Welcome to Growbox Hill

Welcome to Growbox Hill
Welcome to Growbox HIll!

Friday, January 30, 2015

New job...

January 30...

So I had my orientation and prelim training for the last couple days.. My brain is melted with information overload. And I only got a 92% on my entry test damnit. I needed an 80%, but still irritated about the 92%. Especially after getting 100% on all 40 pre-test quizzes.
Personally, I think one of the questions I missed was because of poor phrasing and/or punctuation, but whatever.

But on the bright side, my trainer was well pleased with my impeccable appearance. And I did blast ass through orientation and prelim training. And with some savvy resale shop shopping, I got my entire starter work wardrobe of 4 pairs of pants, 6 shirts, a sweater, two belts, and a pair of non slip leather shoes for under 40 bucks. I ended up getting a pair of black shoes because I realized what black shoes I already have were fine for office, but not appropriate for this job. And I almost have totally memorized all 20 "work ethic must have" tag lines. And I'm above par on safety and sanitation standards- Chicago is tougher than out in this area of Michigan- and I have remembered OSHA standards from when I was an OSHA trainer/book keeper.

All in all, a good start to my new job.

Now I feel like I should crack open my safety and sanitation textbook and my Spanish learning course again. Just because I'm an over-achiever like that, lol.

I'm kind of looking forward to my training work hours next week- really get a chance to see what I will be doing on the sales floor- and check out folks work clothes. Finding oxford button down collar shirts in my size is a terrible PITA. And work sells them online for 8 bucks, but I figure if I can get away with false buttonholes and buttons for a buck or two a shirt, hey, I will do that. There's tons of appropriate shirts in the resale shops that are only missing that detail.

In other news, I went through all my sewing stuff today. Gave a heap of stuff to my sister so she can work on some stuff for the etsy shop. And a stack of floursack cloth towels for her to zip up into napkins. Not a huge heap, but hell, something is better than nothing, right? Since we love using the washable napkins, I figured it was a good deal to ask her to quarter and hem the towels. And I pulled out a few chunks of fabric so I can start working in isolation bags for this summers plants. Also hit up a seed saver for some advice. Turns out I might not need to make so many little bags, but rather large "bandages" to wrap, and save my sewing for smaller plants that get bagged whole.

And the birds are pleased as punch with all the goodies. The bird bread is going slower, but the suet cake is good. Of course I have slipped and whacked my left hip twice while out and about in the last couple days feeding them. I seriously need to be more careful.

Mom has made four pairs of slippers for the etsy shop, and will be making one more before I do a batch of posting. My love has printed off a couple of wall socket vape charger stations. On Sunday I will do up a batch of photos and put them online.

So now I feel entitled to a beer, a comfort food of potatoes... and a comfy sit in bed with junk TV shows for the night :)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

It's been rather nice..

The weather has been rather nice for the last several days. We might be getting in a bit of snow over the next couple days, but I'm fine with that.

Been busy organizing seed, and doing up WS containers. Mixed columbine, showy milkweed, redring milkweed, cesars brother Iris, red with purple center poppy, black peony poppy, rose campion, New York ironweed, butterfly weed, bleeding hearts, thimbleberry. A container or two of each, cept the columbine which I did up a half dozen mushroom tubs.

So what does that look like?

Kitty litter jugs that have been cut to have a hinge, holes drilled in the bottom, and a few inches of dirt to grow in.

Closeup of what the dirt looks like in the container.

Container after seeds are finely sown and tag put in to mark it- I used a cut up sour cream container for this set of markers.

Jugs after they have been filled, sowed and marked, and taped shut. Caps get taken off so water can get into the jugs.

This is what the outdoor setup looks like- the litter jugs are too tall for the lower shelves, but once I'm getting sprouting and it's time to open up the jugs, they will start filling the next shelf down. Hopefully I will be timing myself right to be able to start clearing off the racks for when I start bringing out seedlings from the solarium.

