Monday, June 24, 2019

Summer Fruits & Frugal Accomplishments

Hello, friends.  Last week, I picked up two books from the library.  I already finished one of them, Educated, which is a heartbreaking and amazing story.  The ants are being very persistent with our A/C.  J has fixed it two more times where they got into the contactors.  This time, I mixed up a solution of orange, tea tree & peppermint essential oils to repel them. I hope that works, as the temps are heating up again, and J is working out of town.  I made pasta with tomatoes, squash & eggplant from last years garden, and our fresh herbs for dinner before he left, one of his favorites.  Lettuce was harvested several times.  It was lovely being able to do without A/C recently, but on Sunday, it was back on in the afternoon, and on most of the rest of the week.  I loved the sweet, speckled egg.

While J was working out of town all last week, I pulled leftovers from the freezer, and ate other things he either can't or won't eat, making a bit more room in the freezer.  I had asparagus soup with salad, mushroom gravy & noodles with foraged maitakes and chard.  I gathered the first wild blackberries of the year, and enjoyed a handful in a fruit salad for lunch one day.  The first blueberries and another large basket of lambs quarter were gathered.  A batch of bird suet was made, using the leavings from berry jams and tomato canning, basically seeds and skins I dehydrated for this purpose.  While we were having a rainy spell, I decided to plant a few more things.  I replanted the Hopi Dye sunflowers that didn't germinate, several calendula, cypress vine as only two came up, several multi-branched sunflowers, loofahs, and zebra hollyhocks along 2 fence lines.  It's late, but I do have seed for next year as a back up.

I'm so enjoying summer fruits, for breakfasts, lunches and snacks.  It changes, but so far there have been a mix of blueberries, blackberries, cherries, mango, nectarines, bananas, and grapes.  Watermelons have come down to a reasonable price, so they're being enjoyed too.  I picked our first ripe figs, which we enjoyed fresh.  I blanched and froze the lambs quarter, enough for 10 meals.  J had designated a pile of his work shirts as rags, so I cut and tore them up.  Most were T shirts, but one had nice metal buttons, which I removed and added to the button jar.  Black bean burgers were pulled from the freezer.  A burger, leftover chard and a salad were dinner.  The other burger was eaten for lunch the next day.  A batch of yogurt was made.  I asked about, and got a better rate on my IRA.  I pulled okra and vegi meatballs from the freezer, and had it with a salad.  I made homemade salad dressing, using our herbs.  We had some nice rain, good for all the growing things.  I made my daily swagbucks goal several days, and redeemed swagbucks for amazon gift cards.

The door and blinds on the south side of the house were closed during the middle of the day to keep the house cooler.  Two loads of laundry were done, and hung on the line.  The two lemon trees I grew from seed were transplanted to larger pots, and the moringa seedlings I bought recently were transplanted into pots.  I ordered two, and got a bonus one.  New soil, mushroom compost and azomite were added to the pots.  I made hummus and potato salad.  J was in need of work T shirts, and I found 6 at two thrift stores.  Two are nicer than usual T shirts, so he may wear those for date nights and such.  I also found two pants and shirts for the GD, and a large wicker laundry basket for $2.  My last sympathy card was used, so I picked up a couple at the dollar store.    I made a honey spice cake.  It's slightly sweet, and we both thought it was pretty good.  I don't need sweets often, but it's good to know I have another recipe I can use when needed.

Dozens of Japanese beetles were gathered daily, and fed to the chickens.  Another round of purslane was gathered before J mowed again.  I made 4 batches of pesto with it, used one for Sunday's dinner, and froze the rest.  The recipe for dinner used our basil, purslane, shallots, vegetable broth and eggs.  J worked on two orders Sunday morning, and I powder coated them in the afternoon.  Labels were created for my newest soap, Helios Sun & Swim bar, requested by a Greek friend.  In the area where his family lives, the women made a honey and yogurt soap to soothe sunburn.  This one is unscented, as he prefers.  Both honey and yogurt have skin loving properties.  I'll be trying a bar this week.  Wishing you happy summer days!


Debdeb said...

Lovely post! Continue to enjoy summer. Hope the ants leave your a/c alone!

Michèle Hastings said...

Those ants are persistent! I hope your concoction keeps them away. So many Japanese beetles again this year. I need some chickens.

Laurie said...

Deb & Michele, I hope the essential oils work too. So far, so good. I was thinking yesterday that this batch of chickens is pretty picky, but very thankful they'll eat Japanese beetles.

daisy g said...

I'm not sure if it would work outside, but we use a homemade concoction for ants inside the house. The recipe is on the blog under "Ant B Gone" or something akin to that. Are they looking for moisture? So annoying!

You've certainly kept yourself busy between gardening, cooking and other assorted jobs.

We had a great rainfall last night, so no need to water the garden for a couple of days. Grateful for any help I can get!

Enjoy the rest of your week.

Laurie said...

Daisy, I will check out the ant concoction. I know when I asked J if I could make my usual boric acid mixture, he said with the big fan of the unit, a solid wouldn't work well. So far, the essential oil spray seems to be helping. Fingers crossed. I don't think they're after moisture, but maybe warmth?

cookingwithgas said...

I used cinnamon on ant trails and it did help. I used it around my garden and the front of the house.
Enjoy your summer fun!

Laurie said...

I may try cinnamon oil, Meredith. Thanks!

Jeannie said...

Years ago we had Japanese beetles by the hundreds, they were horrible. Then we got chickens and they loved them. We took the scent packet from the trap and put it in the chicken yard (where they couldn't reach it). We would sit on the porch and laugh as they chased the beetles around in circles. It was free entertainment. I don't know why, but we no longer have many even though we haven't had chickens in years.

Laurie said...

That had to be great entertainment, Jeannie!

Beckyathome said...

I love how you emptied out so many odds and ends for your meals. I always do that when my hubby is out of town, too. Since he has mostly been at home, I need to get in there are make him help me use up some of those bits and pieces!

It's great that you can feed all those beetles to the chickens! Win-win:)

I sure hope your AC works on the hot days!