Saturday, December 13, 2014

YES I am alive....I think...let me ask myself again

Oh yeah it's been that type of fall....

I have several Crohn attacks...but remained OUT of the hospital (praising all in the heavens for that ).

THEN messed my back up and thought here I go again with the pain clinic but my massage therapist got me straightened back up and able to walk without pain again. Pain clinic put off YEAH.

I have filled the pantry and then some...still have to deal with pumpkins and some apples...just got oranges in also.Am working on a menu to use up what is in the pantry so nothing goes to waste.

Been battling field mice with the cold that came in...I won but they did get into the tomatoes I was ripening DARN CRITTERS.

Put 8 turkeys and 6 hams in the freezer...and one pork loin.

Ordered 12 bones of prime rib for our Christmas Eve dinner(Hubby's favorite gift) and will cut it up BEFORE cooking  so we have some in the freezer for our anniversary in Feb.

Am watching the sales for pork roasts, ribs,pork loins and kraut. Will call our local store to see what 50 lbs of potatoes are running. We go through about 30-40 lbs a month.Our one store is offering meat packages...the one is really really good for us as it has roasts for half the price as the big stores. I will be ordering it also in the next couple weeks...after the bills are paid and Christmas is bought.

I have half of Christmas bought and wrapped...will finish the rest before the 20th and have the cookies and candy done by then also. LONG days this week.

I bought a large calendar for menus only. I use calendar for everything else but I wanted one for the kitchen and the menu only. I wanted to list the entree, sides and dessert if having one. I hope it will keep me on task of using what is in the pantry and let me lower the grocery bills so I can start focusing on what to plant in the garden.

This year we have a daughter getting married and she wants me to grow must if not all of the flowers that she needs...I suck at growing flowers so I hope the heavens look about these flowers and bless them for her wedding and ignore my flower black thumb, hand, arm ...body LOL

The house is decorated mostly for Christmas. I have lights on the tree in the front room but not the decorations yet. The rest of the home is pretty much done.

Hope everyone is keeping in mind what the season means of their faith.

Blessed be

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sometimes Our Kids Worry

Remember this? Our kids were thankful we found a washer, that we weren't be spending our grocery money at the laundromat but there was concern of the amount of work it would cause me to do the laundry and the age of the washer. Truthfully I enjoy doing the laundry more and I do it less often and the clothes are coming out cleaner.

Wellllll...see this?
This is the used freezer we just bought.  We had been looking since the other one died. Saved up a couple hundred knowing that a used freezer was just going to be a stop gap until we could afford a new one. Hubby went to a couple auctions, we checked out the want ads etc...always sold or up right or had sat off for a long time with door shut...not good or was a very small freezer. Just when we thought we would have to buy a new freezer that was really too small, there was another auction close by that had a freezer listed. BUT it had been sitting turned off (the door was open so it didn't stink).As the price went up Hubby decided he wasn't willing to sink that much money in a maybe it will start back up freezer. He turned to walk away and an old friend from work ran into him. They got to talking and the old friend told him another coworker that had retired had a yardsale the other weekend and the deep freezer didn't sell and gave him the phone number. Hubby came home and called...and there it just gets interesting.

The freezer was the sister-in-law's that had died and they were clearing the house. They hadn't really put the freezer up for one was really interested in it because it was old but still working, was on and cleaned so they were going to just let it go with the house.It was the size we wanted and a chest.

When we went to get it the store comes out. First it wasn't put up for sale because they used it as the table during the yard sale. A lady had asked about it but since they asked for $50 for it she walked away.The sister-in-law died from cancer. She liked to buy things and then give them away to those that needed my Mother. The co worker's wife's name is exactly the same as my Mother.  The freezer is bigger than we were looking for it, it runs and it's clean AND it's over 40 yrs old. Yep over 40 yrs old...

A blessing and I still believe Mother was looking from heaven guiding us to this freezer.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Amish Produce Auction...Frugal budget

We got two of these boxes filled with small pumpkins for a total 54 pumpkins minus the 2 we gave to a friend.
We got 80 lbs of winter storage onions.
We got 15 lbs of small potatoes the size that is of new potatoes.
we bought 14 heads of cabbage. I gave one to an elderly gentleman that reminded me of my Dad and another to a friend.
We bought 14 lbs of carrots and gave 2 lbs to the friend. This is after I put them in wood chips/shavings for the root cellar in the basement. I did this also with the 10 lbs of turnips we bought.
There is 8 boxes (was 9 , gave 1 to friend) of red tomatoes, 7 boxes of green tomatoes,10 lbs of small green tomatoes, 8 eggplants (gave 8 to friend) 24 butternut squash (gave 8 to friend) sitting on the table waiting to be processed. I wished there had been beets.
And 16 -10 inch pots of mums that we got for 25¢ each.

We spent a total of $211 for enough veggies to last us for several months.

I picked up 6 spaghetti squashes and a 50 lb bag of Chef (baking) potatoes and an apple crumb pie and pumpkin roll for $64 at Hurley's farm market.

I had set the Auction budget at $400. So part of what was left was spent on us eating out and going to  the grocery store, picked up a few beets SMILE, celery and a few odds and ends needed.

Grocery budget stands at $594.54 out of the $600 budget. Leaving $5.46 for the rest of the month....I know we will go over with the acknowledgement that most of the stuff I bought at the auction and farm is going to lower the amount in the coming months so I can spend the regular grocery money on buying stuff for Tday dinner and Christmas baking.

All in all I am happy with the haul for the price.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Scioto Valley Produce Auction

We go to the Scioto Valley Produce Auction which is ran by the Amish in the spring to get our plants for the gardens and flowers. Pictures above are just a very little bit of what I have gotten. I've gotten tomato plants for 25¢ each. Bought several trays of 48 tomato plants for $5. Broccoli, cauliflower,onions,cabbages, pepper plants and more for a lot less than I would pay at a green house or the stores.

Then middle of July to the beginning of August we go again and starting picking up produce that is raised by the Amish. This was some of what we have bought last year. This year we didn't go because my gardens were running us over as it was.Then my deep freezer died and took it all with it. :(  Can you tell I am still upset over it ?

We went last month with some friends, we usually wait until middle of October for fall crops but they wanted to go to the pumpkin auction. I had to leave early before the auction was over so I left Hubby with a list. I wrote 5 b green beans...meaning boxes which was 1/2 bushel each...he got 5 bushels. Granted after canning it the cost worked out to 26¢ a pint, (I can in pints because that is the jars I have) so it ended up a good deal except for Hubby that doesn't like green beans to begin with. He eats them, but doesn't like them. I have over 240 pints and I still have a few coming in from our own plants.He is going to eating green beans every 4 days.

Next weekend we go for the fall crops.

