Mini Homestead…In A Trailer Park

Learning to Live for the Future

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Archive for the ‘cleaning’ Category

Clearing Spaces

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on May 31, 2011

A shot of Downtown Fort Kent

Image via Wikipedia

In preparation for a move, we have been clearing spaces. First, I have been going through things and deciding what is no longer necessary. It is not always easy to get rid of things, but it becomes necessary over time.

It took us two days to clear and clean the garage at my sisters, upstairs and down. There was a lot to be done, but we managed to finish everything as we all worked together: My sister and I, my daughter Zowie and Sheila’s two sons. All of the work has paid off, and I now have a place for the belongings that I will bring with me, as well as an office area to work in and a place for all of my gardening stuff.

The current project here at the trailer is going through all of Skye’s stuff, and packing what she will bring up to Fort Kent. She will be picking all of this stuff up this week. She will also be bringing her cat up there with her. I will miss Zander, but he will be fine with Skye.

So this means that I will be bringing just 5 cats with me when I move.



Posted in Cats/Kittens, cleaning, Gardening, Greening Our Lives | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Clearing My Space

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on May 20, 2011

Charity recycling

Image by HowardLake via Flickr

I have far too many possessions. It is true. I must get rid of some (okay, much) of the stuff that is taking up space in my home. There is just no getting around it. Besides, I do not like to clean. The less I have, the less I will have to clean. This will work out well for me.

So… I have been going through all of my belongings, deciding what will stay and what will go. I bet I’ll end up letting go of more than half of what currently resides in my home with me, and I am happy to do so. This process will take a while, as I do not have much time for this type of activity often, but it will get done.

I have my daughter on board with the decluttering movement as well. She is a college student who moves onto and off campus numerous times a year for both work and school. By going through all of her things and lightening her load, she will have less to drag back and forth with her.

We are not simply throwing things out, however. We have decided to incorporate different methods of non-wasteful disposal to rid us of everything thing we do not want, from clothing to furniture. Here are the steps we will be taking to clear our home:

  1. Offering items to friends and family.

  2. Incorporating into our efforts to get rid of things.

  3. Placing things outside with a big FREE sign.

  4. Donate to charity.

  5. Possibly having a yard sale with my sisters.

Just the thought of getting rid of all of this stuff is freeing 🙂


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Mini Homestead Happening for 1/29/2011

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on January 29, 2011

Two naturally-leavened (sourdough) loaves. Fro...

Image via Wikipedia

Not much has been happening on the home front. I have mostly been writing articles and working on the Living the low-Income Life and Frugal Recipes blogs. I have also set up the How to Live the Freelance Life blog.  I have also begun a newsletter titled Freelance Ponderings and Advice. Work has been coming in steady, and I have spent much tome at my sisters using the wireless to be able to accomplish it all.

Zowie has moved back onto campus, and I am plucking away at the heavy duty cleaning and organizing that was not kept up on while I was sick and throughout my surgery and recovery. Things on this front are coming along slowly. I just packed away the Yule stuff this past week, and placed the items in storage a few minutes ago.

I had some good news this past week, in that I may be getting health insurance. I hope so. It would be nice to have my asthma meds refilled so that I can actually breathe normally again.

That homemade apple butter was a success, though I am still looking for a simple, good sour dough recipe that will go the distance. I am rereading the Little House series, and Ma had one that she only had to start the night before. She didn’t keep it going at all times. That is more along the lines of what I want. Any ideas?

Hope you are all enjoying your winter.



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Mini Homestead Happenings 12/10/2009

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on December 10, 2009

Hello. Much has been happening here:

The windows are all closed up, the air conditioner is out of the window and the shovel has already been in use. We are ready for winter. Yup! We had a Nor’ Easter yesterday. Zowie had a day off school, which she was not happy about.

I have ordered wigs, so we will soon be making candles again. These will be given to friends and family as holiday gifts.

We are discussing what treats we will be making to give as gifts.

We have been doing some organizing and deep cleaning.

I have written an eBook and a few Special Reports for my freelance writing business, and am waiting for Zowie to edit them so that I can get them online. Zowie gets paid for her efforts.

What is going on at your homestead?


Posted in cleaning, Crafting, Mini Homestead Happenings, Winter Holidays, Winter Prep | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

My Daughter is Learning

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on November 15, 2009

Skye just turned 20. She has been living up state for more than a year go, and has been seeing her boyfriend for 5 months. She has been living with him, his sister and their parents.

I went to visit a couple of weeks ago, purely for the weekend. I stayed in Skye and Kevin’s room, and they stayed on the futon in the livingroom.

This is the first time that I have visited her up state, and I am happy that I did. My mind is set at ease. Skye helps out with household tasks, helps Kevin’s sister with her homework, and has even learned some valuable skills.

For instance, she now knows hoe to grind and freeze moose meat. And, she helps with stacking wood and whatnot. She also works seasonally at a hunting lodge.

I am very proud of her.


Posted in cleaning, Family Matters, Heating Options, Winter Prep | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Just Sharing

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on October 19, 2009

Hello! Just wanted to share my The Green Mom column articles with you.

Happy Reading!


Posted in Cats/Kittens, cleaning, Gardening, Greening Our Lives, Money Matters | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Hooray for Water!

