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X-rays, EF, Down Payment Goals, and Mom

June 19th, 2019 at 05:15 pm

Yesterday I finally went to the doctor about my hips/tailbone/pelvis. Today I went for x-rays. I don't think it will cost anything since we have hit the out of pocket max on insurance for the year. If nothing shows up on the x-rays I may end up getting an MRI. He is going to send me to physical therapy unless there is something significantly wrong that needs surgery. He's put in the order to be approved by the insurance at any rate, because that can take a while.

I may end up having to go to an orthopedist at some point. As long as it isn't the one who did my knee surgery in 2019. Rudest man in the world, worst bedside manner of any doctor I have ever known, but was the one who had the schedule to get me in right away, and I was in bad pain at the time. Still, at the age I am now, I won't put up with that, pain or not.

We got a lot done over the weekend with the property, but it about broke me. It is four days later and I am still so sore I am at bare minimums. I wouldn't have pushed so hard, but my mother was being kind of crazy about things and sometimes it is just easier to do what she wants so she will shut up about it. Even if it wrecks me. Of course then she feels all guilty because I'm out of commission for days afterwards, but at least she got what she wanted.

I love my mother, but sometimes she is so manipulative that it is awful living with her. She just really can't live on her own. She fell twice last week and she left the burner on the oven going twice in the last two weeks after she was done cooking. She'd turned off the fan on the stove though, so the gas fumes could have filled up the house if my son hadn't caught it. She's also left the front door open a couple of times in the last few months and gone to the grocery store early when everyone else was still sleeping.

Even when we do have a down payment saved up for a house I don't know what I am going to do about her. I am hoping my eldest sister will move in, since she is single and complains about her rent all the time. I don't think my middle sister will do anything to help. She hasn't so far. At least the eldest has helped both with Dad before he died and with Mom a little. Not much with Mom, but a little.

I guess we will see when we get there. We are still quite a ways off from when we can start saving for a house again. The debt should be paid off by March at the latest and then we work on the EF until we have 3 months wages, which will take 9 months which puts us out to December of 2020. So in January of 2021 we can start saving for a house.

I figure at that point we will save $1500 a month for a house and put the other $300 a month into the Emergency Fund. I want to build the EF to 6 months wages, but figure we can relax about how aggressive we need to be after 3 months are in place and work towards that a little more gradually.

When DH was given his raise they said not to expect another one before July of 2020, which is fine. It was a really large raise. So unless he gets a promotion before then and possibly even if he does, his income won't go up again until that point. There is a guy retiring in December and they are looking at DH to take his place. Whether or not that happens is anyone's guess.

I am not sure how big a deposit I want to build. The houses around here go for $250K to $450K depending on what part of the county you choose and whether or not you want more than a postage stamp yard, which we do for the garden. I want an acre so we can have a lawn as well as a big garden. So that probably puts us more around $350K range. So at the very least we'd need to save $70K for a 20 percent down payment. At $1500 a month that would take us 47 months or just shy of 4 more years or the end of 2024, beginning of 2025. By then we will be 55 years old. Maybe a little sooner if MIL continues to dole out money.

Even then, a part of me is hesitating. My mother turns 80 in August. I don't know how much longer she has, although I have often joked that she will outlive me. She is in good health physically, more or less, just worn out. Part of me thinks we should just stay here until she dies, if she is still alive by the time we have a down payment saved up.

Except when she goes on one of her manipulations, I like living here. We all get along pretty well. The house is nice, even if our section of it is small, and the property is great. I have my garden the way I want it and we are close to the doctors, the grocery stores, the bus line, the parks, and it is just a wonderful neighborhood aside from Evil Hummer Dude, who lets his dog poop in everyone's yard and doesn't clean up after it, and we seldom see him since he only lives here during the months when Nevada is too hot.

I guess I just worry about leaving my mom on her own. It is so weird how the roles reverse when our parents age.

