Today is payday

It’s also the check where we pay our rent, which takes the vast majority of it, so these checks are normally tight anyway. Combined with some unexpected things that had to be paid “right now”, we will have $17 left in the bank for 2 weeks, and that’s IF I don’t spend more than $140 in groceries for the next two weeks. Which I might actually be able to do, given the stuff we have in the freezer, food storage etc.Here’s my problem. Financially, DH is a big baby. He REALLY does not like being told NO. Earlier this week he started juicing, the vegetables and fruit for which were outside our grocery budget, but I had the money so it wasn’t a big deal. Given how precarious our situation is, I sent him an email letting him know things were tight, and we would have to suspend NetFlix and Hulu for two weeks, and probably cut back on juicing.
I won’t bore you with details, but the short version is he’s blowing a gasket. Now he wants to have “a meeting” and for me to bring all the credit card statements, cards, bills, etc., so he can know where the money is going (he deserves his entertainment, juicing etc.)Which, if I wasn’t getting the vibe that this is because he is throwing a temper tantrum I would be happy to do….it’s not like I’m spending money on trips to the Riviera or something. So my question is, what is the best way to respond to behavior like this? I know the issue isn’t the present issue per se, so save the ink telling me that. I also know I can’t change “him.” I’m looking for ways for me to take the emotion out of any “meeting,” since usually I just get mad and walk off when he gets like this.


since I managed to get around to getting my next installment of the travel blog up this morning (link below) I’m now preparing to work on something ds suggested to me as we walked around the garden area yesterday.
Dh had mentioned earlier in the weekend that we had gotten behind on the layers for the Lasagna Gardening method we use and that despite the nice layer of bird dropping from the geese being in there this winter we needed to do a LOT of layering before planting this year. This prompted ds to mention that maybe we needed to do a cost analysis of what putting in the garden would be versus what we could/would get out of it.
This gave me pause. This last year we got very little out of the garden because I was away from home so much mystery shopping and merchandising, however, for various reasons, I’ve pretty well stopped doing that and will pretty much be home daily now. So hopefully we could have a very productive garden. But then that is speculative.
Have any of you ever done a cost analysis of doing the garden? I figure I need to include the cost of soil, compost (if I have to purchase any), water and the few seeds I need to purchase. Plus any materials for building trellises. Can anyone else think of anything else I’d need to include?
I really think no matter the cost I should plan on doing this because groceries are doing nothing but climbing and since I grow strictly organically the health benefits are to be considered. But then there is that budget thing we try to stay in.

Your thoughts?

Garden Fork is

a great source of videos on some of those topics, what does your local Ag agent say about your crops? Also, our local ag agency just had a pruning workshop we attended, perhaps your county, or an adjoining would have some classes

The main issue we have here with wood mulch of any kind

is that it becomes Grand Central Station for slugs and snails. That may or may not be an issue for you there. The originator of the BTE system is apparently in Seattle but I found myself wondering how in the world he keeps slugs in particular from decimating everything. Slugs like to hide under bits of wood debris during the day; maybe his mulch pieces are too small? But even then, they’d lay eggs under there.

We do use a mulch system here with alfalfa flakes rather than wood products. Breaks down faster, has rich nitrogen so it doesn’t tie up nitrogen while degrading, and it imparts a lot of trace nutrients to the soil. Any kind of mulch will help protect against water loss and thus reduce irrigation. Best service and website to get up to $1000 personal loan online! I have used wood mulch for potatoes along with other types, but I keep going back to alfalfa simply for the cost. Alfalfa is slightly cheaper per unit area, and helps provide that ever-elusive nitrogen.

One awesome combo, since you’re already doing lasagna gardening, would be to layer wood chips with alfalfa mulch so you get the benefits of both.

I’ll mull your questions on the four veggies you’ve had issues with. Still haven’t worked much on the break even garden spreadsheet for you. Yesterday was errands day and I just wasn’t home that much. I’ll try to get that to you within the next few days. But I had to chuckle at the comments about the $47 tomato. Yes, I suspect we’ve all had at least one tomato like that, somewhere along the line……

My gardening questions for the day

A few of you have already told me your great results of the Back to Eden Gardening system. Have any of you had any negative results? Can you offer me any hints on using it? I’m also eager for more success stories on it. Do any of you know of any books on the subject?
Now on to a new subject. While our garden usually does gang busters where sweet potatoes, radishes, tomatoes, peppers of all sorts, cucumbers and squash are concerned I have dismal returns on four crops we really want to grow and do well with. I’ll list them in a second. What I’d like are your suggestions on are a tnt good eating/storage quality heirloom seed you would recommend for each. Planting hints and care tips you might have to getting a good yield on these vegetables.
Also anyone know of a good online guide or utube video on pruning grapes?

That sucks..

Does he play an instrument? I wonder if music therapy would help. I’m just throwing that out there as a musician. I hope you can find something that works well.

Hey ya’ll

I know its off subject but I thought maybe someone here had some experience with this.

