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Working Away in the Garden Today

April 13th, 2019 at 11:54 pm

DS and I spent three and a half hours working outside today. I have been on antibiotics for 3 days (it was a sinus infection) and already I feel great improvement. So what we did was take all the unbroken down hay and straw off the top of two of the compost bins and combine that in to the freshest stuff in the third compost bin. Then we could get down to the really good compost underneath.

We did six wheelbarrow loads of compost and topped off the two long beds and then filled in the low end of one of the big beds. The two long beds are now all ready to go. The onion plants arrived in the mail today and I have their root ends soaking in water. We will plant them tomorrow, rain or shine. I'm hoping for shine.

We also got another large bed weeded and most of a second. There's a lot of morning glory runners and we were starting to lose light. I don't think I can plant in this bed with all the runners, so since this is the one where the side is coming off, we are just going to take off the side and we are going to sift all the dirt in it and take out the runners and roots. We have to get them out, since even the smallest piece of runner can generate a plant.

I am going to use a good portion of the sifted dirt to top up the other big beds and then we will rebuild that bed, this time with 2" x 4" boards and proper 4 x 4 corner posts. It will cost about $50 with wood and screws. Mom bought a bunch of soil and she isn't going to use it all, so we will use the extra to refill it. Gradually, I'd like to replace all the garden beds like this, but I think this is the only one we will do this summer. We might do another at the end of the growing season and do a third early next spring.

I also went through all the tomato cages and picked out the two best ones. I am only growing two tomato plants this year and I don't want to worry about a collapsing cage. These cages are quite old and some of them have broken rungs. I have repaired most of them over the years, but I really ought to invest in the really good extra tall tomato towers from Gardner's supply.

I also want to get their cucumber trellis, which is more of a priority. I can make do with my cages, but I don't have a cucumber trellis. I will be making pickles this year. Being able to grow cucumbers up means they will take up less real estate in the garden. Also it means they are more likely to be straight, which is better for making pickles. I want to do a gallon of half sours this year and you really have to get those at just the right size. Having them up off the ground means you are more likely to spot them before they get too big.

It has been really nice to be able to work in the garden again. I feel productive. I spent a fair amount of the last six months feeling pretty useless. Some days I was too sore to move and most other days I was too sick to do a thing. Enbrel has really changed my life for the better. It's only been three doses and look at me go.

Getting some sunlight has been great, too. I so hope this continues. I'd like to have a great garden season without petering out a couple months before I the garden does. Hopefully there will be no big fires this year, either that make it so I can't spend time outside during the hottest part of the year.

This garden season is going to be important. We will be canning and freezing a lot. Food prices may skyrocket due to all the flooding in the food producing states and we want to be able to grow and preserve as much as we can so we are less susceptible to those price increases. Being on the west coast it might not be as bad for us since WA, OR, and CA grow a lot of things that were hit hard, but if that food ends up getting diverted to the other states because the farmers can get better prices, then who knows?

Are you preparing for the upcoming increase in food prices? What are you doing to make sure your budget can handle it?

Bits and Pieces

April 10th, 2019 at 10:31 pm

It rained all day so I didn't get any gardening done. Actually, I didn't get much of anything done. I did take DD to the doctor and DS to the gym and I read a lot. This is the first time since I got so sick that I have been up to reading for a decent length of time.

My new regimen of eye vitamins seems to be working quite well. I take 5000 IU of vitamin A, 450 mg of vitamin E, 200 mcg of selenium, and Bilberry Ginkgo Lutein complex. The spots had been getting darker again for a while, but they are back to a light yellow/brown and are far less noticeable. I don't know that they are smaller, but when they aren't black they don't seem to interfere so much with things like reading.

I took my third Enbrel shot tonight. Again it seemed like things weren't as good after the first five days, but that could just be soreness from gardening. The brain fog seems to be gone, though. I have more energy, but not as much as I'd like to have. I feel capable of doing things, though. I have to remember to call the mail order pharmacy for the next set of shots in about 5 days. I found out my co-pay for the drug this month is $30. Not bad for a wildly expensive drug.

