Saturday, May 15, 2021

savings and mortgage.

Hubby gets his monthly withdraw from his IRA on the 25th. I get mine the 15th. We get our SS on the second Wednesday of the month. 

Daughter 4 has 6 weeks to her surgery for her cancer, then 4 weeks radiation and 4 weeks recovery. So if all goes as plan August 20th she should be released to go back to work. Being that said, we have in our budget to support her until the end of Dec. We just aren't sure she will be able to work full time without causing more health issues right away. 

I do have $$ that is automatically transferred to savings from our checking at our local bank which is no longer a local bank but we can do the banking in Sidney when we go to chiro every two weeks. When that account gets to a certain point I move it to Ally. When Ally gets to a certain point I move it to a CD. We lowered the amount that we keep in our personal accounts and in our personal savings. 

Since I still had the paperwork from our old eye glass place I checked to see how much we saved . In between the two of us we saved $1600. That includes a second pair that Hubby is going to order. I couldn't believe he didn't get two pairs to begin with since he always has. Especially since he needs them to drive with. I told him to get the second pair and put them in the work truck.

I saved $80 on a Kohls order as they were the cheapest I could find to replace some dishes that have been broken (that I use often). 

Electric bill came in $33 cheaper than budget.

We got buy one get one off on our meal thanks to FIL savings was $8.

I added my CVS extra bucks and coupons used into the savings total.

I added my cash back from my credit card. 

We got the bid for the basement, Hubby added extra on as he is looking to do pour concrete for the entrance walls instead of block. J agreed that it was a wise choice and they figured up what that costs would be. Cheaper labor costs but higher material costs.

SO that means I can transfer what is NOT needed from the tax refunds and stimulus also.

Hubby thought to put it all in savings. I came back with half savings and half mortgage.

Hubby is one month ahead of having his life insurance loan paid off so has 2 months left on that bill. 

Since our mortgage interest rate is higher than the interest rate on my life insurance loan we are going to focus on the mortgage. As long as I pay the interest on the loan it won't affect my policy amount.

I paid just over $6000 on the mortgage. Put $3000 in each of our savings accounts.

Since we have a higher taxes withholding on our IRAs due to the business AND also pay our health ins out of pocket... we got more back than normal. I will be surprised if that happens next year as the deprecation on the trailers is pretty much used up for deductions and probably won't pay enough interest on the mortgage to claim that either. 

We are now writing down daily what we saved. 

Wednesday, May 12, 2021


today is supposed to be the last day in the 60s for the next 10 days. Tomorrow is supposed to be the last frost we have in the morning. AND it's should dry out by the end of this day. 

We hit mid 70's tomorrow and the to do list will start getting done. There are 90 things on the to do list for this month and doesn't break down gardens stuff and that's not dealing with any of the projects for this month or summer.

Since I know me... HA HA I know that when I come in from working outside I am not going to want to spend a lot of time cooking lunch or supper/dinner.

I need to organize the kitchen better as it is in shambles .

Lunch thoughts: eggs in many forms, lunch meat in tortilla wraps, hotdogs , brats. And a fruit... pickles, pickled asparagus, pickled cauliflower, pickled beets, regular beets, carrot sticks, celery, radishes etc will be on the table. There will be at least on run to the local little store for a lunch or two as we are trying to be supportive of her reopening after being closed a total year.

Sundays will be either frozen meal (already in the barn freezer , there is about 20 left) or soup.

Dinner (what I was raised calling it because it was around 5)/ supper (what my family consider a meal after 6 to 7 and what Hubby grew up with). I hate eating  late as it means I have to stay up right for 3 hrs. after I eat. I try to be in bed at 9 ( so 6 pushes me), read an hour, go to sleep (with praying I sleep) until 6. That is 8 hrs. In reality I am lucky to get 6 hrs. since I have issues with waking during the night for 2 hrs. Seems to be common on this road LOL.

On the menu: main dish for evening (that is not in the freezer), sides will be what ever is coming in from the garden. Lettuce, radishes, asparagus (still) turnip greens and green onions will be probably a week from now.

Tuscan Braised potatoes with fried eggs.

Fettuccini with butter and cheese.

Nacho Bell Grande *homemade

Mexican pizza(me) Crunch wrap( Hubby) *homemade

Creamy enchiladas

Egyptian barley salad (American Test Kitchen recipe)

Haluski  with smoked sausage

Baconator cheese burger *homemade

Roman braised beef with tomato and cloves (Milk Street recipe)

hotdogs with coney sauce


couscous  asparagus risotto (Milk Street recipe)

Baked risotto (Sara Moulton recipe)

sweet and sour chicken kabobs 

Roasted chicken 

Cornish hen

Appetizer night... beet sliders/ bruschetta/ chicken satay/ eggrolls/ pot stickers/ stuffed mushrooms/ spinach artichoke dip/ popper dip/loaded French fries (air fryer). I try to have 3 appetizers and then add crudité platter. 

We will chose what we are having the night before . 

Tuesday, May 11, 2021


I have been scattered brained and had the hum drums. 

 Morning routine is on autopilot even if it takes me all day.  Clothes washed and either on drying rack or clothes line. Dishwasher unloaded, put away and reloaded if anything is sitting there. Dust mop is every other day That's usually done by 8, no later than 10.

Then it's either into the gardens or on the computer. When it's damp and/or cold , it is computer. If it's going to rain before noon even if damp and cold it's the garden. I like late morning or early afternoon but it changes depending on the temperature of the day. 

Then I take something off the list that is a priority.

Monday was dentist. I paid cash to get a 5 % discount which was better that the cash back I would get on my credit card. 

Tuesday with chiropractic and errands with a late visit from Brother. Used cash back card. 

Wednesday even with feeling like crap and trying to deal with the insurance that was Daddy's. Helping E and M as they got things around for the house sitter and us taking Molly and Dolly, two Belgian work horse, E's small pasture is connected to our pond and the feed trough (they get some oats besides the grass) is at our gate thanks to N that left his feed trough when he sold us the house. AND another visit from Brother as he got more mail from the same ins company for me.

Thursday was finance day which I promptly screwed up paying  off a credit card with MY account instead of the joint acct. Thankful that the bank caught it and I got money shifted so I wouldn't get an over draft fee.  DUH.  We decided that anything we saved through the cash back or coupons/clearance/discounts etc would be transferred to savings.

Friday We stopped down to A and B's to check out their hanging pots. I found marigolds and basil for the gardens and begonia's for parents and brothers graves. B gave us a discount because Hubby hauls sometimes for A. I went to library to get stuff for Daddy's life ins (another policy jumped up) and have it faxes. Lady there that witnessed my signature (not notarized) asked where I grew up. Then told me where I had grew up and who I was. Was clueless of who she was. We grew up together and I hadn't see her in almost 50 yrs but since I look like MOTHER she recognized me.

Saturday we checked out the local farmers market (dud) and got 2 fig trees and 2 cherry trees on discount when getting the dog food from TSC. Then we went to the nursery and got hanging basket for MIL and then to Walmart and got fountain grass at $3 and calla lilies half price. They are tender perennials in this area but I can put them in pots and deal with them that way. We dropped off the hanging basket to MIL. She was complaining of being cold and Hubby told her to put some clothes on instead of a tank top and pair of shorts. It was 58 outside not 85. I don't think she liked how he answered her but I had bit my tongue from not saying the same thing. FIL said he had told her repeatedly to put more clothes on. He is bringing it up to the doctor today(Tuesday). We then used coupons for Arby's FIL gave us that they would not use. Got one meal free with purchase of a meal.  We stopped and ate a the park near by and watched frisbee golf contest.  Since we ate out late we had a snack of popcorn.

Sunday I fixed French toast (using last of bread) stuffed with cream cheese and raspberries from the freezer for lunch. We had odds and ends for dinner.  All 6 kids , 3 grandchildren, 4 friends and one grandson's ex girlfriend text me Happy Mothers day. 

Monday. I called and priced my eye exam at our old place $150 without insurance. I already know what I spent on glasses. I went to Walmart at noon. Had the same eye exam for $60 saving $90. They were able to reuse one of my glass frames. I still ended up with 5 pairs of glasses (4 new frames in children's size), it would have been 4 but I know myself and need to have 2 sets of reading glasses. I could go without my long distance as the eye sight has improved in that part.  Thank heavens as at one time I was nearsighted in one and farsighted in the other.  That isn't as drastic now. I got long distance sunglasses $30 off, long distance glasses 20%, 2 reading glasses  20% off and the glasses for mending used my frame. Children's frames are cheaper and fit me better with the difference in costs almost 40%.  All told, I save $200 with the discounts etc and over $1300 of what it would have cost me at the old place AND I put it on the cash back card.

I went to the grocery store and got some meat for special meals, basic veggies (carrots, celery, potatoes, ice burg lettuce, cucumber. PLEASE QUIT being freaking cold with freezes and frosts Mother Nature) no fruit, dairy, and junk food... yes, junk food , chips, candy, coke a cola, root beer and ice cream for floats.

