Monday, August 31, 2020

I did not buy sweets

 or the frozen lasagna while at the store today... oh yeah it was tempting. I did get the cool whip that was on sale and shoved 12 of them in the freezers and 1 in the frig as I am planning to make a icebox cake tomorrow. 

Poultry creamy enchiladas using  recipe. is for tonight. 

We changed dentist and my appt was today. I save $250 by switching as I was due for xrays. I got 5% also off as I wrote a check instead of using a debit or credit card. Hubby goes the 10th.

I got the knack of canning with Tattler lids.I bought a case and figured if I use them 3 times, I can then count the rest of the times I use them as free compared to metal canning lids. They were also in supply where metal canning lids aren't.

I made an extra payment of the principal of the mortgage. That saved us $958.40 in interest.. Our mortgage guy actually looked to see if it was better to refinance the loan or just pay it off early... when I told him how we were going to pay it. He figured we would saved 39% and next year it will be more as I plan to pay off this loan off in the next 10 yrs not 28 yrs as we have left on the loan. I really would like to do it in 6 yrs but with how things are going in the world I am not sure I can do that.

We had ordered bushels of tomatoes (2 red and 1 green). Red will be juice and diced tomatoes. The Amish guy said if we were willing to wait until he cleans his hoop house where he grows them he would discount them by 50%. I've done this the last couple years. I even have gotten some for free as no one wanted them and he knows I am sharing with my kids and grandkids (GEEZE , grandkids living on their own SIGH) 

I mended my slippers.

I harvest lettuce seeds and dried bean seed for next year.

I harvested volunteer turnips, red and green kale and lettuce. 

I harvested the red Pontiac potatoes and set them to cure on the porch. I grew potatoes is grow bags. I put the "used" dirt in other garden box beds so I won't have to buy more dirt. Everything gets a good dose of fertilizer this fall and again in the spring.  

I canned 5 pints of crushed tomatoes and 2 pints of tomato juice. I am surprised I got that with how bad the blossom rot is but there was one or two paste tomatoes per bush that was good even though they are about 1/3rd of their normal size.. Hubby's uncle lost ALL of his tomatoes to blossom rot. 

We worked on the deck and almost have the railing finished. We ran out of the one board so will be picking it up this week when we are already over to Sidney for appts and can go to Menards. I have rebate credit we can use for that. 

I mixed water with dish soap, shampoo, conditioner and switched to bar soap for hand soap in the bathrooms and liquid soap( scraps of bar soap mixed with water) at the sinks in the kitchen and mudroom.  

I made laundry soap. 

I gave daughter 4 and granddaughter (her daughter) dishes and silverware we were not using. Our local thrift shop is not accepting anything at this time still.Keeps me from paying extra on the trash service.

Blessed be everyone

Saturday, August 29, 2020

When Amish ask you if you have extra canning lids.

 You know things are bad. When the statement is I don't know what we are going to do, do you have any extra?

Canning lids for the Amish is the difference between having food during the year and going hungry.They even can their meat. 

M said she still had green beans and tomatoes to can. She still has meat to can...she can kill the chickens as needed and the pig could be smoked but the cow has to be canned.  Veggies and fruit are regular lids. Meat is wide mouth. I have 12 cases of wide mouth jars and 3 cases of regular jars with their lids and bands. I moved to the side for her. I gave her 10 boxes of regular lids I had. FYI she cans over 3000 jars of meat.It takes 3 qrts of meat a MEAL to feed her family. She does over 11,000 of veggies and over 6,000 of fruit. 

Today I am going down to sort through what I can and see what else I can come up with for her.  Hubby said worse would be we buy a freezer for their usage, that's a 16 ft freezer just for the cow.

Going to be a rough winter for a lot of people

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Thankful for bloggers: dealing with fraud and totaled car (not mine)

 That speak up and tell you a company is fraud. 

I had ordered canning lids. Even after googling the site it kept coming up a "real"... it wasn't. I am thankful my bank had not paid it yet so I could cancel it (easier than fighting a fraud claim).  

Amazon also caught a fraud company stopped a withdraw and let me know about it.

I questioned my car and home ins agent about a bill I got in my email (we get all those bills in paper mail) and it was fraud.

Hubby got a bill for the business... when he checked it out, found it was fraud.

Daughter 4's daughter totaled her car about 2 wks ago... her boyfriend when to pick her up at doctor appt beginning of this week and his wheel bearing went out and the axle broke. Yesterday Daughter 4 who was the one driving everyone to work (they work same place and same hours) had a hit and run driver hit her car while parked in front of her home while she slept. NO one in the neighborhood heard anything and it looks like it was intentional as it's square hit from behind to shove her trunk up into her back seat and moved her car 8 ft. Paint chip from the car that hit her was left behind so the cops are now checking repair shops but doubt if that does any good. She didn't have full coverage and doesn't have enough for another car or even a down payment as she just got back to work from the pandemic. SIGH. We took our jeep down to her and specified only she could drive the car.

Charlotte broke out in hives. We took all 3 to vet ,boys got nails clipped and she got nails clipped and shot and meds that she has already figured out how to eat the treat and spit the pills back out. SO it's pin her and shove them down her throat. Wilbur is the best for taking meds. We also corrected Wilbur's birth date. Daughter 2 told us he was born in 2010 then grandson said, no because they lived in the old homestead when he was born...that's 2008 so Wilbur is 12 . SO I had the vet pull Rascal's original records when I noticed they had him as 9 ...he is 8 not 9 which is what I thought , they don't know who changed it on the record.  SO they are 12, 8 and 3 ... While at the vet, I ended up with Rascal and Charlotte and got pulled down by Charlotte who tried to run to the truck and Rascal stepped sideways in front of me... Lucky he wasn't hurt. I have a banged up knee and sore wrist. Hubby gets her for now on if on regular leash. I wrap a leash around Wilbur like a harness and can control him . I told Hubby we need to do the same for Charlotte as she has a lot of pulling strength and with a harness I could pull her up to her back feet to stop that. I do think I only fell because of Rascal stepping in front of me. 

