Monday, February 28, 2022

Day to Day thinking of more frugal ideas

 Just another day of freezing ice followed by sleet followed by snow (at least it was a dusting not a dump).It seems to happen every 7 to 10 days. The lane is so iced Hubby told me to walk in the grass if I was going to the mailbox. I just let him go out to it instead as I already threw my  back out. I didn't go in early to chiro. Our insurance pays for 26 visits a year and thing over that we have to pay the full amount. Our regular appt is every 2 wks.... which is this coming Tuesday.

Laundry is on the drying rack. Dishwasher is unloaded. Lunch is leftover smoked sausage and mac and cheese. Supper is dried beef gravy over leftover rolls. Most likely I will toss some peas in it also. Applesauce for the fruit.

E offered what he calls slab wood for free as he needs to get rid of it. It's what is left of the outside edges (bark side) when he is cutting for lumber. Hubby got some to make potato crates so he is in the barn tinkering on how he is going to make these boxes. 

This will sit on the ground (or weed barrier) with potting soil on the bottom and then the potato eyes and then more potting soil. As the plants grow we will add garden soil and Hubby will add more to the sides. We will also grow sweet potatoes in this style of crate also.

Not quite what he is making but where the idea came from.

I figured up what we spent on ice cream at the store through last year. I did not include Belly Acre as we get ice cream as a dessert when there. We spent almost $200 between gallons, ice cream sandwiches, klondikes, push ups etc. I got a ice cream/frozen yogurt/gelato/sorbet maker for $60. Hubby already cleared an area in the barn freezer for the bowl. He decided he wanted ice cream first, then gelato then frozen yogurt and then sorbet LOL.

We went to Menards to get garden stuff. Saved $114 using our rebates and their sales. 

I had a company send me 5 lbs. of potato tubers when I ordered 3 lbs. as they weren't sure what kind of condition they would be in with the weather that was going through. Box was so wet it had been put in a plastic bag by our carrier but the tubers seem fine. They were slightly damp. I have them spread out on a towel to dry.

We ate from the freezers and pantry. I only need dairy and season salt from the store.

We turned the furnace down when we left for an hour or more. Which has almost put us back on to our regular schedule of propane to keep us from using more than I budgeted for.

I made 5 gallons of  laundry soap. Unlike M who made 50 gallons of laundry soap on Saturday as someone got a cow butchered and didn't want the fat, so she made tallow laundry soap. 

I used my digital credits and Amazon gift card from Pinecone research to buy Jamie Oliver 15 minute meals cook book and his 5 ingredient meal cook book. Hubby has been watching his cook shows and thinks it's great as he uses a lot of fresh in season veggies. At one time half the kids were using the 5 ingredient meal cookbook but not one of them kept the book.

How did your week go?

Blessed Be


Friday, February 18, 2022

How do you spend your day?

 Son 2 asked me this last night and I wondered why ...then he mentioned he knows what I do when I start in the gardens... March through November  but not what I do November to March.

I told his this.

I get up between 3 and 8 am. I don't use an alarm unless we have to be some where before 11. That went bye bye when I retired since Hubby worked 3rd he never used an alarm. It is usually between 5 and 6 (sucks retired And I can't sleep in)

I drink 1 cup of coffee, open curtains and turn off night lights.

I drink 2nd cup of coffee and start the laundry and put away the laundry on the drying rack. Hubby usually unloads dishwasher at this time if not then I do.

Then I have my 3rd cup of coffee while waiting for the clothes washer to stop then put clothes on drying rack (clothes line in late spring/summer)

I get dressed, make the bed, straighten the house and walk the perimeter with the Charlotte.

If is is garden season (what my kids call it) I go to the garden. When it's not I get on the computer, email some friends, check Fb for other friends, read blogs, drink hot tea, read some, bake bread etc... if I need to plant seeds in grow cart I do that in the morning. 

I have a snack for bfast at 10. Take another perimeter with Charlotte. 

AT 11:30  I take meds, get more tea. If I didn't eat at 10 I do now. Do what ever needs done for the day. Grab a shower (which I would do at same time in garden season) and then take a nap at Charlotte's insists this is nap time on the bed and I have to be with her. Rascal was the same way. Thirty minutes to an hour later she is up and running and expects me to be also. SO we go for another perimeter.

By two , I am wrapping up any work. by 3:30 I start supper as we try to eat by 4:30 to 5. Hubby is a weather spotter and likes to watch the weather on 2 of our local channels. I clean up the table, set the dishwasher to run when I head for bed.

Five to 6:30 is watching the news. Then in warm weather we go outside, usually another perimeter (she hates winter and won't go as much). 

