Friday, March 29, 2019

Why do I have so many clothes? Hum

This gave me pause to think about. Ended up talking family and friends about it.

Here's what we figured out after Hubby had me write out what I was doing before I retired.

I will admit, I buy a lot from thrift shops and yard sales, have clothes that was Mother's daughters and grandsons. I have never kept as many clothes as either of my parents. LOL. My brother admitted last night that after going through Dad's (I dealt with Mother's) he went home and got rid of 50 suits....HUM yes he wears a suit every day and takes them to dry cleaners once a week.He still has 21 suits. His daughter tattled that it was the suits that fit him NOW not the 4 sizes above the now size that she hauled to donate last month of over 200 suits.

Son 1 buys new shirts every month, he buys 7. At the end of  month he donates them if still decent but usually tosses them as the work he does is messy. He buys cheap. He wears a sports shirt for other which is few and far between with him working 12 hr days 6 days a week.

Son 2 buys new shirts twice a year, donates his decent ones to either me, Daughter 4 or our grandkids and their friends.He spends most his days is dress clothes.

Daughter 1 passes hers to her Daughter 2 that works factory every 3 months.She usually has 7-10 tees and same with tanks. 7 work pants and 7 jeans and 7 shorts.

Daughter 2 wears shirts from work and gets new every 3 months and personal is 2-4 shirts new each season. She gives her Decent ones to Daughter 3 girls. She has over 100 in her drawers and mentioned she needed to get rid of some herself.

Daughter 3 gets new every 6 months, her kids get hers. She has 14 of each.

Daughter 4 wears Son 2 or mine. Might buy a new one every 2-3 months. She wears mine to work(works factory) and Son 2 to hang around the house and her own to go out in. She has 21 in her drawers.

I would start my day between 4-5:30 so dressed for home, did baking, home blessing, garden, and yard work. Casual cruds (LOL) Shower

THEN I would get dressed for the office/meeting work...suit, business dress clothes including jacket and heels.

THEN I would go to my cheffing work... light color dress pants, tee shirt or tank top, chef jacket, chef crocs and apron.

THEN I would go home, shower and change to go to either a chef class (causal wear) or teach (clean chef jacket, tee shirt or tank and clean dark dress pants) OR work as an sous chef and that would depend on who I was working under in the class.. Anywhere from dress pants, jeans, shorts, dress shirt, tee shirt and apron (never chef jacket) but always of the color they chose for their "staff". Usually 3 -6 times a week.

THEN I would go home  and relax... usually a causal dress, skirt or skort.

WOW  I was changing clothes 5 times a day to match the work I was doing.

Am I working that way now? NO

I still do some cheffing on my own... I have a couple of my chef jackets to wear with my light color dress pants.

Am I going to an office or meeting that require a suit like outfit...NO but I do have a formal dress (little black dress) and black skirt and a couple of jackets that I can pair together if that need ever comes up.

Daughter 4 and Son 2 also said I don't wear the same clothes year around. I wear dark colored tanks, tee shirts and tops in cold weather and I should put them in storage either in loft or barn instead of having them in my drawers or clothes rack (have no closets). I wear light colored during warm weather. The only thing they see all year is white and black. They also see I always buy 2 of my shirts, so when one gets stained I have another and the stain one goes to crud clothes.

Every once in awhile Son 2 or Daughter 4 goes through my crud clothes and they disappear. Guess they are the two that it bothers the most because the other 4 don't do that LOL. Then again they see me the most often working in crud clothes AT THEIR HOMES.

By pulling my "dark" tees and tanks I go down to 8 tanks (none the same color) and 11 tees (I pulled the ones that there was 2 of the same) . All of it is in one drawer. I took the crud clothes and put them in a drawer of their own.

I took all my hanging clothes and turned the hangers around backwards. As I wear them I will turn them around the other way. Next spring I should be able to see what I haven't worn and get rid of it, well, except the 40 yr old little black dress. It's not faded or worn and a classic.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Let's talk clothes
this is something Mother would have ordered from Blair which over the years was the one place she could get clothes to fit her with her being not quite 5 ft tall and at 150 lbs.. And then she would have never worn it because she would have kept it for GOOD and good never came around even when she should have been wearing something good.

AND it was tempting to order for myself... but I know I won't wear it either because is has a crew neck line and I wear v neck lines because it would bother my goiter when it is flaring up.

In this area, I am my Mother's child... stained clothes are for home, don't bother to change to run to town for parts or something. Nice clothes at home are saved for when go visiting or some where special ..AKA GOOD but that is so far between that you get to the point you wear stained clothes all the time.Dad wears his clothes until they are so thin you can't mend them any more but he never stains anything even when painting a ceiling. I am my Mother's child.

SO it's spring here in Ohio, I pulled my warm weather clothes out and took a good look.

I want clothes I can wear in the garden or yard work which also could be paint clothes as I have a lot of fence painting to do this summer. I am messy when painting.

I want clothes that are comfortable and can float with my weight changes (I bounce 20 lbs with Crohn's attacks) and not feel like I need to "cover" up when Amish stop by.

I want to look good, not just unstained , but actually good so if someone stops to visit or calls for us to go visit them I really don't have to change my clothes.

I want nightwear that is comfortable and I not struggling with while I sleep.... I have been all over the place with this area, first nylon night gowns that don't work due to hot flashes, they are gone now. Cotton night gowns that dogs end up laying on so I either get pinned or twisted up in as I don't want anything snug. I tried flannel pj bottoms (also gone now) with tee shirts... kept struggling to turn over as the flannel pants didn't do well with flannel sheets and I don't see flannel pants in summer with cotton sheets. Daughter 4 suggested yoga crops ( she gave me 2 pairs)or a sweat pants crops with a tee shirt. I had sweat pants crops and that worked but won't work for warm weather as I am already starting to get too warm and yoga are a bit too snug for me to sleep in. Son 2 suggest mens boxer shorts and then gave me 2 pairs that he bought that were too small for him.I am still wondering why he doesn't understand he hasn't worn a 30 inch waist since he was 12 yrs old. I still on the fence of what to do so I guess I will try it all and go from there.

