I am getting seed cataloges in the mail, and can't wait for spring. Of course, since we have 6 inches of snow on the ground, it will be a long while before it is a reality.
Made our own pizzas for supper tonight. They were good. Should have enough left over for one more meal out of them.
We never left the farm today. Was nice just to stay in, and no money spent.
Archive for December, 2007
I am getting seed cataloges in the mail, and can't wait for spring. Of course, since we have 6 inches of snow on the ground, it will be a long while before it is a reality.
#1. Ebay listings made tomorrow, 12-17 are just 10 cents each
#2. My kids got fancy things from their dad--mp3's, DS's, CD's....and what have they been playing with all day???? None other than what DH and I got them-simple things-they have spent all day making potholders and barbie doll rugs on their looms and knitting with their new yarn. One told me its "more relaxing".....(a lot cheaper too!) They also have played their new board games.
I was off line as the power weent out again from the last snow-which didn't stick, but did cause some auto accidents, including one which hit our line.
I love the Christmas season, but I must say its rather peaceful when its over.... I am ALWAYS done early in the year--except for this year. It seemed like we did a lot of rushing at the end. Some of it, my baking and candy making could not be avoided, but we also did a lot of last minute shopping. That, I am not used to and won't wait till the end again. In fact, I have already started a box for next years Christmas. It has 2 items in it so far, and I am watching a couple more on ebay. What I am watching normally goes for more than it is at now, (antique items) so I think bidding is down due to the holiday. The 2 I am watching end tomorrow, so I may get them at a decent price..
Christmas Eve we did Christmas with my husbands family (their family always celebrates on Christmas Eve), then went to a candlelight service at our church.
Christmas morning we drove to my parents and brothers for the day, and got home late late last night.
I think that for this week, we were only home about 10 hours a day. I need to unwind.
It has been snowing all day. I called the library and renewwed our books over the phone-I didn't want to get out and drive in it. We were done with the books, but I didn't want to drive round trip of 40 miles with visability of only about 25 feet.
DH got me a new stand alone Kitchen Aide mixer. (My old one bit the dust). This one is wonderful-several steps up from my old one. With the right attachments, we can even slice, dice and stuff sausages with it (great for canning, when we butcher or hunt). It also has the dough hooks, which my old one had. It is metal. Funny, in the 50's and 60's they were metal, then kitchen appliances went to plastic. Now, I see the higher quality ones are made of heavy duty metal again.
I also hit the jackpot on long johns (big on my list-I was down to only 1 pair and have been wearing DH's), and got lots of neat kitchen stuff including silicone baking items (which Princess Perky turned me on to some time back).
If it all pans out.
I am signed up to take state paid childcare. But, after months and months, no one has ever responded to my ads. DFS says there really is not a need in this county.
Well, I have been contacted by a 16 year old with a 4 week baby. She wants to go back to school, but has to work 2 nights a week, so she needs childcare for those 2 nights. Her parents are refusing to, because they want her to DROP OUT OF SCHOOL AND STAY HOME LIKE THEY DID!!!! She says she made a mistake, but wants to get her education and even go on to college.
So, if she gets the state to approve to pay for her childcare, I will be watching the baby 2 nights a week. She is working to try and by baby items and put back $10 a week for college. She had been working up until the baby was born also.
that way, we can recycle plastic bottles into drinking bottles for our rabbits. But, all I can find is having to buy the entire water bottle set up-with a screw top instead of a rubber stopper top. They used to make them, I used to get them. Now, I can't find one anywhere. You would think with all the recycling and green efforts out there that someone would make them...Used to be 6 in a bag for around $3. (yes, I am talking back in the 80's...)
Still only 1 bid on my ebay auctions, but I still have another day to go, and do have 6 watchers. But, at least one item will go, unless they pull a no pay.
I went to junk stores today. Got some books for the girls for 50 cents each. They are older classics--mostly Mark Twain. Spent less than $3.
Ordered a Red Lobster GC from MyPoints. Maybe DH and I will eat out after the holidays. Somewhere I have one more for them and that would about cover it for just 2 of us if we go at lunch time.
I need to get some wrapping done. For others I use gift bags, for my house, I will use wrapping paper. I live with a bunch of snoops. I have tons of each, and I do mean tons like a 5 year supply-used to be partners in a Hallmark store years ago and when we closed, I kept the gift wrap, gift bags and cards. I won't need to buy anymore until the year 2087!
I now have 6 watchers on my 2 ebay auctions, and finally got 1 bid in there on 1 item. The other item has no bids yet. Hopefully I will get one, so I can clear it out. I have a pile in my room that needs to be ebayed.
And, I didn't even know I lost it. I got a letter from my old credit union from my old employeer reminding me it was there, and had no activity on the account for 18 months. So, I just faxed them a letter to close it out and send it to me. It was drawing 1.8% interest....
The account was supposed to hold money until there was enough for x shares of stock, then it would roll into the stock fund. But, my stock fund is now gone--it was turned into my IRA because the company did away with the stock when they were bought out. Our shares were liquidated and I opted to put the money into my retirement at that time. I didn't realize this odd amount was sitting in the credit union. But, I a sure I can find a way to use it since Christmas is next week.