I really need to schedule a hair cut. My hair is back to length it was when it was at its longest. It just grows so fast. But it is getting caught in my armpits when I raise my arms and then bring them back down and it pulls my hair and hurts. And DH sometimes leans on it and that is not good, either. I am thinking of cutting off about a foot and getting to one inch past my chin. Which will really be at my chin because it bounces up with my loose curls. I will basically be getting it cut to the length of my bangs by doing that. I have money in the personal care envelope, so it is just a question of making the appointment and doing it.

I go to the doctor tomorrow. I think I still have a sinus infection going on. The pressure is out of my ears, but I still have a pretty bad headache above my eyebrows and the back teeth and jaw hurt, which is also a sign of sinus infection. I think the ones in my face are also in play, but not as badly. I just want to get this thing cleared up so I can maybe enjoy the spring.

I spent $1.09 on a candy bar today, but that came out of my allowance envelope. I have been trying to avoid having sweets in the house, but clearly today was not going to be one of those days. I kind of felt like a PMSing teenager needing chocolate. Sometimes I swear I'm menopausal even though I had a hysterectomy in 2003 and went through all that stuff when I was 33 to 35. I wonder if that is even possible because if I were normal, this would be the age I would have started peri-menopause. Like I need that on top of all my auto-immune issues.

I tried the cheese wrap today. It is called Folio's and it was the Parmesan one. Apparently they make a cheddar cheese one, too. I did find out some more info about them. They are only available in west coast Costco's, but they are available nationwide at Aldi's, though not really because Aldi is not a nationwide chain.

I used one wrap, 2 slices of deli turkey, some rather hot stone ground mustard, and some cucumber slices. It was great and surprisingly filling for its size. I imagine after swimming I would need two, but on a normal day one is fine for lunch. I did add more cucumber slices on the side, though.

I have found some youtube videos on how to make your own Folio's, which I may try, as homemade would be cheaper, but if it is too fiddly to make, I don't mind shelling out for these, because they are good and it makes my life a little easier.

Gardening and Cheese Wraps

April 9th, 2019 at 11:58 pm

I am pretty tired out, but I am trying to post more often. While I'd like to post daily again, it seems to be more than I can do, but five days a week seems like a good goal to aim for.

Today DS and I worked in the garden We cleared one bed that is 24 feet by 2 feet and my mom had cleared the twin of this bed for about 8 feet this morning. I want to try to get the second one done tomorrow. I hope those two beds are enough for all the onions, but I may need to clear another bed for them.

My knees and ankles are pretty sore from being on them so much today, but my bank isn't too bad. I mean, I feel it, but it isn't tweaked out. Maybe because I only worked for an hour and paused often to stretch and do waist twists.

Yesterday we signed up for the gym membership. I think I'll go to family swim tomorrow and just do some pool walking and maybe a couple laps. I need to build up some strength. I will start off pretty easy. I don't want to overdo things. It will be nice to be in the water for a while and then use the hot tub. I think I miss the hot tub most of all. Maybe I'll use the sauna, too. It might just bake the last of this cold out of me.

Have any of you tried those cheese wraps from Costco? It's a tortilla-shaped wrap that is just made from cheese. I bought some a couple weeks ago and forgot about them. I am going to do some turkey and bell pepper roll ups for lunch tomorrow, and cut them into pinwheels, because I like my food to be fun sometimes. I had planned to do a stir-fry, but I think I will be too tired tomorrow.

I hope it is good, because then I could have a "tortilla" at a meal besides dinner. I only eat high carbs once a day. I don't know if these would warm up, though. I think they are meant to be eaten cold. But I could put fajitas in them and taco meat. And my chorizo con heuvoes.

Well, I best toddle off to bed before I turn into a pumpkin.

Meal Planning for the Week

April 7th, 2019 at 02:11 am

So I've been asked a couple times now, what I eat for breakfast and lunch, since I usually only post my dinner meal plans. Just this once I will post my other meals, too, but it does get kind of repetitive. Lately I've been making up a batch chorizo sausage and then I use about a 1/2 cup at a time until it is gone. I just warm it up in the skillet and then scramble a couple eggs into it. DS has some sometimes, too.

