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Yesterday's Spending

May 30th, 2022 at 12:01 am

I spent $142 on garden stuff yesterday.  The welded wire tomato cages were the most expensive items.  I had hoped to make it back there before the turquoise cages were gone.  I would have bought a couple last time I was there, but they were all zip-tied together and they were closing in ten minutes, and it was too much of a hassle.  So I got two yellow ones and two hot pink ones in the smaller size.  I use these on peppers not tomatoes anyway.  It is just so windy here during May and June that the cages help keep the plants from being blown over.  They were pricey.

I was able to find a jalapeño plant, but they were out of bells.  They had cayenne, but I had one of those already along with 1 bell.  They had serrano and poblano, but I'm not growing any other spicy peppers this year.  There were no Anaheims.  I just wasn't able to get over there when I needed to.  But I was able to pick up 4 gold rush zucchini plants and 2 of the regular green ones, 4 cucumbers, 2 Early Girl tomatoes, and 1 Joe's best Roma.  I have 1 million pears already.  I also picked up four big sweet basil plants, decided not to get a Thai basil plant because the three they had looked very stressed.

After that I looked for some flowers.  As much as I wanted to get a couple flats of petunias, I have no place to plant those.  I ended up getting a 1/2 gallon pot of Veronica, which is a deep blue perrenial (unless it goes to 10 degrees, which might happen once every ten years or so, and a deep red yarrow.  Deer don't like either of those flowers so I will plant them with my zucchini.  The prices of starts have gone way up this year.  Next year I really have to start my own.  I have the grow lights and I have the station set up, I just haven't done it.  I have all the seeds and everything.

After that we went over to the grocery store that carries plants from the same nursery and found 3 Better Belles in 1/2 gallon pots. Better Belles are not my favorite type of bell pepper.  I feel like Northstar performs better here, but I waited too long and these are my choices if I want plants from a no-spray source and not a big box store.  I may yet check the food co-op, because they will often have things later than others and they are organic from another source.  I might find an Anaheim that way, but if not it is not a deal breaker.

That about did me in, just going to those two places, since I was still not doing that great, but again, I wore my mask, and DH handled the money and picked up the plants, so I didn't touch anything and I wasn't passing anything along to anybody.  Plus I had a negative Covid home test, so I think I'm okay.  We can't not ever go out with a head cold again, after all.  If I waited any longer there would have been nothing but flowers, herbs, and lettuces left.

I didn't plant anything yesterday, but I sat out in the fresh air and under the lightly overcast sky while DH put in another row of potatoes and then hilled up soil on the other four rows we planted before we left.  Those five rows were all the seed potatoes I purchased.  This morning DH put in two more rows before I got up.  These were the Kennebecs and Russets that I planted last year and saved for seed this year.  He's still got some more of that to do and then I have some grocery store potatoes that have sprouted as well that are golds.  I'll have to check the other potatoes I bought two weeks ago, too.  Everything that can go in the ground, will go in the ground.

After all the potatoes I have get planted, I will plant the sweet potato plants that I've been growing in water for 3 months.  One of the vines goes all the way up to the top of the window, so now that it is warm enough to plant those I want to get them in the ground.

I still have to plant the plants I bought yesterday and the put a wire cover over the zucchini and cucumbers.  I have to make the wire cover, though.  We have the welded wire fencing and the wire cutter, which is one I can operate with my arthritic hands, but the fencing is so heavy DH will have to help with it, since DS has come down with the cold.

I think I'm about at 60%, so I still need to take it easy and get enough sleep, but I definitely turned the corner yesterday and I think tomorrow, if I stay on this projectory will be about 70%.  I have physical therapy on Tuesday.  I won't make the decision on going or not until Monday around 3:00.  If I still feel sick then, I will cancel, because I have to touch too many things that others have to touch.

The cottonwood has started blooming and blowing its fluff balls all over the place, so it's hard to tell how much of the congestion is from my allergy to that and how much is left from the cold.  Either way, it is not helping.

DH is out running around trying to find a pharmacy that has Adderall that doesn't have blue dye.  DS is allergic to blue dye.  Walgreens is out in the whole county, so he was going to try one of the Rite Aids and have them call around to the others and then he'll try the Haggen pharmacies, then Costco, Fred Meyer, and Wal*Mart.  Hopefully he can find them, since DS left it to the last minute to tell us he needed it.

When he gets back I will plant my plants, since they are still in the back of the van.

 

 

I Didn't Think I'd Be Able to Ever Move Again

May 19th, 2022 at 01:06 am

Last night was rough.  I did a lot of new exercises at physical therapy and even though it was in the pool it totally kicked my butt.  45 minutes of non-stop exercise was only possible with the decreased gravity.  By the time I got home everything hurt so bad.  I made it halfway to the house before I had to sit down in the chair at the bottom of the ramp and put the bag down.  It was so heavy with a wet towel and suit in there.  And I forgot my phone so I couldn't call DH to come out and get me.  So I sat there about ten minutes until I could go into the house and send DH out for my bag.  That's how weak I was.

I wasn't able to move my arms enough to make dinner.  They just felt like lead.  It felt like a full on fibro flare with the RA kicking in just for fun.  So we got Mexican.  I had a single tostada de ceviche.  They make it with tiger shrimp and it is really good with lots of tomatoes and onions.  And then I had a rectangle from a chicken quesadilla.  I also got 1 beef enchilada with rice, but I was too exhausted to eat it, so it went in the fridge for today.  I figured I would be able to eat it all since I hadn't eaten all day (yes, bad, I know).  And the rest of the family only ate 1 triangle each of the quesadilla, so there are still two left which I will probably have for lunch tomorrow.  We spent $80 for the four of us.

I took a hot shower after dinner and that helped, but DH had to come wash my hair since I wasn't able to lift my arms above my head.  I still had a good bit of pain going on so I took half a hydrocodone and it knocked me out and when I woke up I felt a lot better.  I can still feel some soreness, but it is just muscle soreness and not fibro.  It hurts to raise my hands above my head, but I can.

The hands still hurt, but they always do after a lot of work.  And not near as much as yesterday as I am typing fairly easily.  I will probably have to avoid that exercise in the future due to how hard it was on my hands.  It was using a mini-kickboard, holding it upright underwater, and pulling it towards me and pushing it away.  It builds the core, but so do a lot of other things, so we'll figure something out.  I have PT again on Friday so we can talk about it then.

