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April 18th, 2020 at 08:09 pm
The garden is starting to really come along with the clean up and getting dirt moved. I am ready to plant one bed now and have transplanted the strawberries. There is a lot of work ahead, but I am determined to have a big garden this year. With the food supply chain being disrupted, I want to have as stable a source of fresh vegetables and fruits as possible.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XN7WPp7-iyw
I have my first garden video up of for this season if anyone wants to see it. It's only six or seven minutes long. It has a new intro, new music, and a new outro. I'd be curious what you think of those things in particular. I always go with a country theme for my garden videos.
I will be planting snow peas this afternoon and possibly carrots, radishes, and parsnips, too. Carrots and parsnips are something that can be canned, so I'd like to do at least 2 plantings of those, one after the other. They are 60 day crops and do well in both cool and warm weather so I should be able to take a crop into the fall/winter season, since you can overwinter both in the ground, too and go out and pull as you need them.
I planted my Aerogarden 2 weeks ago with lettuce and it is doing amazing. It grew much faster than ever before. I guess it knows we need it to. Or maybe it just likes the environment of the closet where the temperature is always stable.
So anyway, we should have edible lettuce in four weeks and if I plant the radishes today, about the same on that. Can't wait to start eating homegrown salads again.
December 14th, 2019 at 07:32 am
I'll do a grocery rundown probably tomorrow after we've been to Costco, but there was a great sale at Fred Meyer today on Afrin. $4.99 a bottle. It is usually $10.99, so at this price we really stocked up. I got 10 bottles. We go through this stuff fast around here, due to allergies and colds. I know you aren't supposed to use it consistently, but my son and I are addicted to breathing so we do. None of the prescription nasal sprays work for us. Now we have a bit of a stockpile at a fantastic price.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6_uZ9b6qFQ
I used some of my allowance money that I have been saving to order a tenor ocarina and a music book. I really like my bass one, and am progressing quickly, but it is a little too big for my hands, so I will probably pass that on to DH. I tried one of my son's tenor ones and it fits my hands a lot better. Although I am getting one that is less traditionally shaped, also, because it will be easier on my hands. It is shaped sort of like a spear head. It was modeled on the Adegan crystal (which I don't care about) and is hot pink. It's very pretty. This is what it looks and sounds like if you are curious about my latest musical obsession:
and my current one looks and sounds like this minus the triforce symbol: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4RUyqASPKM
I was also tempted to get the 6 hole one that is shaped like a Tardis but it is in G Major, and all the song books are written in C Major. I may still get it for my birthday in February, just because I'm a Whovian from way back, but as a collector's thing more than a music thing. Although you can play Doomsday on it, so I might just learn to play that if it doesn't break my heart and that song easily does. Smashes it to bits and washes away the pieces with my tears.
Anyway the one I did buy and the 30 lesson music book cost a total of $87. Free shipping as they are having that until the 15th. I have $63 left of Christmas money, but I may just put it in my allowance folder and save it. I'm saving up for a new computer. Not hard or anything, just so that when this one goes I can replace it immediately. I reckon I probably have about a year left on it, assuming I don't spill anything on it. The DVD drive doesn't work and hasn't for about a year, which is annoying since I like to watch DVD's on my computer better than on a TV. And the mouse pad thing has been on the fritz for about 18 months so I use a regular mouse with my laptop.
I seriously think I may get a desktop this time. They seem to last a lot longer and the keyboards hold up to the amount of typing I do much better. I can't even count how many laptops I have worn the keys out on. Never had that happen on a desktop keyboard. I do like the convenience of a laptop, though. We'll see. I have quite some time yet to figure it out.
December 11th, 2019 at 03:28 am
Well, I'm learning a new instrument. My son talked me into buying a bass ocarina. It is a plastic one, not a ceramic one, because lighter is easier on the rheumatoid arthritis. An ocarina is a type of flute. It's shaped like a sweet potato though. If you play any of the Zelda games you've seen one. I have some experience with a regular flute and a one octave wooden flute and have messed around with the Tonette which is a one octave song flute as well.
It's also treble clef which is the same as the violin, strum stick, and the right hand on the piano and organ. Aside from the bass clef for piano and organ's left hand, I also know the alto clef for the viola. But treble is easiest to pick up a new instrument in.
I've done 4 lessons so far and can play a half dozen songs. I find it funny that no matter what instrument I have learned over the years they always start with Mary Had a Little Lamb and Hot Cross Buns. I've also mastered Ode to Joy (also early in every instrument), Frere Jaques, Long Long Ago, Jingle Bells, Gently Row, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and a couple others that I can't play at tempo yet, but can muddle through. Today will be my fifth day practicing and Brahm's Lullaby is in that lesson, so grown up music is coming.
When I do my new lesson, I always do all the songs from the previous lessons first and some of the fingering exercises. It helps to cement stuff in even as I move on to new lessons. I've found it is the best way for me to learn. I kind of do immersion when learning a new instrument.
One of the things that really helps me with this time of year and fighting seasonal depression is keeping my mind active and being challenged by something. That's why I tend to work on playing music or learning French more in the winter and early spring. I also take 5000 IU of vitamin D and use a happy light.
I started taking Moringa about ten days ago and it has made a huge difference with my RA symptoms. I also seem to be sleeping better, my skin is clearing up, and I have less muscle soreness from my fibromyalgia. It's not gone, but it is there. I am waking up feeling like I slept, which is really nice. I still tire out very easily and have to pace myself, but the enervating exhaustion is gone most days. I'm feeling better than I have in a long while. They tout it as a miracle tree, and I don't know about that, but it does help along with the Embrel and the Hydroxychloroquine.
And I've felt up to making meals a lot more often, too. Which helps with the food budget a lot. Tonight we are having herb baked chicken. Spice Islands has this Garlic Herb Seasoning that comes in a big container from Costco and it is our new go to seasoning.
I don't even miss Lawry's anymore or Paprika that much, which used to be our go to seasoning before my daughter had to quit using any spice that was hot (as opposed to warming like coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg). This stuff has been fantastic on chicken, beef, and salmon. I haven't tried it yet on pork or lamb or other types of seafood, but I can't imagine it won't be good. I've been looking for a long time to find an all purpose seasoning so this makes me very happy. It's the little things in life, you know?
November 25th, 2018 at 02:05 am
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.
September 20th, 2018 at 04:06 am
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!
February 20th, 2017 at 06:07 am
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.