Saturday, November 30, 2019

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap

Man, this post is really late.  It's been so insanely busy around here I completely forgot what day it was until I looked at a calendar and then I'd run and do the next thing on my list.  So, no worries all, I'm still alive.  Just REALLY tired after this month.

Well, before I begin, I feel I really need to acknowledge the fact that today is the one year anniversary of the November 30, 2018 earthquake.  An event that, literally, shook our lives and has seen us scrambling to recover ever since.   I know a lot of people up here who are pretty much spending today standing in a doorway for fear that mother nature will repeat the event, but I've gotten to a point that if you live in fear, fear will rule you, and honestly I don't want to live like that.  I did for a few months after the earthquake, for sure, but you can't live like that forever.

What has happened?  Tons.  So, let's get to the recap of everything.  I'm just going to work money saving things into the actual recap, otherwise I'll forget things.  Trust me, it's been a crazy, what, 20 days or so since my last update?

First, we awoke one day to see that winter had, officially, arrived.  We were up early to get a head start on school work and after working on it for a while I realized that it was approaching dawn, so I stuck my head out and took some pictures for you.  Sadly, the moon didn't turn out as awesome as it looked in person (when do pictures ever really capture what you are looking at?), but everything really looked cool in the dawn early light.

Might I just say how I'm really enjoying the snow when we are getting it this year in a way.  It covers the roof of the barn that is caving in since the quake (it lost a main support bean so the middle of the roof is sagging), you can't see the missing gutters and things.  Everything just looks pretty and I can sit, enjoy it and realize that any work that is left has to be put aside until Spring, so why worry about it :).

The snow actually melted into the less desired ice rather quickly, but it was pretty while it lasted.

People from areas that get snow in the winter are like, "You can move on now!  I've seen snow before" but I hope those who come from environments that don't get snow at least enjoy the show ;).

At this point the cats took off at a run, landed in the snow and got upset that outside was broken, so they went back in.  But, I got one last shot before the sun was completely up for the day.  Well at least until the clouds moved in and everything was grey again *laugh*.

Right, moving on!

Next up on the recap is that the reason I haven't blogged during the weekends like I've  been planning on.  The daughter and I made a deal that she could take time off of school, but ONLY if she worked ahead, working through the weekends, to make sure she had time off "banked" to use for things like Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Christmas break (we are hoping to take the week of Christmas off from school work).  So, we've been working through the weekends the last bit, thus the reason I have been having a hard time finding time to do much outside of day to day activities.  It's been busy!

And then there is the day to day activities!

The in-laws have been really generous in allowing us to use their dumpster the last bit, which I'm really grateful for as money has been flying out the door whether we wanted it to or not.  The husband had a bad pain in his ear, so he ended up going to the doctor's and getting diagnosed with a sinus infection (which, honestly, I think he's been battling for months and finally succumbed to), so he ended up on antibiotics.  There was the daughter's orthodontist appointment with impending bottom braces news.  There was the full dyslexia and learning disability testing we took the daughter in for, which will cost money when insurance figures it all out.  And I'm on antibiotics round three to try and get rid of this darned staph infection that just refuses to die.  It's been crazy around here.  

The daughter went in for her baby sitting boot camp class and learned a lot of first aid techniques and is now, officially, accredited in Red Cross first aid training and CPR for the next two years.  I'm very proud of her for getting through the class and doing so well :).  We are hoping, with the love of swimming she's found since she started that she might one day want to get certified as a life guard.  Not only is that a really awesome skill to have, but it will also allow her to get a decent job when she gets older that is always in demand somewhere :).

Homeschooling the son is getting more into a groove around here.  He's definitely put me through my paces trying to find things that would work well for him.  I finally used part of our allotment with the home school to get him a new tablet and the Apple pencil (I keep calling it the IPen and I swear it'll remain such in my head).  I loaded his LAMP program to the new tablet and I went searching and found a bunch of free apps to use for him on top of a few I already had on our cloud.  I've gone through probably 20 or more apps to find ones that worked well for him, but he's now doing really well!  He does the tripod grip so much better with the new stylus pencil than he was doing with a marker (I theorize it has something to do with the weight as the Apple pencil is heavier than a traditional writing implement) and he's making forward progress.  Which makes me really happy as he's stagnated at public school the last few years. 

