Monday, March 28, 2022

What I am doing??? warnings of shortages

Pond has ice on it at the edges about 6 ft from bank. Not thick so will melt with the afternoon sun. E said the maple sap is still running a bit so he might get a bit more to cook down for syrup.

 Researched making cheese as Hubby really want this ... until I figured out the cost and how much cheese he would have to eat so it didn't go to waste. He decided we would just go to the cheese stores over around Holmes co like the Amish here do. Since he is already over there every other month anyways but I did mention it could be a good day trip for us to get away from the house and we could pack a picnic for lunch.

Dealt with an attempt to hack my phone AVG caught the malware and then a threat to wipe out my computer... Glad Son 2 talked me into getting Norton as they dealt with it on the computer.

Got a list of what the gov't thinks will be in short supply... they are adding to it each day it seems.

Anything in plastic, metal cans or glass. That takes in bottle water, sodas, booze, 

coffee (again that comes in plastic )


toilet paper

paper towels (I guess maybe feminine products will be next on that list???)

dish soap/laundry soap

Clorox, Lysol etc. wipes 

shampoo and conditioner/deo. 

cooking oils



cheese* especially cream cheese* after reading how it's made I understand it.

milk (probably all dairy)


flour and mixes made with flour... pasta, bread, cake, pie crusts... anything made with flour like cereal also... gravy mixes... some salad dressings.

corn ... corn products *corn meal, corn starch etc.

Beef, pork, poultry and eggs. They eat wheat or corn. 

dog food (made with corn, wheat etc.)

Imports will be slowed down most likely also.

Instead of inventorying my pantry, I just wrote down what was missing and how much. I am still working on that and trying to figure out where to get it if we don't grow it.

I ordered toilet paper as I was already told it's next to nothing around around here.

I will get sugar tomorrow when we are at doctor appts and running errands. I will also pick up Vernor's ginger soda, coke and sprite. I usually don't pick that up until closer to July 4th but with shortages looming I will get it now.

I dehydrated the last 2 pumpkins and ground that up for powder. I made apple sugar (dehydrated apple sauce with no sugar).I still have some apples from last fall in the frig to deal with this week.

I ordered a butter crock. Hubby doesn't like "softening" his butter in the microwave and we use real butter. So I ordered what my grandmother used and Nonna used. I went through The Prudent Homemaker site

We were  starting to work on moving stuff around in the freezers so we could start defrosting them as we are getting ready for garden to start up. I freeze peas, snow peas, corn and asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower and some carrots and some cole slaw. I freeze strawberries, black berries, blue berries, red raspberry (hope to get black raspberries this year), jams  and some fruit for mixed fruit pies.

Had several of plastic bins, paper sacks, cardboard boxes, cloth bags etc. bust on us so after a day of researching and another of pricing we ordered wire bins. We are starting with the barn freezer to see how we like them. Lack of organization in the chest freezers bugs the crap out of me. Hubby just digs through and doesn't put things back in the container it was in so everything ends up jumbled together and it's a hunt and find every time.

 Hubby decided he wanted a list on a clip board of what was in each freezer. I went with a clip board per freezer. AND then to mark the top of each freezer of each meat. Like freezer one be pork, freezer two be beef, freezer three be poultry. Leaving the barn freezer out of that line. He thought that was great. And then the rest of the freezer be fruit and veggies etc. Maybe cheese and nuts in the barn freezer... he decided he wanted to keep track of the pantry also... I told him that meant HE had to mark off stuff when he went down and got it NOT just tell me. He is still thinking of that and started looking at Excel sheet to do that. 

I will be transplanting some of the seedlings from the grow cart later today. 

How is your week going?

Prayers for peace.

Blessed be

Monday, March 21, 2022

Planning frugal

We turn the furnace down. I started using an electric water kettle to make tea (pour the hot water into another kettle) and when making rice, pasta or boiled eggs. I have found I save 2 hrs. of propane a week. by using the kettle. Electric is cheaper here. Not reliable enough as losing electric happens  with storms and accidents.

I used kitchen twine to tie up the grape vines and berry vines.

Hubby got more slab wood from E for free to make more potato crates.

I moved the utility bills to a cash back credit card that paid more than the other card.

Hubby wanted a different table for his HAM radio instead of the tv tray . Which I hate to move to dust mop the floor.

