Saturday, July 30, 2022

Update on Get it Done list

NOT highlighted is DONE

Green is working on it.

Yellow is not even touched.

ADDED in teal .

STOVE AND COAL AND FRESH OIL FOR OIL LAMPS COME IN MID AUG.

PROPANE IS 5TH OF SEPT.

SOLAR PUMP COMES IN MID SEPT.

We have 4 out of 5 Saturdays booked and 4 out of 5 Tuesdays with doctor appts. 

I have the song I Will Survive running through my head 

Stay focused on saving for Grid down items (stove and pipe and solar water pump especially) Pump is paid for, still need $$ for 2 batteries.

Stay focused on saving for winter propane. 

Save for next year's health insurance co pays and deductibles

Continue to do deep cleaning (good for rainy days) WE NEED FARMER SOAKER RAINS

Clean outside front room windows so Hubby can put on full size screens. All the rest take adjustable window screens. 

Install front room window screens (Hubby) 

Finish washing summer bedding and put on beds 

Finish washing summer curtains and hang up 

Finish washing summer furniture throws and put on furniture 

Wash last of winter bedding and put in barn 

Wash last of winter curtains and put in barn 

Wash last of winter furniture throws and put in barn 

Wash summer clothes and put in drawers 

Pull winter clothes and put in barn. 

Finish planting the garden by Memorial day.

Take grow cart to barn.

 Take grow lights to barn.

Clear garden shed completely. 

Repair garden shed floor and add ventilation. (Hubby) 

Load firewood into garden (now wood) shed.  This has changed to load in dog kennel in barn . Hubby did that so we could use the garden wagon to bring wood in from the barn  to the ramp at the deck into the kitchen and then front room.

Split any that is too big for stove.(Hubby) Might pay a could of Amish kids to help put the wood in the barn. But I think he is using the "have to stack" as his break from the saw.

Continue to get wood for winter. Need about 1 more good load and that's a maybe.

Store large drying rack in east bedroom 

Unload Hubby's wardrobe in wheelchair bathroom(me) and move to front room( hopefully Hubby but probably me) I did it alone...

Deep clean/ caulk if needed/ install insulation covers on outlets and switches if needed wheel chair bathroom. It got caulked.

Build closet where wardrobe was (Hubby) in wheelchair bathroom.

Put Hubby's clothes in new closet. (Should be Hubby but I can guess it will be me)

Remove wardrobe in front room by Hubby's desk (Grandfather's clock will go there).Take to East bedroom (both)  It's unloaded but Hubby hasn't had time to help me get it up the stairs.

Remove wardrobe in front room by wheelchair bathroom. Take to West bedroom.(both).

 Move Hubby's wardrobe that was in wheelchair bathroom to front room by wheelchair bathroom door. ( Probably me but hope Hubby) I did.

Mark off area that wood cookstove will take and space needed around it for safety. (both) I did.

Straighten 1st bay of barn to store garden stuff. 

Put garden stuff in 1st bay of barn. Which will clear a lot in the front room. 

Start moving front room furniture around for stove to come in. 

MAINTAIN GARDEN

EAT FROM PANTRY

HARVEST, PROCESS AND REPLANT GARDENS.

Remove dresser from front room and take to east bedroom upstairs

Move Garry's (late husband) crate shelves to front room 

Move mirror and wall oil lamps (not to use) to other wall.

Burn stumps (use old oil)

Move dirt pile (fill in hole by yard clothes line)

Install steps on front porch

Install steps on kitchen porch both ends

Install strips on kitchen porch ceiling

Install 2 ceiling fans on kitchen porch

Fix lattice on south end of front porch

Set up wood/coal stove

Install chimney for stove

Fresh oil  for oil lamps

coal stored at garden shed

Reorganize the dry goods

Reorganize the pantry

Finish stocking pantry. Beets and cauliflower did not grow well, I don't know if the Brussels sprouts are going to make either.  E is getting us 25 lbs. of ground speltz in the coming month or so. 



