Prepping For The New Year

Prepping for the New Year

I’m way behind on my plans for the new year. I usually have my game plan in place by October, but 2018 has not been kind. It’s nearly over though, so it’s time to pick myself up and start again.

The Blog: I’ve been struggling with this all year. My original plan was to go back to Blogger, but my web site host won’t let me out of my contract without charging a fee. As a good friend observed, they’re literally holding my data hostage.

Rather than fight it, I’ll stay with them until the end of 2019. Hopefully, I’ll be able to transfer my posts to Blogger without Google thinking I stole them. We’ll see how that turns out.

I love WordPress, but I think it’s for bigger bloggers with technical staff, or people who don’t mind headaches.

My Menu posts will not be back. I liked doing them, but they didn’t generate a lot of traffic or comments so maybe it was only useful for me.

At this point, I’ll only post Mondays and Wednesdays.

Oh, and one new thing. I’ve joined up with other homestead bloggers for the month of January so I’ll be posting about life on the homestead all next month.

The Homestead: We are definitely downsizing for 2019. It should’ve happened in 2018, but I was too tired to think ahead. So much happened all at once that I had to put off decisions that should’ve been made. Mea culpa.

I’m very happy with HALF the chickens I bought this year. I’ll tell you more about that in a proper homestead post.

I’m not so happy with all the new predators in the area. It’s getting uncomfortably scary out there. I try not to go out in the dark anymore unless I have my bodyguard with me.

Many of our projects got put on hold because of all our extra expenses this year. Let’s hope it’s a little less disruptive next year.

Money: Ah, the biggie. We got slammed. Hard. We’re going to put extra effort to tighten our belts so we can recoup our losses from 2018. I can’t remember the last time we had such a harsh year. These things happen though. You can’t take it personally, but you still gotta take it. ๐Ÿ™‚

For 2019, we’re going to start keeping all our receipts to see where the money is going. I do this every few years anyway, and this seems like a good time to get some perspective. Greg created this nice spreadsheet on Excel so I can track expenses. It makes it easier to see in a snapshot where the money is going.

Come January, we’ll also do a No Spend Month. (Maybe two months.) We need to rebuild our cushion. I don’t like drawing from our savings.

If you’d be interested in joining me in a No-Spend Month, let’s do it. The more the merrier.

Humans: Greg REALLY needs to get his knee replaced. I just need him to commit. If anybody out there has had knee replacement, I’d love to hear about your experience. I think there comes a point where you have to do it. There’s no quality of life otherwise.

I think I did something to my shoulder. It aches all the time and I can’t lift that arm without pain. I’m hoping it’s just a pulled tendon and not something more serious. One surgery at a time, please. We both can’t be down at the same time.

The pets: I can’t say dogs anymore, can I? I truly hope this is the end of pet drama for a while. Poor Iko has gone through so many surgeries. (He had his fourth surgery last Wednesday.) Nana has had her share too.

Jammy, the luckiest cat in the world (yes, he’s been rechristened) only had his manhood removed. Thankfully, he recovered right away and has turned into a real snuggle cat.

Although 2018 beat us up, we survived.

The hemorrhaging of funds has trickled to minor seepage. The weather here is nice for December. I think the rest of the country has snow, but we remain in the 60s, which when you run a farm, makes feeding and cleaning so much easier.

Greg still has his bum knee and I have my ouchy shoulder, but all in all, trouble has sputtered to a grumbling stall. Our gratitude is beyond measure for our beloved vet who did a masterwork of engineering suturing a very stubborn rottie. Her empathy and dedication humbles me.

In short, I’m thankful for everything. Things could’ve gone worse.

Join me in January while we go on a No-Spend Month and I participate in a Self-Reliance Challenge with like-minded bloggers. If you’ve any interest in self reliance or homesteading, you’ll want to catch up with all these bloggers. We’ve been around the homestead a time or two. ๐Ÿ™‚

What’s on your horizon for 2019? Have you ever done a No-Spend Month? It’s a great way to purge the spending demons.




