Archive for the ‘An Introduction’ Category

My name is Phelan, nice to meet you

Posted: April 18, 2011 by emphelan in An Introduction

I guess it is about time that I too introduce myself.

I am a homesteader on the great plains of Kansas. I have been living this lifestyle for the past 10 years. I have been with Husband for 14 years and we have 3 boys. We call them Small, Medium and Large. But collectively they are The Wilder Boys.

We raise critically endangered barn animals, and grow the majority of our own food.

I have written or appeared in various blogs, websites and magazines. I won’t list them all here, but you can find my personal on-going blog here>>> A Homesteading Neophyte. I have been writing that blog for the past 5 years.

I decided to start Girls gone Trashy because of the sheer amount of junk that we as homesteaders (urban, suburban, and rural) tend to accumulate. We do this for various reasons. Our homestead has gathered trash mainly because of the expense of trash service. The further you live out from a town, the harder it is for you to get trash service or the more expensive it becomes. We had to get creative with some of it.

And the main purpose is that I am poor white trash.

After Husband’s lay off almost 3 years ago, we found that just because we had been living below our means, meant that we were not actually living poor enough to sustain a 40% drop in income. We found ways around that. First with the wonderful support of my readers, and then with our personal skills and creativity. And now we have been able to produce a prosperous homestead.

We build as much as we can with the items that we have accumulated. Sometimes your trash home-builds last longer than the store-bought items. Plus it saves you money in the long run.

Girls gone Trashy isn’t just for the homesteader, but for anyone wanting to find information, ideas or help in repurposing items they have or have found. The women here have years of experience in this area. And I am proud to have them on board.


An introduction to my “trashy” side!

Posted: March 29, 2011 by hopejoyandfaithfarm in An Introduction
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Wow, I’m excited. Who knew my “trashy” habits could make it possible for me to share my slightly twisted views with other like-minded folks? As a matter of fact, I never knew there were other’s like me! I’m a happy girl!

So, a brief introduction. I’m technically middle-age, have 6 kids, if you count the steps, ex-steps and my 3 dear daughters. I am currently unemployed (not counting the temp jobs and transcription I do for the city). I grew up with a single mom who was great with her finances. I don’t think she’s ever been late with a payment. However, all I ever heard growing up was “we can’t afford that” with no further explanation. As a result, I’ve always had a hard time managing my finances. I am finally getting better at it, after 12 plus years of sobriety (a whole ‘nother story). We have a small farm where we raise market lambs for 4-H, pigs for our daughter’s 4-H project and our freezer, eggs, mini-rex rabbits and garden/orchard produce. I’m so proud of our new trashy greenhouse, built with mainly “scavaged” windows and framing (tho we did buy cedar fencing for the siding.

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I have always looked at things with a “hmmm…what could I do with it?” sort of attitude. That old plastic milk crate… could it be a nest box for my hens? The plastic “boxes” that the old lettuce that I was given for our pigs…could that be a mini-greenhouse? The thin cement slabs that were used as part of a dock…bet those would be great as the floor for the chain-link dog kennel.

I am a scavenger… my favorite hat ever was found in a ditch (with water in it) alongside the road I walked every couple days for exercise.  I spotted a slightly different shade of green than the old moss growing in the water, straddled the ditch and bravely reached in.  I took my treasure home and washed it.  It was the perfect hat-the brim was rolled just right, the color was a wonderful sage green and the leather at the back cradled my ponytail perfectly.  When my mom asked me where I got the hat, she almost choked when I told her. I almost cried when it fell apart a few years later.  I have so many bungee cords, plastic containers, etc that I  have scrounged from the side of the road.  My “tool” holder in the garden is a newspaper box that laid alongside the road for two weeks.  I figured after that much time, no one was gonna claim it.  This last winter, I was pretty peeved at my husband when he wouldn’t cross 4 lanes of traffic on an interstate to retrieve a gas can.  I mean, it was only rush hour in Portland, Oregon, it wasn’t like there was a lot of traffic!

I also reuse things, such as tinfoil from bread, plastic containers and plastic bags.  I have a habit of saving hay rope from my animals hay, feed bags from grain and juice jugs.  I don’t hoard them, and they don’t take up a huge space, but if I need a rope or a trash bag, I can grab one from the cupboard and use it.  I have helped clear out old houses in exchange for what I can “scavage”… Milk crates to store canning jars in, old step-stools, pet carriers, etc.  It’s kinda like the new stuff they call “picking”, except I don’t pay for it.

I also am somewhat trashy when it comes to animals, cages, etc.  If someone doesn’t want an animal and wants to give it away, I’ll take it and find it a good home.  Of course, if it comes with a cage, I’ll sell the cage and give the animal away with it.  The last rabbit I was given came with 2 full bags of feed and one partial bag, 2 water bottles and no cage. I kept the rabbit a week til I found a home for him.  I gave the rabbit away, selling the lady a cage I had been given 6 months ago for $10.  I gave her a water bottle and the partial bag of feed.  I kept the two other bags for my mini-rex rabbits, and the extra water bottle.  My husband said I’m like an old-fashioned horse trader… Maybe so, but it works out in the end, the animals find a good home and I don’t cheat anyone.

I love finding ways to save money and do it by re-using or recycling.  Keep’s my life interesting…More “trashy” stuff to follow!

New *Kid on the Blog

Posted: March 24, 2011 by txmarina44 in An Introduction

Greetings Dear Readers:

This is my second attempt at an introduction of myself, the homestead, and this chapter of my life. That other page-and-a-half will go elsewhere (waste not, right?), and it clearly needed purging out of my brain, but I couldn’t live with myself if I had you land in the middle of things with no roadmap. It may take a special kind of crazy to live this sort of life, but that is for each one of us to develop on our own. *wink* I’m not here to make anyone else’s worse [you hush Erin].

