Welcome to Growbox Hill

Welcome to Growbox Hill
Welcome to Growbox HIll!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Woot! seeds coming in!!

Got in some seeds today :)

A HUGE bag of marigold seed.. I sent off postage and got enough of it to hopefully be able to successfully line the keyhole next year. Of course I will be reserving some to pot up some flowers next year too so I at least have some startover seed if the borders fail. And there's enough for me to make up a few envelopes of them for the seed favors :) That was on the Gardenweb If Mama N is nice next year, we will establish the first line of defense against skeeter and ticks and provide a nice mowing border I can stick lamp posts in.

Got in my SASE from Wintersown.org ... and even more seeds than I was expecting!! I had to choose 6 with 4 backups. They sent me 8 tomatoes and 2 bonus packets! Well worth the price of 2 stamps. I reserved their card so I can send them off some seed as I can while collecting. I will have to send off to them again :) For a $5.00 donation, I get to pick 10 I want, and get them all. It will fill out the rest of my tomato collection except for whites. And it's going to a good cause.

Here is what I got in the mail..

Roughwood Golden Plum tomato
Early Ssubakus Aliana tomato
Yellow Banana tomato
Principe Borghese tomato
Sausage tomato
Lyuda's Mom's Large Red Ukrainian tomato
College Challenger tomato
Piovano tomato
Cayenne pepper 

I'm extra excited about the cayenne- I want to grow some for myself, and there's enough to share a couple seeds too :) I now have my first rotations of tomato seed too- I will probably plant all yellows/golds next year. I may have to build a couple of pollination isolation cases to do so, hmmmm...

I'm also going through my seeds enough that I now have a good idea on what I got for seed trading too. I need to make up a bunch of origami envelopes for them all. Need to do it anyway, I'm almost out and still need a bunch more for the seed favors.
I'm building up seed lists and tearing them down. By the time ordering season comes I will hopefully get very little purchased seed :)

Got the last of the pumpkin puree on the dehydrator... I ran out about 2 1/2 sheets in so I kept filling with the delecata, dumpling, and buttercup squashes from yesterdays roasting. Today I'm roasting off the green and golden acorns and butternut squashes.
So, 2 medium carving pumpkins, one large delecata, one large dumpling, 5 small to medium buttercups, 1 large green and 2 small golden acorn squashes, 1 medium large (filled the pan in it's own roasting) and 1 small butternut squash. I have no idea how many pounds that all is before dehydration. But by the end of today I will have 7 trays dried, and I think I have 6-7 to go. Once todays squash are roasted up, I'll mash them together and we shall see what we get. Squashes are so much dryer than the pumpkins- I had to puree and drain off extra water from the pumpkins. The squashes are ready to go right from the fridge.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Check, done, and finished...

So, since I last tuned in...

Got the 2 pumpkins cooked up and pulped out. Roasted one, steamed the other. Hehehehe, used my new canning kettle as the steamer for my second pumpkin :) So I pureed up one pumpkin in the blender and ladled it into cheesecloth to drain overnight before putting it in dehydrator. I pureed the other one today. The first pumpkin filled 3 trays on the dehydrator- I want to keep the batches smallish since I want them to dry in a day. Got squashes roasting in the oven now.  I think I'm going to toast the leathers in the oven once they are all dry- give a nice toastiness to the stuff and make sure it's oober dry before pulverizing it.

Took all my berry goodness I picked up the other day and made up a batch of berry preserves. I really need to get my timing a bit better for getting all the stuff together and working at the same time. I had my water bath ready before the preserves. No biggie, it takes a while for that big kettle to heat up to a boil, and easy enough to hover it before kicking off the preserves. Though next time, I'm betting that heating that up would go faster if I had the whole thing at room temp instead of fridge temp. The recipe I used made 6 12oz jars of preserves- and yep, I thought it would only take 5 so I only prepped 5 jars. Good thing I could clean another jar quick and jar it up for the refrigerator. 