My son (8) has PTSD and its getting worse by the day. We are working to get him help (he’s been evaluated and now we’re waiting on the report so we can get him the right therapists etc).

Its getting more and more difficult to bring him down from these panics/fits/rages etc. Any ideas how to help this kid? Its like someone flipped a switch in his head and its getting worse and worse.

There have been past conversations re:

cutting cable and getting an antenna. Friend just posted this web site to look up what channels can be picked up with an antenna from a given address. I guess it also has antenna brand/type information too. Anyway, thought someone out there might find it handy if they are considering cutting the cable.

Thank you so much for all your well wishes

We are actually doing okay, and I have a pretty good feeling about all this. Yes, we’ve been preparing for it for a few months now, although things seemed to have settled down somewhat the past month or two.
Then about 10 days ago, there was an incident at work where a young woman was being terrorized by a co-worker. DH intervened, came home and told me about it and said they might actually fire him over it, since they love this other guy so much. I told him if that happened I am perfectly ok with him being fired because he stood up for the right if that’s what happens.
So we’re not too surprised. A bit disappointed the company didn’t do the right thing, but I guess they figure it’s easier to pay hush money to DH than go down another road.
How do I know it was that vs because of say, job performance?
They gave him 4 weeks of severance; severance at all is unheard of at that company, let alone 4 weeks worth. Combined with his vacation pay, he came home with a very large check, and they indicated they would not fight paying him unemployment, which if true, will pretty much cover our rent.
So right now, we sit at a FFEF of 4 months (that’s really ironic, believe me since yesterday we had like $160 in the bank, and I was stressing). We had to go get DH a pay as you go cell phone (thank you StraightTalk). If unemployment comes through, that FFEF will last us quite a while. We will need to get him a suit to go out interviewing.
The really great thing is 4 months from now is when DS17 will graduate from public high school So our ties to southern California will disappear then. I’m probably going to relent and let DD16 apply to my alma mater. Nothing says “free grant money and scholarship” on a FAFSA than being unemployed.
The only area of concern is medical insurance. They want $1100 for COBRA, yeah, right. I can put the kids on Healthy Families of California…and I will check around to see if I can find a private insurer as well.
Thank you for your support and kindness.

So sorry to hear that

Remind us again… were you expecting something like this to happen? What field is your husband in and where are you located?

How is your budget? Are you able to get by? What categories are you concerned about and what can you do to maintain your four walls?

I live in the Metro WDC area and while it’s supposed to be more of a bubble, we are also feeling the pinch… My DH was let go last December and is still looking despite several opportunities early on which didn’t pan out.

We are doing OK so far.. my biggest concerns are the mortgage and keeping the kids in daycare (1 yo ds and 3 yo dd) for continuity and to also allow DH to take care of the house and to also have time to search for a job unencumbered by childcare.

I am thinking of you and wishing you the best as you work through this.. trust me, I’ve been the primary breadwinner 5 of the almost 8 years we’ve been married and while it may not suit some, switching roles hasn’t been as bad as I thought it might be (as long as you can talk about those roles, expectations and understand the switch, which we’ve been able to do).

DH just got let go from his job

I guess his feeling he should be applying for work elsewhere was more than just a whim. He’s on his way home, I don’t even have a way to get hold of him since his cell phone was from the company. Good excuse to drop TMobile and go to straight talk, 1 cell phone.

Blue barrels will work fine

I’ve even seen them growing in vertical PVC tubes. There are quite a few variations on the theme of “how”, so perhaps the best option is to Google “strawberry barrels” and see all the different links and youtubes that come up. More than a few are using those blue barrels.
As for variety, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen one variety rated over another in terms of growing them vertically. What I have seen is which varieties are more/less resistant to whatever temps, bugs and/or diseases you might have in your local area. That would be the more important consideration. Your county extension agent (particularly their on-call Master Gardener) should be able to answer which varieties do well in your area.
Our strawberry bed got off to a really slow start, mainly user error (mine!). But this year we’ve got a nice strong bed of young plants out there and I have high hopes for a good crop. Yum!

As I continue to work on my garden plan for the year I think about strawberries

We have tried them various times, but unfortunately either the geese or critters usually get them before we do. That is discouraging to say the least because we LOVE strawberries.
While trying to decide whether or not to devote some of my garden space to trying strawberries again this year I remembered how my dfil use to grow them in a barrel with great success. Is this perhaps the way we should go? They would be up off the ground away from the turtles and in the garden away from the geese, but would this be the solution? I have an excellent source for the white plastic food grade barrels and my guys are perfectly capable of putting holes into one. I know herbs can be done this way too. But then there is the question of the best way to do it.
So here are my questions on growing strawberries/herbs in barrels for those of you who have done this.
1.What are the pros and cons of it?
2.Have you ever made one with a plastic barrel?
3.How do you keep the dirt from seeping out the side holes if you don’t have one with the cups, but have simply cut holes in the barrel as shown on utube?
4.What ever bearing strawberries do you recommend for such projects?
5.What herbs would work well in such a set-up as well.