Monday, January 26, 2015

The Pantry Round Two and Frugal Accomplishments

Amaryllis Red Lion
I've not done a good job at keeping up with my Frugal Accomplishments the past week, and this is what I can remember.  I made 2 loaves of pumpkin bread from pumpkin/winter squash I canned, which used some eggs and home ground whole wheat flour in them.  Made avocado salad dressing using homegrown garlic and homemade yogurt.  Used fresh parsley in potato salad.  Made homemade bread.  Made home canned green beans with garlic.

pantry before
I washed laundry with homemade soap, and hung it on the line, though I did have to finish off some in the dryer, with rain threatening that night.  I shared garlic and sweet potatoes from the garden with friends.  I shopped at the discount grocery store, and found bargains on olives, organic diced tomatoes, pet food and more.  I made my daily Swagbucks goals, and cashed out another amazon gift card.

pantry after- forgot the angle of the first photo... oops

I finished cleaning and organizing the other side of the pantry.  Some things were consolidated, some were thrown out, and others composted.  All traces of a little mouse visitor are gone.  I'm thankful to be done with that, and moving on to the next thing that is calling for attention.  So many possibilities to choose from, but I'm leaning towards washing down the bathroom walls next.  Likely, some good music will be needed for that job. Have a great week, friends!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Pantry Love

the pantry before

Today, I'm joining in with Down To Earth blog, with the pantry challenge.  When I was building my house, I drew my plans in a notebook.  One of the items in those plans was a large pantry. I knew I would be growing and preserving food, and doing lots of from scratch cooking.  A lot happens on this side of the pantry.  It contains the dishwasher, spices,  all the medicinal tinctures, kefir, and cleaning vinegar that are "working", & the recycling.  The extra egg cartons and baskets also live here, which I grab almost every day in the warmer months, as I head to the garden or chicken coop. It was in serious need of love and attention.
the pantry after

If I could do it over, I would plan for narrower shelves.  The other side of the pantry contains the cans, bottles and jars of food.  At 24" deep, it's too deep to be useful, and the things toward the back become forgotten about.  All but the top shelf of the other side still need cleaning and organizing, and I'll be back working on that today.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Cleaning House and Frugal Accomplishments

I'm joining with Brandy for this week's Frugal Accomplishments.  I made yogurt and bird suet, and ground whole wheat flour.  We ate homegrown lettuce, garlic, tromboncino & zucchini squash, rosemary, eggs, and the last tomato from the 2014 garden.  We swapped the chick that definitely looked like a rooster for a hen, so now we're pretty sure we do have 4 hens.  They had their first little outing over the weekend, when the temps were in the 50's and they had a nice sunny spot to hang out in.  They have been in a brooder, with a heat lamp during these cold temps, otherwise.  I colored my hair at home.

I cashed in swagsbucks points for two $5 amazon gift cards; and met my daily goal 5 days.  Our friend that is staying with us has been helping me by doing searches, and every day, he has gotten me some swagbucks for his searches.  I sure appreciate that.

I worked on cleaning and organizing my kitchen pantry. Several items of kitchenware were put in the donate box, and I threw out my Chemex coffee maker.  It hasn't worked for some time, & I was only saving it for gatherings, as SO & I  make single cups when we drink coffee.  He can fix just about anything, but I figured if it hadn't been fixed by now, it was time to let it go.  There were a number of things that needed straining and bottling in the pantry; several herbal tinctures- elderberry, nettle, and shiso, plus vanilla extract and lime cleaning vinegar.  I'm happy that's finished.  I have the other half of the pantry still to do. I have high hopes for accomplishing that this week.

We had Brandy's Spanish rice, along with bean burritos for dinner one night. Used red onion I had dehydrated in the Spanish rice.  Used homemade laundry soap and dried laundry on the line.  Cleaned and organized my shipping area, which had gotten ugly during the holidays.  These are little steps, but every step that gets me closer to a peaceful, organized and clean house makes me happy.  Have a wonderful week!