I used...
6 cups mashed berries. That's the measurement to put in the pot. I used 2- 16 containers of fresh strawberries, a 12 oz package of frozen mixed berries, and 12 oz macerated strawberries I had in the freezer from the last time I got fresh strawberries and didn't use them all up at once. Mashed it up with a potato masher. First I mashed the fresh strawberries- the whole bowl of them at once. Then I tossed in the mixed berries- mash again. Then I ladled in the macerated strawberries, and mashed one more time.
1 package of Sure Jell Pink Box pectin. It's the one that uses less sugar.
4 cups sugar- you divide off a quarter cup to mix with the Sure Jell first.

Bring berries and Sure Jell and sugar mix to a boil. Stir it a LOT.
Once at a boil, add in the rest of the sugar, in a fast stream while stirring.
Keep stirring pretty regularly till it comes to a boil.
Hit your timer for 60 seconds, and keep stirring the whole time.
Once your timer beeps, pull the pan off the burner.
You can finally slow down on the stirring! Now do it gently to help pile up the skum/foam, and keep working the bottom of the pan too.
Yeah, that is a crapton of stirring. But all that liquidy goodness can crisp up on the bottom pretty fast because you are working at high heat the whole time.
Can it up, boil it up. I used 15 minutes for 12 oz jars.
Already all 5 jars have popped. Lets just hope they continue to be like that in 24 hours. They are all already totally jelled up- top half is fruity chunky, bottom half is smooth jelly. Kind of cool. I shook them up as I was tightening the rings after the processing.. but it separated out anyway. 
Dehydrated a couple pounds each of frozen peas and fresh carrots. They are now jarred and on the shelf. Dried up a tray each of rosemary, sage, tarragon, winter savory, and marjoram.

Got the stuff to make birdseed ornaments.. really didn't feel like working on them today. I forgot the cornsyrup anyway for the ornaments. And I know it will go on sale along with flour soon with the winter holidays coming up. Baked up the pumpkin seeds I set to soak in the fridge last night instead. They are now dry, jarred, and on the shelf for the Halloween table. A couple cups of them :)
Made up a couple batches of bath salts. Figured I'd give those time to cure.  Keep your coffee cans if you can do so- Air them out for a while- or dedicate one to coffee scrbbions for this. You can use them to package up small collections of goodies, like pampering kits, goodie tins, whatever. I use the plastic ones a lot for bath salt curing. The cardboard ones are better for canning up presents. A quick trick for cleaning the cans before canning up is to use fabric softener sheets to really wipe out the inside of the can really well and help remove any seeped in traces of coffee. Do this after airing out for sure, you can if you want to before storing as well if you like.
Picked up some label tape on clearance at the closing Office Depot. Next time I'm out I might pick up a couple more rolls. The stuff is wonderful! Most of the ready sized labels weren't what I wanted for sealing and labeling the seed envelopes I'm doing up for garden in a box. And they were frigging expensive still- 20 bucks and I still would have needed to cut them in half to get them to work right. Or 3.50 for a 700 foot roll of tape, about an inch or two per label. Got all the seeds labeled. Got everything sorted out into favor amounts- I'm doing 20 each of those. I made the first test origami box, and I am not sure if I like it or not- used whole sheets of construction paper, and I think perhaps that will be too big.

Got half of the gardening stuff moved.. all the basket stuff and the hoses. I was able to take down the L-shaped gardenbench thing too. A noticeable difference in the space factor of the garage. Broke down a bunch of little box stuff and packed up a big ole block of burning for the (hopefully) holiday bonfire.
I decided not to mow anything. We are hitting into our first freezing temps overnight now, and I just don't want to do it. Also decided not to mark in the steps area yet. Sooner or later all of the forces will be in place with nice weather to set those things in. Just not right now.
Got another bottle return done, and picked up the jelly/leather sheets for the dehydrator. They were 2 packs for 5 bucks, not singly. So now I have an extra one. Still gonna see how I can sale off against that kind of price for the cut my own mesh plates. I wasn't too thrilled with the premade ones.