Thursday, July 28, 2022

UGH.

 I told Hubby I was tired. Breathing was messed up through the night, probably allergies since I spent 8 hrs. each day in the gardens yesterday and the day before.

He told me to take the day off . THEN as he walked out the door to his hauling job, mentioned the dishwasher still needed unloaded and reloaded and he had 2 items needing pretreated before they were washed and they were on the floor of the laundry room and we were out of boiled eggs and he forgot to put the blackberries in the freezer. 

Work done this week:

Helped widow two houses down with charging her dead battery, spraying her driveway for weeds and going through so legal paperwork that was confusing her. Hubby dealt with the battery and weeds. Since I dealt with that paperwork before (I was widowed in 1989) I got that part. She was making it harder than what is was. 

I updated our finances and we went over the get it done list.

Cleared 2nd wardrobe so we can take it upstairs from front room.

I canned green beans, broth, turnips, and beets and froze blackberries, angel food cake and a handful of red raspberries.

I loaded, dehydrated and unloaded 27 trays twice.

I put over a dozen dill heads (for dill seeds) in paper bags.

I harvest and have curing 50 onions.

I planted 50 more onions.

Hubby checks his "garden" daily. He thinks pumpkin, maybe a zucchini and he's not sure if the other is cucumber or a different zucchini. He doubts if the corn does anything unless the field across the road in corn pollenates it.

I harvested, weeded and replanted 32 (actually 34 as 2 are 16 ft long instead of the 8 ft of the others) garden beds . I watered all of it (will have to water daily where I planted carrots until they are up) and the 59 potato bags/crates.  We got 5 very small (golf ball size) peaches. First time our tree fruited. 

I fertilized 2 dozen pots of flowers, herbs and cherry tomatoes.

Hubby spent so far 20 hrs. removing cow poop from our pond. E feels horrible and would love to help but Hubby is using a trash pump (think septic tank pump of a smaller size) to remove it. He has gotten it clear 3 times now and then it rains and brings more up from the bottom. E said he will never put a cow anywhere near a pond or stream again. We are trying to get it clear so they can use the pond to cut ice for their ice houses. Otherwise several families are not going to have ice next Jan/Feb. when they usually cut. I would add the geese, duck (first time for that) and heron have been in the pond fishing... that's a good sign.

I have one room completely deep cleaned. I thought maybe 4 hrs. since it's a small room... took 2 days. SIGH . Old age sucks. 

 Still needed to be done:

I have grapes to harvest, zucchini to deal with, cucumbers to deal with, cherry tomatoes and a few red oxheart tomatoes to deal with.  A large head of cabbage was given to us that I need to deal with. I need to blanche the last of the broccoli. Our cauliflower did not make so I will buy some and process it for the freezer. Apple trees took a really bad hit with the freeze that came in after the blooms were on so we will need to buy apples.

I rechecked the need to stock list. Instead of getting sausage dinner patties I want to get some ground pork to cook up for eggroll in a bowl. I can use part of the cabbage we have in that along with the carrot I already have. 

We still need chicken thighs, breasts, and wings. Still need turkey and Jif peanut butter.

How is your week going? 

Blessed Be

Prayers for peace

Stay safe. 




Wednesday, July 20, 2022

done this week

 


She makes sure we sit outside with her every morning... we are wondering if this is going to be a winter thing also and need our insulated bibs. It's nice to see the sun rise and enjoy coffee just looking across the land and not really thinking about what needs done like the pond needing another cleaning of cow manure. E is trying to borrow a small boat from his brother to help get it cleaned out since it was HIS COW.  Which is a lot of stuff to not think about aka house work, garden work, yard work, cutting wood. 😏

Windows are open and the AC has been off. That will change tonight with the humidity being high along with temps and Hubby putting in a 600 mile trip tomorrow hauling so he definitely needs a good rest tonight.

