Monday, April 25, 2022

On the not frugal side BUT

 could go under the "grid gone down" budget since it is wind up.

When we had decided  to buy a house we decided to have rewards when the mortgage hit certain goals we would buy something that we wanted instead of needed.  

First one was a restuarant that is expensive (we ate leftovers for 3 days from it).We usually go either for Hubby's bday or our anniversary one or the other not both.

Second one was buying Son2's used motorcycle and sold ours which actually paid for Sons'2 we bought as he only wanted what the pay off was and gave us a bike 10 yrs newer than we had. I guess we shouldn't have counted it as it was a break even purchase/sell LOL.

This is the third one.

I've priced what we wanted (Hubby picky over the wood and I am over the chimes). The prices were running $5000 to $8000... way more than I was willing to pay at this time. Figured we would just get something else CHEAPER on the buy list. 

Hubby found out a young Amish man "F" that just got married and moved closer to us this spring is building clocks so he stopped in thinking maybe a "mantel" clock even though we have no mantel. It's not quite like this one but this was the one he had a paper of. He wanted $2500. The chimes alone are $1000 as he shows the receipt he has so those ordering know he is not padding the bill and it will be exactly what we want, not settle for.  We will be moving furniture to put it in front room around and since we will build a closet in the wheel chair bathroom. 

While there Hubby asked if he clear coated other furniture. He said yes. COOL. As the other Amish guy "H"  that just finished redoing Son2's cabinet that had fell apart needed to have a clear coat and the other Amish "N" that does spray clear coat is the one whose barn burnt so he is already WAY behind on his other work. 

We went back to "H" and picked up cabinet. He mentions he had enough wood left over from repairing the cabinet that he could make a bread, onion, and potato bin and he was willing to do it for $20. He is putting a food grade sealer on it. 

Friday, April 22, 2022

Happy 91st birthday in Heaven

 Mom, it's hard to accept you have been gone for almost 10 yrs . We all miss you. 

We all love you even more.

Thursday, April 21, 2022


 Our new mortgage is 8 months old...  We started with 360 payments. We are at payment 43 almost to payment 44. 

Hubby has 26 more payment to the work truck, the business pays for it so he figures he won't "retire" from the business until that truck is paid off. So he will be almost 66 when he stops .I don't believe he will stop but that is okay, he is planning it that way.

 We have no other debt.

We pay off the credit cards every month. I am using the cash back from our credit cards to pay for the "grid goes down" items. I put utilities, medical, supplies on the credit cards, then pull the $ from savings as it sits about 3 wks before the credit cards come due from the time our $ comes in for the month. On the advice of Hubby's parents, we did separate when our IRA's come in so we get Social Security one week, my IRA the middle of the month and Hubby's at the last part of the month. 

We have the money in the savings for the propane. Took some work to scrape it up now. Put off the "grid down" buying but it's there so I won't be stressing about it. Put off a couple projects we had planned to do on the house.

Hubby asked for the grocery list... milk, half and half, heavy cream, 6 lbs. of onions that should get me through until ours is growing or I can get the walking onions. They are kinds of squishy in the winter. 

Prayers for peace

Blessed Be

what we are looking to buy for "grid goes down" emergency

Our internet went down and Hubby was thankful he has "hotspot" on his phone as he was in the middle of doing work on the computer for gov't stuff needed for his business. 

Which triggered him to asking where we were at on the "grid goes down" emergency list.

I also found out what triggered him to tell me to stock up NOW instead of this fall. Several of the Amish bulk stores are having issues getting supplies in and it's more than just the ones in Ohio having issues.

I listed the following on our grid down list.

toilet... we have an outhouse, needs some repair this summer , but usable even if we don't get the repairs done. It sits on the septic tank that is connected to the septic tile so it's no going into a hole like my parents and grandparents. I would like two windows that have screens in it instead of a Plexiglas that you move if you want air... then the birds come in if you don't close it.

We have a deep well... Amish have told Hubby what to get to enable us to get water from it. There is a pump that is solar charged that would connect to the pressurized tank so we would have running water in house through our plumbing. You can also "hand" pump it if there is not enough solar. Ohio is #3 of being the cloudiest in the USA.