The Enchanted Bead is now on winter hours- will have to check in midweek about the square wire. Have to wait for some weekday hours midweek for the nursery tree action too.

Got the pillars top trussed and the floor completely backfilled on the Rosepetal Pavilion.  Got the scent into one geodesic ornament- not sure if it's really worth the bother of it though. did the preliminary gluing of the next one done.

Friday, October 26, 2012

food preservation and a bunch more done

Ok, so I made another bottle run to Meijer.. This time to the further away one. And I'm very glad I did!

They had 12 oz canning jars on price drop for 5 bucks for 12- half off.. I picked up three flats. They also had food dehydrators on the shelf, hell yeah!! 50 bucks got me a nice 4 tray with adjustable heat fan blown dehydrator. It's a bit larger than the one I currently own- big enough that I have to set it up on the counter instead of on the shelf. I got an extra 2 pack of trays for it for 10 bucks. Apparently you can stack up to 12 on the darn thing, but I doubt I will go over 6. Sadly fine mesh inserts cost 5 bucks each- so I will be hitting the fabric store and see how much their large sheets of mesh cost. If they are only a couple bucks, you bet your bottom I will be taking the time to cut up my own. Besides, the most recent flyer had a couple half off coupons and a 25% off total purchase coupon. The Meijer also has the fruit roll sheets for 5 bucks a pop. One came with the dehydrator, but I think I will be investing in getting 5 of them.
Because of the kind of dehydrator this is, I can make jerky on it too!
And yes, I will still be using the first dehydrator too. It's perfect for some of the softer drying or have more time to let it dry kind of stuff.  Once I pull the current batch of mushrooms off tomorrow, I will pick a bunch more herbs to go on it.
Right now the new one has 5 trays of broccoli slaw dehydrating- that's 3 12oz packages that I got for 99 cents each, and I had a tray left over. The first dehydrator could only handle a bag and a half. Already the house smells like dehydrating food, and after an hour and a half I felt the need to reshuffle the stuff- it's drying out fast enough I think it may be ready to jar up before I go to bed tonight. Tomorrow I will set up the rest of the frozen peas, and probably do up a batch of the fresh carrots too- I got a couple of pounds for free on a buy deal at Hardings.
Stopped by the hardware store and picked up a big 21 quart canner pot too. Meijer had a 25 quart enamel stock without the rack for 25 bucks and it looked too big for my stove, but the hardware store had the enamel canner pot with the rack for 26.50- for the extra buck and a half and having a rack and an appropriate size to fit on my stove, it was worth it. And it helps support my local hardware store- it's a value beyond price to me in the experience and time those folks have.

Got all excited and bought a couple pumpkins from the local grower... and a bunch more squash from Hardings- on sale for 49 cents a pound... Was planning on using some of my cool new canning equipment. Hardeharhar on me, you can't safely can that using a water bath. So I will be making my puree and dehydrating a bunch on the fruit roll sheets- instant squash powder for soups.. I will likely freeze up at least a couple quarts of the stuff too for more cook and eat kind of consistency.
Between Meijer and Hardings, I was able to pick up a couple pound containers of strawberries and a bag of mixed berries for cheap- and I have a bag of macerated strawberries in the freezer. Gonna whup them all up into some jam and can that all up. I think I will end up with 4-5 12 oz jars when I'm done, so I can always toss in a jar with a few Christmas presents.

I picked up some nice scents for Christmas presents too. Cinnamon to make scented filling for the geodesic ornaments. Jasmine and a soothing green tea and cucumber for making bath salts and some warm/chill pillows. I figure I will make up a couple of those too. A little bit here and there and I will have some pretty decent pampering sets for the ladies. The oils were under 5 bucks each, and I should be able to get quite a bit of mileage out of them. I still have a couple of candy molds sitting around that were complete failures for making seed bombs, but I think they might still be good for making little "butter lumps". A mixture of wax and oils for using on rough spots like elbows and heels.