I am able to make dinner tonight so we have steaks thawing.  I am going to cook the steaks rare and have green beans, and French fries.  It's a fairly simple dinner.  If my hands were better I'd be making fried potatoes, but French fries will have to do.  I have been making a lot more meals, but yesterday just threw me for a loop.  I will be making a crockpot meal on Friday so that I won't have to worry about making dinner when I get back from PT, it will just be there and ready.  We have beef ribs which work really well with low and slow cooking, so I will just throw them in there with some potatoes and sweet potatoes and then all that will need to be done when I get home is micro-steam a bag of broccoli.

DS and I went out to "shop" the freezer and brought in some steaks and roasts, Canadian bacon, and a pack of hotdogs.  I only had 16 pounds of butter, so I need to do a major stock up.  Last year I bought 60 pounds of butter and 8 of those in there were bought recently, so we went through a pound of butter a week, so I guess I planned pretty well.  I like spring and summer butter when the cows are on green grass and not hay.  I get grass fed butter and there is a world of difference between that and conventional, but also between summer and winter butter.

DS and I need to do an inventory of what is out there and of what is in the mini-chest freezer.  It is easy to see what is in the upright.  I need to see what we need to eat through and how much space we will have in the house and how much we will have in the garage.  I know some of what is in there is crab bait chicken and turkey breast and that will be out of there as soon as the dungeness season starts.  They have freezer burn, so this is a great way of not wasting the meat.  It'll get us through the season and it sure beats buying crab bait, especially at today's prices.

I had regular therapy today and we talked about how I don't like change and how I want to cut my hair and I've wanted to cut it since before the pandemic and things have been open and without masks for quite some time, but I don't do it.  Part of it was my salon went out of business, but something else was affecting me and I knew it.  So she asked if anything from my childhood might be affecting me and I realized that Mom made me get pixie cuts when I was a kid, because she didn't want to deal with the work of longer hair.  I wasn't allowed to choose my own hair cut until I was in the third grade and then I grew it long.

And even though I have had it short at various times in my life it was because I wanted to.  Now it is below my waist and full of damage and i need to get it cut.  And you know what?  My mom keeps saying that I need to get it cut.   Constantly.  And I haven't, because I still resent her very much for forcing me to have a style of hair that I hated for so many years.  Or that one time she made me get a perm.

So, now that I realize the only reason I am not doing it is to spite her, I think I can finally get past this and cut my hair to a couple inches below my shoulders and be done with it.  I've found a salon after much looking, so all I need to do is call tomorrow and schedule an appointment.

It's good for me to be able to realize what this is and get through it.  This is not the only aspect of my life that Mom affects this way, unfortunately.  And all of it relates back to having no bodily auntonomy when I was younger.  So steps were taken today to help me realize this and I feel a lot lighter.

Alright, well I better get to making dinner now that the steaks have sat out for an hour and are at room temp.  Then after dinner I will work in the garden a little.  Instead of getting a whole load of dirt, I've realized that we have a bunch of totes that we were growing in for the last two years that have dirt in them.  I weeded several of them yesterday and I managed to screen all the dirt in one to pull out roots and other things, like the peanuts our crazy squirrel couple bury all over the place.  Two of the peanuts have roots on them, so I put them in a large pot and we will see what becomes of them.

Last year there was one that grew and actually formed some peanuts.  Of course, I didn't know what it was until I'd pulled it out and it didn't take to being replanted and died.  I didn't even know peanuts could grow here, but apparently they can.  And these one's hadn't formed any other nuts on them so they have a better chance.  I'll have to look up their needs to see if they need special care and make sure I planted them at the right depth.

Okay, really going now.

 

 

 

Freezer Saga--An Update--And Food Security

April 25th, 2022 at 05:17 am

Well, the freezer that was supposed to arrive in May has now been pushed off until the end of June.  But they do have some of another brand with the same size coming in this week.  It has a similar layout with the 21 cubic foot capacity.  We went in to look at the smaller version and decided to go ahead and switch to it.  So on Thursday we will be getting our new freezer. 

We have been without an upright since July and I wasn't sure we would ever get one, especially in time for harvest season.  We will finally be able to stock up on chicken and get a whole hog.  Mostly what I want from a hog is a lot of sausage, bacon, shanks, ribs, chops, and steaks.  I don't need any roasts or hams.  Then if I have room I will see if I can get a fall lamb.

We are really going for food security this year, where we don't have to rely on the grocery stores as much as possible.  I'm growing extra zucchini so I can freeze it and a ton of green beans, carrots, potatoes, celery, turnips, and parsnips for canning so we can have veggies through the year.  We'll be buying peaches and pears for canning as well off a farm.   I'll also be installing some low tunnels in the fall to keep the harvest going as long as possible.  I've grown peppers and lettuce and spinach into November before this way.

I still have a lot of work to do.  We'll be renting a sod cutter soon so that we can clear up some more garden space without having to do as much work getting the mat of weeds and grass out of the way.  It'll make it a lot easier on everyone.

We started work on the third 22 foot long garden bed.  A lot of weeding and leveling had to be done, but the bottom layer of cinder blocks has been laid to the halfway point.  DH is going to try to work on it a little at a time after work.  The bottom layer is always the most difficult.  Once the bottom layer is in place, we put down the weed barrier, and then the next two layers go on very easily since it is just a question of putting the adhesive layer down and then putting the blocks in place.  After the second layer goes down it has to dry for 24 hours and then the third layer can be put on and dry for 24 hours.

Once that is done we can work on pruning the giant rose bush down to about a foot high and put all those trimmings in the bottom of the raised bed.  Then the rose bush can be transplanted to the front yard and we can dig out the weed tree that has been impossible to kill.  We'll also be cutting down another tree and the wood will go in the bottom of future raised beds.  It's kind a cross between hugelkutur beds and lasagna style beds, since compost and manure and hay and cardboard will go in as well, before the four way garden soil fills the top foot.

I have a woman coming next week to dig out almost all of the raspberries and in exchange she will give me a couple bags of rabbit manure, some tomato and pepper plants, and some calendula starts.  I do like bartering when I can.  It saves me a lot of money.

I got the rest of the onions planted.  These ones are Walla Walla sweet onions.  They will have to be chopped and frozen as they don't keep long like the non-sweet yellows and reds I planted a week or so ago.  I up potted the tarragon, parsley and oregano in one pot, but will have to divide them up into their own pots in about a week or so if the new bed doesn't get finished.  I just needed them out of the four inch pots as they were just starting to get root bound.  I did locate some larger pots in the garage.  The oregano will need a big one, but the parsley and tarragon should be just fine in 8 inch pots.

