Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A busy week..and a crazy wonderful heartbreaking life...

The last pictures of my sweet old baby boy...he has wasted away to nothing and got to where he could no longer hold himself up. He was only halfway okay if he was being held by one of us. We loved him until the bitter[sweet] end, and took him to the vet on Thursday to be euthanized.  The people at our vet's office are so sweet and compassionate and they let me hold him until the very last breath seeped out. And I cried all the way there, all the time I was there and all the way home. (And of course, I'm crying now...)  There's a big hole in our little family. He was here for over 7 years...maybe more.

 When I got home, I busied myself with housework and tried to not just sit around and cry.  I worked for several hours like a madwoman. At about 4 o'clock I walked down the drive to the mailbox and there was a young yellow kitten walking up the middle of the road crying. This road:

 I approached her and she didn't run off and so I picked her up. She was frail, starved and so happy to be picked up--she snuggled right into my neck.  I asked her if PoPo had sent her...but she wouldn't say. I brought her in the house and looked her over and fed her.  Something had gotten ahold of her, she had a chunk of meat out of her groin/belly area. I put some neosporin on it and she moved right in. She wasn't afraid of the dogs--more afraid of the cats, actually.  So, whoever dumped her out here must have had dogs. She settled right in and seemed to be fine.

The next morning I had to go back to the vet and pick up Paco, who had been neutered.  I asked them about some wormer for this kitten and they gave me a small syringe with .5 ml of wormer in it. I had seen the roundworms in her stool and am kind of an old hat at this stuff.  We gave her the stuff...and within about 6 hours she started acting strange and crying pitifully. She was of course having some diarrhea , but wasn't interested in food. She acted like she could barely walk.  She was crying piteously. It was horrible...and I wrapped her in a towel and put her in a cat carrier, thinking that maybe I needed to get her away from the other cats.  I started googling symptoms and trying to decide if I should take her to the emergency animal hospital...I called them and they said sometimes cats have reactions to the wormer. They said if I thought she couldn't wait to bring her in. If she could wait until morning, the emergency fee would drop by 50 dollars. (One of my friends offered to pay the vet bills if I would care for her. 2 other friends offered me $$ to help pay for the vet bill. How blessed am I ?)   The Irishman had been out of town for 2 days and was due back any minute. I tried to decide whether to wait for him or just go ?  I decided I would check on her again and just take her. I went to the back room where I had put the carrier...and she was dead.  I was shocked, to say the least. From the time she started showing the strange symptoms to death was only like 3 hours !  When the Irishman walked in the door, I fell in his arms crying. 

 It was like she just came here to be loved a little and die.

  I'm just getting too old for this.

So...we loved and we lost.  And isn't that just life ?  And our little homestead is back to 4 cats and 3 dogs, as Sir Paco has decided we aren't such a bad family and is going to stick around.  He's been sleeping in the house with the cooler weather and  I'm glad.

And for some good news....I have been sitting on this for a few weeks waiting for all the ducks to line up and the final decisions to be made...and as of yesterday I am officially a member of the Mother Earth News blogging family.  I got the official (lol) letter of acceptance after emails back and forth and filling out their application and bio/history, and submitting a sample post.  I am VERY excited to be doing this, as I have been an off and on subscriber to this magazine since it came out in the early 70's.   A woman sent him one of my posts from Dragon Woman's Kitchen, he loved it, and invited me to apply to be a blogger. I will write a blog post every 2 weeks. I don't really know all the details yet, but am honored to be a part of it all.  I feel like I died and went to old hippie heaven.  lol

 Our family has 2 new babies coming--brothers having babies--and I attended a baby shower last Sunday. It was fun and so good to see the happy mom and pop. It seems so strange that all my little babies are having babies...

