Thursday, December 31, 2020

Update on Daughter 4 cancer battle and her plans

 She is at week 12 of radiation so they did an ultra sound scan to see how the cancer was.

One spot (the largest) is dying and smaller, the other two spots are the same. Her doctor and her looked at this as good news as it was NOT spreading.

So the next 3 weeks she will be on chemo alone. Since she has bad veins they are doing a "nasty make you puke horse pill" ... that was her doctor's words. She will be taking Abrarane. 

THEN she will take Abrarane for 3 more weeks with daily radiation. 

THEN another ultra sound scan and IF there is any cancer left they are doing surgery. This puts her through everything about the same time her granddaughter will be born in April instead of July.

This plan is replacing the 12 wks radiation, 4 wks off and 16 wks chemo and then possible surgery. 

There is concern for her immunity system as her lupus along with her bipolar is starting to flare up. Her county is extremely high on covid.

SO since she is not working at all and trying to social distance and stay in her bubble.. she decided to figure out how much food "we" needed in the pantry for next year. She also decided the majority should be in by mid September instead of late Oct (or Dec this year with tomatoes and I don't have the pumpkins or dried beans dealt with yet)

Please notice the WE as she really meant ME and our pantry but she was counting in feeding her as she doubts she will be able to find enough work to pay her bills and feed herself. Her goal is to be able to at least pay her own bills by August where we budgeted supporting her until end of Dec 2021.

Here is what she came up with...

Fruit   1643 pints 

Veggies 2190 pints

Grains 822 lbs.

Protein 548 lbs. ( legumes is 1/3rd of that weight)

69 gallons of milk

69 gallons of yogurt

104 lbs. of cheese

I did ask if she had a broke down account of per fruit or veggies etc.

She said no. She figured if I didn't grow it or the Amish didn't grow it, we could go without it or find a seller that supplies it.

She stayed with pints since it is two of us in this house and her in her own house. That way if she didn't need our help, it was canned in a way that worked for us.

Makes me wonder what other things she will be figuring out for me


Saturday, December 26, 2020

Choices for Frugal 2021

 We are doing Uber Frugal Month in January with Frugalwoods.

We have made a menu of 49 (no day specified) meals we know we have in the house that does not need much to be added. I even noted how much milk something takes as that is all that I hope to buy during the month of January. 

We are focused on a NO buy month except necessities. 

We are using the oil lamp for our light in the morning and at supper. Even though all the lights in the house are LED. Hubby gets the lamp oil for free because he hauls the barrels for the Amish. It's a bonus or the tip depending on how you look at it.

We moved dinner up so I don't have to turn on the light over the stove to cook.

Hubby has a digital thermometer in the pump house so he does not have to worry about having the gas heater too high out there (or too low) when keeping the pump and pipes at the well from freezing. He tries to keep it between 34 and 40 degrees.

I turn burners off (we use propane to cook and heat) and the oven off before the food is done. Food continues to cook but I am saving a few pennies on the propane.

We have been staying home. Hubby is in the slow period of his work so he's mostly at home. 

We have started recycling. We are using an old trash can for the plastic and glass. We burn paper for ashes for the gardens. We compost, not very well but enough that we spread it on the area we don't plant as the soil is very poor.

I use my unlimited Kindle nightly. We check to make sure we save enough on shipping to continue the prime at Amazon. Hubby watches the shows as we don't have cable or satellite (over $100 a month around here).

Our goal is to pay off the mortgage in 5 yrs but will settle for 8 yrs if needed. Our mortgage original payoff date is April 1st 2048. Right now if we paid no more extra we would be paid off in April 1st 2038. 

How are you looking at the new year?

Blessed be


Thursday, December 24, 2020

Anne ...picture of buckeyes


About 1 1/2 inch ball of peanut butter mixed with powder sugar and dipped in tempered chocolate. 

pictures Hubby confessed to kids

 empty buckets from flour and sugar.

empty of cranberries and King Arthur fruitcake fruit blend. The rest of the jars was in the dishwasher.

Hubby rolling the snickerdoodles

377 later, I don't care to see any buckeyes for awhile LOL Took less time to dip them than it did to roll them.

