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Farm Sales and Other Income/Gift Cards

February 10th, 2015 at 03:17 am

I sold 2 dozen duck eggs today for $10, bringing my egg sales for the month to $15. I received my two Pinecone checks in the mail today, for a total of $20. I have received all five of my $5 Amazon gift cards from Swagbucks and have cashed out for a $25 gift card. I think I'll be able to get another one before the month is up if I keep qualifying for surveys.

This Saturday we'll be going down to the farm store to buy beef for canning and we will be selling the lady who runs the counter some of our rabbit meat. She pays $15 a pound. I'm not sure how much the package weighs. We use their scale when we get there. But the last sale was $67.50 for 4.5 pounds, so should be around that much.

I need to order some more rabbit cages. I want to stop using the 24 x 24 inch cages and just use the 36 x 36 inch cages. The smaller ones are standard for bucks of this size, but when I moved the two bucks that were in them to the larger cages a couple weeks ago, they acted like they were in heaven. I'd rather they have a bit more space if it means that much to them. I like to keep them all happy.

Things and Other Things

December 11th, 2014 at 01:03 am

Yesterday I got my $78 check in the mail from Pinecone. We also got the $50 Safeway gift card for Christmas from DH's work. DH came home last night. He will be here for 22 days. It is nice having him home again.

***

Change of plans on the Christmas bonus. I was hoping to put half of it into the 401K, but apparently the only choices there actually are is to contribute the percentage you normally contribute from each paycheck, or put all of it in. I didn't want to jack up the percentage because it would then interfere with the next paycheck, too.

Since we don't know how much the van is going to cost to fix, I guess it is just as well. I will try to put half of it into the Emergency Fund instead. As long as there is enough to start DH's bachelor's program, I don't forsee that being too much of a problem.

***

This morning DH had the car towed to the dealership and they are dealing with both the fact that it won't start and the fact that it is leaking water into the seat belt well every time it rains, resulting in a soaked driver's side seat belt. There might be a leak in the moon roof, but they were able to rule out a defective door seal.

We will know more tomorrow, but it is $99 to diagnose what is wrong with the starter (or whatever) and $99 to diagnose the leak, so we are already $200 into this before anything is actually fixed. Oh, and it cost $70 to tow it the 3 miles to the dealership, but I think we will get that reimbursed from our insurance. I believe we have towing on it. We used to. Might have stopped that when we got AAA, though. I didn't want to do another AAA call, because that is for emergencies (even if they do take forever) and we only get so many service calls per year.

***

I have made the decision not to keep one of Sienna's kits. One of the does has a white spot on her face (as does one of the bucks, and Sienna had a white spot on her shoulder) and this is a genetic flaw. The other one doesn't but with 2 kits showing up with it, I don't want to take that chance as it is a disqualification for show. We wouldn't be able to sell any of her kits as show quality. The other doe kit is very jumpy, too. We didn't start working with them young enough for them not to be skittish, because of course we never expected to lose Sienna.

Cinnabun has had a personality change anyway, since we moved her into Sienna's cage. She is now being pretty sweet, so between her and Firefly, I have enough female reds. I had briefly considered keeping a red buck kit, but again, that white spot could turn up and also if I raise another red buck kit, I don't want him to be related to Wildfire. I want more diversity than that.

I miss Sienna, but keeping one of her kits won't bring her back and won't strengthen my lines, so I am trying to be practical.

***

I have someone who has expressed interest in buying duck eggs for hatching. Hopefully she will get back to me soon because it will take a few days to collect them. Hatching eggs cannot be washed or refrigerated and have to be treated differently than normally collected eggs. And they can only be kept for 7 days before going into the incubator. After that viability plummets.

***

Not much else going on. The kids will go on a field trip on Friday. They will pack a lunch, but will also need money for dinner. DH and I will go coat shopping while they are gone, so there are a few expenses coming up.

We will have to wait until the current spate of aggressive wind storms are over before butchering rabbits. Bad weather freaks them out and we try to keep the experience as calm as possible for them so they are not stressed. We have 18 to do over the next 3 weeks and then we will be done butchering again until June. It'll be nice to put that chore away for several months. It'll also be nice to have another 45 pounds of meat in the freezer.

