So a lot has changed since I last blogged. Once again, I'm hoping to get better at this "blog thing". Over this past year we have had our youngest child move out and although technically we should be "empty nesting" our nest still has our granddaughter Carolena living there. During the summer we made the decision that we had no choice but to get the house that burned livable enough to move back in. Finding the money for repairs was impossible while paying rent, so we started working really hard and with help from Community Partners to get us a dumpster we were able to get things to a point where we could move back in to 3 rooms. I signed a weekend contract to increase our income and we were ready to begin major overhauling of the house. I worked one weekend and the following week I stepped into a furnace vent hole which I uncovered to clean. With that one step our lives changed dramatically. On August 5th I dislocated my shoulder and broke the trochanter where the muscles attach to the bone. For 6 weeks they wouldn't let me move my left arm. After 6 weeks I began physical therapy and at this point I can lift my arm barely over my head and still can not lift any weight. So, I have been unable to work since August 5th. As of today November 26th, my work has ended my leave of absence. It looks like I will be looking for a new job. I have had several ups and downs with this dillemma. Some if which has occurred because I've been waiting to hear about my job. In the meantime I have signed up to begin a Master's program online so I have the option of teaching which I should be able to do without full use of my left arm. Where is the money for school coming from? Only God knows. I'm taking a huge step of faith here believing He will show me the way.
During the last 4 months I have learned a lot on how to survive on a very low income. We have been down to my husband's disability income which is less than a fourth of our normal income. Fortunately, we have a very low debt load or we would not be able to survive. We have been learning to use the public assistance programs that are available and in future posts I will describe some of what we have experienced there. We have learned how to access some of the safety net organizations. I will expand on some of these things as I post in upcoming days. I will also share ideas I've come up with to use food that has been given to us at the local food pantries. It can be challenging. I recently downloaded a free app that can help with meal planning as well as generating grocery lists and inventory of the ingredients you have on hand. I'm currently using the free version, but like it well enough I'm considering upgrading to the pro version for less than $4.00. I'll keep you posted there. My blog will still feature my craft projects, but will be expanded to include these other types of posts as well.
These last four months have given me time to reflect and return to doing some things I really enjoy. While I haven't been able to really do much of my crafting as my room still isn't usable and I can't lift and move things around. I've spent time getting back into canning and preserving. With my husband's help I can put things in jars to help decrease the work it takes to make a meal. I've also been able to save food that might have gone to waste for another meal. I definitely enjoy doing it. I'm looking forward to making and giving mostly homemade gifts this year as our budget has no room for store bought gifts. I will share this journey as we go so that hopefully it will help and/or inspire others to be able to do the same. I will also share some of what we have experienced in our remodeling projects which are quite interesting on a severely limited budget. I will go back through some of the happenings of the last couple months in my upcoming posts. Come along on this journey with me. Let's see where it takes us.