Around 8 I head to bedroom to get around for bed as Hubby sleeps in the recliner of the front room due to health issues. He usually goes to sleep around 8:30 but if I am there he will try to stay awake. He turns the tv timer on and turns off the light at 8:00 most nights. I read, usually with glass of water. I read my kindle first for 30 minutes so the light from it doesn't mess up my sleep, do my journal next and then read a book until 9:30 then it's lights out also.

I told Son 2 it doesn't matter if it's garden season or not. My routine is pretty much the same. I don't have a cleaning routine *yet, still, some more* so that's more of a I can't stand it anymore and slide it in between other things. I can tell you it takes a solid 60 hrs. to clean this house from top to bottom. The old homestead where I raised the kids took 30 hrs. I think part of the hours now are lack of organization and the other is I AM OLD. LOL

Blessed be 

2021 food costs

 The best thing we changed at the beginning of 2021 was using only one credit card for all food ... groceries, eating out, snack on the road from gas station. Hubby told me more than once he didn't buy a snack due to not wanting to use a credit card for something that small and was not carrying cash on him.

Total for the year  spent on food, groceries, stock up, eating out etc. $4979.73

OF that $1622.95 was eating out, that is about 32.6 % of that total.... I noticed about   1/4th of that amount was during last Feb the two weeks before I was going in for hip replacement and the two weeks after that. Chinese 4 times, 2 pizzas, garlic bread and salads, 1 KFC 12 piece bucket with sides, 1 Ralph's (local sports bar with great food that takes us 3 days to eat) and 2 Arby's.

We have a friend that goes to the store every week for groceries. They kept track of what they spent last year. They pretty much eat the same as us. Do some canning but that is no where near what we can.  She said they spent a month $503.76 on fresh veggies (they do can green beans and beets and freeze corn).They spent $272.94 on fresh fruit (they don't can or freeze any nor eat canned fruit). They average $260 on meat (neither eat much of it nor eat any beans). UNLESS there is a sale on brisket, ribs, spiral ham and turkeys.  But their average grocery bill is $1036.70 a  month. They eat out twice a week and that comes to $200 a month, $250 in a 5 week month. SO that is 1236.70 to $1286.70 a month. SO that is at least $14,804.40. The only reason they tracked it is they want to buy a different home closer to their grandkids and was moaning about how much her meds were and trying to come up with a down payment without pulling more. Their sons asked why they were pulling so much from the retirement and where was it going. 

I thought it was on the strange side when their younger son asked me how much we spent.  I did point out to him that they don't can as much as they could or freeze as much as they could. His dad eats salads every day but always choses the most expensive lettuce there is and refuses to shop at any other store than Kroger's even though Aldi's is right next door and sells the same lettuce for about 2/3rds the price.

It did make me feel better about what we spent for the year and what we are trying to move towards this coming year. I have bought 3 heads of lettuce since end of Nov. Instead of lettuce salad I had carrot salad, canned coleslaw (vinegar base) fresh coleslaw and 3 bean (4 bean) salad.

Blessed Be

In the garden

 Okay Not Really. BUT I do have 2 of the January King Cabbage sprouted. We were going to remove row cover from gardens today but the winds coming in at 20 MPH with gusts over 40 MPH has put that on hold.

I am updating what I keep track of on the "inventory" after noticing that Thomas Jefferson didn't note if his tomatoes were determinate or indeterminate. So I decided to add that information to my seed sheets aka inventory sheets aka plant sheets ... depending on the day of what I call them LOL.

These will go into sheet protectors and then 3 ring binders.... H is heirloom, MD is maturity date, and  GC is grow cart.

Friday, February 11, 2022

Thank you to the ladies

 that sent me a knife sharpener. I had saw Kevin Jacobs (  using this. So  a big thank you.

We finished buying what we planned to give to Grandson D (and TB). Delivery is tomorrow as the weather today is to turn nasty. Hubby is doing a hauling job that is close by so not a big deal according to him. I am waiting for the last load of the dishes I bought to dry so I can box them up. Both have called me about odds and ends they thought of (already got) and then we got the call to bring staple gun and the fabric came off the back of the couch. It had been stapled. 

They warned us they had idiots (their term) running around them so to wear masks and bring gloves or hand sanitizer. Hey at least they are thinking about keeping us safe. We would have anyways as the great grandsons are in school and don't have vaccines yet. We just had 3 friends get covid after watching their great grandkids that were in school. 

Laundry is done and on the rack drying. I walked to road and got the mail.

