Category Archive: food

2017
06/23

Category:
farming
food
Life

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Gym, dogs, groceries and heat

I was off to the gym this morning and when I returned, it was to a mind exercise.   I had to trick the dogs into going into the upper pasture that is now secure so they would be with the sheep.   They’d so much rather be close to the house.    So I felt that I had exercised both the body and the brain.

Then it was time to read email and download the grocery freebie.   Our grocery store offers a free item every Friday.   It can only be downloaded on Friday.   Often it is something we don’t use, so I pick it up and it is always welcome in the food collection basket at the church.   Some of the items are things the grandchildren will enjoy – like the gummy bears.

By then it was  lunchtime.   So that accomplished, I went to the grocery store and bought some petunias for the front yard as well as the few groceries.   Petunias always look so happy.   I will try to get them planted Monday, because it is forecast to be in the 90s for Saturday and Sunday.   So I’ll leave them in the shade until I plant them.

Does heat encourage you to take a siesta?   We did and then it was time to feed animals again.  I am not complaining about the heat, but I do go just a bit slower.   The weather is certainly not typical as June is often a very rainy month.   These are August type days.  So I just keep watering and try to keep up with the most important things and my sewing/quilting has to take a back seat, just as the plants did during the winter.

2017
05/19

Category:
farming
food
Life

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Shopping for essentials

We spent much today shopping for essentials.   That is if you call tractors and washing machines essentials.   We looked at both and will take the next week to make decisions.   The tractor salesman may have talked himself out of deal.   He is coming over next week to look at the land, but really thought he knew someone who would do the work we need at an incredibly low price.   But then sometimes that is too good to be true.   We will wait and see.

The washing machine has a higher priority.   I am not finding a top loader that has all that I want and that I can still fill with water if I want to soak something or even dye it.  So I’m still searching.   It seems the companies have gone to the programmed machine that weighs the clothes and decides how much water that load will need.

We did buy groceries and light bulbs, so we are all set for the weekend.

Overwhelmed, understaffed, and lists

What do I do when overwhelmed and understaffed?   I make more and more detailed lists.    At the top of the day, when I wasn’t sure which way to go, I started writing down all the things that were bothering me.   I knew they couldn’t all be achieved today or even this week.  On paper, they are not bogging my brain down.  Having made these lists, I could then do a better job of prioritizing.  And yes, more was added as the day went on.  I mean who knew that

the washing machine wanted to die today?    And who knew that when I went to REI to get a pair of gym pants, they would have nothing casual?  Every pair they had were meant to show every wrinkle in the skin.  So after an hour of driving to and from REI, I went to my list and added, “shop for pants and a washing machine”    Costco is sending me pants to try and probably Sears will be delivering a washing machine (still deciding).   Now that was so much easier and better than chasing all over the countryside, wasting time and gas.   I do love some of these modern conveniences even though I believe that we should know how to be self-sufficient.

And who knew my neighbor would call trying to find another neighbor who was no longer in the nursing home (she was transferred back to the hospital)?   Who knows what a day will bring, which is one reason I need my lists for a larger picture of what has to be done and what can be pushed off.

What did I achieve today?

  1. made these muffins that we had with yogurt and fruit for dinner.

  2.  made a list of things to be done by the woman who periodically helps me with the garden and animals.

  3. Called repair for washer and water under wood floor.   Will run fan for 2 days to try to save floor.

  4. at stated above made a trip to REI

  5. researched which washer I want to buy and sent link to

  6. checked bees water

  7. went through fleeces and put a lock in that sheep’s folder

  8. watered hoop house

  9. paid the bills that were due

  10. Copied the utility bills and delivered the neighbors for them to pay

  11. Checked in with a sheep neighbor for info and to see she’s okay

  12. contacted sheep person for registrations for sheep I purchased a year ago

  13. ordered dog food

  14. did two loads of wash before disaster

  15. got lemon tree moved to hoop house

  16. checked on Aunt and found she was moved to rehab today

  17. sew a button on a jacket

  18. and all the things we do every day and don’t count – sweep floors, make meals, feed animals, etc, etc, etc.

  19. There will be more things done between now and bedtime that I can check off.  But then again, I’ll think of more to add.

