash advance on credit card. Again this is usually a steep fee and interest but if in a dire emergency you may need to do so. Just be aware of the increased payments. This should really be a one time thing.

19. Borrow against life insurance.

20. Cash in 401k, stocks and bonds.

I know 17-20 are a big no-no, any financial advisor will tell you so. But the desire to survive is a strong one. So when deciding between  keeping shelter food and transportation or a financial investment the answer is...DUH! Of course I am going to choose the here and now! I can tell you I have done everything on this list--well except 1-4, especially to sell sperm because I am not a dude and that would just be really awkward, haha. 

21. Last case scenario...borrow from family and friends. ONLY as a last resort. DO NOT be THAT person who is ALWAYS asking with your hand out. And pay it back asap. Sometimes you can get lucky and work it off by doing odd chores. Be grateful you have family and friends in position to generously help you. So to show your appreciation besides paying it back, give a thank you card and maybe bake a cake or a casserole in return.

 I will say that being broke definitely redefines priorities. Do I regret raiding my 401k and selling stocks and bonds? Yeah kinda, but not so much because I am not without electricity, homeless, a car or food . It doesn't matter how well you plan and budget. Life and all it's ugly contingencies happen. So now I just need to work a little harder to make up for what we sold or cashed in.

We had 3 YEARS to plan for my job loss. We scrimped, saved and planned with better precision than the military campaign of D-DAY. Yet it still wasn't enough. HOPEFULLY, we are  now at the end of our forced poverty. I have 4 weeks of school remaining and have begun interviewing process. My goal is to have a job secured before graduation. It may not be in my field. It could be temping. It could be working in retail.  We survived for 27 months of me not working. The point being I have (nearly) reached my goal of making it through school. So I consider it a success!

What are your money making suggestions?

I have been offered and accepted a job beginning 4/21/14, in my new field--WOOT!!
2 weeks ahead of schedule--YAY!