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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Streams of Income, The American Dream Is Still Alive!

Hi folks-First of all--I apologize for the weird happenings on the blog.
-I know things are disappearing here. I did contact Blogger for help. I don't know what is causing it. The sidebar links to my "Motley Crew" blogger list are becoming invisible one after another, everything is set normally so it's a mystery to me. Another thing I really don't understand is y'alls comments and mine are disappearing too. Usually I will try to publish the comment and reply to it and then it might or might not post--and then it will vanish. I've reported that as well.

On any given day there are various weird phenomena, glitches with any computer related thing--I guess that's not unusual on blogger. These issues are just not something I can fix, so hopefully Blogger is working on it and will fix it. In the meantime--go ahead and post comments if you like--maybe they will show up later. Dunno.. Also as far as I can tell my links are still 'there' they just don't appear unless you run your mouse over them. I will still be able to read your comments even if I can't make them show up--so go ahead! ~smile~ Say your piece!

Yesterday I had a great time with daughter and my little friend, who owns a shiny nice pick up truck. We drove out to China Grove and bought some plants from a nice couple who started to just sell their divided perennials because the hubby was out of work. They sold some last year and this year they sold more and they are busy potting up some for next year now and dreaming of getting a little greenhouse. The wife is busy photographing and making a little book of the plants in full bloom in color so folks can see what they're buying. Very nice folks, and it was great to meet them. I picked their brains about their little venture and got lots of ideas and realized that my long ago dream of starting my own backyard nursery is quite do-able!

I checked Craigslist again and saw that there are quite a few other folks who are doing the same thing here and there. No, they don't have everything nurseries do, but they do have some things nurseries don't. If they're all as friendly and customer service oriented as these folks I think there's no reason they won't do well with some hard work. If enough folks will travel as far as China Grove for some plant deals I thought, why wouldn't there be some who would drive to my little neck of the woods here in South Carolina?

I got 3 huge pots of bamboo as well as some nice clumps of variegated periwinkle mixed with ivy-- ground covers! The guy must have liked me, cause he tossed three huge clumps of the ground cover into the truck and only charged me $2 for it. I also got a nice pot of red monarda, bee balm. All the plants are things which will help stop erosion and I know from past experience will spread quickly. The bamboo will have to be watched carefully and not allowed to go nuts--but it will be very useful in a few areas where we really need a fast multiplying 'privacy screen/fence/erosion-control' plant. I think I may need to put a clump in front of that giant tower of concrete blocks that I can't get Hubby to agree to let me get rid of. ;)

My garden is coming along. I've got plans for the layout more and more, and I know where my pond will be--which will be useful for watering plants as well as pretty to look at. It is going to be right atop the hill, behind our shed, in between our little shady sitting area and my big sunny garden. My little friend who knows how much I dream of a little backyard nursery suggests that I can also grow pond Lilly's to sell.

My head is swirling with inspirations--which for me is a normal state--LOL. My little friend has already been saving me all her old nursery pots for a year or two, and I have lots of my own and some that were found 'curbside'. I need to locate a good source of free or inexpensive compost. The folks we bought from said their city drops free loads on their property and they let it age a year before using it. I don't think we have that service here, but I'm going to see if there is a service we do have. My little friend was one of those who lost her job at the library during the current reduction in force, so she has time on her hands and that lovely pick up truck and is happy to haul for me.

Meanwhile I've got my compost bins always filled and stirred up, and I've started some big leaf piles. I also need to make acquaintance with my neighbor to the south who has horses and a very loud donkey. I'm thinking they must have a goodly amount of 'useful by-products'. If we put fish, maybe koi in the pond, we'll have koi to sell too, and fish water is great fertilizer. I also have a great abundant producing herb called comfrey that I am moving near my compost bins. the leaves are good for making a sort of 'fermented stinky comfrey tea' that is also known as a good fertilizer. Its a pretty plant and I'm moving mine nearer the compost bins, it reproduces like crazy every year. I started with a very small clump and I think I have at least a couple dozen large clumps now.

Many big ventures have started small and there is no reason I can't do a little something with plants, a little something with Etsy and who knows what else. Mulitiple streams of income have always been an idea that appealed to me. I'm sure I've written about it before. Like Martha Ballard whose diary inspired my favorite old book, "The Midwife's Tale" I can see the potential value in many things, in barter, in buying and selling amongst neighbors and friends, in cultivating a little extra for trade, in putting away a little here and there, keeping a careful account and not wasting money on things you can't use for more than one purpose. My art and writing talents I know also have potential. Well.. anyhow it was a very inspiring shopping spree for me.

Even if I find myself unable to do all the things that come into my wee bitty brainy--I know I can at least dream and write about it all and encourage others to give something like that a try. I am a firm believer in 'doing something'to improve your self-reliance a little bit, even if its not all that you might like to do.

My little friend, always has some neat story to tell about her frugal adventures, or her daughter's. Her daughter has a great knack for making extra money. Currently, she is planning her wedding but she likes things on a bigger scale than what our daughter's wedding will be. Still its going to be frugal in its way too.

