Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Mental health day... I need a month at least, a year would be better.

 Yes I  made noodles

Update on daughter 4 She has a place thanks to Daughter 2 who had a friend willing to rent to her while she is still waiting for the fire report so she can go get her ID. She just keeps crossing to do things off her list. Her employer is now requiring her to have a release from her doctor before they will schedule her back to work, meaning no income to pay bills, gas to run car, or buy groceries. She can't get into her doctor until Feb 5th. Friend of Daughter 2's got a restuarant to do a donation night on her behalf. They are letting the gofundme acct sit as she wants try to hold off closing it out. Her older son that lives with her made full time!!!!
Red Cross is installing smoke detectors in the house she is now in. Salvation Army is paying deposits for utilites. She's had enough furniture donated that they can MAKE DO . She bought a frig off FB. We are helping Hubby's brother clean out his rental (was trashed by another family member he rented to so he is done renting it out). He told her if she didn't need it to sell it or donate it . He did not want to see it again. It is taking 3 trips with our trailer and truck full to get it all to her. Definetely things  she will be selling as I think they hoarded bed frames. 

We still have to finish moving stuff to her this week, tow Grandson's car to their new home and go to 2 medical appts that are over a hr away. I need to go to store also.

No one is getting more than 4 hrs sleep at a time in the family. SIGH

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Update on Kira

 Kira is our youngest, she is also the one that has now fought cancer twice. First time we supported her financially for a solid year to keep her and the 6 dogs in the home. Jaxson, one of the dogs that died, was her emotional support dog that helped her as she was dealing with mental crisis and coming off drugs her ex boyfriend had been slipping in her drinks. He did not realize her doctor ran blood tests for her meds for bipolar and caught it. She turned him in while sitting in at doctor's office. That's was 2014. 

The house has been leveled. She watched, said it was a form of closure for her. 

She said yesterday morning, she had too many texts and questions for her to handle. With the joy her son and her were alive, with only 2nd degree burns, she has Mace, one of the 6 dogs. Brother to Charlotte. The grief of loss of her dogs, her home comes in storm's waves with the sand shifting under her feet. 

Her employer let her know they were going to have her line shut down for 3 wks. She got a different job and starts tomorrow. They are having to rent a car to get to work as their only car(her son's as her died last month) broke down. Had to get her older daughter to rent it and used the money I sent to pay for it. Son2 has a mechanic to look at the broke down car, he's paying for that.

She has found a new landlord that is going to show her what he has available as he has more than one rental available ,is okay with pets.  We scrapped our accounts to get up her deposit and first month rent. Rent in her area is $1000-$1500 a month(I went onto shock but her siblings that live there was like.. that's normal).  Son 2 in no longer complaining his mortgage went up due to taxes and property ins. Nor is he looking to move now either. LOL

Her and the boys are going to go through the clothes donated. We are trying to keep track of what came from who so what ever doesn't get used can either be given back or donated to Salvation Army.  

Red Cross could only put them in motel for a couple days and nothing for the dog. Family and friends took them in. 

People that were closing estates, or just hadn't removed stuff from their home from deceased family have offered what is sitting there to Son 2.

Son2 is retired military, the military family has been supporting him to help her. His boss told him if he needed off to help her or us all he had to do was say something. 

I am making a list for myself that she needs... will be sharing it with her and Son2. 

Please make sure you have fire safety planned, make copies of license and such, put imporant papers in  gun safe, lock box that is fire proof (which I have a cousin that the box was there but the stuff inside was ashes) or freezer.

Prayers for peace

Stay safe

Blessed be

Monday, January 22, 2024

Kira lost her home to fire this morning


This is the gofund.me our daughter Kate started for her.

Thankful her son went outside when he couldn't get to her bedroom door and

banged on her window to get her out. They were able to get one of the 5 dogs out. 

One they could hear crying but couldn't get to him. Fire crew said he died from the smoke.

They got out with nothing but what they were wearing to bed (thankful they actually had something on  right?) . Neither had their wallet or purse so their ID's are burnt and they have to go BUY their birth certificates to get social security card and then BUY new license/ID. She has to get new bank card and BUY new checks. Can't even get to her pay check as she has NO ID to prove who she is.  

