Today’s finds

 

share1 a mere $1.99 at Goodwill

share2this yarn is 50% llama and 50% wool, 3oz and 132 yards per ball. $2.99 per bag

am not sure which is the better deal!

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Posted in crochet, herbal healing, homesteading, knitting, patterns, prepping, self-reliance, Uncategorized, wild harvest | Leave a comment

getting ready

its been a strange and busy year. 

A new shed in the eastern garden to house one of the Yeti power supply units I use for the pump that is used to water that area from the water tank.  plus all the various misc tools that are used there – rather than move everything back and forth. and the solar panels to charge the Yeti.

Overall, garden activity was minimal as work was very busy, plus energy levels were low. and what was planted did not do particularly well. maybe as much due to in attention as weather conditions

Have decided to get back to things like making my own skin lotions, candles for the flower pot heaters in the greenhouse, etc.   Am also planning on making some scented candles for holiday gifting the neighbors.  A candle, some home made chocolate, chicken jerky for the dogs, home made pickled onions, a home made string  shopping bag, and a couple of bottles of wine for the immediate neighbors on either side of us.  Overall, a nice selection of “stuff”.

The candles will be “chai spice”, beeswax with cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in old tuna cans.

Started the process by just getting familiar with the techniques of candle making again, along with the new (to me) wick supports that came with the wicks I bought.  These are soy candles, plain.  it seems 4 cups of soy flakes = 1.5 cups of melted wax, which = 2 tuna tins.  So then melted another 2 cups of soy flakes to make the third candle.

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beeswax is supposedly a two for one, volume to melt.  So with each tin needing just shy of a cup of wax, will need 6 cups of beeswax to make 3 scented candles.  Then will make pretty labels for the cans.

there isn’t anything to can this fall, or dehydrate.  Before we went away made some “everything stew”; using up leftovers and the fresh veggies. some got canned and some got dehydrated. 

Also had made the pickled onions.  Used some of those in our salad the other day, but wasn’t too impressed.

So this winter the emphasis will be on my minor health issues; losing some weight for more energy and to ease the discomfort of the arthritis, getting stronger, keeping my skin in good condition as I’m getting to that age where it will begin to “thin” and I want to delay that as long as possible.

Am supposed to be considering cataract surgery, but the idea of having someone poke around my eyeball is just terrifying. but guess there is a limit to how long I can put that off if I want to keep going for another 20 or so years.

there is a whole bunch of stuff I could whine about, but what’s the point. Can only work at making changes where I can, and adapting where I can’t.

Posted in canning, container gardening, dehydrating, gardening, herbal healing, homesteading, prepping, preserving, self-reliance, solar, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

canning

garden was lousy this year, and my holiday presents for the neighbors usually include some preserves from the garden.  This year, red onions at the farmer’s market were plentiful so for the first time, pickled onions.  The tall jars are ‘decorative’ pint jars, the rest are for the house!

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Going away for a week, so time to clean out the fridge.  This is everything stew. 9 pints canned, and one dehydrated.  Zucchini, tomatoes, left over kielbasa and turkey, brown rice and seasonings to pull it all together.

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Posted in canning, dehydrating, gardening, garlic/onions, homesteading, preserving, recipes, self-reliance, squash, tomatoes, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

pomegranate

 

IMG_1213so it turns out that what I thought was a fruit, was just the bid of a flower!  But as this is the only flower on the tree and know of none other around, this may be all I’ll get.  and isn’t it a little late in the year?

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late august garden

After too hot and too dry, we’ve had a decent monsoon season.  For many reasons didn’t really plant a major garden this year, but have had a little fun, despite every single green bean plant being mowed down by hungry critters

garden1 have eaten two delicious figs off this plant and there are actually 4 left, although only 2 are really visible in this picture.  They stayed small until I’d picked the others and they are now getting larger.

garden2Guess this is my first pomegranate!  Noticed it a couple of weeks ago and it was really teensy.  Now its big enough to take a picture of!  How much larger can it get?  Thought there would be flowers like with most other fruiting plants. but like Figs, they just seem to grow!

