It’s been one of those weeks where much was accomplished (Vince’s perspective) but not a whole lot in one particular area. The weather has been all over the place. First, it was warm, then it was cold, but we ended the week on a warm note, which was good for outside work. On the cooler days, I did manage to get a few things done, mostly on the minimizing and organizing efforts.
Since we entered February this week and all of last year’s expenses were finally off the record books, it seemed like it was a good time to fine tune the annual budget. Oh that dreaded word! I remember a few years back that Judy had a panic attack every time the Discover card bill arrived in the mail. That is when she mostly charged on that card and I used another card. However, she got smart and now we both use the same card and her purchases are a bit less obvious. But now, the word BUDGET has replaced Discover card terror, sending shivers up her spine even worse than before.
Here’s the funny thing. We both agree on the spending amounts and expenses, but we have very different ways of approaching the accounting. Last year, I found an Excel worksheet that made it very easy to project and track expenses. We used it for about a couple of months, but then it went to the wayside. So I resurrected it and tuned up the numbers. Like most budgets, it’s designed to work on a monthly basis. Expenses that take place once a year (like property taxes) are allocated over 12 months so that the money will be there when needed. It’s the old principle that dollars that come in have to be more or equal to dollars going out, at the end of the year. This way, money is accrued for when it’s needed and if the budget is exceeded one month, than adjustments can be made in the upcoming months to offset the exceedance. In my mathematical mind, this makes perfect sense. But when I laid out the bookkeeping approach to Judy you would have thought I just said no more yarn can be purchased for a year. She doesn’t think annual expenses should be budgeted monthly on paper (or electrons in this case). Her thought is that money has to be withheld physically (put that amount in an envelope or separate saving account) to insure the money is there. Needless to say, this became a very expressive and long discussion. Finally, I told her we are essentially doing the same thing, just in different ways. Because this was a Keto breakfast morning, and Judy was the chef, I decided not to press my luck any further and I agreed to do something (not really sure what) along her line of thinking. Anyway, the money will be there when needed, which is both our desired outcomes.
The new order of mushroom plugs arrived this week and I was able to get all of them placed into logs. Now the waiting begins and I just have to keep the logs moist. In the spring, when we have more consistent temperatures between 60 and 80 F, I may experiment with spawning some mushrooms in straw. I also would like to try culturing some new spawns from the mushrooms I grow. But all of this will require some investment in more supplies and equipment and I plan to do a little more research before I totally commit. I have to stay within the budget you know!
Finally, this week, all of the fruit trees which needed pruning (and there were many) were pruned. I haven’t done a very good job of this in the past but this year I took it to heart. I was doing all the pruning with hand tools but, a few trees had larger branches too close for the hand tools to work. It’s then I remembered I had a battery operated sawzall. This made trimming easier and faster. The pruning was accomplished and now all that remains is picking up the limbs and twigs. Some of the larger pieces will be saved for the smoker and I plan on trying to root a few of the cuttings. One thing I learned yesterday is that honey makes a good root starter. I will let you know how that turns out. V