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Less Limping Along

September 14th, 2019 at 01:30 am

Well, I am finally able to walk without limping after my toe surgery on the 6th. It still hurts a little when I try to put it in a shoe, so I will stick with flip flops for a couple more days before trying again.

I managed to get some canning done this week. I have done 7 quarts of French cut green beans. I am kind of thinking I might have just wanted to do pint and a half jars now, but oh, well. We'll have some leftovers. You can get a lot more French cut beans in a jar than regular cut.

I also canned 4 quarts and 1 pint and a half jar of really rich, gelatinous chicken bone broth. I made it in the Instant Pot while I was making chicken thighs (bone in, skin on) for pastaless chicken Alfredo. After the first batch, I put in more chicken, did it again, took it out, put in more chicken and did it again, all in the same broth without adding more water, so it got richer and richer with each pressure cook. It is amazing and tastes so good and is a deep, rich yellow color. I'll do it again when I make chicken enchiladas.

I managed to get two freezer meals in the freezer so far and tomorrow I will do 2 pans of beef enchiladas for the freezer. I made one pan up tonight that we will have for dinner tomorrow. It was a new recipe and I really like how the sauce turns out. I did it in the Instant Pot instead of the slow cooker like the recipe calls for. A lot of slow cooker recipes can be easily adapted. I also need to make up a big batch of meatballs. We're going to try brown rice spaghetti and I'd like to have the really good meatballs to balance things if the noodles turn out to be less than spectacular.

Also tomorrow I hope to can some more tomatoes although I may push that to Sunday. I am doing the rest in pints and saving our remaining quart jars for green beans and potatoes. I might get some more beans done tomorrow, too. We got the last of the corn in, but it is just for fresh eating. There are still more green beans and tomatoes out there growing.

I did get the sausage made up for breakfast burritos, but threw it in the freezer as I am not sure when we will get those made. I may end up using all the tortillas for enchiladas.

I am feeling a bit under the weather, so I have mostly just been eating egg flower soup and cheesy rice crackers the last couple of days. Not ideal, I am not hitting enough calories in a day, but there is protein in the soup and no noodles. I am hoping with making broth the way I have started to I will be able to make my own egg flower soup and it will taste really good and also have a denser, richer chicken soup as well.

There is also a chance I may just stay in bed all weekend and do nothing. Depends on how I feel when I wake up in the morning.

Busy Weekend Cleaning and Preserving Food

September 2nd, 2019 at 11:10 pm

Friday was DH's 50th birthday. He didn't want a bunch of hoopla so we just had a quiet celebration at home. Saturday was spent canning tomatoes and Sunday was spent cleaning out our bedroom and closet. We had so many boxes in the closet and along one wall of the bedroom that it was a hazard for me to try to get into the closet or open the curtains.

We went through so many boxes. We ended up with 10 garbage bags worth of clothes and old but good condition sheet sets for a bed size we don't even have anymore for Goodwill. We also donated some top sheets that were in great shape, but the bottom sheets had to be thrown out.

We donated a couple of our ugly blankets that we were given by other people that don't fit any color scheme in the house and never did, but we used them until we could find the colors we liked. There was also a nice set of two throw blankets that we were given for our wedding that I donated. They were a dark blue and white plaid and we used them for years, but they just don't fit our needs or color tastes and we aren't even in touch with the people who gave them to us.

We also shredded or recycled 8 grocery bags full of paper. I thought we had shredded all the old papers, but there were a couple of boxes of documents we didn't need anymore. I did find the old copy of Mom's will that sorely needs to be updated since most of those assets don't exist anymore, having been used up on Dad's care before he died. We'll need to get a new shredder soon. We have two semi-functional ones, although the one makes a horrible noise and the other is rapidly becoming non-functional. They are both really old, though.

But now I can walk over to the window without tripping on anything and open the curtains and blinds myself and close them, which sounds like such a small thing, but when you are disabled, having a clear pathway is huge. I can also go into my closet now and everything is hung up and the floor is clear.

