Monday, March 18, 2019

St. Patrick's Day Shenanigans & Frugal Accomplishments

Hello, friends.  There were a few hours reprieve from the rain on Monday, so I did chop and drop around the newly planted NJ Tea and sweet pepperbush plants, covered them with leaves, pruned the apples and pears in the pond garden, then the cherry and hawthorn near the house.  It was warm enough (low 60's) that I opened a few windows to air out the house.  On Tuesday, it was back to working on deep cleaning the house, and getting ready for our family gathering.  The ceiling fan and deep window sills were cleaned, and J and I worked together to create a family photo wall, which has been on my to do list for a long time.  I'll probably tweak it as time goes by, but am happy to have it up.  A few stitched pieces were hung by my sewing area, which make me happy.

Another natural dyeing experiment took place, this time pine cones.  For the first time, I tried pre-mordanting with soy milk.  I left the items in the dye pot for a day, then hung them to dry.  They were a light brown.  I'd read about using washing soda, which changes the pH and the color, so added around 2 tbs of washing soda to the dye, then put the items back in, and was rewarded with a warm, rosy brown.  The clotheslines were full on Wednesday, with rugs, shower curtains and the usual laundry.  The eggs continue to be bountiful, and several dozen were shared.  Recyclebank points were redeemed for a free magazine subscription.  J & I watched a movie on amazon prime.  I needed milk and buttermilk, and noticed a marked down "manager's special" container for both. I'm not sure why, as they were 9 and 12 days from expiration, but I was happy to find them.

Natural dyeing with pine cones
On Saturday, while the floors were drying, I did a little more pruning, and chop and drop around two figs and some lilacs.  I assisted J in doing a severe pruning on our largest mulberry.  He did this some years back.   I also recently saw one on a permaculture video, which gave us the inspiration.  The tree had gotten so large, I was unable to reach all but a very few lower branches, so the birds and squirrels were getting almost all the berries.  Mulberries generally quickly grow back, so we're hoping to have more manageable fruit again soon.

  We had our St. Patrick's Day gathering on Sunday, and it was a most lovely day.  The weather was beautiful, and there was plenty of yummy food and great company.  Leftovers were shared all around.  We shared several spider plant babies.  Good friends and family are such a blessing.  Whenever my sister and I take a sister trip, our brother always kids us about being up to shenanigans.  He wasn't able to make it to our gathering, but I bought us each a shirt, and sent this pic to him.  

My sweet Sis and I
Now that the ground is drying some, and we're not supposed to have rain for another week, I hope we'll be able to get some things planted soon.  It's definitely time.  It's also time to start making hummingbird food again, as the earliest one's can show up anytime now.  Yogurt was made, and eggs were boiled.  I'm grateful to have much of the deep spring cleaning done.  I do want to go through my closet again, there are still a few cabinets I haven't gotten to, and I never did get the entire fridge cleaned out, or any windows washed.  I'm thinking those things can be done at a more leisurely pace, in between other tasks.  The days are getting noticeably longer, which we're enjoying.   Have you got any gardening or spring cleaning planned for this week?


Michèle Hastings said...

I got some weeding done on our front flower bed. It felt good to work outside. I will also have to put "make hummingbird nectar" on my to-do list. I always look forward to their return.
Glad to hear you had fun gathering for St. Patrick's Day... we ate bucked the trend and at Mexican food!

Laurie said...

Mexican works too, Michele! Three of us were vegetarians, so no corned beef. But lots of good food anyway.