Oh my goodness, i’ve lost track of the number of eggmobiles i’ve built these past two decades. The first one was large and on an ancient wagon running gear. It was part of daughter Jessica’s Missouri Department of Agriculture sustainable ag grant she wrote for and received being the youngest ever at age 9!
Anyway, done bragging now and on to the newest plan. My favourite ‘look’ is that of a Conestoga Wagon and this one is no exception although much smaller than the traditional real Conestoga.
The one i replaced was just worn out and had some issues which of course i corrected with the new version.
This is the coolest ever. It comes preset to automatically open at dawn and close at night.
For whatever reason, public school teachers seem to need to buy supplies for their classes each year, using money from their own pockets. I won’t comment on that being right or wrong or even why because i simply don’t know. However, we as home educators, really can’t afford to purchase extraneous supplies, so we are careful to collect and use free stuff for educational supplies. When possible, we purchase secondhand textbooks and use them for all the children in the family. Or we share with other families whose children may be similar in age, but offset just a bit. (Currently, Missouri public education is funded by taxpayers at the rate of $10,457 per student per year). Since i have three children – had that been sent to me, i could have managed nicely on $31,371 per year!
Name: Linn County R-I School District City: Purdin Average Daily Attendance: 220.8 Expenditure per Pupil: $11,343.44 Local, Percent of Expenditure: 43.89% Local, Contribution in Dollars per Pupil:$4,978.31 State, Percent of Expenditure: 46.54% State, Contribution in Dollars per Pupil: $5,279.22 Federal, Percent of Expenditure: 9.57% Federal, Contribution in Dollars per Pupil: $1,085.91
Brookfield R-III School District
Name: Brookfield R-III School District City: Brookfield Average Daily Attendance: 968.3 Expenditure per Pupil: $9,569.70 Local, Percent of Expenditure: 44.99% Local, Contribution in Dollars per Pupil:$4,305.84 State, Percent of Expenditure: 43.91% State, Contribution in Dollars per Pupil: $4,202.25 Federal, Percent of Expenditure: 11.09% Federal, Contribution in Dollars per Pupil: $1,061.61
To that end, i have on hand various supplies that have been given to me or sent in the mail (we get a bunch of return addresses from outfits asking for donations and typically there are fun stickers and parts of the address that can be cut for stickers.) Gifts that have been given to us (or i unapologetically collect tissue and paper from bridal showers or birthday parties that would have just been thrown away). Coloured tissue paper is so fun for tearing into shapes (think Eric Carle) and making books. Also, fun to fold and tie to make flowers, etc.
Coloured paper from flyers in the mail can be cut into strips to make decorative chains.
Making books involves math skills (ie: fold paper in half, one fourth), large and small motor skills (folding, tearing, punching holes, gluing, drawing, etc), sharing and helping (work in groups), creativity (develop story telling skills, logical and chronological thinking, and how to express ideas in picture and words), understanding relations (large and small, tall and short, etc), shapes, colours. Goodness, so many skills in just one fun activity. At the end, have each child read and show their creation to encourage public speaking and reading skills.
There are a multitude of craft and art activities that can be expanded to teach nearly all aspects of education.
Time is the most important investment in the education and training of your children.
Ask for, gather, then develop a plan using those free supplies. Wow, you can even then teach the importance of repurposing, recycling, reducing.
At long last my feeble attempt at building a much–needed bookshelf out of the boards from our old horse barn that was located at the Lamme Farm is complete. Most of the delay was due to the super cold and long winter.
Finally giving up on my old jeans and stretched out Empire State Building hoodie as work clothes. Actually going straight into the rubbish. The hoodie was pricey since it was a souvenir, but the jeans, like most of my clothes, were purchased for a $1 a year ago from a local second hand shop.
They needed throwing out long ago, but i always justify keeping them a bit longer because they are great for fence repair. That is to say, fence repair will destroy them even more, so why start with something new, right?
Oftentimes, i’m frugal to a fault, but a hoarder i am not – if i have no use for an item and it has possible value to someone else, i’m selling it or giving it away at earliest chance.
Nevertheless, the hole in the butt portion of the pants that i keep covered by pulling down my stretched out hoodie is just getting too large for comfort. With a windchill of 4F and a foot of snow outside, it will be a long time before any fence repair will take place.
I may not be the queen of repurposing, but i do try my best. Not able to find and purchase valances of the right length and type i wanted for my kitchen windows had me tying on my thinking cap. Of course! Old pillowcases! Of all the households’ worth of stuff we have in storage, surely i could find something that would work without using an heirloom. It took me longer to scrounge through all the scraps than it did to make the valances. A couple mismatched yellowed and gross pillowslips were found and put to a new purpose and they are exactly what i had in mind!