There is still more to be done. I need to vacuum the floor and scrub the windows and there are a few smaller boxes to go through, but they are up out of the way on the closet shelves now. DH fixed a broken wall attachment for one of the dowels we hang clothes on so that rod is usable now, too.

Today was spent snapping green beans and canning them. Mom helped a lot today and I am very grateful for it. I shouldn't have to can tomatoes again for a couple of days and no green beans probably for a week. I do have to take down my dried oregano and parsley, take all the leaves off the stems, and put them in storage jars, and it is probably time to dehydrate another batch of basil as well.

I am hoping that boneless skinless chicken thighs and chuck roast go on sale soon. I need to do up some canned chicken and beef. I also need to start working on canning potatoes. It is my least favorite thing to do because of all the peeling and chopping, but I do have my little potato peeler, so I'll be using that. It is worth it in the winter time to not have to peel and chop every time I want to use potatoes.

I am thinking about not doing a garden next year as I have been so tired the last few years. But probably when spring comes I will change my mind as I always do. The food is always worth it, but sometimes I really struggle to keep up with the garden work. There is so much local food available here and I can buy one batch's worth at a time to can instead of having a glut or only two jars worth at a time.

I'll seriously have to think on it. I have to make pickles tomorrow. They will be fermented though, so far less work than canning.

Rough Couple of Weeks

August 24th, 2019 at 08:41 pm

It's been a rough couple of weeks. I hurt myself pretty badly in a fall when the ancient garden chair I was sitting in gave up the ghost and collapsed. I landed on my butt, but I grabbed the garden bed as I started falling, so I wrenched my shoulders, elbows, and wrists, and then because I was so close to the bed, my knees hit it and twisted to the side, wrenching both my knees and ankles and making me fall the rest of the way onto my left hip.

I am finally comfortable sitting in my desk chair again, at least for a few hours, but it has been pretty miserable with the aches and pains. It caused full on inflammation as my autoimmune disease was triggered from the impact. The body swelling is finally going down. In the midst of all that I had a nasty aural migraine that blurred my vision so bad I couldn't read even with my new glasses. It lasted three days.

I am not back to my old self again yet, but at least my hands feel good enough to type. My physical therapist worked around the pain and I have been able to do my exercises for all but three days throughout. We modified any exercises that hurt and I am back to being able to do all of them fully again.

I am so careful when I walk so as not to fall. This was just a freak accident. That chair was old, but it was solid. I definitely did not expect it to just give out like that. Now I have to find a new chair at the end of the season, which is going to be frustrating. I am not sure they even have them anymore. Maybe I will have DH build me a square stool. It will be a lot more solid than anything we can find in the store. We have some good wood in the garage from some heavy duty pallets with 2 x 4's, so it won't cost us anything to build it.

The green beans are in full swing now. I canned 7 quarts. The corn is starting to come in. Most of the onions are in the garage drying, and the tomatoes are finally starting to turn red and yellow, respectively. I am still getting cucumbers and zucchini and the one volunteer lettuce plant is finally big enough to harvest off of. The kale is still trucking along and I have harvested all of the broccoli except one. The celery is big enough to start cutting it, too. So I guess it is a good thing that I am able to sit again because I have a lot of preserving to do.

The Garden Harvest so Far (Garden Photos)

August 5th, 2019 at 11:04 am

The garden is really starting to go now and I have cut way back on my produce shopping. Mostly I just have to buy fruit and lettuce. If you'd like to see my most recent garden video from the other day, I will leave a link to my channel at the end.

I've been harvesting a lot of cucumbers and will be making half sour pickles today. I also have a lot of zucchini and some patty pan squash to get through. The herbs are going crazy so I am working on those as well. I got my first bean blossoms and the first color on a tomato as it starts to turn red. Those are exciting things in the gardening world.

