Friday, November 30, 2012



I've been up since 5:45am.
I plugged the dehydrator back in at 6:30am
since I need to finish up drying three trays of potatoes
that are almost done and turned the heat down to 69 then.
I still have 20 pounds of potatoes to do
and have done about 15 pounds so far.
I might wait til about Wednesday of next week to do them.
Now through Tuesday of next week it's supposed
to be high's up upper 50's to 63 degrees.
Then Wednesday it's dropping to 44 degrees for a high
with lows in the 30's.
So I'll wait for cooler temperatures again
to run the dehydrator to help keep the place warm
while doing the potatoes. 
Thursday and Friday of next week hubby has vacation time
and we're going to spend that time finishing up
any Christmas shopping.


The temperature in the house is still at 73 degrees
3.5 hours later
even though I turned the thermostat down to 69 at 6:30am!
Heading out to go to Cake Craft Co.
Looking for some tool shaped cookie cutters.
Screwdriver, hammer, saw, pliers, wrench, etc.
Want to make tool cookies for the maintenance
guys at hubby's work for Christmas if I can
find some that are reasonable.


Just got home from the cake store
and mom took us out to lunch at Arbys.
That cake store has every shape imaginable
for cookie cutters you can think of.
Their whole side wall is nothing but cookie cutters.
I got all 6 tool shaped cookie cutters they had-
screwdriver, hammer, pliers, saw, wrench & drill.
They were .99 cents a piece.
To get this 6 piece set on Ebay would cost you $13
so don't go looking there for ones that are cheaper! 
Get it at Cake Craft Co. for less than half that!
I also bought a bottle of black gel paste food coloring for $1.59.
I asked the owner there how I could make
gray colored frosting.  I thought I tried to make
it before with a tube of black writing frosting mixed in with 
white frosting but it didn't work.  
So he suggested this black coloring
used sparingly in white frosting to get the gray color.
I need gray for the tools.  I use more of a glaze
type frosting on my cookies that hardens
compared to a tub of frosting.


Haven't had the home furnace on today since 6:30am.  
So there's 9.5 hours today of saving on the gas bill
and 13 hours yesterday for a total of
22.5 hours of gas saved in two days time.
Temp has stayed between 70-71 in here.
It's 56 degrees out.
The solar heater box got up to 200 degrees today. 
I was possibly thinking about moving it up by the house
to shorten the amount of duct work that the air has to
flow through so it could possibly pump
more heat into the house.
We'll see how energetic and how much patience
I have this weekend to do that.

I've seen enough Little Caesers commercials now.
I saw at least three almost back to back within 5 minutes 
and another two back to back within 15 minutes after that!
Two more just came on now.  AHHHHH!
Yeah throwing tons of the same pizza commercials
makes me want to go out and buy one....NOT.
Getting annoyed and all I'm doing is trying
to watch Doomsday Preppers on NatGeo.
I guess you're supposed to prep with a ton of pizzas, lol.

I think tonight for supper I'm gonna use up leftovers
from making cheddar bacon pinwheels to make a pizza.
1 can of crescent roll dough pressed onto a cookie sheet
topped with ranch dressing, garlic powder,
bacon, fresh sliced mushroom and french fried onions
with shredded mozarella cheese. 


The office at hubby's work is starting to update all
their computers with new ones.  
They were going to throw out the older ones!
So far we have brought home 2 of the ones
they were getting rid of.  They are all Dell.
My son is happy with having a desk top now.
This will be considered an early Christmas present!
Here's the computers we got FREE!
I put a matchbox truck
in front of the one to show the width of it.
I looked up their value and saw about $150 each. 
One's on Craigslist for $125.

Thursday, November 29, 2012



Two more trays of hash browns are on the dehydrator, 
about 2 pounds worth, and about another 8 pounds of
potatoes cubed up and soaking in some cold lemon water
getting ready to go on the dehydrator once the
hash browns are done.  I ended up boiling the 
potatoes in the pot some.
I had found yet another bag of potatoes I had
on top of the 30 pounds I recently bought.
I will end up with three different types of
dehydrated potatoes- sliced, cubed and shredded.


