Monday, December 31, 2018

examining the budget and the pantry

I'm sitting here drinking my last cup of coffee for the day, smelling the beef broth I am making from odds and ends of beef roasts we had during Dec that I had tossed in the freezer until a "broth" day. Makes me hungry so I will probably have a cup of beef broth for lunch.

End of the year I tally what I have spent in the kitchen and gardens... What I saved us that we probably would have spent if I had been working outside the home.

I have already ordered all my seeds for the coming season. I will need to order garlic IF my garlic does not do well. I will know that come Sept. We are adding berry bushes also this spring. I have $1200 left in the garden budget from this year since we didn't really plant anything. SO that will be added to this coming year's budget. I know I will need trellis and black plastic and other odds and ends that comes with starting a new garden so it will be higher in cost this year.

Years ago I used to do the twice a year Pantry Challenge that Jessica has over at It really helped when I had to clear the pantry after Daughter 2 and her 4 sons moved out... then again when Daughter 4 and her two kids and Son 2 moved out at the same time.It also showed me how our eating habits had changed.

Now my pantry challenge is different... I will need room for the new produce coming in. I need room in the freezers and room on the pantry shelves.

2018 I spent $6,603.42 on food, that included any produce I bought to stock and to restock 3 empty deep freezers. Of that $6,603.42 I spent $1, 211.99 on meat, that is including 9 turkeys, 6 hams and 6 briskets (that I cut to make 24 briskets) along with other meat.

SO I spent $5,391.43 at the grocery store for other stuff than meat. This is the only year I did not put eating out as part of the grocery budget as I knew it would be on the high side with working here daily.

As I kept track I know that $3594.29 was for fresh produce, which 80% I could grow on my own and the majority of that is NOT stored in my pantry. That's $2,875.43 I could have saved.

Hubby was talking to a friend about how I save us enough money that it would match me working full time at $10/ hr.

$10/ hr for a 40 hr week is $400

$400/ wk for 52 wks (1 yr) is $20,800

$20,800 minus the 25% tax we pay is $15,600.

$15,600 divided by 52 wks is $300 a week...

He could have took the taxes off the week and multiplied in by 52 also but the friend needs things broke down this way.

With the way I price things out, push him to price things out, do the pantry, the gardens, drive our autos etc. On average I have saved that during a year. This year I save over that with researching mortgages,loan to fix the house and Hubby's truck... not counting anything else.It's what I used to pay off the hospital bill.

My goal is to match the $15,600 this year even with the extra expenses of medical ins/copay/deductibles and have it in the savings.

We will see how this goes

Planning the garden

I would rather look at this picture of the south garden from Autumn than look at the muddy mess it is right now. We are having a warm rain, a blessing as it's December in Ohio that it's not a freezing rain with it being New Year's Eve. This has been one of our wettest years.

I spent 3 days , 8 hrs each day going through seeds, writing out a sheet of information for each one that will be on a clip board and taken to the gardens during the season to monitor how each does. I don't know what varieties work best here.I listed each on spreadsheets by their family I have 14 families (did you know that beets, spinach and Swiss chard are the same family?) and then listed them by what season they could be planted in.

That is simple except I have 245 varieties between herbs, flowers (most edible) and 4 seasons of veggies. Not counting we will be adding to the berry bushes and might have to replace strawberries if they didn't take in the transplant.

I have chose some more heirloom so I can provide my own seeds. And will have to make sure they don't cross breed with another. One person said they put their seed plant(s) in pots and keep them separate from the rest of the gardens so they are easier to not let cross breed.

In the past year I spent just under $5000 for veggies and fruit to put on the table...not can or freeze for later use.

Amish neighbor gave me a sweet potato to start my slips with. I got that in a jar of water as of yesterday.It's the variety her brother and brother in law grew when they lived here.

Now, I have to figure out a rotation plan so I am not planting something after something else that shouldn't be plus Hubby would like to see a spot that rests each year plus plant green manure each fall, annual rye does good around here.

I also need to figure out what needs started in house to be transplanted.

We took a walk around the property and I was pointing out where I could plant things that wasn't in the gardens... I could see the look of " more work for me" on Hubby's face until I pointed out I could put weed barrier along the fences and use the fences to plant vine plants and he wouldn't have to run the trimmer along the fences... that's at least an hour if not more of work he did this last summer. I could plant 3 areas that have been trouble areas for him to get mowed as he has to use the push mower to mow them. My thoughts are to change it so it works for us and be easy to maintain.

I talked to my Amish lady neighbor as she is the one that does the gardens, she has 3. When an Amish person looks at your gardens and then back to you and says "weed barrier and black plastic, cattle panels with stakes"you listen. I've paid attention of how their gardens are set up and watched how them maintain them. My neighbor does most her gardens by herself. Her oldest 3 are old enough to watch the youngest 4 while she is in the gardens especially since they are outside playing where she is at. Towards the end of the season the oldest 2 were starting to help pick and the other 2 olders ones watched the youngest 3 but were right where she was at.

She told me to be in the garden by (meaning her laundry is washed and on the line and she's fixed breakfast for 9 and did the dishes by hand by this time also)8 am the latest and start at the row that is away from the house. Stop at 10:30 and fix lunch which is at noon for them. Process what ever you picked after lunch. Do the house work, fix dinner and go back out to the gardens after dinner for at least 1 or 2 hrs, process that before bed. She "puts up" over 3000 quarts of veggies, over 2000 of fruit, over 3000 of meat (they don't have freezers or refrigerators) not counting the jam, jelly, juice she cans also.That is also not counting the root cellar of sweet potatoes, potatoes, and winter squash  or the onions she stores. She said "it's not energy, it's routine". Putting food up is the priority over housework, not being in the gardens in the heat of the day is also a priority. She also told me that if I wasn't planning on selling at the auction to pull the plant once I have enough for the pantry and replace it with something else. EAT FRESH FROM THE GARDEN. She does not pull any veggies or fruit from her pantry when the garden is in full swing.

So I asked for her routine...
Monday is laundry and cleaning the home

Tuesday is baking, ironing and mending and more laundry (9 of them, laundry is pretty much daily and takes 4-5 hrs to do not counting drying time on the clothesline).

Wednesday is for more detailed jobs or something that pops up, sometimes she will go help clean whomever is having Church that coming Sunday or go help a family member. And laundry

Thursday she helps her mother in law(her parents live out of state) and laundry

Friday laundry and maybe errands if her Hubby is able to go also. She very seldom goes in the buggy without him.

Saturday, laundry, clean home which is over 5000 SQ FT, do laundry, baking, preparing Sunday's meals

Sunday, church or family on off church week (church is every 2 wks), it's the day of rest. She tries to not cook much, cold bfast, lunch at church and maybe soup or sandwiches for dinner. In the summer, it might just be salad, popcorn or something else that is light.

She offered the wisdom that to get my home routine in place that reflects the time I will be in the gardens, then in the "off" months I will have time for sewing and such.

Blessed be

Sunday, December 30, 2018

in the kitchen

As the year ends one of my habits is to go through my kitchen to get clear away what isn't working for me and to set how I want it to function for the new year.