They are staying with her oldest. Mace had to go with other daughter to her garage  until they could find someone to keep him. As landlord is allergic to dogs and lives in the duplex also. They think they got a friend who can take him in. Grandkids are floating who is sitting with him so he is not alone. (the other dogs was his mom and dad and brothers, Charlotte is his sister).

We paid the vet bill, almost $800 but he is fine after they dealt with the smoke issue. Paid for her family to get birth certifiacates, work boots so she can go to work, license/ID, checks etc. Extra money for food and clothes. 

Daugher 2 (Kate) started the gofund.me

Son2 is trying to get clothes for the boys and her and started looking for items for when she gets a new place. Which probably won't be for another 2-3 months as finding a place in her price range will be hard. 

Daughter 3 has Mace and is trying to find stuff for him, like harness etc, SPCA is providing a crate for him. 

Our hearts are thankful they made it out of that inferno. And broken for the loss of Athena, King, Kane and Milo (who was crying, he was a rescue dog). 

PLEASE, check your own fire escape. Put copies of important stuff and your birth certificate in fire safe box or freezer bag and in freezer. It will not burn there. 

Thank you. 
Please be safe.
Blessed be

Friday, January 19, 2024


 Son2 is going to be teased for awhile. He finished paying me the money he borrowed in Dec. He paid $100/month (he chose the amount to pay back each month). My 65th birthday was this past week. The day before I saw $100 deposit from him in my checking. I called and asked if he had forgot to cancel that transfer even though I reminded him several times.... he said it was for my birthday... I laughed but then he admitted he had forgot to cancel it but didn't want it back to buy something I was putting off for myself. If he forgets again, I warned him I would not be returning it. Said that was okay, he would claim it was for our anniversary which is next month. LOL.  He asked for advice on some savings and I suggested Ally for CDs. To get the No Penalty CD that way if he needs it he can cash it in and not pay a penatly. He was complaining his mortage went up... I told him to look again,it's probably property taxes and insurance. It was. 

Last week we saved a total of $161.97. $80.98 went to saving, $80.98 went on mortgage. Penny went to penny jar. I stocked back up my coffee to go 3 yrs, bought a book on sale and 3 puzzle picture frames as Hubby is doing puzzles again and we can hang a few of them on the walls.  

This week, since I know the only that is going to be bought is milk if that. The total saved is $191.27. $95.63 to savings, $95.63 on mortgage and penny to penny jar.  I bought coffee for Hubby (he drinks dark or French roast , I drink meduim). Bring that up to 3 yr. supply.Savings on a new pair of insulated rubber boots that finally just fell apart (over 7 yrs old) while Hubby was pulling logs from the woods. Savings of  meds using Good RX Gold. Saved $73 on two meds. And I bought 2 pairs of boots like what I have that was on sale. The money I saved on the two is as if it was buy one get one free. One will go to storage, the other will be for when we go places and the pair I have now is for every day.  

I transferred some of the savings money to 2 of 9 month high yield CD's at Ally. Right now the rate is 5.15% for that. I also did 2 of 6 month high yield CD's for 5% . I like Ally as I don't have to have a minuim (first one I had was with $100) and I am making 0.01 % at the regular bank.  I have a money market acct that I use for medical (putting that amount budgeted in to it) that earns 4.4% right now. I have savings there also earning right now 4.35%. 

Prayers for peace

Stay safe 

Blessed Be

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Income being cut by 1/3rd Jan 2025

 My finance guy let me know the inherited IRA will be done then so I won't have issues with the IRS. I am using it to pay extra on the mortgage. 

I am working on cutting more out go so I can still make extra payments on the mortgage. 

I priced the greenhouse I was wanting Canopia by Palram Hybrid. BUT at this time between the cost of it, permit to build it and the increase of property insurance we will be putting this off and maybe look at it when we get the mortgage paid off. 

We know we have to replace the Silverado this year. The F350 didn't start the other day and Hubby had medical appt an hour away and had to take the Silverado. Neither one of us was comfortable with it being driven that far. 

