Monday, May 25, 2020

To Do Lists & Frugal Accomplishments

Hello, friends.  With cloudy, cooler and rainy days in the forecast, I moved the house plants from the great room and bedroom out on the porch, and will move them onto the plant stand in the next day or two.  Some things were put in the ground that I started from seed, including nettle leaved mullein, and harlequin livingstone daisies.  I pulled a bag of our lima beans from the freezer, and we had them with mashed potatoes and broccoli salad.  Homemade blueberry pancakes were pulled from the freezer. I enjoyed them with jam for breakfast.  J's favorite way to eat peas is "peas and pastry", which he had as a kid.  I made them, along with roasted asparagus, a nice spring on the homestead meal.  My Mom's ricotta pie was made for dessert.  I'm enjoying roasting and baking while we still have some cool days.  I shelled the peas while watching youtube episodes of Deep South Homestead and Off Grid with Doug & Stacy.

Our first service berries
Each day, I've collected mock strawberries and greens for the chickens.  One day, I gave them a small amount of leftovers that were a little older than we'd like to eat.  M gave me a washable fabric mask he'd been given.  After a six pack of dental floss hadn't arrived five days after promised, I contacted the seller, who told me it seemed to be lost, to keep it if it showed up, and they refunded me.  Well, it did show up a couple of days later, so free dental floss!  Just before shelter at home started, I purchased paint for our bedroom and great room.  J began mudding the needed places on Tuesday, did more and primed some places on Wednesday.  Several days ago, he requested spaghetti with olives and bread crumbs, a dish my Mom shared with me, and I made that Wednesday, along with a kale salad, which used the last of our kale.  I finished moving all the house plants out to the porch, and planted stevia and all this winter's amaryllis in the ground.

While J was working on mudding, sanding and priming, I tackled a project that's been on my list for a while. While at the coast last September, I found a watercolor painting I liked for $5, and a wood frame for $5, which I preferred to the metal frame the painting was in.  To fit the other frame, though, I needed to trim the mat quite a bit.  My preference would have been to not cut the mat down, but having a nice piece of art for $10 won out.  Once the house painting is done, I'll play with a new arrangement for all the floral paintings.  It seems like I had just canned broth, but between the asparagus ends and pea pods, along with all the usual, I already had almost 3 gallons of vegi scraps.  With the cool, rainy days, I decided to can broth, and have another 9 1/2 pints to add to the pantry.  With all the garden we've planted, I expect to be canning plenty during the hot summer, so this is one less thing to can during the heat.  A bonus is a bit more room in the freezer.

I went through swagbucks for a purchase.  It was only for 1% cash back, but it all adds up.  The painting job was hard work, for both of us, but especially for J, working many hours up and down the ladder.  Every piece of furniture had to be moved away from the walls, or into another room.  And everything in the rooms had to be cleaned.  Some of it needed it anyway, but after getting covered with powder from sanding, it all did.  Ah well, it's a good spring cleaning, and will feel nice for a little while.  When we attempted to turn on the a/c, it did not come on.  Though it was warm (mid-80's outside), we mostly turned it on to help dry the paint.  J brought the dehumidifier up from the basement, and we also had a fan blowing.  It's been very humid, with rain most evening or nights.  Thankfully, the forecast is for temps in the 70's for a few days.  Hopefully, we can get the a/c fixed before it's really needed.

I gathered seeds, which were a mix of kale and turnips.  As difficult as it's been to buy seeds this year, I want to be mindful of saving what I can.  The first two tomato plants have blooms, which is one step closer to fruits.  With the kitchen being part of what we've been painting, meals had to be simple for a few days.  One day, we had egg salad sandwiches and waldorf salad.  Another day we had vegi "chik" patties with fries and baked beans.  On Sunday, I made pasta salad and a green salad, using up most of the beautiful local bibb lettuce.  I gathered a sprig of basil to go in the pasta salad.  I washed all the rugs I pulled out of the rooms that were being painted.  They were hung on the line to dry.  My spring allergies have really kicked in.  I'm thankful for homemade nettle tincture, which I take several times a day.  Of course, part of it may be all the dust in the house from mudding and sanding, but it helps me breathe easier in any case.

All of the house plants were moved on to the plant stand for the warmer months.  Well, all but the biggest plants, like lemons and avocado, which I'll probably needs J's help with.  They're happy on the porch for now.  We're getting a serious rain as I type this.  I did some weeding in the carrot patch this evening, but the mosquitoes convinced me to go back inside.  Photos were taken of two items for ebay.  Some peas were harvested, but it looks like they will soon be done.  Eggs were gathered, and more suet made for the birds.  They are going through it in record time.  Orders continue coming to both my online shops, and I feel blessed.  The governor said last week that massage therapists may return to work, with stipulations.  Many of the Hospice employees continue to work from home, so it may be a while before that resumes.  Wishing you a peaceful Memorial Day.


daisy g said...

Congrats on tackling a big project. I'm sure you'll enjoy the space for a good, long time.

How hard is it to make the allergy tincture? I'm still looking for something to help me with sinus issues.

It will be interesting to see how your work changes with the new world we live in.

Blessings to you this week, my friend.

Laurie said...

Making tinctures is really easy. I planted a nettle patch some years ago, specifically to make a tincture for allergies, though I've also cooked with it a few times. Here's a tutorial:

Beckyathome said...

Weeding carrots is so tedious, so I'm sure you are thrilled to get somewhere on that project. My big thing has been onions. I planted so many because my husband grew so many starts, and we do eat all we grow every year. Planting them was tedious and I've been weeding and weeding them, but right now, they are in great shape, and I love it when that happens.

I'm glad you got some peas. I planted some with some very old seed, and I think they all came up. Now I wait to see if I get any before it gets too hot. I love gardening season because there's always so much going on. I think your garden keeps you busy, too.

Laurie said...

I do love fresh peas. It's been a few years since we had a good harvest of them. Glad there have been enough of them to make both our favorites with them. It is a good feeling to have an area caught up on weeding, even if it doesn't last long. I hope you get some nice peas too.

Jeannie said...

I too am trying to save more seed because I checked my favorite seed company and they were sold out of almost everything. Some of mine have cross-pollinated because I don't recognize them as anything I have seen in catalogs. It doesn't matter, we eat them anyway. It will be interesting to see if any of your seeds have crossed.

Laurie said...

I know we have had crossed winter squash before, but they were fine eating, just the same. There have been some beans I'm pretty sure crossed too. Something to think about, for sure.