Haven't been around awhile on cyberland; it's a busy season here with gardens, fields, animals, and a multitude of marryin' and buryin' ceremonies. Life has come down to some hard decisions.
The unemployment rate here is 15.2 or 15.6 % (I've heard 2 reports) and dh is not happy with his $5 an hour payCUT job. I feel bad for him, and I wish I could help him more. He's found the older he gets, the less patient he is with nonsense, especially at work. We are barely making it on the new wage, but we are making it. He finds that the other jobs he applies for are flooded with people looking for work and willing to accept less money than he is. It is an emloyer's market right now....if the employer is still staying afloat, that is. We know that his job has no security, it's just one week til the next and we are thankful to have a paycheck, albeit missing any benefits.
The field we planted at a friend's father's property in speculation of harvesting the corn, grinding and feeding our animals.......well we've lost it. the friend and her father had a loud disagreement over something else, and well all our corn is gone. It's still there, and he gets it, but we'll not be able to be on the property to harvest. We were depending on that as the price of feed keeps skyrocketing and the money I get from eggs, milk, cheese just doesn't cover it. We will either get rid of all our goats by September, or cut back to one milker and our buck and see how that goes. Chickens and rabbits are cheap to feed, we will keep them.I have 2 goats and 6 rabbits in the freezer right now.
This has been the worst year ever for our garden. The insects and the weeds keep taking over. I've never had pests start so early in the season; I've never had the garden grow so slowly! It seems at least 3 weeks behind, mostly due to cold weather all season. I have done a count of what I have left canned in my canning room downstairs, and what I'll need for a year. I am concerned that the garden will not produce what I need, and I'll have to buy some at the store during the fall sales....which are terrible sales compared to years past. I will be content with whatever we can glean from the garden...and learn to be happy with it! Dh has suggested doing like the Bible says, and every 7th year let the garden rest. The thought of going a year without a garden sent shivers down my spine, but perhaps we can claim another area of land to till next spring.
I did a mortgage calculator recently. The problem with adjusting to a new income is that my mortgage doesn't adjust. We pay $884 a month. On dh's old income we could do $975 a month. (So to critics of foreclosures, we didn't buy too much house, duh) On dh's new income we can do $625 a month. AHA there's the rub. I was online figuring if we could fit any of the housing stimulus plans that Obama started last February. Unless I have a FannieMae/Freddie mortgage or are already 4 to 6 months into the foreclosure process, I don't qualify. There was another program, but I was disqualified from that by $9. From what I've read, the banks don't HAVE to offer any of these refi plans either. So most banks would not want to mess with someone that's already struggling to meet bills. They'd rather write a conventional mortgage to a steller buyer. At this rate, we cannot afford to do the needed structural improvements (ie roof and foundation repairs). So coupled with the ever-present possibility of job loss, well we may as well move out of state where there's work and let it go back to the bank, like so many others that have left Michigan. I will risk losing our fantastic credit score.....but hopefully I won't need it.
IMO, these housing-mortgage-stimulus programs are absolutely worthless to most people. The people ... and states..that truly need the help most are the least likely to get it.