I normally don't restock until something is half way down in supplies. Hubby suggested I stock up non perishables for at least 2 yrs worth if not 3. I think he is remembering how Daddy made it through 2008 hit and lost 50% of his income and investments. Had to live on his Social Security that around $1,000/month. He always was stocked for 3 yrs so was Mother. 

I am still splitting any rewards, cash back, coupons, sales, rebates, etc between savings and the mortgage. 

Our dentist closed his office here so we are looking for a new dentist. We do not have insurance for this so finding one that is GOOD and not charging an arm and leg is hard. 

Monday, January 15, 2024

WOW warm spell

 -2 ℉... Charlotte went out a couple times to bark at the rabbits that came out also.

House was at 74℉ in front room ,at 68℉ the rest of the first floor , 55℉ in lofts and 42℉ in basement and pump house. 

We love the blue flame as it means the wood is producing more heat than a yellow/orange flame. BUT if you don't watch, it will burn out before you think it will. I throw a couple pieces of wood in on a regular bases... Hubby forgets to even check it...during the day. At night time he checks it 2-3 times,says when he has to potty and has learned to let Charlotte out at the same time otherwise she will wake him up at the time he goes back to sleep. 

We had homemade beef stew, salad with homemade bread, spaghetti, homemade sauce and meatballs with garlic bread from sub buns and waffles with bacon. Tonight is manicotti with leftover sauce with meatballs, salad and leftover garlic bread. Tomorrow is leftover stew since we have chiro, drop of payment to doc (as I n't mail checks), vet for Charlotte ,car tags,dog tags ,and gallon of milk. Hubby said something about take out and I reminded him we had beef stew. I have chili I canned in the basement along with homecanned veggie soup.

Be safe , stay warm  (or cool if having summer weather) 

Prayers for peace

Blessed Be

Friday, January 12, 2024

Wood in

 Night time wood(heavy and larger size) and 160 LBS of coal in wagon

Day time wood 

Daytime wood sitting in wheel chair bathroom (HA HA). He will move it when he goes to put his clothes away LOL

Odds and ends of small or thin wood(kindling??) and heavy blocks of wood under trash can

Day time wood with wood scraps in bucket

Night time wood

It should last us 4 days with what is in house and what is on porch is another 3 days of each without counting coal as we only add a couple scoops to the night time wood or when we are going to be gone for the day.

Last night weather report was 55 mph gusts with 35 mph winds with temps in SINGLE digits, at least one day at ZERO with the winds. I had already showed Hubby on my phone yesterday morning the forecast for single digits. He shared it with E yesterday afternoon. After the weather forecast of the high winds. Hubby went over and told E as he won't want his horses out in that. 

That means wind chill temps will be from -15 to -30 starting tomorrow with this weekend being the worst. I put beef stew on the menu for tomorrow. I will bake bread today. Probably a custard and cake. We both know with winds like that Charlotte will be pacing in the house and trying to get her out to potty is going to be ME going with her. 

Today we have 95% chance of rain with temps in high 30s.

We need the rain. Amish is looking for a pond to cut ice and it's not going to be ours. Neighbor down the block had water delivered to his pond so E is hoping he will let them cut ice. 

Even though we have gotten some rain, it's not be enough.

I closed the upstairs off. One has a door but the other stairway has no door but  I have heavy curtains hanging and binder clipped them shut along with towels at the bottom tucking them into the stairs. Usually with the wood stove we leave them open. House was already dropping in temperature when I got up at 1am this morning to feed the fire and let Charlotte out (deer was in the driveway AGAIN).

Stay safe

Prayers for peace.

Blessed Be

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Arctic Blast coming

 In next 10 days, the majority temperatures will be starting in single digits and not raising to even 32℉ with winds 20 mph steady and gusts over 35 mph in forecast.

E came over last night to check to make sure we had enough wood ready for the stove. He knows we have the furnace for back up. We do and if we don't, Hubby already moved the splitter into the barn and the wood wagon that has wood to be split in it is under the over hang of the barn outside the door where he put the splitter. 

