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Home > Archive: July, 2019

Archive for July, 2019

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.

I Quit One of My Little Jobs

July 23rd, 2019 at 03:20 pm

I quit being a Thrive Life consultant today. I was no longer earning enough to pay for the website and I have a pretty good stockpile of product and just don't want to buy any more for a while, so I called them this morning and quit. It was easy, they didn't try to get me to stay. I can still buy product when I need to, but I won't need to for a long time. I've set my membership to skip deliveries for now.

I still love the product and use it plenty, but I won't lose money at it. Another reason is that as a consultant you are required to buy $100 of product every month. Which was fine when I was building my stockpile, but I have plenty and don't want to putting that $100 to $150 a month towards that when I can use it elsewhere in the grocery budget.

DS wants to start Paleo. I'm not 100% on board with that, but I think we can work toward that a bit, but not until we've eaten the perishable foods we have on hand that don't fit that category. I am getting some cookbooks out of the library to see more of what it is about, but I am not all that into completely giving up bread or rice. We don't eat a lot of it. I usually only have bread once a week and it is usually homemade Naan or tortillas, but I still want to have that option.

We usually make pizza every other week and pasta every other week. I put rice in DH's stuffed peppers for his lunches, but I could change that to riced cauliflower. And I make a good cauliflower crust pizza, too. Now that Costco has those huge bags of frozen riced cauliflower those are not hard things to do.

The foods he wants to eat are all the ones where the time spent cooking is more involved, but he doesn't want to be the one doing the prep work or helping with the cooking. With that attitude I am not really on board with changing things too much. I am more than happy to keep the chips and junk food out of the house as long as I can have my 1/2 scoop of homemade ice cream with dinner each night. I'm making blackberry ice cream this time.

Yesterday's harvest from the garden was 5 heads of broccoli, 2 cucumbers, and 3 zucchini. The deer are still getting in and now they are eating the zucchini. I would have had about 7 zucchini if they had not eaten them. We are just going to have to put a higher fence in this weekend. Otherwise things are going well. I put up a new garden update yesterday if anyone wants to see it. The corn has grown a ton since the last video.

Text is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFDE_MSPbg0 and Link is

DH was invited to go out fishing and prawning this weekend, so hopefully we will get some good seafood. He does have to pitch in on gas, which can be pricey if they cover a lot of territory, but with a good haul, we still come out ahead. You can get 80 prawns per person. If he and DS both go that is 160! If I go, 240. The prawns are plentiful this year and he has always had to throw some back because there are too many. I can get just a shellfish license for very cheap if I decide to go. Then if they catch salmon on top of that it will be great. As of today I am feeling fairly decent, so if I don't get a new inflammation it would be fun and worthwhile to go.

Crab Boil--Work Event Year 2

July 21st, 2019 at 09:57 pm

The crab boil for DH's group at work was yesterday. I had some anxiety about going as I always worry that either DH will abandon me or I won't find someone to talk to or I will find someone to talk to but will have to do all the conversational work, which is hard for me because I am an introvert. But I sucked it up for DH and we went.

I didn't have anything to worry about. His direct boss's mother, wife, and daughter sat with us and talked extensively. It was really easy and I enjoyed their company a lot. The boss is the one who took him out fishing and crabbing. The boss and his wife are our age, and DH and the boss have a lot in common. I teased him about having a bromance going on, but I am glad they are becoming good friends.

They want us to come out on the boat for prawns. I don't know if I am capable, but maybe. I miss being out on the ocean. I used to go sailing with my best friend and her dad when we were kids. He had the nicest little sailboat. A big old motor boat will be a different experience, but I used to go out on the Snake River in one of those with my cousins when I was younger, too, for waterskiing. If you've never waterskied on a river, it's quite different from doing it on a lake. But I digress.

The place they had it at the year was gorgeous. They have an extensive garden, both flower and vegetable. It actually gave me some ideas for the future. What I really loved about it is it reminded me of the Storybook ride at Disneyland. It wasn't Disney oriented, but there were all these miniature figures and houses and things scattered throughout the garden. It was very magical and harmonious and perfectly groomed.

They also had an outdoor billiards room and an above ground pool and I think it was on 5 acres or thereabouts. The inside of the house was pretty nice, too, but the outside was the main jewel. I am glad I went if for no other reason than seeing these gardens.

But I actually feel like I could be friends with these people. They seem to hold similar values. I wish we had the sort of set up where we could entertain, but I know my mother would just embarrass my husband and probably them, too. She has no filters and I don't want to put anyone through that. She always horns in on things and we have no privacy to have guests over. One day we will be out of here and I cannot wait.

