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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Oops!

On Monday, I  managed to drop food on the floor quite a few times. I dropped a whole pint of dehydrated grape tomatoes on the floor. This gives me the opportunity to see how they will rehydrate before I feed them to the chickens. I didn't just drop the dehydrated tomatoes, I ran into the refrigerator with the tray of 3 pints of dehydrated tomatoes.


Then, I knocked my plate with chocolate chips off the dehydrator as I hurried to get back to the tv. The chickens won't get these. I wonder if raccoons would like these.


Then, I tried to put scraps into the trash bag. When I inadvertently kicked the bag, I managed to drop it all on the floor.


Cause of clumsiness? Prometrium makes me premenstrual.


On a better note, I have 2 pints of dehydrated grape tomatoes in a pint jar. It appears the other four pints in the dehydrator will fit in the pint jar, too. That would make six pints of grape tomatoes in a pint jar.


I cut each grape tomato from stem to blossom end. Some of the grape tomatoes seemed rather large, so the halves were often 1/2 inch thick. After dehydrating, each half is absolutely flat and very thin. It amazes me to see how much they shrink.


Maybe these will end up being tomato powder after they meet my coffee bean grinder. Maybe they will end up in soup just as they are.


I have a recipe that calls for sundried tomatoes. Maybe these will work instead of the expensive bottle of sundried tomatoes. Plus, there will be no sulfites in these to make me breathless and dizzy and unable to see clearly.


Your turn
Have you had clumsy days? Do you know the cause? Who has dehydrated grape tomatoes? How did you use them?

Monday, March 2, 2015

I'm Back and Shopping

Written on Sunday


While I was in Huntsville, my sweetie was talking about what he got at Aldi's. I came home and looked at the ad. Just as I thought, Aldi's has many more good ads for produce on the first of the month. This ad came out last Wednesday, so the coming ad on Wednesday will probably have good sale ads, too.




Sunday night, I bought three pints of grape tomatoes for $0.99/pint. The regular price at Walmart where I price-matched the tomatoes was $2.48. By putting the halved tomatoes very close together, I managed to get three pints on one tray. Yes, I am running the dehydrator with only one tray filled. It costs $0.06/hour to run my nine-try dehydrator.




Usually, when I find the bargains I buy everything I am going to buy for the week and for dehydrating. Then I cannot get it all in the refrigerator and cannot process it quickly. This time, I only bought the three pints. If I could remember what else was in the ad, I would list it here.


Tomorrow, I will go back for more and process it immediately. Then, on Tuesday, the last day of the ad, I will buy again. I still have not gone through the ads and made a list.




My plan was to stay several days in Huntsville, per sweetie's invitation. However, he did not call me until about 4 pm. So, I would not come up until Saturday. I would have had to get up an be ready to walk out of his apartment at 6:30 am. No thanks. His apartment key locks the door from the outside, so I cannot just leave and turn the lock on the way out. ugh




As I headed home, going the way I always have, I ran into a detour. Then, another. As I drove the lonely road next to the airport with commercial farms on the other side of the road, I could see the interstate beyond the farms. Soon, I finally saw a house and then another and another. Next was a sign: Road Closed. My heart sunk.




I went into the driveway of a home with five vehicles. They were cars that were late model and able to run. I honked for 15 minutes. They didn't even bother calling the police to me. At least I would have gotten directions!


So, I went the other direction on County Line Road and spotted McDonalds and decided to buy some energy and stress reliever and get directions. The manager knew exactly where I needed to go. Sooo, I finally was on the interstate. During this whole ordeal, there was a steady rain that did not help my sense of security.


It's almost 2 am and still I have not gotten all the wet laundry from the car.


For dinner on Saturday night, he heated a tamale for each of us and sautéed zucchini. Later, we ate strawberries. Even later, I had an apple and blueberry yogurt. Sunday morning, I scrambled five of my hens' eggs with his cheese, and he brought out precooked bacon. While I was cooking the eggs, he took the things I had used and washed them. He is a  man unafraid of dishpan hands.


I got three loads of laundry done--black pants and socks, 5 purple sweatshirts and blue plaid throw,
assorted ruined t-shirts I wear under sweatshirts. I forgot the whites at home!




The hens got to forage for about an hour today. They seemed happy to be free. Since Tony was not in town Saturday for me to give him their food, I was perplexed as to where to leave the food outside either of our homes. Finally, I just put it in a square bucket, popped on the lid and left it in the pen. Raccoons could not reach it to breach it. And, I knew the hens could not. Now, I will never again carry food to Tony's house. He brought them some sort of scraps. I wonder what.