  I got to meet up with a woman I am friends with on a homesteading site today...a lovely woman who cooked me a delectable Moroccan meal  and we talked and talked for hours.  She only lives about and hour or so from me. What fun !!!!    I already felt like we were friends, but now I REALLY feel like we are friends ! lol

  I am heading for bed because I have another early morning tomorrow...attending a Permaculture/Hegelkulter  workshop that starts at 8:30 AM.  After that I am picking up about 10 pounds (or is it 5 ??)  of spearmint and a butt load of pumpkin seeds.  My sister is in town from Florida and I thought we were getting together, but she only has a small space when she can pencil me in and that is not working with the workshop I'm attending. So...I probably won't be seeing her. Apparently the past couple of days she has been here and is about 12 miles from me. You all know this story....grrrrrr.... I knew she was coming, but didn't know details...she texted me this afternoon...I just keep repeating the Serenity Prayer...over and over...."God, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I CAN, and the wisdom to know the difference."   People and their priorities...shaking my head...

  Sending love and light to all of you....


Monday, October 20, 2014

The girl been MIA...and there's no rainbows and unicorns today.

This is my road. In early autumn.

 I can tell you that it goes nowhere, but that wouldn't be quite true. It actually goes everywhere...unless you just want to stay on Honeysuckle Hill without ever leaving.  It's a gravel road, two lanes (I guess--there's no lines on it delineate lanes, but still...) and it's exactly wide enough for 2 cars or a car and a truck to pass. As long as you pay attention. 

 This time of year, around these parts, you are competing with lots of farm equipment...tractors, combines, threshers, hay wagons, and semi trucks full to the brim with all manner of corn and soybeans that have been harvested.  If you drive a little car like mine, there is really no competition.  Heavy equipment wins every time.  It's a fact of life that if you must drive the back roads, you'd better leave early and learn some patience. 

 I have been busy with any number of things around here lately. Bits and bobs of canning and dehydrating.  Cooking, as usual. Baby showers and birthday parties. Life on life's terms, as we say in my 12 step program.  IN other words, it's a comin' so you might as well hold on tight and enjoy the ride. I got all the green tomato salsa canned. Almost 2 dozen jars.  If there's ever a green tomato salsa shortage in the world, you know where to come. 

 The world is coming unhinged out there and I am more and more glad to stay home.  Ebola has arrived on our shores.  I just saw tonight that there has been another new case  found, this one in Lebanon, MO. Which is a little close to me for my taste.  The police are still shooting unarmed black teens. The riots across the river are still ongoing . They've cooled down a bit, but not stopped. And I can only imagine what;s going to happen when the verdict is in on the police officer who shot Micheal Brown.  Elections are looming and everyone is about out of their minds over everything. I have never been more grateful to not have tv. I get enough news off the internet.  The food supply is being slowly poisoned and manipulated  by greedy corporate whores...what in the world is going on out there ?  Butter is up over 5 dollars a pound.  Meat around here is almost unaffordable.  My chickens aren't laying and so are going to be butchered in the next week or so.  My cat Lazarus is dying again. maybe for good this time. I am sad and being extra loving and showering him with TLC...this is his 3rd attempt and I wish we could just get it over with. He's staggering around like a zombie cat, can't keep his balance and sleeps for hours and hours on end.  He won't eat.  It's exhausting to watch. I really want to let him die naturally and at home.  I'm doing my best.

  It's  crazy I tell you.  

  It's also 1:30 and I need to go to bed. I have a chiro appointment at 10:30, which means I have to be ready to leave here by 9:45 ...because I have to travel up that road and behind all those tractors and try to get the 30 minute trip made in less than 45 minutes.

 I wanted to stop in and say I haven't run off,  I haven't stopped blogging,  and I haven't died.  Yet.

I'll try to come back in the next couple of days and maybe let you in on some good news.



Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Grateful for Sundays...

  LOL   Grateful for opportunities to laugh and make fun of myself.  LBVS   (That's Facebook lingo for Laughing, But Very Serious).  Ha.


  What happened ??  I must have been sucked into some Twilight Zone type vortex, because it was Sunday and I started this and now suddenly it's Wednesday !

  Truthfully...I have not been that busy.


