Granny’s Surgery Journey

I have debated on what and how much to share about this but have decided I will share my facts and experience just for a record.

On Monday June 10th, my mother had an elective mastectomy of her left breast.  This was also the day that Kendall left for camp for a week.

After discussion, praying and planning. I had taken the entire day off on Monday. The rest of the week, I worked and then headed straight to the hospital to spend some time with Mom and to give my sister-in-law and brother a chance to go home. We had discussed beforehand that no one would be spending the night as mom is normally alone at night. Surgery went well but, in the recovery room, she went into A-fib.  The result was a cardioversion that occurred on Thursday.  I don’t function well on little sleep and each evening up to Wednesday was long and I got home much later than anticipated.  Most nights I talked a few minutes to Matt, Lily and Zach before heading to bed.

Mom was up and walking Thursday evening!

She was able to come home on Friday!

Summer Goal!

I finally feel like an adult!  Yes I am 52 years old with 5 kids and grandkids but I finally did something that is very adult. We purchased a new car without a hassle or worry about whether we can afford it?

Let me give you the back story.   Lily was accepted into the Disney College Program. She will be at Disney working and taking college classes from Aug to January 2nd.  She purchased her 2007 PT Cruiser about 5 years ago. It is a cute little car and perfect for driving around in Lexington and the surrounding area.   I would not feel comfortable with her driving even 30 minutes to and from work each day. Kendall is turning 16 this summer and will need a car to drive in Lexington and the surrounding area.  So after some prayer and discussion, between Matt and I we decided that it would work best if I purchased a new car.  Kendall purchased Lily’s car for fair market value, this money became a down payment for my Equinox .  LIly will be paying $50 a month for the Equinox until she gets a real job and can make a real car payment.

I have known about the need to purchase a new car for several months and even put it on my list of goals for the summer.

But life happens and the timeline to purchase a car has become very urgent.    On Monday, I found and purchased a 2022 Nissan Rogue.  This was a fairly easy process.

Second goal for the summer has been met.

Thursday Thoughts

One of the big things happening this summer is home repair and renovation. Because I am available during the day to watch and move things, it makes sense for most of this to occur in the summer. We started a line of credit this Spring to help make this easier and more efficient.   So far we have painted the hall bathroom and hallway and installed a new shower rod. We have purchased a new cabinet and faucet with a plan to install this week.  A new toilet will be installed when the floor is replaced.  The floor in the hall, dining room, kitchen and laundry room is scheduled to be replaced on June 18th.  The goal is to repaint the kitchen and dining room prior to the flooring just for convenience sake.  We already have the paint for this but I don’t think it will happen this weekend. We also have received a quote to have our shower room fixed and expanded. This is likely going to occur in June as well. We will be having our old deck replaced as well.   We have scheduled to have the septic tank pumped on June 20th.  The next item on the list is to replace the front door.   I am not sure if there is anything else we will tackle as this is most of our “dream” items.  Except for a “garage” on the front.

I have been focused on slowly starting to build back up our freezers and pantries. I am trying to complete one item a day.  Sunday- frozen bananas (another 3#), Monday- beef broth (15 quarts and 3 pints), Tuesday and Wednesday- survived life.  My goal is to get a gallon or more of strawberries frozen tonight.
We are starting to get some squash from the garden as well. It is always a good side dish but I would also like to get some bags of squash casserole in the freezer or better, yet I will have to see if I can them!
The summer count down is officially 11 days but I have 9 workdays left!

Five Things Friday

1. I officially have 3 weeks left of work. However, this is my last 5-day week as I have other things happening that require time away from work during these last three weeks.
2. Every Bit Counts- as school winds down, I am starting to work toward a total restock of our pantries and freezer.  This week, I decided to attempt one item a day.  Tuesday- gallon of Strawberries, Wednesday- 10# of mashed potatoes Thursday- 3 # of bananas frozen for smoothies.
3. We are planning to pick up our cow tomorrow.  It is 350# of meat. I am hoping to get around 100# processed this weekend.  I will keep you posted.
4. May is the most expensive month for us. We have car insurance, pool fees on top of end of the year expenses.  We also added Kendall’s birthday party to this year. I am happy to say. We have survived the month and covered all the expenses.
5. Chicken Drama- Wednesday this week, the door did not open. Lily was going to feed at 2pm and let them out.  We have been monitoring and it has not missed again so who knows what is up.   Then on Thursday evening, a dog that we have not seen before was at the chicken coop and growling at the back corner. “Lucky” the rooster managed to get all the hens in the coop before anything went wrong.  We are also struggling with keeping the coop dry with all the excess rain we have been having.


Saving on Saturday

This weekend we are focusing on saving by using what we have!

One of the projects that I wanted to complete prior to the summer is to empty and clean our large chest freezer that is in the building. This freezer is probably 25-30 years old and was purchased used for $75.  It needs to be de-iced and given a break.  Matt and I have emptied it out except for ice that we need for our upcoming trip. In the process, I needed to do with the two gallon size bags of frozen tomatoes that I have.  I decided to toss them in the crockpot along with a couple of other items and make some more pasta sauce. I typically freeze the sauce but decided to try water bath canning this time.  We ended up with four quarts after dinner so we will try one and see how it taste. I am hoping to be able to can my sauce this year in order to be less dependent on the freezer in the future. It is much easier to store and transport jars than frozen foods.

