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 

Saturday, May 15, 2021

savings and mortgage.

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

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

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

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

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

Electric bill came in $33 cheaper than budget.

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

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

I added my cash back from my credit card. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We are now writing down daily what we saved. 

Wednesday, May 12, 2021


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuscan Braised potatoes with fried eggs.

Fettuccini with butter and cheese.

Nacho Bell Grande *homemade

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

Creamy enchiladas

Egyptian barley salad (American Test Kitchen recipe)

Haluski  with smoked sausage

Baconator cheese burger *homemade

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

hotdogs with coney sauce


couscous  asparagus risotto (Milk Street recipe)

Baked risotto (Sara Moulton recipe)

sweet and sour chicken kabobs 

Roasted chicken 

Cornish hen

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

We will chose what we are having the night before . 

Tuesday, May 11, 2021


I have been scattered brained and had the hum drums. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessed Be everyone

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

SIGH I miss you Daddy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, May 3, 2021

This week's savings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Only milk from the store this past week

Blessed Be 

May's punch aka to do list

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

Organize flower bulbs

plant flower bulbs

plant red rhubarb

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

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

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

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

install antenna tower

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

Install outlet on INSIDE of basement door.

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

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

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

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

Caulk outside windows and doors.

Remove dog house from previous owner.

defrost 1 freezer

paint peg board to match mudroom and install on wall.

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

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

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

Blessed Be