This is from the porch view- nice and accessible viewing :)

I've gotten enough sown in now that I had to start up my 2015 grow spreadsheet. Which is kind of nice. I seriously need to be better about keeping up my spreadsheets instead of just relying on my paper copies.

While I was fussing about with seeds, I decided to start up some indoor growing too.
From left to right is one mixed lettuce, one garden cress, then three lavewa spinach. Time to get some greens going on darn it, lol. Time to get anything growing going on- sheesh, I'm dead ass tired of slushy cold dead grey crap. And on a bright note, my patio tomatoes have started their true leaves- I lost one, but got three of them going good right now, knock on wood.

Today was just one of those days where I really felt the need to do something positive- like outdoors positive. It's still gloomy out, but it's nice out. So early this morning I ran into town to get some birdseed for the birdies that are starting to show up at the feeder. Good deal, a 20 pound bag of wild seed mix was 5 bucks, and I picked up a pound of lard from Hardings for two bucks.
Then when I got home, I set about making up some wild bird treats.

First I made up a couple big suet cakes- each one of these will be split in half to fill the big suet feeder.
On the left is..
3 c birdseed
1 c instant oats
1/2 c buggy wheat flour
1/2 c masa flour
1/2 c or so of diced up prunes
1 c chunky peanut butter
1/2 c vegetable shortening
1/2 c lard
goodly dollop of darkberry jam, maybe a bit over quarter cup or so.
Melt the peanut butter, shortening, lard, and jam together, stir into the rest, and mold- I lined the pan with plastic wrap first, then was able to turn the wrapped thing out onto the sheet pan, neat as can be.

On the right is...
3 c birdseed
1 c instant oats
1/2 c buggy wheat flour
1/2 c masa flour
1/2 c or so of torn up dehydrated melon and cantaloupe fruit leather
1 c chunky peanut butter
1/2 c vegetable shortening
1/2 c lard
goodly dollop of caviar jam, a bit less than a quarter cup.
Same procedure as above.

I realized the smaller mushroom tubs were the perfect size for a small suet cake, so hey!
4 c birdseed
1 c instant oats
1/2 c corn meal
1/2 c buggy wheat flour
1 c peanut butter
the rest of the lard, a bit over a cup I think
1/4 cup of honey.
melt the fat and sugar, stir into the rest, and mold up.

Did two batches of these- one between the big sheet and mushroom tub suets, and the second right at the end- wanted to give the first batch time to really set up before I decided to do a second one. I have a puck hanger, and these will get strung onto it.
3/4 c buggy wheat flour
4 c bird seed
1/2 c hot water
3 T or so white corn syrup
2 packets unflavored gelatin.
Stir the corn syrup and gelatin into the hot water till fully dissolved, then stir it into the rest. I used sandwich bags with the flap split open to line a pair of 16 oz tubs, then packed the mix equally into them. Then I stuck the sticks down through the center to create the threading hole I will need to put these onto the puck hanger. This is the first time I'm trying this, so we shall see how the birds like it or not.

Mmmm, birdie bread- not sure, but I think I will cut this into small suet cage size once it's fully cool. All those little white flecks are eggshell, ick. But hey, if the birds like it, great. The original recipe called for 3-6 oz jars of baby food fruits and veggies, and since I didn't have that, I used some rehydrated veggies instead.

1/4 c dehydrated shredded sweet potato
1/4 c dehydrated shredded carrot
1/4 c squash flour
1 cup hot water, to rehydrate the above, let sit for 10-15 minutes
4 eggs, with shell
2 c bisquick
2 c cornmeal
1 c buggy wheat flour
1/2 c or so diced up prunes- the last of the bag
1/2 c birdseed
Set the oven to 400. In the processor, whip up those whole eggs, then add the rehydrated veggies and whip it up some more. Add to the rest and stir in. Add in a bit of water, maybe 1/2 cup or so to moisten the dough to a really stiff almost putty like dough. Oil up a 9x13 pan, and smooth the dough out into it. Bake about 40 minutes, till the dough pulls off the sides a bit. Cool completely before cutting up.

