Monday, March 23, 2020

The First Spring Days & Frugal Accomplishments

Hello, friends.  I hope you are coping well during these stressful days.  Last week was pretty much a typical week for me, with massage work, soap deliveries, and grocery store runs.  The B&B where I delivered soap has curbside pickup at their cafe, and I bartered for food in place of payment, as I know they are struggling right now.  I intend to stay home going forward, and am looking forward to that.  We do not yet have a known case in our county, though I expect that will change in the coming days.  On our last run out to take care of a few things on Friday, J & I dropped packages off at a couple of friend's, with eggs, a pumpkin, sweet potatoes and collards, and a book for one, and turnips for the other.  It's always nice to share home grown goodies.  The chicks are growing well, and Mama hen has begun laying again. 

I ran across information about some more of the wild plants growing here.  I had not realized either had edible or medicinal uses. The first is purple dead nettle, which grows abundantly here.  In fact, I looked it up because a neighbor inquired if it had any uses, as she said it was everywhere there.  The other is forsythia, which is part of an anti-viral formula currently being studied in China, so it's a great time to learn about this plant.  As the biggest bush near the house has already finished blooming,  I wandered to see if any of the other bushes still have flowers, and found some on bushes near the road.  A new batch of alfalfa sprouts was started, and yogurt was made.   I started a batch of compost tea, which will be mixed with orange oil and molasses, and used as a drench for fire ant mounds in the garden.  We knew there was a mound next to one of our plums.  When J checked it this week, he found out they had killed the tree.  Sigh.  We've gotten our first two cuttings of asparagus, which made us very happy. 

The recently planted onion sets are sprouting.  J also ordered onion plants this week, as we learned you'll get the biggest onions from these.  Hummus was made for lunches, and another batch of lemon balm tea.  A few weeks ago, I placed an order of essential oils for soap making.  When I opened the package last week, they were all different from the ones I had ordered.  It turns out someone in Michigan received mine, but the company is having Fedex swap them for us.  I expect the companies selling essential oils are scrambling right now, with a significant increase in orders due to the current pandemic.  Our little home goods business is still plugging along.  J finished fabricating orders on Saturday.  I cleaned and powder coated them, then packed them up on Sunday.  We're always grateful for the business, but most especially now.  A customer asked us to make her stand out of steel rod instead of rebar, and it came out very nice.

A patch of lettuce was planted before rain.  Salad dressing was made.  There was some arugula which made it through the winter, and I asked J to save a couple of plants.  I've been harvesting leaves for our salads from them.  J worked on getting up piles of leaves with his electric blower.  He knew the leaf mulcher needed some work, and found out it needed a carburetor, which is on the way.  Hopefully, no strong winds will undo all his work in the meantime.  We intend to use the leaves in the garden.  I decided Sunday was a good time to tackle one of the humongous winter squash.  This time I decided to bake half for pies and brownies, and cube the other half for savory dishes.  Baking half significantly cut down on the processing time.  While the squash was baking, I threw in some sweet potatoes, to have with cabbage and noodles for dinner.

  How wonderful that so many free things are being shared through the internet right now... ebooks, audible books, museum tours, garden tours, TV stations (I've seen Acorn and Showtime) and music.  J & I watched a live concert Saturday night, and I happily made a donation.  Besides knowing that musicians are struggling right now, the music really lifted the weight of the world off my shoulders for a time, and I wanted to show my appreciation.   There are so many possibilities of things to do with my time in the coming days.  I believe I will just go with what calls to me.  How will you be spending your days this week?  Be well, friends. 


daisy g said...

Bartering is such a great way to do business. I hope more folks discover it during this difficult time and incorporate it into their lives once the crisis is gone.

The plant stand is beautiful! Simple, classic lines and practicality go hand in hand.

I am still working, thankfully, and as I work for private individuals, there is no worry about being in a crowded space. We'll get through it, and hopefully learn something in the process.

Blessings to you and yours. ;0D

Laurie said...

I agree, bartering is a good thing. I think a lot of positive things are going to come out of this time.

Though our stands would work really well as a plant stand too, they're made to hold various water filters, like our Berkey.

Stay safe out there!

daisy g said...

Love the new picture, Laurie!

cookingwithgas said...

Thank you for the share. I have something I want to share with you soon.
We making things work and taking care, they announced the first case here last night.
Extra care should be taken.
Love to you both. I will be in touch. XXXOOOO