Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mini-milestone

I passed the 1 1/2 stone weight loss mark. Yay! Honestly though, after 22 lbs, shouldn't I be able to SEE a difference? I'm going to have a hard time not hugging the first person to notice a change...lol.

It's a beautiful day and I'd better get a load of laundry out because the next few will be wet.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Lovely Lilacs


The lilacs are finally beginning to blossom so I brought some inside to provide that 'subtle scent of lilac' as my son described it. Flower close-ups are so fascinating ... intricate perfection.

Yesterday I started up the lawn mower (the entire yard is a bit too much for me to tackle with the reel mower). It's always a challenge getting it running the first time in the spring, but necessary; the grass was taking over.

Storms have been pushing through the area in waves recently. This afternoon I took scraps over for the chickens and when I got home had to quickly try to unlock the door as the latest swept in ... needless to say I was damp by the time I managed it.

I did something new today: I canned 6 quarts of chicken. The store had a sale on leg quarters last week and I've been wanting to try to preserve food without relying on electricity; thus, canning. I followed the instructions in the Ball preserving book for bone-in raw pack and everything went smoothly.

Back to work tomorrow.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mortgage Free!!!!!!!!!!

Today I went to the bank and got a certified check for the payoff amount on my house. I mailed it and there went my very last payment to CitiMortgage. Of course, that wasn't the original bank that gave me a mortgage. It's changed hands many times over the last twenty years.

This won't really change my finances since next month I'll start saving for the fall tuition bill. Even so, it's a huge milestone in my life. This house that has sheltered us for so many years is now safe from foreclosure and financial storms. This is where my son has lived his entire life and where someday he may visit with his children.

There are improvements that need making; more attic insulation and replacement basement windows. There are also dreams to consider; wood burning stove, privacy fence, and serious solar panels.

For today: I'm happy.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Result!

I finally got out in the garden today. I planted three rows of potatoes. Such a relief to finally get something into the ground!

How come the slow times at work never coincide with sunny weather? I could have done so much more today... if only.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Yeehaw!

Sunshine! A little warmth! After the bizarre weather we've had recently: freezing, then up into the 80s, then cold and wet...today was lovely.

I stopped at the farm to visit the chickens and pick up some eggs.


Recently I've been researching vacuum sealer storage things and I called my sister to ask if she had ever used one; turns out she had one in her garage and offered to send it to me! It's a cool machine and you can see I've been having fun sealing my dried beans and peas into jars.


Given that it was such a nice day and yesterday's rain had dried off I decided to try out my new reel mower. I had a double incentive for buying it: mowing without fuel is green and exercise! I've found it's a lot easier to motivate myself if the exercise serves a useful purpose which is why my walks take me to the mailbox. The mowing was definitely a workout, a little frustrating because it jammed every time it encountered a twig, but a good accomplishment.

When Raleigh came home he helped me move the polytunnel over to protect the south end of the big garden from the young black walnut tree growing there. It would probably be more productive to cut it down, but I've only got 2 immature walnuts and I can't bring myself to do that.

On a final note: as of Friday I have lost a total of 18.5 lbs!!!!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

So close...

Last night my neighbor tilled my big garden space. I asked the favor because I think everything will do better with the increased depth of the tilth and he has access to a tractor pulled tiller. So, there I was all set to get out and planting and what do I discover this morning? Rain! And wind! Grumble, grumble...

At least yesterday was nice with sunshine and calm all day. In the morning I took part in a Breast Cancer Awareness walk and the afternoon was spent celebrating my niece's graduation from college. I also got to hang out a load of laundry instead of line-drying it in the basement. I always forget the glorious smell of clothes dried in the sun. Lovely.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Saved soup

When I went to the grocery store I was happy to find they had restocked the cans of bean salad. Tonight I added it to the big batch of super soup and it brought the flavor back to life. I was looking at this huge pot of soup and decided that, yummy though it is, I didn't want to live off it for days. This led to a late evening canning session and 5 quart jars are now de-pressurizing in the canner.

I'm trying out some of the Tattler reusable canning lids. If anyone is thinking of buying these, I found the home website http://shop.reusablecanninglids.com/main.sc looks to be the least expensive source though I haven't placed an order so can't comment on the shipping charges.