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

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Life and saving

 Hubby closed business credit card (took 2 weeks to get it done). They sent him a check for his cash back since there was nothing owed on the credit card. That is the final closure for the business.

Went to pay the hospital bill and it wasn't matching what was on our insurance. I requested information. Explained it wasn't matching what was listed as paid on the insurance (they showed insurance had paid). I think they sent separate bills to insurance but put it all together for 1 bill for us as the doctor did that but he made note that he had combined ALL of his billing into one for us and separate for insurance.

I made 5 gallons laundry soap.

It's going to be in mid 70s the rest of the week, so Hubby put creosote log in wood stove last night and let it burn instead of wood to let stove go out so I can clean it today or tomorrow. Furnace is set at 68. I doubt if it gets that cold as I just looked at it and it's still 73 in house. 

I put in pantry  7 meals of ground beef crumbles, 10 meals of taco meat, 5 meals of chicken (leftover from roasts),  6 meals of brats(gave to us), and 2 meals of lil smokies. 

I have chicken/broth to can, beef/broth to can, still working on apples for apple jam and using skins and cores for apple butter and still working on tomatoes for pasta sauce. I have flash freezing smoked brats and smoked sausage.

Hubby found an Amish selling sweet potatoes (most grow them but don't usually sell them in this area). She told him to stop back this week as they would be finishing digging the rest after he bought 12. One of her sweet potatoes makes 2 meals for both of us. She gave him a couple small ones for me to use to starts for us next spring.  He noticed she had potatoes on her sale board yesterday. We will be checking it out, if she has big ones like the sweet potatoes I won't have to buy baking potatoes at the store. I have small purple, small red and small Yukon potatoes that I grew myself. I have some small russets. 

Hubby started clearing the gardens yesterday. We plan to have it done by Thursday when the rain comes in. We had a killing frost yesterday. I hope to get the weeds dealt with in the berry vines also. I need to pull the onions in the next week or two which means I need to deal with the cured onions. I will cut some of the onion tops to dehydrate.

Hubby ordered a tarp for the basement ramp from local Amish man. There is an area of about 10 ft by 10 ft at bottom of ramp. We put a nice roof over it making sure there was ventilation. I want to use it as a food storage area using the coolers to keep the winter squash in as Hubby just harvest another 8 golden acorns (neither of us remember ever growing them but they grew this year in the compost pile). I also have pumpkin, butternut, green acorn squash and one spaghetti squash. The Amish at the tarp shop asked where he was putting the tarp. When Hubby told him, he suggested he make us a "tarp" door  with 2 screens and told Hubby how to frame it so it wouldn't flop and tear up and then showed Hubby he had one on his own basement ramp. His wife said she first thought she would hate it but she really likes it. She uses the area for their winter squash and potatoes.

Today I will cut the mint back away from the house and deal with the north flower garden, probably about 3 hrs. of the day. Hubby plans to wash the siding this week or next so I want to get the plants off the siding of the house.

Following advice of two of our daughters . We got a Gold Good RX acct. Hubby takes two HEART meds that aren't covered well by insurance (what he has is best covered by what insurance he has plus our pharmacy gave him another discount) What we pay ANNUALLY for the Gold is what we will save in 2 months for the meds. I also ordered through Amazon (for free as I used my points) his aspirin 81 mg. Got him, as insurance doesn't pay for that and I see no reason for spending $2.12 for 30 aspirin when I got 500 for less than $8 (free with using the points). His nitro is good for a year, but the hospital cardiologist  ordered it to be filled every month. Hubby called our primary since they are friends also for advice. Primary backed us as it's a waste but told him to bring it up when he goes this Friday along with buying aspirin from Amazon. He already called his ENT about the cost of the nose spray (also good for a year). She told him that Gold Good Rx is great, Good Rx is good and to get a couple at least into storage but to use it daily through autumn. Also said to check out Mark Cuban Pharmacy. Which my pain doctor uses himself. Back in the day he would have just paid the price and not try to find a cheaper way to get the same thing.

I did my Medicare part D. After looking at several sites for top 5 Part D's . I chose Well Care zero premium , zero on meds (gap coverage is $1.20 for all 4 a month) and $545 deductible that I shouldn't meet all year. We rechecked Hubby's D which is Silverscript. That's the best for him at $5.30/ month and $280 deductible. He will only pay $12 a month if he uses the Gold Good Rx for his nitro and nose spray. I can get my inhaler through Gold Good Rx for 1/3rd of my insurance so I didn't even list it on my meds.

I have went from Humira to Visbiome (original formula of VSL#3 prior to 2016) Even with "help" from the company it was going to be over $1,000 a month. As I have very bad veins and can't do infusions which would have been covered under part B.  Visbiome is $62 a month (I order for 2 months amount to get that price) plus IT WORKS. I used it before 2016 and was having no flare ups for 2 years. Company sold and new owners changed to cheaper ingredients BUT didn't acknowledge it and it quit working. There is a stronger amount but I would have to have my GI send them the script straight to the company. I don't think I need stronger when this is working but it's nice to know that option is there.  

I added green tea capsules to both of us. Neither of us would drink enough of it as tea. I searched for top 5... Zenwise came up in several searches. Cardiologist backed it also as a good for cholesterol, blood sugar, inflammation and metabolic syndrome.

Hubby stopped at Amish and got local honey and some puffed speltz. I took 1/2 cup, added turmeric, black pepper and cinnamon. Really worked for the nasty sore throat I got from the head/chest cold. I will continue to take it through the winter. 

I started oil of oregano. I have a child nagging. Started like the other kid suggest. One drop in a shot of tomato juice for 3 days, increase 1 drop every 3 days, don't do more than 5 drops. Nagging child makes her own so she's walk me through when I go to make my own since I grow oregano.

I have elderberry syrup that I put on my Greek yogurt. A friend gifted me elderberry mixed with local honey as they were allowed to pick elderberries from another friend's home. 

I have been taking resveratrol for years for my cholesterol with a 5 mg statin... I have heart failure/disfunction birth defect along with having a stroke due to accident. 

We can't do coconut oil as it sent our triglycerides through the roof. Not good for heart patients. Daughter 4 uses it as a mouth wash (had infected tooth and her dentist suggested it) and grandchild uses it for skin care. So it won't go to waste.

I best get at the day's work

Blessed be 

Prayers for peace 

Sunday, October 22, 2023

First Hard Freeze warning

 for tonight. We haven't had a frost to harm anything. I will need to cover my onions up and move my radishes that are in pots into the barn. Supposed to warm back up to the 60s even close to 70 the rest of the week. SO covering them will allow them to have another week or so of growth before I start pulling them. I will have to bring the apples in that are sitting on the porch. I have 4 plants still blooming so I will bring them in also. A lot to do on a Sunday.