Feeding therapy makes him grumpy, but he's still tasting things and sniffing things and experiencing food more.  He's not happy about it, but he's doing it (bwahahahaha!).

Anyway, back to the dumpster angle (sorry tangents are going to happen on this post as so much has been going on).  Like I said the in-laws have been really generous with the use of their dumpster the last bit, so I (with help from my husband and a cordless saw) able to break down the couch and get it thrown away a few weeks ago.  

So, after I cleaned up the den after that and rearranged things, I put together the new chairs.  They are surprisingly comfortable, although I had to immediately make throw pillows for them as they are so deep I can't touch the floor if I sit all the way back in them.  

I was so happy that I had collected those sheets and things to try and make a fall themed quilt a while back, because the yellow sheet I found matches the walls in the den PERFECTLY, so the throw pillows look really nice in there.  I used recycled fill from the couch to stuff the pillows (more pillows are in the plans in the next bit to not only use up some of the leftover fill, but because I need some pillows), so they cost me basically nothing to make.  

I moved things around in the den so that we could have unobstructed access to the coat rack, which has been nice.

Unfortunately, moving things around also revealed to my husband that we have some pretty significant feeling cracks in the slab underneath the carpet in the den (it has a really thin carpet pad in there, so goodness knows if we have more cracks in the master bedroom to worry about as the pad in there is a lot thicker and could hide some issues).  He asked my brother-in-law over to check out the cracks and unevenness in the slab through the carpet and they both agreed that we probably need to pull back the carpet to see what we are dealing with in the damage area.  They are both pretty certain that we don't have any severe structural problems to worry about as our doors and windows work, nothing is obviously severely cracked in the walls and stuff, but we might have to jack hammer up our slab, fix the ground beneath and then pour new slab, which would cost...we'll just say more than I care to think about and leave it at that.  I'm am going to live in ignorant bliss until my husband wants to tackle that issue as I honestly don't know if I want to know at this point.

Anyway, onto cheerier subjects!

Another thing we have been up to is that we got our bathroom cabinets in and installed!  I am so thrilled with them.  The new vanities have drawers and the sinks we got at home depot are nice and deep (and only 50.00 a piece about), which replaced our falling in cabinets that had sinks that were cracked in the ceramic coating the cast iron  and losing porcelain since the earthquake.  We got just regular Formica counter tops installed on them, which is a lot more bulletproof than a lot of modern materials that are being used.
 We went with one sink in the master bathroom again to replace the old cabinet that also had one sink.  I know that two sinks is more modern, but if we had put in two sinks we wouldn't have been able to install the towel/linen cabinet on the left, which is by far one of my most favorite things EVER!  I FINALLY have a spot to put towels downstairs!!!  I still get a thrill opening the door and seeing towels folded up inside of it instead of having them out on the white cabinet where they could collect dust and things.  

We used the old faucet from the old downstairs sink and put it in upstairs in the other bathroom to save ourselves a bit of money.  It works a lot better than the old faucet did and my husband was able to get a drain kit to repair the broken drain so that we didn't have to replace the entire faucet.  We did have to buy a new faucet for the downstairs sink, so we got a nice dark brass faucet which both my husband and I really love.  It looks awesome in the bathroom and everything.  We were worried we'd have to replace the medicine cabinets, but after we installed the new cabinets, we both decided that the medicine cabinets didn't look bad and we're just going to leave them for now.  I still need to touch up the paint in both bathrooms where the cabinets went in (you can see a patch of white over on the right hand side above), but for the most part the bathrooms are done and I'm relieved.  The bathroom old bathroom cabinet in the master bath (the one that the above replaced) had gotten so wet in the past and the earthquake dislodged the sewer drain just a tiny bit, but enough to leak drops of water so there was mold under the cabinet that needed to get killed with extreme prejudice.  After going to town on it with nearly pure bleach, it cleaned up nicely and now everything is done right and working like it should.  Getting mold like that out of any house is a good thing, so I'm very glad we caught it by replacing the cabinet and it is fixed.  Huge relief.

I took the old white cabinet and cleaned it up and then moved it into the den for the time being.  The husband is going to work on building shelves for the den, but until then I figured the shelf could be useful holding books and things.  It actually does look nice in the den (I know it's still terribly cluttered, but it's getting better slowly but surely), so I'm happy with it.

