Inexpensive Internet Options Out in the Country

*Disclaimer: I am not responsible if you choose to get service through any company I mention. I am not guaranteeing that any of these will work where you live and options can change at any time with or without notice. You follow my suggestions at your own risk. Also, I am not being paid by any of these companies.*

If you live in the middle of nowhere you have likely run into issues with internet connectivity. For some, like my husband, this isn’t an issue. I’m not talking to you so you can go fry something on your wood stove.

If you enjoy connecting to others on Facebook or blogging then you’re going to want internet. We used to have satellite internet, but we were always going over our data allowance and they were charging us a fortune. I got fed up and got a bigger cell phone which gets decent service out here. That worked well until I wanted a tablet. So I got a hotspot from Straight Talk. It worked great, but I was paying $75 for 7GB of data! We’re on a fixed income so that had to stop.

We have cell phone service through Cricket Wireless and only had two lines out of four that we’re allowed. Two lines is only $80 on their Unlimited plan and hotspotting is $10 more for 10GB. I added a second line for $10 plus another $10 for an extra hotspot. So I pay $110 for three phones with unlimited data and 20GB I can use for my tablet and desktop computer. That’s more than enough to do what I need, but it also allows me to sync my cloud services and iTunes.

Cricket Wireless is AT&T based so make sure you have towers where you live prior to signing up. Their customer service is awesome so you can call and ask if that’s easier for you. Also, only certain phones are capable of hotspotting, so be sure to check their list first. I got an iPhone SE ($169) and a ZTE Overture 3 ($19.99), so it’s not just their expensive phones.

Check them out, they could be a viable option for you, too!

Why We Moved From Virginia to Alabama

My husband and I moved from Virginia to Mississippi in April 2007, when I was about seven months pregnant. We were close to the state line so after our son was born we began looking for a home in Alabama because taxes are lower. We were able to buy half an acre of land, an older manufactured home, move said home, and set up utilities for under $15k.


We came here because I have always wanted to be a stay at home mom. I don’t trust many people with my children so the thought of strangers watching them made me sick. My husband made decent money in Northern Virginia, but in order to survive we were having to live with family. That puts a strain on any relationship.

We have stayed down here because there is little regulation on everything. At times that has caused trouble, but most of the time its great. My husband built our 12×12 tiny house without requiring permits, we moved both of our manufactured homes here without requiring permits, and we can add on to our homes at any time without permits.

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Another great thing is our taxes. We pay $12 per year for our home and land. That’s it. Guess what, we still have schools, roads, and everything. The local government wants you to spend money in town, so they let you keep more of it. Its a great system!

We also love how everyone helps everyone else. If you need something all you have to do is ask and be prepared to return the favor some day. It’s basically like credit, because if you don’t repay the favor they’re going to be busy next time.

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Also, there are mountains and beautiful, clean ocean. My husband and I were not beach people until we visited Orange Beach. It’s amazing! It’s also affordable and unlike some places you don’t have to stay at an ocean front hotel to gain beach access. The whole beach is public property. We still love visiting Huntsville to get our mountain fix because it’s still warmer there than Virginia most of the time. The German culture (food) is worth the visit alone.

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I could keep going, but I think you see where I’m going here. Is Alabama perfect? No. I really wish there wasn’t a monopoly on health insurance, but I’m not going to move over it. This is home and I’ll be here forever, God willing.

How to Lose Weight Simply and Cheaply

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and I am not offering medical advice. I am telling you about what has worked for me. It may not work for you, I am not responsible if it does not. Or if it does, really. You are following my advice, if you choose to do so, at your own personal risk. Reading past this point is agreeing to this disclaimer.

When I gave birth to my third child I weighed 266 pounds. I’m 5’6″ and I was miserable. My blood pressure and blood sugar were both high and I was worried to death that my gestational diabetes was going to become type two diabetes.


I had a c-section with my last baby so I had to allow my body to heal before I could do anything strenuous. I could walk, but not for long. I was (and still am) breastfeeding so I started losing weight because of that.

What really helped me was getting a Fitbit Flex 2. I could see how much I was doing and challenge myself to do better. I started with a 1,500 step goal and now I’m getting at least 3,000 steps a day. It’s no where near the recommended 10,000 steps, but I’m getting up and moving. So it’s a start.

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    I also cut back on how much I eat. I’m in Alabama. I have been all over this country and I swear we have the best food, but a lot of us are obese because of it. I’m not going to give it up entirely because I feel enjoying what you eat is part of enjoying life. So I do splurge from time to time and I don’t feel guilty. The scale can and does go back down.

    You will hit plateaus where it feels like you are never going to drop below x amount of weight. I hit mine in November and I dropped for a little while earlier this year, but now I’m back to x. I remind myself that it is still better than where I started and I walk more. Every plateau forces me to add 500 steps, which is not a bad thing.

