Sunday, December 31, 2023

Goals for 2024

I plan to try to keep up with the Amish instead of the Jones. SNICKERING. 

WHY? Because Hubby is worried he will die from heart issues and I will struggle to pay the house off.  I already set the budget on what would be coming in if he died since I have already been a widow and dealt with that but also the widow on the other side of E, had to give up her own car (had payment) and the house phone due to her hubby's death. She hates his car but it was paid for. She can't even go to church or the food pantry to work daily as she did.


Make extra monthly payments on mortgage. 

Add another 3 months of emergency savings (would bring us up to 6 months)

Have a regular mending day instead of the basket is over flowing day.

Frame a couple of the puzzles Hubby is putting together and hang them.

Eat healthier. More at home and homemade instead of take out.

Finish the 15 projects we have listed as most of the materials are here.

I have lost 30 lbs. with being ill. I will be doing a lot of sewing to adjust what clothes I have to have clothes fit as I do not plan to gain all of it back.


I would like a small green house Tall enough for me to WALK in but not huge. N who we bought the house from said to get a green house over a high tunnel or we would be replacing the cover every other year. His mother backed that unless I was going to make it 8 ft by 8 ft by 8 ft, then the high tunnel would be fine but I would need a darkening cloth to put over it during summer or the plants would burn. 

I need new strawberries to start 6 new beds. Mine got the blight.

I need to replace 1 elderberry bush, 2 roses and 3 peonies. 

I want to add sunflowers, tulips and daffodils and move the tiger lilies from the pot to either by the house or along the fence line. I need to move the daylilies out of the mint patch..

I plan to grow my own sweet potato slips. Mrs. Mast gave me two sweet potatoes when she heard I was going to grow my own slips. Said they were the perfect size. About the size of my hand. She didn't want anything for them. I think it's because when her dad broke his leg, Hubby was the one that went and got the horses from the woods and trailered them home.  

I plan to start my own tomato, bell pepper, Brussel sprouts and cabbage plants. I might add broccoli to that.

I plan to extend the harvest from early spring to late fall or even Jan with January king cabbage.

I want a better routine for cleaning the home, a day for baking and the mending.

Daughter 2 gave me her routine and it's based on what day trash is collected. So she adjusted it for my trash day. The only issues is she has 1/3rd of the home I do and it takes her 2 days PLUS she mops (OCD) her wood floors twice a week. I am not mopping my wood floors, 2/3rd of house are wood floors, twice a week LOL. I am not sure I want to spend 6 days a week either. BUT then I do NOT have OCD. I have two that it was nothing to find them on their hands and knees with a toothbrush scrubbing the baseboards. 

I want to only do one major shopping a month with quick run for milk two weeks later. I also want to start buying our meat from the butcher shop as I am tired of the recalls. I would rather pay a higher price, support local farmers and the local owner and know that if there is a "recall" I will get a phone call  instead of wondering if the meat I repackaged for the freezer is in that recall. 

Instead of  NO SPEND Jan. I will do a low spend Jan. 

Prayer for peace

Blessed Be

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Ending the year ramble

 Even though it was almost 60 outside, we kept the wood stove going instead of letting it go out and turning on the furnace. I would like to not have to order propane before Feb.  I used up 2 large pots (#25 ball and root pots) of scraps from the Sawmill for the stove. Most just toss the pieces, some as small as 1 inch wide by 1inch. I use the stove shovel and shovel that stuff in. Usually will burn for 30 minutes to an hour depending on what gets shoveled in with it. End cuts off pallets goes in that mixture also.

A couple of gentlemen around the block (ha ha as the block is about 5 miles) that has sold us some wood offered us the scraps they can't cut to sell so we took the wagon over at the beginning of Dec. The one called last night, their dad who lives out of state had emergency heart surgery. They are taking turns of who is going to take care of him and they were going to try to finish cutting wood. We offered for them to just put what ever they had not cut  and what ever they had cut sitting there , to load up we would buy that also. Gives us wood for next year at this year's price PLUS clears out their yard incase they don't go back to cutting wood for a longer time than they are planning. Hubby offered to bring our tractor and help them load. 

We also have a load up at 309 sawmill that they want him to get at no cost to us. Just pieces that won't cut the right size for the lumber they are cutting and no one wants it.

We contacted the kids about dropping off Christmas today after Hubby's medical appt. Now even the boys have the crud. One granddaughter is taking delivery for two other families. Said she would have her husband deliver them as he is wearing mask and gloves when at work anyways. I can put it on the porch and she will come out and get it when I go back off the porch. She will Lysol it LOL. Keeps me from being around it 

Son 2 told me to tap on the door and then put it in the garage. Covid came back negative but he thinks it's a false negative as he has had covid before, flu test came back negative also but he is definitely sick. I told him the unnamed virus is like that and there is no test or treatment at this time for it.

 Daughter 2 is iffy. She thinks she is okay but for me to text her before stopping. She might get called in to work as others are getting it. Since there are several birthdays coming up, I am dropping those off also. 

We don't need milk so no stopping at the store. AND we have already planned eating out for today. 

I thought dog tags were due this month, they are due next month so I moved that to Jan. I will be buying the 3 yr tags. Charlotte is 6 so probably won't buy more for her unless she is like Wilbur and Rascal that both lived until 12/13 yrs old.

E gave us 5 gallons of mineral oil for lamps for the running we did when M had Susie. That saved us $25. Should get us through the rest of winter. We sure did not use 5 gallons of fuel in the truck to go get her one mile away.  We get 17 mpg in truck.

E told us he paid the hired girl (niece that is 16) $60 for coming over to help with baking as his two older girls couldn't handle it with trying to take care of the younger kids while M is down from having Susie. I asked what the boys were doing? As usually the boys handle the younger ones while the girls are in kitchen. They were in field picking feed corn and he was in the barn with a mare delivering. GEEZE.

 Did say the niece went to making the pies while the bread dough was raising, something the M had stopped doing and admitted she needed to get back to that timing. They baked 36 loaves of bread, 4 sheet cakes (about 17 inches by 12 inches) and 24 pies in one day as they would not be baking until the following Wednesday after Christmas. I am quite sure all three stoves were being used. I also told him to say something as I could have baked the cakes. He admitted the M told him that after he had already sent for the niece. 

I scheduled our chiro for the 2nd so I can pit stopped at Kroger's and use my Fresh Mode credit that expires the next day.

I refilled our vitamins from my stock, checked to see what the price was now. Price had went up 3%. 

We had some Christmas decorations die, I found replacements on clearance and ordered them using my Pinecone research credits to pay for them at Amazon.

I gathered our tax stuff, the only thing left is Hubby's business he closed and he said he has most of it. The bank said if he had issues getting some statements to down load to come in and they would just print them off for free for him. I can see him just going to go get them.

I need to finish putting Christmas away and deal with some extra food into the freezers. 

Prayers for peace

Blessed Be 


Monday, December 25, 2023

2024 plans and this week's menu

To start the New Year on the path we want to follow we sat down today and talked this out.

Do you have goals, plans etc. for the coming year?

 Menu :

 Christmas day: baked ham, baked sweet potato, asparagus(from freezer) and applesauce.

26th : Great northern bean soup with chunks of ham, fried potatoes and corn bread

27th: Bfast bfast for dinner, probably waffles or pancakes, bacon and eggs

28th: EAT OUT, have mid-afternoon medical appt and then drop off kids' Christmas and bday cards. Probably will eat between appts (depending on their work schedule) or on way home. 

29th: My Nonna's deep dish pizza bakes in cake sheet pan with bacon, ham, sausage, pepperoni, onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, black olives, and mild peppers covered with tons of cheese. 

30th: Leftover pizza 

31st: Pork butt , kraut and mashed potatoes. Cranberry celebration salad.

Jan 1st.... depending on if we are well, if family is well, we might go to niece's home for lunch. Everyone is to bring finger food or finger food desserts. Will still eat finger food at home if ickies are still floating through the family. 

Jan 2nd. Blue plate special...hum... meat over mashed potatoes covered with gravy with cole slaw and some fruit or dessert. Probably will be pork but I could see beef also.

Jan 3rd. Last one of spaghetti squash, maybe meatballs instead of meat sauce or alfredo sauce with poultry.

Jan 4th.: fried cabbage, fried potatoes, corn bread.

Jan 5th: Mackerel patties, boiled potatoes (with butter or paprika or both) and peas.

Jan 6th: Sloppy joe pie (sloppy joe in pie plate ( probably 6 inch pie plate so we don't have leftovers), covered with corn and then mashed potatoes and baked. Top with shredded cheese before serving.) Depending on if I have been to store, might add lettuce salad or if not then sunshine salad (shredded carrot in orange jello)

Jan 7th: dried beef gravy with toast, scrambled eggs, fruit.

Goals and projects:

Eat healthy and from pantry.  $ 0

Update will and all those items. $2500 ( Will be checking out snug for do it yourself) 

Pay extra every month on mortgage. EVERY PENNY WE CAN

Save money to replace Silverado. Half of extra savings

Replace steps on south end of kitchen porch, already paid for and here.

Pour concrete at base of ramp off front porch. ? Depends if E can help or not

Straighten yard clothes line that is now leaning.$0

Install tarp door on basement ramp, already paid for and here.

Continue cutting wood for stoves. Have 2 loads of wood to come in during Jan. $250 total and should give us enough wood for NEXT year.

