Life on a little urban homestead in the making, with ideas for self-sufficiency, DIYing, organic gardening, food preservation, chicken keeping, cookery, crafts, thrifting, vintage stuff,
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May 23, 2013

Fairy Garden Box, New Furnace/AC, Independence Days Challenge

Fairy Garden Box-
For Mother's Day I had requested some fairy garden components. My daughter Tami got me started with the wheel barrow and table set. I bought the little fairy and now I'm all set!

I put it in my herb pot since it will get trimmed on a regular basis. I out the butterfly over her head for a break from the rain and sun :) I already bought some new components, including the  round solar light.

Thyme, rosemary and oregano on the deck box, basil seeds started in the 2 pots

New Furnace/AC-
After our AC pooped out recently we knew we had to bite the bullet and get a new furnace too, as you ideally want to do both together. We knew the furnace was also pretty old, about 35 years, and somewhat inefficient. I love doing research before a big investment and gathering data so I subscribed (by the month) to Consumer Reports. I like looking at their reliability reports, always an eye-opener. We wound up getting several bids and asking around. The biggest warning I read was to make sure it's installed correctly or it can void out your warranty. We went with an established company and got 2 Trane units. Much more efficient, and should save us on our monthly energy bill. Nice and quiet and MUCH better air quality too. We're all set.

Independence Days Challenge-

1. Plant Something- 
Planning on planting our summer veggies starting this weekend. There was a frost warning last night, go figure! It's been a regular roller coaster temp-wise. Started basil seeds in 2 pots for lots this summer.

2. Harvest Something-
Eggs, compost, chives, cool weather crops growing nicely. Did a massive pruning on the blackberries, raspberries and marionberries. Lots of dead vines.

3. Preserve/Store Something-
Made my elderberry syrup, Dave's taking some for a cough. Still freezing things- got a great deal at the Grocery Outlet on local/gourmet bread and froze 2 loaves. Also got some various bathroom supplies, and quick lunch stuff (Annie's Organic) there too.

4. Manage Reserves- Get a Good Deal/Barter/Stock Up/Prep-
Got a good deal on the furnace/AC unit, prepping the garden for planting.

5. Eat the Food- Try New Foods/Recipe-
Got a new Thai cooking book to play with, still working on my homemade pesto from last summer's abundant basil! Man that tastes good! Found a new cornbread recipe to try.

6. Build Community Food Systems-
Still selling eggs.

7. Recycle/Re-Use-
Used leftover metal roofing for cedar box, leftover rocks from AC installation will go into the garden for more borders. Dave got the pond set up with our 2 cheap, thrift store pumps and Lilly pads. (pictures coming)

8. Skill Up-
Reading Making Home and getting lots of ideas from that. We're starting to wash our sheets and towels every other week and just do the pillow cases/hand towels and wash cloths weekly. Saves time, money and wear. An online university hired me to be their once a weekend a month tech support for a bunch of $. I figured out what they needed and it will be minimal, so I'm learning! That $$$ will go to some special projects :)  I love it when something just comes your way, when you're open.

9. Regenerate What is Lost/Salvage Something-
Having a plumber come over to do some small jobs and someone to stretch our bedroom carpet. It pays to maintain things instead of waiting til there's a crisis.

Comfrey blossoms


Betty Sneeringer said...

I like your fairy box and what you did with it! I just made a miniature garden and did a post on it about three back.


Betty Sneeringer said...

Oh, I also meant to say, I love the comfrey - beautiful. I have a big pot of it too. I don't often see it anywhere.

nancy said...

Thanks Betty and welcome! Comfrey is really great for burns. I got a start from a friend and planted in a tough place to garden and it loves the spot!

Candy C. said...

Love your fairy garden and the little table and chairs! :)
Good deal on the part-time tech job! Let us know if you find any good Thai recipes to share.

nancy said...

Thanks. The job really fell into my lap :) Yes, I'll share some recipes soon. It's a simple, but authentic cookbook. A friend spent a lot of time in Asia and she highly recommended it...

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