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  1. what a year it has been, I will be joining you for the homestead challenge in jan and we always have a no buy month in feb, so if you are doing a two month, I would be happy to join you. my mom has had her knee done, in someways its great and in other ways limiting but some of that is also her choices with it.

    I am sorry that things have been so hard and I look forward to reading what you have planned for the coming year, I will be sorry when you go back to blogger in 2019, I always seem to have trouble commenting on it..

    wishing and your family and homestead a good 2019

    • Hi Farmgal: I need to write up a new post on No-Spend months. I think they’re scarier than they really are. Once you learn the ropes, it’s a piece of cake.

      re: knee surgery
      The people we hear from have such diverse experiences when it comes to knee replacement. I don’t know if it’s the surgeon or the patient.

      re: blog
      This blog will stay on WordPress through all of 2019. In 2020, I’ll move to Blogger. Who knows what will happen by then, but that’s the plan for now.

      re: your blog
      I’m so inspired by your homesteading posts. You make me feel like a neophyte in comparison. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Hi Maria,
    I’m so sorry that you’ve had such a rough year. ๐Ÿ™ I hope things improve quickly and you can get back in the black on the finances. I hope Iko is on the mend and done with surgeries. That is so hard to deal with… we love our pets, don’t we!

    I am also going to be part of the Self Reliance Challenge and I am looking forward to it.
    I probably won’t do a ‘No Spend’ month, but I am planning a ‘Reduced Spending’ month instead. I’ll be cooking from the pantry a lot.

    Take care of yourself!

    • Hi Lisa! Iko is better today. He actually took a bit of a downturn a few days ago, but I think he’s over the worst of it now. Our job now is to keep him from chewing or scratching his sutures. We keep him in pressure bandages but even that makes him terribly uncomfortable. We just have to make it a few more weeks.

      re: Reduced Spending
      Reducing spending by any amount is a good thing. I feel like it puts the world back in balance. I’m with you with cooking from the pantry.


    2018 has been another interesting year with its ups and downs.

    I would like to hear more about the No Spend month. I have some thoughts on things I would like to do over the next couple of years, which will require tightening the financial belt for me as well.

    As for your shoulder and hubby’s knee, I send hugs to you both. Perhaps since 2018 was the year of surgeries for the pets, 2019 will be the year of surgery and smooth recovery for the humans…at least I hope in the positive way

  4. Jenny Schwartz

    Jammy! LOL he was certainly lucky to find you ๐Ÿ™‚

    2018 was definitely a year to quietly close the door on and then lean against it with a heartfelt whew! that it’s over.

    Happy Christmas, Maria! And to Greg and the rest of the homestead characters ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Merry Christmas, Jenny!

      re: 2018 was definitely a year to quietly close the door on and then lean against it with a heartfelt whew! that itโ€™s over.

      I plan to shove boulders against that door. LOL!

      re: Jammy
      He’s been such a sweetheart. He brings me a lot of comfort, especially lately.

  5. Maria, I always find your attitude and your posts inspiring. I think “fortitude and gratitude” should not only be your mantra but also your blog’s theme. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Speaking of blogs, I’ve only ever been on Blogger, and I’m happy with the ease and simplicity of it. Believe me, no one wants me trying to do any techie stuff. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    Wishing you and yours all the best in 2019!

  6. You are always an inspiration to me, especially whenever I feel like I’ve got too much on my plate. The other night we had a very large/energetic greyhound puppy visit with some family and I got a taste of what it’s like juggling three pets at once. You do that and take care of the homestead and all your stock and the house and Greg, so my hat is permanently off to you, pal. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I would definitely get the shoulder checked out if the pain persists. It might be something you can work out with exercise at home, like adhesive capsulitis.

    I’d like to do a year-long art project next year, something small that I can work on daily. Other than that I’m just going to enjoy being done with 2018. Good riddance! Ha.

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