Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Practicality vs Frivolity, a tax season review

So, the income tax refund has arrived, in part anyway, and has been just about dispatched among the plans and ideas around here. We don’t have a great deal of bills here, so we were freed up to use the money for projects and plans on the homestead. What did we do?

Practicality: We got those 2 buildings. They are set up in the yard and being put to work holding the various building materials needed to push forward on that long-suffering back addition. I went this week and loaded the trailer with 30 sheets of plywood, 40+ 2x4s, all our feed needs for the livestock, the metal screened security door and half window door for the new kitchen entry. We came home and unloaded everything into the building, ready for the men of the homestead to put to use this rainy weekend. They are running the remainder of the electrical outlets, and hauling in the wood for the ceilings today and the windows are in place. If the weather would cooperate and warm just a bit, we could easily move a few things out there and start using it now.

Practicality and Frivolity both: While in town, I also stopped by the sewing machine shop and picked up my new embroidery machine. Pretty sure that will fall under the frivolity heading, but I have plans to put it to good use around the homestead. I ended up with a Baby Lock Ellure Plus. No, I didn’t research this purchase at all, it just sort of happened. We talked about one, we glanced a bit without any real plan in mind, and just happened upon our sewing machine go-to man and he struck a great bargain for us. Now to learn how to use it and get some embroidery going. We are hoping this machine will add to a slowly growing homestead cottage business here. The crocheted items are selling as quickly as I can make them, and I’m working on some summer yarn items as well, but there’s got to be a market for various embroidery items I would think. The machine will double as a traditional sewing machine,as well as a quilting machine, to add along side my current MemoryCraft machine. Now to get the girls more interested in sewing on a regular basis so we can put these great machines to better use. I’m still hoping to grab one of the buildings outside for a dedicated sewing and craft space. I think we can easily fit the book-related schooling materials and my fabrics, yarns, notions, and machines all in one together. If not, poor husband might just lose his new tool shop, LOL

Practicality: I ordered our 4 cases (160#) of chicken from Zaycon and will pick it up in a couple weeks. In light of that, we picked up a 5 cu. ft chest freezer for the menfolk to take with them back to the work apartment so they can prepare decent meals from real foods and not work long hours just to end up with fast food or worse. We also planned ahead to the packaging of all that meat, and bought a Food Saver, and several large rolls of the sealer bag material, as well as the regular and wide jar sealer attachments. I also hit Sam’s Club and stocked the pantry basics, like yeast, baking powder, flour, etc.

Frivolity: Thanks to some great deals we encountered along the way, there was still a bit left over for a few goodies. Amazon provided me with some shopping goodies…a few old westerns to add to our movie collection (some Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne, and some Tom Selleck ones), a couple cookbooks, including The Prepared Family Cookbook by Enola Gay, and a couple medicinal herb books I didn’t have yet.

I also went ahead and picked up the Paths of Settlement curriculum. You can see some of our schooling with Paths of Exploration here on the school blog. We went thru it and enjoyed it, but I had put off going on with Settlement. I had a good discount available, so I went ahead and grabbed the curriculum. We have several of the necessary readers already so we can integrate this right into our Westward Expansion and Civil War studies. I haven’t changed our game plan any, next year will be totally Civil War adventures here, so getting the POS this late in the season isn’t a problem.

Oh, almost forgot my yarn buy! I have been planning a shawl and went ahead and ordered some superwash wool in a sort of rust toned heather from Jimmy Beans Wool. It came last week and I love it. Now to find time to start the shawl. I’m terribly slow with knitting, so I plan on it taking me a while to get this finished. I have a couple shawl ideas in mind, but this is a favorite I have wanted to have for some time Wooly West Tasha Tudor style shawl. You can’t possibly go wrong with something Tasha Tudor liked, right? In the box, was some soft baby yarn in pale blue and beige so I can get started on a hat and afghan set for Liam, who has a new arrival date of May 15th as of the last doctor appointment. I need to get moving…I haven’t even picked a pattern I want to work yet! Any ideas for a great afghan design?????

Practicality hopeful: Another purchase was getting set up with several essential oils and items. I went with Young Living Oils because of all the various stories and reviews of actual users, they kept coming out on top in my estimation. I’m not doing this as a seller persay, but that was the most efficient route to get the items I wanted for a good price. I also grabbed some of those wraps from a friend to help her business along. I plan to get in better shape…not that round isn’t a shape mind you, just thinking I might try a different shape for a while :-) and what the heck, a wrap or two isn’t going to hurt, right? Like I said, I’m not going to say yea or nay about whether you choose to use EOs, or even the ItWorks wraps, and I’m not going to throw a million ‘advertisements’ at you for either. I plan to use them until such time as I stop using them, kwim? If you’re interested, I’m almost positive there are about a hundred or so of your friends selling these products you can talk to about getting your own, but if by chance you don’t know someone, then drop me a line and I will do what I can to get you facing the right direction for placing an order :-)

Coming up in school fun, we will be working on learning some watercolor techniques. I’m sure there are countless great sites out there, but here’s what I’ve saved

Watercolor Painting Lessons with Jacqueline Burke

Handbook of Nature Study Blog’s Watercolor Pencil 101

Harmony Fine Arts site here with lessons, and here with units and free downloads

And just for my own reading, I’ve been browsing thru Kitchen Stewardship and taking lots of notes along the way.

So there you go. A fun and ultra-exciting account of how one family just dropped their tax refund on some practicality and several bits of frivolity.

I wish I could get some scenes from around the area of our homestead this past week, as we were hit with frigid temps and ice coated everything, to upload for me. It was breathtaking how beautiful the Southern winter world was. You could not possibly ignore God’s Hand in painting such an intricate design of ice and frost this week…perhaps I can share SNOW pictures this week as well LOL The weather folks are all saying there could be some snow tomorrow here. I won’t hold me breath though.


Mrs. Thompson said...

It sounds like you made some fantastic purchases...I love reading about them. There is something just divine about stocking up. I love to stock up...saves time, gas and stress just having everything ahead of time. A well stocked pantry makes this gal really happy here too. Kelly

Anonymous said...

Thanks! It's always good to get new ideas. Your curriculum looks great! I am looking into the Paths of Settlement. ~Diane W


Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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