Got the next couple of trays in the dehydrator with
potato cubes on them.

I'm just amazed that 10 pounds of potatoes
can be narrowed down to about 3 quart sized freezer bags.
I still have 2 trays of shredded potatoes dehydrating
so that would make the 3rd bag,
You can store and keep a lot of potatoes
in your home at this rate. 


It's 33 degrees out and feels like 28 degrees.
I turned the heat down to 69 degrees about two hours ago.  
I got the side window blind
open to allow the sun to shine in and
I put the dehydrator on a stool in my living room.
The dehydrator blows hot air over the food to dry
it out then vents that air back out the bottom.
So why not double it's duty and use it 
as a small space heater while it's dehydrating the food!
No need to keep it cooped up in the corner of the
kitchen on the counter under the cupboards
where the heat doesn't have a chance to move around much.


In 3.5 hour's time the heat in here
has only dropped one degree to 72 degrees.
I turn it up to 73 in the evenings from 5pm to 8am.
Then turn it down to 69 around 8-9am and keep 
it that way til about 4-5pm.
Yes I do it ass backwards than what they tell you.
I figure lower the heat during the daytime when you are active,
baking, running dryers, etc.
At night up the heat when you are less active and it's
colder outside.  My kids and hubby like to kick covers
off while sleeping.  I rest better with the heat increased
at night so I don't have to get up and worry about
covering them up.

So I've been going about 6 or so hours without
having to use the house furnace during the day
by using other options like the dehydrator (when dehydrating) 
and the solar air furnace. 
For every degree over 70 degrees I read
increases your heating costs by 7% to 10%


For supper tonight we are having 
Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels.
I will be using ranch dressing instead of cream cheese.
I will probably serve with some tomato soup.


The temperature inside our home is 70 degrees.
The furnace has not kicked on since about
8am this morning and has been off for about 7.25 hours now.
It's 47 degrees out and feels like 42 degrees.


Oh my goodness, supper was so good or
I was really hungry.  Kids gave it two thumbs up
and said this meal was a keeper for the future.

I tweaked my crescent pinwheels some.
Bacon-ranch dressing instead of cream cheese
and sprinkled it with garlic powder.
I added finely chopped fresh mushrooms
and crushed french fried onions along with the
cheddar and bacon.   
Half I did by slicing it before baking and after
I got flustered with that I baked the other half
whole and cut that in half and gave it to the
kids like a rolled burrito. 
This was served with a couple cans of tomato soup
with a couple cans of water.  
I added garlic & onion powder to the soup
then when serving I added shredded mozarella cheese to each
bowl along with oyster crackers. 
Then to top it all off mom brought down
a chocolate cake with white frosting for dessert.
Oh yeah, that really hit the spot. 


38 degrees outside.
The furnace has not ran for 13 hours today!
Woo Hoo!
This evening after the sun set the dehydrator seemed to
be keeping the living & dining room and kitchen warmed
between 71 & 72 degrees!   I keep asking the kidsif they are cold because I would turn the heat
back up if they were.  But they keep telling
me they are not and they are fine.  Both are even
running around without shirts on!
So I guess it's all good :0)
I don't plan to run the dehydrator when we go
to bed so that's probably when I'll turn the
heat up to 73 degrees.

I'm hoping to see a price drop on January's bills
compared to last years.  I say January's because
that gives everything I've been doing to go into affect.
Between a truck being dropped from our car insurance,
running an electric freezer only a half day on a timer and  
not having to run the natural gas for 
at least 6-8 if not more hours a day.

I'm just amazed once again that a food dehydrator
would keep half the house 71-72 degrees!
If your furnace ever breaks down grab your
dehydrator and plug it in, lol.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012



25 degrees and feels like 20 out, BRRRR!
Can you believe this weekend, the beginning of December,
we are supposed to see 60 degree temps?!

