Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Frugal post...instead of what I did

 it's going to be what I am going to do. 

Garden is coming in. Monday harvest 

orange tomatoes
zucchini, yellow egg zucchini and yellow crockneck

Rest of the harvest that Hubby helped gather.

Lots of food to process. I have a list of what I am low on. I did pull the last of the jade beans, roma beans and yellow wax beans and this is the last of the cabbage. I am canning the red cabbage with apples. Not sure what to do with the other cabbage as the kraut crock is already full. Might make more canned cole slaw. 

Email my IRA guy to make sure I am pulling the correct amount of RMD from my inherited IRA since IRS made it clear over the past week they weren't clear how they wanted the money to come out. He is on vacation so it will be sitting there for him when he gets back.  The original rule was it had to be taken out in 10 yrs... so most finance suggested leaving it there. Now it's you have to take a certain amount out each year which is what they meant but didn't say. SIGH. No sense costing me with a penalty from the IRS. BESIDES... if I am not pulling enough I will of course pull more but that means we pull less from Hubby's IRA.

I won't say no to any food offered to me even if I am buried in it from my own gardens. This is with the acknowledgement we might not have much of a garden with having to rebuild most the beds (lasted 4 yrs) next year due to costs of building raised beds. M just sent over a bag of corn. Believe me I don't need any more corn as I now have enough corn for 2 meals a week for a year. We didn't grow corn this year. I didn't say no to cucumbers, beets, zucchini or corn. I now have canned goods in the north and south lofts as over flow from the pantry.

I am almost out of Bunn coffee filters. Son 2 bought the first Bunn coffee pot for Hubby 7 yrs ago. Hubby bought me one 5 yrs ago (we don't drink the same strength of coffee). Both are going strong with a cleaning every 6 months. Son2 splits cost of the filters. I automatically went to Bunn website to order the filters... store filters are too short and allow grounds to come over the top. THEN decided to google the filters. Found them at Amazon for the cheapest. So went through The Prudent Homemaker /Brandy website and ordered them saving $. AND it helps Brandy. 

Errands are Tuesday. We will drop off bday card to Son 1 as his bday is the 10th of Sept. and we won't be back over there before that. Grocery list is milk... I will check to see what chicken thighs/wings are running. IF in my price point I will get that also. I might get coke a cola and sprite if that is on sale. PLUS a couple of 2 liters of store brand 7 up/sprite for doing apples and maybe pears if I find them. We like them better if I soak the apples/pears in the pop before canning or dehydrating.

 Chicken thighs and wings, ham and turkey is the last of the meat to stock. I might pick up bulk sausage later this fall which is when the ham and turkey prices should be the lowest. I do check freezer depts for turkeys as last year I found some for clearance for half of the normal price. The rest I need to stock is coming from the gardens. EXCEPT apples and pears. I will be canning most of the ham and turkey.

Hubby noted the only things he is tossing in the compost is odds and ends from where I am canning/freezing/dehydrating. Mostly tomato cores and ends of peppers. E offered to add manure this fall after everything in the gardens are done. I reminded Hubby his garden was there so I wasn't tossing much on it. E's hay field has gotten some of the "compost" items LOL.

The only "night light" we have on now is the basement light with that door open so we know/remember that Charlotte is sleeping there. Otherwise we shut the door and she scratches the crap out of the door as she won't bark to be let out or in. Wilbur would bark, Rascal was more of a scratcher. 

I am using the grill to "blanch" tomatoes, actually I just cut the core out and toss them on the grill, light the grill, wait about 3 minutes, turn off the grill and wait another 2 minutes. Put in bowl and cover, Usually the skin comes right off (and gets dehydrated) after they are cool enough to touch. 

I will be reworking the budget. Had a couple finance people tell me to figure on 10% increase of everything this year with a possible 15% increase on top of that for next year. That is on top of possible colder, snowy winter. 

We have debated of how much propane to order. Wood/coal stove was supposed to be in and got bumped a month. We decided to order less than last year.... and if the stove doesn't come in we use our emergency heaters if necessary.

I ordered faraway cages for computers, ham radio, vehicles, and phones. A faraway cage protects from EMP and solar flares. The house already has a protector at the breaker box... Won't be my fault if Hubby loses stuff due to solar flare if he doesn't put his stuff in it. He is a Ham radio operator and part of a home land security in the local area. They try to prepare for the worse and then avoid it.

Have a good week. I will be buried in produce LOL

Blessed be

Prayers for peace 


Thursday, August 25, 2022

future plans for the house

 Tomorrow E is coming over to help carry some furniture upstairs from the front room and then help Hubby put the wood stove chimney on the house so that's already done when the stove comes in during Sept. 