DH came home yesterday with $75 in GC for resturants from his company. That is in addition to the hoilday ham certificate we got at Thanksgiving. He will also get a cash bonus in January. Then in Feb and April emp and spouses are taken out to eat. For the family there is free tickets to the local theme park and tickets to the american royal. They are a very family focused company. Unusual these days.
We decided to use the GC at lunch, when meals are cheaper and they will stretch to 3 meals probably.
3 little towns around here have little thrift stores that I have never been in. DH is at work, kids are at their dads, so I am going shopping. I will probably put on 60 miles, but it will be fun. I kind of live at the bottom of the triagle. Each store is located in a corner of the triangle and I have a county map, so I think I can cut across on gravel roads to keep the miles down. The sun is out, most the snow and ice is gone. So, I think the county roads will be clear. One of the stores also has antiques. Every time I drive by it I want to stop, but not with 3 kids with me. So, today is my chance.
Still no eggs in my hen house. I am now wondering how frugal these chickens are since they went on their strike against laying eggs....
unless you count my DH....The 3 little ones went to their days for a few days. He has not seen them since July, so I hope this goes well....He comes and goes in and out of their lives in spurts....
Last night was their Christmas program, and it was very very good. They each had solo's and did very well, as did all the other kids. We really have a talented group of kids at church. The little angel topped it off though, by sucking her thumb while on stage(she is 3) but she did remove it long enough to sing her short song.
Tomorrow I plan on doing some Christmas shopping. For the few clothes my girls need, I plan on going to the thrift stores. They each need a couple of skirts. The last time I found some brand new jeans for $1 that still had the Walmart Faded Glory price tag for 18.88 on them. I have also gotten sheets there, brand new in the package for $2.
This particular thrift store is run off of donations and all proceeds go to run a retirement home for women. So, a lot of people buy brand new items to take in. They can them claim the full amount on their taxes as a donation. Everything in the store is priced under $5. It is always packed with people, and very clean--not at all like some of the other thrift stores I have been in.
I also have some fabric to run thru the washer and preshrink. While the girls are gone I am going to make some new flannel nightgowns for them.
I also have 5 yards (45 inches wide) of red fleece. Any ideas of what to do with that?? I bought it for $2 at a yard sale along with a ton of other fabric. The lady was retiring after doing custom sewing for 40 years.
I listed a couple of items on ebay. No bids yet, but 1 watcher.
We made our own pizza's for supper. They should also feed us tomorrow as well. We each made our own 14 inch. Would have probably been $40 or more at pizza hut. It is more fun to make our own anyway.
DD#4 refuses to brush her hair. It is an on going battle. I do it, but first I have to catch her (litterly) to do it. My gentle 9 year old daughter turns into a wild biting tiger the second she even smells a hairbrush. Well, this morning we had a major "deratting" experience, and she says "Please let me cut my hair!!" I have asked her over and over if she wanted it cut and she always says no. So, tomorrow after church I will take her in to get it cut--before she changes her mind. I think she has enough to donate to locks of love. At our old salon in our old town, you got a free haircut if you gave them your hair to send in. But, no one here does the free cuts, so I will probably be paying around $15 to get it cut. However, to avoid the daily argument, it will be worth it.
Thanks to ImaSaver...I read ours and called in an order for propane. That was about 50 minutes ago. And, he has already come and filled it. His dispatcher called him just as he was approaching our road on his way home. He had just made another delivery on past us aways. The timing could not have been more perfect he said. It came right at $600. Actually we had enough to go for probably another 2 weeks, but with more bad weather coming, I was afraid he may not be able to get into the grass to get to the tank. Plus, my parents are coming next week, and my dad keeps it warmer than he used to. (age and arthritis...)
Its for my chickens. It is a ceramic tile, 12 x 12 that has a heating element in it. It kicks on at 32 degrees, but never heats above 90 degrees. I am going to use it to set my plastic chicken waterer on. It will keep the water from freezing. It will also use much less electric than the 2 and 3 heat bulbs we have hanging over the water now. So, in the long run it will save electric, and also be a lot safer to use.
It is above freezing today, and the ice on the ground melted, but a lot of the ice on the trees is still there. It surprises me it is still there since it also rained this morning.
My mom faxed me one of my stories this morning. I orginally wrote it so that it could be added on to. So, after the kids go to sleep tonight, I am going to start missing with it. I could not find my copy of it anywhere, but I did find all my research I had done for the story. This one was a college paper. She is also going to send me the high school one that was published, but it is bound, so it can't go through the fax machine. I had several copies of it but they were all lost in a fire.
My other book, which I did complete is now more than 25 years old, so I own the publishing rights on it again. I don't know if I will do more with it or not. It was on money saving tips. However, it is now so dated, that its a "whole new world" out there. For example, the internet, and online banking did not even exist when that book was written. I will have to get my old PC out though to do anything with it--it is saved on a floppy. So, I will have to save it from a floppy to a regular disk, then go to the other computer and resave it from a regular disc to a cd...I do still have copies of that- although they are water damaged. (Lesson learned, always keep things backed up or copied and in the bank box-you suffer the loss after a house fire for YEARS).