Got work done on the Rosepetal Pavilion. The posts are now mounted into place and all the final floor tiles are mounted in. Next up is laying in the primary roof struts and backfilling the entire outer edge of the floor. I wanted to give that final layer a couple goodly days to set in before messing around with the next layer. Then it's laying in roof cross beams and doing the primary petal roof layout.

I've noticed where the bottles are stacked was a major drip spot- so I've done a few bottle returns and cleared out most of those boxes. Now I need to keep up on it. I think I'm gonna fold up the yucky boxes and twine them off for easy start logs.

To do list:
Want to start working on birdseed ornaments for wedding favors. Birdseed has been on sale so I figure I will pick up a bag now. That stuff stores forever. Then over the course of winter, I can bake up batches of them and sock them away for bundling. I think I want to pick up some tulle and make nyjer seed bags to pack them up a couple feeders each all nice.
Need to go through the pile of seed envelopes for my garden in a box favors. Ugh, need to hit Office Depot- the are going out of business and got super sale going on. Pick up some printable labels if they have them. Hand written or printed, if the sale is good enough, a box or two will last me ages.
I need to get into touch with the Enchanted Bead lady up the road from us. Need to see if she has/can order square wire for me. My sister handed over some seriously cool chainmail link pieces and a handful of large quarts points for me to make into a necklace for her. I think this particular piece will require the structured edges of square wire. I'm going to use soft wire for now to quick wrap everything into the basic measurements and try the shape on my sister before I squarewire it.
Do another bottle return- pick up a couple jelly sheets for the new dehydrator.
Move a load of gardening stuff. The hoses and basket stuff for sure. That's a couple loads of space eating stuff I want moved.
Move the jug stuff. I know I got at least a bag or two of plastic bottles for smaller turn in action. And a stack of bottles to soak off the labels from and spray up in glow spray for herb garden border action.
Spray a couple test papers with glow spray and glitter to make into glow jars for hanging in the trees. 
Stick in stakes to mark off the future steps down the hill to the easement drive. Plug in the solar lights along that marked area.
If the weather is good, mow out a single path along all borders in the yard. I know it's late in the season and could be killing off.. but if I'm careful and think about it I can cut in a mulch side to work with into the freezing time and able to put in spring time.
Take a trip up to the local tree nursery and inquire to early spring ordering of a pair of trees for wedding planting. Might not be a bad idea to mark in and possibly mow in the planting aisle.
Trim up the branches that need trimming in the yard.
Pick up and drop off fallen branches in the yard to the firepit. Even if the weather is crappy, I want to build up a goodly firepit burning for Halloween. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Meh, just stuff.. and food.. and nice weather

Getting some stuff done.

It was nice enough and dry enough the other day that I buried my herb garden in fall leaves. It was super nice out today with only overcast tomorrow so I can rake up another batch for the garden and prolly some for the compost bin too. If I'm feeling extra super maybe I'll snag a barrow or two of horse poo to toss on top of the bin. We pretty much went from hot and parched to cold and wet so now I'm just biding my time.
Even though the grass looks pretty shaggy I'm not going to mow again this year. Rather leave it a bit shaggy to overwinter rather than cut it now and have it freeze up all crappy.
I also want to pick up a bunch of the pinecones to sock away for winter ornament use- if they end up being critter or indoor use I haven't quite decided yet. 

Made a batch of pork stock. Didn't feel like dinking around with the smoker, so I used just neck bones and roasted them in a hot oven for a half hour before making the stock. It wasn't as gelatinous as I'm used to, but that's ok. Made up a gallon and a half and concentrated it down by half before chucking it in the freezer. Today I made ham and bean soup with it and it's pretty darn good. I was also able to use some of my dehydrated onion, celery, and carrot in it, yay!

Yesterday I made up a crockpot of chili and one of meaty tomato sauce. Tomorrow I will re-arrange the freezer so I got all the stock in back and the edibles in front for quick service.

