Saturday, April 30, 2011

Top Articles for April

Here is a list of the best things I found for this month:

Energy Usage info(specifically dryer usage):

Homemade Garden Seed Tape:

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Rain, Rain Go AWAY

It's been raining so much, I can't get the garden worked on and certainly can't plant anything. So I am very antsy and very tired of cleaning my house. I want to be outside! Here is an update on all that's been going on (or not going on but I wish would start)

My rain barrel has a small leak in it that I need to fix. You know after all this rain, we will have a drought this summer and will be needing that rain water.

My perennial chives are about 8 inches tall and looking good. The rhubarb is now up well and I should be able to pick it next week, I think.

The 4 hens I have left are now 2 years old. After going on a hiatus from laying (three months with only 1 egg laid) they are now back on track. I am getting 3 or even 4 eggs a day. I love these hens. They follow me all over and when they see me pick up a shovel, they come running to see what they can "help" me dig up.

Oh, speaking of chickens. I have a very nice problem. The eggs they are laying are so big they don't fit in a normal large or extra large egg carton. How am I going to sell eggs if I can't use egg cartons? I certainly can't afford to buy jumbo size egg cartons, kindof cuts into the profits. I am open to any ideas, if you want to share.

My first generation New Zealand doe died after giving birth too early. Not much more to say about that.

Two of my mixed breed does had litters. One had 8 babies, the other has 4 (first time momma, so I am thrilled she's taking care of them, don't care that it's only 4)

Christmas decorations are still up on the front porch. Do I ignore them or wait for them to just blow away in our strong spring winds?

I made two loaves of bread yesterday, turned out nice, although I need to adjust the recipe so it doesn't overflow my breadmaker.

Have run out of grocery money for the month, so we will be eating whatever is found in the cupboard. I do have about 60 cans of spaghetti sauce and lots of pasta to go with it, so I'll have to be creative and figure out 2 weeks of menus centered around pasta.

Well, enought for today. Got to get ready for work.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pocket Change

If you don't know where you are going,
you'll end up someplace else.~
Yogi Berra

While Waiting. . . .

While waiting to pick up a teen from her new job, I got to spend 3 hours in Walmart.

By. My. Self.

It was late evening and there was not a whole lot of people there. I took my whole coupon collection in and went round and round looking for good deals. I finally found some things, and enjoyed myself completely. Some of the good deals:

20 packages of taco seasoning for 11 cents each.

4 trial sizes of deoderant, making 3 cents on each, after coupons.

1 large bottle of body wash for free.

12 disposable razors for 97 cents

1 bottle of baby formula, making $1.16 after coupons

1 bottle of steak sauce, free

And somehow I got out of there paying a total of 57 cents. Cool.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Seedlings Update

Parsley and zucchini

One lone lima bean plant from started at kindergarten. (Can you grow only one and get beans from it or do you need two plants?)

Still waiting for spring. The started seeds are growing nicely, without any growlights, because I don't have any. This year, I started seeds in some leftover peat pots, put them in egg cartons, closed them up, and put them on rice heating pads (warmed occasionally in the microwave.) After the seeds sprouted, I opened the carton lids and just set the seeds in the south window.

(No, I didn't buy a coffee from Dunkin Donuts, I had a free coupon)

We transplanted the little peat pots into yougurt cups and other plastic cups we had saved and just left them in the window. They seem to be doing well, not leggy like some years, I guess because I don't have grow lights.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Coloring Eggs, Natural Style

Got inspired to make some naturally colored eggs this year. I didn't think I could color brown eggs, but I guess the trick is to let them soak in the color overnight.

Here is the red/purple cabbage trials:

1 small cabbage with enough water to cover, simmered for about 15 minutes.

purple dye already!

I layered the boiled eggs and the cooled cabbage in a large jar.

Jake the Dog drinking Diet Pepsi while we wait.

A very dark blue egg.

Unique prints from the cabbage that layed touching the egg. I guess if you want a solid egg, then don't add the cabbage pieces, just the juice. We think the imprinting is pretty cool. I'll try to get a better pic later.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rummage Sale-Check

First rummage Sale of the season, Whoo Hoo! Bought:

Woven blanket, 50 cents (to be used next winter to help keep the oil bill down)

Pair of rain-puddle-stompin'boots, 50 cents (for the cutest little neighbor boy EVER!)

Pair of Land's Ends shoes, 50 cents (for the cutest little nephews EVER!)

3 School shirts for daugter, $1

3 Brand new dark brown wine bottles with plastic corks, $1 each (for my adventures in homemade cider vinegar making, not for the moonshine I read about in Possum Living!)

Total spent:$5.75

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pocket Change

Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.

Seeds! Seeds! Seeds!

