3

Affording to stay home. 

Recently a comment was made to my husband that really raised the hair on his hide. Someone said, “I don’t understand how you can afford the life you have with your wife not working.” To my husband it was an insult, to me I just think the person who said this truly doesn’t understand how we do it. 
There was a time in my life that a comment would have really chapped my hide. I would have felt offended. But at this point in my life I realize people really don’t get it and these comments are made out of ignorance and true genuine curiosity! So here’s a peek into how we run things on a tight budget at the HK! 

  1. We Save energy and resources where we can. We hang our clothes on the line when it’s nice instead of using the dryer. We take short showers and the little girls sometimes share a bath to reduce water use. We do not keep our house especially cool in the summer generally 80 degrees f. Same thing in the winter, the house we generally Keep about 60 degrees f. We use less gas and electricity this way. We also have invested in buying high efficiency units such as washer/dryer/furnace/ac unit. 


2.  We eat at home (usually). We do eat out as a family about once a week as a treat. But if the money is just not there in the budget at the time….then we don’t! I make a meal plan and stick to it. It’s not formal, just a quick jot on a post it to keep me on track. We are also blessed that we can raise much of our own food right here on the HK. We usually butcher one cow a year, sometimes a hog or two, usually a couple dozen chickens. So we have our meat right here in the freezer. We don’t have the extra store cost of the meat. We just pay to raise them and process the animal, which is a resource we HAVE and we USE! Also when I’m shopping I go with a set amount of money. Generally about $60/week. I buy the very basics and make what I can at home. As a stay at home parent I have the time to bake bread and actually prepare meals. I shop the sale ads and frequently at Aldis. We rarely buy pop, chips, snack cakes, ice cream etc. it’s just too expensive usually! 

3. We curb our entertainment costs. We are very heavy users of our public library and it’s resources! Our children attend many of the programs which are generally free, and of course check out loads of books and videos. 

We also spend a ton of time outside in our own backyard! We go on nature walks, have picnics, and grand adventures. It’s free since we already have it! And it makes my children entertain themselves! I see thier imaginations grow while they are pretending ! 


Along with playing outside and enjoying our own space, we spend a great amount of time enjoying our animals. We all enjoy riding horses, walking our dogs, and just helping with thier general care.​ 


We don’t buy all the new movies we want to, we don’t have internet to pay for….we don’t even have a computer…. But hey we do have satellite! 

4. Wardrobes are bought second hand, passed down, or bought on sale. There really isn’t much more to tell other than that. I also dont buy massive amounts of clothes. We all have probably two weeks worth of outfits each. Cuts down on the need for storage space as well as I have to keep up with our laundry. Plus we all really get our wear out of our clothes, nothing is left in the back of the closet forgotten because there are just too many clothes to wear. 

5. My husband works two jobs. I am very blessed that my husband is willing to work such long hours to financially provide for our family. This is a huge sacrifice on his part as he is often tired, misses out on having his own time, and being home to see all of the girls activities. I also work prn as a nurse when my husband is available to watch our girls (no daycare costs this way). 

6. If we don’t have the money to pay outright…..it usually doesn’t happen. We both drive  older vehicles that are payed for. The one vehicle we do have a loan on we made sure was the only payment we had (i.e. We have no credit card bills, no other loans other than our farm loan) committed to. Any improvements to our house or big purchases we make are planned and saved for. Period. Basically we know what our expenses will be each month and we anticipate for them. If we don’t have the money to spend then we just don’t. There have been several times I’ve wanted something new and had to just say to myself, it’s just not in the budget right now, let’s plan, save and wait. It’s very difficult at times. 

These are a few of the top ways we cut costs. It is very difficult to stick to it at times. Of course it would be easier to throw those clothes in the dryer or order a pizza because I just don’t feel like cooking….but it’s also more expensive! Of course there are times I wish I had top of the line wardrobe with tons of pretty clothes, but it just doesn’t make financial sense with our budget. Of course there are times we fail miserably! We aren’t perfect! But at the end of the day we don’t rely on anyone else to pay or even help us with our expenses, and we have earned everything we have by working hard and saving. 