Sunday I took him out to the barn and we went "shopping" through all the furniture (Daddy's Mother's Pop's, late husband's, 6 kids LOL) and found a table he is trying before we refinish it and buy some wheels (to make it easier for me to dust mop the floor).

While shopping the barn:

I found a tub of place mats and cloth napkins that had been Mother's. They are now washed and hanging on the yard clothes line.

Hubby found a metal stand he used to use by the swing...which made him put out the swing also. Then he decided to bring out the outdoor furniture so he cleaned that. The stands needs refinished but he can do that later this summer. It's still damp and cool here.

We found a dresser buried under boxes that can be refinished for an upstairs bedroom. H, Amish neighbor on the other side can do that later this summer as he's already behind doing Son 2 cabinet LOL.

I found small pots that I can use to transplant seedlings into from the grow cart that can go under the bigger grow light  upstairs. 

He found a wicker hamper and decided he wanted me to repaint it so he could have it in the front room for throw blankets storage plus be able to use the top for a stand next to the love seat as the top is flat. 

We found 2 birdhouses, one was for a wren and that was hung up. The other needs a repair and then it will be put up.

I mentioned there was several cabinets I could use in the basement for dishes and appliances or even storage for boxed goods and the metal shelfing units it would replace could be used in the barn when we set up the summer kitchen (that I was calling canning area). AND there was also cabinets that we could set up a work shop for him and he wouldn't be constantly looking for stuff. OR having to buy it because he needs it NOW and can't find it. 

After walking through it he admitted that he defeats my decluttering when he takes what is supposed to go to the trash or to the thrift shop and it just gets shoved here and there in the barn since I always look to the left of the door in the first stall instead of INSIDE the barn, for what is supposed to go. Which means I as it's very seldom we, have to re-sort things .Since I am not willing to pay $100 a month for a dumpster. We will be working it through the normal trash that has a bag limit on it per week, recycling and thrift shops on the Tuesday we have errands and appts. I down loaded the Goodwill list so we don't take anything there they will just dump. I also brought up we could start donating some things to Habitat ReStore that we are not going to be using... like the kitchen sink that  a friend gave us and two bathroom sinks along with cabinets the kids passed to us.  I keep checking to see if there is a township clean up or a hazard waste clean day in our area. Last year both was cancelled.

Friday, March 18, 2022

Gathering information

We have seen here and there of comparisons of recession in 2008 when we lost 2 houses and about half our income and Daddy lost over 50% of his retirement (IRA) and had to start living on his social security alone. It's really not a surprise but a heads up. We are looking strong at the budget and seeing what we can cut to only live on social security which means not paying extra on the mortgage to start with.

We have friends that their work place payroll got hacked... they didn't get anything for almost a month and now are getting about 1 day a week for 5 days work. The company hopes to be back on schedule and everyone's pay be caught up by April. Another company that Daughter 4 was working for got hacked also. Her paycheck came in 2 wks later for less than what she made by hour even though she worked 80 hrs. They said that wasn't a full pay check (gee really?) but just a test to see if things were working. She had already put her notice in as she got back in to the company she had worked for a long time ago. They had called her and are paying more than where she was working AND it's closer to home and more stable hours.

Hubby's business has decreased by 50%. He is still making his bills as long as he doesn't take any wage, no profit, but worries about any big out lays with repairs. He does have a business credit card but prefers to pay it off in full and not waste his money on interest charges.

I had a credit card hacked... the credit card company caught it and denied the charges so at least I don't have that headache. Been there and done that. I had to go in and change the auto pays I had on that card. Might be a blessing as the card I use (that I got the in the mail the day of the hack) now gives more cash back on than the card I had on the bills.

We had an audit of the home to see if it would be worth getting solar power. Three different estimates, first on the barn roof and then just out in the yard, all 3 showed it would not be a break even point on the money side for 15 yrs. At our age, that's not worth it. It did show there were a few places that needed caulking and that replacing the windows and adding more insulation(wrap insulation if we were changing the old siding) would help. But for electric use we are on the low end for 2 people even with a grow light cart and heat mats. 

We are on the low end of using water also which the softener company told me we were saving about $16/ month between saving on salt and saving on changing the whole house water filter. Since our outside water is NOT ran through the softener that saves even more. 

We are on the low end of using propane for the size home (including pump house heater) we have. 

We only have one internet company in our area and they just lowered their rates by 5% without me calling and asking.

Monday, March 14, 2022

Monday what a weekend!

