Family Of Origin Organization (And New Downloadables)

My mom has a sticker up on her office corkboard. It says: “If I’m So Organized, How Come I Can’t Get Organized?” Now, if you knew my mother you’d understand how ironic this is. She is the Most Organized Woman In The World. You know those “after” layouts in Real Simple magazine that show pale, [Continue Reading…]

No Spend Month: Week 2 Review

Updated tally for this week: Last Week’s Total: $95.76Yet more strawberries (I’m done, I swear): $26 Birthday present for a kid’s party: $6.25* Pitcher of beer at a company farewell party for a coworker (Nick): $13 TOTAL: $141.01 REMAINING: $108.99 *Actually the present for the kid-friend was more than this but I had a $14 [Continue Reading…]

Frugal Friday: The Budgeting Process And Advanced Fun Card Techniques

Last Friday I talked about our household’s budgeting tool, the Fun Card. It’s a very simple idea that helps keep our day-to-day expenses in line. But, like any tool, the value comes in the use, not the having. Homebrew Husband and I used to think budgeting was the act of making a budget. That’s like [Continue Reading…]

I Wish Somebody Would Have Mentioned…

When you prune a hop vine, wear long┬ásleeves. And a ski mask. Those things are mean. There is no such thing as weed free straw. It is possible to have a hard time growing zucchini. It’s not you; everyone had green tomatoes in late August. The best fertilizer is the gardener’s boots. There will come [Continue Reading…]

A Time And Motion Study Of Strawberries


The ol’ homestead is not yet up to growing all the strawberries my family will eat in a year. We used to have an enormous berry patch and could barely keep up on the harvest, but these days we have one main berry bed that’s situated in far too shady a spot for berries. There [Continue Reading…]

Total Potato Fail

I am having the darndest time with the easy plants this year. The beans, the peas, the broccoli, the berries, the onions, the beets, the lettuce, the squash, the artichokes…all thriving, but the crops you just can’t mess up? Well, they’re messed up. The garlic went tits up due to white rot and my potatoes are [Continue Reading…]

Monetization My Way

Blogging, like motherhood, is very rewarding, but not a high return-on-investment gig. In the seven months since I started this blog, I’ve made about $30 from people who have purchased things on Amazon through my site (mostly my in-laws; thank you!). I’ve spent, give or take, 450 hours working on this blog directly, and at [Continue Reading…]

No Spend Month: Week 1 Review

Well $250 is going to be a lot harder than I anticipated. I managed to forget about provisioning berries for the year, and with the late spring, all the mid-June strawberries ripened in early-July. I’m looking at blueberries and raspberries coming down the line in the next few weeks and I’m wondering if I blow [Continue Reading…]

Frugal Friday: Fun Card Budgeting For Non-Budgeters


I spent most of my post-college years with a checking account that was perpetually overdrawn by $300. I once went on a three-week trip to Scandinavia and spent the entirety of my food money on my first dinner outside of the U.S. In my defense, food in Reykjavik during the holiday season is unbelievably expensive. [Continue Reading…]

We Hang Together, Or We All Hang Separately

Hey you! Yeah, you – the 22 year old barista with the excessive facial hair and the Che Guevara tee-shirt, riding around Portland on your Marin Point Reyes, wondering if you can make it to both rallies for raw milk that are happening tonight and still get your winter cabbage starts planted in your Urban [Continue Reading…]

Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Asparagus

Seven Deadly Sins In The GardenPride “Looks like Sally hasn’t gotten her beans in yet. My beans are already to the top of the trellis. People are going to notice when I’m eating fresh beans three weeks before Sally.” Greed “I’m grabbing all the basil starts I can carry at the plant sale. Outta my way, [Continue Reading…]

To Do In The Northwest Edible Garden: July 2011

It looks like warmer weather might finally be here. (Quick, someone knock on some wood!) It’s relative, of course, warmer in my neighborhood is 72 degree days and 53 degree nights. That’s enough for me to get a rosy glow about my neck and shoulders while I work the garden, and is good news for [Continue Reading…]