Finish wood shed. E and his boys will be helping as it's putting the roof on. Paid for and here, will pay E and his boys $10 an hour. E said about 4 hrs.

Finish placing metal garden beds in gardens and running drip line. Paid for and here.

Complete decluttering of home. Gas to take things to drop off for donation.

Complete organization of home. ?? depending on what I can reuse for organization.

Declutter barn. Gas to take things to drop off for donation.

Organize barn. ?? depending on what I can reuse for organization.

Prayers for peace

Blessed be

Merry Christmas eve, Merry Christmas and Happy Boxing Day (Dec 26th) or what ever you are celebrating or not celebrating

 What the house looks like from the road lit up.

Woke up this morning at 12:30 due to herd of deer grazing through the asparagus patch where E had cut asparagus ferns (or what ever they call them) down for us. Hubby had not burned them yet. Charlotte barked at them, they looked at her like they were waiting for her to come join them. Was not happy when I put the flash light on them... decided to go over and eat E's corn stubble instead and then back across the road to eat what is left of the bean field. 

Have 4 of kids' families down with flu and upper respiratory crap and one has covid also. Was warned to stay away over Christmas. Right now the only ones not sick are the sons.

Hubby wanted to know what we saved in Dec. Over $429. and then I decided to NOT go to the grocery store even though I have coupons expiring for things we WOULD eat.... we have plenty without it so if NOT spending it in the first place (would have had to spent $85.64 to save $14.05 about 15% savings) then add the $85.64 to what is saved. I told him after New Year's I would go down to the butcher shop and get ground beef. It's local meat only so helps our farmers. It is the only meat I need and it's not a I am out  of it and I know we have prime rib today and tomorrow I will bake the ham. Plenty of leftovers for the week. He is still deciding between ribs, pork butt, pork tenderloin or pork chops for New Year's eve and New Year's day. I figure he will go on the lighter side. I have canned pork (I canned it) that I could just add to kraut, add mashed potatoes, have greens and blackeyes peas the next day and call it done. 

M and E had their baby, Susie *named after 2 aunts and 2 cousins* was born the 23rd at 10:06 pm. She is the 11th child, 6 boys and she makes 5 girls. Her mother in law was midwife. M was thankful Hubby went over to bring her home so she wasn't out in a rough buggy ride or having the baby in the cold rain with wind that came in that morning. Plus he got to hold the baby while E helped her in the truck. Came home bragging he got to hold her before me.

Hubby got a bill from medical office. Was flipping out (lovely dementia) that he had his deductible met, gave them his medigap coverage info blah blah blah ... took me twenty minutes of saying CO PAY not deductible was due to finally click what the bill actually was (we had co pay and deductible with his old ins from employer). Then he came back and told me he couldn't remember his username or password for his bank acct to pay the bill. Number one, I really don't want him messing with finances with his dementia flaring... HA HA and number two, this man has not paid the medical bills in over 25 years. I just told him to show me the email he got. I pointed out it was not due until Jan 15th so I would take care of it when I paid the rest of the bills and we would talk to the bank about him forgetting his username and password (I have them but it calmed him down as he knew the bank was closed). 

I have noticed since it is really dark (it didn't get light until almost 8:30 yesterday morning due to rain coming in, even E mentioned it as they are burning more lamp oil than usual) and it's dark at 4:30 pm, his dementia is flaring more than it usually does. I started turning on lights at his desk where he sits most evenings while he watches the news, checks his computer and does sudoku. He seems to have calmed down. I also am making sure we stay as close to routine as possible as I know that can flare things up.  We stuck pretty close to the menu for the week. I don't know if the routine of what we eat during holidays kept that part stable or the fact I wasn't trying to put a lot of food on the table since it is just the two of us and neither of us is eating a lot at one time. 

He has already asked what we are doing with the leftover prime rib, that depends on how much walks out the door with Son 1, he did laugh when I reminded him of that. I did mention Philly cheese steak subs and or pizza which both are favorites of his. He then asked about the ham, he would like some fried potatoes, beans and ham and corn bread. That is doable also. We already know we will be eating out on the 28th, between medical appt for him and dropping off Christmas and Bday to the kids we won't be home until closer to 7 pm. We can go eat after appt while waiting for kids to get home from work since we will be about 30 minutes from them. Kids are passing the stuff on down to the grandkids as trying to get everyone  together is impossible any more. 

Round up this morning as all the kids was up at 3:30 (even single sons). All the girls and their kids have some sort of icky and the Sons do not have anything at this time. SIGH. 

Take care of yourselves. There are ickies out  there LOL

Merry Christmas 

PS I miss the snow, we didn't get any snow... an inch would have been nice. Doesn't seem like Christmas without snow. I live in the north for a reason, SNOW for this season LOL


Friday, December 22, 2023


 We have in different savings accounts... THREE months of emergency money. We haven't had that in a long time and it's been a constant worry. AND I made the extra payment on the mortgage.

We only bought a gallon of milk and a large loaf of bread. We have been cutting and stacking wood and grilled cheese sandwiches replaced pizza. Cheaper and I wasn't stopping to bake bread.

I picked up the two prime rib roasts I ordered. Cut one into steaks to vacuum seal for later. Had some "scraps" left so cut them up for Philly steak subs or pizza or stir fry. Simmered the fat scraps for broth and froze that.

I have cranberry jello coming in. I buy enough for the year usually. This time I bought for 2 yrs. 

 I have MIL's purse coming in. She asked for a purse like mine for Christmas except not in purple. Decided on gray. There was two shades of gray. I ordered both so she can chose which one she wants. I can put the other back for later for either of us.

We are going to Menards for the 12% rebate sale. We have on the list as we have been waiting for next year as we try not to shop there unless 11 % rebate is going on. 

On the list is 3 storm door pumps(what hold door open/closed), two have quit working completely and I know the 3rd one is the same age.  Aircare humidifier filters, for front room humidifier. I have the Amazon price so it has to be lower than that. Paint for bottom step of loft so I quit missing the blasted thing, even with the light on it blends into the kitchen floor. I am going to paint a strip at edge of it so I know it's the last stair. I need 10 food grade buckets with gamma lids (I saved rebates for this purchase) I have enough rebates to get 12 so Hubby said to do that. He could see me dehydrating more apples next year than I did this year due to lack of room. 

We decided to not keep the Christmas lights on until Jan 6th like we normally do but unplug them after Christmas to help keep the electric bill down. 

We will be talking of goals for this coming year during the week. 

Blessed Be

prayers for peace 

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

I think you can get the ickies through texts and phone calls (not really but still)

 Daughter 1 had to cancel back surgery. She has covid.

Daughter 2 has the virus going around (unnamed and they are giving meltable puke med and steroids for it)on top of her hot flashes and night sweats.

Son 1 has a nasty cold, only a cold as he went to the doctor for it before it became a sinus infection (his go to icky yearly).

Son 2 caught a head cold and then the virus and then food poisoning (again). I told him to quit eating out. 

Daughter 3 got a head cold that went into a sinus infection that triggered her migraines.

Daughter 4 got the virus, passed out and hit her head so now has a concussion on top of it. THEN got noticed that her landlord was sued by city for not fixing the spouting and a couple other things(like furnace) that she offered to fix if he would let her take it off her rent... Now it's they are going to condemn the house if he doesn't fix it. She has 6 rescue dogs that are parents and children, 3 have serious medical issues from being abused and eating dry wall to stay alive, trying to find a place it going to be hard because she is sure he is NOT going to fix it. She tried to buy it from him 2 yrs ago when her job was steady. ( She did not listen when we told her to buy something else as the house is perfect for her just needs upkeep) She needs 4 more months at where she is to qualify for a mortgage.  She has been splitting household bills and gas with her son who is an adult but moved in with her when he lost hours at work. He is working full time, her hours float. He was bragging he got his car payments caught up and paid ahead... he forgot to keep gas money until the next pay check and it was his turn to do that and since he didn't say something before paying ahead, Daughter 4 spent her  money of fuel for heat. They use kerosene as the furnace died two years ago. I lent HIM the money and I am charging him the interest I am losing on the money and gave him 2 months to pay me back. Bet he doesn't do that again as he hates paying interest especially to old people as he called me to his other grandmother who is 5 yrs older than me. I would have loved to hear that blast he got from her LOL.

THEN I got sick... I pretty sure they gave it to me through texts and phone calls as I have not been around any of them. LOL.

I thought covid or RSV as the widow on the south side of us had been over and then came down with RSV and her daughter has covid. Nope. I got the virus with no name.

Since I could not keep my heart meds down, Doc gave me meltable Zofran and prednisone. IF that doesn't kick it down, it is definitely in the hospital since he is not willing for me to spend the winter sick. Spinach is one of my go to when I am sick but that is on recall here. There was no ginger at the store but I found ginger tea another go to for me. I also put ginger and ginger tea on my stock list. I need horseradish. Ours died this year. I didn't think to find someone growing it. I know if I eat it regularly I don't get head colds and that seems to be going around also. 

I took the Zofran, it tastes like crap for such a little pill. It definitely kicked down the throwing up, not even nausea, that was great... being awake because of the prednisone was not. I forgot it did that, probably was good for Hubby as I fed the stove. Doesn't matter where you are in this house, you will hear the stove being fed.  I will take that at lunch time so I get the "stay awake" done during the day. 