We have a cistern and a handpump at the mudroom sink. Big thank you to N for leaving us  that when he moved so we could at least wash our hands while doing construction. I use it to water my indoor plants.

I would love an ice house (we would have to buy/build it) but could very quickly convert the pump house to a spring house like many in my family had. 

I would love a root cellar even though I have a basement.

I already can and dehydrate. M and B offered to teach me to can meat when I get to that point. I have canned some meat... mostly beef.

We would need heat plus cooking. Hubby asked Amish and they pointed him to exactly what would do for us. One that has a home the size and layout of ours told Hubby how wood or anthracite nut coal (not the coal I grew up with that was nasty to deal with) it would take a year. Said to make sure we got a reservoir so we would have hot water to wash with. LOL

We have an open floor plan, would need to be able to close down some of those doorways to keep the heat in the primary living areas. I have fabric and extra curtains so I can make that up. Would need more blankets for the beds as the bedrooms would not be heated. Can make quilts from the fabric I have.

I have needles and thread to mend and Mother's old button can that I add to .

I have All Clad cooking pans and some cast iron so I won't have issues there.

I ordered 2 wash tubs to wash laundry or bathe... wringers is on back order. I actually have a wringer washer that Hubby thinks he could hook to solar (got a portable solar for camping bookmarked) to run. Again I think of our ranking on cloudiest states. 

I got 2 wind up pocket watches (Hubby just broke his) and a Big Ben wind up alarm clock that will definitely stay near Hubby because I am well known for tossing them across the room if they are within reach when I am sleeping and they go off.

Hubby is asking about grain mills. Might find someone that would just grind for us as that is common here. He is also asking a young Amish that just got married and is making clocks if he can make a key wind up clock.

I need to learn how to knit/crochet socks etc. 

Hubby said his buddy that is Emergency management for this type of stuff suggested some solar and a wind turbine or moving our windmill to the pump house ... that's on the list but at the end. He felt MY list pretty much covered it since we already use oil lamps and have a big supply of candles. I can get tallow or lard to make candles if needed.

Actually all I did was write down what was at Grandpa's house that only had 2 outlets in the whole house when I was a child. One for the refrigerator and one for the tv in the corner of the front room. There was NO running water, heated and cooked with coal that we got off the side of the mountain that they were mining. Kerosene lamp on ceiling of kitchen and one by Grandpa's rocker in the front room. Aunt Hazel had a small candle for her bedroom. Grandpa slept in was what the dining room. Daddy and I dug outhouse twice. I love mine is sitting on a septic tank connected to septic tile. 

Mother had outhouse, ice box but very seldom ice for it, kerosene lamps, they had running water and the cook stove was coal and had a reservoir on it. 

It helps to keep that knowledge.  


Tuesday, April 19, 2022

When you save $$ by NOT doing

 I didn't buy a ham or stuff for an Easter basket. We had ham steaks from the freezer and asparagus fresh from the garden rolled in tortilla wraps. Hubby is trying to lose weight and found he does better with small meals 4 times a day than larger meals. Almost like a diabetic which is good as it runs in both our families. 

We stayed home for Easter and just sent messages as our families seemed to be out and about and we didn't want the kids to have to make choices of what side to see. We have been thanked more than once through the years of not making them make choices. My parents always celebrated off holiday since they had to travel so much for Daddy's side and then when they divorced. Also by staying home no new outfits were bought. Something our parents did every year.

We won't be planting sweet corn or popcorn as I found enough in the 3 frig freezers and the barn freezer I have sorted and organized. Only 3 more deep freezers to clear, defrost and organize. I told Hubby the seed would be best kept for next year.

I won't be getting a top off on the propane. The manager of our propane company looked at our balance and usage and thought if I was careful, we would do better to leave the "balance" until a NEEDED fill. He thinks we might get at least mid June. A fill then would put us in to Nov or Dec. instead of needing a fill in Aug. Keeping us to the lower amount of 4 fills a year instead of 5 plus 100 gallons. That would save us at least $1000 at the going rate. 