I did 21 pints of applesauce. I have room for 15 more it I triple stack them which I really don't like doing. Hubby told me to do the apple jam which we are low on  and then apple butter (I usually only use cores and peels to do) for the rest of the apples. I use apple butter as the "frosting" on spice cakes or carrot cakes beside just putting on bread and rolls. That should use up the last of those apples. I need to put the rest of the honey crisp apples in the freezer room frig.

I got 5 qrts. of pasta sauce canned out of 2 gallons of juice.

We moved the last of the Yukon gold potatoes, russet potatoes, and sweet potatoes to the basement. I put an apple with each crate as I had a couple Amish tell me it helps keeps them from sprouting. 

Hubby measured basement ramp opening (4 ft wide). He wants to put a clear tarp (Amish made) there so I can use that area for root veggies and squashes.

I froze and bagged apple brats, beer brats and original brats.

I froze and bagged chicken thighs.

I roasted 2 whole chickens, had roasted chicken, mashed potatoes and corn (starchy meal) and an apple custard with meringue sent over from M. We then had baby carrots and celery as a snack. Hubby also had an apple with peanut butter later. 

Hubby stacked more day time, night time and what he now calls cook time fire wood in house and on porch. Almost ran me over around the stove with all the wood but I realized that the cook time firewood is pretty helpful. It's small and burns quick. I needed to bump up the "temp" to roast the chicken but not for 3 hrs. like day time wood would burn. M showed him the other day when he was over to talk to E her cook time fire wood.

Monday's work 

Pay the hospital bill that came in for Hubby's heart attack. I have to keep repeating we have the money back for those bills to him as it sends him into a panic when he gets them.

I will be taking chicken off the bone and separating it for meals and bagging it for the freezer. Then I will cook the bones to make broth and can it.  ACTUALLY I will take it off the bone today when I make supper and do bone broth on Monday.

I have hamburger to cook to make taco meat (bagged in 1 cup servings) and ground beef crumbles for freezer. That's for Monday also.

I have smoke sausage links (size of hotdogs) to repackage, bag and put in freezer.

I try to do most of "nasty trash stuff" like meat packages etc. on Monday because trash goes to the road Monday night. Our trash is picked up between 4 and 6 AM  Monday morning. 

Cook more tomatoes for juice to make pasta sauce . I leave the juice sit over night to let the water come to the top, remove it and then slow cook the sauce all day. Let it sit over night (to make sure all the "water" is out) and can the next day.  Hubby said when I was done with onions and tomatoes he would "stir" the compost pile and then have E put manure over it.

E said he thinks he will be over to mow around pond and the asparagus ferns this coming week. He made it clear to Hubby that Hubby was NOT to be up on the roof of the wood shed replacing the roof. He would do that for us. Hubby said he had patched it so it doesn't leak before his heart attack but he had offered that he would ask one of the other Amish to help as E really is overloaded with work that needs done since his family day to help him with his wash house did not happen so M's wash house is still not done. He also got really cheap materials to build a saw mill so he could work no matter what the weather. His saw is sitting in the open close to our property where the berries are at. He is moving it closer to his own driveway to help trucks from getting stuck in the mud when unloading logs. Three times last spring Hubby had to pull trucks out that got stuck. BUT he made it clear Hubby was NOT to have someone else come do it or be up there himself. I laughed when Hubby said he wasn't going to tick off the neighbor... we might not get any more free eggs and desserts LOL.

I had to buy clothes. I hate shopping for clothes and ALWAYS question two of my girls and one granddaughter where the sales are and what they are wearing as their style is more like mine and they are close to my size.  I looked at 4 different thrift shops and found nothing. I have lost 20 lbs. from being sick and the weight is not coming back on. I hate shopping for bras. But I was lucky that granddaughter who is just close to my size told me what she wears and because we were at Hubby's ENT appt. (no cancer, no tumors, nothing to be concerned about, doc figures he is losing his voice do to allergy reaction from wildfire smoke. So will have that dealt with and some voice therapy as he has always been a little "gravelly" in speaking) Hubby wanted to stop at Meijer's We don't have one close to us but the kids do. Not only did they carry the bra granddaughter wears (fits great), they were on sale for half price. I also go 2 pairs of every day spandex pants for half price and 3 shawl like vests with hood also half price. I don't have any "dress" jackets and the hoodie I wear at home is definitely seen better days. I texted a friend (she's my size) and let her know they had a sale going on. She texted me back to stop and try on the "dress" pants she just bought. They were lovely. Hubby told me to order some also as I have NO dress pants. She gave me a code she was given to share (so she gets another discount) and I was able to hit their sale and ended up getting 4 pairs for the price of 2 AND free shipping.  THEN a Facebook "friend" let me know she had just bought boots from Amazon that were warm and fit well. She wear's same size as me. I checked it out and ordered 2, one at ankle and one above ankle, both on sale.

BEST PART... even with buying so much I am still under budget for clothing. Hubby even picked up another pair of boots, one with steel toes and rubber coating over the toes for 25% off. He is still under budget for clothing. I also just put what is too big for me now back into storage in barn. 

Hubby thought we should cut that budget some... I am not going to do that as he still has 30 lbs. to lose. He's lost 30 lbs. this year. I've taken darts in all his pants. BUT I know if he loses the other 30 he will need new pants. I do have some put back that got too small for him that were still good. I can see him dropping in shirt size also. He used to wear 3 x large. His long sleeve shirts are x lg. his tee shirts are lg. His pants were 56 waist, now are 44 waist. He'll probably need a new belt also. 

On the nice side we inputted the RRA (retiree reimbursement acct.)acct. that Hubby got from work. When he was retiring they told him that they had did away with that. Found out that he got it due to the years he had in. They gave him the amount we would be getting. I figured out that it will cover the cost of our dental and eyeglasses ... maybe if those stay on the low side, cover his hearing aids when he has to replace them. Anything not used in one year is ROLLED OVER to the next year.

Our primary used to be " no" to anything holistic... his daughter went to Africa (she's a doctor) came home and told what they use there... he no longer is a no to holistic. IN FACT, we were talking (as we are friends also) and he mentioned his Daughter was telling her patients with metabolic syndrome to use green tea (capsules or tea) to help along with those that have IBD and IBS...He checked it out and felt it would be good for both of us. BUT mentioned it lowers the iron and I would need to watch that part as I struggle with low iron (always have).  I have green tea (tea and capsules) for other reasons but we decided to start that immediately to see if it helps. I actually wished his Daughter was working in the area as she does both traditional medical and holistic. 

