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Meal Planning for the Week

August 7th, 2019 at 11:06 am

I forgot to post this on Monday. We are working on eating veggies from the garden and using up some of our beef, lamb, and pork from last year. I want to buy half a hog this year and at the least a hamburger share of beef. Usually when someone has a dairy cow that is no longer productive they will offer it as hamburger only for $200 a share and that yields a lot of ground beef. Since the cows are pretty old, using them for other cuts would not be tender at all, but it does offer up burger at a great price.

Day One:
Pesto (basil from the garden) grilled chicken, baked potatoes, fresh green beans

Day Two:
Rib steaks, baked sweet potatoes, leftover green beans

Day Three:
Grilled pork ribs, grilled patty pan squash (from the garden, grilled onions, broccoli (from the garden)

Day Four:
Meatloaf, baked potatoes, leftover veggies

Day Five:
Rigatoni with Meatballs, broccoli (from the garden)

Day Six:
BBQ chicken thighs, fried potatoes, baked zucchini

Day Seven:
Beef bottom round roast, potatoes and carrots, leftover veggies

Reworking the Budget

August 5th, 2019 at 12:11 pm

I have just finished making the budget for August and reworking some things. I decided to up the grocery budget to $500 every two weeks since we are heading towards Paleo eating. I don't know if we will go 100%, but I am going to try gluten free baking. All of the flours are more expensive than normal flours.

Aside from that, prices are starting to rise in the stores. Some places are having food shortages, a result of the flooding in the middle states. It mostly seems to be peas, green beans, and corn. Also, dairy has gone up, probably due to all the slaughtered dairy cows not being around to make enough butter and cheese.

I am using Melanie Lynn's gluten free flour recipe. It has no carageenen, guar gum, or xanthum gum in it.
She spent years developing her flour mix and recipes and they look just like the real thing. It's a completely different way of dealing with fat and flour than normal baking. She didn't want to have gritty, tasteless food or rely on iffy ingredients. I have been happily reading her website for the past week and am looking forward to trying some of her recipes. I've followed her for years on youtube.

Also, I doubled the amount of the gas budget. If DH is going out fishing/crabbing/prawning he does need to contribute to the boat for the gas. Once fishing season is over I will revert to our normal gas budget.

So that means that I will only be paying Mom $1600 a month instead of $1800. Even at that amount we will still be out of debt next year. We do plan to put any Christmas bonus and our tax return on the debt, too. Last year's Christmas bonus was around $800 after taxes and he only was a direct employee for 6 months. This year he will have worked 12 months and he will have been working at a higher wage during those 12 months. The bonus is based on a percentage of your salary and hours worked. So I think we will see double that, probably more. It would be nice to throw an extra $1800 at it. But no counting chickens just yet.

The Garden Harvest so Far (Garden Photos)

August 5th, 2019 at 11:04 am

The garden is really starting to go now and I have cut way back on my produce shopping. Mostly I just have to buy fruit and lettuce. If you'd like to see my most recent garden video from the other day, I will leave a link to my channel at the end.

I've been harvesting a lot of cucumbers and will be making half sour pickles today. I also have a lot of zucchini and some patty pan squash to get through. The herbs are going crazy so I am working on those as well. I got my first bean blossoms and the first color on a tomato as it starts to turn red. Those are exciting things in the gardening world.

So far this is what I have harvested:

5 lbs of lettuce
1 lb of spinach
1 lb of blood vein sorrel
1.5 lbs of kale
5 bunches of green onions
7.5 lbs of spring onions
4 candy sweet onions
1 purple onion
10 heads of broccoli
2 dozen zucchini
30 lbs of kohlrabi
2 buckets of parsly
4 buckets of basil
1 bucket of spearmint
1 bucket of peppermint
1 bucket of cilantro
2 big handfuls to thyme
3 buckets of oregano

First green bean blossom.

First tomato to start turning red.


Candy sweet onions.



Patty Pan squash.

Most recent garden update on my youtube channel:

Text is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEhNOJlRmjw and Link is

Interest for July to the EF

August 5th, 2019 at 10:49 am

$3883.91 Balance Forward
+___4.94 Interest Added
$3883.91 New Balance


August 3rd, 2019 at 07:02 pm

After my Murphy of a week, I am glad to get a little good news. MIL has decided that she is going to up the amount spent on birthdays from now on, which means anyone who has had a birthday this year already, gets to be brought up to the new amount to make up the difference. Well, she has decided to give $100 per grandkid and $200 per me, DH, and SIL. So she gave me a hand mixer worth $70 on my birthday, so I get a check for another $130 and DS gets one for another $50.

So I am thinking I will take that $130 and open up a spousal Roth IRA since there don't seem to be any minimums for starting up an account. And then I get $50 every two weeks as my spending money and I seldom use much of it. I might get myself a corn dog now and then or a burger, but that's about it. I maybe spend $25 a month and that is being generous. I've gone whole months without spending anything. So I figure I will put in $50 every 4 weeks. It has always bugged me that I don't have any retirement of my own.

It isn't a lot. I would be putting in only $480 this year, but that's still something. I could probably scrape up an extra $20 and make it $500. Oh, and I could put all of my youtube money in there. Which isn't a lot, but I will probably earn another $200 this year. Next year I could put all $400 in. I had been putting it in the EF. So this year will be $700. Wish I could make it $1000, but not with us paying off Mom.

Emergency Fund Update

August 2nd, 2019 at 03:03 pm

I don't take money out of the Emergency Fund often, and I certainly don't like to, but sometimes life hands you some serious Murphy and that is what the EF is for. It's been a rough week, but everyone is still alive, so I'll leave it at that.