  20. sewed on my bunny.

Did you notice how many of these items only took a few minutes?     What did you achieve today?   I’ll bet it was a lot more than you gave yourself credit for.   Make a list of everything you do in a day.   It will surprise you, because normally one gets to the end of the day and can’t think of much that was accomplished.  At least that’s what happens here.  When I make a list, I can see that something is done which in turn makes me feel better.

Okay, it’s your turn.   GO make those lists.  And I would love to hear how it went.

2017
05/15

Category:
food
Garden

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Tied to the kitchen

I’m starting to feel a bit tied to the kitchen, which is never good, because bites of food find their way into my mouth.  We finished processing the soup between other jobs.   Two students came to help me today in the rain.   One of them cleaned stalls in the barn and worked in the hoop house, weeding, fertilizing, watering, thinning lettuce and planting carrots. The other cut blackberry vines and planted corn (I hope it’s not too early)

We harvested two crispers full of lettuce today.   We need to up our intake or we will have a refrigerator full of lettuce.

Meanwhile, I got some basic house cleaning done and tried a new recipe for “kamut sandwich bread” – yes, kneaded by hand.  It did not rise like I would have liked.   I will buy fresh yeast and see if that was the problem.  It does taste good and is not heavy, so I’m not sure if it is the yeast or that kamut doesn’t rise like the wheat I normally use.

I’m still a bit tired from our mad dash across the mountains Saturday to see my aunt who is in the hospital (8 hrs of driving), so I spent part of this afternoon sitting and plying some more of the wool for the sweater.    Maybe,  just maybe, tomorrow, I’ll visit the sewing/quilting studio.

 

2017
05/14

Category:
farming
food
Life

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Bees and pea soup

The new bees arrived today.  I hope they will be happy here.   We will do our best to keep them comfortable.  Maybe I can find a spot to put in a bee garden of flowers they especially like.  We got them set up and then couldn’t find their water bottles so we called several stores.   All were out of them, so we are improvising with chicken watering bottles.  By the time, we had done what we could to make them happy, we had spent 3 hours.  And that doesn’t count the hours, we go back out just to look and see that everything is good.  Does anyone know if I have to fence around them so the sheep won’t knock them down?

We were out of split pea soup which is a big calamity around here.   But someone forgot to tell me we were getting low, and I wasn’t keeping track.   For him, it’s a staple.  He likes about 5 pints a week.    I made up 50  pints because that was all the jars I had available.   I processed 2 batches today and will do the others tomorrow.   That will give him enough for 2 more months.  Then I can do some more just before it gets hot which will probably be about the end of July.  However, it’s been a cool spring, so it may not get really hot this summer.   It seems as soon as I get a few jars empty, there is something else to put in them.

Sheep fix:  https://youtu.be/kASFnc3ReK0

 

 

 

2017
05/02

Category:
farming
food
Life
spinning

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Weed whacking & spinning

I had a pair of younger women who wanted to work doing some weed whacking.   Do you see all those nettles?   We have a good acre of them that no animal will touch, so they have to be manually cut back about 3-4 times during the summer.   While they did this

I made some brownies

Cut and dehydrated  half a quart of parsley for the winter

Canned 26 pints of black beans for quick cooking, and relaxed while spinning this gorgeous wool with angora blended in.   It is so soft and wonderful feeling.   I hope your day was as beautiful.

2017
03/30

Category:
food
Garden
Life
quilts

COMMENTS:
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Gardening, cooking, some cleaning

After finishing the flimsy for the table runner that I can’t show until October, I headed out to the garden.The bowl on the left is HUGE.   After cleaning and stemming, I stuffed 3 gallon bags full of parsley from the hoop house.   The other bowl gave me 2 gallon bags of kale after stemming.   There is more kale out there, but since I had already planted and watered 48 little lettuce plants, I was tired and moved into the kitchen for the cleaning phase.

After cleaning all the greens and feeding the sheep, I made the potato casseroles for Sabbath company.  Then I prepared a salad with lettuce, red cabbage and celery.   I will add the walnuts and let people dress their own.  We will also have roasted cauliflower and broccoli.  I’m debating if that is enough variety, but I don’t think anyone will starve.   I have frozen corn I could cook as well.

