Home > Archive: October, 2020

Archive for October, 2020

Emergency Fund Update

October 31st, 2020 at 10:24 pm

$7868.55 Balance Forward

+_335.29 Amount Added

$8203.84 New Balance  

$1796.16 to go to hit my next milestone of $10,000 saved. 


Payday Report for 10/30/2020

October 30th, 2020 at 07:12 pm

I got my Google AdSense payment this week and that, along with it being a third paycheck month for DH, brought our income around $300 higher this pay period.  Citi is so high because DS owes me some money for an order he made, which he will pay me later, but I wanted to pay it off before the due date hit so no interest.  When he pays me back I will put that money into the Emergency Fund.  Another reason Citi was so high was we got a lot of takeout due to my being sick.  Nearly every day for 2 weeks.  Ouch.  But I believe in tracking honestly so there you go.


$352.44 Tithe

_400.00 Grocery Envelope

__75.00 Household Envelope

__71.99 DH Life Insurance

__60.46 Me Life Insurance

_100.00 Adult Spending Money

_120.00 Kid Spending Money

_100.00 Gas Money

2203.29 Citi


3483.18 Total Money Out

Freezer Fund Update

October 30th, 2020 at 07:03 pm

There was $66.00 left in the grocery envelope from last payday so I transferred that to the freezer fund.  There wouldn't have been anything left if I'd been well enough to go to the store one more time on one of the meat sales, but I'm glad there was something to transfer just because we are getting close now on having enough money to purchase the freezer we want.  Next month I might actually be able to put it into the budget as a sinking fund amount, but not quite sure yet.  Either way, it is still building this way.


$792.00 Balance Forward

+_66.00 Leftover Grocery Money



$858.00 New Balance


Feeling a Little Better--Focus on Preparing

October 28th, 2020 at 11:05 pm

I've been on antibiotics for five days and this morning I did not have to reach for the nasal spray first thing in the morning.  I'm still a little stuffy, but I can breathe without the assistance of Afrin and I can't remember the last time that happened.  I have a really puffy face from the prednisone, but I've only got to take it for two more days and then that will go away.  I'll be on the antibiotics a while longer, though.  I still feel a little disassociated from my body though, like that floaty, above your head feeling you sometimes get when you are sick.

I sent DH to Fred Meyer last night to get the $2.88/lb sirloin steaks.  I just didn't feel up to making it over there at all this week.  We made up one package for dinner and then we will grind up the other six tonight.  I'll start working on cutting it up when I'm done with this entry.

This week boneless, skinless chicken is on sale for $1.99 a pound, so I want to get 14 pounds for canning and another 14 pounds for grinding into burger.  I know I can get it cheaper skin on and bone in, but I don't have the stamina for that this week.  I like to have a mix of ground meats, especially for meatloaf and meatballs.  I plan to do some turkey when they go on sale here next month.  I can break down a whole chicken, so I reckon breaking down a whole turkey shouldn't be that different.

I'm also waiting for another .99/lb pork shoulder sale so I can grind it and make some homemade sausage.  It's been a while though.  The sale progression from week to week tends to be chuck roast at $3.99/lb followed by chuck roast at $2.99/lb, followed by sirloin steaks somewhere between $2.99 and $3.99/lb, followed by chicken legs and thighs at .99/lb and boneless skinless at $1.99/lb, then we get a couple weeks of pork sales.  It had been .99/lb for a long time, but mostly I am seeing $1.99 and $1.49, so that might be the new normal, but I am not sure I want to wait it out because I'd rather have it on hand before the election.  It is $1.99 this week, so I could do it.  Then we can just stay out of the stores until everything has settled down, if it settles down.

I'm starting my aerogarden going today.  I will buy produce the day before the election and then if things get dangerous, I will have lettuce growing by the time we run out of produce that isn't canned.  Plus with the chard, which will overwinter here, we won't have to worry about greens.  I know I sound paranoid, but my state has had rioting for months and I do think the election will be another trigger point.  We are hunkering down and staying as safe as we can during the month of November.