Today I started pulling my clothes. If I haven't worn it in the past 2 yrs it goes. Going with 2 yrs because this past year we really haven't went to church like we did, not found a good fit yet. And we have been more focused on WORKING and not visiting. Life style has changed since I am no longer working as a chef.

I do not need 72 tee shirts, 42 tank tops, 35 spag strap tops and 35 blouses. 53 pairs of shorts/skorts/skirts, 21 pairs of jeans (I don't wear jeans daily), 17 pairs of sweat pants(9 pairs of them hand me downs from grandsons), 12 pairs of "paint" pants, 16 dress pants and 39 dresses. This is ALL of my clothes. Not just warm or cold weather. That's 284 items not counting pull over sweaters and cardigan sweaters and 5 long sleeve tee shirts which I wore every single one this year LOL.

What I have kept....

4 dresses for formal weddings and events (1 is over 40 yrs and 2 is over 17 yrs)

3 dresses for semi formal (all 3 from Goodwill 14 yrs ago).

4 church dresses

6 daily dresses (two might...WILL go bye bye if they are too big this summer again as I already took them in twice.)

4 dress pants.. I moved 1 pair over to daily wear in garden since they are faded and show wear but are in good shape.

7 jeans ranging in 3 different sizes.

7 sweat pants put back for next fall.

I have 4 pants and 4 tops for garden and painting. Two of those will be tossed in trash at the end of the season.

I have 19 tank tops... about half for each season.

15 shorts/skorts

10 skirts

11 spag strap tops(wear under shirts and sweaters)

16 blouses (long sleeve to no sleeve)

28 tee shirts... 6 for around the house(not stained but look worn and these might go after I get all the rest washed, dried and put in drawer.) 10 for fall/winter and 10 for spring summer.

That is getting rid of 142 items. 50 %... gone.

I started pulling winter boots/shoes , tossed 1 pair of slippers and put 3 shoes in with clothes. Put winter shoes/boots in storage and set up my everyday warm weather shoes on floor with dress shoes in shoe rack on back of bedroom door. I do have a couple pair of boots that I can wear when it's raining that I left beside the wall on the other side of the bed.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Where I am at on goals and staying frugal

Friday ....First the chuckle that started our day... Hubby left for work for the state, called me not 10 min later and I was like, You aren't even at work, what is wrong?

Nothing... E had "sos" (flicked flash light on and off repeatedly very fast) to flag Hubby down as he headed to work down the road... E was RUNNING down his lane trying to catch Hubby .... They need diapers for the baby for Sunday visiting. LOL.... Hubby needed me to text him LUVS size 1 one package so he would remember to get them before coming home. Baby is allergic to Walmart brand which is what they used on the last babe.

I have come to understand it's not just spending time tracking finances, appts etc.. I have to budget TIME, what is the most important to be done and saves me the most money using MY TIME instead of buying or paying for something. I'm not falling asleep at 6:30 in the evening so that's a help of getting things done in the evening. But trying to track everything is starting to be huge job and does get weary at times.

I called to pay off the hospital bill and finance services is no longer allowed to do echecks...HUM, would have loved to hear the conversations that is going on about that. ANYWAYS the lady is meeting us at the cashiers office next Thursday when I am there anyways for my CT scan to make sure we get the 5% discount even though it's pass the 10 day time frame.

Hubby turned off the heater in the pump house saving us propane.

Three times this week we turned OFF the furnace for 3-4 hrs and opened doors to air out the house and saved propane. We are trying to stretch the propane to be filled in mid April instead of early April.

I reworked the budget due to needing to replace the amount of deductible by Dec 31st , our ins has us pay all of it first(we used to pay last and had catastrophic after the maximum payout) and it restarts Jan 1st. So not to get nailed with it next year like we did this year. We decided to have the full deductible in a savings acct. before the end of the year.I will have to rework it again after I find out what my biologic will cost me. PLUS extra gas for appointments as my Primary warned me it might be weekly for the first 3 months. That alone will triple the budgeted amount for fuel and a change in the grocery budget as I have to eat certain foods... along with ginger, turmerics and cinnamon for health benefits.We have pulled some recipes that I should be able to eat and is simple enough if I am not up to cooking Hubby can put it together.

 We will drive the car not the truck... That's not standard for us when Hubby is driving. My car is small and he can't wear a coat while driving it but it's the cheaper to drive (I did mention motorcycle if he was taking me to check ups when it's warm and I have recovered).Example would be Hubby driving the truck yesterday that gets 10 mpg over to neighbor instead of WALKING across pasture.  No he wasn't transporting anything that needed a vehicle , just taking some mail that got put in our mail box instead. DUH moment. OR not driving over to N to deliver mail in the truck when I am driving right pass N's the next day in the car on the way to doc appt. I can see it's going to be a NO, don't take the truck for a couple months until he adjusts since he is used to crawling in it to go to work or haul.

It's carrying 2 water bottles while gone so I am not spending money to buy another bottle of water while out. That happened twice this past week, the second time I was able to stop at Son 2 and fill my bottle back up.

Son 2 is on active duty, so while at the doctor appt that is in his area I stopped and check on his cats and pick up the cardboard he has been saving us for the garden paths. Saves him $ of paying his neighbor to check on the cats .I fixed his litter box TWICE. Glad I decided to stop again on the way back home.

Hubby's old company HR is handling finding out our costs for biologics since I wasn't being given any information at all from the ins.  Ins wants 3 different biologics and their dosages so they can give us a price and we can figure out which one WORKS for me along with what can we afford. They already figured out we will have to pay 20% of surgery OF the contract price they have set with the hospital (which is lower than the original bill).Hospital has already agreed to payments and will work with us. SIGH of relief we won't be put in a crisis but have to focus on picking up odd jobs and saving were we can to pay the meds and the hospital bill off.

