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Raised Bed is Done

May 30th, 2019 at 10:56 pm



We finished making the raised bed for the garden last night. It brings me great joy every time I look at it. It should last a very long time, too. I was so sore from working on it yesterday I could barely move this morning. I am doing much better this evening, but still ache a lot. I had to get into some bad positions while we were screwing the raised bed together. Let's see if the photo option will work for me.

Nearly Finished with the Raised Bed

May 27th, 2019 at 11:06 pm

We got some more work done on the raised beds. The two long sides were primed, painted and assembled today. Hopefully we can attach it all together tomorrow. We ran out of light. It is going to look very nice once it is done. DH also drilled some holes in another garbage can for me that I will fill tomorrow. I think I am just going to plant my peppers in the garbage cans. I can do 3 per can, maybe four. I can always do up another can if there isn't room for four per can. I probably should just do that to begin with.

We started taking down the turkey pen. First we took the gutter garden off the two sides of the pen, then removed the perches, and then we got the lattice off of three sides. Then the sun came out from behind the trees and it was too hot to work in that section of the yard. With the lattice off, though it will be much easier to go inside and get started weeding the area.

I also weeded the three 8 x 2 foot garden beds, which hold the tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, patty pan squash, basil, and herbs. That leaves me with one 8 x 4 foot bed left to weed. And I still need to ring the long bed of onions. I may just show DS how and have him do it. Before I work on anything else tomorrow, though, we need to clean out a corner of the pad that the new raised bed is going on and dig out the weeds, so I can place the bed in a different position than it is in now.

I have to pick the strawberries tomorrow, too. I haven't picked for two days and suddenly there is a ton of red ones. I didn't notice until twilight and I didn't want to pick them without enough light to make sure they were completely red all the way through. I will harvest some basil, thyme, oregano, spearmint, peppermint, and rosemary tomorrow as well.

I hope to make it over to Joe's Garden tomorrow and pick up some calendula, marjoram (if they have it, they probably won't), another pot of cucumbers, maybe sunflowers if they aren't too big yet, and peppers. I may just plant sunflowers from seed if they are too big. I've got a couple different kinds. I like doing business with them as they are a no spray garden that provides starts, seeds, sets, and once the season gets going, produce. I really like using them as they use organic methods, they just don't want to spend the money for certification as it is ridiculously expensive.

I do need to stop by the grocery store and pick up a couple of things as well. I want to get some honey ham, and tomorrow is the last day of the steak sale. Also, I am out of carrots. So there is a lot I want to get done and hopefully I can get to all of it.

A Do Nothing Day

May 26th, 2019 at 11:27 pm

Every morning after I take my Enbrel shot I wake up nauseated. Sometimes I shake it off, other times I throw up and this was a throw up morning. I hate that side effect, but I guess it is worth it for the benefits. But it kind of messed me up for the day. So I did nothing today except make pico de gallo. I used cilantro from the garden. Oh, and I guess I did harvest some lettuce and spinach and make the salad, too. DH did the cooking for dinner which was carne asada for our tacos al carbon. I didn't eat other than dinner today because it took until 5 for the queasiness to go away.

However DH painted the boards we primed last night. Now all that is left to do is the outside frames for the long sides. I hope to get them primed before we go to bed and then painted in the morning so they can be assembled in the afternoon tomorrow.

DS weeded the last 32 square feet of the onion beds, so all I have to do is ring those onions and then I can start weeding on some of the other beds. I should feel a lot better tomorrow and can do that while I am waiting for the paint to dry.

I am still hoping that on Monday we can take down the old turkey pen, because we want to use that ground for the garden as well, probably for potatoes. They'll be late potatoes, but that is fine. I just want to get them in the ground. It will be very fertile in there due to the bird droppings over the years.

I forgot to say that yesterday I turned over the compost pile after I cleaned out the rabbit shed. Things are getting done even if I have to take a couple days off here and there. I also had DH drill holes in one of the garbage cans, filled the bottom with the hay we swept up from the garage, put in 8 shovelfuls off compost with lots of red wigglers, and then topped it off with garden soil.

I am wavering between getting another tomato plant or putting acorn squash in it. We do have four other garbage cans that we can use, too, so maybe I will just do both. I am waiting for the dirt to settle and weigh down the hay and see if I need to top it off before planting in it, though. Sometimes the soil can drop as much as 8 inches, so it is always good to wait a couple of days.

I think we are going to come a lot closer to providing our produce needs for the year than we ever have before. Well, obviously we will still need to buy some fresh produce during the non-growing season, but those numbers are really going to come down for everything else.

When the onions are ready, I am going to try this really simple recipe for roasted whole onions I saw on Townsends [url]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xV9spqCzSkQ[/url] Actually, I might try it before that. It just looks really good and we love onions.

Household Purchases and Building a Desk

November 24th, 2018 at 06:05 pm

DH has made a couple of household purchases this week. He spent $20 on a cast iron heating duct cover for the bathroom floor. The heating duct in the bathroom is really close to the toilet and sometimes gets stepped on. It is really poorly placed and it should have been moved when the remodel was done a few years ago, but they didn't do it.

We have broken the last two plastic covers in a relatively short amount of time. This one is solid. You can literally stand on top of it with no issue whatsoever. Not that we will on purpose, but the fact that we can without it breaking is wonderful.

Then today he picked up a box of screws and spent $12. He needed it to assemble the desk he and DS are building. DH got two gorgeous desk top pieces about a year ago free from a store that was at the end of a close out sale and just wanted to get rid of them. They had been trying to sell them for $5 the week before, but there had been no takers.

