Tuesday, April 28, 2020

trying to think of what I did frugal

this past week...

We reused 4 sq ft gardens boxes and 1 sandbox from the old farm for the north garden.

We reused some weed barrier we had taken up from the south garden last fall for the north garden.

We reused the dirt from the bags we had potatoes in last year for the onion boxes in the south garden.

I washed several freezer bags out and some foil that was not in bad shape.

I put used coffee grounds on the blueberries.

I dug up strawberry plants out of the yard and transplanted to a sq foot box.

I hung clothes on line or drying racks.

Couple meals were cook once and reheat afterwards

Transplants seedlings into used containers so they can get bigger before it's time to put them in gardens.

Planted more seeds in the seed warmer (little hot house that sits on the table in the office)

Used Kroger points for fuel.

Son 2 gave me clothes to cut up for masks for him. I went through them and pulled out clothes for myself. The rest can go into masks.

Had a Crohn's attack and end up in ER (not frugal) had a ton of testing that also checked my heart(I have left sided heart failure). Which actually saved me from having 4 other visits to other doctors and testing appts so I guess that was frugal.

My GI call me today with a couple recipes for homemade electrolytes drinks that I need to start using on  a daily bases. That was frugal as he knew I wouldn't spend the money on it for daily use.

Monday, April 27, 2020

ER during Covid 19

I had Hubby call to make sure we could go to the ER....

I wasn't feeling right yesterday so took my Humira early...good thing I did as at 5 am this morning I had pain, diarrhea and dry heaves AND I passed out twice.... I NEVER have passed out and do not care to do it again.

Second time Hubby found me on the bathroom floor, he thought I had died as my body voided.... aka I puked and crapped when I passed out. That happens when you die and they call it voided. When he stepped in I moved my hand. He is an EMT so he dealt with it and helped clean me up. AND BLESS HIS SOUL

took me to the ER and then had to sit in the truck for 5 hrs when they released me. Crohn's not blocked just cranky, possible food poisoning from the turkey I roasted the day before, bruised diaphragm, dehydrated and orthostatic hypotension. Er doc thinks my heart failure meds needs to be changed as it's a diuretic and  I keep having problems with dehydration. Summer will only be worse.   I was tested for several things, 3 flu, Covid 19, congestion heart failure, kidneys, liver, red cell and white cell counts, Hiatal hernia flaring a bit. I should get my covid 19 results within a week. So I just need to stay in until then. If I got it, Hubby gave it to me.

SO I'm home, not painting or doing much of anything. Both of us worn out due to the day.

In the gardens Friday

We had transplanted about 6 strawberry plants to the north field last year. They didn't do well but there was 12 last fall so I decided I would dig them back up and put them in a sq ft garden (this was the old sand box). There was over 2 dozen when I was done digging. They are too close in this box but it will be better than the grass they were growing in.

These are what was left of the old sq ft gardens. We made them out of vinyl decking a co worker had given away when he replaced his deck. I now have snowpeas, peas, beets, carrots, onions, lettuce, spinach, kale, mustard greens etc in the first 2. I will wait a bit before I plant the other 2.

This year's onion patches. 425 (as 25 is in sq ft gardens) of candy onion, big daddy and red candy apple onions. Hubby was a little questioning until I mentioned use 2 a day for green onion for 3 months... that is 180 onions. That leaves 270 onions for storage.... for 270 days so it's only 1 onion a day.

I cut 3 asparagus and diced them to put in the tuna noodle casserole and cut one of the patches of rhubarb and cooked it. What ever is left on Tuesday will go to freezer or into a crisp.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Kroger delivery

My kids were laughing at me as I am not real thrilled with Hubby getting anything of produce as it is.

Delivery charge was $9.95 ... if I hadn't been looking for it I wouldn't have noticed it. The tip was set at 10%, you can change the tip... if you don't change it that is what it's going to be... If you set it to NO tip....then I had to have a good reason... you have set time to change the tip... but you still have to give a good reason. I gave 20%. That is what I tip servers at a restuarant except buffets. A good server at the buffet gets 10-15 %. IF you have never worked as a server or had family/friend worked as one you don't understand their pay check does NOT pay their bills, it pays the taxes and SS and maybe the cost of an apron or uniform if that's required. TIPS is what SUPPORTS them. These instant cart workers(which is who is doing most of the grocery deliveries around here) are minimum wage.

I forgot to take a picture of the dairy. I got 1 gal of milk, 1/2 gal of buttermilk, 1/2 gal of half and half and 1 qrt of heavy cream. I got 2 cottage cheese, 2 sour cream , 2 sour cream squeeze bottles, 3 Dean dip and large package of American cheese. I still have some heavy cream and yogurt. AND tons of other cheese.
I have onions so don't need any of those. We also still have a few apples.