I've been able to do quite a bit more than I thought I would.  I am getting stronger every day and a lot of the physical therapy has been designed to strengthen the muscles I need for gardening.  I may never be able to do weight bearing exercise again, but I have been walking without my cane and my son and I are going to try to take an actual walk tomorrow and see how I do.  One of the local parks has a flat loop to walk, I can't do hills without pain, so we would never be too far from the van if I had to go back.

Next on my agenda for the garden will be to weed out the strawberries.  This will be the last year for this set of strawberries.  I know what I want to get next year and will probably pre-order them in December or January.  They ship at time to plant so I need to get the jump on other people to get the variety I want, which alway sells out so early.  It is a much sweeter berry than the ones we currently have.  I'll likely pot up what we have now next year and sell them or exchange them for plants I want.

My goal is to eventually have the entire backyard and the little side yard devoted to growing as much of our own food as possible.  It's a lofty goal, and it might take five years to do it, but I know we will get there.

 

 

Another Step Towards Food Security in a Time of Shortages

April 4th, 2022 at 03:34 am

It was dry and overcast yesterday, so worked on the garden, filling a 22 foot by 3 foot raised garden bed with rotted manure and soil.  I can't do any weight bearing exercise, so I was in charge of raking the dirt out after DH and DS dumped it in, plus breaking up clumps in the manure.  This stuff has been composted for 3 years, so it wasn't gross or anything and anyway, I wore gloves.

So we now have two beds the same size ready to go, although one of them has 8 feet of garlic in it that I planted in November.  It's come up very well and I can't believe how huge around the stem is on the elephant garlic.  I will be planting onions in the rest of that bed.  The per pound cost of onions has gotten ridiculous and the selection is kind of gross sometimes.  I am planting mostly keeping onions, but I will plant some sweet onions to cut up and freeze.  I want to do some shallots this year and of course some bunching onions.

With the bed we just finished I will be planting carrots, parsnips, turnips, and radishes.  I can can all of these things, but I will just have the radishes for eating, not for canning.  I don't know if I like pickled radishes or not, so I am going to try making one pint and if I do, then I will make more, but I don't think I will.

We have 1 1/4 pallets of cinderblocks left, enough to make one more raised bed of the same length, so on the next sunny or at least dry day we will be weed eating the area down to dirt and then covering it with a tarp until the next time DH can get to it to start making the next bed.  I plan on growing zucchini, kohlrabi, chard, cabbage, cucucmbers, and herbs, in that bed.

I looked at the deck today and all the plastic boards are the same length and they seem to be tongue and groove.  This will be great material for raised beds, plus we can reuse the support beams and posts as well.  I can't see how they were attached to the supports though, there are no nails or screws, so I am wondering if they were attached on the underside.  DS will have to look underneath to determine it when it is time to take the deck apart.  I don't think DH is capable of crawling under there anymore.

So those beds will be built where we had the potatoes last year, which is a 16 by 20 foot area. I am planning to transfer the strawberries into one of those beds, because where they were last year led to a lot of scorching of the plants in mid-July through August when we were having temps in the 90's and when it wasn't it was in the high 80's.  But it didn't kill them.  Which reminds me, I have to get a couple more room air conditioners before summer.

I'd like to also plant asparagus in that bed so it can pull double duty, but I think it will have to wait for next year.  The two grow well together since one has a deep root system and the other has a very shallow root system.  That area gets afternoon shade so will get a break from the sun for about 4 hours before it comes back around the giant cedar tree in the neighbor's yard and gets sun for a couple more hours.

As for the other bed, I am thinking tomatoes and peppers since it will be far less shaded than the first bed.  

We are putting potatoes in next to the yet to be built third cinderblock bed.  It is a 22 foot by 16 foot area, so a bit more space than the other and it will get more sun.  Eventually that area will get three more cinderblcok 22 x 3 foot beds, and we will just plant potatoes in raised beds in the future.  We have plenty of potatoes that we planted last year that have sprouted that we will be planting, but I also got 4 new types of seed potatoes that will ship when it is time to plant, so soon.

I wanted to try some fingerlings, get more Kennebecs, a different red, and German butterballs.  The last ones are supposed to do really well here and are very yellow inside, more so than Yukon golds.  I couldn't get them to try last year as they were sold out.  This year I was smart and ordered in December.  Everything I got is supposed to be long keepers.

I am hoping with better sun placement, we will get a higher yield this year.  And if I like the new varieties, that I will have enough of them to replant with next year, especially the German butterballs, because buying seed potatoes to have them shipped is expensive.  And the ones available locally are not the ones I want to grow and don't even necessarily do well here.

We plan on digging out and giving away some mature raspberry plants.  We have one person that eats them so we will leave a three foot area and get rid of the rest.  We can put up posts and trellis green beans there.  It'll only be the one row but since it is pole beans it will produce and produce.  Some will be green and some will be purple.

Once the deck is torn down, we will be moving the huge climbing rose bush, that used to climb the apple tree before it was cut down, into the front yard where the deck was and dig out a weed tree, then we can build another raised bed row that is 20 x 16 feet.  And if we get a stump grinder to take out the old apple tree stump at least enough so we can level the dirt, and tear down the old chicken coop,  I want to get a 10 x 12 foot plexiglass green house and we can put in two beds inside it for growing sweet potatoes and tomatoes in the future.

That probably won't happen this year, but it is on the agenda, as is tearing down the rabbit shed and planting fruit trees.  I want two more Italian prune plum trees, a Bing cherry tree and a Ranier cherry tree.  I don't know if those ones cross fertilize or not, but there are plenty of flowering cherry trees in the neighborhood.  I also want a good apple tree.  Maybe Opal apples or Tsuguras.  And maybe even a cold hearty nectarine and a pair of male and female cold hardy kiwis.  We won't let anything get huge, we need to be able to pick them easily, so will keep them pruned to a reasonable height.  And I need to get a huckleberry bush from a new supplier.

The dead, rootless sticks Tennessee Wholesale Nursery sent me last year never did anything and they refused to honor their warranty when I told them well before the year mark, and they said to just wait and see, then refused to give me my money back when I did just that.  Never do business with these losers.  I am getting a one gallon plant in a pot shipped to me from a reputable nursery.  I would like two but since one plant is $37, I may have to wait until next year to buy a second one.

So that's the plan.  It may be a three year plan or maybe a five year plan even, but we will do what we can this year, so we can grow and preserve as much food as possible and be far less dependent on the supply chain.  

More Snow

December 30th, 2021 at 11:02 pm

I wish they would fix the time stamps to be accurate to the poster's location.  They've been off for two years and it is driving me crazy.  I'd like my posts to reflect the actual day and time of my post.