I finally found time to get the sauerkraut ready to ferment.  It took forever to find time, but finally this week, the day before Thanksgiving in fact, I knew that I needed to get the sauerkraut done or I would lose valuable fridge space to the cabbages.  So, I got the sauerkraut ready to go.  With the staph infection and things I made sure I was super duper careful (I'm normally very careful with anything that has to do with canning, but this time I was even more paranoid) so that the finished product would be safe.  I still need to find room in the pantry for the fermenting jars, but I'm glad that stage one is on and working.

We put up the brand new Christmas tree yesterday.  We were careful choosing the tree and shopped around to find the best deal.  We went with a pre-lit LED tree (I honestly couldn't find a unlit tree that was worth buying) and the son LOVES all the color changing settings the tree has.  I love the fact that it has a nice metal stand and is pretty solidly built, so it stands up straight without benefit of a bunch of ropes and ribbon holding it.  

Thanksgiving went well.  No major catastrophe happened.  I was able to use the free turkey I got from Carrs last year for our Thanksgiving turkey this year (and I got another free turkey at Carrs last week which then took the place of the other turkey I used in the freezer for next year) and stuffed the carcass into the crock pot after the meal (or most of it as the bird I ended up for our turkey this year was nearly 20 lbs) to make some really yummy turkey stock out of.  I'm looking forward to making turkey noodle soup later with that stock :).  I didn't need to buy potatoes for the rustic potatoes gratin recipe I make every year because I had the free potatoes I harvested from the experimental farm.  I was really happy with how Thanksgiving worked out this year and I got a ton of turkey left over to make different dishes with, which (to me anyway) is a wonderful thing in itself.

So, yeah, between all of that and therapy and just general running around (like my husband and I rushed to get last minute Christmas shopping done when my son was at therapy and my daughter was at a club meeting at the home school offices because the daughter won't have another club meeting until January and we knew we needed to get things done and hidden NOW *laugh*), it's amazing I remember what my name is.  

I know there is more to the list of things that has happened around here the last 20 days or so, but I'm going to call it good there as I hit all of the main ones (I think).  How about you all?  Been busy this month?

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

What's for Dinner: This Week's Menu

So here we are at antibiotics round 2.  I was off of antibiotics for, oh, about 24 hours or so and then I woke up yesterday morning to my face swelling up again.  Luckily (I should include this on a Frugal Friday post, but I'm going to be lazy today *laugh*) the doctor's office was good about just calling me in another prescription instead of making me go in for another visit (thus saving me nearly 200.00 for the visit) and the new antibiotics are doing a LOT better at making me feel better, so I'm glad of that.

Believe it or not, this actually plays into food *laugh*.

While sick, I ended up watching a lot of YouTube and things because I was just feeling so rotten the last thing I wanted to do was do much more than doing the kid's school work and getting the son back and forth to therapy.  We ended up eating way too monotonous of meals while I was sick just because I wasn't up to doing much at all, so while the pressure cooker was doing its job I would sit and watch YouTube.  I stumbled across a channel called "Northern Heart" which is a vlog type of channel by a woman who lives in the countryside in Sweden.  My dad had always compared his visions of Heaven (he had a lot of near death experiences with his heart) with the beauty of Sweden.  His mom was full blooded Swedish, so his Swedish upbringing had a big impact on me when I was young.  So it has been a lot of fun for me to see the scenery of Sweden.

Another thing that watching her channel made me remember was tons of things I'd nearly forgotten from my childhood.  Days before my parents fought all the time and my mom used to make things for my dad around the holidays.  Days of mince meat pies, saffron buns with little raisins stuck into them, Swedish holiday pastry rings and Swedish/angel chimes playing above little glowing candles.  It really brought a smile to my heart to remember those days.  In later days when my parents didn't get along for most of the year, somehow they did make an effort to around the holidays.  But really the only hold over of Swedish traditions that stayed through all of those years was we always celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve, instead of Christmas Day like all of my friends (which I always considered myself fortunate for celebrating it when we did), and we always went to Church before coming home and opening presents.

