Monday, June 25, 2018

209 and frugal

I haven't been to the store to buy any groceries.

I used a volunteer lettuce plant from 209 and lettuce from the neighbor to make Kevin Jacob's lettuce soup. I cut the recipe in half, served it hot the first night, Hubby said it tasted like green potato soup to him, and cold the next day.I could taste the lettuce better when cold but liked it both ways.

I fried a green tomato a friend gave me and potatoes and served applesauce for a light dinner.

Made potato presse (recipe from Home Chef that son2 got as he is using that service and LOVES it)  double the recipe son got (his service is for 2 even though he is single,uses the other serving for his lunch). I doubled it so I could have leftovers for Wed as we will be on the road between doctor appts and ordering the windmill for the pond. Son2 said it reheated nicely in microwave on 50% power for a minute or two.

I found a box of 30 dinner sausage patties that was froze solid together. So I cooked them ALL and then refroze the leftovers after dinner on a cookie sheet so I could bag them and then pull what I want for fast meals.

I have to make a grocery list tonight, basic produce is needed, chicken as Hubby wants some chicken salad, bread and milk, not sure what until I finish making the menu.

As for 209... we walked through on Sunday, crossing our T's and dotting our I's and found 2 switches and 6 outlets were not installed...Got a hold of the head contractor by email (he has his email on his phone) who forwarded to the sub contractor who admitted he just ripped his son's head(co owner of business) BECAUSE he was there on Friday and was suppose to check and make sure everything was correct. Son admitted he forgot to take the paperwork but did look around and noted 3 of the outlets weren't done.  HEAVENS.

They already got a guy there (not the son as he is now doing crap duty.instead of one of the employes SNICKERING..unplugging a customer's sewer line as they do electric/plumbing and HVAC) and the guy at 209 that is no longer on the crap duty job also noted to Hubby that he thought he could do all of it if Hubby could help him run the one line. We have no problem helping.

We cleared an area (again) for us to take stuff over that was packed...and the contractors took over it for their painting and building odds and ends. SIGH. Can't complain as they moved it to the barn so the ones sanding the floor wouldn't have to stop and wait on them.

Front room floor is oak, dining room floor is maple, kitchen floor, hall and bedroom is pine.
This is where the maple (came from our land)meets the pine.

Can't wait to find out what the two rooms over the front room are. I am willing to guess the hall and the bedroom are pine since the original owner, a young man of 18 when he built the house, put the kitchen in.  The front room was put in by an Amish owner. He cut down oak trees in the pasture and made the floor boards.

Front room oak floor sanded

This is the wood that the north loft skylight is being boxed in with.
It will also be the bottom of walls in the south loft.

They have the 2 access doors that will allow us to have a separate shut off for the showers done and ready to install
and finally.... so floors,ceilings and walls can dry... the AC is in and running when needed.
The contractors are turning it on when they leave and then off when they get in. They set it at 74 which is a good temp for paint and polyurethane .

We put a portable AC in the loft where the carpenter is working on the skylight as he needs it during the day. Said it was a good thing we did as he got stuck in the tresses while boxing in the skylight (he said his size 14 feet got caught) and one of the other contractors went to see what he was banging on so much. They got him out and then stayed with him while he finished that area (they joked he was building his own casket but they didn't think we wanted to pay for it for him.)He said it wasn't bad because he at least didn't get over heated and pass out or have heat stroke which can happen in those areas because we had turned the AC on the night before so it would be cool when he arrived in the morning and wouldn't have to wait for it to cool that area.

I started putting polyurethane on the bathroom doors and then had to take it off the first door and drag both doors in the house in the AC due to the wood had drew so much moisture from the air the polyurethane wasn't not drying at all. House stunk for a couple days until the humidity dropped enough I could get the house opened up and the first door back out the garage to get it finished. I will start the second door later this week as I see rain in the forecast tomorrow and it takes a good 3 days from start to finish on the doors of dry weather.

They keep telling us July 15th if everything dries and the kitchen counter gets in.

Blessed Be

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

8 days of frugal

We made a milestone on 209 and celebrated by eating the special at the local restaurant , the special was a rib eye steak . We brought half the steak home and a baked potato and used it in another two meals. The rest of the meals came from the pantry/freezers.

I went to the store and used coupons and sales for the odds and ends we needed...really odds LOL orange and lemon frosting for the cupcake mixes I had and some plain white to make "lime" frosting for the cupcake mix and cookies.
That I made for the Father's Day cookout on Hubby's side on Sunday.I took some to Daddy for his Father's day. We split the day between the two dads saving gas.

