Tuesday, July 28, 2020

How we saved $5000 of the IRA withdrawl.

What is the magic formula? 


We pulled  from our IRA in March enough to go to Dec.. We put part in each of our  4 savings acct and the rest in a CD. At this point we could go to end of Jan before needing to pull again from the IRA.

First we saved some every month from the IRA because Hubby changed where and when he was hauling. Since a couple of the "single" haulers are more willing to haul out of state(Hubby has a nicer truck and longer flat bed trailer so got most of those hauls) and earn bigger bucks... there was a gap needing filled in the local hauls. He has started picking up hauls in the evening *something he hasn't done before. We just moved supper/dinner  to earlier and added a fruit or dairy snack later. SO he is now covering all his bills for the business !!! AND has two contacts where he will be hauling for the one once a week and the other one every 6 wks. Steady work helps. Right now what ever job he can get he takes. Thursday is doctor appts and errands. I switched an appt to later in the afternoon so he could haul in the morning.There has only been one month he only made half of what he needed.... we actually counted on having to cover a total of 6 months for this first year in the business. We only had to cover 1/2 month. WE know there will be a bigger bill when his renewal for legal stuff comes in during Oct to mid Jan which is low earning months.

I turn off the AC and all the fans in the morning, open windows and doors if it's below 77 degrees. I will not turn the AC back on until after 3 or even after dinner unless Wilbur, our oldest dog pants heavy. Rascal a year younger and black doesn't pant as quickly as Wilbur. Still I will not turn on the AC I turn on the ceiling fans and floor fans if that doesn't help him I turn the AC on 78.. I keep the curtains shut and the windows shut if it's above 77 degrees. I found that the Amish do this a lot as it keeps the hot air and humidity from coming in as soon. Our electric dropped by $50 in 30 days. Hubby was a little grumpy but since the AC at 76, will run with a ceiling fan while he sleeps he has adjusted. We found if we put a fans in front of the vents on the floor it helps move the air and the AC doesn't run as much.110 is cheaper to run than 220. I also opened the old cast iron floor vent in the ceiling in the front room to the east loft, allows the hot air to go up to the loft so Hubby is more comfortable.

I got Hubby to take 5 min showers instead of 20 min showers. His excuse was his shoulder length thin  hair... mine is almost to my hips and still very thick,so that didn't float with me. He also realized after I shoved a bucket in his shower that he was letting it run a lot more than he thought before getting in it. My 2 inches of water compared to his over flowing same size as mine bucket . I also pointed out that his bathroom in the farthest from the water heater so we needed to run the hot water at the mudroom (used to be the kitchen)sink first to help get the hot water faster to his shower... Simple solution was I wash the hand wash dishes in that sink instead the kitchen sink BEFORE he takes his shower, if we have no hand wash dishes or he wants to take one sooner he uses the other bathroom which is a lot closer to the water heater. His bucket is now just at a quart a little more than mine.  That also lowered the electric but in that one switch of timing showers we saved a bag of salt which costs us $10/month with delivery. 

I checked our farm insurance and our vehicle ins and got it lowered by 10 % saving us $350 total a month ... some how the over hangs on barn on the original  ins got flipped to lean too's and they still had the old truck which has not been tagged in over 2 months and now sold listed. We don't drive the dog truck or the jeep much either. So that was changed and I got the over charge back as a credit.  We take the jeep as it's best on gas, Hubby has finally gotten in the habit that when he is checking with the Amish about pick ups and drop offs to take the jeep instead of the work truck.He has an app on his phone that tracks mileage for personal, medical and business so it doesn't matter what he is driving.

Our escrow on the mortgage was over by $50 a month. I got that lowered so it's not a refund at the end of the year  due to over payment.

I got a discount for paying the propane in full in cash instead of credit card. That savings comes out to $100 a month.

I changed 2 different meds that dropped the price to $5 for a 3 month supply saving $10 a month.

