Sunday, February 8, 2009

Independence Days- week 10

What a week.  It seemed to fly by!  Even after having had a three day weekend I can't believe it's already time to go back to work tomorrow. Today wasn't as warm as it has been but was still above freezing so the snow and ice continue to melt. We still have snow in the yard and behind the house in the driveway and alley.  It's supposed to rain tomorrow, hopefully it won't flood since the ground is still frozen.
I'm itching for spring... getting more and more impatient. Only a few weeks until I can start planting little seeds, first the broccoli.  I have high hopes for the garden this year.  I hope I can keep up with my goals.  I do think that the Independence Days Challenge will help keep me on track.  Here goes the update for this week:
1. Plant something- Nope, but getting closer and closer.  I've got all my seeds organized and ready to go.  
2. Harvest something- A little bit of lettuce from the planter in the basement but, Hey, it's February!!
3. Preserve something- I don't think so.
4. Store something- Found a reasonable deal on craisins so stocked up on a few.  They'll make a nice addition to granola bars.  Made more waffles for breakfasts for the week so that's short term storage.
5. Manage reserves- Ate almost entirely from stores this week.  I found an acorn squash with  spot on it so it will have to be used this week.
6. Cook something new- I made granola bars this week.  I thought they were a bit sweet but the children LOVE them.  I'll need to tweak the recipe a bit until I get it the way I like it.  At the rate we've been going through oatmeal I'm going to have to make another run to the Amish bulk food store soon.  Usually our fall purchase last longer than this.
7. Prep something- Not really.  We're pretty status quo for the moment.  I'm not sure if this counts as prep but my Mom offered me some old canning jars. I'll have to see what they look like next time we're down at the farm.
8. Reduce waste-  Composted, recycled and used cloth bags as usual.  Shopped at a local thrift store for 'new' clothes.
9. Learn a new skill- Didn't get around to knitting at all this week. Having  our friend Mike in town really threw off my usual schedule this week.  Did learn how to make granola bars but I'm not sure that is a skill.  This isn't a new skill for me but will be for J14.  We went to a local fabric store this afternoon since they were having a pattern sale (patterns that are usually $15.95  or more were all $1.99) We picked up a few patterns and some fabric.  She will start out with a project of flannel drawstring PJ pants.  She has been saying that she wants to learn to sew her own clothes so this is a good start.
10.  Work on community food security-  Signed up at church to provide a double batch of chili to serve at the local homeless shelter next weekend.
11. Regenerate what is lost- Had a great discussion with my parents yesterday about gardening and canning. I want to see if my Mom will teach me how to make pickles this summer.  I tried it once years ago and they were awful!  My Mom makes fantastic pickles of all sorts and I would like to learn at the hands of a master.  I remember helping as a child, but back then, I really didn't care. Now, I wish I had paid more attention.   I would like someday get my hands on one or more of the pickling crocks that have been in the family for forever, maybe I'm just being mercenary but I don't think that's entirely it.
12. Behavior change- I've been better this week about setting priorities and sticking to them.  Since the weather has warmed up, I'm going to start walking to work again.  I've been spoiled by having V drive me when it was really cold here.

Not a bad week.  We'll see what this week holds in store.  I can't wait until I can get out into the garden to really see what I can do.  


  1. Given the season, you sound like you did fantastic. Family pickling crocks are like gold! I'm going to have to buy new because all the family ones are gone somewhere over time.

    What is this independence challenge? I'm going to have read further back in your blog...

  2. The sound of the ice melting and dripping down the street is one of the happiest sounds this time of year. For February, any harvesting is a good thing! What granola recipe did you use? Your talk with your mother, that just seems like the best part of this report - reconnecting. How is making pickles different than canning?

  3. Christy- The link in my sidebar should work for the Independence Days challenge. I'm a latecomer to it myself. It is through Sharon Astyk and is the challenge to track your progress toward 'independence' or as I think of it, my ability to survive WHSHTF.
    Localzone- I I looked at lots of different recipes and then kind of made up my own. It worked but still needs tweaking. It is possible to make pickles directly in the jar, that's what I tried before and they were terrible. I think the best pickles are just that- pickled in brine in a big crock before you put them in jars. I remember layering the crock with cucumbers, salt and grape leaves but other than that, my childhood memories are pretty fuzzy. That's why I want to learn from my Mom. Duh, I'm kind of late at picking up on this one aren't I?

  4. How nice that your mom can teach you to pickle! My mom didn't do any of that. Your lettuce photo on the header looks fantastic. Is that in the basement?

  5. Lisa, Yeah, that's my lettuce that I have under the lights downstairs. I felt the need for something more cheerful than the snow pic I had up before.
    My Mom was one of those true farm Mom's- she did it all, from milking the cow and separating the cream to planting, harvesting and preserving the harvest. I do so wish I had paid more attention as a child. I've lost a lot of years that I should have been learning from her.

  6. well, after the pants and cami, it's the dueling shirts. Then I can start on those pants and skirts. (I don't know when I could do that costume dress... eek!!!)


Glad you stopped in. I would love to hear from you.