Thursday, July 29, 2021

Frustrated.

 Can't get my reading list up on blogspot so I can not read everyone's post today.

 Been jumping hoops for over a  month to get my Humira refilled and was told that it is still pending and my injection due on Sunday and I am out. Stupid pharmacy told me to ask my doctor for a sample. I turned that person in to their boss. Clueless totally clueless. 

This one has been a battle for over a month. We didn't have a direct number to the company that manages our medication and does the approval. I do now as the Medical side gave it to me but they are doing battle now with why it's been pending since 7/10 and they did say if my doctor can't get it through to go back to HR from where Hubby retired and get them to put pressure on them. 

Freaking stress of trying to get my Humira approved after 2 yrs. of taking it, is going to trigger a flare up.

Rascal is now shaking his head like he has something in his ears. I washed them out and it seems like he is doing that less. I might wash them out again later today. If he is still doing it tomorrow morning we will be taking him to the vet by himself.

On the good side:

 I sent Hubby yesterday to TSC as he had a coupon for $10. that was expiring. Since he had got 4 pairs of pants the other day for $29.50 I told him to check if they had any more in his size and if not then get dog food. He got pants, they were $39.50 (none were on sale or clearance). The casher couldn't get them to ring up so she got the manager. The manager couldn't get them to ring up so she used a different pants that was $34.50 And he pointed that out to the manager and then she gave him the $10 off coupon he had and another $10 for standing in line for 10 minutes to get it to go through. We still have another coupon to use next week on dogfood.

Wilbur is coughing less and sleeping through the night again, voice comes and goes.  When he is sleeping he leaks SIGH. That's just his meds but he has 2 more weeks of it. I have protectors on the bed, couch and 3 chairs he will crawl up in. Thankful we have solid wood floors especially since he coughs up water (no food so that is good). He has more energy, not like he had before getting sick but he is walking pretty much the full perimeter again with me now at least twice a day. 

Have a good day.


Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Update on Wilbur


 He still has symptoms of bronchitis but his lungs (and heart) are clear. So Vet is thinking non bacterial as neither of the other dogs are sick. Meaning... he was breathing something that caused it... like the hazy smoke in the skies or the chemical spray the English farmer across the road sprayed. So another med was added to the first one since he is better but not well and still has next to no voice. At 87 lbs. he looks thin to us *he's always weighed around 95-100 and that was down 50 lbs. from living with Daughter 2* but the vet said that is his healthy weight especially for being 13 yrs only which is also not usual for his breed. 

He likes the one med... I have to hide the other one in a vitamin *which I get for meds only* but I have to give it to him in the morning as this med might cause him to potty in house. 

He is eating decent and willing to walk part way around the perimeter with me once a day.  

A complete change from last Tuesday when we thought we were losing him. Now if he got his energy back (better but not good) and his voice. I would be happier. 

what was frugal this week

 Hubby found work pants for $29, cheaper than the $35-$50 of normal range. He was able to try them on before buying that .. that is a big step for him as usually I have to get them, bring them home and then take them back half the time. 

We ate from pantry and gardens except for a friend's cook out we hadn't seen in 2 yrs. due to covid. We took what we had from the pantry instead of buying stuff at the store.

We used gas buddy to find the cheapest gas.

Hubby stopped at Save A Lot for milk instead of getting it at the gas station when he got fuel. He saved $2/gal. as he checked the price when he went in to get receipt. 

I put a post it note at the paper towels to use dish cloth. I found myself getting a paper towel (half sheet torn in two) to wipe jar edges with vinegar while canning. I used 6 half sheets last week. Zero this week.

I found some old PVC pipe in the garden shed under a bunch of pots that I am giving to an Amish lady.  I am using them in a couple of my garden beds to put row cover over for this winter. 

We  used the grill to keep the  main propane tank usage down to no more than 1 %. If we can keep it at that range we will be able to reduce our amount for the year by 1 tank (300 gals) saving at least $600. 

We paid off two loans that had 8% interest that will save us $60 a month. 

I moved some of the laundry (bedding , furniture throws, dog beds etc.) up from Friday/Saturday to do during the week as rain was to come in over the weekend. So I didn't have to use the dryer or only be able to do one thing a day due to having only 2 drying racks.

I updated the pantry inventory. Adjusted amounts of things still needed. 

I dehydrated basil, cilantro and carrot tops.

I harvested and canned purple beans, green beans, carrots.

I harvested onions to cure and mini eggplants, radishes, blackberries, green onions and cherry tomatoes.


I deadheaded the sunflower so it would grow more flowers and the zinnia that started as 4 plants.


We went over the budget line by line and made adjustments, waited 3 days and went back over it and made more adjustments. Goal is to get house paid off so we can live on Social Security only and use IRAs for medical and big items... like roof or different vehicle. 

How is your week going?




Monday, July 26, 2021

Budget.

 Deep breathe... we can do this... Deep breathe

First.

We refinanced the house on a lower interest rate and got rid of the PMI. A PMI is Private Mortgage insurance that you pay for so if something bad happens the mortgage gets paid off . You have to have 20 -22 % equity in your home before dropping this unless like us you have an FHA loan and then you have to pay off the loan.

Refinancing dropped the payment from $1600 to $1000. House ins. and property taxes increased by $50 a month.  Bill now $1450.02 including ins and taxes, was $2000.Still a good deal with the refinance. We decided to pay $2000 so extra is going on the principal. 

Second.

With monitoring we are making our propane last until winter fill(Which is late Sept) instead of getting a summer fill. Means more grilling and using canning stove (which is on a grill propane tank also). On the other side, to get a fill we have to be at 30% . I called the manager at the company we get our propane and he crunched numbers and called back. IF we can use only 1% a week and get to Dec we will have dropped another tank of fuel compared to last year. That's a savings of of almost $600. So every Sunday I go out and check the gauge. So far even with canning in the house, we are not using more than 1% and with good possibility  get clear into Dec.  

Third we paid off the following:

Cement for the basement ramp.

Hubby's life insurance loan.

My life insurance loan.

Hubby's hearing aids.

J is not willing to give a bill for the rest of the ramp until the ramp is up to his standard. BUT that might be mid to late Aug as he is finishing one home and trying to get hay and oats in. UPDATE, he is now laying foundation for his brother in law's barn that burned down Saturday afternoon. No one hurt. No animals hurt. First two crops of hay GONE up in fire. 

We went line by line of the budget... then waited 3 days and went back over line by line. We agreed it starts September 1st. First mortgage payment is due then.

Hubby mentioned there was no budget for clothes. I said nope, what we have starting September first is what we have for the until end of 2022. He went shopping by himself for jeans. He even tried them on at the store. Glad I was sitting down when he came in and showed me. He knew I had said the price for them was between $35 to $50 as he wears work jeans that are heavier material than regular jeans. He also wears carpenter style jeans which always runs a bit higher. He got 4 pairs. I just pitched 2 pairs that weren't any good for even rags( I sent the zippers to a friend) last week and have mended 2 more pairs three times this week.  He also got them at $29 as they were on clearance. He is still looking for a carhart coat and hood as this spring it got tossed. He is one to wear rags if you don't keep on him and it's not a good image for business.  I still need pants for winter. If I don't find any then I will be wearing sweat pants that need rolled at (maybe 2 rolls)waist band at home. I will wear thermal underwear under long dresses and dress slacks when going out if needed. 

What ever we don't spend due to not needing it etc. Gets set aside in a savings acct (mine) for when it's needed later.

Each month:

I deleted the misc. line completely. Hubby called it piddling money. When he earns extra (not business related) he can spend that. I get what ever I earn also.

Office supplies $25. 

Paper goods $10 

Personal items is $25.

Food processing is down to $25. I am stocked for enough jars, vacuum bags, freezer bags, canning lids, clear jel, pectin, etc.

Garden: $75. We will need some compost for sure. I need to check seeds for starting plants this winter.

Truck maintenance , Not work truck, the business pays that. $100. 

Home maintenance NOT big projects (that comes from savings) $25. We usually use the Menards rebates from buying the big project stuff for home maintenance but I do have to order humidifiers filters from Amazon.

Cleaning $10

Savings $200

Fuel for Truck $200. That is 2 tank fulls.