Hubby bought me a new cast iron griddle and a separate cast iron grill that fits over the middle burner of my gas stove... which we can celebrate that the stove is now fixed, under warranty and I no longer have to use a lighter to ignite the largest burner I have.

I have to have something for Hubby to pack in his lunches that could be eaten cold if he doesn't make it back to the post so he can reheat it. I bought a thermos from Amazon that I had saw on The Prudent Homemaker blog that she had looked at.

Mondays I will clean both refrigerators as Tuesday is our trash day. I will be noting what I have to throw out in the trash or compost..I will also be keeping an eye on leftovers. I've been packaging them and put them back in the freezer for nights we get in late or I am sick and Hubby doesn't feel up to cooking for himself.

The food budget is $250...non food is $40 with the note the dogs are a separate budget.

I have a calendar on my kitchen wall with the "menu" . It's more of what protein I will be cooking that night.

Monday is Mexican, that can be beef,pork, poultry or beans , something we did when we first got together was go to a local Mexican restaurant and have a drink (soda or coffee as Hubby worked nights and I was driving) and got the "snack" bar for free. It had refried beans, salsa, sour cream, black olives, scallions,  and fresh cooked tortilla chips. I now have a tortilla press and many of the spices etc I need to make our own Mexican. (Dec 31st we will have BBQ pork ribs).

Tuesday is pork( pork loin, tenderloin, chops, roasts, ground pork, sausage patty and bulk, smoked sausage, and ribs)which works this week as I have leftover pork roast in the freezer that will go with the leftover kraut and some mashed potatoes for Jan 1st.

Wednesday will be Asian... when Hubby was working in Alabama for 2 yrs and I stayed in Ohio raising the last 4 kids as they were in the last 2 years of high school. I would go to the local Asian restaurant after going spending time with church friends.. Since I don't want my meal swimming in sauce that is high is sodium and years of working in classes with a Thai chef. I will be starting back to cooking my own. Hubby prefers beef and I prefer chicken... I am still floating thoughts of doing both but using the same veggies or doing one this week and the other the next week. I will be going back to making my own egg rolls, either with cabbage or bean sprouts and will try my hand at pot stickers aka fried dumplings ,once we eat through the 3 bags we have in the freezer

Thursday is poultry. I still have 5 frozen turkeys and 18 meals of shredded turkey in my freezers. I also have 26 meals of chicken so I think we are really set in that area.

Friday is a floating day... either vegetarian or seafood. ... pizza or calzones could fit in there also

Saturday is beef , 24 beef briskets, 6 prime rib roasts along with chuck roasts, chuck steaks and hamburger.

Sunday is left overs that I don't shove in freezer, soup.or breakfast

Since I have home made soup canned, it can be real simply to use for Hubby's lunches when supper isn't something he wants to carry.

The idea is to write down what I buy, what I cook and what is tossed with note of why.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Planning a frugal 2019

Laundry is rolling, home blessing is almost done and I decided it was time for a coffee break and chat for awhile...

I hope you are finding joy in your days, finding the beauty that is before us in the midst of our daily lives.

Today is Monday

Hubby started work today, he has tomorrow off and it will be packed with having lunch with Son 2 and seeing his parents and my dad.  Son 1 is coming for dinner tonight on his way to see his mother.We have already gave Christmas money to the daughters as they have children were struggling meeting ends.

We usually sit down after Christmas and plan our goals we want to meet and our finances for the next year.

With Hubby working this week, we did it over the weekend.

Projects still to do...

Deck built with ramp... everything bought and here except for the gravel needed to go under it.A friend has a gravel dump trailer that our F350 truck can haul. So it's just going to be the cost of the gravel with no delivery charge.

Awning to go over French doors that lead to deck...

Rework driveway and gravel...

28 ft livestock trailer ...

28 ft flat bed trailer...

Building a "box" on top of the trailer we have to have an enclosed trailer.

Clear last of plants around pond and gravel edge...

Front porch redone...

Kitchen porch redone...

Back door stoop redone...

Gate to back door at house on sidewalk...

Widen sidewalks to fit wheelchair...

Trim apple trees...

Trim dogwood...

Trim lilac bush...

Plant 2nd lilac bush...

Plant maple tree...

Design and plant 4 season gardens with 4-5 yr rotation availability...

Rebuild garden shed at gardens...

Build small green house...

Get home energy audit...

Replace all windows (all doors have been replaced) on house ...

Put siding on the entire house...

Paint porch area on barn that is not metal siding...

Install lights in dog kennel area of barn ...

Install lights in "garage" area of barn...

There are things like installing closets (in barn that can be repainted and used) and shelves (in barn that can be repainted and used) and the endless changes we will do as we live through the seasons and years.


Wednesday < Hubby is at work while I go over 2019 budget again

As our IRAs are making money invested in the stock market and the stock market is losing like is did in 2008 and this  Dec being as bad as the Dec in 1931. We had a meeting with our finance guy over the phone (saving us gas money)... we talked about losing half of what we have as the worse that could happen (it gets that low we will cash out and put it in a savings acct) and making it last until Hubby reaches full retirement of Social Security. What would our income be? About 1/4th of what it is now.

So Hubby and I talked about things and then decided continue with the withdraws as is (which freaks our finance guy out some) BUT cutting the budget as much as possible and putting the "rest" of the money in a savings acct. Won't earn as much but won't be losing either.

Hubby is working part time for state hwy dept. All money he earns after paying for his fuel and any meals he has to eat out though he plans to pack daily , will go towards by the trailers.

We will know where we stand with federal and state taxes in April, we do know we have to pay to the school that we moved from and hoping that we get refunds enough to cover most of that. We requested twice as much to be withheld for Federal and State since we knew he would be earning money on odd jobs and hope there won't be a really with paying the taxes.

My Job, as Hubby puts it is to cut the budget, save money aka follow behind and and remind him to turn off lights, unplug stuff that is electric vampire and grow enough garden to provide for us for the year including during the winter.

I went back over the budget as we had forgot somethings when listing it... like maintenance on the tractor that he can't do himself while under warranty, tow truck when the F350 wouldn't start this very morning  as we having nothing big enough to tow that. He is hoping it's because he forgot to "plug" it in as it's diesel.

Goal is to keep the electric down below what is budgeted.

 I called our "trash" company and they have another service that will lower our bill by 50 % BUT I am limited on how much I can put out. Our Amish neighbor said we should get a burn barrel from a neighbor of his brother's and only burn paper products (not plastic or metal which some people we know have done) and he could use the ashes in our field that he rents along with our own gardens and is going to help us set up a compost... we don't have much to compost to begin with.

Last year I had to restock the freezers as we had ate pretty much what was in them also the pantry was only half full and we didn't put out much garden.I was able to put up enough to get us to mid summer thanks to the kindness of the neighbors and the family we bought the house from. The total budget for food and non food was $600 a month. I cut it to half of that amount.

This week I will be planning out the gardens. I'm glad I picked up 3 more turkeys and 2 hams than what I planned.

