~ from my home to yours, living the Working Pantry lifestyle ~

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

A Journal of My Days: 4/10/24

The theme for this year is “Laser focused, hunkered down and spending as little money as possible.” 

(picture:  I wish you could smell how good this lilac flower cluster smells.  It's the first one of the season for this bush and I was beside myself when my hubby told me it was there.  Of course, I had to go see it and smell it for myself!)

This post normally comes out on Monday, but if you've been following me very long, you'll know that I've been sick and in recovery mode, hence I'm playing catchup and am not posting on my regular day.  I should be back to my regular posting day of Monday next week.  In the meantime, here's a portion of this week's doings ... 

In the Vegetable Garden:  I did a small bit of weeding, harvested radishes, carrots and asparagus.  I also harvested about a quart of strawberries from our strawberry barrels.

I checked the carrots, and it seems that something is eating my carrots underground in one of my raised beds.  You can bet that I will be harvesting them this week.  Hubby said it was probably a rat ... oh no, Mr. Rat, you may not have my carrots!

In the Kitchen:   I plan to roast above mentioned radishes, carrots and asparagus on a sheet pan.  Here's how I will do it ...

harvest, wash, peel (if applicable) and clean vegetables

slice peeled carrots into rounds

cut radishes in half

trim up asparagus into size desired

place all veggies in a gallon zip lock bag (I use a recycled one for this type thing)

add enough olive oil to coat veggies, but not saturate

add seasoning of choice (I will add about a teaspoon of a mix I make and keep on hand, garlic, salt, cayenne pepper)

close zip and work veggies around in the bag until they are coated with olive oil and seasoning mixture.

Roast/bake in 350-degree oven until desired doneness.  I roast mine for about 30 minutes stirring about halfway through.

In the Pantry:  We found a good deal on organic blueberries and purchased a case.  I've been busy flash freezing some for smoothies, and plan to make a small batch of blueberry pie filling to be used as an ice cream topping, also a small batch of blueberry syrup for pancakes and to flavor water.

I will also flash freeze the strawberries I harvested and use them in smoothies.  I'm keeping a close watch over my strawberries with the purpose of harvesting every one I can.  (No, Mr. Bird, you may not swoop down and eat your fill of my strawberries!)  Strawberries are selling in our area for $20/gallon ... enough said!

Health/Fitness:  I wasn't able to do my normal exercise routine while sick and afterwards while I allowed my body to rest and recover.  So, this week my focus will be to ease back into daily exercise.

Thrifting, Bargain, and/or Loss Leader Shopping:  We found olive oil on a good clearance sale at Sam's Club.  I was out so this was perfect timing!

I went into a well-known thrift store and found 3 (100%) cotton sheets that were in good condition for $3.99 each.  I purchased them with the intent of using them as quilt backing for future quilts.

From my Sewing Nook:   I crocheted these 5 dishcloths.  Hoot!  Hoot!  Can you believe it!  I finally did something sewing related!

Bible Study: Our church is hosting a youth rally in a couple of weeks, and I'll be teaching a teenage girl's Bible class.  The theme of the youth rally is 'God's Promises' and my topic is God's Promises in the Old Testament.  I am excited to be teaching this age group and am studying and working to put together a lesson they will enjoy and learn from.  My goal for the lesson is that each girl will walk out of that classroom confident that God does indeed keep His promises and that they can trust Him!

In the Flower Garden: The weather is finally warm enough, I hope to get my flower seeds planted this week!

In the Herb Garden:  My chamomile is ready to start harvesting!!!  I was so excited to see these little flowers that I almost broke out in a 'garden dance!'

Continuing Education/Skills:  I purchased this book, Backyard Foraging, by Ellen Zachos.  Now that spring is here and things are growing, I want to learn more about foraging, specially about what can be forged in my local area.

What I'm Reading:  I read Christmas at the Amish Market by Shelley Shepard Gray.  Of course, I read it on Libby the library app for free!

This week’s frugal quote/discussion topic … frugality can be freeing!  One of the benefits that has come from our financial 'hunkering down' journey this year is freedom from random buying.  I hope that makes sense.  For us, it has been freeing in that our focus has shifted from freestyle spending to having a specific purpose for every dollar.  Like I said, I hope that makes sense.  What are your thoughts?

That’s it for this week, what has your week looked like? 

until next time,

mrs. patsi @ A Working Pantry

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

Sharing 44 years' experience of frugal, prudent living and pantry building 

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  1. I am glad that you are on the mend. I gave up reading blogs for Lent and have been catching up on what has been happening in Blogland while I wasn't about. I have made a start on getting my garden into shape for the summer, but the weather here is very changeable, so this has been done in short bursts between showers. I was pleased to get some seeds sown - pak choi, rocket, radish and lettuce - and am keeping my fingers crossed that the rain doesn't wash them away!