Menu for the week:

Today: Bacon and tomato wraps, salad blend, M's dessert

Monday: chicken and noodles, mashed potatoes, cole slaw

Tuesday: steak, baked potato, salad, rolls

Wednesday: mackerel patties, boiled potatoes with butter, peas

Thursday: One pot green beans, ham and potatoes with corn bread (pick up more salad and milk if needed after doc appt)

Friday: fried cabbage with sausage, fried potatoes and onions, left over corn bread

Saturday: stuffed shells , meatballs, salad and garlic toast.

Hubby has asked for me to bake bread, make granola, bake monster cookies, bake custard pie (pie crust optional) and make ice cream to go between the cookies. He is thinking on ice cream sandwich (cookie) would be a good sweet that would limit him instead of a bowl of ice cream. He used to eat half gallon of ice cream at a time, then he went to a quart. Then it was a pint. He has found that he can get a ice cream sundae at the gas station (where we get $11 pizza at times) and it's enough. It's 1/2 cup.... I reframed from dancing in joy.

How has your week being going?

Prayers for peace

Blessed Be

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

After almost 5 weeks

 We went to the store. I am thankful the only thing we had to pick up was a gallon of milk while sick.

I spent $379.37 at Kroger's with $108.71 savings (5 % cash back) plus $9.50 in Fresh Mode rewards. 

I spent $47.90 at Country Variety Store on 1 1/2 bushels of apples and 6 pears. *check or cash only* Saved $6

I spent $106.90 at Save A Lot with savings of $6.82 (3 % cash back)

We have enough to go 6 weeks (not counting anything I already have in freezers) with only picking up fresh produce and milk.

I got chuck roast on sale, made it last night with red potatoes (from garden) orange carrots (we already ate all of ours) and white onion from B (add $10 for 15 lbs. of candy onions from B). I will be canning 3 qrts. of beef and broth and 1 qrt. of just broth. 

Tonight's supper will be roasted chicken. I have 2 that will be cooked same time in wood stove. I will then pick off the pieces for other meals and make broth and can it.

At Kroger's I also go a pork shoulder( in freezer), skinless boneless chicken thighs * to be vacuumed bagged and frozen, beef hotdogs bagged and frozen(me only) mini sausage links (Hubby requested pigs in blanket), shrimp, hamburger (make taco meat and cooked ground beef) and a turkey ON SALE. I got 3 salads, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, carrots (big) and mushrooms. I replaced the Sprite and Coke I went through while sick. I got yogurt as my yogurt maker is on order, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, goat cheese, Vit D milk, heavy cream, half and half and buttermilk.

 I did very well at writing my list in the way I shop (non perishables first, produce, meat then dairy) so I did NO backtracking. I wore a mask. LORD I was done by time we put it in the truck and worried I was going to be sick from getting too hot. But Hubby cranked the AC up and rolled my window down. By time we got to Country Variety store I was fine.

I got apples for fresh eating (Hubby is trying to eat apple with peanut butter instead of almond chocolate bar with peanut butter for his bedtime snack) and apples for applesauce.  I got 6 pears for fresh eating. They charged bushel price for the applesauce apples instead of the 1/2 bushel since I bought 2 of them saving me $6.

At Save A Lot ,I got baby carrots (Kroger's looked bad) smoke sausage links (size of bun size hotdog) brat patties, and brats to be rebagged and frozen. I got 2 T-bone steaks as Hubby mentioned he missed getting his steak dinner at Lock 16 for his birthday. He does NOT want to go out to eat. So this weekend I will fix him a steak dinner as close as I can to what he would order.  I got pizza rolls for our lunch and I bought the size of bag that would ONLY be lunch instead of us pit stopping for a sandwich (saving about half of what the sandwiches would have been).

I wrote out the meals I was going to serve: Leftover beef brisket from Sunday is going to be fajitas

Beef roast with veggies, beef stew, beef and noodle, beef pot pie

Roasted chicken, autumn stew, chicken pot pie, and chicken and noodles

Mock Lock 16 Steak dinner

Pork shoulder roast, mock Brunswick stew, Cuban pork, pork and cabbage casserole

Pigs in Blanket

Chicken Shrimp stir fry

Shrimp scampi 

Smoked sausage

Brat patties


I also have potstickers and egg rolls, pepperoni and sausage for pizza, stuffed shells, stuffed manicotti, lasagna rolls, penne and spaghetti, Swedish meat balls, meat loaf, Salisbury steak, tacos, crispy bean burritos, breaded pork tenderloin, BLT (while I have fresh tomatoes) grilled cheese with tomato soup, fried bologna, fried ham slices, Philly steak subs, Gordan air fryer fish,  mackerel patties, salmon patties, tuna noodle casserole, fried cabbage (from garden) with fried potatoes (garden) with sausage or ham, one pot green beans, potatoes and ham,  pancakes, waffles , French toast and eggs.  Crepes, I want to learn to make crepes. 

We should be able to only need dairy and fresh produce until Dec if not Jan. 

I spent $549.17.... if we don't go back to store for 4 wks. that is  $137.30 a week

IF we can go 6 weeks (only getting dairy, celery and carrots) that is $91.53 a week. 

I have 5 meals listed so that is 7.8 weeks that's $73.22 a week... SO I am looking at not going back for at least 7 weeks, that's the beginning of Dec. Which is why I went ahead and got the turkey for 99 cents a lb. 

Not counting soups and casseroles from scraps. I know I have more brisket, 2 pork tenderloins and plenty of bacon and sausage. I am low of pork chops though. 

Blessed Be 

Off to deal with more tomatoes

Friday, October 13, 2023


 He was working on the trimmer. He did finally after 4 days get the property trimmed and mowed except around the pond. He will do that so E can mow at the edge with his hay mower which is to the side instead of straight with the horses. 

 I have 29 qrts. of tomatoes to wipe down and take down. Not sure where I am going to be putting the rest of it. But am going to cook it down to can sauce and not over do it.

Blessed be

Prayers for peace

Yep I am up


I have no clue to what she wants. I let her out, in , out and back in. She just sat there. Finally she went and laid on the couch. She's probably wondering when I am going to stop coughing. 

I fed the stove, good thing I was up as it would have been completely out by morning.

