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The Garden is Picking Up Steam

July 16th, 2019 at 12:59 am

Well, I got 4 gold rush zucchini, 3 cucumbers, 3 giant kohlrabi, a bunch of basil and a bunch of parsley from the garden today. I've got 3 trays of basil and 4 trays of parsley in the dehydrator. That makes 5 cucumbers now, so I think I may make a small jar of half sour pickles tomorrow.

I need to call a local sporting goods store that has a big canning and fermenting section and see if they have any fermenting stones first. If not, then I will just eat the cukes and order the stones from Amazon and wait for a few more cukes to grow. I already have the fermenting lids. I've never made half sours before, but I love them. Those are the kind you get in delis, but in delis they often add yellow #5, which I am allergic to. It takes 1 to 2 weeks of fermenting time to make them. I have the dill in the garden, but will have to pick up some garlic. I didn't grow any this year. I wasn't expecting any cucumbers to be ready yet, so didn't think to buy garlic on my shopping day.

Tomorrow I need to cut some cilantro, thyme, peppermint, and spearmint to dehydrate. The peppermint and spearmint can be hung to dehydrate, but I have to label them because both can look like oregano when dried. (Because of our humidity the other herbs don't dry as well in the air). Well, the spearmint is purple so it is easier to identify, but the mint and oregano look very similar. They don't smell the same, but I don't want to be second guessing myself later, either. I might even be able to harvest a few sage leaves, too.

I think I will also harvest the purple basil tomorrow and make a pesto with it. I like how purple basil tastes in pesto. I may marinate the chicken in that this week. We will see. It depends on how busy my dehydrator is.

I can't believe how much the beans and corn have jumped this week. And the butternut and sweet meat squash plants really have taken off. I did do an update video on my channel if anyone wants to see just how the garden is doing.

Text is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYIjd0itLug and Link is
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYIjd0itLug

I also need to clean the kitchen tomorrow. All the counters, the sinks, and the floor. DS will have to help with the floor. I can sweep it, but he needs to mop it. The long hallway could use a good vacuuming as well. Hopefully I will feel up to doing that after the kitchen. If not, well, at least the bathroom got cleaned. That was my major priority for today.

Oh, on the sad side of things, Persephone died. She was our last New Zealand white rabbit. She was the oldest, although Ruby (who became DS's pet) is only a couple of weeks younger. Persephone was a particular favorite of mine. She was descended from the first three rabbits we ever owned.

I am debating selling all but Ruby and one other rabbit. I am not sure which other one I would keep though. Rabbits are social so I don't want to leave Ruby without a friend in the cage next door. It would make the most sense to keep Zara and not the boys, but Zara is a bit of a snot, so maybe we will keep Cyrus or Vincent. Vincent is the prettiest as a broken red, but Cyrus, a broken black is the sweetest, most friendly rabbit aside from Ruby and he is Persephone's son and Starbuck's grandson. But Vincent is Ruby's grandson. Well, maybe I will keep 3.

An ARGH Kind of Day

July 10th, 2019 at 09:18 pm

That stupid deer still managed to jump the fence and get into the garden. Is it wrong of me to keep thinking how good he would look in my freezer? He is an awfully big fellow. Along with his brother, that would provide a lot of meat for the family. No, I know I can't do that. Deer season isn't until November and you can't discharge a firearm within city limits. *sighs* I am only half joking. He ate all the Romenescu heads.

All these years and I have never had trouble with deer. This is just so frustrating. It is going to be a bad produce year nationwide. I am growing to get stuff in the freezer and canned, not to be an all you can eat buffet to the local critters. This is one of the problems with living near a several acre wooded park. This thing is costing me money and taking food out of my family's mouths.

Maybe we will just have to build cages for all of the raised beds. Well, not the onions. They aren't touching the onions. Or the zucchini, herbs, cucumbers, or tomatoes. Just the brassicas. I do worry about the corn and green beans when they get big enough to produce, though.

Went to the gastro doctor's office and saw the P.A. about DD's liver tumor. She hadn't even looked at the MRI results. I was miffed. She's going to get back to us by Friday after she talks to the radiologist and consults the doctor, which usually means Monday or Tuesday. I was very clear when I made the appointment what we needed to talk about. I am sick of waiting rooms, sick of medical personnel falling down on the job, and sick of my daughter being sick and no one being able to figure out the underlying cause of all this crap that is happening to her body. Pardon my language. I am very frustrated today.

This and That

July 7th, 2019 at 04:35 am

The fence is completed, another dump run was made, and all but the frame of the turkey pen is down. Now we just need to train my mother to stop leaving the fence gate open. It doesn't do any good to have a fence up to keep the deer out, if she is going to leave a doorway for them.

Tomorrow I want to go to Lowe's and pick up a grill basket for veggies, a second pair of BBQ tongs to prevent cross contamination and an empty hanging basket for my night sky petunias. I have $69 left in my allowance folder.

