Wednesday, December 22, 2021

As Morning breaks

 I think everyone is still trying to figure out where and who they are seeing for Christmas. We just decided to deliver to the kids on Christmas day evening when we go see Army Grandson that is suppose to get in later today from Italy, he stated he doesn't have many openings left to see everyone. We knew that because of Son 2 being in the Army. We have 2 that are coming up Boxing (Dec 26th) day for lunch.

Son 2 called last night as he lost a good friend who was 70. She helped him find his house, the first he has bought. 

We have set the budget for 2022 to start paying off the mortgage. I had to tweak it a bit but don't we always? I already paid Jan mortgage and a small amt. extra in the principal. Bills are paid until the 6th. 

I figured up we produced 61 % of our veggies and 4% of our fruit last year. Amish produced 10% of our veggies and 6 % of our fruit.  I did not start any plants last winter since I was having hip replaced and then only bought 6 when I started in the gardens. Oranges, limes, lemons, pineapple and raisins are always going to have to be bought.

This year we are aiming for 80% of our veggies and 25 % of our fruit. We have berry bushes, grape vines and fruit trees that are NOT producing yet. Maybe one to two more years. Probably will still get winter squash from Amish. 

We bounced around ideas to eat healthier or basically just eat as neither of us eat bfast and I don't eat lunch... I'm more a brunch and early dinner person(2 to 4 pm) with a small snack  3 hrs. before bed. 

I hope everyone stays safe, finds a small joy each day.

Blessed Be 

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Holiday schedule and medical crap

 This week I am making for a potluck dinner on Saturday

sweet potato rolls (first time) 

Vintage Betty Crocker Refrigerator dough (for rolls , first time)

Basic soft white sandwich loaf (our go to now days)

Amish pineapple pudding (M's recipe) (first time making it but we have ate it )

Apple-Cider doughnut cake (first time)

Cranberry custard pie (first time)

Nantucket Christmas Cranberry pie (first time)

Christmas tortilla rollups (old favorite)

Jalapeno popper dip (spicy and mild, old favorite)

Crock pot Buffalo chicken (will be turkey) dip (granddaughter's recipe and we liked it)

celery sticks and tortilla chips 

MAYBE Cranberry eggnog salad (think jello salad) if I have a 8 cup ring mold.

Why? Because this is how we test new recipes and not have to eat or bring the leftovers home if we don't like them. Someone at this dinner will take it instead. 

Tomorrow I have physical therapy starting for the ice pick headaches I have gotten. Specialist mentioned dry needling (I hate needles) but left it to the therapist to figure out the best. Since I have rebar in concrete (what my deep massage therapist called them ) for shoulders. They are not sure that is the answer when maybe regular deep massage would be better. My massage therapist retired after getting hurt at his day job.  Therapy is an hour away so they are going to try to work my therapy into Tuesdays when I am already in the area but it might not happen that way. We will see. 

My EEG for the ice pick heads and to see what damage the stroke in 2000 did is Jan 4th. Specialist said the headaches gave him the opening to run the test. It will show if I have vascular dementia caused by the stroke. 

Meantime, Doc thinks Hubby has the beginnings of Parkinson due to hand tremors... his hands have done that since he was 17, he broke a carpal tunnel bone, that did not heal and had to have surgery in the left hand which is the one that shakes the most. They had put him on a med that no longer works. So they are going to start running tests in Jan on that. We know his grandpa had and his dad has Parkinson and both also had dementia from it. 

I said something to Hubby's parents and they said we are now at the age where driving each other to medical appointments is the "date" of the week ...OH MY.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Mortgage and what we saved this past week

* means the sales tax we did not pay on what we saved is included  

We refinanced our mortgage and on Sept 01, 2021, the first payment of the new loan had the mortgage balance at $247,500.00 with final payment Sept 01, 2051.

Cash back from Hubby's credit card (new card)  0.35

Cash back from my credit card  $79.00

Pinecone survey's $10.

Swagbucks $23.

Rite Aid $4.29 *

Cash discount at Dentist $10.20

Amazon coupon $4.29 *

Walmart sale 0.26 * 

CVS coupons/discounts $4.40* 

Total saved and transferred to mortgage $135.70

As of today with all the extra payments we have paid.  

We are at $237,108.85 with final payment to be Oct. 01, 2049 (Dave Ramsey mortgage calculator for the date) According to our Amortization schedule we have paid off over 25 months, just short $334 to be 26 months. 

We have ate from the freezers , pantry, gardens, and what others has given us. 

I turned the furnace down daily to help save propane. We have already cut usage to get us 3 wks (hoping for 4) farther on this tank than we did last year. 

I bought groceries for the rest of the month and for 2 dinners we are going to, one being for our grandson that is home from Italy. 

We are trying to coordinate Christmas deliveries. 

 Daughter 1 and Son 2  are before Christmas, 

Daughter 2 (whose had son coming in from Italy) Christmas day (supper time)

Son 1 is not sure yet, usually Christmas eve but he comes to us or he might be on vacation out of state by then. 

Daughter 3 is not sure yet .

Daughter 4 is celebrating Jan 1st (takes pressure off her daughter and son in law with holiday conflict).


Thursday, December 9, 2021

wondering thoughts


Does she think if he can't see her, he won't know she is there looking for what ever he drops while eating? As begging is not tolerated.

If I change the laundry routine and do table linen on Sundays to ease Monday laundry even though I don't like doing laundry on Sunday but with being limited to 2 drying racks it is happening. Can I get the bedding washed after supper and dried on drying racks over night through the week and not use the dryer at all? I already "air out" the blankets over the railing of the deck . I really miss the kitchen porch clothes line and so does Hubby

If I change the menu to use the stove oven on cold days will it help keep the main area warmer without turning the furnace up higher? A cold east wind hits the entire house and it's colder (and Hubby cranks the furnace up to 74 or higher) than a north western wind as it only hits the one corner . The barn protects a lot of west and northwest side.  We have already changed Wednesday and Thursday to meals that can be heated or reheated when Hubby comes in the door as he floats between 1 pm and 8 pm from work on those days. Like today that he was supposed to be done at 2 and got a call that a driver went down and they needed a load that is over 2 hrs. away one way. By time he gets it and gets back, then unloads, it will be close to 8 pm. 

