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This is Why! part 3

  Parts 1 and 2 can be found here . Beginning with this entry and for the remainder of the series I’m going to be sharing with you so...

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Pantry Challenge #22 ... 2015




 Last week was different than usual for us in that we had 4 year old twins staying with us most of the week.  Everything took twice as long to get done because they wanted to ‘help’ … and we let them ‘help.’  They ‘helped’ me pick raspberries every morning, they ‘helped’ feed and water the baby chicks morning and evening, they ‘helped’ gather eggs and feed the adult chickens every day, they ‘helped’ feed the dogs, they ‘helped’ in the garden, they ‘helped’ gather herbs and they attempted to make every step we made.  The end results were that they were ready for their naps everyday and slept soundly at night.  I hope their time with us created some fun and memorable memories for them.

So what did I get done?

My to-do list from last time:   

Start a batch of ‘Gwen’sBread.’  Didn’t get done!

Gather all my squash recipes and make sure I have everything I need to start preserving squash.  Done!  I'm ready and waiting!  

Forget about vacuum sealing the box of oats and the box of Cheerios that I’ve had on my to-do list for weeks.  Done!  

My plantain should be ready for harvesting again by the end of the week as well as the nettles.  I think I can start harvesting some of the basil I planted this year too.  Partially done!  I harvested plantain and basil but not nettles.

Start another batch of cider fire.  Done!

In addition:

I saved soda cans and added them to our collection.  At the end of the year we’ll take them to the scrap metal place and sell them.  They won’t bring a lot but every little bit helps.

I tore newspaper into strips and added them to my compost bin.  I’m really trying to work on different ways to get some ‘free’ fertilizer/nutrients for my flowers/garden without having to purchase it.

I harvested more raspberries this week … with me gathering every morning I was able to add 10 packages of berries to the freezer part of my pantry.  Since I am harvesting them in small batches, I take them inside, wash them, flash freeze them, put them in ½ cup increments in snack baggies and then into a quart size freezer bag.  This method allows me to ‘not’ forget about them while they’re sitting in the refrigerator waiting for enough to ripen to do something with.

I started harvesting spring onions this week and froze 8 (1/2 cup) packages and added them to the freezer part of my pantry.

I decided that I needed some more lavender to go in the lavender oil I’m making so I stepped outside and snipped some off of my lavender plant.   I cut it up into ½ inch pieces and added it to the oil.  In a couple of weeks I’m hoping it will be ready to use.

I harvested and dried more sage and spearmint.

I stitched up a couple of bibs for my grandson and worked some more on the quiet book I’m making for one of my granddaughters.  You can read about it HERE.

I’m earning points daily through Swagbucks and Bing.  I should be able to cash in enough points for $30 in Amazon gift cards in the upcoming week.

We added $3.50 to our change jar.

My updated 2015 gardening journal can be found HERE! 

Here’s my pantry to-d0 list for next week:

Start a batch of ‘Gwen’sBread.’   

Continue harvesting raspberries. 

Harvest raspberry leaves from growth on new canes and dehydrate them.  I’ll use them in herbal tea.

Now it’s your turn, what have you done to build up your pantry or live frugally?

 patsi
A Working Pantry

To Learn More About My E-Book, click on the link:  Yes, You CAN Have A Well-Stocked Pantry!

If you’ve found this post to be helpful please share about it with others or PIN it.  Thank you!

You can also follow me on Pinterest and on Facebook

Monday, May 25, 2015

Daybook Entry #3



For Today ... May 25th, 2015
 

Outside my window ...  it is another beautiful sunny day with just enough breeze blowing to help cope with the warmer temperatures.
 

I am thinking ... of those whom I know that have given their lives for our country as I pray for their loved ones.
 

I am thankful ... for my mama and the early birthday card she sent me because she was afraid she would forget!  I totally understand it mama!
 

I am creating ... a list of sewing projects to work on each Tuesday … the day I’ve set aside each week to sew!  Last week’s sewing day was a huge success and the sense of accomplishment I felt was so rewarding.  I didn’t complete any big projects but had lots of fun working on a couple of smaller ones.
 