Dogs $150... that is an average. This month will be higher due to Wilbur being sick, April was higher due to Rascal's shots. Dec will be higher due to Charlotte and Wilbur shots. Jan is all 3 get dog tags. 

Christmas $110($25/person) 

Graduation $50

Birthdays $45

Kindle $11.

Amazon $12 (ending Sam's club membership)

My cell phone $55. Business pays Hubby's

Microsoft 365 $12. 

Health insurance $900

Health: out of pocket/deductible $500 (any not used goes to saving for when surgery etc. happens) 

OTC meds/ first aid etc $25

Family life ins . $111.

Vehicle ins $93 (farm ins and property taxes in escrow as required by mortgage)

Internet/ land line $90. We save $20/ month having the land line. They are the only company in this area.

Trash service $17 No recycling. We have to take recycling to the township hall once a month.

Water softener (hard well water) $65 salt delivered (and put in if we want. )

Electric $150 average.

Propane $200.

Daughter 4 $2242. (Ends Dec 31st) 

Mortgage. $1450.02. We decide to pay $2000 (what we were paying) to help get it paid off. We will look at paying more after we run this budget a few months. 

When Daughter 4 goes off our budget, that money is planned to go over on the mortgage unless we need to replace the truck. 

Groceries ... we set it at $500 even with how we eat cheese. I don't see it being that high with the way the garden is coming in. I updated my pantry inventory so I know exactly what I need to go a year.

Eating out is our entertainment. Set at $250. 

Fingers crossed 


 






 




Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Update on Wilbur


 

Vet said could be congestion heart failure or cancer or bronchitis... SO he is treating him for bronchitis and seeing if the meds work. He wasn't looking to have Wilbur go through all the testing at his age nor run up close over $1000 bill for us at his age that would have showed cancer or heart failure but the fact he got in and out of the truck on his own and actually dragged me in the vet's office (which he does NOT like to go to ) made us and Doc think bronchitis. 

 I took this when him and Charlotte (that's her foot at his face)were laying on the couch this morning. He still isn't eating dog food...lost 20 lbs., but that actually put him at the weight he should be for his size and age. But Vet wants him closer to 90-95 lbs.  He hasn't gotten sick but the only thing he has ate is his treats (which included his meds being used as one of his treats) and I got 1/3rd of a slice of crustless bread (Charlotte and Rascal got the crust sections) down him. Later I will try eggs, they are due for their eggs (helps with dry coats) anyways. He isn't snoring like he was and the cough is not as wet sounding.  He took his pill this morning without me faking him with a treat.

Vet said he should be closer to normal by late Thursday or Friday if it is bronchitis. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

what a week.

 Wednesday.

 I harvested more purple beans, cherry tomatoes, mini eggplant (patio eggplant from Burpee), carrots, last of the lettuce (now pulled), 2 green tomatoes, basil, 2 red raspberries and some blackberries. 

I planted  2 types of peas and 1 type of be for dried pea, navy beans, zucchini, cucumbers, 2 types of runner beans, Italian bush beans, and Cannellini beans.

We are supposed to get 1-3 inches of rain over the weekend so I held off on planting fall crops including lettuces and some of the winter crops that I will cover with a low tunnel since the green house isn't going to be done this fall due to having correction work done on basement ramp. 

At this point after E told J how bad J's workers did of building the forms for the ramp... the workers did not get paid. E "donated" his time as he knew we hired J on his recommendation and he felt that it's just neighbor helping neighbor like we do for them. J is coming over to E to get horseshoes and said he would stop over to look as what can be done to fix it right. Hubby thinks it just needs a finish coat except for one spot and that will need to be reframed and cement poured that a bag of cement would be more than enough to fix it. I am hoping Hubby is correct. I imagine J is hoping so also. UPDATE J stopped over, he is going to add a finish layer to all of the concrete and a sealer. The one area that needs reframed will be taken care off. J was really really upset.

We had leftover lasagna rolls with odds and ends of garden

Thursday

I got all the furniture throws and dogs beds washed along with the regular laundry.

I made the list up of what to finish planting for fall and what to plant for winter.

I rearranged somethings in the kitchen, pulled out things that I don't use ever for Son 2 to check and see if he wants since he is back to cooking. Made note of a couple things that needed replaced so ordered them after supper. 

Hubby was out delivering messages to some of the Amish and Land A stopped him to let me know my beets were ready to pick up Friday morning or I could wait 2 weeks and get the next batch if I was already busy with other things. I will go tomorrow and get them.

We had gas station pizza for $10 that Hubby got from delivering messages.

Friday

I picked up beets, KY wonder beans, zucchini, and a head of cabbage from A. M then sent over cucumbers, zucchini and yellow crookneck squash. 

I canned 6 pints of purple beans, 10 pints of KY wonder beans, 5 pints of plain beets. I made refrigerator pickles out of cucumbers and called it a day.

 We had braised beef from the freezer in tortilla wraps.

Saturday

Picked up a bug so nothing today, I had chicken noodle soup, Hubby fixed grilled cheese... at 11:50 pm got a call from Daughter 2 that had been ignoring our phone  calls and texts since Father's day when we delivered the bar and firewood rack that she was suppose to pay for on delivery and wasn't there. Her man only said she had issues she had to take care of. 

 Rule has always been not to call after 10 unless it's emergency, accident, or you are in jail (we have family and kids that are night owls that will call just to yack at 2 am and we get up at 4-6 am) . 

First words out of her mouth was "I was in jail". Last time she called me and told me she just got out of jail was because she called the cops on Daughter 3's ex that was trying to beat on both of them and she got hauled to jail also for non payment of her city taxes. ..(Daughter 4 holds the record for the most stupid reason of getting arrested; she didn't pay a $50 water bill and blew off court, got picked up when her friend got pulled over who got arrested for no license and then they verified who Daughter 4 was and off to jail she went also).   

 First offense OVI ( Daughter 2's first OVI, she bruised her own 

butt kicking herself)in Dec 2019 was license suspended 2 yrs  and 3 days in rehab *could have been jail* was postponed due to covid. It got postponed 3 times due to covid. She moved, made sure the court and her lawyer had her new address... they sent the summons to the old address. Her lawyer didn't call her when she was a no show. MEAN TIME, since she was under suspension she was getting rides to work. Her ride didn't show and instead of calling her son who could have came and got her and took her to work... she drove ... and got pulled over and then the cop let her know she had a warrant out for her also. So a week in jail, $1500 in fines and another year added to the suspension. AND still has the rehab to do. SIGH... she down loaded all the negative about everyone. After 3 hrs. of non stop complaining she made the mistake and asking what I thought... I quietly told her more than once through the years that the way she has treated us and her siblings was going to come back and bite her in the BUTT.  I really hope this" bite" changes how she is but I doubt it. I really do, she is so much like her biologic dad in how she treats people. He wasn't that way when we got married but after we lost the twins when I was 5 months along and his brother a year later , he changed . 

At 4 am she almost fell asleep talking to me so I got her to hang up as she said she was on the couch. She probably just slept there. 

UPDATE Just got the message from one of Daughter 2's son saying she was coming home from work not going to work and she got busted for another OVI. That she is NOT divorced like she has been telling everyone including the guy that she moved in with. He told her to find a place to move  but he wasn't going to put her on the streets. Grandson that was living with her moved to his Dad's and his stepmom is bitching about that. To her he is 18 so he should be on his own... he is a senior in high school. His older brother is trying to get a place for him to keep him in the school district as he is counting on a football scholarship to go to college.  We have offered to pay for her 1st month rent and deposit for her to get a place. She will have to figure out how to get to work. SIGH KIDS>>> 

BUT since I was no longer sleepy I got up, made coffee and at 5 Hubby got up (his usually time) and asked why I was talking to Son 2 or Brother at midnight... two of the night owls. Wrong night owl. SIGH. 

BEING SUNDAY 

I checked what I needed to finish the canning for this week. I am totally out of onions and what is in the garden isn't big enough yet. I made grocery list. We decided to step back and see what Daughter 2 does. We had take out at local restuarant.