Payday Report for 6/14/19

June 15th, 2019 at 04:18 pm

$327.41 Tithe
_400.00 Utilities
_400.00 Grocery Envelope
_389.51 Citi
__75.00 Household Envelope
_280.00 Monthly Family Chiropractor Plan
_111.08 Internet
__36.00 Garbage Fund
__50.00 Car Maintenance Envelope
_100.00 Gas Money Envelope
_100.00 Adults Blow Money
_120.00 Allowances Kids
__65.00 Fishing License
_800.00 Monster Mom Loan
$3254.00 Total Money Out

Trying This Again

June 13th, 2019 at 11:52 pm

If SA were a person, I'd want to be banging it's head against the wall right now. That being said, I was able to comment while signed out, so I think that part is working. Now, on to my day.

DS and I finally got the two garden beds mostly cleared of morning glory. The rest has to be shoveled and sifted, though we got some done tonight until we ran out of light. We also filled another garbage can and half filled a second one with manured hay, mostly composted manure and compost, and then a top layer of what we sifted and topped it off with a bag of organic Miracle Grow. I planted 3 bell peppers in there and I will plant the other two in the other one once we get it filled tomorrow. We need to pick up one more bag of that stuff tomorrow.

I also tied up the cucumbers so they will grow up the trellis. There are two flower buds on there as of today. I also have one little bitty bitty zucchini flower bud and several closed tight patty pan buds. The plants have doubled in size this week. Then I planted two more tomatoes I picked up today, a Champion II and an Early Girl. They were pretty big, a couple feet tall.

I also planted two jalapeños, a banana pepper, and a hot red pepper that looks like cayenne but did not say cayenne. I might still be able to dry it in place of cayenne, though. I don't think I have any cayenne seeds or I would stick some in the dirt and hope for the best. I'll have to go through them tonight. I know I have some pepper seeds and it is so hot this week that they might have a chance of germinating. I do have paprika seeds. It is late, but we tend to have Indian summers so it might produce and if not, it's only a few seeds.

I also planted some flowers. I put in a red wave petunia in place of the double wave that is not flowering much (I moved it), put in some Gazanias (never seen these before but they are pretty, and something called osteospermum which sounds like a disease but is a really pretty flower. I needed to plant some more flowers so that the pollinators are used to going around and come in to the summer squash, cucumbers, and tomatoes once they start to flower.

To the herb bed I added some pink yarrow (they gave me for free as it was looking pretty brown at the base, but the root was good and it comes back from it so I knew I could save it), some common sage, and marjoram (I found some!).

I bought some bee balm, but can't plant it until I get a container for it. It has runners that are invasive, but not difficult to get out. Still, I don't want to deal so I have a large round tote it will go in eventually, but right now I will just put it in a larger pot because it is only in a 4 inch pot and these things get 3 feet high or so.

I do have an initial input of about $200 by the time I am done buying stuff every garden season, since I mostly do starts and I do purchase a few bags of potting soil for containers, but I harvest about $1000 worth of organic produce every summer, so it more than pays for itself. In spinach, lettuce, blood-veined sorrel, kohlrabi, broccoli, strawberries, green onions, and herbs so far this summer I've already harvested $75 worth of produce and we haven't even hit peak production when tomatoes, corn, peppers, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and green beans will come on and be canned or frozen for the year.

Tomorrow I hope to get some more done, at least the other garbage can filled, but it is also grocery shopping day. I don't need to get a ton, but I do need to get a few things from 4 different stores and that is a lot of running around, although they are all close together, so not as much as one might think.

I also need to process the chicken now that it is thawed out. I need to cook up a couple batches to make lunches for the week for me, DS, and DD. I need to make up meatloaves for the freezer. I need to make a dozen stuffed bell peppers for DH's lunches. I need to get those breakfast burritos made. So it may not be a ton done in the garden tomorrow, but some, assuming my energy holds, which on some days can be assuming a lot.

Teaching Myself Flatbreads and Dehydrating Herbs

June 12th, 2019 at 01:00 am

So I have been on a flatbread kick lately. First I learned how to make pita bread, then I learned how to make tortillas, and today I made naan bread for the first time. I hadn't planned on doing this, but they repaved part of the Trader Joe's parking lot and it is hard enough to find parking when the full lot is available, so I couldn't pick up soy free Naan bread. I decided to just go ahead and make some since I had yogurt for making the tzatziki sauce (used fresh dill from the garden in this).

