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

Monday, May 6, 2024

A Journal of My Days: 5/6/24

Even though I have stepped back from some things and let others go, I've been burning the candle at both ends with my hubby being on light restrictions along with other commitments we had made.  Monday morning, I knew I had better start doing some self-care.  I could just feel it in my body that I was headed for a medical crash if I didn't intervene.

Self-care looks different for everyone so what I'm about to share in no way is any indication of what self-care should look like for you.  Here's what I did ...

After having a healthy breakfast, I spent the morning doing nothing but just soaking in the quietness of my home, mentally, I needed that.  I rested and relaxed in my recliner for the biggest part of the morning.  I did pop online at one point to listen to some Youtube videos I had been saving to watch.

After that I decided I needed some sunshine and headed outside to do a little foraging.  For some this would seem like work, but it doesn't to me.  It is calming and relaxing.  Next came a healthy lunch/supper (On most days I eat two meals a day.) and later after my meal had digested, I did some light exercise.  After that I spent some time reading and called it a day.

Yes, there was plenty to do inside and outside, but I ignored it.  My body was telling me I needed to rest and that is what I did.

God gives us an example in the Old Testament of Elijah feeling exhausted and overwhelmed as he fled from Jezebel in I Kings 19: 1-8.  My reasons for feeling exhausted and overwhelmed were far different than Elijah's but the solution is still applicable.

Rest ... Eat ... Rest ... Eat!  

The next day I felt much better and so my week officially began ...

“Laser focused, hunkered down and spending as little money as possible.” 

I planted 12 more Roma tomatoes that I had grown from seeds.   This gives me a total of 24 Roma tomato plants and that will be plenty.  I have several tomato-based items I want to make and can this summer and that should be enough to do what I want to do.

I had several zip lock freezer bags that needed washing, so I made up a bowl of hot sudsy water and let them soak for a couple of hours.  After they were finished soaking, I washed, rinsed and then hung them on a pasta drying rack similar to this onePasta drying racks are the best things to hang your freshly washed zip lock bags on to dry!

This was one morning's herb/greens harvesting ...

Top left:  Echinacea leaves (for my 'greens' jar) under the first dill bunch for the year
Top right:  strawberry leaves for my 'greens' jar
Middle row:  carrot tops for my 'greens' jar
Bottom left:  raspberry leaves for my 'greens' jar
Bottom right:  chamomile flowers for herbal remedies

All these herbs and or greens kept my dehydrator busy for a couple of days!

Time out!!!! 

Before you read any further, I need to let you know that I started this post earlier in the week and rather than rewrite it, I'm just going to let you know that hubby has broken a bone in his foot and things have changed as a result. 

We've been going back and forth on whether to continue to plant a summer garden while we waited on hubby's testing to get finished, but him breaking a bone in his foot pretty much made our decision for us.  We will not have a summer garden this year other than what we already have planted.

So, how will we keep our pantry well-stocked while eating out of it every day without a garden?  Where there's a will, there's a way!  Our current pantry will carry us through the summer which will give us time to work on restocking it as opportunity arrives.

While future posts may look a bit different for a while, I hope you'll stick around!  There's more than one way to keep a well-stocked pantry and that's what we'll be concentrating on this summer!

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. Oh dear. I hope your husband heals quickly and that you can get him to rest to help that along. A lot of the seeds I planted haven't germinated, so my Summer garden will consist mainly of herbs, but every little helps. X

    1. Tracy, yes indeed, every little bit helps! Thank you for the well wishes for my hubby. Maybe your seeds will germinate yet, I hope so.

  2. Good Morning Patsi,
    Glad you are taking good care of yourself. My Mom used to say "Take care of yourself so that you can take care of others." We continue to pray for you both.
    This week was somewhat busy with errands and a few other things. I needed to pick up some supplements in another town and while we were there we stopped in our favorite grocery store just to see if they had any markdowns. We hit the jackpot with 3 half priced fresh whole turkey breasts, 1 half fresh turkey breast, and 3 packages of lamb chops. The whole turkey breasts and lamb chops went into our freezer pantry and that night I roasted the half breast. It gave" us a meal that night and enough for 3 more meals. "Use it up" was the watchword for the rest of the week and we did just that with meals constructed with what we had that needed using. I baked gluten free almond flour muffins to go with a "stone soup" meal. Our "stone soup" is all the bits and bobs from the freezer and fridge combined with homemade bone broth.