 This morning, however, I got out of bed, had some coffee and went to work.   I started a big pot of chicken and rice soup to take to a friend who has been sick for a few days now. Some kind of virus.  Not

...but some kind of bad bug.   

 After I got the soup going (yes, almost all my stuff from my pantry--yea!!)...I headed for the back yard with a 5 gallon bucket, a half bushel wicker type basket, a cardboard apple box (half peck), some garden shears and a small sharp knife.   Almost sounds like a safari expedition,. doesn't it ? lol
 I attacked the tomato plants (which, btw, still look like early July plants--I swear, not even drooping or turning yellow or brown still).  I got this  

I'm going to use them to make salsa verde.  There were a few ripe ones out there, but it's OCTOBER people !!  The days are not getting hot enough to ripen tomatoes and even though we are nowhere near a frost yet (I don't think)I decided to pick all the green tomatoes. I'm gonna wash and cut out spots and then throw these bad boys in the vitamix. along with some garlic, chiles, onions and cilantro. A bit of spices (cumin, black pepper, salt).  Add some vinegar, taste it and then bring it to a boil and can it.  Yum.

  After the tomatoes were done (And I had rested a bit),  I went after the peppers.

 This basket is bells, Anaheims, jalapenos and cayennes. The bell peppers are beautiful There are still some little ones out there. We'll see what they do. In the meantime I'll use some of these for stuffed peppers for supper tomorrow and probably freeze the rest. I've already dehydrated quite a few...

  After another bit of a resting my back  (and checking on the soup), I got the shears out and started cutting basil, parsley and tarragon to bring in and dehydrate.  Not a bad haul.

 I usually dry these things in the back closet, but thought I'd use the dehydrator this time...not sure if I'm liking the results...  I still have chives out there to cut and dry too.  I took my little sharp knife and harvested 8 more butternut squash. Small ones, but a good size for the 2 of us. The ones that have been curing in the garage are ready to come in and take their place under the guest bed -they sleep like babies on their own little cardboard sheets.  lol  I think I'll dry the chives the way I always do...they retain the color better.  I just chop them and spread them out on large baking pans around my kitchen for a few days. Easy Peasy.  

Well...I'm a little achy (back and knee mostly) and a little tired (not been sleeping too well the past few days)  and thinking  I might hit the hay a little earlier tonight than I've been doing. My hours have been getting erratic again and that does me no good at all.  I try to set a bedtime and stick to it...and then I start to drift. And before you know it, I'm staying up until after 2 AM again.  And getting up at 8:30, looking and feeling like something the cat dragged in.

  On a bright note, my blood pressure seems to have leveled out, and the growth removed from my face was benign.  

  We take what we can get, right ??  lol

  And tomorrow, I'll be getting this green tomato salsa canned.  What are you up to ???


Friday, September 26, 2014

Enjoying a bit of a break...

Well...you know.  For me.  lol

 This is a picture of bread made for the first time using my new-to-me KitchenAid mixer.  It's a honey oatmeal loaf that I added about a cup of Bob's Red Mill 12 grain cereal to, because..well...because I can't ever follow a recipe.  lol  And I don't like white bread, even oatmeal bread. I need some STUFF in it, lol  It has a wonderful crumb, it slices beautifully and I am very happy with it.

 I went out this morning and cut butternut squash and hauled them into the garage to cure for a few days before putting them into storage. There were about 3 of them that I'll be cooking tonight--2 with bad spots (as in, someone else already lunched)  and one that I accidentally pulled the stem off.  The stem coming off is a big deal, because it allows bacteria to enter through that soft open spot  and the squash will rot.  'Sokay.  I needed a vegetable for supper tonight anyway.  I am baking some chicken and cooking some rainbow quinoa and roasting the cubes of squash with just a little EVOO and sea salt.  Perfect-O.  Got a pretty decent haul of squash this year...and there are still more out there that came on later and aren't ready yet. I'll leave them as long as the weather holds.  They aren't huge, but they are a pretty nice size for meals.  One really big one that grew out of the compost pile, with no help from anyone. lol

Haven't canned anything recently, but I did dry a dehydrator full of jalapenos (mostly) and cayenne (some) peppers.  Thought I could pulverize the cayenne and roughly grind the jalapenos for use in cooking.