We used Gas Buddy app on our phones to find the cheapest gas where ever we are. We are driving to 209 or somewhere else for appts or supplies almost daily.

I harvested rhubarb, strawberries and cherry tomatoes from gardens. The neighbor at 209 canned me more strawberry pie filling and strawberry jam and let me know the strawberries were almost done and gave me 3 heads of summer lettuce(aka Iceberg) . The seller of 209 wife gave us a tomato and green tomato when we stopped to drop off some mail that had came to us instead of them. She also told me where she got the heavy fabric that she had made curtains with that kept the cold out very well so I can check that out to see if I can find fabric cheaper than what it would take to buy new winter curtains as I am not finding anything insulated at thrift shops or yard sales.

We picked up somethings off what we call the buying punch list (punch list is what contractors call the finishing list)at Menards with the 11 % rebate. Carbon/smoke detectors and a clock for the kitchen and one for the front room as the ones we had died, and furnace filter for 209 and dog food for here.

We are working in 103-110 heat index weather. Drinking tons of water and eating a decent lunch from either the local store or Chinese buffet. we prefer the store as most times we can split the meal or bring it home.Suppers are next to nothing...maybe a salad,eggs or a wrap of leftovers. Soup has been a regular even though Hubby doesn't like much soup.

The AC is running here, I do open the windows and doors in mornings , especially before the sun rises, curtains shutting out the sun in afternoons and late evenings as we have a picture window facing west. One ceiling fan and two other floor fans run. The one in the front room is on low all the time as it's right in front of the vent that air is doesn't "drift" out into the room.After putting the fan there I found we could raise the AC temp by 3 degrees. THAT being said... 209 will have ceiling fans in the dining room, front room and bedroom. The AC is installed (will be ran for the painters otherwise not on) but all the crews have mentioned if they keep the doors/windows shut on East side the house but open the west side in the morning, the house is cool. Then they shut the west side at 11 and open the east side , the house stays around 80 even when it was 100 outside. Humidity is an issue with trying to get things to dry.

I trimmed my hair. Washed laundry in homemade soap and used dryer sensor for drying. Hung a few things off and on this week on the drying rack. Made gallons of unsweetened ice tea to go with the gallons of water we are drinking.Hubby has taken to shutting the TV off within 30 min after he goes to bed and not leaving his computer on all the time.

Bought work jeans for Hubby for $10 each instead of the normal $30. Found all weather dresses and skirts on clearance for myself.

Back to packing for the move which is suppose to be in 4 weeks

Blessed Be

Saturday, June 16, 2018

209 update

They did the ceiling with what they call knock down .... and then had to REDO the ceilings as it wasn't as dry as they thought and it messed it up ...

Knockdown texture is created by watering down joint compound to a soupy consistency. A trowel is then used to apply the joint compound. ... The trowel is then run over the surface of the drywall, knocking off the stalactites and leaving the mottled finish. 

Think orange peel or golf ball dimples . This is what it looked like when it wasn't dry when they "knocked it down" 
 and this is what it looked like when it was dried 
the walls and floors are covered while they are doing the ceilings
the water to the hot water heater is done
the electric in the basement(the last to be ran) is done
and they have started running all the vents to the rooms from the furnace 

The floor has been patched and is ready for sanding but since they have it covered due to ceiling work I couldn't get a picture of it.

This week they are suppose to have the last of the vents in. The final outlets and switches in and sanding of the floors OR painting of the rooms.... they are trying to decide which way the mess will be less LOL.

The kitchen cabinets are in the barn LOL...they would love them to be in by this coming week so they can get the counter tops ordered as they take 3 weeks at least to get in and Head contractor is pushing for July 15th.

We straightened up the areas in the barn that is being used to storage, couple of the contractors mentioned it seemed almost empty.