Monday

I had doctor appt 2 hrs. away. Daughter 4 needed me to pick up canning jars and bring her bar soap and dill pickles. Her daughter needed the secretary desk we had for her baby's bedroom. So that all worked out as we just made a loop that didn't add any miles. While driving down to appt. Daughter 2 texted me that she needed a name of a lawyer to get her divorce and didn't want to text Son 2 who started his new job. I texted Daughter 4 a and got the info on her lawyer that she used for her divorce as he is in that area. SO MAYBE she is taking steps towards getting her life around??? One can only hope. 

Tuesday

It's going to be a rough day. Wilbur has stopped eating, I bribed him with treats to get something in him and then he was throwing up white foam through the night. His dementia is worse. He is not smiling, dancing for his treats , not walking the perimeter, barely goes out to potty. We are taking him (alone instead of all of them like planned for nails to be clipped) to the vet this morning. We don't expect to bring him home. This dog was Daughter 2's dog that I took because she was homeless and wasn't taking care of her sons let alone Wilbur and Charlotte. The first month we had them we spent over $3000 in surgeries and meds on the two of them. My grandkids grew up with him... the whole family is going to grieve hard. 





Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Frugal week

  We are sticking to our budget except for medical. Hubby's blood work bill just got in (just in time to get blood work again) and we had hour hearing tests. Hubby needs hearing aids (we figured he would). We were going to use our cash back card but the owner(small business in our area) gave us 5% discount if we paid by check and we could make payments, he just would not get the hearing aids until paid in full. I paid it out of my account (which is not in the budget but I've left Daddy's ins in it for just this bill and the basement instead of pulling for savings). It was $2660.50, based on his hearing loss, Bluetooth  and under warranty for 3 yrs with repairs possible instead of auto replacement like some places do. The doctor also let Hubby know he mumbles and twice did not even move his mouth when Hubby thought he answered. Glad to see I am not the only one he does that to. 

Hubby got fuel saving 50 cents/gal because he drove around the block due to an accident and realized the other gas station was cheaper. 

We went to Walmart after the hearing appts and got 50 lbs. of sugar. I was down 100 lbs. between us and M.( M sent 50 lbs. over last night)  I also picked up some ingredients for some dishes I want to try before I take them to a friends' annual cook out . It's been 2 yrs since we have seen them. There will be about 20 of us. Friends are providing the main dish. Their older son usually helps in that also. 

We didn't eat out like we usually do on Tuesdays. We had some leftovers with lettuce from the gardens.

Electric bill came in $19 under budget. 

IF we can make it 10 more weeks before needing the propane filled (water heater/cook stove is propane besides furnace) we will save around $550. We both checked the gauge which is at 50% on the tank. Refill is at 30% (or our stove has issues when it drops below that) SO I focus on not using more than 2 % a week. Since I am canning , I am using the air fryer or grill for our meals. Microwave if a reheat or veggie. Air fryer heats up the surrounding area by 10 degrees so it's in the mudroom away from the thermostat and where we are NOT much in. 

I started processing the garlic that had cured. Bulbs that are not going to hold will be dehydrated this probably starting on Sunday as that is when we aren't suppose to get rain and I dehydrate onions and garlic OUTSIDE..onion smell would make dogs sick and I don't want my house to smell like either for weeks. I use my oldest dehydrator for this. 

Blackberries and purple beans are going on. I hope the scarlet runner beans start making beans this week also. 

E talked( he blasted according to M) to his brother in law J whose workers had built the support for the concrete for the basement ramp. J asked for Hubby to stop over after 7 this week as E made it clear the work done was poor and because of that the finish of the concrete was not like is should have been. Several areas will need concrete to smooth it out. I would like J to come over and refinish it himself. Hubby wants to just do it himself and no pay for the work that was done. I told him time was money and then to pay E or J if he is doing it himself...NO workers. I know Hubby has tremors and that isn't good with doing finish concrete.

Weather wise... chance of rain every day... but only get it maybe every 3rd day and then barely enough.

Blessed Be Everyone

 




Monday, July 12, 2021

Calendars are in

 So I sat down and put in Aug and Sept. what to eat. Won't be necessarily the day it's written on but the thought it to cross off what we eat. 



Hubby asked if Daughter 4 had been up as it is definitely what she has done in the past. He did ask if we were going to start this month... I said no, we are going to east what is coming in from the gardens or what we pick up from Amish instead.
He then asked if I thought the grocery budget would go down and I brought up the eat out budget needed to go down first. 

I won't do the finance calendar until I get the paperwork from the new mortgage. Mortgage guy made sure the escrow was transferred since the farm ins is due in Sept. 

I pulled lasagna rolls from barn freezer for supper. Veggies and fruit will be what ever is ready in the gardens. 

Have a blessed day.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

In the Pantry/ food budget/ eating out budget.

 My pantry is also 4 deep freezers and 3 frigs along with canned and dehydrated goods. I have some cured food like garlic etc also,

As of this morning ALL deep freezers and frig freezers are FULL. I have 4 casseroles in the one I will need to get ate before corn comes in and I freeze it. I will need a turkey for Tday, a rib roast for Christmas, pork ribs or roast for NY day and lamb for Easter. I should have enough meat (might not be what we want). We have plenty of meat, maybe not what we will want on a certain day or time but we will eat what we have.

Tonight I can peach butter tomorrow will be mixed berry pie filling after that will be cherry pie filling.

I plan to grow more peas to freeze so I need room for that also. Since I am making mixed berry pie filling this week, that should pull out 6 lbs. of mixed berries to give more room.

I wrote out what we still need.

I will can green beans, Italian green beans, French style green beans and maybe some purple beans if they come on a bit more. Right now they are at just enough for a meal stage every two to three days.

I will can turnips, beets, tomatoes (sauce/ whole/juice), pasta sauce, apple sauce, apple butter, apple pie filling, caramel apple pie filling, cherry pie filling and maybe depending on the blackberries coming in ... more blackberry pie filling. 

I have no red raspberries and we won't have black raspberries (plants died again) either so most likely that is a buy or go without. That goes for mincemeat pie filling also and mild hot pickled cauliflower. 

 I have dried peas and dried diced carrots that I can use for peas and carrots especially with my fried rice or casseroles.

If possible I will add winter squashes and pumpkin to the storage in the fall. 

I told all the kids and grandkids that if they need help... they can come get 1 month of what I chose to give them. Everyone except Daughter 4 is back to work full time. Even she has stocked for 2 months herself using what she has earned with Door Dash. Son 2 has stocked 1 large package of TP for each of his 3 sisters and 1 niece that live in his area so they don't have to drive 4 hrs. round trip for just TP.  

When I get my Flylady calendar https://shop.flylady.net/p/_Calendar  

I will write what we can eat on each month and cross it off as we eat it...Daughter 4 used to do this years ago.  I inventoried and figured it out. 

Tomatoes is any of the tomatoes, sauce, pasta sauce, whole , or juice.

July/Sept/Nov/Jan/March and May we need to eat these fruits/veggies.

Tomatoes, corn, any of the  green beans, pickle beets, spinach, hominy, asparagus, dried vegetable including dried potatoes, dried or canned beans or lentils, frozen fruit, peaches and applesauce once a week

dried fruit once a day

4 oz. juice once a day 

Green tomato apple pie filling, beets, canned green tomatoes, pumpkin and canned mushrooms 2 times a month

mandarin oranges, and canned potatoes  3 times a month

once a month : peas, bean sprouts, veg all, wax beans, canned carrots, snowpeas, pineapple rings, pineapple chunks, pineapple tidbits, crushed pineapple, blackberries, plums, apples, cranberry sauce, fruit cocktail, mango, cherry pie filling, plum pie filling, mixed berry pie filling, peach pie filling, apple pie filling, and strawberry pie filling. ( Just a note Pie filling usually makes us 2 -3 meals of fruit)

Aug/Oct/Dec/Feb/April/June we need to eat these fruits

Tomatoes, corn, any of the green beans, pickle beets, spinach, hominy, asparagus, dried vegetable including dried potatoes, dried or canned beans or lentils, frozen fruit, peaches and applesauce once a week

dried fruit once a day

4 oz. juice once a day 

Green tomato apple pie filling beets, canned green tomatoes, pumpkin and canned mushrooms 2 times a month

mandarin oranges and canned potatoes 3 times a month

once a month: snow peas, peas, bean sprouts, veg all, wax beans, canned carrots, tropical fruit, strawberries, pears, fruit cocktail, mango, pineapple rings, pineapple chunks, pineapple tidbits, crushed pineapple, blackberries, caramel apple pie filling, apple pie filling, mixed berry pie filling, plum pie filling, peach pie filling, strawberry pie filling.

