This last week saw slow progress on the general declutter of the house, yard and points beyond

Nothing major, but all things that needed to be done. I did a “mystery shop”, sort of, it was basically a free meal for the two of us at a fast food joint. I didn’t make any money at it because it was a reimbursement shop only, but it required no real work on my part and we go to eat for free while out running errands in the area anyway. This is the only way I will do shops any more. I also agreed to help my favorite mystery shopping company out with two “walk in and take a photo” shops that they couldn’t get done. I’ve got two weeks to get them done and they are both very close to home where I normally run errands to anyway. So no extra fuel or such will be required, just five minutes each to file the forms basically. They asked me to do about 30 others, but they would have required a whole lot fuel and time to do the traveling so I declined those. I need to be home. I don’t want to deal with tax issues from MS any more and I really would rather put my time and energy into my home and family.
The guys worked between rain storms on and off all weekend on the little bird pen to get the geese out of the garden. They still aren’t finished, but progress was made. Hopefully they’ll be able to finish it up after dinner each night this week.
Mother’s Day was pleasant and relaxing. I was forbidden to do any “work”. I received two new hummingbird feeders. I’ve always loved feeding the hummers, but my feeders were in bad shape so I’ve not been able to since we started DR because the replacement feeders weren’t in the budget. Dh is going to hang them near the windows in the rooms I’m in the most during the day and out of the cats’ reach when they are outside. We know the hummers are back because we’ve seen and heard them. I’ve got the feeders full and hopefully the guys will hang them tonight.
Dh made breakfast/brunch, biscuits and gravy from scratch, and dinner, charcoaled hamburgers and homemade ice cream. The guys did all the laundry and cleaned the kitchen up too. Nice Mother’s Day as far as I am concerned!!
I dug out my dehydrator and will be making yogurt this week for the first time in it. I’m pretty excited about the project. We have got so we eat a lot of Greek Yogurt and at $1 or more a tiny cup it’s definitely something I need to learn to do well. Of course I’m working on blog posts on the project which will go up for reading in the next day or so. Just as soon as I snap some photos of the process as I do it. Many of the recipes that are in conjunction with the post are already up (how I spent part of my weekend) and can be linked to at Patterson’s Pantry Recipes from the blog post below.
We are definitely over budget on groceries this pay period, but well under budget in various other departments, so all in all we are in good shape on the overall budget for this two week pay period as long as Murphy stays away. I really made dh’s weekend when I told him that IF Murphy stays away and all goes according to plan we will be free of all credit card debt by this time next year. I told him he needed to be thinking between now and then whether he’d rather pay off the house mortgages first or truly follow DR’s plan and put the FFEF in place first. He and I are both leaning hard toward the correct baby step order, but the idea of being so close to have the house free and clear so soon is also very tempting.
Oh on the pantry saga—progress is still being made. The rain has really slowed the manufacturing of our can rotators because dh is doing the building outside. We really need to convert the big bird coop to an indoor workshop for the guys. However, sometimes slow is good. It has allowed me to tweak how I want to do things and find ways to cut the cost. One such example was we were planning on buying bins to put chips and similar soft packages in, but due to the delay and the over budget on groceries (I’m using part of the grocery budget to pay for materials for the organizations) I had to put off buying the bins.
Yesterday I remembered that I had some wire baskets from our old house down in the garage. So on one of my walks in the intermittent sunshine I went to the garage and found them. I think they are going to work out well for what I’m wanting to do. I’ll need to clean them up good, and possibly use leftover spray paint to paint them because they aren’t real pretty, but guess what I think they’ll work. The best part is it was something I already had! Zero dollars spent. Now that is my idea of doing the organizing. So far we’ve spent just that, zero by using scraps of lumber and such. It’s taking longer to do it than rushing out and buying all new materials, but there is definitely a great satisfaction in doing it for free. Not only does it help us stay on budget, but by using those materials we are helping to clear out additional clutter. Once this project is finally finished there will of course be a blog post on it with before and after photos. I’m really loving the way it is shaping up.
Of course with the delight I’m having with the upstairs pantry organization I find myself glaring at places like the spice cabinet, the grain pantry and the dreaded big pantry in the basement. You can guess what I want to work on next. Dh and ds are just shaking their heads. The local “Bridges” redbox is loving it because the more I get things organized the more I want things gone and I am donating huge amounts of things rather than having it stack up waiting to be sold. It’s spring, what can I say. I want CLEAN! LOL! My poor guys. However, I’m not Miss Kay on Duck Dynasty and I will not be getting rid of any of their stuff without talking to them about it first.