Ok, I have always prided myself on making a dollar stretch, growing our food, etc... Well it was a matter of pride until the last few months. We lost 500 a month in income, and nearly every thing that could go wrong with a vehicle has went wrong. The kids have been back and forth to the doctor more in the last 2 weeks than they have in a year and the cost of groceries and feed are steadily climbing. Now the thriftyness that was kinda a fun thing before is no longer as much fun. It takes a whole different tune when it is a neccessity and no longer a novelty. It's not as much fun to go look in the cabinets and see what we have and try and figure out the most meals on the least amount of money and know that it is something that HAS to be done. It is hard knowing that there are taxes due and propane needed and that we will again skimp and save ourselves into an oblivion where you feel like you are working to exist and existing to work. Do not get me wrong I am not ungrateful, we have worked hard for all the meat that is in the freezer (home raised, or deer) and the veggies that are in the cabinets. This is just my way of releasing some of the stress that I am begining to feel from the constant money reminders. I am reminded of it every time I open the cabinets, everytime we turn on a light, run a load of laundry etc. Things will get better, I do not doubt my Lord, big possibility that He is teaching me a valuable lesson through all of this. I am thankful to Him that He gave me the foresight this summer, when we had extra income, to buy winter meds (children's tylenol, ibu, bandaids,etc..) put alot of chickens and veggies up and buy a new very efficient furnace when our other one died last spring. Thank you all for the little tips you guys post from day to day, they really do come in handy when you are in a tight spot. Oh, and thanks for letting me ramble a bit too.