The wind has really died down, we are still getting gusts, but all is well. We didn't have any damage here in our neighborhood, but as I was driving around the 'burbs, I couldn't stop myself from slowing down and looking in awe at all the downed trees. BIG trees. The kind that take out power lines and such. I feel really terrible for those whose power will take longer to restore.
Thanks everyone for the well wishes, and I send them all back out to everyone out East, especially Tami and Bonnie. I hope you gals are OK! From the pictures I have seen online and Facebook, it looks like everyone out there got pretty beat up.
Good morning everyone! Just a little update...
Power went out last night at about 11, and has stayed out. I'm pretty sure the transformers are shot as I heard them go POW! And the sky was filled with green light.
So even though we have no power, we are able to access the news and internet on our phones. Hence, the blog post...
Hope everyone is safe and well!
I realized last minute, as in 1 hour ago, that we have zero lighters or working flashlights in this house. How does that happen you ask? I think that is probably a good question...
So I ran (drove) (slowly) to Target to get a lantern/lighters/matches/etc... Apparently everyone else had that idea too... So I went to the gas station to fill up the car, went inside and found what? Lighters galore! So I bought some as well as a handy dandy crank flashlight that doesn't even need batteries! It is small, but powerful. So, moral of the story? Skip Target and hit your gas station.
Chelsea went out to take a little pee, the kitties are good, and the chickens are all tucked in. I closed their escape hatch, gave them fresh straw, food, and water. They will be good to go. Not like they will be wanting to go outside anyways... All the loose stuff is packed in from outside, so hopefully nothing blows away. We will have to assess the damage on Wednesday...
So, here we are, tucked in, hoping the power doesn't go out. I hope everyone on the East coast is hunkered down safely, or has escaped the flooding. Warm and dry wishes to everyone out there.
With all the serious talk out of the way, I bring you a couple of serious pictures of Lake Erie courtesy of the internet (there is no way I am going out in this stuff!)
|On the East Side Shoreway Highway|
|This is the pier at Edgewater where I was taking pictures yesterday|
But this storm name is SILLY! Lets please call her by her name, Sandy. Sandy hasn't even hit the coast yet, and we here in Ohio are already feeling it. This morning was SO dark (in part I think because DST has been extended) but good gawd, it was almost creepy walking the dog this morning! I didn't edit these photos, so yes, this is really how dark it was at 730...
|Heading North on our street, Chelsea as my guard dog|
|Looking North towards Lake Erie, end of the street|
|Looking West, end of the street|
|Looking East, end of the street|
|These are the bases of the old pier... If you watch the video, you will see that the waves almost crest the tops|
|See that flat area of stone in the middle? There are a few of these around the pier, people usually are hanging out and fishing from them... The lake is usually about 8 ft below that|
|These rocks vary in height... About 2-4 ft each|
So just know, four little kids from down the street brought me my phone telling me they found it in the street. How did they know it was my phone? Because the little boy said he was looking through my pictures and saw the chickens and knew where they lived, so it must be my phone!
Although, never overestimate the kindness of children... Angel was going to keep the phone, but his big sister made him bring it back!
|This jar had mushy punkin chunks...|
|This jar's chunks were in tact, but still... Where did all that water go???|
So as my pie punkins were processing, I cut up one of my GORGEOUS Musquee De Provence pumpkins. Yes, this pumpkin is so beautiful it deserves to be called an actual pumpkin. I didn't take a picture of this one before I cut it up, but here is one from the internets...
|NOT my picture... But I have about 6 more of the babies out in the driveway|
|really, this picture (from my phone) does NOT do the color of Musquee de Provence any justice|
|The biggest Pyrex bowl I own is overflowing with chunks... A LOT of flesh and only a little skin. I LOVE this pumpkin!|
|This is probably the least messy my kitchen has EVER been during canning...|
Anyways, I don't even know how much this thing weighed, but it was a LOT. I got 2 full gallon bags of pumpkin cubes (which I plan on roasting and making into soup.) This pumpkin flesh is so beautiful... It is a bright pinkish orange color, and has the texture of a butternut squash. I cannot even WAIT to cook this baby up. I would have done it last night, but I didn't have any olive oil... I will take care of it tomorrow...