Anyway, the memories of all the now exotic to me food made me realize how monotonous our menu really had been of late, so now that I was actually feeling HUMAN again today (how happy I am to report that) when I went shopping I decided to put together some more fun menu items for the coming week since I had a bit of wiggle room in the grocery budget.

So, be prepared for some interesting additions to this week's menu *laugh*.  So, let's get to it!

Tuesday:  Cheese fondue with bread, fruit (I just bought a fruit tray from the store as it was WAY cheaper to buy produce that way.  Grapes are up to 4.99 lb alone, so yup...fruit tray it was), leftover beef and pork, sliced apples (on top of the fruit tray since apples weren't part of it). 
Wednesday:  Easy Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker Chicken Gyros .  Daughter's request (which thrilled me honestly).  Fruit salad (made from tonight's leftovers) on the side. 
Thursday:  Pizza and bread sticks 
Friday:  Chicken salad (the kids are going to help me cut up some hard boiled eggs and some lettuce and things.  We'll have it with peanut free walnuts from the pantry, dried cranberries from the pantry and some sharp cheddar cheese from the fridge :). 
Saturday:  Meatloaf, leftover salad, mashed potatoes and gravy 
Sunday:  Chicken noodle soup with grilled cheese sandwiches  OR Ruben sandwiches (if I can remember to buy some Swiss cheese, which I keep forgetting)
Monday:  Spaghetti (use leftover meatloaf in the sauce), home made rolls, salad
Breakfast:  Yogurt Parfaits (I bought plain Greek yogurt and we'll use honey to sweeten it and use home canned blueberries and cherries from the pantry or jams and jellies we have to flavor them :), cranberry orange muffins and banana bread muffins, cinnamon bread (hopefully I'm still having decent amounts of energy to do things like this), English muffins or toast, cereal, oatmeal with toppings (nuts, raisins or craisins, spices, syrup, etc).

Lunches:  Leftovers, grilled hot dogs, cashew butter and jelly sandwiches, other things as they come to mind.

Feeding therapy items:  Leftover spaghetti (pasta with a teeny weeny bit of tomato sauce on it for Alvah to try), leftover salad (he is going to be expected to at least taste Craisins, lettuce and things), mashed potatoes, chicken broth, tomatoes, grapes, sliced apple.

And there you are folks.  Hopefully our menu plan for the next week (fingers crossed I continue to feel better).  How about you?  Have anything good on the menu this week?

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap

Right, so here it is.  The promised recap of money saving things I've done the last little bit.  

Unfortunately, it is kind of a balance this time.  We ordered bathroom cabinets, which definitely cost money, I had a doctor's appointment so more money and we found out that we are going to have to pay for bottom braces for the daughter in a few months which was yet more money yet.  And the daughter went in for dyslexia testing yesterday (we are waiting on the results) and that will be more money going out the much depends on insurance.  BUT, it was balanced out by a few things, so let's get to those :).

1.  Yes, I had a doctor's appointment and had to get on antibiotics to get rid of a staph infection.  BUT, I did not *knock on wood* end up in the hospital before I caught on something was amiss, which I've known other people who weren't so lucky.

2.  Yup, the bathroom cabinets cost money, but we are getting really good quality cabinets from an outfit with a really good reputation and we are even getting a linen cabinet built into the master bath vanity, so I'll finally have a place to put towels :).

3.  We went in for our orthodontist check up and got the daughter's spacer removed off of her bottom teeth.  She gets to go back in the beginning of the new year to get bottom braces figured out, which is going to hurt when it comes to that bill.  BUT, we've known for a while that she was going to need bottom braces, she's still young so her teeth will move a lot easier (making the whole process easier on her), she managed to get her baby molars out by herself so that we didn't have to pay to get them removed (which saved us a bunch of money) and she gets to be dental mechanism free for Christmas and was for Halloween as well.  So, hey as bright sides go, those are pretty good!

4.  We finally got someone to test the daughter for learning disabilities!  I'm just thrilled to get it done at this point, to Heck with the costs involved.

And now onto the money saving things that have happened the last bit!