I harvested broccoli, cherry tomatoes, leaf lettuce (that came where I cut the head lettuce) green tomatoes, green beans, banana peppers , a small handful of red raspberries and a couple cups of blackberries.  I am trying to not use the veggies and fruit from pantry or freezers except for meat at this point. Makes for so weird meals as I did a quick stir fry on cherry tomatoes, banana peppers, and green beans with onions and garlic. The night before it was cherry tomatoes with ramen pasta and diced up shrimp in garlic butter sauce.

We didn't go to the store on Tuesday as normal after chiro since the truck was making creaky noises we went to our mechanic instead. Truck goes in Aug 2nd for work. We have blood work, chiro and voting that day also. Friday will be grocery day including stopping at Amish road side markets.

This week I have read The Puma Years (Kindle Unlimited) by Laura Coleman and 3 books by Ted Riley (Kindle Unlimited) Grid Down Situation, The Prepper's pantry and When Crisis Hits Suburbia.  FYI, Hubby is HAM radio operator, his group is connected to Emergency Services and Homeland Security. All the "solar flares" that NASA is warning about does trigger anxiety some what it could take out in the Emergency Services. I think the grid going down for almost a week just east of us taking out phone service along with the power also has  bumped up the concerns. 

Speaking of Grid down.... 

The Heco 520 and the 1 ton of anthracite coal  is to be delivered mid August. As of last week we had the final amount put in savings to pay for it. HUGE sigh of relief.

The chimney for stove ordered and money in the savings.

Solar deep well water pump will be in during the last of Sept. It's paid for but the batteries for it not ordered yet. When that amount is in savings then Hubby will order them. 

Propane due in Sept. We decided to cut the propane down to 800 gallons, might bring that up to 1000 if the Heco stove doesn't come in during Aug. That money (even if goes up to 1000 gallons) is in the saving as of last week.

Hubby thinks he has enough wood for this year. He just has to finish cutting it.  We wanted 3 cords hard wood and 1 cord kindling (soft wood and twigs) . He hasn't had much chance to cut wood with the rain. 1 cord is 4 ft by 4 ft by 8 ft or 128 sq ft. Any time the temperature goes down to 32 degrees and holds there we will be burning coal. We have paid $40 for the wood, the rest of it was free. Going rate around here is $300 to $500 for a cord of seasoned wood cut to order. 

The oil for the oil lamps will be in also in Aug. The money is in savings. The guy that will get the stove and coal will have the oil also.

Finances got a lot easier when a person owed us money finally paid it back. 

I put the money back to pay what we ordered plus extra for emergencies.  We are staying on the grocery budget and keeping the stock up separate with extra money so I pulled cash for the stock up so it's not tempting to get more than we have 

Then we looked at the stock up list that was a want if we had extra $$. 

I got pasta we were low on. We will be checking prices on chicken, peanut butter and dinner sausages (or bulk sausage to make dinner sausages since we don't eat a whole pound in one go) when we go to the store.

I rechecked the pantry to see what I have coming in and what I will still need to process, I will need to check with a couple of the Amish ladies about beets. I probably should have had Hubby plant them in the compost pile LOL 

In the garden... tomatoes have bottom rot, treating that and it seems to be getting a lot better. I think I caught it before it got bad. Second planting of green beans are blooming, some of the potato plants are blooming, the baby butternut is blooming , cabbage is doing good. I hope to make kraut this year. The red cabbage is slower but it seems to be doing good. Don't think the cauliflower it going to do well. 

There are blooms all over on Hubby's garden aka compost pile. The majority is definitely winter squash of some type.

Blessed Be

Stay safe

Prayers for peace








Monday, July 18, 2022

Hubby wanted you to see this

 He says it's his garden...




He tool 11 pics but this shows all 4 sides. 

It's the compost hill, he turned it late fall and then early spring. Went out about 6 wks. ago and found a vine so decided to let it grow and see what it produced... Now we have several squash vines that could be pumpkin, acorn, butternut, zucchini, crock neck, watermelon or cantaloupe. There is he thinks a cucumber vine. He found a tomato plant and a stalk of corn.

It is definitely interfering with mowing in that area. He told E anything that goes to his pasture is his. E just laughed.

