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...

Feb 9, 2020

More Crazy Weather, Italian Mountain Bean Soup, Bird Houses Project, Cleaning From The Top Down


More Crazy Weather-
Last Wednesday it snowed when I was home sick, a stomach bug, and I took a couple photos-




It all melted by afternoon. Two days later, it was 57 degrees! Today the sun is shining, breezy and it is about 45 degrees. The grass is starting to green up just a little bit and I've noticed some shoots on my Oriental Poppy bush-



Bulbs

Lamb's Ear

After my tummy bug I was thrilled to find some sheep's milk yogurt. Technically I'm allergic to dairy cow products, and was told to avoid goat's milk cheese. I can eat Sheep's milk cheese with no problems though. I tried this, has tons of probiotics and pretty tangy! I've been really tired lately with working too much overtime, especially on Saturdays, but it was good to have the money coming in since we had a big car repair. My super reliable Mazda needed a new belt and tension rod. All fixed. I'm not working next weekend, I'm going to have two full days off!


This Spring weather is way too early, but there's nothing we can do about it. Since we can get hard freezes in April sometimes I hope that if it's going to be mild, that it's going to stay mild! Forecast next week in 20's at night, mid 40's during the day, still cold. It's so nice to have the windows open a bit for some fresh air, hear the birds singing and see the sun. The sparrows are out fighting over our bird houses, so good thing Dave is building more! I'm making gardening plans since summer isn't that far off.... I do have some winter indoor flowers hanging in there-

Last Amaryllis from the bulb "garden" from Trader Joe's

Cream colored Poinsettia, also from Trader Joe's

Speaking of gardening-

Yes!



Italian Mountain Bean Soup-
I was channel surfing last night and stumbled onto this recipe on the Ciao Italia show on PBS. Fascinating combo of ingredients and fast to cook! I loved the idea of having thin, dried smoke ham in the soup (you could use prosciutto). I was lucky to find some today, from a local high end meat and cheese company. You add beans, veggie broth, potatoes, rinsed sauerkraut, onions for thick hearty soup. The recipe calls for cranberry beans, which I saw a long time ago in a local store, but didn't have any on hand. We went to the grocery store today and I found something called European Soldier beans, an heirloom variety that was canned. I had planned on buying small kidney beans, but bought these instead since I think they're closer to the what the original recipe calls for. I was actually really lucky spotting them and they were on SALE. So instead of using dried soaked beans I used the canned ones, rinsed well. At some point I will see if I can find some dried ones. Here's the recipe! Italian Mountain Bean Soup Yoda  I used fresh sage and dried thyme, bay leaf and rosemary and added to the broth, didn't use a bundle. The flavor was different and we both loved it! I served with hot whole grain Italian bread. Dave, who doesn't like sauerkraut, loved it even though it was in there. I rinsed it a LOT and squeezed out until pretty dry. If you go to the link there's a short video showing how to make it. It's a keeper!!!



Bird Houses Project-
Dave really enjoys doing woodworking and sadly we don't have room for a wood shop for him. I encouraged him to build some bird houses since a few of ours have gotten pretty bad and had to be pitched. One was full of a yellow jackets nest and I'd heard once there's that smell they will keep coming back. Off to the trash it went, after we sprayed it. I really like adding birdhouses for our local birds to our garden growing space. I LOVE birds! Since we had lots of scrap lumber on hand Dave did a lot of research, then came up with some plans. He came up with some really cute designs he found online. These are all demo projects that need to be finished. They will be for our yard, made from mostly recycled items/wood we had. He might make some for sale locally, we will see how time goes. Here's one I will paint white and add some trim-


For smaller renters, license plate roof, needs the hole and a perch-




I bought a vintage funnel off eBay for this, needs chain, and a stopper on top-









Cleaning From The Top Down-
Sometimes roaming around your house you notice all kinds of little things. Recently I noticed how dusty a lot of my frames were on my wall art. I always dust my furniture and vacuum, but it's easy to miss those other little things. I started thinking I really needed to start at the TOP of the walls and work down, as far as dusting. I had a brilliant idea that David I could tag team this. I gave him a long handle Swiffer and I took the short handled one. These kits are available in Costco, so cheap and work great! They're slightly sticky and don't spread the dust. He started along the ceiling and the corners of each room making its way across the house. He also went down about a foot below the ceiling corners. Then I came along, did the tops of all the framed prints, wall art, light fixtures, etc. This way is all the dust falls down and you come back and I suck it all up with your vacuum! Everything is clean, tidy and you let gravity do some of the work.  If you have allergies and respiratory issues (like we do) it's really helpful. I also cleaned the outer filter of my HEPA living room filter, all dusty and covered with cat fur. All clean now! We breathed a clean sigh of relief....

4 comments:

Zacisze Lenki said...

Beautiful bird houses. I wish you health. Hugs.

Katie C. said...

I watched that soup episode and thought I should make it. Glad to know it didn’t taste too much like sauerkraut.

I have two house cats and am constantly amazed at the amount of cat hair that spreads all over everything!

Nancy @ Little Homestead In Boise said...

Thanks!

Nancy @ Little Homestead In Boise said...

The soup was great. I might add carrots next time. Yes they really shed for sure, even our shorter haired Anya!

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