Life on a little urban homestead in the making, with ideas for self-sufficiency, food preservation, thrifting,
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May 21, 2017

Belated Mother's Day Fun, Great Deals, Gardening Projects & Prep

Grandpa with Oliver left, River right

Belated Mother's Day Fun-
We had a belated Mother's day potluck here at our house yesterday. Everyone's schedule was weird last weekend so we simplified. With two daughters with new families this year it was fun!  River will be one in a week, how time flies! I made a ham with this rub Foodnetwork.com, simple and tasty, and everyone loved it! I used a real grainy mustard. Lots of leftover ham for this week. Tonite I made Oven Roasted Asparagus With Parmesan Cheese to go with it. Yummy!  I also bought a wonderful pineapple upside down cake from a local bakery and supplied beverages. Kids brought veggies and fruit side dishes. Perfect combo! I received a decorative tote full of Earth-friendly laundry products, and 2 big box store gift cards, designated for plants. I will buy our new things to plant later this week...


Cute!

Great Deals-
First I got a great deal on a ham, 1/2 off for $10.00. I found this pretty, summer dress blouse for work at Ross for $10.00. It had some really gaudy gold buttons that I replaced with white. Free since I always have extra buttons! Much better. I found two thick cotton 6-packs of kitchen wash cloths for $3.00 each also at Ross. Mine were toast, and you can never have too many-


My favorite kitchen cloths are Ikea's spongy wash cloths, but I don't know when we will be there again I bought these. I looked everywhere for cotton ankle socks and finally found a 3 pack at the grocery store of all places!



Gardening Projects-
I have my seeds ready to go now that the weather has stabilized. It was 75 today, and going into the 80's mid week. More mild temps after that. Some, like the peppers will go into pots. The rest in various areas of the yard. I had never heard of the Purple Gleam poppies, pretty! I'm looking forward to trying the 2 varieties of sweet Italian peppers! We were going to try and plant our veggie starts this weekend, but it was too busy. I will spend my gift cards and use that to buy most of our veggies for this coming 3 day weekend. We decided it made more sense to have 3 days to tackle that. Tomatoes, cukes, squashes, peppers, etc. Dave spent almost the entire day today at our daughter's house. They spread bark dust, added a soaker hose, shrubs and flowers in a formerly dead parking strip. It's pretty now and will add some shade and pollinators. With the 2 girls being new homeowners (and having babies) we offered our help to get their gardens going. It's a lot of work! Our perennials here are doing great-



So green!




Our re-bark dusted area, weeded and cleaned up, lots of Chokecherries and Serviceberries this year!

May 16, 2017

More Crazy Weather and Growing Seasons

More Crazy Weather and Growing Seasons-
It's 46 degrees, thunder, lightning, hail and pouring rain. Snow is forecast in the surrounding areas. WHAT MONTH IS THIS??? 

Hail on the deck, some interesting "orbs" showed up

After our historic heavy snows, we were all looking forward to a nice warm batch of weather. It's just been a roller coaster. Last year this time I had my herbs and flowers bought and was planting-  


The last 2 years we had most of our warm weather veggies in the ground in May/early June. I'm glad I have held off. I'm wondering what our growing seasons are doing, with wild weather swings and monster severe weather? We used to have frost in Oct., then it was early Nov. This last winter we had record snow and now a very unstable spring. I'm just wondering what the rest of this year holds? We've been doing various projects in the gardens, but no summer veggies yet. The weather is supposed to warm up this weekend and for next week. The 70's will be great for getting some things in the ground. I just hope it holds up! 

May 14, 2017

More Hot/Cold Weather, Mother Hens Feel Their Chicks Pain, DIY Rows Cover & Low Tunnels, Fresh Chili Rellenos Casserole

Local Robins

More Hot/Cold Weather-
Another wacky weather week here in Boise leaves me feeling depressed and losing motivation to do much of anything outside :(  It was in the mid 80's mid week, then dropped to a HIGH of 55 Friday with rain. It was 37 degrees yesterday morning!!! Cold and windy yesterday, but Dave got a ton of yard work done. He finished bark dusting last week in the front. Looks great! We have another cooler week with some rain, then 70's for next weekend. Dave did a few things today after a visit from our daughter. Her hubby worked today so she brought baby Oliver for some Grandparent's time. I just feel like my get up and go, got up and went. I have a major case of the blahs~~~~~ I think some of it is not having all the kids together today, for Mom's Day. I was just pretty bored, a little sad. Next year I am going to a movie or SOMETHING! Since my 2 girls have their own families now things are getting spread out more with various holidays. We will do a belated Mom's Day potluck dinner next Sat. to get together. That will be nice. I still have the blahs. I am hoping the dark chocolate brownies I just pulled out of the oven will help! :)




Mother Hens Feel Their Chicks Pain-
I read this fascinating study- Mother Hens Feel Their Chicks Pain, really interesting! It explains a lot of their protective gestures towards their chicks and potential threats.


Google image, origin unknown

DIY Row Covers and Low Tunnels-
I was thinking I'd do some research on what we could do next year to jump start the garden early. I liked the ideas above and below to build a removable, rigid row cover, and put over your existing garden beds- 


Hinged lids would open, but storing off-season would be an issue for us. I stumbled on this blog post, pretty interesting ideas- 10 Reasons Low Tunnels Are Better Than Cold Frames





Fresh Chili Rellenos Casserole-
A few days ago I found a great deal on fresh Anaheim peppers. I bought 2 packs for $3.00 total-


I did a search for a recipe, similar to my own, and used this- Fresh Chili Rellenos Casserole I microwaved mine for 3 minutes instead of boiling. Next time would do 5 or so. I used Jack cheese, spicy Jack and Feta. Yummy! Served with a little salsa and chips. I used a few more peppers, our own eggs and flour to the recipe and baedk in a 8" x 10" pan, it worked great. Stores well after cooking. I might add onions and diced celery next time.

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