Posted in Musing & Stories

Go Your Own Way

white book beside white mug
Photo by Ekrulila on

Grown Daughter, “RT” wants me to add some more of our text conversations. I’m kinda proud she thinks they’re worthy.  Here’s the first one. “Grandma Gets Volunteered.”

->While watching part of a replay of the 2019 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame)

  • Me: “When I turn 50, I’m gonna start dressin’ like Stevie Nicks.”
  • RT:  “I’ve been waiting 5 years to hear you say that, Mom.” :-O
  • -I think to my
    cat tee shirt, cats eyes, artist tee shirt
    “Arts & Cats”

    self, “That’s only ’cause you watched AHS.”

Grandma Auburn – Goin’ her own way for a few decades. {Takin’ the next generation along for the ride…}

Posted in Homesteading, Musing & Stories

Flashback: Foraging Morels -Indiana


morels RenTiff Papa.jpgmorels on table.jpg

Picture: LaPorte County – Circa 1997 My Dad teaching shroom hunting to my daughter, the ginger, and her BFF.  – Now at 85, ‘Papa’ will soon be teaching his great-granddaughter as well.

  • Cut ’em; don’t pull ’em
  • carry a mesh bag
  • toss the paper bag back in the woods
  • soak ’em in salt water

#oldfarmers #shrooms #foraging #traditions #Indiana

Picture 2: Last year- my sister took our Dad. 2018 – Hendricks County, IN.

Northern IN, I think, is much better hunting ground than Central Indiana. – Grandma Auburn #greys #teachtheoldways

Posted in Musing & Stories

Moving! Pt 3- Hypothetical Homesteading

How can we plan for retirement with very little savings; and get our homestead sooner?

SO HERE’S THE GRAND PLAN {HA! as if those ever worked out…}

Also! “How we saved the Down Payment in two years”

  • Vibrant Rose
    Almost time to plant!

    $75k Budget for HOMESTEAD over 18-24 months.

  1. Spring 2019
  2. $5-6k- Used truck
  3. $27-33k- Raw Land- (+/- 2 acres)
  4. July/August
  5. $8k- Used Travel Trailer
  6. MOVE onto land
  7. $500/mo. Savings!!
  8. Autumn ’19
  9. $2-3k- DIY Shed, Generator, Wood stove, Livestock/Garden prep.
  10. Spring/Summer 2020
  11. $10k- Well/septic/block foundation/electric hook up/permits etc.
  12. Autumn 2020
  13. $12-18k- Used Single wide MH 3bd/2bth {actually bigger than what I have now!}

After extensive research: we nixed the notion of a Pre-fab cabin, yurt

viewfromthetruck falltrees-jsm

or modular kit as a year-round residence. A tiny house under 400sf would suck long term. We lived 2 yrs on the truck… just ask me anything about teeeeny living... O.o

Prefab Kit builds over 600sf: Adding any electrical, plumbing, etc. is pricey. Though we’re still considering a tiny ‘something’ as a guest room or AirBnB, but not for a couple years.

Manufactured Homes: Why yes! I have spent weeks researching every tidbit. Craigslist. LandWatch. AutoTrader and RVTrader. Finally, we found one used MH dealer (by state). ALSO Factory Direct.


A pot of turkey hash feeds a big family.

Land Loans {and/or rolled into a  ‘Land/Home’ next year}: Most require 20% down payment. Pre-Approved is not the same as Pre-Qualified. 

  • Baseline figures: 20% x $33,000=$6,600.
  • Down payment:
    • [1 year: $132.00 x 50 weeks]
    • [2 years: $66.00 x 100 weeks]
  • OUR 2 year method: $50 weekly; [Feb. 2017-2019]
    • then added: bonuses, overtime, tax returns.
  • Top money saving tips:
    • Write out a budget. Say “no more stuff.” Repeat often.
    • Secondhand only, DIY or do without.
    • Plan less trips to the store. Plan meals around sales.
    • Get a side gig. Use your skills.
      • Upwork, Thumbtack or Taskrabbit
      • Or find free courses to learn new skills.
      • [I walk dogs and Mturk in between writing & merch]

OUR #1 prerequisite for all of this — It all must be paid for in 8 years. Hubby retires in 10. Thus why we’re doing this in increments, and saving additional money by holding over this winter [and budgeted for] a travel trailer.

