My New Year Plans…

This was 2 years ago… our first winter. I just love the look of the new year’s sky, it is one of my favorite pictures…

The Mobile Home Woman’s Plans for 2011

Well, I’m sure that you are all sitting on their very edge of your chairs, waiting and wondering just what I might be up to this year. What changes here at the MobyStead are planned, what will come from the blustery cold of our first day of the new year.

I’m kinda wondering myself. Like every red blooded human being, this time of the year is a time of quiet and cold, and of deep thoughts and naps and just thinking about stuff and trying to figure out how to do it better and stronger and bigger and all that. So, yep, I’ve been thinking about it. Probably hard for a good three or four days.

A friend told me this…. “New Year’s Resolutions come in one year and out the the other!” HAHAHA… I really liked that. I’m not one for making big resolute plans and goals and such, but I do know that having something to aim for does increase the likelihood of actually hitting something.

Well last year, I had made this statement of my new year’s thoughts…

Nope, this year my goals are simple. I’m going to use the advice of a great wise business mentor of mine, my SCORE counsler Mike and that’s going to be my goal for 2010.

Find what works and do more of it.

That’s it. Simply put. I think that pretty much wraps up all the ideas and goals and dreams I have at the moment. Figure out what works in my life and do more of it!!! More gardens, more rehab, more writing, more music, more friends, more family, more products, more business.

It works for me, and I think I’ll keep at it and do more of it!!!

Well, okay… I think I did a pretty good job of that. 2010 was a great year. Had a rough summertime, really low on cash and all, but still, made it through okay. We grew a ton of food, (well 200 pounds worth) and did a lot more canning and making things on our own. We did great in sales, in fact this winter sales were up by almost 2 thousand dollars over all. That was fantastic. We actually have started a side stash of savings for a small old motor home in the spring! I think we’ll make it. We finished several projects around the old Moby and everything is pretty well starting off the new year. We’re happy campers for sure.

So I would say, that we’re going to keep at it.

Find what works and do more of it.

But another thing that I want to start working towards is getting our own land. It’s a dream that we all three share and I think it’s very doable. This year is the year that we want to become totally debt free. And I think we can do it. Collectively, our debts are about $5,000. That’s it. Our home is paid off, and we only own a few months on the one car, so that’s almost done. Have some lingering old credit card debt and some tax debt, but it’s really not too much compared with most of our friends and all. Everyone else seems to have thousands of dollars of debt and especially if you factor in their homes, well, owing ONLY five grand seems like a walk in the park!

Still, it’s our goal for this year. Debt free by January 2012.

Once we are clear of that, I believe we could actually start to approach banks and lenders with the possibility of getting a few acres somewhere close that we can move the Moby to. We actually live on the western edge of Toledo and just minutes from a lot of farm acreage and wide open spaces without a ton of restrictions on mobile homes. And to be honest, we don’t necessarily have to move the Moby immediately. We could have our land nearby, without living on it. Put up a pole barn and then start to develop the land as we’d like. Wooded, pasture, gardens, etc. Lots and lots of possibilities!

Another thing is that I really really want to curb our spending. Not that it’s out of control at all, but still, just start to REALLY tighten down on the buying of stuff. Try as we do, it’s still really easy to just say, oh, we need this and go out and get it. Like for example. Two days ago, our printer died. It was just a little cheapo printer, I think I got a good deal at the time and it was about 50 dollars. We use it every day for invoices and all that, so I do need one. But I went out and started to price them and it was an easy 70 dollars or more and to top it all off, the small stash of cartridges we had, didn’t fit anything new, so that was another 50 bucks lost. Well, yep, I almost just sighed, and picked up one and all, but then I thought. No. Craigslist. Ebay. Ah, ask around to friends… used computer store!

Within 10 hours, I had scored a BRAND NEW still in the box, newer than the old one, printer for…. $10. And it was 2 miles from my house at a very nice lady’s home. She had gotten it bundled with a new laptop and just didn’t need it. So she thought someone might be able to use it.

$10. Granted, it doesn’t fit my stash of cartridges. But it easily saved me $60. And I can probably sell those cartidges on oh, Craigslist to someone. Haha. Maybe even for oh, $10.

That is just how I want to go this year. Wait and think through all the needs. Price and shop, buy used, relax, don’t rush to get things just BECAUSE.

We could have made it a day or two without printing orders. And we can always go to the office max and print for a day or two. I think impulse buying is a major reason that the majority of American households are severely in debt. We just have NO patience. We can’t wait for anything.

So I’m putting us on a spending freeze. Nothing new, used only if it can’t be fixed, deleted from our use, or adapted in some way. I like the old depression era saying about “Use it up… wear it out… make it do or do without.” I think that will be our new mantra this year. After the holidays and all, we have so many wonderful things and gifts and such, we really don’t need anything much other than a few perishable grocery items for a good while.