Tuesday... a sad day, a very sad day.... the pasta serving dish that matched my Nonna's can not longer be used. It has a large crack but not all the way through YET. There are no replacements . I spent HOURS trying to find one. SIGH... So I settled for 1 quart bowls (the size is a match) and went with  4 different colors to match the dishes I have. I finally found a soup tureen to replace the one my kids put in the oven to heat up chili (clueless as the bowls were on the table and they could have heated it up in the bowl in the microwave). Needless to say that dish was NOT oven proof. I found replacements at kohl's on sale, used codes, free shipping and  my cash back card. 

BEST NEWS ... J priced out the basement. Highest bid was $20, 000 , next one was around $15,000 that he came down to $12,000 when he heard that J was also bidding. J said less than $7,500... he thought closer to $5,000 depending on if we use the blocks we have or if we want all pour concrete. He is deducting $10/ hour for the time Hubby works on the job with him. ALSO said if we had it dig out on the sides and the block removed before he starts(2-3 wks as he is finishing a job and planting) that it would drop the cost of the labor. ALSO he is only going to work Saturdays (which is not a big deal for us) so Hubby isn't missing work himself to help on this job AND it will be easier to deal with the dogs only on 1 day a week. He thought 3 Saturdays barring rain. We are going to put up fence around that area to stop the dogs from going down there but also stop Charlotte from leaping on to that roof as she runs from back to front of the house for front to back. Don't want her to fall in when the roof is off while doing the basement. 

Blessed Be everyone

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

SIGH I miss you Daddy

 He would have been 94 years old on Monday. He was 93 years old in this picture. Right before he got pneumonia which ended up being his cause of death.

Yesterday (Tuesday) Brother brought out a stack of papers of 25 and a copy of the death certificate. Scared the crap out of me as he CALLED instead of texting. Which he only calls when it's bad. He has never been here even though we have repeatedly told him and his family they are welcome and we are not welcome at their home. Mother would "punish" him even as an adult if he had anything to do with me. If he mentioned I was at Daddy's when he stopped in that was okay. So we are like to only children but have a sibling. Sad even though she's been gone 10 yrs he still is that way. 

He had gotten papers from an life insurance policy that no one knew Daddy had on Monday... hard day for both of us . So he brought out what was for me to fill out and he got the copy of Daddy's death certificate so I wouldn't have to make a trip to the court house that he was driving right by to come here (savings of $5 for me and he didn't want the money back),

He said he talked to his lawyer and has now given his lawyer a list of life ins policies, a copy of such policies and a list of where his investments are so if both him and his wife die, or she isn't well enough (has really bad health problems for last 20 yrs and then long hauler for covid) the kids don't get hit with this kind of stuff popping up as this is the second time a policy has popped up that we didn't know about. The one we did know about he cashed out to pay for his funeral when he made the arrangements when Mother died so we wouldn't have to go through that HADES again. Nothing like writing your parent's obit on Thanksgiving.

I will be making copies of ours to take to our lawyer when we update the will this year. 

He stayed for 5 hours. With him "snapping" at me one time because I repeated what he said and he said he didn't say that.  Wanted to take a different way home, likes to drive and see the countryside we get that from Daddy. Hubby gave him a different route and wrote it out for him and then input it to his GPS on his phone for him as Brother is not all that great doing that. 

After he left , I mentioned I might want to check with doc about my short term memory. Hubby said NO, your brother has Dementia and hasn't accepted it yet. He had said what I repeated to him. Hubby texted niece to tell her what happened because he got "snippy" with me and she said he was getting worse since he had covid( real bad  and got the "drip" (Same stuff as Trump got). That her brother (from her mom's first marriage) was checking in on the two of them in the mornings before he went to work, her uncles and one cousin during the afternoon and she was still living at home (actually they put her name on the house and her brother's name on the other house to ease that issue). Said right now he is still okay to drive, even has worked some short term jobs off and on. She has been keeping in touch with Son 2 (who didn't mention it due to overload of changing job and trying to train his replacement etc) as she felt she could use the wisdom of Son 2 to help guide her since he is the one to deal with us.  And she didn't want to "add" stress to me when I can't do anything about it.

I am happy she felt comfortable with Son 2 (she is my grandkids age ) to reach out to him for support..

We knew he had the beginnings of Dementia as he would say "I have a short term memory issue " when he would start a conversation where Daddy would say "I have Dementia" every other sentence. 

Now I have 25 pages to deal with for this insurance. I am glad Niece volunteered she sat down with Brother to fill his out with the line she wanted to know how to do it when he or her mother died. Since he retired from teaching after 40 some years, getting him to "teach" you is a way to guide him she said.  She added that most the information they are asking for is already in the paperwork as she added that page for me. I just got to find the page in her handwriting LOL.

Monday, May 3, 2021

This week's savings

When J brought the concrete guy down to start working up the estimate for repair/replace entrance and ramp he marked where the ramp would be. I went out and measured how long an ADA ramp would be to run from the kitchen porch beside the basement ramp. Not going to work. There for we will be putting wide steps in as originally planned saving $4,000 to install the ramp.

We have been using the cash back credit card and then I transfer the amount from the checking over to the savings so when the credit card comes dues, the money has been sitting there. Won't earn a lot of interest but between the cash back and what little interest it earns is better than nothing. We bend over to pick up the penny we can do this also.

My truck ins dropped 10% as we don't put the miles on it. 

I have over 60 servings of asparagus in the pantry/freezers. I told M she could have what ever is left as theirs didn't come much at all.

I reminded Daughter 4 to amend her federal taxes... cutting $1,000 off her tax bill which means I am not coming up with $1,000 for her to pay. Win for both of us.

I took the recycling to the township haul for drop and in conversation found that the township clean up day is either the 2nd or 3rd Saturday of April every year. I put is on the calendar and told Hubby we needed a spot to put stuff for it instead of paying the extra  $90 to have it hauled.  

I got a bill over $3000 that wasn't paid by health ins. Couple phone calls and follow ups in writing. The bill is now paid by insurance and I was rebilled $200. 

M sent over pie and bread. I cut up the bread after a couple days and made bread pudding. Pie was ate that day. She makes us and her north side neighbors 8 inch pies where she makes her family 12 inch pies. Hubby priced the size she sends us at the local Amish bakery. Pie costs $6.75. Last month she sent over caramel raisin pie with crumb topping. Little leary at first, but her caramel is not real sweet (or sticky) and the raisins were very soft. We enjoyed it.

Since I was done with asparagus, Hubby asked for a schedule of what fruit and veggie had to be eaten per week/biweekly/monthly/ seasonal etc. After I thought he lost his mind( I think my mouth dropped open) I worked it out. Then he informed me I was SHORT in some areas and he figured out what it was and gave it back to me with notes of who he had worked out barter deals to get the crop and I just (yeah ... JUST) have to can/ freeze/ dehydrate it. 

On the  NOT frugal side though I have 6 friends and 3 kids saying it will be... I ordered a 7.25 quart Le Creuset Dutch oven in blue. I checked out American Test kitchen for reviews on Dutch ovens. Then did price checks with shipping costs and time frames of arrive and ordered it through Amazon.  Hubby's buddy who does the cooking (his wife is the baker) said to leave it on the stove. I can do red beans and rice, Cuban beans and rice, jambalaya, stews, soups, roasts and desserts. I do have a small dark interior Dutch oven for baking bread and a small oval one that was a gift from Mother. I don't use crock pots (unless keeping homemade noodles and mashed potatoes at a family dinner warm) nor do I use instant pots. I don't like the texture or appearance of roasts in them. Hubby doesn't like the taste. Son 2 uses one for roasts but if he is inviting us he sears the roast before putting it in the crock pot or instant pot. 

We are still thinking of the green house. I think we have some buried windows or doors that we could use so until we get to that stage of cleaning out the barn , we won't be buying anything except ordering the roof for the barn over hang. We can reuse what is on it for the basement ramp or even sell it as Amish will buy it used. 

Only milk from the store this past week

Blessed Be 

May's punch aka to do list

 Garden boxes... painted/ put together/ installed in garden/ filled with soil and trellises added. UPDATE I got 2 of the 9 painted completely on the 2nd (yes a Sunday but the only day warm enough to paint out side and it wasn't raining).

Organize flower bulbs

plant flower bulbs

plant red rhubarb

metal chairs to deck/ add old cushions (UPDATE Sunday/chairs are to deck) 

Umbrella to deck ... Hubby doesn't remember where he put it.

On deck: paint and install railing supports (UPDATE Sunday painted)/ replace broken railing/add sides to wheelchair ramp.

Check tree in pasture to see if it can be transplanted. 

install antenna tower

repair basement entrance and ramp ( UPDATE quote coming in this weekend, J was at wedding and then funeral and then in fields this week)

Install outlet on INSIDE of basement door.

Spread gravel (got postponed as tractor went in for maintenance)

Get 500 gallon fuel tank filled with diesel fuel. Hubby is pricing it between 3 places.