I asked grandson's mother in law about the surgery I might have (she has had several bowel surgeries and knows several others as she works at the hospital) She told me 6 bags of diapers and TP and butt cream. So I need to pick up  3 bags of diapers and TP, I have coupons and CVS extra bucks to use this week. We will be right around the corner from CVS Monday when at doctors appointments. I have  butt cream (HAHA) and Vaseline, which works just as good as butt cream.

We have 3 months of household bills in the savings WITHOUT touching any IRAs.  We have total amount of $$ for winter propane and total amount of $$ for Hubby's fishing trip with his BFF that retired this year(deep sea fishing once a year so they can see each other as the other one lives in AL). We have total amount $$ that we are willing to spend on livestock trailer (Auction April 6th).

We both took a breath, and relaxed as we aren't in a crisis but the budget is going to be STRICT and we know it.  We have money in IRA and we can pull SS at 62 (18 mos from now)... WE DON'T WANT TO but can. SO it's not worse case at this point , just not a comfortable fit of where we want to be with what we want to do. The price of the biologics is going to be what points us to what we do.

E and his brother N talked to the person that does the stone for the lanes of Amish and that person is willing to do our lane. Hubby just needs to get a hold of him to come price it. The price is HALF of what was going to costs us plus actually a bigger load than the price of  us spreading it out (dump and go price). This guy will spread it out and E said he would do the grading as he has the equipment to do that so we won't even have to rent or pay for that part either. E wants fish if Hubby brings home fish from the trip ;) He also wants to fish our pond which his brother stocked with the fish LOL.

I called our vet, Rascal is due for shots in April, we also need heart worm and flea meds for the 3 of them plus Wilbur needs a check up for his weight(was severely over weight we got him_ and so does Charlotte (who was dying of worms when we got her). They cut us a deal if we brought all 3, let them cut nails, they wouldn't charge for the office visit for ANY OF THEM. Just shots and nails (office visit is $25 nails is $10) AND if we buy our normal amt of 6 months of meds they will give us a 20% discount. They are already about $5 cheaper on the meds than anywhere I have priced on line and local.The savings alone on getting nails done over office visit cost will cover Rascal's shots.

Baby freezer in barn is defrosted. Hubby is going to give it another go over with cleaning tonight after work . I have 3 turkeys and 3 hams yet so I put on the kitchen calendar to cook ham in April, June and Aug. and to cook turkey in May, July and Sept. I have brisket... 24 of 4 lb brisket so I can cook one  a month of it.I moved them into the other 3 deep freezers in the basement. I still have white space, about 4 cubic feet of white space (that's about 2 refrigerator freezers amt of space). I transferred 9 gallon bags of ice to Baby. I will continue to pull ice from the refrigerator ice maker and put it in Baby so save on the cost of ice this summer. I average $150 for ice when blanching during the season. I would LOVE for this to be $000000.

I moved a good part of odds and ends to the kitchen frig to where I was storing stuff for Hubby's lunches. Since Hubby is eating in the truck he prefers to eat a wrap not something from the thermos. We can start eating this for our lunches or suppers. His last day is 3/29.

 I decided that Baby freezer in barn will hold ice until I start doing rhubarb, asparagus and broccoli etc.It has a small area that is separate that I can put those in to and still keep ice.

I now have 2 loaves of bread dough, 8 rolls (dough), 8 slices of pain de mie bread and 12 tortilla wraps in the freezers. I also have pound cake slices and 6 small loaves of pound cake in freezers.

Hubby has asked if I can make egg rolls and pot stickers (or buy them made)for the freezer.He would like a supple of my "not feeling well" foods in the house, tomato soup, beef and turkey broth, fine noodles or star or alphabet pasta, pot stickers, egg rolls and sausage patties from Walter's meats in Wapa with thin bagel, thin Swiss cheese,and horseradish cream sauce.  I'm canning beef and turkey broth this weekend. I have star, alphabet and acini di pepe pasta. I will make noodle most likely this weekend also since I am doing broth.

I have ground pork and bean sprouts , I have the stuff for the pot stickers, I can make the dough... time doing it vs cost buying it when it comes to making the dough including the bagels and English muffins I want in the freezer...

... on the side note I have a child that wants to barter, $10 for gas, one turkey and one ham in exchange of a full day of spring cleaning and cooking... HUM... so for $34 (as I know what I paid for the meat) I can have 8 hours of work from the child that is a "lets get this cleaning done so I can play in Mom's kitchen or better yet, Mom play in the kitchen while I clean so I can just pack up food and go home"... might just take that offer up especially if I do have surgery.

I know we have ate 18 cubic feet of food from freezers in 6 months. Why do I need that info? Because we have 60 cubic feet of freezer space and if I am not going to need that to feed us one to two years I can SELL one of the freezers (putting money in savings and lower electric bill) BUT I can also tell you that I have next to NO veggies in the freezer  which is something that usually fills up 7 cubic ft and maybe, just maybe 3 cubic ft of fruit that is about 1/3rd of what I usually put up. I also know this year I will be putting up freezer jam that I don't normally do.

Just one more thing to track to make good judgement calls.

I paid the State taxes.

My computer refuses to work with the state school tax forms but the lady that has done our taxes (hired by Hubby's old company) offered to do them for us for free .Said more than one person has had issues. She will have them done by the end of the week and those will be out of here.

Hubby picked up another hauling job that might turn in to a weekly haul.Hubby ordered "business" cards, even though he is NOT running a business just doing odd jobs (falls under Hobby) he is still keeping track of things as if it was a business. Better to do it at the beginning and go nope, that's hobby at the end of the year than oh well crap it's a business now and I have to go back and figure out everything. PLUS the Amish can't google him to find out his cell phone number. Next spring he has a job lined up working at collection maple sap aka maple water for 2 different Amish.

We went to store to get dairy and produce. I transferred my "coupon/digital savings" to the savings acct.I talked Hubby out of picking up cookies when both us can bake cookies... I don't care they were marked down and the flavors we like. Baking cookies this week is on the to do list.

Apples trees have been sprayed with dorminate oil

Grape harbor has been sprayed with neem oil and slightly pruned.

Limbs have been burnt in garden so ashes can be tilled under.