Last night I watched the tail end of the show 
Extreme Couponing on TLC.
This one family had a 15 year old girl that was 
into couponing and even had her own stockpile!
She had $600-$700 worth of groceries
and only spent $25.  The family told her if she could
continue saving them money they would
put a down payment of $5000 on a car for her 16th birthday.
Impressive for such a young age.
Shoot, I'd take the $5000 and flat out buy a used
car with that instead of getting a 2013 one.
How can you be that into couponing and saving
money that you wouldn't want to get a used
car and waste lots of money on a new one that
depreciates in value the moment you drive it off the lot
and then you would have car payments and 
full coverage insurance each month to pay for
rather than a car that was free and clear of any loans.
I don't know.  Maybe she wanted to start building her
credit up or mom and dad was going to make those car payments.
They even went out looking at new cars.  The 15 year old
was concerned about trunk space so she brought along
a bunch of filled grocery bags in her mom's suv
and put them into the new car's trunk to test the
fit for a bunch of groceries!

Their next new show has a lady who has
50,000 coupons that she uses a robot to sort them out!
Now that is extreme to take it that far!
You can check out a sneak peek clip of the 
newest show coming up HERE


Still tweaking the solar air heater.
I was feeling cool air drafts coming in the window
so cut out some foam carpet padding
to put around it to insulate it some more.
I hot glued it in place so it was secure.
No more gaps or drafts with double insulation.


180 degrees in solar air heater.
The house temperature has not dropped below
69 degrees since 10:00am.
Full sun today.


Working on dehydrating a bunch of potatoes.
Aldis and Kroger had potatoes 10 pounds for $1.00.
Stock up at that price because they were about
$3.00 for 10 pounds.
I bought 30 pounds.  I can't use them all at once
so need to dehydrate them for later use.
I have two dehydrators and so far have only filled one.
When I get back from the bus stop I get the other
one ready.  I sliced all the potatoes thin so they
would dry faster.  Then I soaked them in a mixtre
of water, Citrus Drop (Kroger brand Mountain Dew)
and a little lemon juice.  This will keep them from
turning brown. These potatoes slices can be used
for fried potatoes or scalloped potatoes.


Supper tonight will be chili bowls.
Take a roll of large biscuits like Grands.
I used Kroger brand.  Turn a regular sized cupcake
pan over and shape each biscuit over the backside
of the cupcake pan doing every other one to 
allow room for them to expand when they bake.
Bake according to biscuit package directions.
While baking warm a can of chili on the stove in a pot.
Once biscuits are baked remove them from
pan and set upright and spoon chili into them.
Top with cheese & onions or sour cream.


Got a big pot of potatoes boiling on the stove
with some lemon juice in the water.
Once tender I'll drain them then put back into the pot
and put in the fridge overnight.  Tomorrow I
will shred them up and make hash browns 
to put on the food dehydrator.
Potatoes will take about 6-12 hours to dehydrate.
BUT dehydrated ones can last 5-10 years!
Buy a lot while they are cheap during the
holidays and dehydrate them for the pantry.
I put mine in canning jars once dry.
If you dehydrate onions, I suggest putting the
dehydrators outside as they will stink up your house!
Onions are .59 cents at Aldis for a 3 pound bag.
Those will be next to go in the dehydrator once
I get done doing about 35 pounds of potatoes. 


While making supper I decided to check
on the potatoes in the dehydrator.
To my surprise they were done already.
 It took about 2.25 hours.
This is the result of about 3 pounds
of potatoes after dehydrating.

I have started working on shredding up
potatoes and have one tray done up for
the dehydrator.  Getting a little grub in my belly first
before doing any more.
Hubby is staying an hour/ hour and a half after work
on a side job of replacing someone's rear brakes for $50.
That's half off or more on the labor alone compared to a repair shop doing them.