I really hope onions, winter cabbage, winter squash (besides pumpkins and acorns that I have plenty of) sweet potatoes, white potatoes, and garlic are in abundance.

 Some of those that sell at the auction sell  what is their over flow from their own gardens. Some have went to growing produce to sell since farm land is limited and they can grow produce on 10 acres of land to support their family instead of 100 acres to raise crops and livestock. Last year was rough with the hard and cold winter we had. Those heating green houses by wood were sleeping in the green houses to keep the fire going where a few were heating with propane watched the cost go through the roof. Putting food on the table is their first priority, selling the rest is second.With talk of another hard winter, not as much is going to the auction as last year.

Blessed Be

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Frugal Accomplishments

I have been trying to keep a list of my Frugal Accomplishments. When you are frugal to begin with you don't always acknowledge what you are doing is frugal.

I finished canning the green beans that we had bought at the produce auction.The cost without the hours of my time (243 pints of green beans, I had pint jars so I didn't go buy anymore). The cost came out to 26¢ a pint, a lot cheaper than buying green beans at the store.

We bought acorn squash and spaghetti squash for 50¢ each that weighed about 2 lbs each.They are running about 79¢ a pound at the farmers' markets which is cheaper than the stores. I haven't been able to grow squash for what ever reason. This is now in the section of the basement that winter squash and potatoes hold well through the winter. I will still pick up butternut, delicata and maybe some kind of hubbard.

I am recording humidity levels in other parts of the basement to find another area for "root cellar" food.

I gave some strawberry starters to our friends so I would have more room in my strawberry bed.

I hung my first strand of onions that our friends gave us. I buy the cheapest panty hose or stockings I can find to store my onions in . Tie a knot between each (I cut panty hose in half) and hang from the beams in the basement. Helps keep them during the winter. If one goes bad it doesn't affect the others and I can just cut an onion off the bottom when I need one. We use 7-10 onions a week.A 3 lb bag from the store doesn't last the week. My onions didn't do well this year.Gave us enough for fresh but not for storage.

I took the hem out of a couple of Pat's pants.

We got the wringer washer set up and usable (I can change water every wash and have hot and cold water to fill with without lugging water)...I timed it yesterday when I used it and I spent an extra hour doing the rinse by hand(Hubby rigged it like a rain barrel so I can drain it without lifting it) and it took the dryer the same amount of time of laundry done at the laundromat which is twice as long as a home washer. I used the clothes line all week except yesterday...was wet here. Since Hubby can actually fix this, no computer YEA!!! I feel the $90 spent on it is well worth the price of my extra hour's time doing laundry comparing to going to the laundromat. AND I got the a lot of fall cleaning done in the basement during loads.Maybe next year I will look for a new washer and deal with computer boards again. Right now I am okay with this.

I gathered seeds from my lettuce plant to replant next year.

I gathered some of the green beans that I let dry on the vine to plant next year. I grow heirloom most of the time. I make sure I mark what is NOT heirloom so I don't waste my time letting it go to seed and gathering it. I have 5 varieties of beans I plant each year.

I made a list of the gag gifts we will be giving for Christmas. We have a large family. The budget has remained the same even as the family quad-tripled. Over half will be made with things we already have on hand. The list helps me keep focused on what I need to keep and do. I try to do 10 gag gifts per person...that's over 400 gifts. Not counting Hubby's guys under him at work we get for.

I didn't list anything to focus on that some more.Make sure that I am keeping things as frugal as I can.

Blessed Be

Monday, October 6, 2014

This week's goals

The goal is to get it done this week, since I also have several appointments to deal with this week I might be more hopeful than realistic on what I can get done.

Priority...finish harvesting the gardens.We dodged another frost but sooner or later we will get nailed so I need to get the last of the tomatoes, cabbages,yellow bell peppers and a zucchini off and dealt with. I might have Hubby cover the zucchini plants as there are blooms on them and they are in an area that we could cover them easily enough.

I need to update the budget. This Thursday we make the final payment to a loan that was half the bring home of the month. I don't want to fritter that money away so I need to have where it goes in place besides the savings acct and on the last of the debt from where Hubby was down to 3 days a week for 2 yrs. We are still rebuilding. The only that didn't take the hit was the retirement fund. Better to work 2-3 jobs now while still able than live in poverty when we are in our 70/80's.

I have apples a friend gave us yesterday to make applesauce and caramel apple jam.

I need to pick the last of the beans to be shelled to plant next year.

We need to finish taking the gardens down and prepping for spring. The last 2 yrs things turned bad for us and it didn't get done.Makes spring planting late getting in when we have to finish what should have been done in the fall.

I need to clear the foundation garden also.

I need to cover the strawberries and fall garlic I planted with straw.

The lilac and rose bush needs trimmed.

I need to cut some corn stalks down for decorations and grab some of the leaves for gag gifts at Christmas.

I need to gather some of the sticks up out of the yard, keep some for gag gifts for Christmas (the grandkids always look forward to and wonder what gag gifts they are getting)

I have started working on Christmas. We have a large family..that happens when you have a lot of kids and then they have a lot of kids.We spend $12 per person for gifts...I try to make most of it and give gag gifts with $1 cash.

I need to inventory the freezers. I want to have them pretty cleared out so I have some room for turkeys and hams in case we aren't able to get another large deep freezer.

I need to make the grocery list.

I need to finish fall cleaning the pantry and clean the area I keep the root veggies. I would like to add an area for a root cellar but I don't think we have enough stuff laying around to wall the area in.As it is, I would be battling the field mice over the food. I might be able to use the outdoor staircase from the basement. I need to keep track of it's temp and humidity this week and see if it is possible.

I need to caulk some windows after I get more caulking that is on the buy list for this week.

Pat asked for a Lunchable for his field trip on Thursday. Since he has youth group on Wednesday and needs a hair cut (coupon) I thought I would take him to get the hair cut and Lunchable after youth group. Saves a little on gas.

I need to go through some clothes my oldest gave me from her youngest to see if any of it fits Pat or can be altered to fit him before I start hitting the thrift shops to find more winter clothes for him.

I need to go through Hubby's clothes and make the list of what he needs replaced.

I need to go through my own clothes and see what needs replaces. I've lost enough weigh since last winter that my clothes are hanging on me. While doing that I need to find the box that has my winter socks and flannel tights.

I need to call the hospital about a bill that was not done correctly on their end. They are trying to get it fixed but I want to stay on top of it as our ins is saying they haven't filed the corrected papers.

Have a blessed day

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Weather changes.

Our first tree completely turned, the maple trees are still green with slight touches of yellow. Might turn more with the cold front going through tonight with possible frost in the morning. We had a slight frost a couple weeks ago but not much damage to speak of.