Looking to move compost to east end of north garden.

I have not done much spring cleaning between doctors appointments and potty visits 😞 , I am lucky to get meals on the table and finances kept current.

I need to change OUR routine to get our meals times the same as the Amish we are hauling for. I also need to  change errand/appts from 1 day to 2 days a week. I just can't handle doing all of it on 1 day and I definitely did not acknowledge that when I have appointments I am gone most of the day, not home working to do list and not fit to do much of anything when I do get back home.

I canned 9 pints of beef broth. Have turkey broth in frig (thawed) to can today and 4 packages of turkey vacuumed bag in the deep freezer.

Hubby drove the car to work this morning. He put all his work stuff in it yesterday. He is only working 1/2 day since we both have doctor appointments today. We will be meeting our friends and Son 2 at Hong Kong for dinner... we usually do this every 6's been before Christmas since the 5 of us has gotten together. Since we are already in that area, it worked for all of us. No special trips for us.

We decided on a menu plan... menus don't work well for us, depending on how my Crohn's is acting, last minute jobs and preferring a variety of foods and how they are prepared.

We thought about month plan...didn't work at all...can't make it through a week....

We thought about plan by protein....didn't work at all either.

We hit on it this week as I've been tracking what is actually being fixed...

We will base our menu of Countries.

Mediterranean :Italy, Greece, Spain, Algeria,Libya, Morocco, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Sicily, Iran, Iraq, and Egypt.

Cuban,Haiti and Jamiacia








And Home Chef that Son 2 gave us recipes of while he was using that service.

We decided Monday to be leftover day as that is the day before trash pick up.

We decided Sunday has to be meals that can be prepped Saturday night to and just simple meals that is mostly hands off.

This week we are having Asian, Italy, American, Greek, German and Home Chef... we will see if this works .

Blessed be

How are you doing?

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Goals for next two weeks


All bills paid ahead and taxes finished.

Hoops jumped for insurance to pay for my biologic meds to keep my costs DOWN.

GOD willing, that we win the bid on the livestock trailer that is at auction on April 6th. We have set the highest amount we are willing go even though actually the trailer is worth about 1/4 more than we are willing to bid. IF we get the trailer it will almost double our income from hauling as E has told his he would drop the hauler he is using now because he over charges, like 4 times the amount others do and charges different prices for the same work depending on who you are. He doesn't have a good rep even with the Englishers that use him.

Savings of 2-3 months income and rebuild to a year.


All seeds started including seed block, potting soil etc. MAYBE depending on weather, grow bags for potatoes.

Hubby needs to spray dorminate oil on apple trees (if the freaking rain would quit for a couple days )

I need to prune and spray Neem oil on the grape harbor once again rain interferes.

Remove all limbs that we trimmed off trees and bushes that we left sit due to high winds.

I need to figure out where I am starting the compost pile. I am thinking of just trenching in the garden like my Daddy did.


I am starting the spring cleaning. I will start in the kitchen/dining room as they are open floor plan. That way if it takes me the whole time I have before possible surgery that area where I spend most my time done plus it's the area that will drive me bonkers if not clean. I will then do bathrooms, mine before Hubby's and then move on to another room depending on what is going on and how I feel. I figure the kitchen dining room will take at least 10 days. Bathrooms should both be able to be done in a day each.

I am getting better at keeping to a daily routine of cleaning that means less decluttering. Unless it's paper and it breeds in drawers or boxes in the barn they breed also.

I would like to have at least the baby freezer in the barn, defrosted, cleaned and restocked, organized and inventoried. Then when the asparagus comes on I have a place to put it and not bury it in the other freezers.


Hubby is concerned with the weight he has picked up  so after lots of thoughts and such tossed around we decided on the "plan"

Breakfast is going to be our main meal... which means that we have to be up at least 2 hrs before we eat (remember, his bfast for over 30 yrs was my supper since he worked nights so that big meal is what he is used to). I will start doing prep work for bfasts the night before.

He wants and I agree to protein, grain, fruit, dairy and possible veggies thinking of omelets, frittias, zucchini bread pancakes,bfast burritos etc. He isn't one for dairy unless it's cheese or ice cream, I am trying to add yogurt to that rotation for him. He does okay with it with granola or as a topping on fruit/dessert. I plan to make pancakes and waffles for the freezer. Maybe some muffins or fruit bread or both for the freezer. Put in one servings sizes so we can have choices.

Lunch will need to be able to be eaten in 30 mins. that's about what the Amish do so I am looking at casseroles or 1 dish meals that I can prep that morning or night before and finish at lunch. E's wife, M told me she does a boiled pasta(with butter.) a vegetable and a meat, usually bologna or summer sausage and some dessert for lunch.

Supper will either be something on the grill, soup, salad and sandwiches. I am thinking of having him put the grill on the front porch until we get the deck put on this summer. I REALLY have missed the grill.

I also noticed he will eat bread daily if it's a different type of bread, this past week we had pretzel buns(Sister of my heart gave me frozen ones) store bought frozen rolls, homemade rolls and artisan bread loaf. He mentioned he would like toast and French toast this coming week so I will make a style of bread for that. PLUS tortilla wraps. I would like English muffins and want to try to make bagels for Hubby.

I want to put a variety of dough for 4-6 loaves of bread dough, 2-3 dozen rolls in the freezer  and a 3-4 dozen tortilla wraps. Some pie also... maybe hand pies or what some call lunch box pie. As Hubby does cook, will bake cake or cookies ,would put bread/rolls to rise and bake and bake pies but don't ask him to make the dough LOL.

Instead of prepping meals for the freezer to be reheated, I decided to "gather" the rest of the odd's and ends, list them and we eat them while I am in recovery. IF I get the baby freezer defrosted, I can put all of it there along with the extra ice we are getting from the frig( I use 50-80 lbs a week while blanching in the summer).


I think I am going to get a tattoo (not frugal LOL) that says that.

What has been frugal ?

We have ate from home, been some really weird meals but we aren't going hungry because neither of us has an appetite or energy. So it's what every odds and ends are in the freezer...frugal in 2 ways, we are not eating out....and it's using up what is in the freezer instead of it getting freezer burnt and tossed.

