Friday, November 11, 2011

A New (Blog) Home

I've moved the blog to Mini-Hearthstead. All the archives will be moved there over time, and this site deleted, so please update your bookmarks. All new posts are at the new site.

Thank you!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Independance Day Challenge, 2 October 2011

The past week or two I've been focusing on getting the house neatened up - back to where 'clean' is easy to maintain & piles don't breed when I blink. Yule is coming, school has started, and the days are getting shorter. Everyone is enjoying the fall & winter recipes I've started making again. Next up, getting warmer clothes out. All I have right now is shorts!

1. Gardening: Nothing, just keeping things watered.

2. Waste not (preparations): nothing.

3. Want not (manage your stores): Refreshing my stash in Ravelry, so that I can use it as a reminder of what I have & where. Applying a bit more logic to storage locations as I go, and frogging projects I know I'll never finish.

4. Build community: Met a new neighbor.

5. Eat the food: I'm actually planning meals lately - always a challenge for me. I found a recipe for the ground elk so one day soon we'll have elk meatball sandwiches. Part of the focus has been to eat out the fridge/freezer - both are extremely full. I want to make pumpkin pie, and can't, because there's no room in the fridge for it! Three people can't eat the entire pie in one sitting, after all.

6. Crafting: Did a few stash-busting projects, and will restart another hibernating project here shortly.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Independance Day Update - 18 Sept. 2011

It's been a quiet weekend, rainy and pleasant. I've caught up on some of my reading as I wait for new books to come in. Fall is sneaking in slowly, and I'm starting to pull out clothes and linens for the cooler weather. Mostly because I want to; 60-70'f isn't really cold except that it's cooling off from 90'f and it's damp. And I really want it to be closer to 50'f. Yes, my favorite seasons are fall and winter.

1. Gardening: Checked the sweet potatoes on the balcony. The ones I've kind of ignored all year. All the originals are still edible, and I pulled a fingerling-sized new one. The rest are still in the pots to give them more time to grow. Still - SUCCESS! I can grow sweet potatoes on our shady balcony! With more attention, I should get a reasonable harvest next year.

2. Waste not (preparations): nada

3. Want not (manage your stores): zip

4. Build community: zilch

5. Eat the food: Shepherd's pie, apple pie, spaghetti. Nice warm favorite foods. Yum.

6. Crafting: Making Sweetie a basic-but-warm wool hat. He needs it in the rain/drizzle we've had the last couple of days.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Independence Day Challenge: 5 Sept. 2011

It now looks like both Katia and Lee will miss us, which works for me! We are still ready, if a bit shorter on cat food. I'll get more end of this week.

1. Gardening:
**Pulled up the tomatoes (all done, except the Sungold. VERY happy with that variety!) & bell peppers (all done). Pulled carrots, which really could have used more time in the ground but they had to be pulled per our schedule. The pink-eye peas are attempting to grow but the deer have other ideas.
**On the balcony, I bought some impatiens and planted them so there is something pretty to look at. They'll last till first frost, then I'll plant pansies and start planning for spring. The sweet potatoes are still growing well and the herbs are thinking about forgiving me after this summer's neglect. They are not happy.

2. Waste not (preparations):
**Scanning family photos and some documents onto the portable hard drive. In case of hurricane evacuation, we can grab the hard drive and the control journal and be able to reconstruct a lot of things. We'll still loose a lot, but at least we won't loose as much.
**We're working on re-assembling the Singer 66 I have - we had to break down the table; now we are working on replacing the destroyed parts and re-assembling it.
**Bikes have been assessed; we need fenders and possibly chain guards for winter (rainy season) riding. Also need to see about ponchos or other ways to keep the legs dry.

3. Want not (manage your stores):Canned 18 pints of venison stew, using our carrots & onions. This gets the venison out of the freezer, where it laid in wait to fall on you as you opened the door. Also it used about half the carrots we harvested.

4. Build community: giving a friend the info for a farmer that offers beef in bulk that's grass-finished.

5. Eat the food: Yes. I've stayed on budget for food except what I spent on fast food; better planning on my end will take care of that. Hurricane season, and that last close call, are giving me incentive to eat out of the freezer. Tomorrow, venison roast in the crock pot =) Leftover will revisit as a potpie. I miss fall & winter's foods; can someone get the weather to cooperate?

