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FMW...sounds like this move has been a good thing for you! I know for myself, about 30 years ago when my first/late husband was so ill, I moved back to our hometown (from a major metro area) and took a job making about 1/3 of what I was making in the metro area. But, I didn't have the 1 hour commute, I didn't have the paid parking, and just the cost of living was lower. I left a house and moved into the homestead apartment (the one son is now living in) with a sick husband & 2 kids, and even though I had to watch my pennies like a hawk, we made it, and my stress level went down also. I agree, people who live "drama lives" and "fictional facebook lives" are toxic to anybody as far as I'm concerned. They eventually leave the reality of their real lives and cease to be able to relate to "real" people when they encounter us! LOL I'm looking forward to reading more of your adventures into a "new normal" for you and your family! Hugs!

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THURSDAY...beautiful day today, in 60's so me and Abby-girl took a nice leash walk. She does so wonderful on leash, even when other dogs start raising cane and she looks, but a stern "no" puts her right back on heal. We're training her pretty intensley to lease now that it's becoming camping time and she's grown so much. Gotta have a BIG dog under control, especially when she weighs about half of what you do! LOL Played a bit of frisbee with her earlier today. She loves her red Kong Flyer! LOL Once we saw how much she loved the first one we bought 2 more. One for home, one for truck & one for van...never without one now. Son's paying his rent now so it really helps the strain because it makes the homestead payment to Mom, plus he pays half of her utilities each month. He's pretty well spending all the rest, but that's up to him if he wants to sit at home the last week of every month waiting for the crow to fly over. Mountain Man's still working on the current project site, it's going to be a fairly long project and he told the Realtor/owner that right up front, but also told her it was better to get the repairs etc. done BEFORE a renter moves into it and she agreed that that was wisdom. Gong to the swap meet Friday (a day trip) that's held twice a year and is massive! Then we'll come home and drive another day trip to Lebanon for the Preppers Expo there, then drive home. Abby goes with us (they let dogs in at both events as long as they're on leash) and loves meeting all the people etc. We took her on a day trip last weekend to Camping World, needed a few items for our modifications to the camper. When the door slid open the cashier said "come on in puppy"...LOL Of course she wins the hearts of everybody in the store, customers and employees alike. As we were getting ready to check out, there was a couple with a Down's Syndrom daughter (about 14?) and the momma loved & petted on Abby and then I led her to the daughter. Abby immediately laid down and crawled towards this girl, so submissive and loving. The girl just glowed with joy and kept saying "choclate lab" over and over. So proud of my choclate lab! We've talked about training her as a therapy dog and her behavior seemed to enforce our idea that she'd be good at it because she loves people so much...but...that takes alot of dollars, and that's what we don't have. Then it takes alot of volunteer time, again, what we don't have right now. Oh well. Had to put up a make-shift fence (hog panels) across the back of our back yard. Had a strange dog coming almost up to the house and doing it's nasty stuff...really runny, yellowish & smelly. Was fearful that it might have disease etc., and didn't want Abby-girl having to tip toe around it to do her own biz. Anyway, Mtn.Man don't mind picking up after Abby but he sure don't want to do it after a dirty dog like that. Never did see it, but now we don't have to worry about it. We can still play frisbee in the back parking area & alley. Mixed up some more 50/50 Arm & Hammer Washing Soda and Borax. I keep it in an old Oxyclean bucket for added "boost" to my laundry or as a cleaner in the kitchen or bathroom. I also like to wash some of it down my drains once a week, they say it keeps them cleaned out. Also keep a jar of each (so they don't dry out in the opened boxes) and will use that when I make up my next batch of laundry powder. Then...starting Monday (if the weather doesn't wash us out) we'll start prepping our square foot gardening squares etc. Gonna add some additional space, so we'll need to buy some ingredients for our Mel's Mix to add to that, and have some extra to add to the existing squares. Also need to cut the holes in our square plastic buckets for our container foods to grow in...potatoes, tomatoes etc. Want to try my hand a sweet potatoes this year. Also going to put in regular sized egg plant so I'll need some extra space. We'll stagger our lettuce, carrots & radishes a bit more this year, we felt like rabbits last year trying to eat it before it went to seed...LOL We'll do pole beans this year instead of bush beans. Also long necked yellow squash and then want some winter squash plants. We'll plant alot more corn this time for sure. Want to plant some buckets of herbs and onions too. Will let merrigolds bloom in one 1x1 in each square since they are obnoxious to some bugs etc. Not sure what new veggies I'll put in this year. I do know I'm going to put in more blackberry and raspberry bushes though, and plant some asparagus along the fence line for next year maybe. I'd also like to plant some grapes for the coming years. In the "side yard" there's plenty of room for some miniature peach & apple trees so I'm trying to talk MM into us putting them in, but he seems to think son's and mom's dogs will ruin them before they're big enough to produce and doesn't want to mess with fencing around them. Oh well...I can dream, after all, sometimes dreams do come to pass! LOL