1.  Well, a neat side benefit I've found on homeschooling the kids is that I get to be part of parent groups for the home school which gives me all kinds of neat little things I learn about.  For instance I found out that our local school district has sales where they get rid of overstock things they don't need for really cheap at their warehouse.  We decided to zoom over there on the last day of the sale a few weeks ago and found that they had books for .10 each and there were pallets and pallets of things to go through.  We found a bunch of books on all kinds of different subjects for super cheap (the box of books seen up top).  They also had a pallet stuffed with file cabinets and they were 5.00 a piece, no matter how big.  I have been needing a good filing cabinet to keep records for the son and financial records in, so we bought one and my husband went through and found a REALLY heavy duty filing cabinet for us.  I moved it across the den to the its new home by my desk so I can safely attest to the fact that the sucker is HEAVY *laugh*.

2.  Through a homeschooling event, I was able to sign the daughter and my mother-in-law to go and see a performance of "The Nutcracker Suite" in December.  It's only the highlights of the ballet, so it is not really super long (which is good since it'll fit into my mother-in-laws schedule that way) and there is a brown bag lunch event after that students can attend to meet the cast.  It was super cheap for tickets, so I signed them both up.  

I have to say how thrilled I am to be able to let my daughter go to events like these now.  With the discount pricing I can actually afford for her to go, where normal ticket price events there is NO way I could afford to do these things.

3.  My in-laws were nice enough to let us throw away the old love seat pieces in their dumpster before it got picked up so we didn't have to pay for another dump run to get rid of them.  I was also able to, by taking it apart myself, reclaim some of the wood pieces so that my husband can use them at  a later date for some other project.

The space to the center there is where the love seat was previously jammed.  Yay for reclaimed space!

Now that I know what I'm doing I've found that the couch is going a LOT quicker than the love seat did.  I know how the pieces fit together now and am able to get them apart a lot easier.  Exhibit A:

I was able to get all of that done yesterday :).  

I am going to save a bunch of the stuffing that was in the back and arms to make pillows out of, which is definitely cheaper than buying fiber fill for things like that.

4.  I was actually really sick for Halloween, unfortunately, and spent a good part of the afternoon in bed.  There was kind of an odd silver lining.  A couple of days before Halloween the husband was supposed to have a pot luck at work and we signed up to bring brownies, so I had managed to bake brownies.  Right before my face started swelling and I got sick.  My husband had to call in sick the night of the pot luck because he was really worried about my face swelling up (as was I, honestly), so we had a tray of brownies to use for Halloween treats.  I had promised the kids cookies, but I just wasn't up to making them, so my husband took the daughter with him to the store and they bought some peanut free sugar cookies from the bakery at Carrs/Safeway (not the cheapest option, but the kids enjoyed them) and some Chips Ahoy cookies for the son (they are a favorite of his and I don't buy them very often anymore).  I then popped a huge bowl of popcorn and after going to a local Halloween event we came home and watched movies and ate popcorn and treats.

I had gotten a really good personalized price on pumpkins, so we got our usual Jack O' Lantern pumpkin and then I got a few small ones for the kids to design and carve.  The son wasn't interested (thus why the one pumpkin isn't carved out), but the daughter had a blast making hers (the one with the eyelashes *laugh*).

5.  I repaired another hole in the yellow comforter I try and keep on my bed.  I really like the comforter and tried to figure out a way to keep the comforter alive longer.  While on Amazon I found some duvet covers that were like 10.00 per set ( these ones associate link or anything, just sharing).  They are up to 25.00 per set, but I have to say that once I got them in the mail they are really good quality sets and hey for the 10.00 I paid for two off white sets and a one aloe green set, I am really happy with them.  Hopefully they will allow my poor comforter to live for a while longer since I won't have to wash the comforter as much this way.

6.  I took help where it was offered.  The missionaries always ask if they can help with anything when they come to visit and I always say, "No, I'm good.  Thanks."  I was so sick with the staph infection, though and I knew my husband desperately wanted to get some things done before snow started flying.  Things that included some heavy lifting.  Things I wasn't up to doing in my current state (and honestly, I doubt I'd be up to them yet...I still get winded easily after that whole mess).  So, I called the missionaries and asked for help.

They came over with a few other church members one day last week and helped to do a few quick things that the husband just plain needed help to get accomplished.  We repaid them for their kindness with lunch on the grill and Gatorade.  They were thrilled we asked for help, even though I still feel bad having to ask for it, as they need to do so much good will work as part of their mission.  And now, at least, we are a lot more prepared for snow fall.

