Monday, February 20, 2017

Garden Plans, Blooms & Frugal Accomplishments

.50 jar Grandma Wheatons Old Fashioned Receipts
Hello, friends.  I forgot to mention we planted garden peas last weekend, the first planting of the year.  I harvested the spilanthes blooms, which filled a pint jar, and began a batch of medicinal tincture.   The six spilanthes plants were trimmed and repotted, and it looks like at least some should make it.  I mended a throw rug with carpet thread and needle.  Sloppy joes were prepared one night, using sauce and two partial packages of "meat" that had been frozen.  That felt like a small accomplishment, to use up three packages in the freezer, making just a bit more room.  I brought home half of my Valentines entree, and had it for dinner the next night.  The sweet potatoes were sorted through.  Some went directly to the compost, small ones were given to the pups after the bad bits were cut out, and two huge ones (one weighed 2 lbs 12 oz) were peeled & steamed in 1" slices, because I didn't want to run the oven as long as it would have taken them to bake.  We live without a microwave.  Peelings went into the broth bag in the freezer. I'm joining in with Frugal Accomplishments today.

Yogurt and kefir were made.  As usual, the pups got a spoon of yogurt with their breakfast, and kefir at night.  Half a dozen eggs were boiled, and fed to the pups over several days.  I made cookies on Valentines Day... ww chocolate chip & GF peanut butter.  J had clients visiting in his shop, so they got the first round, then I took a plate to Hospice to share with my massage clients.  I also made up little bags of homemade soaps and shower tabs for several people at my bank and Hospice, as a small token of appreciation.  I dropped off three boxes at Goodwill that had been collecting decluttering items.  Thankfully, we received just under a half inch of rain, which was sorely needed.  I'm not sure what exactly I'm doing wrong with my moringa, but it's died back again.  It typically reaches about a foot, then starts looking poorly.  I hope it will send up another shoot again.  Because my great nephew loved the wood tractor I gave him soon after he was born, it was requested I get him another wood toy for his 1st birthday.  I returned to Raven Pottery & Craft Gallery, and  fell in love with this truck.  I thought it needed some "logs" in the bed.  I love that with care, it's possible this toy may be around a good long time, maybe even passed on to another generation.

J & I made our list of what we're growing in the garden this year, and the dates we need to start tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and possibly cucumbers.  It's helpful to me to have things written down as a reminder, or they often don't get done.  Lists work really well for me.  I don't go by a list every day, but it definitely helps me stay on track with things.  J made a plan of where the plantings will go in the gardens this year.  I made swagbucks goals several days.  I've added a morning walk, to the evening one.  I gained a few pounds during the darkest days of winter.  Eating denser foods and being less active does that to me these last few years.  I'm determined to lose what I gained, plus a few more pounds.  I took homemade fire cider after feeling a slight sore throat, and it quickly went away.  I've been very impressed with how well fire cider has worked each time I've used it.  I highly recommend it.  There are variations on the recipe (here's one), so just use what you have and what appeals to you.

Another small tuft of usnea was found in my wanderings, and added to the jar of tincture.  Laundry was done with homemade soap and gel, and hung on the clothesline.  The guys finished working on a biodiesel plant, which is soon heading to Bad Axe, MI.  That's them above preparing it for shipping.  The rhubarb has begun poking up.  I expect it will need to grow more this year, before I'm able to harvest any, but I'm happy to see it.  The snowbells have begun blooming.  I didn't know about them until a few years ago, then fell in love with them.  J told me they were getting ready to head to lunch on Friday.  Cleaning the fridge was on my to do list, and I'd just gotten all of the top shelf set out on the table, when he came back into the house to say they'd changed their mind, and were eating here.  A quick clean of the shelf and bottles wiped, with a few things past their prime kept out, and all was put back in.  Perhaps doing it one shelf  a day will work better than doing it all at once anyway, if I can just keep it up.  I don't enjoy the process, but the end result is a good thing.

