Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Dare I Hope Winter is Over?

My front door is open again!

I love when spring hits. The green of the grass and new plants, leaf buds on trees, the smell of fresh air. We had a stretch of incredibly warm days, I'm talking near summer temperatures, then reality set in and it got cold again. Today is a beautiful spring day. It's windy and you still need a coat, but I can open the front door and enjoy the extra sunshine without the heat kicking on. Sunlight lifts my spirits.

A quick update on Strong-Willed One. She did have an ear infection, but that has been treated and she's no longer in pain. The nit battle, however, is not going well. Between Thursday and Sunday I spent about 9 hours (no joke) picking nits out of her hair. She comes home from school Monday with a note from the teacher making sure I know that you have to literally pull the nits off the hair. I take a look at Strong-Willed One's head and it's loaded with nits, more than I've ever seen on her head. Obviously we are missing something. So, I'm going back to the original method we used in February. We had those nits gone in under 2 weeks. The good thing in all of this nit-battling is that Strong-Willed One is still the only one who has them. Thank goodness.

Last month I talked about how I was cooking out of our pantry and freezer and trying desperately to keep our grocery costs down. By the time March arrived, our pantry and freezer were pretty much empty, so we've been unable to sustain the very low grocery bills. I'm still making our own bread, bagels, granola bars, pizza crust and baked goods. The things really contributing to our increased costs are meat and produce. I've been trying to limit the amount of junk food the kids consume, so I'm offering healthy snacks instead. They have no problem eating veggies or fruit when they're hungry, but it means I have to buy it. As far as the meat goes, I try to plan our meals around what's on sale, I buy in bulk and freeze it in meal sized portions, I use 1/2 lb of ground beef instead of a full pound whenever I can get away with it. But the days when a single pork chop or piece of chicken is enough for me and the kids is over. And I have to keep reminding myself that the other reason our food costs have gone up is because Husband is actually home all week long now, so I'm feeding 2 adults, not just me with my half portion appetite, but also a man with a construction worker's appetite.

I still haven't tried making my own yogurt. Mostly because I either forget to buy the extra milk or I know I won't have room in the fridge because of all the produce. It's still in the back of my mind though.

We're talking about planting a garden this year. I've done a small one in years past, but the last one was 3 years ago and I only ever grew herbs, lettuce and tomatoes. This year we're talking about planting a garden to truly eat from, one that will feed our family. I'm trying to figure out what to plant and where we would best be served to put the garden. And when I think of all that will hypothetically grow in the garden, my overachieving mind has me looking into canning and imagining full shelves of beautifully canned vegetables. Never mind that I don't have any empty shelves or anywhere to put empty shelves to store canned goods. Nor do I have any canning equipment.

So we are marching on in our frugal endeavors. We will be looking into purchasing a portion of cow or pig with some of our tax refund. And now that the warmer weather is here we will be planning our garden and hanging our laundry out to dry.

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