One week down, one week to go! by texaskillet
May 13, 2011, 9:00 PM
Filed under: inspiration, penny saver, texaskillet

Well today officially marks 7 days of no spending outside of my meager cash allowance for emergencies. I’ll post the rundown of what was considered an emergency at the end of the two weeks… I mean I do have a WHOLE other week to go. J

How has it been you might ask? Refreshing I would say.

It’s nice to have an out and it’s even nicer to save some cash stock piling. J

The count of times that I have been tempted has been plenty. The times when someone has said, hey let’s go grab a bite or a drink or a smoothie have been several.

Today, my preplanned Amazon Fresh order will show up on my door step between 6 and 9pm. Yay for that! I think it has been a focal point and saving grace to know that in the midst of my experiment I would receive a burst of fresh produce. I mean come on people; I am but a human with teeth that were meant to nosh on fresh things. J

During the summer if I do this again, which I think I will, it will be easier when my small spaces garden has come to life and is producing and then maybe I can sustain my desire for freshness off of what I’ve grown.

Another interesting thing to note is that I have been suffering with Vertigo induced by either allergies or hormones since Monday. Talk about taking some of the punch out of my bowl. Nothing says stay home and stop moving like when your whole world is spinning and you can’t make it stop unless you stop and sometimes not even then. It’s too bad really because I was hoping that by not spending and not “going out” I would make more time for my physical wellbeing and for my craft hobbies. Gee thanks Universe, you are my favorite. L

Anyway, onward and upward as some people say. I have been thinking this over and I have decided that my next maneuver will be to save double spend half. This will mean that a latte really costs me 6 bucks (let’s be honest, it’s more like 8), because I will have to save as much as I want to spend. Result: $4 to my savings and $4 to the coffee shop. I need to spend a little time thinking about whether or not this happens over a timed period or if I make it a regular habit. I guess if I ever want a house with chickens in the yard, I should just go ahead and make it a habit. Though, it may be deserving of a trial period. I don’t want to be one of those people that are sooo focused on signing up for a house that they stop living for a while. I mean what if now is all the time that I have. You just never know so you should always consider the possibility.

Anyone out there have any saving tricks? If so, would you be willing to share?

My dad once said that I should just freeze my credit card in a bowl of water and keep it in the freezer, and then I would have to think long and hard before I use it. I did that for a while. It was interesting. Might go back to it, but I am open to other things. J



Comfort Food by quornflour

The last few weeks have been super nuts: long days, crap weather, loads of stuff to do, no time.

Yeah, I know there are those of you who are saying, “Is there something else?”

Here is a super easy, super delicious meal. It takes hardly any time, is high yield and freezes really well.

He is what you need:

  • 1 lb ground “leanest” ground beef
  • 1 lb frozen peas
  • 12 oz – 1 lb egg noodles
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large can of condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 6-8 large mushrooms chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Celery salt
  • Black pepper

Cook the noodles according to direction on the bag.

In a 5 quart Dutch oven caramelize onions and garlic in olive oil, then add beef and brown it with celery salt and black pepper (to taste).

Once browned add the peas, mushrooms, stir occasionally and cook until the peas are warm then add the soup (+1/3 can of water) and noodles and mix it up then serve!

Worms!!! LIVE HERE< EAT HERE by texaskillet
May 9, 2011, 12:26 AM
Filed under: Clever Chickadees, kid friendly, project, texaskillet, work space

Project for the weekend; create a new home for the worms that Doris so generously left in my care.

I was reading a book called The Urban Homestead and project 2 right out of the blocks is to make a worm bin. Awesome. I love this book by the way; I get a ton of inspiration from it. You should check it out. I can only hope that our book will be as awesome. J

My worms were in a wooden toy box. Like the kind you pick up at Ikea and put together yourself for like $25.00. Since I cannot keep my worms in the garage, they have been up against the house trying to keep warm and subject to the wet Pacific Northwest winter… soooo time for a water proof home that will last a few years.

I needed to be able to keep them by the back door so that I would be better about bringing the kitchen scraps to them as well as the shredded junk mail and coffee grinds.

What you’ll need:

-Two Rubbermaid 8-10 gallon containers that nest or are stackable solid in color, not see through. Worms do not appreciate bright sunny days like we do.

-A drill with a ¼ inch bit and a 1/16 inch bit.

-The two lids for the Rubbermaid containers

-Two blocks of wood (I still have to salvage these)

-Shredded newspaper, like a whole Sunday paper

-WORMS: Red Worms (Eisenia Foetida)


Ready set go!

  1. Drill 1/16 inch holes an inch from the top and bottom all the way around BOTH Rubbermaid containers
  2. Drill 1/16 inch holes in ONE of the lids
  3. Drill ¼ inch holes in the bottoms of BOTH Rubbermaid containers
  4. Place the non-drilled lid on the bottom in the spot you have selected for your bin
  5. Put the two blocks down on top of the lid
  6. Stack one of the bins on top of the blocks
  7. Stack the second bin inside the first bin
  8. Put your soaked and then wrung out shredded newspaper in the bottom of the top bin. It would be great if you could get about four inches worth in there.
  9. Place your worms in there
  10. Place any dirt you already have in there for darkness and to start them off with digestive grit. This makes me think of Pigeons.
  11. Wait a few days for acclimatization, only put a handful of scraps in at first.

As it turns out, worms can be sensitive to a few different situations. Too wet. Too dry. Too much light. Too Hot. Too Cold.

If after night one you check your worms and find them trying to escape you’ll need to assess your worm home to see if one of the above is the situation.

Good luck with your worms. There are a few worm references out there and you may want to pick one up for good measure. Of course you could rely on the internet. J




Apartment Garden, Episode 2: Seedling Swap by quornflour

It is great and even easy to start your own plants, the trouble is, when you buy seeds to get SO many, and sometimes they all sprout up. Then what?

Either you end up with loads of extra seeds or a garden full of one type of plant, right?

There is another option: The Seedling Swap.

It is sort of like a Christmas Cookie swap, where you bake a bunch of cookies then go to someone’s house and trade out, but you can do the same thing with seedlings.

It just so happened that my friend Scott also planted seedlings this year, and it also just so happened that he planted the stuff I wanted and had not planted, and it just so happened he too had extra!

The other great thing is if you start your seedlings in egg cartons, they are almost already to go, just take some paper scissors: if you do not know what I am talking about here then you probably are not a sewer with separate paper and fabric scissors so do not worry about it.

Take your seedlings and cut the cartons up to make a nice mix of plants in a tray, and ta-dah! you have a nice tray to trade.

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