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Saturday, March 21, 2009

The State of the Homestead.

It has been brought to my attention that I need to explain my finances to you all.

We were going to sell of our livestock to save our homestead, but others interfered with those plans.

All the money that was donate was used for the back pay of the homestead.

My husband got a motorcycle in that paid for the propane.

2 of my cows began to make us money. They are paying for their and the other cows feed.

State income tax came and we paid off 1 bill. 1 less bill coming out of our money now.

Warmer weather came, and we got 4 bikes in the garage. Now down to 3 but another one is coming in shortly.

State income tax came. Bought an engine for our truck. Then my husband and I discussed what we should do. Should we invest in the homestead's future or something else with it. We talked for days, I agonized over it wondering what you would think. What if my decision was wrong and I was attacked and hated? We worked on the math, and budgeting. Once we got caught up, we are able to pay all our bills in a timely manner. Could we afford to risk this? We have another 3 maybe four months of feed coming out of our pockets until summer came, and the farmstead would be ready for them, and the feed money would no longer come out of pocket. We want to raise Dexters for meat, but we need something that would come in quicker and cost us little but make us enough money that our mortgage could be paid every month, we went ahead and bought Murrial. I expected backlash for this, but none came. And we thought we had made the correct decision.

The bike shop my husband works at is now getting more work. I said we just need to hold on until spring. With more bikes means flag rat. Flag rate = 2 1/2x more money an hour than flat time rate. We are able to pay for everything and put money in savings for winter. We will have an entire riding season of pay under our belts so that what happened last winter won't happen again.

Half the money I make on my articles is being put aside. The other half is being used in such a manner that I feel is appropriate to pay everyone back.

We had some very bad luck, but we are in a better place, and I can pay for everything as well as help others as I use to.

Sammy, I did not pay for Sammy, she was given to me by my neighbor. I also have 2 months worth of feed for her. I would not have taken her if I didn't have the farmstead. I plan on working her.

Oh, the farmstead. As many of my readers know, this is not my property. We are not working it, but care taking it. This was a wonderful deal for us. we will be able to expand our business with very little out of pocket. The down side of it all is that I will not see my husband except on the weekends. The plus side is that one day, hopefully soon, he will be able to stop working for someone else, and be with us all the time or as often as he can put up with us.

I apologize if I made anyone upset. I will not apologize for things turning around for us. That with others help we were able to continue with our dream. I stole a pack of Hubba Bubba grape flavored bubble gum once when I was 9. Got away with it. I have never stolen since then.


Meadowlark said...

This post made me laugh.
Until I realized you were FRICKIN' SERIOUS!!!

You mean to tell me somebody thought you should be accountable to THEM? NO FRICKIN WAY.

I am totally the last person to be one of those "everything this blogger does is wonderful, she's the best (ala: PW, Dooce and others with a huge fan base) kinda gal.

BUT... if someone gives you money to save your homestead, the key word is GIVE. "GIVE" you numbnuts. It's a GIFT because you expect NOTHING in return. NOTHING. Not even ACCOUNTABILITY.

You know what? I sent $100 that I didn't really have. And if she wanted to buy new fingernails and lipstick, THAT'S NOT MY BUSINESS. I gave a GIFT. If I wanted accountability, then I should have attached the strings when I did it.

You people need to get a life and if you think you have a right to judge what people do with a gift, then I suggest you go find somewhere else to hang around. You're not welcome here.

SHeeesh. You're probably the kind who buys everyone in your family a christmas gift and then compares to see whether you got something equal in return.

I'll go now. But I'm plenty pissed. Dumbasses SUCK.

feel free to delete this. but I feel better.

Peggy said...

I wouldn't worry about what a one or a few thought. You are living your life for you not your blog readers! The money was gifts not loans or with stipulations. Heck I get a lot of info from your blog I should be paying you every week. I know where you have been as we are there now but I also know the light at the end of the tunnel when things turn around and start working for you. Can't wait to read the adventures of the new place!!

Phelan said...

No one said I should be accountable. The question was how could I afford my animals when I couldn't afford to keep my home.

Phelan said...

Peggy, I am in a very bad place emotionally right now. So things are being taken to heart when normally they wouldn't I felt I needed to clear the air, and let everyone know what was happening. I had been debating doing this for awhile now, but wasn't sure if I should.

JLB said...

I'm sorry that you were having problems with your payments (I must have missed those posts) but I'm glad things have turned around now. I don't think you should have to be held accountable for any of it either. Although I've had people give me the same troubles before. We were eating rice and cheap things but managing to hang on to the animals and got a lot of guff about us eating so "poorly". The rice didn't hurt us a bit and we made it through.

Judy T said...