We did fairly well about shopping locally, and staying clear of the big box stores. I can honestly say I only went to Walmart 4 times last year. I was counting because my children were laughing at me the four times for being weak. And I know exactly WHY I went… I was just short of time and needed a variety of items and didn’t want to wander all over to get them all. So, that means I need to be better at planning out my errands and needs to make it ZERO trips to the megamart. I will admit, each of those four times, the bill was well over $100. Which always seems to be the case. And to be perfectly honest, I KNOW that I came home with extra impulse things. I really want to curb that.

As my dear children grow older… (yes, my BABY is going to be 17 in APRIL!!!) I want to instill upon them the need for good routine and focus on their goals and aspirations. Jessy wants dearly to grow her rock and mineral business, and to get her fledgling photography career off the ground. She has the wonderful opportunity of being able to grow the photography part as a pet photographer and still have her geology company paying the day to day bills. So she can focus on animal photography as opposed to just taking on every comer who needs a bit of photography help. She can focus on building her speciality. That’s a rare opportunity and she’s excited about it. She’s working on putting together her own self published book of her work so far. I can’t wait to see that.

Maggie is still being homeschooled and she’s just doing so well lately, since we slipped from the tight structure of K12 and went back to our own esoteric style of homeschooling. I wouldn’t exactly call it unschooling, since we do workbook and other assignment based work, but at the same time, I really believe that more practical hands on, real life learning is going to be the ticket for Maggie’s success. We’ve been talking at lengths about the garden this year and some of our plans for the mini-farm homestead some day.

If one of favorite bloggers, Jenna, can start her own sheep farm ON HER OWN… there’s no way the three of us can’t make it happen for us. Maggie is SO good with animals, having her own little hobby farm would be so good and rewarding for her. There is no doubt. We plan to spend this year looking into the various breeds of animals we would like to consider as well as learning about their care. I hope we will be able to do a lot more shared experiences with our neighbors Fran and Wes as they develop their own homestead just a mile from us!

I, myself, would like to find a lot more time for my music, songwriting and also some art. I really feel that I’ve let that slide for the last 6 years, and I’d like to change that. From watercolor painting, to the music, to just some sewing and quilting, I would like to make sure I include a little more time in my year for these things.

We’re trying to plan our garden strategy and go past our 200 pound tally of 2010. We’re not going to add any more beds, but I do think I’m going to try some neat container type gardening as well. I’ve been watching some awesome videos on YouTube about 5 gallon bucket containers and I think that might be the way to go for my vast tomato plants and such.

I believe I might get out of the fruit gardening… mainly strawberries. I have had two year of really lack luster performance. I just can’t see devoting 24 square feet of precious raised beds to something that has consistently only produced about 2 cups of berries. We have several awesome u-pick-it places within a bike ride! I think we’ll just do that instead, support local growers and change over our fruit beds to something that actually produces more than a half pound of produce for a whole season of effort!!!

My raspberry canes have been a little whacky as well and I might just get a neat container and put all of survivors in there. Just move them and see if anything happens. Again, there are several awesome u-pick-it farms around so I think that is a better use of our land.

This year I want to plant a lot of zinnias all over. I’ve decided they are so beautiful and I really like them! I was surprised this last year at the beautiful and long-life of so many of them. I saved a lot of seeds as well as snapping up some end of season sales of seed packs. They will be tucked all over the estate for sure!

I really hope our apple and pear trees do well this year. Half of the orchard is now looking at their 3rd season and I think that is really going to help them to produce well. I do have one tree that I’m not sure if it will make it, so it might get replaced but other than that, we have over 13 fruit trees that already budding nicely. That will be awesome!

Well, hope that everyone has been thinking about the various things that are most important to you! I know I am.

I know that last night, we had a very loud and scary thunderstorm. We had a couple really warm days, actually in the 50’s and then last night, instead of snow, we had rain. It was 2 in the morning and the sound woke me up. Actually, the sound of my whinning big baby Gypsy right beside me on the floor next to my bed woke me up. She is deathly afraid of big storms. Her whines were soft, but I could tell she was very worried. So I got out of bed, picked her up and made her a place in the covers. She was trembling so badly, but just being with me and hearing my voice and calm hands, she responded with a calm as well. I sat up with her while the worse of it came over us. All I could think was that I was so happy and content to sit there with my old friend.

It’s one of those things that is so important to me. All the goals and ideas and resolutions, they don’t mean anything when you think about what is really important in your life. Your children, your friends, dear old dogs and being content and happy in life. Snuggled up in some warm blankets and an old quilt, with your best pal of a old dog, listening to the storm on a New Year’s Eve, and just dreaming about the fun to come.

Come on 2011…. I’m ready for an AWESOME YEAR!!!!!

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About Mobymom

the banjo player for Deepwater Bluegrass, and the editor of as well as the main graphic designer of the Westvon Publishing empire. She is a renaissance woman of many talents and has two lovely daughters and a rehab mobile home homestead to raise.

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