Gift Card in the Mail

November 17th, 2014 at 10:43 pm

Well, DH's company did actually send a gift card for Thanksgiving this year. It's a $50 value good at Safeway. The closest Safeway is 20 miles away. If they send us one for Christmas, too, than we will have a total of $200 in gift cards for Safeway. We will make one trip there to use them in December during the 5 weeks off with no pay.

Swagbucks, Quail, and Rabbits

October 2nd, 2013 at 03:19 am

Most of the time I only manage to get $25 in gift cards to Amazon from my Swagbucks stuff, but I had a little more time to waste in September since DS is actually doing most of his homeschooling without my input. So I managed to get $50 in gift cards this month.

And I hit the daily goal every day, so will get a bonus for that on top of the daily goal bonus here in a day or two. Probably my biggest change is doing their surveys. I didn't even start trying to do surveys until August. I tend to qualify for 3 to 4 of the big ones each week and at least one of the smaller ones.

I had originally planned on using my Amazon gift cards for Christmas, but I have been saving cash for that as well and have a good balance. So I am thinking of using my gift cards to buy quail supplies instead. I can get a good book on raising them and an incubator with quail egg inserts from Amazon.

I can make the brooder out of a cattle watering tub and a plywood board we already have with a spot cut out for the heat lamp to go through. They would live in the garage. We have the feeders from raising chicks and all I'd need is to get some marbles to put in the chick waterers we have. The marbles prevent the baby quail from climbing in and drowning.

The quail stay in the brooder until they are five weeks old. We'd have to build a pen for them to finish growing out in. We will be raising coturnix and they start laying eggs at 7 weeks old and are fully mature at 8 weeks old. We will then choose three males and 9 females. We will set them up in the outdoor rabbit hutches as breeding quartets for eggs. The rest we will butcher for meat. Incubation of eggs only takes 17 days. I'd like to eventually have 6 males with 18 females for breeding and eggs, but space constraints make that impossible before we move.

I canned my first batch of rabbit meat. I've never canned meat before. I ended up with six quart jars of meat. I didn't can the ribcage sections. Instead I used them to make stock and canned it, too. You can read about that on the farm blog if you like:

Text is http://whendidthisbecomeafarm.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/first-times-canning-rabbit-meat-and-rabbit-stock/ and Link is
http://whendidthisbecomeafarm.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/first... It is nice to have some canned meat. I am always afraid the freezer will go out in a power failure. They rarely happen here, but they used to happen all the time at the old house.

Speaking of the old house, we are meeting with a realtor there tomorrow. Can't believe we finally get to move forward on getting it on the market.

Random Things

July 6th, 2013 at 12:27 am

It took longer than usual for the mortgage to hit this time because I mailed it. Only a couple of days, though. I had too much going on at the time to swing by there and wanted to make sure it arrived on time. So the new mortgage total is $11,264.80. $10K is getting closer and closer. Only $54.59 went to interest. I can't wait until it drops below $50 a month.

I sent for and received another Swagbucks cashout of a $5 Amazon gift card. I now have $150 in Amazon gift cards earmarked for Christmas. I also have $200 cash saved for Christmas, so a total of $350 so far. Not too shabby.

We built more rabbit tractors and now have enough for every rabbit to be outside on nice days unless they are more than three weeks pregnant or nursing young kits, in which case they will not leave the rabbit shed, until the kits are 4 weeks old.

Phoebe's litter is still doing great. They are five days old, fur is coming in, and they are nursing well. We can't tell which bunny was born on the wire, they all look healthy and strong.

We spent $169 on fireworks. This is the last year that it is legal to let them off within the city limits, although we did sign a petition to reverse the city council's arbitrary decision that they made with no input from the people of the city. We probably didn't need to spend any of it, considering what our neighbors let off, including multiple aerial fireworks that were already illegal as of this year in the city limits. After watching what they set off we moved to the end of the driveway and watched the fireworks over the bay from the city. Then we let off our fountains and went to bed. This is the first year I didn't hear fireworks after midnight.

We hope to have a house outside the city limits next year. The county is far less intrusive into your life than the city. But who knows if that will ever happen, since they are still not done fixing up our house. Middle of June, my eye. At this rate it won't be done until summer of next year. I just hope they get the new gutters on before the rainy season starts this fall.

Today is payday. I will do a payday post later when I have everything figured out.

Trying to Beat the Heat

July 3rd, 2013 at 04:37 pm

I received a $5 gift card from Swagbucks for Amazon yesterday and will have enough points by the end of the day to send for another one. I have a book on hold at the library so we will be going downtown today. I want to get a few toys to put in the rabbit tractors and look for some more glass water bottles. They really prefer them to the plastic ones.