So, call me Marina. I live on 11 acres in the Texas Hill Country, south and west of a little town that might barely escape becoming yet another bedroom community for Austin. My husband (known as DearHusband to most) commutes to his software-development job that is tied to the oil and gas industry, and I remain on the homestead to raise our two children: Boy (5 1/2, has Autism Spectrum Disorder and Sensory Integration issues, loves Kindergarten) and Grrl (2 1/2, neurotypical, loves her brother and **pigs). We moved out here in the summer of 2003 to escape the big city, and to try our hand at farm life. It hasn’t quite worked out that way, for many reasons. That other page-and-a-half touches on those.

Since it looks as though we are here for a fairly long haul, my main focus will be on getting rid of the true clutter, finding some way to make the rest of it fit in the space we have, and perhaps learning how to improve our quality of life with what is already here. I look forward to being inspired and supported by my fellow contributors, and to hearing your ideas, stories, and questions, Dear Readers.

Purgingly Yours,

Marina of Browncoat Acres

*Not really a kid, I just turned 44. OF COURSE I’m panicking

**not that we have farm animals now, nor will we in the forseeable future, but we’re banned from raising pigs per our deed.


Posted: March 23, 2011 by peggylynn in An Introduction, Crafts

Hi everyone, I am so excited to be a part of Girls Gone Trashy! My name is Peggy and I live on a tiny homestead with my husband in eastern North Carolina called Hidden Haven Homestead. We have goats, chickens, geese, ducks, rabbits, cats, dogs, etc that have us trained very well. I grew up in the mountains of NC and everyone that knows me knows I am a lover of snow, cold weather, and mountains. My dream is to one day have Hidden Haven moved back to my beloved mountains. My husband is retired army so that is how we ended up here. Hidden Haven is where we try everyday to live a simple, frugal, back to basics lifestyle. We try to grow as much of our own veggies and fruits as possible. We have goats for milk, cheese, and soap as well as eggs from our chickens. If we can dig it out of a dumpster, pick it up off the curb, craigs list, barter, thriftstore, or flea market it then we don’t have to spend big money at retail shops. My challenge each month is to see how low I can get our food and household supplies down to. I shop once a month so am a bulk buyer when possible. I look forward to sharing the many projects we have completed or have going without having to spend a penny. 

Since it is spring and everyone is cleaning and decorating  their porches and yards I will leave you with this simple little project. I found the bike next to a neighbors trash can. Brought it home spray painted it white with paint from a box full of spray paint given to me by one of our lawn care customers. Spray painted a basket that I found in a dumpster and used a piece of scrap wire I found in husband’s tool building to tie it to handlebars. Found the sign in a dumpter behind a local feed store. The wooden frame around it was broken so I took it off and spray painted it white. Used some of my craft paints that were given to me a couple years ago from a friend cleaning out her craft supplies to paint a welcome sign. For no cost and very little time I had a nice welcome greeting visitors.

welcome bike

An introduction from; The Never Done Farm

Posted: March 10, 2011 by kelleinmt in An Introduction

Good morning everyone. My name is Kelle and I live on our small homestead/ farm called, The Never Done Farm, in rural Montana.  I’ve been married to my high school sweetie for almost 27 yrs( 16th of March). We have two children, both, now young adults. Our Ds has a family of his own now and our Dd is still living at home.  

My Dh and myself both come from small farm backgrounds but when we first married were convinced it would be better to live closer to our jobs, thus moved to the city. This proved to be a valuable learning lesson because after the housing crash( silicone valley crash) we were unable to sell our first home for more than we owed on the loan.  We did buy another home on the outskirts of the city with a 1/2 acre lot.  This period was our awakening, so to speak, to getting ourselves away from debt and living a more self-reliant lifestyle. Our Dd had some major medical issues when she was 2-1/2 yrs old( inoperable brain tumor), thus putting us into debt even further. Her health issues are related to a genetic disease, yet not on person on either side of our family has this disease. We began to ask ourselves, why, where and how our Dd ended up with it and the conclusion was our food supply was a contributing factor. We  began gardening, added fruit bushes and strawberries, even eventually added laying hens and a rooster. We began pulling away from commercialized/industrial farm raised foods and buying more Organic or natural foods. I  taught myself to can our foods, this  began our journey of eating “from scratch meals” some 7 yrs after we were married.  My Mom was not and still is not domestically inclined, she never liked gardening much either. She claims she’s always hated cooking, even though I remember her as a wonderful cook. 

While going through our Dd’s medical issues for several years we began prepping and stocking up on household and food items. This turned out to be a HUGE blessing. Because of our self-reliant lifestyle, we lived from our pantry for almost 4 month( purchasing only dairy and some personal hygiene items), allowing us to take all extra money and pay down our debt.  Part of this prepping was learning to make do with what you have,  put out the word what it is you are looking in hopes of getting it “Free” or shopping garage sale and thrift stores.   Myself, Dh and our children had very few brand new clothing items, I do NOT sew, this is one of my goals though.

If you are NOT afraid to ask, barter or scrounge for something, often times you’ll find what you need and more often than not, for free to very little money. 

My Dh is better about “thinking outside the box” and repurposing things than I am, but when you’ve been doing this for over two decades, it begins to become second nature.

Of course recycling, repurposing, garage sale and dumpster finds require labor and organization, which is the trade-off for money saved. We’ve torn down many a building and saved all the lumber( even the rotten or broken, is sued for firewood and kindling; as long as it isn’t treated wood) , hardware and even some of the bolts, screws and nails( especially if they are handmade “antique nails”)

We have lots of projects that will be sharing( past and future) here on Girls Gone Trashy. 

Look forward to seeing and hearing about your projects