 I called for propane as we are down to 24 %. I should have checked last Thursday 

I called and scheduled our Moderna Boosters. Since Daughter 2 said that the Delta has joined omicron I would want to get the booster. She thought they were calling it deltacron 

Barn that burned was up by last Friday.

While dropping off horses on Saturday, one of the Amish told Hubby where the bald eagle's nest was.

you might have to zoom in to see it as it's in the white tree branches.

Hubby got "snippy" with a friend who texted him out of the blue that I shouldn't be wasting his hard earned money on the hobby of gardening. Hubby first asked why he thought it was a hobby... because it's not a real job from a real employer where taxes are taking out of the paycheck. And it wasn't a real farm because we have no live stock (makes you wonder what he thinks of the farmers growing grain for that bread he buys at the store).Hubby texted buddy's mom and told her he was sorry her son didn't think she worked taking care of the home and him and his brothers when they were growing up AND included the message from her son to Hubby. Made sure they knew he had not asked for the opinion or even had been "talking" to his buddy about anything.  His buddy not only has his mother on him, but his dad, wife, both of his girls and his son in laws on his butt.  Hubby said if he had asked for the opinion it would have been different . BUT since it was just because his buddy saw a post from Hubby's mom about the 150 seeds I planted Friday, his buddy thought he should text Hubby and tell him. 

I have a few family and friends that just got over covid. Two told me they were warned they could develop dementia/Alzheimer's 20 to 30 yrs sooner than normal and it will be worse with those that already have mental illness like bipolar etc. AND since the Buddy just got over Delta covid it and is in his 70's made me wonder about his mental health.

 She is watching the bunny in E's field. Had to stand on the back of the love seat to get high enough

Monday, March 7, 2022


 We turned the furnace down twice when we left home for appts. Sunday we turned it off as it was warm and forgot to turn it back on before we went to sleep. I let Charlotte out at 1 am and realized it and turned it back on.

I opened the windows and increased the humidity in the house from 31% to 62%.

I ordered humidifier filters for next winter. They were on sale for 40% off. I have found if I get supplies AFTER season it's cheaper than BEFORE season.

The buzzards are back(geese came in early also) means it is spring here. It's a bit early. But since they are back and it was warm I went to clean up the gardens. North flower garden, north gardens with  100 ft asparagus patch, 6 strawberry beds and the blackberries, red raspberries and the honey raspberries rows, south garden beds including trimming all the herbs back and the flower hill at the mail box are done. Usually that takes 1 week if not more and recover of 7-10 days. Hubby spent $$ to buy me a Stihl pruner and clipper. I would replace it tomorrow if it broke. IT was that great. I had some soreness but pretty much the next day was FINE. I still have the lilies and mint at mudroom door and the lilac and Halo bush at the kitchen porch. Hubby said it was a frugal buy since he isn't dealing with me being down with recovering after cleaning up the gardens and him having to do the work instead. 

I made taco seasoning , Cajun seasoning and seasoned salt. 

We ate leftovers I had frozen from the freezers. The leftovers are now making leftovers as I am now tossing what ever is left in eggs (frittata), pasta, rice or in a tortilla wrap. 

Hubby made more potato crates using free slab wood from E.

Hubby got clothes line marked down as it was 100 ft and most only want 50 ft so the store sold it to him for 40% off plus he had a coupon for 25% off one item. 

I ordered some spices I was low on thru Brandy (The Prudent Homemaker) at Amazon that was on sale (on my wish list) using my cash back to pay for it. I have found by putting what ever I want on the wish list and then only spending what my cash back is keeps me reined in.

Prayers for peace

Blessed Be

Amish barn fire

 No one was hurt, well, the wife sprang her ankle jumping over the fence to get her husband to tell him the barn was on fire.

N(E's brother and the man we bought this house from) lost the milk cow and 6 calves, the smoke got to them. 

They lost 2 dozen chickens.  But got out their 5 horses. Buggies are usually in that barn but the wife had decided to clean all 3 buggies so they were up at the house. Hubby hauled the 5 horses to F's barn until the barn can be rebuilt Saturday night.

The fire marshal thinks that a bird took something in the barn that must have caught a spark from the chimney on the sugar shack (maple syrup shack). They know it didn't "blow in" even with the high winds we had as N had closed up all the doors on the side of the barn that was towards the sugar shack because he didn't want the smoke to go in the barn. 

Over 10 ft tall of hay and straw, even wet it was smoldering.