Anyway, we had more snow almost a half an hour after my last post and it was about 2 inches, and then 1 inch later that night, and last night it started snowing around 11:30 p.m. and my husband said it was still snowing at 8 a.m. when he started work.  It's not now, but it dumped another 8 inches.  Some of it is melting now because it is bright and sunny and I can see the icicles dripping, but that is just going to mean ice.

I'm glad we made it to the store when we did, even if the only root veggies we could get were sweet potatoes.  The parsnips were smaller than carrots and the turnips were tiny.  I was hoping to get out today to get cheese at Winco and see if they had them there.  So I guess we'll have to make do with the two turnips we have and the two giant parsnips.  We have carrots and we have a 65 pounds left of the potatoes we grew, so that's plenty.  I can stretch the parsnips by cutting them in half, so can get four meals out of them.  We never have them by themselves, but mixed with other veggies.  If it melts enough tomorrow we'll go, but otherwise no grocery shopping until February 1st, except for greens, milk, and eggs.

I've lost 6.8 pounds in the last two days.  The first day I wasn't on my diet yet, I'd just dropped down from 4 cans of soda a day to one.  I got back on them when Thanksgiving happened, and they are so addictive.  But then next day I was on my diet so most of the weight dropped of by this morning.  I really hope I can do it this time.

My whole family said they would try with me, but both my husband and son ate a ton of pancakes this morning and then DH had a sandwich for lunch.  That is not cutting back on carbs and that is not trying.  I guess I have to do this on my own again, which kind of sucks, but I can't let it derail me like it always does to have no support.  I know my daughter would try if the other two would, but if they don't she won't.  Even if she's the one who needs to the most for health reasons.  Oh, well.  The only person I can control is myself, so that is what I must do.

I think I'll spend the day looking at the two seed catalogs that came the day after Christmas.  That always makes me happy.  Although I won't be buying seeds this year unless it is one or two items.  I bought plenty last year.  I just hope the garden is big enough this year that I can plant everything I want to plant.

True date:  12/30/2021  True time:  3:02 p.m. 

Freezer Issues and Hog/Chicken Fund

October 18th, 2021 at 12:11 am

I don't know if I've talked about the freezer debacle or not, but the freezer we bought last December broke down in late July and we have been put through the wringer with Frigidaire ever since, trying to get them to honor their warranty.  For a long while it just felt like they were trying to run out the warranty.  Plus no one in town fixes Frigidaires anymore unless you've bought it from them.  We didn't buy it from any of those places.  We would have, but no one other than Home Depot had freezers when we bought it due to shortages.

Well, I felt from the beginning that the door didn't match up right, but at least the freezer was working, even if the light kept coming on saying it wasn't at temp, but it was still at freezing so we dealt with it.  Then in July thing started thawing out and it started running all the time and then it sounded like an airplane was taking off every couple of hours, which definitely sounded like the motor or a belt to me, so I unplugged it.  So we managed to split what was in it between our small chest freezer, our one fridge freezer, and two shelves and the door of Mom's freezer, and whatever we would eat for the next few days went into the fridge to finish thawing out.

And that started the hours on the phone trying to get it sorted.  First it took a month to find someone who would repair it for us under warranty and they were in Seattle.  So twice Frigidaire sent them a repair order for the model number of our Freezer, but with the word refrigerator on it.  So because those didn't match, they repair company rejected it.  Of course it took a week for them to receive the order, a week for them to reject it, and a week for us to try to resolve the problem with Frigidaire.  So that's six weeks.  Then we finally escalated it to someone higher up and she completely erased everything that was in the computer under our names and restarted from scratch.  She made sure everything lined up, model number matched freezer, sent it off to the repair place and...one week later, they recieved the work order and it said our model number and...refrigerator.

So the repair shop is saying they don't match again and they can't fix it until it does.  So back to Frigidaire and talked to the same woman and she escatled it higher and that someone went and yelled at the repair shop that it was on their end this time and to pull their heads out and fix this.  So we finally got a person scheduled and they came out on Monday.  And I was right.  The door wasn't hung properly and the gasket was irregular and not fitting right.  And the motor had burnt up most of the way and it was a good thing I unplugged it when I did.

So now it is going to take a while for the parts and they will be back on November 4th with a new freezer door and a new motor and hopefully then we will be back up and running with a little over a month of warranty left.  So while they didn't quite run out the warranty, it was close.  I mean, we still would have gotten it fixed as they started the ticket before it expired, but this took forever and I am quite frustrated by the sheer idiocy of the whole mess.  I am also frustrated over how much we had to do, instead of Frigidaire just calling them the first time and getting the mistake corrected, we had to do all the work of calling back and forth between the two places.

But I won't believe it is over until the freezer runs again.

On the bright side, the lady who raises pigs, pushed our butcher date out until November 12th instead of October 12th, which should give us enough time to see whether the repaired freezer is working.  She said if we have to we can push out to the December 12th date.  She sends hogs to butcher every month and what isn't bought by regular people is sold to stores.  And we can keep pushing it if it turns out the repairs don't work and we end up buying a new freezer, even if that means the end of next summer or something after we save up again.  She's very good to work with.

I hope we can get it for the 11/12 butcher date, though.  I will feel a lot better with both a steer and a hog in the freezers and I can work on buying organic chicken for whatever space is left.

I had $175 left in the grocery envelope due to having to not buy any beef anymore, so I added that to the Hog/Chicken Fund.

$1013.00 Starting Balance

+_175.00 Amount Added

---------------------

$1188.00 New Balance

And once we have all of the pork and chicken in the freezer I will start saving up for both a lamb and the next steer with leftover grocery money.  It will be nice not to have to go down the meat section at the grocery store anymore.  Doing it this way really works for us.  We have better quality meat at lower than grocery store prices, especially beef.  $4.50 a pound for grassfed ribeye steak is looking very good right now.

I am also thinking about buying some emu steaks.  We've had ostrich, but never emu.  They are supposed to taste very similar, but emu is half the price of ostritch.  We like ostritch but don't consider it affordable.  We've found a place that ships it, but with shipping delays they say it could be partially thawed by the time it arrives, since they are way across the country and freezer packs or dry ice only last so long.  I'm hoping to find some place closer.  We do have an emu farm in Oregon, but all they seem to sell is the oil, not the meat.  It's hard to internet search it when these two places seem to have all the results lead back to them.

If I do order I want to make a smaller order to make sure we all like it.  Smaller orders are harder because they thaw out faster.  Larger orders have a lot of frozen meat to help keep the bulk of it frozen longer.  We'll see.  I think that's for something down the road, maybe when the shipping gets back to normal.  We will see.