So far this is what I have harvested:

5 lbs of lettuce
1 lb of spinach
1 lb of blood vein sorrel
1.5 lbs of kale
5 bunches of green onions
7.5 lbs of spring onions
4 candy sweet onions
1 purple onion
10 heads of broccoli
2 dozen zucchini
30 lbs of kohlrabi
2 buckets of parsly
4 buckets of basil
1 bucket of spearmint
1 bucket of peppermint
1 bucket of cilantro
2 big handfuls to thyme
3 buckets of oregano

First green bean blossom.


First tomato to start turning red.


Corn


Candy sweet onions.


Basil


Cucumber


Patty Pan squash.


Most recent garden update on my youtube channel:

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

Big Catch!

July 29th, 2019 at 12:03 am

The boys limited out on spot prawns this weekend. We put 4 bags in the freezer and we made up some for dinner. Not just for dinner, but also for lunch tomorrow and maybe the next day. These are the best prawns. And having them so fresh really makes a difference.

I tried to get a fishing license to go with them, but something weird happened when I applied and they couldn't get it to go through. And the gov office they needed to call won't open until Monday. It was 5:01 when I got to the place, which allows you to get a license up until 6:00 p.m. and gov offices close between 4:30 and 5:00. It's probably because I haven't gotten a license in 20 years so while there is a record of me in the system, the profile is old. But the same would have been true of DH last year and this didn't happen to him.

Or someone could have used my social which is a scary thought. They said it was highly unlikely, though, because you have to use your drivers license to apply. Oh, well, I woke up the first morning feeling like garbage anyway, so it is just as well I didn't go.

I don't know if I will bother trying on Monday since the spot prawn season could end at any moment now. Maybe for crab or salmon. We'll see. They won't be going out next weekend because of the party we were invited to. I did tell DH to say yes to us going to that. Even if I feel yucky, I like the people, so I'll make the effort. I don't like a lot of people in real life because they don't share our values, so it is nice when I meet people that are similar. Look at me, having a social life. Of course, I sprang a zit so hopefully it will be gone by then.

I don't know if we will go to the company wide picnic or not later in August. That might be more socialization than I can take. We'll see what they are serving. That can make a difference, too, in whether or not I will stir myself from my cave.

I got some work done in the garden. I've weeded most of one of the long onion beds, weeded several of the other beds, pulled out spent plants, built a cage for the zucchini bed (by myself), recycled two of the rabbit tractors to use as broccoli cages, and started on one for the lettuce bed. I harvested zucchini, the last of the kohlrabi, cucumbers, herbs, and lots of broccoli.

I also read 3 books this weekend, but they were all cookbooks. I liked one of them. It had a ton of recipes. I didn't like one intensely. And the third one had five recipes I liked. The first book I liked so much I will eventually buy it. That almost never happens. I don't tend to buy books because of limited space here.

I am almost done with my mystery novel, too. I like the story, but I don't really like the main character. It took about 2/3 of the way through the book before I started to warm up to her at all, but I kept going because I want to know how the story turns out.

All right, well I'm off to watch an episode of Next Gen and hit the hay.

Random Things

July 24th, 2019 at 10:31 pm

There was not a lot going on today. We got the garden watered and we picked up the wood, nails, and deck blocks for the fencing. The deck blocks will go over the concrete pad where we can't sink t-posts. We spent $81.55

Tomorrow is my first physical therapy appointment for my hips. Hopefully they will give me some good exercises that will help. I just hope I don't get light-headed. My high blood pressure medicine makes me prone to it when I am getting up and down from a prone position.

I went through the sale ads. Not much of anything again this week, except .88/lb chicken and I don't need more chicken. The freezer is pretty full up. I think this will be a Costco/Trader Joe's/Winco week, with a possible run to Whole Foods to see if they have date sugar and cassava flour if TJ's doesn't. I have made it through the two Paleo cookbooks and there are some good recipes in there, but I need those two ingredients. We already have almond flour.

Has anyone here ever used hemp cream for their arthritis? Not the kind with THC, but the other kind that doesn't get you high? I had one lady recommend it to me, but I'd kind of like some more opinions on it if anyone has tried it. It's legal in my state. Well, technically the other kind is legal in my state, too, but I don't want to use it. If you have used it, what brand do you recommend? There were a lot on Amazon, and most had great reviews, but it is kind of overwhelming.