0

Traveling With The Mutts and the Discovery of BringFido.com


Here on the HK Bar our dogs are part of our family. They are constant companions that go everywhere (nearly) with us. So when the rare road trip or vacation comes around they typically travel with us. 

I have been in the midst of planning a short getaway for the girls and I, (plus Virgil and Booker Blue.)  While I was wasting my time on google trying to sort each individual motel/motel on prices, availability, location and pet policy I came upon a jewel! 

The secret you ask? Www.Bringfido.com 

It’s basically the answer to my trip with dogs in tow planning dream come true! It even has an app! Which I quickly downloaded. Super easy to navigate. 

I was able to compare hotels and read all the info easily in one place. No more clicking on each hotel site and wasting time. 

In addition to hotel arrangements you may also search pet friendly restaurants, find dog walkers, dog parks, as well as many other tools at the specific area you plan to be. 

So if you are planning a trip soon and your pup is going along check this app out! It’s a win! 

0

Hail to Pay 

So the HK Bar had a major hail storm hit about 1 pm today. Golf ball size hail, high winds, and a torrential downpour. 


I posted a video I took during the very beginning of it all. The hail was only about quarter sized at this point but coming down fast. 



My brand new Yukon, my Dodge, and my husbands Dodge truck are all battered….. 


The siding on our house has holes all over in it……


The three photos above are pictures taken four hours after the hail…still piles of it everywhere…

I immediately phoned all of our insurance companies on the house and vehicles. I asked husband to call in our crops damage (alfalfa total worth about 10k)…..for him to look stricken and tell me he had not yet insured for the year. *sigh* 

Such the life of a rancher.. BUT here on the HK we try to keep our eyes on the 🌈 rainbow…. so we are praying God provides us deductible 💰 money…. And saying thank you that all our livestock is accounted for, safe and sound. 

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Pray for strength, pray for recovery, pray for patience and goodwill. 

2

Just Keep Moving

Yeah so remember in February when I recommitted to being healthy? Well, I have stuck to it. Except of course for the days that I didn’t and I totally 🐷 pigged out on pizza and 🍺 beer. I do t have any set exercise plan other than just to keep moving. That’s my new motto. Just keep moving! It doesn’t have to be torturous to be healthy. I think that is the mistake I have all to often made then I’ve just given up.


So today’s Just Keep Moving is an adventure with Bunny and Owl and our two small dogs Virgil and Booker. Walking at our local walking path! The kids get to burn off some steam as well as me and the pups. 

So howdy from us and Just Keep Moving! 

2

Fitness Day 1 ; 💦 Sweat, 😭 Tears, and a little Leaked Urine 😮

So I fell off the fitness wagon 🚙 about ohhh….. 10 years ago?! Today I finally took a little action and started a workout that a horse friend of mine suggested. 

I couldn’t complete the 30 second wall sits, but I made it to 15! My burpees are laughable, but I tried! I had to take about five breaks. I also wet my pants 👖 a little….ok a lot, I wet my pants a lot. (Thanks children!).And I thought of quitting several times…but I didn’t! I made it through the list and then I sat down and cried. I’m almost thirty one years old and I’ve let myself get so out of shape I’m ashamed. But that’s not why I cried. I cried because I did it. I set a goal (however small) and I killed it! Ok maybe I didn’t kill it but I completed it to the best of my ability. And now I feel 💪 stronger than I did! 

My body will scream tomorrow, but I’m going to stick to this workout until it’s easy. 😁 Tomorrow I will set another goal and I’ll kill it! In my own clumsy determined way.

Current weight 189# (Height 5′ 5)

Workout;

10 crunches, 10 jumping jacks, 5 push-ups, 5 squats, 30 second wall sit, 15 arm circles, 10 mountain climbers, 5 burpees, 30 Second plank, 10 jump squats, 10 lunges each side, 15 crunches, 20 knee highs, 10 tricept dips, 10 push-ups, 10 squats, 20 jumping jacks, 30 second plank, 20 bicycle crunches, 30 second wall sit, 5 burpees, 20 arm circles, 10 lunges, 10 push-ups, 20 knee highs, 10 burpees

7

So I Fell in Love With A Death Row Inmate

I did. Fall in love. With the biggest brown eyes and toothy smile I have ever seen in my life. He is the typical tough guy, full of devilish good looks and rippling muscle. And a dash of mystery. His name is Tyson aka Jelly B Yellow, he is a two year old pitt bull mix. I agreed to foster him for a local (ish) rescue called Unleashed Rescue. He was on death row in Greater Kansas City Animal Control. I just couldn’t say no. 