I do have a few fresh potatoes left but I know potato salad is going to be on the menu. We have 3 cans of sweet potatoes left but Hubby really doesn't like canned sweet potatoes, he likes his sweet potato baked. Since I will be starting to use the grill, nuked baked sweet potatoes and potatoes go on the menu a lot.I still have a half of head of lettuce.

I got nonfood ..
not my container of sugar that sits as my coffee pot.

I got Home chef... We like Home Chef, Son 2 used it about a year, I have a lot of the recipes from him. But I am just at the point I don't want to do anything especially cook. I have digital coupon and it was on sale. Was limited, young lady had to text me as what I chose wasn't available, there was a beef roast kit that was to serve 2 but she really thought the roast was too small LOL. I got the pork chop one as we have had it before so I know we like it. I also got buy one get one of the pastas. I ate mine for lunch.

IF this stay at home continues longer than a month. I will do it again.

MEANTIME today I am going out to finish putting potting soil in the 5 sq ft gardens. When Hubby gets in from his hauling job we will be potting trees... even if it's raining.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

when you feel like

you never get anything done...

you screwed up royally

you are just too freaking tired of the daily grind...


If I don't dust mop at least every other day, by day 3 I have tons of fur balls. Doesn't matter the season... with these 3 it's ALWAYS.

Dishes are always in the sink waiting for the dishwasher to finish or be unloaded.

A good homeblessing is me praying over the house instead of me cleaning the house (Flylady term)

Ironing is still behind.

I haven't even cut out the mask pattern so I can start on the masks and I have 3 kids essential that are running out of masks. Which means not only do I need to get them done but I need to get them in the mail BY the 27th.

I am planting seeds to go under grow lights daily and moving grow lights up as the plants grow taller.

We have 6 trees that need to be planted, 450 onions that this freaky weather has on hold so daily I am doing what I can to keep them alive and healthy knowing the weather will turn and I will be SO FAR BEHIND on painting garden boxes and getting them together SIGH.

Three of my kids have told me they have friends that screwed up when paying their bills so I will share that... One is my ex son in law's mother..She's 65.

She paid the gas bill but not the electric... she heats with gas... but she cooks with electric, the frig is electric and the 3 space heaters and water heater are electric. DUH moment when she realized she should have paid the electric and called the gas about not being able to pay.

Another is an ex of my kid that paid his cable and internet bill but not the electric bill and then wondered why he couldn't get on line or watch the cable. This is the same one that didn't pay the water/trash bill when my kid was married to them and stuffed all the trash in the soon to be baby's room. At the hospital he told us what he had done and that there was no water at the house either... His parents paid the bill and we hauled out the trash. His kids ripped him.

Another friend said they ordered dog food and treats but forgot to order the groceries and they were now out of money. My kid got them groceries.

Hubby was paying the credit cards his ex ran up with cash advances and not paying his mortgage and him and his kids almost ended up homeless with a foreclosure. I paid the mortgage to catch them up (we were all classmates and friends) AND this is why he doesn't do the finances alone. LOL

I've tossed food more than I want to, I don't keep in mind that even though today is a good day it can change in a heart beat like two nights ago when I woke up in the middle of a Crohn's attack and have been struggling through the days.

Yesterday I got 12 out of 24 done on my to do list

Today I got 8 out of 24 ..I am trying to keep in mind I "lost" 4 hours due to going after Son 2's car that was fixed and taking it to him at work and bringing my jeep back home FIGHTING THE WIND all the way. Jeep doesn't do well in high winds as it is very light weight.

Hubby's day hasn't been any better than mine and the rest of the week isn't going to get better either. He figured out a way to put his DOT #s on the truck but not on the actual paint. AND then the job he was supposed to have this afternoon was canceled. THEN he was called and asked to go find out what an order from an Amish guy wasn't delivered (because the guy forgot he canceled it ) and then the order he was to do tomorrow is iffy and won't find out until he gets there to pick it up and another one called and said his was ready but his driver didn't show up. AND NOW Friday and Saturday have small jobs AND all of them are at OUR meal times. It happens when the time changes as Amish do not do daylight saving time.


my thought tonight as I head to bed at 6 pm is that it's okay it's not done. DUH moments and lazy or just plan tired of it all are okay moments too...AS long as we realize it and move on.

Tomorrow is another day. And if I die tonight... the kids will get a good pantry as their inheritance because Hubby will definitely won't be cooking from scratch.

Monday, April 20, 2020

frugal steps

we saved money for the projects we just got, waited until the 11% rebate and then got the stimulus check to lower what came out of savings. We are looking at what we have that we can reuse for projects as we go.

