Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Townhouse Homestead Tuesday

Today I feel relaxed and finally in control of life. I've been able to handle the happenings that have come my way and I feel in a better place with what may come. I've learned to just let life happen and the answers will come. The weather has been cool and rainy. We are dealing. Some sun came through yesterday, but the cool and damp is here again and will stay around for a couple more days. I know there are many in this country who would welcome this weather so complaining is senseless, but who can complain when the garden is getting what it needs. 

A month ago a friend let me take my container tomatoes to her yard and give them a chance to grow. Getting to see my tomatoes growing has been good for me. I haven't been able to garden in years and to see them grow from seeds I started feels good. Very therapeutic and relaxing. I have seven containers growing tomatoes and all are doing great.

My basil and rosemary are fairing well with all the rain so far. I lost my basil last year to a fungus so I am watching closely. I've tried growing plants inside, but the little light we get is not enough for inside growing. I also have parsley doing well and have harvested a good amount this summer. I use a lot of parsley in my cooking. 

This is the progress of my secret garden. (I'm smiling here.) To not be able to container garden in a residence that we pay dearly to live in is quite distressing. I have seen so many Topsy Turvey tomatoes growing here and nothing is done so I am being defiant and have a pot of "Gorilla" carrots growing. If I get a dozen carrots I do, and if I don't I don't. In a little more than a year from now I may be planning a garden plot of my own, but for now I am using the farmer's markets and doing whatever I can and loving seeing the miracles happen. That's what went on at the townhouse as far as gardening this week. I wish everyone a happy and relaxing 4th of July and hope everyone stays safe. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Townhouse Homestead Tuesday

It's been getting busier here at the townhouse, but every minute of busy is so welcomed and wonderful. I am so grateful for my wonderful life. 

With summer heat underway and my desire to eat better I continue to bake my own bread. This loaf of French bread was used for sides to salads, bruschetta and sandwiches. The rolls have been frozen for up coming holiday hamburgers and hot dogs. 

The oldest of our lavender plants bloomed this week and we have double the harvest of last year. As you can see it is hanging to dry for future use in soaps, lotions and salts.

My sage plant is growing well. I harvested a large colander full and made six sage bundles. They are drying well and I think I know some folks who can use some in their campfire to ward off mosquitos.

In a previous post I shared a gift of Kentucky bourbon and this week I made bourbon barbecue sauce. It is out of this world. I got some free frozen chicken this week and last evening I made bourbon barbecue pulled chicken for dinner and I was able to can two pints for future dinners. I have some sauce left for the 4th of July burgers.

Also canned this week was ground beef. I've never canned ground beef before so I tried while the caner was working. Four pounds became four pints that I could set on the shelf for future meals made easy. That's my goal to make meal preparation quicker and easier. I will be canning vegetable stock in the next couple of days to use up the veggie scraps I've been saving in the freezer and that will give me room in the freezer for more summer meal preps. With an apartment size refrigerator and freezer space becomes valuable. These are just a few of the homesteading activities going on here in our little townhouse this past week. We are thankful for what we have and that we keep finding ways to use the space wisely. We also hope that everyone has a week as wonderful as ours. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Thrift finds and freebie economics.

This past Sunday I went for a ride with my younger daughter to a baseball game for my youngest grandson. He had to be at the field an hour before the game, which his team won, so we took a few minutes to head to a local thrift store. Lots of great things and plenty available, but I continue to purchase needs and not wants. When I walk through a thrift store I wonder why everyone doesn't have everything they need. 

I purchased the salad spinner and the vintage Mickey and Minnie contact paper. The salad spinner was on my list and the contact paper will be sold. My younger daughter got the quart size canning jars for $2 at a yard sale for me and they are all cleaned and ready for canning season.

This large bundle of bath tissue was free. My eldest daughter got an eBay coupon for $25 and this was purchased and shipped free.

Bourbon was on my wish list. I wanted to make extracts and barbecue sauce with it and sure enough the message was heard through the universe and we were given this bottle of Kentucky bourbon. I love how the universe works.

These two divided wooden cubes measure 18x10x8 and were salvaged from a renovation project at my daughters place of employment. They were going to demolish these and many more, but she convinced her supervisor to take them down and either sell them or give them away. They were all saved and my daughter took these for her future home. They are small enough for her to use for now until she resettles. This is not bad for living frugal and taking advantage of what comes your way. We are very grateful for all things good. Thank you for stopping by and have a great week. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Townhouse Homestead Tuesday.

My goodness are we getting busy, but busy with fun things. Spring so far has been wet. Pouring rain almost every day and then sun. Fairly warm temperatures, but not the best. It's all up to Mother Nature. We had a graduation to attend this past Saturday. I did some baking and took it along.

I baked a cinnamon tea ring and some strawberry short bread bars and put together this party platter. 

I checked in on the tomato plants. They have been in the garden for less than two weeks and they are growing fast. They are container tomatoes and I'm hoping for a good yield from them. I have seven containers altogether. 

Yesterday I harvested the first of my herbs to dry. Here I have Cilantro and Parsley. The notes are the name and date they were put to dry. Just so I can keep track of my yields. 

The most exciting adventure this week was my daughter's. A co-worker is teaching her more about bee keeping and Sunday she got some hands on experience. She will be helping to care for this hive over the summer. This has been a dream of hers and she said she wasn't the slightest bit nervous. That' some of the activities here at the townhouse. There's always something to keep us busy and I'm sure it's the same for you. Thank you for stopping by to visit and have a wonderful week.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Thursday's threads.

Interesting changes going on in my life. A bit of selfishness has moved in. I would never buy anything for myself as far as clothes. I always believed I had enough of everything I needed and if I took care of them they would last a long time. On our outing this past weekend my daughter got me a few new items to work into some wardrobe items I already have, or plan to make and like she says the prices are better than retail at the thrift stores. 