We found a place to get bigger bags of dog food for the same price as the smaller bags.

We will take down the Christmas lights and put what little Christmas we put up away by this weekend.Not that the LED lights on timers raised the bill much.

I will continue to use the drying rack and clothesline on the kitchen porch as much as possible.

When I use the oven I try to put more than one dish in it at a time. One pot meals will be common.

We budgeted 2 tanks / month of gas for my car, two for the old truck and 1 for the F350... as Hubby will be paying for fuel out of his paycheck or what he earns hauling for the Amish. I planned the 1 tank in case we have to use that truck for so reason that we can't drive the jeep. What ever isn't used for fuel or maintenance goes back into savings for that month.

We won't be doing a lot of driving to go visit. In fact we just had two different couples of friends that kept asking us to come down and go out to eat and I was honest and told them that at this point and time we couldn't afford to always come to them as they are an hour away and we definitely couldn't afford to eat out where they wanted to go. They were more than welcome to come here  and I would fix dinner for all of us or we could bring something to share for a meal at their home every other time. We haven't heard from the one couple , the other is coming tonight for potluck dinner after Hubby gets off work.

Have a safe and Happy New Year's

Blessed Be

Monday, December 17, 2018

Doing something frugal every day..

Monday Dec 10th.
Hubby called the bank to find out about a fee charged. Found out that he was given the incorrect information so they refunded the fee and he corrected his account to not get a charge again.

He made a couple calls pricing the cost of getting his welding torch tanks filled.Found one that was 1/5th of the one he was going to use.

I hung laundry on clothesline on the kitchen porch. Yes it's freezing outside here in Ohio but the clothes froze and then when I brought them in hard as a rock, jeans were standing on their own 😀, 10 min fluff in the dryer with no heat had them soft enough to fold. Was definitely dry. All in all I only used the dryer 1 hr for 8 loads of laundry and NO HEAT on. The underclothes was hung on the drying rack.

I roasted a turkey that we bought before Thanksgiving for 37 cents/lbs.I will freeze the leftovers in meal size bags and make broth from the carcass.

I ordered our prescriptions for pick up tomorrow so we can pick them up when we are out running errands and going to 3 different doctor appts.

I made the grocery list and checked coupons for tomorrow.

I ordered the last of the garden seeds.

Tuesday Dec. 11th

3 doctors appts and errands on top of it.

Our primary has agreed to see us at the same time so we are only making one trip. He no longer does evening hours but did say if Hubby couldn't get off work and needed the last appt of the day and called that he was on his way , he would stay until we got there. He suggested we get our blood work done no earlier than a month ahead of the appt. when we were already there, just reminded us in was a fasting blood work.

Our dentist was willing to do the same as that was the other appt for hubby.

We did a run through Menards, using the last of the rebates we had to pick up some "odds and ends" like timer, pet safe salt for the porches etc. Also we bought a thermometer for the pump house so we can monitor the heat there from inside the house. We have a heater on a thermostat in there to keep the pump and water lines from freezing . This way we should pick up that it is not working faster than when we find things broke.

I went twice through Kroger's. Once for paper products for a family in need while Hubby was with dentist and then again for us, including an additional turkey for the dinner we are deep frying for this Sat. When we got the head count hit 40, we knew we needed another turkey. I picked up another one for us since they were still 37 cents/lb even though it's smaller than what we use ourselves but that was all they had. I had them check.

We decided to use the last gift card for Apple bees we had as there isn't one close to us now and we knew if we didn't eat, we wouldn't when we got home... just to tired. Out of pocket was the tip we left.

Wed. Dec 12th

I hung the bedding on the kitchen porch clothesline to dry. Left it all day until right before dinner before bringing it in. 10 min fluff took the stiffness out of it so I could put it on the bed without it "crackling" when the dogs got on the bed. 😂.

I put the turkey carcass in the pot to simmer to make broth. Put it in the frig so the fat would raise (fat went to freezer) , will can part of the broth tomorrow and the other amt is in freezer until Friday morning for injecting the turkeys we deep fry. We don't like using oil or butter as it has made the turkey taste "grease" to us when it is cold. We had soup for dinner using part of the broth.

I printed off 3 coupons I know I will be buying the items in the next 30 days.

I put all the house plants in the mudroom sink and watered them at one time.

I updated the old computer to manage the budget and track the garden/ grocery stuff.

I made two loaves of bread. I am changing what recipe I make each time until I find at least 2 or hopefully 4 different ones we LOVE.

Hubby did the following.

Went to Marysville and ordered a snow blower and a bunch of gizmos for it using a loyalty card he got when he retired. He still has some left,the guy at the store said he could use it for oil and filers etc for the motorcycle and snowblower.

He went to town and had a trailer guy look at the hitch in the bed of the truck for him to order one. The guy gave him a quote and Hubby told him of another website that he could order exactly the same thing for half the price. Guy's wife checks it out, Guy is ordering it for him and he is paying the shipping for Hubby since he will now be using that site for his own supplier.

Hubby dropped off the prescriptions we got the day before and had them to be ready before he came back home along with the 3 that was sitting there ready for us to pick up. Saw no reason to write 2 checks to the same place.

He found a place closer to do the 50 mile first check up on the tractor.

Thursday Dec 13th

Hubby called the tractor place and they told him to bring tractor any time and they would work it in. So he loaded it up and took it to them. They should be done with  it before he starts work the 24th.

We went to chiro (we took the dogs with us so they would get a ride in). Hubby won't be going for awhile since he will be working days and wouldn't make it while they were open. I scheduled for the first Thurs. in Jan but for the afternoon since I will be driving myself. We had them transfer the credit from my acct to Hubby's so we had no out of pocket AND their books are now balanced with our accts.

I cleaned the basement frig out and made a list of what I pitched... things we had not bought but was given and I definitely remember telling the person we didn't want it as it wouldn't be eaten...Hubby took it from them when I wasn't around not knowing I already said no. He put it in the basement frig when he put the meat in the freezer. He forgot to put it on the perishable list I keep on the kitchen frig for items in the basement frig so I don't lose track. For now on he will tell them to ask me. He did call them and told them he didn't appreciate how they did that when I told them no.

We did a pit stop at the grocery store for "salad" items as we were completely out, I have 10 days worth. I saved 10 % but definitely know I need to put a cold weather frame up this summer to grow salad items during the winter.

We had sandwiches for lunch and cheese, summer sausage for Hubby and pepperoni for me along with crackers for dinner.

Friday Dec 14th

Hubby went to pick up the ball and hitch he ordered and stopped by the Amish produce auction to see if they had next year's schedule for auctions.

Then he cleaned and set up the turkey deep fryers (and covered them to keep them clean) out in the barn.

He loaded the presents we were giving friends and the bags and boxes we were giving the family in need at the SCARES dinner. That's now off the list for tomorrow.

I thawed the broth I made to inject the turkeys and got that done first thing.

I set up the kitchen after dinner for the morning of making 25 lbs of mashed potatoes and craving the turkeys to go in the electric roaster.

It's going to be a busy weekend... so I won't be back on until Monday or Tuesday.