I made an itemized spread sheet to list all credit card charges. Hubby caught 2 things he thought he had canceled on his credit cards. 

I ordered my Amazon order history.  I usually do it end of Dec but since our "new finance year" is starting the 20th. I ordered it now as I won't be ordering anything before then. 

I walk around the house wondering what else I can do to save money.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Frugal maybe

 We got Norton 360 with Life Lock. I went through Rakuten and got a nice rebate for it. Why did we? We have a family member that just got arrested for using another  family member's Social Security number. Even with the shock everyone immediately dealt with it to protect them selves . Stupid was they used a number that was already under Life Lock. The family member admits they went through stuff in the homes when there for family meals for the last couple years. Better safe than sorry as we already had another member mess with us over 20 years ago that took five years to get completely out of.

I spent a day unsubscribing from "ads". IF I do not see it I will not want it or want something like it. 

I cleaned out folders on my google accounts so to keep the amount in the "free" zone after I got my photos downloaded (Google sent it as a zip file) and on a thumb drive (old term  LOL).

I checked to make sure that paying for Amazon Prime is still worth it. It is. 

I unsubscribed from two "newsletters" that is no longer related to how we live ... that's a savings of time. 

We looked for dental insurance. After a week of hunting we have found we are in a OUT OF NETWORK area( unless we drive 50 miles where we never go to) including for AARP, for pretty much any insurance we could afford. SO I went and asked several seniors in our area how they cover those costs, four had dentures, two had bridges. Our dentist for regular care, cavities etc. , they take care of Amish also, and two other places for bridges and dentures including snap in dentures. Hubby's Social Security alone is over 200% poverty line so we do not qualify for the community health/dental program.  I nearly lost my Aunt as her entire system because infected due to bad teeth. Hubby's parents use Aspen Dental even for their dentures. 

Hubby needed new work tee shirts, he was down to 2 and they were pushing rag bag time. I found a sale using Rakuten and got him Hanes Beefy (which last years instead of months). I pulled the ones he has for "dress" and moved them up to work and the new ones will go into "dress" drawer. The lighter colored ones he wears during warm weather is now in spring/summer clothes in Rubber maid in barn loft. Earned $8 digital on the orders from Amazon.

I mended Hubby's work pants.

I turn the heat down from 72 to 70 during the day, turn it up at bedtime and turn on the fan to ON instead of Auto when Hubby comes in as it helps warm up the front room. By doing this our propane has lasted 3 wks longer than it did last year (temperature average the same).We turn it down to 65 when we are gone for longer than 1 hr. The upstairs is 54, the basement is 62 and the pump house on a separate gas heater is on 37,just enough to keep it from freezing the pump. Our water heater is instant ready so it only kicks on when you turn on the hot water.

The electric bill is still below the amount we budgeted with a week of Christmas lights on it and with more usage of the airfryer than the oven. The outdoor and 1 inside Christmas lights are on timers, 3 hrs. in the morning and 3 hrs. in evening. The only time they will be on all the time is Christmas eve morning until Christmas Night.

We did not go to the grocery store this week during errands. I have plenty of milk and just harvested enough greens for salads. 

I have found by lighting 4 candles at the dining table we "feel" warmer and the thermostat also goes up by 3 degrees. It's not that close to the table LOL. I have plenty of candles, yard sales, auctions and family that must think I burn a dozen a day over the years.  An oil lamp (our go to during winter) does not "warm" us as well. 

As usual I used homemade laundry soap, cold water wash and short cycle in the washer and dried everything on the racks. If  I need to wash bedding or table linen., I wash them at night so they are the only thing on the drying racks.

I got 2 $10 Amazon gift cards from Pinecone and 1 $5 gift card from Swagbucks. 

We decided to eat at a sit down restuarant after 2 back to back doctor appts. We ordered the specials and then immediately asked for take out containers and put half in the container. IF I add salad or fruit we might get two more meals out of it. Pretty good for $30

Hubby is supposed to get tested for damage to his left wrist (surgery in 1976) and I now need a EEG that the neurologist has ordered . Both his doctor and mine are trying to get us in before the New Year since the out of pocket amount has been met. We figured it will be next year due to the covid spikes around us.

I canceled my Real Simple magazine. Even though I read it, and two others of the family read it. We jointly decided to cancel it after seeing the renewal costs. The other two can read it at their library. 

Hubby has picked up a couple hauling jobs he normally wouldn't take to make sure he has enough in his business account to cover next month, Supply chain problems affect the Amish that he hauls for that build pallets for the supplies to be transported on. If you don't work in a job it affects you don't realize who it affects.

Due to kids struggling with on and off wages, they have all asked for cash instead of gift cards. Four of the six of kids (adult grandkids don't care if we give them anything or not as long as we text or call at holidays) have said they are using it on the groceries sales after Christmas and New Year's  to stock up for Jan as they all are figuring things to be bad.

We had 2 appts changed to Tuesdays as that is our errand day and we combine that with Appts. Our chiropractic floats our time so we can work that in also. So less gas bought for truck and less miles put on truck.

Blessed Be 

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Hum? Is this frugal?

 I had the menu planned from the pantry and freezers....

Monday: Hubby comes home with gas station pizza... I'm like what gives? 

Amish bought it for him for doing extra work for him at the last minute. 

So I add our salad from the garden ,Little E knocks on the door. He had a small jello type dessert from M. 

Tuesday we had doctor appts so we ate out for a late lunch and brought home leftovers for Wed. Had Popcorn for a snack since neither of us was hungry

Wednesday Hubby calls and tells me to NOT cook or warm up leftovers. SIGH. Mennonite he hauls for gave him calzones and cheesy bread. So I added salad again and the last of the dessert M had sent over.

Thursday was leftovers of the take out. I added pickles and cottage cheese.

Friday was the leftovers of the calzones. Salad and pickles. 