We usually load 2-2 1/2 days of day and night time wood in house with 2-2 1/2 days of day and night time wood on front porch. We have 40 lbs of coal in garden wagon on front porch as we sometimes add it to the night time wood. Five days from now the low is to be 1℉ and the high 12℉ with winds around 20 mph. Neither of us want to be loading wood or coal in on that day. I am already looking around to see where I can store the second cart of day wood in the house so the night wood (heavier and bigger than day wood) can stay close to the stove. 

I got a curtain in the loft that came down that needs put back up today. We usually leave the upstairs open with the wood stove (or we end up opening doors to let the heat out) but with the winds and arctic cold... I will be closing the upstairs off.

Barn has been holding around 40℉ but with this coming in, I need to move the last of the onions in house as it will drop big time. 

Hope everyone is safe, warm and fed.

Prayers for peace

Blessed be

Monday, January 8, 2024

Frugal week update

 We ate 5 days from pantry and two with take out. First take out was due to medical appts and grocery store, second was we were worn out from dealing with stacking wood for 6 hrs.Still have another cord to stack and 4 cords to split. Plus E told hubby there are still 2 if not 3 logs in the woods that are for him.  I need to move soup to Saturday as that is the day we move the most wood.

We saved $23.67 in cash back, $14.87 in coupons,$15 in discounts and $640.13 in sales. I bought a $799.00 vacuum for 99.00. Company did a model change and discounted the old model. My vacuum can't handle Charlotte's hair and I've been sweeping the rugs at the doors (we have wood floors) with the broom instead.I am not thrilled it is battery operated and only runs 30 minutes but takes 4 hrs to charge BUT a friend has it and she has the same type of dog hair to deal with and felt it was worth the $799. she paid last summer. So we will see how this works for us when it comes in. Daughter 2 said if it doesn't work for us, she will buy it from us as she has all wood floors and her dogs don't shed.  

So 50/50 between mortgage and savings $346.83 to go on each this week. The penny left will go in penny jar.

We have to find a new dentist. Our closed the local office and their other office is an hour away. I told Hubby to go ask E's dad as he will know who it taking the Amish so we can go there also. Actually that's how we got the dentist that is now closing this office.

Propane tank is still at 40%.

Water heater kicked off again. Hubby called our repair guy after he kicked it back on. Repair guy said next time check what code it is showing AND when he comes down (we are 45 minutes from him) that he would also do the annual check of AC and furnace to save us that cost. PLUS look to see if we can get a bigger pressurized tank for well pump. He would like to see the solar pump as he might install one at his cabin. 

How is your new year starting?

Prayers for peace

Blessed Be

Thursday, January 4, 2024

How I store my produce (HI Barb) and use it

 First on storage...I use Bluapple classic and Bluapple Fresh mats. Have now for maybe 3 yrs. Works good when I have a frig full of produce coming in from gardens and need extra time to process it. I like the mats as I can wash and dry them. I can buy refills for the classic. I am now going to try Bluapple veggie zips (also reusable) for my lettuce and mushrooms. Hubby said he likes the mats because if something does start going bad, the mat keeps it contained and can be washed, like the cucumber that got under a bag of lettuce.I couldn't figure out where the lettuce came from (he got it from Amish).

Some of my standard practices of keep produce longer I learned in culinary classes.

Mushrooms get brushed off gently and put in brown paper lunch bags and closed.DO not leave them in closed plastic as they will get slimy.

Greens, all greens are wrapped in white kitchen cotton dish towel(yes those big thin white cotton towels your grandma or great grandma used) or paper towels then in plastic bag. I also wrap my homemade bread in a white kitchen cotton dish towel before I put it in the bread box.  Amish wrap their lettuce (head lettuce only. I haven't seem one grow leaf lettuce for their family) in newspaper and put in spring house (around 37-38° which is like our frig). N's wife E wraps their Chinese cabbage in newspaper also for the spring house. Said she has had it last at least 2 months that way unless N eats it. He likes to snack on it while working.  I have done this with green onions also and then in a plastic bag not sealed. 

Celery is wrapped in foil.