    1. Tracy, I hope the rain doesn't wash your seeds away too and that you can continue to get your garden in shape for the summer.

  2. You sure have gotten a lot done in the midst of being sick! Giving every dollar a job is the way to go. I sure wish budgeting like this had been a thing back when we were first married. We got paid monthly and there was always way more month than money.

    It is now a need here to shuffle the money to get more help for Hubby. We have hired the neighbor teen to mow this summer. He has also done a lot of small yard jobs for us for very the last few weeks. They will have to move for Dad's new job in about a year so for now I am thankful for help we can afford.

    Have a good week!

    1. Lana, I didn't start doing anything until Monday of this week, I was intent on giving myself time to regain my strength. My plan of action this week has been to work a little and rest a little. I have been surprised at what I've been able to accomplish doing that.

      I'm glad you have a neighbor teen you can hire to help do the things you need help doing. I've been praying for your hubby and will continue to do so.

  3. Today we switched one savings account to a higher interest money market. Trying to get our $$ make $$.
    Now we’re trying to build back savings.

    1. LeeAnn, it's wise to stay on top of our finances and watching over our savings is one aspect of that. Sounds like you all are making wise decisions.

  4. Glad to hear you’re getting a little better.

  5. Patsi, this week's frugal topic makes perfect sense to me. It's those random, willy-nilly purchases that can really add up quickly. Hunkering down can feel very restrictive at first, but for me, it has led me to see that I really have everything I need and I'm content with what I have. That mindset is very freeing. (Decluttering has helped with that too!) Impulse buys are not as strong a temptation, and that also frees up our money for the things we are more intentional about.
    One of those intentional purchases has been fruit trees, which got planted this week. And thanks to waiting, we were able to get pea gravel as well. Those two things, plus the climbing rose I studied and studied before I bought (it will produce hips!) excite me more than any knick knack ever could lol.

    1. Kelsey, Yes, on that climbing rose, I would prefer it any day over any knick knack! LOL, we really are kindred spirits! Great thoughts on hunkering down, decluttering and being intentional, I completely agree.

  6. Glad you are doing better. I have been using what I have and cooking from scratch. Freezing extra leftover meals for future. Keeping heat off - no need for the past many days! YAY
    Working on decluttering more - hoping to bless someone else.

  7. Work a little and rest a little is a good motto for life, Patsy, even when we're fully well. Your picture of the lilac has me excited since our lilac bushes (all 22 of them) are just showing leaf buds. Great plans in your kitchen and pantry, by the way! And I look forward to reading about your church youth rally in a few weeks.

    BIG news: yesterday, for the 1st time since we bought this property, I was able to walk the entire acre without a cane and with NO pain. In sandals! We have a beautiful acre of evergreens. Eight months since extensive foot surgery and this truly feels like a miracle. Between trees there's a lot of sunny, open space, even with the solar panels, and it gave me lots of ideas for the future. BIGGER news: I chatted with our back fence neighbor and they're in process of ramping up their homestead, adding an orchard, 1/2 acre of produce garden, etc. She said other homesteaders will be here in a few weeks to add some fencing and offered to split the cost of materials to fence the shared property lines with a gate to get through for each of us. Said the family will put up fencing for the cost of materials and may be willing to do so for the rest of our property! She even offered to take care of any fruit trees we'd want to plant near the fence line. In exchange for eggs, goat milk/cheese, fruit and produce, we offered to volunteer hours at the produce stand they'll have at their driveway during their harvest season. Praying it all works out. Praying for their success, as it would benefit our whole community.

    So... in answer to your weekly topic for discussion... YES, frugal living is very freeing. It would be freeing for everyone here NOT to have to depend on grocery stores for ever-increasing prices. Kelsey, if you're reading this, please know how important families like yours are to the community you live in. --Elise

    1. Elise, so glad you are improving and are able to walk your property!

  8. Yesterday a service person was out to give us a routine maintenance check and stated that the company was again raising their prices. I told him I'd spoken to one of the office personnel at the beginning of March and had asked if they were going up again on prices and was assured they would not. He said, "I'll put down on the paper that you offered to cancel the service due to another price increase and they'll let it go. " It wasn't a large increase but they've been raising it each quarter and that adds up. With some rearranging of our budgeted amounts in various categories I was able to find room to add mower maintenance and gas for the next 9 months of mowing, and incidentally allotted us a small balance for savings. I'm grateful for every thing I can find that helps to reduce costs or prevents a purchase just now!
    Terri @BlueHouseJournal

    1. Terri, so many of our 'living expenses' are increasing every month. Some are small increases and some not so small and it all adds up. Way to go in managing your budget!