I am thankful the picture wasn't blurred with wind blowing like it is.

It has been a good day to check for drafts.I made notes of where they were so I can get enough caulking the next time I go to town for non-food items.

I started the shopping list for winter clothes. I already had a good start on the list for Pat but Hubby and I need some replacements of things also.

We tested the the furnace a couple weeks ago...worked great...figures today it wouldn't kick on when it's cold in the house. Frustrating to figure it out so I am leaving it for when Hubby gets back from town. Worse would be that we have to call the landlord which will call his brother to come fix it. We have secondary heating as long as we have electric.

I decided to sit down and do some planning for this month...we will see how that works out.

Blessed be

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

My new washer

Oh yeah, Hubby did...for those that are not old enough to recognize's an old wringer washer. Yes, it works. Yes, I will have to stay with the washer to wash the clothes.I won't go in to detail of all that but it's not a turn on and walk away and the load is done 30 minutes later. I would love to have a second one for the rinse but I doubt if we will find another one at $90. You can get brand new ones for $1000 and I have seen used going for up to $500.

Hubby set up the old washer hoses so I don't have to lug water and I can change the water every load which in the old days we used one fill of water and started it with hot water and whites was washed first.The pump hose it connected to the old drain hose so that is taken care of also. He bought me a new bright pink water tub (they use for farm animals etc) and put a drain and hose on it so I don't have to dump that water either and the hot and cold water hoses reach the rinse tub.

The agitator knob is sticking so he is going to deal with that this week and I will be set to wash clothes at home again and no more $5 a load at the laundromat. which was costing me $75 a week to do all the laundry. I probably will take the comforters,king size blankets and winter coats to the laundromat like my Mother did but that won't be a weekly expense.

The up side of this computer to go out and I can SOAK in the washer instead of a sink. The negative besides the risk of smashing fingers in the wringer is I will be definitely hands on with the washing and rinsing. I figure it might be a side benefit that I can sort boxes and do some cleaning in the basement that keeps getting pushed down the to do list if I am sitting in the basement dealing with the washer. We will see.

I figure the money I save from NOT going to the laundromat can go towards a new washer down the road and I can resell this washer for parts to someone else if it quits running on me.

Blessed be

Sept grocery round up

We finished the month at $468.92...that's over our $350 budget by $118.92.

I don't feel bad about it because $63.00 of that was 4 1/2 bushels of green beans which made 243 pints of green beans.That comes out to be 26¢ per pint (a 15.5 oz can is running $1.69 here) AND we got 12 acorn squash for $5.70 that would have cost us $17.59 at the local farmer's market.

 The rest of the over budget amount was eating out twice while I was canning the 243 pints and then taking Pat out after his last soccer game which they won.

October's budget is $600. I know we will be stocking up on winter squash,onions and potatoes on top of starting to stock up for the holiday baking.

I would love to find a used chest freezer before Nov  but that is low on the buy list.

Blessed Be

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Grocery update

We didn't do so well last week with our grocery budget.  I spent $67.03 at the grocery store and that included some stocking up. That part was good...the bad part was I didn't check the calendar when I made the menu and didn't take in account there would be 2 nights of us not being home until around 7 pm...not a good time to start cooking or even eating when Pat goes to bed at 8 and Hubby goes to work at 8:30.

So I spent $21.98 at Taco Bells getting 2 boxes of soft tacos. That fed us with additions of fruit and raw veggies for dinner , Hubby's lunch at work, and the next night's dinner also.

The other time was I had been canning all day, knew I would be the day before but still didn't engage the brain and fix something so I wouldn't be trying to deal with all the canning and the dinner.Hubby called in a couple orders for fried chicken (4 pieces and sides each meal that we split 4 ways ) at a tavern (which is known more for it's food) that is only 3 miles away. He spent $20.49...actually we got it for a better deal....the server gave Hubby the wrong meals and he didn't realize it until I opened it up at home so they gave those to us free and he went back and got our chicken. So we had extra veggies that night and Hubby got 2 extra lunches and Pat got to have chili fries with the left over fries.Works for me LOL.

This week I really checked the calendar, paid attention to the fact I will have more canning to do this week and several appointments.We are also trying to get more color on our plates which meant more fruits and veggies then I normally get since we lost most of our colorful veggies and fruits when the deep freezer died.

Still we have $28.45 left out of the $350 budget and 9 more days of this month.I might splurge and buy some pork chops as they have been out of our budget for a couple months now. I will see...

Blessed Be

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The day of rest and the week to come.

I am looking forward to when our trees look like this.I won't have to rake them because they blow away over the fields so I get the pleasure of looking without the work though I image I will have to rake some up or let Pat rake some up for him to jump in. Maybe burn a few since we can do open burn in this area if the winds are not blowing much.

Hard to rest today when I look around and see all the work still to do before winter hits. I compromise with myself and spent the day planning for the work load this week.

I hope to have most of the harvest done this week and most of the gardens prepped for winter.It would be nice to not start my spring planting with clearing last year's mess.

I have started the fall cleaning and weatherization, yes, even though I do Flylady ( I still do fall cleaning. I just break it down in to steps so I don't over whelm my self...or at least I try to. Yesterday I spent 6 hours in the pantry in the basement and I know I have another 4-5 hrs left of cleaning, reorganizing,inventorying etc left to do in that area (12 x 26 with 8 ft ceilings which the shelves go to the ceiling.... 32 shelves that are 3 x 8). That is the priority of this week as I need to keep the groceries down as low as possible and by not knowing what is in the pantry I end up buying food while what is in the pantry goes to waste.

I am not going to get my sewing done like I want until the harvest is done and I can paint my craft room and set up my sewing area again.

Blessed be

Friday, September 12, 2014

Grocery budget update,goals,frugal accomplishments

Grocery budget update : we spent $62.09 this week. We bought 31 lbs of dog food (will last 2 wks) and 3 bags of softener salt which came to $42.73 of that $62.09. Non-food costs us more than actual food ( this week was only veggies) does most of the time.

We haven't eaten out, Hubby and Pat even pushed their lunches back last Saturday until they got to the cookout so they wouldn't be spending any money eating out.

I fixed pizza and spag at the beginning of the week and we ate it as left overs the rest of the week until last night. Last night was breaded pork tenderloin for us and grilled cheese for Pat, his lucky sandwich when he has games. It's just Hubby and I this weekend as Pat is going to spend the weekend with his Dad so we will just raid and see what we find to eat.

I didn't accomplish much of any thing with my goals. Had a lot of appointments and phone calls to get medical bills paid (GRRRR) that should have just been paid the first time. Hopefully I will be able to get more done this week even though I have some appt or game almost every day to get to.