I would have to say that from my 1st project binder there is little that has been changed and what was changed was for the better except this....
This was suppose to left open, it's the wall of the tub attached to the bathroom wall... I was going to build a shelf for this now useless space
of 2 ft up, 3 ft deep and 10 inches wide for the bulk toilet paper and then a pantry rolling cart to slide under the shelf...  I'm not sure what to do about it now as it's even too low to put the cart in it. We are meeting this coming week about how to deal with it. I would hate to rip it back out plus the ceiling section didn't get done in that area so Hubby suggested enclosing it but it's such a waste of space when I have no "floor"space for storage due to needing the area for wheelchair to be able to turn around.  Guess we will  see how it comes out.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Frugal in the kitchen (small 209 update)

209 update... they are have primered the entire 1st floor and the only thing left to primer is the door to the lofts in the kitchen and that stairwell. The ODOR takes my breath away so I won't be in the house much when over there. Ceiling is suppose to be done next. Head contractor was hunting down my kitchen cabinets that hadn't came in Wednesday like they were suppose to.

I bought  3 thin steaks that were marked down, marinaded them in coke a cola and then sliced thin with bell peppers, onions and mushrooms for a Philly steak sub one night, stir fry the second night and the next will be a soup as what I trimmed from the steaks I simmered and then strained for broth. That's for tomorrow night and I might add a can of black beans to it if it seems on the thin side of soup.

I bought a pork loin and was going to cut 4 pork chops from for tonight's dinner, and put  what is left of the loin will go in the crock pot on Wed. When I opened the package I found it smelled horrible and immediately called the store as it was NOT expired. They credited me for the cost and added a bit more for the inconvenience. So Hubby dug through the kitchen frig while I dealt with that and pulled out the 2 hamburgers I have cooked last week to go with mac and cheese and a veggie along with the last of the strawberries I picked from 209.

My niece that just graduated was telling me at her party that she takes either left over chicken or pork and shredded it to put over tortilla chips with nacho cheese (optional lettuce, onions and tomatoes) for a quick meal. She has taken over the kitchen a lot since she was looking at going to college out of state , her parents insisted she know how to cook from scratch and run a budget for a home. She is staying at home for the next year as she took college classes during high school and found she can get her BA degree in a year if she stays in the same college. She is in robotics and has already done some work for a local company that offered to hire her but wasn't willing to work with her going to school like she wanted. Felt at this stage of the game remaining at the job she is working at and living at home and attending school full time on a scholarships and grants was smarter.

I cleaned out Baby, the 7 cu ft deep freezer. We are completely out of corn...sigh.That's a good 6 wks. away of being in. We need NO bacon, bulk or smoked sausage or ham bones or peas/peas and carrots. I've yet to figure out why there was 4 wadded up brown grocery bags and an empty box at the bottom of that freezer.

We started cleaning the pantry, one it's over due and two is to see what I must can or what we need to eat up and not get any more of. I acknowledged that I did can an "extra year's" worth to cover us this fall because I figured we wouldn't have a garden with planning to move... I didn't plan on us to almost stop eating from the pantry.I have a good 6 months extra in most things that I shouldn't have.

I have 11 of these units.Three of these units have dry goods or store bought can goods that I just got for the "tornado" season that has arrived. So they were easy to straighten and check if everything was good.

 I went through 5 of them today checking lids on the home canned jars and  moving the oldest to the front so it's used up and what needed tossed.

I also noted what we were not eating... dill pickles and hot salsa that only Hubby eats and must have stopped completely (it's his middle of the night when he used to eat lunch snack). Fruit... makes me scratch my head over that overage.Hubby used to drink 1 gal. of juice a week and now it's maybe 1 qrt. a week if that. We haven't been eating pancakes,waffles and French toast on a regular bases and it shows in the amount of different syrups and pie fillings I have on hand. I didn't bake pies last Tday dinner or cakes  or at Christmas and that shows by the abundance also.We need to eat at least 24 qrts. of chunky applesauce before apple season. Or I won't be canning any of that either.

If I only use spaghetti sauce (red sauce here as my Nonna was Italian and from the old country) every  3rd week we will make it until tomatoes are on again to make sauce with.  I don't need to make pizza sauce, enchilada sauce or tomato juice this year. Diced tomatoes if I have enough tomatoes for sauce will be wanted.

I have enough veggie soup, chicken potpie filling, canned turkey and canned  broth for this year until after Tday. Since we aren't doing much of a garden I might have room in the freezers to put the broth instead of canning it.

SO my thoughts on this line is .... everyday cottage cheese , applesauce (Hubby only eats cottage cheese with fruit on it), dill pickles and beets on the table.

EVERY NIGHT 2 jars/cans of fruit and 2-3 jars of veggies need to be brought up for meals the next day.

Let's see how that one works.

