Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Thrift finds

So on our two day adventure we found so much that I've had to split it into two posts. Today I am remembering the fun.

We found a vintage 1957 Betty Crocker cook book and it has most of the recipes that I've been using for many years. It's wasn't in top notch condition, but neither are the old copies I've been using. We found a book on how to be happy. Can't wait to see what it says. There was a Care Bear good luck glass, a Flintstones Barney glass, a new in package serrated vegetable cutter and a package of baby yarn so I can knit more socks. I took a chance on the yellow plastic picnic utensils. I have my plastic utensils in recycled drink mix containers. I got tired of them being all over the place.

I found myself tossing the containers back and forth to access other items on the shelf or knocking them over because they were in the way and when I needed to take along some utensils  they were dusty and needed washing or were just all over the place. Well, this fun little find worked. I have a container for spoons, forks, knives and napkins. Just pick it up and go or keep it in the car. True recycling.

We found five vintage Strawberry Shortcake place mats that need binding and a good soaking. 

There was a wonderful white basket and a great selection of linens.

Along with linens were a couple of blouses to wear to work. Thrift economics at it's finest.

My daughter found this complete set of paperback books. There are eight and it is the Anne of Green Gables series.

She also has a thing lately for vintage spice racks. We found three different styles and sizes on this past trip. I know when she has her own home she will probably spray paint some to match her decor and put her herb oils on. She will have an awesome collection because there are probably eight or more that we have packed or have hanging. All in all it was a wonderful weekend and along with all our thrift finds we made lots of memories with friends and family and found some treasures for our future. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Townhouse Homestead Tuesday

I love this time of year. Putting up the final harvests as small as they are and visiting the farm markets for the things I can't yet grow, cooking warmer meals, watching the colors change and enjoying the change in the air. I have to admit that I am slowing down and enjoying the change and I deserve it. 

I pulled the tomato plants this week and this was all that was worth harvesting, but it's been a wonderful learning year and oh they taste so good!

Two five gallon buckets of butternut squash have yielded seven fruits and they will be ready in a couple of weeks to harvest. I am going to try making butternut squash chips for a snack. I think there will be plenty. 

My daughter did the second rendering of the bees wax they took from the hive this week. This has been a learning experience and we are excited for when we can have our own hive.

This is the end result and it will be used in a piece of art work I am told. I will post it if it happens because I am more than intrigued by what is in the mind of the artist. That's what we've been doing here at the townhouse. Using every day to learn and try and keep going towards our chance to have a place of our own to homestead even if it is in the city. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Thrift finds

It was a whirlwind weekend here. A three day for us. It started Friday morning. A dear friend was in town from the west coast and it was only a few days before she was heading back, but this was a scheduled event and we wanted it to be fun and relaxing for her. We ate out, thrifted, rode around, gabbed and got caught up on everything. 

We filled the townhouse with two days of fun finds. We found this set of casserole bowls for my younger daughter. She likes the green floral and they were actually quite a deal for $2 each. We later saw them selling for $10 and more in some shops. 

The green Pyrex Cinderella bowl completed a set we were building. The orange dot Pyrex was the most exciting find. My daughter will also be adding these to her collection. I use the small Pyrex clear dishes while baking and never seem to have enough. We found two more mushroom canisters. These are small and one has a small fracture, but is very usable. The mushroom and mice glassware are a salt and pepper set and a jelly jar. They are Japanese and so irresistible. Just love them.

We love to pick up the dishes for lazy Susan's. We mix and match them and have fun with them. There was more Pyrex, an enamel skillet, another set of Japanese mice salt and pepper shakers and the owl in a tree stump planter. I believe it may be a Josef Original.

Saturday brought about another day of thrifting. This time with my sister-in-law who we hadn't seen in a while  and she suspected we had fallen off the face of the earth. Umm...nope, but she doesn't use the Internet so we had catching up to do. The vintage finds were all over for us this past weekend. Here we found three strawberry print drinking glasses, another new in package Humpty Dumpty Avon product bank for the store, a music box baby carriage planter, and the Gemco/corning glass juicer. 

We found some odds and ends that include some notebooks, cookie cutters, an ice cream scoop, birthday candles, linen napkins, books, there's a bagel slicer that the plastic spoons are in and the plastic bag in front is full of small bottles for lip gloss. Looks like we want to be busy.

