Monday, May 10, 2021

Nature on the Homestead

Hello, friends.  Last week, while hanging laundry, I enjoyed watching a bluebird gather nesting material by the pond.  The natural world brings me such joy.  A friend was sent a get well card from my stash.  Celery, onions and parsley were harvested for soup.  Our garden celery is more leaves than stem, so I like it best in soups. The soup also used our garlic powder, broth and dried oregano.  I've finally turned the corner towards healing on my eczema, and decided to do some long overdue weeding.  What I learned is I need to wear gloves, which I often don't think of, as it set off a histamine reaction, making those areas very itchy, which has been one of my battles with this.  I'm living and learning on this journey.  I'm so very thankful it's beginning to get better.  A frog kept me company while I weeded.  

The stovetop was cleaned with baking soda and homemade thieves vinegar.  Several areas were prepared, and flower seeds planted, including bachelor buttons, forget me nots, red safflower (a dye plant), and a mix of old fashioned flowers.  A purchase was made through Swagbucks, for 6% back, and with a 15% off coupon.  These were mostly GF items.  The prices were already less there than most, so it was nice to get additional grocery savings, especially these days.  Lemon balm was harvested, and a jar of glycerite was started.  The forecast has been very changeable, with significantly more rain than forecasted.  It should help give all the plants a good start.  Several receipts were entered on Swagbucks for cash back.  

I've enjoyed reading a library book and a free Kindle book.  Yogurt and suet were made.  In the suet, I'm continuing to use dehydrated tomato skins and bits, and the seeds and bits left after making berry jams.  Homemade garlic powder was used in several recipes.  We had our 4th anniversary last week.  I'm happy the two new recipes I tried that day were good.  One was broccoli & cheese potato.  This was plant based cheese, made from potato, carrot and spices, to resemble nacho cheese.  I'll lower the cayenne a bit next time, but we liked it.  The other was quinoa black bean chili from Daisy, one of her allergy-friendly recipes.  I transplanted parsley and cilantro into the garden.  Peas and lettuce were harvested. J & I went to dinner in Chapel Hill the night after our anniversary, to celebrate.  There was nothing frugal about it, but it sure was enjoyable to have a nice meal out.  I made a diet exception for the night, and enjoyed some wine, which was most lovely.  

Four loads of laundry were hung on the line.  I went grocery shopping, and got avocados for .79, mangoes for .49, and marked down portabella pieces, which I cooked right away.  I picked up two small bottles of olive oil at a good price, and got .15 back for using my own bags.  My daughter had a beautiful bouquet delivered to me for Mother's Day.  Over the weekend, I painted orders, and gave the workshop walls and ceiling another sanding.  J worked on boxing in the eaves, and I helped minimally with that.  I went to harvest a few carrots, and found the lovely surprise of an eastern black swallowtail caterpillar on one.  May your week be full of good surprises.  


daisy g said...

So much good news this week! Grateful your hands are clearing up. May you have continued healing, my friend.

The rain has been a blessing, for sure. I have the irrigation shut off until next week, as we are predicted more rainfall this week.

I have been checking the parsley, but so far, no caterpillars here.

Enjoy your week!

Laurie said...

Progress is going slow, but I'm thankful to have any at all. Thank you.

Jeannie said...

Isn't it extremely early for the caterpillar to be out? We have been seeing summer bugs already full-grown out and about. This spring has been too weird.

Laurie said...

I'm not sure, but it's the earliest I've noticed one. Someone nearby had a pic of a monarch caterpillar this week. These are strange times, so it wouldn't surprise me.

April said...

I am just now catching up on about 6 weeks of blog posts, enjoying your activities and, as always, your great photography--just have to say the photo of the bluebird gathering nesting material is stunning. I keep going back to it to take another look!

Laurie said...

Aww, thank you for saying so! It was a treat to see.