Monday, March 13, 2017

A Snowy Sunday & Frugal Accomplishments

Hello, friends.  I wanted to say many years ago, I was given permission by the owners to be on the hay fields and access road I wrote about in the last post, a privilege I don't take lightly, and treat with the highest respect.  That said, it's onward to frugal doings.  On our thrift store foray in Asheville, I bought a fleece vest for $3.99, and vintage linen dresser scarf/table runner with lace edging for .41.  The runner was at a Goodwill clearance center, one of those places where you pay by weight, and is in excellent shape.  I've slowly been gathering white linens, looking forward to when I experiment more with dyeing with plants and other natural materials.  Pet Perks points were redeemed for a free bag of natural cat food.  I enjoyed two movies at home; Sully via Netflix, and The Dressmaker via Amazon Prime.  I knew Sully would be intense, and sure enough, it was a couple of hours before my adrenaline rush faded so that I could sleep.    The Dressmaker had several dark moments I could have done without.  I'm aware of the dark side of human nature, but don't choose to dwell on it for entertainment.  Overall, it was a decent movie.

gourd chicken
At the discount grocery store, I purchased organic peanut butter @$3/jar ( the co-op I belong to has it on sale for $5.69), organic castile soap 1 gal/$12 ($54 online), organic sugar $2/2# (best online price I found is $2.41), a can of organic jackfruit to try $1.50 ($3.42 on amazon).  Jackfruit is supposed to be the latest, greatest meat alternative. I'll probably try making sloppy joes with it, and will report back.   Harris Teeter had organic butter BOGO, which ended up $3.15/lb.  I stocked up, buying 8, and froze them.  They also had their brand of roasted almonds on sale 2/$8, and I tried one, but they're not as good as Blue Diamond brand, so I'm glad I didn't get the second one.  I also got 5/$4 organic canned beans.  J & I planted the potatoes, and spinach.  I'm especially excited about a new to us potato, Purple Viking.  It's won all sorts of taste tests, is drought resistant, a good yielder, and is good for all uses.  I harvested parsley, boiled the Purple Vikings after J cut off the eyes to plant, and made potato salad.  Delicious!  We also planted German Butterball potatoes, which are also supposed to be high yielding.  I'll be making a potato soup with them.   A few more of the wintersown milkweed seeds have sprouted, but so far, that's all.  I took advantage of a 50% off sale at West Paw, to buy a couple of Hurley toys for McNibs, which I'll put back until needed.  One end of the one I gave him for Christmas is beginning to dwindle, but these are the best toys I've found yet for him.

just a bit out of sync :o)
I washed laundry with homemade soap and dried it on the clothesline.  Several items were needed on amazon, and I took advantage of their $15 off $100 code.  I harvested a large amount of lettuce, some arugula and chickweed, and we enjoyed them in salads.  I boiled eggs, made yogurt and kefir.  Homemade deodorant and herbal hair vinegar were used.  I first bought a hair vinegar product on a markdown rack.  It helps preserve hair color longer, and now I just make my own, using homegrown lavender, rosemary and apple cider vinegar.  I worked a few more hours on my taxes, and have them ready to be prepared.  Phew!  That's always a big weight off my shoulders.  I made more notes for next year.  This was the easiest year yet, and I expect the notes will help make it that much better next year.  Don't get me wrong, with multiple small streams of income and accompanying expenses, it's still rather complicated, but anything that helps me gather the information more smoothly and quickly has got to be a good thing.  I've been making a coconut oil and essential oil blend for J's TMJ, and made another batch.  The recipe I use is 4 drops each of peppermint, lavender and frankincense EO's to 1 tsp coconut oil.  It seems to help.

I  made my Swagbucks goal several days, and redeemed points for a $25 amazon gift card.  I've been harvesting two or three asparagus spears at a time, and finally had enough to serve for dinner one night.  I'm not sure if it was all the walking in Asheville that reset my metabolism, but I'm finally beginning to lose weight.  Hooray!  A large amount of chard was harvested, which I steamed for dinner one night.   We enjoyed the leftovers another night.  I noticed a bluebird looking in one of the birdhouses, and hope they'll decide to nest there.  When J went to buy spinach seeds at a local small business, he was offered last year's seed packs at .25 each, and bought several.  I planted it more heavily than recommended, in case the germination rate is lower.  We often use seeds more than one year, so I'm not too worried, and saw that Margaret compiled a list, which showed a great deal of variation among the experts.  I boiled small sweet potatoes for the pups, and am using those and chopped chard stems to supplement their dinner kibble, along with kefir.

peas in the snow
We got a dusting of snow, enough to make things pretty.  In a couple of hours, the sun came out, and it quickly melted.  Last week, I read something about community that got me thinking.  I'm an introvert and fairly solitary by nature.  Though I enjoy people, I'm also quite content with my own company.  I suppose it may be the easy way out, as life and people, myself most definitely included, are messy and wounded, making relationships hard work.  J's nature is pretty much the same, so that works.  I can be hard on myself,  and I've been pondering these thoughts:

“We struggle from the absence of our village and then we blame our symptoms on what we believe is our own lack…thereby ensuring the village we need can never appear.” (Tad Hargrave)   

The individualism that manifests as self-blame — that feeling of not being enough, for ourselves or anyone, better off alone, beating ourselves up along the way.

“We internalize our problems and feel like we’re failing for not being the whole village for ourselves and others. But, what if we looked at all of our troubles – and the troubles of others – as yet one more chance for the village to reconstitute itself again? What if each of our lonely struggles wasn’t in the way of redemption, but the doorway towards it?
What if the key was our willingness to admit that it’s all been too much for us alone?"
If these thoughts intrigue you too, here's the rest of the article. Though I knew neither well, I met both of the young men mentioned, one at a talk given by Stephen Jenkinson.  I believe this group and Stephen are doing some powerful and much needed work, helping us to remember a healthier way of being and being together.  

I'm happy to be joining in with Brandy's Frugal Accomplishments.  Be well, friends.  I hope you have an enjoyable week!


Jane said...

When J comes up to Bad Axe to deliver that biodiesel plant, you'll have to have him stop by the bulk food store for you, Laurie. Their organic cane sugar is less than $1 a pound.

I believe that we have become too isolated in our communities, too. I blame some of it on TV, I remember when people used to visit with their neighbors because there was no other form of entertainment. You knew what was going on in their lives, what their struggles were. Social programs for all their good, have contributed too. Communities used to take care of their own. I remember growing up, we all pulled together to keep the local businesses and farmers from going under; we bought their products, held benefits, etc. We were behind the times where I lived so I remember a world far different than today's society. I could write an essay on it,so I better stop now. Ha!


Laurie said...

Wow, that's a great price on sugar, Jane! There's still a bit of the old ways here. Benefits are held a few times a year. An older neighbor keeps up with much of what's going on around here, and fills J in whenever he sees him. I'd love to read that essay! Maybe a blog post... :o)

Dawn Hall said...

My husband is an extrovert and I am an introvert. He has to be around other people to recharge and I need to be alone to recharge. A simple, but profound, difference! Dawn

Laurie said...

Hi Dawn! Differences do make the world go round. Hopefully, you and your husband find a happy place to meet in the middle.