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Everything posted by michelle

  1. I got rabbits! I got two does the other day and then got a great deal on six more does and two bucks. Ten rabbits! I have them all set up and am breeding two this week. Just want to get a couple more cages built and do a little rearranging to complete the set up and put in a new watering system this week. So excited and can't wait for the new litters. I'm getting chickens soon once I finish their stuff too. The new baby is six weeks old now and beautiful too. Just wanted to stop in and update. Hope everyone is doing well.
  2. Congratulations on your new home. I hope everything goes well for you. I agree with being surprised at what we can do without or ways we can manage if we need to. I got very upset with dh's lay off and worried about our housing and situation definitely feeling like we were stuck and had 'nothing'. Turns out after a little creative thought we had more available than we thought we did. We had temporary (maybe permanent small if had to be?) housing that could be set up easily. Most of the supplies were on hand. Also had a couple of hutches more supplies to make a couple more. Enough scraps and such around that we could have put in a chicken coop and maybe even a small barn. We had ways to wash and dry clothes even if it wasn't convenient and electric. Ways to cook and supplies. Plenty of access to good water. We even could have probably managed a root cellar of some kind from the things we had on hand. It was definitely an experience and while he's working again now and we have more time to prepare I feel better knowing that we can get creative and make do fairly well if we need to. Sometimes all we need to do is to change the way we look at things.
  3. Oh my. I hope you get to feeling better quickly. Ouch that sounds painful. It's very annoying not to be able to do things for yourself. I get told I *can't* do a lot of things being pregnant and it drives me crazy especially since I feel fine! I hope you heal well but take it easy for now. Think of it as a vacation lol.
  4. ScrubbieLady - I am in Mississippi but I'm in the south so I don't think I'm near your area. We do seem to really only have BellSouth (ATT) here now. The local calling thing is going to be an issue. I think we'll have to have long distance because of the lines. We live near the county lines so are are closer to some spots in 2 other counties than we are to most of our county. I think we'll have to have the long distance. That's good to know about the HughesNet versus WildBlue with the speeds. I'll have to look at that. We're going to check on the internet from the ATT data plan too since we may keep the ATT cells and they have a data plan for teethering. I'm going to see if that may be an option too and what kind of service it would give.
  5. I agree with everyone else. If she's starting out the best thing is to start with the short term. Water and a way to treat and store it can be done pretty quickly. Find a way to cook if the power is out. Lights. Get a BOB. When I started most of that was already on hand I just hadn't looked at it as a prep before. If she has any kind of pantry right now so may well have 2 weeks or so worth of food already on hand. Look for things that aren't hard to prepare, canned goods and a couple of manual can openers. Just add some extras to the grocery list every week. Like was said above if pasta or something is on sale grab a couple of extras. It adds up quickly. If she wants to stock up on some meds, vitamins, and first aid items look at Walgreens or CVS. Places like that usually have good sales if you watch you can get buy one get one free vitamins and stuff on a regular basis there. Vitamins were one of the first things I got when I started trying to extend our food supply. I figured it was cheap security to make sure we got our nutrients if the food supply was still not complete. Getting them on sale meant I could get them quickly and cheaply. Check her local drugstores for programs. One of ours has a free vitamin program for kids (I think ages 1-12) that gives you a bottle of vitamins free each month. All you have to do is ask for it and fill out a little form. No proof of income or anything.
  6. I'm not sure how practical any of the fiber animals are either... for me at least. That would be another type of animal to keep, house, feed, manage. I'd also have to learn how to shear to get the fiber, card, clean it. I'd have to learn how to spin the fiber as well and then get the supplies needed for the animal, shearing, spinning and everything else. It just seems like a lot of extra time, money, and work compared to just storing fiber. I'm not sure how practical it would really be if we are going to try to have everything else we need. If we do get fiber animals it'll be a while before I bother with them so that I can get everything else going well first and start learning of the things I'd need to learn to have them. I like the idea of the rabbits for small space but the sheep could serve as meat, fiber, and dairy. The pygora goats would mix in well with our other goats though and would be smaller than sheep. Hmmm really not sure about these animals LOL.