Blessed Be

Friday, December 7, 2018

Frugal week

We only used LED lights to decorate even though it meant no candles in the windows, no signs of JOY etc hanging around... The green blob on the left is a green LED rope light wrapped around an upside down tomato cage to look something like a tree. Post on porch blocks part of the wreath and the lamp post almost blends into the house. Neighbor said his kids got a kick out of the snowman at the hitching post with a sign that said Santa stop here.The tree was from when we lived in a very very very small house. We couldn't find any place close to us that had live trees. Frugal to use what we had....a little sad as most of my traditional decorations aren't in use but frugal. We have the lights on timers and make sure we turn lights off in the house.

The containers of sausage and hamburger was gifts from the Amish neighbors. Very good flavor...but no grease, NONE not even with the sausage. Wasn't dry though.When we asked if they had the sirloin ground instead of the scraps,they thought it might be because their animals are grass fed and ran in a pasture.

Along with those items...I baked the pumpkin that had been on the porch and pureed it and put in 1 cup servings in the freezer. This is one of the pumpkins that was growing in the compost pile left from the previous owners. Hubby buried one of the other ones that had went bad between the grape harbor and the electric pole. We will see if it grows anything.

I bought the flour, sugar etc that I had on my Dec buy list. Still need cashews and ground pork but will get that when we go to doctor appts on Tuesday.I got a couple pork roasts, one we ate, the other is now in the freezer.

We were working on what to plant in the gardens and I listed what we ate then we decided to plant more in the garden so I am back square 1 on planning the gardens. BUT the focus is to grow as much as we can of what we eat and eat in season.SO if we want broccoli in Dec we have to have it in the freezer. IT's also to grow more of my own plants from seeds rather than buy the plants. We started listing what fruit we can glean, we have 2 different apple trees that we hope will do better with us trimming them and using dorminate oil. Neighbor lady has pears that she's already said that we can have some after Amish neighbor gets what he wants (he does handy man work for her as she is a widow).

Hubby starts working for ODOT (temporary job) Dec 24th but he is off Christmas. We decided that this coming Monday we would start the routine as if he was working.Fixing breakfast for him and packing a lunch that doesn't have to be heated (I ordered through The Prudent Homemaker web site for a thermos from Amazon.) He has for the majority of his working life worked 3rd ,even when he farmed with his Dad so this is a big change for us as I am used to him being home during the day.

Brother was clearing out the cabinets at Dad's house and found coffee that had not been opened so he split it between us. We don't usually drink decaf so I mixed it with our regular coffee grounds 1/3rd  decaf and 2/3 rd regular. It will stretch our coffee by 2 months.

While sitting on the love seat with Charlotte I realized we had a draft coming from the window that was behind the window, even with a storm window on it. Got to checking all the windows and found what Hubby called cigarette paper cracks at base of windows. He had enough corner round to deal with the front room windows and I used oil lamp wicks that didn't fit my lamps to fill the rest of the as the window sill  is actually above the bottom of the window. Made a lot of difference. In checking this we realized that the thermostat was put on a wall that has a heat duct right behind it causing the thermostat to read 4 degrees warmer that is should. We now have thermometers in 3 areas of the house to maintain the house at 68 degrees except when we are gone when I lower it.

Our mechanic is working on our son 2's car since it broke down (radiator has a hole) and son 2 is now driving mine.Since I need an oil change our mechanic offered to do it when son 2 goes to get his car and then we only have to make 1 trip to pick it up instead of 2.

I will be researching seeds for the gardens this coming week to meet what we have decided to try to grow.

Blessed Be

Friday, November 30, 2018

Planning the gardens, planning in December

First I am looking at what we actually eat... what is going to be low or completely out of (grape jam, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage for freezer slaw (slaw already gone).

Then I am looking at using the space to produce the most I can and have things staggered so I don't get all of it at the same time. Variety is a big key for us as I can some of the more exotic things like roasted red bell pepper or pickled asparagus or something we run across and decide to try. Victorian conserves (rhubarb and raisins).

I am looking at heirloom and open pollinated to save on buying seeds. Which also means I have to watch were I plant things so they don't cross breed along with increasing my perennial garden.

I would like to grow cannelini beans. They only come in a can around here and that's only at one store for over a $1 a can. I need to figure out how much to plant and if it is feasible for me to do or is my time (as it take time to shell dried beans) worth more than ordering the beans from Amazon or some other supplier.

I want a spring garden followed by a summer garden followed by a fall garden and then have a small hot house for winter garden... especially lettuces as Hubby would eat salad every other day if not daily. 

I am keeping track of how much onions, sweet potatoes and white potatoes we eat a month along with the rest... as the Amish neighbor told me focus on what you need to go to the next season then deal with the extra. You don't want to run out of canning jars, space etc because you put up 100 jars of pickles and jam and not have room or jars for tomatoes, corn and green beans.I won't run out of room because I will shove it under furniture, behind doors, use it at stands (covered with cloth). If we don't need it, I can promise you one of the kids or grandkids will.

Son 2 went to the store and priced what I gave Daughter 4... it came out to about $500. Since I keep track of what I spent this past year I knew what it cost us....$150  because of the  canning, freezing, gleaning, accepting garden stuff, and only buying meats on sale.Cheapest turkey he could find in their area was 98 cents/lb. The 2 turkeys I gave her were 37 cents/ lb.

So the month of December I will be working out plans for what to plant, where to plant and how much to plant.

Blessed Be

The pantry... what I am buying in December.

I will start with Son 2 that gave me some of his recipes he got from Home Chef, he thought I could make some of the seasoning blends etc instead of buying it because he has found that the "spice of life" is actually the "spice in food" for him. So I made a list of what I didn't have and then went online to find out if I could make it myself... 98% I could make myself. The other 2 % I needed anyways as I didn't get enough herbs from the gardens this year.

The root veggies: 20 lbs of potatoes, 20 lbs of sweet potatoes, 3 acorn squash, 3 butternut squash, 3 spag. squash and 3 kabocha squash are in the north loft as it has the correct temp and humidity for that type of storage. I am not storing onions this year. I haven't found a place in the house yet that would be good and not be with the potatoes.I am looking at making a place in the barn for them if I have enough insulation next year. I didn't take a picture of this. I have them in milk crates with other crates under them so they have air flow and over a rubber backed rug so it something gets nasty and I miss that it's spoiling it doesn't mess up my new flooring. I check at least once a week but usually daily when I go up to get something.

I have on the grocery list 50 lbs of all purpose flour (yes I am down that much) 50 lbs of sugar again down this much. ( I gave 5 lbs of sugar and flour to Daughter 4), dried Italian salad dressing (used more for rolling cream cheese in), ground pork (found recipe for Spanish chorizo on Pioneer woman), cashews (From Aldi's)milk, half and half, heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, onions, celery, carrots, bell peppers and mushrooms, a small jar of basil pesto. I already ordered my seasonings, spices and dried peppers that I can't buy in this area. Cheaper for me to order it than buy fuel to drive 2 hrs to buy it.