I'll finish this week with this funny fabric panel. My grandchildren have two English bulldogs and we could not pass on this piece of fabric. We couldn't stop laughing when we saw it. I think it will become a giant pillow or center panel for a quilt. This is only about half of what we found. Some still needs some cleaning up and I need to move some on to the store. Being in a small space we have to shuffle things around to work. Sunday was not quite so busy, but we caught back up with our friend from the west coast because on her adventure with us she found some view master discs, but no view master. It turned out my younger daughter found one and she dropped it off so it could take a long plane trip back to California. Then it was back to getting ready for the new week ahead and some sitting back. Thank you for stopping by and I hope everyone has as much fun as we do with friends and family thrift shopping and junking. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Townhouse Homestead Tuesday

Spraying Toxic Chemicals

So yesterday was a great day for a Monday. Did lots of work and was feeling good when...they did it. They found a way to poison my container garden on my little itty bitty deck here at the townhouse. I was in my tiny kitchen preparing dinner when the Orkin man in his van appeared in the parking lot. He sat in his van for a few minutes and then dressed in a mask, cover clothing and gloves. Nothing says poison like the Orkin man dressed in full cover. My windows and doors are all open. Yep, open to enjoy the fresh air and my seedlings and cutting are on the sill. From behind the truck here he comes with his pump bottle with poison in it. I jump quickly to remove my plants and cuttings from the sill and shut the window. HE KNOWS I'M THERE. I run to the back and shut the doors. Does he spray all the units on this row? NO! Just the unit that houses the office employee that lives next door. He sprays two stories high and down comes the liquid chemical onto my ground plants in front and then goes to the back and down comes his liquid chemicals onto my container garden. With seven units in this row he sprays just one and the wind blows it right onto my unit. No information given as to what or why he is spraying. I've seen no signs of insects or anything that needed treatment. As a matter of fact it's been a wonderful summer without a lot of mischievous insects. I attributed it to the fact that we planted plants that fight bad insects and attract the good ones. So to make a long story short my container gardening is done. The spinach and parsnips will be disposed of and I'll pull the remaining herbs. I saved what was inside from the chemicals coming in the window so all is not lost. I guess it's not against the law to spray chemicals without notifying people of what you're doing or advising them to close the windows. Still alive this morning to tell this story.

The gardening season is coming to a close and later this week I will harvest what I can for tomatoes growing at Karen's and check on the bucket squash which probably will not be ready for harvest for a couple more weeks. None of these gardens were sprayed with anything. 

I canned vegetable stock this past week from the vegetable scraps I saved in the freezer. There was enough to put up eleven pints. My tomatoes yielded five pints of sauce. Every little bit helps and I am grateful for what I get. Thank you for stopping by and visiting. Have a great week and keep on farming. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Townhouse Homestead Tuesday

The weather took a turn for the cool last week, but is on it's way back up to the mid eighties this week with cooler evenings and it is wonderful. The vegetables are still growing and I am using them up as they ripen.

First up is a grand kettle of tomatoes. I simmered it, seasoned it, and let it become tomato sauce. I also chose a larger sandwich size tomatoe that was given to me and harvested some seeds from it for next years gardening. I don't know what kind of tomato it was, but the tomato tasted good so I will give it a try and I saved a couple dollars saving them.

This morning I made eggplant lasagna. It's all ready to pop in the oven later for dinner. The eggplant was given to me and there's the sauce in it's final stage. I will can some of the rest later this week after I make vegetable broth. The cheese layers are from home made ricotta and mozzarella blended with herbs grown on the deck of our townhouse. 

Cooler temperatures meant that I could take advantage and make some fresh bread. It was a wonderful opportunity and does it taste great. The rest of my time has been spent preserving the last of the herbs and I'm hoping now that the basil will bolt so I can harvest some seeds. I am trying some cooler weather spinach in a container and I have some parsnips in another container. Here's hoping something comes of them. I will be checking in on the bucket butternut squash at Karen's and probably finish up the tomatoes there in another week or so. I hope everyone got the bounty they wanted from their gardens and thank you for stopping by for a visit. Have a wonderful week.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Townhouse Homestead Tuesday

With Labor day behind us, and the official end of summer is here, I know all gardeners are turning their focus to harvesting what they can and enjoying the fruits of their labor. It's no different here at the townhouse. I continue to put up what I don't want to waste. Here I have chicken broth, chicken taco chili and pork.