Saturday was Brat patties for lunch and Hamburger pie aka Shepherds pie for supper. 

Sunday is leftover mashed potatoes and leftover noodles (from freezer) 

I need to focus to get the freezers down enough to get prime rib in it as it looks like neither one of the sons' is going to be up to help eat it. 

I was a little frustrated not to eat much out of the freezers but thankful for the free food

Friday, December 3, 2021

The laugh is mine

 The financial company that I use for my IRA sent a generic financial form, something they do every Dec.

Every time I hit save it would come back to I needed to answer the question. SO I started entering the words none and the number zero.

I shot an email to back to them and told them their program does not like it when someone does not enter personal loans (I have none, the business does but I don't). The credit cards are paid in full each month and mostly utilities, medical and groceries. I have no car payment. There was no place to add what Hubby pays so it looked like I was in the negative even after increasing my withdraw. 

Head of the branch said my guy walked into his office and told him I had an issue with the program... he asked who I was ... the gambler's daughter . OH WELL , that explains it. They always called Daddy the gambler, it's how he earned his living when he was younger. He did it when he retired and refused to get rid of stock that I still hold because I refuse to get rid of it also.

They did a manual report. Added Hubby's side also and filed a complaint to the head office over it along with the fact I had already met with my guy and dealt with every thing.  They did acknowledge they don't see many that can live on social security with very little of an IRA especially with a mortgage. 

I am my Daddy's child. Brother is Mother's when it comes to money.  I feel for his wife. 

OH GEEZE mess up

 I forgot eyeglasses, no insurance coverage for that. This past year that was about $1200 for the two of us with exams. I have 5 pairs :sewing, computer, reading, long distance and sunglasses long distance. Hubby has two pairs of computer and two pairs for driving. He wears bifocals when driving. Need to put $100 a month back for that.

I forgot dental and remembered it when they sent a card to remind me of my appointment on the 13th. They offer cleaning only and dentist only. They see a lot of Amish that do not have their teeth cleaned. I get both which is $150. This year we both had work done at $250 each. So we spend $1100 for the year. I figure I will just round it up to $1200 and put back $100 a month.

Hubby said take it from the extra money for the mortgage. I really don't want to do that unless we have to.

I called my IRA guy. He said he was just getting ready to call me as he had miss figured and I had 8 years left to pull the money instead of 7 and that he could add to what I am pulling now to cover those two bills and I would start getting that figure this month. 

WHEW.... Now I have to go redo the budget to reflect that. 

We do know we will be replacing two laptops that can no longer be updated but they are working fine for now. That can be on 2023 list (HOPE)

Son2 then texted me he had paid off the last of his medical bills so he set his checking up to automatically send me $100 a month to pay off what he owes us for fixing his car. He really likes his new job.

Daughter 2 called (something she does not like to do but is willing to text) which scared me as I thought something was wrong. She paying for her son's flight home, his dad is paying for him to go back to base IF HE EVERY GETS TO COME HOME, still is paying off court costs and probation costs (she was ONE hundredth over the limit of drinking and then got busted for driving without a license as hers had expired LAST YEAR). She was not sure when she was going to be able to start paying us.  Not bad news like I was worried about but we really figured she wouldn't pay us until she got her taxes back if then because she has one ,LAST one, graduating from high school.. he does take some college classes also and works as a cook and she is a server. BUT she did offer to give us gas money(wanted to know how much she should put back for us) when we went down to drop of Christmas or/and see her son. WHICH NO ONE EVER OFFERS US. Glad I was already sitting down. 

Daughter 4 is working overtime. From 3 days a week (32 hrs.) to 6 days a week. She has a couple past bills she has to pay off that she forgot about or we would have paid them off  and is continuing to save for a house of her OWN. The person (referred by my mortgage guy)  that works with first home buyers is working with her and her son in law and daughter to get them on track and be supportive of them. Daughter 4 said her credit score it almost there and she is saving for the down payment and closing costs. She is looking at the HomePath program as she is able to do repairs in a home. She won't be making payments to pay us back until 2023 as we agreed. We want her on her feet and in a better home as the one she is renting has a slum lord.  

Daughter 1 had surgery on her elbow and wrist of her left arm(had right arm done a couple years ago). They told her it's from running registers for a long time. She is in management now and finally sucked up going for surgery. 

Son 1 is waiting to see how things go with the new covid before he finalizes plans for his vacation in Jan. 

Daughter 3 said she is working extra hours due to people quitting. Just let her know when we would be down like a day or so before. We might have to drop off gifts(cash in cards) to her at work if none of the kids are home. Two oldest are working thru their vocational school , next one down is working with his dad and the youngest is babysitting.

 They grow up so freaking fast.   

Thursday, December 2, 2021

January 2022 through October 2024

 YES that is correct. Hubby said he wanted the mortgage paid off. I told him that the last of the big projects then would have to be put on hold until that. He moaned and groaned  and thought I was out of line.

We had our semi annual meetings with our IRAs guys. BOTH backed me. At this point if he continues to pull what he is then he is going to out of money in his IRA in 20 yrs at a 6 % interest rate (that has been the average and when it is over that is is called FROSTING on the cake) I looked him right in the eye and called him DAD. Because that is exactly what Daddy did on 2008 which is probably why I caught it. Mine is an inherited IRA that has to be closed out in 7 yrs. IN four years, I will have monthly amounts be sent to an account to be invested under my name instead of Daddy's when the taxes will lower (if someone is NOT pulling so much out of his IRA)

This is how the budget is and I am using my blog to hold myself accountable.

Monthly budget which runs from the 20th of each month as that is when all the money is in. 

Mortgage $1450.02 includes property taxes and farm insurance as according to our loan.

Medical insurance thru Hubby's old employer $828

Medical co pay and deductible  $420 ( I already have this in savings so it's not in the budget this year since we have to pay it upfront and we know Hubby is being tested for his tremors). I will pull 2023 from our tax refund. 

Propane $150 , we have to prepay in Aug for the next heating season. This is set to automatically go to savings.