I washed freezer bags and foil. I once in awhile have to thunk Hubby or he will use a paper plate to eat his snack on instead a of a dish that can be washed. I don't keep a lot to begin with. I use one to cover dishes in the microwave.

I stretch our meals as far as I can go. I ordered more dried beans to be planted and more seeds that are varieties to grow in a UNHEATED green house during the winter.

I started more seeds for plants to input in the gardens in May and June.

I am going to be making masks for us and Son 2, I pulled my wire from my garden to make the "nose" place . I also am making ties and elastic for ears to give our ears a break. I am using old tee shirts, some cotton fabric I have and some flannel. I do have shirt gauze to use as the second layer. That's not the the gauze you use for medical bandages.

I have more plants that I can harvest the seeds to replant next year.

Some things I do without thought. Like making the peels thick on potatoes when peeling for mashed potatoes so I can make potato skins for another meal. Making extra rice so I can do fried rice or rice pudding. Making extra mashed potatoes to make mashed potato patties. Boil extra potatoes when making mashed potatoes to also make home fries., If I have 1/2 serving of anything I think what I am use it in. Might only be tossed into eggs , pasta, soups or casseroles.

We wear our clothes out, mend what we can. Hubby darns his own socks.

The old saying  Quote by Boyd K. Packer: “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”

 Is how I was raised , not Hubby , but I was. 

Another one which is how I raised my own kids
“I’m teaching you how to survive in a difficult world. You can’t be under your parents’ thumb forever. You have to take charge of your own life now you’re going to be twenty-one.”
― Rhys Bowen, The Victory Garden

Another one  is
Food will win the war
Herbert Hoover

True, you have to eat health to be healthy and the Victory garden pamphlets suggested assorted veggies and fruit and how much to eat per week per person to stay healthy..

Stay stay, Stay home Stay well 


We saved money to finish the deck, add more gravel to the lane/drive way, to redo the front porch including a ramp, redoing the kitchen porch to make it wider and repair the east wall of the basement ramp, input of garden boxes. We saved for a greenhouse.This weekend we ordered everyone on line for a pick up at Menards.

On Saturday we got about part of it this weekend with the money we saved and 11% rebate at Menards. You can't really tell there is several boards towards the truck.

Greenhouse is on order along with all the stuff for the kitchen porch. We got the green house for less than 50% (on top of rebate) by using the frame work from the old garage (garage in a box we had bought on clearance).

Sunday we picked up a Sam's club curb side order for the sugar, vinegar, oil along with junk food. Yes junk food. 😍

The money from the stimulus helped pay for it instead of pulling more money from savings.

I wrote out a to do list for this week. I am running 7 days behind where I wanted to be... JINXED myself as of 2 AM this morning I started into a Crohn's attack.

I did call my GI, I do NOT feel I should go to the hospital but wanted to have a plan... I might have to take another biologic (took my injection Sunday morning, probably why it's not bad, just got my 3 months order), soft foods, I have meds that I can take. IF it gets worse I am to call before going because our little hospital here might be a better option. We have 50 tests ran, 17 were negative, 33 positive and 2 have recovered. NONE are in our hospital...they are all at home as the hospital I would go has Covid 19 patients.

I had 24 items on my to do list today... I got 15 done. I don't know what else I will get done.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Watching Gov. Dewine.

Did half the ironing while watching him as the man is doing his best to get OH back to work but protect the people.Don't want to open it up too much and have a nasty spike in this covid 19

It's been a rough morning. Freeze warning, snow, then rain and then snow again AND THEN freeze again until tomorrow noon... geeze OHIO in April. The next week is supposed to be warmer. I got tons of things to get done once the nasty weather breaks.

Hubby was to have 2 jobs this morning. One canceled within 5 min of him being there to pick up the load.No pay, of course. The company that was suppose to get the load wasn't happy when he let them know as it was what they needed today.

THEN I had to call him and tell him Son 2 was broke down and needed our jeep and his car trailered to our mechanic (his mechanic also). He did limp the car to work as he was closer to work than home. He also called a co worker(he is the only one reporting for work and the rest is working from home) and ask if he could raid the guy's desk drawer for candy bars because he had no lunch. The co worker told him to wait 30 mins. Twenty min later the coworker dropped a lunch off at the front door from the local fast food. Since Son 2 has gloves, wipes etc at work he was able to get a decent meal. He will be packing more and at least putting stuff in his office frig that he can eat if necessary.  The hope is that the car can be fixed and quickly.