I won't be stocking up any more. We should have all we NEED especially since one of the kids who took my supply of lemon lime koolaid has ordered it to be sent to me.  They also are sending Wild berry lemonade for Hubby as they know he gets it when we eat at Wendy's. I do need to replace the "emergency  like grid down" stuff as we used it up through the winter. I am still pricing it out to get the best deal.

I didn't mail the birthday cards because we will be in the area of all the kids on next Sunday due to great granddaughter's 1st bday party. We will be wearing masks. Stamps for all the cards would be $9. That's about half of what the gas is going to be to go to the party where they will be anyways if they aren't working. I can pass the cards to parents if they have to work.

We got the septic tank taken care of. I wrote a check instead of using credit card as he gave 10% discount for NOT using a credit card. He charges 5% to use the credit card since that is what the credit card companies charge him for accepting them.

We didn't eat out. I used leftovers out of the freezer in the airfryer or microwave instead of the stove that uses propane. 

We have several garden beds of painted plyboard needing replaced (4 yrs old). We decided to accept the offer from E to use the slab wood for free *he just wants it gone* for them also instead of using it just for the potato crates. 

We have had snow, graupel (frozen snow) and around freezing temps. Welcome to Ohio in April

Prayers for peace

Blessed be

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Birthday cards on hold and in the garden

 Because I refuse to write a check and send it in the mail,(several disappeared last year) we told all the kids we would be coming down (as they are over an hr. away) and dropping off birthday cards when we go down for Lizzie Mae's 1st bday, Daughter 4's 1st grandchild.. I'll check to see who is in May and take theirs also. None in June of the kids or grandkids or great grandkids. Hubby's mom is June. 

As our norm we combined our errands with our chiro appt. and we took a grocery list from M for Aldi's. She wanted us to get her 10 pounds of bananas and cream cheese as she always wants 24, with 11 in the family I can understand it. She used to ask for it every month, now it's every 6 wks and a bunch of celery.

First we stopped and made Hubby's truck payment that isn't due until the end of the month BUT we won't be running errands until the day after it is due.

Then we dropped off some old meds to the police dept as they have a box in lobby for that kind of stuff.

Then we stopped at our bank (as they closed the branch here)to made deposit for the business.

Then we went to Menard's and got filters (had to order 1 as they don't carry that size), we got Chi Chi tortilla chips (the only ones Hubby likes), big bag of Fritos (can't find them any where else and we use them for spinach dip or chili) and candy bars that was on sale and 9 boxes of Puffs tissues so we don't need to stock that up any more. Plus got the wood strips to put on the kitchen porch ceiling where the seems of the paneling is gapping. WAS paid in full by rebates. We are good with working the rebate system ... We paid for a grill, smoker, the deck material, kitchen porch material and half of the front porch material with rebates from buying other stuff when remodeling this house.

Then we went to Kroger's fuel to use the points, I had couponed a double points two weeks ago so we used that up. Kroger's just happened to be the lowest cost in the area also.

Then we went to Applebee's for lunch. Got the "bowl" meal, leftovers made supper so it figured $12.50 a meal for the two of us. 

Then we went to Chiro. I still have an out of pocket so we had to pay for both of us.

Then to Aldi's, I got celery, peanut butter, catsup, lemon's ,limes, oranges and onions. Hopefully I won't need to buy onions after this. Hubby got celery and bananas for M

Then we went to Walmart on the way home for M's cream cheese.

We dropped of M's stuff along with the 2 egg cartons I had

Unloaded truck, played outside with Charlotte who decided she needed the box of tissues off the bfast bar (not chewed on but on the couch) and my GasX off the table (also not chewed on but on the couch) means I need to double check to make sure there is nothing that can harm her.  She knew she had been bad... was giving lots of kisses and nuzzling. 

Since supper was leftovers it was a YEAH ME for not having to cook.