I went back over our budget...forgot to include school taxes and tax preparer.

Hubby wants 4 eat out/or take out meals a month. I told him I would see, it would be coming out of grocery money (that is usually where I take it anyways). He offered to pay for it out of his spending money that he earns doing odd jobs about twice a month that comes under hobby on taxes. He still keeps track of it as if it was business. You never know when the IRS is going to change something. 

I am looking at CD's for savings. I like Ally's no penalty CD's for the might need before 11 months. Then I float between the others. I put the medical deductible and out of pocket in the money market. We have to pay by check for the dentist and our primary. Neither one accepts credit cards. For what we pay with credit card, I just transfer that amount to our joint checking when the bill comes in. It's nice to earn some interest on it.

Hubby will now get a RRA to help pay medical since he is on Medicare. I told him that when that comes in to cover a bill , its getting divided between mortgage and savings as we didn't count on it as the company was looking at ending it. 

He saved 85 ¢ per gallon on diesel last night at Kroger's. I told him that savings goes in to mortgage and savings. I loved the look of WHAT on his face. 

We were going to go to chiro this morning, canceled because of me being sick, we were also going to the store for things we need, he might go to Walmart here (Kroger's closed) as I know Save A Lot does not carry it. Plus he has to go pick up the prime rib this afternoon. I will put the money we would have paid to chiro in savings for mortgage and savings since we won't go until Jan now.

E is going to put his horses in our pasture he rents from us to eat the fodder (corn stalks), asked if he could because he will have to put up barb wire fence that connects to our fence, we will put up the solar hot wire so the horses will stay off our fence. BUT Hubby took down two of the gates so they need to go back up and he needs to move the wood he just dump there so he can finish cutting it as there is no way to cut it with the horses. He said as soon as he dumped it, he remembered E was going to put the horses there and thought that just added more work. I told him he could just finish cutting it and get it done as it will be about a week before E moves the horses. But he thinks he is moving it closer to the barn so he can cut in the barn when it's raining and he has nothing else to do.  

I really hope you all are well and doing good with very little stress. 

Prayers for peace (and sanity because I think we got some crazy ones running around)

Blessed Be




Thursday, December 14, 2023



Remember this???

 We bought this house  over 6 yrs ago. 

All projects are done except the steps onto the south end of kitchen porch (left side of house) , but material is on site. AND we decided since Hubby's mom is using walker with wheels (and possibly a wheelchair as she had polio as a child) that we would remove some of the gravel at the end of the ramp we put on front porch and put in a cement pad to would connect to the cement pad that is already to the left of this photo. Amish tie their horses up there as N put a horse rail there with cement pad.. E said he could help with that if Hubby needed him and E thought he could borrow a mixer if they poured the concrete themselves. Amish have several cement mixers.

I have garden seeds. Our electric company figure out what it costs me to have my grow cart on for 3 months. They were shocked a bit of the increase but I reminded them that this is NOT LED. These are 120 watt fluorescent and there are 12 of them. 

All debt is paid off except the house. We do need to save to replace Silverado so I am saving for it also as I really do not want a loan.

IRS changed rules on inherited IRA, I now have to take RMD from Daddy's IRA. After talking with Hubby and then my Finance guy WE decided that I could use that IRA to help pay off the mortgage. It won't pay it off fully but it will take a healthy bite out of the debt.  

Hubby asked for me to write out the plan 

First is we continue to pay the extra we pay now

then we add the money I am getting from IRA (finance guy said it would last about 1 1/2 yrs)  I am not touching my own investment unless I have to.

Both being on Medicare as of Jan 1st will save us $9,216 in health ins and out of pocket. Divide that between mortgage and saving for car replacement.

When I track the budget, anything under budget the money automatically goes to savings for when it is OVER budget (like Christmas lights) as I know Jan electric will be over the budget while late spring is always under budget. ANYWAYS... what ever is NOT used in the budget by next Dec will be split between savings and mortgage. 

Money saved with coupons or sales will go in savings and on mortgage.

I printed off a year's spread sheets of each category for the budget. Hubby will do it on paper but not on a computer even if it's on HIS computer. I think his dementia messes with him there where he always kept books when farming.

Welcome to the ride LOL

Prayers for Peace 

Blessed be


Wednesday, December 13, 2023


 We went to see Hubby's parents. Like us they are keeping away from social activities due to the virus going around. We sat 6 ft apart for each other. MIL sprayed Lysol as we left. We talked about ways to save money and keep bills low. She was surprised I was canning meat until she checked the price at her local store. She down loaded the same coupon I had used and went. Got three chuck roasts (all cooked and in freezer in servings for two) and 2 whole chickens cooked and in freezer also. She won't have to cook for 3 weeks she said LOL.

Son 2 was in ER again, high BP AGAIN. They are changing his meds but he also told me this morning the job he changed to when he retired from Army is worse stress (and not due to wars even though it's a civilian job on base) than being in military. PLUS he is bouncing through denials from  Army over working burn pits for a year in Iraq. 

Daughter 4 caught the virus I had for 6 wks. Her two sons picked her up and carried her to the car and took her to the ER. She's passed out on them twice in the past 24 hrs. They had enough of her "I am okay". Her lupus is one of the worse flare ups the ER had seen , but not the worse the Lupus doctor had seen. On different meds and getting her BP up from the low she had.

Son2 said if they shared BP , they would both be normal. 

Daughter 2 said she fainted at work (custodian at school) due to hot flash. Was lucky she warned the one she was working with what was going on and that she needed to lay down. They caught her before she fell over. School nurse checked her out and now she has appt with her doctor over it.

Daughter 1 has out patient back surgery the 18th. 

Daughter 3 and Son 1 wants everyone else to stay away from them. We agree with those feelings. 

We are doing phone conference with finance guy tonight (he doesn't want virus and said it went through the office so he was not having anyone come in either) .

We are changing budget so I need to sit down after conference call and deal with that.

Most the Christmas decorations are up.

How is your month going?

Thursday, December 7, 2023

End of year.

 I went to the local flower shop and asked the owner to make me an arrangement that was 24 to 30 inches tall. Not some cookie cutter thing. He loved it, most come in and order something they saw on line. He come up with this. When I picked it up, he told me to only toss the greens, keep everything else and dry out the pot. He will reuse it for me so I am not spending so much. I think I will take some of it back for an Easter arrangement. 

I down loaded what was on the credit cards, added it up and put it in the categories I have in our budget to see where we went over, what we might not be acknowledging etc.

The thing about using credit cards for everything. You are paying to last month's bills on this month's income.

I then watched Hubby freak over his CC being over $4000. So I showed him he had his truck brakes ($2000) and one of the two batteries replaced in it ($500) plus fuel ($575) for all the medical appts as the other truck isn't trustworthy to go that far. He also used his card for something he picked up for E that E paid him cash for. Then the meals out as lunch was between appts. The good news is he got 1.5 % back on that so it went to help pay that bill.

Medical was high between the two of us. BUT 2024 we will both be on Medicare, Part B, AARP medigap, Hubby Aetna Part D, Me Wellcare Part D and GoodRX Gold for his nasal spray, nitro and my inhaler. Good Rx Gold will save us 3/4s of what it would be on Part D and within 2 refills of those meds saves to pay the cost of the GOLD.  We will save around $9,000 on medical compared to what it cost us to have insurance this year. 

Since mid Sept we have had 3-4 medical appts a week. That is done. We have 4 I think this month and that is it. I have 3 appts I missed due to be sick. I will reschedule them for Feb. or March as I try to NOT have many appts during the winter. 

Groceries was double. I got turkey for Thanksgiving plus extra turkey for freezer, got corned beef for St Paddy's, two hams , one for Christmas week(not the day) the other for Easter, and ordered the prime rib (deducted the money for it) for Christmas eve and one for freezer. I found a whole chicken at 7 lbs. usually at 5 lbs. on sale with a coupon at Kroger's. I roasted it last night. Today I will be tossing carcass in pot and to finish getting the meat off the bone and making broth. I also got 5 chuck roasts. On sale, had additional coupon and Fresh mode $.  Ended up paying $2.28 a pound. Have 9 qrts. of beef with broth and a Dutch oven to drain today to can the broth I made with the scraps I did not can. I had to pick up celery, carrots and milk for regular groceries. I now have tons of bread for us that was given to us from different people. At least it is not the same old bread LOL. Got half of it in freezer but we need to eat the rest but it is in frig.

Utilities were down, electric is not in until the 11th that will probably be up as the propane furnace was on half the month (if outside temp is over 40 and it does not get below freezing we use propane instead of wood stove). Propane tank is at 45% We refill at 25% so don't need that filled this month. I have credit on my acct at propane co.

I finally replaced my last purse. I got 4 on sale for the same price I would have got 1 mid summer when I first started pricing them. I also got 2 pairs of jeans. I dropped from size 12, to 10 to 4 when I got sick and lost 30 lbs. I now bounce depending on the day between a 4 to 8. Granddaughter age 13 lent me  her size 8 to make sure I could wear them before buying them. I got two pairs on sale so it was the same cost of buying 1 without a sale and then used my points on my credit card to pay for it. SO zero out of pocket for me.

Christmas lights are starting to die on us. Not surprised as they are over 7  yrs. old, some are 12 yrs. old So we are looking at what we might want to change to. 