I am going ...  nowhere!  Our vehicle is the shop for repairs.
 

I am wondering ... how much the repairs will cost!!!!  Yikes, glad I have a well-stocked pantry and don’t have to worry about choosing between buying groceries and the needed vehicle repairs!
 

I am reading ... about how this lady and this lady creates beautiful gift tags. 

I am seeing … my husband in the kitchen preparing dinner while I rest my knee.  I am a blessed woman!
 

I am hearing … the dishwasher running … I am so happy to have a dishwasher!
 

I am hoping ... to find online a free pajama bottom pattern for little boys, size 18 months.  I would just use a pair of his pants that he currently wears to make a pattern from but he lives 12 hours away.  I have some Mickey Mouse fabric just waiting to be turned into cute pajama bottoms for him and I do believe I promised that young man a Mickey Mouse pillow case for his pillow.  I love sewing for my grandbabies!
 

I am learning ... how to smock.  I took a class many, many years ago when my girls were little and did some smocking but feel like I need a refresher course.  I have a video series that I’ve had for a while that I think will refresh my memory and help me get back to smocking. 
 

In my garden ... I got our ‘walking onions’ separated and replanted.
 

In my kitchen …. I need to get those burlap curtains stitched up and hung in place of the missing doors in my lower kitchen cabinets.  (A portion of our kitchen cabinets were recycled from a neighbors barn where they had been sitting for quite a while … he was going to throw them away.)  I painted the cabinets black and the burlap panels will compliment them well.
 

One of my favorite things ... early morning walks in my yard and garden.  It is such a peaceful time of the day for me.
 

Around the house … I finally got the winter clothes pulled out of the closet and dresser drawers and put away until they are needed again next winter.
 

A scene from my day … ripening raspberries!

 
patsi
A Working Pantry

To Learn More About My E-Book, click on the link:  Yes, You CAN Have A Well-Stocked Pantry!

If you’ve found this post to be helpful please share about it with others or PIN it.  Thank you! 

You can also follow me on Pinterest and on Facebook

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Pantry Challenge #21 ... 2015




My to-do list from last time:   

Finish vacuum sealing Cheerios.  Didn’t get done!
Vacuum seal oats.  Didn’t get done!

In addition:

I picked the first strawberries this week from the few plants we have.   These are the best tasting strawberries and I’m hoping to be able to transplant some of the runners into a new bed.

I also picked the first raspberries this week.  They are beginning to ripen.  The bushes are full so I must be diligent to check them morning and evening in order to beat the birds to them! 

I used a bar of lye soap to treat a stain on one of my husband’s dress shirts that had been dried in … after rubbing the bar of lye soap over the stain a few times; washing the shirt and then letting it hang dry I was delighted to find that the stain was gone!!!!

While we were away on our last trip we found cake mixes on clearance (after Easter sales) and purchased several.  Doing a few at a time, I’ve been putting them in the freezer for several days (to kill off any insect eggs that might hatch out later), removing them from the freezer and after they came to room temperature, wrapping each box individually in plastic wrap.  (Wrapping them each in plastic wrap helps keep the humidity out.) Then I store them in a tub especially for cake mixes.  This week I prepared 3 more boxes to go in the tub and added the last 4 to the freezer.

I harvested nettles, lemon balm, plantain, sage and spearmint.   I washed each one separately, put each one in my vegetable spinner to get all the excess water off, and then let each air dry until they were completely dried.  Letting them dry naturally saves us money on our electricity by not running the dehydrator.

Once the plantain had semi-dried I chopped it up and added it to a jar of plantain tincture I’m making.  I’d like to do one more quart of plantain tincture then I want to make some plantain oil for salve making.

The spearmint dried quickly and I crushed it and started a jar for 2015.  Oh my, did it ever smell good!

I harvested our garlic and spread it out in the greenhouse to cure for a couple of weeks.


I ran out of turmeric capsules and had to make some more.   I can really tell a difference in my arthritis pain when I don’t take it.

I purchased a ‘mosquito plant’ to keep on my front porch.  The mosquitoes are really bad in our area in the summer months and I’m hoping this will help keep them away when we’re sitting on our porch.
(The pot in the middle is the mosquito plant.)