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I'm finally back online! Had no internet on Monday. I called our isp and was on the phone an hour (the person I talked to was very patient with my lack of computer knowledge). I finally put DH on, but it was a no go. Since our computer is older (11+ years and a little quirky), we decided to buy a new one. DH bought a new one. Tried the old one once more before we opened the box to the new one. Praise God...it works! DH spent all yesterday evening downloading update stuff and free security stuff through our internet service provider to the old computer. We're returning the new computer, unopened. I'm so glad! That's not something I wanted to spend money on.

 

We're in for a real warm up this weekend, with temps getting to the 60s.

 

Yesterday, I got a shock opening the electric bill. We're normally $35-40/month in the winter. The bill was for over $800! :blink: I quickly made a phone call. The person I spoke said it's obviously a mistake when the meter reader entered the numbers! They're sending me a new bill.

Edited by out_of_the_ordinary

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I'm finally back online! Had no internet on Monday. I called our isp and was on the phone an hour (the person I talked to was very patient with my lack of computer knowledge). I finally put DH on, but it was a no go. Since our computer is older (11+ years and a little quirky), we decided to buy a new one. DH bought a new one. Tried the old one once more before we opened the box to the new one. Praise God...it works! DH spent all yesterday evening downloading update stuff and free security stuff through our internet service provider to the old computer. We're returning the new computer, unopened. I'm so glad! That's not something I wanted to spend money on.

 

We're in for a real warm up this weekend, with temps getting to the 60s.

 

Yesterday, I got a shock opening the electric bill. We're normally $35-40/month in the winter. The bill was for over $800! :blink: I quickly made a phone call. The person I spoke said it's obviously a mistake when the meter reader entered the numbers! They're sending me a new bill.

 

Golly! I can almost see you sweating!

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FRIDAY...got up early to get an early start, and Mtn.Man announced he "needed to go to Lowe's and pick up more screws to put in

the new front door he installed at the work site" which is about a 20 minute or so drive...growlllllll from Philbe. So I just waved him off to get his project done and I packed the picnic basket (we had planned to share that duty) and packed our backpacks (he usually does his own) and got things ready for our day trip. He must have grown wings because he got back relatively quick so we didn't get too much of a late start. Had a very tiring, very long walking day for all 3 of us. When we got home we promptly hit the sack for a couple of hours nap...Abby's still sacked out! LOL A tired Abby is a good Abby! Found a decent granite ware (blue & white) sauce pan for $3 so I think I've pretty much got everything I need to cook over a camp fire or in my solar oven. Also was able to find a couple of bricks of ammo that's very scarce right now, not to mention pricey. Believe it or not we even got a bit of "red" from the sun on our necks. So I doused mine with my vitamin E cream. Forgot to put sunblock there! Enjoyed our picnic lunch in the van too!

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SUNDAY...Had a full day Saturday at the Lebanon gun show. Was able to buy a few more cans of dehydrated/freeze dried foods. I like saving $$ on shipping...LOL Also picked up another 100 mylar bags that included a large pkg of 300cc ox.abs. for the same price I had ordered the last ones, so actually saved a few $$ on shippping there also. Put in a full day today also, bought all the peat moss, compost, vermiculite that we need to expand our gardening squares, enough seed potatoes to plant 38 buckets if I wanted to! LOL plus bought most of the wood etc. Got the new beds dug out, the wood cut & then had to shut down...tired and rain was moving in. Quit just in time. Just made a quickie stop at Little Ceasars for a $5 pizza and came home, ate and took a quick shower. Did find some garden seeds for 11c a pkg at one of our local lumber companies so grabbed a hand full of them also. Not heirloom, but I stock up on any seeds that are on sale..LOL I've got heirlooms in my freezer. We'll have to buy the treated 4x4's that I want to sink in the ground for my buckets to hang on and the hooks etc. But...we did make alot of progress today. I'm hoping we can get the Mel's Mix mixed tomorrow so I can get my potatoes in their buckets. They don't have to hang right away, but I do want to get them in their buckets. Had 8 buckets last year but will probably put in at least a dozen this time, 4 on each 4x4 post. We're not going to do any shopping this month except for eggs, figured we've spent alot on the garden supplies etc. but I'm keeping track of what we use and will do a mega trip next month. That's the joy of having a pantry I think, we don't go without food when we have to spend money on things we need to spend money on. We've both got a head start on summer tans this weekend though, even though I wear a heavy sunblock. I'm very fair so I can't spend time out in the sun like some people do without protection, so sunblock is my "makeup" every morning...LOL I'm attaching some scenery pics I took on our way home yesterday...the fields just seemed to burst out after the heavy snows melted.