Instead of buying a soccer ball for my PT I am using a foam cooler that is the same width. Daughter 3 suggested this as she does the same exercise for her C.P. also.

We needed new silverware as Hubby can't hold on to the ones we have now. Instead of buying what I would love to have in style etc, I focused on what would work for him. It was half of what I wanted. Granddaughter B said if we find out he could not use them she would buy them from us as she just moved out on her own. 

I cut $50 a month by no longer ordering books (cookbooks are my go to and I read them like novels)for my kindle or paperbacks. I read a lot. A book every other day.I have went to free library and free unlimited kindle. IF I really want the book It has to come out money I make either ice for the Amish neighbor, selling asparagus that ran us over or driving someone some where. I am saving that money to help replace hoop house next year.

The biggest saving has came to how I have stocked everything back up. My stock up budget is separate from my grocery budget. When things were tighter it was part of that budget. Now it's not. 

First I know I spend $500 a month (eating out is included in this)( a year of no garden when we moved here and not having much to bring with us) so for stocking up I budget $400 a month for stocking up (figuring that $100 is fresh produce and dairy)  That's $4800 for stocking up medical, filters for things in the house, non food, personal, dogs and food to go 12 months.

I changed where I am shopping, what brand I am buying and setting lower limits. YES lower limits. IF I can go without it, or make due (think Clorox  in a bucket with rags instead of wipes) I will. 

I went to Aldi's, Dollar General, Family Dollar, CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Save A Lot, Amish bulk stores, dent can store , home improvement stores (Home depot, Lowes and Mendards) and old fashion hardware stores when I was already in area. Hubby also did it when he was stopping while hauling for Amish ( they will ask to stop at certain stores). I checked prices on line between Kroger's, Walmart, Sam's club,Target and Amazon. Except for buying the dogs meds, flour, sugar and yeast I could go without what is still on the list. I made sure the medical and household filters were first. I have a written lists that is updated every time something comes through the door. I take a picture of the lists and send it to Hubby so we both don't waste money by buying too much of something. 

By doing it this way.... I still have $2400 in the stock up acct...which is earning a bit of interest, not much but a bit. 

It's the daily 

Friday, July 24, 2020

Worrisome news and more storm damage

When you read things like this

and this 

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-53407965  Big US banks set aside $28 bn in downturn warning.

I know there are areas of over 30% unemployment in our country. I know some that are unemployed are not longer being counted as they didn't qualify for it.SO I am willing to bet it's a lot higher.

I know that some banks are quietly closing credit cards and or lowering the amount you can charge. It's in the news and a couple friends already went through this.

I just read where Wells Fargo put some clients in forbearance of their mortgages without consent from the client and then reported it to the credit score companies... against the CARE act. https://www.nbcnews.com/business/personal-finance/more-wells-fargo-customers-say-bank-decided-pause-their-mortgage-n1234610

I understand the limits of things we having be dealing with... but when I walked into Mendards yesterday to get the household filters and cleaning products AND SHELVES are empty in a place that hasn't been empty in the first part of this pandemic. AND limits of disinfection products down to ONE per person. It was, a stop and think about this.

Hubby and I had already talked between trying to buy stuff as needed or stocking now (I usually start in Aug.) 6 months. We decided to stock for a full year. Money will be tight if the business doesn't stay stable (right now he is hauling farm equipment crops... animals). Taking the hit now financially, cutting other places as we see the prices going up, and inventory going down. 

He asked for a list of what was needed to bring us up to a year's supply of everything except perishables. Six notebook sheets later with 2 having stuff on the back side... we sat down and went over it. I separated it out by over the counter medical, dogs medical, non food, household filters,booze , yes booze,extra for the cordial I will be making, food(evaporated and condensed milk etc , things I normally stock in the fall) and the veggies we don't have in the freezer. 

