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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.

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

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.

Trying This Again

June 13th, 2019 at 11:52 pm

If SA were a person, I'd want to be banging it's head against the wall right now. That being said, I was able to comment while signed out, so I think that part is working. Now, on to my day.

DS and I finally got the two garden beds mostly cleared of morning glory. The rest has to be shoveled and sifted, though we got some done tonight until we ran out of light. We also filled another garbage can and half filled a second one with manured hay, mostly composted manure and compost, and then a top layer of what we sifted and topped it off with a bag of organic Miracle Grow. I planted 3 bell peppers in there and I will plant the other two in the other one once we get it filled tomorrow. We need to pick up one more bag of that stuff tomorrow.

I also tied up the cucumbers so they will grow up the trellis. There are two flower buds on there as of today. I also have one little bitty bitty zucchini flower bud and several closed tight patty pan buds. The plants have doubled in size this week. Then I planted two more tomatoes I picked up today, a Champion II and an Early Girl. They were pretty big, a couple feet tall.

I also planted two jalapeños, a banana pepper, and a hot red pepper that looks like cayenne but did not say cayenne. I might still be able to dry it in place of cayenne, though. I don't think I have any cayenne seeds or I would stick some in the dirt and hope for the best. I'll have to go through them tonight. I know I have some pepper seeds and it is so hot this week that they might have a chance of germinating. I do have paprika seeds. It is late, but we tend to have Indian summers so it might produce and if not, it's only a few seeds.

I also planted some flowers. I put in a red wave petunia in place of the double wave that is not flowering much (I moved it), put in some Gazanias (never seen these before but they are pretty, and something called osteospermum which sounds like a disease but is a really pretty flower. I needed to plant some more flowers so that the pollinators are used to going around and come in to the summer squash, cucumbers, and tomatoes once they start to flower.

To the herb bed I added some pink yarrow (they gave me for free as it was looking pretty brown at the base, but the root was good and it comes back from it so I knew I could save it), some common sage, and marjoram (I found some!).

I bought some bee balm, but can't plant it until I get a container for it. It has runners that are invasive, but not difficult to get out. Still, I don't want to deal so I have a large round tote it will go in eventually, but right now I will just put it in a larger pot because it is only in a 4 inch pot and these things get 3 feet high or so.

I do have an initial input of about $200 by the time I am done buying stuff every garden season, since I mostly do starts and I do purchase a few bags of potting soil for containers, but I harvest about $1000 worth of organic produce every summer, so it more than pays for itself. In spinach, lettuce, blood-veined sorrel, kohlrabi, broccoli, strawberries, green onions, and herbs so far this summer I've already harvested $75 worth of produce and we haven't even hit peak production when tomatoes, corn, peppers, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and green beans will come on and be canned or frozen for the year.

Tomorrow I hope to get some more done, at least the other garbage can filled, but it is also grocery shopping day. I don't need to get a ton, but I do need to get a few things from 4 different stores and that is a lot of running around, although they are all close together, so not as much as one might think.

I also need to process the chicken now that it is thawed out. I need to cook up a couple batches to make lunches for the week for me, DS, and DD. I need to make up meatloaves for the freezer. I need to make a dozen stuffed bell peppers for DH's lunches. I need to get those breakfast burritos made. So it may not be a ton done in the garden tomorrow, but some, assuming my energy holds, which on some days can be assuming a lot.

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

Text is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xV9spqCzSkQ and Link is
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xV9spqCzSkQ Actually, I might try it before that. It just looks really good and we love onions.

No Shopping

August 17th, 2018 at 01:09 pm

It was really nice not to have to plan a grocery trip for today. I wasn't sure I was going to like only shopping once every two weeks, but I definitely think I am. I did glance at the ads this week just in case there was something good, but it was all processed foods or real foods that were pretending they were on sale, but really weren't. You know, the buy one get one free where the one you buy has been jacked up to cover the cost of the "free" one sort of thing.

We still have plenty of milk and plenty of bread, so I don't even foresee a quick run at this point. I did such careful planning on last week's shop that we might not even need to go to the store right away a week from now. But we'll see.

My mother went to visit her sister and brought a ton of produce home from eastern Washington. So this week we are canning tomatoes, peaches, nectarines, applesauce, pears, and I am chopping and freezing candy sweet onions (they keep a long time and are better tasting than Walla Wallas, which rot fast) and bell peppers. The peaches and apples are hers and half the nectarines, but everything else is for me. I will pay her back for my portion out of the next grocery budget. It is less than $100.

I canned the first batch of tomatoes yesterday and got seven quarts. Today I am working on some of the bell peppers and onions. I am going to do some strips, some chunks, and some dices. I will be doing a lot of freezer bags that are half onion and half bell peppers, so they will be ready to grab and dump into the Instant Pot or crockpot when I want to make fajitas or sausage stew. I also need to work my way through more of my zucchini. I put nine bags of shredded in the freezer the other day, but I have just about that again I need to prepare, and there is more to be picked out in the garden.

It will be a very busy week for me, but it will be good to meet a lot of our winter food needs.