Monday, June 15, 2009

Independence Days- take 2: week 7

Whew! What a week. It seems like time has been flying by and it's time for another IDC update already. It's been busy but sometimes I feel like I'm spinning my wheels. Oh, I know that every little bit gets us closer to our goal but I'm impatient and want everything ready NOW.
Here's my update for the week.
1. Plant something- Hmm, lets see, sweet corn -one freebie variety and then I planted 4 rows of Bloody Butcher corn. You can eat it fresh for sweet corn or let it mature for grinding. It has these fabulous red kernels! Beans (scarlet runners, Christmas limas, green, yellow wax and purple pods), cilantro, cucumbers (way late!!!) and transplanted little dill seedlings from my Mom.
2. Harvest something- lettuce, chard, mustard greens, radishes. I've pretty much given up hope for the peas but maybe once I get the fence up I can get enough for one meal... maybe. I've never tried to plant peas as a fall crop, has anyone else? I was really hoping to get some for the freezer and I have a bit of seed left- so maybe I'll experiment this year. I should have a bit more time by then- I hope.
3. Preserve something- No.
4. Reduce waste- just the usuals. We missed our regular garbage pick up last week in town so actually have a full barrel! That is something of a rarity here. Of course, we have also been pitching a lot of accumulated garbage. I have still been scavenging boxes from work. We're just about there with packing. Most of what's left are things that we are actively using (well, we haven't really started cleaning out the garage yet). We've still got our old video tapes down in the basement but again, V has train stuff on the shelves in front of them so I'm not packing them until it's gone.
5. Prep and storage- still working on the house. I've been trying to figure out where things will go. I've got more cabinet space in the kitchen than I've ever had so it's kind of fun. Unfortunately none of the storage spaces in the basement are finished- the bathroom is the only finished room down there so we have lots of things stacked all over the place upstairs. The room that will be V's study is particularly stacked tall. I'm almost dreading unpacking more than I did packing. I did get the last of my empty canning jars moved out yesterday and I only have a few full jars on the shelves here.
6. Build community food systems- Can't think of anything this week. I didn't even get to the farmer's market. Oh, wait, I bought locally produced yogurt (I had some for lunch with strawberries today - YUM!)
7. Eat the food. We've had home produced salads and I've had a couple of radish sandwiches (bread, butter and sliced radishes, Mmmm). Been trying to eat mostly from stores but as we've been busier, I've noticed that I've been slacking on my usual cooking from scratch. Oh well, we've gotta eat!

I didn't get out of work soon enough to make it to the animal shelter this afternoon (they close at 530) but we did go check out another rescue organization in town. We were able to talk to the woman in charge but they didn't have any animals there at the moment. They are in the process of moving their facility and are still remodeling the new space. But she said they have several cats who do well with dogs- unfortunately they both sound older than what J was hoping for. We were okay with not being able to get our hearts set on a cat since we're not really ready to adopt yet. But I'm seriously hoping a cat will help with the mouse problem. We thought we had most of the spots where they were getting in sealed up- but evidently not. I found some mouse droppings in one of the kitchen drawers on Saturday (I've been reluctant to put anything in those drawers- they seemed to have been a mouse hot spot) so we set some traps last night. V said there were two mice caught under the kitchen sink last night. Grrr. We only caught 2 the entire first month we were there- before we had the holes plugged! (sigh) They must have figured out that there are interesting things inside again. I'm going to have to give serious thought to mouse-proof food storage. I'll have to look for some large tubs or tins for things like rice and pastas. I don't think we'll ever be able to totally eliminate them but I'll be happy if we can at least keep them under decent control. We're worried that there are enough problems with the siding that we won't get the problem under real control until we replace/repair it. The term 'money pit' is still ringing loudly in our ears.

And now, it's nearing the time that I turn into a pumpkin. I was over-tired and didn't sleep well last night so now I'm paying the price.
I feel like I've been rambling for what should have been a straightforward update. Oh well, that happens when I get tired.


  1. I know what you mean, the weeks seems to be going by so fast - and yet the days themselves can seem long. Corn! That's one that will be very delicious in a few months, and the Bloody Butcher sounds very versatile. Funny you mentioned the garbage - I didn't put mine out for pickup last week either because it was raining and the collectors tend to leave the top of the container open (why???) to fill with rain so I wind up with another chore. ANyway, this week I still didn't have 1/2 a bin (mind, I don't live with a family). The trash person must think I'm a weirdo, but hey.
    The cat-quest. How old of a cat is J thinking of? I hope you can find a good fit soon.

  2. Hi Judy
    Sorry you are still having problems with mice. Unfortunately, living in the country means an ongoing battle with the critters. I've lived in new houses, old houses, you name it, and we have never NOT had mice. Its just a fact out of town. The best you can hope for is to find THEEEE spot that you always catch them (ours is at the top of the basement steps)and just keep the traps always set. Hubby re-baits them every Monday with fresh peanut butter). Sometimes we go a month or two without any, then all of a sudden, 3,4,5 mice in a few days. Don't mean to burst your bubble, but if you can mouse-proof your house, THE WORLD would love to know how you did it. I've read they can squeeze through a hole the size of a keyhole. Its gotta be smaller than that-we've been over EVERY INCH of our house. Still they come in. Sorry!

  3. Localzone- she is hoping for a kitten/cat about 5 months to a year. Young enough to still be fun and grow with but old enough that it can defend itself if the dog gets too playful. At 105 lbs it wouldn't take much for him to accidentally hurt a tiny kitten. We're going to have to watch them together really closely for a while until we're sure how they get along.
    Sue- I know we will never totally eliminate the mice. It's just that there was SUCH a problem there before that I'm worried that it will turn into that bad of an infestation. That- and I'm just grossed out by the idea of a mouse crawling around in my silverware drawer. EEW.

  4. OH! those dredded mice!! I hope you can get rid of those pesky things once you set enough traps and get a nice mouser kitty. We have been finding ants everyhwere and are spraying constantly. Wretched things. They are the little tiny ones...debbie

  5. Don't feel bad about the cucumbers...mine finally went in the ground 2 days ago and I am in Virginia!! As for the peas, my fall crop is the only one I actually get enough to freeze some for winter. The spring peas don't have enough space to provide more than a few dinner's worth, but the fall peas I get to use all my tomato beds and extra space where I have pulled out beans, so give it a try!

  6. oh, yeah...see that Aussie/Jack Russell mix in my profile photo? She loves mice and anything underground...maybe I will drop her off at your house on my way to Minnesota next time....LOL....she makes a funny rooster crow noise in the morning, so you will know when she has arrived :)

  7. Get a cat. We have mice every fall - maybe once you move in and there is lots of noise around they will seek other homes.....


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