Sunday, March 1, 2020

Spring Signs & Frugal Accomplishments

Hello, friends.  I continue to look for treasures on my walks... dye stuffs, medicinal plants, and mushrooms.  One day, I found some pieces of parmotrema lichen, which I use in one of my soaps, and three small bits of usnea, which went into the current batch of tincture.  There was some leftover basmati rice that needed using.  For lunch one day, I heated it with a little ghee, and toasted some sesame seeds to go on top.  As J is a salt lover, I gave him specialty salts in his Christmas stocking several years running, such as a trio from the NC coast, and black Hawaiian salt.  At some point, I realized he prefers plain sea salt, so I have begun using them.  Right now, I'm using the Hawaiian salt, which was excellent on the basmati rice.  Several of our large sweet potatoes were baked one night, for dinner and leftovers.

When I checked on the sitting hen on Tuesday, I found one chick had hatched.  We've never had chicks this early in the year, but thankfully we have a couple of days in the 60's before it turns colder again.  A pan of crushed egg shells and bin of shredded paper and cardboard were added to the compost bin, along with kitchen scraps.  After attending a memorial service, I met a friend for lunch.  We headed to a thrift shop across the street. They are moving, so were having a 50% sale off everything, and 65% off clothes.  I  bought 1 fleece top and 2 cashmere sweaters for $1.40 ea., and an Egyptian cotton sheet for $1.25.  Batches of yogurt and suet were made.  J reminded me how long it had been since I'd made focaccia, which I used to make regularly.  It was all the rage at restaurants at one point, and then it wasn't, and I guess I forgot about it too.  So, I harvested rosemary, onions, and a little parsley, and made some with our home ground wheat and corn (for the pan).  It was delicious, and is a way for me to have something similar to pizza without all the cheese.  It won't be as long before I make it again.

On Wednesday's morning walk, the world was shrouded in fog.  I could hear peepers down at the creek, and the landscape had new patches of green.  The spiders had spun dozens of webs, all glistening with moisture.  Before the walk, I checked on mama hen, and found her off the nest.  It appears she hatched three or four eggs, but will have to wait to confirm over the next few days.  Four eggs didn't make the cut, all infertile, confirmed as I broke them at the foot of fruit trees.  I mended a pocket of my dress coat, while listening to a portion of a This American Life podcast on "delight".  On a blustery day, I made a pot of minestrone, which used our canned tomatoes and summer squash, and fresh herbs and swiss chard.  I made a sweet potato pie with leftovers, which J really enjoys.  So, it's confirmed that there are three sweet chicks, and all seem healthy and happy.  The hens are laying well.  We shared a dozen eggs with a neighbor, deviled eggs were made, and the pups got one most days.   A new broccoli salad recipe was made, which we really enjoyed.  I cut down on the onion and cranberries, but followed the recipe otherwise.  It's a keeper, and pretty too.  A couple of free movies were watched through amazon prime. I found four pennies and a nickel. 

I've been slowly working on deep cleaning things.  Last week, I worked on the washer and dryer, and the little closet they are in.  All was wiped down or vacuumed, and vinegar run through the washer.  I also tried cleaning the baked on gunk on the stovetop, with baking soda and vinegar, but it didn't do much.  My sweet husband cleaned the dishwasher, which makes me smile every time I open it.  My sister suggested vinegar when she was here recently, but it didn't do a thing for mine.  He used bleach, which we don't use often, but it did do the trick.  While J and I were in town, we ran into Big Lots, and used a $5 off $15 coupon.  Being mindful of the coronavirus, we are filling in some holes in our supplies.  I also picked up two books at the library I had requested.  Another jar of thieves vinegar was started, using home grown herbs, and peels from mandarins and cara cara oranges, which we're enjoying.  Autumn succotash was made, using our winter squash and thyme.  Laundry was hung on the line.  On Sunday, we took our granddaughter to brunch.  Her first time trying crepes, she declared it the best breakfast ever.  We then went to a nearby park.  I'm not sure how long it's been since I've been on a seesaw, swing or merry go round, but we had great fun, on a chilly but lovely winter day.  Wishing you a week of lovely days, whichever season you're in. 


daisy g said...

Wow, you got some good deals on those things.

You are so productive every week. Good health is such a blessing.

Enjoy your week ahead. I hear temps in the 60's are coming!

Laurie said...

It is indeed. There were a few years I really struggled, and I'm so grateful to feel well now.

April said...

I love seeing spring emerge through your photos. I was sad but totally understand your comment about filling in some holes in your stored goods in light of the coronavirus epidemic (pandemic?). We are too.

Laurie said...

Yes, it does seem a wise thing to do.