Life on a little urban homestead in the making, with ideas for self-sufficiency, Permaculture, DIYing, organic gardening, food preservation, chicken keeping, cookery, crafts, thrifting and more...

Jul 25, 2012

Independence Days Challenge, Camping & A Sleep Aid, Mystery Garden Veggie/Mushroom?

Cascade Lake Inlet

Independence Days Challenge-
I thought I'd get to the "work" I've done, so I can get to the fun- camping! By the way- I have this list as a word doc, so I can just copy and paste the blank...

1. Plant Something- Today I planted 2 paste tomatoes, perennials, and herbs to fill in some spots, all 75% off! Atleast it was cooler this morning, 70. I won't really be doing a separate Fall garden as there's no room. My summer garden will go til mid-Oct. depending on the weather. I have harvested green tomatoes into Nov.

2. Harvest Something- My first tomatoes, basil, berries are coming in finally. The chickens ate 2 tomatoes. I'm hoping this is not a trend :(  I think it's because we were camping and they didn't get enough snacks :) I also saved some blackbery vine trimmings to make tea out of.

3. Preserve/Store Something- Did peach jam. Bought more cukes yesterday to make fridge pickles. Will can the chokecherry jelly this week. Blackberry tea leaves to store.

4. Manage Reserves- Get A Good Deal/Barter/Stock Up/Prep- Bought several grill packs of chicken on sale, froze most of it. Ditto Italian sausage, and brats for the fall. I'm going to keep adding more meats for the Fall/Winter. I love our freezer, the small chest one has paid for itself. Great for freezing the 25 lb. bag of flour too :) I put the flour in a giant Ziploc bag after killing what might have been in there. Bought fresh dill for pickles, it finally hit the store!

5. Eat the Food- Try New Foods/Recipes- Tried a new chili rubbed chicken recipe, excellent! I used parts instead of a whole one- Chili Rubbed Chicken  I am LOVING my dilly beans I made, just awesome! Crunchy carrots I added are a bonus.

6. Build Community Food Systems- Trying to buy local, mostly cherries and corn right now.

7. Recycle/Re-Use- Will be building a canning cabinet, need to buy a Sawsall first. Used scrap wood camping for kindling. Thrifting: got 2 gorgeous like-new down-filled pillows for our couch (what a deal $2.00 each), water bottle, cat condo/bag, ball jar.  Got a used deviled egg tray on eBay, cute!

8. Skill Up- Renewed my camping cooking skills :)

9. Regenerate What is Lost/Salvage Something- Getting more scrap wood. Sold off some really nice stuff on eBay, as it wasn't being used and was just hanging out.

Ceramic deviled egg tray, cute huh?

Our Home For 2 Days

Camping and A Sleep Aid-
We finally went camping for the first time in years, with our daughter and her boyfriend of several years. It was a blast! Tami only has weekends off and no vacation so we had to keep it to the weekend. They were excellent company and everyone had a great time! I stole Kristina's idea and gifted Tami and I with kerchiefs as a little memento (un-matching though).  Tami got a cute purple floral design, mine's a bright blue standard pattern. We found a campground that is reclaimed BLM land and it's run by a group of seniors. Not being a senior, or an RVer, I wasn't sure what to expect. I'm not an RV fan, as they have been (in my experience) loud and obnoxious. Here's the experience, short version- very clean campground, free firewood, showers/toilets, water, set up more for RV's, but a had some nice tent sites. Very quiet during the day, the staff patrolled on their ATV's. Nice walking trail thru the forest to various edges of the lake, and I got lots of wildflower pics there. Went swimming, watched an eagle (bald?) swing down and catch a fish, hung out in camp and read. Then night fell, still fine, as we did dinner and smores, I went and took a nice hot shower, and watched the stars come out. I was tired and relaxed.