In the fall I will stock sweet potatoes, potatoes and onions along with winter squashes.  I will buy carrots, celery, colored bell peppers and fresh mushrooms and I will buy kraut, frozen broccoli, frozen cauliflower and frozen California blend vegs. as needed.

We set the grocery budget after checking out https://www.fns.usda.gov/cnpp/usda-food-plans-cost-food-reports-monthly-reports.

We decided on low cost... $504.70/ month. THEN we decide to figure out what we averaged on take out during the pandemic.  

 We set our budget for $250 a month including anything that we buy for stocking the pantry (food only). We also set the eating out budget at $250 a month. That is what we averaged since the pandemic hit. Granted we were trying to help our local restaurants but I really don't see us continuing to order take out once to twice a week. I don't see us going twice a week. I have a slip of paper taped to the wall under the budget and I deduct what we spend from the $250. IF there is some left in that budget at end of month, it get's put in savings. Same with grocery budget for when prices goes up or I need extra for stock up.  Right now I am down 60 lbs. of sugar and 50 lbs. of flour.

We went through the pantry and moved somethings around (I found more green beans) so everything is together not here and there. 

Fingers crossed. 

Blessed Be   




Monday, July 5, 2021

July goals

 Finish the basement ramp.

Repair garden box that side came lose.

Add rail to grape harbors to start guiding the veins along.

Hang the cedar birdhouse that was repaired

Add trellis to more of the garden beds

Lay weed barrier between rest of garden beds.

Finish laying gravel after basement ramp cement is cured (some of gravel will fill in where there is no dirt)

Repair deck board

Cut board for twin bed support

Install tower for tv antenna

Decide what to do with fuel tank (either fill it with fuel or take to scrap yard or sell it?)

Continue to water, weed, harvest, process, and plant gardens. Blackberries are coming on, a few small blueberries is coming on and purple beans are coming on.

There was mention of doing the front porch... I just don't see it as I walk on it several times a day to get to the gardens and compost pile.. Maybe in Sept 

Daughter 4 and saving/spending money

 Daughter 4 had her surgery for removal of ovary and a tumor on the lining of her stomach a week ago. Was a rough week as she refused pain meds, feared it would trigger her addiction and she's been in recovery 8 yrs. By the 4th day she was doing fine. She starts radiation today for 4 weeks Mon-Fri. and will be taking a chemo pill nightly for 4 wks. Then the plan is physical therapy for 4 wks. She is hoping to cut that by 2 wks and get released to go to work  so she could have her 1st pay check Labor day weekend.

In June we spent only on necessities until the closing of the refinance loan. I put everything that broke (grinder for herbs, cheese grater, immersion blender, instant read thermometer, oil/candy thermometer) ... I think the kitchen took the worst hit) on a wish list and waited. Day after the loan was notarized. Mortgage guy who had warned us to not buy much of anything and thought it was funny things were breaking ..said order LOL.  I went through Brandy's website to Amazon. I added to the wish list and to order a raised dog food dish as Rascal's cardboard box bit the dust. I ordered 3 as I figure Wilbur could use a raised one also and Charlotte shouldn't be left out  HA HA. I saved 38% on them.  It will be easier to keep them clean also helping keeping flies down. Living between two farms that has horses, cows and chickens and manure that goes on 3 pastures around us... flies are common.

I bought cherries to make mixed berry pie filling, jam and freeze. $6. OFF a pound bringing it down to $1.25/pound. I still need to pit the rest of them (jam is done and in freezer)

I got blueberries 50% off. I froze them , some for the mixed berry pie filling and some for eating. Ours is very small  so I decided fresh eating and for muffins this winter so I froze those also.

I ordered 2 Flylady calendars. One is for appts... we have used this for years. Love the big calendar with big squares. The other I will use to keep track of what to use in the pantry... another post. I had a code that I got $17.46 off the order.

I ordered one file pocket calendar using code for 10% off , this is the calendar for finances only. 

Hubby sold the Honda motorcycle since he has the one he bought off son 2 tagged and insured lowering the ins by $50/month.

Today I took the last of the peaches and last year's peach puree and started cooking it down for peach butter.

I harvested purple beans (like green beans but purple) for our supper tonight.

We discussed and debated and then went a couple more rounds... we want storage for paper goods/cleaning products in the barn. Barn means possible mice. Hubby didn't want wood... I wasn't thrilled with the price of the metal one he wanted. He did some searching and found almost the exact same thing but instead of holding 150 lbs per shelf it's 400 lbs per shelf AND $250 LESS per cabinet. We got 2. Hubby thinks paper goods in one, cleaning in the other. I saved an additional 10% and got a free $50 tool rolling seat cart that Hubby can use instead of sitting on an upside down 5 gal bucket.  

M sent over a bag of peas. They had enough for a meal  and what was left wasn't enough to can for them. I shelled them and froze them and now have another 6 meals in the freezer.

How is your summer going? 

Blessed Be


 


Saturday, June 26, 2021

Lets talk Dementia/Alzheimer's

 

Age

Age is the greatest of these three risk factors. As noted in the Prevalence section, the percentage of people with Alzheimer's dementia increases dramatically with age: 3% of people age 65-74, 17% of people age 75-84 and 32% of people age 85 or older have Alzheimer's dementia.62 It is important to note that Alzheimer's dementia is not a normal part of aging,69 and older age alone is not sufficient to cause Alzheimer's dementia.

https://alz-journals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/alz.12068.

Also

Statistics are grim. 10 percent of 65-year-olds, 25 percent of 75-year-olds, and 50 percent of 85-year-olds will develop dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. And the fastest growing segment of our population is the 85-year-olds. Researchers predict Alzheimer’s will affect 106 million people by 2050. It’s now the seventh leading cause of death.

https://thewomensalzheimersmovement.org/8-steps-to-reverse-memory-loss/

Why am I bringing this up? The reason we have bought the house we have, done the work and will continue with the work is because...

We didn't want one of us to have to sell the home if one (most likely me since I wasn't suppose to walk to begin with) ends up in a wheelchair like Daddy did and Hubby's grandpa did and they had to sell their homes.  

Appraiser brought up that if we had a studio apt or a something along that line of a bedroom/sitting area we could have a live in helper when we got elderly (he said 80s is what is elderly to him when I asked because my Amish neighbor's brother said something about elderly/old and I asked what age that was... E from the back seat answered YOUR AGE...which immediately his brother denied but then said 60s ... then was worried as he was sitting next to me when I told him we were 60s.It's okay, his parents nailed him when E tattled as they are OUR AGE LOL). We could stay in our home with Dementia. Appraiser's great grandma had to sell her home and move in with a child when his great grandpa went in to assistant living home. There was no way to change the home to stay there with out incurring more debt than the assistant living was nor was there a way for someone to stay with them and help take care of them.

In this area

Assistant living home cost $10,000/ month $120,000 a year.

Nursing home cost $15,000/ month or $180,000 a year.

Memory care home cost $24,000/ month or $480,000 a year.

Medicare does NOT pay for this. Medicaid will some but you have to have meet low assets etc. and the waiting list at the limited homes is very long. 

We sat down... the home is so we can stay even in wheelchair. There are some things that would need to be changed out but that money is already sat aside in an account for when needed. We would save 3-5 yrs of assistant living/nursing home cost with the home finished as planned. We would need a better bedroom set up for someone other than our children to live with us.

Mentally ... is a different store but since Daddy had Dementia for a decade before he went into Alzheimer's at 92 and Hubby's dad just got diagonized at age 84 with Alzheimer's.  We decided to look at what we are doing to slow that and what more can we do.

In a study that tracked 639 adults for nearly 12 years, Johns Hopkins expert Frank Lin, M.D., Ph.D, and his colleagues found that mild hearing loss doubled dementia risk. Moderate loss tripled risk, and people with a severe hearing impairment were five times more likely to develop dementia.

