Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Dave Ramsey Style

Living as a single girl is tough.  Starting over from scratch is tough.  Its especially tough when it comes to finances.  Right now I am living at home and working odd jobs.  My income is unpredictable and I hope to remedy this soon.  I like regiments.  I like planning and budgeting.  It is tough to not be able to budget right now.  Please don't get me wrong, I am not spending all my money simply because I don't have bills.  Before buying our house, Tim and I had paid down all our debt and gone to a cash only system.  It worked great- because I knew what each bill would be and I could plan for it.  While I am blessed to be able to live with my parents, I have to remember to be careful with the income I do get.  I am wanting to go back on a cash diet as I am terrified of getting back into credit card debt.  My goal is to come up with a Dave Ramsey style budget system that I can tweak to my unique situation.  On Saturday I am taking my truck in for brake work.  I hope to pay cash for this repair and any future repairs.  Once I come up with a system I will post it so that I can be held accountable.  For those of you unfamiliar with Dave Ramsey, I highly recommend his book and classes. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Around my room

Since I am living back with my parents, my room has become a house in its own. I thought I would share some images from my current "home"
the "living room"
the "office"

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Christmas Knitting


I was just introduced to Instagram by my sister.  Apparently I am late hopping on the band wagon, but hopefully I will have no trouble catchin up.  I thought I would share some images from my first trial run.  
Flowers from yesterdays Farmers Market.  

Alpaca and Sheep from Peaceful Valley Farm.  Aren't they just the cutest?
Antique yo-yo mini quilt from my personal collection of antiques
Super sweet Mama Pig from the Santa Cruz County Fair

Monday, September 17, 2012

Going Gluten Free

For the past five years or so (maybe even longer) I have been having horrible stomach issues. The Army doctors put me on all sorts of acid reflux meds. When those didn't work they had me try multiple brands of acid relief pills. Those still didn't work. A couple years ago while living in Maryland I had to go to the ER for unbearable back and stomach pain. With one guess the doctors there figured out that I had a rotten gallbladder. It needed to come out. stat! They removed it and although it did relieve my pain, I started noticing horrible cramping (way worse than period cramping) after I would eat. I couldnt figure out what was causing the cramps. They didn't appear only when I ate fried food, or any specific item- so I thought. I would have bad cramps if we ate at home or went out. If we had spaghetti or cereal. It was extremely frustrating, but I thought it was just a byproduct of not having my gallbladder anymore. Since moving in with my parents we have discovered (what I think) is the issue. Wheat. When my dad was young he was allergic to wheat and couldn't eat it. I am thinking I have always had an intolerance to it. According to my research, if a person who has a gluten (wheat) intolerance has any sort of major surgery (gallbladder definitely qualifies) the symptoms can be magnified after recovery. Which would explain why I have only noticed the horrible cramps since my gallbladder surgery. This year my dad (who had grown out of his gluten allergy) has gone back on the gluten free diet. He motioned for me to join him, and figuring I had nothing to lose except pain, I accepted. Its been over a month that I have been gluten free and let me tell you- no cramps! none! The other day I got a bit relaxed and had a cookie thinking there was minimal flour and I wouldn't be able to tell. wrong! Lets just say that I wont be having a cookie for a while again. I am looking forward to starting this gluten free plan in hopes that I will feel better. Already I have more energy than I can ever remember. I feel that so many of my medical complaints over the past 5 years are explained in the gluten intolerance. According to livestrong.com "Gluten intolerance can sometimes manifest as unexplained infertility". Why was this not presented when all the infertility specialists couldn't figure out why I wasn't getting pregnant. I was so tired of "everything looks great" or "we don't know why you can't get pregnant". According to the book The Wheat Belly (which I am currently reading) a symptom of gluten intolerance is "incapacitating cramps" yes! I had been describing my cramps as so bad that if you are driving you need to grip the wheel of the car and hold on. Or if you are walking you need to stop and hold on until the cramps are gong. incapacitating indeed. With so many life changing events going on right now, it is nice to have hope. Hopefully I will not get burnt out trying to find gluten free foods. Hopefully I will be seeing even more benefits than I can see now. I am not sure how it will effect the blog, but I look forward to sharing gluten free successes (and failures) with you. Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

How do I begin?

I have been debating whether or not to continue the blog. Whether or not to write this post. Whether or not to share whats been going on "behind the scenes". I have come up with a compromise- the blog must go on. However to protect both parties involved I will not divulge much details except to say this... Victory Garden Farm will be taking a very different twist. Tim and I have split up and for the time being I am staying with my parents in California. Tim has moved off the farm and into an apartment in the town we lived in. This separation did not come easily, or without deep thought and prayers. I am scared s***less to think about the future alone. I take comfort knowing God has a plan for me that is way better than any plan I thought I had. It is extremely hard not to have Tim here, or the farm. I miss farm life something fierce and trust that God willing I will someday have a farm again. In the meantime, I am setting up life back where I grew up. I am living in my old childhood bedroom again. While I am extremely thankful for all the support my parents have given me, it is hard not to compare this life to "before". There are no more chickens. no goats. no roosters waking me up in the morning. Instead there is the gorgeous ocean. and family. and love. Just because I have moved back to California does not mean my hopes and dreams have changed. They just need to be molded into new dreams. Yesterday my grandma and I took a jam canning class together. Today I settled into a bubble bath with the newest issue of Mother Earth News. Last week I got to farm sit for a friend. Victory Garden Farm will be alive again, even if only as a dream for now. It is my hope to update you on what I am doing in the urban setting. I have been tackling a lot of canning and will write a post on that adventure soon. I might be posting a little less often until I get back on my feet. But rest assured I will survive and be back online soon.