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

Monday, May 27, 2024

A Journal of My Days: 5/27/24

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

(picture:  these bees are busy on this onion flower head.)

How did we do this week?

I was able to get in some garden time several days this week and man oh man, did it ever feel good!

In the Vegetable Garden:  I harvested the last of the carrots, cleaned out and replanted the area with October beans.

I also planted a few squash seeds.  I know in my heart that it's too late, that the heat and humidity will destroy them before they can produce, but mentally, I needed to try.  I hope that makes sense!

In the Kitchen:  hubby grilled steaks and we had fresh from the garden potatoes that I stewed, and broccoli harvested from our garden as well.  We haven't had steaks in a long time, so we dug into the freezer and pulled out a couple.  The meal tasted so good! 

In the Pantry:   I canned the last of the carrots from our winter garden.  We found fresh corn on sale for $.25/ear and purchased a full box which was 52 ears.  We saved enough for a meal and then cut the rest off the cob for creamed corn and preserved it in the freezer.

Health/Fitness:  I'm still keeping up with my fitness journal, it's a really helpful tool for me.  By sitting down at the end of the day or first thing the next morning and recording what I've eaten I'm able to see what the problem might be when I'm not reaching my goals or when I start sliding backwards!  I record:

what I ate

the amount I ate

exercise I did for the day

amount of water I drank

Thrifting, Bargain, and/or Loss Leader Shopping:   In addition to the above-mentioned fresh corn, I found marked down bananas for $.32/lb.  I purchased several with plans to peel, cut in half, flash freeze and then bag up in zip lock bags for the freezer.  I use a half of one in my morning kefir smoothie.  Here's how I make it ...

1 cup kefir milk
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 teaspoon maple syrup
one half of a frozen banana

Whiz it all together in my Nutribullet and enjoy!

Bible Study:  I finished Lesson 2 of our ladies Bible study on Mary of Bethany and posted it on my other blog, From This Heart of Mine.

In the Flower Garden:   Hehehehehe ... I got my 'flower garden' planted!!!  It's not the one I had originally planned, but it's planted.  I will love it and tend it and enjoy it just as much as I would have had it been my original plan.

Yes, I planted my flower garden in 3 huge tractor tires!  What did I plant ... a variety of wildflowers, cutting flowers, cockscomb, zinnia's, etc.

In the Herb Garden:  My herb garden is exploding!  I harvested yarrow, plantain, comfrey, dill, mullein flowers and more elderberry flowers.  They are all drying.  My small house looks like an apothecary with all the herbs drying ... and I love it!

I also planted 3 new herbs:  self-heal, wild lettuce and ... dandelion!  Yes, you read that right, dandelion ... in a pot.  

From my Sewing Nook:   I'm going to leave this here as a category, but truthfully, now that gardening season has started, there will be little time for sewing.  We'll just take it one week at a time and see how things go!

Nothing to report this week except that I continue to add to my list of things I want to sew.  Here's how I keep up with sewing inspiration ... when I find an outfit I like or something I want to make, I snap a picture of it and add it to a sewing folder set up on my laptop or phone.  It's that simple and I always have inspiration at my fingertips ... now if finding sewing time was that easy!

Continuing Education/Skills:  I'm still delving deeply into learning more about growing and using herbs.  This week my focus was on making salves.

How do you like my makeshift 'double boiler' ... an old one-quart size pyrex measuring cup hooked over the side of a pan of hot water.  All the red measurements are worn off the outside so it's days of measuring are over, but it works beautifully for this purpose!

Update on hubby ... he continues to improve but is still on light restrictions; all the test results are back in except one.  As soon as we get the results for it, I'll share the diagnosis.  If what we suspect at this point is confirmed by the last test, you may be surprised, as we were, at what started this domino of health issues ... or maybe you won't be!

Thank you to all who have prayed and reached out to us with care and concern, it has really meant a lot to us as we navigate this unexpected bump in the road.