Hit the Meijer yesterday, and they had pint and a half tall wide mouth canning jars on clearance- 5 bucks for a nine pack. Damn good deal, so I got 4 of them. When I go there after Halloween to check out their clearance stuff, if they still got them, I may end up picking up a couple more.

An ekkgads.. I finally filled up the two huge jars with dried mushrooms. And I still had a couple more packs to dry up sitting in the fridge. What's a girl to do? Make mushroom powder of course! Took about three quarters of a jar to make a couple cups of powder. What's it good for? Adding umami to just about anything... and for making magic dust. So today I made up a half batch of magic dust- shit smells good as hell. What's magic dust for? Just about anything that needs an extra hit of flavor. It can be used for meat rubs, on veggies, in soups, stews, casseroles..

Magic Dust:
1/2 cup paprika
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 T mustard powder
2 T oregano
1/4 cup chili powder
1/4 cup cumin
2 T black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder
2 T cayenne pepper- you can use some red pepper flake instead if you like or are out of cayenne
1 T orange zest- you can use powdered orange, or add in some lemon or lime if you don't have enough orange zest
2/3 cups mushroom powder
Blend all this together in a spice mill or your blender till it's all a powder. Magic dust rocks!!

Hmmm, what else? Oh yeah, been working on christmas presents. Got a couple of kusudama flowers all set up, now all I have to do is finish gluing the flowers together into globes. Cut out a set of geodesic ornaments, and got the first one primarily glued together.  Need to let the glue dry before I finish assembling the first one. Then on to the next, lol. Next up on the list will be making glitter string balls, beaded snowflakes (the store finally had tiny styrofoam balls to work with), and some star ornaments.
Got most of the rest of the recipes typed up for this years family cookbook. Just need to get a couple of recipes from my bro's GF and they will be ready to print out and assemble.

Got a bunch done on the rosepetal pavilion. I had to find a more viscus clear glue that would work outdoors and I did at the local fabric store. So I did the backfilling of the tiling on the floor today, at least on the two big hexagons. I'll finish the backfilling once I get the posts and the final outside row of tiles in place. Got the posts stepped into their cups, painted, and the stopper beads on the tops done. Those all need to dry overnight or so before I can glue those into place. Then it's finishing the backfilling, then oh dread, working on the roof action.

Out of Tippy and friends...
lol, oddly enough, after spraying ammonia and scaring the shit out of the coons, we haven't seen them around the house. The swan family is finally flying out for the season. Geese are heading south in major arrows... And I saw white kitty in the yard the other day. We hadn't seen him in so long, we figured he was a goner.
Our new boy, Nova, seems to be finally settling in... or should I say, the other cats seem to be finally getting ok with him. I was a bit worried there for a while, but I think everything is going to be ok. He's huge, at almost 6 months old he's about the same size as the twins. Next month, his balls get snipped- want him to be fully recovered and OK before thanksgiving. He's already a mama's boy- I snuggle the snot out of him and it shows.

As a random SPAM moment...  A couple weeks ago, I got a letter from Best Buy with nonsense about my Best Buy card.. Damn, hadn't used the thing in so long I forgot I even had one- didn't even have a card anymore or paperwork or anything.. So I call in to cardmember services and cancel the card entirely... So today in the mail shows up my new Best Buy credit card? WTF?? Thats spamalot, and I will be calling to complain and make damn sure the account is really canceled. Dumb ass spamming mofos.

And seeds... MMMMM, still haven't gotten anything in the mail from the SASE folks I sent off to, but then I'm not terribly surprised. It will prolly take a while for those to come in. I got back on the Gardenweb. For 4 stamps, I'm getting a half gallon sized package of marigolds, for a pay it forward I'm getting marigolds, pumpkin, and parsley, and for an SASE I'm getting tall marigolds. If I'm at all talented next spring, and Mama N plays nice like she didn't this year, I should get a goodly border of marigolds going on down to the firepit. I put them in this year, but it was so dry I couldn't keep up the the veggie rows, let alone the firepit borders.
I already have my seed wishlists made out for a couple of places, but I'm going to be a good kid and hold off till December to order them.. it can be my xmas present from my love to me, lol.

