I love to let onions bloom out in the garden. They are beautiful and they make seeds :)
What to do with just a hand full of blueberries and one fig? I gave Charles the fresh fig to eat because he really wanted to eat it and....
I made blueberry syrup with the small amount of blueberries. I like making simple syrups using fruits. I don't measure but I take my fruit, it may be strawberries or raspberries or blueberries or dewberries or whatever and I put them in a small pan and cover them with water and a few tablespoons of sugar I put almost 4 tablespoons with these, and boiled them. I mash the berries with a fork and boil some more until it thickens enough to slightly coat a spoon. Strain and put in a container, add a few drops of lemon and refrigerate.
It is quick and delicious over pancakes or waffles or french toast or ice cream or most anything.
Here is a very quick simple meal. Egg noodles and broccoli with a thin white sauce slivered garlic and grated cheese.
I have been canning each day this week. Our pressure canner will can only 7 quarts or 7 pints so that is what gets done each run. These are garbanza beans.
I did a batch of carrots too. Home canned carrots taste much like store bought canned carrots to me so I will not be keeping a lot of canned carrots in the pantry. I prefer to dehydrate carrots because they seem to have better flavor than canned. The only problem with dehydrated carrots is that it takes a while to rehydrate them but I found that if I cut them smaller before dehydrating that will help when it comes time to rehydrate them.
We have been practicing grid down this month and we are considering using very little electricity in July other than air conditioning. We just got our electric bill today and it was $69.05 which was very good for us here with the high humidity and heat we have been having. What I am doing is trying to use only the air conditioning and very little lighting. I trade off, such as if I am using the computer I turn the air conditioner off. I also cook on the electric stove mostly but if the electricity was really out I would just cook on the camp stove.
Some people might think we use a lot of electricity but we are all electric here. No gas or other fuel etc. Our only fuel is our camping gear. So when we have all electric that makes a difference.
When I do use electric, I have been trying to only turn on what I am using in the room that I am in. Lets say, if I am in the kitchen then nothing is running in the rest of the house. If I am in the bedroom then electrical things are turned off in the rest of the house. I am trying to break bad habits of leaving lights on. I feel a bit depressed if it is dark in the house for too long so I have been finding ways to get past this.
If we live in a house with lights on, televisions on, electronics going most all the time and suddenly the power goes out it can be very difficult for people to used to the silence. Some people can get anxious so it is best to experience an outage occasionally by turning everything off. It is good to know what you will do with yourself if there is no power.
We just continue on but in the summer it can get very uncomfortable without air conditioning.
These last few weeks I have felt a bit whimsical I have found I like to eat cereal out of a sugar bowl. Why not?
Charles thinks so too :) He enjoyed his cereal and bananas served in sugar bowls the other morning. We are trying to eat up some cereal we have because I will be making some homemade cereal soon. We have reached the age the doctors tell us to eat more fiber. lol Funny they never ask us what we eat. I guess they think we live a normal american life. Little do they know :)
I will pass along the cereal recipe when I have it all worked out.
Just because we are getting older does not mean we become stale or grumpy. Why not make simple things interesting. :)
I have found that for washing dishes without electricity the candles work best for me to see better at the sink. I can use our solar light bulbs but what if we have no sun for days? I just want to know what is best when there is a power outage so I try things different ways.
I would not advise letting children handle candles even if they seem mature.
We have fire drills in schools and other drills so we should have drills at home so we know exactly what to do should we lose our power.
This weeks canning has been chicken, then beef, then beans, then carrots. I will be doing more beans tomorrow but they will be navy beans. Next week I will do black beans and another canner of beef. I still dehydrate too, I like to dehydrate cabbage and celery, carrots, bell peppers, eggplants and many other things.
I want to have a good stock for winter like they did in the past or to use during a weather emergency.
My Grandparents lived in a time when many people lived without electricity and running water. This was their wedding photo.
I now wish I had asked them more questions and absolutely would have asked them to teach me everything they knew had I just known what I know now but we most often just do not do this as we are all in different stages of our lives.
