Monday, February 21, 2011

Around the homestead.

Busy week and busy weekend.  I (not necessarily in this order) found out that I have to replace the exhaust system on the Focus, fed my bees although I don't think they made it through the winter, baked bread, baked brownies, made chili, made pasta, washed eggs, sold some, went to the farmers' market in Bennington, went to my neighbor's surprise 80th birthday (you would think there was a visiting dignitary - the firehouse was full!), went to a Renaissance themed gala for a local art gallery with a friend (replete with roast pig paraded through on a plank), got my hair cut, washed all my floors, vacuumed, started some Barnie eggs in the little incubator, did my laundry, tried to save a chicken and failed (prolapse), cleaned out the rabbit cages, restacked my hay, finished knitting a hat - except for the adornment, walked the dogs a lot, shoveled.

Yes, bloody winter just won't go away!  We had gale force winds all day on Saturday, then less wind and sun but cold yesterday.  Then snow today.  At least the wind is not quite a strong.  It's only about 20 degrees and straining for that.  I keep repeating, "It's almost March" as if that will make spring come faster.  Ha.  But, as much as I complain about winter, I couldn't see myself living somewhere without all four seasons.  Each one brings its own beauty and makes me glad to be alive.  And I'll tell you, by spring I will be happy that I lived through this winter!

I was reading one of my favorite blogs, and found myself nodding away.  Prices of everything are, indeed, going up steadily.  I am doing fairly well with my no spend February (which I am trying to stretch into a year) - except, of course, for the Webs affair and my old car - and so far have spent $25 on groceries between 1/15 and 2/15.  This I can do because I have a full freezer and canned my little heart out.  I am so glad I did.  This just underlines how important it is to garden and preserve what you grow.  Of course, I am lucky in that I have a cow for milk - even though she's not in milk yet, my neighbor is "fronting" my milk - and I have chickens for eggs.  I need to count every penny because gas prices are rocketing up, as is fuel oil and feed.  It is a tough time for farmers, people living off pensions, pretty much everyone.  I am lucky I have a job and don't mind that raises haven't been forthcoming for the past few years.  I am grateful for the income.  I think the stress of the continuing economic fallout is making me almost frantic for spring, as I watch my falling fuel gauge and layer the sweaters.  Spring will come eventually, and with it comes the lovely, soft blanket of memory loss.  Winter?  It wasn't so bad...


  1. I had a weekend like yours. Seems like I was sooo busy. I am trying to decide how to handle the gas prices, etc. With looking for work, it means a regular trip to town and I can't really combine it with hubby's work schedule, it just doesn't coordinate right. It's scary, isn't it?

  2. Holy smoley, what a whole lot of stuff you got accomplished this past week! If I wrote down everything I did, I don't think I'd come even close to what you did. If you've got this much get up and go and energy now, you're gonna be downright scary come spring!

    Only spending $25 on groceries for a month is doing pretty darn good. With my pantry, freezers, etc. stocked as they are I think I could do that even for the two of us, but I've probably spent more than $25 just for fresh oranges and spinach at our organic co-op. I really admire you for being so frugal.

  3. You know, I am quite surprised with the increase in prices of everything, including fuel that more people aren't protesting in the streets. Last time there was the figure of $4 a gallon out there, people quit driving in protest. They project $4/gallon in a few months and not a peep out of the public.

  4. Wow you sure are getting a lot done in spite of winter! I agree with the prices, we too are so thankful for hubby's job, even though military pay may not be stellar, it's dependable and that's the most important thing to me. Hope you get some warmer weather very soon so you can cut that heating bill - when I was home in MN I saw my mom's propane bill and about fainted - she said "oh but that's for 3 months"... I don't care, that's insane!

  5. Ruth - It is scary, indeed. I HAVE to drive to work, so I don't have any alternative. The cuts have to come from other places.

    Mama Pea - Yes'm, I have been a busy bee (my poor bees ;-( ) but it is mostly fun stuff. Except for the bees and my chicken. It's actually fun to work with what I have. I do splurge on greens on my monthly foray into the produce section.

    Jane - I am afraid we are becoming a nation of lemmings. I would quit driving in a heartbeat if I had another way to get to work. But I am limiting my driving on weekends to one day and the second day I'm on foot or snowshoe. There will be no change if we don't demand it.

    Erin - Fuel oil is so high that it is downright terrifying! I am squeaking by, trying to make it to April, but I doubt if I will make it. I've got just over a quarter of a tank and a month and a half to go.