A New Week

Glad this weekend is over.

Hubby and son are still working on the roof. During the tear off of the shingles Hubby determined that the last roof job wasn’t done right. After the tear off he saw the result…lots of rotted wood and rafters. That has meant lots of unexpected repair which also means lots of unexpected money. Also unexpected was the rain we got while they were working. Thankfully there were no leaks into the house, but we did have some in the garage and had part of the ceiling fall. After taking a week off of work to do this, hubby is only half done with roof repairs and is back to work this week. So the rest of the repairs will be done when he gets home from work. It is going to take him a while to finish, but it will get done.

I’ve been doing what I can to help outside, but my health gets in the way. So I have been trying my best to make sure they are fed well, hydrated well, and rested well. Yesterday while making breakfast we found that our refrigerator stopped working. Another unexpected expense. Well, we lived without a working stove for quite a while before we could afford a new one, we’ll live without a working fridge also until we can afford a new one. Thankfully the weather is getting colder and we have two deep freezers to keep us in ice.

I did clean and vacuum the fridge well, even cleaned under it to see if it would help. It did not. If we were more knowledgeable about fixing things like this we could probably figure it out and get it working again. Since we aren’t, we’ll just muddle through and do what we can.

I cleaned out the fridge and freezer and moved what I could to the deep freezers. I moved what needed to be cold up into the freezer area because it is smaller and will be easier to keep cold. We have jugs of frozen water in our deep freezers to take up space so they’ll run more efficiently, and we’ll rotate those into the fridge to keep things cold. It will be like a big cooler. Once the weather is colder, we’ll be able to use the garage to keep things cold as well.

And while cleaning the fridge, I pulled the chicken parts out that I had been saving in the freezer to make stock. I ended up canning eleven pints of chicken stock and three pints of chicken. I still have pork and beef bones to make stock from, but I’ll wait on that.

Step by step, right? We’ll get through this, it will just take time. God has been very good to us and even when things are hard He never lets us go through it alone. My faith is in Him and I trust Him to bring us through what ever comes our way…to His glory. His mercies are new every morning…

A little bit of everything….

20141007leaves

Taking a break from working on homeschool planning (yes, still working on that) to type out a little update.

Fall is here, the weather is cooling down and it is time to have the windows closed more often.  This is a great time to deep clean the house and get rid of a lot of dust that has built up over the summer.  It is a slow process, but just sticking with my regular cleaning plan and add some extra cleaning is making it manageable.  Last week I pulled the bed apart and vacuumed everything.  Oh the dust!  My asthma went crazy and I had to put on a dust mask.  You’d never believe I had done the same in the spring with all that dust.  Whew!  Today is Tuesday and my Living Room/Dining Room cleaning day.  It isn’t in my nature to clean, my mother was a cleanie and I didn’t inherit that gene.  Having a good cleaning schedule keeps me focused.  I’d really like to get behind the sectional sofa and clean, but it is a beast and I’ll need hubby’s help.  That will wait for an open weekend where we don’t have anything going on.  So instead I’ll clean out the closet and get all the winter gear ready to use.

The garden is winding down.  I am waiting on a few tomatoes and all those plants will get pulled out.  The fall broccoli and spinach are doing great..at least the spinach that came up.  I planted a large patch of spinach and only half came up.  But at least I’ll have some.  In the raised bed up by the house is a volunteer tomato plant that started growing in mid summer.  That bed is where I grow lettuce and such.  In an effort to try and have more fresh tomatoes later in the season, the bed is now covered.  Not sure how this will effect the lettuce, but I’m hoping the tomatoes do well.  We’ll see.

I have been bad all summer about making menus.  I used to make them a month at a time since we shop monthly.  Somewhere down the line I let it go and have been winging it.  Hubby and I both agreed that it isn’t working for us.  Our grocery budget has increased and we have been eating out more since meal planning has stopped.  That is hard on the budget.  And because we have some big ticket project we are working on (for example, a new roof) getting back on budget is a must and planning out meals is a big part of that.  One of the things I’ve done to help me is to give each day of the week a meal category.  It makes planning meals for the whole month much easier.  Here are my categories:

Mondays:  Casseroles/Crockpot
Tuesdays:  International
Wednesdays:  Pastas
Thursdays:  Breakfast 4 Dinner/New Recipes
Fridays:  Finger Foods/Fish/Date Night
Saturdays:  Soups/Salads/Sandwiches
Sundays:  Roasts/Sunday Suppers