Frugal accomplishments....we didn't waste any food this week...not one thing :) I mended a couple tee shirts for Pat and sewed a button on a shirt for Hubby. I moved laundry day so I could use the clothes line.

Be safe
Blessed Be

Saturday, September 6, 2014

This week's groceries

Last week I spent $43.36 and it was on non-food only not even a gal of milk. :)

This week I spent $54.70 on food. Bought milk, half and half, coffee beans, baking potatoes,apples,2 juices, 4 dozen eggs,and a loaf of sliced white bread.

That brings the total so far to $98.06 leaving $251.94 out of the $350. budget I set for this month.

I have realized that Hubby and I are not on the same page of what to do with the leftovers or other items that need ate with in a few days.

I usually put these type of items in the frig in the kitchen, the one that has the water pitcher and milk so during the day I see them and figure out how to serve them.

Hubby put them in the white frig as there was more room...and I didn't notice it or more I didn't pay attention so we lost a couple things :(  I figured out it came to about $5 but still that is the same as pouring 2 gals of milk down the drain.

So we talked about figuring out where the items go, and to list them on the menu immediately or put them in the freezer.

I am looking at how to organize the frigs better also.

Other good news is we didn't eat out at all but boy did I want to with the appts and game during the week

Hubby and Pat might today grab a sandwich because they are working the parade in town this morning and I did make sure both had a good breakfast and then going to a HAM radio thing this afternoon. I know they will have hotdogs and brats at the HAM radio thing because our friend told me that he was grilling them for the group but it might be more of a dinner thing than a lunch thing.

All week our dinners average $2-$4 per meal (3 ,might as well say adults as Pat eats as much as I do and I am not a small eater, and then we pack Hubby's lunch for workout of dinner)...not per serving. The main part of the meal is out of our garden or friends gardens that was given to us free. Meat has been more of a condiment than the main course but with us eating protein through the day I don't worry about that being low at dinner.

I baked bread today using a different recipe. Cheaper 18 ¢ per loaf compared to my 32¢ per loaf recipe. I spent $16.83 a month for the last 4 months to buy just bread. That is way too much on something I can make that is just as good if not better.

This coming week is going to be a rough one. We have an appt or a soccer game right at dinner time 4 nights this week. Pat eats early on game nights so he doesn't get tummy cramps during the game.So those nights need to be something he can eat before the game and Hubby and I can eat after the game.

I am thinking of the following:

Sunday is left over pizza or baked potatoes and corn on the cob. We have a reunion that day and we will pig out there.

Monday: spaghetti and meatballs (the "boys' favorite) salad with lots of veggies, home made bread and mandarin oranges

Tuesday: Chicken nuggets, sweet potato fries, corn on the cob, carrots and dip and apple slices

Wednesday: beef roast with root veggies,home made bread, cobbler or crisp depending on what fruit needs used up.

Thursday: beef in homemade noodles, mashed potatoes, coleslaw or veggie salad (depending on what needs used up) and some kind of fruit...depending on what needs used up.

Friday is still open...maybe leftovers if there is any or a breakfast for dinner.

Saturday will depend on whether my son and his family can come up or not.

Blessed be

Thursday, September 4, 2014

What to do?

Which bill do we pay? The rent that the landlord is okay with being late as we do work on the house for lower rent anyways or the medical bill that we save on by paying ahead of time?

What necessities have to be bought? Last week was none food, this week is food.

What do we do about the child that says one thing to us and another to his teacher and both are lies that could cause someone trouble?

What do we do about the mother of the child (our daughter) that isn't doing what she should so she can see him (been a month) let alone have him living with her again?

What do we do about both the SUV and the truck needing repairs?

Do I work on the house getting it winterized for this winter?


Do the washing that has the winter bedding and clothes so I can dry them on the line to keep the electric bill down.


Just focus on the incoming harvest?

Trying to do all 3 just put me down for 2 days with my Crohn's. It doesn't like stress...Even my Hubby that never has complained of stress in over 20 yrs. complained of stress yesterday and considering we have dealt with 2 different children being suicidal, kids losing homes, us losing homes, my heart failure, my Crohn's and his work went down to 3 days a week for 2 yrs and mine going away completely causing us into a Chapter 13 bankruptcy (slow pay) takes a lot for him to acknowledge he is stressing...which, of course, stressed me even more.

What to do?

Hold on to my faith with both hands.

Take a deep breath, release....okay, do it again and again and again.

First is, pay the medical bill, landlord is okay with being paid on next Thursday. His running joke is he knows were we live and he can always shop for his groceries in my pantry...true, very true and he knows if we weren't here that the house would sit empty and he would have nothing coming in anyways except the bills of keeping it in good condition. It's the old homestead and he was leery of renting it out anyways and can't rent to family due to tax reasons.

Second,I think milk, coffee beans (we use less if we grind our own then if we buy ground coffee, saves us about $10/wk) and possible in season fruit and veggies that we don't have in our garden.

Third,Okay, we dumped that on the school counselor and his psychologist. I am dumping mine on my counselor.

Fourth, I can't force my daughter to do anything, it's to the point that she threatens to harm us if we are anywhere near her. I leave her in God's hands.THAT IS HARD.

Fifth,make a list of repairs needed, price out what is needed and prioritize the repairs. What can we do ourselves and what will have to be hired. We have 2 very good and affordable mechanics.

LAST...winter wash, weatherization,harvest...all 3 are very important but nothing gets done when I am down with my Crohn's. I can weatherize when it's raining, I can do the winter wash on good days. Harvest can be done rain or shine...the in ground garden is when its shine and the rest in square foot gardens can be done in the rain. I have been known to put my muck boots on and go in the in ground garden and harvest...horrible and messy but doable.

Sometimes I just need to stop and write it out.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Goals for this week

Caulk windows the 2 of the upstairs bedrooms, the last 5 windows out of 24.

Caulk the crown molding in the one upstairs bedroom.

Craft room:second coat of primer, 2 coats of paint, closet painted, woodwork cleaned and oiled and room put back together ORGANIZED.

Sewing including insulated curtains for all windows and Autumn aprons and finish the mending.

Write up description and post at Hubby's work the front load washer we have removed from basement and is now sitting in the garage.

Fall clean 9 rooms (half of what I have to do) including getting it ready for winter.

Finish inventorying the basement pantry, set it up for the last of the crops to come in(area for root cellar) and give it a good cleaning which is one of those 9 rooms of fall cleaning).

Check out FaceBook's garage sale page for book shelves.

Continue with the canning of tomatoes,banana peppers, cabbage and what ever else comes our way.

I plan to buy Pat some knit hats and knit gloves along with a heavy winter coat. I will start looking at yard sales and thrift shops for these items now and buy new as a last resort.

We will eat from the fast food this week. Between doctor appointments, counseling sessions, soccer practices,and tests at the hospital we have been eating out a lot.