I also eat a lot of chef salads for lunches. Everyone sort of fends for themselves for the first two meals of the day, so this is what I eat for my meals. Tomorrow is pizza.


Breakfast--Chroizo con Heuvoes, roasted daikon with parmesan

Lunch: Chicken and Bell pepper strips

Dinner: Penné Pasta with Chicken sausage and broccoli


Breakfast: Chorizo con Heuvoes, cucumber slices

Lunch: Steak and bell pepper strips

Dinner: Chicken Fajitas with pico de gallo


Breakfast: Chroizo con Huevoes, Fried Zucchini rounds

Lunch: Chef Salad

Dinner: Beef pot roast, mashed potatoes, and Normandy vegetables


Breakfast: Omelet with bell peppers, ham, and cheese

Lunch: Chef Salad

Dinner: Lamb Chops, leftover mashed potatoes, and green beans


Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, bacon, and cucumber slices

Lunch: Salmon patties, Fried Zucchini Rounds

Dinner: Pork Steaks with onions, baked potatoes, and broccoli


Breakfast: Sausage patties and zucchini/egg patties

Lunch: Chef Salad

Dinner: BBQ chicken wings, baked potatoes, and Normandy vegetables


Breakfast: Ham steak and cucumber slices

Lunch: Hamburger patty with cheese and dill pickle spears

Dinner: Pork roast with onions, carrots, and potatoes, and green beans

I Found It and Paid Cash for It

April 6th, 2019 at 06:38 pm

I have been searching for five years for a new comforter in the teal to turquoise range and today I finally found it. It's teal and a Queen, not a King, but that's okay. I put it sideways on the bed anyhow and I don't tuck it because of the bed rails. I have never, not once, found a comforter for a King bed that I have liked, but I have found queen ones, so I'm used to that. They simply didn't come in the larger size. I used my allowance money as I have barely touched it for the last six months. While it could have come out of the household budget, this is a want, not a need, so I used my allowance. I still have enough left over to purchase an upgrade for my video editing software.

It was $69.95 plus tax. We found it at the Big K in Burlington. Our Kmart shut down and this is the nearest one to us. I was not overly impressed with this store. It is a larger store, but not so nicely laid out and it didn't seem to even have as much stuff as our old one did.

I also purchased some socks with the money from the clothing envelope as they have the type of socks I like that don't slip in my shoes, Athletech. I got a pack of 10, so I should be good again for a while. The socks were $8.99 plus tax.

And then I purchased a stainless steel frying pan. The copper skillet that came with the induction cooktop is already having food stick. We have been very careful to only use a sponge, too. That irritates me immensely. We had one before that did the same thing. I hate copper pans and if it hadn't come with it, I'd never have had one again.

And while I like cooking in cast iron, our big pan is quite heavy and the stainless steel is easier to lift and clean. I can still use the smaller cast iron pans easily. I got a 12 inch 5 quart saute pan with a lid. You can only use pans that a magnet will stick to on the cooktop. But now I should be good. This came out of the household envelope and cost $16.99.

Tax was $7.99, but I had some points left from before our Kmart closed down so had $1.97 taken off the final balance which was $101.99. Tax came out of the clothing budget just to make life easier. And no, I didn't make three separate purchases, I did one, but then reimbursed the envelopes that needed to be, because sometimes using cash can be a pain and I do whatever makes it work best.

So today was spending, but everything was funded, and that's the way I like it.

Payday Report for 4/5/19

April 5th, 2019 at 01:20 pm

I raised the grocery budget this week just because we are going down to the farm on Saturday and I will be buying ground beef and bacon. I may not have actually needed to do that as I won't be buying much meat this week otherwise, but if I don't spend it I will put it back in the checking account.

I also bumped the medical fund up to $500 as we had a bill come in that we were starting to think would never arrive. It was from October. I don't think I will need to repeat that next payday, though.

