Thriving in My Thrifty Week–July 31, 2022

This has been 2 weeks of ups and downs! I guess that’s how life tends to be.

Rob went out with Malcolm to turn on the barbecue and shut the shop door. Instead of the relaxing evening we had planned, or the meat and grill basket of veggies we were going to eat, he accidentally tripped and got jabbed badly on his leg in 2 places by a stick of wood, and we ended up at the urgent care. The huge blessing, especially since we were towing both Jake and Malcolm at the time, is that the second place we drove to was willing and able to see him right away. Within an hour, we were picking up his antibiotics. Amazing! He is healing now, thank goodness, but has a ways to go. Poor Rob!

A real highlight of the week was an event at the church called Family Fun Night. We took Malcolm and there were all kinds of water activities set up. It was blazing hot and all the kids enjoyed themselves so much.

This past week, we have had to contend with temperatures near or above 100 degrees F. every day. It has been a challenge to keep the garden from dying. I’ve been watering almost every day and running an extra setting on the garden during the hottest part of the day, most days. The beans are blooming and will drop their blossoms and not set fruit if they get too hot, so I try to cool them down a bit. I was able to can 7 quarts and 10 pints on the hottest day of all. I have a knack for growing things that ripen during the hottest days of the year, I’ve been told:).

Despite the heat, my latest crop of lettuce is not bitter yet, so I have been picking lots of it early in the mornings. I’ve been sharing it with anyone who wants any because it will bolt and become bitter quickly in this weather. I was able to weed a few times early in the morning and my newly planted lettuce, snow peas, cucumbers, cilantro, spinach, summer squash and cabbage and broccoli transplants are growing well. Zucchini is ripening daily and I’ve grated some for winter, stir-fried it, and given it away. The current batch of snow peas was finished up and there will be a gap until the next planting gets ready. I pulled some exceedingly large and ugly carrots, which I will can when the weather cools a bit. I’m getting just a very few tomatoes, both cherry and large, but there are many green ones coming on. I even got a few small cucumbers.

The heat caused the blueberries to ripen quickly. I used some left over from last year to make a few pints of blueberry pie filling. I picked several times and froze fresh ones for the upcoming year. We’ve eaten a few strawberries, blueberries, a few remaining raspberries and some Marion (black) berries.

The dahlias are in full bloom now. There are so many kinds and colors. Behind the beans, where you can’t see them, are about 30-50 plants of the kind with small blooms. There are more plants with large blooms out in front of our house, including a pale yellow one with a bloom the size of a dinner plate! I have picked bouquet after bouquet already!

Yesterday, we had both babies for 10 hours.

We’ve been keeping busy around here. Through it all, we’ve been able to stay quite frugal, although the heat kills my joy for cooking and I didn’t alway feel like doing that job!

I cooked several times exceedingly early in the morning. One day, at about 4 am, I made gf bread from a mix I had been given and also some flatbread. I made 2 different noodle casseroles to microwave in the evenings. Rob picked up some lunchmeat and we’ve had sandwiches and salads several times. He asked that I NOT make soup this week:).

A very good friend’s family has contacted Covid. Rob left food for them. I sent noodle casserole, scones and cornbread from mixes, and salad. Rob stopped at Costco and got us and them each a cooked chicken. $5 can’t be beat! I made the food I cooked early in the morning. This was an excellent way to use a cornbread mix I had been given, but could not eat, as it contained wheat flour. The ones who can eat wheat around here had some and we shared the rest.

Our heat pump, which runs the air conditioner, broke yesterday (Saturday). (Did I mention we had both babies for 10 hours?). What a day for it to break! Rob called a friend who is in that business, but lives over an hour away from us, to ask if he knew of anyone reputable in our area, and he came and fixed it! He “happened” to have another call in our area. That, my friends, was God looking out for us, for sure. We had feared we would have to just live with it until Monday. We might have had to move into church all day Sunday:). But our house is cool and comfortable today. What a blessing!

I have been stacking wood. We have been given many loads of wood and it is so nice to see our woodshed and wood stack slowly grow week by week.