Yes, I know how much of anything my home takes to run a year. I have tracked it for years. There as some differences in this home and during this pandemic I am using disinfectants not just cleaners. White vinegar does not touch this virus and bleach triggers problems with breathing (can't even be in the house when using it in the laundry)Lysol does, Mr Clean does, I have to watch what I use due to asthma and allergies.

Before my doctor appt about the MRI results of my knee (bad news articular cartage broke, good news the break is over 30 yrs old so no surgery, bad news it's catching when my knee is bent at a certain degree and my cerebral palsy doesn't let me catch my balance fast enough when it happens, good news back to cerebral palsy physical therapy AT HOME.) I stopped at Menards and used the last of our rebates. After my appt. I stopped at CVS in Sidney as it has a better selection of medical than here in Kenton. Then I went to Kroger's as that's the state liquor store and soda pop, club soda and hard cider for Hubby. 

Then I went to our favorite pizza place and got a 16 inch take and bake and chef salad for dinner ...it's will make 2 dinners actually.

Hubby has been putting off getting new boots even though he needs them. I told him he had to get them now. 

We took a hard hit during the storm that went through a couple days ago.... I probably would handle it better if we had gotten a decent rain instead of the .03 inch we got. 

Hoop house that was going to be for fall and winter planting got ripped out of the ground , floated as a parachute (E saw it go and decided he should just keep himself and his boys in the equipment shed for a bit as hoop house was at the back of our barn he had a good view of it coming up), ended at the pond over 400 ft from where it was. The only thing that stopped in from going in the pond is the metal bar on the end hooked to the metal fence post for barb wire (keep horse out of the windmill) at the windmill. We were all thankful the horses were not in that pasture. Under deductible of our farm ins even adding to what got taken the last storm. Hubby looked to see if we ordered new how long it would take.. on back order until after end of Nov.  Metal frame completely destroyed. Plastic has a few hole that can be patched with screen and flex seal.I told Hubby to let it dry out and then we would fold it up and store it. I would work on a design over the winter  to build something next spring. Compare prices of ordering a new frame which might not work with the cover we got or building it.I might have enough scrap lumber to build with. 

Are you reading/listening to the news or stocking for another down turn? 

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Frugal planning

Harvest of onions, blackberries, a handful of the last of the green beans, some lettuce that is slowly going to bolt , a handful of little finger carrots (I dehydrated the tops) and 5.4 oz of pinto beans after I shelled them... every mouthful counts. 

I inventoried all non food, medical and food as I saw where the banks are expecting things to get worse. I plan to have enough in the house to go a year .

Brother is setting up the appointment with Daddy's finance guy for us to deal with those IRAs. 

Hubby got rid of the old truck (FINALLY) so it's off the insurance and we got a small amount of money from it. Next I can nag about the scrap metal that needs to go.

I think I am going to do a pantry challenge the month of August... not a normal time for me to do it (that's usually Jan and June) but think I need to be do better. 

HOT  HERE , 90-100 and we finally got some rain last night .... 1/2 inch which makes it 1 inch for the month of July.

How is it going in your home?

Blessed Be  

Monday, July 20, 2020

We are tired.

Emotional and physically just tired. Hubby slept off and on yesterday while I piddled at getting things caught up. Tired but can't sleep.

Brother called to check in today, let me know they were ok, and our niece and her girls that were Daddy's care takers along with us are okay also. He has 5 appointments and 2 funerals he is speaking at he needs to get through before he makes the appointment with Daddy's IRA guy. Both of us are going to leave them in that guy's care, He's been taking care of Daddy's IRAs from the beginning over 30 yrs.We just need to know what the RMD's are so we can adjust our own withdraw from our own IRA's. Daddy got his wish.... he didn't die broke. There was a life insurance policy I signed off of so Brother got all of it. I know darn well he paid some of the house bills after Daddy went to the nursing home out of his own pocket.Daddy had 95 % of his funeral and burial paid for. Was a relief to not have to deal with what to do etc.