One more thing, I received this cute birthday card from a friend, isn't that the cutest thing.  It came with a variety of tea packets.  Thank you again, you know who you are!

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 45+ years' experience of frugal, prudent living and pantry building 

My second blog:  From This Heart of Mine, where I share my love for God and His Word through my personal Bibe study.  Physical preparedness is important, but not near as important as spiritual preparedness.  Ladies, join me over at From This Heart of Mine and study God's Word with me.

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  1. Replies
    1. Lee Ann, LOL, I've always been a 'doer!'

  2. You really do "Practice what you preach". Your posts help me get into gear each time.

  3. Can you plant squash in a location that falls into shade between 2-3PM? It might work :-)

    1. Elle, that's a good idea, I'll think I'll plant a few seeds in a shady area. Maybe, just maybe, it'll work! Thanks for the reminder and suggestion!

  4. Patsy, I would LOVE to do the tractor tire raised beds!!! Maybe next year? You've been very busy. Me, too. It was a super busy week. Lots of sunshine and outdoor time. Six French lavender plants went into pots, along with wintercreeper. The dozen red geraniums (trimmed before potting) are blooming with white alyssum at their feet. Herbs are growing strong. With the neighbor's mule corral so close to our property, we bought a number of fly traps to use throughout the summer, as well as a solar powered bug zapper. Our friends of lizards, toads and birds will also help keep bugs down this year. Fingers crossed.

    A few steaks were grilled yesterday and our son joined us, bringing sales he nabbed at his local market--tortilla chips, eggs, hot dogs and a pork butt roast. One store had ground beef for $1.99 lb., limit 2 pkgs., one for him and one for us. Our family "co-op" works for all of us. Meals were quick and simple.

    Thank you for the Bible study. Following that, my daily devotional and continued reading keep "the little gray cells" going! I also appreciate specific things to pray for and always make time to pray. Helps keep me sane. Hoping whatever is going on with your husband's health it's an easy thing to remedy! A busy week is ahead and our other son will be here for a visit after that. Summer has arrived. :-)

    1. Elise, I love that your family works together in a 'co-op' way! If my children lived close enough, that would definitely be something we would implement!

      Thank you for your encouragement regarding my Bible study and I truly understand about those 'little gray cells.' I intentionally keep my mind active, exploring and busy for the same reason!

      Yes, summer has arrived along with the hot and humid weather!

  5. Happy Birthday!

    You just never know with the crazy weather what any plant is going to do right now so you could just be overrun with squash! I'm glad you were able to get all that corn in your freezer. I thought about doing the same but I am going to let it go. I like the tractor tire flower garden. It will be lovely.

    So two silly things-two days spent turning the house upside down looking for a box of finger tip band-aids that were in plain sight of course and I learned to flip fried eggs by tossing them in the air and over and it is so fun. But, it makes a big grease splatter mess.

    Work continues on hanging the art work. My sister sent along two large prints that were my grandparents. I was tickled to see them because I always loved them. They were so grimy so I washed them down and could smell my grandfather's pipe tobacco. It has been forty years since they were in the room with his pipe going so it was really like being transported to the past. Apparently many in my grandparents generation had these prints in their home. They are the Gary and Gretchen pictures of two toddlers in pale blue wearing red sneakers. Anyone else know these prints by Ingersol?

    We worked hard on getting our deck and screen porch finished up so we can enjoy it and it nice to have it done. We have had our wood porch swing for ten years and it is looking like we would have to be careful of it so we ordered a new one. It is our birthday and Christmas present for this year. I will be sealed before we hang it. Hubby is thinking he will take a look and see if the old one could be made into a bench.

    We had plans for three of the kids down the street to help us with chores and projects today but it looks like we will have rain most of the day. Perhaps we can get another one or two more paintings hung.

    Have a good week!

    1. Lana, thank you for the birthday wishes!

      I chuckled with the image of you flipping fried eggs by tossing them in the air. I'm sure there would be more on the floor than landing in the frying pan if I tried it!