A Nice Harvest Today

July 19th, 2019 at 11:42 pm

Today I got 2 cucumbers, 1 zucchini, a big bunch of basil, some cilantro, 2 candy sweet onions, and my first head of broccoli from the garden. Things are starting to pick up. My fermenting kit arrived in the mail today so I am happy about that. I still need to pick up garlic and some whole coriander, but then I can make my first batch of half sours. I might not get that done until Sunday, though, as DH's work's crab boil is tomorrow evening.

DH and DS went out fishing/crabbing with DH's boss today and another guy from work and his son. They brought home 5 2 lb Dungeness crab and one pink (humpback) salmon that dressed out at 3 lbs. That has paid us back for DS's fishing/crabbing license all in one go. DH's was bought by MIL for father's day.

We ate half the crab for dinner and will have half the salmon for lunch tomorrow and maybe again for dinner on Sunday, or I will freeze the extra.

I bought some blackberries yesterday and will make some blackberry ice cream with some of them. The strawberry was so good, I can't wait to try the blackberry.

We Have a Diagnosis

July 18th, 2019 at 06:24 pm

Or rather, should I say, we have another diagnosis. DD has, as I have long suspected, fibromyalgia. The doctor wants to do further blood work for Sjogren's disease as well, something else we have suspected. The difference between this rheumatologist (mine) and the other one DD saw two years ago is night and day. She took the time to listen and did not dismiss my daughter's symptoms due to her young age. DD is really happy with this doctor. I figured she would be.

Even though we have hit our out of pocket max, the one test is so expensive that we still have to pay some of it like I do with my Embrel. It'll be $82 so not awful. It's just on a different tier. They tried to do the tests today but she is not hydrated enough. So we'll push Gatorade tomorrow and then go down and try again.

It is good to have an answer, but it is all just pieces of the puzzle and I don't think we have the last piece or two to finish it yet.

Retirement Update

July 17th, 2019 at 05:24 pm

$10,275.59 401K
+_9,047.67 IRA
$19,323.26 New Balance

$19,323.26 New Balance
-18,045.73 Old Balance
$_1,277.53 Amount of Increase

The 401K is up $1,099.70 and the IRA is up $177.78. This is since June 26th. I hope in two paydays' time the total is over $20K. That will feel like a big milestone to us.

The Garden is Picking Up Steam

July 16th, 2019 at 12:59 am

Well, I got 4 gold rush zucchini, 3 cucumbers, 3 giant kohlrabi, a bunch of basil and a bunch of parsley from the garden today. I've got 3 trays of basil and 4 trays of parsley in the dehydrator. That makes 5 cucumbers now, so I think I may make a small jar of half sour pickles tomorrow.

I need to call a local sporting goods store that has a big canning and fermenting section and see if they have any fermenting stones first. If not, then I will just eat the cukes and order the stones from Amazon and wait for a few more cukes to grow. I already have the fermenting lids. I've never made half sours before, but I love them. Those are the kind you get in delis, but in delis they often add yellow #5, which I am allergic to. It takes 1 to 2 weeks of fermenting time to make them. I have the dill in the garden, but will have to pick up some garlic. I didn't grow any this year. I wasn't expecting any cucumbers to be ready yet, so didn't think to buy garlic on my shopping day.

Tomorrow I need to cut some cilantro, thyme, peppermint, and spearmint to dehydrate. The peppermint and spearmint can be hung to dehydrate, but I have to label them because both can look like oregano when dried. (Because of our humidity the other herbs don't dry as well in the air). Well, the spearmint is purple so it is easier to identify, but the mint and oregano look very similar. They don't smell the same, but I don't want to be second guessing myself later, either. I might even be able to harvest a few sage leaves, too.

I think I will also harvest the purple basil tomorrow and make a pesto with it. I like how purple basil tastes in pesto. I may marinate the chicken in that this week. We will see. It depends on how busy my dehydrator is.

I can't believe how much the beans and corn have jumped this week. And the butternut and sweet meat squash plants really have taken off. I did do an update video on my channel if anyone wants to see just how the garden is doing.

Text is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYIjd0itLug and Link is

I also need to clean the kitchen tomorrow. All the counters, the sinks, and the floor. DS will have to help with the floor. I can sweep it, but he needs to mop it. The long hallway could use a good vacuuming as well. Hopefully I will feel up to doing that after the kitchen. If not, well, at least the bathroom got cleaned. That was my major priority for today.