Over all, we paid additional 2 yrs. on mortgage, saved 3 months of income and are fully stocked. 

Take out Crohns attacks, potassium drops and Hubby's heart attack... it was a good year. 

Friday, December 1, 2023

Dec 1st 2023

 Let's see....

We have been eating from our pantry. I bagged 5 meals for freezer from the turkey from Tday and then got another  4 meals when I cooked the caraccas for broth. 

I dealt with pomegranates and those are now bagged in 1 cup of little gems (that is what Hubby calls them) in the freezer.

I added sausage to an apple onion stuffing, prebaked them in large muffin tins and froze them. I can add gravy and a veggie or salad and have a quick meal. Got 9 meals.

I cut up the jumbo pineapple and froze most of it.

Once again I am running out of freezer room. Need a spot for the 2nd prime rib that is coming in 2-3 weeks.

 I told Hubby I was going to make some ice cream and then I could take the ice cream maker bowl out of freezer. Should be close to same size of prime rib.

M asked us to go to Aldi's for her ( they always pay for us to go). She wanted several bunches of bananas and a case of cream cheese. A case is usually 12 or 24. Since I had to get the cash for the kids, grandkids, and great grandkids Christmas, we just drove on over to Aldi's that was about 15 minutes from the bank. He got her stuff and I got the stuff for the HAM radio group's Christmas dinner that is Saturday. We "get" to get the condiments, buns and appetizers this year. I will pull the condiments from the pantry. Got the buns and decided on cream cheese rolled in dry Italian salad dressing mix with crackers, pinwheels of tortilla wrap, cream cheese and small diced red and green bell peppers and lunch meat (beef and ham)with cream cheese wrapped around dill pickle spears. This time cases of cream cheese was 36. M got one and I got one. I can keep it about a year if it's not already gone by then. It most likely will be gone by June.

I also found a ham butt so now I have ham for Christmas week and ham for Easter. That finishes the holiday meat until July 4th 2024. 

I started working on 2024 budget. I first looked are where we started 2023, looked for things we removed from budget through the year and what will be out of the budget for 2024. 

I finished my Medicare stuff. Hubby got Good RX. Gold (daughter 4 pushed it as she uses it more than her health ins drug part) It covers his nasal spray and nitro and my inhaler for 1/4th of what it would be through our Part D. Two fills of each saves more than the cost of the yearly cost of the GOLD. I figured up what we would be out of pocket for all the medical. (I like it to be sitting in the money market earning interest) and realized we will be saving  $15,000 a year. Yes you read that correctly.

Since Hubby closed the business and the "work" truck is now on regular insurance and it is paid off as the insurance money from the totaled flat bed trailer paid it off.... there is now a savings of $9600 a year on the truck insurance.  We also no longer have the truck payment so that is $10080 savings also. He also will not have the wear and tear on the truck since he is not driving it 200-300 miles a day. So I will be keeping track of that this coming year.

Between not using the propane furnace as much and getting wood free from E and cheaper wood from sawmill.  We have lowered the "heat" bill by $3,000.

I canceled some subscriptions Hubby was no longer using due to not working. Savings $1500.

95% of punch list of things to be done on the house (not including windows or siding). We do want to pour concrete at end of front porch ramp at the horse tie up railing (where Amish tie their horse and buggy) so when MIL comes over, she isn't battling the gravel drive way with her walker that has wheels. E said he could get the cement mixer the Amish share for us to use so we only had to buy the concrete mix. I  know we spent $10, 000 on the house with odds and ends needing done and the solar pump being finished.

Total out of the budget ALMOST $50,000. Yes you read that correctly. I went over it 3 times and then Hubby went over it three times. Then OUR Financial guy went over it three times. I quit pulling my IRA completely. I have an annuity that was Daddy's that I will be moving over to go to savings also. It will cover Christmas for 2024. 

I have my seeds for the garden. I told Hubby I need a place for the grow cart as I am going to once again try to start my own plants. Some years it's great other it's almost a waste of time and money.

I need to work on the grocery budget. 

Hubby needs to call about a bill that was lowered and suppose to stay lower for a year that went right back up. Still when compared to what the kids are paying for the same thing ( not our company and ours is not available in their area) we are paying about half of what they are for same service. We know there will come a time we won't be able to get it lowered. 

I texted the kids, out of 30, 15 had some crud. 

Sunday we start getting our vaccines caught up. We are only getting two at a time even though Doc said we could get 4-5 of them together. We were like "no thank you", Neither of us want that sore of an arm.

Got to go feed the fire.

Stay safe

Prayers for peace and sanity 

Blessed Be

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Day 1 of week one.

 Charlotte insisted we start the day with our normal routine of sitting on the kitchen porch while I drink coffee. I was definitely wrapped in a blanket.

We decided to eat our main meal at noon with snacks later. 
I roasted the turkey, baked a large sweet potato to split between us. Baked Brussels sprouts in bacon grease so they were crispy on the edges. Bakes stuffed mushrooms.  I added a spinach salad with sliced strawberries, feta cheese and strawberry salad dressing one of the kids passed to me as they didn't like it. I heated a couple rolls. We did not have any of the pecan pie or pumpkin pie but the day is not over.

I set the table (used to bug the crap out of Hubby) with the dishes my Daddy bought Mother on their 5th anniversary to celebrate buying their first home. Plus I used the silverware that was Hubby's grandmother on his Dad's side. His parents said it made them feel good because none of the kids wanted it because it was silverplated instead of silver. Since they would have been farming for a living , I struggle to see them spending money for real silver. But that is just me I guess. 

I took the crystal punch bowl Son2 gave back and used it for the citrus fruit. There is oranges, lemons, limes and pomegranates. The oranges look yellow in this photo. 

While putting leftovers away I found a bag of mixed salad that has taco flavoring that needs used up. So moved enchilada casserole up to this week to go with the salad.  

I washed the outside of the  west side windows so we can start dealing with Christmas decorations. I ordered some things we needed replaced for Christmas decorations that was on sale at Amazon.

Tomorrow I will be bagging up the turkey by meals and starting broth from the bones. Probably cleaning, and decorating. 

Be safe

Prayers for peace

Blessed Be 

Happy Thanksgiving to those celebrating it.

 Okay, we had 3 doctor appts, DONE until Monday and that is only Hubby.

I no longer need to take potassium (YEAH) , or go get more blood work and won't see primary until Feb. Am able to schedule my doctor appts I missed while sick. Able to schedule our vaccines also.

Primary is letting Hubby's cardiologist make the call over one med that Hubby takes for tremors, it might be the glitch in his heart beat, or it could be just how it beats since he has a deformity.

We sucked it up after chiro and my blood work and went shopping for the bulk.

Went to Menards, got bottled water, pretzels, Chi Chi chips (the only place that carries them) and candy for Christmas. We will get 11% back.

Went to Aldi's, got a small turkey for roasting later this spring, corned beef (now in freezer for St Patrick's day) some specialty cheeses, a pretzel bite tray, brown and serve buns and fresh cranberries. They did not have any ham which I usually buy there.

Went to Kroger's. Hubby pushed cart #1, I got cart #2. I got fresh veggies and a couple salads, oranges, limes, lemons, a pineapple, apples, pears  and pomegranates. I got dairy.  Hubby grabbed some different breads as at this point doc wants it on the table and we will work at lowering chemicals after the holidays. I have lost 30 lbs. I look like my mother when she was taking chemo. They were out of their 49 cents turkeys so I did not pick another turkey up. I usually have 2 in deep freezers.  I did get a log of ground beef (I had coupon) for making ground beef crumbles this week. I bag them in 1 cup sandwich bags and then in freezer bag. Helps make quick meals or to add to casserole or pasta. I use Bluapple in my frigs to help keep produce longer. It does seem to work pretty well.  I got junk food as I know if I didn't he would start picking worse crap up when he would go get milk and veggies.  He picked up a pie that was half pumpkin and half pecan. He would have gotten more but I pointed out I had the stuff to make cranberry custard pie, mini cheese cakes along with any fruit pies, cakes , cookies etc. I do not make pecan pie any more as Son2 can no longer eat it and it was being tossed. I think half a pie will get ate. Pumpkin never gets tossed LOL.

Went to the butcher shop, got 2 meals of cube steak, 2 meals of bone in pork chop, 2 meals of boneless pork chop and ribeye steaks to make in to Guy Fieri sliders for NY eve, Philly steak subs, and Philly steak pizza.  I will slice them on my meat slicer after they are frozen. Confirmed I had 2 prime ribs or 1 large one (depends on what he gets in) on order for Christmas eve. I will make several meals from that.

Went to Save A Lot and got a ham. If I don't use it for Christmas I will use it at Easter. I have a rack of ribs, a pork shoulder roast and 2 small pork tenderloins I can use for NY eve/NY day.

Figured out we still stayed in the $85/week range for the groceries . IF we go longer than 8 weeks and don't pick much up, it might be lower than that.

 Wrote out 154 meals without repeats from what is in house (included prime rib ordered).  That is 22 weeks and puts us to Easter. 

I would love it. We know we will have to get dairy and some fresh veggies. I should have enough winter squash, potatoes, and onions ( might be on light side there) . 

It took four hours of shopping, on top of 2 hrs. of driving AFTER blood work and chiro appt.  Lucky that the weather was on cool side so we could just leave the perishables in the coolers out on the porch and I put it away the next morning.

