Thriving In My thrifty Week–May 10, 2020

Happy Mother’s Day! I had a nice, relaxing day. I hope you all had the same. We watched church on the live-stream, Rob drove me through McDonald’s for a Diet Coke (doesn’t seem glamorous, but I’ve literally not been leaving the house so it was an outing for me), and I talked and/or texted with many loved ones.

My sidewalk chalk artist daughter spent some time decorating the sidewalks in front of our house. I’m glad she enjoys doing that. I found another box of sidewalk chalk tucked away in the back room for her to add to her bucket of bits of chalk.

We found quite a few packages of beef bones in the freezer. They are from our 1/4 beef the last couple of years. I have made dealing with those bones one of my quarantine projects. I don’t use them in the form they are in, so I am turning them into something I will eagerly grab–ready-to-use broth. One day I boiled 3 packages of bones and canned 7 quarts. I also got a large bowl of broth and quite a bit of meat from those bones. I made soup with that.

I filled up my spice bottles in the kitchen from my bulk spice packages I keep in the garage. I wiped them off and wiped out one of the baskets I keep some of them in. I also filled up salt and pepper, and cornstarch. I save a lot of money by purchasing things in bulk, especially spices.

I used some millet flour to make a pizza crust. I also used some rice flour and cornstarch in some brownies. I went through my gluten-free flour supply and will continue to target the odds and ends that have been in the bin for a long time. To that end, I’ve been using my favorite 1-1 flour, but also looking for recipes that use some of the other flours in them.

I used the last 2 brown bananas in banana bread. I also put in some walnuts that I had in the freezer. I was going to share them with a friend, but I confess…..we ate them all! I shared some other food with our friends.

We’ve been eating a little fresh fruit Lovana left here last weekend when she was over, but mostly opening jars of peaches, applesauce and pears for fruit. We used many small packages of frozen bits and dabs from the freezer over the fridge in the kitchen.

I baked blueberry-cream cheese coffee cake with cream cheese I got free from the Safeway Monopoly game and some blueberries my mom sent our way. I found the recipe on the internet.

Pear-raspberry popsicles were made 2 times, and devoured. It’s an easy, practically free way to keep Patsy happy during warm days.

The garden continues to grow. I spent time weeding and hoeing. I also planted more Blue Lake Green Beans, Rob’s okra (I’ve never even tasted okra, but you can’t blame someone for experimenting!), dill, cucumbers, all the pepper plants, the remaining tomato and basil plants, and any and all odd plants that were left laying around. I even planted the “mystery-label fell off” tomatoes in a flowerbed and threw lettuce seeds under the Tromboncini trellis! Lots of seeds have sprouted, including those old Alderman Pole Peas that I wasn’t sure were good.

I’ve picked 2 large bowls of lettuce. I thinned out the lettuce and we’ve been eating the small leaves. Rob’s back to eating copious amounts of salad daily. He’s several pounds down again, and wants to stay ready for his surgery, which is still scheduled for June 29.

This was not our grocery week, so we didn’t do a big shop. Rob just picked up a very few items (mostly tomatoes) when he got the prescriptions. A list is being generated on the whiteboard, and next week we will gather those items. I’d like to wait until the end of the week, stretching it to 2-1/2 weeks, but we will see.

Rob’s had Patsy and Jake out building in the shop.

I also spent a couple of mornings cleaning and bleaching the doorknobs, bathroom and so forth.

What we are filling our stay-at-home time with right now isn’t glamorous. It isn’t very exciting, and there are times when it isn’t fun at all (I’m not super fond of wiping down the bathroom, if you know what I mean). Still, we have a deep sense of satisfaction with every single project we cross off our list, and I think we are getting a lot of home-made entertainment out of the deal. We have lots of projects left on our list, lots of food left in our cupboard and freezer, and more on the way from a garden that’s growing like crazy. The house is cleaner than normal, and we haven’t caught any sicknesses. We’re making out fine, and feel thankful for all the blessings the Lord has poured on us during this difficult, crazy time, and we thank the Him for each and every one of them.

What have you been doing with your time at home?

16 thoughts on “Thriving In My thrifty Week–May 10, 2020”

  1. I enjoy following your weekly endeavors, and I’m often reminded how easy it is for me to overlook what I often think of as routine or mundane as things I should be grateful for and rejoice in. I don’t enjoy cleaning bathrooms either, but whenever I read your weekly notes I realize I should turn my thinking around and count it joy that we have fully functioning bathrooms.

    Every year we plant a garden (unfortunately I don’t have nearly as much space as you, so my yields are much less), but every year okra is included. My husband and sons love it fried and eat it like it’s popcorn, just popping piece after piece in their mouths. I typically slice and bread it, then lay the pieces on a cookie sheet to freeze (so it freezes separately rather than in one giant clump) before bagging it up. My grandmother loved it with stewed tomatoes. I’ll save a little from breading to add to gumbo as well.