Daughter 4 was here the other day and wanted a tour of the pantry. Since she was one of kids (Son 2 was the other one and an out of state friend) that put food on our table for 2 yrs when Hubby's plant went to a 3 day work week, I have no problem with her checking ...she also got a few things that I canned that she just won't buy at the store like roasted red bell peppers. 

This is what she saw when I opened the basement door.
Hubby put the buckets of flour, sugar, and rices that I use most often on the landing at the bottom of the stairs.

more of the flours, sugars, regular oats, quick oats, grits, under the stairs.

the oils, 3 empty buckets for sugar and flour,dry goods cabinet, over flow cake mixes in washer..hey at least the bugs don't get to it ;)

aisle 1 as it was named. Couple shelves on the low side but that's the broths that I make during the winter from turkeys, hams and beef roasts.

Center or end aisle

aisle 2..dried beans are on low side but I won't refill them until next summer. Low on grape jam as I made juice since we didn't get many grapes.Will have netting to deal with birds getting to the grapes before us next year.
Buckets have different rices, pasta and specialty flours.

the 3 deep freezers, sorting the meat and veggies into cloth grocery bags has been a great. First, it's easy to pull up a bag or two to get to what I am hunting for. Second, like foods are kept together. Hubby has even mentioned he like it when he was wanting bacon and I said, first freezer, left back corner, gray bag.

Refrigerator freezers hold open bags or leftovers...chocolate LOL Bread items.

Dried fruit teas, drink mixes pantry staples I use daily and the over flow of spices and herbs.Maple syrup,molasses, sorghum, honey,agave, boiled cider etc.
100 plus herbs and spices. I grew most of my herbs, didn't this last year which is why basil pesto is on the grocery list. Herbs are in on my garden plans which I am still working on.

On the home front

We have started eating our supper by oil lamp, something I grew up with  until Daddy wired the house for electric. We have found we slow down with our eating, fill up faster OR just acknowledge we are full and I am cooking less as a result.Better for our health and will make the pantry last a bit longer.

I found some winter curtains in the barn that daughter 4 had passed back (we don't get rid of curtains, someone will always need them). They are way too long and I had to put one panel at a window to have enough but they are helping keep the home warm. I did get scissors. I like the new ones better than the old ones, don't strain my wrist as much when I am cutting. Hubby did tell me he wanted me to use shower curtain hooks for all the windows. He LOVES how they slide when he opens the curtains as he is usually up before me.

I did not go shopping on Black Friday. I hate crowds. I did check prices on some things we needed on Cyber Monday but they were not low enough. Today the prices were where I was willing to pay so that's been ordered. Spices and dried peppers is not something that is stocked as well as over where we used to live and something I use daily.

We had a doctor appt (Thursday) so took the dogs along and stopped at the vet's office as both Charlotte and Wilbur were due for their annual shots and 3 yr rabies shot, Rascal is March for heart worm testing. All 3 got their nails trimmed. Because we were okay with the vet assistant doing the shots and nails they gave us a discount. They are not sure if they are going to continue the discount or the practice . We have talked about Hubby giving the annual shots, getting the rabies shot at the local TSC during their clinics.I bought nail clippers like our vet has .

We have been eating from the pantry except for Wed night. Hubby went to the funeral home (his aunt died) while I stayed home (coughing again don't want to pass it) and he went to the grocery store and got a couple items that he could heat in the microwave. All of it was marked down and was around $10, it feed us 3 meals so I guess that wasn't bad.

I found out Tuesday that the meds I was on for 3 wks for my Crohn's has caused me OTHER problems that I am now dealing with. My GI wanted to have me take another med... no thanks. My primary backed me.

We started to put Christmas decorations up...very slowly as we don't have very many lights since we agreed and really want to focus on only having LED lights.The windows here are about half the size or smaller than the windows we had so a lot of the window decorations do not work. I still haven't figured out where to set my candles or stockings since we gave the mantle to daughter 1(it was the one her late father grew up with).

Hubby called the appliance repairman. The front big burner on the stove will only light with a lighter and has more yellow in the flame than it should. It hasn't worked right since right after we moved in. Repairman said he would run the bill through the warranty before billing us. He is local and was happy to find out we moved back into this area as we all went to school together.

Hubby called about getting a bill from blood work that we had paid two months ago. He gave them the confirmation number and they immediately corrected the billing.

I called and ordered propane (we prepay for the whole year) but since I agreed for it to be delivered when he was already going to be in the area I don't have to pay an extra delivery charge.

I called our ins guy and told him I was looking for new auto ins as their cost for the new truck was horrible... he went back through  it and found they had the price as the month price when it was the price of 3 months NOT ONE. Made a lot of difference. He also caught that even though he changed the address (four times now to be exact) billing still had the auto policy listed at the other place. When that was corrected we are back down to where we was before I got rid of my car plus they gave us a credit since it was THEIR mistake.

We decided to give a couple years of trying to sell produce from the garden at the produce auction..but only what I don't need to have in our pantry. Most use boxes, but the one Amish lady told me to just use either plastic grocery bags or bread bags the first year to see if I really want to go that way. It is a lot of work to grow it, harvest it the night before or the morning of the auction along with cleaning it and making sure it is dry.

Hubby applied for a part time /seasonal job at Ohio Dept of Transportation AKA ODOT. He was hired, filling out paper work today (Friday) and will start towards the end of Dec Unless they call him in sooner. I did not want him going back to the plant and working 40 hrs a month. Common for the workers to go back and do that as it's enough money to pay their health ins.It's Mon through Fri. unless there is a snow event and first shift. He hasn't worked first shift in over 20 yrs except when he was in Alabama building the plant down there and the kids and I stayed here in OH.

He did get the stuff from his brother in law to set up his portable welding. Just needs to set that up.

He also went to a couple people that were looking for someone to haul pallets. His trailer isn't the size they want and he isn't going to go buy a trailer for a couple trips... not enough work/money to justify it. BUT another one told him that if he ran across a 20-24 ft live stock trailer that he could afford, he would have work as the Amish are always looking for someone to haul animals to the butcher. THEN another Amish guy put him in touch with a guy that was going to get a new live stock trailer that was still deciding if he would trade the old one in or sell it. He agreed when he got to the place (went to work at local fab shop to earn enough to buy a new one) where he was getting the new one, he would call and see if Hubby could match the price offered for trade in...but that won't be until spring. HE also told Hubby if he heard of anyone looking for someone to haul on a 16 ft flat bed, he would send them Hubby's way.

We have an appt on Monday to talk to our finance guy, he asked for the budget for 2019 so he can help figure out how to make the retirement to last as long as possible and us figure if we should take Social Security at 62 or wait. Stock market went down right after we retired (figures) and the medical bills were higher than we budgeted but the house only was over budget by $50. We are saving for gravel to put the deck on this spring as we don't want just weed barrier. Gravel for the driveway and pond. Need to replace posts on the kitchen porch and both front and kitchen porches need railing and painted (railing will help bring down house ins). We need new windows and the house needs siding but we can handle waiting for those for a couple years. We have the deck stuff and ramp in the barn but will need to save up for the awning that will go over the French doors. We want to redo the steps and awning at the back door. We think we have enough left over wood to do the steps.

