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Ugly Garden: Enter Fall

Ugly Garden, its been a while. We’ve talked about some of your more noteworthy residents (Tomatoes and Potatoes), and we’ve addressed some of our organizational strategies, but Ugly Garden, the experiment, you’ve been neglected. As a topic. Not as an actual food producing garden demanding so much of my time. In that way, we are on track.


Right on queue. Pumpkins and a little powdery mildew. Sugar pumpkins. For pies and breads and soups and Fall. The dramatic conclusion of all things U.G. The dramatic conclusion that wasn’t, I should say. September has been, by far, the most productive month in our short lived history together. Read more

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Wouldn’t You Rather?

I graduated from High School when I was 16. About two days after that, I graduated from Community College with a two year Associates in Arts transfer degree. One month shy of my 17th birthday. That Fall, I entered a State University as a 17 year old Junior. Between scholarships and financial aid, I paid only for my books and my housing. I was on my way to a very different life. I majored in English Lit. Not for the employment prospects (clearly). No. Because I can compare and contrast images of God in William Blake like no body’s business.


At that time, I wanted nothing more than to be in school for as long as possible. To work my part time job. To read my books. And lead my little life. Then I dropped out. Not right away. Early in the Spring quarter of my Senior year, with about 24 credits left to graduate (16 of which I was currently taking), I left. I withdrew one day, and I never went back.
Welcome to Corporate America. Read more

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I Crate My Dogs: Why and How

I do. I lock my dogs in metal (or plastic) boxes. And I leave them there. For hours. Everyday. It’s not a secret. This is one of those circumstances where dogs are better than kids. Crating kids, trouble on so many levels. Dogs though, its a ‘management technique’. Many dogs requires many crates. Which doesn’t make for enhancing the decor in a particular (large) corner of my house. Consequently, its never made the blog photo cut. Not glamourous.


Super functional. Wire cages. What is that? Industrial chic? Read more

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The No Spend Month: Preparation

After an incredible August and a ridiculous September, I am officially done. Over it. I’m spent. Figuratively. Literally. I demand a break. Better yet, I’m engineering a break. About a week ago, the idea of spending basically no money in October hit me. And sounded really, really awesome. I’ve done a No Spend Week once before. Once. But, not for a while and not a month long version. The results of that week were solid. They took some creativity and some preparation. That’s what I’m focusing on in the end of September. Getting ready for a cheap, simple October.

Step 1: Stockpile. It will help if your freezer looks like this.


If you’ve recently got a hell of a deal of a 1/2 cow, and less of a good deal on a 1/2 pig. If your cupboards are full to the brim with canned goods of every possible variety. If you’ve got a flock of pullets supplying you an average of four eggs a day. If you’ve spent the last several months stockpiling, building infrastructure, and spending a heck of a lot of money, this makes for the opportune time to seriously slash your spending. Read more

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General Insanity

I was going to call this Food Preservation Insanity. So I could post a picture of my overstocked larder and question the time and toil I’ve invested in my stock pile of pickles and jam.


You’re getting the picture anyway. It’s not recent. Or necessarily over full. That was almost three weeks ago. Currently, I am the anti-Mother Hubbard. My cupboards are bursting at the seams.

I also thought of calling this post “There Will Be No Post Today”. That or “Dual Income Insanity”. Are you noting the theme here? Insanity and blogging and the lack there of of time. I am beyond questioning the two of’s in that sentence. Read more

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Canine Consumerism

Most of my dog posts are based on my own lessons learned during the last decade of too many dogs. Lessons as an owner, as a trainer, as a foster mom, as a Pet Store Manager. I speak Dog pretty fluently. Then I do something super simple, and realize I am still learning.

These dudes needed new collars.


Not in an update their color palette for the season kind of way. Not that (ahem) I have ever purchased collars for such a silly, ridiculous, ludicrous reason such as that. Oh no. No, the dynamic duo there needed collars like they really needed collars.
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Money Saving Monday: Sell Your Crap!

On occasion, my frugal lifestyle nets me a modest pile of stuff to sell. Actually, No. UN-frugal-ness is where most of this stuff comes from. These are past purchases I no longer need or want. Things I shouldn’t have bought in the first place. This frugality is in reaction to bad spending. Selling them now, might recoup me some of my sunk costs. Some. If they have more than thrift store value left, selling could be better than the tax write-off donation slip from Goodwill. Or you could end up wasting a bunch of time for stuff you should have purged from your life long ago.

We should all strive NOT to have such piles as this.


A designer handbag. What can I say? It was the time and the place. It failed to permanently replace my trusty, Timbuk2 workhorse. Expensive boots, I thought would fill the need of those lost in a move. They’ve since become manufactured in China, and just aren’t what they used to be. Hardly worn. A cookie jar that’s been bumping around my kitchen, not filled with cookies. Maybe ever. A camera, stolen, replaced, then returned. And some miscellaneous books in need of a more appropriate home. A misfit post-consumer pile, that’s been sitting in Stuff Purgatory for far, far too long.

What’s a lover of stuff to do? How do you turn the detritus of your life into material for a Money Making Monday? Read more

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Flock Integration: Adding New Ladies

The new ladies aren’t really ladies. They are girls. The B Squad. Beyonce, Belinda, and Britney. They are girls because they are smaller, younger and not yet producing eggs like the Ladies I am oh-so proud of. This diminished stature makes them the B Squad to the Ladies. For me, it makes for a little bit of a headache.


When we got our chicken surprise, I knew flock integration was not without it’s concerns. Chickens have a pecking order (Ha! No, really.) And can be quite nasty when imposing that on smaller counterparts. This is advanced chicken wrangling. For reference, I was formerly operating at novice level. Read more

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Personal Finance Chops

Two fellow bloggers I know attended FinCon 2012, late last week. Hi, Donna! Hola, Karawynn! The Financial Blogger Conference. Ok, not just bloggers, but mostly. I’m dying to get the blow by blow from them on who’s who, and what went down in Colorado. (*Nudge*Nudge*) I might even buy them coffee to get it. Ahem. Until then, I’m not going to let my lack of attendence keep me from using FinCon as fodder for my own round of self-inventory.

Who needs a conference, when you’ve got this kind of inspiration?

Donna, god love her, treats me like a real writer. We meet. Partake in a little Corporate Dining. We talk frugal hacks. Church sales. Chicken food. Jam makings. Busy lives and the experience of being a writer. Her’s being oh so much more vast than mine. It always goes on too long. It’s always enjoyable. She encouraged me to attend FinCon. Even clued me into a giveaway contest for free tickets. Which I did absolutely nothing about, because what the heck business do I have going to a conference for “financial professionals” and/or “authors”? Read more

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