I now have all the appts I am to do for the rest of this month. Next month will fill up when I get the CT scan results back. I have rearranged errands and what other appts I could to lower the cost of gas for said trips as none are closer than 1 hour and 15 min away.

We had pancakes due to coworker of Hubby's giving us maple syrup he just made. Extra pancakes in freezer.

I talked again to the Hospital financial services lady who did some digging to find out for sure what the policy was about if we had a balance and was current on payments could we get a discount on the next hospital bill since I am looking at surgery... the answer was no if we rolled it over to the payment plan even if we paid 50% of the bill. We would have to pay the bill off completely with the one we have now would be okay to pay have and still get the discount on that half. SO since I make less in interest with my savings acct I will pay this bill off and get the 5% discount. We will then make "payments" *as she told me what they would be* into my savings acct. By time I get through the next testing my deductible will be paid in full (Hubby's won't, in 25 yrs it has been 1 time). Not touching the cost of surgery.

We will finish paying the taxes owed this week so there will be no late fine etc on that. We actually got back enough in federal to pay the other and I did file a complaint that Fidelity didn't take the state taxes out at the rate we requested (our tax person told us what to have taken out) and we ended with a hefty bill plus a penalty for owing over a certain amt. I was not a happy camper.

Hubby has 2 wks left on his seasonal state job. He was thinking of doing summer seasonal, I have left the choice up to him but did sayI think it will cause more stress(which spirals me downward) and could have him sick again like he was last Sept after working 2 jobs when we bought this house. Especially since we have to have the gardens as large as we can this year to bring more income in.

 He decided to not do summer seasonal and then today (which is Saturday) after we had our 3 month blood work done we have 4-5 people looking for him needing him to haul Saturday afternoon and again this week. He was laughing about it because he chose to NOT do the summer's seasonal because of me might needing help in the gardens in the spring and it looks like he might be shuffling the hauling times around me instead. He had 3 different Amish men tell him that if he needed to do something at home or help me all he had to do was say something.Two of them already said something about couldn't leave until a certain time because they had to help their wives when they were arranging hauling times.

I baked rolls and a loaf of bread from the dough I had in the frig. Frozen one loaf of dough and 4 rolls of dough for while I am in recovery(Yes I am saying I will have the surgery even though right now it's waiting on the Ct scan to say yes I will, best to plan for being down instead of hauling butt because I didn't plan it)

I hung laundry on the drying rack.

We have found the grow light cart puts enough light out we can read on the couch so we aren't turning on a light there any more.

We changed our filters to furnace and whole house water. Hubby said he will check the water in 3 months when he does the furnace but it looks like it could go longer , at least another month. IF we can go to 4 months on that alone it would save $12 a  year.

We checked our smoke alarms, they don't take batteries but we still tested them. That batteries in them are suppose to be good for 10 yrs. Since Hubby has now been through 2 house fires, he still like to check them.

We had a prime rib steak( bought on sale at Christmas time) (I only 3 ounces of it) that we split along with sauteed bell peppers,onions and mushrooms. I should have cooked about twice as much of the veggies as I thought I could use the left overs for other meals. I have enough left that Hubby can put it in a couple tortilla wraps(which I will be making today) to go with the turkey I am roasting for today's supper.(Update stopped and took Amish family to their dad who was in hospital and not being released. Spent entire day GONE from home ...MONDAY)
He is only working today, Tuesday and Thursday and Friday of this week.

Next week he is working half day on Monday( 3 month check up at doc for both of us), Tuesday and Friday... Looks like Wednesday is going to be a hauling day for him and Thursday is my scan.

I will be glad to see him not working with the state. Working 1st shift causes issues with appts.... plus hauling... They did tell him to this coming fall to come in and talk to them , they might be able to just put him on night shift (after 30 plus years of night shift, we do night shift better than 1st) and only for snow plowing. He did mention yesterday he feels like he gained weight, he does have an issue with keeping it off because of the amount of sitting he does. His old job in the factory had him walking OVER 10 miles a day. He doesn't want to have the issues that his parents and his maternal grandparents have/had with their health due to weight.

Even though he got home late and I got home a couple hours after him we ate at home. Today and tomorrow is going to be late meals also that I need to deal with to keep the costs down.

We have decided to bid on a livestock trailer, wasn't going to buy one this year but the one at auction is only been used 3 times, it's an older trailer and it does need new tires from sitting so much. Amish neighbor, E has done the cleaning all 3 times because it was his draft horses being hauled. He knows the trailer well. He also knew what the guy tried to sell it for in the past. So hopefully we will get the bid as if we do get it, we will have jobs lined up immediately with E. We also know what we would have to make each month to cover this year's bills.  Not counting hospital bills.

How was your frugal week?

Blessed Be

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Frugal in the hospital

sounds impossible but really it's not.
The first time I was in for my Crohn's I didn't bring anything but my self... when I went over the bill with a fine tooth comb I immediately packed a hospital bag for the next time...with Crohn's there is always a next time.

This time I brought , tooth brush, tooth paste, floss. Diapers (diarrhea is a guarantee with Crohn's) kleenex, soap that can be also used as shampoo and a comb.... this alone saved me $200.  I also ordered a bit more for my meals as I found ordering a snack ( as I am not use to the times they serve) cost more money than ordering extra with my meal and saving it. I drink water (that's the only freebie LOL) outside of meals.

This hospital allows me to bring my own BP meds as it has to be specially ordered to be without blue dye. A lot of hospitals won't, so if you take a special ordered med you should call your local hospital office and ask for their rules on that.. or just take it with you and they will tell you when you get there.

I needed extra blood work for further testing about the surgery so I asked the doctor to order it now so I didn't have a 4 hr round trip for just blood work. He was/is very supportive of my trying to take care of myself and yet not end up with no money to live on. Said it was one of the biggest things he was dealing with was those that can't afford the testing, blood work , meds or just don't come to the doctor until it's too late and they are in the ER because of finances.