The worse case is we pull the cash from the retirement, pay everything off  and put back enough to pay health ins until we are 65 and live on the balance and not pull the SS ... would take a hit on taxes (like we are this year) but stress would be lower as we would only be paying utilities and what ever we need for medical copay,'s a thought.

Blessed Be

Friday, November 16, 2018

When it rains it pours... still some more BUT

Good news is we have a good solid truck...bad news is we got a truck payment.
Good news is the payment is under what we had worked out because the finance guy took it for LONGER time (and then worked out what we needed to pay extra to hack off that last year he added to get the interest rate that was 3 % lower than what we had found and it still was under the $900 payment even with the extra payment saving us even more on the interest. Our insurance agent looked at a couple different underwriters to get us the best deal on insurance and still was an ouch due to the size of the truck.

Bad news is my favorite car is now at the junk yard

Good news is they came and got it for free, plus paid me for it and it's off the insurance. I will miss it as it was FAITHFUL to a fault of even driving when the axle broke...yeah really went 5 miles while Daughter 4 drove it slowly home in a rain storm. She knew the tire was coming off but it stayed on until she put it in park.Next day we realized the axle had broke.

Good news is we took food to Daughter 4, whose own daughter had invited a friend to spend the night (kids take turns on that) and at the last moment found out the friend can't eat gluten. If we hadn't take food to her she wouldn't have had something for the young lady to eat. Bad news is Daughter 4 dislocated her shoulder at work and is off work. Medical payment is 60% of her normal paycheck. Good news is , that's what she bases her budget on and with us giving her food she is going to be fine going through the next two months especially since she was back to work today with restrictions.

Bad news we are not having Thanksgiving dinner for the family any more, not just this year. After not having it this year we had several comments of kids and grandkids wanting it to stop but did not want to offend anyone with their reasons why. One grandson was very open about being torn between families and having pressure put on him by his parent to attend ours instead of the other side and he has a girlfriend that is likely to get a promise ring at Christmas so there will be her side also.Good news is no one is under pressure  to attend, no one is AKA us and Son 2 is spending money, time and effort to be at a dinner that there is a lot of complaining going on. Do not need the DRAMA which is on the good news side.

Bad news I won't be getting deep fried turkey for dinner or sweet potatoes with marshmallows(son 2) or baked beans (by girlfriend who makes extra so I can freeze them), good news is I am roasting those 3 turkeys and putting them in OUR freezer and making broth.Deep Fried turkey doesn't make good broth.

Good news is since we didn't have Tday dinner we just sent all the kids money ( a lot more than normal)for them to buy Christmas as we had trouble connecting to them all at the same time last couple years and can't afford 6 different trips (bad news). SO we all told them it was time for them to come our way and it did not have to be on holidays. The kids are fine if we don't do cookies and candy BUT if we do and want to limit it..Buckeyes, sugar cookies for Granddaughter who eats NO chocolate , snickerdoodles for most of the rest and oatmeal cookie and peanut butter for Son 2 and no candy for him. We will see how that goes.

We thought about a Christmas open house and decided to pass on that as we are still changing things around.

Bad news is my sewing scissors , all 4 pairs is missing, Daughter 4 said something to Daughter 2 and she said she had borrowed them while she lived with us for work to cut cardboard and forgot to bring them back....then Daughter 4 who does sew reminded Daughter 4 who does not sew  that sewing scissors are for fabric only not paper, cardboard etc. Daughter 2 did say she did not know where they went after she left them at work. SO I now have to replace my scissors and since they were missing I couldn't sew the winter curtains...

BUT I did use pinking shears and cut this no pill fleece for the wheelchair bathroom that at this point I call Hubby's bathroom .

I used a hole punch to put the holes in for the shower curtain hooks. Hubby decided he liked it better than me sewing a rod pocket. Said it's easier to open and close. SO that is good news... I just don't have the rest of the house done which is bad news but good news is the house really isn't getting cold because of the lack of winter curtains.

Bad news is the lights in the north loft don't work, good news we put the winter squash, potatoes and sweet potatoes in that loft since it's on the cold side and we would have to use electric heater to have it warm enough for any one. Hubby already called the electrician that installed it and they are on stand by until Hubby checks a couple things with his tester as they think it's the actual light not the wiring since the outlets and other light works.

Bad news is we need to get our propane tank filled... Good news is I prepaid it when they delivered the tank.Doubled what we used at the other place.

GOOD news, even though Hubby doesn't care if we decorate for Christmas, I would like to some...the weather is suppose to be decent Wednesday,Thursday and Friday so I can get what I want done and Hubby won't have to deal with icy cold crap doing the outside lights.

Bad news ,between the house, car, truck and medical our one retirement acct will not last to Hubby can collect SS...GOOD NEWS is , we have not touched the other retirement acct and could actually pay everything off and still have money to live on allowing him to not pull SS when he planned to. Our finance guy is bouncing some figures around and looking at the big picture to show us our options in Dec.

It all balances out in the long run is what Mother used to say. GOD will provide the work to earn what we need.

IN the pantry

Not sure where I got this from, I used to have it hanging from my frig in the fall. This year nothing got hung but I have been stocking the pantry.

I made pear butter out of the pear's the neighbor's 4 yr old helped Hubby pick up off the ground while 4 yrs old dad put roof on the neighbor's garage. She had told the child he could have all the pears on the ground or that his dad or Hubby could help him reach on the tree. We got 2-5 gal buckets. Hubby helped him take 4-5 gal buckets home while his dad finished the roof. Good thing as the freeze came in a couple days later.

I am pretty much stocked with meat for a year. I would like to have a couple pork butt roasts or loins maybe one of each instead of two of each but if I don't get them on sale for the right price I will pass. We now have 18 months of main dishes in the pantry... 2 main dished per day. Though I image with a little bit of this and that I could turn it into a 3rd dish if needed to stretch the main meal part of the pantry for 2 yrs.Which would be great as the next 2 years are going to be very thin on the income with the outflow of the house and truck etc.

Last Wednesday Hubby picked up 2 turkeys for 48 cents/ lb if you spent $25 for Daughter 4. He got her  beef roast (buy one get one) and potatoes. I picked up 2 turkeys for us (same price) and beef roast (same deal) for us and onions for Daughter 4. 

Thursday, I run to store for dairy items, and grab 2 more turkeys and found hamburger marked down, hot dogs and smoked sausage also marked down.Got home and found out that Hubby had went to the store when he went to town to run an errand for the neighbor and got 2 more turkeys and 2 more roasts(buy one get one) and coffee as he had checked his coffee before he went to town.He had 2 coupons for the coffee and it was on sale.

Spent the weekend dealing with the food etc.

Sunday we meet son 2 and our friends over at Hong Kong to celebrate Vet's day Son and friend are vets) and since friend wants us to deep fry turkey for Ham radio Christmas dinner we went to Kroger's there so he could pay for them and we just bring them home. They had turkeys for 38 cents/lb limit 2 so we picked up 2 more (total is 8 just FYI)for us AND they had brisket for $1.99/ lb while it's running $5.99 at our Kroger's. I picked up 2 briskets.