Son 2 reenlisted to Army reserves.... he was going to be 23 days short of having 20 yrs for his pension... you have to have 20 years. He was talking of doing at least another year as his girlfriend (her term and he calls her his woman) has a teenager and he is looking at possible marriage and the teen going to college. He told Hubby he wants to be as good as stepdad as Hubby was. My kids don't acknowledge he is a step dad. They call him dad and introduce him as dad as their biological dad turned his back on them when they were about 10-12. I was totally shocked when he did it.

Daughter 4 had a hit and run driver total her car 2014 Jeep Latitude. She was able to find a newer 2016 Jeep Patriot sport for only $1000. more than she got from her insurance of the other car. She likes it better and thinks when I drive it I will be looking for one myself. Said it reminded her of my Ford Explorer. We will see. 

I had my check up with the GI/PA . I do NOT have antibodies to my Humira. The Humira is working. THAT IS VERY GOOD. He got the report from my ortho doc and said if he had knew I was walking around with a fractured socket for 7 months waiting for my hip to be replaced, he would have increased the Humira and put me on other meds to help keep things calmed down. NOW it's more of stay off the OTC pain meds as they are causing issues in the small intestine (Tylenol messes up my liver so can't take that either) BUT if in pain for longer than 8 hrs. TAKE SOMETHING LOL, do a food journal/ daily do list to see if it helps calm things down. Right now my CRP (C reactive Protein) is half of what it was a month ago. Since I am on NO meds to calm it down , he thought what I was eating (an not eating) was helping. I think  stressing over whether or not my Humira was working didn't help. He did mention he has several on Medicare that are paying huge amounts for their biologics. He hopes the new pill that is to replace biologics that has came out will be covered by Medicare within this year. 

I am reading Thomas Jefferson The Garden Book. He was better at keeping up with it when he retired.

Next will be The Richest Spot on Earth by Peter J Hatch that is about the same gardens as he worked with restoring them.

The Lost Super Foods by Art Rude, Lex Rooker, Claude Davis, and Fred Dwight is on the next list also. 

The Bread Bible By Rose Levy Berandaum 

I am definitely tired and sore today after a 4 hr. trip and being poked on by the PA. The nasty weather coming in does NOT help a thing at all.

Blessed Be everyone. Stay safe, stay well, be content.

Monday, February 7, 2022

Johnny Seeds grow cart AKA grow lights cart


This picture is from Johnny seeds. 

This was one of the first things I bought for our garden when we bought this house. 

I did not use it last year since I had hip replacement last Feb. It will be used this year as I am not paying that price for plants.

Today I will be starting the seeds for January King cabbage, Giant Red celery, Utah Tall Improved celery, Utah Tall celery (seeds given to me) D'Elne celery, and Pascal celery.

I've not had much luck getting celery to grow for me in the past.

I put my binder together for what I am growing in the grow cart dividing it into sections of how many weeks before last frost to start the seeds. I then realized I have 28 varieties during 8 wks to last frost but have 8 days that are in the right" moon sign.. so figured out I would plant 3-4 on each of those days instead of trying to get all of them done as I know I will plant more than 1 seed per variety. Won't over whelm myself.

Hope everyone is doing good, everyone is well, warm and safe.

Blessed be 

Saturday, February 5, 2022

going into a busy week.

I started a program that helps deal with procrastination. On day 3 of the 4 week "course" and I realized that I used to push through the bad health and do the work and then medical said to not do that as I was doing more damage to my health and now I just am like... I don't feel good so sit on my butt and read. I love to read, read for hours, don't care much for tv. Got to figure out a happy medium.

Another change is we are planting/ seed starting by the moon and signs this year so that is a set time frame instead of when ever I get to it.

 Monday is always a big laundry day as I don't do laundry past Saturday morning except for the cleaning rags. Today (Saturday) I will be soaking some stained kitchen towels for the last load instead so they might get a wash later tonight or tomorrow morning as I didn't really clean much this week.  I will also be starting any of the veggies that need started in grow cart that is in the start 12 wks before last frost date. This is also  the day of clean the kitchen and freezer room (basement) and take trash to the road.

Tuesday: hour trip to Sidney for blood work for both of us, vet for Charlotte and hopefully finish up the shopping list I have for grandson D. Hour trip back home and I will continue to be starting any of the veggies that need started in grow cart that is in the start 12 wks before last frost date.  Clean wheelchair bathroom and start bread starter for frig.

Wednesday: baking day, clean the dining room and bathroom and hall. Finances.

Thursday: Clean front room and mudroom, medical appt (4 hrs. round trip) 

Friday:  Clean bedroom and pantry. MAYBE pit stop to grocery store for perishables for grandson D if we deliver that day

Saturday: Clean laundry room and 2 of spare bedrooms. IF we don't deliver Friday to grandson D we might this day.  I really don't want to do it on Sunday LOL . I will continue to be starting any of the veggies that need started in grow cart that is in the start 12 wks before last frost date

Sunday is the day of rest, I can up date "goal " aka to do list, figure out a menu and REST.