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MONDAY...Just finished hearing the "ping" of eight, 8oz jars of newly canned (water bath) applesauce. Even had enough to put in frig for supper tonight. Had a bag of granny's given to me because they needed to get eaten, so I just headed them towards my pantry shelves instead of dehydrating them. Either way, they'll sure taste good "whenever" we eat them! LOL Weather is warm but muggy and cloudy. Hoping we can get the Mel's Mix together after Mtn.Man gets off his job site this evening. Once it's mixed, then I can get my potato buckets made up asap.

 

ps...didn't even mention working at the garden site. MM's tired to the bone. Had to remove a bathtub from the work site (it had been put in without a drain line, and was just draining into the crawl space of the house...yewwwwy!) and then crawl down, dig himself a trench big enough for him to work in, and had son taking the buckets of dirt to a wheelbarrow etc. Hopefully that part of it will be done tomorrow, and then he'll put all new plastic piping in for the new owner. Forecasting rain for the next few days so gardening is out for right now. Potatoes will just have to be a bit late...phooey.

Edited by Philbe

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THURSDAY...Took Abby-girl today for her yearly shots so she's not feeling near as "robust" as she normally does. Pretty much laying around. Now that she's a year+ we went ahead and got her a 3-year Rabies so we could get her a 3-year city license. The rest of her shots she'll still need to get every year. I give her a monthly heartworm etc., and monthly we put her flea/tic on her back. We use an advanced flea/tic on her because we're in the woods so much etc. Anyway...she'll be up and at it tomorrow. I don't put her heartworm etc., on until the 15th. Mtn.Man's working again today "digging dirt" from the work site & having son help again. He literally had to dig himself a tunnel under the house's bathtub so he could have room to work. He'll start putting in the new plumbing next week, after he installs the new back door. I've got 10# of potatoes in the oven baking and when they cool I'll freeze them. Then I've got some sweet potatoes to get ready for freezing. Since Mtn.Man's planning to convert my old canner (it neededa new gasket anyway) into a vacume sealer, I'm going to go ahead and buy myself a new canner in a couple of months or so, a little closer to gardening season. I'll go ahead and get one that doesn't need gaskets. In a SHTF scene, needing a gasket in order to can would be the pits! I've not canned before but my sis has for years, so I'll confer with her before I start because canner's pretty much put the scare of God into Philbe. Perhaps I've heard too many horror stories and scarred faces & hands etc. That falls true for making soaps with lye also. Just a big fraidy cat I guess? Had an oven pilot go out once ions ago, and when I lit the match, booooom! Singled by eye lashes & eyebrows and took my hairline back an inch or so. Just don't like things that go boom! I've been truly enjoying NOT being on cable/dish tv and so has Mountain Man. I love the "smart tv" that lets me go directly to Youtube, punch in the videos I want to watch, and then I just relax. This morning when we got back, I clicked into Linda's Pantry and Perbain. I so enjoy both of them, as well as Katzcradul (of course). I've just never seen anybody as funny as Perbain, and her bread baking is truly amazing! If you've never watched her make bread dough etc., you'll enjoy her (and her antics)! LOL I've made alot of bread in my life, but I'm going to try some of her ideas and the freezing of them. Especially the specialty things. We got alot of thunder and lightening etc., and were a long ways from the tornadoes, but during storms like that I always turn off all the electronics in the house (especially computers/printers etc.) My sis was hit by lightening a year or so ago (she lives in the country) and is still going round and round with their insurance company. The insurance paid for what they deemed the "cost" of repairing some of their computers, and only paid replacement for the actual desktop's (two). They each have one but also had one for their grandkids, one for her embroidery business, and one for his bird house stuff. I guess the insurance company did go ahead and replace their Kindles though...surprising? Shhhhh. Her husband is an electrician (but not licensed), so the insurance company won't allow him to do any of the work in replacing the wiring that was damaged. Figure? Anyway...I just shut things down. Worked my tail off yesterday so when I went to sleep last night, I was out for the duration. Mtn.Man even commented "you slept like a log"...wonder what that meant? LOL Still can't get our Mel's Mix on the tarp so we can get out squares refreshed & the new ones built. Guess my potatoes etc. will just be late. We are going to go ahead and build more sustainable "hoops" though, so we'll be able to garden much later than what's normal for our area. Last year we had the "hoops" but just draped the opaque plastic over them and uncovered them. This time they'll be more permanent and we'll just lift the ends to let air circulate etc. when we're keeping them covered from cold & hail etc. That way we won't 'bake" them. We're expanding and going to grow a few things we didn't try to grow last year. I want to put up more types of veggies etc., and get started doing some canning in addition to dehydrating. I knew how to waterbath, so I did do some applesauce, but just have never canned. I'm wanting to put a gas/propane stove outside (under the covered patio) at the homestead so I could cook & can outside. We've got the 4-burner RV stove/oven from the old Tioga, but we're going to have it converted to natural gas and put it into the apartment that son lives in. He's cooking via microwave etc., and/or stepping outside to use our gas grill (which has a burner) to cook steaks etc. Saw an older one last weekend and should probably have bought it, but ... oh well ... we didn't. We may go back and this weekend to the little flea market and see if by chance it's still there...for $20. I hear the alarm on my oven so that means it's time for the taters to come out!