Blessed Be


It's seeing this
And knowing it's the answer to an area that is narrow in the bathroom that needs storage space at $75  BUT going out to the barn at 209 and rummage through the scraps and decided you can make it for the price of buy 4 wheels and use paint you already have.

It's deciding to run a portable welder ( a need in the community so a part time/full time income) and double checking what Hubby has and what he will need to do a good job(including business requirements) and stay safe. AND then looking for it as auctions/garage sales and word of mouth before paying full price in the stores.

It's about needing a narrow bookcase or something for the corner at the doorway to the staircase... right doorway of picture
and looking at what I have or what I can build before hiring someone else to make me something as it is a strange size and I am not making do for it's my dining room and a focal point when looking at this wall. I thought about floating shelves until I watched Charlotte pull on one that is upstairs. I do have a cabinet that might work but really wanted to use it in the one bathroom.

It's about waiting until the floor is done (as it will have a new stain on it along with sealer) and kitchen cabinets (suppose to be on site this week but nothing is ever on time on this project) before choosing what to stain my china hutch that is a orange-ish yellow that I hate. I would rather paint it then look at it as it is.

It's about sorting through EVERYTHING here including what is stored from the kids homes and only taking what we WANT not just pack it up and deal with it later. THOUGH that is tempting when it comes to the kids stuff and just letting them deal with it after we die ...except the one that would deal with it doesn't have anything here LOL. Trash guy probably hates me at this time as we are maxing out what we are allowed to put out each week. and I am now on a first name bases with the guy at the drop off for the thrift shop.

It's about focusing on how to save money when we move, a more frugal lifestyle to stretch the retirement funds out more. It was suggested we sell extra garden at the auction we buy from... that is a maybe. Hubby welding. I don't know how the internet is going to be so I am not counting on my surveys for anything.

We changed to a joint checking account when our bank decided to start charging if you didn't have an automatic deposit into your checking. Hubby does, I don't. We went paperless so we don't have any fees for that.Might help me to only be dealing with 1 checking instead of two, since Hubby is gotten very good about receipts and he will only use duplicate checks.

If it's not LED or can be changed to LED, the Christmas decorations won't be going with us. I already passed a lot of it to daughter 2 but I know I have more. All the lights have been changed to LED if they weren't already LED.Every appliances is energy savings.

It's about thinking about habits...Hubby has gotten better about turning off lights and setting TV on timer to go off but leaves his computer on about half the time. He has gotten so he won't kick the AC on until it's over 80 instead of 74  and found (thanks to Daddy) that by turning on a fan where he is that he is comfortable enough without the AC. He has taken to opening the windows if he gets up before me. Closing the top of the curtains to keep the sun out when it's hot. We chose to put 3 ceiling fans in all with LED lights in 209.
I still need winter curtains for 209.

I do full loads (doesn't matter about the water but it costs electric wise each time the washer runs) of laundry and will with dishwasher when we move. I have to use the dryer here (and drying rack) due to construction on the road in front of us spewing dust everywhere. At 209 I won't have that issue  we are installing a new clothes line that is towards the back away from the road and there is already clothesline INSIDE the house as Amish don't use dryers . Ester even told me how long it would take to dry on the porch if it wasn't snowing or raining during other seasons and how long in the basement when it was snowing or raining.

We went with gas instant ready water heater, gas cook stove and gas furnace. Saves on generator (fuel) when we have no electric for what ever reason. English neighbor told us 5 times last winter she was without power due to cars hitting poles.

We bought a TV and radio tower so Hubby can get local stations and connect with his HAM radio so no cable TV to deal with.

It's about planning more perennials in the flower and veggie gardens and more heirloom and less hybrid. Starting a compost area.

Our biggest yet to be dealt with complete is the food storage/cooking etc. It's gotten funny that we will hear Malinda or one of the kids ring the bell for Eli to come in for lunch and we look at each other and decide on lunch. Since Amish don't do day light saving time it rings at 1 pm right now.Breakfast bell is at 8 our time.

Still we know we want to grow and store most of our own food or know where it comes from, which means in season to eat or be processed. I want to go back to baking our own bread. Hubby loves bagels so he bought me bagel things that you put the dough on and boil then bake them on it so they are formed like store bought from King Arthur flour( not that I needed them ) to be supportive of me learning to do that. I have made English muffins, tortilla wraps, pita bread, naan bread, all sorts of bread loaves...bagels not on that list. Might be a Father's day gift since he will be gone all day the day before.

Blessed Be