Trying to see if there was anything left useable.

Light from fire truck so everyone could see. They still was there at midnight. Fire started at 3 pm. E said the hay/straw stack got spread out around 9 pm and they just kept spraying water on it as they knew higher winds were coming in the next morning around 3 am.

Fire department had to take water from the pond 2 doors down from us. We offered our pond if they needed more. 

E said they stood around (no work on Sundays) and decided what the battle plans were for rebuild . Eighty percent of the cement block foundation is useable. 

SO today they have a group of Amish going to a woods that an Englisher offered if they could use any of the trees for lumber. They have to use their horses to pull it out of the woods after they cut it down. E got a line of someone that could haul the logs to N's and another of someone to haul 2 saw mills (just the saw and stand) to N's also. Hubby is on stand by after he gets his hauling job done today in case they need something else hauled. N is hoping to get at least 1 stall put in his other barn so he can have 1 horse for his buggy for his family other wise they are "car less" buggy less , stuck at home and have to walk miles for anything. 

Prayers for peace.

Blessed Be

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

when family and friends are not getting their paychecks

 due to cyber hacking. I think all the kids, grandkids and a few friends either texted, called or FB us to give us a heads to watch our finances due to cyber attacks. I have some orders sitting at Amazon, I get notified when it runs through my credit card. My credit card is now giving 24 hr. notice of when something will actually be ran through so I have time to check to make sure it's for what I ordered. Hubby said his business card is doing the same. At first I was like crap... now it's like "this should stay" so I have time to STOP it if it is fraud. Fighting fraud on your credit card sucks... been there and done that. Son 2 is helping as he went through this about 7 yrs ago when  the govt shut down and he still had to go to work without a paycheck coming in.

I have one that the landlord is working with them but the utilities didn't care even though the company gave it's employees  a letter on company letter head with a number to call to confirm the person is employed with them. So we helped with utilities. One just needed gas money for the next few weeks (they get every two weeks) and their company is hoping it gets it fixed. Kid was like" if they had waited one day to hack it, I would have had my check".

We went to chiro, doctor told me I did a good job of getting my hip back in place... I was out less than normal. HA HA AND I could start back on the inversion table but only at a slight tilt which is what I was doing anyways not the full upside down.

We stopped at Menards, 11 % rebate and got more off the list that the other Menards didn't have the other day. Added drinking water for storage . 

Stopped at TSC to get clothes line stuff since Menards didn't have it. They were out also. BUT we found a solar unit for the electric fencing so we can put the electric fence around the corn (stops deer and coons from eating the corn) and not increase the electric bill. Got dog food that was on sale. 

We went to Aldi's... M needed cream cheese and bananas. They were out of cream cheese so Hubby just got the bananas. SO we stopped at another Aldi's on the way home, they were at a limit of 2 cream cheese but I got 2 also (she needed 24) and some stuff that was on our grocery list, I added more sugar for us as M had mentioned it was not coming in to the local store.

Then we went to Walmart that was 1 mile down the road from Aldi's. Got M's cream cheese and the rest of what was on our grocery  list. Loaded the truck AND

TRUCK WOULD NOT START .... Hubby then realized he had taken the jumper cables out of that truck for the work truck and when replaced work truck cables he laid the other set in the barn instead of putting them back in the other truck. SO he went in to buy jumper cables and to see if there was anyone there that could jump us.

Automotive dept employee came out and jumped the truck for us. He had a jumper box aka Jumper car box. I told Hubby we needed 2, one for each truck. Then we never would have to wait for someone to come by and jump us.   

We stopped at Auto zone on the way home, alternator is good, battery was in bad shape. We have a new battery. Auto zone guy told me to put on the calendar to have it checked in 2 yrs. BEFORE winter LOL.

The Amish have been growing spelt... they call it speltz. One of women figured out how to make decent bread with it and brought over a loaf with the warning it goes stale faster than even whole wheat but will make good toast even stale... I mentioned that it would then make good bread pudding... he is passing that thought to his wife as neither of them thought about it. He also brought some of the flour so I could "play" with it.  I think I will try a cake. If it turns out I will take some over to they with the recipe. 

Both humidifiers are out of water and need filters changed. Since it's getting warmer and more moisture is coming in. I decide to not change the filters. Might regret that choice in a couple weeks if we get hit with another round of freezing rain, sleet and snow.

Prayers for peace.

Blessed Be