And wedding stuff... I got all the invite stuff of to my sisters, that all is in their hands now. I picked up a bunch of lovely flameless pillar candles with spring flowers pressed into the was from Joanns on clearance- table lighting for the wedding is now checked off the list. And badass, my clansman Chuck has stepped up to the plate to make all the brew for the wedding, and is asking around for some of the other things I need help with, like the tent! He is frigging awesome with the brewing, so I know the drinks will be yummy as hell!!
Now I need to get off my booty and start making up some origami boxes for wedding favors. I was going to do jars for the garden in a jar- but I'm thinking that garden in a box would make more sense coming from Growbox hill like it is. I'm going to tinker around with construction paper and see if it makes boxes the size I want them.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Time for some seeds

Whaaa? It's October, did I really say time for some seeds?

You bet your boots I did. Been scouring around on the net looking for sources on cheap, free, or sample seeds, and I struck on a couple of them. I figure it don't hurt to start looking around now cuz who knows how long it will take to get some of these things in?

So, with a SASE...
http://tomatoheirlooms.com/free-seeds you subscribe to their newsletter, then they send you an email with SASE instructions... You get 3 free packs of basil seeds, 1 each of Classic Genovese, Dark Purple Opal, and Lemon Basil... I sent off for the seeds on the 16th of this month. This is a one time only thing.

http://www.gardenhoard.com/free-sase-seeds-info out of Michigan. You can send in a SASE once per month, and get 6 free seed packets. You send a list of 8 kinds you like, and she sends you 6 of the 8. I sent off on the 16th for this one too, and will probably keep sending off every month till I get all the kinds of seeds I like off her SASE page.

http://www.wintersown.org/wseo1/Free_Seeds.html I sent off for seeds today with these guys. They have an option of either you can request a 6 pack of random kinds of garden seeds, or an option to go for 6 kinds of tomato seed. I went for the tomato seed package. You pick 6 with a backup up 4 kinds. I picked all saucing and drying kinds, half yellow/orange, half red varieties.

Most exciting, free seeds from the government, the National Plant Germplasm System. http://www.ars-grin.gov/npgs/orders.html I picked out 15 kinds of seeds yesterday for Growbox Hill to experiment with, soybeans, corn, beans, squashes, paprika peppers, tomatoes, dill, coffee, and asparagus. Since it's the government, I expect that this seed will take far longer than the others to show up. They didn't say if they had a limit on how many seeds one could request or not, but I decided to limit it to 15 for now since crap, how much experimentation can I really do at one time between field and hydro trials?

Of course I will probably still order some seed from my favorite people Pinetree Seeds, and maybe a couple of sample packets from Artistic Gardens... But I still have a lot of kinds of seed left over from this springs planting. I'm considering making up some sample packets for trading on the Gardenweb, but we shall see, just because I have a lot of kinds of seeds does not mean I have a lot of any particular kind of seed for trading.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A new fuzz

Yeah, we got a new fuzz. I know it's rather soon after Moon passing. But my sister needed help because they just had too many cats so I took one of them home with me, and my other sister took another one. Sheba is now settling in at her house quite well, a pure white darling.

I got lucky with Nova. He's a tiggy, and I have such a soft spot for tiggys. Just five months old. He has a HUGE purr- the better to go with his big paws and ears and loooong tail. He is going to grow up to be a monster, probably big enough to rival Pooks in size. The other cats are kind of pissy about it, but pretty much keeping it to some growling and hissing with a little bit of smacking, but no all out fighting thank goodness. I figure it's just to make sure he knows his place in the order of things. Right now they are a glaring, but I think quickly enough they will settle into a proper clowder. It's kind of funny, they are pissy and he just does not care in his kitten goodness.