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/the-hidden-risks-of-hearing-loss

ALSO

Dementia is a general term for loss of memory and other mental abilities severe enough to interfere with daily life. It is caused by physical changes in the brain. Alzheimer's is the most common type of dementia, but there are many kinds.

https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/what-is-dementia/types-of-dementia


Hubby is hard of hearing at a certain pitch. So after we close (waiting for title office to schedule that and our mortgage is pushing for this week) we will be going to get our hearing checked.... we will also get hearing aids if needed. No excuses allowed. We both know our dads refused to wear hearing aids. Hubby's dad just started when the doctor informed him of the connection.

What else is there to do?

Be physically active.

Eat healthy.

Don't smoke.

Limit alcohol.

Exercise your mind 

A new study is warning that people over 50 shouldn't watch too much TV. Researchers at University College London say excessive viewing could lead to memory loss and contribute to the development of dementia. They have discovered that people over 50 who watch more than 3.5 hours of TV a day are more at risk of losing their memory.

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/dacorum/about-us/news/articles/2019/watching-tv-and-dementia/

Take control of your health.


We focused on the positive first...

We can schedule appt for hearing after closing and get hearing aids if needed.  Hubby agreed since he refused hearing aids when working (always had ear protection on at work) and only would have wore them 3 -4 hrs a day.

I found this and he thought it helped him with looking at the costs.

Here’s another way to think about the price of hearing aids. If your hearing aids cost $6,200, and they have a lifespan of eight years, they will cost you approximately $775 per year, $64 per month or $2.15 per day. In other words, while the total amount is high, the ongoing usage price is more reasonable. Monthly, it is about what you would pay to get satellite or cable television. When you consider the communication, relationship, and health benefits you get from wearing hearing aids, most people agree that it is well worth it.

https://www.healthyhearing.com/help/hearing-aids/prices


Be physically active. Hubby started doing more trimming with the trimmer than the push mower as it also meant movement with his arms since he sits 2 days a week in the truck over 8 hrs. He is also walking the gardens just to be walking.  I average 10,000 to 15,000 steps a day. I will try to increase this to closer to 15,000 to 20, 000 (usual summer amount but will have to work at it in the winter.  We both carry weight or dig in the gardens etc. Drag dogs into the vet's office. ;)

https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/risk-factors-and-prevention/how-reduce-your-risk-dementia

Eat healthy... I checked out Blue Zone diet/lifestyle. It's something a friend had suggested and then my brother who as mild dementia shared he was trying to do more like it. We need to add more leafy greens and beans. We do eat more meat than that but we don't eat as much as the US normal is.

I quit smoking March 6th 1979 when I found out I was pregnant for Daughter 2 (Daughter 1 is late husband's daughter we raised). Hubby has chewed tobacco off and on and quit when we got together ( I think my comment of YUCK was that factor LOL).

Neither of us are much drinkers, don't even do what the amts.  they suggest. THOUGH we might pick up the dry red wine since it helps with Dementia and other stuff with the heart.

Use it or lose it... exercise your mind. Daddy used to say if you don't learn something every day you are going backwards.  We both do Sudoku. Hubby does crosswords. We sometimes watch Jeopardy. I read a lot. Maybe a couple books a week ( I can read a 300 some book in a day On a Sunday). We should work harder of understanding/speaking Pennsylvania Dutch aka Amish Swiss German. The local Amish language. 

Take control of our health... this is from changing to things that have been proven to help lower the risk of Dementia and taking care of ourselves with doctor appointments for care. 

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Where do we go from here?

This list is what I had put together for the Appraiser.  


PROJECTS WITH MATERIALS ON SITE WITH GOAL TO DO THIS YEAR:

REPAIR/REPLACE 2 STAIRS ON STAIRCASE TO LOFT IN BARN

FRONT PORCH WITH ADA WHEELCHAIR RAMP USING ULTRA DECK GRAY RUSTIC COMPOSITE DECKING

BASEMENT RAMP (POURED CEMENT INSTEAD OF BLOCKS *start date June26th or July 3rd *AMISH DOING IT) UPDATE. Starts June 26th J is hoping that they get it to the point of putting in the forms by end of Saturday so Hubby can call for cement to be delivered and poured so they can take forms down the following Saturday.

KITCHEN PORCH INCLUDING MAKING IT WIDER USING ULTRA DECK GRAY RUSTIC COMPOSITE DECKING. (AFTER BASEMENT RAMP DONE)

SOUTH UPSTAIRS BEDROOM PANELLED FALL/ WINTER PROJECT *****

INSTALL CUSTOM CLOSET FOR NORTH UPSTAIRS BEDROOM FALL/WINTER PROJECT*****

INSTALL BANISTER ON STAIRS OF NORTH/SOUTH BEDROOMS (AFTER PANELING INSTALLED)*****

INSTALL PRIVACY SCREEN/CUSTOM CLOSET IN EAST BEDROOM. FALL/WINTER PROJECT

INSTALL BANISTER ON STAIRS OF EAST/WEST BEDROOMS. FALL/WINTER PROJECT

INSTALL WALL AT INSIDE BASEMENT STAIRS.FALL/WINTER PROJECT


GOALS:

2021 EARLY FALL HAVE AIR DUCTS CLEANED

2022 REPLACE WINDOWS

2023 ADD INSULATION AND CRAWL SPACE ENCAPSULATION

2024 REPLACE SIDING ON HOUSE.


 We might put the raise the roof on south/north lofts in 2022.  SO what is ***** marked might not happen this year. Instead of putting extra money on the mortgage it would be saved to do that. That would bump everything else by one year.  We could change it to a dormer. That's the top of the roof line with windows. Be best to put it on the west side of area so not dealing with staircase changes.



or change it to a shed dormer

 That would only be raising half the roof line.

Our hv/ac/electric/ plumping guy said it wouldn't be that hard for him to disconnect that area and reconnect it. We would have Amish do the work. Hubby would have to get a permit. HUM. I know it's common to recoupe 65-70% of the cost of a shed dormer...

It would be easier to resell with a dormer. It's a big negative and only considered storage as it is.

Lots of decisions to make of which way to go 


 

appraisal in


We really liked this picture he got. Said it is actually from the road and he zoomed in with his iPhone.

We bought it for $165,000 03/09/2018.

It appraised for $400,000 06/23/2021.

I am glad we both were sitting down when that phone call came. 

We figured $300,000 to $310,000 (we even bet, loser had to do to the other's chores for a week) with putting utilities in along with ADA wheelchair bathroom and ADA wheelchair ramp on deck. Our mortgage guy thought $275,000. 

So I went through the appraisal to see what the boost was from

Stable housing area... there are 2 house in our area for sale... that is it Both were around $270,000 but didn't have the land or barn.  Land WAS going for $9000. acre NOW is at $15000/acre. We have 4 acres more than they did. So $36,000 for the land should have been $306,000 . At $15000/acre it should have been $330,000.

Went from 2 bedrooms to 4... could become 5 if we ever raise the roof line on the north/south lofts and put in a wall. As it was he counted it as ONE bedroom.  We have thought about it as it's like an A frame and we do use it for bedrooms and non food storage(which is moved to the barn for now with thoughts of keeping it there with some metal cabinets to keep mice out of it). 

We have a walk in/out basement with 2 rooms that could be finished into bedrooms. SO the potential of 7 bedrooms is there. 

We have 200 amp service to the BARN so it could become a business or another home. As what we call the 1st bay was actually a studio apartment for the original owner while he built this house. The plumbing for bathroom is there (toilet and shower is not, we capped everything) Sink is still there. We have the water off to it because it's not heated in that area. 

We have landscaped. A dozen trees, bushes and perennial fruits.

SO definitely no PMI as we now have 40% equity in the property. 



Wednesday, June 23, 2021

And the ball keeps rolling

We are still waiting for appraisal to come in.  

Unless the strawberries bloom again this fall... those are done with the last batch in the freezer.

Blackberries are coming on slowly. I had 4 today.

Blueberries are the size of peas but are turning as I got 8 today. I was surprised to get any as they definitely got hit with the frost and snow with blooms.