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on August 5, 2009

LOL! Yes, I do love having running water again. It is wonderful. I saved a lot of water in the month that I had none, of course. I would like to share with you some of the things that I learned that I am still doing:

  • I was only able to shower and one load of laundry per week at my mothers. I had to take sponge baths the rest of the week, washing my incredibly long and thick hair in a bucket. It is way too difficult to get soap out of my hair this way, and I would have flaky scalp issues because I couldn’t do it. I started just giving my head a good water rinsing every couple of days. NOW: If there is nothing pressing,  and it is not too hot, I will shower only every other day now. This will continue to save me money on my water bill.
  • I had to wash my clothes out by hand every few days, leaving big stuff to do at my mothers. I had to learn to wear things more than once. NOW: The most important items to wash out after every use are underclothing. Unless you stain an article of clothing or you are very sweaty, you should be able to wear other things twice. This will continue to save me money on my water bill.
  • Flushing the toilet takes a lot of water. I had already cut back on the amount of times that we flushed during the day, as well as added the filled soda bottle of water to the tank. While I had no water, I could only flush the toilet once or twice a day, and had to clean the bowl each time.  I had to do this with the dirty water from dishes, laundry, bathing and other cleaning tasks. NOW: I still use the cleaning water to flush the toilet. This will continue to save me money on my water bill.
  • I used the cooking water to feed the plants, and (NOW) I am still doing this. This will continue to save me money on my water bill.
  • I had to fill a bucket with rain water to aid in flushing the toilet. (NOW) I will be using that water in my gardening needs like I always have. This will continue to save me money on my water bill.


Posted in cleaning, Gardening, Greening Our Lives, Money Matters | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

I Have Water!

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on July 27, 2009

Last weekend, while I was away on my mini vacation, my stepfather came over and fixed my pipe issue. Apparently, it had something to do with something that the previous owners did.  The cost was next to nothing to fix this.

While my stepfather was doing his part, the landlords helper was installing a new water shut-off valve under my trailer. This didn’t cost me anything. If anything else goes wrong, I do not have to wait for someone to come and turn the water off.

This was all after my insurance agent had a talk with the insurance adjuster.

I came home from my vacation to running water, which I hadn’t had in almost 4 weeks. I showered and caught up on laundry.

On Monday, I received a check for just over $400.00, now in the bank. My stepfather will determine if I need a new liner and new insulation, and how much of it I will need. He can install this himself.

This weekend, my daughter is home from UB washing her laundry.


Posted in cleaning, Money Matters, Renovations | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Preparing Zowie for Upward Bound

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on June 17, 2009

Zowie, 17, will be a senior next year. Last year, she took a couple of courses at a high school, but we had been homeschooling most of her life. Next year, she will learn Spanish at home, but go to the high school all day.

Zowie began attending the Upward Bound Program at the University last summer, and is continuing along this path this year. She will be doing these this summer:

  1. Advanced English or Geometry
  2. Animal Behaviour
  3. SAT Prep
  4. Work Experience at the bookstore
  5. Peer Counseling

She will be very busy. UB is a college prep program that is very useful.

So, we went on a shopping trip a few weeks ago to get her summer needs: Bathing suit, shampoo, etc. And today we did the food shopping.

Now, UB feeds each student three square meals a day, but the students are often up late at night studying. I am providing her with snacks and drinks for her late night studying.

Also, I had my brother-in-law refurbish my laptop. I gave the laptop to Zowie. She will not have to borrow from others this summer for her studies.

For Zowie’s part, she is doing extra chores around the house before leaving. She values what is given to her, and does not mind doing some extra work to earn what she wants.


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Preparing for a Summer (Almost) Alone

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on June 12, 2009

Zowie leaves for Upward Bound on the 19th. She made peer counselor for the program, and is a student with the program. The peer counseling will be good practice for her, as she is planning to go to college for Adolescent Psychology.

Her summer courses for UB are: SAT Prep, Geometry, and Advanced English.

She will also be doing work experience.

All of the above is for a college prep program at the local university. She attended last summer as well. I may only see her one or two weekends during that six week program.

When she comes back home at the end of July, she will be doing a lot of US History studies for the AP US History course she is taking next year. This will give her a college credit, I do believe, as does Upward Bound.

Zowie is very focuses academically.

I had a laptop that I recently handed over to Phil, my brother-in-law. He is refurbishing it, adding more memory to it, and has set the desktop and everything up with a Battlestar Galactica theme. Why? Because I gave to to Zowie as her birthday gift for Upward Bound, her last year of high school and college. I know. I rock. She already told me so.

So, I intend to be doing two things this summer:

1) Cleaning and organizing most of the rooms in the place, at one per week.

2) Writing. A lot. As a matter-of-fact, my goal is to finish the book of short stories that  I am working on. Wish me luck!

Zowie is doing some basic cleaning tasks before she leaves so that it will be easier and quicker for me to do the deep cleaning.

  • washing out trash cans, organizing the dvd’s, dusting all of the shelves, washing the tub area completely…you get the picture.

The rest is up to me. And it will be a lot of work, considering that I am a pack rat as well as completely unorganized.

I plan to make meals/snacks ahead and freeze them in preparation for my very busy summer. This will cut back drastically on cooking time.

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