Uncover air vents under front porch (under front room) and cubby hole (under dining room) We will be pricing what it will cost to have the crawl spaces sealed.

Power wash house/ wash screens(repair or replace as needed)/ take front room storm windows to barn. 

Caulk outside windows and doors.

Remove dog house from previous owner.

defrost 1 freezer

paint peg board to match mudroom and install on wall.

wash/dry and mend if necessary winter bedding/winter curtains/ winter clothes and store in rubber maids in barn. Hubby has 4 winter coats and 5 winter overhaul bibs. 

wash/dry warm weather bedding/ curtains/ clothes and put in drawers.

Since I am moving things in and out of drawers, I decided to clean them out and declutter at the same time. Will take longer but will be done.

Blessed Be



Thursday, April 29, 2021

Daughter 4 said NO

I had pulled coupons and CVS extra bucks and saw the sale at CVS advert. I figured up what it would cost and what I would save.

Said something to daughter 4 who immediately played 20 questions. Is that the best price? How much do you have of that? How often do you use that? How long with the amount you have last you? GEEZE.  I kept having the scene where she took the 3rd can of corn out of the cart because it wasn't on the list pop up in my head.

 She then informed me I did NOT need to go buy any of what I was going to buy because either I had enough for  a year or I had something else that would do the same thing. AND I had enough allergy meds for this year. I can wait until end of the season to get that on sale for next spring (voice of experience there as she and brother buys it more than I do). YES I asked brother and he backed her and his wife is just like Daughter 4. 

 She told me to take the money and either buy canning supplies (I hope I do not need any more this year as I tripled what I usually get) or seeds (Nope, don't need that but might need inoculant) Or plants. Not until mid May, too cold for warm weather plants. I am not buying flowers until mid May also. Well I won't buy them then as Hubby barters for the flowers. I also have bulbs and seeds for flowers to plant.

I bought supplies for dogs for 40 % off  AFTER approval of Daughter 4 and Son 2. Actually Son 2 ordered them as he could get them cheaper through his account.

Hubby thinks it is funny that those 2 know more about our finances than he does... why is that?

Son 2 gets medical and financial power of attorney if something happens to us. He also would be the one to have to help Daughter 4 until she is over this cancer surgery and recovery. (Thank Heavens that she has a new granddaughter to take her mind off it Now if she just finds a job in August when she gets released from surgery). After dealing with Mother and Pop getting sick, nursing home, and no clue to how in debt they were. We have been more open and keeping Son 2 up with what is what that includes Daughter 4's care. Like Daddy was with Brother and me. Less stress on all of us.

Why doesn't Hubby? He knows where the financial stuff is at , he knows how to look at where we are standing... he is one of those that just doesn't care to know. He put himself into bankruptcy with his first wife, did it again right after we got married when I took over the finances . He already told Son 2 if something happens to me , he gets the finances. Son2 is fine with that. We have a grandson that is willing to step in there also as he is the one that will do Son2 's if something happens to him and then me (military kid).

I helped Hubby set up his business (Thank you to Legal zoom for crossing those t's and dotting those I's ) and have everything on auto pay and what account to put it on so he doesn't over draw his checking in the winter or late June/ early July during his slow season. I also had him set it up at the bank for over draft protection and everything is set up to text him on reminders etc. Thanks to Son 1 who does that crap HA HA for a living being in IT.

And life keeps rolling

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Planning to save more

Sitting at the table with the oil lamp lit between us as we drank our morning coffee.  I said to Hubby.

"I want to save more. I think this coming  year (especially if Daughter 4 has to have hip surgery along with the cancer surgery) will put us off a year on getting the mortgage and rest paid. I don't want to piddle it away what isn't spent." 

Hubby looked at me like I had lost my mind... then he asked ...

"What can you do that you don't do now?"

I can use the airfryer for small "bakes" instead of the small oven as our electric is cheaper than our propane. I can use the regular oven for big bakes or multi bake dishes. It will take planning for those last minute biscuits, cakes etc .

I can use the canning stove this year after we get the garden boxes done as they are blocking the path to it. Grill "summer" propane is cheaper than our "winter" propane in the  big tank. (PLEASE MOTHER NATURE I need at least 70 degree temps to paint boxes for 3 days... okay 2 days if that's all I can get.)

 I can use the grill more than once or twice a week since it is on the front porch and once again the grill propane is cheaper. We debated about moving it to the deck but then it has to be good weather as there is no covering and the deck is vinyl and Hubby already melted one house siding on the old house . SO since it's mostly me now days grilling I will get a small table and chair for the front porch so I am not running back and forth from the kitchen. I should have something in the barn to fill that want.

I can put up the canopy to block the sun from  coming in the French doors and heating up the house this summer. I can use the umbrella for the table Hubby built and then realized he didn't put the umbrella hole in the middle. I am okay with it not being there as it's a freaking pain to pull out when the storms are coming.

I have stopped making menus because I buy what is needed for a dish that Hubby wants and then don't make it because hubby works late and doesn't want that type of meal that late. and then I forget it was to be made and it gets tossed like the $8 of veggies tossed to the compost yesterday as I was focused on getting asparagus dealt with. SO the answer I said for that is , We eat what needs ate first and no extra veggies in the basement frigs. Fruit I will go check as we store apples there in the fall until coming summer.

I switched what goes on the cash back credit card That has already saved us $15 in one week.

Instead of waiting 3 days before buying anything we are waiting 5 days unless it's a NEED (like Hubby's part for his trailer that is leaking fluid that runs his dove tail.. dove tail is the end of the trailer that drops to form a ramp to the trailer).

I checked the list of needs for the pantry to decide where I could save there.

Instead of buying canned pork and beans I will make them from scratch and then can them myself. I found a couple recipes I will try before canning them so I make sure we actually like the flavor. I have plenty of Great Northern dried beans and tomatoes from last year. 

I am turning last year's tomato juice into this year's pasta sauce. 

I will grow green beans to can (low on that)both regular green beans and Italian wide green beans. I have the seeds.

I will grow beets to can plain beets (or barter with A as she grows beets to sell but will barter with us). I have seeds.

I need hot salsa and mild salsa. If I don't get enough tomatoes to do that we will go without. N isn't sure how well the tomato plants he got are going to do as he waited too long to order and they were out of his go to plants. J is suppose to have roma tomatoes but he is worried about how this weather is going to affect them.

I need grape jelly. I have grape juice from last year that should cover that. IF the grapes after being hit with the snow and frost, make enough to replace the juice. If not, I won't get grape jelly.

Horseradish mustard, I will watch for sales on this.

Sweet and Spicy mustard, I will watch for sales for this

A1 sauce, another one to be on sale as I can't make anything close to it that Hubby likes.

Linguine... I have no clue to how this got down to 1 package when I am stocked well with everything else UNLESS I had kids that took it and didn't mark it down on the "we took" list. Wouldn't be the first time. The pasta sale the other week didn't include linguine. I  will check Dollar General/Save A Lot/ Aldi's . Price is  set is less than $1 for a pound or we will go with out it.

Spicy Hot cauliflower... it's more pickled and yellow due to turmeric, a small hot pepper is usually in it with the cauliflower and it's usually a good size jar. We eat one or two a month. I've not been able to make it that we liked so I could can it.

Campbells chicken noodle (or stars) soup. I keep 6 cans for when I am sick. YES I am picky when I am sick.

Luzianna family size tea bags. It's the only tea both of us drink. We drink it hot, room temp or cold. I stock up on it in the fall to get us through winter. I am down to 3 boxes of 24 . That is 2 months. I have found it I refill with water and simmer longer we can get a second pot (10 cup pot) out of it. That would make what I have last 4 months. I try to get it on sale with a coupon. 

 Daughter 4 and I will holding each other accountable. She has been saving her money (after expenses and grandbaby stuff) in a real savings acct (as she used to do change in jars) because she has decided to buy a home in the next two years. She talked to Son 2 about what she needed to do and figured if she could save some now with her door dash that she would be in savings mode when she went back to work. In May or June they are going to work on her resume.  We will share what we are buying and costs and what meals are being made. This is the child that nailed me for putting the 3rd can of green beans in the cart (aka buggy in the south)because there was only 2 on the list and being on sale did not mean anything to her. 

Hubby was going to use the rebates from Menards to buy filters ( I need 4 for kitchen cold air vent) I told him to hold off as I have some to get through the summer and I wanted the rebates in case we need something for the basement project or find we can put a ramp off the kitchen porch next to the basement ramp. If we can't do a ramp we are going to do a very wide set of steps there as I can't step up on the railroad ties that are there as steps. 

I did check Amazon to see what I was waiting for to come in... 2 planters that should be here in the next couple days  and two books. 

Back to finish weeding the gardens.

Blessed Be

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Focusing on saving money daily.


Used oil lamp on dining table for morning coffee chat 

Turned furnace down without Hubby's knowing. Turned it up when winter April storm dropped the temps.

Had leftovers for our meals that we reheated in the microwave.

Did not use high temp wash cycle or dry cycle on dishwasher.