Back to work ... 

Monday, August 24, 2020

funeral and changes.

 Aunt Dolly, she was Mother's half sister on her Father's side.She looked just like her mother. She had a sense of humor to the day she died. Even in her obit that she wrote in her final days asked for hats and silly masks to be worn so she could look down and laugh at us. She was 88. 

 I thought about how hard is has been to get seeds and canning supplies. I got some Tattler canning lids and STILL don't have it down how to get it right... I decided I was going to practice canning water LOL this week until I do have it right since I am already canning. I went through my canning supplies. I would get about half way through canning and be out of lids. So I am looking NOW until I find enough as I can over 1200 jars a year. I did find some at a decent price at  I went through my seeds, checked what I needed. Bookmarked the orders (as there is 7 different places to get them ) and now am looking to see if I can find them cheaper somewhere. This spring I didn't get some varieties the do better in this area for summer planting. 

We need to order water for the pond. It is down dangerously low and we don't want the fish (over 200) to die. If we can't find a supplier we will be running the garden hose out to it to add to it daily to try to keep it where it is.Hopefully the rain that is in the forecast will actually come HERE.

I am now dehydrating corn as I have enough room left for watermelon, cantaloupe and green tomatoes in the freezers. We have decided to start Sept 1st on eating from the pantry(that includes the freezers) instead of waiting until Nov/Dec. Mainly because with making ice for E we don't have that freezer for the turkeys and hams I buy in the fall. I do already have enough butter by buying here and there when it was under $2 a lb. 

 I am back to waiting on the dried beans to stop blooming and dry LOL. 

I have peach chutney to make and can, orange marmalade to make and can, cantaloupe and watermelon to cut and freeze. Then green tomato relish, picadilly, green tomatoes for freezer and canned for chili, tomatoes diced, chunked, sauce (pints and qrts) and maybe some juice to do ,tomatoes and green tomatoes are to be in this week or next. 

Hubby wants to change some things in the finances but we need to wait until we have the costs for the pond, canning supplies and seeds.

How are you doing?

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Fried green tomatoes

 I do my green tomatoes a couple ways when I can going to freeze them... 

I cut wash, dry and cut them like I was going to fry them right then.

choices are

flour then egg(or buttermilk) then bread crumbs 


flour then egg (or buttermilk) then cracker crumbs


flour then egg(or buttermilk) then cornmeal 


flour then egg(or buttermilk) then bread crumbs


corn starch then egg (or buttermilk) then corn starch 

If I am eating them fresh I would do any of the above or use Whistle Stop Green tomatoes batter....

Freezing them ... I stop before I do the egg or buttermilk.Freeze them on a rack (like for cooling cookies or a cake)and cookie sheet. and then  bag them after they are frozen solid so I can pull out how ever many I want at a time.  Sometimes I just do the first step of cornstarch freeze and then do a mixture of cornstarch and flour with no egg or buttermilk. Depends on who is in the house and how heavy coating we want to eat. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2020


Tuesday night... Hubby went over to E and M's to pick sweet corn. He was suppose to get 3 dozen but thinks between L and little E there is closer to 5 dozen. 

He also brought home from them, radishes, onions, celery, oranges, 3lbs apples,4 lbs plums, cantaloupe and 6 tomatoes that are the size of a soft ball. 

SO today I started ...  I harvest garlic chives ,chives and kale from my gardens and put that in the dehydrator. In the other dehydrator is celery from M and what I had picked up. That will give me enough for the winter as I will buy some fresh for celery salad and stir fries.

I froze cauliflower and broccoli I had gotten. Not a lot but enough for a meal or two.

I started canning the last of the beets M sent over last week when her daughter L knocked on the door and had 1 plastic grocery bag of green beans with the news of  her brother was bringing the second bag. OH well add that to the growing list. 

Hubby called to tell me he had local honey to bring home and we were being gifted with a fresh chicken as one of the guys had butchered 40 plus chickens.. 

Tonight is beef roast with M's onions and my potatoes... tomorrow is now chicken.
I have cantaloupe ,watermelon and corn to process for the freezer.

I have more kale, garlic chives and chives to dehydrate.

I have plums, green beans, pears, (another gift)peaches (yes again) pickled watermelon rind, and pickled red onions to can.

Within a week or 2  I will have beets for pickled beets from A, green tomatoes(sliced and breaded for freezer and made in to relish) red tomatoes ( picadilly , salsa  and sauce ) from N .I will dehydrate the tomato skins for powder to make paste out of when needed or add to taco meat etc 

Making noodles is still on the list also. 

Monday, August 17, 2020

How many legs are your milk stool?

We had a real nice ride to grandson's parents in laws for his son's 4th birthday. She is half way between them and us. We had a nice masks/social distancing birthday party. We stopped to get baby formula for M at their local Walmart (was out like ours) but I got tomato paste, 25 lbs of flour ,25 lbs of sugar, 6 pack of root beer, 12 pack of Vernor's ginger soda (the only either of us can drink when sick), red ink pens and lighter fluid. 

I went through The Prudent Homemaker's site  and ordered onion powder as I am not going to have enough onions to dehydrate and grind and yet do some as pickled, garlic powder as I didn't plant garlic last fall (I do hard neck over winter and will be planting them this year), cumin and thyme. I have a couple thyme plants planted this year and they are doing okay but not enough to get me next month let alone a year from now. I made 3 spice blends that I was out of. Emeril's essence, Tightwad Gazette taco seasoning and Paula Deen's house blend. 

There is an ad on tv that the spokesman (I think Tom Selleck) talks about retirement and reverse mortgages.... comment is you want at least 3 legs on the retirement milk stool to stay stable. We started talking about our milk stool and how one of us dying would affect the other's milk stool..

Hubby will have Social Security, he has his IRAs , he has his business that he knows he could run into his late 70s as there are more than one hauling in their 70s around here.He would have my IRA's from Daddy if I died first.He has a life ins policy that if the loan is paid off it would have an annuity for him.

