rhubarb bonanza

I probably mentioned this already but the town historian tells us that years ago before the property we’re living at became neglected, this house had the best vegetable garden around for miles. She pointed out to this overgrown field near the pond as the former site. It’s so hard to believe looking at it now. When we moved in it was nothing but goldenrod and stupid scrubby bushes & prickers. Now that it’s spring and the field is renewing I’m finding few signs of what it formerly was.I’ll find a clump of daffodils or lillies coming up among dried stalks left behind by the goldenrod.

Monday I stumbled upon a beautiful row of rhubarb. A perfect row, a long ago gardener as it’s architect.


I started harvesting what was ready. I filled a clothes basket full.


Now I’m at the full on chopping stage, freezing and preserving most of it but looking forward to strawberry-rhubarb pie for dessert tonight and apple-rhubarb muffins for the boys’ school snacks. My grandmother used to make rhubarb syrup that I loved. I’ll can some of that.
There’s plenty to share,too.



My multi-tasking media today:
::watching:: The Family. I started watching a few days ago, then found out yesterday it’s been cancelled but I’m in too deep now. Damn, Andrew McCarthy is great-creepy in this.
::podcast:: Season 2 of Serial. The general reaction from most people has been “meh. It’s not as good as season 1” but I’m into it so far.
::music:: Painted Shut, Hop Along



questionable decisions made this week

Poor people supposedly have poor decision making skills. I might be demonstrating that well.

Like going back to college. Poor people are told that they need to get themselves educated, so this seems like a brilliant idea. I did indeed apply. I’m already “educated” and have a paper degree that says I learned some things but that’s beside the point. I decided I needed to go get another degree after seeing countless jobs I wanted to apply for recently that I didn’t have the right degree or qualifications for. Funny though…I usually had enough experience, although most of it is unpaid & volunteer work.

So, I’m going back to college, even though I’m poor AF and can’t even help my daughter pay her monstrous tuition (she goes to one of the most expensive colleges in the country and does get a massive fin aid & scholarship package but STILL….ugh) . I also can’t get a loan, so that should be interesting. Maybe those annoying people who tell us poor people that “If there’s a will,there’s a way!” are right and I’ll figure it all out by sheer will.

In September I will be here asking for math help and crying about what a horrible idea it was to even think I could do it. You’ll see.

I also cancelled my life insurance policy this week because I needed the cash surrender amount for pay bills and the last 2 months, that insurance payment has caused my bank account to be overdrawn and cost me $50 in bank fees that I didn’t have.
This means I can’t ever die now, which would be fine with me but if I’m going to live forever, I’d like to not be poor. How do vampires live such opulent lifestyles?

But really, I knocked on wood which should keep me safe from death and anyway, all I want is to be cremated in a cardboard box . Frugal to the end.

On a lighter note, I’m currently on duckling and gosling watch here on our rented homestead. No signs yet. Grown up geese and ducks have been quieter than usual, so maybe that’s the calm before the fluff?

They’re nesting on the island in the middle of the pond (or lake,if you ask the neighbors)

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My coffee drinking, waterfowl watching bench . This is the extent of my good decision making lately.

All photos courtesy of my daughter and stolen from her instagram.

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Our Free Organic Apples


There are five old,gnarly,unkempt apple trees on our rented homestead property that have been providing a steady stream of apples since early September. The apples are as gnarly looking as the trees sometimes.DSC_0482 As a matter of fact, they look about the same as the expensive organic apples I’ve seen at the grocery store. They’re not certified organic but close enough for me and the price is right.
Technically, they aren’t free since we pay rent to have the privilege of using the apples. My goal is to maximize the potential of the property while we are here and to reap the benefits of everything here…”weeds”,trees,dirt….if it can give me food or save me money in some way, I’m going to utilize it to get the most bang for our rental bucks.

So, the apples trees are a pretty obvious boon here.

I swear, he’s happier eating this apple than he looks. My littlest guy was the only one who had no reservations about just eating the apples straight up.

This school year, my kids have to take a snack every single day. There is zero room in our food budget for snacks. The apples are filling that gap quite nicely. Apple bread/muffins,apple flautas,apple pie roll-ups (SO easy and just use plain white bread), applesauce,apple this,apple that. Everything apples. I cant wait to try apple-peanut butter cookies.

I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that there have been so many apples that have fallen and weren’t picked up in time (WASTED FOOD! ACK!)that our backyard smells like hard cider. I half expect to see drunken deer stumbling around one of these mornings. They definitely have been partaking of the bounty,too.

Using every last bit is kind of my thing so with the apples, I use the peels & cores to make apple cider vinegar. I know ACV isn’t all that expensive but making it myself is just one more thing I don’t have to buy. I do seem to use a lot of it,too. Every little bit helps.

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via my IG