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A friend asked me to share what economic, practical thoughts I have on how we make it as a single-income family. First off, I have to acknowledge: we’re well-blessed, and I “get it” that not everyone has all the tools in their basket that we do. That said, other people do have tools in their baskets that we don’t. In a nutshell, we have to find thankfulness for what already exists, rather expending time, energy, money, and frustration on pining after what isn’t. In a world where instant gratification and marketing and sales and “shoulds” and “obligations” are often hailed as gods above real needs, real relationships, and multi-generational investments, finding thankfulness for what already exists is not always the easiest path. We don’t walk it perfectly, but we do walk it, learning along the way.

In no particular order, some things that make our world function on one income:

1. Home Hair Cuts: I do all of them, including my own, and I get compliments on them! If you’re not brave enough to try it right off, practice on a doll, and barter with someone who’s done it before ’till you’re feelin’ ‘yer oats 😉

2. Drying Line: Cuts down on the power bill. Wood heat in the winter helps w/ this, as it serves dual purpose: re-humidifies the air a bit, and you’re not paying for the heat twice.

3. Bicycles: We have an update post here on the “family car.” Between insurance and gas and overall health improvements, it’s been an awesome gift in our world. Not an easy one to initially imagine, considering I was pretty arthritic when we first gave up the car, but no regrets 🙂

4. Giving: Ancient Hebrew Pictograph of the word give here. What goes around comes around. Find someone in worse shape than you are (it’s usually not as difficult as it sounds), and do something about it that you *can do.

5. Become Debt-Free: Ancient Proverb says, “The borrower becomes the lender’s slave.” Find a way out of your slavery.

6. Family Relationships: It’s a team effort. We all have to understand that we’re working toward something bigger and more important than money. We have to find the place where we want to build each other and our home into a healthy, peaceful place more than we want the next trinket.

7. Grow Something To Eat: The closer we get to dirt, the more “grounded” we can be, not only emotionally and physically, but also financially. Our health is one of the most expensive things to lose, and one of the fastest ways to improve it is through organic gardening. Chickens are good, too. Check with local restrictions, though. Some cities will allow hens but not roosters, and there may be a restriction per square foot of land area.

8. Tiny House: More land; Less House; Less Stuff. Find the minimum quantity of “stuff” you need to be happy, and do the house size that just barely fits. Land gives food. House & stuff just drain the budget. Shelving, bunk beds, and Straw-stuffed (make sure it’s clean & dry) mattresses have been a great help for us in making a small house work.

9. Natural / Alternative Medicine: There’s a learning curve to it, and the first few years, we did use modern medicine for a bit. It didn’t work for us, so I studied on my own, and listened to the health-nutty guru’s that had conquered this, that, and the other thing. At this point, our world doesn’t revolve around gas money to get to the doctor’s office. The doctor can’t research as quickly or as effectively or as intimately as I can, here, from home, on my computer. Outside of dismemberment, I haven’t found any use for modern medicine: I can do better for my own family. They’re just people with fancy papers who have been through a system that’s run by money. I’m not. I’m just as smart as they are, but less brainwashed, and better-motivated. All of that said, check out the disclaimer below 😉

10. Growing Herbs: Seasonings and Medicines and a lot of herbs that double as both. A gold mine!

11. Convection Oven: In the absence of a very efficient wood stove (will post on Hubby’s invention / modification later) that runs on twigs, rather than logs, a convection oven uses a lot less energy (money) than the regular sort. Our counter-top version was a second-hand purchase, and has been great!

12. Craigslist: That second-hand thing. The world gets a lot less trashed with re-using what someone else figured out they didn’t need. Meanwhile, I pay less than half what everyone else did for theirs, originally.

13. Build Something: Hubby’s built a business that will, hopefully, sell for enough to pay for the materials for us to build a place where we won’t have to pay rent anymore! Meanwhile, he’s built a sauna for me (LOVING MY MAN!!!), and a shed to sell or maybe trade for the vehicle to move us to our new place to build 😀

14. DIY: Look up whatever it is you find you need, and build it, make it, cook it, brew it, medicate it, repair it. Whatever it is, chances are, it’s just not that complicated… unless it’s a computer… and you’re like me about computers. Still working on conquering that “giant” in my world. LOL!