In good work news... I got the job at Cracker Barrel, I go in next Wed for orientation :) The pay starts out pretty low, but if I do well, I'll get my first raise in 30 days- and right now any pennies are good ones.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Hooray for seeds!!!!!

January 17th...

What's been going on over the last week? I had a job interview at Cracker Barrel, and the retail manager liked me enough to set me up with an interview with the general manager. It's only part time, and not a lot of hours during the winter, but right now any money coming in is good. I can cross train for more than one position too to help bring in more hours- and it will still give me a little time for getting stuff done around here as spring creeps closer. I'm still hitting all the sites every day to see what else I can apply for of course.

My sister came home mid week, and her kitties were really frigging happy about that. Like my meows, they miss their person terribly while gone. She said she's gonna make some stuff for the etsy shop, but we shall see if that actually happens or not. She said she wants to pick up a welding job too, but again, we shall see. Today was melty and steady in the mid 40's and she was nuts enough to shovel the whole frigging driveway, so that was really nice. Now the kitchen is clear, and once we drop back down the rest of everything might turn into a full sheet of ice to drive on. I really really hope not though, because we might get snow back in next week. But hey, at least the temps are supposed to hover around freezing instead of super arctic.

Unfortunately, with the last week or two of hitting super fucking cold temps, the solarium finally dipped below freezing. We lost the spider plants, but most of the rest of the plants still look pretty ok, including the dill surprisingly enough. I figured the cold would super kill it, and it didn't happen. But the winter squashes I had stored out there all got hit with the nip. So I spent a day roasting most of them off then draining them off, and now I have three quarts of pulp in the freezer and the last quart or so I pureed in the food processor and it's now in the dehydrator. I'm bummed that they got frozen, their color changed and everything so it was really apparent. But now between what I just froze and the last squash I froze up I got three batches of squash soup pulp ready to go. And I figure by the time the puree is dry and crispy, it will top off the squash flour right nice, but without the days and days of work like I did last time, lol.

I finally got the library at least decently unjammed with boxes of moms random stuff and the table moved out of the living room so we can pull moms treadmill out of the pole barn for her. Her stability is really suffering and she seriously needs to get on her feet and walking more to help improve her function again. Right now I worry about her getting coffee a few times a day with the way she walks around. Sedentary life is a killer for her, and we need to mend that. So treadmill it is. Now that the drive is clear we will be able to pull it out, maybe tomorrow.

Got three more litter jugs set out today, two of bleeding heart, and one of black peony poppy. The poppy is a breadseed type, the second I have planted so far. I will be planting it in the yard apart from the first just to help keep the seed pure. I still have one more show poppy to start too, but I'm not sure where that's going to end up.
And JOY!!! My huge trade seed package that I've been waiting on since November has finally shown up. Chock full of a ton of flower seeds, a bunch of veggies and herbs, and even some foliage plants. Now I'm going to have to figure out where a bunch of em are going to go, but I'm just pleased as punch about it. It looks like I might be able to do a full streetside border if I can get enough seed started and get the ground torn up. I'm going to have to save my pennies and rent a tiller in the spring, and I already knew that was coming. Just now it looks like it will be even more important to get it done. I want to get the streetside border set up, the smoke tree circle cut in, and I'd like to till up a strip along the fucktano fence in the sanctuary to start putting in a heavy border there too. Maybe I should contact Siggy and see what he has going on- I know he has a huge farm size tiller, but what I'm going to be doing is smaller, and I don't know if he has smaller equipment or not.

And I did get in some seeds that are kind of, um, yuck. Bronze fennel, red perilla shiso, and anise hyssop. Anise is one of the least favorite flavors around here, and I got a bunch of seed. So what to do? I was thinking maybe a planting in the back 40- that way I can use the seed, cultivate the plants for future seed use in trading and selling- and a lot of bugs and birds positively love the stuff, so even though we don't like it I can still start up a critter friendly patch. I also got in a bunch of tomato seed, even though I specifically asked not to get tomato seed, now I will have to figure out what to do with all of that, if I want to keep it or trade it.