We talked about how it worked.. I had a full grocery list on clip board, in categories and in order to shop store (non perishables/middle of store first). 

We would set the carts at one spot, he stood with them and I walked the aisle to get what was needed, Limited us from trying to work around others. We went on Tuesday so the crowd was not bad as it was on Wednesday when our grandkid set me a pic of him trying to get some odds and ends. The check out line was to the back of the store.

BUT the negative, if is is colder than what it was (34 degrees out is like a frig) or hotter like in Summer, we would have to leave earlier, not have any other appts (especially blood work) to get it , get home and put it away immediately. It took me 1 hr. to put it all ways (yes it fit in 3 frigs) and the meat is wrapped and in freezers. I was hauling butt to get it done that fast.

I do have some things to do before Monday night (trash goes to road) like dealing with today's turkey carcass. Making the apple sausage stuffin muffins (Rachael Ray the only stuffing Hubby will eat), making apple sausage puffs (crescent dough), noodles (main dish and side) and taco seasoning. Off the top of my head.

We will be cleaning and decorating this weekend. It usually takes us a week to get the decorating done inside and out. I think it might take 2 wks. just because of him still going to cardio rehab 3 times a week and my energy is still in the toilet. 

We figured if we only go every 8 weeks. We will save 4 hrs. of our time, not counting cost of the gas to run the stores. We did not stop at the Mennonite or Amish store. They were packed.

This week on the menu is 
Today: Roasted turkey, roasted Brussel sprouts, baked sweet potato, baked stuffed mushrooms, salad optional ( easy meal) pie and pumpkin roll (from Amish)

Friday . Leftover steak from Applebee's that we celebrated at last night after no more blood work and back to 3 month appts. Probably will have bell peppers, onions and mushrooms sliced with it into tortilla wraps to give us enough for a meal. Pear salad or apple salad.

Saturday Leftover turkey in noodles (making noodles for pantry), Mashed potatoes, asparagus from freezer, cole slaw (canned) 

Sunday Apple sausage puffs (I am using a lot of recipes out of the cookbook The Cabin full of Food) . This works well as the ingredients is close to what the apple sausage stuffin muffins is. So less mess to clean up. 

Monday Nonna's pizza... think sheet cake pan, thick dough, good coating of pizza sauce, sausage, pepperoni, bacon, ham,2-3 different color of  bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, banana peppers, black olives and cheese. Chef salad .

Tuesday Spaghetti squash bowls (turkey alfredo most likely but could be taco meat and toppings) 

Wednesday Rheuben casserole on rye bread. It's a crock pot thing, layer of canned corned beef, thin layer of Swiss cheese and then topped with a layer of kraut (I have homemade kraut) I usually put a layer on Swiss on top when I serve it. We both use horseradish cream sauce on the sandwich if we eat it like that. Other wise we use the rye bread to sop up the juices. 

Thursday I will finish using the spaghetti squash as pasta.    

Stay safe

Prayer for peace

Blessed be

Monday, November 20, 2023

Hubby brought up

 He would like to do the grocery shopping like we did when the kids were growing up. I'm like... which part? The stop at butcher shop for the reduced on Saturday night because the store was closed on Sunday? The nine loaves of homemade bread I baked DAILY? The leftovers going into casseroles and leftover casserole going into soups?

No, the part we only go every two or three months for bulk. 

That was before Amazon for sure. 

 I had changed to once a month with milk run between last summer when one of the Amish ladies told me she was saving 25 % by not going every other week. 

In Sept with all the medical problems I went to 6 wks. Groceries are now averaging $85/week.

I showed him our standard list. There are a few things added due to holidays. Pointed out that fresh salad and fresh veggies will not last that long. He is willing to pick up some fresh veggies when he picks up the milk. 

I have no problem with going to January without being in the freaking stores. I don't want what ever new crud is going around. We are still averaging 4 medical appts a week.

I wrote out the list to increase the amount of time before we need to shop. Added some healthy snack food as I know we will snack more than eat meals with being mostly at home. I am hoping that the medical appts go down to one or two a week not four like now. 

I also made note... fresh salad and seafood first/ fresh veggies (think carrots and celery) and poultry next. Root veggies (and winter squash, cabbage in storage) next and then canned goods and freezer goods. 

I did tell him if it goes to waste we lose that money. I usually will dehydrate, freezer or make casserole or soup before that happens but it does happen sometimes.

He understands he will be in store pushing a cart. AND there will be at least 3 if not 4 stops.

If we take our time and I figure it correctly, it should be manageable between the two of us.

The side benefit, if I reduce the grocery budget doing it , that money can go over on to the mortgage.

Stay safe

Prayers for Peace 

Blessed be

Friday, November 17, 2023

When you get reminded of some funny things that happen at family holidays.

 Like the house catching on fire (no one hurt but enough damage) right before Halloween and we ended up with the spookiest house because the windows were black and looked like they had spider webs on them.

Same year, had Thanksgiving for 25, used church kitchen up the street. No one could believe we pulled it off but we did.

I made an Alabama Lane cake, went to move it from counter to table and it fell. Hubby caught it in the bowl he was getting for mashed potatoes. Ended up being Alabama Lane cake trifle. I cried over that one.

Deep fryer with turkey in it blew out at controls. Hubby kicked it out of Daughter 2's garage and saved the turkey. She said her garage smelled like turkey for months. No damage to garage or an cars.

Had Tday dinner outside as it was a great day, saw a couple next door and thought it was neighbors friends so invited them to share meal. Neighbor's thought they were kids friends, kids thought they were our friends... Not one of us knew them but it was the best of times. Never could figure out who there were. LOL

Daddy asking me where I got yellow cucumbers because he liked them as well as the green ones. He was eating raw yellow squash and zucchini. Yes we eat them raw. 

When Pop (stepdad) asked what I used to make the turkey moist but not mushy and I handed him a pint of homemade turkey broth that he helped me can. 

When Mother asked what was in the pinwheels... and it was tortilla wrap, cream cheese and diced bell peppers. 

BUT the part that still gets shared to this day... Is when someone will tell the grandkids (most are adults) to NOT SPOIL their dinner by eating from the veggie platter. Daughter 4 still can not live that one down. As she really did tell her kids to not eat from the veggie platter or they would spoil their dinner. Her husband at the time looked at her as she had lost her mind. LOL

What day is this?

 We are now marking off days like I did for my parents so we can keep track. 

I asked Hubby what day it was, his answer was 4.

I don't think so as we already had Veteran's day and Daughter 2's birthday. He laughed.

He thought I was asked what the day was to figure out how many prednisone and potassium tablets . I was to take which was 4 that day. Doc and told him to write it on the calendar since we both look daily at the calendar on the wall.

Hubby had voice therapy today, I had blood work.

I put away the stuff on my computer tray (that I never use for my computer) that sits at my rocker. I wiped all the tray. I put the pile of papers on the radio by my phone in the bill box where it belonged and wiped it off.

 I did my blog and started catching up on my National novel writer month of 50 K words by Nov 30th. 

I checked with Life Lock to make sure that was all up to date.

Ordered 2 prime rib roast, one for Christmas eve and one for the freezer.

I am not up to cooking. Lifting pots and pans is still a struggle but better.

I could actually give my phone number and social without looking today. Last Friday I was clueless.

Yesterday, Hubby stopped at Taco Bell's , not one of our normal places (would be mine) and got me 3 crunchy tacos for lunch and a Mexican pizza for supper. I took 2 potassium at lunch and 2 at supper. Today I go to 3 a day.  for 3 days and then it is 1 a day twice a day until a month..

I walked very slowly around the perimeter twice. It was a nice day. Hubby said it was nice to see me out of the bathroom and bedroom where I have basically lived for a week. 

We went for his voice therapy while I played where is my blood order? sitting at the hospital and it didn't help Doc's office was ran over with sick people and his head nurse aka his wife was the only one in besides him so she was slow getting back to me of the phone number she faxed it to.

I finally tracked it down (where Head nurse said she sent it and they said they didn't get it) and within two minutes watched the office manager walk the young lady that lied about getting it to the door.  Had 8 "vampires" what I call the blood takers LOL, trying to find a place to pull blood from...sigh. Finally the head boss found if she moved her thumb a certain way she could get to a good one and stuck me. 

We went through Mc D's and got a double cheeseburger for each, split small fries and I got a small ice tea as I had a headache. 

Got home, Hubby went back to town for groceries that I was not up to dealing with and he had to jump the truck to get it started twice. Replaced that battery, thinks there is a short in the  rear brake lights again (has happened twice now) and it drained it. Going to call about scheduling that to be checked. He picked up Special K, milk and 3 bags of mixed salad. 

Doc calls to tell me my potassium in not in the toilet (2.9) but hanging over the seat (3.4 LOL) and he would like it to be at 4 (with toilet lid shut). Magnesium is in normal range and he can't think what would cause the potassium to drop. I asked him if he had checked my B9, Folate? Total silence. No because I am past childbearing. I pointed out that just because I am past that doesn't mean it can't be the issue as I know from experience that drops my potassium. Has been added to my blood work on Tuesday even though we see him Wednesday. Means I can go to store and pick up a few things to get us through the holiday and decorating for Christmas and NOT on the day before the holiday. 