Hubby told me this afternoon he is no longer doing out of state trips until this covid runs it's course and is going to limit where else he hauls to. He is hoping he can cover his expenses of the business with cutting those out of state trips out.

I was happy to read this

they say that the spray kills covid within 2 minutes. It's what I use during flu season anyways. 

We are having bacon,lettuce (on the bitter side but oh well) and tomatoes on tortilla wraps. Peach for dessert. 

I will be refiguring the projects as Hubby doesn't think he can get them all finished this summer.  

No rain still.... only had 0.57 this whole month. My grass crunches when I walk on it and I am watering every 2-3 days with the 100 heat index we are getting. 

Take care everyone, stay safe 
Blessed Be

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

our winter forecaster and repairing storm damage

The winter here in this area of Ohio is considered to be 13 weeks.... that goes along with the 13 sections of the wooly bear aka wooly worm. Supposedly if the head is black that means the start of winter will be sever. The longer the brown section the length of normal winter and the end is black that means winter will end cold. NOW after saying that I do know the colors on the "forecaster" is actually due to where it was born, how old it is etc. This little guy is about 1-1 1/2 months early since I don't usually see them until late Aug early Sept.... I really hope that doesn't mean an early winter but I will be prepared just in case.

the white blur at the end of the deck ramp (black blur is Rascal) is the outhouse on it's side. It took the fence out that was behind it. We were going to get rid of it (still was in good condition) but decided after a friend and our son talked about not being able to get fuel to run generators when they were hit with tornadoes.... we decide to put it back up at least I won't be hunting for water for toilets.. Hubby  got set up yesterday. Fixed the fence also. He decided to go get some round posts and added stabilize outhouse to put a gate in at the end of the ramp. That is going to be done this month as his mother had to go clear out to the barn to come in and up the ramp and she let him know that should have already been done (thank you MIL as I've been asking for over a year).

what was left of the glass patio table is only the frame. It wasn't hurt. When we went to Menards to get the last of the stuff for the deck railing, we looked at patio tables... What I would like, Hubby could not lift with one hand and knew I wouldn't be able to move it at all.  I went back to paint while he got lumber and was talking to the young man there as he asked what projects we were doing... when I mentioned not finding something for a patio table and didn't really want wood I had to maintain and we had got PVC boards for the fence, he showed me a picture of what he had just made from PVC boards for his patio table. THANK YOU.  That is now on the project list. We had over $800 in rebates and figured we would have to use some of the cash... nope came in under $650... cool, that means barring any more storm damage this year we can put what is left back towards the front porch that is the project for next year.

Tomorrow is Daddy's graveside service... possible storms are in the forecast of course. So what is new?It's at 2 pm in the heat of a summer day.I am praying it's just my brother and me and our kids (and my grandkids). The kids and grandkids have volunteered to be pallbearers.... funeral home asked for 8-10, I stopped counting at 10 and just told them to squeeze together to carry him. Funeral home said they actually had two groups one time, one to carry the casket to the hearse and the other to carry the casket to the grave. Knowing where Daddy's grave is, the hearse would be the farther walk. I mean really we could back the hearse up and roll him out into the grave , it's that freaking close to the drive.

I have more onions curing, more greens in the dehydrator, and more black berries in the freezer. I have 10 quart of blackberry pie filling, 14 pints of blackberries in syrup and 8-12 oz jars of blackberry jelly... I know I have some in the freezer but oh well. I still have more that haven't turned yet.

I appealed a claim that was denied for reimbursement. I won so that money is in to pay that bill. 

Yack at you Friday. 
Blessed be

Monday, July 13, 2020

Life keeps right on rolling

Yesterday I spent the morning scanning pictures for the funeral home. I sent a couple of them along to brother. I found a couple more for brother of him holding me, our younger brother and the neighbor's baby girl that died when she was young that I will scan today and send to him. 

