We have dropped below 50 degrees / 10 degrees Celsius and finally the flannel can come back out again. This weekend we are supposed to drop to 41 degrees / 5 degrees Celsius and I am so happy :), I have rearranged our pajama drawers, pulled my warm flannel tops and cardigan sweaters forward.
I happily pulled everything off this shelf and pulled the flannel sheets and pillowcases from the back corner. It is a good day!
This morning I washed and hung out the cotton sheets that will move to the back corner of the linen shelf to join the other sets. We rotate two sets of sheets for summer and two sets for winter. We also keep an extra set of each put back.
We did not buy all of this at once, we save and use the money from our linen fund to purchase sheets.
Each of us can find our way to manage money.
A lot of figuring and planning went into setting up our journals and now they are easy to do and do not take that much time. One is the Main Household Management Book and other journals branch off from that in more detail because we like to know details.
The photo above are two books, "The Home Management book" and " The Detail Journal" of expenses.
I have blogged about our old journals that we have but a good example to use here.
We studied how people budgeted in the past. The book on the right that is wrapped in flannel cloth is very old, it started in 1891 and went through 1935 and a few scattered entries after that.
The book on the left started in 1932. Both young families when they started.
This journal is about a couple that takes in boarders and many people did this in the past. The male head of the household works in a factory so they live in town but the town was also rural. The homes had large lots of land enough to have chickens and gardens as well as a stable because they used buggies and horses to travel.
The blue book that started in 1932 and is a young couple with a baby and they lived in a city and made purchases very often. Their city may have had apartments but we can tell they were close to town because of the frequency of shopping.
Ice was still being delivered for the many people that still had ice boxes instead of refrigeration and we know this because they had purchases of ice. There were ice routes where ice was delivered by horse and wagon and then ice trucks.
This above is from the oldest journal.
This is 1901 and you can see washing was entered often. When I was studying laundry in the past, many people that lived in large towns or cities had their washing done, either it was picked up and delivered, it was dropped off and picked up, or someone came in to do the washing. And then there were the households that washed their own laundry.
With my research I had studied more about rural life because so many of my family lived rural. When I started reading the diaries and journals I started getting a peek into the households of those that lived in the city. It gave me a new perspective and I had never even considered the city home with a horse and buggy or horse and wagon.
People would write down every expense from haircut, shave, cigars, shoes, hay, eggs, a board, it would be entered into the journal and totaled at the end of the page and end of the month.
As the couple writing this journal got older the journal became more messy and they had more bills to pay and more items to write down.
Times had changed, when they started this journal they had no electricity, they had a horse and wagon and above we see expenses for shoeing their horse and repairing a harness.
Then as time passed and modern items came, they have a water tax and electric light bill.
Then they had car fare as you see above. Modern items kept entering and expenses went up.
This book above started in 1932, the young couple had a baby and we also should remember that this was during the great depression. Their journal was a continuous entry of everything they spent and received.
They would tally at the end of the month and if you notice, even though the great depression is going on there is still an investment.
We see here that they were now paying for ice. We have to consider the time and they did not have coolers and thermoses as we have today, ice would have come from the ice house in a block form. People would purchase a book of ice stamps so they could tear off the stamps for how much they had delivered so the ice delivery man could keep moving along and did not handle money. There was refrigeration during this time but by what I have studied so far the average household changed very slowly during this time.
What these journals showed me is that we had to cut more expenses than we already had. We could see how much better they did before they got so many modern items and utilities. This made us really stretch and ask the questions do we really need this? Can we do without it? We found other expenses to let go of and we are glad we did.
I am very thankful to have refrigeration, Charles and I actually downsized with these appliances as well. When our chest freezer stopped working we did not replace it. We have to plan well what we put in our small freezer space. We have cut down and gone back to many ways as we lived before to get ready for Charles to retire.
There is a thrift store here in our town and when I have gone to that store I have noticed long lines of people waiting at the building next door. This was before covid and one day I went to the thrift store with my daughter in law and I asked her about the people lined up next door and she told me that there were there to get assistance paying their electric and water bill. The thrift store raises money to help people pay their utilities. That affected me in many ways, concern for those families and it made me make even more changes at home to live less wasteful.