I washed freezer bags, sandwich bags and foil. Used silicon covers for food when possible.

Clothes washer was cold water, rapid wash, medium soil. Dried clothes on drying racks.

Used tasked lighting. 

Drained the "water" off last year's canned tomato juice to make pasta sauce. Took 6 qrts of juice to make 2 qrts of pasta sauce. I put that in a pitcher and put in the frig . I will make more tomorrow to get enough to can. I want at least 4 qrts if not 7 which is a full canner.

Got a ball park estimate from E's brother in law for basement ramp repair. He is figuring up a more solid estimate but said $6000 to $10,000 but really didn't think it would go that high. He said some of it is still good and can be reused (blocks/gravel for back fill) and he was more than happy to have Hubby help as that means the tractor can do the digging instead of his guys and Hubby can bring the blocks over to the ramp instead of the guys carrying them... there is over 100 blocks and they weigh about 40 -50 lbs. The other estimates were $17,000 to $20,000.


woke up to this

Used oil lamp on dining table for morning coffee chat 

Did not use high temp wash cycle or dry cycle on dishwasher.

Clothes washer was cold water, rapid wash, medium soil. Dried clothes on drying racks.

Turned furnace down (Hubby left for work).

I washed freezer bags, sandwich bags and foil. Used silicon covers for food when possible.

Did not use snow blower to remove 3 inches of snow off deck. Figured it would either melt by tomorrow or the wind tonight and tomorrow would blow it away... 2:15 pm ... most of it's gone.

Used task lighting.

Used 16 qrts of tomato juice to make pasta sauce. Will be canning tomorrow.

Cleaned, blanched and flash froze 96 spears of asparagus. Will be vacuum bagging them tomorrow. I have another pan to blanch tomorrow and 36 spears in the frig for meals. 

Made a pot of tea (10 cup) and then left it sit on stove next to burner that I was cooking the tomato juice down on. Kept it warm enough I did not have to reheat at all during the morning and early afternoon. Made 2nd pot of tea using  same tea bag. Simmered it a bit longer to increase the strength of it.

I washed the peanut, cashews and M&M containers that Hubby had emptied. He sat them aside instead of putting them at the sink so I didn't know they needed washed. They don't do well in the dishwasher. We refill them with bulk nuts and candy or  store pasta, beans etc in them and Daughter 4 has a few so she can get flour and sugar from us.

Hubby texted me and said to not fix the pork roast as he was given a gift card for take out that was going to expire. Someone gave it to one of the Amish guys and they won't use it in time. Update, it was a KFC gift card, Hubby used it and added $9 something to get a bucket of chicken with sides. I will vacuum bag the leftover chicken and freeze. We can reheat it in the air fryer. We will have 6 more meals from it.

We got a new credit card from Chase Amazon that gives cash back. I am reading the information to see the best way to use it (with what I am already using a credit card for). I save enough on shipping to "pay" for the prime. Hubby watches the shows. Called a friend that uses one and listed what he suggested.


Woke up to frost.

Used oil lamp on dining table for morning coffee chat 

Did not use high temp wash cycle or dry cycle on dishwasher.

Clothes washer was cold water, rapid wash, medium soil. Dried clothes on drying racks.

Turned furnace down (Hubby left for work).

Used task lighting.

I washed freezer bags, sandwich bags and foil. Used silicon covers for food when possible.

Made a pot of tea (10 cup) and then left it sit on stove next to burner that I had the canner on.  Stayed warm.

Got 9 qrts of pasta sauce out of 22 qrts of tomato juice (after draining "water" off juice). I wrote on the canning lid it was from tom juice from last year.

M sent over a loaf of bread, she wasn't going to bake as they are going to visit her parent but they ran out of bread completely so she baked. They are going to her aunt's funeral (congested heart failure) today and then back tonight (long day) and then leave tomorrow at 5 am to go to her parents. A couple of their church family is house sitting and taking care of the calves and horses. (M didn't leave for her parents as her parents are now helping her uncle "close" up the house her aunt and he lived in) 

I put away the "non food stock" that came in and straightened up the storage loft. We have 6 months supply of dog stuff. Since Wilbur is going on 13 (May 3rd) and Rascal (March) is 10 and both have health issues. I am not willing to stock more than that. Charlotte will be 4 on Father's day.

Fixed pork loin roast with potatoes. Tossed a bunch of asparagus on top of it when I pulled it out to rest for 15 minutes before I cut the roast. Worked well.

Daughter 4 got the title of my car changed over into her name and sent me a picture of my tags on her mantle incase I buy a car between now and Jan so I can just transfer plates not buy plates. Dropped the cost of our insurance 

I cut open a lotion pump bottle that the pump had broke off. I had already mixed a bit of water in it trying to get the last out. I scraped what was left into a old container. I labeled the container lotion so I will know that when I have one I need to cut open, I can put the lotion in it.



No snow and no frost and no freeze that was forecasted. As happy as I was to see that , I was not happy to see Charlotte climbing up on the kitchen porch table to lay down. She's not happy with the new cushions. But when I put the old ones in the metal chair on the deck she will probably be laying in them.

Used oil lamp on dining table for morning coffee chat 

Did not use high temp wash cycle or dry cycle on dishwasher.

I washed freezer bags, sandwich bags and foil. Used silicon covers for food when possible. Used to drive Hubby crazy I do that.

Clothes washer was cold water, rapid wash, medium soil. Dried clothes on drying racks.

Turned furnace down (Hubby left for work).

Used task lighting.

We uncovered gardens and took covers to barn as there is another possible frost in the forecast. No sense washing anything until mid May.

Hubby turned heater off in pump house (again) 

Hubby moved trees and blueberry bushes out of barn. 

We went to produce auction. Not much there . A friend is hunting for Roma tomatoes so we went down to the greenhouse down the road from us. They had Amish paste. So I let him know as it was above the price point he was wanting to spend and smaller than he was wanting. We bought nothing even though there was things I would have loved to have for the front porch. 

We dropped a message off to an Amish guy.

Stopped at the small store that reopened in March and bought ham (real ham) salad and a cherry pie made by a local Amish young lady. That was lunch and supper.

Menards called and said delivery of the front porch flooring and ramp will be delivered Friday mid day. 

J, the Amish guy, that is going to work on the basement ramp, came back with a guy that works concrete (also helped build the ramp originally) more than J does.J likes second opinions. He agreed with J's thoughts that the whole ramp did not fail, just 2 batches of bad concrete did. Looks like they will be doing this job together .We should get that estimate next week.

Hubby went to CVS to pick up my meds. It was $1.04. He had already pulled the new cash back credit card out and normally we don't use any cards for amounts under $5. He mentioned to the clerk what he was doing and why he wasn't sure he wanted to do that... she asked him if he would bend over and pick up a penny... of course he answered. She told him to use the card for anything $1 or more. That was the same as picking up a penny.

Hubby sat down to eat and made the comment "I feel like I have been unplugged. I have no energy and don't want to do anything else. Is this how you feel daily?"

Yes that is exactly how I feel daily and now he finally understands when I say I am done for the day even when there is still work on my to do list. 


Used oil lamp on dining table for morning coffee chat 

Did not use high temp wash cycle or dry cycle on dishwasher.

Clothes washer was cold water, rapid wash, medium soil. Dried clothes on drying racks.

Turned furnace down (Hubby left for work and to drop our tractor off to dealer for warranty maintenance).

Used task lighting.

I washed freezer bags, sandwich bags and foil. Used silicon covers for food when possible. I put the pans to soak in the sink and let the hot soapy water do most the work. 

I used vinegar to soak the kitchen sink for it's "deep" monthly cleaning. Helps clean out the drain pipes also.

Heated leftover pork roast and veggies in microwave and had ice cream for dessert.

I redid Daughter 4's budget due to increase in food costs, fuel costs (no more free rides to treatment) raise in her utilities even though her usage is the same and car insurance. Actually the car ins going over to her is less than ours was. Eating organic food is expensive when it is not growing season in this area. She had to go to a smaller meat box due to the increase in that price. Except for asparagus, nothing is growing yet.   

Then I changed our budget to not have to pull any more $$ from IRA.  

We decided to do as my life insurance agent suggested and only pay interest on the ins loans and nothing extra on anything else until we have all the projects paid for (basement and soil for garden boxes) and pretty much if necessary hire the work done. She just had one pay off their loan and then had to sell the house because they didn't have money to convert to ADA and couldn't get a loan due to loss of employment due to pandemic. They have unemployment only and the husband had a major stroke. 

At this point we have one ramp to get in and out of house on the first floor. We will have another on the front porch.  We would need a chair to go to the basement. My MIL is getting on for their basement. We have a wheelchair accessible bathroom. The sink would need lowered or changed (most $100). The Mudroom(originally was kitchen) sink would be lowered (Hubby can do it or Amish can do it as they put it in and MADE THE SINK) so I could wash produce and what ever there instead of the kitchen . The other would be oven and changing to a cook top instead of a stove. Really I can sit in a wheelchair and use 3 of the 5 burners on this stove. Yes I have practiced. The oven I would like a retractable door like British bake off . I do have an airfryer so that works also.

