granny goose

I think this was my most resourceful weekend ever. Seriously! Poor Mr. Husband came down with that Bad Cold and has been ill for days. Plus it’s a holiday weekend, and no one is around, or very busy with holiday fun.

Our weekend? Getting tax papers together (ARGH). This was Mr. Husband’s job, and he did it for an hour on Saturday then collapsed into bed. Sunday, he asked me for help, and I sat with him and filled out paperwork and sorted and filed for like 4 hours. May I just say that it SUCKED — and yet, did not, in a way, because this particular albatross is finally going to go away. And though the day was gorgeous, and it SUCKED having to be indoors much of the day, it was much better for the financial future (and past) and our marriage, and probably the planet, I don’t know, but a good thing all around.

However, I also managed to accomplish a number of things while Mr H was sick in bed over the weekend. I defrosted a quart of our (homegrown) pumpkin pulp and made 2 pumpkin pies, for the weekend and through the week. I might even freeze one.

I was also given 2 batches of that Amish fiend-ship bread last week (thanks, Mary Lee). I say “fiend” because that stuff will take over your life., Feed it, mush the bag, no metal spoons, feed it again, now bake it with Jello. Right. Show me an Amish mama who cooks her bread with a box of instant Jello pudding in it, and I’ll show you a big fat liar. I baked 2 loaves on Thursday (took to work) and then I took the second starter and made muffins out of the batter. I don’t buy muffin papers anymore but lined each cup with a square of waxed paper, which isn’t a perfect solution, but works well enough (it’s compostable). I added chopped dried apricots to the batter and made a dozen large size muffins for the kids’ breakfast. I froze half the muffins in a former cereal bag. They make great freezer bags or sandwich wraps, FYI. The liner from cereal boxes. (Thanks to my mom for that tip.) I saved one cup of the starter for myself and am not going to be anyone’s friend (fiend) with batter. No. I’m not.

I haven’t baked for a while, so it was fun to get back to the oven. I used the small oven to save energy and baked the pies, then the muffins, and saved some energy by not using the large oven, twice. (Old type stove has 2 ovens.) I also made soup for the Sick One, and made it vegetable although he was calling for chicken soup (no chicken at hand), and that way the vegetarian daughter could partake. That soup used up 4 sprouty potatoes, a small hard squash that has sat on my counter for 4 months (maybe longer), some sad celery and carrots, and a can of garbanzos. A little red wine (going sour) and homegrown rosemary made it Mediterranean potato soup. Y-U-M. When I describe it like that, it sounds gross — but it was delicious. (Yes, really.)

This was a Use it Or Lose it Weekend — so mending was on the agenda. I sewed up the hamper (canvas on a frame) from the bedroom, using strong quilting thread, doubled. Simone, the domestic one who likes to cook and sew, put some felt patches, cut into heart shapes with pinking shears, on the holey rag rug. It is very cute and folk-arty. I will try to post pix tomorrow or later this week. Also, remember the box of Mason jars I found on the curb last week? We realized that most of our glassware has been broken; we’re down to half a dozen glasses, all hiding in kids’ rooms, sprouting mold. Teenagers LOVE to stack glassware, and then it breaks, and they toss it in recycling and don’t tell me, and suddenly we are drinking juice out of coffee mugs. So I washed a dozen wide-mouth pint jars and now we have “new” drinking glasses (and these are much sturdier than the other ones that broke — made to withstand pressure cooking!). Cost me nothing but time. And they’re “cool,” according to the tens and their posse. Go figure.

Did about 6 loads of laundry and hung on the line — it feels like a blessing to get to do that. I love it and feel like I’m getting cotton candy and a ride on the Ferris Wheel when I get to hang the clothes out. Sick, sick, sick. That’s me.

Oh, jeez — it’s Easter, so I boiled up some eggs late Saturday and dyed them with what was at hand for natural dyes: leftover beet juice (from my dinner), tea bags (from all that tea Mr H is drinking) and dried onion skins. I was too tired to stay up very late and deal with the dyeing, so the eggs are pale pink, pale yellow and pale tan. Very cute and old fashioned. I should snap a photo before they disappear. The tea and onion skin worked the best. I was surprised that the beet juice didn’t really stick. Maybe pomegranate juice next time?

Teen drama over the dishes and the complete inability to WIPE THE DAMNED COUNTERS after dishes sent me to the yarn stash, and I knitted up a couple of cotton dish cloths, since I don’t buy sponges anymore. So they could no longer say they “couldn’t” wipe the counters.

Actual conversation…

Daughter Who Shall Remain Nameless: This fabric softener smells like vinegar.
Me: It *is* vinegar.
Me: That stuff gives you cancer.

Today, while Mr Husband napped between rounds of tax fun, I FIXED 3 necklaces and an ankle bracelet (anklet?), and figured out how to fix the eyeglass chain. I gave myself a pedicure (well, painted my crappy toenails.) That saved me $25 though frankly I would have rather spent it. Maybe after payday. Ah, pedicures…

I saved the best part for last (if you’re still with me) — I was determined to get some exercise this weekend and did a bit of gardening but wanted to take a walk. So this morning I grabbed a plastic bag and went walking, thinking to collect some empties on my rounds and make the neighborhood a cleaner place. By the time I got about a mile away (near the college, lazy college students!), I had a FULL kitchen trash bag — the 5-gal size. In fact, I couldn’t even carry it too well with the dripping, clanking and weight of glass. So I stashed it, thinking I would come back on my bike to get it, or if someone else took it, no worries. A gift, karma. I left the bag there, the instantly found another empty plastic bag (because they are everywhere) and loaded that bag up on my way home. When Mr H was dozing again, I hopped on my bike and rode to get the first bag.

Let’s play “How granny is That?” Picture me with my Cruiser bike (bright yellow) and all the baskets open (panniers), plus my bungee cord, and my hair stuffed into my dorky rainbow helmet, riding along. I found 3 bottles on my way to the drop site, new since this morning when I had literally cleared a whole street of bottles (Tinker Ave., if you want specifics — yes, Bayport people — or passersby — throw empty water bottles in the street all the time.). I get to the drop site, the bag is still there, and I strap it on the back of the bike.

(cueWizard of Oz.)

I looked like a charm with all my cans and bottles rattling behind me in my giant plastic bag. When I got home, I sorted all the recyclables and found that I had picked up some 60 in my rounds. So there I am, with my dirty gloves and my dirty bottles and my bike, gloating over the $3 I just found. How granny is that? Super Granny.

I found a penny on the ground while I was out, too, just as icing on the cake. Grand total, $3.06, including the nickel that we found in the tax papers. A penny found is a penny earned, I think. And that was my weekend.

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