I am coughing still, it's a bad cough but not as often. Our Nurse called Tuesday to get Hubby's Medicare info as we have a phone appt on Wed and I coughed while he was giving her the info... she actually sighed. But it's better, it doesn't hurt to cough as much or every time. Morning and evening are the worse, it's not rattling and things are still breaking up. No fever, icky crap is clear so no infection. The meds will start messing with my Crohn's (never ending circle) in a couple days so I am backing off a little of that before that happens.  Doc called. One day of work, one day of rest. Hubby to take rest breaks and remember this cold winter will affect him differently. He definitely didn't get the same ickes I got

Electric bill is in at $126. There was AC on that bill so it's not bad. I am using the dryer for bedding and throw blankets. My co op figured if I do 3 hrs. a week in the dryer, my electric will raise about $25. SO I need to try to limit use of other electric to balance that out. 

Hubby got his surgery bill... He owes nothing of the $65,000 bill. BECAUSE he maxed out his out of pocket in Urgent care, ER and the ambulance  to transported him to the other hospital for surgery. Those bills are still out there.  One bill our health insurance flagged as a surprise billing and for us to NOT pay it until we called them as they were negotiating with the company over the bill. The ambulance was not provider under our insurance. It's not like we get to chose who transported him... DUH.

I bought a high yield 9 month CD from Ally. Added enough to both of our savings to be back up to what we want in regular bank. Paid 1 month extra to mortgage and added enough to Money market to cover most of 2024 out of pocket medical. 

I asked 4 different financial advisors about car loan. Every single one said to follow the 20/4/7 rule (couple kids said they saw the same with Rocket mortgage) 20% down, only for 4 yrs (48 months) and no more than 7% of gross yearly income. Which is almost what I felt we should only pay and Son 2 is looking at the same.

Blessed Be

Prayers for peace


Monday, October 9, 2023

When you wake up coughing hard enough to give yourself a nose bleed

 you might need to think that you are still sick. SIGH I am now carrying Bleed Cease in my pocket. 

Doc has me taking my temp 3 times a days to make sure I am not running a fever. SO far nothing. 

Echinacea tea, honey tea, ginger tea and elderberry honey in my white tea is helping. 

I ate chili last night, boy did that break some crud loose. My tummy wasn't happy with me but I could BREATHE. Doc did add bronkaid and Mucinex DM and cooked onion, ordered to drink the juice LOL. What ever I am to cough up I am to spit out or it will trigger my Crohn's.... guess he doesn't understand it raging anyways. Drainage does that.

Hubby is now holding his fingers in a cross when I come near him to ward off my "evil" cooties. I try not to be close. Lysol twice a day now instead of once. Windows are open with the wood stove so we do have fresh air all the time. Humidifier in front room is on 60. I will be turning the hallway one on today.

Hubby took a trip down memory lane something he doesn't do much.

I remember, he started, when you had 3 surgeries in 3 months... Oct/ Nov/ Dec. 1995. We had 3 kids with serious mental issues and you was juggling "women" issues your self. 

Yep right after we got married and he spoiled the kids by baking snickerdoodles for Thanksgiving dinner along with no bake double layer pumpkin pie and I sat curled up in a chair in the dining room. 

Then it was 

I remember, you have 3 different pneumonias  Oct/Nov/ Dec.

Yep, 2008 we lost both houses, moved Daughter 2 and her family of 9 and then us from a 3500 sq ft home to a 800 sq ft rental and had 5 storage units  and filed bankruptcy when he went to 3 days a week work instead of 7 days a week work. Talk about income dropping.

Then since Brother was texting Hubby (he was with uncle in hospital is doing a lot better and aunt don't look like she's going to fall over) And BROTHER texts

I remember coming home from college for Thanksgiving and finding she had not even started school.

5th grade, rheumatic fever. Sept through Dec. I did work at home, teacher stopped to give Mom my work daily and started back in January.   

THEN my Aunt said, she remembered Daddy saying I was Aunt Hazel who caught everything and anything within a ten mile radius. 

SO I finally asked... what is the point you are trying to make?

YOU get really sick in the fall of the year when YOU am under a lot of stress...

Brother was NO.... she's allergic to mold and that's fall... TRUE... beans coming off, hay, corn isn't as bad with it because E takes out rows in middle to allow air flow to help dry his corn. But yeah, it's the mold. I can't walk in a barn that has hay in the mow. I can't take penicillin for that reason. It nearly killed me, Hubby could remember nearly losing me, they sent me home to die. But he couldn't remember what caused it. They gave me a medication that had penicillin in it and it didn't red flag it at the hospital but did at CVS. WHO immediately called Hubby and my doctor to tell them what was happening. 

But looking back at the cycle... fall is my stress time on top of when my allergies are their worse. I getting the crops in to feed us through the winter, getting the home battened down for the winter and facing bills going up due to winter. 

NOW, I can see the pattern... how can I change it? I can't do anything about mold season as Brother who is allergic everything said.  BUT what can I change ? 

IF you have any thoughts please comment as I know this change won't be easy for me. I am a creature of habit. 

Sunday, October 8, 2023

talking finances with Hubby

 I am thankful we have decent health insurance. The medical bills from Hubby's heart attack, my Crohn's and UTI and then covid is starting to come in. We put them on the credit cards (all have cash back).

Hubby asked me yesterday what I was doing. He thought I said I paid the bills until after our SS comes in. I did say that, I did do that.

He is doing better to stay focused and process what we are talking about but with mild dementia I do have to repeat myself. He is not good at finances and never has been as he grew up on farm loans that got rolled over it they couldn't pay them off.

I was checking what was on the credit cards. They all have cash back. We use certain cards for certain stores/ things to get the most back. 

So I broke it down for him.

I have one card that is for utilities and automatic payments like our umbrella ins that is due once a year. Since that is all that goes on it, it's easy to see if there is any fraud charges.

Hubby has 2 that is just his and one we both are on. His cell phone and Sirius  are on his, the other one is business and he's shutting it down but our bank offered to issue him a new card for personal. He is going to go in and talk to them, see the lady that has handled mine as she's really into , this would give you this but cost you that but this one would do the same for more for your effort kind of person. Knowing him, it's going to be cash back on what he would use it for. I suggested auto repairs and fuel. That's where it goes now. We'll figure that one out after he goes in at the end of the week.

 TSC is for the farm so we are both on it. We put groceries on it also. 

It's easy to see on his cards or TSC if there is fraud. 