 

I Have the Beef

July 10th, 2021 at 03:07 am

We drove out to Lynden Meats today and picked up our whole beef. I wasn't sure we were going to fit it all in the back of the mini-van, but we did. For those who are interested in pricing we paid a $400 deposit, the remainder to the farmer was $1892.50 at slaughter, and the cut, wrap, and kill fee was $663.14. That was a grand total of $2955.64 for 665 pounds of hanging weight.

It works out to $4.51/lb for pasture raised, grass/hay fed only, organic beef, including soup bones, liver, heart, and tallow. Even on sale I can no longer find any beef under $4/lb and closer to $5/lb. Most organic grass fed beef is $7.99/lb just for hamburger and higher for others. That hasn't really gone up like regular beef prices, but this is so much less. We had some fantastic steaks tonight, but for the most part we will be using up the storebought beef first since it is older and not as well wrapped. There's not that much left, though. Like one or two pot roasts and 6 4 pks of steaks.

I'm so glad we cut our grocery budget to the bone to save up for this. I feel so much more secure with that spread throughout my freezers (which all have alarms). I don't put all my eggs in one basket since the Great Freezer Meltdown parts 1 and 2 over a decade ago. I'll feel even better when we get our hog at the end of October, although that will require a drive to Del Fox in Stanwood, which is a bit further than Lynden.

We've got a lot of old freezer burned chicken and turkey breast that will be going in crab pots. We would have used it last year, but DH's friend's boat was broken down most of the summer. We saved it because crab aren't that picky. The season starts for that in two weeks and they'll probably fish as well. So in the next two weeks I need to make up the soup bones into broth and can it to get it out of the way for seafood. I'll also likely make the turkey that is in the mini-chest freezer as it is taking up a lot of space.

I put $33 into the hog fund last night when I cleaned out my grocery envelope, but the cut and wrap fee was higher than I'd calculated, so I took $63 out of the hog fund and .14 out of the coin jar. So that leaves the hog fund lower than it was at $722, but I'll keep adding as we go. The end of October is a little over 3.5 months away. Then I will keep saving because I also want to get some organic chicken and possibly a lamb in the spring.

 

 

Garden Work

June 2nd, 2021 at 09:58 pm

We finished building the second 21 foot long raised bed on the weekend and worked on getting it filled up on Monday.  We let it settle and my intention was to plant it on Tuesday, but it was 86 degrees for most of the day.  It finally cooled off enough to be outside around 8:30.  DS and I transplanted the onions out of the totes I was growing them in.  I gave them a deep watering and will water again tonight.  We did get the rest of the blackberries planted, too.

By the time we were done moving the onions the sun was almost down, so I didn't get to plant any seeds.  It is hot again today, but not nearly as awful, so I will go out after dinner and plant seeds for carrots, radishes, parsnips, broccoli, cauliflower, and kohlrabi.  I am only going to do one row of cauliflower.  Last year was the first time I was able to successfully grow it and I'm still a little hesitant to plant more after years of failures.  Since I only have the two beds for now, I'd rather not risk much.

DH isn't going to have time to work on the third bed for probably a couple of weeks.  He's got a lot of overtime planned.  The next paycheck should be a very good one.  I can plant more broccoli and perhaps cauliflower then for the freezer.  And I'll sow more carrots for canning.

We've been picking strawberries for a week now.  There hasn't been much, enough for everyone to have one every other day, but a lot are ripening.  They are very good berries.

I still have to plant the sweet potatoes.  I got a 90 day variety called Beuregard.  I have the slips in water in a window.  I am going to grow them in big round totes, with trellising for the vines to grow up.  I'll put the totes on black plastic, because I don't want the runners escaping out of the tote and going into the ground.  The whole point of growing this way is to avoid digging in the ground.  We'll set the totes up where the fourth bed will go.  That way we can build the bed around it and next year have a fourth one ready to go.  As well as a fifth and sixth one.

Next year we'll really be able to grow a lot of food.  This year it will mostly be eating fresh from the garden with some to can and freeze, but not enough.  Still, it should lower food costs July through April and that money can go to save for pork and chicken bulk purchases.  And I should have harvestable lettuce in a couple of weeks and radishes in 3 to 4.  It will be nice when I can just cut the grocery budget in half for most of the summer.

Emergency Fund Update and Beef Fund Almost Met

May 14th, 2021 at 05:43 pm

$15,880.55 Starting Balance

+__,244.67 Amount Added

---------------------------

$16,125.22 New Balance

That means I have $6,107.64 left to save to hit 6 months of expenses, which is my next goal.  That will put the EF at $22,232.86.  I'd like to make that by year's end, but I think it is going to be closer to February unless DH gets quite a bit of overtime or a really good Christmas bonus.

Ultimately, though, I have a goal of 6 month's take home pay, not just 6 month's expenses.  That would be a little over $36,000, which is an additional $13,767.14.  That's likely take an additional 18 months, so around 2 years and 2 months from now I should hit that, barring OT or raises.  Raises are unlikely as they have a wage freeze going on at DH's work.  He hasn't gotten one in over 2 years.  Normally this is a place that gives yearly merit raises, but Covid hit hard.  It could be another year before they unfreeze wages.  They have started to rehire some of the people that were laid off, so that is promising.

I am $31 short of the highest estimate on the beef costs, based on a 750 to 850 pound hanging weight.  With the $2000 I had set aside previously added to the money I've been scrimping out of the grocery budget I am almost there.  I need $3638 total and after the $179 I saved out of the last grocery envelope, I am at $3607.  And from my experience, farmer's always estimate high, but the hanging weight actually tends to be lower.  So it is more likely it will be closer to 750 pounds than 850 pounds.  I've also reserved my beef.  I am getting a whole with a butcher date of either late July or early August (he's got two dates for two different sets of steers).

Planning out my Yearly Food Needs to Lower the Grocery Budget

February 10th, 2021 at 04:13 am

Every year I make up a food preservation plan, which is an overarching pantry plan, really.  I keep the previous year's plans so I can see what I planned before, what I actually achieved, and what I might want to do more or less of.  This includes a canning plan, a dehydrating plan, a freezer plan, and a long-term staples plan.  It's really quite in depth and when I make them up, I feel like I've got a really good handle on things for the coming year.

This year I will need to fill 1,316 jars, 626 quart jars, 28 pint and a half jars, 573 pint jars, and 89 pint and a half jars.  I have around 750 reusable canning lids, but will need to buy more and maybe some metal ones if I can find them.  I prefer metal ones for waterbath canning, but reusable for pressure canning.  They are supposed to be back in stock now, but there was huge shortage during 2020 due to people growing and canning a lot more food because they were worried about food shortages.  I think I have enough jars, but if I need to, I can store the culinary herbs, medicinal herbs, and teas I grow in take out soup containers or spaghetti sauce jars.