I will have Social Security (based on his as there was no way my income would come close to what he was earning), I have Daddy's IRA's  I have my life ins that has an annuity that I would still get even though I have a small loan on it .I would have Hubby IRAs .

That's not a bad milk stool for either of us... together the milk stool has 7 legs. 

IF the house is paid off we could do a reverse mortgage that gives us the 8th leg  None of the kids or grandkids want to live in this area so the house would be sold anyways.

And since in 2008 at age 81 Daddy went to living on his SS only and what ever he made on side jobs and stopped using his IRAs to allow them time to recover from the nasty hit they took we looked hard to see if something happened could we do the same. We are short $100 a month IF we have the mortgage and the work truck paid off. I think we could handle it even if we didn't make that amount to cover it.

Daddy's only issue (he had full coverage NO out of pocket FREE health ins from the company he retired from. Even when they sold the local plant they kept him covered under the home plant, he was very grateful) was putting food on the table.Brother, myself and Daddy's granddaughter from stepmother's side, put the food on the table for a year so Daddy was only paying for his milk and bread. When his IRA stabilized and he started drawing them again, he spent $40 a week at Aldi's and $60 a month at Walmart for non food items... He had enough TP, and paper towels stocked that when we cleaned out his house the 3 of us split it between us and none of us bought for 4 months. 

Hubby went down to the pantry with me (believe me he doesn't do that much) and we counted up meals with 5 veggies and 3 fruit a day along with 2 proteins.. can we go a solid year with only buying a bit of fresh and dairy? YES. THEN he stopped on the steps coming back up and asked if we could go 2 yrs. I was like... I could safely say yes to 18 months... Are we helping the kids or grandkids any or the neighbors? 

He immediately said yes to 3 of the neighbors, M &E as we could barter meat from them(they usually are yeast, flour, sugar and white vinegar (I know when she is canning pickles) and oil. I already have an extra month of that for that reason ... The other two are elderly (same age but in bad health and one is a vegetarian ). He thought about the kids  and knew who came to get food this last time.

We have 6 kids and 8 grandkids out on their own.. of that group I would say only 4 of the kids and maybe only 2 and 2 of the grandkids would ask for help. But they would be looking for green beans, pasta sauce. pasta dried beans and rice, the one would be looking for Navy beans.I think he is more Daddy's than mine when it comes to his eating habits.They would take tomato juice and make sauce themselves. They would be happier with homemade noodles in water if need be. yeast and flour to make bread maybe.. I told him I would add 3 months extra to help neighbors and kids/grandkids. BUT I would need to change what we planted in the gardens or get off the Amish to build that supply. He thought about it for awhile and came back and said... 2 yrs pantry with the acknowledgement we might give 3 months away. 

So I went back down and spent Sunday, the day of rest, really checking the pantry...since I was down there I finished cleaning the shelves in there and did the herbs and spices. 

I decided to add more veggies. I am dehydrating celery (out completely). I can do pickled watermelon rind (will be the first time, the watermelon was given to us and I will freeze some of it) I can do tomato chutney and green tomato relish.  More salsa (easy with getting tomatoes from N in a couple weeks) Beets for plain and pickling are coming in then also from A. I can dehydrate the tomato skins to make paste or sauce as needed... that's just time pulling the skins when making sauce. I can dehydrate any greens we have come in including lettuce to make "green" powder to add to dishes. I will need to get carrots to can.  I have some odds and ends coming in from the garden to help fill the pantry out. 

Hubby told me to figure a way out to at least use the hoop house cover to extend the growing season some... I need to do that today. 

To me , having the full pantry is another leg on that milk stool. I can focus on the money going to the bills and not worry about feeding us as long as I have seeds... I will be focusing more on heirloom and open pollinated.


Friday, August 14, 2020

new to me and deep cleaning..for the coming week

 canning stove... propane Maytag 1949/1950 was used by Hubby's ex co worker 's mother as her canning stove in the basement. He is 65 and doesn't ever remember it being used for anything else than her canning.

If it had been electric it would have been like the one I grew up with. Mother LOVED her stove and I definitely through the years had one close to this also. I would have had it here but wouldn't have had room for the Hoosier and sheet pan roll cart (used to be Son 2's computer tower roll cart) and the trash can. 

This is going in the barn. Goal is to have the front bay cleared, cleaned and set up as a summer canning kitchen by May. The front bay is where the young Englisher man lived while building this home. Then he sold it to Amish and doubled his money. 

I have 18 cups (1 cup is a meal for us) of corn in the freezer, more coming in from the garden. And 6 quarts of plain red beets with more coming in from the M and A that are being over ran. I am sharing beets with Mother in law. I already know she will be asking in the middle of Jan if I have any canned that she can have as she never cans enough for Father in law. We get tomatoes for canning in 2-3 weeks including green tomatoes for the freezer for us and fresh eating for Daughter 3.

Drawers, shelves and cabinets has been this week's deep cleaning. It's hard to not stop and wipe down the outside of what ever but that goes with washing the walls week.

I have finished drawers, shelves and cabinets in  the bathroom, bedroom except 2 of Hubby's drawers by bed(I ain't touching that), laundry room, bathroom, kitchen * not bfast bar *, dining room *not enamel table or one cabinet* front room , *not file cabinets* wheel chair bathroom, mudroom, north loft, and south loft.

I will take another week to finish the cabinets, drawers and shelves in the following

Front room .. 2 file cabinets and a small table that is holding garden seeds and over flow from Hubby's desk.

Kitchen ...bfast bar is it

Dining room ...old spice cabinet that I was going to put baking pans in but that's not working so I will have to figure something else out and the enamel table. 

West loft, my office/sewing room. The small desk there is not working at all for me and I end up at the dining table or the bfast bar as I use my laptop for recipes also.