The meal plan has gone a bit by the wayside this week with the new charcoal grill, but I don't care. It's all food we have on hand so if I change things up a little, so be it. Today (well, technically yesterday) we did hot dogs, hamburgers, onion slices (I definitely want a grill basket), and sausages on the grill. The sausages are for breakfasts or lunches this week. DH taught DS and I how to use it from start to finish, so we can now do it on the days he isn't off from work if we want to.

My next plan is to do chicken thighs or legs tomorrow for dinner. I found this Jamaican jerk recipe on YouTube so I think I will either use that sans the spicy pepper (replaced with jalapeño) or the spices I use in Shawarma or Fajitas. Really depends on what I feel in the mood for doing tomorrow.

My 30 quart stainless steel bowl came. It's a touch bigger than I thought it would be, but I will be able to mix up a quadruple batch of meatballs, meatloaf, or breakfast burritos all at once. I can also prepare 14 pounds of potatoes at once for canning (that's a full canner load). It will have to be hand washed though. It would just barely fit in the dishwasher, but it would take up the whole bottom rack. Seriously, you could bathe a toddler in this thing. It makes me laugh every time I see it. I think I could have gotten by with a 20 quart bowl, but oh, well, I'm not sending it back.

I bit the bullet and signed up for the free trial of prime on amazon. I am not sure we particularly need it, but we want to watch Good Omens so we'll see. I usually get everything shipped free anyway because we order in such a way to do so, this will just be a faster arrival time. And the discount at Whole Foods. I marked the calendar. We might keep it if it feels worthwhile, since we are cancelling HBO on hulu since GoT is over and WW is a long way from its next season still. We will cancel right before the next renewal. Also marked on my calendar.

DD, DH, and I have all finished season 3 of Stranger Things. No spoilers, but it was mostly very good. I am glad it dropped on a long holiday weekend so we could watch all 8 episodes without pesky things like DH having to get up early for work getting in the way.

Fencing (Hopefully for Free)

June 30th, 2019 at 09:03 pm

We are working on putting up a fence around the garden. Well, part of it is fenced, but we needed to bring the fence up to the driveway because we have a pair of deer that have been visiting and earlier this week they ate the cauliflower heads off of all of Mom's cauliflower plants.

DH tore down the slaughter station and we are using the deck blocks and 4 x 4's from it to run across the driveway and the little strip of grass that the sewer line runs under next to the house. We are using the door from the turkey pen as the gate. We've got those in place with extra support across the driveway and then we need to pound in 3 t-posts and then run fencing around all the posts. It will be about eight inches off the ground so the cat (Mrs. Norris) that comes to visit and hunt mice can still get through and the little rabbits who can't get into the raised beds can still come and go. And we can fit a weed eater under it where the sewer line runs.

We will also be using at least one of the PVC gates we had built for the chicken yard back when we had chickens. It has a hole in it right where you need to reach through and open the latch, so that is convenient.

I really hope we won't have to purchase anything for this fence. We like to recycle as much as we can from around the farm and not just buy all new building materials. We have quite a bit from old projects and from things we are tearing down. The hinges we used for the gate used to be on the duck coop. We are reusing as much green plastic fencing as we can.

I think we will have enough, but we might have to use a little chicken wire to make up the difference. But we have chicken wire on the old turkey pen we can use. It might not be quite as aesthetically pleasing as if it were all made out of one type of fencing, but you can't really see it from the street, so that's not too big of an issue. It's more important that we protect our garden and all the hard work we have done so far.

Irlen, Rabbits, and Rain

May 24th, 2019 at 09:35 pm

I ordered some Irlen reading strips a while back and they finally arrived. My son, my daughter, and I all have some degree of difficulty with reading, particularly off a stark white page, but sometimes even off recycle paper color. I can adjust my computer with a filter, but I can't adjust books.

The reading strips are transparent and come in ten different colors and you put them over your page and move it down as you read. The difference in color makes it easier to read, especially with small print. This is something I have had more problems with since I broke my nose and had the concussion with it (I think in 2015), but I had no idea my kids had the same issue until I told them I had bought the strips and both piped up about it.

Anyway, it was fortunate that we all needed a different color. I was hoping that would be the case. I need a purple tint, my daughter needs a dark blue tint, and my son needs a lighter blue tint. This should help with headaches as well as words dancing and reading fatigue. Just judging from the little I've used it the difference is huge.

Today I cleaned out the rabbit shed with lots of petting bunny breaks and DH rearranged the rabbits so they are all on one wall. Then we brought in the haykeeper from the garage, which is also big enough to have the garbage can full of feed in it. It used to hold two bales of hay side by side, but since we only have 7 rabbits now, we only buy one bale at a time. And without the excess cages in the shed it can all fit in there nicely without taking up so much space in the garage.

It rained so there was no painting done today and no weeding. On the plus side it rained enough that I won't have to water the garden for 3 to 4 days. It was due to be watered today if it hadn't rained well. Tomorrow is supposed to be more of the same, but DH says he will fix a space to paint in the garage so we can get it done and hopefully be ready to assemble it on Sunday.

Trucking Along

April 1st, 2019 at 11:25 am

I need to go to Winco and pick up a bag of oats for the rabbits. The feed stores have been getting corn in their oats the last several times we have gotten them and the rabbits can't eat corn. It has been a real pain in the butt to deal with. So I am hoping that oats from Winco will be clean. Since they are for human consumption there is better quality control. It's a little more expensive this way, but I'd rather that than risk killing my rabbits.