Knowing how much I want to do, helps me to plan how much of what I am going to plant in the garden, how much freezer space I will need, and how many mylar bags and food grade buckets I need to have on hand, and of course the aforementioned jars and lids.

All of this, if I can achieve it, should cut our grocery spending by half.  That is assuming a good growing season and a good harvest year.  It is worth it to me even though it is a lot of work.  When you have to eat gluten free and you don't want a ton of processed food in your diet, and you prefer organic, you have to find other ways of doing things so you can actually afford all that.

In my case, it turns me into a prepper, at least with food.  Not a crazy one, mind you, but like what our grandparents and great grandparents did, because they had to.  I will be most comfortable, especially in these days of pandemic, to have a year's supply on hand.  That is my ultimate goal.  We have been building it back since the year we had to use it almost all up when DH was unemployed for 10 months.

Anyway, if you would like to see my 2021 Food Preservation Plan I made a video of it. 

Text is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iDcIjsSbTI and Link is
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iDcIjsSbTI  Maybe it will be helpful to anyone else who wants to build their own plan.  Mine is for a family of four adults.

 

This and That

January 17th, 2021 at 06:07 am

My daughter came home from the hospital last night.  They got all of the tumor.  We have to wait a week or so for the biopsy results, but it did not appear to be cancerous.  She is doing well, eating soup and Welch's version of Jell-O, which has no artificial dyes in it.  She's a little high on the pain medicine, but that's kind of how she reacts to it.

I started physical therapy on Friday.  They can't do much with me because of how inflammed I am right now, but they started an electrical stimulation thing called a tens machine and did that over the L-4 and L-5 vertabrae on my back.  I think it made a small amount of difference, but it is early days.

The pantry challenge is going well.  We still have not gone to the grocery store yet.  I have only repeated one meal and that was because there were leftovers.  I have salmon and spot prawns thawing in the fridge, both of which my husband and son caught.  DD thinks those will be easy for her to eat.  Her jaw and throat are pretty sore from having a breathing tube in during surgery.  So easy to chew foods are on the agenda for a couple of days.  We have a lot of seafood in the freezer, but it is getting close to the time when it needs to be used up by.

I finally succeeded in finding some dye free, fragrance free shampoo and conditioner.  I am hoping they are good products.  I still can't find a body wash like that that doesn't use coconut oil.  We make do on the castile bar baby soap that is fragrance and dye free, but sometimes you just want a liquid body wash.

If that new stimulus Biden wants passes that will give you money for all dependents not just children, we will be getting quite a lot of money.  DH made a mistake when he was trying to figure out our taxes early.  Turns out we will owe somewhere in the $900 range, not the over $2000 he'd originally thought.

If so, and if this stimulus comes quickly I figure we'll open a spousal IRA for 2020, which may be enough to get rid of that tax bill, and see about getting a new ceiling in the tiny bathroom.  If it doesn't pass or we don't get it, then I guess we will just have to save up to fix it.  First off I will need to price everything, but I think DH and DS can do it themselves.

It should only require two pieces of the moisture resistant drywall and rental of a drywall lifter, and some tape, some mud, and some paint.  We have plastic sheeting to keep paint from dripping onto the floor, tub, sink, mirror, and shelves.  We saved everything our mattresses were wrapped in.

I got my first seed order today from Victory seeds.  I am really excited about starting to plan for the new garden.  We are completely redoing it with cinderblock raised beds that we will use mortar on to make a permanent structure.  The wooden beds just fall apart too quickly and I don't want to throw away anymore money on this.

I have another order coming from Fedco and I have to order a couple more things yet, but not much.  I am just waiting on one of the companies to put up its seeds for the year, which should be any day now.  It's just the type of broccoli and the type of lettuce I want.

Not too much going on here.  I have slowly been working my way through the novel I am reading and am about 80% done.  I can't read like I used to since the concussion a few years ago and because of the floaters in my eyes so I mostly take 3 to 4 weeks to read a large print novel these days.  I set my goal on Goodreads to 12 books read for the year.  I listen to a lot of audio stories and books, though, but I don't count that as actual reading.  I do read quite a bit online, but I have to put the magnification up pretty high.

I've now lost 13.4 pounds, but I gave in and ate gluten today, still within the confines of my diet.  It was breaded cod fish.  We will see how I feel tomorrow.  I don't react like my kids do, but it usually makes me feel bloated.  At least I made it halfway through the month.

 

Bits and Pieces

January 13th, 2021 at 06:26 am

The Eat from the Pantry Challenge has been going well.  We haven't bought anything at the grocery store since December.  I had a massive I don't know what to cook/I don't want to cook moment tonight because I am just exhausted, but my son stepped up and listed ideas and then helped me do everything but chop the onion to get dinner on the table.  He's been so good about that.  He really wants us to get that grass fed side of beef.  He's also been really encouraging when I want to eat gluten, by talking me out of it.  I'm going to hold out as long as I can before I buy some fresh produce and milk.  The challenge allows for that, just to keep any spending to a minimum.  We still have both.  I'll be baking gluten free bread tomorrow.

I've lost a total of 10.8 pounds since the start of my diet the day after Christmas.  I'm happy with that and I'm past the point of wanting to cheat on my diet.  My diet does allow for gluten, but my personal goal is to stay off it for the month, then possibly the year.  It'll be a step by step, moment by moment journey.  I hope I can hang with the diet for the whole year, even if I don't stay off gluten.  I'm usually pretty gung ho for a while, but then life happens.

I'd like to stay away from eating out this year, too.  I feel better after not having eaten take out at all this year.  I know if we have to travel to Seattle and back for medical reasons there will have to be a meal somewhere, but MIL says she will pay for all travel costs related to DD's medical stuff and that includes food and lodging.  She's also paying the Virginia Mason bill for surgery for us when it comes, too.  So that will be DD's deductible and her out of pocket max and then we won't have to pay for any medical stuff for DD for the rest of the year.

Things are doing better here.  My little grand niece has been home from the hospital for 2 days and is doing a lot better.  Still waiting on the test results, though.  My sister and her husband came for a visit today (they are the grandparents of my grand niece).  I stayed six feet away from both of them and talked for a little while.  They were just dropping off their son, who lives here, and then BIL has a doctor's appointment down this way on Thursday.