East loft ...was suppose to be my sewing room... it's a I don't know where to put it but it has to be in the house room. It's going to take a lot of work to figure that one out.


freezer room, I have 3 shelving units that I need to change, some is stuff we were using that we aren't now and have not for awhile so probably box up and take down to the kids when we are taking tomatoes and other stuff to them in 2-3 wks. I have one that has claimed extra dishes and another wanting pots and pans while the 3rd wants baking dishes. Two of the grandkids have just went out on their own.

bucket room (AKA washer room as Hubby always calls it due to the wringer washer sitting there)  The cabinet is done but there is a dresser and a pile of bags and boxes sitting at the buckets from where we moved in and it was brought in.Deadline for this area is also 2-3 wks as I know there will be stuff the kids can have.

Pantry... this is okay... but I have 3 shelves a mess with spices and herbs along with I need more room for things that I have still coming in other areas.  My dried fruit has over ran the dried fruit area. 

I already know if I don't keep things together, things get missed and then goes bad. Hubby also doesn't like to do the hunt and find.

How is your week coming along?

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

My kitchen is a wreck

 that is now starting to travel into the dining area and mud room.

It happens when I am canning, freezing, dehydrating and stocking up from stores. I know I know but really.

Shelves, drawers, and cabinets are on this week's deep cleaning list. Today it's the kitchen. AND instead of putting extra what ever's in the basement. It's in a box to give to Daughter 4 that will pass to those in need. I keep telling myself that.

I found the pizza box in the oven on Sunday, it was supposed have been burnt over a week ago in the burn barrel. Washed the skillet and cleaned things off. moved the spices and put the bread box on that end as it keeps getting buried on the bfast counter... Lasted 2 days and it's a mess again BUT at least the bread box is not buried. I think the problem here is Hubby unloads the dishwasher when he is making coffee in the morning. He puts down the dishes that come to dining room on the north side of bfast bar either on the roll cart or the bfast bar.He also puts stuff the goes to the basement on roll cart instead of basement door in crate.

It did look like does not stay looking like this. At this moment there is hummingbird food, a bottle of original Listerine (for feet soaking) a tea kettle that belongs on the stove, sanitizer spray I made for wiping door knobs, switches and faucets on a daily bases, the clean bacon grease tin and a can of furniture polish added to the clutter... why furniture polish? As M, my Amish neighbor told me she uses furniture polish on her cook stove (wood burning) to keep things like boiled over milk from sticking. She suggested I use it on mine but make sure I didn't get it on the actual gas burners. Which of course I got the spray on them, Hubby took a wire brush and cleaned them and we found if I take a wire brush once a week to clean the burners they work BETTER and yes the polish keeps things from sticking to the stove top. AKA the boiled over potato soup... the milk crud wiped right off instead of baking and needing scrapped off.

It looked so good but now I can't even see the radio or any of the table top. I don't know why Hubby put a Styrofoam cooler on the table but the rest of the crap is on me... extra plates I pulled from the china cupboard and paper crap .

 GRRR the eggs are put away and the tea chest is there now. There is sacks of food that needs repacked for storage and a cookie jar we don't use as it doesn't keep cookies fresh. A bouquet of flowers on the corner instead of the sprayer. There is two piles of papers and both my laptops (one on top of the other) sitting on the other side. This is always a battle ground. 

SO today is what L (M's oldest girl) calls kitchen work. 

Monday, August 10, 2020


 My son sent this to me last night. He was telling "my grandchildren" (he has no kids) that what we were doing financially. He is our next in line to deal with either or both of us so we keep him updated... 

His tag line was WHAT?  Shady pines here they come...

I had to laugh... BECAUSE a friend had just had the same reaction and he was already in his financial advisor's office so asked him... He thought it was a wise choice but to make sure we had 6 months savings in an acct  that was NOT tied to the stock market.

Must not be the normal thing to do to cut the budget to get out of debt BEFORE a crisis occurs. 

Redoing this year's budget. Setting next year's budget


Hubby came in from mowing and decided to take a break in the chair.He wasn't thrilled with Charlotte crawling up but he went to sleep before he got her back off him. 

Hubby decided he was filing this week for his Social Security. He has all his papers together and asked I verify that so he didn't get started on it and then have to stop and go find something. He is filing on line, no person to person contact allowed. Will have to send his birth certificate.

He went through his business books as he knows he has a limit on net earnings from his business. Said he needed to make sure the bills were paid before he bought things like new tires. If he had waited 1 wk he wouldn't have had to borrow money from the house acct to pay his truck payment. He has paid the house acct back. He got 20% off the tires by writing a check and not using his business credit card.He could have waited the week or month for fact until he got the money up for it. Lesson learned... on the good new side.... he is not only breaking even for the year, he has earned a profit of $500 a month on average... that's not a lot of profit (HA HA) but for the first year to even break even is a celebration and definitely not near the $18000 a yr limit of earned income for SS.
I came back with I was taking the truck payment off the house budget completely so if he doesn't make what he needs it has to come from his personal acct. He's done well about not using that acct much since he retired so he could keep it open. His SS will go in that acct.

Since J had asked I bring a budget in to decide on withdraws off Daddy's IRA , we pulled up this year's budget and did 2021's budget...I asked what our goal was ...Hubby said OUT OF DEBT... no loans, no mortgage... OKAY 2021 budget was not going to help that at all as it looked like it was the life of Riley. I went line by line. A few we disagreed on but as I said , if it is too tight we can always change it and pull more monthly from either IRA... He was thinking of paying off the mortgage in 10 yrs ... I set the budget ...the rest of this year, 2021 (and hopefully until end of 2026) to PAY OFF THE MORTGAGE and the loans.

He asked how... simple, we pulled $110,000 minus 26% taxes for this passed year. Paid off little things and bought most the supplies for the projects (rest of gravel,front porch, windows and siding is the only thing NOT bought). We aren't going to get some of the projects done this year so they can go to next year while we save for the next projects. IN 2021 we will only pull $76,500 minus 26% taxes (we pay school taxes). That saved $33,500 up front 

What did I cut? 

