I got nothing done in the yard this week. We were out of town for four days, prior to that I had to work long days, and today, a big zero! I did get out to the animals and take care of them this morning. It was the first time anyone had looked at them since we left on Wednesday. All was well except the barn is flooded again. The extra rock that we put in in front of the chicken food cans made it so I didn't sink in the mud. Before I left I laid down some old chicken feed bags to walk on. Using this was the only reason I didn't sink a foot into the mud when I threw some grain out to the sheep. They don't need it, I was just feeling nice. I had a celebration to go to today so that was all the outdoor work I accomplished.
With all the rain we've received and the mild weather, the weeds are taking off. I have a garlic patch that grows year round. Right now it's hard to tell the difference between the garlic and the wayward grass that's growing there. It's going to be a quick job to weed this, but the rain hasn't stopped. I'll wait for a break in the rain.
I have to work every day this week although the kids are off school for another week. They are going to the bug-out-place later this week to hang out with our friends who are renting the place. I have to go out of town for work once again. I'll be back on Sunday but I think Sunday school is going to get back into session so I think that day will be shot for yard work once again. Maybe I'll take some time off the next week on a sunny day. Otherwise I'm going to be so far behind on work once spring comes.
I made another resolution. As far as the exercise resolution from the other day goes, that's an easy one to do. A few extra exercises in the morning, eating less cookies (I was really good at the party today) and parking the car at the end of the parking lot and walking, all add to the exercise. Of course, this isn't enough to successfully operate in hard times but I'm in better shape than most even when out of shape.
The new resolution has to do with debt.
Being successful in prepping can't really be complete when you have debt. I'm speaking monetary debt. There's all kinds. Mortgage, student loans, car loans, credit cards, and big bills from lots of "necessities" of life. We are better off than most, I think. We have a mortgage on the main property. The bug-out place is paid for. Our monthly necessities bills are rather low. I do have some extra money each month to buy prep items or to make improvements to the property, usually.
I was listening to a radio money show the other day. I can't remember if it was Dave Ramsey or Howard Clark. Either way, they both harp on paying cash, getting out of debt, and living below your means. Some months we are successful at living below our income, some months we are not. We've had several major things happen to family members over the last couple of years - major car accidents (and a life flight), sick newborns, and a handful of grandkids permanently moving in - and the savings account is just about nil. But there're no credit card bills, no student loans (there used to be though), and no car payments. Mortgage only.
I do have silver put away. I can't imagine using it to pay some bills. To me, that purchase was to be put away for TEOTWAWKI not because grandkid needs braces. That needs to come from saved money now, not the put away money.
Paying off the mortgage is the issue. You've heard about how your mortgage should be 1/4 of your income. I've also heard that your total bills should be about 1/3 of your income. Well, that's not happening here. Due to cutting my income in order to have time at home with the grandkids who now live with me my mortgage is around half of my income (if I include taxes and insurance it's definitely over 1/2). Fortunately the rest of the bills are low. Is it possible to get rid of the mortgage? In the radio show that I was listening to they said that people who are diligent about it get rid of all their debt, mortgage included, in about 7 1/2 years. Can we do this? Doubt it. I'm not willing to stop prepping in order to pay off the house.
When are you done prepping? I'm not talking practicing skills, I'm talking about buying stuff. What is enough prepping? How much ammo is enough? How much food is enough? How much material to make clothes is enough? How many spare tools? How many fruit trees? How much stuff?
I suppose when I figure out these answers then I can finish up my prepping by paying off the house.