Monday, February 3, 2020

Midwinter Days & Frugal Accomplishments

Hello, friends.  This is round two from the $1 amaryllis M gave me, much appreciated on these winter days.  Last week, yogurt and suet was made.  I didn't have quite enough milk for the yogurt, so mixed up a small amount of powdered milk to make up the difference.  Orders were cleaned, painted and packed for shipping.  A few months ago, I learned about the site Find A Spring, while listening to a podcast on water.  You can search for springs in your area, or wherever you might be travelling.  I found one nearby, which a friend already knew of, and we took off on a spring adventure.  The spring is located on church land.  I filled several large jars with spring water.  Unfortunately, the towels I had placed between the jars didn't quite protect them, and one broke on the way home.  There was a water test posted that was done just last month, and all looked good.  I've been mixing it with our filtered rainwater to drink.  Before heading home, we stopped at a couple of thrift stores.  I found a brown plate to add to my fall collection for $1.  Winter greens were harvested, and a winter salad made.

Mt. Vernon Spring
Another batch of sweet potatoes was cut up and put in the dehydrator for pup treats.  Another jar of Thieves cleaning vinegar was made, with homegrown lavender and rosemary.  I used fresh rosemary, as it does fine here through the winter, so I never dry any.  With concerns about the Wuhan virus, I figure it doesn't hurt to have additional germ-busting cleaner around.  I've read that the blend does work on viruses as well as bacteria.  The actual essential oils would be more powerful than the vinegar, but if nothing else, the cleaner smells delicious.  I ground another several cups of wheat.  Several years ago, Joseph converted my grinder to electric.  While using it, I was remembering the days I did it by hand.  I can tell you we didn't have as much wheat ground then!  It takes 10+ passes through the grinder to make a rustic flour, not as fine as store bought, but it works for me.  It takes around a half hour to do it these days.  Back in the day, it took me hours, with plenty of breaks.  I enjoyed a free movie on amazon prime.  This snowman is another thing I leave out after the holidays.  There are many possible variations, which amuses us in the window.

In October, I had mixed up some spearmint and honey for herb tea on the recommendation of Susun Weed.  I got around to trying some today, and will be making that again.  It was lovely.  I strained and bottled a few herbal tinctures started last year, jars of nettles and usnea.  Though small, I've gathered some usnea on my wanderings the past few weeks, which will eventually fill the tincture jar.  I worked on organizing and cleaning the pantry.  For a dinner, I baked our sweet potatoes, which we had with rice and mushroom gravy.  Late last year, Daisy wrote about an interesting antique mall less than two hours from here.  Last week, I picked a friend up, and we took a little road trip there.  I found a couple of kitchen utensils, a large silver plated ladle and tongs.  Before we went, I found a discount variety store nearby, where we headed after lunch.  It was a disappointment, though I did pick up a couple of cans of organic chickpeas at .69, natural peanut butter at $1.50, and whole grain pasta (dated 2022... crushed boxes) for .75/lb, so not a total loss.  A requested library book was picked up on the way home, and a few groceries as well, which cost slightly over $30 for the week, including dog food on sale and 4 avocados at .50 ea..  My friend does needle felting, and gifted me this chicken to add to the collection.  Doesn't he have personality?

A bin of shredded paper was emptied into the compost.  On a dreary rainy day, I caught up on paperwork, working on my business bookkeeping, J's business expenses and bill paying, and my personal finances.  Not my favorite thing to do, but it seemed a good day to get it done.  For a half hour or so, there were large, pretty snowflakes mixed in with the rain.  There are at least two dozen peas up now.  A pumpkin pie was made with a jar of home canned pumpkin, our eggs, and pantry items.  Baking it helped warm our home, and it made our bellies happy.  Some of the pumpkin water moistened the pups dinner.  The rest of it watered two plants.  For several days, I gave small amounts of the milk solids strained from the ghee with the pups dinners.  They're hoping I make ghee on a regular basis :o).   I made a pasta dish I don't often make, spaghetti with olives and bread crumbs.  For the green olives, I opened a large tin I had gifted J last Christmas.  I think it's such a pretty tin, I plan to use it for a plant.

Some coffee grounds were used to fertilize two house plants.  My siblings and I met our stepmom at a restaurant, to wish her happy adventures on her move to CA.  What appealed most to me were side dishes, so that's what I ordered.  It was cheaper than an entree, and was delicious.  I stopped at Tractor Supply to get food for the cat, dogs and chickens, and used a 15% off coupon.  I also picked up a few things at Aldi's.  No fantastic sales, just the usual good prices.  The oils to make a batch of Skin Bliss soap were melted on the woodstove.  A fresh batch of natural throat spray was made, which uses colloidal silver and essential oils.  This time, I made 8 oz., by multiplying all ingredients by 8.  It still works very well for my sore throats.  J worked on pruning the fruit trees and kiwis.  We've got some warm days coming up, so I hope to manage some yard and garden chores in between other commitments.  Wishing you a lovely week!


daisy g said...

I just love how you make your own tinctures and remedies. There are so many things we can do for ourselves, but not many folks try.
Glad you found some goodies at ReSettlers. It's worth the trip I think.

All of your culinary dishes sound wonderful! Rice and gravy sounds like a yummy combination.

Enjoy your week!

Laurie said...

ReSettlers was a fun place. My friend really loved it, especially the vintage concrete chicken she picked up. I've only been making mushroom gravy a year or so, but we really enjoy it.

April said...

Love the story of the spring. (Sorry one of your jars busted on the way home!)

Laurie said...

The spring was a good adventure! I'm happy to know where it is.

Michèle Hastings said...

That's great that spring water is tested and the results posted. If not, I think I would be afraid to drink it.
Yes, that chicken is a character!

Laurie said...

I'd seen that test results were posted on the spring website, but they were old results, so I was happy to see it was tested just a few weeks ago.

cookingwithgas said...

great chicken! Oh, would you share the location of the spring, you can email me. We have pulled water before this past week before the rain, but there are times we need to have some on hand.

Jeannie said...

This past week I purchased small spray bottles to fill with Thieves spray to be used in our cars. My plan was to mix it with witch hazel, but you mentioned vinegar. Which would be better?

The Wuhan virus is getting worse the more you learn about it on other countries' news sites. I have been following the international studies (published by countries that have cases) and now it is confirmed that it can live on surfaces for up to six, yes, SIX days! It was discovered first on a doorknob of a patient's room. No one has immunity since it is a new strain (very likely bio-engineered). Prevention is the best option.


Laurie said...

That's a great question. Just a quick look showed that both have antiviral properties, but they were talking about ACV, not white vinegar. Hmmm, while she used white vinegar for the recipe, I wonder if ACV would be best. I will have to look into it further!

Jeannie said...

Since I will have it in the car and will be using it on other people's possessions (shopping carts, gas pumps) I would like something that wouldn't stain. I don't think ACV stains anything. Which would be the most powerful?