Sunday, January 26, 2014

365 items in 365 Days

Did a second round of decluttering today because I was bored.

Got Hubby's computer decluttered. Got the bathroom declutter along with the make up drawer. Even though the landlord plowed us out today, we won't be going anywhere besides Hubby going to work.

So I did the laundry, played outside with the dogs, decluttered the butler's pantry and then came in a spent some time decluttering odd and ends out of my garden seed...was thinking that Spring was just around the corner...instead what is around the corner is a possible blizzard.

So I am battening down the hatches to prepare for possibilities and hope it comes to nothing. I am real tired of this winter.

Blessed be

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Thought I had the crud

But didn't...Doc took one look at my blood work and then announced he knew what I had...RICKETS. I had stopped drinking milk, wasn't eating much cheese of any kind and stopped eating yogurt.

I was thinking this would keep my cholesterol down.

First my bad cholesterol is up...way up. SO giving up dairy didn't help at all.

Second I now have a Vit. D deficiency that caused me to slide in to Rickets.

Some with some searching of the pantry and freezers. I made a grocery list adding things I need to be eating regularly to lower the cholesterol and raise the Vit D.

We spent $93 on food when we went to the store. A good half of it will last to mid Feb. if not longer. The rest was perishables for the coming week.

That is still keeping us in the budget AND I am still cooking from the pantry except for 2 days, one was for my birthday from my son (Wendy's) and the other was a take and bake pizza and chef salad that Hubby brought home the day of my birthday.

Got to go, weather is horrible here and the pup wants out.I go out with him and keep an eye on him.

Blessed Be

Monday, January 13, 2014

365 decluttering

365 Items in 365 Days Challenge
After talking last night, I figure out that Hubby feels that if he lets go of all the stuff he won't be able to replace it if we need it. We talked about our different faiths and how we each deal with that. I did point out to him that he refused to give a toy he had as a child to a grandson that asked for it to only leave in a dirty box. I asked him if he even knew where that box was...of course not. I do as I had unearthed it looking for something else.

We decided TOGETHER, key words there. That I will do the decluttering and if it is something of his, he has to make a decision of what to do with it within a week, if he don't then it's my choice of what to do with it.

Also, everything that needs to be burned (yes we have open burning here) gets burned asap (not when we have winds that will blow it to the barns) and not set aside in the garage, like I found 3 boxes.

Everything I put in the trash goes to the end of the lane on Tuesday morning for pick up. I will put this sack in a different place because Hubby is tempted to put it aside when he knows there is not bad food in it.

Everything that goes to the thrift shop goes on Thursday when we run errands into town. We try very hard to limit our runs to town to save on gas and spending.

Okay...being that's one "item" each day, I decided that I don't care if it's only one item or 27 items. ONCE a day I will declutter something.

I plan to post on Thursdays what I decluttered for the week.

Blessed be

Pantry eating

Saturday Hubby asked for chili, worked for me since I had canned several jars of chili last November.

Sunday we have pumpkin soup (I was finishing putting pumpkin in the dehydrator only have another 2 to deal with) and BBQ pulled pork in tortilla wraps. Another pantry meal.

Don't know what we are having tonight as I have the crud and Hubby is on dinner duty.You can never tell with him.

Be safe, be warm, be well.

Blessed be

Sunday, January 12, 2014

365 items in 365 days

365 Items in 365 Days Challenge
I had to really think about this and I can see a couple of you scratching your heads wondering what is there to think about.

I have been trying to declutter for the past 10 years. That is when we moved from the old homestead, in town, of over 2000 sq ft, a full basement and a 2 1/2 car garage that Hubby had packed with so much you had to move things to get in. Every spring I would rent a dumpster and toss the "trash" and donate the rest. He would go to auctions and yard sales and dumpster diving and fill it back up by the following spring.

In 2004 we moved to the country and an 1200 sq ft house with only a garden shed with a lean to.Hubby got a large storage unit and older daughter kept some of the stuff with her at the old homestead.