I watch Chase as it's my Amazon card and eating out . I make sure the only thing being charged is what should be. They have caught a couple fraud attempts and denied the charges so that's good.  I canceled all my auto shipments. I have us stocked for 2 years if we don't share with a single kid or grandkid. I had one OTC med that Hubby is no longer taking since his heart surgery. I put it out to the kids and it was gone in a week since I write the price on it I knew what to have the kids pay me. One said that price had doubled in the past 3 months as she was trying to stock up for her and her daughter. They now have enough to go 6 months. 

I checked out the last credit card, it had all the medical on it and it was NOT a pretty sight. I paid it off . I NEVER carry a balance that will be charged interest. 

I told Hubby the credit cards are up to high (when you haven't went anywhere for almost a month you might wonder what is going on) then added the medical bills are coming in. I have the money in the money market and savings. I try to always have the next year's out of pocket/dental/ eye costs saved by Nov for the following year so we never stress about paying medical bills (something he did while farming until he went to work in the factory and I always did being self employed) BUT if I use the money market to pay the incoming bills we won't have enough to cover next year's out of pocket/dental/ eye...

So I did the shuffle (he rolls his eyes when I say that). We have 4 CD's maturing. They will be in before the rest of the bills will be in. I am going to take them to pay off the medical add what is left to the Money market and we will have enough to cover 2024's out of pocket. I even using the estimate for part D added enough to cover our routine meds. Added enough to pay for 1 set of glasses through Walmart and dental including x rays for us for the whole year. 

I still need to do Christmas cash and 2024 bday money but that comes out of my annuity I get monthly.  

He sat looking at me. I waited then asked... what are you thinking?

SO....(he is worse than the kids using that word), we can use the maturing CD's for this year's medical. Roll what is left over onto the money market and have 2024's medical pretty much covered. YES since we both have Medigap policies that should cover it.  

We have 2 yrs of OTC meds. YES, I do have some holistic (dandelion root tea for his gout) also just not 2 years. 

We have propane for the year (cook stove and water heater) and part of the wood with a wagon load (3 cords) to come from the sawmill in next month.  YES

He was able to cut some wood up yesterday. E was out picking corn from 15 acres behind us by hand for his beef cattle and had the boys spend about an hour helping Hubby get some wood cut up. E helped him set up the buzz saw and splitter. So we have a good solid month already cut and ready. E said it's set now that Hubby can use the tractor to move the wood to the saw or splitter and not him trying to lift it. E and the boys will be checking the wood supply when they are picking corn which will be ALL winter. E said there is about 4 months of wood sitting here . He knows Hubby still have 2 trees to pull up from the woods and the 3 cords coming from the sawmill would take us another month. That should take us to Feb. and he told Hubby that. We can put in at the sawmill we want another wagon and it would come in about that time and take us through Feb/ March. 

So we have heat... I added.... We have full freezers, full pantry when I finish tomatoes and applesauce. Even if I add fresh veggies we can keep the grocery bill down below $200. I just harvested sage to dehydrate and grind which was the last of what I needed. I MIGHT need to pick up garlic bulbs but I do have garlic powder. Lysol was the last thing I needed for cleaning as I make my own laundry soap. 

We don't need clothes, shoes or boots. I might replace muck boots if they go on sale, right now they are sprayed with flexseal to keep from getting my feet wet. 

We shop Amish bulk, Mennonite bulk, small business specialty stores.  

THEN he said finally what was worrying him. We aren't going to get the house paid off in 5 yrs. and we need to replace the Silverado in 2024.  

Probably not on the mortgage. I am still checking the dealership I bought the Silverado from  BUT right now I can earn twice as much interest on a CD than I would save paying extra on the mortgage. SO the shuffle it earn the interest, let the interest pay the extra on the mortgage. I figured a $600 car payment to go into savings/ short term CD monthly. Go at least until June before replacing Silverado and I already have half the down payment if we got a loan (rather not). 

He sat looking at me.... then said OKAY you are being your Dad, let the investments pay the bills when you roll them over.  I can handle that. IT was like watching a mountain fall off his shoulders. 

Then I pointed out if I cashed out and paid through the nose on taxes I could pay OFF the house if something bad happened just from my inheritance from my Dad. AND I would still have enough money to live on monthly with his SS check without any investments. 

He did say he wants to get the business closed this coming week and then after his ENT appt. for what ever is causing him to lose his voice every afternoon. He wants to have an appt for the lawyer to update will etc. That appt. is usually a battle but since the heart attack he's realized that side of things need to be kept updated. 

I did not tell him I was already making an extra payment every month on the mortgage. Basically turning the 30 yr mortgage into a 15 yr mortgage. In the past 24 months I have made 72 payments. IF I can only make 1 extra payment a month average we will still have the house paid off in 12 yrs. He would be 77. IF I can continue to make 3 payments a month, it will be 8 yrs making him 73. 

We will see. 

Saturday, October 7, 2023

Anne Grandfather clock. Sam's club and conversation with Amish

 We have had it worked on 3 times. The glass actually broke in half, then it quit chiming, then it chimed wrong . FR complained to the company that made the "sound" system. They gave him money back over it and he gave it back to us. It does keep good time. It's not an issue to get fixed as FR can do it himself and he just pit stops when over using the phone or talking to E about stuff. The kids argue who gets it when we die until we told them it was going to auction. Then it was nope, Amish will out bid us LOL. 

First fire rolling. Right now it's 40 outside with windchill of 35 and it's to be colder by tomorrow. Damp for sure but not rain which we need. 

We used to do Sam's club, but it's not worth the price of membership nor do we use that size of items any more. Twice I have had fraud charges from the local Sam's club also. Plus it's a good 45 minutes from us... 

If I was over in Marion visiting in laws we could stop at GFS like my brother does. 

Having an IBS or IBD (mine is Crohn's) extremely limits fresh/raw anything. I am lucky if I can get a 2 cup side salad without spending 2 days in bathroom from doing so. Been there and done that still eating the 2 cup side salad but figuring out if I can spend 2 days running to the bathroom.

I did talk to A, she has Crohn's also. Asked her how she was handling it especially being Amish. She's eating fermented and pickled foods and found by doing so daily, she doesn't have as bad as time when she eats something raw. Still only eats maybe 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup raw at a time and not more than once a day. But insisted I start eating more fermented and pickled foods. This young woman is the age of my girls, I bet Hubby she will stop over in the next month and ask what I have ate that was fermented or pickled. She also said she has taken to eating some kind of apple daily. Daddy did that also. She makes her own cottage cheese and has it twice a week. I got twenty questions over what fruit I was putting on the table daily. Yeah, she'll be over here questioning me SMILING.

