Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Garden Progress

Oscar stands watch over the yard.

Garlic! Ready soon.

Things are starting to sprout..strawberries, spinach & radishes..

The Big Garden..raised beds planted. Now, we wait for mother nature to work.

Some pic's for ya!

Little sprouts of this and that

Garden #2..the Big Garden

One corner of garden #1..The Little Garden, or Box Garden.
See ya next time......down on the farm! Sage

Monday, March 21, 2011

It's back to the Summertime grind!

Yep, summertime grind. Early morning rising (normal) and straight out to the garden as the sun comes up!
 I'm not much into digging and weeding and harvesting in the heat of the day so you will usually find me doing my 'outside' chores first thing in the AM. Things like, weeding and pruning, mowing and picking up yard debris, hanging out laundry and harvesting, yep, all morning time chores.
I've gotten myself into a pretty good routine what with the new summer hours and the hubby's third shift hours. I'm in the garden or outside doing whatever first light ..but having 'two' gardens, small square foot garden and a larger raised bed garden it's a lot of work for one day, so I've split it. When hubs leaves for work at 6:45 I water one garden, set the clock for an hour and do any kitchen clean up I need to. When my hour is up, I go out and water the chickens, and all the other critters, check for eggs a 3rd time for the day, pick up anything that's 'not where it's supposed to be (garden wise), feed the chickens for a 2nd time and close them in for the night. Then the sprinkler is turned off and I fill up the watering can and hit the spots that the sprinkler hose may have missed. All this takes about 20 minutes or so. The next night, I repeat it, but it's the 'other' garden. It works, and it's routine, but it keeps things fairly simple around here!.
But as it is morning, and it is Monday my laundry is calling to be hung in the breeze so I'm off.
It's laundry  hanging time!

See ya next time......down on the farm! Sage

It's Monday again

The garden is almost planted, the last few of the crops except tomatoes will be going in today. Laundry is in the wash ..sheets specifically and it'll soon be time to start harvesting the young spinach leaves. (they are up good!) Of course you know it's one thing Monday, so here's our list for today:
Yep, you heard that right..a one thing list! LOL just kidding with you! Our one thing for today is:
The computer! Today is the day to clean the computer, inside and out. Run a scan disk, clean up unnecessary files and give the monitor a good wipe down along with vacuuming out the dust in the fan vent. The computer may be a non required item, but it's still in many homes and is a tool, so keep your tools clean! (they'll work better for you!)
I have lots on the list to do today with it being Monday and all. All laundry, sheets too. Plant more in the garden, get dinner in the crock pot, move all herb starts outside, take down a shelf unit and since our temps have been getting in the 80's I have to set up my 'fan' vent system to cool things down. I'm not willing to start up our air conditioner this early in the year. The late afternoons have been getting pretty warm around here so it's 'fan' time!

This week looks to be a busy one for sure, so get your aprons on and your working clothes and let's get busy! :) Have a great day!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Don't forget!!

Our full moon this month is a 'SUPER MOON'...the rising on the 19th is the first of it's kind in 20 years, so go watch (start tonight and watch tomorrow too!)
Here's some info on the super moon!
NASA Super Moon
See ya next time......down on the farm! Sage

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spring is around the corner

And I would say I can actually SEE it! We've been doing a lot of planting around here. Everything from lettuce to collards to corn! There is still much to do and time is getting on so it's off to work today in the garden. Our highs are supposed to be in the upper 70's with it reaching mid 80's by tomorrow! OHMY!
Before you know it, we'll be harvesting the garden and 'laying aside' the bounty!
Good news on this end, the boy child has secured a job and he and his little family will be moving to Wilson, NC.  He'll start his new job on the 28th of this month. We are excited for them! And I know they are relieved and excited as well. GOOD LUCK to them. Appropriate timing what with it being St. Patty's day and all!

No rain in sight for the next week, so it may be time to wash all the blankets and such in the house to let them 'line' dry before storing them away for the summer. Yumm..line dried linens, what could be better?