There is one thing I would never miss about the holidays. The kids start fighting with each other until I want to smash heads together. I blame Mother as she always felt she needed to start it right before the holidays. I am glad they are having meals with their kids (yes our house is big enough but they know they can't fight with each other within the length of our arms) So they are eating else where. Son 2 who just broke up with his lady due to her cheating is going to his biological aunt's for dinner as he is close to her boys he hasn't seen for a couple years. Son 1 is going south with some buddies as he is not seeing anyone.

 Hubby said he noticed that they didn't offer for us to come to eat and I laughed. They know full well they start fighting with each other in their own homes we will still smash heads. Until the day we die before that stops. Less stress for us as I would probably try to figure out how to eat with 4 different kids, couple of the grandkids are going to be with their other parents also. By Christmas things will calm back down. 

Hubby mentioned we had no place for putting puzzles together. I used to have a cardboard for the table and we would move it to the bfast bar. His Mom told him to quit doing them as he made 2 into pictures for her (framed etc.) so he stopped completely when she meant for her alone.   I ordered a puzzle table and some puzzles I think he would like, one I know I would like to do  for us as our Christmas gift to each other. I know I will have to change what I store on the bfast bar (beside clutter) so we can sit it there when using the table. It has drawers for the pieces so I won't have to keep gathering them up and putting them back in the box. Daughter 2 had one like this for years for her 4 boys(who fight with each other around the holidays also).

We are having pumpkin spice Special K for bfast

It's supposed to rain, soaker rain most the day but be warm. I have to clean the stove as the rest of the week is to be cold. Nice to have a couple days break of hauling wood

I am thinking beef stew for supper. I have canned beef, just turn broth into gravy, add carrots, onions and potatoes. Either bake bread or biscuits along with salad should be plenty. 

Best try to get some sleep. 

Prayers for peace

Blessed Be 


Wednesday, November 15, 2023

I am in recovery. Its going to be long time.

 My potassium is 2.9. Usually at 3.5 they have you in hospital with potassium IV. Since Doc just watched me hobble in to his office on Hubby's arm. He knows I am better... as I could not walk into the ER or out of it on Friday. LOW POTASSIUM CAN CAUSE HEART ATTACK. I already left sided heart disfunction (which goes in to left sided failure).

At ER on Friday night

Paramedic took me to my room as the staff was busy and my BP was 85/53 and I was having chest pains. Pain level at 8, throwing up and diarrhea. I had taken 2 Humira and it did not not slow down the freight train (because Crohns wasn't the problem) Told Hubby he expected me to just slump over at any time and figured he was the best person at the spot to deal with it. Hubby told him they could tag team it as he was retired EMT. plus squad driver.

RN took one look and called for blood work, and all the heart crap  stat. PA came in and started hooked up IV but was nice to draw blood since he taking my only good vein. They did a small amount later to run second test for heart attack. NO heart attack but definitely heart event with stress. Still was at level 8. pain

Meds for throwing up. Had to wait for ct scan to show nothing was blocked before they could give me a pain shot.  NO blockage, gave me standard morphine (that's all I can take) It did not kick the pain down. Still at level 8. Not throwing up (such a relief) but went through 8 diapers in the 3 hrs. we were there.  Said potassium low. So as I was being releases I asked what meds was being sent to pharmacy... Potassium. Doctor has already been in an out making comments about I have crohns. I asked for pain meds to get me through until I could see my doctor. He refused. I could see my primary for pain meds for my crohns. Nothing for diarrhea, nothing for throwing up, nothing for pain. PA could not understand it and mixed the powdered potassium and wondered out loud why I wasn't just given the pill. When I immediately threw it up and he wiped up the floor, washed and dried my crocs so my feet wouldn't get wet. He pulled what was in the that powder, Printed it off and told me to make sure my doctor saw that. It has citric acid. Citric acid is know to cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and sever stomach cramps. 

I walked in hanging by my fingernails on that cliff and walked out wondering how to harm myself without screwing it and causing more pain. Thoughts on our 30 children, grandkids and great grandkids pasted through  my mind. It was great grandbaby that had to have four surgeries since birth 3 months ago to get her shunt to work correctly that stopped me. I could imagine her tiny little foot kicking my in the butt. She worked so hard to come home and I was giving up over a butt head's belief. I had crohns so I should just accept the pain. IT was not the crohn's causing the problem but the potassium.

I hadn't been able to hold anything but water down since Tuesday the 7th (Hubby said politics has made me sick). Call primary early Monday morning and leave message including I had thought of self harm until I thought of baby. I was in, blood work drew. Meds for pain, throwing up, diarrhea and potassium. He filed a complaint at that Hospital. He is checking my blood work again on Thursday, got the hospital Hubby has voice therapy to take his order and run it so I don't have to drive so far. IF it is still down, I will be in hospital until it is up enough I am not in danger.

My GI  and my GI PA was through the roof. I was not told to follow up with them (I did request it be after Tday as I want to get the potassium fixed first). Was not sent records I was even in. Full review of the doctor and his orders concerning me are under review. The fact that several of the staff heard him tell me I had crohn's I could talk to my primary and ignored I was a heart patient  and GI patient with level 8 pain and no meds to cover Friday night to Monday was shocking. The nurse at my GI office called and asked how I was doing. She doubts if the doctor remains on staff. In this hospital , it's not 3 strikes you are out, it's one strike and you are out. He didn't even follow protocol. Said the RN and the PA and the ct scan tech all reported him also. 

We will see where that goes.  

Meantime I am limited up as I get to shaky to walk. I have no strength. But I have to eat solid food with the potassium. Yesterday I cut up 3/4s of a cheeseburger slider in to 8 pieces to have 1 before each pill and 1 at the end to get rid of the nasty tasting crap. I actually held it all down with sips of water in between and puke meds 30 minutes before I started. Now down 30 lbs. I look like Mother when she was on Chemo 

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Update of Hubby Neurologist report

First they did nerve testing on his legs. He has very little feeling in the skin of his legs but the muscles definitely are NORMAL on the feeling. Said we will have to watch him for minor cuts etc. getting infected. His arms are the same way. It is due to the prediabetes. His balance has improved also. 

Doc K said heart issues can mimic other issues so make sure he does not miss cardio appts. Was surprised Hubby doesn't go back to cardiologist until May. Said that meant he was doing great. 

Doc K didn't get the results of the testing done by another Doctor. Hubby didn't have them either so Hubby is calling today to find out what is going on with that. 

Doc K ordered at home sleep apnea study... I have to find a way to keep Charlotte from waking him up. I would have him sleep upstairs but he gets up to potty through the night.  

Doc K agreed that eating foods that help with issues instead of popping a pill was the best way to go. He thought it was funny primary took Vit B complex out as you just pee the excess, until I showed him on my phone (thank you Google) that high dosages will affect SLEEP. Since we eat the foods that have B Vitamin in them, the pill was making it too high and neither of us was getting a good night's sleep. 
B Vitamin helps with Dementia.  He asked about coconut oil (another one that helps) Sends triglycines up and he just had a heart attack. That went bye bye also.
We talked about Beta glucan (oats, barley, sweet potatoes etc.) helping with the metabolic syndrome and some issues and he was for us trying it for the next 3 months. That will have another round of blood work from primary done to show if it is helping. 

He asked if Hubby was in cardio rehab. As he felt Hubby probably doesn't need it . It starts today. His cardiologist said he only needed to go for information and ins reason for 3 visits and if he doesn't want to go any more that was fine as he does more "work out " at home than he will at rehab. 

Got to get around to get some work done before we head to rehab. 

Prayers for Peace
Blessed Be

Monday, November 6, 2023

What I am doing this week

 Not canning  SNICKERING

Dealing with scarp wood. We put it in tubs and I use it to limp evening fire to night wood, bump up heat for cooking or if it's warm (50s) outside use it instead of the longer lasting wood.

We have several appointments. Hubby has nerve testing and follow up with neurologist today. Tomorrow is cardio rehab and that will be 3 days a week unless he stops. His cardiologist told him he does more work at home than he will with the physical work out he get in rehab but he wants him to at least go 3 times due to insurance issues. Wednesday he has to take the wood wagon to the saw mill. He also has to catch E when he is not in the fields taking off beans. Amish work together taking their crops off. He need E to mow the around the edge of the pond, mow the asparagus (our mower would damage it, his is to the side so weight it not on the asparagus) and see if he knows anyone selling cords of wood. He would like to have one cord cut as he gets tired easy and not sure he will get the wood he has cut to size. He had someone give him about half a's too long for our stove so he has to cut off about 2 inches (more for tubs) .

I changed our chiro appts back to the regular day so it matches our appts with primary and blood work. One trip, less gas and Hubby will be less frustrated of losing a day of working at home.

I need to declutter and clean the 1st floor. THEN I can start decorating. Won't turn the decorations on but we won't be worn out trying to do the "get it done in one week" mode we usually do at Thanksgiving. He is going to start decorating the outside since it's to be nice this week.

Daughter 1 is having surgery next week. She's on disability right now. She has had serious health problems for the past few years. We talked to her and her hubby about them needing to look for a different home that was one story and not up a hill that she has to walk down to get to the car or where she can't get to the laundry room as it's in the basement. They didn't do it. NOW she can't walk up or down the 9 steps to get to the car and it's too steep to ramp. They had to take a window out of the bedroom and put a door in to get her in and out of house. Lesson learned. She does not want to rent but might have to due to interest on mortgage loans. She's too young for the one set of apartments that would work great. Daughter 3 told her a couple places that she could probably get into. Daughter 3 used to work at the old folks home.