I have contacted my insurance to see if biologics are covered with my prescription plan and what ones are covered for Crohn's. I was already warned by my doctor that they are picky about which ones would be covered and to ask what my copay would be since if can vary.

As for the hospital bill, my share is 20%. Payment plans are available if I can't pay in full especially since we know there is more to come. It takes about a month for the bill to run through my insurance but I can see what the total is in claims in a week so I will know what our share will be so we can put the money aside for when the bill comes.

Hubby has ate from home using the single packages I had put in the freezer for his lunches for his dinner also. He packed an extra sandwich to eat on the way down to pick me up as I will have already ate my supper. Since he goes to nights next week until he finishes out his seasonal (we think the 29th) he can just take what ever we had at supper before he goes to work or a sandwich.

Blessed be

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Frugal moments

We got the electric bill... Down $35.

We have a digital thermometer in the pump house and a propane heater. As long as the temp stays above 38 we won't have the heat lamp on which Hubby really wanted to just leave on. Wind chills that put the outside temp below that we will plug in heat lamp.

Hubby is not having to plug his diesel truck in every night, maybe once a week now if that.

The sump pump is no longer plugged in and running.

Humidifier is off in front room. Bedroom humidifier is only on when I am sleeping.

I only have the answering machine/charger plugged in so I rotate which phone is being charged.

I turn off the power cord to my phone charger etc when not in use.

We unplug or turn off power strips to computers.JUST and FYI  Son 2 in his own home put his desk top on a power strip and turns it off now, dropped his electric by $25 and that is the only change he has made, now he is replacing lights with LED in is office.

We turn off the printer when not in use.

We use task lights 95 % of the time. If we need the kitchen and dining area both lit up, I use the chandelier as it's over the bfast bar and lights up both areas. LED light bulbs in it.

We turn the furnace down when we leave so it's not running the fan as much.

We do not use the heat dry on the dishwasher.

I very seldom use the dryer (and I don't use it instead of the iron like a couple of my girls do) I use the drying rack and clothes line. I would love to have another drying rack that is LARGER.AND have already mentioned to Hubby I need concrete poured for the clothes line in the yard as the one pole is coming out of the ground.

I will mix loads in the washer. WHY? because one, you will use more power doing 2-3 loads than 1 and two, I never wash reds or new clothes with other clothes that can be stained by release of dye. Rule Mother (Grandmother, great grandma who all used wringer washers and wash boards LOL) had was whites and lights together, medium and darks together, with oranges and reds together.

IF Hubby is not reading he turns the task light off while watching TV, the security light outside actually lights up the wheelchair bathroom, front room and mudroom enough. I have actually read sitting in the love seat in the front room using the security light.

We limit TV time. Hubby used to sleep with the TV on, something his doctor told him to stop doing for his health as constant noise is not good for you. First he set the timer for 90 min, then 60 and now it's 30 min if he sets it at all and doesn't' just turn it off. He isn't not much for watching sports so that's never been an issue. I watch the news ... really I just watch the weather. And Maybe a cook show a couple times a week. Hubby it depends, news yes, cook show or history show for an hour. Then it's off. Weekends maybe 1 game but not usual.

We use an oil lamp in the mornings for about an hour and during supper if there is not enough light. Hubby said the LED Christmas lights I hung for a night light is enough light for him to make coffee and put his lunch together. So he is no longer turning the lamp on in the corner of the kitchen.

I mended a shirt, a pair of my pants, a pillowcase and comforter by hand so didn't run sewing machine.

We bought no groceries this week. Both times we ate out was free as we used coupons and someone else paid for as thank yous.

I washed plastic bags and foil to reuse.

We ate an odd mix of leftovers for Friday supper instead of my cooking something else.

Hubby took and thermos of coffee and boiled eggs, crackers and apples to eat while driving to KY to pick up the new trailer (that will have a title so can get tags) and drop off the one that can't be titled. They are going to go over it with a fine tooth comb to see if they can find any numbers to trace it back, if it's a salvage trailer they will try to sell it for him as their local farmers are willing to buy salvage trailers for the fields.

Hubby watches Create TV, Cooks Country, American Test Kitchen and Milk Street.  Repeatedly want something made that the recipe is you have to be a member to get.Last night he said in celebration of our 1 yr anniversary of closing on the house. He wanted us to pay for the membership. I found a 12 wk membership for $1 for Milk Street on Facebook. I will cancel the membership before the 12th week. I bookmarked Cooks country website (free). I figure by mid summer his interest will go somewhere else.Right now he is watching TV for about an hour after the news, that won't happen when it's warm enough to be outside.

E *Amish neighbor, needed a ride to Walmart to get a couple things for the baby. Worked well since I needed to pick up a couple things also. Got to know they named the baby Anna after her aunt.

Hubby got home with new trailer and the company that sold it had already changed some seals and barrings as they found a small leak on one and decided to change ALL of them. BEFORE he got there. Which was nice. They also started checking the other trailer out and they said someone had painted the trailer and that is probably why Hubby couldn't find any numbers. They said to call them back around Wed/Thurs and they should be done searching for answers for him.

UPDATE on had to strip most the paint away but they found enough number that they could trace that it was salvaged and not stolen. It also is a 2006 not a 2013 as listed on the bill of sale. The company put it up for sale and already had a couple people look at it. I really hope it sells so we don't have to go get it. We could put it in an auction if we do have to bring it back. Amish neighbor E brought a handbill over to another auction that does sell trailers, with noted that there is a live stock trailer being auctioned off.... which is something we have been looking for.

Blessed Be

Monday, March 11, 2019

In Hospital ,Looking at surgery in 4-6 wks

If my GI can push through the insurance, I will be having anastomsis surgery or ileostony surgery within 4-6 wks. He is wanting to me be recovered enough before gardens are needing canned. Nice to have a doctor that is willing to look at your life and say this makes it easier for you. 

 The cycle is getting more often on my Crohn's attacks, the attacks are caused by scar tissue from having my appendix rupture. He is HOPING that an anastomsis is possible and takes that cycle down to YEARS not months. Worse is ileostony...well in my eyes being told my entire small intestine was dying would be the worse because I am not a good candidate for transplants.  