    In my internet browsings I came upon an article that said soaking and sprouting beans before cooking and cooking in a pressure cooker made them easier to digest and released more of the nutrients. I had some black beans in the pantry so I tried it. The article was right. We have avoided beans for years and the black beans were a few years old. Now we can eat them without experiencing gas or bloating. I made refried beans out of them to go with the burrito bowls that we made for dinner one night. Instead of purchasing almond milk I mad some using a tablespoon of almond butter per one cup of water. This was used to make chia seed pudding, another new to me experiment. It turned out delicious and so healthy. A large batch of rice was cooked and placed in 2 serving packets in the freezer for future use. Seed tape was made again this year for the garden. I planted more rerooted onions and scallions. Hubby did a bit of home maintenance in the way of cleaning the dryer vent and things I'm not physically able to do. Mothers Day cards got finished and mailed out. Craft room got cleaned. We went from 90 degree weather to 50 degree weather overnight with 3 days of rain and more to come. We turned the pellet stove back on and curled up in our lounge chairs and read for a few hours before dinner in the late afternoon. That's all I can remember for this week. Cookie

    1. You were busy gal. Love you mentioned "stone soup". More people need to stretch their food!

    2. Cookie, what a week of getting ahead! Way to go!
      That's interesting about soaking and sprouting beans before cooking.
      Your comment is so inspiring!

  3. I have decided I need to lose a bit of weight around my middle! I have cut out sugar and I am eating more veggies. It seems to be helping. I love sunshine and being outdoors. It sure can adjust my mental well-being. Getting exercise now that the weather has changed and doing yardwork. It is free!
    Have a lovely week.

    1. Cheryl, you can do it! I love sunshine and being outdoors too, it really is the best therapy. Exercise doesn't seem so monotonous when done outside, or it doesn't to me!

  4. Oh, Patsy, I'm so sorry to hear your husband broke his foot. It can take quite awhile for that to heal and therefore it makes perfect sense to forgo any more planting in your garden this year. God will provide you with the produce you need. No doubt about that, I'm glad you're taking time outs as you need them, too. It's so important to stay well yourself! This is (I think) an opportunity for faith to shine. You're both in my prayers.
    --Elise <---who planted tomatoes and peppers too soon for our area :-(

    1. Elise, thank you! I have no doubt that God will provide a way. Right now, I've got to concentrate on staying well and functioning until hubby gets over these bumps in the road. I'm leaving the pantry restocking up to the Lord, He knows what we need and will need. He's got this and I'm content to let Him handle it!

      Did your tomatoes and peppers not make it?

    2. We had a cold wind event all day Sunday that decimated the small tomato, pepper and celery plants, Patsy. They don't look like they're going to make it. When we first moved here I was warned that planting before Father's Day is risky, but we'd had a milder winter and spring this year, so I gambled. There are still several seed packets. It's given me the opportunity to learn and think some more about vegetable gardening. The few herbs I'd planted made it. :-)

  5. You two continue to be in our prayers. I am glad you know when to stop and rest as most just push on through. It is just not wise to keep on when your body needs to stop. Many years ago I was praying with a friend and she prayed for me to learn to rest when I had not even mentioned it. That brought me up short and made me think.

    We were blessed by so many caring people over the last week. It was a band aid on a very stressful week. Our van will be fixed by the other driver's insurance company for which we are very thankful. We were supposed to have left for two weeks at the lake yesterday so we trust God had a reason for keeping us home.

    We are all happy that we could work out my sister buying my brother and me out and will keep Mom and Dad's house. Some friends of ours will be in that area next week and will bring back a load of things I wanted to keep. Yet another blessing! This will include the rest of Mom and Dad's art collection. We don't have much wall space left but I will find space to hang all those paintings. I hope our kids will want all the artwork some day because we have a house full with theirs and our own and artwork by our daughter Her 8x10 paintings are selling for $200 now. Anyhow.....

    If the rain stops the neighbor kids will be doing our yard work today. So thankful for them, too.

    Have a good week everyone!

    1. Lana, I'm so glad that your mom's house will stay in the family and I'm thankful that your van is going to be repaired by the other driver's insurance company. I know that is a relief to have that settled.