M had sent over 5 steaks that were 6 inches by 9 inches and at least 1 inch thick late ( like around 9 pm)Saturday night. I froze 4 of them and we had one on Sunday. It was too late for her to grind them, cook it and then can it and they don't eat steak. Told me if I didn't want them to feed them to the dogs. YES REALLY .They had butchered a steer for an Englisher who couldn't find a place to take it to be butchered... earliest to get in to butcher was late August. The steak had great flavor. One is going to be a roast LOL.

I pulled onions again, now covering a 1 ft wide by 25 ft on my front porch to start curing while the first batch is curing on the table in the hoop house that isn't all together yet..the hoop house not the onions. I cut the dried tops off the hoop house onions this morning... a few still need to be drier before I cut the last of the tops. Ones that have damage will most likely end up in dehydrator to become onion powder.

I harvest thyme and blackberries yesterday. Blackberries are going into jam and syrup this round. I have some dehydrated, frozen and canned as fruit and pie filling.

We talked about getting rid of the outhouse since it blew over. Decided against it. IF we lose power we have a generator... but if we run out of fuel for it we have no water. A friend in Alabama told us that getting fuel after a tornado was next to impossible for almost a month. Our son said when his area was hit he was driving almost 40 miles to get fuel and it was limited gallons. SO we have a fuel tank... we just need to decide diesel or gas.  We have 2 generators one of each.I am thankful the Amish that lived here put it over the septic tank. We just have to move it when it gets pumped out. 

I changed several medical appts that was going to be Thursday so that's off my to do list.

We didn't have pallbears, wasn't sure who could take off work. I think everyone of the grandkids that can get off work are carrying their great grandpa. My oldest granddaughter who just came out of military is going to carry him also. People thought Daddy was weird because he always went to baby showers and played the games with the women... She is walking is his footsteps.. a soldier carrying a soldier. 

Washer buzzing.. Charlotte cut her paw on something last night when Hubby left her out... she had blood smears on every pillow right through the pillow case. So pillows are now in washer...

Be safe  and let your loved ones know you think of them.

Blessed be

Frugal funeral

From 18 to 93 is a lot of living. Funeral is this coming Thursday. Brother and I are glad Daddy made several choices.

First ,,, he had a will , living will, power of attorney and medical power of attorney and kept it updated. HE had already put Brother's name on all accounts. The life ins and IRAs were already done for who they went to.

Second he prepaid and PLANNED his funeral in 1996... some where along the line he had lost the obit he had wrote and hadn't given the funeral home a copy to put in his file... They had a lot of the info just needed updated. The young man was wonderful to work with as he wrote the obit as if it was his own dad using the info we gave him to fill in. It was part of their services that Daddy had paid for. Daddy had already paid for the flowers and chose what he wanted. Since it's covid and Brother and I both are leary of a open service, we decided private family viewing with a graveside service that we will officiate , nothing Daddy hated more than a preacher preaching over a casket instead of focusing on the deceased and the families . With what he chose and paid for and how we adjusted it for the times there was a savings of over $15,000... yeah his solid oak casket is now $8000 and he paid $2000.

Third his grave is paid for along with his marker except for engraving the death date as my step mother and two of the three stepbrothers are already buried.  We do have to pay for opening and closing the grave. The cemetery would not do prepaid at that time. 

Since we sold the house last year to pay for his medical that wasn't covered under his 2 insurances... there is no property to deal with... I do still have some of his stuff from the house but it's now pretty much down to what needs donated or into a dumpster. I cut the cord off the non steaming iron he still had and gave it to M... works great on her wood burning cook stove and she was in need of an iron anyways.

I will add that lawyer and the Funeral home told us what Daddy saved by doing it all ahead ... beside us grieving and not thinking clear and not having to make choices.... close to $15,000 was saved.... that is a LOT of money and he definitely didn't have that left in any accounts when he died so it would have been OUT OF OUR POCKETS.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Second week of July ..14 days before we got any rain.

