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Monday, March 09, 2015

Last week's adventure

While the weather service says we have had fewer frigid days this year, and that we are down a bit on rainfall, it's sure hard to prove it by me.

A few weeks ago, we got an ice storm. No, it didn't last long but we still prepped for it by making sure we had plenty of water drawn up, plenty of groceries on hand, and plenty of butane for the little e-stoves I use for cooking. Thankfully, the power didn't go off for us but it did fail for thousands of others.

Then last week, we got about 6 inches of snow on top of a thick layer of sleet and freezing rain. That made any driving treacherous so most of us just stayed home. Again, plenty of preps for cooking and plenty of water stored back.

I was actually at my Sister's house for the week when the snowy weather occurred. Where she lives there was about 8 inches of snow. I stayed next door at my Mother's mobile home and it was hard trekking across the driveway and yard morning and night. I was able to use Sis's "ice trekkers", which are chains that slip onto your shoes to help provide traction in the ice and snow. They really helped a lot.

Friday of last week, we started pulling things out of her storage building to take to a local craft sale/yard sale scheduled for Saturday. Sis has a garden wagon (one of those big, heavy, steel wagons) that we used to haul the goods to her van in the driveway. The shed is about a half acre away from the driveway and the ground was deep with snow. It kept building up on the wagon's wheels, which made them stop rolling and made us have to literally drag it across the deep snow in the yard. It took 3 trips back and forth to get everything she'd planned to sell. We were totally exhausted with that project but still had to take it all to the fairgrounds where the sale was being held, off-load it, and set it up on the tables. I had a lot of crocheted and knitted items plus some peach jam and pineapple topping to put in the sale

The next morning, we got up before 5 a.m. to get ready and head to the sale. We wanted to be there shortly after 6 a.m. and make sure we had it all arranged, had our chairs ready, and had our money box set up. After that, it was a matter of sitting there, talking to folks, and hoping for a sale. Kind of like fishing! Mid-morning, Sis went back to her house to get Mom. We didn't want Mom walking on the ice so early in the morning and by the time Sis went to get her, the ice was pretty much melted.

It was a long day for almost no reward other than having something different to do for the day. Not nearly as many people came to buy as they had in years past. I don't think anyone made much.

Since I got back home it's done nothing but rain. Everything outside is soggy and muddy, making tending the animals pretty miserable.

Go visit my new blog

Go take a look at my newest blog! I called it's Mini Homestead News and I have put a couple of posts on it so far and hope to post to it at least weekly. It depends on what's going on around here so it could be more often than that.

Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Back after a long time off

I can't believe how long it's been since I posted here. I'm fully ashamed of myself for not keeping up with this a lot better. Since my last post, I've moved and I've retired. I do love being retired since now I can devote more time here, to writing my thoughts, and more time to keeping up with my little homestead. I plan to open another blog that is centered around homesteading, self-sufficiency, cooking, and crafting so be sure to check back in the near future for a link!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Saturday and Sunday

Saturday was spent mostly in the gardens and yard. Son and I worked during the morning to get a bed finished off for planting. I’d used it last year but, in truth, there wasn’t enough soil and composted material in it to really support plants. So, we laid down more compost, put a layer of newspapers in, then put in about 3 inches of soil. By the time we’d finished that bed it was time for lunch, so we ate frozen pizza.

Went back out after lunch and finished that bed by planting tomatoes (three kinds of heirloom tomatoes – big boy, mountain something, and black), a half dozen sweet banana pepper plants, and a short row of summer squash. I laid newspapers all over the bed, from edge to edge and right up next to the plants and the squash row. Then we added a layer of leaf mulch to the whole thing and watered it down.

In another bed, where there is plenty of soil and composted materials, I planted a half dozen cayenne pepper plants and treated them the same as the first bed. There’s room in that bed for more stuff but I wanted the hot peppers planted away from the sweet ones. Otherwise, you wind up with them all being hot! I’ll plant jalapenos in the bed with the cayenne, then probably finish it off with okra.

There is yet another bed framed up but it needs to be filled with layers of newspaper, composted material, and soil before it can be planted.

After all that, we took a couple old feed sacks out around the yard, picking up trash and debris that has blown in during the winter storms, and that Neighbor’s dog dragged up. Also, picked up any downed limbs and pruned the fruit trees. I’m afraid one of my apple trees did not survive the winter, but the others are blooming and getting leaves. I’ll be looking for a replacement apple tree soon since it takes two of them for pollination.

Supper Saturday was old fashioned mackerel patties with gravy, rice, biscuits, and baked sweet potatoes.


Sunday was a lazy day. Son went to a tiny town up the road to get Sunday papers so we can see about the coupons. Other than that, not a very eventful day.

Had a late breakfast of bacon, biscuits and gravy when Son got back home. then we looked through the coupon inserts to see what we could use shopping. Next weekend is payday, so I’ll do my shopping then.

Did laundry and got that hung out. It’s a beautiful, sunny, breezy day. Just right for laundry on the line.

Supper will be leftovers from last night, but without the gravy. I’ll make the leftover rice into fried rice with a bit of veggies in it.

I had thought to get out and work in the yard today, but instead decided to just chill pretty much all day. I guess I got a lazy streak in me today!

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Beginning with Friday

I have the weekend off. And, I have a few plans if the weather cooperates. I did have frost on my truck when I left for work at 6 Friday morning, but the day warmed up nicely, though it was breezy.

I picked up some tomato and pepper plants Friday afternoon, so I’ll be planting them in the raised beds. I hope to also develop another bed while I’m at it. Because there is still a moderate danger of frost, I’ll use old milk jugs as hot caps for the tender plants.

The rest of the stuff I planted seems to be growing, though it’s still pretty small right now. The onions really took off so maybe soon I’ll be enjoying those fresh. I also hope to have enough to dehydrate some. I’ve been thinking about getting another 2 pounds of them to put here and there so I’ll be sure and have plenty, since they seem to be something that grows nicely here.

I also hope to start hanging laundry out again. I don’t have a dryer, so I’ve been just hanging small loads in the bathroom and turning the heater on low when the nights have been chilly.

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Stormy Wednesday

I had to be at work at 5:30 this morning, and it was already hot and muggy at that early hour. It’s been mere days since I’ve complained of the cold weather, so I’m not about to complain about the warmth…at least, not yet.

The sky was off and on overcast, with the clouds becoming darker and darker as the day progressed. A few times, the sun shone through the clouds but that did not make me happy. I know from living where I do that the sunshine on days like this will only serve to heat up the atmosphere and make it more unstable.

It did rain a little now and then, but it wasn’t until after I arrived back home this afternoon that the actual storms started rolling in. Thunder, lightning, heavy downpours of rain, and brief power outages were the worst of it for us, along with moments of high wind. Folks not too distant north of us, though, were hit by what is reported as a tornado. There was a lot of damage there – a church was destroyed, a semi was overturned on the highway, and many homes were damaged. I’m sure by tomorrow there will be even more reports of damage in the small towns and communities up that way.

We hurried to get supper on the table in case the storm knocked our power out. We also put our larger inverter under the hood of my truck, ran a power cord from it to inside the house, and waited to see if we’d need to hook it to the truck battery and start the truck running if the power stayed off. (That inverter will pull the battery down pretty quickly if we don’t keep the truck running.) We never did need the inverter so we’ll have to be sure and put it back inside before I go to work in the morning.

The local storm warnings were to end around 7:30 pm, but even as late as 9 pm we were getting some close-by thunder and lightning, and the power flickered off and on a couple more times. At the time I’m writing this, though, I think everything has moved on and out of our area.

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