4 hours ago
Sunday, April 26, 2015
When our Mom passed away, my sister and I promised ourselves we would take a sister trip in the not too distant future. Well, the week has arrived, and I am so excited to be able to spend time with my sweet Sis. Today, we are heading to a lovely inn in Virginia, close to art galleries, the Blueridge Parkway, wineries and other fun places. See you soon!
Monday, April 20, 2015
As it's Monday, I suppose you know I'm joining in with Frugal Accomplishments. I transplanted the tomato seedlings into bigger pots, bought 4 larger tomato plants, swiss chard & basil with a gift certificate a dear friend gave me. These were all planted in the garden. The tomato seedlings I'm growing are still pretty small, so this should give us tomatoes quite a bit sooner. I walk with the pups for exercise most days. If there is a light misting rain, I typically walk, but if it is a harder rain or an especially raw feeling day, I tend to skip it. Some bargains found at the discount grocery store were 25# sunflower seeds, organic apple juice, organic crushed tomatoes, 3 liter tins of olive oil, and novena candles.
Made quiche with our eggs, peppers and garlic, along with store bought ingredients. Made a green bean dish with our beans, garlic and thyme. Made tomato rice loaf, using our tomatoes, garlic and celery. Vegetable scraps went into the broth bag or the compost. Used our oregano and chives in a potato dish. Made Brandy's black bean burgers. Fixed ravioli with our garlic, and made a vinaigrette using muscadine syrup I had canned. Frugal Fail: with the last winter squash, I tried a new recipe, a soup with coconut milk & garam masala spice. I had to come up with plan B, as we both tasted it and said "yuck!" Good thing I had some leftovers and a fresh out of the oven Fig Sherry bread... still trying to empty the freezer.
J transplanted a large portion of our asparagus patch last year, as bermuda grass and mint had overrun it, and he wanted to get all perennials out of the garden, so he could till as needed. The asparagus has really been set back by the move. There are very few spears large enough to harvest, as they're putting energy back into the root system. I did harvest two spears from what's left of the original bed. These plants still need to be moved, when we have time.
I've been collecting canisters for several months, and got to work on them this weekend, turning them into compost crocks. The holes are drilled in the lids, they were washed & measured as to what they will hold. Once I've fit them with carbon filters, taken photos, and calculated shipping, they'll be listed in my shop. Are you planning on growing any edibles this year?
The clematis have started blooming, as well as a few others. Once the rain lets up, I'll be getting photos of those to share with you.
Sunday, April 12, 2015
|National Museum of Art|
Just a few weeks ago, I shared my canning adventures with a failed Tattler lid. Last week, I saw they have changed their lids due to this very thing. Bravo! Follow the Tattler link for more info on this.
|blueberry blossoms & a butterfly|
Sunday, April 5, 2015
Happy Easter & Happy Passover, friends! We're off to Washington, DC, while a couple of friends mind the homestead. We'll be spending our days visiting the Smithsonian, and hopefully the cherry blossom festival. May you have a most enjoyable holiday, however you choose to spend it.
Monday, March 30, 2015
|hyacinth and daffodils|
I trimmed both pups nails. Guinness is always cooperative, and let me trim all of his, with treats given after each foot. McNibs has always been a challenge. I asked them to trim his nails when he was sedated for his happy tail bandaging. He's let me trim 2 nails once since then, and this time, he let me trim his two front feet. Not perfect, but progress, and frugal.
We ate green beans and applesauce I had canned. I used our garlic and thyme in the green bean dish. Still trying to eat from the freezer- cooked 2 bags of our okra, and made Fig Sherry bread from our figs. Made crescent rolls using ww flour I ground for part of the flour. I made tomato rice loaf with our tomatoes, garlic, breadcrumbs and celery.
Here's McNibs stopping by to say hello. The bone is made by West Paw Design, and is the longest lasting bone he's chewed on to date. This is their Hurley bone. I had bought him their Bumi Tug toy for Christmas, also for tough chewers, but it didn't last 48 hours. Their policy is to replace any toy one time, so I tried the Hurley at their suggestion. He's had this one for weeks. One end does have a little damage, but it's still intact, which is impressive. Most of the toys I've bought him, for "tough chewers", don't last a day. I would recommend these dog toys. They're BPA and phthalate-free too.