Entry I Wrote on October 25, 2020

October 28th, 2020 at 10:24 pm

The lack of progress on the blogs is really starting to frustrate me.  I know it’s a platform change and that just makes everything drag out longer.  It looks like a better system when I can get into it.  At least one from this century anyway.

So, I added up the numbers and this is what we have harvested this year:

102 pounds of potatoes

5 pounds of bell peppers

5 pounds of Anaheim mild chile peppers

3 pounds of serrano chile peppers

6 pounds of Trident poblano peppers

2 pounds of jalapenos

12 pounds of radishes, plus their greens

3 pounds of carrots

64 ears of corn

104 pounds of green beans

6 bunches of celery

12 kohlrabi

12 broccoli heads

45 pounds of cucumbers

3 months’ worth of lettuce greens

2 cabbages

30 pounds of tomatoes

5 months’ worth of chard (still going strong)

10 pounds of beets, plus their greens

1 quart jar each of dried peppermint, spearmint, raspberry leaves, bee balm, calendula, and yarrow for tea

1 quart jar each of dried basil, oregano, sage, thyme, rosemary, parsley, and nasturtium buds (dried they taste peppery)


I will be drying and powdering some of the poblanos to make ancho powder and the serranos to make a substitute for cayenne powder.


Sirloin steaks are on sale this week for $2.88/lb.  Hopefully I can make it over to the store this week and get some.  I’d like to grind some for burger.  You can’t beat that price right now.  Don’t know if I will make it or not.  This sinus infection is still kicking my butt.  I did go and have a car appointment on the 23rd and the doctor I saw put me on prednisone and an antibiotic called cefdinir.  I had to get the liquid kind though, because the pill form is red #40 and red #28 and I really prefer not to have migraines, thank you.  It tastes like artificial sweetener, which I also try to avoid, but sometimes you have to pick your battles.  Since I can’t take penicillin without getting hives it is the lesser of two evils.  And the Z-pack didn’t work last time.


Mom canned 14 jars of beef for me and seven jars of potatoes, so even though I’ve been in and out of it, things are still moving in stocking up the pantry for the upcoming cold and flu/political upheaval season.  Time is running short and I want to be ready in time.


Oh, I forgot to mention, DS passed his driver’s test.  This makes my life so much easier.  His license should be here in a few days.

Entry I Wrote on October 23, 2020

October 28th, 2020 at 09:57 pm

Things have been trucking along here in the days of a non-functional blog platform.  Mostly, I've been canning beef.  They had a massive sale on chuck roast, $2.99 a pound, at Fred Meyer on the last ad flyer and no limit.  I went in 3 times and ended up with a total of 34 roasts.  I did check with the meat guy and he said people just weren't stocking up and to take what I wanted because if it didn’t sell they’d grind it into hamburger.  I always made sure there were plenty left.  I will never clear a bin or shelf of anything except the particular type of chili DS likes.  It is hard to find so I grab it when I do.  I will be canning 14 jars today and putting the rest through the meat grinder for hamburger.  It is far cheaper at the roast price than at the burger price right now.

DH dug up the last of the potatoes.  It was a little over 4 pounds of baby reds.  So that is done.  I harvested all of the peppers and pulled them because I want to plant garlic in that bed, assuming I can find any to plant.  I’m checking the feed store today.  I cut off the side shoots on the broccoli and pulled them, too.  I still need to finish that bed and then we will be using it for strawberries.

I picked the dried out snow pea pods and harvested the seeds for next year.  With the way things are going seeds may sell out faster than they did this year because of the pandemic.  I’m saving bean seeds, too even though I still have a big packet left.  Thankfully, I’ve got quite a bit of corn seed.  And if I can’t get seed potatoes in the spring, I can do the organic grocery store potatoes again.  Maybe some of the ones I harvested will keep until March and I won’t have to worry about it.  I have tomato seeds and zucchini seeds and sweet meat squash seeds that I harvested a couple years ago.  And I have copra keeping onion seeds.  I am most concerned about finding an open pollinated carrot seed so I can start saving carrot seeds in the future, too.  There are a lot of seed packets in my bin of some older seeds so maybe some of those will germinate, too.  I’ll be starting a lot of my own seeds in the spring.  I’m going to do a full set up, no playing around this time.  It was hard to find all the starts I wanted last spring.  I need to be better prepared this time around.

