Monday, January 30, 2023

Snow, sleet, rain, deaths and sickness and budget AGAIN.

 when temps are at 32 SIGH.. what a day. Hubby is out in it as he is making sure the two widows can get their cars out. He cleared off both of our porches and the deck along with the sidewalk to the barn. Plowed our own lane and cleared mailboxes for both widows , E and us after the township plow went through.

IT was a bad hair day on top of catching pneumonia. SIGH. Urgent care was cheaper than driving to primary and him sending me for x rays.

We had more deaths in the family, heart attack, my cousin's son, cancer, from another cousin and old age with a grand parent on the eldest's other side. My brother let me know his wife lost 2 on her side from old age. Still hard even when their are of "that age". 

The guy around the corner (we can see his cabin across the field from our porch) house burned down. Completely gone, possible damage to foundation. Has been working on this for 3 yrs. and was getting it finished this week to move in Feb. 1st. Outdoor furnace got to hot, and the pipe from it got too hot and was too close to cabin that was dried pine logs. Rumor is his insurance told him the furnace had to be 100 ft from the house. It wasn't even 10 ft. He was working in the upstairs bedroom and smelled smoke. Went out the window over the front porch roof to get out. He was not hurt. Did say that was the fire escape plan so he knows that works well as both bedrooms have way to get off back and front porch roofs. He is planning to raze it and rebuild.

I am in the house dealing with the changes we have decided on... again... some more......

This is the south loft. The two side walls are done except for the 2 attic doors needing built and covers over outlets and the light switch. I want to put an edging between where the ceiling is and the wall starts. We will be looking for that on Tuesday.  The window wall will have the same bottom but some where in the barn is dark paneling cut to fit for the top part of this wall. I took it off when we started on this room 4 yrs ago. YES 4 YRS.AGO.  Put it in the barn in the big bay. I went out to where it should be and Hubby had buried everything I had put there with broken doors, scrap lumber from the basement ramp etc. Frustration as I had that area organized and now it's not. What I get for not walking through the WHOLE barn instead of just the loft and front bay. He was going to pull the "crap" out but couldn't figure out where to store the "crap". So it sits.  Barn decluttering starts when it gets warmer which is NOT THIS WEEK. That is okay since I am just getting over the walking pneumonia.

We changed the budget. Hubby wanted to live off our social security... until he heard the estimate of what we would be paying for health insurance.  THEN he had the panic attack.  I told him it just meant we needed to be more frugal let the social security pay the medical and live off our investments and what ever we can earn. THEN he got his stuff around for taxes and realized (DUH) his business lost money last year (which didn't help the panic attack). I guess telling him I covered bills from the household budget didn't click he was losing money due to diesel fuel costs. About a month's income but I was able to cover it with being frugal. Eighteen more months and the work truck will be paid for in full, that is 6 months ahead of time. If he hadn't had to pay the legal fees he does for hauling out of state he would have broke even. I divided that out by 12 and put it in the freaking  budget... it's actually less ( about half) than if I covered the work truck payment or it's insurance. I feel like I got the lesser of the evils with that low of a payment. The one Amish company he used to haul for and quit as it conflicted with other hauls he had first. They have pretty much closed down from lack of business. A lot of the Amish in that area are moving as they don't like the laws that passed that affects them having outhouses on ground. This county allows it if the outhouse is on a septic tank system, 1 line of running water into house is required also.  The Amish guy we bought our house from had 3 lines ran for his wife. One to the kitchen sink so she could have water there (and it drained to the septic line), one to the stove for the reservoir to be filled without her hauling water and one to the wash room for the stove there and for her to have cold water for the clothes washer. If the family doesn't want to put in a septic line, the "Church" has okayed porta potties. Some have them out in their field or at businesses, close to a drive so they can be dealt with by what ever company owns them. We didn't remove those lines, figured if we even had to use the 650 gallon water tank(above our water pump and pressurized tank) that is connected to those lines, we would be ahead of any issues. 

Propane. We over paid for this year, lucky our provider allows carry overs. IF we can make it 6 more weeks on this tank, we will have enough already paid for to cover the next heating season with adding 1 tank full as long as the price with tax is no more than $3/gallon.SO the budget is getting cut there as I had budgeted 4 tanks. We switched to coal this morning. So far it's burning good and the benefit is I don't have to keep feeding the stove as coal is pretty much 3-4 times a day if it runs right if that much. 

We have enough coal already for next year, but decided to buy another 2 tons this summer when the cost is lower for back up. That is already in savings.