Monday, July 11, 2022

Okay... here we go with the grocery budget...$42.37/month

 Biweekly

milk $3.49

half and half $2.69

heavy cream $2.79

cottage cheese $2.99 (Hubby added it for stuff pasta shells, manicotti and lasagna)

Total $11.96

Once a month 

celery $1.79

carrots $2.19

tricolor bell peppers $4.29 (I can't eat green ones)

White mushrooms $4.19

Portabella mushrooms $5.99

Total $18.45

GROCERIES FOR THE MONTH $42.37

We will be out of choc. bars (we put peanut butter on them ), chips and soda.

STOCK UP

of turkey, chicken breasts, chicken thighs, chicken wings, peanut butter... maybe cube steak, round steak, dinner sausage patties and G&R (Bar in Waldo OH) bologna AFTER wood/coal stove, chimney, propane, batteries for solar water pump and the saw is paid off.

I could and have dropped it lower than that but I don't want to trigger feelings of DEPRIVED in Hubby


Hubby

 Bought a new toy... okay, it's not a toy. He replaced his saw to cut the wood for the wood/coal stove.... 

It's a buzz saw that has connects to the tractor ... the tractor is the "motor" that runs the saw (like his tiller, back hoe etc.). It will cut his time spent cutting by 75%. He is going to set up a table so he doesn't have to cut wood in half and can run it like a table saw cutting plyboard.




He has learned that you don't lean forward and to have a good grip on the guard 


He was thankful it didn't really cut the nose(nasty scrape) or break his glasses... It didn't break his nose. I kept my mouth shut as E was giving him the lecture of why you don't use that type of saw without a second person with you and he checked Hubby out. 

Lesson learned (I HOPE) 

Friday, July 8, 2022

Changing focus on groceries

 It's Friday...After talking about the budget for gas. I brought up to Hubby that I was stocking for 2 yrs as I didn't know if we were going to be able to afford to redo the gardens next spring even with us sifting dirt. We would have to buy more weed barrier to use slab wood as Hubby has found potato plants growing out the sides of the slab wood potato crates he made. Or buy plyboard (not particle board like he did the last time) and paint it to seal it. 

I finished cleaning, defrosting and organizing the 4 deep freezers( barn will need done again this fall).

We decided to have 2 yrs of main entrees for bfast, lunch and supper. That is 2,190 meals... Hope you were sitting down and not walking while reading this on your cell phone. 

We are set for beef for 2 yrs if I am careful. I even have the prime rib for Christmas eve. I might have to buy one for next year. I have a few steaks that can be for Hubby's birthday in Oct.

We are set for pork (except for sausage patties) for 2 yrs if I am careful. I want to buy dinner sausage patties but they haven't been in stock from the butcher shop we get them from. I will only need bulk sausage if we run low on chili. I think I have enough chili canned to go 2 yrs. I can stretch that if I make white chili. I have brat patties so we might just go with out the sausage patties. I have 3 pork butt roasts that were in the bottom of the freezer that I didn't know I still had that can make several meals. 

I have enough canned fish for this year. We don't eat it a lot. I don't "stock" this up for more than 6 months at a time. I will have to get frozen shrimp (or go without) at holidays.

I have cheese for 1 yr. I am not willing to fill the freezers with more. LOL. I do have Velveeta cheese pouches that are good for 18 months. The blocks go bad on us before we get them used. 

I have pasta, we will run out of our favorites but we can suck it up and use other stuff. I make my own noodles and since Son 2 made his own ...  plan to make ravioli.

I have 6 dozen eggs that have been beaten up and put in sandwich bags then freezer bags. Half in 2 eggs/ bag the other half 1 egg/ bag. I can use them for baking, egg sandwich, frittata, quiche and omelets.  I usually get 2 dozen a week FREE from M but when her chickens don't lay in the winter, I don't want to head to the store. 

I have 11 different types of beans, some are dried and some I canned for quick meals. Plenty for 2 yrs.