After taking out my electric canner, I thought I should go ahead and get some beans canned for future use. I ended up running 4 loads of 8 quarts each of beans. This did allow me to use up all the empty pint jars along with all my canning lids that are not on new jars. I had to place an order for more lids.  I also cleaned and organized the canning closet. I am very happy with the contents and have big plans for the summer.

For breakfast this morning, I made French toast using up the last of the sour dough bread that I made this summer along with the remaining heavy whipping cream.   I had about half of the egg mixture left so instead of throwing away, I added hash browns and bacon. It was a hit at lunch with little work and no waste.

For dinner, I made nachos with taco rice that is left-over. The best compliment was from Lily “This is better than I expected.”

I ended up spending a lot of time this afternoon, transplanting tomatoes. More on this tomorrow!

Five Things Friday

  1. Two years ago, Facebook reminded me that I had COVID for the second time. Today, I hope I am at the end of a stomach virus.
  2. We are in the single digit until our Disney trip. I actually have a long list of items that need to be accomplished before we leave. The goal is to get everything completed this week.
  3. Our grocery budget is currently still under $200 which makes me very happy!
  4. We gathered 7 chicken eggs after getting 4 yesterday which means that all the chicken laid an egg today! This is a first!  One that I hope at least for a week or so continues.
  5. We will be spending some time tommorow up potting our tomato plants.  Another first that I am excited about and can’t wait to share on Sunday with a garden update!.

5 Things Friday

  1. The goal for this weekend is to rest and prepare. We are looking at 3 of the busiest weeks starting on Monday!  I need to get a game plan for food and make sure nothing is missing.  Kendall and Zach have a youth group activity next Friday night and a parent meeting for summer swim next Sunday.
  2. Lily is currently at Disney with her friend Izzy!  She will spend the weekend with Haley and fly home late on Monday.
  3. Zach has his first official baseball game on Monday night.  He has practice Tuesday through Friday nights. Next Saturday is a all day school fieldtrip. With his MPA band performance on the following Tuesday.
  4. Kendall started with year round swimming this week. She has practice Monday thru Thursday evenings form 5:00pm to 6:00pm. She also is preparing and planning to start community college classes next fall.
  5. I am planning to make a complete garden update on Sunday. But we have been seed starting for the past three weeks!

Saving on Saturday!

This winter has been extremely mild and wet.  Last weekend, the temperature was around 60 degrees. We took the opportunity to get outside and started working on some areas to grow foods.  I am hoping to be able to can more than I have in the past and I also want to grow more than I have in the past.  I decided that I needed to make a couple of changes for this year.

We removed the large and tall, wire that was on the back of the building. Last year, I attempted to grow cucumbers and had limited success, even with using starts that I had purchased. I decided that I would try something different. We decreased the size to just about my height and moved the wire to a 12 foot bed. The ideas is that I should be able to grow at least 24 cucumber plants along this trellis!   I am going to try to plant one side and then about four weeks later plant along the other side. My goal is to can a years supply of cucumbers and make cucumber relish as well.  Time will tell.

I want to try and grow lufas this year and needed a space so we attached another section of wire to both of the beds. The lufas should grow down and feel the space.

Today 2/17/2024, I planted 50 seeds for spinach. It would be nice to start getting some fresh spinach but also grow enough to freeze for use next winter.  I started 12 broccoli plants inside as well.   I have attempted to overwinter some green pepper plants in the greenhouse but decided to go ahead and order seeds as well. I would love to grow enough peppers not only for fresh eating but to stock the freezer as well. We will be attempting to grow bell peppers, wax peppers (these worked really really well in salsa and some lunchbox peppers as well.

This is totally Matt’s idea but it is a great idea so I wanted to share. This is the bike rake that fits in the Tahoe trailer hitch.  Matt drilled a couple of precise holes in the frame of the trailer and put the hitch in the side. This way it keeps everything off the ground and also prevents the straps from getting broken off.

This week we also headed to Goodwill to try and find some clothes that were needed. We ended up with 7 shirts for $22.   Next stop was Belk’s by shopping the clearance racks we found 4 shirts for Zach for $42.00.

Remember every little bit counts!

Saving on Saturday

Today the focus was on using what we have!   We headed out really early for Braxton’s ballgame. I did not want to stop and purchase breakfast, so I made a German pancake and a package of sausage links from the freezer.  For lunch, I made meatballs and lil smokies in the crockpot.  And for dinner, I added sour dough waffles.

We also finished taking down all the Christmas decorations. I absolutely LOVED having the curtain rod with ornaments over the kitchen sink. In fact, I liked it so much that I decided that I needed to purchase a curtain to go on the rod.   However, when I found my bag of Valentine’s items, I decided I could use some of these items and hold off buying a curtain. I do love the way it turned out.

I also went ahead and decorated the sign outside again with things we already have! It also turned out as well.

Total spent today was $20 for entrance into the game.

Every little bit counts!