  7. I am aiming for smaller breeds where it makes sense for us. I'm looking at Nigerian Dwarf goats. I've heard that the pygmies can serve all the same purposes though and am looking into that more because they are more accessible in my area than the Nigerian Dwarfs. The cattle I'm considering are the Dexters. I haven't really given bantam chickens any thought although I guess I should. What difference is there in space/feed requirements for a bantam, how many in the same space as a 'regular' chicken? Will they still be hardy and able to raise their own babies? That's one thing I'm most worried about with chickens is broodiness which is why I loved the Black Australorps before.
  8. Sorry I didn't include some of the animals. We will have rabbits. I am debating them for fiber as well. We'll probably have a couple of ducks and geese as well. Alpacas are expensive like Dee said and not easy to find in this area so they won't be for us. Llamas are out as well because of the reasons mentioned. We have a creek on our property and are bordering a huge hunting camp property so deer everywhere around here and would be a problem for llamas. I prefer the multipurpose animals since we are limited in space I'd like to get the most I can from what we have. The dogs while I love them are really just pets. Other animals could be livestock guardians and serve another purpose as well so I think the LGDs are definitely out and we do need a guardian because of predators (one I know of definitely is coyotes). The donkeys could be used for guardians and also used for draft and transportation if needed right? That would combine the horse and dogs purposes into one animal. I'd really love to have horses but realistically its a large animal and expense mostly to be pretty. For fiber we could do the sheep, pygora goats, or rabbits. I'm just not sure which would be a better option. I'm really at a loss on that one. It will be a bit before we get that far to have animals for fiber but I am trying to figure out our 'ideal' so that I know how best to plan it all out if that makes sense.
  9. Okay while discussing what animals we want/need to have I got stuck. Some animals are a given - goats, chickens, turkeys. It's the other animals that are causing the mix up. Horses - only good because they're beautiful and pleasure riding. Could be used for transportation (not likely we'd actually do that) or draft Donkeys - draft and livestock guardians Cattle - beef, milk, draft Sheep - meat, milk/dairy, fiber LGD - livestock guardians Pig - meat (Not a big deal because at this point I don't think we'd bother with breeding/keeping them. Just get one a year for meat. Fiber - sheep or we could do something like pygora goats. Not sure which would be better. We'll already have goats so I suppose it may be simpler to keep fiber goats as well because the needs would be the same instead of having another type of livestock like sheep. Only other thought though was sheep could provide some variety to meat and dairy products so that's a thought too. Other - Horses would only be kept really because they're beautiful. They could be used for draft but so could other animals that would serve more than one purpose so the horse doesn't seem practical, especially not for the added needs and expense. Cows could be used for draft and would already be kept for other reasons or we could add donkeys for draft and have livestock guardians out of them as well. If we didn't have the donkeys then we'd have LGDs so whether we had donkeys or LGDs it's an added animal only difference is one is single purpose other is dual purpose. So how do you choose? Which routes would you take or do you have another reason for deciding or keeping these animals that I'm not thinking of? * Disclaimer: Sorry if this is scattered and I hope it makes sense. I'm trying to stay focused on this post while the kids are talking LOL.
  10. michelle


    Sending prayers your way. You can definitely look into doing a 'house swap' with the closings. If you have a house you already want to buy you can set your house sale to close at the same time. I've heard of a lot of people doing that kind of thing and setting the closing date on the house for the same time or just after their new house purchase closes.
  11. Right now I have Cellular South for my cell and dh's is ATT. We're gonna test both out on the property for service before we decide anything. It doesn't look like any other cellular services will be available in the area. After making some calls Centurytel doesn't cover our area although they're in our phone book?! Doesn't make any sense to me but oh well. Looks like ATT or Telepak are the only landline phone options if we go that route. Internet will have to be dial up or satellite. I'm just trying now to get quotes on it all and figure up the options. What services we'll need and what will work out better budget wise and still give us the service we need. I think we could consider VOIP phone service for home if we did the satellite internet but I'm not sure if that's a good idea? I'm thinking rural area and storm outages with no phone... I guess the cells would possibly still work. Gee I'm so lost LOL.