See ya next time......down on the farm! Sage

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Let me catch you up!

It's been pretty busy around here for the past week. So busy that I didn't get a chance to post our 'one thing' Monday, so we'll call it a vacation. Also, my no techy Wednesday turned into an almost entire week, so I figure it's legal to post today! LOL
Things have been hard to do here with my arm in a sling, but alas, I keep taking it out which I know is not helping the situation, but the boy child and DIL are helping where they can so that I can try to give this 'issue' a helping hand to heal. Tendinitis is not fun.
Not all of the garden is planted, but a good many things are. Peas, strawberries, cabbage, collards, turnips, mustard, lettuce, spinach, green beans, kale, onions and radishes (plus probably a few more I can't remember!) Many of those were planted today!
The tomatoes have been transplanted into larger pots to finish  up their 'spring' growth, and more seeds added to the mix for extra.
With it being Wednesday the chicken coop had it's weekly cleaning as well.
Tonight we'll probably be planting all the squash items  (zuchinni, yellow, patty pan, acorn and pumpkin) along with some okra, cantaloupe and corn! (ok, maybe not all tonight..but at least the squash items).
Spring is always busy round a farm, small or large. If you plant a garden at all, spring, summer and fall are busy busy times, with spring and summer the most busy.
Dinner is in the oven and the rest of dinner is still needing to be prepared so I'm off to finish my days chores. Dinner & dishes, planting, watering and what not. Dinner for tonight: Oven bbq chicken, buttered noodles and green beans. I may even whip up some biscuits to go with!
G'night all ..

Friday, March 4, 2011

A loaf of bread...14.97??????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well that's what the store thought they were going to charge me for a loaf of garlic bread today! Ahem, let me recount for you what happened.
I try to be a savvy shopper. I clip some coupons, I check sale papers and I have a price book. A price book is where I write down the normal price items I usually purchase from our local stores.It allows me at a glance to see who has the lowest price on that item and when a sale is advertised, if it IS a sale.
By comparison shopping, price book and watching the sale papers, I shop where I can get the best bargain for my buck.
Know in advance...I hate Walmart. But trying to keep my grocery bill low, Walmart is a must. Trust me it's not the only store I shop at and they are not the cheapest on everything by any means. But they do save me money on a good many items.
My goal, 150.00 every other week. I get close.
As I shop and go down my list, I write down everything that I purchase and it's price. I do this so I won't suffer 'price total shock' at the register. Today was no different.
As a norm for me, I always check the 'reduced' isles for bargains. Walmart usually has a reduced section of bakery goods, such as garlic breads, french breads, rolls, etc. I will buy them when I think it's a good deal, they aren't too old and if I know I'm going to be too busy to bake bread that week. So today I'm browsing the reduced bakery goods and low and behold they have already buttered garlic bread ready for heating for 1.50$ Decent deal, so I pick one up.
Mind you, this was one of the last things I purchased before heading to the checkout. I knew my total today should have been right around 140$ give or take a few. (before coupons)
Groceries now on the counter being rung up by the cashier I know I only have one stop left and that's IGA for their truckload sale. 40lbs of chicken leg quarters for 16.95. good deal. I'll can some of it, freeze some of it and chicken won't need to be worried about for another month or two....Coming out of my fog as the cashier announces my total of 160$ and some change. I am a wee bit shocked but think to myself that I must have forgotten to write down a good many items. (this is not normal for me, but hey..schtuff happens) I pay my bill and she hands me my receipt. As I'm walking up the isle I glance at my receipt to see if I can figure out why the overage between it and my calculations.
BAM! Right there in front of my eyes was a $14.95 charge. WHAT? I didn't purchase anything for 14.95$ WTH?? I look over and it says "SHEET CAKE"..now I KNOW something is wrong, I didn't purchase a sheet cake..why in the hell would I do that! I stopped dead in my tracks and the traffic of exiting walmart customers, turn my happy butt around straight back to the cashier I just left. Hand her my receipt and begin questioning.
In my mind I'm thinking, "good gawd, how will we know what rung up at this price, I've got a buggy FULL of groceries". So I looked to the receipt at what was rung up before it and after it. Both items were from the bakery and or the fresh produce, the last two places I stopped before heading to the register.
By pure deduction I knew, it had to be one of the two breads I bought off the reduced rack. The cashier ran the 'scanner' on the garlic bread and lo and behold there was the culprit. It was ringing up as a sheet cake for 14.97! Of course, you know this means I had to go to the customer service desk and do the deal to get my money back. Pain in my ass. Apparently the regular price sticker on the bread was data entered wrong, and it was registering that bread as a sheet cake and at that price. Forget it even recognizing it was on a reduced shelf or that it wasn't really a sheet cake.
Problem solved, money refunded and my grocery goal still within a close reach I headed to my last stop.
I got to thinking though. How many people went into Walmart within the last two days, dumped 200$ worth of groceries on the counter and bought a 15$ loaf of bread without even noticing? Without looking at their receipt? Without batting an eye at a 200$ grocery bill? Without double checking anything?