We had 8 sour cherries off the trees. 

I picked snow peas three times. I picked regular peas twice. Hubby told me I needed to pick again today as he was just out in the gardens.

I dehydrated basil, cilantro, dill weed, sage, oregano, rosemary, and apple mint. I will reload today.

We have ate from the gardens or pantry.

I got 1/2 bushel of peaches for $24.50 from Amish bulk store. They were told they  were cling free... they aren't. I made 7 qrts, 5 pints of peach jam with half of the. Saved pits and skins (will make jelly with that). Today I will finish the peaches making freezer jam. I will call the other bulk store and see if they have cling free for my canning. I like halves when I can them as fruit and check to see what apples they have in. 

Hubby got the last of the rebar for the basement ramp that should start this Saturday or next Saturday. J got slowed down on the job he is trying to finish to start ours with the weather that came through. He also picked up some odds and ends while at Menards we were needing for other projects. He paid ZERO out of pocket since he used rebates.

I ordered Resveratrol (take for cholesterol with a side benefit is helps lower dementia risk also), dehydrator screens, a spice grinder (mine is making noises) and 3 kindle books about Blue Zone life style and eating during Amazon Prime Day for ZERO out of pocket using Amazon coupon and cash back points.

E brought two of his horses over to graze his pasture on the south side of us and our pond area so we won't have to mow that area saving Hubby time and gas. He said he would mow it around the pond (he can get a lot closer with his side mower and horses) after he removes these two in about a month or so.

I have one med to only take every other day  and another only as needed... that will save $15/month between the two. 

How is it going with you?

Blessed Be




 

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Thursday .Appraiser...Bar done for Daughter 2

 What a week!!!!

This is the bar Daughter 2 wanted made for her man for Father's day. She is NOT fooling me, she's a bartender, she wants it for herself also LOL.


She found a picture on Pinterest. I found a pattern on Esty and then changed it to be bigger as they have 5 sons between them and told her to get at least 4 chairs. I wanted it big enough for a cooler or dorm frig to be in the side of it but not cause an issue with them bumping into each other or it. Hubby and I agreed that due to weight (4 pallets) that it should be on rollers so if either of them are alone and want to move it they can. H, Amish neighbor on our south side built it. He said it's almost like the counters he makes for Amish that sell from home. He also now has 2 orders from Englishers that stopped for other reasons. So he gave us a discount. The top was the hardest and most time consuming to do. It's now at N's, the Amish we bought the house from as he builds furniture and has the ability to spray it with sealant to protect it from the weather.  I told daughter she might have to pick up pavers for the edge of her patio. Said she had thought about it anyways as the gravel doesn't stay put next to the cement pad. We will be delivering it Saturday morning early. SIGH as that's a 2 hr. drive one way which means no sleeping in. When I told her she said she would have coffee on so if I didn't get my 3rd cup, she has me covered...the child is like her mother... 3 cups a morning for her also. 

I did not collapse yesterday. Wanted to but had garden to catch up. I put 13 trays of basil, 2 of cilantro, 2 of apple mint and 1 of dill fern aka weed in the dehydrators . I canned 3 pints of the last of the turnips. Caught the laundry up as I shoved one load in the washer and closed the lid when the appraiser was here.

Appraiser was the age of our grandchildren, worried me a bit to say the least. I Googled him and found he does a lot of Amish to English converted home. So that helped how we felt about his age.  We heard a lot of , this is cool, I really like this, I want this for myself (south and north loft, bed under the skylight). Loves the two upstairs with the point if you had younger kids and teens they wouldn't bother each other. Pointed out the house was appraised as a 2 bedroom when it is clearly a 5 bedroom with option of being 7 bedrooms. I told him I had that battle with both the appraiser and our ins guy and proved a twin bed would fit in the one room and a queen in the other and you can stand up out of the bed and NOT hit your head on the ceiling unless you were over 6 ft. I asked where the other 2  rooms that could be made into bedrooms was. Basement, my pantry that has a door and the other doorway had a door (I never noticed that since the door was already gone, I asked N and he said he took it off for E as she wanted it for laundry during the winter and the heating stove for her washer was there.) and the freezer room that has a door on it also and we have a walk out ramp so it could be bedrooms with sitting area instead of how I am using it. He noted that having the outhouse over the septic tank was a plus as if we lost power and had no fuel to run generator to run the well (he has seen that happen) we still had a working bathroom. As he wrapped everything he mentioned he doesn't usually get handed a list of what was done with what materials are on site for what projects and goals for the next 4 yrs. AND the receipts.  Said it would be a good help as there is NOTHING in the area to compare the house to. The closet about 5 miles away , will less than an acre and had no working furnace ( cost of $20,000 to $30,000, Son 2 just had one done so we know that cost) and it appraised at $168K without the furnace. He was not the one to appraise it.

Our mortgage guy told me to give the appraiser that stuff... he also insisted it be reappraised as the underwriter felt it was fine with the old appraisal. Our ins guy is waiting to see what it appraises also. 

IN the gardens today...

 I still have strawberries to harvest and the blackberries are coming on and starting to turn. I need to finish planting the fall crop, check the garlic as it's already turning brown. I need to refill dehydrators as the herbs are going nuts. 

We have been conditional approved for the refinance loan. They are waiting on the appraisal and then probably have to have this past month's bank statements since closing in mid July instead of late June like our mortgage guy wanted. I won't be doing a lot of shopping on Amazon prime day nor will I buy a new mattress for my bed until that point. BUT we did try a restuarant here in town and found the food comparable to two of  our old favorite places so that is a good thing. There is another  place the people down the road suggested we try and when Hubby worked plowing for the state several of his coworkers mentioned they ate there. 

Have a great weekend. 

Blessed be



Sunday, June 13, 2021

Sunday morning 5 A.M.

I woke at 4 A.M. Rolled over to check my phone's time as it's DARK and Charlotte saw the light and jumped up on the bed to be petted and then needed out to potty. Rascal joined her. Wilbur slept on... until just now at 5 and Rascal came in when Wilber went out but Charlotte is still out. I'm glad I am awake so Hubby can sleep as he's usually the one they get up to go out. 

I have to :

Water all the gardens and flower pots. 

Fill Hummingbird feeders. 

Put the blue metal desk together (Hubby got new screws for the legs)

Clear the clutter Hubby stashed BEHIND the garden shed.

Carry the stuff that Hubby was to take to the loft in the barn and dumped it on the stairs to the loft instead. He sidetracks very easily.

Clear the barn porch (me, myself and I put stuff there) and sweep it.

Declutter and clean the east bedroom including setting up the bed that the frame just came in. 

THEN I can start cleaning the basement (only needs swept and doors need wiped down.

IF I have time today I will also start cleaning the first level including wiping down the wood work... there is tons of wood work .

AND I need to harvest strawberries, turnips, lettuce, spinach, snow peas, onions and maybe tomatoes and regular peas. 

Monday is finish what ever is NOT done of the cleaning. Deadhead the flowers.

Tuesday Appraiser at 3 P.M. so clean dog slobber off window. Check out of doors for dog prints that need washed off. Take the throw covers off the furniture (toss in washer ) and take down the fly motels (HA HA) that are hanging from ceiling lights. 

Wednesday COLLAPSE 





Friday, June 11, 2021

Refinance update Daughter 4 update

 we are now in what they call the processing stage of the loan. For those that don't know what that means... they are verifying that the information we provided is correct and that there is nothing showing that we didn't provide (aka bad credit on your credit score and I have our credit reports so that's not an issue).

Closing is suppose to be mid July. Our mortgage guy is trying to get it wrapped up by end of June as we are in a "don't spend" much part of the loan. I asked what they would consider much due to having cement delivered and Amish needing paid when they do the basement ramp at the end of the month... that is okay I guess since it is maintenance for the house. 

The appraiser is coming Tuesday at 3. It was decided it was a good choice to have one. There was a possibility of not since we are refinancing through the same mortgage company and it was appraised less than 3 yrs ago. Our mortgage guy pushed for it to be reappraised. One we have done tons of work and two house values have went up.  I have to write up everything we have done and give copy of the receipts to the appraiser. Making second copy for tax file at request of our tax preparer so when (if we sell or the kids do) there is proof to lower capital gains or something along that line. Brother had fits when he couldn't prove Daddy installed STEEL siding when he was filing taxes on Daddy's estate.

