Yes, it’s been a LONG time. No, I don’t want to discuss it. Moving on …
Some things have changed, some haven’t.
I still have the same job, and work from noon to 8:30 pm Monday to Friday. Still love it, still really like the folks I work with.
We’re still trying – and failing – to keep the wildlife out of the veggie garden. And the fruit trees. And the hazelnut trees. And the berry patches. Sigh. So far the only thing they don’t eat is the rhubarb.
I still enjoy the frugal things in life … prowling the thrift stores, being creative with leftovers, using what we have instead of shopping, taking a list and coupons when we do shop, checking all the grocery flyers for great sales … I could go on.
Groceries … Last summer the local cut-price store had a super deal on less-than-cosmetically-perfect produce, so for $1/lb I ended up canning 2 cases of peaches, and 18 quarts of garlic dill pickles for about 60 cents/lb. From a friend’s backyard tree I gleaned (with his permission, of course!) Bartlett pears and canned 2 cases of those, and from the “invasive” blackberry canes I wouldn’t let Murray cut back, 24 jars of jam. Total cost to us, including jar lids, sugar, fresh dill and garlic, and gas for the stove: about $45. Comparable cost of the same commercially canned food in stores: about $450 on sale. (We tried growing our own dill and garlic, but what didn’t drown/rot in the monsoons got dug up and eaten by squirrels.)
Wardrobe … last month I went through my entire wardrobe and donated six big bags of things I’m either never going to be fat enough to wear again, never going to be slim enough to wear again, or never really liked but had to have to meet office dress codes. I currently have three sweaters on the knitting needles and another that just needs the seams finished, and a few more planned for summer wear, all from yarn either given to me or bought at thrift stores. I also have fabrics and patterns matched up for several sewing projects, and other fabric (all from worn-out clothes or leftovers from other projects) cut for a quilt I’m working out a design for.
The basement cleanout is almost complete at last, and several ( I lost count) loads of stuff went either to the dump or were donated. I’m still working sporadically on the contents of the attic, though. It’s slow going, mostly due to Murray’s inability to part with anything, no matter how old/worn/useless it may be. He comes from a family of hoarders and I often have to just shake my head and let him have his way. Once it’s all done, one side of the attic will be exclusively his, and he’ll have to learn not to encroach on on my space with his precious “stuff”.
In spite of the local wildlife I’m planning the garden. This year, I want to plant green beans, snow peas, pickling cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes. If I can find some cheap small-gauge netting I believe I can rig it up to protect the garden while keeping it accessible for weeding and so on. And the herbs this year will be in planters hung from the chain link fence: dill, mint, thyme, parsley, chives, and sage.
I didn’t realize until now how much I missed this. It’s good to be back!