Last week’s momentum has continued pretty well. I tackled a bunch of home organization projects that have been seriously irritating me. You know what I mean – organizing a freezer that was overstuffed and haphazard from harvesting season, cleaning up the laundry area which had turned into a dumping ground – that kind of thing.
Here’s this week’s list of accomplishments. Please join in, and list your own weekly (or monthly, or whatever!) achievements in the comments, or if you have a blog and want to do your own post and link it up, that’s great too.
Planted & Maintained
- Fall crops are looking good – cabbage, kohlrabi, chard and some final shoots of broccoli will be on the dinner table in the next few weeks.
- I didn’t quite complete fall clean-up last week so I’m heading out to the garden as soon as I wrap up this post to finalize stuff like mulching.
- Started a new cold compost pile
- Otherwise, it’s a very slow time in the garden, which is nice.
- Maybe a quarter of my fall veg “biomass” is self-seeded, including the lovely green globe turnip and rainbow chard in the photo above. I picked that turnip for lunch on Friday.
- Harvested several jalapeno peppers – some red and some green. The rest of the peppers are all getting picked today.
- Found a few more straggling green tomatoes and eggplant and brought them in before I yanked the vines / plants.
- Pulled my frozen tomatoes, thawed them, peeled them, and made tomato sauce. Final count: 12 quarts and 8 pints tomato sauce.
- Dehydrated tomato peels to make tomato powder.
Cooking & Eat Down The Larder
- Cleaning out and organizing the freezer was great – I “discovered” several meals in there I’d forgotten about.
- Heated pre-made, frozen strata
- Made lentil soup
- Made Pot-au-feu with garden veg (cabbage, potatoes, onion, etc.) and some flank steak.
- Our duck Minky was nabbed by a hawk or eagle. We didn’t see it happen but there was a huge ruckus in the coop, birds totally panicked, and when we went to see what was up, there was absolutely no sign of her, not even a feather. She just vanished like Keyser Söze.
- Between Goldie passing away a couple weeks ago and Minky getting taken, it’s been a rather bleak couple of weeks with regards to the birds.
Business, Finances & Frugality
- Over $575 of direct funding on my Patreon page. This Patreon thing has been an interesting experiment. It’s absolutely the best direct monetization method I’ve found as a blogger.
Energy Use & Solar Panel Production
- Total electricity used: 253 kWh. Gulp.
- Total solar energy produced: 96kWh (= $51.58 in production incentive)
- Energy purchased: 157kWh (= $16.48 in net spend)
- Total earned through our solar panels this week: $35.10
Home & Readiness
I just don’t do well when I’m surrounded by a lot of chaos in my space. This is pretty typical for highly sensitive people. I am learning that it’s not just ok for me to take the time to re-order my immediate world as needed, it’s actually quite essential during this stage of life when the normal chaos of family and life often has me right at the edge of what I can comfortably handle.
To that end I:
- Cleaned out and organized the indoor fridge and freezer
- Cleaned out and organized outside the deep freeze
- Dealt with the crazy book explosion that has happened since we started homeschooling, organizing and rationalizing book storage in various places throughout our home (one such spot in the photo above).
- Cleaned the room that serves triple purpose as my writing space, Nick’s full-time home office, and (rarely) a guest room
- Helped Oliver clean his room
- Deep cleaned my bedroom and bathroom, which really needed it!
- Sorted through a ton of old homeschooling materials that we are done with and passed them on to other homeschooling families
- Got us all caught up on laundry
- De-gunked a very slow draining sink in our bathroom
- Ran a load of cardboard to the recycling center
- Deep cleaned the stove
- Mopped downstairs floors
Homeschooling & Family
Good stuff on the homeschool front.
- Regular tablework with Oliver. This continues to go really well. Every parent knows that kids go through phases. Some phases are quite combative and frustrating, and we’ve had those. But it so lovely parenting Oliver right now. He’s just doing really well. I’m trying to be very conscious about how great this stage is and just enjoy it.
- This week Bella completed reading of Books 5 – 8 in The Odyssey, we did quizzes and discussion of each book. She’s started her essay on this section of the book, and is nearly done with work on her map of the route taken by Odysseus on his journey.
- Bella went to see The Crucible with her writing co-op.
- Still working my way through the audiobook Sapiens. It’s great!
- For cleaning hair and icky stuff out of drains, these cheap drain cleaning tools are awesome.
