Saturday, March 4, 2017

Return of the Ladybugs & Frugal Accomplishments

Hello, friends.  I wanted to post this before heading out for a little road trip with my sister and niece.   If I take any worthwhile pics, I'll be sure to share. I had a frugal fail last week, forgetting about the green stamps I'd accumulated from the grocery store.  They were only good for a few days before expiring, which is what happened.  I didn't spend any additional money because of the stamps, but it irks me I didn't get a free knife or two with them.  I did find 4 Tom's deodorants on the mark down rack for $2.95. It was the exact one J had been using, & when I called him to check, he said to buy all they had, which I did.  They also had 3# bags of onions on sale 2/$4, and I bought 2.

It looks like it will be another week before the part we need for the riding lawnmower will arrive, so I mowed the garden with the push mower, mostly to help keep the dreaded winter bittercress from spreading.  I noticed some sedum remaining in a bed J had dug up and moved recently, and transplanted it to a spot we'll be able to enjoy from the porch.  Kefir and yogurt were made.  Produce scraps, shredded paper and cardboard were added to the compost.  I thought to ask for a Most Benevolent Outcome in finding usnea on my walk one morning, and found the largest piece yet.  I realize it may be too woo-woo and a bit of a stretch for some, but I'm sharing it here because MBO's have worked well for me over the past few years.  If you're interested in MBO's, learn more here.   There are other versions of benevolent prayers out there as well, if you care to search.  You may be pleasantly surprised if you do try it.

Oils for a batch of For The Love of Rose soap were melted on the wood stove.  Vegetable soup included homegrown onions, garlic, corn, okra, squash, potatoes and homemade broth, plus some store/pantry items.  I cut another few spears of asparagus, and enjoyed home grown lettuce on a sandwich and in salads.  One of the milkweeds wins first up in the wintersown seeds.  Only one seedling is up, but it's a start.  It's just as well, because we've got two nights forecast in the low to mid 20's this weekend.  That will surely do all the peach blossoms in, and I expect the blueberries too... again.  I'm hoping there might be a few blooms that were later in opening, and we'll still get a few of each.  Oh, the joys of gardening.  Once more, I'm thankful we're not surviving on what we can grow here.

Expecting a friend to visit, I used left over sweet potatoes to make a sweet potato pound cake, which also used homemade vanilla and our eggs.  Her plans changed, so we ended up having it for ourselves.  I make it with a few changes to the recipe, using organic unbleached flour and Spectrum organic vegetable shortening.  We like it without the marmalade or condensed milk topping.  For the first time since plumbing the house for rainwater, last week we added some well water to the cistern, worried about the low water level.  Happily, a few days later, we got over half an inch of rain, which added 1000 gals. to the cistern.  Two celery ends were planted to regrow in a bed with the lettuce.  I was happy to have a couple of good sales in one of my online shops.

lettuce, chard, arugula
It's been fun to see the anole lizards moving around the homestead again.  I borrowed two books from the library, and did my daily Duolingo lessons online.  One of the books from the library is the winner of the latest Newbery  Medal.  It's The Girl Who Drank the Moon, which I learned about from April.  The other book is Inside The Victorian Home, a Portrait of Domestic Life in Victorian England.  It sounds like it might be interesting, but maybe not.  I'll find out soon enough.  I had never upgraded to Windows 10 on my PC, and things are beginning to fail as support is withdrawn.  J suggested it would be smarter to buy another tower, which would have the latest Windows, rather than just buy Windows 10, and he found a refurbished tower for close to the same price.  I bought it, partially paid for with a $25 credit from Swagbucks.  I apparently deleted an email with the one day offer that Amazon did for $8.63 off $50 without reading it, so that was a bit of a frugal fail.

potato beds
I continue walking morning and evening, and for longer distances whenever possible, though so far, it doesn't seem to be making much difference in my weight.    Though far from perfect, I feel I do pretty well with watching what I eat, but I obviously need to do more, as I do want to shed some pounds.  Before purchasing a requested gift, I was delighted to find a 20% off coupon code, in addition to 3% off with Swagbucks.  Laundry was done with homemade soap.  Taxes were worked on a bit more.  I think that sums up the week pretty well.  Wishing you a weekend of whatever makes you happiest!


Jane said...

Mowing with a push mower certainly is "good" exercise. Laurie! I can barely get one to move. Hope the forecast about freezing weather is wrong. It would be a shame to lose those fruits. We had snow here, but I still find it pretty. Have fun on your trip!


Michèle Hastings said...

Thank you for sharing about MBO... I totally believe in the power of positive thinking!
I saw some of your photos from your trip to Asheville. Looks like you had a great time.

Laurie said...

Jane, I think I may have given you the wrong impression. This is a gas powered mower, though starting it up is quite a bit of exercise some days! And of course, it is exercise to mow. Just didn't want you to think it was entirely "me powered". :o). I got back home today, & I'm not sure yet about the fruit. It did get to 23 or lower, and all the peach blooms are done for. I'm still hoping there might have been some that were still forming that might be OK.

Asheville was fun, Michele. I'll be interested to know your experience with MBO's!