While talking to Son 2 about things (aka calming him down from a really bad timing issue) he told me he was sorry for all the times he crabbed at me for the large pantry, the large gardens etc. He really understands why now. He also said he couldn't believe what was about to come out of his mouth, then silence..then a sigh...he advised me to have his dad build me a green house... I started laughing and told him we had already decided on that BEFORE this all hit. But definitely were going to be doing it. We are using the old garage (called garage in a box that tore away during wind storm last yr.) and getting a green house cover for it.

He did ask if we both die what he was to do with the pantry as he is in charge of our estate. Told him for him and the other 5 get what they want and then give the rest to E and M and they would put it was it was needed in the community.

I will be starting on making masks this coming week.

Blessed Be

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

on my basement door...

just something I had when I was worried about not having enough in the pantry even things over flowed the shelves

I sent it to my brother... 

looking to the future and why I garden like I do


When this started I had several people ask me how long I thought it would go on... my answer, 2 years... why did I answer that way?... because Covid 19 (true name of this crap) mimics the Spanish pandemic (which did not start in Spain... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_flu). I also knew that jobs lost causes recession... big enough one that last long time  and we will have another Depression. Weather gets nuts on us and flooding or drought can make things worse.

SO I am preparing (as I was raised to) to do what ever it takes to make it through these times....

When we decided to retire and move,we made up our minds to be as self sufficient as possible. When we bought this house with no heat, running water , and an outhouse (it was Amish) we knew the first year we would be working on the inside of the house to handle me (or Hubby) but mostly me as I know I will be in a wheelchair some day as my spine will give(it's twisted like a cork screw). We still need closets and one room needs finished. Supplies are here to finish it. I sometimes wonder if we should have had 2 furnaces until I remember the propane bill.

We also knew we would be adding fruit trees and maple trees (neighbor taps for sap to make maple syrup) and a garden that we knew where the veggies and fruit came from and what was used on them.

Last year there was 1,041 recalls on food and drink.... 1,041 times what you ate, what you fed your families could have caused you to be sick, even die. With my Crohn's already causing problems I don't need the extra sickness and I definitely don't need the worry that comes with those recalls.

I was asked on my last post if I knew what it costs me for dirt, seeds, plants etc... YES, right down to the last dime. This year will be high.... fruit trees, berry bushes, dirt, building material for the sq ft gardens will increase that. and was put in the budget when we bought the house.But next year it won't be like that.... I will add fertilizer just like I would every year, etc... that will put the cost down to where organic fruits and veggies is in the stores. I also buy veggies and fruits I don't grow (and won't ) from the Amish. They pay property taxes just like the rest of us.

SO starting with the the gardens... yes, I will be putting up at over a thousand canning jars of food. I will take care of us, and most likely at least 3 of my kids... if not 4. The other 2 either have a garden or are in an area they can get garden goods.Those 3 rent and have either no place to put even a pot or not allowed according to their lease. If the season it good I will be more than that. I already know that the season will on average have 2 to 3 back to back below average harvests. Then we get 1-2 above and then it slides back down. I would rather have too much than not enough. I swear M got gray hair when she started running low and it wasn't fit to grow anything. Her brother has a greenhouse and grew some salad stuff for her. I gave her 2 cases of tomato juice (seemed right since E's brother gave me the tomatoes) and 2 cased of green beans.  We got pork loin when she sent the jars back.

My Amish neighbors (on each side) has offered to supply meat .They also told me of the butcher shop that buys the animals from the Amish to butcher. I can barter or pay for what I get. They know where their meat comes from and how it's raise... mostly grass fed during the summer and corn they grew them selves in the winter.

I have my buy list that I usually pick up from the store. I am going to learn to make more of it myself aka sour cream to start. Wait...it might be an almond chocolate bar. I am craving chocolate.

We have several budgets... house, land/gardens, business, clothing, etc.

The business right now can carry it's self 3 months. For the 1st year of starting a business, that is unusual. So Hubby isn't looking for work to pay this week's bills but bills 3 months from now.

Land and Garden budget is funded( from when we bought the house) I am spending it now instead of later. I am getting some great deals with how I am buying things right now. I am growing my own paste tomato plants which I will harvest the seed from when the tomatoes ripen. Will bring it down pretty low with the four projects we are doing this summer.

We are putting up a green house next to the barn. We were going to put up something like this

THEN Hubby found he could put a greenhouse plastic on the old garage frame that we had over the basement ramp. SO we will only need to buy greenhouse plastic and he knows the Amish guy that sells it. IT's still going at the barn so the north side of it will not be hit by the colder weather.

I looked at where I can cut the household budget

I will drop the full coverage on my car to what we have on the dog truck we just bought.