I heard on the radio this week about families that are struggling and how even working full time they don't make enough to pay for rent and expenses because the cost of living is so high today.
I want to say once again that we do not "need" many of the things we feel we need. When I married, it was during time of war. My mother gave me some of her extras, we had nothing but a few pots and pans, some clothing, a minimal amount of linens for beds and bathing.
We left Alabama on our 1955 ford (the color of this tea pot) and moved to Oklahoma where my husband was stationed, we knew no one. We rented a small one bedroom apartment that was on top of an old house two towns away from the base. We did not have any type of phone, the only phone back then was a land line and we did not have that.
You do not "need" a phone or television or anything electronic to live perfectly well. You can play board games or cards, check out books from the library. There are many ways around these high costs of today. You can still write a letter if you need to contact someone. It is sad to me that many if not most of our younger generation does not know or have any experience to know that living without these things is okay.
We have been pushed into all of these things. It is called marketing and advertising. I also heard on the radio just this week about companies making changes and buying other companies and how people are worried about our costs will go up when one company is in charge of so much. I was washing dishes at the time I was listening to the radio and shook my head while listening. My thought, there is one way to fix this problem, just don't use the service.
It is better to do without than to live with the stress of debt and bills.
If enough people realize that we did not have these things in the past and got along just fine then we still can, only people just don't know they can. People are becoming addicted to gadgets made by people that are wanting you to become addicted to them so they get wealthy.
If people went back to living without all these expensive extras of today they would go back to being sociable, we could really use a good dose of that today.
I have gone through the having, the not having, the having again to the I don't want all of this anymore. Basic living is healthy, having too much is not always good for us in many ways.
It would be difficult at first to get over the addiction of electronics and devices and gadgets and things that have fees but then you are free from the costs.
Once we stop watching television and advertising we start listening to our own mind and figuring out what we really need and do not need. We also pay attention more to the things we do have.
1960s, I have shown this picture before.
I remember what it was like to have very little money long ago and how every penny counted. I know for a fact that we would have not been able to afford to live the way people do today. I remember how important that brand new iron was because I ironed and patched my husbands uniforms. I did not have an ironing board, I used that table. I never felt deprived because I understood that we were starting out, there was no expectations or disappointments but it was an exciting time in my life.
I feel as if I am repeating myself on my blog but I feel desperate at times for the young people that are struggling financially to fully understand they can make it work if they look into the past.
I know that we would not have had the money to pay for a telephone, or cable. We did not have cable back then, people had antennas that were put up outside and once you had an antenna it did not cost anything. BUT, we would have needed a television to use that. We could not afford to buy a television, we could not even afford a radio. We did not have big department stores of today or carry credit cards. Having a television or not having one was not a big deal back then.
We rented furnished places while in Oklahoma. This house in this picture above actually had a small black and white television only we did not live there for very long. See back then it was difficult to find housing close to the base. So as something came available closer we would move.
Can you afford an evacuation if you had to leave?
It is not just the services, it is the electronics themselves that causes debt. This money needed for food and clothing or rent. It is sodas and chips and cookies, it is toiletries and driving somewhere unnecessary using gas that needs to used to go to work, not running around. See it is the combination that causes us to not be able to afford that rent. or mortgage We have to look at the whole picture and unless we look back to the past to see how they did it we don't know.
If we leave the water running our water and sewer bill will be high. If we leave the air conditioning on all the time the electric bill will be high.
I feel this is important for every young person or someone that is struggling or someone that is trying to retire or really anyone because we are all one accident, injury, job loss or disaster away from being strapped for money.
Most people in the past did not start off with much at all. Normal life was you start down here__ and work your way up---.
Why not try to swim against the current so to speak because it helps to live a more sensible life. I am so happy that I started from the bottom up because there was much joy in the experiences and many many memories. It is funny that now we are going backwards trying to reach that simple time once again.
I am not suggesting that everyone needs to live like this. What i am suggesting is, start off life sensible, prepare for the unexpected and find what brings you happiness and joy. Most often we find it is something very simple.
I find happiness in eating cereal out of a pretty sugar bowl with a lid. Grandma Donna