Sunday, December 31, 2023

Goals for 2024

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

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


Make extra monthly payments on mortgage. 

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prayer for peace

Blessed Be

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Ending the year ramble

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prayers for peace

Blessed Be 


Monday, December 25, 2023

2024 plans and this week's menu

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

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

 Menu :

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

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

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

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

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

30th: Leftover pizza 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Goals and projects:

Eat healthy and from pantry.  $ 0

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

Pay extra every month on mortgage. EVERY PENNY WE CAN

Save money to replace Silverado. Half of extra savings

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

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

Straighten yard clothes line that is now leaning.$0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prayers for peace

Blessed be

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

 What the house looks like from the road lit up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take care of yourselves. There are ickies out  there LOL

Merry Christmas 

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


Friday, December 22, 2023


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessed Be

prayers for peace 

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessed Be




Thursday, December 14, 2023



Remember this???

 We bought this house  over 6 yrs ago. 

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

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

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

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

Hubby asked for me to write out the plan 

First is we continue to pay the extra we pay now

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

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

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

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

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

Welcome to the ride LOL

Prayers for Peace 

Blessed be


Wednesday, December 13, 2023


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

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

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

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

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

Daughter 1 has out patient back surgery the 18th. 

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

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

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

Most the Christmas decorations are up.

How is your month going?

Thursday, December 7, 2023

End of year.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 1, 2023

Dec 1st 2023

 Let's see....

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I need to work on the grocery budget. 

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

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

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

Got to go feed the fire.

Stay safe

Prayers for peace and sanity 

Blessed Be