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Browsing posts in: Emergency Fund



Reopening our business

Thank you for your kindness and support after my mental health post. It got worse before it started to get better, but thankfully I’m beginning to feel more like myself again. Part of that, I’m sure, is there’s a bit of light at the end of the tunnel:

We can reopen our business

Our governor announced that businesses like ours can offer more than non-emergency care! After five weeks of closure due to the pandemic, we’re feeling so relieved we can work again. Of course, we’re not taking it lightly. We’ll start slow, scheduling with social distancing in mind, screening patients before they come in, and upping our already high sterilization protocol.

We’ve spent this week tracking down disinfectants and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and scheduling patients we had to cancel forever ago. It’s weird to think of reopening and working under these conditions, but we are ready to get our wheels turning again.

We’re cautiously optimistic—the COVID-19 curve is flattening in our state, but we know this slow reopen could make it spike again. Our governor warned we may have to close again if that happens, but at least we’re ready to try.

We also got approved for the Paycheck Protection Program

What a relief. However, unless it can be used retroactively, we’re not sure if we’ll actually take it. There are very strict guidelines about what it can be used for (it’s kinda freaking me out), and we want to make sure if we do take it that it truly can be forgiven. We definitely don’t need more debt.

Reopening has let us breathe a bit easier. However, we definitely won’t be up to our normal production and the economy is still shaky, so I really am grateful these SBA loans are available.

Although it has been a chaotic release of the loans. Have you heard the news stories about public companies that are definitely not small being granted SBA loans?? It’s been puzzling to say the least. At least a few had the sense to return the millions they were loaned.

I got another freelance job

This week I also took on another position that will add hopefully $150-$200 a month to our debt payoff. The timing was interesting—I reached out to this business last fall to see if they were looking for help. We went back and forth, and it fizzled out. So first I was surprised to hear from them during this weird quarantine time, and then I was hesitant to take it on since I haven’t been feeling great. Plus, we had just found out we could reopen.

But after talking things through, I think it will be a good project for me and the extra cash for our debt is so needed. Honestly, it just feels good to feel like I’m planning for something again and actually making progress.


My anxiety won’t let me forget that we all have a long way to go and reopening doesn’t mean this pandemic is over. So while not everything in the world is magically better this week, I’m verrrry thankful for the light up ahead.

Growing Veggies for Everyone


That might be a slight exaggeration. But we do have four 8’x4′ raised garden beds full planted. We mostly did seeds this year to keep the start up costs down, but I did grab a few plants. This years crops will include:

Tomatoes (2 varieties) Bell Peppers
Jalepenos Okra
Beans (2 varieties) Spinach
Radishes Carrots
Cucumber Squash
Zuccini Herbs (variety)
Watermelon Onions (2 varieties)
Cabbage Celery

And the first bed I planted is now fully sprouted with spinach available for harvest…yeah! I keep checking the radishes but nothing yet. Remembering the first time Gymnast and I pulled radishes out of the ground and popped them right in our mouths is definitely a favorite garden memory.

The bed Sea Cadet built me last year is already well established and is the tallest of them all. We had such good luck with our tomatoes there last year that I put them back there along with some of the deeper root veggies like celery and carrots. I didn’t realize that green onions, cilantro, English lavender and rosemary would grow year round. So that’s been a nice bonus.

Our two newest beds are all seeded as of this weekend, and I transplanted some bean and radish plants from the first bed.

My vining plants are in these two beds (above and below.) I think the longest to harvest is the watermelon at 100 days. So hopefully we will have some late summer watermelon. I planted a smaller variety because I didn’t want to have to give up entire beds for it. We will see how my spacing works out.


This year we are experimenting with the placement of the beds. We have one in a more shaded spot (the first one I planted,) one upfront in direct sun right next to last year’s bed and one further back in the yard where it will get direct sunlight but not the heat of the day. I planted strategically to see which sun/spots do best for each vegetable.

We have mint, pineapple sage, lavender, more rosemary and garden sage sprinkled throughout the garden beds and in pots to keep it from taking over. We all love to grab mint when I make tea. And I love adding fresh cut rosemary to my chicken dishes. In a couple of months, I will add some broccoli and cauliflower to the mix, but since they are cooler weather crops decided not to waste the seeds.

Being More Strategic and Organized

My sister gave me all the colorful plastic labels for Christmas. I was excited to break them out when we started planting. With so many beds, the labels will keep me straight. I’ve also got a binder with all the specs on each variety I planted so I can track a little better this year.

The twins have built all these beds for me. And loved playing with their tools. (History Buff has been buying tools every couple of weeks, and I’ve given them both tools the last couple of Christmases.) Thank goodness for YouTube because I certainly couldn’t teach them how to do miter cuts with a circular saw and such. At first they were using my hand held miter saw and box that I have in my soap making tools. That was an experience!

This year I am being more diligent about planning and preparing to harvest and put up what I can. But I know these veggies will save us a great deal on our summer grocery budget. Fresh veggies and dip are one of my favorite summer meals when everything else seems to heavy!