DD had her Covid test today and goes in for her liver tumor to be removed on Thursday.  I am not going down, just DH.  They won't let us in to see her at all and the last car trip I had to Seattle put me out of commission for weeks.  It's what led to the pulled muscle.  I can't just sit in the car for several hours and wait until the hotel room is ready.  It hurts too much.  And since I won't drive in Seattle traffic due to the lunatics (seriously, Orange County is sane compared to Seattle drivers), DH it is.  And she is honestly a Daddy's girl.

They are keeping her for 24 hours observation due to the secondary adrenal insufficiency, but it is a laproscopic surgery, unless something makes it not be, in which case it will become a  3 day stay.  I hope it is the former, because her anxiety levels will be very high not seeing one of us for 3 days.  She hasn't had a panic attack in a long time, they were mostly related to cortisol crashes, but this is the sort of thing that might bring one on.

I start physical therapy again on Friday.  I don't want to, because it didn't help last time and I am worse off now, but they won't do an MRI until I've done it.  I know there is something going on with my left hip that is beyond degenerative rheumatoid arthritis.  I think there might be a detached or torn ligament.  So I'll go, I'll do the exercises, and I will hope against hope that they will work.

I am working on getting the kitchen organized and more disability friendly.  We got some new shelves put up and the best part of that is I have the recycle bins at a level where I don't have to bend down to put stuff in them.  They are at belly-height for me, so I can just pull the bin out and put something in it.  Because of the damge to the L-4 and L-5 vertebrae, it was pretty hard to bend to the floor and they were under something so I couldn't just drop them straight down.  DD is pleased with that, too.  These are just our inside bins that we fill and then take out to dump in the bins that go curbside.  We recycle more than anyone else on our block.  We also only put out a garbage can every other week and every other house puts out one every week.  It cuts our bill significantly.

Well, that's it for tonight.

This and That

August 29th, 2020 at 11:29 pm

I spent 4 hours yesterday snapping beans. DS helped me during the last hour. All of that resulted in 12 quarts of green beans, bringing the total I have canned so far to 19 quarts. I need to go out and pick some more today, but likely won't snap and can them until tomorrow. My hands need a break. I need to pick tomatoes today, too, and maybe see about getting some of the herbs in and drying. The carrots might be ready to pull and I need to do a test dig on the potatoes that were planted the earliest.

All I really want to do today is veg out in front of Hulu watching ER. I forgot to take my blood pressure medicine yesterday until bedtime, not the ideal time to take it, but I took it then. I feel very hungover, but at least the fluid is leaving my body. I swelled up pretty bad. I thought it was just from all the repetitive motion of snapping the beans, but no. I think I need to start setting reminders, because I forget to take it at least once a week.

My weight loss continues. I am down 11.8 pounds and have 1.9 pounds to go to finish my dietbet. I have 11 days to go. I think I will crush this if I don't do anything stupid with food between now and then. I don't think DH will win his. He is only at 48% of goal, but at least he is losing something. Other than quitting pop, I'm not sure what he is doing. I don't think he is exercising at all. I mean, I'm not, either, other than gardening, but I am controlling my diet.

Yesterday was my mom's birthday. She is 81. It was pretty low-key as she wasn't up for anything. She did get calls from some of her grandkids, an email from one of them, and of course my kids saw her in person. She forgot it was her birthday for most of the day anyway. My eldest sister came over. I don't know if my middle sister called her or not. I didn't ask. She usually sends a card, but she's in the process of moving so I don't know if she remembered to this year or not.

I'm debating on what to make for dinner tonight. Maybe we'll barbecue some burgers and sweet onions, patty pan squash, corn on the cob and have some fresh cucumbers. That is a pretty easy dinner. If DH is too tired to drag out the BBQ than we will just do it on the griddle inside. I really am in the mood for burgers, just not takeout burgers. I'm avoiding wheat, so gluten free buns or no buns is the deal.

So far we only ate out once this week. My goal for next week is to not eat out at all. But once was sure better than four times. I am really tired of wasting money on restaurant food. I just need to have the energy to make it happen at home. DS said he'd step up to the plate more, so hopefully he actually will.

I need to try to make it to the grocery store tomorrow. Chicken and chuck roast are on sale and even with limits, they take the same amount of time to can, so between the two I can get enough meat for a canner load. DH will cut up the roasts and I will do the chicken. We'll get it done.

Purchases, Money Coming, and Garden Planning

January 21st, 2020 at 06:58 am

I made two ebay purchases today totaling $102.43. Quite a bit is shipping, but with ceramic and glass that's a given. They have to wrap it thickly and individually. I have a discontinued dinnerware pattern that I have been slowly adding to as I find semi-reasonable prices. They are never going to be completely reasonable since you can't get it anywhere but the used market, but these ones were much better prices than I've been seeing. I have been watching for about two to three years.

So I got the salt and pepper set (light wear on the bottoms) and 8 16 oz tumblers that had never been used. I have been searching for the glasses a lot longer than the salt and pepper set. I used to have four but they all got broken over the years. I would like to get 4 more after these come if I can find a decent price. They have more, but not with reasonable prices. The glasses will only be for special occasions, not for every day use. This comes out of the household budget.

I got my Costco membership 2% back certificate today. It is for $89.69. I also got an email today saying my Costco credit card rewards check was coming as well, which will be $415.54. That's a total of $505.23. The Aerogarden Farm Plus XL

Text is https://www.aerogarden.com/farm-xl.html and Link is
https://www.aerogarden.com/farm-xl.html costs $499.95 so that will be enough to cover it without dipping into my upcoming birthday money. Since I am downsizing my outdoor garden due to my autoimmune diseases making it hard for me to do things, I will be growing lettuce and herbs and a couple cherry tomato plants inside this year. Maybe a cucumber as well or a jalapeño plant.

The outdoor garden will be down to 3 raised beds and have strawberries, green onions, my big rosemary plant, zucchini, radishes, and peppers. Maybe kohlrabi. We may grow green beans in the ground, but I am just not sure. I will still have my bee balm, yarrow, echinacea and calendula in the trash barrels. Then they are contained but still have plenty of root room. They are all spreaders so if not contained will take over. But they are my favorite for making a mixed herbal tea.

I still want to grow what I can however I can despite my limitations. Fresh veggies are so important and this way I can have them year round, too. I have had a good experience with the smaller system and the fertilizer is organic. And I can grow all the lettuce I need without worrying about recalls and food poisoning, plus have a bigger variety than what is available in the supermarket. One day all I may be able to do is grow inside from a wheelchair, but hopefully that is a long, long way off.

Amazon Order of Bulk Flours Came

January 13th, 2020 at 09:09 pm

Yesterday was such a lazy day for me. I pretty much stayed in bed under the electric blanket and read. I still have no stamina. I wonder if I was on the antibiotics long enough?