We can just order enough propane to get us 2 additional tanks as we should have at least 1 tank left at that time. We use 3 1/2 tanks a year so if I just need to watch how I use my gas cook stove. Use the turkey fryers to do the water bath canning instead of the cooks stove. Multi dishes in the oven or use the air fryer (which is really nice in the summer as I sit it outside so it doesn't heat up the house..

We can change going to the chiro (when the stay at home goes away) every 3 wks instead of 2 or me go alone if Hubby is working.

We cut the fuel budget for the car and the dog truck

We cut the grocery budget to $75, we was going to do $50 but I will need pickling salt , vinegar and spices for canning. I won't buy ice, there is room in the barn freezer with E's ice to put ice I make myself for blanching.

Our OTC and meds has dropped due to me coming off 3 meds, dropping to half.

We dropped the household maintenance to half. I have what we need for 6 more months I can buy them on sale instead of "OH we need to change this"

We are not saving for next year's bdays  or Christmas. We have 2 graduating next year (We have 2 this year also) so I will save for that. IF we have money at Christmas they will get that or baked goods. I think they would like baked goods more this year since it has been mentioned. Bdays will be decided later.

I am grooming and cutting toe nails at home unless its shot time, then I save office visit by getting the dogs toe nails (which is cheaper than office visit) done along with shot.Hubby now gets the dog food at TSC which is cheapest around here.

Non food... I hope we have enough tp to last until fall. Geeze. Son 2 who never has stocked more to than what he uses in a pay period since it's just him, bought a 24 pack just because he is closer to his 2 sisters than we are and they might need a couple rolls. Other wise he has enough for 4 months. I have 4 months supply of cleaning products and personal products. I have bar soap when the liquid soap runs out.

We have no eat out money, no spending money and no clothing money. I do have money put back for Hubby to get new boots. He no longer needs steel toes and would like the next pair to not have that. That will probably happen when the stay at home goes off and he can go to the store in Sidney that carrys his style of boot.

Eighteen months of this roller coaster can be smoothed out by you in your home.

Think of this
 It was during this time that Calvin Coolidge was quoted as saying “Eat it up, Wear it out, Make it do, or Do without” (Later, the phrase became more popular with, “Use it up.”)

Blessed be

north garden started

 I spotted old sq ft boxes behind the garden shed that we could use in the north garden.

Hubby pulled them out and fixed what needed to be fixed (I get to remove the string as I will be using them for strawberries and onions.
 This is from the house, 4 of the red pots has blueberry bushes, one doesn't look like it's going to make it

The red pot towards the burn barrel has flowers in it. I have a couple smaller pots over by the blueberries that have a maple tree started from seed from the old farm. The tree had been started by landlords grandfather and given as a gift as a young tree when landlords Dad started building the house. The tree had been hit by lighting and they knew it was going to come down so I started seeds from it. I kept one for myself and gave him 6 when they got about a foot tall. I also have a lilac bush that was started for me.

This is that garden from the road . The patch on the left side is the asparagus... about 80 ft long and 5 ft wide. Thankful it's not over flowing at this point. We have 3 people that are wanting to take crowns next spring.If it does any better than last year they will find asparagus on their doorsteps instead of the zucchini LOL.

Hubby pulled out the boxes to the north garden. We walked what I thought I wanted then I changed it as soon as I mentions I was putting trellis on the strawberries this year to grow peas and beans... had to move the boxes as I didn't want to shade the rhubarb that grows the length of the garden... 18 patches. Good thing we like it.

He hates getting his picture taking LOL. The stakes are holding the trellis to the blackberries.. He is putting weed barrier down for the sq fts that bunts up against the barrier that is there for the berries. NO TRIMMING this way between the boxes or between the boxes and berries.

This is the sand box we had for Pat when he lived with us for a year while his mom (Daughter 4) went through recovery (clean and sober almost 6 yrs and got her Lupus and bipolar under control). This box will be for the strawberries that are already here... about 10 plants. They are in the grass so I want to move them.

The nectarine, peach, and apricot trees are in. Too bad of weather to plant right now so they are protected on the front porch. Hubby priced stone to put in the bottom of the pots.Planting them in pots for 1-2 yrs until we know for sure where we want them. Local place wants $15 for what would be each pot...Menard's is $3 for the same stone per pot. SO Hubby is going to Menard's. Not today as the high winds would make it hard to drive in. He wished he had already ordered the gravel for the driveway.

Since he is going to Menards, I asked him for a list for all the projects we decided to do. A trip to Menards wipes at the morning or afternoon. If we go ahead and get the stuff(money already set aside) then it's here, no running back and forth, no waiting until we are in that area anyways. Saves gas and time.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

question for those that raise chickens or buy farm fresh eggs.