6. Crafting: Spinning my Icelandic fleece, and today I'm washing the fleece I bought last month. I'm still working on the Dragon stocking when I get larger chunks of time.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Independance Day - 30 August 2011

Hurricane Irene went past us on Saturday. We didn't even lose power. Why would it? We were prepared =) Which is just as well, since Katia might visit next week.

Many of my neighbors seem to think that electricity, either from the grid or from their generator, is a requirement. Our plan of attack is to live without electric, and so we use oil lamps instead of flashlights, solar-heated camp showers, and a camp stove for cooking. Also, we have the setup items for a sawdust toilet, which saves some water. You could also use the water from washing dishes or laundry to flush.


I'm modifying my version of this checklist again - I do so little gardening that I'm changing it to one item rather than 3. So far, the nice shady patio seems to do best growing leaves & sweet potatoes.

1. Gardening: Cleaned up the balcony, removed dead plants, starting thinking about what to plant over the winter.

2. Waste not (preparations): Bought more lamp oil, more Coleman fuel, and another oil lamp. The new lamp leaks so I will be exchanging it, but otherwise we're quite happy with it. We are staying prepared for hurricanes for the rest of the season.

3. Want not (manage your stores): Water: We have 9 days of water, and I may get more. The store-bought water is kept until about 6 months before its expiration and then we drink it and buy fresh. So far, this is all fresh. I'd like to make up some camping-type foods, as well, that I can have ready if we do lose power for a few days.

4. Build community: Nothing. I hibernated, as a rest from (comparatively) large amounts of seeing the very large extended family.

5. Eat the food: Yes. I can't remember what I've cooked most times, but we are eating out of the pantry!

6. Crafting: I re-started a cross-stitch project - a dragon stocking. Can we hope it's done this year?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Independance Day Challenge 13 August 2011

I haven't been posting as regularly for a small host of reasons. I've made two trips to New England this summer, the car died and hasn't yet been replaced, and I feel like I've gone full-tilt for two months now. Today is a rest day, so I'm puttering about doing various things in between bouts of computer games. I hope everyone is enjoying their summer!

1. Plant something: Nothing. Lack of access to garden: 10 miles = 1 hour by bus.

2. Harvest something: A bit of tomatoes and bell peppers. The tomatoes are nearly done, same with the cucumbers. We won't grow cantaloupe again unless it's in the backyard - we've grown it, just to remove all the overripe ones! We just couldn't harvest them in a timely manner. The pink-eye peas are doing very well with the neglect they're getting, though.

3. Preserved something: I can't remember when we made things, but we made sweet relish, and I'm aiming for more pickles and to dry sweet bells and tomato paste today.

4. Waste not (preparations): Getting in better shape by riding my bike. Also, up north I found a food mill with 3 sieve-pieces for $18 and an older enamel tea kettle, that I brought home.

5. Want not (manage your stores): Does catching up on cleaning count?

6. Build community: nothing.

7. Eat the food: Enjoying venison given to us by a friend.

8. Crafting: Almost done spinning singles with the SeaGlass fiber I bought in New Hampshire last year, and getting closer to done with spinning singles with the Icelandic as well. I am attempting to work on my lace gloves but the are a challenge! Also, I'm crocheting seat pads for our kitchen chairs. It's a brainless project, which is nice.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Independance Day Challenge 1 August 2011

Our garden doesn't look like much right now, with half of it ripped out and the rest looking tired! We need to see about getting some fall plants started soon.

1. Plant something: pink-eye peas. Prepped a few more areas for the next round, as well.

2. Harvest something: cantaloupe, cucumbers, sweet bell peppers, tomatoes, last of the green beans, chard, first of the carrots.

3. Preserved something: Canned up some tomatoes - 4 pints diced, 2 pints of 'tomato drippings' to use in winter broths.

4. Waste not (preparations): Not sure if this falls here, but for a while our main mode of transportation will be bicycles & the bus. Interesting to get groceries this way =)

5. Want not (manage your stores): Better organization (an ongoing challenge!)

6. Build community: I talked to someone about canning food while at the grocery store - she seems more willing to try it now, said it doesn't sound as hard as she thought. Yay!

7. Eat the food: Homemade lo mein with fresh veggies from the garden (peppers, chard, green beans, carrots). Snacking on cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, and cabbage stored in the fridge since harvest (still good as new)

8. Crafting: Working on the Twin-Leaf gloves; had to restart them in a yarn better suited to the pattern.