I just want to be ready for whatever is going to be thrown at us next.  I really dread what the next three weeks are going to bring for this county.  If riots come to my city, I don’t know if we can protect ourselves.  We should be far enough away from Seattle, but we do have about 100 or so of that sort who like to cause trouble here downtown.  Mostly college students and university professors.  Usually armed citizens come out to deal with it and protect the shops, though, just as a presence that keeps things from getting out of hand, so who knows?  There’s three months to go after that before we see if things will even go back to some kind of normal.

Hopefully, it’ll just be bad for a week.  We have to go to Virginia Mason in Seattle two weeks post-election to the liver specialist to see if my daughter’s liver tumor has grown, although we should have the MRI results back in her patient portal sometime this week.  I still like things interpreted by a doctor.  The day before that she will be meeting with the new endocrinologist who specializes in adrenal insufficiency, so there will be an overnight down there which makes me even more nervous.  Most of the rioting has been going on a half mile away from the hospital, but that is not very far.  The talk is that they will riot no matter who is elected.  Fun times. /sarcasm  Remember the days when people accepted the results with dignity and grace?

This afternoon I have to take DD to the rheumatologist and remake the appointment I cancelled for myself because I was sick while we’re there.  I think I’ll just make mine a telemedicine visit, though.  This time of year I tend to get sick a lot.  I really need to make an appointment to get my eyes checked for new glasses, too so I can get them and some contacts.  I am sick of my glasses fogging up every time I put on a mask so I want contacts for the days I have to go out in public.

I made a very good loaf of gluten free bread last night, in the bread machine, using Jovial gluten free bread flour.  I tweaked it from the last time I made it and it was far less dense and the crust was amazing.  It was almost as big as regular sandwich bread.  I think with a bit more yeast, honey, and salt I can get it to be a fantastic loaf, but this one was enjoyable.  The one before was too dense for my liking.  I am getting this thing down.  And once I do I’m going to try to find a way to make a crispy crust gluten free pizza.  I can make a soft crust, but I want to get that crunch I like so much from the gluten pizzas.  I think this bread flour will help.  Jovial’s been in the business of gluten free since way before it came a thing and just belonged to celiacs.  They have the best pasta and I am looking forward to trying their pastry flour, too.

Well, I’ve wasted enough time on here, I best get back to real life for the day.

Are We Working Yet?

October 22nd, 2020 at 07:51 pm


Trying Photos Take 2

October 21st, 2020 at 08:07 am

Practicing Photos with the New Blog Entry Box

October 21st, 2020 at 08:02 am

Payday Report for 10/16/20

October 21st, 2020 at 07:09 am

$324.12 Tithe

_400.00 Grocery Envelope

__75.00 Household Envelope

_280.00 Monthly chiropractor family plan

_600.00 Autopays

__71.99 Life Insurance DH

__60.46 Life Insurance Me

_100.00 Adult Spending Money

_120.00 Kid Allowances

1000.00 Mattress Fund

_100.00 Car Maintenance Fund


$3149.57 Total Money Out

Freezer Fund Update

October 21st, 2020 at 07:01 am

I had $92.00 left in the grocery envelope from last payday, so that I moved that over into the freezer fund envelope.  Consistently squeezing money out of my grocery budget is working really well to save for this.  I am really starting to see some progress and am 2/3 of the way to my goal amount of $1100.  Then all I have to do is hope that by the time I get there, they actually have freezers available in the stores again.