$4625.77 Balance Forward
-_746.80 Amount Withdrawn
$3878.97 New Balance

Big Catch!

July 29th, 2019 at 12:03 am

The boys limited out on spot prawns this weekend. We put 4 bags in the freezer and we made up some for dinner. Not just for dinner, but also for lunch tomorrow and maybe the next day. These are the best prawns. And having them so fresh really makes a difference.

I tried to get a fishing license to go with them, but something weird happened when I applied and they couldn't get it to go through. And the gov office they needed to call won't open until Monday. It was 5:01 when I got to the place, which allows you to get a license up until 6:00 p.m. and gov offices close between 4:30 and 5:00. It's probably because I haven't gotten a license in 20 years so while there is a record of me in the system, the profile is old. But the same would have been true of DH last year and this didn't happen to him.

Or someone could have used my social which is a scary thought. They said it was highly unlikely, though, because you have to use your drivers license to apply. Oh, well, I woke up the first morning feeling like garbage anyway, so it is just as well I didn't go.

I don't know if I will bother trying on Monday since the spot prawn season could end at any moment now. Maybe for crab or salmon. We'll see. They won't be going out next weekend because of the party we were invited to. I did tell DH to say yes to us going to that. Even if I feel yucky, I like the people, so I'll make the effort. I don't like a lot of people in real life because they don't share our values, so it is nice when I meet people that are similar. Look at me, having a social life. Of course, I sprang a zit so hopefully it will be gone by then.

I don't know if we will go to the company wide picnic or not later in August. That might be more socialization than I can take. We'll see what they are serving. That can make a difference, too, in whether or not I will stir myself from my cave.

I got some work done in the garden. I've weeded most of one of the long onion beds, weeded several of the other beds, pulled out spent plants, built a cage for the zucchini bed (by myself), recycled two of the rabbit tractors to use as broccoli cages, and started on one for the lettuce bed. I harvested zucchini, the last of the kohlrabi, cucumbers, herbs, and lots of broccoli.

I also read 3 books this weekend, but they were all cookbooks. I liked one of them. It had a ton of recipes. I didn't like one intensely. And the third one had five recipes I liked. The first book I liked so much I will eventually buy it. That almost never happens. I don't tend to buy books because of limited space here.

I am almost done with my mystery novel, too. I like the story, but I don't really like the main character. It took about 2/3 of the way through the book before I started to warm up to her at all, but I kept going because I want to know how the story turns out.

All right, well I'm off to watch an episode of Next Gen and hit the hay.

Payday Report for 7/26/19

July 26th, 2019 at 02:00 pm

I bought something on Amazon so the $50 that normally goes to my half of the Adults' blow money went to Citi instead. So I did get it, just shunted it over there to save redepositing, which is why only DH's half is listed in that category. We have two August birthdays, so I needed to send some money to the gift fund. This $100 will be for the first birthday and then I can do one the second payday in August for the second birthday. After that I have to start saving for Christmas.

$327.41 Tithe
_400.00 Grocery Envelope
_400.00 Medical Fund
__75.00 Household Envelope
_650.00 Citi
__61.74 Life Insurance DH
__60.46 Life Insurance Me
__50.00 Adults' Blow Money
1000.00 Monster Mom Loan
_120.00 Kids' Allowances
_100.00 Holiday/Gift Evelope
3244.61 Total Money Out

Monster Mom Loan Payment

July 26th, 2019 at 01:48 pm

$16,400.00 Balance Forward
-_1,000.00 Payment Made
$15,400.00 New Balance

I wasn't able to pay what I wanted on this loan. All kinds of little things came up this month and I may end up having to borrow from the emergency fund. Fortunately DH is getting overtime this week, so if I do, I will be able to put back what I take next payday.

Emergency Fund Update

July 26th, 2019 at 01:42 pm

$4594.27 Balance Forward
+__31.50 Deposit Added
$4625.77 New Balance

$15 was left in the grocery budget from last payday and I had $16.50 in rolled coins, so I swept that into the EF.

Random Things

July 24th, 2019 at 10:31 pm

There was not a lot going on today. We got the garden watered and we picked up the wood, nails, and deck blocks for the fencing. The deck blocks will go over the concrete pad where we can't sink t-posts. We spent $81.55

Tomorrow is my first physical therapy appointment for my hips. Hopefully they will give me some good exercises that will help. I just hope I don't get light-headed. My high blood pressure medicine makes me prone to it when I am getting up and down from a prone position.

I went through the sale ads. Not much of anything again this week, except .88/lb chicken and I don't need more chicken. The freezer is pretty full up. I think this will be a Costco/Trader Joe's/Winco week, with a possible run to Whole Foods to see if they have date sugar and cassava flour if TJ's doesn't. I have made it through the two Paleo cookbooks and there are some good recipes in there, but I need those two ingredients. We already have almond flour.

Has anyone here ever used hemp cream for their arthritis? Not the kind with THC, but the other kind that doesn't get you high? I had one lady recommend it to me, but I'd kind of like some more opinions on it if anyone has tried it. It's legal in my state. Well, technically the other kind is legal in my state, too, but I don't want to use it. If you have used it, what brand do you recommend? There were a lot on Amazon, and most had great reviews, but it is kind of overwhelming.

I have been using sombra for a while now, but it starts to sting after using it too many days in a row. I had the same problem with icy hot and mineral ice. Pure MSM cream is just too expensive. I would just like to have some relief that hopefully doesn't bother my skin after daily use.