Electric $150. Our company does not offer the budget so I just put the money that is NOT needed over into a savings . I figured up the average (holding for 3 yrs now)

Trash $17  this will probably go up since diesel went up. They have changed their routes to try to lower expenses. (Billed every 3 months so 2 months goes into automatic savings and then pulled)

Landline (cell phones don't work well in home) and internet $100  Only ONE company in our area even though others have said they were coming in... still not here.

Water softener co $65

car insurance (my truck and the motorcycle) and farm umbrella insurance $92.65

Life insurance $111 (his and mine and 5 of the kids that are not covered at work and we are not willing to put burying them on a credit card like 3 of our friends have)

OTC/ medication $20 

MS 365 program . We tried Open Office but there was things from Hubby's old employer  that would not open on that program.$12(goes into automatic savings until the bill comes due).

My cell phone $53.82. Business pays for Hubby's

Amazon prime $12 (goes into automatic savings until the bill comes due.) 

Kindle $11(rounded up)

Graduation IN SAVINGS  We should have 2 graduating but Daughter 3 warned us her older daughter might graduate this year as she has enough credits and she is in nursing school. She was suppose to graduate next year with our other grandson. ) Hubby uses his "odd jobs" he picks up off and on to pay for graduation. Since we know ahead of time who is graduating

Charlotte... $25 , includes food, treats, vet, nails clipped and tags.

Fuel $200, includes my truck, motorcycle, 3 lawnmowers (we will be selling one next spring), snow blower  and the tractor. Right now it's my truck, snowblower and the tractor (snow blade is on).

Regular savings (we get free checking due to savings) $150.

Cleaning items ZERO I should have enough to get through most of the next 2 yrs IF my kids don't need to raid me.

Home maintenance $20.  We have some Menards Rebates the will help cover this. It goes to savings until needed

Vehicle maintenance $100. This is my truck only and our mechanic will let us make payments if it's more than that.

Garden $20. I might need a little fertilizer or soil. 

Food processing ZERO. I have enough canning jars, lids, vacuum bags, and freezer bags probably for the next 2 yrs 

Personal items ZERO. We are stocked for 18 months.

Paper good ZERO for 2022. UNLESS kids raid me.

Office supplies. ZERO for 2022 

Weddings ZERO. we give what we can afford and if they are living in the area we fill their pantry from ours.

Christmas $100 automatic savings

Bday $30 automatic savings

Groceries $150 (what is left will be put back for stock up)

Eating out (as Hubby will not go to movies or watch one on tv and there is no rent a movie place in this town) $80... if we eat at one of the two sit down restaurants that is once a month with the tip. IF we eat take out Chinese or pizza/calzone that is twice a month. IF we eat fast food (Wendy's or Arby's once in a blue moon Taco Bell that is four times a month.   


Any tax refunds minus the following year's copay/deductible must go on mortgage.

Any cash back from credit cards must go on mortgage.

Any money paid back from kids, will go on mortgage. 

Any money left over  will go on mortgage. 

Any extra money earned not ear marked for something is to go on the mortgage. 

Any money found (like the 50 cents I found today at the mailbox) will go on the mortgage. 

Hubby's IRA (which I talked him into and his IRA guy backed me) withdraw has been cut to 40% of what he was withdrawing AND it goes on the mortgage completely UNLESS we need it for a crisis. Just to clue you in by doing that it will now last 

We will see how close we can get to paying it off by then.  

Last month of the year

The lights are all up (Hubby did a great job again with the outdoor lights) and I have started the list of what needs replaced. Son 2 is going to give us his tree as the lights don't work any more and he is tired of fixing them (added a strand to get him through this Christmas) so he is going to get a tree AFTER Christmas. 

Our Army grandson MIGHT get to come home from over seas for Christmas...the Army Nonna does not see it happening with the new covid crap, the civilian Nonna prays it does.  When you have been an Army Mom for twenty years you know how that goes. If he doesn't get to come home I will send his Christmas money to him as he said he is saving for a new car when he comes out in 3 yrs. I did order the prime rib for Christmas eve. BUT anything else is on hold until we find out if he is coming stateside.

Hubby is trying to lose weight. He lost 8 lbs. and then gained 6 lbs. back (I think he forgot to take his work boots which weigh 3 lbs. off this time). He started paying attention to how many steps he takes a day. Days he works hauling he gets the average of 6,000. Days at home, was 2,000. He said he lost count of how many times I have told him he was being lazy as he actually drove down the lane to get the mail, drove next door to talk to E or wanted to get the tractor to pick up something that he could easy pull in the wagon by hand. He realized he was really being lazy. Said something to his Dad and his Dad told him that is good part of why he went down hill with his own health. I also pointed out how much snacking his parents do especially before they go to bed. Hubby is going to sleep at 8:15 (was 9:15 during daylight saving time and more often I am turning off the tv and lights because he fell asleep with the remote in his hand when getting ready to set the timer for 30 mins. on the tv) and gets up at 4 am (was 5 am).  At least he is now paying attention and trying to get more steps in.  We moved dinner up to before 5 unless he is working and then it's either soup or a light supper. Days he is not working our big meal of the day is lunch. 

We are down to 167 items on the punch list. Probably will not start back on that until March  or April. February and beginning of March is pruning time.

We changed the budget for the 50th million time. Hubby said he wanted to focus on getting the mortgaged paid off. I told him how it had to be and both IRA guys backed me.

We are ending the year in better financial place since Hubby is still hauling 3- 5 days a week. Usually at this time he is down to 1 or 2. So it is nice to not have to cover the bills of the business. He has enough "net" he could cover the expenses of the business for the winter which is usually slow until April. He has 3 years payments left on his truck. He is 3 months ahead on it. He plans to continue the business until the truck is paid off.

On the sad note, we have had four deaths, 2 of the young men friends of the kids/grandkids gunned down with a random shooting. One of the kids friends wrecked after getting drunk and high, the people he hit are recovering  and another killed himself after hearing his parents one more time arguing over child support. His note was "Problem solved" Probably a good thing his parents are not one of my kids or I would be in jail for beating them.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Thanksgiving for two, menu for 14 days

Thanksgiving dinner for two. 