 In 2008 we moved to an 800 sq ft house with a one car garage , Hubby got 3 storage units because older daughter was starting to declutter stuff in the garage.

In 2010 we moved here with 2000 sq ft house,2 car garage  and the use of a farrowing house and pig house for storage (no pigs) SO Hubby got rid of the storage units.

I THOUGHT I was doing good, we weren't paying out for the storage units any more AND I was sorting through boxes and sacks getting rid of stuff...except what I thought was going to the local thrift shop was actually going out to the farrowing house being put under other things so I wouldn't know they were still there.

But hey, guess what, I have a couple kids that decided Hubby and I could store their stuff also and mentioned it at Christmas that they thought they had sent that with him instead of keeping it, would I please look....OH YEAH.... I looked (no, their stuff wasn't there ) but the stuff that was suppose to be gone was.

SO with this 365 challenge also has to come with rules.

Tuesday is our trash day, so anything needing pitched has to be in the trash can by that morning.

Thursday is our errand day, it will now be the day of drop off to the thrift shop.

Those two things have been added to my weekly routines.

Hubby and I had an open discussion of hoarding and why things need to go. I feel dealing with other family member's hoarding has made him realize he doesn't want our kids to go through what we and the family that had to deal with it has.

THEN I had a discussion with the ones that we are storing things for. They have until the end of June to have their stuff removed from here.I don't mind storing furniture that came from us or the family if they don't have a place to use it (4 out of 5 moved this year) until they decide to either move (3 are already talking of moving) or not keep it any more.BUT other than that, they are going to deal with it.

SO yeah, I had to think about making this a priority.

Blessed Be

Frugal items done

I mended my socks. That's a biggie for me because even though I will mend anything else, socks is something I don't do but Hubby does.

I made apple butter and apple Jelly from the apples given to us from a friend of a friend.

Hubby cut up a 65 lb pumpkin for me to roast and then dehydrate, the last of it will be in the dehydrator this evening. AND I have a couple more that is equal to 50 lbs.

We have ate from the pantry every day.

I ordered heirloom seeds for my garden so I can start saving my own seeds and not spending the money.

Not a big list...or I should say not as big as I would like to see. I think the goal of doing one frugal thing a day will help that.

Blessed be

Saturday, January 11, 2014 the kitchen

This is 2/3rds of the 65 lb pumpkin that cost us $1 this past fall.Hubby whacked into pieces for me this morning. The first 3rd is already in the oven roasting. I already roasted the seeds, got about 1 quart, for Hubby to snack on. When the pumpkin comes out of the oven I will put the pulp into the dehydrators and but another section in the oven. I have found that even though it takes more time to do pumpkins this way, I save more room in the pantry, save on the amount of canning jars I have to use and don't waste pumpkin because I had to open a half pint when I only needed a couple tablespoons for something. The last batch of pumpkins was 50 lbs total and I ended up with 1 1/2 quarts of powdered pumpkin when I was done. WHICH is now gone.I have another 50 lbs of pumpkin in the butler's pantry to do also. Another $1 buy that will provide many meals.

I finished the last of the apples we had stored from fall, they are now apple butter and apple jelly that I made from the peels and cores of the apples.

With the price of food going up and our budget for food going down. I am really going to have to put extra effort in stretching it as far as it can go.Not just focus of using from the pantry but stretching that pantry farther than I originally planned.

When I am preserving from our gardens I figure for it to last 2 years, just in case the next year is a bad harvest. Have dealt with that before.After a talk with my Dad, I have decided to focus more on 3 years and using heirloom seeds to gather my own seeds and not have to spend so much money on seeds. I don't do very well on raising plants. Still going to try to do some of the seeds. I don't have a place that is warm and gets a lot of light and can't afford to run the electric bill up to grow seeds. I do have a produce auction that also sells plants through the spring to late summer so I will put money back for that.