$327.36 Tithe
_400.00 Utilities
_500.00 Grocery Envelope
_500.00 Medical Fund
__75.00 Household Fund
_108.91 Internet
__36.00 Garbage Fund (every 2 month bill)
_100.00 Car Insurance Fund
__50.00 Car Maintenance Envelope
_100.00 Gas Money
_100.00 Blow Money Adults
_105.00 Allowances
_100.00 Clothing Envelope
_100.00 Computer Fund
_500.00 Monster Mom Loan Payment
3102.27 Total Money Out

Debt Under $20K!

April 5th, 2019 at 10:59 am

$20,200.00 Balance Forward
-__,500.00 Loan Payment
$19,700.00 New Balance

It is so nice to finally see a 1 starting the remaining loan balance. I had hoped to pay $700 this payday, but had an unexpected doctor's bill turn up, so that didn't happen.

Keep On Keeping On

April 4th, 2019 at 04:51 pm

DH had to pick up some pure maple syrup at Costco last night, so that cost $11.59. That seems to have gone down a good bit since the last time we bought syrup. I think it was around $15 last time, so that was a nice surprise.

The last two days were kind of painful. I think it was the storm. I am sensitive to changes in barometric pressure. I swell up when rainstorms come in. I also get headaches. It's weird. But the sun is back out today and also last night was my second shot of Enbrel and my joints are feeling better again, except my left hip, which is out and my chiropractor is on vacation. He won't be back until the 10th.

It is possible that I may be someone who has to take two shots of Enbrel a week, but I imagine it is too soon to tell. But the joint flare could also have been the medicine wearing off. I don't know. It's too soon to tell on that as well. No nausea or vomiting with this second shot, but I took some Zantac last night to try to prevent it, and it seems like it did.

Tomorrow we have another rain storm coming in, so if my joints hurt again, then I'll assume it was the pressure and not the medicine wearing off, since I just took the shot.

I have been maintaining my weight loss, but have not been very good at losing anymore. I haven't really been trying this week, but I need to get my act together, because I still have a lot to lose. We are going to get our gym membership signed up for this weekend and I can get back in the pool again. I am going to take it easy and only walk in the pool to start, not try to swim laps or use the water weights. I need to build up my stamina. Then maybe after a week or so, I might take a class.

They have Aqua Zumba one day a week and water aerobics the rest of the week days and Saturday. I will start with Aqua Zumba as it is easier on the joints and more fun. I will have to get up earlier for the water aerobics if I decide to start that, but Aqua Zumba is at 10:30. They do have two night time water aerobics classes if I just can't get up early enough. But they are at 6 p.m. and I imagine quite crowded at that time of day.

DS will be using the work out machines and weights while I am in the pool. He isn't really keen on water aerobics, though he did enjoy them when he was younger. I think he is self-conscious to be in a pool full of women, even if most of them are middle aged to old age.

I don't really know if DH or DD will use the membership or not. DD says she will to use the pool, but she is never able to get up, so I don't see it really happening unless she changes her sleeping schedule. I'm not going to drive there twice a day. It is a bad traffic situation later in the day and hard to get in and out.

I think I am going to have to accelerate savings for the computer fund. My computer keeps restarting itself. Every day, sometimes twice a day and it is getting super annoying. It keeps saying my computer has an error and has to shut down. Ugh. I am going to try a few things to see if I can't find the error, but it may not be salvageable.

This computer has quite a few things wrong with it that they never seemed to be able to fix 100% and now it no longer has a service contract, so I just can't see throwing money at it when I can throw money at a new one. I am not sure I will get a laptop this time, though. I think I may just get a desktop instead. We'll see. With my current phone, I don't really need a laptop to take with me anymore. I only write at home these days.

Although I do like taking the laptop into the bathroom while I am taking a long bath and playing a movie, so there's that. I guess I'll figure that out once I have the money saved up. I want to save instead of 18 months same as cash, but will do that if this thing goes belly up before the money is ready.

March Interest to Emergency Fund

April 4th, 2019 at 04:07 pm

$3516.95 Balance Forward
+___2.58 C1-360
+___1.30 CU #1
$3520.83 New Balance