I told myself I was going to do these weekly on Tuesdays. I did the first one on a Tuesday. Then, the next Tuesday came and then the next, so here I am three weeks later reporting an IDC on a rainy, gloomy Thursday.
So, here it goes:
Plant Something: Oh, so many things planted! Several types of calendula, nasturtium, winter squash, sunflowers, daisies and echinacea seeds (greenhouse); sage plants and more onion sets; marigold, zinnia, basil and cilantro seeds (direct); potatoes; dahlia bulbs; two types of clematis rootstock; black hollyhocks (roots); transplanted the goji berry shrubs to permanent locations. I am sure there are lots more, but my record keeping skills need improvement. Hopefully I can be more accurate and specific next IDC update.
Harvest Something: Just a few cuttings off of the Egyptian onion patch to use like scallions.
Preserve Something: Nothing really much to report here either. I did freeze some extra veggie burgers I made. Does that count? I also froze a portion of winter squash chunks and another of puree for future cooking projects.
Waste Not: I am really trying to make portions to feed 2-3 people (depending if boyfriend is eating with us or not) and not more than we can eat reasonably. I hate wasting food. Same goes for buying produce and bread: buy what we can use only. I compost all veg scraps and coffee grinds (we eat vegan at home primarily). I recycle what I can (and am reminded by my son that recycling still has a huge carbon footprint. I explain that is why we focus on reuse and reduce whenever we can, but he is right and I need to improve here). I used scraps of wood from other projects to complete recent house projects. Saved some cardboard for miniatures projects (another hobby of mine). Line or rack drying clothing (I don't have a dryer). Reuse jars for other things, wear clothing more than once, hang up towels, reuse things for potting. I used scrap wood (including some really high quality oak obtained from a cooper for free) to build a new raised bed at Terrain Vague. Used pots I have scavenged to plant seeds and potatoes in (including big tree pots...if you can find them, they are perfect for gardening in pots). Picked up some cinderblocks abandoned on the sidewalk. I will use them for raised beds and plant in the holes.
Want Not: BF helped me move some awkward washer plumbing lines in my old 1880s Shotgun house. I now have a laundry room! I bought a washer with the stimulus money and for the first time in nearly 5 years I do not have to go to the laundromat. I was so grateful and happy for the help. I am not shopping much (like most people), but I still have some improvement to make in that area too. It took the strength of mental elephants not to buy a fab pair of Sex Pistol Doc Martens online. I am really only going to the grocery store, hardware or Dollar Tree (not many other places to shop anyway), and these trips are only for necessities. I already decided a Pantry Challenge is going to happen in May because I have more than enough to sustain us for months. I recently cleaned and inventoried the pantry and I can do quite a bit with the stockpile. I guess in some ways it is a blessing I am not a minimalist despite my serious attempts in the past few years. I am also going to include shows, books, music I am engaging in in this category. I am watching (or re-watching the first season to catch back up) Ozarks on Netflix, Vegan as Fork and Homegrown Garden on YouTube, and listening to Wye Oak and Blond Redhead on Spotify. I do not want for entertainment for sure. I guess I should mention I found TP and bought a pack. I miss the library and thrifting and will never take either one for granted.
Frugal Five: I decided to add this category because it is another thing I used to participate in and enjoyed. I want to be 100% debt free and am working towards that goal. Now, more than ever, I see the importance of getting out of the rat cycle of debt. It's helpful to see ways I am saving money and putting it towards my future freedom.
1. Make my own coffee
2. Paid off my last divorce debt/loans (the big one) :))))
3. Reading through my stack of library books (checked out before the big Shut Down in March)
4. Cook and bake from scratch including breads.
5. Barely driving anywhere these days, so gas is lasting for two weeks in my car.
Eat the Food: Making all sorts of new or favorite things at home. In the past weeks, I have made Turkish bread (and then again to use as pizza crust); lentil soups (two types); cabbage rolls; and various others soups and stews to make sure what veg I buy does not go bad. I also cut up a monster heirloom pumpkin I bought cheaply at the end of the farmer's market season last fall and made curry with it. For Easter I made a carrot cake from soft carrots in the refrigerator.
Community: I respect 6 ft social distancing. I wore my mask while working in the field. I have to say the second one here is really hard for me. It makes me feel claustrophobic to wear a mask, but I have been facing my discomfort for the community. I also sent fabric and money to someone I know to make customized masks for son, BF, co-workers and myself. I wish I could sew myself. I go to stores with little traffic or late at night (before closing which many are doing early here...way less people around). I wash my hands often and use sanitizer. I shared some extra onion and garlic sets with a neighbor. I let another neighbor borrow my weed whacker. I up-graded my Netflix to include another TV so someone unemployed I know can watch too. I heart a lot of Facebook and Instagram posts. Sent a fun care package to a family member. I bought a $5 Dollar Tree giftcard for a stranger I watch bullied by another customer (yeah...I wanted to say something to the rude person, but decided to just quietly let the victim know I saw what happened. It's BS!)
I support my state's governor and his decisions and listen to his updates via NPR. I support the library.
Skill up: Watching tons of YouTube and reading books on cooking, gardening, witchery, cemetery symbolism, and building ponds and sheds. I am also focusing on basic haircutting tutorials as my 13-year-old wants me to cut his hair. Yikes. I also learned many new skills from the BF while we were moving the washer lines and other major house projects he is helping me with this month. I am also getting ready to download and learn many different apps the library offers and I haven't taken advantage of before now. Other things I would love to focus on: German language, Spanish review and practice, reading nature signs (I did order a book about this subject), rocks and fossils, and building a outdoor bread oven. #foreverapolymath
Naturalista Activities: I decided to add this one as well as it pertains to my major goal with Terrain Vague (create a wildlife refuge in the city and being a naturalist in general). Eventually, if I ever commit more to the blogging, I would like to do a weekly post about just my naturalista activities. Until then, I have been working in the garden and have observed many animals there such as sparrows, doves, robins, Dekay's brown snakes, 5-line Skinks, many insects, stray cats, and a raccoon! Animals at Terrain Vague No. 1 makes me so happy! I also found some interesting rocks I am working at identifying (this could go in Skill Up too).
Son and I also have been spending time at the riverside which has been a welcome relief to being at home. We also completed the shape of the wildlife pond. Now to just collect rocks and buy a liner (sadly, the price of the latter skyrocketed due to not being essential).