Monday, May 16, 2016

Local Wildlife & Frugal Accomplishments

 Recently, on my way up the driveway to take care of some soap business. I saw a rabbit to the left, a squirrel to the right, and a cardinal in a forsythia bush.  For a moment, it felt like Disney :o).  On a walk with the pups, I saw an eastern red spotted newt.   I finally spotted the female summer tanager around the bird feeders.  My little soap business has been keeping me busy lately, for which I am very grateful. Our Meyer lemon has begun blooming, and smells delightful.  I gathered kale and chard, & made a kale salad, chopping stems and a few leaves for the pups.  Sold one item on ebay.  Received cash back from ebates.  Made my swagbucks goal several days.  Shared eggs, sweet potatoes and soap with a visitor.  Shared soap with our postman as a thank you.  I'm joining in with Frugal Accomplishments.

I gathered all my soap scraps and made soap gel.  You can easily use recyled jars for this purpose.  One of the jars above is a repurposed pickled beet jar, & another is a mayonnaise jar.  Washed laundry with homemade soap & soap gel.  I finished stripping the 3rd porch post; just one more to go.  Made pasta using our tomatoes, summer squash and herbs.  Made yogurt, kefir & hummingbird food. I've been enjoying reading two library books.  Added bread ends to a pan to dry for bread crumbs, composted vegi scraps and added egg shells to a pan to crush and add to compost.  We had a healthy crop of lambs quarter in the garden.  I harvested them before J tilled the area, and ended up with almost 14 cups of blanched greens for the freezer.  Weeded a few additional areas.  I gave a bucket of lambs quarter trimmings to the chickens, then applied the rest of the weeds around the base of fruit trees and medicinal plants.  There are a multitude of tiny toads, no bigger than 1/4" jumping around the homestead.  We'd noticed thousands of tadpoles in the pond earlier this spring.  They're grown and exploring land now.  It's pretty wild.

tiny toad
Our vacation was not particularly frugal, though J did get a great deal on our tickets.  We ate out most meals while in CO, and I was surprised how many healthy choices there were.  Even in the airport, I was able to get an organic kale salad that contained a small amount of freekeh, which I'd heard of but had never tried.  Our last full day in CO, we made the rounds of a few thrift stores.  I left the first one empty handed, but got a pair of pants, a nice wallet, a pretty white shirt I intend to dye & 2 fleece vests.  I was really hoping to find some vests, as my favorite one's zipper bit the dust a few weeks ago, and I pretty much wear them all winter to keep my core warm.  My favorite was a thrifted one purchased several years ago, so I didn't mind replacing it.  The store was having their senior discount day as well, for 25% off.  All of the thrift stores here consider seniors 65, so I was delighted to see them giving discounts for 55 and above.  I froze milk before our trip, which we're now using, and we're eating from the pantry and freezer until my usual day in town.  The chicks are doing well.  They're pretty much on the move if they're awake, but here are a few photos.

I made a quiche using our eggs, red pepper & parsley.  Made a spaghetti squash & lambs quarter dish using our vegi's, & this Leeks Parmesan recipe with our leeks, which was yummy.  After a night in the mid 40's, I baked several of our sweet potatoes to warm the house a bit, & boiled eggs for the pups.  J said he had seen fireflies shortly before our trip to CO.  I paid attention while driving home from the airport in Raleigh, and never saw any, until we arrived at the end of the road which faces our land.  There we were greeted by many fireflies all along the front of our property.  Perhaps they were happy to see us, or as I like to think, this land is just a little bit magical.  Have a great week, friends!

1 comment:

Suzie Simplelife said...

The chicks look great Laurie...also love the wildlife photos in the previous post. I've put in some nasturtiums to see how they grow...apparently they are good in salads