  12. Yeah I see that. Grr I just checked it out. Doesn't look like Verizon can cover it either. Only ATT and the local MS company that I can tell. Ack! I looked at the satellite packages though that might not be such a bad option. Wild Blue shows a package for $49.95 a month. I think we could do a VOIP phone or something similar with satellite internet. That might be worth it. Not sure about any issues there might be with that type of service though. I've only ever had wireless, dial up or cable.
  13. TV - I probably won't be doing. I really only like tv for getting the weather or news anything else is just extra I don't need. I want to get one of the dtv boxes to try to pick up some local channels but not sure if it'll work. Anyone have one? If we do get tv it'll have to be dish or direct since nothing else is available there. Internet - The only internet options I've found so far are to get HughesNet or dial up. No dsl or cable internet available. We do have ATT service out there though and with dh's cell so I wonder if we might could get wireless through them. Any one have experience with People PC? I saw they have dial up for $90 year if you prepay it and was wondering what their service is like. Phones - So far I found only Telepak or ATT for landline phone and the only wireless I know get service there are ATT or a local wireless company. Just still undecided on which is better price wise. I'd like dh to have a small cell phone plan since he'll be at work more than home and then either do cell for me or landline and a bare bones cell for emergency use when away from home. I'll have to check on Verizon since so many seem to have and like it. I haven't check them yet. I have gotten spoiled looking at the phone services and cable/dsl options available and was thinking that basic things like landline and dial up would be much cheaper. Looks like landline phone service could easily run $40-50 mo! Yikes! You can get unlimited cell service for that or close to it now so I was just a little blown away.
  14. So help me out here everybody... what service providers do you use and how much does it run? We're planning to move to our rural property and it may be soon. I am going to have to get services out there when we move and I'm looking into it now. Everything just seems so expensive though! I'm trying to compare prices and find the best option to save us some money. So talk to me what do you have for phone, internet, and cell services and how much does it cost?
  15. That tip from the Spanish Exchange student sounds good! I'm going to try that one. Bet dh would love it! Back to report: I picked up my Angel Food package yesterday and it's great! The food is good quality. You can tell it was bulk packaged (like the veggies being in unlabeled bags) but it's good food. I was worried about the quality so I only ordered one box just in case. With our box and what we already had on had I shouldn't spend a lot of groceries this month - just stuff to make meals out of everything. I'm working on a menu plan and grocery list now. I think next month I should be able to get 2-3 boxes and the items needed and should be able to get our groceries for about $200 for the month (if not maybe a little less). I'm really excited!
  16. I've been really trying to work on or budget the last month or two especially with the high possibility of dh getting laid off. This month I'm paying off our little finance loan (the only one we have) and I'm swapping dh's cell provider. It's going to cost to do it but it'll save us about $75 a month! on his phone bill after this. One thing I've found that is going to save us a lot of money is using the Angel Food Ministries. I finally took the plunge and tried it this month and the food is actually good quality. One of the large packages (for $41) has enough food to last us at least 10 meals plus a few extra items in it for breakfasts and snacks. I've worked up a menu from the box and looked at next month's packages. I think I should be able to get our food budget around $200 or so for a month if I use the boxes and then just buy things to make meals out of them! I'm really excited about that since that's half what we were paying. The WIC is definitely helping too though. Martianchick: I have the same problem with the drinks. With 2 little ones we definitely go through the milk and juice and it was a major part of our grocery budget. Now the house rule is a glass of milk or juice with meals only. They can only have water during the day. I actually found Klean Kanteen bottles on sale right now(LL Bean $9.99 each plus used a code for free shipping)so now we will each have a good water bottle and it'll be a little more fun for the kids that way. I'm trying to replace some of our reusable items too and this month my list is to get reusable sandwich and snack bags for dh taking lunch to work and to start using family cloth. I think once we start it those things should save us maybe $10 month on household items. We're also thinking about trying to find a cheap used commuter vehicle for dh. We only have one vehicle right now and we can manage that way but the SUV isn't so good on gas. A smaller car or something could possibly double our fuel mileage. If we take the plunge and can find a decent one we'll be making the upgrades though to save more on fuel mileage also. Right now gas is the highest portion of our budget (other than groceries which I've found a way to cut). Walking or even carpooling isn't an option with his job right now. Won't be if we go home either and it's also too far for bicycles or such so I'm trying to find ways to cut gas costs. I already try to limit myself to only running errands about once a week to save some. This is one area I really need to think up something for.