On another note, earlier I had noted that the potatoes planted in the greenhouse all turned yellow and died back.  Didn’t know if this was something in the soil or what, so planted a Stevia plant in that grow bag.  That did relatively well, enough that I cut it back, drying the leaves for future use.  The plant was slow to grow back.  Meanwhile, as the weather cooled, the potatoes have sprouted again!  Considering how far up they had to push (over 10” of soil), they are determined and strong!

Unfortunately, we’re going to be away for a week next month so am not starting a fall garden.  a little bummed by that, but what can you do?

Posted in container gardening, fruit, gardening, grow bags, homesteading, legumes, potatoes, prepping, self-reliance, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

time flies!

Doesn’t it though, even if you are not having a lot of fun!!

First, garden is okay.  strange, but okay.  Growing the Armenian Cucumbers for the first time.  Chard is doing well.  Eggplant, eh!  tomatoes, well, they are there, but the weather has not been conducive to good growing conditions.  On the other side of the aisle, two zucchini plants have given me about 5 fruit.  one plant keeps twisting the zukes around on themselves.  Right now, no flowers at all.  Have two spaghetti squash plants that are getting ready to take over the universe!  and one, just one single, squash.  Of course, its as big as Rhode Island right now, but there can be only one!  Something keeps eating my green beans.

On another note, redid my eastern growing area.  one  of my rhubarb has passed on, as has my last blueberry.  The blackberry planted last year is growing well but not a flower to be seen on it.  finally one of the six figs on the little tree is starting to ripen after sitting their green for something like 2 months!  Got rid of the crappy make shift shed that was coming apart and messy; replacing it with a plastic fantastic – well not so fantastic, but okay – 4×6 shed. 

We are into the monsoon season, with only a couple of a good rains, plus several drizzles.  This has lead to the best purslane season ever and finally got to harvest some extra which I’m drying right now.

purslaneabout 2 lbs of purslane

The rain was enough to fill the rain barrels again and have set up my Goal Zero’s, one by each barrel with pump and solar panel to keep them charged.  One is in the new shed, one is in a large wheeled cooler.

sweater from $3 worth of thrift shop yarn came this sweater.  Took seemingly forever to knit.  of course, was not knitting every day either.

we’ve both had some minor health issues, and the doctor has told me to cut out fats and bring down my LDL numbers, while Himself has to watch both fats and carbs as he’s pre-diabetic.

Business has been brisk, and tending us both to say we’re getting too old for this S**T, then we start figuring out how to refresh our marketing and hit new customer areas . . .

once a capitalist, always a capitalist I guess.

Heading into the fall season with knitting projects for holiday gifts. and sweaters for the season that actually fit instead of the too short things I get at the Thrift Shop.  chicken has been on sale so started the dehydrating for the holiday doggie gifts on that.  Just got a new sewing machine so I can do some alterations and sew some new clothing.  No stores here in town, and next town over its all about WalMart!!!  So its thrifts or make and though its been awhile,think I know how to do it still.

And while it seems like there’s been a lot going on, having written it out, see its not.

Oh yeah, am trying to learn how to spin!!  have some roving and both a drop spindle and a Navajo style floor spindle (cause it seems easier than making that drop spindle spin!).  we’ll see how it goes.  have enough yarn stash for the duration anyway!!

Posted in chard, container gardening, dehydrating, fruit, gardening, grow bags, homesteading, knitting, low carb, organic, patterns, prepping, preserving, self-reliance, sewing, solar, squash, tomatoes, Uncategorized, water | Leave a comment

still knitting

Took me MONTHS to finish this.  A Red Heart yarn project – Breezy Knit Market Bag – figured it would use up a large skein of yarn that I had.  Followed gauge but made it wider than the original pattern, created crocheted sides to the bag, made the straps longer and wider and still had yarn left over.

PLUS, even with the extra stitches it is only just as wide as the pattern said it would be and about 3 inches shorter than it should have been!  When I got to the end of the first side realized it wasn’t coming out per the pattern, but was already bored with the design and the project.  That’s why it took so long to finish.  Just got tired of it.  Was thinking I’d make this the beginning of christmas gifts, but my boredom lead to mistakes, so NEVER MIND!  It will still work as my farmer’s market bag.

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