I can tell you one of the years of next to NONE flare ups of Crohn's was when I was taking VSL#3 ORIGINAL formula (now called Visbiome which I have in frig to start for when I am done with this ickes) and eating pickles or pickled beets 5 days a week with applesauce and cottage cheese. Had it for lunch almost daily with pizza rolls on Saturday LOL. I don't think the pizza rolls helped anything other than my inter child. 

 My inner child got a nap on the kitchen porch floor in the sunshine with Charlotte yesterday. Hubby said since I had a pillow he wasn't worried but the Amish that used the phone stopped at the wood shed to tell him I was down. He let him know I was napping with the dog and getting our vitamin D. Said the guy first frowned and then said that actually made sense. 

I went down to the basement and looked... what do I have fermented.

I have canned :  fermented kraut, coleslaw, cucumber pickles, pickled asparagus, pickled beets, pickled cauliflower with turmeric, green olives stuffed with garlic, pickled peppers with turmeric. pickled onions with turmeric and salad peppers.  

I am low (very low) on applesauce. Hubby said we would pick up apples this coming week. I have enough apple pie filling (home canned with little sugar), I have dehydrated apple slices. 

I told Hubby I wanted to get that on the table. So this weekend (while I now have a either a head cold or allergies are full blown) we will be changing what is in the kitchen frig to have those items go on the table. MIL suggested pulling one thing every meal, she rotates daily which one she puts on the table. 

Friday, October 6, 2023

OKAY... goals for October

I NEED to ask myself daily... how can I save money today?  What can I change to stretch those dollars. 

 Hubby started Medicare this month. He chose to stay with what he picked for these last 3 months for next year. 

We will be updating the will after closing business. Lawyer said to wait 30 days after business is closed. About half the kids are ticked, the other half agree with our choice, he gets it or I get it ( they all agree with that)and if both are gone, it goes to auction. I calmed a few down with tell me what you are wanting and I will work it out you get it BEFORE I die. Especially when I am decluttering anyways. I got one moving in a year, she plans to get a place that she can have the old cabinet that was my great great uncles. I will keep that aside for her, Might even see if the one Amish grandpa could repair it during this winter. He likes to have something to do and has fixed a couple other things for me. Another wants a trunk and stand, I use the stand, but it will be listed as hers.  It's kind of WORK with not AGAINST me. 

I still need to pick Part D. I am still deciding between 3 of them. One has no premium, no charge for my regular meds but a $545 deductible... HUM ... seems funny to me. The other one is what Hubby has $5.30 premium, $4 for one med the rest are 0 and $280 deductible. The other one is $78.90, meds are 0 and no deductible. 

CLOSE business checking. Hubby went to close it, his insurance let him know he had 2 checks coming in the mail for the business... so he waited. THEN he was going to go the other day before he had the heart attack and got another check from the bank that had the truck loan as they had a secondary insurance on that loan so he got money back from that. MAYBE he will be able to close it at the end of this week as Doc said that with negative test (we finally tested negative) and no fever, we could go out after the 11th BUT we must wear a mask. So no eating out. Okay, we did take out last night, first time in 3 wks. We loaded up with Chinese and actually ate a decent amount for the first time. Still visiting the bathroom more than normal.  Hubby has lost 10 lbs. and I have lost 17lbs.  

Hubby listed 8 things he would like to have done by end of October. Couple repair jobs, over half are jobs that would take him about an hour. Keeps him moving and yet not over doing anything. He has a couple Amish that have him move trailers around for them maybe a couple times a month if that often to give him some spending money.309 sawmill will have him use their loader to move some wood around for them. 

 Wood cut was not on the list. He figures he will be cutting wood until end of Nov. E told him that there is a couple trees he cut down that Hubby can get to with the tractor to pull up over here that can be be burned this year. 309 Sawmill told him they would have a wagon load of cut pieces for him late Oct or early Nov, those we usually don't have to cut down to size. He plans to move wagon out of barn, set up buzz saw and cut what we have down to correct size. If nothing else, he has learned to mark the freaking saw like E has of the length and quit guessing as he cut 2 cords of wood 2 inches too long and they won't go in the stove. Good thing I don't mind tossing small blocks of wood in during the day. I did suggest he just cut them in half, still on small size but not as big as pain to store as small blocks go in large pots... the size 5 yr. old trees come in and we can actually rack them if they are cut in half. 

We get through this cold spell and he can do some cutting but I think he is going to finish the wood shed first. E will have to help him do the roof but he can always go over and help E work on the wash house to help that way.  I definitely am making sure he does take rest breaks and drinks water... okay, man drinks water without being told but he won't drink the water if he doesn't take the break. 

Household, put things away that came in while sick. I haven't touched anything and am walking around stacks and need to split some packages with Daughter 4. Hubby asked if we needed to stock anything else... I said Lysol spray. He thought I was joking. I used 24 cans in 1 year. No I am not joking, between the house and both trucks, carried it with us to the kids houses to spray before we walked in. MIL used 12 herself and didn't think to spray her car... she is now as their grandsons whole church came down with covid over the weekend.

 I need to straighten the pantry, move shelving in the freezer room (no more window leaking) and deal with organization and a very good cleaning.  I have taken to opening windows for 30 minutes daily and spraying with Lysol like I did when Covid hit the first time. Bathrooms cleaned daily. My kitchen sink is cleaned nightly when I run the dishwasher. Laundry done every morning (except Sunday) 

I will continue to declutter the house and the barn. I started a donation box and a kids box. Kid's box is stored in barn so when we go down or one comes up we can take it then but it's not in the way. 

I have listed seeds I need to order for next year. I plan to start growing my own plants. 

We are saving $133. 34 a month with Hubby going on Medicare. I want to split that money between the mortgage and the savings.  We will save more when I go on it in Jan.

Hubby got the internet/phone lowered by $10. That will be split also. 

Our insurance guy did some looking and found another discount for us on car insurance dropping the bill $125.19 a month and changed billing cycle . That will be split in two.

All refunds or savings like Fresh mode, etc. will be split the same way. I've done this before but have let it slide.

Doc wants us to eat a fresh salad twice a week, 3 times is better. It doesn't have to be a lettuce salad, just fresh veggies. I asked if just serving carrots, celery sticks, fresh apples, cabbage as I have that in frig also etc. would be okay... he said yes but wanted some colorful greens in there once a week.  I have some carrots in frig. I need to cut the celery today anyways in the gardens. I am NOT going to the store until after the 11th. I am not sure what lettuces the local Save A Lot carries but I will check it out after the 11th. WITH MASK LOL.