15. Writing? I’m writing a book… hoping it sells a billion or two copies, and we can retire, fat-and-happy! LOL!

Love to all of you, who are working to do the single-income thing! It’s been well-worth-it for us: our babies know who we are, and we know them. We’re building our home together, one life lesson at a time.

Standard Disclaimer:

I’m  no doc, and don’t pretend to be one. I am therefore not legally licensed to diagnose, cure, treat, prevent, or otherwise mitigate any disease, and neither is the stuff I generally choose for healing… but then, I’ve not been educated / indoctrinated by boards with big pharma reps on them, either ;-)  so do your own research and find what works for you :-)

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So the babies LOVED the home-made vitamins, and have been begging to learn how to make them. Today, their world is right… and so is mine. ‘Cause really, what makes a mama happier than babies who want to learn how to be self-sufficient, using healthy, natural tools… other than maybe having them volunteer to clean up the mess afterward LOL!  …or maybe no fighting over who gets to use the coffee grinder to grind the herbs to a fine powder… (Hey, a gal can dream, can’t she?)

At any rate, we modified our recipe to fit what we had on-hand this time, and we wound up with this:

1/4 cup Nettles Powder

1/4 cup Mullein Powder (couldn’t find a link for this one, but beautiful herb 🙂

2/3 cup Cinnamon Powder

2/3 cup Rosehips Powder

1/3 cup Ginger Powder

2/3 cup Oat Straw Powder

1/2 tsp. Real Salt

2 Tbsp Hydrilla Verticillata (Fresh-Water Seaweed “Noxious Weed”, but GREAT supplement!)

1 1/3 cup Honey

1/2 tsp Orange Extract

Maybe 2/3 cup? Cocoa Powder (for rolling the vitamins in after they’re formed)

Roll dough into small balls, and roll the balls in cocoa powder.

This time, we put babies to work doing this part (with clean hands, of course), and it went much faster. I’m thinking that tiny fingers are just much better at this than mine are. I gave each kiddo a miniature ice cube tray, and had them put one vitamin in each hole when they were done. Works great, and, stored in the freezer, they should last forever. Once they’re frozen individually, I can put them all in one baggie & back in the freezer for space-saving storage.

Two little vitamins, and 2 Tbsp Lemon Flavored Cod Liver Oil, and 1/2 tsp kelp daily (I don’t put the kelp in the vitamins b/c the kids get the “treat vitamins” as a reward for downing the CLO & Kelp. Not sure it would work as well if the “treat vitamins” were more kelp-flavored. They line up & open their mouths like little birds for all of the above as it stands, so I’m not messin’ with it LOL!

Standard Disclaimer:

I’m  no doc, and don’t pretend to be one. I am therefore not legally licensed to diagnose, cure, treat, prevent, or otherwise mitigate any disease, and neither is the stuff I generally choose for healing… but then, I’ve not been educated indoctrinated by boards with big pharma reps on them, either ;-)  so do your own research and find what works for you :-)

I read an article or two the other day, and decided that I just had to write a bit about underwear. 🙂

OK, so undies aren’t usually within the fields of the health-nutty thing, or the Ancient Hebrew Pictographs thing, or connections between the two.  I guess, maybe it has more to do with the self-sustaining / sustainable thing, though… which does relate back to those in a round-about way…

I was scooting around online, checking my mail in between loads of laundry, dishes, diapers, and schoolwork, and my attention was caught by a video claiming to connect the status of the economy with mens’ underwear sales. Methinks, “YUP– been there! When we’re broke, and it’s a choice between buying food and…” OK, we’ll not go there. Then, I got off on a tangent, looking into the manufacture of those undies, and the outsourcing that “affordable” undies have done… I was sickened by not only the twistedness of the “money gods” who wouldn’t provide functional conditions or compensation to these people, but who further bought off congress to oppress an entire country, disallowing their government to raise their own minimum wage (and we wonder why we can’t compete with outsourcing and why we’re losing our jobs here???!!!) and the death threats???!!!

OK, so… breathing a bit… I’m not one to have very many dollars in “voting power,” but one thing we do buy new is undies. We’ve long since quit buying anything made by slave children in China. The kiddos check the labels carefully now. There are things that just don’t get replaced very often, but it makes for taking better care of what we have, anyhow.  Beyond that, it’s built a confidence that we can make things for ourselves a lot of the time, or function without some the “necesseties” that we “had to have” for survival. Now we’re independent of some of those things, and it’s empowering. Fruit of the Loom will not be getting any more blood from this one little turnip, even if I have to sew our family’s undies myself!