But all in all, pretty happy about it all. I had sent off 84 packets, and got back 96 packets. Including a bunch of stuff I really did want. Like a lot of different kinds of lavender, coleus, chamomile, nigellas, and celosia. And some interesting sounding small broccolis and cukes. And a bunch of herbs.

I'm hoping by the end of this growing season, I will have expanded the fenceline bed up to the pole so I can get in a proper dill bed, get something going around the pole barn, the front yard/streetside beds, the sanctuary plantings... Plus the regular garden beds and starting on a lot of back 40 action. There sure is a lot of space back there that can be worked with.

I'm also hoping that as spring comes on, I can scrape up a few extra bucks for planting supplies to be able to get some stuff in a roadside stand. I'm already planning on starting out pretty much what I got for tomatoes and peppers I'm growing this year, but it sure would be nice if I can swing some other stuff too. Shit is just so tight now, it's hard enough to pay bills, let alone try to allow out a few extra bucks to try to make money to pay bills, lol. Winter is always harder too because of heating costs.

On the upcoming spring slate is clearing out the chicken coop and figuring out what we need to do to get a few chickens in this year. Hopefully it won't be too much investment to start getting regular eggs and some meat through the year. That would be a nice pressure not to have to worry about as much, less buying of eggs and chicken. I still am keeping my eye out for a good pressure canner at yard sales so I can start canning up meat, stocks, soups, and all that other stuff I can't water bath can. Still hoping that soon I can get the front burner fixed on the stove so I can actually start canning again when the season is nigh too. I'm paranoid I'm gonna fry out the back big burner then we are screwed for any reasonable big pan cooking at all.

But speaking of cooking... I made up a big ole pot of spaghetti sauce for dinner tonight- we got the boys so an extra big pot is needed. And I need to shoo off in order to prep up garlic bread and get the pasta kettle going.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Winter keeps keeping on

January 12...

Not much going on over the last few days. Got snow and more snow, lol. Siggy was worth every penny of the push he did for us- and today even after a couple fresh inches of snow we were able to get out of the garage just fine.
Yesterday I had to chase into town for cat food and litter for the upstairs cats- man, they will be happy when my sister gets home in a couple of days! Now I'm just hoping that we don't get crappy weather for at least the next couple days so I'm able to get out and down to the train station to pick her up Wed morning.

The tomato seeds have finally sprouted! Well, I think perhaps they might have sprouted a couple days ago given their legginess. I decided to stop checking them a couple times every day, and they up and came up while I wasn't looking, lol. With any good luck, in a week maybe I will be able to transplant them into their final growing container. Man, sure would be nice if I could start picking tomatoes by the time I start planting the seeds for this summers garden!

Last night, I asked mom to make scalloped potatoes, only we didn't have any ham. So I asked her if hey, could we perhaps use bulk sausage? She said that sounded fine though she hadn't ever done so before. And guess what? We all kind of liked it better than when we make it with ham! So go figure, sometimes when you are out of something, it can lead to tasty other something :)

I've been putting in tons of applications online- we are so at the end of our funds it isn't even funny- rather scary actually. And it sucks because even though I got lots of skills, everything out here is degree level stuff- or super basic. If it were a couple months from now, I probably wouldn't have a problem getting hired on at a food place- but because we are a tourist area, there really isn't anything in the middle of January. But I'm trying. So is my love- the deal we keep waiting on to go through just isn't, so he's out job hunting too.
And nicely enough, I got my first callback today, from Cracker Barrel. So now I'm playing phone tag with the manager, and hoping to get an interview sometime this week. 

And something kind of exciting... I finally opened up an etsy shop!! Right now it's just a bit of jewelry and some stuff my love can print out for vape accesories, but soon I will be adding more stuff to my shop..

