Monday, July 24, 2017

Free Roosters, Thrifted Treasures & Frugal Accomplishments

Hello, friends.  I hope this finds you well.  It seems these days most everyone I know is having challenges, whether illness, things breaking down or other challenges.  I do believe the planets affect us.  I'm not sure if this might be contributing, but whatever it is, I hope it soon passes, and hope challenges have not visited you.  I'm happy to be joining in with The Prudent Homemaker today.

Last week, I harvested cucumbers, yellow squash, tomatoes, tromboncino squash, blueberries, eggplant, okra, apples, basil, oregano and chives.  I started seeds for broccoli and cabbage from seeds we had on hand.  I gathered eggs from the chickens, and gave them holey chard in return.  Eggs were boiled for the pups.  One evening, an exuberant McNibs knocked the egg basket out of my hand, which cracked the eggs.  Thankfully, there were only two eggs, and I gave the pups those for supper.  I did a good clean out of the chicken coop, which was much needed, and gathered sprigs of spearmint and oregano to put in the nest boxes and on the floor.  These not only make it smell better, but may also repel insects.  I used a coupon code for $30 off our supplement order, as well as going through ebates for additional cash back, and used a 35% coupon code for a book I plan to give as a gift.  I bought another gift through swagbucks, for cash back.  I bought seeds on sale, and used an additional 10% coupon code.

The day McNibs had a run in with the skunk, I mentioned I left to attend a class.  It turns out the class was canceled, but I never received the message, so they are giving me $50 off my next class.  I was interested in another class they're having in August, and need to take 25 hours worth of classes for my massage license renewal, so this works out well.  I already receive a 10% discount on classes as an alumni, and will save the additional $50 after that.  After making bean burritos for dinner one night, I had leftover refried beans.  I don't know why it hasn't occurred to me before, but I realized it would be easy to turn the beans into vegi burgers.  I researched online, then added an egg, bread crumbs, dehydrated onions, flax seed, hemp seed, chili powder, garlic powder and cumin.  They were delicious, and a good use of leftovers.

J's business partner called about some 7 week old Ameraucana chicks that were in a nearby feed and seed, so the next day on his way home, he bought 4.  There was one Russian Orloff that I was excited about after reading about them being such hardy birds, but J is pretty sure that it was a rooster and left it there, and it may explain why it was the last one left.  We surely don't need another rooster.  I'm still trying to find homes for our extra two.  Would you like one or both?  They're a bit over a year old, handsome and docile.  They just really need their own flock of hens.  I cut a watermelon one hot day, and gave the rind to the chickens.  I made soap gel by mixing homemade soap trimmings with water in the blender.  I use watered down gel in a dispenser at the bathroom sink, and add it to laundry loads.

  The nettle tea fertilizer I made several weeks ago was applied to our peppers, rutabagas and dwarf pomegranates.  We've not had any luck in the past with rutabagas, and I'm excited to have a good amount of them this year, with bulbs forming already.  If we have enough to store over the winter, I'll need to research the homestead equivalent of the waxing done to the ones in the grocery store.  Cabbage moths have found them, so I've hand picked the worms a couple of times.  I emptied water cups and bottles into the dog's water bowl, and watered plants with egg boiling and other assorted water.  With the summer heat upon us, our electric bill jumped $50 since last month.  I should say this is not all our home, as both M's trailer and J's shop are on the same bill.  We've been using fans to move around the air conditioned air, which we turned up a degree, and I'm closing blinds and doors against the sun as it moves.  This weekend is the hottest so far, and we've already lost some plants to the drought.  We do some watering, but there's nothing like a good rain.  I hope we see some soon.

thrifted treasures
After making a soap delivery to a B&B 45 minutes away, I stopped at 4 thrift stores on the drive home.  My main goal was to find white clothes that I can experiment with dyeing with plants, and I found 4 shirts.  I also hoped to find a white sheet, which I didn't do, but I found a pretty, small cloth.  I'm always on the lookout for sturdy baskets, and found 2 for the garden, and a laundry basket from $2.50 to $4.00.  I found a vintage, well made embroidery hoop for .50, and a small, thick mat for $1 to use in the bathroom.  There was a frugal fail at the Habitat store, where I found a $2.50 basket and two .25 candles.  I was overcharged $2, but decided not to go back and just consider it a donation.  Pasta salad was made one night, using our tomatoes, cucumbers, basil & oregano.  Another night, I made a tomato pie using our tomatoes, basil & chives, along with asian cucumbers.  I couldn't think of what else to serve.  J requested hummus, so I mixed up a batch using our garlic, plus pantry items.

Wanting to stay indoors as much as possible on an especially hot day, I worked on mending and ironing.  I sewed a button on a shirt, mended a small hole in a shirt,  removed long strings from the sleeves of a linen shirt and reworked the neckline, turned a pair of pants into shorts, and shortened the straps of a thrifted silk nightgown.  Some time ago, M cut plywood boards to fit on our pantry shelves.  I suggested to J that it would be a good day to spend time in the (basement) pantry, being so hot, and we moved lots of jars to put the wood down, then put the jars back.  The shelves were the type with metal wire every inch or so, not very stable for glass jars and bottles.  We were able to cover the majority of shelves, and have a piece of particle board left over from another project that we'll cut to use on the remaining shelves.  J & I gathered the little onions that are on the tops of our walking onions, and plan to start another bed with them.  A container of caponata was found in the freezer from last year's eggplant, which I served with leftover tomato pie and asian cucumbers.  Are you enjoying the bounty of seasonal produce?


Life Freedom Family said...

I love finding baskets at thrift stores. It is one of the most common things I buy there. I use them for gift basket making, blanket storage. Bedside magazines. I have been known to spray paint a basket or two as well.

Laurie said...

Yes, so many uses to baskets, LFF! I usually have a couple with me in the garden, one I use to gather eggs, and all sorts of other uses. I'm delighted when I find a well made laundry basket in a thrift store, as the shipping on new ones is often more than the basket.

Unknown said...

I look for baskets, too. I rarely find them, though. I must be too particular. I'd love a laundry basket!
While you're dealing with heat, here in our area of Michigan, we've had cool temps and rain. It seems to be rainy, foggy, or almost rainy/foggy. Having said that, we may be getting some clear skies, just in time for blueberry picking! Yippee!!

Laurie said...

Ah, blueberries! Ours are just finishing up here. I read about an interesting sounding place in MI today, called Cherry Point Farm. I definitely have to search for good baskets too, Debbie. They're often cheaply made junk, but every so often, I luck out, and find some a good one.

Robert said...


For the new soap how about Natures Bouquet, or On the Trail or Nature's sanctuary or a combination of something I also sent a few ideas on the board at The Prudent Homemaker.
Smell the view, A Deer's friend, Tree Hugger.

Laurie said...

Thanks so much, Janet! Some excellent ideas!

Lady Locust said...

Great finds! I just found you via a post you did about Tasha Tudor. Her birthday is the 28th Aug. I'm nosing around your blog - wonderful!