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Doing Dietbet Again

January 4th, 2016 at 11:08 pm

I signed up for both a six month Transformer and a 4 week Kickstarter again this year. They started on January 1st. So far I have lost 6.2 pounds. I just wish I hadn't gained back all but 17 of the 50 pounds I lost last year. But I am determined to do this again. Last year I about doubled my money, which sure beats any interest rate I can find.

My husband also signed up for a Kickstarter. He has lost 70 pounds in the last 6 months, so I told him he might as well earn some money doing it.

I am sticking to my meal planning pretty closely and that will help a lot with this, too. It snowed this morning so I didn't make it to the pool. Hopefully it won't snow again tomorrow. The club parking lot is nasty to get in and out of when there is snow. I miss being in the water, though and want to get back to it.

I got about 1/3 of my kitchen reorganized and deep cleaned today and cleaned out the rabbit grow out cages and dropping pans, so I did get exercise in and plenty of movement.

I also knit 32 rows on the baby blanket I am making for my niece, who is due in May with a little girl. I did 5 loads of laundry, too, and am now caught up, including putting it all away.

All in all it was a very productive day.

Christmas Bonus Came

December 15th, 2015 at 07:18 pm

DH's Christmas Bonus arrived in the mail and as you can see from the previous 3 posts I disbursed it amongst the Down Payment Fund, the College Fund, and the Emergency Fund.

This is the first deposit I have made to the Emergency Fund since...well, I can't remember. Since I hit $15K back in May or something. I had stopped adding to it to get other funds up and growing. I had intended to restart it in January, but figured I might as well get a bit of a jump on it. Hopefully I can get it to $20K by the end of 2016, but that's just a pie in the sky goal. It will much more likely be around $3K saved to get to $18K. But who knows? I like to aim high.

I was able to top off the College Fund so there is now enough for the first semester of my daughter's vet tech course, which she wants to start in January. Since she will have 18 months to complete the semester, I am not worried at the moment about adding any more to that fund, other than $100 a month going foward.

I also added $2000 to the Farm Down Payment Fund. I had also planned to set aside an additional $1000 to medical savings, but the bonus was $1000 less than it has been for the past few years, so that was just a tentative plan. We have always managed the medical, so I'm not that fussed by it, but I would have liked to have it set aside. Oh, well. We will be okay without it. If something huge comes up once the ridiculous deductible starts over, well, that is what the Emergency Fund is there for, loathe as I would be to touch it.

I need to buy a new microwave. The one I have has been limping along on its last legs for a while now and likes to shut down if you use the microwave for more than 10 minutes in a row. It comes back on again about 10 minutes later, but I don't imagine that can possibly be a good thing. I need to remember to measure the space it is in and make sure any new one I buy isn't too tall.

I have been knitting like crazy for the past few weeks. I have completed a scarf for my daughter, a scarf and a hat for my son, and a scarf for me. I have managed to knit two socks, the first of which is not wearable and the second of which looks lumpy, but is wearable, comfortable, and warm.

I have never knit socks before, so I consider the first one to be a learning sock. I unraveled it when done because I had dropped too many stitches. My biggest trouble is making the toe. I can do the cuff and the heel and the foot of the sock just fine, but I keep screwing up the toe when I try to attach it to the foot. I had to redo it twice for it to even look somewhat right. I am tempted to just get a sock loom and see if that helps.

I will try to knit the matching sock at least before going the sock loom route. I am sure it just takes practice. I really want to move on to mittens or gloves, though. Mittens should be straight-forward. Gloves will be more difficult, but I still think they will be easier than socks.

I do want to get good at socks though, because I want to make some booties for my niece. She's due in May so I do have some breathing room to practice. And booties don't take long, but if you can't master sock toes, than you can't master bootie toes either. I guess I can always knit a blanket instead if I can't figure it out.

Christmas Fund and Holiday Prep

November 6th, 2015 at 02:47 pm

$662.33 Starting Balance
+_81.00 (Egg Money, Farm Sales, Coin Jar)
-----------------
$743.33 Ending Balance

$206.67 to go.

This weekend I will go to pick up my Thanksgiving turkey and pay the balance, so I'll deduct that amount from my end goal once I know what it is. I should have this account fully funded by November 20th. Then I can get to work actually buying the Christmas presents and have it done hopefully by the beginning of December.

The kids already know what they want. I want to get a strum stick and perhaps a small TV and DVD player for the bedroom. We don't have a TV anymore and I do get a little tired of watching DVD's on the computer. I think DH knows what he wants. Then it'll just be shopping for MIL and FIL, SIL, and one niece, since the other is now 20 and has aged out of our buying gifts. We don't exchange with my mother.

I think I'd like to have a small tree this year, and maybe a wreath for our door, but we'll see. It is hard to have a tree when we only have 1000 square feet of space and most of it is otherwise occupied.

