Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Trials & Tribulations: Making a Homestead Part 4

            Hey folks! I know last time I said hopefully this update would be on something more fun and exciting, like fixing up our chicken coop, but unfortunately that's not going to happen today. Since we don't get to use the "Easy Button" much in our lives, we've ran into a few more snags with moving/closing on the property itself...
            Since we are getting a USDA loan since we're unable to get the VA one since we are still using it on our house in Arkansas we're trying to sell, the USDA inspector finally came out to inspect the place a few weeks ago. We knew there were a few issues and planned on fixing them at our leisure once we bought the place, but they aren't anything that impedes the house from being livable and didn't think they would be a big deal. Well, evidently we were wrong. So now, before we're able to get financing, the issues have to be fixed first. Boo. And it feels like it is taking forever to get done. Double boo. 
            Since John is handy, we made a deal with the sellers (which is like 3 brothers, I believe) to where they paid for the materials and John is doing all the work. It seemed like a good idea at first and it does save everyone money in the long run (hiring contractors would have cost the sellers around $30-40,000 as opposed to $1,500. O.o) But John is only one person. I can only help so much because I'm afraid I'll mess something up. It feels like we're crawling at a snail's pace, even though we had help from John's family one weekend. But let's just say these projects are taking much longer than I expected...

            So far, we have gotten the French drain installed (top), which is evidently just a fancy term for a drain that's installed in a trench covered in rock, gravel, etc. We also had to replace most of the cement windowsills because they were installed incorrectly and the interior part had sunk over time, causing rainwater to run toward the windows. So those are leveled now. We also finished tiling the kitchen this weekend. (The sub-floors needed replaced in the kitchen, laundry room, and small bathroom off of that.

            As far as what still needs done, we still need to grout the kitchen and finish all the other junk in the other two rooms. You can see in the picture we got one sheet of sub-floor in, but we're going to have to move the toilet, sink, and washer/dryer before doing the rest. It makes me tired just thinking about it. (For the record, I'm not against manual labor, but what.a.pain.in.the.ass!) Other than that, we still have to replace the siding/soffit. Makes me glad the whole house isn't siding, but still. I have a sinking feeling this is going to be the worst part. 

            In my "Getting Over Fears" post last week, I promised a picture of how ridiculously tall the grass is out here too. I feel like the pictures still doesn't do it justice. lol Guess who doesn't have a mower yet? Who wants to help me throw money in a pile and set it on fire? Ok, ok, I'm starting to get too cynical, so now is a good stopping point. ;)

            What problems did you run into when buying a house or starting a homestead?

