April 4, 2011

Independence Day Update, Week of 4/3

We participate in Sharon Astyk’s Independence Days Challenge .  Below is our weekly update.

We had a bit of rain and cold weather earlier in the week.  Then just as the weekend hit, the weather started to warm and the skies cleared.  It was almost as if Mother Nature were inviting, “Come outside and play with me.”  Unfortunately, though, our daughter came down with a bad case of pink eye, and she was pretty pitiful most of the weekend.  I either had a bout of allergies or was fighting some sort of respiratory something because on Saturday I started feeling bad and it lasted all through Sunday.  UGH—I do not like feeling ill, and it seems like I just a few weeks ago had similar symptoms.  Beautiful weather, and I didn’t get out in it much!  Alas!

Plant— I have bought over 40 perennials at the Spring Fling and Plant Sale that we had at our church this weekend, and I haven’t managed to get any in the ground yet.  They are on the porch in the shade to protect them, and I suspect that I’ll get most of them in the ground this week.  I bought some to start landscaping the front of my dad’s place, and I’ll hope to start work on that this week or next.

Harvest—Asparagus, green onions, and flowers for vases.  Our daughter has a new affinity for picking dandelion leaves and eating them.  I’ve been talking to her about edible flowers for years now, always reinforcing that she must ask Momma before eating a flower.  All of the sudden, when her teacher mentioned eating flowers, she thought it was a novel idea!  She talked about it as if it were brand new information.  I guess that it is coming back around to me because I remember doing the same thing with my dad when I was young.  I didn’t believe it until I heard it from my teacher.  I’m not sure about how I feel about it now that I’m on the other end of the conversation!  ;)

Preserve—Nothing preserved this week.

Waste Not/Reduce Waste— Even though we were absolutely determined to not turn on the heat, we succumbed when it reached 58 degrees indoors.  We didn’t turn it high, but I still felt like I’d failed in my endeavor!  Hubby showed me the graphs from the last 4 years for our gas, electric, water, and wastewater usage, and that made me feel a lot better.  Each year our usage is less, and this last year it was much, much better than the year before. 

Want Not/Prep/Storage—Hubby added some railing to our daughter’s playhouse made of beautiful walnut that we had milled from one of our trees.  It is almost a shame to use such beautiful wood, but it is what we have and don’t want it to just sit unused until it rots.  He also finished the trim on one of our doors that he had replaced some time ago.  I can’t tell you how happy I am to look at that finished trim!  Thank you, Hubby!

I managed to get out for a little while over the weekend, yanked some weeds, added a little soil to a bed that needed topping off, and mulched a couple of small apple trees we have in containers.

A friend from church gave us a huge box of shoes for when our daughter’s foot grows a bit.  What a blessing!  You should have seen her trying them on and giving a little fashion show for me when I was cooking supper.

At the Spring Fling, I bought 3 baskets to use for gift baskets around the holidays, a pack of new greeting cards that I can use for correspondence, 3 new workbooks for our daughter (these are great for road trips or long waits at the doctor’s office), a mirror that I plan to either hang at my dad’s house or our entryway, and a Diego Hot Wheels for our daughter.  She was able to choose one thing that she wanted to buy at the sale, and she’s loved it!  Who knew!  I also picked up some seeds and perennials, as I mentioned above.

Building Community Food Systems—I worked in the food pantry some on Thursday and Friday.  I made up a few more boxes, distributed some to a few families, and tidied up a bit. 

I made up 3 batches of whole wheat banana bread for the church bake sale.  I was pleased that it sold out in just a couple of hours and that people talked about being pleased with the recipe.  I ran out of white flour about 2 months ago, and I’ve not bought any since then.  Instead, I’m using more of the spring wheat when milling to add a softer texture to the recipes. 

I bought a few cases of items at our local co-op, Three Rivers Market.  They just celebrated their 30th birthday, and I managed to go to the store to tell them Happy Birthday.

Eat the Food— I still haven’t tired of eggs and asparagus!  Early in the week, I used asparagus and green onions from the garden with some leftover chicken, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, and some parsley that I froze late last year from the garden mixed with some angel hair pasta, fresh cracked black pepper and coarse salt.  It made me do a little happy dance.  Yummy!  I watched Jacques Pepin make a similar dish only he used anchovies and mushrooms in place of the chicken.  I’m intrigued and want to try it that way soon. 

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