Daughter 4 came up and boxed non food stuff I had in the one bedroom. I moved it to the barn. She was in a good mood... was worried about trying to find work after she recovered and the company she worked at before Amazon (like 2-3 times) called and asked if she would like to have a job. They told her to apply in August (with her doctor's release and any restrictions). She can go back on 3rd at starting rate of $20 +/hr. Which is $5/hr. more than what she was earning when she left to go to a better paying job. There is 401K, health benefits etc. She has a good chance of getting back in. That's helping her mentally.  She is now focused on getting her divorce (they have been separated 10 yrs but he keeps disappearing when she gets his address). Hubby told her to get it done and move on with her life. She just got stuck with a bill of his and his girlfriend for their rent and ended up in court over it. YES LEGALLY she is responsible for his unpaid bills  BUT the judge said since she did NOT sign the lease nor live there at any time, he dismissed the case. Which triggered Hubby to tell her to get the divorce. He is paying for it and putting it on her loan. 

Her cancer surgery is June 24th. They are removing ovary and now a tumor that was found on the bottom of her stomach in the lining. She thought she was having a gallbladder attack so they scanned her. Cancer doctor has agreed to take tumor out at the same time but instead of just radiation 5 days a week for 4 weeks she will also take a chemo pill at bed time (she does better with it at night) every night for 4 weeks. THEN she has to do 4 weeks physical therapy to rebuild her strength which I can tell you isn't up as much as she thought it was. She was informing PT today she couldn't keep up with her OLD mom who just had hip replaced. I told her to quit sitting zoning out on the tv and get out playing with the dogs in the mornings and late evenings. 

Blessed be... back to work for me

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

lamp lady


 It's kind of weird because Mother was always one to sit in the dark if she wasn't in the kitchen. Pop had a goose neck lamp at his chair. But they worked the flea markets as Pop was on to barter or sale so they might have got it that way.

Refinancing

 We have debated until we were blue about refinancing KNOWING our goal is to have the house paid off in 3 yrs (no more than 8). 

We talked to both our finance guys and two bankers and our mortgage guy. All felt with the interest rate at half our currant rate, that we should for the following reasons.... FHA keeps the PMI (mortgage ins.) on until the loan is paid off instead of the 22 % like other loans. That is $2000 plus a year. IF something were to happen and we couldn't pay off the loan... we would be better off with a lower rate and lower payment. Since it is a home loan topped with a construction loan changing it to a home loan only will help if we ever had to borrow against it. We have equity but not 20% unless the appraisal comes in higher than what it was 2 yrs and  9 months ago. 

Which means the appraisal would have to come in at no lower than $325,000. I don't think it's raised that much but we will see. 

We refinanced through the same company that is holding the mortgage now. Closing costs were cut in half, interest was the best also and the escrow acct is transferred to the new loan immediately so we don't have to come up with the ins payment and taxes that are due in July when the loan will go through like we would have if we went some where else and then wait for that acct to refund to us. 

The house was sold as a 2 bedroom. If I get it done this week it should list at least as a 4 bedroom if not 5. 

The mortgage will drop $500/ month. I already know the ins will raise $50/ month and the takes will $100/month.  So that "extra" $350 can go on the principal each month.

Back to work.

Blessed be

Merry go round here

 

This was a lamp Mother gave Son 2. He passed it back to me as it was not working (too tall) for any place in his home. Works great in my bedroom next to Mother's rocking chair. He also gave me the lamp that was in the room I used which is now his work out room and he actually went and got a queen size mattress for the guest room that we had taking to calling the farrowing room. The farrowing house on the old farm we rented was where we store everything we didn't want to get rid of.

What we have been doing...

We met with Hubby's Finance guy. We told him what our goals are and he is making sure our finances  stay focused on helping us reach them. Mortgage and truck paid off in 3 yrs,

Hubby finished filling the last of the garden beds. I started planting them. One of the sides came off on the end as the board warped with the rain and 80 plus weather we got so he fixed it with metal bracing. Said the soil never moved when he took the board off and turned the warp towards the soil. 

He moved gravel to where he parks the livestock trailer and truck. He still has 1 pile to more before the cement get delivered end of this month or beginning of next. Start date for J to start on the basement ramp is the 26th  or July 3rd. 

He helped harvest strawberries twice.

He trimmed and mowed twice. Just loves the new mower as it definitely has cut the time of trimming down and takes less time to mow. 

He worked hauling 5 days. Turned down work this week so he could go to his finance guy.

I started planting late summer/early fall crops. Made plans to cover some of garden beds if we don't get the lean to green house put up late summer.

I harvested and froze snow peas, spinach and garlic scapes

I dehydrated 3 rounds of strawberries. Freezer room smells like strawberries

I canned 7 qrts and 3 pints strawberry pie filling, 6 pints of strawberries (won't do any more of that as the berries are now pink) and 14 pints of strawberry freezer jam. I have more strawberries... definitely a couple different desserts and more dehydrated. More jam .

TODAY

 I need harvest lettuce, spinach, 2 kinds of turnips, garlic scapes, green onions, snow peas, braising brassicas and more strawberries. I really hope the strawberries slow up before the blackberries are ripe. Beans are up about 6 inches. We get any sunshine with this daily rain and they will be up the trellis.

I need to dehydrate strawberries. We don't care for frozen strawberries. Dried get used in cereal, oats, and snacks.

I need to can the turnips.

I need to freeze snow peas 

I need to finish the refinance papers on line. 

Then I need to declutter and move things around boxes of stuff got put in the rooms what were to be bedrooms. This area most houses have 3- 6 bedrooms. I have 2 bedrooms finished. To make the house appraise higher a big thank you to the realtors that is friends with Son 2 told me what to do to raise the appraisal for a refinance instead of a sale.  I got a lot of "work" to do and get done in 1 week as the appraisal should be the beginning of next week. Daughter 4 is coming up and giving me some time after her PT today. Said she is practicing going back to work... get the dogs used to her not being there, her actually doing more than just sitting in a car delivering Door Dash (which is not earning much) and thinking about her surgery the 24th. 

I did decide to get me the new mattress and box spring... the old one can go on the spare bed. I found 2 bed frames that we really liked (only been looking for 2 years) . They might not get here in time but at least I have the pictures of what I ordered LOL.

I found while working at decluttering the front bay of the barn, sections of the old closet we removed for the laundry room,  doors that had been on the linen closet (thinking room screen?) decorative rod holders. The curtain Son2 used at basic for a door to his room, entertainment center to convert to wardrobe, and an old dresser that we can have H and M redo. I am not finish decluttering the front bay of the barn BUT I am half way. I plan to give it an hour every day at the end of the day because I definitely need to shower immediately afterwards. 

I am thinking.... there is enough closet sections left to use for at least 2 of the bedrooms (no built in closets in this house ever). Plus the entertainment center can be converted to wardrobe. I will need some wheeled under bed drawers for a couple of the rooms. Might have enough scrap wood to make drawers and just buy the wheels... lots of thoughts there. 

I need to move the dry goods storage as we have paneling for the unfinished walls in that area. 

Blessed be

Thursday, June 3, 2021

bfast bar day

 I know it sounds weird but it's weirder it took me all day to get it done.  Sorry, not really, more of a what the crap moment of not taking a before photo... Just think 2 feet deep across entire area. I couldn't even put my coffee cup down to the left side of coffee pot let alone prep anything. I was frustrated as it seems I am clearing this off every other week. 



I still have another hanging sign to put up around coffee pot to the right but I need to buy a picture hanger for it first. 

Hubby asked what was all on it... 

2 dozen clean canning jars he said he would take to basement for me, mail that should have been put directly in burn trash (he acknowledged that was him also), paperwork from Daddy's insurance that needed filed, recycling that needed to be taken out to can (it was raining so he stuck it there and forgot to take it out when the rain stopped, it's 6 steps to the recycling can on the deck, I don't think the rain will hurt either of us)... dishes that  I used that was stored in basement but needs to be up here for summer cooking but had no place. SIGH. I have bruised my butt from kicking it. 