7.  I was able to take advantage of a deal at Carrs where if you spent 100.00 in one shopping trip you'd get 10 gas rewards.  I spent little over 100.00 for the two weeks of groceries we'd need (I'm pretty set for Thanksgiving except for a few tiny things that I still have to get, so that helped to keep my costs down) and used one of the fuel rewards to load a coupon to my card for a free 18 pack of eggs (which I'll get the next time I go shopping).  I then used the fuel rewards to fill up my truck (which desperately needed gas with all the running to therapy and things I do), which saved me a bunch of money :).

8.  We had fun watching programs that were included with Amazon Prime on the TV at Halloween.  The kids really liked, "If You Give a Mouse a Pumpkin" and have even watched it a few times since Halloween.  I went on YouTube and looked up, "The Berenstain Bears Meet Big Paw" and the kids have been having fun watching that too, especially the son.  The daughter and I also fell in love with a BBC production of "Sense and Sensibility" that is available for free with Amazon Prime and we've watched it a few times.  The series starred the actor that played Mathew in "Downton Abbey" as Edward, which it is always fun seeing members of the cast in other places :).

9.  I was contemplating getting our cat, Prince, micro chipped as he's always losing his collar and escaping outside.  I was worried about how much it would cost when I suddenly, and quite fortunately, got a letter in the mail from the outfit this his micro chip is registered through offering me all kinds of services for twenty some dollars a year.  I didn't realize that the pound micro chips the animals, so I now have the microchip number and everything in the event I need it.  I was happy as this saved me a trip to the vet only to find out that the cat was already micro chipped *laugh*.

And there you go folks.  Some of the things that have happened around here of late.  How about you?  Had anything neat going on in your lives?

And, yeah,  I think I'm going to call it good there.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Monthly Goals: November, 2019

Our front yard as of yesterday.  We haven't gotten buried in snow yet, thank goodness, as there is still so much to do around here.  Not trying to brag or anything to those poor souls down South that have been getting buried in snow the last month...just grateful we aren't in that camp yet.

Right, first, I know the Frugal Friday/Savings post for the last bit is missing around here, but I'm just going to skip it until this Friday and try to get back onto a regular blogging schedule instead of doing the whole "skip two weeks and play catch up" thing I've been having to do since the earthquake pretty much.

I would have at least posted up an update the last couple of weeks, but the daughter and I sat down and discussed school schedules and she really wanted to take Halloween and the day after off from schoolwork, so I made a deal that if we worked through the previous weekend and worked ahead she could have those two days off.  And she did wonderfully, even going so far as to get an additional day of math done on top of it so she could have a relatively light day yesterday when we "started back to school".

This actually ended up being a Godsend for me as I woke up early last week with my mouth swelling up.  I, at first, thought it was an allergic reaction to something in the air, but after many doses of Benadryl and showers and everything it didn't go away and actually seemed to be getting worse, so off to the doctor's I went praying it wasn't an undiagnosed food allergy.  Turns out I have a staph infection.  Oddly enough I didn't feel bad, with the exception of the mouth of course, until I started the antibiotics.  They are working, but the infection keeps trying to pop up on different areas of my face (which the salve they gave me seems to keep that from becoming a problem).  The antibiotics have also given me a constant headache since I started taking them (which I guess is a common side effect from what the nurse was telling me) and I'm bone dead tired to the point that I've cancelled appointments, leaned on my husband heavily to get the kids from point A to point B for different activities and things and have thanked the good Lord many times that I have a pressure cooker so I only have to stand for limited periods of time to get dinner started before I can sit back down again. 

The nurse, when I called concerned late last week, warned me that staph can be a real pain to get rid of so be prepared to have to do more than one bout of antibiotics if I am not feeling well by day 9 out of 10 on the antibiotics.  I'm not there yet, so I'm praying that the first round of antibiotics kills it and I can start to feel better.

But, yeah, blogging hasn't been in the cards the last couple of weeks, unfortunately.

So, basically that's been my life the last couple of weeks or so.  I'll update a bunch more, hopefully, this Friday and get it all up to speed 100%, but in the meantime let's talk about monthly goals.