Do NOT take your vehicle to Goodyear to have worked on!
WAY WAY over priced!
And you'll drive away from there with more
problems than you had to begin with.
Ask me how I know.
I will refrain from going back there again!
Costs way too much like I said.
I had coil packs replaced on an Expedition.
They charged me $80 for each coil pack.
I saw on Ebay I could have purchased
8 brand new ones for $80 for all 8 from a parts
company out of Canada!  
Strike 1
I went in for a antifreeze flush and the next
day after picking my vehicle up all the freon
mysteriously leaked out of my air conditioner.
I thought it was antifreeze on the ground under
the truck and it turned out to be the freon
with stop leak in it that is colored green like antifreeze.
NEVER had any problems with my ac before that.
Blew ice cold all the time up until that day.
Strike 2
Another time I took another truck in to have
it looked over to see if it needed the 
GEM Module replaced because it was
a problem with Expeditions.
Well you guessed it I ended up with another
problem I didn't have before soon after driving away,
NO brake lights!
Strike 3 and you're out.
Third time was a charm and I never went back
to that place again!


Got 4 trays of hash browns going in the dehydrator.
Hoping they'll be done before 9pm.
I'm so tired.  I got up at 5:40am this morning
to allow myself a little extra time to bake
french bread casseroles this morning.
They are all three baked now so it's only
a matter of warming them up in the microwave
tomorrow morning.

To keep the hash browns from falling through
the trays I used the fruit leather type trays.
I also used some homemade trays I made
out of plastic canvas.  I traced a tray onto
a sheet of plastic canvas and cut it out.
I've used them before without any problems
but will still keep an eye on the potatoes.
I have the dehydrator set on 170 degrees, 
the highest temperature setting.

 Hubby just called and is on his way home.
After getting the tires off the guys car needing brakes
they found out the guy bought the wrong brake pads.
The guy said he will compensate for his time
tonight due to his mistake so it's all good.
So it looks like hubby will be late again tomorrow night.
Oh and hubby is on call for the next couple of hours
tonight.  The guy on call had a funeral showing to go to
and hubby said he'd cover him while attending that.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012



Well the humidifier seemed to help last night.
My son didn't wake up sounding like he had
a frog in his throat.

I saw a couple snow flurries this morning.
Nothing major though.  Temp was about 34-35 degrees.

With 6 days of non stop commotion it seems
pretty quiet here this morning with everyone
off to work and school.  Got the DVR playing
trying to get caught up on my missed shows
since before Thanksgiving.  The great thing about
the DVR is you can fast forward through all
those commercials.  There's so many commercials
these days that I plum forget what show I was even watching.


I got 9 more pieces of foam pad cut for the ducts.
3 (15.5 inch) will go around the cool air duct.
The other 6 pieces (18 inch) will be a second layer to
go around the first layer of the warm and cool ducts if I need it.
I think I'm going to have to replace the insulation
panel I have in the window holding the vents
because it is bowing from the weight with the foam
wrap around the ducts.  I might go with my original
idea of using a piece of wood. 


I wound yarn around the foam padding I put
on the duct yesterday.  The duct tape was temporary to hold the foam in place.  I had a large bag of yarn I use
for different projects I picked up at a yard
sale a couple years ago for a buck so figured
I'd put a ball of it to use.

 The solar air heater is holding 175 degrees of heat today.
I turned our furnace inside down to 68 degrees
at about 10:00am this morning.
I'm only running one fan to push the air
from the house into it.
The indoor furnace has not kicked on for 4 hours now.
It's 39 degrees with a wind chill of 33 degrees outside right now.
Mostly sunny outside with a couple of small, fluffy clouds. 
I also have the humidifier running on the lowest speed
which also helps to keeps the house a little warmer
by adding humidity to the air.
So between a 74 watt humidifier
and a small 4 inch fan running the solar heater 
to help warm the house
it sure is much much cheaper
than running a 750 to 1500 watt space heater
or cranking up the indoor furnace to higher temps.


This past weekend I bought a couple
coffee cakes from Kroger that were marked down
hoping to give them to the kids for breakfast.
Each of these so called gourmet "cakes" were normally $5 each
marked down to $1.50 each. 