I can't change the mortgage payment or the health ins payment (which might change depending on Hubby's old employer)and out of pocket BUT I can lower how much is going towards the out of pocket. Hubby never maxs that part so I cut what he don't use off our budget. I usually max out.BUT I just had my colonscope($17000) , Gyn and mammogram those bills won't be coming through for awhile. 

I can change over the counter costs so that was cut in half by using generic only.

Electric bill: budget is $125/month... it hit $166 highest it's been since we moved here. July was hotter than normal with over 12- 90 degree days. Even was listed on the bill. ALSO we have fans running and 2 dehydrators. Hubby is bad about not turning off fans when he leaves the room or turning the AC to lower. HE won't be doing that now. I do not run the dehydrators during the day to try to keep the heat out of the house. I baked a meatloaf and some bread in the oven the other night instead of the airfryer and ran us out of the kitchen and dining room. Lesson learned. Bread has to be done early morning and the rest in the airfryer OUTSIDE on porch as it raises the temp in the room by 10 degrees it's self. Laptops have been left plugged in also.My duh moment.

Water softener. We only use half of the average 2 person household. I collect water from showers and rinse water from hand wash dishes for watering potted plants or the herb beds. The water for the gardens do not go through the water softener.

Our trash collector is the lowest in the area. 

Our internet gives us a land line for free and is the ONLY service in this are but is only $80 compared to my kids that are spending over $100 for just internet. Son quit Spectrum due to being over $100 after two years.

I already got our house and car ins lowered

We use MS 365 programs (Hubby uses it for business and I for budget etc) We tried Open office but had problems with it working with other business programs he is required to use.

Our cell phones are straight talk. Hubby changed from Net 10 to get a better and more up to date phone. and lowered his bill by $5 /month.

We have Amazon prime... this might go away. At this point it saves more than it costs. I also have Kindle and it definitely saves as I don't buy books and our library doesn't always get the books AKA cook books  I want to read.

Bday  Christmas/Graduation fund.... 55 people... we cut it in half. Depending of costs I might be making Christmas gifts for some.

Dogs.... sigh..Wilbur had racked up the money in this area so far, I've postponed Rascal being checked for his ACL (he is not limping right now or holding his foot up) until we get the money from Dad's Ira. I don't see us paying for surgery(over $8000) and he is NOT in any pain even when he is holding it up. I do see a joint med being needed and Wilbur was on it and then came back off and needs to go back on it but our vet said to wait until Rascal was checked and see what the ortho vet suggested and just put both on it. Still I cut that budget. Instead of snapping the treats(actually dental stuff they need but if I call them treats they take them without issues) in 3rds I am snapping them in 4ths with an okay from the vet. That cut that budget by 1/4th and I always search for the cheapest before buying. 

Fuel... this is for tractor, lawn mowers, both generators, Red (dog truck) and Jeep Cut 3rd. Will use the gas generator with diesel as back up as gas is cheaper than diesel. That will leave the diesel for the tractor to mow and shovel snow. Hubby has a 500 gallon tank and is looking to see if it would be cheaper to fill it instead of running to town for diesel.

Savings remains the same.

Non food at zero for the rest of the year, $25 for next year. I will buy to replace what is used that way I will stay stocked up. The limit is set... 

groceries $65 for the rest of this year ($50 for stocking flour and sugar needed $15 for milk and maybe something we both decide on) Budget for next year $125 a month. I cut junk food... chips, (we will get tortilla chips from Menards using the rebate we got back) Peanut, cashews, M&Ms(Hubby mixes for trail mix) and candy bars(both of us). Soda pop (me me me... withdraw already as I stopped end of July to see if it was soda pop causing the high cholesterol as it's not what I eat, if this don't change it then it's family trait)Ice cream... I came make semifreddo instead as I do not have an ice cream maker. I cut dairy... cottage cheese, yogurt and assorted cheeses. This will be limited to occasionally instead of all the time.

 Fresh veggies and fruit will be in season meaning from late Nov to late April there is none since the hoop house went to the pond. I talked to M and asked how she got through the winter without the fresh... She said once a month to 6 wks she gets ice burg lettuce, carrots ,celery ,bananas, cream cheese and cool whip....if she is hosting church during that time she will also get cream of mushroom soup,mackerel and jello. She said she usually has winter squash until end of Dec. So she is just buying Jan thru April. We might add fresh mushrooms or bell peppers in that. She stores apples from fall until they start getting soft then she makes them into applesauce. Pears are the same. It puts a little bit of fresh on the table during the long winter... her words.

Garden is zero 2020 and 2021 is $20 for preen and feed as I am stocked with miracle grow.

House maintenance zero 2020 (have all needed) $25/month . If I buy 1 filter a month I can keep to that amount instead of buying a year's supply at a time. OR I can put it in an envelope and hold it. I've done that before.

Vehicle maintenance ... cut in half truck and the 3 trailers are taken care of through the business(HURRAH) Tractor, riding lawn mower, push mower, weed whacker, Red (dog truck) and Jeep come from the house budget.  Hubby can do some of it himself. We have mechanic that allows payments and doesn't hold your car until it's paid off. A Mennonite gave him a name of someone that works on mowers, that person gave him the name that works on weed whackers. They were 1/4th the cost of the place we had been taking them .Still have to take the tractor into a dealer but when it's in there they go over everything and they call to give an estimate before they start work in case you can't afford to get it all done. 

AARP... $2... not many places get us a discount around here but the couple times we had to rent a car it has saved enough to pay for 3-4 yrs membership.

School taxes...we pay quarterly.These are paid in full for this year. I paid them early. Next year they will go up but I was already given the estimate of that now.

SO the goal is to be out of debt in 10 yrs... I will add goal 2 to be as close to possible of living on SS ONLY and only pulling medical from Hubby's IRA in the same time frame.

I pulled up a calculator for paying off the mortgage. I found if we put our part of our SS and part of Daddy's IRA on the mortgage we could have it paid off in 7 yrs not 28.... Saving over $150,000 in interest.... I also can take any tax returns to pay off the loans on the life ins. I already arranged payments on both that at least covers the interest on the loans.