Blessed Be

Thanks Brandi the prudent homemaker

Brandi does frugal accomplishments and weekly goals over at

My frugal accomplishments this past week were:

I mended 2 shirts and 2 pairs of shorts.

I glued a pair of shoes back together for myself.

The dryer died, but we were storing our son's dryer so he is "lending" it to us until he decides if he needs it back or not. Hubby tightened the clothes lines so I can hang the wash on good days. I have been trying to float when I do the laundry to days that I can use the line and if we need something that can't wait I hang it on the drying rack in the basement.

Hubby has been taking the motorcycle to work instead of driving the truck when weather is good.

Tomatoes, green beans, banana peppers and green bell peppers, zucchini and yellow squash has been coming in so they have been canned, froze or dehydrated.

Some friends gave us some zucchini, cantaloupe,banana peppers, hot peppers, green bell peppers and cucumbers. They are pretty much to the point of just eating from the garden instead of preserving it..

I am trying to use hydroponic with my strawberry runners to get more plants so put else where and to share with the friend that gave me the produce.

I gathered some of the seeds from the lettuce plant I allowed to go to seed. It's one of them that we prefer. I have some green beans that I am allowing to dry on the vine to replant next year also.I am thinking of saving a couple other green beans also to have the different varieties.

I combined my appointment this with getting the non-food this week and saved $13.10 at the dollar store.

I used my coupons and bought fabric on sale for clothes and home items, including a couple Christmas gifts I need to make and saved $76.20 which shocked the register lady along with Hubby. PLUS got another coupon if I go back this week.

I used my swagbucks to order a couple books from Amazon for free and am saving up again for a book that is on order for end of Oct. Half way to that amount.

We spent Saturday evening with friends and had a cook out.

Blessed be

Back in the old days

of my childhood...this kitchen picture was close to what my Mother's uncle had built in the home we lived in except we had a cabinet under the sink and the top cabinets didn't come all the way down to the counter. The apron was one like my great-uncle's mother-in-law from Italy wore. She insisted I call her Nonna and tell people I was her granddaughter. I didn't have any problem with that at all as I spent as much time as I could with her and my great-aunt and her sister.

Even though money was extremely tight, Mother was not frugal in the kitchen. The only casseroles she ever made was tuna noodle and scalloped potatoes and ham. The only soups was bean soup and chili made with hamburger. There was always a piece of meat, (Dad hunted and fished or there was no meat), potatoes, usually fried, two veggies that had been canned from our garden or that someone gave us that Mother canned if the garden wasn't producing. There was store bought bread and real butter, maybe pudding if the farm that my brother worked at gave us milk or jello. Fruit was only in season and what ever was in the neighborhood. Christmas gifts was an orange. I remember the first time Dad bought meat at the local grocery that had a butcher cut the meat right there. It was t-bone steak, one for each of us. My brother had gotten accepted to a private college, received a scholarship for playing football and Dad had just made the payment for his freshman year. We celebrated with that steak on the grill, we had baked potato with sour cream and butter and a tossed salad and corn on the cob. I didn't see that meal on our table again until my brother graduated from college four years later.

Why the thought of that time? Because I need to cut the budget to make the bills that have came with taking on a grandson to raise and preparing for a winter that they are forecasting to be just like last year...below zero and lots of snow. I am also dealing with losing the deep freezer and all the food that was in it.

So I have accepted Mary's challenge over at I plan to spend half of what we have been averaging for the months since there is now 3 of us for the month of September. I am hoping for less but the goal is NO MORE than $350 for food and non-food.

Have a blessed day

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Garden and juggling act

The tomatoes have started coming in on a daily bases of this amount. I have the blisters inside my mouth that shows I can't control myself with constant eating them or the cherry tomatoes. I finally got myself to at least drink water between them :) . A lot of the plants are starting to die off. That's okay as I have tomatoes that I canned last year still in the pantry. Just filling in the holes so to speak with this years.

The zucchini, yellow squash and cucumbers have died. I might get a couple cantaloupe yet, they are small but don't seem to be growing much.

The yellow wax beans and the first planting of state green beans are pretty much done. I will pull them this week and plant something for this late fall/winter harvest.

The second planting of state green beans and the KY wonder beans are starting to need picked every third day.

The Italian beans are just coming on but haven't started filling out.They were mislabeled as bush beans but are viners so I have a bit of mess of them.

I have some small heads of cabbage that will be ready in a few days. They are from the heads I cut instead of pulling the root out.

I downloaded to my kindle pc "Winter Harvest Handbook" By Eliot Coleman. To the dismay on my Hubby I have decided to try my hand again at a winter garden. The second year here I did one 4x4 (Square Foot gardening) and it was decent until Jan when the winds took it out. We have a lot of high winds here so I think I have figured out how to deal with it.

We have lots of doctors appointments and testing for Pat this week besides my own is going to be a juggling act to put meals on the table between those appointments, soccer practice (almost forgot that one) and the canning that I will be doing.

We will be spending Saturday at our oldest daughter's home to help them finish putting the fence up.

I would like to get some bread baking done but that keeps getting shoved to the bottom of the list. Going to have to suck up the heat and the time...maybe Wednesday when I have to keep Pat up later than normal due to the test the next morning . They want him tired...that's find except I don't do well at staying awake that late and then getting up earlier. I wonder which one of us is going to be the grumpy one.

I have some mending to do that I need to pull out the sewing machine for. Haven't gotten to that either.

Best get back to it, dinner needs to be done so we can get to practice.

Blessed Be

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

When there is a major loss....

   trauma trauma trauma...
what you are looking at is our main deep freezer that died and everything thawed and was very very warm when I found it.I am usually in it every day even if just to check on it since it's in the garage. Monday I wasn't and Tuesday morning I found it a very warm mess.

All of the broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, zucchini,berries and melons etc. that I had harvested and preserved this year for this coming winter gone. All of our large roasts that was in the bottom drawer and the last of last year's corn gone.

This is a very serious set back for us.

First, that just wiped out 60% of our winter side dishes and 100% of the desserts. Second, those 10 large pieces of meat were a month's worth of entrees for lunch and dinner. Third,I won't be able to replace those veggies and fruit as they are not in season now and fourth...we can't afford to replace the freezer until late fall or maybe even next spring. So fifth, I don't have a place for turkeys,hams and prime rib roasts (I get it for Hubby for his Christmas present when it's on sale)come this fall. That is our main meat supply for the rest of the year.

We have already priced a new freezer so I know what we need to save.

I striped the old freezer of the shelves and drawers. I will use the shelves in the root cellar since I definitely will need to get that done asap so I can at least have some root veggies for fresh veggies this year.

