Sunday, June 11, 2017

Awaiting the Chicks Arrival, A New Trellis & Frugal Accomplishments

Hello, friends.  We've gotten some nice rain here, which is helping the garden grow.  I opened windows when cool, and closed up when it warmed up, to minimize a/c use.  Ceiling fans and a small plug in fan also help.  My online shops continue to have occasional sales.  Though I keep the income from my soap shop, the income from our metal and furniture shop goes towards our vacation fund.  It is what we used for all our spending money in Italy, and there is some remaining to go towards our next vacation.  This is a rewarding way to use income from our joint efforts.  I purchased some needed birthday cards at the dollar store.  We're anticipating peeps coming from the broody area, with chicks expected to arrive any day.  

Instead of stopping on the way home from the funeral for something to eat, I prepared a simple meal when we got home.  I had brought cheese, crackers, apples and nuts from home to snack on during the day.  On Monday, I finished sewing the celebration napkins, cut the loose threads, hand washed them with homemade soap gel, then dried them in the dryer, as it was a rainy day.  One more pressing, and they were ready.  I canned a quart of elderberry juice in 2015, which I heated this week, and added organic sugar to sweeten it, for use in smoothies and such.  At the time I canned it, it didn't occur to me that the alcohol draws out the medicinal properties, so the juice won't be as potent as the tinctures I make, but I expect it will have some benefits, and be tasty too.

I enjoy trying new recipes.  One I tried last week was a garlicky chard and chickpea dish, using a large bag of our chard and garlic.  Both it and the new cucumber avocado recipe I tried were just OK, but every now and then, you find a winner.  I harvested dill, mulberries, blackberries, raspberries, parsley, broccoli, our first cucumber and yellow squash..  On the way to collect eggs, I gathered wild lettuce to give to the chickens, and some mock strawberries.  I also gave them some raisins from a jar that got buggy, one of the occasional down sides of buying them at the discount grocery store.  This time of year, I boil eggs two or three times a week.  The pups get one every morning, and we eat some too.  The usual hummingbird food, kefir, yogurt and bird suet were made.

before decorating
There were a few frugal aspects to our wedding celebration.  The venue I chose, a historic gatekeepers house, was inexpensive to rent ($100).  It's a sweet little house, built in 1888, which still has wavy glass in some of the window panes. The desserts were done by a B&B that I supply soap to, and we are bartering for these.  They create some pretty awesome food, most of which is local.  We provided all our beverages.  A good friend's sister came through with almost everything needed to set up and decorate, as she had it from her son's marriage in May.  Both sisters helped me set up.  I was able to get gorgeous bouquets from a local grower, with herbs and wildflowers mixed in.  Much more my style than what is offered at a florist, at a great price.  Once we figured out our table arrangement, I was able to cut some of our flowers, adding a small jelly jar of flowers to each of the individual tables.  Help was offered by other good people as well.  I can't imagine a more wonderful celebration than was had.  I'm blessed to have a wonderful group of people in my life.

On a cool morning. I  baked bread with a pack of zucchini I pulled from the freezer, along with our eggs and homemade vanilla.  Another day, I pulled our lima beans and okra from the freezer, and had them for dinner along with rice.  The freezer is still quite full, but I'll keep working at it.  I used the last of last year's potatoes in a potato salad, and used our tomatoes, basil and oregano in pasta sauce.  J designed an trellis/arbor to hold our tromboncino squash in the garden, and we set that up.  We had put up a small fence around a small service area of the homestead, which includes the compost, a week or so ago.  The fence was taller than we wanted, and what was cut off was used for the top part of the new trellis.  We also worked on setting up tomato cages around the larger plants.  The Japanese beetles have arrived.  I collect them in a jar of water, and give them to the chickens.  Though I never caught up, several hours were spent weeding the garden.  Fresh straw was put in the chicken's nest boxes, and a wheelbarrow full of poopy straw added to the compost pile.  Wishing you a great week, friends.


Michèle Hastings said...

Your wedding venue looks beautiful. I hope you share photos of your table arrangements with the flowers and your handmade napkins.

Laurie said...

Thank you, Michele! It was a buffet, so we did not set the tables. We considered it, but we were a few seats shy if everyone ate at the same time, due to the size of the Gatekeepers house, so decided it would be best not to. I'll see if there's anything of the tables I can share, though.