  I have a lot of green tomatoes out there. Thinking I will make some green tomato salsa...kind of a salsa verde, but with unripened green tomatoes instead of tomatillos.  I found several recipes for it, so I know people do it.  lol  And...I'm somebody, ain't I ??

 The weather is beautiful. Cool nights, down to the mid 40's. Pleasant days, hovering in the low to mid 70's.  Blue skies and sunshine and fluffy white clouds now and then. And the leaves are slowly starting to turn, a little red here, a little gold there...and fall from the trees in that ever graceful dance of autumn. 

  This cold is loosening it's hold on me. Luckily the doc said my lungs were clear and recommended a couple of OTC medicines that I can take with the bp meds.   I have felt much better the past 2 days. Still not a hundred percent, but better. Thank goodness. I hate being sick.  lol
 Okay, I have the chicken quarters in the oven, all seasoned and baking and smelling up the house.  I got the 3 butternuts peeled and diced and are soaking in a light  salt water brine, getting ready to be roasted.  I have the quinoa out, ready to be cooked, I have retrieved the mail (all junk, lol), and there is some leftover salad from last night's spaghetti and meatball supper. I opened one of the jars of my home canned marinara, added a bunch of diced ripe tomatoes from the garden and it was great.  So that will be supper. Tonight the Irishman goes off to meet up with some friends at a meeting in town here, but I have to have supper ready for him when he gets home, since the meeting is at 7:30.  We usually eat about the same time every night anyway...he doesn't get home until after 6 PM and that is already late enough. 

  After he leaves, I will make a run to the dollar store and buy some more canned cat food.  Remember the big handsome guy that adopted us ??
Pancho.  He is finally starting to come in the house  the past 2 days. He found out I was feeding Lazarus canned cat food, and wanted in on the action. He patrolled the house yesterday for over an hour and then I found him in the guest room, sleeping on the bed.  He came in for a bit today too, but didn't stay long. I hope he will be more acclimated by the time the cold weather gets here. He is a sweetheart.

  Okay. That's about it from Honeysuckle Hill.  Time to go check on the chicken, both in the oven and the coop. Speaking of chickens in the coop, we are debating the issue of butchering these guys and not having chickens again until next spring. They are not laying at all, and there's no point in feeding them through the winter. Not sure what has happened here...these are the worst producing chickens we have ever had.  Maybe because it's a mixed flock ? Don't know, but in the spring we are going back to good old Rhode Island Reds. My favorite chicken.

  *******  Heavens to Betsey. Got busy and didn't come back to this for 2 days.    Shameful !!  lol


Friday, September 19, 2014

Where oh where can she be ???

 The garden is still giving me presents.  This is a big basket. and the whole bottom of it is full of tomatoes. The rest of it is full of bell peppers, Jalapenos and Anaheims.  

 The carrots are doing well. I am only pulling as many as I need on a given day.  We planted some regular old Danvers and the rest of a packet of Parisiennes.  They are a small little globe carrot that has the sweetest flavor and are great for putting whole on salads or antipasto plates.  The carrots aren't real long this year, but they are thick and very tasty.

 I got my hands on about 15 POUNDS of beautiful organic kale. (That's a LOT of kale, y'all).  lol  I washed and removed the stems and then dried it all (except for a little we ate).  I wound up with 2+ gallons jars stuffed full of dried kale. All ready to use all winter in soups and stews and smoothies and anything else I want to use it in. lol 

 I got a deal on prime cut boneless pork roast at 1.79/pound and bought a boat load of it. I canned 12 quarts of it cut into big chunks and froze 3 or 4 little roasts They came out to about 4-5 dollars apiece and turned out beautifully.  All ready to use for carnitas or Caribbean stew or pulled pork.  Convenience--yay !!!