We had leftovers for two more meals and then decided on meatloaf to finish off the stuffing, Brussels sprouts and cranberry sauce. Turkey went in the broth pot.

We sat down and made the menu for the next 14 days. Twice we will be out for doctor appts etc so those are eat outs.  We then decided on the other 12.

Grilled ham and cheese sandwich (bread or wrap) with soup (something in pantry)

Brat's patty sandwich with soup (something from pantry)

Fried cabbage with fried potatoes and cornbread

Haluski (use leftover cabbage) with smoked sausage and peas

Leftover turkey with apples and sweet potatoes skillet

Pot pie

Hamburger pie (like shepherds pie)

Turkey and Dumplings

Cuban black beans and rice

Philly steak either sub or pizza

Pasta e fagioli


Last menu we ate 5 out of 9... I forgot to list Thanksgiving LOL.

We have everything we need for these meals in the pantry/freezers.   

Monday, November 22, 2021

memories of late Husband, table up

 When Garry and I got married, he bought me an old tiger oak (veneer) table that would seat all us.  He would not let me put it up in the rental as we were starting to work on the one step above condemned house we bought. 

Then his daughter and I moved everything into that home even though it was not anywhere near finished, no running water in kitchen , okay no kitchen as half the floor had fell through to the basement. We both understood it would take years, did not need to be paying rent and mortgage and her and I could handle it with the little ones. He flipped but too late as we rented from his uncle who backed us so much he rented the furniture truck and drove it himself.  

He still insisted the table not go up until he got the dining room done. He was down to redoing the floor when he dropped dead at work at the age of 39 of a massive heart attack ... inherited from his father's side as we learned later. 

I put the table up that very night. Told my mother and kids to NEVER wait to enjoy stuff. Every day life is a special occasion. 

When we moved out of the old home I left the table for Daughter 3 who had her 4 boys and her man's 3 girls. She passed it back when she became homeless (spent $2000 on Christmas but did not pay her rent. Not sure she learned the lesson but her boys definitely did when their friends had to take them in). It's been in storage for six years.  

I saw it in the barn and told Hubby I wanted in the house. He was fine with that. 

 The veneer is coming loose and one leg needs reglued but Hubby already said something to H who repairs and builds furniture and he said to mention it again after Christmas and he would work it in his schedule to repair it. Right now H is doing Son 2 cabinet that was Mother's that fell apart. 

I used Howard's restore for golden oak and the applied Howard's bee's wax and let it sit here as this is the warmest room in the house. Was not much "oily" feel next morning. Wiped off and took it to the dining room,

And then had to find a chair I could sit in and not have my chin to the table. I used the computer chair for a couple hours and then Son 2 reminded me the chairs he gave me when I lived on 245 fit the table and they were upstairs in the sewing room. I brought one down. If his lady comes to eat, I will have him go get the other one (he only had 2 chairs) as she is small as me. 

I put the table cloth (folded in half as it was for this table at full 8 ft) on it, Hubby put the oil lamp on cake stand and the tempered glass I have the candle, butter, salt and pepper on (that gets moved if I need to put a hot plate on the table) back on the table. When we sat down to eat he mentioned he didn't realize how crowd the other table was  until then. 

If I hadn't seen the blanket while looking for other stuff I would not had realized we still had the table. I thought it had went back to her. Even texted her to confirm we were keeping it. 

ANYWAYS, it was a nice ending to a whacked out week.

Friday, November 19, 2021

On the gross side.

 E wondered why I peeled out of our driveway and hauled butt down the road.

I cut my thumb on the mandolin while cleaning it. Did not feel it but definitely saw blood. After 15 minutes of not getting it slowed down let alone stopped. I drove into the Urgent care as Hubby was over an hour away working. Holding it above my head while driving.

In total it bleed for 45 minutes. I am not on any blood thinners and have been off the aspirin for over 2 weeks (thank heavens) due to going in last Monday for injections.  

yeah it caught the nail bed also . 

The glue dried purple and then Doc used steri-strips as he felt stitches would cause more issues and I had it pinched together so well he had to turn my hand to see the cut.

He said to let it come off on it's on. Probably 5-10 days and not use the pad of the thumb for at least 5 days . No getting it wet and use gloves while cooking. I have gloves .

Hubby took one look and added a wrap that I can slide on  and off to keep me aware to not use it. At night I had another one taped on and it was a good thing as I woke more than once to Charlotte licking the wrap. 

OH well.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

In the pantry

 I still have grape jelly (from juice) to make

I still have apple jelly (from juice) to make

I still have tomato paste (from canned tom.) to make

I have turnips I will end up canning 

I have radishes I will end up pickling.  

I now have 15 gals of apples to deal with as we finished clearing the last tree. It even over whelmed our Amish neighbors.

I know after Thanksgiving I will have turkey meat to freeze and broth to can.

After Christmas I will have prime rib meat to freeze.. but probably no broth as the butcher shop said there probably would be no bones but I could stop in if I wanted bones for broth. Not sure I want to pay for bones. 

I need to make more homemade noodles as we are not out. As I am now getting free eggs I can make the noodles for just the price of the bread flour.

In the pantry ... remember I "put up" for 18 months, it was a year until the kids had to come get food last year. By bumping it up to 18 months we can make a year and still help the kids.  FYI, my buckets hold 25 to 35 lbs.

This is the basement door in the hall. My onions hang here. I don't really have a good storage at this point for keeping onions but Hubby can get 6 lbs from the Amish for less than I can get at the store until around Jan.

Looking down the stairs. Starting to the left and go right , the bucket you barely see is White Lily white cornbread mix, then regular AP flour, then sugar, then regular bread flour, then long grain white rice then just barely the bucket of minute rice. 

Oils, vinegars, on top of cabinet nuts and M&Ms that Hubby make trail mix from along with muffin mixes.

This holds dry mixes of just about everything. Jell-O, pudding, cake, stuffing, crackers, dry milk, Bisquick that Hubby can not live without etc.