Link can be found here: Beesneeds etsy shop

Today I got a few more wintersowing jugs set outside. Two each of champagne pink foxglove and white coneflower in litter jugs, and two each of tall snapdragon and dark pink snapdragon in milk jugs. It's starting to look like I got something going on out there, and I still have a bunch more jugs to go! I'm seriously keeping my fingers crossed that they will all sprout up nice :) .

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


January 4th...

The day started out dreary and dull... kind of melting off warm and sloggy wet almost snow falling. By early afternoon that changed to full on snow blustering and starting to accumulate. So much so I think I might have to figure out how to use the snow blower if this keeps up, lol.
Today was kind of puttering around the house sort of day. A little cleaning, a little sitting with mom... a little dinking around in the kitchen.

Today, I started a couple quart jars of vanilla sugar. Sounds oober fancy, costs a damn pretty penny in the stores... but really all it is is plain ole sugar and a couple vanilla beans. And thanks to the mum in law, I got vanilla beans in the house.
So, making it is stupidly easy. I used two wide mouth quart jars, to make it easier to spoon out sugar as needed. Fill the jar with sugar, then dump the sugar into a bowl. Then I split open and scraped out three beans per jar, chopped the pods into 3-4 pieces to make them easy to remove when needed, then stir, stir, stir till all those little bean seed clumps are totally broken up and mixed into the sugar. Then pour it back into the jar, cap it, label it with the date... and now the two jars are stowed in the pantry to seep up for a few weeks before I start using them. Since I can't always use my homemade extract because of my sisters alcohol allergy, I will be able to use some vanilla sugar in some recipes instead.

Got the 12 prepped litter jugs filled with dirt and lined up on the potting bench. Just 4 more jugs to prep and fill now. These won't see seeds just yet, but it's good to get them filled and accounted for so I got a good idea on just what I have on hand for other potting. I still got milk jugs to go too, lol. I know I will need to pick up dirt again for regular seed starting later this year, but if I can recycle what dirt I got on hand, I will :)

Tonights dinner is going to be cheese spinach souffle, thinly sliced smoked salmon, and roasted golden beets and cauliflower. Yum. I haven't made a souffle in a billion years, so I'm not sure if I'm looking forward to it or terrified about a failure of a dinner, heh.

January 5th...

More snow, even colder cold. Winter has graced us with a pretty white coat. The sump pump actually kicked on today, which was a nice surprise. Guess we really have been getting in some good precipitation.

Got the last 4 kitty litter jugs prepped and filled with dirt today. Now all 16 are ready to go. Milk jugs are next, and I still got a big ole heap of dirt to use, hooray! Still no peeping out of the patio tomato seed on top of the fridge :(

Got the upstairs door frame sealed up- there's daylight showing around one of the patio door frames, and I used metal tape to seal up the gap for now. Not be best solution, but better than the duct tape I used last year that fell off, and stops the wind from whistling in. Pushed a bit of paper into the other cracks between the door and frame too.

The souffle last night turned out perfect, my worries about handling egg foam were unnecessary. Going to have to remember that in the future, a little materials can go a long way in feeding us this way. And the beets were so damn good, it was hard to stop eating them. I so need to grow some successfully this spring.
Tonight's dinner is tater tot casserole- cept I'm using a tube of country sausage instead of hamburger. We are out of burger, and it was too dear to get more the other day while out shopping, while sausage was on sale for much less. Gonna stir in some peas to up the veggie factor too.

1 pound tube of country sausage
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can peas, drained
1 can mushrooms, drained
1 medium onion, diced
1 bag tater tots

Brown up the sausage, and remove from heat. Let sit for 10 minutes to cool a bit. Stir in the soup, peas, mushrooms, and onion. Smooth down the mixture flat. Line the top with the tater tots. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Made magic dust today, and realized I've never posted the recipe for it here- I only got in in a word doc. So I figured it would be nice to post it up for future refrence.