Son 2 is having more testing and tons of follow ups. 

The berries are only half weeded. So one or both of us will probably try to get more done this week. 

I am reading "The Cabin Full of Food" by Marie Beausoleil. I am also following her at

I need to rewrite the to do list that is for both of us. Hubby loses his list.

Prayers for peace 

Blessed Be

Sunday is the day of rest. I cleaned the basement.

 I went down to get something out of the one freezer and had to move the dehydrator and thought enough is enough.

I cleaned the mechanical room first as it is off the freezer room. Cobwebs down, breaker box, furnace and water softener dusted and floor swept. I had Hubby check the furnace filters and water filter. He couldn't remember changing the water filter so he change it now. I will now put that on the calendar to make sure one of us changes it. I will remind him to flip the pipe on the septic tank. It's changed with the time change.

I moved the dehydrators to a shelving unit in the bucket room and finished putting away stuff off the top of the 3 deep freezers. Move a couple things off the top of the one refrigerator (now in donation box) and put some of the extra empty canning jar boxes there. I picked up a green Rubbermaid thinking there was stuff in it... it was empty. I have been sitting the food processor on top of it. Now food processer is in bucket room on shelving unit, rubber maid is going to barn. I stacked all the empty wide mouth quart jars there

The regular mouth pints and the wide mouth pints stayed by the refrigerators. I keep them neat as if I don't we fall over them walking into this room.

The pantry area was just dust and sweep. I do need to finish grinding some of the herbs and greens I dried but that can be done later. 

I hung the onions on the wall. Hung garlic in bags from stairs and put the little onion in the hanging basket. Straightened up the regular mouth canning jars under the stairs. Moved the solar cube to that area so I am not moving it daily to get into the chest of drawers (It was Daddy's) that I store small baking pans in.

Straightened up the buckets that hold flours and grains. Hubby takes things and sits what ever on these buckets instead of putting it away. Just something I have to get used to with his dementia. 

I have 3 rice buckets and 1 bucket of homemade noodles and one bucket of Ramen noodles in the pantry. 

There is 9 buckets at bottom of stairs of what I use weekly. 

There was 1 small bag of trash, 2 small boxes of burn trash (one was mostly dog fur as Charlotte has a bed in the basement for when she is hot or scared) and 2 boxes of donations and 2 boxes for Daughter 4. I do have 1 boxes of extra kitchen stuff as we have grandkids starting to go out of their own and I let them pick through that box.

It took 6 hrs. BUT it's done and I should be able to maintain it since I moved things around. It helped we bought 3 shelving units when we bought one for Daughter 2.  I might add another one for the oils that sit to the right of the staircase . I will see what I have in barn I can use as this area never gets water so I won't have to use something waterproof.

I already did the lofts last month. I do need a better system for some things in then north loft. I might go book cases for it. Make it out of the scrap lumber we have in the barn  as the north loft is canned goods like cases of soup, coffee and teas etc. and canning supplies like canning salt, citric acid etc. Cleaning products are in boxes on the other side. Building book cases is winter project.

Ever think "I am not going to do anything today" and then work twice as hard?

Prayers for peace
Blessed be

Thursday, November 2, 2023

frugal choices plus solar pump


The solar pump is now connected to the pressure tank. Electric pump is off. We will see how this saves electric. AND we will know how long a solar charge (goes to batteries and then the pump) works with OH sunlight. If the grid goes down here NW Ohio) like it does repeatedly in NE Ohio. We will be ok water wise.

I never bought a baby monitor for the kids or grandkids but Hubby sure did for this solar pump. He wanted to monitor the pressure and make sure there was no issues and doesn't want to go to the pump house every time he wants to check it.

First day, it turned off. He had it programed wrong.

Second day, he had the pressure drop to 15 before it would kick on. Takes less than 5 mins. to bring back up to pressure but the washer wasn't done filling and it shut off due to lack of water. So the pressure is set for 25 with no higher than 45 (50 is the max).

He wrote on the calendar were the electric meter was and where the propane tank level was. Said he was going to read both once a week. 

I have learned the curve of watching what water I am turning on with what ever is running also. Flushing the toilet when showering is  NO NO. LOL

We are being careful with our water. Our pond was 12 inches lower than normal. We have gotten 1 inch total rain this week. It's supposed to be drier winter in Ohio. If we don't get enough rain/snow. Six Amish families won't get ice this winter for their ice houses... which means we will be making ice blocks in the freezer. Been there and done that the second year we were here. We get our well water from SNOW. Rain runs off to the streams and rivers. Snow fills the water under ground which is the deep well.

Our Amish neighbor had his 1000 gallon cistern go dry. He is putting up more spouting to run to that on the new wash house he is building. Mean time has his wind mill pumping daily to bring water into the house by a garden hose. His sister in law is washing their whites so the rust in the well water doesn't ruin their whites.

Our water softener company let us know we are only using the water of 1 person daily. That does not count the watering of the gardens as I don't have outside water lines going through the softener. We have 3 more beds to replace then I can run the drip lines in the gardens. Goal for next spring. I have the drip lines. Bought them on sale.

I reused our canning water several times in the canner. I then used it to wash the pots and pans. We had a rain downspout break, Hubby put a trash can under it to catch the little rain we got. He then poured it in the drain of the pump house as that goes to the pond.

Our Amish neighbor came over to use the phone. He came up to the house because it wouldn't go through (we put a phone in the barn for Amish to use). He handed Hubby the paper with the number and then had to pull out his flashlight for Hubby to read it. He wasn't using the 1 in front of the number for long distance. He thought it was funny he was using his flashlight in an Englisher house. We only have a ceiling fan light in the dining room and I have it so the light doesn't come on. We use oil lamp and Christmas LED candle for light in that area. We moved our supper to 4 so we don't have to turn on lights to eat since it will be getting dark at 5. 

The wood stove is on. Propane furnace is off. It's now cold enough outside that the house doesn't get up to 80 plus with the wood stove (we open windows just like Amish do) and it stays around 74  to 76 degrees.

I didn't decorate for Fall... mostly because of how sick I have been (thankful it is SLOWLY going away, doc thinks it's long haul side effect of covid) SO besides the pumpkin decoration with LED string lights there is no extra lights. I bought LED lights for 2 windows that was still the old lights so ALL the lights for Christmas is LED now.

I am done canning (Hubby says I will find something to can) but all the food is in the pantry. I told him We are eating from the pantry and freezers. I want to do more canning of our meat and less counting on the freezers. 

How are you doing?

Prayers for peace

Blessed Be

Tuesday, October 31, 2023


 One of the few times there was no big discussion of buying something expensive.

New ones are $3-$4 K. This was less than $1K. It works. Young man (our grandkids age) modified it so you can push a button and it will rotate the blower instead of using a hand crank to move it. Said he had a hard time reaching it while sitting and didn't like getting off to move it. Hubby said he did a good job and it's nice to have. Will have to modify it to a quick hitch. But it does connect to the tractor now and work. Hubby just likes quick hitch since we have some many attachments for this tractor. Done with him using the walk behind snow blower on the lane that is over 300 ft. Done with him shoving gravel in the yard with the bucket on the tractor. 

Probably won't get enough snow to use it now. But we definitely are getting the 20 degree low and winds are to be coming it to create wind chills. High for the coming week are all low 40s with lows in high teens to low 20s.


Last batch of tomatoes I made into juice, I didn't can. Using it in the chili I am making to can. Got the mild chili made, ready to can today. Will make the spicy chili today after bloodwork.

Freezers are full. Will have to eat (SNICKERING) to make room for 2 hams, 1 turkey and 2 prime ribs. I'll buy the corned beef in the spring. 

ON the not frugal side. chiro called change time from morning to afternoon as Doc is closing on his new house in the morning. Did NOT think about we were to get blood work done which is why we made the early morning appt. SIGH

Now making a trip round trip (2 hrs.) total to get blood work. Need NO groceries, as I grabbed milk when we got flour and sugar for M. SIGH. Haven't found a primary in our area. The one that had great reviews retired. Talked to a couple of his patients that said they are driving to Lima... no thanks. If I am driving 45 minutes to Lima I might as well stay with my primary of 15 yrs. for the hour drive. 

My in laws said they don't have a primary any more, they are all specialists and take care of the prescriptions for what they are being seen for. They go to Urgent care for general issues like flu etc. Brother in that area said that's how he has had to go. SIGH.

Have a great day. Stay safe 

Prayer for peace

Blessed Be

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Winter train coming

 We have been here 6 yrs. first time the oak leaves turned any color beside dead brown. There are a few that are burgundy in the higher limbs.

Weather forecast is going from warm fall (usually mid 60s is now in 70s) to below FREEZING in mornings with high's in high 30s to low 40s.. Was supposed to come in today, has slowed down to come in Monday morning.

I am about half way through the tomatoes, I might finish them on Sunday just because I don't want to run in and out through that cold of temp from a home that is 75- 80 with a wood stove. Monday should be the latest. I plan to make some juice so I can use it to make chili. I'm down to 5 pints.

I finished applesauce. 6 pints

I have apple jam waiting in frig to jar and can today.