Cookie mixes in the washer. They are Hubby's that he likes to make so I keep them separate and don't have to worry about mice getting in the washer with the lid that goes on it. Rubber maid is dried mashed potatoes and mixes for baked doughnuts.

 Lots of empty canning jars, buckets have White Lily AP flour, White Lily bread flour, White Lily self rising flour, regular self rising flour, regular oats, quick oats and 00 flour > I call this the bucket room as it has the most buckets , Hubby changes what he calls it almost daily.

more canning jars, gray frig is dairy (heavy cream, half and half, extra milk, cheeses, some beverages , freezer part is breads or such. Black frig is fresh produce and the freezer is produce and bagged turkey. 

Shelf unit next to black frig is the appliances like crock pot, roaster (behind jars) cake decorating stuff, al. pans and my bigger pans I use for bulk cooking.

The other shelf unit is paper goods, foils, freezer back, vacuum bags, paper plates , ice cube trays for broths or fats. Some larger serving dishes

Where the rug (actually dog bed as Charlotte likes to lay there during storms) is the door to the mechanical room where the furnace, water softener, breaker box and water heater is.

Freezers 2 and 3, 3 is at the door. Three has fruits, nuts and desserts, two has a veggies, pork and poultry and some odds and ends.

Freezer 1 beef, sausage, bacon, breads, meat fats, condiments like carmelized onions etc. The shelf unit at the end is canning stuff and camping things if Hubby needs it. 

We do have a small freezer in the barn, I use it for leftovers and meat that will be ate in the month. By April, lates May it will be cleared as it's the freezer we use if we end up making ice for the Amish neighbors if the pond doesn't have enough water or freezes.

ignore the double buckets as you saw those in the down the stairs pic. The first single bucket is the White Lily white cornbread mix the next one is semolina flour. The next 3 buckets with crates on them is dried sliced potatoes, dried hash browns and dried cubed potatoes. Crates are white potatoes and sweet potatoes.

applesauce. fermented foods, veggies, condiments  1st shelf unit. Coffee , coffee syrups, booze next unit (I cook more with booze than I drink and Hubby only drinks hard cider now days) , last unit Charlotte's Den I am clueless why she claimed that spot but she kept digging the canned goods out of there to lay so I just put a bed in it for her. Spices and herbs on the two shelves about her bed (I have over 100 and yes I use them all) and then top shelf is the extra pasta.

Bucket closest is Jasmine rice, the other one is Basmati rice, container on floor beside it in home grown dehydrated greens and herbs. Shelf units is pie filling and juices, other is soups, more pie filling and some grocery store canned veggies.

Bucket is par boiled rice, bottom shelf is pickles of different kinds , then dried fruit, then canned fruit and pickled beets then more canned fruit and then homegrown dried fruits and veggies.

left four buckets of 25 lbs. sugar AKA emergency supply for M  Shelf unit is different pastas, bucket is ramen noodles.

condiments, canned butter, Crisco, flavored vinegars and oils. Top shelf has dried veggies and canned red bell peppers. Karo syrup beside butter.

Taco shells, tomato products like pasta sauce, sauce, pizza sauce, hot salsa, mild salsa, green tomatoes, already got empty spots there .  Bucket on crate is for homemade noodles which I am out of, upside down bucket is for coleslaw that I can or kraut if I ever decided to go that way. Behind those buckets is more pasta, wild rice, black rice and risotto rice. Next unit is beans and canned meat. Combination of store bought or home canned. Bottom shelf has different lentils and broths . Bucket is brown sugar and XXX sugar and container in corner is corn starch, baking soda etc. Kitty bucket (there is two that Son 2 bleached and passed to us for storage) ) hold bags of smoke chips for the smoker.

Right side against wall, special flours, yellow corn meal, syrups sugars, stuff to make desserts from. The one between that and the condiments has lemon and lime juice, fruit butters, jellies and jams, more dessert stuff on top. 

beans, most of it home grown. 

Dining room dry goods used daily or weekly, bottom shelf is dried fruits. Next is different sugars, vanilla beans and paste, powdered lime and lemon juice and different syrups (some are medical used like elderberry and molasses) Next shelf is bfast items and dried soups and flavorings One more shelf up and you have the stuff Hubby uses for his trail mix, different crackers, peppers, bouillon, some dry mixes of sauces and gravies that is hard to make for just two.  Next up, fig newtons, different salts, herbal tea and the glass container that holds the family size tea bags for our kettle tea. Up one more shelf, powdered drinks, extra family size tea bags and herbal tea . Top is extra tea. I buy tea once a year. I know what we use. 

I had to move the 3 plastic pitchers I have that sits on this. I have one for whisks, one for wooden spoons and rubber spatulas and one for cooking utensils. Left to right, self rising flour in ice cream bucket, White Lily self rising on top of it, Ap flour next with AP small can for when I need to dust the board, instant flour, then bisquick and almond flour. 

Baking supplies, corn starch, baking soda, pomegranate molasses malts, stem ginger (thanks to Great British bake off) all the little goodies of adding different flavors as Hubby is definitely in to giving me new recipes.

I do have half a dozen cooking oils on roll care and two dozen bfast bars boxes on top of another cabinet . Hubby does not get "lunch time" when hauling so he carries trail mix and bfast bars that are not sticky or crumbly as he does not like the mess in his truck. Dust is fine, crumbs isn't LOL.

I usually get asked how much we end up pitching due to it going bad. Very little. If I have something that needs used up I either plan to use it or ask Daughter 4 or Son 2 if they could use it. If it is flour or sugar I pass it to M and she just refills it with fresh . They go through 25 lbs. of sugar and 50 lbs. of flour A WEEK. Sometimes more like when canning. Believe me, I've been to her house to ask if she had something that I ran out of like yeast.

I know what we use in a year. I have the same line for cleaning, dog treats(a little high now since we just lost two but Daughter 4 has 5 dogs so nothing will go bad) paper goods and personal items. Paper towel usage is down because I push the use the rag first.  Hubby just picked up pet friendly sidewalk salt and got enough for two winters. If we get a lot of freezing rain we will use twice as much because he KNOWS what we use in one year.

