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Archive for October, 2009

Couponing

I’ve been using The Food Storage Network to help me plan, acquire, and use food storage.  They have great advice, books, posts, and downloadable spreadsheets to help you out.  This weekend, since I’ve finally gotten my homework under control (for the present), I’m going to do some massive couponing, studying of grocery ads, and grocery shopping to help build up our food storage.  My goal is to get about 1 month’s worth of food over the next month or so, and then build it up to enough food for 3 months.

I have my coupons filed in a filing cabinet.  I have several months worth, including double or triple sets of coupons for weeks that friends and coworkers gave me their coupons.  I’m going to go through each coupon packet and:

  • If it’s a coupon I’ll use (and it hasn’t expired), I’ll add it to my coupon spreadsheet, which lists the coupons I have and where they’re filed.
  • If a coupon flyer has no coupons that I will ever use, I’ll toss it in the recycling bin.

After I’ve gone through my coupons, I’ll go through this week’s store flyers for local grocery stores and pharmacies.  I’ll write down prices for items that I need for my food storage, and then make a list of things to shop for at each store, along with the coupons that I’ll need.

I have coupon organizers that I’ve made from sheet protectors.  If there are any coupons that I’ll need at the store, I’ll consult my coupon spreadsheet for their locations, cut them out, staple multiples (of the same coupon) together, and place each coupon (or coupon set) in the pockets of my coupon organizers sheet protectors.  I’ll take the sheet protectors (not the binder, it’s too bulky) to the store with me and be able to see my coupons easily.

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T-Shirt Quilt

I’m going to make a t-shirt quilt for a friend’s sister.  We picked out the fabrics and selected the shirts.  Here’s a pic of the shirts we’ll be using in the quilt.

t-shirts

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Here are some pictures of my garden this week.  You can see the tremendous growth that has occurred, especially with the potatoes, over the last few weeks.  We’ve had quite a bit of rain recently, which is a change from the months of no rain.

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On the left, you have red potatoes, and on the right column, you have sweet potatoes.  I added fertilized soil for dry areas to the box, so I think it’s doing a good job with the plants.

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The above two pics are opposing views of the same box.  Last week, I moved a few things around to make room for all of the zucchini that came up from seed.  I now have 12 zucchini plants.  My cucumber plants have several flowers on each, so I hope to see some cucumbers soon.  I had one tiny strawberry so far, but there are no signs of any others, yet.

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Here’s a view of the boxes with their cages.  The cages do a wonderful job of keeping cats, birds, and squirrels out.  You can find directions for making the boxes and cages at the Square Foot Gardening site.

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Baby Quilts for Friends

Here are some pictures of baby quilts I’ve recently made for friends.

(Spoiler Alert:  If you’re my friend that’s expecting a girl, don’t view this post!!)

Blue Baby Quilt

Pink Baby Quilt

I like to think of this pink quilt as a “Strawberry Shortcake” quilt. =)

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My Workout Goal

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When I finish one week of my Navy Seal workouts (6 workouts), I want to make earrings like these.  I found directions on a website.  So, once Workout #6 is complete, I’ll head over to the craft store for supplies and then learn how to make earrings!  I’m quite excited about this goal/reward, so I’m pretty motivated to finish Workout #6.  As for Week 2, we’ll see how things go.  Usually, I do well with the first week, but can slack off on Week 2.

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Several years ago, I did workouts from the United States Navy Seal Workout book.  Workouts involved walking warmups, stretching, upper and lower body exercises, ab work, cardio (walk/run, swim), etc.  Somewhere in the midst of doing this program, along with attending a jogging group, I ended up training for triathlons.  For triathlons, I used the Twelve Week Triathlete book.  Here’s why I switched back to the Navy Seal workouts:

  • I’m not currently planning to do any triathlons
  • I really need to work on my abs
  • I’m not motivated to bike outside right now, although I will get on a stationary bike
  • I’d rather run than swim, although occasional swimming is a possibility
  • I’d like to run a 5K
  • I’m very busy with grad school
  • I’ve found that I can concentrate on my grad school textbook readings when I’m walking and reading on a treadmill
  • The Navy Seal Level 1 workout involves about 45 min. of walking per workout

So, I started up on Level 1 again.  The plan is to stay on Level 1 for 4 weeks.  You do 6 workouts per week.  Sometimes, it takes me two days to get through one workout.  When I finish a week’s worth of workouts (6 workouts), I’ll get myself a nice reward (non-food).  This may be a trip to the craft store, the purchase of a new book, etc.  Weekly rewards will be small-cost items, usually $5 or less.

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Saturdays

Saturdays have become home days for me.  I do grocery shopping, do yardwork, and relax for the day.  The rest of the week, I worry about work and grad school.

Two weeks ago, I planted 2 hills with 6 zucchini seeds each.  Due to lots of rain, they all came up.  Today, I moved all 4 of my strawberry plants into one rectangle (raised bed divided into 9 rectangles) and put the rosemary and lemon verbena in a rectangle together.  Then, I moved half of the zucchini out of each hill and into the empty rectangles.  Now, I have 4 rectangles with 3 zucchini plants each.

I bought a bunch of fruits and veggies at the store today.  I’ve already had some avocado with lime, spinach and romaine with a caesar salad, and I just put carrots, onion, and zucchini (store bought) in some chicken noodle soup that I’m making.

I got a flu shot yesterday and we’ve had rain (= mold) recently, so one of the two is making me feel under the weather.  I’ve had elderberry and zinc, echinacea, oregano oil, probiotics, herbal tea with honey, and who knows what else.

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Oregano

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At a gardening enrichment meeting I took last year, our instructor told us to plant mint and oregano in pots.  Last week, I planted oregano in my small garden box.  This morning, I dug it up, potted it, and then planted the pot.

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Looking at it now, you can’t tell that it’s buried in a pot.  Hopefully, the pot will keep it from spreading roots all over the place.

I thought about putting all of my herbs into a large pot together, but I felt they would grow much better in the ground.  If they can’t handle the cold this winter, I’ll put them in pots inside.

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Garden October 3

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Here is my small garden box this morning.  We have rosemary, lemon verbena, and cucumber in the top row.  Oregano, basil, and zucchini are in the middle row.  Strawberries and zucchini are in the bottom row.

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I planted six zucchini seeds per hill/rectangle.  I was very surprised that all of them came up.  I was also surprised at how quickly they appeared.  I guess the rain we’ve had lately has been the main cause.   The seed package said to plant 6 and thin to 3 plants per hill.  I don’t know if I’ll be able to do that.  I offered half to a neighbor, so maybe she’ll take them.  Otherwise, I might try to transplant some when they’re bigger.

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This is my 4 x 4 ft garden box with 16 squares.  I planted 4 squares with sweet potatoes (bottom row) and 12 squares with red potatoes.  I was very surprised to see all of them come up.  They’re looking very healthy and robust.

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Here is a sweet potato plant (above).

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This is a red potato plant.  I had some potatoes with eyes growing out of them.  I cut up the potatoes so that each piece had an eye on it.  I buried one piece in each square and they all came up!

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