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    Another thing, I use real sugar and I drink coffee and sweet tea instead of water. I just can’t do it. It tastes like sadness to me. Yes, I’m weird. Lol

    My goal is to be around 130 pounds and fit in my size 7/8 jeans again. I can get them on now at 164 pounds, but I can hear them crying. So I happily put on my 12/14 jeans and I’m happy because it’s a long way from the 4x I was wearing in January 2017. That’s what really matters, being happy in your own skin.
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    So, live your life to the fullest. Enjoy your food. Don’t put unnecessary stress on yourself trying to stick to a strict diet. You get one life, be happy! You can achieve anything if you want it, I promise. I’ve lost over 100 pounds and, I’m not going to lie, I’m lazy. I would rather sit and read a book or play on my phone, getting up to walk is a struggle for me. I do it because I don’t have type two diabetes and my blood pressure medication was cut in half at my last doctor’s appointment. Results aren’t all about weight and dress sizes, I swear.

    Feel free to share your struggles and accomplishments in the comments!

How to make money homesteading

These are not get rich quick schemes, but genuine work from home jobs. You will likely have to put in 40+ hours a week to see an income. That’s still no guarantee, these are simply ideas that I have seen work for others.

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  1. Blogging. Yes, some people earn a living doing what I’m doing. It takes a lot of time and commitment. In order to earn money blogging you must have affiliates or a product that you’re selling. Ebooks do well.
  2. Crafts. Can you sew, knit, crochet, or something else? Then you can probably make things and either sell them online or at fairs and festivals. You probably won’t become a millionaire, but one weekend a month just might pay the light bill.
  3. Handyman or cleaning service. Are you good with your hands? Try starting a handyman service. Like cleaning? A lot of people are too busy to make repairs, do yard work, etc. Or they can’t or simply don’t want to do it. I hate cleaning and would gladly pay someone else if I was able. Lol
  4. Selling wares from your homestead. Check your local laws on this one. You may be able to sell eggs, cheese, produce, and soap that you have made on your homestead. A lot of people where I live love to support local farmers!
  5. Direct sales. Do your research and find one that hasn’t been done to death. There are unique ones out there and if you market it right you can earn an income. I have a friend on Facebook who not only is able to stay home, BUT her husband is able to stay home, too.
  6. Freelance. There are tons of ideas on Fiverr. You can check it out at the link below. If you make a purchase I earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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This is a short list compared to what’s out there. There are websites and ebooks out there that only deal with this subject. Who knows, maybe you will be able to quit your day job and work from your homestead.

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Let me know what you do from home! I love hearing new and creative ideas!

Why every homestead needs a good dog

So maybe you don’t have to have a dog on your homestead, but they can certainly be an asset. I personally have six dogs and five puppies (three are going to be looking for homes soon). They are a variety of breeds and sizes and each of them has a job.

Buddy, our English Lab, is our greeter and he’s in charge of letting us know if visitors are trustworthy. Every person he has ever disapproved of, and animal for that matter, has caused a significant amount of trouble. He also is amazing at guarding our children outside and making sure they stay out of the woods, keeps strangers away from them (so far he’s been really nice, but firm), and ensuring that we know where they are if he thinks we’re not paying attention with a friendly bark.

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Lucy is our Bugg (Boston Terrier x Pug). Her job on the homestead is to provide amusement playing with our other dogs, the cats, and our three kids. She also works well at keeping us warm by burrowing her hot butt under the blankets in the winter.

Polar Bear “PB” is my companion. He warms my heart with his toothy grin, guards me 24/7, and hoards my stuff in his bed. He absolutely adores Lucy and goes where she goes and does whatever she does. He’s our only special needs dog. The poor guy is inbred so his legs are backwards, his back is hunched, and his bottom teeth face outwards instead of up. I still think he’s the cutest dog ever and I’m thankful for every minute I get with him.

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Zoe is a mutt, I don’t remember what she’s mixed with. She is our watchdog. She can hear a squirrel bark at the back of our neighbor’s property and will alert us until someone verifies that they see it. That’s usually Lucy. Then all of our dogs turn into watchdogs.

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Dory is our Australian Shepherd. She watches over the other dogs, I plan to train her to guard the chickens, and she’s currently tending the puppies she had with Buddy. She’s incredibly smart and will do anything we ask once she understands what we’re asking.

The last dog I’ll mention isn’t really ours. She’s like a step-dog. She belongs to our neighbor, but she visits daily for pettings, treats, and to play with her kids. Her name is Pepper and she’s a Pit Bull. I adore this dog! She helps me dig my garden, has chased unwanted people up trees, and cleans up any food our kids have left in our van. She is overly affectionate to people who are allowed at our home, so technically she’s a greeter as well.

Whether it be companionship, a watchdog, or a darn good judge of character, a dog is a great critter to have around. Evety one has their own personality and capabilities, but most truly love their people and want to see them happy.

What is homesteading?

You may be wondering what exactly is homesteading. Well, homesteading is a broad term and is defined differently by different people. So I will give you my family’s definition since I’m writing this blog.

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Homesteading means that we do things old school as much as possible. My husband hunts and fishes when he’s able to provide us with food. I enjoy knitting and sewing which allows me to decorate our home nicely without costing us a fortune.

My husband would love to be offgrid, but that’s not feasible for us at this time.

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I do want to start cloth diapering again and eventually raise chickens for eggs. My family of five goes through five dozen eggs in about two weeks! I don’t bake so that’s fried, scrambled, and omelettes! My youngest is one and eats two eggs by himself multiple times a day! Okay, you get my point. We need chickens. Lol

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So in summary, homesteading is living self-sustainably and making due with what you’ve got. It can be a lot of work, but it can be a lot of fun, too.