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I feel for Abby. I went in for my blood work today too.

 

I hate needles but the girl I got today was fantastic. She put the band around my arm, swabbed it with alcohol and stuck the needle in and was done before I knew what was happening. She didn't mess around rubbing on the vein and having me make a fist etc. She taped the cotton ball on and when I got home I took it off and there wasn't one drop of blood on it. I don't even have a hole or a bruise. Still don't like needles any better though.

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I feel for Abby. I went in for my blood work today too.

 

I hate needles but the girl I got today was fantastic. She put the band around my arm, swabbed it with alcohol and stuck the needle in and was done before I knew what was happening. She didn't mess around rubbing on the vein and having me make a fist etc. She taped the cotton ball on and when I got home I took it off and there wasn't one drop of blood on it. I don't even have a hole or a bruise. Still don't like needles any better though.

 

Last time I went in for my annual physical, the nurse "blew a vein" (and she's usually very good) so I had a really nasty left arm for nearly 2 weeks! I still have some under-the-skin marks that I think are actually scars..??

Oh, and Abby's pretty much back to herself. I thought we'd have a reprieve til morning...ha! LOL

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Thursday's PS...Vet said Abby-girl is a 16-month old lean, mean Lab machine...82.5 pounds! Everything's in tip top shape for her, even her teeth are about the whitest the vet's seen in awhile! LOL

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FRIDAY... Been running our tails off today and that seems to wear ya out as much as anything! Went ahead and bought some meat that was on sale (even though I wasn't going to grocery shop this month) and a Presto Canner that was on sale. Talked with a friend who cans but doesn't like to, so I'm not totally alone on fearing them. She & her husband have a nice sized cattle ranch and we let Abby out to run. Abby's usually VERY pushy with other dogs...this was one place where an older (and smaller dog) called her bluff. When we got ready to leave I called "Abbbeeeee"...a couple of times. Then it was "Abbeeeee, come" ... no Abby. Then "TREAT" and no Abby. Then I hollered "I'm going home" ... and here she came at break neck speed with this older dog on her tail. I had the back of the van opened and my 82# Lab Brat went straight in & didn't even look back! LOL I guess she'd either been way off in a field...OR...hiding in their barn, since that's the direction she came from. We all talked about SHTF stuff and tears welled up in her eyes and she said "isn't it a crock that we're talking about SHTF and having to hide out...in America?" We all agreed. She then told of a pic she'd gotten of the N.Korean leader saying "I'm going to destroy America" ... and then just below a picture of our president grinning and saying "I already have". She told us of a small parcel of land not too far from her that's not currently on the market, but has a well, electric etc. already on it. They bulldozed the house? Anyway, the land has a big drop off at the back but a creek runs through it at the back, and is very wet all year round. We drove by and it's very secluded, just like her ranch is. There are other farms in the whole area is extremely secluded, and all on gravel and several miles from any asphalt roads or highways. We're going to try to catch the owner and see if we can get a "first right of refusal" on it, maybe with a small non-refundable downpayment. Then it won't go on the market and hopefully when we get the Little House sold, we'd be able to pay cash for it. It's pretty much what we've been looking for, and the well & electricity are just a bonus. We were looking mostly for boondocking land with some water on it. The creek is a major creek in the whole county so that's good. Gonna get busy and also get on our knees.

