The boys started back to school yesterday. My MIL arrived safely last evening and I thoroughly enjoyed my day of solitude.
I woke yesterday to a roaring thunderstorm that provided us with a lovely 1.1 inch of precious rain. Fortunately it had dissipated to only a mist by the time the boys had to go wait for their buses. The rain made it too wet to do any weeding in the garden so I busied myself with tidying up the house- especially the downstairs bath, guest room and the kitchen. I brought in the table from the deck and stashed it in the back of the library and hauled up my sewing machine and some other quilting supplies so I can work without bothering my MIL in the spare bedroom in the basement which is where I usually work. The table isn't as strong as I would like and it gets kind of bouncy if I run the machine at a fast speed but it definitely works. And the lighting is great back there. Maybe when the walls are finished (drywall isn't completely mudded yet and it's unpainted) I'll permanently move my sewing machine up there. Of course, V wants to use that room for his study- hmm, best 2 out of 3 falls??? I did get the borders cut and on for Justine's Steampunk Airship quilt- now I just have to sandwich and quilt it. Hopefully I can get it done soonish to send in her first care package at college.
But it's Friday, time for my Independence Days Challenge update. Not that I feel I've got much to report- and this is from the last 2 weeks (although one doesn't really count since I was out of state).
Plant something- not a thing. Sadly, not all of my little fall seedlings survived- but then, did I really need 10 heads of cabbage? I tell myself not....
Harvest something- tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, zucchini, a honeydew, basil, oregano, eggs
Preserve something- 7 quarts of tomato sauce. The tomatoes seem to be in a lull- I think this is the result of the super-hot temps we had that kept them from setting on. I hopefully should be getting more ripening in the next week or so. I certainly hope so- I still don't have as much canned as I'd like. I've also been using my dehydrator this week. On Tuesday I made some 'Cream of this and that' soup (you know- that catch-all veggie soup) with broccoli, zucchini, onion and peppers. Justine just loves it (as do I) and we got started talking that all the ingredients (except the half and half) could be dehydrated and pulverized before cooking. So, I've been dehydrating zucchini, broccoli, carrots, peppers and a couple of tomatoes to make 'soup powder'. I do need to dry some onions as well but I think I'll wait until the MIL is gone... they can be a bit overwhelming, LOL. I'll experiment with the mix and then send some to Justine for a quick meal option. I'm wondering if dry milk would work to add some creaminess, a little bouillon and viola! Just add hot water!
Waste not- the usual: composted, recycled and scraps to chickens
Want not- not much this week, although I did get a few pounds of Colorado peaches that are destined to become jam this afternoon (I'll have my MIL help). There is also a sale on sugar at the local grocery that I want to get to, as well as a '2-day sale' starting today with a few other specials - like cheap toilet paper!
Eat the food- Cream of This and That soup (LOVE my immersion blender!) and I made a killer tomato sauce for over pasta last night. Everything but the salt and pepper came from my garden. LOVE IT!
Build community- got a great local melon- that's about it. Oh, and while not exactly local to me now, last week when we were in MN, my MIL, one SIL and I stopped at Homestead Mill- a local grain mill in Cook. What a fascinating place- I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to have someplace like that near here. I did get a bunch of pancake/muffin mixes as gifts for co-workers (they're the absolute best for allowing me to have 2 weeks off in a row!!) including mixes for wild-rice pancakes. They sell the mixes in these lovely muslin bags that were actually made on site at the mill (we met the lady sewing the bags- they also screen print them all as well!) I made muffins (blueberry and cranberry/maple/pecan) for our last breakfast on the lake since everyone needed to bug out quickly- and they were fantastic!
Skill up- hmm, not much- although I did disassemble the vacuum to try to figure out why it is squealing when it gets hot... no luck- it still squeals- I wonder if a bearing is going in the motor or something.... sigh- I don't want to have to worry about getting a new vacuum!
With Justine off in college, finances will be getting much more interesting. We had to spring for a new laptop for her and we're trying to get by this semester without her having to take out any loans. But it will be touch and go for us. Good thing we've got lots of food in the freezer and I know how to cook. But I do think this means that our alcohol and entertainment budget will be slashed. Oh, what will I do without my weekend wine with dinner..... Not that we are lushes by any means but we do love the occasional bottle of wine. hmm... I wonder if the birds have left any elderberries.......