Thursday, March 28, 2024


 Daughter 4 has been hit with owing federal taxes from 2022...  I told her to call IRS immediately and talk to them about it. She's okay with doing that. My thought was she can't seem to get a break and hold on to it.

The credit card we put the federal taxes allowed me to change the due date to after our Social Security comes in. Which is nice as I won't have to transfer from savings to checking and back. 

We got an assessment from State for taxes 2012. Yes you read the date correctly. I sent message to state asking why since we were in chapter 13 bankruptcy... they come back for us to contact Ohio Attorny General bankruptcy dept. Hubby did that and found out the court didn't file the dismissal of taxes which is normal when in Ch 13 and the court gives you an allowence to live on (normal 5 yrs, we had it paid off in 3 1/2 yrs) SO one of the lawyers in the Attorney General's office is looking to see what can be done NOW. We are to call back middle of next week to get the answer. 

Just to make sure we don't owe school taxes like we did this year. I increased the estimation our tax preparer had for us for quarterly payments. I also sent by registered mail with signature required to pay off 2023 school taxes.

We have 2 projects that need a bit of stuff to finish so we are SAVING those amounts. Hubby spent yesterday researching the costs. We think we can have it saved by summer. I think this money will come from grocery budget.

We are eating from the pantry/freezers.  I brought up a carton of shelf stable milk from pantry. I need to use this regularly so it doesn't go bad. I am trying to only buy milk every other Tuesday when we are doing errands. I use dry milk for cocoa mix in the winter. Had a friend that had shelf stable milk for 5 yrs, he kicked his butt for not using it, said the house smelled for a week because he opened it... It's only good 6-12 months in a cool dry place. I might push 18 months but never 5 yrs.

I made sourdough bread that was way to heavy for us. I am trying a different sourdough bread to see if it's better... I can always go back to the one we have used from the Bread Bible. It's kind of a sourdough yeast mix.

I usually use the grocery budget to buy plants during this time of year. I already used some from last year to order replacement strawberries and mortgage lifter tomato plants. I want (might not happen) to have 4 to 6 flower hanging baskets that are favored by hummingbirds. My hummingbird feeders are out as I saw male today. 

 Hubby needs to lose 25 lbs in 5 months. I pulled out from basement the plates we used when he was 300 lbs (thanks to eating out nightly in Alabama while working on the Honda plant) and went down to 225. lbs. He wasn't happy when I pointed out he has to quit snacking at 7-8 pm and going straight to bed even though the snack is less than 500 calories AND some what healthy (okayed by 3 of his doctors), not a bowl of potato chips. I saw the look on his face. I told him to have that snack either mid morning or mid afternoon when he is still moving and he is okay with that. I will make a point of making sure he does do that and to make sure we have a balanced meal at supper and not just a sandwich which is common this time of year. Actually we had to track his calories. Doctor said he has actually put himself into starvation mode and needs to increase his calories by 1000 calories as the work he does burns closer to 3290 calories. I wasn't shocked but he was. You just can't do the work we do and eat what little amount he does as I out eat him most days but I have went to grazing with my Crohn's  which is now in full remission !!!.

Got to take Charlotte for her evening walk and play time. Hubby has stove duty LOL

Prayers for safety and sanity 

Blessed Be

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

how we save money every month.

 When we moved here, the first year it cost us $14000 a month. Six years later with mortgage the same payment it's half that. With the tax hit we just got, I will have to cut it even more

Scrap wood...I can use about half to a whole one in one day if weather is on cool side like around 40.

Day wood, burns about 3 hrs. 

We call these chunkies. They will extend an fire about 2 hrs long more than usual time frame.

This is night wood. Average burn is 3-4 hrs. Sometimes 5 hrs depending on the wood and curing.

This is how we save money. Yes it's a lot of work, hard work. BUT we saved about $5,000 on propane keeping the home WARMER than propane. We only buy about 1/3rd of the propane now for the kitchen stove, water heater and pump house heater for winter.