I want to go to store once a month (Amish elder suggested it) with a dairy run two weeks later. Said she saved over $100 by that simple changed, used up what she had and made different foods than her normal routine meals. One suggested pantry soup for supper every single night with a meat, potato and veggie lunch, one suggested lunch leftovers become soup or casserole. (M laughed when I told her and asked what was leftovers because she definitely doesn't have those any meal unless someone is sick)  Helps keep the weight down. I am glad they feel comfortable to offer advice. I will take all the advice I can get on saving money and being healthy. 

 We are are 2 yrs into our mortgage (refinanced to get PI off and lower interest) We are on payment 72. I know that's 36 payments in 12 months. I would like to do BETTER but reality is I will be lucky to do that much with a drop of 50 % income. 

By using the grill for the tomatoes I keep that off the propane tank for the furnace. Hubby debated last night between the wood stove or furnace. He decided neither at 10 pm when the house was still 75. I got it closed up and curtains shut before it cooled down. It's still 73 so we won't be starting the wood stove or furnace. 

 Probably going to go take a nap. Been up since 12:30 when my sugar work me up being low.

Happy October. Hubby turns 65 on the 9th

I asked him what he wanted to do for his birthday... he looked and me and said


This is my favorite photo of him. He was on the tractor and had just turned it off to see what I wanted. He wasn't thrilled to have his picture taken. Never is. 

Oh yeah I can understand that comment. 

 Our oldest (late hubby's daughter) turned 51 yesterday. She's put on more than one application that Hubby is her step dad. Makes him feel good that she knows he is there for her. 

Brother is 74 today, though he refuses to celebrate that age he tolerates his sister reminding him.

We have 2 grandkids birthdays and Daughter 4's birthday. October is a busy month. 

I got this last night with the comment I am still having chest pains

Yes he knows I am sharing. I was like... where are you, who is with you, wait, that's normal BP , that's anxiety, wait until I get ahold of you. I ratted him out to his sister who ratted him out to his ex about scaring me like that... His doctor that was in the room told him to quit messing with his mom. He was having testing done to make sure he did not have brain damage from explosions while in Iraq 2 years...Doc said NONE, it's in his medical file but I am telling you I think he had it BEFORE then LOL.I can say we shared the GOOD news. It will calm some of his worries about whether he will be not able to work another 20 yrs. He already has 20 in the Army, wants 20 in Airforce civilian, maybe 25 and then plans to travel if he is physically able. BUT he also knows his house is not handicap accessible. He thought about changing it (close to what he paid for the house to do it) His sister told him to wait, everyone was going to move here and he could have a room since he would be retired he wouldn't have to worry about finding a job in this area.  GEEZE

I sent Daughter 2 the annual photo of her Halloween pumpkin... he is getting saggy faced from being so old. She tossed it in 2008 as the lights had died. I changed the lights and bug her each year over it. 

   He's peaking around at E's kids when they come up on the porch. They got a kick out of seeing it.

We got the tarp up that we had made for the end of the porch. Several Amish have this on their porches to keep fire wood dry or the wives to be able to dry laundry on the porch in the winter. 

I love the fact it has a built in screen that can be opened or closed so we don't have to take it down in the summer, we can just open the screen. It's not hard to take down either as it had special hooks that Hubby said he just slid the hole over and turned it and it was fastened. E checked it out when he was checking out what Hubby was doing with fire wood(used tractor bucket to carry it and then we slowly filled the racks) Took 2 days to get them filled and the two in the house filled but it will take 3 days to use what wood is there up or more depending on how long it stays cold. He thinks M would like to have one when they build the new porch next year. He is going to have her check it out some time. 

Rest of wood

 All summer curtains, clothes, bedding and throws are washed, dried and put in barn storage.

All winter curtains are up on clean windows,(the only thing I have cleaned beside johns) winter bedding and throws are washed and on beds and furniture and winter clothes are in the drawers. 

I still need to pick tomatoes today before the nasty 40 degree crap hits with possible frost. I already set up the area at the barn at the grill so it's pick the tomatoes, take to grill at barn. Hubby will put large canner (19 quart... reg quart not wide mouth) on the stove and I can haul through the tomatoes. Core them, grill them, skin them, can them. I can do what ever with them later. I plan on more soups and casseroles this winter anyways. 

I won't take down the garden. We can do that next week when it gets back up to the 60s. We got some rain, no where near enough but at least some. 

Thursday, October 5, 2023

October 5th

 This hawk has been here daily for a week now. We know he has caught several mice usually from the compost pile. 

Our oldest *my late husband's daughter that we were raising when he died* turns 51 today. I told her she had to stop having birthdays. I am NOT that old myself. She just laughed. She has a lot of health issues that she inherited from her mother's side and it's been a really rough year for her.

Hubby is better... not got the hacking cough nightly. Been working on 1 thing each day with lots of breaks. E came over and helped him run the apple cider press. They even took my applesauce apples so I will have to replace those. Kids got to climb the widow's apple tree then help press those apples. Local press is running 2 wks. behind. Made 500 gallons over the weekend. That's huge.

Hubby was able to get the tarp up on the end of the front porch (pics coming later this week) and even put a little bit of fire wood up on the roll cart.

I got the potatoes washed and crated. And a good part of winter bedding, winter curtains and winter clothes washed and in house. I should be able to finish it today. 

I NEED to get the tomatoes picked as we have warning of a frost this weekend which will ruin them. I will core them, toss on grill to char, let them cool and peel them then can them. Not making sauce or juice at this time. Quick and simple. I can store picked ones in the barn as I get through them. 

Still nauseated, still have bathroom issues, but no fever or cough. Makes my good tasting water even from the garden hose taste like crap. 

Sunday, October 1, 2023


 give me the strength and the right words to say since I can't give my family hugs and be there for them  while  I have covid.

On a good note, Little E asked his mom if he could help bake chocolate chip cookies for us so we would feel better. He remembered I gave them a ice cream bucket of chocolate chips a while back. We got too many and had no storage left for them. He loaded the chips in as she let him put what he felt was right in. So we got 2 dozen cookies from Little E (might let him take more food if it gets us cookies like that) and 3 dozen eggs as they know we feed eggs to Charlotte for her allergies and we have been able to handle eating that also. 