My Daddy called because he had me on his mind and probably wished he hadn't after I downloaded my pity party. He reminded me that both him and Mother grew up with less, that Mother even went hungry and they both were fine and healthy. I needed to be thankful for what I do have, focus on what I can do (root cellar like my childhood) and take those steps.

I am also planting a fall garden, something we had decided against due to other commitments but now putting food on the table is the priority.

I an thankful that it was NOW and not after I loaded it with 6-8 turkeys, 4-6 hams and the prime rib roasts(depends on price and money flow on how many).

Blessed be

Sunday, August 3, 2014

August :A New Month

Row after row of field corn ripening in the warm sun of an August day.

This is my time of harvest and preparing for our home for the coming winter.

This year on top of that normal heavy work load we have custody of a young grandson and with us he has a totally different lifestyle and a lot of  counseling and doctor appointments to get through...with me right along beside him each step of the way. We have adjusted better to our changes in our routines then we thought we would.

The last few days I've been laid up from a procedure so I took this time to think about what needed to change to get it all done (yeah right) and smooth things out so I am not running in crisis mode (HEAVENS PLEASE).

First I did a Control Journal ( for him. Broke down morning, afternoon, evening and bed routines as he does better with being able to read it as he doesn't do well trying to remember things even after doing them for the last 4 months. I also broke his room done into zones so he isn't trying to clean it all in one day, wasting his Saturday of play time.We set times as he has problem with time management. We are strict with that Sunday is the Day of Rest and Church. Even with me down today, he immediately asked if Granddad and him were going to church...YES!!!!!

Now I am working on my own Control Journal, a menu plan that has covers the entire day and lists the sides and adjusting the grocery budget as it almost doubled with having a person in the house with a sugar issue. Can't just fill that empty pit up with bread or grains when it sends sugar up. Already had to change my nightly glass of milk because he can't drink milk at night or his sugar is through the roof even with riding...for at least 30 min after. :(

I started updating my Christmas/winter holiday Control Journal...21 weeks to that as there will be extra "celebrations" and  more gifts under that tree including from Santa....another increase in the budget that has to be worked in.

I need to let some of it stew in my head of what days to do what with acknowledging soccer practice etc that is now in my life.

Blessed be

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Weather and back to school

My hand is 6 inches, these were around 2-2 1/2 each. Thank the heavens that there wasn't many of them so there wasn't much damage yesterday when it hit.

I got Pat's bus schedule for school, bus will be here at 7:10 so he has to be at the end of the lane at 7:00. That wouldn't be all bad except he gets motion sickness when he eat and rides so he has to DONE eating by 6:00 so not to get sick. His wake up call is now at 5:45 A.M. just like last year. We were hoping since we transferred him to the local school there would be a later start to our ( MY )day. The good news is he will be home by 3:30 and that's about 1 1/2 hrs earlier than last year.

I also won't be on the road 5 hrs a day with transporting him so along with the huge savings in money I will be able to get my own work done instead of sliding it to the back burner and operating in crisis mode.

I've been inventorying the freezers and doing a good cleaning. Down to the last one in the kitchen refrigerator to do tomorrow morning as I start the "back to school" schedule since my wake up call will be 4:45 A.M.

Hope everyone is doing well...and HEALTHY

Blessed Be

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Best laid plans

The best laid plans... is when the produce it coming in, stop every thing else :)

Usually I get about 1/4th of the cabbage I plant and no cauliflower. This year I got 1/4th the of the cauliflower and almost everyone of the 90 some heads of cabbage I planted. Wished I had made sure they were Kraut cabbage, being what they are, more of a spring cabbage than fall, they are too dry to make kraut so I am pickling some, made cabbage rolls for the freezer, blanched some and am dehydrating some.

Pat started riding his bike, still can't start off at a standing stop, needs an incline to get it moving but he is riding and keeping his balance for short distances.

We have also got back some news about Pat's medical problems. He is hypoglycemic and has issues with red food coloring. We are still jumping hoops with ins. for testing of other things including a learning disability/memory problem.

The rest of my goals and plans have fell apart, part of the garden coming in and Pat's issues that needed dealt with and now I have to have 2 procedures on my back within the next 2,fun.

Blessed Be

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Goals accomplished Goals for this coming week

Garden: harvested 3 heads of cabbage, harvested green onions, harvested radishes. Planted bush green beans, radishes and more green onions. Used clothes pins to pull outer leaves to cover cauliflower.

Preserving: dehydrated oregano.

Sewing: mended Trenton's shorts and Patrick's shorts. Sewed button on Trenton's other shorts.Mended Patrick's new pillowcase that he stabbed with Lego sword causing holes, he won't do that again.

Cooking: made treats for the kids instead of buying them. Been awhile since I had to be in that mode. :)

Service to others: helped find a honey supplier for a friend that can't use any other sweetener and her supplier lost 60% of their bee hive due to our last winter. Shared some of the garden harvest with a family that is struggling to put food on the table and their own garden isn't doing well.

Organization: broke down the to do list in to different areas so I can focus on what is most important first and not just what annoys me the most.

Blogging: read my favorite blogs and wrote my own for my own blog.

Next week's goals:

Organization : my desk, 3 boxes of papers,the garage and my sewing room.

Gardening: weeded, fertilized and plant fall crops.

Sewing: start on insulated curtains or making winter curtains,catch up on mending.

Preserving: cauliflower, cabbage, oregano, parsley, radishes, and onions.

Service to Others: help my daughter and older grandson paint his room. Send recipe for homemade noodles to my Dad.

Cooking: granola bars,cookies,ice cream, possible noodles and bread.

Blogging: post 2 - 3 times including pictures and check out new blogs of being frugal/gardening/sewing.

Blessed Be

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

another summer day

Hot....humid... and very limited on activities.

Grandkids had swimming lessons this morning. The older ones had a good time as they are diving now. The youngest doesn't like it that he has to put his head in the water, more he has to stop talking or he gets water in his mouth.

The kids are learning to be quiet because Hubby sleeps days from 12 to 5. Not a long time but he does take a nap before going to work at night.  Youngest thinks he needs to run everything and everyone...even though he is 7 and we just got custody of him, it's like a newborn that can get into everything and talk the whole time. We thought he would be better since he was in school but found out the teacher he had treated him as teacher's pet and pretty much allowed him to run the show and do what ever he wanted ...sigh...this next year is going to be rough with a different school system that will be expecting more out of him.

Tstorms in the forecast today so I am not getting out the sprinkler. They are tired of the videos, legos and games...the preteen is missing her friends and her own pool.

Tomorrow is the last day for the older 2 to be here...Sorry to see them go, I'd keep them forever...but I know they have had enough.