E asked Hubby for help as he had a couple trees down but with the limbs his horses could not pull it. They were cut down by another neighbor wanting them for fire wood and then never came back and got them after 2 yrs. E doesn't like waste especially cutting down trees and letting them rot. Offered to split the wood in half if Hubby would trim the limbs off. Ended up giving all of it to us when Hubby found 3 maples left also there. This wood is cured. Plus E asked Hubby to help him clear the property line and we could have ALL the wood since he had told us he would deal with it when we bought the house.  . Daughter 2 said a cord of wood in her area is $800. Her boys' dad got her a couple cords for $600 total as he is a landscaper. We have a cord still coming from the sawmill... we are 5th down on the list, we were 4 but found E's Dad H was 5th so we had the sawmill flip us with him. We still had 1/2 cord of sawmill wood when E gave us some, we passed it to E and he took it to his Dad. His parents are our age but his Dad is handicapped and his Mom B just had her knee replaced. SO we won't be buying any wood but fuel for the saws cutting the wood. E told us fuel costs for 1 cord is $15. He has the same saws as us. AND we should have 6 cords of wood if we are not burning any coal. That is $90 for "wood heat" for the season. The property line has about 2 dozen trees to deal with 2 of them are half way down due to storm damage.  We shouldn't be buying wood for awhile. BUT Hubby is going to be busy cutting wood. Maybe that will make hauling jobs come in... seems like if he is busy at home, he gets ran over hauling. 

We need 28 garden beds and 6 strawberry beds replaced. Hubby built slab wood beds last year for the potatoes... they didn't hold up as well as he thought they would but I can use them for lettuce, spinach and such this year. We priced what we would like to have Cedar wood beds... that came to about $20,000 with out soil. Not happening. I found metal beds for 1/3rd of the price that is suppose to last 15-20 yrs. and bought 2 just to see if they would work for us before spending all that money. We will be sifting soil and compost to refill to save on that part of the budget. I figured a year to replace all the bed and hopefully the strawberry beds also. 

I brought up the mortgage to get back on track of getting it paid off early. Adjusted propane/ heating budget. Played around with what can go into savings for a down payment of another used truck or SUV.

Checked, double checked, and triple checked that the household budget could cover the business costs without any business income (that has not happened in 3 yrs even during the pandemic) and NOT cause a problem with paying household outflow) Would have to drop extra off mortgage but that was it. 

We didn't go to store .... Hubby grabbed a gallon of milk when running errands and I yanked the last loaf of bread out of the deep freezer. Down to hamburger buns. 

Prayers for all and peace

Blessed be

Monday, January 23, 2023

We had visitors

you can barely see the bunny at the right hand corner of the shed

Squirrel 1 
 all 3 squirrels (one on the tree trunk)
the other 2 squirrels

 Charlotte who was a tad sad the animals didn't want to play chase with her

the young deer that would stop and check her out before running a bit. 

Thursday, January 19, 2023

by oil lamp light and birthday


E was over last night to let Hubby know when they were leaving for M's great nephew's funeral this morning and that his oldest might need help with moving a wagon as he struggles to harness the work horses. He got a kick on the oil lamp by the laptop instead of me turning on a light.  Amish neighbor on our other side came over this morning to move the wagon and helped with chores and let me know he took care of it and another should be over tonight. The oldest daughter of the another Amish neighbor is going to stay at the house and take care of the younger kids while the older ones are in school. She will stay until M and E get back home. They are rotating who is coming to help with chores since so many have went to the funeral.

When it hits 77 degrees in house with only wood stove heating, I open windows and doors. Took 2 windows and 2 doors to get it back down to 72.  Several now have had pneumonia in the Amish community. Hubby has hauled 2 of them to the ER. Since I started running a low grade fever yesterday,  I went on aspirin and onion juice immediately. Onion juice helps with the lungs. E did the same thing. Aren't waiting until we have to go to ER before dealing with it. E's mom said the stoves are getting the homes too warm and then they walk out into cool damp weahter Weather has been a roller coaster from mid 50s to mid 30s for our highs. We call it pneumonia weather because of it. I am better this morning. Not well but better. I can take deep breaths without coughing or struggling. 

We "celebrated" my birthday by staying home. I added onions, bell pepper, mushrooms, carrots and ground beef to the pasta sauce, made extra sauce as Hubby wants manicotti next (sauce froze now)  and made 2 servings (go me!!!) of spaghetti. Make King Arthur birthday cake , yep that is what it is called. More like a coffee cake but only makes 9 servings so works nice for us.

I will probably replace the cocoa line with cinnamon next time. Maybe put the cocoa in the cake batter instead of the "filling" batter.