Well they tried them this morning and complained
they were too tough to eat.  They aren't actually
cakes but made from like a roll dough which
would explain it.  I don't want to waste them
so came up with the idea of cutting the cakes up
into small cubes and putting them in a couple
9x9 casserole dishes.  Then pouring an
egg mix over top to make a french toast casserole.
I'll make everything tonight and then 
bake them tomorrow morning before waking everyone up.
By letting them sit overnight in the fridge will
give the eggs some time to soak up into the cake.


In another 15 to 30 minutes I'll be shutting off the fan
to the solar heater and plugging them up for the night.
I put an old (clean!) sock over one and plug the other with
a piece of insulation panel.  This time of day I start losing the
sun to it with it starting to set.
Right now the solar heater is at 125 degrees.
I thought it did pretty good today.
I went 5.5 to 6 hours with no furnace on in the house today!
Right now it's 38 degrees and feels like 35 degrees.
That had to of saved some money on the gas bill.
Let's hope for some more sunny or partly sunny days! 


I made 3 french toast casseroles.
2 small ones for breakfast tomorrow and Thursday
and a larger one for the weekend.
The cakes I used had a glaze, cinnamon
and pecans pieces on them.
I didn't have any milk so when whisking up the eggs
I added a little water to them along 
with a powdered hazelnut coffee creamer
and poured that over top.  Then I used
my hands to mix everything really good.

Tonight for supper I'm making
Chicken Spaghetti.
I have breaded chicken patties that will
be served over top spaghetti topped
with sharp cheddar cheese and fried fresh mushrooms.
I'm using leftover spaghetti sauce from
making meatball subs last night.
If I find I don't have enough sauce I'll
add a can of tomato soup to it to stretch it out.


Had to run to Kroger to get some basic stuff.
They had dinner rolls marked down to .25 cents each.
I bought 8 packs because I use them to make
breakfast sandwiches out of them and then put in the freezer
til needed.  I also needed eggs due to using all the ones
I had on french toast casseroles.  Well they had
dozen large eggs for .99 cents manager special.
I got three dozen.  I love the after holiday mark downs
and keep my eyes peeled for them when shopping.

Starting in December hubby's work has to look after
a new property not far from where he works,
about 2 miles maybe.  Just until they find 
maintenance guys and well people to run that place. 
Duh, why would the company buy a place like
that with no one to run it and have to borrow
from other properties that area already short people.
This totally sucks for them.  Where he works now
is down one maintenance person and they haven't
found a replacement yet which puts a strain on
all the other guys to get things done.
Hubby had to work a little over tonight as it is.
Now these guys have to do any maintenance and
on call emergencies for this other property that they know 
nothing about.   I think there's somewhere between
300-350 apartments at this new property.
I'm an outsider looking in and think they should
take all the maintenance guys over to this
other property and show them around and where things
are like water shut offs, breaker panels, you know
give them the basic run down of the place instead
of just throwing them into the fire.
If you've got a flood going on in an apartment
due to a broken water line or hot water heater it would make
matters worse if you have to spend 30 minutes
looking for a main water shut off valve which
is going to cost the company more.
Just my two cents.


Oh yeah you should have seen the eyes a rolling
when I announced that I had found my next
project for the Summer.  <evil laugh>
FYI it would be better to put the copper tubing
on the backside of the fan than the front!

Homemade Air Conditioner simple DIY AC uses 45 Watts - can be solar powered!

Monday, November 26, 2012



Hubby doesn't have to work today.
His work gives everyone Thanksgiving and the day
after off.  He had to work the Friday after Thanksgiving
so he gets today off for that instead.

