Sunday, December 6, 2015

Late Fall Color & Frugal Accomplishments

Even in the waning days of fall, there is color to see when I am mindful to notice.  I'm happy to be joining in with Frugal Accomplishments today.  I made vegetable soup with our garlic, carrots, tomatoes, and squash, along with some store bought vegi's.  Would have added a few slices of okra, if I had remembered.  I added carrot, garlic, onion and celery ends to the broth bag.  Removed three gallon bags for vegi broth from the freezer, simmered, strained and canned it.  I made one of my favorite juices for lunch, with our carrots, plus apples, pineapple, and ginger.  Gave the pups a few of the last cherry tomatoes and bone broth with their dinner, and a boiled egg with several meals.

male downy woodpecker
I bought some needed items for our project from Lowe's through ebates, with my Lowe's credit card, saving me 7%.  Bought a live Frazier Fir tree at Lowe's during their 25% off sale, making the tree less than $20.  Is there anything better than the scent of Frazier Firs!  I made the first batch of suet this season, and it didn't take long for the birds to find it.  Did laundry with homemade soap, and hung it on the line.  Gathered chickweed and dandelion greens for the chickens, on the way to collect eggs.  It seemed a fair trade :o).

a few of the wool dusters
I filtered and decanted several canning jars of orange, lemon and lime cleaning vinegars.  I'll take a few of these to a holiday show on Saturday. I also finished my new product, recycled wool dusters.  I made them by cutting up sweaters (some were mine that had seen better days & some were thrifted and found at excellent prices), then felted the wool.  I cut hardwood handles from the homestead, dried then peeled them, cut a groove with a bandsaw to attach twine handles. I had fun making these, and am looking forward to sharing them at the show.  I purchased a large basket for $12 on clearance. I'm thinking of using it in the pantry, but may use it elsewhere. There's plenty to organize around here.  The largest part of my focus this week has been getting ready for the show.

I was surprised to find this bloom in December

After reading several comments on The Prudent Homemaker, I decided to purchase an upright freezer.  The small chest freezer we have is rather a black hole, with no easy way to tell what's in there.  Having a freezer with bins and shelves, as well as more room will be delightful.  Our local Lowe's was having a 25% off sale.  Combining that with 5% off for using their credit card & 2% through ebates saved me 32% on the freezer.  I believe having it will help me to better see what we have and what needs to be eaten, as well as to better be able to take advantage of sales.
a glimpse of the show and a portion of my booth 
I sold out of my two seasonal soaps at the show, Pumpkin Chai & St. Clements (Citrus Spice).  The show was lots of fun, and I came home with some presents.  On Sunday, I got all the show stuff put away by noon, and hoped I might be able to relax a bit.  I had in mind reading on the couch, which is a rare treat.  After packing up several online orders, gathering greens and carrots & collecting eggs, spending some time trying to make a decision on a piece of our ongoing project, walking with the pups and making dinner, the afternoon was gone.  But after supper,  I did indeed get caught up on a weeks worth of newspapers, and finished a library book.  I made a pasta dish with some of our fresh parsley for dinner, and put the stems into the broth bag in the freezer.  I'm looking forward to working on some holiday things this week... writing cards, wrapping, perhaps a little baking.  


Michèle Hastings said...

Glad to hear that the holiday show went well.
Jeff asked me the other day that if our garden goes well, would I be interested in canning. My response was that I have never done that before and would be afraid I might kill someone with botulism! I did tell him that we can always freeze things... which means we might need a freezer in the future. I am sure I can learn to can... I might have to call you for advice ;-)

terricheney said...

Your photos are so lovely to me. I am a rural girl and I find the most charm in natural items photographed as they are. I'm glad the show was a success for you. I had a pair of downy woodpeckers on the light pole the other morning. I enjoyed watching them. Usually they are in the pecan tree this time of year but with no pecans on the place there's nothing there for them. I really should get some suet and seeds this year for the birds.

April said...

What they said!

Laurie said...

I really appreciate your comments, ladies! You absolutely can learn to can, Michele. It's pretty obvious if something isn't sealed correctly. I'd be delighted to help you. Sorry you have no pecans this year, Terri. Our pecan tree is still a little thing, so I expect we have a few more years before we get our first ones. April... :o)