Magic Dust
1/2 c paprika
1/4 c kosher salt
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c chili powder
1/4 c cumin
1/4 c garlic powder
2 T black pepper
2 T mustard powder
2 T oregano
2 T cayenne pepper
1 T dried orange zest
1/3 c mushroom powder

Stir it all together. Zip all of it up together in a spice grinder- in batches if necessary. The only even remotely difficult ingredient is the mushroom powder, and that's just dehydrated mushrooms I grind up into a powder. I always have a jar of mushroom powder on the shelf.  And it's super easy to dehydrate fresh mushrooms in the oven if you don't have a dehydrator- mushrooms are one of the most foolproof things to dehydrate in my opinion.

January 7th....

Yet more snow, lol. I did some shoveling around the house yesterday. Tried to start the snowblower, and realized I suck with snloblowers- I couldn't get it to start and flooded it :(  The wind has been kicking butt all night, so you kind of can't tell I shoveled in some places now. And since it's a white-out out there, I'm not going to bother with more cleanup today. Pretty much my whole day yesterday was dicking around with all of that... and making squash soup.
I tend not to use butternut straight up, but rather a mix of 3-4 different kinds of squash. It's just 1 quart of stock, 2 quarts of squash pulp, some herbs and seasonings, and some gouda cheese. I opted to add a couple cans of chickpeas this time for a bit of a protein kick.

Today's big fuss around was making a candle. I use a lot of jar candles, and they always have some scrap left in the bottom of the jar. I cleaned out the jars and saved up scrap for a while, and today I figured I probably had enough to fill a jar up.
So I used a regular taper candle for the wick, took a couple empty cans and a pot to use as a double boiler. Filled the cans with scrap wax and kept adding till it was all melted up, then poured it right on into the jar.
Then I realized the hot melty wax would melt the taper and send my wick off, lol. So I stood out in my cold ass solarium holding the stupid thing center till the wax cooled enough so it didn't slope around anymore. Note to self, don't do that again, take the time to secure the candle in the center of the jar, hehehe.

Tonights dinner is going to be enchiladas. I had some leftover from the last time I made them, so I'm just going to defrost those for dinner. Since there's only 4 of them, I think I'm going to make something rice-ish and of course a heap of refries. Maybe I'll just pull a couple tortillas out of the freezer and make a couple more enchiladas, rice and mushroom maybe.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Happy New Year!

I'm going to try to be better about posting again this year... So here goes :)

January 1st. Happy New Year! It was a frigging cold and blustery night- and it's a cold and blustery day. Temps in the 20's I think, brrrrr. I'm really hoping we get in some snow or rain- it's been a pretty dry winter so far. I'm already tired of being chilled, and we still got a couple months to go, sigh.

Found out the board heaters in my office are broken. Don't know why, but damnit. So now I'm running a small space heater in my office- I also kicked on one of the bedroom heaters and the bathroom heater- cuz now I'm getting paranoid we are gonna freeze pipes. Need to call the plumber tomorrow to get them in to see why the hot water heater on this side of the house is dead again- we've been out of hot water for almost two weeks now on this side of the house. With the holidays and all, didn't think we could get in the plumber sooner for the regular rate, pttht. That's contributing to my bursting pipes fears too. Moms big Christmas present to us is the money to get the plumber in for the water heater. Still haven't figured out what to do about the broken stove burner.
Winter just sucks ass ya'll, majorly.

On the bright side, I got a bunch of buckets and pots dumped out on a tarp in the solarium, to start working up some wintersowing jugs. That was some cold and crappy work since the solarium is hovering in the upper 30's right now- but good news is the solarium is in the upper 30's, instead of the same temp as outside. I think between replacing the skylight and plasticing over all the windows and door, it's really making an impact out there to help keep above freezing as much as possible.
Today I started 4 wintersowing jugs, one breadseed poppy, two blue wildflower mix, and one mixed bachelors button. Tomorrow I will get more jugs prepped, and maybe some more filled and set out. So far the strapping down of the three greenhouse frames is working right fine. The litter jugs are too big to fit onto the lower levels, but fit 8 on top perfect and stable- so far. I'll go back in and strap up the top later if I need to. I'm extra hoping the breadseed poppy does well, I would like to start a patch big enough to yield a few cups of seeds for baking every year.
And after last years sort of failure with using paper tags, this year I decided to get a bit smarter with the labeling- I started cutting up some recycled sour cream containers and used a sharpie- I'm hoping this will work better, lol.
Sadly, my little yellow tomato seed never sprouted. Hahms Gelbe Topftomate- it was from a trade last year. I had 5 seeds, and tried to pot them up to germinate indoors- first in the library which I thought might have been too cold, so I put them on top of the fridge- and three weeks later, nothing. So yesterday I used up the patio tomato seed I had and we shall see if that sprouts up or not. That seed is a couple years old too, so who knows what will happen. If I'm lucky, I'll get a couple plants for potentially some fruits in February, wouldn't that be nice?