So we decided what ever isn't spent at end of month will go into savings until we have projects done or close to done. Daughter 4 has cancer surgery June 24 with 8 weeks recovery . She is supposed to get her results for the MRI of her right hip on Tuesday. If she has to have surgery that is going to make some interesting summer (NOT). But I did tell her this is her 1995 (my year for 3 surgeries in 90 days during the holidays)

How are you saving?

Blessed be


Wednesday, April 21, 2021

SNOW , deck table finished, Basement update


Just a little over 3 inches at 6 a.m.

looks like December 

Hubby got a project done. 

this was what was left of the deck table after wind storm last summer.

Hubby got these two boards ...the one to the left is a corner board 

He used the metal frame from the old table. This table is heavy. We thought maybe it would be light but it's not. I won't be carrying it by myself for sure.

It's sturdy enough to hold 3 inches of snow.

Basement update...

E's brother in law stopped over last night since he won't be working today and tomorrow due to weather. He took a good look and a couple solid kicks to the concrete and told Hubby it could not be extended due to the field tile. He had helped build it. It was not failure but looked like two batches of bad concrete as it should have held another 30 yrs. He can reuse at least half of what is there. He will be figuring up a  better estimate counting on  Hubby using the tractor to do the digging, reusing the bad concrete for fill, us already having most of the blocks and concrete for the entrance... he is thinking around $6000 to the most being $10,000... he just doesn't think it will be that much. He is going to look at price of having ready made concrete brought in or bag concrete that they mix in a wheel barrel with labor to figure out the cheapest way but make it last at least 30 yrs. AND he will figure in how long it will be that the dogs can't go down that way. Since that is a lot cheaper than the other two estimates, we will be going with him. 

I can cover that without pulling from the IRAs YEAH

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Small changes

 I went over the budget with a fine tooth comb. Between basement ramp and basement entrance, front porch and ramp, my dentist bill coming up, the rest of my surgery bills, Hubby's one set of glasses, my eye exam and 5 sets of glasses , building the greenhouse, yearly maintenance on the tractor($1000) under warranty so we can't do it ourselves and finishing the garden boxes and buying more dirt. On top of the two loans, truck payment and mortgage. I am trying to only pull from savings and not have to pull from the IRA's. 

I emailed our tax preparer (who is retiring) and asked what we could do to lower our taxes.  Her answer was keep better track of our medical miles and to keep receipts for medical stuff AKA the walker I bought that is deductible.  I printed off round trip directions to each of our doctors/testing/ etc. and I will put the dates on the maps and receipts of the bill paid in a file for medical deductions. Hubby moved his cell phone bill to the business as 80% if not more is business calls anyways

We have the majority needed for the basement entrance, might need a few more blocks and metal for the roof as the metal one now leaks. The ramp part , highest estimate in is $20,000. The other was $17,000. We should have E's brother in laws in the next 10 days when he gets the job he is doing right now finished.

I told Hubby we could take scrap lumber that's in the barn from us converting this house and  I can paint it with what ever outdoor paint I have and build the green house. Local metal shop can get us clear fiberglass for half the costs of what we could find it at a lumber yard for it as we know plastic won't hold up to the winds here.

Hubby designed and ordered the material to redo the front porch and add a ramp. He got $1000 off it including delivery when it all comes in. Would have costs him $300 to haul it himself).

My dentist gave me a discount since I am having the work done in 60 days and paying with cash or check. 

Hubby did not need an eye exam as he had one a year ago. So he just had the glasses to pay for.

I found paint in the pump house so we don't need to buy outdoor paint for the garden boxes (or green house). We get the soil cheaper as we buy it by the pallet and Hubby always asks the manager for a discount.

Since I am paying cash for eye exam and glasses, I was offered 20% off  plus there might be additional $$ off depending on the sunglasses I get. I want plastic frames and I don't want the lens section to touch my cheeks when I smile. I think I want a half lens for computer work but if they are more expensive, I won't go that way.

So using estimates we have gotten, I think I need to save up $4000 in next 2 months over what we have in savings already. We can pay only the interest on the ins loans for now. Business is back up so no worry about Hubby's truck payment. 

We decided to not take the driveway to the basement ramp. Saving $12,000 in gravel. We might have enough here to finish or at least not have to get as much and it can wait until next year if needed.

I can cancelled 4 memberships I had forgot about. They go through my PayPal. I checked my activity. I do not put auto pays on credit cards.

Our menu is now WHAT EVER NEEDS ATE FIRST...asparagus... repeatedly.

Instead of eating our fill of asparagus and then giving the rest away. I have blanched, froze and vacuumed bagged 84 spears and canned 13 pints of bread and butter pickled asparagus over the 8 pints of dill asparagus and 12 pints of bread and butter pickled asparagus I had already. I picked more today to blanch tomorrow. The freeze we are expecting with the snow might stop it from producing any more.

 The apple trees, blackberry vines, raspberry vines and grape vines are going to take a hit. I covered everything else I could and Hubby moved all the fruit trees in pots and the blueberry bushes in pots to the barn. I have went from hauling butt to prep and plant to hauling butt to cover plants up and will be hauling butt to uncover and start planting warm weather crops as it is going to be too warm for a second round of cool weather crops. I might get some "salad" planted in pots for the porch...and we will get tired of eating salad.

I inventoried what I was low on in the pantry. I made separate lists for what I can can myself and what I would have to buy in the store. I know from several sources that food prices are looking to be close to another 10% higher and if the corn belt gets hit hard again with the weather going through there... it will only go higher. I've already stocked my corn meal.  

I am taking last year's tomato juice to make pasta sauce (I'm down to 2 qrts). 

Due to increase of prices I stocked up the dogs stuff and non food for us for next 6 months.

I have some  flower bulbs to plant for spring and fall to help with getting the bees and possible Hummingbirds around the gardens.  

I use the app on my phone to turn the furnace down. If Hubby sees me turn it down, he gets cold and turns it back up. BUT if he doesn't see me then he doesn't get cold. He has to have his reading glasses on to see the thermometer.

I cut the grocery budget to $50 a month. Hubby wants to eat out twice a month... or I should say take out because covid is going up here and even though we get our second dosage Monday, we don't trust the variants and with a new great granddaughter and  Daughter 4 fighting cancer. We just are going to continue to stay at home. Just a note, the local little store that serves lunch has been so over ran with lunch orders it is almost now a call and see if there is anything left. Glad for her.

Produce auction starts Friday. I will be going to it (please let it be above 30 degrees) as I want to check out some of the plants etc. I have $$ set aside. 

Blessed Be. 


SHE'S Here


Elizabeth Mae born 4/19/2021

At 3:28 pm after Mommy pushed 33 minutes *daughter 4 timed it* As Daughter 4 AKA Gammy and Daddy had to hold Mommy's legs. Stirrup's wasn't where her feet could fit. 

Lizzie weighed 6 lbs and 6.4 ounces and was 20 inches long. Everyone doing good even though Mommy and Gammy had panic attacks when Daddy cried when I was born and I looked right at him. Gammy and Nurse said so. 

Monday, April 19, 2021


 ... granddaughter is almost to 6 dilation. She punched her man when he cracked the joke about it being called labor for a reason when she said she was tired of all this pain. Good thing he is a big man with her being ex ROTC. Daughter 4 was allowed in room to give T a break after granddaughter punched him. He knows now to remain arm length from her during contractions LOL.

Daughter 4 still has both ears infected but they are better and she was glad I told her to take Tylenol after the  MRI of her hip. 

Even though I pass the eye test when getting my license renewed, I wouldn't want to be in the car with myself driving without my glasses. I realized today while driving to the dentist that things were a bit blurry. So I now have an appt May 10th and I know it's going to be expensive as I have 5 different pairs. That is down from 7. Long distance, sunglasses long distance (which is the pair I wear the most), reading, computer and mending (including removing splinters). I am going to get half lens for the computer so I don't have to wear my glasses have way down my nose. Last time I had to get glasses it was $1600 without the exam which insurance paid.  Hubby just got a new pair of his old prescription that cost $350 without an exam.

I am 62... I have NEVER had a cavity... now I have 4 mild ones in back molars. SIGH. Well water does not have fluoride and I didn't think to pick up a fluoride rinse. That is $400 with a discount for cash/check payment. 

I would ask why is it when you look at getting OUT of debt... more debt hits? But that is the way the ball bounces, cookie crumbles, life just rolls on.

SO I am taking a good look at where I can cut $$ so I don't have to pull more from the IRA's or the savings. 

MEANTIME we are expecting up to TWO INCHES OF SNOW and 29 degrees with 25 mph winds with in next 3 days of nasty weather. SO I am out to cover plants

Blessed Be

kids update

 Daughter 4 has infection in both ears, she gets retested for it today after her MRI of her hip.  HER daughter was induced this morning. Still waiting for Baby Lizzie to come out. Her daughter complained about the labor pains and Daughter 4 informed her they were nothing compared to what was coming. Granddaughter is not happy with Daughter 4 now. They have been doing video chats a couple times a day.