Blessed be

Sunday, June 8, 2014


After Hubby spent the day mowing ,I spent the day planting the gardens south of the grainary  and Patrick spent the day in the sand box, we gathered together at the end of the day on the front porch with our two dogs.

Not much time left of the day but enough to share our day, play ball with the pup (who is actually 2 but will be the pup for ever) and give rubs to the older dog.

This day as it rains and is on the cool side, we are taking the day of Rest and Renew our Spirit.

Blessed be you and yours

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Taking a moment

Okay , really it's Saturday morning.

 I need to figure out what work is the priority for this week off the to do list.

 I need to make a basic weekly grocery list so I don't miss toilet paper and sour cream again.

I need to start working on winter bedding and curtains.

I need to start working on preparing the house for winter to keep the costs down.

  The upstairs is electric baseboard heat while the down stairs is propane. The first year here we spent almost $500 a month trying to hold those rooms at 68°. Then we figured out the house wasn't insulated like the new landlord was told (bought house from family member) and the windows were not as new as he thought either or caulked. My answer last winter was to just close it off since it was just the two of us and the dogs. Meant I didn't work on many crafts since that room is upstairs....sad but worth the price in saving on heat.

But this year we will have to heat it. Patrick is now living with us and his bedroom is upstairs. I grew up in a house that only had a space heater in the front room, with my brother's and my rooms upstairs. My own kids grew up in a house that had no heat upstairs, my oldest raised her kids there for awhile and now lives in a house with no heat upstairs either.
                                                                                                             SO why the panic attack?This child is used to having the heat of 68 ° or more in his bedroom, running around in shorts and thin shirt all winter.

 He had done well at adjusting to culture shock between city living,(going to shop daily, fast food,high speed internet, something to do all with the time not spent on xbox or tv,etc) BUT he is constantly cold.

It's summer and yet the house is on the cool side. Great when it's 80 something outside but not so much when it's only 65 ° and breezy.

Landlord is going to caulk the outside of the windows. I am making a comforter of old jeans, might have enough for curtains. My oldest daughter passed flannel pj bottoms down but didn't have any warm pj tops so I need to find thermal shirts for him. Might have to use adults found at the thrift shop to make some for him.

It's a worry with what all ready we having going on and the budget is getting tighter with Hubby looking at having some days laid off of work through the rest of the year. So this morning I am making a list of the priority of the work week, basic grocery list, winter prep and winter needs for Patrick...the time spent planning and organizing will make it easier to do and less likely chance of me forgetting something important toilet paper ...but hey at least we are not OUT, just lower than I like.

How are you doing ?

Blessed Be

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

It's been awhile

Since I have had time to sit down and write. Several things have happened, a cold spring that stopped us from getting the spring gardens in, a backed up drain in our basement that flooded the pantry,emergency custody of our grandson due to his mom (our youngest) having issues with her health complicated with other things and a cold beginning of summer with rain pretty often to screw with getting the summer garden in topped with messing my back up to the point medications don't help and struggle to get up and down. Already had a xray which confirmed my deformed disk in my lumbar and scoliosis (duh, I already knew that and had it from birth) and go for a MRI next...sigh...

I can say after using 5 hrs of driving grandson daily to his school so he could finish the year out there....I was so far behind in my spring/summer to do list I didn't think I would ever even get close and the budget was whacked out with paying for the gas to get him to school, of course it went UP instead of DOWN.

To keep food on the table and cash for the fuel to get him to school I immediately pulled up The Prudent Pantry(
 and followed Brandy's advice more that I usually do.

Hubby came in last night and told me that he ran the rotor tiller in the large in garden and I had lost about 1/3rd of my tomatoes, probably from the family of bunnies that are still running around the house even with 2 large dogs constantly chasing after them. Hubby doesn't hunt or care for wild meat or they would be on the dining table by the weekend.

I remind myself daily that GOD is giving me no more than I can handle and the strength to handle what comes my way.

Meantime since I have to clean out the pantry I decided to change how it is laid out. Hope my back hangs in there long enough to get it done.

Later....Blessed be

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

Glad you are not suffering and in Heaven with your sons that had went ahead of you....but Momma I wished for you.

 Happy Mother's day to all of my daughters.

Happy Mother's day to all the women in the world.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Over a month

And it's been a rough one. Even the two weeks I spent with friends welcoming home a couple (she will be 93 next week and he will be 83 beginning of May)was still a rough one...why?

Because while out of state doing such...I broke my molar...I got sick...laid in bed for almost a week wondering if I was every going to be well again...and then did too much when I did get well and messed up my body to the point the the massage therapist was praying over me as I moaned with pain. Physical Therapy was a wash out, my ins won't pay for the chiropractor because I have a deformed lumbar so they don't see any point in me going to the chiro even for pain mgt....that is what pill popping is for which is NOT what my medical doctor wants for me.

ANYWAYS...mean time...winter refuses to go away and STAY away so I won't be planting any spring crops.....sigh....I miss my spring crops.

But I do have a good start of my summer crops you can see I have a 3 ft by 6 ft card table covered with healthy squashes and cucumbers plus a few others that are not in the picture. In fact there are a couple tomato plants I brought back for my Dad as he likes Mr. Stripey and has problems finding plants for his garden. I also have a 6 ft counter top covered with "hot house full of seeds and 2 trays under a 4 ft grow light of seedlings for the gardens.

Now if only Mother Nature and my body would get their act together.

We have been eating from the pantry until 1 wk ago.I bought bacon. We hadn't had any for over 3 months. I also got a lot of fresh veggies and fruit, the salad disappeared in 2 days. We ate out, smoked ribs that we hadn't had for awhile but still kept well in our $400 budget including non food which is our biggest expense

Now it's back to eating out of the pantry, not only because of the tight budget (we have paid off 3 major bills and gained 2 thanks to my health) but because I will need to clean the deep freezers, frig freezers and pantry for the incoming harvest...if Mother Nature works with me.

Meantime my to do list has grown to over 2200 items I want done by the end of May....that includes appts. and other things that are not in my normal day. I just keep ticking things off...except on Sundays

Sunday is the day of rest, renew my spirit and organize and plan for the coming week.

Blessed be

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


It's SPRING... I don't care what the weather says...I have had enough of winter so I have declared it to be SPRING!!!!

The local weather station is calling for Spring here to be colder than normal with most of that being in March.

I will cut back on what I plant for Spring harvest, start more Summer crops and then increase the Fall harvest to make up for the lack in the Spring.

This is a picture of the seeds I planted today...the empty spot is where the okra will go when I plant it tomorrow. I forgot the seed had to soak 24 hrs.

I prayed over these little lives as I planted them, prayed my black thumb (up to the elbow) didn't kill them off and if it did it was a quick and painless death. I really need to be able to grow the crops from my own seeds as I am to the point of buying very little veggies from the stores.