 The weather has cooled down enough to start doing a little baking now and then. I made some yummy pumpkin bread--you remember the pumpkin saga, yes ??

 Still have plenty of pumpkin. lol

  So, as you can see...I have been busy. And today I got blindsided by a nasty little cold. I don't think I've been sick in over a year and this is knocking the snot out of me (no pun intended). Hopefully it will go away as quickly as it came. 

  I have a good friend here visiting (not at my house, but here, in the area) from St Croix in the Virgin Islands, where she has been living for the past 5 years.  We got to spend 2 days together and it has been awesome.  I spent today with her again, and it will probably be the last time I see her before she leaves. I know how hard it is to  see all the people you want to see when you visit..so I am thrilled that I got as much of her as I did.  lol  I was supposed to go to a birthday celebration tonight, but I got sick out of the blue this afternoon, and spent a chunk of the evening in bed. The Irishman even made supper for me. I was supposed to go to a women's retreat tomorrow, but I have cancelled that too. I refuse to spread colds and flu and when I get these things, I stay home until it's over.  I just hope I didn't unintentionally contaminate anybody today.  I saw a lot of folks that I don't see all the time, and there was lots of hugging going on.  I guess it will be what it will be...

  I came over here and looked at the blog and saw that it has been 2 weeks since I posted last. Heavens to Betsey !!!!!  I have had a woman come over a couple of times to help me with some cleaning and so far, we ALMOST have that spare room done.  It was a disaster. The pantry/closet too.  I made a list of things I want to get done while I have her services...things that are too hard for me to do alone, like scrub down all the cabinet faces and shelves, the high ones and the low ones. It's really hard on me getting up on a ladder...or down on the floor, for that matter. I have a lovely teapot collection on the tops of the cabinets Probably in the neighborhood of 25 or 30 teapots. As you can imagine, they are greasy dust magnets and all have to come down several times a year and get washed clean.

  So, as you can see...I have been busy, but still having some fun. I have a big basket of stuff to get into the dehydrators as soon as possible.  Any minute now, it will be time for canning beets.  I need to get in the garage and see if there are any more canning jars out there. Believe it or not,  I have used almost all my jars this year. When I canned the pork roast, I broke into the last 2 new cases I had in the store room, because they were wi9de mouths.  I still have a few (less than a case I think) of regular mouth jars here and there, unless there are some in the garage I have overlooked. I thought I had gotten them all, but.... I never would have guessed that I would be buying jars again after I hit the Mother Lode when my cousin gave me all her old canning jars (about a hundred and fifty jars!!).  I'll be drying the rest of the tomatoes, but if there are lots of green ones when the frost finally comes, I'll need jars to can chow-chow.

  We're having a short lived warm up again. It was about 80 today. It's cooling off at night though, and I need to get my butternut squash cut and into the garage to cure a bit before bringing them in for storage.  It looks like a pretty good year out there.

  Okay. Letting you know I'm still alive...but taking my sniffly, sneezy butt to bed now.  I'll try to be a little better about posting.  

  Maybe.  lol


Friday, September 5, 2014

Bang the Drum

 Pretty good reminder for a Friday.  Or any day, for that matter.

  I am doing a Zero waste Challenge this week in which I have foregone the use of paper towels. In years past, I never bought paper towels. They are a waste. Of money and of trees.  Then I had puppies or kittens or both, and started buying a roll at a time for convenience sake. For cleaning up poo and pee and puke.  Before I realized what was happening, I was using them for everything and buying them by the 12 roll package. And buying several packages at once if the sale was great.  Then one day, I realized I had like 5 packages of paper towels in the storage room. It took up half the wall.  That's 60 (SIXTY) !!!!!  rolls of paper towels. So, I stopped buying them and kept using them all up. Now I'm finally down to about the last 4 rolls and am not buying anymore. 

