Monday, January 16, 2017

Snow Day & Frugal Accomplishments

Hello friends.  I hope you've been staying warm (or cool if in the southern hemisphere).  With the recent single digit temperatures, I've been baking more.  One day it was Carrot Apple Zucchini bread, other days I baked sweet potatoes, and another day it was crusty bread in a Dutch oven.  Even with a heater set up under the house, our water froze up on the coldest night.  J added a heat lamp, which thankfully got it running again in short order.   I sure do love and greatly appreciate hot running water.  Not wanting to go back to using well water in the house, we have to be mindful of how much rainwater we use, so to leave it dripping all night wasn't an option.  Using the broccoli I cut last week, plus our eggs, garlic, green onion, leftover peas and pantry items, I made fried rice for dinner one night.  I went through ebates for a small purchase, & used a 12% coupon to purchase a recliner on overstock for my studio.  I realized a recliner next to a window would be the most comfortable way to do the stitching I'm wanting to do, and it will be a lovely spot for reading too.  We took a walk in the snow last weekend, and I thought I'd share some pics today.

I've continued to add citrus peels to vinegar for cleaning vinegar, and have a full quart steeping now.  We had filled up lots of bowls, buckets and bottles with water, in case of freezing water or a power outage.  Once the temperatures warmed up, I began using the water for all the house plants, filling the humidifier on the woodstove & filling the pups water bowl.  We are working on using up the last of our Longkeeper tomatoes that were picked green in the fall.  One morning, I made scrambled eggs with several and our garlic.  The tomatoes are not pretty or as good as summer fresh, but not half bad for January.  On a cold day, I caught up on my ironing, while watching a TED talk, and a couple episodes of the Great British Christmas Bake Off to amuse me.  Ironing is not my favorite chore.  I noticed there were ahem... quite a few summer linens in the bunch.

last of the tomatoes
At the grocery store, sale items bought were catfood, beer, wine & organic frozen corn and peas (2/$4).  I picked up a couple of artichokes too, which have been staying at 2/$3.  The snowman I embroidered last week had some holes in the fabric on the back, which were mended while listening to President Obama's farewell address.  Though he wasn't perfect (and who is?), I believe he & Michelle are good and decent souls, and I will surely miss them.  I finally got around to making a batch of granola, and definitely need to get back into doing that, as I really like it.  One night, I enjoyed dinner with a friend at a new farm to table restaurant.  The food and service were good, and I picked up a couple Arkansas Black apples, a few cookies for J, and some local goat cheese in the market there.  I hope they will do well.  When one grows and eats a lot of your own food, you appreciate good, fresh food.  I also think supporting local food (& businesses) is an important piece of the puzzle.

That's a photo of my frugal niger thistle feeder.  I never could get it to focus on the feeder instead of the tree, but hopefully you can tell it's just a lid in the bottom of a stocking, with a skewer through it.  I spoke about needing to add some pieces of rag on either side of the skewer to keep the seed from just falling out through the holes that enlarged.  That seems to be working pretty well.  The feeder was very busy on the cold, snowy days.  I was happy to redeem points for my first bag of free Purina Naturals catfood.   J needed a few things from Lowe's for a project, so I purchased them through ebates, which gave 2.5% cash back, and using his credit card reduced it another 5%.  Once the days warmed to above freezing, I uncovered the lettuce, and found that most of the green lettuce had froze and rotted, but most of the red lettuce survived.  I'm happy to still have lettuce, and picked some for the coming week.  I've continued to pick up sticks for biochar, and now have a 55 gal. barrel filled.  The next step is to pack down the sticks.  This involves tamping it with a 2 x 4, and J will do that.  Hopefully, it won't take the level too far down.  Then I'll start filling the outer, larger barrel.  I've already started collecting some limbs for that.  That's a pretty good summary of the week and frugal goings on around the homestead.  Thanks for stopping by!


cookingwithgas said...

great photos for what I hope is our only winter snow for the year.
This coming year will be a challenge for all of us.
I hope it is somewhat smooth sailing.

Laurie said...

Yes, many wishes for smooth sailing for us all this year, Meredith! If we all create good, it's bound to ripple out.

Jane said...

A recliner by the window sounds like a very nice idea. It must be nice to still have fresh lettuce! I've tried keeper tomatoes before, but haven't had any success with them. Will have to try again. It's very pretty down your way. Although it is strange to see that you have more snow than we have recently. Have a lovely frugal week!


Laurie said...

I expect it may be our only snow this year, Jane, but it was nice while it lasted. I'm already loving my recliner!

Anonymous said...

We've been getting a lot of extra snow this year, too.

It's funny, I'm not much for ironing, either. For years, my husband's mom would haul it away and bring it back ironed, because she liked ironing!! Now, we are just really committed to pulling those shirts out of the dryer quickly and hanging them immediately, then we don't have to iron his work shirts since they are supposed to be permanent press.

Laurie said...

Sounds like a great MIL you've got, Becky!

Reginas Cottage said...

hi laurie,
great photos and a wonderful post.i made orange-vinegar-cleaner,too and i save water.
have a nice week,

Chef Owings said...

I grew up using rainwater cysteine. In the kitchen we left it drip into a pan that Mom would put a clean dish cloth in and then we would use the water from that pan. In the bathtub Mom put a wash pan with the clean rag.

terricheney said...

It was my job to do family ironing when I was a child and then teen. In the 1970s every single thing we wore seemed to be made of cotton or wool. Five people, six sets of nice clothes a week...It was hours of work on a Saturday and often I'd work at it from 10am until 10pm and be worn out! Needless to say, these days if ironing is needed (seldom) there would likely be summer linens in my pile as well, lol. Love the photos!

Laurie said...

Thanks, Regina! I am going to check out your blog!

Hi Juls! I enjoy your comments on The Prudent Homemaker, & appreciate you taking the time to comment here. I hadn't thought of collecting the drips in a pan or pot. I guess I thought it would be more water than that, but I may try that next time. Thanks!

Terri, that sounds truly awful!! I guess I got off easy. My main job was washing dishes as a child, then also helped with laundry, & had to start dinner in high school. I'll take all of those over ironing, lol!

Michèle Hastings said...

I feel your pain about frozen pipes! When we were living in the log cabin we woke up many mornings to frozen pipes. It felt so wasteful to leave faucets dripping but we often had to do it in the bathroom. Thankfully, we haven't had to deal with it at the new house. We are on town water here, and dripping would not only be wasteful but costly.
I hope that was our only snow of the year!