WORD TO THE WISE..write down what you buy as you shop, write down how much money the label SAYS it should be, make sure to check the label carefully ..check the UPC code of the product verses the label on the shelf, read cautiously and finally, MAKE SURE what you put in your buggy is what you're buying, WATCH that register LED as it rings up your purchases. Check your receipts BEFORE you leave the store.
After you do this enough, it will become easier and easier..but START now.
Make a price book. KNOW what is a good deal and isn't a good deal.

I mean, you really don't want to be eating a 15$ loaf of garlic bread do you??

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Remember ...The Crock Pot Pork

Last week I prepared a Crock Pot Pork dinner..served over noodles. Was DELISH! You can find it here. There was quite a bit of that leftover so I put it in the back of the fridge where it's the coldest and I waited.

It was eaten for lunch two or three times and then sort of ignored and I knew then I'd have to revamp it for it gain appeal again. . So last night was the revamp.
I pulled out the pork and gravy and dumped it into a big bowl. I added one can of evaporated milk, one can of cream of mushroom soup, one can of water, and one medium bag of mixed veggies. Salt and pepper and into a greased casserole dish it went. I preheated the oven at this point and proceeded to my bread making area. Whipping up a huge batch of homemade buttermilk biscuits, I cut them out and laid them on top of the now revamped, souped up, veggie laden base.
What was this mystery dish?? Well it was KA POT PIE!  (the KA stands for Kick Ass!) Oh yeah. Bake in oven @ 400 for about 35 mins (or until bubbly and biscuits are golden)
And you know what, that pork and gravy that was going begging in the back of the fridge barely has ANY leftovers today. Go figure.
We do what we must and boy did I stretch my dollar on that dish!
Your Frugal tip of the day. DO NOT GIVE UP ON SOMETHING. Rehash it, make it new, put a spin on it and recook it or remake it different! NEVER GIVE UP!
( I so wish I had taken a picture of it, it was a most beautiful thing!) Maybe next time!

What's on the table for dinner tonight??
Chicken & gnocchi w/ cream sauce
Garlic bread
Steamed broccoli
Two weeks ago I found boneless skinless chicken breast on sale .. for 1.78$ a pound.  When I got  home, I began the process of 'making the most out of this purchase.
I cut the little side strips off the breast and bagged them up, total bags of strips = 2. I'm using one bag of strips tonight.
With the large pieces of breasts that remained  I cut them in half as if you were butterflying them, but cut all the way through, then cut the bottom tips off each one. I put 6 cut breast pieces to a bag, total bags= 4.
What did I do with the tips I cut off? Into a freezer bag of course, now I have 1 bag of 'bits and pieces' to use for soup.
How many meals does that make?? Eight. I can get 7 meals out of the one package of breasts. Total cost of the package was 10.58 round up to 11$ ..that means the meat in each meal will cost: $1.57. WOOOHOOOOO! I'm all about less then $2!