Monday, June 29, 2015

Summer Flora and Frugal Accomplishments

bee balm
I'm joining in with Frugal Accomplishments.  I cut a bouquet for the house, and went through ebates to purchase a whole house water filter.  Our extremely hard water is an ongoing challenge. We're going to try a sediment filter, to see if it will help.  We do use rainwater when we can, but we don't yet have enough storage to last more than a couple weeks or so, before having to go back on well water.  That's another work in progress.  I forgot to write about it last post, but on my evening walk with the pups on the summer solstice, a young king snake was in my path.  The following day, there was a green snake in front of the house.  I was taken aback because I had almost stepped on it before seeing it.  I researched in my animal book, which told me Snake is about transmutation and the power of creation.  I am pondering that.  Before finishing up this post tonight, I saw another small black snake in the path when I walked with the pups.

echinacea, bee balm, soapwort, tansy, daylily, zinnia
Made kefir and kombucha.  It has been unusually hot (upper 90's) here the past few weeks, so we have been using the A/C every day.  The weather finally broke, and we have been able to open up at night the past couple of days.  I keep the blinds and doors closed on the side the sun is shining throughout the day, and run a fan when it seems uncomfortably warm to keep the thermostat at a higher setting.  Harvested parsley for potato salad.  I've made Swagbucks goals several days.  Taken my water bottle any time I leave the house.  My vehicle came with a trial period of Sirius radio.  I enjoyed it at times while driving, which I don't do that much. When the trial ended, I looked at the cost, which is not cheap.  Hearing about others who had a huge hassle in cancelling it convinced me I didn't need it.  M researched what it would take to get my Pandora stations from my phone to play through the car speakers.  All it took was a $4.95 cable, and I've got good tunes to listen to in the car.  That makes me happy!

roselle hibiscus
I picked purslane and basil and made pesto with it and our garlic.  I used the last of the nettle tea fertilizer on some tomatoes and eggplant that were looking poorly, then harvested another 5 gal bucket of nettles and started a new batch of tea.  Stinky stuff when it's fermenting, but good for the plants.  I purchased a Roselle hibiscus, which I've read about on some of the Australian blogs.  It has so many good uses... food, drink, medicine, fiber.  It is not hardy here, so I will try getting cuttings in the fall.  Does anyone have experience with Roselle?  J helped me plant it before we got a nice rain.

Tried something new with leftover mac & cheese.  I mixed it with  a can of vegetarian chili, to make chili mac.  I harvested our first cucumbers, tomatoes, and carrots and used some in a salad.  Boiled our eggs and made egg salad, first for us and again for a family gathering.  The "girls" are being generous these days.  I listed 11 items on ebay.  All but one item is for some friends I agreed to help.  This endeavor has not lived up to my expectations.  For a number of hours of work each month, I end up making less than $20.  Live and learn.

butterfly bush
I picked up a book at the library, and have been enjoying the first few episodes of Call The Midwife.  I picked and made Asian cucumbers.  I chopped purslane and cucumber for the pups dinner, and brought cantaloupe rind and seeds to the chickens.  I dug one of the purslane from the garden, which has yellow flowers and is related to portulaca, and planted it in a window box which already had creeping jenny in it.  Some things enjoyed on the web this week:

-I learned I could listen to Smithsonian Folkways radio
-many of the images here and here
-breakfast ideas from Dr. Oz.  I thought the frittata looked especially good.

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