Propane will be pulled as a lump sum instead of a monthly leaving the money in to draw better interest. Also air barrier and insulation boards will be installed this fall to help keep the heat in and that should lower the propane needed next year. This year instead of needing a tank full that we had to buy off the contract we had 1 1/2 tanks left on the contract. I would like to see this get down to using 3 tanks a year instead of 4 1/2 to 5.

We have an umbrella ins on the farm. Our agent rolled it over to the same as the other insurance when I had ins redone. I added it to the mortgage amt as that is were the rest of it is. 

I really struggle with change... but here  it goes anyways.

Friday, August 7, 2020


 Week was going according to schedule THEN 

I was having problems going up and down the basement stairs . I had to turn sideways to my left to not cause my right knee to give way. Banister is on the right... Hubby put this up

Nice and sturdy black pipe (my choice) and figures I stopped having problems with my knee LOL

He got this done off the to list

FINALLY the gate. We will need to change how it is hooked to make it easier for someone in a wheelchair but right now it's hooked with chain and clasp like all of our other gates.

I got the posts for the deck painted. Will have to touch up 3 of them when he cuts them. Though he was talking of flex sealing those areas as they will be against the deck it's self when ever he gets time to do that.

Hubby had NO work scheduled for Aug. We were figuring maybe a couple pop up of jobs... He is now ran over. One job is twice a week for the whole month. He now has 12 jobs in the next 4 days (not counting Sunday).

John, my financial guy handling my inheritance from Daddy, called and asked for a budget of what I needed for $$ for the rest of this year and next. He wants to make sure we are on same page. He also sold some stock that almost doubled my worth. Two days after he sold them, they dropped in worth about 50% so glad he is on top this crap instead of me. I hated reading the Morning star and following all that.He moved the "profit" over to the three stocks I told him I liked to be invested in more. Said it was a really good move and my brother also told him to do it since I said that. 

Tomatoes ripened over night, they are paste tomatoes and very small due to weather. I lost 3/4ths of them to blossom rot that took over half of each tomato. I did get enough to collect seeds for next year and make a small batch of sauce.I can always go over to N and get tomatoes off him as his is a hoop house and he grows to sell at produce auction and it looks like the blossom rot problem is improving. Got a couple cucumbers also that I will make refrigerator pickles with to go along with the couple that was given to us by V.

I had to dig up the entire 2 x 16 box to find the last of the red onions . Meant digging up the petunias also that was with them.Not sure it the petunias will survive the transplant. That was an 8 hr job. AND I have another box of candy sweet onions to dig up still. The red ones covered a 2 ft by 8 ft section on the front porch.

It cooled down and rained ... the dried beans have bloomed again or bloomed for the first time so I am back to picking them. 

I have 18 trays in the dehydrator of herbs and still have more herbs that need dealt with. 

I dug the Yukon Gold potatoes out of the 7 grow bags. Not as good as crop as usually. The other potatoes are still growing and blooming so I think these took a hit with the heat . 

Eight pounds when I usually get 15 to 20.

I picked another round of blackberries. These will make syrup.

4 made 1/2 cup worth

Hubby picked corn late last night also and put it in frig until I get to it today. 

 M sent over lettuce and 5 cantaloupe. E then brought home ground beef from a job where the women folk was the canning ground beef . No one wanted the last of the ground beef. M canned over 40 quarts and sent us the last 8 lbs as she wasn't even wanting to see it on the table for a meal LOL It filled a 1 gal ice cream container. We had hamburger patties, and today I am making a  meat loaf and a hamburger zucchini casserole(using the last of the zucchini that V gave us) for the freezer and some cooked to put in the freezer for tacos or what ever.

So the weekly cleaning, and the deep cleaning is on hold. Food comes first. 

How is your week coming along?


Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Good night Tuesday...Good morning Wednesday

UP at 5:45 as Hubby has 3 jobs today and had to leave at 6:45. He was suppose to only have 1 to haul to the produce auction but E was told at Church on Sunday to have Hubby call a person that needed pallets hauled to Tuesday...E forgot to come say something and forgot what he was suppose to say when Hubby went and asked after he got a phone call because the guy figured it would be confirmed by Monday afternoon. He also picked up another load of a person needing a haul this morning early. He ate bfast and grabbed a snack to eat while waiting to be loaded or unloaded at lunch time. Wasn't sure what time he would get back in so I am making tuna noodle casserole with shredded zucchini so he can reheat it if needed. I have been fixing supper at 5 (dinner to me supper to Hubby) and then watching the weather at 6. 

I ground up the dehydrated basil and jarred it.

I jarred the dehydrated zucchini.

I ground up the dehydrated carrot tops and jarred it with the other ground up greens.

It keeps raining so I don't think I will be able to get out in the gardens. ...yes I was. It stopped raining after dinner so I went out and picked blackberries.

I have dried beans I can shell while watching the weather tonight.Have harvested and shelled enough small red beans to replace the seed I had bought and put a couple meals in the pantry. Heirloom is good.

Laundry is on the drying rack due to rain and wind. 

I spent the morning helping Daughter 4 figure out health,dental,eye and life ins from her new job. I spent last night after going to bed helping her figure out if she should take the legal offer and what her over time would be during the Christmas season.

Then spent the rest of the morning helping Daughter 3 deal with a dog that needs a different home. She took in a friend's then found out the reason the dog needed to go was it is not good with young kids even though her kids are teens she doesn't feel comfortable with the dog. Daughter 4 helped find a home for the dog with a trainer.

I finished checking rooms for repairs,replacements. I need a few things that might be in the barn in storage of Mother's or Daddy's stuff . So when we get to the cleaning of the barn (HA HA) I can pull that out.Nothing as in NEED right now.

The ironing is done.

Mending is done.

I still have both bathrooms to clean but the towels and bath mats are washed and on the drying rack....did the Wheel chair bathroom that Hubby uses and moved my bathroom to a different day. Cleaning products odor got to me. I will pass the one cleaner to my daughter as she uses it but I can't stand the smell.