Vacuum packed cookies. Hubby always cracks on me when the homemade bread is holey.... I think he decided it's not just homemade bread that has that issue.

Box is for the VFW the bags are for the kids and grandkids... delivered. SO I can get back in my freezers as they covered all 3 up before I bagged and the VFW and sons covered a counter top.

Hubby confessed to kids he opened the present he bought for me and played with it. I asked for an air nailer from Menards.  Worse is I caught him playing with it as he thought I was asleep, like I wouldn't know that it had been opened??? The kids and grandkids "nailed" him. He is one of those husbands that if you don't ask and tell exactly what you want and where to buy it, he won't get you a thing not even a card.I just have given up. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Cookie/buckeye update

 I got the 5 varieties of cookies of 36 dozen a variety done and 277 buckeyes done  and delivered. Regretfully we are still being asked to not have family gatherings and stay with in our bubbles of who we live with. So with masks and gloves we dealt with this year. 

First let me add we usually give the kids and grandkids $50 each and the great grandkids $20. We also donate $100 to our son's VFW (very small membership). Instead the kids asked for cookies and candy and when son 2 said something while at a meeting, the VFW asked if we could do that instead of the donation. The bakery they usually order from shut down and they couldn't afford to get the cookies from the other bakery. 

We usually spend $1800. We spent $648.02 on ingredients and $55.20 of fuel for the cook stove and fuel for deliveries for a total of $703.22. Savings of $1096.78. I did not count the 80 hrs of work. 

It breaks down to 27 cents per cookie/buckeye on the average.

I kept our meals simple , cookies or buckeyes was for lunch and a sandwich was for dinner. It was not a healthy week.

Today we delivered the last of it. The kids were grateful but a bit worried as they know I pushed it since I did it in a week. There was talk of getting together to bake next year...I really don't see it happening But I did tell Hubby I want part of the one freezer empty so I can put cookie dough in the freezer. I might just send them the dough and let them cook it.

Things I need to replace...parchment paper, dried fruit namely cranberries and King Arthur baking Fruitcake Fruit blend. Sparkling sugar and oatmeal will be later next year.

Still waiting for my laptop to load the pictures... 

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Busy time this week

 A company Hubby has been hauling for part time finally found a full time hauler (Hubby turned it down) so he isn't getting last minute calls from them any more. It was becoming more of a hassle than what it was bringing in. 

SO since he didn't have to wonder if he was going to get called to haul... he hauled us and the 3 dogs to the vet. 

Wilbur took up have the back seat and he is sound to sleep. 

Charlotte and Rascal (who is taller and longer than Wilbur) was smashed together on the other side. Charlotte was not happy but Rascal finally just sit between her and Wilbur and but his head on the console between Hubby and me and went to sleep. Everyone has shots current, toe nails clipped, ears cleaned and Charlotte got a shot because she itches all the time (so does her mom and brother that lives with Daughter 4)

I've been baking... I am now down to the sugar cookies and dipping the 360 buckeyes. Deliver starts the 22nd and finishes the 23rd which really works well as the weather is to turn bad on the 24th.

PLUS I will get to see Army grandson who is in from AZ. 

He is carrying his paperwork that says he is covid negative. Mollie, is the lady to the right. I am surprised Sky's dad was able to get this pic without her jumping into Sky's arms before he got it.

Back to baking... still have 36 dozen sugar cookies and have to dip the 360 buckeye centers

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Goals for 2021 part of a rant at a grandchild

 I have a grandchild that went on a rant about how hard older generations have made it for her generation... planet dying, things based on test scores , It was the older generations job to make things easier for them ... she and her girlfriend stepped a bit on my toes so to say. I stomped back on theirs. I am not sure but I think I might have kicked butt to a couple of my own kids. 

Plant has always been dying since it's birth, it is just like a human. DUH and how much are they recycling? (none) Eating out with throw away containers?(a lot) Mending clothes? (no way)Did you vote (they did not) are you involved with your local government (No).

SO the granddaughter thinking she would be a smart butt asked me what I did. Her mom and two aunts replied with the word MOAN on her post and her mother said you asked for it.