C1-360 Interest to the Christmas Fund

November 1st, 2015 at 09:38 pm

$620.84 Starting Balance
+_31.49 Interest Added
----------------
$652.33 New Balance

$297.67 to go. This is moving along nicely.

I Won My 6 Month Transformer at Dietbet

August 7th, 2015 at 06:27 pm

I lost 10% of my body weight over the past 6 months with an initial bet at dietbet of $125. My winnings for the 6 months was $289.18, netting me a profit of $164.18. Not bad for something I was doing anyway, losing weight. I more than doubled my money. And having money in the game has been the most motivation I've ever had not to screw up my diet. Losing money was not an option for me.

I also have some money in there from doing a couple of monthly dietbets as well and winning them. So there is a total of $324.04 sitting in the account. I have more than doubled my investment.

I am going to take a month off, I think, maybe two (of the dietbet, not the diet) and then do another Transformer. With the broken nose I won't be able to exercise like I have been and so I'll wait until it heals enough to resume that kind of activity before putting money down again.

I am not 100% sure what I will do with the money, but I am leaning towards putting it towards a barrel chicken plucker for the farm.

Cross Your Fingers

May 31st, 2015 at 11:40 pm

Well, it looks like DH will be able to get 4 extra days this hitch to make up for the 4 days he will miss by staying over for DD's graduation. There is plenty of work for him to do. It all hinges on whether or not they can find a bed for him at work for those 4 days. I really hope so, because to not have to scramble and cut back and take money from other savings categories to cover this would be very nice.

He will know sometime tomorrow. I was not looking forward to depleting the January Money Fund, which was what I would have to do if he can't get the extra time at work.

Househopeful asked what the January Money Fund is about. Every year over the Christmas holidays, DH's work shuts down for a couple of weeks. So he has to go his usual 2 weeks off from a regular 2 on/2 off shift, plus 2 more weeks off. So he ends up with 4 weeks off in a row with no pay. Now we are used to budgeting for the 2 weeks off and we stretch the money to cover the whole 4 week cycle. But when those four weeks off come up (be it in January or December, we never really know until closer to time), that gives us four weeks we have to stretch money over, which is a lot harder.

This year I started saving for that time period quite early. When we were paying off debt and the mortgage I generally didn't start saving for it until September or October, but now I can save all year for it. Usually we can count on DH's Christmas bonus to help some, but last year most of that went to fixing the leaking moon roofs in the van. So I don't want to depend on the Christmas bonus for anything, because who knows what might come up. So hence this fund.

Plus we still don't know what our tax situation is going to be for next year. Since we only lived in the house we sold 1 out of the last 5 years before it sold, we may have to pay some taxes on the sale. Maybe not, but we won't know for sure how much of the remodel and repairs and improvement we can deduct until we get all the tax paperwork.

I am thinking it will probably all be a wash, but if it is not, we won't owe more than we generally get back, which is around $7000 due to our medical costs. It'll be a bummer if we don't get a refund, because I usually use the money to bump up the Emergency Fund and in the past to pay down debt, but now to save for a down payment on our upcoming farm purchase. But we should at least walk away without having to pay out, which is better than having to pay in by a long shot.

I really do think it is criminal of them to tax our house sale this way, though. We lived in that house for many, many years, and it was our only house. The money that is in savings from the sale is intended for our next home and that should be allowed to be kept. It used to be you could keep it if you rolled it over into a new home, but not anymore. And it's not like it was a huge sale or anything. We're not talking about a $300K plus house here. Or even a $150K house.

Well, this turned into a rant. I guess things have just been on my mind a lot lately.

As a quick update on my daughter, she finally, after 10.5 weeks has stopped bleeding. She's still in a lot of pain though. They are testing her for a clotting disorder and a bleeding disorder. We should find out in the next day or three. She is having nosebleeds, unexplained bruising, and severe cramping in her calves as well. She's still anemic. Please continue to pray for her.

Farm Income Update

May 18th, 2015 at 04:53 pm

Yesterday I sold 2 rabbits and got a guarantee on a 3rd. She was only coming to pick up the male yesterday and look at the female who will be ready in 4 weeks when her kits are weaned. But she saw the reds and when I told her I had a red doe kit available as well, she impulse bought it. So that was $45.

The girl who was coming to buy the turkey eggs has to postpone until tomorrow, though. Hopefully she will follow through.

Last night I ordered 60 black Australorp cockerels. They will arrive on or around June 3. They are to be our meat chickens this year. We will have 30 and Mom will have 30. My half came to $68.87, which works out to $2.29 a chick. Usually they put in some extras in case they don't all make it. Now I just have to collect Mom's half from her.

We chose black Australorps because they are mostly thigh and leg with smaller breasts. We don't like the white meat as much as the dark meat, so we want the meatier legs and thighs. And we chose cockerels as they get bigger faster than pullets. They are also cheaper than pullets. The sad fact of the chicken industry is that males are often considered outright useless. You just don't need that many in a flock, even a large one, to get the job done. 1 rooster to about 10 hens is a good ratio. So they either are sold as meat birds or they are killed outright as chicks because they don't get sold on time for safe shipping.

