Monday, February 12, 2018

Simple Pleasures, Some Sewing & Frugal Accomplishments


Hello friends.  For years, I thought there were yellow finches at the feeder in the winter.  It turns out they are pine warblers.  Once it was pointed out that they have different beaks,  I can readily see the difference.  Watching the feeders from the kitchen window is a simple pleasure.  I made Pasta Norma with our eggplant, tomatoes and herbs.  After working in town on Tuesday, I ran errands.  Walgreens was having their 20% off day, so I picked up a few items there, and at the grocery store, I found several cans of natural dog food marked down 50%.  I don't have a lot of stored animal food, so it makes me feel better to add these to the shelf.   I requested and picked up two books at the library.  Wednesday was a rainy day, but it got into the low 60's, so I opened up several windows for fresh air.  I cut up another of our cabbages, and made cabbage and noodles for dinner.  The Aldi's bouquet was looking tired after a week, so I cut away the sad flowers and recut the stems on the good ones, to have flowers at the table a bit longer.


I was gifted a beautiful little pottery bowl, and have found it useful several times in the kitchen already.   Ebates sent me a rebate of $13.32.  I continue looking for usnea on my walks, and add any found bits to the tincture bottle.  Some vegetable bits were added to the broth bag, some composted, and other bits chopped for the pups.  Warm up water was used to water plants and added to the humidifier.  Scrap paper was saved for lists, and other paper shredded.   A celery end was planted in the garden, and covered with a glass cloche.  The chickens were given the leftover rutabaga soup, after we ate it two nights, and some sad outer cabbage leaves.  They're still giving us plenty of eggs.  I boiled some for us and the pups, and used one in my Grandmother's dressing recipe.  Laundry was washed with homemade soap and rainwater, and hung on the line.


To make the best use of the oven, while baking an apple pie and dressing, I baked a cushaw squash. While in town shipping orders, I ran a few errands.  At the thrift store, I found several .10 cards, a spatula for .25, and jigsaw puzzles for .50 & .75.  I stopped at Tractor Supply for layer pellets, and saw large dog beds for $22, so picked 2 up.  The pups are enjoying them.  The beds replaced two couch cushions they've been using since we moved into the house, which did great for a long time, but they were getting shabby.  In addition to pecans, an Aldi's run consisted of produce... lemons, clementines, grapefruit, organic onions and grape tomatoes, and garlic.  For a breakfast, I added apple butter to yogurt, then topped it with some granola, all homemade items.  On Sunday, I used some of the cushaw squash, and baked a pie.  I pondered what I might do to make it healthier, and added 1/2 tsp maca.


On my to do list since last summer was sewing a pair of scrubs for massage work, the first clothing I've ever attempted.  I was determined to at least begin it over the weekend. First, I watched a video I had bookmarked, but found out it wasn't what I was looking for, as it was a tutorial in making a scrub top by using a T shirt as a pattern. I already had a pattern, so I began studying it.  Rather intimidated, I asked J for help, my dear husband of so many skills.  I chose to make it with batik fabric, which even though bought on sale, was not inexpensive.  I didn't want to mess up.  He helped me until I felt ready to pin and cut the fabric for the pants.  I did have to rip two seams out, but by the time we had to get ready to meet friends that evening, I had a pair of pants that needed hemming and the waist finished up.  On Sunday, the waistband was sewn, and a drawstring sewn and put in.  When I tried it on, the legs were really large, so I took in 3" per side, then hemmed them.  I left them rather long, because I don't like short pants and was concerned they might shrink with washing.  Not the best photo, but here they are.  Looking back, I really wish I'd been able to spend time learning from my tailor grandfather as a kid.  My grandmother did teach me a little hand sewing.  Perhaps they felt the machine was dangerous for a child.


I can't seem to go on walks, without coming home with pockets full of stuff :o).  Today, I emptied parmotrema lichens, an oak gall, and dried mushrooms from my pockets.  These will all eventually be used as dye stuffs.  I cooked up some of our frozen limas, and used some of our parsley in potato salad.  It was quite warm for a February day, in the upper 60's, and potato salad made us both happy.  Open windows for fresh air was lovely too.  Wishing you much love this Valentine's week. 

12 comments:

cookingwithgas said...

I use to make these for Mark from a simple pattern, I would muslin for comfort. It was back in my mother earth days.

Laurie said...

I love that, Meredith! I should probably get some tips from you Now you've got me pondering making some from hand dyed muslin!

cookingwithgas said...

he loved them as his sleeping, hanging around the house pants, really quick and simple. We were all hippies then, remember? :)

Laurie said...

Indeed! They are the best for massage work too.

Unknown said...

Nice job on the scrubs! I haven’t sewn actual clothes since I was 16. One arm in the shirt was much tighter then the other. That was enough for me. A sister is a seamstress; any problems, I send them to her.

Laurie said...

Thanks for commenting, U. A friend is coming by this week to give me some tips, which I can definitely use.

Becky Gepford said...

I wonder if all those yellow birds I see are not goldfinches after all! What is the beak difference?

Laurie said...

Becky, the way I understand it, the gold finches have more of a seed eaters beak. The pine warblers seem to hang out on the suet, and have a longer beak. I'll see if I can find a link. Here you go: http://hiltonpond.org/ThisWeek050201.html

April said...

Love the shot of the little pottery bowl.

Laurie said...

It's such a sweet one, April.

Debra Spinks said...

Love the bowl! Love the blue batik! Did you root the celery in water before planting? We had finches in Rochester, NY, where I grew up.

Laurie said...

I do not root the celery first, Deb. In the warmer months, new growth springs up from the center in just a day or two. This is the first time I've tried it in colder months, and it takes longer, but it has come out with new growth.