I've been on the Enbrel for a few days now and I continue to improve. The swelling in my legs has gone way down. It used to be a constant. A large part of my pain is gone throughout the day, though by evening I do have some that comes back. It is not as bad as before, though. I get a little queasy in the mornings, but haven't thrown up after the first morning post injection, and it seems a little less each day. I am starting to feel like a semi-functional human being.

I still haven't quite shaken this cold, but I am getting there. I'm able to do all my indoor chores again. I haven't tried to do my outdoor stuff yet. Seasonal allergies have piled on top of it, though, so there is just a lot of nose blowing going on still. I didn't sleep very well last night or the night before, which doesn't help with getting better. I keep waking up too early. I've tried going to bed earlier to compensate, but then I just lay there not sleeping until the normal time I fall asleep. Very exhausting.

I am looking forward to payday as we will be able to make some more progress on the loan. I'm not sure I'll be able to pay as much as I was hoping. We've got a couple things that have come up that need to be taken care of. Isn't that always the way? I'll still be able to make an extra payment, though.

Broken Blogs, Broken Blog Goal

January 17th, 2019 at 02:09 am

So the commenting feature is acting up again, claiming I'm not logged in when I am. Will they ever get this thing permanently fixed? I've gotten to the point where I don't even feel like complaining anymore, because they'll make it work for a week, but it never works for good. The emojis haven't worked for what, two years now? *sighs* I know it is little things, but it is really making it user unfriendly.

My goal to blog more consistently kind of went by the wayside. We cleaned rabbit cages this weekend with our new clearance pressure washer, swept out the rabbit shed, including all of the cobwebs on the ceiling and put away the summer fans which had not been stored properly yet, and I wore myself out so bad that the last thing I felt like doing is blogging. I did, however, finish watching season 2 of Westworld.

The pressure washer was a $200 machine that we got for $70 because of the season, I'm sure. It is an ecofriendly one, too, that doesn't use as much water, but is very forceful. It made the chore much easier and faster, but it still took several hours because some of the trays had to be fired. Also having only 8 rabbits now makes it easier to get through all the cages quickly.

I haven't made up a meal plan for the second half of the month yet, since I was basically using up leftovers the past couple of days. We had some shredded chicken to get through so I made quesadillas. I also made some Mexican rice which had leftovers so DH and DS will have some for their next couple days of lunches. Both are big rice eaters. I used some of my home canned salsa in it. It's from 2015, my huge tomato year. The day before that we had leftover pork stew. Tomorrow I will sit down and figure out a meal plan for the remainder of the month.

I have to be more careful about how much work I do around the farm. I still haven't completely shaken my cough and despite it being fairly warm at 45 degrees on Saturday and Sunday, it was still a little colder than I probably should have been out in. But the work goes faster with three people than two. I spent most of Monday and Tuesday in bed, though. Partly the cough, but mostly the rheumatoid arthritis flaring up after doing so much work.

I have misplaced the rabbits' nail clippers so will have to pick up a new pair as they are all due for a clipping. I hate having to go to the pet store, but the farmer's co-op doesn't sell the right kind of clippers, the kind that encircle the whole nail. I think I need to get a new brush, too. The last one broke. The don't need to be brushed generally, but a couple of them are blowing their coats already. Makes me think we might not get a super cold winter this year. So when they do that it helps to brush out all the old fur. Plus they really seem to enjoy the extra attention. So a couple of small expenses there, but I doubt I will spend more than $15 there. DH needs to pick up a bale of hay this weekend, too.

I need to get a new charger for my phone as well. The one I have only works if it is propped at an angle. So while I can get it to charge, sometimes I forget to prop it and then go to grab my phone and it is dead. I don't know how much that will cost, but I have over $100 in my allowance envelope, since I rarely spend it. It won't be near that, I know, but I am prepared regardless.

I got my medical checkbook balanced. Found a mistake that made the balance $365 off. It was $182.50 that I'd added instead of subtracted, thereby doubling to $365. But that account has over $5000 in it so no worries.

I have entered in all the medical bills for each month. Now I need to add them all up and see the total to see if we can deduct for them. I know some stuff has changed this year. I'll get that done tomorrow and get the numbers for that and our tithe to DH. I'd like to get our taxes done ASAP. With identity theft in our lives, the sooner the better. Of course, I don't know if the IRS will be processing or not due to the shutdown. The last time there was a shutdown at this time of year, we sent it in early and still got it back fairly quickly, but that one was shorter than this one, so who knows?

I called VM today as I still haven't heard anything about DD's surgery being scheduled. I know there was a delay for the holidays, but it has been nearly a month. I left a message with the scheduler, so hopefully I will hear back from her tomorrow. DD has dropped 75 pounds in that amount of time. Pretty much all of it retained water. The new meds are working very well in that respect. She has cheekbones again. No guarantee it won't come back, but for now it is a major relief for her body.

Okay, I think that catches me up.