Author Archives: Fern WiseWoman

Report – Testing a New Underwire Bra.

Blessings Darlings!

I got a couple of new bras.  From Torrid, my first order from them – they were recommended by one of my co-workers.  See, finding comfortable bras is difficult when you have Bodacious Tatas, and I got ’em.  Band size is 36.  Cup size is G in a 38, should be H in a 36, but I’ve yet to find an H in a 36.  Ever.  And it’s very hard to find G’s in a 36. Continue reading…

Garden Centers are WAY too tempting.

Blessings, Darlings!

I bought some vegetable plants today. Yes, I started more veggie seeds yesterday, too, but I’m really worried about the food supply, and I do better with bought plants, so I’m doing both.

You should have seen me going thru’ all the potted tomatoes/peppers/etc at the store, looking for pots where they had screwed up and had TWO plants in the pot!

I’ve planted the four heritage tomato plants in the rolling tomato ‘raised garden’ planters already. When (if) the basil sprouts, I’ll put a basil or two in each of them as well.

We ARE due to have some cold nights in the next week, but I have clotches I can put over them those nights. And by ‘clotches’ I mean empty coffee cans.

Frondly, Fern

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April Tarps make . . . July green beans?

Blessings, Darlings!

I’m really pushing myself on this day off, to get stuff done in the garden. But first I have to make ‘tarps’ to put over the soil (to keep the weeds down) by taping black plastic garden bags (cheap, from Costco) together.

I HATE using plastic in the garden. But I’ve been so horribly low on spoons that every 8 X 8 area I make tarps for and get the tarps in place on is an area that some day soon, when I have spoons, I’ll be able to plant fast and easily. If I can just cover the entire garden now, in April, then planting in May and June will be easy.

The problem is finding spoons in April. The plastic bags I’ve had forever, so they are here. The duct tape is here.

Spoons, as always, are on back order.

Frondly, Fern

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Price increases

 Blessings Darlings!

We had another hard freeze Sunday night.  It did a lot of damage to my sprouting Swiss Chard, which we were hoping to use for salad and cooking greens right quick.  Most of the plants survived, but there will be delays.
HOWEVER – the freeze didn’t bother the wild spring greens.  Today on my 10 minute break at work I filled a gallon bag with some lovely dead nettle.  It will become a creamy green topping for pasta tomorrow night. 
This all matters because my job exists, but doesn’t really pay a living wage.  And the price of food has jumped . . . and so has the price of propane.  We are down to the point that out propane tank has only about 12% of its capacity left, about 51 gallons.  So I ordered another 100 gallons.  Which is more than 3 times the price per gallon it was when we first moved in here, some 4 or 5 years ago.  I DID get a small discount for our first fill, I’m sure.  But with Covid induced price increases (due to workers missing work from illness and/or deaths, leading to supply problems) followed by supply pressure from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, added to the fact that the past month was 3 degrees F colder here than it had been one year before (and that year wasn’t a warm one) – I’m going to be spending $500 to just get 100 gallons of propane.  100 gallons.  We usually use 400 gallons a year.  In November I spent $1400 on propane (we really were sucking fumes at that point, 4% left in the tank).  It looks as if I’ll be spending at LEAST $2000 for propane this year.
I expect there will be a lot of weed – excuse me, wild crafted vegetable eating in our future. 
Frondly, Fern

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GoodRx actually works. Sometimes.

Blessings Darlings!

I’m going to take a moment to talk about GoodRx.  You might have seen it’s ads on TV, about how it can help you get the prescription meds that you need for affordable prices.

Well, we had to try it out the other day.  Here’s what happened.

The Chubby Hubby, being old, has an assortment of stuff about his body that isn’t optimal.   One of them is the dreaded “I have to get up and pee once or twice overnight”.  It’s not something that *I* see as a critical thing, but it’s his body and sometimes he has trouble getting back to sleep after getting up to pee.  Anyway –

So he sees a urologist.  No prostate issues, just the ‘overactive bladder’ stuff.  Fine.  Tries one drug, doesn’t work.  Tries another drug, doesn’t work.  Now they want him to try another drug, maybe two drugs together.  Welp, while the original drugs were cheap, especially with our AARP medicare drug coverage – these are NOT AT ALL affordable, even with the drug coverage.  Like, $300+ and $400+ per month.