I keep apples, bananas and avocados separate from greens as they give off gases that will mess greens up.

ALWAYS remove rubber bands from produce. 

Remove leafy tops from root veggies (toss radish tops in your salad and cook up the beet, turnip etc tops.). I try to keep a damp cloth over them and in the bottom of frig where it is the coldest.

I freeze my ginger. 

I keep my potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions (not with potatoes) and garlic in basement which is cool . Garlic is in mesh bag hanging. Onions are in panty hose hanging (*yes it works). Potatoes and sweet potatoes are in milk crates (not on concrete floor) covered to keep out of light. Keeping that stuff in frig makes it turn to starch. I just spend a day once a month making sure I go through the potatoes to use what is going to sprouts first and breaking  sprouts off. 

The biggest tip is what to eat first

Any greens I have are ate within 7-10 days and that is pushing the limit. Kale, collards and mustards hold longer than lettuce and spinach. Head lettuce hold longer than leaf lettuce or precut lettuce. I have had ice berg lettuce wrapped in newspaper for 2 wks. Just pulled the outer leaves off . Cucumbers are in this group also.

Tomatoes NEVER go in the frig. About 2 wks on the counter with the side of where the vine was DOWN. We usually eat them before 2 wks. But I tested it for Daughter 2.I put a paper towel under the tomatoes.

Bell peppers last about 3 wks on the fresh mats. I take them out of the plastic bags.

Turnips, parsnips. rutabagas, radishes and beets are loose in crisper drawer.

I had a root cellar at the old farm rental that I could hang my cabbage and Brussels sprouts by the root. I don't have that here but have a friend say they did Brussels sprouts that way in their unheated garage. They just moved the cars outside until they had it ate since they didn't think they should start the car in the garage with it. Amish hang theirs in the barns or equipment sheds. I might try the barn this coming year.

Broccoli needs to be dry and not wrapped tight, stored in bottom of frig. I don't put it in the drawer as it needs room. The same with cauliflower. I will make sure both are dry but keep loosely wrapped. Turn cauliflower root side up to help it last longer. I've had it 3- 4 wks in the frig. 

I've wrapped cabbage including cut cabbage with Press and Seal and kept it for at least a month(usually 3-4 months) in the frig.Brussels sprouts will hold about a month. 


I focus on leafy greens and tomatoes first. Peas, snow peas and green beans in season.

Then bell peppers, mushrooms, head lettuce and shredded carrots, summer squash if during season.

Then broccoli and cauliflower, root veggies like beets, radishes. 

Then cabbage, Brussels sprouts, carrots and celery. Winter squash in season. 

My onions will store up to 3 to 4 months usually. Usually I run out before any really go bad.

 When I get down to 1 bunch of celery and an open bag of carrots I know I need to make a produce run. 

We only do bananas and oranges for fresh fruit. I store OUR apples in frig deli drawer.If I buy pineapples, I put cut it up and put in freezer. We eat berries in season (I have strawberries, blackberries, black raspberries, red raspberries, honey raspberries and am now am growing blueberries again) I can peaches (order bulk through Amish). We grow grapes (freeze what we don't eat) and rhubarb (can what we don't eat as pie filling). 

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

We need rain, went to store and chosing greenhouse to buy

 Where the brown grass is to green grass is where the top of pond usually is. The pallets are usually under water for the fish to hide in. WE NEED RAIN for ponds and cisterns  AND SNOW for the deep wells.

I have researched greenhouses and am strongly looking at a canopia by Palram (Amazon, Tractor supply and Lowes sell them) I need to decide on size so I know how much a floor will cost me. Amish just use vinyl weed barrier. So I might go that way as I can get that from Amish greenhouse down the road. 

I went to the store... we were almost out of fresh veggies and cereal. I buy cereal as we are not big bread eaters. I need folic acid...my folic acid dropped, caused my potassium to drop and it was not a pretty picture. I actually debated on pulling the cereal costs out of the medical budget since that's the only reason I buy it. I would rather eat my meds than pop a pill.

ANYWAYS. I stayed close to budget. I do think I set the budget too low for this time of year but it will average out for the year... Right? I get the green house up and going and next winter I might not have to buy all the fresh veggies.