I've been in a constant state of taking one thing at a time since the earthquake.  Making lists and things would just completely overwhelm the husband and I both as we realized how much there was yet to do and it seemed like more and more would get added to the list and not much would be taken off.  But, since homeschooling started, I've found myself needing to do lists again or everything just gets behind because I'm a creature that needs to stay organized or things go to chaos too fast.  So, list writing begins anew!

I have a lot of varied things to do this month and it's all things I NEED to do, or in some cases get started on at least, or things will get really complicated in a bad way by the end of the month, so let's get to it!

Monthly Goals:  November, 2019

Repair/Rebuild Goals:
1.  At least START to repair various cracks and things in the master bedroom to get it ready to paint (I decided I am going to at least finish the downstairs and then move onto the's better than the random room repair and repainting I seem to have been doing up to this point. 
2.  Pay for bathroom vanity cabinets (they are on order now) and see if there is an ETA for the cabinets so the husband and I can figure out demolishing out what is left of the old cabinets. 
3.  Shop for new bathroom sinks for when the new cabinets come in.  Pick up more painter's tape. 
4.  Put den back together as much as possible.  Use old sewing cabinet, for now, to hold books that were removed from the bookcases to free up space and gets things a bit more usable in den (making shelves is on the husband's to do list, but he wants to do it right, so it's been slow going as he plans things).  Set up new printer for schoolwork and insurance renewal paperwork needs. 
Finish demolishing old love seat and demolish old couch (this is going very slowly as I've been doing it on my own due to my husband's schedule and things, but I'm getting there ever so slowly).  Set up new chairs.  Use some stuffing from old couch to make new throw pillows for chairs and upstairs love seat (I found that the fill for the love seat upstairs was actually really clean in places, so I'm thinking of reusing the fill from the couch if it is just as clean).  
5.  Set up multi-media shelves in living room to house some of the videos that are currently in boxes (I bought the shelves a while ago and have finally decided to set them up in the living room where they won't impact painting...I hope).
6.  Try and repair the retaining wall for the driveway before the snow flies and covers the stones (trying to avoid the husband taking out the snow blower on a huge stone or something that he can't see).  I'm going to try and get some help with this as my husband can't do it alone and I'm not sure what I will be up to doing.

Winter Preparation Goals:
1.  Take stock of pantry.  See if any holes need yet to be filled in the food storage department.   
2.  Start sauerkraut to ferment (I have the cabbage in the fridge and am hoping to do that this week). 
3.  Take stock of what is needed for Thanksgiving and Christmas meals so that I can pick those up ahead of time (before they are out of stock).  I THINK I'm pretty good on Thanksgiving at this point as I've been picking up things slowly the last few months, but I need to double check and see what I might still need. 
4.  Pick up a few cases of canned peaches (if I can ever get the energy to go to the bulk store and pick them up). 
5.  Get tires changed over on husband's car (done last Friday, so yay for that).

Christmas Prep Goals:
1.  Find a good spot to set up sewing machine to get ready to make Christmas gifts next month (I'm planning on keeping it simple with how our schedules are going, but I do have a list of things I want to make for the husband and kids if no one else).  Make sure sewing machine is oiled and ready to work. 
2.  Shop around for a new Christmas tree (I had to move the tree too many times since the earthquake and pieces are just falling off of it now...or should I say falling out of the box like husband and I looked at it, decided it wasn't worth the cost to repair it and are just going to find a new one...the kids will enjoy helping, I know, as Alvah has really gotten into the Christmas holiday the last few years, so hopefully we can at least have fun doing it).

General Goals:
1.  Schedule daughter for full dyslexia testing (she took the preliminary testing and definitely needs the full test done, so I am trying to get referrals and things figured out for the next steps). 
2.  Start kids on the "Christmas Around the World" unit that I put together after Thanksgiving (I think this is going to be a lot of fun for both kids :).  Do some Colonial crafts and history leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday. 
3.  Defrost the bananas I put into the freezer when I got sick and make banana bread out of them (thank goodness I thought to do that before they went bad).  Make cranberry orange muffins to go with them for breakfast fare (hopefully I can do this soon as I want to make sure to keep up with the feeding therapy as we are making progress...slow progress, but progress!).
So, yeah, there's a lot to do this month yet, so hopefully I can get it all done :).  How about you?  Got things you need to get done this month?