He has his nuts and claws. So in a month or two the nuts will go. Depending on how everyone gets along or not, and how naughty he is or not, he will be our first declawed cat. I always figured we would be down to just Moon and the kittens she teaches would be declawed. But now that she's gone, we might have a revisiting of plans there.

I had forgotten what it's like to have a baby in the house and how much they need to play. So today I went meow shopping. Hit Joanns for glitter balls- you can get a 24 pack for 3 bucks verses a buck and a half for 2 at the pet store. Then I went to the pet store and got a big pack of mice and a fresh jar of catnip. Then it was off to Meijer and they had canned food on sale for a damn fine price so I stocked up and got a new lazer dot. Once I got back home I scattered a bunch of glitter balls and mice. Then it was up in the workshop to make some stoner cat toys. Made 5 valerian buddies- long and slim stuffed with stuffing and valerian and capped with ribbons, cats go batnuts for them. And I made up 8 catnip pillows to scatter around the house too. Excellent use for scrap material- I used German cotton left over from making my love a pair of pants for faire- tough enough that the cats won't shred them up in their loving and playing on them.

So, new boy in the house balances us back out to 4 again :)

He's already kind of a mama's boy. He was having himself an absolute fit in the carrier, so I let him loose in the car for the trip home, and he settled in to just a traveling meow really fast. Pass out in my lap a little, then pass out on the passenger seat a little.. As we got off the highway by home, he wandered into the back seat and laid down.. When I shut off the car and said "we're home" he started with the big purr. I was able to open the back door and just carry him inside. Even as I type he is sprawled on my desk with me- thank goodness I got a new desk, lol. Picked it up for 25 bucks at the Habitat for Humanity restore. It's metal, so no more moving my desk around depending on the season and I don't have to worry about the baseboard heaters anymore, hooray! And it's big enough to properly fill the space too! Picked it up the same day Moon passed, so I will always have a little pang about that. The same day as we went to the restore, we passed a place setting out laminate counter tops for FREE!!! Now my love has an awesome double shelf- made with cinder blocks- I have the hole in the kitchen counter in the workshop properly covered for now.. and we have 4 nice countertops for table space down in the pole barn. Woot.

Even though I miss the hell out of my baby girl and still having random crying jags about her.. I know every time the moon rises shes watching over us and I bet she's happy for us to have another foo to love and treat as well as she was treated. She took the summer with her- it rained for days after we buried her, and with the clearing of the rain came the sudden and immediate autumn.

My impatience with the gourds is finally being satisfied. Got most of them inside now- I have to go out every day or two to see what ones are ready to come in. The one bushel gourd is getting huge, so I'm looking forward to that one being ready to come in. The batwing pumpkins are almost ready to be plucked and brought in as well, yay! The pumpkin peppers- first ones are finally getting their orange on. Tomatoes are still green, but some of them are starting to blush finally.  Still keeping an eye out every day for the frost report just in case.

Went to the resale shops while I was in town with my sisters- whole new wardrobe of pants, sweaters, and long sleeved shirts for under 60 bucks :) 7 pairs of pants, 7 shirts, and 8 sweaters, a pair of nice fur lined suede slippers plus a cute little house coat for special occasions. I've gotten just fat and happy enough out here at Growbox Hill that some new clothes were in order. And a fabulous asian style sweater dress for my sister. She made me an awesome house frock and a pair of suede slippers- I love Bad Bear creations!

Got a ton of fresh mushrooms on the 99 cent clearance- been drying them for days- partially courtesy of my love who did the slicing and drying while I was gone. We have now filled one big jar of mushrooms and have the second jar half full. Pretty soon if this keeps up it will be time to make up a batch of magic dust- the main component of it is powdered mushrooms. While I was in home town I finally picked up a bag of whole nugmegs and some other spices and a pile of matzo goodness.

But I guess it's time to be off and think about some dinner action- got leftovers to use up.