• • •
Yes on those awesome drain cleaning tools! They are the best. I discovered them a couple of years ago and can’t believe I have actually wasted money calling a plumber in the past, since they are so easy to use. Disgusting, but easy. Glad home schooling is going so well.
Planted & Maintained:
-kept the winter greens alive
-pulled out the tomato, tomatillo, & pepper plants
-kept the mushroom box going
-kept the ginger plant going
-picked the last of the saffron for the year
-picked the tomatillos & the very last of the (green) pimentos (seriously – end of October, in the PNW, and I’m picking peppers)
-picked herbs & onion greens as we used them
-made a couple of meals each of lentils & sausage, rice balls with tuna & spicy mayo inside (first time I’ve made this!), baked potatoes, and tuna fried rice
-sectioned & froze a bag full of mandarins for snacking and smoothies
-made pumpkin oatmeal for weekday breakfasts
-cooked the two sweet potatoes I discovered hiding in the kitchen (found them just in time, too) – froze the mashed sweet potato for making waffles another time
-starting to plan for Thanksgiving dinner
-two quart jars of dehydrated shallots (not from the garden)
-kept the four cats alive
-fed the birds & squirrels outside, kept an eye on the birdbaths
-admired the Downy woodpecker (possibly two) who has been visiting the yard lately
Home & Other Stuff
-did six loads of laundry (all in one day!)
-worked 40-something hours at my day job
Maybe listing things that have gotten done will make me feel less like life is spiraling out of control–my father has recently been put in an Alzheimer’s care unit and along with that has been three visits to local hospital ER rooms. Hubs and I are working at fighting off the various viruses we picked up there. Thank you, foraged Elderberries…we gave ourselves a blessing getting syrup and juice on the pantry shelf.
Between the two of us we managed to: do a last mowing and mulching with the lawn clippings, give the raspberries their autumn chop and thinning, harvested the last of the carrots, winterized the lawn mower and did a final weeding of the garden. Still freezing tomatoes as they ripen on the counter, they’ll be sauced when they’re all done.
I canned 25 pints of chicken from the freezer in an ongoing effort to get one chest freezer emptied and unplugged by December 31st. Again organized in the deep freeze we’re keeping. Unburied and composted freezer jams from 2012, deconstructed home-made smoothie packets into bags of usable fruit and then thawed and dehydrated the greens. Some of the fruit got made into pies. Roasted and puree’d some of this year’s pumpkins and have enough puree frozen for holiday pies. The rest will be roasted, puree’d, dehydrated and powderized. As an experiment, some will be canned in chunks. Dehydrated shredded zucchini and a bag of organic spinach for winter soup add-ins.
Kept us in clean laundry, served the four Feline Overlords and have enough candy hidden from hubby so that the Trick or Treaters will get something tomorrow night.
Bummer about the birds. I’ve had predator issues with my rabbits but so far nothing has touched the chickens *touches wood*.
Kristina M says
-Mowed the lawn
-Mulched my garlic seedlings with fallen leaves and grass clippings. Any advice for keeping neighborhood cats and squirrels out of raised beds??
-One of my fall cabbages has been demolished by slugs and aphids. Not sure if it will be a salvageable crop. The others, oddly, are fine.
-Dried some cheap apples and zucchini. Yum!
-Kept cooking. Only 2 more weeks of my CSA left, which was super successful for me this year. Kept us eating delicious veg and gave me some ideas for the garden next year.
-Bottled my cherry wine and started a batch of mead with hops in it-should be a fun experiment. As a very amateur brewer/winemaker with still somewhat amateur-tasting results, I would love to hear about your winemaking process and if/how it’s changed since your blackberry wine post from back in the day!
-I’ve been participating in Biketober, a Portland biking program/competition. Put in 200 miles this month in my regular commute! It’s been fun to record my mileage and think of all the gas I’m saving.
-My old biking rain pants started leaking, so I’ve replaced them and am planning to make a seat cover and bike tool bag with the old fabric that is still waterproof.
I so feel you about chaotic spaces. O.O
Also, how awesome that you get self-seeded TURNIPS and other autumn/winter goodies!
Also-also… gods, getting into mulch would be a wise plan for me. Not happening this year, unless the Mulch Gods decide to offer me an amazing freebee or something (that does not involve a tree falling over anywhere near the house, plz and tq). But the insulation and the added biomass is… not to be sneezed at.
I’m sorry about Minky and Goldie. That’s awful. 🙁 How is everybody doing?
Here’s mine (such as it is): https://birchtreemaiden.wordpress.com/2017/11/04/im-almost-forty-a-not-so-productive-home-post/