You had a lousy winter. It happens. I don't think you need to be accountable to anyone for what you do with your money or your life, or your animals. We all make choices- many that others may not agree with- that's their problem. My parents are flipping out right now because we are trying to purchase an acreage when my husband is out of work and the economy is in the toilet. But they're not living our life. Heck, even the guy at the credit union questioned the 'lifestyle choices' we would have to make with taking that much of my salary for a mortgage payment. It's not like we hadn't already considered that.
Hang in there, it's finally spring. At least on paper.

Captain's Wife - Jennifer said...

I am glad things have turned around for you and I hope they continue to get better and better! :) (((hugs)))

Melissa ~ Mom to 6 said...

I don't even know what to say... I've been to your place and I know you and your family have struggled and honestly, I don't know how you do as much as you do with what you have. You make things S T R E T C H way further than anyone I know could. It's completely assinine for anybody to question anyone else's financial business. I do NOT recall YOU asking for anything! Not once. As a matter of fact, I think it was your blog world friends that rallied around and put you up to accepting some help. Good blogs ought to turn into private/paid-subscriber only type publications. I think it's incredibly wonderful that so many people in blog land share as much info as they do - for FREE. For FREE people!! I'm just absolutely astounded that anybody would hammer on you for this. Ugh - it's like I say - some people SUCK. And, they know exactly who they are. When you bought Muriel it was a sound financial decision - a way for your family to make additional money. That seems to be one hell of a good way to think about things with the state of the economy. Just because husbands have jobs TODAY does not mean they will always. Everyone should be much more prudent about paying off debt and saving for the future. AND most of all - develop skills that will keep your family afloat when the jobs dry up. Have ya'll been reading the news?! We are heading towards $5 TRILLION in debt as a nation - do you think that we will still be dancing this dance when we're that far in debt?! Phelan ~ I don't know how you put up with such bulls**t - I'd have pulled the blog a long time ago and said screw it. I'm glad you haven't. Really, really glad and grateful. I've learned a lot - not just skills, but a strenghtening in my mental outlook at the reality of our current economic situation and about things to come. I know now the skills that I still need to develop to survive in a new America thanks to you. I could say so much more but I've got to go. Steam is flying out of my head and my hair is curling up. Gotta go work off some of this anger.

The Thinker said...

I was right there with Meadowlark while I was reading your post. Man! I was hot!

After reading the question you were asked, though, I guess it could go either way. Depending on who it was coming from, it might have been compassionate or extremely indelicate. Only you are in a position to know.

Anyway, I'm glad for the update. I'd not felt entitled to one, but I read your blog every day and sometimes I would wonder how things were going and I hoped that things were starting to look up for you and from some of your posts it seemed like things were going better.

So, while it infuriates me that you felt compelled to post some personal and financial stuff... I'm glad it was there.

You've set an example about how to root out the sources of problems and eliminate them or work around them. You've explained how planning and investing don't always mean IRAs and 401(k)'s.

You demonstrate how to do what so many of us are trying to do... overcome the obstacles that keep popping up... once we get past one, there's always another. And we keep on going.

Country Girl said...

As IF PHELAN! No explanations needed! Times are rough from time to time and friends help out. NOTHING is expected in return just for you to BLOG ON!!!
Glad things are better!!

Anonymous said...

I think it's a cryin' shame that someone should complain about your having animals. That is a huge part of your Homestead, as anyone who has read any of your blog should know.

When we contributed to help save your homestead, we (at least I) thought of it as a whole. Sure, maybe the immediate concern was the physical structure (your home), but in the true sense of the word "home", it's all one.

kath said...

I'm not a super longtime reader of this blog, but in the several months that I have been following it, you never struck me as being a frivolous person. I can't imagine that anyone would question your motives for anything. We all know those people who whine about being broke while booking a cruise, but you clearly aren't one of those people. You never seem comfortable even mentioning your financial state, but you do on occasion because this should be a safe place to vent, plus so many of us in America are going through similar things. You make us feel like we're not alone and that things will eventually get better. I'm so happy that things are getting better for you - it's all going to be babysteps, but it will get better. As for buying a cow, why would anyone question a purchase like that? Beef, milk, cheese and butter, right in your own backyard!
I live in NY, my husband is a self employed builder and times are tough here. Two of our sons who still live at home got laid off from their jobs, and my parents are living with us while my mother is undergoing cancer treatments. No one has it easy, but no matter where we are, or what each of our individual situations are, we're all going through it together. Be strong and don't give the naysayers any satisfaction. Success is the best revenge.

Anonymous said...

Wow, obviously this person has no idea how much real food costs. If we had to get rid of our animals, we'd never be able to feed our family! Yes, I've done the math! It is cheaper to keep & feed the animals than to buy the equivalent at the store!