Cue freak out.  And a call to the urologist about other options due to the prices.  The nurse there says to try a different pharmacy (I’ll talk about Walgreens some other post) and use GoodRx there.  He does.  The price for Expensive Drug #1 drops to under $17.  OTOH, the price for Expensive Drug #2 stays over $400.

He’s getting Drug #1 and trying it out.  Expensive Drug #2 is not on our menu.

So, somewhat mixed results, but those of you who don’t have drug coverage, or whose drug coverage leaves some drugs unaffordable, might get some help thru’ it.  It’s worth looking at.

Frondly, Fern

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A little warmth in the cold of winter.

Blessings, Darlings!

Today is almost totally cloudy, with a cold wind altho’ the actual temperature is in the mid 50’s, and it’s still a waxing moon (now more than 1/4 full.)  The Super Bowl is tomorrow (not that we care) and Valentine’s Day is in two days (alas, not that THAT matters, either.)

I picked up and started using a mat for heating seeds.  Not that I’m using it on any seeds – it’s under my ginger and turmeric plants.  Those plants die back to their tubers in this house over the winter, then don’t start up again until damn near summer.  This means I get TINY crops of them.

Unacceptably tiny crops.

Thus, investment in the mat and electricity.  We’ll see if this improves the situation.  The Chubby Hubby says he’s jealous of the plants, that he’d like another source of heat, especially with the newly instituted thermostat drop at night.

This last week has been very warm here, which reduced our use of propane by itself, so we can’t see if our lifestyle changes (tiny lifestyle changes) have reduced our usage.  The next 3 days, tho’, will be colder so might give us some information.

I got an e-mail from our propane provider.  They feel we should contact them for a refill when the tank is down to 40% full.  Um, we were down to 30% full last week.  The price of propane is sky high.  I’m hoping the price will drop before we actually are forced to order any.  Of course that might not be possible.

Oh, I DID start some seeds, but since I started Swiss Chard, and that is VERY hardy, I didn’t need to heat the seed bed at all.  They are awfully leggy, since I don’t have any grow lights.  But if I get a cold frame put up outside, they might do okay soon.  If.

Frondly, Fern

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Sunday evening tech down

 Blessings, Darlings!

It’s a bright, sunny, but cold day here in my corner of the Appalachians.  Waxing moon.  My cousin Barbara’s 80th birthday (Happy birthday!)  Temperature might get up above freezing today.  Or might not.
I’ve got the dishwasher running, and the second load of laundry in that washer.  Due to the cold weather, the laundry will go into the dryer.  Soon I’ll be heading out to work for the day.

While this winter hasn’t seemed to be particularly cold – we’re certainly going thru’ propane at an advanced rate.  I might need to buy more to get thru’ the winter, a concept that is intimidating given how high the price all fossil fuels are this year.  Not that I expect them to get much lower in future years, mind you.  But most years I can fill the tank for $900 or so and get thru’ a year, while last fall I paid over $1400 and worry that I’ll run out.

Chubby Hubby and I had a talk about the propane issue, and he spent the evening trying to get the theoretically programmable thermostat programmed.  He had no success.  So now we’re just going to manually change it, morning and evening.  We had been leaving it at 66 degrees all the time.  Now, from about 8 pm to 5:30 am, it will be set to 62 degrees.  Maybe that will help.  And maybe the guys will take shorter showers.  I’ve been doing that for a while now.

Frondly, Fern

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Plumbing

Blessings Darlings!

Yup, we have plumbing issues.  Spent lots of time figuring it out, two trips to the hardware store, etc.  When it became clear that fixing it would involve removing … Continue reading…

Sun moves into Virgo, Fern spends day sleeping.

Blessings Darlings!

I’m under the weather today.  Slept most of the day.  Had weird environmental and political dreams. In totally mundane stuff, … Continue reading…

Crab Rangoon Day.

Blessings Darlings!

It was a grand night for stargazing last night.  Alas, I saw no meteors, but the temperature … Continue reading…