I picked a large bowl of Lunchbox peppers (Territorial Seed Company) and Carmen Peppers (Johnny’s Selected Seeds). It was like they weren’t ripe, then all of a sudden, they were! Maybe it’s because I was so busy lately (?)…. We put quite a few of them in the fridge for fresh eating, and the rest were chopped and frozen.
I have been spending a few minutes outside every time I get a chance, working on cleaning up the garden, picking things, mowing, trimming, etc. I only had time for a few short sessions of yard/garden work this week, but I did get a few things done. We’ve already used a few of the Celebration acorn squash, but have plenty left. Underneath the spent vines, I found a small bucket of potatoes I had missed earlier. I’ve still been picking zucchini from bushes that have clearly seen better days, but are still slowly producing. There have been a few cucumbers, a few berries, tomatoes, and lots of cherry tomatoes. I’ve got a lot more fall clean-up to do before I’m done!
Friends delivered another, even larger, load of wood late this afternoon. We threw it onto the driveway and now I need to start stacking it tomorrow. We feel so blessed by this. Now we have enough to make it through the entire winter.
Rob went up for the second time and helped his friend get ready for new baby pigs. He figured out a better feeder and helped build it a few weeks ago. They checked the existing pen and made sure there were no escape holes. Yesterday, Rob rode along with his friend to pick up the ordered weaner pigs. Then, he and our son’s friend went and got straw (Rob drove and son carried it all–whew!) I’m not sure exactly how many baby pigs there are up there (probably around 6-8), but one is going to be for us.
Rob picked several assorted, strange squash and pumpkins from the pig pen when they put the baby pigs in. They are mixed squash that grew from last year’s dropped seeds. The big ones are zucchini that crossed with pumpkins or something else. The skins are tough and hard, but they are all great decorations. He also brought home an inexpensive bale of hay (so cheap because they bought so many). I have some corn stalks I cut from the garden that I want to add to the decoration, but so far, I’m really happy with the “presents” Rob brought home for me! I forget if Rob said the hay was $1.50 or $2, but I feel happy that we got a really nice fall look for such a small amount of money.
The kids’ parents were working many, many hours this week, therefore we did, too. We put Jake on the bus. We took Jake off the bus. We ferried Michaela from here to there, took her swimming, and packed lunches, cooked dinners there and here, and ate wherever we were. We used food from our house and their house, the garden and the store….it’s all a blur, but we were all well-fed.
We ended the week by keeping Jake for a couple of nights–he loves coming over. After the busy week, we were both very tired, so we had a relaxing Saturday while Rob was off with his friend. Jake is on a “Betsy” book kick, books written by Carolyn Haywood, and wants me to read those books for hours on end. We finished the 2 we had ordered in from the library–“Betsy and Mr. Kilpatrick” and “Betsy and the Circus.” No worries. He went and dug up a copy of “Betsy’s Little Star” which we have recently finished reading for the SECOND time! I protested reading it for the 3rd time, so after one chapter I brought out a book I own by the same author, “Penny and Peter.” He barely tolerated it, but finally got interested, but I noticed he powered through a few pages of the one he really wanted–reading himself! He hasn’t really embraced chapter books, but I was very proud of him for at least trying.
I did some grocery shopping on Friday morning, the only morning I had off this week. I grabbed the free item, got sales, etc. I am stocked up for the next 2 weeks (I hope) because I really don’t want to take the time to shop next weekend, just because I’d like a little time to myself for other projects. I made a tentative 2-week menu plan and hopefully, I won’t run out of anything much. It will be easy to send Rob to the store if I do. The last time I did that, he brought home 50 pounds of pinto beans. Yes. 50. That is not a typo. I was on board since they were so cheap–$18 for the 50 pounds. It was cheaper than the 25 lbs I usually get every year or two. The last time I checked, it was $20 for 25 lbs. I have seen 25 lbs. for less than that before, but not for $9/bag–so this was a great deal. We will share part of them, either when we cook for the college age, or at family meals, or dry for anyone who is running low. I made a mega batch of refried beans at once, as we have been limping along with cans for a while–we love the home-made ones the best. I froze a few cartons for later, and we ate a lot already, both plain and in a nacho for Family Sunday Dinner.
I entered my receipts on Ibotta and ended up with some bonus money, which is always a nice treat. I’m always trying new items if they are almost free, as long as they look like something that we will eat. Recently, there seems to have been a mayonnaise and ketchup war going on between brands, so I have a lot of that now that was free or very, very inexpensive using rebates and coupons combined. Lovana came home with some snack food that happened to have an Ibotta rebate, and so I got another $2 of rebates, which is free money to me since I did not pay for the snacks. I’m letting both my bottle and can money and my Ibotta account grow because I figure there will be a lot of holiday sales that I will love having extra money on hand for.
We’ve already been opening and eating jars of home-canned food. I’m also using lots of freezer food as we anticipate our yearly 1/4 beef in a couple of months, and there’s also that baby pig…..a few months and it will need to fit in there, too. It’s a constant rotation.
I started a dress for Patsy for homecoming. I am working with a pattern I already owned and it isn’t the right size. They are not on sale right now, and I don’t even know if they still make that one, I’ve had it a while. So, I adjusted it, and cut it out from some old muslin I had on hand and basted that together. I’m now ready to cut the real fabric, and I hope it fits as well as I think it will. I want to work on that in-between homeschooling Alissa and working with the kids this week. And the garden/yard work. And stacking that wood before the rains come. And the batch of tomatoes that need canning. And Jake and Michaela next weekend as their parents want to attend an event with Alissa. And…And…And…… It’s a good thing I have lots of paper to make lists on!
What did you do to thrive or stay thrifty this week?