I sure hope all works out well and your hubby can work with your at home....soon!!

SkippyMom said...

I didn't read the comments because I came right here to post this [I will go back and read them] but....

I am absolutely flabbergasted that ANYONE thinks you should have to account for your finances on your blog [or anywhere in your life for that matter].

It took a heck of a long time to convince you to even consider the donate button, let alone put it up. And damn if it didn't come down lickity split the minute you were okay - your friends here wanted to GIVE you a gift and if anyone donated and didn't realize it was just that and demanded accountability - well, sorry to be so simple, but that is just dumb. Plain and stupid.

I think you have done a spectacular job turning around your misfortune of December and for that you should be commended.

Ignore it Phelan - and don't ever feel like you have to do something likes this again. This is YOUR life and if others don't like the way you live it or the decisions then tough beans to them - let them go read somewhere else [or as I like to say "Well, change the channel."]

I was happy to read all the good news in the post. :) Hang in there.

Carolyn Evans-Dean said...

I cannot believe that you felt the need to defend yourself to any of your readers. As others have said, the donations were given as a gift. (If no one has to account for the bailout money, then why should you have to account for a gift?)

What a blessing that you are able to find yourself in a better situation now and I'm sure that your friends are happy that they were able to help you to keep your homestead.

Melonie said...

If only our politicians were as transparent as you've been here. ;-)

I'm glad spring looks like it will help you get all caught up and even ahead of the game for next winter. Every little bit counts. I think I came in as a reader after some sort of donations were made, but hopefully all the drops in the bucket - donation and work-wise - will add up to y'all being able to stay on your 'stead for good. :-)

Donna. W said...

I've never even wondered! When I give, I give. No chains. No expectations.

Cheryl@Gingerbread Crafts said...

I actually thought of this the other day, was it yesterday or the day before? Don't even know why I thought of you, I was walking home from the station and it popped into my mind.

You made it clear that you tried to deal with the bank that if they gave you the chance and a little time you would be able to raise the money. But they refused to work with you.

None of us want to see the fatcat souless banks win which is why so many jumped at a chance to help you, just as I know you would do in the same situation. Reading your blog I could sense how honest you were being with us.

The fact that your life is turning around proves it and shows how little the banks care - you did have the means to pay up but not within their limited deadline. I am very happy for you.

Gail said...

Animals are the money makers and takers. You have to have stock to expand and make money from the product, be that hair, milk or meat.

Whoever made you feel you had to be PROVE where your money is going does not have a good grasp on reality.

I am very proud of what you have accomplished with so little help from others.

You are a true homesteader and God helps them who help themselves.

Anonymous said...


I never met you in person but it is plain to see from your writing that you are the coolest, scrappiest, big hearted, singing at the top of her lungs when no one is looking chick.

I think after having some pretty hard knocks year after year, it must feel strange to have so many people make a stand on your behalf. But don't for a single second doubt the reason why that happened.

It is because you are so dedicated and hardworking that the support came.

It is because you are so dedicated and hardworking that you your success will continue to grow.

"The arc of history is long but it bends towards justice." Martin Luther King Jr.

Thanks for sharing it with us :)

Moonwaves said...

I really have to start reading comments as well as I had to go back to see what had inspired this post. To be fair, the question was asked in a straightforward way and didn't seem to necessarily be an attack on you. But as someone else has said it could have been meant either way.

I wasn't reading your blog at the time you were having problems and only came back to it just after people had rallied around to help you out. I would have donated a small amount if it had still been possible and would not have felt that that entitled me to an accounting of how you spent anything you received.

But on the other hand I'm also a nosy cow and would have been dying to know :-) So thanks for posting. I'm always interested in how other people juggle their finances and I know this stems in large part from my own financial issues. Every thing I read about how someone else handles things contributes a little bit more to how I think about money and how I manage it and a lot of what I read eventually gets filtered through my head to help me deal with my own finances. So, again, thanks. Glad things are going well for you at the moment and giving you the chance to make provisions against whatever life throws at you next.

Phelan said...

Thanks guys. I have no idea if the question was an attack or not. But I figured since 1 person asked that maybe others felt the same way. I have nothing to hide. To be honest do feel guilty at times for excepting money for strangers, but then I would be living in an apartment in downtown if I hadn't. And who really wants to see me screaming at complete strangers. "GET INTO THE STANCHION NOW!!!" :D

Dark Spice said...

Maybe they person doesn't realize that you think through every decision you make about the homestead. If you couldn't have afforded Sammy or Murriel, you hardly would have bought Murriel or accepted Sammy.

Just know that you have plenty of readers that have followed your blog long enough to know that you're anything but a leech and much prefer to give help than to receive it.