Daughter 4 has appointment to get the title of my car put in her name and earned enough to get tags and full coverage insurance. She says that her Door Dash income will drop with summer as everyone will go to cook outs. Their county has went higher with covid.

Son 1 said his work is steady. He works for an IT company and he hasn't been hanging out with anyone but his mom and stepdad.

Son 2 has refused nomination at his VFW. He still is secretary of Combat vets motorcycle. That is a 3 min job of roll call when they go on a bike ride as they don't have a building to take care of. He had a problem a couple weeks ago and the ER thought mild heart attack. They have ruled that out. He had a bunch of blood work ran Friday and is waiting on those results before they schedule his appt with his primary (60 miles from him). He accepted a job that gives him a promotion ( civilian side of Air Force military instead of Army like he is) and increase of pay. He looks to start the first part or middle of May as they start everyone on the beginning of pay period. I am willing to bet stress between a job that he was handling 5 other peoples work along with his own  on top of battles in the VFW and a couple long term personal relationships that he had to finally admit were toxic. Stress will kill you.

Daughter 1 just had her second injections for her back. She has a rare bone disease that destroys her bones from her biological mother's side. She still is able to work as dept. manager at Walmart. 

Daughter 2 said she head bartender and manager of servers. She said some days she doesn't make enough to pay the gas of going to work. She plans to work 1 more year (her youngest graduates then). She gets no health ins or retirement from this job. Her man and her have been looking at opening their own bar some day. Nice dream but she definitely knows what it takes to run one.

Daughter 3 said she works and goes home to her kids and man. They have his mom and sister around them (he helps take care of his mom). She works at a cash advanced place.  

All the adult grandkids are working and trying to stay in their bubbles. 

The ones in school... half went to school the other half stay in homeschooling. 

Back later as I have a dentist appt.

Blessed Be

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

What is going on

My life insurance agent was reading my policy (my old one left a few years ago) and she noticed my insurance expires when I am 77... it's not a whole life policy like I was told it was. SO Hubby checked his... his is 87.  SO  she is now looking at options so we are covered as both our parents lived longer than that. She mentioned Hubby's life ins company does mortgage loans and so does my IRA company. She is going to get the interest rates for us to compare to what we have and she will also have the refinance costs so we can figure that in. When I got this insurance they were a life ins company only. Now they do everything from life insurance to making sure you have health ins for the best price that covers all your needs, to helping you do a budget, getting medical supplies to keep you in your home etc.

Hubby is fixing Son 2's weed eater and leaf blower. Son thought it was the battery as both are battery operated but it's actually the charger and the battery. Son 2 gave it to us instead of pitching it. Hubby priced the cost of just replacing the battery and charger compared to replacing the the weed eater and leaf blower. He found a sale at Lowes. that had the weed eater aka trimmer and leaf blower and 1battery and charger. He then priced buying the weed eater and leaf blower separate. He got them separate AND even with buying both new he spent less than he would have just replacing the two batteries and two chargers. We will be checking yard sales for chargers and batteries as this would be good to pass to one of the girls. Mean time it means we can split the trimming and get it done faster between the two of us.

Daughter 4 is taking the title of my car that she has been driving pretty for the past year. She went and got a quote for insurance and it will actually save me money even with me paying for the insurance until she gets back to work. I haven't liked the car, sits low to the ground and that stresses my back to get out of. 

My doctor agreed to a teledoc appt since I only needed meds. Saved me 3 hrs of driving, $12 in gas and $50 co pay as our ins pays completely for teledoc or online visits.

Asparagus is coming in. In next three weeks I will be freezing some and canning some as bread and butter using asparagus instead of cucumbers and get tired of it being on the table every day.

Furnace is turned down during the day, oil lamp or candle is used at dining table instead of electric light when needed.  Electric bill dropped $35 putting it below our average for this time of year.

I used the 55 lb. dog food bag as a trash bag saving 8 cents.

I got flower bulbs on clearance to plant on the hill at the mailbox. 

I got Hummingbird food on sale for half price. 

We only got milk this week. 

We took the dogs to the vet when opened in the morning (it's a walk in clinic) and got their toe nails cut and Charlotte got her allergy shot. By driving them back to the old vet even though it's 70 mils away  we save money. ALL the vets in this area charge $20 for nails PLUS office visit of $35 . EVEN if we take all 3 at the same time...they charge separate office visits for each dog. We pay $10 for toe nails and if that's all we are getting that is all we pay... no office visit charge. We did get a $48 charge for Charlotte's allergy shot and HER office visit even though doc did check all three of them. Wilbur is at 103 lbs. Doc said that since he is going to be 13 yrs. old May 3rd he wasn't going to put him on a diet but for me to make sure he was up and moving more. Slow walking was fine. He still runs some especially when it's a motorcycle going down the road. He will stand on his back feet to hug me around the waist when he is wanting a treat. Rascal is 9 yrs. old, he weighed in at 78 lbs. and Charlotte will be 4 yrs old on Father's day weighed in at 62 lbs. Doc said she will probably be in the low 80s when she gets the boys ages. She is just a bit shorter in the leg than the boys who are pretty much same height.

I went down the basement ramp coming in from the yard and found 2 places on the ramp it's self that the concrete is giving way (ramp about 20 yrs old). We were already to replace the walls at the basement door and have those blocks. We got the price from a company, they want $15,000 and 2 wks. Another one wants closer to $20,000 and 3 wks. E suggested we talk to his brother in law that does construction as he would take in account that Hubby can help with the work (the other two said no and they would supply the blocks for the walls even though we have them already) and let us pay directly for the materials. Right now the brother in law is working a job out of town and will be the rest of this week before he can come price it. He did say (since he knows the house) that he thought the ramp should be lengthened due to how steep it was. It can't be ADA standards as that would put it at 96 feet long ramp but it would be less steep. We have lean forward to get up it right now or lean back some if coming down.  He would also look at it to see if we will be able to ramp that side of the kitchen porch or only be able to put stairs on that side. Right now there is nothing there as the stairs are on the other two sides of that porch.

 Financial changes will be made.

How is your week going?

Blessed Be



Saturday, April 10, 2021

past busy week

 She is hoping for delivery on the 14th which is baby's daddy's  and her cousin's birthday. Lord is she huge. Dilated to 3 and the doctor said he could touch Lizzie's head. Daughter 4 took the picture from her car as Granddaughter is quarantining since she is in labor and will be entering the hospital...soon,  we hope. 

Cuddles, Son 2's kitty. He is my oldest 4 legged grandchild.  

Bailey, she Son 2's baby girl.  Yes I got my kitty fix when Hubby helped Son 2 put the water heater in.

We have high winds coming in along with too cold of temps for the buds on the fruit trees this week. Hubby was glad they were in pots so he put them on pallets and hauled them with the tractor (fork lift on it) and put them on the south side under the over hang. He moves them out in the sun (they get some during the early morning and early afternoon)when the weather is ok and then puts them back. He has it so he can hang a tarp to keep them safe if it gets too cold. He has already been warned by a couple people that if the flowers get cold we won't get fruit. 

First meal of asparagus from garden. I had to pick two nights in a row to get enough to go with our meatloaf patty and mashed potatoes. I imagine I will be ran over this coming week. They say the harvest is 3 wks long but last year it was closer to 5 weeks. We will get tired of eating it. 

We took the dogs for a ride while picking up our taxes from our preparer, thinking we would stop at the vet's but the vet's was packed so we just came on home.

Charlotte got stuck in the front seat with us on the way over as the boys took up the whole back seat. She made sure on the way back she had back seat as Wilbur got in front to watch us go in.

Wilbur got in his standard position when the window is cracked open. He actually sleeps this way. He won't ride in the front, gets car sick that way.

Poor Rascal, he could have laid on the floor, it's wide enough Wilbur has slept on it or even put his head on Charlotte as she doesn't care. But he doesn't like to cuddle much. Hubby says when he sees Rascal cuddling with me he doesn't know if I am sick or if the dog is. It's usually me.

I put the middle part down so he could at least put his head on it. 

We started planting the garden. To make it easier of what varieties I am planting, I made a spread sheet.


2021 gardens

I will wait another week before I plant more.

Since I was starting in the gardens I reminded Hubby he needed to cut the last 5 of the 2 x 8  boxes and get the wood for the 2 boxes that would be 2x 16 for strawberries this fall. I will paint the 2 x 8 boxes (they are plyboard). He came in and said the plyboard was cut. Too windy and wet to paint but when he was rummaging around he found enough plyboard to make 4 more boxes. 

Okay, he has bickered with me for years about the size of the garden. So it was a shock to hear him suggest we have 4 more boxes.  THEN he added that he thought if we had the money this fall that he could build a small green house on the south side of the barn. It would be blocked from the north cold and get the south sun. Open to the east so I wouldn't have to shovel much snow if I used it during the winter. He would change the white metal roof in that area to fiberglass roof (and change the mudroom door awning to the same) that would let light come in but block the weather.

