Tuesday, September 29, 2009

September 29th IDC Update

Plant: Yep, another week gone and no planting. Mom gave me some tomato and bell pepper seedlings that I’ll try to get in the ground today or tomorrow, but it’s supposed to be in the 50’s tomorrow night and I don’t know if they’ll survive much of that.

Harvest: tomatoes, peppers, basil, tarragon, okra, eggs

Preserve: chicken stock (freezer)

Waste Not: made stock from chicken carcass; ate all but 1 of a bowl full of apples before they went bad (this is an issue for us) – the bad one went to the chickens

Want Not/Prep/Store: My birthday presents this year from hubby were a new (wooden) cutting board and 3 new knives, and a new S&W 38 Special. I *heart* my hubby so much. :) I also bought some hay and food supplements for the chickens.

Community Food System: Ordered cases of apples, oranges and tangelos to support the local FFA. They aren’t local, exactly … 1 state over, though, so better than overseas.

Eat the Food: *Blueberry crisp (local blueberries I picked and froze last year) and topping from homemade mix (thanks, kathyprepper!)

In other news, I'm so damn sick I can't believe I'm trying to function. I feel like I felt last year, just before I ended up in the hospital. B is going for his surgery consult tomorrow, so the medical bills should be rolling in soon. Man, I'm so glad we have health insurance! (this is sarcasm, btw -- we DO have insurance, but it is beyond shitty ... I'm not even sure anymore why we have it) Thank the gods and disir that the girls are healthy. As long as we can keep them from killing or seriously wounding each other, we'll be alright.

Some funny quips from the 2 y/o on Sunday:
* Upon hearing our list of errands, she began chanting, "Gun store, gun store, YAY GUNSTORE! I'm ready to go to the gun store." Repeat.
* Later that evening, she and I were in the kitchen together; I was fixing dinner and she was coloring, I think. Totally quiet. Then she belts out, in her best Reba McIntire twang, "COWGIRLS DON'T CRY." Repeat.

Our kids are so damn funny. :P

Friday, September 25, 2009

Chicken News!

Sadie, our older chicken (the one that survived the dog attack) quit laying for weeks, but hubby found not one, but TWO eggs in the laying boxes yesterday. One from her, and a tiny pullet egg! I'm so freaking egg-cited! I didn't even get to see it, though, and dh - appropriately so - left it as an offering in our ve. I can't wait for them all to start laying ... fresh eggs! LOTS of them!

OH, and other big poultry news: Buster crowed for the first time this morning. It scared the shite out of me for a second; then I was just so proud of him!

Yay, chickens!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I forgot to post my IDC update on Monday, but better late than never, I guess. Here goes:

Plant: STILL nothing planted, but continued cleaning out the beds and preparing for fall planting; noticed more “volunteers” (peppermint is recovering from its near-death experience; basil self-seeded all over the bed, and the oregano and tarragon are trying to take over the world).

Harvest: peppers, basil, oregano, tarragon, okra, peas, eggplant, green tomatoes

Preserve: dried peppers; canned peas

Waste Not: *Pulled 2-liter bottles from the recycling bin, cleaned them up and used them for emergency water storage. Got some nice 1-gallon juice containers from my brother, also for water. *Discovered that my chickens LOVE giant okra, as long as I hack the pods open for them. *Cut up old flannel baby blanket for “family” wipes; haven’t gotten around to sewing them yet. *The usual recycling, clothesline usage, limited a/c.

Want Not/Prep/Store: *Replenished stock of sugar, flour and grits. *Picked up some extra pillows to store for unexpected company. *Picked up a 10-pack of soap to be used for laundry detergent, shampoo, etc. *Cleaned out a closet and found: a bunch of fabric to be used for curtains, cloth TP, costumes, etc.; 2 stereo systems, 2 enormous stuffed animals and 3 lamps (still in moving boxes –we’ve been in this house 2½ years), all to be donated.

Community Food System: Continued sharing the pea harvest. The same friend who picked peas with me brought me a bag of scuppernongs from her yard. Mmmm!

Eat the Food: *Tinkered with my normal bread recipe and LOVE the result – a much more sandwich-friendly slice. :) *Ate many more meatless meals than normal for us, with no complaining from the ranks. *Made beef roast from the local cow in the freezer, and in the process achieved gravy nirvana. Seriously, the best gravy I have ever made in my life, and maybe ever will make. And since I’m the only person in the house who eats gravy … it’s mine. ALL MINE! HAHAHAHAHAHA!