It is going to rain all week and we will have a hard freeze later in the week. Snow will be gone after the rain.


Your turn
Do you find that there are better things and more things on sale the first week of the month?

Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Thought

The fact that there’s a highway to hell
and only a stairway to heaven says a lot about
anticipated traffic numbers

Okay, blogger thinks this format is good and won't change it. My longtime sweetie called and will be back in Huntsville for a year. He asked me to come up for a few days. He has a washer and dryer I can use for the piles of laundry I cannot afford to wash at the laundry. Plus, carrying them hurts me soooo.

I can take a shower every day. I may take two a day. And, I can wash my hair. I will shower and wash my hair as soon as I get there. AND, I will be able to wash it in a few days instead of waiting a week and having to hide in the house the last three days. YAY for friends with water. Plus, his apt won't be so cold.

The hens have been taken care of. They will be confined 24/7. Since they don't like snow, tomorrow will be okay. They will be antsy by Monday.

I have to pack food for them--3 bags of oats and corn, 3 pbj sandwiches, 3 chicken thighs, and 3 bags of vegetables. I only plan on being gone for Sunday and Monday morning feedings, but one day extra for just in case. I trust Tony because he loves animals and he grew up with 100K chickens.

Maybe I will check in. Okay, I will. Keep your fingers crossed that I don't get into any icy spots as I drive.

Your turn
Do you have someone trustworthy to feed or care for your pets/livestock/animals so you can leave home for a few days?

Friday, February 27, 2015

Cleared Streets

I took pictures, but cannot post them. This is the first time our streets have ever been cleared of snow. Usually, we just all drive in one lane sort of carved from the least snow. So, a four-lane road becomes a two-lane for days. It was pretty exciting seeing all four lanes cleared to the curb. There was not one bit of slush.

Don't get me wrong, there is still lots of snow. None of my yard except the path to the hens and under the car is free of snow. Some of my footprints melted to the ground. My street was not cleared. The bigger roads, the ones that are two highways that intersect here in town, are the ones cleared along with some side roads, just not in neighborhoods. It was pretty exciting to see the corners of two little roads with piles of snow 12 feet across and about 8 feet high. Yep, that last statement pretty much nails me for being small-town.

Even when I lived in Memphis, I don't think roads were ever cleared. The South just didn't roll that way. I have no idea with what they cleared the roads here in town. I do know we have at least one road grader. Today, on the way home there was a backhoe with a grabber thing on the other end. The grabber would grab part of one of the big piles, shut its jaws, and drive it to a dump truck at the other end of the block.

It seems like letting it sit on the road corner would be no big deal. They dropped snow all over and got the roads wet, so it will be too slick to drive on tomorrow for several hours. But, there will be no snow on the corner!

When I went to Rochester, NY, on Christmas, I saw way too much snow, but I don't remember if I saw it was cleared or whatever. We had just been in a horrific seven-car accident near Batavia, and I had sworn I would never go back in winter. I didn't.

I am sure I will have snow in my yard until Tuesday. The one thing I like about snow in the South is that is seldom snows. Plus, it goes away very quickly. It never gets brown. Plus, my car won't be ruined by salt, nor will my leather shoes.

The hens stayed in their pen today even though I left the door open.

Maggie May left me one egg. Since they ran out of water one day, I am sure that affected egg production. I did not fall down or fall today.

Your turn
Do you live in a town so small and so far south that you don't have snow removal equipment?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Sluggy's Giveway and Falling Down


The roads are still closed still. But, the temperature is up to 37F, so it will melt, but slowly.

Sluggy has another giveaway right HERE.   It is  "pamper yourself" box of goodies. I only remember there is chocolate.

When I went out to feed my hens, I slid all the way. My feet sink into snow and then I slide with arms outstretched and regain my balance. I managed to stifle squeals. At their pen, it appeared a person had made footprints and not in a place I walked yesterday. Hmmm, I cleared away snow on a bench, sitting to watch the hungry girls. They have no desire to come out of the pen.

On the way back to the house, I fell. I had just put the one egg down on a pile of snow so I could go get the mail without having to protect the egg. Well, after I fell, got all wet trying to get up, I just took the egg inside. I pulled a muscle in my side and broke a fingernail, but did not hurt my knees or noggin.

In 1993, during the blizzard, I fell from the top of the concrete steps to the bottom and slid out onto the ice. I lay there like a bug on its back, arms and feet in the air, flailing about to turn over. I crawled across the ice and up the steps. That memory will keep me indoors. The hens may get hungry, but I cannot hurt myself that badly again.