I do use the wood stove in winter for cooking and baking. I use the grill ( get free refill when I order and pay early for propane for the year), air fryer and microwave during the rest of the time. I fry my eggs on the propane stove... I am picky.

We have a septic tank and leach bed. I use ridx once a month to keep it "healthy" I have to have it pumped every 4 yrs instead of 3 and according to our pump guy he says it due to using ridx. I buy it in bulk to get the lowest price. We do not pay for water as we have a cistern and deep well. Deep well is on electric but does run about 1 wk. a month on solar panels. There is a $3 difference between on solar and on electric. We thought it would be more than that. We do have a water softener. $33/month. They deliver the salt and put it in the tank which is why we got them because I couldn't lift the bags at that time now I really don't want Hubby carrying 12 bags of 40 lbs of salt from the front of the house to the basement.

We pay for trash... $53/ every 3 months. 6 kitchen trash bags is allowed a week. I have used the 25 lbs dog food bags for trash bags and taped them shut. Hubby has used the 2 cubic garden soil bags for trash bags in barn. Our township takes recycling once a month for free... except of the fuel to drive there. It's 2 miles way so not far. I use a separte trash can for that. Anything that is paper or cardboard is burned in burn barrel which is then dumped in compost pile in the fall.

All lights are LED but still we only use task lighting or oil lamps (Hubby takes Amish to go get barrels of mineral oil for lamps).  We spend $5 a month for it. I have found when we don't use the oil lamps the electric will go up at least $20 a month.I do have over head lights in kitchen. BUT try to do all meal prep when I have sun light. Same when canning or dehydrating food. I will use Christmas candles with LED for night lights. I unscrew about half of the bulbs.

We have internet and land line (our cell numbers would route the 911 call to another area we no longer live it) It's the most reliable in this area and mid range on price. The home behind us does hot spot... their bill runs close to $300 every month. Ours is $108.

We have straightalk unlimited for our phones. It's the only service I found that worked going through mountains in traveling to Georgia and Hocking hills. I've had service when 3 of my kids with BRAND names services couldn't talk to each other on phone was only 5 miles apart from each other. 

We just rechecked our farm, motorcycle and car ins. It's good price and service as we have had them since 2006. Farm insurance is always more expensive than house insurance.

We rechecked everything to make sure we had the best price and good quality. 

Monday, March 25, 2024

I woke up hearing crackling sound

 thought something was on fire (and not the stove). It was freaking grapple (frozen snow pellets) hitting the windows.

Now I am wide awake. 

We are attending a classmate reunion this evening, about 4 times a year whom ever can gets together at a local restaurant. We have had about 30 % of our classmates die in 47 yrs. Health issues is main cause of most. 

We are burning what we call crap wood... bits and pieces that most just toss in bonfire by handfulls. Hubby put all of it in pots as he was cutting and cleaning up the area the timber was laying. I call them nursery pots since trees were in them, Hubby calls them stock pots as the farmers use them to have water in pastures for animals. We have about 10 of them that he has filled as he cut and split wood. I can burn it during the day when I am in house, as it will burn about an hour and need more but it saves the split wood for next winter and cleans the wood cutting area he has. I can use a whole pot in one day if  it's on the cold side like today, other wise it might go a day and half.

I wrote out recipes of making self rising flour, self rising cornmeal, 2 ingredient biscuits and White Lily biscuits on scrap paper and taped it to the inside of my Hoosier cabinet door.  I also wrote out how to making baking powder without cream of tartar. 

I started sourdough starter. We don't really like a strong sourdough but I thought I would try smaller amount.I also got recipes to use it from M and a website called She had soft pretzel recipe( that's I think) and Hubby really likes that type of pretzel. I had to sit the starter in the front room on the desk as the kitchen is too cool for it. It needs at least 70℉. Did first feeding today (Saturday)

Had my check up for being in hospital this week. It was noted that my heart meds increase sugar levels (isn't that nice) and now doc understands why my sugar (Prediabetes)  is always up knowing I don't eat that much sugar or carbs that would turn to sugar. He is talking to a cardologist to decide wheither to take me off completely (he had talked about it a couple times) as my BP is staying decent or change what I am on.. My EKG came back good.Liver count will be on next blood work because they gave me meds in hospital that could increase that. I already had  hepatitis as a child and I have heart disfunction (failure depending on what doctor I am seeing). Told me to increase my cruciferous veggies, I already do that as that is broccoli, cabbage etc.