I know who my Ohio house of representatives and Ohio senator are. I pay attention to how they vote on things. I know who is my US house of representatives and US senators are. I know who are on my township board.  I know what they are voting on and how they vote. I do give input and write letters BUT I make sure I am not whining. I do vote ALWAYS. I research the issues being voted on.

I have went from 6 bags of trash a week (for 2, think tin cans, boxes, take out) to 1-2 a week. The 5 R's of zero waste is refuse , reduce, reuse, recycle and rot. Goal is to be like Daddy of using a grocery plastic bag for his weekly trash. Brother said most of the recycling was cardboard and cans.

Our township was recycling and then stopped. I will be checking to see if they are going to start back up. We do not have a recycling center in the area... closest one is an hour away.SO if they are not going to start back up then I need to focus more on REFUSE # 1 of zero waste

#2 of zero waste REDUCE

I will be focusing on reducing our use of propane (fossil fuel). Goal is to lower it by 1 tankful this year (already lowered it one tankful last heating season).

I will be focusing lowering electric (fossil fuel) Average amt this year was $150/ month for 2020. My goal is to average $125 for 2021.

I don't have a water bill but we have lowered that by adding rain gutters to the barn that is goes in a drain to the pond and rerouting 2/3rds of the house gutters to drain to the pond. SO we won't be trying to put water in the pond with a garden hose. SMILING.

We will limit take out to once a month and think about what containers it comes in. Chinese has reusable and recyclable plastic, pizza and calzone has card board. We burn our card board and paper and the ashes goes on the garden. Wood like limbs goes to E for him to burn when he heats water to make milk for the calves. 

I refill, I add water to shampoo, conditioner, soap, dish soap. etc. I make my own laundry soap in the same 5 gallon bucket.


We do this a lot but we could do better.

#4 Recycle 

We do not have recycling in this area but we do recycle within our home. I reuse a lot of stuff. Such as the plastic grocery bags that we get *when I can't use cloth bags* goes to Amish that sell produce during the growing season.

#5 Rot

We compost. The leaves that come off the tree is left to rot. 

There are other areas that slowing are going to be put in place. 

Monday, December 14, 2020

frugal ???

 Not sure but I have been unplugging inside Christmas lights at 8 pm. I plug them back in when I get up and then unplug when there it light out around 8 am. I plug them in at 4:30 when we sit down for supper.

I put a ham bone, 2 packages of ham chunks and 5 cups of ham (gel) broth in the freezer.

Hubby got a small prime rib roast for half price at the butcher shop. It was Saturday and they were closing and they were going to put it in the freezer since they aren't open on Sunday. 

Hubby thought he found some store bought bread cheaper than I could bake. It was 5 cents an ounce. He figured up my home made bread . It was 3 cents an ounce. It's hard to judge the cost of fuel to bake it as I never bake just a loaf of bread. 

Hubby made the snickerdoodles (requested by daughter 4 and her daughter) since they can actually tell who made them by the taste (really, we have repeatedly tried to fool them, they know) I did the baking and vacuum packing. I have already done the choc chips and the peanut butter cookies. Thirty six dozen cookies takes it's toll for sure. Have sugar cookies, oatmeal with King Arthur fruit blend and buckeyes left to do . 

We have used new recipes for some of the cookies and found that the recipe either yields less or a lot more than stated even with using the correct measure for the size. I don't know if I should be thankful I have extra supplies or upset.

We have ate from the pantry. Quick meals that can be done in 20 minutes otherwise I might collapse on the floor in exhaustion. 

I mended Hubby's work pants, a dish towel and a button my pants.

TIS the season

Friday, December 11, 2020

Another covid and wedding postponed

 Due to the bride's grandma getting covid, the kids postponed their wedding... then the bride's boss came down with it. Now she's worried she had it and did not know it.

Grandson from Army base, at this point is still suppose to be coming home. But he said it's a wait and see how covid is at this point for him.

Meantime I am making cookie dough one day then baking and vacuum packing the next.