She has bargained her hair cutting skill to get many things free, an accountant for her side business, second hand dresses for her bridesmaids. She even bought a $3000 wedding dress on ebay, removed a stain from it and re-sold it $4000 because it wasn't what she wanted to wear--her frugal Mom, my little friend is making her real dress, but meanwhile she used that extra $1000 to pay for something, I think it was her flowers. There are so many ways to be creative with our 'trading' in life. This young woman has a great start going. This used to be what being a homemaker was all about, running a household economy. Maybe working outside the home some, maybe not--but always making something of what you have.

I was glad my daughter got to hear the 'testimony' as we were driving, the story of how ordinary people can create a little wealth for themselves even in this crazy economy. I just know that the American Dream has never died, it just needs to be given a shot by enterprising people who don't have too much government control in their way.
I also know that you can never count on working for someone else as a 'sure' thing anymore. Private and government jobs all have potential to disappear, sometimes for no fault of your own.

We're the sort of folks here who came from rugged individuals, or they would never have made it here in the early days. I always admire the immigrants I meet who will go without so many things in order to start their own business. Working long hours, living in crowded conditions and keeping an entrepreneurial spirit-- the things that made America what it is. I hope we never give up and just expect the government to do it all for us--what fun would there be in that? What satisfaction? What reliable income? What freedom?

I guess I feel like, whatever your situation it is almost a patriotic duty to cultivate the steams of income within your grasp. Just like its a duty to stand firm against the tide of busy body experts that want to take that away from the average person in the name of doing what's 'best' for us.

Food for thought.

9 comments:

  1. See if this works. I don't have a blog, so I guess I'm just anonymous. I'm in Kansas City, if that defines me any.

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  2. Well... very odd. It's posted, but you have to run your mouse over it to see it. Very weird.

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  3. Voila!!! I fixed it! I had 'visited links' set to the same color as the blog background--so comments and blog links were all green if they'd been clicked on--thus invisible. DUH moment.

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  4. Lets see what happens with my comment! Was busy with grands this weekend, so had little time for blogging...catching up a bit this morning...woke up at 4am...about to get deluged with rain system coming our way! I am like this...weather wakes me up! I never get much sleep!!!

    I am so happy you posted about your experience at the small family business! I am keeping my eyes and ears open to the universe, so to speak, for a new job where I can spend the time with my grands as needed. Thanks for posting this! It inspires me also!!!

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  5. It is a thing I have always 'kinda sorta' done. Since my kids were born I was usually at home. I had jobs here and there-- worked most of the time Hubby was in school and again when his field was in so much trouble and he was either un-or-underemployed for several years. But now I find I am back home and getting more things done and more inspired than I have been in years. I think if you are able to-- and not all of us are-- to be able to build up your own home and make a little extra at the same time is something many of us women simply have deep in our hearts someplace, perhaps by birthright? Actually many men I know would love the same arrangement-their own business- maybe not as home-oriented, but then again--maybe so-- homesteading is the natural outgrowth of that.
    Anyhow I guess my blogger problems were all my own mistake. ;)

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  6. You do know, don't you, that you can use those concrete blocks to make garden squares out of.

    When I was married and lived in FL, my now ex worked across the street from a cement factory. He went over there and asked them if he could take the "damaged" cement blocks. Most only had a crack or chip in them - he picked through and brought home the "nicest" of them. We had nine 4x4 squares, two blocks high. I just laid them next to each other, with the "holes" up and stacked them two high for the "boarder". Then I filled them with mushroom compost/top soil that I had delivered (back then, it was only about $20 for a whole dump truck load!). I would even put soil and plants in the "holes" of the blocks. We grew some great veggies and "companion" flowers in those squares! And there was no need for mortar. The blocks didn't move - I guess the dirt in and next to them kept them stable. And since I was pregnant, I leaned on the "edges" a LOT to keep my balance while working.

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  7. Hiya Darlene... I know.
    Actually some of them were beds, but I've changed them a little more pleasant looking beds--mainly because my garden is sort of designed around the woods and I wanted it to look prettier. However I did use them to make my cold frames. My problem with them is we have at least 800 of one size and I'm guessing 300 of the other and they are piled mainly in one place which I think looks like a demolition pile. Hubby wants them for various purposes--which I fear will never be 'gotten around to' given the to do list here. So..... I see them all the time and they bug me. Its one of those aesthetic things. Being an artistic person I enjoy making things pretty and it drives me nuts to see this ugly mountain behind my flower beds. ;) I like using the mossy rocks and the lichen covered logs for raised beds--and my containers in a hidden area-- aren't that pretty either but they are very functional for veggies--and I can move them. I can't lift the larger blocks at all. I just feel like they's ugleee. ;)

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  8. Oh also--they're 2nd hand--so they have lumps of mortar on them, chips and some are painted red or white-- or not-- so they're definitely a random eyesore.

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