We started this week with a text from Brother at 10:30 at night to call the nursing home and make arrangements to say good bye to Daddy.Was only allowed a few minutes one at a time. I had already said good bye when I saw him in March but went again.. Always hoped he would go in his sleep... HE IS STILL ALIVE... getting worse every day but still alive with no help from medical.  Daddy always said he didn't want to linger... but that's exactly what he is doing.

Hubby's parents came to visit, had cabin fever and was a bit upset Hubby made them sit 6 ft away from us in OUR home. He made them wash their hands as soon as they came in also. He sprayed disinfectant and cleaned where they sat and the bathroom they used was the one he uses instead of mine. They said they had only been to the doctors(his mother fell and she has blisters on her eyes) and grocery. For some reason they thought no one was dying of Covid in our state (Ohio) and that it had pretty much ran it's course. Hubby contacted his 3 siblings about it. Big concern as we know they have some dementia also. Sister texted the next day and said the parents made her wash her hands when she came in and sit 6 ft from them because Hubby (who is an EMT) told them that was how it was to be...she's a nurse and she backed us up. She did take them to be tested for Covid, tests came back negative.SIGH OF RELIEF. 

M gave me 4 large zucchinis. I am going to dehydrate most of it , put a small amount in the freezer and have some for deep fried zucchini. 

I put 18 trays in the dehydrators of herbs. Will probably be the last of them as they are burning up even with watering daily. I also dehydrated a mixture of greens to blend into powder when I get finished with the rest of the greens.

I picked the last of the purple pod beans and most of the lettuce. Might get one or two more small salads of lettuce. I have one batch that I am waiting for it to bolt and produce seeds. 

I have dried clothes on the lines, Hubby has chose to wear wrinkled shirts instead of me running the dryer or turning on the iron. Said they absorb sweat better when not ironed and didn't figure I needed to turn the dryer on.

I bought some new slips from Amazon that Brandy over at The Prudent Homemaker recommended... LOVE LOVE LOVE them..as even working in 90 plus heat they didn't stick to me like nylon does. 

I cut the last of the red kale, it's in the dehydrator now(Thursday).

I put dried milk on the tomato plants to fight bottom blossom rot. I am now out of dried milk.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Daddy has died today.. storm damage.

He was 93 May 3rd. 

Relieved it is over for him as it has been a horrible two weeks of dying inch by inch . Relieved for my brother that I know he was paying for some of the care out of his own retirement and he didn't want me to know about it or how much. 

Daddy will always be with me, he taught me to garden and preserve. He taught me to sew and repair. He taught me to cook. 

But Lord, I miss the hugs, the kisses, him calling me at bedtime to talk over our day. 

Tomorrow Brother and I go to make arrangements...Daddy did most of it 8 yrs ago when Mother died and I spent Thanksgiving writting her obit. I was surprised he didn't do it when my step mom died several years before that.

We took a hit with storm that came through right before we pulled in , 34 mph winds took out the glass picnic table, 3 potted plants and the outhouse... I don't think the outhouse is going back up. Seemed fitting for the damage to be today after almost 2 wks of no rain.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Last of June First of July frugal

Used Listerine, apple cider vinegar and water to dissolve callus on feet and hands..even Hubby is now doing this.

Used geranium essential oil mixed with safflower oil for muscle pain. 

My ENT told me to quit using tissues for my nose bleeds (at least once a day for 2 wks) and use TP that it would stop it faster. Not only did it stop it faster... after 2 days I haven't had a nose bleed since. He thinks I was allergic to the lotion in the tissue as it was not a bad bleeder.  Generic saline spray a couple times of day (can't do nasal rinse as they cause headaches) and things are good in that area.

Ate lettuce, radishes, strawberries and onions out of the gardens, peas out of M's gardens and tomatoes out of N's hoop house.  Covered blackberries and blueberries with bird netting .Have small green paste tomatoes, beans have blooms , onions are starting to have dried tips but I don't think the Brussels sprouts are going to make. Battles with bugs every day. Started getting blackberries about a hand full a day. M gave me zucchini.