    1. I’m going to remember all these good ideas for when the okra hopefully gives me a big crop!

      I’m glad you can grow a garden of any kind. When we moved here, the garden area was a big selling point for us at this house. It is a very large garden for town, and takes up most of the back yard, although I confess my old garden was bigger and I feel like I have to cram every inch full of veggies here and can’t find room for some things, such as corn. I just keep reminding myself that the farmers in the area grow corn, we don’t eat much, but they would be happy to sell us some if we get a craving for it. It is a lot of work to have such a large garden, but it’s work I enjoy and has really given me something to do during this pandemic.

  2. Hope you enjoy the okra. We love it. We eat okra and tomatoes over rice, fried okra (I add chopped green tomatoes for extra moisture and flavor) , gumbo, and
    okra and peas. You are making me hungry just thinking about it!

    1. We aren’t even sure if it will produce here, because it doesn’t get very hot, but Rob really wanted to try. If it makes anything, then I’ll be asking everyone how to tell if it’s ripe! But, we have a while yet for that. It’s only about 4 inches tall at this point:)

  3. I’m with you on cleaning the bathroom, LOL. I like your idea of planting lettuce under the tromboncino, and may try that. Glad you got out for a treat yesterday. We spent Saturday afternoon covering up lots and lots of plants with leaves, buckets, boxes, tarps and canning jars for a freeze that didn’t materialize, then took it all back down yesterday. Looks like it all goes back on tonight, as they’re predicting frost again. Really hoping that’s the last one we need to worry about.

    1. I’m glad you didn’t get frost. That would be devastating right now! It sounds like a lot of work to cover things, but I’m sure it’s worth it if it did frost! I’m hoping it’s your last frost as well.

  4. Good morning from chilly NW PA. I have veggie and flower plants started on the front porch. It stays around 45 to 50 degrees there even on the coldest nights so they seem to being doing ok. They get lots of sunshine on days when the sun is shining. I was given 3 gallon bags of carrots that were wintered over in a friend’s garden and just recently dug. Amazing how firm and delicious they still are. We ate some cooked, froze several bags, and saved a few to eat with dip. I had some grapes and pineapple that needed used so I put them in the food processer and added them to a can of applesauce I made in the fall. I have been eating it with my meals, so yummy!! I put mulch from the compost pit on the garden and added grass clippings that I bagged when I mowed recently. I planted peas and 2 small rows of beans that thankfully are not through the ground yet or I would have had to cover them well through the freezing temps we had over the past few days. Your garden is so awesome.
    I was gifted a bird feeder, shepherd’s hook for it to hang on and bird seed for mother’s day. My son hung it right in front of my big kitchen window that I now have since we remodeled. I can sit at the table and watch them!! Have a blessed week!!

    1. It sounds like your shepherd’s hook worked much better than the one we found leaned against the building from the previous owner! When Rob stuck it in the ground, and I hung a basket on it, it tipped over from the off-balanced weight of the pot. He stuck it in again, and we put 2 flower pots on it to balance it out and it twisted around and fell over again! After several adjustments, none of which worked, we finally gave up and put it back against the building. That particular shepherd’s hook provided entertainment, but that’s all it did for us:). I’m glad yours works correctly!

  5. I have really enjoyed reading your blog. I appreciate your positive attitude and work ethic. I also admire your dedication to your family. Take care and stay well.

  6. Patsy did a great job with all of her drawings. I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day. I have never had okra either. I hope you enjoy it. We are planning on planting the garden this week. It finally warmed up. It was in the 30’s the other day. Crazy weather we are having.

    1. Brrrrr… is crazy. I hope your garden grows once you get it planted. This garden is the earliest I ever remember. It’s been such a warm spring here, but now it’s settled down to normal, and rainy.

  7. Patsy is a talented chalk artist.
    Glad you were able to get out for mother’s day, and I’m sure the diet coke tasted good .
    Sounds like your garden is doing well, and I hope you have a good harvest. We hopefully had our last frost last week, so it will be a while before we have veggies. Dh ordered us a box of veggies from misfits market. I told him it would be like Christmas, only we would be opening a box of veggies.:) I haven’t been going out shopping, only doing pickups.
    Hope Rob is able to have his surgery. Not much longer to wait
    Hope you have a good week.

  8. Well, my Mother’s Day gift was VERY expensive. Sniff, sniff.

    The bad storms that hit Nashville on Mother’s Day also hit us and damaged our old roof. I am getting a new, very expensive roof for my gift.

    I would have preferred a chalk drawing by any of my kids (or even Bill or Scooter). I would have been much happier.


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