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Monday, November 30, 2015

What We Want vs What We Need

I'm not an impulse buyer--unlike a certain husband that shall remain nameless.

But sometimes...I wish I could be deliriously impractical and just buy something for the heck of it.

Today is not that day, but I came close. LOL

Worm Factory 360 WF360B Worm Composter, Black 
I was browsing online for sales when I came across a Worm Factory Composter. Some women want jewelry. Others want shoes or designer clothes. Me? I want a worm factory.

It was on sale for $71 at Jet.com, down from over $100. At first glance, a multi-tiered condo for future chicken food for 70 bucks seems like a great buy. But I know that the whole apparatus is a facade of marketing genius.

The only nice things about the whole contraption is that the bins are stackable and it sits on a base. The rest is fluff. I could make the same contraption (not nearly as pretty) for about ten bucks.

It sucks to be practical. My heart still wants to spend the money on the worm tower, but my brain says: Get off your bum and build it yourself. 

Do you ever catch yourself wanting to buy something you know you could make cheaper? 

Have you started shopping yet? What's the one impractical thing you'd love for yourself?

Aside from a worm farm, I've always wanted one of those electric pressure cookers. The one I want is still too expensive but I've got it on my Amazon wish list, waiting for it to go down in price. I'm patient. Sooner or later it'll go on sale.

 

Monday, November 23, 2015

State of the Homestead

Garden: It's nearly the end of November and we're still getting peppers, eggplants, okra, and kale. We've been pulling kale from the same plants for two years in a row! 

I picked over five pounds of serrano peppers and turned them into pickled peppers and hot sauce. Later today I'll use up the last of the bell and poblano peppers in a sausage and pepper medley.

I've been using the eggplants for sandwich fillings. I like to saute thin strips of eggplant with spinach and green onion and stuff them into toasted pita bread. Delish!

Our tomato plants died off during the height of summer (too much sun) but I started new plants and they're producing fruits now. They're not as prolific as the spring tomatoes, but I can't complain when I can pick fresh tomatoes in December.

My only disappointment has been my romaine lettuce. It's gorgeous, but still bitter even with the cooler temps. I've read that black seeded Simpson lettuce is less prone to bitterness so that's on my list for next year. I'm determined to grow sweet lettuce. 

The winter garden consists of: peppers (hot and sweet), tomatoes, radishes, beets, kale, spinach, snow peas, carrots, potatoes (in pots), eggplant, sweet potatoes, chard, garlic, pumpkin, winter squash, and strawberries. 


I accidentally planted cucumbers! Oy! So now I have little baby cukes on the vine. I'm trying to keep them protected for another few weeks until they're harvest size.

I also planted soybeans (a lark since I knew it was too late to for them), but they actually produced pods. Still, they could've used another 3 weeks of warm weather. Soybeans are a great cover crop though, so they won't go to waste. They'll amend the soil.

We had a light freeze over the weekend, but it looks like everyone weathered it fine.

Goats: I think the girls are pregnant. We've yet to decide for certain, but we may just raise these kids to sell in 2016. They sold really well this year. 

We've been toying with the idea of raising a small cow for the freezer. We'd have to get other people to go in with us because there's no way we could store, let alone eat a whole cow. It's a two-year idea at least. From what I've read, 18 months is the average age for slaughter.

I kind of like the idea of raising beef on our pasture--with no antibiotics or growth hormones. It's a 'maybe' project for the think-shelf.

Chickens: After raising the Marans for two years, I've decided to sell the birds next spring. They lay beautiful dark brown eggs, but they're fussy birds, and don't lay near as prolifically as the Australorp or Americaunas. 

We may add a few quail next year. I've never tasted quail but Greg says they're good. I don't mind trying a few to see what they're like.

Rabbits: Alas, Frodo (our male rabbit) tries his best but he has a hard time mating with our bigger girl. I'll probably sell him in the spring and find a bigger bunny to do the job. 

Around the house:  
We put up a fence for our indoor atrium. I didn't want to do it at first, but I got tired of the dogs picking up a mouthful of dirt from one of my potted plants and then expertly grinding it into the light-colored Oriental rug.

It was the perfect weight in wrought iron for indoor use. The only thing I did was paint it a bronze color. 

Countdown to Thanksgiving: This is the week when most of the US settles down to food and family. I bought a small turkey this year. The sides dishes will come from the garden. Broccoli, snow peas, and garlic mashed potatoes. 

Greg gets his traditional homemade pumpkin pie all to himself. (I dislike pumpkin.)

We're planning for a quiet Thanksgiving. Good food with my weird landscaping dogs and my best guy.

How about you? If you celebrate Thanksgiving, what do you plan to serve?

Have you ever tried quail? How would you describe the taste?

Gardeners, do you have any lettuce recommendations? 

And raise a paw if you have a pet that likes to spread dirt like a coal miner. You can cry on my shoulder. I know your pain.


Monday, November 16, 2015

Dead Couple Walking

 
I thought I had come down with food poisoning, and then Greg got sick the next day. By the second day of headaches, body aches, and chills, I knew it was stomach flu.

We've yet to keep anything down but sips of water, though Greg did try oatmeal Sunday, much to his regret.  
I still have body aches and headache, but the cramps are almost gone. I might try some dry toast later this morning.

Have any of you ever had stomach flu? Any suggestions?


Monday, November 9, 2015

Blogginess

What do you call your blog? Why did you choose the name you did?


Using my name as the blog name was a deliberate act on my part. I felt that as a writer, it was important readers know me by name. It was and is my brand.

For the new blog (still in pre-production) I need something catchy with good search engine potential. I'd also like to create a logo around it, so it needs to be short and spiffy.

Somehow, and I need to think on this some more, I need to keep my name linked with the new blog name. I've worked too hard and too long to lose my name in the quagmire of searchable bloggers.

Over the weekend, I've been keying in various names to see what hasn't been used yet. A quick Google search states that in 2013 there were over 152 million. Another site says it was over 173 million (in 2011). 

Let that sink in. That's millions upon millions of blogs.

Many blogs are abandoned. Still the url remains. If no one deletes it, it continues to exist in the blog realm of the ethereal.

Coming up with a catchy name has been incredibly easy. Coming up with a name that hasn't been used yet...not so much.

Have you ever considered renaming your blog? What would you call it if you could change it?

PS  I'm in and out today. I'll reply to comments as soon as I'm back in internet range.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Are You on Pinterest?

There's been widespread flooding throughout Texas, and more rain expected. Right now, we're just sitting it out. Our main road into town is under water. Thankfully we have other options, but I hate it when we lose the 'best' road.

I lost one chick due to the relentless rain. I can't imagine how he drowned but he did. Down the road from us there was a drowned sheep. There are probably more dead animals in the fields. The vultures are circling everywhere.

Help! I discovered a deadly pastime. Pinterest.

How do people navigate that thing?!

I'm overwhelmed every time I go there. I don't have any boards yet. My brain hasn't yet recovered from the "welcome choices" Pinterest gave me.

I blame the rain for leading me there. That's all I need--another web site to suck my time. LOL.

Any tips on how to use Pinterest? Do you have boards there? If you do, let me know in the comments. I'd love to see what other people do with this site.

How many social networks do you belong to? What's your favorite? 

I like to hang out on Facebook just to chat with friends, but that's also how I got sucked into Pinterest. My evil friends tend to cross post and I made the mistake of going down the rabbit hole.

I have two pages on Facebook, my social page, and my frugal living page. If we're not already friends, add me to your list.