I kept 2 dozen fresh from the neighbor ,back for 12 weeks (then tested them to make sure they were good) to make deviled eggs. Did different batches... one with baking soda ..suppose to help... it was worse.  one with a steamer... that was not as bad as the baking soda. One batch with vinegar... better but half was still going into the egg salad... the last batch was cracking the shell the last 2 min of cooking... good but still at least 1/4 is going into egg salad.


I now have enough boiled eggs for deviled eggs and chicken salad(have leftover chicken) ham salad (ham tomorrow), potato salad and possible egg salad. Can you tell what is on the menu this week???

Dogs got 1 1/2 dozen medium eggs fried for them today.

I have a dozen of medium for dogs (yes I weigh my eggs, culinary training), 2 dozen large for baking and 4 dozen extra large/jumbo for other in the basement for next week.

I also have a dozen large on the counter for the baking this weekend and 3 dozen extra large/jumbo for French toast, custard , bread pudding, cheese cake ( I have a couple jumbos equal to 2 large eggs. I marked them so I can use them for pie actually not a cake) and homemade noodles to be done this week. I am over ran with eggs.

I also had 2 1/2 gal of milk that have the expiration date of yesterday. Last night's
 potato soup took care of 1/2 gal... Enough soup left of Monday lunch. I am down 1 3/4 gals now... figured custard, bread pudding , cheese cake and sausage gravy will bring it down especially when I use it in my coffee. Hubby is out Monday working so he will pick up milk then.

I pulled the last of the sliced bread from the freezer for the bread pudding and will make French toast with half of it. More milk and eggs used

Since I am baking ham (found in the bottom of barn freezer that we cleared out... more about that) I decided I would make augratin potatoes from dehydrated potatoes and Scalloped potatoes from dehydrated potatoes. I haven't tried this. I use dehydrate diced potatoes in soups and casseroles and dehydrate hash browns. But I have a nice bucket full of slices and decided to start using them. Also more milk used.

Between the kids getting food from us and what we have eaten ,I had enough space to move everything that was in the barn deep freezer except the unsalted butter into the basement deep freezers. Hubby was amazed. He then took a couple buckets we had cleaned and put water in them and put them in the freezer.... WHY?

It never got cold enough to freeze ponds or river for the Amish to harvest ice so they are ALL OUT OF ICE. E has a spring house so it stays on the cool side but not enough to put the calf meds in . So he was asking around and one of the Mennonites was able to sell him a bit of ice. We decided to take our square buckets, sanitize them  as they were kitty litter and kitty food buckets. We made the first block and took it over today. M was happy and then cried when Hubby told her we have 2 more freezing. Takes about 3-4 days to freeze solid. One block last 7 days this time a year, early summer is two a week and the dogs days of summer 3 a week .Days of 100 it can get to one EACH DAY. So we figured we would just keep making it and taking it over. They can always store the extra in the ice house. It won't fill their ice house but she won't be worrying about her dairy spoiling or him about the calves meds going bad. Things are bad enough that we need to help ease each other's burden.

Son 2 has several older friends (like older than us) that don't have family around so he is cooking Easter dinner and delivering plates of food to them. He mentioned he didn't want anyone to eat alone and I told him his youngest sister (daughter 4)  is going to be alone. Her kids are going to be there for lunch but that was it. She texted me this morning he was going to drop off food to her tomorrow evening. AND then they are going to video chat to each other while eating their dinners. Got to love technology

We made a judgement call to wait on trying to refill the pantry of non food or sugar , flour,  and pasta.I will make a curb pick up order at Krogers for later this week or early next week.

We are digging through Daddy's stuff and another friend's stuff he got from his mom for canning jars. Yep.... tis the season. Asparagus is coming in and rhubarb is right behind it.

We found canning jars at $12 a case if not cheaper. I figured $16 at I couldn't find them less than $15 last year. SO the budget allowed me to get 1/2 gal canning jars. Not that I will can in them but I can put the pasta and dried beans in them and move those quart jars to the regular canning jars.

Blessed Be

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Getting nothing done but spending money , reading new book

Our county health dept mailed these out to everyone. Mine is now posted on my door

I scanned it and sent it to a couple of friends that said their county health dept told them they wasn't doing that.

Work truck aka Ford in shop for tie rods and ball joints... so they checked the rest of the truck because Hubby hauls... needs brakes also along with an oil change. Chung $5000

Flatbed trailer was in for tires $$

New dog truck aka Chevy is in different shop being gone over completely since we just bought it and it is used. If needs more than oil change and fluids topped off our mechanic will call. $$

Quarterly taxes are coming due within a month.$$

Need more dirt, more paint for the garden boxes I am building ($$). I did find a total of 5 of the old sq ft boxes. Hubby checked them out and told me 2 need repairs and all need new string if I am going to section them off and we are out of clothes line (now ordered along with another drying rack so I can dry bedding in house without the dryer). I use clothes line to section off 1 ft sqs. He flipped when he saw all the pots and grow bags I had dug around and pulled out and put on front porch. Asked if I was hoarding pots LOL. Not really as I usually give back the pots after I plant when I buy from the Amish. Glad I didn't do that last year.