It's been a busy week thus far. We have company coming tomorrow/Saturday, so dh will be straightening the house before he goes to work. Good thing, because I feel like CRAP! Why do I always get sick when we have company? It's frustrating me. :P I made a huge pot of chicken soup last night, with about 5-6 cloves of garlic, loads of onion & peppers and other veggies. Hoping it'll help me feel better soon.

I'm very, very excited about my birthday this year, and not just because it's the last one I'm having (I think it's okay to stop at 39, don't you? After all, once you have kids, nobody really cares about YOUR birthday anymore except you.). Hubby is trading in one of his rifles to buy me a new handgun! It's taken him some time to accept that I'm not the typical girly-girl who loves jewelry, but I think he's finally come to terms with the fact that I'd rather have garden tools or (HELL YEAH!) a pistol. I wondered how he was going to top my Mothers Day/anniversary gift (2 beautiful raised-bed herb gardens), but he did it.

Now, if I can just shake this cold, all will be right with the world. :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

September 14th IDC Update

Plant: Nothing, but spent some time cleaning out the herb beds in preparation for a fall planting. In that process I noticed some volunteer basil & cilantro sprouting, and the tomato plants that weren’t destroyed by the worms seem to be making a comeback … more leaves/roots/blossoms and even some tiny, non-worm-eaten green toms!

Harvest: tomatoes, peppers, basil, oregano, okra, peas; lots more worms for the chickens

Preserve: okra (frozen, for frying … mmm!), pepper vinegar

Waste Not: *Only used the a/c one day last week! This was big for us mentally, as it’s been in the upper 80’s and sticky. Having done it, though, it was fine. The warmest the house got was about 85; it was breezy, so we just did outside stuff then. *We had LOTS of extra laundry this week, as we’re battling head lice. I washed everything in hot water and used the clothesline for drying for the first 6 days; on day 7 I decided that maybe the heat from the dryer might actually be necessary to get rid of the little buggers once and for all. L I’m hoping that the lack of a/c might counteract the extra electricity used for laundry. *The usual recycling.

Want Not/Prep/Store: *Used the HECK out of my homemade laundry detergent. I only need to use between ¼ & ½ cup of the liquid/gel to get everything super-clean. I love it so much! *After our bout with lice this week, I’ll be storing a couple sets of delousing combs and a couple of bottles of tea tree oil shampoo & conditioner.

Community Food System: Invited some friends over to share in the pea harvest. Since we put up so many peas earlier in the year, we plan to share this “volunteer” crop with as many people as possible.

Eat the Food: poblano peppers in everything possible; recycling leftovers into various meals; eating almost exclusively from storage and our garden right now, as finances continue to be very tight

Monday, September 7, 2009

September 7th IDC Update

Plant: The girls planted flower seeds and I made plans for the fall/winter garden.

Harvest: Tomatoes, peppers, basil, parsley; lots more worms for the chickens.

Preserve: Canned pear preserves and the leftover pear "syrup."

Waste Not: *The kids and I raked up five (child-sized) wagon-loads of mown grass to add to the chicken pen; the chicks LOVE scratching in it and we had lots of fun working together. (While we were raking, my 5 y/o announced to me that she wants to be a farmer.) *Leftovers that weren't repurposed into other meals went to the chickens, too. *The nights/mornings have been in the upper 60's/low 70's for the last week, so we've been running the a/c much less. Even though the daytime highs are hitting 90, I completely turned off the a/c the last 3 days. It ends up feeling cooler outside in the middle of the day (breezy!), which means we're spending more time outside ... a win/win! *I ran out of plastic (I know) containers for leftovers, so I used some glass jars to freeze my leftover soup. *The usual recycling.

Want Not/Prep/Store: *Still looking for ways to build community; here's what I came up with this week. I bake bread most weekends, and my favorite recipe makes 4 loaves. We can use 3 before mold sets in, so I usually give a loaf to my parents or freeze one. I've decided to use that extra loaf to build relationships! I made a list of people in our small town that I'd like to get to know better, and every Sunday I'll take a loaf of bread to a new person on my list. *I also did some pantry cleaning/rearranging and made notes of what we need to restock (will have to wait a payday or 2). *Made my own laundry detergent (haven't used it yet, so I can't say how well it works).

Community Food System: Nothing, really.

Eat the Food: We've started using some of the beef we bought from my co-worker. Mmm! Otherwise, I haven't tried any new recipes or anything. Just plugging along, eating a LOT from storage due to financial issues.