Tuesday, May 3, 2022

What's That In Your Hand? 5/3/22


I started spring cleaning my house this week.  Now seemed like a good time as all the spring garden has been planted as well as a good part of the summer garden.  The spring garden is just before harvesting and of course the summer garden is not anywhere near harvesting, so I decided to take this small window of down time and do my spring cleaning!

I pulled out my whole house spring/fall cleaning list and started work.  It will most likely take me a couple of weeks as I'm being very thorough as I declutter, reorganize and deep clean every nook and cranny in my home!

(Update:  I started this post several days ago with the full intention of dedicating my days to getting my spring cleaning done!  Ha, that only lasted for 2 days, and life started happening, nothing bad, but things keep coming up that pull me away from my spring cleaning.  At the rate I'm 'getting it done' it may be fall before I get it done!  Just wanted you to know as I do try to keep it real here on my online home!)

(picture: these beautiful iris are growing at one corner of our chicken coop.  I get to enjoy their beauty every time I tend the chickens!)

In and around the spring cleaning I started a couple of 5-gallon buckets of comfrey tea for fertilizing the garden.  You can read about it HERE.

I also started a bucket of nettles tea and yet another bucket of a combination of herbs for the same purpose.  All 3 'teas' will be ready in 2 - 3 weeks.

I've had oil lamps on my 'mental shopping' list for quite some time and recently acquired 2 for zero dollars and cents.  You can read about it HERE!

We've been harvesting and enjoying fresh from the plant strawberries all week.  We're still growing them in the grow barrels my hubby made several years ago.  Harvesting them is a breeze, very little bending over is needed and I can tell you that my body likes that!

Honeysuckle is blooming in our area so I've started collecting the blooms and drying them for herbal preparations.

Dandelions have really started growing in our yard, yes, I am happy about that.  For a long time, we had none!  This week I've started harvesting and drying them for herbal preparations as well.

I planted valerian, calendula, and pie pumpkins this week.  As spots open up in my garden I replant them with something else.

For my continuing education I watched a video on making lavender oil and was reminded of all it's many uses and benefits.  Lavender Infused Oil with Kami McBride (healingherbaloils.com)

I also read this article on using herbs to make herbal fertilizers for the garden.  Natural Fertilizers From Herbs - Tips On Making Herb Tea Fertilizer (gardeningknowhow.com)

I'm researching things I can grow to help supplement the commercial chicken feed we give our chickens ... Check out this article, 38 Plants To Grow For Chicken Feed * The Homesteading Hippy and this video by Hollis and Nancy on what they grow for 'treats' for their chickens.   

Yesterday, I supplemented the chicken feed with, lettuce, chard and beet greens, all from our garden.  Our chickens are so funny to watch, when they see me coming to the door of the coop with a bucket in my hand, they come running!  They are like little children and candy!

Learning new skills and or fine tuning the ones I already have are a priority to me right now, are you working on improving your skill level?

As part of my spring cleaning (that I've been able to get done thus far), I went through hubby's t-shirt drawer and pulled out the worn and or stained ones.  They'll become cleaning rags just as soon as I get a minute to cut them up into appropriate sizes.

I want to leave you with this thought, what's that in your hand that you can use?  It doesn't have to cost money, look around you, do you know how to use what you already have?  Do you recognize what you have as something useful or that can be turned into something useful?  

For many times are lean and getting leaner due to the rising costs of everything.  One way to combat rising costs is to look at what you already have in your hand and to purpose to get everything out of it that you can.  I hope you are doing that and that you are inspired by my attempts to do the same.

Until next time ...


A Working Pantry

She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

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  1. The irises have been gorgeous this year! Our goal this week is to get the screen porch cleaned and ready to use. We also have a new freezer coming tomorrow so we have to get the old one moved out of the way until the new one is here and cold enough to transfer everything. If we go out into our garage and look we have materials for many projects that need to be done and It is best to do those things rather than shop for more materials. (I am talking to myself here!) We are waiting on deck sealer to come so we can seal the deck. I am really hoping we can hire our college kid neighbor to do that job.

    1. Lana, sounds like you have plenty to keep you both busy! I agree, the iris's are beautiful this year, much more so than last year. Don't work too hard, I hope you can get your college kid neighbor to seal the deck too, that is a big job!

  2. Thank you for this encouraging post. I hope the rest of your spring cleaning goes well!

    Recently I've been challenging myself to make better use of the cookbooks on my bookshelf. I usually stick to a handful of tried and true recipes, but there are so many other recipes to learn. It's been a fun (and delicious) experiment so far!

    With love from,
    Kelly (Mrs. Kiwi)

    1. Kelly, I tried a new recipe this week too! Like you I have multiple cookbooks that I need to explore. Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement!

  3. Inspired by you, I started a bucket of comfrey tea. Lots of planting has happened in the garden and flower beds... another row of tomatoes, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, artichokes, summer squash, and many herbs and flowers. I melted soap making oils on the woodstove to save propane, likely the last fire of the season. I mended 3 wool sweaters. Paper and cardboard were shredded, and a pan of crushed egg shells were added to the compost bin. I appreciate your posts and encouragement.

    1. Laurie, thank you for your encouragement! You have been busy! We burn our paper in a burn barrel and use the cardboard in our garden. I've not tried melted soap making, but you have my interest peaked! Love reading your comment ... it's so inspiring! Thank you for sharing!

  4. Mrs. Kiwi, I'm doing the same with my cookbooks! I've been working on creating my own recipe binder and I keep thinking of things I want to put into it that aren't there yet, plus trying new recipes that sound economical and good, etc.

    John and I have been DO-ing things in the house. I've dreamed of a kitchen reno for years. I do things modestly and on a very modest budget. We've taken down all the upper cabinets on two walls and this week, after I cleaned walls, John has gone about patching holds and removing the battens that connect sheets of wall board (we live in a double wide and they do that rather than tape and plaster). We've found so far that the walls are butted up pretty nicely and all that is needed is to run the spatula of putty down the seam fills it perfectly. This has given us the idea that we'll work about the house doing all the walls this way, working in small bites.
    John has asked to eat more sandwiches, so I'm taking the leftovers from suppers and making them into new fresh meals for dinners.
    Today I worked at laying weed mat in the flower beds and am currently holding it down with pots and rocks until I can buy the mulch to go on top.

    1. Terri, You and your hubby sound like me and mine. We have a paid for home because we chose to purchase a dilapidated shell of a house and re-do it paying as we went. It took years and we are still working on it but with the housing situation the way it currently is, we are so thankful that we chose the route we did.

  5. Patsy, you have the most interesting posts. I have learned so much from you. Thanks SO much!

    1. Anonymous, thank you for such an encouraging comment! You made my evening!


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