The first item she found for me was this Christopher & Banks jumper. I can wear it as a jumper or as a long vest. It was the most expensive of the clothing at $7.99 but it can be used several different ways. The white t-shirt was 50% off for a total of $2 and new. 

This is a Liz Claiborne top. It's red and black and I can wear this over a skirt, with jeans or Capri's. It is a light polyester and will be cool and loose for summer. 

As posted before I found this pair of white jeans at the church fill a bag sale along with the olive green sweater. I can use the white jeans with either of the tops and I have fabric to make a few items to go with the olive green sweater. I even have olive green flats. Just got to look through what I have.

As far as using up some of the scrap fabric hanging around I started red, white, blue and striped fabric folded stars. I don't have many 4th of July decorations so I want to have just a couple new items to put out. It's going to be a quiet day but I'll need to feel festive and fabric is what I like most. I think I also like original, one of a kind, I made it stuff.

I am continuing to use up the yarns hanging around and my daughter bought me a package of mill ends this past weekend. The green, aqua and pink are pair eleven so far this year and it's only June. I taught myself well and I am going to have the warmest feet next winter. That's what going on for Thursday's threads. I am staying busy here at the townhouse homestead. My next challenge is learning how to make cheese and we are getting close. Thank you for stopping by and have a great weekend.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Thrift finds.

We had to take a day for ourselves this past weekend. We had a list of things that we would like to do and set off to see what we could get done. Needless to say that there were a few stops that just happened and thrift stores were a couple of them. We also found a church sale that was in it's last hour and it was fill a bag for $4 and we got some neat items.

Here you can see we found some vintage cook books, holiday decorations, canning jars, a clear Pyrex round baking dish and a butterfly cookie cutter. We found the utensil crock which was something that was on our search list for the kitchen, a religious artifact and vintage tea cups.

The aqua and orange serving trays are a wonderful find and fit right in with my daughters decorating colors. Tupperware was abundant and this cake taker was slightly used. The Tupperware Jello mold is new and I think I may use it. I'm not a big Jello fan, but there may be a party. We also found a new in package vintage Avon Humpty Dumpty coin bank. 

The nylon hamper was on the shopping list. The one we had wore out. We found fabric, yarn and scarfs. The camouflage yarn will be used for gifts.

This Jimmie Hendrix t-shirt will be made into a pillow for the store. My daughter will tell you that this was the best find.

The church fill a bag sale was awesome. I didn't realize how much I could get into two plastic grocery bags. To start there were the three pieces of fabric and then I found a box full of vintage doilies, pillow cases and table runners. I think I made a woman mad because I was just packing them into the bag and knew I would look them over once I got home.

This is more heavy duty cotton fabric we found that's a nice neutral upholstery kind of fabric. I'm sure I will make something out of it and more of the vintage linens.

Here are more of the vintage linens and do you see the pair of blue baby booties? They are hand tatted. I have these items soaking and will make sure they are clean of settled dust and dirt before we use them for sewing projects or list them on the store. poetcharms.etsy.com

At one thrift store we found this darling coral sun dress with aqua embroidery. It is all cleaned and ironed and ready to be listed. It is size small and would be nice to wear over a swim suit. I found the olive green sweater and the white jeans at the fill a bag sale. I am going to cut the jeans into a pair of Capri's and the sweater is large and will go over a long skirt for winter. It's been getting very cold here in the northeast in the winter. Our day also included a stop for lunch and ice cream, the library and the garden shop for my herb plants. We found more articles of clothing, but I am writing a post tomorrow called Thursday's Threads and I will include them there. Until then have a wonderful day and thank you for stopping by. 

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Townhouse Homestead Tuesday

There have been many things going on here at the townhouse. Some gardening, thrift shopping and textile crafting. It's been keeping me busy, helping me relax and teaching me new things. 

These are my container tomatoes that have found a home in a friends garden. There are seven plants. Four for the ground and three to hang from hooks. I sure hope I get some yield out of them. I have never planted container tomatoes before. I started these from seeds and am happy they have come this far.

This is my secret garden. It's a covert operation underway. With gardening against the rules here on the complex I had to be a rebel and do something. We'll see what comes from this container.

I planted a container with basil and rosemary. Gardening? I'll let it go until they tell me otherwise and at that time I'll bring them inside. 

I also planted cilantro and parsley. For now that's what the budget can handle, but they are what I feel is necessary to cook through the summer and put by for winter. With the space I have on the small deck it's all I could really squeeze in.

Last but not least the rose bush that the prior tenant left is producing the most beautiful roses. Once they start dying off we are picking them and drying them so we can make powder for soaps and lotions. That's what's new here and thank you for stopping by for a visit. I'm wishing everyone a great week. Happy homesteading. 

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Townhouse Homestead Tuesday

I'm getting ready today to take my tomato plants to a friends home to put in the garden. I have everything ready so when my ride gets here I am set to go. I am very excited to have a place to start gardening and get my skills up to par. 

I got ten pounds of carrots at the farmer's market last Saturday. I dehydrated two loads and froze six cups of cut carrots to add to my vegetable stir fry. It's nice to have them packaged in serving size ready to cut open and add.

After the carrots I loaded the dehydrator with peas and green peppers. This is to prevent loss. I don't seem to eat the vegetables quickly and buying one of anything is so costly. I will add these to those I've already done and let the storage grow. Right now it's just watching things grow outside and taking advantage of the farm market so I can continue to build my pantry. Thank you for stopping by and I'll update this post with pictures of the borrowed garden as soon as I can. Have a great week.