And Hubby is trying to stay out of my way but is bored out of his mind since he has no work to speak of and most of his outside work is done. I told him to go rake the stones out of the grass was left from him plowing snow. Tomorrow he is making snickerdoodles for the kids so I am not in the kitchen LOL

Monday, December 7, 2020

Frugal week

 Our Amish neighbor E gave us 12 lbs of pork loin when they were butchering. No one wanted it. I got 3 roasts and 4 meals of chops.

I got ground sirloin for half price to use on the chili I canned *32 pints*

I got St Louis style ribs for half price so got 2. One we will smoke for New Year's eve/day. The other might get BBQ sauce.

I got 2 half hams that were sliced that was marked down 30%. Another 14 meals in the freezer.

I got on sale Christmas pretzels, buy 2 get 1 for dipping in choc for gifts for the kids and grandkids. I got 3 bags.

I got store brand peanut butter for the peanut butter cookies. I will use the "good" stuff for the buckeyes. That was a savings of 15%.

I got 5 dzn eggs for $3.50 less than if I had bought them by the dozen. They were out of the 18 eggs size. Even M is having to buy eggs, her 50 chickens are not laying enough.

I already have plates and vacuum bags to package the cookies and candy.

I mended the work pants Hubby tore when he fell sliding on ice coming from the barn.

This weekend I cooked our meals in the oven and added a couple extra dishes to just warm up in the microwave when I start baking the cookies 

Cookies is 81 dozen of each varieties ,5 varieties. Candy will be of 4 varieties. I have most of everything except maybe needing more eggs.  

We ran errands with doctor appts and dropping off prescriptions to be filled with grocery shopping. 

We shut off the inside Christmas lights at 8 and the outside go off at 10. Our English neighbor to the side and back a bit, our one set of lights can be seen from their bedroom. They just asked if we could have them go off by 10 when they go to bed Sunday through Thursday. No problem for us at all. Also they like them on Christmas eve and Christmas night and if we still have them up New Year's eve and Day

On the sad side, Son 2 lost another friend (older than us) to covid and my cousin lost her husband age 59 to covid, he had just recovered from fighting cancer. No funerals for either. 

Blessed be

Sunday, December 6, 2020

2021 punch list goals, groceries and food to the pantry

 Punch list is a construction term of "to do" to finish project. 

As of Nov 1st we had 140.5 jobs listed. I remember when it was over 1000 when we bought this house.

Dec 1st, we were down to 128.5 . Since we moved in we have been averaging 4-6 a month until Nov.

I listed 30 things off the punch list and 10 things we know needs done this coming year. We have supplies for 19 of them and 14 are "work" only. That leaves 7 that will need supplies as we can afford to get them.

My list is 12 items

Hubby's list is 13 items

Our list of what will take both of us is 15.

He still has air barrier in north attic and I still have winter curtains to finish for 5 windows and the French doors for December. I start cookies Monday(tomorrow) and candy next Monday for the Christmas gifts. Grandson's wedding is still on for the 20th , masks, social distancing, stay in your bubbles out side mini greet from the bride and groom. Said for me to bring the Christmas stuff then so we aren't sharing cooties repeatedly and saving gas for us and time of me not sitting (which locks up my hip when over hour) so long in a car. We have 1 child that won't be at the wedding as her grandparents on her biofather's dad is not well and she's seeing them, she thinks they won't make it to next year.

We went to the store, was out doing errands and dropping off prescriptions and decided to do the grocery shopping now and take the dogs to the vet on Tuesday when we have doc appt and pick up meds. 

SO in the pantry I have added... 3 roasts and 4 meals of pork chops from the loin E gave us, 2 meals of ribs (one for New Year's eve/day), 14 meals of sliced ham and 32 pints of chili. I am dog tired and hip is aching.

Decided against another bone in ham. BUT if Hubby finds a small prime rib roast he said he is getting it.

I placed an order to Amazon going through The Prudent Homemaker site for some things my doctor now wants in my diet. I can beets, but I have been sharing my beets with Daughter 4. My doctor wants me to either eat beets or do a beet supplement daily. Same goes for grapes. 1 1/2 cups of fresh grapes (not happening) or a supplement. I can use raisins but I don't usually eat a lot of dried fruit. 