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SATURDAY...Worked pretty much all day at the homestead's big garage/machine shed sorting and pitching out to make room for the motorcycle (which is in the other storage shed) and bring some totes from Little House. Will do so again tomorrow since the weather supposed to stay fair. Still can't put anything into the garden because all the rain has saturated the lawn etc. Did buy some more heirloom seeds though to put in my deep freeze as well as some regular's to go ahead and use for planting...as long as nothing happens in the SHTF world. I'm saving my heirlooms for when I would NEED to save seeds. They're forecasting a huge temp drop again Monday, and only getting worse throughout the week, so no use in putting in anything...phoooey! Bought my seed potatoes, but I've got them stashed in the enclosed porch where it's pretty cool, but decided not to buy any onion sets yet. A friend was telling us even the plants in her green house weren't doing very well, so probably would not have made a difference if we had of went ahead and put up a green house...??? Oh well...we'll just have to "lay hands" on our seeds and ask for a "double portion" of growth! LOL

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We slept til bout 830 yesterday that's sleeping in to us lol. Got everybody ready and went to Sams club about 45 min away its only the second time we have been the first time we just looked around and bought a few things that looked good but this time I had written a list of stuff we were out of and the regular price I pay for them we stocked up in about 2 hrs and headed to checkout where I was shocked by a little over $500 but I think well be ok bc we probably wont go for another 6-8 weeks and even then don't think well be out of everything again and this was the first big shopping trip since we moved and I had used up a lot of things so we wouldn't have to move them. Does this amount seem crazy I tried to explain my way of looking at it to Dh but he is only half way convinced lol. Other than that we put things away and kids ran around outside I went for a walk downtown there is a 1/8 mile track around a park I walked it all but one lap where I tried to jog it was pretty painful but I made it lol, baby steps I keep reminding myself. Not much planned for today hubby went fishing while I slept and he will come home round noon so we can go help my brother and Sil put up a electric fence for their dogs and goats then we having a surprise dinner/dessert for my brothers birthday and hopefully I can get another walk in. My SIL mother will be there and sil had talked that she wanted me to mow her lawn for $50 I aint going to argue about that! Have a great sunday everyone!

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We slept til bout 830 yesterday that's sleeping in to us lol. Got everybody ready and went to Sams club about 45 min away its only the second time we have been the first time we just looked around and bought a few things that looked good but this time I had written a list of stuff we were out of and the regular price I pay for them we stocked up in about 2 hrs and headed to checkout where I was shocked by a little over $500 but I think well be ok bc we probably wont go for another 6-8 weeks and even then don't think well be out of everything again and this was the first big shopping trip since we moved and I had used up a lot of things so we wouldn't have to move them. Does this amount seem crazy I tried to explain my way of looking at it to Dh but he is only half way convinced lol. Other than that we put things away and kids ran around outside I went for a walk downtown there is a 1/8 mile track around a park I walked it all but one lap where I tried to jog it was pretty painful but I made it lol, baby steps I keep reminding myself. Not much planned for today hubby went fishing while I slept and he will come home round noon so we can go help my brother and Sil put up a electric fence for their dogs and goats then we having a surprise dinner/dessert for my brothers birthday and hopefully I can get another walk in. My SIL mother will be there and sil had talked that she wanted me to mow her lawn for $50 I aint going to argue about that! Have a great sunday everyone!

 

FMW...I don't think $500 +/- is too much when you've been eating out of your pantry for such an extended period etc. I don't know how many you feed in your household, but I know just for us two I will spend that next month because we've been eating out of our pantry this month because we wanted to spend the $$$ on some other items like ammo, a new canner, garden expansion items and other items we felt we needed to do.

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I don't think it's too much either. I usually go to Sam's Club 3-4 times a year to stock up and I usually spend around $250.00 - $300.00 each time. But things I buy each time last at least a year. One time I'll buy things like TP, paper towels, trash bags, cleaning supplies etc. Another time I'll buy things like health and beauty. Another time mostly food. Over the last few years I've amassed nearly enough non-perishable, non-food stuff to last well over a couple of years. Of course, I'm only prepping for one or maybe two. I know that makes a huge difference.

 

The only problem I have with it is when a product comes out with a new and improved item or a scent I like better...I'm stuck with a couple of years worth of the older stuff.

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Thanks, there are six good eaters in the house and we did almost empty the pantry before we moved and we eat at home or take with us if out bc it is 20min one way drive to a drive thru and that's not in our budget with our income being 1/3 of what it was before.

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Thanks, there are six good eaters in the house and we did almost empty the pantry before we moved and we eat at home or take with us if out bc it is 20min one way drive to a drive thru and that's not in our budget with our income being 1/3 of what it was before.

 

Sounds like you've got it reigned in pretty good!