Monday, March 23, 2015
Happy Spring! I'm joining in with Frugal Accomplishments today. The forced forsythia bloomed this year! I cut the branches, left them on the porch until they began to open, then brought them indoors.
I planted pineapple tomato seeds indoors and wintersowed (later than usual) calendula, night scented stock, and mexican sunflowers. Planted spinach seed in the hoop house bed.
Frugal Fail-- sadly, I found quite a bit of produce going bad in the root cellar. A large pot full of squash and sweet potatoes went to the compost, good portions of some sweet potatoes got cooked for the pups, and chickens got a soft pumpkin. I made a Butternut Bisque soup with part of the last 3 butternut squash, homemade broth and our carrots, & "pumpkin" pie custard from the rest of the butternut and the last delicata squashes and our eggs. Good scraps went into the freezer bag for broth. There are still 3 Hopi Grey squash, lots of sweet potatoes and 3 or 4 apples. The root cellar is built into the hillside and is underground except for the front wall. It stays cool but not too cold all winter. I don't believe it gets enough air flow, which causes things to mold. Considering it's spring, I can't really complain, as it kept the vegi's pretty well for months.
|mended scrub pants and hair scrunchies|
Sold an item on ebay, and brought in another couple items from storage to photograph and list when I have time. I added items to the boxes being donated to Goodwill, which happens almost every week but I forget to mention.
Used homegrown calendula to decorate a custom batch of soap. Made crowder peas and corn with peas we grew. Been doing well with eating up leftovers. I brought lunch, snacks and water to work the days I worked away from home.
On Sunday, I raked up leaves, which J put around fruit trees. We're trying some new things this year, recommended in this book. We're hoping to have more and nicer fruit with these changes. He's already put nematodes around the trees, which helps with a number of pests, and Neem oil is on the way. I spied the first asparagus spears of the year, which makes me very happy!
Monday, March 16, 2015
It's time again to join in with Frugal Accomplishments. If you're looking for encouragement on living frugally, you may want to check out The Prudent Homemaker's website. In addition to the weekly Frugal Accomplishments posts, there are sections on gardening, cooking, shopping for less, home schooling, sewing and more. There's a great community of people who share there, and a wonderful amount of information on the website.
I baked a quiche with our peppers and garlic. Made a pasta dish using eggplant I canned, and our garlic and herbs. Steamed asparagus I had frozen last year, then we had the leftovers in an omelet. Hopefully, there will soon be fresh asparagus coming up. There were still some cranberries in the crisper. The few moldy ones went into the compost, the chickens got the soft ones, and I cut up the good ones for the pups. The chickens always love them, but I was surprised the pups ate all theirs up too. Not the original intended purpose, but not wasted either. Another night, the pups got a grated gnarly carrot from the garden.
I ground wheat and corn, and made kefir and yogurt. We bought a 50# bag of Red Fife wheat, a variety of heritage wheat which has a lower gluten content than most modern wheat, making it easier to digest. We were lucky to be able to taste baked goods made with this wheat, thanks to a baker in Chapel Hill. It was our favorite of the heritage wheat we tasted, with a wonderful, nutty flavor. I dry canned most of the wheat, and saved around 10# for a patch we hope to plant here.
I baked 2 types of cookies, and brownies, and brought two plates to the car dealership for the fellows who assisted me when my car wouldn't start last week. I used our eggs, and whole wheat flour I ground for a portion of the flour. We've had some warm days and nights , when no heat was needed, and windows were opened to let in fresh air. I cashed in Swagbuck points a for a Whole Foods card. Among other things, I bought 3 lbs of organic butter, as it's the cheapest I've found in months, at $4.79/lb. I used up lots of butter baking the thank you goodies. Unfortunately, I did not print out the code Whole Foods needed, so I'll have to use my gift card another time.
I planted a variety of lettuce seeds in our hoop house, and 3 parsley plants. J planted broccoli and cabbage plants I had purchased. Some years we do better growing things from seeds, some years not. We immediately put row cover over the cabbage and broccoli, as cabbage worms have been a real problem here the past few years. Hoping that will do the trick. The tomato seedlings continue to grow, but so far, I've not seen an eggplant or pepper germinate. Our seed potatoes arrived, but the ground is very wet, so they'll have to wait until it dries out a bit.