Other considerations: Grid-tied for health reasons. Yet enough land to sustain a simple, back-to-basics lifestyle. Close to our jobs. Close to daughter’s family AND close to my Dad. Must have trees and a good stretch between neighbors. 😀

Frugal now; peace of mind later, Friends and Confidantes – Grandma Auburn

#homesteading #retirement #budget #truckerswife
Posted in Musing & Stories

I was raised by a 50’s housewife

(… in the 70’s.)  Subtitled: How I raised a more-or-less-well adjusted child in the 90’s 😉

Pondering the past few days on how US society has changed since the 50’s. (Watched a few documentaries.)

The Radio was my parents’ only entertainment and news. (Though Dad also bought Bel-Air brand new -when he was 20) They saw war and were without. Then came Black & White TV sitcoms & commercials. The wife whirling around in her new Whirlpool kitchen, making dinner pressing clothes, etc. (Redneck history lesson HA!)

antique crumpled crumpled paper dirty
Photo by Ylanite Koppens on

I was born later in my parents lives; so I grew up in the 70’s/80’s. As a pre-teen, I was acutely aware of the 60’s kids vs. what was thought of as still ‘proper.’ Yet growing up in the country, it hardly mattered. As a child, I asked about ‘old timey’ things and my only ‘cultural experience’ was American Band Stand and Soul Train. Don’t laugh! I wanted to marry Grizzly Adams or Kwai Chang Caine {or Jodie Foster.}

Fast forward to the 90’s: Desert Storm started while I was pregnant. Oprah helped me with sage advice, every day at 4 o’ clock. She taught me that I could be a strong person. Raise a strong daughter, no matter how I was raised. Pick my battles. {Purple hair wasn’t one of ’em… curfew, low grades and partying was.} I was, and still am- one of those ‘explaining type moms’… but every once in a while, I’ll admit I’d slam a chair down for emphasis. Never hit her, though. Because from generation to generation, that needed changing.

I taught her to be curious and courteous. Be a friend. Harm none. Seek out other like-minded personalities. Listen in earnest. Don’t shun anyone. Know you can be on your own.

I let her be silly and serious and ‘talk it out.’ Go with friends to this church and to the dance with another. March for a cause. Pause between boyfriends. [the ‘sex talk’ was hilarious] Also- NOT drive like your father when he gets cut off’. And finally… Be weird on a budget!

That’s all I got tonight. If this post wasn’t what you thought it was going to be – ME neither! Sometimes it happens that way. It’s been a long day. My daughter is teaching me Instagram. I guess ya don’t just add water. HA! Night. Gma.

Posted in Musing & Stories

A Pale Horse, Candid Cousins, Crepe Hangers and Charismatic Preachers Pt 2

Last week… (Life, Grief and Caregivers – Pt 1 here)

We held 2 memorial services for my Mother-in-law.


The Understatement of the Week: “It’s difficult to deal with others’ raw emotions, when yours are equally raw.”

Most Apropos Quote of the Week: “What you think of me is none of my business.”

Best Reminder of the Week: “Strive to understand and uplift those around you.”

The Most Important Take-Away of the Week: “Grieve your way. Neither judgement nor forgiveness are necessary.”

Most Humbling thought of the Week: Face-to-Face… “Fellowship and story-telling are equally innate/intimate/intimidating human needs.”

Archaic Term of the Week: “Crepe Hangers{My grandmother used the term.}

… And somehow, Friends and Confidantes, we all got through it for the most part.

We are grateful for having had them in our lives; and honor them by being a better version of ourselves, going forward.Grandma Auburn