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MONDAY...just finished hot shower & have my hair soaking in oil for a treatment while I nose around here. Feeling very angry about the bombings in Boston and thinking to myself that we were so focused on one "enemy" that another one slipped through the cracks. I wonder if they'll try to blame this on Bush? We've had our embassy's bombed, our borders invaded, our gas prices skyrocket, our food prices go sky high, and now inoocents in Boston murdered, maimed or injured. None of the survivors (or their families) will ever feel safe again. (moving the rest to The Edge)

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WEDNESDAY...Lots of stormy weather around my neighborhood but nothing really bad. Some heavy rains and a bit of hail...which caught Mtn.Man out. He went to a local big box lumber store and when he ran to the truck (in the rain and hail) he saw he didn't have his key ring on his belt loop. A young girl hollered and said "Sir...you dropped this." and it was his carpenters pencil...no keys. So he ran back to the storefront and a cart manager was standing there watching for severe weather and said "It's sure nasty out isn't it?" to which MM said "Yeah, especially if you've lost your truck keys". The gent said "Oh, you're the one who's lost them. They were turned in to the office." Whew! About 3 weeks ago we found somebody's key's in a store aisle and turned them in. I told MM "see you reap what you sow"! LOL By the time he got home he was totally (I mean totally) soaked so he undressed in the laundry room so he could drape the clothes over the washer for me to wash tomorrow. Right now the skies seem to be pretty calm but they're calling for another band to roll through about 11:00pm so it will probably get pretty noisy. I think the weather will cool off enough to not stir up any tornadic winds. We've never had an evening tornado, but that doesn't rule one out. When the evenings cool off they seem to break down. We'll still keep an eye on things though. The shoulder roast that I cooked in my pressure "cooker" for about 3 hours was fork tender and fabulously tasteful. Dug some of my baked potatoes out of the frig and pitched them in (once it had cooled and I could open it) to simmer in the joices (I took the roast out) and then we had some scruptuous corn and a slice each of breaded eggplant. God's so good to His people! Look at the wonderful foods he supplies. LOL I always ask the Lord to bless our food when I cook it. It's a must for me. Once it' blessed it's blessed. Even Paul was told not to call anything God has blessed unclean...at least that's how I choose to interpret the scripture and apply it to my life. Watched alot of youtubes today about canning and downloaded info for my altitude etc. I'm trying to get up my nerve. I think I'll start with something cheap so that if they don't seal right or ??? I won't have spent alot of dollars to just have to pitch. I think it's Violet that says we can all can. Abby's been pretty hateful. I think it's because of all the stormy weather and she's not able to get out and run and play frisbie etc. We decided to wear her down tonight by dragging out the dremel and sanding down her toenails...LOL We have to muzzle her and then I feed her pieces of pretzel's while MM sands away. LOL

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MONDAY...It's been a very busy time for all Americans. Some trying to find new homes, some trying to find new jobs, some trying to find healing for their bodies & minds, and some that can't help but say "Thank You Lord" over and over again. Seems like we've been running around with water pistols trying to put out fires. Race to the garden area, then home to take care of food preparations, then to Little House to check things out, then to libraries, then MM to work site, and haven't found hardly a moment to just relax and have fun. The weather has been a stinker so I I've had to go to the homestead & take berry bushes, tomato plants and bell pepper plants in & out of the garage so they'll get some sun, water & not get frost bit or worse. Still need to mix up some additional "soil" but it rained again this afternoon and tonight it's supposed to turn back very cold again so I may have to leave my plants in the garage. Wanted to get them a little earlier to avoid having to get what's been picked over. Haven't set in my onions or garlic yet, and still have seeds to plant. Gardening's been hard for eveybody I think, whether it's losing their produce or just not being able to get the stuff in the beds. Mtn.Man did get yard here mowed this evening, but weedeater wouldn't start. We bought it used this spring (a re-build) and haven't used it even once! I guess it's the usual "buyer beware" scenario. Try to save some money & it ends up you're actually wasting it. Grass is growing up between the paving stones in Abby's kennel so we'll have to take them out & put some weed mat over the sand, and then put them back down. Took Mother out for her birthday so that was an enjoyable time for all three of us. As mentioned, we've not had much "down" time other than creeping into bed at night & dragging outselves out each morning, especially Mtn.Man. He can't figure out who keeps using that 2x4 on him while he sleeps. I think alot of it is because he's so tired & sleeps so soundly that he doesn't turn over unless Abby gets him up to go outside or I nudge him to turn him over to the other side when snoring wakes me. Every morning we look at each other, smile and say "this getting older really sucks". Didn't watch too much news today, just listened to radio some while in the kitchen. Did watch alot of youtube's of bexarprepper though. For those of you in the Texas area who've never watched any of her tubes, you'll enjoy them I think. With ladies like her, Katzcradul and Perbain...how can we go wrong!? LOL I love to watch both Perbain's bread making antics and her blunt communications. LOL