We tried a new recipe for our loaf bread. It made two loaves so I wrapped and froze the one. It was quicker to do 

Blessed be

Prayers for everyone

Another death

 M's great nephew at age 16 months died due to being hit by truck. The driver hauls for the family. Hubby has hauled to this family and he is struggling himself. M and E left this morning along with half the community *which is related*. The rest of the community with us Englishers will be helping with covering for chores and childcare. At this point no one here knows how it happened.

My oldest *late husband's daughter with 1st wife* memaw died.

My grandson that used to live with us, stepmom (his dad past several years ago but he still claims her as his stepmom) grandma die.

The man that died in LaRue fire was friends with my brother's friend, our neighbor and her kids and my youngest's grandparents on her biological side.

Monday, January 16, 2023

Horrible fire (NOT HERE)... some savings

 In village I lived in for awhile in my 20s. They haven't put out the name of the gentleman that died yet. I imagine if I went into the village, I would hear who. It took out the pizza shop (no injuries, everyone got out) and the old bar and former village kitchen, neither were doing business any more. 

Over half of the businesses are closed in this village to begin with. REALLY hard hit. It started in the old bar or the apt above it where he was using propane space heaters to heat with. 

I did an inventory... made a list of what was missing. Mostly condiments, medical supplies and  weird crap and then released I had it on the list and if it wasn't in stock or was too high in price I didn't transfer it to the next list but tossed it. Went searching for the best prices. Saved 30% on one order not including I got free shipping. Saved 12% on another not including free shipping. We need fresh veggies and some dairy also.

Got 20% off the order of the cheese press and ice cream maker (non electric) 

Got 15% off a still for making essential oils. Something we are having a hard time getting around here that is LOCAL. Got a small one a homesteader recommended that she uses all the time for her essential oils. 

Electric bill is in. They increased the security light charge from $10 to $11 and distribution went up $3 (thanks to cost of poles, conductors etc went up)  when  A year ago we used 1434 kWh , this year with MORE lights we used 600 kWh. We were a lot under budget. 

The propane is at 50%. Wood stove is being cranked back up Tuesday night. Summer fill is May 1st. Not sure we could make it to the summer fill but we have already saved 2 tanks of propane with tax it's close to $2000. 

Tomorrow we are doing all the errands, car tags, bank, pick up a new chainsaw (E has 3 trees that are down that are too small for his usage so offered to Hubby, we just need a bigger chainsaw as a 12 inch blade is too small for that) Menards for odds and ends, Kroger's for fuel and groceries, CVS for meds, chiropractic appts. and stopping to eat as we will be leaving at 9:30 in morning and won't be back until after 7 pm. Hubby figured out the "loop" to take to not back track anywhere to save on gas. Not sure what the rest of the week will be like.

**** just got the news from my English neighbor whose child lives in LaRue of who of my brother's friends. We will helping his family.***

Wednesday, January 11, 2023


 It's cold enough the "rain" coming in is very small snow that won't make a coating on the grass. Still Hubby insisted that I not be out in any "moist" weather with pneumonia going around. I understand the concern since awhile back I had 3 different pneumonias back to back including walking pneumonia through the winter. I was wanting to trim the blackberry and raspberry bushes. He was wanting to burn the asparagus ferns that are dead as we don't salt the ground of the asparagus like the Amish do.

Since it's going to be in the 40s and 50s today and tomorrow, we are letting the wood stove go out so I can clean it. It takes 4-6 hrs. to cool down enough for me to scrap the areas that ash and creosote gathers. We don't get much creosote as we use a chemical twice a week the helps prevent that from happening PLUS we have a gauge on the stove that warns us if the stove it dropping heat to that level or too hot. 

We would have been getting the 3rd winter fill of propane... we are still on the first so that is another savings of $600. So we have broke even with what we have spent on coal for the wood/coal stove... in fact we have part of next year's coal included in that since we picked up more. We would have to go to below 32 for 90 straight days to use the coal up. E told Hubby that he dragged 2-3 trees that are a bit small for his stove up to the equipment shed out of his woods thinking maybe we could use it for night wood. In exchanged Hubby is going after a thirty foot I Beam that E needs as they are expanding the kitchen tomorrow and will be finishing building the new wash aka laundry/ mudroom room in the spring. E told Hubby to NOT split them (like I said) to leave them ROUND as they would burn longer and to only use them at night or if we would be gone the whole day. That will be a cost next year, though E said if Hubby would bring his saw over when they were cutting wood next year he could have some wood for free. We will see as most times when they are cutting, he has hauling jobs.