I will have blood work done before I leave here in 2-3 days. Then on prednisone   4 wks. and at week 2-3 depending on ins hoop jumping I will have testing to see which surgery would be the best. He is hoping anastomsis... but gave me the time line of surgery, recovery until I will able to lift weight to do my canning... He wants to push it as hard as he can to have the surgery as soon as he can so not to mess up my gardens so much

Worse time line is full recovery June 6th.

The first 2-3.wks recovery I can blanch, freeze or put Qrts jars in the canner. I just can’t lift the canner. I don’t lift the canner now so that’s not really a difference for me.

I do need to look at what I am planting in Spring garden and how much help I will need in it BEFORE I plant.

Blessed Be

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Friday, March 8, 2019

ONE MORE DAY .. starting of changes

of being restricted... of course I can't just go out here and do what ever I want or I'll be back in to the doctor's with pulled and strained muscles if not torn muscles. Been there and done that one, trying to not repeat mistakes.

It would help if I would remember there is a corner on the bfast bar and quit backing up in to it when I am sweeping or mopping the floor.Nice bruise on my back now.

Son 2 suggested starting and ending my day with Yoga. He does it at night so he can sleep. I also have exercise that I do for my cerebral palsy that I will be doing again. Hubby pointed out I need to do my touch my toes reach for the sky and squat and walk like a duck exercises.. that's the 2 moves for clothes line and garden. 

Hubby set the potting soil I use for winter sowing up so I can do that today and get it marked off my to do list. Said he will set up my soil block soil so I can do that either tomorrow or Sunday night for starting on Monday. Starting seeds is the priority.

Since Hubby starts doing a regular haul job next week for E our Amish neighbor he talked to his boss at State.They decided to put him on nights (they have 3 leaving and that leaves them short manpower on nights) and that way he can work Amish during the day and if he needs a day off for Amish work they just need to know a couple days ahead. He only has 2-6 wks left with the State anyways depending on weather. So we are thankful they are willing to work with him especially that he is seasonal. They asked if he was coming back this coming winter, he isn't sure at this point depends on what else he is doing and he would prefer nights and they know it.

 We will go through the punch list and start picking the priorities, his , mine and ours that we have to do together. I already separated the ones we might have to hire.

Speaking of hire, we were worried that we would have to hire someone to dig up the drain line to the sump pump. Hubby talked to N (Amish guy who owned the house) and found out the line they hooked the sump pump to is the over flow line from the cistern and it drains to the county field tile on the other side of the pond.SO we don't really need a sump pump because if it gets to the point there is water flooding the basement means that everywhere is flooded and there is no where for the water to go. Told Hubby to pump water daily from the cistern if it's to the over flow or unhook rain spouts that go to the cistern. Can put in rain barrels which could be transported to E 's house if they run low on water . E and N are brothers. The house sits on a knoll so I wondered why we got a sump pump, even asked and got told the basement would flood if we didn't..hum... Hubby agreed so I shut up.  Now it's don't plug that in we don't need it.

Laundry just finish washing. Back to work

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Bread dough

I bought this book fall of 2008.

We used it for awhile and then I stopped baking bread as Hubby isn't a sandwich eater nor does he want bread at every meal. At that time I had a very small deep freezer and didn't have room to freeze bread dough. I have room now 😏.

SO after I made the tortillas, I flipped through the book and decided to do the master bread recipe. Next one will be the one with buttermilk.
It's not hard to toss together, no kneading at all.

It's about ready to put in the frig until tomorrow. This should make 4-1 lb breads. It will hold in the frig about 2 wks.

homemade tortillas

I used a traditional recipe from a friend with lard and no baking powder but I did add Easy Roll Dough Improver from King Arthur Flour.

Making the dough was easy, flour, lard, salt and water along with the Easy Roll Dough Improver. You can let it rest 30 min before cutting and rolling into balls but I didn't. Rolled it in balls, covered it with plastic (bread bag) and let it rest 30 min.

I used my pie crust mat. I do need to pick up a new pastry brush to brush flour off as my silicon brush didn't do as good as job as I wanted to get the extra flour off. I rolled it thin enough I could see the lines under it. Pioneer Woman does the same.

I ended up moving my griddle over to a hotter burner than the griddle burner as it wasn't getting the griddle hot enough. This is the first side down.

Maybe not even a minute later, I rolled the next one out while these cooked and it's was maybe 2 rolls on the one I was rolling out before I had to flip the one cooking or take it off. You want dark brown not light brown or burnt (yep got a few with burnt).

I had towel laying on a pan to lay them on as they came off the griddle (cast iron pan would work or a heavy dark pan, not nonstick) and then covered with  another towel. When they cooled they went on a plate and back inside the bread bag and put in frig. These can NOT be kept on the counter as there are NO preservatives like store bought. They can be reheated in microwave or oven (wrap in foil), they can be stored in frig or frozen.

Considering I ate 2 with nothing in them and I sure wouldn't do that with store bought... YUM

Tonight's dinner, pork fajitas 

Monday, March 4, 2019

When your Hubby feels like he failed

due to a major mistake on his part and it costs you 6 months of income and he has to tell you just hours before your back procedure that will have you down for 5 days (My sister in law is down for 12 wks, no BLT for ether of us... that's no bending, lifting or twisting. but our Hubbys which are brothers are having fun with no BLT's).

As hard as it is for him to face this, it was harder for me to see him with his head in his hands not knowing what to do and feeling like a failure.

He has been looking for a 30 ft-32 ft flat bed trailer for hauling things  OUT OF STATE... which requires a commercial tag on the trailer... He knew that. He asked at the BMV how much it would cost... no problem , he has that set back. What he should have asked was for the regulations of commercial tags for trailers.   I still sigh....I actually sighed just writing it.

He got a really good deal and a bill of sale (common in our area) and went to get the tags... He knew he had to go get a weight slip so got that done.Still no big deal.