I asked him why the change of mind. He said he saw that the Amish didn't go without fresh veggies and fruit during the winter. Some even had greens still growing in their green houses. He was the one that went to the store and saw the lack and the recalls.  He doesn't think this coming winter is going to be any better and he thinks we will still be helping Daughter 4 who is now in 5 days a week physical therapy. She had commented she wasn't able to handle walking her dogs one at a time and the doctor put her in therapy to rebuild her strength.

I was okay, design the green house and price it out. Yes that means we won't be paying off loans or on mortgage as much. I will be crunching numbers for sure and warned him there would be a change in our life style when it came to store bought food.


Tuesday, April 6, 2021

We have started planting!!!!!

 I got the Little Snowpeas White in and the First 13 peas in. I cleared as best as I could as I still have trouble getting up and down with the hip the north flower garden. 

We had a zucchini noodle with Angel hair pasta with garlicy yogurt sauce that was on Sara Moulton's weeknight meals. The dish was okay... too much lemon for our taste and I cut it in half to begin with. FYI I love lemon pie and we drink lemonade. Definitely not what I would do for a weeknight meal as it took over 30 minutes to prep and took 3 pans to put the one dish together. 

Today after laundry and dishwasher is unloaded. I am going to spray the asparagus patch with neem oil to help keep the bugs off when its fully light  around 8 am. I will take the organic weed killer and hope this one actually works as I have weeds in the asparagus patch and the north garden that just keeps coming back. So I will do those two areas. 

I want to clear the rhubarb. 

I want to get spinach, radishes, carrots, turnips and parsnips in today or tomorrow... some lettuce in pots as it's still iffy about growing them in the garden. In pots I can bring them in to the barn or the pump house.  I might do some beets, a bit early to start them but the ground is 50 degrees.... dandelions are up and they come up when the ground is 50 degrees.

Washer buzzing... to the clothes line, unload dishwasher and on to work 

Monday, April 5, 2021

Saving Money

 Hubby picked up the cucumber I forgot to get at the store the other day on his way home from a hauling job and he had to get fuel anyways in town. He found fresh flowers that were decent on clearance so brought them home for me. 

I decided to start cutting the bread with the "meat" slicer as Hubby just whacks it and some are thick and some too thin. I will measure the bread that M sends over and figure out how many slices I can get 3/8s or 1/2 inch thick. I might do both from same loaf as we like a thicker slice for garlic toast and French toast. 

We turned the furnace down to 62 several times during the week. It was warm enough and that let us get to April without having a propane delivery. I ordered propane to be delivered this week... that should give us enough to go until fall. I told Hubby I wanted to use the canning stove since it's hooked up and working now for canning this year as that is a grill propane tank. 

We talked to my life ins rep about paying off my life ins loan. She is crunching numbers as she knows the company that Hubby retired from is shut down now due to computer chip shortage and she doesn't want us short cashed if we have to start buying our own health ins. There has been 3 other companies in our area that their retired people are now looking for health ins. as they are not going to reopen in this area. She wanted us to see all our options. 

We have been using up leftovers. Freezing extra for when we work in the gardens and are too tired to eat let alone cook. Old age sucks sometimes. 

I finished clearing weeds out of the 2 ft by 16 ft herb bed. I have room for some annual herbs in that bed now. I cleared the pots of mints of weeds in them. Repotted into bigger pots the last of the fruit trees we got last year along with a maple tree I had started 3 yrs ago from the rental we lived in and the lilac a person was going to toss because it wasn't growing (root bound).  Cleared weeds from 6  4 ft  by 4 ft strawberry beds. Cleared weeds from the 12 ft long beds of the red raspberries, yellow raspberries and blackberries. Cleared the 3 pots of the blueberry bushes ( we have alkaline soil). 

I still have the chives and garlic chives patch to weed and the north flower garden.  I will start potting stuff closer to May.

My garlic and Egyptian onions are doing well. Asparagus is starting to show in a few places also. 

I plan to be planting my cool weather crops today and tomorrow so by middle of May we will have fresh veggies without going to the store

Saturday, April 3, 2021


 off work for the holidays... Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.

AND it's suppose to be warm 

Enjoy your weekend/holiday

Wednesday, March 31, 2021


Great grandbaby up date... NO BABY YET. BUT she's about 6.5 lbs. and granddaughter is having light contractions. She gets check tomorrow and she is hoping she goes to hospital LOL.

I only saved 10%.. BUT 95% was veggies or fruit so I expected to not have much savings. I can't wait until the garden is my grocery store for fresh veggies. I used what was left of March's grocery money and most of April's. I have enough for milk and some cucumbers and the shrimp. 

 I did not get daffodils, they looked bad and nothing else looked good either so no fresh flowers for the Easter table again this year.

I did not get chorizo (didn't have any but ordered it from Amazon), shrimp or mint Probably by time the chorizo gets here , the mint will be high enough for me to snip what I need for a dish Hubby wanted to try. Getting shrimp when I go to make the meal.

 I did get him Kentucky bourbon for a lemonade bourbon he wants to try ... it also has beet juice in it. 

I did not get ice cream since we decided to shop Kroger's in Sidney and that's over an hour away. Dairy Queen just opened so we will get our ice cream fix there.

Best deal was free 6 oz Cheese. I got Havarti for Hubby

Second best deal was pasta for sale for 49 cents if you got 10 items of the sale. I got the pastas for Daughter 4 as she eats a lot of pasta salads of different sorts.

Everything but the different breads (slice potato bread, hamburger buns, hoagie buns, and onion buns) are dealt with. I will freeze the breads and vacuum pack them. 

Menu will be based on what needs used up first.

I know the zucchini noodles (only because they didn't have zucchini large enough for my spiralizer) will need used, the avocados and the plantains are not ripe but when they get there, that will be used now. Bananas as M told me she dices them in cool whip and calls it done.

I still have 49 entrees in the barn freezer.

Tonight is manicotti from freezer that we didn't have last night. Leftover sautéed bell peppers, mushrooms and onions  and garlic toast made from M's bread

Thursday - sausage gravy, home fries, sunshine salad, cole slaw and biscuits. 

Friday - zucchini pasta with garlicy sauce and Ky. lemonade bourbon. Bruschetta. Should use the last of M's bread or can use bun.

Saturday- homemade loaded pizza and salad.

Easter - rack of lamp, smashed baked potatoes,  asparagus , deviled eggs and ambrosia salad.

Need to prep today so the meals for this week actually get to the table.

Blessed be


Sunday, March 28, 2021

Out like a lion


It's already roaring and will be until Wednesday night. A lot of us are going into the storm season so please make sure you have what you need if storms rip through your area and stay safe.

Simple Sunday. 

Hubby remembered he forgot to get dog food and decided to run into TSC and get it so it wouldn't be on his to do list during the week.

Found garden soil and potting soil on sale Talked to the manager and since he was getting pallets she reduced the price even farther. We now have 2 pallets of garden soil (156 cu ft  total) and 1 pallet of potting soil (78 cu ft total)... AND HE FORGOT THE DOG FOOD. We have enough for 2 days.

Brunch: Pumpkin spice baked doughnuts, cream cheese.

Supper: Pork chop, baked potato with butter and sour cream, corn, mandarin oranges and bread (home made from M)  

Motivation Monday 

Shine the windows and mirrors 

Hubby is going with Amish guy to get mineral oil so he will be gone most of the morning. Might be home around lunch. I will be "motivated"  HA HA, to get the laundry and dishes done. Frigs cleaned out as it's also trash night. Dust mop house (new habit or should say trying to get back in the habit). Update the finances since Hubby bought dirt instead of dog food the bank acct took a bigger hit. He saved $4 a bag. I have a couple things that need ordered that have been waiting until they went on sale..

Breakfast: toast and jam

Lunch : cottage cheese, pickled beets and applesauce (Hubby on road)

Supper: beef steak on grill, rice, grilled onions, bell peppers and mushrooms, mango and homemade bread

Task Tuesday 

Swish the toilets, dust mop house.

M is leaving with the baby to go see her sister that doesn't have much longer to live. The littles will  be staying with E's mother. M asked if we could stop at the store to ease the load off E as they don't let the "scholars" drive the buggy into town yet.  

Since we have chiro and need to get dog food, it's great planning.

Hubby has to stop at bank to get statement on his truck he forgot to get for the taxes. 

Breakfast: Pillsbury Hot Cocoa Rolls with frosting ( Hubby saw on clearance)

Lunch : lunch meat tortilla wrap

Supper: Manicotti (from freezer), asparagus(from freezer), pineapple and garlic toast (using homemade bread)

Waste Not Want Not Wednesday.

Should call it Windy Wednesday with the forecast for the day.

Swipe the sinks and showers/tub.

Hubby will have a full day of work. 

I will go through some more boxes of papers that need dealt with.