Speaking of soup, my next question... I know I am NOT supposed to can pureed squash because of the density, but what about soup? I mean, it is much more liquid than straight up squash puree... Any thoughts???
We did strike up a conversation about putting cabbages down at the farm, and my only reservation about that are cabbage moths/worms... Has anyone out there used those fabric row covers? I have never used them, and honestly, I don't even know where to buy them. Here at home, I can just sprinkle the plants with DE and call it a day, but down at the farm (1.5 hour drive) I am pretty much powerless against the forces of nature...
So after that was all over, I got to work organizing and assessing my larder in preparation for my beef. I used the downloadables created by Erica over at NW Edible Life, and got myself set up. I cleaned up the freezer downstairs, and I believe I have space for 3 cases of beef... What I will do with the other 2 (last year we got 5 cases, so that is my basic plan) I have no idea... I mean, last year we had to have a party just so we could close the freezer... I need to work on us eating out of the freezer over the next 2 weeks so that I can move stuff around again and have room... Oy vay....
But getting organized really felt awesome. I took stock of all the canned goods, all the extraneous stuff (coffee, cereal, pasta, oils, etc) in my back pantry/kitty room as well as the freezer downstairs (all meat, a few veg - corn, beans, pureed pumpkin) AND the freezer upstairs (all veg, fruit, crockpot dinners for easy access).
|Downstairs Freezer... It is so hard to get a good shot of chest freezers... But you get the idea...|
Also, with the beef being at the butcher, I am going to have to spend money on the processing, and this is not a choice of when it happens. When the beef goes, it goes. Last year we spent $165 for our beef processing, and I am sure their prices have gone up. I will find out soon enough. I think I would have been close to my budget before the beef, but nowhere near it after paying the processor.
Oh well... Maybe next month...
SO what does an empty garden mean? Happy chickens! The girls are no longer restricted to paths through the beds, and are now allowed to dig in the dirt to their hearts content. At least until the end of this month when I put the garlic in... But that is only one bed...
|Whatchyou lookin at?!|
|I couldn't let you leave without seeing a very happy dog either...|
I was inspired this morning by Dorothy over at Life With Boys and her 31 Days to a Minimalist Lifestyle. Today, she posted about her junk drawers. Yes, everyone has one. Or 2. Or 3. Dorothy was awesome enough to gain a WHOLE DRAWER! And who doesn't need more drawers?! Or maybe we wouldn't need more drawers if we kept track of our junk! Anyways, we only have 1, and it is small, but WAY overcrowded. It has even been known to be stuck shut on several occasions and remained that way for several
|After... Where did the tools go? The nuts and bolts? The staple gun and various glues and lubricants? Right into the tool box where they belong!|
Regular household bills - Mortgage, utilities, insurance (home and car), car payments
Gas - Husband cannot help what he spends on gas. It's just not that kind of job. To counter that, I am fortunate enough to have a boss that pays for a fair share of gas in exchange for child transport.
Dog Stuff - We are dog sitting, and the money spent is minimal. Plus, I am happy to do it.
Medical Expenses such as prescriptions, appointments, etc.
I am also going to exempt cat food and litter. They eat what they eat, and poop where they poop... That is that.
Everything else - stuff from Target, groceries (including supplies for our harvest party), dining out, books, online purchases, fun activities, nights out on the town, football game food, beer, and all other miscellaneous purchases.
So, all of this means that I need to be infinitely more conscious of what we are eating, at home and out. I need to make sure that we have dinners at home, rather than going out. Currently, Husband and I only spend about 4 nights per week together, and I probably only make dinner twice, which means that we are eating whatever we can find, either in the house or out. That is a big part of our budget no-no's. I also need to make sure that we have stuff for lunches available such as meats and cheese for sandwiches, and fruit on hand for ease of use.
Maybe you think my budget is a lot, but I can assure you, it is a significantly small amount in comparison to what
**Post update** After looking at what I spent already, and it is only October 2, there is no way I will stay below $200 for the month. But I really really did have to treat my best friend to brunch for her birthday. Sorry, but it had to be done.