Charles and I were talking this weekend how we start off living with a tight budget and then often relax a bit too much causing debt and then when we retire we go back to tight budget. We should have just stayed on the tight budget the whole time and kept what we had, especially the 1955 ford!
We are looking at everything we do. Here above I boiled a whole chicken and as you see it was very tender and fell apart. This was this past Sunday.
We ate a nice meal and part of the chicken..
Then I deboned the rest of the chicken. The containers are BPA free plastic I use for the freezer. I added some broth to the back left freezer box to show you I add broth before freezing but I drained this off after I took the picture.
This is nice rich broth but it has a lot of fat on top...but....
I divided the chicken into three portions and strained the broth into quart jars and a little left over in the front box. I put this all in the fridge overnight and the next morning I remove the fat from the top of the jar that has become solid. I then pour broth over the chicken and then freeze the chicken and put the rest of the broth in the freezer boxes and freeze that. This one whole chicken is turning into four meals for Charles and I.
I left off the broth in one of the chicken meat containers for making chicken salad for Tuesday sandwiches for Charles to take to work.
One of the other boxes will be used for Chicken and dumplings and another for Chicken pot pie or it could be used for chicken and rice casserole or chicken enchiladas. The broth can be used for soup, for casseroles, for the chicken and dumplings.
Yesterday, (Monday) I took out some spaghetti sauce that Charles made, he likes to cook too. We froze the extra sauce and I made spaghetti and garlic bread for our meal yesterday so we were not eating chicken every day for four days. We do eat the same thing for two or even three days if I am not trying to divide the meals like this.
Today, Charles took his Chicken salad sandwich with pickles on the side and some warm tea to drink. We do not put eggs in our chicken salad. Charles likes it with a lot of flavor and we added onion, chopped pickles, mayonnaise and mustard, raisins and toasted pecans. Fresh cracked pepper and salt. Sometimes he likes it with diced apples, my mother used to put diced apples in her chicken salad.
I cooked a roast last week and did the same thing. We are cutting back on meat portions and more vegetables so we hope to only purchase two meats per week. Yesterday, November 1st, we started a tight budget to see how we do, we want to have it down by January 1st. We are living as if Charles has already retired to know before he retires just how it will be.
For those of you that do not live in the U.S. you may not understand the concern for retirees about medical expenses. Many people are working much longer because medical including medication is so high.
I wanted to mention here that I do receive your emails and letters and cards and thank you all so much for all your correspondence with me. I have gotten behind in answering your emails and letters and at this time in my life I do not feel that I can catch up.
Please know that unless your email went to spam and I did not catch it that I have read everything.
If you write to me and have a question, please write a simple email with the question so I can answer it. My brain and eyes are slowing down as my body is so this would help.
Your emails motivate me to keep writing, I love hearing from you and about you and about where you live and how you live. I have learned many things from so many of you and since I have had this blog I have learned so much about our world that I never knew. So please continue to email me because I read it and I ponder on it and enjoy it because you have become my family and I feel very close to you.
If you have a question, please feel free to ask and I will get back with you and if I do not, please ask again until I do. If it is important please title it important and that will give me a nudge. :)
I like the comment section of the youtube channel, I can click the hear to show I read your comment or I can respond. I also enjoy seeing so many of you join in on conversations, it feels like a family reunion. Hopefully one day I can get a comment section here on my blog.
So to sum up this blog post, we are cooling down, these are bumble bees that have gathered on our hummingbird feeder. Our hummers have departed to a warmer climate. The bees gather here as the temperature drops and sleep overnight.
There are flowers still around and some are sleeping on the flowers and bumble bees will sleep where there is some kind of nectar. This picture was taken about 5:30 yesterday evening and this morning I watched them warm up and start moving around and leaving.
This afternoon Charles noticed them coming back and gathering again for the evening. There is so much for us to learn about nature and our world and sometime some of the smallest things are what makes us step back and think about our part to help our small and large creatures.
This morning they looked almost frozen but they were not, it was 49 degrees at this time. Honey bees fly back to their hives and stay warm but Bumble Bees have different patterns.
I will add more photos in the video I have done to go with this post. Click here to view the video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxZdYaxI_P4