Monday, January 12, 2015

A Tale of Happy Tail & Frugal Accomplishments

Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
Once again, I'm joining in with this week's Frugal Accomplishments.  At the discount grocery store, I bought several cans of organic black beans and garbanzo beans, 4 large jars of Alfonso olives, and a #10 can of sliced black olives (for $4!).  I've read of people finding these big cans and canning the olives in smaller portions over the years, but this is the first time I've run across them. I'm excited to see how much I end up with.  I see lots of pizza in our future :o)

Used a 15% off coupon for a deli item at the grocery store.  I have gotten many of these at checkout in the past, but this is the first time I remembered to bring and use it.  I reached my Swagsbucks goal several days, and cashed in some points for $5 Amazon gift cards.

Mardi Gras float at the Mobile Museum of Art
I made a waldorf salad and a tomato rice loaf using celery from our coldframe, used scrap paper for lists and notes, composted, froze vegi scraps for broth, saved bread ends to use for bread crumbs, and hung laundry on the line.  We got 4 seven week old Barred Rock chicks from a neighbor for $5 ea.  Though we had asked for 4 hens, we are pretty sure one is a rooster... time will tell.

Ate sweet potatoes, garlic, green beans and eggs from our homestead.  I made a pizza (olives, mushrooms and garlic) and salad Friday night.  We watched a Netflix movie we both enjoyed, Begin Again.  I like the idea of Friday's being pizza and movie night, and will try to have more of these during these next few cold months.  J and I went through our seeds, and discovered the only ones we need to buy are spinach seeds.  Between what we had left from last year, and seeds of my Mom's, it will be our smallest seed purchase ever.  I harvested lettuce from our cold frame, and collards from the garden before we had a night with a low of 8 degrees.  Made popcorn for snacks.

Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
Sweet McNibs required a visit to the emergency vet over the weekend.  Guinness had his annual well visit during Christmas week, and I intended to make McNibs an appointment for the coming week.  Last week, I noticed him licking the tip of his tail a lot, then saw a sore.  I began giving him vitamin C with each meal (a powdered one purchased for dogs), then added in elderberry and astragalus to support his immune function.  Over the weekend, I was quite sure it was infected and did not want to wait until Monday for him to be seen.  He has what is called "Happy Tail", where the tail is injured from regular and exuberant wagging, which then became infected.  That fits him to a tee.  He is the only pup I've had that regularly wags his tail while he sleeps.  He is feeling quite forlorn wearing an Elizabethan collar.  I'm pretty forlorn about it too, but if it helps him heal, it is worth it.  If you're so inclined, a little prayer that he once again has a truly happy tail would be most appreciated.  Not the most frugal week, but life has it's bumps in the road, doesn't it?

Monday, January 5, 2015

The First Frugal Accomplishments of 2015

Today, I'm joining in with The Prudent Homemakers Frugal Accomplishments.  I made banana bread with ripe bananas, homemade yogurt & kefir, our eggs, and whole wheat flour I ground.  We ate pasta with tomatoes, garlic, onion, parsley, oregano & basil grown here.  Also ate homegrown sweet potatoes, collards, carrots and okra, delicata squash, and greens in various dishes throughout the week.

I took one of the pups to the vet for an annual well exam.  They gave me a refund form for $50 off some prescribed medicine, and I did complete the online request.  I made my Swagbucks daily goal a couple of days.  I borrowed books and a movie from the library.  We have a friend staying with us.  I'll be interested to see how it affects our pantry stocks and fresh groceries.  Used homemade soap and laundry soap, collected rainwater, composted, and collected vegi scraps in the freezer for broth.

Chickweed was harvested several days, and the chickens enjoyed that, along with old eggnog, bread, some of the less pretty greens, and patty pan squash that was gifted to us but was quite tasteless.  They loved the squash, carrying the pieces off as if they had a real prize.  Some neighbors have offered us some of their chicks, and I believe we will be bringing home 4 of them tomorrow.  More about that later if it happens.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Bright and Shining 2015

Happy New Years, friends!  The dragon was part of a Mardi Gras exhibit at the Mobile Museum of Art.  There were floats, costumes, and art created from discarded Mardi Gras beads.

We decided to spend a few days in Mobile, AL, leaving early the morning after Christmas.  The holidays were challenging, and I am glad to be on the other side of them.

                                      the view from our window

Here's to a bright, shining New Year.  May it bring peace, joy, prosperity and happiness to us all.