The schools near us are handing out free lunches for children again. We were able to find time to get them 3 times, and they contained apples. Jake has been in an apple-eating mood and has been enjoying them very much. I don’t have an apple left in the house, including the ones we bought. He has cleaned me out! I’m going to send Rob over there to get them those lunches again tomorrow if he has time. Let’s hope for more apples! I just didn’t have time or energy in the heat to shop this past Friday and we are happily making out with what we have on hand and garden produce. Except Jake, who wants more apples:). I will just make a list of what I run out of and buy extra next week, if needed.

It is supposed to cool slightly this week. I’m looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to canning more beans tomorrow and having more opportunity to get outside with the cooler temperatures.

12 thoughts on “Thriving in My Thrifty Week–July 31, 2022”

  1. Oh my goodness, what a mixed bag you’ve had this week! I hope Rob heals quickly. The dahlias are glorious.

    1. Thank you. Every day, I wander through the dahlias. I cannot tell you how much joy I’ve received from those flowers, and it’s only the first of August, so I will be enjoying them for a lot longer:)

  2. Your blog is one of the best! I read every post and have enjoyed it for years, thank you. I don’t comment very much but wanted you to know how much I appreciate the time you spend writing. My husband and I are retired, never had kids, and did live in Hillsboro Or for five years. I am just learning to can (at age 67) and am inspired and awe struck by the amount of gardening and food prep that you do 😉

    1. Thank you! I do love to garden and can. My mother calls it my “useful hobby.” It’s always a challenge to know how many jars to fill up each year. This year, though, I will be canning slightly less, as I finally have some things left over again. The past 2 years it seemed like no matter how many jars of a certain thing I filled up, we emptied them. So, to that end, I planted less green beans than normal. I still need to can a bunch, but more like 20-30 jars vs. 40-60. Whew! It’s great you are learning to can, so I know you can appreciate the difference where green beans are concerned. Much easier this year in that department. Green tomato salsa verde….a different story. We’ve used all but 2. I’ll do a bunch of those later in the fall.

  3. I pray Rob leg heals quickly. Your garden is such an inspiration. What a blessing those school lunches can be.

    1. Thank you.
      It is so funny, because Jake is not an adventurous eater. But, suddenly, he decides that at my house (and maybe his, I don’t know), he’s going to eat apples, apples, apples…nothing but apples. So, I’m super glad to get those school lunches as long as they have an apple in them:). They stopped the program during the school year, so we haven’t gotten them for quite some time. At that time, they put things like little containers they filled with canned peaches and things like that. That was not as useful for me, as I already have lots of canned fruit, and Jake won’t eat that. I’m very thankful for whoever decided to put in apples this time.

      Rob’s leg is slowly healing, but it is so deep that today, at his check-up, he found out he’s going to have to start wound care down at the hospital–not his favorite things at all.

  4. You’ve certainly had a lot going on! I hope Rob recovers from this leg wounds. I thought of you when one of the news broadcasts mentioned the heat in your state. My garden is not doing so well this summer – partly from the heat and partly from the drought. I am on water restrictions and can’t water as often as the plants require.

    1. We are fortunate that we still had a lot of spring rain. I know so many places are struggling for lack of water. It does take a lot of water to keep the plants producing. I’m sorry your garden is suffering.

  5. Thank the Lord Rob is okay! Those babies (and you and everyone else) need him! His dahlias are gorgeous, truly. We have been plagued by grasshoppers and little rain here at our place in CO. We have 5 acres, with lots of fields, and they came and stayed! It reminds me of “On the Banks of Plum Creek”! So, no garden this year–:( There’s a You-pick farm about 1 hour north, so I will definitely be going there at least once. And yes, except for early strawberry jam and late apples, canning is a hot weather job!!!

    1. Oh no! Grasshoppers!! I never knew they still did that now-days. I’m not sure why I though it was a thing of the past. I’m glad you have a place to get produce anyway. But, how frustrating to have your garden eaten up!!!

  6. The injured leg was horrifying to me. I hope he heals well. I cannot imagine being without ac for ten hours.

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