We will end the meal with apple cobbler.   Wish you could join us.

There may not be a blog tomorrow as I have to leave at 8:15 to attend an all day class at city hall for landlords.   In that case I’ll wish you a wonderful weekend today.

2017
03/05

Category:
food
Knitting

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Late winter canning

The red potatoes aren’t holding as long as the while ones, so we either use them fast or we toss them.   This is the use them fast method.   My Bosch has a French fry cutter and I attach a bread bag on the shoot for ease of cleaning as well so it doesn’t shoot to far.

I add a teaspoon of salt to the bottom of the jar.   Then from the bread bag, they go into the pouring container and into the jars.  The lids are in water waiting.

They only have to process in the pressure canner for 40 minutes, but then it takes that long to heat up and again that long to cool down.   That makes 21 quarts take longer than it seems it should.   If I can round up another few jars, I’ll be canning some of the white potatoes that are thinking spring.

And of course, some potatoes had to become fries for lunch.    Why is it that potatoes, which are great tasting by themselves, get so doctored up?

 

I had to blur out the pattern on these because the designer is not ready to distribute it.   But I wanted you to see the colors.   I have pulled all this out, because once again, the second skein was started at the wrong end.   I thought I could live with it, but I can’t.   So they are taken apart and when I have recovered from having to undo them, I’ll make another pair.   All 4 skeins have now been checked and 2 were skeined reverse at the factory.

2017
02/09

Category:
charity
farming
food
Knitting
Life
quilts

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Donation quilts, fencing, new socks

Donation quilts:

IMG_0094f

I finally put together a pile of quilts for those with fewer resources than we have and took them to the church.   It’s cold out there.   The secretary said they have men sleeping in the doorways at night now.   I need to make some simple, but warm quilts as she said at this point, anything helps them.

IMG_0097f

Then it was lunch time.   I like a simple tostada with a shell, beans, and lettuce, and of course guacamole throughout.   I found that if I order it as a side, I get a bit more.

Fencing:

IMG_0092x

Remember the fencing, I spent an hour repairing yesterday with baling wire?   Since the sheep have nothing better to do than to eat and then figure out how to dismantle things, they achieved the dismantle by pushing the 2 x 4s down.    So today I dragged a cattle panel to the pen.   It completely fit that area, so we tied it up and hope that it will last until Sunday and we can get it put up more securely.  But one never really knows.   These sheep are small as they are Shetlands, but they are mighty when they decide they want to be somewhere else.

Knitting:

IMG_0099f

That was enough fun for this crazy day.   So I spent some time knitting a new pair of socks.  These are on a size 3 needle and 100% wool, so I will add nylon to the heel and toes to reinforce those areas.  I put the socks on hold that were needing more attention.   These are going fast because I don’t have to think much and it is a larger yarn.  As you can see from my note on the page, I’m only working on 48 stitches.    Maybe, I’ll get these done before the month is over and can go back and work on January’s socks.

Hang on tight and enjoy life’s crazy roller coaster ride.

 

2017
01/26

Category:
food
Knitting
Life
Shopping

COMMENTS:
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January sock progress

IMG_0007January sock progress is like molasses.   Very slow going.   I am now half way through the heel flap.  No the socks will not be finished in January as I originally planned.   I’ll have to see what is scheduled for February = hopefully no more illness so that I can get February’s socks done and go back and finish these.

I spent about 4 hours this morning, moving furniture and cleaning floors under machines.  Sweeping, mopping, discarding, put bolts and other fabrics away all takes time.  So we took the afternoon off and spent another 5 hours, grocery shopping, and having AT&T tell me why the phone wasn’t working.   Amazingly they couldn’t get it to misbehave and so far it is still working.  I had planned to get an ice cream cake at Dairy Queen for the party Saturday evening, but their idea of a an ice cream cake, was a layer of vanilla topped with a layer of chocolate and then frosted like a cake.   So we went to Baskin Robbins and bought pizza like pies.   They have a big chocolate cookie on the bottom and are filled with ice cream and cut into 8ths.   That should be easy to handle at the party.   (Yes, there is vegan cake and ice cream for those that choose.)