I picked him up today, not knowing what I would find. All three of my girls in tow and a collar and leash to be filled. Let me tell you,  what I found was heart breaking. The smell about knocked me flat when we went inside the building. There were huge smokestacks to the crematorium outside. It was dark and I could hear dozens of cries from the back. This was definitely death row. 

I gave the bored worker my info, as well as the collar and leash. An attendant brought out Tyson. He smelled terrible… scratches and wounds adorned his body. Possibly cuts from trying to escape? From being handled roughly? I prepared myself to see a broken soul. Instead a smiling, tail Wagging, exuberant soul met me and the girls. He looked carefree and happy despite his condition. 

The forgiveness dogs offer has always amazed me. Here he was in deplorable conditions and he still wore a happy grin and fostered a bounce in his step. He was happy to see me. A perfect stranger to him. 

We got him in the car quickly. He sat quietly observing me. Blessing me with his contagious grin. And his horrible smell. I’m still wondering if I’ll ever get that smell out of my new Yukon. Oh well if I don’t. It will remind me how easily some people throw life away. How easily some souls are deamed inferior and dismissed so easily because someone got tired of them. Cast aside like filth and sent to death because someone suddenly decided they had no value. I took this photo minutes after rescuing him from death row. Those stacks in the back ground are from the crematorium. So close to death, and yet he smiles. Ironic hey?

The ride home was uneventful. He was quiet and  stared at me. Trying to make sense of his situation. Wondering if I’d be his saviour or his warden. I guess at some point he decided I was a good person. 

Got home, gave him a much needed bath and a meal. Poor chap is so thankful. He tried to eat Eli (our housecat) once, and tried to jump the two little girls. So I sit here with him on a leash for the while day. Yikes! This rescue business is work. In exhausted and this is only day one! How do people do this every day. Day in day out? It’s exhausting. Or did I already say that? But that smile is so worth it. 

After bath and meal we had a two mile walk and played with toys. He pulls on the lead. Not to be mean. No one has ever taught him anything. He’s a seventy pound puppy.

So that’s my story of how I Fell in Love With A Death Row inmate. He won’t stay on the HK Bar forevor. If circumstances were different he would be my forevor dog. But reality is not as such. The HK Bar will be a stepping stone, a place to rest and be loved. A short stop on his journey to his forevor life. I know as long as I live I’ll never forget Tyson. He has changed me. Forevor. 

6

Where Do I Blog? 

Where do you blog? I often wonder about trivial things like this. While I am reading different blogs I wonder if the person is blogging from some beautiful beach somewhere as the sun comes up, or are they blogging from the bowels of a dark castle that seeps moisture, or maybe from a more ordinary place like an office cubicle; possibly blogging while they are truly supposed to be working their day job. I assure you, where I blog from is a mix of all three of these places I’ve mentioned above. The HK Bar is where I blog 99% of the time. Sometimes my view is the porch scene you see above. With my little people painting, coloring, or simply running about with the dogs and sometimes a miniature horse being drug across the lawn as my three little girls become Cowboys and Indians. I often blog standing up at my kitchen counter and it takes me hours to complete one post because I am also trying to run the farm, cook meals, watch kids, make phone calls, etc etc etc. And sometimes, during that 1% that I am not blogging from the HK Bar, I am blogging as I wait in the grocery store line, or have a five minute break working as a nurse, or when I’m sitting in the parking lot after I get off of a nursing shift. I am never really NOT blogging. In my head at least I am always thinking of something to write about. I generally think about epic posts in my head, only to sit down in front of the computer to realize I have forgotten them more quickly than I have composed them in my head. 

So today, From the HK Bar I m sending out this question into the great unknown to ask, “Where do you blog?” I have a feeling it will interest me more than what you might think. Are you the beach blogger? The castle blogger? The cubicle blogger?