I need to update finances before I do the bathrooms as a couple bills came in yesterday. Didn't get done and got 2 more bills.

Bfast was oatmeal, lunch grilled cheese with cucumbers /onions in mayo dressing. 

We are out of milk so Hubby is getting that on the way home when he stops to get gas , the store is right around the corner from there. 

Hubby forgot the milk and didn't text me when he was getting gas... so when he went back out to deliver a message and drop his trailer off to be loaded , he went into town and got milk, and 2 bottles of Lysol cleaner and some flowers. 


Up at 5:30 as Hubby is hauling spelt (hulled wheat) to Holmes county. 2 hrs drive there, 2 hrs to wait for bags to be emptied (he will eat lunch then) and 2 hrs back. 

I have laundry out on the line, cool day (51 this morning) but no rain. Front room, front porch, which means dealing with the onions that are cured. Mudroom and back stoop is on the cleaning for the day.

The cured onions will be dealt with. I am putting them in knee high hose and putting garden ties between them. The ones that won't hold well will be sliced and put in dehydrator that can sit on the smoker on the barn porch. 

Later this afternoon when the garden has dried up some I will harvest. 

I need to pay the bills and rework the budget. Dad's finance guy , John  wants me to bring our budget in so he can figure out the best way to get me the money to do what I want but not cost me my arm and leg for taxes. 

Hope you are having a good week.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020


We were up earlier than usual this Monday so Hubby could take Wilbur 
to the vet to have surgery to remove a tumor on his right eye . One of us will go back to get him at 3.

I had laundry on the clothesline at 7 a good hour or so before normal. I unloaded the dishes and put them away. I tidied all the rooms did a 15 min decluttering in the laundry room and walked through all the rooms to check for repairs or things that needed replaced or adjusted. Made that list so I can figure out what is needed to deal with that. GOOD start to this week.

I harvested 3 out of the 7 grow bags of Yukon gold potatoes and 2 of the boxes of dried beans before the storms drove me back inside. I cut basil for the dehydrator.

I put items that came in on Saturday away. 

Hubby went and got Wilbur... the tumor was on the eye lid not his actual eye (thank heavens) it had infected 2 teeth severely so the vet also pulled those and a 3rd tooth that he had broke in half from grinding his teeth. Hubby picked up 6 months of the Heartgard and Frontline for the 3 dogs. The vet is cheaper than every where I priced (I price it every time we go to buy it) saving us $35.97... then the vet office had a rebate that we could sign over to the vet and it gave us another $100 off the bill... so Wilbur's surgery, teeth pulling and meds sent home came out as FREE.They cut his toenails for free also. 

We had bagels for bfast , I had oatmeal for lunch and we had a skillet dinner of fried potatoes, ham chunks and onion for supper with bread and mandarin oranges. 

Monday, August 3, 2020

How my parents made their living.

Mother worked as a bartender, housekeeper, grill cook, waitress, baby sitter, first aid worker for our small community, worked for the junk man who picked up junk on the streets and at the dump and would resell after Mother cleaned it and did repairs if needed. She took in laundry and did ironing. After the divorce she finally got a job at a western shop (we are in OH) and worked her way up to manager. In her 60s she went to being housekeeping at the local hospital.Then got married and went to working in a nursing home, then a tobacco farm, then running a apartment complex then working as receptionist at a community action center and her last job in her late 70s when she got multiple melanoma was cooking and delivering meals to seniors and shut ins.She helped my step dad work flea markets. She was very knowledgeable about dishes,furniture and jewelry. 

Daddy worked as his Dad's plow horse for the one horse plow Grandpa used when working the gardens. He was working with his dad cutting rail road ties with a two man hand saw when he was 9. He sold pelts to help his dad when he was in his early teens. They buried his mom on his 16th birthday. The next day Dad worked a half of day in the coal mines beside his dad. When he came out at lunch he told his dad he was not working the mines, he went to live with his oldest sister (14 yrs older than him (he was in southern Ohio hills and she was in Marion OH) and started working the lumberyards until he was drafted at 18 for WW2. He was medically released due to a busted appendix a year later. He went back to the lumber yard, then went to construction (his favorite) worked at the ice house, steel company, odd jobs when the plant shut down and then to tool and dye that he worked closed to 35 yrs at retiring as plant manager and did scrapping for metal through all those years... but he made his money being a gambler... he played cards (didn't matter what game) pool, dice, shooting contests and lottery. The only thing he didn't bet on was the pony's...that was my great aunt and she usually won...she also won regularly like Daddy at the lottery. It's how he paid off the house and saved for 4 yrs of private college for Brother. 

Sunday, August 2, 2020

August 1st... work to get done, changing the fall cleaning routine.

 There are several projects that hasn't gotten done that needs knocked out this month. 

We won't be redoing the broken hoop house this fall but if I can figure something out I might get another round of lettuce and radishes planted.

Deck railing isn't done, nor is fixing the patio table from the storm damage.

The basement ramp is not done.

The kitchen porch is not done.

The tower is not up.

The gravel is not leveled out.

I have peaches to finish, blackberries, tomatoes, kale, dried beans, onions, potatoes and herbs to deal with this week. I need to make noodles for the pantry also.

I need to take the propane contract in and get that paid.

I need to call the ortho vet  to schedule Rascal to have his ACL checked.

I need to call the dentist that the Amish use here and see if they are taking new patients.

There is 150 things still on the punch list of things to do on this home. The list is 2 yrs old at the end of this month. It started over 1000. 

It's August... time I start fall cleaning and getting things around for winter. Which means I change my routine...only I don't have a routine since we moved here. It's been more of fly by the seat of my pants kind of thing. Which is now bothering not only me but Hubby. 

I usually just clean one room at a time for fall cleaning after weekly cleaning.... since I only get the daily done and not the weekly I googled and checked out housekeeping routines and deep cleaning.

During the 1950's the average time a stay at home woman spent cleaning the home was 42 hrs. Followed by 20 hrs of deep cleaning on top of 18 hrs dealing with meals. 