We adjusted our OTC meds after our blood work while talking to our doctor. Hubby is now on Co Q-10 and green tea extract as he won't drink the green tea besides vitamin. I am on Co Q-10, resveratrol (looking to raise that up to get rid of statin and it has green tea extract) biotin (temporary due to covid hair loss) and my vitamins. Results will lower OTC costs by $24/ year.   Hubby's ENT has him using OTC stuff for his throat. I found it on sale for half price so go a year's supply. 

Monday, March 18, 2024

It's the little things that count

St Patrick's day and we got snow

 I mended 3 work shirts for Hubby. He is very hard on clothes and boots. He does not wear tennis shoes at all but sturdy work boots that do hold up well.But his long sleeve shirts take hits. He even ripped the neck line around a tee shirt and I was too afraid to ask what he caught it on, but E asked if Hubby had told me that he was carrying a limb and went to put it down and it caught on the neck of his shirt. I've seen E clothes, he has more patches than Hubby does. 😂

Last fall I lost 30 lbs while sick (not something I could afford to do) I borrowed clothes from a grandchild and took in some things with darts. I gave the clothes back to the grandchild when I gained 15 lbs. I am going to have to take up some tee shirts as I refuse to buy anything with how finances are going. 

We ended up taking a 6 hr round trip to drop off stuff to two of the kids.So I didn't bother to thaw the corned beef. One of the kids gave us money to eat out before we got home, we went to the local restaurant and got corned beef, cabbage and potatoes  😁. Hubby made a comment when the one asked if we could make their car payment right after admitting they had moved their friend and kids in with them... AFTER agreeing if he helped them they would NOT move someone in (common occurance it seems but I didn't know the agreement or I would have told him to not bother, they are a "rescuer"). Got mad when he asked for the last name, said that wasn't any of our business... he brought up it wasn't any of our business to pay their bills. Mom and Dad Bank was closed. They were like , that's cool, I don't need your money... well then why did you just ask for him to pay your car payment of a car you just bought?  Grandchild let us know later it was NOT our child's car payment that being asked for but the friend's car payment they just moved in. One grandchild is now living with adult sister and the other one is looking to move when they get enough money saved up and told landlord parent had moved another family in. Landlord increased the rent as it is in the lease moving someone else in would do so as the landlord gave a "break" because they are good friends with two of our other kids.

 LORD GIVE ME STRENGTH.Times like this I am glad I live 2 hrs away.

Another kid that we didn't drop off anything but they wanted a hug as they haven't seen us since Sept. (it's like that road goes both ways as the youngest (Kira) would tell you). Let us know the drama they had going on in their life ... hum... did you not listen when you asked advice the last time you went through this? NOPE as the older sibling said basically the same thing to them in front of us when they blew up their phone over the drama. That child made the comment they hate working 6-7 days a week to make ends meet but their goal is to buy a house (small one) in 5 yrs. but it did keep the drama out of their life as long as they cut other siblings whining off when on the phone. LOL.

We are using the wood stove enough though if we shut the windows it gets up to 80, we act "Amish"and leave windows and doors standing open to keep the house cooler but still use the wood stove. We now know why the upstairs windows open from the top instead of the bottom in a lot of the Amish houses around here. If we don't need another refill before Oct. I will only have to come up with $600 to order next year. I will do this in June as I get a discount by doing so. Hubby told me he had more wood coming from the sawmill as payment for moving stuff around for the sawmill. They have a back hoe that an Englisher owns but if he can't be there to move stuff due to his job, he okayed for Hubby to use the back hoe. Hubby said he needed dry and not windy weather to move 2 more cords of wood to the wood shed and when it's windy and wet he is in the barn cutting wood and splitting it from the sawmill. E dragged another log up from the woods for us to have. It's too big for his stove and he does not split wood. They cut trees that are about 6-8 inches around that they don't want to grow anyways. Hubby said we have next year's wood if we don't have to burn wood in June. 