All the kids get rice off me, none really eat a lot of rice so it goes bad on them. They have learnt to come get it from me and as a family we get through it before it gets bad. 

Another thing I will point out, I am organized , everyone in the family knows where things go as they also know I date pretty much everything and it's first in first out to keep the "oh crap that got shoved to the back." I do have to watch that a bit more if Hubby takes something to the basement frigs and does not think to tell me he did. I've gotten to the point I go down and check every other day to keep that issue down also.

How often do I shop? Twice a month is the most.  One will be a major dairy and what ever produce (mushrooms, carrots and celery) that I don't have any more of. The second one will be milk. Maybe something that is on sale that I try to keep stocked like butter. Bfast bars and trail mix is once every 3 months if that. Flours is maybe 9 months but closer to 12 months depending on if M or the kids need some (M replaces, kids give kisses and hugs, I did have a grandson that did some of my chores while I bagged food up for him.)

Right now I am low of popcorn. We didn't grow any this year thinking we still had some in the freezer. I just pulled the last pint. 

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Yes I live in Ohio and yes I have garden producing plus menu


You can see there are two behind this one.  How it looked (all 3 really) before harvesting.

This is what it looks like now

It's all covered back up now as it is snowing here today (Sunday)

I got  red and black radishes and their greens, 2 different mustard greens, two heads of lettuce, half of a gallon of spinach leaves, turnips and their greens, fire red Swiss chard and ford hook Swiss chard.

I kept some of the 2 chards radish greens, turnip greens and mustard greens for soups (Soupe Pelou from Twelve Months of Monastery soups and The Prudent Homemaker Brandy's Swiss chard soup). The rest of the greens went into the dehydrators and then grinded them up. I have 16 oz of powder organic greens (savings of $23.50 -$35.95) 

I based the coming menu on the leftovers and garden.

 On Friday's lunch ,son 2 brought his lady up to meet us and the right before turning in the driveway admitted he never brough a girlfriend home to meet us(female friends yes, girl friend including the one he lived with NO) . I fixed turkey (meat from freezer and broth I canned) noodles (M's noodles she gave me) mashed potatoes (last I got off B) green beans (I canned) and homemade bread with choice of peach jelly (I canned) or apple butter (I canned) . They took leftovers home and I shoved ours in the freezer.

We had left over mac and cheese and a small piece of smoked sausage (from Thursday). I diced the sausage, tossed in the mac and cheese and added peas I had froze from the gardens and served it with applesauce I had canned for our meal Saturday.

Sunday's meal is leftover steak chopped and added to veggies in frig made into an  frittata and make biscuits.

Monday's sausage gravy , biscuits and the leftover mashed potatoes of Friday made into potato cakes.

Tuesday's leftover stir fry, our local Chinese restaurant is now has their dining room back open. It's not a buffet like it was  but they have a good menu. I froze the leftovers. I will add veggies and maybe some rice.

Also on the menu

Soupe Pelou with brat patties (instead of brat like hotdogs)

Swiss chard soup with grilled ham and cheese (either bake bread as we are now out or use tortilla wraps)

Harvest chicken, apple, sweet potato and Brussel sprouts one dish 

Haluski, might add peas and need to add some kind of pork on the side to make Hubby happy.

Looking at making refrigerator pickled radishes, apple cider donut cake, homemade saltines and most likely more bread along with the biscuits. 

I have my back injections on Monday afternoon so I need to have a couple days of meals prepped before we leave for that. 

Friday, November 5, 2021


 Since Hubby didn't get the heater installed in the first bay of barn. I had to move anything that would get ruined by freezing into the house. I still have boxes sitting in the front room, not as much and not the same boxes as I got that stuff put away but now have cleaning supplies to find a place for.

The four hours I spent moving things into the house, moving other stuff that won't freeze out to the barn, Charlotte spent chasing pigeons. She finally caught one (YUCK) but didn't rip it apart after she snapped it's neck. I yet to figure out how she caught it. Must have flew low enough for her to jump and catch it. She brought it to me. Thanks for the gift, took her in for a treat. Then tossed it over the fence into the field while she wasn't looking. One of the cats (E or H's cats) took off with it.  Charlotte then spent time watching E deal with hay *it's green still so he will feed it to the animals instead of storing it*. AND then went to watch H while he was burning scrap wood. Then went over to check out what Cheryl was doing, English neighbor.  I was glad to see her out and about (not so much about the bird) and more like herself. 

I told Hubby this morning I was going to fall clean the east and west lofts this morning. That would finish the second story (we have two sets of lofts). Then I was going to put the cleaning supplies away in those areas. He told me to put the grow light and table where I want it in the east loft and figure out where I want the grow cart as the big drying rack is where it was in the front room. BEFORE I moved the cleaning supplies up. 

I did clear some area in the laundry room (now half fall cleaned LOL) to put personal stuff. Actually let me see what we have and I figured we might want to pick up toothpaste. 

I put the bleach there and couldn't figure out why I had 6 bottles of bleach until Hubby mentioned that E was having trouble finding bleach for the house and barn (calf bottles etc) . I must have picked up extra to cover it if they couldn't find any. I know when that happened he ended up getting a bottle from each of the neighbors. They buy it by the case

HUM Maybe since Hubby is working  only one job this morning , he will be back this afternoon to carry all that up 😁.

We had corned beef hash and eggs for a late (after 8) supper. 

He mentioned Charlotte crawled up on him and woke him up this morning. Usually she just is curling up to sleep on him. But this time she kept pawing at him. So he got up thinking she wanted out and realized his alarm was ringing. It was on the 3rd round as he has it set to ring 3 times (he uses him cell phone for an alarm). So he gave her a treat for waking him up so he wouldn't be late going to work this morning. He very seldom gives treats. 

I have to only computer that updated to windows 11. Already moved what was in the center on the task bar back to the left. Deleted a few things off the task bar and then put excel and word on the task bar as I use them daily. MS word glitches a bit but they already said it would as they work out the kinks.

