Monday, August 31, 2009

Independence Day Challenge Year 2, The 18th week

The school year has begun. In this house it means that hubby is renting a room ,two hours away, five nights a week, until we can figure the housing thang'.

It also means that the Teen ponders what sorts of things he will like to do this year. This fall he will be taking a photography class at the Maine College of Art's highschool program. If we are where we hope to be by January, he is going to take a stained glass class at a local gallery. He will continue his art classes here until he can't. He will help out with critters, firewood and wee one baby sitting for cash until we get settled. He will read everyday and is contemplating an online course through MIT open courseware. Teen also has the opportunity to hang some of his photos at a friend's Burrito shop.

Wee one will be my shadow in the garden and in the kitchen. We are learning about butterflies and catapillers right now. There is one jar with a chrysalis in it sitting over the kitchen sink. As the weather cools and the season's chore subside, I would like to get crafty with the wee one. I have some ideas for some projects that would be fun. We will also be attending story hour at the library every week and return to the open gym time that we went to last winter, until we are all living under one roof again. At which time, I'll find something else for him that will get him some free play and exercise time with other kids.

And all the while the work of the season continues...

Plant: nothing.

Harvest: cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, cabbage, kale, carrots, beans, peppers.

Preserve: 5 pints salsa, 7 quarts of chicken soup, 13 quarts of potatoes for homefries,1 quart of dehydrated kale, 1 quart of zucchini.

Prepped/ manage reserves: I found 6 quart jars at the thrift store. Sorted out the wee one's dresser drawers and brought out the long pants and long sleeved shirts. Picked up some sheep mineral from a friend for our critters. I am putting the chicken soup in this category as well. Hubby will be away during the week, so I am going to can up soups that he can eat while away. I also want to keep some soup in the back cupboard for cold and flu season. In case the chief soup cooker is ill;)

Local foods: I went to the farmer's market in Farmington and got some tomatoes to supplement my poor tom harvest. I found out that one farmer will have elderberry this season, I want to make wine,jam, syrup and extract out of it.

Eat the food: chicken soup made from our own bird and veggies from the garden. Last night we had rutabaga and cabbage from the garden with barbecue chicken legs, purchased at the farmer's market. The weather cools and there is alot more baking going on. Yummy!

Reduced waste: We are reducing the waste of money. This week we begin our new money management plan. Because hubby will be away during the week we wanted to make sure that, in essence, two households did not know what the plan was for the week. So we sit down every Saturday evening, plan whatever grocery shopping needs to be done on Sunday. Then, figure how much cash we might need for the week. We opened a new account with a credit union that services both regions, but did not get debit cards. Instead we just use ATM cards. This will prohibit those spontaneous purchases that whittle away at the balance. It seems more intentional for us. It is not really a budget. But I think it will be easier for us to reach our long term goals if we don't nickel and dime the bank account.


Wendy said...

I hope you guys find your house. It sucks that your husband has to rent a room. My husband has to travel for business - often - and will be gone for days at a time, usually on a few hours' notice. It's tough. While not exactly the same thing, I can empathize with you ;).

My tomatoes never succumbed to the blight, but I didn't plant enough plants early enough, and I'm just barely pulling in a harvest. I "ordered" 20 lbs from a farmer at the Farmer's Market for pick-up two weeks from last Saturday :). I'm loving this community we've got going of local foods. Saturday morning, Farmer's Market Day, is my favorite day of the week ;).

Oh, and we started school, too ;), although our "official" first day isn't until September 11 (per our letter to the State ;).

Heather said...

My husband and I are trying to find new ways to manage our money. Some things we do well; others, not so well. It's a process. Let me know if you need anything.

Witchy Mom's Homeschool said...

Budgeting money has never been easy for us, either. I am trying to plan ahead more so that we buy more in bulk, get mainly what we NEED (and less of what we WANT), eat more at home, buy 2nd hand whenever possible, etc. I think it is a process that has to be flexible and change with the needs of your family for that month/season/year.

We also do story time at the library and take advantage of free activities whenever possible.

Your harvest sounds nice. We're renting, and this was our first summer here, so I only dabbled with my garden this year. Next year I'll do more (my landlord will just have to deal with me taking over the yard! LOL!).

The air is getting colder, and so it's getting "soup time" for our house, too. We're stocking up on anything that is high in vitamin C this year to keep immunity high. Have a great week!