One woman's quest to save money, save the planet and save my sanity

Monday, December 21, 2009

Cornbread for Yankees

As a kid, my family traveled in our motor home every summer and we typically headed south to take in the weather, the character, the history, and, most importantly, the FOOD! My Dad was from the mid-west so he introduced us to delicacies like biscuits and gravy and roasted corn. In the south, we learned to love fried okra and macaroni and cheese that didn't come from a box. One of our favorite places to eat was Cracker Barrel. Probably not a big deal to those south of the Mason-Dixon Line because they are everywhere down there, but to us it was heaven. If I could only pick one item to eat from there, it would definitely be cornbread.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Winter Marketing

Since using the last of my garden carrots to make Noah's birthday cake last week, my fresh produce cravings have kicked into overdrive. I have been making a strong effort to buy as little, non-local fruit and veg as possible since the end of the regular Farmers Market season and, needless to say, the well has begun to run dry.
In October, I did bid my local market a fond farewell knowing that I would hit some of the Winter Markets that are held monthly during the off season. With a surprisingly wide variety of products to choose from, I have been awaiting their arrival with a mix of excitement and desperation. I had to work all day during the November market, but that was alright because we were still enjoying the vegetables of our own labor.
Now, with winter whipping me in the face every time I step outside and a crust of ice and snow covering my

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Birds Eye View of Winter

This morning, we awoke to our first full helping of snow. Shortly after receiving the 5:30am Snow Day Robo Call, I headed out to shovel around the coop door and check on the girls. We had a bit of a storm over the weekend, but it was very clumpy snow and ended up sticking to the aviary netting. This spared the chickens from having their run become a winter wonderland, but caused us much grief since we now know we have a bit of a design flaw. So saggy netting aside, our poultry friends had gotten off easy. Until today.
I opened the big door to find everyone quite a twitter and refusing to get off the roosts.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Ecothical Dilema #2 - Eggsploitation

As our first snow of the season fell on us Saturday while watching our local Holiday Parade, I know my children's heads danced with dreams of candy canes and sleds; snowmen and Santa. My mind, however, was overwhelmed with one thought - Chickens. Being winter storm virgins, I thought that they might stay huddled in their coop until spring, that they would get agitated and start pecking one another, that I should already have put Vaseline on Bertha's floppy comb. But more than anything, I pondered my worst fear - a drop in egg production!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Big Boy Budget Birthday

Hey now, Simple Butta Blog! You thought I forgot about you, right? In addition to new businessy ventures, it is also the holiday season (as if you hadn't figured that out from the incessant barrage of waste and attempts at financial ruin). That has made things extra crazy and, round these parts, December gets even hairier as two of my three progeny made their way into the world in the 12th month. Not good planning on our part, but the one kid we weren't trying for was born in June so go figure. I'm just sayin' it - December can be a crappy month for celebrating birthdays. Most people think of the financial burden, but to me it's strictly scheduling. It has taken me weeks to figure out when to hold their parties, yet it took minutes to get their gifts together. My store of choice lies in my basement where I stash all the treasures I have picked up during yard sale season and on my weekly (OK, sometimes daily) trips to the thrift store. Yes, I give my children second hand gifts and they LOVE them! They don't even notice the lack of packaging.