I hung our laundry on the clothes line this week instead of using the dryer.  That’s another way to save money on the electricity bill.

I’ve officially declared Tuesdays as my laundry/sewing day.  This past Tuesday I did some sewing in and around doing 6 loads of laundry.  I enjoyed it so much that I’ve decided to do it every Tuesday if at all possible.  Here are a couple of things I stitched this past Tuesday:


(I'm making one of my granddaughters a quiet book.   I didn't get this page finished but got a good start on it.)

I’m down to one more jar of cider fire and this just won’t do!  I take it daily, it helps with my arthritis, allergies and helps keep my blood sugar levels normal.  (I am not a doctor; I’m just sharing what works for me.  Always consult your doctor for treatment of ailments.) I can find all the ingredients needed to make it locally except for fresh horseradish root and fresh turmeric root so I used gift cards I had earned through Swagbucks  and Bing to order these two items through Amazon.  I’ve done it before and have been very pleased with the product.  (See links below.)

I’m well on my way to earning another Amazon $25 gift card doing Swagbucks.   Go here to read some ways I earn Swagbucks.
We added $2.80 to our change jar.

Here’s my pantry to-d0 list for next week:
Start a batch of ‘Gwen’s Bread’ … it’s supposed to be better for you in the carb department than regular bread.  Gwen’s Bread is THM approved so I’m going to make some and give it a try. (Trim Healthy Mama … I do not follow the THM plan but do use quite a few of their recipes.) We miss the convenience of having sandwiches eating low-carb and if this bread works that would be wonderful!   (We currently use Joseph’s Bread (we purchase it from Walmart in the deli section) for making wraps, pizza’s, chips, etc.)

Gather all my squash recipes and make sure I have everything I need to start preserving squash.  By the end of the week, it should be ready and I want to be ready!  I plan to can 50+ quarts of squash this year as we ran out last year, make squash pickles (This recipe was shared with me by a reader … thanks Cindy!), and dehydrate some to grind into squash powder to be used as a filler in various dishes.  How do you preserve squash?


Forget about vacuum sealing the box of oats and the box of Cheerios that I’ve had on my to-do list for weeks.  They’re both still in their sealed bags and should be fine until I have more time to deal with them than I do now!   Am I the only one that puts things like this on hold … indefinitely????

My plantain should be ready for harvesting again by the end of the week as well as the nettles.  I think I can start harvesting some of the basil I planted this year too.  I’m keeping a close eye on all my herbs (and spices) and harvesting them when they’re at their peak if at all possible. 

Start another batch of cider fire.

Now it’s your turn, what have you done to build up your pantry or live frugally?

 patsi
A Working Pantry

If you’ve found this post to be helpful please share about it with others or PIN it.  Thank you!

This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for helping support me and my writing through purchasing via my affiliate links.


This post linked to:  The Art of Home-Making Monday

Monday, May 18, 2015

DayBook Entry # 2

For Today ...  May 18th, 2015


Outside my window ... the sun is shining and a nice breeze is blowing.  I love this time of the year before it gets too hot to enjoy the outdoors.
 

I am thinking ...  that ‘rest time’ for 4 year old twins is a good thing!   
 

I am thankful ... for the community of like minded people the A Working Pantry Facebook group has become. 
 

I am enjoying … the sounds of the twins as they run around and around the chicken coup that houses the baby chicks.  The twins talk to the baby chicks just like they could answer them back.  I don’t know which is more fun; watching the baby chicks or the twins interacting with them! 
 

I am creating ...  a time in my week for sewing.  I’m trying to decide which day of the week would be the best one to set aside as my sewing day. 
 

I am going ...  to continue praying for a dear friend who lost her job last week. 
 

I am wondering ...  what I can do to promote my e-book,  Yes, You CAN Have a Well-Stocked Pantry     
 

I am reading ...  Finding Joy by Sarah Floyd    
 
I am seeing … a full week ahead! 
 

I am hearing … my husband call out to me to bring him a hoe ... he had seen another snake ...the third in a week's time!
 

