Like...spring, for instance. We went from the brown dried up hardness of winter to the lush, soft greening of everything in just a few short days, really. From tiny hard buds forming on the peach and cherry tree branches to spectacular white and pink flowers everywhere. From tangled with dead weeds and vines fences to verdant green with daffodills popping up along the row. Lilies popping up through the ground, hostas starting to make their way up, and asparagus. Not much, but still--ASPARAGUS ! Chives, clematis, sage and oregano. Miraculous. Being mindful of creation is much easier this time of year.
Our chapter for this week's discussion group is about mapping your bioregion. The course this time is called A Sense of Place, in case I haven't mentioned it. Learning about where you live...everything from the geographic formations to the flora and fauna to your place in the neighborhood, the community, the world. Have you ever thought about trying to map your house without using street signs or other man made landmarks ? That's what we have to do. It's daunting, but a good exercise. It makes you pay attention to your surroundings. I'll let you know how mine goes. lol Living in the flatlands doesn't make it particularly easy either.
It rained all day yesterday and much of the night before. It was supposed to stop yesterday around 5, but apparently Mother Nature didn't get the memo. It was not supposed to rain anymore for a while, which would have been a good thing, as all the creeks and rivers are flooding. It continued to rain all night, and now it's still raining (albeit not hard) this morning. I've been up about an hour (almost 8 AM now) and haven't been out to free the chickens yet. As soon as I finish this cup of coffee though... The poor babies were looking pretty rough yesterday as they squawked around the muddy run, as they are still moulting a little and looking bedraggled, and then wet on top of it. Bless their little hearts...they're laying again and in a short time I have almost 3 dozen eggs in the fridge. I have been trying to use up my stored eggs...I think there are still about 3 dozen back there. The are good for hardboiling and scrambling, but not for frying. (You can fry them, but the white runs all over the skillet like water). They are great for using in baking and stuff. The only thing I can see that is a result of the long term storage is that the whites of the eggs have lost some of their viscosity and are pretty runny. This has been a grand experiment, and I have not had to buy a single egg this winter. YAY! I will definitely do this from now on.
I spent a chunk of yesterday up in the county seat, shopping at a little IGA market called Carl's. We get a shopper in the mail that carries their ads and I always look at them (even though they are 25 miles away) because every now and then they run some fantastic sales. This week was one of them. And since I had a little extra money in my food budget, I decided to take them up on some great deals. I got chicken leg and thighs in a 10 # bag for .79 /lb. They only had one left, or I would have gotten several. They had beautiful whole pork loin for 1.69/lb. I brought it home and cut it into chops...got almost 36 thick boneless pork chops out of it, which I put into freezer bags and stuck out in the big freezer. They also had whole NY strip steak for only 3.69/lb. (Around here, those steaks go for around 9 dollars a pound, except when on sale every now and then for 7.99) We eat very little red meat, but I love those steaks and every now and then , we'll have company for dinner and I'll grill them, or we'll just have them for supper. Once every couple of months maybe...not even that often usually. I got a 10 pound piece (smallest one they had) and cut it into 16 one inch thick steaks. Bagged it into serving portions and off to the freezer. So, for right around 60 bucks, I got enough meat to probably get us through the summer, as I still have some boneless skinless chicken breast packages in there too. One of the other markets I shop now and then (15 miles away) is having a sale on pork steaks and ribs, and I might just go pick some of those up too. I love those big western pork ribs...a cut that gives you a package that is about 80% boneless. And the price is right--1.59/lb. They're great on the grill, bbq'd in the oven, cooked with home made kraut in the crock pot. Love 'em. We eat probably 3-4 meatless meals a week. So that makes this kind of buying go a long way for us.
I made a meatloaf for supper last night with some ground chuck I had in the freezer and the boy came and had supper with us. He's not working much again, and it always gets to him. But I fixed some comfort food: meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans...it was raining and cold (the temps dropped 15 degrees in about 2 hours) and when the Irishman came home, he was wet and tired and the meatloaf was a big hit all around. There's enough leftovers for sandwiches, and enough mashed potatoes to make some potato cakes or just easily round out another meal. Meatloaf sandwiches are one of that man's favorites. Most men, probably. lol
I went to the physical therapy/wellness center on Monday. I have been released from PT, sent home with exercises to do. YAY! I am still going to go for chiropractic adjustments once a week, and I am going to start the Hyalgan injections into my other knee. Hopefully it will prevent the right knee from getting as bad as the left one did. The arthritis in there is pretty bad too, although the pain isn't near what the other one was. I have a 2 o'clock appointment today for an ultrasound, and I don't know if they'll be giving me the first anti -inflammatory shot or not. That's at 2 o'clock.
Well, it's 2 hours later. The chickens are out and fed and rewarded me with one perfect brown egg. The boy came over and had breakfast with me...scrambled eggs from November and toast and coffee. We had a nice chat and then he was off again. The doggies have been in and out a couple of times and have no interest in staying out too long, as it's still only up to 38 degrees and raining off and on. Supposed to clear up mid day, they tell me and get into the 50's. We'll see. I've got the bird fed and the dishes done and am going to figure out what's next on the list. Then I'll leave and stop by my cousins house and try to talk her into lunch or something. She likes Paneras...then it's off to PT and then home again.
Oh yeah...gotta work on that mapping thing too...wish me luck !