Hubby wants one more cord of hard wood and a cord of soft wood for kindling. We might not need that cord after I get done cutting the limbs that have been sitting for over a year.

Hubby was going to lower the ceiling in the pump house but now needs that height for the solar pump so that job is off the list. We are going to put some cabinets in it as its a good place to store some veggies like potatoes, squash and such.

Hubby still plans to replace the steps on the front porch and kitchen porch and add a set of steps to the south end of the kitchen porch (railroad ties are there now, E will take them afterwards). All of it is here.

The paneling is here to finish the south bedroom loft that will most likely be a winter job 

We were going to fix the garden shed... now that's for next year as we are debating on tearing it down or fixing it. 

On next year's list is windows... highest cost is $16,000 as they would have to be custom built to fit in the same space.

Building and buying what ever to organize the barn. 

Redoing the garden beds. I want to redo strawberry beds also. Blackberries need extended fencing.

We are still debating on a dormer shed over the north/south lofts. Will depend on costs. IF we decide to do that ..insulation/crawl space will get bumped a year.

The following year is to be foam insulation  and crawl space encapsule. I will have another energy audit done before we add insulation. We were doing decent on the first one, but we've done a lot of gap closing since then. 

The following year is siding.

Somewhere along the line we will have to redo the wood floors. We will either build more closets or buy a couple more wardrobes.

A lot will depend on money. I do have certain windows that need replaced so it might only be replace the bad ones and make due. 

Monday, August 22, 2022

on the financial side after coffee

 Because finances at 4 am isn't possible as that is Charlotte time on the porch with my first cup of coffee so I can function.

rained for last 2 days so the chairs were damp so the towels were for the chairs

She heard H, the Amish on the back side of us talking to one of the kids while doing chores. 

My view of the pond with the neighbor's security light. Fog was pretty heavy this morning.

Finance report:

Sept 1st is one year from refinancing the mortgage. We have a 30 yr. loan (was the cheapest interest). We have paid 4 years of payments. saving $23,814.87 in interest. 

The money for the wood/coal stove and1 ton of coal is in savings.(Sept)

The money for the chimney for said stove is in savings. (Sept)

The money for propane is in savings.(Sept)

The money for propane for Sept 2023 is now in a 1 yr CD.

I paid the estimated school taxes early. 

The bills for August and the health ins and mortgage for Sept are paid. 

We still need to save for another vehicle. 

We still need to save for 2 batteries for the solar deep well water pump.

We still need to save for 2023 medical out of pocket/prescriptions/ etc..

2023 will be a weird year as Hubby goes on Medicare in Oct. and I the following Jan.2024.

 We usually pay the bills from the SS and the health and extra's from the IRAs. I am going to have to flip that.  I will probably still put the out of pocket until things  settle in that area. 

Blessed Be

Prayers for peace

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Checking on the Get It Done List

No highlight means it is now done.

Green is working on it.

Yellow is not even touched.




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. Slow going , watering a lot.

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.

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

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.

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. 

E has offered to help Hubby install the chimney and move the furniture at that time if we haven't already moved it up stairs.




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. 

 E is getting us 25 lbs. of ground speltz in the coming month or so. 

Right now E is building a 20 x 40 addition to their home. M let me know I can get some speltz off her if needed before he goes after speltz.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

This morning's harvest


Charlotte checking harvest out

not quite ripe yet... it's a goat bag tomato. Amish around here have taken to growing them and red oxhearts as it doesn't take many to fill the jar. FYI, my hand with fingers spread like here is 7 inches wide and 6 inches from wrist to finger tips. 

Also have 3 gallons of beets from M to can today. 

Off to the canner ... 

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Hope you are doing well.

 She woke both of us up itching at 4 A.M Monday morning.

Days are flying by....

Monday, Charlotte got her nails clipped and a different shot for her allergies. The vet had noted last year that the injection she got didn't do as well as hoped. We forked out the higher $ to get a different shot. She slept solid on the hour drive back home and then curled up on the same chair as pic and slept another 2 hrs. Came in, ate, went back out and played, KNOCKED ME ON MY BUTT AND INTO HALO BUSH, gave kisses to make up for it, came back in and slept from 8 pm until 5:30 this morning. Hubby said she woke him, went out to potty, came right back in and went back to bed. 

I ordered some items on the stock list I keep on the frig going through The Prudent Homemaker's site at Amazon and used my cash back points to pay for it. We are now set for winter with filters.  I got popcorn and breath right strips also. There is enough points left to pay for my monthly kindle charge.