      Isn't it just amazing how God works things out for His children. It sounds like you have some artistic talent in your family! I'm glad you're getting your mom and dad's art collection.

      I was going to mow our yard this afternoon, but it rained me out. I'll try again tomorrow!

  6. Are there farmers' markets and/or farm stands in your area where you could purchase bulk quantities of the vegetables you usually preserve?

    1. There sure are and we plan to take advantage of those! Where there is a will, there is a way! I have every confidence that we will be fine.

  7. Is the broken foot in addition to the other problems? Goodness. Will pray for y’all.

    1. Yes! He's going through a rough time but is hanging in there. He's got a good attitude and is full of gratitude for the extra help he's getting (and needing) right now.

  8. I'm so proud of you for listening to your body and taking that day of rest! Not many people, especially those who are oriented to work, will do that and they pay a big price in the end. I can't wait to hear all the ways you stock your pantry without a garden...knowing that God will give you opportunity after opportunity to do so!

  9. Dear Patsy, I'm sorry your husband has a broken foot and that your garden plans are sidelined, but it gives you both the rest you need and you will be more refreshed next year. You can also count it as a sabbath rest for the soil, and it will be stronger next year as well. It will be a blessing to watch you add to your pantry without the benefit of a full fledged garden, because we never know when a hail storm or terrible storm will destroy our gardens. So it's the principle of not putting all our eggs in one basket.
    There are other ways like a green stalk planter that can go on the porch or patio etc. and requires very minimal attention, there are neighbors who might like to barter vegetables for eggs, or mending or crochet work. There are farmers markets where we can support local farmers and we can put the word out to family friends and church family that you would be most grateful to receive excess produce. There are so many good people who would love to help and it is good for their souls to do so. And maybe even a local scout troop that would be able to help you and earn a gardening badge at the same time. I am most certainly sticking around to see how our precious Lord Jesus will provide. Take as much rest as you can. I think things in this country will be even harder Next year so it's good to give your soil a break.

    Blessings, Elaine

  10. Dear Patsy, what a perfect teaching example of why we need to have a pantry, freezer and dried goods in the first place.

    Your recent diligence in building your pantry can now serve you during this unexpected adversity, and that's what it is there for...to sustain you.
    It's a perfect teaching topic about emergency preparedness for your church or wherever the Lord opens a door.

    1. I agree, just another reason why keeping a well-stocked pantry is important. It makes the whole ordeal less stressful when you don't have to worry about having funds to pay extra medical bills verses putting food on the table.

  11. Dear Patsi,
    You probably already know this, but using comfrey oil , or comfrey salve on your husbands foot will help the bone mend much faster. It's also called Bone Knit just for that reason. It's expensive to buy, and easy to make. I make the oil. I pick several comfrey leaves, rinse and dry them and put them in a jar and then fill the jar with olive oil. Then I set a trivet in the Bottom of my crockpot, put in the jar, and fill the crock pot with hot water up to the shoulders of the jar, and turn it on for about 48 hours. Once it cools the leaves must be removed, so just strain and keep your oil in the refrigerator. I like using an upcycled lotion or shampoo bottle with a pump. The salve is less messy but requires another purchase of beeswax.

    A note of caution, use old sheets if you are using comfrey oil at bedtime

    Blessings , Susan

    1. Susan, thank you for the reminder! I have a jar of comfrey oil cold brewing right now and it's ready to strain. We're using castor oil packs on it to help keep the inflammation down. We'll add the comfrey oil to the regime.

  12. Patsi, I'm offering prayers for your well-being and for healing for your husband. Self-care is so critical as we get older, and sometimes you just need to stop and sit for awhile, take it all in, and change courses to meet the current situation. Breathe it all in, and let it go. It will all work out as it is in God's plan. Hugs across the miles!

    1. Lori, thank you! That is exactly what we are trying to do. Because we live a preparedness lifestyle, this past 7 months have just been bumps in the road (our well going dry, me getting food poisoning, hubby having a medical crisis and a broken foot). We still realize how blessed we are, and that God has made a way for us thus far. We firmly believe He will continue to see us through this season and all future seasons. Thank you for your encouragement!

    2. Oh Patsi! I hope DH has a speedy recovery! Much love to you!

    3. Jennilee, thank you for your kind words and well wishes for my hubby.