He who oppresses the poor to make more for himself
Or who gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.

–Proverbs 22:16

YHWH, in the original sense of the word, please, Judge!

I ran out of vitamins, and really didn’t want to spend the money on raw-food-based, quality, organic vitamins at the store. Danged  expensive to get the good stuff! …so I’ve been tossing around the idea of making my own. Becoming independent of the money gods and declaring my freedom. If “my people are gone into captivity for lack of knowledge…” (Isaiah 5:13), then maybe the converse is also true? Maybe there is freedom to be had… maybe, in part, to be earned through knowledge and through work in implementing it? Not talking in absolutes, necessarily, here– just the general thought that we can build freedom into our lives through a working understanding of Natural Laws.

With that as a frame-of-reference, I decided to experiment a bit 🙂 First I made some throat lozenges– stirred up some herbs & honey & a little Real Salt, and that went over really well– kiddos liked them, Hubby & I liked them, and they’re just really healthy, food-based medicine.

Here’s what I wound up doing with that:

1/2 cup Rosehips Powder

1/8 cup Comfrey Leaf Powder

1/8 cup Ginger Root Powder

1/3 cup Cinnamon

1/4 tsp Real Salt

3 heaping Tbsp Honey

1/4 tsp Real Salt

1/4 tsp Lemon Extract

1/4 tsp Orange Extract

1/4 cup Xylitol

Just enough hot water to make a dough. Drop by small spoonfuls onto an oiled cookie sheet & air-dry, or dehydrate in a dehydrator.

If I had it on-hand, I might include some licorice powder and / or some slippery elm powder, but this is what I had at the time. Worked nicely 🙂

They disappeared pretty fast, and enter point of confidence to try a bit more:-)  Here’s what I came up with for a first-shot at vitamins. Now, I do give everyone kelp, alfalfa, and Cod Liver Oil daily along with the regular multi, so I’m counting on those things to provide some of the nutrients that aren’t in the following recipe, but I’m thinkin’ I really like the idea of being more hands-on about our supplements and nutrition 🙂

Herbal Vitamins:

1/8 cup Chickweed Powder

1/8 cup Horsetail Powder

1 Tbsp Purple Dead Nettle Powder

1/4 cup Mullein Leaf Powder

2 Tbsp Comfrey Leaf Powder

1/3 cup Ginger Powder

1/3 cup Rosehips Powder

1/4 tsp Real Salt

2/3 cup Honey

1/4 tsp Lemon Extract

1/4 tsp Orange Extract

maybe 1/2 cup cocoa powder for rolling the dough in afterward?

Stir all dry ingredients together first, then make a well in the center, and pour in wet ingredients, and stir it all up ’till it makes a dough. Pinch off little balls and roll in cocoa powder, then set on a cookie sheet to dry, or in a dehydrator. Dehydrate at 115 or lower to preserve live enzymes.

Not the fanciest things in the world, and a bit spicy, so if you’re not into spicy, maybe trade out some ginger for something you like better. Definitely go with less ginger if you’re pregnant: a little is good for digestion and anti-nausea, but too much can stimulate uterine contractions. Works for us, though 🙂 Hubby & Twiddle-be-buttons say it’s a winner– they’re disappearing nicely 😀

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I’ll probably play with the recipe some & see what exact amounts of which nutrients are “probably” in each ball– they’re not uniformly sized, but then, they’re all food-based, so no danger of toxicity, either 🙂

A word on comfrey– some folks are uncomfortable using it. I’m good with it. The older books have only good things to say about its use for all kinds of wonderful things. It’s only the modern books that suggest it has any potential for toxicity. “Just happens” that certain big businesses started experimenting with what certain extracts of it could do if injected into lab rats. I’m thinkin’ I’ll not inject it into my bloodstream, and maybe be fine LOL! I’m also very ok with other folks choosing a different nutrient-dense herb in place of it, because it does get a lot of bad press.  Which takes us to our Standard Disclaimer:

I’m  no doc, and don’t pretend to be one. I am therefore not legally licensed to diagnose, cure, treat, prevent, or otherwise mitigate any disease, and neither is the stuff I generally choose for healing… but then, I’ve not been educated indoctrinated by boards with big pharma reps on them, either ;-)  so do your own research and find what works for you :-)