Hubby has found himself snacking if we have a broth soup and asked for more stew like or a milk based soup or sandwiches with the soup instead of just a salad. I did offer a soup, salad and wrap as he eats more tortilla wraps instead of bread or buns.

I did finish up the spread sheet for Dec. We came in under budget by $306.50.

We have a few more left to come in for Jan. Usually by mid month all the bills are in. 

We started looking for a replacement for the truck (not work truck). I float between truck and SUV .


Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Heavens what a week.

 Squirrel is way up that tree... she will still sit and wait and look up the tree even though squirrel is no longer there.  We are strongly looking at the possibility of a puppy in late spring.

We went through below zero for about 3 days and then up to high 40s AGAIN. See another roller coaster of it coming at us. Hauling wood, feeding the stove and hauling more wood. We decided to wait on using coal as it gets warm within a couple days and stays warm. I really don't want to put wood plate in and take wood plate out every couple days as it makes a mess.

My brother and I dealt with a mess with a cousin that tried to forcibly move in (along with her boyfriend and son that were just released from prison for gang activity) to the home of another one of our cousins that is disabled. Disabled cousin called Brother , he called the law and his daughter called me. I will give the guys credit, when cousin said no, she was selling her house and moving , the guys walked out and sat on the porch even though they knew they weren't suppose to be around each other.  I dealt with hauling brat butt cousin out of my cousin's home over my shoulder after she tried to hit me and I broke her nose *yes we gave her a rag to hold her nose with *. Cops saw her swing at me.  Parole officers where notified  by cops and had all 3 arrested in violation of their paroles. Found out they were looking for the 3 as they had tried that crap on another cousin and her 3 siblings.  Her older brother showed up and just laughed. He told the cops she must be either high or plain crazy as the family has always brought up about me knocking him out when he was 15 and I was 10 for hitting his stepmom. I totally forgot about that. My parents taught me to defend (and how to fight dirty) the weaker ones. News made the rounds with in 1 day and I don't think any of the other of the family is going to bail her out AGAIN. She was not raised that way at all and not one of her siblings do drugs or drink. I did mention to her parole officer that mental illness runs in the family and he didn't know that but would make sure she was tested for it. 

Cops mentioned it was nice to see someone younger defending an older person with disabilities. Then didn't understand why we were all laughing. Cousin is a lot younger than me. She was not happy about the comparison LOL. She has brittle bones. I would rather have my heart failure, cerebral palsy and Crohn's than that.

Took me 2 days to quit shaking. Adrenaline rush does that to me. I am glad I got to my cousin before they hurt her. I don't think I would have stopped with just a broke nose if she had been hurt. I've been praying over that one.

I fixed mushroom wellington (Sam, coffee, money and Thyme) 

Hubby was glad there was extra filling as he used it with leftover mac and cheese and then I put it in omelets. Was more than filling.

Then my cell phone quit working on making calls or incoming calls... of course the company want me to call them so they could back door it GRRRRRR. 

Son's boss suggested I reset it . His went down a week ago same way. Different providers and types of phone... it worked. Son took him a 6 pack of coke a cola as a thank you. 

On a the calmer side. I wore the earrings the kids bought me for Mother's day 1989

They all got a kick out of it that I still had them. Daughter 2 has the pair I got her when she got her ears pierced in 1992 at the age 13. 

Hubby and I went through our supplies. California having such sever storms I can only imagine it will affect the supply chain (again, some more , what ever).

We are down on condiments that is mustard based and medical supplies. Gelatin... really, I went to the store and couldn't find lime, orange or lemon. Amish bulk store said they only got in strawberry, raspberry and peach (which I got some of). I got it ordered at Amazon. 

I made sure we had food that would help keep us healthy. I focused on only buying what I can not grow or find amongst the Amish. 

We decided to replace only some of the garden beds this year unless prices come on down. I want a medical garden on the north side and move the strawberries to the south side.  We will see. 

I am trimming the raspberry and blackberry vines this week even though that is early. I can see them starting up late Feb with how the temperatures are going. 

Hubby made enough with the business to not have to take it out of the house budget. It's a worry with work being so slow. Amish have had several deaths... old age with pneumonia. It's been a worry for those of us in our 60s let alone late 70s and early 80s. This type of weather makes it easy to get it. Hubby caught the one elderly man needed to be checked when Hubby took the wife in for pneumonia. They were thinking just a nasty cold or the flu going around. They shut down their school for a week (not something they do) and the school house and out houses got scrubbed down good. We donated Lysol to help with the germs. The teacher is now spraying every night when she leaves. 

I pray everyone is well and safe.

Blessed be

Prayers for peace.