I ordered seeds for spring planting, checked out all the places I ordered and the best deals and then ordered for the spring planting. I can do the summer seeds order when I get the money up. I listed prices so I know how much I need to save up.

I am have selected more of the veggies that was in the Victory Gardens in this area.

Last night we had tuna noodle casserole with peas for dinner and homemade rolls.

I was going to have baked acorn squash stuffed with sausage but with the pumpkin still taking up the whole oven for a few more hours I am going to pancakes,eggs and bacon and Hubby can take leftovers to work for his lunch.

Meantime it's back to the pumpkin as the timer is buzzing to let me know to put the next part in.

Blessed be

Thursday, January 9, 2014

DUH moment with Pantry challenge

It's Thursday, this is our errand day, go to the bank,post office (got extra stamps as they are going up in price) and store and what ever else is on that list.

It was nice to get out of the house that we are no longer 30 to 45 below with the wind chills. Our dogs loved going for a ride in the truck also.The older one would live in the truck if we would let her.

I did mention to Hubby that I was sticking with cash for our groceries while on the pantry challenge (I set the amount at $400 a month) but I was going to buy some things for Operation Thank You to send to our deployed soldiers that would come out of my checking account.

Good thing I had that cash because ...DUH.... I forgot the check book and my credit card in my other purse so had to pay for it out of my grocery cash. SIGH....

Even for a DUH worked out okay. I only spent $33.46 on food and $82.70 for non-food so I had more than plenty to spend on OTY. I combined sales with the coupons I had and did very well all the way around. I still have $283.84 left in the grocery budget.

Last night I made sweet and sour pork out of leftover pork roast and used up some veggies that were getting ready to go bad and served it over the last of the instant rice that was out of my son's pantry.

Tonight I am frying chicken as I am craving the local restaurant's fried chicken (it won't measure up any where close), making mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans,corn, home made bread and apple crisp and vanilla bean ice cream. Maybe the apple crisp will calm the craving...probably not.

Another  DUH moment was when I put the chicken for tonight to soak in buttermilk that I should have bought buttermilk. It went on the list for the next time I go to the store which I don't plan on doing for 2 more weeks if not longer. If I need more than the 1 cup I have left I will have to make it myself with regular milk and lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.

Blessed Be

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Cold weather

I feel lucky, this morning was the first time we lost power through all this bad weather and it was only out 3 hrs.

We ate leftover pork roast sandwiches on and odds and ends out of the frig for dinner on Saturday.

Scalloped potatoes and ham and I tossed some sliced carrots in with it from the left over ham bone.

Last night we had homemade beef and veggie soup and homemade bread. I made a large batch of beef and veggie soup at Thanksgiving and canned it. Was nice to open the jar up and enjoy the soup.

Tonight we had pot stickers and eggs rolls. I had several in the deep freezer and was tired of moving it around from shelf to shelf.

Right now I am trying to get our bedroom above 44 degrees with the heater vent wide open and the furnace at 72. I have our electric heater in there now and hope by time I crawl in to the bed it's at least 55. I feel like I am back in my childhood bed, at least I don't find snow on top of my covers or my water beside my bed froze solid.

Stay safe, stay warm
Blessed Be

Friday, January 3, 2014

Frugal Friday including eating from the pantry

It's been a very frugal week...that's great because there was no extra money for anything including groceries for this week. Glad I have already planned to eat from the pantry this month.

We had an early dinner today, Hubby's work for tonight got cancelled (OUCH) so he ran the snow blower in the lane since they are forecasting 4-8 and winds for here this weekend.

I know how he would come in, get warm and then pass out( he works graveyard) until 2-3 am so I fixed bacon, eggs, leftover home fries and toast . If either of us gets hungry later we can have leftover pork roast sandwiches or cheese and crackers.

Today I processed in the pressure canner 14 pints and 6 quarts of different broths from carcass and bones given to us , 3 pints of apple butter (apples given to us this fall) and 2 pints of homemade BBQ sauce using my own red sauce as the base. I am now out of quart jars and down to 8 pints and 24 1/2 pints (jelly jars) left to can in.

