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.