We decided that green house I thought would work is doable. ($$)
It will go on the south end of the barn where the sliding door is so when it gets too warm I can just crack open the door and the heat will go in the barn. ALSO I don't have to open an outside door to get in so there is no cold air hitting the plants. Water hydrant is on the on the other side by Hubby felt he could install the 50 gal water barrel we HAVE and just fill it as needed and then I am not dragging a water hose through snow. E said he would help with it if he has time. He has increased his gardens 1/3rd also at the request of M. Plus is putting in 2 more acres of feed corn. He is planting oats behind us. We might have enough stuff to build it and only need the plastic.

Larger garden,more seeds and plants($$) AND canning jars and food saver bags(jars and bags ordered) $$.

Is Hubby panicking? Maybe. Enough that he asked E if he could pay the land rent(he rents our back 3 acres) a month early (usually pays in May) but Hubby has the repair bill on the truck plus he might need tires on the livestock trailer and he has to pay for 3 inspections to finish his stuff for the state and work is to a crawl of 1-2 days and then maybe 1-2 loads instead of the normal 3-5 loads a day 5 days a week. I did cover his expenses for the year when we pulled the money, he just doesn't want to have to use it unless he can't cover what ever bill.

It seems like a flood of $$ going out the door, but the retirement fund has already made 1/2 of what we pulled out so that's good.

I am not panicking. I am not worrying though I might stress a bit about getting it all done without putting myself in the hospital. My moods are swinging right along with the weather and I miss my daddy so bad, grieving because I face I might not see him alive again since we can't see him in the nursing home. We get reports, got distant family and friends that work in that nursing home. He doesn't recognize us anyways... but still... Gardening has been what we shared and this spring is hitting hard of not having him to share it with. He was getting worse (dementia and not being able to eat more than baby food when this started.... it's only going to be worse by time we can see him.

Trucks and car need maintenance... granted I didn't think any of them would need $5000 in one trip but it is what it is. That's the truck that makes the money so it's fix it.

Changing how we grow and what we grow and adding fruit trees and berry bushes and winter green house costs money.. in the long run it will SAVE money and be healthier for us. I don't see me doing a recall on my own lettuce that I am eating.

Hubby brought home flowers along with a free pizza .
I am reading this book
I need to go through my seeds as he says what ones grow the best with how he is growing them. NO HEAT source which is a biggie for me.

As it is a rainy day I have several projects I can do ...right after the nap.

Friday, April 3, 2020

sitting down and shuffling

projects, money and food.


We need the basement ramp wall and the kitchen porch fixed this summer. Hubby thinks the drain in the area is broke and it's washing dirt out from the porch causing it to drop and forcing the wall on ramp to shift.

Hubby priced it out at $1200... I looked over his figures and made it $2000 and told him he forgot he would (whether it's good or bad) replace the drain as it is over 20 yrs old. Nor did he count on replacing any of the porch frame if it was bad. I can use the old floor to build more garden boxes or other stuff.

Then we looked at the deck railing. Hubby is going to pull out what we have left of the building supplies and then we will figure out what we still need. We will definitely designing it to hang hummingbird feeders and plants.

Priced it at $1000.... neither of us think the railing for the ramp is here because we weren't sure how long it was going to be.


Drive way needs finished and widened....

Hubby was going to stone around the pond but decided not to. E is planning to have a couple colts graze his land on the other side of us so we could just leave the gate open to the pond so they can have a water supply. Side benefit would be we wouldn't be mowing it every 4-5 days as the horses would graze closer to the pond.

Propane truck can't cross our concrete sidewalk as it would break it so it's a debate whether to finish the driveway to the basement....

We do have to widen the driveway. Hubby's truck has one side or the other in the yard... I had wanted it to be 2 car wide to begin with... looks like I am getting my way.

Priced out at $2000. That's on the high side but we thought we might have to move the mail box about 3 ft and Hubby will use concrete there so the mail carrier doesn't get stuck in that area. A small culvert will have to be installed where the ditch runs under the driveway. Two types of stone will be used.. base stone is expensive but necessary .



we have probably all the boards we need to make sq.ft garden boxes to get us started. Not including what boards can be reused from kitchen porch project.