It's been blazing hot the last few days and most of my attention has gone to making sure that the animals, particularly the rabbits, stayed cool enough. I am happy to report that all nine of the newborn kits have survived the heat wave and it's starting to cool down.

We've been eating a lot of cold meats and vegetables and fruits here lately. Cooking isn't something anyone wants to do because it heats the house up. I've been soaking my head with cool water and that helps quite a bit since I have so much hair. We don't have air-conditioning in this house. I've been using fans and icepacks and one day I even grabbed a bra straight from the washing machine (I wash on cold) and that kept me cool for a couple hours until it dried. That was on the day it was 90.

I'll be using the crockpot a lot this week to help keep the house cool. I'm keeping the blinds and curtains shut during the day, and having them wide open in the evening with fans in them, to cool off the house. Fans go all night and I wake up with a cool house that stays that way for a while. I'm putting ice in all of my drinks (which is usually just water), and making cold meat salads for lunches.

What do you all do to beat the heat? Especially if you don't have air conditioning.

Slow Week

June 27th, 2013 at 09:53 pm

Today is the day of the auto deposit to savings, bringing the Emergency Fund to $5071.62.

I haven't spent any money in the past two days. We haven't gone anywhere, which makes it a lot easier to accomplish that.

I've been following my meal plans, so no eating out recently.

I'm still working on cleaning. It's taking a lot longer than I planned because I am organizing as well as just cleaning.

The rabbits are doing well. They love it when it is nice out and they can come outside in the rabbit tractors. The kits are growing well and will be 7 weeks old on Sunday. A couple of them were close to weighing 3 pounds last Sunday, so will probably top it when I weigh them again this Sunday.

Swagbucks is chugging along well, though I wish they'd fix the SBTV glitches. I've hit goal every day this week except the day it was 140. I will definitely get all five GC's this month as I am only a few points away from it right now.

Otherwise it's been pretty boring here at Casa de Robin.

Stuff and Other Stuff

June 26th, 2013 at 09:19 am

I received another $5 gift card from Swagbucks. I transferred it to my Amazon account. My GC balance there is now $145. I'm saving it for Christmas. I have hit my daily goals for the last several days, except for Tuesday. 140 is too high to waste the time on it. I'll probably hit today's though as I have a lot of online reading to do this afternoon and can have SBTV running the whole time.

I added $5.95 to the coin jar. Two more nickels and I'll have enough for a roll.

I've got $20 in cash and $55.77 in the checkbook to get me through until payday Friday. I need to buy milk and I want to buy strawberries if the specific farm stand I like the berries from is open. I hope that it is.

Our big screen television quit working. I can't figure out why. It turns on, there is just no image. DH will have to look at it when he comes home next week. I'm not terribly upset by it. Well, I mean, it's only four years old, I think, it should still be running, so from a consumer stand point I'm irked, but I'm not in any hurry to go out and buy a new one. We don't have television service, the kids just played games on it or sometimes watched DVDs.

I let the kids take the television out of my bedroom. We never use it. It had a thick layer of dust on the top and the screen that had to be wiped off and the remote batteries were dead. It's about ten years old and while it has a flat screen it still has the ginormous backside the old tech had. It's just 20 inches.

It is possible the big screen can be fixed, but I don't see much point in buying a new one. DH and I watch stuff on our laptops, generally. I have to admit it is nice for the big sci-fi shows, but I can't even remember the last time I used it. Maybe after we move we might replace it. I just don't want to move a big TV ourselves. It is a pain. Better to have it delivered to our next abode if we even bother with it at all. Those TV's are such energy hogs.

I have an appointment with the sleep doctor in 9 hours. As you can tell from the time stamp he's not done me much good. Our insurance is switching to Premera next month. Hopefully they will accept that. They stopped accepting Aetna, (and rightly so, since Aetna are cheapskates, whose first response is to deny everything at least once) so the last couple visits have been out of pocket.

I'm going to try one more mask and if that doesn't work, I'm done. I just can't use the machine if I'm taking the mask off in my sleep because it doesn't fit right or is uncomfortable.

Well, I suppose I should try yet again to get some sleep. I'm quitting caffeine right now (again) so I won't have that as a crutch tomorrow.