I added a few things to my daily. Changed the weekly and then worked on the deep cleaning. I ended up with 10 weeks with the acknowledgement it might be closer to 12. I don't see daughter 4 coming up to help as she just changed jobs. 

I made a menu of bfast, lunch and supper... I need to decide on snacks and desserts for this week. Tomorrow bfast is oatmeal. I placed it on the table. I can see Hubby grabbing toast as he is taking Wilbur to the vet at 6 am for surgery to remove a growth from his eye lid. They were going to do it over a week ago but his allergies kicked up and he had a nasty cough. Four days on steroids and it was gone but I kept him on them until they are gone as I know if I don't he will get the cough right back. Always does until middle of August. 

Deep cleaning schedule with decluttering/organizing included.

Week 1

Checking each room for needed those repairs if we have what it takes to do so or put on buy list of what is needed to fix it.

Make list of things needed replaced or remove things not needed 

Week 2 

ALL cabinets and shelves...granted most in the pantry have already been done

Week 3

Closets (we don't have any but have 2 racks and 3 wardrobes) and knick knacks which actually belong to Mother and Daddy. 

Week 4

Kitchen, all refrigerators, and check freezers to make sure none need defrosted (usually a spring thing)

Week 5

Pantry and the entrance to the basement from the ramp commonly referred to as either the washer room (wringer washer is there) or the bucket room as all the buckets of food sit there .

Week 6 

Lights, windows inside and out , winter curtains washed and hung, summer curtains washed and put away

Week 7

Walls... I have 19 areas of walls. I divided them up as four rooms a day ... and this is the week that might extend the amount of weeks. 

Week 8

Floors...I have door rugs that will need cleaned.I am hoping to talk Son 2 into bringing his rug cleaner up and cleaning the door rugs and the upholstery furniture at the same time for me instead of just lending me the cleaner. 

Week 9 

Give the furniture a good polish . Wash winter furniture covers and throws and put them out, clean the summer ones and put them in storage. 

Week 10 

Clean out the garden shed and set up for seed starting in Jan and planting next spring. 

Week 11 

Start cleaning the barn which will take a very long time to go through LOL But got to start sometime

That puts starting on the barn mid Oct. Probably a good times as it's freaking hot in there since it's ALL metal. 

Do you do seasonal cleaning? Do you have a routine of daily or weekly cleaning?

Blessed be everyone


Daddy retired at 60 and invested $30,000...that was what was left of his pension he took a cash payout of over 30 yrs of work  after he paid for a car in cash and paid off his and step mom's mortgage. Three years later he had to pay $20,000 for medical bills for experimental treatment that didn't save my step mom. So Brother and I thinking that even with Daddy living frugal etc and we knew he bought a storage unit company then sold it( or so we thought) we were thinking maybe a couple thousand left in his accounts. The man made his living as a gambler when him and Mother got married. His finance guy said he still was when he died, just did it with the stock market instead and he WON. He still had stock in the storage company sold it but kept stock in it, that has a dividend that pays around 4%. Oh yeah Brother and I kept that stock. 

With that inheritance and thinking of being respective of Daddy and having to close his IRA's within 10 yrs due to the current law... We are changing the finances. I talked it over with Daddy's finance guy who was his financial guy for over 30 yrs. He thought it was a good plan.Our guy was still against us filing for SS before 67.UNTIL I told him that Daddy's nursing home cost $9,000 a month, a friends mother in law's assistant living was $12,000 a month. Its suggested that you should have over $100,000 back for medical after you take medicare along with any medigap to cover medical expenses those ins do not cover.He changed his tune.

What is the same... we are filing for SS at age 62...Hubby as soon as he gets a copy of his birth certificate as he didn't want to mail the original (can't take it in as we planned due to pandemic) as his birthday is Oct. I will file afterwards on him as I turn in Jan. IF the cut happens in 2035 in SS like they forecast it to be, we would lose over $11,000 a year so better now than later is our thoughts. PLUS it's money not coming out of our IRA.

Also the same... Hubby's business pays for those expenses  and the truck. He can earn up to a bit over $18,000 NET profit before it affects his SS benefit...The hauler making the most money around here is working 6 days a week 12-14 hrs a day (hubby is more part time) and his net profit is $16,000. All of his equipment is paid off and Hubby still has 6 yrs to pay on the truck. Six and 1/2 months out of 7 he broke even. Some people think that is horrible and he should quit... as long as he breaks even he is paying off that truck and it's not coming out of the IRAs. To us that is a win.

Difference is I will be pulling from Daddy's IRA and that money will go towards 2 loans against our life ins (from 2008 that we have been paying the interest only on the loans) and then extra to the mortgage.  We will pull from our IRA to cover what is left. Our SS together is close to what covers the bills now.

As we were looking at how bad it could get and what we want to do... I looked at Hubby and told him 2008... when he went to 3 days a week  for over 2 yrs and we lost the house we had for us and the old homestead the Daughter 2 was living in and she wasn't making enough to even cover her utilities let alone the rent.

What lesson did we learn then??? To have the pantry stocked (Daughter 4 , Son 2 and a friend kept food on the table and TP in the bathroom) to have a savings of 3-6 months and to have cash in small bills on hand.To grow a large garden and preserve it. 

We figured what we would have to pay on the mortgage to have it paid off in 10 yrs. that cuts off 18 yrs off the loan. Even it we get it paid off in 15 yrs that is still saving us money.

So we went out and finished stocking what we could find, ordered some stuff and I updated the stock list. The only NEED is the OTC med I use during the winter/spring to keep from getting problems with bronchitis. I would like more Lysol aerosol spray... I use a can a month during regular flu season... but it's no where to be found right now. I have Clorox so I can make my own wipes. I stocked borax, washing soda, castile soap for general cleaning also. I do have Lysol and Mr Clean to clean with also. 

Our normal go to on stocking is 1 yr. But since I also bought dried beans (I can't grow enough)... I am going to focus on going 2 yrs.except for canning garden. We will see how this one rolls.