If it works, the picture I am trying to post is of our ice--the view from the bedroom porch.
I got it off of freecycle, the day the power went off. So, tonight was the first time I had the chance to go downstairs clean it up, and load it up. I got it to put our school materials in (we homeschool). Its a 5 drawer metal legal sized monster. Its now full and I get items almost daily in the mail.....so, I guess I will have to keep my eye out for another one. So far, we have not spent anything on educational materials, short of a dry erase calendar and one math book on fractions. All our materials have been free.
I priced file cabinets-the one I got off of freecycle runs $249 new at office depot. So, I think I did o.k.
Weatherman says more ice and snow in the next couple days. But, we are back up with full power for now.
We made a library run, to stock up on more books in the event it does go out, and bought some more lamp oil. Stores were all out or almost out earlier this week when everyone had no power. There are still thousands of people out in our part of the state.
Our electric went out at 12 a.m. Tuesday morning. It came back on a bit ago, but we only have it for 2 hours, then it will go back off. The lines down our gravel road were down, they are back up now. However, the coop substation we run off of has so much ice damage that it can't run the entire grid. So, we have it for 2 hours, then it will rotate on. Over 700 in our town of 2900 are without power.
It came back on and when we got the word it was for only 2 hours, we flew into action. We turned the furnace back on, took showers, quickly tried to thaw out water tanks and refill with hot water, plugged in the tractor, charged batteries, heated up the chicken coop, did 2 loads of laundry and dried them (which normally I don't do), threw all the carharts in the dryer to dry out, blew dry all the wet boots, recharged my laptop, cell phones and camera....
It should go back off in about 20 minutes.
We have been heating with the fireplace. The stock tanks & chicken house were the hardest to keep warm. All our heaters were electric.
I have now located on craigslist, (and hopefully will go get tomorrow) a propane heater for a stocktank. The amish use kerosene heaters for their chickens, but I am a little leary of those since they have an enclosed flame.....So, the chickens will have to tough it out. Did you know their feet turn green when they get cold?? Just like our nailbeds and lips turn blue....
Had an email forwarded to me by a high school friend from my old high school english teacher. She was cleaning out some papers, and came across some stories I had written in high school. She had published some of our writings, mine included back in the 70's and 80's. She was wanting to know if I had written anymore. Her son is a publisher and she is trying to track me down to write some more short stories to add to the series I had started then. He works for the same publishing house that published the orginal book of short stories. Now, the bad part is, I have no idea where my written copies of my works are even at. I do have it on a disk, but no longer have a computer that takes a floppy disk. I will need to reread by works before I make a decision, but it sounds like fun. That was almost 30 years ago, and the details of the story line are getting a little fuzzy..... If I decide to do it, I think I will try to keep it a secret from my husband for awhile, to see how it goes along.
No one around here has any lamp oil left on the shelves. Luckly we have unlimited wood to burn and a fireplace and wood cookstove to burn it in. And, if worse comes to worse, we can move into our RV and run it all off of propane. Our hotwater heater is propane so that will keep us in hot water. We can cook with cast iron over the fireplace. The kids think that is cool.
The power just died, and I have 4 hours of battery on this laptop, so will go for now. You all keep warm!!!
Oh--$20 spent on a power inverter--to recharge multiple items in my car while driving, $16 on batteries-normally we use rechargeable ones, but not enough time to get them all recharged.
It was unnecessary for my budget and for my wasteline, but necessary for my mental health....
I spent $24 on ingredents to make enough fudge and chocolate candy to fill a semi.
And, I am sure it will all be gone by Christmas, so will have to make more then.... Not that my DH or the children would complain.
Last night I made peanut butter fudge, chocolate fudge, and layered fudge. Was good.
Its getting foggy, and looks like more snowmoving in. I need to go out and move the truck from the barn up to the house garage to unload it. When the renters I had in August moved out, they left behind several barrels of icemelt and kitty litter. I plan on moving those barrels into the garage. If I did my math right, 2 rubbermade barrels, the sand, kitty litter and icemelt add up to close to $80 that I won't have to spend this winter for melting.
DH will probably have to take the truck (4x4) to work tomorrow if this weather pans out.
I also need to go look for cows. I haven't seen any all day today. But I think when I throw hay out they will come running when they hear the tractor. If you have never seen a cow run, well, its rather a funny sight. The old fat momma cows go sideways as much as they go forward. Part of our cows are white, so they will be even harder to find in the snow.
Just now clumps of snow started floating by my window. Guess I need to get out and plug in the bobcat also incase we need to plow our way out in the morning.
The chickens have been acting rather weird today. Flying into each other, into the fence...then I noticed that when the girls took the kitchen scraps out to them, my used tea bags got thrown in with them. Its so cold, I hope they don't give themselves a heart attack. If they do, I guess it will be chicken in the freezer...Usually the tea bags go into the compost pile.
Its very cold-21 degrees out. We plugged the tractor in, and will have to feed hay later this afternoon or evening. We are supposed to be getting some ice and snow for the next 2-3 days. I really am not looking forward to that at all.