Have a fantabulous day, Phelan!

Anonymous said...

What they said.

Anonymous said...

As a devout reader of your blog and an admirer of you, I an dismayed that you feel compelled to disclose your finances. In my opinion, your finances are only the business of you, your bank, and the IRS. No need to explain it on your blog. That being said, I'm a big fan of your site and find it to be very uplifting and a testament to your tenacity.


P~ said...

Well Phelan,
Pretty much anything I was gonna say Meadowlark most "colorfully" said better than I would have.

I think sometimes people get caught up in their "helping" other people as though they should get credit for it, or should have some input thereafter. B.S.! What you got were gifts at best. More likely they were payments made for informatin already received. Don't stress it.
Wishing you all the best.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update,even though it was really none of our business.
There are just certain things you don't question, peoples private matters should stay just that. I was raised NEVER to ask someone how much they paid for this or that, not my business.
I certainly hope whomever had the bed manners to even bring this into question got the answer they where after.
I'm so glad things are atarting to turn around for ya'll. All the best!!
For some reason this silly thing won't take my password. So I'll just sign my name!

Hey...You! Yes, you with the face, I'm talking to you!! said...

OK, so I realize I am beating a dead horse here, but here goes anyway.
I did not DONATE any money to you, but it isn't because I didden't want to. I just did not have any, our family was in the same boat as yours.
It broke my heart to think that you might lose your homestead! I realize how much heart and soal goes into something like that everyday. (we have a small farm.)

I conciter myself to be your friend. I feal like I know you through your writing.
And as such, you shoulden't EVER have to explain to your friends.

Your friends do not need an explanation, and your enemys won't believe one anyway!

I am glad that your situation is improving though!

Anonymous said...

I did not give money so there is nothing for her to be accountable for so all your comments are irrelevant. I just had to ask, how, if she didn't even have the money to save her home (and wasn't doing ANYTHING herself to save it) is it really responsible for her to except money from others, plus now get more animals to care for, when she has three children at home to feed and keep a roof over their heads? Your children should always come first!!

Anonymous said...

You are the one who is irrelevant. Perhaps you could "sack up" and have an identity? No, didn't think so. Much easier to throw stones while hiding. I'm thinking I like this.

Today is just one fucktard away from me losing it.

Anonymous said...

The truth hurts! doesn't matter who its coming from!

Phelan said...

and wasn't doing ANYTHING herself to save it

And that statement means you have skimmed not read my posts.

There is no truths in your statement to cause me any harm or hurt.

Please no cussing on this blog. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hey girl. Lilhousemama made a good point, "Your friends do not need an explanation, and your enemys won't believe one anyway!" We helped out 'cause we could, no strings attached.

Glad to hear things are looking up though! =) *dreams of cows & chickens*

Anonymous said...

Good Lord, so much name calling from adults!
I've been taking care of my mom for the last 8 wks, so it's been awhile since I've been here.
Just wanted to leave a quick comment to say how glad I am that things have turned around for y'all.
But, I must say, I read, with interest, your "accountability Log", as I too, wondered what steps you took to get yourself out of the hole. It's a learning process for all of us, right?
When you have a blog, people get attached to you, sometimes unaturally attached.
It makes me sad though to see someone ask a question and then get so violently attacked by some.
I'm not taking sides, I've followed this blog for a couple of yrs. now and rarely comment. I didn't send money, but I empathized and hoped for the best for Phelan and her family.
I remember sitting around one evening with friends, discussing the donations sometimes being made to blog families and the potential for abuse. It was quite a lively discussion! I, for one am glad that Phelan made the disclosure, but, if you give money to someone, or a charity and you EXPECT disclosure, then you need to say that up front. I DO check out charities before I give and I DO keep a close watch on THEIR finances, but I've never given to an individual, other than close friends or family, so I don't know how I would feel about giving to a "stranger".
But, like I said, some of you obviously feel very attached to Phelan. Other people might feel like they're not crossing the line by asking, since bloggers literally put themselves "out There" daily. Know what I'm trying to say? Phelan could have always just deleted the the comment, right? So why not just answer the question, like Phelan obviously did, and let it go at that? Or show your support as some of you did, by saying, "Thanks, but we never expected accountability.."
Just my opinion, folks. Now you can let me have it, but just remember, Phelan ask for "No cussing". :)

Anonymous said...

I donated. I'm not a friend, and I don't post often. I'm glad there was an accounting, as the saving of the homestead became a community plea, across several webspaces. I gave with the expectation that the money would be used well, and I'm glad it was. I don't think it's unfair to expect that Phelan would keep us updated as to where that money went, and how it's being passed on, when she's in a position to do so.

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