OOPS... it weighed over a certain amount and so can't be used for commercial unless he has the actual title. SO he makes calls, goes and spends 3 days on the ground with snow and bitter cold trying to find VIN numbers literally scrubbed the entire frame with a steel brush trying to find the numbers  to realize he bought a salvaged trailer so no title.Whomever did the repair work did a great job. I wish we could afford to keep it and not resell it as it was new.He called about getting a salvage title and was told he could do that for personal use ONLY, not commercial.  The company that sold the trailer back in 2007 is searching their records hoping against impossible odds as he could only find 3 of the 17 VIN numbers, that they can locate it for him... otherwise... Thursday he will have to buy ANOTHER trailer that has a title as he had work already lined up starting next week that will be WEEKLY.This is NOT something he can put off. Putting things off is something he is really really good at.

The good news the company we bought our smaller trailer( about half the size he needs for the work) has a few in stock so he won't have to order it, but he will have to buy and install a wench.  IF the other company comes up with nothing, which the lady that is even working weekends on her own time to help him told him the chances are in the miracle area...HE is holding on to the IF....

Meanwhile since I can't do BLT I worked out the worse. Called our finance guy, updated him and if it gets bad we can pull from IRAs, he just needs 7 days notice. AND I spent the weekend rereading The Prudent Homemaker.

Reworked the budget(seems like a daily thing right now) and handed him the budget written out on paper as he asked.


taxi for Amish
hauling with trailer.
Selling extra produce if have
Selling extra plants if have
"barn" sale this coming fall.
I need to get back on Swagbucks as this is my primary "income" for Amazon.
Make sure I do my Pine cone surveys.
I need to make sure I do the reimbursement for the health ins with in 2 wks so we have that money back to pay the next month's bill. We have 18 months left in Hubby's RRA from his ex employer.

Priorities for the house now

Garden needs (already in my savings etc).

gravel for deck (already in my savings for April, decking in is barn)

energy audit (already in my savings for May)

insulation ( have some in my savings but not sure what we will do as the windows seem to be the worse, if so I will plastic on the OUTSIDE as all the dogs get in the windows to look out and dog nails go right through plastic). Hubby said he had some insulation still out in the barn he was going to use there so if needed it will come to the house instead.

Replacing trailers money.This will be coming from Hubby's jobs he does.

What has changed?

Instead of ordering 2000 gal of propane which would give us a cushion for bad weather.... we will get 1600 gal. Means I have to be watchful of how I use the cook stove and keeping the furnace down(like I do now) and insulate. Means I HAVE to make the time to sew insulated curtains for the house for next winter.I just tossed what ever we had up this winter even though they weren't insulated.

Hubby will be changing the oil in my car but paying the mechanic for his due to his warranty, lowering the amount needed in that budget. I will be needing brakes this year, that remains in the budget.

Our sump pump has been acting up, the contractor was willing to tell Hubby 3 different ways to fix it depending on what is really wrong with it and Hubby can do the work himself. We might have to buy some drain pipe,Hubby has that in his savings as he knew if the drain pipe was the issue he would need money for it.

We will take the dogs to our old vet as even with the mileage he is almost half the price of the local clinic for their shots. Toe nails are on us that saves us $30 a month but takes both to cut them.We found another place in town that sells the dog food we use at a great price.Our vet is also the cheapest for their heart worm and flea meds.

Eating out was flipped from grocery budget to spending money ($50 each for the month), I very seldom spend mine , unless I need clothes so it goes to savings. Hubby uses his for coffee and food if he can't pack his lunch. FYI, when he is on the road with Amish they most times BUY his lunch for him and if they are packing their lunches themselves they say something before hand so he knows to pack his lunch. WHICH means we won't be eating out very often as I am not known to pay with MY spending money when I already have food in house.

Grocery budget is $26... yes per month... that is 4 gals.of milk (1 for yogurt) 1 gal of buttermilk, 2 bunches of celery, 2 lbs of carrots, 10 lbs of potatoes, and 3 lbs of onions. Produce will go away during the summer growing so the budget will drop to $12.40 so I can flip the $13.60 to non food when I don't buy that.SO I took the non food out of the budget. I will have to "earn" for stocking up and meat (turkey and ham mostly) this fall.

I averaged out what we have used in electric and it's about $50 a month less than I had budgeted. We will just have to open windows and close curtains to keep the heat out during the summer instead of using the central air which we planned on doing anyways since we have French doors to where the deck will be.

My meds and our over counter meds has dropped by 50%

Each vehicle gets 1 tank of gas a month, anything more than that comes out of what we earn.I based this on what we spent on all 3 vehicles since last Sept.. Hubby pays his truck gas out of his earnings of his job (jobs) but I am not willing to count on odd jobs to pay for all his gas.

We will still be putting a the same amount in savings. This is not an option as far as I am concerned.It's not much at all but it does keep the checking accounts free.Hubby does put 10% of his paycheck in a retirement fund through the state while he is plowing during the winter.

Non food has been removed from budget. I should be able to pick up it when I am not buying produce. I have stocked up on hand washing dish soap and personal items. I will need dishwasher soap, dishwasher rinse and the never ending need of toilet paper.

After I finish with this year's $$ for garden ( remember I already have it put aside from last year) I will put what ever is left in next year's budget. Next year's budget is set at $15/month. This is the soil I need to start my seeds and the manure I buy from my neighbor. I am focusing on heirloom/open pollinated this year and saving my own seeds. I will still have seeds from this year for next year and I should be able by the end of next year know which varieties work best here.

House maintenance. $40 down from $100.Our water softener company flipped some plumbing (for free) so the well water goes through the softener 1st and the filter after that so we don't change the filter every 2 wks but now every 3 months.They have a "flush out" they do when they bring the salt . We actually pay less NOW with renting the softener than when we were only paying for salt and filters at the other house... about 3/4 savings. AND they deliver the salt and put it in.

By cutting the budget this hard we have enough in SAVINGS to go until Dec before having to look at pulling more than we do from the IRA's which we only pull a small amount.

Here's to a FRUGAL year.