Put up electric fence to protect sweet corn from deer and coons.Thought if we shocked them now they would leave it alone with the corn started making.IT's on solar power instead of our electric.

Our township had a clean up day that accepted any trash our normal trash didn't take in weekly trash pick up (no commercial or hazard stuff and 8 tire limit) we took enough that would have put 1 layer across the floor of a single car garage. Since it was OUR trash company I asked what we saved ...around $250 of extra charges.We kept enough cardboard to finish the air barrier in the last 2 attics.Cardboard was over whelming. 

Sent in medical claims to RRA for reimbursement.Since I already paid these bills I will put the money towards Aug bills( which includes the propane order for winter heating) as we just paid off July that needed checks written and the rest is auto withdraw.Last month we had to use household money to cover the business bills... Mid June to mid July is a slow time without a pandemic and Mid Nov to late Jan is another one. Hubby made half of what was needed so that wasn't bad.He is picking up one time haul jobs to help fill in the lack in the steady work.

Bought clothes from ThredUp using a discount code, finding pants that actually fit me without hemming or taking in. 

We bought a $4800 motorcycle for $3200.... we were looking to upgrade and hadn't found anything we liked and in our price range( cash not loan) as the bike we have now was good for Hubby to take back and forth to work when he was in the factory  but not really comfortable for us to do any riding. We both have license and have rode since we were kids. Son 2 was going to trade his in as he went to a Honda goldwing trike (bad knee) and sold us his for what they were going to give him for trade in. Since we both have been on this bike we know it will work for us. We hope in a few years he will upgrade his trike and we will get to buy the one he just got. We already started that kitty. LOL We can ride the bike to go see his parents, if we go some where with them we always take their car as neither can get in and out of our car very well (Jeep is small) and they can't climb up in either truck.We can use it to visit the kids or go riding with Son 2

Hubby asked why I was using the kitchen porch clothes line on such a nice day instead of the yard clothes line . I had him stand at the kitchen window and took down one of the shirt off the line. The sun blasted him in the eyes. Blocks the sun out of the kitchen and keeps the house cooler. I keep an old white shower cloth curtain that I hang on that porch to block the sun from the dogs water to help keep it from getting as hot also blocks the sun from the bedroom. We check the morning temp... if it's going to be lower than 76 we turn off the AC (we only run it in afternoons and evenings) and open the windows to allow the cooler night air to come in. I've shut the windows and curtains on days of NO breeze and kept the house around 78 doing that without the AC. until around 1 pm.  I always check the windmill to see where the wind is coming from to know which side of the house to open.Yard clothes line is for towels, bedding etc that are too big for the kitchen line.

I still would like to have 24 cans of mushrooms (or 12 large), 14 cans of spinach and 2 gals. of apple cider vinegar.IF I get fresh apples and fresh pears this fall and  3-4 pie pumpkins we will be in great shape. I still am cooking down last year's tomato juice for sauce. I even have essential oils, etc to make my own hand sanitizer and cleaners as I KNOW this pandemic is going to last at LEAST another 6 months (they all last at least a year if not 2 yrs) and things are most likely turn worse this fall rather than better. I am now seeing majors order masks to be worn by ALL when in the city  when people are out. I think we are headed for another shut down.

I took some masks that Son 2 had that was too big and he wanted ties instead of elastic and remade them for him. He had some ribbon that a friend of his gave him as she sews and I used it for his ties. NO money for either of us.

I use my meter to gauge how much to water the gardens. Helps to not over or under water. Saves water and electric running the pump. I don't pay for water or sewage but we are very careful as the water table dropped really low last year and a few around us had to pay for water to be hauled in as their wells were not deep enough. 