I will be painting the boards as they are not treated. I have done this before and the boards lasted 5 -6 yrs before I had to replaced...longer than the vinyl ones did.

I have at least 1 if not two sq ft boxes we brought from the old farm.

I have large pots for trees to be put in until planted.

I have 15 gal grow bags and 25 gal grow bags for the potatoes

I have several of pots of different sizes I can use.

If I say I have all my seeds and plants I will probably realized I missed something. I actually have went back and ordered seeds to grow dried beans as I realized after seeing a pound of Navy beans selling for over $5 I needed to make room to grow more than what I was.

I asked before we even moved in to have a winter growing house. Hubby put me off last fall.... I even pointed out a couple styles that is around us that is NOT heated.....

He agreed this summer we would get one up, might not be what I wanted but we would get something up. He misses his salads during the winter and I am get stressed thinking I bought something on recall (usually after we ate it). I think this style will be good for the two of us

We can put it on the south side of the barn( taking the cost of the that side off the building costs) and I can enter through the barn. The barn has a water hydrant on that side also so running a garden house that we already have would do. I saw this on this site


This works in Minnesota so it should work here.
It does look like they are growing the crops in rain spouting... not a big deal as there is an Amish about 4 miles from us that makes spouting to order.


Retirement is back to making some money after we pulled money. I put part of the money we pulled  in Hubby's savings to help him cover what ever with the business.He went from hauling 2-3 loads of pallets 5 days a week to only hauling 2 loads once or twice a week. BUT he has picked up hauling livestock, corn seed, food (was on pallet) and Amish farm equipment a load averaging twice a week.  Still he is going to be a bit short if it continues all summer.The Amish produce auction is not going to open this month so that is 4 jobs he knows isn't going to happen. I can see him being short on money to cover the business for a few more months.

I put 3 months of house hold bill money in Ally savings... keeps our fingers out of it.

I put 5 months household ( or 3 if we need more to cover business) in a CD.

We bought a new to us truck to transport dogs. We use the car about twice a week to run Amish on short trips. The bank they use here in town (our bank also) is closing it's branch so they have to go 5 miles one way... it's an hour to 1 1/2 hrs trip for those in this area... I am now getting asked at least every other week to take some one to the bank.They have even starting asking others if they need something at the bank and take it with them when I take them. Last week we stopped 3 times on the way back (all on the way) to drop off deposit slips.

New dog truck
We offered 2/3 rds of their asking price, a few minutes later they accepted. Has less than 100,000 miles so even though it's a 2005, we should get it to out last the dogs. Well , maybe not Charlotte as she's only 2 going to be 3 on Father's day.

As for the balance of what we pulled I am sitting on until we get some of the project supplies in. Then what is left will go to a CD.


HEAVENS... We have enough for at least 6 month to year That gets us to the harvest and praying that it doesn't get flooded out like last year or burnt up like 2011.
 The 6 months is if we need to share. We have 2 daughters that are not working. One will get unemployment, probably by time she is back to work. The other one is a server.... so are 2 of her 3 boys living with her... All income has stopped. Their unemployment check together won't even pay the rent let alone utilities and food.
We told them to not go to the food pantries that we would help. I sent money for milk. Both are now baking bread including the one that doesn't cook from scratch EVERY and she's 40.

AND then 2 wks ago Son 2 lets me know he can't find Navy beans and is on a CALL LIST for when they come in. He checked on Monday and was told MAYBE a month... so he asked the price $5.50 for a pound. I sent him 3- 1 lb bags of Navy beans, 1 lb of pinto( soup then refried or bean burgers), 1 lb of small red beans (red beans and rice (he was stationed in Georgia for 4 yrs or bean burgers) and 1 lb of black beans with a package of sazon seasoning for Cuban black beans and rice...bean burger or soup also... 2 lbs of minute rice and the last 3 Jiffy corn meal boxes that my brother gave me that was Daddy's. Expiration date was 12/31/2019... still good as Daughter 4 just used one of the two she took.  Was less than him buying the beans.

SO that sent me off pricing soup beans.... I then ordered more seed to plant for soup beans LOL. I will pay that amount to grow them, I am not paying that amount to make 1 pot of bean soup.

Asparagus is coming up... I will do a test of freezing it and seeing if we will eat it that way. I pickled most of it last year of what we didn't eat or give away. I do have 3 people willing to come pick if we get ran over... Patch is 4 ft wide and at least 80 ft long.

I told Hubby if we worked hard at it this year, we should be self sufficient in 3 yrs. IF the fruit trees produce then. We will have to buy tropical fruit always. Not enough heat in long enough season to grow them here. BUT that also means I need more canning jars and canning lids.

Temperature is now warm enough to paint the garden boxes..

Blessed be everyone