I am hoping ... for a nice quiet evening.
 

In my kitchen …. there is nothing cooking.  My husband and I were so tired when the twins' mommy came to pick them up we decided that something quick and easy was in order for supper.  We had some errands to run in town so our quick and easy meal turned out to be dining with Mr. Bojangles.  I had their roasted snack bites and a serving of coleslaw.  It was quite good!
 

One of my favorite things ... my big wrap-around front porch.  It has half the square footage of my house.  Lots of events and activities have taken place on this porch!
 

Around the house …  I need to do laundry!
 

A scene from my day …

 
 
To read other Day Book Entries go HERE. 


 patsi
A Working Pantry

If you’ve found this post to be helpful please share about it with others or PIN it.  Thank you!
 
You can also follow me on Pinterest and on Facebook

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Pantry Challenge #20 ... 2015


We are spending a lot of time outside mowing yards (ours and a friends) and working in the gardens.  There is so much to be done this time of the year.  The winter time of rest is over and our busy season has begun.

With a good portion of our time being spent outside, did I get anything done in our pantry?

Let’s take a look …

My to-do list from last time:   

Freeze Eggs … Done!  I froze 1 dozen.

Finish vacuum sealing Cheerios … Didn’t get done!

Finish vacuum sealing tea bags  Done!  I added 2 quarts of tea bags to my pantry.

Vacuum seal oats … Didn’t get done!

In addition:

I slow cooked a roast with carrots and onions in the oven one afternoon but instead of making gravy with the broth I strained it up and added the liquid from a jar of home-canned mushrooms that I had sautéed to go with our meal and then froze the combined liquid.  It will become soup broth in the future or meat broth for another roast.

We received a check for medical expenses we had overpaid and used it to purchase some marked-down meats to add to our pantry.  We purchased 2 hams and 2 pork shoulders all at greatly reduced prices.

I purchased a blouse on clearance at Sam’s Club for $3.02.

I completed a Pinecone Survey and earned $3.

I earned $25 through Swagbucks and $5 through Bing.

We added $4.80 to our change jar.


I've been busy repurposing this week as well. This pickle jar and these popcorn tins!

Here’s my pantry to-d0 list for next week:

Finish vacuum sealing Cheerios

Vacuum seal oats

Now it’s your turn, what have you done to build up your pantry or live frugally?

patsi
A Working Pantry

This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for helping support me and my writing through purchasing via my affiliate links.

This post linked to:  Homemaking Mondays

Monday, May 11, 2015

Daybook Entry # 1




For Today... May 11, 2015
 
 
Outside my window ... the sun is shining!  After having constant wind and rain from Tropical storm Ana for 48 hours it is so good to see the sun shining!
 
 
I am thinking ... that a row or two of flowers planted in my garden would not only add beauty to it but would provide me with cutting flowers all summer long.
 

I am thankful ... for the conversations I have with my children daily even though they live far away. 


I am creating ... a quiet book for my oldest granddaughter.  I’m about half way done with it and I need to get it finished.
 

I am going ...  no where!  Yippeeeee!!!!!
 

I am wondering ... if I have enough flower seeds on hand to plant a row in the garden.
 

I am reading ... Slaying the Debt Dragon: How One Family Conquered Their Money Monster and Found an Inspired Happily Ever After  by Cherie Lowe
 
  

I am seeing … the leaves rustling on the trees as the wind gently blows through them.
 

I am hearing … the sound of 100 baby chicks chirping!
 

I am hoping ... to score some great deals at the grocery store later this week.
 

In my garden ... everything is refreshed and growing after the needed rains we received the past 2 days.
 

I am enjoying … the moderate temperatures that are allowing me to enjoy the great outdoors.
 

In my kitchen … there is a roast with carrots and onions slow cooking in the oven.  
 

A scene from my day … a little afternoon Bible reading on the front porch enjoying the nice breeze …

 
 
 

 patsi

If you’ve found this post to be helpful please share about it with others or PIN it.  Thank you!

 You can also follow me on Pinterest and on Facebook


This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for helping support me and my writing through purchasing via my affiliate links.

 
To read other daybook entries go HERE!

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