I have gathered some maple leaves--yellows and oranges with occasional streaks or patches of scarlet, nowhere near the fire of last Autumn but beautiful none the less--and used Gryph's's trick of a tiny amount of hand lotion on them to keep them from shattering when they dry. I will keep on gathering; some are for my wreath but I would like to use the rest as enclosures in cards for my mom and sisters. Right now they are all sitting under weights to keep them flat as they dry.
I patched Gryph's work shoes, glued in a little leather where the heel was worn on the inside, and so far it seems to be holding up. So we spent the shoe money at the grocery store and I moved "new shoes" to next payday. It took $150--TWICE my normal budget--to buy most of two weeks' food and dammit, I didn't even buy meat except for dollar a pound hot dogs, and I kept the cheese to a minimum, only three pounds for two weeks. Normally we would go through at least six pounds. But I did buy five pounds of rice and twenty pounds of veggies. I wish I could have bought everything, including paper towels and toiletries, but there just was no way. I sacrificed them to get another canister of coffee; it went on sale for $6 and I have a troubled feeling that might be as low as it goes for the rest of the year.
Funny how inflation-caused relative poverty forces us to eat like the revised food pyramid suggests *wry smile* but really, all that has changed from our preferred diet is that we don't eat much meat anymore and it isn't the kinds of meat we prefer. I did splurge and buy two cans of tuna, not so much for us as for the cats. They're making it plain they truly miss tuna water, so twice in the next two weeks, they'll get a little of it. *sigh* I used to be able to give them two cans' worth, two or three times a week. Dang.
Oh well, I got sick of tuna back then, lol... but I miss chicken and red meat. I bought a pound of that liver I've been needing, but it's gone up a dollar a pound in the last month... it used to be almost free; twenty years ago I used to buy it for 19 cents a pound, ten years ago for 49 cents a pound... now it's $2.49 and looks to keep rising.
Today I cook my first pie punkin, to see how they do. I seem to remember that they are nowhere near as watery as jack o' lantern punkins, and that they taste much better. I'm hoping this is so, because dang, they cost just as much for half the size! I also got two Delicata squash and another butternut to go with the second pie punkin, so we should be set for squash for the next couple weeks. It's a relief to be able to afford *something* in the way of fresh produce, even if it is only squashes.
Gryph is in love with my homemade noodles. I never knew they could be so easy--one egg, half an eggshell of milk, 1/8th teaspoon salt beaten together until foamy; one cup flour beaten in a little at a time, one more half cup flour (or so... depends on the size of the egg) kneaded in to make a dry dough. Let rest ten minutes to half an hour, roll out, snip into noodles with scissors (or cut with a sharp knife... but not on your good countertop!). Boil at least ten minutes; these stay al dente. They don't break down and get mushy like commercial pasta does, so they're great in soup. I make them thin sometimes, and double-thick others. The double thick are like a cross between a noodle and a dumpling.
It is really cold in here; I had to turn the space heater back on. Dang, my electric bill is gonna be as high as it was during the summer! But we have to have heat. Now if the heater will do its job before the extension cord gets too hot and sets the place on fire, we'll be in like Flynn.
I am seriously considering that try though I might to make this apartment be okay for us, it is lacking many advantages that a house would give us. My goal is to not only have a garden space where NOBODY feels it is okay to steal my veggies from me (grrrr! I harvested what was left and gave them to my friend upstairs, who is hurting even more than we are for money), but also a living space--------
----------omg!!! I locked myself out--forgot my keys were in my jeans pocket, wore my sweats when I walked the dog because it is so cold; thanks be the manager was here!! With the plumber, and he's working on the boilers today, thanks be--okay, Lady's walked and drama's ended, sheesh... *brrrrrr it is cold*
----------also a living space where I control the heat and cooling, where things are energy efficient and we have multiple fuel sources. I don't mind living with others; I might even prefer it, at least for a while, but I really mind inefficient appliances, substandard electrical systems, and lack of living and garden space. I mind this way more than I expected to, since I had made peace with staying here.
Maybe when the heat goes on, I will stop minding so much. *rueful smile* But heat cannot make up for my lack of garden space, my lack of security that what I grow will be there when I go to get it; cannot make up for lack of privacy; cannot make up for lack of closets, lack of floor space. Heat cannot make up for electrical outlets that are burned dark brown, that overheat cords, that are simply inadequate--and yes, we do have to be careful what we run because our breakers do flip if we use electricity in the living room and dining room at the same time, or in the bedroom and computer area both at once. *sigh* Heat cannot make up for inefficient appliances that cost me too much every month, a freezer that makes my food smell like soap, a broken window, a broken toilet.... a "maintenance man" who breaks everything worse when he tries to fix it....
*reminds self of new mantra: May we prosper in all things, especially financially.*
I guess that since we are prospering in all ways, we need to prosper our way into a sturdy well-maintained house with a good fence and everything we need! Wish I knew how to win the lottery. *wry smile* Still, we are prospering in all ways, especially financially--and the more I say it in the present tense, the more true it becomes. What I ask for comes to me, so now I am going to ask to for living space that better meets our needs. "This, or better."
Lady seems to be doing better this morning. Gryph gave her baby aspirin at supper and she didn't seem quite as hot during the night last night. Her nose still runs a little but she isn't coughing so much anymore. Poor baby; I just didn't realize that she might catch a cold!
I forgot to buy the Bounce (it's supposed to be a good mouse repeller) and it seems the mouse/mice are expanding their base; yesterday I came home to find Artemis crouched intently under the desk in the dining room, her butt in the air and her head craned round the things I have stored under it. OY. My friend upstairs is upset thinking people will start using D-Con; she had a dog who ate a D-Conned mouse once, and the vet BARELY saved the dog's life; cats have no chance. I've got to get that Bounce!
My garden, amazingly, survived the frost intact. I guess I'd better water it today! I'll use room temp water so the dirt and roots will absorb it more easily. Tonight is supposed to be a hard frost, but if the heat goes on, the garden may be sheltered enough to stay frost-free since it is under my leaky single-pane windows. Who knew? Microclimates are awesome things.
I saw the news last night about the bombing in Syria. I was SO ANGRY. It seems to me that this is a blatant attempt to start a war with Syria so that a specific candidate can win the election. It's unbearable, absolutely unbearable, that CHILDREN should die to further the election fortunes of any party!!! This is beyond despicable; it is evil, pure and simple, and cannot be whitewashed over with ANY excuse.
So I did something. I did a Binding. I had considered binding the one who authorized the bombing, but that would leave others equally evil and insane to bring war... so I did the only thing I could think of--I did the binding on War, itself. I made a red spirit doll and used black thread to bind its hands and render it impotent, ineffective, stopped in its tracks, helpless forever.
There has not been a time in my lifetime where some government or other has not been waging war on its own citizens or another country's. There has not been a time in my lifetime when children have not been dying for other people's political ideologies. There has not been a time in my lifetime when Peace has had any chance at all.
Clearly, this problem must be addressed at the root. Bind war, itself, my dears. There is no room for peace in the world until we deal with this obstinate problem. Truss War up and render it obsolete. Remove it from our lives. The more of us who join together in this image and prayer, the faster it will come to fruition. Bind War and render it obsolete.
Red spirit doll bound with black thread
embroidered tears on face
arms and hands tightly bound
needle left in