The next day we had eye appointment back over to the other Kroger's (my steroids has cause my astigmatism to change) so we stopped at Kroger's.  I got 4 more briskets, brats that was marked down, hamburger that was marked down, 2 large containers of oats and a bag of potatoes.

I cut the 6 briskets in four pieces  to make 24 roasts (that's one every other week) or one once a month for 2 yrs.Vacuumed they will hold good.

Turkey 1 was roasted, deboned, ate and the remaining part vacuum packed (6 meals)and in freezer and carcass is been turned into broth which is now in frig to let the fat come to top and be able to remove fat and can tomorrow.

Turkey 2  was roasted today, is now deboned , I ate it tonight for dinner (Hubby working parade)and carcass is in pot simmering as I type this for broth to be defatted and then canned.

Turkey 3 is thawing. Actually I had no choice as I now need that space for the briskets LOL. But that's okay. We figured we would cook 3 turkeys this month to get the broth back up as I was low and I vacuum the meat in 3 cups packages as that's what I use in most of my casseroles, noodles etc.

We decided on our basic once a month perishable list. I will go to Save A Lot here (don't have an Aldi's) to get what I can BEFORE going to Kroger's. Walmart here does not have the choices or smaller sizes that I use. It's $125 IF I go to Kroger's a month .... but with the understanding I might have to buy something that isn't on the list but needed for a meal if it's something we agree on. I set that amount as $25. When we don't use that money or there is some left, it goes back into the stock the pantry envelope. Any of the $125 not used also goes into stock the pantry envelope.

There are a couple stores in the next town where our parents live that I would like to do a price check when we are over there. They have an Aldi's.

I pulled some different breads out of the freezer trying to use that up before I baked another loaf when the neighbors down the road brought a loaf of bread they bought from the Amish bakery around the corner so we are eating that as well.

We talked about things we were no longer eating...cold cereal for Hubby as he used to eat it in the mornings when he got home from work before going to bed.
Apples, he used to eat one either at work or before work with peanut butter...not happening. I used to eat cottage cheese, pickled beets and applesauce for lunch  and a yogurt for 2 pm snack with fig newtons or cookie, not doing that either.

I already need 25 lbs all purpose flour, 25 lbs sugar, and peanut butter and choc chips... not out but lower than I usually am at this time even without baking cookies or making candy for the kids for Christmas. IF they come on sale cheap enough I will pick them up.

Monday, November 5, 2018

What can I cut

End of October I was thinking, pantry is almost fully stocked, just need turkeys, some fresh cranberries ...then my mother in law reminded me of mincemeat. Saving account looked decent, bills were paid.

Nov. 1st, daughter 4 bought a car and now has payments (she's trying to rebuild her credit after her divorce) and she had budgeted for an oil change this paycheck and 2 tires the following paycheck and another 2 tires the following week and right after she left the dealership her doctor called her to tell her she did not have a sinus infection but is going into stage 2 mold poisoning. She called the health dept and they told her to find another place to live because as soon as they contact her landlord (AKA slum lord) he will evict her. WHICH she already knew because she knew a couple of people that went through this with him. She is now saving to move along with needing the tires, did her budget and called us to see if we could provide basic groceries for 3 months (without causing ourselves problems) so she could only spend $20 a week for dog food, toilet paper, milk and margarine.

Hubby told her we could do that as this is the kid that LOVES beans and rice.

Nov 2rd our old landlord got a hold of us and told us when they pulled the carpets up they found mold UNDER the padding (figured it was from where the basement constantly had water) and thought they should let us know to go get checked for it.. so since we was in the doctor's office when they called our doctor ran blood work...yep, it showed we had had mold poisoning but we were healing (probably due to bronchitis meds) so we have to take meds a week longer to just be on the careful side

 Nov 3rd Hubby's truck starts making a grinding noise  so on the 4th he hands me a sheet of paper that had all the information of the truck he would like to buy... he has been pricing trucks for the last year... I am glad I was sitting down. He priced it out, down payment, sales tax and title, cash payment or loan with down payment and without down payment and 5 different years. Best deal is a 2015, he PLANS for it to last 15 to 20 yrs like what we have so that puts him 75 -80 yrs old and most likely won't be driving a big truck...I really didn't want a payment of $900 along with the price of the insurance which he priced also but is the worse case. There has been a couple jobs he couldn't take because it would have been too much for his truck which is a 1998.

SO back to the budget, yes we can do it but it makes it tight because we don't want to increase what we withdraw from the IRA especially when the market is DOWN since he retired. We will be going this Thursday to look... sigh.

As I went through the pantry today, making sure we had everything, refilling the containers in the dining room from the pantry etc. Hubby came in and told me to buy more turkeys than what I had planned and handed me 2-5 gal buckets of pears he had picked up out of the neighbor's yard while helping the other neighbor with his 4 yr old put a roof on the her garage. She has all she wanted so Hubby and Neighbor's 4 yr old picked the rest up from the yard to "clean" the yard up for her. Hubby said the 4 yr old ended up with 4 -5 gal buckets in the wagon and he helped him pull them home while his dad finished the garage roof.

Hubby really does NOT like pears, they taste sandy to him...but his grandma used to mix apples with pears for sauce and in pies so I will be doing that because I definitely did not need any more pears canned.

We will be going to Kroger's to get turkeys on Wed as they have them on sale for 48 cents/pound.Paper ad says you have to spend $25 and limit 2, website had limit 1 with nothing to spend... either way we will be going on Wed.

We have ate from the pantry, finished canning the last of the tomatoes, hubby gave away 40 lbs while I was in the hospital , still I ended up with 6 meals of fried green tomatoes in the freezer and 30 qrts of juice beside what we ate daily.

I sewed buttons on 2 of my shirts, Hubby darned his socks three times. Amish neighbor baked a loaf of bread again for us as we stopped at the store (not out of our way) for her and saved her 4 hrs of being away from home as she is also canning the last of her tomatoes and tomorrow will be doing pears like me.

Charlotte has been finding a way to get out of the yard when we leave, I caught Wilbur and Rascal jumping on the fence when barking at the neighbor and Charlotte started to go over it since the 3 of them can tug it down.far enough she can jump it. Hubby took old fencing wood and put it on the top of the fence so they can't pull the fence down and she can't jump over it. He also put lattice we used to use several years ago over the top of the gates because he saw she could get half way through it today. Both neighbors are watching to see if they can see her get out when we leave to go vote tomorrow and again on Thursday for our doctor appt and going to look at the truck.

We had some birds getting in the loft of the barn making a mess and since that is where we store stuff we weren't happy about it. Hubby thinks he found all the holes , said they could get in but not out that way so he plugged them up today using wood I had savaged from here when the contractors where working.

We are still slowly going through the boxes in the barn and getting things put away.

I did get my gate leg table (Grandpa built it out of ply board)in the house and upstairs as I use it to cut fabric on . I also got the table I use for sewing in the house and up stairs so MAYBE I will get to start sewing the winter curtains next week.

