My huband tested negative today, for the first time, from the cornavirus. I’m scheduled to re-test tomorrow. I have no idea how I will test but I do know this: I am very, very tired. Taking 10 steps for me is like swimming the Grand Canal in Venice….exhausting. Everyone says that my tiredness will improve but in the interim, I literally can not do anything. I try to keep the house as neat as possible since I hate clutter. As far as washing and scrubbing….those things are totally out of the question. I can just manage to make my bed and clear up the kitchen sink dishes. Everything else is left up to my husband and unfortunately he’s a bit tired also.

But we prevail.

We had two appliance breakdowns whilst we were ill. One was our gas BBQ. For less than $50, hubby was able to order and install three rusted out gas dispensers. This saved us from buying a new gas grill, priced around $199. The other appliance saving deed he performed was on our dishwasher. The front rubber rim had corrupted and caused the unit to leak water onto the kitchen floor. Hubby ordered an authentic Kitchenaide part from Amazon and for only $22 our dishwasher was repaired and saved. I don’t even want to guess what a new dishwasher would cost.

It’s forecasted that this summer may be a hot one. The first thing I bought was an oscillating room fan ($29) for the living areas. This will keep both our living room, dining and kitchen areas cooler. Up to a point, however. Once the temps get into the 90sF, we’ll have no choice but to resort to air conditioning. We may live up in the mountains but trust me….it gets hot up here in the summers anyway. We purchased a new, eco-friendly air conditioner (6000BTUs @ $150). This will save us a lot of money and we will only use it when the indoor temps reach 80F. Between the fan and the new, energy-efficient A/C we should not see any increase in our energy bills. (fingers crossed!)

We started drying our clothes outside on the deck. I bought a new collapsable dryer rack ($18). In the winter I can move it indoors and place it in front of our wood pellet stove! Lastly, I finally broke down and bought a vacuum sealer for our freezer foods. Once our veggie garden harvests, I’d like to vacuum seal as much as possible for placement in our freezer. If you’ve look at vacuum sealers, they are around $100 or so. I got this unit from WalMart for only $29. As you can see, I tried it on my grilled cheese sandwich and it worked great. The next day I cut open my sandwich and ate it. It was delicious!

My veggie garden is coming along. Our peach tree is doing fantastic and I expect several bushels of peaches come harvest time. My green beans, peas, pea pods, zucchini, cucumbers are doing well. The broccoli however, has died and the peppers are barely holding on. The eggplant and tomatoes, all from seeds, seem to be stuck in first gear. They really haven’t been growing. But they’re still alive. So, I’ll wait and see. My chocolate mint has taken over the herb garden. In there is rosemary and parsley. I have three pots of basil but they’re on my back deck and growing very slowly. My spinach, however, is doing fantastic as we’ve already harvested it twice and had fresh spinach salads. So, that’s a very good thing.

Also, hubby built these tiny birdhouses (for free, with discarded wood) especially to attract Wrens (click here). They are a very small bird BUT they have a big, beautiful, loud songs that they sing all day long. You can hear their many songs by clicking on the link I provided in the previous sentence. Look on the lower gift of the page under ‘Songs and Calls’. The Wrens set up home inside these birdhouses and in a few weeks, we have families of Wrens singing and flying all around. They are a joy. We love them and care for them greatly.

Lastly, what’s been cooking? In a word….practically nothing. Because hubby and I aren’t up to par we’ve been eating out of our freezer rather than rustling up some home cooked meals. Thank goodness we had a few containers of chicken rice soup (loaded with veggies) because that’s basically all we wanted to eat. Somehow home-made chicken soup really is good for the healing soul. We always felt better after having one or two bowls of hot, hot, hot soup! (it had to be hot!) Other than that, not much else. One day I made a pulled pork in the slow cooker and we had pulled pork sandwiches for a few days. I had a leftover grilled chicken breast and I cut it up into a salad. We almost had strawberries and whipped cream every single day. In other words, we had feel-good meals.

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