The electric bill dropped $17. Hubby was happy but couldn't figure out why the drop. Maybe because I walked through the barn and turned off power strips he had stereo and 2 fans running (I do not know why as there is no onions or garlic curing there). I turned off most of the night lights he had running and moved one to the bookcase beside the wood stove so we can see what we are doing when "feeding" the stove in the night.Leave open the mudroom blind on door as the security light *that went up to $12/m* could light that room and the curtain in his bathroom. Someone would have to be coming out of the barn to see him get out of the shower if he forgot to shut the curtain. NO one goes through our barn but us. 

It will go up with the grow cart lights being on now but that will only be for 4-6 wks. more.  I don't have the growcart and the table lights on 

We went out to eat... something we really have restricted with the IRS and OH state and school tax bills. We went to Chinese restuarant that has dine in for lunch. Saved $19 then we would have spent going to the local diner for Lent. We still had seafood.  We stopped at Burger King for Oreo shake to celebrate our Forever home anniversary.(3.10.2018 signed papers)

We bought gas and diesel for on site. Saving $30 at the time of purchase.It's more now as Hubby said he saw diesel at the gas station had went up and he is still filling from home.

I have enough credit left on Propane acct to fill our tank 1 1/2 times. IF we can make this last fill last until after Oct 1st. I won't need to buy as much when I order for the coming winter. I will drop order 100 gallons. Another reason the wood stove is on instead of the propane furnace. Which is another reason Hubby is working on cutting wood every other day if not daily except for Sunday.

He bartered for 5 gallons of mineral oil (lamp oil). 

We changed some appts that were scheduled April 9th. We are in the path of the eclipse ... Hubby is Ham radio which is part of EMS/ Homeland security so he will be working to help with traffic etc. One of the doctors laughed when he told them why he was changing his appt. The doctor then decided to call everyone after that and just shut his office down for the 8th and 9th. Called Hubby and thanked him for reminding him how bad the traffic could be and phone service might not be working right. Felt it was better for his patients to not deal with that and he was going to work longer hours to work everyone back in .

I am not on Humira any more. I take Visbiome OTC not prescription strength. My GI let me know the results from my hospital stay was that my Crohn's is in remission. The one GI from the hospital ,could not understand how that could be without being on a biologic. He said he told them I take Visbiome and I eat foods that I grow or the local farmers grow and don't eat much processed food (most of the restuarants we eat at fix their own food). My GI feels a lot of IBS and IBD is coming from the chemicals in the food we eat or what they are "wrapped" in when it comes to fast food.My GI grows most of his own food so he practices what he advises.

Prayers for sanity and peace (less drama) 

Blessed Be

Sunday, March 17, 2024

LORD!!!! Happy St Patrick's day.


Tornado that was heading for us and then went south instead when a tornado from the north joined with it. Wiped out at least 3 communities ... Indian Lake, Russels point and Lakeview Ohio destroyed. Those areas are around Indian Lake, have mostly mobile homes and RV campers. Small homes.Boats tossed like they were just toys. Not enough time to go to safe places due to little warning coming out. We were thankful the grandsons and their dad and his family was not there at the vacation home. Even our sheriff did not get the warning (he sends text messages for it).A weather spotter that was on his way to see a friend saw it and called it in and included a phone call to Hubby as he is Ham Radio in our county. It was already on ground. Other areas was hit north and south east of that area. Charlotte kept trying to go out , her answer I think was to run from it. I had to pin her down as we locked the doors to keep her from running out. Freaking dog won't go out to potty in the rain but wants to run in a thunderstorm with tornado. She was not happy to be pinned with me in the basement safe area. We had told our Amish neighbor that there was a tornado watch.He figured there would be as he had was coming over to tell us there would be bad weather as he had watched our windmill while he was at his sawmill turning 360 degrees most of the afternoon and then checked his own which was doing the same thing. His is about 15 ft higher than ours. 