  17. Glad things seem to be getting better for both your families. I hope it continues to improve. I can't imagine all that winter though! I'm such a southern girl I don't think I'd survive. It's already 'spring' here. Temps have been in the 60s-70s for about 2 weeks now. I'm loving it! I'm so glad that winter is over. I can't stand the cold. We usually have our last cold snap Easter weekend for some reason so I'm not sure if we'll have anymore cold this year or if it's all over.
  18. Yep I've noticed that too. Another one is sodas. I don't buy them anymore except as a rare treat to myself but I noticed especially in the convenience stores they have bottles (I think 16oz?) for .99, the regular size bottles are 1.39-1.49 or so. It's crazy. I did notice some of the canned goods are changing too. Those cans of diced or stewed tomatoes use to be the 15 oz cans and I have some I just got that are 14.5. I need to do a new price hunt with a price book or such. I did that forever ago and it was really helping with the grocery budget but it needs to be redone. I know my shopping trip just before this last one I went grocery shopping I picked up some cans of sweet peas for about .50 each. It was that one brand and all the others were .80 or so. Really? Who would buy the same thing at almost twice the price? If I hadn't looked I would've missed it. I noticed too that the Dollar General seemed to have better prices on canned goods unless they are on sale. I need to redo a price book and check prices.
  19. I tried the link but the site it pulled up looked really crazy. Just me? Is it safe or did I do something wrong?
  20. I've used hillbilly housewife to find cheap basic recipes for years although I can't say I'm very thrilled with the new owner. I went on there last night and it seems to be a blog style now? Ugh. Good recipes there though. You've gotten some good advice so far and I'm such a novice I'm taking notes over here and don't have much to contribute but... Have you looked into angel food ministries? They have a menu each month offering boxes of food for pretty cheap prices. Anyone can purchase from them and you can even use food stamps to purchase if you have them. The only catch is there is an order deadline and a certain day for pickup so you'd have to plan for that. I actually just ordered my first box from them although I've known about it for a long time I just took the plunge. I ordered the $41 box from February's menu. I actually pick it up Saturday so I'll post back about the quality of the food once I get it. I'm not sure how many people you're feeding (can't remember your family size sorry!) but we have me, dh, and the two small kids and I think I can get that one $41 box to provide about 2 weeks worth of dinners for us! If the package looks good and my testing with the size of the box works out this month I think I'll be able to get us on MUCH lower monthly food budget. (I'm thinking maybe $200!!!) Just thought that might be something to look into for you. I personally didn't think the fruit and vegetable box was a good deal for us but they do have one available if you might be interested. You can see March's menu on the website now.
  21. I've never seen anything like that given to chickens. Most of the pecking can be eliminated by not overcrowding like was said above. I believe the minimum suggested space per bird is 4 sq ft in the coop and the run. (I could be wrong though haven't looked in some time) That means a space as small as 8x4 could house 12 chickens. I think that should be enough to keep them from pecking but that isn't enough property for them to free range for their diet. I don't know how much land is suggested per bird to live on a free range diet. Maybe someone else does?
  22. I'm glad things are looking a little better for you and your family. It is crazy how things seem to work out sometimes. I'll keep you and your family in my thoughts still though and hope that things continue to improve.
  23. I haven't really heard anything in my area that shows people are waking up. I don't see as much spending and being careless though but that's mostly because of necessity and people not being able to than from them waking up to it. I really worry about some of our family and friends. I know a lot of them are going through a really rough time right now. Where we live there are NO jobs and everyone is losing what they had. It's getting really rough. It's always been a low income area and lots of people were barely making it or living week to week but it's gotten worse. I am really thankful for every day that dh is still working because the possibility of a layoff is real and could come at any time. (He was temporarily laid off the last two wks, today was his 1st day back and we currently only know he "should" be working for 6 wks! No telling after that.) I wish people in our area would wake up and start preparing. I have noticed that more people seem to have animals in the area though so that could be a good sign.
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