  When this challenge came up, it was "Pick one or more things to do to lessen the waste in your life" and I knew it was an omen. lol  It's time for the paper towels to go.  Are they handy?  Yes.  Do I need them ?  No. I have lots of rags I could be using for all the things I use paper towels for.  Rinse-able, washable, reusable rags.  I know I probably could have done several other things in this challenge that might have been more of a statement, but this was doable and it was time. Besides, I told myself that I  already do a lot to eliminate wasteful stuff from my life and do a lot of green things and do enough (not really) for the planet.

 It's been easier than I thought, so I guess I am on my way to a paper towel free home again. lol


  It's been a busy week. Canned pickled sweet banana peppers and pickled okra. Dried okra (about 9 pounds total, pickled and dries).   Got some canned stuff put away and right now (for a minute) the island is clear again. We harvested about 130 pounds of red and white potatoes, they are in the garage curing a bit before getting boxed up and going into the storage room. I had a friend come over and we started working on the spare room yesterday...she doing the lions share of the work, while I piddled around doing some stuff in other parts of the house.  She's gonna come back on Tuesday and maybe we can finish it up. Good news/Bad news:  The mice have been having a heyday in there. (that's the bad news) We had to strip the bed and anything cloth (furniture slipcovers) that was laying around all had to be laundered. so I did 3 loads of that kind of wash yesterday and still have 2 more to go. Then I'll box up those things and into the closet they'll go once we get that cleaned out next week.  The good news, on the other hand, is that there is a 5 gallon bucket full of sweet potatoes I didn't know was in there. They are starting to sprout, but look really good otherwise.  Added to the 5 or 6 pounds left in the wooden box,  it will be a good canning session. I might start on that today. Gonna can most of them in just water and some of them in a brown sugar and cinnamon mixture.

  I'm going out to check the sweet potatoes in the ground in a few and see what that haul is looking like.  If it's a good harvest, I'll probably can all the ones in storage. If it's dicey...then I'll leave a few of the better looking ones in the bucket.  Just in case.

(I just pulled up the weather report. I thought it was cooling down today, but the weather says mid-90's and thunderstorms all afternoon and evening.  I will probably wait until Sunday to do the sweet potatoes.)  Yesterday was only 90, but with a heat index of 102 and it was suffocating. Even hotter today AND rain ??  Surely I can find other things that need doing that won't uber-heat the kitchen all day...


 The boy just brought in another bag of gorgeous chanterelles.  Our Friday night feast is going to be a mushroom and pasta supper, with salad and garlic bread. I have 2 other bags of chanterelles that he brought yesterday. He is going out of town to work today and doesn't have time to do anything with them. I haven't tried drying the chanterelles yet...they seem so fragile. Maybe I should read up on that...those would be a good thing to have in storage...so yummy.

 Alright. If I keep writing I will never get anything done.  It's bright and sunny and still only in the mid 70's right now. The critters are all outside, except for one cat. It's peaceful and quiet here. Time for a little prayer and meditation and then into the rest of this wondrous day !!


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Can I get an AMEN ??

 Oh lordy...is that a chicken butt photo bomb ?  

  I was sitting here this morning, thinking about  things.  You know...THINGS.  Things like the water shortages in California. Things like the Ebola virus in Africa.  Things like ALS,  and cancer research and my beautiful sister-in-law's MRI yesterday.  Things like how I have way too many books in this room and that I'm finally getting around to reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (and how much I love saying his name).  lol  Don't they have medications for people like me ?  (And how I just typo-d MEDIVACATIONS...and thinking--wouldn't that be a great concept?  A time away where they medicate you and you just lay around in a vegetative state...and REST.)  