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FRIDAY...It's been a very busy week, but productive. Most of the garden squares are ready, just the ones for my corn need more "soil" and the 4x4's need to get sunk so I can hang my potato buckets. The tomato plants are in, the bell peppers are in & and the onions are in. Then we've had a beautiful, slow soaking rain off and on all day so this is GOOD for my "babies"! We worked inside the travel trailer most of the day and Abby-girl just found her a comfy place to lay and listened to the rain & Mtn.Man's impact screw driver as he hung me a new plastic (gotta stay light weight) medicine cabinet in the bathroom. All it had was a mirror so everything took up space in a drawer or a closet. I can't believe how much more room we've got by making just a few cheap modifications. When we do extened travelling, we need for it to be comfy & homey. Also got the tv working (traded a big floor lamp for a flat screen tv) so that will be nice. It's also operational with wifi so we're expecting to be able to power it with our ACER like we do at home and watch youtube's etc., anywhere we can tap into wifi. Also put in a counter extension so that when I'm cooking I have a place to set plates since we converted the dinette into a couch-type area with cushions in a horse shoe shape. I also found a really nifty "food tray" made of wood with a nice black/glass top that I put in between where we'll be sitting so we'll have a place to sit our water etc. Put our tv pillow cushions (the big armchair type) on each corner so we'll be quite comfy on our new "couch". Got my new spice rack up over the frig. The back of the bathroom door has a nice web-type (sort of looks like a shoe rack) hanging shelf that I was able to put baby wipes, extra toothpaste, razors, etc. and one inside the bathroom on the wall. Mtn.Man got the new "reading shelf" built for our "headboard" and it serves both our DVD's, VCR's and whatever books we're reading. A new wire backet under each of our closets that serve as big "drawers' for our extra's...flip flops, socks etc. Got the new "curtain" hung so I can draw it across the foot of our bed to block out the light while Mtn.Man's reading etc. Got three new overhead light's changed over to LED's so they'll be much better when we're dry camping & running off our house batteries. I had to sort of laugh to myself thinking..."it's been drizzling all day and everybody's laying around in their homes except us..." I told Mtn.Man that when I was a working woman, on dreary drizzlers the phones rang off the hook with ill-tempered people. Today, even the cashiers etc. seemed to be "duhs"...LOL We did fudge though and ate cheeseburgers for supper...the burgers I cooked a long time ago & vacume sealed and put in the freezer. Just opened them up, hit the defrost on the microwave, sliced some homemade bread, added some cheese & may and chips and we were good to go! We've quit buying hamburger buns etc.. We enjoy our homemade bread. The density I get by mixing it in my food processor and then kneading it for a bit before it rises the first time, and then rolling it out and letting it rise for the second time...just can't be beat! It's easier on my hands too since I make bread about every 3 or 4 days. I'd love to put up enough to freeze but the food processor won't hold that much dough, and I don't like the way a bread machine mixes my dough. If we don't have any more rain tomorrow, we'll get back to work on the garden. Everybody have a wonderful weekend!

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SATURDAY...still having a nice, fairly warm, misty-type rain all day. Tomato & bell pepper babies look absolutely wonderful! Went to Menard's today and they were having a huge sale, so we couldn't resist. Purchased two large artificial owls & put them on two conduit rods & drove them into the ground. I think maybe birds & rabbits won't like them at all. Also found the most wonderful cannister vacume seal sets (with 3 in each) that included a hand pump, for $10 a box so we bought two boxes. With these cannisters I can use the manual ziplock type pumps, the pumps that are with the sets & are like the ziplock types only red & white, or I can use the battery operated type pumps that I have...or I can just put my hose on them & hook them up to my food saver. I feel I really got a huge bargain with these. Also bought a nice tote to start our "wonder oven" type cooker. It's large enough and dark colored enough that it should do a bang up job. We've got the insulation "peanuts" things, two king sized bed pillows, and will use my stainless steel pressure cooker to nestle down into it. I'll try it out a time or two before we take it camping with us. If it works okay for us, we can bungy strap the lid to keep varmints out if we're out on a hike or on the water in the canoe etc. and supper will be ready when we get home. Also ran into a young man who's getting out of the military and is selling everything he owns to get money to fly home to California. We got so many bargains we almost felt bad, but we paid the price he was asking. All of the items were nearly new. A shovel $5, a small, camper sized rice steamer $1, leather gloves for MM $2, a nice digital camera $15, a small travel size/emergency size hack saw $1, a plug-in-charge air compressor to carry in your car $5, a small travel sized suitcase on wheels $1, and just alot of other things that we can put to good use. The camera was the most expensive thing, but was brand new and we just couldn't pass it up. MM can use it to replace the one he currently uses in his work to take pics before a job and after a finished job. We don't like to "push expenses forward" but sometimes we just can't pass up good deals and believe God puts these bargains in our pathway for a reason. Either we can use the items or we can re-sale them for a small profit. Tomorrow is supplosed to be a nice, warm, rain-free day so we'll get back to gardening so those two "owls" can earn their keep! LOL

