Sunday, January 1, 2017

A Fresh New Year & Frugal Things

Each weekday morning recently, the sounds of a logging operation begin piercing the air about 6:45, clearing a large tract of land about 1/2 mile from us.  It makes me sad to see so many trees come down, and they are chipping these, which makes it seem even worse.  Our best guess is it will be a large cow field, common around here, but maybe it will be replanted in pines.  Time will tell.  The land here doesn't perk well, which means it is unlikely to be a subdivision, a small bit of consolation.  Some day, water and sewer may make it this far out into the county, but thankfully not just yet.  On the homestead, I shredded paper and cardboard, and added it to the compost bin.  I used our potatoes in colcannon.  The hens have begun laying well again.  Several days I got 5 eggs, another day 6, up from an average of 2 lately.  They got treats of greens, sweet potato bits and soft apples in return.

another version of the snowman
Our printer needed a new imaging drum, as well as a couple of toner cartridges.  J checked the cost vs a new printer, but it was cheaper to do the fix.  Going through swagbucks for 2% cash back, and another 2% by using my rewards card helped a little.  A crocheted alpaca shawl of mine had a large snag, so I asked a friend who is an excellent crocheter what to do.  After it was cut and knotted, I wove back in the yarn ends, as well as weaving in a smaller snag.  Then, I sewed a button on a sweater.  Lemons, clementines, avocados, cheddar cheese and organic apple cider vinegar were picked up at Aldi's.  Soap oils were melted on the woodstove.  Water from various things was used in the woodstove humidifier and to water plants.  As usual, homemade soap was used in the kitchen, bathroom & laundry, we heated the house with wood, collected rain water & laundry was hung on the line.

There have been several stitchers that have inspired me this year, including this one.   I love these sweet handstories cloths that hang in my studio.  It makes me happy to look at them.  One of my goals for 2017 is to try my hand at some small hand stitched cloths.  One night for dinner, I prepared a quiche using our eggs, garlic, red peppers, and parsley plus pantry items.  With it, our lettuce was used in a salad and okra cooked in the wok.  Yogurt, kefir & suet for the birds was made.  The little niger thistle feeder needed a bit of tweaking, as the skewer I used for the birds to land on was being knocked out of the feeder.  I ripped a rag in strips, & wound it on either side of the feeder, to help hold the skewer in place.  So far, it seems to be working.  I'm joining in with The Prudent Homemaker today.

There's a consignment shop in the little town nearby, owned by a woman who was suddenly widowed last year.  I try to get by there a few times a year, and buy some things.  This time, I found 2 canisters which I'll turn into compost crocks for my shop.  I'd just been talking about looking for cast iron Christmas stocking hooks, and found one there.  Though I don't have a mantle, I have a deep, high window I plan to use them in.  I also found 4 bright orange metal plates, which I think will be good for eating outdoors.  She and I are kindred spirits, enjoying many of the same things, so we have great conversations.  She's of the same mind as far as wasting things and frugality, and this time we talked about different ways to make rugs, which gave me some good ideas.  On New Years Eve, I mended a fabric gift bag & a tote bag.  I asked J to show me how to service my sewing machine, so I could keep it in good working order, & added a cleaning kit to my wish list on amazon for the next time I place an order.  I see there are online tutorials and videos too, so I may also check out some of those.

Our gas oven has been making an odd noise on occasion recently, & J worked on cleaning the workings of it this morning.  While he had the entire bottom and racks out, I cleaned them up.  Thinking the best, I put in a large spaghetti squash & 5 of our sweet potatoes.  The sweet potatoes were for our dinner, plus future meals.  The spaghetti squash was planned for meals this coming week and to freeze.  The oven is still making a noise, so J says we need a new gas valve.  Oh well, I think we'll have enough to eat with our crowder peas & corn, and collards.  We worked together to do a deep cleaning in our bedroom today, moving furniture, wiping down walls & dusting everything.  It feels good to start a new year with a clean & neat room.  I'm looking forward to the year ahead, and all the possibilities for creativity and goodness.  Happy New Year, friends!


Jane said...

Happy new year, Laurie! Isn't it fun to start anew? Looks like you have some fun projects lined up for the new year. Sounds like you are very good at doing things for yourselves. Isn't YouTube amazing? All the things you can learn on it!


Laurie said...

I do love a new year, Jane!

Anonymous said...

Hi Laurie, happiest of new years to you & yours! It's so wonderful to see the cloths in their cozy new home, thank you! Looking forward to seeing your small stitchings.