Monday, April 25, 2016

A Rare Bird & Frugal Accomplishments

Atamasco lilies
On Monday, J's business partner needed the day off, so we were able to finish the ductwork under the house.  J had to fabricate another piece of ductwork from the recycled steel.  I don't know how much we saved by doing the work ourselves, though I'm sure it's quite a bit.  I'm very glad it's done!  Today (Tuesday), the workmen are coming to lay the walkway.  I can already tell it's going to make a big difference, with just the forms up.  The forecast is for 88 today (Tuesday), so I'd say we got the ductwork finished just in time.  I opened up the house in the am, and got the temp down to 72, & partially closed the south facing blinds.  I'll do my best not to run the AC, but it's nice to know I can. The wild Atamasco lilies bloomed this week.

I prepared swiss chard, and chopped the stems for the pups.  Cooked artichokes and put the bits in the broth bag.  Dug volunteers of mulberry and elderberry to share with my homestead group, and came home with cuttings of thornless blackberry and curly willow, and seeded pots of 6 herbs and flowers.  I cooked broccoli and shredded the stems for the pups.  Gathered weeds and mock strawberries for the chickens.  Worked on stripping the porch posts.  I cashed in Swagbucks for a $25 gift card.  This year, I've decided to keep making suet for a while longer.  Many birds seem to be eating it, and I wonder if they may be feeding little ones.  A hummingbird came to the window today, looking inside, and when I checked, the feeder was empty.  Ha!  I promptly warmed some food and filled the feeder.

Knowing we were barely getting any asparagus this year, a friend gifted me with some of hers... nearly 2 lbs of purple asparagus.  Yum!  Our neighbor bought a tractor trailer to store his hay, only to find it full of stuff when he got it home.  He called family and friends to come pick through it, and "please take some home".  I got an old Peter Pan jar to use for storage, an Anne of Green Gables book, and a large map of European Commerce & Industry 1360-1453 such as would have been used in a classroom.  Not sure what I'll do with the map, but it's pretty fascinating to look at.  I assembled my steam mop, and gave it a try in the bathroom while deep cleaning it.  The mop is a wonderful thing!  I can't believe I didn't know they existed until recently.

summer tanager
I made a healthy carrot salad with homemade yogurt.  Cut up a fresh pineapple and chopped the core for the pups.  Though our lettuce barely germinated, we've got nice patches of carrots, swiss chard, kale & spinach in the garden.  We had some good rain, and collected the first of it in the new to us tank.  Planted all the plants from the plant sale, except basil.  The asters are coming up from seeds planted at the homestead meeting.  We removed the eggs from mama hens box on Saturday, and on Sunday she took her chicks outdoors for the first time.  I'm glad I kept the suet up, as we had a new bird coming to the suet feeder the past 3 days. I believe it's a a summer tanager, which I've never seen here before.  We did not use heat or AC at all last week.

Blue star amsonia
I transplanted 18 strawberries into two strawberry pots I had.  They've sat empty since the first time I tried using them, which didn't go too well.  I planted various herbs in them that time, and am hoping the strawberries do better for me.   I sold two items on ebay.  Fed a grub to the chickens.  Made yogurt and kefir.  Dressed our salad with homemade berry vinaigrette.   J & M got all the siding put up on the porch side of the house, & I purchased paint for the porch ceiling using a card for a 5% discount.   I'm joining with Frugal Accomplishments today.  Thanks for stopping by!


GlebeTheElderJr - said...

The Tanager is pretty.

Terri Cheney said...

I love the summer tanager. I see them here now and then in the bottom which is more heavily wooded than nearer the house.

Laurie said...

Some friends a few miles from here have had them the past few summers. They don't have feeders up. Do you do anything to attract them? I hope they'll stay around a while.