$700.00 Balance Forward

+_92.00 Amount Added


$792.00 New Balance

Got Some More Potatoes Dug

October 11th, 2020 at 06:19 am

We harvested two more rows of potatoes and got 22.6 pounds of mostly gold potatoes. Organic gold potatoes go for $1.79 a pound right now, so that is $39.38 worth of potatoes. Two rows took 9 seed potatoes cut in thirds. There were about five reds in there. The golds were a lot bigger than the reds were last harvest.

We have 7 more rows to do and I am hoping we will be able to get a couple more rows dug tomorrow. It depends on the weather. It takes 15 pounds to do a canner load of potatoes. Technically it is two pounds per quart, but by the time you peel everything and cut away any spots you've lost about a pound, so I always plan 15 pounds.

These rows got more water than the initial 3 rows, so I think that is why we got so much more from them. As we continue to go on they got even more water, due to sprinkler reach. Next year I am going to make sure I have a sprinkler directly in our potato patch. It needs to be watered at least once, if not twice a week, and more evenly.

I am just really happy I did so well on Trader Joe potatoes and not even seed potatoes. Next year we will get seed potatoes for sure, though. I am not playing any late garden games. It will be ready early no matter what the excuses are from the men folk about weeding and preparing the ground. If I can do it with my chronic diseases, then they can do it without having any of them and work right by my side. To be fair, DS did help in the beginning, but I had to bribe him, so there's that.

We still may be having food shortages next year, so we will be more prepared than ever as we go through 2021. It might be worse than this year and I am determined to keep my family fed if this virus continues keeping so much of the economy closed.

Retirement Update

October 10th, 2020 at 01:26 am

I haven't been paying much attention to the retirement accounts. I don't think I checked since the end of August. Mostly because everything was pretty volatile. But I checked today and we are up $877.45 since 8/26. $660 of that was contributions. I am happy that it was ahead even a little bit.

It would be ahead a lot more if the company hadn't stopped contributing in July due to CoVid. They said they'd contribute at the end of the year, but I don't know if that will be more than they usually contribute or not. It was implied, but who knows? We're just grateful DH still has a job with health insurance.

$26,281.70 401K
+10,529.48 IRA
$36,810.93 New Balance

Getting Ready for My Sister to Move in

October 9th, 2020 at 11:28 pm

My plan for the weekend is to get the rest of the potatoes dug, so I can get them curing for 3 weeks so we can bag them up and store them in the basement. We also need to move the piano from the great room to the living room. My sister will be moving into the great room soon. She's not going to have an easy time of living here. There won't be any privacy for her and Mom is already making things difficult, not wanting to give up an inch more of space than she has to. She's always been kind of stingy with space, like that. It took us years to actually have full use of the cabinets in our own kitchen.

Mom is a bit of a pack rat. She holds onto things well past when she should. She still has a lot of my dad's clothes and he's been dead for years. She's also been hanging onto my Dad's dresser. Not because she needs it, it is empty, but because it was his. It takes up a lot of space, though. I get that it holds sentimental value, I suppose, but its been like 10 years. She won't let anyone refurbish it and use it, either. It's a nice, solid wood dresser, but it is very dark. We would have liked to have stripped it and done a nice pine colored varnish or a pretty paint or something and actually used it, but she's a little irrational about that idea. Bringing it into this century would make it useful.

She also needs to get rid of some books that were Dad's, but won't. He read a lot of westerns. Mom doesn't read westerns and no one else does either. Mom doesn't really read much at all. She still has all of her books from college, which she went to in the 60's. I don't even have all my books from college. I kept the history book. She says she'll never read any of them again, but she doesn't want to give them away.

She also has a bunch of dresses from the 80's she doesn't want to part with. Like ten of them. She'd have to lose 100 pounds to wear them again, which is never going to happen, the woman lives on carbs and won't touch most vegetables, but she is keeping them because she might lose the weight. At 81, I don't see that as happening. And yet she goes on to complain that she doesn't have enough space in her closet. She has two closets, plus one in the upstairs full of useless clothes.