Let's see if this works. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

garden planning

 I bought 3 sets to store seeds in from Amazon and bought colored labels for containers of this container. IRIS USA 4" x 6" Storage-16 Inner Keeper Organizer Cases Storage Containers Box for Photos, Clear-XL (2Pack), 2 Count

I bought 2 inch ring binders and protector sheets to organize seed information. I had note book paper. 

I bought plastic clothes pins and paint markers to mark what is what while in grow cart and then in gardens. 

As I am listing variety etc. on notebook paper and putting into the protective sheet I marked what color the veggies is. I am keeping track of how many of each color I have since my doctors want me to eat 5 colors a day. 

So far my colors are green/red/ green and red/ orange and yellow/ yellow to red/ purple/ black/ blue/ white and tan and brown. I have a few more color mixes. 

I counted how many varieties I had per color and then added some in the colors that was low. 

Hubby would like to at least do row cover again but maybe add a small green house also that we had planned last year but didn't get to. I would rather have cold storage first as we might not need a green house between the cold storage and the row covers in 3-4 of garden beds.  I would like to add at least 1 more garden bed( to make at least 4 beds) to the row cover. 

Last year I planted 1500 seeds in the "3 seasons" I grew.  That sounds like a lot... okay that is a lot HA HA but I have 32 garden beds and that is only around 15-16 seeds per bed per season. 

We added more dried beans, more cabbages( will be making kraut), more potatoes (even purple), more variety of tomatoes (black and white tomato? ), and sweet potatoes. There is broccoli, cauliflower and kohlrabi that I haven't been able to get to grow here but I am trying it again. I am trying to grow celery also that I have never done. I added more winter squash and yellow summer squash. I added cantaloupe, honey dew and watermelon. I added a couple winter lettuces that Thomas Jefferson grew in his winter gardens.

I will be using pots for plants like lettuce that can't take the heat so I can grow them in the summer in partial shade. (M grows her on the north side of the house).  I will use grow bags for the potatoes unless Hubby wants to do it like E does then he can go for it. E digs the ground, plants the potato and then covers it with weed barrier that decomposed at the end of the season, you just till it under. When the potato plant pokes against barrier you cut a hole at that spot. Said their crop almost doubled last year doing it this way.

We decided also to plant according to the moon/planets not just the last frost guidelines. We will see how this goes. 

We are under a winter storm warning. Last check was 1/4th is ice, 6-14 inches of snow AFTER 1/2 inch of rain. With winds 20 mph to 35 mph. Winds at 35 mph for 3 hrs. with snow is blizzard conditions. I will be cooking hamburger for taco/burritos and making 6 qrts of beef stew. I thought of beef stew (been craving it) and then second round serve over homemade noodles then 3rd round have it with dumplings and then the butcher mentioned using what was left for pot pie. YUM.

Blessed be everyone 

February goals

To eat something from each color group of veggies and fruit a day. Orange n yellow/red/green/ white n tan n brown/ purple n blue n black.

To eat at least 3 servings of anti inflammatory foods a day.

To drink at least 12 ounces of anti inflammatory tea a day.

To cut my sugar intake by half by end of Feb. Already cut it by 1/3rd.

To do my stretches and exercises from PT to get ready for clothes line (touch my toes, stretch to the sky) and garden work (bent over, lifting and pulling) that starts end of this month beginning of March.

To finish gathering stuff for Grandson D (and Grandson TB >>>D's oldest brother that is moving in with him) for 1st apt. THIS coming weekend... of course we are looking at a nasty storm rolling through also.

To sleep 6 1/2 hrs. straight nightly (I get 2 maybe 3 hrs. at this time)

To finish organizing garden seeds, get seeds started in grow cart and plot where I am going to plant what because I definitely do NOT have enough beds for everything. 

Hubby is debating... pay the extra $5000 on the mortgage or put it in the gardens(that will be needing 12 beds repaired or replaced) and cold storage areas and then put what ever is left on the mortgage.

He still wants to start making cheese, yogurt and ice cream.

Now he thinks he wants 95% of our produce to come from our own land. He acknowledges we would have to buy citrus and bananas. But looking at more like M buys  of celery and bananas (she also gets graham crackers, saltines, cream cheese and cool whip). I added I would miss my fresh bell peppers and fresh mushrooms. I do not know if we can hold onions until they come back in also. I think it would be closer to the 85% with maybe some coming from Amish cause I got onions from A & B until Nov.