I have been using sombra for a while now, but it starts to sting after using it too many days in a row. I had the same problem with icy hot and mineral ice. Pure MSM cream is just too expensive. I would just like to have some relief that hopefully doesn't bother my skin after daily use.

I Quit One of My Little Jobs

July 23rd, 2019 at 03:20 pm

I quit being a Thrive Life consultant today. I was no longer earning enough to pay for the website and I have a pretty good stockpile of product and just don't want to buy any more for a while, so I called them this morning and quit. It was easy, they didn't try to get me to stay. I can still buy product when I need to, but I won't need to for a long time. I've set my membership to skip deliveries for now.

I still love the product and use it plenty, but I won't lose money at it. Another reason is that as a consultant you are required to buy $100 of product every month. Which was fine when I was building my stockpile, but I have plenty and don't want to putting that $100 to $150 a month towards that when I can use it elsewhere in the grocery budget.

DS wants to start Paleo. I'm not 100% on board with that, but I think we can work toward that a bit, but not until we've eaten the perishable foods we have on hand that don't fit that category. I am getting some cookbooks out of the library to see more of what it is about, but I am not all that into completely giving up bread or rice. We don't eat a lot of it. I usually only have bread once a week and it is usually homemade Naan or tortillas, but I still want to have that option.

We usually make pizza every other week and pasta every other week. I put rice in DH's stuffed peppers for his lunches, but I could change that to riced cauliflower. And I make a good cauliflower crust pizza, too. Now that Costco has those huge bags of frozen riced cauliflower those are not hard things to do.

The foods he wants to eat are all the ones where the time spent cooking is more involved, but he doesn't want to be the one doing the prep work or helping with the cooking. With that attitude I am not really on board with changing things too much. I am more than happy to keep the chips and junk food out of the house as long as I can have my 1/2 scoop of homemade ice cream with dinner each night. I'm making blackberry ice cream this time.

Yesterday's harvest from the garden was 5 heads of broccoli, 2 cucumbers, and 3 zucchini. The deer are still getting in and now they are eating the zucchini. I would have had about 7 zucchini if they had not eaten them. We are just going to have to put a higher fence in this weekend. Otherwise things are going well. I put up a new garden update yesterday if anyone wants to see it. The corn has grown a ton since the last video.

Text is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFDE_MSPbg0 and Link is
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFDE_MSPbg0

DH was invited to go out fishing and prawning this weekend, so hopefully we will get some good seafood. He does have to pitch in on gas, which can be pricey if they cover a lot of territory, but with a good haul, we still come out ahead. You can get 80 prawns per person. If he and DS both go that is 160! If I go, 240. The prawns are plentiful this year and he has always had to throw some back because there are too many. I can get just a shellfish license for very cheap if I decide to go. Then if they catch salmon on top of that it will be great. As of today I am feeling fairly decent, so if I don't get a new inflammation it would be fun and worthwhile to go.

A Nice Harvest Today

July 19th, 2019 at 11:42 pm



Today I got 2 cucumbers, 1 zucchini, a big bunch of basil, some cilantro, 2 candy sweet onions, and my first head of broccoli from the garden. Things are starting to pick up. My fermenting kit arrived in the mail today so I am happy about that. I still need to pick up garlic and some whole coriander, but then I can make my first batch of half sours. I might not get that done until Sunday, though, as DH's work's crab boil is tomorrow evening.

DH and DS went out fishing/crabbing with DH's boss today and another guy from work and his son. They brought home 5 2 lb Dungeness crab and one pink (humpback) salmon that dressed out at 3 lbs. That has paid us back for DS's fishing/crabbing license all in one go. DH's was bought by MIL for father's day.

We ate half the crab for dinner and will have half the salmon for lunch tomorrow and maybe again for dinner on Sunday, or I will freeze the extra.

I bought some blackberries yesterday and will make some blackberry ice cream with some of them. The strawberry was so good, I can't wait to try the blackberry.