We were talking of a no spend except for necessities for the month of Nov. Then the spare manual can opener broke. I was going to wait until Dec but Hubby said order it now or the other one will break and we won't have ANY can opener. I told him I would just pick other food that I canned until it was replaced. But what ever I thought since it seemed to upset him I would order one. Not like we would starve to death. I've sanitized a flat head screw driver and used a hammer to open can goods with. 

We got the spouting down on the porches and basement ramp roof. $80 paid.

Hubby paid J for the two porches. He cut the price almost in half because Hubby was helping a lot and we did the clean up.

The only thing left on the to do list is move the pile of dirt from the yard that came from redoing the basement windows and dealing with a fuel tank that he is not sure he is going to use but doesn't want to get rid of in case he changes his mind. I'm like it's going to be nothing but rust and worthless as it gets older. Sell it or scrap it if you aren't going to use it. In this , he is his grandfather's child (mother's side).

I best get at it. Son 2 called last night to confirm he was bringing his girlfriend (He is 39 and she is 42) up to get his car and meet us next Friday. It's the first time since he was 18 yrs old that he has brought a "girlfriend" (has several female friends) home to meet us. Did not even bring the woman he lived with for 2 yrs home.  I brought it up to his attention of that and he responded that should have told us that she wasn't important enough to make that trip. I came back it should have TOLD HIM.  He admitted the attraction was "I can rescue her" along with 3 little boys that reminded him of his sisters to raising kids on their own. This one has already made it clear she doesn't need rescued (she supported the child's father for 14 yrs) and the father is active in his daughter's life. Son2 and her have been friendly (along with the daughter) for 4 to 5 yrs now working together at the VFW hall during events. SO it's not like ,here is someone you don't know to date mom with the daughter. Which as a single mom when I was raising him, he understood both sides of that. The daughter asked if he would go to Thanksgiving dinner with them... BEFORE her mother asked him . LOL

Thursday, November 4, 2021

declutter and organize day

 I placed 6 orders. They were scheduled to come in on separate days. SIGH. I got 5 of them yesterday within 30 minutes. No way I could deal with it as  I was canning turkey broth and apple jam.

I have 5 canners worth of food to take down to the pantry now.

I said something to Hubby about should we turn on the heaters in the pump house(pump house has a thermometer so we can see how low the heat is) and barn (1st bay) . He quickly said no but then admitted he forgot to buy the pipe to install the heater let along install it in the barn. But he didn't think it would get that cold in the barn.

So today I am now moving anything that would be ruined if frozen . I might end up spending a week moving stuff around but I would rather be safe than sorry.

Hubby went down to the pantry then yelled up wanting to know where the corn beef hash was.  Answer "Canned meat section". "Where is that?" West wall, north end of shelves ( do you know how tempting it was to yell back same place it's been for 4 yrs?).  He yelled back " Why is it with the beans? then a quick "Never mind, it's protein area." He did notice that was where the broth was now also . I was putting it with the soups but the soups have "grown" since I canned soup this year.

Guess I need to get back to figuring out where to stash this stuff. 

Have a great day 

Blessed Be

PS. Charlotte is spending the day tracking birds that keep flying around the barn. She should sleep well tonight. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Charlotte and blur of week

 She wasn't sure what to do with the whole seat to herself as she usually sits on my lap or gets crammed into a corner as the boys always stretched out.

We have found she is a quiet dog , like Wilbur, that was barking because Rascal was up barking and checking things out. She will bark at Pepper (E's dog) and Betty ( Jan's dog when they walk pass on their daily walks). But there is silence when the school bus and buggies go by. She does more looking out the windows than running to the door. 

She must have been taking the balls to get Rascal to play with her as I barely can get her to play with me and them. She will walk part way of the perimeter (like Wilbur did). 

 She was doing this before while we ate, I was surprised Hubby allowed it. Now she sometimes just sits there facing him while we eat. He won't let her put her head on his chair or lap. With his tremors he does drop food. But she waits until he tells it okay to get it. Rascal would wait also. Wilbur would not wait a freaking second.

She finally is sleeping again at night. Hubby said she only got him up once and it was before midnight. He went to sleep at 7:30. I warned him this morning that would be 6:30 next week. We have talked about getting another dog, not a puppy as I don't think she would do well with a pup. I definitely said spring unless she got so depressed like Tashy did when Tubby died. She's eating normal already, definitely still is got the routine of last potty before bed and then treats still. But the care free puppy is gone. She looked older after Wilbur died, she looks even older now. Grief does that. 

Our apple tree we were told when we bought the house wasn't very good. I even said we would cut down this year because it didn't make apples at all or not very big ones. IT RAN US OVER with apples. Even M was ran over and there are still apples on the tree. I will try to pick more for fresh eating as I am done with canning.

I canned ham broth, pork broth, turkey broth , apple sauce, and apple jam.

I froze all the fat. Still have to cut the turkey fat into cubes to bag.

I got my restock order from Amazon. They screwed up and doubled the one order. They aren't charging me since it was the warehouse's mistake.

Hubby got his hearing aid replaced. They are only a couple months old but it wouldn't connect to the app on the phone. The owner is his hearing guy and flat out said to Hubby that he was sending it back and requesting a NEW replacement not a repair. Actually got it within 2 weeks. I was noticing he was getting confused with only 1 hearing aid. He said something to the doctor about it and it was his "bad" ear was the one without a hearing aid so he wasn't getting all the information he should of to make decisions. Which is why he went and got hearing aids to begin with SIGH.

Canner about done with the last of the broth. I need to go pick apples also.

Blessed Be Everyone

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Beloved Rascal

 Oct 31 2021 at 11am Rascal went over the rainbow bridge to join his buddy Wilber and his adopted Mom Miss Kira . Seizures , really bad ones by something in his brain as they ruled out every thing else. Heart broken especially watching Charlotte hunt for him and then sit and wait at the door waiting for him to come home to her. 

Miss Kira is on the left and Rascal is on the right

I miss your nuzzles. I love you