She's said over and over she doesn't want to leave a bunch of stuff in the house for us to have to deal with when she dies, but then she holds onto it with a vice grip. It's weird and maybe a mental issue. I figure there will just be a lot we have to deal with when the time comes.

There has not been much going on in the financial realm for me this week. It's been 7 days since the last time I spent any money. I've been working on the pantry, or rather, on filling it. There was a great sale last Friday on chuck roast, so I canned 10 quarts of chuck roast and 2 pints of chuck roast. And I helped Mom with 9 pints of chuck roast for herself. Meat takes a long time, so there is a lot of baby-sitting the canner involved. It's about half an hour waiting for it to vent, 10 minutes venting time, 5 to pressurize, 90 cooking time, and then a half hour to come down from pressure, and 10 minutes with the lid cracked to equalize to room temperature before taking them out. A regular canner will hold 7 quarts or 8 wide mouth pints or 9 narrow mouth pints. So it was a lot of work and wait time. And that doesn't even include the amount of time to cut all the meat up.

There is a new sale on chuck roast at a different store this week, so I will break my no spend streak and pick up some more roasts. Depending on the limit, I'd like to get at least 4 for a canner load, or 8 if they will let me for a double canner load. Fred Meyer didn't have any limits, but Safeway usually does. Right now I have sixteen jars on the shelf, but I would like to double that before winter hits. I also want to do at least another 14 jars of chicken.

Today, however, I have to do tomatoes. I cut them up last night, so all I need to do today is heat them, fill the jars, and get on with it. Tomatoes are quick in the pressure canner, just 25 minutes for pints (plus all the wait time at the beginning), so they are not a several hour process.

I also think I have enough green beans for 4 pints, so will hopefully get that done tomorrow. There might be enough still in the garden to pick more. We have gotten nowhere near a frost yet and they will keep producing right up until. If we are lucky we will have a late frost. Generally it is on Halloween, but there have been years we didn't get one until Thanksgiving. The tomatoes have slowed way down, though, because the nights have been in the 50's and they don't like that. I am tempted to just go strip them and let them ripen in the house, so I can be done with that part of the garden.

It has definitely turned into sweater weather here. Long pants and socks, too. So far we have not turned on the heater or the heated blankets, but I have added a second blanket to the bed. It is also getting to the point where I have to wear my hair down and not up or the back of my neck and shoulders is goosebumpy. The leaves are turning and we have some really pretty yellow ones going on right now. The red and orange ones usually take longer to show. The roses are still blooming, though. It is very pretty. Stew weather is here. I think that's what I'll make for dinner tonight.

Freezer Fund Update

October 2nd, 2020 at 11:46 pm

$559.00 Balance Forward
+_91.00 Leftover Grocery Money from last payday
+_50.00 Money Mom Owed Me
$700.00 New Balance

Payday Report for 10/2/2020

October 2nd, 2020 at 11:46 pm

$318.49 Tithe
_500.00 Utilities
_400.00 Grocery Envelope
_700.00 Medical Fund
__75.00 Household Envelope
_115.17 Internet
__36.00 Garbage
_100.00 Car Insurance Fund
_100.00 Gas Money
_100.00 Spending Money Adults
_120.00 Allowances Kids
_200.00 Christmas/Gift Fund
_100.00 Clothing Envelope
_300.00 Cell Phone Fund
3164.66 Total Money Out

The Christmas/Gift Fund is now up to $900. I will definitely meet my goal of $1200 by Christmas (one of the things DH and I are getting is a propane BBQ so that is why that amount is so high. I want to get a good one. And part of that is for Christmas dinner, too. We get a prime rib roast for that, a new tradition we started last year, because I didn't feel like making another turkey and stuffing so soon after Thanksgiving. It was nice not to have to.

Emergency Fund Update

October 2nd, 2020 at 10:34 pm

$7868.55 Balance Forward
+_526.83 Amount Added
$8395.83 New Balance

$1604.17 to go to hit my next milestone of $10,000.