As for my "flying" today as in FLYLADY (

I fluttered a little...we had went shopping this morning for some things that I need to make a couple gifts plus I found some material for a skirt that will work all year around. All of it was on sale so it was a good day that way.

Still by time we got back, ate lunch, played with the pup who is now 2 yrs old today, walked with the older dog that puts up with all of us and started on the seeds...I didn't get much done beside the laundry.
As I was doing laundry I day dreamed of hanging clothes on the clothes line...need to get that fixed.

The to do list is longer than my arm...okay longer than my car because I am short LOL

Blessed Be

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sunday the Day of Rest

We didn't get the big bad snow/sleet/freezing rain storm that they were forecasting for our area so it was nice to wake up to just a nice snow fall.

I usually clean the master bedroom on Friday or Saturday depending on which day works better with Hubby's work schedule. He didn't have to work this weekend so we were out of the house most of the time for the last two days. The bedroom didn't get done.

So as soon as I woke up I stripped the bed and started washing the bedding and remaking the bed. Surprising what a simple thing can do to cheer you up...a nice clean bed to crawl into.

I decide that even though today is the Day of Rest and I really try to stay focused on that otherwise my health goes down from the lack of rest. BUT since the last 2 days I have spent basically not doing anything around the house and visiting with friends. I figure I can do an odd job or two and still rest.

Have  Blessed Day

Thursday, February 27, 2014

makes me smile

There is a story behind this toy. When ever I hear it play or see it even though it has lost most the parts of his body I have to smile.

 When my first grandson was a toddler, this was his. I was driving behind his mom, my daughter , and every time she turned or stop and started I would hear this music coming from her trunk so I pulled up beside her and got her to pull over.

"What?" she demanded.

"There is music coming from your trunk."

"I know, it's the freakin toy that annoys me every time it plays so I am taking it to Goodwill."

"Give it to me."

"Are you kidding me?"

"Nope, he can play with it at my house and it won't annoy you."

So I got the toy...and it annoyed her anyways because instead of him playing with it, I would send it playing when she would walk in the door.Pay back for all  the noise makers she banged on  that my mom got her.

Now days the grandkids will send it playing and most of them are in their daughter laughs right along with me.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

February glitch,eating from the pantry , 365 declutter

I am calling it a glitch because with a little effort we can get back on track.

We have had a lot of running around, moving furniture for kids etc and appointments in the evening...and slid right in to eating out and not eating healthy. So even though the amount being spent eating out comes out of the grocery money (and we are under budget so far) it's important to get back to eating at home and eating fruits and veggies.

Update from the eating from the pantry...I have the mudroom frig freezer almost empty. My goal is to stop using using this frig completely.Right now it holds drinks, condiments, and some of the root produce.The freezer gets leftovers and the lunch items. I will take the money I get from the sale of this frig to buy a bigger chest deep freezer. That's my goal anyways. I have 3 whole pantry shelves empty. Each shelf is 17"wide and 35" long and usually stacked 2 jars (or cans) high so it usually is holding 100 jars per shelf.So that is around 300 jars of food used up.

I had my sewing machine tuned-up :) and purchased new needles so I can get back in to sewing. I am making warm weather curtains for several of the rooms and going back to making most of my clothes. I am short and a lot of time have to buy children's clothes which is fine for jeans and tees but not so much for casual dress or other clothes. I hate paying for styles that I do not like, do not fit me properly and decided I would rather spend the time and make custom fitting clothes (like the rich and famous LOL) and know I will wear it for a long time. It helps when I search and our local fabric shop and find fabric I LOVE for sale or clearance.

I also am going to start seeds for the garden this week. Pray for the little seeds because my green thumb is a dark brown. Once I get the plants in the garden I can usually get them to survive their existence. Poor things.

On the front line of Decluttering.... I have been pitching at least once a day at least one thing...usually more. Yesterday we passed a kitchen corner cabinet that has been floating around our home and our daughters home for over 15 yrs. Our son asked for it for their kitchen. He also asked for a bed Hubby had made for our girls when they were in their teens that has passed around through the grandkids for their oldest son. I also took him his childhood toy box but I will be making another one of those this summer.

Have a good day

Blessed Be

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Other Day

My son called me to tell me that Aldi's had their 5 LB. tubes of hamburger on sale and that it was averaging out at $1.80/lb..

 Normally I don't buy tubes of hamburger but he eats this all the time so I knew it was decent (he is my picky child).

Out of the 5 lbs.I made

6 Salisbury steaks

6 mock country fried steaks

12 meatballs the size of golf balls

and tonight's meal...meatloaf.

That averages out to $2.25 for the meat per meal...BUT we only ate 3 of the Salisbury steaks and I put the other 3 back(already cooked) in the that is now 5 meals making the meat $1.80/meal.

IF we only eat 3 of the mock country fried steaks (same size as the Salisbury so that is a good sign we will) then that will make 6 meals making the meat $1.50/ meal.

We like meatballs too much and meatloaf too much to make a second meal of it when I only used a little bit over 1 lb. to begin with.

I now understand why Mom always had oatmeal and crackers but we very seldom ate them. I don't remember ever eating oatmeal for breakfast, that was Cream of Wheat (ground semolina flour) or CoCo wheat (ground corn grits flavored with cocoa). I preferred Cream of Wheat, Brother preferred Coco Wheat.

Have a Blessed Day

Saturday, February 1, 2014

January grocery budget

After looking at last year's budget and comparing it to what we were actually spending  We were spending $900 or more including eating out. We also realized we were eating out about every 5 days.

SO January's budget was $400 and eating from the pantry.

How did that go?

I can say the first 16 days it went fine.

 On day 16 we were craving our favorite pizza and chef salad. We compromised by getting it as a take n bake and got 2 chef salads instead of one so it made 4 meals instead of just 2.We eat the salad BEFORE we eat any pizza.

On the 18th which was my birthday we were coming back from our kids and Hubby decided to stop at Wendy's so I wouldn't be fixing dinner.

On the 30th we went to our favorite local restaurant and got their chicken dinner.It was the special that night so we saved a few bucks.

Also at the end of the month I was informed my Vit. D was so low I had the Rickets and my cholesterol was through the roof. I had given up dairy to lower my cholesterol, guess that wasn't what was sending it up to begin with.

So armed with list of foods that help raise Vit. D and lower cholesterol  we went to the store and loaded up.You have to be careful as a lot of low fat foods are high sugar and a lot of low sugar foods are high fat.

I don't eat a lot of process foods at home so helps.I have added some veggies to grow in the garden this year that I normally don't grow.

Being so the wrap of the January costs was

$489.92 including the eating out AND I can tell you for fact the 89.92 is exactly what we paid that I had to add to my diet.

Blessed Be

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