I am spending this week gathering my recipes of things I will now make from scratch instead of buying.

Blessed Be

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

When I loath cooking

Yep, 2005 when I was in Philadelphia  for a convention and got a free photo of me in my chef jacket. Grew my hair back out to my waist as I got tired of fighting it to stay up inside my hat.

It sometimes surprises people when they mention I must love to cook everyday being a chef... as a self employed chef that answer depends... for work , love a good solid 5 days a week which usually ended up at least 10 plus hrs a home, I am always looking for plan overs vs left overs and how to slap a good balanced meal on the table in 30 minutes or even better in the oven where I can do something else, like read a book and drink tea.I never have been much at crock pots  At work I love working with different ingredients (great in Atlanta GA) at home here in Ohio, not going to get that variety unless I travel 3 hrs one way to Jungle Jim's. though there are a few things I could order from Amazon if I really wanted to...I loath to order produce or fresh herbs online.

Right now, I am sitting here fighting bronchitis, as Hubby shared his (GRR) and for the first time in 25 yrs we are both sick at the same time and both are not really wanting to cook, let alone clean up.

Keeping with that theme HA HA...I fall back on old stand by's of when I was a widow with kids... Breads, pizza crusts etc were 98% of the time homemade.It wasn't that I did not want to spend time cooking , I was working 3 part time jobs and being single mom...not a lot of time or energy left.

Sunday Beef roast with root veggies (the next time I served beef roast it would be followed by beef noodles and the time after that would beef veggie soup)

Monday leftover beef roast as stew with dumplings (if some how there was leftover it went in to pot pie or Blue plate special of beef over stuffing with mash potatoes)

Tuesday enchilada casserole (made either the night before or in the morning) with lettuce, tom and onion

Wednesday homemade pizza with salad (crust made night before or that morning and prebaked)

Thursday Tuna noodle(store bought noodles) casserole with veggie tray and dill dip

Friday Grilled cheese(home made bread) and canned soup (store bought unless I canned chili or beef veggie soup)

Saturday mac and cheese with peas or peas and carrots mixed in with hot dogs.

Sunday Roasted turkey (yep all year around),sweet potatoes and green beans (next round of turkey would be white bean chili followed by shredded turkey sandwiches, might be a pot pie or blue plate special)

Monday Turkey noodles(homemade), mashed potatoes and cole slaw with apple sauce.

Tuesday Homemade taco pizza with salad

Wednesday mackerel patties, boiled parsley potatoes and peas or peas and carrots

Thursday Homemade baked beans with corn bread and cole slaw.

Friday Aunt Dolly's oven meal casserole (what ever was left from turkey, a layer of veggies topped with slice potatoes and what ever cream soup.

Saturday Spaghetti with red sauce (sometimes meat  or veggie sauce), homemade garlic toast

Sunday Pork roast with root veggies (next round BBQ pork sandwiches followed by Brunswick stew)

Monday blue plate special AKA sliced pork on stuffing with mashed potatoes drowned in gravy with green beans or corn and cole slaw.

Tuesday fish sticks, loaded baked potato and cole slaw

Wednesday  Hard tacos with refried beans topped with cheese and salsa

Thursday French bread pizza (homemade French bread) veggies tray

Friday Hot dogs and coney sauce, French fries and in season fruit.

Saturday. Breakfast for dinner... each kid took a turn  at choosing what would be served. Waffles, Belgian waffles, pancakes,French toast. sweet rolls, syrup or pie filling, bacon,sausage or ham, fried apples or cobbler, grits, cream of wheat or oatmeal.

Sunday Lasagna. homemade garlic bread and salad and broccoli (followed by stuffed shells followed by manicotti)

Monday  Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and corn and green beans because there was NEVER leftover pasta LOL. (I will add here Daughter 2 makes meatloaf first and uses the leftovers either in spaghettie with meat sauce or in chili)

Tuesday.bean and cheese burritos, Spanish rice and custard

Wednesday  Grilled cheese and soup of choice, veggie and fruit tray

Thursday  Calzones ( choice of ingredients) with salad

Friday Mackerel patties, mashed potatoes and cole slaw

Saturday eggs , fried potatoes, biscuits and gravy(gravy was made from what ever fat I had saved and be milk gravy if I had extra milk, in good times it was sausage or bacon gravy)

Sunday Roasted chicken, baked potatoes and corn (followed by chicken dumplings and then chicken and noodles the next round)

Monday chicken and rice and broccoli casserole

Tuesday mac and cheese , peas or peas and carrots and smoked sausage

Wed, chuck wagon beans (hamburger or sausage in homemade baked beans) corn bread

Thursday Homemade pizza with salad

Friday Grilled lunch meat sandwiches with veggie tray

Saturday Appetizers...might be pigs in blanket, cheese and pepperoni and crackers, sweet and sour or bbq meatballs... Kids choice.

Sunday  Baked ham, sweet potatoes and cauliflower/broccoli/carrots (followed by scalloped potatoes and ham then hot ham and cheese sandwiches)

Monday Soup beans with ham, cornbread and baked apples.

Tuesday...leftover soup has mixed veggies and rice(or small pasta)added to it and served over homemade bread.

Wednesday ground pork patties, grits and salad

Thursday chili with cornbread and salad

Friday poor man stroganoff ..(hamburger with horseradish in cream sauce over pasta) carrots  and beets

Saturday Cincy Chili (chili over spaghetti) and a salad

I used to rotate through these every 6 weeks with the change of what was served on Monday's. Sunday was when I had time and didn't mind as much the clean up as much so that's when the meal that took time was. I also baked bread on Mondays, Wednesday and Saturday...3 loaves every time. 

Monday, October 29, 2018

Still sick... 209 update

The only place we have went is the doctor's office. We have ate from the pantry that is full which is a really really good thing since neither of us wanted let alone needed to be out and about in the store.

We have finally got to the point of actually eating something like beef stew,spaghetti with meat veggie sauce and chili instead of just drinking broth and pureed veggie soup. I fixed baked pumpkin oatmeal (Pioneer woman) that was good also.

I have gotten the kitchen together completely (if you don't count curtains not being sewn and hung).  I brought my wind chimes in from the porches and hung most of them at the kitchen sink window.
I won't put a curtain up at this window as I watch the sunrise a lot through it .It also lets me see who is pulling in the drive before they get to the house.

It's nice to have everything in it's place and able to actually find what I need.

I think the next place is the bedroom and my desk area as I am starting National Novel Writing month Nov 1st.

Neighbor came over to borrow some yeast as it was Saturday morning as she didn't think she had enough bread to make it to Monday afternoon (Amish keep Sunday as the day of rest, her Hubby was away at an auction so no one to take the buggy to store for her) I asked for a loaf back in return of the yeast since we were down to 2 slices... BOY was it better than mine. Since she doesn't use a recipe she said she would have to think about it but she thinks the big difference is she uses sorghum and I use sugar. The bread was a lot moister and it is definitely GONE. So tomorrow (Tuesday) I will be baking bread.