Saturday, August 22, 2015

Frugal Accomplishments and General Goings-On

It has been a busy week, but somewhat quiet, which was nice.  Here are some things we did! :)

Husband had some errands in town and stopped to pick up a load of free wood that we'll burn this winter in our wood stove.  We have to cut it to length, then it will be ready to go.

I canned another batch of green beans (two quarts, five 24 oz. jars) and made several more sheets of peach fruit leather.  I also picked our first cucumber of the season!  Sunday evening, I picked six cherry tomatoes!  One has been nibbled by a grasshopper, but the others are fine.

Bachelor buttons.

Some of the seeds I planted for fall are sprouting a bit, and there are happy flowers throughout the flower beds.  It will be a while before the flower beds are filled in the way I want them to be, but we are making progress.

Marigolds, bachelor buttons, cosmos, weeds and more.

Wild asters with a caterpillar.  I looked it up - it is a species of owlet moth.

Forget-me-nots (I was given the seed for my birthday) and wild tansy.

Now that Daughter is in school, I am available to do more subbing at the library.  I worked seven hours this week.

I made a double batch of liquid laundry soap and hung our clothes to dry.  Mostly, I hung them in the basement on racks, because they days I was washing laundry were overcast with intermittent rain.  It's nice to have an indoor option for rainy days and winter months.

My friend came for a visit and brought me some lacto-fermented vegetables - they are SO good!  We spent the morning together - did some visiting, dug yucca plants for a school project, planted a sedum plant, brought some stuff from the shed...and I gave her a hair cut.  It was fun to catch up a bit and have some time together, even if we were doing my chores.

I grew these rainbow coleus from seed this year.  They have been outdoors,
so there is a little wind damage, but they will fill in soon enough.

Daughter's new school utilizes parent involvement to enrich the educational program.  The current expedition is about Western Expansion, the pioneers and Colorado history.  On Friday, I took a wash tub, a wash board, some homemade soap, clotheslines and clothes pins, river stones, yucca root and old towels so the 4th graders could get a better sense of what it would have been like to do laundry as a pioneer.  We filled a container near the water source (our pond) and the students hauled buckets of water to the wash tub, then washed and wrung towels, then hung them to dry.  We used stones to crush the fibers of yucca roots to make soap, much like pioneers did when they ran low on lye soaps.  It was fun, and hopefully educational.

I am also volunteering a couple of mornings each week at Daughter's school to help student increase their reading rate, fluency and comprehension.  It's really rewarding and gives me a chance to get to know the school a little better.  I'm in the process of signing up as a nutrition services substitute as well.  I would be able to cover absences/sick days for the regular nutrition services workers.  It is a paid sub position, so it would help offset some of our school-related expenses (fuel driving to and from school, for example).

Another aspect of Daughter's school that I like is that Fridays are half-days.  It means we have a weekday afternoon together!  This week we went fishing and caught 5 rainbow trout in about 2 1/2 hours!  We used grasshoppers for bait.  We caught the grasshoppers out in the field the night before.  Nice!  Husband smoked the trout on the charcoal grill, and they were very, very good.  We ate three and I removed the meat from the other two.  I froze that meat for another time.

Fresh fish!
Freshly smoked.

The little chicks are growing nicely.  We are playing with names like Morning Glory, Pop Tart, Muffin and Omlette, but nothing is really 'sticking'.   I'm sure it will happen when the time is right.  Pepper, our little bunny, is growing well too.  She is a cuddle bug, and likes to be held and petted.  I would like to train her for tricks or agility, but she shows no interest in such things.  Snuggling may very well be her super power....if so, I guess I'll just make her a cape and be done with it, hee hee.  Daughter is training her to wear a harness, which she does not seem to mind one bit, once it's on her.

The three of us attended a Maker Space Safety class at the library - it is a pre-requisite for using the 3-d printers, laser cutters, audio-video equipment, sewing machines, serger, vinyl cutter, etc.  I also took daughter to a math tutoring program at the library on a different day.  Both programs were free and available to the public.  There are many amazing resources our library offers.

How was your week?  What helped you to spend less, save more and make do?


  1. I canned some bread and butter pickles. Picked some of my first ripe cherry and Roma tomatoes. Had husband bring home leftover pizza from a college orientation for freshman students as there were 3 whole pizzas leftover. We'll eat some for lunch this week and freeze some for later. Made some homemade granola for snacking and breakfasts. Used coupons and sales when grocer shopping this weekend. Also was able to use rebate apps for some of the things I needed to buy.

    1. I love pickles - yay for you canning your own! Sounds like a great week! :)

  2. The smoked fish looks delicious! Have a good week.

    1. Thanks, Dawn. This fish is really good...the bones are a bit of a challenge, but the flavor is great. You have a good week too. :)

  3. I don't think I have ever had smoked fish. It looks delicious!

    Before you know it your flower beds will be overflowing. They are really looking great. I wish you lived near by so that I could give you some of what needs to be divided here.

    Not a lot going here other than working on this old house. We are almost done will the siding replacement thanks to the crew who did the part that required two on ladders on Saturday. There will several weeks of painting and then we can move to inside chores when the weather gets cold. I have found that Lowe's will probably be our best bet for flooring since they run great installation specials.

    My biggest grocery savings was 8 bags of Craisins for $3. I only had a tiny but left so this came along right on time. Today I need to make a batch f granola and that is where I use the Craisins. I got the cherry and blueberry to try also since I live those dried fruits but they are expensive.

    Have a good week!

    1. So, are the blueberry and cherry ones, cranberries that have been flavored? I'm curious about that, because those two are super expensive dried. I hope you have a good week with home improvements, Lana. :)


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