What I don't have enough of is POULTRY. I have 3 meals of chicken breast (me) and chicken thighs(Hubby) . I have 2 meals of wings. I have a quart of turkey meat in the freezer.  I have 3 roasting chickens. Those can make 3 meals each as they are not very big ( I prefer 6-8 lbs, these are 4 1/2). I will get at least 2 turkeys (maybe more depending on price) Not sure about chicken at this point with the prices.

SO what is the plan to have enough? 

Bfast: I have oats (steel cut, regular, instant) that can be porridge or fried, cream of wheat, grits, barley, millet(never had but Daughter 4 likes), bulgur wheat, corn meal (polenta and mush) and assorted flours for pancakes, waffles and fried bread dough (Daddy called it knee bread as his sisters would take bread dough that had not raised yet and stretch it over their knee and then fry it in the skillet) Eggs of course... fruit pie, custard/custard pie and cake will also be there. I have oil for pie dough (like Daddy used) if I run out of butter (not likely as M is now sending that also) 

Lunch is iffy as if he is hauling he is not at home, I just pick either left overs or cheese and crackers( have some in pantry, will make them when I run out). Might be good to make room in freezers for personal size pizza as I have cooked sausage and pepperoni ( I dice my slices to make it go farther) I could use for that. He will eat what ever I tell him to. πŸ˜‰

Dinner we will rotate beef/ pork/poultry/ fish and eggs as Hubby isn't a fish eater/ cheese (think grilled cheese, cheese soup with broccoli or something, cheese and crackers, mac and cheese etc. /beans/ soups/vegetarian and pasta.

So what does that leave me to buy (besides chicken, sausage patties, and fish) 

Milk/ half and half/ heavy cream. Biweekly.

Celery/ carrots (might try bucket growing next year) tri colored bell peppers/ fresh mushrooms once a month.

I make our own bread. I will start making tortillas, bagels and English muffins.  I will also try crescents,  croissants and popovers.

I set the food budget for $50. Should cost less than $40 but I can see once in awhile picking some thing up like onions at end of winter or potatoes.(Fingers crossed ours does well and hold through the winter). I have $300 back for the rest of the meat.

I need to pick up speltz (50 cents a pound)  and maybe peanut butter at the Amish bulk store.  

IF we eat from the pantry we should be able to pay cash for wood stove, chimney and propane. It will be close with having to by a buzz saw (Hubby's saw died while cutting wood and 2 of the Amish who was going to cut it for him... broke their own saws) and batteries for the solar water pump. 






Thursday

 

This is hard wood that Hubby is cutting up for our wood stove. It is about 2 cords. We have been advised to have 5-6 cords even though we have a propane furnace also. Stove guy said the stove and 1 ton of coal is coming in August... might be the first or the last part of the month. You never can tell now days.

Son 2 and his lady and a couple of friends of ours met at the Hong Kong buffet. Been about 2 yrs since we did that. Son 2 paid for our meals and left good tip for the lady for keeping the glasses filled and the table cleared.

We went to Kroger's before eating. We were out of tortilla wraps... the ones I make mold within 3 days. Granddaughter found one that is supposed to do well even if frozen that makes a small amount. So that should be the last time I buy tortilla wraps.

We usually get Mission tortilla wraps... I am not paying $4.52 for tortilla wraps so I got Kroger brand that was $1/each.  I got a package of bagels free (Kroger coupon) and found thin bagels (haven't found them in 2 yrs) on sale and a package of English muffins on sale. 

On the way home we got gas ($4.67 here, got it for $4.27 on way home). Hubby asked what the budget for fuel was... I said WAY TOO LOW. I had actually changed a doctor's appt for a couple months due to gas budget this month. We have one more doctor appt for both of us, depending on weather we might use the motorcycle. Just so we can stretch this tank to the end of the month. 

Savings for the wood/coal stove, chimney, and propane is holding  but not increasing. Hubby switched who had his IRA and that payment might not come in on time to pay the mortgage and health ins from it so it might have to come from the savings. 