I told him if he agrees to take something to basement it is to be done that day. If it isn't and I take it down I don't want to hear the whine of "you never give me time to do such and such". I have started asking for a time something will be done that he agrees to do as other wise it is NOT done until I am fighting with him over it. He actually brought this up to our doctor during our appt and doc told him  it sounded like HE had a problem with priorities and keeping his word. I kept my mouth SHUT. Our doctor has did a lot of volunteer work with Hubby so he knows him well.

I cleaned off the bar (still have a box of jars and some dishes to take down to basement) THEN I put what I wanted on there... food prep stuff. I moved the chargers that usually sit at the wall to the end of bar (yes I have plugs on end of my bar) and put the chargers in that drawer after moving the random recipes and instruction books for kitchen appliances to the file cabinet in the front room. 

I also cleaned inside the cabinets which has the pots and pans, some of casserole dishes etc. , move dishes I have not used out to go to the basement. I shifted the cooking stuff to the kitchen side and put the serving dishes on the dining room side. 

I had stopped using serving dishes at the request of Hubby a couple years ago. It bugs the crap out of me so I just told him I would rather wash extra dishes which 90% goes in dishwasher anyways. Breakfast and lunch I am okay with serving from the pans but I prefer our evening meal to come from serving dishes. I have no clue why he felt the way he does as his grandmothers and mother (even today) puts food in serving dishes. Bfast was the only meal Mother didn't put in serving dishes.

ANY WAYS I side tracked. Sorry. Since my cooking methods change with the season and I plan on using the grill more... I looked hard at what is taking up kitchen space. 

I will be buying containers for the Christmas dishes ,sitting in the china hutch, and the fancy wash by hand dishes that was Mother's and Daddy's  I use for Easter, Thanksgiving etc. also in the china hutch. But that is for another day.

Today though I will be going through seeds... to finish summer planting (raining) and prep for fall planting and then winter planting. Since costs for the basement was higher and we are refinancing house... we might just cover a few of the garden beds for winter plants. We did that a couple years at the old farm we rented.

Blessed be



Monday, May 31, 2021

Another week including screw up by Hubby

 I love I was able to get this picture 

I sent it to my brother that didn't know that the rainbow would actually show on the ground and change the color of the grass.

THIS past week

We got blood work , they had to take mine out of the back of my hand ... 1/2 pint according to the nurse.

The dogs saw vet after our blood work. Rascal got pills for allergies and his annual vaccine, Charlotte got shot for allergies. All 3 got nails done. Wilbur's allergies are not raging....yet.

Daughter 2 asked if we could find someone to build a couple things she wanted to give her man for father's day. It took most of 2 days to figure out what she really wanted (I just love it when they find something on pinterest but are clueless of what size it is or where to get a pattern for it) . 

M sent over 2 dozen eggs, a loaf of bread and 4 small heads of lettuce.

I saw my back doctor to start the process of preapproval for my injections. 

I harvested 2 types of turnips, radishes, garlic scapes, scallions, asparagus, spinach  and strawberries. I made 5 pints of strawberry freezer jam... we already ate one of the pints. First time I made freezer jam...first time there was room in the freezers LOL.

Hubby drove me to ENT appt to get vein cauterized. I have been getting migraines also so that doctor gave me enough meds until my primary can deal with it. Not the first time I 've dealt with migraines. We got heavy spray starch for M as what E got her was worthless. We got flowers for graves (for Sunday). Stopped at the Mennonite store to get onion sets and got onion sets half price and free onion plants and should have LEFT but instead we walked out with  several packages of flower seeds for the butterfly, hummingbird garden to plant next year ,a dozen fry pies, raspberry sweet rolls, 2 snickerdoodle whoopie pies, and 2 metal scoops for the flour and sugar buckets. We also stopped at the meat store and got 2 meals of full racks of smoke ribs, pasta salad, fruit marshmallow salad, potato salad, cole slaw, rolls, and broccoli salad. We ate like pigs. 

I spent 2 days checking out mortgage rates for refinancing. Even though we plan to pay off the house in 3-5 yrs, our finance people felt we should refinance for a lower interest rate in case something happened and we couldn't get the house paid off. Also by get the lower rate, our payment would drop, meaning we could pay the same amount and that would help pay off the house faster. ALSO it will take it off the FHA loan which carries a PMI for the entire time. I applied at our original lender...their interest rate was the lowest. 

Property taxes went up. Our insurance guy let us know that our insurance will increase also.

I've been saving our Menards rebates to pay for the material for the basement ramp. Have close to $800. He went to Menards this morning to get the stuff including the stuff for Daughter 2 projects (she will pay us back so that's not an issue). He forgot to use the rebates, charged it all  to cash back and then realized I had just told him to not put big bills on the credit cards as I had applied for the refinance and we needed to keep credit cards under 30 %. Freaking plyboard is $80 a sheet. We need 20 for the basement project. Good news is we can reuse them... bad news is between them, the 2x4s , paint supplies and other odds and ends we will be at 40% GRR..... 

He texted he now has bruises on his butt... I thinking "great, he has fell and we have another bill" I asked how bad and how it happened.... 

He was kicking himself in the butt for forgetting to use the rebates. 

I need to go water garden. 

Blessed Be




Thursday, May 27, 2021

New lawnmower and straining my

Brain... I am just exhausted after finishing getting the last of the garden boxes painted (Hubby is putting them together as I write this) and we filled what was already put together totaling over 2000 cu ft of soil. I am exhausted.  We need more soil for the last 4 beds and for pots  and for green house etc.


We both tried out the new mower. Hubby ran it around the edge of yard *inside fence*. Just to see how much trimming he would have to do. I mowed the rest of the inside of the fence (1 acre) and Hubby mowed what was outside the fence. 

Results are... normal time to mow/trim 12 hrs. each week. Cut down by 2 hrs. due to horses "mowing" around the pond and pasture. Leaving 10 hrs. of work. Trimming is usually 4 hrs.  What it took with new mower>>>> 2 hrs. trimming. 4 hrs. mowing.  We are tearing out a fence line this summer, removing an old dog house N left here and adding more weed barrier in the garden to drop the trimming of grass in that area. E has been burning fence line on the pastures .

My to do list was 60 items, it's down to 48. I don't think I will get that all done this month like I wanted to. 

How is your week going?

Blessed be

Saturday, May 22, 2021

It never fails

 I put the money on the loan, mortgage and savings....

The riding lawn mower took a crap. Hubby has it limping. It's 10 yrs old . We had it checked out by our mower guy and he said Do NOT waste money fixing it. Son 2 is interested in borrowing it since it does still mow and his mower is down.

I talked to ex SIL and grandson and two others that all are in landscaping and know this property. Was told to get commercial mower and make sure it gets yearly maintenance and it would last us 20-25 yrs. I am not sure either of will be mowing this property in our mid 80s to 90 yrs old. But we might be as Daddy push mowed until he was 90. We were told what brands to stay away from. 

Then the owner of the pallet company (he is Mennonite) suggested where he gets his equipment. We got a commercial Bob cat ZT6000 mower 61 inch cut (so 1/3rd of time just got cut off) mulching blade (so no raking and loading grass in to bucket of tractor and moving it to another area cutting another hour off the time) . At 61 inch cut I can mow the ditch as it's big enough to handle the incline. The seat has an adjustment for your weight so you don't get jarred as bad. Has 2 tanks about 15 gals of gas between the two of them so no stopping to go fill up the tank twice... or worse ending up at the far side of property and having the go get gas can and then walk it back to the mower... been there and done that more than once. Zero turn so I should have less trimming.

It was on sale for 10% off, and then the manager took another 4% off for paying cash. Still was a big ouch in the finances but if it lasts 20. 

A "regular" riding lawn mower with a 54 inch cut is $3000 to $4000 and last around 5 yrs (10 if you are lucky to have great maintenance and got a good one).  

Yeah, not real comfortable about both our personal checking  accts and the joint acct and both our personal savings accts being that low. BUT I still have the money for the basement coming in from other savings accts and the IRA hit today so we are okay. 

Goal is to get this money replaced before we pay any extra on mortgage. 


Blessed be