It really wasn't that hard. The recipe makes six, but I made 4 larger ones instead, since I was making chicken shawarma and we like to wrap it up in the bread. Usually I make pita bread, but I wanted something a bit thicker to stand up to the juices. It worked a treat. And the bread was just amazing otherwise. I used this recipe: [url]https://www.onceuponachef.com/recipes/homemade-naan.htm... It was a lot cheaper than buying it and really didn't take a ton of hands on time, maybe 30 minutes.

I also harvested a bunch of herbs today and have them in the dehydrator. I have 1 tray of spearmint, 1 tray of peppermint, 1 tray of holy basil (green), 2 trays of purple basil, 1 half tray of purple basil with a half tray of thyme, 1 half tray of parsley with some oregano and a few more mint leaves, and a tray of cilantro. I usually dehydrate enough herbs for the year and most of my teas, too. It is amazing how much money I save by doing this and the spices keep longer than store bought ones without losing their flavor. It is so worth the time involved.

More Freezer Meals Completed

June 10th, 2019 at 11:57 pm

Well, I got my chicken cut up tonight and I got 7 two pound bags of meat out of the six value packs. I did up 4 bags for chicken shawarma (one is for dinner tomorrow) and 3 bags for chicken fajitas. I already have cut up onions and bell peppers in the freezer, so when I need to do fast, easy meals when I am sick or hurt, I can just throw it all together in the instant pot and have a good meal and not give in to the urge for takeout. My hands are aching from cutting the meat up small, but I'll cope. I am going to go back to Safeway tomorrow and get some more chicken while there is one day left in the sale.

Next I want to do up 4 bags for black pepper chicken and 3 bags for chicken and broccoli. It might take me a few days to accomplish that, but by golly, I am not going to make the takeout mistake again. Twice a month is one thing, several days in a row for a couple of weeks, not so much. Besides, $1.99/lb for boneless skinless thighs is a sale I won't see again for a long time. I have to take advantage of it while I can.

Nearly Finished with the Raised Bed

May 27th, 2019 at 11:06 pm

We got some more work done on the raised beds. The two long sides were primed, painted and assembled today. Hopefully we can attach it all together tomorrow. We ran out of light. It is going to look very nice once it is done. DH also drilled some holes in another garbage can for me that I will fill tomorrow. I think I am just going to plant my peppers in the garbage cans. I can do 3 per can, maybe four. I can always do up another can if there isn't room for four per can. I probably should just do that to begin with.

We started taking down the turkey pen. First we took the gutter garden off the two sides of the pen, then removed the perches, and then we got the lattice off of three sides. Then the sun came out from behind the trees and it was too hot to work in that section of the yard. With the lattice off, though it will be much easier to go inside and get started weeding the area.

I also weeded the three 8 x 2 foot garden beds, which hold the tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, patty pan squash, basil, and herbs. That leaves me with one 8 x 4 foot bed left to weed. And I still need to ring the long bed of onions. I may just show DS how and have him do it. Before I work on anything else tomorrow, though, we need to clean out a corner of the pad that the new raised bed is going on and dig out the weeds, so I can place the bed in a different position than it is in now.

I have to pick the strawberries tomorrow, too. I haven't picked for two days and suddenly there is a ton of red ones. I didn't notice until twilight and I didn't want to pick them without enough light to make sure they were completely red all the way through. I will harvest some basil, thyme, oregano, spearmint, peppermint, and rosemary tomorrow as well.

I hope to make it over to Joe's Garden tomorrow and pick up some calendula, marjoram (if they have it, they probably won't), another pot of cucumbers, maybe sunflowers if they aren't too big yet, and peppers. I may just plant sunflowers from seed if they are too big. I've got a couple different kinds. I like doing business with them as they are a no spray garden that provides starts, seeds, sets, and once the season gets going, produce. I really like using them as they use organic methods, they just don't want to spend the money for certification as it is ridiculously expensive.

I do need to stop by the grocery store and pick up a couple of things as well. I want to get some honey ham, and tomorrow is the last day of the steak sale. Also, I am out of carrots. So there is a lot I want to get done and hopefully I can get to all of it.