Safe shipping is during the first couple days of life when they are still absorbing the nutrients from their yolk sack and food and water are not an issue. After that it can be dangerous to ship chicks, especially once it gets really hot.

I did try to source them locally, but all I could find was the Cornish cross and I am not raising those again, at least not while living here.

Busy, Busy

April 28th, 2015 at 12:41 pm

That is how life has felt lately. I've done a lot and had a lot more still left to do.

I have sold $72 worth of rabbit meat and 2 dozen duck eggs for $9 (discounted .50 each since they brought their own egg cartons). I have also traded 10 fertile duck hatching eggs for 14 calendula starts. It was supposed to be 12, but there were a couple extra plants hitchhiking in.

The garden is doing beautifully. I have got lots of things planted and I am hardening off four trays of my seedlings and have four more trays under the lights. They have done great and almost everything I planted has sprouted. I think I have a germination failure rate of 1 out of 50 seeds so far. Except for the green onions, but I have to be patient. Those can take 14 days to germinate from seed. So they still might come up. That was old seed though so who knows?

I've got my carrots, zucchini, and yellow summer squash planted. All of the garden beds have been built and all but two have been fully filled. The irrigation system has been put in to everything but those last two beds. We will finish those up when DH comes home towards the end of next week.

We had 3 litters of rabbit kits born a week ago Sunday. One died due to an improperly nipped umbilical cord, so we have 14 live ones in this batch.

We have let the turkeys come out to free range for a few hours a day on days it is not raining. They are enjoying hanging with the other birds. I let them out mostly in the afternoons. Gina lays her egg around 5 p.m. and if she is in the coop she will lay it from the perch, which means splat. If she is outside she will lay it on the ground. She is not laying consistently yet.

I have made a ton of videos for my other blog, so thought I'd share them here as well. Most of them are pretty short.

Newborn litters: [url]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmHkqdzSD9k[/url]

The turkeys: [url]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlIvIEF8jJ8[/url]

Raised Bed Garden: [url]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMN9vIWLxZc[/url]

Gutter Garden: [url]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2f1IhwwwWU[/url]

Kits at 5 days old: [url]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmB_RYTzaoA[/url]

Kits at 8 days old (fully furred) and 8 weeks old: [url]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFc6aF7xuP0[/url]

EF Update

April 16th, 2015 at 01:12 am

$14,489.37 Beginning EF Amount
___,_29.00 Egg Money
___,__5.00 Pinecone Check
+__,_10.00 Weekly Deposit
-----------------------
$14,533.37 New EF Total

Yay, less than $500 to go to hit my goal of $15K! $466.63 to be exact.

Egg Sales

April 14th, 2015 at 01:05 am

On Thursday I sold 4 dozen duck eggs for $20 and then on Monday I sold 2 dozen duck eggs for $9. The second sale got a discount because she brought me back empty egg cartons. I discount 50 cents per dozen if people bring me back egg cartons because that is how much new egg cartons cost each. So $29.

I also gave away a dozen duck eggs and 2 dozen chicken eggs (some mine, some Mom's) to my neighbor's grown daughter (she's poor and super appreciative) and 18 duck eggs to my physical therapist on Friday.

The ducks are back in full production, giving me 5 to 6 eggs a day. The hens are starting to molt, so my four are doing 2 a day right now. We are still getting plenty for our own use. I also got 3 turkey eggs so far this week. They taste just like the chicken eggs. Not nearly as different as the duck eggs are from chicken eggs.

Once the novelty wears off of eating the turkey eggs I will sell them. I think I can get $4 for a half dozen.

I may also sell fertile eggs if anyone is interested. I'd like to incubate turkey eggs this year, but I don't think we can swing a really good incubator until next year. One day.

A Long Week

April 1st, 2015 at 01:52 pm

I didn't realize its been a week since I've read any of the blogs. I have a lot of catching up to do. You guys have been super active!

I've been working on the garden.

[url]http://youtu.be/ZuvIwvf0Obk[/url]

I've made more progess since making that video, actually getting lettuce, kale, snow peas, onions and leeks planted.

The stuff I started from seed is doing great, too. All of the tomatoes are chugging along. I added more soil to their containers as they were getting quite tall, but only have their seedling leaves. The lettuces are starting to push forth their true leaves and all of the kale seeds I planted had sprouted within 24 hours. Now I am just waiting on the chard seeds that I planted the same day as the kale seeds.

I also have peppers seeds going, but I'm not sure how well they are doing. I planted them the same day as the kale and chard, but they can take 14 days to germinate. I have them on a heating pad, but I think I need to get a true heat mat for them. They are in a warm room and getting plenty of moisture. They are supposed to be the most problematic seeds to germinate. I do have another trick up my sleeve using a crockpot set to warm that I saw on youtube.

I got a $10 check from Pinecone so that will go into the EF today on my way to pi