It snowed yesterday and it is still around today, but it is not very much. Maybe 1/2 inch if that. I hope it goes away soon. The older I get, the more I hate snow. I mean, I appreciate its beauty, but nothing else about it. It just makes everything extra cold and the roads hard to drive on. I used to love it when I was a kid, but now when I see snow, I think "Get off my lawn!" as if it were a recalcitrant child and I an old fogey.

My Amazon order came yesterday, too. Well, part of it did. It is still weird having things delivered on Sunday. I got a bucket white rice flour, a bucket of tapioca flour, a bucket of potato starch, a 3 lb bag of sorghum flour, and a 3 lb bag of extra fine sweet rice flour (that's more for cakes and pastries). The latter two came in paper bags. The first four are for the master flour recipe. I already had xanthan gum.

So today I will make up the master flour recipe and put it in the stainless steel canister I also ordered for that purpose. It should hold two batches of the flour recipe based on volume. Then I will make up the master dough recipe and go from there.

I really like the little one gallon buckets some of the flours came in. They are light enough for me to manage and air tight. I think as I finish them off I will transfer the flours that don't come in buckets to those buckets and relabel them. They all stack, so they will take up less space that way, and I won't have to deal with all the plastic bags. I should go through the white rice flour fairly quickly as that is what is used in the greatest quantities.

I am still waiting on a couple of things from that order, including the bucket opener, but I can use a paint can opener on them as well. I also got some pure palm shortening for making biscuits and a stainless steel ice bin for the freezer that should come today. The bucket opener isn't slated to arrive until February 3rd! Ridiculous. Prime has spoiled me.

I spent about $202 on the entire order, but in the long run, buying in bulk is much cheaper. The ice bin was pricey and so was the canister, but you can't beat stainless steel for durability and longevity. We try to keep away from plastic (especially single use plastic) as much as we can. It is not always possible, but we do our best to use glass, ceramic, wood, and stainless steel when we can. It is definitely hard with these specialty flours, because most of them do come in plastic. And plastic does keep out bugs and larvae, generally, so it is a trade off.

I guess as long as I am mindful about is, that is the best I can do.

Learning to Be Gluten Free in 2020 plus Health Update

January 3rd, 2020 at 08:41 pm

I dragged myself to the doctor on Monday and after 4 days on antibiotics and prednisone, I am starting to see a minor improvement. I had some wheezing in my upper chest, that wasn't quite bronchitis and a massive sinus infection. I waited too long to go, but I always think it is just a cold that never leaves. I am sleeping a lot, but in fits and starts. That's the prednisone. It always messes up sleep. I am starting to get a little strength back though, and my desire for real food instead of take out has come roaring back.

I did manage to make dinner two nights in a row, beef stew with gluten free flour for the gravy, and herb baked chicken, herb roasted potatoes (different herbs), and broccoli last night. Tonight's dinner is loaded baked potato soup, although I might make steaks on the side. Usually I don't, but that can be a very carb heavy meal if I just go with the bacon as the only protein source. It depends on how much energy I have. This will be my first time making it using gluten free flour in the roux. The stew gravy went well, though, so I can't imagine the roux will be bad.

I baked my first loaf of gluten free bread last night. It turned out pretty well despite me leaving out the sugar. I was wondering why it took so long to rise, but the yeast didn't have any sugar to eat. Next time it should rise in the allotted time frame. I didn't realize until I tasted it that I had done that, but when I thought back to it, I didn't remember putting sugar in with the warm water and yeast to proof it. It still bubbled without the sugar, so I know the yeast was active, just it would have been more active with it.

It looks like bread and it tastes like bread and is nice and soft, but I can definitely taste the eggs in it. I don't usually make egg breads. There are other recipes I will be trying to, but I will do this one again properly first. The interesting thing about gluten free bread is that if you cool it upright on a rack the top will sink, but if you cool it on it's side, rotating it occasionally, the top doesn't sink. Also, you have to wait three hours for it to cool before slicing it. Slice it sooner and it will crumble, but that goes away completely with the cooling time. I did a lot of research before starting this journey.

I will be attempting gluten free pizza dough tomorrow. I may do one with gluten free flour instead of two and do the second one with cauliflower crust. The second I know is good. On the agenda for when I feel a lot better will be learning how to make gluten free cookies, brownies, and cakes. Not often, though. Just on occasion. There is a birthday in February (mine) and March (DS's) that I want to make gluten free cakes for and I want to make sure they taste good first so I will have to experiment a bit.

DH and I need to start looking for a place to go to for our little holiday getaway for our 25th wedding anniversary in March. We don't want to go too far away, within a couple hours driving distance, but I am not sure if we want to go back to the place we were at before in March. It has quite a steep hill down to it and there is often snow on the ground still in March in that area so it might make it hard to get back up out of there and we don't have chains for the van. I do want to be by the water, though. It really recharges my batteries.

Gardening and Cheese Wraps

April 10th, 2019 at 06:58 am

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.

Hand Me Ups

March 24th, 2019 at 11:56 pm

I was just given several t-shirts, tank tops, and one long-sleeved shirt by someone who has gotten too heavy for them. They are younger than me, so I call them hand me ups instead of hand me downs. I was just saying I needed to buy a couple of t-shirts to get me through until I am in the next size down, but now I don't have to. They are all in great condition, too. I like it when life works out like that.

The only one that might not work for me is a yellow tank top. I don't wear yellow well. But I guess I can use it around the house or in the garden where I won't be out in public. Now all I need to buy for myself is a cardigan and some socks.

So far I have kept the weight off that I lost while super sick. I am still sick, can't seem to shake the runny nose and throat cough from post nasal drip, but I am pretty functional. I am going to go ahead and go to the doctor this week, though. I think my flu may have turned into a sinus infection and that is why I can't seem to beat it.

My legs swelled up after my second day of grocery shopping, but what is really great is that they did not swell like they used to when I was eating the food with the nitrites and nitrates. Of course I have also lost nearly 18 pounds, so maybe it was all in my calves? No, most of it is in my stomach that I have lost, but maybe it still helps me to swell up less. I never felt like my skin was going to burst like a sausage. My ankle and knee joints hurt all day yesterday, but are somewhat better today.

I get my first enbrel delivery on Tuesday. I am hoping that will make a big improvement in my RA symptoms. It takes about a month of use to see a difference, though, they say. I'll be taking it in addition to my hydroxychloroquine. I'm not thrilled about the long term possible side effects of enbrel, but if it does help with the pain and inflammation, then I guess I can worry about those later. I'm 49. It's not like I'm going to live forever anyway.