So they built legs for it and DS sanded them and stained them a really pretty dark blue that will match the curtains and bed spread in the room. They will finish the assembly today and put it in his room. The only thing it won't have yet is a pull out keyboard drawer. DS will be purchasing that and attaching it once he has saved up the money for it. We paid for the wood to make the legs, the stain, and the screws. I told DS that if he wanted the drawer he had to pony up the money himself.

The great thing about this is they were able to cut the legs to the exact right height for DS to work comfortably at it. Sometimes when you are tall the desks are way too short. As for the other desk top, DH put it on top of an old high sewing table he'd inherited years ago for his own desk. It looks great and gives him much more surface area. He didn't even need to attach it so many out on that one at all. Not bad for free.

Mom, Preliminary Grocery Planning, and Cooking Lessons

September 19th, 2018 at 09:06 pm

Mom's surgery went well, though she is in quite a bit of pain. I saw her yesterday afterwards, but she called and told me not to come today. I had not planned to go until after dinner, and by then she was just too tired and hurting and wanted to just sleep. So I will go up and see her tomorrow unless she it too tired and sore again. She's supposed to come home on Friday, so hopefully the pain will be manageable by then. She doesn't want to take Oxycodone because of hallucinations or Hydrocodone because it makes her feel unclear in the head. We'll see what she ends up actually coming home with.

The grocery ads came in the mail today so I started a preliminary grocery list. It is not a good sales week except for meat. They have whole chickens on for $1.49/lb, top round roast for $2.99/lb, wild cod for $6.49/lb and sirloin steaks for $5/lb. So that means I will likely go to Costco and TJ's for veggies.

I usually throw a whole chicken in the Instant Pot twice a week to make broth and then my daughter eats the meat as chicken is about all she can stomach. I use some of it, but mostly she is living on that chicken plus white rice and broth all week. It's bland enough for her to keep it down. I make the rice with some of the broth, too, so it has some flavor.

I hope to find a flank steak on mark down as I'd like to teach my son how to make beef teriyaki this coming week. Failing that, Costco should have one decently priced.

DS and I are doing Home Economics. Part of that is he is reading the Dave Ramsey books, but another part is cooking. The first Unit in my cooking course (designed by me) is Wok This Way and is teaching him to make all the different stir-fries. So far he has learned Black Pepper Chicken, Chicken and Broccoli, Chinese Pepper Steak, and Garlic Chicken and Green Beans. On the agenda is the Beef Teriyaki, but I'd also like to do Mandarin Chicken and Mongolian Beef and what is basically Almond Fried Chicken without the almonds. We don't like almonds, but we like the crispy chicken and the Chinese brown gravy. We sprinkle sesame seeds on top instead.

We will also do a baking unit (doughnuts, bread, rolls, pie, cinnamon rolls, English muffins, lemon poppy seed muffins, cornbread, brownies, cake, cookies, croissants, biscuits), a pressure cooking unit (mostly Instant Pot), a casserole unit, a meat and potatoes style unit, a Mexican unit, and an Italian unit (pizza, penne, spaghetti, ravioli, tortellini). Some things will overlap, like Enchilada casserole or baked penne casserole which each could be classified in two groups.

We do about two lessons a week right now and I build it into the meal plan. It feels good to know he will know his way around the kitchen and we are really enjoying the time together and I appreciate having the help in cutting up the foods and cleaning up. I also like knowing he will know how to make better than restaurant quality food for much less money than restaurant prices. Having a second major cook in the house will be great, too, on the days when I don't feel like cooking or my hands hurt too much. DH can make a few things, but his repertoire is limited. DS is going to be able to rule the kitchen when I am done with him!

Two New Projects Underway

February 19th, 2017 at 10:07 pm



My new project is teaching myself to crochet. I can do the chain stitch (which is easy and I've known how to do since I was a kid) and the crochet stitch so far. It took me a good five hours to get the crochet stitch down. I kept crocheting and unraveling and starting over again. I think I've got it fairly well, so now I have to learn a new stitch.

I got bored with loom knitting and someone in my family kept posting cool crochet projects, so I thought it was time to try again. It's a great thing to do while I'm listening to my internet Bible study. Job is a little hard to get through (although it feels very relevant), so it helps to have something to occupy my hands while I listen. But I digress. I want to eventually make some blankets and then move on to cute toys.

My husband's project is that he is finally building the canning shelves out of all those high quality pallets we scored earlier this fall. He put the prototype shelf together today and tomorrow he (with some help from me) will put together the first unit. The bookcases we are using now are only 3 jars deep and 7 jars wide, so 21 quart jars per shelf.

The new cases will be 5 jars deep and 6 jars wide, so 30 pint jars per shelf. There are five shelves on the old cases, and this will have quite a few more shelves, so I ought to be able to fit a lot more jars on them.

It will also have the shelves spaced so they are the height of the jars, plus one inch. No wasted space. When our living space is so limited as it is, this will make a big difference. And they will have a lip on each shelf to keep the jars in place if there is an earthquake. I am excited to see this finally come to fruition.

Most of the wood in it will be free. We have to buy four 2 x 4's per unit (people don't give away good 2 x 4's) and DH bought a two pound box of screws for $20. We bought the first four 2 x 4's, so that was $10. We are hoping to only put about $15 worth into each set of cases. Since we have a steady supply of pallets, this might be something DH can put together for other people as well and sell them. It would be a nice side income stream if it panned out. We'll have to see how long it takes to put one together and also how long it takes to disassemble all the pallets before deciding on a price.

He can also build spice shelves and regular bookcases, too. You can't find solid wood bookcases for less than $150. Just plywood and press wood with veneers on them. So if we priced them right, they'd probably sell decently. We'll have to see, though. Right now, I want my cases and my spice rack that can hold my gazillion jars of spices.