I use the air fryer to bake and I use it OUTSIDE so it doesn't heat up the house. It will raise the temp in the kitchen 10 degrees. I used the grill for meat and some of the sides, been eating more cold meals than hot anyways. I have about one more week of salad and then I will have to wait for it to grow again as the heat wave is going to bolt what I have. Ham salad, chicken salad, chef salads, cold meat in tortilla wraps have been pretty common.I did grill some extra meat last week and tossed it in the freezer to be reheated in the microwave if needed. We have taken to eating our dinner on the kitchen porch and morning coffee on the deck (west side of house).

I put lemon peel and slices in the dehydrator. I put lemon zest and slices in the freezer and I juiced the last of the lemons and froze the juice in a ice cube tray.
I chopped what was left up and put it in the gardens. 

I found Tattler wide mouth rings AND  regular mouth. Had to wait as they were on back order but they have finally came in. I was told to practice canning with them with jars of water as you need more head room and you don't tighten them as tight as a regular canning lid... sounds like a learning curve but that is okay. If I decide I don't care for them I already know who I can give them too that already uses them.

I finished dehydrating the butternut squash from last fall. 

We watched fireworks from our porch as the neighbor down a few houses set some  (not big ones) off for the kids in the neighborhood since our local ones were cancelled. My brother sent a video of the ones he was at.

Hubby found spinach for 54 cents/ can and mushrooms for 64 cents for 8 oz can and cannellini beans for 56 cent/ can and bought enough to finish the pantry. YEA!!!!

How is it going for you?

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

July projects

With permission from these two I post this picture. Son 2 is on the right. Grandson S on the left. Grandson started his 1st day in the Army today July 1st.He wants to follow in his uncle's foot steps.

I finished the gardens... mostly. I will be working on an irrigation system for next year. Hubby is looking for a better way to control weeds around the area. He does still have to put the electric fence up around the sweet corn in the south garden . That's about 4 hrs of work. I need to move the red rhubarb. I mentioned moving it up under the grape vine but Hubby really doesn't like that since he would have to do more trimming.

E came over with his boys a bit back and help move the metal frame (was a garage in a box that we lost the cover in a wind storm) to an area south of the barn, gets shade during the summer from the tree on the north west side there but will get light during the winter and the barn it's self will block a good part of the north winter winds. We think we have it set where it will be good, I pulled out the pots I am using and the cover so we can get it on this week.Goal is to be planted by July 15th. 

We found some old wood fencing that matches the wood fencing in front of the house. I found a paint scraper in Daddy's stuff that I was going through. I told Hubby I could scrape it and paint it when I paint the posts for the deck railing and we could use it for the railing on the deck instead of wire fencing.  We just need to buy paint with primer which we need anyways for other stuff that needs painted. Something outside always needs painted.

Other projects..
basement ramp, Hubby wants to start on this as he doesn't want to lose that entrance. 

kitchen porch after the ramp as the ramp will affect the south end of the porch. 

tower for antenna in cubby hole (which means he might finish the weed barrier in that area. I am collecting field stone/rocks to lay in that area to have a rock garden (which Wilbur won't go on and do his business there ). E said to remind him when he plows this fall and I can go to a couple of his fields for rocks. I already did his pasture.

Gravel that is here spread out.

But my first project is to get over food poisoning that I got from my own frig. Neither of us thought about the deep fried onions I reheated was 5 days old not 3... I usually don't eat any leftovers over 2 days old anyways.SIGH. Doc was not happy with me and told me to not be surprised if it takes a month due to my Crohn's to get over it. Mean time every day is a bit better. I actually slept all night last night. I made it through getting my MRI of my knee. I was glad the worse part of the food poisoning was over before that.

I would love to have one of the parts completely cleaned in the barn, the pantry nice and clean and organized and clutter out of the mudroom (which reappears every time Hubby comes through the door carrying something that belongs in the barn that he just walked through and forgot to put it away out there). BUT realistic it is not going to happen this month.