Last count was 3 deceased and several injuried but not a head count as there was hospitals taking patients but from all over the state. Beds are not available as we have a flu going around that antibotics and steroids cause to BLOOM and get worse.

Ohio State taxes is holding up a lot of refunds checks for unpaid taxes,child support and over payment of unemployment  and a couple other things going back over a decade. They say we owe from 2012. We didn't have any of that information BEFORE but still they held it. I am making phone calls and will be filing a complaint over it. Twelve years later, I would think that without notice of being offset that they couldn't hold the check but they changed things due to constantly not collecting the correct amounts. It is a mess there and trying to get answers for a tax return I no longer have is next to impossible. I felt sorry for the young lady that answered my call, I made it clear to her I was NOT blaming her and she was as clueless as I was of why it was held. She gave me another number to call on Monday to see if they could tell me exactly why it was held and if they could send me a copy of the tax form we sent them then. I told her we were in a Ch 13 bankruptcy then due to two of our kids taking our check book and forging checks. YES I filed charges against them over it. She mentioned that the bankruptcy court might have missed sending that money to pay it since THEY were responsible for it. I know the court screwed up the payment to IRS that year and we made payments on it. SO might be that. SIGH

Thank heavens I have a credit card that lets me make installment payments on high ticket items without interest but a fee. I called our two banks about personal loan to pay federal taxes (Hubby sold business trailers and made money. He didn't catch that when he did it or he would have put money back instead of paying off the truck) and both wanted more than the credit card did . They thought the question of what would be the final amount of interest paid was a little weird until I told the one WHY I asked it that way. Then she was checking her own credit card as she also owes IRS.  Long run, it's coming out the same amount he paid the truck off with and the payments to the credit card is the same as his truck payments. BUT instead of 2 yrs of payments we would still have, we only have 1 yr if I don't pay it off early.

IT is definitely the year for being thankful for being stocked. I have one OTC med. Hubby takes that I will have to buy in a couple months but things should be easier by then.

Dandelion... which means the ground is 50℉ (we are expecting a light snow Monday) At 50 ℉ we can plant spring crops. 

These are planted with herbs ,leafy greens and radishes.

This is new. Vegepod. The top closes and it has a sprayer attached. I do have to water the very front as Hubby hooked it a little off center when he attached it. I have snow peas, shelling peas, carrots, lettuce, spinach and radishes in it.

Asparagus is starting to pop up in gardens, blackberry vines has leaves (raspberries always is two weeks later) Rhubarb is starting to grow. 

I will be in the gardens weeding asparagus patch and planting spring crops. Including peas in hanging baskets. They worked decent last year. I have peonies to plant and some sunflower seeds.  I won't be buying my hanging baskets of flowers so I will have to figure something out for my hummingbirds.

We are taking some things to 2 of the girls today so that's 6-8 hrs out of our day of rest but the ONLY day the one doesn't work and the other one works doordash if she's not at the restuarant. Son 2 has announced he is not running for Commander of his VFW. In fact 85 % of the officers are NOT running again either. He figures it will shut down if no one else steps up. He is a life time member so can go to the other one that is right down the road if he wants. His cardologist told him he needed to quit two of his 4 jobs, 3 are volunteer. His work load was one of the problems between his ex girlfriend and him but she knew upfront how much he worked since she's known him for YEARS.  

Hubby accepted Vice President of his Ham Radio group SIGH. He is lucky a friend of his from his old group walks him through the paper work and stuff. 

Hubby dropped off 5 large yard trash bags (Daughter 4 reused trash bags that people gave her stuff in) at the church ran thrift shop  that was donated to Daughter 4 but she couldn't use.She said it was bedding for twin beds.... she donated some to a family that had lost their home to a fire also, over whelmed them also. I was to the point of nagging as he kept forgetting them when he would go to town. I can now get to my garden stuff without having to move them. He liked the "clean" area so much he went and cleaned an area in his section of the barn (I do not move his stuff as it causes his dementia to flare). He tossed his trash in a empty 4 cubic foot garden soil bag so no cost of trash bags.