The pups went for their annual well visit.  Both were at their perfect weight.  Guinness has a bit of a hip issue, and the vet wanted him a bit leaner to make it easier on that hip.  He's on a glucosamine chondroitin supplement, but I'm glad his weight is ideal too.  At one point around the end of his treatment for happy tail, McNibs decided he was not going to cooperate at the vet. True to form, he did not yesterday.  He's such a powerful dog, with an equally powerful jaw, you don't want to mess with him if he doesn't want you to.  I like to think it would never happen, but just the possibility of him biting someone is enough to give pause. I'm going to bring him by for visits, to see if they can rebuild his trust with lots of love and treats for a while.  BTW, a muzzle was tried by the vet last year.  Not only did he get it off, but it escalated his agitation and he fishtailed his powerful self all around so they couldn't do what they needed anyway.  So, lots of love, calmness, and treats is the new plan.  Hopefully, the sweet, silly boy I see at home will decide they're friends again there too.

While walking to the mailbox one day, I noticed a bright pop of red.  One of the anemone hollandia's had bloomed, then got frostbit, so it was hanging over.  Not to waste such a cheery bit of color this time of year, I cut it and brought it in the house to enjoy.  I planted a dozen containers of wintersown medicinal, herb, pollinator, & dye plants.  The ones I planted were eyebright, woad, columbine, 2 types of milkweed, lovage, echinacea, rosella, and one plant I'm not sure about.  It's a nubby seedpod I got somewhere, which I believe may be a kousa dogwood.  Don't know why I didn't label it, but there you go.  I cleaned another shelf in the fridge.  Just one more shelf, the crispers and the door (ugh!) to go.  Eggs were boiled, with 6 made into deviled eggs and a couple given to the pups.

As Tuesday is my usual day in town, and the day I run errands, I skipped the grocery store this week.  I had just enough time after Hospice work to get home and get ready for dinner out with my Valentine.  J picked up 1/2 gal. of milk, but otherwise we've been eating out of the pantry this week.  I suppose you could say our grocery money was spent on dinner, and a lovely one it was.  With warmer temps, I uncovered and weeded around the lettuce, chard, and celery.  Pasta Norma was made for dinner, using our tomatoes, eggplant, garlic, oregano, parsley, basil and chives.  Today has been a flurry of activity...  doing the biochar burn, sealing jars, repairing the wardrobe and siphoning and bottling the mead.  I'm thinking this post is long enough.  It's officially a new week, so I'll share these things in another post.  Be well, friends!


Jane said...

You had a busy week, Laurie! There's so much to comment upon. Still getting a kick out of the fact you all have a connection to Bad Axe. Love your old canning jar, I'm always on the lookout for different and antique ones. And the little wooden truck is adorable. Yay for getting peas in the ground! It's been so warm here the last few days, I've been tempted to do the same. Thanks for the info about fire cider, I really need to look into that! Have a wonderful week!


Laurie said...

I know grass doesn't grow under your feet either, Jane! My old canning jars are my favorites too. It's day 9, and I'm impatiently waiting for those peas to show themselves!

terricheney said...

I noted the quality of Melissa and Doug toys while staying with my grandson and decided to purchase two items from them on sale this morning. One will be a Christmas gift for my newest grandson. I love toys that have the ability to be heirloom quality one day! I love snowdrops Laurie and must order some of those bulbs to plant this fall. My grape hyacinths went nuts and bloomed their little hearts out.

Laurie said...

Hi Terri! The grape hyacinths have just started blooming here. I am going to check out the Melissa and Doug toys. The truck was made by a local craftsman, but I'm happy to support anyone making quality items.

Michèle Hastings said...

This weather sure does make you think about gardening. I keep forgetting that it is still winter.
You are inspiring me to grow more veggies this year. We had hoped to have our garden area completely cleared by this spring, but I don't think that is going to happen. I will make do with containers and the one bed in the front yard.

Laurie said...

Anything you can grow is good, Michele! There is still lots of time before the warm weather vegi's can be planted. Happy gardening!