With cooking, I had planned on doing up a nice New Years dinner- but the elk steaks were still frozen, as was the lump crab. Sigh, so I made up a shepards pie with a bunch of leftovers based on stuffing instead of mashed potatoes... and planned on the nice dinner for tonight. Crab is still frozen in the middle, sigh... So I'm doing up a batch of creamy veggie and sausage soup instead. Got some leftover fresh cauliflower, broccoli, one green pepper, and some shredded lettuce to use up, and plenty of turkey stock on hand. And since my sister is out of town, I could use some white wine in it, yum :) I also used some fresh celery, carrot, onion, and garlic, plus plenty of herbs. I'll cream it up with some leftover french onion dip and milk. Yeah, I know, all that sounds weird as shit, but it will work. After all, homemade dip is just onion soup mix and sour cream.

January 2nd...

Chilly as hell today, but way less wind, yay! We are supposed to be getting in precipitation over the weekend, I'm pleased with that. Driving through the enchanted forest today, you can see the water level is a few inches below the ice level, so we for sure need the wet. It's supposed to be cold, so still don't know if we will get snow, rain, or freezing rain.
Great news, the plumber was able to come in today! Woot for having hot water on this side of the house again. It ended up it was the fuses, even though they really didn't look blown at all. Weird that- we are still thinking of getting the darn thing replaced, thanks to my mom. The plumber is recommending we do so too, as we can get it done.

Started up 4 more litter jugs with seeds today, two each of honeybee mix, and flower garden mix. Nice thing about where the greenhouse frames are at is that I can easily access and see these jugs from standing on the porch. The milk jugs will be on a lower level, and visible from the ground.

Tonight will be crab cakes, elk steaks, and smoked salmon for dinner. Bout darn time everything is defrosted nice, lol. Sides are gonna be roasted garlic taters and sauteed mushrooms in red wine, yum. 

January 3rd...

Cold, wet, crappy. Woke up to a rather nice dusting of snow, that turned to cold ass rain and wretched driving weather... So of course I decided to go out and get the monthly shopping done today, lol.
It was nice to just take my time wandering from store to store, getting a bit of this and that. No stress or worries. Got some good smelling jar candles on clearance for 1.19 a piece. I only picked up four, though I was tempted to pick up all dozen of what they had left. Picked up some clearance jewelry components too, neat ones- almost looking forward to using them, lol. My creative bug has kind of taken a big nosedive since my work area is steadly a refrigerator as far as temps go, heh. Kind of hard to do fine work when you got the chilled shakes.
Got to wear my new vintage turtleneck while out and about today. It's a nice sunny yellow, and paired with my good blue wool coat, I felt like I looked right fine and bright for this time of year. Hey, I'll take happy any way I can get it right now. 
And happy coupons, I saved 10 bucks at GFS today :) Picked up a heap of chicken and frozen veggies, and a new jar of thyme- I seriously need to get my ass in gear with harvesting and drying thyme this coming season, I use loads of the stuff. I got two plants in the herb garden, and one sickly plant I rescued in the solarium that I hope will make it to planting in the spring. Heh, so now that the parsley hedge is starting to come along, I need to bump up my dill and thyme action. Though my last bucket of dill is still green in the solarium, so that rocks.