I bought some meat that was on sale and I have coupons for. I am low of beef crumbles, sloppy joes and taco meat. I got a chuck roast on sale and then marked down. I will be making beef stew and beef and noodles with it. I got light and fluffy extra wide noodles for tuna noodle.

I got a free birthday cake from Krogers as it's my birthday month.Hubby thought it was funny Kroger's knows my birthday is this month but his entire family that makes a big to do about birthdays never remember mine even though it's the same day as his dad's. My parents was the same way, my brother never remembers either. It used to hurt, now it just doesn't matter. Hubby remembers and so does the kids. 

The menu changed as Hubby wants to use the new deep fryer. I put the hamburger pie in the freezer. Will fix the chicken that is now thawed as sweet and sour chicken with rice and stir fry some veggies with it. So we can do some deep frying this weekend. I want to make kofta. I saw the recipe in Milkstreet magizine and it looked interesting. Hubby likes to try different foods from other countries.

I got broccoli and cauliflower for broccoli,cauliflower salad, veggie plate, California blend (I have carrots),in some salads and stir fries.

I got red cabbage and green cabbage for salads, coleslaw and frying.

I got celery as I do celery, carrots and onions as mirepoix

I got 3 bags of mixed salad and 2 containers of mixed greens. That will last a week to 10 days then it will be canned cole slaw, raw carrot salad etc..

I can do a cold veggie pizza with ranch dressing.

I got cucumbers to slice in salads, to dice up and mix with cream cheese for sliders.

I got shredded carrots (because I am lazy) for sunshine salad, leaf salads and sauces. 

I got mushrooms and bell peppers (NOT GREEN as I can't eat those, actually green bell peppers are not ripe that is why they are green). I do a lot of bell pepper, mushrooms and onions. Am going to start adding a bit of ginger (now in freezer) and garlic to it for health.

I got avocados for salads and guac (I got tomatoes on the vine and cherry tomatoes. We snack on cherry tomatoes). 

I got kale as I know autumn stew is on the menu this month at least once and I can put the kale in salads or dehydrate it for kale chips. 

We know we will have to go get milk two more times this month but that is all we should need.

Prayers for peace

Blessed be


Monday, January 1, 2024


We are doing a pantry challenge for January. 

 I took care of the leftover prime rib, bagged 6 meals from it for the freezer.

I took care of the leftover ham, bagged 8 meals from it for the freezer.

I did mention to Hubby that eating from the pantry shouldn't include me shoving more into the pantry with leftovers. 

I have to deal with the leftover pork shoulder roast today after supper.

I found some artichoke spinach dip in the freezer so I can serve that as the "greens" to Hubby while I have canned spinach for my greens today. We have the leftover pork shoulder roast, a little bit of leftover kraut and leftover mashed potatoes and leftover apple crisp .I pulled a can of black eye peas for today also.

Tomorrow we have chiro and grocery store. So I am putting two individual hamburger pies (I use sloppy joe, corn and and use the leftover mashed potatoes) that we can put in the air fryer or microwave when we get home.

I will have chicken on Wednesday. Thighs for Hubby and breast for me. Not sure on sides yet. Depends on what needs used up.I have twiced baked potatoes in the freezer. Maybe asparagus or peas. Canned peaches???

Thursday is taco bowls, tortilla chips and salsa.

Friday one pot green beans, potatoes and ham with White Lily cornbread.

Saturday is Aunt Dolly's casserole, cooked hamburger crumbles, a layer of sliced potatoes with cream of mushroom (or cheddar) soup for the sauce. Served with a salad.

Sunday is pasta e fagoli  and garlic Texas toast.

I reminded Hubby Lent starts Feb 14th. We do fish on Fridays (his faith) during that time. I just picked up some battered fish for the freezer and I have canned tuna, mackeral and salmon. I will pick up some light and fluffy wide noodles for tuna noodle. It's the only time I don't want homemade noodles LOL. I might make some tuna fish salad for myself. I know of at least one Friday we will go to the one restuarant for the fish buffet.