I ordered my FLYLADY calendar (2 ...one for household the other for pantry) through Amazon instead of Flylady.net. Saved $20 on shipping. I ordered File It calendar through Calendars.com that I use for finances. Keeps the bills together. Daddy and step mom and Mother and step dad used this type of calendars for the bills.

I baked bread (need to bake again) made wonton wrappers and some dumpling *pot sticker* wrappers for the freezer. 

I refilled everything in the kitchen, started to reorganize it and found what I thought would work , made it worse so I will have to undo that this week. 

I took stuff to the pantry, realized I didn't have a place for it so had to move stuff around.  I mylar bagged my corn meal , one bag for  2 lbs. and put it in a 5 gal. food grade bucket with gamma lid. 

I put the odds and ends coming in from the gardens into a freezer bag I call the stir fry bag. I will use that for stir fry and 123 pasta. 

These are goat bag tomatoes. Very slow at ripening but when they are ready it won't take many to fill the jar. 

We went to a friends' annual summer get together. I made almond flour pastry cups (friend has diabetes) filled with orange and red tomatoes and a pinch of cheese, I took a loaf of bread, and made pinwheels using cream cheese mixed with a pinch of garlic powder and small dices of cucumber and tortillas and  bowl of cherry tomatoes. All was in house so no buying anything. M gave me a crate of cucumbers that I canned but had a few left.

While at friends' get together, they were complaining of how high their electric bills was. Figured out that their electric price went up and they were talking about buying electric from one company and having the old company just transfer it. I pointed out that they would then have 2 bills and the old company would be charging distribution charges. That them might find that the distribution charges were what raised more than the actual kWh price.  When the husband sat down with me with his bill. I pointed out my house is twice what his is, my kWh is double what he is now paying with the increase.  That almost 2000 kWh   for that house was way higher than it should be. They said they had cut back on what they had one (just the two of them) and walked me through everywhere. I pointed out several things that was on and no one was using them. Phone chargers, tablet chargers, 2 tvs that no one was watching, desktop computer no one using, a laptop no one was using,  several garden water features, that wasn't where they would actually sit and enjoy them.... THEN their younger son walked through and pointed out that the garage fluorescent lights... all 6 of them was on and had been when he pulled in at 9 am. It was NOT dark in the garage. They have a pump on the swimming pool and the pump and heater on the hot tub. Their 2 sons started about they use the dryer for a iron. They use the oven to reheat leftovers instead of the microwave. .... We left, I figure the sons were going to finish back through the house as one is worried he is going to end up with them living with him as they run through money like tomorrow is never going to come. 

I did a thank you from the sons and the Husband for sharing our electric bill. He realized that high of a bill is NOT normal and that he hadn't thought about split billing. His electric company told him this morning that the distribution charge would be the same and that was what had went up not the actual cost of electric and they warned everyone 3 months ahead of that bill. Guess they didn't bother to read insert or notice on internet bill.

Going to doctors this afternoon and then store to use Menards rebates.
Blessed Be 
Prayers for peace 

Monday, August 8, 2022

Monday morning... goals for this week

 Hubby widened the drive way (finally after 2 yrs of looking a gravel hills in the driveway) and moved what was left of the gravel at the garden shed to behind the fence. Now there is a good area at the garden shed for the 1 ton of coal to be stored since it can sit out in the weather. So he got 3 things done that was on his list for this week as he picked up 2 out of town hauls that will take all day.

Daily: laundry with clothes line or drying rack.

            dishes including pots and pans that don't go in washer

           harvesting, weeding, and processing from gardens. Should have jade beans,             roma beans, yellow wax beans, banana peppers, poblano peppers, orange                 tomatoes, red tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, dill seed, basil, red cabbage,                     kalettes, and some other herbs. MAYBE white pumpkins.  

          COOK LOL

This week

Bake bread. Make and dry noodles. Make and freeze wonton wrappers, eggroll wrappers, and dumpling AKA pot sticker wrappers.

Reorganize pantry... fill in items low in kitchen... take things to the pantry (looking at 22 jars of pickles on the roll cart amongst other stuff)

Mylar bag cornmeal and take to pantry (5 gal food safe bucket)

Finish cleaning east loft bedroom and move the last of the furniture out of front room moved up there to make room for wood stove.

Clip and store shallots that are cured

Clip and store onions that are cured

IF I get that done I will check the get it done list. 

Had pot stickers and egg rolls Saturday, homemade pizza Sunday.

Tonight is pasta as Hubby getting home time is iffy. Wednesday will be frittata as that is another iffy night of what time he gets home. 

Tuesday, Thursday and Friday are still up in the area. Probably a BLT  at least once.