I continue to make my cheese and am enjoying it with my fresh produce. I've learned to make mozzarella, ricotta and cream cheese so far.

The small kitchen window is a busy green house. The tomatoes are turning red, the next round of cilantro is planted, basil is rooting and the plants I already started and potted are growing well.

Tomorrow I will be going to Karen's to harvest more tomatoes and hopefully I will be canning by the end of the week. I received these photos from Karen yesterday showing me the progress of my bucket butternut squash. She counted three squash growing well and I'm hoping they make it. 

I consider myself quite blessed with the gifts of fresh produce this year. My younger daughter has a co-worker that brings his bounty to work and shares. I received this bag of goodies this week and she also threw in a few oranges.

It's been wonderful to have these vegetable to plan my meals around. I have been building a meal plan and at the same time I can change it up using the fresh produce and home made cheeses. My budget is feeling a bit of relief and I am eating better. 

We sat back and relaxed this holiday weekend also and enjoyed the sun tea brewed in our latest vintage find. It was in the upper eighties, close to ninety and the tea was refreshing. That's what's new here at the townhouse homestead. The work continues and I'm enjoying doing new things, trying new recipes and enjoying life in general. Thank you for stopping by for a visit and have a wonderful week.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Thrift Finds

Having fun, just getting out, running errands, and checking out the sales. Let it be known that we need nothing at this point, but it's so much fun checking out other's "stuff". 

These finds include some vintage mushroom kitchen items for the store, a unique solar tea jug that's vintage 1972, this is to replace the one that kept leaking, and the wooden rack is for foil, wax paper, plastic wrap and paper towels. The metal cutter is built in to the wood for cutting. My daughter is packing this for her soon to be home.

We picked the vintage Tupperware divided trays and cups for the store, a vintage set of measuring cups and spoons that are aqua for her vintage kitchen, a Pyrex refrigerator bowl and the sifter was a thrift gift from my daughter's co-worker. They ventured out on a lunch hour and I was thrilled to have a new one that is easy to use and believe me I use my sifters. We also found another Pyrex clear casserole cover for the collection.

She selected three vintage sheets, leaving quite a few behind, that she thought she could work with and the rose Fire King plate she picked up for her sister's collection.

Last for this past week is this wonderful Herb book. Oh my goodness the information that is in it totally amazed me. Everything you need to know is in this book including recipes for soaps, lotions, healing recipes, how to grow them, harvest, preserve, and to tell you the truth I could spend days with this book. We've been quite selective although we should not be out hunting at all, but the urge will never die and the fun will never leave, so we'll keep on going. Thank you for stopping by and visiting and I hope your finds are as fun as ours. Have a wonderful weekend. 

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Townhouse Homestead Tuesday

It's been a good summer for us as far as growing, receiving, and eating better vegetables. My tomato plants in Karen's garden have done better than I thought. They are container tomatoes and I know next time I try, I will use much larger containers. Buckets probably. 

The tomatoes in the left picture are some of what we've grown. I ate three on the way home and shared some with Karen. I know there will probably be more, but these are just the right size for Bruschetta and I'm looking forward to it now that I bake my own bread, made carrot top pesto, and make my own mozzarella. Now it will all be home made and home grown. The large bowl of tomatoes was a gift from my daughter's co-worker. They will be put to good use in a sauce or relish. I have some in the window to ripen and with temperatures headed up to ninety degrees this week it shouldn't take long. I also have a couple of Basil cuttings rooting to continue the herb season. The original plant is growing very well on the deck. I will be taking a couple more cuttings and harvesting more soon.

This collage is of my butternut squash growing in buckets in Karen's back yard. They don't look very large, but here I am standing next to them. 

I'm not sure if we'll harvest any squash from the plants, but it's been exciting because I saved the seeds from a squash last winter. A ground hog has eaten a lot of Karen's vegetables, but they haven't touched the squash yet. We are hoping. It's been a learning season for us. That's the news today from the townhouse homestead. I keep cooking and canning and learning. I'm finding that at this time in my life my brain is like a sponge that can't get enough information so what I am learning I am turning into fun, not work. Thank you for stopping by to visit and have a wonderful week.