I’ve been making homemade yogurt for a long time, and the last time I made it I added gelatin.  The reason for this was hubby likes the thicker yogurt and I usually drain the whey after I make it.  It seemed a waste though losing all that protein.  So after some research I found a recipe that added gelatin to thicken the yogurt keeping the whey.  It seemed all right at first.  Hubby said it had a different texture that he wasn’t sure he liked.  I usually make yogurt with a gallon of milk at a time since we go through it so quickly.  (Since it is dairy, I don’t eat it.  Only hubby and son do.)  But hubby said that it got bitter and that he didn’t care for it.  After a busy weekend which included a trip out of state, I began making hubby’s lunch for work that Monday morning only to find the yogurt molding.  ACH!!  Never had that happen before.  I may have done something wrong, but that was half of that batch of yogurt going to waste.  So from here on out I’ll go back to the way I was doing it and drain the whey after it is made.  Thoughts?

We live at least 30 minutes from Walmart, 60 minutes from all other city shopping.  I truly hate shopping at Walmart, so it is worth it for me to drive the additional miles to get to Meijer and other big shopping stores.  This really puts a crimp in shopping sales and using coupons.  Back when we lived in Michigan in the city and close to all sorts of shopping, it was easy to hit all the sales and coupon as needed.  I was an extreme couponer before it was cool!  I was really excited to find out that they are building a Meijer store within 30 minutes away!  This just might allow me to get back to shopping sale ads and couponing.  Maybe not once a week, but maybe twice a week.  So I went online to coupons.com to see what coupons they had.  I was a little disappointed that there were only a couple coupons that we would use.  One was for shave cream that hubby uses, the other was for Mucinex.  I think it is great when people can play the game and get free things like toothpaste (I have even got money back in the past), but when you only use fluoride free toothpaste, there isn’t as much savings.  I don’t think I’m going to walk away with a cart full of couponing gems for $5, but every little bit helps, right?

I’ve stalled again on my decluttering.  While I do have a pile ready to be donated, I haven’t added much to it.  I’m hoping this weekend we can make a run to the mission to drop what I do have off and start again.  The holiday season is fast approaching and I’m starting to think of all the decorations that just sit and take up space in the garage most of the year.  I have been putting out less and less decorations for the past few years and I think I’m ready to start letting things go.  It isn’t easy in today’s world to minimize holidays when every thing out there screams at us to indulge more and more.  Fall decorations as of right now is a wreath on the door.  I haven’t pulled anything else out…and I’m all right with that.  It is much less stressful, not to mention cheaper in the long run.  Have you thought about minimizing your holiday decorations?

After being without a second vehicle for a couple years, we were finally able to pick up a new-to-us vehicle.  Hubby has the commuter car for the hour drive to work, and I have the big work vehicle for us here at home.  This will allow me to take care of more errands during the week freeing hubby to get more projects done on the weekend.  A win-win!  And hubby is happy that he is back to having a vehicle that will pull the fishing boat.  Priorities!  😉

Well, that was a ramble and not so little.  I have to get back to work now, hope your day is blessed and productive.  Grace and peace!

 

 

Soggy Monday, Laundry and Baby Bunnies

2015July13rain Beginning to sound like a broken record…rain today. I could wait and save the laundry for a day where it isn’t raining so I can hang it outside, but it really is just easier to do it and toss it into the dryer.  Speaking of laundry, I found this little wash tub on Amazon.  It is actually a product of Japan.  You can’t find stuff like that here.  It is great for those things 2015July13laundrythat you need to hand wash, soak, or (if you’re like me) all the things that you have stained.  How great it would be to find a large washtub like this!  (P.S.  I’m sharing this with you because I think it’s cool, I get no kickback or anything.)

2015July13bunnies1
2015July13bunnies2
2015July13bunnies3We found ANOTHER wild rabbit nest in our yard.  I’m glad our son knows what to look for and checks the yard before he mows because it was right in the center of our front lawn. *sigh* More little freeloading garden munchers that we can’t do anything about (because we live inside of town.) So we put an old plastic seat over the nest so that our son wouldn’t mistakenly mow over it. Another benefit is that it sheltered them from all the rain we’ve been having…floating bunnies are NOT GOOD.  Mama rabbit even came to our porch for a visit.  A couple days ago the little bunnies were overflowing their nest.  Today, the nest was empty.  Since we’re still getting rain, we left the plastic seat over the nest in case they come back at night.  Our dog found one in the yard while she was out, we rescued it and put it back in the nest…and it immediately hopped away and hid in nearby bushes.  It was kind enough to pose for a picture before we did.

