Friday, January 29, 2010

Victim of Changes (old Judas Priest song, but the title kinda fits!)

The past 2 weeks I have managed to do a bit of side work and earn a little extra cash. It couldn't have come at a better time since things were starting to get so tight that it hurt. Tonight we'll take some of the money and restock the pantry since the flour and sugar are getting low. We've also decided to stock whole grain flour and make more with it, so we'll be looking for that in bulk as well.
The idea behind the whole wheat is another diet change for both of us. As some readers may know, Lisa has changed her entire diet, taken up bellydancing, and has lost 47 pounds over the last 6-7 months.(how awesome is that?!) With her change of diet, the grocery shopping has changed, and I have decided to change with it/her. We don't eat hardly anything people would consider junk food, but still we are both going to work towards a more healthy diet. We'll slowly work away from white flour and use whole grain. We'll eat more fruits and nuts, and will turn down the sugar machine. Lisa already uses more honey for sweetener for herself, but since I don't care for it in iced tea, I plan to start using stevia. I have no plans on watching and measuring everything I eat like she has been doing, but I will be cutting down my portion sizes. I've always been a big eater, but it's time to slow things down a bit...I really don't need 2 sandwiches in my lunch or eat 3 turkey burgers at dinner. I'll just slow down.
Now with the plans on diet change will come changes to the garden as well. We'll be planing more greens this year, and a better variety of green vegetables. (brussel sprouts, asparagus,etc.)With that will come a slight garden expansion, probably just another 5 feet, taking it to 45x95. We also want to plant more things for making soup, like carrots and celery, so the expansion will definitly be necessary since we are going to double what we planted last year in onions and potatos.
We also want to plant more fruits, mainly blueberries and strawberries. Since my motto is "less to mow-more to eat", I have no problem with this at all. I think maybe rather than make 2 new strawberry beds in the spring, I'll go ahead and make 4. We'll look around for good prices on blueberry bushes too, since as of now we only have one. I'll also go ahead and thin out the blackberries and extend them another 10-12 feet to the property line. With more production, we'll have more to eat fresh, and more for jams and jellies. It's a win-win situation. I'm going to prune 1 or 2 of the old trees next door too, just to see if they'll produce better fruit. Again, more food.
I'd love to be able to grow more meat birds this year, but we're just plain out of room. With the run for the layers now reaching 50 feet long, there is just nowhere to put them. My uncle had always said we could put some at his place, but that means buying materials for a coop and run, and I have no idea if that money will be there. And I can't rely on getting freebies like I did last year, I think that was just pure luck. I will be getting more rabbits to breed, but for now the idea of meat birds is up in the air.
So again yet more changes here at home, but all are good ones. We'll both be eating better and will be exercising more often. We've even talked about getting a couple inexpensive bicycles and doing some trail riding on weekends. It will be hard working, doing all the garden work, exercising, and making time for bike riding, but we'll make it happen. Again, without the idiot box as a distraction, we have more free time in the evenings to do these things, plus work on more food storage.
Some people thought we were nuts for storing food, but after seeing how we are able to eat even during this layoff, they are beginning to understand. Of course it doesn't mean our friends will do their own storage program, but at least they get it now. With having so much on hand and doing careful shopping, the past year has been fairly easy on the checkbook in the food department. We have friends over every Sunday for dinner now, and since neither of them are working, they can't understand how we can eat so well. We tell them about food storage, but we always get that goofy look. I may have mentioned it in a previous entry, but all we hear from them was that her mother was one of those "Y2K crazies", and that it took them forever to get rid of what she had stored. I told them if they'd used and rotated what she had stored, they would possibly still have food on hand, but they want no part of it. They'd rather go once a week and get canned soup, mac n' cheese, and ramen thanks. They don't get it at all, but other people we know have, and maybe a few of you readers will see that storing food isn't just for the typical SHTF scnerio that so many "prep" for. It's saved us a lot of money, and a lot of grief. Think about it folks. This can happen to anyone.
For now I'll leave on a bit of humor as I wander outside to warm the car and feed the chickens-
Some people are like Slinky's. They aren't good for anything, but they are fun to watch if you push them down the stairs.
(and I know a LOT of Slinky's!!!)


Leasmom said...

Chris, you're a good example that if you provide food for yourself with careful preparation you can whether any storm. Good for you and Lisa and I hope you're garden is overflowing this year.

Myussop said...

An admiring and recommendable change in lifestyle.It's always good to know that you subscribe to the philosophy of 'less is more' and 'more with less'.It's not only an excellent strategy but also a true guarantee that when rough gets going, you aren't on the other side of the fence.Have a nice weekend.

littlegreengardengal said...

I use stevia in my sweet tea too. I don't like stevia in everything because I think sometimes it makes sortof an aftertaste, but in tea I can't tell the difference in flavor at all. So I can drink sweet tea all summer and not feel guilty about the sugar.

And your slinky analogy made me laugh! :)

Angie said...

Love your slinky analogy!
You two are so right about the food storage - my dh used to think it was a little strange, but now he gets it and is so glad that I never gave up!
As far as the stevia, I have used it straight, but never cared for the aftertaste. Recently, I have tried a product called sun crystals. It is pure cane sugar blended with stevia. I really like it. I haven't tried to bake or can with it yet. Maybe it will be my stepping stone to using pure stevia. Which reminds me, in one of my seed catalogs I have seen stevia. Wonder if you can grow that in Ohio?

Chris W said...

We picked up some stevia packets over the weekend at a small co-op we found by accident, and I've been using it in my iced tea. At first I did notice a bit of an aftertaste, but now I barely do. I love the idea of using it rather than sugar, but my only problem with it is the cost. Maybe it was just overpriced since we found it at a natural/health food co-op, but it was $5.50 for 50 little packets. I know good health isn't cheap, but as we tend to buy in bulk, this one may break the bank a little.
Angie, we grew one stevia plant last year just to see if we could and it had no problems at all. We're already poking through seed catalogs to find the best price so we can put out several this year.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever considered getting some honey bees to provide you with your sweetner?


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