I am staying in today, no matter what is outside my door that interests me!

Your turn
Have you fallen in this snow?  Or, are you so sure-footed that you can stay upright?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

My Snow Boots


Since I cannot post a picture on my blog I will describe them for you. Yay! I have seven inches of snow. The city is shut down. Remember, I live in the South. I have no boots, not even boots as a fashion item.

Two of the smaller Walmart bags worked just fine. I taped them on above the ankle and was set to go. They worked to go feed the hens and then to go to the road for the mail. The flakes were the size of quarters and nickels. Now, five hours later, the flakes are a little smaller. More snow is predicted.

When I went to feed the hens, none of them rushed the door to get out. I fed them one hefty meal today--two cups of oats and corn lots of cooked chicken with skin and abundant meat. They have plenty of warm water.

So, I m snowed in. The day was a Winter Wonderland in my yard. I marveled at the snow on bushes limbs and my car. This is a history-making snow. Although it is 31 degrees F it is not as cold feeling because there is no wind.

Now I have to cook something warm. Okay maybe I will eat snow in the form of snow ice cream.

Your turn
Are you getting snow in an area that gets little to no snow? Do you eat snow ice cream? Have you used plastic bags over your shoes to go out in the snow?

Chicken and Blueberry Swap

I have a dilemma,  a too-much-food dilemma. I know--first world problem. But, the problem is a casualty of the weather,  inadvertently exacerbated by my plans.

For last week when exbf was coming, I baked ten pounds of leg-thigh quarters. Then, the weather on his day off was forecast. The day was not to be. With a forecast of high temp of 27 degrees F, I told him not to come up. Sooo, I could only get a portion of the cooked  meat in the freezer. He will have part of that meat for his dinner this week if the weather is agreeable.

Now, I have about six pounds of ground beef and chili meat thawed. It would not fit in the freezer, either. I still have not cooked it all in the cast iron skillet, mincing it and cooking onions in it. It still will not go in the freezer!

My plan is finally formulated. He will get all the chicken I cooked if he comes. If not, I figured out how to get the cooked chicken and cooked hamburger meat in the freezer over the refrigerator.

There is at least one gallon of blueberries in the freezer. When I remove the blueberries, I can cook them and put in quart jars in the refrigerator. Blueberries will wait for a few days until I can eat them or make a cobbler. THEN, I can put pint jars of cooked hamburger in the freezer. I have fretted for five days over the possibility of meat spoiling.

I suppose I can remove my only ice cube tray, too, especially if there is only one gallon of blueberries. There may be other things in the freezer that can be removed, like bottles of frozen water to be used in a little cooler.

At least there is a viable plan in my head that will save the meat.

Wednesday, snow is forecast here, at least six inches. I tried to buy rubber boots at WM, but the only ones I found were too tight over my arch. I did not want to shop anymore, so I will just use rubber bags over my feet and shoes. I have plenty of bags, tape, and rubber bands.

The only reason I need to go out of the house is to feed the chickens and collect eggs. Only Thelma has seen snow. So, I doubt any of them even want to go out. Their water heater works when the temp is in single digits to keep their water thawed. Their water is sitting right out in the weather, not in any shelter.

Tomorrow, I will feed the hens four times, so wish me well in rubber WM bags. I have forty pounds of sand in a five-gallon bucket right outside the door. I can scoop out a cottage cheese dishful of sand and sprinkle as I go down the steps and onto concrete.  I will be safe; I have to stay safe since there is no one else to help.

Right now, I am worried about exbf. He refuses to put any water, snack, blanket, or extra jacket in the car for his commute to and from work tomorrow. He works in Irondale and lives in Hueytown. Some people were spending the night in cars last year as they were stranded, not able to drive in the snow and ice. He is diabetic, has cold limbs ALL the time, does not drink much water. I have had to call the police for a welfare check twice because he was out like a light (for 30 hours) because he did not eat. I gave him a car charger and he screamed at me and threw it back, saying he always charges his cell at home.

Two things--he says I am trying to change him (by being prepared?) and I feel he thinks it emasculating to ever take a precaution against anything. He refuses to carry jumper cables!

On Tuesday night, I bought milk, water, cottage cheese, and cookies. I forgot to buy bananas. If ice or snow brings down electric lines, I will be mighty cold, but have food to eat cold and a grill outdoors.

Two eggs today!

Your turn
Do you have anyone in your life that refuses to take even a minor precaution against driving in snow and ice? Have you ever had to shuffle food to get things in the freezer? Is it snowing at your house, or do you expect snow?