Electric bill was down $17. 

We only bought milk and a loaf of bread when I got out of the hospital. 
We got an Oreo shake from Burger King for our "bought our forever home" anniversary.

We signed papers for this home 3.10. 2018 Our oldest grandson's birthday.We moved in August 31st on his younger brother's birthday LOL. That mail box has been changed already. 

Prayers for peace and sanity.
Blessed Be

Thursday, March 7, 2024

I am better but not well

Thanks for caring and checking on me. My kids got twenty million texts from me while I was in. 

He was asleep when our local hospital after 6 hrs and 7 different hospitals finally found me a bed and a surgeon . Instead of a hernia I gave myself a kink in small intestine. It unkinked it's self which they thought it would but worried it might tear instead. SO NO SURGERY .I had PT to strentghen core. I was under the small side of A frame loft lifting 25-35 lbs to reorganize  that area and on my knees in a weird position. Next time I will just sit on my butt and shove it with my feet like Mom used to.

They thought I was having a Crohn's attack on top of it.... NO.. stool testing said I had the flu even though I was not running a fever (temp was actually low) and not throwing up. LOVELY.

I am better, as the pain is next to nothing now, we thought I was having a heart attack. I just finally ate a regular meal last night. I can imagine my system dealing with that going through is going to be on the tender side.

While in, Hubby sent me this

Last load of wood we bought is in . He can stack it before he cuts more of the other wood he has when it stops raining. He covered it with a tarp for now. We should have the majority of next winter's wood on site but not all cut as there are 4 timbers(trees with limbs cut off) at the gate to E's pasture E dragged up from his woods he doesn't want. (too big and he doesn't split wood, they burn logs about 6-8 inches around). But these needed cut down so he gave them to us. If Hubby doesn't want them the Amish on the other side of us will come get them.

M sent over a recipe booklet one of her friends/family lent her, she wanted copies of the recipes.Hubby made a copy for us also instead of charging for the copies.

Our tax lady called to tell us we were going to owe Federal ... a over $10,000 ... due to selling the business equipment for more than it was depreciated...  making a untaxed profit. She had her boss check to make sure she was correct because we usually get money back, not a lot but some. I put it on my credit card, got cash back and bought time of paying it off so I can transfer money without cashing CD's in. We also had an increase from IRA as they decided that you have to take RDM's from inherited IRA's. I have Daddy's so that added to it also.

My credit card offered to let me make payments charging me a flat rate of $85/month instead of interest for a year. Most likely I will NOT do that. 

We had some wind damage from storm that we have to fix but we are not claiming on insurance. Not worth the increase we would get hit with on the policy. 

I went back over the last 12 months of credit cards, seeing where money went etc. 

We stayed mostly in budget except on stocking up. I am stocked up for non food and medical including holistic early . Don't usually have that until autumn but found good deals and knew how much we used. Glad I did as now I can focus on paying off this debt, not worry about going without something (though I am sure there is something I didn't stock, I have TP... that is all that matters LOL).

Hubby is using more fuel than normal. He has medical appts weekly and over an hour away AND is VP of ham (*Why do they call it a ham radio? The word “HAM” as applied to 1908 was the station CALL of the first amateur wireless station operated by some amateurs of the Harvard Radio Club. They were Albert S. Hyman, Bob Almy, and Poogie Murray. At first they called their station “HYMAN-ALMY-MURRAY”) radio group he is in so they are working with local law and hospitals preparing for the solar eclipse that will be passing through our area. We are trying to combine errands with his appts.

 My doctors decided I did NOT need to come in for the usual after hospital stay check up... they don't want the flu either LOL.Glad I got the flu shot since I didn't get sick from it. 

I need to set goals and figure out what I need to refill in pantry since this coming winter will be tighter than usual. 


Monday, March 4, 2024

Just released from hospital


Hubby took this picture. She kept going to the door and looking for me as the squad took me out that door. 

I am home, will be back later... just extremely tired.