Season of Challenges

I had planned to do a day in the life blog to help introduce you to my family and how we do things. Unfortunately the past month and a half seems to have one crisis after another. It started with a storm that caused roof damage. Not enough to need replacement so there is not any insurance involved and we would need to pay cash as we do not do credit cards. The problem is the roofing companies were busy with replacements and our little job was not a priority. We had several more storms before they repaired the leaks. Now we have water damage to the inside and outside that needs repair. There is a company coming to work on it next week but it will wipe out the remaining part of our emergency fund.

During this time there have been several health issues in the family. My daughter in law had a stroke at the ripe old age of twenty-five. It happened out of state. To make matters worse it happened while she was with her boyfriend (messy, horrible situation but she is still technically family). The result has been the boyfriend has controlled all access to her and information on what happened. The effect has been my grandson and son has had to deal with the fact she is truly not coming back.

One of my adult daughters has had several unrelated health issues in the span of a few weeks. She is an adult and on her own but the resulting medical bills are beyond her ability to pay so we are helping her out with groceries and gasoline while she focuses on cleaning them up.

This week was the straw that broke our backs. We had rescued a pair of guinea pigs that had been neglected and unsocialized. Milo is still a shy guy but Fabio blossomed. Fabio was blind and a biter. Within a few weeks though he enjoyed being held and was being a therapy buddy for my son and grandson. He was held the majority of the day. I decided they were finally used to being handled so I took them for a checkup on Friday. The vet gave them a clean bill of health. Wednesday night Fabio began to cry and fuss so I checked him over. He had a little lump in his tummy. I called the vet Thursday morning and brought him in. He had surgery for urinary stones and blood clots but he never recovered. He wouldn’t eat and I was force feeding him at home. He passed Sunday afternoon. The boys are devastated. Fabio was their comfort in the chaos of the last month.

The only bright spot has been that I can see how living below our means has allowed us to save up cash to handle the financial side of the crisis with a bit less stress. I cannot imagine walking through these times with the added stress of trying to find the extra cash to handle this. We are zeroed out financially. We have to rebuild our emergency fund but I know having one has been a blessing.2016-07-20 15.01.07

Tip Tuesday 9 August

Just a quick little list of a few tips I use every day:

  • Save the juice from canned fruit. Add it to your baking in place of the liquid called for.
  • Another use for canned fruit juice is to add it to an empty water bottle and place it in the freezer. Before you head out just top off the bottle with water and you have a flavored water.
  • Save the ends and peels of vegetables in a gallon freezer bag (don’t save bell peppers, cabbage or Brussel sprouts they will make it taste off). When you have a full bag, put in a pot and cover with water. Boil for 15 to 30 mins, strain and you have home-made veggie broth. Do the same for bones from different meats also.
  • Save the last bits of chips, crackers and bread in a freezer bag. When it is full, thaw it out, and grind them in a food processor. Bake for 5 minutes and you have a wonderful crumb mix to coat baked meats or top a casserole.
  • Save cookie crumbs and sweet rolls in the same manner as above and make your own crumbs for pie crust or top puddings
  • Save pickle and olive brine to marinade chicken and pork
  • Add a little water or vinegar to the last of ketchup, mustard or jelly. Add this to a container in a fridge to make another marinade for meats.
  • Save unserved meats and veggies in a container in the freezer. Add to it left over gravy and tomato based sauces. When you have a container or two you warm it in a pot or slow cooker for a dinner we call Payday Soup (when nothing is in the house to eat before payday this uses up all the leftovers)

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