Breakfast: toast and jam

Lunch cottage cheese, applesauce and pickled beets ( my standard lunch)

Supper: Sausage gravy and biscuits (unless there is still bread), fried green tomatoes (freezer), maybe home fries. Fruit pie

Thankful Thursday

April Fools day

Dust the house, dust mop the house

Hubby will have another full day at work

Start putting dirt into garden boxes or at least in the ones I will be planting on Friday. 

Weed herbs and strawberries. 

Breakfast: Fruit pie

Lunch: cheese and crackers 

Supper: Chili, Fritos 

Finally Friday

Vacuum the area rugs in front of all the doors. Dust mop the house.

Plant the peas and snow peas (Amish say to have them planted by Good Friday). I've been readying Victory garden for Ohio so I might plant more that just that after I finish reading it. 

Weed herbs and strawberries

Put more dirt in boxes , maybe plant something else.

Breakfast: leftover sausage gravy and biscuits

Lunch : what ever the local little store is selling for lunch

Supper: Homemade pizza

Speed up Saturday 

Dust mop and wet mop floors.

Thaw rack of lamb, boil eggs and get dishes out for Easter dinner.

Most likely will hopefully finish with weeding of herbs and strawberries and MAYBE start weeding north flower garden.

Brunch: scrambled eggs with cheese

Supper: fried bologna sandwiches, pasta salad, cole slaw and pineapple chunks.

That's the plan LOL

Blessed be..

AND it is still rolling

Good news I won the drawing from Sluggy and got my package yesterday. Son 2 wants the Andes candy. Son 1 wants the B vitamin. Daughter 2 wants the eye shadow. Daughter 4 wants the face mask ( her daughter wants one of the face masks also) Daughter 3 (and her 2 girls) want the hair bands. Daughter 1 asked for the dental stuff and Hubby came back and told them ALL to go read Sluggy's blog LOL. I will still share... but Son 2 is NOT getting all the Andes candy ... guess that is what I get for sending a text with pic of what I won to the kids.

Last night Daughter 4 sent me a text... found 4 bedroom, 3 bath, finished basement and attic with mother in law suite... I was excited thinking she found something to move to and thought she was going to share with her oldest that is expecting a baby in a few weeks.

It was a huge pot hole (so not really a house SIGH) she hit with MY car to avoid hitting a 8 yr old boy chasing his ball in the street. Mother of boy was grateful, boy is now grounded and my car was creaking as she drove it away. Appt for car is this morning to figure out the damage done. Daughter 4 took pic of pot hole and sent it to the street dept. Mother of boy put a orange cone that she carries for emergences from her truck in the hole to try to help others not hit it.

Daughter said if she had been going the speed limit she would have hit him. or destroyed the front end of the car if she seen him in time to swerve . SIGH

SO I woke up at 4 am with thigh cramp... got up, had coffee , walked around. Didn't ease up so went to get massager by bed, moved Rascal as he was laying next to it (on floor between bed and stand) . Picked it up , turned it on and got shocked. Blew all the electric to the bedroom, have nice burn on arm. Put aloe on burn, go to basement to turn breaker back on and open door to mechanical room (breaker, water softener, water heater and furnace room) and find water at the bottom of furnace. SIGHING STILL.

Call Hubby while he is working (did 10 loads yesterday, 5-6 is normal) and he THINKS he will have a couple loads today only so will be home normal time (mid to late afternoon instead of 7 pm like last night) to deal with furnace ...said the drain pipe is probably plugged and the pan under it probably has a leak. Told me to check to make sure breakers were in on position... they ALL ARE ON >>>>> AND NOT listed what they go to.

SO we will have to go through each one and find the one for the bedroom because he forgot to go down and write what went to each breaker and he doesn't know where he put the sheet the electrician gave him that had the list... I don't know why he didn't just tape the thing to the door of the breaker box. I was going to do it but he said no, we would do it together and just be on the phone so we knew what was off and on. 

I was going to do finances this morning but decided to wait until I see the bill to get the car fixed. So instead of paying off one of the loans I will be fixing a car. Which upsets Daughter 4 but  she knows we would rather fix a car than her hit the child as she was hit by a car... and our grandson was hit by a car....

Hubby wants to finish getting the last of the dirt and stuff for the gardens before he pays off his loan. 



started labeling the breaker box. Work 20 minutes because it's walk up and down 3 different flights of stairs as they did not put the electric in what I would call logical order. FINALLY figured out which one was the bedroom. Hubby got home and called the guy that put the electric in the house and he told him to check the first outlet the electric goes to when it comes in the room as because there was already existing electric he made circuits of the electric. WHICH made logical sense. ANYWAYS replaced the burn outlet which was not the one I had the massager plugged into. AND had electric. Savings was $45 trip charge and $60 an hour that the electrician would have charged.  We still have a few breakers not labeled that we will deal with later. Costs were a screw driver that Hubby dropped down the sump pump pit by accident and some back up outlet. $30.

Daughter 4 got repair bill of $500. Said it was kind of a blessing as it messed up the ball joint but repair guy showed her the steering control  part was going bad so he took care of that also. And she's back on the road... which is good because HER DAUGHTER is thinning and dilated to 2. OB said they would see her next week if she didn't have the baby before that.

Saturday we went down to drop off stuff on Daughter 4's porch for her and Granddaughter who's in laws were visiting her so she told me to drop her stuff off at her mom'. In laws were still sleeping in the front room on sofa couch when we would have been there.  

Went to Son 2's and got sprayed with Lysol as I walked in. I used to do that during flu season when they came in from school. Spray them, go wash their hands and change their clothes. They didn't get the flu when they were in school. I just laughed. We sat 6 ft apart even out on the patio. Hubby and him wore masks when they were taking the old water heater out and putting the new one back in. Son 2 now can install his own gas hot water heater. 

We drove the scenic way home adding about 30 minutes but well worth it as it was a beautiful day. But an eleven hour day was wearing and my hip was cranky last night from all that sitting in the car.  Three and half hours round trip. We ate left overs.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

AND it keeps on rolling

 Maybe it will all get through in March.

A elderly lady in our neighborhood died due to heart failure, she's been sick for a year now, all the kids here called her granny. All the kids took her flowers the morning before she died. So sweet.  

 Son2's hot water heater went out, can't be fixed. Was quoted $3000 for new tank  , $4000 for instant ready (which is really what he needs for that area). When he said he would have to get other quotes (know he is not going to shower at home but can at work) the guy offered $1900 with 50 gallon tank. He said he wasn't doing that and told the guy to leave. He called the company and reported the difference and prices and that the guy said he had to run new venting through the roof which we know is a lie as ours is vented with the furnace just like his is and why he wasn't going to use them or refer them to anyone at the base . OOPS not good to mess with the person that helps soldiers get help. He called another one and they were coming out to look. Did tell him the instant ready heater was $1100 and they confirmed since the furnace is over 80% efficient they could be vented together like the old one is. Mean time he is thankful his Momma insisted he have a stock pot. He has used it more than he ever thought he would. Now he is boiling water for washing dishes and going to the gym at work to shower.

The kitchen storm door handle broke, of course this is the door the dogs use... so that it was LOCKED. Good thing we have other doors as we couldn't get it open. Took an hour to get the handle off, mess with the latch and get the door to open. Checked 2 places to get a handle... ending up ordering at Amazon (used The Prudent Homemakers site). GEEZE.

We got our first covid shot. Hubby said he was sore. I have a bruise the smaller than a dime at the site and that is the only thing sore if I touch it. BUT side affect was we both were starving... 90 minutes from home... it was definitely buy something or I would get sick so we got Wendy's. Considering he finished eating (we sat in the parking lot as he doesn't like to eat and drive) a good 15 minutes before me I would say he was hungry and didn't acknowledge. Even though we both ate before leaving home 4 hrs. before.

We dropped our taxes off. Filling out the drop off forms was worse than gathering all of it up.  Our preparer was not there but another one was getting ready to go to lunch (one preparer at a time in the office) and said refunds would not be seen until summer, probably late summer. Good thing we don't ever count on it and really try to not give the gov't an interest free loan of our money.

My finance guy called to let me know it was a good time to sell some stock I had. I was getting my shot and by time I could call him he was out of the office getting HIS SHOT. LOL. Got a hold of him this morning and he was dealing with it as we spoke. Said in a way it was good timing as the cash acct I have was going to be used up in 2 months...that's what I am using to support Daughter 4.He said he had just priced nursing home costs and it was running around $15000/ month. Yep Daddy's was running a bit lower but a friend out of state said his mother in law's ASSISTED living was $15000 a month and it would be higher when she went to nursing home. That is $180,000 for one person. Average in a nursing home is 3 yrs. Assistant living can be higher and then they get moved about half the time to a nursing home due to needing more care. Yep glad we decide to make it this house "the old folks home".

Hubby told me last night he doesn't see Daughter 4 back to working full time to support herself until spring or summer of next year so to look at the budget and figure that in. It wasn't hard to do as it's my (Daddy's) IRA that is supporting her with my Social Security covering the odds and ends.

Rain, cold and wind today. High winds through the night. I am NOT going out to weed strawberries or the herb gardens.

Blessed Be.