I’m off to get my chores done.  I’m behind already and exhausted when I woke up.  Our dog is afraid of the storms so she is trying to hide under my feet.  Dinner is sliders and salad from our garden.  Real sliders…steamed on onions…also from our garden.  Not as small as the sliders you buy, certainly more yummy.  The gut-bomb-diggity.

Have yourself an awesome and blessed day!  Grace and peace…

2 Peter 1:2-4 – Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Decluttering and Minimizing

It’ raining again today.  Seems a lot of people across the country are saying the same thing.  Crazy, soggy weather.  I’d love to share some with those in the drought.  Today will find me doing inside chores.

20150625_090235One of the things I’d like to accomplish today is decluttering.  I have a desire to get rid of half of what we own, but it’s hard to part with things.  I might need it.  A certain person gave it to me.  It belonged to a certain person.  I don’t even know where to start.

I’ve actually done pretty good the past couple years.  I have been able to get rid of quite a bit.  To me it’s quite a bit.  In the big picture it really isn’t much.  One thing that is very difficult for me is getting rid of things that I inherited.  For example, I have a box of plates that belonged to my grandmother that I will never use.  But they belonged to my grandmother.  Nobody else in the family wants them.  I really don’t want to send them to the thrift store, so I thought about selling them.  But I haven’t yet because they belonged to my grandmother.  See what I mean?

This weekend I’m planning to run a load of decluttering to the local mission thrift store.  I’d rather give to them because they are all about helping the needy with the priority being the Gospel.  Hold on, let me pull out my soap box.  I hear about people giving to and helping out animal shelters.  And it is good to do that.  But there are humans beings who are in great need.  The Bible tells us over and over to help the poor and needy.  We can reach out and help those we know are struggling, and give to organizations who do the same.  This isn’t just shelters, soup kitchens and missions, but consider nursing homes, hospitals, prisons etc.  Sometimes just visiting, sharing kind words and a smile is worth more than anything you could donate.  I’m done with the soap box.

I’m looking forward to having a minimized home.  At this rate it will be a life long project, but hey, I didn’t get cluttered overnight either.

That’s it for now.  Grace and peace.

Matthew 25:34-40 – Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

Behind In Chores…

house-cleaning-clip-art-6845After a relaxing weekend, it should have been back to work on Monday.  As usual, chores fall by the way side over the weekend and I had a lot to do.  Unfortunately, things happen.  And I didn’t happen.  I wasn’t feeling good so my grand cleaning plan for Monday fizzled.  It helped that it rained so I didn’t feel as guilty about the outside chores not getting done.  Even feeling awful I was able to get some laundry done, and homeschooling done.  Sometimes you just have to push through.

Tuesday was much the same.  I’m ok with saying I didn’t get everything done.  I took advantage of the moments when I was feeling a little better and curled up on the couch when I was feeling a little worse.  Hubby and son do always take good care of me when I’m not feeling well.

So, how are things for you when you are down sick?  Does everything grind to a halt, or do you just keep going?  Or something in between?

I’m feeling much better today, but chores are going slowly.  It’s amazing how much doesn’t get done while you are down.  I’m going to head outside here in a few to get some garden chores done (like the mulching I need to finish around the tomatoes and potatoes).  Today is usually my bedroom cleaning day…but I missed the kitchen and living room days so I’ll be quite busy catching up.

Hubby said he wants to grill tonight, so I need to plan something other than the spaghetti that is on the menu.  I usually have a couple back up meals on my menu for days when I’m not feeling well or hubby wants something different, but I didn’t really do that this time.  I think maybe I’ll cut up a chicken to grill.  It’s possible that we could have rain by then, so I may have to cook it indoors…unless hubby insists on grilling despite the rain…which he’s done.   Do you make weekly/monthly menus?  How do you handle spur of the moment changes?

That’s it for now.  I’m off to get back to work.  Have a blessed day!

Colossians 3:23-24 – And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.