  I'm sure that my poor pea brain is whirling like this because I've been running  full speed. This time of year in the garden is  feast or famine, and in our case, in this year...it's feast.  So much stuff still coming out or ready to come out, or should be out.  House overheated from running canners and dehydrators.  Counters all full of jars cooling or waiting to be labeled or just waiting to be put away.  Empty jars, full jars, clean jars, dirty jars. I've said it before and I'll say it again--because it makes me feel better-- from about mid June til the end of October my house is a mess.  It's just a fact of life.  I used to love watching Little House on the Prairie, and marvel at how Mrs. Ingalls  did all the works she did and still kept the house spotless.  My house is not spotless.  I need a maid. Or a wife. Or both. lol

 As you've probably guessed by the fact that I'm posting on the blog again and it hasn't been a week or more...there's a bit of a lull right now.  There  are 2 canner batches sitting on the island right now...one of  marinara and one of candied jalapenos.  There is NOT a small tub of jalapenos or a basket of tomatoes sitting in the house right now.  YAY !

There are tomatoes on the vine that might be ready for picking, and probably some more green peppers too. I pretty much stripped the jalapenos trying to get enough to make this batch of  Cowboy Candy.  The potato vines have all died back. The sweet potatoes are still looking pretty good out there.  The carrots are thriving this year and we've been picking them randomly, not time for an actual harvest yet.  There are still green beans coming--we didn't have to plant a second crop this year thanks to the bizarre cooling off we had in July and much of August.  Then the heat came back with a vengeance and everything thinks that it's all systems go.  The basil and the parsley and chives are all going like gangbusters. The oregano didn't make it and the thyme is hanging on by a thread. 

  And this is just the way of it.

  So...today I need to make bread.  I need to go to the market. I need to straighten up and vacuum at least. I have got to get into that spare room and reorganize it and clean,  but the job seems daunting and I am hesitant to even start.  Rooms that have doors that close to hide all the clutter have been being closed while I try to just manage the main living areas.  Is that cheating ?  lol

  Why do I think I am hopeless ?  Why do I look around and chastise myself for being such a lousy housekeeper ?  I would give ANYONE else a much wider berth than I give myself.  Sigh...

  Look at what I HAVE accomplished--

 Not to mention the dried tomatoes,  okra,  bell peppers,  apples, peaches, onions, mushrooms, pineapple ??  And the fewer all the time things in the freezer, but still it's full.  I  look at all this bounty...all these stores of goods that will feed my family through the coming year... and I think  "What's the harm in a little clutter or a few dustbunnies ? "   I am making a list of dry goods that I need to purchase, things like oats and flour and nuts (almonds, walnuts, peanuts).  More canned protein, like tuna and salmon.  All these things that keep my pantry stocked with a variety of foodstuff that I can make interesting and tasty and nourishing meals with.  When I have a little extra money, I buy at least one thing in bulk that is either hard to find or a necessity.  For instance, I have an insurance settlement check coming (small, but nonetheless...) and when it comes, I am ordering another 25 pound box of organic quinoa.  Quinoa is expensive, but it's a complete protein that also contains all the minerals and amino acids that the body needs. It's versatile.  When I buy it at that size, I get a really decent price on it. So, in the long run, my philosophy is that yes, I could live without it, it's a bit of a luxury. But if I can get the price down to a reasonable number and I happen to have the money...why not ?  I will do the same thing with oats, which are NOT expensive, but are one of the most useful things you can have in your pantry.  And now I see that the local market has the 10# bags of leg and thigh quarters again, for 59 cents a pound.  And it's everything I can do to not go out and get a couple. Can more chicken and more broth.  How much did I do last time ?  I think I wound up with a grand total of something like 25 jars , some plain broth, some all chicken, some a   mixture of the two. Is that enough ? Do I dare pass up this source of  inexpensive healthy protein ?  Am I turning into a food hoarder ?  Or am I just being prudent. Frugal.  Planning for things.  I just read a line in The Alchemist that said..."We must be prepared for change..."  Am I prepared ?  Probably not prepared enough.  But at least I'm thinking about these things. First aid, medications, pet foods, people foods, matches,  water... most of these I have covered. 

  Too much deep thought for one day.  I think I'll mosey out to La Vista and see what's shaking out that way. A day off...that spare room can wait...