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WEDNESDAY...It's been in the low 80's since Monday but cooling nicely in the evenings. Did give up at bedtime last night though and turn the a/c on to 78 so we could get a little better rest since we've been getting so hot during the day time working etc. Abby-girl just wandered around the house panting. Poor baby, that's the drawback on Lab's I guess. They just don't tolerate heat well without lots of water to have fun in. Guess we'll drag her pool out at the homestead and let her play "wet dog" while we're working in the garden or etc. Going over tonight so Mtn.Man can scrap some metal he's collected & get it ready to turn into cash. When we built the new "man cave" (his humongous metal machine barn) he scrapped enough of the varioius types of metal to put the gravel down for the driveways. Whenever he does work for anyone he always asks them about scrap metal & if they have it they give it to him free. Very resourceful he is he is! LOL It's supposed to rain tonight so my garden babies will enjoy that. Got all the Hosta's dug out yesterday & going to put some top soil to fill the gaps. Will use some concrete blocks to line around the area & put in some herbs or something that I'll enjoy stepping out the back door of the patio room & grabbing some to cook with. IF we can keep Abby out of them! She's a leaf thief as well as a paper shredder! LOL Not sure what we're going to do this weekend but probably clean out some more of the "man cave" so we can inventory for an upcoming yard sale we want to have & turn into some quick cash, as well as working on the Little House more. Time to get on with our summer projects. I have to admit though, I'm suffering a severe case of "hitch-itch" so we may drag the travel trailer to the state park & stay there while we're working on the Little House (since it's only about 3 miles away). That should cure the hitch-itch AND get some work done too. Camping at the state park is more expensive than the corps sites we normally camp at, but it's closer so we figure the cost of gas will even things out a bit. Got some whites in the laundry, but did get the bathroom washed & scrubbed down yesterday as well as towels etc., washed & dried, so I'm a bit behind on laundry. That happens during planting season though, but I've kept it caught up so it won't take long to catch up the rest today. Wanting Mtn.Man to get my clothesline in the ground so I can hang some things outside. I want him to put a pvc pipe in the ground so I can just put the clothesline in it (it's one of the round ones that you can rotate) when I'm using it and take it down if I want. Just not sure where I want it, we just don't have any yard here. Our poor Abby-girl is such a big girl and has done a wonderful job of "living like a little dog" but sometimes her frustration gets the better of her and she decides she's going to visit our little neighbor boy or chase a rabbit...LOL A good weekend at the state park will help alot! We play frisbie with her and she loves that, until she's tires and decides to hide in the bushes (at the homestead) and take it with her. NOT...it's a Kong, but too expensive for her to chew up! Well, I guess I'd better get around and go water by garden babies. Will play frisbie tonight with her while Mtn.Man scraps metal. Have a wonderful day friends!

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THURSDAY...weather forecasters predicting a major winter storm coming in from the west, and even though it didn't look like it would come our way, we went ahead and put up our "loops" and covered two of the 4x4's with plastic to seal in some of the warmth from yesterday and protect our baby veggies from any torrential-type rains. Only got one cloud burst of rain that lasted about 3 minutes and then I didn't hear anything for the rest of the night. The day is cool, 45 or so but no sun so I'll leave the covers on the 4x4's unless the sun does decide to come out. Then I'll have to scoot on over & remove the plastic. Don't want to bake my plants. Saw lots of baby onions reaching for the sky! I get such a thrill when I see the veggies begin to emerge and celebrate life! Mnt.Man took quite a load of metals this morning to the recycling plant, so he'll soon have enough to put some more gravel at the homestead where we need it, and maybe some extra for where son's parking his truck. We told him he'd pay half, so if he doesn't, then he won't get any of it! We'll put it where we park our trailer & in front of our metal shed. Still need to dismantle the Rubbermaide shed & get it moved into the garden yard. Guess we will drive to Little House this weekend to pick up water bill for payment & stop by a home-shop guy that we bought our weedeater from & see if he can figure out why it hasn't started since we brought it home...??? Hopefully it will be a freebie. Either way, we need it fixed before the green stuff gets any further ahead of MM than it already is. Mowed here once, but not yet at Little House so it's looking like a hay field at the Little House besides having tree limbs down in back that MM didn't get cut up. Doesn't take much to mow & weed eat here but Little House has a fairly large yard. Dug out my rubber crock-style flip flops early in week but will have to put on shoes & socks if I go out today...LOL

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