Friday, May 15, 2015

Getting Over Fears

            Hey folks! First off I want to apologize for not posting in what? Has it been two weeks now?! Yikes! (Other than giveaways, of course. ;) ) We have been super busy driving back and forth roughly 4 hours round trip to our future home fixing some things on it before we are able to get financing/close on it. Long story. I'm hoping to have a new "Trials and Tribulations: Building a Homestead" update next week. I've also recently gotten back into writing stories for fun, so that's been taking up a bit of my time too. (I haven't even had much time for that with all of this house stuff. :( ) Other than that, I really just haven't had anything to post about, to be honest! Now, going back to the house situation somewhat...
            In case you haven't read any of my "Building a Homestead" posts, we are about to move to a house in the country, hopefully by the end of the month. This has been a goal of ours for awhile now. However, as much as I've been looking forward to living in the country, I am not fond of snakes. In fact, I'm pretty sure my past disdain for snakes would qualify as phobic. I used to not even be able to watch them on tv without my heart rate increasing and feeling panicky. Needless to say, I'd either look away or immediately change the channel if able. It got so bad at one point that I couldn't even enjoy walks in the woods, and if the trails were narrow with tall grass next to them, it was out of the question. I even remember stopping a walk in the Great Smoky Mountains short on our honeymoon because I was freaking out too much. (Even though bears would have been a more realistic concern!) There was even a time when my mom and I both refused to continue walking down a trail at a state park we were vacationing at because a long black snake crossed our path and proceeded to slither up a tree.
             So, what does this have to do with anything? Well, as I was tromping around the yard (with roughly 2 foot tall grass or more), woods, and brambles at our new house yesterday, I realized how far I had come with my snake aversion over the last six years. That's how long it has been since our honeymoon (almost, in less than a week!) and that may have been the turning point for me to "get over it" for all I remember. But now I am so glad I started making a conscious effort to get over my snake phobia, no matter the reason. I missed nature and being able to go for hikes in the woods without feeling like I was going to have a panic attack at any second.
            How did I manage to get over my phobia without professional help, you might be wondering? Short answer is I made a conscious effort, like I mentioned. Little by little, I forced myself to get over it. Did I make myself look at a slideshow of snake pictures every day? No, but I did force myself not to change the channel if I happened across a nature show that included snakes. I would tell myself it was silly to be afraid of them because it wasn't as if they could come through the screen! Little by little, I started venturing back outdoors more. Was I extremely paranoid at first? Absolutely, but whenever I started to feel panicky I would try to focus on something else, such as my fishing pole instead of whatever critter was rustling the undergrowth nearby. (More than likely a grasshopper, or something else equally ridiculous.)
            Do I love snakes now? No, they're definitely still not my favorite, but I can cope with the fact that they are out there and that I will still probably see them while working or playing outdoors in the future. And, while I was walking around in my husband's muck boots at the new house and using them as a sort of security blanket, I still think that's saying a lot about how well I am doing with my whole "snake thing". (I'll try to remember to get a picture of how tall the grass is. It's ridic! John even joked about waiting for a tiger to come pouncing out at us. lol) I'm looking forward to enjoying many more years of my favorite things now: being outdoors in my garden/yard/property in general, hiking, fishing, and more!
            What are you afraid of? Do you have any phobias? How did you overcome them or do you still struggle with them?

Monday, May 11, 2015

Green Toys Baby Bundle Giveaway

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.
Green Toys Baby Bundle
Welcome to the Green Toys Baby Bundle Giveaway, hosted by Karen’s Got Mail!
 I have teamed up with a great group of bloggers to bring you this giveaway!

The Green Toys Baby Bundle Prize Package Includes -

  • (1) One Green Toys Stacker (ARV $14.99)
  • (1) One My First Green Toys Shape Sorter (ARV $19.99)
  • (1) One My First Green Toys First Keys (ARV $7.99)
All Green Toys products can be purchased on their website or Amazon. You can follow Green Toys on their social media pages to keep up with all their latest updates.
One lucky reader is going to win this Green Toys Prize Package (ARV $43). To enter just use the Giveaway Tools form. Giveaway is open to US residents. Giveaway is open from 5/11-5/25.
Mixed Bag Mama was not compensated for this post nor is responsible for prize fulfillment. All opinions expressed in this post belong to the giveaway host and may differ from your own. This giveaway is not associated with social media platforms, including, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Top Child Products of 2015 Guide Mega Giveaway


Welcome to the Top Child Products of 2015 Guide MEGA Giveaway!
I am your host StellarManicMommy2, and I want to say thank you for stopping by this blog to enter our giveaway. Being able to give back to our readers is very important to bloggers, because without you guys we would be nothing. So, thank you! Now onto what the Top Child Products of 2015 Guide is, its a year long virtual guide that will help you learn about everyday products. From infant to teenage items, you can find real reviews by real people.
Now to go the good part! StellarManicMommy2 is Hosting a MEGA Giveaway with SO many great prizes!

Grand Prize Winner will win a Prize package worth $800!

-UpWeeGo Chair and Steps
-Moover Wooden Red Rocking Horse
-$25 Gift Certificate to Thirty-One by Amanda
- Silver and Pearl Pea Pod Necklace (up to 4 pearls)
-An EquiptBaby Diaper Bag Set
-$50 Gift Certificate to Small Hands
-Organic Baby K'Tan Baby Carrier

Second Prize winner will win a prize package worth $75!

-$25 Gift Cert to Thirty-One by Amanda
-$50 Gift Cert to Useborne Books by Joy

-Now let give a special Thank you to all those who have made this giveaway possible-

-Your Host-

-Your Co Hosts-

-Your Sponsors-

Good Luck Everyone!

Mixed Bag Mama did not receive compensation for this post nor is responsible for prize fulfillment. All opinions belong to the host of this giveaway and may differ from your own. This giveaway is not associated with any social media platform, including, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.