Got the 25 packs of seeds today from the Seeds of Change company!

Sorry, but it was a big disappointment.

I was thinking that I would get 25 different varieties of seeds. Maybe even 12 different varieties, of 2 packets each or something.


5 variety of seeds.



Hot Pepper


And wait for it. . . .

9,yes, NINE packets of radishes.

What the heck am I going to do with 9 packets of radishes?

I hope the chickens like radishes. They may be eating alot of them this winter.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Stop! Go Back!

I love spring. Not only can I get out into the yard more, it's the start of garage sale season! I am on the lookout for the following items this year:

  • cooking pots with lids for the solar oven

  • cookie sheets/ cooling racks for the solar deydrator

  • yarn for my knitting/crocheting attempts

  • blankets, blue jeans, flannel shirts to be used for quilting

  • construction supplies for the new barn

  • containers/pots for plants and animal feed bowls

  • canning supplies

  • manual can openers (I seem to break at least one a year)

  • board games and clothes for the kids

  • tarps or plastic lined table clothes for covering up rabbit cages in the winter

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day 104: Book of the Week

Got to spend a little time in the big book store this week, all by my lonesome, while I was waiting to pick up someone from school. I surfed thru some cookbooks and home preserving books, looking for some ideas for my solar dehydrator I will be building. Didn't find much new information (why don't books have more pictures? It's much easier to quick look at the picture of the dehydrator than read thru a bunch of technical stuff and then realize it's not what you wanted.)

Anywhoo, found an interesting book, called Possum Living by Dolly Freed. In a nutshell, it's written by a non-schooled teenager many years ago, who was living with her father, who didn't like to work. She tells of how they lived without money,which means living without modern amenities. I skimmed thru most of it, getting some ideas to tuck back into my brain for later. The girl somehow even got the book published all by herself. Many years later, someone found a copy of the book and had it re-published and even found the original author who wrote a closing for the re-published book. Turns out, the girl ended up working for NASA, without having a college degree. or even an high school diploma. Very interesting.

( If you do find a copy of Possum Living, I want you to know I did skip over the plans for the moonshine still. Hehe!)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cereal Deal

Finally got a good deal on cereal. I won't ever get to be an Extreme Couponer here where we live, but I got four boxes of cereal for 75 cents a piece today. It was on sale for $2.50 (reg. $3.59), I had a coupon for 25 cents off a box (which couldn't be doubled) and the store had a Catalina for $6 off when you buy 4 boxes. I couldn't get another $6 Catalina coupon until the next day, but I managed to get a rain check on some of the cereal, so now I can go back and get another 4 boxes. Whoo hoo!

update: when I went back with the raincheck, the cashier doubled the coupons, which brought the price to 50 cents a box. Double Whoo Hoo!

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Walk Score

In my attempts to find ways to save money, time, and sanity, I tend to surf the web alot. Found a funny site,

This site tells you how "walkable" your home is, meaning, how close you live to life's amenities. The blog I originally found this on had a walking score of 77. I scared the dog awake when I laughed at my score of 11. For kicks, I typed in my childhood home. My mom always said we lived out in the boondocks, but really?? It got a score of 0 .

I do wonder the about this tho, because I can walk to the local store for groceries, but the upward trip back home with a heavy bag or two might be hard. And we are within walking distance of the bank, post office, and dr.'s office also. So I don't know what the site actually calculates, unless it bases the unknown fact that my husband has to drive 40 minutes to get to work. Oh! wait, it must calculate the distance from the nearest Walmart. Yeah, that's it. Life's "amenities."

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Seed Starting

Well, as you can see, I just couldn't wait any longer for spring to come and stay with us, so I started the seeds indoors anyways. Used mostly seeds saved from last year's crops, or seeds leftover from last year that I bought. Acorn squash, some kind of small pumpkin, zucchini, a heritage tomato, bell peppers, parsley, broccoli, and cauliflower. Most of them are already sprouting, but the cauliflower is not. That's ok, I really don't love cauliflower anyways.

Got a good start on the new herb garden area also. I don't know why I call it an herb garden, it's not all herbs. If it all decides to sprout and grow, there will be dill, onions, carrots, lettuce and radishes. There is already onions. chives, and some sort of mint ( I think spearmint) from last year there. I am going tomorrow to see if I can find some oregano and rosemary plants to add later. I might plant the parsley in there also, but I really like to plant it in a pot that I can bring indoors in the fall.

I like to try new seeds/plants every year, but I think I will stick to the tried and true due to money/planting area constraints. When my new barn gets built, my garden will temporarily shrink some, so I have to plan more carefully this year. (Well, I did save a little space for 2 or 3 brussel sprout plants. They sound so intriguing.