Going to have to rework the budget due to fuel. Hubby just increased his rates for hauling. Amish didn't bat an eye. 

Blessed be, pray for peace



Monday, July 4, 2022

July 4th

 https://history.state.gov/milestones/1776-1783/declaration#:~:text=By%20issuing%20the%20Declaration%20of,colonists'%20motivations%20for%20seeking%20independence.

Interesting to read, not all states were on board for us to claim independence. 


Happy 4th. Blessed Be

Sunday, July 3, 2022

FRUGAL JULY

 https://www.frugalwoods.com/2022/06/23/join-me-for-the-july-2022-uber-frugal-month-challenge/

I have joined this challenge for years and she usually does it twice a year.

I told Hubby we were doing it again.

 We are 1/3rd to having what we need to pay off the grid items and  next year's health ins deductible. 

I moved money to savings after paying the bills. Left only a couple hundred in checking and Hubby decided to leave his personal credit card at home. He has to carry the business one as he usually gets diesel once a day if he has worked all day hauling.

 He handed me a list of two things we might need to buy , batteries for the solar pump that he hasn't even priced (update... $1000 for the 2 batteries) but will need when it comes in and a new saw (his table saw died so he is using a small chain saw) to cut the wood he is bringing home (update...hasn't found anything that will work better) .

 Groceries will be, milk, heavy cream and half and half.  Dog food for Charlotte. No stock up bought. It will go on a list for later. Will do  celery, carrots, fresh mushrooms and tricolored bell peppers(I can't eat green which is actually not ripe bell peppers) once a month. Grocery budget is set at $200. 

He frowned when I said NO EATING OUT. He said he noticed more and more of the Amish men are eating what he calls a lettuce sandwich, the lettuce has replaced the bread and there is only 1 lettuce leaf. We have plenty of lettuce in the garden at the moment LOL. 

Instead of spending $300/cord of wood (going price) he is lending an Amish his small trailer to haul wood (not cured yet) to the Amish's dad and a widow and reloading the trailer with leftover slab wood from his saw mill which is CURED hard wood. Means we don't have to stack it twice, once for curing, lots of air needed etc. compared to cutting and stacking directly in to barn . We won't need much if any kindling wood and we can get that for free from E. We should get another load in a couple weeks from the other guy. Gives Hubby a chance to catch up with cutting it.(Side Note, E has offered to come over and finish cutting slab wood since he borrowed his brother's saw to get some of his own wood cut) 

Hubby signed the papers to have his IRAs transferred to the same place I go. The other place said Hubby need to have 10 % on federal taxes (I said 15%) My guy had me call who did our taxes and she said 14% average is good ball park figure. Do not want to owe a lot but don't need to give the gov't an interest free loan of our money.  We would have owed over $3000 in federal taxes if he had agreed to the 10% federal tax.  Hubby called them and let them know he was transferring his money. He also told them the 10% would have cost him over $3000 in federal taxes as it was an incorrect amount. The office manager called when she got back from her vacation and told him she would have never let it go through as she knows there is other income in the home and that changes the rate of taxes. She had the corp. send notices out to ALL to not base taxes only on what is being with drawled but on total income of household. Glad we said something. My place charges 1/5th of what Hubby's place charges plus it's 25 mins. away AND we can go see his parents at the same time. That will also save us $125/ year in gas AND 10 hrs. of travel time. 

Even with it being hot we have still kept the AC off. ONLY if the house gets 85 do we turn on the AC and then will shut it down when the outside temp drops below that. 

Harvest from the gardens. 1 tomato, several cherry tomatoes, lettuce, turnips (greens dehydrated), scallions, red raspberries, and blackberries.

Given 4 zucchini, 6 dozen eggs, and a raspberry pie.

I made angel food cake (had peaches and mixed berries as options to put on it) and peach ice cream. 

Meals were:

fried egg sandwich with salad

Homemade pizza Twice

BLT wraps

zucchini bread pancakes  

Lunch meat wraps (finished lunch meat)

Frittata