Oh, on the sad side of things, Persephone died. She was our last New Zealand white rabbit. She was the oldest, although Ruby (who became DS's pet) is only a couple of weeks younger. Persephone was a particular favorite of mine. She was descended from the first three rabbits we ever owned.

I am debating selling all but Ruby and one other rabbit. I am not sure which other one I would keep though. Rabbits are social so I don't want to leave Ruby without a friend in the cage next door. It would make the most sense to keep Zara and not the boys, but Zara is a bit of a snot, so maybe we will keep Cyrus or Vincent. Vincent is the prettiest as a broken red, but Cyrus, a broken black is the sweetest, most friendly rabbit aside from Ruby and he is Persephone's son and Starbuck's grandson. But Vincent is Ruby's grandson. Well, maybe I will keep 3.

Meal Planning for the Week

July 15th, 2019 at 11:10 am

We had a pleasant evening last night. I cooked on the grill. We made corn on the cob, onions, bell peppers, zucchini from the garden, hamburgers and hot dogs. We have given up on finding soy free hot dog and hamburger buns. The ones we had been using suddenly started adding soy. Now we just use the Naked potato bread for our buns. It tastes better anyway. I managed the hamburgers a little better this time, moving them around when the flames flared too much. Everything tasted delicious. This is quickly becoming my favorite way to cook.

Here's my new meal plan for the week with grill days scheduled for the non-rainy days of this week:

Monday--pork roast, baked potatoes, leftover peppers, onions, and zucchini

Tuesday--Grilled chicken, baked potatoes, green beans

Wednesday--Creamy sausage, bell peppers, and onions, green beans

Thursday--Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, Normandy vegetables

Friday--Grilled pizza, salad

Saturday--Grilled steak, grilled corn on the cob, grilled zucchini

Sunday--Grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, grilled onions, grilled zucchini

Grocery Spending Tracking

July 14th, 2019 at 05:53 pm

There were not really any good sales again this week, so I stocked up on some things that I've let run low and got some things we have been wanting to try (namely Larabars) and bought some items that are never on sale.

I also bought the ingredients to make homemade strawberry ice cream and homemade chocolate ice cream. Both came out well, though the chocolate almost is more of a frozen mousse/pudding consistency, but it is so good. The strawberry has a little more ice crystals in it than when I made the vanilla, but that's from the strawberries, it does that.

I really love these no machine ice cream recipes. If anyone wants them I can give you the links to the lady's youtube videos on it in the comments. The chocolate and strawberry take more time than the vanilla because there are more ingredients and you have to do a little bit more with them, but still, it took me about 15 minutes to do them one after the other. The longest parts were pureeing the strawberries and sifting the cocoa powder. Vanilla takes five minutes.

My first stop was at Winco where I spent $97.13 and bought:

2 loaves of Naked bread
4 Larabars (banana nut, peanut butter chocolate chip, cashew cookie, and cookie dough)
1 head lettuce
2 red bell peppers
2 orange bell peppers
1 bag of spinach
1 bag Mexican blend cheese
1 bag cheddar cheese
2 Walla Walla sweet onions
2 limes
2 ground chicken (never on sale)
1 turkey chub (for salads)
2 20 count bags hamburger patties
4 strawberry lemonade
1 lemonade
1 gallon distilled water (for C-pap machines)
24 cans of green beans

Then we went to Safeway and spent $188.52 and picked up:

1 box of ice cream cones (no soy, ya'all!)
2 bags of potato chips
1 jar Cheez Whiz (for my daughter, comfort food)
1 1/2 gallon milk
2 pork shoulder roasts
3 pounds of breakfast sausage (for breakfast burritos)
6 packages uncured soppresata
6 packages uncured pepperoni
1 package Canadian bacon
1 package turkey sticks (no soy)
1 package beef sticks (no soy)
3 pounds of grass feed beef
4 ears of corn
1 bag garlic croutons
2.35 pounds of red cherries
1 pound sliced cheddar (deli)
1 pound turkey (deli)
2 pound roast beef (deli)
1 pound honey ham (deli)

At Haggen I spent $41.41 and bought:

1 package soy free mini chocolate chips
2 pounds of strawberries
2 organic sweetened condensed milk
2 pints of real cream (bottle deposit of $4.00 that I'll get back when I return them)
7 bottles of organic ketchup (stock up)

Total spending was $327.06 out out of a $400 two week budget.