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North of the Border has felt like south of the Border the past few days. Thanks Texas for the heat! It would be appreciated though if you can figure how to send it north in January. I'm not complaining. Heat dries out the old house. Speaking of old house, one can only do the following if they have a dungeon for a basement. On the hottest day of the year I clean out my freezer. All the accumulated ice is thrown on the floor by the open furnace doors - those that remain open during the summer to draw the cool air from the basement floor. I enjoy the cool air provided by air flowing over ice until it melts. Our basement is so deep underground that there is always cooler air to circulate during the summer months. We have live-in toads - no bugs.
To answer some of your questions regarding home revenue producing projects, I have turned my hand to all sorts of home based money making projects. You can too by using your special skills and some marketing savvy.
Having perfected the art of bread baking, I turned it into a profit by approaching the local museum (which has outreach programs) and offering bread baking courses. They leapt at the opportunity and gave their facilities free. Mom and I taught bread baking courses in the autumn and spring of each year. Each course consisted of three days and we repeated them three times. Each attendee paid $50 for the privilege of learning how to make various breads. The cost of the supplies was included in the $50. We cleared $40 per person profit. We registered thirty people for each three-day course. First week they learned all about basic bread making and made two loaves of white bread to take home. Second week covered specialty breads with one loaf to take home. Third week covered sweet breads with one loaf for home. Sure, it was hard work but mom and I enjoyed bread making - and passing our knowledge on to others. Of course we donated a bit of our profit back to the museum. When I was ready to reenter the work force, this museum was the first to give me a job. Does some institution in your community offer adult education courses? Do you have a special talent you can teach others?
Cookies were a household specialty. When the neighbours began asking for recipes (neighbourhood children were all familiar with the product) I turned the tables and asked if I could bake cookies for them at @$1.50 per dozen (1970's prices). As many women worked away from home, they leapt at the suggestion. My baking list expanded to pies and tarts. The business was so successful that I finally had to give it up! It was either hire staff or expand to a bakeshop. I did not want to bake the rest of my life. A friend was so successful with cookie making in a city high rise that she eventually opened a shop and made a boodle!
Do you enjoy doing embroidery work? Needing a fall jacket, I purchased a basic blue denim jacket from a local farm co-op. As it was very plain, I took out needle and embroidery cotton and "spiffied it up" a little. I worked peacocks on the pockets and flowers on the collar, down the front edges and along the bottom. I was unprepared for the reaction it received. Men and women wanted to know where it had been purchased. After an explanation, many women said they could not embroider. Well now, did I have a deal for them! For only $125.00 they to could own a jacket - even choose their designs. (The jackets at the time cost only $15.00). I completed more than fifty jackets AND could complete one on three weeks by *needling* whenever I had spare time. I also did special event cushions covers - weddings, childs birth, Anniversary - designing each individually.
How about giving historical walking tours of your community at $2.00 per head?. I was also a step-on guide for area bus tours @ $3.00 per head. Sign up with the local tourism authority for this one - BUT - be historically wise about your community and area. Sure, every community has a history. Break new ground. Create your own tour and offer it to heritage groups within a one hundred-mile radius of your area. I still do walking and bus tours on rare occasions and love the ghost tours best!
How about doing home computing for local doctors, dentists & etc.? One neighbour is working a few hours a week @ $10.00 per hour, computing file information for a small medical centre, who are low on staff because two staff members are on leave. She sent an information sheet around to offices and industry offering her in-home computer services and asked that they keep the information on file. She was honest and said she was a home mom, trying to assist with the bills. She was pleased with the feedback she received - including a job offer when she decided to return to work.
Think about the special talents you have - those talents you are garnering as a home mom/dad. Get a few books on marketing a small business out of the local library and go for gold. Start very small. Do not put much money into supplies. Turn the first profits back into supplies - promotion and have a great time. When it becomes hard work, decide if you want to do it the rest of your life. If the answer is yes, carry on. If the answer is no, go on to the next project waiting in the wings.
How can I afford to garden? You are talking about flowers no doubt. Visiting garden centres can be a financially draining experience. Friends, neighbours and gardening groups i.e. Greenspaces, are great at sharing roots, cutting and seeds. I allow myself $50. worth of annuals and perennials each year. A community plant exchange is held each spring and fall. Plants are exchanged one for one. No money changes hands - just good healthy stock.
Where to find recipes cheap: Do I have a scoop for you. Many of the large manufacturers of food, and the organizations representing the growers have recipe booklets that you can obtain for the price of a letter. Take a look on the product for an address, or source the organization through the Internet i.e. Tender Fruit Growers Association, Milk Marketing Board. Write and ask that they send you any free recipe booklets and pamphlets they have concerning their product(s). Several spice companies offer charts and recipe booklets too.
I made a collection of this material for each of my children - male and female. It was a great addition to their *marriage chest* and the companies did not mind sending bulk materials when it was explained where they were going. Ditto with the bread baking courses. Manufacturers of flour and yeast were happy to send quantities of their booklets for handouts. Oh yes, I am working on STONEHOME COOKERY, a book that will include cheap and filling recipes with a Canadian bent.
About that confounded EH!. Yep, Canadians are a peculiar lot. Their language includes a verbal question mark - the venerable *EH?* What do you think of that, eh? No, we do not know when to insert EH. It appears to be in a Canadians genes that the EH is automatically inserted at the right spot in a sentence, obviously at the end. See what I mean, eh? And Canadians do not expect an answer after saying EH. Dear me, no. They expect frugality of words. And if you try to emulate them, they will look surprised and say *Canajien, EH?*
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