Got a kid that's been complaining his throat is sore.
I'm guessing it's because there is dry air in here.
I've been boiling pans of water and have placed
other pans of water on the register.
We went on the hunt today for either
a vaporizer or humidifier for the house.
We stopped in Family Dollar thinking they might sell them.
They don't.  But I did find a couple good deals
there with some marked down items.
Box oatmeal cream pies .50 cents,
Sunny D .50 cents
a shirt for Jonathan for Christmas.
Was $8, marked to $5 and down to $2.50.

The first thrift store I didn't find any vaporizers
or humidifiers I liked.  They didn't have the filters
with them.  I know if I would have to buy a
filter it would cost more than what the price of the humidifier.
I did find a couple gifts for my step-dad.
I have been looking all year for Christmas gifts
for him not knowing what to even get him.
Well surprisingly I was able to cross him off
my Christmas list today, Finally!  

Ohio State flag $1.91
Ohio State hat $3.93

At the second thrift store I found my step-dad
a dehumidifier.  Something he's been wanting!
Cost $8.98.

I was also able to find us a humidifier at the second
thrift store still in it's box for $8.98.
This one has filters that you do not have to replace!
These go for $80 to $115+ new!

And I also bought a light (2 prong) duty household timer
for .90 cents

The solar heater seems to be working good today.
It's up to almost 200 degrees inside the box.
It's 46 degrees outside.
I still don't have the ducts insulated but had an idea.
Today while cruising up and down the side
streets I saw someone had carpet and some kind
of blue foam carpet pad laid out to the curb.
When I go get the kids from the bus stop I plan
to go over there and get that foam padding
to use to wrap my ducts with.
I couldn't get it at the time because we drove the car today.
Hope it's still there, hope it's still there, hope it's still there!


Yeah the foam pad was still along side of the road :0)
This shows just one piece.
There is another roll of foam still in the truck.
 This should help insulate the duct.
Hubby asks how I am going to put it on.
Well maybe use some duct tape or zip ties
then cover it in plastic trash bags to make it weatherproof.

I still have to remove the top duct and get
the wiring done up so I can connect the solar panel
or drill battery to run the computer fan inside the solar heater
to help move the heat from the heater to the house a little better.  
I got some wire connectors to hook
it all up properly now.


I spent the last hour measuring, cutting,
wrapping and duct taping the foam pad around
the upper duct which feeds the heat into the house.
Still have the bottom to do and have a bunch
of foam leftover.
Then I'll have to wrap everything in plastic.
But that will be another day as I'm getting tired
and the sun is starting to set. 
I feel as though I have a knife twisting in my side/ribs
at the moment so are glad to have made it this far today
with all the pain I am in.  Some days the acetaminophin
just doesn't help as much as I would like but have
no other choice as to any other otc pain meds I can
take with having Crohn's.  I think after supper
I'm gonna get a hot shower and head to bed
with the heating pad.

I have put so much time and energy into this project
that I hope it works when I get it all tweaked and running
to its fullest potential.  
I did feel heat coming out the vent today so that 
was a plus.  I would like it to be more so that's
where I hope the insulation helps.
This is something that can be used for many, many years
for about 6 months out of the year during the cold seasons.
So yeah I want it done right and not half assed.

Well I'm gonna take a break for a moment then start supper.
We're having meatball subs.
I'm running out of steam and have been up since 5:45am. 



Woo Hoo!  First day of deer gun season and
my brother got two deers!  First he shot the doe
and a couple minutes after along came a buck
which had been following the doe.
The freezer will be stocked for us and mom for the next year 
with deer meat.  My brother's family won't eat
deer, he does though.  He likes the sport, we like the meat,
so it all works out in the end.


Just got out of the shower.  It seemed to help some
for the aches and pains.  It was hotter than hot, lol.
Before showering I turned the hot water on and let
it run a couple minutes in the kitchen sink.
This would cause the hot water tank to fire up
so I knew I would have some really hot water
for my shower.  Hotter than hot and steam on top of steam.
I like hot!  Hubby came in while I was showering
and tried flushing the toilet to make the water hot
seeing if I'd jump out.
I said, bring it!  He had to leave the bathroom
saying to was too hot for him to be in there, lol.