I have apple peels and cores to strain and press to make apple butter today. Might finish apple butter tomorrow as it sometimes takes hours to get to cook down.

I pulled the last of the onions from the gardens, they are in barn to cure. I pulled radishes the bugs didn't eat, moved my herbs in pots to protected area and got 1 row of the berries weeded. Hubby told me he would finish them. I told him to leave the pollinator gardens alone. The birds are still picking at the seeds.

I need to check space in freezers, Hubby wants to get hams and another turkey this week. I am not sure we have that much room.

Lord, I am tired of this head/chest cold. 

Prayers for Peace

Blessed Be  

Friday, October 27, 2023

Health updates.

 Great granddaughter born at 30 wks. in Aug. is home with her shunt in head working great. 

Uncle who had pneumonia is home doing rehab to teach him to not shallow breath... that is a common thing with elderly (and yes mid 60s is elderly with your breathing). My aunt laughed when PT was teaching him... told him to breath like I do... take deep breath as counting to 5 slowly, hold 5 and release 5. PT told her that was good. He got it but could only count to 3, said give him a week and it will be 5.Knowing how he is, he will work that above 5 in couple weeks.

Son2 is getting through his heart testing. He has a glitch (he is his mother's child) on left side of his heart, his BP is higher than the doctor likes. He has sever sleep apnea so machine is being ordered unless his ins will pay for Inspire. His cholesterol is over 250 , his sugar is borderline (he had sugar problems as a child) He has hearing issues (I could have told them that). His PTSD is flaring but not bad. His Cardiologist is not putting him on meds until the sleep apnea is taking care of because it could be what is causing the glitch. Son2 thinks it's Mother's genes and then laughs as he still remembers my parents talking about Children's hospital telling my parents I only had a 50% chance of living year WITH surgery for heart and digestive issues, without I maybe had 6 months. IN GOD'S HANDS. 

Hubby's check up yesterday with Cardiologist went well. Told him he was doing good but still to go to Cardio rehab at least 3 times, more for knowledge that actual work as Hubby told him he trims and mows 2 acres (1/2 acre is with push mower), he cuts wood, stacks it, then moves it with bucket on tractor, unloads and restacks in house and on porch. Though he needed to find ways to move more during winter but not walking behind a snowblower for a 400 ft. lane and then all the ramps, sidewalk and porches/deck. Also needs to lose weight. He told cardiologist he has metabolic syndrome and he had been losing about 2 lbs. a month but since he had heart attack and then covid, he hasn't lost. He is to eat 3 meals and 3 snacks with the last snack 3 hrs. before laying down. I texted his Mom and asked if his Dad had the same problem. YES and to get the weight off she made sure he ate bfast (Hubby doesn't) and main meal at lunch time (he hates stopping to eat and never ate lunch when in the factory), and then soup, salad or raw veggies, fermented or pickled foods and whole grain bread for supper around 4 pm. (our meal time also). She does have some kind of fruit dessert daily. His Dad doesn't like ANY fresh fruit. 

I am still sniffling, coughing, hacking especially in middle of night unless I sleep sitting up which KILLS my back. I have found if I take my honey, turmeric, pepper and cinnamon mixture, before bed, I still wake up sniffling, coughing and hacking but I DO NOT have the nasty sore throat. I've gained 3 lbs. I am up to size 4 (I was wearing a 10/12 when I got sick). Doc told me to use generic Vick's rub before bed and hot shower if I am coughing hard. It's not as hard as it was, though I have morning sickness (HA HA) from the drainage.

Over all we are either getting better, or at least getting answers of what is wrong, which actually is better because you aren't worrying causing anxiety wondering.

Prayers for peace 

Blessed be 

Thursday, October 26, 2023

It's kind of funny when 2 of your kids get asked

the same question and they really aren't that much in each other's life and don't have the same friends. 

First question was, if you were out of groceries and stores were closed  like during pandemic ,what would you do..

Both asked (ha ha) do I have gas in the car or gas money. 

One was told yes... the other was told no.

Yes answered, call Mom and Dad and tell them I am coming.

No answered, call Mom and Dad and tell them to bring supplies. 

Both said they were asked if I was stocked up due to war... NO. Due to pandemic... NO... 

Both made the comment that the person asking was not understanding. So finally asked why we would be stocked up.


Mother's grandma canned. Her mom didn't, she worked and gave her mom non food items in exchanged for canned vegetables and fruit.

Mother and Daddy always had tin can goods under the couch, stacked at end of couch and covered with fabric (I think old sheet) to use as a side table, and behind their bedroom door. There was always home canned food in the cellar along with 100 lb. bag of potatoes they bought from Daddy's Dad.  Daddy always insisted Mother have 10 lbs. of dried Navy beans, 25 lbs. of corn meal and 25 lbs. of white flour. Mother always had some medical supplies, toilet paper and lady products as she called them. I actually started growing navy beans because Daddy was struggling to find them. I grew kidney beans for MIL.

Mother said some of their friends made fun of them because of all the tin canned food when they bought the house in the country and was helped moving her and Daddy. They stopped the making fun when two weeks later the WHOLE GROUP lost their jobs when the plant closed down without warning right at Christmas. No unemployment at that time. 

But because my parents stocked food and had the money set back for 3 months, they were okay. Two of their friends lost their homes, one ended okay by moving their parents in with them. 

I asked both of my kids what was the lesson learned.

BOTH said, don't run your life on world events, run it to protect during bad times, no matter what those bad times are. Like having 2 children under the age of 3 in Children's hospital (me and my younger brother) when Mother went into early labor and baby brother died at birth. No health insurance in those days. Or granddaughter who went into labor early and whose baby just got released 60 days from children's hospital. 

 Son2 is one of those kids, he is having serious health problems and ended in ER with heart issues (not attack) the day Hubby came home from have heart surgery. Never married, has no kids, so we are his next of kin. He works for military, can't get his retirement from other military for over 10 yrs. He checked what his disability pay would be, looked at his out flow and told me he might have to move back home. Thankful, his ex girlfriend was being supportive and her with Daughter 2 (both are driving him to appts as we live 2 hrs. away and they live 15 minutes away) not only dealt with him with other testing, but both set down with him and his budget and cut the crap out of it. Both have worked over 15 yrs. as food servers and raised kids without child support being regular or at all for long periods of time. They know how to budget. My thought  BETTER THEM THAN ME. Now he is on THEIR budget, his stress level has dropped and he knows he could stay in his own home while going through all the medical testing. AND I am not worrying about having 2 elderly cats in a house a dog doesn't like cats. 

Then the other child told me that since Hubby farmed and I was raised the way I was that it's automatic. Even when I was a widow with a negative estate , kids at home and no income as I had just left my job as it was costing more for a babysitter (we had 4 kids and late husband's sister in home) than I was earning. There was food and TP stocked (lady products) I paid off the estate of $25,000, kept our home by doing odd jobs, housekeeping, laundry, ironing, delivered phone books (we still get one here in the mail LOL), babysitting, yard sale every other weekend. I took the house we had bought 1 step from being condemned appraised at $30,000 and 4 yrs. later had it appraised at $54,000. I got ALL of what I used to fix the home from yard sales and thrift shops.

I look at things and say this is what I want done, is it a NEED or a WANT. Needs come first. Like brakes for the truck that is going to cost over $2,000. A snow blower for the tractor , Hubby says is a want, I think more NEED as the last thing he needs to do is spend hours with the  walk behind snowblower one we have snow blowing our lane after his heart attack. They already warned him about being out in the cold. E would come plow it for us as he does the two widows lanes.  I look to see if I can do it CHEAPER but not cheaply so it doesn't hold up for long term usage. 

It's cheaper for me to garden (get exercise, purpose and Vit. D) and to can, freeze and dehydrate than spent $$$ at the store, let alone be exposed to what ever crap (RSV, covid, flu, whooping cough as Amish do not vaccinate) going around.

I still take buttons, zippers, and good material from clothing that is worn out. I just patched 2 of Hubby's work shirts. My kids have played checkers with buttons on a checkered table cloth when they were little. 

I still use junk mail that has nothing on the back for scrap paper. Amish will use the back of the envelope. I've gotten a lot of notes from M that way. Then we toss them in the wood stove. 

 Son 2 just told me he has 6 of the large packages of TP in work out room closet besides his 6 pk in the hall closet. I asked why... he noticed in a couple stores it was low on TP supplies. Figured he lived closer to his 3 sisters, niece  (who's baby of 2 months who has been in hospital since birth just went home) and his ex (she let me know they are dating again this morning) so they could come there for TP. He let them know he would even bring it to them if they needed it. I am quite sure there are 2 going to say something about that isn't in his budget. I noticed he is PAYING ATTENTION to the supply chain which he hasn't done before. 

Hubby notices OUR supplies... made the comment that TP was too low, if the kids came up or M needed some we wouldn't have enough to go 2 months (mentioned I went through 18 rolls in 3 weeks with Covid and Crohn's). I told him I ordered bulk and it would be here. I even mentioned that Son 2 had picked up extra for his sisters and niece. Then he noticed I was down to 1 box of Borax and 1 box of washing soda... No worry, M just borrowed a box of each and she will replace it.  That came back last night when they came over to borrow 3 dozen regular canning lids (I buy them in bulk) to can grape juice that was given to them from other family.  

Do you stock anything? 

Prayers for peace

Blessed Be