Thursday, May 6, 2010

Just Busy

If I mention in a blog post sometime this coming winter how busy I am, would somebody please whop me upside the head, and remind me that the days can't possibly be as full as they are this time of year when there are so many things crying for attention both inside AND outside?

Tuesday of this week was spent on a day's shopping expedition to the big city. Both of us had lists three feet long and, needless to say, pooped out before getting all the way through them. I don't know when (or IF) we'll ever learn that it just doesn't pay not to go on supply runs oftener with less to do rather than once in a blue moon with a list of necessary stops that it's impossible to complete in one day.

Today we had to call a time-out on our move-ahead projects and declare a maintenance day. Even though we really do try to keep up with maintenance type things on a regular basis, unless something is on fire or totally non-functioning and needed, it gets pushed to the background.

I hauled out the last of my dry onions from last year's harvest to sort and make sure none were going moldy and mushy on me. Other than one or two that have started to sprout, they're in good shape. These remaining onions weigh in at a total of 9 pounds 12 ounces. If I had to pay the current price I saw in our whole foods co-op this morning, they would cost a little over $19. Not a fortune but certainly $19 I'll have to spend somewhere else in the next couple of months.

"Convenience" foods in our house are usually ones I've made up and stored in the freezer. When I'm caught short at meal time, I know I can always fall back on a quart of soup from the freezer. Except when there isn't any soup in the freezer. I've been down to two lonely quarts of chili for some time now so I felt today was the day to restock the supply.

I made a huge batch of Chicken with Wild Rice soup (husband's all-time favorite -- he'd seriously eat it every day), and a not-quite-so-big batch of Lentil with Sausage soup. Now I won't feel so shakey when I look at that empty spot in the freezer where the soups are usually stacked.

There were a couple of smallish stacks of paperwork on my desk so I made myself sit there long enough to work through them. I'm getting a little wiser about this chore and have stopped shuffling the papers two or three (or ten) times before dealing with them. Is that maintenance? Sure. I'm maintaining a clean and clear desk!

Hubby and I spent some quality time together before lunch taking a truck full of recycling materials to the recycling center. He still knows how to show me a good time.

What has my dear husband been up to on this maintenance day? Well, he reported at dinner time that his list was a little too ambitious. He wanted to get the wood splitter serviced and stored away, get out the lawn mower and ready it for action, repair a part of the '85 Toyota exhaust system, fix a back window on the '93 Suburban that no longer works with the touch of a button, try one more time to repair the tiny leak we seem to have up near the top of the filler hose of the gas tank of same '93 Suburban, and order some needed chain saw parts. I was kind and didn't pin him down as to what he actually managed to get done.

So you can see it's been another fun-filled day on the homestead. Tomorrow, since we have all our maintenance chores completely up-to-date (Yup. Uh-huh. Right!), we'll be back out in the garden. With luck, I'll have a report on that progress to post then.


Jody M said...

I've been busy, too. Between the veggie patch, the new flower bed, the Virginia trip, and the jewelry and temari commissions I've been swamped.

Oh, I posted on my gemlike blog pics of the first commission, which was hand delivered to Virginia this weekend. said...

I'm exhausted just reading about your day! I think you need to plan another maintenance day -- for you! Put your feet up, read a book... :) We can dream, right?

Erin said...

Maintenance days! That's what we are doing now... since hubby leaves for deployment in about 15 days we are now in frantic mode. My list for him this weekend includes a dump trip, flush hot water heaters, seal some holes in the crawlspace, he already got the cars done and tires rotated last weekend... we're down to the final stretch! You just gave me an idea: a "city list" hanging by the phone - anytime my family calls to say they are coming up and do I need anything?, I'll let 'em have it! LOL, my visitors would probably taper off pretty quickly that way! I'm with your husband, I'll eat "anything" with wild rice soup! My favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner is my mom's turkey & wild rice soup the next day. Hang in there with those chores, everything you get done will help you enjoy the short summer a little more!

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Jody - It's just the time of year, I keep telling myself. But would we rather have slow, boring, nothing-to-do days? NO WAY.

Hey, Fiona - Oh, girl, you have no idea how much I need a maintenance day for myself! We can start at the top (haircut, PULEEZE!) and work our way all the way down to the ugly, dead skin on my heels! And then a day in the hammock reading. (That's after the predicted snow is gone, of course!)

Oh, Erin - What a wimp I am. I get depressed every time I think about your hubby leaving for so long a period! How do you handle it? It must be such a psychotic state being torn between getting all you can in tip-top shape before he leaves and making quality time for him with the boys and you. Ugh. Ish. You're a better (wo)man than I am, Gunga Din.

Leigh said...

I wanted to stop by to thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I love yours! I hadn't thought to re-use mesh bags to store onions in. Good idea. And good grief on the price for store boughts. Organic I assume, but still, it just confirms that homesteading is a good direction to be heading in.

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Leigh - Although we eat 99.9% organic foods, we couldn't afford to do it if we didn't raise so much of our own. The organic yellow onions were $1.99 a pound yesterday morning in our organic co-op. Since I use A LOT of onions, you better believe it pays to grow our own!

I like to store them in the mesh bags 'cause then I can grab just one bag at a time to have in the kitchen. They're also easy to hang that way for storage if need be.

I've been reading your blog for a little while now and can't believe what you're accomplishing. Makes me feel like a real slough-off!

Katidids said...

You do stay busy! That soup looks so good. I've still been cooking like the clan still all lives here so there have been quite a few freezer meals made. It's so nice to come in after a busy day and heat something up!

Claire said...

Hi, Mama P! Happy Mother's Day! Question for you: I thought you sliced and dehydrated your onions, but in this blog, they just look like they were stored in net bags. How do you keep them good like that? P went nuts and planted about 40 onion plants this year, for some reason, and I'm wondering how we'll not waste them.

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Katie - It doesn't seem right . . . when I'm working outside all day, that's when I really crave GOOD food. 'Course, that's exactly the time when I don't have time to cook. Funny how that works, eh?

Hey, Claire - The reason I started dehydrating my onions last fall was that our growing season was so short, I was afraid they didn't have time to mature in the garden and wouldn't keep in regular storage. (The "necks" were still very thick.) But the dehydrating was such a slow, laborious task that, lo and behold, the onions DID start to cure while waiting their turn to be dried!

Near the end of the summer, your onion tops will fall over and the neck should shrivel up and get small. Then when you pull them out of the ground, cut the tops off leaving about an inch above the bulb. Lay the bulbs in a room temp spot (spread out on newspapers) that is out of the sun but well ventilated. Leave them there for a couple of weeks, bag them up and find a spot that is dry (very important), about 40-45 degrees, and they should last all winter. Or until they're gone.

Happy Mother's Day to you, too, m'dear!