Hubby used some Gorilla tape to tape the hole in the top of my barn (rubber) boots, hopefully they will last until late spring.

THEN Hubby used the same tape to tape my jacket back together after the pup got his nails caught in to the fabric. It's a very old jacket, was my son's and its cracking in places but I was hoping to make it last through this winter as my other jacket has zipper issues that I haven't been able to fix.Either it doesn't want to zip, or it zips and I can't get back out of it without pulling it over my head.

Hubby has finally gotten in the habit of turning off the power strip to the TV and computer after turning them off. Our electrician talked to him about ghost power and batteries that still use power even though the item is off. I marked it on our calendar when I started turning it off (which was every night) and our electric dropped almost $20.

We sent in a rebate that Hubby usually just pitches and doesn't bother to give to me. But he realized that even though it wasn't for very much it could add up and with spring coming I would need every little bit of extra money to buy for the gardens. I do collect some of my seeds but haven't done as well as I would like to. I think I have a black thumb to my shoulder :(

I need to go watch the local weather on TV even though I am already prepared for bad weather, I like to take the dogs out a bit more before it actually hits so their cabin fever doesn't get so bad.

Blessed Be

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Jan 2nd 2014 Blistery cold out

with the wind chills hitting 15 below here on this farm out in the boonies. The pup was wanting to go out and play more than our older dog or I was willing so he got hyper on me, took him out to play ball (we call it 10 because I throw it 10 times) and at 6 he wanted back in...reminded me of all the times I bundles the kids up to go out and with in less minutes that it took to dress them they would come back in and be done playing out side.

 Hubby had some issues getting the Ford out of the garage, but that was the worst part of our lane which is 1/5 of a mile long. Up around the house with all the barns and buildings around the garage usually is the worse.

We ate from the pantry today...actually we ate from my son's pantry, he gave us some of his canned goods when he moved in with his lady;and we ate from my mother's pantry that my brother and I split between us when she died and our own pantry. Hubby had beef and potato soup and grilled lunch meat and cheese sandwich, I had tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich. He took leftovers from last night's meal for his lunch. He usually does take leftovers for his lunch anyways.

I wrote out what I want to plant this year. I would like to try for a 4 season garden but trying to keep a hoop house over any of the gardens out here in this wind is hard. I will have to think about it some more. Next I will sort through what seeds I have and figure out what I need to buy.

Going to flip a coin to see if I am sleeping in the bed tonight or on the couch, the wind is sucking the heat pretty much out of the bedroom tonight.

Good night

Blessed Be

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year ..Eating from the pantry challenges

I hope everyone has the best year they have ever had in this coming year.

Jessica Fisher over at


Mary Ostyn over at

are both having pantry challenges which I will be doing also.

When I started before, I got sidetracked with my health and frankly got in a rut. I figured out at that time there are times I work (in the home) right up to the time of supper and then don't want to fix what is chosen because of the time it takes to put on the table.

So Hubby and I sat down and came up with what we call our fast food menu to keep us from going out or running in to town (wasting gas also) for something. We came up with 12 meals that even he could fix and not be grumpy about doing. He is a fix it in one skillet and eat out of the skillet type of guy.

To start off we have decided on $400 a month for food. This does NOT include our non-food.

We decided that meat must be below certain costs and listed those prices.

We took a good look at what we are eating from the harvest that is in the pantry to know what we need to plant this coming year.

I need to go back to bread baking. I try to stay away from preservatives and have gotten lazy about my baking. My health has taken the hit from that lazy time.

We found a great sale of meat last week and filled the freezer back up.

Last night we had ribs,black eyed peas and raw collard greens (YUCK) but I ate them anyways.

Tonight we are having pork roast, kraut and mashed potatoes.

I need all the luck and blessings I can get.

Blessed be