Saturday we are going to an annual get together that I am taking odd and ends for our share of the meal. The hosts provide meat and a couple sides from their gardens. 

Blessed be Prayers for peace 

Sunday dragging butt

All day Friday I kept telling Hubby I wished Saturday was Sunday. Friday and Saturday was harvest between rains. 

Friday and Saturday in the pantry/freezers

16 lbs. Lg elbow mac.  

7 meals of breaded zucchini

5 meals of breaded green tomatoes

4 meals of broccoli

1 meal of broccoli for soup (stems only)

4 meals of banana peppers

3 meals of corn on cob

5 meals of shredded zucchini mixed with yellow crookneck squash (fritters, pancakes, cake, bars and dessert ... cake like )

7 qrts. dill pickles

7 qrts. bread and butter pickles

8 pts. spicy pickles.

Refilled the bowl on the table with cherry tomatoes we snack on.

Sunday was the day of rest... which was good since my readiness score on my Fitbit was 1 meaning I over did it.. today is 3 but it's raining so I won't be out in gardens until they dry up a bit. 

We spent most of Sunday sitting on the kitchen porch watching the rain

You can just barely see the violet on the inside 

Then Hubby noticed the reflection in the pond

Charlotte decided it was Sunday nap time. She doesn't sleep much on her back. 

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Not enough energy and too many hours in the day. and some bad news at end

Yesterday I had 42 items on do now list. Last night it was down to 27...my allergies are really affecting my breathing. Doc is at wits end as I have never had them this bad. Limited on what I can take as a good part of allergy meds triggers my Crohn's and shots don't work for me.

Hubby's garden is growing 3 varieties of pumpkin, a cherry tomato plant and a muskmelon. And some type of squash that isn't far enough along to ID. He had one of the Amish he hauls for that grows veggies for the auction to come over and look and get advice. He was told to level the hill off after harvest and have E bring a load of manure and dump it on it. Don't turn until next spring.

 The green pumpkin should turn orange but if not it is still edible.

The white pumpkin is almost ripe, it will be like a butternut inside. 

 Blackberries have finally ended. I have 2 gallons marked to jam making this coming fall. 

Jade green beans are cranking down, Roma green beans and yellow wax beans are cranking up. About every 3 days I get a canner load.

Hungarian peppers AKA banana peppers are every other day. I need to process today. I have enough pickled so am slicing what isn't eaten and freezing. Should work well on pizzas and subs.

Cherry tomatoes are running us over, froze a gallon of them, will be roasting some with olive oil and garlic powder to put in freezer today along with going out to pick more.

The baby butternut squash is making babies... lots of babies LOL

The Yukon gold potatoes are almost ready for harvest and curing. 

I need to finish cutting the tops off the onions that cured to make room for the potatoes as we have 59 bags/crates planted of different varieties . 

We ate a cantaloupe that was a volunteer... the wildlife ate the other one. 

I harvested and froze our first harvest of white grapes. I think the birds are going to eat the purple ones before they get ripe.

I hope to have enough red tomatoes to can today. I have orange tomatoes that I can do 2 pints.

M gave me 6 zucchini that needs to go in the freezer also.

I found chicken breast on sale putting it in our price point range . We got the limit. I need to vacuum bag them today. IF I find another  sale I will pick up more but if I don't , it is okay we have enough for once a month for a year. 

I found ground pork for less than $2/lb. Got the last 5 pounds they had. Now have 7 meals of cooked crumbles, 6 meals of patties (need vacuum bagged) and we ate one pound that I used a DIY Bob Evans sausage recipe. I regret there was NO grease so I couldn't make sausage gravy with the left over 2 patties. 

I have tricolor rotini to change from the box to jars to put in storage.

The good news was we were paid back from a friend  so we have all the money for the grid down items and was able to stock... we thought KEY WORD THERE thought all we had left to save for was health ins out of pocket for 2023... WRONG.

Took our personal truck to get it's 6 month check over by our mechanic. Thought we had a brake messing up as we heard a crunch, grind noise. NOPE 

THE frame is rusted almost out and we need to replace the truck, probably by winter. We already learnt the lesson of buying something just to have something (hated the car but Daughter 4 loved it so bought it off us). We know we need a truck as we haul a small trailer behind about half the time and we don't want to use the work truck for personal use(nightmare with taxes).  Hubby said something about used... I checked those prices and decided we would save for new. If we don't have enough save when the truck goes down, we might settle for used. BUT I am thinking if we can manage it I would rather buy one that is 1 yr. old so we are not replacing it for 10-20 yrs. 

We will see how this one goes.