The kids definitely have found how much they lean on me instead of their dad (who can't be there either) since 5 out of six is NOT married or in relationship. I told the ones that have adult kids that responsibility has to be moved down which means we still deal with the 2 sons. Son1 just went and signed papers for two of his close friends that live close to him to sign papers for him in health emergency. Son2 is counting on Daughter 2 and 4. Daughter 3 does not drive so could not go to hospital to sign. Daughter 1 lives farther away from him then we do

I don't usually get on line on Sunday's.  Day 5 or 6 as we think the "cold" Hubby thought he was getting was actually Covid. We just decided when we finish the meds we would take the 2nd test then because we definitely missed a dosage , me morning and hubby night.  We actually ate a meal last night, kept it down but then both of us spent the evening in the johns. 

We had an Amish neighbor around the corner call us to ask if we needed anything from town, even meds as he was going in and thought since we had covid we wouldn't be able to go to town. He dropped off a loaf of bread that his wife baked so I wouldn't have to when Hubby said bread as he is eating toast to keep his stomach settled. Then M sent a loaf over also. So he has plenty of toast.

9th person in family in crisis within 8 wks. Daddy's baby sister's husband in critical condition with heart. Mid 80s. Laid in ER for over 8 hrs. They couldn't find a bed for him at a hospital that does heart surgery. So her son called my brother. As they live in southern Ohio and brother lives in north eastern. My brother called me. I told him to call his own Cardiologist and have him find something and to point out uncle is ARMY RETIRED VET. He was transferred within a hour. I made sure I sent a message to brother's cardiologist thanking  him. Covid has taking a lot of beds AGAIN, STILL, SOMEMORE.  This aunt is 10 yrs older than my brother, my Daddy was 10 yrs older than her so brother and her feel more like siblings. He was the same way with Mother's youngest two twin sisters as they were 5 yrs older than my brother.  He was really struggling but knew I had just went through the NO BEDS with Hubby's heart surgery, hated that he had to even call me since he know what I am struggling with.   Instead of going to a family reunion next Sunday we might be going to a funeral instead. Aunt said we could come in last, sit in the back to the side with mask and leave first. Probably would just make a trip later to see her if this doesn't take her too as she's not been well for the past 3 yrs since Daddy died.

Then my calm, keep it  based on fact brother went off on a rant over politics and lies and media keep spreading the lies and courts allowing it to continue... when he got done I asked him what part of our parents saying ,politicians are liars did he miss? They tell you what they think you want to hear to get voted in and then do what ever suits them best when they get in. All at one time or another does good work but in reality, they aren't just putting stuff in for those of us that elected them, they are doing it for ALL of our country. What is best of OHIO might be the worst thing for Indiana. SO they have things that they are dealing with that we don't really see  or understand.  I have gotten to the point I watch the weather. Hubby let me know the house passed a 45 day clean and Biden signed it. I haven't even watched the weather, I checked my phone for it. Not like I am going to be out in the gardens. ( I can get back in gardens on Monday and canning is limited to 14 jars a day, BOY does Doc know me)

SON 2 is on the waiting list for getting into a Cardiologist for his heart follow up(another Army retired  vet working as civilian for Air Force. Air Force is now involved trying to find a doctor to take him in), Hubby's offered but he isn't in their network for insurance.  But did tell him to make arrangements for his cats and car and to have a packed bag with him at all times. His ex girlfriend has agreed to take care of cats (was bad break up but they are decent friends and lives 5 minutes away) and Daughter 2 in on call for transport and being next of kin until I can take back up that issue. She said she might just stay in that position until unless they do surgery at some point as she's 15 minutes from him and he could return the favor even though her 4 sons are adults, they don't live as close as he does.

Covid is defiantly taking it's good old time going away. Both of our fevers broke Saturday morning... that's a good sign right but Doc said 48 hrs. I still am down this morning so there is hope except I have Crohn's so run a fever over 50 % of the time anyways. SO hard telling. Doc told me to judge by Hubby's symptoms, he has a nasty cough that only happens at night. It's better also. But I have nothing but the fever and diarrhea that I have with Crohns. . Would not have tested if Doc hadn't had Hubby test due to cough.  Makes you wonder how many have this crap and not know it as it is the same as other crap they have.

Great Granddaughter is having another surgery. Shunt was not working at removing fluid off brain so they removed it and the VAD, Moved the catheter from the shunt to the fluid bag on the other side of brain. Will be putting a new shunt on that side I think Monday. Becka wasn't sure, they are going more of when baby is stable instead of "let's do surgery this day" trying to keep her from struggling with all the surgeries. Daughter 4 (grandma) is holding on by finger tips working 3rd shift (her car blew the engine)  saving for new car, homeschooling the teenager, having the older teenager hate being an adult and having to work (LOL) and not in the field he went to vocational school for and babysitting Becka's older daughter so her and Daddy can be at hospital. The neat thing they have now is there is a camara at baby's crib so her big sister can see her and talk to her every day. When Mommy and Daddy go visit her, Daughter 4 will call them and they let baby hear big sister's voice so she will recognize the voice when she does get to come home. Daughter 4 videoed big sister singing to baby sister and Mommy and Daddy show her every time they go to see her.

I am going to have to toss food I bought 3 wks. Some of the apples are rotting that I will have to deal with. I hate it but as Hubby put it , we can still buy more apples and make do with what we end up with. I told him we were pulling the gardens for the year as I finish harvesting tomatoes probably within a week or two. As there are still some green. I've canned enough of green ones. I sat down yesterday and wrote out the new to do list for both of  us so if someone asks if we need help with something we can check the list and say YES. E's oldest came over and looked at floor of wood shed. It needs replaced in the one section. He tore out the rotten wood and cleaned it up a bit and said if we had plyboard we could just lay it down over that spot and deal with fixing it next summer when we would clean it out for fresh wood. Hubby has about half of the siding on, E thinks they could put the roof on during one good afternoon as it's not rotted just metal got a hole in it when the tree limb went through it. Hubby has new metal roofing pretty much cut to fit so it's take off the old and screw on the new. I told Hubby I thought we could take it off ourselves but have E or couple of his boys help put it on. They are trying to get M's wash house finished for winter and the out house finished at the same time. 

Their 1000 gallon cistern went dry. First time in 10 years, we pointed out half his rain spouting is down due to wash house construction and it has not rained in 3 wks. to amount to much. In fact we have gotten more moisture from fog than we have rain and it's not much even with as thick as it is. 

I told Hubby I wasn't putting water in the pond, if it got much lower, the Amish was going to have to have a fish fry to keep us from having a fish kill. He told E that when E checked on us the other day. E went out and check and said right now it's okay but he also had his brother who put the pond in check it. He okayed it also but did leave a marker that I can see from the house so E or him can see the level and know when it hits too low and to go fishing. 

I think I am going to take a nap.  I know I will be running to the bathroom