As we got into the tent about 11:30 we realized the air mattress wasn't inflated hard, mistake, but figured we'll fall asleep. FYI- Dave can sleep anywhere and thru an atomic bomb blast. First, an RV nearby had something that kept cycling, every 10 minutes or so, for hours. I almost went over there, but decided in the interest of personal safety to stay in my tent. Then the screaming (this is why I don't drink) on the other end of the facility went on for a short while. Then the dogs barked. At 2 a.m. I got up to use the bathroom, a ways down the road. It was finally silent. I looked up at the stars for a full 5 minutes and enjoyed the universe. Back to bed. I woke up at 5 after finally falling into deep sleep. Then the birds started up. In the forest, there's a lot of them. Note to self- take earplugs.

At 6 a.m. I gave up and got up. This was NOT in the plan on V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N. Note to self- take sleep aid next time, skip the earplugs. I went down to the bathroom area and got cleaned up. Went back and started a fire. Dave got up about then kid a bit later. Had a nice breakfast, packed the camp up and drove to McCall a few minutes away. It's a gorgeous mountain town, just stunning. Had lunch there, slept a bit on the drive home, then came back to 102 degree heat, ugh. I cooled down the chickens, watered the garden while Dave unloaded. Then- I went to bed, and slept for 2 hours. Dave did too, since he didn't wake me up on time. I got some dinner out as I was really groggy, brought it home, then had a nice evening. I slept for 10 hours, hard. I spent the last 2 days doing laundry and dishes from camping, but I do have a dishwasher thankfully. So much "clean up" after- I wanted to go camping why? We do want to go out in the Fall when there's less campers, in a more remote area. Note to self- camping is actually a blast- take sleep aid.

Anya had to check out the pre-camping inflation of the air mattress

View off walking trail, Cascade Lake inlet

Our swimming hole

Tami taking a reading break

wild iris or???

Asters I think


Payette Lake, McCall

Paddle boarder with dog! Cute...

Tami braving the very cold water, early in the day, brrrr....
The lake is VERY deep

Mystery Garden Veggies/Mushroom?
I noticed last week several of the same mystery veggies growing in our raised bed. I think it's some kind of squash, as it has fuzzy leaves. I'm afraid if I move it I'll kill it, so I'm leaving it and hoping for fruit. I think it was in the soil from the other garden area when we moved some of the soil over. Any ideas?

These have sprouted in part of my shady lawn, any ideas what kind they are?
I think they're probably from the bark mulch

My Life Savers In A Hot Summer Kitchen-

Fan blows cool air from the living room into the kitchen
Anya says hi!

Turbo fan up high on opposite corner in the kitchen for a cross breeze.
This one, single fan has REALLY helped with the heat!

Fan by kitchen vent helps blow the cool air more, and I'm grateful for A/C!

Anya exploring her $2.00, washed thrifting cat condo/bag


Thrifty Mom In Boise said...

Sounds like a nice weekend. We need to get out again but like you I want to wait until fall when no one is around. I like it quiet. Haven't been up in that neck of the woods for awhile. Might need to head that way.

Unknown said...

It's much COOLER up there too!

Candy C. said...

I love, love that deviled egg tray!!
Your camping story reminded me why we DON'T go camping! LOL!! Beautiful place though and I love all your pictures! That Anya is a character! :)
The book that came with my new pressure canner specifically says NOT to use it on an outside propane burner. :( It says the heat is too much and it will warp the metal. The horse and goats got the carrots that the shovel "bit".

Unknown said...

Thanks, good warning. Any ideas on the veggie?

Unknown said...

I thikn the mystery veggies are pumpkin plants!!!

Carolyn said...

Thanks for the reminder that camping isn't always "peace and quiet"....we've been planning an tent camp outing, but it's been too stinking hot out to even consider. They should have separate areas for RV'ers with really does defeat the purpose of getting out into the "wild" when your neighbor has his generator going to power the A/C, cable TV, microwave and computer.
Yay for kitty pictures!

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