Hubby checked his email and found a online lecture about grid failure. A friend of Hubby's is an Emergency Management Director had just been in a seminar for this so was allowed to share it. I asked if this was why he wanted stocked now. He said no , he was hearing that sources the Amish use was not being able to supply them like normal or supply at all. But this definitely made he start thinking about stuff. 

Peas are up (will cover this coming weekend due to 32 degree ). 

Prayers for peace. Blessed be

Monday, April 4, 2022

Hubby, pantry soup, Propane increase more than doubled

 It's my favorite photo of him. He was out on the tractor and turned around to check on something. I was a good 50 ft from him so he didn't realize I was taking a photo.

He came home Friday after hauling hay for Amish and told me we were going to check our stock for everything. He did mean EVERYTHING. He wouldn't say what he heard but he was clear we were going to be totally stocked up by May unless it was something for the gardens. It was worse than I thought in the maintenance stuff (thought we had until Aug  and were out in two areas) and was better than he thought (he is the one that forgot to tell me we needed furnace filters). 

I did several orders at Amazon (covid going around again on our area) and the 12th when we go to chiro we will do a pit stop at Menards for filters for the furnace, water etc. and use the rebates we have to pay for it with mask, gloves and sanitizer in hand. Starting to see limits on a few items

 I went to the grocery store (masked up etc.)and stocked up. I saved 32% and got double fuel points. I picked up ground beef . I made taco meat, ground beef crumbles, sloppy joe, hamburger patties and froze it along with bacon, Canadian bacon and sausage links. Today will be making meatloaf and freezing it on old cookie sheets to make meatloaf patties. Plus meat balls precooked and put in the freezers. I got frozen Gordon's fish patties. We went the Friday the week before for fish dinner at the local restaurant and they didn't get any in. Horrible during Lent.

I spent part of Thursday evening visiting with an Amish lady (my age). She is growing sweet potato starts for the first time in decades. Her youngest son (her husband and her live in the Dawdy (grandpa) house) who lives in the house connected to her is doing potato starts that he has not done in years. They have bought from other Amish that are now trying to feed their own.  She was talking about how cash flow was tight (several medical bills and 3 fires , they share those costs in their church) and how she was making things stretch. Growing more basic foods for storage. She was worried about canning lids ( she uses about 3000 a year for the two of them, remember they can their meat also and eat 3 meals a day) being an issue again. Said they (meaning everyone in her church) had placed orders of lids for twice of what they usually use. Hoping to get a bit ahead. I already have mine as I ordered in Jan. Due to their ages and health she said they eat a lighter breakfast (6 am)  now, just toast and egg and not the white potatoes. Dinner at noon is now their main meal. What ever is left over from dinner becomes pantry soup for supper at 6 pm.. She adds a can of cream soup and maybe a hand full of noodles. She doesn't add broth as that is for cooking noodles without anything. But will thin the soup with water or tomato juice. She makes 1 qrt of the soup and serves it with bread. They are trying to eat healthier foods. She laughed when she talked about going from a 12 inch pie to an 8 inch pie but still cutting it in 8ths. Was an interesting visit.

I got an eye infection, it's a lot better but one of the things doctor told me was to pitch any makeup INCLUDING face cream that I had been using. I knew makeup but didn't think about face cream. Wasn't much to pitch of either.

Water softener company let us know the price of delivery was going up *not a lot* as we have them deliver when they are already in the area so no extra trips. They carry the salt down to the basement also so we don't have to figure out who to ask to do it for us.

Electric company has let us know rates will be going up but they didn't know by how much as they are trying to change some things to off set the increase. We have a co-op.

Propane company let us know that propane has already doubled since last year*it had increased by 30 cents last summer right* and they are guessing that it will hit $3.259/gallon by August. I am thankful we already had insulated well enough to cut it by 2 tanks but STILL I need 2400 gallons $7821.60 plus tax of $567.07 for a total of $8,388..67 IN FULL by Aug. SO that has to be put back out of the budget as we are not pulling from the IRA's for it. I am thankful we have already had an energy audit and I completed most of it. I do have some caulking around baseboards and insulation foam pads on outlets to do yet.