Mr Pratt’s most recent blog discusses using debt properly. Now, okay, my mind goes immediately to the song, ‘Neither a borrower, nor a lender be. Do not forget, stay out of debt.’ Which then led me to wonder where that came from. I knew it was from Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ (Polonius counsels his son, Laertes in Act-I, Scene-III of William Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet by saying, “Neither a borrower nor a lender be; / For loan oft loses both itself and friend.” But what about the tune?
Completely surprised when i discovered that it was created and made famous on the TV sitcom, Gilligan’s Island, which i watched religiously when i was young. SO FUNNY! It is sung to the tune of the Toreador Song in Bizet’s Carmen.
The Bible also has advice on debt and teaches us to guard against being in debt, likening it to slavery and bondage. However, debt does not seem to be a sin, but a tool to earn money wisely, but counting the cost before taking on the burden.
May 9, 2018
from the Ranching for Profit School
A lot of people tell me that they want to be “debt free.” They are tired of making big interest payments on land, livestock, machinery and their operating note. They have had too many sleepless nights worrying about making the next payment. They believe that if they didn’t have to borrow money they would be more profitable and financially secure.
But the proper use of debt makes us more profitable, not less. And being debt free doesn’t make us financially secure. In fact, for most of us, short of winning the lottery, the appropriate use of debt is our only realistic path to financial security.
The problem isn’t debt, it’s our misuse of debt. The two most common ways we misuse debt are:
We put finance first and economics a distant second
We use debt on the wrong things.
Using debt effectively begins with understanding the difference between economics and finance. It boils down to this: In economics we ask, “Is this profitable?” In finance we ask, “Can I afford to do it?” If we are going to be smart about our use of debt, economics must come first. If it isn’t profitable you don’t have to worry about how you’ll pay for it, because you shouldn’t do it in the first place.
When RFP grads evaluate the profitability of a livestock enterprise they include opportunity interest on the herd as a direct cost in the calculation. If the enterprise has a healthy gross margin it tells us that borrowing money to expand the herd will increase profit. If we haven’t included opportunity interest in our calculation we can’t be sure if expanding the herd is a good idea.
The other problem is that people use debt on the wrong things. There are two primary places where we put money in our businesses: fixed assets and working capital. Simply put, fixed assets are things we intend to keep (e.g. land, cows, infrastructure, vehicles, equipment). Working capital is the money tied up in things we intend to sell (e.g. calves). Most of us have most of our money invested in fixed assets. This is the biggest financial problem in agriculture. It’s a problem because when most of our money is tied up in things we intend to keep, we have relatively little to sell and generate very little income relative to the value of our assets. Making matters worse, a lot of the income that we do create gets spent maintaining the fixed assets. That’s why most ranchers are wealthy on their balance sheet and broke in their bank account.
Borrowing to buy fixed assets may be a smart long-term investment strategy, but it might cause you to go belly-up in the short term. We’d be better off to use debt to buy assets that directly produce income.
We shouldn’t be afraid to borrow money, provided the economics of our enterprise is rock-solid and we use the borrowed money to buy income producing assets.
Be kind to future generations and throw out your junk. Give away or sell what is usable and chuck the rest. In all likelihood, your children or others will simply hire someone to come in get rid of your stuff – they don’t have time. To me, it is selfish to saddle anyone with this chore. If you are married into a family who has plenty of storage, then NOTHING is thrown away and there is machinery, furniture, plates, and other trinkets stored to the rafters of 4,5, and 6 generations. It is honestly beyond ridiculous. Stuff that could have had value and usefulness 50 or 60 years ago, sits in storage all this time and is now worthless. Selfish and sad, very sad.
by Chris Wadsworth, AARP Bulletin, January/February 2018|Comments: 1
DAVID SEED PHOTOGRAPHY/GETTY IMAGES
“The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning” explains this downsizing ritual.
The latest export from Sweden isn’t a sturdy station wagon or a funky furniture store, but rather it’s a way of life. More specifically, it’s a way of end-of-life. It’s called döstädning, which translates to “death cleaning.”
In the tough-minded ways of this Scandinavian culture, it’s a decluttering practice that’s more about relieving a burden on family than creating pleasant surroundings. Americans have taken note of the ritual, which can begin as early as one’s 50s.
Q: What problems does keeping too much stuff cause your loved ones after you’re gone?
A: It’s very time-consuming. Why should my family take so much time — having jobs, families and everything else they have scheduled — to take care of my things?
Q: How do you decide what to keep or discard?
A: Talk about it with your family. It’s a delight to go through things and remember their worth. But if you don’t remember why a thing has meaning, then it has no worth, and it will be easier for you to part with.
Q: You write that you should get rid of “private” items — such as diaries. Why?
A: If you think a secret will cause your loved ones harm or unhappiness, then make sure to destroy such items. Make a bonfire, or shove them into a hungry shredder.
Q:How does cleaning help the cleaner?
A: The more I have focused on my cleaning, the braver I have become in discarding possessions. I have had a moment to reflect on the event or feeling, good or bad, and to know that it had been a part of my story and my life.