      I'm glad you're getting your artwork hung, it sounds like you have some precious memories that go with each piece.

      Your screened porch sounds nice.

      I have my mom's front porch swing and my plan is to turn it into a bench also, if possible. It needs quite a bit of work for it to be safe to use though.

    2. Your Mom's porch swing bench would be so nice with the flowers from her yard. Too bad our two guys can't work together on the project of both benches.

    3. Lana, I like the idea of placing the mama's sing turned bench amongst her flowers, thank you for the inspiration. It would indeed be great if our guys could work together on our 'bench' projects!

  6. With a little extra attention, you may have a successful squash crop in your summer weather conditions. First, keep them well watered from below if possible so that you don’t create a micro-environment conducive to powdery mildew. Second, erect a light shade covering to keep them cooler during the heat of the day. Third, when powdery mildew does strike (and in humid weather it will), start once or bi-weekly spraying to control the spread of the disease. The following websites have good information and recipes for DIY organic methods of controlling powdery mildew.

    How to Get Rid of Powdery Mildew on Plants: https://www.thespruce.com/powdery-mildew-1402500

    How To Get Rid of Powdery Mildew: https://www.hausandgarten.com/blogs/learn/how-to-get-rid-of-powdery-mildew

    How to Prevent and Control Powdery Mildew: https://www.almanac.com/pest/powdery-mildew

    1. Shepherdess55, thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  7. My sister is a master gardener and she uses milk on powdery mildew in Florida. I wonder if it works everywhere?

    1. Lana, I don't know, but I'm going to make a note to try. Our climate here is very similar to Florida's. Thanks for the tip!

  8. So pleased to read this update. You've been busy, for sure! Groceries are running about 20% higher than a year ago, so I'm simply going less often and making due with what I have on hand. I did get corn on the cob on a great Memorial Day sale, but because it wasn't locally grown, I only got enough for my weekend holiday meals. I've got a "thing" about canning/preserving produce where I don't know where it came from, and that was the case for the corn. It's just me in this household, so I'm the one who will miss it, if I don't get local corn this year at a decent price. And, today, I ran to Michigan to get a flat of strawberries -- the season is running 10-15 days ahead of usual harvest, and I didn't want to miss out. And, the price has just about doubled!!! But, they are locally grown, sold at a farmstand I frequent, and I want to continue to support local farmers to insure they continue to thrive. Because of it being a weekday and things were slow, the owner and I had a chance to talk more. We talked of the loss of the peach crop this year and I mentioned how I'll miss it. I shared that my great grandparents used to farm a large acreage of peaches, and that I grew up canning with my grandmother. I added that my grandparents knew the gentleman who was known for his research on peaches and the development of peach varieties grown in the area (his son has been carrying on this legacy, but my grandfather knew the original guy quite well; this farmer knew of the son, as well). He commented that their farm only has about 3 acres of peaches and he has trouble selling all of them, when he has a good harvest. This year there won't be any, but with the limited acreage, it won't hurt them too much in the long run. We also talked about the large produce market in the area, which was so prolific in the 1950s - 1970s, and is no where near what it once was. Makes me afraid, even moreso, for our local agriculture. It used to be that purveyors and restauranteurs from the larger cities would come to the farmer's market and auction each week and purchase for their enterprise. Now, they'd rather order online and get their produce from who knows where. Everything revolves on the cheapest price, rather than where it's coming from or what is in season. In the news this week, a prime example -- it used to be that Florida was the major source for oranges and orange juice, not it's Brazil???? And their crop just failed???? It is for that reason alone that I will continue to purchase direct from the farmer whenever I can, even if it does cost a little more. Sorry, I'll get off my soap box now ...

    1. Lori, for what it's worth, we try to shop with our local farmers and mom and pop stores as much as possible as well. If we don't support them, they will be forced to go out of business.