I had to order green tea, almost out and not sure if my son is getting me any for Christmas. Plus I ordered a multi flavor pack and I know I don't like 2 of them, he is getting them for Christmas as he drinks green tea LOL.

Unsulfured Black strap molasses. I've used this for years for my heart but now for my bones also. It's hard to find unsulfured in this area. 

That is it. I told Hubby, if he finds a small roast and specified what I thought was small with bones and without bones, it's okay. Other wise we are down to dairy only. MAYBE a salad. I will not be getting another bone in ham, one: do not have the room for it, two: do not need it since I have 14 meals of sliced ham and the one I am cooking today will do us for beans and such. I will do lamb chops (have them in freezer) for Easter. 

I think are saying for next year is going to be

2021 get the decluttering done. 

Blessed be

Friday, December 4, 2020

November Done and December to do list

 Done from Nov.

green tomatoes

Brussels sprouts


insulator board on attic doors and crawl spaces

perimeter fencing


Back injections

I got a bone in ham (would like another bone in) and 5 lbs of sweet potatoes. 

**** Hubby hauled 2 stoves and a dryer (Daughter 4s), a frig (original owner here) , fencing, 2 metal clothes line poles (about 4 ft tall) and an old flat bed trailer to scrap yard. The money he got goes into the fund for projects. E is taking the old dog house and some pieces of metal roofing and the fence around it can be used on a spot that the dogs could go through when the dog house is moved. Getting rid of the trailer (everything has been sitting on it) cleared a good area so Hubby could move things around to make it easier for him to park his work trailers and his truck.


2 hot sauces 

red tomatoes 

north attic.

DECEMBER done already

appt for primary doctor. Weight stable and blood work good for me. Hubby lost two pounds and his blood work was great like always.

First vein procedure of left leg done. Next one is Dec 29th if injections are needed to finish closing vein down. 

Appt with ortho , had MRI of both hips and lumbar (wished I had the back injections afterwards as it took me 3 days to walk right ) Had follow up for results of MRI. Arthritis in every joint (duh) and the right hip will need replaced but hopefully it will last a bit over 3 more years as Doc said Medicare pays better for it than my health insurance. In Jan I will see what that estimate costs through our ins and get it put aside.

House, inside and outside is decorated. 

What is still needing done

Starting the  7th I will be making cookies for 50 people.

Starting  the 14th I will be making candy for 50 people 

The 20th we will be at grandson's wedding( Army in AZ and bride here in Ohio). Masks required. Families sit in their bubbles. Church used to be a roller rink.  They asked to include Christmas exchanges (yes they know all are getting cookies and candy from us)Thought it would help with gas costs and social distancing. Having a nonalcoholic "cocktail" outside (heaters will be there) while there will be a bride and groom dance, and mother and son /father and daughter dance. Nothing else. Soon to be granddaughter said they would be greeting each and everyone.  

The 8th we have chiro and vet for the dogs

We added some things to the grocery list: hamburger to make more chili, Hubby has ate a lot of it as a dip. Ribs for New Year's eve. IF I can find a small rib roast I will get that other wise is will be steaks E gave us a couple months ago for Christmas eve.  We still need a boneless ham to slice and another bone in. Milk.  We didn't spend all of Nov's money so I am okay with it within reason.

E sent over 10 lbs of pork loin I cut into 3 roasts and 8 chops to flash freeze. I will vacuum seal tomorrow.

I need to finish the last 2 hot sauces.

I need to finish canning the last of the red tomatoes 

I need to bake, puree, dehydrate and grind 5 pie pumpkins

I need to can dried beans (first time to ever do)

I need to transfer stuff to the 2021 calendar 

I need to set the goals for 2021. Household and personal. Hubby won't do any goal setting... that is his goal...not setting any goals. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2020


 we had a light snow Nov 1st

We got 5 inches in the last 48 hrs. 

I snapped this last night

Hubby asked for it to be the Christmas card next year.

Off to appt of the primary doctor. 

Blessed Be